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Old 20-07-2018, 09:44 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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EQMOD Serial USB Connection and Com Ports

In the next week or so I will be setting up EQMOD ( Ascom and EQAscom ) on my laptop to operate my HEQ5 Pro mount with 2 optional methods that I prefer to have available -

1/ EQDIRECT USB - Laptop to mount using a USB2EQ5 shoestring cable and 3m USB2 male to female extension cable ( no Synscan hand controller ) to reach my laptop 2m away on a portable table

2/ PC DIRECT - Laptop to RJ11 port on Synscan hand controller using a Jaycar Digitech USB to DB9 serial adaptor , plus the original serial cable that came with mount ( 1.8m RJ11 to DB9 ) and a 3m USB2 male to female extension cable (Synscan hand controller still available for use ) to reach my laptop 2m away on a portable table

My questions are -

Do I require to download a driver for the Digitech USB to DB9 adaptor to assign a dedicated com port on the Laptop and enable communications with the mount ?

As I have a 7 port MBeat powered USB Hub mounted under my laptop table for various other astro gear ,can that dedicated com port be one of the ports on the hub or do I have to connect straight to a dedicated USB port on the Laptop ?

Apologies for my limited understanding of PC networking

Thanks in advance
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Old 20-07-2018, 10:05 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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The USB>serial needs to be recognised by the PC and allocated a Comms port #
You may be lucky and the PC picks up on it as "plug and play". With my KeySpan USB>Serial adaptor I had to install the drivers....

I also always plug the various USB connections into the same ports (on the PC and Hub) to prevent unnecessary issues....
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Old 21-07-2018, 12:45 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Thanks Ken for replying appreciate it

Gee I thought this would be a common question asked by some beginners when venturing into telescope control for the first time

I grew up in the 60ís with the closest thing to computers in high school and college was punch cards . I suppose all the younger generation Astro beginners already know about software, drivers, general computer networking etc .....
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Old 22-07-2018, 03:12 PM
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Photos please and a step by step account.
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Old 22-07-2018, 10:04 PM
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Hi Martin,

I went down the same path a couple of years ago. I also have a HEQ5 Pro mount and I use EQMOD for mount control. I use the EQDirect method, as I read somewhere to avoid using the PC Direct method due to reliability issues.

I can answer your second question about the USB hub. Yes, you can plug the USB->Serial cable into the hub. No, it doesn't have to go direct to the laptop. I only just recently got myself a USB hub (TP-Link 7 port powered hub). Before that, I used to run all three cables (mount, camera, guide camera) direct to the laptop. It was a pain trying to move around the mount having to duck and clamber through 3 cables in the dark without ripping them out (My laptop is used outside my little observatory). I now have the USB hub zip tied to the mount leg, and the cables for the mount and 2 cameras are permanently plugged into the hub. I now have just one cable that runs across the floor and over the observatory wall to the laptop. It's fantastic.

Don't hesitate to get in touch if you need more help.

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