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colin211252

CAT5 Extension for synscan controller

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Greetings, 

This is my first post. I have a Saxon 8" with an HEQ5.  I am mounting this on a peer in the garden and I am going to remote control everything from my hobby room.  I am going to use USB/Ethernet/USB (USB to Ethernet on each end) for the video from the camera (ZWO ASI120MC) and the Shoestring remote focus. and I will put the Synscan down another Ethernet cable.  I have tested this using only a 1 meter Ethernet cable and it works fine.  If I try it on a very long Ethernet cable it won't work for either use.  Just wondering if anyone else has done this and what sort of lengths it goes over. I need it to run over approximately 20m length but don't want to cut two lengths and then find it won't work.

Thanks in advance

Colin

Edited by colin211252

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Welcome to the forum, Colin.  You found the place to be...

What brand of converter do you use for your usb/ethernet/usb connection? 
Most of those converters do not work very reliable with camera's. (too small bandwith)

I use an Icron Ranger 2304 with cat6 cable up to 100 metres, without any problems. I tried a few other ones, but this is the only one that works as it should. 
One Ranger works for all my equipment: camera's, mount, focuser, just name it.

Edited by Waldemar

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12 hours ago, Waldemar said:

Welcome to the forum, Colin.  You found the place to be...

What brand of converter do you use for your usb/ethernet/usb connection? 
Most of those converters do not work very reliable with camera's. (too small bandwith)

I use an Icron Ranger 2304 with cat6 cable up to 100 metres, without any problems. I tried a few other ones, but this is the only one that works as it should. 
One Ranger works for all my equipment: camera's, mount, focuser, just name it.

Many thanks for the help Waldemar, that was exactly the info I needed and I've placed an order already.  I assume that you convert from ethernet to USB and back again for the SynScan controller as there doesn't appear to be an RJ45 input, just the rJ45 sockets for the Ethernet.

Bedankt voor de Hulp

Cheers Colin

Edited by colin211252
updated info

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Hello Colin,

I did a quick search, and DoctorD started a thread "Synscan cable extension" back in 2011. In one of the replies, theodoros1978 mentions that he made a 15m extension cat5e cable and it worked without problems. If the signals are TTL then they may be sensitive to the cable layout, particularly as Cat5e cables are made up of 4 sets of twisted pairs, to reduce cross-talk between data streams.

Geoff

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Thanks Geoff, I've gone for a more expensive/more stable solution on the grounds that having spend a couple of thousand dollars it's best not to skimp on the media transporting the imgage. As recominded to me I have ordered the  Icron Ranger 2304,

Thanks again for responding.

Colin

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10 hours ago, colin211252 said:

Many thanks for the help Waldemar, that was exactly the info I needed and I've placed an order already.  I assume that you convert from ethernet to USB and back again for the SynScan controller as there doesn't appear to be an RJ45 input, just the rJ45 sockets for the Ethernet.

Bedankt voor de Hulp

Cheers Colin

Hi Colin,

Yes, all your USB connections go to the REX unit  where they will be converted to Ethernet with a cat cable (max 100 m) from the REX to the LEX unit and then with USB to your computer. Absolutely flawless, fast connection.
Yes, it is expensive, true, but connection problems are te most frustrating from all... Expensive equipment deserves good solutions.
just follow instructions and it will work straight away.  If any questions, don't hesitate to contact me directly

Graag gedaan,

Groet,

 

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Waldemar, My SynScan is RJ45, did you just convert it to USB first and plug it into the 2304 then convert it back again at the other end?

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I do not use SynScan, but that should not be any problem.

My ASA DDM60Pro is connected with USB and my iOptron iEQ45Pro with RJ11 to RS232 and then with a FTDI converter to USB.  Everythings works like a charm.
If you use a computer with your SynScan, you can use the Ranger.

