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Old 31-12-2015, 07:05 AM
SuperG
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Autoguiding Woes

Hi All, IU need some help here. I can't seem to get autoguiding working at all. I have a skywatcher EQ5Pro GOTO mount and I'm trying to use an ZWO ASI120MC for guiding. What I've done is as follows:

1. Installed ASCOM 6 platform and ZWO ST4 drivers and PHD2.
2. I plug the ZWO by USB into a netbook and a 6P6C RJ12 from the ZWO to the SYNSCAN unit.
3. Using a compass I point the mount to where the SCP should be (~168 degrees SSE); altitude angle at 33 (Sydney)and start sidereal motion with the hand controller once I've located my target.
4 Using PhD, I click on the camera button and select the ZWO option and for the mount the ST4 option. I then start the image capturing and select a star. Subsequently, I click on the target button so it can supposedly calibrate.

The RE and DEC angles are never orthogonal because I don't think PHD is controlling the mount at all; is there a way to tell.
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Old 31-12-2015, 07:19 AM
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Atmos (Colin)
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If you use the ASI ST4 Mount for guiding you do need to have the camera plugged directly into the "Autoguide" port on the HEQ5 via the cable (RJ-7?).
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Old 31-12-2015, 07:25 AM
SuperG
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Thanks. This probably didn't come through clearly. I do plug the cable directly from the ZWO camera into the autoguide port. I bought an RJ12 (6P6C) (telephone cable) as this seems to directly into the ZWO and skywatcher.
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Old 31-12-2015, 07:27 AM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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yep, if you use ST4 you need an ST4 cable (I think it can have crossed over wiring - worth googling for your camera and mount) to connect between the camera ST4 output and the mount ST4 input. You select "on camera" in phd and you don't need ASCOM. Do you get movement when calibrating?

Alternatively, you can pulse drive the mount using ASCOM, in which case you need to feed RS232 signals from a USB converter on your computer to the mount through the handset (in PC direct mode) or if the RS232 converter provides low voltage RS232, you can feed it directly into the mount via the handset socket. This is explained on the EQMOD site.
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Old 31-12-2015, 07:41 AM
SuperG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiraz View Post
yep, if you use ST4 you need an ST4 cable (I think it has crossed over wiring) to connect between the camera ST4 output and the mount ST4 input. You select "on camera" in phd and you don't need ASCOM.

Alternatively, you can pulse drive the mount using ASCOM, in which case you need to feed RS232 signals from a USB converter on your computer to the mount through the handset (in PC direct mode) or if the RS232 converter provides low voltage RS232, you can feed it directly into the mount via the handset socket. This is explained on the EQMOD site.
Thanks Ray. I then assume that the RJ12 I have is not sending the signals from the ZWO to the correct pins on the SYNSCAN unit then. I think the ST4 option sounds the simplest but finding an ST4 cable may be hard if the connections cross over from end to end. still confused here.
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Old 31-12-2015, 07:45 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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The ST-4 cable is a RJ-12 6p6c straight through wiring.
See the Shoestring notes:
http://www.store.shoestringastronomy...ort_cables.pdf

When this is connected between the camera and the mount, PHD should be able to send control signals to the mount.

In PHD you can use the manual guide buttons to see if the mount is reacting to the input signal.

Do don't say what guide scope you have?
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Old 31-12-2015, 07:51 AM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperG View Post
Thanks Ray. I then assume that the RJ12 I have is not sending the signals from the ZWO to the correct pins on the SYNSCAN unit then. I think the ST4 option sounds the simplest but finding an ST4 cable may be hard if the connections cross over from end to end. still confused here.
That was wrong advice. as Ken points out a straight RJ12 will do. The cables can be crossed, but phd automatically compensates when it calibrates.

do you get star motion when calibrating?
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Old 31-12-2015, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
The ST-4 cable is a RJ-12 6p6c straight through wiring.
See the Shoestring notes:
http://www.store.shoestringastronomy...ort_cables.pdf

When this is connected between the camera and the mount, PHD should be able to send control signals to the mount.

In PHD you can use the manual guide buttons to see if the mount is reacting to the input signal.

Do don't say what guide scope you have?
Thanks for the reply. I'll give the manual guide buttons a try later in the say. FYI, I'm using the ZWO 60280 guidescope with an F6 150mm Newt.

Ray Because I can't drift align properly (small viewing window) the star continues to drift in the up or down diagonal direction. Hard to tell.
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Old 31-12-2015, 10:11 AM
glend (Glen)
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SuperG since my guide equipment is almost the same I will offer this advice. The ASI 120 and the Zwo guidescope work perfectly together. Forget ASCOM, you don't need it now. Personally I hate PHD as I could not get it to hold up a session with my ASI camera. The ASI cameras are high frame rate video and PHD would often hang. I switched to Metaguide and it worked first time and never drops out. Metaguide has an ASI selection in the drop down box in Setup. Try Metaguide, It's free.
The ASI cameras come with a ST4 cable, just plug it into the ASI120 and the guideport on your mount, it works fine as supplied. Don't make it more complicated than it is, it works fine. Make sure you have the latest ASI driver on your computer, download it from ASI if you don't have it.
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Old 31-12-2015, 02:21 PM
jamiep (Jamie)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiraz View Post
That was wrong advice. as Ken points out a straight RJ12 will do. The cables can be crossed, but phd automatically compensates when it calibrates.

do you get star motion when calibrating?
I spent a night debugging this with a mate some time ago. Whilst the notes are correct - very few RJ12 phone cables are actually 6 wires connected straight through. they vary normally between 1 pair and 2 pairs, and only specialist cables will have the three pairs.

his result was guiding that would try to issue pulses and even worked in one direction....

a quick visual inspection of the terminated ends will confirm how many cables are in there....

if in doubt, confirm with the tech's where you purchased the cable.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:34 AM
SuperG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiep View Post
I spent a night debugging this with a mate some time ago. Whilst the notes are correct - very few RJ12 phone cables are actually 6 wires connected straight through. they vary normally between 1 pair and 2 pairs, and only specialist cables will have the three pairs.

his result was guiding that would try to issue pulses and even worked in one direction....

a quick visual inspection of the terminated ends will confirm how many cables are in there....

if in doubt, confirm with the tech's where you purchased the cable.
Hmm I'm still at a loss here. The RJ12 cable has 6 pins on both ends. The first one I used only had two. I still cannot get any movement with manual control. I'm using the ASI ST4 ASCOM driver. I assume this is correct.
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:40 AM
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I need to set up the ASI camera to confirm, but I'm pretty sure the connection from the camera to the mount using the ST-4 cable needs the mount to be connected through the "On camera" setting under PHD.
When you have a good connection the PHD manual controls should show some small movements of the FOV.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:43 AM
Camknox (Cameron)
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I had a vaguely similar problem with my iEQ45 mount and my Orion guide camera. They just wouldn't talk using the RJ connection. I switched to RS232 and immediately started to be able to guide.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:29 PM
SuperG
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Hi Merlin

I did try a few different combinations of settings will double check the (WDM and On-Camera combo). Might be dummy question but plugging the RJ12 directly into the autoguide port is the right way and not the RJ11 on the hand controller right?


Otherwise I might have to end up going through through USB-->RS-232-->Hand controller (I think that's the other route).
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:09 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Yeah,
From the camera port to the autoguide port on the mount.
(The RJ11 port on the handcontroller is basically for upgrading the firmware)
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:28 PM
glend (Glen)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
....
(The RJ11 port on the handcontroller is basically for upgrading the firmware)
It does other things as well. It can be used to control the mount, and the Astro Devices Nexus wifi box plugs into that port to give you wifi control of the mount via Sky Safari or other planetarium software. Not trying to confuse the OP here but others might read that as well Ken.
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:08 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Glenn,
Yes I realise all that....
Just trying to apply the KISS principle to the OP issue of guide signals to the mount.
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:34 PM
astrodavid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperG View Post
Hmm I'm still at a loss here. The RJ12 cable has 6 pins on both ends. The first one I used only had two. I still cannot get any movement with manual control. I'm using the ASI ST4 ASCOM driver. I assume this is correct.
Hi - 6 pins doesn't automatically confirm 6 wires - you should be able to confirm by looking at the rj12 crimp and seeing the six wires in the channels behind the pin connections.

You can also note the straight through or twisted status of the cable by the colours in the channels at each end - hope I'm making sense


Eg - http://www.store.shoestringastronomy...ort_cables.pdf
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:53 AM
SuperG
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Hi Again

I now have a USB-->RS232 connector. Do I plug the cable that came with the mount into the autoguide slot or the hand controller slot. The manual is about as clear as mud on this.

thanks
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:21 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Hmmmm
You seem to have moved away from the direct camera>guide port on mount using the ST-4 option....why?
The serial/ usb and the original upgrade cable will go to the handcontroller.
The only cable that goes to the guide port on the mount is the ST-4 guider cable.
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