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Old 16-05-2016, 08:07 PM
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philiphart (Phil Hart)
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
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In praise of FTDI USB-Serial cables

I'm progressing setup and automation of my dome one slow step at a time, with several frustrating computer issues along the way. I had an issue with my AAG Cloudwatcher giving the following error when trying to connect:

"Serial Port COM7 error: Port already open"

Jaime (Lunatico Astronomía) was helpful but there was not much he could do. I am using a Fitlet fanless PC (like FitPC) and initially I discovered that if the Cloudwatcher was connected to a powered USB hub it seemed to work ok. Eventually I ordered some of the FTDI UC232R-10 USB-Serial adapter cables from here to replace the Keyspan ones I was using:

http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/Cables/USBRS232.htm

These aren't the cheapest cables around, but I think they're using the same working parts as the EQ DIRECT cables for the Skywatcher mounts (hat tip Paul Litchen for my earlier education on that front). So far it's all been working much better.

If I had my time again, I'd probably get one of these (hat tip to Terry R), a fanless PC with four real serial ports:
https://wholesaler.alibaba.com/produ...01000.2.ILU6jZ

Posting this in the hope it may be helpful to somebody in the future. I got no search results for the error message above but I'm sure I won't be the last.

My remaining error message is an occasional “Runtime Error R6025
– Pure Virtual Function Call” when slewing which crashes Maxim. No idea where to start on that one..

Phil
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