Jump to content

Walking on the Moon

EQMOD endless problems - still not working.


gerardsheldon
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am desperate for any help.  

I thought I had sorted out my EQMOD/mount issue, and the system seemed to be working.   Now I have another problem.

When using Carte du ciel, and trying to to connect to EQMOD.telescope, it does not connect.  The EQMOD window flashes up and then disappears.  I have tried to change the settings on EQMOD but that does not help.

I have checked the port: COM4.  I have also tried using GSS, and get the message: "Mount: errNoResponseAxis1 Timeout"

See photos.

I have just tried the synScan handset, and I am getting a message "caution    both axes no response !".  I tried the mount with two 12V mains power supplies and it did not help. 

 

 

 

 

 

Capture COM4.PNG

Capture 4.PNG

mount erronoresponseAxis1 timeout OK.PNG

Capture 5.PNG

Edited by gerardsheldon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah ok fair enough I was ignoring possible hardware issues. Certainly possible to get damp but how likely I wouldn't know and I guess very much depends on your environment. I just reread the issue you have with the handset so agreed it may well be something more than configuration, apologies if I gave false hope......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also noticed that the pop up error message is GSServer and not an EQMOD window

If you are not using GSServer then I would suggest you uninstall it from the computer

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

I've not used it in a while but I'm sure on the handset you can select to view the mount voltage.  That's worth checking and watching if it drops when the mount is commended to slew.  Also try slewing at different speeds - do you hear anything from the mount?

There's no point in chasing any other issues until you can get the mount working with the handset.  Then I would uninstall everything from the computer, install EQMOD and get that working correctly, then add the next thing and so on.

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, malc-c said:

The reason is because you have set CDC to use GSServer and not EQMOD

1794863213_mounterronoresponseAxis1timeoutOK.thumb.PNG.1a822b7967817d34dfe770ac44dbaca8.png.51424c01aeffd89a3ef9b06134eeb4a4.png

I think he said he tried EQMOD and GSServer. Nothing wrong with having both available though. I can use either if needed although I do use GSServer.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, gerardsheldon said:

I will try this evening. The fact that it does not work with neither a laptop nor synscan handset makes me suspect the motherboard.

I keep the mount in the shed Could dampness be getting in? 

 

2 hours ago, scotty38 said:

I think he said he tried EQMOD and GSServer. Nothing wrong with having both available though. I can use either if needed although I do use GSServer.

Sorry, I was mislead by the sequence of images....

If the handset displays the "No Response XX / YY axis"  then it means that when the handset queries the mount to obtain the firmware version and thus ID the mount the motorboard is not responding, or more exact the microcontroller isn't responding.  Now depending on the version of mainboard fitted this can be fixed, but requires some tools that not everyone will have, such as a PIC programmer.  Details on how to repair a blown motor board can be found in this thread

I've read back through this thread and can't see any mention of what model of mount is used here.   If the OP can advise and if possible post a picture of the sysnscan unit or, in the case of an HEQ5 a picture of the motor board to help identify the version of mainboard used.  If the board has one or two 16F866 PICs then this can be repaired as detailed in the linked post.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, gerardsheldon said:

Do you happen to know of any instructions on how to get access to the motherboard, for someone who has never dismantled anything on the HEQ5(Rowan belt upgrade)?  Instructions for a real newbie! 

How old is the HEQ5?  - If it's still within its warranty period then I would suggest contacting the retailer.  If its a few year old then chances are it will be the older PIC based boards as the new revision that uses ARM processors have only been fitted in the past 18-24 months.  Accessing the board isn't difficult

  1. Remove the 6 screws from the plastic plate covering the two stepper motors (the L shaped panel with two circular mounds)
  2. This gives access to the screws that secure the curved panel that has the polarscope hole  - Remove the curved panel
  3. This gives you access to the connectors on the HEQ5

 

spacer.png

If the board looks like the one shown in the image then the PIC Microcontrollers are on the underneath.  You should be able to see them without removing the board - they are two IC's that are about 1" long, one in the centre the other to the left, at the rear of the board.

For comparison here is an image of the new board on the left and an old board on the right.  If you can see the large copper coil then you have a new ARM based board which requires a certain type of programmer that only serious hobbyist would have.  If you don't see that large copper coil, and can see components on the underside of the board as mentioned then you have an old board that can be repaired. 

IMG_20201216_105243390.jpg

Let us know what you find and then we can see what action we can take. 

