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Auto guiding

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:15 pm
by Amartin
Hi all,
Having no joy with the auto guiding so far - been doing some research online & came across this: http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/ ... 0_5_0_5_10 is this what I need to connect between my laptop & mount???
Cheers
Andy

Re: Auto guiding

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:08 am
by rwilkinson
Amartin wrote:is this what I need to connect between my laptop & mount?
That will do the job if you have an "ST4-type" socket on your mount and USB on your laptop. Even if you only have a simple dual-axis hand-control, then this may be modified - see the article in this month's Bolton Astronomer.
But don't rush out and buy a new GP-USB, as one of our Members may have one surplus - try posting a "Wanted" ad in our For Sale forum first?

Or if you have a proper LPT port on you computer, borrow this lead:
http://www.boltonastro.co.uk/forums/vie ... f=17&t=394
Dean has it at the moment (it's In the bag with the BAS Dell laptop).

But if you have a PC-controlled mount, then there's no need for a separate guiding lead - just call up the ASCOM driver for your mount in the PHD Guiding program.

Re: Auto guiding

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:35 pm
by Amartin
Thanks Ross
im not sure if the autoguide port on the EQ5 GOTO is an ST4 port.
Good shout about a post in the wanted section...
Cheers
Andy

Re: Auto guiding

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:26 pm
by DRatledge
Andy,
If you can run your EQ5 goto with EQMOD then you don't need the GPUSB. That might be a better route to investigate as EQMOD brings a lot of benefits.

Re: Auto guiding with EQMOD

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:19 pm
by rwilkinson
This page shows which mounts are supported:
http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/reqindex.html
which does include the EQ5 with Synscan (but not my Celestron CG5-GT!)

Re: Auto guiding

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:44 pm
by Amartin
Thanks guys,
Do I connect the ST4 lead to the guideport or the hand controller?

Re: Auto guiding

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:34 am
by rwilkinson
Amartin wrote:Do I connect the ST4 lead to the guideport or the hand controller?
An ST4 guiding lead connects via the GUIDE port (6P6C):
Image
so that the four direction-control buttons on your handset can be remotely operated by four pins on your PC's LPT-port, under control from the guiding program. This will work for guiding on any mount with 2-axis motors (once the hand-control is modified to add the 6P6C socket).

But if you have a GoTo mount, then there are better alternatives for guiding, which will also be useful for controlling your GoTo from a planetarium program such as Stellarium, Cartes du Ciel, etc.:
  • Serial control via the handset (as I use with my Celestron CG5-GT). Connect the PC's COM-port to the socket on the hand-control (it's a 4P4C on Celestron):
    Image
    Then you need the ASCOM driver for your mount.
  • Serial control via EQDIRECT (as recommended by Dave, Gerald, Carl & Keith). Disconnect the handset and connect your mount directly to the PC COM-port with a special cable:
    Image
    Then use the EQASCOM driver

Re: Auto guiding with SynScan mounts

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:00 am
by rwilkinson
Although the Synta hand-controls use a different serial-port connector to the Celestron:
Image
(and this lead was probably supplied with your mount)
they actually use the Celestron protocol for the commands sent down the serial lead.

So from the Mount menu in PHD Guiding, choose Celestron Scope Driver..Synta SkyWatcher Mount:
PHD_SynScan.png
PHD_SynScan.png (95.08 KiB) Viewed 15824 times

Re: Auto guiding

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:45 pm
by Amartin
Thanks Ross,
Im planning (initially) to use the GPUSB port i obtained from Carl to interface between the laptop (now downgraded from 64bit windows 7 to 32bit XP) and PHD solely for guiding whilst retaining my mount GOTO functionality on the hand controller.
This may change under advisement, or, when i become more comfortable with the solution cited above, but thats where im heading at the moment.

Hopefully, i will be able to get everything communicating effectively tonight i.e. have the webcam on long exposure (issues were prolific driver was causing havoc with win 7), the mount communicating with laptop effectively & looping a decent image. Hopefully then i can finally have a decent run of trying to guide on a portable setup.

Will keep you updated, or be crying down the phone!!!!

Cheers
Andy

Re: Auto guiding

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:02 pm
by jpinna
this auto guiding, do you still have to polar align the scope or do you just point the camera onto the object you want to look at and it stay's locked on