Lost communications with mount


weihaowang
 

Hi,

I am doing table-top testing of our Mach2 (before we can put it on a proper tripod).  I use TheSky6 in a Windows 7 virtual machine on my Mac.  GTOCPS5 is connected to the computer with a short USB2.0 cable and converted to USB-C to the Mac.  Under TheSky6, I connect to Mach2 with ASCOM V2 Driver.  The ASCOM driver sometimes connects to Mach2 by itself, sometimes through a virtual port under APCC Pro.  Either way, the behavior doesn't change.  Using different cables doesn't solve the problem either.

What I do is just do a very small slew near north pole under TheSky, and let the mount track.  Almost always, within just a few minutes, TheSky shows an error message saying "Lost communications with mount."  At almost the same time, the mount makes a very tiny sound, which sounds like it parks itself.  I suppose this is not something I want to see during a real observation/imaging session.

This is my first time using an Astro-Physics mount.  So I may have done something wrong.  Please let me know what I can do to solve this, or what I can provide for diagnosis.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao


 

--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


George
 

Wei-Hao,

 

If you are using a Mac, then you are not connecting to ASCOM (ASCOM is Windows only).    You are using Sky native drivers.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of weihaowang
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 12:57 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

 

Hi,

I am doing table-top testing of our Mach2 (before we can put it on a proper tripod).  I use TheSky6 in a Windows 7 virtual machine on my Mac.  GTOCPS5 is connected to the computer with a short USB2.0 cable and converted to USB-C to the Mac.  Under TheSky6, I connect to Mach2 with ASCOM V2 Driver.  The ASCOM driver sometimes connects to Mach2 by itself, sometimes through a virtual port under APCC Pro.  Either way, the behavior doesn't change.  Using different cables doesn't solve the problem either.

What I do is just do a very small slew near north pole under TheSky, and let the mount track.  Almost always, within just a few minutes, TheSky shows an error message saying "Lost communications with mount."  At almost the same time, the mount makes a very tiny sound, which sounds like it parks itself.  I suppose this is not something I want to see during a real observation/imaging session.

This is my first time using an Astro-Physics mount.  So I may have done something wrong.  Please let me know what I can do to solve this, or what I can provide for diagnosis.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao


 

--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


deonb
 

George, he's running a Windows 7 virtual machine on the MAC (so I assume he's running Windows 7 in something like Parallels).

So it will still use an ASCOM driver, but using an emulated USB port from the VM.

Wei-Hao do you have an option to do a test inside bootcamp?


weihaowang
 

Hi Deonb,

Thank you.  Unfortunately I don't have a Mac with bootcamp enabled.  About 8, or 9 years ago, I started with
bootcamp for telescope control.  Then I found it very unstable.  Surprisingly, with the same Windows installation,
once the bootcamp partition was converted to Parallels VM, it worked very nicely.  Since then, I just stick to
Parallels for telescope control.  So far, it works quite well for controlling various cameras and iOptron and TAK 
mounts.  So I doubt it is a VM related issue, but this is nevertheless a possibility.  I just don't know how to 
verify this.





--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


deonb
 

I'll go out in a little while and see if I if I have any problems with the mount from Parallels and will let you know.

Caveat - I have Windows 10 and not 7.


George
 

If you have Windows PC, why are you using a Mac?    Fusion and Parallels are not as good as native Windows in Bootcamp.    You will likely have issues.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of deonb
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 9:29 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

 

I'll go out in a little while and see if I if I have any problems with the mount from Parallels and will let you know.

Caveat - I have Windows 10 and not 7.


Howard Hedlund
 

We have anecdotal reports of similar issues with virtual Windows machines running on Macs.  I have not yet had the chance to really pursue this, but my understanding is that it is really more of a hardware issue between the virtual Windows and the physical USB-C ports on the Mac.
Is there a reason that you are not trying with Ethernet or WiFi?


weihaowang
 

Hi George,

I don't have any Windows PC.  The only reasons I run Windows on my Mac are to run Registar
and to control telescopes/cameras.  I tried to get rid of Windows completely, but there are 
still a few programs that only have Windows options.

And as I said, I started with native Windows in Bootcamp, and then found it's not as stable
as Windows under Paralles.  It was perhaps more than 8 years ago, and perhaps bootcamp
is better now, but I don't have a chance to find out.


--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


 

Even using Ethernet and Wifi are not perfect solutions when using VMs like Parallels. Earlier this year, I spent quite a while with a customer that was trying to use Ethernet on Parallels, and we found that the system wasn't actually allowing any access to the Ethernet port for Windows. It was quite bizarre. Similar things can happen with all of the ports.


