Sunday, December 11, 2016

Remote Control of the MicroTouch focuser

I started with the MicroTouch Controller app:

It had quite a number of issues:

  1. Setting the Target Position
    When I tried that, I got an error message "Value Entered Out of Range. Must be between 0 and 0".
    Upon checking the "Setup" tab, I noticed that both the "Min Value" and "Max Value" were set to 0. When I tried to set the "Max Value" to a larger number, it seemed to do something (app was blocked for a second or two). But when control returned, it was still set to 0. Tried many things, always with the same result.
    It then wasn't surprising that I couldn't set the
    "Min Value" - it always gave an error: "Min Position must be less than Max Value".
    I also checked the Diagnostics tab, but it showed 0 corrupted packets and 0 packets dropped.
  2. Updating Firmware
    Next thing I tried was to update the Firmware of the controller. Mine was at 3.8, the last version was 4.4. I used the MicroTouch Flash Loader app

    I selected the 
    MicroTouch_4_4.bin file. But when I press "Program", the Status changed from "Idle" to "Opening USB Port" ... and then nothing happened. Always the same result
  3. But I could change the focuser position with the IN and OUT button on the handcontroller, so I thought that I should be able to change it with the up and down arrows in the Controller app. But nothing happened when I pressed those.
    ... until I plugged in a mouse (instead of using the Asus touchpad)! Then the buttons suddenly worked!!! I have absolutely no idea what this is about. The touchpad click should trigger the exact same even then a mouse press...
    Well at least I know now how I could use it.
  4. From SGPro
    In SGPro, I selected "MicroTouch Focuser 1" as my focuser (the app / handset is able to control 4 focusers in parallel). Then I clicked setup ... nothing changed. Until I noticed that SGPro opened a new window UNDER its own window (I think I noticed that with other popups before). This was the "MicroTouch Focuser Setup" popup:

    I opened the drop down menu of "Focuser 1" and selected the entry 1532 - I guess that's the serial number of my focuser ...
    Then everything worked in SGPro! Could move focuser in and out and also set absolute positions!!! (unlike in the MicroTouch Controller app)
  5. From TheSkyX
    There were some instructions in the MicroTouch drive/app package to copy certain files into the TSX directories. But when I tried that, the same files were already there. Seems as if TSX is packaging these up right now. But when I then tried to connect to the focuser I always received an error "No connection to the device. Error = 215."
    And when I then read the instructions again, they said that I would need firmware version 4.4 in my controller to connect to it. So, back to #2.
I sent an email to Starlightinstruments and asked for help with #1 and #2...