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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Simply the best hand controller on the planet!
      #4934910 - 11/25/11 09:08 PM Attachment (350 downloads)

You're looking at it! Nothing comes even remotely close to Sky Safari. For the first time ever, I have a tool that's powerful enough to engage almost every double star in Burnham's Celestial Handbook. My primary observing guide and Celestial Bible has been resurrected for the first time ever WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!.

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iceblazeModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/15/11

Loc: 33.9° N, 118.4° W Lawndale, ...
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #4934925 - 11/25/11 09:18 PM

Sweet

By the way, are you putting rubylith on your phone when you use it for ( EDIT: *manual* ) tracking? I remember the thread where you talked about light pollution/not having fully dark adapted eyes being preferable when viewing planets, but what about those double stars?

If you are putting rubylith over your phone, what are you using to attach it? I currently use "Tac 'N Stik" for my laptop, but I figure using that on a phone would get in the way of the screen.

Perhaps Sky Safari has a "dark mode" like Stellarium?

-James

Edited by iceblaze (11/25/11 09:50 PM)


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #4934932 - 11/25/11 09:28 PM

Quote:

You're looking at it! Nothing comes even remotely close to Sky Safari. For the first time ever, I have a tool that's powerful enough to engage almost every double star in Burnham's Celestial Handbook. My primary observing guide and Celestial Bible has been resurrected for the first time ever




I like SkySafari, but it ain't a hand controller. Not if you can't align the mount with it.


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: iceblaze]
      #4934950 - 11/25/11 09:51 PM

Quote:

Sweet

By the way, are you putting rubylith on your phone when you use it for tracking? I remember the thread where you talked about light pollution/not having fully dark adapted eyes being preferable when viewing planets, but what about those double stars?

If you are putting rubylith over your phone, what are you using to attach it? I currently use "Tac 'N Stik" for my laptop, but I figure using that on a phone would get in the way of the screen.

Perhaps Sky Safari has a "dark mode" like Stellarium?

-James



Since the screen is so small I don't use the Rubylith but for the Ipad I do if I'm at a really dark sight. I view doubles and don't concern myself with dark adaption unless it's a really faint star. I place it into the protective housing of the Ipad.


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: rmollise]
      #4934956 - 11/25/11 09:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:

You're looking at it! Nothing comes even remotely close to Sky Safari. For the first time ever, I have a tool that's powerful enough to engage almost every double star in Burnham's Celestial Handbook. My primary observing guide and Celestial Bible has been resurrected for the first time ever




I like SkySafari, but it ain't a hand controller. Not if you can't align the mount with it.




You're right but that depends on what mount you're using. Once that's done, you can simply use Sky Safari. Its powerful memory base is simply unrivaled by and handset in todays market hands down. The fact that it can be used to center objects makes ordinary sky maps almost useless in comparison except under the most unusual circumstances. I use it to control my Temma II and it's packed with so much power I'm amazed with it. Most other telescope controllers only use SAO numbers and that's simply too limiting. They also don;t have anywhere near the selection of objects Sky Safari packs, not even close.


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #4935584 - 11/26/11 11:16 AM

Daniel, have you looked at the multi star capabilities of SkyTools3 ? Dont know if it's compat with that little gadget there but it's IMO impressive.

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jimb1001
sage
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Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: rmollise]
      #4935622 - 11/26/11 11:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

You're looking at it! Nothing comes even remotely close to Sky Safari. For the first time ever, I have a tool that's powerful enough to engage almost every double star in Burnham's Celestial Handbook. My primary observing guide and Celestial Bible has been resurrected for the first time ever




I like SkySafari, but it ain't a hand controller. Not if you can't align the mount with it.




You can't do the initial alignment with it but once that is done you can "fine tune" alignment with Sky Safari. I can get a target on the crosshairs of my Mallincam and press the "align" button on Sky Safari to improve accuracy.

No more out in the Florida heat, humidity and bugs, for me. At least no much, anyway.

Run the wires into the house to the monitor and Sky Safari. Control everything from Sky Safari on the Ipad.

The only problem is that sometimes I can't see anything on the monitor. When that happens I actually have to look out the window and see that it got cloudy.

Frankly, I don't miss tripping over wires, kicking the mount by accident and not being able to see things because the light pollution is so bad.


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #4935848 - 11/26/11 02:06 PM

Jim,
I looked at that a while back. We had it hooked to a laptop but I like the idea of the small hand held Iphone for portability. Sky Tools is a wonderful program though.


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Trombone
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/11/05

Loc: Canadian west (and north!)
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #4937151 - 11/27/11 11:08 AM

Any tips or tricks on use or setup? I thought it had a dark mode...

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mlanglois
member


Reged: 12/04/09

Loc: Newton, MA
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Trombone]
      #4938203 - 11/27/11 09:23 PM

Trombone,

It does have a dark mode (red illuminated.) Unfortunately, unless the iPhone/iPad is in fairly constant use it will go to sleep. When that happens, you turn it back on to the last used app screen... in normal, bright, white backlighting.

