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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface
      #5019642 - 01/15/12 09:47 PM

Hello Everyone,

We are pleased to announce our new device - Nexus.

Nexus is a multifunctional WiFi telescope adapter.
Nexus combines Digital Setting Circles and Serial To Wifi interface in one powerful package.
Using the advantages of WiFi, Nexus allows seamless interfacing of your telescope to the most popular planetarium software running on WiFi compatible computing devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Computers, Android phones/tablets*, Windows based PCs/tablets.You can use Nexus with planetarium software such as SkySafari Plus/Pro, Astromist, Starry Night, Cartes du Ciel, TheSky just to name a few.
Powered either by a common 9V battery or external power (9-25V DC) - Nexus will be there when you need it.
Nexus can function as:
    Wireless DSC
    Wireless DSC with ServoCAT*
    Wireless DSC + 2 x RS232 to WiFi + 1 x USB* serial to WiFi adapters
    Serial to WiFi adapter

Nexus can also control the shutter release on DSLRs.
Nexus supports both Ad-hoc and Infrastructure (WPE/WPA/WPA2) WiFi network connections. WPS is supported in the infrastructure mode.
Nexus in combination with a planetarium software provides a cost effective yet very advanced DSC controller supporting all popular telescopes. Nexus delivers rapid location of those hard to find object in a compact package.

Nexus is available now at the introductory price of $200.00 in limited quantities. Nexus can be purchased directly from Astro Devices.


* - Please refer to our website for details.

Best Regards,
Astro Devices.


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skybsd
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/01/08

Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5030334 - 01/21/12 12:24 PM

Hello,
Great to see another innovative product hitting the market

Tell me something - is it true that the Nexus is compatible only with encoder-capable or DSC-enabled mounts to start with?

I've read through the user manual on your website, and it does seem to me that it is a pretty hard requirement that your mount must either have encoders already installed, or is DSC-ready - and that the Nexus is not usable on mounts that do not natively ship with DSC capability. As an example, I can't see from the documentation on your website that I can take say like the Stellarvue SV-M2 Alt-Az mount, and use the Nexus with it..,

Or did I misunderstand or miss something in the documentation?

Thanks - and congrats!

Regards,

skybsd


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: skybsd]
      #5031347 - 01/21/12 11:02 PM

Hello Skybsd,

Thank you for your kind words!

Yes, it is true that Nexus requires rotary encoders when it is used as a wireless DSC (in combination with SkySafari Plus/Pro or the next version of Deep Sky Browser).

In case of using Nexus as WiFi to RS232 adapter, the mount has to be either a goto mount or DSC-equipped (Sky Commander, Sky Vector or similar) mount.

Best Regards,
Serge.


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tjay
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: just outside of Toronto
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5031514 - 01/22/12 01:28 AM

Quote:

Hello Skybsd,

Thank you for your kind words!

Yes, it is true that Nexus requires rotary encoders when it is used as a wireless DSC (in combination with SkySafari Plus/Pro or the next version of Deep Sky Browser).

In case of using Nexus as WiFi to RS232 adapter, the mount has to be either a goto mount or DSC-equipped (Sky Commander, Sky Vector or similar) mount.

Best Regards,
Serge.




Serge,

Any idea if the USB port will be usable at the same time as the RS-232 ports? If I can go completely wireless, that would be very cool.


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: tjay]
      #5032047 - 01/22/12 11:43 AM

Hello Tom,

All ports work independently and you can connect to all of them them at the same time - each of them (Encoders, RS232 ports /Port I and Port II/ and USB) has its own assigned TCP/IP port number. Though in case of using Nexus with ServoCAT one of RS232 ports is used to connect to ServoCAT.

But USB serial functionality is currently not fully implemented (it will be available through a firmware update later this year). USB port right now is used for firmware upgrades and to charge your portable computing device (like a tablet).

Best Regards,
Serge.


