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Thread: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

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    Ron Kramer's Avatar
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    Default Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.



    I have a new setup. What is the process? for example. I need to 2 star align... I presume. But I can't do that until after I align with n star. To align I use a polemaster, to use it I have a laptop.
    To interface to the laptop and get EQMOD operating I have to set the synscan into direct mode.

    Once in direct mode, I can no longer access 2 star align. This is my process.

    1. aim N. run pole master and align. Unplug USB to plug in other cams (ASI 071 and a guider ASI290mm).

    2. Still not aligned. I now much exit direct mode? And go to menu and select align, 2 star and do it.???
    Then go back to direct mode? (for PC interface?) for SGP interface and goto interface from planetarium programs.

    Is this correct so far? I wish I could leave it in direct link mode and align via planetarium software/SYNC?

    3. I now run SGP, which wants PHD2 running and all things wake up. I'm now ready? Though I've yet to get PHD2 working? Though I've not had a good night to really work out the kinks.
    Last night was bad so I tried to just see if I could get PHD guiding. I tried to guide on a star near the pole (I know not wise) but I just wanted to see if it would guide.
    I got a couple errors. ???

    One error is "pulseguide command to mount has failed" guiding likely to be ineffective".

    ??

    the other one - I forget, but seems it said the chosen star was to close to the meridian? I figured it didn't want one so close to the N star. But I was unable to align with all the clouds and just wanted to see if I could guide on the one star I could see by the B star.

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    Default Re: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

    Hokaaaaay......
    A few things not necessarily in any particular order
    What mount are you using?
    Why are you set on using EQMOD?
    It's an older program that really just gets in the way...

    PHD will not just guide.
    It needs to be told what it's guiding... (You need to fill in all the data on the particular equipment you're using so PHD knows how to respond.)
    Then when you first click on a star, it will attempt to calibrate its guiding routine.
    That's why it told you the star wasn't a good match.... that shouldn't be too close to either E or W horizon, the meridian, or the pole...
    Why won't using just PHD and Stellarium to run the mount and camera not work for you?
    Did your camera come with software? Are you using it?
    Instead of plugging and unplugging USB cords, you should get a hub for them.

    You seem to trying to accomplish way too much, too soon, with little or no instructions....
    Slow down, READ a bit, take your time... The sky certainly isn't going anywhere soon...

    Putting a list of your equipment in your signature will be a big help in getting you up and running...
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    Jim
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    Default Re: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

    way to much to soon. GOT THAT RIGHT. = )
    I have a lot of experience with goto/and point scopes. No imaging.

    I use EQMOD because it's cool and will allow any and all equipment to be connected through ascom.
    Never really considered not using it. (hmmm)?

    I have skywatcher HEQ6 pro
    ZWO 290 MM for guiding, Orion guide scope.
    ZWO 071 MC-C (color) for shooting. They came with sharpcap.. That's fun, but not for automation I don't think. I want to automate everything
    and I have a dome coming. I want to be able to control it all from in the house. 300+ ft away.
    ZWO 8up filter wheel.
    using a SV80mm APO with .8 flattener
    Pole master.
    setup looks like (I'll see if I can add a pic)

    RIMG_1297.jpg

    RIMG_1295.jpg

    Using my phaser to cut a hole in the clouds last night.

    laserIMG_1306.jpg
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    Default Re: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

    OK,
    First, you don't need EQMOD to use ASCOM...
    I would:
    Get a powered or even an non-powered hub to stop the cable swapping. (I use a 4 port non-powered one on my mount to control everything)
    Try using straight ASCOM pulse guiding using PHD. It will play nicely with SGP after you get it all set up and guiding on its own...
    As I have no experience with that camera, I can't tell you what capture program to use for DSO's... Sorry...

    the best advise I can give, I already have... Patience and a cocktail while reading the manuals will go a long way.
    Go to the PHD site and do some reading in the FAQ section... Lots of very good relevant info to be found there...

    If you think this is fun, wait until you're trying to coordinate the dome motion with everything else!



    **edit**
    Here's thread you need to read...
    Mount control software confusion...
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    Jim
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    Software: PixInsight, APT, PHD2, SharpCap, SGP, Stellarium, Registax,
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    Default Re: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

    EQMOD is a replacement for the hand controller. It is simply goto software. (OK, pretty fancy goto software, but goto is its job.) So, if you are using EQMOD, you align it. If you are using the handset for gotos, you align it (2-star, 3-star, or whatever). You don't do both. If you are going to use the handset for your gotos, just don't start EQMOD. PHD, SGP, and everything else will communicate with the mount using ASCOM.

