Correct st4 cabling to guide a star adventure mount

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a.cidadao
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:45 pm

Correct st4 cabling to guide a star adventure mount

Post by a.cidadao » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:25 pm

Hi all,
Can you please specify which are the specific st4 cabling connections to get RA guiding with star Adventurer through asiair pro.
Both main (183MM) and guide (290MM) cameras work but when trying to activate mount (on camera st4) I get a message stating that guide camera has to be active. And it is.
Thank you!

António

W7AY
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: Correct st4 cabling to guide a star adventure mount

Post by W7AY » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:53 pm

Hi António,

I know this may sound like a silly question, but after selecting your 290MM guide camera in the Guide Camera menu in the Guide Settings window, did you also activate the camera by sliding the slide button on the right of the menu?

In the off state, the slide button appears as a small white disk on iOS. Slide the white disk to the right, and you should see a green background.

I have not used ST4 guiding for almost a year now, but I just tried connecting a camera similar to yours (an ASI290MM mini) and selected it as the guide camera. I then went to the Telescope Settings window to select On-Camera-ST4. No error message.

If I turn off the green slide switch in the Guide Settings window, I get the "Connect Failed. Please open guide camera first." message when I tried to select On-Camera-ST4.

P.S.: I did not have an ST4 cable connected to the 290MM-Mini camera.

Clear skies,
Chen

a.cidadao
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: Correct st4 cabling to guide a star adventure mount

Post by a.cidadao » Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:00 am

Thank you very much Chen!
The guide camera was connected (green slider) and obtaining images from an artificial star (a dimmed laser pointer) but the only cable to the mount was from the 290MM. Perhaps my mistake was not having connected the mount to a USB port of asiair pro using the RS cable. I will try that.
Best wishes.
António

W7AY
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: Correct st4 cabling to guide a star adventure mount

Post by W7AY » Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:41 pm

>> Perhaps my mistake was not having connected the mount to a USB port of asiair pro using the RS cable. I will try that.

You actually did the right thing, António.

When you select "On-Camera-ST4" in the Telescope Setup, the ASIAIR does not communicate directly with the mount. Any cable between the ASIAIR and the mount is ignored. With ST4, you lose the ability to control other functions on the mount -- you can only guide.

When guiding using ST4 cable, the ASIAIR sends correction commands to the Guide Camera's USB interface.

The Guide camera then translates the commands into the RA+, RA-, DEC+, DEC- contact pulses on the ST4 cable. That is why for ST4 guiding, you simply connect the ST4 cable between the guide camera and the mount's ST4 interface. The ASIAIR talks to the Guide Camera, and the Guide Camera talks to your mount.

(The "ST-4" refers to the original SBIG ST-4 camera, by the way.)

It is a mystery to me why after selecting and opening (green slide button) the Guide Camera, ASIAIR still tells you there is no guide camera for it to send ST4 signals through.

I don't know what else you have connected to the ASIAIR USB ports. Perhaps you can remove all connectors (including main camera) and try again, as a test to see if there is something interfering with the guiding interface.

I just tried connecting nothing but an ASI290MM-mini to the ASIAIR, and the ASIAIR app on iOS still lets me select the Guide button in the Preview window, and lets me enter the guide window when I tap on the floating guide graph, and even lets me start the guide camera, even though it is indoors and I have the guide scope covered. I even tried connecting a second camera that also has an ST4 port (ASI174MM Mini) as the Main Camera, and that situation also still works.

The only thing I can think of now is that somehow the ASIAIR does not think that your ASI290MM-Mini has an ST4 port.

est regards,
Chen

a.cidadao
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: Correct st4 cabling to guide a star adventure mount

Post by a.cidadao » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:15 am

Hi Chen, thank you very much!

Yesterday I directly connected the star Adventurer to asiair pro through a cable I had ordered with my stellarmate to connect it to lx200 scopes.

It worked fine without st4 cable between the guide camera and the mount.

Mount in asiair pro was defined as eqmode, baud rate as 19200 and it connected and guided.

While asiair pro does not support the astromechanics focuser I controlled it with the stellarmate. Needs two phones but works...

I still have my ST6! 🙂 and looking forward to have my 14" permanently mounted again... And also to have better wifi signal...

Best wishes!

Antonio

W7AY
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: Correct st4 cabling to guide a star adventure mount

Post by W7AY » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:04 pm

>> Yesterday I directly connected the star Adventurer to asiair pro through a cable I had ordered with my
>> stellarmate to connect it to lx200 scopes.
>>
>> It worked fine without st4 cable between the guide camera and the mount.

Ah, that should solve your problem then, António.

>> I still have my ST6! 🙂 and looking forward to have my 14" permanently mounted again... And also to have better wifi signal...

Hah! Good old times, no? I only have one SBIG camera, the STF-8300 that I bought when it first came out. I still have that camera in storage -- built like a tank.

Clear skies,
Chen

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