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Best software for control of Skywatcher EQ6-R-Pro

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#1 jsnatale

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 07:00 AM

I will be getting a new mount soon (EQ6-R-Pro), and am interested in finding the best software for its control by laptop. Is Stellarium a good option? Also, while not absolutely necessary, it would be good if I were able to still use the hand control to slew the scope, even when using the software... using the keyboard arrows for slewing can be difficult at times. And if it is free, even better!  Any suggestions? 



#2 alphatripleplus

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 07:08 AM

I prefer Cartes du Ciel (CdC) over Stellarium as planetarium software to control my mount, as it is less demanding on older laptops, but I'll occasionally use Stellarium. Both are good  free options. 


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#3 southerndandy

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 07:12 AM

Stellarium is a good one.  As stated above, Cartes du Ciel is also good.  I like Stellarium's interface better, but both do the same thing.  Both are free.

 

I also use Astro Planner.  It's not free (but it's also not terribly expensive).  You can do things like build observing lists as well as control the scope. 


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#4 Older Padawan

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 09:22 AM

I've used both Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium but prefer Stellarium. It just seems easier to use for me. 


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#5 Topographic

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 09:32 AM

I prefer Cartes du Ciel (CdC) over Stellarium as planetarium software to control my mount, as it is less demanding on older laptops, but I'll occasionally use Stellarium. Both are good  free options. 

+1. i don't like the interface on Stellarium, you pay your moneysmile.gif  and make your choice.


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#6 rdmarco

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Posted 27 October 2021 - 07:26 PM

+1. i don't like the interface on Stellarium, you pay your moneysmile.gif  and make your choice.

Ummm, aren't they both free? What are you paying for?



#7 MikeECha

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 06:34 AM

I will be getting a new mount soon (EQ6-R-Pro), and am interested in finding the best software for its control by laptop. Is Stellarium a good option? Also, while not absolutely necessary, it would be good if I were able to still use the hand control to slew the scope, even when using the software... using the keyboard arrows for slewing can be difficult at times. And if it is free, even better!  Any suggestions

I have the same mount and I use this combo. Mount>EQMOD driver <> imaging software (NINA, or APT or SGP or others) and a platesolver (ASTAP these days) and the ASCOM platform as the "router" on my "astro network".

 

You control everything with the imaging software. And yes, you can keep the HC connected to the mount and use it while all other software are connected. But you do not need to do that. It is better to use the planetarium to slew the mount to a location in the sky by just clicking on the planetarium and telling the mount to slew there. If you need centering you do platesolving.


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#8 EmeraldHills

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 08:51 AM

I just had to upgrade mounts - so I had to sell my EQ6R Pro, but prior to that, my favorite mount control software was Green Swamp Server

 

https://sites.google...iew/greenswamp/

 

It basically takes the place of EQMod.

Building on that platform, I used (and still use) AstroPlanner for targeting, scope control and logging, Sky Safari for planetarium views and scope control (via Ascom Remote server and Alpaca), and Sharpcap Pro for plate solving and syncing, as well as polar alignment and imaging.


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#9 OldManSky

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 09:26 AM

Ummm, aren't they both free? What are you paying for?

That's why he included the smiley face in his statement...



#10 phototech

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 12:27 AM

"Control" means different things to different people.

I've been asked that questions enough times to put together some info last year when lockdowns started.

 

https://www.astropho...nection_options


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#11 jsnatale

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 05:58 AM

Phototech - thanks very much- this is very helpful. I even printed it!  Hope you don't mind if I get back in touch with you if I have questions...



#12 phototech

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 02:30 AM

No worries. Good luck



#13 danny1976

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 01:51 PM

I use APT and Stellarium. From within APT you have acces to PHD2 autoguiding, platesolving and Stellarium. Let's say you just took a picture and want to know how it's framed. You can send a command to Stellarium and it shows exactly how your DSO is framed. And then with the aim command in APT you can adjust it to your liking.



#14 jsnatale

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 11:28 AM

Danny1976, and others, regarding astrophotography tool (APT)... I am considering using it, and need to know a little more about it. Does it do the same thing as say NINA, or SGP? What are its advantages over other sequencing/control software? From what I have seen there is a lot of overlap between these "control" platforms and I am curious which is best.

 

I have decided on Stellarium and Phd2, and will probably be using EQMOD with my EQ6-R-pro mount, but still undecided on the use of APT, NINA or something else for control/device management. I'm trying to find the best, most user-friendly software possible, with good support. Any suggestions? I would like the software to include plate solving, and a polar alignment function would also be good to have. Also, I'm looking for a free (or close to free) program if possible.

