Good day: First post .... I am much more an amateur astronomer than I am a Linux programmer. My computer skills peaked with tweaking HIMEM under DOS 5.0 to get the most out of the 640K to 1M memory space on an IBM PC Jr., and has atrophied since then.
I obtained a Stellarmate and LX200 Autostar II serial to USB cable a few weeks ago, and finally had the chance to try it at my 12" LX200 ACF, which is at my dark sky vacation home a two hour drive away. It will not connect to the mount: Here are some of the details:
Desktop: 64bit Windows 10 machine, everything updated.
Using KSTARS to start EKOS.
SBIG ST10XME with CFW-10 (using SBIG driver) connects and seems to work flawlessly.
Every attempt to connect to the mount (Driver: indi_lx200gps, Version 2.0, Interface 5) fails. Serial port is enabled at 9600 baud (and I tested at every baud rate). The log reports the connection was good but the telescope fails the ACK check and wont' respond.
This behavior happens whether I run EKOS on the desktop, or use noVNC to run it on the Stellarmate. The CCD works fine, the connection to the mount is reported OK in the log, but the ACK check fails. I can connect to the mount from the desktop using my old setup of an RS232 connector and ASCOM drivers under Meade's Autostar Suite and controlling the telescope works fine, so the port (the RS232 port nearest the Handbox port on the control panel) is good. I used both the default /dev/ttyUSB0 port and then used the Stellarmate tool to assign a permanent /dev/mount alias which seemed to work fine, but has the same 'ACK' check fail issue.
I'll be back with the telescope next weekend. If anyone has gotten Stellarmate to work with an LX200 ACF, could you share your method for doing soi?
- What sequence do you use for startup? I used:
Start desktop computer
Start telescope with handset attached
Align telescope, get it to 'OBJECT' heading on the handset
Start the CCD
Start Stellarmate in hotspot mode. It has the CCD and telescope cables connected to it
Plug in Stellarmate USB cable into CCD
Plug in telescope to Stellarmate by connecting to the RS232 port on control panel next to the handbox port
Go inside to desktop. Connect to Stellarmate. CCD works fine, telescope returns 'Failure. Telescope is not responding to ACK!'
Next weekend, all I have left to try is different drivers (using the indi_lx200gps driver now); maybe the LX200 classic will work better). I can also try using my laptop at the telescope with a direct Ethernet connection to the stellarmate.
So, I tried everything I could today with no success.
To check the Stellarmate and my basic understanding, I acquired an IKA-203 cable and connected it to my LXD75 Meade mount. It worked easily.
At the LX200, all I get is 'Telescope is not responding to ACK!'. I used the LX200 Basic (wouldn't connect at all), LX200 Classic (same error) and LX200 GPS drivers. I tried connecting to the Stellarmate via Ethernet, WiFi, and hotspot. I upgraded the LX200 firmware from 4.2G to 4.2k. I tried starting the LX200 first, then starting the Stellarmate/Ekos first. I toggled every option in INDI panel (it works great in simulator mode for the LX200 GPS). Everything connected fine to the SBIG camera but gave that same error when trying to talk to the LX200. (The fact I used the same port on the LX200 to update the Autostar firmware successfully shows the port is fine, and the mount can be reached by Windows).
Then ... I unplugged the cable and tried again. SAME ERROR. Yup, an UNPLUGGED IKA-204 cable gives the same 'Connection Successful' when looking for the mount driver, then returns a "Failure. Telescop is not responding to ACK!' error.
I'm thinking its a bad cable. I'm willing to obtain another one, but I'd like a USA source other than OPT Corp, so I get one from a different production lot. I can't find another US supplier ...
This is, of course, assuming SOMEONE got a Stellarmate to talk to their LX200.
The Stellamate simply DOES NOT WORK with an LX200 GPS.
I am disappointed in the product and support. It just will not work with the mount and there has been no response from the developer after asking for the log, which was posted.
This weekend I tried for the fourth time -- with a different cable. All EKOS/INDI returns is "Failure. Telescope is not responding to ACK!' when attempting to connect.
- I have tried every Meade LX200 driver
- I have tried every USB port on the Stellarmate
- I have tried every available Baud setting
- I tried from 10 to 50,000 in various steps for the timing setting
- I tried TWO different cables
- I tried both RS232 ports on the LX200 control panel
- I tried /dev/mount through the Serial Port Assistant as well as directly inputting the USB port setting
- I have tried staring Stellarmate, then the LX200, then connecting the cable; connecting everything first, then starting Stellarmate, then the LX200; connecting everything then starting the LX200 then Stellarmate.
By the way, the error is returned EVEN IF the cable is only plugged into the Stellarmate and not the LX200!
The Stellarmate works without any issue on my LXD75 using Autostar driver. I can control the LX200 through the RS232 port using ASCOM drivers easily.
Since the port is fine, the Stellarmate hardware seems to work, and swapping cables did nothing ... this really seems to be a driver issue.
Has ANYONE gotten a Stellarmate to work with an LX200 GPS?
One more idea I'll try when I get back to the mount ... factory reset my handbox. Ditch all the PEC, alignment, training, etc. It's possible that something has gotten corrupted in there. It's been in use for about eight years without a reset ...
Did you ever resolve this? I have the same issue with an Old LX200 8".
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