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NEW Explore Scientific EXOS-2 GT GoTo EQ Mount Firmware Update Cable

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#51 PatrickVt

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 10:58 PM

 

I'm not sure how much of it is actually working. It slews to object in both Stellarium and Worldwide telescope and follows the mount as i slew with hand controller. With Stellarium i downloaded Stellariumscope and use it as go between from computer to mount. I will take screen shot and upload for the settings in stellariumscope. Once the settings were right i hit the update stellarium button and it loaded the settings into stellarium under available telescopes. I have found that it seems to work every time if i start my mount with the cable disconnected from my hand controller and connected to my computer. Go through initialization and then connect the cable to hand controller. Then i fire up stellariumscope and make sure its saying the localhost ports are showing connected then start stellarium. Worldwide Telescope was much simpler to connect. Just went to telescope menu and selected driver under the setup button, hit connect and it was up and running. slews work, park button works, sync button works. directional buttons did not work. If the slews are accurate ill be happy with the 30$ spent.

 

 

 

This sounds to be exactly how I have attempted to use Stellarium with the EXOS-2GT including when to physically connect the handbox to the computer.  On the rare occasions, it works for a short while.  Most times, it simply won't work at all right from the get-go.  Other times, it works briefly but after a very short while (after one slew), Stellarium Scope crashes and drops out.  And, I get the same results on both of my computers... a Lenovo Ryzen desktop and a MS Surface tablet. 

 

Although I have not had time to touch any of this since early Friday afternoon, I have had far better success with Cartes du Ciel and Starry Night 7 Pro Plus.  Actually, using Starry Night 7 Pro Plus was impressive the little bit I used it.  I'm still familiarizing myself with both of those programs though.

 

I might have some time early this week to do some testing again.  However, most if not all of my time will be spent with Cartes Du Ciel and Starry Night 7 Pro Plus.  I had so many problems getting Stellarium and Stellarium Scope to simply run stable, nevermind effectively control my mount, that I doubt I will spend any more time on Stellarium.

 

I am glad to hear that others are still trying to work out the bugs. 

 

Patrick  : )


Edited by PatrickVt, 16 December 2018 - 10:59 PM.


#52 Typlan1

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 11:29 PM

I am going to get it out tomorrow night and see how it goes. So far no crashes. It does lock up when I switch from one program to another. Then I have to start over, back to home. Then turn off and back on and go through the setup again lol. It seems to be very involved and temperamental

#53 Rock22

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:52 AM

My hand controller still has glitches, but it worked fine last night for viewing comet Wirtanen. Tracks well when polar aligned. Had the stars near the comet in view for about an hour at least in my 180mm mak which has a very narrow FOV with the 100-deg 13mm.

Didn’t have a chance to use Cartes, but I will when I have a chance.
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#54 JOHN55

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:10 PM

Patrick it sounds like you might have a bad connection from computer to controller.



#55 PatrickVt

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:59 PM

Patrick it sounds like you might have a bad connection from computer to controller.

I was originally thinking along these lines with all the problems I was having with Stellarium and Stellarium Scope.  I have since tried Cartes du Ciel as well as Starry Night Pro Plus and both work just fine with the same cables and connections.  I still cannot get any sort of stability or consistency with Stellarium though.  When I go back to CDC or SN...  they work smoothly and seem quite stable.  

 

The problem appears to be lack of stability with Stellarium Scope with this particular ASCOM mount driver. 

 

Patrick 



#56 JOHN55

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 02:59 PM

Patrick VT  I would try reinstalling Stellarium Scope might be your problem.



#57 PatrickVt

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 09:56 AM

Patrick VT  I would try reinstalling Stellarium Scope might be your problem.

Thanks, I should have tried this quite a while ago.  I reinstalled Stellarium Scope and it seems to be working just fine now.  

 

After reinstalling, I started the POTH Hub....  then started Stellarium Scope connected to POTH Hub...  clicked the "Configure Stellarium" button...  then clicked to start Stellarium...  It started up with no problems.  Actually, even the indicator reticle was already on the Stellarium screen.  I slewed to about a half dozen targets and they all seemed to be in the correct section of sky (it is daytime and I'm indoors).  

 

Then I tried to connect Stellarium Scope directly without using POTH Hub...  connected Stellarium Scope to the Bresser driver...  clicked "Configure Stellarium" button...  then clicked to start Stellarium...  this time I had no reticle showing where the telescope was pointed.  I chose a target, clicked to slew....  the Scope reticle appeared immediately and slewed to the target.  I slewed to a few targets and it seemed to be working fine.  

 

I also went back to Starry Night 7 Pro Plus...  that also worked just fine.  

 

Cartes du Ciel worked fine as well.  

