Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Equipment Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 25-10-2020, 10:07 AM
porthacking (Scott)
Registered User

porthacking is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 11
Connecting EQ mount to PC

Hi All,

I have just started setting up my first astro set up. Learning curve much.

I would like to connect my Saxon HEQ5-Pro to my computer to use ASCOM (for mount control and guiding).

I don't think I'll have too many problems but was wondering about the connection.

I was sold a shoestring (it looks like RJ45 although I suspect it is RJ12 in an RJ45 body??? to USB). This looks like it can plug in to the "Hand Controller" port on the mount itself.

Also, in the bottom of the hand controller is a USB-B port and I have seen video tutorials saying to use the USB connection.

But when I read the SynScan manual it also refers to RS-232C and an RJ-12 to D-sub9 cable.

Is someone able to clear this up for me?

Thanks everyone,

Scott

Last edited by porthacking; 25-10-2020 at 10:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 25-10-2020, 11:19 AM
Merlin66's Avatar
Merlin66 (Ken)
Spectroscopy Wizard

Merlin66 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St Leonards, Vic
Posts: 7,924
Scott,
Sounds like you have a EQDir cable. (http://www.store.shoestringastronomy...roducts_eq.htm)
This goes between the PC (usb) and the controller port on the mount.
You need to consider how to communicate from the PC to mount.
I have the HEQ5 and use Cartes du Ciel planetarium program to control the mount - GOTO, syncs etc etc
You need to install ASCOM V6.5 then install the EQMod software (real name is EQascom)
Any questions just ask.
""

But when I read the SynScan manual it also refers to RS-232C and an RJ-12 to D-sub9 cable.

Is someone able to clear this up for me?
""
This is the cable used to connect the handcontroller to the PC - you'll also need a Serial>USB adaptor.
Normally used for updating the Synscan software and can be used to control the mount through the utility/ PC direct mode.

\

Last edited by Merlin66; 25-10-2020 at 11:47 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 25-10-2020, 11:42 AM
Merlin66's Avatar
Merlin66 (Ken)
Spectroscopy Wizard

Merlin66 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St Leonards, Vic
Posts: 7,924
Cartes du Ciel
https://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/download
(select the version to suit your PC i.e Win64 etc)


ASCOM
https://ascom-standards.org/
(Select V6.4 from the right hand box)


EQASCOM
http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/
(description of the software and how to manual)


https://sourceforge.net/projects/eq-mod/files/EQASCOM/
(select the V200q)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 25-10-2020, 11:43 AM
porthacking (Scott)
Registered User

porthacking is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 11
Hi Ken,

Thanks for your reply.

I am working on all of the ASCOM, EQASCOM stuff now.

Is there a difference between running USB and the DIRMod cable?

I am struggling to get the port to recognise in EQMOD ASCOM setup. Any suggestions?

Thanks again.

Scott
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 25-10-2020, 11:50 AM
Merlin66's Avatar
Merlin66 (Ken)
Spectroscopy Wizard

Merlin66 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St Leonards, Vic
Posts: 7,924
Scott,
Your computer (device manager) should show the EQDir cable as being connected and show the comms port being used.
When you have the cable connected to a powered mount, EQMod should pick up on the comms port.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25-10-2020, 12:42 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,734
Scott
If you can wait a day I’m in the middle of a documenting a full procedure for EQ direct ( USB cable ) with Ascom using Stellarium as your planetarium for Goto and navigation
I have my EQ6-R mount set up and connected in my home office and want to do some more testing tonight
NB: I already have the EQ direct procedure using StellariumScope ( put it together 3 years ago ) I can send that now if you wish

