Jump to content

1912116577_Solarchallenge2022banner.jpg.913a200cf105ddeae9f37765cb1d0c73.jpg

Guide port


Recommended Posts

so i have been using the guide port on my HEQ5 pro mount to connect the guide cam ,i read recently that if i am using a laptop to control the imaging which i am i should not be using this port and connecting to the laptop instead,is this correct and if so what cable and port do i use ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, M40 said:

There is a good write up here...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/blog/eqmod-controlling-the-heq5-neq6-and-other-mounts-directly-from-a-pc.html

If I understand it correctly, the description identifies that using eqmod is more accurate than using the guide port. Hope it helps  

Any idea what cable i would use from laptop and what port on the mount  ?

sorry im lost on this part ,at the moment im using eqmod for everything as far as i know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are using EQMOD for mount control then you must already have a connection between the laptop and the mount.  I presume this is a standard USB cable between the Laptop and the V5 handset, with the handset plugged into the handset port on the mount??  The alternative is to use an EQDIR cable, such as this one from FLO.  This connects between the laptop (USB) and the mount (Handset port) and replaced the handset altogether.  There should be no need to install any drivers as Windows has the FTDI driver already.  

Your guidecamera is then connected via USB directly to the laptop.  PHD2 is the guiding software of choice and you will need to set up a new profile and chose the ASCOM driver for whatever camera you are using.

Just for reference EQMOD only controls the mount.  It's often referred to as a "driver" rather than an application.   The ASCOM platform is what handles "everything" as it's the communications standard that the other software such as the planetarium software used to select targets, PHD2 for guiding, and whatever imaging software is used to capture the images via whatever camera is used as the main imaging camera all use to communicate between them.

Hope that helps

Edited by malc-c
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yet another link for you that you may find useful.......

I don't currently do guiding so have a careful read of Malc-c's and Raff's posts. There are so many options as to how you achieve things it's a bit of a minefield. My current setup is to leave the handset in the system so I star align using the handset, but my next step is to learn plate solving and that's when I will be ditching the handset. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, M40 said:

Yet another link for you that you may find useful.......

I don't currently do guiding so have a careful read of Malc-c's and Raff's posts. There are so many options as to how you achieve things it's a bit of a minefield. My current setup is to leave the handset in the system so I star align using the handset, but my next step is to learn plate solving and that's when I will be ditching the handset. 

many thanks will have a read ,been guiding quite well using phd2 ,just wanted to know if i can ditch the extra lead...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can also use the USB port (assuming you have one?) on the mount or hand controller to connect to a PC. If you connect to the hand controller you can use both the hand controller and some software with your PC to control the mount. In this configuration EQMOD does not work.

If you connect to the mount USB port you can use EQMOD to control the mount, but now the hand controller cannot be used (or be plugged in).

With the handcontroller route you will need to use Skywatcher ASCOM drivers to control the mount, and need to download and install working Prolific USB to serial drivers. The one on Skywatchers website did not work for my AZEQ6, manufactured in 2022, but does for my EQM35 manufactured in 2020 so i believe Skywatcher just hasn't updated their site for a while.

The benefit of either of these is that you do not need to buy the extra cable. But the dedicated cable is probably a bit more reliable and most use that to connect to a Skywatcher mount.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ONIKKINEN said:

You can also use the USB port (assuming you have one?) on the mount or hand controller to connect to a PC. If you connect to the hand controller you can use both the hand controller and some software with your PC to control the mount. In this configuration EQMOD does not work.

If you connect to the mount USB port you can use EQMOD to control the mount, but now the hand controller cannot be used (or be plugged in).

With the handcontroller route you will need to use Skywatcher ASCOM drivers to control the mount, and need to download and install working Prolific USB to serial drivers. The one on Skywatchers website did not work for my AZEQ6, manufactured in 2022, but does for my EQM35 manufactured in 2020 so i believe Skywatcher just hasn't updated their site for a while.

The benefit of either of these is that you do not need to buy the extra cable. But the dedicated cable is probably a bit more reliable and most use that to connect to a Skywatcher mount.

Thank you but the HEQ5 pro mount has no usb port only the handset has one from what i can see ,no idea what its for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, ninjageezer said:

Thank you but the HEQ5 pro mount has no usb port only the handset has one from what i can see ,no idea what its for.

You could do what i wrote above, connect to that with your PC and control the mount through the handset. In this configuration you can issue go-to commands from your PC and the handset, and both know where the mount is pointing towards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, ninjageezer said:

Thank you but the HEQ5 pro mount has no usb port only the handset has one from what i can see ,no idea what its for.

OK just for clarification:

The USB port on a handset can be used for two processes.  The first is to update the firmware in either the handset or the motor control board in the mount.  The second is to allow  control of the mount via a computer. 

When used as a means of control from a computer the handset may or may not need to be set into PC-DIRECT mode in order to allow the commands to pass through and be relayed to the mount.  Now newer designs of some mounts (the EQ5 for example) a USB port has been added to the synscan unit, or the mount itself.   The HEQ5, despite the newer models having the ARM based motorboards does not yet have a USB port because it has its connections handled through a separate fitting that houses the power, handset, and ST4 ports, and there is no physical space to add a USB port to this fitting.

So basically options for hard wired connections are (dependent on the ports fitted to the mount)

  • USB A-B type cable connected between computer and handset.  Handset connected to the handset port on the mount.  Handset may need to be placed in PC-DIRECT mode to pass through commands to the mount
  • USB to serial adapter, with the Skywatcher serial to RJ11 cable connected to the serial port on older handsets without USB ports.  Handset then connects to the handset port on the mount, and possibly placed into PC-DIRECT mode
  • EQDIR cable connected between the computer (USB) and the handset port on the mount.  The handset is thus removed and no longer needed
  • USB A-B cable connected between the computer (USB) and the USB port on the mount (if fitted).  The handset is thus removed and no longer needed

Now there are Bluetooth and WiFi dongles etc that replace the EQDIR cable, but work in the same way, but that is really outside the scope of this post, which was to answer the question what the USB port was for

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.