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Nigel G

Using EQMOD to control mount.

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Hi all.

Simple question, if I was to align my mount and slew to a target, then remove the handset and connect to EQMOD would the alignment data be lost and the mount stop tracking.

If so when would I remove the handset to control via EQMOD.

Thanks

Nigel.

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9 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

Why wouldn't you do your alignment & slewing using eqmod in the first place?

I use EQMOD via the handset plug and PC direct, but a friend is having trouble when connecting by removing the handset, he has been aligning and then changing over to EQMOD and no longer tracking. I just thought he would loose all data as he disconnected the handset.

Wanted to make sure :) 

Nige.

 

Edited by Nigel G

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But I don't understand why you would be using the handset at all. You can align the mount and slew to target using eqmod. No need change anything over. 

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Just so. If you're using eqmod then you're also using a laptop, so chuck the handset away and just use the laptop. Cartes du Ciel / EQmod / PD2 plus whatever capture software you're using.

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1 hour ago, Demonperformer said:

But I don't understand why you would be using the handset at all. You can align the mount and slew to target using eqmod. No need change anything over. 

The serial cable I have will not fit the handset socket so I go through the handset and select PC direct mode, until I get a new cable thats all I can do. My buddy is new to guiding and EQMOD, I wasn't sure how to bypass the handset and just needed to be sure before I told him. He has been aligning the mount then disconnecting the handset to plug in to the PC. Then it all goes wrong. 

I thought that he needed to disconnect handset and connect serial cable before switching on the mount, then align with CDC. Just needed conformation :) 

Sorted now :) 

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Just to be clear. EQMOD and the handset act as two entirely sepearate mount controllers - no data (alignment, site, time, pec etc) is shared between them. If using EQMOD (even if via the handset in PC-Direc tmode) then alignment must be performed in EQMOD only. Once you've opted for EQMOD control you shouldn't switch back to the handset (essentially don't touch the handset at all) as any movement of the mount outside of EQMOD control will compromise the EQMOD alignment and control.

 

Chris.

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18 hours ago, DaveS said:

so chuck the handset away and just use the laptop

Well........when he say chuck it away.........:laugh2:

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Well, not literally, but you don't need it with Eqmod. In fact my old HEQ5 is a Syntek version (No longer made alas), so I just used one of these

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/astronomy-cables-leads-accessories/lynx-astro-ftdi-eqdir-usb-adapter-for-sky-watcher-eq5-pro-heq5-syntrek-pro-az-eq5-gt-az-eq6-gt-and-eq8-mounts.html

to connect it to my laptop. I ran Cartes du Ciel (Better for control than Stellarium) / EQmod / PHD2 for guiding, and either APT or AstroArt5 for acquisition.

I now run an ASA mount so no longer need Eqmod or PHD2, and use Maxim DL6 for plate solving and acquisition.

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It may have changed, but I seem to recall when starting out with EQMOD that is was recommended not to use PC-Direct mode for some reason (lack of testing rings a bell).

As noted above, EQ-DIR cable from FLO and laptop only is perfect.  I've never used the handset on any of my mounts.

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16 minutes ago, RayD said:

It may have changed, but I seem to recall when starting out with EQMOD that is was recommended not to use PC-Direct mode for some reason (lack of testing rings a bell).

As noted above, EQ-DIR cable from FLO and laptop only is perfect.  I've never used the handset on any of my mounts.

No true any more Sky Watcher even have a download so that Synscan App works via the handset. The eqmod site said that because ,i guess, they were not sure if SW would alter something in the firmware to stop EQMOD working. In PC-Direct the handset acts as an transparant RS232c to Serial TTL converter.

It works but as everyone has said dont use it (keep handset just in case !!!!) - I dont worry it might seem hard at first to get used to Eqmod but in the end its worth it.

Your buddy could of course go SW Wifi Adapter (no wires) , Android Phone or Windows PC and Synscan App Pro plus Skysafari - the app gives you all the handset did.

