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mikey2000

EQ6-R owners club

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Droogie - congrats on the new mount!  Definitely get the EQ direct cable as soon as you can - my old method of PC-Direct through the handset seemed to be prone to unexpected and random problems, all cured with the proper eqdirect cable. 

 

At this point, the synscan handset can safely be put into long term storage the AstroBits box that we all have somewhere in the garage.

 

So, don't worry about Synscan alignment.  EqMod can do all this for you.   If (like me) you tear down and store the mount after each session, you'll need to realign each time you set it up.  Eqmod makes it easy and entirely replaces the synscan alignment routine.   The catch here is that you must always have your astro-laptop to do this.  Synscan handset is more of a standalone solution.  Eqmod alignment seems top class and also opens the door to pulse-guiding instead of ST4 and PEC (not that my eq6r really has much periodic error anyway....)

 

Here's what I do to align.

1) Polar align (whatever method you prefer).  Then set the mount to your preferred home position (mine is pointing straight at the celestial pole, weights down)

2) Connect EQMod to the mount to a nice bright star and have a planetarium app running too. (I use stellarium)

3) Pick a target in the planetarium app and tell it to issue the slew command (Ctrl-1 in stellarium)

4) It will probably miss by a long margin.  

There are two ways to proceed here:

  i)You can now platesolve and issue a sync command via your platesolve app

or

 ii) use EQMOD to manually slew the mount so it is pointing at the original star. Then use the planetarium to issue a sync command (ctrl-3 on stellarium)

 

That's eqivalent to a one star alignment.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 as many time as you like.  I find EQmod's alignment algorithm gets very accurate, very quickly.  I usually only need one 'manual' sync somewhere in the (very) rough area I intend to image then it's sufficienly accurate that the platesolve completes the rest in just a few iterations.  It takes just minutes.

Either way, you can see a list of sync points being added in EQmod if you use the expanded interface. (I asssume you are familiar with EQmod)

 

if your platesolving app is good enough, you don't even really need to use bright stars.  Any old target will do for the aligning/sync   I prefer a bright star as the AGP imaging app I use seems to struggle with platesolves if you are way way off target and also a bright star is handy for setting up focus with a bhatinov mask.

 

Here's a link with more technical stuff http://welshdragoncomputing.ca/eqmod/doku.php?id=alignment_overview

(at the top, you can link back to the rest of the eqmod documentation contents pages.)

 

I hope that helps!

 

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Thanks  Micky. Yes will be getting cable very soon (next week I suspect) but just wanted to get a idea of what to expect as things can get confusing when in the dark trying to sort this. Also cannot fully test plate solving until outside.

So if I Pole Align with my Polemaster. Then use SGP to Plate Solve at Polaris as a means of creating an alignment point in EQ Mod then this would the same as performing a 1 Star Alignment? I would then set this as the Park point as well. This is what I did with the AVX before doing the Quick Alignment option on the AVX handset.

After this I would then perform a solve and synch plate solve in SGP for the target image, preloaded by me.

Also do I need the other ASCOM SkyWatcher SynScan Mount Controller (6.0.6262, June 2017) , is this as well as the EQ Mod EQASCOM driver? 

Thanks

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Droogie,

Your setup sounds very similar to mine as I use EQMOD and SGP with my EQ6-R.  With the mount connected to the laptop via the EQ direct cable I don't bother with any star alignment.  After polar aligning with SharpcapPro and returning the mount to the 'home/park' position, I simply start SGP, connect to the mount and run the sequence. It slews fairly close to the target, plate solves to within my pre-defined error limit and done.  SGP will then automatically sync the final position back to EQMOD and any subsequent slews are usually spot on.

If your EQ6-R is anything like mine you will love the results.  Last Friday I was able to use the mount under near perfect conditions, with no wind and better than our usual poor seeing conditions.  With my 32lbs of scope + cameras the mount averaged 0.53 arcsec RMS over a 4 hour period according to PHD2.  Can't really ask for more than that.

Scott

 

 

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Hi Scott,

Thanks for your post. that's given me great reassurance.

Last night I ran some tests to simulate my current routine and the mount appeared to behave exactly as I wanted it to. Obviously I cannot perform a plate solve inside but it gave confidence that I am on the right path. 

A couple of questions though.

I will be buying the EQ Direct cable soon but even with the handset /cable how do you tell the mount the date and time? I guess this is what I have entered into EQ Mod already? 
The handset knows my latitude /longitude is that also passed to the mount itself?

Secondly the handset keeps asking me about Polar co-ordinates which I have just entered through, is that okay as I will be Polar aligning with my Polemaster?

