AstroEQ comes with either 4 or 5 different connections which are as follows:
When making the connections, always ensure to connect the motors up first. Never unplug or plug in a motor cable while AstroEQ is powered as this may damage the motor driver circuitry. Once the motors connected, then plug in the 12V DC power supply. Finally plug in the USB cable to the computer. You can plug the USB cable in before power, however this can in certain cases cause AstroEQ to not respond to the computer.
When wiring up the motors, the connectors are 6-way RJ11 style cables. You should use the following pinout:
1 2 3 4 5 6 x A B B A x
Where 'x' is no-connect, 'A' is one of the motor coils, and 'B' is the other motor coil. It doesn't matter which coil is A and which is B. Nor does it matter which side of each coil is which. You should however use the same pinout for both motors to make setup easier.
You will notice that on the left hand side of the AstroEQ case there are 3 lights. These are labelled as follows:
These lights are useful for making sure that AstroEQ is working correctly. If they do not behave as described, try unplugging power/USB for 15 seconds or so and reconnect.
AstroEQ is designed to be a universal Goto controller. What this means is that to make AstroEQ work with your mount it must be told about the gear ratios of each axis of your mount. There are three key values for each axis which must be known:
Along with these three bits of information, there are some other bits of information that AstroEQ needs to know. These are as follows:
If you are unsure of your gear ratios, a list of common settings can be found here.
You have successfully set up your AstroEQ controller, programmed it with the Configuration Utility and entered the correct gear ratios. So now you have moved on to testing. You have installed EQMOD and loaded it up to connect to the mount to start moving the motors, you push the NESW buttons but nothing seems to happen, what next?
There are a few things that might be happening:
If none of these help, feel free to get in touch, or alternatively there is a long thread here which has lots of information in it (I'm slowly merging it into this FAQ).
When trying to set up an Arduino Mega 2560 board, and after uploading the firmware successfully, the configuration utility reports EEPROM Read Failed.
This is an issue with the bootloader that is used on many Arduino Mega boards and clones. The bootloader has a mistake in it which fails to reset the watchdog timer. The AstroEQ firmware uses the watchdog as part of the EEPROM configuration process causing the bootloader to enter an infinite reset loop.
The issue with the bootloader was solved many years ago in 2013. Even though the bootloader was fixed in 2013, many of the new production boards and clones use the old bootloader, so even if you bought it after 2013 it will likely need updating.
If you have another Arduino to hand or other AVR programmer, I would highly advise anyone with an Arduino Mega 2560 version (doesn't affect the Mega 1280 or AstroEQ boards) to flash the new bootloader.
The latest version of the bootloader is already included in the Arduino IDE version 1.6.7 or newer. You can simply use the âBurn Bootloaderâ option in the Arduino IDE. This will require an AVR programmer.
If you don't have an AVR programmer, but do have another Arduino board to hand, you can use the ArduinoISP technique. Instructions can be found on the Arduino Webiste here.