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USConverters serial WiFi adapter

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#26 Thrifty1

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 08:53 AM

I’m not great with wiring stuff but I also looked at the cable wiring for you. Here is what each end looks like when looking at it from the side where you can see the copper connectors and the end pointed up with cable hanging below it. 

 

wider end from left to right:  empty-black-red-green-yellow-empty

 

Narrower end from left to right:  yellow-green-red- black


Edited by Thrifty1, 11 August 2018 - 09:19 AM.

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#27 EdIII

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 09:57 AM

Our wiring is the same except that the yellow and green wires do a switch inside my connector. That is to be expected with one transmitting and one receiving. The DTE switch reverses those wires as needed. It can be wired either way and should work with the proper switch position.

 

That clears up another possible variable.

 

I checked again. My settings are the same as yours. So, I suppose next step is to wait on parts and then make a cable. If that doesn’t work, I will try to download SkySafari 5. 

 

Yesterday, I checked to be sure the “phone” connector was making contact in the handset and it is.

 

I know you spent some time on that, so thank you again.

 

Ed



#28 Thrifty1

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 10:36 AM

Good luck Ed - hope you can get it working with your new parts coming. 

 

Randy



#29 EdIII

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 09:56 PM

Looks like I am out of business for a while. I put the WiFi project aside and took the scope out for some viewing. Everything seemed fine and then on a GOTO, the scope declination motor did not function (silence). So, I have to go into the scope and see if it is something that can be repaired. Parts are getting difficult to find.

 

Thanks to all for the assistance. I’ll be back when I get the scope going again.

 

Ed



#30 Thrifty1

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 06:23 AM

Hope it is not too difficult of a fix. I know parts are tough to find. I had to rebuild the declination gear box in my ETX-105 when a couple of gears broke. Could not find a compound gear I needed so had to make my own. Bought 2 gears that made up the compound gear, did a little sanding so they were the right thickness and epoxied them together. Did that about 10 years ago and still working fine.
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#31 EdIII

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 07:32 AM

Looks like I dodged the bullet. Pulled the bottom off this morning and it was a delight to see a connection plug dropped down. I put it back and added a touch of silicone sealer to keep it from happening again. I am back in business. Glad I don’t have to make gears. I don’t think I could do that !!

 

Ed



#32 EdIII

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 06:40 PM

I purchased and tried Stella Access which says it is SkySafari 5. I made up a new cable and checked to be sure it had the same continuity as my old cable. Then I checked a web page and both of my cables are connected the same as the web page shows.

 

I tried ANOTHER AudioStar. It could be it doesn’t work with the Audiostar. I don’t have an Autostar for testing. I checked with US Converters about a converter swap and they are saying tests that we did show that would be a waste of time.

 

Edited to add: Tried SkySafari 6 on my iPhone 5.  No change.

 

Looks like I have come to the end of the line.

 

Thanks to all for your assistance.

 

Ed


Edited by EdIII, 13 August 2018 - 09:00 PM.


#33 Thrifty1

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 07:36 AM

Ed - sorry you could not get this to work. Sounds like it may be an AudioStar issue - I have no experience with the AudioStar unfortunately.

I’m surprised it doesn’t work as the other WiFi adapters (Stella Access and SkyFi) seem to work with the AudioStar controller.

Edited by Thrifty1, 14 August 2018 - 07:41 AM.


#34 Thrifty1

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 07:47 AM

The only thing I could find this morning online was a person having a similar issue with the SkyFi and AudioStar. His issue was the cables but I think you already tried this.

https://support.simu...-Cable-Read-On-
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#35 EdIII

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 08:38 AM

Thank you. I did a double take at this one because it is different from mine !! After studying, I have come to the conclusion that the wiring in that diagram is correct, but the RS232 numbers are backwards. All of the information that I have shows pins 2 and 3 as receive/transmit and 5 as ground. If I am seeing this wrong, that would be important. Does anyone see it differently from what I am seeing?

 

Ed



#36 bmr528

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 05:00 PM

https://support.simu...-Cable-Read-On-

 

Holy smokes,, That diagram looks nothing like I remember db9  I am with explorer 1 on the pinouts,, I am going to get mine out and test it with my meter.

