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Everything posted by Jamgood

  1. The EQDIR cable makes life easier as it removes the handset out of the set up but it depends on your intended workflow. PC Control is great but it's another learning curve to get over. The cable that you have does the same thing but you effectively have to disable the handset by setting it to PC Direct. Have you used the mount with just the handset, star aligning and taking a few photos, etc? Does it work?
  2. If you use an EQDIR Cable, you don't need to use the Autoguider ST4 port/cable, unless you're not connecting the guide camera to your PC. The EQDIR cable will cover the guiding by what is called Pulse Guiding. A much more stable connection between the computer and mount. The EQDIR cable connects the computer to the Hand Controller port and handles all connections from then on. Reading what you've written, I'm a little confused though? Do you have a guide camera and scope? If not, forget the Autoguider port. Are you trying to connect the mount to the PC via the Autoguider port? If so, this is incorrect. The cable you currently plugs in to the bottom on the handset.
  3. Good stuff. Glad you got it sorted and I was able to help. Let the fun begin.
  4. In Stellarium, before you pressed Slew for your second star, did you click the button that says Current Object? This puts the co-ordinates in for the area the mount is to slew to. If you skip that one click, the mount won't move because the co-ordinates will still be from your last object. Like you found, CTRL+1 will slew to the object and is a nice shortcut. If you click the little Spanner Icon with the three red >>> in EQMod that will expand the program. When you click Sync in Stellarium, you should see the Point Count under Alignment/Sync in EQMod change to 1 when you've done the first star. Then 2, 3 and so on when you've done more. The Point Count always starts at 0. When you have set sync points, they will show in the Alignment Point List Editor. You'll have the co-ordinates on the left and little red markers on the graph on the right. Using this works best if you can do a few sync points and create a triangle on the graph like in the image below. So you sync with a star in the West, East and South say, then have the object you want to track inside that triangle. If you watch when you've made a few and slew to an object inside the triangle, the points will be connected on on the graph showing that you are at optimum accuracy between read points. It is not essential to do this but it helps with the accuracy of tracking objects. This was how I started before I went into guiding and plate solving. Star Alignment is a thing of the past now and probably will be for you in the future. Hope this helps. Keep asking if you get stuck. We've all been there and are here to help.
  5. When you connect your mount to Stellarium do you see this box? If not, either press the Telescope Icon in the bottom toolbar or hit CTRL+0. With that control box you can select you target. Say you want Arcturus. Click the star with your mouse and then hit Current Object in the control box. Then Slew will take the mount to it. Then, depending on your set up, you need to centre the star in your camera view. Once centred, hit Sync and it will put a Sync marker in EQMod. It will place in in a sky map on this page. (You get that up by pressing the little Notepad Icon in the Alignment/Sync box. Hope this helps.
  6. When you start the slewing process within Stellarium, are you doing it from the parked position or from the last of your star alignments? When I used to use Stellarium, before plate solving, I use to do my star alignment with Stellarium and EQMod as I had completely taken the handset out of the picture. Slew to target in Stellarium, once centred in the frame using the EQMod controls, hit the Sync button in Stellarium. That was one star aligned. Repeat as often as needed.
  7. Dark Flat is the same exposure as a Flat but with the cap on.
  8. Your upgrade option are those you mention. Those and models above.
  9. It bugged me at first also, but after a few times doing it I passed caring. A circle is still a circle regardless of orientation. I just eyeball it. If you want to make sure you're good, rotate the RA 180° and check that Polaris is still on the line. As long as the reticle is calibrated it's not a problem.
  10. Both mounts I've had have been the same. It makes no difference to alignment though. I just rotate the RA and do what's needed, then return the scope to the home position. The reticle could be upside down and back to front, it doesn't matter. It's only a reference circle. As long as Polaris stays on that line when you rotate, all good.
  11. Glad you got that bit sorted. Don't try and rush and learn everything at once. You'll give yourself brain damage and want to quit. Just have a play with APT via EQMOD for a few times, learn how it works. Watch lots of tutorials. Then add in other things like guiding and plate solving. Once you get it, you'll be able to do it all very quickly but there's a learning curve to all this. Fools rush in.
  12. You need to set the COM Port that EQMod uses to connect to the mount. Look in Device Manager on the PC, see what COM Port is being used. Under Ports (COM & LPT) it'll say USB Serial Port and a COM number. Then open the EQASCOM toolbox. If you haven't registered EQMOD, hit Register. Then click on Driver Setup and under EQMOD Port Details, select the Port number from Device Manager.
  13. Once you get it, you'll understand why people recommend it. It's not really complicated. Computer control is much easier than the hsndset. You just need to know what you want to do and how to achieve it. I knew from the start, before I owned a scope, I wanted to control everything from inside in the warm.
  14. The best thing to do is set it all up in the day time and make sure everything is talking to each other. If your mount is to be controlled by computer, you don't need the ST4 cable. You can use pulse guiding from PHD2 straight to the mount. This is more reliable and one less wire to worry about.
  15. It was a bit tight but with a bit of brute force it did unscrew with no damage. I originally had mine like yours is in the pictures but found that it wasn't that stable in the finder scope shoe but my original guide holder only had one set of 3 screws for positioning. I get better balance with it in the middle of the scope rings, especially when balancing up with camera and dew shield, etc. You could easily adapt your guide rings to fit on a second dovetail. Also, the second dovetail gives you a handy handle to carry/lift acope into position. (If setting up every time) The more the weight is to the centre of gravity will be better for you mount.
  16. In APT my Dither is set to 12. In PHD2 I have it set to spiral. I'm using a Canon 60Da which is a similar censor. Another thing, with DSS. Once mine went all screwy for no reason and I couldn't fathom out why. Nothing had changed. I deleted all the temporary files and reinstalled the program and it has worked flawlessly since. I also find it can be temperamental and give mixed results if you don't put the files in order. Lights - Darks - Flats - Bias.
  17. Have you got some old Dark files you can calibrate with to see if it removes the walking pixels? I still use Darks even though I dither after every shot. I find images look better with than without them.
  18. I bought some of these. SVBONY Guide Scope Rings - I only used to rings, drilled new holes in my spare dovetail and fitted them to that. Then used these to fit the dovetail to the scope rings. Solid as a rock. I'm sure there are better and cheaper ways to do it though.
  19. I had the same mount for my first and had a 130PDS on it. It handled quite well considering but upgrading to the HEQ5PRO has been the best thing I did. I did the Rowan Belt Mod in it myself. I never guided with my EQ3PRO though. I could get good 60sec exposures with it and could probably of done much more guided. Are you guiding? What exposures are you getting? With the HEQ5PRO I guide and can take 20min shots and the mount doesn't skip a beat.
  20. @Luke Newbould Really good video. I'm sure your confidence will grow as you do more. For a first, it was definitely better than some I've seen. Great images too. Thank you for sharing.
  21. Tomorrow night? You're hopeful! Tempting fate planning that far ahead.
  22. Are you using a dew shield? Using one can help with stray lights from houses, surrounding spaces, etc. Can easily make one out of cardboard. Was there any build up of dew on the glass? Are you using dew heaters? How long was your gear outside before you started imaging? Maybe need a little longer to cool down in these temperatures or as above, been out a while and the weather is affecting things. These things are sent to try us, don't give up the battle. It's half of the fun.
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