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For advanced users, programmers or anyone willing to push the envelope, here is a bunch of useful information:

Scripting: all Seletek programs can be accessed by external programs as ActiveX objects; for most of them the documentation is just the matching ASCOM one. For the PinByPin program, there is a sample script available.

Communications protocol: the Seletek protocol has been designed in such a way that can be understood by anyone, all commands sent in clear alphanumeric messages. The driver will create a virtual COM port for the controller once it's attached to the PC (unless connecting a Platypus via network - in this case UDP packets will be sent), so it's easy to setup a direct communication with it; commands can even be keyed manually in order to try ideas. Please contact us if you want to send commands directly to the controller, and we'll forward you the protocol specifications.

Limit switches: the controller can monitor and apply physical limit switches (for instance, simple pushbuttons placed at the inner and outer limits of a focuser). However there's no "easy" support for this in the software yet, but it can be accomplished using a "hidden" feature:

Init commands: if you explore your software installation folder (typically c:\program files\Seletek) you shall find a file named "initcmds.ini" (if you don't, you are outdated! - well, your software is... ). The purpose of this file is to send commands to the controller upon launch of the main "Seletek" program. The supplied file includes explanations for setting up limit switches, but in case of doubt or for other purposes please ask us about the protocol information.

DLL: while the user interface for all the programs has been developed in Visual Basic, the communication with the controller is done via a DLL (slp.dll in your seletek folder). If you have any interest in using it to develop your own programs, once again, we'll be delighted to help you.

Watchdog: your controller can act as a watchdog for PC activity, and can be instructed to perform any action if the communication for the PC is stopped for a configured number of seconds. Most commonly you'll want either to reset the PC (you'll need a relay controlled by the Seletek in order to do this) or to reset the USB port (as long as we know, this is only used in very extreme cold weather conditions - we just know of one case). You could even combine both, resetting the USB and after a few more seconds resetting the PC if that was not enough! Or even get fancy and move any attached motor to a specific position if the communication goes down!

 


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