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

1 hour ago, malc-c said:

How old is the HEQ5?  - If it's still within its warranty period then I would suggest contacting the retailer.  If its a few year old then chances are it will be the older PIC based boards as the new revision that uses ARM processors have only been fitted in the past 18-24 months.  Accessing the board isn't difficult

  1. Remove the 6 screws from the plastic plate covering the two stepper motors (the L shaped panel with two circular mounds)
  2. This gives access to the screws that secure the curved panel that has the polarscope hole  - Remove the curved panel
  3. This gives you access to the connectors on the HEQ5

 

spacer.png

If the board looks like the one shown in the image then the PIC Microcontrollers are on the underneath.  You should be able to see them without removing the board - they are two IC's that are about 1" long, one in the centre the other to the left, at the rear of the board.

For comparison here is an image of the new board on the left and an old board on the right.  If you can see the large copper coil then you have a new ARM based board which requires a certain type of programmer that only serious hobbyist would have.  If you don't see that large copper coil, and can see components on the underside of the board as mentioned then you have an old board that can be repaired. 

IMG_20201216_105243390.jpg

Let us know what you find and then we can see what action we can take. 

I'm curious why the newer board has a toroid on it.🤔

Link to comment
Share on other sites

malc_c, thanks so much for your instructions. I was easily able to access the MB. . 

There is a bit of leaf under the MB. See first photo.  That may be the problem. Otherwise the MB looks OK and is one of the old ones. I attach other photos.  I tried to take out the mother board with a little tug on the wires (not enough to cause any physical damage).  i got a bit nervous about static electricity. I was wearing an anti-static wrist band though.

The leaf probably got there via the polarscope hole.

Can you please advise me on how to remove the bit of leaf without causing any static electricity issues. 

Gerard

thumbnail?appid=YMailNorrin&downloadWhenThumbnailFails=true&pid=3

 

IMG_20221006_205054.jpg

IMG_20221006_204813.jpg

IMG_20221006_203608.jpg

IMG_20221006_204822.jpg

IMG_20221006_204831.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, malc-c said:

Its a choke / inductor.  It basically replaces the large component L42 on the old board

That was my thinking too, but wasn't sure.  I guess the reference clock (or similar) may interfere with other things, causing RFI and other EMC issues.  That would also explain why my EQ5 Pro GOTO kit has a clip on ferrite on the DC power lead, going into the motor controller.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, gerardsheldon said:

malc_c, thanks so much for your instructions. I was easily able to access the MB. . 

There is a bit of leaf under the MB. See first photo.  That may be the problem. Otherwise the MB looks OK and is one of the old ones. I attach other photos.  I tried to take out the mother board with a little tug on the wires (not enough to cause any physical damage).  i got a bit nervous about static electricity. I was wearing an anti-static wrist band though.

The leaf probably got there via the polarscope hole.

Can you please advise me on how to remove the bit of leaf without causing any static electricity issues. 

Gerard

thumbnail?appid=YMailNorrin&downloadWhenThumbnailFails=true&pid=3

 

IMG_20221006_205054.jpg

IMG_20221006_204813.jpg

IMG_20221006_203608.jpg

IMG_20221006_204822.jpg

IMG_20221006_204831.jpg

Would a plastic nozzle connected to a vacuum cleaner, not do the job of removing the leaf?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Ian McCallum said:

Would a plastic nozzle connected to a vacuum cleaner, not do the job of removing the leaf?

Just googled this.  A vacuum cleaner produces static which is not good for electronics.   One has to use special electronic vacuum cleaner which are expensive.   Shame as this seemed like a promising idea, and would have been easy and quick.

I have just ordered some anti-static tweezers (arriving tomorrow), and will wear an anti-static wrist band. 

I am probably being over-cautious.   My experience with MB etc is somewhat limited.  I have managed to put a SSD memory on a computer motherboard and  I did make circuits with a soldering iron when I was a teenager.   (I understand what capacitors, inductor coils, etc.  are)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are being over cautious. Just blow it out or fetch it out with a thin bit of "something", don't need to over think this at all.

Having said that I don't think it'll make the slightest scrap of difference....

Edited by scotty38
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, scotty38 said:

You are being over cautious. Just blow it out or fetch it out with a thin bit of "something", don't need to over think this at all.

Having said that I don't think it'll make the slightest scrap of difference....

I would agree, so long as power is off just blow out with a straw or something or pck it out with something, a tywrap or whatever, I can't even see a small screwdriver would damage anything.
But, also doubt this is causing an issue unless it is a very dirty or wet leaf. However still better to remove it.

Steve

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I missed the comment about a leaf.  This could just be picked out with the power off - or use something non-conductive.  No need to buy special non-static tweezers . The leaf shouldn't make any difference to the board not responding... 

