I decided that this summer is the time to do some software updates, so that I'm somewhat more current, and hopefully won't find myself eventually backed into a corner with some unsupported versions of software.

Recently I did the following:

- Updated ACP to the latest version. (V7.2a production release - somehow I had been running a pre-production release for more than a year...)
- Updated MaximDL from 5.23 to 6.08

So far, so good. I was able to transfer my settings from Maxim v5 to v6 with little difficulty, and had at least one good night of data with that setup, including successful autoguiding. That latter statement is key - autoguiding was definitely working with ACP + Maxim 6 + TheSky6.

Now the tricky part. I have been using TheSky6 since our telescope was installed about 5 years ago (an RCOS 24-inch, with modified Bisque TCS that has to be controlled by TheSky). TheSky6 is of course pretty ancient, so I've been thinking for a while that I really ought to update to TheSkyX. So a few days ago I took the plunge, and installed TheSkyX. All seemed fine - I was able to connect to the telescope from TheSkyX, and I changed ACP settings in the ASCOM dialog for "TheSky-controlled telescope" to tell it I was using TheSkyX rather than TheSky6.

Last night was the first clear night with the new installation, and - it didn't go so well. ACP could definitely talk to the telescope via TheSkyX, and had no problem slewing to the desired target; also did an offset Autofocus via FocusMax, and returned to the main field just fine. So far, so good. However, guiding didn't work, despite the MaximDL guiding settings being exactly the same as they were in working with TheSky6 and ACP. Guiding failed in the sense that guide corrections appeared not to be getting communicated to the telescope correctly - the guide star would eventually just drift off the chip, despite MaximDL supposedly sending corrections.

I can think of two things I (maybe) should try. (Unfortunately I couldn't think of them at 2 AM when it was clear outside... As I've passed age 50 I definitely don't function as well as I used to on not enough sleep.)

1. I could update the ASCOM driver for TheSky-controlled telescope. The ASCOM chooser tells me I have version 5.2.10. It looks like Bisque has an updated version, though it's different enough now that it seems like version numbers are directly comparable - seems like a whole new beast. But digging through the Bisque site, it looks like it's maybe version 6.x rather than the 5.x series? So - should I install this?

2. I could (should?) change my MaximDL settings for guiding. I have a pickoff camera (MegaMOAG + Lodestar) that is controlled by Maxim and sends guide commands to the telescope, rather than guider relays. The telescope connection is Maxim is via ACP's telescope hub, not directly to TheSky. I see in the docs that Bob recommends that the "Control Via" be set to "ASCOM direct" rather than "Telescope". I've had the latter settings for years and it has worked fine, but maybe it's exacerbating the problem? Or maybe the difference between "Telescope" and "ASCOM direct" is only important for TheSkyX?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts about this. Unfortunately things look cloudy for the next two nights, but maybe we'll get a few holes in the clouds to try to test this out.