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  #1  
Old 25-03-2011, 07:26 AM
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hikerbob (Bob)
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Bluetooth and EQMod

I've posted this on the EQMOD yahoo group but there may be those interested who are not part of that.

I've managed to get a bluetooth connection running to control an EQ6 Pro.

I'll summarise what I've done here while it's fresh for the benefit of others
who are trying to do the same.

Equipment - a couple of ebay items and bit's and pieces from my workbench and the local Jaycar store.

- A bluetooth module
(http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Bluetooth-Wireless-TTL-Transceiver-Module-5V-GND-TX-RX-/\
380319761963?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0& hash=item588cd3062b
) US$15
- An LM7508 voltage regulator
- DB9 male connector
- Micro Bluetooth adapter for the PC
(http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2004689 96304&ssPageName=S\
TRK:MEWNX:IT
) AU$1
- A power diode (not essential)
- One small plastic jiffy box from the local electronics store
- Double sided heat trasfer tape (not essential)

All up parts were just over the AU$20.

To confirm pinout's looking at the back of the male DB9 plug connected to the mount with the row of 5 to the top - 1 is top right, 5 is top left, 6 is bottom right and 9 is bottom left.

DB-9
1 12Vdc - I've soldered a diode into the feed to the regulator. Not essential.
5 - Gnd (Left most of the row of 5 looking at the mount or back of the
connector)
6 to the TX pin of the bluetooth module
9 to the RX pin of the bluetooth module

I've stuck the voltage regulator onto the back of the bluetooth module with double sided heat transfer tape and brought the GND and output pins down to the back of the 5V and Gnd pins on the bluetooth module. I removed the 5V pin from the module and then had to replace it, at a guess the hole is not plated through.

Windows XP mapped 2 ports in the Device setup, an Incoming and an Outgoing. I still have not made sense of that but the outgoing one is the one which worked.

I had some problems trying to get EQMOD recognised in the Ascom driver selector, the EQMOD.Telescope driver didn't have any attributes in the profile Explorer. Adding a name seemed to make it visible to the selector. I need to read some more about that as I may now have that right.

I've now had it running from The Sky and also via a very cheap game controller (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1106477 06075&ssPageName=S\TRK:MEWNX:IT). That's not fully configured so don't take it as a recommendation for the controller but it does do the basics.

I want to explore some other bluetooth options, a smallish battery pack and a bluetooth module for the hand controller so I can run wireless without a PC for simple setup's. Bluetooth comm's to an Arduino controlling the focusser(s). I'm also wondering how hard it would be to get the output of a USB hub into a bluetooth transmitter so that camera(s) can be run through the link.

The image is from before the module went into the case.


Bob
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  #2  
Old 25-03-2011, 09:24 AM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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That's excellent stuff Bob. Well done.

I should be able to use this on a G11 serial port and control thru Gemini ASCOM. I'll order stuff (parts ordered now) and give it a go.
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  #3  
Old 25-03-2011, 09:30 AM
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hikerbob (Bob)
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Does the G11 serial port use 5V signals or true RS232?
The EQ6 uses 5V signal lines not RS232. If you are working with RS232 you would need to stick a Max232 chip (or equivalent) in there somewhere.

Cheers
Bob
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  #4  
Old 25-03-2011, 10:16 AM
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mswhin63 (Malcolm)
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also check whether you need to use DTS and RTS signals.
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  #5  
Old 25-03-2011, 10:27 AM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikerbob View Post
Does the G11 serial port use 5V signals or true RS232?
The EQ6 uses 5V signal lines not RS232. If you are working with RS232 you would need to stick a Max232 chip (or equivalent) in there somewhere.

Cheers
Bob

That's a good point and since the Gemini uses a Rj11 RS232 input I'd need external power to power the unit. this is available from the Gemini though (but not the Rj11 connector).
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  #6  
Old 25-03-2011, 10:27 AM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mswhin63 View Post
also check whether you need to use DTS and RTS signals.

Yep DTS/RTS.
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  #7  
Old 26-03-2011, 12:55 PM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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Gemini manual doesn't say what level the RS232 port input is but mentions the hand controller uses 5V TTL...so I'm guessing the Gemini RS232 in is TTL.

I'll look at the USB/232 adaptor and inside the PCB.
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  #8  
Old 26-03-2011, 02:30 PM
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Do you have access to an oscillisope? That can be a useful way to check levels.

Can you drive the Gemini from EQMOD? If not what's the plan? One thing I'd like to do is to have the option of using the normal Synscan hand controller wireless. I've not checked what current it draws yet but my guess would be very little.

I need to do some homework to see what's involved in running the ttl bluetooth module as master and pairing without being connected to a device which understands all that. I suspect that it's possible but the initial goal was to get bluetooth running in the role of EQ direct.

Bob
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  #9  
Old 26-03-2011, 02:49 PM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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Hi Bob...we don't need no steekin oscilloscope! Have multimeter will travel!

I'm looking up the Gemini IC chips to determine the RS232 interface.

