Author Topic: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt  (Read 49623 times)

Offline Heinz-S

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COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« on: Monday, 27.01.14 - 14:09:51 - CET »
Hallo liebe Sternfreunde,

auf der Messe 2012 in Villingen – Schwenningen hatte ich die LFEP entdeckt und mir nach kurzem Gespräch mit den Betreibern des Messestands einen Flyer mitgenommen, der die Vorzüge der Steuerung beschrieb. Was ich dort las, gefiel mir, so daß ich im April 2013 über den Fachhandel eine Steuerung erwarb.

Der Bezug der Montierung und das Errichten der Säule zogen sich bis November hin. Die Zeit nutzte ich zum Studium der Anleitung und zur Eingabe von Daten in die Steuerung. Zunächst wollte ich mit der LFEP über die Polar-Align-Funktion die Montierung einnorden, was mir jedoch auch nach Stunden nicht gelang. So suchte ich Hilfe im Internet und mußte erfahren, daß diese in der Anleitung beschriebene Funktion nicht zum Ziel führt.

Darüber hinaus war veröffentlicht, daß die Steuerung nicht mehr weiterentwickelt wird. Da mein Kaufprodukt die Firmwareversion 5.88 beinhaltet, konnte ich nicht mehr updaten, obwohl eine aktuellere Firmware bereits programmiert worden war.

Nachdem das Einnorden über die klassische Methode erledigt war, stand die Anbindung an den PC an. Hierzu versuche ich nunmehr seit einer Weile zu einem Ergebnis zu kommen, scheitere aber stets, weshalb ich auf eure Hilfe angewiesen bin.

Zunächst hatte ich den aktuellen LFEP Treiber installiert, bekam aber stets eine Fehlermeldung mit dem Hinweis, eine Firmwareversion 6.10 oder höher würde benötigt. Diese Meldung erfolgte auch bei Treibern bis hinab zu den Versionen 1.3.

Nun habe ich den Treiber 1.1.3 aufgespielt, erhalte aber eine andere Fehlermeldung: „Please select COM/LAN settings in SETUP first“. Obwohl ich vorab immer die COM Schnittstelle auswähle (über die ASCOM Plattform oder CdC oder direkt im Treiber) will die Fehlermeldung nicht weichen. Mittlerweile habe so oft alle Komponenten installiert und wieder deinstalliert, daß ich mit meinem Latein am Ende bin.

Zugleich war der Versuch, mit dem Generic LX200 Treiber (Version 5.0.1) die LFEP anzusprechen von Erfolg gekrönt. Nach Auswahl der COM Schnittstelle und dieses Treibers verbinden sich PC und LFEP. Die Koordinaten der Steuerung werden in CdC angezeigt. Wegen schlechten Wetters konnte ich das Zusammenspiel jedoch noch nicht testen.

Es ergibt jedoch keinen Sinn, daß man einen Fremdtreiber benutzt, wenn für die Steuerung ein eigener Treiber entwickelt wurde. Habt ihr eine Erklärung für das Problem?

Folgende Komponenten sind bei mir zur Zeit installiert:

WIN7 Home Premium SP1; ASCOM Plattform 6 – SP3 – 6.0.3.0; LFEP Firmware 5.88; LFEP Treiber 1.1.3; FTDI – Treiber 2.08.30; Microsoft NET Framework 4.5.1; Ansteuerung über die virtuelle COM2 Schnittstelle; Verbindung über USB-Kabel mit USB2 Standard ohne USB-Seriell-Wandler.


Beste Grüße
Heinz

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #1 on: Saturday, 01.02.14 - 11:38:35 - CET »
Hi Heinz,

Polar Alignment was not implemented.
LFEP ASCOM driver requires firmware >=6.1
LFEP makes use of LX200 protocol for some commands (e.g. GoTo and sync) so that you can control your mount by LX200 but you'll be not able to use all LFEP features by LX200. By hardware handbox you can manage all LFEP settings.

I may be wrong but I remember that LFEP 5.xx firmware makes use of an older bootloader; in this case a firmware update is not possible without the help of Rajiva. :(

Clear Skies!
Armando Beneduce

Offline Heinz-S

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday, 04.02.14 - 15:33:21 - CET »
Hello Armando,

thank you very much for the informations. The LFEP project has been started in 2009. The programming of the first ASCOM driver began at 2010. So there must exist some driver versions, that also will work together with the LFEP firmware 5.88. I hope, the version I'm already using (ASCOM driver 1.1.3) is one of them.

