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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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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: John Jarosz]
      #4957616 - 12/08/11 11:34 PM

FYI, the app is half off until then end of the day today, 12/08/11.

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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #4960804 - 12/11/11 03:22 AM

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 WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!.




I bow in humble acknowledgement of your unsurpassed Burnham foo - that is one beat up looking observing notebook

-drl


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

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: deSitter]
      #4961033 - 12/11/11 09:35 AM Attachment (31 downloads)

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 WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!.




I bow in humble acknowledgement of your unsurpassed Burnham foo - that is one beat up looking observing notebook

-drl




In that case I present to you, Burnham's Celestial Handbook.

"What we have learnt Is like a handful of earth;
What we have yet to learn Is like the whole world....."


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #4961456 - 12/11/11 02:06 PM

Dan,
A testament to their owners commitment. I'd say, make sure you get a good IPhone/IPad cover.

Joe


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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: jmiele]
      #4961516 - 12/11/11 02:59 PM

The other item I would suggest for us cold weather observers is a tablet stylus so one can wear gloves/mittens and still control the iPad.

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wpappas53
super member


Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: The Villages, Fl
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #4961700 - 12/11/11 04:53 PM

Argo is still required, you set the Catalog to From Planeterium, if you don't it does not work.

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Rick R.
journeyman


Reged: 12/05/11

Loc: center of known universe
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: wpappas53]
      #4962411 - 12/12/11 05:43 AM

Hello All,

New to this forum and first new scope in decades! Also just got an iPhone 4s. I was clueless that Sky Safari existed. Wow! this thread has me pretty excited!

I am going to spend some time with my new scope's (CPC 9.25Edge HD) capacities and alignment procedures for a bit first, but I am very interested in being able to control this scope from the comfort of my home. We currently have our home set up with Apple routers for wireless connectivity. How can I set up my iPhone and or Mac laptop to wirelessly control my scope?

Sorry for the nube questions but this forum seems to have awesome tolerance for newbies and I am so pumped to finally own a good scope!

regards,
Rick R.


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OneDaveT
sage
*****

Reged: 10/24/11

Loc: IL, USA
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Rick R.]
      #4963722 - 12/12/11 10:30 PM

Hi Rick,

Welcome to the forum and congrats on the 4S and soon CPC925HD.
The device is called SkyFi by one manufacturer, or StarSeek if you buy it from Orion. It's a little box that plugs into the serial port on your CPC925HD (which would be at the bottom of the NexStar hand controller). The device sets up a WiFi adhoc network, which you would then connect to with your iPhone. Likely can connect wireless with your mac, but I just haven't tried it. The adhoc network is completely independent of your infrastruture mode home wifi network. This would let you control the scope from anywhere within range of the SkyFi device. I suppose in theory you could wireless transmit video from the scope, and then watch everything in your living room this winter.

enjoy,
Dave


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Rick R.
journeyman


Reged: 12/05/11

Loc: center of known universe
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: OneDaveT]
      #4964303 - 12/13/11 09:39 AM

Thanx much Dave. I am for sure going to set this scope up to send images back to the comfort of my home! I am also looking forward to simply being out under the night sky with family and friends. This is just the beginning of fulfilling a childhood dream and this forum has, in no small part, helped push me to do this.

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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5852379 - 05/10/13 05:35 PM

A year and a half later, I have had the chance to drive a ServoCAT dob with SkySafari and SkyFi.

Wow. After 30 plus years of star hopping, I don't want to be without this. One of my observing partners has had ServoCAT for years, but the Argo Navis interface didn't do a lot for me. But with SkySafari as the inteface, it's like going from an old command-line interface on your computer directly to OS X. And then there is the whole benefit of leaving 20+ pounds of charts at home.

Even with a slipping encoder on the first night out this thing is amazing. As the reticle drifted into the field, I could see the amount of error relative to the target on the screen of my iPad Mini. It was then a simple matter to use the ServoCAT directional buttons on the hand controller and watch the iPad screen to place the reticle on target and viola! The target was centered in the eyepiece.

