Com Port


Don Bradford
 

I am a newbie. In trying to update the firmware in my PMC Eight (on the EXOS-2), I recently installed Parallels 17 and Windows 10. I have worked through problems with setting the IP to 192.168.47.11 and have verified (by my iPad) that the PMC Eight is in WiFi mode, but I can’t establish connection for anything.  There is no drop down menu for the com port, and everything I try to do indicates an error that I must establish connection with the PMC Eight first. I have tried all this with and without first inserting my serial cable (usb-3) into my Mac. I earlier had to reprogram my chip set cable to work with my ASIAIR.  Should I change it back to work with the PMC Eight? Could that prevent me from connecting WiFi?


Wes Mcdonald
 

Don

I can’t unpack your message.  Let’s take it to your current configuration of everything. 

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Don Bradford
 

That may be a bit complicated, but historically I have been successful in operating my new EXOS2/PMCEight with ASIAIR Pro. ASIAIR Pro attaches through the serial port via RS232/USB cable (which has been reprogrammed to invert the DTR signal). I have operated the whole thing with my iPad mini. I wanted to be able (as an alternative) to use my MacBook for control of the PMCEight as well as other image processing. So I recently installed Parallels 17 and Windows 10. The past several days I have been trying to update the PMCEight firmware. It does not like simultaneous serial (ASIAIR) and WiFi. So now I just have the mount and PMC Eight wired, and the same serial cable used with the ASIAIR.  My WiFi info on the Mac/Windows says I am connected to the PMCEIGHT, but the PMC8 Configuration Manager seems to say otherwise.  On other bit of info: the ExploreStars App opens and says “DATA FILES MISSING” even though the files were installed at the same time as the app (if I did the installation correctly). I have been working on this for some time and with some success (including several problems with Windows 10) but I am stumped now. 
Don Bradford
EXOS2/PMCEight
ASIAIR Pro
ZWO ASI294MM Pro
Explore Scientific 102mm AR f/6.5




On Sep 7, 2021, at 4:20 PM, Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:

Don

I can’t unpack your message.  Let’s take it to your current configuration of everything. 

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Don:

I will try to think of something and get back to you.  Several issues here and questions for you but I can't get it together this evening.  Tomorrow.

Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Don Bradford
 

No problem. Thanks for all your good work on these developments and for your support on this forum. 
Don


On Sep 7, 2021, at 9:47 PM, Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:


Don:

I will try to think of something and get back to you.  Several issues here and questions for you but I can't get it together this evening.  Tomorrow.

Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Dino Monaco
 

Hi Don,

Your initial inkling may be correct. Try re-inverting your cable back.
I just had a similar issue last night when I attached my asiair with a reprogrammed FTDI cable. Everything worked fine in that regard.
Then I decided to update the PMC8 firmware afterwards and got no com Conifuguration Manager . It dawned on me that I needed to reflash the chip set back. But at that point I was stuck. Fortunately I had a spare usb/rs232 cable and was able to reestablish connection between my pc & PMC8.
Once you reconnect your Mac to PMC8 again, then make sure your pc is connected to your regular WiFi and not PMC8 WiFi. This should allow you to download the latest firmware and install it into PMC8. and give you dual capability for both serial & WiFi control.
Let me know if this helps.
Dino


Don Bradford
 

Dino:  I don't have a spare cable.  Should I be able to reprogram the FTDI cable with my Parallels/Windows VM?  
Don


Don Bradford
 

Also, shouldn't I be able to connect to PMC-Eight via WiFi from my Windows 10/Parallels, without any cable to interfere?  
Don

On Sep 8, 2021, at 11:46 AM, Don Bradford via groups.io <don.bradford1@...> wrote:

Dino:  I don't have a spare cable.  Should I be able to reprogram the FTDI cable with my Parallels/Windows VM?  
Don


Wes Mcdonald
 

Don:

When you invert the DTR line on your chip set, I believe the cable will hold the PMC8 reset.  If you are trying to use wifi when the cable is attached to the PMC8, independent as to wheter it is also plugged into the PC I think the PMC8 is held reset.  With this condition, the CM will not see the PMC8 serial.

Another possibility for the CM to not see the serial connetion is that the PC is not connected to the PMC8 wifi.  Dpn't ask me why it has to be but it almost always needs to be for the CM to find the serial port.

