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Snorkler's astronomy-optimized Nexus 7 (Android)

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#26 tezster

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:13 AM

Jon, the Nexus 7 is a little too big to fit in a shirt pocket (it's about 4.7" wide) - what I do is hang it around my neck when not in use. I pieced together a very simple frame that the tablet can 'slide' into and attached a camera neck strap to it. Since most of my observing is done seated, it don't feel it gets in the way. If I won't be using it for an extended period, then I can keep it in my jacket pocket or on the bottom of my rocker box.

#27 Tim C

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:59 AM

One option may be to pick up a dark skies apparel observing vest. My nexus 7 is arriving today and I'm hopeful it will fit nicely into one of the pockets on my vest.

#28 snorkler

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:57 PM

Jon,

As tezster says, the Nexus 7 is too large for a shirt pocket. It fits comfortably in larger jacket and pants pockets, and it always cools down enough at my observing sites to where I need a jacket during the evening, so the N7 is a good size for me.

#29 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:23 AM

Jon,

As tezster says, the Nexus 7 is too large for a shirt pocket. It fits comfortably in larger jacket and pants pockets, and it always cools down enough at my observing sites to where I need a jacket during the evening, so the N7 is a good size for me.


Darrell and Tezstar:

Thanks, it does sound interesting. I almost always wear a jacket or coat when I am serious enough to be using charts. I may just have to take a look at one of these 7 inch Droids.

Here's another question: How well does Screendim work? I know Darrell rooted his, I would not do that. On my Phone, Screendim turns off the button illumination, on my Vizio tablet, it does not... :(

Jon

#30 snorkler

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:27 PM

Jon,

Screendim doesn't shut off the navigation button illumination on my Nexus 7. Apparently the Screendim developers know that function doesn't work on many Android devices, as they warn "This is noncompatible (sic) with all devices."

They suggest that that you may have to tap elsewhere on the screen to toggle button illumination off, but it didn't help.

#31 Spaced

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:20 PM

Here's another question: How well does Screendim work?


I used it a few weeks ago, with Sky Safari on my android phone. It works so well that, after I forgot to return it to "normal" before bed, I had to put my phone and my head under a coat in order to see the controls enough to restore light in the morning.

It can really turn things waaaay down. (It also dimmed the Sky Safari controls.)

#32 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:42 AM

Jon,

Screendim doesn't shut off the navigation button illumination on my Nexus 7. Apparently the Screendim developers know that function doesn't work on many Android devices, as they warn "This is noncompatible (sic) with all devices."

They suggest that that you may have to tap elsewhere on the screen to toggle button illumination off, but it didn't help.


Darrell:

Thanks.

That is good to know. That was one reason/justification for upgrading my current tablet but it seems the Nexus 7 suffers the same malady...

Jon

#33 snorkler

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

You're welcome, Jon. It looks like rooting and flashing the Paranoid Android 2.50+ ROM is the best way to go to avoid the white navigation bar buttons, but only 5% of users root their devices. It's a daunting task, definitely not in the cards for most users.

I figured out in Paranoid Android 2.54 if I change the notification bar button color in the settings app, not in settings > system, the red buttons will toggle on after a reboot. Ergo, I'm now running Paranoid Android 2.54.

#34 btschumy

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:34 PM

FYI:

Yesterday I figured out how to dim the white navigation buttons on Android 3.2 and above (Hurray!). They are shrunk down to barely detectable dim dots. This is the same thing the Kindle app does when its controls are hidden.

This should make the night vision mode on SkySafari much more usable (although I still think red film is the way to go in general).

The feature should appear in the next release of SkySafari.

Bill

#35 bsim

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:20 PM

Bill,

Does SkySafari for Android support hardware acceleration on the Nexus 7? If not, when do you expect this feature?

#36 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:30 PM

Yesterday I figured out how to dim the white navigation buttons on Android 3.2 and above (Hurray!). They are shrunk down to barely detectable dim dots. This is the same thing the Kindle app does when its controls are hidden.



:goodjob: :waytogo: :whee:

Jon

#37 tezster

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:26 PM

Awesome! Please update this thread (or the vendor forum) when the next version is released.

