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Old 15-05-2022, 05:44 PM
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spacezebra (Petra)
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Foolproof remote astrophotography setup needed

Greetings all

Just upgraded my mount to EQ R Pro and now looking for a foolproof step by step description to set my computer ready for ASCOM.

Any tips or tricks that others have gained from going in this direction also welcome.

I use a Windows platform for previous astrophotos, but have only really used Backyard EOS etc..

Also guidance on correct cabling etc...

Recommendations welcome.

Cheers Petra

Last edited by spacezebra; 15-05-2022 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 15-05-2022, 06:01 PM
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Bassnut (Fred)
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your post title "Foolproof remote astrophotography setup needed" is totally different to the description and questions in your post. Please clarify .
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Old 15-05-2022, 06:12 PM
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spacezebra (Petra)
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am i in the wrong category forum?



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Originally Posted by Bassnut View Post
your post title "Foolproof remote astrophotography setup needed" is totally different to the description and questions in your post. Please clarify .
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Old 15-05-2022, 06:21 PM
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Bassnut (Fred)
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no, its just that "Foolproof remote astrophotography setup needed", conjures up thoughts of (even if its possible) vast amounts of money. I suspect you don't mean "remote" as in far away from you. Is this in your backyard?
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Old 15-05-2022, 06:32 PM
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spacezebra (Petra)
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Backyard, yes :-), are you able to assist with this query?

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Originally Posted by Bassnut View Post
no, its just that "Foolproof remote astrophotography setup needed", conjures up thoughts of (even if its possible) vast amounts of money. I suspect you don't mean "remote" as in far away from you. Is this in your backyard?

Last edited by spacezebra; 15-05-2022 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 16-05-2022, 12:58 AM
DJT (David)
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You asked several questions so here we go
No money spent yet..

How to setup ascom. Go to the Ascom site and download the current version. Follow the instructions. Read the info on the website.

Cable setup. You want the one that does not result in cable snags when you are guiding or doing a meridian flip. Really important. Personally I don’t bother with meridian flip but just move to the next target so you really need a target acquisition strategy and there’s various software tools that can help if you want to go that far but only you can figure out how to not get snagged. It’s trial and error, dependant upon your setup

I use whatever the current windows pro version is and then use Remote Desktop to connect to the pcs by my scopes and use maxim DL, FocusMax and Altinek for flats. Pretty simple. ( spending money starts here as there’s generally subscription charges.

Decide on wifi v cabled connections. Cable will be better.

Automate focusing…no matter what. There is nothing worse than wandering down the hill with half a litre of port inside you at the dead of night and messing about with bahtinov masks and Manual focusing every 30 minutes. (Patiently waiting for starlight to get some stock..)

You don’t mention observatories , roll off roofs or any of those other elements so will skip.

The ultimate remote set up generally involves an apprentice or YTS/YOP kid to do everything for you whilst you sleep. Good luck with that unless scomo comes up with a new apprenticeship scheme?

Happy to take any questions but honestly, the major pitfalls and how to deal with them are above.

Rather than asking for all of the answers on one go, work your way through what’s needed to get the outcome that you want and ask questions as you go. It will be less confusing.

https://djtrotter.wixsite.com/theast...ile-astronomer
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  #7  
Old 16-05-2022, 08:32 AM
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seeker372011 (Narayan)
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Hi Petra

If what you are asking is how to control your astroimaging setup from the comfort of your living room, I do the same and have three different ways to achieve this

I don’t have an obs, only one of my imaging systems has an auto focuser and I don’t have a filter wheel. I connect the mount through an EQDirect Cable. No hand controller, and finder scopes are obsolete

Hands down the easiest way to do this is with the ASIAIR. The limitation is that both the guide cam and imaging cam must be ZWO.. also need to make sure the guide cam is supported by ASIAIR some ZWO guidecams are not

It really is plug and play. You will need to download and install ASCOM. You can be imaging on your first night it really is S that straightforward. You need a tablet to control the ASIAIR.

Cable management is much easier- the dew controllers , the imaging camera plug into the ASIAIR, the guidecam plugs into the Main camera

One downside is you cant plan in advance your target without being connected to the ASIAIR. However you can plan- frame, or design a mosaic in the free software Telescopius and import it into ASIAIR. Seamlessly

Best astro investment I have ever made.

