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Anyone tried SkyQ wireless from Celestron?

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#1 YetAnotherHobby

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:03 AM

This new wireless device for Celestron mounts looks great. I downloaded the iPhone app and it's quite an ambitious piece of software. I was wondering if anyone's had any real time experience controlling Celestron mounts with this device, and what to look out for? Getting rid of the HC sounds almost too good to be true!

#2 core

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

fwiw there are several threads on the SkyQ in various CN forums; that said - I have one and use it on a SE mount on occasion. Works quite well (yes you can ditch the HC and go wireless), the really sore point is the underwhelming app that it depends on - hoping that they would improve on it, but I don't expect them to - it works okay, no need to improve on it ;)

#3 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

The Skyfi virtual port for windows or the Skyfi app for apple devices?

#4 rmollise

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:56 AM

fwiw there are several threads on the SkyQ in various CN forums; that said - I have one and use it on a SE mount on occasion. Works quite well (yes you can ditch the HC and go wireless), the really sore point is the underwhelming app that it depends on - hoping that they would improve on it, but I don't expect them to - it works okay, no need to improve on it ;)


Why do you say that? The fact is that Celestron has continued working on this app--they just released another update the other day. ;)

#5 YetAnotherHobby

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:58 AM

thanks....I just saw the device listed as a 2013 Hot Product in the latest Sky & Telescope and just assumed it was "brand new". Didn't even run a search before I posted!
Based on my few minutes browsing through the iPhone app, it offers such an enormous number of features that it's unlikely they nailed everything on the first cut. It sure is pretty, and covers a lot of ground, feature-wise. The proof will be in the everyday operation. My SkyQ "dongle" should be here by the weekend....guess I'll know soon enough :grin:.

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#6 core

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:16 AM

... the really sore point is the underwhelming app that it depends on - hoping that they would improve on it, but I don't expect them to - it works okay, no need to improve on it ;)


Why do you say that? The fact is that Celestron has continued working on this app--they just released another update the other day. ;)


Call me a doubtful pessimist ;) It looks like today's "update" was to fix security setting selection bug for iOS6, no new functionality.

I'm basing my judgement on two things -

1) the sky scout device - it's actually a very nice device, but there has been no updates or additions to it - the additional SD card topics are good (imo) but they have stopped producing for it other than the initial offerings. Perhaps the SkyScout didn't sell enough to warrant further support.

2) Go the SkyQ website, or click under Extras/News in the app itself - it's suppose to give you a overall summary of what to look for in the sky this month. Tell me when they last updated it. (hint - the news starts in June 2011, and last entry was July 2012)

Anyways, a partial list of negatives with regards to the app from my perspective:

- cannot replace alignment stars, only option is to align from start
- cluttered low-res map display; the 'smart label' which is suppose to hide certain labels until you zoom in does not work. Entire screen can be crammed with labels.
- stars to mag 7+ - that's it?
- general map display needs to be polished up
- distracting background images when selecting info on objects, ruins night vision.
- no generating user list for an observing session
- app should be ***free*** (as it is) it's almost useless as a standalone app (other than the audio info), and only serves to drive sales of the SkyQ adapter ($99)

I look at it from this POV - other apps such as Skyeye, SkySafari, MobileObservatory, StarMap, etc have been written by active amateur astronomers that I would presume actually use their own products - there is continued improvements and they are mostly quite active in engaging with end users and do incorporate suggestions, etc.

I have my doubts that SkyQ is written by amateur astronomers or by those who actually use the combined product in their free time as a hobby/interest (same with the new Celestron hand controller - first time I used it it really showed that the designer did NOT have it in mind that it would be used in the dark with backlit buttons only (printed text is thin and small)).

As I mentioned, as it is (The SkyQ app) it does work well with the SkyQ adapter and does what it's suppose to - but there just so many other tweaks that would make so much more a pleasure to use for amateur astronomers, but it would be just added development cost. Any updates would be to conform to iOS updates or Celestron's mounts. I really do wish to be very wrong on this prediction though.






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