#38 snorkler

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:38 PM

That's great news for the average user, Bill. Will it always toggle the nav bar buttons dim with night mode? If so, I can choose a brighter red hue for the button and glow colors in my setup

#39 btschumy

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:41 AM

Bill,

Does SkySafari for Android support hardware acceleration on the Nexus 7? If not, when do you expect this feature?


Most of our drawing is done in OpenGL which should already mostly be handled on the GPU. Your query got me looking into what types of hardware acceleration is available. Sounds like it is hit and miss with it causing problems on some platforms. I may look more into it at some point but it is not clear it is worth the potential headaches. On modern devices we get a pretty high frame rate as it is.

#40 yaroslav_s

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:00 AM

My experience of handling with Nav bar on Nexus 7. I use combination of FullScreen Toggle V2 and Button Savior with autohide option. First install Button Savior and set is. And only after this FullScreen Toggle. As a result there is no annoying white glow from Nav bar buttons and a there is full screen.
For dimming the screen use Lux Dash - in my opinion it provides more possibilities than the other similar applications.

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#41 yaroslav_s

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:38 PM

With autohiding Nav bar

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#42 snorkler

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:29 PM

Yaroslav, thank you for your novel solution to the same problem.

N.b. Yaroslav's solution also requires a rooted device, I believe.

#43 yaroslav_s

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

Yes, device should be rooted.

#44 snorkler

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:57 PM

The recent upgrade to Android OS 4.2 has messed up a lot of things.

I can't access my flash drive using 4.2 because Stickmount and the other USB mounting apps aren't working due to 4.2 changing to a per-process mounting scheme that leaves all of the USB storage apps unable to cope with the changes.

Couple that with new Nandroid restore issues caused by a 4.2 directory emulation situation (4.2 allows multiple user accounts, but emulates their individual user directory locations while keeping their actual locations as subdirectories of users 0, 1, 2, etc.), and I'm going back to Paranoid Android based on 4.1.1.

#45 yaroslav_s

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:36 AM

Therefore I stayed at 4.1.2. Will wait until 2 things - normal work with USB storage and external 3G modems.

#46 Ctwo

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I found SkEye to be a phenomenal - take that as it is from someone last using a Palm PDA...

I'm surprised that SkySafari does not hide the nav bar or blank the nave buttons like some other apps. (MX Player when playing a video). I also seem to recall an app that would replace the nav buttons with very dim fuzzy dots.

#47 snorkler

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:19 PM

Bill from Southern Skies just posted above that he's incorporating the mini-dot nav buttons in an upcoming release of SkySafari.

#48 snorkler

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:27 AM

I thought I would update this thread with some details on how I dim my screen for night vision use. I use an app named Screen Dim, which allows me to set 2 different day brightness settings and 3 different night settings. Each setting can be a separate combination of brightness (top slider bar) and contrast (bottom slider bar), and is linked to a different icon. See the screen capture below to see the Screen Dim settings selection screen, and its minimum settings. The reason you can see them is because the demo option (see OFF button in upper left) is turned off.
Posted Image

The next screen capture shows my home screen with 3 night brightness & 1 day setting (the moon and sun icons), plus a Screen Dim cancel icon (the gear icon with the diagonal red slash) in the lower right corner.
Posted Image

#49 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:08 AM

Russell:

For sure, ScreenDim is the one. It's the work of Cloudy Nighter arpruss who sometimes posts here. He has a couple of other valuable pieces of software, LunarMap and GB Keyboard with night mode.

LunarMap comes in two forms, the light and the HD, both offer quite detailed maps of the moon. GB Keyboard with night mode provides a red keyboard for night time use.

Jon

#50 snorkler

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:31 AM

Thanks Jon,

I use arpruss' GB keyboard, too, and was aware that they're the work of the same developer. In addition to the Screen Dim customization, my ROM (Paranoid Android) also offers a wide range of screen-dimming options. Following is the first-level display settings menu (first level is Automatic backlight). When I select 'Use custom,' I get the 'Edit other levels' option. Posted Image

Next screen captures show the Paranoid Android screen brightness range.
Posted Image
Posted Image
Darrell






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