Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Anyone using SkyTools 3 to plan their night or choose targets?

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
85 replies to this topic

#26 Procyon

Procyon

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6,734
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2009

Posted 20 September 2014 - 09:57 AM

What does the real time tab do exactly? Can you ask Greg to lower the standard edition or to have a 50$ option for us cheap 6 and 8"scope owners lol.

#27 btschumy

btschumy

    Vendor - Our Galaxy

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 3,890
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2004

Posted 20 September 2014 - 10:03 AM

Yeah...an Android tablet is right convenient...if you don't mind carrying a router around in your back pocket so you can connect tablet to Sky-fi. :lol:

 

There is no "they". SkyTools is a one man operation done by the talented Greg Crinklaw. ;)

Rod,

 

With Android you would connect using Bluetooth rather than SkyFi.  No pocket router required  ;)



#28 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 32,950
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 20 September 2014 - 11:06 AM

 

Yeah...an Android tablet is right convenient...if you don't mind carrying a router around in your back pocket so you can connect tablet to Sky-fi. :lol:

 

There is no "they". SkyTools is a one man operation done by the talented Greg Crinklaw. ;)

Rod,

 

With Android you would connect using Bluetooth rather than SkyFi.  No pocket router required  ;)

 

 

That's how I do it. NexStar SE 6/8 mount, Firebat BlueTooth and Asus Android tablet with Sky Safari Pro.  Very easy and stable setup.  

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 20 September 2014 - 11:06 AM.


#29 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 32,950
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 20 September 2014 - 11:11 AM

Yeah...an Android tablet is right convenient...if you don't mind carrying a router around in your back pocket so you can connect tablet to Sky-fi. :lol:

 

Who does that? I connect my NexStar SE 6/8 mount through Firebat BlueTooth to my Asus Android tablet running SkySafari Pro. Very easy, very convenient and very stable connection.  I can either run the NexStar remotely from SSP on the tablet or reach over and run the NexStar through the Hand Control.  

 

So who needs Sky-Fi? Or a router? Or a latptop? Or SkyTools?  :roflmao:

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 20 September 2014 - 11:13 AM.


#30 galael

galael

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2012

Posted 20 September 2014 - 11:18 AM

I purchased SkyTools Pro about six months ago. I'm one of those guys who wants to know every nook and cranny of the software so I read the entire 400 page manual.  This program is absolutely hands down the best observing aid I've ever used.  Here are some use cases and some tests I've put the software through:

 

  • Set the light pollution and horizon line for my suburban backyard so when I plan my observing sessions, I can quickly narrow my list of candidates to optimum targets (and sort them by optimal viewing times).
  • Created a list of polar alignment stars so I always see just the optimum alignment candidates for the evening.
  • I do all of my nightly logging in Skytools. It keeps track of logs by object or date and you can attach images to the log sessions
  • I love being able to quickly see the naked eye or my telescope/eyepiece field of view of any object. 
  • I downloaded the Burnhams object lists by constellation so I can work on viewing each object while reading Burnham's comments on each.  With the Pro version, I just click to slew the telescope to each object.
  • For fun one cloudy night, I was curious how accurate the sky atlas feature was in Skytools, so I broke out my Uranometria (both the 1st edition and the new edition) to see how random sectors compared to each other.  What I learned was the the while the 1st edition, being 30 years older, contains less objects overall it contains some objects that are fainter than 9.8 magnitude.  The latest edition of Uranometria cuts off at 9.75 magnitude.  The neat thing was that Skytools perfectly matched both atlases and went well beyond the 10th magnitude. I also really like SkyTools atlas colorings so now I just print out my sky charts from SkyTools and save the wear and tear on my atlases.


#31 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 32,950
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 20 September 2014 - 11:21 AM

There is no "they". SkyTools is a one man operation done by the talented Greg Crinklaw. ;)

 

I will give SkyTools another try when Greg ports it to Android. Until then, I don't see any advantage in it for me.  It would just be another desktop astronomy tool. I want something I can use on a hand-held tablet out in the field.  I don't want any gizmo I need to keep on a desk or even a shelf attached to the mount. I want something I can carry around and hold for hours without tiring. 

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 20 September 2014 - 11:25 AM.


#32 rmollise

rmollise

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,516
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2007

Posted 20 September 2014 - 01:00 PM

What does the real time tab do exactly? Can you ask Greg to lower the standard edition or to have a 50$ option for us cheap 6 and 8"scope owners lol.

 

 

I am just a user and have nothing more to do with ST3 than that. And it's only 25 bucks for the freaking RealTime unlock. Hell, I don't think I've ever had a BAR TAB THAT SMALL. :lol:

 

As far as what RealTime does, it displays the members of an observing list that are currently above the horizon (or more than above the horizon depending on what you specify).

