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New MX+ Will not execute Home Command

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Scott Schneeweis Posted: 02-17-2019 10:04 PM

Heres the out of the box setup (mount received brand new from Woodland Hiills)::

Windows PC (probably the first issue - though I have tried two different ones)

WiSky card immediately installed

Initiall attempt via USB connection between laptop(s) and mount

Rear LED's show - Blue (for the Wisky), Purplish for LED #1 on left, Red (solid) for DEC, Red (blinking) for RA

Mount selected (MX+) , Comm Port selected after loading current MKS5000 driver

Hit
Connect - shows (initially) connected via USB

Upon trying to execute Home after about 20 seconds it either returns a reponse that mount cannot slew or that communications failure).

I have confirmed that both the RA and Dec knobs are rotated to the STAR figure and appear to be engaging the worm gears.

The mount, immediately upon power up and continously there after emits a low volume repetative (i.e. 2-3 time per second) on/off hum sound...

Also tried to connect my windows lap top via WiSky but getting hung up on IP config (the instructions int he manual dont seem to accurately reflect current iteration of Windows 10.

bottom line - could use an assist if there is anybody out there to talk me through things and confirm there isnt an issue with the mount itself. A bit distressing after spending a bunch of $$$ for this mount.

 

My direct email spaceaholic@gmail.com

phone 520 481 4948

 

Best -

Scott

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Software Bisque Employee

Scott,

Congratulations on selecting the Paramount MX+ Robotic Telescope Mount!

I'm sorry you're having some initial difficulties. I (and likely others) will try to assist you so that you can be operational as soon as possible. First, if you haven't already been using it, I would direct you to the Troubleshooting Mount Operation section of the user guide (starting on page 172 of revision 2.7).

Scott Schneeweis:
WiSky card immediately installed

So it wasn't pre-installed by us (Software Bisque), right?

Scott Schneeweis:
…Red (blinking) for RA

The LED will blink while the motor is initializing, and should then be lit solidly once initialization has completed. It seems your RA motor isn't initializing successfully.

If you have the hand controller connected, power off the mount, disconnect the hand controller, and power the mount back on to see if the RA motor then initializes. (UPDATE: Also disconnect anything else you may have plugged into the mount, whether it be at the Electronics Box or Instrument Panel, except for the mount's power cable.)

Scott Schneeweis:
Upon trying to execute Home…

Is the behaviour different, depending upon which method you use to initiate homing (via TheSkyX, or double-clicking the hand controller's joystick)?

Have you listened to our Paramount Audible Control System Feedack sample?

Scott Schneeweis:
Also tried to connect my windows lap top via WiSky but getting hung up on IP config (the instructions int he manual dont seem to accurately reflect current iteration of Windows 10.

Are you attempting to establish an ad-hoc connection? Due to increased security requirements in Windows 10, this type of connection can be difficult to establish, at best. Do you have a computer with either Windows 7 or macOS, or an iPad or iPhone? (They are much easier to connect to an ad-hoc network.) Or, do you have a wireless router that you can use to try an infrastructure-type connection, instead?

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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I meant to also suggest that you inspect the various cable connections at the MKS 5000 control board, inside the mount. In particular, confirm that the RA motor cable connector is seated well, and that none of its leads appears to be loose in the connector. If that looks good, and the other suggestions haven't helped, then you might similarly check the connections at the RA motor.

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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Here's a copy of my private email to the OP:

Let’s tackle the homing issue first, the move to the communication issue (the two might be related)…

  1. Turn the mount off.
  2. Rotate the mechanical switches in both axis to the Balance position.  Both axis should rotate, by hand, freely.
  3. Turn on the mount.
  4. What is the status of the 3 LEDs on the Electronics Box?

If the status is normal,

  1. Turn off the mount.
  2. Plug in the hand paddle.
  3. Turn on the mount.
  4. Double-tap the joystick button to issue the Find Home command.

Do both motors rotate now? (They should indefinitely when the worm and gear are separated in the Balance position).

Again, sorry about the difficulties.  All mounts undergo extensive QC testing before leaving our facilities, but things can go wrong sometimes…

Thanks for your help.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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So Dan's steps tried...(these initial steps to confirm motors working properly)

With both the DEC and RA set to balance mode and double tapping the paddle the motors start up; one of them sounds like its making a chugging sound

 

Also i went out and purchased an IPAD so we can eliminate the challenge of connecting with a Windows box.

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Brian..I just went out and acquired an IPAD Pro to circumvent issues with connecting windows to the MX+

And also a dongle that facilitates physically plugging in the provided USB with software suite into the IPAD

However the IPAD doesnt recognize the thumb drive...any work around or procedure I can use?

