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Messages - TCWORLD

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DIY AstroEQ / Re: Problem with Dec axis Goto
« on: May 06, 2020, 16:12:23 »

Apologies, I missed your question.

You shouldn't have to change anything in EQASCOM as the AstroEQ reports its information to EQMOD directly.

Could you send me your configuration from the config utility? (you can use the save button to save a .conf file, or take a screenshot).

A factor of 8 difference suggests an issue with the microstep mode selection - which would usually be due to a poor connection. Have you made the correct connections on SJ1 and SJ2? These are two jumpers in the middle of the AstroEQ PCB which need to be shorted depending on which driver you are using. For the DRV8825, you want to put a solder short or piece of wire to join the pins as indicated by the thick white line.

DIY AstroEQ / Re: Updating Legacy equipment.
« on: May 06, 2020, 12:30:44 »
Hi Alex,

The EEPROM only stores the calculated values, so it can't restore the original entered values. It's annoying, but you only need to press the "calculate" buttons if you are changing the gear ratios, the driver type, or the microstepping mode. Changing the goto speed, or ST4 speed etc don't require clicking calculate, so it doesn't matter if the corresponding fields are empty.

You can ignore the GPIO1 setting as you won't have that wired out anywhere. I can give further details if you need them - it allows you to use the "Snap" pin control in the latest version of EQMOD (V2+).

A power cycle should be enough to get the controller out of hand controller mode, unless the handcontroller is still plugged in, at which point it will re-detect it if the speed pin is not floating. So if you had it set to ST4-speed, it would re-enter handcontroller mode on power up. Sometimes having it set to 2x speed will also cause it to enter handcontroller mode.

It's possible a loose connection was causing it to not work properly the first time out, but not sure. I'll have a look through the code when I get the chance to see if there is a bug somewhere in initialisation.

Kind Regards,

DIY AstroEQ / Re: Updating Legacy equipment.
« on: May 05, 2020, 21:58:52 »
For speed selection, you may have to try adjusting the resistor value. The controllers will have different internal pull-up resistance which can have an impact on the speed sensing process - that's the main reason I didn't sell any of the ones I got made. A potentiometer could with this.

DIY AstroEQ / Re: Updating Legacy equipment.
« on: May 05, 2020, 21:54:26 »
Hi Alex,

Make sure the hand controller is not plugged in when running the config utility.

If the hand controller is plugged in, and the speed switch is set to ground, it will immediately enter hand controller mode, at which point it ignores the serial port until the next power cycle. The config utility wont be able to talk to it in hand controller mode.

If you've got a multimeter, I'd probe all of the buttons to check that the signal pins are high when not pressed, and go low once the buttons are pressed. Let me know how that goes.


DIY AstroEQ / Re: Updating Legacy equipment.
« on: May 05, 2020, 12:03:23 »
Hi Alex,

Glad that's fixed it. I'll release that version of the firmware to prevent others having the same issue.

For the advanced H/C option, the 1k resistor is indeed the resistor mod, so if enabled, it will work as intended. At the moment it doesn't really matter if its disabled as I never got around to developing the planned advanced handcontroller.

Kind Regards

DIY AstroEQ / Re: Updating Legacy equipment.
« on: May 04, 2020, 21:54:38 »
Hi Alex,

Think I've found a mistake in the firmwares handling of the state your controller will be in.

Could you try the attached firmware - just pop it in the hex/ folder of the config utility and update firmware again.

Kind Regards,

DIY AstroEQ / Re: Updating Legacy equipment.
« on: May 04, 2020, 16:23:11 »
If the status light is blinking slowly, it means its gone into hand-controller mode, which happens when the "speed" signal is shorted to ground.

Could you check that the white wire at the connector end doesn't short to the ground plane or ground wire.

If no shorts, try a power cycle of the AstroEQ and see if the status light stops blinking continuously.

DIY AstroEQ / Re: Updating Legacy equipment.
« on: April 29, 2020, 23:00:52 »
That all looks correct.


DIY AstroEQ / Re: Updating Legacy equipment.
« on: April 28, 2020, 22:48:34 »
Hi Alex,

Welcome back.