Lastly the manual keeps referring to Alignment points. But I see no alignment points in the Alignment Point List Editor window. Is this simply because I have not added any and I wont need to add any as I will be using Plate Solving?

That RMS figure sounds great. My current setup is way below half the weight of yours so hopefully I will be able to achieve the same sort of values. Hopefully will post results when I get some clear skies.

Thanks

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For my mount i use one of these connected into my USB hub and it works great.

I did have one small issue at first as I had the USB dongle for my wireless mouse plugged into the hub next to this and it did not like it as could not acquire satellites.  I probably should have thought of that before I plugged it all up that way, being a comms engineer and all.  Diagnosed my stupidity quite quickly, so not all bad.

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On 27/01/2019 at 11:17, Droogie 2001 said:

Hi Scott,

Thanks for your post. that's given me great reassurance.

Last night I ran some tests to simulate my current routine and the mount appeared to behave exactly as I wanted it to. Obviously I cannot perform a plate solve inside but it gave confidence that I am on the right path. 

A couple of questions though.

I will be buying the EQ Direct cable soon but even with the handset /cable how do you tell the mount the date and time? I guess this is what I have entered into EQ Mod already? 
The handset knows my latitude /longitude is that also passed to the mount itself?

Secondly the handset keeps asking me about Polar co-ordinates which I have just entered through, is that okay as I will be Polar aligning with my Polemaster?

Lastly the manual keeps referring to Alignment points. But I see no alignment points in the Alignment Point List Editor window. Is this simply because I have not added any and I wont need to add any as I will be using Plate Solving?

That RMS figure sounds great. My current setup is way below half the weight of yours so hopefully I will be able to achieve the same sort of values. Hopefully will post results when I get some clear skies.

Thanks

Droogie,

I believe EQMOD gets the date/time from the laptop and uses that.  I don't use the handset at all, so I can't say what if any data it can pass to EQMOD when connected through the handset.  I can say that when using the EQDirect cable you must enter the lat/long of your observing site into EQMOD.  It will persist the location you enter so you only need to do that once unless you change your observing site location. 

As for the Alignment points I believe those would populate if you did a normal star alignment and synced the location with EQMOD.  As you say you will not need to do that as long as you are plate solving to the target via SGP.  You have several options in terms of what plate solver SGP uses, which one have you chosen?  I use the locally installed ansvr since I don't have internet at my observing site.  It has worked very well for me:

https://adgsoftware.com/ansvr/

Clear skies and let us know how it goes.

Thanks,

Scott

 

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Hi Scott.,

I managed to get out last night and test the mount. Other than a few niggles such as new SGP profiles needing filter wheels re-adding (my fault) then things pretty well.

Following my usual routine I Polar Aligned though the Elevation bolts namely the spring loaded one is interesting. When I wanted to come further down in degrees I loosened it off but found I needed to manually move the mount forward to actually bring the elevation down if that makes sense. I should re-read the manual as I didn't spend a lot of time on this, anyway I got good PA.

After focusing I used the handset and typed in dates and time (having to keep remember putting handset into EQ Direct mode!) Elevation was already there just entered through Polar Alignment section. Said No to align.

Plate Solved at Polaris area. Then opened SGP and used a Slew now to get to rough area. Then used Center Now. First plate solve was out as normal, Second attempt was spot on, I think it was a single pixel out! Normally on AVX I had a max of 28 pixels so that was encouraging. 
BTW I am using Plate Solve 2 (no Internet access) and I have ANSVR setup with local copy as you describe. I find Plate Solve 2 always works.

Began PHD and configured guiding. Despite changing the PHD profile to the new mount some of the settings were clearly not correct compared to the old AVX. Namely calibration steps. After I received "Star not move enough" I checked the Brain icon and noted this was recommending a way high value than previously, 6100 whereas it would have been around 700. Re-ran and this time it worked.
Guiding started off woeful. Kept changing settings and by the end of the night I was around 0.90RMS. However much of the evening was way, way above this.
My payload is only 16 pounds. The values I ended up with were as below.

I suspect I will need to fine tune these but if you have any suggestions on value then that would be much appreciated. Not had to play around with PHD2 values for a while and I now remember how challenging it can be to get the best results.
All in all a good night. Everything worked but needs fine tuning.

PHD Profile with EQ6 Last settings.PNG

Edited by Droogie 2001
Wrong image uploaded

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Droogie,

I sounds like the mount was not responding enough per PHD2 command as my calibration step is set to 600.  Check your ASCOM PulseGuide settings in EQMOD by clicking the icon of the wrench with three red >>> symbols.  My RA and DEC rates are x0.50, min pulse width of 20 and a DEC backlash of 0.   

