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Old 28-06-2020, 11:27 AM
Ortovosh (Hayden)
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Setting Up the cables

I eventually got Windows set up on my Mac (via Parallels)... and then installed SharpCap, PHD2, ASCOM, Deep Sky Stacker, EQMOD and drivers for HEQ5 and ZWO Camera.

I am running a SkyRover 115 triplet with a ZWO guide scope with Zwo120mini guide cam attached. I have an EQMOD cable. I have the ST4 cable that came with cam. Prime focus cam is Nikon D5100 with 0.8 Flattener Reducer.

Using SharpCap I was able to get good polar aligning done.

My issue is - how do i hook up all cables with system I am using ? (ie which cables do I use - and where do they plug in) After PA, i turned on PHD2 and it just wouldn't guide accurately. My Total error was way-out. Error message stated it may be a cabling issue.

Also... do I have EQMOD running when PHD2 is running ?

THanks.
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Old 28-06-2020, 01:26 PM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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OK, a couple of things. If you have an EQMOD cable, pulse guide via EQMOD and don't worry about the ST4 cable. When you set up PHD2, I assume it would have led you through the steps to connect it to the mount?


How is your balance? If it is off it can lead to poor guiding. And how did the guide calibration go?
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Old 28-06-2020, 02:00 PM
Ortovosh (Hayden)
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Thanks mate... balance is spot on.

Question... does the EQMOD cable go from HEQ5Pro Hand Controller port to PC ? and then does ZWO Guide cam mini usb go direct to PC also from rear of cam ?

PHD2 setting up ...no.... I don't see that ?

Guide calibration ? Not sure what that is ?

Sorry to sound like an idiot... there is so much top learn and I am reading and watching tutorials, but fear I have missed a few major items.

Thanks again.
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Old 28-06-2020, 02:50 PM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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Can you post s pic of your cable, and the mount? The way I run mine the EQMOD cable is connected straight to the mount (The hand controller is not connected)

With all your gear connected, start PHD2 and run the setup wizard, it will run through a number of steps to connect the guide camera and mount and set up the focal length of the guidescope you are using (Assuming your equipment list in your sig is current, will be 120mm) you want to use ASCOM control with the EQ5/6 mount selected so it can pulse guide and and also know where the mount is pointing, otherwise you need to calibrate any time you change where the scope is pointed.

Once you have it all connected you need to calibrate PHD2. It should simply do it when you try to start guiding if it is not calibrated but if it has stored a calibration and you change something in the setup like the orientation of the guide camera you need to calibrate again or it will likely not work properly.
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Old 28-06-2020, 03:07 PM
Ortovosh (Hayden)
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Pics of mount and cable

Here are pics as requested
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 28-06-2020, 03:44 PM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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There is a little work involved in going without the hand controller (Plate solving is really required) but I would be connecting the EQMOD cable straight to the hand controller port (Not sure you can even do them via the hand controller?)

You can use software like Stellarium and Stellarium Scope to connect that and use it as planetarium software to drive the mount. You start from park (Counterweights down and pointed at the pole, which is the default parked position in EQMOD) and you can slew the scope via Stellarium, then manually dial it right in on the selected star and re-sync Stellarium. Ideally you weant your imaging software to take care of that, what are you using for image capture? You also want to enable and set up the mount limits in EQMOD, which help to avoid equipment crashes.
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Old 28-06-2020, 03:45 PM
Ortovosh (Hayden)
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Nikon D5100 is image capture
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Old 28-06-2020, 05:50 PM
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Yep I agree with the previous post. The eqmod cable goes from the computer to the hand controller port on the mount.

It is pretty complicated .

Once all the Ascom and EQMOD drivers and software are installed and you are using windows you need to download and install Stellarium scope and the correct version of Stellarium. The Stellarium scope download pages explains this.

The process involves starting eqmod toolbox. And connecting to the heq5 Ascom Eq Mount. The first time requires configuration. Once that fires up a floating toolbox hand controller is apparent along with the toolbox window.

Then start Stellarium scope and connect that by ticking the connect button , assuming you have set up Stellarium scope the first time as instructed On the Stellarium scope site, to connect to the Ascom eqmod heq5. Stellarium itself should be started from Stellarium scope and you should see your scope in the park position at SCP.

You can unpark the scope in the eqmod handcontrol pane and select tracking mode.

