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Controlling scope with Stellarium problem


dawson
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I'm trying to experiment at controlling my AZ mount with Stellarium (v12).


 


When I click configuration and then telescope control, it won't let me click the configure button, either on my desktop or laptop; why?


 


Thanks


 


James


 


 


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Guest Ely Ellis

James,


 


Are you actually loading in the plug-in at start-up.


 


Make sure there is a tick in the box... Configuration / Plug-in's at bottom under options.


Tickbox for 'load at startup'


 


Which version of Stellarium are you using?


 


Cheers


 


Martin


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Guest Ely Ellis

Jame's,


 


Finally I got something right. Not often for me.


 


Once you set up your com port, you just plug into the bottom of your hand controller and away you go.


 


Works a treat on mine.


 


No interfaces needed other than USB to serial (if you need).


 


Cheers


 


Martin


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I've got the USB to serial lead. Just need to figure out which COM port it will be. I'm sure device manager will tell me that (hopefully); I'm at work and don't have the lead, just the laptop. I'll try over the weekend.


 


Thanks Martin, I couldn't find an answer anywhere online.


 


James

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Guest Ely Ellis

Yep, device manager should tell you.


It's very easy to set-up.


You can even add rings on Stellarium for each of your ep's so you can see the FOV.


 


Cheers


 


Martin


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Well I got the laptop via Stellarium to move the mount. I need to try it at night when it's properly aligned and see how it performs.


 


Where does all the important information for time, lat/long, elevation etc come from, the handset or the laptop (and Stellarium)?


 


James

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You still put lat/long in handset and do your normal alignment procedure. Stellarium just slews the mount. Unless if course you have gone down eqmod route of control and re using align master??

Edited by catman161
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At what point in the proceedings of setting up do I connect the laptop and Stellarium? Is there any information transmitted from the handset to the computer, or just one way in the other direction? I'd have thought I somehow need to tally the handset with Stellarium so Stellarium knows what object it is looking at when I connect it, in case there is some error in the two calibration systems.


 


I might not spend too much time on it tonight as I want to grab some Jupiter images before it vanishes.


 


James

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Guest Ely Ellis

James,


 


Just set your mount up as normal, align etc.


Once all that is done, just plug the cable into the bottom of the hand controller and run Stellarium (if not already running).


If you have set up Stellarium correctly, then when you select an object, just press ctrl+1 and the scope will slew to the target.


It is a two way street, you will see a target on Stellarium move around which reflects the position of your mount.


This is NOT guiding, all Stellarium does it send co-ordinates of your target, so it still relies on your mount calibration.


 


Cheers


 


Martin


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I tried it out last night and it worked well. I assume then that having tracking turned on in ht ehandset keeps the scope "on target".


 


I had a bit of issue getting it to work initially, but I just had to re-configure the telescope settings and re-boot stellarium.


 


I'm impressed. Especially with the accuracy of the whole set up. I'd done a nice two star alignment, then told Stellarium to go to Panstarrs and the scope was spot on.


 


Thanks for all the hints and tips.


 


James

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Guest Ely Ellis

Remember, that Stellarium just acts as a database and issues goto commands. So the accuracy still depends on how well you do you initial alignment.


Of course with tracking still on, once Stellarium tells the mount where to point, the mount will continue its normal tracking.


Stellarium is great because you can see where you want to point and its easy to pick targets within the area your interested in without randomly picking something on the handset and waiting for it to slew.


 


Very simple setup too, as you have probably figured out by now.


 


Oh, there are 2 methods to slew the scope. If you press ctrl+1 it will slew to your target, if you press alt+1 it will slew to the centre of your screen, these are not necessarily the same positions.


Some other little things, you could put concentric circles for different FOV's for you EP's. All in the configuration.


 


Cheers


 


Martin


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if you`ve entered your longitude and latitude settings corectly in Stellarium, all you need to do is polar align, if you working from an already polar aligned position you don`t need to do it again, great when your working from an obsy, pick a star in stellarium, slew to it using ctrl + 1, center the scope or finder on the star using handset buttons or eqmod, and once done press ctrl + 3 and the scope target on stellarium will recenter on the star, then your away for the night, everything should now be in the field of view without doing 2 and 3 star aglinments as Stellarium knows exactly where you are in the world. 


best thing to do for £25 is to get rid of the handset and us eqmod, hell of a lot easier, no need to put in any data into the handset ever again.


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Guest Ely Ellis

Hi Rob,


 


Myself and James use Celestron Goto system which function a little different from the Skywatcher mounts. As far as I am aware, we can't use EQmod as that is for Skywatcher mounts, although there are alternatives for Celestron.


With regard to the CTRL+3 option, I don't think that option is available in the standard Stellarium scope driver. I really wish it was as sometimes my scope is a little off (mostly because I can't be bothered with a good align). I understand that there is a different plug-in scope control which does do as you say as I tried to use it, but unfortunately it also required the Ascom drivers which when I installed, completely messed my system up. (I have since started from scratch and have installed the Ascom drivers & Celestron driver, but as yet, have not had chance to try it).


 


Anyway the Celestron way with Sellarium is very simple, you just plug into a serial port (or via a USB to serial), no interface or drivers required. Just select the port on Stellarium and away you go. It just sends position information direct to the Celestron handset, and then the handset will control the mount, hence you still need to go through your align process so the mount knows where it is.


 


James....


If your interested James, there are alternatives which give you more control and direct control of your mount including guiding. You can download Nexstar Remote direct from Celestron, it is free even though some companies are selling it, but Celestron deemed it to be free software. It basically turns you computer into a hand controller, you can use it a a dummy, use it for practice or learning the functions of the controller, or connect direct to you hand-controller as you do with Stellarium, and gives you a full remote handcontroller. You can also assign a port so you could connect Stellarium too.


 


If you can get hold of a RS232 to TTL interface, you could even connect direct to your mount without the need for the hand controller at all, similar to Eqmod.


 


Using Ascom drivers, you can also use guiding by connecting to the bottom of the hand-controller, again without any interface needed.


Celestron do have some advantages.


 


I'm not that up on all this and learning myself what the mount can do, but if you want to PM me, I will be happy to share what I know, or keep it here on the thread for everyone to see and hope I don't embarrass myself with bad information :)


 


Cheers


 


Martin


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Martin, i'm using a skywatcher synscan AZ mount.

I am amazed at what can be done. There are so many options to try out, and so few clear nights and nights with a pain-free back to do it :)

I'm going to continue to refine my use of the scope with the handset and stellarium alone for now. If i move house and get an observatory i might start playing more with other options! [pie in the sky, i think i'll be living in light polluted west bridgford for several years to come]

James

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Guest Ely Ellis

Oh,


 


Well that shot me down in flames James!


For some reason I thought you had a Celestron set-up, ah well, scrub all the above then. ;)


 


Well, I still think that you need a different scope control plug-in though for Stellarium to give you the ctrl+3 option, unless that is what your using already!


 


Cheers


 


Martin


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