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Everything posted by malc-c

  1. What version of EQ6 do you have - the new R version has a USB port that permits direct connection to a PC (basically the serial to USB chip is now on the motherboard) - But it seems after a little research it needs to set the port baud speed on the PC to 115200 bps in both the port settings and ASCOM driver setting. If you have the older mount with DB9 connector, and it works with the handset but not the EQDir cable, then it has to be a fault with the cable or incorrect communications settings on the PC / ASCOM
  2. By "the same" are you saying that when you use an EQDirect cable your get a time out, but when you use the handset you have control? Presume you've check the obvious, that the comm port setting are the same that the EQDir cable device is set to ?
  3. Actually it's the Elves that do the hard graft of pushing all the 'bits' around. The fairies do all the admin work to make sure the Elves behave themselves and keep things in order
  4. James, I've heard various analogies to describe something, but your little pixies had me in stitches If only Kstars supported those ASCOM pixies things would be a lot simpler, but would mean the INDI and Network pixies would be out of work and claiming JSA
  5. Darren, nice update Question as I'm confused about the scope control. You have a pi which I presume is running a flavor of linux, which I assume is connected to the mount via some interface cable. But you then ran Kstars on what seems to be a windows PC and showed it connecting to the scope. Then you remote desktop'd using an app into the Pi that also has kstars running..... Can you explain the set up of the scope control in more detail? - The bit that is confusing me is having Kstars on the windows PC because naively it doesn't support Ascom and trying to get 3rd party software interfacing to try and make this work is a real pain. My guess is that in order to have the windows version of Kstars support Ascom there is some costs involved in having the api licence or something... if not then it really does astound me that the developers of Kstars have not make it Ascom complaint already
  6. Darren has started something now https://youtu.be/G89PagGQi0M
  7. No, you need 470uF electrolytic capacitors - 35v (bit of head room from the 25v ones originally fitted) - These have polarity, so make sure you fit plus to plus and minus to minus as indicated on the side of the can
  8. https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/315150-heq5-sw-200p-dob-ota-bad-idea/ The EQ5 won't be as stable as the HEQ5 in the above thread, especially given the extra focal length of the dob OTA
  9. The equipment mentioned will limit you to using a video (webcam or phone with adaptor) to record footage of the Moon, larger planets and the sun (using proper sun filters) and then stacking the frames in software. The EQ5 will offer better results as with excellent polar alignment it will track the targets so you'll get sharper images. So basically the 120 refractor on the EQ5 (assuming the scope is within the weight limit of the mount) would be your best bet
  10. Glad you didn't get a Seben !! - total waste on money. Your Explorer 130 should give you excellent results as a basic model. The moon, larger planets and some of the bright nebula should be visible on a good nigh with really dark skies
  11. Basically to be blunt - No ! For faint deep sky you need a fast large aperture scope that can be precisely controlled so the attached camera can take multiple long exposures. But, with the right bracket to hold the camera to the eyepiece, you should be able to video the moon and then use software to process that video to make a single image of the Moon
  12. Back in 2011 I measured the current draw of my EQ-5 synscan. So your 5A power supply should be fine. There is no maximum. If you used a 20A supply the mount will still draw 1.8A. You'll just have more head room and the PSU won't brake a sweat supplying what the mount needs.
