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I have a CGE mount, Starlight Xpress H9C camera with SXV Autoguider. I have Maxim DL (latest version) and run SkyX Serious.
I am having issues with the telescope and camera connection. It seems like the only way it will work is through ASCOM. And even then it's a little questionable with the Autoguider.
Does anyone have any options/opinions on drivers for these items? What's the best set-up to make sure things are running smoothly?
I have mainly had issues guiding and getting the cameras to be recongnized in Maxim.
Does SkyX have full ASCOM support? I use Sky6, which does not - it requires custom drivers. What kind of issues are you seeing?
The only advice I can offer now is that I gave up on using Maxim DL for autoguiding and went back to PHD. I know, after paying hundreds of dollars for software you want it to solve all your problems, but it was well worth the money for image acquisition and processing. My biggest issue with MDL autoguiding was that it was slower and completely stopped while the main camera was downloading each frame.
Congrats on the new setup - it sounds great. You don't have to "explain" that the CGE is not the "pro" model. The CGE was a great mount that was discontinued mainly so they could split the market into segments served by the CGEM for the low end and CGE Pro at the high end. Both of them are more modernized, but I don't think either performs any better than the CGE.
Honestly, I'm terrible when it comes to drivers. I get very easily mixed up. I can't even answer if SkyX has full ASCOM support...but I think so.
Ha, I don't know why I feel the urge to explain that's it's not the pro model. I guess I just don't trust that people will know I didn't just get lazy and not type out "pro".
I have had a lot of trouble with PHD. It just bogs down and won't continue to work on my computer. I was using Nebulosity at the time and just gave it all up. I have not had a lot of opportunity to use Maxim to the fullest...so I am hoping it won't give me the same errors.
I just know some people don't like ASCOM and I don't know why. I am curious what the ASCOM issues might be.
The concept of ASCOM is wonderful - a neat way to make all kinds of astro gear work with 3rd party software. It is a bit awkward that you have to install the platform, but I think that makes it much easier to create drivers for individual devices. Perhaps the greatest weakness is that it is all volunteer effort, so it's difficult to maintain a unified vision of how things should work.
Anyway, you should try Maxim's autoguiding - it might work great for you. In my experience, you need either a very good mount or a camera with very fast download. Otherwise, it will get so far off during the download (i.e., from the imaging camera) that you waste half the night waiting for it to lock on again. And I had problems getting Maxim to properly wait for guiding to settle. It just seemed too anxious to start the next exposure, so it would start while guiding was still making large corrections, thus ruining the exposure. That was when I was using an Atlas mount. It would probably work much better with the Mach1, but I haven't tried it.
I guess the best way is to play around with different set ups. My problem with drivers is that you never know which one actually helped. I mean, some you know you need.
However, with the Starlight Xpress, it's not very straight forward which driver to download and what files to store with in the driver folder (like the .inf files). It took me a long time to figure that one out initially. Luckily Starlight Xpress has updated their website and it's a "little" easier to follow now.
Plus I switched from Windows XP to 7 and that was a whole other can of worms. My issues there were with the serial converter on the CGEM and I will have the same issues on the CGE. Finding a Windows 7 driver for that serial adapter is not easy. I haven't checked in a few months, but it seemed like ASCOM was the only thing that made the scope talk to the computer in that case. I am not even sure if i need a serial adapter driver. But somehow it worked.
I decided to try this out:
I was surfing the web for some configuration issues about my CGEM and SkyX on polar alignment. I came across you post. We have a similar setup, so it might be worth sharing ideas/tips etc. I live in Salt Lake as well. I have a CGEM 1100, with the Starlight Xpress H9C and the M26c, Hyperstar, MaxIm DL, SkyX, Orion Starshooter for guiding, and a DFK 41 for planetary viewing.
I had issues with my CGEM using PHD, which seemed to go away when I used Maxim DL for both. Perhaps I was doing something wrong.
After freezing last winter, I've been working on controlling things from inside. I did purchase an Icron Ranger 2204.