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1 minute ago, stash_old said:

No true any more Sky Watcher even have a download so that Synscan App works via the handset. The eqmod site said that because ,i guess, they were not sure if SW would alter something in the firmware to stop EQMOD working. In PC-Direct the handset acts as an transparant RS232c to Serial TTL converter.

It works but as everyone has said dont use it (keep handset just in case !!!!) - I dont worry it might seem hard at first to get used to Eqmod but in the end its worth it.

Your buddy could of course go SW Wifi Adapter (no wires) , Android Phone or Windows PC and Synscan App Pro plus Skysafari - the app gives you all the handset did.

Ah ok, good it's sorted out, opens up more options for connecting.

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5 hours ago, RayD said:

It may have changed, but I seem to recall when starting out with EQMOD that is was recommended not to use PC-Direct mode for some reason (lack of testing rings a bell).

 

It's not lack of testing that is the issue. EQMOD has been around for over 11 years and has established a massive user base in that time. A good proportion of those users give PC-Direct at some point - so plenty of testing has been done. The sticking point is just that EQMOD was designed to work via a direct hardware link to the mount where it has the freedom of being in sole control. PC-Direct is not this but is a software link between PC and mount and as such there must be buffering and routing algorithms at play (especially as the mount can still be slewed via the handset in PC-Direct mode). Skywatcher hav enever cliamed that PC-Direct was been designed to be EQMOD friendly (EQMOD existed well before PC-Direct) and have not published any information on how PC-Direct works, what its limitations are or what represents best practice for third party developers using it.

So whilst EQMOD and PC-Direct are currently playing nice with each other there is no guarentee that future changes to either EQMOD, or indeed Synscan firmware, will not break this. The EQMOD website simply aims to make users aware of this - so that if in future something does break (and skywatcher have messed it up before!) there is no expectation that a "fix" will be made.

Chris.

 

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7 minutes ago, chrisshillito said:

It's not lack of testing that is the issue. EQMOD has been around for over 11 years and has established a massive user base in that time. A good proportion of those users give PC-Direct at some point - so plenty of testing has been done. The sticking point is just that EQMOD was designed to work via a direct hardware link to the mount where it has the freedom of being in sole control. PC-Direct is not this but is a software link between PC and mount and as such there must be buffering and routing algorithms at play (especially as the mount can still be slewed via the handset in PC-Direct mode). Skywatcher hav enever cliamed that PC-Direct was been designed to be EQMOD friendly (EQMOD existed well before PC-Direct) and have not published any information on how PC-Direct works, what its limitations are or what represents best practice for third party developers using it.

So whilst EQMOD and PC-Direct are currently playing nice with each other there is no guarentee that future changes to either EQMOD, or indeed Synscan firmware, will not break this. The EQMOD website simply aims to make users aware of this - so that if in future something does break (and skywatcher have messed it up before!) there is no expectation that a "fix" will be made.

Chris.

 

Thanks Chris.  Very clear explanation.

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For the sake of about £30 buy yourself a lynx eqdir cable. It will take all your headaches away.

If you are using your kit for imaging then just platesolve. It does all the alignment for you.

Thinking about it I have no ideas where my handset is....

I just use Eqmod, APT, and PHD2.

Mark.

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6 hours ago, spillage said:

I have no ideas where my handset is

Mine has never come out of the box it came in. In fact, knowing how simple EQMOD made things, I saved myself a couple of hundred pounds and bought the 'syntrek' version of the mount. But these seem to have disappeared from the market. Maybe SW got wise to the fact that they were losing out on profits to a free application!

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I'm a bit surprised that ditching the handset is the answer. Is it only me that finds driving it from the PC such a poor experience ?

I start mine (only recently acquired so still working out the best way to do all this for me) in handset mode, check alignment and then move over to direct mode. The reason for this is that the handset doesn't support slews using the skywatcher driver. Haven't worked out why yet, even though the  firmware is up to date.  Eqmod for me has problems with limits, parking, turning tracking off which I find restrictive and not obvious.

 

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@skybadger I think the issues you are having may be due to using the handset. Have a look here at the videos made by chris shillito. You will find them very useful.

 

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