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Celestron 5.0.29 Unified Driver hangs PEMPro

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#1 orlyandico

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

Using Windows XP, and ASCOM Platform 6SP1.

ASCOM works fine for other things (talking to my Littlefoot mount controller, talking to my GTO CP3) so I'm sure it's not ASCOM itself and it's not my USB to serial converter.

But when connecting PEMPro to my CGEM things get seriously screwed up. I can't get past step 1 in the calibration wizard.

Other folks have reported this problem, have even done Windows re-installs. But I have no information on someone getting it working..

#2 cn register 5

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

I'd love to be able to help, especially as I wrote the Celestron driver, but there's no information here that helps, all I know is that something went wrong.

You aren't the guy who reported the "unrecognised mount type 69" warning are you?

Chris

#3 orlyandico

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

nope...

I noticed that the celestron driver is "not responding" at times.

i've tried .29 .28 and now .23

seems its having trouble with my serial to USB converter. but this used to work a few years ago.. and the same serial to USB works fine with the AP ASCOM driver.

it connects, takes a long time though, sync'ing the PEC index also takes a long time.. i can't get through the calibration wizard..

the PECTool works fine though. talks serial directly.

is there some logfile for the Celestron ascom driver? or do i have to do some serial port redirect and sniff the serial port? (i deal with enough gnarly software in my day job, so i'm not really keen on this)

#4 orlyandico

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

also i'm not having any trouble with the chooser, or setting driver parameters, etc.

here's something else.. whatever the driver is doing, it screws up PEMPro's UI. the interface doesn't paint for prolonged periods of time.

if i select "show handpad" in the Celestron settings, the handpad doesn't paint properly either. it is really freezing up.

ah. and if i kill the celestron driver, PEMPro returns to life, and i can actually reconnect to the scope.

somebody else reported this exact same problem on the PEMPro forum about a year ago, but no update/resolution came about.

#5 cn register 5

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

There's a serial log file available - ASCOM Platform 6 Help - Tools and Features - serial tracing. Collect a log or two and send them to me. Some notes describing what you do and what you see, with times, will help because I can correlate them with the times in the log.

What you are describing is typical of a communication problem, some applications working, others not or having delays and unreliability.

I've got a Prolific USB to serial adaptor that's OK connected directly to the PC and using a short serial cable but with a longer serial cable it becomes very unreliable. It's fine with PECTool except if connected to the laptop via an extension and a hub, then it doesn't work.

With a FTDI or Edgeport adaptor everything is fine.

Chris

#6 orlyandico

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

hmm... i find it strange though that the usb serial port works fine with my AP. it's a Targus PA088UZ. dunno if that's a Prolific or FTDI but i do remember it wasn't cheap... :tonofbricks:

#7 cn register 5

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:29 PM

The PEMPro communication is very busy, for example it has the read the PEC curve from the mount, that's 88 or more command/response cycles. A communication delay or timeout will be much more apparent with it.

The delays and hangs are because the PEMPro UI thread is being blocked by the serial communication delays.

Chris

#8 Ray Gralak

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

Using Windows XP, and ASCOM Platform 6SP1.

ASCOM works fine for other things (talking to my Littlefoot mount controller, talking to my GTO CP3) so I'm sure it's not ASCOM itself and it's not my USB to serial converter.

But when connecting PEMPro to my CGEM things get seriously screwed up. I can't get past step 1 in the calibration wizard.

Other folks have reported this problem, have even done Windows re-installs. But I have no information on someone getting it working..

Have you tried capturing an ASCOM serial trace log? The FAQ tells you how to find the scripts to turn tracing on/off:

http://www.ascom-sta.../FAQs/Index.htm

Once you have the trace it should be easy to figure out which command is taking a long time.

-Ray

#9 orlyandico

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:53 PM

chris, I use the exact same setup (USB serial adapter, software, ASCOM platform) for uploading PEC curves to the AP. The AP has almost 1000 PEC cells so far more busy. I don't have this problem there..

also, it's not just the PEC upload that takes a long time. Even sync'ing the worm index (which I assume is just one command) takes a long time. I distinctly remember things were much faster about 1.5 years ago..

I will probably downgrade to the oldest 5.0.x Celestron driver i can find and see if the problem remains. i was able to upload the PEMPro PEC curve (took a long time, I left it for half an hour) and PECTool verified that the curve was successfully uploaded.

of course there have been other changes aside from the Celestron driver version - the motor board and handset firmware have been updated as well...

#10 cn register 5

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:15 AM

Orly, If you aren't prepared to provide Ray and I the information we need to be able to help there's nothing more we can do. Rhetoric will not solve anything.

As I've said several times your problems are characteristic of unreliable communication between the PC and the mount. It doesn't matter if it worked in the past. It doesn't matter if it works with some other system. This is no guide to how it will work now.

