What is the difference between AstroLink 4 mini and 4 mini S?
Only the enclosure has been changed. It is now 3D printed and is available in three different color versions. All connections and functions remain the same.
AstroLink 4 is not detected in the computer Device Manager
It may happen, that Windows does not fetch drivers from the Internet automatically, or this option is disabled. In this case, you need to disconnect AstroLink from the computer, download and install FTDI virtual COM port drivers ( https://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm ), restart the computer, and connect AstroLink again.
AstroLink panel software does not start
When you play with AstroLink settings and connect the AstroLink device to different computers it may happen and you need to delete the local computer AstroLink settings folder. You need to
1) uninstall AstroLink panel software
2) find c:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft folder
3) remove AstroLink4.exe_different_characters_here folder
4) install AstroLink panel back
What about AstroLink 5?
The roadmap for the next year or two is:
focuser controller integrated with focusing motor
– AstroLink integrated with RPi4
AstroLink 4 does not work as expected, what should I do?
Check the Troubleshooting Guide in the manuals available at the specific product page https://shop.astrojolo.com/astrolink/ . Check the device with a different computer, different cables, and different power supplies. Check if there are any system updates pending and restart the computer in that case. If the problem remains, contact us using the Contact page.
Why AstroLink 4 does not support microstepping?
Microstepping seems to be a tempting solution with regard to precision. However, it carries its own problems like constant power drain, heating, and incremental torque (see more at https://astrojolo.com/astrolink-4-0-mini/focusing-stepper-motor-solutions/ page). Recent or future units (FocuserOne and AstroLink 4 USB) natively support microstepping, so you will be able to check this solution by yourself.
What about INDI support?
AstroLink 4 mini,4 mini S, and USB have now dedicated INDI drivers. It can be downloaded at https://github.com/astrojolo/astrolink4 page.
FocuserOne INDI driver is under development.
Why don’t you 3D print with PLA?
PLA is an excellent material for many purposes, and also easy to print. However, it gets softer at temperatures 50°C and above. And the temperature at this range is easily reached inside amateur observatories during hot summer days. That’s why currently printed elements are made with PETG and Impact PLA materials, but we also test other ones.
Access denied to COM port when using ASCOM driver
It may happen when the ASCOM driver installation is corrupted. When you reinstall the ASCOM driver you should restart the computer, then uninstall the driver and then install the new version. But once you have a message like this, you can:
1) install ASCOM driver (even if it is already installed)
2) restart the computer
3) uninstall the driver
4) restart the computer
5) open ASCOM Profile Explorer and look for “astrolink” or “astrojolo” related items in the Focuser, Observing conditions, and Switch branches. Remove them if found (right-click – delete)
6) install ASCOM driver back