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More PC Direct Issues

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#1 IanD

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 02:57 PM

I posted something about a PC direct issue with my new EQ8 and I still haven't been able to fix it. Ideally I want to connect to the computer using something like TheSky or Stellarium however I can't even get the link to work. Skywatcher has created a diagnostic tool on their downloads page to check if the PCDirect is connected and every single time I try to connect (both to my labtop and desktop) it doesn't work.

Neither computer has a serial port so I'm using a USB to Serial adapter which at first I thought might have been the problem but I've been able to update to handcontroller firmware through the exact same configuration. Its just that when I plug the mount into the handcontroller its not recognising that its connected to the PC.

I've used a similar set up for years with my EQ6 without any trouble so I'm kinda stumped as to why this is being so difficult. Has anyone had similar problems with an EQ8 PCDirect? If you've been able to connect either with PC Direct or EQDir cable can you give me specific steps (1. plug in RJ45, 2. etc)?

Much appreciated!

#2 rmollise

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 03:06 PM

You cannot use PC Direct like you are trying to do. You MUST use it with EQMOD. Any other computer control is done with the port on the base of the hand control. You then align the mount with the HC, and connect to the computer program of your choice for go-tos. YOU DO NOT put it in PC Direct mode for that.

#3 pereloup

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 07:14 PM

I can connect to my EQ8 with PC Direct and a serial-USB cable. I just plug the cable, check the COM port, start the EQMOD Toolbox, click the Driver setup button. I then choose the right COM port and click OK. I followed the steps from the quick start guide here...

EQASCOM quick start guide

I just recieved my USB2EQ5 EQDir cable from Shoestring Astro. After installing the driver, EQDIRCheck doesn't detect the mount but it's working fine in CdC(SkyCharts). It's probably because the EQ8 is not yet included in the software.

Stephan

#4 rmollise

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:03 AM

You can, but you HAVE TO USE EQMOD IF YOU ARE USING PC DIRECT. If you just want to run the mount with a computer, you don't use PC Direct, and that will NOT work.

#5 pereloup

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 12:00 PM

You can, but you HAVE TO USE EQMOD IF YOU ARE USING PC DIRECT. If you just want to run the mount with a computer, you don't use PC Direct, and that will NOT work.


You're right, in PC Direct Mode with the hand controller, you have to use EQMOD.

But I'm not sure if I understand your last sentence. If you use an EQDirect cable, you HAVE to remove the SynScan controller so PC Direct is impossible (it's an utility programmed IN the SynScan controller!). But the EQDirect cable WILL work with the EQ8 and EQMOD. The OP says that it used to work with its EQ6 so I concluded that he knows about and uses EQMOD.

Maybe we are saying the same thing with different words ;)

#6 frolinmod

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 06:04 PM

Everyone knows this stuff already, but just in case:

The handset hardware talks RS232 levels. When talking to the handset you may need to use a USB to serial converter.

The EQ6 mount hardware talks 5V TTL levels. The EQ8 mount hardware talks 3.3V TTL levels, but is 5V tolerant. When talking to the mount directly and not through the handset, you need to use a TTL converter. Normally that means a serial to TTL or USB to TTL converter. FTDI has some good ones.

EQMOD knows how to talk to and control the mount directly without needing the handset to emulate another mount. It can control the mount via a handset in PC Direct mode or directly to the mount without the handset being present at all.

Connecting to the handset without setting PC Direct mode, you're talking to the handset rather than the mount. The handset is emulating a Celestron mount for you. EQMOD doesn't handle this mode. No need for EQMOD in this mode. Just lie and tell your software it's a Celestron mount.

Connecting to the handset in PC Direct mode, you're talking more or less directly to the mount with the handset acting as an intermediary converting from RS232 to TTL for you but otherwise not getting involved. There's a little extra added latency. You need to use EQMOD in this mode and possibly EQASCOM as well depending on what other software you may wish to layer on top of EQMOD.

Connecting to the mount directly is the same as PC Direct mode via the handset, but without any extra added latency and without any RS232 to TTL conversion. For compatibility and convenience that normally means you'll need to add an RS232 to TTL converter or a USB to TTL converter. You need to use EQMOD in this mode and possibly EQASCOM as well depending on what other software you may wish to layer on top of EQMOD.

Notice how I said that the EQ8 talks 3.3V TTL and is 5V tolerant. You can get both RS232 to 5V TTL converters and RS232 to 3.3V TTL converters. They're obviously not 100% the same in all respects. Not all RS232 to 5V TTL converters can understand 3.3V signalling and not all RS232 to 3.3V TTL converts are 5V tolerant. If you're using an RS232 to 5V TTL converter, make sure it can handle 3.3V signalling. If you're using an RS232 to 3.3V TTL converter, make sure it is 5V tolerant. In other words, check the datasheet. Of course, if it works, then it works and no need to check anything. :D

#7 orion69

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:23 PM

Sorry to bring up old thread but I just ordered EQ8 and I have some question...

1. Since my old mount is CGEM I was wondering if EQ8 HC is same as CGEM's?
2. I have cable that goes to the base of HC (that came with CGEM) and RS232 to USB converter, can those be used with EQ8 (I'm using Maxim DL, will not use EQMOD)
3. Is cable that goes to the base of HC (RS232) included with EQ8?

Thanks

#8 rmollise

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:58 PM

No, the CGEM HC is entirely different.

No, you'll need a Synscan serial cable

(one should come with the mount).

;)

#9 orion69

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:06 PM

Thank you!






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