 

Another question... does anyone know of a really good introductory video on APT? There are a lot of them out there but wondering if there is one that stands out in your mind as being very good.  Thanks again. 



#15 MikeECha

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 05:59 PM

Danny1976, and others, regarding astrophotography tool (APT)... I am considering using it, and need to know a little more about it. Does it do the same thing as say NINA, or SGP? What are its advantages over other sequencing/control software? From what I have seen there is a lot of overlap between these "control" platforms and I am curious which is best.

 

I have decided on Stellarium and Phd2, and will probably be using EQMOD with my EQ6-R-pro mount, but still undecided on the use of APT, NINA or something else for control/device management. I'm trying to find the best, most user-friendly software possible, with good support. Any suggestions? I would like the software to include plate solving, and a polar alignment function would also be good to have. Also, I'm looking for a free (or close to free) program if possible.

 

Another question... does anyone know of a really good introductory video on APT? There are a lot of them out there but wondering if there is one that stands out in your mind as being very good.  Thanks again. 

NINA is free, APT full version is paid sw. But both are very good. At the moment, NINA is more/fully automated but at APT ongoing development to catch up is being done.

 

APT has good DSLR imaging support. I am not sure about NINA. I prefer  APT interface simplicity but I like the automation in NINA.

 

I started trasitionig from APT to NINA last year due to lack of autofocus and automation but APT now has AF and keep improving in the automation side of things.

 

For APT videos search youtube for AstroQuest. Others have good vid too.


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#16 descott12

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 07:35 PM

I just had to upgrade mounts - so I had to sell my EQ6R Pro, but prior to that, my favorite mount control software was Green Swamp Server

 

https://sites.google...iew/greenswamp/

 

It basically takes the place of EQMod.

Building on that platform, I used (and still use) AstroPlanner for targeting, scope control and logging, Sky Safari for planetarium views and scope control (via Ascom Remote server and Alpaca), and Sharpcap Pro for plate solving and syncing, as well as polar alignment and imaging.

Green Swamp really looks great. I am currently using EQMod with my AZ-EQ5 and it works but GSServer is very cool so I may try it out.

 

By the way, your link is broken. Here is a good link

https://sites.google...view/greenswamp


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#17 Seiten

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Posted 04 November 2021 - 10:38 AM

Im curious why folks are drawn to Green Swamp over EQMOD.  Is it just because of the little 3D scope thingy?  The pointing model in EQMOD is quite involved and I think it works well in establishing a good GOTO performance.  Green Swamp apparently just shifts the whole model one direction based on the last sync if I recall.  Ive also read something about them using a GOTO method to improve guiding, but Ive heard no one talk about it.

 

Im just curious if there was a technical performance reason folks were moving over to Green Swamp...



#18 unimatrix0

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Posted 04 November 2021 - 03:05 PM

Im curious why folks are drawn to Green Swamp over EQMOD.  Is it just because of the little 3D scope thingy?  The pointing model in EQMOD is quite involved and I think it works well in establishing a good GOTO performance.  Green Swamp apparently just shifts the whole model one direction based on the last sync if I recall.  Ive also read something about them using a GOTO method to improve guiding, but Ive heard no one talk about it.

 

Im just curious if there was a technical performance reason folks were moving over to Green Swamp...

N.I.N.A nightly edition already has a 3D scope plugin. I check it sometimes although I have a good idea where it is pointing. 


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#19 Delta608

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Posted 04 November 2021 - 03:17 PM

Doesn't get any easier than with an ASIAir Pro...(Depending of course if your going to go into the ZWO eco-system)...


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#20 phototech

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Posted 05 November 2021 - 01:35 AM

Im curious why folks are drawn to Green Swamp over EQMOD.  Is it just because of the little 3D scope thingy?  The pointing model in EQMOD is quite involved and I think it works well in establishing a good GOTO performance.  Green Swamp apparently just shifts the whole model one direction based on the last sync if I recall.  Ive also read something about them using a GOTO method to improve guiding, but Ive heard no one talk about it.

 

Im just curious if there was a technical performance reason folks were moving over to Green Swamp...

I think people like the more modern application and I understand it works better with EQ8

 

i also understand a pointing model is in beta. 
 

EQMOD is basically just being maintained and one day, some components will fall from Microsoft support. 


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