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SkyQ, Ap, Ipad Users Experience Wanted

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#26 Never2Busy4You

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 11:47 AM

I have used my SkyQ adapter and App on an IPad without any Internet access available. Also, using them, you don't need to use the Hand Controller at all, eveything can be done from the IPad, IPhone, or IPod Touch. I am happy with the system, but I have only used it a few times so far so I am learning as I go, I would really like to try it on an IPod Touch since they are so small, however being so small, I don't know how practicle it would be to use, an IPhone might be the perfect size, match for my enjoyment, but I don't have one as of yet. Anyway, the setup works as described by Celestron, although some of the instructional wording could be done/written out a bit better for anyone who is not tech savvy.
I like the setup because it only contains the small plugin adapter and then whichever 1 of the 3 devices you choose to run the app on. As the old adage says, Keep It Simple Smartee! :grin:
Best of luck with whatever you choose,
Jeffrey G.

#27 moondog

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 12:16 PM

Thanks Jeffrey. Yes, I'm really leaning that direction. I need it to be simple, so as not to distract from the main purpose of just enjoying astronomy. I'm a city dweller, so every chance I get to do astronomy is a commitment involving travel, set-up and repacking stuff up again. Anything that streamlines that process makes it better for me. So why skyQ then? I just hate that damn hand controller!

#28 Monadnock

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 10:37 PM

Just to confirm the PnP compatibility of the RN 270....

I just received the male version today. I installed the batteries, unpaired the female version from both my phone and tablet, paired the new male version on both devices, switched the Bluetooth device selection under "settings" in the Skysafari app on both devices and successfully connected the scope to the app. It's that simple.

To add my thoughts on Jeffreys comments regarding the control device, I'll say that while it's extremely convenient to use my phone, its VASTLY easier to use the app with the tablet. While my Razr has a fairly large screen for a phone, the tablet's screen size advantage is immediately obvious.

Whichever app you chose, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

#29 moondog

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:08 PM

Well, I bit the bullet, and bought an ipad mini, a SkyQ link, and the SkyQ app. Here is an initial follow-up to the thread that I started: (plus means good, minus means bad)
The ipad mini I bought is has a wireless network chip, although I am not at this time subscribed to a phone service or data plan. (+) So equipped, the ipad is able to tell my location and coordinates via the "assisted GPS" function. (+) The app allows you to manually enter you coordinates, so if you have a wi-fi only device, I think this app will still work for you.
(+)Using the app as a simple planisphere is a treat, being able to raise it up, and point it around is very intuitive. (-)If you walk around with it for a while, it seems to get confused where north is, and you have to reboot the app. (-) the red night vision mode still has too many annoying white buttons and text. A caution to those wanting to use this app on an iphone; I find that I have to use reading glasses to use the app, even with the settings set to "larger labels" so, I think a smaller iphone screen would mean constant zooming. (+) There is a moon map, however, (-)I can't figure out how to zoom in on it, or even if I can. Also,(-) there should be a way to mirror image the map, as obviously, a true orientation map is kind of useless for a Newtonian user.
I have not had a good opportunity to set up my CPC-800 outdoors and test the kit as a system, but I have done an indoor "false alignment" to try things out. (+) the wireless link worked OK, although a few times I seemed to lose the connection. (-)The alignment method is three-star only, with no option to reselect an alignment star. (-) Why would Celestron not give the same alignment options available with the HC? (-) the biggest headache I had comes with alignment. Once you select an alignment star, four faint red arrows appear on the screen, which are to enable you to center the object. When I try to pick the arrows, at least 75% of the time, all that happens is the sky chart moves around and changes scale instead. I finally resorted to plugging in the HC to aid with alignment. At first this seemed like it was working, but then this seemed to confuse the software, and my HC flashed a message saying it didn't recognize my scope. All in all, I think the false alignment confused the system (because I tried to test the centering buttons, and moved off of the alignment stars theoretical positions) so when I tried to go back to one of my alignment stars, the motors made a weird noise, then the scope wildly shot off in a random direction. At that point, I turned off the app, and tried the HC again. Now it doesn't recognize my scope... After turning it on and off a few times, I finally got "CPC ready". I hope there is no damage.
I found no useful help within the app, or Celestron.com (except some FAQ's), or any user's manual. All of these would beat a strictly trial and error learning methodology.
So, my initial indoor test was uninspiring, but I'm not going to kick and scream until I get the whole kit outside for a better test drive. Will follow up.
moondog