 

It is very flexible. One night when I was working the Herschel Project, for example, I had RealTime list the objects in Eridanus that were high enough to fool with, and order them by magnitude. That way, I could pick off the easier ones first. ALSO, SkyTools will update what's currently visible on the RealTime tab, so in a few minutes, another "easy" 12th magnitude galaxy would pop onto the list. I didn't use the program for telescope control that night, but found RealTime incredibly useful even so. It is KEEN. :woohoo:



#33 rmollise

rmollise

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,516
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2007

Posted 20 September 2014 - 01:05 PM

:crazyeyes: 

I will give SkyTools another try when Greg ports it to Android. Until then, I don't see any advantage in it for me.  It would just be another desktop astronomy tool. I want something I can use on a hand-held tablet out in the field.  I don't want any gizmo I need to keep on a desk or even a shelf attached to the mount. I want something I can carry around and hold for hours without tiring. 
 
Mike


It could happen, though I believe Greg has in the past indicated he has no plans to port ST3 to Android or iOS. Otherwise...I dunno. You must work differently than I do. I don't want to hold the thing at all. I want the computer whether it is a tablet of a big honkin' laptop with a 17-inch display on the observing table out of the dew. And I much prefer a 17-inch screen with a real keyboard to a little tablet anyhow. But I am a known Luddite. :drool5:


Edited by rmollise, 20 September 2014 - 01:08 PM.


#34 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 32,950
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 20 September 2014 - 02:14 PM

We must work differently.  I want everything I need right at the eyepiece with me.  Ideally I want to be able to look immediately from eyepiece view to SSP view on the tablet without having to move out of my seat. Sometimes I've even managed to look in the eyepiece with one eye and look at SSP with the other eye!  The worst case scenario for me would be to get up from the telescope and walk over to the computer to check out an object's location and then walk back to the telescope to verify in the eyepiece. I'd almost rather go back to printed charts.  Actually, the very worst setup I've seen is when a deep sky enthusiast with a big, tall Dob will climb down the ladder and go to his vehicle to check out the view on his computer.  Not gonna happen' here.

 

Just be sure to put a nice dark red filter on that big honkin' screen!  As long as it's red I don't care, but you know how some of those dark site fanatics are!  Some don't even want red light at the dark site.  :crazyeyes:

 

:grin:

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 20 September 2014 - 02:16 PM.


#35 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,114
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 20 September 2014 - 02:35 PM

 

I would only use this program for the listing it provides of easy to difficult targets for the night. For charts I use Stellarium on the Android phone, I've yet to find anything that looks as smooth as Stellarium. 

 

 

The charts in SkyTools 3, the Interactive Atlas, go far deeper and the catalogs are more reliable, better corrected, than those of Stellarium or SkySafari. Not that those aren't good programs--they are Just sayin'. :lol:

 

 

 

I use Sky Safari in the field but I use Sky Tools 3 on my desktop to "plan" my observations.  I bought it to use for double stars because it does compute the orbits of short period binaries, it's great for finding interesting doubles.  Sky Safari also computes the orbits of short period binaries but I find that the data in Sky Tools is more reliable and also deeper, it provides the data for all the pairs in a pair. Most doubles are actually multiple stars with A-B, A-C, etc pairings, Skytools includes those.  

 

Jon



#36 btschumy

btschumy

    Vendor - Our Galaxy

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 3,890
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2004

Posted 20 September 2014 - 02:59 PM

Jon,

 

FYI: SkySafari Pro also provides information on all the pairs in a multiple star system.  This was one of the new features in 4.0.  It is only in Pro and I seem to recall you use Plus.



#37 rmollise

rmollise

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,516
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2007

Posted 20 September 2014 - 04:11 PM

Just be sure to put a nice dark red filter on that big honkin' screen!  As long as it's red I don't care, but you know how some of those dark site fanatics are!  Some don't even want red light at the dark site.  :crazyeyes:
 
:grin:
Mike


I've gone to a lot of star parties for a lot of years with the big sucka and have never had a problem. Sight-Saver plus the SkyTools night vision setting and everybody is happy. :)

Even so, however, I would NOT want to look directly from the eyepiece to an iPad or other tablet. No matter how well filtered. But I go after some fiercely dim stuff. ;)


Edited by rmollise, 20 September 2014 - 04:14 PM.


#38 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 32,950
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 20 September 2014 - 05:51 PM

It's not bad at all when you have a layer of Rubylinth over a layer of AstroGizmo with the tablet set on lowest setting and SSP on monochrome.  For stuff toward the LM of my site and scope, I'll set the tablet aside for awhile and throw the Dark Apparel hood over my head.  This protocol must be working OK, because after an hour or so bagging the faintest fuzzies, if I suddenly slew over to a middling globular it will appear a weird pale green for a few seconds before turning white.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 20 September 2014 - 05:53 PM.


