there's got to be some kind of hardware issue here since 2 different controllers exhibit the same behavior, i don't think it's a bad controller, but i think there could be some issue with the firmware for the AVR or PIC or whatever microcontroller is in the thing. or it could have to do with the power-on situation.
my controller does not have any display. it's the "mini controller v2".
why do i have to wait a few seconds for the controller to start? as i've mentioned, minutes have gone by between the time the power is applied and the time i try to connect to the controller with SGP. it always, always fails to connect on the first try and always connects on the second try. this is why i'm saying that sending some bytes to the RS232 interface causes it to "wake up".
there is no power controller per-se. it is a modern robotics combo power distribution/USB hub. when i throw the switch, all of the powerpole outputs are simultaneously energized. yes, it's possible there's droop on the 12V rail at that point because the focuser, the rotator and the camera are all connected to this rail, and there is a lot of inductance present.
here is what i've taken to doing. when i start SGP, i click the button to connect the focuser. then i get the dialog that the connection failed. then i choose "connect all" from the menu and everything connects - camera, filter wheel, focuser, rotator, flat panel, bluestick. this works 100% of the time. this is why i say "clearly the act of sending those initial bytes causes the controller to wake up". aside from a USB reset there's no way for the PC to reset the moonlite controller and certainly no way for it to power cycle the controller.
i don't think it makes sense to say that "if this were true then it would affect everyone", because it didn't affect me when i had a completely different power/usb architecture on an older version of the rig. what i am saying is that for some reason, in this setup, the controller seems to be a little bit wedged, and sending those first commands causes it to eventually become unwedged. how long it takes i can't say because there's a lot of clicking and menu choosing which again takes seconds.
how long is your serial timeout? i wonder if it's possible that the moonlite would respond if given more time, or given another command.
i don't think there's any visual feedback on the mini v2 controller, so i cant tell if it's been reset or is not ready?
btw am i using the wrong ASCOM driver? the driver is called "DRO" and you are referencing a moonlite with a display...