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    Surbiton (Berrylands), London
  1. Like others I had USB issues on Windows and Linux, and tried a number of machines. The compatible firmware changes the packet size to be 512 instead of 1024, but some people (myself included) still had issues. A common view is use the USB3 version as it doesn't have this issue even if you just use it on a USB2 port.
  2. I would personally go for the USB3 version, many people have connectivity problems with the USB2 only ones, and need to flash the firmware with a "compatible" version sometimes from the ZWO website. I returned a 120 mono USB2 for USB3 version as I had issues too.
  3. I’ve been using it for many years with my meteor camera. The old version was the only piece of software I could find (at the time) that got round issues of long delays with an office pi camera module so you had much more of a chance to capture meteors by stacking a continuous stream of images instead of one with massive gaps between each capture. I recall taking a 6s exposure using other software would lock up the camera for ages (maybe even a minute if my memory serves me right). If you are using something like a ZWO camera I would not use it, but if using a PI camera module it was is maybe with looking into still.
  4. From the sounds of it I am too late to this conversation but I've had that happen when accessing through a weak wifi/slow connection. I found having it connected to the home wifi via the internal adaptor, and the hotspot enabled on an external USB wifi adaptor worked well if you don't have a cabled connection. You get the benefit of performance when connected remotely via the hotspot (plus internet on your local machine going through it but slow) but also the benefits of it being on your lan/internet for updates etc which don't need such a fast or reliable connection. Cabled LAN if you can is still the best.
  5. Very useful, on thing I would add is you should disable the internal serial port in raspi-config under interfaces. Seems to be enabled by default in the image and I had problems with my GPS dongle and focuser until I disabled it, and the mount didn’t always connect either. Once disabled no issues. Common to have issues with usb devices which present themselves as a serial port on a pi if you don’t disable it. Can’t recall the specific issue but I think GPIO serial port is ttyAMA0 by default and some usb to serial drivers want to try and use that and not ttyUSBx.
  6. Don't blame yourself, a neighbour down the road here had a huge garden hot tub delivered on the last hot day of September. It's been awful weather since! Out of interest how stable is the scope on the mount as it looks like a small fixing saddle plate compared to the total dovetail plate length (maybe the angle of the photo makes it seem like this). Can you replace the fixing saddle on iOptrons for something larger, do custom options exist like you can get for Skywatcher or not?
  7. Maybe check if the other gears inside are too loose too. These two videos are worth a watch: Tuning the Backlash on a Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount and HEQ5 Gear Align - Eliminating that grinding noise when you slew. If you do everything in these and then wish to still go further the next options are probably full stripdown and rebuild or Rowan belt mod, so more work. The suggested star-cross test in PHD2 (per the 1st video) is a good starting point to see how tuned your mount currently is.
  8. I would give it a go without dither in case that is the issue, or add a longer delay after dither. At worst you could eliminate that as a possible issue.
  9. How are you guiding the mount - via a camera and ST4 port or direct (EQDIR etc)? If using ST4 try EQDIR or vice versa. I have seen that effect in the past on my HEQ5 when dithering between images, every now and then one would be ruined, I had to increase the settle time slightly, but I don't believe this is your issue (unless you are dithering?).
  10. That is a commendable outcome for an HEQ5, especially 0.36" for one night. For comparison I have one that I use on my portable rig and get between 0.7" and 1.0" depending on the night but have not done any mods on it, and just polar align using EKos. The only adjustment I did was to tighten up the bolts as there was some play in the dec axis when it arrived.
  11. @geoflewis very nice image Geof! Out of interest how long will Mars stay in the center of the sensor FOV using the TVx2PM on your AP mount with the C14? In theory a good amount of time I suspect, but i'm interested to know how things shape up in the real world.
  12. I would agree that the internal wireless is the weak part but I would qualify that statement further. Inside a house the wifi is perfectly adequate for usual PI use. However using a PI on the mount as a controller for your equipment is putting it in an environment it is probably not designed for. Namely it is next to large chunks of metal, which maybe blocking the signal depending on which way the scope is pointing too. Also if you have it outside and are sitting inside the distance and obstacles in-between (eg metal coated insulation used in many houses in the external walls only) will block the signal a lot. It is for that reason that I use a USB wifi dongle (sold as a long range option) with a 5dBi external antenna - cost just £13 GBP. It works very well from the observatory to inside the house - a rock solid, fast connection that doesn't drop. If you are right next to the mount connected to the Pi on internal wifi, using an iPad via you won't have an issue.
  13. Very wise, its a shame it didn't work out given the amount of time you had to invest. Fingers crossed for the mini-pc approach!
  14. Out of interest Paul did you have all the devices going through an external powered USB hub and a decent PSU for the PI. I'm surprised to hear about severe instability issues, unless it was a broken bleeding edge (or what ever they call the latest beta version) release of KStars etc. Also disabling the internal serial port in raspi-config is key for some accessories (liek GPS dongle and mount) else they can be flakey or not work.
  15. Maybe too late but on my portable rig (Ed80 on heq5) that gets moved round the garden as needed to navigate round neighbours trees, I have just used three big black bin liners with a bungee. Replace the top one every couple of months if needed. Left out almost all year round without issue for many years now. I’ve also read about people using outboard motor covers successfully too as they are reasonable in price.
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