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HEQ5 Pro


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Well I took the plunge and ordered a HEQ5 on Monday and it arrived today.... :) , cheers Steve / James.

I carried out a rough alignment in the house to check connection to my laptop. I aligned the mount through the hand set and connected it to Starry Night via Ascom drivers. Everything worked great. I also checked it connected to PHD and again all looks fine..... :D

Now, I have tried to connect it to EQMod with no luck. I was using the standard serial cable that came with the mount for this.

Can anyone let me know if this is the correct cable on its own, or do I need an adaptor or some other gadget. I am aware of the EQDIR module that FLO sells but as I bought the Synscan version I am happy to connect through the hand set. (the EQDIR module does away with the hand set).

Any advice appriciated.

Gary

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Thanks for that BA.

I know that it is connected to the lappy ok as when used with Ascom through starry night it works OK.

Its only EQMod that I am having bother with. I have checked the comm port used in EQMod and its the same as I use in Ascom, port 4.

I seem to remeber reading somewhere that I need 'something' to enable EQMod to work through the hand set, just cant remeber what it is or where to get it.

Cheers,

Gary

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I connected mine via the handset to laptop, and used Stellarium to check it slewed (quite neat, indoors, North aligned, set handset, select Uranus, and down it went, then Pleiades, and up it went, to just about where I guess M45 must have been).

QHY5 works with the software you download for it, but not had opportunity to check whether the QHY5 and HEQ5 will work together via something like PhD - PhD allows me a connection, but not obvious whether the handset is responding or not, as all I can detect is a faint change in tone of whine. Guidedog won't work on my W7 laptop.

Both the QHY5 and HEQ5 needed ASCOM installed and the appropriate QHY5 & Celestron/Synscan driver to work. Hopefully they will work together when I get the chance to connect it all to together.

Am I missing something? I understood EQMOD to involve a box that did away with the handset, which before Synscan 2 people used instead of the handset, but with version 3, everything should work OK. So, why do you need EQMOD, if everything works via the handset?

QHY5 to laptop (via RS232 to USB), HEQ5 Handset to laptop (via USB). Only thing I'm not clear about is whether the QHY5 also needs to be connected to the ST4 port.

M.

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Gary,

I'm sure you will be very pleased with the HEQ5pro mount, it's a great piece of gear.

Looking at the reply posts so far, they fail to mention the "key" and that is to set the Synscan handcontroller to PCDirect ( Utility menu)

You can then use the Skywatcher upgrade cable plugged into your PC and into the RJ11 socket on the Synscan.

This should get you going.

Ken

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Mish,

Using EQMOD instead of the Synscan controller gives you 300% better control of the motors and the GOTO accuracy. You can use the EQMOD polar alignment method to set up the mounting very accurately and then use many, like MANY, syc points to improve and refine the accuracy of the GOTO.

I use EQMOD and CdCV3 to run the HEQ5pro and a wireless number pad for "keyboard" commands.

Well worth trying.

Re guiding with QHY5 - Also use the QHY5 directly connected to the ST-4 port on the HEQ5 and PHD for guiding. (My serial>USB adaptor is a Keyspan - strongly recommended) Works 100% no issues.

Ken

Edited by Merlin66
guide comment added
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Thansk for the replies folks.

As Merlin66 said, EQMod improves the control of the mont. Goto is much improved, you can add 'sync' stars in the region of the object you want to goto, thus improving the goto accuracy. (Very handy if you have a small chip camera like mine)

Merlin66, yup that jogged my memory a wee bit. PC direct, I'll have to have a trawl through the handset and find that function. So then, EQMod 'should' work with the standard serial cable that came with the mount, yes?

If only the blumming sky would clear!

Gary

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Only thing I'm not clear about is whether the QHY5 also needs to be connected to the ST4 port.

M.

M.,

You select whether or not to use the st4 port within PHD.

In the Mount option box you select either, ASCOM for control through the handset or On-Camera for direct ST4 control.

There are mixed reports as to what is better. Some say one, some say the other and yetothers say it makes no differance, I personally never saw any differance guiding my old CG5GT. Time will tell with the HEQ5.

HTH,

Gary

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Am I missing something? I understood EQMOD to involve a box that did away with the handset, which before Synscan 2 people used instead of the handset, but with version 3, everything should work OK. So, why do you need EQMOD, if everything works via the handset?

No, EQDIR modules replace the handset.

When using the handset with EQMOD, the software sends the command to the handset and the handset sends the commands to the mount.

With EQDIR, the handset is removed and the commands are sent direct.

The software, however, is very powerful and makes life a whole lot easier :)

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PCDirect should be available on the Synscan controller under the "Utilities" menu .....page down and select.

I'm using V3.25, so I'm not sure if you may need to upgrade your firmware ( just follow the SW site instructions - only takes a couple of minutes)

Ken

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I had to do nothing to connect to the PC, the handset (v.3) seemed to detect the cable was connected to the PC. The only time I needed to do anything was when I updated the firmware, which entailed pressing the 0 and 8 key simultaneously. The RS-232 to USB converter I have is Prolific, which was on Amazon for about 8 quid. The drivers loaded on W.7 OK.

M.

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Mish,

To use the PC control ie using something like CdC you're correct...

just plug in the cable and set the ASCOM scope to "celestron"...

