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Shadowalker
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #4782355 - 09/01/11 01:26 PM

Quote:

Hi Tom,

I'm all for it, but I think that's where I posted first and it got moved here. I'll leave it to the mods to put it wherever it's most useful.

Daniel




Sorry, Daniel. I'm new to this forum. After I posted this, some of the other moderators told me the genesis of this one. Its good where it is.


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dciobota
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: Shadowalker]
      #4785397 - 09/02/11 10:01 PM

No problem Tom, I'm glad at least this thread is stirring up interest. I will post an update this weekend, I have added goto and some other functionality to make both apps more useful.

Clear skies,

Daniel


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gmartin02
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #4969057 - 12/16/11 04:06 AM

I tried this app on my Droid 3 (inside the house) - on an AS-GT with an AIRcable Bluetooth to serial adapter.

I connected with no problems (with the "Connect a device - Insecure" option) and was able to control the telescope. Pretty cool! I can finally use my Droid for something useful for scoping.

Next I will try it outside with an aligned telescope & use the GOTO to find something I can see.

Thanks Daniel - Please keep adding more objects.

Greg


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tjay
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: gmartin02]
      #4969114 - 12/16/11 07:10 AM

BTW, I was able to install this on my unrooted Samsung Galaxy S2 by emailing the .apk to an email account on my phone and installing it from there. I may not get a chance to try it for a few days, unfortunately.

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groz
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #4969353 - 12/16/11 10:34 AM

Quote:


Linking it as a driver, would love to, but don't have a way yet. I checked info on ascom-x to see if there's a ubuntu beta of some sort, but nothing. That's too bad, as I see *nix based OS's as a significan platform for apps in the futue.





You will never see an 'ascom' thing on *nix. I started to get involved in that, till I realized, the ascom folks aren't interested in 'make ascom multi platform', they are trying figure out how to 'make other platforms do windows activex stuff', which will likely never happen. (My opinion) The ascom-x folks have the concept of 'multi platform' backwards, they want to make other platforms behave like windows, rather than, make ascom useable on other platforms.

But, the INDI project is alive and well, with numerous folks contributing these days. INDI is a wire-line protocol, based on xml data interchange. It works just fine with client and server sides running on the same computer, and works equally well with remote connections. The reference implementation is on linux, but, I know it has been brought over to the Mac as well, and am planning on learning enough about mac development over christmas, that I can get it running on the MacBook we have in the house.

The project has been a little stagnant over the last year, because a few of the developers (myself in particular), have been in a time crunch mode with 'real work'. I know at least a couple of the developers have some free time coming over the christmas break, and, a few new astro toys waiting on some driver upgrades. All of us in that position, have a goal to get the new hardware fully operational for the upcoming new moon cycle, so, I'm expecting a flurry of commits into the version control over the next couple weeks.

It is my understanding that INDI is available thru macports, and altho I've never touched any mac side development, now that I have a macbook pro on my desk, it's inevitable that I'm going to start ramping up the mac knowledgebase here soon. One of my personal goals over the christmas holiday, is to get all of the astro gear we have here fully stabilized, on both linux and mac thru INDI.


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dciobota
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: groz]
      #4972400 - 12/18/11 11:45 AM

Hi folks,

Wow! I feel somewhat ashamed to have somewhat dropped the ball on this. I haven't really worked on this since september, other things just kept getting in the way. After reading these posts I feel motivated to start work once again.

Thanks all who have tried this app and reported results, glad it works with other devices. I have an old Droid I bought off ebay, and even on android 2.1 and tiny 3.7" screen it does the job. I'll keep adding the features I planned, planets and moon probably next. Gotta have those at least, lol.

INDI, that actually looks pretty good and I see quite a bit of telescope support. XML is actually a darn good idea, I work with it every day. My only problem is I don't have a development unix machine... plus, my guess I would have to create separate native libraries for each type of phone and tablet chipset, right?

Looking at my development and notes from way back in sept, I have in progress what I would call a telescope hub. It would be a standalone app, and there would be two ways to connect to it: ip and programatically (android intent). The hub will handle the transport part (connecting to the mount through either bluetooth, ip or straight usb via usb-serial) and the protocol part (like celestron, autostar, etc). Standardized commands would be sent to the hub, and standardized replies sent back, similar to ascom I guess. I'm thinking INDI has something similar as well. I don't really want to reinvent the wheel, but as my development options and time are limited, this looks like the best I can do. Does this seem like something supportable to you? The protocol handling part and hub interface would be completely open to the community, so anyone can write a client or even add support for a telescope mount.

Anyhoo, thanks again for the interest in this, and I'll try to put up an update, maybe over Christmas break.

Daniel


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Harshad
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #4973453 - 12/19/11 12:49 AM

Daniel, nice to see this project evolving.

