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alan potts

Totally fed up can anyone help

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On 17/04/2019 at 10:52, alan potts said:

just like to do one thing at a time so I understand what happenning, I will go with EQmod soon trust me

I only read to this comment and just had to cut through. 

DROP ST4! 

It's a flawed technology, getting you into all sorts of compatibility issues between cameras and mounts and the cables are horrible. Drop it. Now. 

I've been there, spent two nights messing with ST-4. Once I went USB it worked immediately. You're banging your your head against something totally unnecessary. 

If you are hellbent on making it work, good luck. If you want to guide, go USB. 

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Hmmm, a bit harsh....

I've successfully used the ST-4 connection with/ without EQMod on both my HEQ5 and NEQ6 mounts for over ten years. No issues, no drama.

There are MANY happy PHD2 users around the world, many more than use EQMod. It's well supported and capable of giving good guiding. Like all the tools in your toolbox, it just needs to be used correctly.

 

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5 hours ago, Merlin66 said:

Hmmm, a bit harsh....

I've successfully used the ST-4 connection with/ without EQMod on both my HEQ5 and NEQ6 mounts for over ten years. No issues, no drama.

There are MANY happy PHD2 users around the world, many more than use EQMod. It's well supported and capable of giving good guiding. Like all the tools in your toolbox, it just needs to be used correctly.

 

No not harsh really, sometimes people need that type of help with a gentle kick up the backside. However I did find one massive flaw in the set-up, that there is no hope for Me. I have 3 laptops all exactly the same all decent Lenovo Thinkpads, a few years old now but fine machines. I got them from an IT mate from a failed busines S/H for very little. I also have a good but older Dell with a RS 232 port that I could use too, I use it with the Meade LX 12 inch.

What I did last night was pick up the wrong laptop and didn't notice the slight differences in what on it, In PHD it was set up in Mount SW EQ5/6 and not On Camera so I imagine that would explain why nothing moved and as the mount is AZ EQ 6 that didn't think any of the link up and PHD 2 shoed the green light, then I wasted over an hour. Still at least it wasn't really cold.

Lets hope for a clear sky tonight.

Alan

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Older Thinkpads have serial sockets so connecting up for Pulseguide should be easy........ ?

Michael 

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16 hours ago, alan potts said:

No not harsh really, sometimes people need that type of help with a gentle kick up the backside. However I did find one massive flaw in the set-up, that there is no hope for Me. I have 3 laptops all exactly the same all decent Lenovo Thinkpads, a few years old now but fine machines. I got them from an IT mate from a failed busines S/H for very little. I also have a good but older Dell with a RS 232 port that I could use too, I use it with the Meade LX 12 inch.

What I did last night was pick up the wrong laptop and didn't notice the slight differences in what on it, In PHD it was set up in Mount SW EQ5/6 and not On Camera so I imagine that would explain why nothing moved and as the mount is AZ EQ 6 that didn't think any of the link up and PHD 2 shoed the green light, then I wasted over an hour. Still at least it wasn't really cold.

Lets hope for a clear sky tonight.

Alan

Set it up in your living room and get EQmod and PHD2 talking to it without the pressure of trying to image as well.

Helped out a mate recently, we set up his mount on my coffee table - it worked with both my EQmod cables (my homebrew one and the homebrew that came with my mount) and steadfastly refused to speak to his £30 one despite the computer finding it. Curiously my Hitect Astro one blew up too (literally, due to poor soldering leaving a stray wire filament).

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13 hours ago, michael8554 said:

Older Thinkpads have serial sockets so connecting up for Pulseguide should be easy........ ?

Michael 

They are not that old 5 years I think but I know what you mean. My Dell has a serial connector but I have a cable for Direct EQmod from Lynx which I will get working . I like the Easy word being used , I was told ST4 was easy, though it did work last night fairly well but I am going to start a new thread to ask about fine tuning it, it was a bit up and down with an RMS in Dec and RA of around 0.35-0.4 most of the time, it did get down to 2.8 at best. I didn't stay out long because I was tired but got some decent subs at 2 and 3 minutes as I was just trying it out.

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5 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Set it up in your living room and get EQmod and PHD2 talking to it without the pressure of trying to image as well.

Helped out a mate recently, we set up his mount on my coffee table - it worked with both my EQmod cables (my homebrew one and the homebrew that came with my mount) and steadfastly refused to speak to his £30 one despite the computer finding it. Curiously my Hitect Astro one blew up too (literally, due to poor soldering leaving a stray wire filament).

I don't see any point in moving from the observatory but yet again after success last night it looks like a brand new Lynx cable does not work, the one that fellow Mod Rob sent me seems to have bigger clips on it and fit much tighter.

