View Full Version here: : Help needed with ASCOM.
26-03-2012, 06:38 PM
Iím getting closer to completing my setup, but Iím having trouble getting my mount to connect to my laptop.
This is what Iíve done so far.
My mount HEQ Pro 5 mount, using a shoestring USB connection direct to the mount bypassing the hand controller.
Laptop running win7, with ASCOM loaded and celstron telecope drivers / Syanta Skywatcher mount.
All the parameters have been set in, checked in ASCOM for available com ports . Tried each one of these ports and it just comes up with a message.
There doesnít seem to be a celestron telescope connected.
It doesnít seem to matter whether I check through ASCOM, or in Guide 8.
Any ideaís ??
Any tips appreciated.
30-03-2012, 09:36 PM
Do you have the Shoestring USB cable from Bintel, or a home-made one?
If you have the Bintel, then it requires drivers. Also if you are using a USB extension cable, get rid of it (for now at least).
The drivers required are FTDI VCP drivers, which you can get from here:
or direct link if your running windows: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM20814_WHQL_Certified.zip
I just had the same problems as yourself. Two things i found:
My laptop could not detect the USB cable plugged in at all when i had a USB extension cable active. Took it out and it found it fine.
No drivers for the cable. Installed the drivers above, and ASCOM magically started working.
Also if you do all of this, or have done this, you can find the COM port the cable is set to use manually by doing this (assuming windows):
Click Start -> right click My Computer (or Computer) -> Select Manage.
Goto Device Manager on the left.
In the middle list, look for Ports (COM & LPT).
You should find the cable listed in here (should be TTLS232R or similar). Find the COM port number at the very end in brackets.
Load ASCOM and select that COM port manually, make sure baud is set to 9800.
See how you go with that.
30-03-2012, 10:13 PM
I can't see what you are actually trying to do. For most computer connections to the HEQ5 Pro you connect the Synscan controller to the computer via COM port or a usb/com port adaptor and use the nexstar configuration in your planetarium program.
If you want a direct control you will need the EQDIR cable that connects to the USB (I think that is the one you have) or you can use the PC direct connection through synscan controller that serves the same purpose as the EQDIR cable. You can then use ASCOM and EQMOD to control the telescope from a simulated hand box on the computer.
I have no bother with each of these methods. Have you tried these first?
The other way which I assume you are using is with ASCOM loaded and using ASCOM and a dedicated celestron controller for the ASCOM. I have not tried this method but if it can't find the telescope you can either be using the wrong com port or wrong driver program.
31-03-2012, 07:08 AM
Thanks Barry and Nathan.
Barry Haven't tried connecting to the hand controller port, it has serial port adapter on the cable and my lap top doesn't have a serial port. I know you can get cables adapted to USB, but BINTEL supplied a shoe string cable direct to the mount.
Nathan, yes have the VCP drivers loaded and at the moment I'm not using any extension cables for set up. I'll go to device manager and check the port settings as you suggested and check the baud rate too.
31-03-2012, 08:13 AM
The shoestring cable is meant to work with EQMOD via ASCOM have you installed both. or only ASCOM. EQMOD converts the calls to the protocol necessary to drive the motor board.
I expect that Bintel suplied that cable expecting you to install EQMOD and ASCOM. both are free and easy to download from the EQMOD site. My HEQ5 Pro is not set up at the moment. I will set it up later and run through the procedures again.
31-03-2012, 10:46 AM
Here is how I did it:
I assume you have your VCP installed correctly and can similate a COM port via the supplied cable. I don't have a cable but have a COM1 port. However the procedure should be the same.
First align your mount manually (set all the necessary parameters as they will need to agree with the ASCOM configuration)
Install ASCOM. (I use v5.5)
Start EQMOD. The scope can be manually contolled from the menu here if you wish
I am using Stellarium. If you have another planetarium program there are instructions for these in \program files\EQMOD\EQMOD_Doc.pdf
Select the telescope driver - EQMOD Telescope
tick the connect box
Update Stellarium Configuration
(all this is done from the Stellariumscope menu)
Start Stellarium with the telescope module enabled at start up
Select telescope control from the button
Select ADD telescope from the menu
Select External Software or remote computer
Select the COM port
Select the Host - Use the same number as in the Stellariumscope Menu (10000 in mine)
Press OK - back to previous menu
Select the local external telescope
and press connect - the condition will change to connected
The cross hairs will appear over the current position of the mount
Select a new target and Press Ctr+(the number of the scope) and the slew menu will appear
Click on Slew Telescope. The telescope will slew to the new target
PS I had never tried this procedure until this morning so I was as much in the dark as you.
31-03-2012, 11:03 AM
Barry is right, that cable is for eqmod. You select the correct com port from within eqmod. eqmod + that cable, replaces the hand controller. eqmod is basically an ascom telescope driver (http://www.ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ScopeDrivers.htm).
31-03-2012, 12:24 PM
As mentioned here, the gpusb drivers need to be installed first
One easy way of checking is keep the cable connected to your laptop, open device manager and ports, and unplug the USB cable, you should see the port disappear, or do it the other way around.
I found that If the serial port is a high one, like 10 pr above, eqascom doesn't have it in its port list.
You can either change the port assignment manually or plug it to a different port
Then in eqascom, choose the port to monitor, baud rate to 9600 and it should detect it as the synta telescope
I never tried the celestron one, not sure why you need that.
Also use the eq tool to check connectivity.
It should be installed when you install eqascom.
I use the same gpusb and heq5 pro and it worked once I got the driver and serial port number sorted.
Do paste a screenshot of the eqascom tool and device manager If you still have issues
As per what others have asked, would be good to get a link to the hardware device you're trying to use and software (what planetarium program are you going to use, have you got EQMOD loaded, does it load but fail to connect?). Some screenshots might help on software side.
Once you get EQMOD going most people never use their hand controller again....:)
Fantastic bit of software we're so fortunate to have for free.
01-04-2012, 10:48 AM
Spot on, I didn't have EQMOD loaded it's all working with the last bit of the puzzle in place.
01-04-2012, 10:53 AM
Didn't see the rest of these replies.
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