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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5966336 - 07/11/13 08:50 PM

Quote:

That's what i wrote a few lines after

Specially for someone that needs to use a pc with the telescope ,using EQMOD too is not a big deal.




Yep. I like having the option of using the hand control, but for imaging, etc., I always use EQMOD...it is freaking fantastic.


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5966339 - 07/11/13 08:56 PM

I agree Rod!!!
I must admit i was reading a lot about EQMOD before i buy the mount but i was thinking..."ok how good can it be"?...well ..it's good!!! It gives complete control of every single thing of the mount!!


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5966765 - 07/12/13 02:26 AM

Is it possible to align an EQ6 with the hand controller first and than to connect a PC to the hand controller to control the mount with EQMOD/Stellarium inside the house in winter after it was already aligned like that?

What does EQMOD in plus over NexRemote PC software?


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5966868 - 07/12/13 06:09 AM

Well Nexremote is ..practically a copy of the Nexstar Hand control on a pc.
The EQMOD ...probably you may think of it as a platform that except controlling the mount you may also run extra utilities.

I guess this site can explain it much better than i could do it:

http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/introindex.html


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5966923 - 07/12/13 07:56 AM

Quote:

Is it possible to align an EQ6 with the hand controller first and than to connect a PC to the hand controller to control the mount with EQMOD/Stellarium inside the house in winter after it was aligned like that?




I was trying out SkySafari on my iPad to run my AZ-EQ6. You align your telescope with the hand controller, connect Southern Star's SkyFi (or Orion's StarSeek) to the hand controller, start up your iPad/iPhone or Android device, link it to the SkyFi (StarSeek), and you can wirelessly run your mount from wherever. I works great. This is what I was using when I ran into the pointing issue with the mount. I originally thought it was a SkySafari problem. You should be able to connect via a PC as well but would need a long serial cable and a USB to Serial Adapter to do it. I run another mount via a serial cable from outside to inside my house using The Sky 6.

JohnD


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5967343 - 07/12/13 12:39 PM

Quote:

Is it possible to align an EQ6 with the hand controller first and than to connect a PC to the hand controller to control the mount with EQMOD/Stellarium inside the house in winter after it was already aligned like that?

What does EQMOD in plus over NexRemote PC software?




No. You cannot use the hand control with EQMOD. It is either left disconnected and you use a Shoestring EQDirect cable, or you use a standard SynScan serial cable connected to the HC and put the HC in PC direct mode. You can learn all about EQMOD here: http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/

"But Uncle Rod, but Uncle Rod, if I cain't use the hand control buttons, how do I align the mount to start with?"

Easy--and this is one of the beauties of EQMOD: you use a wireless gamepad/joystick. Even inexpensive ones will work; I use one I got from Walmart for less than 15 dollars.

What does EQMOD do that NexStar firmware doesn't?

The list is really too long to put here. Go to the page above...

But...

It allows you to align on as many go-to alignment stars as you want. Sorta like T-point. You can use any star shown on your planetarium program as an alignment star. Even a 15th magnitude star if you want.

It interfaces to a tour module.

It interfaces to a PEC module.

It has a very good polar alignment routine that uses the polar scope, which some folks prefer to AllStar.

It uses the PC for time/zone/location reference.

It can use many, many different GPS receivers.

Has spiral search.

Implements slew limits.

You can save alignment points for future use if you are leaving the mount set up...like in an observatory or at a multi-night star party.

You can use EQMOD with any ASCOM compatible astronomy program, since it is an ASCOM driver--Cartes du Ciel, Stellarium, etc., etc.

I could go on.

Edited by rmollise (07/12/13 12:42 PM)


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: johnpd]
      #5967355 - 07/12/13 12:46 PM

Quote:

I was trying out SkySafari on my iPad to run my AZ-EQ6. You align your telescope with the hand controller, connect Southern Star's SkyFi (or Orion's StarSeek) to the hand controller, start up your iPad/iPhone or Android




That is true with SkySafari, but not EQMOD. It takes the place of the hand control.


