GTO CP3 Problem


pepineus
 

Dear AP friends,

I am the owner of a AP900 GTO CP3 mount and a GT130 OTA. I waited in the long-line for many years to get the GT, and I use it mainly for imaging. The APM is a different story, I purchased it second hand from a guy who was working offshore near my hometown in Barcelona. After I purchased this mount almost all my problems with previous mounts went away. From the very first day, I noticed the upper serial port did not seem to work (could not find a COM port working for it). However the lower port did seem to work nicely: at a ceratin COM, the AP driver detected the CP3 "Rev I" unit.

However in the last couple of years I found the driver got hung up and my imaging runs were frequently ruined. I discarded software problems by setting up a different computer and trying different Microsoft OS (W7, W10). I am using SkyX, Maxim DL, and CCD Commander. The hung ups always look the same: I can attest this by checking the Windows Task administrator, where the AP Driver is shown as "not responding". I have tried again many times to search for the upper serial port, but is does not seem to respond. This has become a serious limitation now. I recently discovered that the lower port might present its own limitations, and I wonder if this might be reason behing what I am experiencing.

I recently purchased a CP2 unit for little money, which I will try. Given the basic things I am nowadays doing, I believe it will suffice, but I am wondering if AP will service my CP3 unit, and if it would, if it is really worth it. I would actually purchase the CP4, but it is a more relevant investment, this is something I might eventually do.

If you have read so far, thanks. Hopefully I will soon get the CP2 I just got,

Merry Christmas and wish you a great new year,

Josep M.


pepineus
 

In case it helps, this is what I could retrieve from the log in the AP drivers after the problem occurs,

399994 2019-12-25 19:59:19.948:            ASCOM: Info      : GET AtPark = False
399995 2019-12-25 19:59:19.972:            ASCOM: Info      : GET RightAscension = 1.58305555555556
399996 2019-12-25 19:59:19.972:            ASCOM: Info      : GET Declination = 30.7602777777778
399997 2019-12-25 19:59:19.973:            ASCOM: Info      : GET SideOfPier = West
399998 2019-12-25 19:59:19.974:            ASCOM: Info      : GET Tracking = True
399999 2019-12-25 19:59:19.974:           Driver: Info      : CommandString TX=':GD#'
400000 2019-12-25 19:59:20.481:        Telescope: Warning   : Retransmits: 15
400001 2019-12-25 19:59:20.481:           Driver: Error     : CommandString: NO Response or bad response: ':GD#', Response='' -> Retrying!
400002 2019-12-25 19:59:20.492:            ASCOM: Info      : GET Slewing = False


Roland Christen
 

We can fix the CP3 so it will work again. However, it is old technology and you may want to invest in the CP4 which has all new software and will allow new features to be loaded via an internet connection.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: pepineus <tromouse@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Dec 25, 2019 6:25 am
Subject: [ap-gto] GTO CP3 Problem

Dear AP friends,

I am the owner of a AP900 GTO CP3 mount and a GT130 OTA. I waited in the long-line for many years to get the GT, and I use it mainly for imaging. The APM is a different story, I purchased it second hand from a guy who was working offshore near my hometown in Barcelona. After I purchased this mount almost all my problems with previous mounts went away. From the very first day, I noticed the upper serial port did not seem to work (could not find a COM port working for it). However the lower port did seem to work nicely: at a ceratin COM, the AP driver detected the CP3 "Rev I" unit.

However in the last couple of years I found the driver got hung up and my imaging runs were frequently ruined. I discarded software problems by setting up a different computer and trying different Microsoft OS (W7, W10). I am using SkyX, Maxim DL, and CCD Commander. The hung ups always look the same: I can attest this by checking the Windows Task administrator, where the AP Driver is shown as "not responding". I have tried again many times to search for the upper serial port, but is does not seem to respond. This has become a serious limitation now. I recently discovered that the lower port might present its own limitations, and I wonder if this might be reason behing what I am experiencing.

I recently purchased a CP2 unit for little money, which I will try. Given the basic things I am nowadays doing, I believe it will suffice, but I am wondering if AP will service my CP3 unit, and if it would, if it is really worth it. I would actually purchase the CP4, but it is a more relevant investment, this is something I might eventually do.

If you have read so far, thanks. Hopefully I will soon get the CP2 I just got,

Merry Christmas and wish you a great new year,

Josep M.