 

My only problem continues to be assigning a custom name to my telescope reticle, especially in Starry Night where it only shows as "Short driver name - please customize" which really is annoying to watch on the screen.  I've had absolutely no luck in figuring out how to customize the short driver name.  

 

Thanks again to John55 for reminding me to try reinstalling Stellarium Scope...  that seemed to resolve the issues.

 

Patrick


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#58 PatrickVt

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 10:37 AM

This morning, I realized that I had started this quest on my Surface tablet/laptop and not my desktop which is where I had successes.  

 

First, things still seem to be stable on my desktop if I run POTH first...  then connect Stellarium Scope to POTH...  then start Stellarium.  I haven't had any issues with this setup since reinstalling Stellarium Scope on my desktop.

 

This morning I went back to my Surface...  uninstalled Stellarium Scope...  reinstalled it...  rebooted...  I had to start the whole sequence I mentioned above three times before it worked correctly.  Whenever I would attempt to slew to a target, the mount would just crawl...  one tiny bit at a time...  sort of like morse code...  dot... dot... dot... dot...   I then shut it down again and then started it all over again...  and it seemed to be working fine on the third and fourth tries.  We'll see how it goes.  It is not a power problem because I just bought an A/C adapter to use with the mount.  It is a 12v 8 amp power supply and seems to work great.  So, I'm thinking that there may be some hardware issues with certain devices.  Or, perhaps I need to attempt another reinstall of Stellarium Scope.  

 

I then shutdown...  and restarted everything once again...  POTH --> Stellarium Scope --> Stellarium...   it worked just fine again.  Good news!  

 

So, now I have it working just fine on my portable tablet as well as on my desktop.  

 

A couple of months ago, I designed a small, but nicely finished and nicely furnished, little shed-like structure to use as an observatory.  It was about 8' x 5'...  with a solid pad right outside french doors to place my telescope...  then I can control it from the comfort of this nicely furnished shed from a comfy armchair in front of a wall of shelves where the computer(s) would reside.  When not in use, I have easy access to stacking my wood crates containing my telescopes and mounts inside this shed through the wide french doors.  When in use, I could stay warm in winter and avoid the bugs, skunks and bears in summer.  (I missed a lot of great nights this summer because of bears close enough to be visible every night.)  This was a project that I was definitely looking forward to...  it would add comfort, safety and convenience.  

 

Unfortunately, we recently got word that we may need to move within the next year so all home upgrades have been put on hold.  If we move to a new home, I'll probably change the plan to an 8'x10' shed placed wherever convenient in the yard but still close to the house.  This current home is very small so I had planned for this 8' x 5' shed to be attached to one of the outside walls of the house (sort of a lean-to shed off the side of the house).  Because of this plan, I preferred to have computer control of the mount.  

 

Now I'm toying with the idea of purchasing the new iEXOS-100.  It seems to be about half the weight of the EXOS-2GT and it has the much nicer and more stable PMC-8 system.  This lighter mount would be great for my smaller telescopes so I could sometimes avoid lugging around my heavier gear like the EXOS-2GT.  I have extensive spinal injuries as well as a leukemia-type illness so lighter gear is becoming a necessity.  Of course, if I prefer to use my heavier telescopes on any particular night, I would still have the EXOS-2GT to use.  

 

Considering all of this, I'm happy that I can add computer control, whenever necessary, to my EXOS-2GT now.

 

Patrick



#59 rbowdich

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 05:41 PM

Hi everyone,
Figured I would let you know the problems I encountered.  After reading all the comments it helped me get everything working fine.  Thank you.  However, after turning everything off and restarting the mount I could not connect the hand controller to the computer without it shutting off and not working.  After playing around with it, it would finely connect and everything worked as it should.  Hand controller and computer until I tried again, and same thing hand controller would go blank.

I then narrowed it down to the interface of the serial connector.  Even if it was disconnected from the usb adapter when I plugged it into the hand box it would go blank.  So, I took the serial connector apart to see how it was wired and if something was shorted.  The network wire is 4 wires.  Black, red, yellow and green.   Only 3 wires coming out.   Transmit- Receive and ground typical serial connection.  However Green and yellow were connected for ground.  So, I knew this could be the only cause because the other 2 wires were just a pass thru.   I bought a new self-wiring adapter and only wired the 3 wires.  Red, black and yellow.  I left green wire unattached.  Everything seems to be working fine and no problem connecting and no blank screen.  I have a support ticket in to see what ES says about it but I’m happy so far.  Hopefully it is accurate.

Rick


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#60 nicoyenny

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 02:22 PM

Did the update, no problems at all. Actually, half an hour later I used the mount on our lunar eclipse outreach event in Seal Beach, laaarge crowd, and the mount performed flawlessly ..

I will, on the other hand, modify the power connector, the freaky thing is way too easy to disconnect ....


