#pmc-eight #EXOS2 #UFCT #UniversalFirmware Any way to add a 'default to ES 'Ad-hoc' settings file' for the RN-131 wifi unit as part of the firmware update suit? #EXOS2 #pmc-eight #UniversalFirmware #UFCT


Al Knox
 

Hi folks,
Trying to sort out a loss of connection to and from my PMC-Eight unit.

The problem part 1:-

Last autumn I after going down the 'trap-door' of doing an IP change on the PMC-Eight in order to connect it to my local (home) wifi network and getting 'locked out'. I consulted on here and Wes Mcdonald helped me sort it out using the RH-131 'factory reset' routine, then connecting with PuTTY to manually set the correct IPs for router access etc. Since then my home router failed and was replaced in January. I have only now been in a position to start using my PMC-eight mount setup again, and of course the PMC-Eight unit can't connect to the new router due to a completely different set of fixed IP addresses on the router (and can't be changed to match to old router settings either as these are fixed by my ISP). Anyway, after a lot of trying out to get comms with the serial cable connection that seemed to work, but would not report back the PMC-Eight EPROM settings or serial number - I decided to do the new EPROM upgrade. This worked fine, and I now have more info displayed from the reboot 'splash screen' - all the manually set toggles seem to have been accepted (Northern Hemisphere setting etc.)

The problem part 2:-
So I have serial connection to the main board but can't access the RN-131 daughter board to reset the IP settings via the serial connection (this is both a statement and a question)? Is there a way to do that (I haven't managed to find any online notes if there is)? If not, is the only way to get access to the RN-131 via a 'factory reset' (Hi/Low reset procedure), then using PuTTY login to the board via its own default wifi settings?
The problem part2a:- I made notes last year on 'procedure' while walking through it with Wes, but these notes have gone missing since then. Is there a 'cheat sheet' available online that I could download and run through the procedure again?

Supplemental question:-
As we effectively save a settings file presumably to the RN-131 - is it possible to have a 'default to ES 'Ad-hoc' settings file' for the RN-131 wifi unit that can be installed/re-installed as part of the firmware update suit? So at least we can effectively have a soft 'factory' reset to a basic 'as shipped' comms setup.

Thanks for any help advice you can offer - as for now my unit is out of commission.
Regards, Al Knox.


Karl
 

Al,

If you're unable to connect to the PMC8 via WiFi, you have to open it up and clip IO9 pin to VDD.  My recollection is doing it once launches the web server ad hoc network and interface, which you can use to switch back to ad hoc mode, probably without having to reset it at all.  The reset involves clipping/unclipping the connection (running it hi/low) a number of times in succession (I think five times, each about a second apart, but I don't recall for sure).  If you go the reset route, the instructions I used to get back to the ES defaults are on pages 42-43 of the programmers reference: https://explorescientificusa.com/pages/software-and-downloads-for-pmc-eight-system.  

FYI, if you try to put the PMC8/RN-131 in infrastructure mode on your home network again, the new firmware requires you to specify the exact channel to use.  This makes infrastructure very difficult to use now if you have to switch between access points, and/or have access points that auto-detect which channel to use, and/or use a hotspot that won't let you select a channel.  There's a fairly simple solution to this (for the RN-131) at least, which I've made known to them, and I hope that someday they'll consider implementing it.

As to your supplemental question, I did quite a bit of playing around with the RN-131, and it seems like there may be a way to do what you're asking, and even a way to switch between ad-hoc/infrastructure profiles programmatically.  But ... it would take a non-trivial amount of time to engineer, particularly when you consider that some units use different wifi modules, and I gather there's just not a lot of perceived demand for anything more complicated than connecting via ad-hoc.  I think it'd be awesome if they'd open-source the firmware itself and let people like myself play around with adding functionality like that.  But open-sourcing firmware has very different considerations than open-sourcing drivers.

--
Karl
Austin, Texas

Mount: PMC-8 EXOS2
Scope: ES N208CF Astrograph
Camera: Pentax K-70
Guider: 
SX Ultrastar C, ZWO ASI120MC

Focuser: MyFocuserPro2
Software
: Indi on Raspberry Pi 4


Al Knox
 

Thanks Karl!
I'll run through the routine as spected. I'd forgotten that serial is not good at 'multiplexing' from different connected apps. I'll try switching the serial interface (1) over to wifi (0) and see if I can get a read back from current settings. If not will go the alligator clips route. This time I'll remember to 'cut and paste' my settings to a plain txt file - for any future resetting.
Cheers! 
--
--
Al Knox, London UK.

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 EXOS2, Simple surveyor's tripod mounted Startwatcher Star Adventurer (V1)
TelescopesTS-Optics 61EDPH, TS-Optics Photoline 80mm f/6 FPL53 Triplet APO, TS-Optics Classical Cassegrain 8" F12 203/2436mm
Cameras:  Nikon D7200, QHYCCD QHY10 Color (CCD), QHYCCD QHY5III462C (CMOS)
Software: Mostly Mac OSX based,  INDIGO suit, ASCOM, Sharpcap, FireCapture, Stark Labs Nebulosity4, SiriL, Affinity Photo, StarTools, Sequator etc.


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 10:44 AM, Karl wrote:
If you're unable to connect to the PMC8 via WiFi, you have to open it up and clip IO9 pin to VDD.  My recollection is doing it once launches the web server ad hoc network and interface, which you can use to switch back to ad hoc mode, probably without having to reset it at all.  The reset involves clipping/unclipping the connection (running it hi/low) a number of times in succession (I think five times, each about a second apart, but I don't recall for sure).  If you go the reset route, the instructions I used to get back to the ES defaults are on pages 42-43 of the programmers reference: https://explorescientificusa.com/pages/software-and-downloads-for-pmc-eight-system.  
I must warn everyone who tries this, you do this at your own risk. If you cause your board to fail this is not covered under warranty.
 
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!