 

djl



#37 bmr528

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 05:28 PM

OK here's what I have

 

On the DB nine connectot you can see the pin numbers on the bottom, There darn small but they are there.

 

On my cable the colors are flipped when to connectors are held side by side.

 

If you hold the jack as if you were going to plug it into the wall ( release tab down ):

 

Pin 2 on the DB9 goes to pin number 3  on the jack ( counting left to right )

 

Pin 3 on DB 9 goes to pin 4 on the jack ( Again left to right )

 

Pin 5 on DB9 goes to pin 1 on Jack.

 

the only thing thatt may be reversed would be  pins 2 & 3 on the BD9 and your DTE switch should handle that

 

Thats how mine is setup

 

djl


Edited by bmr528, 14 August 2018 - 05:29 PM.

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#38 EdIII

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 06:26 PM

bmr.........I have the same thing you have which seems to confirm that the DB9 depicted in the diagram is numbered wrong.

 

Ed



#39 EdIII

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 10:03 AM

Well, I have WiFi working on my scope. I purchased Meade Stella. I used the same software, same cables. The only thing different was the exchange of the wifi units. It took less than 3 minutes to configure the IP, port and check to be sure the scope was listed properly (it was).  Almost all other settings remained the same. It worked first try. I think my original unit must have had a defect or incompatibility. 

 

Thanks for the assistance from everyone. It’s great to know of the knowledgeable backup available here.

 

Ed



#40 bmr528

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 02:37 PM

Just goes to show, sometimes the cheaper is not always the better... I have the stella also, I had to replace the cable as it stopped working one evening..boy, I was sure glad it was only the cable. I would sure hate to have to buy another Stella...

djl
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#41 Thrifty1

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:27 AM

Ed - glad you have a WiFi setup working. It is frustrating the other one didn’t work for you as I’ve had no problems with mine. Must be something with the AudioStar versus the AutoStar.
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#42 Brian Engel

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 09:32 PM

Sorry to resurrect this thread from the dead but this seems to the most appropriate place to ask about this.

 

Got a LX90 Audiostar and one of these us converters wifi modules. Just wondering if anyone out there has had any luck getting it to work?

 

I'm fighting the same problem with sky safari connecting to the scope saying "sky safari can make a wireless connection to the scope but the scope isn't responding". Tried a several of the Meade scope profiles with no luck. 

 

I am using the official meade 505 cable kit and I am able to connect to the scope wired (USB->RS232). Updated the firmware etc... via the wired connection. 



#43 Thrifty1

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 11:13 PM

Hi Brian - I have been using mine this week and trying different things to see what the limitations are. I typically use the serial WiFi adapter to run SkySafari 5 Pro from my iPhone or iPad when sitting at my telescope.

I was trying it further away this week / using it inside while the scope was outside. The WiFi connection dropped more frequently once I was behind a window / wall. I checked the specs and it uses a 2db antenna. I’ve ordered a 9db antenna to see if that gives me more reliability when inside and the scope is outside

I also found my connection was more stable when I had my extension cord with a power strip powering the scope and powering the WiFi adapter. It was less stable when I ran the WiFi adapter off a USB battery pack.

For your particular problem, it sounds like what happens if I have not aligned the scope first using the handbox controller that came with the scope.

Here are my suggestions:
- while trying to get it to work / troubleshoot, be close to the scope.
- it sounds like you can connect to the WiFi adapter network,
yes? That means there may be some setting in the adapter settings or Sky Safari settings that are not correct. Key things are the correct port number, IP address, baud rate.

Let me know if you have any specific setting questions and I can check mine. I believe I had posted earlier in this thread a lot of my connection settings.

Edited by Thrifty1, 20 December 2018 - 11:13 PM.


#44 Thrifty1

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 11:16 PM

Brian - I missed in your post that you had the AudioStar vs the AutoStar. That may be the problem as AudioStar may not be supported for some reason.

#45 Brian Engel

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 12:58 PM

Update:

 

So I've done some pretty in depth diagnostics and have a theory as to what the problem is. 

 

What I've done is I took SkySafari out of the loop. I connected up the us converters device to the audiostar with the meade 505 standard 4 to 6 pin cable + the RS232 "dongle" they provide.  