Renan
 

Josep,

 

Did you try with a different serial-usb adapter? (FTDI chip)

 

 

From: uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io
Sent: jueves, 26 de diciembre de 2019 13:58
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] GTO CP3 Problem

 

We can fix the CP3 so it will work again. However, it is old technology and you may want to invest in the CP4 which has all new software and will allow new features to be loaded via an internet connection.

 

Rolando

 

-----Original Message-----
From: pepineus <tromouse@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Dec 25, 2019 6:25 am
Subject: [ap-gto] GTO CP3 Problem

Dear AP friends,

I am the owner of a AP900 GTO CP3 mount and a GT130 OTA. I waited in the long-line for many years to get the GT, and I use it mainly for imaging. The APM is a different story, I purchased it second hand from a guy who was working offshore near my hometown in Barcelona. After I purchased this mount almost all my problems with previous mounts went away. From the very first day, I noticed the upper serial port did not seem to work (could not find a COM port working for it). However the lower port did seem to work nicely: at a ceratin COM, the AP driver detected the CP3 "Rev I" unit.

However in the last couple of years I found the driver got hung up and my imaging runs were frequently ruined. I discarded software problems by setting up a different computer and trying different Microsoft OS (W7, W10). I am using SkyX, Maxim DL, and CCD Commander. The hung ups always look the same: I can attest this by checking the Windows Task administrator, where the AP Driver is shown as "not responding". I have tried again many times to search for the upper serial port, but is does not seem to respond. This has become a serious limitation now. I recently discovered that the lower port might present its own limitations, and I wonder if this might be reason behing what I am experiencing.

I recently purchased a CP2 unit for little money, which I will try. Given the basic things I am nowadays doing, I believe it will suffice, but I am wondering if AP will service my CP3 unit, and if it would, if it is really worth it. I would actually purchase the CP4, but it is a more relevant investment, this is something I might eventually do.

If you have read so far, thanks. Hopefully I will soon get the CP2 I just got,

Merry Christmas and wish you a great new year,

Josep M.

 


Christopher Erickson
 

In my CP3's the serial driver chip (MAX238CNG)  that connects directly to the two serial ports is socketed so if the chip is damaged by static electricity or such, it can be replaced by the user. Nobody else but AP sockets their driver chips! AP is awesome!

If you decide to order a new chip (or four) and install it yourself, maybe take an extra moment to review your setup and try to figure out how the chip was damaged by ESD and how to prevent it from happening again.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Thu, Dec 26, 2019, 7:15 AM Renan Van De Wyngard <renanvdw@...> wrote:

Josep,

 

Did you try with a different serial-usb adapter? (FTDI chip)

 

 

From: uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io
Sent: jueves, 26 de diciembre de 2019 13:58
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] GTO CP3 Problem

 

We can fix the CP3 so it will work again. However, it is old technology and you may want to invest in the CP4 which has all new software and will allow new features to be loaded via an internet connection.

 

Rolando

 

-----Original Message-----
From: pepineus <tromouse@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Dec 25, 2019 6:25 am
Subject: [ap-gto] GTO CP3 Problem

Dear AP friends,

I am the owner of a AP900 GTO CP3 mount and a GT130 OTA. I waited in the long-line for many years to get the GT, and I use it mainly for imaging. The APM is a different story, I purchased it second hand from a guy who was working offshore near my hometown in Barcelona. After I purchased this mount almost all my problems with previous mounts went away. From the very first day, I noticed the upper serial port did not seem to work (could not find a COM port working for it). However the lower port did seem to work nicely: at a ceratin COM, the AP driver detected the CP3 "Rev I" unit.

However in the last couple of years I found the driver got hung up and my imaging runs were frequently ruined. I discarded software problems by setting up a different computer and trying different Microsoft OS (W7, W10). I am using SkyX, Maxim DL, and CCD Commander. The hung ups always look the same: I can attest this by checking the Windows Task administrator, where the AP Driver is shown as "not responding". I have tried again many times to search for the upper serial port, but is does not seem to respond. This has become a serious limitation now. I recently discovered that the lower port might present its own limitations, and I wonder if this might be reason behing what I am experiencing.

I recently purchased a CP2 unit for little money, which I will try. Given the basic things I am nowadays doing, I believe it will suffice, but I am wondering if AP will service my CP3 unit, and if it would, if it is really worth it. I would actually purchase the CP4, but it is a more relevant investment, this is something I might eventually do.

If you have read so far, thanks. Hopefully I will soon get the CP2 I just got,

Merry Christmas and wish you a great new year,

Josep M.

