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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
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#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!

#10 sdufoer

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:15 AM

I have problems with the EQ6AZGT and EQMOD and EQdirect.  I do automated CCD observing using CCDCommander.

 

1) The sync does not sync the encoders.  Which means, after some time the encoders are not calibrated anymore.  The mount tells EQASCOM it's pointed slightly in the wrong position.
2) The PPEC of the mount can't be used with EQMOD.  If I could use the PPEC functionality, I wouldn't have guiderrors anymore.

 

I don't have the synscan handcontroller.  I'm wondering of these issues could be solved with using PC-direct, or using the nexstar 8i driver?  Anyone has experience with this?



#11 rmollise

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 07:27 AM

I'm not sure why you want to use the encoders. Turn that off and operate the mount normally. Reliable goto operation does not require those encoders, and they may actually harm accuracy.



#12 sdufoer

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 08:58 AM

The encoders are precise.  I upgraded from normal EQ6 to the EQ6AZGT exactly because it has the encoders.  If it could use the feedback from the encoders you'll have pretty accurate goto's with accuracy of 3.4 arcminutes.
Unfortunatly, they also need calibration, but I can't find information about that in the manual.



#13 rmollise

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 09:54 AM

They aren't overly precise, and it can't use the feedback, so...well...there you have it. ;)



#14 Jeff Struve

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 07:57 AM

Well.. Hi all! I have a related problem... I had posted at the following link, but thought I would also comment here:

 

http://www.cloudynig...ount-and-eqmod/

 

 

In any Case, I have 2 Atlas mounts.. and 4 others in our club own Atlas mounts... we all use the USB2EQ6 cable from Shoestring, and bypass the HC... go direct from the PC to the mount... There are no issues at all... now... I have an EQ8 aka HDX110... I bought the EQ2USB5 cable for that... Orion says that it is the same as the EQ5... I can't connect to the HDX no matter what I do... we even received a replacement USB2EQ5 cable from Shoestring thinking the cable was bad... 

 

The HC works the mount fine... I've checked the port assignment, redid the config... oh, I use Stellarium/Stellarium Scope... The little test app from Shoestring does not find the mount... the Find functionality in EQMOD does not find the port, so I have to enter it manually... still no connection...

 

The only thing that I can think of is that there is something wrong with the mount...

 

Thoughts?

 

ThanX!



#15 rmollise

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 09:09 AM

It's not clear to me... Did you leave the EQDIR cable out of the mix and just connect to the serial port on the base of the hand control with the standard serial cable and set the mount to PC Direct?

If so, did you try the mount with a computer program other than EQMOD (and not in PC Direct, of course)?

If the latter worked, it almost sounds to me as if the problem may be on the computer end. Do you have a different PC you can load up with EQMOD?


Edited by rmollise, 12 August 2015 - 09:10 AM.


#16 Jeff Struve

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 09:19 AM

I believe that I tried using the cable supplied to update the HC... to the HC... to the mount in Direct PC mode and it didn't work...

 

Yep... I tried 2 different PC's... both control the Atlas.. neither control or connect to the HDX... I tried using the control mechanism with Stellarium not using Stellariumscope (and I assume therefore not EQMOD or ASCOM)... and no luck... 

 

My method (if I recall from memory being that I am not by that gear)... I plug everything in... turn on the mount... go to devise manager and double ck the port number... open Stellariumscope which opens Stellarium and EQMOD... select the EQ5/EQ6 mount... do a properties on that mount and run the 'Find' option to auto locate the port. This is successful for the Atlas mounts but not the HDX... I enter the port number and ok the selection... in EQMOD, update the config/ini... close EQMOD/Stellariumscope/Stellarium as directed (due to the config update)... start up Stellariumscope, check the connect box... the next EQMOD box opens and closes. No connection... selecting the properties box in EQMOD for the mount has the correct port still saved...

 

The following works for my Atlas mounts...

 

Thanx!



#17 rmollise

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 09:33 AM

Try the standard serial cable again, and MAKE SURE it works with just a computer program, like Stellarium WITHOUT EQMOD. IOW, as a troubleshooting measure, leave EQMOD AND PC Direct out of the loop. See if you can align (fake align it in the daytime if you like, with the hand control) your mount and send it on gotos with the PC.



#18 Jeff Struve

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 09:37 AM

It's not clear to me... Did you leave the EQDIR cable out of the mix and just connect to the serial port on the base of the hand control with the standard serial cable and set the mount to PC Direct?

If so, did you try the mount with a computer program other than EQMOD (and not in PC Direct, of course)?

If the latter worked, it almost sounds to me as if the problem may be on the computer end. Do you have a different PC you can load up with EQMOD?

 

I'm not sure how to run using the standard cable w/o having the HC in line... my laptop only has USB.. no serial... I can try going laptop to HC using the standard cable... then HC to mount using the HC cable... but don't I have to go to PC Direct to get that to work?

 

Thanx again!



#19 rmollise

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 02:03 PM

That's not what I'm saying. Plug one end of the standard serial cable into the USB-serial adapter. Plug the other end into the base of the hand control. See if you can connect and control the scope with Stellarium or some other software without having EQMOD in the mix.

#20 Jeff Struve

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 02:23 PM

That's not what I'm saying. Plug one end of the standard serial cable into the USB-serial adapter. Plug the other end into the base of the hand control. See if you can connect and control the scope with Stellarium or some other software without having EQMOD in the mix.

I feel like an ID10T!    You want me to run from the laptop... to the HC... to the mount.... do not put the HC in PC Direct... but try to run the mount with plain 'ol Stellarium?

 

The cables I would use would be the USB on the laptop side and the phone style jack to the HC... then the standard HC to mount coiled cable....



#21 rmollise

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 03:40 PM

Yes, with the phone style cable being the one that came with the mount for updating software.

You will, of course, have to go into Stellarium and set it up for goto operation.

#22 Jeff Struve

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 04:14 PM

Yes, with the phone style cable being the one that came with the mount for updating software.

You will, of course, have to go into Stellarium and set it up for goto operation.

Yes.... I can move the mount when I go from laptop USB to a. Standard cable that goes from USB to serial then using the white serial at phone jack going to the HC and the HC t know unt using the coiled cord... No pc direct, and just StellariumScope....

 

Ideas?



#23 Jeff Struve

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 09:26 AM

Ok...

Going from the laptop to the mount via the HC with standard cables... no EQMOD and no PC Direct... I can control the mount via laptop

I can't control the mount via laptop with standard cables via PC Direct mode... tried Stellarium, Starry Night, and Cartes du Ciel... ASCOM V6

I can't control the mount via laptop with the USB2EQ5 cable direct from the laptop to mount... no HC...  tried Stellarium with Stellarium Scope EQMOD... ASCOM V6

I can't control the mount via laptop with standard cables via PC Direct mode... tried Stellarium, Starry Night, and Cartes du Ciel... ASCOM V6.1

I can't control the mount via laptop with the USB2EQ5 cable direct from the laptop to mount... no HC...  tried Stellarium with Stellarium Scope EQMOD... ASCOM V6.1

I've tried 6 different Atlas mounts using different combinations of 3 different laptops all with different USB2EQ6 cables running various versions of Stellariumscope... all work fine...



#24 rmollise

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 02:32 PM

To use PC Direct, you MUST use EQMOD...you were doing so, correct?



#25 Jeff Struve

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 02:46 PM

To use PC Direct, you MUST use EQMOD...you were doing so, correct?

Yes! 




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