Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

MacBook and mount control

  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 Andrew_L

Andrew_L

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Oxfordshire & Cornwall UK

Posted 27 January 2019 - 03:47 AM

For a few years I've been using Windows as a virtual machine on my MacBook to control my mount using Cartes du Ciel and EQMOD etc, guiding (PHD2) and imaging (Backyard EOS). 

 

Every now and again I investigate whether I can as easily just use my MacBook to do this directly without running the VM.  Each time I investigate I find a wall of confusing information. Whereas by comparison setting up with ASCOM, EQMOD, and  Cartes du Ciel was relatively straightforward (and free) despite my relative ignorance and limited experience with computers. 

 

So here's the question. How easy is it to set up the same just in the Mac OS? And are there any videos and guides like there are for EQMOD? I see there is something called EQMAC. But the big notice on the front page saying DO NOT download version 2 does not exactly inspire confidence. Is  there something equivalent to ASCOM for a Mac? Is it even necessary with EQMAC?

 

I use a Lynx Astro FTDI EQDIR USB Adapter and cable for my Sky-Watcher Mount. Is it possible to use that with a Mac? The specs say it is Mac OS compatible. Most of the commercial telescope control apps like Sky Safari appear to use their own cables or WiFi units, apart from being quite expensive of course. 

 

Any advice much appreciated. 

 



#2 Patrick Chevalley

Patrick Chevalley

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: 04 Jul 2017

Posted 27 January 2019 - 06:48 AM

There is no problem to run Cartes du Ciel, Eqmod and PHD2 natively on the Mac, at least if it not run a too old version of macOS.

 

The equivalent to ASCOM for the devices driver is INDI.

The most easy way to install it on the Mac is probably the indigo server: http://www.cloudmake...u/indigoserver/

This include an EQMod driver so you must be fine with your eqdir adapter.

 

To ease the transition from the EqAscom driver I make a small program that present a similar screen with the main functionality.

This is not require but it can help: https://sourceforge....jects/eqmodgui/

 

For Cartes du Ciel please get the last beta version from: https://sourceforge....t/files/0-beta/

This include many improvement when running on macOS.

 

The Mac PHD2  version is available on the main site. I recommend you get the latest snapshot:

https://openphdguidi...ment-snapshots/

 

For imaging you can try my CCDciel ( https://www.ap-i.net/ccdciel/ ) with the Indigo ICA driver that must work with Canon camera.

 

Cloudmacker as also a nice AstroDSLR application : http://www.cloudmakers.eu/astrodslr/

 

Patrick


  • Oleg Astro likes this

#3 Andrew_L

Andrew_L

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Oxfordshire & Cornwall UK

Posted 27 January 2019 - 02:47 PM

There is no problem to run Cartes du Ciel, Eqmod and PHD2 natively on the Mac, at least if it not run a too old version of macOS ......

 

Patrick - thanks for your careful and thorough reply. That's going to be very helpful.

 

Do you mean EQMOD not EQMAC?  EQMOD will run straight on a Mac will it?



#4 Oleg Astro

Oleg Astro

    Astronomy Linux

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 418
  • Joined: 12 Aug 2008
  • Loc: Albufeira, Portugal

Posted 27 January 2019 - 03:18 PM

Patrick - thanks for your careful and thorough reply. That's going to be very helpful.

 

Do you mean EQMOD not EQMAC?  EQMOD will run straight on a Mac will it?

Patrick wrote about this project https://sourceforge....eqmodgui_1.5.0/


Edited by Oleg Astro, 27 January 2019 - 03:19 PM.


#5 Andrew_L

Andrew_L

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Oxfordshire & Cornwall UK

Posted 27 January 2019 - 03:59 PM

Patrick wrote about this project https://sourceforge....eqmodgui_1.5.0/

 

OK. That makes sense. Thanks.


Edited by Andrew_L, 27 January 2019 - 03:59 PM.


#6 Patrick Chevalley

Patrick Chevalley

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: 04 Jul 2017

Posted 27 January 2019 - 04:41 PM

Do you mean EQMOD not EQMAC?  EQMOD will run straight on a Mac will it?

I meant EQMOD, but the INDI EQMOD driver, not EQMOD for windows. This as nothing to do with EQMAC or EQASCOM.

All the details here:

https://www.indilib....opes/eqmod.html

 

But I just remark this driver is unfortunately not include in INDIGO.

I not notice before because I always compile the INDI drivers from source and in this case Eqmod work fine but this is probably a bit difficult to start.

 

So the best option is to install the last Kstars 3.0 that include recent INDI drivers:

https://www.indilib....wnload/osx.html

 

You can start with Kstars as it is a very powerful software with everything integrated, then look if you need one of the other software I mention above.


  • Andrew_L and Der_Pit like this

#7 caseyfinn

caseyfinn

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 31
  • Joined: 04 Jun 2012
  • Loc: El Paso Texas

Posted 27 January 2019 - 06:02 PM

I use Kstars and Ekos which is Indi. It is free and once you get used to what you can and cannot do, bug free. It not only will control the mount but nearly everything else. I love it. Pretty cool community of users also. https://www.indilib....ary-v1-7-0.html

 

 


  • psandelle and Andrew_L like this

#8 Andrew_L

Andrew_L

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Oxfordshire & Cornwall UK

Posted 27 January 2019 - 06:18 PM

OK thanks again Patrick and Casey too. A confusing amount of info and help there. I'll get working through it and see how I go on. I might need to come back and pick your brains again. smile.gif



#9 Lead_Weight

Lead_Weight

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 946
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2016
  • Loc: Houston

Posted 28 January 2019 - 09:11 PM

OK thanks again Patrick and Casey too. A confusing amount of info and help there. I'll get working through it and see how I go on. I might need to come back and pick your brains again. smile.gif

 

I haven't created any information for setting it up the first time, but I did do a write up explaining the panels in EKOS and what you can set with them.


  • Andrew_L likes this

#10 Andrew_L

Andrew_L

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Oxfordshire & Cornwall UK

Posted 29 January 2019 - 02:36 PM

I haven't created any information for setting it up the first time, but I did do a write up explaining the panels in EKOS and what you can set with them.

Great link, thanks. Does EKOS work with DSLRs? I've got a Canon 450D (Rebel XSi I think they're called in the USA). 



#11 Der_Pit

Der_Pit

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 863
  • Joined: 07 Jul 2018
  • Loc: La Palma

Posted 29 January 2019 - 04:02 PM

EKOS/INDI support DSLR cameras via the gphoto library.  You can check supported cameras here.

 

The 450D seems fully supported:

Canon EOS 450D (PTP mode) Image Capture, Trigger Capture, Liveview, Configuration


  • Andrew_L likes this

#12 carlm01

carlm01

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 154
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2018
  • Loc: Billerica MA

Posted 31 January 2019 - 03:22 PM

Hi new to this but would ask will software bisque run my astro camera and my dslr and my mount (celestron evolution) with relative ease ?



#13 Ranger Tim

Ranger Tim

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1476
  • Joined: 25 Mar 2008
  • Loc: SW Idaho, USA

Posted 03 February 2019 - 03:04 PM

Ekos/INDI supports the Canon 450D just fine. I use it on a 2011 MacBook Pro (El Capitan) with no problems. I also run it all wirelessly with a Raspberry Pi3 with Stellarmate OS at the mount.


  • Andrew_L likes this

#14 Andrew_L

Andrew_L

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Oxfordshire & Cornwall UK

Posted 05 February 2019 - 01:28 PM

Ekos/INDI supports the Canon 450D just fine. I use it on a 2011 MacBook Pro (El Capitan) with no problems. I also run it all wirelessly with a Raspberry Pi3 with Stellarmate OS at the mount.

Good to know. I have not yet started installing anything. I'm not where my mount is at the moment. But I could install and test my 450D. 



#15 tcchittyjr

tcchittyjr

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 97
  • Joined: 10 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Orlando, FL

Posted 14 February 2019 - 12:44 PM

Hi new to this but would ask will software bisque run my astro camera and my dslr and my mount (celestron evolution) with relative ease ?

Calrm01,

 

TheSkyX should support your gear fine on Windows or Mac. Go to their website and look for the supported equipment list. I've been using TheSkyX for a couple of years and it has supported everything I've thrown at it.

 

TomC


  • psandelle likes this

#16 Vendor - CloudMakers

Vendor - CloudMakers

    CloudMakers

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 18
  • Joined: 18 Jan 2017

Posted 21 February 2019 - 03:53 PM

Andrew, you can control everything with native mac applications and you also don't need to bother with remote INDIGO or INDI server if you don't have sensible reason. Just try some recent version of AstroTelescope (enable SynScan = EQDir driver) for mount control and AstroDSLR for camera control.

 

http://download.clou...ope_3.9_432.dmg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxcRaCCfQeA)

http://download.clou...SLR_3.9_432.dmg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCuZI-e5nE8)

 

Peter


  • tmaestro and Andrew_L like this

#17 Andrew_L

Andrew_L

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Oxfordshire & Cornwall UK

Posted 23 February 2019 - 03:52 AM

Andrew, you can control everything with native mac applications and you also don't need to bother with remote INDIGO or INDI server if you don't have sensible reason. Just try some recent version of AstroTelescope (enable SynScan = EQDir driver) for mount control and AstroDSLR for camera control.

 

http://download.clou...ope_3.9_432.dmg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxcRaCCfQeA)

http://download.clou...SLR_3.9_432.dmg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCuZI-e5nE8)

 

Peter

Thanks, Peter.  I will take a look at this. Hopefully towards the end of next week I will have the opportunity to try this. Cheers. 



#18 lspensieri

lspensieri

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 10
  • Joined: 02 Jul 2019
  • Loc: New York City

Posted 14 July 2019 - 01:57 AM

Andrew,

 

did you resolve this issue?

 

I too have a Macbook and am trying to connect to my new EQ6-R pro which includes a USB port on the mount body.

 

I tried USB cable to my computer but INDIGO server is not seeing the mount.

 

Do I need this special EQMOD cable? or is there a way to utilize a regular USB?

 

Thanks.


Edited by lspensieri, 14 July 2019 - 01:57 AM.


#19 tmaestro

tmaestro

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 473
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2015
  • Loc: West of Houston, Texas

Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:05 PM

I have a CG-5 with the SynScan upgrade kit, so it's pretty much a Sky Watcher EQ-5 GoTo.  I also use the Lynx EQDirect cable.  Most of the time I spend with my MacBook Pro in Windows 10 via boot camp, because I haven't seen anything like SharpCap for MacOS unless you spend several hundred dollars on TheSkyX with the necessary plug ins.

 

The times I've played with the mount from MacOS, I've used http://www.cloudmakers.eu/xindi/ software and it's looked good and worked just fine.  


Edited by tmaestro, 14 July 2019 - 07:06 PM.


#20 Lead_Weight

Lead_Weight

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 946
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2016
  • Loc: Houston

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:37 AM

I have a CG-5 with the SynScan upgrade kit, so it's pretty much a Sky Watcher EQ-5 GoTo.  I also use the Lynx EQDirect cable.  Most of the time I spend with my MacBook Pro in Windows 10 via boot camp, because I haven't seen anything like SharpCap for MacOS unless you spend several hundred dollars on TheSkyX with the necessary plug ins.

 

The times I've played with the mount from MacOS, I've used http://www.cloudmakers.eu/xindi/ software and it's looked good and worked just fine.  

Take a look at my website Mac Observatory linked in my sig, I maintain a list of Mac astrophotography software. There’s lots of choices, and the CloudMakers suite is only one of them.


  • tmaestro and vineyard like this

#21 Andrew_L

Andrew_L

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Oxfordshire & Cornwall UK

Posted 20 July 2019 - 03:55 PM

Andrew,

 

did you resolve this issue?

 

I too have a Macbook and am trying to connect to my new EQ6-R pro which includes a USB port on the mount body.

 

I tried USB cable to my computer but INDIGO server is not seeing the mount.

 

Do I need this special EQMOD cable? or is there a way to utilize a regular USB?

 

Thanks.

Hello - no. I've not done anything astronomical for about 4 months because I've been ill with nasty shingles. I hope to have some time in a week or so to try and resolve this problem. I'm just reading through all the helpful posts on this thread again.  The different suggested solutions are a little confusing.   I'll let you know how I get on. Sorry I can't be much use to you right now. 



#22 lspensieri

lspensieri

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 10
  • Joined: 02 Jul 2019
  • Loc: New York City

Posted 21 July 2019 - 08:42 PM

Hello - no. I've not done anything astronomical for about 4 months because I've been ill with nasty shingles. I hope to have some time in a week or so to try and resolve this problem. I'm just reading through all the helpful posts on this thread again.  The different suggested solutions are a little confusing.   I'll let you know how I get on. Sorry I can't be much use to you right now. 

Andrew, 

 

I hope you feel better very soon!

 

I'm not sure which macbook you have but I was able to successfully get Kstars and EKOS to work with my 2018 macbook pro running os x. No virtual machine.

 

The Lynx Astro EQDIR cable was the key ingredient needed for me. My system runs as follows and its super simple...

 

1. EQDIR cable runs from HC port on my EQ6-R Pro to my Anker USB hub

2. USB hub accepts USB type A connecters and then connects to my macbook via USB type C extension cable (6 feet)

 

** I created a EQMOD profile in EKOS and as soon as I powered on the mount, EKOS connected to it and I had full control.

 

I use the following software:

 

Kstars: for planetarium and mount control $FREE

EKOS: for scheduling imaging session, camera control, guiding (integrates directly with PHD2 if you prefer), polar alignment/plate solving $FREE

Nebulosity: for stacking and sometimes very light image processing $95

Photoshop CC: main image processing $10/month

 

I'm very pleased with the current workflow and delighted there is a way to do serious astrophotography on OS X. Going to try to share this information with whoever else is looking to use Mac because I couldn't find any clear info in the weeks I was searching the forums and calling vendors like High Point and Skywatcher.

 

Clear Skies!


  • Andrew_L likes this

#23 Andrew_L

Andrew_L

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Oxfordshire & Cornwall UK

Posted 05 August 2019 - 11:00 AM

OK I'm making progress here. Sorry for the long absence as explained above. 

 

I'm back at my scope set up now trying to get it working with KSTARS.

 

Progress so far - I have got the MacBook controlling the mount satisfactorily.  I have also connected my DSLR and have been testing that using EKOS. 

 

Now in addition to controlling the mount from my MacBook, I want to be able to control the mount with my gamepad at the mount.  My MacBook is in my warm room 5m from my scope. It is useful to be able to also control the mount using a gamepad when standing at the telescope.

 

I've had several attempts at this, but can't see how to add my Logitec gamepad to the list of devices controlled by EKOS. I'm guessing it's added as an auxiliary device.

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Any help much appreciated.  



#24 bwayne

bwayne

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 63
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2019
  • Loc: Tokyo, Japan

Posted 05 August 2019 - 11:56 PM

Take a look at my website Mac Observatory linked in my sig, I maintain a list of Mac astrophotography software. There’s lots of choices, and the CloudMakers suite is only one of them.

 

 

 Hi, many thanks for this website! That’s a fantastic collection of articles and information. A real lifesaver! The only downside is you’ve  inspired  me to spend a bunch of money on a new MacBook Pro lol.gif

—Brett


Edited by bwayne, 06 August 2019 - 12:00 AM.


#25 Der_Pit

Der_Pit

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 863
  • Joined: 07 Jul 2018
  • Loc: La Palma

Posted 06 August 2019 - 07:18 AM

Now in addition to controlling the mount from my MacBook, I want to be able to control the mount with my gamepad at the mount.  My MacBook is in my warm room 5m from my scope. It is useful to be able to also control the mount using a gamepad when standing at the telescope.

 

I've had several attempts at this, but can't see how to add my Logitec gamepad to the list of devices controlled by EKOS. I'm guessing it's added as an auxiliary device.

The device has to be defined/connected to INDI, i.e., the computer running indiserver.  The needed module is indi_joystick.  That one does, e.g., detect my Thrustmaster Gamepad GP XID.

How/where are you starting indiverser?




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics