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What Cables do You Recommend for Connecting to Your Mount?

Astrophotography Equipment
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#1 Chaz007

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:37 PM

A few nights ago, my st4 to serial usb cable started going on me. This is already the second one to die on me, and I was wondering if there were higher quality options out there. I run a skywatcher eq35 with an st4 to serial usb cable that connects to a serial usb to usb cable, which goes to my computer. This is the cable I have bought in the past: https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B0000665UZ

 

I figured I could simplify things and remove a point of failure by buying a st4 to USB cable similar to this one: https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B07HLDNY1T Unfortunately, after troubleshooting, this cable did not work. (I updated drivers, messed with com ports, etc)

 

Now I could go ahead and just replace the cable I already have, but it seems like I'll have to buy a new one every year, which I would like to avoid. So...what cable configurations/brands are you guys using, and how do they work for you?

 

Thanks!



#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:26 PM

They're mount specific.  I use this (2 years and counting) for my CEM60, but that's of little help to you.  iOptron specs the FTDI chipset.

 

https://www.amazon.c...4_t1_B077G717ZG

 

It replaced the stock 2 piece cable, and I'm pleased to lose one connection.


Edited by bobzeq25, 05 May 2021 - 09:27 PM.


#3 acrh2

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:59 PM

A few nights ago, my st4 to serial usb cable started going on me. This is already the second one to die on me, and I was wondering if there were higher quality options out there. I run a skywatcher eq35 with an st4 to serial usb cable that connects to a serial usb to usb cable, which goes to my computer. This is the cable I have bought in the past: https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B0000665UZ

 

I figured I could simplify things and remove a point of failure by buying a st4 to USB cable similar to this one: https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B07HLDNY1T Unfortunately, after troubleshooting, this cable did not work. (I updated drivers, messed with com ports, etc)

 

Now I could go ahead and just replace the cable I already have, but it seems like I'll have to buy a new one every year, which I would like to avoid. So...what cable configurations/brands are you guys using, and how do they work for you?

 

Thanks!

Go wireless?

https://www.telescop...60/p/131536.uts



#4 Alex McConahay

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 11:07 PM

ST4 cables, with their phone connectors (RRJ-11 or 12? I forget) are usually pretty tough little things.  They are, after all, from the phone company back when phones had wire connectors. 

 

Whast is breaking on them?

 

By the way, you can make your own pretty easily. Cheaper than finding and buying new each time.

 

Alex



#5 Chaz007

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 11:20 PM

I was hoping the single piece cable would work out. bobzeq25 did you have to download any specific drivers to get it to work?

 

The wireless connection looks cool, I wonder if I could somehow couple it to my raspberry pi...

 

I actually don't know exactly what is wrong with the cables. They look perfectly fine, but when guiding, the connection to the scope occasionally drops out, causing the scope to stop tracking for a few seconds. At first I thought the mount was severely damaged because I could hardly get a 30 second sub in before getting substantial and sudden star trailing, but when I tried guiding with my laptop instead of raspberry pi, PHD issued a warning saying it had lost connection each time I got trailing, and from that I was able to diagnose the problem.


Edited by Chaz007, 05 May 2021 - 11:22 PM.


#6 bobzeq25

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 11:47 PM

I was hoping the single piece cable would work out. bobzeq25 did you have to download any specific drivers to get it to work?

 

The wireless connection looks cool, I wonder if I could somehow couple it to my raspberry pi...

 

I actually don't know exactly what is wrong with the cables. They look perfectly fine, but when guiding, the connection to the scope occasionally drops out, causing the scope to stop tracking for a few seconds. At first I thought the mount was severely damaged because I could hardly get a 30 second sub in before getting substantial and sudden star trailing, but when I tried guiding with my laptop instead of raspberry pi, PHD issued a warning saying it had lost connection each time I got trailing, and from that I was able to diagnose the problem.

Got it over two years ago, the old man's memory is suspect.

 

But as I recall it was plug and play.  I had already downloaded the iOptron mount software, and had been using the two part cable.



#7 Alex McConahay

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 11:47 PM

You know, I thought you were talking about ST-4 Cables.......You are talking about converting serial cables from one plug to another, not ST-4's. Sorry about my butting in. 

 

Alex



#8 iwannawon

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 11:57 PM

I was hoping the single piece cable would work out. bobzeq25 did you have to download any specific drivers to get it to work?

 

The wireless connection looks cool, I wonder if I could somehow couple it to my raspberry pi...

 

I actually don't know exactly what is wrong with the cables. They look perfectly fine, but when guiding, the connection to the scope occasionally drops out, causing the scope to stop tracking for a few seconds. At first I thought the mount was severely damaged because I could hardly get a 30 second sub in before getting substantial and sudden star trailing, but when I tried guiding with my laptop instead of raspberry pi, PHD issued a warning saying it had lost connection each time I got trailing, and from that I was able to diagnose the problem.

like bobzeq i had an ioptron so this may not work. didn't check the specs vs your mount, etc. but initially i only used ioptron's serial cable and had odd connectivity issues. i tried this adapter and it cleared up and worked great. not saying it works with yours, but potentially it's your adapter. if you have a serial port and can try without it to see if it's any different. my new mount works with just usb so i don't need an adapter but adding this to my serial cable on my old mount helped a lot. i vaguely think i might have needed to download drivers but don't quote me.

https://www.amazon.c...duct/B004ZMYTYC



#9 unimatrix0

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 12:15 AM

I have this plugged in instead of the handset and run to my computer on my EQ6R Pro.  The seller sends the link to download the driver for it, otherwise your computer fails to make a COM port for it because it won't recognize it. 
I bought 2 of them, because it was sort of becoming brittle during the cold winter days and I was afraid it was gonna snap, plus who knows how long they gonna have it for sale. 
The direct USB connector on the mount died a long time ago, who knows why. But this cable works perfectly fine. 


Edited by unimatrix0, 06 May 2021 - 12:16 AM.


#10 Chaz007

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 12:36 AM

I have this plugged in instead of the handset and run to my computer on my EQ6R Pro.  The seller sends the link to download the driver for it, otherwise your computer fails to make a COM port for it because it won't recognize it. 
I bought 2 of them, because it was sort of becoming brittle during the cold winter days and I was afraid it was gonna snap, plus who knows how long they gonna have it for sale. 
The direct USB connector on the mount died a long time ago, who knows why. But this cable works perfectly fine. 

This looks promising, so you don't even have to route through the hand controller? Since it works with the ASIAIR I think there's a good chance it would work with my pi.



#11 Chaz007

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 03:30 PM

Update: I went for the cable unimatrix0 recommended, and it works on both my PC and raspberry pi! I did not need to download any additional drivers for the pi, and I love that now I don't need the hand controller at all, so I've eliminated that potential location of failure. Hopefully this cable lasts for a few years at least!


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