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About Xanthomaniac

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    Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
  1. Well... It's RAINING here... and will be for the next few days... with a chance of local flooding on Saturday!! "I'll be BACK!"
  2. Thanks Dave, for your further comments, please note that I was editing the last post when you answered, so you may have to refresh to see the remainder. I have been 'watching' the mount tracking the star and every so often (three times total so far, recovered by pressing 'GoTo' to re-select the star), the tracking just stops. In one instance, the display showed a point below the horizon as it stopped. I'm going to head back inside now, and revisit this tomorrow. Thanks again, Pete.
  3. G'day Dave, Ok... Looks like its working now... except for my last test, slew to a star out near the celestial equator to see how the software tracks the object... selected star is Altair and starting position was the park position. Results are as shown in the Sky Safari screenshot attached. Looking at the mount, it is physically pointing to where indicated (just above and a bit to the left of SCP. The scope stopped there, but the scope control window showed 'stop' indicating that it hadn't 'finished'. I selected a new target (Atria) to which it went without error; then Altair, which the mount now slewed to, albeit somewhat off centre and the scope control panel still showed 'stop' indicating that it had not yet completed its track to the target. It sat there for about 3 or 4 minutes, making 'small noises' as if it were tracking, but then the noises stopped. After a further 3 minutes, Sky Safari reported that it had lost the connection. I 'reconnected' Sky Safari but the mount remained silent. I clicked 'GoTo' and the mount sprang to life, slewing to Altair, displayed 'GoTo' indicating that it had completed its track and began tracking the star as it should. Do any of the adjustments within either EQMac or Sky Safari need to be changed?... is the fast slew rate too fast? Thank you most sincerely, Dave, for your help. Looks like I'm out in the cold now, to learn how to drift align! Best regards, Pete. PS... How do I polar align with EQMac?... since we don't have Polaris down here (lol) OooRoo!
  4. Indeed, Dave... Welcome! Thanks for joining in. We've been having a ball with this! I've just come up from the shed to have some dinner, so I'll be back down there to test this all out in a couple of hours to test it. There are a couple of choices as to the scope type under the LX200's... Classic and GPS. I expect the choice will be Classic. Now... if we're talking an LX200, does this mean that the mount type would be an alt-az goto ? I tested Sky Safari with the Orion Wifi unit... My settings were: Scope: Synscan controller and mount German equatorial. This combination seemed to work. I'll post my results here. Cheers, Pete
  5. To all of you: Thanks for the warm welcome! Scott P: I'm just down the road from you in the heart of the Hunter wine country (LOVE your images!) I'm already 'deep in it' as I wrestle with setting up direct cable connections and planetarium software that doesn't quite 'talk' to the mount. Ahhh!... Troubleshooting from square one! Lots of fun! I've been trying to find a simple and effective method to align to the SCP with little success... I have yet to try drift alignment which, I expect, will be the end of that problem. I've taken a few shots of the moon (easy to find), the Orion nebula (which is fast disappearing from our winter skies), and the Eta Carinae nebula - NGC3372 (which I could not find by sight). Blew me away!... I've never seen the detail before. The cameras capture the detail so wonderfully! NGC3372 was imaged after I got the Starshoot autoguider working and I will now learn about dark frames, bias frames and flat frames so I can begin stacking images. All the best to y'all! OooRoo! Pete.
  6. OK... I've connected the scope as follows: Macbook Pro USB port 1 of 2 connected directly to Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro mount's DB9 RS232 port (after disconnecting SynScan 3.28 computer). Started EQMac on computer. Settings as follows I click on 'Configure Stellarium' button at the bottom of the screen and then open the Stellarium program I open up the configuration tab and select 'Plugins', then select 'Telescope Control'. I click to place a tick in the 'Load at startup' checkbox. I click on the 'Configure' button The following items appear: The program reports the scope as connected. This all now operates correctly. Slewing to a number of objects... Canopus then Jupiter then HD99685 (then park using EQMac) and it seems to point in the correct part of the sky. The reticule also points close to the objects requested. Next steps are to see how accurate it is after setting it all up outside on the next clear night. The next six nights are going to be no good. I need to find out what settings I need to use for Sky Safari 4.4 and if I need any drivers for the NEQ6 Pro mount. Anyone out there have any experience with this ? Cheers. Pete
  7. Okay... I'll see if I can contact the Sky Safari people as well as OZDave, who is the creator of EQMac. From what I understand, EQMac was written to be compatible with a number of planetarium softwares, especially Sky Safari. I need to find out what the scope and mount types are that equate to the Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro... I'm pretty certain that the 'Equatorial (German) is the correct type. Maybe there is a driver required. For the moment, I've connected Stellarium through EQMac. The reticule appears on the screen and moves when I move the scope manually using EQMac's controls. I have to learn how to choose and slew to objects with Stellarium to see if it will control the mount. My sincere thanks for all your help, Marci. I'll let you know how I go. Pete.