So there should be a chance to connect the LFEP with the laptop also with my firmware conditions. Using the LX200 Generic driver, the move commands from CdC arrive at the LFEP. Therefore I have no explanation, why the error message occurs, when I'm using an original LFEP driver.

Clear skies
Heinz

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday, 04.02.14 - 23:26:54 - CET »
Hi Heinz,

if you've a pdf about the protocol used by your LFEP I could try to define what is missing in LFEP 5.xx firmware.
Maybe disabling some features in current ASCOM driver can make it working with 5.xx firmware too...

CS
Armando

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday, 04.02.14 - 23:49:42 - CET »
I just gave a look at ASCOM driver revision history and I found nothing about 5.xx FW support. So I think FW had been deeply changed with 6.xx release.  ::)
Anyway what features do you mean to use on your LFEP?

CS
Armando

Offline Heinz-S

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #5 on: Thursday, 06.02.14 - 11:29:45 - CET »
Hello Armando,

currently I need only the standard features like move commandos, park position, meridian flip. They are partly supported by the generic LX200 driver. For the moment the situation is acceptable.

When I have a look at the promotion of “Teleskopsteuerung.de” in the “Astrotreff-Forum”, where all the features of the original LFEP driver are presented, I'm unhappy not to have access on them.
When I bought the LFEP, I didn't know, that my firmware cannot work together with that driver.

If I need more features in the future, I have to buy another control unit. Thanks again for your help an the best wishes.

Clear skies
Heinz

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #6 on: Thursday, 06.02.14 - 14:32:21 - CET »
Hi Heinz,

I perfectly understand your point of view.
While keeping current ASCOM development on, I found 6.xx FW affected by some (not documented) bugs that made developing a little annoying.
I'd like to make current ASCOM driver compatible with 5.xx FW releases but having no 5.xx FW documentation makes developing pretty difficult...

I can "reduce" current ASCOM driver by removing some code trying to make it working with 5.xx release.
We could ignore all ASCOM commands used to configure LFEP (mount settings, focuser settings, ...) and limit to make the main controls available by ASCOM...
But you'll have to test, debug, send me some logs, ...
 
I asked you about the features you mean to use to define if a quick solution is possible.
If you mainly need only GoTo functions I suggest to use FocusMax: FocusMax will connect to LFEP by LX200; so all the clients you mean to use to control your LFEP (e.g. SkyChart, MaxIm, ...) can connect to FocusMax hub contemporaneously...

Let me know  ;)

CS
Armando

Offline Heinz-S

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #7 on: Sunday, 09.02.14 - 11:53:40 - CET »
Hello Armando,

I send you my deep respect for the willingness in spending your time to make the driver compatible with 5.88 firmware. I'm not the only user with that firmware version. I agree with you, that all features could be ignored, setting by the handbox at starting up the LFEP for the first time.

The features, I'm needing particularly are the follows:

Automatic Meridian Flip
Safety function for remote operations
Controlling the time setting of the LFEP
Displaying the handbox on the screen with the coordinates
Sync and move commandos
Controlling the LFEP by using the LAN interface

I'm willing to participate in some tests, but I'm not an IT specialist. Furthermore I'm not sure if these tests are possible, because my laptop didn't connect to the LFEP by using the original LFEP driver (error message: „Please select COM/LAN settings in SETUP first“).

The software FocusMax was yet unknown to me. Thank you for that tip.

CS
Heinz

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #8 on: Sunday, 09.02.14 - 13:58:36 - CET »
Hi Heinz,

I'm pretty sure the main troubles will come from #0:VX# command. It's used to read LFEP state and everything else moves around it.

Current solution is an ASCOM server making multiple connections possible.
Because of this choice there is the need to manage commands coming from many clients.
Just for example you won't focus while moving the mount. If only one software was used to control LFEP, the software itself will never send a focusing command while the mount is moving since the same software will have sent the GoTo command and will be waiting for the end of the GoTo...
But if an ASCOM server solution is adopted then the ASCOM server has to take into account a client can ask to focus while the mount is moving because of a GoTo command sent by another different client...
Furthermore you can control your LFEP also by handbox! And this is the reason why the server has to poll LFEP internal settings to know and refresh LFEP state to exclude possible issues...

