AstroEQ Github Repo

Anti-Virus False Positives

With the world getting less save, many AV softwares have started becoming overzealous in their detection heurisitcs. You may find that the AstroEQ config utility is detected by Microsoft Defender (here) and Norton Security (see here). These detections are false positives.

What to do?

If you are concerned the utility may have been tampered with, you can check the following:

  • Since V3.7 of the config utility (firmware version V8.11), the AstroEQ configuration utility does not require administrator permission to run. Running without admin rights helps keep your PC safer.
  • All versions of the config utility are digitally signed. If you right-click on the AstroEQ.exe file, and select "Properties", you should see a tab for "Digital Signatures". The utility is signed by "Thomas Michael Carpenter". If the signature reports as being OK, it means the utility you have downloaded has not been modified or tampered with by a malicious party.

If you are using Norton Security, all you need to do is update your virus definitions. I reported the false positive to them on 4th Aug 2018, and they confirmed the file as being safe. The latest virus definitions now mark the AstroEQ config utility as "Trusted".
Norton Trust Rating

For Microsoft Defender, you'll need to add an exemption. I have reported the false positive to them, and while their online system confirmed the file as safe, nothing seems to have happened since.

Revision History/Updates

8.20 Add LV8729 Support

  • Add support for LV8729 stepper motor driver.
    • Select DRV882x in the config utility as the stepper mode select pins are now compatible.

8.19 GS Server Support

  • Improve support for using AstroEQ with GS Server by adjusting handling of :J command

8.18 Minor Release

  • Fixes an issue with recovery mode in the AstroEQ controller in the event of an EEPROM corruption.
  • Upgrade to this firmware is optional. The update can ignored unless you have problems using the config utility.

8.17 (3.9.2) Config Utility Update

  • Correct Issue with Config Utility where some bits of configuration were not being uploaded.

8.17 Minor Release

  • Improve checking for new versions in config utility
  • Add option to select whether GPIO1 (Snap 1 pin) is open drain (on = low, off = high-z) or push-pull (on = high, off = low).

8.16 Minor Release

  • Fixes bug in which the motor running flag can be left set when reconnecting to the mount after closing EQMOD.
    • There is no easy way of detecting reconnect so AstroEQ maintained previous state.
    • Now motor status flags are cleared when the axis enable (:F) command is sent.

8.15 Minor Release

  • This release only changes the RAMPS 1.4/MKS Gen L variant of the firmware
    • Duplicates the status pin onto D11 to allow connection of LED external to enclosure.
  • No changes made to other variants.

8.14 Fixes for INDI

  • Improvements to the handling of the GVal command to allow more consistent behaviour on Linux
    • INDI handles slews slightly differently to EQMOD which meant GVal commands were issued in a different order

8.13 Release Removed

  • Release broken, so was removed

8.12 Fixes + New Features

  • Fix compatibility issue with EQMOD V2.00
    • EQMOD V2.00 uses the :Oxx command for controlling GPIO Pins (e.g. camera shutter)
    • This was causing unintentional entry into programming mode which also uses :Oxx
    • Programming mode now requires a special sequence to be entered, solving the issue
  • New Features
    • The PWM output on the HC Power port is now functional and the brightness can now be controlled through EQMOD.
    • The GPIO1 pin inside the AstroEQ can now be controlled by EQMOD as SNAP1 interface.
  • Details on using the new PWM and GPIO outputs will be formed into a tutorial at some point.

8.11 Fixes + Improvements

  • Fix major issue with Indilib.
    • The handling of the Synta :f command was wrong, resulting in incorrect status updates and issues using Indilib.
    • The issue also affects EQMOD, but that has somehow managed to work fine regardless.
  • Add TMC2100 driver support
  • Correct issue with 1/16ustep mode for DRV8825 drivers.
  • Change EEPROM structure to make it more resilient.
  • Improve configuration utility
    • No longer requests Admin rights (UAC was seeing the word “Updater” and assuming it must require admin!)
    • Slightly more stable

8.05 Bug Fix

  • Fix issue with Arduino Mega firmware.
    • The V8.4 firmware was not correctly compiling for Arduino Mega after moving to Atmel Studio
    • An issue with serial flushing which occasionally caused Config Utility to think a write failed is fixed.

8.04 Bug Fix

  • Fix issue with change to Atmel Studio.
    • Incorrect 'funsigned-chars' setting meant Synta error handling broked
    • In turn this meant that the config utility could not initialise new processor EEPROMs.

8.03 Bug Fixes to Config Utility and Firmware

  • Move AstroEQ project to Atmel Studio 7 rather than Arduino for better long term compiler support.
    • Code converted to C99 rather than C++.
  • Corrected handling of Gear Change Disable in Config utility
    • The wrong values for Go-To speeds were being calculated when gear change was disabled
  • Corrected ST-4 handling
    • The DEC axis on the ST-4 port was non functional in V8.0 due to a minor mistake in the code
  • Other minor bug fixes in hand controller handling.

