Meridian Flip Failure (sitech)

Hi, Last night I had a meridian flip fail, it seems to be a conflict between SGP and Sitech, the scope physically performed the flip plate solved but would not perform the final slew, please take a look at the attached log file.
Any help would be much appreciated.

There are a lot of “System.FormatException: Input string was not in a correct format.” errors with all sorts of things. This may be significant, are you somewhere that uses a comma as a decimal separator?

Hi Chris I’m in the UK I would usually use a fully stop myself.
Just realised I didn’t put the time of the main error which was at 00:40ish.
This seems to be where it falls over, stating slew below the horizon (it definitely was not below the horizon)

Yes saw that. The reason is that a slew is commanded to Ra 0.0, Dec 0.0, not where you were imaging. A string format fail could leave values at the default value of 0.0. It probably needs a deeper analysis of what is happening.

Thanks Chris, is there something I could check?
Reading the error after what you have said it seems to be the error, it converts it the first time but not the second or at least that’s how I read it.

I think it’s going to need someone with a more intimate knowledge of SGP to work out where the 0, 0 position is coming from, the log says something like reference but I’m not sure what that means.

Thanks for your help Chris

It is hard to tell what is going on here. The area if the code that is throwing the formatting exception is simply attempting to access your dome’s Slewing property:

bSlewing = dome.Slewing;

SGPro has no visibility beyond this. I also am not able to tell if the error is originating in your Dome and Telescope drivers or if it’s from the POTH driver. In the past, this error has required driver updates to correct.

Hi Ken, is that the poth driver that needs updating or a different driver somewhere

Im not sure. Our visibility is limited to the error that POTH emits. It could be coming from POTH or it could be coming from the driver that POTH is using. I assume you are using POTH to support multiple connections or to sync scope and dome? You might try a direct connection to your equipment and see what happens there… even if it’s not viable for actual imaging, it will give you more data for troubleshooting.

I will simulate everything except for the dome and see what happens when I ask it to flip

or I would do but I cant get it to simulate a flip

You dont really need to simulate a flip… just need to see if those exceptions are in the log after you connect.

Ahh I connected via the ascom drive instead of poth and I can see no exceptions in the list, I told it to find home and that is what it has done, but I also did the same connected to poth
[08/08/19 16:49:51.645][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Connecting ASCOM dome…
[08/08/19 16:49:51.803][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Dome: CanSetAzimuth is true
[08/08/19 16:53:26.838][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Dome: Finding Home
[08/08/19 16:57:42.763][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Disconnecting ASCOM Observatory: ASCOM.Pulsar_Observatories_Dome.Dome
[08/08/19 16:57:42.763][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Dome: Disconnecting
[08/08/19 16:57:49.184][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Connecting ASCOM dome…
[08/08/19 16:57:49.677][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Dome: CanSetAzimuth is true
[08/08/19 16:59:34.156][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Dome: Finding Home
[08/08/19 16:59:50.950][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Disconnecting ASCOM Observatory: POTH.Dome
[08/08/19 16:59:50.950][DEBUG] [Main Thread] Dome: Disconnecting

The ASCOM drivers should have logging of their own which may help. There’s usually an option on the setup dialog to enable Trace or logging and the log file is usually in Documents\ASCOM<date>

It is interesting that your sequence ran for a while with no problems and no exceptions… Suddenly at 22:51, it just started emitting this error:

[08/07/19 22:51:40.079][DEBUG] [CP Update Thread] Dome: Caught exception while updating status: CheckDotNetExceptions POTH.Dome Slewing Get System.FormatException: Input string was not in a correct format. (See Inner Exception for details)

Hi Chris
these are the ascom logs for the 7th


Hi Ken the dome appeared to perform without issues, is there any reason for SGP to know it exists? it is slaved to the scope and until that is parked just follows it around.

There’s nothing useful in thse logs, partly because Pulsar doesn’t put any data in them and partly because they are for a different date to the SGP log.

is it not the date of the initial error that was needed, but like you said there is nothing else in them

Not necessarily… some users require operation independent of the scope.

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