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Cancington42

RJ-12 to USB

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I’m trying to do some cable management and it’s time to replace the rj12-com to com-usb. The com connection is bulky.. anyone know where I can find an rj-12 to usb cable that is meant for connecting a mount controller to a computer?

Thanks

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If your connecting a mount to pc why the controller just use an eqdirect cable and use Eqmod and  a planaterium program such as CDC or Stellarium  , FLO have these in stock .

Edited by bottletopburly

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Which USB to Serial adapter are you using?

I’ve found the KEYSPAN adapter works well and isn’t too bulky.

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Thanks for the reaponce guys! I’m using an eq6-r. From my understanding I need to connect rj-12-com to com-usb to the SynScan controller, turn on pc direct mode, then I use eqmod and other software for guiding and controlling the mount. 

I dont think I can use an rj-45 to usb to control the mount and remove the controller. Can I??

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Yes you can,  in fact having sole control over the mount via a direct connection to the mount with, no handcontroller present, is eactly how EQMOD is designed to be used. PC-Direct mode seems to work (there have been issues in the past) but is not something the EQMOD was ever specifically designed to use and we (EQMOD developers) can offer no guarentees that any future changes to EQMOD, or sysncan firmware, would not break that method. Our Project website explains the various connection methods

To connect direct from the mount to the PC via USB you do howerver need to buy a special EQDirect adapter (often called EQDIR) or build your own using an ftdi usb-ttl cable and splice a Rj-45 onto it using the instructions on the EQMOD Project website.

 

Chris

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The mount doesn't use RJ12 it uses rj45 at the mount end - see page 13 of http://skywatcherusa.com/downloads/manuals/neq6-r.pdf - Cant remember what the Handset cable type is but guess thats RJ12.   I dont understand the question "bulky" the std cable id coiled so it is small in length but it enables it to expand the length as the mount moves.   NOTE this cable is wired specifically for the handset and does no "conversion" at all (the Handset does that) and  as you pointed out so yes you can use EQMOD/CDC when you connect the Handset to the PC when its set in "direct mode".

"com-usb" - thats not the same and doesn't use the handset at all but converts the electrical logic at the mount from rs232 TTL(3v/5v depending on the model) to Serial Com port via emulation at the PC so it is shown as a "COM" port in Devices. Then software like EQMOD/SYNSCAN APP PRO(COM)   can drive the mount and as they use(or can) ASCOM driver other software such as CDC / Stallarium(Scope reqd) etc can interface(share) with the Ascom mount driver(ie.EQMOD/Synscan APP).

As others have pointed out the "com-usb" required a hardware device as sold by Flo and others - e.g. Lynx or follow the EQMOD help guide and wire your own for a £10 - warning get it wrong and say good bye to the board in the mount as 1 wire carries 12V (which you dont need when connecting to the mount/pc method). Also the TTL voltage level is important (3v/5v) get this wrong and again bye bye mount board(not always) 

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OR you could scrap the cable connection and go wireless with the Sky Watcher Wireless adapter - and use SynScan App (on android/windows etc) - It provides Ascom drivers for CDC/Sky Safari/Stellarium etc to connect and of course any other software such as PHD2 APT BYEOS Sharpcap etc. Note in his set up you cant use EQMOD

Edited by stash_old

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1 hour ago, stash_old said:

Also the TTL voltage level is important (3v/5v) get this wrong and again bye bye mount board(not always) 

The older mounts used 5V logic the new ones (AZEQ6, EQ8 etc.) 3.3V. Using a 3.3V adapter with a 5V mount just won't work but it wont casue any damage either. Folks with 3.3V mount interfaces have reported to me that they are actually 5V tollerant and that you can use a 5V or 3.3V adapter with no issues.

You can use EQMOD wirelessly (bluetooth eqdir) - ultimately any interface technology that presents itself to windows as a COM port, and presents a three wire serial ttl interface to the mount can be used. However, in my opinion, those seeking the most robust solution for mount control, with minimal latency, should stick to wired connections.

Chris.

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49 minutes ago, chrisshillito said:

ultimately any interface technology that presents itself to windows as a COM port, and presents a three wire serial ttl interface to the mount can be used. However, in my opinion, those seeking the most robust solution for mount control, with minimal latency

3v/5v totally agree I was just not trying to confuse the guy.

The Synscan App doesn't have to use a Com port at all (but it will work with one) as it using UDP (fast but no error correction) and no wires, when used with Wireless Adapter(doesn't even have to be Skywatcher's), and todate has been very robust at short distances(1m-5m) - so at dark sites. The latency is minimised as TCP/UDP networks ,although packeted data, are  as good as "COM" ports used especially when most users use  9600bd by default.

I have used EQMOD both wirelessly(not bluetooth) / wired with very little "real world" difference in latency/robustness for mount control mainly due to the advances in hardware. Just the same as RS232/Serial improved enough via hardware(faster processors) to do away DTR/RTS or Xon/Xoff and buffers.

