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morayskies

EQMOD randomly stops tracking

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Hi All

I have been using my 'best' laptop with Windows 8.1 to control an EQ5 Pro mount via a USB/Serial converter with a lead directly to the hand controller set to PC Direct Mode.  On the same laptop I have installed PHD2 for guiding and BackyardEOS for image capture and a gampepad for ease of 'tweaking' the telescope pointing. I have also installed Cartes du Ciel (CdC) to find and slew to targets.  This system has worked flawlessly (other than 'idiot induced' problems) for a number of months now.  I was lucky enough to be given another, slightly older, laptop to use so I thought the 'best' laptop could stay in the office and the older laptop could now become the astro imaging laptop.  As far as I can see, I have everything configured the same and, on first trials in daylight, everything seemed to be working OK.  Could connect to the mount OK, control via gampad OK, PHD2 connected OK etc etc.

First 'imaging in anger' night seemed to going well until I noticed that the star trails suddenly appeared to be streaked after successfully capturing a few previous images.  PHD2 was still connected but the guide star was way off target (the little green square in PHD) and appeared to be drifting as I watched.  CdC (the planetarium software I use) was still connected but the rectangle indicating the camera's field of view was also drifting off target.  On looking at the EQMOD window I noticed that tracking was 'off'. "Another idiot induced problem?" I thought.  Selected Sidereal Tracking in EQMOD and I heard the motors of the mount start 'whirring' again.  Selected target in CdC and slewed the 'scope back to the target.  Selected guide star again in PHD and guiding started OK (I could hear the motor 'tones' changing  as they received correction signals from PHD.  Back on track - so I thought!  After a short while, the problem occurred again - Sidereal tracking was shown as being turned off in EQMOD.

These are only differences between the successful setup and the rogue version;

Working System 2.4ghz processor, Windows 8.1
Failing system 2.2ghz processor, Windows 7

Has anyone else had this problem?  Any suggestions as to what could be causing this problem would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Richard

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**Update**

I have taken PHD and CdC out of the equation by connecting to the mount via the EQASCOM Toolbox.  With PHD and CdC not running and the gamepad turned off the mount tracked for about 10 minutes before the Sidereal Tracking 'switched off' again.  Without doing anything to the setup, I tried slewing the 'scope using the direction arrows in EQMOD and these worked fine so the mount is still communicating with the laptop and EQMOD.

It seems to me that the problem could be with EQMOD 

or could it be Windows 7 :-(

Edited by morayskies

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1 hour ago, Uplooker said:

Are there any "Limits" set within EQMod?

Not that I am aware of.  I didn't set anything to do with 'limits' in EQMOD on either laptop.

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20 hours ago, Uplooker said:

Are there any "Limits" set within EQMod?

Hi Ian

Must apologise.  I have found the "Mount Limits" check box to be ticked and, since unticking, seems to be tracking OK.

In the words of Homer Simpson - "Doh!" :confused2:

 

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Hi sorry, only seen your reply(s).

Glad you got it sorted. If that is the biggest "Homer" moment you have in astronomy you are doing very, very well ?

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16 hours ago, Uplooker said:

Hi sorry, only seen your reply(s).

Glad you got it sorted. If that is the biggest "Homer" moment you have in astronomy you are doing very, very well ?

Had 3 or so hours of success last night.  'Scope tracked well, tracking and guiding didn't fail at all and only had to stop when camera battery died.  First attempt at M42 with this setup :-)

 

Well pleased.

m42_120s_50percent.tif

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