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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 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?
I bought NEQ6 (second hand) almost a year ago...
Unfortunately, the seller has not told me that Mount has a damaged Altitude adjustment thread, so my T - bolt fell off after a month or two...
I tried used THREAD TAP REPAIR CUTTER KIT M10 x 1.25 and it worked till today
While placing new Thread, I noticed that SW Mount metal is not very tough, however, the new thread was quite good.
Today, I tried to adjust my scope in the new place and the Altitude Adjustment bold simply fell off... Fortunately, I managed to catch my rig, otherwise, I presume, my whole set up could end up on the ground... "LUCKY!!!!".
Is there any fast way to fix it up?
I planned to attend astrocamp on the 5th of October for the first time...
I guess I need to buy a larger Bolt and re-thread the mount, but metal is sooo soft... I afraid to do it again ;(
Any advice will help... .... ....
I had a chance to get out in the garden last evening, had a go at capturing NGC 7023 - Iris Nebula, only managed to get 12 good shots, 240sec x 12, combined in Photoshop with Mean Stacking. The dew was super heavy and currently I do not have any dew heaters (next purchase) so lost the battle after around 2 hours.
One interesting point is I captured these shots with the long exposure noise reduction switched on with the Sony A7Rii, so each shot took 8 mins to take and save, but as a result the noise levels were next to zero at 800 ISO, and at the end of the day the noise is always our enemy. I need to try a real pro level 'cooled' astro camera just to see how much better it could be, as the Sony A7Rii is just stellar !
I am very happy with the final shot, taken with my Skywatcher 100 ED Pro Esprit Scope on my NEQ6 mount, Skywatcher ED50 Guide Scope and Altair Astro ASI130mm camera, PHD2 of course. The sky was nice and clear with low light pollution, as around 5 miles from major town.
I do not take darks or flats or use Deep Sky Stacker, and I do not use filters, plus the camera has not been modified, so I am always delighted with the results I get from my set-up, as I have a deep level of respect for the hard work that most Astrophotographers go through to get the incredible images that we see here in Stargazers.
I have read that some people believe that the Sony Alpha cameras have a tendency to 'eat the stars' and not show everything captured, to be honest, I always used a Canon 60Da for many years for my astrophotography, until one day I though, what if my Sony A7Rii could be used, the first time I did this I released that it was time to sell the Canon 60Da, the 'Remote' (free) Sony software is almost as good as BackYardEOS, but the cameras are a decade apart in performance, the noise levels on the Sony are at least 4 maybe even 5 stops better than the Canon, that is the Sony A7Rii at 3200 iso equal to the Canon 60Da at 200 iso, so at 800 iso it is just so impressive. As you can see from the picture only 12 frames, stacked in Photoshop (Mean).
Open to comments and welcome a discussion/debate,
Can't see that this has been posted before, but apologies if it has.
Spent yesterday morning watching a series of 15 videos (about 2¼ hours in total) on the Rowan Belt mod for the NEQ6. Every detail demonstrated and explained. Made me feel that even a DIY-clutz like me could give it a go ... almost!