Quote:

Looking at my development and notes from way back in sept, I have in progress what I would call a telescope hub. It would be a standalone app, and there would be two ways to connect to it: ip and programatically (android intent). The hub will handle the transport part (connecting to the mount through either bluetooth, ip or straight usb via usb-serial) and the protocol part (like celestron, autostar, etc). Standardized commands would be sent to the hub, and standardized replies sent back, similar to ascom I guess. I'm thinking INDI has something similar as well. I don't really want to reinvent the wheel, but as my development options and time are limited, this looks like the best I can do. Does this seem like something supportable to you? The protocol handling part and hub interface would be completely open to the community, so anyone can write a client or even add support for a telescope mount.




I am no expert but this sounds exactly like INDI to me. It would be cool if you followed the INDI schema (unless there are some shortcomings in it).

If there is going to be something like INDI for Android, I would be interested in making SkEye a client for the service.

As for the communication part (Socket or Android Intent), I could share some code I had developed to communicate between Android applications over local sockets. Sockets would be faster than Intents (speed will probably matter when guiding).

I wish I could be more proactive in this, but I don't have a motorized scope to try & test things out.


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dciobota
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: Harshad]
      #4976071 - 12/20/11 02:01 PM

Hi Harshad,

First off, love your app. I definitely would like to work with you in implementing this, that is a very much appreciated offer. I only have Celestron mounts, I don't know if I can contact the guy that was helping me with the Autostar. I do have a prospective helper for Intelliscope interfaces... the one major player I'd like to be able to support also is Orion goto scopes.

I think you're right, it does sound like INDI, as a matter of fact I was going to ask for permission to use the same schemas and see if I can implement the same functionality.

And as far as sockets, yup, I figured that may be the better way to go also, so I'll support that first. I would definitely welcome code samples, have done sockets in jave in the past but not on Android.

Anyhoo, I'll pm you with further details. I look forward to make this work for you, it would be a great extension to SkEye.

Daniel


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groz
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #4976443 - 12/20/11 05:40 PM

Quote:


I think you're right, it does sound like INDI, as a matter of fact I was going to ask for permission to use the same schemas and see if I can implement the same functionality.





Hehe, well, grab the documents and 'fill yer boots'. In reality, INDI is just that, the specification for data interchange. The sourceforge repositories contain a reference implementation, which is hosted on a *nix build, running on linux, and I understand it's also available thru macports.

If you want to build a new implementation, that's great. If you make it open, we can arrange for write access to the indi subversion tree. Having another client / server reference available for droid would be great.

I know there are a few implementations 'out there'. DCD is a python implementation of an indi client, and many of us use it for a raw 'quick test' of server side development work.

Personally, I'd find an indi client on droid to be a fantastic thing to have. All of our 'telescope end' server stuff is already targetted to headless little solid state computers that run on 12v 'at the telescope', with clients running elsewhere on the network. Having a client that can communicate with it all, over wifi, on my phone, would be interesting, and could well be my inspiration to get a doid based tablet.


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dciobota
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: groz]
      #4978005 - 12/21/11 03:21 PM

Awesome, thanks! I have a lot of reading to do.

Thanks fot the encouragment and I agree, this would really benefit the android community. I hate reinventing the wheel and INDI seems perfect for the job.

I'll keep you all posted on the work.

Clear skies.

Daniel


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Tim DeBenedictis
Vendor - SkySafari


Reged: 07/14/09

Loc: San Francisco, CA
Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #4991278 - 12/30/11 12:13 AM

Daniel-

I'm one of the SkySafari developers. We're just gotten our Android version out the door, and I'm trying to support a few more off-the-shelf bluetooth serial adapters. Our code is working well with a StarryNight BlueStar, and a Roving Networks RN-370, but not so well with an AirCable 5. I can't figure out why - the AirCable just "acts flaky" but another user said his AirCable 3 runs fine with your app and his Celestron. I'm wondering if you might be interested in sharing code with us - perhaps we can trade you a free copy of SkySafari Pro. Anyhow, feel free to email me privately at timmyd@southernstars.com if you're interested.

-Tim


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dciobota
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: Tim DeBenedictis]
      #5006076 - 01/07/12 06:53 PM

Hi Tim, sorry for the late reply. I just sent you an email.

Clear skies,

Daniel


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dciobota
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #5006085 - 01/07/12 07:02 PM

Hi all,

I think I toitally forgot to put a link to the app after I added goto.

Here's the Celestron version:
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0ByZXuV0vUfw7Y2U1OWY5MDgtZDI5Yi00ZmQ2LWFmNGUtMDMxZmFhM2M5MzEy

However, I'm not working on this anymore, at least not in this form. With the help of some of the guys over at the INDI project I have started porting INDI over to the android, so I'll be pretty much tied up doing that in whatever little spare time I have. The good news is that once INDI server is up on android, anyone can write a client app to talk to it, and I can actually rewrite the handbox apps to talk to INDI. This way I don't have to write device code anymore.

So hopefully I'll be able to provide a greater benefit to the community.

