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Getting started with N.I.N.A and an EQ Mount

Learning through the firehouse has been fun and challenging at times. I love the challenge of something new, but at the same time, I’d just like to get some images and not struggle so much. I’ve decided to journal much of my learning so as the saying goes “my struggles, your gain”. This guide will hopefully help others running NINA with an EQ6R get up and running or at least avoid the same mistakes I did.

EQ Mounts and NINA EQ底座和NINA

The eq6r pro is an equatorial tracking go-to mount. When used in conjunction with NINA, Nina can be used to control the mount and integrate it with some advanced features to optimize your astrophotography sessions. This includes replacing the need to use the hand controller, plate solving for position, polar alignment for alignment and of course acting as the broker between phd2, your mount and sequencing of images.
eq6r pro是一款赤道追踪的首选坐骑。当与NINA配合使用时,Nina可用于控制支架,并将其与一些高级功能集成,以优化您的天文摄影会话。这包括取代需要使用手动控制器,板解决的立场,极性对齐,当然作为中间人之间的phd 2,你的安装和测序的图像。

This guide will walk you through getting everything up and running so you can guide, plate solve and slew with NINA. This guide should work with any of the EQ5/6/8 mounts based on the same drivers/setup.

  • Install ASCOM Tools & Required Dependencies
  • Install EQMOD Mount Driver
  • Install Platesolver (ASTAP)
  • Install ASTAP star catalog
  • Install PHD2 Guiding 安装PHD 2导向装置
  • Install NINA 安装NINA
  • Configure NINA 配置NINA
  • Configure EQMOD 配置EQMOD
  • Configure PHD2 配置PHD2

Gear in Guide 导向装置中的齿轮

Sale 销售
Sky Watcher EQ6-R – Fully Computerized GoTo German Equatorial Telescope Mount – Belt-driven, Motorized, Computerized Hand Controller with 42,900+ Celestial Object Database
Sky Watcher EQ6-R – Fully Computerized GoTo German Equatorial Telescope Mount – Belt-driven, Motorized, Computerized Hand Controller with 42,900+ Celestial Object Database
Sky Watcher EQ6—R—全计算机化后藤德国赤道望远镜支架—皮带驱动、电动、计算机化手动控制器,拥有42,900多个天体数据库
  • PRECISE ACCURATE GOTO: Computerized, motorized GoTo German equatorial telescope mount capable of accurately tracking astronomical objects for both...
  • BELT DRIVEN STEPPER MOTORS provide whisper-quiet slewing with renowned precision and accuracy while virtually eliminating Periodic Error
  • 44-POUND PAYLOAD: Beefy, all-metal construction provides 44-pound payload capacity, perfect for all but the heaviest optical tubes
  • BUILT-IN ILLUMINATED POLAR FINDERSCOPE provides quick and easy polar alignment
  • 42,000plus OBJECT DATABASE: SynScan hand controller with 42,000plus object database will keep even the most experienced astronomer busy for countless...
ZWO ASI290MM-MINI 2.1 MP CMOS Monochrome Astronomy Camera with USB 2.0 # ASI290MM-MINI
ZWO ASI290MM-MINI 2.1 MP CMOS Monochrome Astronomy Camera with USB 2.0 # ASI290MM-MINI
ZWO ASI 290 MM-MINI 2.1 MP CMOS单色天文相机,带USB 2.0 #ASI 290 MM-MINI
  • ZWO ASI290MM-Mini monochrome astronomy camera for autoguiding during astrophotography or for monochrome imaging of planets, the Moon, and Sun (with...
    ZWO ASI 290 MM-微型单色天文相机,用于天文摄影过程中的自动导航或行星、月球和太阳的单色成像(带...
  • 2.1 megapixel CMOS sensor with small 2.9-micron pixels, 1936x1096 resolution, and high QE and low noise enable detection of fainter guide stars
    2.1 200万像素CMOS传感器,2.9微米像素,1936 x1096分辨率,高QE和低噪声,可检测较暗的导航星
  • Fast USB2.0 data transfer at up to 20.4 frames per second at maximum resolution
  • Compact, lightweight, and attractive red anodized CNC aluminum body stands up to heavy field use and slides directly into 1.25” focuser of telescope...
  • Camera electronics draw power from your computer’s USB2.0 interface with Type C USB connector; All software and drivers are available from the...
ZWO ASI120MM-S 1.2 MP CMOS Monochrome Super Speed Astronomy Camera with USB 3.0# ASI120MM-S
ZWO ASI120MM-S 1.2 MP CMOS Monochrome Super Speed Astronomy Camera with USB 3.0# ASI120MM-S
ZWO ASI 120 MM-S 120万像素CMOS单色超高速天文相机带USB 3.0#ASI 120 MM-S
  • ZWO ASI120MM-S 1.2 megapixel monochrome astronomy camera for capturing monochrome images of the Moon, planets, brighter deep sky objects, and the Sun...
    ZWO ASI 120 MM-S 120万像素单色天文相机,用于拍摄月球、行星、更明亮的深空天体和太阳的单色图像。
  • Uses CMOS camera sensor with 1280x960 resolution; USB3.0 data transfer at up to 60 frames per second at maximum resolution and 254 frames per second...
    采用1280 x960分辨率的CMOS摄像头传感器; USB3.0数据传输速度最高可达每秒60帧,最高分辨率为每秒254帧。
  • Compact, lightweight, and attractive red anodized CNC aluminum body stands up to heavy field use; Connects to 1.25” telescope focusers with included...
  • Camera electronics draw power from your computer’s USB interface; All software and drivers are available from the manufacturer’s website;...
  • NOT Compatible with MacOS

