MoonLite Focuser stopped working correctly after restarting computer

A couple nights ago I was running SGP and imaging, everything was working correctly as it usually did, but then something happened that required me to restart my Windows 8.1 laptop. After the restart, I opened all the imaging programs but I couldn’t get SGP to connect to my MoonLite focuser through it’s ASCOM driver. When I opened the MoonLite driver’s preferences, those were blank, so I figured out that my computer wasn’t recognising the MoonLite Mini V2 controller was plugged into it. Then I did another restart and this time I was able to connect to the MoonLite focuser in SGP, but then there were new problems. When I used the focus control module to move the focuser a couple steps, it would begin to move all the way inward until I clicked Stop. If I want it to move 1 step or 100 steps, and in either direction, the focuser will move all the way in. Who knows if it will even stop when the focuser bottoms out, but I’m not going to find out…

I can still control the focuser with the stand alone MoonLite Focuser Control program without it going crazy on me. I don’t think that program uses the ASCOM driver, so I was thinking maybe somethings gone wrong with the ASCOM MoonLite driver, so I uninstalled it and reinstalled a fresh copy of it and the same problem happens in SGP.

Could there be a system setting that got screwed up when I restarted my computer with the focuser’s USB cable still plugged in?

Anyone have any ideas that I can try to get control of my focuser in SGP again?

Here’s some pictures of my ASCOM Profile Explorer. Can anyone tell me if they see anything in there that doesn’t look right?

looks similar to mine - do you have logging turned on in the moonlite driver configuration? if so there will be logfiles in Documents/ASCOM/Logs2017-xx-xx/ that you can look at and see what the driver thinks is happening when you try to connect.

i have one moonlite controller that works flawlessly with SGP, and another newer one that requires two connection attempts (1st always fails, 2nd always succeeds.) i don’t yet know what’s going on with that.


Connecting to the focuser was only a problem at first but now it connects every time. The only problem is when I try to move the focuser a couple steps it begins to move all the way in, at least until I click on stop.

No, logging was not turned on. I read the MoonLite ASCOM help doc and saw that I need to enable the trace option, which I will next time. Will that log how many steps I tried to do and how many were actually made?

well, the log is a little obfuscated because it consists of the serial commands sent to the focuser and the focuser’s replies. the commands are pretty terse. in this document:

they give the serial protocol commands.

i recently had the “runaway” focuser problem in SGP during autofocus; it seems that SGP computed a huge move, so the focuser controller was just doing what it thought it should do. although i don’t know if it was related to the min/max settings of the focuser, it might be worth zeroing the focuser when all the way racked in, then move it all the way out (manually, with the buttons on the controller) and note the position. you can set the max throw in the driver to something shy of that number and then in SGP set the max throw to something a little less than that. that should at least sanitize the max value for the focuser.


The issue may be outside of SGPro, but if you want to reproduce the issue and send us the logs we can at least see if the driver is reporting any errors that may give you a clue.

I think you’re right because I just remembered shutting down SGP for a minute and opening BYEOS, and the runaway focuser happened there too. So I think that some system setting changed when I restarted my observatory computer through TeamViewer 11 from another computer in the house (I still had to run out to the obs. to type my Windows PW and open TeamViewer again). And that system setting that changed is now messing with the MoonLite DRO ASCOM driver. I could be far off of the real reason, but it doesn’t seem like its SGP’s fault or the MoonLite ASCOM driver’s fault (I uninstalled it and reinstalled it and that changed nothing), so that only leaves my computer messing things up.

But I’m still hoping the logs tell me something because I’m stuck. Would the MoonLite ASCOM driver be the only logs that might help? Or is there other logs that could give us some info?

The focuser logs would be very helpful, but the SGPro logs will provide one side of the story (and, if encountered, express any errors). More info on SGPro logs here:

I fixed my run away focuser problem. The solution was to run the focuser down to a couple steps (I stopped at 10 steps total) and go in the driver and set position to 0, then I had complete control of the focuser again.

After hearing how I fixed the problem, does that tell anyone what might’ve gone wrong in the first place?

I do have the logs if you’re interested.

My mini v2 “almost” always fails to connect on the 1st try.