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Old 06-03-2021, 10:20 PM
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Rigel003 (Graeme)
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Connection problems

Just upgraded my astro laptop from a 7 year old running Windows 8.1 to lastest generation i7 Windows 10. Really enjoying the experience, however...

The new machine has only 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports and 1 USB 3 type A, so I'm connecting a USB hub for the photography peripherals. My camera and guider are recognised directly in NINA and connected easily, but the mount (Astro-Physics GTO V2) and focus motor (FocusLynx focus motor) drivers both have ASCOM interfaces and both seem to want to use com port 3. Connect the mount and then see the attached message for the focuser.

I'm pretty much only a couple of steps above incompetent when it comes to Windows (long time mac user) so if you can help me it would need to be spelled out in baby steps. It would be quite useful to be able to both focus and control the scope mount. Any help greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-03-2021, 09:24 AM
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AussieSky (Greg)
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Com 3 is a serial port, you would need to get a USB to Serial adapter. Set the properties of the adapter in Windows 10 so that it is seen as Com3. If you have another device (focuser?) that also is serial, you would need another adapter which you would set as a different Com port number as you cant use 2 devices on the same Com (serial) port.
Make sure that the USB to Serial adapter you buy has drivers suitable for Windows 10 in either 32 or 64 bit, whichever your version of Win 10 is...
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Old 07-03-2021, 11:47 AM
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Rigel003 (Graeme)
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Thanks for the response. The mount is connected from an RS232 port via a Keyspan USB to serial device. I didn't think the focuser was a serial device but have just checked some of the Optec setup instructions and discovered that the cable they supply is in fact a serial to USB and the default driver configuration was for serial connection. See Driver Setup box attached. There are other connection methods available including wifi so I'll do some experimenting.
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Old 07-03-2021, 12:47 PM
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redbeard (Damien)
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Hi Graeme,


Here are some tips to help you.


When you plug your Serial to USB adapter into a USB port on a Windows computer, Windows will automatically assign a COM port number to it. At this stage, your device software does not know what this COM port is. You have to go into 'device manager' in Windows, and under "Ports' look and see what COM port has been assigned to your Serial to USB adapter. Once you know this COM port number from the device manager, then you can put the COM port number in your device software and all should work.


Do this for each adapter you have.


By the way, if you unplug one of your serial to USB adapters that has been working, and plug it into a different USB socket, (even a different socket on the hub), it will get a different COM port number and you will have to go back into your device software and change it.


Cheers,
Damien.
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Old 07-03-2021, 07:43 PM
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Thanks Damien. Just waiting for the rain to go away before trying it all out again at the scope.
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Old 07-03-2021, 11:25 PM
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Success! Thanks for the help Damien. Just managed to get everything working at the same time. Plugged in the mount while the Device Manager was open and it showed COM 5 port. Went to the Astro-Physics ASCOM setup, changed COM 3 to COM 5 and all was well. Then the focus motor took COM 3 and no need to change this. I take it that these settings won't change as long as I don't change the order of the leads in the hub.

Pleased that it's finally working but I have to day this system seems pretty primitive. You have to see what port the PC randomly assigns an attached device and then manually go and adjust the software for each device to get connection going? Really?
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Old 08-03-2021, 01:04 PM
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redbeard (Damien)
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Yes Really! LOL.


That's how Windows does it.


The other issue is if you have a device that can only use say COM ports 1 to 4 and the COM ports 1-4 are already used up by Windows. In this case, you have to edit the Windows registry and get rid of all the COM port assignments and start again. Windows fun! It's actually easier than it sounds and I think someone even wrote a little program to do it. Called 'Com Arbitrator' or something like that.



In the old days it was even better where you had to physically remove the COM port card from the PC, (Windows 3.11/DOS era), set its COM port with jumper settings and also assign the hardware IRQ via jumper settings on the card and then put it back into the computer and cross fingers that there were no conflicts with the other hardware.


That's also where the phrase 'Plug and Play' came from where Windows auto configured the hardware as opposed to having to make all the manual hardware settings. Most called it 'Plug and Pray'.



All the best.


Cheers,
Damien.
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Old 08-03-2021, 01:09 PM
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redbeard (Damien)
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Oh, and if all gets plugged into the same ports each time you use your system, then by rights all should be the same. Can't vouch for Windows 10 however as it's the buggiest piece of shine operating system I have ever used. It should be OK though.
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