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25-10-2020, 05:17 PM
porthacking (Scott)
Registered User

porthacking is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
Scott,
Your computer (device manager) should show the EQDir cable as being connected and show the comms port being used.
When you have the cable connected to a powered mount, EQMod should pick up on the comms port.
Thanks Ken, I’ll keep trying.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 25-10-2020, 05:20 PM
porthacking (Scott)
Registered User

porthacking is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Startrek View Post
Scott
If you can wait a day I’m in the middle of a documenting a full procedure for EQ direct ( USB cable ) with Ascom using Stellarium as your planetarium for Goto and navigation
I have my EQ6-R mount set up and connected in my home office and want to do some more testing tonight
NB: I already have the EQ direct procedure using StellariumScope ( put it together 3 years ago ) I can send that now if you wish

Cheers
Martin
Hi Martin,
That sounds great. Happy to wait.
I’d love to have a look at the EQ direct procedure too if you’re happy to share.
Thanks,
Scott
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 25-10-2020, 05:45 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,734
Scott,
Glad to help
Your post prompted me to post some information on PC Direct method vs the preferred EQDirect method ( look in Beginners equipment section )
Now you mentioned your mount a Saxon HEQ5 ( it’s really a rebadged Skywatcher HEQ5 mount )
And I assume the mount just has a RJ45 port for the handcontroller and a RJ12 Autoguider port ( and no USB2B port ) correct ?
Does your version 5 Synscan Handcontroller have a RJ45 port , a RJ12 port and a USB2B port ? Correct ? If so good you can put the handcontroller back in the the plastic bag and store it.You can always use it later if you wish
If the above is correct then I would recommend you adopt the EQ Direct method of telescope control using EQMOD as the command controller , StellariumScope as the driver and Stellarium as your planetarium to navigate across the night sky
If you were sold a 1.8m long Shoestring cable ( USB2EQ5 ) custom EQ Direct cable then that’s a good start
Can you confirm all the above ?
Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 25-10-2020, 06:00 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,734
Scott
Silly question and no offence intended but I’m assuming you know how to do the following fundamentals before even worrying about remote telescope control -
1/ Align and set your tripod to True South
2/ Set your telescope mount head to Home Position
3/ Balance your telescope
4/ Polar align your telescope
5/ Operate your telescope using the handcontroller
6/ Have a basic understanding of the night sky and location of stars and celestial objects
7/ Frame and focus objects
And so on......

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 27-10-2020, 06:38 AM
porthacking (Scott)
Registered User

porthacking is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 11
Hi Martin,

I am very new to all of this but have successfully been able to get through most of the things on the list. For those few I simply haven't done yet, I am quite sure I'll be OK. I'm just trying to get everything talking to each other and properly installed (in the comfort of my office) before I lug it all downstairs to the relative discomfort of my garage so I can start schlepping up the steeper part of learning curve.

As for the mount and hand-controller, yes you are correct: the mount has an RJ45 for the hand controller and an RJ12 for auto-guiding; the hand-controller has an RJ45, an RJ12, and USB2B. I only purchased the mount a few weeks ago and was told that I had one of the newer HEQ5s that has the 'dual' mounting plate that the equivalent Skywatcher has, but that the HEQ didn't have until 'recently' (not sure what definition of recent was being used).

What you've suggested with Stellarium is what I had in mind.

Thank you very much for your post in the beginners equipment section. This is the first decent information I have been able to find on the difference.

Thanks,

Scott
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 27-10-2020, 07:06 AM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,734
Hi Scott
The post to Peter in the Beginners section was for a new mount that has the USB2B port cable connection. As your Saxon HEQ5 has only the RJ45 handcontroller port ( forget about the handcontroller itself having a USB port , we are not using it ) here is the procedure for getting up and running with EQMOD and Stellarium with Ascom and EQ Direct using your custom RJ45 to USB2 EQ Direct cable

