Universal Firmware Configuration Tool (UFCT) #UFCT


wayne archard
 

I have an Exos 2 mount.  When I click the get configuration button I get a com port error.  The com port is 3 verified in device manager.  Tyler suggested changing com port numbers but I tried several  with no solution.  Any thoughts?  Thank you.


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 05:55 PM, wayne archard wrote:
When I click the get configuration button I get a com port error.  The com port is 3 verified in device manager. 
Can you give us more information about your cable connection? Have you used your PMC-Eight previous to trying to update the firmware with the serial port connection and ASCOM?
 
--
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!


Wes Mcdonald
 

Wayne you have to highlight the comm port even though it shows up in the UFCT window, then click get configuration
--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


wayne archard
 

I just talked to Tyler and he  had me click on the com port number to highlight it before clicking get configuration.  When I did this I got the busy/wait msg and the moment the configuration populated the data the mount type changed to Exos 1 and I'd get a mount type error telling me to switch to Exos 2 but as soon as I did it jumped back to Exos 1.  We even tried G11 and it jumped to Exos 1 with the erroe msg.  I tried 2 chip set cords with the same result.


wayne archard
 

Jerry to answer your question I've had the Exos 2 GT PMC 8 for  a year connected serially for astrophotography with no problems.  I just wanted to update for the new changes.  Thanks.


wayne archard
 

Thanks Wes.  It worked partially but with another error I posted to the group.
Wayne

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 6:12 PM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Wayne you have to highlight the comm port even though it shows up in the UFCT window, then click get configuration
--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Wayne.  The problem is for some systems getting P9 to set correctly.

Follow these steps

Folks having issues with setting up their new firmware where the thing keeps insisting you must select either one mount or another, and even though you do it seems to still blow up.
 
I have tried to duplicate this behavior but to no avail in both an iEXOS and an EXOS2/G11 PMC8.  But I believe the issue is related to P9 in these machines.
 
If you are having this problem try this:
 
1.  After loading the new firmware etc, I assume you are now running the UFCT.
2.  In the command window at the top, after the system is booted, type %%% and Send to put the unit in debug mode.
3.  Now type P9x  in the command window and send it.  The value of x should be:
0 == iExos
4 == G11
8 == Exos2
You should see P9x appear in the message area of the UFCT.
 
4.  When the echo of the P9 command returns, type into the command line ### and send it.  The message area will display a message indicating that Debug mode is exited and Command mode is enabled.
 
Now press the REBOOT Button.  At this point when the unit boots up the correct unit type should be displayed and you can continue to set the other values along the left side as you wish them to be, followed by a SET CONFIGURATION.
 
This is simpler than what Bryan did, but should have the same effect.
--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Mike Hammer
 

I had the same problem. I changed the configuration to what IK wanted and that fixed the problem. It now sees the firmware as EXOS2


On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 6:50 PM wayne archard <warchard67@...> wrote:
I just talked to Tyler and he  had me click on the com port number to highlight it before clicking get configuration.  When I did this I got the busy/wait msg and the moment the configuration populated the data the mount type changed to Exos 1 and I'd get a mount type error telling me to switch to Exos 2 but as soon as I did it jumped back to Exos 1.  We even tried G11 and it jumped to Exos 1 with the erroe msg.  I tried 2 chip set cords with the same result.


Wes Mcdonald
 

Mike

"to what IK wanted"

Who/what is IK?

Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Mike Hammer
 

Hi Wes,

This seems to be a problem with the Config software. I was going to report it, but actually changing the config parameters fixed it for me. 

Sorry about the typo. Didn't see it until after it was sent. It was supposed to be just "I." 

This is what fixed the issue for me:

First I set the com port (9 in my case). Then I selected Northern hemisphere Enabled, Track on loss of Comms and Run on Boot Enabled and clicked Set new Configuration. After the reconfiguration completed, the firmware showed the mount type as EXOS2 (P9.8), which was correct. Before it would only allow the iEXOS100 selection.

