Does not play well with others...

barringtonri Jan 28, 2012

After taking a break from this problem, I've once again attempted to simultaneously run Guide and The Sky 6 Pro interfaced with a Meade LX200 GPS. The objective is to have both programs communicating with the scope so that CCD Soft will read the scope orientation while Guide (now version 9) is used to determine and slew to targets.

Both programs work fine if run alone, but Sky seems to be appropriating the COM 1 port as I'm getting a "Cannot open Com Port 1" message in Guide when I attempt a slew in Guide with Sky open and connected. Disconnecting the scope from Sky allows Guide to slew the scope.

The Bisque software doesn't have an ASCOM telescope control option but they do offer "LX200 GPS by Meade Instruments" and "Autostar by Meade Instruments" as control options. The first option works well and the second appears to try to emulate the Meade hand controller so I didn't follow the step by step Autostar routing all the way to powering up an already operating scope.

Sky is running on Com 1 at a 9600 baud rate.

Guide 9 is set to Com 1 and LX200. It will also run the scope when set to ASCOM Scope. Putting Guide into ASCOM, the Sky 6 displays "Could not open communications port. The port is either in use by another application or not recognized by the system."

Using direct software controls in both programs, with Guide connected to the scope, Sky will connect, and when it does it seems to disconnect Guide. When Sky is running, Guide refuses to connect.

So, in summary, I remain unable to run my LX200 GPS with both Sky and Guide using direct built-in (not ASCOM) control simultaneously. Does anyone have any further thoughts on how to get Sky & Guide to play nicely?

Pete Peterson I15

--- In, Bill J Gray <pluto@...> wrote:
> Hi Pete,
> As Steve Barkes mentioned, this really _should_ work... _if_ both
> Guide and TheSky are using ASCOM. I think you must still have Guide
> set up to control the scope directly, since you got a "Can't access
> COM Port" message from Guide. If you've set Guide up to use
> ASCOM (i.e., clicked on the "ASCOM" button in Settings... Scope
> Control), but still get a message about COM ports... well, something
> is _very_ wrong there, and I'll need to fix something.
> Another possible fix, which I should have thought of before: I
> dunno if TheSky retains the ability to control Meade scopes directly,
> as an alternative to ASCOM control. I am reasonably sure that they
> supported scope control long before ASCOM came onto the scene, as
> did I. I've found it best to use "direct", not-through-ASCOM
> control where possible, since it removes a layer that (for Meade
> and Celestron scopes and some others) is not needed by Guide. And
> it's likely that Software Bisque has found this to be true as well.
> ASCOM will always grab the COM port and not let go of it; there's
> no concept of "working well with others". But I'd not be surprised
> if the folks at Software Bisque thought, as I do, that grabbing a
> COM port and hogging it is really bad manners (and poor software
> design).
> If so, you should be able to set up both Guide and TheSky to use
> their built-in scope control, and ASCOM will vanish from the picture.
> -- Bill