  13. To be honest given the OP's lack of experience and knowledge about using a Reflecting telescope, I would't feel comfortable with them collimating the scope. I would suggest that they join a local astronomical group where someone can take them under their wing and help them get the most out of the scope
  14. The mount should be able to handle the normal voltage from any 12v car battery (nominal 13.8v fully charged). The spec of the mount suggest 2A ad the current draw, so in theory a 40 A/h battery would last 20 hours before being completely flat. But the voltage will also drop as the current drops, so in real terms it may last 10-15 hours. To be safe, if you can afford a 70 A/h battery then this should cater for all your needs for a full night, but also note that a battery will perform better in a warm environment, but at cold winter temperatures, the coldness can have an effect on the duration / capacity. Hope that helps
  15. Astrophotography and cheap are generally seldom used together.... The mount is really the key to getting good astrophotography. Generally when people have asked similar questions in the past the mount most people suggest as being the "entry" level mount is the HEQ5 pro goto. You don't need a laptop as the mount comes with a hand held controller with built in database of subjects. Again, you mention "cheap" telescope, but really having a decent telescope will dictate how well your images come out. There are lots of posts and guides on getting into this field and I;m sure if you sat down with a cuppa and used the search function to look up the old posts it will help with the research. But basic questions are: Is the scope going to be a permanent set up in your garden, or are you going mobile What subjects are you hoping to photograph. Imaging the Moon and planets required a different technique and equipment than taking images of deep sky objects. What's your realistic budget. Imaging isn't cheap, at one end of the scale you can invest £10,000 for an observatory based setup, but even for a "basic" deepsky setup with a DSLR, you could be looking at £1500 - £2000 just to get started. Yes there are those who have used basic equipment, and got reasonable results for around £500 (Explorer 150 on a EQ3 mount and an old canon 350D for example) but often these are people who have lots of experience and patience. But where long guided exposures for faint deepsky objects are required, the mount isn't up to the job. With regards to a laptop or PC. It makes the process of taking 20 or 30 images less of a headache. It makes guiding the telescope a lot simpler, and it makes targeting as simple as right clicking on a starmap. Most of the software is free, or in the case of APT or BYEOS, very affordable ( $35/$50 USD for BYEOS and 19 Euro for APT - both have free trials). Interfaces to the scope and camera can be made or purchased (typically £35 for a EQDIR cable) Hope that helps
  16. Found this form 18 months back https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/287800-eqmod-and-game-controllers-help-please/ OK that was related to a wii controller, but it discusses the use of wireless / wired connections. It does seem that BT isn't reliable, and personally I've always used a wired game controller (USB) and never had issues
  17. You have to open the EQMOD folder to locate the EQASCOM folder from the start menu, which contains the toolbox app, so you must have found it.. For reference C:\Program Files (x86)\EQMOD With the mount powered up if you click on the ASCOM CONNECT button of the toolbox application it should launch EQMOD and connect to the scope. If you then click on the spanner, can you see and configure your gamepad ?
  18. wow, resurrecting a 6 year old post !! Under your EQMOD folder you should have a gamepad monitor application - you could see if that's detecting the gampad Can you run the EQASCOM toolbox from the EQMOD/EQASCOM folder and configure the gampad
  19. Guys, no expert, but here's my 2p worth If you can control the mount via the handset, but not with any EQ-direct cable then the issue isn't with the motor control board, it's an issue with the comms board (the smaller board where the handset plugs in). If both the BT module and Shoestring cable work with another mount but not yours then this would suggest it's the serial port on that board that mount that is to blame. I've never been a fan of the Shoestring & BT modules, preferring the use of a direct cable connection based on a 5V FTDL USB cable. When EQMOD reports com errors it's either because the settings are wrong, the port on the computer is mis-configured, the connections aren't perfect, or the cable is at fault. If you are positive that these options have been explored then I have no other suggestions, especially as the handset communicates with the mount perfectly. One possible option is to buy one of the cables that plugs into the handset and set the handset to PC-DIRECT mode - this would confirm if there is simply a compatibility issue with your mount and the shoestring cable / BT module.
  20. The only way to confirm what version of mount you have would be to remove the covers and check the motor control board to see what version this is. Initially older generations of the mount were black, and then the V2 boards appeared in white finished mounts, but this is not 100% way to identify what version the mount is, as the goto option was (and is) sold as an upgrade so it can be just as probable that an old black mount has been upgraded and has the V2 board. I also notice you are in "Northern Europe" so it may well be that the importation models for other countries were / are different
  21. The original (black bodied) mounts were fitted with this motor board (located on the RVO website) The Revision B started to appear in the synscan mounts around 2009 as far as I can ascertain. Astrobaby has an excellent site on these mounts, including servicing and a full history http://www.astro-baby.com/EQ6 rebuild guide/EQ6 Development and Software Releases.htm
  22. I'm not an expert in reverse engineering the board, but it does contain its own power regulation components (U4 being the main regulator) which include the two capacitors previously mentioned, so its unlikely that the board generated an spikes or interference. As far as the revisions go I'm guessing, but Rev B probably came about when the HEQ5 changed from the older black models that lacked the finer resolution and micro-stepping of the current mounts.
  23. Most decent power supplies will have a reasonable output stage that prevents spikes, although there may be an inrush current when power is first applied. You can get surge / spike protection built into four / six / eight way mains extension blocks which would give you an additional level of protection if you wish. The power regulation on the driver board is fairly good, although components can fail. Normally when a mount fails the communications board still functions, but the mount fails to move. The main cause of this is a blown capacitor (the two electrolytics top left in this image) which can easily be replaced (found this out by personal experience !)
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