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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Scottsville, Virginia
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    Default Rotator not connecting causes mount disconnect

    I'm trying to follow the logic in this but it seems that an issue with loosing a connection to my Optec 3" rotator is causing ACP to disconnect the mount which leaves the dome control dead in the water which means that if the e=weather turns bad I'm SOL. While I agree that I should have connected the direct close connections for the dome it still makes no obvious sense to me to disconnect the mount hence the dome control as well. Am I missing something? There may be an issue with my RG11 to USB cable or something not configured properly in the Pegasus unit but losing mount and dome control seems unreasonable. I can see failing plans taht require the rotator to operate but why shut down the mount? If collision is a concern why not just park the mount?

    I'll look further into the rotator and post back as well.

    -Steve
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Steve
    http://www.astral-imaging.com

    Scottsville, Virginia
    ACP Expert
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    OGS 12.5" RC
    TAK FSQ-106ED
    STL-11000M/CF8
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    Starlight Xpress UltraStar Guider
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    12' Astro Haven Dome

  2. #2
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    Default Rotator not connecting causes mount disconnect

    Hi Steve — Still at the conference but I looked at that HFG1-xxx log, and it just ends part way through a line like ACP was task-manager-killed or ??? Is that the log you intended to send? I don’t see any info regarding the rotator or any ending of the run.

    In ACP, the mount and dome are “joined at the hip” so that an error on the dome will cause it all to disconnect as well as disconnect your mount and end your run. It’s pointless to continue observing if either fails.
    -- Bob

  3. #3
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    Default

    Sorry for the delay Bob.....too much going on. I found the log file that has the Optec not connected and was one of the nights the mount disconnect as well. There's no mention of the mount disconnect in the log file. I'm trying to find the APCC log file that matches that time period but not having the best luck. With 5 hours difference between UTC and EST it should be around 7:22 pm in the APCC logs.

    What I think is happening is that the startup script runs successfully an hour, maybe 2 before time to start imaging. Somewhere in that time the rotator disconnects although I've not seen that and as best I can tell not always. I've run the script during the day and never seen a disconnect.

    I recently made two changes, one adding a Pegasus unit in hopes of consolidating cabling, and along that line replaced my RJ11 to serial cable for the rotator so that it would eliminate the cable going from the rotator to the NUC (computer mounted on the pier). I've checked all USB port settings to be sure Power Management is not enabled allowing it to turn off to save energy. This should keep those ports active always.

    I've tried to correlate the APCC logs to the ACP one that shows the "Driver Issue" without luck. The APCC log may as well be written in German as I make little sense of it. I'm looking for the reason of mount disconnect hence losing dome control. Is there a reason dome control can't be independent of the mount connection? The whole reason for the move from the RoR to the dome was the ability to operate the dome regardless of the telescope position. I will be connecting the direct close contacts from the AAG to the MaxDome board later today as another possible step to ensure dome closure in case of mount disconnect but that should be a last resort means I would think. 
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Steve
    http://www.astral-imaging.com

    Scottsville, Virginia
    ACP Expert
    AP1200GTO
    Tak EM200
    AP 92mm Stowaway
    OGS 12.5" RC
    TAK FSQ-106ED
    STL-11000M/CF8
    ST10XME/CFW8
    Pyxis 3" Rotator
    Starlight Xpress UltraStar Guider
    MMOGA
    12' Astro Haven Dome

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Reilly View Post
    I recently made two changes, one adding a Pegasus unit in hopes of consolidating cabling, and along that line replaced my RJ11 to serial cable for the rotator so that it would eliminate the cable going from the rotator to the NUC (computer mounted on the pier). I've checked all USB port settings to be sure Power Management is not enabled allowing it to turn off to save energy. This should keep those ports active always.
    Hi Steve,

    I'm also using UPBv2 unit. How exactly is connected your rotator? Is it connected to the UPBv2 by the mean of USB connection? Are you using Serial to USB adapter? Are you using Pegasus Astro Unity platform? Thanks!

