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I would PAY to buy my way out of iOptron Commander. Are there options?

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#76 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 04:02 PM

You raise good points at every side, Brent.

I'm reinstalling ASCOM platform now, just to start with the simplest steps first.



#77 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 04:17 PM

Wow - I'm just looking... ASCOM itself doesn't commit to working correctly under Windows 11.

 

Gulp.


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#78 Michael Covington

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 04:49 PM

Wow - I'm just looking... ASCOM itself doesn't commit to working correctly under Windows 11.

 

Gulp.

Only for lack of testing.  It is very unlikely that Windows 11 will cause any problem.

Of course, we remember when there was an upgrade (a version of Win 8?) that shut down all our video drivers for a couple of weeks!  That's what inspired me to dual-boot Linux and have the essential things working under Linux *just in case*.


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#79 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 05:05 PM

OK... I have everything out in my family room. I've uninstalled ASCOM platform then reinstalled it. So sure enough, iOptron Commander is giving me, "Cannot find any support iOptron devices."  So - at least it's manifesting the same behavior again so you guys will know that I'm not crazy.

 

So the first thing I'll check is this new USBDeview thing. It says the ASI2600 MC Pro camera is connected. It also says the iOptron iPolar  and iGuider are connected. But the error message, "Cannot find any supported iOptron Devices" is the response I get from Commander. 

 

So I'd just like to repeat my original question:

 

Is there any other ASCOM mode of connecting the mount to my laptops directly, in Windows? Because most of the "other approaches" seemingly involve something like StellarMate or ASI Air (some kind of separate solution that would run INDI). If there IS any other approach that lets me talk to the mount in ASCOM, I'd sure love to try it first.

 

Thanks so much for all the help.

 

Doug



#80 rgsalinger

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 05:32 PM

There is no "native" driver for the mount. There are actually no native drivers (written by the vendor) for pretty much any mount other than Paramounts. When you use one of the niche products your getting code written by a third party developer.

 

I have to ask ..................

 

-is the mount actually powered on? 

 

-does device manager show the com port for the mount (plug/unplug)?

 

-are you certain that you have connected to the mount base USB 2.0 port on the mount? 

 

-can you control the mount with the hand controller - maybe the mainboard has failed? 

 

-are you certain that you have the correct and latest Commander (10.16.2021) for that mount?

 

-did you download and install the latest FTDI drivers?

 

-are you certain that you have the latest firmware for the mount - compatible with the version of commander you are running? 

 

-have you tried to use an older version of Commander?

 

Try downloading and running the firmware update program. If that sees the mount then the mount should be OK. If it doesn't then I'll go out on a limb and say that there is something wrong with the mount electronics. 

 

If this was working before and not it doesn't rather than blame commander I do wonder if you actually might have a bad main board.

 

I assume that you tried the other tricks I suggested and got nowhere with them. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#81 Michael Covington

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 05:32 PM

In Commander you can choose the COM port -- I assume you've tried that, early on.

Is USBDeview saying it can't see the iOptron *mount* at all?  As distinct from the two cameras (iPolar and iGuider).

If so, your USB connection is getting as far as the USB hub in the mount (I think that's the way the late model '70 works) but not communicating with the mount electronics.   This sounds like a hardware failure inside the mount, or possibly a loose cable (a common iOptron problem).

It would be interesting to know if INDI can talk to this mount.  I don't know if you have a convenient way to test.  But I suspect it cannot, and the problem is outisde of Commander.

I don't know the answer to your question whether it's possible to use ASCOM in a way that bypasses Commander.


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#82 VincenzoZito

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 05:40 PM

I don't mean to be rude but I still believe your problem isn't the Commander. It seems to work fine and tells you it can't find a mount plugged into the usb port. The problem, in my opinion, is ASCOM or Driver or the cable. Obviously there are problems with the USB port of the mount.
Don't have an old PC to try with windows 7 or windows 10?


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#83 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:09 PM

Vincenzo, thanks for writing. You're not being rude. I'm troubleshooting right now.

 

 

I don't mean to be rude but I still believe your problem isn't the Commander. It seems to work fine and tells you it can't find a mount plugged into the usb port. The problem, in my opinion, is ASCOM or Driver or the cable. Obviously there are problems with the USB port of the mount.
Don't have an old PC to try with windows 7 or windows 10?