I can drive Gemini thru Gemini ASCOM. It's kinds like EQMOD but different. It's a standalone driver that can also be used with planetariums etc.



edit:

RS232 interface looks like a MB3221 (Max3221) chip which is EIA232, 3-5V logic compliant.

Last edited by wasyoungonce; 26-03-2011 at 03:28 PM.
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  #10  
Old 26-03-2011, 04:34 PM
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Nice, you should have a good chance of it all working then.

Bob
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  #11  
Old 06-04-2011, 06:26 PM
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Hi Bob.

All set up but no workie at this stage. Led flashing on receiver module so it has pwr good...unless the led is supposed to be constant on?

Feeding +5V from a separate PSU. I didn't tie the earth from this PSU to the RS232 port in earth. I don't think this should matter.

I have 2 COM ports popped up with the bluetooth device. I mapped them to:
Incoming COM11;
Outgoing COM12.

I'm guessing the outgoing is the one I connect to in The ASCOM driver (assign as my COM port connection). Tried both in any case, no go.

Funny thing when I go to select the COM port in the ASCOM driver it has re-assigned the ports as 11c and 12c? Why I do not know and they will not connect. If I set the port to 11 or 12 9not 11c or 12c) I get port invalid.

I'll fiddle some more and get back.
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Last edited by wasyoungonce; 06-04-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2011, 07:48 PM
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Ok ...I remapped the ports back to: out, COM 10 and in, COM 9. I can now select these ports in Gemini ASCOM driver but it's not doing anything.

Might need a Max232 level converter?
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2011, 08:34 PM
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Are you sure that you've got the orientation of the TX and RX correct, hooking up two wire gives a statistical probability of about 180% of it being the wrong way round.

Bob
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2011, 09:26 PM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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Yep tried both ways..no go.

Hooking in the usual USB/232 cable work just fine, the bluetooth does not appear to communicate.

Did you use a device "Passkey", I entered none. I want to check the transceiver is receiving signals.

Ideas?
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  #15  
Old 07-04-2011, 05:46 AM
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I use a passkey, if you are using the same module 1234 does it.

Bluetooth is a pain to faultfind. I did come across a serial point monitor at one stage but didn't explore much.
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2011, 07:44 AM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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I wonder if it was the passkey.

I find it interesting the Gemini ASCOM "Automatically" found the required COM ports.

This driver has a auto search for the appropriate ports and if they are found they come up 1st on this list..which is what is happening. So the Gemini ASCOM recognises the port!

Jsut to double check....Tx out of the transceiver to Tx in on RS232? ...Rx to Rx?

I'm going to pick up a MAx232 today just in case. Might not need it but good to have one handy.

Thanks for your help Bob.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2011, 12:31 PM
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I went Tx to Rx and Rx to Tx I think. I'm away from home at the moment so could have that wrong but am fairly confident.
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2011, 04:32 PM
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Ok, tried a MAX232 interface with transceiver...no go. Tried another laptop (win7) with inbuilt Bluetooth..same things as before.

The transceiver appears to be broadcasting itself and this is recognised buy laptop(s). The Bluetooth dongle (on the 1st laptop) appears to be working as it recognises itself and adds it self as a bluetooth device.

I can set the bluetooth ports or let the software set it's own ports..ie: port 11 incoming and 12 outgoing... or what ever ports I want to set.

When I try to connect the Gemini ASCOM auto detects ports (I can turn this off with no change) and some strange number COM numbers appear in the COM port selection box..ie: COM11c or COM12c..or COMo12 or COM120...something like that.

If I manually edit this to the correct port...aka I enter COM12 ..I get a pop up message "The following settings are invalid: "COM" port" even prior to me trying to press the "Gemini ASCOM connect" tab.... for it to connect the driver to the port.

If I try to connect to these "odd COM ports", it just sits for awhile then "cannot connect to Gemini COM port does not exist"!

So all in all it's not working. The Win7 lappy scans the COM ports and tries to connect with these (as part of the Auto detect Gemini ASCOM driver) and this throws up odd COM ports numbers..some with Chinese characters.

So at this stage I believe the devices are working but I cannot get them talking to each other.

One thing Bob, I didn't ask,did you use virtual COM port drivers?

Last edited by wasyoungonce; 07-04-2011 at 04:43 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-04-2011, 05:33 PM
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RE Bluetooth and EQMod

Just an suggestion

i had similar problem at work with a inspection rover's coms to laptop

devices show but no coms

turned out to be the windows firewall was the culprit

may be ???? your problem

richard
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  #20  
Old 07-04-2011, 06:06 PM
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"some with Chinese characters." - any chance your data rate is set differently between components? 9600 in one place and something else elsewhere?

I don't think I'm using virtual com ports. Did you try Tx to Rx and Rx to Tx?

I've been trying to get one of the modules working with USB on the device side (using it as a Bluetooth extension cable). No joy there yet and I'm wondering if I've transposed the data lines. I'm playing with Ascom control of a focuser (well a stepper on the desk at the moment) and seem to be stalled. The joy's of learning.

Bob
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