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Connection problems with Sky Safari and LX90


Trying to connect up skysafari via the usconverters wifi device. I've read on cloudynights that some folks are able to get it to work fine with autostarX HBX's but not audiostar (which is what I have). 

I get this error when I try to connect: "it was able to make a wifi connection but the scope is not responding". 

I've done some pretty in depth diagnostics and have a theory as to what the problem is.

What I've done is I took SkySafari out of the loop. I connected up the us converters device to the audiostar with the meade 505 standard 4 to 6 pin cable + the RS232 "dongle" they provide.

Next I connected my computer via wifi to the device using the "AXNR2W" config utility they provide to create a virtual com port. Then I used putty to connect to that com port and send commands to the scope.

Using the protocol guide here:, I am able to send commands to the telescope AND get responses back. For example, one of the 1st commands skysafari sends to the scope is "get declination" (I know this because I sniffed the command the software was sending plus it is in the log files you turn on). So if I send in the very same command it sends back something like 20:43:16#

So, I can confirm the us converters device IS working with the scope without a doubt.

One thing I've noted is if the "transmitter timer" is set too high, skysafari times out (error code -13) on all commands. What this seems to control is how quick the usconverters device will return back a response to a command. e.g. I set it to 2500ms and expectedly, it takes about 2.5 seconds for a response (in putty).... I set it to 50ms and it is pretty much instantaneous.


I thought ah ha! I found the problem... so I set the timer value to 100ms, 50ms and even 10ms (min)... good news now is skysafari is getting responses to most commands - but not all (according to its log files). Before I lowered this value, skysafari wasn't logging *any* responses. Seems if even one commands fails/timesout when you "connect", it will give you that dreaded error message.

The log file shows stuff like this: 

Sent ASCII at 2018/12/21 13:22:00 with error 0:
Received ASCII at 2018/12/21 13:22:01 with error 0:
Sent ASCII at 2018/12/21 13:22:01 with error 0:
Received ASCII at 2018/12/21 13:22:04 with error -13:
Sent ASCII at 2018/12/21 13:22:04 with error 0:
Received ASCII at 2018/12/21 13:22:04 with error 0:
Sent ASCII at 2018/12/21 13:22:04 with error 0:
Received ASCII at 2018/12/21 13:22:07 with error -13:

One thing that has caught my eye in all this troubleshooting is that though some commands sometimes get a response and sometimes don't; I've never seen a response come back for the Sg command e.g. Sg084*26. Not sure if it means anything (though I get one if I sent that command via putty as outlined above). 

I kind of wonder if this timeout issue is causing some of the other intermittent issues I've seen by other users. 

Given I am software developer by trade, I went as far as writing a little C# console app to test the interface out.... so I'm willing to go pretty deep to help troubleshoot. 

Anyway for me to tweak the timeout in the skysafari app? Any other suggestions? 




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    This is kind of related or not.... thought you guys might find it helpful.  I've noted an odd thing with audiostar. With my LX90 w/audiostar, for an unknown reason, the audiostar will not always respond to the 1st command on the connection. I was thinking it had something to do with it being aligned or not but can't confirm that. 

    For example:

    Open a serial connection to the audiostar (via direct serial connection or via wifi serial converter same behaviour), send in a command like :GD# - you will get no response. Send the same command again, you will get a response (all zeros obviously). 

    I have confirmed this via putty and separately with C# program I wrote. 

    Not totally relevant to my issue above but thought you guys find this info useful (i.e. send in a do-nothing command on the "connection" function 1st that doesn't expect a response) 







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    Does Skysafri retry commands to the telescope if it fails to respond? e.g. if a request for current declination (GD) is sent and nothing returns in X amount of time, will it retry? If not, is it possible to add that as a "feature"? 

    Kind of dead in the water trying to get skysafari to work with my scope. 

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