BUT, you need not have the CM connected via serial (ie go through the connection tab) to load firmware.  Just get your PC onto your home network so you can get at the new code.  It is best to load the install pack from the web site.  This has all the files you need to upgrade the firmware.  Then you use the CM advanced tab to browse to the new firmware you got with the install pack and tell it to load.  Now the thing is, the CM might not do it because of the inverted DTR line, you will have to see.  If the PMC8 is held reset, loading will not occure.  If the the DTR line is upside down from what the loader expects, even if the PMC8 is not held reset, I expect the loader will not work.  

You might want to buy another usb-serial cable and not invert the DTR line.

What firmware are you running at this time?

As for explorestars telling you that the data fies are not found (in the ipad, correct?) I can't say.  If you load the app from the Apple store it all comes in.  Perhaps look at the setup page in the ipad explorestars and see where it thinks the data files are located.  If that adress is not where they are then I guess yo could try to change it.  I would probably just remove the app first though and reload it from the apple store.

One final thing is Parallels might not be giving you full access to the computer IO ports.  I have heard of such problems, but cannot specifically comment.  I can tell you I use a bootcamped mac mini to control my mount just fine.

Wes.

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Dino Monaco
 

Don

yes you should be able to revert back. Do that first.
I have no what was happening on my set up. Most likely not knowing what I was doing. But everything was fine after I hooked up my spare cable. So I keep that one for general connection to PMC8 & the reverted cable for ASIAIR/PMC8 setups. Being a newbie myself with this mount has me rechecking all my moves twice.
Once you revert back then recheck you com link to PMC8 in CM.
As Wes said perhaps the WiFi in PMC8 was disabled? 
Do you recall performing this command in CM?


 


Wes Mcdonald
 

Don:

I did not mean to imply you had disabled your wifi.  You cannot disable your wifi.
Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Dino Monaco
 

Sorry Wes. I misspoke on the disabling of the WIFi part.
The fact that the inverted cable plugged  the controller prevented me to perform functions in ExploreStars in my case too.
I thought that I had disabled the WiFi which in hindsight was not the case.

thanks

Dino


Don Bradford
 

To back up and simplify troubleshooting, do I have to be able to connect WiFi from Windows 10 in order to update the firmware?  If so, then I should be able to connect WiFi without regard to any serial cable. I can connect to the PMCEIGHT with my iPad just fine (after I reset if necessary to get connected). It’s possible I connected to WiFi from Windows 10 but was unable to verify it because my ExploreStars App didn’t install properly. (Remember I said the data was indicated to be missing).  Which end is the best to troubleshoot first, serial with a reprogrammed cable or WiFi issues?


On Sep 8, 2021, at 2:17 PM, Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:


Don:

I did not mean to imply you had disabled your wifi.  You cannot disable your wifi.
Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Don Bradford
 

Sorry Wes, I didn’t see your most recent lengthy email. I will digest and try to figure next step. Thanks. 


On Sep 8, 2021, at 1:13 PM, Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:

Don:

When you invert the DTR line on your chip set, I believe the cable will hold the PMC8 reset.  If you are trying to use wifi when the cable is attached to the PMC8, independent as to wheter it is also plugged into the PC I think the PMC8 is held reset.  With this condition, the CM will not see the PMC8 serial.

Another possibility for the CM to not see the serial connetion is that the PC is not connected to the PMC8 wifi.  Dpn't ask me why it has to be but it almost always needs to be for the CM to find the serial port.

BUT, you need not have the CM connected via serial (ie go through the connection tab) to load firmware.  Just get your PC onto your home network so you can get at the new code.  It is best to load the install pack from the web site.  This has all the files you need to upgrade the firmware.  Then you use the CM advanced tab to browse to the new firmware you got with the install pack and tell it to load.  Now the thing is, the CM might not do it because of the inverted DTR line, you will have to see.  If the PMC8 is held reset, loading will not occure.  If the the DTR line is upside down from what the loader expects, even if the PMC8 is not held reset, I expect the loader will not work.  

You might want to buy another usb-serial cable and not invert the DTR line.

What firmware are you running at this time?

As for explorestars telling you that the data fies are not found (in the ipad, correct?) I can't say.  If you load the app from the Apple store it all comes in.  Perhaps look at the setup page in the ipad explorestars and see where it thinks the data files are located.  If that adress is not where they are then I guess yo could try to change it.  I would probably just remove the app first though and reload it from the apple store.

