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Inexpensive BT serial adapter for Sky Safari

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#76 patrizioitalian

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 10:36 AM

FINALLY I MADE IT... :)

 

Now I have a Home Made WiFi Module to control my Meade Telescope:

 

 

 

 

Unlike bluetooth version module, I did not have to reverse the pin 2 to pin 3 of the serial connector, I don't know why.

 

Video:

 

https://www.dropbox....ope 10.mp4?dl=0

 

 

20141208_175050(0).jpg

20141208_152644.jpg


Edited by patrizioitalian, 09 December 2014 - 07:44 AM.


#77 rumbert

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 01:29 PM

Hi everybody,

 

I'm trying to connect the Skysafari software to an Arduino board by using a bluetooth  module HC05. I'm using the LX-200 protocol.

 

I'm capturing the data send from the Skysafari, interpreted by the Arduino and finally sending the answer back.

 

This seems to be correctly working, I'm monitoring the messages in and out and there is nothing noticeable.

 

However, the Skysafari after sending three or four messages stops with the message 

 

"SkiSafari Plus can make wireless connection to the scope, but the scope is not responding. ..."

 

Well, the logs show that there are communication between them, so I suppose I'm missing something.

 

I attach the Skysafari log file in case could be useful.

 

Another interesting thing is that Skysafari starts its communication by sending three '$', I don't know the reason of this, and if is necessary to answer them.

 

Any suggestion???

SkySafariScopeLog-2015-01-15-09-39-05.txt

Sent ASCII at 2015/01/15 19:22:45 with error 0:
:GR#
Received ASCII at 2015/01/15 19:22:45 with error 0:
02:31.50#
Sent ASCII at 2015/01/15 19:22:45 with error 0:
:RS#
Sent ASCII at 2015/01/15 19:22:46 with error 0:
:Q#
Sent ASCII at 2015/01/15 19:22:46 with error 0:
:GD#
Received ASCII at 2015/01/15 19:22:46 with error 0:
s89*15#

Edited by rumbert, 15 January 2015 - 01:32 PM.


#78 rumbert

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 12:17 PM

Hi again,

 

I've found some useful information that can answer some of my doubts.

 

The three '$' are used to enter in the command mode of the wifly. They aren't used so they don't affect to the communication process.

 

Thus, the problem is about the LX200 messages returned from the Arduino. I'll continue looking for the solution.



#79 btschumy

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 03:50 PM

Rumbert,

 

I think the problem is your returned Dec format:   s89*15# 

 

The specs say it should look like:

 

GD# Get Telescope Declination.
Returns: sDD*MM# or sDD*MM’SS#
Depending upon the current precision setting for the telescope.

 

That "s" is a sign character, not a literal "s".  Try making that +/- and see if that works better for you.


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#80 rumbert

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 03:02 PM

Rumbert,

 

I think the problem is your returned Dec format:   s89*15# 

 

The specs say it should look like:

 

GD# Get Telescope Declination.
Returns: sDD*MM# or sDD*MM’SS#
Depending upon the current precision setting for the telescope.

 

That "s" is a sign character, not a literal "s".  Try making that +/- and see if that works better for you.

 

Thanks a lot, this silly mistake was the real problem.

 

Currently, both the SkySafari and the Arduino board connect an exchange data.



#81 Chote

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:39 AM

http://www.cloudynig...s/#entry7030499

 

This Bluetooth serial dongle with builtin battery works out of the box and cheap.



#82 euklides69

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 11:39 AM

I have HC06 module connected to NEQ6. It works nice with Smartphone apps like Virtuoso or PanoramaApp
Id doesn't work with Sky Safari. Actually its says that BT was paired but no response from NEQ6 mount.
Did you find the reason why SkySafari  fails ?



#83 StarmanDan

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 10:35 PM

I have the HC06 working with my Atlas.  The HC06 needs to be connected to the hand controller via the serial cable that came with the mount.  The HC06 needs to be in slave mode and needs to be powered on before the scope.  For use with sky safari, I do not use eqdirect mode.  Just pair to the adapter and connect to scope in sky safari.  For eqmod use, put the hand controller in eqdirect mode, pair to adapter with pc, verify what com port the adapter is on, set eqmod to adapter com port and connect. 


