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Walking on the Moon

SW Star Adventurer GTI owner thread


Astroscot2
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7 minutes ago, Bramble said:

Having major problems.  Firstly, I could not get the firmware update to work although I had a good wifi connection to the mount.  I noticed my laptop needed some updates, so I did those and then re-booted everything.  Now the mount does not appear to be broadcasting a wifi signal at all.  I have tried from mobile devices as well - aaagh!  Is there any kind of re-set procedure for the mount, I can’t find any trouble shooting info in the very short manual?  I have yet to get this thing operational in any way, so wanted to get the right firmware on board to link to my ASIAir as had read about problems.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.  FYI, I have an EQMod cable for connecting to the ASIair, could I use this for another go at updating?

When the firmware goes wrong it may revert back to the ESP*** which tends to mean that Syncan app won't find/connect to it.

  • First off download the latest Synscan for your laptop, it may look a little different but has some important updates. And the latest MCFirmwareLoader
  • Connect the eqmod cable to your laptop and find the com port it selected (in Device manager).  I usually open device manager and then connect the eqmod cable to watch it get added & assigned okay.
  • Connect the lead to the mount and switch on.
  • Run the MCFirmwareLoader not the MCFirmwareLoader_Wifi version and set the com port for the serial connection.
  • It should give a message that says it won't provide info but can be updated.
  • Start the update - it takes a longer time than wifi as I guess it's using a slower baud rate

You may be able to use a USB A-B printer cable to do the update but I have not checked that myself. The serial chip is in the mount and may only get activated once the mount has started correctly. If anyone  gets the firmware fail and does not have an eqmod cable it would be nice to know if USB printer cable works or not. Again, to see the com port selected,  connect the usb lead to the mount and switch it on & connect the lead to the laptop. You may need the SW Prolific driver loaded to get that lead to work.

The new Synscan/Firmware apparently allows a bluetooth connection - not sure if that could be used for firmware updates in the future.

HTH

Steve

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Thank you Steve. I had got about half way to running your suggested steps when I saw your thoughtful reply.  Many thanks as I am sure others will also benefit.  Good news, my firmware is installed and my wifi signal can now be seen by my phone.  Havn’t checked the laptop yet, but I won’t tend to be using that (I hope) other than for updates!  Worth mentioning that, as a total ignoramus with these things, I had no idea that I needed to install ASCOM drivers (and something else) on my laptop to get the flippin’ EQMOD cable to work.  It’s a lynx cable in case anyone else is looking for one.  Anyway, I found the 1.78 firmware loader, allowed it to auto select the port, checked the hand controller button, and it just worked!  I used  the Update button not the MC version (I have no idea what the difference is).   I really thought I had bricked the thing.

One of these nights, I might actually get out and try and get some images!

Thanks again - it might be an early G&T for me today.

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1 hour ago, Bramble said:

Thank you Steve. I had got about half way to running your suggested steps when I saw your thoughtful reply.  Many thanks as I am sure others will also benefit.  Good news, my firmware is installed and my wifi signal can now be seen by my phone.  Havn’t checked the laptop yet, but I won’t tend to be using that (I hope) other than for updates!  Worth mentioning that, as a total ignoramus with these things, I had no idea that I needed to install ASCOM drivers (and something else) on my laptop to get the flippin’ EQMOD cable to work.  It’s a lynx cable in case anyone else is looking for one.  Anyway, I found the 1.78 firmware loader, allowed it to auto select the port, checked the hand controller button, and it just worked!  I used  the Update button not the MC version (I have no idea what the difference is).   I really thought I had bricked the thing.

One of these nights, I might actually get out and try and get some images!

Thanks again - it might be an early G&T for me today.

The MC version  just checks what firmware you have installed, but it's a non-destructive connection test (unlike the update). The ASCOM driver is not needed for a firmware update but the serial cable driver (based on the chip) is. The Lynx cable uses an FTDI driver and the mount (usb port connection) needs a Prolific one.