Clear skies,

Daniel


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Antcodd
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Reged: 02/05/12

Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #5057468 - 02/05/12 08:26 PM

Hi,

Can anyone confirm if the Bluetooth-serial adapter mentioned in the the third post (http://www.usconverters.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=70&products_id=262) works with SkySafari Plus/Pro (for Android)?

I'm thinking of getting one but would need to ship it half way across the world to New Zealand hehe (only available adapter here is about 3x the price). I was also planning on using it to help with porting telescope control for the Android port of Stellarium that seems to be getting off the ground.

Thanks,
Anthony

Edit: By the way, if anyone wants to test this software, SkySafari etc. without a bluetooth adapter; I managed to make it work with hub4com and creating an incoming bluetooth COM port in bluetooth settings on the PC then using

Code:
hub4com --baud=9600 --octs=off \\.\COM5 \\.\COM4



(replace COM5 with the bluetooth COM port and COM4 with the serial port/usb to serial adapter the scope is attached to). You can put that in a *.bat file in the hub4com directory if you like. The --octs=off is important as otherwise it won't work (something to do with flow control pins not being connected on the scope end and hub4com expecting proper flow control before forwarding data to the other COM port).

hub4com can also act as a TCP server so could also potentially work with SkySafari like it is a SkyFi but I didn't manage to get that to work (the configuration for hub4com is ridiculously complex).

Edited by Antcodd (02/05/12 08:44 PM)


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groz
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: psonice]
      #5061377 - 02/07/12 11:49 PM

Quote:

but I'm about 10x more angry with the scope manufacturers for still using serial in 2011!)




When usb loses the 16' cable limitation, and can run from the mount on a pier, down the pier, under the floor, and into the warm room where the computers are located, then it's time to think about losing serial control on mounts. Until such time, usb becomes an unworkeable limitation for many higher end installations.

To build a mount, that has an inherent limit of 16' of cable between the mount, and the controlling computer, would be awfully short sighted of a manufacturer, and, likely to lose them most if not all access to the higher end fixed installations. A serial connection doesn't have this limitation, usb does.

Edited by groz (02/07/12 11:52 PM)


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dciobota
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: Antcodd]
      #5065365 - 02/10/12 12:13 PM

Hi Anthony,

I can confirm that the bluetooth serial adapter works with the SkySafari prerelease version that was put out in december. I tested it with a cge and nexstar mount, so it's good for celestrons at least. A fellow in Ukraine bought the same adapter and used SkySafari with an intelliscope controller, so that works too. Btw, that particular adapter has a very long range. With my app running on a droid X I was able to control my scope from about 30ft away.

Hope this helps.


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yaroslav_s
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #5070692 - 02/13/12 03:17 PM

Here is a similar adapter on Ebay.com. eBay Link

Edited by Shadowalker (02/14/12 10:08 PM)


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Antcodd
newbie


Reged: 02/05/12

Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: yaroslav_s]
      #5076436 - 02/17/12 01:20 AM

Thanks heaps guys, I was planning on ordering it from that eBay link anyway. Looking at the manual it appears to be the same item and it's insanely cheap to ship. Good to know it should work!

Sorry I didn't reply earlier, thought I'd get notified about new messages in the thread but I must have done it wrong (just figured it out now - unusual that it is off by default for subscribed threads).


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Driven1
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) [Re: Antcodd]
      #5801441 - 04/15/13 08:26 PM

I realize this is an old thread, but can't seen to find any further info on the project's advancement (if any). I realize that this app was designed for bluetooth. What I'm wondering is if the developer would consider setting it up to use a USB Serial converter. Through another app called Slick USB you can use an FTDI based USB Serial port to control the telescope. I've tested it through a Terminal app and I can get the scope to move. So I would expect if this app had serial support, it would work this way. Anyone know anything on the status of this app or where I might find the developer?

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Christopher Erickson
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Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) [Re: Driven1]
      #5801861 - 04/16/13 01:16 AM

Quote:

I realize this is an old thread, but can't seen to find any further info on the project's advancement (if any). I realize that this app was designed for bluetooth. What I'm wondering is if the developer would consider setting it up to use a USB Serial converter. Through another app called Slick USB you can use an FTDI based USB Serial port to control the telescope. I've tested it through a Terminal app and I can get the scope to move. So I would expect if this app had serial support, it would work this way. Anyone know anything on the status of this app or where I might find the developer?




The SkySafari developers have their own Yahoo technical support group and you can find it here:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/southern_stars

SkySafari Plus and Pro support WiFi connections to telescopes on Android and iOS. They support Bluetooth connections on Android. They do not support USB connections directly to any phones or tablets.

They do have a WiFi device with a USB port for connecting to telescopes that only have USB ports, like iOptron. They don't work that well and the SkySafari developers blame iOptron. I tend to agree with them that iOptron is the culprit.

There is also a great little WiFi telescope interface from Astro-Gene that also has a built-in access point and DHCP server and is designed to work with iOS and Android

http://www.astrogene1000.com/

http://www.astrogene1000.com/products/gc-wifi3/index.htm


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