Saturday, December 2, 2017

New Mount: 10Micron GM1000 - ASCOM driver

Apparently, the ASCOM driver situation for 10Micron mounts is a little tricky. There are two drivers:

  1. The official driver from 10Micron. It can be downloaded from the 10Micron forum software section.
  2. A driver from Per Frejvall. Apparently this driver was always more feature complete and preferred by many. But sadly, Per passed away last year and since then the driver is unsupported. Though it can still be download, e.g. here.
After reading a lot and also trying both, here are the main differences:
  • Only the 10Micron driver will be maintained and extended going forwards.
  • The 10Micron driver allows the mount to be connected via LAN or Serial cable - Per's driver supports only LAN. For me, the LAN connection is actually not to tricky as I have a LAN switch with scopes anyway. I can just plug it in there, give the mount an IP address on the subnet (192.168.86) and everything works.
    The only concern I have with the LAN connection is latency. I am constantly running Remote Desktop sessions to the NUC's on the telescopes and they often up- / download files to/from Google Drive. Not sure if and how much latency that adds. Just for slewing it's probably OK. But if I want to actively guide, then I'd rather not have any delays.
  • The main feature that Per's driver has is to constantly upload refraction parameters to the mount for higher tracking/slewing accuracy. Although the latest version of the 10Micron driver seems to have a similar feature. Not sure if it is the same or not...
For now, I'll go with the 10Micron driver as it will be supported and developed in the future. But, again, if there are any real advantages I could switch to the other driver.