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

Wireless Telescope Control for Celestron (and Compatible) Scopes

  • Please log in to reply
83 replies to this topic

#26 SDTopensied

SDTopensied

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 778
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2011
  • Loc: Atlanta

Posted 15 June 2016 - 10:51 PM

I believe the 8i is on the SkyPortal's list of incompatible scopes.

 

Reach out to Tony Costanzo and check out ScopeCom 2 from Astronomy Shoppe.  He's a vendor on Cloudy Nights and provides great support for his products.  I've been very pleased with all of my transactions.

 

http://astronomy-sho...m/?page_id=1684

 

-Steve



#27 JHollJr

JHollJr

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2033
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted 16 June 2016 - 07:18 AM

Thanks. I'll check this out. I'm pretty sure the 8i is incompatible. It's on the incompatibility list for StarSense, but I didn't see any such list for the SkyPortal.



#28 jayta98

jayta98

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 442
  • Joined: 19 May 2015
  • Loc: Kissimmee,FL

Posted 16 June 2016 - 03:26 PM

Hello does anyone know if you can use a wireless serial BT adapter to control a cgem via stellarium? How about the slew section from BYEOS?  Thanks.



#29 Add100

Add100

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2016

Posted 26 June 2016 - 04:17 PM

20160626 150442
Album: Celestron 8SE
2 images
0 comments

I made my 8SE into bluetooth but it only cost meabout 60$.. 59$ for the bluetooth adapter + couple bucks for the serial male to male adapter:

https://www.amazon.c...aw/d/B00R2N6BQ0
https://www.amazon.c...w/d/B00005111T/


  • 5dave likes this

#30 View2

View2

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1868
  • Joined: 20 May 2016
  • Loc: Vancouver, WA USA

Posted 24 July 2016 - 10:28 PM

prefer the Bluetooth having tried both. SkyBT was effortless, WiFi models were archaic in communication and configuring and need to use Internet and....SkyBt/SkySafari/ Android. The hardest part about configuring it was putting in batteries, it does have an option for an external power source.

#31 AJ

AJ

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Joined: 06 Jan 2009
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 25 July 2016 - 08:58 AM

prefer the Bluetooth having tried both.  SkyBt/SkySafari/ Android

 

That was my choice, too...   Android phone, SkySafari 4 Plus, and SkyBT.

 

Works great with my Celestron NexStar 6SE and both of my Orion IntelliScope push-to Dobs.



#32 bangell

bangell

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2016

Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:18 AM

I use the sky portal WiFi set up to be used as an access point instead of a direct connect device (switch down on Sky Portal WIFI).  This allows communication from any device on my WiFi network.  In my opinion, this is a more reliable way to use the sky portal WIFI with a PC.  Initial setup takes a little bit of time (but less than an hour) as SkyQLink PC must be downloaded and installed on the PC to connect the PC to the sky portal WIFI adapter.  Once SkyQLink PC is configured (which does take a small amount of time and can be confusing), NexRemote can be setup to communicate with the mount very easily.  NexRemote can also be setup simultaneously to use Stellarium as a graphical user interface to select sky objects for the telescope to GOTO.  Why is this method better than Sky Safari, or some other graphical interface? 1.  With Nexremote, you can configure a gamepad (connected to the PC either Wireless or Wired) to also control the telescope.  You get the best of both worlds, a pointing GOTO graphical system with Stellarium, and the mechanical feedback of a gamepad for alignment of the telescope. 2. The need for an IOS or Android device is removed.   Why use the access point of the Sky Portal WIFI?  IMHO once set up, it is highly reliable (moreso than the direct connect method), and you don't need another wifi network (created by the direct connect setup) for connectivity.  If you have other devices such as cameras (my Canon 70D also connects to my PC thru the same WIFI network), you can use a single WIFI network for multiple devices which decreases complexity and improves connectivity.  For clarity, I want to state that even though you can use a configuration like this from any PC on the WIFI network, you must continue to use the same PC that you use to perform the alignment.  Access to the telescope is shared with any PC on the WIFI, but the alignment data is only usable from the PC that performed the alignment.  Once alignment is completed using the gamepad, you can then use your PC via Stellarium (NexRemote and SkyQLink PC) to send GOTO commands wirelessly to your mount.  If desired, you could even use a separate router (at the site maybe) to create a wireless network for all your astronomy gear.  An added benefit of using the access point method is that multiple telescopes can be setup on the same WiFi network (each telescope must have a unique IP address that is assigned during configuration).  DHCP cannot be used to provide each telescope with its IP address.  The IP must be defined during access point setup.