#30 moondog

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 11:22 PM

I set up the entire kit tonight outside for a true test. The alignment process is a complete pain in the arse, thanks to the direction arrow issue described in the previous post. I spent a good 1/2 hour trying to get the stars centered because the app doesn't know I'm trying to tap the red arrows! This would have to be a simple fix in the app. (for a programmer). The app knows you are trying to center the named star - so it should just switch to telescope control mode until you say "enter". When it's in telescope control mode, the star map background disappears so you can actually pick the stupid arrows, which would have the additional benefit of not having to take your eye away from the eyepiece as much. And by the way, if you take too long centering the star, it makes you punt and reselect the star. After all that, it missed the moon by a good 10 degrees! I take back all the bad things I said about my hand controller - honest. I plugged that thing in and bingo-bango I was doing astronomy. I own (3) Celestron Telescopes, and I think they are awesome products - but this SkyQ app is a joke! I don't think it was beta tested thoroughly enough. I expect to be returning the SkyQ link - so if anyone wants to buy it from me, please PM an offer. It works fine. The app is only a few bucks, so you can try it for yourself. The only thing I can figure is that it might work differently on a full-size iPad, and maybe it's not configured properly for the mini?

#31 Sorny

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 02:54 AM

Now, time for a SkyFi or SkyWire and your iPad. Still have to align with the handset, but the app is awesome.

#32 moondog

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:36 AM

Yes, exactly where I'm heading. It's a shame though. If the skyQ app gets tweeked a little, and maybe a user manual gets put together, this has the potential to be a nice, simple, clean accessory geared for beginner to intermediate level users (like myself). I'll give Celestron a ring, but I don't expect them to rewrite the app for me.

#33 HeyJP

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:37 AM

I didn't go the SkyQ route, I did SkySafari & SkyFi on iPad, iPhone, Mac. They work pretty sweet together. I still so a 2-Star Autoalign with the hand controller... then spend the rest of the night with the iPad controlling everything. With my iPhone controlling my Canon 6D on the Hyperstar and iPad controlling the CPC1100, I have the perfect lawn chair experience:

Pick a target on the iPad. Fire the camera and view images on the iPhone. Another glass of wine. Repeat.

I'm sure that once you get the nuances worked out you can have the same experience. We hope!

Jim

#34 moondog

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 01:00 PM

Jim,
The cable that came with my telescope is a 9 pin serial female (no pins) to RS 232 (phone jack). Is that the only cable required to use the SkyFi? No gender conversion etc..? So, if that is true, then the setup is: Skyfi cables to Hand Control bottom, and Hand Control hooks to telescope in it's normal fashion. That seems pretty straight forward. Want to verify before ordering.
Thanks

#35 Helveticus

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 05:04 AM

Hi moondog,
I use a full sice iPad and have the same problems with the arrows they mostly don't react when tapping on them. Because of that i tryed alligning with the HC and switched then to the Skyq app. But then the app doesn't recognise that the scope is allready alligned and displays the message that the scope must first be alligned. Hope ther is a fix for the problem with the SkyQ app arrows....

#36 moondog

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 12:00 PM

Yes, I found the fix! I returned the SkyQ Link, bought the SkyFi from Southern Stars, and loaded Sky Safari Plus on my iPad! The difference is like comparing a weather balloon to the USS Enterprise! There is NO comparison. My advice to anyone interested in SkyQ is STOP researching, it's not worth the trouble - buy Sky Safari instead.

#37 Helveticus

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:55 AM

Well i cant return the SkyQ Link to the dealer, the problem is the app...

#38 Helveticus

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:50 AM

No Solution in sight?






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