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Everything posted by malc-c

  1. Before you go and try deleting the INI file that stores its settings, try the following - I can't confirm if they work as I would need an mount to be out of sync. Place the mount in the default home position. Click unpark.... but don't move the scope Under the Park/unpark section, with the "Park to home position" selected in the drop down options, click the resync encoders button to the right. You'll get a pop up asking you to confirm the position etc, but click OK to reset the encoders. EQMOD should then display +90:00:00 DEC, 00:00:00 AZ, with the ALT matching the latitude of the mount.
  2. Not really advisable to unplug and plug in things whist the mount is powered up to be honest... need to get in to the practice of park and power off when switching handsets and mounts lets hope swapping the ferrite beads resolves the problem
  3. I'll keep quiet next time Ok, so the board gets blown.... it seems the parts damaged are ferrite beads or zero ohm resistors. You replace those parts form some other board and using the original handset re-established communications again and was able to use the scope. But plugging in a wifi dongle and pairing it with the Asiair Pro fails... When you do get the "no response" message with the handset then this suggests that either the components you replaces have again been blown (again), or the PICs are damaged and thus won't respond, and the culprit would seem to be the wifi dongle as this is the only hardware that was connected other than the handset. If you have some more parts off a donor board then you could try replacing them again, and test again with the handset. If replacing those parts again resolved the problem, then look at replacing the wifi dongle, or using an alternative method of control If you were connecting form the Asiair via a hardwired option then possibly that may be the cause. I've never had one so can't advise. Bare in mind that these mounts were originally designed to use the handset as the means of control. EQMOD and PC control via an EQDIR cable were all 3rd party development. Now in theory the wifi dongle should mimic the same connections as the handset, so there should be no reason for the device to blow the ferrite beads (thus acting as fuses). But it does seem strange that it was plugging that part in that has caused the communications failure once more. Did you swap / plug the wifi dongle in with the mount powered up, or did you power up the mount with the dongle already in place ?
  4. Just received an update to the strange issues with the HEQ5 board covered on page 11 of this thread. To save you reading back, this was a board displaying the classic "no response" message and was repaired as normal. A video was posted showing both axis working and the kit was repacked and returned, yet when it was received back the DEC motor would just vibrate rather than rotate. Following further discussion I confirmed that the parts had been individually packed in foam and bubble wrap, and the board was also protected by wrapping in bubble wrap and placing it in a plastic container, which when placed in the box was intact. However on receipt that box was in pieces... Anyway as we had proof the board and motors were working when it left me, a claim was lodged with Royal mail (this is why I always use their insured special delivery service). Well they paid up and as a result the owner was able to purchase a new board and now has a fully working mount.
  5. That makes me feel old... I can remember you carting that to many a start party at Fairlands Lakes back in the 80's Hope you are well Kev
  6. Its not that the EQ-3 a a bad mount... It's very capable with something like the 130 PDs or for visual, a 150P, especially if all you want is visual observing. There are quite a few documented posts here where members have used a 130 PDS on an EQ3 for imaging, but the process wasn't without issues, often related to balance, payload weight, and technical issues, which to be fair can impact any mount. The problem with posting questions on a public forum, you will get 101 different opinions and suggestions that end up confusing you more. The post below says it all... Not that I'm a serious about my imaging, there have been times where I look at other peoples results and considered replacing the DSLR with a dedicated astro camera, or replace the 200P with something three times the cost... With regards to the choice of scope, that depends on what subjects interest you. Any MAC or SCT will give good results viewing the Moon and the planets, but you will have to mess about with focal reducers to see some of the fainter nebula an galaxies due to the larger focal length. You'll still see them, but they can be seen easier in a telescope with a shorter focal length, without any adapters. Conversely, a 150P can still give larger images of the planets by using barlow lenses, but the result won't be as good as a 6" MAC due to the additional glass you're placing between the target and your eye, unless of course you use a high end barlow lens, but then it all adds to the cost. At the end of the day, it's got to be your decision. If you can, call FLO or RVO and speak with the guys there, and see what they recommend. In the pre CV19 days I would say go in to a retailer and look at the kit "in the flesh" so to speak, they look totally different when up close. But these days that may not be possible. The only other advice I can offer is take your time, and don't rush into it.
