PL2303 Prolific USB - Serial Cable #EXOS2 #ASCOM


Timothy Myers
 

i am feeling technology has left me behind, and I used to be so, in the lop, LOL.
i have read all about the USB to Serial cables that will work with the PMC-8, but found this Prolific PL2303 for $0.45 at an online auction, so i bought it.

Will this cable work with the PMC-8 or is it too much a gamble to even try?

Another question this inquiring mind has is this.

I think I understand that I am to use either the PMC-8 Utility or Configuration Manager to switch the PMC-8 from wifi to Serial connection.

First question is which of those two programs should I use to do this/

Second, once I have switched to serial and have everything working, do I use the serial connection and the applicable program to switch back if I want?

Third, if for some reason I am unsuccessful in making the serial connection, how do I make the switch back to wifi?

i have more questions but that is all I will hit you with for now?
--
Tim Myers

Telescopes:     Celestron 4SE, Celestron 8SE
Mounts:           4-5 SE, 6-8SE, EXOS-2GT with PMC-Eight
Cameras:        ASI1600ME, Cooled
Tablets:           Asus Nexus 7


Wes Mcdonald
 

Tim

Prolific might work.  They sometimes do.  But mostly not quite right.  Jerry won't help you, and I can't.  Buy an FTDI.  

Use the Configuration Manager only.  It works great and is the newest I am aware of

You cannot ruin things with the configuration manager.  IT will switch you or not but it won't leave you in no-mans land.

Once switched to serial you use the CM in serial mode to switch it back to WiFi if wanted.

Buy this cable and be happy:


wes. 

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Timothy Myers
 

Absolutley correct. Worked lastnight and today no joy. Heck didnt cost much to try.

New cable ordered,
--
Tim Myers

Telescopes:     Celestron 4SE, Celestron 8SE
Mounts:           4-5 SE, 6-8SE, EXOS-2GT with PMC-Eight
Cameras:        ASI1600ME, Cooled
Tablets:           Asus Nexus 7


chriswelliver@...
 

Greetings All,
I’m new to the forum but have been following instructions and guidance available here for sometime about the PMC-8 system. I recently switched to serial cable from the app and run my
Exos2 mount, Sharpcap,Stellarium,PHD2, and my Sesto Senso focuser all through POTH and am amazed at how everything meshed to produce a
Astrophotography system I could only imagine before. While I’m still learning the hobby from the photography aspect of it, I have gotten good results with what I’ve done already. The Explore Scientific PMC-8 system really is amazing and to
think I almost bought the new Meade mount instead. Chris Welliver


--
Chris Welliver
EXOS2 mount
ES 102EDAPO Carbon Fiber
ZWO asi178mc
ZWO asi120mm
PrimaLuceLab Sesto Senso focuser


Jed Orme <jedtorme@...>
 

Chris,

Congrats on your success with the PMC-8 system, & particularly in making the switch from the ExploreStars app to a serial connection with the mount.  I'm going down the very same path but have had a couple of bumps in the road.  So a few questions if you don't mind:  Assuming you are using the Configuration Manager to manage or route your connections, when doing the initial setup do you only tell it to use the serial options, for example under the advance tab? Could you outline briefly your steps after changing the setup from the default G-11 mount?  Do you connect your PC to PMC-8 WiFi to orient the Config Mgr at all? 

I've had some problems getting it to see my serial connection & then after telling it to use the Com 3 port, it still hunts around causing me to have to repeat the entire process & turn the mount off & on.  But I agree that once it is oriented to make the connection, it is a very slick, well thought out system.  Clear skies.

Jed


Chris Welliver <chriswelliver@...>
 

Jed,
When I initially connected the serial cable my computer opened a”com 5”port for the cable after I downloaded the driver for it. I use a powered hub for usb connection so everything I’ve got running goes through that com 5 port.
The configuration manager will give you a choice of com ports in the drop down menu under connection settings under the connection tab.
Choose your mount, hit find and or refresh and
choose com port. Then go to “how do you want to connect “ column and hit find current connection. I usually have to pop it several times until the choices light up, then choose Ascom serial and you’re up and running. I always connect my usb cables to the same terminal on my computer so that eliminates any confusion there
If it matters. I use windows 10 by the way.