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#84 StarmanDan

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 08:45 AM

Need to mention that I have a null modem adapter between the bt adapter and 9pin to rj11 cable to swap the rx and tx pins.



#85 Summit

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 04:07 PM

With an Atlas EQ-G, do you align with the Hand Controller and then unplug the hand controller from the serial port and plug in the adapter? 

 

Or can you plug the adapter in the Hand Controller so you still the Hand Controller if you want it?


Edited by Summit, 11 May 2016 - 04:08 PM.


#86 StarmanDan

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 05:43 PM

BT adapter gets plugged into hand controller using the cable supplied with the mount.  One thing that confused me at first, the controller has a feature called PC direct.  This is used if using the EQMod software on a pc.  In this mode, the hand control is disabled and all control of the mount (alignment, goto, etc.) is done via pc or a game pad connected to the pc.  You do not need to use this mode if using sky safari on a mobile device and the hand control will still work.


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#87 dthomp87

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 09:03 PM

I ordered this adapter 

http://www.ebay.com/...=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

 

to work with a Sirius EQ-G mount. I havent gotten it to work yet. From this thread I believe I either need to send some commands to it from serial on my PC(my PC doesnt have a serial port) or I can just get a null modem adapter like this instead?

https://www.amazon.c...l modem adapter

 

 

If i need to send commands to this thing to get it to work, ill need some sort of USB to serial adapter. I just want to make sure im getting the correct items.

 

 

Thanks!



#88 StarmanDan

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 08:30 PM

That looks like the same one I have.  I use mine on an Atlas, but I assume it would be the same for the Sirius.   I use a null modem adapter with my setup.  The chain is as follows: Bluetooth -> null modem adapter -> serial to rj11 -> hand controller.  If using sky safari on my phone, I will go through the alignment routine in the hand paddle then connect with SS.   When using eqmod, put the hand paddle in pc direct mode, connect using ascom compliant star chart via eqmod, unpark scope and go.  



#89 StarmanDan

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 08:32 PM

Also, don't forget to put the Bluetooth adapter in slave mode and turn on the adapter before the scope.


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#90 Jack Day

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 06:14 PM

Hi Guys,

 

Saw this thread and thought I would give this idea a try.  I purchased Sky Safari Plus for Android, and one of the bluetooth adapters. (Same as the one first shown at the start of this thread.)

 

The adapter does pair to my phone ok, but I am curious if anyone has any instructions for the dongle itself?

 

So my setup is an Alt-Az push-to system using 4000 tic encoders with a NGC Max computer.  I made two serial cables, and both allow me to have the Max box talk to planetarium programs on my laptop through the serial connector without use of a null-modem adapter.

 

When I hook the same cable to the Bluetooth dongle Sky Safari gives me the dreaded error:

 

Connection Failure

SkySafari Pro can make a wireless
connection to the scope, but the
scope is not responding. Make sure
the scope is powered on and
connected correctly. Also make
sure you selected the correct scope
type.

 

Does anyone know what mode the NGC Max computer should be in, and if my serial cable works with the laptop apps, should it work with the BT adapter or do I need to swap some pins? (I now have on cable each way and still no connection)

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks

 

-Jack



#91 StarmanDan

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 08:34 PM

You will need a null modem adapter between the cable and BT adapter.  BT adapter needs to be set to slave and turned on before you turn on the Max NGC.   Also make sure you set sky safari to alt az for the mount.  



#92 Jack Day

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 09:58 PM

Hi Dan,

 

Thanks for replying.

 

Two quick questions:

 

How do I put the BT adapter into slave mode, and since I can swap the TX / RX pins directly in the adapter do I really need a Null Modem?

 

Sky Safari is set to Push to with Alt-Az and NGCMax for the scope type.  Can these old Tangent boxes work correctly to auto-detect encoder tic rate or should they be set manually?

 

 

Also,  what is the order for turning stuff on?

 

Here are what I would think the steps are, what would the order be assuming these are not in order:

 

Pair Android device with BT adapter

 

Set BT adapter to slave

 

launch Sky Safari

 

turn on NGC Max

 

Connect Sky Safari to scope.