  7. Personally, it's not really down to to the precession larger mounts like an HEQ5 / EQ6 /EQ8 offer, although that helps, its their load capacity that becomes a crucial factor. Adding guidescopes and cameras, and large imaging cameras without impacting the stability of the mount is very important. I started with a 200P / EQ5 combo... I became hooked on imaging, mainly as I was disappointed with what I could see visually from my town location. But the 200P was the limit for the EQ5, and adding even a light weight DSLR it was clear I needed to upgrade the mount. The HEQ5 carried the 200P, and ST80 with QHY5 guide camera, and a Canon 400D, plus all the cables, and was still stable. Given the location I run the exposures for no more than 5 minutes at 800 ISO - and with guiding averaging less than an arc second RMS on a good night, I can't complain
  8. Some good suggestions there, Personally, and I respect your opinion, if someone is looking at getting into imaging, an AZ mount is not the best suggestion IMO due to field rotation... But then you addressed this by suggesting the purchase of an additional wedge to convert the mount to EQ. It shows that work arounds are available and whilst initially not required, can be undertaken at a later stage for an additional cost, without the need to replace the mount. Alternatively, taking an EQ mount and setting the latitude to 0 converts it to an ALT AZ mount (but why you would do that is questionable ). The OP would just have to factor the additional costs, which would be spread over time The MAC would be an excellent planet killer - with high magnifications, but not so good for DSO's - As we know until you start venturing into the big league with 14" SCT etc then we're in that "no scope fits all" arena. The problem is that these days £400 doesn't get you far in purchasing astro gear. Often what you can get for that budget doesn't cover your wants, and what does cover your wants and needs is twice your budget !
  9. Exactly... Irrespective if you have a cheap scope with basic optics, or a top of the range ED triplet, they won't perform on a poor mount, but even a basic chap scope will give great results on a decent mount. The EQ5 really is a decent mount. It is upgradable, although going down the upgrade path works out more expensive than jumping to the end result at the start. The basic mount retails around £315. You then have a choice of two motorised upgrades, the non goto set for £215 or the full computerised goto upgrade at £389, bringing the total outlay to £530 and £704 respectively. Buying the EQ5 pro goto outright at £674 saves you £30, but if your budget is limited then buying the unpowered mount and upgrading later may be your only option. I've originally purchased an EQ5 / 200P combo and whilst this was a good combo, IMO the 200P was to much of a wind sail and pushed the mount to its limit. If I had to recommend a combination, it would be the Skywatcher 150P / PDS on an EQ5. This gives a decent fast scope with good aperture, on a stable mount which is also portable enough to place on the back seat of a car and taken to a decent dark site without giving you a workout. However it would more than double your budget at £998 for the 150 PD-S pro goto version. As to going for goto or not... its a personal and subjective topic that has been discussed a lot on the forum. For me I use it as a means to teach me the night sky, and it saves me time and frustration of doing it manually. Others like to learn how to star hop and navigate the night sky using their own eyes... I would recommend some form of motorising the RA axis, irrespective of visual observing, or if you tried to image with the scope, having it track and keep an object in the field of view makes life a lot easier. There is nothing worse then finding a target, then letting someone else have a look for them to see it disappearing out of view or not be there altogether. The speed at which we are spinning becomes very apparent through a telescope. Speaking form personal advice, try and think what you would like to achieve form the hobby and then see what kit fits that capability and then save or raise the cash to get that kit. You may (most probably) get the urge to try and take pictures through the scope, and if you get hooked on this, then an EQ mount is essential. So buy for the future not for today. As mentioned I soon found that the 200P / EQ5 combo was at its limits by the time I added a camera etc. I ended up betting a second-hand HEQ5 which was more than capable of handling the weight and size of the 200P. I sold the EQ5 goto at a loss.... Second-hand kit will be cheaper, but given the current world shortage of kit, people are not upgrading as much, and even second-hand kit is commanding a premium and gets snapped up very quickly. Anyway that's my 2p worth... good luck with your research
  10. It gets saved as an alignment point in EQMOD. If you have a permanent set up the more alignment points you add the higher the precession the goto's get
  11. Well back in 2019 the question was being mentioned on EQMOD group Seems its a windows issue rather than EQMOD / ASCOM issue
  12. Well a NEMA 17 and NEMA 23 are different motors, the NEMA 17 being 1.7" x 1.7" and the NEMA 23 being 2.3" x 2.3", so the 23 will be half an inch square larger. I doubt that Synta would run to the trouble of having custom NEMA 17's wound for the HEQ5 / EQ6 mounts, and would use off the shelf components, but as I mentioned, it's possible that they have used motors that operate at high voltages with large amounts of torque, given the 34v the motors are driven at.
