Using the 32-bit v5.2.1 ASCOM ServoCAT driver with 64-bit Applications

Your best bet is to use the ASCOM Device Hub to serve as an intermediate bridge between any 64-bit software and a legacy 32-bit ASCOM driver. An extra benefit of using a software hub is that multiple applications can connect to your ServoCAT at the same time.

Here are some steps you can take to use the ASCOM Device Hub:

Install ASCOMPlatform65SP1 (or higher), install ServoCAT ASCOM driver, start ASCOM Device Hub, then

Tools, Setup, Telescope Setup, then choose ServoCAT.Telescope

Now Connect to Telescope and Start Cartes du Ciel or Stellarium or ???

Use ASCOM Chooser to choose ASCOM Device Hub in your planetarium software then click Connect

Note, the Device Hub is only needed between your planetarium software and ServoCAT ASCOM driver if the planetarium software complains about needing a 64-bit driver, otherwise you can connect from the planetarium software directly to the ServoCAT ASCOM driver.

A bit of background: the driver was last updated in June of 2015, and is currently not widely used, especially with people moving toward Sky Safari and other solutions like INDI to control their ServoCATs. The driver is written in Visual Basic 6 (VB6), which is an unsupported legacy compiler and programing language. Creating a 64-bit version would require a complete rewrite from scratch in a different programing language. A rewrite would take weeks of undivided attention. A completely new driver would also require extensive testing time on the ServoCAT hardware. This is not something I would consider doing at this time.

As long as an intermediate software bridge works (like the ASCOM Device Hub or Optec AltAz Derotation Server), there is really no viable return on the time investment needed to build a 64-bit version. This driver is an uncompensated volunteer project, and much of my astronomy related volunteer time is now devoted to RMS/GMN meteor cameras. For details on this project, please see the RMS/GMN Global Meteor Network.

Peter Eschman, December, 2021