I use wired COM(via EQMOD) in my Obsys and wireless for my "grab and Go" but,IMHO, the future has got to be wireless - removal of the COM port and  removal of trailing wires.

I ,IMO,suspect Sky Watcher will by "removing" the physical serial/ttl mount port in future models as this allows them more profit  and less support hassle.

And ,IMO, anything is better than a wired handset :-):hiding:

Plus the other option ,someone will no doubt bring up, is move the "Computer" to the mount (which many have done) .

Now to invent anti cloud/rain/wind device would be great - or wireless power transmission.

 

In the end he has plenty of choices to solve his initial questions and with everyone's helpful input he can make his own decision - as we all can/do :-)

Clear Skies

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Thank you so much for all the information!! I didn’t realize I could skip the hand controller and go rj45 directly into the mount for control. I’ll give it a try!! Just have to het the cable first!

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12 hours ago, chrisshillito said:

Yes you can,  in fact having sole control over the mount via a direct connection to the mount with, no handcontroller present, is eactly how EQMOD is designed to be used. PC-Direct mode seems to work (there have been issues in the past) but is not something the EQMOD was ever specifically designed to use and we (EQMOD developers) can offer no guarentees that any future changes to EQMOD, or sysncan firmware, would not break that method. Our Project website explains the various connection methods

To connect direct from the mount to the PC via USB you do howerver need to buy a special EQDirect adapter (often called EQDIR) or build your own using an ftdi usb-ttl cable and splice a Rj-45 onto it using the instructions on the EQMOD Project website.

 

Chris

Thanks for the info! I found this cable but it says that it wont interface with the eq6. Will this interface with the eq6-r? It’s rj-45, which is the plug type for the controller, then I’d get rid of the controller all together and the mount will plug directly into usb, which is exactly what I want.. but..

This mount has a permanent PEC tracking option. When taking out the hand controller and connecting directly to pc, How can I use the PEC training that I did to track sidereal with PEC?

https://www.ontariotelescope.com/EQDIR-USB2-EQ-Direct-USB-Cable-for-Synta-HEQ-5-and-Orion-Sirius-ASCOM_p_1283.html

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By the look of it, yes. It says it terminates with an RJ-45, which is the same as the eq6-r.

Not to confuse the issue, it won't work on the EQ6 mounts because they have a different connector.

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9 hours ago, Cancington42 said:

Thanks for the info! I found this cable but it says that it wont interface with the eq6. Will this interface with the eq6-r? It’s rj-45, which is the plug type for the controller, then I’d get rid of the controller all together and the mount will plug directly into usb, which is exactly what I want.. but..

This mount has a permanent PEC tracking option. When taking out the hand controller and connecting directly to pc, How can I use the PEC training that I did to track sidereal with PEC?

https://www.ontariotelescope.com/EQDIR-USB2-EQ-Direct-USB-Cable-for-Synta-HEQ-5-and-Orion-Sirius-ASCOM_p_1283.html

Dont confuse the connector type (e.g. RJ45) with how its wired(pin to pin) - I don't know the EQ6-R but it appears that the RJ45 socket on that mount is wired the same as AZeq6/HEQ5 but you need to get this confirmed/guaranteed from the above(or any supplier) - but I suspect its ok - but check as I say. FLO's equiv https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/lynx-astro-ftdi-eqdir-usb-adapter-for-sky-watcher-eq5-pro-heq5-syntrek-pro-az-eq5-gt-az-eq6-gt-and-eq8-mounts.html actual quotes the EQ6-R as being the same cable for AZEQ6/HEQ5 etc

EQMOD and Sky Watchers Synscan software both do PEC training - here is the EQMOD info http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/docs/eqmod_vs-pec.pdf 

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Sorry for the thread hijack!

So, if I already had an EQDirect cable that is running my mount with EQMod, all I would need to do would be to swap software if I wanted to run the Synscan App? 

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9 hours ago, MeyGray3833 said:

Sorry for the thread hijack!

So, if I already had an EQDirect cable that is running my mount with EQMod, all I would need to do would be to swap software if I wanted to run the Synscan App? 

Swap EQMOD to SYNSCAN yes but they can't work together. Plus it can only be done (straight forwardly!) on Windows as the version allows COM port connection so you would use the same COM port as your Eqmod did (so if EQmod used COM2 then Synscan would need to connect on Com2). The connection type etc are under "connect settings" and you need to select "serial" at which point you need to select the "serial port number" from the drop down menu - so in our example you would use 2. The mount would be switched on BEFORE you hit the "connect" button.  See attached picture.

If you also use Ascom you will need to download the Synscan Mobile Ascom driver if you want to connect CDC,APT or Sharpcap etc. Note you can use Skysafari from Android to connect to the Windows PC running Synscan you just need to input the IP address of the PC where Synscan is running - so you will need to be connected to the same network.

You can even run CDC,APT or Sharpcap on another PC (not the one running Synscan) its quite flexible - the only thing is that ,if you are using WiFi, that the signal strength is "Good" to "excellent" in my experience.

connect.png

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