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BYE and Xbox controller


DonR
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I have been using BYE for a long time, and I really like it.  I am currently running BYE Classic Edition version 3.1.14.  Recently I encountered an issue after buying a new piece of equipment.  I hope someone has encountered this or a similar issue and found a solution, or that at least someone has ideas about what I might try.

Let me explain the issue:

I use BYE on a Windows 10 laptop PC, Windows is up to date.  

I use a Canon T2i camera, with the driver from Microsoft, also up to date.

I use an Atlas EQ-G mount with EQMOD, and a wireless game controller to control the mount.  Recently my game controller (an old Logitech Rumblepad) died, and I bought a Microsoft Xbox for Windows wireless controller to replace it.  This is when the problem began.

The Xbox controller works great when it works at all.  In normal operation, the controller goes to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity to conserve batter power, and pushing the large illuminated button on top of the controller wakes it up.  This works fine too - unless BYE is running and connected to the Canon T2i.  If BYE is running and connected to the camera, the Xbox controller seems to wake up when I press the button, but it will no longer control the mount.  I have tried pressing the "Initialise" button in EQMOD to re-initialize the Xbox controller, but it does not help.  Here is what I have to do to recover use of the Xbox controller with minimal disruption of my imaging session:

1. Save alignment data to a file in EQMOD
2. Park the mount to the current position in EQMOD.
3. Disconnect the planetarium software (Cartes du Ciel), and PHD2 if it is running, from EQMOD so that the EQMOD interface closes.
4. Unplug the USB cable for the Xbox receiver.
5. Turn off the Xbox controller by removing the battery pack.
6. Re-connect the planetarium software (and PHD2 if I am using it) to EQMOD.
7. Re-connect the Xbox receiver's USB cable to the PC, replace the battery pack in the Xbox controller, and wake the controller up by pressing the large illuminated button.
7. Load the saved alignment data in EQMOD if necessary (normally EQMOD will restart with the previously loaded alignment data if parked to current position before being shut down).
8. Un-park the mount in EQMOD and slew to the object I am imaging.

After these steps, the Xbox controller is connected to EQMod again and controls the mount, until it goes to sleep again - then the steps have to be repeated to regain mount control.  

I have determined that the Xbox controller only fails like this when BYE is running and connected to the camera, whether images are being acquired or not.  If the camera is connected to the PC and turned on but BYE is not running, there is no problem.  If BYE is running and the camera is connected to the PC and turn on but not connected to BYE, there is no problem.  I have not seen this issue except when BYE is running and connected to the T2i, and in this situation, which is normally the case, the issue occurs every time the Xbox controller goes to sleep.

Can anyone help?

Thanks,

Don
 

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It was the setting for "Weather Provider" that caused the problem, as I stated in my last post.  It seems to be fixed now, and I will know for sure later tonight.

This is something to note for future reference when odd issues pop up.  I may be the first person to report his, but I may not be the last.  Perhaps my setting of "Auto Detect" for the weather provider was a consequence of having a provider set in the past that is no longer available in BYE.  If a user does not have one of the supported weather reporting devices, the weather provider in Settings should be set to the first (blank) option, so that BYE doesn't go out probing ports looking for hardware that does not exist.

Don

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Don,

It is very odd that BYE being connected to the camera would prevent EQMOD from connecting with the game controller.

Does the same issue occur if the EOS Utility is connected to the camera, rather than BYE?

Rather than going through all the steps outlined in your original post, what happens if you quit BYE? Are you able to re-establish control between EQMOD and the mount and then restart BYE?

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Hi astroman133,

I had not tried using EOS Utility, but now I have.  No, the problem does not occur when EOS Utility is connected to the camera.

I have a correction to my previous post.  The problem occurs whenever BYE is running, whether it is connected to the camera or not.  I was able to find a way to duplicate the problem quickly, rather than setting up the mount, running BYE and waiting 15 minutes each time for the Xbox controller to go to sleep.  The problem occurs also with the EQMOD telescope simulator, so it is not necessary to set up the mount and connect it to the PC.  Also, the problem occurs if I remove the battery pack from the Xbox controller and then re-insert it rather than waiting 15 minutes for the controller to go to sleep.

