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Some questions about the controller Sitech 1


Eric Feuillard
 

Hello to all,

 

I am using the Sitech 1 controller with a USB/Serial converter.

I have some questions about how it works.

Can you help me.

 

If the USB/Serial converter has a problem with or in general if there is a communication problem, is it possible to see it in a log ? which one? what should I look for in the log ?

What happens if the Sitech.exe software crashes, does the mount continue in its operating mode e.g. if it was in sideral-tracking, does it continue to run ?

Is it possible to start the controller without the handpad and therefore just use the Sitec.exe program ?

Is it possible to hot plug and unplug (with the controller powered) the handpad ?

 

Thank you

Eric

 


Don W
 

Hi Eric,

The SiTechDebug_xxx.txt shows the attempts to open a Comm port, listing the times of the attempts.  If your controller is tracking when comm is lost, the mount will continue moving at the tracking rate, but any limits or protection (altitude limits or meridian limits) will not work.  This could be dangerous over a long period where the mount could track in a pier hit or go below the horizon or altitude limits.

If your computer crashes or the comm or usb cable is disconnected, the controller still tracks, but reconnecting the PC or SiTechexe won't have an accurate position in the sky.  This is very uncommon, unless you physically trip on a cable or have a flaky PC.

The handpad can be connected or disconnected any time without affecting the controller.  The handpad only affects the controller when a button is pushed.  SiTechexe (the program) has buttons on the Scope Tab at the top of the tall window that you can use to control the mount movement instead of using the handpad.

Don W


Eric Feuillard
 

Thank you Don,

 

It's very clear.

 

Eric

 

De : Sitechservo@groups.io <Sitechservo@groups.io> De la part de Don W
Envoyé : vendredi 26 février 2021 14:44
À : Sitechservo@groups.io
Objet : Re: [Sitechservo] Some questions about the controller Sitech 1

 

Hi Eric,

The SiTechDebug_xxx.txt shows the attempts to open a Comm port, listing the times of the attempts.  If your controller is tracking when comm is lost, the mount will continue moving at the tracking rate, but any limits or protection (altitude limits or meridian limits) will not work.  This could be dangerous over a long period where the mount could track in a pier hit or go below the horizon or altitude limits.

If your computer crashes or the comm or usb cable is disconnected, the controller still tracks, but reconnecting the PC or SiTechexe won't have an accurate position in the sky.  This is very uncommon, unless you physically trip on a cable or have a flaky PC.

The handpad can be connected or disconnected any time without affecting the controller.  The handpad only affects the controller when a button is pushed.  SiTechexe (the program) has buttons on the Scope Tab at the top of the tall window that you can use to control the mount movement instead of using the handpad.

Don W


Joshua Hufford
 

I wonder if a safety feature could be added so if comms between the controller and PC are lost the mount will stop tracking?

Josh

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 8:08 AM Eric Feuillard <eric@...> wrote:

Thank you Don,

 

It's very clear.

 

Eric

 

De : Sitechservo@groups.io <Sitechservo@groups.io> De la part de Don W
Envoyé : vendredi 26 février 2021 14:44
À : Sitechservo@groups.io
Objet : Re: [Sitechservo] Some questions about the controller Sitech 1

 

Hi Eric,

The SiTechDebug_xxx.txt shows the attempts to open a Comm port, listing the times of the attempts.  If your controller is tracking when comm is lost, the mount will continue moving at the tracking rate, but any limits or protection (altitude limits or meridian limits) will not work.  This could be dangerous over a long period where the mount could track in a pier hit or go below the horizon or altitude limits.

If your computer crashes or the comm or usb cable is disconnected, the controller still tracks, but reconnecting the PC or SiTechexe won't have an accurate position in the sky.  This is very uncommon, unless you physically trip on a cable or have a flaky PC.

The handpad can be connected or disconnected any time without affecting the controller.  The handpad only affects the controller when a button is pushed.  SiTechexe (the program) has buttons on the Scope Tab at the top of the tall window that you can use to control the mount movement instead of using the handpad.

Don W


Don W
 

Hi Josh,
A limit switch would protect the mount from ever going past the limit switch.  The SiTechexe on the PC has all the smarts for a SiTech mount.  Without the comm, the mount and controller is dumb.

I believe you use a remote observatory, so there are many ways you could lose control from your home, but many of those possible problems (like loss of internet) don't leave the controller without local PC comm.  You have many years of remote operation, so what is your experience with "problems"?

Don W


Joshua Hufford
 

Hi Don. 

I've taken a few year break from imaging and have been concentrating on just visual observing. The stock Losmandy motors on my MI-250 finally gave up and my friend Anthony has been helping me convert the mount over to Pittman 9000 series motors, we're still working out a few bugs but we're making good progress. Also life just got busy but I'm hoping to get back into imaging soon. 

In all the time I've been imaging remotely I think only one time I had the PC lock up and the mount continued to track, thankfully no damage was done, but yes limit switches will be a good idea, especially since I've upgraded to a ServoII controller, it should be pretty easy to do. 

My thought about the software safety was just an idea for another layer of redundancy. 

Josh

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 11:32 AM Don W <westergren@...> wrote:
Hi Josh,
A limit switch would protect the mount from ever going past the limit switch.  The SiTechexe on the PC has all the smarts for a SiTech mount.  Without the comm, the mount and controller is dumb.

I believe you use a remote observatory, so there are many ways you could lose control from your home, but many of those possible problems (like loss of internet) don't leave the controller without local PC comm.  You have many years of remote operation, so what is your experience with "problems"?

Don W