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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 am about to build an EQDIRECT adapter to connect my laptop and HEQ5. I have a notebook docking station with good old serial port (I tought) so I planned not to struggle with usb to serial port finding, porfilic or FTDI, etc... BUT(!) make my own cheapo EQDIRECT.... Unfortunately I am not an electrical genius, but I learnt somewhat. And as I read the schematic a bit closer, I had a bad feeling about connecting the ground of the notebook serial port and the mount ground potential. Then, I aimed this topic in searching, and I found some issues that might be in connection with that. Now I am a bit afraid to buildmy own, based on the given schematic on the EQMOD website. (no offense) So I tried to figure out how to avoid problems with grounding. Here is what I came up with. Maybe it is an ... how to say ... overkill, but I do not want to be the one in the million, who burt his mounts' electronics becuse of a ground loop. I hope that there is somebody around with more electrical skill, who can check it and tell if it is a complete non sense idea or...? Some explanation: As I read, connecting the grounds no problem in case of batteries, or between DC power supply and batteies but two not well chosen DC power supplies are able to make some serious smoking... So I implemented an intermediate battery powered stage, which is in connection with the notebook RS232 line only, and the mount is fully isolated from those by optocouplers. Ah sorry! I just saw when I uploaded the pic, that possibly the optocoupler output signals must be inverted. While for example logic 1 from the mount would give logic 0 on the MAX232 input. So the other pin of the optocoupler should be used for reading the proper values, and pull down resistor instead of pull up resistor... but the principle of a battry powered "insulation" is the same. Well, some batteries and the circuitry still much cheaper than a new mount/laptop... what do you think? I appreciate all your comments!
Setting up all the software on my win10 laptop and getting things to talk to one another is a nightmare.
I'm starting a new thread, so I can post all the problems I am having, one at a time, so issues don't get confused. This will also hopefully help anyone coming to similar situations later, as the problems and answers will not be interlaced.
First issue: APT does not detect ZWO camera.
I have got the camera (ZWO) drivers installed and sharpcap can see it and will connect to it properly. However, when I try to connect the camera in APT, the only CCD options it gives me are SBIG (which it isn't), QSI (which it isn't) and ASCOM. Now it shouldn't need to use an ascom driver, because the proper driver is installed, but I give it a go anyway, and this just offers me 2 simulators and 3 QHY cameras (I have one qhy driver installed for the guidecam .... I'll get to that later!). I have disconnected both the filterwheel and guide camera from the camera hub, so they cannot be interefering with the process.
I am at a total loss ... any suggestions?