Date   

Re: ASCOMPAD and PMC-8 Connection Problems

Mark Lamb
 

For the 1st time in a week, we had decent conditions last night, so I setup outside.  I only connected my Win10 tablet using ASCOM wirelessly using POTH, CdC, and ASCOMPAD.  I used XBox controller w/ ASCOMPAD to do the rotations need for PoleMaster, as well as tweeking the GoTo pointing.

Everything worked without any disconnects over the 2+ hours.  As far as connections were concerned, my only complaint was that XBox controller w/ ASCOMPAD does work unless the ASCOMPAD window is visible and the active window.  So tweeking the mount's direction required bringing ASCOMPAD up from the hidden tray before using the controller, but at least it can work though a PITA.  (I have posted my ASCOMPAD issues to the EQMOD group, and my only response so far is that it might be an XBox controller driver issue.)

My entire session had my camera connected instead of EP, and I was trying out the trial version of APT.  APT worked, but I could not get it to platesolve.  Earlier in the day, I installed PlateSolve2 and ASPS and their respective catalogs, but APT could not find the catalogs.  I sure this is user error, as this is the 1st time I have used the software.

So progress is being made, although slowly.
 


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi Jeremey,
     Thanks again.
     Two questions:

1. Where did you buy the Ruland Coupler?  The Ruland site says they aren't available right now in that quantity.  

2. Do you have any links to good resources for adjusting the work block?  I'm finding a fair amount of contradictory information and I'm not sure how much is directly applicable to our set-ups.

Thanks,
Chris


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

As far as I know, the ASCOMPAD should be running when it is minimized and you should not lose communications with the gamepad. There may be a setting somewhere that speaks to that perhaps, but as far as I know, it should work. That may be another question to post to the EQMOD Yahoo group.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

Mark Lamb
 

Jerry,

I have just noticed it was in the hidden tray; I actually had several of them in there, as I was restarting extra versions.

Is there a way to keep the XBox controller to work when the ASCOMPAD is hidden?


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

Yes, I have seen the issue with the Park not seeming to work. I would need to dig into the source code for both the ASCOMPAD and POTH to really figure it out, but I don't currently have the time to troubleshoot that issue. You may want to post a message to the EQMOD Yahoo group to see if anyone there has seen this issue and may have an answer. I am not an expert in these programs and others here on the forum may have some experience with them and/or may want to tackle this issue.

The ASCOMPAD program when minimized goes to the hidden icon tray in lower right of the task bar (vertical chevron/arrow) You don't have to start another instance of it. It's kind of annoying, but I think the idea is that ASCOMPAD just runs in the background and you don't need to worry about it, but that may not always be the case.

I hope that helps

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

Mark Lamb
 

Jerry,

Thanks!

I did have the ASCOMPAD Mount set to the PMC-8.  When I changed it to POTH and then had Mount to Connect, the PMC-8 would then respond to the XBox controller.

There are a few issues still:

1) Pushing the XBox button "X" to Park has no response, it requires me to mouse click the "Park" button on the ASCOMPAD window.  XBox button "Y" to UnPark seems to work, however.

2) POTH and ASCOMPAD do not seem to work together all the time, when I have both apps working.  It seems like the cursor has to be on ASCOMPAD window for the XBox controller to work, when the cursor is not on the ASCOMPAD window, there is no response.

3) If I bring CdC to the front, ASCOMPAD window disappears (and not in the tray at the bottom), and the ASCOMPAD app has to be relaunched to work.  After relaunch, ASCOMPAD does NOT know where Park is.
 


Factory RESET Problem

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Steve,

Unfortunately you have reset the default PMC-Eight Wifi configuration back to the Microchip factory default values. If you read in the Application Note AN-002, you will see that the Explore Scientific default configuration from us is NOT the Microchip Factory default. 

There are commands listed in the Application Note that you need to issue to the WiFi module to get it back to communicating with the ExploreStars application and the ASCOM driver over wireless. I guess I need to update the manual to make it very clear that the command "factory RESET" is not what you want to do. 

The only commands you need to issue to the PMC-Eight to swap between the wireless and wired connection via the serial and WiFi ports is ESX!

The bottom line is you never want to issue the factory RESET command unless you are messing with configuring your WiFi to connect to your Internet and you make a mistake and you want to start over again.  See Application Note AN-002 for details


If you have a serial cable and have TeamViewer I can walk through fixing your WiFi module. Let me know.

Jerry Hubbell


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

W. Christopher Moses
 

That is a big help. Thanks a lot


Re: RA Stiction

W. Christopher Moses
 

I haven't heard of anyone using it in DEC.  Have you?  It sounds like a good idea to me.
Maybe I'll take it out of the RA just to see how much it helps DEC.
Keep us posted


Re: Assistance...

W. Christopher Moses
 

I don't recall if the default state is wired or wireless, but it sounds like it is now in wired mode. Do you have a cable handy?


Assistance...

Steve Siedentop
 

Translated...I need someone to bail me out.


Through the course of attempting to get WiFi scope to work by connecting to the PMC8's serial port, I have somehow managed to brick my controller, or so it seems.