Affiliate links & Product Images are from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Install ASCOM Suite 所有ASCOM套房

Before we can do anything, we must have the ascom software installed.

Nina currently supports ASCOM 6.4 SP1 “officially”. 6.5 is still too new and may not support everything that 6.4 does so it’s best to stick to 6.4 sp1 for now.
Nina目前“正式”支持ASCOM 6.4 SP1。6.5仍然太新,可能不支持6.4的所有功能,所以现在最好坚持使用6.4 sp1。

Download Link: 下载链接:


Scroll to the bottom of the page and download the AscomPlatform662.4195.exe

Install .NET 3.5/2.0 安装. NET 3.5/2.0

Before you can install ASCOM 6.4 – Make sure you have .NET 3.5 SP1 installed (or the install will fail).
在安装ASCOM 6.4之前—确保已安装. NET 3.5 SP1(否则安装将失败)。


You may have .NET 3.5sp1 installed already, it will let you know. If you are on a new PC or have pending updates, you may have to reboot after installing this update before continuing.
你可能已经安装了. NET 3.5sp1,它会让你知道。如果您使用的是新电脑或有挂起的更新,则可能需要在安装此更新后重新启动计算机,然后才能继续。

Install .net framework

I’m not sure why the .NET 3.5 SP1 download is so large when it downloads more, but whatever… .NET 2.0 is good for other astronomy tools you may use so I let this do what it does. (CCDtools and such uses really old .NET)
我不知道为什么. NET 3.5 SP1下载量如此之大,当它下载更多时,但无论如何....... NET 2.0对您可能使用的其他天文工具都很好,所以我让它做它做的事情。(CCDtools等使用非常旧的. NET)

Wait out the install and it should finish up like this

.net framework 3.5 install

Install Ascom 6.4 sp1 安装Ascom 6.4 sp1

Run “ASCOMPlatform64.exe” downloaded from previous step

Install ascom 6

Click Next 单击下一步

Ascom platform installer

Defaults work here – Click Install

Ascom platform installer

Click Finish 单击finish

Now we have the base ASCOM stuff installed. Time to install the Mount Drivers for ASCOM

Install EQMOD Mount Drivers & Software
所有EQMOD MOUNT驱动程序和软件

The most common software is EQAMOD. There is a new & upcoming Green Swamp server that looks rather good, but I don’t have enough experience with it to recommend it right now.