#0:VX# is the command periodically sent to LFEP to know its state.
The answer is binary and each bit has its own meaning...

I think #0:VX# command or an equivalent command is implemented in 5.xx firmware. There is the need to test it in different conditions to reverse engineer the binary answer...
Maybe because of missing features in LFEP 5.xx FW the answer length is different too...

I'm willing to participate in some tests, but I'm not an IT specialist. Furthermore I'm not sure if these tests are possible, because my laptop didn't connect to the LFEP by using the original LFEP driver (error message: „Please select COM/LAN settings in SETUP first“).
If you try the ASCOM driver for 6.xx FW, you have to set the COM port number (by a click on setup) before being able to connect to LFEP...
As soon as you connect the LFEP by USB cable a new serial port is available; you can figure out its number by Windows control panel...
Then, after executing the LFEP ASCOM launcher, you have to click on setup to set the right port number. Then a click on connect will start communication by using the appropriate port...
I think the same is valid also for the old driver...

Port choice is saved; so setting the port number is required only for the 1st connection after the driver has been installed or, obviously, in case of port number change...

Quote
The software FocusMax was yet unknown to me. Thank you for that tip.
I suggested this solution since with no efforts and without an ASCOM server solution (i.e. by a simple ASCOM LX200 driver) thanks to FocusMax you'll be able to communicate to LFEP by many clients ...

CS
Armando

Offline Heinz-S

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #9 on: Tuesday, 11.02.14 - 15:27:31 - CET »
Hello Armando,

the problem is, that the connection of the LFEP with my laptop dose not work at all by using the original driver (version 1.1.3 or any other version). I proceeded exactly as you described it, but the error message occurs again and again. That was the reason to open that thread.

After plugging in the USB cable, the COM2 port appears, I change it and try to connect the LFEP. But every time the Laptop reports: Please select COM/LAN settings in SETUP first. When I'm using the Generic LX200 driver and fulfil the same procedure, Laptop an LFEP connect without the report of any error message.

An especially LFEP ASCOM launcher is not implemented in my driver version. I start the connection with my client software (E&T or CdC). These programs firstly displayed an ASCOM telescope chooser. I set the little food photo telescope hub. Then I click on the properties button and the little foot photo telescope setup appears. In that window I set my COM2 port. Then I click the connect button and the error message appears. If I choose the Generic LX200 driver in the same way, the connection is successful.

Do you have an idea, why the driver reacts in that way.

CS
Heinz

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #10 on: Tuesday, 11.02.14 - 15:58:26 - CET »
Hi Heinz,

the problem is, that the connection of the LFEP with my laptop dose not work at all by using the original driver (version 1.1.3 or any other version). I proceeded exactly as you described it, but the error message occurs again and again. That was the reason to open that thread.
did you try also the driver for FW 6.xx (v1.5.3)?
I obviously know that some changes are required to make it working with FW 5.xx; but 1.5.3 driver should show a message about the need for a 6.xx FW...

Quote
After plugging in the USB cable, the COM2 port appears, I change it and try to connect the LFEP. But every time the Laptop reports: Please select COM/LAN settings in SETUP first. When I'm using the Generic LX200 driver and fulfil the same procedure, Laptop an LFEP connect without the report of any error message.

An especially LFEP ASCOM launcher is not implemented in my driver version. I start the connection with my client software (E&T or CdC). These programs firstly displayed an ASCOM telescope chooser. I set the little food photo telescope hub. Then I click on the properties button and the little foot photo telescope setup appears. In that window I set my COM2 port. Then I click the connect button and the error message appears. If I choose the Generic LX200 driver in the same way, the connection is successful.

Do you have an idea, why the driver reacts in that way.

Maybe administrator privileges are required to store the port number in the ASCOM profile created by your driver; in this case probably the port number is missing. Give a look at the ASCOM profiles stored in your machine (by executing ASCOM profile explorer utility). Search for the keys related to the driver you mean to use (under Telescope Drivers group). Maybe there is no data associated to the port number...

I think a screenshot of my profile settings can be of help... Look for something similar related to the serial port number that your driver expects to find in your ASCOM profile; maybe only the port number is missing.

CS
Armando

Offline Heinz-S

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #11 on: Thursday, 13.02.14 - 15:20:41 - CET »
Hello Armando,

I also tried the drivers for FW 6.xx (like v.1.5.3 or 1.4.x or 1.3.x). You're right: In all that cases the result was a message, that FW 6.xx is needed.