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5968483 - 07/13/13 02:48 AM

I thought I could complete the initial alignment with the hand controller and than connect with a cable the PC to the hand controller and control the EQ6 via Stellarium/EQMOD inside the house in winter using the alignment made outside the house.

This means that in winter you have to align the mount from inside the house after you turn it on. How do you do the initial alignment of the EQ6+telescope inside the house if you don't see the stars with your own eyes?


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5968652 - 07/13/13 08:43 AM

Quote:

I thought I could complete the initial alignment with the hand controller and than connect with a cable the PC to the hand controller and control the EQ6 via Stellarium/EQMOD inside the house in winter using the alignment made outside the house.

This means that in winter you have to align the mount from inside the house after you turn it on. How do you do the initial alignment of the EQ6+telescope inside the house if you don't see the stars with your own eyes?




Were you going to use something like a Mallincam video camera to view objects from inside during the winter? If so, you could align with the camera (assuming your GoTos are decent, otherwise you would have to align outside or at least use a finder to get close). One thing that could cause a problem initially is getting proper focus. This would have to be done from outside unless you have a remote focuser or focusing software on your PC.

JohnD


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: johnpd]
      #5968693 - 07/13/13 09:12 AM

A camera on a finderscope could help if it's used as a "findercam"

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telfish
sage
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Reged: 11/17/10

Loc: Adirondack Mountains NY
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5968720 - 07/13/13 09:36 AM

If you are using Eqmod you don't need to align, it happens as you add points to the model.

You can also integrate Eqmod and sky safari so you use your ipad or ipod to slew to targets and eqmod to control the scope the very best of both worlds. You will need a PC in your obs or close to your scope connected using a EQ direct cable and running WiFiscope (free) as a bridge between sky safari and eqmod. You can select stars in sky safari slew to them then just use the align button to add them to eqmods pointing model.

I can control my scope from anywhere the wiFi signal reaches which is anywhere on our property which covers 6 acres.

So no handset, no alignment.

This works really well for an obs, might seem a bit overkill set up wise if you are constantly moving.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5968757 - 07/13/13 10:12 AM

Quote:

I thought I could complete the initial alignment with the hand controller and than connect with a cable the PC to the hand controller and control the EQ6 via Stellarium/EQMOD inside the house in winter using the alignment made outside the house.

This means that in winter you have to align the mount from inside the house after you turn it on. How do you do the initial alignment of the EQ6+telescope inside the house if you don't see the stars with your own eyes?




Well, you can't, as I said.

You align the scope using a wireless gamepad, as I also said.


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5968927 - 07/13/13 12:29 PM

I don't have an wireless gamepad and I don't know how to connect it.

Rod, can you see the alignment stars through the wireless gamepad?


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5968993 - 07/13/13 01:14 PM

Quote:

I don't have an wireless gamepad and I don't know how to connect it.

Rod, can you see the alignment stars through the wireless gamepad?




Where do you get one? A local discount or electronics store.

How do you connect one? You plug in the receiver to a USB port, load the drivers, and then set it up by following the instructions in the EQMOD documentation.

How could you see stars with a gamepad?

Here's what you do:

1. Read the EQMOD Wiki and the documentation. Don't even think about running EQMOD till you do.

2. Install EQMOD, which is an ASCOM driver.

3. Connect to it using your favorite ASCOM compatible astronomy program.

4. Follow the instructions to set up your alignment.

5. Click on a star on the screen and slew to it. Mount goes to it. You walk out to scope, center star with gamepad. Then either hit the button you've mapped to sync on the gamepad, or hit the sync button on the computer program.

6. Repeat for as many stars as you like.

7. You are done and can run the scope from the computer from then on if you are imaging.



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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5969125 - 07/13/13 02:53 PM

Very clear explanation Rod, thank you! Are you an engineer or mathematician?

Now I understand why is the wireless gamepad usefull.

I still have to get used with the weight of the AZ-EQ6 after using the much lighter CG5GT...


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5969392 - 07/13/13 06:05 PM

Quote:

Very clear explanation Rod, thank you! Are you an engineer or mathematician?

Now I understand why is the wireless gamepad usefull.