For my second system I use a mini PC - a Mele Quiter 2 . I have NINA a installed on this PC and remote into it using Windows Remote Desktop

I can use a QHY imaging camera and a ZWO guide cam and a deep sky dad auto focuser

NINI if you haven’t being using already—- is IMHO superb. You can control all devices, plan using a superb framing assistant, allows for manual rotator if you don’t have a automatic rotator so you can frame a target

You will need to down load ASTAP and indices that suit your imaging system , pretty simple to do.

I still use SharpCap for polaraligning though with this system - though NINA has a polar aligning tool. NINA talks to PHD2.. another seperate download, and to my autofocuser( in my case DeepSky Dad) . Obviously provides for automatic filter wheel changes.
Meridian flips work fine, just as they do with ASIAIR.

Pros: not limited to ZWO ecosystem
NINA is constantly being developed and improved

Cons: none really other than just cable management and multiple power supplies- for mount, imaging camera, dew heaters, auto focuser

My last system- and really I am just tinkering with this is Stellarmate on a Raspberry Pi( note ASIAIR is also Raspberry Pi based). You can do almost everything you can do with ASIAIR NINA, it has its own internal autoguide or you can use PHD2; today a mosaic planning feature was announced as an addition to the latest version of Kstars.

In principle Stellarmate- or the free version Astroberry- should work just as well as the ASIAIR or NINA, though I find the app buggy and it is easier to connect wirelessly to a laptop rather than a tablet.

However I am still playing with this system haven’t really got it going.main advantage is cost- you buy a Pi and download the software for $49US- or for free if it’s Astroberry. Cable management similar to minipc.

Just my experience so far has been that it is a bit harder to get everything working , but that could be my incompetence. Also I am trying to get it work with a StarAdventurer not an EQ5 or 6. I think it would actually work seamlessly with an EQ5 or 6 but haven’t tried.

Hope this helps

pardon typos- sausage fingers on a tablet

Last edited by seeker372011; 16-05-2022 at 09:32 AM.
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  #8  
Old 16-05-2022, 09:10 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Hi Petra,
No remote or even self contained Astro imaging system is “fool proof “ or fault proof !
We always inadvertently make mistakes and so does the software at times
I have 2 off EQ6-R mounts at different sites ( one in Sydney and one on the South Coast NSW which is a NexDome) and so to keep things really “simple” I use EQMOD and Stellarium for Goto and navigation, APT for focus framing and capture and PHD2 for guiding

I started my journey nearly 5 years ago with a humble Canon 600D , BYEOS and a 6” newt

I’ll attach procedures to connect EQMOD and Stellarium to your mount and leave the rest up to you ( both software are free down loads, you just need a laptop and cables )

I’m not totally automated ( semi automated ) and don’t really want to be as I’m retired now and don’t need to get up for work at 4.30am like I use to

For my NexDome down south , I use Windows 10 Pro Remote Desktop and run the session from my study PC

My rig in Sydney is set up for a few weeks to a month at a time on my paved area near my pool , I use a 65 ltr plastic tub turned sideways on a little portable blow fold table to house the laptop. I have covers and tarps to protect the mount and scope when not in use, laptop and camera comes inside

I sent both sets of procedures to connect to your mount as I’m not sure whether your mount is recent or older than 2018 model ( models after 2018 have the additional ( optional ) USB2B port connection to use a USB cable in lieu of a Shoestring EQ direct cable. So I’ve attached both options

Hope this information is helpful

Martin
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Old 16-05-2022, 09:59 AM
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spacezebra (Petra)
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Thank you all! you awesome humans (Narayan, Martin and David).

I really do appreciate this!!!

Cheers Petra
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Old 22-05-2022, 12:22 PM
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xthestreams (Paul)
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One word of caution with your choice of mount. For true “stress free” remote imaging, you ideally want a mount that will detect and shutdown during a pier collision. In that same vein, some form of homing sensor is also beneficial.

The EQ6 will do great, but it can get itself into trouble if not checked periodically.
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Old 22-05-2022, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xthestreams View Post
One word of caution with your choice of mount. For true “stress free” remote imaging, you ideally want a mount that will detect and shutdown during a pier collision. In that same vein, some form of homing sensor is also beneficial.