EQMOD EQAscom is available to download here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/eq-mod/files/EQASCOM/
EQMOD EQAscom可在此处下载:https://sourceforge.net/projects/eq-mod/files/EQASCOM/

I recommend download and installing the latest releases – which as of this post is eqascom 200q
我建议下载并安装最新的版本-这篇文章是eqascom 200 q


Download that and let’s install it!

eqmod installer

Click Next 单击下一步

eqmod installer options

Defaults work here – Click Next

eqmod install

Click Install 单击安装


If you want to read the doc or release notes, you can leave that selected. Otherwise uncheck them and click finish

Install N.I.N.A 安装N.I.N.A

Nina should set up any dependencies needed for its install. Just click next through and finish when done.

I recommend downloading and installing 1.10hf6 or newer.

Configure Com Ports in Windows

Lets open Device Manager in Windows – Easy to just start searching in the windows 10 search bar
让我们在Windows中打开设备管理器-轻松地在windows 10搜索栏中开始搜索

Windows device manager

Select your Com Port – It should show up as Prolific USB-to-Serial (COM) of some number. Right Click and Choose Properties and click over to Port Settings tab.

Configure com port

Make sure your COM port is set to 115200 bits per second, 8 data bits, parity none and flow control none. (you can leave it at 9600… but for some reason i have better reliability at 115200))

Beware of COM port changing 🙂 Just in writing this documentation my COM port has changed from 7 to 4 – My USB hub doesn’t seem to keep them consistent between uses. Even if you click on that “Advanced button” and assign a comm port – it can / does still change on you if you move things to other USB ports or swap things around. It’s annoying.


Windows 10 likes to protect your PC, which is a good thing, but the software is trust worthy so if you get a screen like this:
Windows 10喜欢保护您的PC,这是一件好事,但该软件值得信赖,所以如果您获得这样的屏幕:

Install astap windows protected pc warning

Click More Info (the underlined link)

run anway for windows protected pc astap

Then click “Run Anway” 然后点击"Run Anway"

Install ASTAP

I like to leave it at defualts – Make a note of the path there if needed as we may need to confirm this in NINA. Click Next
我喜欢把它留在defualts -如果需要的话,在那里记下路径,因为我们可能需要在NINA中确认这一点。单击下一步


Click Next 单击下一步

Create astap desktop icon

I uncheck this as i have too many icons, but i’ve left it as default for this post. Click Next


Click Install 单击安装

Launch astap

Click Next Again (lots of clicking for this small tool)

Uncheck Launch Astrometric stacking program and click Finish – we need to install a star catalog first
取消选中Launch Astrometric stacking program并单击Finish -我们需要首先安装一个星星星表

Install Star Catalog 所有星星目录

Again with Windows defender. Same process as above
再次使用Windows Defender。过程同上

PC star catalog warning

Make sure the path where you want to install it matches the astap path above (should if you didn’t change it)

Install astap star catalog

Click Next 单击下一步

ASTAP star database g18

Click install 单击安装

Wait out while it installs your catalog of choice. I chose g18 but G17 works for most people (and is a bit smaller/faster)

G18 star database install wizard

Click Finish! 单击完成!

Now we have an awesome platesolver and catalog ready to go so let’s set up NINA.

Install NINA 安娜·尼娜

Run NinaSetup 运行NinaSetup

You may get this warning again.. it’s OK – Click Run Anyway

Install NINA

Select that you agree to license agreement and click Install

NINA install options

After clicking Install the setup moves quickly!

NINA installed

You can click “Launch” and we’ll do some set up.

Once you have launched NINA you may be prompted by Windows Firewall to allow access.

