DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Dual Motor Focus Controller (DMFC)
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

Recently bought a Pegasus DMFC. I tested it on my desktop computer in the warmth of my basement office, and the Unity software moved the Meade Zero Image Shift Focuser. Since I dont have ASCOM installed on this machine, I didn't test it.

I then installed Unity, upgraded ASCOM to 6.6SP1, and started testing. Again, Unity can move the focuser in and out, but no ASCOM client can. I tried AstroPhotography Tool, N.I.N.A., and the ASCOM Hub. All three clients report the correct position of the focuser, but none of them can actually move the focuser.

I started a Trace in ASCOM, and then used tha ASCOM hub to connecto, and drive, the DMFC. Here's what it said:
13:52:37.722: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - False
13:52:37.726: Focuser - Others: Set Connected flag -> True (connected)
13:52:38.259: Focuser - Others: Connection took 0 milliseconds.
13:52:38.259: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
13:52:39.274: Focuser - Parameters: Get Absolute: True
13:52:39.280: Focuser - Parameters: Get Description: DMFC Meade ZIS
13:52:39.281: Focuser - Parameters: Get DriverInfo: Unity Platform Driver for Dual Motor Focus Controller
13:52:39.285: Focuser - Parameters: Get DriverVersion: 1.6.1202.43
13:52:39.285: Focuser - Parameters: Get InterfaceVersion: 3
13:52:39.287: Focuser - Parameters: Get MaxIncrement: 1000000
13:52:39.288: Focuser - Parameters: Get MaxStep: 1000000
13:52:39.289: Focuser - Parameters: Get StepSize: 1
13:52:39.290: Focuser - Parameters: Get SupportedActions: Enpty List
13:52:39.291: Focuser - Parameters: Get TempCompAvailable: True
13:52:39.291: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
13:52:39.292: Focuser - Statuses: Get IsMoving: False
13:52:39.292: Focuser - Others: Get Link flag - True
True
13:52:39.292: Focuser - Statuses: Get Position: 700
13:52:39.293: Focuser - Statuses: Get TempComp: False
13:52:39.294: Focuser - Statuses: Get Temperature: 13.2
13:52:39.294: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True

I then tried using the ASCOM hub to move the focuser, and:
13:52:49.309: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
13:52:49.309: Focuser - Statuses: Get IsMoving: False
13:52:49.309: Focuser - Others: Get Link flag - True
True
13:52:49.310: Focuser - Statuses: Get Position: 700
13:52:49.311: Focuser - Statuses: Get TempComp: False
13:52:49.311: Focuser - Statuses: Get Temperature: 13.2
13:52:50.004: Focuser - Parameters: Get MaxIncrement: 1000000
13:52:50.007: Focuser - Statuses: Get Position: 700
13:52:50.042: Focuser - Commands: Move To Position 1700 - (move started)

Later:
13:53:14.075: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
13:53:14.076: Focuser - Statuses: Get IsMoving: False
13:53:14.077: Focuser - Others: Get Link flag - True
True
13:53:14.077: Focuser - Statuses: Get Position: 700
13:53:14.078: Focuser - Statuses: Get TempComp: False
13:53:14.079: Focuser - Statuses: Get Temperature: 13.2

There was no movement at all.



The old discontinued ASCOM drivers do work, though, after UNITY has been removed and the observatory computer has been rebooted, freeing up the COM port.

Any ideas at all about how to fix this?

Thanks,
Roger Hill
Seaway Observatory, Ontario, Canada
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