The good news is that the board fitted is the older type based around 2 x 16F886 microcontrollers and thus I can program and replace the two faulty ones.  I'll drop you details via a personal message of what's needed.  It will involve the removal of the steppers to access the two screws that secure the main board in the mount. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Ian McCallum said:

That was my thinking too, but wasn't sure.  I guess the reference clock (or similar) may interfere with other things, causing RFI and other EMC issues.  That would also explain why my EQ5 Pro GOTO kit has a clip on ferrite on the DC power lead, going into the motor controller.

On the older boards the choke / inductor is used as part of the buck convertor / power supply.  The steppers run at circa 35v which is generated through the switching regulator and associated components from the 12-14v supply.  I've yet to have a play with the newer version board but would also speculate that the same voltages are generated to power the motors

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, gerardsheldon said:

I removed the leaf and it may no difference whatsoever.  It is not surprising as the leaf would act as an insulator.   I watched some videos and think I can remove and put back a motherboard.  It is less complex and difficult than I expected.  

  1. Power off the mount and remove the power lead and handset lead from the daughter board
  2. There are two screws underneath that hold the cover and daughter board in place.  Remove them and allow the assembly to hang loose 
  3. Remove the six small screws securing the cover plate that fits over the motors (you have done this already)
  4. Remove  the five screws that secure the curved cover plate (you have done this already)
  5. The connectors are now accessible.  Carefully pry the plugs out of the sockets so the board is free from connections.  If you wish you can mark one of the stepper motor socket and corresponding plug to aid refitting later
  6. Slacken off the allen bolts securing the motors and remove the belts.  
  7. Continue to remove the four allen bolts securing each motor until the motors are free.
  8. Carefully remove the motors from the mount
  9. Carefully remove the daughterboard assembly, easing the cables through the mount until it come free
  10. You now have access to the two securing screws that secure the mainboard in the mount.  Remove them taking care to watch for any spacer or insulation washers that may be fitted to the underneath of the board
  11. The mainboard can now be extracted through either opening 
  12. Follow these steps in reverse to refit the board and motors.

The Rowan belt drive installation instructions here have some excellent images to help with the refitting of the belt drive and with steps 3-8 above.  Obviously the part of the instructions relating to gear removal is not applicable in this case

Hope that helps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well sadly it seems that this time the board won.

I received a PM from Gerard and it turns out he doesn't live too far away from me, so I rescheduled a couple of things and he brought the mount to me.  I made  him a cuppa and set to removing the PCB with a view of replacing the PICs on the board.  Having programmed and verified two new 16F886's I set to with a cutting disk to remove the old PICs from the board.  I then hit the first problem.  Like someone else reported the PICs had been glued to the PCB and took some heat from a heatgun and some persuasion to remove the bodies from the board, but they came off without damaging the tracks (as far as I can tell).

The legs were removed, board cleaned and prepped and the new PICs soldered in place.  They were then cleaned and the motors and daughter board connected and power applied.   The handset reported no response both axis still ! - OK lets replace the diode and  test again...this time we got no response RA/Alt axis, so this confirmed that the diode was working (I swapped it around to double check and got no response both axis, swapped it back and back to one axis).  I reflowed the PICs to make sure the joints were solid, which they were, and still no joy.  I confirmed that there was continuity between the TX/RX pins and the connector, and between the serial port pins on both chips  - all good.  I confirmed that both PICs were receiving 5v which was the case, and we tested the handset on my HEQ5 to rule that out of the picture.  So something else is causing the PIC that handles the RA motor not to run.  By this time I was running out of ideas, and Gerard needed to get back home so we bagged up the screws and parts and left Gerard to look at getting a  replacement board, which will more than likely be the ARM based revision.  Gerard was a real gent, and covered me for the parts I used and for my time and effort, which was very generous of him

I was very disappointed not to get a fix on this board, but without any specialist equipment to check the timings etc and running out of time we had no choice but to put this down as a no fix 😞 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Malcolm really tried to fix the mother board spending a lot of time, trying various things, and I appreciate all his efforts.  He clearly knows lots about electronics.   Whilst visiting Malcolm, I did get the bonus of playing with his very friendly dog and seeing his impressive telescope set up- everything is set up in a shed.  So, he does not need to polar align every observing session like I do. 

I got a replacement motherboard (new type) and everything now seems to be working.  In the end, it was surprisingly simple to replace the motherboard.  I was not very confident, as I have limited experience doing these kind of things (the most advance thing I had done previously was add a SSD memory to a computer motherboard).   One slight annoyance was that a washer fell into the daughterboard so I removed the daughterboard.   I tested the RA.  I put the mount on tracking, waited three hours and checked the time had changed by 3 hours on the RA setting circles, which it had. 

This experience has given me more confidence in taking things apart and putting them together. 

 

  

  • Like 1
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.