Ethernet Control of AP1100 Mount


Fritz K
 

Ethernet Control of AP1100 Mount:

 

Previously I controlled my AP1100AE/CP4 (S/N 0288) mount using the standard USB to FTDI to Serial connection using Ascom.  All was good.  Now I have a new hi megapixel camera that crashes regularly.  To help trouble shoot and perhaps solve the problem, I would like to move my mount to Ethernet control.  I understand the ‘preferred’ solution is to use APCC.  I would prefer not to have to learn yet another program if there is a simpler way.

The choices seem to be:

(1) a software solution using Eltima  Serial over Ethernet Connection

or

(2) a hardware solution using the StarTech Ethernet to Serial Device.

 

For now I have downloaded a free 14 day trial of the Eltima software.  However, AP does not offer enough info in the CP4 manual and startup supplement nor in the Ascom manual.  I have also searched this IO group, finding a only few small tidbits.

Has anyone done this?

 

(i)  I can connect directly to my CP4 using Firefox and have set Wifi to Off.  It is not clear whether I should set DHCP mode to ‘Server’ or ‘Client’.

 

(ii)  It is not clear whether the Eltima software should be run in Client or Server mode.  It is not clear what Com port I should use or how to find the correct port.  With USB to Serial via FTDI, Ascom was set to Port 4.

 

(iii)  And what settings for the AP Ascom driver?  There is a port setting and 3 check boxes – IP address, APCC Virtual Port, and Use Ascom Serial Object.

 

All very complicated.  I am currently testing with just the CP4 setting on my desk top.  My working USB/FTDI/Serial setup  delivers a ‘Mount Found ---’ on port test.  Everything new yields ‘Mount Not Found’.  Would the StarTech hardware solution be closer to plug and play?

 

thanks,

Indy Fritz


Christopher Erickson
 

I experimented with Eltima quite a bit in the early CP4 days and was never able to get it to work reliably. Furthermore Eltima seemed to cause problems/conflicts with other programs on my system.

My suggestion to you is to use APCC standard edition and leave most everything on the default settings for now.

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


On Thu, May 20, 2021, 10:54 AM Fritz K <fritztwo@...> wrote:

Ethernet Control of AP1100 Mount:

 

Previously I controlled my AP1100AE/CP4 (S/N 0288) mount using the standard USB to FTDI to Serial connection using Ascom.  All was good.  Now I have a new hi megapixel camera that crashes regularly.  To help trouble shoot and perhaps solve the problem, I would like to move my mount to Ethernet control.  I understand the ‘preferred’ solution is to use APCC.  I would prefer not to have to learn yet another program if there is a simpler way.

The choices seem to be:

(1) a software solution using Eltima  Serial over Ethernet Connection

or

(2) a hardware solution using the StarTech Ethernet to Serial Device.

 

For now I have downloaded a free 14 day trial of the Eltima software.  However, AP does not offer enough info in the CP4 manual and startup supplement nor in the Ascom manual.  I have also searched this IO group, finding a only few small tidbits.

Has anyone done this?

 

(i)  I can connect directly to my CP4 using Firefox and have set Wifi to Off.  It is not clear whether I should set DHCP mode to ‘Server’ or ‘Client’.

 

(ii)  It is not clear whether the Eltima software should be run in Client or Server mode.  It is not clear what Com port I should use or how to find the correct port.  With USB to Serial via FTDI, Ascom was set to Port 4.

 

(iii)  And what settings for the AP Ascom driver?  There is a port setting and 3 check boxes – IP address, APCC Virtual Port, and Use Ascom Serial Object.

 

All very complicated.  I am currently testing with just the CP4 setting on my desk top.  My working USB/FTDI/Serial setup  delivers a ‘Mount Found ---’ on port test.  Everything new yields ‘Mount Not Found’.  Would the StarTech hardware solution be closer to plug and play?

