Most camera-related problems, including driver issues, are best resolved by talking to the equipment manufacturer. The vast majority of camera manufacturers provide their own drivers for operating their equipment. Many of the "plug-in drivers" supplied with MaxIm DL simply provide a bridge to the camera manufacturer's own proprietary driver API.
USB interface problems can cause the software to apparently lock up. Often the software may become completely unresponsive and/or cannot be closed. The reason for this is that one of the threads is locked in a kernel-level driver. Unfortunately this cannot be resolved from by the application software, as it is a hardware or vendor-supplied driver problem.
To diagnose a USB lockup problem, pull the USB cables one at a time. When you find the problem interface the software will come back to life and display an appropriate error message.
Common causes of USB lockups include:
Bad drivers or device firmware. This can cause the USB interface to keep "retrying" the communications, which always fail. This is particularly common for cheap USB-to-Serial converters, although some cameras can also do this. To resolve this problem:
Check the device manufacturer's web site for updated drivers and/or firmware
In the case of USB-to-serial adapters, try a different brand. Unfortunately bad converters are so rampant that you may have to try several different ones! Generally speaking the higher priced converters and multi-port converters are much more reliable.
Temperature sensitive USB hubs. Most hubs don't work in cold temperatures because they use inexpensive ceramic resonators instead of crystals, so their operating frequency drifts out of USB specifications in cold temperatures. If you need to operate in cold temperatures find an industrial hub with a wide temperature range specification.
Avoid using the USB connectors on the front or top of desktop computers. They are compromised by the internal cabling. They are usually only adequate for USB memory sticks and devices with short cables.
Bad cables. High speed USB 2.0 is very sensitive to impedance mismatches, and poor quality cables can really degrade the signal. Sometimes simply trying a different cable improves things. Try to avoid using extension cables; use a single longer cable instead. Do not exceed the recommended 5 meter (16 feet) cable length.
Another USB-related problem that is sometimes encountered is the main camera fails when the autoguider is running. This can be caused by a USB hub not being able to handle the high bandwidth required running two cameras at once. You can try replacing the hub; however it is strongly recommended to avoid using hubs for cameras. It is recommended to avoid USB hubs altogether if possible.
Camera Error Codes
A partial list of error codes is available. Some codes are common to all plug-in drivers; others are specific to the equipment.
Please see Autoguider Troubleshooting.