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Author Topic: Which handcontroller would be best for testing functionality without PC  (Read 16279 times)

michelb

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I've recieved almost all parts to build my AstroEQ controller, only the steppers are still on there way.
There is a topic on this forum regarding a question if a handcontoller could be used. It says is not tested, but with some small changes a handcontroller could be connected. What handcontroller would be best? A syntrek or the more simple square one, with the square buttons for a dual axis motor drive?
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TCWORLD

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It would have to be the syntrek one. But I have absolutely no idea whether it would work nor do I plan on buying a syntrek hand controller to find out ;).
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

michelb

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Oke, thank you for your fast reply.
I will buy one from somebody who has one left, then I'll try to find out what the pin-out is, that shouldn't be hard. You mentioned it shoud be TTL level, I lack the equiipment to measure that so I hope I can find that on the net or deduct it from the electronic parts that connect to the cable.

Then I'll try to connect it as you mentioned in an other, when that won't work I'll report back, just as I will when I find out how it works.
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grizli21

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Hi
I was hopping so but no the synscan handpad is not working with astroeq, or at least not with mine.
Synscan keep saying board both axis no response.
I may investigate the reason unfortunatly i'm not as good programmer as Thom is ^^
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TCWORLD

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How are you connecting it? Presumably you removed the PIC and are connecting to the TX/RX pins of the ATMega?

Do you know what the signal voltages are? it's possible the hand controller either uses RS232 levels (+/-12V) which would fry the ATMega, or using a low voltage like 3.3V which may not be properly detected.

Do you have a multimeter? If so, probe the TX line of the hand controller to see what voltage it is when there is no communication happening (it should idle at a logic 1, so it would be useful to know what voltage that is).
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

grizli21

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What i've done is the way the synscan handpad is connecting to original mainboard.
I took the gnd/rx/tx out of controler connector (db9 for eq6 and rj45 for azeq6) that is in TTL (not the PC-DIRECT connector wich is a RS-232).
Then i connect it to the mega RX/TX0 ( shared with usb).
The handpad says that controler is not found. My serial sniffer doesn't listen anything between two device.

The sniffer listen that request from the handpad if it is powered but standalone.

?¦2É:
f1

If i connect handcontroler to azeq6 board this what i got :

?¦2É
=100
:
f1
=100
:
e1
=020B05
:
e1
=020B05
:
q1010000
=0B3000

and then if i choose the equatorial mode here is the end of initialisation :

W1050000
=
:
W2050000
=
:
c1
=002001
:
c2
=002001
:
a1
=00A08C
:
a2
=00A08C
:
P12
=
:
P22
=
:
f1
=100
:
b1
=BED100
:
g1
=20
:
s1
=00C800
:
V100
=
:
V200
=
:
f1
=100
:
F1
=
:
F2
=
:
E1000080
=
:
E20028A3
=
:
j2
=0028A3
:
j1
=000080
:
f1
=101

Don't know if it help,but may get further time on it and will tell you (i think it would be a nicechallenge getting the handpad working with astroeq).
regards
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TCWORLD

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Two things:

(1) Make sure the USB IC (PIC) is not installed if you haven't already - the two will interfere.

(2) Make sure you have TX and RX the correct way around. Where Pin 10 of the PIC is should be the TX pin from the hand controller, and Pin 12 of the PIC is the RX pin from the hand controller.

---

Having said that, it seems the hand controller is sending some commands which are not actually in the published spec. I have no idea what :Wn###### and :Vn## do.
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

grizli21

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there is no pic as i'm using the arduino mega 2560 chineese version, which has chd340 usb to serial.
Instead of,i don't know could it be doable to activate one of the 3 other UART of the mega to act as a repeater in case of interefering with the principal uart ?

TX from handpad is 4.97volt at idle.
Don't know about V and W maybe the feature of azeq mount (worm or encoder indexer...).
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TCWORLD

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Do you have a USB to UART adapter to connect the hand controller to the PC?

If so, connect it to the PC (also connect AstroEQ to the PC). You should have two COM ports, one for the USB-UART and one for AstroEQ.

Download and run the following:
http://astroeq.co.uk/FileDump/SerialEcho.exe

There are two drop-down menus. If you select the hand controller in the top one, and AstroEQ in the bottom one, then power up the hand controller. Does anything appear?
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

grizli21

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I get it ...making a software link instead to bypass the "busy" arduino uart.
Good, I'll try tomorrow.

Quote
Don't know about V and W maybe the feature of azeq mount (worm or encoder indexer...).
V is a returned value for polarscope LED and W is about activating auxiliary encoders :-)
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grizli21

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Re: Which handcontroller would be best for testing functionality without PC
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2015, 17:45:32 »

Hi Tom
Last news, today the synscan handpad and astroeq talked togeither for the first time!
It initialized with astroeq using your software bridge and an external UART for the handpad.

I think that the usb shared UART0 of the arduibo mega is not initialized unless there is a connection to it.
But If i connect usb to it, there will be interfering into his RX/TX.

anyway here is pictures :
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/t1bo3656duh5txl/AABwopvtAtdt1R2XXIKA_v_wa?dl=0

Looks like most handpad command are working, slewing, tracking, speed...
But i noticed goto acting weired (jercking), it could be due to serialEcho not keeping the rate.


I will try again with UART0 see if i missed something ...




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grizli21

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grizli21

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Re: Which handcontroller would be best for testing functionality without PC
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2015, 19:30:46 »

Tried over with UART0 and no luck at all.
My guess is that this shared uart is not the way to go.

Any idea?
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TCWORLD

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Re: Which handcontroller would be best for testing functionality without PC
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2015, 23:00:06 »

The high speed tracking thing seems to be a bug in the hand controller, or something undocumented that EQMOD doesn't do. There is no G110 command to tell the mount to return to microstepping, so AstroEQ dutifully obeys and continues in the current mode.

I suppose I could change back to microstepping mode automatically after a :K command is received, but without investigating whether that would cause problems with EQMOD, I'm not about to jump into doing it.

If you want to try it out, I think from a cursory glance, the following should work:

(1) Find the decodeCommand() function
(2) Scroll down until you find the case statement for 'K'
(3) Add the following line just before the break; statement for 'K':
Code: [Select]
cmd_setGVal(axis, 1);
That should return the internal variables to microstepping enabled slew when the :K command is issued. It won't immediately take affect if done here, instead it will take affect next time the :J command is called.
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Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ)

grizli21

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Re: Which handcontroller would be best for testing functionality without PC
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2015, 21:56:38 »

thanks for reply.
For now the priority (for me) is to have a standalone connection of the handpad to the astroeq.
About it, i verified and the rx0 is unusable (chinese mega2560) for serial usage as the internal CHD340 TTL to USB is interfering.
After unsoldering R12 i was able to use TX0 and RX0 through the headers again (serial echo in an arduino program ok).

But next is frustrating as I thought it would solve the problems, but no.
While EQMOD is working nice with a TTL to USB connected to those RX & TX UART0, I cannot get the handpad get initialized to that same one.
AstroEQ is answering the first handpad sentence by "=100" then nothing. I don't understand that problem...
Why would it initialize with two serial independant TTL to USB and serialECHO.exe whereas it doesn't  in direct RX to TX ?!

Any suggestion ?
Could it be a timing buffer problem?
regards
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