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If you own a CGX and are thinking of getting a Zwo Asiair Pro or Plus...save your money!

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#1 Woody218

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 11:11 AM

A friend just got a new CGX, and he also bought an Asiair Pro to control it with.  Well, guess what? Surprise, surprise, the Asiair won't connect to the mount. No matter what we tried, no connection. Yes, we were connected through the hand control...We tried a laptop with ASCOM drivers, we could control the mount perfectly. We hooked it up to CPWI, it worked perfectly. It's only Zwo who seems to flip the middle finger to Celestron users.

 

I have read on Zwo's forum that it's big, bad Celestron who changed the chipset in the mount for USB, and that's why the Asiair won't work with it. Zwo seems to be the only one who cannot make it work, because ASCOM and CPWI have no problems.

 

I do use an Asiair Pro with my iOptron CEM70, and that works fine. Go figure?

 

 



#2 DJL

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 11:42 AM

Is there a way to connect via an EQMOD cable directly to the mount, not using the hand controller? Connecting via the hand controller was a dumpster fire with the HEQ5, and EQMOD is fine. My hand controller has been living in a box for a while now.



#3 scopewizard

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 12:17 PM

I have used a RPI (linux) directly connect to the mount USB, no HC attached and it worked just fine. I have switched to a minipc and still no HC and connection directly to USB on the mount. The phone type are the data bus for the motherboard. The mount USB is attached to the data bus and does exactly the same. CPWI is the digital replacement for the HC. ZWO, according to ASIAir info, it does support CGX-x.



#4 Woody218

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 12:24 PM

I'm here to tell you that the ZWO forum is loaded with frustrated CGX owners that cannot make the AAP work with their mount.

#5 dswtan

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 12:34 PM

I don't deny the ASIAIR PRO having issues as reported. Just for "completeness", I had no issues with the original white box ASIAIR on my CGX.

 

Will be interesting to see if the new ASIAIR Plus has the same issues. There is some confusion between "Celestron changed the chip in the HC" at some point, meaning some CGXs presumably work and others don't, and what drivers ZWO includes in their ASIAIR software. One side of this is easier to fix than the other...



#6 scopewizard

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 12:55 PM

I'm here to tell you that the ZWO forum is loaded with frustrated CGX owners that cannot make the AAP work with their mount.

This why I stay away from propriety systems. I have a minipc with Win 10 Pro. I can control my scope remotely with laptop Win 10 or Samsung tablet or MAC, iphone and on. Lots of apps that can be used on different systems for RDP.

I mainly use, Sharpcap for polar alignment, PHD2 for guiding, NINA for sequences and full system control, CDC to get data into NINA if needed, ASTAP for plate solving in NINA, CPWI for mount connection and ASCOM as needed. I can sit in my house and control all. No issues what so ever, 30 mins for setup and ready to image. First weekend of September, did 3 nights of imaging away from home (close to 16 hours) no issues.

 

I like to have control and choices for my software and hardware. I know that ASIAir's simplicity does work for some but it is not for me.


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#7 Woody218

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 03:12 PM

Well, if one digs deep enough, one can find a solution!  Evidently, Celestron (and Sky Watcher) changed from FTDI usb chipsets, and is now using Prolific usb chipsets. I found a link to a Zwo operating system that has the Prolific drivers.

 

That file can be found here - https://drive.google...3DaEnKzox9/view

 

It's a zip file, 7 gb in size.

 

You need to use Windisk Imager to write the extracted file to a 64 gb micro sd card that has been formatted as exfat. If you're going to do this, be aware that this OS will NOT fit on a 32 gb card, you need the 64 gb at minimum.

 

Long story short, I produced an sd card with the new operating system on it, the AAP booted up, ipad showed an update was available, so we updated it, activated it, and the CGX can now be controlled with the AAP!


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#8 skaiser

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 04:23 PM

Glad you found the fix .
On older cgx systems there is no problem with connecting Asiair pro through the HC.

#9 SkipW

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 04:26 PM

A friend just got a new CGX, and he also bought an Asiair Pro to control it with.  Well, guess what? Surprise, surprise, the Asiair won't connect to the mount. No matter what we tried, no connection. Yes, we were connected through the hand control...We tried a laptop with ASCOM drivers, we could control the mount perfectly. We hooked it up to CPWI, it worked perfectly. It's only Zwo who seems to flip the middle finger to Celestron users.

 

I have read on Zwo's forum that it's big, bad Celestron who changed the chipset in the mount for USB, and that's why the Asiair won't work with it. Zwo seems to be the only one who cannot make it work, because ASCOM and CPWI have no problems.

 

Well, if one digs deep enough, one can find a solution!  Evidently, Celestron (and Sky Watcher) changed from FTDI usb chipsets, and is now using Prolific usb chipsets. I found a link to a Zwo operating system that has the Prolific drivers.