Really, using a VM to get windows on a non-windows computer will eventually be a pain no matter how good of an IT person you are. Getting a cheap laptop with the latest version of Windows isn't very hard, and you can keep it purely for astronomy. It will save a lot of heartache. When you are done imaging, you can transfer the files to your Mac and do what you already do without relegating part of your system to Windows. 


Liam

Astro-Physics




From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of weihaowang <whwang@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 9:55 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount
 
Hi George,

I don't have any Windows PC.  The only reasons I run Windows on my Mac are to run Registar
and to control telescopes/cameras.  I tried to get rid of Windows completely, but there are 
still a few programs that only have Windows options.

And as I said, I started with native Windows in Bootcamp, and then found it's not as stable
as Windows under Paralles.  It was perhaps more than 8 years ago, and perhaps bootcamp
is better now, but I don't have a chance to find out.


--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


 

>>> Getting a cheap laptop with the latest version of Windows isn't very hard, and you can keep it purely for astronomy. It will save a lot of heartache. When you are done imaging, you can transfer the files to your Mac and do what you already do without relegating part of your system to Windows. 

Better yet, just get an inexpensive NUC-style computer, and you can remote in using your Mac (or windows or ipad or whatever) to a fully functional windows computer

Brian

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 8:35 AM Liam Plybon <liam@...> wrote:

Even using Ethernet and Wifi are not perfect solutions when using VMs like Parallels. Earlier this year, I spent quite a while with a customer that was trying to use Ethernet on Parallels, and we found that the system wasn't actually allowing any access to the Ethernet port for Windows. It was quite bizarre. Similar things can happen with all of the ports.


Really, using a VM to get windows on a non-windows computer will eventually be a pain no matter how good of an IT person you are. Getting a cheap laptop with the latest version of Windows isn't very hard, and you can keep it purely for astronomy. It will save a lot of heartache. When you are done imaging, you can transfer the files to your Mac and do what you already do without relegating part of your system to Windows. 


Liam

Astro-Physics




From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of weihaowang <whwang@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 9:55 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount
 
Hi George,

I don't have any Windows PC.  The only reasons I run Windows on my Mac are to run Registar
and to control telescopes/cameras.  I tried to get rid of Windows completely, but there are 
still a few programs that only have Windows options.

And as I said, I started with native Windows in Bootcamp, and then found it's not as stable
as Windows under Paralles.  It was perhaps more than 8 years ago, and perhaps bootcamp
is better now, but I don't have a chance to find out.


--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


weihaowang
 

Thanks for the comments.  But to be very honest, if getting a Windows laptop is the only solution here, I will be very disappointed. ASCOM on a virtual Windows machine has worked for me for more than 8 years on every other system.  


--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


Michael 'Mikey' Mangieri
 

The NUC is a great solution. I have a BeeLink Corei5 NUC attached to my pier and I simply remote into it.  Works great.  Costs under $400.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 11:37 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

 

>>> Getting a cheap laptop with the latest version of Windows isn't very hard, and you can keep it purely for astronomy. It will save a lot of heartache. When you are done imaging, you can transfer the files to your Mac and do what you already do without relegating part of your system to Windows. 

 

Better yet, just get an inexpensive NUC-style computer, and you can remote in using your Mac (or windows or ipad or whatever) to a fully functional windows computer

 

Brian

 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 8:35 AM Liam Plybon <liam@...> wrote:

Even using Ethernet and Wifi are not perfect solutions when using VMs like Parallels. Earlier this year, I spent quite a while with a customer that was trying to use Ethernet on Parallels, and we found that the system wasn't actually allowing any access to the Ethernet port for Windows. It was quite bizarre. Similar things can happen with all of the ports.

 

Really, using a VM to get windows on a non-windows computer will eventually be a pain no matter how good of an IT person you are. Getting a cheap laptop with the latest version of Windows isn't very hard, and you can keep it purely for astronomy. It will save a lot of heartache. When you are done imaging, you can transfer the files to your Mac and do what you already do without relegating part of your system to Windows. 

 

Liam

Astro-Physics

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of weihaowang <whwang@...>
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 9:55 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

 

Hi George,

I don't have any Windows PC.  The only reasons I run Windows on my Mac are to run Registar
and to control telescopes/cameras.  I tried to get rid of Windows completely, but there are 
still a few programs that only have Windows options.

And as I said, I started with native Windows in Bootcamp, and then found it's not as stable
as Windows under Paralles.  It was perhaps more than 8 years ago, and perhaps bootcamp
is better now, but I don't have a chance to find out.