8.00 Major Changes for AstroEQ8

  • Many changes have been made to the AstroEQ firmware
    • Added support for DRV8834 Low Voltage Driver boards
    • Rewrite of ST4 code for better performance
    • Added standalone mode for using the ST4 port without EQMOD
    • Optimisations to motor routines to better support higher resolution mounts
    • General tidy up of source code for better readability
    • Major rewrite of motor routines - now in C rather than assembly
    • New Acceleration/Deceleration Routines - provides a much smoother, linear ramp
    • Option to disable “Gear Change” when performing high speed movements
  • Improvements have been made to the configuration utility
    • Reduced the window size of the Config Utility to now work with a minimum screen size of 800×600
    • Add ability to tab between fields on the config screen
    • Add ability to paste from clipboard into config fields, and copy contents of fields to clipboard
    • Fixed bug preventing Config Utility loading on some PCs

7.5.x (Beta) Major Changes to Config Utility and Firmware

  • This version was released as a Beta on the AstroEQ forum.
  • This has since been renamed to V8.0.0(beta) due to the magnitude of the firmware changes, and non-backwards compatibility with the V7.x firmware.

7.4. Configuration Utility Updates

  • Minor update to the firmware to allow new changes in configuration utility.
  • The configuration utility now allows more configurations that previously resulted in an IVal too small error
    • Be aware that a small IVal while increasing resolution means that fewer accurate speeds can be achieved
    • The IVal is tuned to get the most accurate sidereal speed possible, but higher speeds will suffer
  • Added a 'Test Configuration' option. This allows configurations to be tested without hardware
    • Basically it jumps to the config screen to allow entry of values without the need for hardware

7.3. Major Changes For AstroEQ7

  • AstroEQ now allows for 6 different step modes to be selected.
  • EEPROM configuration has been merged into the main firmware, meaning the firmware doesn't have to be re-uploaded twice each time the configuration is to be changed.
  • Minor bug that axis stop if requested speed is too high has been fixed.
  • Configuration Utility has been revamped to make configuration easier - including the ability to save and recall previous configurations.
  • Configuration Utility on Linux no longer requires to be run from a Terminal. It can no be run as any standard application.
  • Legacy Hardware designs have been brought up to date and are no longer considered legacy. If you are using an Arduino Mega, please refer to the updated file here: here.

7.2. Testing Version Not Publically Released

7.1. Testing Version Not Publically Released

7.0. Pre-Release of AstroEQ7

  • AstroEQ now uses 1/4 and 1/32 step mode for improved accuracy.
  • Change only affects DRV8825 Driver Boards.
  • If you have legacy hardware, please see here.

6.8. Optimisation of Comms

  • More optimised code for Serial Communications.
  • Reduces command response time for more reliable Guiding.

6.7. Acceleration delay reduced at low speed

  • For speed < 2X Sidereal, the mount will start directly at that speed
  • Reduced starting time of mount
  • Support for PHD Guiding through EQMOD completed.

6.6. Testing Version Not Publically Released (PHD Support Added)

6.5. Completely Rewritten Ac/Deceleration Routines

  • New & improved acceleration and deceleration routines
  • Correct Behaviour when reversing direction - slow to a stop, then accelerate.
  • Much more linear profile.

6.4. Testing Version Not Publically Released

6.3. Deceleration Routines Bugfix

  • Fixes a glitch which causes the mount to not decelerate under EQMOD Rate Limiting

6.2. Added ability to change Goto Speed

  • The Goto Speed used for each axis can be set using the Configuration Utility
  • Set as a user defined multiple of the sidereal rate.

6.1. Added ST4 Support

  • Software now supports ST4
  • Refer to the file in the Downloads folder for how to add a guide port.

6.0. Major Software Rewrite

  • Completely rewritten motor control routines
  • Changed the way values are calculated for increased accuracy
  • Added configuration utility to make calculations easier - no more need for Excel.

5.2. Software Patch + Alternative hardware possibility

  • Added the ability for the speed at which goto's move the mount has been added
  • Added support for using the Pololu A4983 Breakout Board, rather than the DRV8824 for ease of DIY.

5.1. Software Patch

  • Added support for mounts which have a different gear ratio on each axis.

5.0. Redesign of Hardware and software

  • Improved tracking rate calculation to account for rounding errors
  • Using hardware to send steps to drivers, which reduces unwanted delays (improves accuracy of step rate)
  • Added a High Torque mode, which allows for increased torque at high speeds by silently switching to half stepping.

pre5.0. No Revision history from older versions.