It appears that there is definitely an interaction of some kind between BYE and the Xbox controller.  When the controller is unresponsive, I don't hear the Windows "new hardware connected" tone when I power down and power back up the controller (by removing and replacing the battery pack), but if I close BYE, I hear that tone within a few seconds, and the controller is responsive again.  So this gives me a quick way now to recover control of the mount, but I would prefer not having to shut down and restart BYE of course.  When the controller is unresponsive, the mount continues to track normally, and it can be controlled from the EQMOD panel, but not from the Xbox controller.

I would be interested to know if anyone else who reads this forum has had this issue, with EQMOD and a Canon T2i or similar camera.

Don

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5 minutes ago, DonR said:

The problem occurs also with the EQMOD telescope simulator, so it is not necessary to set up the mount and connect it to the PC.

Could it be EQMOD?  BYE does noting special outside connection to the camera via the SDK.

Do you have your mount connected to BYE as well?

Do you have the 3rd party integration enabled?  This opens up a TCP port and maybe this can be related to your issue.

 

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Hi Guylain,

It does not seem to be EQMOD.  The problem only occurs when BYE is running.  I ran into the issue on the first time I used the Xbox wireless controller (also using BYE that night), and the next few imaging sessions I had were using EQMOD but not using BYE because I was not using my DSLR.  The problem did not occur in those sessions.  Then during the recent solar eclipse I encountered the problem again, using BYE with my DSLR.  And again last night ... that makes 100 percent of the time that I have used BYE.

I always use EQMOD in imaging sessions, and have never seen this problem except when I am also using BYE.  And as I said in my previous post, the problem does not occur when using the Canon EOS Utility to control the DSLR, along with EQMOD to control the mount.

I use the Classic Edition of BYE so I can't connect to the mount through BYE.  I connect to the mount through EQMOD and Cartes du Ciel.  And yes, I always use Cartes du Ciel in imaging sessions, but don't see this problem except when I am also using BYE.

If 3rd party integration includes dithering through PHD2, then yes, I do normally have it enabled.  But I just tried turning off "Dither on start-up" in the BYE settings and restarted BYE.  When the Xbox controller powered down and back up, it would not connect to EQMOD - did not in fact generate the "new hardware" tone when powered up.  Five seconds after closing BYE, the "new hardware" tone occurred, and the controller connected to EQMOD again.

Don

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So, based on your description of your troubleshooting attempts, it seems to be some sort of collision between the camera and the game controller. Do they both show up in the Portable Device category in the Windows Device Manager?

3rd Party Integration and Dithering are independent and should use different port numbers.

Does the same issue occur when the EOS Utility, rather than BYE, is connected to the camera? If this is the case then there is likely nothing that Guylain to work around it.

Are you using the latest driver for the game controller? It might be worthwhile to see if there is a newer driver available; assuming that you installed the driver from the CD that came with the game controller.

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It is not the camera colliding with the game controller.  In my second post I stated that the problem occurs whether BYE is connected to the camera or not.  In fact, it occurs whether the camera is connected to the PC or not.  Any time that BYE is running, the Xbox controller will not reconnect after timing out or otherwise being disconnected.

In my second post above I stated that I tried connecting EOS Utility to the camera instead of BYE and the problem did not occur.  I have duplicated that now numerous times.  The problem only occurs when BYE is running, and it occurs whether the camera is connected or not.

I am using the latest driver for the Xbox controller, version 10.0.15063.0, from Microsoft, dated 3/17/2017.  There is a much older driver available, version 2.1.0.1349, dated 8/13/2009.  I tried it - it works, but the same problem occurs when BYE is running.

Don

 

Oh, to answer the other question you asked, the camera shows up in the Portable Devices node of Device Manager, but the Xbox controller does not.  It shows up in its own node, called "Xbox 360 Peripherals".

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Thanks for your patience. In your initial post you said that the game controller would not re-connect if BYE was started and connected to your camera. When I re-read the thread I saw where you had determined that BYE did not even have to be connected to your camera in order to have your game controller fail to re-connect.

It is very odd, indeed, that BYE running but not even connected to a camera would prevent the Xbox game controller from re-connecting to the receiver at the PC.

