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Question about the communications watchdog disabled "a" version of the firmware #ExploreScientific #FIRMWARE


Harry
 

This is a question for Jerry regarding “B” firmware.

Jerry, I see people changing to the B firmware version to keep their mounts tracking if somehow ExploreStars were to enter a sleep mode. Example,  this conversation in using ASIair.  Last time I upgraded my iExos 100 firmware, I believe there is no B version. That B only applies to other PMC 8 mounts. Is this correct, and therefore the B version “fix” is not necessary for the 100? 
Thank you ,
Harry
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ExploreStars IPAD & Fire HD8, Explore FirstLight EXOS Nano
Nikon D600, D5500


Harry
 

Clarification Previous Question

Jerry, I believe what I, and others have called the “B” version, is actually the “Watchdog Disabled” version of the firmware update. Thanks,
Harry
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ExploreStars IPAD & Fire HD8, Explore FirstLight EXOS Nano
Nikon D600, D5500


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 04:07 PM, Harry wrote:
Last time I upgraded my iExos 100 firmware, I believe there is no B version. That B only applies to other PMC 8 mounts. Is this correct, and therefore the B version “fix” is not necessary for the 100? 
HI Harry,

The original 9TX version of the firmware delivered only applies to the G11 and EXOS2 (Model 2A circuit assembly - "big board") have the communications watchdog enabled. The 9TXa version has the communications watchdog disabled. When we released the iEXOS 100 I only offered the firmware with the communications watchdog disabled, as most people who owned the model 2A G11/EXOS2 weighed in on it and did not like it. 

It is important to note that the communications watchdog was designed to be an additional safety feature for the PMC-Eight system when using ExploreStars in case the tablet was shutdown, or if the user walked away from the mount with their tablet. When using ExploreStars, the system will pick right back up where it left off when reestablishing communications - it will slew to the current position of the target object even if the mount has been stopped for a while. Everyone needs to understand that this feature was in the context of the primary use-case for ExploreStars was for visual use at the mount, not for astrophotography.

The system will stop also when using the PMC-Eight ASCOM driver if the computer driving the mount goes into "screen saver" mode, or if it is disconnected (serial, or wifi). Most people using a computer to control the mount for astrophotography have their systems set to NOT sleep and any astrophotography session is an active process which maintains communication with the mount to query and obtain real-time position data with the mount via ASCOM. In this case, the communications watchdog being enabled is not an issue typically, and has not been an issue for those using it this way.

So bottom line, since we deliver the iEXOS 100 with the communications watchdog disabled, there has been no request to provide a version with it enabled, as everyone just expects it to keep tracking regardless. It is up to the user to decide how they want to use their mount. The additional detail here is that, as we taut in our literature, the system uses a safe stepper motor drive system that even if the equipment runs into an obstacle there will be no damage to the mount or equipment, it is still a safe system.

I think I will create a poll to see if anyone wants to have the additional safety of the communications watchdog for the iEXOS 100 mount and our mounts going forward.

Thanks
 
--
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!


Harry
 

Thank you so much Jerry. That explains things perfectly.
Harry
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, ExploreStars IPAD & Fire HD8, Explore FirstLight EXOS Nano
Nikon D600, D5500