Allow NINA through windows firewall

The default settings work here – Click Allow Access. NINA needs to hit the internet to download data from Nasa’s website for framing wizard and other functionality. (as well as self-updates if you enable that)

Configure NINA 配置NINA

We’ll focus on two things here – Platesolving and the EQ6r Mount Setup. Let’s make sure ASTAP is set up here:
我们将重点关注两件事-板解决和EQ 6 r安装设置。让我们确保ASTAP设置在这里:


Click Options on left main menu and then click PlateSolving on top tab

Configure NINA plate solving

Set Plate Solver to Astap

Set Blind Solver to Astap

Verify ASTAP Location is the same (should be, unless you changed it)

Set your exposure time – I use 4 seconds – works will with broadband and narrowband imaging for me. My Binning, Gain is for my specific camera. I recommend you set the Number of retries to 2 or more and set a decent delay between retries. 30 seconds may be fine, but I left it 60 seconds just to be safe. This comes in handy if you do multiple targets in a single night and want to sleep – if the platesolve fails it will get stuck if you don’t have a retry enable. Waiting out a timer often lets your mount settle or skies clear or cloud move away.

Configure EQAscom 配置EQASCOM

Open Nina. Click on Equipment and then Scope. You should see a screen like this.

Configure EQASCOM in NINA

Click the Config button there and the ASCOM set up will open up

Configure EQMOD 配置EQMOD

Configure EQMOD for NINA tracking

Make sure your COM port matches the one from Device Manager above. Set baud to 115200, Timeout to 2000 and Retry to 2. You will also want to fill out your Site Information with your lat/long/elevation.

Input your site location (or allow site writes below)

You want to make sure that your mount has the correct Latitude and Longitude. If you select allow site writes per the image below, then you can always control your location via NINA.

Allow Site writes 允许站点写入

I use this so if you move around your location in NINA, you can allow NINA to set the location into ASCOM – it will pop up a dialog box asking if you want to do this. I find it reduces the mistake of having a bad site data and just keeping it updated in one area (especially if you use a GPS device for site in NINA)

Configure EQMOD site writes

Set up Pulse Guiding (should be default)

Configure EQMOD Pulse Guiding

Connect to Mount in NINA

Before we can hit other setup options (not sure why this isn’t in the settings screen, but oh well) we need to connect to the mount and click the expand icon to open up the side page.

Click the power button once you have selected EQMOD ASCOM HEQ5/6 as your telescope
选择EQMOD ASCOM HEQ 5/6作为望远镜后,单击电源按钮

Once connected, you should see the EQMOD window pop up and take over your screen. Click the circled >>> Button to expand more options

Connect EQMOD to mount in NINA

Configure EQMOD Settings 配置EQMOD设置

Here we want to make sure we have a few settings set correctly.

  • Increase pulse guide settings for RA Rate
  • Increase pulse guide settings for DEC Rate
  • Set User Interface to Dialog based
  • Ensure your Site Information is correct
  • Configure Mount Limits 配置装载限制
Configure EQMOD settings for NINA

PHD2 Guiding Setup PHD2引导设置

Download PHD2 下载PHD2


Install PHD2 安装PHD2

Just like the other programs, you may be prompted to allow an insecure program to run on Windows. Click through and accept it per our instructions and install PHD2 with all defaults.

Configure PHD2 配置PHD2

We’ll go back into NINA and launch PHD2 by going to Guider and clicking the Power button on PHD2

Configure NINA PHD2 Guider

When you start PHD2 you should see a new profile wizard pop up.

NINA PHD2 Guide Camera Setup

I use a 290mm camera, so i selected ZWO ASI Camera from the Guide Camera dropdown and a box pops up asking if I want to configure pixel size. Click Yes.
我使用的是290mm相机,所以我从Guide Camera中选择了ZWO ASI Camera,然后弹出一个框,询问我是否要配置像素大小。取消禁用

You will want to enter your guide scope focal length here too. It’s important this is correct. For my old guide scope it was 225mm however, I switched to an OAG so I now use 545mm since my scope is currently reduced to 545mm.

