Look in the orange area to the left. Click on the link for the type of device you're interested in. There, you'll find a list of devices that have ASCOM drivers available. Some come with the device itself, others are available from the Download Center here.
How to Get Support
If your device (e.g., telescope) shipped with its ASCOM driver, contact the device manufacturer first. Otherwise, if your device has a driver that was developed by a third party developer, the place to get help is either directly from the developer or on the ASCOM Talk group. People on the ASCOM-Talk group are happy to help with problems. Most driver authors want people to use their drivers and will at least lurk on the group. There are a number of things that you can do to help and these will result in getting a suggested fix much faster.
- Report information accurately and completely. It is almost impossible to help if insufficient information is given. We get error reports that basically say "ASCOM isn't working, please fix it". If you are lucky you'll get emails asking questions. More likely you'll not get a reply at all.
- Read the help that comes with the driver. Many support questions have already been answered in the driver help. This should be accessible from the driver setup or properties window.
- If you can cause the problem at will, write down the steps you took to cause it, producing a "repro scenario". This can be invaluable information.
- Contact the driver author or supporter directly or on the ASCOM-Talk group. Look in the driver help file for contact info.
Remember that we aren't looking over your shoulder; we can't see things that are totally obvious to you. We need to know:
- What brand of device (e.g. telescope and mount) you are
- What driver you have selected, including its version (normally visible on the driver setup or properties window).
- What application you are using.
- What PC operating system you are using, including the SP.
- Exactly what you did, what worked and what did not.
- An exact reproduction of any error messages, with what was done just before the error happened.
- Ideally an exact sequence of actions that will generate the error ( repro scenario).
Things to Try First
If the driver doesn't work at all then in the majority of
cases it is one of the following causes:
- The connection cable between the PC and the mount.
- The cable between the PC and the mount (it's worth double checking, this is the source of the majority of problems).
- The USB to serial connector. These are very variable, good ones are fine but there are a lot that aren't so good and it's not obvious which are which.
- Is the right cable being used? (The Meade cable doesn't work with the Celestron and (presumably) vice versa).
- Is the cable connected to the correct port on the scope?
- Is the correct COM port being used? Some (poorly designed) USB to serial connectors can select a different port each time they are connected, especially if they are plugged into a different USB socket or in a different order.
- Is the correct driver being used?
- Installation problems tend to give rather cryptic errors saying that something does not exist or cannot be loaded. If you get these right at the start of trying to connect, or especially if you get this when you are trying to select a driver, then try reinstalling the ASCOM platform, then the driver. It may be necessary to uninstall the current installation and reinstall it.
If the driver connects and some things work but some don't or the driver connects in one application but not in others then the basic connectivity is OK and the challenge is to find out why a particular function isn't working; we need to know:
- What works, let us know what programs or functions work for you.
- What doesn't work, which program and where in the program it fails.
- The exact way it fails, including what you do, what happens and exactly what error messages are shown.
- If you are only trying advanced functions, such as guiding, but haven't tried something simple then it is a good idea to try a simple planetarium program, such as Cartes du Ciel, and see if the basic connectivity and control works.
A good technique, especially for application or script authors, is to post a code fragment that demonstrates the problem. Try to reduce this to the minimum that shows the problem.
Remember that some of the people involved in ASCOM are part time and often have other jobs, so replies can take a few days.