--
Chris Welliver
EXOS2 mount
ES 102EDAPO Carbon Fiber
ZWO asi178mc
ZWO asi120mm
PrimaLuceLab Sesto Senso focuser


Chris Welliver <chriswelliver@...>
 

Jed,
And yes, I connect my computer to the PMC WiFi
For initial connection just like Wes recommended.


--
Chris Welliver
EXOS2 mount
ES 102EDAPO Carbon Fiber
ZWO asi178mc
ZWO asi120mm
PrimaLuceLab Sesto Senso focuser


Jed Orme <jedtorme@...>
 

Chris,

Many thanks for this detail.  I'm doing almost exactly the same thing, except I don't use a powered USB hub but have only the PC laptop (Windows 10 also) connected to the Com 3 port.  Under the advanced tab, do you select the serial button also or leave alone; or send any of the other message choices under this tab which I had to do to make the initial switch from WiFi to serial?  And I have the same problem getting the right choices to finally become available, but then also select the ASCOM serial.  So it seems we're doing the same things but getting different results.  I'm on an iEXOS-100 mount, so I wonder if it makes a difference that you're on the EXOS2 with the separate PMC-8 box?  The electronics you use had to be reduced to fit into my mount casing, so maybe some things work differently.  A question for Jerry I guess.  Once connected, do you do anything with the PC connection to the PMC-8 WiFi?  Shut it down or leave it alone?  Thanks for getting back to me.

Jed


Wes Mcdonald
 

Jed:

Right.  For some reason the configuration manager needs to have the PC connected to the PMC8 wifi, even if the connection in the PMC8 is already set to serial.  It just does not seem to find it without that being the case.

Once you switch your PMC8 to serial, it will stay there until you switch it back to wifi.  So you never need configuration manager again if you are happy with serial and you have it set to serial.

One thing the CM can also do for you is load new firmware onto the PMC8 should that become important.  So keep it around.
Wes.


On Sun, Feb 16, 2020 at 11:39 AM Chris Welliver <chriswelliver@...> wrote:
Jed,
And yes, I connect my computer to the PMC WiFi
For initial connection just like Wes recommended.


--
Chris Welliver
EXOS2 mount
ES 102EDAPO Carbon Fiber
ZWO asi178mc
ZWO asi120mm
PrimaLuceLab Sesto Senso focuser




--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Jed:

To set up the mount --YOU DO NOT USE THE ADVANCED TAb.
0.  Plug in the serial cable between the PC and the PMC8
1.  Open the CM..  Go full screen with it
2.  Goto the connections tab
3.  Change the Mount type to iexos (in your case, or whatever mount you have)
4.  Make sure the PC is connected via wifi to the PMC8
5.  Push the refresh button to get a list of comm ports.
6.  Push the find button to see where the PMC8 is and select that comm port in the comm port drop down
7.  Push the find current connection button (Do It)
8.  Now push the ASCOM DO IT button.

Look at the bottom log screen.  IT tell you if you were successful.

Thats it.  You are going serial from now on.

Wes.



--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Jed Orme <jedtorme@...>
 

Wes,

That certainly clarifies things in my mind but my problem is when I hook up my PC to the Com3 serial port, turn on my laptop, then turn on the power to the mount, I get a red light only but no green to show a connection. That is what has taken me back to using the Config Mgr. Also your first note advises that the laptop needs a connection to the mount’s WiFi - are you speaking only for making the initial serial connection or thereafter as well? In my case if I do connect the laptop to the WiFi in the mount after powering it on, I still get no green light or see a serial connection in Config Mgr.

Jed


Jed Orme <jedtorme@...>
 

Wes,

Also from the gear you use, I assume you are EXOS2; I’m iEXOS-100. Do you think that makes a difference?

Jed


Timothy Myers
 

New cable on board, works well.
--
Tim Myers

Telescopes:     Celestron 4SE, Celestron 8SE
Mounts:           4-5 SE, 6-8SE, EXOS-2GT with PMC-Eight
Cameras:        ASI1600ME, Cooled
Tablets:           Asus Nexus 7