I still have to get used with the weight of the AZ-EQ6 after using the much lighter CG5GT...




I WAS an engineer. I am now a retired engineer.


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5971610 - 07/15/13 02:42 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Very clear explanation Rod, thank you! Are you an engineer or mathematician?

Now I understand why is the wireless gamepad usefull.

I still have to get used with the weight of the AZ-EQ6 after using the much lighter CG5GT...




I WAS an engineer. I am now a retired engineer.




I smelled something, mister!

To convinces myself a little more about Skywatcher Synscan hand controller GOTOs accuracy, I did a 2+1 stars alignment with CG5-GT(pier mounted)+C11(at F/2.6-2.8)+LodestarC and tried to find out if AZ-EQ6/EQ6 Pro can put a DSO on a Mallincam chip like camera after a 3 stars alignment. I have to say that polar alignment was not "decent" because I put Polaris only in the middle of the polar scope and I haven't used ASPA (because I forgot about it ).

My conclusions:
1) surprise surprise, IT WORKED! All DSOs landed on the LodestarC chip. Theoretically this proves that both you Rod and Mike X were right about EQ6 GOTOs being accurate enough.
2) this way I managed to reach 90s exposures UNGUIDED without star trailing in some parts of the sky, like W or NW. At SE or S star trailing appeared after 40s.
3)if you can take 1-2min unguided exposures with AZ-EQ6/EQ6 Pro like with a CG5-GT, than I'm not happy with AZ-EQ6/EQ6 because I expected more, like double the time unguided considering the price difference
4) if I'm going to do only visual and video astronomy with exposures up to 90s with Mallincam like camera and focal reducer, without considering DSLR astro photography, than an AZ-EQ6/EQ6 will not bring any benefit to me or my images and CG5-GT is good enough even with a C11
5) I tried to simulate the weight of AZ-Eq6/EQ6 head by putting 2 weights on CG5-GT and lifting it. Man, AZ-EQ6/EQ6 head has to be heavy and I'm not sure yet I'll want to take it outside every time.
6) still, an AZ-EQ6 will tempt me to use it in AZ mode for visual especially with the 2 scopes I have: C11 (for DSOs) and Meade AR5 achro (for planets and wide field).
7) if CCD/DSLR astro photography with a C11 at F/6 comes into play, than an AZ-EQ6 guided would probably make more sense than a CG5-GT pier mounted.
8) small sensor cameras with very fast focal reducers is the key to avoid big/heavy and expensive mounts or even the expensive Hyperstar when you want to do DSO imaging.


What do you people think about the usefulness of AZ-EQ6 compared to CG5-GT only for video astronomy with exposures up to 90s with Mallincam like camera and focal reducer,without considering DSLR/CCD astro photography?


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5971614 - 07/15/13 02:50 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Here is a single 90s exposure unguided with CG5-GT+C11(at F/2.6-2.8)+LodestarC (same sensor like Mallincam) and Polaris only in the middle of the polar scope.

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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5971760 - 07/15/13 07:15 AM

Moromete,

You have me thoroughly confused. How do you determine the accuracy of a Skywatcher mount when doing a test with a CG-5? Yes the AZ-EQ6 is heavier than the CG-5 but not prohibitively so. I had a CGE which I thought was going to give me a hernia. If you are interested in a lighter mount that should handle your C-11, you might want to consider the iOptron iEQ45. There is a AZ/EQ version of that also. Weightwise it is between the CG-5 and AZ-EQ6 and cheaper than the AZ-EQ6. Is there anyone near you that has an AZ-EQ6 or an EQ6 that you can do a test on?

JohnD


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy [Re: Moromete]
      #5971901 - 07/15/13 09:39 AM

Quote:


What do you people think about the usefulness of AZ-EQ6 compared to CG5-GT only for video astronomy with exposures up to 90s with Mallincam like camera and focal reducer,without considering DSLR/CCD astro photography?




The AZ-EQ-6 should work great for video. BUT...I never use my EQ-6 for that. The CG5 or my new VX are more than good enough for the less-demanding (compared to prime focus with a CCD or a DSLR) imaging requirements of video and are a lot lighter.


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