Possible Issues with USB2EQ6 Cable

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astrowayne
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Possible Issues with USB2EQ6 Cable

Post by astrowayne » Wed Oct 26, 2022 11:47 am

After using an EQDIR with a DB-9 connector plus a USB-to-serial converter for years, I recently purchased a USB2EQ6 cable for my circa 2009 Orion Atlas EQ-G mount and I'm having issues with it. The issues come with two primary symptoms -- telescope disconnections from my planetarium program and interference with my PoleMaster video signal. I am using Cartes du Ciel as the planetarium program, and I have been using it successfully for years, so the disconnections appear to be related to the new cable. The PoleMaster interference shows as greatly degraded video displayed to the computer -- instead of getting about 10 frames/sec I get one frame every 5 - 10 sec. Reverting back to the EQDIR + USB-to-Serial converter restores proper functioning of both with no other cable changes. I purchased the new cable because I'm having problems with the EQDIR lock screws not tightening properly anymore, and the module can shift and break connection with the mount.

Details:
Mount: Orion Atlas EQ-G, (approx. 2009)
PC: Windows 10, 64-bit
EQDIR Interface: USBEQ6
FTDI Driver: Version 2.12.36.4, from the setup executable
ASCOM: Platform 6
EQASCOM: Version 2.0.0q (?)
PoleMaster: Version 1.3.2.8

Any suggestions on what I should try to correct the problems? Thanks.

Wayne

dpanderson
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Re: Possible Issues with USB2EQ6 Cable

Post by dpanderson » Thu Oct 27, 2022 6:37 pm

This is an issue I haven't seen before. The only thing I can think of is that the new setup has a ground loop issue.
Are you using any USB cable length extensions or is it just the USB2EQ6 between PC and mount?
Are you using any USB hubs between PC and mount?
Have you tried different USB ports?
Have you tried a different PC?
Doug Anderson
Shoestring Astronomy
http://www.ShoestringAstronomy.com

astrowayne
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Re: Possible Issues with USB2EQ6 Cable

Post by astrowayne » Fri Oct 28, 2022 11:28 pm

Thanks for the timely response. I apologize for not replying sooner, but I was out observing last night and just checked the forum. :)

The cabling setup starting at the mount is

1. Mount DB9 connector
2. USB2EQ6 with its long cable (or EQDIR + USB-to-serial converter with approximately 6-inch cable)
3. USB 3.0 powered hub (supports USB cables for ZWO camera, Moonlite Focuser, PoleMaster, plus the USB2EQ6 cable or the USB-2-serial converter)
4. USB 3.0 cable to computer (10-foot cable, no additional extensions)

The USB2EQ6 was using the same connector on the hub that is used for the EQDIR + USB-to-serial converter's cable. There are other USB ports on the hub that I could try; maybe tomorrow night if I go observing again.

I have not tried different ports or a different PC (don't have one available). It was suggested by a friend that it might be a cable shielding issue, but I have not tested or investigated that suggestion (not even sure how to go about it). Would it be possible to get a USB2EQ6 with a shorter cable (maybe 6 to 8 inches)? Not sure if that would help or not, but I don't need the 6 feet of cable for my setup.

Thanks,

Wayne

dpanderson
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Re: Possible Issues with USB2EQ6 Cable

Post by dpanderson » Sun Oct 30, 2022 6:21 am

How long are the other cables that go from hub to devices (camera, focuser, etc.)? Do these cables all run together in the same bundle? If so, you might try separating them as much as possible temporarily to see if that helps. You might also try temporarily removing the focuser and polemaster cables from the bundle to see if that has any effect.

Yes, I can make the cable any length you want up to 6 feet. Send an email to doug@shoestringastronomy.com with your request and shipping address and I will send one to you to try. If that works, you can send the original full length cable back to me.
Doug Anderson
Shoestring Astronomy
http://www.ShoestringAstronomy.com

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