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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1
KD58
sage
*****

Reged: 11/23/12

Loc: West Texas
Synscan controller won't work new
      #5766045 - 03/30/13 01:52 AM

I have an Atlas and when I purchased it a few months ago, it worked fine and I was able to use the hand controller without any problems. I don't use it much as I don't often get to go to a dark sky area and have to make do with my backyard where I don't have northern exposure. I like to control the mount through EQMOD.

Now when I use the hand controller it freezes or simply powers off. I can barely get beyond entering the date and it freezes. I have to disconnect the cable and reinsert it for the process to start again and usually terminate at the previous step. I sent the hand controller back to Orion and they said it was fine. I upgraded the software but same results. I then sent the cable back and they say the cable is fine too. The mount and the cable connection are fine as I use a serial cable to connect the mount to my laptop to control it through EQMOD and it works fine.

Any suggestions as to what to do would be greatly appreciated.


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John Carruthers
Skiprat
*****

Reged: 02/02/07

Loc: Kent, UK
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: KD58]
      #5766156 - 03/30/13 04:44 AM

what are you using for a power supply?
They like nearer 14V than 12V, 2A min.

I trust the serial cable goes to the handset or an eqdir unit, not direct to the mount? that's a quick way to fry the motor control board then the handset won't connect.

Try just the handset to mount and nothing else.
Then once it's aligned you can use 'pc direct' mode to allow pc control.
(latest handsets may not need this).

I use the Celestron driver with ascom and HNSky to control the mount with a usb>serial adapter and the skywatcher serial cable to the handset which provides the TTL conversion so the voltage matches the control board, but sometimes it doesn't like having 2 masters and it gets confused.



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KD58
sage
*****

Reged: 11/23/12

Loc: West Texas
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: John Carruthers]
      #5766359 - 03/30/13 09:29 AM

When I use the hand controller, I connect it directly to the mount. I power the mount with a 12v battery and no power directly to the hand controller. When I use my pc, I connect it directly to the mount, not through the hand controller.

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John Carruthers
Skiprat
*****

Reged: 02/02/07

Loc: Kent, UK
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: KD58]
      #5768084 - 03/31/13 04:48 AM

Handset > mount is good.


Straight from the pc the serial control signal voltage is too high. It needs converting to TTL somehow, either through an eqdir or through the handset, or you will fry the mount's motor control board.

PC > eqdir or handset > mount.

In my case, when using a laptop with no native serial port it's;

PC usb> usb/serial adapter > handset > mount.

Try your handset on another mount and see if that works, if it does then your mount board may be suspect.


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KD58
sage
*****

Reged: 11/23/12

Loc: West Texas
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: John Carruthers]
      #5768518 - 03/31/13 10:52 AM

I use the recommended cable for EQMOD and it works fine and I am able to control the mount fine with it. It's just the Synscan hand controller that messes up as described above. There is nothing wrong with the mount.

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Phil Sherman
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/07/10

Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: KD58]
      #5769939 - 04/01/13 12:06 AM

Try plugging your power supply directly into the hand controller and see if you can initialize it. It'll complain that there's no mount but you should still be able to run through the initialization routine. If that fails, then it's definitely a problem with the hand controller.

Phil


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John Carruthers
Skiprat
*****

Reged: 02/02/07

Loc: Kent, UK
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: KD58]
      #5770129 - 04/01/13 03:55 AM

that's good news. What power supply are you using?

It may be something as simple as a bent connector pin, have you tried swapping out the handset cable?


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KD58
sage
*****

Reged: 11/23/12

Loc: West Texas
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: John Carruthers]
      #5781549 - 04/06/13 10:56 AM

I finally got my Synscan cable returned by Orion after they tested it and said it was functioning well. I had a fully charged Orion 17Ah battery powering the mount and I connected the hand controller. It initialized and I was able to go past entering the date then the readings on the Synscan started to flicker and get dimmer until it went blank. At one point it reappeared and I was able to get it to slew the mount and then it stopped. I removed the cable and powered the Synscan with the battery and it worked fine. Should I try to power the mount and the hand controller separately through two different power sources and try again? I am totally ignorant and want to make sure that I wont hurt the mount. It just seems a hassle and I might as well just get a decent wireless gamepad and use EQMOD and be done with Synscan.

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: KD58]
      #5781651 - 04/06/13 11:52 AM

No. What you should do is check your power cable and your cable's connection to the mount. Oh, and that's assuming your fully charged battery is any good.

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KD58
sage
*****

Reged: 11/23/12

Loc: West Texas
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: rmollise]
      #5782055 - 04/06/13 03:31 PM

But the thing is that I can run many other applications with the same battery. And I can slew the mount when using EQMOD using the same battery. It's when I attach the Synscan to the mount that all the troubles start. Now the Orion people say there is nothing wrong with either the hand controller or the cable. I do have the AC adaptor and can connect the mount to that and see what happens (something that I should have done already). If it works then clearly the battery cant handle the mount and the Synscan. I'll let you know Uncle Rod and if I'm stuck , perhaps you can give me some other advice. I do appreciate all the suggestions and help.

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: KD58]
      #5782101 - 04/06/13 04:02 PM

My advice is, as above, check all cables and connectors.

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John Carruthers
Skiprat
*****

Reged: 02/02/07

Loc: Kent, UK
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: KD58]
      #5783069 - 04/07/13 03:03 AM

they say 12V but it is actually happier at 14V. You need a minimum of 2A available, a bit more won't hurt. At home I run mine off an old PSU that gives 14.2V 5A.
In the field I plug in to a 35 Ahr deep cycle battery from a disabled buggy that gives 13.6V when fully charged and warm.
Many of the little 'wallwart' adapters don't give enough amps, typically only 500mA.

It's well worth checking the little gold contacts in the cable sockets.


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KD58
sage
*****

Reged: 11/23/12

Loc: West Texas
Re: Synscan controller won't work new [Re: John Carruthers]
      #5783520 - 04/07/13 10:45 AM

I used my AC adaptor yesterday with the same results. I think that effectively rules out suboptimal power as a cause of the problem. As for connections: Orion have checked the handcontroller and say there is nothing wrong with it. That would suggest that the connection point (for the RJ45 end) is fine. They checked the cable and say it works perfectly so the the RJ45 end of the cable should be good too. I know that the mount works so it still leaves me with a puzzle that I can't solve nor am I inclined to work on anymore. Very frustrating.

Instead, I got a wireless X-Box gamepad and configured it for EQASCOM and will be using it with my laptop for mount control.


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KD58
sage
*****

Reged: 11/23/12

Loc: West Texas
Re: Synscan controller won't work [Re: KD58]
      #5803733 - 04/16/13 11:41 PM

Having been frustrated by my Synscan and deciding to give up on it, I thought I should write to Orion and see if they had any ideas. Rich wrote back and suggested that there must be a problem with a loose connection between the Synscan and the mount so now I have shipped the mount head back to Orion. I'll update in a few days when I learn more.

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