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Orion Nautilus EFW in Win10 x64

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#1 rkinnett

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Posted 31 October 2020 - 02:58 AM

I bought an Orion Nautilus 7x1.25 filter wheel from the CN classifieds last week, and had a lot of trouble getting it working in Win 10 x64.  After many hours of fussing with it, I finally got it working and I wanted to leave a note here for future readers since it has been nearly impossible to find recent information about operating this wheel with modern 64-bit Windows.

 

There have been a few previous threads on this topic here and elsewhere, but I hadn't found any indication that anyone got it working in Win10 x64.  To the contrary, many people gave up on it and ditched this wheel for something better supported.  The latest driver Orion provides is 32-bit and doesn't work at all in Win10 x64.  Orion's lack of support for their own legacy devices is annoying and shameful.  It can't be that hard to recompile their own drivers unless.. ::gasp:: their driver development is contracted and they don't have a clue how to maintain it themselves?

 

Anyways, this discussion in aptforum lead me to 64-bit drivers for the BrightStar Quantum wheel which is apparently the exact same device, just without the Orion brand stamped onto it.  That didn't work out of the box though.  Both the standard driver and ASCOM driver installed just fine, as did the associated standard and ASCOM efw controller applications, but both were unable to find the filter wheel.  I can see it in Device Manager, sitting on COM3 or COM4.  Tried different USB ports, different cables, rebooting, forcing driver selection, and various other gyrations, to no avail, at least not for the first 3 or so hours.

 

I then plugged it into my Linux box, but didn't see any USB device register on the first 2 USB ports I tried.  Finally found it on the third USB port.  All are USB3, and all are rated for at least half and amp IIRC, so I'm not sure why it only worked on one specific port.  I opened Indi/Ekos and loaded the Quantum FW driver and it works great!  

 

That gave me hope that the filter wheel's control interface works, so I went back over to the Win10 laptop and tried each USB port again, this time using a terminal app to try to send commands to the wheel according to protocol noted in the INDI source code here.  At each of the first 2 USB ports, I opened the associated port (COM3 or COM4) and tried sending "SN\n\r" command and a few other things but saw no response from the wheel.  Then on the third USB port, associated with COM13, I finally got responses from the wheel, and they were sensical.  So just like with the linux box, the wheel seems to only work with one of three USB ports.

 

I then tried the Quantum ASCOM Controller app that came with the BrightStar drivers, but it still couldn't find the wheel.  That was using Windows' default generic serial device driver.  Finally, I forced the Quantum driver and tried the Quantum ASCOM Controller app again and -- SUCCESS!

 

Now that I know it works on one USB port, I tried the other two again, forcing the Quantum driver again, but still nothing.. no response in terminal and ASCOM can't find the wheel.

 

I'll try with a powered hub tomorrow, but I don't expect that to work more any better than my laptop's native high-power USB3 ports.

 

If this driver gives me any further trouble, I may take a shot at writing my own.  It should be straightforward, given the simple command protocol which Indi outlined.

 

Anyways, I hope this saves some future reader from hours of hassle and potentially giving up on it.  I'm still mad at Orion.

 

Minor update:  works well via the USB hub on my asi1600, with the asi1600 plugged into any USB port on the laptop.  That's a relief!


Edited by rkinnett, 31 October 2020 - 03:49 AM.

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#2 RandallK

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 01:39 PM

I've been using the Windows 8.1 driver (3rd party (England)), posted on the Orion website a while ago. Works great under Windows 10. I bought my 1.25" Nautilus wheel from Orion years ago and very happy that I got it going by using that driver!


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#3 Andreas_Roerig

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 04:50 PM

Thanks Ryan for this information. 

I have a Nautilus lying around as well. 

 

Best regards 

Andreas 


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#4 rkinnett

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 08:18 PM

I've been using the Windows 8.1 driver (3rd party (England)), posted on the Orion website a while ago. Works great under Windows 10. I bought my 1.25" Nautilus wheel from Orion years ago and very happy that I got it going by using that driver!

Hi Randall, thanks for commenting.  I saw you had reported success with Win 10 in previous threads, but somewhere along the way I got the impression that you were using 32-bit Win 10.  Are you using 64-bit?

 

Thanks Ryan for this information. 

I have a Nautilus lying around as well. 

Sure thing, I hope the information spares someone from wasting a ton of time fussing with these drivers.  Do you use your Nautilus in Windows?

 

These are cool filter wheels!  I can't believe I got this thing for $80.  It's a much better match for my c9.25 setup than were either my 5-pos ZWO wheel or gigantic 9-pos Atik wheel.  I'm very happy with it after 3 good imaging sessions.

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#5 RandallK

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 11:34 PM

I'm running windows 10 64 bit. I have a SX filter wheel as well but it weighs a ton. I use my ATIK 3l4e mono CCD with the Orion FW...a very nice light combination with my WO 103  refractor. Just had a heart attack 2 weeks ago and haven't been doing much imaging. Hope to get back in to it soon.


Edited by RandallK, 05 November 2020 - 11:36 PM.


#6 Andreas_Roerig

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 05:29 AM

Hi Ryan,

 

I have used the Nautilus in combination with my old SBIG ST10XME under Windows 7. However since I bought the Moravian G2 8300 it is sitting in it's case. But it may still be useful for future use with a smaller CMOS camera.

