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LX850 ASCOM Drivers


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#21 Backroadrider

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 06:37 AM

I GIVE UP! After reading the above I decided to bite the bullet and change mount & camera control platforms from MaximDL to TheSkyX Pro. Although I am still on the front side of the learning curve with TheSkyX, I am happy to report that the native LX800 driver (based on the LX200GPS) in TheSkyX does not suffer from the version-related (1.1g vs. 4.x) issue that prevents the ASCOM LX200GPS driver from loading with the LX850 mount. So far, the TheSkyX is working well with my LX850, although not all functions (like parking) are supported. TheSkyX also supports ASCOM focuser drivers and works just fine with my FeatherTouch focusers. That said, I am now out an additional $550 for new mount and camera control software thanks to Meade's continuing lack of support for their loyal customers.
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#22 gspie

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:31 AM

There is one currently in the works...


LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

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#23 Backroadrider

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 09:25 AM

Perhaps, but that doesn't help those of us who needed it last year; and "...one currently in the works..." also sounds an awful lot like the posting near the top of this thread by an administrator on March 20, 2013, in which he/she states: "It is being worked on as we speak." The bottom line is it's been more than 450 days since Meade claimed in this thread that they were working on an ASCOM driver for the LX850. As anyone who understands coding knows, if someone was really working on an ASCOM driver for the LX850 as they have claimed, it would have been completed months ago - it's just not that complicated, particularly given the fact it is probably a superset of the LX200GPS command set! It's well past time for Meade to stop with the promises and start delivering!

#24 rppass

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:41 PM

A basic LX850 ASCOM driver was written, passed conformance, and was sent to ASCOM to put up.  It has not made it up yet.

 

Since then the driver has added pulse guiding.  I will try to get it to pass conformance and then try to get the ASCOM team to put it up.

 

The driver is intended to be 'Universal' and supports LX850 and defaults back to basic LX200 commands.  I will be adding LX600 shortly and then LX200GPS.

 

Ralph Pass

 



#25 Backroadrider

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:19 PM

Wow - that is wonderful news! 

 

I take it from the fact the first version of the driver is not available on the Meade site that you are not affiliated with Meade and are doing this on your own? If so, then those of us who use ASCOM-based software can't thank you enough. 

 

I know the ASCOM team all have day jobs, but if you think a note to the ASCOM Initiative Discussion List asking about the LX850 driver would be helpful, let me know.

 

Steve



#26 Backroadrider

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 06:10 AM

For all those who have been waiting patiently (or otherwise) for an LX850 ASCOM driver, one is now available for download on the ASCOM website (www.ascom-standards.org/downloads/scopedrivers.htm).  I have only had time to download and install so can't speak to its functionality yet.

 

A million thanks to Mr. Ralph Pass for his efforts to develop a universal Meade mount driver - something that Meade should have done months (years?) ago!

 

Steve



#27 MistrBadgr

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:32 AM

That may be the driver that Meade has been working on, that ASCOM just now got uploaded to its files.

 

It was sent in to them a while back.  Meade has been waiting for a response from ASCOM.

 

Bill Steen


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#28 Backroadrider

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 05:57 AM

That would be nice but I don't think that Meade deserves the credit on this.  The driver functionality is exactly as described above by Mr. Pass for the driver he has been developing.  Additionally, the driver is not available on the recently redesigned Meade website which, if Meade had actually developed the driver, is the first place one would expect it to appear.

 

Perhaps someone at Meade could provide some insight?

 

Steve



#29 handymanCT

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 11:15 AM

I tired to load this driver in to Alignmaster.  It threw out an error when you hit setup and try to set the options.

 

IMG_0456.JPG



#30 MistrBadgr

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 07:59 PM

Now comes the fun part!.....getting it to work on any number of different computers!   :)

 

Bill Steen


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#31 laszlog

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 10:48 PM

i think the driver is a work in progress. I downloaded it on a Windows 8 machine under ASCOM 6.1 and MaximDL 5 & 6 ..... same error as above. i don't think the correct installer was uploaded. it's missing methods.



#32 Backroadrider

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 05:23 AM

For what it's worth, the driver installed fine on my Windows 8.1 machine and setup, loaded and connected under ASCOM 6.1 and MaximDL 6.  For reference, the mount was initially setup and connected in MaximDL after being parked from a previous alignment, i.e., the mount thought it was aligned and was waiting for an object.  The main problems I encountered were that 1) the driver does not know if tracking is on or off (it defaults to thinking it is off) and apparently cannot set tracking one way or the other; and 2) the driver could not figure out the mount type on its own.