Alan

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3 hours ago, alan potts said:

They are not that old 5 years I think but I know what you mean

5 years old ?  That's cradle snatching. .......

Old is Thinkpad X41 12" Netbook, plus dock left in warm room ready to go.

Lightweight magnesium frame, cost thousands when new.

Runs guiding and imaging fine but way too slow for image processing, so slip the memory card out of the slot and indoors to the Desktop PC.

Good to hear things are happdning at last.

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1 hour ago, michael8554 said:

5 years old ?  That's cradle snatching. .......

Old is Thinkpad X41 12" Netbook, plus dock left in warm room ready to go.

Lightweight magnesium frame, cost thousands when new.

Runs guiding and imaging fine but way too slow for image processing, so slip the memory card out of the slot and indoors to the Desktop PC.

Good to hear things are happdning at last.

I got 3 for 120 quid each 2 year ago, Venci who is a wiz at IT but not available to help a great deal with my issues at night comes up with some great bargains, he offered me a docking station with the deal but I gave it to him for his machine as he often needs RS 232 port for his work which is of course on the station, dam good machines. He always tell me don't buy from a supermarket type of place, there are made to get out of guarantee. His message was spot on with monitors, I bought a Samsung with 2 years guarantee and it broke 2 years and 3 months, now I have 2 x 28inch pro spec monitors from him S/H at a fraction of the new price and working well.

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I've been using ST4 since I started 12 years ago and run two and sometimes three mounts per night with this technology on a couple of hundred nights per year. Apart from the ST4 cables specified for the original Lodestar I'm at a loss as to what's supposed to be wrong with it.

Olly

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Quote

though it did work last night fairly well but I am going to start a new thread to ask about fine tuning it, it was a bit up and down with an RMS in Dec and RA of around 0.35-0.4 most of the time, it did get down to 2.8 at best. I didn't stay out long because I was tired but got some decent subs at 2 and 3 minutes as I was just trying it out.

Quote

pick up the wrong laptop and didn't notice the slight differences in what on it, In PHD it was set up in Mount SW EQ5/6 and not On Camera

So am I assuming you have finally got PHD working and it was the "On Camera" instead of "set up in Mount SW EQ5/6" that was the problem?  

I was expecting a HUGE exclamation of relief and success when you finally cracked it.

Great news if it is working though, you must be very relieved.

Carole 

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6 hours ago, alan potts said:

I don't see any point in moving from the observatory

It's more the point of practising in the day!

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1 hour ago, carastro said:

So am I assuming you have finally got PHD working and it was the "On Camera" instead of "set up in Mount SW EQ5/6" that was the problem?  

I was expecting a HUGE exclamation of relief and success when you finally cracked it.

Great news if it is working though, you must be very relieved.

Carole 

Carole, no first off it was the a duff cable with the correct laptop, it's no good, I imagine it is not making contact and then i picked up the wrong laptop even though I change the cable. Last night I tried the 3 cables I have and only the one that one one the Mods sent me was any good. Unreal. There is a difference in the plastic connectors one fits tight the other two don't. Need to find out how to tidy up guiding though, it was a bit up and down without being seriously bad.

Alan 

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 it was a bit up and down without being seriously bad.

But did you get past the calibration stage when it normally stops and says "star didn't move enough" and at least start guiding albeit not great guiding, as this would be a separate problem.

Carole 

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Forget PHD2 for a bit, in EqMOD can you move the scope with the NSEW buttons?

If you also connect a program like Cartes du Ciel, does the GOTO work?

If yes to both of these, check the sliders at top right are both on 70-100% (not 10% as pictured!)

Make sure both thr tick boxes are ticked, without that no guide pulses will be sent.

image.png.541a509bb85307c94fab05400cacd110.png

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23 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Forget PHD2 for a bit, in EqMOD can you move the scope with the NSEW buttons?

If you also connect a program like Cartes du Ciel, does the GOTO work?

If yes to both of these, check the sliders at top right are both on 70-100% (not 10% as pictured!)

Make sure both thr tick boxes are ticked, without that no guide pulses will be sent.

image.png.541a509bb85307c94fab05400cacd110.png

I had a play this afternoon in the observatory and couldn't get anywhere, never even got it to connect and I have every driver for Eqmod and the camera. Simple fact of the matter is no matter how many time I read the set up and instruction, which are on all my laptops, I just don't understand what the hell they mean. I think it was asking for a ComPort identication, and I don't have clue what that means.

