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Installing ASCOM

  If you are using a Windows Computer with Astronomy programs that say they support ASCOM drivers, then you are going to need to install the ASCOM Platform 6.2 and then the Gemini ASCOM Driver.
  1. Go to the ASCOM Standards Site and in a box on the right you will see a Download button.  This should be the latest version of the ASCOM Platform.  Download it and install it.
  2. Next you will need the Gemini ASCOM driver and install it.  It should be version (1.0.72.0). This will also be the latest version released. Please note that this driver requires .Net 4.0 Framework. You can download Net 4.5 here.  Windows 10 has Net Framework 4.6 built in.  It might need to be turned on.
  3. If you have never installed or setup the Gemini.net ASCOM driver then here is instructions for first time Setup.
  4. If you are going to use Ethernet to connect your Gemini-2 to your computer here are instructions to do that.
Please see the "ASCOM/USB/GPS-->ASCOM Related" menu in the top menu bar for more selections.

Why use the Gemini.net ASCOM Driver with the Gemini-2: (or Gemini-1)
  1. It provides a standard interface to the mount that many other software packages can use. It's a convenience and in many cases a requirement.
  2. If you want to share the connection to Gemini across two or more software packages, ASCOM is the only game in town today.
  3. What's more, nearly all programs from small companies and authors require ASCOM because it makes it much easier to develop for a wide variety of mounts (and cameras, and observatory equipment) without investing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop and test for each individual mount. Small developers do not have the resources to do so. By developing their software for ASCOM, they automatically provide support for all types of mounts without a major investment.
  4. It can be controlled via a Serial Cable, a USB connection or Ethernet (Preferred). (Gemini-1 Serial Only.)
  5. Able not only control the mount with Ethernet, you can also guide through the same cable.
  6. If UDP Ethernet connection is used.  The speed is extremely fast, even faster that an USB connection. Also the load on the computer is much less.
  7. ASCOM Driver and Gemini.net ASCOM Driver provides for having many clients connected to the telescope at the same time.   The Gemini.net ASCOM driver is a HUB.
  8. You can use ASCOM drivers along side the Gemin.net ASCOM driver, such as for focusers, Camera's, and Observatory and guiding programs.  They will share information between themselfs as needed.
  9. Guiding through the ASCOM Gemini-2 Driver provides many advantages:
    • The guiding is Synchronous - which means two-way, the Gemini-2 will acknowledge the guiding commands.  Using the Guider  input this is not possible.
    • The guide program can tell the mount how much to guide, instead of a fixed guide pulse.  The Guider input relies on an interrupt for the RA signal, but a timer for the DEC, which means DEC guiding pulses possibly can be missed if they are too short.  This problem does not exist when using the Ethernet port to guide, using Pulse guiding.
    • No guider cable is necessary, therefore almost any camera can be used to guide as long as you have a driver for the camera.  The camera does not need guider output plug.
    • Less cables means less chances of a ground loop, which can cause possible damage to electronics.  Ethernet has a built in transformer to help isolate it's input, thus preventing ground loops.
As an small example you can have TheSkyX, MaximDL, PHD guiding using pulse guiding, all connected at the same time, plus many more of ASCOM compatible programs. A few of the programs that use the ASCOM Driver to connect to the Gemini 1 and 2 are:
  1. The SkyX
  2. MaximDL
  3. PHD2
  4. Sky Tools 3
  5. Stellarium
  6. Carte du Ciel
  7. PemPro
  8. Many others.  See the program you want to use to see if it supports ASCOM.
  
Page last updated on Aug 5, 2017
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