I've been struggling with a serious issue for months. Can anyone suggest help?

I'm having trouble with ACP locking up when slaving an ObservaDome. With the dome connected to ACP via its driver, ACP locks up (sometimes, but not always) when I try to slew the telescope from within another program (eg TheSky, MaxIm, FocusMax) connected to ACP via the ACP telescope hub. Here's the setup:

MaxIM >>> >>> Telescope (RCOS 24 w/ProSeries Mount)
TheSky>>> >>> Dome (Observadome)

The lock up is fatal, I can move the mouse and open other programs, nothing is hogging system resources, but ACP and everything attached to it are frozen and I have to use task manager to kill everything connected to ACP and restart ACP and connected applicatons from scratch.

I can slew the telescope with the dome slaved just fine using the ACP nudge or slew functions. The lock up behavior also vanishess if I disable the dome or use the dome simulator in place of the real dome. If I drop ACP out of the system and connect the dome and telescope via MaxIm everything works just fine. The behavior doesn't change if I use the real scope or the simulator, so the telescope and driver can probably be exonerated.

So the behavior seems somehow related to the interaction between ACP and the ObservaDome driver. A possilbe hint is that when I use MaxIm connected to ACP to slew the telescope with the dome slaved through ACP I get the following error

"MaxIm failed to start slew. Telescope driver reported Unkwown Error."

There are two really puzzling aspects to all this:

1.) It doesn't happen everytime I try to slew the scope with the dome slaved. Maybe on average every fifth time, but sometimes it locks up after 20 slews and sometimes on the first slew.

2.) I can slew directly from within ACP with the dome slaved, but programs connected to ACP via the ACP telescope hub encounter the lock up behavior when slewing the scope.

I should mention that the ObservaDome driver was custom-developed for me by RCOS, since ObservaDome does not provide an ASCOM driver for their dome automation system. So there could be something in the driver that's the problem, but it seems to work fine with other ASCOM compliant programs (like MaxIm), it's just the particular combination of slewing the scope through a program connected to the ACP Telescope Hub with the dome slaved via ACP.

Any suggestions?


Mark Williams