Re: USB problems with Sony laptop and Windows 7 home premium

Christopher Erickson

Disable power saving on the USB devices and clean your USB connectors and inspect them for corrosion and oxidation.

Christopher Erickson
Consulting Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hi 96738

On Feb 14, 2015 11:18 AM, "jamesbaker1@... [ap-gto]" <ap-gto@...> wrote:

Sorry for the long background, but I think it is relevant.  Basically though, I am losing communication between the laptop and the Mach1 when using a USB hub to gain extra USB ports.

I have a Sony laptop (F series VPCF13AFX from a couple of years ago) which has 3 USB ports and runs the Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit version).  With my Mach1 I ordered the Keyspan USB-to-serial adapter and the Icron Ranger 4 port USB hub.  I am just learning (literally last couple of days) to control the Mach1 with TheSkyX Pro.

Using only the Keyspan plugged directly into a USB port, it seems to work fine for extended periods of time (limited testing with this as it is not a long term option as I learn to connect the guider and imager to the computer as well).  However, using the Icron plugged into the laptop and the Keyspan plugged into the Icron, the system becomes unreliable.  Starts out working fine, but eventually the computer/OS has problems with the USB devices, retries become so frequent that TheSky gui slows to a crawl taking 30 seconds to respond to a mouse click and finally the communication error message with the Mach1 disconnecting.  

Unplugging the Icron from the laptop, waiting several seconds, and plugging it back in so far recovers the system, but if is not acceptable when I am in the middle of an imaging session with multiple devices connected to the Icron.

I do not think either the Keyspan or the Icron is at fault.  I have a powered 6 port USB hub from Belkin usually connected  to the Sony laptop when it is pretending to be a desktop machine.  I have two devices usually plugged into the Belkin (printer and Davis weather station).  With a backup hard drive and wireless keyboard fob also on laptop USB ports I have 4 devices total.  This usually is stable.  However if I plug in a USB flash stick into the Belkin, for a total of 5 devices, eventually (usually within 20 minutes or so) the weather station communication is lost (as is communication with the Mach1).  Even without the flash stick, the weather station eventually loses communication within a week.

So I suspect the problem lies with either the Sony F series laptop or Windows 7.  One of these two is struggling to handle a hub properly.  Anyone else with this experience with this equipment?  Any suggestions on how to debug the problem or what the fix might be.  I am hoping I will get better advice here than from Microsoft of Sony.  Thanks.

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