#33 Chris W

Chris W

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 81
  • Joined: 05 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Essex, UK

Posted 06 August 2016 - 02:48 PM

The SkyFi product has been out for a while, as have BT and wired versions. Some years ago there was an analysis of the real time performance of these devices (I think on the EQMOD forum). The conclusion at the time was that the BT versions were too slow for pulse guiding and the WiFi ones were not immune to issues either, especially in built up areas. 



#34 87corvettechuck

87corvettechuck

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 10
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2011

Posted 14 August 2016 - 09:01 PM

I had a real bad experience with Bluetooth.  I got Simulation Curriculum involved in many conversations involving SkySafari and a dongle that they had "suggested" at the time as being compatible.  These conversations only strengthened my negative feeling of Bluetooth.  The dongle I had purchased never did connect to Telescope Control with my Android tablet.  Further it ended up being fried along with my HC.  Result: a new HC at $100 plus a $100 dongle which I tossed in the trash.  Bluetooth is very tempermental: must be line-of-sight and distance sensitive.  My preference is wifi.  It's everywhere my scope is and works perfectly. 


  • SonnyE likes this

#35 Anthony_1138

Anthony_1138

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 42
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2013
  • Loc: El Dorado Hills, CA

Posted 18 August 2016 - 11:51 AM

After purchasing and trying out this product on a couple of occasions, I have a new appreciation for my hand controller.  I HATE to return products and I'm a big Celestron fan, but I'm returning the Skyportal.  It disconnects every time you walk away from the scope, and has a hard time reconnecting.  The on-screen slew controls are horrible.  The mount even seemed to get confused and stop tracking when reconnecting, although I can't confirm that.  Maybe the bluetooth route is better, but a big part of the problem is the performance of the app.  Cool idea, terrible implementation.



#36 skaiser

skaiser

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 540
  • Joined: 16 Oct 2010
  • Loc: dallas Texas

Posted 21 August 2016 - 09:24 PM

Finally, the clouds cleared for an evening of viewing.
My first time to use my new Nexstar+ Evo 9.25 with Starsense.
This was a learning experience. I Had studied the manual over the last couple cloudy days and knew what was needed.
Also I had to make sure I was doing the Starsense  Manual Align because of the limited viewing areas I have from the house.
So with the HC, I did the Starsense Manual Align and Calibrate Center, a couple times.
Each time I finished I would try to goto Altair. Scope was generally pointing to that sector of the sky (West) when I did the GOTO (via the HC)
The scope would start rotating Going North, then Northeast then East.
I would hit the direction key to stop the scope , figuring I had done something wrong .
After 3 times of going through the Manual Align procedure I finally decided to let the scope do it's thing and I would see what happened.
Well it rotated almost 340 degs to come back around and Settled on Altair !!
I guess the HC wanted to take the long way around.
I went through the same Starsense Manual align steps/procedure with My Ipad and SkySafari pro 5 app and then told it to goto Altair.
It took the short route, rotated about 10 deg and settled on Altair.
All GOTOs using the Ipad App seemed to know how to GOTO using the short route.
The HC seems to take the long way around, so I won't be using it for Manual Align or User Auto Align.

