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Celestron Electronic Focus Motor For SCT and EdgeHD

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#301 BobinBend

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 11:20 PM

So I got my focus motor working. The focus shaft was missing the screw, just as per the post above. I can now achieve a good focus using SGP, but I'm having trouble getting it automated to achieve a good V curve. Does anyone have any suggestions on number of counts I should use in SGP for my C11 Edge? I've been playing around with values from 5-10, but again not getting good V curves.

 

So I got my focus motor working. The focus shaft was missing the screw, just as per the post above. I can now achieve a good focus using SGP, but I'm having trouble getting it automated to achieve a good V curve. Does anyone have any suggestions on number of counts I should use in SGP for my C11 Edge? I've been playing around with values from 5-10, but again not getting good V curves.

GeoThomas,

I've recently installed the focus motor onto my Celestron SCT 8" and followed the calibration steps. My HC seems to work fine with the course and fine focusing, when Moving In and Out, but when I attempt to use the focuser with SGP any attempt to move the focuser In or Out using SGPs Focus Control will drive the motor to zero. I am using the AUX connection as my focuser's power source and am using the Focuser ASCOM Driver provided in Celestron's website. An earlier post mentioned referred to the Celestron Unified ASCOM Driver. Should I be using this driver instead?

It seems you've gotten further with your focuser and SGP than I have. Thanks for your help.

Bob



#302 Rac19

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 12:26 AM

GeoThomas,

I've recently installed the focus motor onto my Celestron SCT 8" and followed the calibration steps. My HC seems to work fine with the course and fine focusing, when Moving In and Out, but when I attempt to use the focuser with SGP any attempt to move the focuser In or Out using SGPs Focus Control will drive the motor to zero. I am using the AUX connection as my focuser's power source and am using the Focuser ASCOM Driver provided in Celestron's website. An earlier post mentioned referred to the Celestron Unified ASCOM Driver. Should I be using this driver instead?

It seems you've gotten further with your focuser and SGP than I have. Thanks for your help.

Bob

As I understand it, third party applications (such as SGP) can only work with the ASCOM driver which is USB only. It’s not clear from the above whether or not the computer is connected to the focuser via USB. 



#303 BobinBend

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 08:46 PM

As I understand it, third party applications (such as SGP) can only work with the ASCOM driver which is USB only. It’s not clear from the above whether or not the computer is connected to the focuser via USB. 

Richard,

No I don't have the focuser connected via USB, instead I'm using the AUX connection on my AVX mount. I thought it provided power plus an interface to my SGP program on my laptop. So if I understand you correctly, I should disconnect the AUX connection and connect my focuser to my USB hub which would supply power plus a connection to my laptop. So which of the two drivers is USB only? The Focuser ASCOM Driver supplied on the Celestron webpage or the Celestron Unified ASCOM Driver supplied by the ASCOM website?

Thanks for your help,

Bob



#304 Rac19

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 04:12 AM

The attached image shows what has to be selected in the ACSOM interface when connecting a third party application to the Focuser via ASCOM/USB, I am not sure what the file is called, or even if I specifically downloaded it, it may have been automatically downloaded. The user guide says to download the "Celestron Focuser USB ASCOM driver": from the "Motor Focuser page" at Celestron.com.

 

The user guide also says that it is also possible to connect to the focuser via the USB port on the bottom of a Nexstar+ or StarSense HC using the "Celestron Unified Mount driver" available from ascom-standards.org.

 

I have used the Aux port and the USB port separately and both simultaneously and all combinations have worked, with sufficient power in all cases. For USB only, the USB port on the computer must be capable of at least 900 mA, which most are capable of these days.

Attached Thumbnails

  • AcsomDriver.JPG

Edited by Rac19, 22 April 2019 - 05:21 AM.


#305 Rac19

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 06:21 AM

The attached image shows what has to be selected in the ACSOM interface when connecting a third party application to the Focuser via ASCOM/USB, I am not sure what the file is called, or even if I specifically downloaded it, it may have been automatically downloaded. The user guide says to download the "Celestron Focuser USB ASCOM driver": from the "Motor Focuser page" at Celestron.com.

 

The user guide also says that it is also possible to connect to the focuser via the USB port on the bottom of a Nexstar+ or StarSense HC using the "Celestron Unified Mount driver" available from ascom-standards.org.

 

I have used the Aux port and the USB port separately and both simultaneously and all combinations have worked, with sufficient power in all cases. For USB only, the USB port on the computer must be capable of at least 900 mA, which most are capable of these days.

I just tested connecting through the HC/Aux port and it didn’t work even though the user guide seems to say that it should.

 

I connected APT via the HC (mini USB)/Aux port, with direct USB Focuser port disconnected. The connection had to be via the Celestron Unified Mount driver. When I attempted to connect APT to the Focuser, the only ASCOM driver available was the Celestron Focuser USB ASCOM driver which failed. It was only after I plugged in the direct USB cable to the Focuser that I was able connect APT to the Focuser.



#306 geothomas

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:26 AM

As I understand it, third party applications (such as SGP) can only work with the ASCOM driver which is USB only. It’s not clear from the above whether or not the computer is connected to the focuser via USB. 

I have everything connect thru a powered USB Hub. So far it seems to work best if I use a step size of 3. Also, I turned off the smart focus so that it doesn't go off too far if I can't get a V curve.



#307 Umasscrew39

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 10:04 AM

Are you doing this from a Celestron mount?  I ask because I am trying to use the motor focuser with the Celestron ASCOM USB driver to the computer and 3rd party software like SGP as I have an AP Mach 1 mount.  I have not be able to get it to work as I keep getting this error message.  However, the Moonlite focuser works just fine on SGP.  So, I am assuming something is not right with the Celestron USB ASCOM driver.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1590.jpg

Edited by Umasscrew39, 22 April 2019 - 05:35 PM.


#308 Rac19

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 03:03 PM

Hopefully, the the attached image will help at least with some terminology.

 

I can connect third party applications (in my case APT) to the 'scope for slew control, tracking etc through COM3 but the only option for connecting APT to the Focuser is through COM6.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • AcsomDriver1.JPG


#309 roelb

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 03:30 PM

My experience with the Celestron Focuser driver setup.

 

I have downloaded from the ASCOM site: "Celestron Telescope and Focuser Setup (6.1.6944)".

This is the driver setup to use the AUX connection (in my setup via COM 4).

From within SharpCap I can connect to the focuser but no commands are available (no focuser position, ...).

 

When I use "Focuser_USB_ASCOM_Setup_1.3" the focuser is recognized by ShapCap and

all commands can be executed in a correct way (in my setup via COM 6).

 

Further the "CelestronFocuserUtility" and SharpCap conflict. So cannot be used at the same time.

 

I assume that you can replace the SharpCap program by the program you use to command the focuser (eg. SGP).



#310 Rac19

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 04:15 PM

My experience with the Celestron Focuser driver setup.

 

I have downloaded from the ASCOM site: "Celestron Telescope and Focuser Setup (6.1.6944)".

This is the driver setup to use the AUX connection (in my setup via COM 4).

From within SharpCap I can connect to the focuser but no commands are available (no focuser position, ...).

 

When I use "Focuser_USB_ASCOM_Setup_1.3" the focuser is recognized by ShapCap and

all commands can be executed in a correct way (in my setup via COM 6).

 

Further the "CelestronFocuserUtility" and SharpCap conflict. So cannot be used at the same time.

 

I assume that you can replace the SharpCap program by the program you use to command the focuser (eg. SGP).

Hi Roel, it would be interesting to see how COM 4 and COM 6 appear in the Windows Device Manager. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that COM 4 is a “Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port” and COM 6 is “Celestron  CGX”. If this is the case, they are probably the same drivers.

 

It seems to me that the only way to connect third party applications to the Celestron Focuser is  via direct USB connection using the “Celestron Focuser USB ASCOM driver”, aka “Celestron  CGX”. My experience is the same as yours in that the connection  is exclusive.

 

EDIT: I just noticed, as per previous post #308, that not only is the name of the Focuser USB driver (Celestron CGX) is a bit strange, the date is in 2009. My guess is that the CGX USB interface firmware is included in the Focuser to provide the USB interface. I am using CPWI on my Evolution 8, and I have found that if both the USB and Aux connections are present, CPWI can connect to and control the ‘scope and the Focuser via the Focuser USB port.


Edited by Rac19, 22 April 2019 - 05:03 PM.

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#311 BobinBend

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 05:08 PM

Hi Roel, it would be interesting to see how COM 4 and COM 6 appear in the Windows Device Manager. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that COM 4 is a “Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port” and COM 6 is “Celestron  CGX”. If this is the case, they are probably the same drivers.

 

It seems to me that the only way to connect third party applications to the Celestron Focuser is  via direct USB connection using the “Celestron Focuser USB ASCOM driver”, aka “Celestron  CGX”. My experience is the same as yours in that the connection  is exclusive.

 

EDIT: I just noticed, as per previous post #308, that not only is the name of the Focuser USB driver (Celestron CGX) is a bit strange, the date is in 2009. My guess is that the CGX USB interface firmware is included in the Focuser to provide the USB interface. I am using CPWI on my Evolution 8, and I have found that if both the USB and Aux connections are present, CPWI can connect to and control the ‘scope and the Focuser via the Focuser USB port.

Richard,

Where can you get the "Celestron Focuser USB ASCOM Driver"? Is that the driver on the Celestron website for their Focuser Motor?

Bob



#312 Rac19

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 05:48 PM

Richard,

Where can you get the "Celestron Focuser USB ASCOM Driver"? Is that the driver on the Celestron website for their Focuser Motor?

Bob

This seems to be the correct link http://software.cele...SB_ASCOM_Driver. It is accessible through the Focus Motor page under Support and Downloads.

 

The driver dated 22 Mar 19 (version 1.3) is the current one.

 

I am sure that I have seen it in writing somewhere that direct USB connection to the Focus Motor is the only option for third party applications. The Focus Motor Setup Guide seems to suggest otherwise.



#313 geothomas

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 08:11 PM

I have a Mach 1 mount. I connect my focuser to a powered usb hub. I installed all the latest usb drivers. In SGP, I have the option to connect to 'Celestron USB Focuser'. It connects just fine. I'm using USB Com Port 21.The files I see in my download folder were: Focuser_USB_ASCOM_Setup_1.3,   Celestron Telescope and Focuser Setup (6.1.6944), Celestron Focuser Utility 1.0, 



#314 BobinBend

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 05:17 PM

I've finally had some time to test out the Celestron Focus Driver with SGP. SGP recognizes the focus motor driver as Celestron Focuser Driver and I am able to setup the focuser in SGP but when I use the Focus Control Docking module to control the focus in fine or course it always goes toward zero, regardless of my direction (IN/OUT). I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong here. Here's the setup;

 

1. I've got the Celestron Focus Motor powered through the AUX cable into my AVX Mount.

2. I've loaded the Celestron Focuser USB Driver from the ASCOM website.

3. I've got my AVX mount connected to my hand controller via mini USB.

4. SGP recognizes the focuser but doesn't seem to control it properly.

 

Any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong are appreciated!

Thanks, Bob



#315 Rac19

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 05:35 PM

I've finally had some time to test out the Celestron Focus Driver with SGP. SGP recognizes the focus motor driver as Celestron Focuser Driver and I am able to setup the focuser in SGP but when I use the Focus Control Docking module to control the focus in fine or course it always goes toward zero, regardless of my direction (IN/OUT). I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong here. Here's the setup;

 

1. I've got the Celestron Focus Motor powered through the AUX cable into my AVX Mount.

2. I've loaded the Celestron Focuser USB Driver from the ASCOM website.

3. I've got my AVX mount connected to my hand controller via mini USB.

4. SGP recognizes the focuser but doesn't seem to control it properly.

 

Any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong are appreciated!

Thanks, Bob

Do you have a USB cable connected from the computer to the Focuser? It sounds like an obvious question but I don’t see it mentioned in your post.

 

EDIT: As per the image in post #308, the HC mini USB connection shows up as ”Prolific....” and the direct USB connection to the Focuser shows up as “Celestron CGX”. I believe that all third party applications are supposed to use the latter (Celestron CGX). 


Edited by Rac19, 24 April 2019 - 05:42 PM.


#316 geothomas

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 07:29 PM

Also, you didn't mention whether or not you did the Calibration routine from the Celestron software. You need to do that first.



#317 Rac19

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 07:37 PM

Also, you didn't mention whether or not you did the Calibration routine from the Celestron software. You need to do that first.

This could be very relevant. The motor sets off in a particular direction when calibration is started, probably inwards, but I can’t remember for sure. You can initiate calibration from settings in the ASCOM driver or from the stand alone Celestron Focuser app.



#318 BobinBend

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 10:07 PM

Thanks for all your help. The FOCUS MOTOR FOR SCT & EDGEHD INSTRUCTION MANUAL states in Method 2: With a Computer:

 

When connected to the AUX port, the focus motor can also be controlled through the mount from a computer. This is especially desirable when doing astronomical imaging, as this will allow control of both the mount and the focus motor from the computer. Connect the hand control to the computer using a USB A-to-mini B cable (not included). One end of the cable is connected to the USB mini B port on the bottom of the hand control, the other end is connected to the computer. Once connected, you can use most any astronomy telescope control software that has focuser control by using the Celestron Unified ASCOM mount driver, which can be downloaded from ascom-standards.org.

 

I have the focus motor connected to the AUX port this supplies power to the Focus motor and an interface to the HC. I also have the HC connected to my computer via USB cable (mini on the HC and standard USB into the computer. But I am NOT using the Celestron Unified ASCOM mount driver, so I'll try that and report back to all of you. Please let me know if this configuration does not work.

Thanks again,

Bob



#319 BobinBend

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 10:09 PM

This could be very relevant. The motor sets off in a particular direction when calibration is started, probably inwards, but I can’t remember for sure. You can initiate calibration from settings in the ASCOM driver or from the stand alone Celestron Focuser app.

I did a calibration of the Focus Motor using the HC but not the Celestron software. My understanding was that either would be sufficient.

Please let me know if I need to calibrate using the Celestron software as well.

Bob



#320 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:08 PM

Thanks for all your help. The FOCUS MOTOR FOR SCT & EDGEHD INSTRUCTION MANUAL states in Method 2: With a Computer:

 

When connected to the AUX port, the focus motor can also be controlled through the mount from a computer. This is especially desirable when doing astronomical imaging, as this will allow control of both the mount and the focus motor from the computer. Connect the hand control to the computer using a USB A-to-mini B cable (not included). One end of the cable is connected to the USB mini B port on the bottom of the hand control, the other end is connected to the computer. Once connected, you can use most any astronomy telescope control software that has focuser control by using the Celestron Unified ASCOM mount driver, which can be downloaded from ascom-standards.org.

 

I have the focus motor connected to the AUX port this supplies power to the Focus motor and an interface to the HC. I also have the HC connected to my computer via USB cable (mini on the HC and standard USB into the computer. But I am NOT using the Celestron Unified ASCOM mount driver, so I'll try that and report back to all of you. Please let me know if this configuration does not work.

Thanks again,

Bob

Hi Bob,

 

When the only connection between the computer and your equipment is the HC, it is a requirement that you use the Celestron unified ASCOM driver.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com



#321 BobinBend

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 12:45 AM

Hi Bob,

 

When the only connection between the computer and your equipment is the HC, it is a requirement that you use the Celestron unified ASCOM driver.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com

Michael, 

Thanks for the reply. I've downloaded and installed the Celestron Unified ASCOM driver and I'm currently attempting to follow the SGP setup of and tuning of Auto Focus (page 125 of the SGP User's Manual). I am able to user the Frame and Focus to take one image and start the HFR calculation of this test image to get HFR readings from the stars on the image. The HFR value is 5.02 (which is much larger than the manual example of 0.9). Recording my focus motor position I click START on the Frame and Focus module to cycle through multiple images. At this point I get into trouble. As I select the Fine or Coarse buttons on the Focus Control module the focus motor always moves toward zero, regardless if I select the IN or OUT buttons. I am forced to hit the STOP button to stop the focus motor. I'm not sure why the focus motor always advances toward the zero setting. Consequently I can't properly complete the SGP Auto Focus setup procedure.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Bob



#322 Rac19

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 12:51 AM

I did a calibration of the Focus Motor using the HC but not the Celestron software. My understanding was that either would be sufficient.

Please let me know if I need to calibrate using the Celestron software as well.

Bob

 

Whichever way you calibrate works for both, as far as I know. The calibration data seems to be stored in the Focuser electronics.

A way to is to read the position indication in both the HC and in the “Celestron Focuser Utility Program”, which should be the same. It should connect via direct USB to the focus motor. In fact, if that works, SGP should definitely connect using the same Com port (Com 4, Com 6 or whatever)



#323 Rac19

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:17 AM

Hi Bob,

 

When the only connection between the computer and your equipment is the HC, it is a requirement that you use the Celestron unified ASCOM driver.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com

Hi Michael,

 

I could be wrong but, in my experience, the only application that is  able to discover and control the Celestron Focuser via the HC/mini USB route is CPWI. I believe that all other applications are supposed to connect directly via USB to the Focuser and use the Celestron Focuser USB driver.

 

I still think that the simplest approach could be to use the Celestron Focuser Utility app to prove the direct USB connection (and establish which Com it uses), then use the same connection for SGP, after exiting the Celestron app as the USB port can't be shared.

 

I could be wrong of course,



#324 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:24 AM

Hi Michael,

 

I could be wrong but, in my experience, the only application that is  able to discover and control the Celestron Focuser via the HC/mini USB route is CPWI. I believe that all other applications are supposed to connect directly via USB to the Focuser and use the Celestron Focuser USB driver.

 

I still think that the simplest approach could be to use the Celestron Focuser Utility app to prove the direct USB connection (and establish which Com it uses), then use the same connection for SGP, after exiting the Celestron app as the USB port can't be shared.

 

I could be wrong of course,

I wouldn't bet on my answer - I don't own one of those critters :-)

 

The way ASCOM is designed, it should work, but as they say, the devil is in the details.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com



#325 Rac19

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:48 AM

I wouldn't bet on my answer - I don't own one of those critters :-)

 

The way ASCOM is designed, it should work, but as they say, the devil is in the details.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com

It’s still not clear whether or not Bob has the Focuser USB port connected. I think that could be key, the Celestron Focuser USB driver will work when the USB is in place. I have noticed that this driver is available for selection in third party apps even when the USB connection is not in place. This could be causing confusion.




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