Mount connection issues


John Stiner
 

I am having trouble maintaining a connection with my AP 1100GTO AE-L.  I have sent an e-mail to AP support, but also wanted to inquire among members of the congregation as to whether anyone has encountered anything similar to the following.  I am using ASCOM v.6.6, APCC Pro v1.9.4.3, ASCOM v2 Driver v5.50.03 and, as I realized this morning, P02-11 firmware for the CP4 (looks like there have been a few updates since my last update back in April).  The connection from the laptop to the mount is via an Icron Ranger.  I used to connect to the CP4 from the Icron Ranger unit at the mount using a USB cable between the Ranger and the USB port on the CP4.  However, since I've addressed in the APCC settings the virtual ports issue that arose several months ago per Mr. Gralak's instructions, I connect to the ethernet port on the CP4 using a USB to ethernet adapter connected to the Ranger as the old method wouldn't draw a response from the mount.  All cabling is relatively new as is the Icron Ranger.  My camera, guide camera and focuser are all plugged in to the Icron Ranger and perform without incident.  I've checked all connections at the mount.  In any event, I can easily fire up and connect to the mount using APCC and the driver.  I'll then open Sequence Generator Pro and begin an imaging run.  However, sooner or later, SGP will abort the sequence due to a lack of response from the mount.  I then check APCC and invariably find communications errors.  I've attached a log from last night.   Before I start replacing cables and other components again willy-nilly, is there anything that jumps out as a problem based on the description above or the logs?  I appreciate any assistance as I've been waylaid for a while with this and realize the solution is likely above my pay grade.


 

Hi John

I'm not entirely sure I follow the connection details with the Ranger, but have you tried just direct connecting the CP4 to your computer via either USB cable or through an ethernet port via router?

You have a lot of variables in there, imo it would help to reduce them in order to troubleshoot

 

On Tue, Sep 27, 2022 at 1:48 PM John Stiner <stinerjohn@...> wrote:
I am having trouble maintaining a connection with my AP 1100GTO AE-L.  I have sent an e-mail to AP support, but also wanted to inquire among members of the congregation as to whether anyone has encountered anything similar to the following.  I am using ASCOM v.6.6, APCC Pro v1.9.4.3, ASCOM v2 Driver v5.50.03 and, as I realized this morning, P02-11 firmware for the CP4 (looks like there have been a few updates since my last update back in April).  The connection from the laptop to the mount is via an Icron Ranger.  I used to connect to the CP4 from the Icron Ranger unit at the mount using a USB cable between the Ranger and the USB port on the CP4.  However, since I've addressed in the APCC settings the virtual ports issue that arose several months ago per Mr. Gralak's instructions, I connect to the ethernet port on the CP4 using a USB to ethernet adapter connected to the Ranger as the old method wouldn't draw a response from the mount.  All cabling is relatively new as is the Icron Ranger.  My camera, guide camera and focuser are all plugged in to the Icron Ranger and perform without incident.  I've checked all connections at the mount.  In any event, I can easily fire up and connect to the mount using APCC and the driver.  I'll then open Sequence Generator Pro and begin an imaging run.  However, sooner or later, SGP will abort the sequence due to a lack of response from the mount.  I then check APCC and invariably find communications errors.  I've attached a log from last night.   Before I start replacing cables and other components again willy-nilly, is there anything that jumps out as a problem based on the description above or the logs?  I appreciate any assistance as I've been waylaid for a while with this and realize the solution is likely above my pay grade.




John Stiner
 

Brian, that is an excellent idea. I’ll give each suggestion a try. 


Mike Hanson
 

Hi John,

Changing from virtual ports to the ReST API should not break the external USB connectivity.  You should be able to get that working again. 
- Each time you plug the CP4 USB into a different physical USB port on the laptop or expander, the OS will instantiate a new FTDI driver and assign a different COM port number - just the way FTDI wants to do things.  Did you scan different COM port numbers to see if you need to connect on a different COM port number (APCC "refresh ports" button or USB/Serial Utilities)?
- You can also check the laptop device manager to see if a single COM port number is overloaded with multiple drivers - can't explain HOW the laptop would allow that, only that it has happened to me and to others.
- You can also plug the CP4 into a different USB slot intentionally to force a new COM port number.

What timeout value are you using?  Values too small and too large can both cause problems.

Do you have virus scans or automatic Windows updates that come to life in the middle of the night (coinciding with the best observing)?  These can starve applications of resources at inopportune times.  These time periods can be adjusted in the Windows control panel.

Mike Hanson.


John Stiner
 

Mike, I couldn’t figure out why I was unable to connect via the USB port as I had previously and simply assumed it had to do with the virtual port issue. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t right. I’ll look into the matters you raise when I get back to the laptop. Thanks!