Computer Hardware

The EQMOD driver itself does not require a high-powered computer. On the other hand, you will typically be running one or more other programs (notably a planetarium program) that will require a computer with more memory and processing power. A low-end computer that works satisfactorily has the following specifications:

  • memory typically 512Mb minimum
  • CPU (if they work with Windows 98 they'd be OK. This means just about any modern CPU)
  • an on-board RS232 serial port or an adapter that uses a USB port.
  • For imaging, additional ports will be needed for focus controllers, guide camera, image camera
  • disk drive (the size of the drive has no impact on the use of EQMOD)
  • a mouse is essential but you really should also have a game controller/joy stick &/or a second 3-button mouse or a numeric USB keypad

A computer with Windows XP SP2 with 512MB main memory and P4 1.6Mhz CPU is known to work satisfactorily. Other users are now starting to use Vista and Win 7(usually requires more memory). Currently there is no specific support for Linux. However, some users have experimented with versions of WINE.

Mount Hardware

The EQMOD driver allows direct control of Synta mounts such as EQG, EQ-6, EQ-5, Sirius, and upgraded older Atlas mounts sold by Orion USA or SkywatcherOrion/SkyWatcher. It provides software that provides extensive features controlled by a computer. The computer controls the mount from a RS232 serial port or USB port.

The most common alternative is to replace the use of the hand controller with a small module such as:
EQDIR (from Shoestring Astronomy: Shoestring Astronomy). This module is used with a straight through serial cable from the serial port on your computer to the DB9 connector on the mount.
Other Sources:
Xagyl Communications who have a USB and an RS232 version.
First Light Optics

You could also modify your hand controller. Details or modification of the hand controller can be found here although using one of the commercial modules is typically the most common way to go.:


For those wishing to build their own interface, the details can be found here:


These devices convert signals to TTL levels required to communicate directly with the motor controller board in the mount.

Caution: Never try connecting the computer ports to the mount without the appropriate adapter.

/home/welshdra/public_html/eqmod/data/pages/hardware.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/21 15:34 by jon
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