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5hredder

Controlling my EQ3 Pro SynScan mount using PHD2?

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hello all.. i'm hoping someone can help me here.

i'm trying to hook up my SW EQ3 Pro SynScan mount and ZWO ASI120MC guide camera with PHD2.

I haven't done any auto guiding before, so forgive me if my questions are a bit dumb.. I've read quite a few bits online, but get confused with the terminology half the time.

 

I've got my guide camera connected to my laptop via USB, and the SynScan connected via ST4 to USB too.

I've downloaded and installed all the mount drivers I need (I think?), but nothing seems to happen when i try to control the mount with PHD2.

Any thoughts or advice would be gratefully received and acted upon immediately - it's clear out tonight!

If you can, please help.. you're my only hope.

 

Thank you..

RAWz.

ps: I have posted this question in another thread, but feared it may get buried.

 

My setup:

Skywatcher ED80 Pro Telescope + Skywatcher EQ3 Pro SynScan Mount and Tripod + ZWO ASI120MC Guide Camera + Canon EOS 550D + Microsoft LifeCam Polar Cam + PC or MAC.

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The connections between the mount, camera and laptop should be:

  • Camera to laptop via usb cable
  • Camera to mount control box via ST4 ports on camera and mount
  • Handset to laptop via serial data cable 

 

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Hi

You can connect laptop to mount using a usb-serial cable connected to the 'hand control' input on the control box (next to the power input). It may be better to not use ST4 for the guidescope/cam. You can use Stellarium to control the mount, with eqmod/ascom, of course :)

Louise

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Hello, and thank you both for your advice ??

Unfortunately, last night was possibly the worst nights stargazing I think ever.. clear as, not too cold, mount decided to die on me!!?

I’m not sure what has happened, but the suns can handset says something along the lines of: ‘cannot connect to mount, stand alone mode’?

from what I’ve read online, it’s likely that the mother board in the motor has gone??

 

i honestly don’t know what to do now.

 

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3 hours ago, 5hredder said:

Hello, and thank you both for your advice ??

Unfortunately, last night was possibly the worst nights stargazing I think ever.. clear as, not too cold, mount decided to die on me!!?

I’m not sure what has happened, but the suns can handset says something along the lines of: ‘cannot connect to mount, stand alone mode’?

from what I’ve read online, it’s likely that the mother board in the motor has gone??

 

i honestly don’t know what to do now.

 

How are you powering the mount? Unlikely that anything major has suddenly failed. I've never used the handset on mine - I control the mount from PC/laptop via an eqdir cable.

Louise

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On 19/05/2018 at 18:48, Thalestris24 said:

How are you powering the mount? Unlikely that anything major has suddenly failed. I've never used the handset on mine - I control the mount from PC/laptop via an eqdir cable.

Louise

Hello Louise..

Sorry for my delay in replying.

 

I power the mount using a Tracer battery pack, which I presume is working correctly.

Unfortunately, my pc laptop’s RS232 serial port is female, as is the end of the supplied SkyWatcher cable, so I haven’t updated the firmware before - it’s currently on v2.4.

I bought a Zwo USBST4 converter, but I’m not convinced that’s working as there’s no light showing up on it, and I get an error from the firmware loader saying: Can not connect to SynScan hand control?

 

My laptop has an input for an RJ-12 cable (I think?), which I have connected from the HC to the laptop and still nothing?

 

I have also contacted SkyWatcher, but they want me to send the mount, cables and electronic components(?) back to them so they can ‘find the fault, and quote for the supply of any replacement components needed.’

 

thank you for your reply, hopefully what I’ve told you above might help you help me further?

Rory.

 

 

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Are you referring to an eqdir cable? They are usb (at computer end) to serial (at mount end).

Louise

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6 minutes ago, 5hredder said:

Unfortunately, my pc laptop’s RS232 serial port is female, as is the end of the supplied SkyWatcher cable, so I haven’t updated the firmware before - it’s currently on v2.4.

I bought a Zwo USBST4 converter, but I’m not convinced that’s working as there’s no light showing up on it, and I get an error from the firmware loader saying: Can not connect to SynScan hand control?

My laptop has an input for an RJ-12 cable (I think?), which I have connected from the HC to the laptop and still nothing?

 

The "RS232" port on your laptop is a VGA monitor port. RS232 serial ports have 9 pins and male, VGA ports have 15 pins and female.  If you don't have a v3 handset you won't be able to update the firmware.  Do not connect the "RJ12" port on your laptop to the handset, this won't work either, that port is probably either an ethernet or a modem port. 

Connect the camera to the laptop via the usb cable and the ST4 port on the mount to the ST4 port on the camera. In PHD select the camera from the drop down menus and select "on camera" for mount type.

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All the computer to ST4 connection can do is reproduce the effect to you pressing the up/down east/west buttons.

It can guide, but nothing else. Everything else is done via the handset.

If you get the EQdir lead  (USB on computer plug other end into mount, don't use handset)) you have to install:

Ascom platform

EQdir

Then connect using EQdir.

EQdir lets you control the mount from your computer

You can then connect a program like Cartes du Ciel (to use stellarium you need yet another in-between program!!!!!) and in it you connect to the scope which lets you slew to objects in place of using the handset.

Similarly PHD2 connects to EQdir.

Yes it is all awesomely complicated. It took me about three or four nights to get it all working and another three or four to 'fine tune'.

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Here is mine (complete with dust!) showing where I plug my eqdir cable next to the 12v DC input:

eq3pro_eqdir.jpg.8f574f325709d8cae2b6851f6588ed98.jpg

Louise

ps here is FLO's Lynx Eqdir cable:

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

 

 

Edited by Thalestris24

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17 hours ago, 5hredder said:

Unfortunately, my pc laptop’s RS232 serial port is female, as is the end of the supplied SkyWatcher cable, so I haven’t updated the firmware before - it’s currently on v2.4.

The Synscan handset supplied with the EQ3 Pro would be either a v3 (older mounts) or v4 (newer mounts). Firmware version v2.4 would be incorrect.

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If you're controlling the mount via Ascom/Eqmod/Stellarium or CdC, then you don't need the handset (I've never used mine). Hence the eqdir cable plugs into the hand control socket (as above photo) and into a usb 2.0 port on your laptop. There is then no need to use ST4 and you only have a usb cable from the guide camera to laptop usb. Whatever you do, don't just plug things in to apparently matching sockets! Always make sure you're plugging the right thing into the right connector, and that you understand what you're doing!

Louise

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