 

Best regards

Andreas



#7 bignerdguy

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:43 PM

That's odd you cant get it to work, I have the Win 10 x64 driver from Orion and it does work fine. It also uses the same driver as the 2" version.  Have you tried the software they currently have posted for the 2" on your 1.25" Nautilus?  I may have to go back and try it again as it has been some time since I used the 1.25" wheel on my setup.  I will let you know if it still works or not with the current Windows version.



#8 rkinnett

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 06:27 PM

I'm running windows 10 64 bit. I have a SX filter wheel as well but it weighs a ton. I use my ATIK 3l4e mono CCD with the Orion FW...a very nice light combination with my WO 103  refractor. Just had a heart attack 2 weeks ago and haven't been doing much imaging. Hope to get back in to it soon.

Oh gosh, sorry to hear about the heart attack.  I hope your recovery is going well.  You taking the time to pop in here and help guys out seems like a good sign.

 

It's starting to sound like I jumped the gun thinking there was no hope with drivers Orion provides for this wheel.  Sounds like the 8.1 driver may work for some applications (presumably 32-bit) in 64-bit Win10, but not others.  Do you by chance use SGP?

 

 

That's odd you cant get it to work, I have the Win 10 x64 driver from Orion and it does work fine. It also uses the same driver as the 2" version.  Have you tried the software they currently have posted for the 2" on your 1.25" Nautilus?  I may have to go back and try it again as it has been some time since I used the 1.25" wheel on my setup.  I will let you know if it still works or not with the current Windows version.

Interesting.  I tried all of the drivers on Orion's page for the 7x1.25.  All are 32-bit.  NINA rejects the native driver, and ASCOM (64-bit) rejects the 32-bit ASCOM driver.  I'll try out the drivers for the 2" Nautilus.  Thanks for the tip!

 

I also received a tip from Al Viegas, saying the 32-bit driver from Orion works in SGP but not NINA.  I hadn't tried it with anything but NINA.  He also pointed me to a windows workaround for adapting 32-bit device drivers to applications that require 64-bit drivers.  That looks promising.

 

Ultimately, I want to leave this thread with a better recommendation for future readers.  I'm currently using the Quantum ASCOM drivers from the suspicious-looking link I posted in the opening post, and I had to jump through some hoops to get that working.  That said, it has been working great through several imaging sessions now and I have no complaints.  But still, I would rather guide people toward some way to use an official driver from Orion if possible.

 

Brian's suggestion to use the Orion drivers for the 2" wheel would be most ideal.  I'll try that out sometime this week, and if that fails I'll try Al's suggestion of using a COM driver adapter.



#9 A. Viegas

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 10:01 PM

I have had no issues using my Nautilus wheel with SGP and the Orion 8.1 Windows driver.   Recently, I tried to use it with NINA and I found that because the driver is still 32 bit that it would not work with NINA.  A developer at NINA suggested I look at tweaking the driver using the instructions on this site: 

 

https://techtalk.gfi...it-environment/

 

 

  I think if SGP migrates to 64 bit I will just stay with the 32 bit version to keep using the nautilus wheel.  It would be nice if Orion updated the driver!

 

Al


Edited by A. Viegas, 10 November 2020 - 10:02 PM.

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#10 bignerdguy

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 09:54 AM

Here is the link to my copy of the driver file if you need it.  it has both x32 and x64 drivers in it.  Let me know if this works for you.

 

https://www.dropbox....tup310.zip?dl=0


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#11 rkinnett

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 11:24 PM

Here is the link to my copy of the driver file if you need it.  it has both x32 and x64 drivers in it.  Let me know if this works for you.

 

https://www.dropbox....tup310.zip?dl=0

Hey that did work!  Not immediately, but it worked.  I tried plugging the wheel directly into each of my USB ports, and I can see the driver registering in device manager, but neither the Nautilus controller program or the ASCOM controller program could find the driver.  Strangely, after plugging the filter wheel into the (port-powered) USB hub on my asi1600, ASCOM and the controller apps immediately find the driver and everything works reliably.  The camera and built-in hub are powered over USB3 from the same ports I was trying directly, so I'm certain the problem is not port power.  There must be something odd about the USB hardware controller in the laptop that doesn't play nicely with the USB to serial chip in the wheel, I guess.  I don't know, I'm baffled, but I operate the wheel in this configuration (plugged into the camera) anyway so I guess I'm in good shape, and can confirm Orion does directly provide a working 64 bit driver.

 

For future readers, you should be able to download that driver from Orion if you search for the Star Shoot filter wheel.  Currently at this link:  https://www.telescop...el/p/132320.uts



#12 bignerdguy

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 09:14 AM

Actually the filter wheel does need to be plugged into a powered hub or it doesn't get enough juice to operate.  I ran into that issue with my 2" wheel.  Glad to know the driver worked for you and yeah since they came back out with the 2" version they have updated the driver for it to include x64 bit support.  One thing i did learn though with my older 2" is if i plug it in while the machine is booting it wont see it as anything but an unknown device.  if I wait to boot the machine fully and THEN plug it in, it sees the wheel correctly and works.  It tends to be finicky about being plugged in while windows loads.  Guess it might be the older chipset in the wheel that is causing this, idk.




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