 

 

 

Thanks again!



#93 Jack Day

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 12:08 AM

Hello again,

 

So I found that the switch that turns it on sets the unit to slave or master.  I have been connecting / pairing to the device with the unit set to slave.

 

I also built a null-modem adapter: 

 

pin 2 to pin 3

pin 3 to pin 2

pin 5 to pin 5

 

I think that is correct (according to the diagram I used).

 

I still get the same message. I am not sure the null adapter is even needed as I can move pins in the adapters with my serial pin puller! Nifty tool :-)

Attached Thumbnails

  • null.jpg


#94 StarmanDan

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 09:25 PM

Here is the sequence I use after hooking all the cables up.

 

Set BT to slave.

Turn on BT.

Turn on mount (in your case the NGC Max.)

Perform what ever alignment or calibration process is needed for the controller (setting time, location, etc, perform two star alignment, go to an object to verify everything is working)

Pair phone to BT adapter.

Connect via Sky Safari.

 

While I have a goto,  I imagine the process is similar for a push to.  Doing the alignment first should allow sky safari to automatically call the encoder tick per rev.  If not, try entering them manually if you know them prior to pairing to the BT.  As far as the null modem adapter goes, you can pin your own.  Just double check the pinout.  On male DB9 pin 1 is the top left as seen from the front.  On the female, pin 1 is top right as viewed from the front.  My BT has a male 9 pin that needed to plug into a female on the cable so I got a M-F null adapter since the controller is expecting a native connection to the computer but is going through the BT instead.

 

Hope this helps!



#95 AJ

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 11:14 AM

 

While I have a goto,  I imagine the process is similar for a push to.

 

I can only speak to the Orion IntelliScope (push-to) and Celestron NexStar SE (go-to) with a SkyBT Bluetooth adaptor for Android.  With these, the procedure for push-to is different.

 

With the NexStar SE go-to, I do the full alignment procedure with the hand controller and then switch on Bluetooth (I use a SkyBT) and connect to the scope within SkySafari on my Android phone or tablet.  Then, go-tos can be done either, from SkySafari or by using the hand controller.

 

With the IntelliScope push-to, the hand controller is turned on but not otherwise used.  Once a connection between the scope and SkySafari is established via Bluetooth, the 2-star alignment and all subsequent operations must be done within SkySafari.  One aligned, a reticle (crosshairs or various diameter circles, whichever I choose) appears on the SkySafari star chart, showing where the scope is pointed.  Move the scope until the reticle is centered over the target, and the target should be in the eyepiece.



#96 Jack Day

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 05:29 PM

Thanks Dan & AJ,

 

I have tried just about every combination I can think of and still no joy.  :-(   

 

I tested my null modem adapter, and it is good.  Good catch Dan on the order of the pins M vs F, I had just caught that before you posted and mad the appropriate correction!

 

Using a USB to Serial Dongle I am able to connect to the bluetooth device with Teraterm.  The unit responds to AT commands, and I have been able to rename it, check data transfer rate and verified it is set at 9800 N 8 1.  I can see it pair properly to my phone, a Galaxy Note 4, and my Nexus 2013 Tablet.  I sent the at+ENABLEIND0 command and that reports that is is disabled when queried for status.

 

Arg.  I just don't get it.  I know, I should just break down and buy a SkyBT adapter, but now it is simply a matter of "never let technology beat you."

 

I have two Tangent boxes, an JMI NGCMax V. 3.52, and a Mountain Instruments branded box V.3.66. Both work fine stand alone, and both talk to my laptop via my serial cable & USB adapter for use with The Sky, and Sky Chart 3.  (The serial cables work without the need of the null modem adapter.)  They also talk to Cartes du Ciel...  Strangely Carinasoft's Voyager 4.5 does not respond to them....

 

I am pretty much at a stalemate now.  Hoping someone at TMSP will have a SkyBT adapter we could test with.  A friend just purchased a SkiFi controler for his scope, might be able to see if his iPhone will talk to my scope.

 

Any ideas are appreciated.  Maybe I just need to buy it some flowers and chocolates...

 

-Cheers!


Edited by Jack Day, 27 July 2016 - 08:29 PM.



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