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By Ade Turner
I’ve just bought a Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro. I’m trying to drive it from Stellarium using EQMOD but I’m running into a problem I haven’t the experience to solve.
This is my set up:
Windows 7 Laptop > 10m active USB 3.0 cable > 4 port powered Atolla USB 3.0 hub > Lynx Astro EQMOD cable > Mount (plugged directly into hand control socket)
When I first connected the mount to the laptop (a 2015 Dell Inspiron) Windows 7 searched for a serial/USB driver and installed it on COM 8 (according to Device Manager).
In Stellarium I created a profile for the mount but it wouldn’t autodetect the COM port. So I manually set it to 8.
When I try to connect to the mount it sits for a while and then tells me the connection has timed out.
Anyone have any suggestions as to where I should start to try and get the connection sorted please? Thanks.
Wim has wisely persuaded me to go for an eqdir cable from my RPi to my SynScan controller. I currently have a usb:db9 + db9:st4 setup to the SynScan handset (ie 3 cables connected). Can I just change the db9 to st4 to a db9:Rj45 or similar? Eg:
Plus an old ethernet cable? Ie does the pinout of an ethernet cable correspond to the pinout of the SynScan controller handset socket?
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'd like to make my own FTDI EQDIR USB Adapter for my new(to me) AZ GTi mount...
Does anyone know what the pinouts for the rj12 connector are? The 8-pin RJ45 connections are well documented, but I can't find a 6-pin RJ12 wiring diagram...
Lynx astro do make one, so I know it is possible ?
I am at a complete loss to understand why eqmod was not syncing on CdC last night. I have had a look at this video, I had the star centred on the screen [3m33s], I pressed sync on CdC, I got the dialog box [3m39s], I clicked 'yes' and NOTHING happened: the white circle stayed where it was, no sync points were added to EQMOD, zilch!
I can get round most problems, but this really one stymies my GOTOs and, therefore, my imaging process.
I have been unable to find anything in the EQMOD documentation that deals with such an error and a search on here has turned up no help (but that always depends on the words put into the search!). I checked all the obvious things (location, date/time, etc - but why any of these should stop sync working is beyond me). It's all running on Windoze 10.
Any suggestions on why this should have stopped working and (more importantly) how I might get it working?