Topics

EXOS-2 will not unpark


r_hoskin@...
 

Finally, a gorgeous clear night here.  Went out to take another shot at a better PA, and found that I was unable to get POTH to unpark the scope, so I had to scrub.  

This is a new problem - I've not seen this behavior before. Any ideas?

- Laptop is up (Win7 Pro), CdC is not
- Power up the PMC-8
- Connect the USB cable
- Start ASCOM POTH
- Click Setup> scope already chosen, click Connect, click OK, then back to the POTH applet.
- Green LED lit is over "Unpark Scope", motion controls are greyed
- Click "Unpark Scope".  Flashes to Park, then reverts immediately to "Unpark Scope"
- Windows dialog appears w/ "Scope is already in desired park state".

If I go back to Setup, there's a green LED over "Home".  Clicking Home or Set Park has no effect.

The 28030 USB-to Serial has both a solid green (power?) and blinking red (rx?) LED lit.

Disclaimer:  New software on the laptop:  Sparkocam, Sharpcap, AltairCapture. The Nikon was plugged in to a USB port earlier for focusing.  I shut imageware down and disconnected the camera once I saw the above problem, and repeated the sequence above, 3 or 4 times (thus, doing the same thing over again while expecting a different result... :-)

Thanks!

- Bob




David Pickett
 

Bob,

as I have not used a similar setup to this, I may
not be of much help; but where angels fear to tread:

It sounds like there is a lack of communication
with the PMC box. Have you checked that the
USB/RS232 has the box configured correctly?

Are the lights on the PMC-8 box as normal? The
below description (which I determined when connected by WIFI) may help:

==================
Looking at the long side of the PMC-Eight box
with the LEDs at the left hand end:

UPPER ROW

1 YELLOW Wireless Data Transfer
2 GREEN 10V dc Motor Power
3 GREEN MCU Active

LOWER ROW

4 GREEN SSID Connection
5 RED SSID Association
6 RED 3.3V dc Logic Power

without wifi connected: 2, 4*, 5* 6 (when wifi is being negotiated, 5 goes off)

wifi connected, ExploreStars app not running: 2, 4*, 6

wifi connected, ExploreStars running: 2, 3, 4*, 6*

* = flashing
===========

The quasi-good news is that, since it is an open
loop system, if it is a simple question of the
motors themselves not responding to commands,
your computer (and therefore POTH) will not be
aware of this, so we can rule that out.

Another thing you might do is check the installation of POTH.

As usual, the problem is so fundamental that I am
sure the solution is simple. It would perhaps
help if you can get at least temporary access to
a Windows 10 computer and check the WIFI
operation with the Explore Stars app. If you
really get stuck I will have a go at duplicating
your set up with my W-7 desktop.

David

At 03:30 20-12-17, r_hoskin@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


Finally, a gorgeous clear night here. Went out
to take another shot at a better PA, and found
that I was unable to get POTH to unpark the scope, so I had to scrub.

This is a new problem - I've not seen this behavior before. Any ideas?

- Laptop is up (Win7 Pro), CdC is not
- Power up the PMC-8
- Connect the USB cable
- Start ASCOM POTH
- Click Setup> scope already chosen, click
Connect, click OK, then back to the POTH applet.
- Green LED lit is over "Unpark Scope", motion controls are greyed
- Click "Unpark Scope". Flashes to Park, then
reverts immediately to "Unpark Scope"
- Windows dialog appears w/ "Scope is already in desired park state".

If I go back to Setup, there's a green LED over
"Home". Clicking Home or Set Park has no effect.

The 28030 USB-to Serial has both a solid green
(power?) and blinking red (rx?) LED lit.

Disclaimer: New software on the
laptop: Sparkocam, Sharpcap, AltairCapture. The
Nikon was plugged in to a USB port earlier for
focusing. I shut imageware down and
disconnected the camera once I saw the above
problem, and repeated the sequence above, 3 or 4
times (thus, doing the same thing over again
while expecting a different result... :-)

Thanks!

- Bob




Wes Mcdonald
 

This is something Jerry might know about.  But, I had strange things happen with POTH on Windows 7, finally gave in and bought a tablet to run ExploreStars app.  I must say that running the mount with a Planetarium program is probably superior, but ES just works better it seems.  Ah well.  Millions of lines of code....

Regards,
Wes.



r_hoskin@...
 

Well, it was working before...another one of those things that I'm not sure how to diagnose.
I'll upload some logs in a few, in hopes that Jerry can weigh in.  


r_hoskin@...
 

My WAG is that the PMC-8 is probably fine, but that something's confusing ASCOM or the ASCOM driver.  Probably a cockpit error of some kind, just not sure what.

The serial-to-usb adapter looks fine to me. Its LEDs are steady green, with blinks of both red and blue.  It show up as COM3 when connecting.

The PMC8's LEDs, with scope connected, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6

I was able to at least glean from the ASCOM logs that a conversation is taking place, just can't tell where the point of confusion is.
 