Today I started again the LFEP test client tool: Clicking on “Setup Telescope” the COM/LAN settings appear; after choosing the COM2 interface I click on connect with the same result as before. Then I started the ASCOM profile explorer 6.0.0.0 and had a look to the LFEP COM settings: The COM2 interface was displayed at the same place as I find it in your screenshot.

Perhaps the older LFEP drivers are only compatible to an older version of the ASCOM platform. That possibility I'm not able to test, because I couldn't find an older version of ASCOM for a download.

You have told about a chance to make working the driver v1.5.3 together with FW 5.xx. That would be the solution for all the problems.

In the appendix you will find some log-files, created by the ASCOM diagnostics program.

CS
Heinz

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #12 on: Friday, 14.02.14 - 21:36:53 - CET »
Hi Heinz,

I also tried the drivers for FW 6.xx (like v.1.5.3 or 1.4.x or 1.3.x). You're right: In all that cases the result was a message, that FW 6.xx is needed.
...
You have told about a chance to make working the driver v1.5.3 together with FW 5.xx. That would be the solution for all the problems.

I just received a confirmation by Gerald: as expected, #0:VX# answer is deeply different between the two FW versions.
So it is to be reverse engineered to try to make current driver working with 5.xx FW.

In 6.xx FW the answer length is 22 bytes. Not so easy to decipher without the documentation...
I've no idea about the answer with 5.xx FW. You should start the hard work of deciphering it... You could download RealTerm (It's a good utility to send commands to LFEP) and give a look at its GUI... It's user friendly and offers many options. You'll have to set the right port number and appropriate port settings (9600bps, 8-N-1) to open the port and send #0:VX# string (in ASCII mode). RealTerm will show you the LFEP answer. Playing with LFEP (e.g. locking the mount or sending a GoTo command) you should see what changes in the answer. This way you'll be to recognize if the mount is slewing, is parked, is tracking, is flipped, ... Then I'll adapt the code accordingly.

CS
Armando

Offline Heinz-S

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #13 on: Saturday, 15.02.14 - 17:34:02 - CET »
Hello Armando,

I tried to exercise your instructions. In the appendix you will find some screenshots, the LFEP replies while I'm using the handbox:

Pic1: After move to home position.
Pic2: After sending #0:VX# without tracking.
Pic3: After GotoTourM13-Set.
Pic4: After move to a star.
Pic5: After sending #0:VX# while LFEP is in tracking mode.

Perhaps these informations will be useful. I've no know how in such special programming features.

If the screenshots are useless, please let me know, if there is a chance to download an older version of the ASCOM platform. I cannot find a corresponding link.

CS
Heinz

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #14 on: Sunday, 16.02.14 - 04:08:19 - CET »
Hi Heinz,

...
Perhaps these informations will be useful.
...
Gerald sent me some sources that could be of help to properly, but only partially, read 5.xx 0:VX answer.
I'm going to evaluate the changes required to adapt the ASCOM driver to 5.xx FW. Then I'll let you know if supporting 5.xx is feasible. In that case I'll surely need some tests by you by RealTerm.
I'll provide you further details about the required tests: you can see from your screenshots that moving your mount by LFEP handbox makes the LFEP writing on serial port by itself. You won't have to play by the handbox to control LFEP, you'll have to send some commands by RealTerm itself and report the answers... To properly read the answers you will have to set Hex+Space or Hex + ASCII mode and enable half duplex (in Display panel) to make Realterm showing both commands and answers. Hex mode is required to properly show binary answers, the ones we need to read. ASCII mode is good for "text". Enabling  \n Before and \n After makes RealTerm showing each command/answer on a new line and can make the screenshots more understandable. If you send #:GV# you can figure out what I mean...
Keep in mind LFEP is case sensitive and the commands are to be sent by a click on "Send ASCII" button.

