EQMODLX - LX200 Protocol to ASCOM Emulator of Satellite Tracking

The EQMODLX is a LX200 Emulator program that accepts satellite tracking issued by a LX200 Compatible Satellite Tracking Software (http://www.heavenscape.com) and converts them to EQ custom tracking rate commands. This configuration allows you to track the satellite continuously instead of the the "Leap Frog" fashion as made available to the old nextstar protocol. 

Satellite Tracker must be configured in LX200 GPS Polar mode. This mode allows the speed of the RA and DEC stepper motors to be configured to move at a specified orbital speed allowing continuous tracking of the satellite.

COM Serial connection from the Satellite Tracker application to the EQMODLX program is made possible using a virtual serial port program called  HW Virtual Serial Port or HWVSP.

Figure 1: EQMODLX connection block diagram

LX200 guiding commands are generated from the Satellite Tracking software and then transmitted to the virtual com port software. The virtual com port software then transmits the same data to the EQMODLX via TCP and translates them to ASCOM commands

Figure 2: Screenshot of the EQMODLX application


Download the HW Group virtual serial port freeware program zip file at http://www.hw-group.com/products/hw_vsp/index_en.html Extract the zip file and install the Virtual Serial port application
Download and install EQMODLX (a self installing executable).  

Connect your modded mount to your PCs serial port via EQDIRECT module.

Execute the EQMODLX application and define the TCP port address (use 999 as default).

Make sure the port value on the EQMODLX application is the same as the IP address port value on the HW Virtual Serial Port. Currently set at  TCP Port 999.  You also need to confirm if the TCP/IP drivers of windows are installed.

* Take note, you will be handling two COM port names here; One is the "physical" which is connected directly to the EQ Mount and defined at the EQMOD ASCOM driver and the other one is "virtual"port which is connected to the Virtual COM port program. This is where you connect the EQMODLX software to get the LX200 protocol serial commands.

Click  the 'Connect' button on the EQMODLX application. At this point, EQMODLX will    start listening for LX200 commands at the local host ip address port 999 It will also invoke the ASCOM Telescope Chooser - Select EQMOD on the menu and click OK. EQMOD driver will activate at this point
 Double Click on the HW Virtual Serial Port program shortcut and define the TCP IP parameters and the Serial COM Port that you will be using the create the virtual serial port

Suggested Settings
IP Address:
Port : 999
Portname : Any unused port between COM6 to COM9

Click Create COM on the HW Virtual Serial Port. At this point HWVSP will connect to the EQMODLX listening TCP port 999. It will also create the virtual serial port COMx.
Connect your Satellite Tracker program to the "virtual" COMx created by the HWVSP program. Choose LX200GPS PROTOCOL in POLAR MODE


 Source and Executable only distributions of the latest stable release of EQMODLX are available for download at: The EQMOD Sourceforge Project