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Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek

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#1 Peter D.

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:53 PM

I just installed SkiFi (same as Orion StarSeek) and I'm controlling my CG5-GT via SkySafari on my iPod Touch. That works GREAT , but I'm also wondering if it's possible to guide through that path too. I'm currently guiding with PHD through GPUSB, and I figured if I could go through SkyFi that would be one less cable to contend with. I imagine that it might work via PHD's ASCOM interface, but I have no experience with ASCOM at all. I also like to investigate controlling the CG5 through planetarium software running on my laptop, since while the iPod works great its battery runs down quickly and the bigger laptop screen would be nice to have (I also run Cartes du Ciel and Nebulosity on the laptop).

I tried to install the ASCOM drivers for PHD and Cartes du Ciel, but that didn't seem to work. The laptop can connect to the SkiFi network, but nothing seems to happen. Note; I should mention that while I'm a pretty good analog engineer, computers and digital networks continually cause me grief.

My imaging and guiding cameras are currently connected to my laptop through USB cables; can these go through SkyFi too (it has a USB port), or is that asking too much? It would be REALLY NICE to have a completely wireless interface!

Any help and/or comments would be greatly appreciated!

Pete

#2 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 12:12 AM

I don't know if this will work with the skyfi but you will need some sort of IP to serial emulation software.. There is software that will create a virtual com port to IP addresses. The WiiSnap is a wireless serial device that uses IP to serial emulation.. I have a skyfi but I have never tried it. I also have a wiisnap and it works well with theskyx but I have never tried to guide with it...

#3 Mkofski

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:07 PM

Do you have Mac or Windows laptop? Other software can make use of the SkyFi connection.

#4 Peter D.

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:59 PM

My laptop is a Dell Inspiron N5110 that I bought in March of this year. The operating system is Windows 7. I have successfully used PHD, Nebulosity and Envisage, all using the USB ports (there are 3) on the laptop for connection to my cameras. There is no RS232 serial port. I can run Cartes du Ciel, but it will not connect to the telescope.

#5 rmollise

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:09 PM

No. You can't guide with SkySafari. You will need a guiding program like PHD or similar running on a PC. Or you can get a standalone guide camera and eliminate the computer altogether.

#6 Peter D.

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:51 AM

No. You can't guide with SkySafari. You will need a guiding program like PHD or similar running on a PC. Or you can get a standalone guide camera and eliminate the computer altogether.

I'm not trying to use SkySafari for guiding; only for aiming and GoTo control. I'm using PHD for guiding and it works fine when hard-wired to my DSI and my Shoestring ST-4 interface. I'm just wondering if it's possible to do the interface wirelessly through the SkyFi port; since my laptop can "see" the SkiFi network it might work.

I've considered the Celestron standalone guide camera, but since it's an additional expense and PHD works great for me now (except for the wires) I'll stick with it. With PHD you can see everything it's doing (guiding graphs, guide commands, S/N, etc), but I doubt that's true for the standalone guider.

I believe that while it could be possible to configure PHD to work wirelessly, it could require additional driver software. I'm looking for help in that area, but it may be that the wireless technology is so new there may be nobody on these forums that has any experience. If it were only an electrical issue I'd jump into it myself, but I hate messing with software :question: (I'm barely capable of installing commercial software as it is :bawling:).

#7 rmollise

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:59 AM

No. You can't guide with SkySafari. You will need a guiding program like PHD or similar running on a PC. Or you can get a standalone guide camera and eliminate the computer altogether.

I'm not trying to use SkySafari for guiding; only for aiming and GoTo control. I'm using PHD for guiding and it works fine when hard-wired to my DSI and my Shoestring ST-4 interface. I'm just wondering if it's possible to do the interface wirelessly through the SkyFi port; since my laptop can "see" the SkiFi network it might work.

I've considered the Celestron standalone guide camera, but since it's an additional expense and PHD works great for me now (except for the wires) I'll stick with it. With PHD you can see everything it's doing (guiding graphs, guide commands, S/N, etc), but I doubt that's true for the standalone guider.

I believe that while it could be possible to configure PHD to work wirelessly, it could require additional driver software. I'm looking for help in that area, but it may be that the wireless technology is so new there may be nobody on these forums that has any experience. If it were only an electrical issue I'd jump into it myself, but I hate messing with software :question: (I'm barely capable of installing commercial software as it is :bawling:).


OK...the title of your post says "guiding." Anyhoo, I don't believe there is a way to do what you want.

#8 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:18 AM

Ya might wanna ask the folks at Southern Stars about this. I don't believe you can guide, image, and do GoTos through SkiFi. The issue I see is with iOS. iOS is not compatible with any Windows, OSX, or Linux/Unix operating system software applications like PHD, Envisage, Nebulosity, etc. and as a consequence, iOS is also not compatible with any hardware that relies on any of the aforementioned PC/Laptop OS's driver models.

And, just so you know, the folks at Southern Stars have no intentions of ever developing a Windows version of Sky Safari or Satellite Safari, so using a Windows based PC with a SkiFi is out of the question.

However, if you want a completely wireless setup that will let you control your mount and camera(s) you can use Ultra VNC and use a remote PC or laptop to control a laptop that is connected to your mount and cameras. The only caveat is the laptop at your mount and your controlling PC/laptop must be in range of, and/or physically connected to a wireless router.

I've tested uVNC with my gear. I have full remote control of my LXD75 through a laptop connected to the mount and cameras. I can run Autostar Suite for GoTos and I can run Envisage to control a DSIc guide camera and a DSI Pro imager.

#9 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:59 AM

Or you can get a standalone guide camera and eliminate the computer altogether.


In theory that is. :(






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