Edited by nicoyenny, 21 January 2019 - 02:22 PM.


#61 Strandon

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 09:14 PM

I just received this product the other day and I attempted the firmware update but couldn't get the flash utility to interact with the handset at all.

 

I went to device manager and found the com port the usb-serial device is on and used it in the flash utility. I tried two computers and several usb ports (each one changing the como when it was plugged in and changing them in the flash utility)

 

When using the correct com port I get the error about unable to communicate with the test board, all the other com ports say unable to establish com or something like that.  

 

My handset never goes dark, flashes or does anything.

 

Any suggestions?

Attached Thumbnails

  • exos2gt firmware update.JPG


#62 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 09:37 PM

Hi Strandon,

 

Where in this procedure did it fail?

 https://cdn.shopify....938282538862772

 

It sounds like when you performed step 8 the hand box screen didn't stay blank so as you say, the communications probably wasn't established.  Did you have the program running and ready to connect prior to turning on the mount as instructed in step 6?



#63 Strandon

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 09:45 PM

Hi Strandon,

 

Where in this procedure did it fail?

 https://cdn.shopify....938282538862772

 

It sounds like when you performed step 8 the hand box screen didn't stay blank so as you say, the communications probably wasn't established.  Did you have the program running and ready to connect prior to turning on the mount as instructed in step 6?

Correct, step 8.  The handbox booted as normal loading up the splash screen with 2.2a (I think?).  I had all the data in the flash utility as described with it running, mount was powered down, plugged in the handbox via the serial usb cable from you guys and then turned the power to the mount on.



#64 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:04 PM

Correct, step 8.  The handbox booted as normal loading up the splash screen with 2.2a (I think?).  I had all the data in the flash utility as described with it running, mount was powered down, plugged in the handbox via the serial usb cable from you guys and then turned the power to the mount on.

So, in this case,  It sounds like the host computer running the flash utility did not recognize that the cable was plugged into the handbox. Does the connector into the handbox look good? is it inserted firmly and tight?  If all that looks good, it may just be the cable that is bad somehow. I would suggest calling Customer Support at +1 (866) 252-3811 ext 2 and let them know you talked with me and we suspect the cable you received is bad. You should send you cable back for them to test and request a replacement cable.



#65 Strandon

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:07 PM

So, in this case,  It sounds like the host computer running the flash utility did not recognize that the cable was plugged into the handbox. Does the connector into the handbox look good? is it inserted firmly and tight?  If all that looks good, it may just be the cable that is bad somehow. I would suggest calling Customer Support at +1 (866) 252-3811 ext 2 and let them know you talked with me and we suspect the cable you received is bad. You should send you cable back for them to test and request a replacement cable.

Thanks Jerry.  I'll check it before I call, have to use my ohmmeter and network tester in this hobby somewhere. :)

I appreciate the help.  

 

Is it possible there is a problem with the port on the handbox?  I thought I had remembered reading that these were disabled at one point in time, or were the just disabled from syncing with ascom?



#66 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:14 PM

Thanks Jerry.  I'll check it before I call, have to use my ohmmeter and network tester in this hobby somewhere. smile.gif

I appreciate the help.  

 

Is it possible there is a problem with the port on the handbox?  I thought I had remembered reading that these were disabled at one point in time, or were the just disabled from syncing with ascom?

I have not actually done this myself, but my understanding is that the firmware installed did not support any kind of serial communications to send command to the hand controller to pass on to the mount via an ASCOM driver or other program designed to speak the JOC command language. If it is like the PMC-Eight system then the handbox will startup with a boot loader looking for communications over the serial port connection with the flash utility and if found will make the connection and allow the flash utility to download the firmware. It could be a physical problem with the connector on the handbox. I don't think it is a problem with the processor as it seems to boot and run the firmware that is installed okay.


Edited by Jerry Hubbell, 18 February 2019 - 10:15 PM.


#67 Strandon

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:26 PM

I have not actually done this myself, but my understanding is that the firmware installed did not support any kind of serial communications to send command to the hand controller to pass on to the mount via an ASCOM driver or other program designed to speak the JOC command language. If it is like the PMC-Eight system then the handbox will startup with a boot loader looking for communications over the serial port connection with the flash utility and if found will make the connection and allow the flash utility to download the firmware. It could be a physical problem with the connector on the handbox. I don't think it is a problem with the processor as it seems to boot and run the firmware that is installed okay.

I appreciate the help Jerry, I got it working.  One of the pins on the end going to the handbox wasn't fully seated.  I'm just going to assume these aren't fully tested before going out the door.


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#68 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:40 PM

I appreciate the help Jerry, I got it working.  One of the pins on the end going to the handbox wasn't fully seated.  I'm just going to assume these aren't fully tested before going out the door.

