AA8 failure to connect to camera

Cameras, telescopes, focusers and other hardware
Iver
Posts: 65
Joined: 08 Jan 2019, 04:32

Re: AA8 failure to connect to camera

Post by Iver » 19 Dec 2021, 00:01

Maybe Fabio or another user has some ideas. You can try the ASCOM user forum they my be able to determin what the problem is by looking at the ASCOM log files.
Iver

Dave_S
Posts: 35
Joined: 11 Oct 2021, 10:09

Re: AA8 failure to connect to camera

Post by Dave_S » 19 Dec 2021, 10:33

I think that the problem is some incompatibility between AA8 and Windows 8.1 Pro.

On the Laptop, which is running Windows 10 Home, there is no problem. Of course RDP will only work with Windows Pro as the remote PC. Although Windows 10 Home can 'talk' to it, it can't be the RDP host.

On the Laptop, the 'Camera Chooser' window in AA8, only shows 'Trace' as an option, whereas on the Mini PC running Windows 8.1 Pro, there are two options, 'Trace' and 'Alpaca' (see attached screen shot).

Although Alpaca is not enabled, it still won't connect to the camera. As I said earlier, Alpaca enabled or not enabled, makes no difference.

What is needed is an SDK to allow the Altair camera to operate under its native driver, as opposed to ASCOM. In my copy of AA8, Canon, SXVH, and Lodestar appear as options.

The strange thing is, that I can control the camera with Sharpcap, using either ASCOM, or the native Altair driver, option, but not with AA8. So clearly something is amiss with AA8.

Its not preventing me from imaging, as I can use Sharpcap for capture, and PHD2 for guiding, but having purchased AA8, it would be nice to be able to use its full potential.

I'm sure that Fabio reads from the Forum, so perhaps he can give some thought to the problem.

fabdev
Posts: 307
Joined: 03 Dec 2018, 21:43

Re: AA8 failure to connect to camera

Post by fabdev » 19 Dec 2021, 14:47

Hello Dave, I think that this is a case for technical assistance, it will be necessary to do several tests and screenshots.
This forum is just a community, people may help on common problems and share experience.

Iver
Posts: 65
Joined: 08 Jan 2019, 04:32

Re: AA8 failure to connect to camera

Post by Iver » 19 Dec 2021, 16:18

Dave try the ASCOM help forum I bet they can diagnose the problem.

https://ascomtalk.groups.io/g/Help/mess ... ,,20,2,0,0
Iver

Dave_S
Posts: 35
Joined: 11 Oct 2021, 10:09

Re: AA8 failure to connect to camera

Post by Dave_S » 19 Dec 2021, 19:21

Ok Iver and Fabio. thank you.

But first an update.

I don't like being beaten, so I have persisted.

I thought I had found the problem, in that a bit of research established that the ASCOM Platform will only work with Windows 7 or 10. Believing that the Mini PC (an i7 Gigabyte Brix) was running Windows 8.1 Pro, because that is what the attached 'sticker' said, I thought that this was route of the problem. The Mini PC was gifted to me by an IT specialist friend, it having been retired from commercial service. At some time the OS had been upgraded to Windows 10 Pro, but the old Win 8.1 sticker left attached.

So, the next move was to remove it from Remote Desktop operation (RDP), and connect it directly to a keyboard and monitor. This I did, and the inability to connect to the camera remained. So this eliminated any issue with RDP.

If connect the camera directly to the laptop, AA8 functions perfectly via ASCOM. The only difference is that the Laptop is running Windows 10 home, whereas the Gigabyte Brix is running Windows 10 Pro Version 21H2. This really shouldn't make any difference, and there must be plenty of people using AA8 on a remote computer, which of course has to be running Windows Pro 7 or 10, in order to use RDP.

The Mini PC controls my HEQ5 Pro, Hitec Focus Motor controller, and cameras, without any problem, providing they are using their native drivers. The problem arises when I try to use ASCOM with the Win 10 Pro Mini PC.

The ASCOM Platform SP1, .net 3.5 are installed on the MIni PC, just as they are on the laptop, along with all the other other applications (AA8, Sharpcap, PHD2, Cartes du Ciel, Hitec Focus Controller, EQmod......etc).

I think I have now gone as far as I can go with this problem now, so your help Fabio would be much appreciated. I am more than happy to carry out any tests, and provide screen shots, as you require.

N.B. My Desktop PC, like the Laptop, is running Windows 10 Home, so I don't have another PC running Windows 10 Pro, to try.

Dunmunro
Posts: 143
Joined: 10 Jan 2019, 01:11

Re: AA8 failure to connect to camera

Post by Dunmunro » 19 Dec 2021, 20:40

( Install AA8 on the remote computer and then control it remotely from your workstation using Chrome Remote Desktop. It's a free install, that is cross platform and win version and takes about 30 seconds to setup. Maybe not relevant)

Also the cameras should show up in the USB devices list on the mini PC. You should carefully compare the USB device list and device manager settings of your laptop and minicomputer. The USB devices on the mini computer may have non-standard settings.

Dave_S
Posts: 35
Joined: 11 Oct 2021, 10:09

Re: AA8 failure to connect to camera

Post by Dave_S » 19 Dec 2021, 22:55

All done as in paragraph one, except that I am using Windows Remote Desktop (RDP), which works fine on the remote PC. The problem appears to be ASCOM related. Anything relate to ASCOM on the mini pc does not work, whereas non ASCOM applications work fine.

Device Manager reports that the usb connection to the camera is working fine, its just that AA8 won't connect to it via ASCOM. The driver, and other details are identical on both the laptop and mini pc.

I may well do as Iver suggests, and pose the question on the ASCOM group.

Will also make direct contact with Fabio.

Dave_S
Posts: 35
Joined: 11 Oct 2021, 10:09

Re: AA8 failure to connect to camera

Post by Dave_S » 20 Dec 2021, 11:54

Ok Guys, persistence pays off, and problem now solved :)

The problem lay in the Altair ASCOM camera drivers file.

This is downloaded from the Altair 'support page', and downloads as a ZIP file with an ms extension. This needs to be changed to an msi extension which I did. However, when extracted the file extension was ms-. Thinking the dash was part of the extension, I left in there, and inserted a i between the s and the -. As such the installer would not run.

Way back, when I was running a usb connection from the laptop out to the pier, I must have, for whatever reason, replaced the - with an i, hence the fact that AA8 functioned with ASCOM on the laptop.

As I said earlier, I have expertise in electronic/radio frequency, and electro magnetic compatibility engineering, but not software and IT.

I learn something new every day, and you are never too old to learn :D

Thank you for your input on this one, and to Fabio for his offer of direct help.

Merry Christmas to all.

Post Reply