#84 BrentKnight

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:11 PM

Must be frustrating.  It does sound like an issue with the hardware though.  It would be horrible to add something like the AAP only to find out it still didn't work...


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#85 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:11 PM

Hi Michael. No iOptron Mounts in the list at all. Yikes. That would be bad. Thanks for brainstorming.

 

In Commander you can choose the COM port -- I assume you've tried that, early on.

Is USBDeview saying it can't see the iOptron *mount* at all?  As distinct from the two cameras (iPolar and iGuider).

If so, your USB connection is getting as far as the USB hub in the mount (I think that's the way the late model '70 works) but not communicating with the mount electronics.   This sounds like a hardware failure inside the mount, or possibly a loose cable (a common iOptron problem).

It would be interesting to know if INDI can talk to this mount.  I don't know if you have a convenient way to test.  But I suspect it cannot, and the problem is outisde of Commander.

I don't know the answer to your question whether it's possible to use ASCOM in a way that bypasses Commander.



#86 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:13 PM

Ross, thanks for writing. Bummer that there are no other drivers.

The mount is powered on.

troubleshooting it right now...

 

There is no "native" driver for the mount. There are actually no native drivers (written by the vendor) for pretty much any mount other than Paramounts. When you use one of the niche products your getting code written by a third party developer.

 

I have to ask ..................

 

-is the mount actually powered on? 

 

-does device manager show the com port for the mount (plug/unplug)?

 

-are you certain that you have connected to the mount base USB 2.0 port on the mount? 

 

-can you control the mount with the hand controller - maybe the mainboard has failed? 

 

-are you certain that you have the correct and latest Commander (10.16.2021) for that mount?

 

-did you download and install the latest FTDI drivers?

 

-are you certain that you have the latest firmware for the mount - compatible with the version of commander you are running? 

 

-have you tried to use an older version of Commander?

 

Try downloading and running the firmware update program. If that sees the mount then the mount should be OK. If it doesn't then I'll go out on a limb and say that there is something wrong with the mount electronics. 

 

If this was working before and not it doesn't rather than blame commander I do wonder if you actually might have a bad main board.

 

I assume that you tried the other tricks I suggested and got nowhere with them. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#87 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:14 PM

OK - troubleshooting right now and, get this: Tuesday night, I tried the mount in all different ports. There didn't seem to be any difference. But tonight, I just changed it from the right side of the computer over to the left and ... BAM ... it started working. I'm still testing, but so far it's holding.

 

Either way, I'm sooooooooooooooo grateful for all of you. This kind of thing would be horrible to experience alone!!! : )


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#88 Michael Covington

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:41 PM

Changing USB ports may have made Windows re-scan something in a useful way...

If I were in Louisville visiting my grandchildren, I'd be offering to bring my Linux laptop over and see if it can see the mount.  As it is, I'm down here in Georgia and didn't get to travel for Thanksgiving... I do hope to meet you one day.


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#89 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:43 PM

You could be right, Michael.

Inexplicable.

I changed ports a million times Tuesday night.

 

Changing USB ports may have made Windows re-scan something in a useful way...

If I were in Louisville visiting my grandchildren, I'd be offering to bring my Linux laptop over and see if it can see the mount.  As it is, I'm down here in Georgia and didn't get to travel for Thanksgiving... I do hope to meet you one day.



#90 Michael Covington

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:46 PM

The USB port in the mount could also be out of spec.  The adventure may not be over -- but some suspects have been eliminated!


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#91 rgsalinger

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:56 PM

Well, most laptops have only one actual USB hub. The CEM70G has a USB 3 mount connection. That's the problem. I didn't realize that.

 

If you want reliability connecting to the mount either use a USB 3 cable that's really short and/or do what I do and simply use a USB2 cable. There is nothing about an iOptron mount that requires a USB 3 connection. We have endless threads on CN about USB 3 and connection issues.

 

There are, of course, use cases where USB 3 is necessary but my bet is that is the OP uses a USB 2 cable the computer will connect to the mount from any port on the laptop. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#92 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 06:59 PM

Fascinating.

The only thing I can figure is that when I uninstalled then reinstalled ASCOM, it "fixed" a loose end or something. But the USB port on the right side of this Lenovo T14 ALMOST had me convinced that it wouldn't work. 