  8. No... Using USB2EQ cable direct to Synscan port on scope. EQMac operates correctly and recognises the cable.
  9. Opening EQMac and setting connection type to TC/PIP resulted in loss of connection to the scope.
  10. Tried that. Same result. Note that I'm connected directly with no other software running.
  11. This is the result... I have guessed what type of scope and mount I'm running... please see my first post. Are my choices correct? Pete.
  12. OK... Thank you so so much!... I'm in the shed setting up the mount to live test... following your instructions. Pete.
  13. Thanks very much for your reply Marci, Here is the screenshot of the EQMac Stellarium tab... Apologies for the size. I'll implement all you have suggested and report on my experiences. Cheers, Pete.
  14. G'day y'all, I am trying to connect Sky Safari Pro 4.4 to a Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro mount by 1. direct USB connection from Macbook Pro 13 retina (late 2013). My equipment comprises... Seeing with: Skywatcher Quattro CF 200mm reflector; Orion 80mm f4 Short Tube; Swarovski CL Companion 8 x 30 Mounted upon: Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro; guided by: Synscan, Orion StarSeek WiFi or EQmac, Sky Safari 5 pro; stabilized with: Orion Starshoot Autoguider/PHD2 Capturing with: Canon 1D-X, Canon 5D mk III; through: T-ring adapter on scope or EF 600mm f4L +1.4x(800mm)/2.0x (1200mm) ext. Laptop and Operating system: Macbook Pro 13inch Retina Late 2013 Mac OSX El Capitan 10.11.15 Software: EQMac version 2.0.0 beta 3 PHD2 version 2.6.1 Sky Safari Pro 4 for OSX version 4.4 SynScan EQ computer: Version 03.28 Wiring: Macbook Pro: 2 x USB ports connected as follows USB port 1: Orion StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) with Orion supplied USB cable; USB port 2: Direct connection to Skywatcher SynScan DB9 RS232 port on NEQ6 Pro with purchased Shoestring USB2EQ' cable Orion SSAG auto guider connected to auto guider port on NEQ6 Pro. Results: EQMac appears to connect to and operate the mount correctly. PHD2 reports a successful connection. Guiding was not tested as this was done during daylight. Sky Safari 4 Pro does not connect. Note: I previously have tried to use Sky Safari Pro 4 on an iPad to the mount through an Orion StarSeek WiFi module connected to the mount’s SynScan hand controller. I was able to slew the mount using the soft buttons on the Sky Safari scope control display but the displayed position of the scope icon moved in the opposite direction. I disconnected the WiFi module and dispensed with the iPad method. I've attached a number of MBP screenshots below referenced as follows: EQMac settings (connected successfully): Image 1 of 8 attached PHD2 (connected successfully): Image 2 of 8 attached Sky Safari (not connecting): Image 3 of 8 attached Choices for Scope Type are: Images 4 and 5 of 8 attached Choices for Mount Type are: Image 6 of 8 attached Choices for 'Connection' are: Image 7 of 8 attached The error that appears when connecting is: Image 8 of 8 attached Any assistance in choosing the correct settings for Sky Safari Pro for both the direct connection to the Macbook pro as well as some help with the iPad-to-Orion Starseek WiFi setup would be greatly appreciated. Apologies for the monster-sized screenshots Pete
  15. G'day y'all ! Pete here... from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia. I'm realising one of my childhood dreams... to gaze at the stars with a telescope... which may or may not be a wise thing to have done due to my low night vision. Nevertheless, I've taken the plunge and bought some equipment I hope will allow me to see and photograph the more well known objects in the night sky (and maybe, down the track, some more elusive ones too). I've bought a 200mm reflector (Skywatcher) with an NEQ6 Pro mount and a few eyepieces. I also got a small CCD camera with an autoguider which I hope to use to capture images with my camera. My cameras are a Canon 1D-X or 5D3 and I have the 600mm fast glass as well (my paparazzi/sports rig, lol). I have a dual saddle so it can be mounted next to the autoguider scope. I also have a Canon bayonet T-ring to enable it to be mounted to the main scope when I work that side of it out. I'm using Sky Safari 5 Pro for finding things and PHD2 for holding them there. I'm in the throes of connecting EQmac so I can run the Macbook pro direct to the mount. I plan to use Sky Safari on the same machine until I work out how to make it work through a networked iPad. So that's me and my rig... just starting out and enjoying the crisp clear cold nights. I'll doubtless have many questions as I learn and plenty of time to share as I get better at it. Cheers from DownUnder, Pete
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