#1  
Old 24-10-2020, 11:10 AM
bluesilver (Peter)
Registered User

bluesilver is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Australia, Tasmania
Posts: 199
Cable needed from AZ-EQ6 to Laptop?

Hi, Just a basic question i am sure,
I did a bit of research but kind of came up with heaps of different answers, so was hoping someone here might be able to please point me in the right direction.

I have the newer version of the Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 mount.
It has the USB connection on the mount.
The manual says the panel interface components are:
Power DC 12V
USB USB-to-serial connection for controlling mount
Hand controller RJ-45 8-pins
Auto Guide RJ-12 6 pins
Snap port for DLSR Camera

So, basically i am just trying to find out what cable i need to connect the mount to my Laptop.

I am moving into the ASCOM software, lots of learning, but getting there i think.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
Peter.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 24-10-2020, 12:16 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
Registered User

bluesilver is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Australia, Tasmania
Posts: 199
I guess to make things a tad easier to understand what i am trying to find out.

On the Laptop, do i need a cable that goes into the D-sub 9 Connector or USB?
Using AZ-EQ6 mount.

I see some come as a D-sub 9 Connector, and some as a USB
I am looking at two cable options for now though.

Laptop direct to mount
Laptop direct to handset
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 24-10-2020, 03:49 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,739
Peter
If the AZEQ6 mount is new and has the new USB2B port then the most simple and reliable way to control the mount directly from a laptop is through EQMOD ( forget going via the handcontroller a waist of time , although you can still use the handcontroller if you wish but independently by itself
All you need is a USB2B to USB2A cable ( max 5m ) and associated software
You can control the mount via EQMOD through other software like APT, PHD2 , Sharp AP and others but I will show you how to get it up and running with the popular planetarium Stellarium


Download Ascom platform latest 6.4 ( free)
Download EQMOD latest ( free )
Download Stellarium latest 0.20 ( free )
Connect USB2 cable from mount to laptop
Switch on mount
Go into Device Manager ( Ports ) and make sure mount is connected to laptop. You should see USB serial port Com ## ?? In port settings change the baud rate from 9600 to 115200. “ very important “
Once you have establish a serial connection you can then configure Stellarium and EQMOD

Procedure to use Ascom control of telescope with Stellarium ( StellariumScope no longer required )
1/ Open Stellarium
2/ Select Configuration tab F2
3/ Select Plugins tab
4/ At the bottom of the drop down list select Telescope Control
5/ In Telescope Control tick Load at start up
6/ Close Configuration window and shut down Stellarium
7/ Restart Stellarium and reconfigure Telescope Control by selecting Configuration F2 again , then Plugins tab, then Telescope control on left hand side drop down list , then press wide flat button “configure”
8/ In Telescope window press button “Add” and then select “Ascom” as your telescope control and name your telescope or mount
8/ Select “Choose your Telescope”then the Ascom Telescope Chooser appears so then select EQMOD HEQ5/6
9/ Click OK
10/ Select the telescope control you have listed , normally the first one automatically pops up
11/ Select “Connect” and then the Ascom telescope control should connect EQMOD to mount
12/ You should now be able to see your named scope and target icon in the sky view of Stellarium
13/ Don’t forget to manually Unpark EQMOD before you slew to a target
14/ Default key functions for Stellarium are as follows -
CTRL + 1 slew to target
CTRL + Shift + 1 Sync scope ( adds alignment point )
CTRL + Alt + Shift + 1 Cancels scope operation
NB: Other key functions may be assigned in Windows to simplify number of key strokes
NB: Ensure your site location details in Stellarium match the site location details in the Ascom EQMOD set Up window

Serial USB Cable Connections to Mount ( EQMOD)

The most effective and reliable way to connect to the mount is via the EQ Direct method ( laptop direct to mount with a USB2 cable , hand controller removed not used )
The new Skywatcher mounts now have the option of an additional USB serial port connection which only requires a standard USB2A to USB2B cable ( Max 5m length )
The only changes I’m aware of to facilitate connection between mount and laptop using a standard USB2A to USB2B cable is change the baud rate in the EQMOD port settings in the Ascom EQMOD Set Up window and change the baud rate in the USB serial comm port found in Device Manager, Ports,Properties and Port Settings. The baud rate should be changed from 9600 to 115200