 


Don Anderson
 

Josep
As Chris pointed out, you can replace the Serial chip quite easily. They are relatively cheap. Maybe at the same time, you might consider upgrading the CP3 firmware to Rev V. Installing the chips is quite easy to do. Check the AP website on the cost. You or a tech savvy friend should have no problem doing it.  

Don Anderson


On Thursday, December 26, 2019, 10:55:39 a.m. MST, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:


In my CP3's the serial driver chip (MAX238CNG)  that connects directly to the two serial ports is socketed so if the chip is damaged by static electricity or such, it can be replaced by the user. Nobody else but AP sockets their driver chips! AP is awesome!

If you decide to order a new chip (or four) and install it yourself, maybe take an extra moment to review your setup and try to figure out how the chip was damaged by ESD and how to prevent it from happening again.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Thu, Dec 26, 2019, 7:15 AM Renan Van De Wyngard <renanvdw@...> wrote:

Josep,

 

Did you try with a different serial-usb adapter? (FTDI chip)

 

 

From: uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via Groups.Io
Sent: jueves, 26 de diciembre de 2019 13:58
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] GTO CP3 Problem

 

We can fix the CP3 so it will work again. However, it is old technology and you may want to invest in the CP4 which has all new software and will allow new features to be loaded via an internet connection.

 

Rolando

 

-----Original Message-----
From: pepineus <tromouse@...>
To: main <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Dec 25, 2019 6:25 am
Subject: [ap-gto] GTO CP3 Problem

Dear AP friends,

I am the owner of a AP900 GTO CP3 mount and a GT130 OTA. I waited in the long-line for many years to get the GT, and I use it mainly for imaging. The APM is a different story, I purchased it second hand from a guy who was working offshore near my hometown in Barcelona. After I purchased this mount almost all my problems with previous mounts went away. From the very first day, I noticed the upper serial port did not seem to work (could not find a COM port working for it). However the lower port did seem to work nicely: at a ceratin COM, the AP driver detected the CP3 "Rev I" unit.

However in the last couple of years I found the driver got hung up and my imaging runs were frequently ruined. I discarded software problems by setting up a different computer and trying different Microsoft OS (W7, W10). I am using SkyX, Maxim DL, and CCD Commander. The hung ups always look the same: I can attest this by checking the Windows Task administrator, where the AP Driver is shown as "not responding". I have tried again many times to search for the upper serial port, but is does not seem to respond. This has become a serious limitation now. I recently discovered that the lower port might present its own limitations, and I wonder if this might be reason behing what I am experiencing.

I recently purchased a CP2 unit for little money, which I will try. Given the basic things I am nowadays doing, I believe it will suffice, but I am wondering if AP will service my CP3 unit, and if it would, if it is really worth it. I would actually purchase the CP4, but it is a more relevant investment, this is something I might eventually do.

If you have read so far, thanks. Hopefully I will soon get the CP2 I just got,

Merry Christmas and wish you a great new year,

Josep M.

 


pepineus
 

Hi, good evening here,

Thanks for the advice Roland, I will take your advice seriously about the CP4, even thought my mount is an oldie AP900. With regards to my problem, do you think I could solve it by upgrading the chip to the latest V2 unit? should I also change the serial chip as others are suggesting? 

I have checked the subtitution instructions for the ROM, and I feel I could do it myself, but I wonder if this will solve my problem. Anyway, I will open the CP3 unit and check which chip type is in there.

Thanks Christopher, Don for chiming in. Renan, the serial-USB adapter I am using was purchased from AP some yeras ago, I own 2 units and checked them both, seem to work fine.

As I said, will look inside and report back.

Josep


pepineus
 

I just uploaded a pic of the CP3 in the pics section. 15 years already ... I guess it deserves the upgrade.

https://ap-gto.groups.io/g/main/photo/236450/1?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0

I see I can purchase the serial chip nearby, as well, maybe I should do just that.

Josep


Don Anderson
 

Go for it! Got very little to lose.

Don Anderson


On Saturday, December 28, 2019, 01:29:31 a.m. MST, pepineus <tromouse@...> wrote:


I just uploaded a pic of the CP3 in the pics section. 15 years already ... I guess it deserves the upgrade.

https://ap-gto.groups.io/g/main/photo/236450/1?p=Created,,,20,2,0,0

I see I can purchase the serial chip nearby, as well, maybe I should do just that.

Josep


pepineus
 

Hi everyone,

Happy new year,

I am reporting back on my problem. I got the new serial driver chip (MAX238CNG) for my CP3 and installed it. The lower serial port seems to work ok, as I can find it at COM4 and connects (remember I am trying to avoid this one since I get many reliability issues). However I still cannot fins the upper serial port at COMS 1-20 ! If I cannot solve this I will not update the ROM on the CP3.