 

Now here's something super-interesting: Ever since I've owned this CEM70G (3 months), the primary camera has NEVER worked through the in-mount wiring. 

 

It is now.

 

The USB port in the mount could also be out of spec.  The adventure may not be over -- but some suspects have been eliminated!


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#93 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 07:02 PM

But Ross, I LIKE using USB3 for my primary camera. : )

Besides. It's currently working. : )

 

Doug

 

Well, most laptops have only one actual USB hub. The CEM70G has a USB 3 mount connection. That's the problem. I didn't realize that.

 

If you want reliability connecting to the mount either use a USB 3 cable that's really short and/or do what I do and simply use a USB2 cable. There is nothing about an iOptron mount that requires a USB 3 connection. We have endless threads on CN about USB 3 and connection issues.

 

There are, of course, use cases where USB 3 is necessary but my bet is that is the OP uses a USB 2 cable the computer will connect to the mount from any port on the laptop. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#94 RSJ

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 07:20 PM

Glad you got it working Doug :)

 

Sharpcap complains that I don't have the mount connected, but it does eventually pass me through to the camera anyway.

This is because in Sharpcap, under Settings, you have previously instructed Sharpcap to connect other devices (mount, filter wheel, etc) after connecting to the camera, which is why at the end of the prompts (cannot find mount) it does connect the camera.

 

Clear skies!


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#95 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 07:22 PM

Exactly. 

 

Right now - it's all working.

 

Glad you got it working Doug smile.gif

 

Sharpcap complains that I don't have the mount connected, but it does eventually pass me through to the camera anyway.

This is because in Sharpcap, under Settings, you have previously instructed Sharpcap to connect other devices (mount, filter wheel, etc) after connecting to the camera, which is why at the end of the prompts (cannot find mount) it does connect the camera.

 

Clear skies!



#96 Tom M

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 07:38 PM

Have you ever tried controlling the mount via WiFi, either in AP or STA mode? I run my mounts in AP+STA mode and don't mess with the direct connection. Doing it this way lets me move control computers around by simply changing the last octet of the ip address.



#97 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 08:46 PM

I tried for a minute or two once - unsuccessfully. But either way, I need to control the amount from 200 feet away. I don't think wi-fi would be powerful enough. But thanks for asking.

 

Have you ever tried controlling the mount via WiFi, either in AP or STA mode? I run my mounts in AP+STA mode and don't mess with the direct connection. Doing it this way lets me move control computers around by simply changing the last octet of the ip address.



#98 rgsalinger

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 09:12 PM

Three points.

 

I use a 60 megapixel camera. That gives me 120 megabyte files. Downloading the file USB 2 takes 6.5 seconds. Downloading the file at USB 3 takes 5 seconds. To me it's way not worth the hassle. I take maybe 200 exposures a night so my overhead amounts to about 5 minutes or so. (Many are binned or subframes.)

 

I'm not sure that I undestand the reference to "200 feet". Are you using active USB cabling totally 200 feet? Or are you referring to needing to control the computer placed at the mount from 200 feet away? 

 

I've use direct USB connections on every one of my mounts for 11 years now and I can remember only once in all that time when I had a failure. That was caused by a bad USB/Serial adapter. Fortunately I keep spares. I have nothing against wifi but physical connections (mice aside) are going to be more reliable. Wifi gets better all the time though.

 

Rgrds-Ross



#99 EmeraldHills

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 09:20 PM

Hi Ross. 

I do 'live' EAA. USB2 wouldn't work as well for me.

I observe from a control room that is 200 feet from the scope using one of these:

 

https://www.icron.co...2-1-raven-3104/

 

I always polar align using short cables at the scope - first. It was during the short-cable polar-aligning that I first noticed the fact that the mount wasn't connecting.

 

I use direct cables too. Much preferred to wi-fi.



#100 astrohamp

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 10:18 PM

I was happy to read that you are operational again.

Many laptops (PCs) have more then one USB controller.  This link said: "when listing all USB devices in Linux it shows me that my T14s has 7 USB controllers", which will operate at different specs.

200' is a bit of a wifi challenge which I overcame with a mesh node placed in between my off grid (battery powered) instruments and grid powered desktop running Windows Remote.  I am looking for a better (12V DC) point-to-point alternative like this or better.

Perhaps like someone has suggested, you dedicate a PC for astro use only at your instruments and operate wireless, or use it to drive your icron wire.




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