The EQ6 will do great, but it can get itself into trouble if not checked periodically.
Oh yes, wise words
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Old 23-05-2022, 12:38 PM
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spacezebra (Petra)
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All words of wisdoms!

Many thanks to all that contributed.

Cheers Petra <3
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Old 23-05-2022, 12:53 PM
Spidy (Phil)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xthestreams View Post
One word of caution with your choice of mount. For true “stress free” remote imaging, you ideally want a mount that will detect and shutdown during a pier collision. In that same vein, some form of homing sensor is also beneficial.

The EQ6 will do great, but it can get itself into trouble if not checked periodically.

Hi Paul.


So which mounts have these sensors built in?
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Old 25-05-2022, 06:15 PM
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Is this for use with the Canon and ED102?

As others have said, ASCOM is pretty easy, just go to the site, download the latest version and follow the instructions. The only thing you may need to google is how to enable the correct Microsoft .net platform. It sounds daunting but is pretty easy to do.

Does the EQ6R have the USB port? If not you will need an EQMOD/EQDIRECT cable. I use EQMOD to control my old AZEQ6 and it works pretty nicely and reliably.

If NINA will talk to the Canon it is probably a pretty good way to go to manage capture, especially being free and with a pretty enthusiastic and responsive developer community. Combine NINA with plate solving (ASTAP seems the easiest to get along with) and if you can fit a focus motor, automated focus and you will spend less time fiddling or hunting for your target and more time imaging, and generally with automated focus, get sharper images to boot.

Any mount without homing sensors will be a little more work, but while I would love to replace my AZEQ6 with another iOptron CEM70 to have a second mount that can find it's own way home, the AZEQ and EQ6 are perfectly manageable if you are on site with it. It is not much of a hassle if you are on site, but sooner or later you have to go outside and put it back in a known position after an issue.

It got mentioned before, but cable management is a big item to get right. On my AZEQ I have all the cables loomed up and attached in various locations with loops to allow the scope to point anywhere in the sky without snagging. It is comforting to know that you can go to bed and have the mount perform an automated flip and you wont find any USB ports damaged, or a laptop on the ground!
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Old 27-05-2022, 08:02 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_bluester View Post
Is this for use with the Canon and ED102?

As others have said, ASCOM is pretty easy, just go to the site, download the latest version and follow the instructions. The only thing you may need to google is how to enable the correct Microsoft .net platform. It sounds daunting but is pretty easy to do.

Does the EQ6R have the USB port? If not you will need an EQMOD/EQDIRECT cable. I use EQMOD to control my old AZEQ6 and it works pretty nicely and reliably.

If NINA will talk to the Canon it is probably a pretty good way to go to manage capture, especially being free and with a pretty enthusiastic and responsive developer community. Combine NINA with plate solving (ASTAP seems the easiest to get along with) and if you can fit a focus motor, automated focus and you will spend less time fiddling or hunting for your target and more time imaging, and generally with automated focus, get sharper images to boot.

Any mount without homing sensors will be a little more work, but while I would love to replace my AZEQ6 with another iOptron CEM70 to have a second mount that can find it's own way home, the AZEQ and EQ6 are perfectly manageable if you are on site with it. It is not much of a hassle if you are on site, but sooner or later you have to go outside and put it back in a known position after an issue.

It got mentioned before, but cable management is a big item to get right. On my AZEQ I have all the cables loomed up and attached in various locations with loops to allow the scope to point anywhere in the sky without snagging. It is comforting to know that you can go to bed and have the mount perform an automated flip and you wont find any USB ports damaged, or a laptop on the ground!
I have 2 x EQ6-R mounts ( 2018 model in my Dome on the South Coast NSW and 2019 model in Sydney) and use EQMOD on both
2018 model has no USB so just use the RJ45 handcontroller port with a Shoestring EQ Direct cable ( FTDI embedded chip set ) and USB2 extension cable ( Baud rate set to 9600 )
2019 model has the additional USB2B port so use a 5m USB2A to USB2B cable
( Baud rate set to 115200 )
Both work extremely well with Ascom Stellarium for my Goto and Nav

Martin
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