#39 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,114
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 21 September 2014 - 10:25 AM

Jon,

 

FYI: SkySafari Pro also provides information on all the pairs in a multiple star system.  This was one of the new features in 4.0.  It is only in Pro and I seem to recall you use Plus.

 

Bill:

 

I am using Sky Safari Pro version 4.  I was aware that Sky Safari Pro does provide multiple listings for double stars and I do use them out under the night sky but I double check the separations with Sky Tools 3, it just seems more reliable, I trust it.  For example, Sky Tools 3 supplies 4 components for Castor:

 

AB: 1.58+2.97 mag, STF1110, ADS 6175, B=HR 2890

Reliable Orbit: P=445.0 yr, a=6.59"
PA 54° Sep 4.99" (2014.7)

 

AC: 1.58+8.8 mag, STF1110, ADS 6175, C=YY Gem
PA 164° Sep 71.00" (2001)

 

AD: 1.58+10.07 mag, STF1110, ADS 6175, D=PPM 72934
PA 222° Sep 185.80"

 

AB is the close pair and AC seems correct for the more distant third star.

 

Sky Safari 4 Pro is in agreement for the AB pair, nice because it is a short period binary that is slowly widening. But for the second listing, it reports magnitude 2.88 and 9.83 at 5.0 arc-seconds and 55 degrees, I don't know what to make of that, something is just not right. 

 

In the description that accompanies Castor, the text describes the C star with a similar separation and PA to the Sky Tools data.  Here is a screen capture of the Sky Safari 4 Pro page:

 

Jon

Attached Thumbnails

  • Sky Safari Castor.jpg


#40 Procyon

Procyon

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 6,734
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2009

Posted 21 September 2014 - 11:12 AM

On a side note, I downloaded Sky Safari 4 (basic 3$ version) for the Samsung 3 small Android phone I have and I uninstalled it immediately after I noticed the icons don't come off the already small screen. Even the way it moves and everything does not come close to Stellarium for android. I still think Stellarium is the best Astronomy all around basic easy to use software that anyone can just open and start using.



#41 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,114
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 21 September 2014 - 11:51 AM

On a side note, I downloaded Sky Safari 4 (basic 3$ version) for the Samsung 3 small Android phone I have and I uninstalled it immediately after I noticed the icons don't come off the already small screen. Even the way it moves and everything does not come close to Stellarium for android. I still think Stellarium is the best Astronomy all around basic easy to use software that anyone can just open and start using.

 

 

I have Stellarium for my Androids but it's very limited when compared to either Sky Safari Plus or Pro.  The search function is much better, the information and the descriptions of the objects are far more detailed.  While Sky Safari has a small hiccup here and there regarding double stars, Stellarium has nothing about doubles.  

 

Jon



#42 btschumy

btschumy

    Vendor - Our Galaxy

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 3,890
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2004

Posted 21 September 2014 - 01:23 PM

Jon,

 

I will have Tim look at this.  We are pulling the data directly from the latest Washington Double Star Catalog.  Not sure why it doesn't match your expectations.



#43 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 32,950
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:54 PM

 

On a side note, I downloaded Sky Safari 4 (basic 3$ version) for the Samsung 3 small Android phone I have and I uninstalled it immediately after I noticed the icons don't come off the already small screen. Even the way it moves and everything does not come close to Stellarium for android. I still think Stellarium is the best Astronomy all around basic easy to use software that anyone can just open and start using.

 

 

I have Stellarium for my Androids but it's very limited when compared to either Sky Safari Plus or Pro.  The search function is much better, the information and the descriptions of the objects are far more detailed.  While Sky Safari has a small hiccup here and there regarding double stars, Stellarium has nothing about doubles.  

 

Jon

 

 

I took a look at Stellarium for Androids today, but I decided not to buy it.  One comment in a review said that the program could not display in landscape mode.  Well, landscape mode is my preference for all Android programs on my 10" tablet.  Sounds like Stellarium for Androids is oriented more toward Android phone use rather than for tablets.  I don't like the idea of using any planetarium programs on a phone.  Tablets are the way to go.

 

Mike



#44 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,114
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 21 September 2014 - 06:01 PM

Jon,

 

I will have Tim look at this.  We are pulling the data directly from the latest Washington Double Star Catalog.  Not sure why it doesn't match your expectations.

 

Bill:

 

Thanks.

 

I don't know what is going on.  According to the SS4P description, "Castor is a complex system of 6 stars in three binary groupings, all mutually orbiting each other."  So, maybe the WDSC has listings for all 6 components and  SS4P chose an obscure pair for A-C.  

 

Castor is not the only example I have found.

 

Jon



#45 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 95,114
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004

Posted 21 September 2014 - 06:04 PM

 

 

On a side note, I downloaded Sky Safari 4 (basic 3$ version) for the Samsung 3 small Android phone I have and I uninstalled it immediately after I noticed the icons don't come off the already small screen. Even the way it moves and everything does not come close to Stellarium for android. I still think Stellarium is the best Astronomy all around basic easy to use software that anyone can just open and start using.

