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Wireless Telescope Control for Celestron (and Compatible) Scopes
May 28 2016  Wireless control of telescopes is quite handy as it frees the observer from being tethered to the scope mount by a wire. In fact it is clear that this is the wave of the future. Astronomy equipment tends to lag behind the technology curve—Celestron’s hand controllers are about 20 years out of date in terms of display, wireless capability, and other areas. (Vixen’s StarBook controllers are an example of a more modern design but they are not wireless). Fortunately it is possible to not only add wireless capability, but do so with equipment that most astronomers already have (smartphones, tablets) and that can handle observing lists, display planetarium views, give detailed information on objects observed, and even in some cases speak object descriptions. In this review I want to compare briefly the two major ways to implement wireless control of Celestron telescopes: (1) WiFi, using the Celestron SkyPortal (#93973) and (2) Bluetooth, using a serial Bluetooth adapter.

Articles 663 articles

An OFLI Chronicle: “Out There” Dark Sky Trips in 2014 and 2015
May 27 2016  In addition to more or less regular, weather permitting, observing sessions at Dan Parker’s Sonoma farm, and occasional public outreach, the club undertakes one or two dark sky camping trips a year.  In addition to dark skies and astronomy, these quests also feature daytime activities well outside the day-to-day for most of us. 

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Nov 23 2006  

What's Up . . . 89 articles

My telescopes—Part 2
Nov 24 2014  

This is the 100th article I have written under the name “What’s Up” for Cloudy Nights and I am now going to call a halt.  It has been fun and I thank all the folks who have sent me messages saying that they enjoy my writing. 

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Small Wonders 32 articles

Apr 05 2011  

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This Month 141 articles

June 2016 Skies
Jun 11 2016  

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Summer Solstice, Planet Plotting, June Moon

Focus Constellations: Lynx, Camelopardalis, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Bootes, Hercules, Lyra, Cygnus, Aquila, Ophiuchus, Libra, Virgo, Coma Berenices, Leo, Cancer

Mike's Corner 6 articles

May 05 2011  

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Uncle Rod's Astro Blog 28 articles

Apr 19 2009  

Fishing for Photons 10 articles

Jul 01 2012  

Binocular Universe 75 articles

Binocular Universe: So Long, and Thanks for the Fish
May 28 2016  First its claws rise above our southeastern horizon. Then comes its brilliant red heart. Finally the hook-shaped tail makes an appearance. Scorpius, the Scorpion, is one of the most recognizable constellations in the entire sky. Within its borders is a bountiful selection of beautiful deep-sky objects strewn across some of the finest heavenly star fields. One of my favorite ways to spend a warm, clear summer evening is to simply sit back and casually scan the Scorpion's crooked body from head to toe. Along the way are many elegant asterisms, clusters and nebulae which provide hours of fascinating sky watching.

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