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Old 07-01-2012, 04:34 PM
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Nico13 (Ken)
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NEQ6, Stellarium and PHD Guiding Help.

Well I've had the nice new EQ6 mount sitting in the lounge for a couple of days now and as forecast clouds clouds and more clouds.

But thats ok I've slewed to every corner of the lounge testing keeping the cats interested and it has given me time to to check out drive options other than the SynScan controller.

My aim is to be able to drive the mount with Stellarium so I have a visual goto and at the same time incorporate PHD guiding to run concurrently from the same computer.

Where am I up to?

So far installed the latest version of Stellarium and ASCOM drivers.
I only have USB so have a USB to Serial cable and have linked that directly to the SynScan hand control and successfully driven the mount from Stellarium. This is great visual goto.

Secondly I have also linked PHD via a "Shoestring" USB2EQ6 cable purchased with the mount and using ASCOM drivers again.
Both these methods have worked fine but both require access to the serial port on the mount. So I can't guide like that.

I also have a Shoestring GPUSB interface that I'd hoped to use for the PHD side of things as it will connect directly to the guide port leaving the serial port free for Stellarium control but as yet have not been able to get it to talk to the mount. The GPUSB reports as connected with PHD but when sending slew commands manually I get no movement. The LED on the GPUSB lights red when at idle and when I try a slew command it changes to green, is the normal for that unit?

I've read a few howto's on here and other sites but some are a few years old now so I'm wondering if there is a more current method of doing this or are those setups still a valid an good way of doing it??

Any help on this would be gratefully received.

Nico.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:47 PM
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Nico13 (Ken)
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Thumbs up It's OK I've fixed it!

Sorry to bother you all with silly questions but it boiled down to me not realizing that the manual slew in PHD at its default setting is miniscule and each activation in N,W,E or Sth button is neither seen nor heard at the mount, that is unless you have very good hearing or your ear against the mount.

And the ear against the mount is what I did and to my joy I could hear those little adjustments being made to the drive.

And now it's raining but as I said before its given me plenty of time to give this all a dry run. LOL a dry run and its raining, good one Nico.

So in the end I think I've achieved what I wanted in the outset and that is to have a visual goto capability with auto guiding running in the background and available at any time for activation.

I'll be using a Phillips Toucam attached to the guide scope, possibly a spare 35mm camera lens at this stage. Just have to get on the lathe and finish the adapter so all looking good.

Lots of info on here that got this all working.

Nico.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:25 PM
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batema (Mark)
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I look forward to the first clear night for you.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:27 PM
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Nico13 (Ken)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batema View Post
I look forward to the first clear night for you.
Thanks,
Unfortunately back to work this week on afternoon shift.
I guess I could always drag it out when I get home from work at 1:30 in the morning if it's clear
Don't know what the wife would say if I started banging around at that time.
Funny thing is I get some of the best sky's at that time as they've had time to stabilise, might be tempted.

Nico.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:46 PM
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Nico13 (Ken)
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This the coolest thing since sliced bread.

Well after having the new mount setup in the lounge and looking at the rain and wind and clouds for the last few days I poked my head out last night at around ten to see the wind had dropped the clouds gone and a brilliant full moon sky.

I couldn't get the gear out fast enough wanting to try a goto mount that would actually go to.
Placed the tripod did a quick level check and alignment using my south reference points along the side of the house did a quick two star align shooting the first through between the veranda posts and the other a very bright sirius and then proceeded to test the goto ability on a rough setup.

This just blew me away, it never missed a star or planet or cluster and things you cant see due to the full moon like 47 tucanae just look in the eye piece and there they were.
I think I looked at more things in an hour than I've looked at in the last six months. Just using the hand piece and Starwalk on the iPhone to reference NGC numbers etc and this was the most pleasing experience I think I've had without laughing excluding some other experiences of course.

I would normally spend that much time just trying to find faint objects.
This may sound old hat to those who have been using good goto mounts for a while now but to someone who has never experienced it and has struggled with an older mount that didn't quite cut the mustard this has got to be the coolest bit of gear and worth every cent.

The amazing comment from SWSBO was "well all you need now is a bigger telescope" .
Does that sound like a go ahead to you?

And now for some viewing in place of messing around with setup.

Nico.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:34 PM
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bartman (Bart)
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Wicked Ken!
Its so satisfying when it all works!
and hoping around looking at 'stuff' is a great buzz.
Last night I hooked up my new qhy5 and new orion finder guider. After some stuffing around, I managed to get the cables in the right way and puter and rig talking to each other!
I was stoked......I must not have aligned properly cause I got some small eggy stars even at 30 sec exp .
Try again tonight!
Hope you get some good weather soon!
Bartman
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:32 PM
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Nico13 (Ken)
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Good stuff Bartman,

It's great when a plan comes together and it's good to here I'm not alone with recent successes.
weather should be improving for me next weekend and should my autoguider up and running by then.
Hangin out to some pictures.

Nico.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:23 PM
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bartman (Bart)
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Hehehe Ive jinxed myself......
With last nights win, I'm not having any luck tonight...... drift alignment is good but now PHD is having a coniption!
Nico or Ken????? guessing Nico now
Cheers
Clear skies to you
Bartman
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