    Regards,
    Yves

  5. #5
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    Default

    Hello Yves,

    The UPBv2 is connected to the Pyxis via a USB to RJ-11 cable made by Optec. I got the 6' cable about a week or so ago. Before that I used the cable that came with the rotator some years ago that was a RJ-11 to serial (RS232) which connected directly to the NUC. I don't use USB to Serial adapters if possible. In fact I will generally buy and use a StarTech serial unit such as this https://www.startech.com/en-us/cards...ers/icusb2324i which I am using with the NUC. While that is still in play with the system I've moved what I can to the Pegasus to limit cable drag.
    Steve
    http://www.astral-imaging.com

    Scottsville, Virginia
    ACP Expert
    AP1200GTO
    Tak EM200
    AP 92mm Stowaway
    OGS 12.5" RC
    TAK FSQ-106ED
    STL-11000M/CF8
    ST10XME/CFW8
    Pyxis 3" Rotator
    Starlight Xpress UltraStar Guider
    MMOGA
    12' Astro Haven Dome

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Mesa, AZ
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    Default

    Hi Steve --

    The log shows a spontaneous disconnect of the rotator. I can't say why, but it will be voltage, cables, hub. connectors, etc. The log doesn't show the spontaneous disconnect of the telescope or dome (one or the other), probably because it happened while not observing (running a plan). If it happens around the same time, then I will say that the glitch that causes the spontaneous disconnect(s) is happening around the same time. The two aren't related in software inside ACP.

    I can't re-engineer the ACP dome/scope control to separate their functions at this stage. It would be a change that carries engineering risks and would take quite a bit of time in code, user interface, settings, and help files, all of which have been stable for years. And if the dome or the scope spontaneously disconnects why is having them separated better since the loss of either renders you unable to observe anyway.
    -- Bob

  7. #7
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    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Reilly View Post
    The UPBv2 is connected to the Pyxis via a USB to RJ-11 cable made by Optec. I don't use USB to Serial adapters if possible.
    Hi Steve,

    In reality, the Optec USB to RJ-12 cable is a USB to Serial adapter. The electronics are inside the USB connector. One other possibility might be that your new Optec cable has some compatibility with UPBv2. You should contact Evans at Pegasus Astro if your problem persists.

    Regards,
    Yves

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    me: Albuquerque scope: Mayhill, NM
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    Default

    Also look for sources of intermittent electrostatic noise, especially anything that might arc or spark, like a thermostat (this is the time of year those problems usually arise in the Northern Hemisphere) or dome motor controller or any non-solid-state relay.

    The USB port on my old Paramount MX+ started failing erratically when I installed a thermostat in my observatory laptop box. Got rid of the thermostat and the failures stopped immediately.
    measuring space rock colors and rotation rates, from Albuquerque NM

  9. #9
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    I've been able to reproduce the disconnects while watching. I start the system during the day and let it idle for an hour or two. The Optec application is always started with my startup script and is on screen. If I catch it at the right time I'll ask the rotator to move 5d and it may and if not it will disconnect and the mount immediately follows with APCC closing down as well. This happened last night after the startup script ran and it was later asked by me to rotate doing the 5d test. Maybe an hour after startup. When this happened I decided not to close and reboot everything but rather just reconnect the telescope which starts APCC and then connects using the ASCOM driver. I can't swear to it but I don't think I closed and restarted the rotator as it still showed connected. But was able to image the rest of the night. That being one object so only the initial image being plate solved and then the 180d rotation after crossing the meridian. If I had a video of the event you'd see the rotator error (disconnect) followed quickly by the mount disconnecting and APCC closing.

    I did make a change yesterday afternoon before startup by changing the rotator connection to a direct one to the computer by using a USB extender and the new cable (RJ-11 to USB) and the same thing happened. To eliminate the new cable (RJ-11 to USB) I'll change back to the original RJ-11 to Serial which connects to the computer and see if these event change at all. What is a bigger mystery to me is the mount disconnect and what causes this as the mount doesn't care if the rotator is connected or not from a connection standpoint. The point here being that by disconnecting the mount the dome is still wide open and no longer able to be closed via the weather script. That is the more pressing part of this as I see it. Why is a rotator disconnection causing a problem with a mount connection which is by a direct LAN cable from the AP CP4 control box directly to the computer's 2nd LAN port? Under normal circumstances I can connect/disconnect the rotator all day long without ill affect on the mount connection yet when this happens it takes out both......

    The weather appears to be non-imaging for the next few days so maybe Monday I'll have better luck with further testing.
    Steve
    http://www.astral-imaging.com

    Scottsville, Virginia
    ACP Expert
    AP1200GTO
    Tak EM200
    AP 92mm Stowaway
    OGS 12.5" RC
    TAK FSQ-106ED
    STL-11000M/CF8
    ST10XME/CFW8
    Pyxis 3" Rotator
    Starlight Xpress UltraStar Guider
    MMOGA
    12' Astro Haven Dome

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    Default

    Hi Steve,

    You always tell us about 2nd LAN port. Is your 1st LAN port also connected? If yes, to what exactly? Are you sure that both of your LAN ports are not bridged at all? By bridged, I mean creating a software bridge between both ports.

    I know I already ask some of these questions but really need to get a better point of view of understanding if I would help you a bit with your problem.

    Regards,
    Yves

 

 

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