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tjay
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: just outside of Toronto
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5032280 - 01/22/12 02:04 PM

Quote:

Hello Tom,

All ports work independently and you can connect to all of them them at the same time - each of them (Encoders, RS232 ports /Port I and Port II/ and USB) has its own assigned TCP/IP port number. Though in case of using Nexus with ServoCAT one of RS232 ports is used to connect to ServoCAT.

But USB serial functionality is currently not fully implemented (it will be available through a firmware update later this year). USB port right now is used for firmware upgrades and to charge your portable computing device (like a tablet).

Best Regards,
Serge.




Serge,

Thanks for the reply. I'll likely wait and see since the USB port is something I will need to use.


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tjay
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: just outside of Toronto
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: tjay]
      #5121398 - 03/14/12 07:12 AM

Serge,

Any update on the USB functionality yet?


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: tjay]
      #5134650 - 03/21/12 10:52 PM

Quote:

Serge,

Any update on the USB functionality yet?




I just want to clarify the planned USB functionality for Nexus:
- Nexus will function as a WiFi to USB Serial adapter for a limited number of USB-serial chips (the new firmware will be released hopefully by beginning of May 2012)
- Nexus will be able to control USB-enabled cameras (later this year)

Right now the USB connector is used for firmware updates and charging of a tablet/smart phone.

It will not be possible to use Nexus as USB-'any device' to WiFi adapter. For example, it will not be possible to connect a USB camera to Nexus and stream the data to a PC for autoguiding over WiFi.

Best regards,
Serge.


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Denimsky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/21/07

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5140874 - 03/25/12 04:58 PM

I'm interested in Nexus but I'm not sure how it is connected to the mount.

I have a Dob with encoders installed and I'm using it with SkyCommander.
I'm also planning to purchase a DM6 with installed encoders for SkyCommander.
Can I just replace the SkyCommander with Nexus and use it as a DSC with iPad?
Am I going to need new encoders or cables?

Thank you.


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5140974 - 03/25/12 06:12 PM

Yes, you can just replace SkyCommander with Nexus. Nexus uses exactly the same connector as SkyCommander and Argo Navis. There is no need for a new cable or encoders.

Best Regards,
Serge.


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Denimsky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/21/07

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5141412 - 03/25/12 11:58 PM

Can Nexus be used with EQ6 Synta scan mount like SkyFi?

Thank you.


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5141459 - 03/26/12 12:28 AM

Yes, Nexus can function as SkyFi with EQ6 with Synscan hand controller. You will need a custom cable though. Please contact me for further details at info@astrodevices.com if you like.

Best Regards,
Serge.


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calibos
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/18/07

Loc: Ireland
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5141805 - 03/26/12 09:20 AM

Currently I have a 16" Meade Lightbridge Dob and many moons ago I bought a Servocat, Sky Commander XP4, Serial Sky-Fi(1st Gen) and iPhne 3gs with Sky Safari 3 Plus.

The thing is, I still haven't gotten around to fitting these due to life circumstances. They are still boxed and never used so far. Not the phone and Sky Safari obviously, I got lots of use out of those. My Mother is currently visiting my Aunt in Perth at the moment and I forwarded her the funds to purchase me a cheap iPad 2 over in Australia. More on that later...

I am sure I could easily sell the Sky Commander XP4 and Sky-Fi. My question is, why would I switch to the Nexus Box? Certainly it simplifies the number of boxes of electronics and the cabling but seeing as I intend to hide and neatly route all that stuff, that isn't a huge benefit to me.

So I wonder could you confirm whether I have the other benefits right.

With the Nexus powered from a 12v Gell Cell source can the USB port re-charge/power an iPad 2? I've read reports that with the iPad processor running hard to run Sky Safari and with Wifi active, that the iPad battery can drain quickly. ie. from 100%-47% in 2 hours. Can the nexus mitigate that problem?

