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Autoguider Cable Question

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#1 Mike Wiles

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:54 PM

For a replacement cable, can I just buy an off the shelf RJ-11 cable? Or are they wired differently?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer.

Mike

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:20 PM

There are two configurations; the flip cable, where one end is flipped during assembly so pin 1 goes to pin one, and the straight-through cable, where pin 1 goes to pin 6. In communications use, where pairs are used starting with the center pair and working outwards, they are interchangeable, For our purpose, only the right one will work. Some camera vendors use one and some use the other.

For example, SBIG and QSI use one and the SSAG and GPUSB use the other.

#3 Calypte

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

Short answer: no! Autoguiders usually require 6-conductor plugs & cables. Standard phone cables and handset cables are only 4-conductor. The plug will probably fit in the socket, but you'll have no connection. I haven't been able to find 6-conductor cables locally. Plugs, yes, but not cables. Also, be careful about the plug orientation. I found out that my focuser cable wasn't interchangeable with an autoguider cable that I had laying around. The connections of the autoguider cable are mirror-images of each other, whereas the focuser cable plugs are pin-for-pin identical. I just looked at them, so I could answer your question.

#4 Calypte

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

For example, SBIG and QSI use one and the SSAG and GPUSB use the other.

I didn't know the guiders were different. Thanks for the education!

#5 jrcrilly

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:33 PM

For example, SBIG and QSI use one and the SSAG and GPUSB use the other.

I didn't know the guiders were different. Thanks for the education!


I'm sorry that I don't remember which uses which, though - I know that would be more helpful. I've been using a Tak mount for four years and that uses a proprietary cable so I haven't selected a normal guide cable for a long time.

#6 Raginar

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:38 PM

Look up which type your camera uses and buy one on monoprice. They sell either type.

#7 Calypte

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:12 PM

I'm sorry that I don't remember which uses which, though - I know that would be more helpful. I've been using a Tak mount for four years and that uses a proprietary cable so I haven't selected a normal guide cable for a long time.

My QSI guider cable has plugs with the pins assigned in a mirror-image arrangement. I don't use the cable, since I use a Lodestar guider, which has its own USB mini-style cable.

#8 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

You can use a cat5 cable with a 6p6c connector... just don't use 2 wires in the cat5 cable..

#9 jrcrilly

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:03 PM

My QSI guider cable has plugs with the pins assigned in a mirror-image arrangement.


Thanks! I know the SBIG is the same because I can plug the Tak/SBIG cable I used on the ST-10 (and all the other SBIG cameras over the years) into my QSI and it works. Just didn't remember which configuration that was. I had to insert a flip adaptor for the GPUSB and the SSAG.

#10 Raginar

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:56 PM

Completely wrong assumption. See Jcrilly's response below!

#11 jrcrilly

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:46 PM

Yup, my lodestar has the same arrangement. Also, keep in mind that when you calibrate your mount, if it did happen to have the dec and RA swapped.. it wouldn't be that big of a deal. The software would figure it out.


If an end is flipped the wrong way, the result isn't an RA/dec swap. Instead, the camera line designated as a 12V source for relay isolators gets connected to one of the mount's RA lines. The 12V source is generally not enabled, so no harm done, but as the common line is also in the wrong place no guider inputs are actuated. On the other hand, if you are using an older SBIG camera and the 12V output is enabled (internal jumper) the mount's RA input can get clobbered. On some mounts this results in a permanently "stuck" guide input line and everything that the controller is designed to ignore during an active guider input (such as slew buttons) stops working. Won't guide any more, either.

#12 Raginar

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:48 AM

Good to know, I knew I should've looked up the pins first :).

#13 jrcrilly

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:16 AM

Good to know, I knew I should've looked up the pins first :).


I saw someone just the other day mention that he had to replace a 74LS14 in a Meade LX200 Classic. "Aha!", I thought to myself. Been there, done that... :lol:

#14 Raginar

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

Nice, John! That's very funny!

Thought TBH, what mounts aren't guided via the ST4 pinout these days and what camera isn't providing it? I've own a Qguider, used a SSAG, a lodestar, and a SBIG ST-237 now and they've all used that pin-out (requiring a straight through) and this has worked with my CGEM (Nexstar) and Gemini-2.

I'm pretty sure the ST-4 port on Autostar is the same as well?


#15 pfile

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:12 PM

old thread, but i thought i'd mention that a 6-pin telephone cable from radio shack works properly between an SBIG camera and the ST-4 port on a Gemini-II. i assume that means that it will work with any mount.

#16 dragonslayer1

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:08 AM

wonder if it would work on the SSAG?? would be nice to have a longer cable for sure, Kasey

#17 jrcrilly

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:17 AM

wonder if it would work on the SSAG?? would be nice to have a longer cable for sure, Kasey


No. See the previous post in this thread: link

#18 pfile

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 10:56 AM

it's probably cheaper to just buy a longer cable that's made for your situation... but if you already have a crimper you could buy the telephone cable, cut one connector off and crimp a new one on 'upside-down'.

the crimp tool is kind of expensive; buying one for this purpose only would make your cable cost about $50 :)

rob

#19 dragonslayer1

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:41 PM

Hey Chris, am at that monoprice web site, just tell them want a SSAG to UBS cable?? or do you have to know more, like pins/ wire gauge/ wires crossing between the two points? Kasey






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