Here is what I saw BEFORE I did this (see attached file):

And thanks for all of your work on these improvements. I especially appreciate not having to reflash to switch between WiFi and Serial communications. 

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 9:01 PM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Mike

"to what IK wanted"

Who/what is IK?

Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Mike

Right 

You must have also selected the correct pmc8 box prior to setting.  This is the correct procedure.

Glad you are up and running.  

Yes the always on comms from both ends was one of those things that was needed.



Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Mike Hammer
 

Hi Wes,

I was following Jerry Hubbels video instructions in episode 141. At around 38 minutes is where he starts to configure the firmware. The first thing he does is reboots the PMC-8. When he does this, the firmware automatically IDed his device  as a G11. This did not work with my PMC-8. I suspect this may have had to do with Jerry having previously installed and configured the firmware on his device (In fact he doesn't do a "Set New Configuration until 44 minutes into the video, well after the software has already determined he has a G11). I took a chance and clicked on Set new configuration after making my desired selections and things sorted themselves out. Until I did that nothing worked, including the Get Config and Reboot/Show Splash buttons. I could not select the EXOS2 before I set a new configuration, it kept defaulting back to the iEXOS100 (P9.0) and giving the error message. This is somewhat counterintuitive and was not part of the video. One would think that the type of device would be discoverable by the software/firmware, but then this is "universal" firmware.

One other thing. The very first time (eight months ago) that I tried to update the firmware, I did not realize that the PMC-8 has to be connected to both the USB port on the computer AND the power supply. As someone who tinkers with programming Arduino devices I was used to the 5V power from the USB being all that is needed to update the device code. This obviously (looking back) did not work, but applying power to the PMC-8 while connected to my computer struck me as potentially dangerous to my computer if that power found its way into the USB port. Others may not realize the need for the propellor chip to have two sources of power when updating the firmware and become frustrated. Just my 2 cents.

Mike 

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 7:44 AM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Mike

Right 

You must have also selected the correct pmc8 box prior to setting.  This is the correct procedure.

Glad you are up and running.  

Yes the always on comms from both ends was one of those things that was needed.



Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


wayne archard
 

Wes, thank you for this fix.  It worked perfectly.  I appreciate your help.
Wayne

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 8:11 PM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Wayne.  The problem is for some systems getting P9 to set correctly.

Follow these steps

Folks having issues with setting up their new firmware where the thing keeps insisting you must select either one mount or another, and even though you do it seems to still blow up.
 
I have tried to duplicate this behavior but to no avail in both an iEXOS and an EXOS2/G11 PMC8.  But I believe the issue is related to P9 in these machines.
 
If you are having this problem try this:
 
1.  After loading the new firmware etc, I assume you are now running the UFCT.
2.  In the command window at the top, after the system is booted, type %%% and Send to put the unit in debug mode.
3.  Now type P9x  in the command window and send it.  The value of x should be:
0 == iExos
4 == G11
8 == Exos2
You should see P9x appear in the message area of the UFCT.
 
4.  When the echo of the P9 command returns, type into the command line ### and send it.  The message area will display a message indicating that Debug mode is exited and Command mode is enabled.
 
Now press the REBOOT Button.  At this point when the unit boots up the correct unit type should be displayed and you can continue to set the other values along the left side as you wish them to be, followed by a SET CONFIGURATION.
 
This is simpler than what Bryan did, but should have the same effect.
--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Hi Mike:

Thanks for the observations.  What happens is sometimes I overthink things, which in the case of the power supply thing you were worried about is probably also an overthink.  I believe every instruction I have ever given anyone is to boot the PMC8 and then connect to the CM, etc, etc.  CAn't boot without 12v.  But your thought, though incorrect in this case, was not crazy.  I see it.

The forum is full of messages about the FTDI chip requirement for the EXOS2.  But I believe ES is going to address this on the next round of mounts they sell.  

