MaximDL TheSkyX and EQMOD

Well last night was the first attempt at using the Starlight Xpress camera – and it was predictably frustrating. First off – the sky was not clear by any stretch of the imagination – but I figured it would be best to get some practice in anyway. In the end though I spent the night fighting software rather than the camera and came across a couple of gotchas that I thoguht I would share in case anybody else cmoes across them.

My chosen setup consists of the following components:

MaximDL – to automate the image capture, auto guiding and Plate Solving

TheSkyX – Planetarium software to visualise the night sky , and select targets.

EQMOD – Software layer that provides the interface to my Skywatcher NEQ6 mount.

The SkyX and EQMOD have been happily talking to each other for a couple of months – but now it was time to bring MaximDL into the mix. It seems there are two options: TheSky and MaximDL can talk to EQMOD independently of each other, or MaximDL can communicate to TheSkyX which in turn sends messages to EQMOD. I prefer the second approach to allow for greater integration between image capture and planetarium.

A bit of googling revealed I needed to download the ASCOM “TheSKy Controlled Telescope”  driver.  This allows TheSky controlled telescope to be selected in the MaximDL Observatory View Setup tab.

However attempting to connect the telescope resulted in the following error:

automation error: library not found

This had me stuck for the night – with the interweb sparse of solutions. I had however managed to isolate the problem to TheSky as opposed to MaximDL. I managed to resolve the issue the following day by: Downloading the Latest Update of TheSkyX.


The next issue was making the Maxim Autoguider connect to the mount. Using “The Sky Controlled” telescope option only resulted in a Failed to activate guider relays message. The only way I could make it work was to connect the guide to the mount via  the ASCOM EQMOD option.

Not sure if this is a bug or by design. But after these intial problems everything seems to be functioning well.





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