I read something about extra software for servocat control. Does this mean servocat can only be controlled with Nexus in combination with a full laptop where these drivers can be installed or have you worked with Southern Stars to have the servocat control drivers integrated into Sky Safari. ie. Can I control servocat from Sky Safari on an Ipad 2 via Nexus. Following on from that, is the servocat control fully featured unlike how it operates with an Argo/XP4 as the middle man with Sky Safari. ie. With an Argo or XP4 only the Goto function works. Initial 2 Star align must be done on the Argo/Xp4, the cursor direction slew/guide keys do not work, the align button does not work etc Would I be correct in saying that its Gary at Stellarcat that will not provide the code for these functions to you, Wildcard innovations nor SkyEng and that the Nexus will have the same limitations as a result with the exception of initial alignment done via Sky Safari.

I guess Gary at Stellarcat just doesn't want to give up his wireless control handpad sales!

I've read reports that the onscreen cursor in Sky Safari can lag when position information comes from a SKy Commander. Is this an encoder problem or Sky Safari problem that affects all the DSC's and I just haven't seen reports of Lag with an Argo or Nexus or is this a sign of the Sky Commanders age and the Nexus is not affected by Lag of the onscreen cursor.

Assuming the Nexus is the device for me, how fast can you ship from Sydney to Perth to catch my Mother before she returns to Ireland on the 6th of April

Edited by calibos (03/26/12 09:27 AM)


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: calibos]
      #5141916 - 03/26/12 10:27 AM

Hello Keith,

Yes, Nexus provides up to 1A to charge a portable device from its USB connector. It will not charge iPad 2 at the same rate as iPad's charger but it will charge it even when it is running.

Nexus currently supports non-USB ServoCAT (i.e. Gen1 & Gen 2). You don't need a laptop to use Nexus with ServoCAT. You will however need to use Deep Sky Browser (running on iDevices, it is not yet approved by Apple) to perform the initial two star alignment as SkySafari does not support native Nexus's protocol. After the initial two star alignment you can use SkySafari. I am not quite sure why the up/down/left/right button do not work in SkySafari - I presume SkySafari did not implement them...

The telescope cursor lag will be much reduced compared to when used with SkyCommander/AN and SkyFi as Nexus calculates and reports the current telescope coordinates without any need to request that information from another device (SkyCommander/AN) through a serial port. The lag with SkyCommander is greater than with AN most likely due to its lower communication speed (9600 bps) - AN supports much higher speeds.

Nexus can be delivered to Perth by next business day by Express Mail Platinum...

Best Regards,
Serge.


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lazhow
super member


Reged: 11/11/07

Loc: Boynton Beach,FL
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5153556 - 04/02/12 04:49 PM

Serge;
I just ordered the NEXUS.
I will be using it with the Samaung Galaxy 10.1 employing Ski Safari as my ipad software.
Also I will use the Nexus with a PC setup using Sky 6. The PC setup ..what installation insturction do I use...is it like the Mega star instructions????
I will be using the Discmounts DM 4 and 6 so i assume the setup would be for equaltorial...correct???
As a battery backup for the nexus I assume a 1A charger
would be ok.
looking forward to the NEXUS
Howard


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: lazhow]
      #5153677 - 04/02/12 06:27 PM

Hello Howard,

Thank you very much for ordering Nexus.

Using Nexus with The Sky 6 is slightly different than using Nexus with Megastar - you just use BBox protocol... I will be providing detailed instructions on our website shortly.

There is really no need to specify the mount type to Nexus itself.

Even 200mA power adapter is enough. I would however suggest to use an external 12V battery - even the small 1.3Ah, 12V SLA/gel battery is enough. Or you could go for a bigger battery and charge you Galaxy tablet in case its battery goes flat - you can charge it from the USB connector on Nexus.

Best Regards,
Serge.


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5253234 - 06/03/12 11:13 AM

Hello Everyone,

Nexus's firmware has been updated to support mounts with USB interface. The new firmware supports USB serial devices based on FT232x (ServoCAT, SiTech), CP210x (iOptron, Meade) and PL2303 (iOptron).

USB version of ServoCAT is now fully supported as well.

