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Full Version: ST 3 Crashes with ASCOM and iOptron
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Hi all,

I am searching for a solution to prevent ST 3 to crash when I use it with my iOptron AZMount Pro and Ascom. I am at the start of this, so any hint will be helpful. 
First, my setup:
Software: ST 3 Version 3k DL Pro, current iOptron Commander&Driver for the AZ Mount pro, current Ascom Plattform 6.4xx. 
Operating System WIN 10 (current) on a Mac with Parallels Desktop. 
Next my workflow:
I set up the Mount and do it inital routine. Than I connect my Windows to the mount's WiFi and start the iOptron Commander. After this, I connect ST 3 with the mount. This works flawless. Goto, sync, scopes position, disconnect, reconnect all OK.


mainly when I have the mount connected and do some changes in the virtual atlas e.g. zooming, scrolling, etc. ST shows a box with the info that a severe error occurred and ST has to close. No more error messages/codes. ST basically still works after that. Most of the time some feature freezes though. Like the context viewer or the atlas. 
I click ok on the error message and ST closes. I do a restart than an go on until it crashes again.
A side note, when the mount is connected and I move the scope with the handcontroller of the mount (centering an object e.g.) ST tells me "telescope slewing to target, telescope slew complete" every time I hit a directions button. A little bit odd in my view.

My current workaround is disconnecting the mount after a goto, do my observing and reconnect for the next goto and so on. This is OK but not really my favorite workflow  Smile

I can try to give some additional info, just let me know. 

Thanks for any help, suggestions!


Please send a screen capture of the error message. I need to determine if it is an error generated by SkyTools, or if it is passing along an error from ASCOM.
Hi Greg,

OK, I guess this night will be clear again an I can do a screenshot of the error message.

Thanks an cs,
this is the message.
Some questions:

1. After you open the Atlas, are you enabling the Context Viewer?

2. Real Time tool --> Telescope Control menu --> Configure Real Time Refresh rates: what are your settings?

I enable the context viewer not every time. In this case I did not. But the error occurs also with the context viewer enabled

My settings:

Telesscope status display: once per second
The other three parameters: every five minutes

Just to be clear: the context viewer is enabled the first time you open it with the atlas open. You can close the Viewer, but it is still enabled until the atlas is closed. If not enabled, then the telescope position will be displayed as blinking cross hairs rather that as an FOV. Are you certain the error occurred when the Context Viewer had not been enabled?
OK, I am not quite sure. But to get this straight, I will test it and report back. But you are absolutely right, the context viewer stays enabled. So I guess this is the case since I use it mostly after a GoTo when I am searching dimmer objects in the field of view.
As said, I will test it an report. Anything else to pay attention to?
What we are trying to determine is if the error is being caused by something past ASCOM (the driver, mount, communication error, etc), or if it is something in ST3 itself. The problem with a bug that only occurs when connected to ASCOM, is that ASCOM hides everything beyond it. ASCOM is a black box from the point of view of SkyTools so all mounts are exactly the same. Thus this problem should happen for everyone... yet it doesn't.

The slew notifications when you move via the hand controller are definitely not normal! But this is so abnormal that I am unsure how to interpret it. Normally, the only way a slew can be started is from within SkyTools itself. There is no mechanism for the mount to call for a slew. SkyTools should simply be polling the position of the mount every second, displaying what it gets back from the mount as the position on the chart. So this alone suggests a very unusual problem.

Unless ST3 displays this error when not connected to the telescope, then I think we can rule out a problem in ST3...

So the best I can come up with is to look into the complete chain of software from ASCOM to your mount and ensure that everything is up to date. This would be:

1. The ASCOM Platform
2. The driver for your mount
3. Any communication devices and their drivers such as a serial-to-usb adapter
4. Faulty cable
5. the firmware in the mount itself

This sounds similar to my problem, here, which I was eventually identified as communication issues. In my case the virtual ComPort. [TCP/IP[WiFi] to serial].

I don't recall a crash with an error message. I had freezes, which in some case I forced ST to shut down via task manager. Now I have it working somewhat better with the HW Group software [free Wink ], playing with settings I don't fully understand.  Undecided SkyTools without or hardwired [usb/serial] to a telescope works stable and never crashed for me. I say communication and not even ASCOM. Maybe you com-port settings, since your a running it on a virtual machine?   

Good luck.
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