Hopefully anyone having issues will post.  I and others are always here to help.  No one should beat their heads against the wall!

As for the video, you are correct.  Having the correct mount type preclude him from showing the effect of the WRONG mount type.  Opps.  The firmware is very sticky about the settings once made, and clearing them out must pretty much be done one by one, or at least one key "factory reset" one needs to be set. Turns  the factory reset byte does not do P9.  Is an oversight in some ways, but with the UFCT once you get the hang of it) is unimportant.  And since the mount type is pretty much static, once set there would be no need to change it 9uness you swapped a PMC8 from/to and EXOS2/G11.



Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Wayne:

I wanted to ask you a detail on the procedure you were using that failed everytime until you did the P9 fix.

Here is what I thik you were doing:

1.  Boot everything, selet Comm port and then hit GET CONFIGURATION  This loaded the configuration and gave you the error message about wrong mount type
2.  So you selected the correct mount and hit GET CONFIGURATION again.  Same result.  OVer and Over.

Right?

The correct procedure was to set the mount type correctly and then hit the SET CONFIGURATION button to save the mount type back in the PMC8.  

I believe this is a common error people are making.  Instructions could be more ler, and Jerrys video did not show this step as his mount was already set correctly.

LEt me know if that scenario is what was happening with you.

Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


wayne archard
 

Wes you are correct I was hitting the get configuration button not set configuration.  I believe this is what Jerry showed in the video.


On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 3:14 PM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Wayne:

I wanted to ask you a detail on the procedure you were using that failed everytime until you did the P9 fix.

Here is what I thik you were doing:

1.  Boot everything, selet Comm port and then hit GET CONFIGURATION  This loaded the configuration and gave you the error message about wrong mount type
2.  So you selected the correct mount and hit GET CONFIGURATION again.  Same result.  OVer and Over.

Right?

The correct procedure was to set the mount type correctly and then hit the SET CONFIGURATION button to save the mount type back in the PMC8.  

I believe this is a common error people are making.  Instructions could be more ler, and Jerrys video did not show this step as his mount was already set correctly.

LEt me know if that scenario is what was happening with you.

Wes.


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Wayne 

Thanks for the feedback.  I think that is what is leading most astray.  

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


wayne archard
 

Jerry I have solved my Universal Firmware Configuration issue with help from Tyler and Wes.  My problem now is I no longer have POTH Telescope to control the mount.  It is missing from the ASCOM Platform 6 drop down list at the windows start menu.  I understand you are still advising use of POTH Telescope for PMC 8 EXos 2 GT serial connections.  If you look at the ASCOM Standards Help 6.5.1 SP article it sounds like POTH is being retired.  I've used it for the last year with no problem but now can't find it to open it.  POTH does show up in Profile Explorer under Driver Platform Backups as well as Telescope Drivers/Chooser.  Please let me know how to get it back to use it.  I watched your You Tube video yesterday where you had POTH on your ASCOM Platform 6 drop down list.  Thanks for all your hard work with the PMC 8 system.
Wayne

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 6:00 PM Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...> wrote:
On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 05:55 PM, wayne archard wrote:
When I click the get configuration button I get a com port error.  The com port is 3 verified in device manager. 
Can you give us more information about your cable connection? Have you used your PMC-Eight previous to trying to update the firmware with the serial port connection and ASCOM?
 
--
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!


Wes Mcdonald
 

Wayne

When you install ascom 6.5 there is a check box to include poth.  Suggest you uninstall and reinstall and make sure the check box is ticked.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 11:09 PM, wayne archard wrote:
Please let me know how to get it back to use it. 
Hi Wayne, thanks for your feedback to the forum.  In the latest ASCOM Platform 6.5, during the install, you have to explicitly select the installation item POTH from the list of items to install as it is no longer defaulted to install automatically. You simply have to run the platform installation program again and select MODIFY and then make sure you select POTH in the items to install to update your configuration.


 

--
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!