NINA PHD2 Guide Camera

Click Next 单击下一步

On this next screen you should select EQMOD ASCOM HEQ5/6 as you rmount and once you do that, you’re prompted to allow it to confgure the guide speed settings automatically. Click YES.
在下一个屏幕上,您应该选择EQMOD ASCOM HEQ 5/6作为rmount,一旦您这样做,您将被提示允许它自动配置指南速度设置。取消禁用

EQMOD Ascom Guide camera setup

Now you should see the .90 speed we set up earlier – important that this matches.

EQMOD guide camera setup

Click Next 单击下一步

EQMOD guide camera setup

Click Proceed – I Do recommend you review that document – PHD2 can be complex to learn/tweak.

EQMOD guide camera setup

I don’t have AO, so click Next

EQMOD guide camera setup

Give this profile a good name, make sure Build dark library is selected and I like to use “Auto restore calibration” myself. Some will swear by calibrating every night – which I do for the most part but if i have multiple nights in a row I can leave everything set up then I like that calibration is reloaded on startup and I can just start imaging.

Click Finish 单击finish

Now the dark library wizard will pop up

Build dark library for PHD2 guide camera calibration

Make sure your guide scope is covered (cap on) or if you use an OAG, make sure your primary scope is covered. The dark library is used to help ensure good clean tracking and avoid guiding on hot pixels so I wouldn’t skip this step.

Click start and let it build a dark library

PHD2 Should start up now. I like to go enable a few things that give nice data on what is going on

Click View and select these options:

EQMOD guide camera setup

Now you will have a great status screen of what PHD2 is doing.

Calibrate PHD2 校准PHD 2

NINA has a few focus stars built in or you can connect to your mount with Stellarium or Cartes du Ciel. You want to select a star near zenith or you can use the hand controller or the EQMOD Control pad to slew near zenith.
NINA有几个内置的焦点星星,或者你可以用Stellarium或Cartes du Ciel连接到你的坐骑。你想选择一个靠近天顶的星星,或者你可以使用手控器或EQMOD控制板在天顶附近旋转。

What we want to do is:

  1. Connect to guide camera/scope
  2. Start Looping 开始循环
  3. Find Star 寻找星星
  4. Shift click the #4 to start calibrating
Calibrate PHD2

Once you start calibration PHD2 will move the mount around and calibrate itself. If you have issues here with needing more calibration – there is a more detailed setup wizard you can run. However, I would advise you spend time on PHD2’s website and learn how all of this works. This guide is just the “getting started”


Time to Image 成像时间

This guide should get you all up and running so you can guide, plate solve and track correctly with EQMOD. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below!

End of Session Shutdown 会话结束关闭

A good habit to get into is to make sure that you park the scope when done. This just makes sure that everything is homed in good.

I like to make sure everything closes and parks at end of sequence like this:

Options -> Imageing -> Sequence settings

NINA end of sequence session shutdown


I'm having difficulty plate solving with N.I.N.A.

This happens to me when my mount is confused as to its current RA/DEC. Especially if you see lots of rejections. Make sure that you have followed the instructions to set the mount to Dialog based and you can run the DxX button to clear the old alignment data and start fresh.

Why is PHD2 Guiding is inconsistent with an EQ6R Pro
为什么PHD 2指南与EQ6R Pro不一致

Be sure to calibrate with every session. Use your Planetarium software of choice to find a star at zenith (straight up). Slew to this star. Open PHD2, click stop tracking if tracking and shift-click the start tracking button. This will tell PHD2 to start calibrating
一定要在每一次训练中进行校准。使用您的天文馆软件的选择,以找到一个星星在天顶(直)。转向这个星星。打开PHD 2,如果正在跟踪,单击停止跟踪,然后按住Shift键单击开始跟踪按钮。这将告诉PHD 2开始校准

2 thoughts on “Getting started with N.I.N.A and an EQ Mount”

  1. This is really good but I am stuck on step 1 which you haven’t covered. How to connect the mount to the laptop? Does it need a cable connection?
    Cheers, Andrew

  2. Congratulations on the guide created by you, if I had discovered it earlier I would have removed many doubts and perplexities. Thank you so much for this wonderful contribution.

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