Just for the record, here is what the ASCOM hub trace had to say when I used the old drivers (successfully):
14:59:48.001: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - False
14:59:48.001: Focuser - Others: Set Connected flag -> True (connected)
14:59:56.377: Focuser - Others: Connection took 0 milliseconds.
14:59:56.377: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
14:59:57.418: Focuser - Parameters: Get Absolute: False
14:59:57.434: Focuser - Parameters: Get Description: Pegasus Astro Focus Controller
14:59:57.449: Focuser - Parameters: Get DriverInfo: Driver for Pegasus Astro FocusCube, Prodigy MF and DMFC
14:59:57.466: Focuser - Parameters: Get DriverVersion: 2.20
14:59:57.482: Focuser - Parameters: Get InterfaceVersion: 2
14:59:57.498: Focuser - Parameters: Get MaxIncrement: 999999
14:59:57.514: Focuser - Parameters: Get MaxStep: 999999
14:59:57.530: Focuser - Parameters: Get StepSize: 1
14:59:57.546: Focuser - Parameters: Get SupportedActions: Enpty List
14:59:57.561: Focuser - Parameters: Get TempCompAvailable: True
14:59:57.562: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
14:59:57.610: Focuser - Statuses: Get IsMoving: False
14:59:57.610: Focuser - Others: Get Link flag - True
True
14:59:57.657: Focuser - Statuses: Get TempComp: True
14:59:57.689: Focuser - Statuses: Get Temperature: 11.5
14:59:57.689: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
14:59:57.735: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - 14:59:57.753: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
True
14:59:57.817: Focuser - Statuses: Get IsMoving: False
14:59:57.818: Focuser - Others: Get Link flag - True
True
14:59:57.865: Focuser - Statuses: Get TempComp: True
14:59:57.897: Focuser - Statuses: Get Temperature: 11.5
15:00:01.864: Focuser - Parameters: Get MaxIncrement: 999999
15:00:02.905: Focuser - Commands: Move By 1000 steps - (move started)
15:00:02.905: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - 15:00:02.921: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
True
15:00:03.000: Focuser - Statuses: Get IsMoving: False
15:00:03.000: Focuser - Others: Get Link flag - 15:00:03.016: Focuser - Statuses: Get IsMoving: False
15:00:03.016: Focuser - Others: Get Link flag - True
True
True
True
15:00:03.097: Focuser - Statuses: Get TempComp: True
15:00:03.113: Focuser - Statuses: Get TempComp: True
15:00:03.161: Focuser - Statuses: Get Temperature: 11.5
15:00:03.161: Focuser - Commands: Started fast polling every 500 ms.
15:00:03.177: Focuser - Statuses: Get Temperature: 11.5
15:00:03.177: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
15:00:03.224: Focuser - Statuses: Get IsMoving: False
15:00:03.224: Focuser - Others: Get Link flag - True
True
15:00:03.273: Focuser - Statuses: Get TempComp: True
15:00:03.305: Focuser - Statuses: Get Temperature: 11.5
15:00:03.321: Focuser - Others: Get Connected flag - True
15:00:03.369: Focuser - Statuses: Get IsMoving: False
15:00:03.369: Focuser - Others: Get Link flag - True
True
15:00:03.416: Focuser - Statuses: Get TempComp: True
15:00:03.448: Focuser - Statuses: Get Temperature: 11.5
15:00:03.448: Focuser - Commands: Returning to normal polling every 5000 ms.

APT works perfectly, too.
pleiades
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:48 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by pleiades »

Hi Roger,

Are you sure you are using the PegasusAstro DMFC ASCOM driver? According to what you wrote, your system should have two ASCOM driver related to DMFC. One related to Unity Platform and one related to the older ASCOM driver.

Another thing, be sure to disconnect the older ASCOM driver first before connecting the Unity Platform.

Regards,
Yves
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

Hello, Yves...

Yes, because when you choose which type of focuser to use, you can select the correct driver in the Properties.

When I select Connect Focuser in APT, for instance, the ASCOM Focuser Chooser panel shows up, and liste in there are (among others), Pegasus Astro Focus Controller, Pegasus Astro Focus Controller 2, PegasusAstro DMFC, PegasusAstro FocusCube, and 5 others. The ones installed by Unity do not have a space between Pegasus and Astro.

I also have a ZWO Electronic focuser attached to another telescope on the same mount, and it works perfectly (and is also on the list of focusers).

It's a fair question, but yes, I am sure that I am using the correct ASCOM driver.

I also reboot between attempts to ensure that the COM port (COM5 in my case) is relinquished, so that each driver is not fighting for it.

For the moment, everything is working as it should with the outdated Pegasus Astro Focus Controller ASCOM driver, although I'd rather use the newer set up.

Clear skies to you, wherever you may be,

Roger
pleiades
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:48 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by pleiades »

RogerHill wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 11:27 pm When I select Connect Focuser in APT, for instance, the ASCOM Focuser Chooser panel shows up, and liste in there are (among others), Pegasus Astro Focus Controller, Pegasus Astro Focus Controller 2, PegasusAstro DMFC, PegasusAstro FocusCube, and 5 others. The ones installed by Unity do not have a space between Pegasus and Astro.

Hello, Roger! It seems that you choose the right ASCOM driver. Why it's not working is another story.
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

Thanks, Yves...

I'm hopingthat the collected experience and wisdom here.

Two local astronomy friends of mine have noted that the Unity software is not well behaved, with one of them describing it as "flaky". The other noted that he had issues until he powered everything down...the mount, the USB hub, and the laptop. He started the laptop and ensured that Unity was running in the background before turning the power on to the Pegasus equipment he has.

Needless to say, I tried all that, but nothing has worked.