The attached .jpg shows the response in the gui when I attempt to unpark the scope.
The .zip contains ASCOM logs from three days - these are all I have:
2017-11-21 (Initial install)
2017-12-19 (Last night's will-not-unpark problem)
2017-12-20 (Today, indoors)

This morning (12-20), I powered up the laptop and mount to see if I still had the unpark problem.  I did.  I then ran Ascom Diagnostics, captured logs and zipped them up.

After that, I started to wonder if one of the other installs I'd done had somehow damaged the ASCOM driver's installation.  I reinstalled the driver (not the platform), tried unparking again, and got the same behavior.

I did try going through the ASCOM logs with the Programmers Reference, but (hampered by not knowing what the dialogs are *supposed* to look like), was not able to learn much.

Thanks for any assistance with this.

- Bob 


r_hoskin@...
 

I'm not sure what's up with the attachments... They do show up on my post's email, which just came through, but I don't see them on the forum post.  Attaching again, just to see what happens... :-)


David Pickett
 

That's a lot of logs to look through! I looked
in ASCOM-blah-blah-435140.txt and
ASCOM-blah-blah-095840.txt from 17-12-19 and found lines with

AtPark Get - False

Now the question is, how does ASCOM know this,
since it gets no feedback from the mount, other
than assuming that it has moved the motors whither it commanded?

So I conclude that perhaps there is a fault in
the software and it thinks the mount is somewhere it is not.

Have you tried reinstalling ASCOM from scratch
and giving it the info it asked for before, in case something is corrupted?

David

(My earlier posting eventually arrived back here,
about 9 hours after I sent it to Yahoo!)

At 17:17 20-12-17, r_hoskin@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


My WAG is that the PMC-8 is probably fine, but
that something's confusing ASCOM or the ASCOM
driver. Probably a cockpit error of some kind, just not sure what.

The serial-to-usb adapter looks fine to me. Its
LEDs are steady green, with blinks of both red
and blue. It show up as COM3 when connecting.

The PMC8's LEDs, with scope connected, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6

I was able to at least glean from the ASCOM logs
that a conversation is taking place, just can't
tell where the point of confusion is.

The attached .jpg shows the response in the gui
when I attempt to unpark the scope.
The .zip contains ASCOM logs from three days - these are all I have:
2017-11-21 (Initial install)
2017-12-19 (Last night's will-not-unpark problem)
2017-12-20 (Today, indoors)

This morning (12-20), I powered up the laptop
and mount to see if I still had the unpark
problem. I did. I then ran Ascom Diagnostics,
captured logs and zipped them up.

After that, I started to wonder if one of the
other installs I'd done had somehow damaged the
ASCOM driver's installation. I reinstalled the
driver (not the platform), tried unparking again, and got the same behavior.

I did try going through the ASCOM logs with the
Programmers Reference, but (hampered by not
knowing what the dialogs are *supposed* to look
like), was not able to learn much.

Thanks for any assistance with this.

- Bob


r_hoskin@...
 

Thanks, David!

I really can't think of anything else to do, except a full deinstall/reinstall.  Best guess I have is that one of the other products I installed clobbered something it should not have, but a guess is all that is. 

A bit of a coin toss as to how well a deinstall will work, though.  I see that the Ascom Platform developers have made extensive use of registry entries, and I'll be surprised if they get them all.   We'll see...

When posting this, I did have a faint hope that it would be some known problem, rather than a mystery... 

Ah, well...


Keith Krayanek
 

Just a thought, you did not say.  Did you switch the PMC-Eight from wireless to wired?  You said you conected to the laptop via usb cable.

Keith Krayanek


r_hoskin@...
 

Thanks, Keith - yes, it's wired and that much appears to be working ok.


r_hoskin@...
 

Well, I'm parking and unparking again!  Solved.  (for now...)

Took an uninstall with extreme prejudice to do it.  Details below, because some of you may need this some day.

It's interesting that ASCOM support advice is to not deinstall, because that seldom fixes problems.  I now understand why...

ASCOM and related have (at a guess) perhaps 2-300 Windows registry entries, and the standard windows uninstaller does very little with them, if anything.  It says something, when you do a full deinstall, then boot, reinstall, and ASCOM still remembers your Scope's aperture and FL...  And of course, I still had my problem.  Because it only looks like they've deinstalled. They've really only removed the easy stuff, and left a bunch of registry entries behind. 

Sigh...

It turns out that there's an ASCOM removal tool that they apparently developed for the last major release.  The link to the tool and the only instructions I know of, is below.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ASCOM-Talk/conversations/messages/35521

I used that tool to uninstall, and it did do a bit better job.  It does appear to have a partial list of registry entries to remove.

By now, I was after blood, so I did not stop there, and scoured the registry with CCleaner.

Reinstalled ASCOM, reinstalled the PMC-8 driver, and now I can park and unpark. Now to put things back to more or less the way they were, and see if the wheels stay on this time.

It will probably be after Christmas now, before clear skies and free time coincide and I can get back to working on my PA.  I did make a bit of progress despite this problem though, and will post that on the other thread in a while.

