Resolved Dome sync causes crash

Discussion in 'Demo User Tech Support' started by Arie, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    Today I put MaximDL to a small test.
    I only connected the 10Micron mount and the Scopedome to see how the dome sync would work.
    I filled in the dome-mount geometry and selected to slave the dome to the the telescope.
    Then I did a few slews with the telescope and the dome followed very well and precise.
    But after a few slews I got this message:
    After clicking OK the program crashed out.
    This happened 5-6 times in a row.
    Checking for a log in the Documents/MaximDL directory showed only a few older logs but nothing was kept from today's test.
    Kind regards
    Arie IMG_1814.jpeg
     
  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Arie,
    You need to provide more information, we can't guess what you have set up or what the problem is.
    e.g. what equipment you have, are you on the latest drivers for the equipment, version of ASCOM, MaxIm, which SCOPEDOME product this is, what SCOPEDOME Driver version, etc.
    Have you contacted SCOPEDOME ?
    This looks like it may be a bug in the Scopedome driver - you might be using an old verison.
    Also why do some of the values say "UNKNOWN" ?
     
  3. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    I understand. Let me try to be as complete as I can.....
    I have been running my set-up for allmost 2 years now without any issue. (well........almost)
    Using mainly SGP, which has its own dome sync module. Alike ModelCreator for making pointing models. This uses it's own dome-sync module too.

    Other acquisition packs like CCDCiel and Voyager and the likes use Scopedome's own dome-sync module.
    This works very well. Drawback is that with these the dome chases the mount, instead of sending the dome ahead of the telescope. Makes a big diffrence with a meridian flip.

    If the scopedome driver would be incorrect, I would have experienced this. Which I have not.
    This dome has no "altitude" setting. So that record remains a unknown.

    The info about dome and shutter position is initially visible at start up.
    During the dome slew it becomes unknown. Sometimes it updates this position after the slew is complete. Sometimes these values remain unknown.
    This points in the direction of a communication problem between MaximDL and the dome software.
    (other software I use does not have this issue)

    Software I am running is Win10Pro 64bit.
    Ascom 6.4 SP1
    Scopedome driver 5.1.37 2M Scopedeome plug&play with ScopeDomeUSB v2.1 f3.6 system.
    Mount is 10Micron GM1000hps. The latest firmware 2.6.14, updates and ascom 1.5.1.0 driver from 10Micron installed.

    Tried again today. First did the magical microsoft system re-boot.

    Started up the Scopedomedriver.
    Started up MaximDL 6.2
    Opened up observatory window in MaximDL.
    Connected dome.

    Dome az value was shown, as was the shutter state.
    Opened the shutter with MaximDL. OK.
    Closed shutter again. OK.
    Slewed dome a few times with a goto command in MaximDL. OK
    Position was updated after the default 5 seconds.
    Shutter state became and remained unknown a few times.

    So far so good.

    Started the 10M mount and connected it,
    Selected the dome to slave to scope. Dome slewed towards the telescope.
    Slewed telescope with the hand Controller in a few directions, The dome followed OK but the dome az position and shutter position remained at unknown,
    Even after the 5s interval.
    After a couple of slews I got the error again and MaximDl crashed.
    Looked in documents/maximdl/settings/log and found this:

    The complete log created today:

    11:59:09*2 ____________ 2019-10-15 ____________
    11:59:09*1 MaxIm DL Version 6.20 started on NUC
    11:59:14>6 View, Observatory Control Window
    11:59:17$9 Connected to ASCOM.tenmicron_mount.Telescope
    11:59:22$12 Connected to ASCOM.ScopeDomeUSBDome.DomeLS
    12:00:33*1 MaxIm DL Version 6.20 started on NUC
    12:00:38>6 View, Observatory Control Window
    12:00:41$12 Connected to ASCOM.ScopeDomeUSBDome.DomeLS
    12:05:23$9 Connected to ASCOM.tenmicron_mount.Telescope

    End of file.
    Nothing else was recorded.


    Hope this helps.
    Are there any other logfiles that I am not aware of that could shed some light on this?

    Arie

    Lacerta on 10MicronAtik.jpg
     
  4. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Did MaxIm work for 2 years, and then the problem started now?
    OR is this a new setup, where you are using MaxIm with it for the first time?

    When you say you are using Scopedome's own dome-sync module, is this controlled by their program, or controlled by SGP, Voyager, etc. ?
    Is this an ASCOM dome as far as SGP, Voyager, etc are concerned?

