One beginner's guide to getting EXOS2/PMC8 fully operational with ASCOM, Stellarium, SharpCap, ASPS, and ASCOMPAD

Alex Arjomand

Hi everyone,

Over the last 1-2 years, I have slowly been learning to use my EXOS-2 PMC8 system. At the outset I was completely new to this, and entirely new to equatorial mounts (having come from an ALT-AZ visual background). Social isolation finally gave me the time I needed to dedicate to this project, and I have finally gotten to a completely working system. I have learned so much along the way, and learned so many things from you via this forum - how to set up the mount, how to polar align, connect to various software via ASCOM, how to drive the scope via Stellarium, how to plate solve, and so much more. I am now in a place where I can easily and reliably observe (primarily via EAA for the time being; astrophotography is at least a year or two down the road for me). 

I am so grateful to all of you on this forum, and to Jerry & Explore Scientific in particular. I feel as though I've learned so much; and have accomplished more astronomy in the last three months than I managed in the last ten years. Sincere and profound thanks to you all.

Along the way, I have been documenting the steps I followed to get my system fully operational, in case it may be useful to any other beginners out there. The document linked below attempts to show everything that a new user might need to do to set up their EXOS2 PMC8 and get it working via wired ASCOM with Stellarium / ASCOMPAD / SharpCap Pro / ASPS. I know this is just one possible stack out of many - it's just the one I stumbled on in following your collective advice.

Mounts: ES EXOS2 PMC-8
Scopes: Celestron C8, 10" Antares Dobsonian
Software: ASCOM, Stellarium, SharpCap Pro, ASPS, Ascompad
Computer: Lenovo X1 Carbon, Windows 10/64
Cameras: ZWO ASI385MC
Location: Toronto, Canada (Bortle 8)

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