Telescope Control via EQMOD and Stellarium ( using Ascom and EQ Direct Cable )
*
*
( NB: Stellarium Scope no longer required as driver interface )
*
(Using Ascom as the interface platform)
Telescope Control for Synta mounts eg: Skywatcher Orion or Saxon EQ5 , HEQ5, EQ6,NEQ6, AZEQ6, and EQ6-R mounts
*
Please find below and attached documentation to get you up and running with EQMOD telescope control and Stellarium as your planetarium to navigate across the night sky
*
Note 1: If your using a DSLR for imaging I strongly recommend you buy and download Backyard EOS ( Classic Edition ) from O’Telescope Canada as it will allow easy use of EQMOD and more importantly more accuracy with Polar Alignment, Star Alignment and Goto ( you can control everything from your laptop position – the only time I get up of my butt is to check location of the first alignment star in my finder scope to bring it into view on BYEOS and adjust the AZ and Alt bolts on my mount for PA ) You can also use Cartes Du Ceil planetarium software or any other that supports EQMOD but I prefer and recommend Stellarium as its extremely good and easy to use and navigate.If your using a dedicated Astro camera there are many frame , focus and capture software programs like APT which do an equally great job*
*
Note 2: The information I provide is based on “my set up” using my HP Omen Laptop PC running Windows 10 Home version though most Windows PC’s and Laptops running Windows 7 , 8 and 10 should be Ok
(Mac computers are not compatible )*
*
Note 3: Special Cable Required
EQ Direct Cable
HEQ5 and EQ6-R Mounts ( USB2EQ5 ) RJ modular to USB
EQ6 and NEQ6 Mounts
( USB2EQ6 ) DB9 plug to USB (Serial)
Available from Bintel*
Software Download Required
Ascom ( ascom-standards.org )** Ascom Platform 6.5 SP1* latest *( Free )
EQMOD (eq-mod.sourceforge.net )* Eqmod version dated 14/5/18 *or latest ( Free )
Stellarium* (stellarium.org )* version 0.19.3* or latest version ( Free )
Note : Above software versions may have been upgraded since I wrote this procedure always use the latest.
Important Download
Shoestring Astronomy Virtual Com Port ( VCP driver for FTDI chip )* for your Bintel ( Shoestring Astronomy) USB EQ Direct cable (*www.shoestringastronomy.com*) This is the most important item and allows your Laptop to find and connect to the mount through the Shoestring EQ cable**.Hopefully your operating system is on the list for the VCP driver ( Go to The Shoestring Astronomy Store then “Downloads” then “Software” and then select “Virtual Com Port Drivers**for USB2EQ6 and USB2EQ5” ( VCP Driver for FTDI devices ) this opens the FTDI page. Go to the Supported VCP Drivers table. If your using a computer with Windows 7 , 8 or 10 then choose the first section in the table under Windows* go across to the RHS under Comments and this is where you find out how to download the FTDI driver ( you can use the “set up executable” or just read the installation notes and it shows you how to download and set up for Windows )*
*
*
*
EQMOD Set Up
Once Software is down loaded and drivers are established here is the basic procedure* -
*
1/ Ensure you set up and run Stellarium a couple of times ( this creates the initialization files to allow the systems to work )
*
2/ Park Scope your scope in the “Home Position” and switch off mount and disconnect Synscan hand controller ( if you still use Synscan HC *to Star align and Polar align )
*
3/ For HEQ5 and EQ6-R mounts connect the USB2EQ5 cable RJ45 plug into hand controller port on Mount. For EQ6 and NEQ6 mounts connect the USB2EQ6 cable DB9 plug into the serial port on the Mount. USB end of cable, plugs into the Laptop.*
NB: EQ Direct cables are only 1.8m long so you will probably need a 2m long USB2 extension cable connected to the EQ Direct cable to reach your Laptop ( These are available from computer retailers or electronics retailers like Jaycar )
*
NB: Make sure EQMOD and Stellarium programs run as “Administrator” in your computer.
NB: Mount must be sitting in the Home Position ( Park Position )
*
4/ 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 9600 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.
*
5/ 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 9600 ( 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.*

2 items I would like to add

1/ Make sure in the Ascom EQMOD Set Up window you in “Options” you change EPOCH Unkown to J2000 so both EQMOD and Stellarium have the same time which is J2000
2/ If the Sync function Cntrl + Shift + 1 on the keyboard doesn’t work for some reason once you have centred a Star ( check to see a Sync point was registered in EQMOD extended control pad under “Alignment/ Sync “ point count ) You can access an alternative Sync function in Stellarium. In Stellarium once you have connected the mount , go to the bottom task bar and click on the telescope icon , a window pops up which has a Slew and Sync function. Press Current location and if the Star is centred and press Sync button , a Sync point should register in EQMOD ( point count )

