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Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

Before using using PLAY software, please check your telescope is correctly set for the astrophotography session. This may change based on telescope and accessories you use so please always refer to its user manual. In the picture below you can see an example of astrophotography telescope with equatorial mount with EAGLE, ECCO, ESATTO and ARCO devices and the guide of this paragraph has been written based on this telescope. If you use a different telescope, some details of this paragraph may differ. Before starting to use your telescope, please check that it’s stable, it’s correctly powered and that cables connecting all the devices allow free movement of the telescope in all the directions.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

 

Click on the OTA section (you can click both on the OTA shape of the central image or on the OTA text in the left column). This will open a popup window where you can select the type of telescope you use, it’s diameter and focal length (in millimetres). Press the SAVE button to confirm selection.

 

 

Click on Mount to connect to your mount. Since you have an equatorially mounted telescope, select EQ type, then use the “Select Ascom Driver” window to select your mount type. Then click on the gear icon in order to show the ASCOM properties. PLEASE NOTE: in order to connect your ASCOM mount to PLAY, you have to use the latest ASCOM Platform (tested with 6.6 version and later) and your mount ASCOM drivers. Please refer to your mount user manual in order to check how to correctly use it with ASCOM platform. Your mount has to be polar aligned, in home position and correctly set for remote control with a computer. Then connect the USB cable from the mount’s handpad to your EAGLE or Windows computer.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

 

In the ASCOM properties window that opens, please set the communication port based on the way the ASCOM driver is designed to work. For example you can enter in Windows Device Manager and check what COM port number Windows creates when you plug the USB cable that connects your mount handpad to your EAGLE or Windows computer. In order to better identify it, you can also connect and disconnect the USB cable since this will update the Device Manager list. Then, if present in your ASCOM driver, please type the Latitude and Longitude values for your location and press OK button to confirm.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

 

Type your Latitude and Longitude in the proper fields and then press the Connect icon to start connection to your mount. You will see a notification to confirm that the mount connection is completed. Press SAVE button to confirm. If you want PLAY to remember your mount connection settings in order to allow you to use the CONNECT ALL feature next time you start PLAY, please select the “add to CONNECT ALL” option. Press SAVE button to confirm.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

 

If you have SESTO SENSO 2 or ESATTO focusing solutions, click on the Focuser section (you can click both on the Focuser shape of the central image or on the Focuser text in the left column). This will open a popup window where you can set the COM port number associated to your ESATTO or SESTO SENSO 2. If you don’t know what is the COM port associated to your ESATTO or SESTO SENSO 2, you can enter in Windows Device Manager and check what COM port number Windows creates when you plug the USB cable of your ESATTO or SESTO SENSO 2. In order to better identify it, you can also connect and disconnect the USB cable since this will update the Device Manager list. Then press the Connect icon in order to start the connection to your focuser. If you want PLAY to remember your focuser settings in order to allow you to use the CONNECT ALL feature next time you start PLAY, please select the “add to CONNECT ALL” option. Press SAVE button to confirm.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

 

If you also have ARCO rotator, click on the Rotator section (you can click both on the Rotator shape of the central image or on the Rotator text in the left column). This will open a popup window where you can see if the rotator is enabled. If it’s not enabled, please click on the ENABLE ROTATOR button. Then, if this is the first time you enable ARCO rotator with your ESATTO or SESTO SENSO 2, please click the CALIBRATION button. Please note: rotator calibration has to be done every time you enable/disable the ARCO rotator with your ESATTO or SESTO SENSO 2. After you enable and calibrate ARCO the first time, you can keep it enabled and there is no need to deactivate it. For the same reason, the calibration has to be done again if you mechanically rotate your ARCO in respect to your focuser.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

 

If you want to control your ASCOM camera with PLAY, click on the Camera section (you can click both on the Camera shape of the central image or on the Camera text in the left column). This will open a popup window where you can select the ASCOM camera driver (please note: in order to work, you have to have also the ASCOM Platform at least version 6.6 installed in your computer). Then press the Connect icon in order to start the connection to your camera.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

 

You will see the camera code detected, you will be able to activate cooling and set a cooling temperature. If you click the “Image directory” field (in yellow), you will be able to set where PLAY will save the captured image files. If you want PLAY to remember your camera connection settings in order to allow you to use the CONNECT ALL feature next time you start PLAY, please select the “add to CONNECT ALL” option. Press SAVE button to confirm.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

 

If you have GIOTTO smart flat field generator, click on Flat Generator section, this will open a popup window where you can set the COM port number associated to your GIOTTO. If you don’t know what is the COM port associated to your GIOTTO, you can enter in Windows Device Manager and check what COM port number Windows creates when you plug the USB cable of your GIOTTO. In order to better identify it, you can also connect and disconnect the USB cable since this will update the Device Manager list. Then press the Connect icon in order to start the connection to your flat field generator. If you want PLAY to remember your settings in order to allow you to use the CONNECT ALL feature next time you start PLAY, please select the “add to CONNECT ALL” option. Press SAVE button to confirm.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount

 

If you have ALTO telescope cover motor, click on Cover Motor section, this will open a popup window where you can set the COM port number associated to your ALTO. If you don’t know what is the COM port associated to your ALTO, you can enter in Windows Device Manager and check what COM port number Windows creates when you plug the USB cable of your ALTO. In order to better identify it, you can also connect and disconnect the USB cable since this will update the Device Manager list. Then press the Connect icon in order to start the connection to your telescope cover motor. If you want PLAY to remember your settings in order to allow you to use the CONNECT ALL feature next time you start PLAY, please select the “add to CONNECT ALL” option. Press SAVE button to confirm.

 

Configure PLAY with telescopes on equatorial mount