 

thanks,

Indy Fritz


Mike C
 

I am using the Startech 1 port Ethernet to serial adapter. It didn't work at all on TCP mode. After moving to UDP it worked flawlessly 
while the control computer was on cat5e. Now trying my control computer on wifi I am getting some comm errors (like clockwork) 
every 10 minutes.
 
I am going to throw the towel in on the Startech I think. I will keep my control computer on wifi (since its mounted on the scope), 
but I will cave in and make a custom DB9 serial cable (for the scope->pier tether) out of some very very temperature forgiving 
cable by Cicoil.
 
I really wanted a DC power only tether this time but I want flawless comm between APCC and my mount even more.


Ray Gralak
 

The choices seem to be:

(1) a software solution using Eltima Serial over Ethernet Connection
(2) a hardware solution using the StarTech Ethernet to Serial Device.
(3) Use the AP V2 ASCOM driver, which also allows you to connect via an IP address.

-Ray




-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Fritz K
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2021 1:54 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Ethernet Control of AP1100 Mount

Ethernet Control of AP1100 Mount:



Previously I controlled my AP1100AE/CP4 (S/N 0288) mount using the standard USB to FTDI to Serial connection
using Ascom. All was good. Now I have a new hi megapixel camera that crashes regularly. To help trouble shoot
and perhaps solve the problem, I would like to move my mount to Ethernet control. I understand the ‘preferred’
solution is to use APCC. I would prefer not to have to learn yet another program if there is a simpler way.

The choices seem to be:

(1) a software solution using Eltima Serial over Ethernet Connection

or

(2) a hardware solution using the StarTech Ethernet to Serial Device.



For now I have downloaded a free 14 day trial of the Eltima software. However, AP does not offer enough info in
the CP4 manual and startup supplement nor in the Ascom manual. I have also searched this IO group, finding a
only few small tidbits.

Has anyone done this?



(i) I can connect directly to my CP4 using Firefox and have set Wifi to Off. It is not clear whether I should set
DHCP mode to ‘Server’ or ‘Client’.



(ii) It is not clear whether the Eltima software should be run in Client or Server mode. It is not clear what Com port
I should use or how to find the correct port. With USB to Serial via FTDI, Ascom was set to Port 4.



(iii) And what settings for the AP Ascom driver? There is a port setting and 3 check boxes – IP address, APCC
Virtual Port, and Use Ascom Serial Object.



All very complicated. I am currently testing with just the CP4 setting on my desk top. My working USB/FTDI/Serial
setup delivers a ‘Mount Found ---’ on port test. Everything new yields ‘Mount Not Found’. Would the StarTech
hardware solution be closer to plug and play?



thanks,

Indy Fritz


Fritz K
 

Thanks Christopher, Mike C, and Ray for your helpful replies:

*  If Christopher can't make Eltima work, I am darned sure I have no hope.

*  Mike, as I understand it, the StarTech ethernet to serial worked just fine until you tried to control the 'control' computer via wifi.  So for most of us, the StarTech might work just fine.

*  Ray:  WHO KNEW!  When no one was looking you put a direct IP address link into AP Ascom.   This is not even shown in the latest on-line documentation.  So far I am just testing my bare CP4 on my desk and hooked to my laptop with an Ethernet cable.   Nothing could be EASIER!
   - Check Box marked IP address in AP Ascom.
   - Figure out CP4 IP address per manuals and enter.
   - Click 'Check port'; receive 'Mount Found'!

How could anything be easier?  Thanks for that update to Ascom Ray and thanks for catching my plea on this AP Group and pointing me to the solution.
You made my day, my week, my month!

clear skies, Indy Fritz


Peter Nagy
 

I've been using Ethernet connection ever since Ray introduced Ethernet connection in A-P V2 ASCOM diver a while ago and has been trouble free. I don't use APCC.

Peter 


Worsel
 

Version history suggests the IP address was added at least as far back as Sep 2018

Bryan