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  1. #1

    Default autofocus problem focusmax ?


    this morning after aborting a script we could not start again (even after restarting all the system properly). I was not at the telescope and I do not know all the details (sometimes an abort can do nasty things) but after a few test I noticed it is an autofocus problem.
    But the TCFS focuser seems ok. I can move it from focus max and I see the effect on the stars.

    But I cannot run an acquirestar sequence or focus sequence.
    It says acquire star not completed. And that's it.
    When I try a focus it says "enter focus start position" but nothing else happens.

    Is a link missing ? But the link with ACP, telescope and CCD seems ok (messages are received in ACP, I can take images through focusmax and I see the telescope info in the telescope dialog box of FocusMAx)

    When a script with an autofocus is ran the ACP error message says:

    script error (Tracking has been stoped)
    source focusMAx
    Busy with an operation at line 1173 column 25
    (see caption attached about this error seems to be link to the mount ?)

    I also see the same error as given by focusMAx , that acquire star is not completed.

    Checking the night log I noticed the autofocus failed during all the night. But the plans did not crash (like when I try to restart a plan), the observations went on after autofocus failed. But I cannot see much info why it failed. Maybe the seeing was really really bad (> 3") and it never was able focused (we had strong wind).
    So the problem was probably not caused by the abot but was already there at the start of the night (at the end of the fist autofocus of the fist target of the night - the start of the sequence seems ok).

    Any help ? I'm just puzzled because the TCFS seems ok on a hardware point of view.
    But maybe it is not, and this will need to be confirmed by someone one site.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2


    From other telescope info the seeing has been really crap during all night, explaining most probably the autofocus failure during the whole night.

    So the problem I have now is probably related to the abort. Some config lost ?
    I checked the hub etc. and all is ok and properly linked to ACP...


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mesa, AZ


    For some reason FocusMax started working and didn't finish. Please attach the log from this run (the entire log). I'd rather look at it before I make a more definitive statement. Times are interesting and they are now shown in the console.
    -- Bob

  4. #4


    hello bob,
    yes the ACP plan was aborted while focusmax was doing an acquisition for focussing;
    usually restarting the computer clean the problem, but it seems some focusmax file is corrupted because I just tried it with a plan again now and get :

    do rerquested autofocus
    starting focusmax acquire star autofocus
    enter focus
    start position
    acquire star not completed

    so the focusmax status is wrong; do you know which file il should reset or remove ?
    i can snd you the log but i do not see any important info there, the problem seems focusmax hanging in a wrong status;
    i have an mportant occultation by charon and pluto tonight, if focusmax still not working can do autofocus with acp only ? i never had such problem in 2 years so i have not expermented somethng else as i was happy wth acquire star fom focusmax in most cases;

    cheers and thx for you help,

  5. #5


    should I reinstall FocusMax ?
    can I save the config and V curve of FocusMax ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mesa, AZ


    You are not the first person who has reported this! I just ogt an exactly the same report from another user via telephone (is ACP broken? No.) First, post your FocusMax log (maybe part of the ACP log, but also available as a separate FocusMax log) to the FocusMax User Group on Yahoo!

    Now change ACP not to use AcquireStar until this problem is addressed and fixed. It is a FocusMax bug, maybe introduced in a recent release.
    -- Bob

  7. #7


    hello bob,
    i have not changed focusmax, i'm still using v3.4.30
    I put a post and got a rapid answer from steve with a few action (see below that might be useful to others) like removing the focuxmax entry from from ascom, but that did not work unfortunately. I'll take a bit more time to check maybe I miss one of the parameter as I had to enter them all again (in acquire star menu).
    error message is slightly different, saying acquire star autofocussing started but nothing happens again. after 2 min I aborted and got the usual message , aborted by focusmax and busy at line 11173
    PS: one of the request was to update ascom, I'm using v but as I'm using old ACP is that ok to update to v6 ?

    Hi Emmanuel--
    It may be a a corrupt registry or system.ini file.
    1) Verify that you have ASCOM Platform V6 SP installed
    2) Please go through your system.ini file and verify that there are no 'obvious'
    bad entries.
    3) Start FocusMax and review every text boxes to be sure they look 'right' (no
    strange entries)
    4) Open the ASCOM Profile Explorer and scroll through
    If everything looks OK then delete the FocusMax registry using the ASCOM Profile
    Explorer - a new registry will be created next time you start FocusMax. You will
    need to go through AcquireStar setup to reset your entries.
    Steve Brady

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mesa, AZ


    Yes, ACP 6 is fine. But that's not likely to solve anything. Neither is removing the registry info for FocusMax and letting it recreate it. The "system file"for FMx has ALL of its settings. Do you have one from when it was working. I suspect that you have a hardware problem and are trying to solve it by assuming that software has rotted out and somehow stopped working.
    -- Bob

  9. #9


    Hello bob,

    I'm still stuck with this issue and cannot find any hardware problem

    Here are 3 ACP logs from that night :

    - 041227 : first the plan that was aborted during the autofocus, you also note that autofocus failed before several times in the run , usually taking about 3minutes to fail, in most cases there are no detail why it failed (focusmax log too long ?), but in one case it is clear it was because the HDF was too high (and indeed seeing was very very bad that night). I found the same errors on all previous plans of the night.

    - 050202 : this plan was restarted right after the abort (doing nothing else). You may note that the sequence looks strange at the start, it looks like it was already doing an autofocus before starting the acquire star ? as I said in a previous post, usually when I abort a plan while focusmax does an autofocus, focusmax continues the procedure. my colleague did not stop focusmax itself. Could this coming because focusmax was still at work ? tha plan aborted by itself.

    - 051117 : then my colleagues has rebooted all the devices , that took about 10min then restarted a new plan. The error message is the one I get now (acquirestar not completed), focusmax stays hanging trying to acquire star but nothing happens, then that fails after a timeout.

    looks like focusmax is still busy with something ? i have changed registry in ascom and replaced the .ini file
    I guess I should install again focusmax ?

    any idea of tests to help to find the origin of the problem ?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Strongsville, OH


    Do you have the FocusMax logs? Alternately, you can have ACP capture the FM log in the ACP log. Either way, it seems the problem is inside FM, so I think we need to see the FM logs.




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