- Bob


hubbell_jerry@...
 

I'm sorry Bob I am late to the discussion, I just now read through the thread. I was busy all day and did not once get on the forum today until a few minutes ago. It sounds like you have solved your problem. I have not seen this exact problem before, but early on when I was developing the ASCOM driver (before it was released) I did run into the error message you had where it thought it was already unparked. It sounds like, based on your experience, it is related to some settings in the ASCOM platform that gets out of whack for some reason. The way I resolved it early on in the development was to recompile and it would re-deploy the driver which basically resets the register values to default. That's about all I can say about it at this point. If anyone else sees this problem, please let me know and try to remember the events that may have led up to you seeing the problem.

Thanks


David Pickett
 

It is worth trying a reinstall over the top of
what you have, since this should remake reistry entries.

Alternatively, if you think that some recent
change elsewhere in the system has messed things
up, how about a "system restore"?

Whenever I get problems like this involving the
registry, or uninstall a program, I always run
Ccleaner (free version). It seems to restore sanity.

David

At 23:47 20-12-17, r_hoskin@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


Thanks, David!

I really can't think of anything else to do,
except a full deinstall/reinstall. Best guess I
have is that one of the other products I
installed clobbered something it should not have, but a guess is all that is.

A bit of a coin toss as to how well a deinstall
will work, though. I see that the Ascom
Platform developers have made extensive use of
registry entries, and I'll be surprised if they get them all. We'll see...

When posting this, I did have a faint hope that
it would be some known problem, rather than a mystery...

Ah, well...


David Pickett
 

Bob,

Well, I'm parking and unparking again! Solved. (for now...)
Congratulations!

I am glad you fixed it and, as our resident
guinea pig for the problem, passed this info on!

ASCOM and related have (at a guess) perhaps
2-300 Windows registry entries, and the standard
windows uninstaller does very little with them,
if anything. It says something, when you do a
full deinstall, then boot, reinstall, and ASCOM
still remembers your Scope's aperture and
FL... And of course, I still had my
problem. Because it only looks like they've
deinstalled. They've really only removed the
easy stuff, and left a bunch of registry entries behind.
I guess this is why I prefer programs that use .ini files.

Now your only problem is the clouds -- a pity we
cant do a system restore on the weather!

Happy Holidays to all!

David



At 04:01 21-12-17, r_hoskin@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


Well, I'm parking and unparking again! Solved. (for now...)

Took an uninstall with extreme prejudice to do
it. Details below, because some of you may need this some day.

It's interesting that ASCOM support advice is to
not deinstall, because that seldom fixes problems. I now understand why...

ASCOM and related have (at a guess) perhaps
2-300 Windows registry entries, and the standard
windows uninstaller does very little with them,
if anything. It says something, when you do a
full deinstall, then boot, reinstall, and ASCOM
still remembers your Scope's aperture and
FL... And of course, I still had my
problem. Because it only looks like they've
deinstalled. They've really only removed the
easy stuff, and left a bunch of registry entries behind.

Sigh...

It turns out that there's an ASCOM removal tool
that they apparently developed for the last
major release. The link to the tool and the
only instructions I know of, is below.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ASCOM-Talk/conversations/messages/35521

I used that tool to uninstall, and it did do a
bit better job. It does appear to have a
partial list of registry entries to remove.

By now, I was after blood, so I did not stop
there, and scoured the registry with CCleaner.

Reinstalled ASCOM, reinstalled the PMC-8 driver,
and now I can park and unpark. Now to put things
back to more or less the way they were, and see
if the wheels stay on this time.

It will probably be after Christmas now, before
clear skies and free time coincide and I can get
back to working on my PA. I did make a bit of
progress despite this problem though, and will
post that on the other thread in a while.

- Bob


r_hoskin@...
 

Jerry,

No worries!  You can't be everywhere, and it got sorted out. I knew when I purchased, that I was doing so as an early adopter and I should expect some bumps.  Just keep doing what you think you need to do, and it'll be fine.

I think, though, that between your experience in development, and mine in the field, there's a problem lurking that others will likely bump into, and they may have more difficulty dealing with it than I did.

My software experience is mostly non-MS, so I don't do vb/studio.  Whatever was going on with the registry when you compiled must be different than what was going with both the PMC-8 driver windows uninstall and the ASCOM platform uninstall.  Those uninstalls were not sufficiently complete to undo whatever the registry error was. The scope configuration and its error, survived them.

The ASCOM removal tool I linked to is more aggressive, and it *might* have been sufficient on its own.  I did not test that scenario. By that time, I wanted a pristeen registry, so I just kept going with CCleaner. 

If it helps you, I did attach ASCOM logs to an earlier post, but my guess is that we're already past that and it's down to understanding which registry entries are involved in park/unpark handling.  Maybe someone on (Y) ASCOM-Talk would have that?   My guess is that this will turn out to be a driver initialization gap, coupled with a previous exit that did something unexpected and left a surprise behind.  

FWIW...

- Bob