Glad you are back in business

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One thing I noticed last night on the new version is that if I'm connected by USB to my PC I don't seem to be able to connect using WiFi from my phone in parallel. I'm sure I've done that in the past, so maybe it got blocked in this new release. WiFi from phone works fine if the mount is not connected to anything else. It's no biggie, but my PC is sometimes a distance from the mount so it was kind handy for a quick slew to target to save trudging back. Bluetooth is also listed but I couldn't get it to work on Android - I doubt it's something I'd use much anyway, my NUC PC card doesn't have working BT at present anyway (long story!). Those aside, 3.44 seems to be working fine.

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On 31/08/2022 at 23:21, Adam J said:

image.thumb.png.87bdf079f406fc6a3b68180df96ef64b.png

Typical guiding for tonight. Scope west pointing east, target clsoe to meridian. Neutral balance. Thats 200 pulses at 1.5seconds so 5mins of guiding total end to end of log and it did not trip up once. Ill weigh my rig at some point to let you know the load but the counter weight is about 3/4 of the way towards the bottom of the bar. Peak errors did not even exceed 1 arcsecond per axis in the entire run, with the RMS being 0.59 arcseconds.

Adam

Dear Adam,

What connection for guiding do you use USB or ST-4?

I have problems with the new GTI mount and PHD 2. I can normaly connect the mount with just the USB cable but after calibration is complete I get following error messeges:

"ASCOM driver failed checking IsPulseGuiding. See debug log for more information."
"Pulseguide command to mount has failed - guiding is likely to be ineffective"
"ASCOM driver failed checking for slewing, see debug log for more information."

Otherwise SynScan app works fine. Connection to mount works, alignment procedure works, connection to APT works, GoTo function in APT and Plate solving in APT Pointcraft works fine....

Tried to replace USB cable of the mount but problems are still there.

Mount is 3 weeks old.
Motor board version is 3.37.0C
I see online there is a Firmware: Star Adventurer GTi GOTO mount, version 3.44.
Maybe check this out?

For any suggestions i would be thankful!

CS Peter

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2 hours ago, PeterKom said:

Dear Adam,

What connection for guiding do you use USB or ST-4?

I have problems with the new GTI mount and PHD 2. I can normaly connect the mount with just the USB cable but after calibration is complete I get following error messeges:

"ASCOM driver failed checking IsPulseGuiding. See debug log for more information."
"Pulseguide command to mount has failed - guiding is likely to be ineffective"
"ASCOM driver failed checking for slewing, see debug log for more information."

Otherwise SynScan app works fine. Connection to mount works, alignment procedure works, connection to APT works, GoTo function in APT and Plate solving in APT Pointcraft works fine....

Tried to replace USB cable of the mount but problems are still there.

Mount is 3 weeks old.
Motor board version is 3.37.0C
I see online there is a Firmware: Star Adventurer GTi GOTO mount, version 3.44.
Maybe check this out?

For any suggestions i would be thankful!

CS Peter

I use USB, but the USB did not work at all as shipped to me. I have to flash the motor driver via a eqdirect cable to get the USB working. 

I don't know what firmware I have on it currently, sufficient to say it's working and I have a policy of not fixing stuff that is not broke. 

So I may not be on the latest version. I'll check tomorrow. 

Adam

Edited by Adam J
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11 hours ago, PeterKom said:

Dear Adam,

What connection for guiding do you use USB or ST-4?

I have problems with the new GTI mount and PHD 2. I can normaly connect the mount with just the USB cable but after calibration is complete I get following error messeges:

"ASCOM driver failed checking IsPulseGuiding. See debug log for more information."
"Pulseguide command to mount has failed - guiding is likely to be ineffective"
"ASCOM driver failed checking for slewing, see debug log for more information."

Otherwise SynScan app works fine. Connection to mount works, alignment procedure works, connection to APT works, GoTo function in APT and Plate solving in APT Pointcraft works fine....

Tried to replace USB cable of the mount but problems are still there.