    IS the other software using their ASCOM driver?

    NO - this is NOT good.
    Shutter state becoming unknown is a PROBLEM.
    You need to find out why that is happening. It could be a hardware failure or firmware/software issue.
    The shutter is either open, closed, or in motion, and should never report it is an unknown state when it was in a known state (eg open).
    Please contact ScopeDome for assistance.
    If you use the ASCOM Dome hub, does it show the shutter problem at the same time as MaxIm is showing the unknown state?

    This error does not look like a MaxIm error - I think it is a driver error, but I cannot say for certain.

    Please ZIP you MaxIm Settings and use the [Upload a File] button to attach them here.
    The settings are somewhere like:
    C:\Users\Arie\Documents\MaxIm DL 6\Settings
    Then we can take a look and see if there is anything that needs to be changed in your settings.
     
  5. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Two things to try:
    • Try running the dome from the ASCOM Dome Control Panel.
    • Try using the Telescope Simulator instead of your mount, to eliminate any possibility of weird interactions
    • Try putting the PIPE diagnostic tool between MaxIm DL and your dome driver, in order to log the message traffic.
    I suspect it is your dome driver that is crashing.
     
  6. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    Hi Colin.
    -I am running maximDL under trial. Just installed it the other day and am running it now for the very first time.
    I am using SGP now for 2 years. That works quite well but the software contains bugs that take a very long time before they get fixed.
    Also the autofucus routine is not good enough for me.

    -The Scopedome is full ascom compliant. I don't know how SGP communicates with it (API's?). I am not a programmer.
    I do know that SGP is using its own GEM offset calculations. But the slewing and shutter commands are all ascom I assume.
    Because I select the dome through the ascom equipment menu. Same as the camera, wheel, mount etc. No direct drivers anyware.
    Same for the other programs. Most of them call for the Scopedome software and let it do all the calculations and sync.

    -In all the other software I select the Scopedome through the ascom interface.
    This program has a option to link it directly to the telescope, but still this goes via ascom and the poth interface.

    I have contacted Scopedome meanwhile. Maybe they can assist.
    Attached the settings directory.

    Just saw a reply from Doug.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    I tried to install the ScopeDome software here on a test machine.
    Windows Defender antivirus blocked it.
    The USB card manual is missing.
    Reviewing the manual, it tries to install in the root c:\ScopeDome which can violate Microsoft Windows security recommendations.
    This software needs to be improved and brought up to current standards.

    I don't see any obvious problems in your MaxIm settings, but I was unable to test fully due to the Antivirus blocking the program.
    Please contact ScopeDome.
     
  8. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    Tried what Doug proposed.
    With the ascom dome control and the dome an mount connected, I could slew around as a happy cow in the meadow.
    The dome followed as expected. The shutter position ( closed because it's raining cats and dogs here) was constantly reported in the ascom window. Nothing bad happened.
    I then opened maximDL again and positioned the dome-control window as shown.
    Unselected "slave dome to scope" in the ascom window.
    Selected "slave dome to scope" in the MaximDL window.
    Within a few seconds a small slew correction was made.
    I guess because of slightly different parameters for the dome az calculation...
    Anyway, MaximDL crashed again. I did not even needed to make a slew command myself.
    Selecting "slave to dome" in the ascom window again (with MaximDL crashed out), and I could slew the telescope with the dome nicely slaving behind it. The dome driver was still up and running.

    I will do another test with a simulated telescope-mount, as proposed.

    I also started the Pipe-thing and connected both devices to it.
    But nothing was written to the window. (?) Propably (most likely) I am doing something wrong here.
    As you can see, the shutter state is known in the ascom window, but unknown in the maximdl window.
    IMG_1815.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  9. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    Today I tried telescope simulator, dome simulator and what not.... in different combinations
    Removed and re-installed MaximDL. Nothing helps.
    With the ascom dome-control-panel (that came with MaximDL?) only, connecting the mount and dome everything seems to work ok.
    As soon as I tick the "slave dome to scope" in MaximDL's dome-window, MaximDL crashes every time.

    Should I buy another dome (afer 2 years problemless operation with "the other software")? or . . . .
     
  10. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Please have a look at the Pipe information:

    http://solo.dc3.com/ar/RefDocs/HelpFiles/PipeHubHelp.html

    It would be good to see the commands being passed back and forth between MaxIm DL and the driver.