One final thing is Parallels might not be giving you full access to the computer IO ports.  I have heard of such problems, but cannot specifically comment.  I can tell you I use a bootcamped mac mini to control my mount just fine.

Wes.

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Don Bradford
 

Wes:  The CM error messages are that I have to first establish WiFi connection with the PMCEIGHT.  Also, I was able to control the mount through the PMCEIGHT with my iPad even with the serial cable (with inverted DTR) plugged in (both ends). So if WiFi connection is required, how do I phrase the question to Parallels?  How do I describe the PMCEIGHT insofar as WiFi connection is concerned?  Is it like a separate computer or some other type device?  Also, to my earlier question: should my Windows 10/Parallels (once it is fixed) be able to control the mount by WiFi through PMCEIGHT and ExploreStars App?
Don


On Sep 8, 2021, at 1:13 PM, Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:

Don:

When you invert the DTR line on your chip set, I believe the cable will hold the PMC8 reset.  If you are trying to use wifi when the cable is attached to the PMC8, independent as to wheter it is also plugged into the PC I think the PMC8 is held reset.  With this condition, the CM will not see the PMC8 serial.

Another possibility for the CM to not see the serial connetion is that the PC is not connected to the PMC8 wifi.  Dpn't ask me why it has to be but it almost always needs to be for the CM to find the serial port.

BUT, you need not have the CM connected via serial (ie go through the connection tab) to load firmware.  Just get your PC onto your home network so you can get at the new code.  It is best to load the install pack from the web site.  This has all the files you need to upgrade the firmware.  Then you use the CM advanced tab to browse to the new firmware you got with the install pack and tell it to load.  Now the thing is, the CM might not do it because of the inverted DTR line, you will have to see.  If the PMC8 is held reset, loading will not occure.  If the the DTR line is upside down from what the loader expects, even if the PMC8 is not held reset, I expect the loader will not work.  

You might want to buy another usb-serial cable and not invert the DTR line.

What firmware are you running at this time?

As for explorestars telling you that the data fies are not found (in the ipad, correct?) I can't say.  If you load the app from the Apple store it all comes in.  Perhaps look at the setup page in the ipad explorestars and see where it thinks the data files are located.  If that adress is not where they are then I guess yo could try to change it.  I would probably just remove the app first though and reload it from the apple store.

One final thing is Parallels might not be giving you full access to the computer IO ports.  I have heard of such problems, but cannot specifically comment.  I can tell you I use a bootcamped mac mini to control my mount just fine.

Wes.

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Don Bradford
 

Also, the missing ExploreStars App data is in the Windows version. iPad control works fine, and I guess has the full data base. 


On Sep 8, 2021, at 3:52 PM, Don Bradford via groups.io <don.bradford1@...> wrote:

Wes:  The CM error messages are that I have to first establish WiFi connection with the PMCEIGHT.  Also, I was able to control the mount through the PMCEIGHT with my iPad even with the serial cable (with inverted DTR) plugged in (both ends). So if WiFi connection is required, how do I phrase the question to Parallels?  How do I describe the PMCEIGHT insofar as WiFi connection is concerned?  Is it like a separate computer or some other type device?  Also, to my earlier question: should my Windows 10/Parallels (once it is fixed) be able to control the mount by WiFi through PMCEIGHT and ExploreStars App?
Don


On Sep 8, 2021, at 1:13 PM, Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:

Don:

When you invert the DTR line on your chip set, I believe the cable will hold the PMC8 reset.  If you are trying to use wifi when the cable is attached to the PMC8, independent as to wheter it is also plugged into the PC I think the PMC8 is held reset.  With this condition, the CM will not see the PMC8 serial.

Another possibility for the CM to not see the serial connetion is that the PC is not connected to the PMC8 wifi.  Dpn't ask me why it has to be but it almost always needs to be for the CM to find the serial port.

BUT, you need not have the CM connected via serial (ie go through the connection tab) to load firmware.  Just get your PC onto your home network so you can get at the new code.  It is best to load the install pack from the web site.  This has all the files you need to upgrade the firmware.  Then you use the CM advanced tab to browse to the new firmware you got with the install pack and tell it to load.  Now the thing is, the CM might not do it because of the inverted DTR line, you will have to see.  If the PMC8 is held reset, loading will not occure.  If the the DTR line is upside down from what the loader expects, even if the PMC8 is not held reset, I expect the loader will not work.  

You might want to buy another usb-serial cable and not invert the DTR line.

What firmware are you running at this time?

As for explorestars telling you that the data fies are not found (in the ipad, correct?) I can't say.  If you load the app from the Apple store it all comes in.  Perhaps look at the setup page in the ipad explorestars and see where it thinks the data files are located.  If that adress is not where they are then I guess yo could try to change it.  I would probably just remove the app first though and reload it from the apple store.

One final thing is Parallels might not be giving you full access to the computer IO ports.  I have heard of such problems, but cannot specifically comment.  I can tell you I use a bootcamped mac mini to control my mount just fine.

Wes.

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Don:

1.  You may control the mount via Windows wifi OR ipad wifi.  You cannot do both.
2. In parallels, you are just running windows.  Thus you select the serial port via the comm port selection in the ascom driver.  You are setting up the Driver as serial are you not?  It is one of the setup pages (main one I think) that happens when you open the settings for the driver from poth.
3.  You can use the windows device manager to find the usb to serial converter.

I verified the PMC8 will boot and run with the DTR line inverted.  So that is good.  I am not sure you can run the CM to load firmware with it that way, but you might be able to.  I have no way to try it.

What version of firmware are you running?  How old is your mount and have you ever upgraded it?

Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Don Bradford
 

Brand new mount (EXOS2).  I don't plan to use Poth or serial control from Windows 10, only WiFi with ExploreStars.  Only need serial from Windows to upgrade firmware.  Don't know what version of firmware came with PMCEight.  Picked it up a few weeks ago.  I have an email to kent Marts to see if the paperwork shows.  I should be able to control the mount with ASIAIR Pro (through serial port) concurrently with WiFi (either iPad or Windows), right?  In any event, with the current firmware (which I don't think I have yet), it should be easier to start with either ASIAIR or WiFi/ExploreStars.  Right now (with my current version of firmware), the PMC-Eight seems to have trouble getting to the right connection.  But more to the current point:  As I have discussed, I can't get Windows 10 to do anything with the PMCEight.  If I can get the Windows 10/WiFi to connect for purposes of getting the CM to connect to serial to load firmware, I will be OK and can re-invert the DTR if I have to.  Then either buy another cable, or invert it again for ASIAIR use.  

On Sep 8, 2021, at 4:55 PM, Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:

Don:

1.  You may control the mount via Windows wifi OR ipad wifi.  You cannot do both.
2. In parallels, you are just running windows.  Thus you select the serial port via the comm port selection in the ascom driver.  You are setting up the Driver as serial are you not?  It is one of the setup pages (main one I think) that happens when you open the settings for the driver from poth.
3.  You can use the windows device manager to find the usb to serial converter.

I verified the PMC8 will boot and run with the DTR line inverted.  So that is good.  I am not sure you can run the CM to load firmware with it that way, but you might be able to.  I have no way to try it.

What version of firmware are you running?  How old is your mount and have you ever upgraded it?

Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Don

Read my long note.  You do. It have to connect cm via the connection tab to load software.  

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Don Bradford
 

Wes:  Finally got the PMC Eight configured, and working with both ASIAIR Pro (via serial port) and PMC Eight via WiFi (ExploreStars in iPAD Mini).
To  install the new firmware (with the Configuration Manager) with Windows 10 (on Mac with Parallels 17), we had to use a new RS232 cable (the one for ASIAIR had to have the DTR signal inverted), and install the Com driver.  After firmware update, in the ExploreStars App I switched from "ignore FW" to "Use FW", and that seemed to allow things to work, although so many things were changing at that point, I can't be sure. I can now operate the mount with ASIAIR alternating with WiFi on iPad Mini.  However, periodically the WiFi process quits (even though the connection to the correct IP address looks correct).  The ASIAIR seems to be solid in its operation.  I was never able to get the PMC Eight to work in WiFi with the Windows 10/Parallels 17 combination.  Tried every option we could think of including the manual IP address "work around" suggested for Windows 10.  I will continue to work on this, but it is a low priority, since now I have two alternatives to make the mount work without using Windows on my Mac.   
Don 



On Sep 8, 2021, at 6:36 PM, Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:

Don

Read my long note.  You do. It have to connect cm via the connection tab to load software.  

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


--
Don Bradford
Explore Scientific AR102mm, f/6.5
EXOS2/PMC-Eight
ASIAIR Pro
ZWO ASI294MM Pro
Explore Scientific 12" Truss Tube dob