I am considering an investment in the ZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive equatorial mount. ZWO provides an ASCOM driver for the mount, but is there anyone who has actually tried it together with SGP? I am currently using an EQ6R equatorial mount via EQMOD and am very satisfied with how I can handle this mount from SGP. Hence, I do not want to downgrade the mount control capabilities if I switch to a ZWO mount.
There is an ASCOM driver available for the AM5 so it should in theory work. I have not personally used this mount but I’m sure others have.
Hi, did you purchase an AM5? I am a new AM5 user but have been using SGP for years on other mounts. Right now it seems that SGP can connect to the mount using the current ASCOM driver (V6.5.22) but there are issues that have prevented auto meridian flip and home (not park) the mount at the end of the sequence.
Meridian flip in SGP just doesn’t work even with the mount configured to continue tracking up to 15 degrees past the meridian - the mount just ignores SGP and carries on until it hit the configured limit and tracking stop. It just sits there until I issue a manual goto. I then tried NINA to see and the flip works as configured. I lost a night trying to figure this out and there are no errors or other indicators in the SGP or AM5 logs so I just gave up.
The AM5 has a Park and Home position. Home is the more traditional position with the scope pointing North. Park sets the scope horizonal facing West. In SGP you can just have Park and so the scope is set to an unexpected position. Again NINA seems to handle this and you can choose either Home or Park positions.
So right now I have to ditch SGP and learn NINA (which I am not enjoying) until I can figure out how to address these issues. We don’t get may clear nights here so I cant afford to troubleshoot.
I have an AM5…though sadly it has not seen outside as of yet. I’ll run through some tests indoors and see what happens. You can do the majority of this testing inside. You will just need to disable the auto center behavior.
I personally know a handful of users are using the AM5 with SGP so I’m guessing this is mostly a configuration issue somewhere in the chain.
Thanks for the information RobA, and no, I have still not bought an AM5 mount. Waiting for enough funds to materialize and also for the types of reports you have given, since I want to stay with SGP which I am now pretty familiar with after having used it for several years.
All the best,
Thanks for the update Jared. I am still waiting for the funds to buy the mount :-), but it would be nice to know how well it works with SGP. Thanks for all your efforts!
I haven’t been able to duplicate this. My guess is that the mount didn’t think you were past the meridian but SGP did. Then you switched to NINA and with the additional time passing the mount had time to go through the meridian. It’s probably worth checking the Date/Time/Location in your mount to make sure it’s all set correctly.
This is honestly the first mount that I’ve seen that doesn’t allow you to set the Park position. Sounds like there’s been some discussion of this on ZWO’s support forum as well. Generally you can define where you want to set this position (this is why SGP has a “set park” button on the telescope tab). I’ll see about adding the option to select Home or Park … but ideally this is addressed in the driver. There are lots of situations where you’d want to have a Park position outside of those 2 hard coded options.
Thanks for replying Jared. I spent more time looking at the flip issue and realised that I had the wrong version of the ASCOM driver and with the 32bit version the flip works fine i SGP.
It would be good to offer an option to “home” or “park” the mount at the end of a sequence. NINA does seem to offer both options in their sequencer. I’d use home to take flats and then park at the end to shutdown and teardown. I may well be in the minority though.
Hi, I’m using the AM5 and it is perfectly compatible with SGP, including meridian flip.
I use Ascom Platform 6.6SP2 and related ZWO drivers and SGP 64bit.