  13. Check the powersave options on the laptop, and try disabling the USB selective suspend option. The USB selective suspend feature allows the hub driver to suspend an individual port without affecting the operation of the other ports on the hub. Selective suspension of USB devices is especially useful in portable computers, since it helps conserve battery power.
  14. Try posting on the EQMOD group - there may be a reason. Personally I've only used a USB gamepad when setting up the mount in the observatory, but that was the only time. It may be down to the protocol your BT pad uses not being seen, or maybe EQMOD only supports USB devices ?
  15. It will only get worse when starling is fully up to capacity...
  16. Looking at this gives the impression I said what's in the quote box !! " on 29/10/2021 at 13;31. malc-c said" - --- AFAIK I never said anything detailed in the quote
  17. Can you elaborate - you seem to have miss quoted me !! I was under the impression you replaced a faulty HEQ5 board with one of the new versions. I don't follow that last sentence regarding INDI
  18. As mentioned NEMA XX standard is simply the measurement across the face plate. NEMA 17 is 1.7" x 1.7", NEMA 14 is 1.4" x 1.4". The depth of the motor, the internal resistance, the method of control (bipolar or unipolar), and other electrical characteristics all vary depending on their specification. All these are NEMA 17 But available in 8 different specifications - see here Unless the internal resistance and voltage ratings for the coils of the original motor is known, it's not a straight forward case to just replace a $55 stepper with a $6 one.
  19. If you must go for a dome then go commercial as suggested. Some have attempted DIY domes and they end up being heavy, costly and or time consuming. Alternatively look at "traditional" roll off roof type observatories, which are far easier for DIY construction.
  20. Trawling through posts on this forum and cloudy nights, seems one suggestion was this - $54 per motor, which might explain why SW replacements are averaging £75 with new mounting plates included
  21. If you have one, measure the face plate of the existing motor... you may find that they are NEMA 14
  22. NEMA 17 refers to the face plate size, which is 1.7" x 1.7". It doesn't relate to the actual specs of the windings, torque etc. For example the holding torque can range form 0.85kg / CM up to 3.7kg / CM and they all look the same physical size with a 5mm diameter shaft. Also the operating voltages can vary between 3v and 30v (Seeing that the switch mode power supply on HEQ5 / EQ6 mounts generate 34v to the driver chips, it may well be that the NEMA 17 sized motors in the EQ6 that have the designated part number HM6GT-F00-1 are custom / hybrid design, and you may burn out an off the shelf Stepper motor and or damage the motorcontrol board. I would do more investigation before committing to an order
  23. Just to clarify, both EQMOD and the handset default to the slowest speed. If you set the handset to speed 9, or set the speed value to the right of the NSEW button in EQMOD to 4 this will slew at maximum rates when the directional buttons are pressed
  24. Nice bit of research there... At least on the face of it the two follow similar protocols, other than pins 1 and 6 not being used (which may be a problem as the handset is expecting 12v on pin 6) and we assume that the common on the handset pin 4 is also ground 2 and 5 being the RS232 TX and RX pins. But don't forget the handset is expecting true RS232 voltages on those pins, ie +/- 12v as it has the MAX232 chip inside that drops that to 5v TTL serial. The D1-DNT07A D1 DNT08A MEGA-FABS D1 Servo Driver Cable will more than likely operate at 5v TTL levels (or possibly 3.3v depending on the chipset used) as its essentially a FTDI USB to 5v(or 3.3V) TTL cable terminated with an RJ11/12 plug.
  25. Yes, Synta are moving away from PIC based boards to ARM based. If you still have the old board I would be willing to take it off your hands. I've had some success at repairing blown boards as documented in this thread Often its a case of replacing the two PICs with new programmed ones which tend to resolve the "no response both axis" issue.
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