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EQMOD -Alternatives to gamepad???


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Ok, finally got a bit of clear sky an set up the NEQ6 with EQMOD.

Yes it works 100% no issues there, but I did find using the gamepad to be challenging. Its' not "one hand use" friendly and the joystick is not as easy to use as a push button array, at least for me.

Is there any "conventional" simplified handcontroller ie N-S, E-W fast slow available that can be used???? ( The reason I need one, is after slewing to a nominated star I still have to off-set it in the field to position the spectrum on the CCD, this varies each time)

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Hi Merlin,

I just dug out a wired equivalent and tried it with EQMOD using the simulator rather than my mount.

I could not get it recognised as a joystick (no great surprise) and hence none of the functions could be associated with the buttons.

It worked fine with the "Pad" window but only to slew - there did not seem to be any way to adjust the slew speed even though there are scroll bars in that window - obviously you can adjust them with the mouse.

Not sure if that has helped or not.

Mike

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Thanks for that guys.

I've just joined the EQmod group and found a link to PPJoy which supposedly can map the numeric keypad to a "virtual joystick".... keep you posted on developments.

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I'm sure there was a thread recently on the eqmod yahoo site where someone else was asking about using a numeric pad and IIRC the response was not +ve :(

Oh I think you'll find the response was positive ;) I did after all follow up fairly quickly with a new version of EQASCOM that includes the ability to change the active rate preset using the numpad + and - keys and also provides spiral search via * (when the pad window is active)

Chris.

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Upgraded. Tested with simulator (wow, that's changed a bit!) and corded numeric pad. Time to order the wireless one.

Fantastic Chris. Do you intend to map any more functions? The only ones I use are the ones you have done, but the emergency stop would be useful - perhaps pressing more than one key for safety?

Sorry, I should really be asking this on the EQMOD forum. Just over-excited. ;)

Mike

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Chris,

What's your take on the use of the numeric keypad?

I see that the consensus originally was for the gamepad....

Does it make sense that the BoF's would like to see the keypad as a fully functional alternative??

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Upgraded. Tested with simulator (wow, that's changed a bit!) and corded numeric pad. Time to order the wireless one.

Fantastic Chris. Do you intend to map any more functions? The only ones I use are the ones you have done, but the emergency stop would be useful - perhaps pressing more than one key for safety?

Sorry, I should really be asking this on the EQMOD forum. Just over-excited. ;)

Mike

Emergency stop is currently Key "5"

Chris.

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Chris,

What's your take on the use of the numeric keypad?

I see that the consensus originally was for the gamepad....

Does it make sense that the BoF's would like to see the keypad as a fully functional alternative??

Yes, as originally coded mount control was either via an auxiliary mouse or a numpad. Then folks started playing with wireless presenters and eventually most settled on gamepads as the best interface particularly given the flexibility of configuration.

The big problem with the mouse / numpad/ keyboard approach is that it requires the slew pad window to have focus in order to capture the keyboard / mouse events. To get round that you can certainly go down the ppjoy route and have keyboard presses appear as virtual joystick buttons but then you have watch put that any other software that has focus (such as your planetarium) doesn't respond to those keyboard presses.

I used a numpad briefly but hated it and quickly moved over to a wired, then wireless, gamepad. Personally I wouldn't work any other way now - I just have four preset rates assigned to the four front buttons and slew using the LH joystick. The only other functions I regularly use on the gamepad are the spiral search, sync and occasionally park. I have the RH stick control my focuser.

Of course there are other devices out there that can be used - some folks use Wii controllers (perhaps suitable if you want one handed use - you don't have to use the motion controls). One guy even hooked up his guitar hero guitar controller just for fun.

Chris.

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Where would I get that latest EQASCOM V1.18i driver, I'm on V1.17f?

Its available from the EQMOD Y! group files section. New releases are always made there first to give members the opportunity to test and give feedback etc. Once we're confident that the new release has no major problems, and we have documentation support in place for any new features, then we go for a more general public release at sourceforge.

Chris.

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I installed PPJoy and used PPJoyKey to map a USB numeric keypad key presses to "buttons" eg "+" and "-" to BUTTON12 and BUTTON11.

In EQASCOM, I mapped Increase and Decrease Preset to BUTTON12 and BUTTON11 respectively. This works fine.

I also did similar mappings to the arrow keys but found that unless EQASCOM has focus (not the slew pad), the key presses were processed by my planetarium program rather than EQASCOM.

Mike

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I installed PPJoy and used PPJoyKey to map a USB numeric keypad key presses to "buttons" eg "+" and "-" to BUTTON12 and BUTTON11.

In EQASCOM, I mapped Increase and Decrease Preset to BUTTON12 and BUTTON11 respectively. This works fine.

I also did similar mappings to the arrow keys but found that unless EQASCOM has focus (not the slew pad), the key presses were processed by my planetarium program rather than EQASCOM.

Mike

EQASCOM shouldn't require need focus to see the gamepad (virtual or otherwise) button presses. Could you check this again - I suspect that when the planetarium has focus then it responds to the key presses directly and PPJoy simultaneously reports gamepad button actions to EQASCOM - so both EQASCOM and the planetarium should respond.

If you minimise both planetarium and EQASCOM (so neither has focus) you should find that EQASCOM will continue to respond to the key presses.

Chris.

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Chris,

I will transfer these comments over to the Y! group as well.

Using EQASCOMV1.18i

Logitech wireless num pad

Used PPjoy to map numpad "-" to button 11 and "+" to button 12

Open the slew pad window

The num pad commands as per 49 of the EQASCOM manual work 100%

The +/- num pad keys change the RA rate/Dec rate in the main slew window ie 1-2-3-4 BUT the actual slew rate still appears to be dependent on the slider positions in the slew pad window....

Is there anyway of getting some interaction between the two.

Other than that I've got to say - IT WORKS!!!

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