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Can anyone help? I'm pretty much a novice at this astronomy stuff but loving the steep learning curve. I started by using camera lenses modified to use an eyepiece but after much debate, deliberation and saving up, I have finally bought my first proper telescope. Unfortunately I now have a problem.
Last year I bought a second hand Synscan EQ5 mount which has worked perfectly each time I have used it. I used it about a month ago for the first time with the new scope (last time we had a clear sky). Everything worked as it should. At 2 am I parked the scope, dismantled everything and put it away. Nothing was dropped, snagged or got wet.
The forecast said we might get a clear sky last night. Anticipating this I got the mount on the bench, stripped, cleaned, polished and greased the DEC axis plain bearings (hoping this might help with guiding). When finished I connected the motor controller and handset and switched on. I was greeted with the following messages: INITIALISING then CAUTION BOTH AXES NO RESPONSE. If I press enter and carry on through the menus, then everything appears to be as it should except no motors run. I have tried everything I can think of and would be very grateful of advise or suggestions. These are things I have tried, so far:
Different power supply. I have been using a motorbike battery which is giving 13.5V constantly when I switch on. I have tried two other batteries with a 2A charger connected.
Continuity tested the cables from the plugs that go onto the motherboard of the controller all the way to the motors.
I made up the RJ45 and RJ12 diagnostic cables suggested in the manual and the handset appears to be ok.
Removed the motors from the mount to make sure that they turn freely.
Replaced the RJ45 cable from the handset to the controller.
Examined the motherboard for dry joints and damaged components.
Assembled everything in the tripod to make sure that the earthing tab on the controller made no difference.
I now feel that the problem is the controller motherboard but logic tells me that it was the mount I disassembled, so the fault should lie there. Is there anyone who has had the same problem or who has the same system that could help me diagnose the problem. I'm in North Shropshire but happy to travel to anyone who could help. Unfortunately I don't know anyone with the same mount.
I need my garage back so am selling my excess mounts.
1. EQ5 motorised on both axis.
No tripod this was mounted ony pier. Tracks well.
£100 Collect only because of weight .
2. An older type Skywatcher AZ goto mount that came with my SkyMax 127. Good condition .
£100 Collect please but might be able to send if you arrange courier.
SOLDto Pitbull ...thanks
3. AZ GTi goto in excellent condition . Still have the box so can send at cost.
The pic shows it with a telescope on it which is not included.
Location just north of Newark on A1
Thanks for looking
mods VB please move
I have been using my Skywatcher 8” Dobsonian for some time now, and decided I wanted a good refractor with an EQ mount as my next scope. I chose the Skywatcher Evostar Pro 80mm with an LX70 EQ5 mount. This seems to be a great scope to compliment my Dob, but I'm still getting used to the EQ mount! Found some good Youtube videos and am hoping for a clear night soon to really give it a workout! Any advice is appreciated!
Has anybody else had this problem?
I use a single, ageing laptop (HP620 8Gb RAM) running Windows 7 Pro 64bit to control my imaging setup using the following software;
Cartes du Ciel and EQMOD to control EQ5 Pro mount via EQDIRECT cable connected via powered USB Hub
BackyardEOS to capture images from Canon 450D via same USB powered hub
PHD2 for guiding using GP-CAM 130C and EQMOD pulse guiding
What confuses me is that some evenings everything works absolutely fine. Another evening, using exactly the same hardware, software and even connections (ie I always plug the leads into the same ports) the system will be working fine but then suddenly fail. The failure affects EQMOD indicating a timeout or port not available issue and the Canon 450D also 'locks' requiring a restart of the camera and BackyardEOS.
I have run USBTree during such a failure and it is showing that the EQDIRECT cable (ie serial converter) is still connected to COM4 (which is correct) and the Canon 450D is also still connected. I basically have to ensure that all the software is closed and any associated services also stopped. Of course, the scope is now pointing away from its home position so I have to move it manually back to 'home' before starting again.
My thoughts are that there could be a number of issues;
1. Use of a USB hub
2. A dodgy EQDIRECT cable
3. USB cables too long (ie about 5m)
4. Windows is turning off a connection (I have set the power management for each USB port to 'off')
5. Canon 450D somehow 'freezing'
When using this laptop, I turn off the Wifi and Anti Virus and Automatic Updates are also off.
It just baffles me that sometimes this system works flawlessly for hours and yet other nights it keeps failing.
Any suggestions gratefully received.
Thanks for looking.
I have an EQ5 telescope mount which i use for astrophotography. I have modified it with a motorised RA axis using a bipolar stepper motor - my thread for the build is here .
I want to expand the mount's tracking ability by motorising the DEC axis and using a guide scope/camera. I generally use the mount in fairly remote locations so would like to use a raspberry Pi for portability.
I understand that I'll need to use a Raspberry Pi Camera Module for the guide camera.
The capability I want is:
1. guide the mount along RA and DEC axes using a guide star as feedback
2. track the mount using the RA axis only, and if possible continuously take 20-30 second exposures on the guide camera (this functionality is optional, but would assist in polar alignment of the mount)
I don't want any GOTO capability. I am very new to RPi and need some help:
- do I need to write code for this, or is there existing programming available for what I want to do?
- is it possible to avoid the use of screens (in the field)? My preferred option would be to flick a switch to start and stop the guiding, with another switch for alignment mode (or something simple like this).
- do I need to use any particular stepper motors/drivers for raspberry Pi? I'm using a bipolar stepper motor running quarter steps, with an A4988 stepper driver
- is the RPi 3 Model B+ the unit I should buy?