Hope the above is not too confusing

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24-10-2020, 04:12 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,739
Peter
Just to clarify the EQMOD download ( there are 9 different versions of EQMOD )
The one you want is EQASCOM dated 14/5/2018 which is a driver for basic telescope control from your laptop
Cheers
Martin
PS The EQMOD site also has a lot of useful information but does not go into third party software programs and how they are interfaced with EQMOD control
That’s why I sent you a basic one like Stellarium for slewing , Goto , Sync , Stop , cancel etc. for navigating the night sky
I’ve used EQMOD and Stellarium for over 3 years and it’s super quick and accurate once you get to know it
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24-10-2020, 04:32 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,739
Peter
I keep thinking of important items
Laptop should be a Windows platform ( not a Mac ) preferably windows 10 but will work on windows 8 ( windows 7 is no longer supported)

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 24-10-2020, 05:47 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
Registered User

bluesilver is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Australia, Tasmania
Posts: 199
Thanks Martin, Some very good and helpful information there.
I should of given a few more details on what i currently have, didn't think about that.

The Laptop is running on Windows 10

The programs that i have currently downloaded and installed on the laptop are:
ASCOM, Stellarium, Astro Photography Tool, PHD2, SharpCap, FireCapture

I have yet to install EQMOD due to now having the necessary cable ( USB2B to USB2A cable )
Is this the cable that you were referring to by any chance?
https://www.jaycar.com.au/usb-2-0-ca...-b-3m/p/WC7701

Yet to run Stellarium, just got things downloaded today,
So sounds like i need to Download EQMOD,
Wait until i get the cable and then go through your procedure of setting everything up.

Also found these two cables at Harvey Norman, both different though
https://www.harveynorman.com.au/belk...i-b-cable.html
https://www.harveynorman.com.au/belk...ter-cable.html

Sounds like i am almost there.
Appreciated the advise as always.
Thanks.
Peter.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 24-10-2020, 06:07 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
Registered User

bluesilver is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Australia, Tasmania
Posts: 199
Also forgot to ask,
Do i need to get a ASCOM driver for the Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 mount?
I did notice on the EQMOD site that it also tells me i need EQASCOM
Never heard of this though?
Thanks again.
Peter.

Last edited by bluesilver; 24-10-2020 at 06:22 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 24-10-2020, 06:21 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,739
Peter
That cable from Jaycar is fine
2 more things
1/ When you download Ascom 6.4 make sure your down load the Driver for “Skywatcher mounts Synscan” it’s in the list there
Also your laptop will require Windows SP1 or Service Pack 1 , Ascom may prompt you to do that if your Laptop doesn’t have it installed
2/ Also your programs have to run as “Administrator “ otherwise Ascom and other platforms won’t talk to each other

The main hurdle is getting your mount connected to your laptop and seeing that com port active in Device Manager. To prove it is connected ok , just unplug it and you will see the com port disappear in Device Manager ( ports ) When you plug it again a different Com port number may appear from the previous one , that’s ok as long as you use the same Com port number in EQMOD then they will find each other
After that the test should be straight forward other than a cheap dodgy cable which I have come across a few times

Good Luck !!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 24-10-2020, 06:27 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
Registered User

bluesilver is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Australia, Tasmania
Posts: 199
Ah, thanks, that explains my last question.
Completely forgot about them.
Think i have found the right one, it is listed in the ASCOM downloads as:

Sky-Watcher SynScan Physical Hand Controller and SynScan App (separate drivers)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 24-10-2020, 07:00 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,739
Peter
Sorry I gave you a bum steer
Don’t download Skywatcher Synscan or wifi app , your not using this
Just download Ascom Platform 6.5 on the top RHS of the Ascom main page
Ok
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 24-10-2020, 08:48 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
Registered User

bluesilver is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Australia, Tasmania
Posts: 199
No worries,
Have ASCOM installed.
Will get the cable next week and get things up and going.
Appreciated.
Peter.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 26-10-2020, 07:22 AM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,739
Peter,
I tested my EQ6-R indoors on the weekend with a 5m long USB2 A to USB2B cable and did some testing with the procedures and found a few missing links which are important to get up and running. Everything worked perfectly except I couldn’t prove whether the “Sync function” worked as I was indoors and obviously couldn’t centre on a Star but I’m sure it will work once outside. Anyway here’s the revised procedure -

Ascom telescope control for Skywatcher Synscan Mounts with USB2B port connection only
Note: ( for Skywatcher mounts without USB port ie only handcontroller RJ45 port use my other telescope control procedure using StellariumScope as the driver )

Install the latest Ascom platform ( 6.5 )and SP1 ( Windows Service Pack 1 ).Install the (EQMOD) EQASCOM driver 14/5/18 and Stellarium version 0.19.3 and later. I used version 0.20.1 and it worked perfectly.
NB: Make sure EQMOD and Stellarium programs run as “Administrator” in your computer.
NB: Mount must be sitting in the Home Position ( Park Position )

Connect your mount to your laptop with a USB2A to USB2B cable (max length 5m )
Switch on your mount and laptop and open Device Manager in laptop and verify Com port connection to mount via a serial USB Com port. ( eg COM 3 , COM 5 etc.. ) Unplug cable from mount end to check connection , USB Serial Com ## should disappear. plug it back in and it should reappear.Still in Device Manager select Ports then double click your USB serial Com port and Com port Properties will appear. Go into port settings and just change Bits per second to 115200 which is Baud rate ( this is very important !!! ) Press ok and close Device Manager. Your serial port connection is now ready to communicate with EQMOD.

Now register and check the EQMOD Ascom Set Up Window and make sure all your settings are correct. This can be found on your computer via Start Up and Programs. Press EQMOD folder then EQASCOM folder , in the drop down select “Toolbox”. The small EQASCOM Toolbox will appear. Press the “Register” button , an error will come up, just press Ok, then Success Ok. Now in the Toolbox press “Driver Set Up” this will launch the EQMOD Ascom Set Up window.

EQMOD Ascom Set Up Window Settings
* Mount Options leave as default Auto Detect
EQMOD Port Settings
* Time out 1000
* Retry 2
* Baud 115200 ( very important )
* Port - press binoculars icon , your port number should be “Found” ( eg COM3 or COM5 etc.. ) If not you have to go back into Device Manager and check port settings , cable , baud rate etc etc...

Site Information
Enter your local site information
Latitude, Longitude, Elevation etc.. This must exactly match the Site or Location information in Stellarium !!!

Guiding - leave as default Ascom
Ascom Options - leave as default
General Options - leave as default

Once all settings are completed and checked in the EQMOD Ascom Set Up just press OK at the bottom and close the EQASCOM Tool Box

Procedures for Stellarium
1/ Open Stellarium and open Location Window F6 on RHS toolbar
2/ Ensure location information is exactly the same as the EQMOD Ascom Set Up window ( latitude, longitude etc.... )

3/ Select Configuration tab F2 on RHS toolbar

4/ Select Plugins tab on the top

5/ At the bottom of the drop down
list select “Telescope Control”

6/ In Telescope Control (Options) tick Load at start up check box

7/ Close Configuration window and shut down Stellarium, this procedure initialises the configuration.

8/ Restart Stellarium and reconfigure Telescope Control by selecting Configuration F2 again , then Plugins tab, then Telescope control on left hand side drop down list , then press wide flat button “configure”

9/ In Telescopes window press “Add” button at the bottom and then select “Ascom” radio button as your telescope control and name your telescope or mount in black field. Leave Coordinate system as default or J2000. Then scroll down and press “Choose Ascom Telescope” the Ascom Telescope Chooser appears so then select EQMOD HEQ5/6 from the drop down. You will prompted to check the EQMOD Ascom Set Up to ensure all settings are correct then press Ok. Then press Ok in the Ascom Telescope Chooser

10/ Now Press OK in Stellarium Telescope window and your named telescope should appear as “Disconnected”. Now press “Connect” and the EQMOD control pad should be launched on the LHS of the Stellarium sky view along with the EQMOD Target icon sitting at the SCP or Home Position. The EQMOD target icon should have the same name as your selected telescope. You can then close or minimise the Stellarium telescope windows and leave the EQMOD control pad in the corner ready to use.