 

*** NOTE *** I have determined you must have the switch on the device set to "DTE" with this setup. 

 

Next I connected my computer via wifi to the device using the "AXNR2W" config utility they provide to create a virtual com port. Then I used putty to connect to that com port and send commands to the scope. 

 

Using the protocol guide here: https://www.meade.co...col_2010-10.pdf, I am able to send commands to the telescope AND get responses back.  For example, one of the 1st commands skysafari sends to the scope is "get declination" (I know this because I sniffed the command the software was sending plus it is in the log files you turn on). So if I send in the very same command it sends back something like 20:43:16# 

 

So, I can confirm the us converters device IS working with the scope without a doubt. 

 

One thing I've noted is if the "transmitter timer" is set too high, skysafari times out (error code -13) on all commands. What this seems to control is how quick the usconverters device will return back a response to a command. e.g. I set it to 2500ms and expectedly, it takes about 2.5 seconds for a response (in putty).... I set it to 50ms and it is pretty much instantaneous. 

 

I thought ah ha! I found the problem... so I set the timer value to 100ms, 50ms and even 10ms (min)... good news now is skysafari is getting responses to most commands - but not all (according to its log files). Before I lowered this value, skysafari wasn't logging *any* responses.  Seems if even one command fails/timesout it will give you that dreaded error message. 

 

Not sure what to do here... I will try to see if skysafari can increase their timeout. Kind of feel like it is a software problem at this point. I am able to send commands and get quick responses back via the usconverters device to the telescope.... but that might not be quick enough for skysafari. 



#46 Thrifty1

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 06:26 PM

Mine was set for 100ms. I dropped it to 50ms and raised it to 150ms and both times it did not connect. Put it back to 100ms and it connected. I did not have time to try it a 2nd time as I’m heading out to dinner. I’ll try changing the timer settings again later to see if it does not connect again.

#47 Brian Engel

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 04:43 PM

I'm finding my audiostar flaky to respond to commands even with just a direct rs-232 connection - with skysafari completely out of the loop. You send in a command like "GD" (get declination) and sometimes you don't get a response. It seems, anecdotally, that this happens most frequently on the 1st command you send in when the serial connection opened. 

 

It would be nice if sky safari offered configurable timeout and would retry a command one time if it fails before giving up (maybe does already, don't know). 

 

Got a question open over in the sky safari dev group. Hopefully I will get a response after Christmas/Holidays. 



#48 Thrifty1

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 08:02 AM

Update on swapping out the original antenna (2db) for a higher gain antenna (9db).  This does help extend the range and I was able to operate the scope outside while I was inside with my phone. 

 

I tried this with both my ETX-105 and my LX200R.  One difference I noticed was if the connection was lost with the ETX while I was slewing, it would continue to slew and I had to quickly cut the power to the scope before it hit a hard stop.  The LX200R would just stop if the connection was lost.  

 

This is why I always have an "emergency" plan when using a wifi controller.  I have the scope plugged into an extension cord with a power strip near me that I can turn off to cut power.  Or I use a remote control electric plug I can quickly hit the power off button.  



#49 Stone Mason

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:48 AM

I recently purchased off of Ebay a HF2211 wifi to serial adapter.  HF-2211 Serial port server ModbusTCP/RTU interchange RS422/232/485 to WiFi model

Item price $36.22  Item number 352199607012  it is similar to all the rest of the ones mentioned but it is the cheapest one that I found and it includes a nice sized antenna. 

I dinked around with it for a while and got it to work in Access Point mode.  I thought that these images of the full settings that I used for it may come in handy for anyone else trying to do the same thing.  My example is for a Meade ETX telescope on the Iphone.  There is an iot bit of software that you will need to download from the HF2211 site called IOT service.  That will make it easier for you to do the full comparison.  9600 Baud is also the trick too, as mentioned earlier, so don't for get to clock down the speed.

 

Cheers,

 

hf2211 - what it looks like
Album: HF2211 - Like SkyFi
3 images
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#50 rferrante

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:42 AM

That unit retails for $70.00 at IOTMall so you got a good deal!




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