The new firmware is available from the Downloads section of our website.

Best Regards,
Serge.


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razor
member


Reged: 01/06/09

Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5463946 - 10/10/12 02:21 PM

The Sky Commander calculates the rotation rates for each axis needed to follow an object with an alt-az mount. These are constantly changing and require continuous updating. Does the Nexus do this? Would like to use it with an alt-az tracking mount: http://www.halfhitchtelescope.com/index.htm

See the automatic tracking info.


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: razor]
      #5464274 - 10/10/12 07:00 PM

Yes, Nexus calculates the drive rates for each axis. However you will need to use our utility to perform the two star alignment - after that you can use SkySafari Plus/Pro or any other planetarium that supports SkyCommander protocol.

Best Regards,
Serge.


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tezster
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/14/09

Loc: Missisauga, Canada
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5465131 - 10/11/12 10:46 AM

Hi Serge - this looks like a fantastic product!

I wanted to get some clarification regarding the alignment process. FYI I currently use a dob with a Sky Commander. When connecting the Nexus directly to encoders, you mention above that "you will need to use our utility to perform the two star alignment" - I'm a little confused by this statement. Is there a separate app or procedure needed to perform the alignment? Having read the documentation on the astrodevices site, I was under the impression that the alignment is performed within the planetarium app being used i.e. SkySafari, for example.

One other question I have is regarding the power requirements. How long does the unit operate using a 9V battery? I currently use a simple 12V 8Ah Li-Ion battery pack to power a fan and my Sky Commander. I'm assuming powering the Nexus with this device would be fine?

I was planning on getting the SkyFi adapter before I stumbled onto this. Being able to bypass the Sky Commander and connect it directly to encoders is a big plus in my book - one less to device to worry about.


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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: tezster]
      #5465165 - 10/11/12 11:05 AM

Hello Terence,

Thank you for your comment.

I was referring to using Nexus with a motor controller like the one used on Halfhitch mounts or ServoCAT. In that case you need to use one of our utilities/applications to perform a two star alignment as SkySafari does not have a native support for Nexus.

In case of using a 'Push-To' telescope you can use SkySafari Plus/Pro for the two star alignment - in this situation Nexus does not need to calculate the drive rates and it does not calculate the current telescope coordinates (the telescope coordinates are calculated by SkySafari Plus/Pro).

A 9V battery does not last that long... It depends on the temperature and the battery type. A rechargeable NiMH 9V battery will last a couple of hours. It is certainly recommended to use an external power source like a 12V SLA/gel battery. Your 8Ah battery will last a few days powering Nexus.

Best Regards,
Serge.


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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5465412 - 10/11/12 01:48 PM

I'd need cables from my encoders to the Nexus for my push to dob. Can you folks supply those?

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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: rboe]
      #5465820 - 10/11/12 06:57 PM

Hello Ron,

Yes, the encoders cable can also be purchased together with Nexus. The cost varies from $15 to $25 depending on the type of encoders.

Please note that Nexus is using the same type of cable for encoders as SkyCommander, BBox, Argo Navis.

Best Regards,
Serge.


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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: astrodevices]
      #5466564 - 10/12/12 09:36 AM

Great! I noticed they looked like the Argo Navis (on an earlier project I made mine two discreet cables vs. your siamese). I need to get cracken on my scope rebuild so I can justify getting this device. Just got the WiFi box for my NS11 and it is the cats meow.

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astrodevices
Vendor-Astro Devices


Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Sydney, Australia
Re: NEW: Nexus - multifunctional telescope interface new [Re: rboe]
      #5573644 - 12/16/12 05:59 AM

Hello Everyone,

Nexus is now fully compatible with Android based devices. Nexus is acting as a WiFi Access Point and any WiFi enabled device can connect to Nexus. There is no need to jailbrake/root the device. Nexus works with Android based devices as easy as with iOS based devices.

To celebrate the festive season the price of Nexus has also been reduced by $50.

Best Regards,
Serge.


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