Hope all the above works for you
Good Luck !
Cheers
Martin

*
*
*
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 27-10-2020, 08:37 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,734
Attention
Revision to Procedure

Existing Sync function is not registering, it should now be as follows -

Slew to object or Star
Centre object or Star
Click mouse pointer over target
Target symbol changes from yellow to white and rotates
Then press Cntrl + Shift + 1 on keyboard
Alignment Sync point is then registered in EQMOD ( extended view ) under Alignment/ Sync in the Points Count box

Continue with slewing to other targets and perform the same Sync function

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 28-10-2020, 09:13 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,734
Attention

EQMOD Sync function does definitely work in Stellarium using Keyboard function Cntrl + Shift +1
The trick is to press Cntrl down hold then Shift down hold then a quick press of number 1
I was pressing all 3 keys simultaneously which doesn’t work
I slewed to 5 Stars in various locations and Sync’d all of them which was registered in EQMOD ( extended view ) Alignment/ Sync section in Point Count
box
Another trick is you must have the EQMOD control pad in default view not extended view otherwise Sync function won’t work as well

Boy what a arm wrestle this has been

Gion Kunz never mentioned about these little micro managed procedures in Stellarium
Anyway I’ve nailed it after many hours
Cheers
Who ever is interested !!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 29-10-2020, 06:32 AM
gregmc (Greg)
Registered User

gregmc is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 13
I also put together information earlier this year that might help.

Remember that ASCOM is just the software connector that talks a common language between astro apps.

To replace your hand controller (its a computer and app that you are replacing), you need something like EQMOD or GSS or SynScan app to connect to your mount (with appropriate cable from computer to the mount) - Get your app of choice connected to your mount first solving any USB issues etc. (before trying any ASCOM stuff). I also put together Serial connection to mount info if needed.

Then you need something to tell the mount control app where to point the mount. A camera control app like APT, SGPro, NINA etc can do that as well as control a camera etc if needed.
A planetarium app such as Stellarium or Cartes du Ceil can also point the mount to a spot in the sky.

Don't forget the other basics like the initial polar alignment. If you are just pointing and not imaging, look into something like 3 star alignment. (if doing that, use EQMOD to control mount as it has a software pointing model) If doing photography, think about learning how to do guiding and plate solving with an imaging app (mentioned earlier)

http://www.astrophotosite.com/tiki-i...ection_options

cheers
Greg
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 29-10-2020, 07:15 AM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,734
Greg
I’ve been using telescope control EQMOD with Stellarium for 4 years but not using Ascom as it wasn’t Ascom supported. You had to use StellariumScope ( 3rd party ) as the driver which worked ok.
But since Stellarium version 0.19.3 November 2019 ,developer Gion Kunz got the go ahead from Alexander Wolf of Stellarium to work on getting Stellarium Ascom supported which he did in version 0.19.3
I decided to give it a go in the past week and use Ascom as my driver rather than the old StellariumScope and I’ve completed testing now. It works beautifully
See my post in Beginners section and above
Also I’m not a fan of PC Direct method ( handcontroller to laptop ) only EQ Direct or USB Direct method.Again I posted a excerpt from EQMOD on the dangers of using PC Direct method in the Beginners section. EQMOD do not recommend PC Direct method even though Skywatcher have a range of USB adapters etc. from handcontroller to laptop ( the new version 5 handcontrollers have an extra USB2B port to use this method )
As far a USB wifi apps straight from the mount are concerned , I don’t use them so can’t comment , I only set up hard wired between mount and laptop as I’m set up for weeks at a time plus I’m building an observatory soon at my dark site so I will be hard wiring , even cat 5e data cables from house to Dome

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 09:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Testar
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Limpet Controller
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement