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Skywatcher Syntrek computer control

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#1 marxy


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Posted 04 May 2009 - 09:03 AM

I was wondering if anyone here can offer me some help.

I am thinking about upgrading to either an HEQ5 or EQ6 syntrek without the hand controller. I want to control the mount via ASCOM/EQmod.
How can I connect the mount to a laptop?
Can I use a direct cable like this one from Pierre Astro? Page is in French but can be translated by google.

Or do I need something from shoestring astronomy which plugs from my USB into the autoguider port?

I'm confused with all of the connectors since it seems to me that Pierre's cables allow connection between the USB port and the place where the synscan hand paddle controller would go on the full goto mount.

Anyway, sorry for rambling and thanks for all advice.

#2 neptun2



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Posted 04 May 2009 - 12:10 PM

Looking at the description at least for me this cable should work but i think that using the shoestring eqdir interface is more reliable and tested.

#3 Skylook123



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Posted 04 May 2009 - 01:41 PM

The shoestring interface is used in place of the hand controller; the main purpose is to step down the serial voltages to TTL level so your mount card does not get damaged.

Since V3.24 for the SynScan firmware came out, the hand controller can be left in place and it will pass through the EQMOD commands reliably, it seems. However, it requires SynScan, the GOTO version of the controller. If you choose to save money on the purchase and just go with the Syntrek version, then you will need some sort of EQDir-like interface in place of the hand controller. I'm using the Shoestring EQDIR, which was the only option three years ago when EQMOD started, and it works fine for an interface, using a straight serial cable to the mount. The Pierre Astro version has been around quite a while as well, when European customers were looking for an option closer to home.

Either Shoestring EQDir or Pierre Astro will serve the purpose if you are using the Syntrek hand controller, since the mount controller card and the stepper motors are the same as SynScan. If you have the SynScan controller with the latest firmware, the two interface choices are not needed but you pay a lot more for the GOTO hand controller. However, if you use your EQ5 in public events, then it is sometimes more convenient to have the GOTO controller and no computer to drag along.

Decisions, decisions...

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