EQ Direct for SkyWatcher SynScan/ SynTrek mounts...
EQ Direct USB cables allow you to control your telescope directly from a PC or laptop via a single cable that runs from a USB port to your mount's handset port.
A full list of mounts supported by these cables is listed here on the EQMOD Pre-requisites page.
Software for EQ Direct.
At first glance, the setup for EQ Direct looks fairly complicated and daunting and certainly, it can take time to learn to use the software to it's full potential, but getting up and running can be achieved in a few simple steps.
Firstly, download and install the latest version of The ASCOM Platform.
Next, you will need planetarium software that supports telescope control. I use Stellarium, and in this guide I will go through the steps to set up your EQDirect control using this software.
Stellarium also requires an external software interface to control the EQASCOM driver - Stellarium Scope.
Download and install the EQASCOM software/ driver.
Once you have installed the software, connect your mount to a power supply, connect the EQDirect cable to your PC and mount handset port and switch on. Start Stellarium Scope Software and Stellarium itself. In the Configuration Window in Stellarium, under 'Plug-ins', select 'Telescope Control' and check the 'Load at Startup' check box - restart Stellarium and then in the same window, click the now active 'configure' button. Under the 'Telescopes' tab, again click 'Configure' and in the 'Configure Telescope' Window, click the 'External Software or a Remote Computer' radio button.
Different planetarium softwares will have different ways of achieving connection to the ASCOM driver for EQDirect - most will simply have a window to select the telescope type and assuming that EQASCOM is installed, it will be listed here.
Once Stellarium is set to use external software to connect to your mount, in the Stellarium Scope window, click the 'Select Mount' button and select the 'EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6' option and then click properties and in the EQMOD ASCOM SETUP window, select the correct Port (see below for instructions for determining the COM port number) then click 'OK' to close this window and 'OK' again to close the ASCOM pop-up window. Then in the Stellarium Scope window, check the 'Connect' checkbox. The EQMOD ASCOM interface window then opens, this gives you control over the telescope's functions and in combination with your planetarium software, all of the functions of your handset and far more. Setting the slew rates to 800 and clicking the direction buttons will confirm that your mount is now fully under the control of your PC.
A couple of simple functions.
Click on a star or other object in your planetarium software. Pressing and holding the 'Ctrl' key and then tapping '1' will slew your scope to the selected point.
For alignment, once you have selected and slewed to a star and manually corrected the position of the scope, pressing 'Ctrl' with '3' will sync the mount and software and set this as an allignment point.
More information about using EQMOD ASCOM can be found from the EQMOD Project Website (including links to a Wiki and Yahoo group).
Astronomiser FTDI EQ Direct Cables...
Astronomiser has now stopped production of EQ Direct cables using the Prolific chipset - we have decided to focus on the FTDI type which work with all flavours of Windows.
The cables are connected either directly to an RJ45 plug for EQ5 etc., or D9 Plug for EQ6 or a small junction box is used for longer length cables. The cables are plug and play with earlier versions of windows - for later versions, drivers can be downloaded from here.
Lengths are nominal - the 1m cable is normally longer than 1m, the 2m cable is normally between 1.8m and 2.2m, the 3m cable, 2.8m to 3.2m and the 5m cable 4.8m to 5.2m. Please contact us if you require a longer cable or you can also use the cable with a USB active extension.
To work out which COM port should be set in the EQMOD ASCOM SETUP follow these steps.
For Windows XP:
For Windows 7:
Windows 8 follows a similar procedure to Windows 7.
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