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With new mount and upgraded scope features, now looking to venture into imaging.
Before I start, I'm not looking to get feedback on polar alignment, mono guidecam, better imaging cameras, etc; this is more a 'dummies guide' setup discussion! I'm not expecting to get great images at this stage, just more the options available, getting over some issues, so that I can jump outside on a clear night with an ideal, foolproof(!), setup for either imaging or visual as time would permit and what may work best for me. As you may guess from the topic name, I'm a mac user (Macbook Pro) and would rather keep to this if possible (whilst I do have Windows (and Ubuntu) via parallels, I'd rather not use these).
I've got a setup which has worked well for visual, and obviously want to have a couple of 'staple' setups that I can use depending on expectations of night observing or imaging. So far, the best one for me has been the Skywatcher Wifi Synscan controller, which has worked a treat with my Android phone - I use the Synscan app to complete alignment and GOTO stars/planets/DSO etc, or Stellarium_plus after completing alignment. This removes the need for the Synscan Handset and any USB cables to the mount altogether. But I don't know if this will work for guiding.
That then brings me to my issue on mac - connecting USB(A) between Macbook and Handset, I've attempted to control the mount through Stellarium. Trying each of the available connections (/dev/tty.usbsetial-1420, /dev/cu.usbsetial-1420, and just for sake of it, the /dev/tty.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port and /dev/cu.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port) in the dropdown menu under DeviceSettings/SerialPort, I cannot get the mount to connect (well, more like selecting the telescope and clicking the "Start" on the TelescopeControl just results in the spinning icon and I have to Force-Quit Stellarium and start again with the same result each time. Annoyingly (for fellow mac users!), Parallels/Windows/Stellarium connects and controls the mount fine! As the mount is the newer "pro" type, I also have a USB connection directly under the hand-controller RJ45 and AutoGuider ST4 sockets, but using this still results in the same issue. Another issue I have seen is that when I unplug the USB from the computer when connected to the handset, the date on the controller jumps significantly - for example, last night at ~23:30, I was transported through the local wormhole galaxy to Jan 2048 according to Synscan! Obviously unplugging isn't going to happen during a genuine session, but just wondering if this is a possible issue somewhere?!
Any other mac users connecting USB directly to the SW 'Pro' mounts?
Software wise, would folks generally suggest steering away from Stellarium towards KStars or SkySafari(Plus) for controlling the mount?
Can the Wifi dongle be used for controlling mount from computer (any OS) or do I need to go USB either to handset or directly to mount?
Is there an issue in using Mac USB to the telescope compared to 'straight' Windows (i.e. PC/laptop with Windows instead of virtual)?
Anyway, back to topic... I've a Nikon DSLR to use for primary camera at this stage, which would be triggered independently from guiding software. PHD2 is my hopeful choice of guiding software (is EKOS with KStars similar?), with T7C guide-camera on 240mm f/4 guidescope, and at this stage, I can confirm PHD2 at least connects to the camera on OS-X. There is an ST4 port on the camera, but having read several topics, I think I want to pulse-guide directly - is this correct or is ST4 best for this setup? This sorta comes back to software and connections - my understanding is one of the following cable setups for guiding (as a minimum) :
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => SynscanHandset => AZEQ6
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => AZEQ6
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => Wifi => SynscaWifi Adapter on AZEQ6
[using ST4: ST4_on_AZEQ6 => Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2] (no additional connections needed if ST4 is used)
Additionally, I'd like to use an observatory package, say Stellarium/KStars/SkySafari, to select objects and drive the mount, then use guiding software to keep good 'tracking'.
Where in this train does EQMac fit in, or when is it used?
What about the 2019 addition to EQMod (ASCOM Alpaca)? Can this be used or is it already in other packages?!
For Windows users, how does EQMod fit in (if I go down route of getting Windows laptop for controlling things, is the setup similar to above?
There may be bits in the above that repeat, and for that, I'm sorry, just want to get across the message that I'm new to the guiding but haven't quite settled down into the software/hardware I'm expecting to use for 'goto' and 'guiding'
For a mac user, what setup and software are folks using for guiding and observatory softwares for the newer USB-on-mount 'AZEQ6/EQ6-R Pro' mounts from SW?
Has anyone had any experience installing ASCOM driver onto the EQM 35 pros SynScan hand controller for using with PHD2? I'm watching a tutorial using PHD2 and the chap is using ASCOM for connecting his computer to his guide camera instead of using a cable. So the computer becomes the middle man instead of the mount.
First of all mine english is not so good so sorry for that.
I am a new to astrophotography. And my setup is
Mount : Skywatcher EQM 35 PRO
Tube : Skywatcher Explorer 150PDS (newtonian)
Camera : Canon 550D
Guide scope : Svbony 60mm compact guide scope
Guide cam : Svbony SV105
I know my setup is weak and cheap but for now I have them (budged problem )
I started the hobby at May and I took some photos that not bad for beggining. I reached 60-90 seconds without guiding.
After that I thought that the time for starting improve the guiding and I bought guiding scope and cam. I know the cam is not for guiding but it was cheap, and I am planing to change it with mono guide cam (like zwo asi120 mono) at next months.
But my first experience for PHD2 was terrible.
I've detected some errors and tried to fix them.
First thing there was a unbalancing. I mounted the guide scope on the position of finder scope which is very close to edge of the main scope.
So I fixed it (after the night I tried to guide with PHD2) and put it on the bracelet (over and middle of the main tube)
And second thing was that there is a backlash and I tried to fix it too. I opened to gear of dec and adjusted to gear mesh.
Except them the alignment was not so good because location was in the city (bortle scale 9) and I haven't got finder scope as you know. So I am not sure that if the stars (3 star alignment method) are correct because with nacked eye I could't see them. Next time I will do better alignment with finder for sure.
After them I am planing to try next weekend again. But before that I need your advises to eliminate the problems which I couldn't detect or I don't how to fix them.
For example I can not see any pulse for RA on the graph what does it mean and how can I fix it.
And also I am not sure if there is any problem with ascom. There is no option in the drop list for EQM 35 PRO. So I choose ASCOM.SkyWatcher.Telescope and I downloaded/installed ascom driver from webpage of skywatcher.
Hi All, wondered if you could help me make sense of this ... new HEQ5 - belt modded by FLO, all feels good, minuscule backlash but strange guiding.
Admittedly first time using it but baffled.
Failed calibration see image below and guiding seemed to be Ra and Dec following each other.
Stars look ok ish (@ 1500 mm )
Needle galaxy is poor as only about 10 mins each in RGB
note - it was hazy and did keep losing star in OAG
Thanks for looking