Once you are unparked you can search in Stellarium from the left hand pop out search bar by typing in a Star Name . Once Stellarium goes to the star and it is highlighted and named you can go to the star by clicking Cntrl 1 keys together.

Using the eqmod Toolbox handcontrol You can sentry the Star in your finder and camera and click cntrl plus 3 keys to sync.

To be safe I would make sure limits are set until you have worked out how to reset. There are other more detailed descriptions of the software installation process here and online.

Last edited by Sunfish; 28-06-2020 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 28-06-2020, 05:56 PM
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Sunfish (Ray)
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I am using Stellarium 0.19.2 in windows 10 with Stellarium scope and that works. I also use the eqmod Ascom connection in KStars Ecos in Ubuntu or Mac and that also works.
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Old 28-06-2020, 06:17 PM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ortovosh View Post
Nikon D5100 is image capture

Sorry, I mean what software are you using for capture? Or are you driving the camera manually?
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Old 28-06-2020, 06:45 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Hayden
Here’s my procedures for EQMOD, StellariumScope and Stellarium which I put together just under 2 years ago
Just ignore the BYEOS section

EQMOD , Stellarium Scope and Stellarium

EQMOD and Stellarium Set Up EQMOD and Stellarium
(Using Stellarium Scope as the interface platform)
Telescope Control for Synta mounts eg: Skywatcher HEQ5, EQ6 and EQ6-R mounts
*
Please find below and attached documentation to get you up and running with EQMOD telescope control
Note 1: If your using a DSLR, 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 Stellarium as its extremely good and easy to use and navigate
Note 2: The information I provide is based on “my set up” using my HP Omen Laptop PC running Windows 10 Home version ( Not to sure about the set up if your using a MAC ?? )
*
Software Required
Ascom ( ascom-standards.org )** Ascom Platform 6.4SP1* latest *( Free )
EQMOD (eq-mod.sourceforge.net )* Eqmod version dated 14/5/18 *( Free )
Stellarium Scope ( welshdragoncomputing.ca ) latest release dated 26/12/16* ( Free )
Stellarium* (stellarium.org )* version 0.18.2* ( Free )
Note : Above software versions may have been upgraded since I wrote this procedure always use the latest
Shoestring Astronomy Virtual Com Port ( VCP driver for FTDI chip )* for your Bintel ( Shoestring Astronomy) USB2EQ5 cable ( www.shoestringastronomy.com ) This is the most important item and allows your Laptop to find and connect to the mount .Hopefully your operating system is on the list for the VCP driver ( Go to The Shoestring Astronomy Store then downloads then Virtual Com port drivers for USB2EQ5 ( VCP Driver for FTDI devices ) your USB2EQ5 cable has a FTDI device in the USB end

EQMOD Set Up and Goto Procedure
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, switch off mount and disconnect Synscan hand controller ( if you still use Synscan HC *to Star align and Polar align )
3/ Connect the USB2EQ5 cable RJ45 plug end into hand controller port on mount then plug the other end which is USB into a 2 meter long USB2 extension cable , then connect this to your USB port on your laptop
4/ Switch on your mount ( Very important – I sometimes forget and wonder why my Com port wont connect )
5/ Check USB serial cable virtual com port (VCP) appears in “Device Manager” of your Laptop under Ports ( Com and LPT )
6/ Open Stellarium Scope and click on “Select Mount” button. This launches the Ascom Telescope Chooser Box window ( move the Stellarium Scope window over to the right hand side )
7/ Select EQMOD Ascom EQ5/6 then click “Properties” and then “OK” the *Ascom Set Up window now appears
8/ In the Ascom Set Up window enter your location data in the “Site Location” section ( this must exactly correspond to the data entered in the Stellarium *location window )
9/ In the Ascom Set Up window ensure “Mount Type” is Synta EQ
10/ In the Ascom Set Up Window ensure EQMOD Port details are – Time out 1000 , Retry 2 , Baud 9600
11/ In the Ascom Set Up Window leave all other settings as default
12/ In the Ascom Set Up Window click on the Port Button ( Binocular icon ) if port and driver are located , the word “Found” appears and the Com port number ( same as com port number in Device Manager in Laptop ) appears in the red box
13/ In the Ascom Set Up Window click “OK” at bottom
14/ In the Stellarium Scope window click the “connect” *box button and the EQMOD HEQ5/6 window will be launched. Minimize Stellarium Scope but do not close it otherwise you will close EQMOD
15/ In the EQMOD HEQ5/6 window click on the “Spanner’ icon to expand the whole EQMOD window and then check the “Site Information” section again to ensure it corresponds with the Ascom Set Up window and Stellarium location window
16/ In the EQMOD HEQ5/6 window Alignment/Sync section ensure User Interface is set to *“Append on Sync” , Alignment Behaviour is set to “ 3 Point + Nearest Point” , Point Filter set to “All” and 3 point Selection is set to “Best Centre” All other settings are default
17/ Click on the “spanner” icon again which minimises and just leaves the smaller EQMOD control pad window ready to use the slew control buttons, tracking and parking the mount
18/ Maximise Stellarium Scope which should read at the bottom “ Scope Connected ” then minimise it again for convenience but don’t close it.
19/ Open Stellarium and your ready to use the Goto functions via your laptop keyboard which is CTRL 1 for slewing , CTRL 3 for Sync and CTRL 5 for cancel
Note : For better Goto accuracy use EQMOD, Stellarium and BYEOS *
In Stellarium use at least 3 or 4 sync points ( Stars ) surrounding and in the vicinity of your intended imaging target ( you don’t have to be really close , I’ve used stars 30 to 40 deg away and its works fine but as close as you can )
Click on the 1st sync point star, press CTRL 1 on keyboard ,mount will slew to that star but not exactly centred, centre your star using EQMOD slew control buttons and view in BYEOS then hit CTRL 3 on keyboard. Star will be re centred automatically and a sync point count will appear in the EQMOD window. Note: you may have to minimise the EQMOD control pad window first and then press CTRL 3 to allow the sync function to work properly.
Repeat process for another 2 or 3 sync point stars surrounding the vicinity of your intended imaging target, then click on your intended target , the Goto accuracy should be very good if not bang on target
The above seems like a long winded procedure but after a while you get quicker and quicker ( much quicker and more accurate than your hand controller could ever achieve) The more sync points you use the more accuracy you achieve but I have found 3 or 4 to be enough ( The hand controller can only use 2 or 3 alignment stars for limited accuracy , where as EQMOD can use 3, 6, 10 , 20 or more syn point stars with more sophisticated algorithms in a triangulation or trapezium format.
I have EQMOD control pad window open, Stellarium window open and BYEOS window open ( Stellarium Scope is always open and minimised ) and I minimise between Stellarium scope and BYEOS to perform the Goto* as my Laptop has only a 15.6” screen
I would recommend you set up and play around with Stellarium for a while and get use to it before jumping straight into EQMOD ( I used it to navigate the night sky for a year or so *before jumping into EQMOD )
Stellarium Time Settings (version 0.18.2 )
Found in Chapter 4 ( The User Interface ) of the Stellarium User Manual
Setting Your Location in “Location Window”
Eastern Standard Time
Time Zone should be UTC+10
Tick Custom Time Zone
Untick enable daylight saving time
*
Daylight Saving Time
Time Zone should be UTC+11
Tick Custom Time Zone
Tick enable Daylight saving time
Main Screen “ Configuration” Spanner icon
Click on “Time”
In Start up date and time click on bullseye System date and time
*
Stellarium Location Setting
Refer Chapter 4.2
You can set multiple locations as your default ( I have 2 set up , so I just click on either location in the huge alphabetical world list and the location info is all set up for me
For more information read the EQMOD Project website, Stellarium Scope website and Stellarium website
Hope this gives you a good head start on this great software and telescope control
Good luck
Regards
Martin
*
*
*
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Old 28-06-2020, 07:10 PM
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Sunfish (Ray)
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Yep. What Martin said.
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Old 28-06-2020, 09:20 PM
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Sunfish (Ray)
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Plus I think, to answer your question.
Eqmod toolbox and PHD2 run at the same time.
Both run Ascom drivers to connect to the heq5 .
The first to slew and sync the mount, the second to pulse guide .
You should be able to connect PhD 2 by selecting the Ascom eqmod heq5 Mount as the mount and your guide camera as the camera and the running a calibration once all of the other things are set up. Do not worry about this until you are connected through eqmod toolbox and Stellarium.
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