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CGEM and OSX

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#1 thyrymn

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 06:03 PM

How the heck do I control my cgem from a mac osx? I have found software that would supposedly work, but the cabling seems to be a problem. I have no serial port and Celestron has basically told me I am out of luck.

#2 QueueCT

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 06:13 PM

I control autoguiding on a CGEM from a Mac using the Shoestring Astronomy GPUSB product and PHD. You can definitely get the signal from a USB port to the CGEM. Not sure of which planetarium program will work with this set up though. Perhaps someone else can chime in on that front.

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#3 Taylor

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:07 PM

I have Starry Night Pro Plus which advertises compatibility with the Blue Star bluetooth adapter, but I'm not about to go out and spend $110 on a bluetooth adapter just for this purpose.

I run VMWare Fusion with XP Pro SP3 and my choice of planetarium is The Sky 6 Pro, but you can pick any planetarium as most Windows programs will run the CGEM.

Currently our OS X options are rather limited unfortunately.

Equinox 6 apparently can run a Nexstar based 'scope, I have yet to attempt this. You need an OS X compatible USB to serial port adapter, Belkin has a good one that works with everything.
I have Equinox 6 software on my Macbook Pro, although I prefer to run TheSky 6 in my virtual machine, it has more options and seems a little bit better put together.

TheSkyX Serious is supposed to run 'scopes natively in OS X, although I have not seen any reviews on the program as it has only been out a few months. I'm hesitant on this one as Bisque wants $150 retail + $30 a year after that. No thanks, I'll just keep running TheSky 6.

#4 thyrymn

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:46 PM

What cable setup are you using for the vmware fusion setup?

#5 Craig

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:58 PM

I think Voyager 4.5 will do it -- I use that myself but don't have a CGEM.

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#6 Taylor

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 12:22 AM

I use a USB to serial cable I bought off eBay. It only works under Windows, there isn't an OS X driver for it.
Then I plug in the basic Celestron serial to mount cable.

#7 mewmartigan

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 12:26 PM

I use a Mac with StarryNight and PHD with my Atlas EQ-G. To be perfectly honest, as Taylor said, OSX is kind of limited in this respect and it can be harder to find support when things go "quirky". It might save you the headache if you use boot camp and install XP. This is what I did and when it's astronomy time i just re-boot the computer to XP.

#8 rmollise

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 05:45 PM

How the heck do I control my cgem from a mac osx? I have found software that would supposedly work, but the cabling seems to be a problem. I have no serial port and Celestron has basically told me I am out of luck.


I ain't a Mac kind of guy...but don't y'all use USB - serial adapters just like us pore benighted PC folks?

If so, that is yore answer. That, the standard serial cable for the scope, and an Apple-flavored app like Voyager or Starry Night and you are home free.

#9 Patrick

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:35 PM

I have found software that would supposedly work, but the cabling seems to be a problem. I have no serial port and Celestron has basically told me I am out of luck.



Oh brother...you got hold of someone at Celestron who gave you some bad info (or incomplete info). Like Uncle Rod said, you need a USB to Serial adapter. I did a quick google search and came across quite a few that support OSX.

After that, you need this Navigation Cable which plugs into the serial end of the USB to serial adapter. The other end of the Navigation Cable plugs into the bottom of the hand controller.

After that you just need the software on your computer that will run Nexstar mounts. You can find more info on all this at the Nexstar Resource Site. 'Nexstar' is Celestrons name for its hand controller software. Hope this helps!

Patrick

#10 Taylor

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 11:26 PM

Basically get any USB to serial adapter based on the the PL2303 controller chip, it is compatible with OS X.
You can get these on eBay for like $12 shipped and there is a readily available OS X driver for it.

After that head over to ScopeStuff and get a Celestron serial cable for cheap and you're all set for ~$25.

Voyager 4.5 looks like the best option under OS X to me. I've used Equinox 6 and Starry Night Pro Plus and neither are my favorite, which is why I keep going back to VMWare and TheSky6. But if you insist on the OS X environment give Voyager a shot.

#11 Alex Ranous

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 01:37 PM

I'm using The SkyX Serious Astronomer to control my MI-250 (Gemini based) just fine. I'm using some generic USB/serial adapter (uses PL2302 controller). I'm using PHD to guide with a starfish guider, which has the autoguiding connection directly to the mount so I don't have to bother with the shoestring adapter.






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