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PC Control of Sky-Watcher Virtuoso Mount


echarne
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I recently bought a Skywatcher Virtuoso Mount - It's called the Celestron Skywatcher Virtuoso, which I believe is the same as the Heritage Virtuoso 90 outside the US.

The mount (to my surprise) does not come with a hand controller, so I would like to control the mount directly from my PC.

On the mount there is a rj12 jack that according to the manual is for plugging in a synscan controller.

So far I tried purchasing a cable that I was told would allow me to control it, but that cable came with an rj45 connector instead of an rj12 connector, and now I'm getting conflicting information about what to buy - one vendor said to buy a a Celestron NexStar cable, and the uk importer for Sky-Watcher said it's not possible to connect the mount to a PC.

Does anyone know what kind of cable I need? If the mount's rj12 jack communicates via rs-232 I just need the pinout to connect it to a db9, otherwise if it uses ttl I need to know where to buy a cable from.

Any help is appreciated.

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The handsets quite expensive, so if I can control the mount directly with a PC, I'd like to do that without purchasing a handset.

I found the eqmod project which, I believe, is supposed to allow doing this but all of the cables I've seen so far are designed to either connect to an rj45 port on the mount or a db9 port on the mount rather than the rj12 (rj11?) port that I have.

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Although the protocol is certainly going to be RS232 (ish), don't just wire up a lead from a DB9 plug to the RJ11 plug. The sockets on the skwatcher/celestron mounts are usually designed for 5V (TTL) signal levels with voltage signalling. Standard RS232 is can be up to 15V. Connecting the two directly is not a good idea...

You can get a chip called a 'MAX232' that does the conversion from RS232 to 5V TTL.

I think you are probably on the right track with EQMOD - you may need an EQDIR adapter, although I've never used one myself.

Robin

ps. Please treat my opinions about the socket needing RS232 at 5V levels as being an educated guess, rather than solid fact - I haven't used or seen the particular mount you have, but I have experience of adding GOTO functionality to the Supatrack mount, which is similar. http://www.sharpcap.co.uk/supatrakmounthacking

Robin

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  • 1 month later...

Hi

Can anybody tell me if the v3 synscan from the eq3/2 automatically switches to az mode and in above post it says you need to change the cable ??? Idea is to make a pier and mount the virtuosa to it removing the mak 90 and using a modded cctv camera...davy

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Hi

Can anybody tell me if the v3 synscan from the eq3/2 automatically switches to az mode and in above post it says you need to change the cable ??? Idea is to make a pier and mount the virtuosa to it removing the mak 90 and using a modded cctv camera...davy

The latest version of the firmware http://www.skywatchertelescope.net/swtinc/customer_support.php?id=124&class1=1&class2=101 automatically detects the mount (EQ / AZ) and loads the appropriate alignment routine.

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  • 4 months later...

So if I'm reading this correctly I can use my Synscan hand controller which I use on my HEQ5 if I have the latest firmware (v3.35) and it will automatically detect the AZ mount when I plug it in?

When I put it back in the HEQ5 it will revert to the EQ synscan?

I only ask for clarification as my HEQ5 and controller is 200 miles away at the moment and it seems a long drive for a test?

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So if I'm reading this correctly I can use my Synscan hand controller which I use on my HEQ5 if I have the latest firmware (v3.35) and it will automatically detect the AZ mount when I plug it in?

 

When I put it back in the HEQ5 it will revert to the EQ synscan?

 

I only ask for clarification as my HEQ5 and controller is 200 miles away at the moment and it seems a long drive for a test?

That will work. You only need the latest firmware and the correct handset to mount cable.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Hi


A guy in Brazil made an ascom driver to control the Virtuoso mount directly from PC. You can download it from:




or




You can find the full article at (Portuguese):




There are links to bundles of some planetarium softwares too.


This store also sells the cable, but you can make one with a USB-TTL interface and a RJ12 connector.




For other information you can contact the support of the store (in english or portuguese) through suporte@armazemdotelescopio.com.br

I have one of this cables and it works like a charm.


Best regards

Daniel

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  • 9 months later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 6 months later...
On ‎18‎/‎01‎/‎2016 at 23:50, tangelo said:

Has anyone got this to work with the usb-serial -cable on Windows10? I'm having problems getting any software to work. Android + bluetooth works just fine.

just been given this scope as a birthday present and want to control it remotely.  you say you have it working with android + Bluetooth, mind sharing details, i.e what ap, what Bluetooth dongle etc.  is it a do it yourself project or is it something that's plug n play?

 

thanks

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On 8/5/2016 at 17:10, Keltoi said:

just been given this scope as a birthday present and want to control it remotely.  you say you have it working with android + Bluetooth, mind sharing details, i.e what ap, what Bluetooth dongle etc.  is it a do it yourself project or is it something that's plug n play?

 

thanks

I bought the bt-adapter-dongle from internet from the Brazilian guy.  I'ts plug n play and I control it with some android which name I can't remember.

EDIT: The App is called "Virtuoso App"

Edited by tangelo
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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...
On 04/12/2016 at 20:41, deza said:

Hi! I got a virtuoso mount, and could control it with a bluetooth interface from 365Astronomy:

http://www.365astronomy.com/Bluetooth-Interface-for-Skywatcher-Autotracking-and-Merlin.html

and the skywatcher open github project:

https://github.com/skywatcher-pacific/skywatcher_open

 

Hey Deza, 

How have you got this working? I have the same Bluetooth dongle and have been trying to use it with virtuoso app on Android but it just hangs the app when I try to connect. I've looked around the git hub link you sent but I can't see anything obvious I can install on my tablet to get this working. 

Can you help? 

Thanks in advance. 

Edited by SIdeshow
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