This is not a generic problem, it's to do with your system, almost certainly the USB to serial interface. The simplest solution is to replace it with one that works, I suggest the Edgeport or FTDI type, others say the Keyspan ones are reliable. I know the Prolific ones are not.

Chris

#11 orlyandico

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:31 AM

Chris, I've ordered a couple FTDI ones. Thanks.

#12 Ray Gralak

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:34 AM

also i'm not having any trouble with the chooser, or setting driver parameters, etc.

here's something else.. whatever the driver is doing, it screws up PEMPro's UI. the interface doesn't paint for prolonged periods of time.

if i select "show handpad" in the Celestron settings, the handpad doesn't paint properly either. it is really freezing up.

ah. and if i kill the celestron driver, PEMPro returns to life, and i can actually reconnect to the scope.

somebody else reported this exact same problem on the PEMPro forum about a year ago, but no update/resolution came about.

Orly, If you could capture a serial log of the command/responses when you connect via PEMPro then Chris and I could then try to figure out for sure what is causing this and try to provide a solution for you and other Celestron users.

Is there any chance you could do this? If it is not clear what you need to do contact me privately via email or a forum private message here.

Thanks,

-Ray

#13 orlyandico

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

hi Ray,
sure i can do that. it will take a couple weeks for the FTDI to arrive anyway so i have some motivation to see if this can be fixed..

#14 Ray Gralak

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

Also, I have a beta version of PEMPro I would like you to try to see if the behavior is any different. In that version if the Celestron PEC Index find function in the firmware takes longer than 1 minute a pop up error message will be displayed and PEMPro will continue. I may ultimately extend that timeout period if needed. In the version you have there is no timeout.

But before I give you a link to that I would like to wait until you post the zipped ASCOM log (please to the CCDWare/PEMPro web forum). I'll make sure Chris gets a copy if he is not monitoring that forum.

-Ray

#15 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

Not that it matters in the context of this thread but isn't there a 5.0.30 driver available now? I thought Chis posted it in the ASCOM talk yahoo group.

#16 orlyandico

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:30 AM

posted some logs on the pempro forum...

cloudy so no pempro logs, just the ascom logs. but it does seem that there's a very long time delay in the serial communication. i'm beginning to suspect my cable (because the AP came with a very swanky cable, and i have no issues there).

#17 cn register 5

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:39 AM

That's exactly what we need, thanks.

What I can see is that the first command or two are OK, but then things get strange.

The "P" commands to the motor controller all seem to take 4 seconds but don't generate a timeout - which I would expect - and may return valid data. Some commands directly to the HC seem OK but the "P" commands all take about 4 seconds and I'm not sure if they have actually worked.

What can we say?

The cable is OK. If it was bad we would see nothing.

I am less confident that it's the USB adaptor because some commands work.

There's no evidence that points at the ASCOM driver or PEMPro, we are getting bad data and that explains why we are having problems.

It looks more as if the problem is between the HC and the MC board but if that was the case I'd expect that you would be seeing all sorts of no response errors on the HC.

It would help to uncheck "Include Serial Trace Debug Information" because this includes a vast amount of low level diagnostic stuff that tends to hide what's going on.

It would be worth trying a simple scope control program such as CdC. This does far less and, apart from the start up, doesn't communicate with the MC directly at all.

It would also be worth trying NexRemote with and without hardware connected, going through the HC port. This uses the same communication method and if it's the HC to MC connection I would expect that to be bad.

#18 orlyandico

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

tried it with Maxim. Same thing, freezes for prolonged periods.

Same thing, 4 second gaps between commands.

I got rid of the extension cable from the mount to the HC (you know how Celestron is with their super short HC cable). Still same thing.

I'm on HC 4.21 (classic Nexstar) and motor board 6.17

I tried Nexremote before (when i was having runaway slews and thought i had problems with my HC) direct to the mount, that worked fine.

Here's the thing - I don't get any error 17 or anything like that. The mount works as expected...

logs here - https://dl.dropbox.c...3-01-27-New.zip

(no more debugging details)

#19 cn register 5

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

Thanks again,
The time taken seems to vary according to the command, commands that don't need to check anything on the MC board return almost instantly while those that need to send a message to the MC board take 4 seconds.

I'm not sure what this could be. If it was a problem with the serial communication generally it would affect everything. If it was with the HC to MC communication the HC wouldn't work. I've made enquiries but it will take some time to hear anything more.

Chris

#20 cn register 5

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:54 AM

I got some feedback, noise on the internal communications bus could cause this, it does retries and this might mean that the HC may appear to work correctly.

Ground loops could be an issue, do you have anything other than the HC and the power supply connected? Such as an autoguide cable?

Try with nothing else connected to the mount, other than the HC and power.

Chris






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