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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new
      #6048740 - 08/27/13 12:33 PM

Figured I'd start here, but maybe this post would be better served in one of the imaging forums.

I'm doing some solar imaging I currently need to take a mosaic, and my laptop has been overheating when I sit with it outside during the summer. I've figured out how to get the camera feed into my office, now what I need to do is be able to is move the mount from my desktop that is probably 30 feet minimum away. I need to move the mount just slightly to do the mosaic. I have to image 9 sections of the sun and then stack them together. I can see the real time feed from the camera, so I'd know instantly if my adjustments are successful.

One thought was I run another ethernet cable under the house, I run a 4 pin RJ11 cable to the port on the bottom of the hand controller of my Advanced VX mount. I'd have to patch the other end into a serial cable, and basically use the nexremote to control it. I think this is doable, but then I'm thinking maybe something wireless would be better because then I could someday control my mount with my tablet in the field.

My computers are all windows and my tablet and cell phone are both android. I see celestron has SkyQ, Not sure what else is out there...SkyFi I guess is another one.

Are these wireless devices their own ad-hoc access point basically, where a device connects to them directly, or can they be configured to join my home wireless where My wired desktop could still access it, or my wireless laptop could access it and the normal wifi at the same time?

Thanks,
Jim


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DaveJ
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/07/05

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: jerwin]
      #6048788 - 08/27/13 01:01 PM

Quote:

Are these wireless devices their own ad-hoc access point basically, where a device connects to them directly, or can they be configured to join my home wireless where My wired desktop could still access it, or my wireless laptop could access it and the normal wifi at the same time?




Hi Jim,

This should get you started.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: jerwin]
      #6048863 - 08/27/13 01:36 PM

Quote:

Figured I'd start here, but maybe this post would be better served in one of the imaging forums.

I'm doing some solar imaging I currently need to take a mosaic, and my laptop has been overheating when I sit with it outside during the summer. I've figured out how to get the camera feed into my office, now what I need to do is be able to is move the mount from my desktop that is probably 30 feet minimum away. I need to move the mount just slightly to do the mosaic. I have to image 9 sections of the sun and then stack them together. I can see the real time feed from the camera, so I'd know instantly if my adjustments are successful.

One thought was I run another ethernet cable under the house, I run a 4 pin RJ11 cable to the port on the bottom of the hand controller of my Advanced VX mount. I'd have to patch the other end into a serial cable, and basically use the nexremote to control it. I think this is doable, but then I'm thinking maybe something wireless would be better because then I could someday control my mount with my tablet in the field.

My computers are all windows and my tablet and cell phone are both android. I see celestron has SkyQ, Not sure what else is out there...SkyFi I guess is another one.

Are these wireless devices their own ad-hoc access point basically, where a device connects to them directly, or can they be configured to join my home wireless where My wired desktop could still access it, or my wireless laptop could access it and the normal wifi at the same time?

Thanks,
Jim




I suggest NexRemote. It's free, uses a standard serial cable, and will put the HC on your desktop computer. You will want a wireless gamepad to use for aligning the scope, but that is the only gotcha.


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Jarrod
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Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: jerwin]
      #6050024 - 08/28/13 02:57 AM

Quote:

Are these wireless devices their own ad-hoc access point basically, where a device connects to them directly, or can they be configured to join my home wireless where My wired desktop could still access it, or my wireless laptop could access it and the normal wifi at the same time?





On the newest software, they can be configured either way. However, I've not been able to get my SkyFi to join my existing wireless network. My hypothesis is that it does not support WPA2 security, which is how my network is configured. I didn't want to have to reconfigure every device on my network, and dumb-down the security to get that feature to work. So I use ad-hoc mode.

One other possible gotcha is that the SkyFi box doesn't seem to have a lot of range. I guess the radio doesn't broadcast with much power. *Especially* if you run it off AA batteries. If you want any chance of getting it to join your WiFi network from 30 feet from the house, you will need to run it off of a 12V source.

Best of luck.


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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6050547 - 08/28/13 11:51 AM

Interesting on the skyfi. I've read some documents on the serial pinout, so I think I'm going to try to just patch something together and run me a wired connection outside. The skyfi looks cool and all, but like you Jarrod, I don't really want to dumb down my wireless security for 1 device. AND my desktop doesn't have wireless anyway, AND if the wireless range might be an issue, it all seems to point to a wired connection. I should have enough spare parts kicking around my office to figure out how to extend that serial signal a little further before I start running wires through the crawlspace.

Appreciate all the input.

Jim


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Jarrod
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Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: jerwin]
      #6050772 - 08/28/13 02:06 PM

Not sure what connectors you need, but for 9-pin serial, these are awesome for making custom cables that need to run pretty far... You just buy a Cat5 cable of the proper link and wire the pins to the connector with the pinout on your device, and plug it into the Cat5 cable. Easy and effective.

http://www.amazon.com/SF-Cable-Female-Modular-Adapter/dp/B0016RRS88/ref=pd_sx...

Edited by Jarrod (08/28/13 02:09 PM)


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Jarrod
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Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6050798 - 08/28/13 02:17 PM

Same thing but for RJ11 (which I think is what the AVX needs). Then get yourself a long phone cord?

http://www.amazon.com/InstallerParts-Female-Modular-Adapter-Ivory/dp/B008NCDN...


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6050912 - 08/28/13 03:33 PM

Still not correct. The serial port on the bottom of the HC is NOT an RJ11 connector. The HC connection to the mount is a 6 pin RJ11/12.

The Celestron HC serial port is a 4 pin using the smaller RJ22 connector (popular on telephone handsets). For the correct pinouts - www.nexstarsite.com or the appendix of most of the Celestron manuals.

The appropriate Celestron cable is #93920 and is usually under $20


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Jarrod
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6050961 - 08/28/13 04:06 PM

Ah, I thought it went to one of the AUX ports on the head. Still new to this mount...

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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6050985 - 08/28/13 04:18 PM

The AUX ports are electrically identical to the HC port (they are wired in parallel so you can actually plug the HC into any of them). The electrical signals are TTL not RS232, and the protocol something unique to the NexStar firmware. There are very few other devices intended to be connected via these ports.

The little RS232 serial port on the bottom of the HC is the appropriate connection for interaction with other intelligent devices like PCs. The protocol to communicate via this serial port is well understood and has been implemented in a wide variety of software products.

Edited by mclewis1 (08/28/13 04:22 PM)


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budman1961
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Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6051098 - 08/28/13 05:16 PM

Instead of using the SkyFi, try this piece of software, its called WiFi Scope. It eliminates the need for the SkyFi, easy to configure too. I use it to control my mount with my iPhone and iPad.

Take a look!


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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: remotely controlling AVX mount from a PC [Re: budman1961]
      #6054306 - 08/30/13 12:07 PM

Last night I spent a few hours playing with the cable configuration to simply extend the serial cable 75ish feet so I can use nexremote.

I took the serial to RJ11 narrow cable that came with the scope, cut the RJ11 narrow end off and replaced it with a RJ12-6pin connector. I needed something wider that could snap into a coupler without twisting the way the narrow RJ11's do. I took a RJ45 coupler I had laying around and connected it to a normal long Ethernet cable. I connected that into another coupler that then went to a special made cable. I had a short RJ11 Narrow to RJ11 narrow cable laying around. I trimmed one end off of that, and replaced with a RJ12-6pin. Plugged the RJ11 narrow cable into the handset and boom, success!

1 thing that hung me up, that I'll note for anyone that might find this thread later, I had a normal phone coupler that I tried to use at first, and that must have been injecting a cross into the cable, where a ethernet coupler is straight through.

I'm a networking guy by trade, so I had everything I needed, but when all was said and done it might have cost 20 or 30 bucks to make this. The ethernet couplers aren't cheap if you buy them at bestbuy or even amazon, and I did have to make 2 custom cables, and I already have crimpers. If anyone tried to replicate this, you might befriend your local network guy and see if A he has any of the ends you might need, and b if he'd crimp them for you. I don't typically have anything but ethernet-RJ45 ends, but I had to repair something a few weeks back that forced me to buy some phone connectors. That's why I used 6 pin, because that's what I had, a normal wider 4 pin would have also worked.

It's real clear today, and I'm getting off work early, so I look forward to trying everything out in the true configuration and imaging the sun.

Clear skies everyone
Jim


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