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I am new to this, so my questions may be strange to some...

I have a HEQ-5 Pro mount with SynScan and a Skymax 127 scope and a QHY5L II planet-/guide camera.
As winters tend to be really harsch in the north of sweden, I plan to sit inside and run the mount
from the PC. This will require quite long USB and power cables, but repeater-equipped USB cables are
available, so that should not be a problem.

To run the mount from a PC, you have to have an adapter from rs232 (9-pin D-sub) to USB first, which
I have, but I wish to skip the original RJ11 to RD232cable.

Searching eBay, I found an adapter RJ11 to USB female for less than a US-dollar:
"Connector Plugs USB 2.0 Type A Female to Telephone Phone Cable Line Adaptor".

A long intro, but has anyone tried this adapter and will it work in this environment?

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Whilst it is possible that this is the correct adaptor at that price it may be purely a mechanical adaptor and not actually convert the USB data to the RS232 that is required by the mount.  At best it won't work, at worst it could destroy your mount by putting 5V where there isn't meant to be 5V.  Be sure it is actually the right thing before you use it, it seems unlikely that they could make a good quality and legitimate USB serial adaptor for that price.

 

I'm also in Northern Sweden and know the crisp clear winter skies come at a price.  I currently use a laptop in a box to control everything and then control it over wifi with my iPad.  You may find that your QHY5LII balks at the use of really long USB cables, I know my guide camera refuses to accept anything like that.

I have been working on remote control using a raspberry PI, I found the Rpi2 wasn't really up to the task but the Rpi3 shows a lot of promise.

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Maybe you can find a USB-RS232 converter with a FTDI chipset. They are the best. No problems with any version of Windows.

A direct adapter connection will ruin your mount's mainboard or computer...  don't try!

For long distances you can use a second laptop with wifi or a good USB-ethernet extender like the Icron Ranger.  The Icron Ranger will give you the possibillity of max 100 meters over cat5 or 6 cable. Personally I like to use a good double shielded cat6 cable.
more extenders are available, but the cheap ones don't work with camera's. Long USB cables are a real problem most of the time.

Waldemar

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When you mention it, I remember I got a couple of those FTDI adapters (memory is short sometimes...). I used them to program my quad-copter. I checked on the Icron and it could definitely be a solution, but  a wifi solution with one laptop at the observation location, connected to the mount and camera,  and one at a little warmer place, connected via a remote session, is of course the best option. Maybe a peer to peer connection. I will look into it. Thanks for the suggestions!

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mawes, I've just taken delivery of a StarTech USB over Ethernet extender which I'm using to connect to my obsy over Cat 6 cable.  I have yet to use it in anger but a quick test confirmed that it worked well with my Imaging Source camera and focuser control (HitecAstro).  The distance form my house to the obsy is about 25m.  The unit is a 4 port USB hub (powered at the remote side) - it's well built and has a quality feel to it.  I know others here have used it so they may be able to offer more advice on how it works in practice.  here's the link to it - available on Amazon.

 

Jim

 

4 Port Usb Ethernet Extender

Edited by saac
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If you velcro it to a dovetail (clamp) , all your usb cables can stay really short and out of the way. Only 2 cables coming down from your mount:  The cat6 from the extender and one powercable, if you use a powerhub as well. (easy to build yourself)

I use a piece of 6 mm plastic board wih a Baader riderclamp attached to it and velcro on top of it. My hubs are on it as well as dewcontrol, or whatever I need. On top of that I can use it as a fine balancing weight, so I don't have to move my whole set up on the mount, if balance is off a little bit.

Nice to make and great to use

Waldemar

IMG_6277.JPG

IMG_6278.JPG

IMG_6279.JPG

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16 hours ago, saac said:

mawes, I've just taken delivery of a StarTech USB over Ethernet extender which I'm using to connect to my obsy over Cat 6 cable.  I have yet to use it in anger but a quick test confirmed that it worked well with my Imaging Source camera and focuser control (HitecAstro).  The distance form my house to the obsy is about 25m.  The unit is a 4 port USB hub (powered at the remote side) - it's well built and has a quality feel to it.  I know others here have used it so they may be able to offer more advice on how it works in practice.  here's the link to it - available on Amazon.

 

Jim

 

4 Port Usb Ethernet Extender

Interesting, I bought one of these and can't get it to connect to anything using Win1o.

Dave

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/StarTech-com-USB-3-0-to-Gigabit-Ethernet-NIC-Network-Adapter-10-100-1000-Mbps-/111257146401?hash=item19e7715421:g:TzcAAOSwQItUI1om

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45 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Do you have USB3 on your comp? if not this won't work.

It is just a wifi dongle, it should be able to connect to your wifi modem, if you have USB3...

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14 minutes ago, Waldemar said:

Do you have USB3 on your comp? if not this won't work.

It is just a wifi dongle, it should be able to connect to your wifi modem, if you have USB3...

Not WiFi, cable connection, yes using USB3.

Dave

Startech adapter.PNG

 

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1 hour ago, Waldemar said:

Did you check the software if special settings for an ethernet  connection need to be made?

ASCOM 6.2 and the proprietary ASCOM drivers installed?

 

Theoretically it should just connect after setting ip address, works in Win7.

Got latest ASCOM and drivers installed.

Dave

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I have followed this with great interest! I will probably start using a crossover TP cable between the remote pc and the in-door one or set up an ad hoc wifi network. If that doesn't work, I'll try one of the above solutions. Thanks again for the info!

/Mats

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I just created an ad-hoc network on a Windows 10 computer, located indoors. As peer I used an Xperia tablet with Remote Desktop app. Up to 25 meters from the house (with free sight), there is no problem to keep the connection and for instance start Stellarium on the PC from the tablet. If the host computer is "on sight", I guess that the range will increase.  If there are obstacles, e.g. bushes or other objects in the way, the range decreases considerably. I will test with a 25 meters crossover TP cable, Cat5e, shortly. If one of the PC's have gigabit lan, you can use a common cable, as the computer will make it a crossover one.

/Mats

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Waldemar, you said that you are using a "laptop in a box" at the observation spot and a tablet to control the laptop. I suppose that you close the lid of the laptop-box when working, so how have you solved the need for cooling the laptop? I was thinking of drilling holes in the box, but that is maybe not necessary when it is freezing cold... how did you do?

/Mats

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Hi Mats

That was not me... I am using an Icron Ranger 2204 USB over ethernet set for remote control wich connect through an ethernet cat 5/6/7 cable to cover the distance up to 100 meters, and then connects to my laptop inside the warm house.
all equipment runs through the Icron Ranger without problems or wifi issues. Just a direct connection.

 http://www.icron.com/products/icron-brand/usb-extenders/cat5/usb-2-0-ranger-2204/

Waldemar

 

 

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