Communications Error Messages in AP Ascom Driver


Don Anderson
 

I set up my AP 900 GOTO CP3 with version V firmware rig in my basement last night to do some software and firmware upgrades last night on my two laptops (main unit Lenovo i7 Win 10 home with 8 gig ram, backup unit Sony Vaio i5 Win 7 pro with 4 gig ram. I started with my old but trusty Win 7 Pro Sony Vaio laptop which has worked trouble free for years. I updated the AP Ascom driver to the latest 5.20.09 version and did some firmware updates on my focuser hub. When I started everything up, everything worked fine but after a minute or so I got the flashing yellow panel at the top of the driver indicating communication errors. I opened the driver extension windows to the final one and did a reset. Again after a minute or so the yellow warning flashed again. I then rebooted the computer and had the same result. I tried uninstalling the driver and reinstalling. Same problem. I rolled back to different older versions (5.20.08 then 5.10.02) of the driver but had the same problem. I then tried my Lenovo and had the same communication error warning popping up in the driver every minute or so. 

My current hardware configuration is to run the mount through a Keyspan Triplite 19HS (FTDI) singe port USB to serial converter connected to a 7 port powered USB hub to which the mount, focuser, main and guide cameras and filter wheel are connected. I connect the powered hub to the laptop with either a 10' usb cable or a 65' powered usb cable depending on where I am. I was using the 10' cable last night. The mount has its own dedicated pyramid 5 amp power supply.

The above setup has has worked trouble free for years. However, suspecting a hub problem, I disconnected the hub and all accessory equipment and ran the mount directly to the laptop via the Keyspan 19HS serial to USB converter. I had no other device connected at this point. Same problem occurred. I then swapped out the existing Keyspan unit with a new spare unit that I had, and tried a different 10' USB cable as well. Same problem with communication error messages popping up after about a minute. Even with the communication errors, things seem to work ok though. Mount slews to objects in both The SKY 6 and MaximDL 6.08. I then tried cleaning all the relevant electrical plugs and contacts with contact cleaner. Didn't help. 

Any ideas what's wrong?

Don Anderson

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