Networking Issue

W. Christopher Moses

It appears that I can't use the pmc-8 as a normal ad-hoc network:

Steps to reproduce: 

1. Connect a pc (pc1) to the PMC-X network

2. connect a second pc (pc2) to the PMC-X network

3. initiate a remote desktop connection from pc2 to pc1

4. Use the connection for a few minutes

Expected result:

1. Normal remote desktop session

Actual Result:

1. Remote session dies after a few seconds to a few minutes

2. pc1 and pc2  loose their  IPs from the PMC-8

3. rebooting pc1 and/or pc2 will not restore IPs

4. The PMC-8 must be restarted before any IPs will be issued.


The PMC-Eight wireless communications was only designed and tested to have a single host connected to the controller at a time, although, as I will explain, this can be cheated a little. The ExploreStars application is designed as a virtual hand controller with the same restriction that it, and it alone will communicate with the controller. The ExploreStars application uses UDP/IP protocol. The TCP/IP stack is also running on the controller, and the ASCOM driver uses TCP/IP over the same port. We have never tested 2 hosts connecting to the controller SSID at once.

This is not by design, but I have been able to connect the ExploreStars app and the ASCOM driver at the same time to the controller. The system is fast enough to respond to the commands issued by both programs, and the handshaking is robust enough so that the messages are not mixed together (for the most part). I find that after a few minutes the communications fails and the connections must be reset from scratch.

I understand your goal of being able to remotely control the local PC over the same network. We do that at our observatory by configuring the PMC-Eight to communicate with PC1 serially using the ASCOM driver, and then plugging PC1 into a switch connected to our Internet router. From there we can remotely access PC1 from anywhere in the world. It is very reliable.

There may be a configuration setting that needs to be changed on the RN-131 that will allow you to reliably have more than one host communicating between themselves on the ad-hoc network, although it would probably be more reliable to have the PMC-Eight join a LAN network router.

W. Christopher Moses

Thanks for the info.
Connecting everything to another wifi network would be preferable anyway.  This was just easier to test.
For tonight, I'm going to concentrate on getting ST4 guiding working and routine.
I'll try switching the networks tomorrow.