Quote
If the screenshots are useless, please let me know, if there is a chance to download an older version of the ASCOM platform. I cannot find a corresponding link.
I think the driver for Little Foot at http://ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ScopeDrivers.htm can work.
Anyway it's possible that ignoring some LFEP features (e.g. disabling tracking rates reading, assuming current speed is sidereal one, disabling IntellyTrack/KingRate management, PEC state check, ...) can make the driver working without too much effort. Maybe reading if mount is synced, if it's tracking or slewing and the side of pier is enough to start making the driver working...
I'll let you know.  ;)

CS
Armando

Offline Heinz-S

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #15 on: Sunday, 16.02.14 - 11:00:04 - CET »
Hello Armando,

thank you for your explanations. Of course I'm ready to send the test commands to the LFEP, if you tell me, what I have to enter. When the final result will be a working driver, that controls the automatic meridian flip and the safety functions for remote operations, all 5.xx users would be  happy, not to depend on the Generic LX200 driver any longer. Hopefully you will be successful!!

So I'm waiting to your further informations.

CS
Heinz

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #16 on: Sunday, 16.02.14 - 12:57:34 - CET »
Hi Heinz,

let me know if connection works by installing the attached driver. I hope/think ASCOM handbox is properly displayed.
We need to make the ASCOM handbox working by itself, without playing with it for now...

Install SerialMon, execute it and make it sniffing traffic on the port associated to LFEP...
Then start LFEP starter utility and start the ASCOM connection: SerialMon will show traffic to/from LFEP...

In the past, to improve communication, I had to force the driver to resend a command when the received answer length was not as expected.
The length of the answers can be different between FW5.xx and FW6.xx for some commands.  :(
This is the case with #0:VX# and I modified the driver accordingly (and now I think the answer is properly managed to detect slewing, tracking and sync state of the mount).
But maybe other commands are affected by the same kind of change. In this case as soon as the issue occurs you can see the driver loops endlessly sending always the same command...
Maybe this is the case with #:VS# command. If so, I need to know the length of the answer. We'll decipher the content of the answer afterwards... We need to solve communication locks if they occur.

You can also use RealTerm to let me know the content of the answer causing issue (in Hex + ASCII mode...) and post SerialMon logs to allow me to figure out what is wrong...

CS
Armando
« Last Edit: Tuesday, 18.02.14 - 16:42:23 - CET by Armando »

Offline Heinz-S

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #17 on: Tuesday, 18.02.14 - 14:18:22 - CET »
Hello Armando,

unfortunately the LFEP didn't connect properly. The connection begins and was interrupted during the execution, displaying the error message, you will find in the appendix (Pic1 and Pic2).


Executing RealTerm I send  #:GV#  and get the answer:  23 3A 47 56 23

After sending  #:VS#  I could read:  23 3A 56 53 23



I installed and run SerialMon with administrator rights, but at the program start the message showing in Pic3 appears. After restart and reinstalling the message appears again. On it's screen no information was recognizable when I execute the LFEP starter.

Perhaps the detection of FW 5.88 is more easier to you, when I send my LFEP hardware by mail to you at home. Would that be an option?

CS
Heinz

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #18 on: Tuesday, 18.02.14 - 14:49:15 - CET »
Hi Heinz,


unfortunately the LFEP didn't connect properly. The connection begins and was interrupted during the execution, displaying the error message, you will find in the appendix (Pic1 and Pic2).
I need SerialMon log or SerialMon screenshot.

Quote
Executing RealTerm I send  #:GV#  and get the answer:  23 3A 47 56 23
It's not the answer, it's the command shown in ASCII mode by RealTerm. (e.g. # is coded as 35 in ASCII and 35=2*16+3=0x23;  : is coded as 58 in ASCII and 58 = 0x3A).
You need to set duplex mode to see both commands and answers.

Quote
After sending  #:VS#  I could read:  23 3A 56 53 23
It's still the command...
I told you to send #:GV# to figure out how RealTerm works. The answer by LFEP to #:GV# is the firmware number. Playing with RealTerm settings you'll figure out how to set it to properly read the answers (text or binary).
Set Hex + ASCII and you'll see each byte answer in Hex and ASCII... RealTerm will show you also the command in the same mode.

Quote
Perhaps the detection of FW 5.88 is more easier to you, when I send my LFEP hardware by mail to you at home. Would that be an option?
I think you need only to figure out how to play by SerialMon...  ;)

CS
Armando

Offline Armando

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Re: COM Schnittstelle wird nicht erkannt
« Reply #19 on: Tuesday, 18.02.14 - 17:07:25 - CET »
Please let me know with the attached driver.

CS
Armando
« Last Edit: Friday, 21.02.14 - 22:22:13 - CET by Armando »