I would expect that when the Classic version of BYE is first started up, with 3rd party integration turned off, that it would just sit there with no external connections other than the keyboard, mouse, and display. Do you still have your issue when 3rd party integration is turned off (after turning it off you need to restart BYE)? If turning off 3rd party integration allows the game controller to re-connect then I would change the port number, re-enable 3rd party integration, and restart BYE. If this also works then you need to note that any apps that use 3rd party integration, like AstroTortilla, would need to be updated to use the new port number.

I would wonder if there is some error reported in the Windows Event Log that provides information about why the game controller won't re-connect.

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Hi astroman133,

I am not familiar with 3rd party integration in BYE - is that available in Classic Edition?  If so, where would I find it?  I don't recall ever having seen that setting.

However, in going through the Settings screen looking for it, I ran across a setting for "Weather Provider".  A while back BYE had the ability to get weather data from Yahoo via the internet, but no longer.  Since that feature went away, I haven't used (or missed really) the ability to see weather data in BYE.  But my settings had "Provider" in the Weather Provider section set to "Auto Detect".  On a hunch, I changed it to nothing (the first choice on the drop-down, which is blank).  This seems to have fixed the problem!

After numerous attempts to make the Xbox controller fail to connect after sleeping, it has connected every time.  So it seems that in probing for one of the supported weather data hardware devices, BYE interfered with the Xbox driver. 

I haven't tried with the real mount yet, still using the EQMOD simulator.  But I will be setting up tonight, and I have a strong suspicion it will work fine all night.  BYE is a beautiful piece of software.

Thanks!

Don

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Sorry, my bad. 3rd party integration is only available for Trial and Premium licensees. It allows 3rd party applications to control BYE. For example, Astro Tortilla can request that BYE take a picture that AT can use for plate solving. The controls that enable and configure 3rd party integration are probably hidden from users with the Classic license.

That makes your issue seem even stranger to me. The only things that I can suggest are to look at the Windows Event Log and to try to re-create the issue on another PC...understanding that this may be difficult because of all the software that must be installed. I have no doubt that there are people who are using EQMOD with Cartes du Ciel and who also use BYE. However there may not be anyone else who is using an Xbox gamepad controller.

You may get more traction by asking your question to EQMOD users.

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6 hours ago, vtorkalo said:

Faced with same issue. Fixed by disabling automatic detection of weather provider (selected text) Thank you!


Will be this issue fixed in next versions BEOS?

It was very frustrating to have lost control on mount.

There is nothing to be fixed, this is what automatic detection does... it scans the ports.  Disabling it or setting it to the actual weather provider you have is the actual fix.

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than add warning about this. Or don't enable automatic detection by default. I don't think that is acceptable to block work of other devices by default.
I even thought about buying of wire controller.
Why it blocks port of remote controller? Gamepad isn't weather provider.

I reinstalled eqmod, reinstalled gamepad drivers when was looking for reason.
Than was googling many times till found this topic. How user will know that gamepad is blocked by Beos?

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1 hour ago, vtorkalo said:

than add warning about this. Or don't enable automatic detection by default. I don't think that is acceptable to block work of other devices by default.
I even thought about buying of wire controller.
Why it blocks port of remote controller? Gamepad isn't weather provider.

I reinstalled eqmod, reinstalled gamepad drivers when was looking for reason.
Than was googling many times till found this topic. How user will know that gamepad is blocked by Beos?

I agree, it should not default to Auto Detect.  In my case, I had a provider selected (Yahoo) that was no longer selectable after a software update, so instead BYE set the weather provider drop down to Auto Detect.  If it had been set to none (blank), the problem would not have occurred.  It seems to me that anyone who actually has a hardware weather device would know which one they have - or at least, if a user selects a weather device and BYE does not detect it, THEN it could start probing ports, rather than probing ports by default and potentially interfering with other devices.  Just my two cents.

Don

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I agree with you Don, but have never used the weather provider, so AFAIK it has always been disabled. Definitely, the provider should be disabled unless an alternative is selected by the user. If the selected provide is not available, BYE could ask the user if they want it disabled for the future, and explain that if not disabled that BYE will continue to probe the serial ports on startup.

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