With the Dob question settled, the question is what to do with my older non-GOTO Losmandy GM-8. Adding Gemini would be a pretty decent chunk of change ($1500). Realistically, I could liquidate the mount and AP refractor and build quite a first-class rich-field Newtonian with Zambuto and ServoCAT with money left over.

But I kind of do like the refractor presentation on double stars and wide-field. And one does not get rid of an AP refractor lightly. So if Gemini plays well with SkySafari, it would be the preferred option.

Are any Gemini owners using SkySafari? How is it working out for you?


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5852649 - 05/10/13 07:59 PM

Hi Jeff,

Your use with the servocat got me thinking.. can I use skysafari or the celestron skyq without the skyfi or celestron skyq link. Maybe through nexremote? As the Koolaid man would say... OH YA!!! Using open source code (google server_rs232.exe or share pc serial port over lan) I was able to share my nexremote virtual port over my lan and have skysafari link to my pc and control the mount. Skyq works too. I simply told the program to share com 9 (my nexremote virtual port) and use port 4020 to listen on. Skyq and skysafari use port 4030 (you can set the port in skysafari) to connect to your pc..

This also allows me to control the scope over the internet from anywhere with any planetarium program.

Thanks for making me brain storm real quick. I was getting a little sick and tired of using skysafari manually. I don't use the wifi dongles because they drop packets and don't have much error control between the tcp stack and the com stack. With this setup I can align with nexremote and if my ipad or iphone loses connectivity, i don't lose my alignment!

Tested on win7x64

I tested nexhub and tcp2ip (astrogeeks) nexhub works great. I can connect phd, skysafari, thesky, and maxim all at the same time to nexhub and have wifi mount control through the pc.. tcp2ip has some timeout issue that I will be working with the guys at astrogeeks to resolve. The opensouce program I used works with nexhub and works great.

Thanks again!

Edited by wolfman_4_ever (05/11/13 01:01 AM)


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microstar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/05/08

Loc: Canada
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: jwaldo]
      #5852877 - 05/10/13 10:22 PM

Quote:

I just wish there was an option to connect it through a PC instead of a dedicated device, so I could run PHD and whatnot at the same time...




Here's another option for interfacing Sky Safari to your mount through your PC.

http://www.mainsequencesoftware.com/WFS.html

Otherwise I use Splashtop to remotely view and control my PC desktop from my iPad.

...Keith

Edited by microstar (05/10/13 10:30 PM)


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! [Re: microstar]
      #5853127 - 05/11/13 12:56 AM

This post was resurrected from the dead..

I believe RJ (jwaldo) wants to use it without the wifi adapter connected to the mount. That's just ip to serial emulator software. You can also use celestron skifi pc app for a free ip so serial emulation software.

I believe RJ (jwaldo) was looking at the way I bypassed the wifi device connected to the mount.


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MAURITS
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/22/09

Loc: Belgium
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5853336 - 05/11/13 07:44 AM

I use the Handheld Algiz 7 handcontroler with SkyTools3.





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Jeff Morgan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 09/28/03

Loc: Prescott, AZ
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5854090 - 05/11/13 04:38 PM

Quote:

This post was resurrected from the dead..




Guilty as charged.

I was looking through old threads to see if people were using SkySafari with Gemini and didn't find the answer (yet). I thought asking about it here may be more productive than starting a new thread, and an enjoyable retrospective.