 

That file can be found here - https://drive.google...3DaEnKzox9/view

 

It's a zip file, 7 gb in size.

 

You need to use Windisk Imager to write the extracted file to a 64 gb micro sd card that has been formatted as exfat. If you're going to do this, be aware that this OS will NOT fit on a 32 gb card, you need the 64 gb at minimum.

 

Long story short, I produced an sd card with the new operating system on it, the AAP booted up, ipad showed an update was available, so we updated it, activated it, and the CGX can now be controlled with the AAP!

This is the sort of bad news that makes me question the wisdom of moving from RS-232 to USB for low-bandwidth uses like mount control. The "gotcha!" is USB requires OS-specific support, usually in the form of a driver, for the particular USB equipment in use. For the foreseeable future, there are bound to be a variety of devices that will emulate good ol' RS-232 over a variety of communication media: USB, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet. When (not if) one goes so obsolete it's no longer supported by current OSs, the remedy is to replace an adapter (which are currently often quite inexpensive) instead of replacing a mount or nursing an old computer along. I still cringe at my brother's expensive film scanner - its manufacturer did not provide drivers for Windows newer than XP or for Macs of similar age. Eventually a third party started selling more up to date drivers that provided most of the functionality of the mfgr's old driver, but the new driver cost hundreds of dollars because driver development is expensive and the market was small. It was worth it for him to pony up for the driver, but, ugh!

 

Still, one aspect of this particular development seems odd... does this problem happen only when the AAP is connected to the CGX's USB-B connector, or does it also manifest if connected via a NexStar+ USB-equipped handset (mine includes a Prolific chipset and is several years old)? If the latter, wouldn't that also affect all those AVX mounts and others? If so, ASI will have to quit finger-pointing and support manufacturers' equipment as it exists, not how they want it to be, or kiss that equipment's share of the market goodbye - and for NexStar+, that's probably a pretty significant part of the market. ASI ain't big enough to drive that market from their end.


Edited by SkipW, 19 September 2021 - 04:29 PM.

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#10 Woody218

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 04:40 PM

Skip, I'm fairly certain that this would not only include the newer CGX, but also the newer CGEM II, the AVX, and pretty much anything that uses the Prolific chipsets.

 

The OS that I provided the link to is, I believe, is the OS for the AsiAir Plus. From what I gather, the people with Sky Watcher mounts bitched loud and long enough that Zwo included Prolific drivers. But, they don't make it easy to find that link for that OS.

 

I agree, Zwo is a minor player compared to Celestron. You would think they would be sturmbling all over themselves to keep Celestron users happy, instead of irritating them.

 

I subscribe to the saying, One "aw ****" wipes out a thousand "attaboys"


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#11 scopewizard

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 08:21 PM

I was using a RPI 4B with Astroberry installed to operate my CGX. My HC (Nexstar+) has an USB not RS232 and I had no problem controlling the scope with HC USB or the mount USB. This setup was in used over 2 years ago. I dropped that setup then. No excuse here for ZWO for failing to implement their software.


Edited by scopewizard, 19 September 2021 - 08:22 PM.


#12 DJL

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 08:34 PM

Well, if one digs deep enough, one can find a solution!  Evidently, Celestron (and Sky Watcher) changed from FTDI usb chipsets, and is now using Prolific usb chipsets. I found a link to a Zwo operating system that has the Prolific drivers.

 

That file can be found here - https://drive.google...3DaEnKzox9/view

 

It's a zip file, 7 gb in size.

 

You need to use Windisk Imager to write the extracted file to a 64 gb micro sd card that has been formatted as exfat. If you're going to do this, be aware that this OS will NOT fit on a 32 gb card, you need the 64 gb at minimum.

 

Long story short, I produced an sd card with the new operating system on it, the AAP booted up, ipad showed an update was available, so we updated it, activated it, and the CGX can now be controlled with the AAP!

Great! Glad you found a solution.



#13 wesley888

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 10:36 PM

Glad I see your post. I just got a new CGX setup and tried everything I can imagine in the last 2 weeks but still can’t get it to work with ASIAIR pro. Will try your o/s fix next.  Thanks!



#14 wesley888

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 11:58 PM

Just downloaded the image and created a new boot SD card and it worked perfectly!  The downloaded image is the v1.7 OS for ASIAir Pro Dated 2021 0806 (8.24).  When boot up the first time, it said it has a newer version 8.48 to update.  Just let it update. You don't have a choice anyway.  After that, it'll ask you to authenticate.  Just follow the instructions to finish this one time setup.

 

The first time when I tried to connect, my HC was in Ready mode and it did not connect. I had to turn the CGX mount power off and on.  Go through all the prompts on the HC, but stop at the star align menu.  Then my ASIAir Pro was able to connect to the mount via the HC mini USB port.

 

EDIT: After I wrote this post, I was able to have them connect even the HC is in Ready mode.


