Re: SERIAL PORTS (was: cannot connect gto CP3 to the SKy 6)

Christopher Erickson

USB appears to be simple to the user but is incredibly-complex to the
developer. RS-232 is simple for developers, especially since it is
built-into just about all microcontrollers.

When the data-rate is low, RS-232 is the fastest, cheapest and most
reliable interface to implement in microcontroller-based devices.

All of the USB-to-Serial problems I have ever investigated to date have
been related to brand-X adapters, their junky drivers or because the
user installed the wrong drivers for his/her particular OS.

I hope this helps.

Christopher Erickson
Consulting Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...] On Behalf Of
Pete Su
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 12:50 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: SERIAL PORTS (was: cannot connect gto CP3 to the
SKy 6)

I could get behind Ethernet.

I find the fascination with RS232 in astronomy circles to be puzzling.
While there are certainly reasons that embedded industrial control
applications still use them (super simple device interfaces) this is
not what we are doing with telescope mounts. Telescope mounts (and
cameras, and all the other devices) use the serial line to send
commands to the mount controller which are then translated into lower
level signal to the motors or whatnot. The only rational reason I can
see to prefer RS232 for this above anything else is cable length, but
even that's a red herring IMHO. Ethernet cable runs can be just as
long and what "everyone" ends up doing anyway is to remote control the
mount using a second computer and TCP/IP, which doesn't even need a

So yeah, ethernet. It's almost as old as RS-232 anyway (invented in
the 70s, vs. the 60s).



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