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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Binary Star
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Reged: 09/04/08

Loc: N.E. Ohio
Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new
      #3719979 - 04/02/10 12:30 AM

I've been researching and following the Atlas vs CGEM threads because I'm in the market for one of them. From what I've gathered so far, the mechanics are similar enough to possibly warrant a choice by coin toss. Just for reference, at this point I'm mostly a visual observer of planets and DSO's, but I have a Meade DSI and have started experimenting with it.

My questions have to do with the capabilities of the handset for the Atlas compared to the CGEM. I have a Meade LXD55, and that's the only goto experience I have so far. Given the 40K database of objects in that and the menu navigation, is it likely I'd be satisfied with the Synscan handset and it's capabilities? From what I've read, the CGEM controller is more similar to the Meade than it is to the Synscan. Not having used either, I'm interested in users experiences with the Synscan controller and whether or not it's useful on it's own merits.

Most of the posts that tout the advantages of the Atlas point to the use of EQMOD and the extensions that provides. I'm not opposed to connecting a PC, as that's a necessity in using a CCD camera, but I don't want to have to connect a PC just for visual observing. What specifically is is EQMOD providing that makes the difference?

Since both Atlas and CGEM can be controlled directly by The Sky, Stellarium and other programs through the handsets, is that a suitable alternative to EQMOD or are they completely different things?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Jim


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neptun2
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Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: Binary Star]
      #3720003 - 04/02/10 12:58 AM

I have heq5 pro synscan but honestly have not used the hand controller very much. I am most towards the astrophotography and use eqmod most frequently. As far as i have read the celestron controller has better goto accuracy than synscan. Eqmod is a driver which connects directly to the mount's motor control board either through the hand controller using pc direct mode or using adapter called eqdir. This direct control over motor control board allows eqmod to have better goto accuracy than the hand controller. It can also help with polar alignment but is not so easy as celestron's all-star polar alignment. In general eqmod allows better gotos, help with polar alignment and the possibility to apply PEC using their own tool (pecprep) or PEMPro. If you want you can also use the celestron ascom driver but this way you should make your goto alignment using the hand controller. The celestron driver allows hust to connect the mount to planetarium program and point the scope through it.It also has pulse guide support just like eqmod but lacks the additional features of eqmod listed above. I hope that will help you.

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Chris Shillito
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Reged: 07/03/08

Loc: UK
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: neptun2]
      #3720247 - 04/02/10 07:58 AM

Here's a list of some of the benefits EQMOD has over the synscan

http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/faqs/whyeqmod.html

Chris


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: Binary Star]
      #3720274 - 04/02/10 08:32 AM

If you just want to compare HCs, there's really no comparison.

The NexStar is much more mature and feature-filled.

The other side o' that coin? The CGEM has not exactly been problem free thus far in its young life.

Edited by rmollise (04/02/10 08:33 AM)


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Binary Star
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Reged: 09/04/08

Loc: N.E. Ohio
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: rmollise]
      #3723561 - 04/04/10 12:23 AM

Thanks for the responses. I'm leaning towards the CGEM, and hoping that I get spared any issues.

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Steve Fisher

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Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Utah
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: Binary Star]
      #3723581 - 04/04/10 12:46 AM

I went from the LXD-75/Autostar to the EQ6-Pro/Synscan. Then upgraded to the CGE/Nexstar.

I couldn't agree more with what Rod has said. I would hate to go back to the SynScan or the Autostar.


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SKYGZR
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Reged: 08/14/09

Loc: Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy...
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: Steve Fisher]
      #3727589 - 04/06/10 02:18 AM

LXD-55 convert to Atlas EQ-G here. Didn't know anything about EQMOD when purchasing the Atlas. Now...what's a "handset" again????? EQMOD (one word): ROCKS

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Binary Star
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Reged: 09/04/08

Loc: N.E. Ohio
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: SKYGZR]
      #3728361 - 04/06/10 01:18 PM

Steve and SKYGZR, thanks for your input.

The EQMOD software is the thing that's making my choice more difficult. Everyone that uses it has apparently had great results with it and comments on how it has really made the Atlas mount shine vs using the supplied controller. On the other hand, I like the fact that the CGEM uses the same controller and embedded software that the CGE Pro uses. From what I've been reading, there are plenty of others that have agonized over this same seemingly simple decision.


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Skylook123
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Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: Binary Star]
      #3729030 - 04/06/10 06:19 PM

I like one feature of going with the Atlas and using EQMOD that isn't often mentioned. A companion utility called EQMODLX allows the translation of mount commands into LX200 speak. This opens up two interesting applications: the use of the DSI imstruments for guiding and imaging, and the use of the Atlas for satellite tracking. Satellite tracking is the only time I use EQMOD, since I only do visual work with the mount, which only needs the hand controller.

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SKYGZR
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Reged: 08/14/09

Loc: Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy...
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: Binary Star]
      #3729041 - 04/06/10 06:25 PM

Read up, Learn more about EQMOD. Join the yahoo Group. If I were to have known what this software was all about while shopping for an up-grade, it would have been a no-brainer.

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Nils_Lars
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Reged: 01/04/08

Loc: Santa Cruz Mountains , CA
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: SKYGZR]
      #3729657 - 04/07/10 12:40 AM

I went from a Nexstar hand controller to the Atlas and I did miss the polar align routine until I found EQalign and EQMOD is excellent for all the cool things it does.

Maybe the only thing I think it has over the Syncscan is the PEC that stays with the hand controller and doesnt reset each time.


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skyjim
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Reged: 01/13/07

Loc: Carmel, NY
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: neptun2]
      #3729945 - 04/07/10 08:16 AM

Hi Neptun, I have a 1 year old Orion Sirius EQ-G which I bought new from Orion and bought it without the goto handset just the plain jane handset. Since your mount and mine are close have you ever used the Celestron/Nextar handset on your mount, it would make sence since there both made by synta and the comands for the handsets should be the same. I know Orion doesnt list the goto hand handset any more but Celestron still sells there's as a speacial order part, Orions price for there handset was around $300 when they sold it as an add on and celestrons nexstar was $150.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: skyjim]
      #3729964 - 04/07/10 08:45 AM

Quote:

Since your mount and mine are close have you ever used the Celestron/Nextar handset on your mount, it would make sence since there both made by synta and the comands for the handsets should be the same.




They were developed separately by different companies. One uses stepper motors and the other uses servos so their internal workings aren't similar or compatible.


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skyjim
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Reged: 01/13/07

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Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #3730457 - 04/07/10 01:52 PM

I know what you mean but the hanset doesnt drive the motors directly, it drives a bourd that issues the comands to the motors. Synta didnt have goto till it bought celestron which allow them to kinda copy to some extent.

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neptun2
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Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: Atlas EQ-G Handset Questions [Re: skyjim]
      #3739868 - 04/12/10 08:00 AM

As far as i know it is not possible to use celestron hand controller on atlas. Celestron's nexstar was developed earlier and with servo motors in mind while synscan was eveloped from scratch by synta for their stpper motor based mounts.

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