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WIFI DROPOUTS


David Pickett
 

In order to further test the new ASCOM driver, I thought I would see whether it tracks properly.

I put the G-11 mount (without tripod) on the windowsill and did a reasonable polar alignment by compass. I set the tracking to solar and, using POTH, Stellarium Scope and Stellarium I set the mount to track the sun. Due to our current perpetual clouds I only had Stellarium to tell me where the sun actually was, but considered that was good enough to a first approximation for me to check that the mount was pointing where it ought to be! At one point the sun actually emerged partially and the mount was looking in the same direction.

Three times the motors stopped and StellariumScope reported that it had stopped working. The WIFI connection had been dropped. The computer is only 12ft away from the PMC-box.

My own home WIFI is on channel 11 and PMC-8 is on channel 6 (signal level -60 to -65 dBm). There are other networks on chammel 1. Channel 6 has other signals but their levels never rise above -85 dBm, so I really cannot think that there is a significant conflict there. Other than the fact that there is a lot of traffic coming down my street that has WIFI (tour buses, taxis, private individuals), I cant think of anything that would cause the WIFI to drop out.

A further curiosity is that when I reconnect the WIFI and tell POTH to park the scope, it moves partway to the home position and then stops. I have to kill POTH in Task Manager and re-launch it. When I then tell it to park the scope it completes the task. After doing this, in prder to get Stellarium to work I have had to do a cold boot of the PMC-8 box.

The laptop is plugged in to mains power and I have disabled all the things that might interrupt operation -- I did this already for my use of it when making audio recordings!

Any thoughts?

David


hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi David,

Even though it seems that the other devices on channel 6 would not impact the operation of the WiFi on the PMC-Eight, I would suggest that it is better to try an use a channel that you have determined is clear of other devices. If you can use the ST4 dongle to increment the channel and then verify that it is on a channel (probably 7 after you have incremented it) that is free of traffic other than the PMC-Eight. This should give you the best chance at getting the best performance.

Thanks

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


David Pickett
 

I dont see why the PMC-8 should drop out any more
than my home WIFI does. One can say that I am
living in a very hostile territory in this
respect. Vistumble reports about 20 SSIDs when
first started, and extra ones all the time as
things go down the street. All channels are in
use, so there is no question of determining that
any other channels are clkear of other devices.
Indeed, channel 6 seems the least used, looking at my Android WIFI Analyser.

But I come back to wondering why the PMC-8 WIFI
should be less robust than the home WIFI. It is a
moot point, in that I shall probably use the
serial port in the field, even though there there
should be much less potential for interference.

David

At 19:31 27-02-18, hubbell_jerry@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


Hi David,

Even though it seems that the other devices on
channel 6 would not impact the operation of the
WiFi on the PMC-Eight, I would suggest that it
is better to try an use a channel that you have
determined is clear of other devices. If you can
use the ST4 dongle to increment the channel and
then verify that it is on a channel (probably 7
after you have incremented it) that is free of
traffic other than the PMC-Eight. This should
give you the best chance at getting the best performance.

Thanks

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


Steve Mallia
 

I just want to add my expereince on this.

I had an issue with my PMC-8 G11 and its WIFI connection.   The problem was my laptop.  It would work very well and then it would suddenly stop.  I thought it was a power settings issue, and also a channel issue.   I switched to another laptop and didn't have any problems.  Just to be sure Iw as able to get my hands on 2 more laptops and again I had no problems.

Ended up being my original laptop, which is not a $300 machine, has some issue on wifi.   Not sure if this helps, but that is what my problem was.  Maybe its the network adapter driver.....I never really dug into it.

Steve