BUT

if you want to use EQMOD the you need to set up as "PCDirect" in the Synscan controller.

Ken

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Ken,

I cant find the 'pcdirect' function in the hand set.

I thought it might be a version issue so I tried to update the firmware to v3.27, it was v3.20. DISASTER, every time I try to update it it gets to 48.39% then stops telling me there is a update failure. I have tried 2 different usb to serial adaptors but no luck.

Now the hand set wont do anything. when powered up its blank, unless I press 0+8 then it goes into the update screen but nothing works on it now.

Any advice most welcome, before I have to call FLO in the morning and plead daftness.

Cheers,

Gary

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Ouch!!!!

What can I say???????????

I've updated a few times now; with the Synscan handcontroller lying on the desk powered by a fully charged battery and the Keyspan serial>usb adaptor ( I use Dell Inspirion 6400 and Acer laptops)

with no problems.........

Ken

Edited by Merlin66
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No, EQDIR modules replace the handset.

When using the handset with EQMOD, the software sends the command to the handset and the handset sends the commands to the mount.

With EQDIR, the handset is removed and the commands are sent direct.

The software, however, is very powerful and makes life a whole lot easier :)

Ah, I understand now - so I can use EQMOD with my setup, no need for another box. And with EQMOD, my mount will work better. Cool!

Thanks.

M.

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Well, trying to update the firmware has ended in disaster....

I have now tried 3 lappies, 2 with 2 different serial to usb adaptors and the 3rd had a pukka serial port. No bloomin joy. It still stops the update at 48.39% and has the message 'update failure' 'cycle power and retry'. I have retied soooo many times now that I am soooo hacked of!Anyway, Blinky is on his way over to try and help. Hopefully he will get somewhere, failing that I'm on the phone to FLO in the morning to see what the options are.

Brand new mount, never been out under a dark sky and now its knacked. I'll say this though, once it is running again there wil be no more firmware updates.

Cheers,

Gary

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I did my update using RS232 on an XP machine. I set that up when I had problems with my NexStar HC, and it proved that the problem was with the handset itself, which had to be replaced. If you can get access to a PC with RS232, that is the best way to check the problem is not with the USB adapter. Not easy, as laptops stopped shipping with them years ago, and now few PC's seem to have them either. If it doesn't work using RS232, then it may be that the handset is faulty.

M.

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Re Usb to serial adaptors:

I'm sure there are many adaptors which work, but I can honestly say I have been using the KeySpan USB> Serial adaptors for the last few years on every type of comms situation, Lx200, HEQ5, The Sky V6, CdC, Astroplanner etc etc and NEVER has it failed me.....

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Hi,

I installed EQMOD, and what I had to do to get it to work was set the handset to PC Direct Mode. ASCOM worked, but EQMOD would not work till I did that. Where it says 'choose menu', instead of 'setup mode', press down and select 'utility function', enter, press up, enter. Then it is in PC Direct Mode, and EQMOD works.

Launching StellariumScope, you select EQMOD.Telescope, go to the ... and that brings up ASCOM. Select EQMOD ASCOM Synta 5/6. Go to properties and fill in (COM port is important). Come back, select OK, in StellariumScope tick 'Connect', and that will launch the EQMOD console, then you can open Stellarium, select an object, press 'Ctrl 1' and in the box that comes up select the slew option. The HEQ5 whirs a bit, and pints in that direction.

At least, that is what happens in front of the log fire, watching TV, because the sky is full of cloud.

So, I'll take it on people's word that it is better - it certainly looks like there's a lot more there than available using ASCOM driver and handset.

Thanks for this thread, and the input.

M.

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Right then, I have borrowed a HC from Blinky. It is running v3.23 which has the PC direct function. EQMod is now working and looks good.

My HC was running v3.20 which did not have this function.

I was trying the upgrade to get the pcdirect function but thats when the problems hit.

As I have tried several pc's and had no luck with the upgrade I think the HC must be faulty, will call FLO in the morning.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Cheers,

Gary

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I got my HEQ5 SYNSCAN upgrade from FLO, I'm pretty sure the handset was v.3.23 before I updated it to 3.27. Don't see why 3.20 wouldn't work, unless you need to do it in sequence (3.20 -> 3.23 -> 3.27). Upgradeability is one of the selling points of v.3.

M.

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Hi Gary,

A couple of stabs in the dark...

Have you read the change log / installation instructions to see if you need to upgrade to a lower version before this one will install? Maybe try a lower version anyway, 3.25 works fine for me on my EQ6 as did 3.23.

Did you try re-downloading the firmware and loader, things do get corrupted now and again.

Did you have a decent power supply connected the HC when you tried the updates?

Cheers,

Ian

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HI Ian,

Yes, I read both the manual and the instructions on the SW web site. The version in the HC was 3.20, no pc direct mode. So I tried to update it to 3.27. Thats when I got the 1st error. I then tried v3.25, still no joy.

I then thought, as you did, might be corrupt downloads so I downloaded all the software again. (firmware and loader)

I have tried a few laptops, 2 serial adaptors and 1 of the laptops had a genuine serial port, still no bloomin' joy.

I was using my power tank, was fully charged. I aint had bother with that before and, according to the HC was sitting at 13.2volts. The mount was working perfectly with this power siupply prior to the problems with the HC.

So, now I am at a loss, I'll phone Steve in the morning and ask what to do next.

Gary

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