Using EQMOD with SGPro

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While SGPro can theoretically work with any ASCOM compliant mount. EQMOD, however, presents some difficulties in terms of its own internal complexities.  This section of the help file is intended to get users into a state where they can successfully use SGPro's automatic centering and flipping features with an EQMOD driven mount.


Note:  As of this writing, the only version of EQMOD currently supported by SGPro is version 1.28m.  This version of EQMOD is not officially supported by the EQMOD group (still in a beta state) and must be downloaded in the files section of the Yahoo! group (you must be a member of the group).


Note:  These screen shots and instructions are taken using the EQMOD simulator.  While your experience will likely be nearly identical, you will need to choose the appropriate "non-simulator" option in the SGPro drop-down menu.


So... here are the steps...


EQMOD setup:


Prior to connecting, select EQMOD in the SGPro telescope drop down menu and then click the "settings" button next to it (Note, do not select the simulator... we have selected here for illustrative purposes only):




First, set "SideOfPier" to "Pointing":



In the "General Options" section, ensure that "Allow Auto Meridian Flip" is not checked.



That's it for setup.  Now go ahead and connect the mount by clicking the green connect button in SGPro.  


When the EQMOD "connected" dialog appears, click the "wrench icon":



Next, clear / disable any pointing models:



Clear out any point data the mount may have collected.  To do this click the button with the red "X" on it and ensure the "Point Count" is "0".  Last, clear any "Sync Data" by clicking the "Dx" button with the "X":



Next, set the User Interface to "Dialog Based":



Now it's time to make your mount is safe, but still allows SGPro to perform a flip.  In SGPro you will be setting your "Flip When" value to some value on the west side of the meridian.  You will then need to make sure that EQMOD actually allows the mount to track that far (with some amount of error) AND also keep your gear safe (prevent it from colliding with a pier or tripod).  In order to accomplish this:


In SGPro, go to to the Control Panel, then the Telescope tab.  Click the "Set" button, next to "Use Auto Meridian Flip":



In the "Minutes Past Meridian to Flip" field, enter a low positive value (like 4 minutes for 1 degree or 8 minutes for 2 degrees past).  Once this is set, it's time to make sure EQMOD will allow the mount to track to the SGPro trigger point.  To do this, find the "Mount Limits" section, check the "Enable Limits" option, then click the "Wrench Icon".



Setting the new limits for EQMOD is a process of actually slewing the mount to the eastern and western limits (past the SGPro trigger).  You will want to temporarily disable any EQMOD limits in order to do this, then remember to re-apply them.  This video here does an excellent job of explaining how to set "extended limits" in EQMOD:


EQASCOM Video detailing modification of mount limits


It is good to watch the entire video.  That said, the part that applies to this help file starts at 3:40 (3 minutes and 40 seconds into the video).


Once you are done with this, you should be in pretty good condition to attempt your first automated meridian flip.  More information from the SGPro side is here.