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help: Losmandy Gemini/Maxim DL communication issue

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#1 revans

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 09:47 AM

Hi all,

I'm trying to get my Losmandy Gemini mount talking to Maxim DL. I've got the com port to the right port number and its set for 9600 baud, 8 bit etc. (standard settings... but I don't see any listed in the Maxim DL manual).

When under setup I select telescope control (Gemini mount) and press connect the dec axis starts endlessly slewing and a telescope control error box appears that says nothing is recognized attached to the com port.

This makes no sense to me, but I must be doing something wrong.

This happens when the connector which looks like a phone jack is inserted into the handbox jack on the Gemini box. The other end goes to a laptop USB port via a serial jack.

Hopefully someone will know what I'm doing wrong...

Rick

#2 rsbfoto

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 09:54 AM

Hi,

Are you sure Gemini mount is the same thning as a Losmandy Gemini ?

If there is a possibility to connect via a LX200 protocol try that and see what happens.

I can test it today in the afternoon if you want. I have a GM-8 with Gemini and that should be the same thing ...

#3 Paul K

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 10:04 AM

Rick, try plugging in the telephone jack end into the RS-232 port on Gemini, that's where a serial connection from your PC belongs.

Regards,

-Paul

This happens when the connector which looks like a phone jack is inserted into the handbox jack on the Gemini box. The other end goes to a laptop USB port via a serial jack.



#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 10:08 AM

This happens when the connector which looks like a phone jack is inserted into the handbox jack on the Gemini box. The other end goes to a laptop USB port via a serial jack.


The correct connector on the gemini box is labeled RS-232. I'm not sure what is meant by "a laptop USB port via a serial jack" but what is required there is a USB-to-serial converter, which may not be what you have.

#5 revans

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 01:28 PM

Ah... looks like I got the two ends of the connecting cord between the USB/serial converter to the RS232 plug in on the Gemini reversed some how. One appears to be bigger than the other. Now the plug fits into the RS232 slot and I'm hoping for the best...

#6 jrcrilly

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 01:38 PM

The phone jack plugged into the autoguider slot, the feature plug, and the handcontroller plug without any problem but appeared to be too large for the RS232 when I tried this earlier today.


That means it's not the right cable.

#7 revans

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 02:19 PM

OK... the cable problem is solved but it still says theres nothing attached to the com port.

However... with the same exact setup (except a different cable plugged into the USB/serial converter unique to Takahashi)... Maxim DL talks just fine to my Tak EM-200mount.

When I choose the Gemini type mount option and use the phone jack type cables to connect to the RS232 port on the Gemini mount, Maxim DL says I'm not connected to anyting. Same thing when I choose the LX200 type telescope mount. But... when I choose the POTH (plain old telescope) it appears to be recognized.

I'm not sure what is going on... my version of Maxim DL is from 2006... maybe a patch is needed for a Gemini mount bought only a couple of months ago?

#8 revans

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:00 PM

Here is a little more info that might help unravel the problem...

I used the same phone jack connector from the USB/serial converter and was able to run my LXD75 mount via Maxim DL.

But... although I can now control both my EM-200 mount aned my LXD75 mount with Maxim DL... I still cannot get it to recognize my Losmandy Gemini mount.

I'm not sure... but I think this means I need to download a patch for the Gemini since my version of Maxim DL is four years old and maybe things have changed since then???

Any thoughts?

Rick

#9 jrcrilly

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:08 PM

Here is a little more info that might help unravel the problem...

I used the same phone jack connector from the USB/serial converter and was able to run my LXD75 mount via Maxim DL.


Does the Gemini happen to use the same pinout as Meade? I know that nobody else does (Celestron, Orion, etc.).

#10 Bob Moore

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:32 PM

I have the same thing going on with my G11. I had to send it to Losmandy for repair when it came back it had an L4 up grade and now I can't connect the compute, And a buddy sent his out after he got hit by lightning and his came back with an L$ chip and now he can't connect. .... HUMMmmm I wounder if this has to do with the L4 chips? I think I'll call losmandy and see what they say ....1 ring-a-ding 2 ring-a-ding ........

Bob

#11 revans

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:36 PM

Very good point.... the phone jack type plug came with the Meade Autostar Stuite I bought a few years ago. Likely there are different pin settings between it and the G11 Gemini. Also, just in case, I wrote to tech support at Maxim DL to ask if I did need a patch for the new G11 Gemini as my version of their software is old now.

If I assume that there is a pin difference between the Meade and the Gemini, is my only recourse to write to Losmandy and ask for a phone jack type connector cable? Nothing like that came with the mount or Gemini system.

#12 Bob Moore

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:39 PM

Made the call buy got their voice mail ... Told them what was going on and asked Jim to call me back. If and when I'll let you know!!

Bob

#13 Charlie Hein

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:59 PM

I agree with John - the RS-232 pinout must be exact. You can buy the proper cable from someone like OPT or you can build one yourself if you're so inclined. If you decide to go this route you most likely will need a DB-9 connector but you can also see a DB-25 used for this depending on your serial port. You can buy this at your local Radio Shack. The easiest way to get the actual cable is to use a long telephone handset cord, which you might also be able to get from The Shack. Note the colors of the wires inside one of the connectors on this cable - holding the connector so that the contacts are facing you, pin 1 is on the left. Cut the other end off and strip back the outside sheath of the cord to reveal the colored wires inside. To build a null modem cable, connect the pins as follows:
Gemini RJ22     DB9                    DB25
Pin 1              Not Connected     Not Connected
Pin 2 (GND)     Pin 5 (GND)          Pin 7 (GND)
Pin 3 (RxD)      Pin 3 (TxD)          Pin 2 (TxD)
Pin 4 (TxD)      Pin 2 (RxD)          Pin 3 (RxD)
Hope this helps.

Charlie

#14 revans

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 04:30 PM

Thanks very much for the link, since I'm all thumbs with anything electrical it makes sense to just order the right cable. I had foolishly thought that these cables met some universal standard used by all telescope/mount manufacturers... but this does not appear to be the case.

I suspect my problem is just needing the right cable, and I hope it doesn't involve the L4 chip or whatever as was mentioned in a recent post to this thread :question:

#15 rsbfoto

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:54 AM

Hi,

I tested it here and yes it works without problem. Looks like others said that it is your cable.

In order to save you a disappointment before you try to manage the Losmandy Gemini directly from MaximDL I would advice you to play a good while with the latest Gemini driver and play with it connecting and disconnecting to the mount several times as well as study very well the existing Gemini driver.

The existing Gemini driver has the bad habit of erasing all previous set or achieved settings and so you have to start all over again every time you connect to it.

The existing Gemini driver does not read the Gemini but does automatically send the default setting to the Gemini.

That is the reason why I do not use ASCOM to control my Losmandy mounts.

The latest driver is something with ending ....27

Good Luck

#16 revans

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:10 PM

Rainer,

Thanks for doing the testing... I've now ordered the necessary cable and it should arrive in a week or two. Meanwhile I'm trying to learn Maxim DL better using my LXD75 mount tonight. At least I can try to see if my Lumenera can be used as an autoguider or if I have to buy the Meade DSI.

Rick






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