That's awesome, good job. As you suggest I suspect that these cables are produced without actually tested doing the update. It's important for anyone purchasing this kit carefully inspect the cable prior to use based on your experience.



#69 NicolasNEWT

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 06:21 PM

Hi Everybody,

i just receive the EXOS2cable set.

installed everything and everything was ok till i had to choose the telescope in the POTH.

Then it did ask me to click on Properties while selecting the ASCOM BRESSER GOTO (step 14 on 15). and then ... nothing. I cannot select the driver (see image attached). i have to say that i have a french windows 10 ... but it should not be an issue.

anybody an idea ???

thanks for help

Nico

 

Capture.PNG



#70 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 02:10 PM

Thanks to an American friend, I finally managed to get the cable and upgrade my firmware.

 

No luck so far in communicating with the mount via SkySafari.  I'm using the provided adapter as a serial connection from my Mac.  When I try different telescope setups, mostly Meade mounts...it seems to be *trying* to work, but something just isn't quite right.  I did get position data back from the mount (or so I think, RA and DEC very close to 0.)  But the connection was lost after a few seconds.

 

Has anybody had luck with SkySafari?  Or can tell me the serial communication settings they used with a different program?  

 

Also tried with Kstars, but even less luck there!



#71 PatrickVt

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 04:16 AM

Thanks to an American friend, I finally managed to get the cable and upgrade my firmware.

 

No luck so far in communicating with the mount via SkySafari.  I'm using the provided adapter as a serial connection from my Mac.  When I try different telescope setups, mostly Meade mounts...it seems to be *trying* to work, but something just isn't quite right.  I did get position data back from the mount (or so I think, RA and DEC very close to 0.)  But the connection was lost after a few seconds.

 

Has anybody had luck with SkySafari?  Or can tell me the serial communication settings they used with a different program?  

 

Also tried with Kstars, but even less luck there!

It is my understanding the the Bresser driver was written for the ASCOM Platform. The ASCOM Platform is for Windows.  Until ASCOM Alpaca is fully developed, I don't think there is any support for iOS.  And, it is quite possible that a new driver might need to be written for ASCOM Alpaca when that is fully developed.  

 

Perhaps someone knows something about this that I don't though.  Admittedly, I am not an iOS guy and therefore not fully up to date on iOS support.

 

Patrick



#72 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 06:17 AM

It is my understanding the the Bresser driver was written for the ASCOM Platform. The ASCOM Platform is for Windows.  Until ASCOM Alpaca is fully developed, I don't think there is any support for iOS.  And, it is quite possible that a new driver might need to be written for ASCOM Alpaca when that is fully developed.  

 

As far as I understand, each piece of Windows software is using Ascom to talk to each other.  Then the Bresser driver is translating Ascom to serial, so that it can communicate with the mount. The OS shouldn't matter at this point.  Serial is serial.  

 

Since I now have a usb to serial adapter (from ES, for the firmware upgrade), if I can find the correct type of connection & comm speed, I at least have a chance to make this work.

 

Is there an expert out there that confirm or deny this theory?  Perhaps I have no clue what I'm talking about...

 

:-)  



#73 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:06 PM

As far as I understand, each piece of Windows software is using Ascom to talk to each other. Then the Bresser driver is translating Ascom to serial, so that it can communicate with the mount. The OS shouldn't matter at this point. Serial is serial.

Since I now have a usb to serial adapter (from ES, for the firmware upgrade), if I can find the correct type of connection & comm speed, I at least have a chance to make this work.

Is there an expert out there that confirm or deny this theory? Perhaps I have no clue what I'm talking about...

:-)


The JOC hand controller command language is probably not supported in SkySafari so there is no way it would work. Having a serial connection is not enough, it needs to understand the controller language.

Edited by Jerry Hubbell, 05 May 2019 - 12:10 PM.

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#74 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 02:20 AM

The JOC hand controller command language is probably not supported in SkySafari so there is no way it would work. Having a serial connection is not enough, it needs to understand the controller language.

 

Thanks Jerry.  You're just the kind of expert I was looking for.

 

Do you have any tips for a Mac user looking to control the Exos2 remotely?  Kstars doesn't seem ready (although I've read in the DEV forums, that you're helping to get that going), SkySafari won't talk to it.  AsiAir won't talk to it until Kstars works...  What else is there?

 

And since you're here Jerry:  How often do you see people under 30 using a Windows machine?  I think there are a whole lot of young people who might really enjoy this hobby, but stay out of it because "There's NO WAY I'm going to run Windows just to do this."  Alpaca seems like a band-aid.  There needs to be a new universal standard.  So anything can talk to anything.  If you want a whole new generation of people getting into the hobby and buying gear, this is what we need.  My 2 cents.   :)




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