Topics

did I wast my money?


David Pickett
 

Brent,

Depending on where you are, the Explore
Scientific warranty is either for life or ten
years. You have had the system for a matter of
weeks. Consider that you may possibly have a
lemon. If so, ES will replace it with one that
works. Have you contacted them for warranty service?

David

At 04:11 09-02-18, brent.phillips79@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


Ok, I have about had it with this mount. I have
been at this for over a week now. I have
changed the Wi-Fi address I don't know how many
times. I have tried Explorestar, Astro
Photography tools and I still can't get this
mount to function right. I have moments when it
looks like all is good, it will work, but just
when I think I have it figured out and like what
it does I get hit with a Wi-Fi drop or a frozen
app or both. I praise it and then I hate it
because it is not working reliably to the point
that I can take it out to my Outreach
programs. I even tried to use it wired and got
nothing could not communicate with it. The
mount itself is great the PMC-Eight is quickly
driving me away from this. I want to get back
to imaging, and doing my outreach programs not
spend weeks trying to fix or solve issues that
keep popping up. please someone tell me this
was not a waste, I had high hopes for this after
everything I have seen but right now I don't
know if I can honestly tell people that they
should invest in this mount. I really miss a hand controller right now.


Robert Hoskin <r_hoskin@...>
 

Brent,

Well, I have one (EXOS2/PMC-8), and although I've had issues to work through, I don't think mine is a waste.  I'm making progress. 
My setup is different than yours though (Win7/ASCOM/wired), so there's that - but I've not had loss of control issues such as you describe.

I did think that your description of using a wired connection with no communication was interesting.  You didn't say how you set that up... 
I had to go through (basically) three steps to make my wired connection work:

1. Obtain a USB-to-serial adapter that uses an FTDI chip and is rated for the serial port's high baud rate.  I think at least 3 have been linked here, and there are probably others.  Generic adapters apparently don't work well. 
2. Follow the procedure in Jerry's doc to toggle the PMC-8's command input from wifi to serial.  It doesn't listen for commands on both simultaneously, it's one source or the other.
3. With the above done, PMC-8 powered up, and USB-to-serial connected, then your FTDI driver will create a virtual serial port (COM3 on my laptop).  With the ASCOM driver (and I assume Explorestars), that port needs to be selected as the scope connection.

If you did all the above, that should work.  I can't recall having to do anything else to get the PMC-8 communicating in my setup.

Hope this helps...

- Bob



From: "brent.phillips79@... [ESPMC-Eight]"
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Sent: Thursday, February 8, 2018 10:11 PM
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] did I wast my money?

 
Ok, I have about had it with this mount.  I have been at this for over a week now.  I have changed the Wi-Fi address I don't know how many times.  I have tried Explorestar, Astro Photography tools and I still can't get this mount to function right.  I have moments when it looks like all is good, it will work, but just when I think I have it figured out and like what it does I get hit with a Wi-Fi drop or a frozen app or both.  I praise it and then I hate it because it is not working reliably to the point that I can take it out to my Outreach programs.  I even tried to use it wired and got nothing could not communicate with it.  The mount itself is great the PMC-Eight is quickly driving me away from this.  I want to get back to imaging, and doing my outreach programs not spend weeks trying to fix or solve issues that keep popping up.  please someone tell me this was not a waste, I had high hopes for this after everything I have seen but right now I don't know if I can honestly tell people that they should invest in this mount. I really miss a hand controller right now. 



hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Bob, 

Thanks for your response to Brent. I have been working with Brent this morning to sort out the issues and it seems that the continuing problems with his wireless are two-fold. First, after using the WiFi sniffer WiFiInfoView, his local environment has a lot of WiFi traffic, specifically his PMC-Eight box was still on the default channel 6 that is configured at our facility. In his local area there were probably 6 or 8 SSIDs available that were on channel 6.

His attempts to change the channel previously had not worked apparently. So I walked through that process with him and we successfully changed the channel to 7. Once he restarted his system and reconnected the PMC-Eight and started ExploreStars, it connected right up and we were able to slew the mount from the Sun, to Venus, to Jupiter (demonstrating a pier flip) and then back to Park several times over more than an hour period and the system never dropped out at that time. 

So I think the system will probably be okay now. He has an outreach event that he plans on going to tonight and using it to test it out again so hopefully it will work as desired.

Thanks Brent for your time and I apologize again for your frustration.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Brent Phillips
 

Hello Jerry, thanks again for taking the time to help with the problem.  At the event that night the system still dropped.  When I got there Ch7 was clear but when people started to show up 7 got full so went to 10.  I could not get the first star on a three star alignment before the system dropped.  I think the system works but will have to stick to wired connection possibly when I go out.  At the house the system worked ok and was able to get Cartes Du Ciel to control the mount, we were having a problem with that. Still had the system get dropped a few times but not a lot.  I am going to try and find a connector to run it wired the connector I have I don't think works because with POTH it told me "Scope Driver not capable of providing Equatorial Alt/Az coordinates" I think that means it is no communicating.  Thanks again for the help. nice to have this if I have questions.


Wes Mcdonald
 

Jerry and Brent:

I know you guys know this but I just wanted to chime in about wifi interference.  Channels are 20 mhz wide, thus moving from 6 to 7 helps but those on 6 still can interfere.  One should try to use 1, 6 or 11.  I am kind of surprised that this really did anything and suspect it really didn't -- the environment was just, for whatever reason such as usage by others, better coincidentally.  Of course sometimes there is just no good option.  

One thing one can do is connect to the internet via WIFI with your controller computer using the same channel you want to use with the PMC and run speedtest.net  If others are causing issues your rate will be low.  Then you can tune around the spectrum and rerun the test to see what can be achieved.  Then use that channel.  

I have wondered what was going to happen in a star party setting when there are likely many wifi devices around all sharing spectrum and in close proximity.  I guess I will find out in September or so when I go to one.  Meanwhile, where is the document that shows how to change from wired to wireless and or change WIFI channels in the PMC-8?

Regards,
Wes.
 


Brent Phillips
 

wanted to give an update.  I have had the mount running all day on channel 10.  it only dropped 2 or three times all things considered that is a win in my book.  ExploreStar worked well and didn't have any problems.  the only issue I had is when I was using Cartes Du Ciel, the program would freeze but the mount kept tracking.  I am going to keep at this I am sure there is a simple fix that I am missing.  Thanks again everyone for the help is getting this worked out.