 

Unfortunately, the dialogue box asking for the mount type buried itself under the observatory control window and the driver wouldn't move the scope until I finally figured out there was a dialogue window waiting for my input.  Once I entered the correct mount type and told the driver not to try to turn on tracking (you must control tracking at the mount), it seemed to control the mount OK, however I was in my garage so I have nothing to go on other than the All Sky map in MaximDL. Because the driver thinks tracking is off, it reports the mount as idle even though it is tracking.

 

I repositioned the scope to a dozen or so targets on the All Sky map without any issues (remember, I am in my garage).  Bottom line from my limited experience so far is that the driver is far from fully implemented but at least seems to work much better in MaximDL than the MaxMount driver. 



#33 handymanCT

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 11:28 AM

Any update on the updated ascom driver?  Been a month now.  Would be nice to have it working.



#34 laszlog

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 01:18 PM

Hi all,

 

Don't ask me how,but after numerous attempts at loading   the new ASCOM drivers.... and  always getting an exception thrown... The one pictured above. Itried and successfully loaded the ASCOM drivers, and d with some basic initial testing . they work....

 

i can move the scope in Maxim 6.0 using the Unified Meade ASCOM drivers and the newest ASCOM platform and service pack..

 

I'm going to keep testing tonight , and let you know

 

 

Laszlo



#35 Mark Sibole

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 07:44 AM

Drivers are funny.Ive seen them work on 10 out of 12 pcs.You would think they would work on all pcs but there is always something going on it 1 or 2 pcs.Its usually some kind of conflict or a program stopping something from working.In a perfact world there would be no problems at all.


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Fife Lake, Mi.

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#36 Backroadrider

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 09:46 AM

Congratulations on getting the driver to load and run. Unfortunately, my experience has been that it is very much a "work in progress" and probably really not ready for prime time. The new new unified driver does indeed move the scope, but that's about it. You cannot park/unpark or synchronize the scope via the driver. Also, the driver cant figure out if the mount is tracking or not and you will get a bunch of error messages if you tell the driver to turn tracking on or off.

An even stranger issue is related to the controller firmware: When the mount wakes up from Park, it thinks it is 8pm and will not update time and location via GPS until you tell it to GOTO an object via the hand controller. If you, like most people, think you can simply turn the scope on after parking, connect to your driver and then send the scope to an object via your PC software, you will be surprised to find the scope has no idea where to look because it will not first update it's internal clock. I even tried entering current time via hand control and that did not work. Also could not get the driver to accept a time and location update from PC software.

If all you need is something to move the scope to some point in the sky via your PC, then you will be happy with the driver. On the other hand, if you want to automate your observing sessions (like I do) then you are going to have to wait for a fully functional version or try an observatory program that has built in native drivers such as TheSky X.

#37 Backroadrider

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:30 AM

UPDATE.  For what it's worth, I found a setting in the Autostar menu that will force the mount to get a GPS fix upon startup rather than waiting for a GOTO command from the hand controller.  If anyone is interested, the setting can be found under Setup>Telescope>GPS Alignment.  Clear skies!



#38 MistrBadgr

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 07:57 AM

Thanks!  That is good information.

 

Bill Steen


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#39 Canopo100

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 09:23 PM

The group has been quite lately and specially on ASCOM drivers development.

I’ve been using the Meade Universal Driver, kindly written by Ralph Pass last year, but as you already know, thir is a limited driver and functions as ‘plate solving’, ‘focus control’, ‘park scope’, etc. cannot be performed.

I would like to further automatize my LX85012” (ACP, TheSkyX, Maxlm DL, FocusMax) but this is impossible without a “fully functional driver”.

 

Is, by any chance, Meade taking any action on a full ascom driver development?  I guess this will make this high-end scope attractive to more people using remote observatories.

 

What can we do in order to make this happen?  My only thinking was: “Let’s express our needs !!!”, and this is what I would like to do in this forum. Hope you’ll join me. :) 



#40 michaelptifid64

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 04:04 PM

Thanks to MstrBadgr & gspie for their quick responses!  Hopefully someone at Meade can provide some insight as I am pretty sure I'm not the only customer who is looking forward to a full-featured LX850 ASCOM driver. :)

  I sure hope this got worked on I purchased this thinking already was put in place, friend has the lx 600 and I knew he was doing some computer pointing guess not total control yet wow if true






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