#1  
Old 30-08-2017, 08:25 AM
Imme (Jon)
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Guidance on guiding please!

I'm new to guiding....as in completely new to it and am having trouble getting everything working together.

First of all the equipment/program list -
Eq5pro mount with synscan
Zwo As1034mc guide camera
Eqmod, phd and apt for guide/control programs
750/150 refractor as imaging scope/small 300 refractor as guide scope.

I'm connected to the pc through the synscan hand piece and can control the scope via eqmod in direct pc mode.......but when I try and connect through apt I get a "scope not connected" error, camera does connect (but I get no image). I have had it connected a couple of times (1 in 50 attempts randomly) but no idea why it won't do it on a regular/reliable basis. I think (and don't quote me one this) that when taking it out of direct pc mode on synscan it helps with the connection......but then I lose guiding don't I?
No matter what settings I'm playing with I can seem to get it to recognise the scope.

Any ideas anyone?
Is there something I'm missing?

Im praying to the guiding gods on this one (and you know who you are).....any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 30-08-2017, 08:35 AM
glend (Glen)
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For what its worth EQMOD connection used to drive me crazy, running my NEQ6 Pro. I tossed it out and moved to wifi connection with a Nexus box to Sky Safari Pro, much easier. I ran SGP for imaging camera control (ASI1600), and Backyard EOS for my DSLR. I ran Metaguide as the guide app, and Backyard EOS handled the dithering.
What i am saying is that you don't have to use eqmod.
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Old 30-08-2017, 09:57 AM
Imme (Jon)
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Thanks Glenn......guess I'm hoping for a 'cheap fix'.....if there is one is hobby!
Worse case I guess I can make the move to another system but I'd rather stick with what I have if I can.....guess the other side of it is the guy I bought this setup from claims it worked with these programs.....grrrr
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Old 30-08-2017, 11:07 AM
hamiland (Anders)
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Hi Jon,
Probably need a little more info here, are you using the ST4 guide port or pulse guiding via the serial connection to the mount (is there anything connected to the guide port on your camera or mount)?

Secondly, I'd recommend making/purchasing an eqmod cable (a lot cheaper than the WiFi option), this takes out the middle man (hand controller).

I'm assuming that you're using ASCOM for the connection (when you connect to the mount via APT you are presented with the "ASCOM Telescope Chooser" window?

It potentially sounds like a serial port conflict, as only one application can communicate via serial at a time, thus if you're not using ASCOM you may run into difficulties. This is where ASCOM comes in, it should be the only application that communicates directly with your mount, with everything else communicating with ASCOM (which can handle multiple client connections).

I have had a skywatcher mount and connected via the hand controller, so theoretically should work for you, however I preferred using an EQMOD cable to give full computer control and performing my slews via Stellarium or CDC.

Thanks

Anders
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Old 30-08-2017, 11:18 AM
Imme (Jon)
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Thanks for the reply Anders. I'm set up with pulse guiding but do also have an st4 cable available if that's a better option.... I read popular was better??
I have nothing in the autoguide port but am plugged into the hand controller.
I've got ascom running but I see your point... Maybe this is where my issue is, I'll look further in to that area. How do I ensure ascom has the connection?
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Old 30-08-2017, 11:20 AM
Imme (Jon)
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Sorry Anders, just saw you mentioned the "chooser" window for ascom.....will check that when I get home
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Old 30-08-2017, 12:05 PM
hamiland (Anders)
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Pulse guiding is theoretically better than ST4 but there seems to be a lot of conjecture and long threads out there on this. I personally pulse guide, the difference in setup is when you choose the Mount in PHD you select Either the EQMOD ASCOM or ZWO USBST4 option (and have the appropriate cable(s) connected, just your eqmod/serial HC cable for the EQMOD option and/or RJ connection from the camera guide output to your mount's guide input for the ZWO USBST4 option).
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Old 30-08-2017, 04:20 PM
Imme (Jon)
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I’m sitting next to my scope now and will go through the setup steps in the hope the detail will help solve the issue.
EQ5Pro mount with synscan running the latest update
COM port 3 connected directly to synscan handset
Com port to connected to ZWOASI034MC camera
No ST4 cables connected.
Steps –
Turn on mount – select PC direct
Open EQASCOM Toolbox – hit ASCOM CONNECT
EQMOD HEQ5/6 V1.29a opens. Gives control of scope…….I guess I’m good to here as it works? (minimize this screen)
Open PHD2
Hit USB button on bottom left
Connect to ZWO ASI Camera and EQMOD ASCOM HEQ5/6 Mount – both connect fine
Hit Loop – Static appears but imaging is there (guess the static has to do with no focus/it’s daylight hours…..I can focus it at night)
Click on the picture (static) and it tries to find a star but reports “Star lost – low mass/DNR”
Guessing I’m still all good to hear right????
Now is where my troubles start……..
Open PHT.
Announces “Camera Connected” on open. Clicking live view gives me what looks like a library picture in B$W (unless I have a nebula in my lounge room I don’t know about).
Go to GEAR tab. Click CONNECT SCOPE – reports “Telescope Disconnected”
…..so to me it looks like I’ve gone through every step and now on the very last hurdle Mr APT wont let me play.

Any ideas people? I hate being so close …..well think I’m close!
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Old 30-08-2017, 11:34 PM
hamiland (Anders)
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Hmmm, sounds as if (without seeing it) form your description it's picking a preset ASCOM mount. Is there a setting window that you can confirm that it is using the EQMOD ASCOM telescope when you click connect?
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Old 31-08-2017, 04:54 AM
Imme (Jon)
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My thought exactly Anders..... I just can't seem to track down where that setting sits!
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Old 31-08-2017, 05:36 AM
Imme (Jon)
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As it seems everything is workings as it should be apart from apt I'm thinking of trading that program in for a new imaging option...... Anyone have any suggestions? What are the majority using?
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Old 31-08-2017, 08:13 AM
hamiland (Anders)
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Try holding shift when you click connect, this should (according to the manual) bring up the telescope chooser.

If you are really looking at another application, i have used Backyard EOS which is great, I am in the process of transitioning to SGP as it has an autofocus module built in (if you have a motorised focuser and controller), I also have others where I am using SGP so can lean on them if I get stuck. I would think that you should be able to get APT running however.
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Old 31-08-2017, 09:29 AM
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vlazg (George)
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Sequence Generator Pro
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Old 31-08-2017, 10:10 AM
Imme (Jon)
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Thanks Anders......I missed that in the manual.

I'll give it a try when I get home.

I'll also check out the suggested programs if I can't get this going
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Old 31-08-2017, 10:17 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Sounds like an issue with APT rather than EQMod/ PHD.
I have a very similar set up:
HEQ5/ EQMod/ CdC/ PHD2
Using either the QHY5Lii or Lodestar guide cameras with an ED80.
I use AstroArt for all my cameras and usually also for guiding.
Touch wood, no issues, no drama.
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Old 31-08-2017, 02:33 PM
Imme (Jon)
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Hey guys, thanks a million, especially Anders......I've managed to connect using that click shift hint which got me in to properties of the scope.
I'm almost good to go.....just have to work out the imaging now with the d5100.

On another note I got my laser collimating tool today....I'm a good 1cm off target on th email mirror.....guess that'll be impacting image quality!!!! Hahahaha
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Old 31-08-2017, 03:31 PM
hamiland (Anders)
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Great news, glad I could be of some assistance. Clear Skys

Anders
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