Go Back   IceInSpace > Beginners Start Here > Beginners Equipment Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #21  
Old 23-07-2020, 06:58 AM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,578
Alex,
Here’s the EQMOD and Stellarium procedure

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 *or latest ( Free )
Stellarium Scope ( welshdragoncomputing.ca ) latest release dated 26/12/16* ( Free )
Stellarium* (stellarium.org )* version 0.18.2* or latest version ( 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 and 1 for slewing , CTRL and 3 for Sync and CTRL and 5 for cancel
20/ The EQMOD target icon will appear on the South Celestial Pole ( SCP) location on Stellarium when your Mount is set ready in the home position
21/ When your ready to slew to an alignment Star or intended target , press “Unpark” on the EQMOD control pad , select your object by clicking mouse on it and then press CTRL and 1 together on the keyboard. EQMOD target symbol will move off SCP in Stellarium and move across to selected target.
22/ To start aligning or synchronising the night sky so EQMOD can use its alignment model , when you arrived at your 1st Star and your Star is centered in your FOV press CTRL and 3 ( Sync function) on the keyboard. EQMOD target icon will move a bit away and then back on the Star again. Your first star is aligned and the more stars you align and sync the more accurate EQMOD becomes with each slew and Goto across the night sky.
23/ The EQMOD control panel has many features including slew rates 1 to 4 speed , tracking for Sidereal, Lunar and Solar and NSEW controls for movement ( Sidereal is the default setting when you first open EQMOD)
24/ When your finished observing or imaging for the night , just press “Park” on the EQMOD control pad and mount will return to your Home Position ( EQMOD target symbol on Stellarium will move back to the SCP location )
Note : For better Goto accuracy use EQMOD, Stellarium and BYEOS *
In Stellarium use at least 2 to 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 for extremely good accuracy.
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
*
*
*
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 23-07-2020, 07:54 AM
xelasnave's Avatar
xelasnave
Gravity does not Suck

xelasnave is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tabulam
Posts: 13,705
Wow Martin that looks great thank you so much..There is really so much when you think about it ..I have print out of some basics, and it is just over 1000 pages and I remember when I started I printed out over 2000 pages. I keep meaning to do a check sheet ..not so bad if you are doing it on a regular basis but miss three months which is so easy just with weather or fires and you forget a small detail..like the other night I forgot to put a dew cover on my guide scope..usually put one on the finder scope as routine and of course one pays for those little mistakes with precious capture time. I mean if you were flying a plane check lists are standard procedure.
Thanks again.
Alex
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 23-07-2020, 12:52 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
Wow Martin that looks great thank you so much..There is really so much when you think about it ..I have print out of some basics, and it is just over 1000 pages and I remember when I started I printed out over 2000 pages. I keep meaning to do a check sheet ..not so bad if you are doing it on a regular basis but miss three months which is so easy just with weather or fires and you forget a small detail..like the other night I forgot to put a dew cover on my guide scope..usually put one on the finder scope as routine and of course one pays for those little mistakes with precious capture time. I mean if you were flying a plane check lists are standard procedure.
Thanks again.
Alex
Alex
Glad to help, hope you can get it up and running soon
It’s not as fancy as plate solving but it works and works well , plus a bit of fun to use as well
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 24-07-2020, 07:19 AM
Pepper (Steve)
Registered User

Pepper is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Tamworth
Posts: 235
Thanks for them tips in this thread Martin.
I applied some last night from your troubleshooting bit and it massively improved my guiding. Got rid of the recurring sawtoothing and random drops off the scale.
Thanks heaps.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (5F659461-A702-4BC2-890B-3BD9DFBAAAA6.jpeg)
107.0 KB10 views
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 24-07-2020, 11:19 AM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,578
Steve
Glad the tips helped your guiding
When conditions and seeing are average to ok ,the little tweaks and tips seem to work well ,but when seeing and conditions are really really poor or you have high cloud around etc... you just can’t adjust you way out of bad guiding no matter what you do
Theres definitely a limit to what PHD2 can do but some folk can’t understand that. It’s only as good as conditions allow it to perform
It generally performs very well
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 08:04 PM.

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