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Serial Tracing

This section outlines the serial tracing options available in the updated platform.

Serial Tracing

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                  > [06] 
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#