Re: Com port problems


Hi Peter,

I'm using the 2025 Feathertouch focuser remotely thru the PC.

One day, out of nowhere, it errored as I indicated. When I checked the device manager and COM ports, I discovered that except for COM1 (scope) and COM2 (focuser), all others related "IN USE", so I couldn't grab any others. I reloaded the driver for the focuser again, and checked it afterward that it reflected the correct COM port. I swapped cables and equipment to see if I could run it somehow. The scope and focuser are the only two devices that require Serial to USB cables. I even replaced both of them with new ones! Yet, all the same - just looked at me with that msg.

So I sent the PC off to be looked at, and somehow all COM ports re-set.

That's where I left off. Not returned to me yet, maybe this week. However, I'm lost as to any other way forward.

Any ideas?


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of pnagy@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Saturday, 30 January 2016 1:19 a.m.
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Com port problems


Can you describe in details about your issues? Are you using MicroTouch or Optec focusing system?

It's hard to blame Microsoft, Focuser's driver or USB-to-Serial adapter. Device Manager only tells you the COM port # for the USB-to-Serial adapter but not the device it's connecting to so you have to make a guess like I described below.

Once I guessed the COM port # correctly for the devices I am trying to control, it's works great from then on.


---In ap-gto@..., wrote :

I'm having the same problem with a feathertouch focuser, using serial to usb. I'm having the PC examined.

Has anyone found the remedy yet?


From: ap-gto@... on behalf of pnagy@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Saturday, 30 January 2016 1:06 a.m.
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: Com port problems

I had somewhat similar issue. I have Optec Focus Boss II which came with USB-to-Serial adapter plus another adapter for A-P mount. This means I have two serial ports for my setup. I use Device Manager to find out the COM port numbers but the device manager never tells me the actual device (Optec or A-P mount) so I had to guess. For example, if the device manager said one COM port is #5 and other is #7, initially I would think that Optec belonged to COM port #5 and A-P mount belonged to #7 and if that didn't work, then I would swap COM port numbers and then it would work. From then on, it would retained the same COM port numbers for both devices and I would no longer have issues. FTDI chipset allows to retain same COM port numbers as long as you don't change anything else like changing USB hubs with different brands.


---In ap-gto@..., wrote :

"Probably uninstall and reinstall weren't required."

Maybe not for you... :)  

Is there a way to tell what com port is assigned to what device from within device manager?

On Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 8:24 PM, 'Christopher Erickson' christopher.k.erickson@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

Probably uninstall and reinstall weren't required.  Just matching the OS assigned device COM port numbers with the various program com port targets. 
I blame Microsoft for making COM port management in Windows way more complicated and unintuitive than it needed to be.  They could have had a simple, graphic tool in the Control Panel that took care of everything but they didn't.  I guess it just wasn't a priority.
Of course its only geeks and technical applications that need serial ports these days.  The average noob with a USB keyboard, mouse, printer and Internet router doesn't need or understand serial ports and how important they are in the technical/scientific world.  
What's more unsettling is that supposedly there are less PC's in homes these days than there were five years ago.  And over twice as many smartphones, tablets and smart TV's.
Christopher Erickson
Consulting Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2016 3:57 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Com port problems

Just to show my own ineptitude with com ports, and to give everyone a good laugh...

Tonight I set up my new to me Mach1.  I am primarily an imager and I connected my camera (usb), filter wheel (usb) and moonlite focuser driver (usb-virtual COM port).  Of course I connected the mount through a com port as well.

All the equipment was connected and appeared to be fine.  The very first thing I did after connecting everything was call the filter wheel to change positions...AND THE FOCUSER STARTED MOVING!  What?!?!?!  I had to unplug the power from the focuser in order to get it to stop because the filter wheel driver still thought the FW was spinning!

What boggles my mind is that the filter wheel uses a straight USB connection.  The Moonlite focuser driver creates a virtual com port.  So I had two com ports listed in device manager, COM1 for the focuser and COM5 for the mount.  I had to completely uninstall the Moonlite driver and re-install it becaues every time I tried to move the FW the focuser moved.  After reinstalling a fresh com port was created and all was well.

So, can you understand my aversion to com ports?  Bring on the CP4!

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