 

 

I have Stellarium for my Androids but it's very limited when compared to either Sky Safari Plus or Pro.  The search function is much better, the information and the descriptions of the objects are far more detailed.  While Sky Safari has a small hiccup here and there regarding double stars, Stellarium has nothing about doubles.  

 

Jon

 

 

I took a look at Stellarium for Androids today, but I decided not to buy it.  One comment in a review said that the program could not display in landscape mode.  Well, landscape mode is my preference for all Android programs on my 10" tablet.  Sounds like Stellarium for Androids is oriented more toward Android phone use rather than for tablets.  I don't like the idea of using any planetarium programs on a phone.  Tablets are the way to go.

 

Mike

 

 

 

Mike:

 

Stellarium works fine on my phone and tablets in the Landscape mode..  I have yet to find anything that it does that Sky Safari doesn't do while there are many things Sky Safari (Plus or Pro) do that Stellarium does not do.

 

Jon



#46 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 32,950
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 21 September 2014 - 06:31 PM

Yes, judging from what you say, even if Stellarium will do landscape mode on my particular Android tablet, probably not worth experimenting with since I already have SSP4.

 

Mike



#47 labmand

labmand

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 623
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2011

Posted 13 December 2014 - 06:42 PM

 

 

I would only use this program for the listing it provides of easy to difficult targets for the night. For charts I use Stellarium on the Android phone, I've yet to find anything that looks as smooth as Stellarium. 

 

 

The charts in SkyTools 3, the Interactive Atlas, go far deeper and the catalogs are more reliable, better corrected, than those of Stellarium or SkySafari. Not that those aren't good programs--they are Just sayin'. :lol:

 

 

 

I use Sky Safari in the field but I use Sky Tools 3 on my desktop to "plan" my observations.  I bought it to use for double stars because it does compute the orbits of short period binaries, it's great for finding interesting doubles.  Sky Safari also computes the orbits of short period binaries but I find that the data in Sky Tools is more reliable and also deeper, it provides the data for all the pairs in a pair. Most doubles are actually multiple stars with A-B, A-C, etc pairings, Skytools includes those.  

 

Jon

 

Jon, I have no desire to control my scopes with my tablet or to even view my tablet while

Observing, I find my goto controller works for me just fine, Sky safari for me is good for

Object data lookups but for me on my tablet charts and planing not so much. I have ST2 and

Thinking of upgrading to 3 but is 4 coming soon? In St3 are you able to do a large database 

planing Search of dbl  stars filtered to only show list with both a and b below a mag. And within

A certain range without showing a bunch of pairs with b componets at mags way fainter then the

Specified filter? and are you able to easily print out the list to use at the scope? The less electronic

Devices at the scope the better, besides I really have trouble seeing these things in night mode.


Edited by labmand, 13 December 2014 - 06:45 PM.


#48 Cames

Cames

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,018
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2008

Posted 13 December 2014 - 07:55 PM

labmand asked:

In St3 are you able to do a large database planing Search of dbl  stars filtered to only show list with both a and b below a mag. And within A certain range without showing a bunch of pairs with b componets at mags way fainter then the Specified filter? and are you able to easily print out the list to use at the scope?

 

I have SkyTools 3 Pro that uses the enhanced Power Search Tool and I can't speak for any of the other versions of SkyTools. For the Pro version, the simple answer to your queries is yes.  But its searches are also filterable by many more criteria. I believe that you would be surprised by the number of parameters you can select.

 

The resulting observing lists can be copied, printed, and exported in either Simple Text Format or SkySafari Format. If your laptop can control your mount, you can just highlight the object of interest, hit a hotkey and there it will appear in your field of view.

--------

C

 

 



#49 semiosteve

semiosteve

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 815
  • Joined: 03 Jul 2004

Posted 14 December 2014 - 10:53 AM

Really? I've used SkyTools for years. In fact I typically create a SkyTools observing list from each month's Sue French articles in Sky and Telescope. I also use existing  SkyTools observing lists for Stephen O'Meara's Deep Sky Treasure, Skymap 600, and Sue French's book on a regular basis.

 

I use SkyTools for "Push To" observing with my AP180 and NGCmax,  as well as for my Obsession 20 with ArgoNavis and ServoCat. I sometimes used real time control of the latter  with ST3  as well.

 

Honestly, it is a GREAT program that I use almost every time I go out.



#50 jackofalltrades

jackofalltrades

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,015
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2014

Posted 14 December 2014 - 12:49 PM

Much as I like the convenience of a tablet, SkySafari, and wireless connection, when it comesto SkyTools 3 Pro, well......

You can have it when you take it out of my cold.............




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics