First, my equipment and software I currently use:
Imaging: Meade Series 6000 80mm Triplet & Canon EOS Ra
Mount: Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro (has the USB port)
Guiding: ZWO 30mm f4 Mini Scope & ZWO ASI224mc
Software: PHD2 & Astro Photography Tool (APT) - I have access to Starry Night Pro 7 and it's ASCOM software
I currently guide using the ST-4 connection between my guide camera and the mount. My typical setup is to find polar alignment with the built in polar scope in the mount (I use the PolarFinder phone app for assistance), then do a 3-Star Alignment with the SynScan hand controller, double check my alignment accuracy (usually slew to M45 or another target that is real easy for me to identify without taking a picture) and then go from there. I have had no issues with this once my mount figured out its error corrections in alignment a month or so ago (I have had the equipment since mid-October). However, this weekend I set up, went to the first star in my alignment process with no problem kids needed something real quick, went to go to my second star and the clouds had rolled in and I decided to wait instead of simply canceling my alignment. 15 minutes later was able to finish. I went to realign later because I was worried it wasn't right and then it would not go to the star I told it to. I'm assuming because I had the long pause in my original alignment I messed something up. If someone knows of a fix for this, I'd love to know! Anyways, because of this, I have finally begun thinking of connecting everything to my PC and using it to control the mount, as well as plate solve in APT, but I have no idea where to begin!
Here are my assumptions:
I need to still connect the guide camera to both the PC and the mount (PC with the USB and Mount with the ST-4 cable)
I do not need to connect the hand controller
I connect the mount to the PC with the USB cable (USB from mount to USB to PC)
I need to use the EQMOD driver in PHD2 instead of "On-Camera"
I can now use the connect to Mount feature in ATP
I can use ATP for platesolving but I think I need some other software installed?
I can use ATP to go to a target (Once plate solved), but again, I think I need some other software installed?
I can continue to polar align the way I do or I have heard I can use SharpCap to Polar align, is this possible with my current setup or would I need ot buy a polemaster to do this (I am not planning on buying a polemaster and I know my polar alignment and guiding up to this point has been decent enough for me to have no issues with at least up to 5 min long exposures - I haven't tried for longer)
I know this is a lot, and I know the first inclination is to say Google it, but I am looking to see if I can get all the answers from one place from people who I know do it and have troubleshooted problems, etc.
Thanks! Also, if anyone has any tips, I'd be more then happy to here them!