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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Peter D.
sage
*****

Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Central New York
Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek
      #5382842 - 08/23/12 01:53 PM

I just installed SkiFi (same as Orion StarSeek) and I'm controlling my CG5-GT via SkySafari on my iPod Touch. That works GREAT , but I'm also wondering if it's possible to guide through that path too. I'm currently guiding with PHD through GPUSB, and I figured if I could go through SkyFi that would be one less cable to contend with. I imagine that it might work via PHD's ASCOM interface, but I have no experience with ASCOM at all. I also like to investigate controlling the CG5 through planetarium software running on my laptop, since while the iPod works great its battery runs down quickly and the bigger laptop screen would be nice to have (I also run Cartes du Ciel and Nebulosity on the laptop).

I tried to install the ASCOM drivers for PHD and Cartes du Ciel, but that didn't seem to work. The laptop can connect to the SkiFi network, but nothing seems to happen. Note; I should mention that while I'm a pretty good analog engineer, computers and digital networks continually cause me grief.

My imaging and guiding cameras are currently connected to my laptop through USB cables; can these go through SkyFi too (it has a USB port), or is that asking too much? It would be REALLY NICE to have a completely wireless interface!

Any help and/or comments would be greatly appreciated!

Pete


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5383865 - 08/24/12 01:12 AM

I don't know if this will work with the skyfi but you will need some sort of IP to serial emulation software.. There is software that will create a virtual com port to IP addresses. The WiiSnap is a wireless serial device that uses IP to serial emulation.. I have a skyfi but I have never tried it. I also have a wiisnap and it works well with theskyx but I have never tried to guide with it...

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5385086 - 08/24/12 07:07 PM

Do you have Mac or Windows laptop? Other software can make use of the SkyFi connection.

Edited by Mkofski (08/24/12 07:39 PM)


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Peter D.
sage
*****

Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Central New York
Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5388088 - 08/26/12 02:59 PM

My laptop is a Dell Inspiron N5110 that I bought in March of this year. The operating system is Windows 7. I have successfully used PHD, Nebulosity and Envisage, all using the USB ports (there are 3) on the laptop for connection to my cameras. There is no RS232 serial port. I can run Cartes du Ciel, but it will not connect to the telescope.

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5388426 - 08/26/12 06:09 PM

No. You can't guide with SkySafari. You will need a guiding program like PHD or similar running on a PC. Or you can get a standalone guide camera and eliminate the computer altogether.

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Peter D.
sage
*****

Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Central New York
Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: rmollise]
      #5389438 - 08/27/12 09:51 AM

Quote:

No. You can't guide with SkySafari. You will need a guiding program like PHD or similar running on a PC. Or you can get a standalone guide camera and eliminate the computer altogether.



I'm not trying to use SkySafari for guiding; only for aiming and GoTo control. I'm using PHD for guiding and it works fine when hard-wired to my DSI and my Shoestring ST-4 interface. I'm just wondering if it's possible to do the interface wirelessly through the SkyFi port; since my laptop can "see" the SkiFi network it might work.

I've considered the Celestron standalone guide camera, but since it's an additional expense and PHD works great for me now (except for the wires) I'll stick with it. With PHD you can see everything it's doing (guiding graphs, guide commands, S/N, etc), but I doubt that's true for the standalone guider.

I believe that while it could be possible to configure PHD to work wirelessly, it could require additional driver software. I'm looking for help in that area, but it may be that the wireless technology is so new there may be nobody on these forums that has any experience. If it were only an electrical issue I'd jump into it myself, but I hate messing with software (I'm barely capable of installing commercial software as it is ).


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5389546 - 08/27/12 10:59 AM

Quote:

Quote:

No. You can't guide with SkySafari. You will need a guiding program like PHD or similar running on a PC. Or you can get a standalone guide camera and eliminate the computer altogether.



