I cannot connect MaxDome II from my computer
Last updated on:
14 Jan 2009
Check that the Rotation Controller board is powered up: the PWR LED should be illuminated. If it is not illuminated, check the power connections. They must be connected with the correct voltage (12V DC) and polarity. If using a Gel Cell battery, make sure it has charge (note that a trickle charger or solar charger may not have enough power to charge a completely flat battery).
Make sure the FACTORY DIP switch is turned OFF. (Cycle the power if you change a setting.)
On the Rotation Controller, the SHUTTER DIP Switch must be turned OFF; otherwise the board will behave like a Shutter Controller and will not respond to computer commands.
Check the OPEN LED. It should blink very briefly whenever serial port characters are received. Under normal operation, a very short blink will appear once a second. If the LED does not blink, check the cabling. Also check that the correct COM port is selected in the MaxDome driver setup (a list of COM Ports is available in the Windows Device Manager). The baud rate and stop bit settings are controlled automatically by the software, so no adjustments are required.
Check that the computer COM port is actually working. Some inexpensive USB-to-Serial adapters are very unreliable, and some have unstable Windows drivers.
If you need to use an extension cable, use a DB9 to DB9 serial port extension cable, available at computer stores. Do not attempt to use a different RJ-11 telephone jack style cable. Many of these cables have only two or four wires, not the required six, and the connectors can also be attached in two different orientations. Use only the supplied RJ-11 to DB9 adaptor; there is no standard for the wiring for these adaptors, and adapters from other equipment may not work (an Optec adapter will not work, but Meade and Technical Innovations adapters will).
Try swapping the rotation and shutter boards, to see if one is damaged. Note that the terminal strips are two-piece units. You don't have to unscrew all the connections; you can simply unplug the strip from the board. Don't forget to set the DIP switches.
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