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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: ourobouros2k2]
      #5692889 - 02/21/13 02:44 PM

I'd go for an FTDI or Edgeport adaptor.
I have a Prolific adapto and it's got some strange foibles, while it's fine with a short RS232 cable with a longer RS232 cable it's very unreliable. Also it's OK connected directly to my laptop but if I go through an active extension and a hub it's OK with the ASCOM driver but PECTool doesn't work.

In all cases the FTDI and Edgeport adaptors just work.

Chris


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: highertheflyer]
      #5692992 - 02/21/13 03:54 PM

I basically agree, but it is what it is.

Do yourself a favor and get a Keyspan USB-serial adapter.

http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/model.cfm?txtSeriesID=849&txtModelID...

Regards,

Jim


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zerro1
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: highertheflyer]
      #5693580 - 02/21/13 09:14 PM

Quote:

Why oh why are the telescope companies so enamored with serial controllers?
I have been plagued with their glitches and crashes for years as I try to connect.
To load a Serial to USB controlling a telescope mount can easily become a nightmare, so come on mount manufactures...!!!!!.
Please, please come up with updates that will allow us to work with newer computers and not get entangled with com port troubles and the errors that follow.
Thank you so much for your understanding.
Jim



Wich is why I keep using my Panasonic Toughbooks CF-74 and CF-52 have native DB9/RS232 ports. I think the latest CF-52's are running the i5 cpu. They cost but I don't have adapter failures. They can be picked up on the used market for pretty cheap. They are fairly rugged so outdoor work is not an issue. The CF-52 has 4 X USB and the COM port. the CF-74 has 2 X USB and the COM port..

CF-52


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: zerro1]
      #5693608 - 02/21/13 09:35 PM

Robert, what laptop are you using to drive your Quantix? there aren't many laptops with docks big enough to hold a PCI card... the Quantix card is full-height right?

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zerro1
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5693830 - 02/22/13 12:11 AM

I have a Dell D630 C2D with the PCI expansion dock for that camera, but I only use the Dell and the Quantix at home or my friends place in Winthrop. When I head out to "really dark" sky's I take the toughbooks and my QHY's.

The D630 has the serial port as well. I think I paid $150 for the Dell and $20 for the dock. Using the Serial Port free's up the USB port and I never have a connectivity problem with either with EQMOD on my Atlas or my LXD75's.

The toughbooks have better battery life though, so I can refrain from powering the laptop most of the time.


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freestar8n
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/12/07

Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5694283 - 02/22/13 09:35 AM

I also had good luck with Keyspan.

When I first went to 64-bit win7pro, I had horrible blue screen crashes with my HP laptop using prolific usb2serial. I found pointers on the web that the issue involved particular motherboards combined with the drivers to cause the blue screen - so not all laptops had this problem. Keyspan were more expensive, but they solved it about 98%. I still get very rare blue screens associated with astronomy - but I now see a strong correlation with using SkyX. I don't know how there would be a connection - but I do have an impression there is one - so I avoid SkyX during imaging sessions.

Anyway - I also recommend keyspan. They come with good software for monitoring the ports - etc.

Frank


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5694297 - 02/22/13 09:42 AM

This is not based on statistics, but the way I see it. MOST users don't need the extra range that serial connections provide. Therefore, having USB or Ethernet makes things easier for most users. Doesn't hurt of mount manufacturers would just offer both serial connection and one of the newer connection types.

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5694333 - 02/22/13 09:57 AM

Quote:

Therefore, having USB or Ethernet makes things easier for most users.



I'd be psyched if they'd use Ethernet instead of USB. Ethernet can go 100m in a single copper span and kilometers with fiber. Then it can be repeated with a switch, etc.


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5694365 - 02/22/13 10:11 AM

Gemini 2 offers all three, I figure it could be rather popular once fully mature

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5694376 - 02/22/13 10:19 AM

RS232 or Ethernet. USB looks good superficially but experience shows it to be a nightmare of conflicting hardware, operating systems and drivers. With USB in a scope if the scope manufacturer doesn't support your computer or OS you are stuck. Look as how long it took to get the DSI cameras to have support for Vista or XP, especially 64 bits.

Chris


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5694513 - 02/22/13 11:43 AM

USB's worked fine for me for years, fine on a huge selection of devices outside this hobby as well. Serial worked but there were issues on how who implemented what. Ethernet, Serial, whatever the hardware conx / interconx - when you want to make stuff work there's software or at least firmware to handle the protocol / flavor. This stuff that goes on about 'software, drivers, compatability' makes me wonder - whatever the gadget/widget, code has always been needed and it's never perfect for use outside what the original intention was. Nothing is foolproof or perfect, but over time depending on what you need done there has been available. Saying something is clumsy or doesn't work well can be said about anything if you want, making it work with the means at hand for what you need is where it's at.

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orlyandico
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5694735 - 02/22/13 01:26 PM

Robert, good to know. I'm heading down the same route. Snagged a D400 for $75 locally. I'll go pick it up in a few days. Will have to troll ebay for the dock.

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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5695854 - 02/22/13 11:18 PM

Quote:

Serial will be around for a long time as long as there is high voltage machines requiring data communication.. Serial is much easier at controlling isolation between the devices.. Serial is also the preferred form of communications when motors are present.




Yeah...RS422 or RS485, not 232!


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5695868 - 02/22/13 11:25 PM

I think that the misconception that USB is troublesome comes from the earlier versions of windows that support it. I remember with Windows 95 and 98 when they introduced plug and pray. With modern operating systems like XP, Vista & Windows 7. USB works very well with no issues. All USB issues with windows Vista where to do with lack of availability of drivers not the USB standard itself. If you had the driver it worked.

Meade DSI had difficulty because Meade decided not to be open about how the camera works. All drivers you find in other software such as MaximDL where written without support from Meade (At least that is how I remember it).


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niteman1946
sage


Reged: 02/16/08

Loc: Fort Worth, TX
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5696473 - 02/23/13 12:04 PM

One more plus for Keyspan. I had been using a Belkin adapter for three years with no problems on my XP to classic Meade. Equipment upgrade required that I move from Ascom 5a to 6spi. At that point the computer and scope would no longer talk. Tried a Vista box with no luck.
I saw the Keyspan recommended as a fix, and that proved to be true. It worked on the XP (now retired) and its replacement the Vista.


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budman1961
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: niteman1946]
      #5696505 - 02/23/13 12:25 PM

+1 for Keyspan, for me on PC and OSX, they just work all the time, period. I did have an FTDI based units also, but windows kept re-assigning the port numbers at random. An inconvenience at most.

Andy


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Paul G
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: budman1961]
      #5696583 - 02/23/13 01:13 PM

+1 for Keyspan here, too.

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korborh
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5696653 - 02/23/13 01:53 PM

Another one for keyspan....have worked perfectly for me.

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DaveJ
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/07/05

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: korborh]
      #5696850 - 02/23/13 03:40 PM

Quote:

Another one for keyspan....have worked perfectly for me.




OK, since we're piling on, I'll add another +1 to the heap. I've been using mine for five years on multiple boxes running multiple OSs talking to multiple devices without one singe glitch. It just works time and time again.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: This Miserable Mess with DB9 Serial and Computers? new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5697633 - 02/24/13 12:20 AM

I use 5 keyspans.. no issue here.. Only issue is when using cheap hub... use a hub with an NEC chip in it..

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