11/ In the EQMOD control pad press the Spanner icon with 3 red arrows to open up the whole window. The Site Information should match the previous EQMOD Ascom Set Up Window. All other settings can remain default for the moment until you learn to Autoguide later. Press the spanner icon again and the window will shrink and leave the EQMOD control pad ready to use.

12/ Don’t forget to manually Unpark EQMOD before you slew to a target ( Unpark / Park button at the bottom )

13/ You can now click on a target on the same side of the meridian and the scope will slew to that target. Increase slew rate ( red box) from 1 to 2 or 3 to increase slew speed rate. Once you get closer to an object slew speed 2 is usually the best rate. You can use NSEW buttons to navigate and also use Stop button. Once you slew to a target the mount will start tracking in Sidereal ( default) This can be changed for Solar or Lunar tracking as required.

14/ Default key functions for Stellarium are as follows -
CTRL + 1 slew to target
CTRL + Shift + 1 Sync scope ( adds alignment point for creating an accurate pointing model) Star or object must be centred before sync.
CTRL + Alt + Shift + 1 Cancels scope operation

15/ At the end of your observing or imaging session, simply press Park to Home Position on the EQMOD control pad at the bottom and the scope will slew and return back to the Home Position. Then just close Stellarium and switch off mount.

16/ So after your initial set up is completed and working , the next time you use the telescope all you need to do is -
Connect and Power the mount
Open Stellarium
Select F2 Configuration
Select Plug Ins
Select Telescope Control
Press “Configure”
Press “Connect “
And now your ready to navigate the night sky

17/ One important thing to check , make sure all the time settings in EQMOD and Stellarium are J2000 ( not J Now and J2000) otherwise your Goto and pointing accuracy could be compromised

18/ It’s probably a good idea to run Stellarium a few times and learn it’s features plus set up your celestial sphere with all the details you need to navigate across the night sky
Cartes Du Ceil is another great planetarium but Stellarium has a much better visual presentation , very easy to use and was designed and developed to work with Ascom and EQMOD late in 2019.

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 26-10-2020, 12:41 PM
Wilsil (Wilco)
Registered User

Wilsil is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Greenwood
Posts: 76
Another short cut is CTR + 3 for syncing Stellarium with the mount.
After you have slewed the mount to your target by CTRL +1, you have to check that the target is indeed in the centre of your scope, if not move the scope through the EQMOD buttons. When done, CTR + 3 will align Stellarium.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 26-10-2020, 01:53 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilsil View Post
Another short cut is CTR + 3 for syncing Stellarium with the mount.
After you have slewed the mount to your target by CTRL +1, you have to check that the target is indeed in the centre of your scope, if not move the scope through the EQMOD buttons. When done, CTR + 3 will align Stellarium.
Wilco
Cntrl + 3 Sync function only works with Stellarium when using StellariumScope as your driver ( not Ascom compliant Stellarium)
The above procedure is using the Ascom platform for Stellarium and the developer Gion Kunz mapped the Sync function using Cntrl + Shift +1 . You could probably create a work around if you went into your windows keyboard control and set up a useable short cut

