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PHD2 port problem - still not sorted.


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Hi All, 

This is driving me mad at the moment.   I have CdC  driving my HEQ5 using ASCOM using COM 3 and it's all working fine.  However, when I run PHD2 it fails to find the appropriate COM port and gives a "Value cannot be null, Parrameter name: PortName" error.   What's up?      It's all worked fine before.      Using Windows 10. 

SR.

Edited by sheeprug
No response - making title clearer.
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Hi All, I still cant sort this out.    

EQMOD is controlling the HEQ5 properly via the Lynx Astro USB cable on COM3 and all looks fine, but PHD2 fails to find the mount on COM3 and thus gives an ASCOM driver error when I try to connect. I've reloaded all drivers and S/W and no change.  It used to work fine,  the only system change I'm aware of is a Windows update that happened on my last outing a couple of weeks ago.   

SR.

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There's a hub thingy in the ascom drivers.  Bascially what you need to do is connect all the software to that hub, then the hub connects to the scope.

That way, you can have multiple programs interacting with the mount at the same time without having to fight for the com port.  I think that's what's happening to you.

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I can't help you specifically with EQMOD or PHD2 as I use different software but first try running Windows update manually, there was a Windows 8.1/10 feature update earlier in the year, KB4056898 and KB4056892 that broke the software interconnections between programs and prevented them running cooperatively as EQMOD and PHD2 must. Since those earlier updates Microsoft has released updates to the fix the updates, if you follow my meaning.

If that fails make sure to run each program one-time-only as administrator by right-clicking the program shortcut and choose the "Run as Administrator" option, there is no need to do anything with the program, just launch it as Administrator and close it again after a few moments. Make sure none of the programs you use are running with permanent Administrator rights, if this happens the program without rights cannot talk to the one that does so right click each program shortcut, check in the compatibility tab that the program is not assigned permanent "Run as Administrator" rights.

If that fails remove EQMOD and PHD2 and re-install, that should fix any lingering registry issues, If that fails to fix the problem try rolling back the updates to and earlier time, if this does fix the problem then the PHD2 and EQMOD forums might have already identified the problem and have a fix in the pipeline. Since the Windows security updates there have been a raft of software updates to fix this Microsoft induced problem.

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OK, Thanks everybody. Some things to try there.   I'm up to date on updates, and it was working post KB4056892 anyway, so I don't think it's that.  I'll check premissions and I'll take a look at the hub issue - I think it's a EQASCOM feature, but I can't see how you configure it at the moment.  Otherwise it's possibly time to re-install everything, or even re-build!

Best, SR.

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51 minutes ago, SteveA said:

Have you tried assigning the mount to a different COM port? 

Steve

Oh yes. I'm currently using COM2, but I've tried others with the same result.   EQASCOM detects the skywatcher mount on the selected COM port and can control it (so I know the hardware is ok) , but PHD2 doesn't detect the com port.  

SR.

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Can I check a configuration issue please.    In the ASCOM telescope chooser there are several options including "EQMOD HEQ5/6", and "Skywatcher telescope".    In PHD2 the options include "EQMOD HEQ5/6 (ASCOM)" and "Skywatcher telescope (ASCOM)".  Talk about confusing labels!   Which ones should be used?

SR   

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I can't find the source document right now but I seem to recall that the Skywatcher Telescope Driver is for use with the Synscan handset when you plug a serial lead into into the socket on the handset and EQMOD HEQ5/6 is where you plug a serial lead directly into the socket on the mount.

My memory's not that great these days so I can't be 100% sure on that, if I can find the document I read a few years ago I will come back and edit the post with a link.

****** EDITED *******

Took a little while to track down because the document I remembered is actually part of the ASCOM platform. 

Confirmed that the driver "Skywatcher Telescope"  is used when connecting a serial lead to the Synscan Handset, the driver EQMOD HEQ5/6 is used with the EQDIR serial cable connected direct to the mount with no handset.

The document describing the Skywatcher Telescope driver for the handset connection and how to use it is added to the ASCOM ref documents when you download and install the driver from the ASCOM site. Currently the driver installer is at revision Skywatcher(6.0.6262)Setup.exe. After you install the driver the document describing it can be found (on Win 7, but Win 10 should be the same) C:>Program Files>Common Files>ASCOM>Telescope>Skywatcher>ASCOM.Skywatcher.Telescope.pdf

Edited by Oddsocks
Added documentation source for Skywatcher Telescope
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On 10/03/2018 at 16:19, Oddsocks said:

I can't find the source document right now but I seem to recall that the Skywatcher Telescope Driver is for use with the Synscan handset when you plug a serial lead into into the socket on the handset and EQMOD HEQ5/6 is where you plug a serial lead directly into the socket on the mount.

My memory's not that great these days so I can't be 100% sure on that, if I can find the document I read a few years ago I will come back and edit the post with a link.

****** EDITED *******

Took a little while to track down because the document I remembered is actually part of the ASCOM platform. 

Confirmed that the driver "Skywatcher Telescope"  is used when connecting a serial lead to the Synscan Handset, the driver EQMOD HEQ5/6 is used with the EQDIR serial cable connected diret to the mount with no handset.

The document describing the Skywatcher Telescope driver for the handset connection and how to use it is added to the ASCOM ref documents when you download and install the driver from the ASCOM site. Currently the driver installer is at revision Skywatcher(6.0.6262)Setup.exe. After you install the driver the document describing it can be found (on Win 7, but Win 10 should be the same) C:>Program Files>Common Files>ASCOM>Telescope>Skywatcher>ASCOM.Skywatcher.Telescope.pdf

Beautiful - thanks for that.   I'd not looked at any of the ASCOM/EASCOM documentation since I first got it working and after reinstalling everything I couldn't remember  what it was all supposed to be.  It now looks to be all connecting properly, so quite what the original problem was  i'm not sure:  s/w corruption, config error, admin rights conflict...... etc.   I don't know!  So thanks to everybody for all the help - I've always believed in teamwork!  All I need now is some good weather to do a full test and I'm back in business.  (The gods are urinating mightily on us at the moment).   Footie on soon......

SR. 

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