Thanks for spotting the dead link on the downloads page, I've fixed it. In any case, that was just for Arduino Mega based boards, so doesn't apply here.

In terms of getting your V4.0 to work with the latest firmware, there are a couple of required changes.

  • The addition of an ST-4 connector.
  • A new 1k resistor is required to be connected between pins 12 and 31 of the ATMega (IC1). (see quote below)

I believe you've found pictures of the conversion already, however in those pictures, it shows a conversion with just the 4 direction pins connected. This was changed slightly in later versions, so you'll need to wire up slightly differently if you want to be able to use the hand controller.

I've attached two pictures. The first shows the pinout of the ST-4 connector, which is basically the same as the ubiquous ST4 pinout, with the only difference being the otherwise unconnected pin 1 is used for speed selection.

The second shows the connections that must be made to the AstroEQ board. The six pins on the connector must be soldered to the corresponding microcontroller pins (note this is a top down view, make sure to flip it if looking at the bottom of the board).

Additionally as shown in the second picture, a 1k resistor must be connected between pins 31 and 12 of the ATMega. Without this resistor the AstroEQ will be unable to talk to EQMOD or the config utility as it will jump into standalone/handcontroller mode.

Once those changes have been made, you'll be able to update the controller to the latest version of the firmware. You'll be able to use your modified controller with either A4988/A4983 drivers or DRV8824/DRV8825 drivers. You won't be able to use the TMCxxx or DRV8834 drivers.

In terms of Windows XP, the you won't be able to run the configuration utility, you'll have to do that on another computer.  This only has to be used when making changes to the configuration or updating the firmware. It's not required when using EQMOD. Once the controller is updated you'll be able to connect it back up to your existing XP setup and it will work fine.

If you have any problems, let me know. As it happens I have an old V4.0 board sat on my desk (purely for nostalgia), so if anything goes wrong we should be able to get you back up and running.

Kind Regards,

Hi Henk,

V4.3 hardware is possibly the issue. In the later hardware versions there was a resistor added which is used for hand controller detection. Without this resistor the new firmware will not be able to run detection properly and incorrectly switch into push-button mode.

To remedy this, you'll need to add a 1K resistor pins 12 and 31 of the ATMega162 (IC1) which should allow the older hardware to support the newer firmware.
If your board has the ST-4 connector attached, you should also solder a wire between pin 12 of the ATMega162 and pin 1 of the ST-4 connector (the pin closest to JP2 on the board).

DIY AstroEQ / Re: Something’s gone wrong...
« on: April 28, 2020, 22:03:41 »

Glad you've sorted it.

Kind Regards,

Hi Matt,

Glad its sorted for you.


You'll need to select the right device for the mount.

I'm not familiar with Stellarium, but it should be something along the lines of EQMOD, or EQASCOM or ASCOM telescope.

The two options you've tried are not the correct ones for AstroEQ. You should see EQMOD load up once you have the right device model.

General Discussion / Re: Configuration Utility Corrections
« on: March 23, 2020, 16:15:54 »
Why do you want it? That's the version where the problem started.

It has been fixed in the latest release 3.9.2.

DIY AstroEQ / Re: Error compiling AEQ 8.17 with Arduino IDE
« on: March 10, 2020, 22:56:45 »
AstroEQ doesn't use the Arduino IDE for compilation - there is no "sketch".

I switched away from the Arduino software a few years ago for various reasons, in part because it was going through a rapid changes that were messing everything up, and also because the amount of bloat that resulted from using C++ and the arduino libraries meant the code wouldn't fit on the ATMega162 variant.

To compile you will need Atmel Studio 7 which is free to download from Microchip (https://www.microchip.com/mplab/avr-support/atmel-studio-7).
Once installed, open the "AstroEQ6.atsln" project file, edit the PinMappings.h file and build the solution.

Kind Regards,

Mount Support / Re: Onstep EQ5 Goto Kit
« on: March 01, 2020, 22:42:32 »

Those motors should work, would just need to work out the gear ratios and the pinout.

Making cables to go from the AstroEQ connector to there motors should be possible - easiest way may be to desolder the connectors that come with there motors and solder on RJ11 sockets.


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