Scott

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Scott Schneeweis:
I just went out and acquired an IPAD Pro to circumvent issues with connecting windows to the MX+

You're speaking specifically of connecting wirelessly to the WiSky card in ad-hoc mode. Even though that can be a challenge in Windows 10, wirelessly connecting in infrastructure mode (using a router), or via USB, should be no problem.

Scott Schneeweis:
And also a dongle that facilitates physically plugging in the provided USB with software suite into the IPAD

Only our TheSky for iOS (i.e. TheSky HD for iPad or TheSky Mobile for iPhone) can be used on the iPad. The Paramount Software Suite is not compatible with iOS. See Software Bisque iOS Apps.

I don't personally have experience using a Paramount with an iPhone or iPad, but there are some things (like changing internally-stored mount settings) that I believe will require you to at least occasionally connect to the mount from TheSkyX Professional Edition on a Windows, macOS, Linux or Raspbian OS.

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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Copy all and understand (have pulled the Sky HD onto the IPAD successfully now)


Dan is engaging on the mount issue..it does appear that the RA is not functioning correctly when directly powered up in tracking mode.

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Here's a copy of the private email sent to the OP:

After our phone conversation, here is the executive summary of the Paramount MX+ issue:  

  • The RA LED blinks when mount is turned on.  (RA motor cannot initialize.)
  • Disengaging the RA worm from the gear (Balance Mode) before turning the mount on, turning it on, then engaging allows mount to operate normally.
  • Mount is communicating via USB with the Windows 10 PC.

Please try the following troubleshooting steps, in this order: 

  1. The Joystick port needs to be recalibrated.  See "Solution 1: Calibrate the Joystick" on page 23 of the Paramount GEM MKS 5000 Replacement Instructions.
  2. If the behavior persists, re-measure the mount’s RA motor index angle.  Please see "How do I measure my Paramount's Motor Index Angles?" on pages 25-26 of the Paramount GEM MKS 5000 Replacement Instructions to measure, and program the mount’s motor index angles.
  3. If the behavior still persists, turn off the mount, then loosen the RA spring plungers by 1/4 turn (generally, little adjustment is required).  Instructions on how to access and adjust the mount’s spring plungers are located on page of the Paramount ME II/MX/MX+/MYT Worm Block Adjustments document.

 Thanks so much for your patience and help so far.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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Recalibration attempt on handcontroller (after pressing "Recalibrate Joystick") returns the following error:

Error code = 20200 (4ee8). No additional information is available.

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Scott Schneeweis:
i went out and purchased an IPAD so we can eliminate the challenge of connecting with a Windows box.

What challenge connecting to a windows box?  Did you have an issue?

Looks like it connected fine.

Tom

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I had a screen capture of the error attached but didnt make it through via my original post.


Screen shot returned after initiating calibration stated "Error Code = 20200 (4ee8). No additional information is available."

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This is with the hand controller disconnected, right?

My error code documentation does not list error 20200, though that value falls within the range of errors associated with the MKS control system (used inside the Paramount). In looking at our forum history, it rarely crops up; I find only three prior cases, two of which involved guiding cameras connected to the MKS, and one (actually from our software update log) referring to fixing a cause of this error when used with a mount equipped with absolute encoders.

To say it another way, I don't find that we've ever had anyone report this error code when trying to calibrate a joystick. But the first thing I would suggest is that you verify the integrity of the USB connections and cable(s). If you have a USB hub in the mix, please eliminate it (at least temporarily) so that you can use as basic a connection as possible, with a single USB cable (provided with the mount) directly between the computer and the mount. If you still have the problem, you might try another, known-good USB cable and/or USB port on the same, or a different computer.

Also, while I'm sure this has already been mentioned in prior replies or links therein, be sure that the mount is properly identified in TheSkyX's Bisque TCS window as Paramount MX+.

P.S.—I added the text of your error message to your post, as an image pasted directly into the forum post composing/editing window on our site will not appear once posted. See this post on how to embed a picture in a forum post.

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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Yes ...with the hand controller.

no USB hub in the mix. Direct connect between Windows computer and the MKS 5000 using the provided 15 foot cable. Same issue with second shorter cable. 

Dan earlier in the day went through via telephone with me the SKY X software to ensure the mount was properly configured (i.e. MX+ selected, ect).


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Tom...the connection is unstable but this apparently is do to an as yet to be resolved challenge with the RA initializing correctly (according to Dan Bisque),

The reason for the IPAD however is for wireless since Bisque is advising that Windows 10 is not really compatible with establishment of an ad hoc network to the mount (absent significant  jury rigging).

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