I'm not trying to use SkySafari for guiding; only for aiming and GoTo control. I'm using PHD for guiding and it works fine when hard-wired to my DSI and my Shoestring ST-4 interface. I'm just wondering if it's possible to do the interface wirelessly through the SkyFi port; since my laptop can "see" the SkiFi network it might work.

I've considered the Celestron standalone guide camera, but since it's an additional expense and PHD works great for me now (except for the wires) I'll stick with it. With PHD you can see everything it's doing (guiding graphs, guide commands, S/N, etc), but I doubt that's true for the standalone guider.

I believe that while it could be possible to configure PHD to work wirelessly, it could require additional driver software. I'm looking for help in that area, but it may be that the wireless technology is so new there may be nobody on these forums that has any experience. If it were only an electrical issue I'd jump into it myself, but I hate messing with software (I'm barely capable of installing commercial software as it is ).




OK...the title of your post says "guiding." Anyhoo, I don't believe there is a way to do what you want.


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shakafell
member


Reged: 09/28/11

Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: rmollise]
      #6128350 - 10/10/13 03:39 AM

Yes you can do this. You just need to get virtual com port software. There are some recommended options on the Southern Stars website. I use HW VSP3.

Then the SkyFi unit will appear as a COM port on your PC. It's just as if you are using the serial cable plugged into your hand controller.

This will make SkyFi work with virtually any astronomical software on your PC including autoguiding. If the software can communicate directly with your scope then that's all you need, otherwise you will need ASCOM.


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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: Peter D.]
      #6128506 - 10/10/13 08:18 AM

Ya might wanna ask the folks at Southern Stars about this. I don't believe you can guide, image, and do GoTos through SkiFi. The issue I see is with iOS. iOS is not compatible with any Windows, OSX, or Linux/Unix operating system software applications like PHD, Envisage, Nebulosity, etc. and as a consequence, iOS is also not compatible with any hardware that relies on any of the aforementioned PC/Laptop OS's driver models.

And, just so you know, the folks at Southern Stars have no intentions of ever developing a Windows version of Sky Safari or Satellite Safari, so using a Windows based PC with a SkiFi is out of the question.

However, if you want a completely wireless setup that will let you control your mount and camera(s) you can use Ultra VNC and use a remote PC or laptop to control a laptop that is connected to your mount and cameras. The only caveat is the laptop at your mount and your controlling PC/laptop must be in range of, and/or physically connected to a wireless router.

I've tested uVNC with my gear. I have full remote control of my LXD75 through a laptop connected to the mount and cameras. I can run Autostar Suite for GoTos and I can run Envisage to control a DSIc guide camera and a DSI Pro imager.


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: rmollise]
      #6128689 - 10/10/13 09:59 AM

Quote:

Or you can get a standalone guide camera and eliminate the computer altogether.




In theory that is.


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shakafell
member


Reged: 09/28/11

Re: Guiding CG5 via SkyFi/StarSeek new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #6129620 - 10/10/13 06:07 PM

Quote:

Ya might wanna ask the folks at Southern Stars about this. I don't believe you can guide, image, and do GoTos through SkiFi. The issue I see is with iOS. iOS is not compatible with any Windows, OSX, or Linux/Unix operating system software applications like PHD, Envisage, Nebulosity, etc. and as a consequence, iOS is also not compatible with any hardware that relies on any of the aforementioned PC/Laptop OS's driver models.

And, just so you know, the folks at Southern Stars have no intentions of ever developing a Windows version of Sky Safari or Satellite Safari, so using a Windows based PC with a SkiFi is out of the question.




I was trying to figure out a way to use the iPad at the same time as the PC but I don't think its possible.

You CAN however use SkyFi with your PC. I do it all the time. I've used programs like Satellite Tracker, PHD, Stellarium and NexRemote all wirelessly thru the SkyFi. NexRemote will also allow you to use a second program at the same time thru its own virtual serial port. So you can do your gotos with NexRemote and have PHD still running thru it.

There is also a program called NexHub that is supposed to let your telescope connect to multiple programs at once over a COM port. I see no reason why this can't work with SkyFi either.


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