A bit of History on StellariumScope
StellariumScope was developed by Scott Pinkham of ByteArts in 2007 as a third party software to configure Stellarium, connect your mount and provide functionality with slew, stop and sync commands thereby providing Stellarium with Ascom support for the control of the telescope mount.Stellariumscope connects to Stellarium as 3 separate telescopes. From a Stellarium perspective when you press cntrl 1 it commands telescope 1 to Goto the selected object, cntrl 2 moves telescope 2 and cntrl 3 moves telescope 3 in the same way.Stellariumscope receives a notification when each of these moves are activated but for telescope 2 and telescope 3 it simply uses these notification events as triggers to initiate Ascom Stop and Sync functions.The telescope 3 Sync function has nothing to do with Stellarium at all, Stellarium doesn’t even know its happening it thinks it’s moving a telescope.Now this is where EQASCOM uses this telescope 3 function to add Sync points to its alignment model ( n - point alignment ) You can make as many sync points or alignment points as you like and EQASCOM will apply the most appropriate transformation to make pointing corrections. In late 2019 developer Gion Kunz finally provided Ascom telescope support in Stellarium version 0.19.3 onward thus eliminating the requirement to use StellariumScope in the future.StellariumScope can still be used but the developer recommends you adopt Ascom control

In regards to Ascom compliant Stellarium version 0.19.3 onwards Gion has mapped the following Slew , Sync and Stop functions
Cntrl + 1 = Slew
Cntrl + Shift + 1 = Sync
Cntrl + Shift + Alt + 1 = Stop or Cancel

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 26-10-2020, 03:34 PM
Wilsil (Wilco)
Registered User

Wilsil is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Greenwood
Posts: 76
For controlling the mount with Stellarium you don't need the StellariumScope anymore.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 26-10-2020, 07:19 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,739
Wilco
Yes my procedure sent to Peter was using Ascom not StellariumScope which came into affect from Stellarium version 0.19.3 onwards ( Nov 2019 onwards)
I’d like to know how you use EQMOD and Stellarium and Sync your alignment points with Cntrl +3 on the keyboard ??
Cntrl + 3 was the old method of syncing alignment points under EQMOD StellariumScope and Stellarium
The new Sync command in ( Ascom) Stellarium is suppose to be Cntrl + Shift + 1 but I’ve yet to confirm it as I’m only set up indoors in my home office with my EQ6-R mount connected to my desktop PC. Mount is obviously not properly polar aligned, just level and facing approx true south with correct latitude/ altitude. So I can’t perform an accurate Sync at the moment , just slew , stop/ cancel and park functions. Its raining cats and dogs at the moment in Sydney

Martin
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 26-10-2020, 08:04 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
Registered User

bluesilver is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Australia, Tasmania
Posts: 199
Very much appreciate all this advice and procedure run throughs.
Makes it that much easier trying to work through everything.
A lot of note taking and printing out.
Keen to give it a go during the daytime now to see if i can get things all talking together.
Very much appreciated.
Thanks heaps.
Peter.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 27-10-2020, 12:01 PM
Wilsil (Wilco)
Registered User

Wilsil is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Greenwood
Posts: 76
Thanks Martin, I might be wrong as to be honest I have just connected and tried Stellarium with my HEQ5 Pro last weekend in the garage. :-)
I thought I read that CTRL + 3 was the sync, but I could be mistaken. Will try later this week.
I am still learning and struggling.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 27-10-2020, 01:04 PM
Startrek (Martin)
Registered User

Startrek is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilsil View Post
Thanks Martin, I might be wrong as to be honest I have just connected and tried Stellarium with my HEQ5 Pro last weekend in the garage. :-)
I thought I read that CTRL + 3 was the sync, but I could be mistaken. Will try later this week.
I am still learning and struggling.
Wilco
I’ve been using Stellarium, StellariumScope for over 3 years and the Sync function is definitely Cntrl + 3
Now using the latest Ascom controlled Stellarium ( version 0.19.3 and later ) is different, the Sync function is Cntrl + Shift + 1 or alternatively you can Sync via Stellarium. Once the Telescope is connected, just go to the bottom task bar and click on the telescope icon , a window pops up with both Slew and Sync functions , once you slew to the object and it’s centred and aligned , press current location then press Sync. A sync command will be registered in EQMOD under Alignment/ Sync in the sync count window. You can also use the Stellarium Slew button in this telescope pop up but I prefer to use the keyboard Cntrl +1 to slew

Cheers
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 27-10-2020, 01:38 PM
Wilsil (Wilco)
Registered User

Wilsil is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Greenwood
Posts: 76
Thanks Martin, learning every day.
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 02:12 AM.

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