I thought that I would give all who commented on this topic a current update.
But, before getting to that, I wanted to let everyone of interest know that an appeal for help with this problem that was directed to the ASCOM-Talk user group on Yahoo never even received a single response. Unfortunately, no help was forthcoming from that source. I do not know why they were so unresponsive.
On the other hand, in addition to the the kind assistance received from CNers here, I received almost immediate and excellent help from iOptron's Customer Service Department. They were most responsive and helpful. Their help is greatly appreciated - Cudos to iOptron!
Now for the update:
I have two (2) laptop computers - a HP 6730s running WIN 10 and a Dell Inspiron 6400 running WIN XP Professional (but not connected to the Internet since Microsoft stopped supporting that operating system). I also use a RS232-USB converter to connect the mount to both computers. The converter I use is exactly the same converter that I successfully used with my iOptron ZEQ25-GT mount and that worked flawlessly over time. It was a unit with chipset recommended by iOptron in the ZEQ25 manual. It came with a software disc with the appropriate drivers.
After experiencing a continuing string of failures to connect the IEQ45-PRO mount to the HP 6730s laptop running WIN 10, I decided to switch over to the Dell laptop running XP as it was used in the past to successfully connect with my iOptron ZEQ25-GT mount under the ASCOM platform. One thing I picked up from reading other posts on similar problems + a single line item in the IEQ45-PRO manual is that the mount has to have the latest version of firmware installed. I checked the existing firmware version in the menu on the hand controller/paddle and realized that the firmware needed to be updated. Due to the fact that I had used the Dell laptop in the past to upgrade the firmware for the ZEQ25-GT mount via its hand controller connected to a desktop computer running WIN8.1 & the existing RS232-USB converter, I felt that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to accomplish this same task with the IEQ45-PRO mount. Now, due to the fact that the Dell laptop is not connected to the Internet, I downloaded the current firmware files+ iOptron's Firmware Update Utility using the HP Laptop and then transferred the respective files to the Dell laptop via a USB stick.
One thing about WIN XP is that, besides being one of the more stable operating systems ever developed by Microsoft, one can go to the device manager and quickly find the COM (Ports & LPT) feature and find the number of the COM port to which the RS232-USB is connected. In this case it was COM6. I was then able to open the Firmware Update Utility, select the firmware file for the hand controller, the main board, and the RA & Dec Boards, respectively, select the correct COM port and upload the firmware. Success! I was able to confirm that the mount's firmware was successfully updated to the most recent version.
With the latest version of the ASCOM platform and iOptron's Commander loaded onto the Dell laptop, I opened the iOptron Commander and selected COM6. Same error message as before - no connection. However, I soon realized that I had connected the RS232-USB connector to the hand controller and not to the RS232 port on the mount as was recommended by AntMan1 and by iOptron's Customer Service Tech. After making the right connection, i.e., the RS232 port on the mount, and then opening iOptron Commander, selecting COM6 - Walla! Connection confirmed. It was a pleasure to see the mount react as I controlled it using the command console on the computer.
So, I am back in business! As I did in the past with the iOptron ZEQ25-GT - I run 2 laptops side by side - the DELL XP runs my Carts du Ciel software and Phd2 for autoguiding and the HP with WIN10 is used for image acquisition with a QHY 183C Camera and Nebulosity 4.1 as my image acquisition software.
At this time I am still not able to make all this work with the HP computer running WIN10. The main problem with doing the same with WIN10 on the HP laptop is that WIN 10, for some odd reason known only by MICROSOFT itself, does not have the COM (Ports and LPT) feature in its device manager. In order to get that feature, the user has to create virtual COM ports - not an easy chore for most computer users.
After many days of research on the internet, I was finally able to create a communication port within the device manager in WIN 10. However, even after doing that, the HP computer still does not connect to the mount via the iOptron Commander software. I keep getting error messages (as noted in previous Emails). Changing the COM numbers does not help and I have been up and down the list several times.
iOptron considers this to be a mystery since they can make the appropriate connections in WIN10. I am still working with them to try to resolve this issue. If we succeed, I will publish another update here.
Thanks for all the help and advice received here. I hope this experience will help others who may have the same problem.
Bill in Montana