Josep


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Josep,

I got the new serial driver chip (MAX238CNG) for my CP3 and installed it. The
lower serial port seems to work ok, as I can find it at COM4 and connects
(remember I am trying to avoid this one
since I get many reliability issues). However I still cannot fins the upper
serial port at COMS 1-20 ! If I cannot solve
this I will not update the ROM on the CP3.
The COM port on the computer will not change if you disconnect the cable from the bottom port on the CP3 and connect it to the top port on the CP3.

So, after you plug the same cable into the top port try communicating on COM4. If the mount doesn't respond on COM4 then there is a problem with the top port.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of pepineus
Sent: Saturday, January 4, 2020 1:42 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] GTO CP3 Problem

Hi everyone,

Happy new year,

I am reporting back on my problem. I got the new serial driver chip (MAX238CNG) for my CP3 and installed it. The
lower serial port seems to work ok, as I can find it at COM4 and connects (remember I am trying to avoid this one
since I get many reliability issues). However I still cannot fins the upper serial port at COMS 1-20 ! If I cannot solve
this I will not update the ROM on the CP3.

Josep


pepineus
 

Hi Ray,

Thanks for the explanation, I did try COM4 on the upper serial as well with no luck. Changing the serial driver chip did not fix this.

Where can the problem be ? Something else I could try ?

Thanks in advance,

Josep


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Josep,

Thanks for the explanation, I did try COM4 on the upper serial as well with no luck. Changing the serial driver chip
did not fix this.

Where can the problem be ? Something else I could try ?
If, when using the same cable, the bottom port works but the top port does not then unless someone else has a suggestion you may have to send the control box to Astro-Physics for repair.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of pepineus
Sent: Saturday, January 4, 2020 7:36 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] GTO CP3 Problem

Hi Ray,

Thanks for the explanation, I did try COM4 on the upper serial as well with no luck. Changing the serial driver chip
did not fix this.

Where can the problem be ? Something else I could try ?

Thanks in advance,

Josep


pepineus
 

Hi there,

After considering all the options I was offered, I concluded I could not justify the cost of sending my CP3 unit to AP to have the upper serial port repaired and have to deal with customs, etc, or purchasing a brand new CP4. Instead I found a good working condition CP2. My workflow is actually very simple, and when in the future I may require a much more sofisticaded mount, I will seriously consider a new one with all the bells & whistles.

I am happy with how the mount performs with the CP2.

I wanted to close this thread I left while trying to solve my problem, but in the spirit of trying to help, I found this: lots of "Communications Errors" between the control unit and the driver. This led me to substitute all hardware (cable, serial plugs, I even had the Keyspain serial/UBS reinstalled). My PC runs on W10 and is up to date. The driver I was using was Ray's last one. The "Communication Errors" did disappear when installing back the 5.09.01 driver (not that I tested all of them in between that one and the last one). But this is how I sar the "Communication Errors" disspear.

Thanks everyone for the assistance, my problem solved in an unexpected way, but I am happy I can enjoy the mount again.

Josep M. Aymami
Tiana (Barcelona, Spain)


Don Anderson
 

Glad to hear you have got your mount working for you again. Clear Skies!

Don Anderson


On Saturday, April 4, 2020, 03:59:12 p.m. MDT, pepineus <tromouse@...> wrote:


Hi there,

After considering all the options I was offered, I concluded I could not justify the cost of sending my CP3 unit to AP to have the upper serial port repaired and have to deal with customs, etc, or purchasing a brand new CP4. Instead I found a good working condition CP2. My workflow is actually very simple, and when in the future I may require a much more sofisticaded mount, I will seriously consider a new one with all the bells & whistles.

I am happy with how the mount performs with the CP2.

I wanted to close this thread I left while trying to solve my problem, but in the spirit of trying to help, I found this: lots of "Communications Errors" between the control unit and the driver. This led me to substitute all hardware (cable, serial plugs, I even had the Keyspain serial/UBS reinstalled). My PC runs on W10 and is up to date. The driver I was using was Ray's last one. The "Communication Errors" did disappear when installing back the 5.09.01 driver (not that I tested all of them in between that one and the last one). But this is how I sar the "Communication Errors" disspear.

Thanks everyone for the assistance, my problem solved in an unexpected way, but I am happy I can enjoy the mount again.

Josep M. Aymami
Tiana (Barcelona, Spain)