Or perhaps not


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Gary.McK
member


Reged: 01/29/09

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Jeff Morgan]
      #5854276 - 05/11/13 07:06 PM

I use the android versiion of Skysafari. With this you can use a dirt cheap bluetooth to serial connector on the scope end and connect via bluetooth from any android device easily. Can't do this with an Ipad/Iphone...one reason I'm getting an android tablet.
cheers
Gary


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Taylor
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/10/05

Loc: Owasso, OK
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Gary.McK]
      #5854290 - 05/11/13 07:29 PM

Quote:

I use the android versiion of Skysafari. With this you can use a dirt cheap bluetooth to serial connector on the scope end and connect via bluetooth from any android device easily. Can't do this with an Ipad/Iphone...one reason I'm getting an android tablet.
cheers
Gary




Which "dirt cheap" bluetooth to serial adapter did you have success with?
I'm using a Google Nexus tablet and would like to get wireless control for my CG5-GT.


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Gary.McK
member


Reged: 01/29/09

Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Taylor]
      #5854324 - 05/11/13 08:05 PM

Hi,
I initially tried a borrowed one from a friend that had a 100m range. This was about $40 on Ebay. Just had a look and couldn't see any currently listed. Hooked up first try.

I've just ordered one of these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181061869863?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p39...

See no reason why it should not work.

There is also a thread here:
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=73551&highlight=bluet...

that might help

cheers
Gary

"Which "dirt cheap" bluetooth to serial adapter did you have success with?
I'm using a Google Nexus tablet and would like to get wireless control for my CG5-GT. "


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Gary.McK]
      #5854409 - 05/11/13 09:18 PM

Well, dirt cheap is fine, but not the greatest. I am not a big fan of blue tooth control. I love the wifi option. I can connect my telescope/skyfi to my home network and hence control the telescope anywhere outside or from inside the home. And with the home network, in theory I can control from anywhere in the world. At a remote site, I am obviously not controlling via the home network, but I can remotely control from a distance much farther than bluetooth. This is great especially for outreach events.

I avoid android tablets like the plague. Too many malware issues, and platform inconsistency issues. From a developer point of view we also avoid it due to the high piracy rate of software under the Android universe (up to 90%). Android users seem to steal software. Why, I do not know. Revenues are WAY higher under iOS vs Android. And our commercial customers only go with iOS.

One thing I am putting together is tying in a MacMini via SkyFi/SkySafari Pro to the telescope along with the MallinCam software. Then tying this all together via the AppleTV and displaying on the 65" home theater system, and soon larger screens in the observatory. Supplemental control via either the iPad or iPhone (or heck, iPod touch!). Users just love look at the star maps (or enlarging the view of objects), touching the iOS device, watching the telescope go to the object and then seeing everything on the TV screen.

Oh, in one lazy moment, I forgot to "park" my LX200. While reading in bed, I switched from the iBooks app to the SkySafari app, and commanded the telescope to move, watching the viewfinder automatically move. I know, totally lazy, but I loved it!

Anyways, I love the iOS devices - it just works. SkySafari/SkyFi, I love it!


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Taylor
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/10/05

Loc: Owasso, OK
Re: Simply the best hand controller on the planet! new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5854462 - 05/11/13 10:00 PM

Quote:


I avoid android tablets like the plague. Too many malware issues, and platform inconsistency issues. From a developer point of view we also avoid it due to the high piracy rate of software under the Android universe (up to 90%). Android users seem to steal software. Why, I do not know. Revenues are WAY higher under iOS vs Android. And our commercial customers only go with iOS.





Careful with that statement. I used to believe the same thing, until I tried the Google designed and Asus built Nexus. That bad boy is sweet.
Very fluid design, the software just works on it, just like iOS.
I've been using it in the backyard as my star chart with SkySafari and enjoyed every second of it.
It also doubles as my work tablet as I can wirelessly enter orders into the computer from anywhere, love it.
Now if we're talking third party designed Android tablets, then I would have to agree. Google needs to get a lockdown on some of the garbage hardware that is being released with their name on it. It is killing what could otherwise be a very successful tablet OS.

I think piracy is higher on Android because of the nature of the market. More power users and computer geeks will buy that than the iOS devices.
The majority of iOS users will never consider jailbreaking, but piracy is just as easy on iOS once jailbroken. Android still needs to be rooted in order to pirate. Anyways, off topic.


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