AP Driver fails on serial port after PC repair


drgert1
 
Edited

Hi,

Following a bad charging circuit I had to replace the main board in my Dell laptop.
With that done the AP driver fails on the serial connection to the mount.
The same was working fine before.
Maybe some setting I have to re-do?

http://skywatcher.space/download/AP_Driver_serial_fail_20200927.mp4

UPDATE:
Changing the FTDI USB adapter improved connections but now the AP driver UI shows all coordinates at initialization values.

Logfiles :
http://skywatcher.space/download/AscomZip-Gert-2020-09-27-015033.zip

Thanks,
Gert


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Gert,

Changing the FTDI USB adapter improved connections but now the AP driver UI shows all coordinates at
initialization values.
None of your logs show the mount is responding, but maybe you haven't included the latest?

After a new mainboard you usually should reinstall the chipset drivers in case there are any hardware differences in the new mainboard.

Also, have you double checked power to the mount and tried a different cable?

-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 drgert1 via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2020 1:04 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP Driver fails on serial port after PC repair

[Edited Message Follows]

Hi,

Following a bad charging circuit I had to replace the main board in my Dell laptop.
With that done the AP driver fails on the serial connection to the mount.
The same was working fine before.
Maybe some setting I have to re-do?

http://skywatcher.space/download/AP_Driver_serial_fail_20200927.mp4

UPDATE:
Changing the FTDI USB adapter improved connections but now the AP driver UI shows all coordinates at
initialization values.

Logfiles :
http://skywatcher.space/download/AscomZip-Gert-2020-09-27-015033.zip

Thanks,
Gert


drgert1
 

Hi Ray,

Thanks for making the log-zip utility this  nice small standalone package!

I went through 2 shoe-boxes of USB cables / USB adapter plugs.  Something there got really picky. Not sure what's going on.

My prev. connection (which I like) is :
Mount - 1:1 serial cable - USB adapter plug - USB pigtail extension - laptop.
The pig tail extension (2ft) is there just to strain relieve the USB connector at the computer. Not really necessary but I like it that way.

Replacing USB adapter plug AND pig tail I got to a connection that worked. I have logs here.
http://skywatcher.space/download/AscomZip-Gert-2020-09-27-104919.zip

The last ones show a 'working' connection. 2020-09-27 02:40:24

I tried my 'old' cable setup with my older 'astro' laptop  (win7) and it was OK, though more experiment is needed. It go too late.

  • Is there a B BIOS / driver setting on the PC side that controls USB OS priority that I forgot about and that has to be re-established in the new mainboard? The board is a 100% same Dell part (alas from ebay) down to manufacturing rev/date silk screen print.
  • Is there a failure mechanism in GTOCP3 where the serial is loosing oooompf ??
  • Can I debug the setup in the bench just with the GTOCP3 (no mount) to simplify thing? (What should I look for to check connection? / I can't press the mount move buttons in the driver and check mount motion then)
  • I am thinking that the USB serial should be a rock solid connection with no 'cable dependent' failure modes. It's solid wire connection / nowhere near demanding signal frequencies / 30 year established tech)

Cheers,
Gert


Ray Gralak
 

Gert,

I went through the latest logs, and at least one showed good comunication to the CP3, so I don't think the problem is with your CP3.

I went through 2 shoe-boxes of USB cables / USB adapter plugs. Something there got really picky. Not sure what's
going on.
The weakest link in your setup is going to be the USB/serial converter. They are only as reliable as the driver and the components of the converter.

Most USB cables have a length restriction of about 15 feet, so it's best to find a serial/USB converter with a short pigtail. Then you can use a DB9 male-to-female serial cable from the adapter to the mount. The serial cable can be much longer than 15 feet and still maintain reliable operation.

Also, using a USB hub can cause problems, so avoid using one if you can.

-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 drgert1 via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2020 11:05 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP Driver fails on serial port after PC repair

Hi Ray,

Thanks for making the log-zip utility this nice small standalone package!

I went through 2 shoe-boxes of USB cables / USB adapter plugs. Something there got really picky. Not sure what's
going on.

My prev. connection (which I like) is :
Mount - 1:1 serial cable - USB adapter plug - USB pigtail extension - laptop.
The pig tail extension (2ft) is there just to strain relieve the USB connector at the computer. Not really necessary but
I like it that way.

Replacing USB adapter plug AND pig tail I got to a connection that worked. I have logs here.
http://skywatcher.space/download/AscomZip-Gert-2020-09-27-104919.zip

The last ones show a 'working' connection. 2020-09-27 02:40:24

I tried my 'old' cable setup with my older 'astro' laptop (win7) and it was OK, though more experiment is needed. It
go too late.



* Is there a B BIOS / driver setting on the PC side that controls USB OS priority that I forgot about and that has
to be re-established in the new mainboard? The board is a 100% same Dell part (alas from ebay) down to
manufacturing rev/date silk screen print.
* Is there a failure mechanism in GTOCP3 where the serial is loosing oooompf ??
* Can I debug the setup in the bench just with the GTOCP3 (no mount) to simplify thing? (What should I look
for to check connection? / I can't press the mount move buttons in the driver and check mount motion then)
* I am thinking that the USB serial should be a rock solid connection with no 'cable dependent' failure modes.
It's solid wire connection / nowhere near demanding signal frequencies / 30 year established tech)


Cheers,
Gert


drgert1
 

Hi Ray,

On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 11:40 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:
The weakest link in your setup is going to be the USB/serial converter. They are only as reliable as the driver and the components of the converter.
Agreed. Long time ago the 'word on the street' was to avoid adapters with 'Prolific' chipset and use those from FTDI. The way I see it even today these two are the dominant manufacturers of USB / serial chipset and the parts we're buying on Amazon  are all pretty generic enclosures for either of those chips. I've been going with FTDI for ages now and have never seen an issue. Thus I'll stay with it.

As per the prev question. Is it possible to run bench tests with the AP driver and the the GTOCP3 on a bench? What tests can I do that way?

As always, thank you for your excellent work and support.

Cheers,
Gert


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Gert,

As per the prev question. Is it possible to run bench tests with the AP driver and the the GTOCP3 on a bench? What
tests can I do that way?
The AP driver does not have any built-in tests for the CP3. If the motors are not connected, the driver will probably respond to some, but not all of the commands the driver sends.

What are you hoping to accomplish?

-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 drgert1 via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2020 3:12 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP Driver fails on serial port after PC repair

Hi Ray,

On Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 11:40 AM, Ray Gralak wrote:


The weakest link in your setup is going to be the USB/serial converter. They are only as reliable as the driver
and the components of the converter.

Agreed. Long time ago the 'word on the street' was to avoid adapters with 'Prolific' chipset and use those from FTDI.
The way I see it even today these two are the dominant manufacturers of USB / serial chipset and the parts we're
buying on Amazon are all pretty generic enclosures for either of those chips. I've been going with FTDI for ages
now and have never seen an issue. Thus I'll stay with it.

As per the prev question. Is it possible to run bench tests with the AP driver and the the GTOCP3 on a bench? What
tests can I do that way?

As always, thank you for your excellent work and support.

Cheers,
Gert


drgert1
 

Hi Ray & All,

I identified a faulty serial cable. This is even more embarrassing as I had soldered the cable myself so many years ago following instruction from a brand new  computer book (at the time) and I was so proud of the accomplishment.

Once the cable was replaced with several other any large combination of serial extensions, USB cables, extensions, hubs worked fine. In the end it worked with 2 serial cable extensions of about 12ft each, 2 USB extensions of 6ft and 8ft and an unpowered hub in the middle. That's about the robustness I expect from simple wired serial protocol. (alas USB is pretty basic serial as well)

Ray, if I may ask you one favor. With all the extensions in place I recorded one last log from the driver.
http://skywatcher.space/download/AscomZip-Gert-2020-09-27-212330.zip

Could you please check it if there is any sign of data weakness? :-)

Cheers,
Gert


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Gert,

Could you please check it if there is any sign of data weakness? :-)
I am glad you found the problem!

I do not see any errors in your log file.

-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 drgert1 via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 27, 2020 10:39 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP Driver fails on serial port after PC repair

Hi Ray & All,

I identified a faulty serial cable. This is even more embarrassing as I had soldered the cable myself so many years
ago following instruction from a brand new computer book (at the time) and I was so proud of the
accomplishment.

Once the cable was replaced with several other any large combination of serial extensions, USB cables,
extensions, hubs worked fine. In the end it worked with 2 serial cable extensions of about 12ft each, 2 USB
extensions of 6ft and 8ft and an unpowered hub in the middle. That's about the robustness I expect from simple
wired serial protocol. (alas USB is pretty basic serial as well)

Ray, if I may ask you one favor. With all the extensions in place I recorded one last log from the driver.
http://skywatcher.space/download/AscomZip-Gert-2020-09-27-212330.zip

Could you please check it if there is any sign of data weakness? :-)

Cheers,
Gert