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Thread: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

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    Default FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL



    Let me preface this by saying I work on computers for a living. I know how to check COM ports in Windows, please dont suggest that

    I got my AZ-EQ6 GT yesterday, was all excited to take it out for a test drive last night but I never could get EQMOD working with it. Or ASCOM, for that matter.

    It is a Windows 10 64 bit install, I wiped it totally clean, did all Windows updates to the new OS install, installed Chrome and then downloaded the ASCOM platform and EQMOD. I installed ASCOM and then EQMOD, then plugged in my laptop directly to the mount using the HitecAstro cable that is specifically for that purpose.

    I never can get connected. The cable shows up in the device manager under ports as the Profilic USB device, and gets COM3 by default. I did change this all over the place all the way up to COM16 which seems to be as high as ASCOM controls will let you select.

    If I have it on COM3 and try to connect, it tells me "Connection Error: Port not available". However, if I have it on COM3 and I tell EQMOD that it's on COM4 or some other com port it really isnt on, it says "Connection Error:Timeout" or something real similar to that. So it does behave differently when I select a port that it really isnt on.

    I'm at my wits end with it. I reinstalled ASCOM and EQMOD cleanly again, I've tried three different versions of the Prolific driver based off what I've read on the web, including what HitecAstro says to use, and I'm still not getting there. The device installs fine, I dont get any errors in the Device Manager, I simply cant get past the "Connect error: Port not available" message. It's almost as if something is keeping the port tied up and busy, but it sure doesnt look like it. I've also tried running all programs as Administrator and running none as administrator, doesnt seem to fix it. That was suggested on quite a few sites.

    Any ideas? I've got another Win10 laptop that is my work laptop and a Win7 one there as well, I'm bringing both home tonight to see if its will work with either one of them.
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    Default Re: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

    Sorry to hear you are having issues with your connecting mount to computer.
    I use the Shoestring Bluetooth device to connect to my NEQ6 and I too also played around with COMs. I set mine to COM3 & COM4. Now, it may not help much but I also had to go into the Bluetooth settings to select "Alow my device to be discoverable!
    Have you installed the drivers for the Mount? See below link.
    Check to see if the devices are talking with EQDIRcheck.
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    Default Re: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

    Thanks for the help. I did find a forum post about using EQDIRcheck last night, and when I tried to use it, it also failed.

    I'm just using this adapter... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky...r-adapter.html

    It looks like the same stuff Shoestring astronomy sells as well, just their own cable.

    If it fails on both of my laptops which I can try with tonight, I'm going to say it's a bad cable although that seems unlikely.
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    Default Re: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

    Have you tried using the handset in PC Direct mode? That might help diagnose things. Another thing to check, is EQMOD set up to use the proper baud rate (9600)? I also think that the order to fire up the system is - plug the cables in, then power up the mount, then start up the EQMOD Toolbox.

    I use a bluetooth adapter and also the handset PC Direct method with my NEQ-6, it was trial and error in the beginning before everything would connect correctly.
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    Default Re: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWest View Post
    Have you tried using the handset in PC Direct mode? That might help diagnose things. Another thing to check, is EQMOD set up to use the proper baud rate (9600)? I also think that the order to fire up the system is - plug the cables in, then power up the mount, then start up the EQMOD Toolbox.

    I use a bluetooth adapter and also the handset PC Direct method with my NEQ-6, it was trial and error in the beginning before everything would connect correctly.
    I havent used the handset in PC direct mode, but that's because I dont have the right cable for it. That requires a serial to USB adapter, I might be able to dig out one, but I really dont want to go that route as then I'm back to not connecting directly to the mount. But that is what I did with my old Celestron.

    I did boot up the mount and use the handset, just to verify it all works fine and dandy when I'm not trying to use EQMOD or the directly connected cable.

    I did check baud rates, I left them at the standard 9600. I did also try setting those to the 3 other values that EQMOD will do, 4800, 115200 and 124800 I believe. None worked, so I set both spots back to 9600.
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    Default Re: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantypoo View Post

    I did boot up the mount and use the handset, just to verify it all works fine and dandy when I'm not trying to use EQMOD or the directly connected cable.
    I have run into the same issue with my Nexstar - so these could be two stupid solutions, but they did work for me.

    1/ I always had to align the scope using the hand controller before the computer and telescope would talk to each other

    2/ The only way I ever beat the COM port issue was to simply connect the cable into another USB port on the computer. I could use the same COM port for weeks and then randomly it would not respond exactly as you are describing. Changing the USB port magically fixed the issue........till next time
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    Default Re: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

    Having had my own issues with connectability - you don't mention having tried alternative cabling ....
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    Default Re: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

    You might want to buy a Shoestring Astronomy cable that uses the FTDI chipset. What chipset is the cable your using have? If it's prolific that's the problem I bet. Maybe the driver for the chipset needs updating. Try this. Delete the drivers for the chipset and then download the latest driver, connect the cable and update by choosing that file unconnected to the net. Don't let windows search for and install one online.

    As a back up and as mentioned maybe try using PC direct mode. I suggest using an FTDI USB serial converter for that. I have had zero issues connection this way. I already had the cable so thats why I do. Whatever the case don't use a prolific chipset there are way to many fakes out there.
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    Default Re: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

    Quote Originally Posted by MG1692 View Post
    I have run into the same issue with my Nexstar - so these could be two stupid solutions, but they did work for me.

    1/ I always had to align the scope using the hand controller before the computer and telescope would talk to each other

    2/ The only way I ever beat the COM port issue was to simply connect the cable into another USB port on the computer. I could use the same COM port for weeks and then randomly it would not respond exactly as you are describing. Changing the USB port magically fixed the issue........till next time
    Appreciate the suggestions, but yes I dont want to have to use the hand controller at all, so step 1 would be bad news Step 2, I have tried. I used all three USB ports, and changed the actual COM port assignment around on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
    Having had my own issues with connectability - you don't mention having tried alternative cabling ....
    I dont have an alternate cable, but I suspect after my testing tonight I'll end up having to order one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leveye View Post
    You might want to buy a Shoestring Astronomy cable that used the FTDI chipset. What chipset is the cable your using have? If it's prolific that's the problem I bet. As a back up and as mentioned try using PC direct mode. I suggest using an FTDI USB serial converter for that. I have had zero issues connection this way. I already had the cable so thats why I do. Whatever the case don't use a prolific chipset there are way to many fakes out there.
    Yes, it is the prolific chipset. It's the one HitecAstro sells exactly for this purpose. I've tried three different driver sets, including the one HitecAstro swears works with this product, plus many other forum members recommend, so I dont think I got a fake.

    After tonight, if both my other laptops dont work with my setup I have now, I'll probably go ahead and order the Shoestring cable... And I'll have a talk with HitecAstro about theirs if the Shoestring works.
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    Default Re: FAIL - EQMOD with Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT - FAIL

    Prolific....Thats your problem. WAY to many fakes out there. I had this same issue with 4 of them before I switched to an FTDI and it then worked flawlessly. FTDI chipsets are the one you want to use. Shoestring gets them right from FTDI.
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