Clear skies to you, wherever you may be,

Roger
pleiades
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:48 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by pleiades »

RogerHill wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 4:55 pm He started the laptop and ensured that Unity was running in the background before turning the power on to the Pegasus equipment he has.
Hello, Roger,

On my side, the first application I'm opening is the Unity Platform and minimise it until the end of the night. This way, the Unity server is still activated and it's better to connect ASCOM clients after.

Did you try connecting the Unity Platform first to the focuser and after trying to connect the ASCOM client to the platform? I know that ASCOM client can activate the Unity platform when connecting if Unity is not alive, but I mean connecting the ASCOM client when Unity is already alive. Hope it makes sense!

Regards,
Yves
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

Hello, Yves...

No, I am not sure what you mean here.

So:
1) I rebooted the observatory laptop
2) I started the PegasusAstro - Unity Platform
3) A window opens up with a Menu tab and an application called Configuration
4) I click on Confiration, and another tab appears called Confiration
5) in the drop down for Configuration there are 8 options:
1) General - which has an option for Open device after discovery.
2) Themes, which offers a dark theme and several others; a setting for Transparency Level, and another for Font Size
3) Updates, allowing me to check for updates (I did, and installed a new version, I tihink it was 1.6), and a Startup Check, which is turned on.
4) Localization, which I set to English and Metric units.
5) Graph, offering a place to store a graph (I assume); a Polling Interval in Secods (default set to 1); and an option to Export graph on device close, which is selected.
6) Api Docs, which offers something called API Link and says Click Here . I did, but it brought up some coding options, but since I have not coded anything for over 40 years, I left it alone.
7) Log, which has two tabs; one for Client and another for Server. Both tabs offer a selection for Verbose
8) About, which tells me that I am now running Release Version : 1.6.1230.46

So, since it installed a new version, I uninstalled the old ASCOM drivers and the stand-alone focuser app, and finally yhe Unity platform itself.

I rebooted the observatory laptop, and installed Unity Platform, which then installed the update again. Once it was installed, I rebooted.

I started Unity, and after it was running, I ran APT, and chose the PegasusAstro DMFC Unity then seached for devices, and after about 10 minutes, I gave up, and remotely turned off power to telescopes accessories (I'm in my basement office...the observatory is about 110 metres away, and it's an unpleasant evening, so I'm doing all of this remotely). When I turned the accessories back on Unity finally found the focuser.

At the moment, although it looks like it's working, when I use APT to move the focuser, the position does increment by the correct amount, but the Unity software does NOT report any change.

When I use Unity to move the focuser, the count increases in Unity, but APT does not. When I disconnect the focuser in APT and reconnect it, then the count changes to show the same position as the Unity software.


So, I think Ive had enough for a while. I'm going to remove Unity, and re-install the old , outdated drivers because at least I can get them to work. If I hear anything back from Pegasus, I'll try whatever they suggest, but I have other things I'd like to do rather than spend hours rebooting a laptop trying to get some software to work.

Thanks for your attempts to help, Yves.

Clear skies to you, wherever you may be,

Roger
pleiades
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:48 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by pleiades »

Hello, Roger,

I think you did the right thing to try solving your problem. As a beta-tester myself for other applications, it's not always easy testing different scenarios. Sometimes you need different devices (another computer, using another application like N.I.N.A. instead of APT, etc.). Even then, developers may have something else to do instead of taking time to help you. It could be very frustrating.

According to what you wrote, it seemed that Unity has difficulty to reach your device. How many COM ports are listed in using Windows Device Manager? It's possible that the registry COM Name Arbiter is corrupted. If you are willing playing with the registry, it's very an easy task. Please refer to https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/win ... 72e1053fdc. I did that in the past several times without problem.


Which Windows version are you using? Win10, Win11, Pro...

Hope this help you a bit more.

Regards,
Yves
pleiades
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:48 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by pleiades »

RogerHill wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 7:52 pm ...and the Unity software moved the Meade Zero Image Shift Focuser.
Hello, Roger,

In reading https://pegasusastro.com/products/dual- ... ontroller/, I can't find your Meade Zero Shift Focuser as a supported Pegasus Astro focuser device. Is your focuser really supported? Thanks!

Regards,
Yves
pleiades
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:48 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by pleiades »

Hello, Roger,

A new Unity platform (version 1.6.1230.46) has just been released this afternoon. However, not sure it will help you. Fingers crossed!!!

Regards,
Yves
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

Yves, mon ami!

Forst of all, thanks for your assistance so far.

Secondly, there is a PDF available from Pegasus about using the Meade Zero Image Shift focuser at https://pegasusastro.com/wp-content/upl ... o-jack.pdf. This device uses a DC motor rather than a stepper motor, so for me it was a simple matter of attaching an RJ45 jack on to the end of the curly cable that the focuser uses. All I had to do was determe which is pin 3 and 4, and whether this would drive the focuser forwards or backwards. It took the maximum of three attempts to get it right, but I have a bag of RJ45 jacks and the crimper, so it's a good, solid connection.

Thirdly, I am indeed running the latest version of Unity. It did not solve the problem.

Fourthly, I have a singe com port listed: COM5, however, when I look at the information, it says:
Device FTDIBUS\VID_0403+PID_6015+PA3U50BRA\0000 requires further installation .

Lastly, I have no issue with getting into the registry and changing entries, as long as everything is well documented.

So, I'm going to
1) Uninstall Unity.
2) Uninstall the obsolete ASCOM drivers
3) Uninstall COM5 and turn off power to the DMFC.
4) Reboot the system
5) Install Unity
6) Turn power on for the DMFC
7) Check the COM port setting

Then I'll test Unity again and test it with APT, NINA and then ASCOM Device hub. Hopefully everything will work.

Thanks again, Yves.

Clear skies to you, wherever you may be,

Roger
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

Yves:

No change, except that the device is now on COM4. I used the Unity platform to move the focuser to position 1000. I can request a move using APT, NINA and the ASCOM Device hub, and while they all start out showing that the focuser is at position 1000, when they each try to move it to position 2000, nothing happens.

I'll have a look at the registry, and see what is involved.

Clear skies to you, wherever you may be,

Roger
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

Nothig helped.

Back to running the obsolete drivers because they work.

Roger
pleiades
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:48 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by pleiades »

RogerHill wrote: Thu Dec 01, 2022 8:19 pmSecondly, there is a PDF available from Pegasus about using the Meade Zero Image Shift focuser at https://pegasusastro.com/wp-content/upl ... o-jack.pdf. This device uses a DC motor rather than a stepper motor, so for me it was a simple matter of attaching an RJ45 jack on to the end of the curly cable that the focuser uses. All I had to do was determine which is pin 3 and 4, and whether this would drive the focuser forwards or backwards. It took the maximum of three attempts to get it right, but I have a bag of RJ45 jacks and the crimper, so it's a good, solid connection.
Manufacturer should consider that their customers are not IT by default. In the image from the PDF file, the retaining latch is below but no mention.
Last edited by pleiades on Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
pleiades
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:48 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by pleiades »

RogerHill wrote: Thu Dec 01, 2022 8:46 pmNo change, except that the device is now on COM4. I used the Unity platform to move the focuser to position 1000. I can request a move using APT, NINA and the ASCOM Device hub, and while they all start out showing that the focuser is at position 1000, when they each try to move it to position 2000, nothing happens.
Roger,

It seems that there is a communication problem between the DMFC ASCOM clients and Unity. You should send an email to Pegasus Astro support.

Regards,
Yves
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

Hello, Yves.

Regarding the RJ45 plugs, I'm colourblind, and so I cannot reply on a diagram that gives the colour of the wires. I must use the position of the wires. I also wish they'd used positions 1 and 8 for the DC motors, and 3, 4, 5,and 6 for the stepper connections. THere's probably a good and valid reason as to why they could not do this, but it makes sense to me and would make it easier for those of us who make our own ethernet cables.

I've sent in a support question, and referenced this topic. I hope it contains sufficient information so they can tell me what is going on and what needs to be done to fix it.

Clear skies to you, wherever you may be,

Roger
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

I opened an incident on December 2nd and Request 1259 has been created. I was asked to perform a clean re-installation of Unity using this guide and let them know if it resolves the issue.
https://pegasusastro.com/troubleshootin ... 4d9afb2a02, making sure I downloaded the latest version of Unity from here:
https://pegasusastro.com/download/

I followed the instructions, and tested it three times, and each time it failed to work. I reported back to Pegasus and in reply, Evans Souglakos sent me an email that said:

Hi Roger,
It seems to be a bug with Unity and DMFC when used with relative position e.g DC motors like the Meade Zero image shift.
We marked this case as a bug and we'll provide an update about the investigation and fix.
Regards,
EVans


I am using the obsolete software, which works (sort of...I can use a computer to move the focuser, rather than a hand controller), although autofocusing routines don't work. I look forward to this bug being fixed.

Roger
pleiades
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:48 pm
Location: Quebec, Canada

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by pleiades »

Thanks Roger for letting us know.

Happy New Year 2023!!!

Yves
RogerHill
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:41 pm

Re: DMFC and Unity not working with ASCOM

Post by RogerHill »

And now it's not working at all.

No LED, no response to turning the manual focus, it's not being recognized by either of two different PC's and I've tried three different power supplies.
Post Reply