It's not the end of the world, I'm happy messing with ST4 which at least works now, and if it's good enough for Olly, who in my books is one of the best, then it's good enough for me. That's not to say I wouldn't like to go down this road as I see a lot, no doubt all very taxing for someone like me, that would be useful, Plate Solve, Mosaic and as I see it much better goto's .

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6 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

I've been using ST4 since I started 12 years ago and run two and sometimes three mounts per night with this technology on a couple of hundred nights per year. Apart from the ST4 cables specified for the original Lodestar I'm at a loss as to what's supposed to be wrong with it.

Olly

I think people like to have as many bits of software running as possible to increases the chances of something going wrong each night!!!!

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5 minutes ago, Freddie said:

I think people like to have as many bits of software running as possible to increases the chances of something going wrong each night!!!!

I don't even need that many, I even use Ethos eyepieces, think that's not very good for 600 quid then realise I have left the cap in place.

Alan

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50 minutes ago, alan potts said:

I think it was asking for a ComPort identication, and I don't have clue what that means. 

It means you won't get connected.

Type device manager in the search box by the start button.

When it comes up in the results click it.

You shoudl see Ports (COM and LPT) listed. Double click it.

Plug in the lead and it should refresh the list and add it to the list of ports. Click on its properties and note the com port it has been assigned. If you stick to the same lead AND plug it in the same USB port this usually won't change.

In the grey box that comes up when you start EQMOD, choose comms under settings and make sure that the same com port number is selected and apply.

Now click connect (with the lead plugged into the mount) and it should open the screen in my previous post.

If you get any errors as you proceed press <ctrl> and <print screen> at the same time and paste the resulting screen grab into a forum message.

 

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2 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

It means you won't get connected.

Type device manager in the search box by the start button.

When it comes up in the results click it.

You shoudl see Ports (COM and LPT) listed. Double click it.

Plug in the lead and it should refresh the list and add it to the list of ports. Click on its properties and note the com port it has been assigned. If you stick to the same lead AND plug it in the same USB port this usually won't change.

In the grey box that comes up when you start EQMOD, choose comms under settings and make sure that the same com port number is selected and apply.

Now click connect (with the lead plugged into the mount) and it should open the screen in my previous post.

If you get any errors as you proceed press <ctrl> and <print screen> at the same time and paste the resulting screen grab into a forum message.

 

I will try but I will need to write this down, BTW everything you put means absolutely nothing to me apart from Start Button.

Alan

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Alan..   as mentioned earlier I found the tutorial on eqmod by lightvortexastronomy.com very helpful, in particular it has screen shots of the various dialogue boxes that need configuring.  It's under Tutorials subsection Imaging.  One thing you'll need to ensure (as I found out) is that your laptop USB ports don't automatically power off as this will result in eqmod timing out.  

Dave

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Posted (edited)

Alan, I fully sympathise with you and EQMod.  If you are not a whiz on computers (which I certainly am not) it's not at all straight forward to set up on your own.  However having been shown how to do it the first time around, I at least had some sort of clue when I came to install it on my next laptop.

The com port is the thing that has tripped me up a number of times, as if you plug the USB into a different port (or even decide to plug it into a Hub the com port changes every time and you need to find out what it is in Device Manager.  Then in EQMod on one of the settings pages it will have a drop down menu for selecting the correct com port.  

Carole 

Edited by carastro
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1 hour ago, carastro said:

Alan, I fully sympathise with you and EQMod.  If you are not a whiz on computers (which I certainly am not) it's not at all straight forward to set up on your own.  However having been shown how to do it the first time around, I at least had some sort of clue when I came to install it on my next laptop.

The com port is the thing that has tripped me up a number of times, as if you plug the USB into a different port (or even decide to plug it into a Hub the com port changes every time and you need to find out what it is in Device Manager.  Then in EQMod on one of the settings pages it will have a drop down menu for selecting the correct com port.  

Carole 

Carole, I presume you are using an Eqmod cable that is not too recent? The beauty of the newer cables (the ones that use the FTDI chipset) is that it doesn't matter what port you plug into. The COM port never changes so you don't have to worry about any of this malarkey. 

Alan, if you have one of these cables then you shouldn't have any COM port woes:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-mount-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

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3 minutes ago, Xiga said:

Carole, I presume you are using an Eqmod cable that is not too recent? The beauty of the newer cables (the ones that use the FTDI chipset) is that it doesn't matter what port you plug into. The COM port never changes so you don't have to worry about any of this malarkey. 

Alan, if you have one of these cables then you shouldn't have any COM port woes:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-mount-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

Got one of these for my NEQ6 Pro (now sold but still got the cable) mount and absolutely love it. Like @Xiga said, you don't have to worry about the com ports ever again. One less thing to worry about. 

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