    If you cannot get Pipe to work, we may have to get someone to Teamviewer in to your computer for a look.
     
  11. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    Thanks Doug.
    I'll keep on trying.
     
  12. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    Managed to get Pipe lined up and reading. If you know how to do it, it is easy ;-)
    Everything seemed to be working alright with all the traffic routed via Pipe.
    Disconnected Pipe again and tried without it. _________ Crash.
    Mmmhh......
    While hovering over the Scopedome set-up screen, suddenly a message popped up (see image) about a setting necessary for ACP.
    Never paid any attention to this option before.
    Realising that ACP and MaximDL are quite often used together, an idea crossed my mind.
    Enabled this async option and started up again.
    Surprise, surprise!
    MaximDL was working, slewing the dome etc. as it should!
    Shutter state was steadily reported now.
    Deselecting this async option again and MaximDL crashed again.
    Something for the records and to remember. . . . . .
    The other async option has no effect on the operation of MaximDL.
    So for now the problem seems to be resolved.
    Waiting for some clear skies now to run a first sequence.
    Meanwhile doing some dry-running exercises.

    Arie

    IMG_1827.JPG
     
  13. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Thanks for reporting back. Glad you got it working. Also gives us a clue as to how the crash is happening.
     
  14. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    Interesting. Neither MaxIm nor ACP require ANYTHING special with respect to normal/conforming ASCOM behavior of the dome. Both programs (as well as other programs like SGP) are using the standard ASCOM functions only.

    I do know that two customers of ours have had challenges with ScopeDome, one with the old cable fed shutter and one with the shutter power contacts requiring rotation to a specific azimuth for shutter operation. The latter model was failing the ASCOM conformance test. So they are a bit “loose”.

    The test will be if the dome starts slewing immediately when the scope starts, and if the sequencer in MaxIm waits for both the dome and the scope to stop moving.
     
  15. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    Thanks Bob,
    My 2M dome has 2 aluminum slip rings and metal wheels that feed the 12V power to the shutter control box.
    The communication between the main control box and the shutter control box is a wireless connection.
    That allows the shutter to be operable in any position and dome de-rotation is not an issue.
    The peculiar thing here is the selection of "async slaving".
    SGP and other programs don't care about this option.
    I don't know what's happening under de hood.
    When I move the telescope, the dome slaves almost immediately.
    With a meridian flip the dome went to the new position straight away during the flip, and made a minor correction when the flip was completed.

    I'll keep you guys posted.
     
  16. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    Another peculiar thing that happened when I installed MaximDL on my laptop.
    It was telling me that my trial period for Pinpoint was expired (?)
    You helped me to remove it a year ago. ;-)
    (That Dutch guy who was using ASTAP)
     
  17. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Just to be thorough, our guys tested MaxIm DL with the dome simulator in synchronous and asynchronous mode. It worked perfectly.

    I think this is a case of the dome driver crashing for some reason. If a DLL we have loaded crashes out it can take MaxIm DL down with it. Just the reality of working in Windows.
     
  18. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    Installing MaxIm should override the old full PinPoint license. I can’t remember what I did last year. I do 10+ support tickets a day (mostly help, rarely bug in my software, like 2-3 a year). If I removed the old PinPoint full license last year, how could it get back?

    File a ticket on our Comm Center http://forums.dc3.com/ in Pre-Sales. If I have to get on again and clear out the license I will.
     
  19. Arie

    Arie Standard User

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    Txs for the answer Bob. It's no big deal. If it becomes an issue I shall contact you via the link you provided.

    With the dome sync resolved the next step will be to investigate if it is possible to use my friend's ASTAP for platesolving in MaximDL.

    The dome sync issue is solved from my perspective.
    If Doug would like to figure out what is actually happening behind the Scopdomedriver' async/sync mode button I suggest he contacts the programmer Jacek Pala from Scopedome Poland directly. That tooltip that pops up for this box is there for a reason.
     
  20. Bob Denny

    Bob Denny Cyanogen Customer

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    MaxIm uses PinPoint for plate solving, integrated with MaxIm operations (embedded). Is there problem with it that would lead you to use ASTAP? Again I will help you solve a problem where it is not working or somehow “not good enough”. If it is the license issue let me help you. If all you need is basic plate solving (not advanced astrometric positions of the detected objects in the image) the free PinPoint LE that is part of MaxIm will be fine. It is not reduced accuracy or anything like that.
     

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