Mach2 Wifi problems #Mach2GTO #WiFi


Hello all,
I recently did some more extensive tests to isolate the Mach2 WiFi issues I've had and got some interesting results.

First, my field setup:
A PC with APCC Pro runs the mount.
My MacBook Pro runs my ZWO guide camera and my QHY imaging camera.
My iPhone SE connects to the mount after APCC Pro initializes it. The phone, using SkySafariPlus, operates and direct the mount. This was my standard field setup, backyard or dark sky site.

My problem:
The WiFi phone connection with the mount would repeatedly drop (due to auto-lock, I found out later). Reconnecting failed unless I'd power the mount off and on. I could not figure out why a power recycle was necessary.

The test in my basement home office and workshop (See the attached photo):
I set up the Mach2 powered by AC.
The PC, connected via ethernet to the CP5, was running APCC Pro. The WiFi was disabled.
My Macbook was running SkySafari Pro, with the WiFi also disabled.
My iPhone SE, also running Sky Safari, connected cleanly to the mount AFTER it was initialized by APCC Pro. The phone was set to NEVER auto-lock.
In this setup, I was able to control the mount with no dropouts at all. I ran the mount from 2 feet away. I went upstairs to a different room and the phone still ran the mount. I went out to my back yard, the mount still in the basement, the WiFi ran the mount perfectly. No dropouts.

Adding the laptops:
I connected my Macbook Pro to the mount via WiFi, and watched it track via SkySafari as I moved the mount with the phone. No problems, near or far. The phone maintained its connection to the mount, even with the Macbook connected. I could also see the mount's movement displayed in real time on the APCC program too. So three connections to the mount, no dropouts from WiFi, and clean data moving to all three in real time. 

Adding two cameras via cheap USB cords (see attached photo)
To see if USB data somehow affects the WiFi signal, I connected a ZWO ASI290 planetary camera and a QHY l68c large sensor camera to the laptop, and started both camera programs running image data to the laptop in steady, repeating loops. The iPhone remained connected to the Wifi, no matter where I went with in the house or outside. I could control the mount regardless of my proximity, even two floors up or 50 feet away outside. the WiFi ran the mount perfectly. No dropouts.

The problem returns:
I then disconnected my phone from the mount and the CP5 WiFi. When I tried to reconnect, SkySafari informed me that it could not make a wireless connection to the scope, even though the phone was once again linked to the CP5 WiFi.  See attached photo

Here was my field problem repeated. It seems that the CP5 WiFi can handle multiple connections, but the SkySafari program cannot reconnect when other traffic is present. Kind of like a no re-entry rule at a rock concert. After learning this, i tried another imaging session. Wifi on both laptops was disabled. The iPhone was the only device occupying the CP5 Wifi. I had no dropouts. I was also able to disconnect and reconnect at will. 

With the recent arrival of the keypad/hand controller, I can eliminate the PC laptop. During a backyard test a couple nights ago, the iPhone SkySafari worked seamlessly with the keypad.

Conclusion: My Mach2 Wifi issues seemed to be caused when multiple devices were sharing the Wifi, and when one exits, it somehow is prevented from reconnecting.  My initial perception of problem was not complete and I did not fully understand how the entire system was working and communicating. At this time, I don't see an inherent issue that I can definitively trace to the CP5 Wifi on my Mach2.

Ernie Mastroianni

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