That being said, it is a pretty amazing program. I've used it to control my AP Mach1, a Skywatcher EQ-5, and a Celestron CPC. Dan is right about the incredibly comprehensive included catalog, and not just for doubles either.

Also, it is a wonderful tool for outreach and instruction.

Michael

p.s. There is now a desktop/laptop version of the program so you do not have to run it on an iOS device. I haven't tried this version yet.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #4938236 - 11/27/11 09:39 PM

Second best.

iPad2 with Sky Safari is the best.

I've ordered one of these hard rear covers for the iPad2 so that I can affix heavy duty Velcro to it and attach the iPad2 to the leg of my tripods:

http://www.hypershop.com/HyperShield-Glow-In-The-Dark-Hard-Back-Cover-for-p/hsgh-red.htm

- Jim


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jimb1001
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #4938559 - 11/28/11 02:58 AM

Quote:

Jim,
I looked at that a while back. We had it hooked to a laptop but I like the idea of the small hand held Iphone for portability. Sky Tools is a wonderful program though.




I have an old HP running XP. It has a serial port which makes it easy to control the mallincam. Rather than running multiple windows on the laptop, I find my iphone or ipad easier to use. I use the iphone outside, with a small lcd display and the ipad inside with a monitor.

The only real issue I have with the setup is wire wrap. I have pavers set up about 12' from the house's side door and window. I have a view of polaris from there so it makes set up easy but once I start slewing I'm always concerned about wires. I try to keep to the west, sout and north which works out fine as the house is east of the mount and block about 60 degrees on that side.


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4938792 - 11/28/11 09:36 AM

Although I have not tried Sky Safari in the field I can see its great potential for telescope control. For deep sky it goes waaaaay beyond the NGC and IC catalogs to MCG's and UGC's an other more obscure catalogs. And its nomenclature for stellar objects is marvellously cross-referenced. If you have old notes that only give SAO # you can use that. Aitken doublestars - no problem. Herschel, Struve, Hussey, Burnham, South etc. No problem. Enter whatever catalog designation you have and the object comes up. Then you can slew your scope to it just fine.

I will be getting an iPad just for this purpose to wirelessly link with my soon-to-be-ServoCat-equipped 16" dob.

And it only costs $40!!!!!

Dave


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Cotts]
      #4939160 - 11/28/11 12:58 PM

Dave:

Yup, Sky Safari is pretty incredible, really.

I think I am actually starting to prefer the no-muss, no-fuss set-up of the wired format though, even if Sky-Fi is pretty cool for outreach and public observing sessions.

"Okay, here on the iPad you can see the sky. Now, if we touch here and highlight that object, you can look up there and see that object in the sky as well. Now we send those three telescopes over there to the target on the iPad and you can all go have a look at the object through a telescope."



Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: iceblaze]
      #4939212 - 11/28/11 01:39 PM

Sky Safari does have a night-vision mode, by the way.

Regards,

Jim


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wz2
Most Boring Astronomer...


Reged: 07/30/10

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4939787 - 11/28/11 08:07 PM

Cool - could it be used in place of the rudimentary hand controller provided with the Paramount MX?

Chris


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Poochpa
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/12/05

Loc: Buffalo Burbs, NY
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: wz2]
      #4939944 - 11/28/11 09:57 PM

I use SkySafari w/ Skywire on an Ipod Touch to control my Tak Temma II mount. Skysafari is a pleasure to use and the gotos are highly accurate. However, because of the large size of the Skywire connector at the Ipod end, I have to handle the whole thing gingerly or it will lose the connection as it flexes.
Mike


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oo_void
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/13/09

Loc: San Francisco, CA
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Poochpa]
      #4940111 - 11/29/11 12:01 AM

Anyone know if the Skyfi adapter will play nice with Maxim?

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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: mlanglois]
      #4940221 - 11/29/11 02:03 AM

Quote:

Trombone,

It does have a dark mode (red illuminated.) Unfortunately, unless the iPhone/iPad is in fairly constant use it will go to sleep. When that happens, you turn it back on to the last used app screen... in normal, bright, white backlighting.

Michael





Hi Michael,

Actually there's an easy solution to solve that problem. Just go into your Iphone/Ipad under "settings" then to "general" settings to "autolock" and choose "never". You have a choice of 2 min 3 min 5 min or never lock. Don;t worry either, it will hardly even drain the battery because at night all your settings are set to low in "night mode" and the battery lasts for hours on end. I've never seen a program for a telescope handset so incredible. Nothing comes remotely close. It's all I use now for my Temma II.


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Trombone]
      #4940231 - 11/29/11 02:19 AM

Quote:

Any tips or tricks on use or setup? I thought it had a dark mode...




It's right on the menu bar called "night" mode and you can set the brightness level to low. That's all there is to it.


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