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    Default Re: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

    Eqmod is just a bonus featured ascom. I think I need ascom to interface everything. Eqmod doesn't change anything, it's just the same as ascom. In order to get the mount to be computer controlled I think I need ascom.
    I'm also using the scope where the dome will be when it arrives. (300ft - maybe 400) from the house. I am using team viewer and once focus'd - can control everything from in the house. (focuser is on order).
    But yes the hassle is ascom wants me to be in DIRECT MODE. then the keypad doesn't work when in direct mode.

    Right now the hassle is polar align. Then go back to keypad for 2 star align. (rarely can I see the stars it wants) as I have lots of tree's. then I need to go back to direct mode.

    I am using (trying) SGP. It also allows goto control via ipad (sky safari) and I just got that setup yesterday. Works great. But It works via SGP which works with ASCOM so I think I still must be in direct mode (keypad direct to computer).

    I have a 4 port 3.0 USB hub. Most of my connections are 2.0 but my camera is 3.0. So I'd have to run it's own line. then I could have the hub for everything else with a 2.0 line. The AC to the mount, to the camera.
    Really what would help is to by pass 2 star align. I have played around with "telling goto software to point at sirus" I then manually aim at it and lock it in and it then seems to track fine. But not sure if that will be good enough for long guiding. I really need some nights without clouds and cold! = )

    SGP is the capture program. Grabbing shots is easy. Really once I get my dome and can leave everything setup It should be wonderful. HOWEVER I do feel I have to many cables - but I'll work on the hub.

    Kathy - thanks as well. I don't want to use hand controller. Pretty sure I need eqmod/ascom for the other software to find and use the proper hardware. But are you saying I don't need to use 2 star align of I am using go to software? I have done a manual point and sync. Wasn't sure it was legit.

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    Default Re: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

    You are right, that ASCOM will need the controller to be in direct mode, which makes the controller unusable. So that is why you need EQMOD: to replace the functionality of the hand controller. But that also means, since you don't need the hand controller, that you don't need to align it. You will do your alignment in EQMOD instead.

    I no longer use EQMOD since I changed my primary mount, but when I did, I performed the goto alignment using Stellarium. I would select an alignment star in Stellarium, select it and give it the slew command. EQMOD would slew the mount to the approximate location. I would then use a handheld game controller connected to the laptop to adjust the aim of the mount to centre the star. Finally, I would give Stellarium the Sync command, and that star became part of the alignment. I typically used three alignment stars, but EQMOD allows any number. Using Stellarium to control a mount requires the use of Stellarium Scope, yet another software package.

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    Default Re: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

    Kathy thanks so much for that. I thought I had to do it with the hand set. Yes I can control the scope with stellarium scope. I have done this (but I thought it wasn't offical) I love the fact that now I can click a star I can see in stellarium and then (I just unlocked the clutch and manually pointed at the star then locked clutches). It did work, but I didn't know if it would be accurate enough for photography. I will try this next time out. I'd also not mind removing the hand controller and linking directly. (I THINK I need a different cable to do that). You said you corrected the "GOTO" with the joystick. Can I just use the arrow keys on the eqmod/ascom (on screen) keypad? Or should I unlock the mounts clutches to center the alignment star I've selected in stellarium? I did manage to rip off a couple quick shots. (one shot color) here's one.

    Capture_0001-adj.jpg

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    Default Re: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

    You can use the arrow keys on screen for adjustments, but it is more convenient to have something in your hand while looking through the eyepiece. EQMOD will accept inputs from a standard game controller/joystick.

    Don't unlock the clutches to make adjustments. It is okay to do so for your first alignment star only. But unlocking the clutches destroys any previous alignment! So all adjustments after that must be done under software control with the clutches locked.

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    Default Re: Noob Alert. setup questions? could use some advice.

    ah ok... I have tried the joystick. worked, but I havn't decided if I needed it. Without using the keypad, it makes more sense. Typically I don't ever touch a eye piece. I view only on screen from cameras (so far) maybe that's why it's so hard ;-) I'll go back to the joy stick setup and revisit that.
    I also found out reading some PHD manual that I don't need the ST-4 cable! One less cable! I then used my hub I had ordered and plugged it into my CCD camera. (it has 2 outputs). I then ran a small cable to filter wheel and another to the guide camera. This means I need only one USB cable to the scope. Then I had to much mess with power cables. So I ordered a rigrunner last night. I can then power the mount and CCD cameras cooler via one AC power line. It's coming along. Would help to have a comfortable night with stars.
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