Monday, August 23, 2021

debugged the VHC

Decided to have a go at the Virtual Hand Controller for the IDEA GoToStar motor system.

It had crashed on the evening of 4 August. Crashed isn't the right word. When I finally got Visual Studio up and running on the laggy laptop in the backyard and then tried to launch the custom Visual Basic application, it threw a weird error.

A good portion of my time this evening was getting organised or reoriented to what I had done. The blog entry from 16 April was throwing me off because the different form layout. I had deployed the code to deactivate and activate the buttons given the port status. That was after the blog update. And I slowly remembered the decision to make it narrow vs wide. It was not that I had lost a version, thank the Universe.

Then the matter at hand, the "form1 not found" error. At last, I located the bad code in the application.designer.vb file. Updated to the renamed form object name. The app started working again, yes!

Applied a few random edits. Tried to figure out how to read the tracking status—not possible. Then searched the web for making a stand-alone program. And learned it was far simpler than I anticipated! 

For a test, I dropped the EXE to the desktop. Things were a little wonky so I closed down VS. And then it seemed to all function correctly! Wow.

virtual hand controller beside Stellarium

Look at that!

The apps running side-by-side. Er, at least easily accessible. I still have not fully thought out how to allow the apps to run simultaneously. I have pondered a virtual port possibly. In the meantime, I'll manually disconnect or close the port in one, then connect with the other. 

It works!

This'll be fun. At least, I should now be able to slew in one app and if the pointing is off, nudge and slew about in the VHC, until I get on track. And sync. Without touching the real hand controller!

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