Powerbox Troubleshooting Guide

This troubleshooting guide covers Pocket Powerbox, Micro, Advance and Ultimate Powerbox v2.

No, it does not. Electronic components have been selected to support temperature ranges from -40 to +80 °C. Our customers have installed all of our powerbox devices to very cold places around the globe and they work flawlesslly and reliable under very low temperatures at long periods of time.

Supplied cables are not from silicon which is proven to be the best material for cold environments but they have decent flex under cold temperatures.

  • When you plug the USB cable you should see a registered COM port under Windows Device Manager. If you are unsure that this COM port belongs to your device, just unplug the USB cable and check if this port dissapears.

Make sure that you have installed the latest software

Download and install our Unity Platform from: pegasusastro.com/downloads/

Pegasus Astro Unity is a modern frontend allows the full control of all Pegasus Astro devices.
Devices are automatically discovered when the software opens so the only thing you have to do is to click the discovered device and enter into its control tab.

Click the shortcut on your Windows Desktop

Please note that if there is a new version available, Unity will prompt you to upgrade to latest stable release.

All available ASCOM drivers are automatically installed (existing are upgrading to latest release) along with the Unity software
Make sure you have the latest ASCOM release from https://ascom-standards.org/

Please make sure about the following:

  • Your USB3 cables are not very long. USB3 max cable length is up to 3 meters / 9feet. However, we recommend shorter cables as some USB devices / cameras have lower sensitivity USB transmitters or receivers.
  • Your USB cables are not looped or tied together with power cables. Interfearences between power cables can easily affect USB transfer quality and stability.
  • We do not recommend USB extenders but if you do so, make sure that your issue does not have to do with the extender. You can remove the extender and retry.
  • Make sure that your PSU delivers the required voltage and current for your setup. Voltage drops due to thin custom cables can affect the delivered power and
    lead to disconnects.
  • USB3 Flat cables do not have proper shielding and lead to disconnects. If you have disconnect issues and use similar cables we strongly recommend to use a proper shielded cable. USB3 protocol is prone to errors and requires proper shielding for conenction stability and high speed transfers. Please check our short length and shielded USB cables
USB3 flat cables are not properly shielded

Please read our Cable management recommendations for an astrophotography setup page for more troubleshooting tips.

All Powerbox devices work in standalone mode. In short, this means that device drivers are not mandatory.
Any provided USB or ASCOM driver is used only to control the device (switch ports or view sensor values and other metrics) and does not affect how the powerbox device performs and handles other devices plugged into the USB Hub.

If you encounter issues in USB connectivity between PC or plugged devices, we strongly advise that you should check your cable management.

This tutorial will help you troubleshoot further.

We have reported cases that QHY and ZWO camera devices (e.g QHY Polemaster, ZWO ASI120) report this message when they are plugged into the USB Hub of the Pocket Powerbox Advance.

It seems that this happens when you have plugged the input power to the Powerbox device and after that you try to connect the camera to the USB Hub of the device (e.g PPB Advance). To easily resolve this issue, please connect the USB cables of all of your cameras and then provide power to the PPB Advance. This is an action that most camera vendors suggest.

This is an indication that your power supply or your input cable does not meet the requirements to deliver power to all of your equipment.

Make sure that:

  1. You have plugged the input cable jack into the input socket and not accidentally into any other output (such as the adjustable output).
  2. Your power supply can output 12V-13.8V and 8-10Amps at least. We strongly recommend to use our certified Pegasus Astro PSU
  3. Your cable and any middle adapters or connections between the PSU and the Powerbox device have a thick cable that can pass the required current without causing voltage drops.
    • A input voltage drop below 11.5V will severely affect your equipment performance. Mount slewing, Camera TEC cooling, Small factor PC stability (e.g Intel NUC) will not work properly if input voltage is below 11.5V.
    • An indication that your voltage is out of limits is the continuous led blink of the Powerbox device. (* This applies only to Pocket Pocket, Micro and Advance)
    • You can verify that the input voltage is at normal operating levels (12-13.8V) from the voltage meter of your powerbox device.
    • If your voltage goes higher than 14.5Volts, the powerbox will automatically shut down all ports to save your precious equipment from overvoltage and damage!
    • Same applies for input voltage that is lower than 10.0V. The powerbox is going to cut-off the power to its outputs if the input voltage is below 10.0V

Unity Platform displaying the voltage input readings

Frankly, this is something that we hope you will not experience during the operation life of the powerbox device!

We have seen cases where customers accidentally plug the input cable into the Adjustable Output of the Pocket Powerbox Advance or Micro.

The device has a protection and it will not get harmed if you plug the mains power cord, for a while, to the adjustable output, but there are recorded cases that the device will get damaged if you continue with this faulty cable configuration and power all of your equipment under this setup. Unfortunately a “magic smoke” coming out indicates that the device got damaged and requires inspection and repair. Please contact us if this is your case.

This issue has been reported to Pegasus Pocket, Pegasus Pocket Micro and Pegasus Pocket Advance and has to do with an improper power jack.

The input power jack should be 2.1/5.5mm center positive and have internal pin clips to securely grip into device’s metallic input socket.

Below jack is not compatible and will lead to power disruptions.

NOT COMPATIBLE

Below jack (with internal clips) is compatible and ensures a proper power connection.

COMPATIBLE / REQUIRED

Note: If you have the correct jack but the issue still happens, this can be a problem with the metallic input socket.

We have also seen cases that the socket gets damaged due to a meridian flip and improper cable management. A cable snag or excesive stretch can easily damage the socket and result in a poor power contact.

Moreover, to avoid all the hassle, we strongly recommend our Pegasus Astro PSU which is certified for this device and eliminates similar issues.