--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


 

--

Brian 

 

 

 

Brian Valente


deonb
 

Wei-Hao. Well, try the Ethernet/WiFi access first before giving up. It's likely to work better than USB.

+1 on using NUCs though. Much simpler, and small enough to fit on the eyepiece trays of most tripods.


 

>>> Wei-Hao. Well, try the Ethernet/WiFi access first before giving up. It's likely to work better than USB.

PS on ethernet - i suggest you use TCP as it's much more reliable for this kind of mount communication than UDP

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 9:23 AM deonb <deonb@...> wrote:
Wei-Hao. Well, try the Ethernet/WiFi access first before giving up. It's likely to work better than USB.

+1 on using NUCs though. Much simpler, and small enough to fit on the eyepiece trays of most tripods.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


weihaowang
 

Thank you. I will try Ethernet and Wifi during the new year holidays, and let you know if I have any luck.
--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


Ray Gralak
 

Hi Wei-Hao,

 

> Thanks for the comments.  But to be very honest, if getting a Windows laptop is the only solution here, I will be

> very disappointed. ASCOM on a virtual Windows machine has worked for me for more than 8 years on every

> other system.

 

The problem is not with the application software or the mount, but the virtualized hardware performance of your Mac, specifically virtualized USB performance.

 

Of the virtual machine choices out there, Fusion has been known to have the most performant USB virtualization.

 

Is the mount the only USB device, or do you have a camera connected as well?

 

Here are a few things you can try:

1.    Reduce the crosshair update rate to 1000msec or greater in Sky6’s Telescope Setup. By default, it tries to poll the mount as fast as it can.

2.    Start with a 200 msec timeout in APCC and increase the by 100 msecs at a time. Do not exceed 1000 msecs.

3.    Start with a 500 msec timeout in the AP V2 ASCOM driver and increase the timeout by 100 msecs at a time.

4.    Turn off logging in the ASCOM driver.

 

-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 weihaowang

> Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 9:04 AM

> To: main@ap-gto.groups.io

> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

>

> Thanks for the comments.  But to be very honest, if getting a Windows laptop is the only solution here, I will be

> very disappointed. ASCOM on a virtual Windows machine has worked for me for more than 8 years on every

> other system.

>

>

> --

>

>

> Homepage:

>

> http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

>

> Astrobin gallery:

> http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/

>


weihaowang
 

Hi Ray, 

Thank you. I will try those. I was wondering if it’s 
related to some timeout setting or the update rate.
But without specific guidance, I do not want to 
try it, as I don’t really understand it. Now I have
good directions.

When I tried Mach2, it’s the only USB device
connected to the computer. But of course, it has
to go through the USB-C adapter.


--

Homepage:

http://www.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/~whwang/

Astrobin gallery:
http://www.astrobin.com/users/whwang/


Marcelo Figueroa
 

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 10:37 AM, Brian Valente wrote:
Getting a cheap laptop with the latest version of Windows isn't very hard, and you can keep it purely for astronomy. It will save a lot of heartache. When you are done imaging, you can transfer the files to your Mac and do what you already do without relegating part of your system to Windows.

That's it. Getting a cheap pc laptop to control the mount and run all the necessary software is by far the most efficient solution of all.
 
That's what I do, and then control that pc remotely from my Mac. Just keep in mind, keep windows updated ( you do not want to have 47 updates to be installed at once) and set the working hours between something like 7:00 pm to 7:00 am to prevent anything automatic is installed during a session and have a forced restart.
 


Roland Christen
 

I keep my imaging computer completely off-line to prevent automatic updates.

Roland



-----Original Message-----
From: Marcelo Figueroa via groups.io <marfig1970@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Dec 30, 2020 12:43 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Lost communications with mount

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 10:37 AM, Brian Valente wrote:
Getting a cheap laptop with the latest version of Windows isn't very hard, and you can keep it purely for astronomy. It will save a lot of heartache. When you are done imaging, you can transfer the files to your Mac and do what you already do without relegating part of your system to Windows.

That's it. Getting a cheap pc laptop to control the mount and run all the necessary software is by far the most efficient solution of all.
 
That's what I do, and then control that pc remotely from my Mac. Just keep in mind, keep windows updated ( you do not want to have 47 updates to be installed at once) and set the working hours between something like 7:00 pm to 7:00 am to prevent anything automatic is installed during a session and have a forced restart.
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Glenn
 

+1 for getting a cheap windows PC to run the mount and your imaging software. I would not want to leave my nice Mac outside anyway. I still use my Mac for remote access and image processing. It is the best of both worlds. 

Best,

Glenn