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Old 09-06-2019, 07:06 PM
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peeb61 (Paul)
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Connection Time Outs

Hi All,

It appears every time I connect to my scope using EQMod I get this Connection Time out error, I'm using a serial to USB connection with a EQ6 Pro mount on Windows 7 and using the latest version of EQMod and the correct, I'm assuming, Prolific driver for my chipset, I run the Prolific snooping software and select the port Windows has allocated and the Prolific software sees it.

I change USB ports and Windows sets it up and gives it a new port saying all is good but when I search within EQMod the program cannot find the port giving the above error?? I think I'm going mad.

Is there another way to successful connect my mount to the PC?

I have even swapped PCs and get the same error on both??

Many thanks in advance for any ideas or input.

Paul
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:13 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Forget using the USB serial cable with prolific chip and use a USB2EQ5 cable ( available from Bintel )
Those serial cables are hit and miss especially with the prolific chip set
I tried 2 or 3 different brands $30 to $70 and they all failed
The EQ direct cable USB2EQ5 cable and it’s associated driver has worked perfectly every time I connect both my HEQ5 and EQ6-R mounts with EQMOD

Shoestring Astronomy Virtual Com Port ( VCP driver for FTDI chip )* for your Bintel 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

Cheers
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:21 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Another important item is to make sure your cable length ( USB2 ) from mount to Laptop does not exceed 5 metres
From memory the USB2EQ5 cable is about 1.8m long , then you can use a USB2 extension cable up to 3m max to reach your laptop

It’s also worthwhile going on YouTube and watch Chris Shilito’s video clips on EQMOD
I think there’s one on comms errors which includes time out errors !!
Cheers
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:24 PM
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peeb61 (Paul)
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Thanks Martin,
Is this the one you mentioned?

https://www.bintel.com.au/product/sh...v=6cc98ba2045f

Paul
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:51 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Paul
Yep, that’s where I bought both of mine a year ago
Which planetarium are you going to use for your Goto ?
If you decide to choose Stellarium, I can send you the complete procedure for EQMOD and Stellarium
Are you imaging or just observing or both ?
Cheers
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:24 PM
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peeb61 (Paul)
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Thanks Martin,
Using SkyMap Pro 10, I'm primary Imaging but if you could send me the procedures that would be great!
Much appreciated.
Paul
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:33 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Paul
Here’s my procedure to set up EQMOD and Stellarium using StellariumScope ( interface platform) to launch EQMOD

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 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
If your using a Canon DSLR, Backyard EOS for Canon Cameras ( www.otelescope.com ) latest version* ( Costs about $65 + exchange rate etc.. *they send you licence to install within 24 hours )
Canon driver for your Canon EOS camera ?? If your Camera wont connect, BYEOS can tell how to install driver etc..( as long as your camera was manufactured after 2007 it should be OK )
Cables Required
Mount ( Synscan handcontoller port ) to Laptop – USB2EQ5 cable ( available from Bintel ) you will also need a 2m or 3m USB2 extension cable as the USB2EQ5 cable is only 1.8m long
If using a DSLR ( DSLR to Laptop ) 5m USB2 ( A to Mini B 5 pin ) *cable
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 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 )

Hope the above helps
Cheers
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:02 AM
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peeb61 (Paul)
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Martin,
That is one reference guide!! Many thanks putting it together as its going to help big time.
I have attached the setup I am using at the moment, shows the com cable from the mount to a shoestring adapter and the to a USB into the PC. Previously there wasn't any issues and had connection all of the time but as mentioned lately? As you put it, a hit and miss affair, this is so true...I would test during the daytime and get connection but going to use it on that clear night? Nil connection. I will purchase the cable from Bintel and keep you posted.
Paul
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:06 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Paul
No problem , I wrote it last year so I just copied and pasted the relevant info
Very important- make sure you download the Virtual Com port driver from “Shoestring Astronomy” that matches your USB2EQ5 cable and operating system. If you don’t, your laptop can’t find your mount

PS: I noticed your EQ6 has a Serial connector but I suppose you have a serial to RJ 45 adapter which you will need for the new USB2EQ5 cable ( plus any USB2 extension lead )

Good luck !
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:27 AM
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peeb61 (Paul)
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Thanks Martin,

Is it just the USB2EQ5 connector I need or something else to go with it to make it work? Eg: Serial to RJ 45 adapter as well?

Seen this one on the Bintel website....

https://www.bintel.com.au/product/sh...v=6cc98ba2045f

Looks like it all complete as a unit without the need for Serial to RJ45?

Paul
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:57 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Paul,
Sorry I forgot you have an older EQ6 mount , yes you need the USBEQ6 cable which saves you needing a serial to RJ45 adapter
The Shoestring Astronomy store has the driver details for this USBEQ6 cable
Cheers
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:48 PM
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peeb61 (Paul)
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Hi Martin, just letting you know the Shoestring cable arrived today and I tested it out this evening, what can I say? Picked up Com6 at the first attempt! All is good.

Many thanks for sorting me out, much appreciated.

Paul
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:34 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Paul
Glad your connected now !!
I went through weeks of frustration until I threw the prolific serial adapter in the rubbish bin and used the EQ direct method with a USB2EQ5 cable , “bingo” connects every time.
Cheers
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