Topics

wired connection


Brent Phillips
 

Have another question trying to use the wired feature now but cant get the computer to work with the PMC-Eight.  I had heard that the DB-9 to USB adapter needed to be one with the FTDI chip so I am using the Sabrent SBT-FTDI.  I have downloaded the driver directly from Sabrent and the computer recognizes it as COM6.  when I make the adjustments in ASCOM for wired the computer still will not talk to the PMC-Eight.  Is there something else that needs to be done? thanks and sorry for the questions all the time.


Robert Hoskin <r_hoskin@...>
 

Brent,

Did you follow the procedure in Jerry's doc to toggle the PMC-8's command input from wifi to serial?  It doesn't listen for commands on both simultaneously or switch automagically, it's one source or the other and you have to configure that.  A bit of a fiddle to set up for, but not hard after that.

Look in the files section of this group for the instruction note on switching inputs.  I think at one point I saw them on the ES website, but I can't find them now.  

- Bob



From: "brent.phillips79@... [ESPMC-Eight]"
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2018 10:43 AM
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] wired connection

 
Have another question trying to use the wired feature now but cant get the computer to work with the PMC-Eight.  I had heard that the DB-9 to USB adapter needed to be one with the FTDI chip so I am using the Sabrent SBT-FTDI.  I have downloaded the driver directly from Sabrent and the computer recognizes it as COM6.  when I make the adjustments in ASCOM for wired the computer still will not talk to the PMC-Eight.  Is there something else that needs to be done? thanks and sorry for the questions all the time.



Brent Phillips
 

No I did not, did not know there was that much involved, thanks for the info I will do that tonight. I do have one more question how do I fined the SSID?  I feel this is going to be stupidly easy but I don't know how to do it.


Keith Krayanek
 

Robert,


I have attached the Application Note with the instructions.  You will need to download the two programs that are listed on page 2, Putty and Parallax.  


On page 3 are the instructions on how to switch it from WiFI to wired using Putty.

On Page 3 are the instructions on how to switch from wired to WiFi using Parallax.


Why this sophisticated PMC-Eight computer needs TWO third party programs and a PC to switch from WiFi to wired, I could not understand.  Plus the instructions make it out that all you need to do it plug in the serial port wire and you are good to go is not the case. 


I too have massive problems with the WiFi.  Constantly dropping, or the Explore Star program just crashing which causes the mount to stop tracking.  Sometimes I can just reopen Explore Stars and it stars working, or a little over 25% of the time it causes me to have to restart the PMC-Eight.  The biggest problem I have with the WiFi is it causes third party programs to freeze, Cartes du Ciel, Astro Photography Tool.    But when wired it does not.  Maybe it is my desktop and two laptops causing this, I do not know.   


Good Luck!




 




From: ESPMC-Eight@... on behalf of Robert Hoskin r_hoskin@... [ESPMC-Eight] <ESPMC-Eight@...>
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2018 11:20 AM
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] wired connection
 
 

Brent,

Did you follow the procedure in Jerry's doc to toggle the PMC-8's command input from wifi to serial?  It doesn't listen for commands on both simultaneously or switch automagically, it's one source or the other and you have to configure that.  A bit of a fiddle to set up for, but not hard after that.

Look in the files section of this group for the instruction note on switching inputs.  I think at one point I saw them on the ES website, but I can't find them now.  

- Bob



From: "brent.phillips79@... [ESPMC-Eight]"
To: ESPMC-Eight@...
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2018 10:43 AM
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] wired connection

 
Have another question trying to use the wired feature now but cant get the computer to work with the PMC-Eight.  I had heard that the DB-9 to USB adapter needed to be one with the FTDI chip so I am using the Sabrent SBT-FTDI.  I have downloaded the driver directly from Sabrent and the computer recognizes it as COM6.  when I make the adjustments in ASCOM for wired the computer still will not talk to the PMC-Eight.  Is there something else that needs to be done? thanks and sorry for the questions all the time.



r_hoskin@...
 

Brent,

The SSID is just your PMC-8's network name - it's just terminology.  You are already connecting your laptop to that.

Keith,

I know... I couldn't fathom why we needed two different terminal programs for this, either.   But... for what I saw as a one-time task (I went straight to wired), I also didn't see the upside in being creative, so I just followed the instructions. 

- Bob


hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Bob,

There really isn't a good reason for using two different terminal programs other than when I initially started developing this system I got used to using the Parallax Serial Terminal in the Propeller IDE to communicate with the controller. I did try initially to use Putty to connect to the controller via the serial port and did not have any luck (for some dumb reason) and so I didn't go back and try and figure out the issue.

When I wrote the application note, I was set in my ways as far as my workflow, so I didn't think to go back and verify that Putty would actually work and just simplify the instructions. I think I kept with the Parallax Serial Terminal also because I knew it worked 100% and so didn't consider making a change.

I just tried and connected to the controller via Putty and it works just fine, so bottom line is that you an use Putty to connect to the network via TELNET when you want to change from WiFi to Serial with the ESX! command, and then you can reconnect using Putty to the Serial port and issue the ESX! command again to go back to the WiFi communications channel.

I apologize for the added complexity, that's all there is to it.
In the nuclear industry we are always taught to have a questioning attitude; this is a good example of you having just that!

Thanks,

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Keith,

Yes, I know it seems a bit klunky to have to use a terminal program to switch the channel. See my other message I just posted about using Putty for switching both sides. It would be a very simple matter to add the switch functionality to the ASCOM driver since I can connect to either serial or WiFi in the driver. I will add this to the list of items (I am getting ready to release the updated ASCOM driver next week). I will try and get it into this release, but it may be delayed a week or two. It would just be a simple switch that would issue the command when selecting the communications channel, so it would be transparent to the user other than having to connect the network to the SSID, or plugging in the serial cable.

Thanks!

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.


David Pickett
 

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for the updates.

Yes, I know it seems a bit klunky to have to use a terminal program to switch the channel. See my other message I just posted about using Putty for switching both sides. It would be a very simple matter to add the switch functionality to the ASCOM driver since I can connect to either serial or WiFi in the driver. I will add this to the list of items (I am getting ready to release the updated ASCOM driver next week). I will try and get it into this release, but it may be delayed a week or two. It would just be a simple switch that would issue the command when selecting the communications channel, so it would be transparent to the user other than having to connect the network to the SSID, or plugging in the serial cable.
Adding this functionality seems REALLY worthwhile, and I would encourage you to do so for the upcoming revision. It would make quite a few lives easier!

Best,

David