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Thanks Waldemar, I'll give it a go and let you know the results.  Thanks again for the help

Cheers

Colin

PS I lived in Holland for more that 3 years in Uithoorn, Crooswijk and Zwanenberg. Many great memories including the berth of our two sons James Jan and Robert Willem.

 

 

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Hello (again) Colin,

As is often the case, the devil is in the detail. A quick check on Wikipedia gave:-

RJ45 (Registered Jack 45) may refer to:

  • RJ45 (telecommunications), a colloquial and unofficial name referring to any of a number of varieties of unkeyed 8-position, 8-contact telecommunications jacks.
  • RJ45 (computers), an unkeyed 8-position, 8-contact modular plug (incorrectly referred to as RJ45) used primarily on patch cables for Ethernet and other computing and telecommunications interconnections

The RJ45 connector's pins can have a whole range of signal types and voltages, with the risk of destroying equipment if you get it wrong. Modern interpretations of the RS232 interface using +5V or +3.3V interface chips can be destroyed if connected to the nominal +12V & -12V signal levels. I have blown up a couple of "RS232" to USB adaptor chips that did not have adequate protection circuitry.

I have successfully extended the handset lead on my Skymax 127, by using a back-to-back socket adaptor and an 8-way ribbon cable (about 1.5m long) with crimp plugs. I decided to go for the ribbon cable as it has similar (8 cores in a row) wire positioning to the existing coiled lead. 

I have just bought a Celestron Skyprodigy 70. Initially, the Celestron handset is similar in overall shape to Skywatcher's, and they use the same docking clip on the tripod leg, but most of the connectors, key and user interface functions are different. The Skyprodigy's handset lead is permanently connected at the handset end and uses a 6-way RJ12 plug to attach to the mount. The coiled lead is much shorter than the Synscan's; too short for comfortable 360 degree mount rotation whilst holding the handset from a fixed seated position adjacent to the tripod. I have just ordered the bits to extend the lead by about 90cm.

Geoff

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Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the info, food for thought there.  I am familiar with RS232 spec and the sawn off 5v version.  It has made me consider that there is a risk that the syscan controller may not have been (pin for pin) compatible with the RJ45 to USB converter but I've already tested the onse I have and it seems to work ok but only over the short distances so on recomendation I have ordered a   2304 USB extender which will hopefully arrive this week.

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Well I received my Ranger 2304 today and happily connected it.  It seems to work with the focuser but won't do anything with my ZWO ASI120MC.  After a check on the internet I see that may models of ZWO won't work with the 2304.  Going to see if they will take it back into stock.  I should have done the research but that's me, always impulsive.

 

Colin

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That is weird, mine works I got a ZWO ASI 174MM, had to take down the capturing rate, though...

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Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the info, food for thought there.  I am familiar with RS232 spec and the sawn off 5v version.  It has made me consider that there is a risk that the syscan controller may not have been (pin for pin) compatible with the RJ45 to USB converter but I've already tested the onse I have and it seems to work ok but only over the short distances so on recomendation I have ordered a   2304 USB extender which will hopefully arrive this week.

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It worked with the focus control no problem so I know it wasn't faulty but wouldn't even work with a 1m length of cat5 and I took the rate down to 1 x frame per second.

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Here's some information for beginners (like me) who want to totally remote their telescopes:

If you want to extend your USB via an Ethernet cable you can buy:

Ranger 2304-GE This is the LAN version i.e. you can set an IP address into it. BEWARE! the GE is very important as this makes sure it has the ISOCHRONOUS1 standard which will apparantly work with all the different video standards including all the ZWO cameras.

Ranger 2204 This is the same as the above and works by converting USB to Ethernet but it has no IP setting and so is point to point i.e. not networkable.

As for me I have ordered a PC on a stick https://www.pccasegear.com/products/33146/pc-on-a-stick-with-windows-10---intel-inside/ and will use RDP to control it and drag & drop to retrive files for processing locally.  Should even work if I'm away from home. I'm sure there will be a few bugs but should be able to sort out easy enough (famous last words).

Edited by colin211252

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