Edited by wesley888, 20 September 2021 - 12:05 AM.

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#15 Woody218

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 07:24 AM

One thing we didn't try was plugging into the usb port on the mount to see if it could be controlled that way. I've always hated the cable into the hand control way of doing things...

#16 wesley888

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 07:39 AM

I tried last night, after I got it working with HC's mini-USB port.  It didn't work with the USB port on the mount. 

 

I'll try some more but I'm not going to keep my hope up.

 

By the way, thanks for digging up the updated O/S.  Even I know that it exist (from your link), I still can't find where it comes from.  How you manage to get it?


Edited by wesley888, 20 September 2021 - 10:15 AM.


#17 Woody218

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 10:12 AM

I tried last night, after I got it working with HC's mini-USB port.  It didn't work with the USB port on the mount. 

 

I'll try some more but I'm not going to keep my hope up.

 

By the way, thanks for digging out the updated O/S.  Even I know that it exist (from your link), I still can't find where it comes from.  How you manage to get it?

I actually found it in Zwo's forum...had to follow a few convoluted links, it was in a thread concerning new Sky Watcher mounts not working with AAP.


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#18 wesley888

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 10:43 AM

AH!  I found it now.  It's under a fix for the new Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro.  No wonder I couldn't find it by searching CGX.



#19 Seiten

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 09:04 PM

Astroblender on youtube was using the AAP on his CGX over a year ago.  I remember having some issues with it initially, but thought i got it resolved and I thought it was the prolific drivers.  I will test it again and see.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=Ae4iGj1GcB0



#20 Woody218

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 06:55 AM

Astroblender on youtube was using the AAP on his CGX over a year ago.  I remember having some issues with it initially, but thought i got it resolved and I thought it was the prolific drivers.  I will test it again and see.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=Ae4iGj1GcB0

Cody's mount is a couple years old, so it has the FTDI chipset. It's the newer mounts that have the Prolific chipset that cause people to have fits.


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#21 Seiten

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 07:46 PM

Cody's mount is a couple years old, so it has the FTDI chipset. It's the newer mounts that have the Prolific chipset that cause people to have fits.

so confusing.  I guess Celestron thinks the change is immaterial so there is no need to inform buyers?  I found nothing on Celestrons site about this change or its potential effects.

 

Anyway, I got the AAP working on my EQ6R mount a couple of weeks ago.  I thought I'd read that their latest release version had the support for the Prolific drivers.  I uploaded the Android app update, restarted everything and it linked to the EQ6R pro just like its supposed to.   (At 115000 baud)

 

So now you're saying that the latest released version does not work with the CGX equipped with Prolific chipset? 



#22 wesley888

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 08:12 PM

So now you're saying that the latest released version does not work with the CGX equipped with Prolific chipset? 

That's correct.  I got the official latest released version and it did not work with the new CGX that I got 2 weeks ago.  Apparently my CGX has the Prolific chipset. 

 

The "v1.7 OS for ASIAir Pro 2021 0806" that linked above was supposed to be for fixing this issue for the new Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro, according to the message from the ASIAir forum.  It also fixes the issue I have with my new CGX.

 

It's an O/S fix.  You would need to update the ASIAir SD card to fix it.  Updating the apps does nothing to it.  I've been trying everything officially possible for 2 weeks now.



#23 Seiten

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 08:19 PM

That's correct.  I got the official latest released version and it did not work with the new CGX that I got 2 weeks ago.  Apparently my CGX has the Prolific chipset. 

 

The "v1.7 OS for ASIAir Pro 2021 0806" that linked above was supposed to be for fixing this issue for the new Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro, according to the message from the ASIAir forum.  It also fixes the issue I have with my new CGX.

 

It's an O/S fix.  You would need to update the ASIAir SD card to fix it.  Updating the apps does nothing to it.  I've been trying everything officially possible for 2 weeks now.

Wow.  I feel as dumb as a box of rocks.  I thought when the App was updated (and it seems to update often) and it connects to the AAP that it checks its latest OS build.  And if it doesnt match, the app tells the AAP to update.  Thats what I thought I did a couple of weeks ago and everything worked (on the EQ6R).  I guess I have to go back and review what I read before.  



#24 wesley888

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 08:30 PM

If you think of computer's term, the app that auto-update is the program that you run, like the Stellarium, PHD2, etc.

 

The O/S fix is to update the Windows O/S, say, from Windows 10 21F9 to Windows 10 21H1.  In Windows, it's easy.  It has auto-update and patch the O/S.  But in ASIAir, you have to replace the O/S sd card with a new O/S that is 32GB in size.  It'll take about 30 minutes to write that O/S sd card.  Kind of like replacing your C Drive that has Windows 10 installed with a new hard drive with a new Windows 10.01 on it.


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#25 Seiten

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 08:55 PM

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