Mount is 3 weeks old.
Motor board version is 3.37.0C
I see online there is a Firmware: Star Adventurer GTi GOTO mount, version 3.44.
Maybe check this out?

For any suggestions i would be thankful!

CS Peter

I'm also on a straight USB connection from mount to PC (an old Intel NUC box). Couldn't see any benefit of ST-4 even though I have the cables, so I went with a simple/direct USB connection. I'm using the fairly standard NINA/PHD2 combo for software. It did take a couple of minutes after installing the ASCOM platform and drivers to figure which COM port it was using (COM3 in my case) and configure that into SynScan. If all else works, have you checked/changed the normal Altitude limit in SynScan - I got caught by that on Andromeda the other everning, which was above the 75 degrees they set by default in SynScan for the mount. I just whacked that up to 90 and all was OK (apart from shaving my tripod leg!)

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Just now, Tomatobro said:

I had that problem!

I made a short extension piece to go between the mount and the tripod to give the camera clearance. The skywatcher extension tube was out of stock.

 

Yeah - it's not actually hitting, so I'm OK for now. I'm considering an HEQ5 anyway, and the Az GTi does lesser duties on my other scope, so I may just live with it for now.

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17 hours ago, Adam J said:

I use USB, but the USB did not work at all as shipped to me. I have to flash the motor driver via a eqdirect cable to get the USB working. 

I don't know what firmware I have on it currently, sufficient to say it's working and I have a policy of not fixing stuff that is not broke. 

So I may not be on the latest version. I'll check tomorrow. 

Adam

Thanks, I did the motor driver update yesterday, si I will give it a try. I hope it solves the problems.

Peter

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9 hours ago, RobW said:

I'm also on a straight USB connection from mount to PC (an old Intel NUC box). Couldn't see any benefit of ST-4 even though I have the cables, so I went with a simple/direct USB connection. I'm using the fairly standard NINA/PHD2 combo for software. It did take a couple of minutes after installing the ASCOM platform and drivers to figure which COM port it was using (COM3 in my case) and configure that into SynScan. If all else works, have you checked/changed the normal Altitude limit in SynScan - I got caught by that on Andromeda the other everning, which was above the 75 degrees they set by default in SynScan for the mount. I just whacked that up to 90 and all was OK (apart from shaving my tripod leg!)

Thanks, I did the motor driver update yesterday, si I will give it a try. I hope it solves the problems.

Peter

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18 hours ago, Adam J said:

I use USB, but the USB did not work at all as shipped to me. I have to flash the motor driver via a eqdirect cable to get the USB working. 

I don't know what firmware I have on it currently, sufficient to say it's working and I have a policy of not fixing stuff that is not broke. 

So I may not be on the latest version. I'll check tomorrow. 

Adam

Adam, from the PHD screen you posted I can see most of the settings you use. What algorithms do you use?

I just tested in PHD the manual guide tool and the commands do work. I put some tin foil on the guide scope put a smal hole inside the foil and I got focus on a lamp maybe 8 m away.
I hope these also means that guding during tracking will also work. We got a great weather forecast in 2 days so I hope problems will be resolved till then.

Peter
 

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15 minutes ago, PeterKom said:

Adam, from the PHD screen you posted I can see most of the settings you use. What algorithms do you use?

I just tested in PHD the manual guide tool and the commands do work. I put some tin foil on the guide scope put a smal hole inside the foil and I got focus on a lamp maybe 8 m away.
I hope these also means that guding during tracking will also work. We got a great weather forecast in 2 days so I hope problems will be resolved till then.

Peter
 

I'll check but I think it's set to the learning one. 

Adam 

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're a DIYer and don't mind tinkering (and possibly voiding your warranty) there's some useful tips on the internals of the SA Gti on Cloudy Nights, including how to adjust for RA backlash, which mine was gradually developing. 10 minute fix (5 of which was gently warming, removing and relocating the sticker which covers the adjustment hole). And no backlash. More info on the CN thread (including much more major work on regreasing and adjusting DEC, which I have not needed yet)

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