Re: Lost communications with mount


Hi Everyone,

Happy new year.

Thank you for all the inputs.  I have been testing this in the past two days.  Some progress and some puzzles.

First, I noticed that every time when the disconnection or lost communication occurs, about two to four seconds
earlier, there is a tiny click sound from the mount first.  Once I noticed this, I haven't found any exceptions.
The click sound that sounds like a parking or unparking sound always happens first, before the software side
shows a disconnection.  

About the crosshair update rate and timeout setting, initially I increased the times as suggested by Ray.  The
disconnection problem rate also decreases significantly.  However, it doesn't go away.  The longest crosshair
update time I tried is 2500 ms and the longest timeout I used for ASCOM driver is 3000 ms.  When I set to
these values, the problem occurred at a much lower rate.  I could "track" for anywhere between 20 minutes
and 1 hour without encountering a disconnection, but disconnection would still happen eventually.  What's
interesting is that now I went back to the default shorter update time and shorter timeout, the disconnection
still occurred with a much lower frequency.  Now it's a much rarer problem than what it was a few days ago.  
So probably the problem is not associated with the crosshair update time or timeout setting.  It's something
else I did. 

Now, no matter what I do, I can't make the disconnection problem occur as frequently as before.  It shows
up every half hour or even longer, but it doesn't completely go away.  This makes the testing much harder,
as I have to wait for very long for an error to show up.

Regarding Roland's last message, I now only run APCC.  No ASCOM, no TheSky, no nothing else.  The click
sound + disconnection still happens every half hour or so.  When it happens, the initialization window also
pops up.  And nothing appears in the APCC error log window.  That long window remains empty all the time.

At this moment, I am waiting for a custom-made tripod adapter for Mach2 and our existing tripod (TAK EM400's).
So I can't properly secure Mach2 and balance it with counterweights and a telescope.  I just put the unloaded
Mach2 on the table at positions around Park 3 with small range of RA motion.   I can't go to other Park positions
except for Park 2 and 3, to avoid RA imbalance.  To cycle through all Park positions as Roland suggested, it will
be some time later until I can really put Mach2 on a tripod.

To see if the problem is confined to APCC, ASCOM, or TheSky6, I tried the following:
1. Control Mach2 in TheSky6 through ASCOM only
2. Control Mach2 in TheSky6 through ASCOM under APCC with a virtual port
3. Control Mach2 with APCC only (no TheSky)
4. Control Mach2 with APJog Utility through ASCOM (no TheSky)
The behavior is all the same.  Every half hour orf so, a click sound from the mount and then disconnection detected
by the software.

Regarding power, I am using the 24V power converter that came with the mount. It was plugged into a 110V
wall power jack.  To make sure it's not the 110V power's fault, I just moved the 24V power converter to a UPS
that has been used by my NAS (so it should be very stable).  The disconnection problem still occurs (APCC only).
At this moment, I have no other means to verify whether it is a power-related problem. However, given that I am
using the original power adapter on a UPS, the power fed to Mach2 should be relatively clean and stable.

Last thing to share is, I just encountered a rare situation.  In APCC, I asked Mach2 to go from Park 3 to Park 2.
Right in the middle of motion, the click+disconnection occurred, and Mach2 stopped without completing the
parking task.  I am not sure if this helps to diagnose at all.  I just report this incident.  

I am still testing this using USB.  I want to make sure that I exhausted the possible tests.  Next I will move
to Ethernet and Wifi.

I appreciate all the helps you provided.




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