I abandoned my WiFi Scope Efforts as I ran into too many obstacles with ASCOM, although I was never able to successfully connect via the serial port so ASCOM is not the only suspect.  


So, after sending the "factory RESET" command on page 2 of _ESAN002_rev02.pdf, my PuTTY session froze up.  I stepped away for a few minutes to handle something, came back, cycled the power, and viola, no PMC8 WiFi network to connect to.


When powered on, the indicator lights are as follows:


1)  WiFi Data Transmission - OFF

2)  +5 WiFi Module Power - Steady Green

3)  Main Processor Watchdog Active - OFF

4)  WiFi Connection - Blinking Green

5)  WiFi Association - Blinking Red

6)  Main Processor Power - Stead Red


Any thoughts on how to proceed?  Thanks in advance for your help.


-Steve


Re: RA Stiction

Steve Siedentop
 

I just got mine today and it definitely makes a difference.

I noticed that the DEC axis also has the indents to allow for this spring washer and it looks to be the same size.  It's cheap enough that I may just get another one for the DEC axis if for no other reason than to make balancing in DEC easier.

-Steve


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

If when you press the ASCOMPAD NSEW buttons the mount does not move make sure the ASCOMPAD is connected to POTH. It should be no different than pressing the POTH buttons on the screen. It sounds like the gamepad is connected to the ASCOMPAD program as it responds and maps the buttons as you said. The problem appears to be the connection between ASCOMPAD and POTH. When you use the chooser in ASCOMPAD make sure you choose POTH, not the PMC8.Telescope driver.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Re: RE-POST: Request for Customer PMC-Eight Information

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi Jerry,

Sorry for the delay, here's my info:

PMC-Eight System Customer or Prospective Customer? Owner

PMC-Eight System Owned? G11

Date PMC-Eight System Purchased: February/2018

PMC-Eight System Serial Number: ESOGT01B000000039

Did you register your PMC-Eight System on our website?  Not yet

Have you talked directly to me on the phone? Yes

Have I connected to your computer via TeamViewer? Yes

Have you contacted Explore Scientific Customer Service? Yes

Describe in one sentence the issue you had when you contacted me for help
Initially, I had issues with RA drift and excessive periodic error, as well as needing assistance in connecting in wired serial mode to POTH/CDC.

Regards,
Jeremy


Re: ES G11 / ExploreStars issues

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi Chris,

I was planning on putting something together like this, time-permitting, but in some ways I'm still working on the solution! I'd say my RA error is manageable by the installation of the Ruland coupler, careful adjustment of the worm block, and predictive PEC in PHD2. The RA axis friction (and ability to balance) is fixed by the wavy washer, as you've also confirmed. My DEC axis backlash oscillations in guiding is somewhat managed by reducing DEC aggressiveness. But the ultimate overall solution to perhaps both RA periodic error AND DEC backlash will be the spring-loaded one-piece worm block design that I'm hoping to start work on fairly soon, if Losmandy doesn't happen to come out with it sooner. I'll post something more on that when I have a decent drawing to share.

On the software/communications side of things, the main lesson is to make sure that your RA rate is set to 53.33, and not some other number, when using the G11. I haven't mentioned this next discovery on the forums yet, but early on I did notice another issue that may or may not be related to some intermittent communications issues on the wired-serial connection to the PMC-Eight. I had my hand on the counterweight shaft and felt an AC voltage 'tingling'. It’s the first time I guess I noticed that, so I measured the PMC eight chassis ground compared to earth ground. Sure enough there was 59VAC rms on my meter. Since none of the power supplies in my setup (laptop, camera, PMC, usb-hub) are IEC class I, there is no earth ground anywhere in the system. And these universal switching AC-to-DC supplies, like the one for the PMC-Eight, have higher leakage current to neutral than the older style linear power supplies (transformer-based). So these systems can float at some relatively high AC voltages, which is what I measured for the PMC-Eight by itself (no other equipment hooked up). So then when you’re sitting outside, and you go to touch your laptop or anything else semi-conductive connected to the 'system ground', you could provide somewhat of a short to earth ground. This can cause the system ground to ‘bounce’, and I now wonder if this could explain the weird intermittent communication dropouts/errors with my system. So I added a earth ground jumper between the power strip and one of the serial cable housings, and I haven't really had any issues since then.

I do agree that a concise summary of my problems / solutions would be helpful.

Regards,
Jeremy
 


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

Mark Lamb
 

I have installed ASCOMPAD v209 and have used the settings that Jerry used for the mount in another post (though mount Slew rate 8 of 0 gives Undefined, and Rate9&10 left at default 1). I also used Jerry’s Gamepad buttons settings, with the addition of having D-pad’s N/S/E/W assigned to identical N/S/E/W, and Emergency Stop mapped to Button_5.


My laptop/tablet is communicating to the Xbox controller, as pushing the buttons made the changes to the driver’s button mapping.


However, when I used the Xbox controller, with Poth and CdC running, it (either D-Pad or left joystick) does NOT rotated the mount’s axis; it does nothing.  When I push the Poth’s N/S/E/W buttons (either touchscreen or mouse-click) the mount moves.


