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Two instances of AP ASCOM driver on same computer


Luca Marinelli
 

I have two piers in the observatory with a Mach1GTO and AP 1100GTO mounts. Currently, the two mounts and respective imaging equipment are connected to two separate computers. One of these computers will need to be replaced soon and given that the newer one is significantly more powerful I am wondering if it is possible to run both mounts from the same computer with two separate instances of the AP ASCOM driver and APPC or if this is likely to end up causing trouble.  

Thanks,

Luca


Bill Long
 

Could run a VM for the second instance.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Luca Marinelli <photo@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 5:32 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Two instances of AP ASCOM driver on same computer
 
I have two piers in the observatory with a Mach1GTO and AP 1100GTO mounts. Currently, the two mounts and respective imaging equipment are connected to two separate computers. One of these computers will need to be replaced soon and given that the newer one is significantly more powerful I am wondering if it is possible to run both mounts from the same computer with two separate instances of the AP ASCOM driver and APPC or if this is likely to end up causing trouble.  

Thanks,

Luca


Ray Gralak
 

Could run a VM for the second instance.
Assuming you plan on using both for imaging, you may or may not be able to do that, as some virtual machines do not support USB
devices, like cameras, very well. VMWare Workstation seems to have the best support for USB devices.

Even so, some manufacturers' drivers may not support two of the same device on the same physical computer, or it may be hard to
distinguish which device is which.

Also, consider that you may need an additional license for APCC and other applications, just as if you had installed on multiple
physical computers.

-Ray Gralak
Author of PEMPro
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
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 Bill Long
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 5:43 AM
To: Luca Marinelli; main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Two instances of AP ASCOM driver on same computer

Could run a VM for the second instance.

________________________________

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Luca Marinelli <photo@lucamarinelli.com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 5:32 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Two instances of AP ASCOM driver on same computer

I have two piers in the observatory with a Mach1GTO and AP 1100GTO mounts. Currently, the two mounts and
respective imaging equipment are connected to two separate computers. One of these computers will need to be
replaced soon and given that the newer one is significantly more powerful I am wondering if it is possible to run both
mounts from the same computer with two separate instances of the AP ASCOM driver and APPC or if this is likely
to end up causing trouble.

Thanks,

Luca


Astronut
 

Interesting...
vmWare really does seem to have the best USB support, and it really does work, but, there can be considerable speed degradation in the guest's usb performance, regardless of the host's horsepower and performance. For a mount it won't matter, but with high bandwidth usb3 cameras, you will definately notice a performance difference when imaging with multiple camera's from a virtual machine compared to even a reasonably modest physical pc.

There ARE some really usb 'friendly' features in the more recent versions of vmWorkstation Pro, that allow you to choose a target guest vm when you connect a usb device, and the target guest can be remembered, so that each time the usb device connects, it is automatically passed through to the previously chosen guest for instance.

In fact, in spite of the potential usb performance degradation, there are the other 'standard' virtualization benefits to a vm environment for astro/observatory, such as fast, easy recovery of a virtual pc's operating system and all other installed software that has been carefully tuned and configured that connot be achieved without the equivalent of hard disk cloning. New software can be tested reasonably safely, without the fear of having to redo the os in the event of unforseen issues. 

There is also a 'Unity mode' which could let you configure say, two vm's, one for each mount, for instance, and then effectively have two programs that normally can't run on the same physical machine's desktop, 'appear' to be running in the same single desktop, and actually be running on each seperate virtual machine.

Astronut Tim
(just another vm advocate)


Luca Marinelli
 

Thank you all for the ideas. It sounds like I'll be sticking with two separate computers and will figure out a robust way to pass SkyAlert information from one computer to the other so both imaging systems are using the same safety monitor data.

Best,

Luca