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Old 26-10-2020, 07:22 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Startrek is offline
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,932
I tested my EQ6-R indoors on the weekend with a 5m long USB2 A to USB2B cable and did some testing with the procedures and found a few missing links which are important to get up and running. Everything worked perfectly except I couldn’t prove whether the “Sync function” worked as I was indoors and obviously couldn’t centre on a Star but I’m sure it will work once outside. Anyway here’s the revised procedure -

Ascom telescope control for Skywatcher Synscan Mounts with USB2B port connection only
Note: ( for Skywatcher mounts without USB port ie only handcontroller RJ45 port use my other telescope control procedure using StellariumScope as the driver )

Install the latest Ascom platform ( 6.5 )and SP1 ( Windows Service Pack 1 ).Install the (EQMOD) EQASCOM driver 14/5/18 and Stellarium version 0.19.3 and later. I used version 0.20.1 and it worked perfectly.
NB: Make sure EQMOD and Stellarium programs run as “Administrator” in your computer.
NB: Mount must be sitting in the Home Position ( Park Position )

Connect your mount to your laptop with a USB2A to USB2B cable (max length 5m )
Switch on your mount and laptop and open Device Manager in laptop and verify Com port connection to mount via a serial USB Com port. ( eg COM 3 , COM 5 etc.. ) Unplug cable from mount end to check connection , USB Serial Com ## should disappear. plug it back in and it should reappear.Still in Device Manager select Ports then double click your USB serial Com port and Com port Properties will appear. Go into port settings and just change Bits per second to 115200 which is Baud rate ( this is very important !!! ) Press ok and close Device Manager. Your serial port connection is now ready to communicate with EQMOD.

Now register and check the EQMOD Ascom Set Up Window and make sure all your settings are correct. This can be found on your computer via Start Up and Programs. Press EQMOD folder then EQASCOM folder , in the drop down select “Toolbox”. The small EQASCOM Toolbox will appear. Press the “Register” button , an error will come up, just press Ok, then Success Ok. Now in the Toolbox press “Driver Set Up” this will launch the EQMOD Ascom Set Up window.

EQMOD Ascom Set Up Window Settings
* Mount Options leave as default Auto Detect
EQMOD Port Settings
* Time out 1000
* Retry 2
* Baud 115200 ( very important )
* Port - press binoculars icon , your port number should be “Found” ( eg COM3 or COM5 etc.. ) If not you have to go back into Device Manager and check port settings , cable , baud rate etc etc...

Site Information
Enter your local site information
Latitude, Longitude, Elevation etc.. This must exactly match the Site or Location information in Stellarium !!!

Guiding - leave as default Ascom
Ascom Options - leave as default
General Options - leave as default

Once all settings are completed and checked in the EQMOD Ascom Set Up just press OK at the bottom and close the EQASCOM Tool Box

Procedures for Stellarium
1/ Open Stellarium and open Location Window F6 on RHS toolbar
2/ Ensure location information is exactly the same as the EQMOD Ascom Set Up window ( latitude, longitude etc.... )

3/ Select Configuration tab F2 on RHS toolbar

4/ Select Plugins tab on the top

5/ At the bottom of the drop down
list select “Telescope Control”

6/ In Telescope Control (Options) tick Load at start up check box

7/ Close Configuration window and shut down Stellarium, this procedure initialises the configuration.

8/ Restart Stellarium and reconfigure Telescope Control by selecting Configuration F2 again , then Plugins tab, then Telescope control on left hand side drop down list , then press wide flat button “configure”

9/ In Telescopes window press “Add” button at the bottom and then select “Ascom” radio button as your telescope control and name your telescope or mount in black field. Leave Coordinate system as default or J2000. Then scroll down and press “Choose Ascom Telescope” the Ascom Telescope Chooser appears so then select EQMOD HEQ5/6 from the drop down. You will prompted to check the EQMOD Ascom Set Up to ensure all settings are correct then press Ok. Then press Ok in the Ascom Telescope Chooser

10/ Now Press OK in Stellarium Telescope window and your named telescope should appear as “Disconnected”. Now press “Connect” and the EQMOD control pad should be launched on the LHS of the Stellarium sky view along with the EQMOD Target icon sitting at the SCP or Home Position. The EQMOD target icon should have the same name as your selected telescope. You can then close or minimise the Stellarium telescope windows and leave the EQMOD control pad in the corner ready to use.

11/ In the EQMOD control pad press the Spanner icon with 3 red arrows to open up the whole window. The Site Information should match the previous EQMOD Ascom Set Up Window. All other settings can remain default for the moment until you learn to Autoguide later. Press the spanner icon again and the window will shrink and leave the EQMOD control pad ready to use.

12/ Don’t forget to manually Unpark EQMOD before you slew to a target ( Unpark / Park button at the bottom )

13/ You can now click on a target on the same side of the meridian and the scope will slew to that target. Increase slew rate ( red box) from 1 to 2 or 3 to increase slew speed rate. Once you get closer to an object slew speed 2 is usually the best rate. You can use NSEW buttons to navigate and also use Stop button. Once you slew to a target the mount will start tracking in Sidereal ( default) This can be changed for Solar or Lunar tracking as required.

14/ Default key functions for Stellarium are as follows -
CTRL + 1 slew to target
CTRL + Shift + 1 Sync scope ( adds alignment point for creating an accurate pointing model) Star or object must be centred before sync.
CTRL + Alt + Shift + 1 Cancels scope operation

15/ At the end of your observing or imaging session, simply press Park to Home Position on the EQMOD control pad at the bottom and the scope will slew and return back to the Home Position. Then just close Stellarium and switch off mount.

16/ So after your initial set up is completed and working , the next time you use the telescope all you need to do is -
Connect and Power the mount
Open Stellarium
Select F2 Configuration
Select Plug Ins
Select Telescope Control
Press “Configure”
Press “Connect “
And now your ready to navigate the night sky

17/ One important thing to check , make sure all the time settings in EQMOD and Stellarium are J2000 ( not J Now and J2000) otherwise your Goto and pointing accuracy could be compromised

18/ It’s probably a good idea to run Stellarium a few times and learn it’s features plus set up your celestial sphere with all the details you need to navigate across the night sky
Cartes Du Ceil is another great planetarium but Stellarium has a much better visual presentation , very easy to use and was designed and developed to work with Ascom and EQMOD late in 2019.

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