What do I need to do to have Poth/PMC-8 react to the Xbox controller?


Re: RA Stiction

Jeremy Parker
 

Hi Chris,

Sorry for the delay. I used a bicycle chain lubricant called 'White Lightning Clean Ride' which is basically a wax type of lubricant that is in suspension and dries after being applied. Rubbing a bar of paraffin wax on the washer may work just as well.

Regards,
Jeremy


WiFi Scope and PMC8

Steve Siedentop
 

Hi All -


I spent some time today trying to run WiFi Scope to act as an interface to the ASCOM Driver to allow control of the PMC8 via SkySafari.  WiFi Scope is a free program created by the Sequence Generator Pro folks at Main Sequence Software.  I've posted this in their forums as well.


I'm running Windows 10 on an Intel Compute Stick (CS-125) and an Explore Scientific G-11 PMC-8 with the PMC8 ASCOM driver in serial mode (connecting via the serial port rather than over Wifi).  I tested on a Surface Pro with the same issue.


I'm running into problems and I think I've eliminated WiFi scope as the culprit.  I can successfully connect to the ASCOM Telescope Simulator as well as the Celestron ASCOM driver without issue, but the application crashes when trying to connect to the PMC8 ASCOM driver.  


I dug through the event log and found the the entries listed at the end of this post.


As a side note, I was also unable to connect to the PMC8 using Sequence Generator Pro, but can successfully connect to the simulator as well as my Celestron mount.


Thoughts?  Hopefully something in the event log will jump out at someone.


-Steve


Application: WiFiScope.exe

Framework Version: v4.0.30319

Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.

Exception Info: ASCOM.Utilities.Exceptions.InvalidValueException

   at ASCOM.Utilities.Serial.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope.set_Connected(Boolean)


Exception Info: ASCOM.DriverException

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CheckDotNetExceptions(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.SetTargetInvocationExceptionHandler(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CallMember(Int32, System.String, System.Type[], System.Object[])

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.AscomDriver.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at WiFiScope.Form1.ConnectTel()

   at WiFiScope.Form1.listen(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart_Context(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart(System.Object)



Log Name:      Application

Source:        .NET Runtime

Date:          5/17/2018 1:04:44 PM

Event ID:      1026

Task Category: None

Level:         Error

Keywords:      Classic

User:          N/A

Computer:      ASTROSTICK

Description:

Application: WiFiScope.exe

Framework Version: v4.0.30319

Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.

Exception Info: ASCOM.Utilities.Exceptions.InvalidValueException

   at ASCOM.Utilities.Serial.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope.set_Connected(Boolean)


Exception Info: ASCOM.DriverException

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CheckDotNetExceptions(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.SetTargetInvocationExceptionHandler(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CallMember(Int32, System.String, System.Type[], System.Object[])

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.AscomDriver.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at WiFiScope.Form1.ConnectTel()

   at WiFiScope.Form1.listen(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart_Context(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart(System.Object)



Event Xml:

<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">

  <System>

    <Provider Name=".NET Runtime" />

    <EventID Qualifiers="0">1026</EventID>

    <Level>2</Level>

    <Task>0</Task>

    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>

    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2018-05-17T17:04:44.606354300Z" />

    <EventRecordID>15873</EventRecordID>

    <Channel>Application</Channel>

    <Computer>ASTROSTICK</Computer>

    <Security />

  </System>

  <EventData>

    <Data>Application: WiFiScope.exe

Framework Version: v4.0.30319

Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.

Exception Info: ASCOM.Utilities.Exceptions.InvalidValueException

   at ASCOM.Utilities.Serial.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at ASCOM.ES_PMC8.Telescope.set_Connected(Boolean)


Exception Info: ASCOM.DriverException

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CheckDotNetExceptions(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.SetTargetInvocationExceptionHandler(System.String, System.Exception)

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.MemberFactory.CallMember(Int32, System.String, System.Type[], System.Object[])

   at ASCOM.DriverAccess.AscomDriver.set_Connected(Boolean)

   at WiFiScope.Form1.ConnectTel()

   at WiFiScope.Form1.listen(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart_Context(System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object)

   at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart(System.Object)


</Data>

  </EventData>

</Event>







Re: Updated Knowledge Base on Explore Scientific Website

Steve Siedentop
 

I was actually in the beginning stages of designing this very thing.  I'd definitely be interested in checking it out.

-Steve


Re: Explore Scientific PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver Beta Test Version - ASCOMPAD Fix

hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Mark,

I think you have confused ASCOMPAD with the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver. ASCOMPAD was developed as part of the EQMOD open-source driver and is an independent client program like Cartes du Ciel, or Maxim DL which is only used to connect a gamepad controller to any ASCOM Telescope driver.

The directory and filename I was talking about is the PMC-Eight ASCOM Telescope driver file (.dll) that is not related to the ASCOMPAD program.

You should be able to install the ASCOMPAD client program  and connect it to POTH as with any other ASCOM client program.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.

9761 - 9780 of 10769