If you change any of these values you will need to force a PHD2 re-calibration.  Another thing to try is running the PHD2 'Guiding Assistant'.  It will evaluate your setup and suggest setting changes to improve it.

Hope this helps.

Scott

 

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Thank you Scott. I will certainly look at basing my PHD settings on your suggestions.

Certainly sounds like significant differences, gives me hope on improving my guiding. Just need some clear skies...

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One other thing I forgot to say, it is best to tune your PHD2 settings on a target fairly close to the celestial equator, something with a DEC between +/-20.

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Droogie - I'd say your Dec guiding is reasonable, if a little spikey.  The RA could do with some tweaking.   Definitely set  0.5x guide rate in EqMod (its the default) then use the New Equipment wizard in PHD2 to start a brand new fresh setup.  Make sure you get the correct details (pixel size, focal lenght etc)  then do a calibration near Dec=0.

For what it's worth, in my suburban location, I get best results from a 3s exposure and the following settings.    I used the PHD2 Guide Assisant (leave it running at least 5 mins) to suggest the minimum move values (and then lowered them further to 0.08 from the suggested 0.1 ? )   I tweaked The hystersis and aggression settings and this seemed to smooth things out a bit.

RA guide algorithm = Hysteresis, Hysteresis = 0.250, Aggression = 0.600, Minimum move = 0.080
Dec guide algorithm = Resist Switch, Minimum move = 0.080 Aggression = 50% FastSwitch = enabled

 

Those exact settings probably won't work for your AOG setup (I use a 180mm focal length guide scope) but it shows where you could try makeing some adjustments.

 

If you are feeling really fancy, you can enable autopec in eqmod, to cancel out any PEC in the mount.  It's hardly worth the bother though - my copy of the Eq6-r has only a few arcsecs of periodic error and it's easily guided out over a long, lazy steady error cycle.  (Unlike my old EQ3 with had a 19 second periodic sawtooth error - nasty!)

 

 

If you get really stuck submit a guide log (preferably including a calibration run and Guide Assistant run) to the PHD2 support group (on google groups).  They are *very* knowledgeable...

 

 

 

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Thanks Micky. That’s very useful information.

Will arrange a session exclusively for guiding despite the draw of doing imaging instead!

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HI Guys, i'm so happy to find such a great Club for everyone who OWN this awesome EQ6-R and share our experiences here. 

i'm 31 y.o , living in Germany and new to DSO-Photography.

 i started to search for little Mount enough to handle my DSLR (Cannon, 77D) and maybe some big lenses, but i realized: there a lot to see up there and why not to get something bigger and nicer. i started to read and search (literally for weeks!). now ,i  just ordered this big guy and expecting it to come at the end of this Week ?. my next step is to order the Telescope: it's a 10" F/4 Newton weights about 15kg, https://www.astroshop.eu/telescopes/ts-optics-telescope-n-254-1016-photon-ota/p,58539#tab_bar_1_select .

now my question is:

What else I need (as a beginner)  to make a good Photos of Objects , which require basic level of experience and also not too heavy for this mount?

  I'm asking because i've already reached the limits of my Budget for the next months ? 

 

Thank you guys

Edited by OJ87

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Welcom OJ87.  I'm sure you will love the mount.    That is a very serious telescope!  At F4, you will need to pay careful attention to the collimation (do you have the right accessories/skills to check that?)

At 1000mm focal length, I'm quite sure you will be buying some guiding equipment.  Unguided, the eq6-r seems to have about +/- 6arc second periodic errors, repeating over about 8 minutes.  This will give you long or egg shaped stars once you start to go past 30 second exposures and you will need spot-on polar alignment.    I guide my 1000mm focal length scope with a small guide camera inserted in the 9x50 guidescope (with suitable adapter) and it works a treat.  

 

If you are a true beginner, I'd probably suggest a smaller, less demanding scope (eg 150PDS) and save a few euros to see if you need to buy some guiding equipement. (guide camera, laptop, EQdirect cable, guidescope/finderscope adapter etc).

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4 hours ago, mikey2000 said:

Welcom OJ87.  I'm sure you will love the mount.    That is a very serious telescope!  At F4, you will need to pay careful attention to the collimation (do you have the right accessories/skills to check that?)

