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dciobota
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Reged: 08/07/07

Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5802378 - 04/16/13 11:32 AM

Hi guys,

The reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated... ok, maybe not by much lol. Been out of the scene for sometime now, and I do feel guilty about not finishing this app, or at least putting it up on the market, such as it is. I have also another one that remains about 80% complete (an astro oriented dslr control), so I really need to get my stuff together and finish what I startet, lol.

As to the usb serial access. I downloaded the terminal app, and tried to connect to my two scopes: one, an ioptron cube pro, the other a celstron slt, using my two tablets, a nexus 7 and a samsung tab 2 7.0. Unfortunately, neither tablet worked with neither scope. :-( The tab seemed to connect, but I never got replies back from either scope.

Without the actual code from that app, or at least knowing why it won't work, I feel I may be reinventing the wheel trying to support usb. I know how to connect to usb devices, but not sure how a usb serial device actually works. In linux, the device is registered with the approriate driver (like usbserial), but this is not the case with android it seems. It does register the usb device (it shows up with dmesg) but no driver is assigned to it. So it looks to me like the app you mentioned has its own driver built in. So not much luck for me there.
I may do some more research on this in the future.
As a more fruitful path, the indi for java project provides a better (more generic) way of interfacing with telescope devices:
http://www.indilib.org/develop/indiforjava.html

Currently, the only implementations I see for drivers is using bluetooth, like my app. But if usb support is added in the future, writing a driver for indi may be the best way to go.

Hope this helps.

Daniel


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dciobota
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Reged: 08/07/07

Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #5802750 - 04/16/13 01:47 PM

So, ok, I did some quick research and lo and behold, google code shows this project:
http://code.google.com/p/usb-serial-for-android/

Looks perfect for the job. So now I need to get off my easy chair and do some coding again. ;-)


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Driven1
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Reged: 08/19/10

Loc: N. Central PA near CSSP
Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #5803499 - 04/16/13 08:36 PM

Wow! You DO exist! Sweet!

Here's the thing, I already have a working USB Serial port using Slick USB (available through Market) on my Tablet so all I really need is for your app to recognize the USB serial's available for use. If you want to build a USB serial port into your app, that would be awesome too.

I use Slick USB to create the port with my USB to Serial converter. Connect the USB Serial converter to the AutoStar hand controller vial a homebuilt Serial/DB9 cable, and then I've made a command connection to the Meade AutoStar Controller using a terminal app. I can send commands from the terminal app based on Meade's command set and get the scope to move. I just have no clue how to make it all work easily. In fact, I can't even figure out how to get the scope to STOP moving! Lol!

For the person that mentioned SkySafari...

Already talked to the folks a Southern Stars about adding serial support to SkySafari. They're not gonna touch it for support reasons. It would be really great if they would, but I got a VERY firm No.

I also realize that I could go BT or Wifi but using serial is such a simple system that it's not likely to give the headaches associated with the other two. I can also currently do the same thing using my Laptop with the same USB to Serial converter. The use of my Tablet is just sooo much easier to carry around.

If I had a clue about coding I'd try to get it done myself. But alas, I don't.

So, I'm hoping dciobota can come up with something. Thanks for your interest and your coding abilities!

Oh! Almost forgot. According to what I've read in the Meade Command Set, not all commands will give replies, ie: Movements like :Me# (moves the scope East but does not give an acknowledgement that the command was received). Their "Get" commands WILL give replies like :GL# (shows Local time from the Controller in 24hr. format. These DO come back as correct replies in the terminal app I'm using.



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dciobota
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Reged: 08/07/07

Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: Driven1]
      #5805578 - 04/17/13 09:43 PM

Hi Driven,

Lol I exist and that's all I can say at the moment. Not sure what you mean "have a working serial port" through Slick USB. As far as I can tell, the app is only a serial terminal simulator, unless I missed something. There is a library for sale to allow oither apps to connect to serial devices, but it's $99, a bit to steep for me.

I did some more digging and there is an indiserver app for android that so far has lx200 support over usb (I think). It mentions bluetooth only, but the code shows prolific support unless I'm mistaken. So, that's probably the best way to go for me: write an indi client (or use the one for android) and hook it up to my app.

I'll keep you posted, but I'm not promising anything soon. ;-)

I'm actually kinda surprised none of the planetarium folks tried to tackle this already.

Hope this helps.

Daniel


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Driven1
super member


Reged: 08/19/10

Loc: N. Central PA near CSSP
Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: dciobota]
      #5807421 - 04/18/13 06:39 PM

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=slickdevlabs.apps.usbtoserialte...

Yup. You're missing something. If you own an FTDI based USB to serial converter (and I do), Slick USB provides the driver to allow Android to utilize the converter. Slick USB also has a terminal built into it. There are free and paid versions. The one thing I don't know is if other apps would be able to access the serial port.

This is what I'm using for a serial port...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=18...


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dciobota
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Reged: 08/07/07

Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: Driven1]
      #5807588 - 04/18/13 08:04 PM

That's a pretty nifty and compact little adapter!

But yes, I agree with you, the app lets you talk to your mount that way, but it won't allow other apps to do the same unless you buy that library he has advertised for $99. I'll keep playing with that android indiserver app to see if I can get it to talk to one of my mounts. Stay tuned.

Daniel


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Driven1
super member


Reged: 08/19/10

Loc: N. Central PA near CSSP
Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) [Re: dciobota]
      #5807927 - 04/18/13 11:27 PM

Thanks Dan.

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JLundberg
newbie


Reged: 01/20/14

Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: Driven1]
      #6324016 - 01/20/14 12:12 PM

Hello everyone,

Just getting back into things and ran across this forum. I'm excited about the possibilities running my scope from my android. I look forward to hearing about more of this in the future.

John


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deltacathy
newbie


Reged: 02/09/13

Re: Android + Bluetooth = telescope control! :) new [Re: JLundberg]
      #6387374 - 02/20/14 06:45 PM Attachment (4 downloads)

Quote:

Hello everyone,

Just getting back into things and ran across this forum. I'm excited about the possibilities running my scope from my android. I look forward to hearing about more of this in the future.

John




Hi John,
Do a search on the net for ( synscan Bluetooth ) and you find a link to the Bluetooth adaptor for Meade LX200 ,Skywatcher SynScan and Celestron Nexstar mounts ( Nexstar are heavier as they need a battery pack attached ) Merlin/Teletrack and Allview are the same size as the picture.
They weigh around 28g and work with pc mac or Android also have a look at the Skywatcher EQ8 Bluetooth on YouTube .

Edited by deltacathy (02/20/14 07:46 PM)


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