This section outlines the serial tracing options available in the updated platform.
Serial tracing is enabled and disabled through the Chooser dialogue and under normal circumstances should be disabled. Tracing is not required for normal ASCOM operation, it is just there to help when debugging a problem.
Serial Trace is Enabled by selecting one of two entries in the Chooser, Trace Options menu:
- Use Automatic Serial Trace Filenames
- Use a Manual Serial Trace Filename
Automatic Filenames will create log files in the "My Documents\ASCOM" folder. Within this, folders will be created with names of format: "Logs yyyy-mm-dd" where yyyy, mm and dd are the current year, month and day numbers. Within this directory serial logs will accumulate each day with names of format "ASCOM.Serial.hhmm.ssffn" where hh, mm, ss and ff are the hour, minute, second and fractional second of the time the log is started and n is an arbitary integer that ensures that two logs created at the same time don't have the same filename.
This option is recommended as it ensures that every serial session is captured and also supports use of multiple concurrent serial ports.
Manual Filename requires that a specific filename is chosen through a file picker dialogue. The serial port log will then be made directly to this file, which will be overwritten on every use. This mode is provided for compatibility with the original COM Serial helper trace feature.
Trace File Format the following is an example of a (rather untypical!) trace file:
20:28:35.139 Port Set to: 3 20:28:35.139 Speed Set to: ps9600 20:28:35.139 ReceiveTimeout Set to: 10 seconds 20:28:35.139 AvailableCOMPorts COM1 20:28:35.139 AvailableCOMPorts COM3 20:28:35.139 AvailableCOMPorts COM10 20:28:35.139 AvailableCOMPorts COM11 20:28:35.139 AvailableCOMPorts COM12 20:28:35.139 AvailableCOMPorts COM13 20:28:35.139 AvailableCOMPorts COM26 20:28:35.139 Set Connected Using COM port: COM3 Baud rate: ps9600 Timeout: 10000 DTR: True Handshake: None Encoding: 1252 20:28:35.139 Set Connected Transmission format - Bits: 8 Parity: None Stop bits: One 20:28:35.139 Set Connected True OK 20:28:35.139 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.139 Transmit > # 20:28:35.139 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.139 Transmit >  20:28:35.139 ReceiveCounted 2 < G# 20:28:35.139 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.139 Transmit > :GV# 20:28:35.139 ReceiveTerminated # < 410# 20:28:35.155 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.155 Transmit > :GVP# 20:28:35.155 ReceiveTerminated # < Losmandy Gemini# 20:28:35.155 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.155 Transmit > :GV# 20:28:35.155 ReceiveTerminated # < 410# 20:28:35.155 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.155 Transmit > :GVN# 20:28:35.155 ReceiveTerminated # < 4.10# 20:28:35.155 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.155 Transmit > :GVD# 20:28:35.155 ReceiveTerminated # < 30/12/1952# 20:28:35.155 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.155 Transmit > :GVT# 20:28:35.155 ReceiveTerminated # < 02:00:00# 20:28:35.170 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.170 Transmit > <99:F# 20:28:35.170 ReceiveTerminated # < 1q# 20:28:35.170 ClearBuffers 20:28:35.170 Transmit > :p2#