At 1000mm focal length, I'm quite sure you will be buying some guiding equipment.  Unguided, the eq6-r seems to have about +/- 6arc second periodic errors, repeating over about 8 minutes.  This will give you long or egg shaped stars once you start to go past 30 second exposures and you will need spot-on polar alignment.    I guide my 1000mm focal length scope with a small guide camera inserted in the 9x50 guidescope (with suitable adapter) and it works a treat.  

 

If you are a true beginner, I'd probably suggest a smaller, less demanding scope (eg 150PDS) and save a few euros to see if you need to buy some guiding equipement. (guide camera, laptop, EQdirect cable, guidescope/finderscope adapter etc).

Thank you mikey2000 for the fast reply. 

i think collimation of the Telescope would not be that big deal to me, i'm good with handworking and it seems not too complicated (not underestimating):) . 

i already did some researches about guide cameras and i found this  ALccd-QHY Kamera 5R-IIc Color in acceptable price and promising Performance, would it be compatible with EQ6-R Synscan? or would i meet any troubles with it? considering that i'm more interested in Galaxies and Nebulas.  

with best regards, 

Edited by OJ87

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I'd suggest starting a new thread about choosing a guide cam - the range of choice is vast and a lot depends on the guidescope/main scope focal ratios.  It's a bit beyond me!  My instinct with teh QHY5R-IIc is that it's a bit too low resolution to decently guide a 1000mm scope through a 180mm finderscope.    I guess it would be OK through a longer focal lengtg "proper" guidescope though.

 

Choices, choices!

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3 hours ago, mikey2000 said:

QHY5R-IIc is that it's a bit too low resolution to decently guide a 1000mm scope through a 180mm finderscope.  

If its any help I guide a 1200mm scope with a 280mm guidescope and a ZWO ASI120MC

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Miky2000 thank you for the help.

Now my next question is about power supply (i already read the power tanks) , I know the power demand is very variable depending on the mounts load and what else is draining your power supply. Which power supply would be save to make it save the whole night (max 8 hours) without any issues? Assuming I'll need to charge my laptop once or twice as well? 

I read about car batteries, are they save? What else do I need to connect it with the mount? Anyone can help me? 

Best regards, 

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On 04/02/2019 at 14:57, Stub Mandrel said:

If its any help I guide a 1200mm scope with a 280mm guidescope and a ZWO ASI120MC

Oh I wish you hadn't said that.   Now I'm off looking for another guide scope!  (mine is 150mm and my telescope is Zhumell Z8 1200mm).

Hey everyone, this is my first post here guys.

2019_02_03_IMG_5936_sm.jpg.ed3fea900588f6e5deb5a09f461a2264.jpg

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Hi everyone, I’m now a proud new owner of a eq6-r! 

 

Decided to to give it a test to see how the polar scope is, and it’s abit out! Clouds rocked in and today a job of calibrating the scope with a distant tv Ariel is in order -_- 

 

its a beautiful mount, and my esprit 80 just looks beautiful sat on it ^_^ can’t wait for clear skies! And test it with the zwo1600 ? 

 

Gareth 

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Welcome to the club Gareth. You will love the mount. 

I eventually want to pair it with an esprit. Will be either 80 or 100 not yet decided, or saved up enough for scope and flattened and focused......

keep us informed on how it goes 

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So here’s a test shot ( just stars! Nothing to special like a galaxy or nebula)  with the zwo 1600mm pro mono, I had a brief window of about a hour and half last night, I polar aligned, and then took a couple of pictures, first one I forgot to put the guiding on in eqmod. Star trails galore... 

i then enabled guiding within eqmod.

 

this was just pointing straight up , with a 20 sec exposure with my esprit 80, on the eq6-r, no darks or lights just a single shot with just the camera, first light, and no phd guiding as I forgot to get the right attachment! Dosey I am at times ha! 

I have now downloaded all the stuff needed to platesolve so hopefully on the next time I get out I will have something of interest to show ... 

 

92A5CFEE-BDA6-4D46-BEDB-887EB6DDB37E.jpeg

Edited by Gareth88
Missed a word :/

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I've had my mount about 18 months now and absolutely love it compared to my old mount, I only have one issue and I don't know if others have the same problem, the clutches on both axes never seem to fully lock the mount, I only have to put a bit of pressure on the mount and they move. Is there any way of adjusting them?

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On 25/02/2019 at 21:29, Dinglem said:

I've had my mount about 18 months now and absolutely love it compared to my old mount, I only have one issue and I don't know if others have the same problem, the clutches on both axes never seem to fully lock the mount, I only have to put a bit of pressure on the mount and they move. Is there any way of adjusting them?

The same thing in my mount, i think it’s made with purpose to protect the fine  gears inside from damage caused by accidental pressure. 

 

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