By the way SkySafari Pro 5 (v 5.1.1.15) has a extra Icon (Celestron Circle) that appears above the Telescope Connection banner that brings up a submenu to give full access to all the Starsense operations. I believe this feature just came out in the last couple months.
What a great program and scope.



#37 pwarborg

pwarborg

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2016

Posted 26 August 2016 - 04:20 AM

After purchasing and trying out this product on a couple of occasions, I have a new appreciation for my hand controller.  I HATE to return products and I'm a big Celestron fan, but I'm returning the Skyportal.  It disconnects every time you walk away from the scope, and has a hard time reconnecting.  The on-screen slew controls are horrible.  The mount even seemed to get confused and stop tracking when reconnecting, although I can't confirm that.  Maybe the bluetooth route is better, but a big part of the problem is the performance of the app.  Cool idea, terrible implementation.

Yeah! Call me old-fashioned, but when it comes to my scope and imaging rig, I prefer solid cable connections. I have all cables extented and while I'm sitting on my chair in my study, I only have to get out to the rig for focussing and PA. I have my StarSense HC hanging right next to me at the armrest of my chair. On my laptop, in front of me, I have Stellarium and the MGEN WinApp running and I have Artemis Capture on a second screen, which is attached to a swivel at the wall, so that I can swing it to turn to the window (when I do the focussing and PA outside).  All cables are tie-wrapped to a single bunch, which makes cable managment almost non-existent. I just need two 12V power-cords (to distribute the amps to some extent) which are split 2x2 at the mount (mount, guider, camera, filter wheel) and a single USB cord, which ends up in a 4x-hub at the mount (takes guider, camera and filter wheel). Works perfect for me. To be honest, I am also thinking once in a while about how nice it would be to be able of pointing the scope by a mouse click in Stellarium. But then I just hate the thought to go through all that hassle of drivers and (in)compatible versions. And to get the precision of goto, I get with my starsense, I'd need to go a long road and purchase another new piece of software to support plate-solving and pointing models on my laptop. Then I just take the HC and push some buttons and enjoy hitting any target almost spot-on. In the rare cases I'm too far off (for my taste), I just add another alignment point and go back to the target.

CS

Pat


  • Ralph Johansen likes this

#38 pwarborg

pwarborg

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2016

Posted 26 August 2016 - 04:23 AM

Finally, the clouds cleared for an evening of viewing.
My first time to use my new Nexstar+ Evo 9.25 with Starsense.
This was a learning experience. I Had studied the manual over the last couple cloudy days and knew what was needed.
Also I had to make sure I was doing the Starsense  Manual Align because of the limited viewing areas I have from the house.
So with the HC, I did the Starsense Manual Align and Calibrate Center, a couple times.
Each time I finished I would try to goto Altair. Scope was generally pointing to that sector of the sky (West) when I did the GOTO (via the HC)
The scope would start rotating Going North, then Northeast then East.
I would hit the direction key to stop the scope , figuring I had done something wrong .
After 3 times of going through the Manual Align procedure I finally decided to let the scope do it's thing and I would see what happened.
Well it rotated almost 340 degs to come back around and Settled on Altair !!
I guess the HC wanted to take the long way around.
I went through the same Starsense Manual align steps/procedure with My Ipad and SkySafari pro 5 app and then told it to goto Altair.
It took the short route, rotated about 10 deg and settled on Altair.
All GOTOs using the Ipad App seemed to know how to GOTO using the short route.
The HC seems to take the long way around, so I won't be using it for Manual Align or User Auto Align.

By the way SkySafari Pro 5 (v 5.1.1.15) has a extra Icon (Celestron Circle) that appears above the Telescope Connection banner that brings up a submenu to give full access to all the Starsense operations. I believe this feature just came out in the last couple months.
What a great program and scope.

Hi skaiser,

Do I get that right, that you use SkySafari for pointing (and tracking?) and that you still have all StarSense functionality accessible from that program, too? Does SkySafari use the model of the starsense (with additional alignment point and all)? Does SkySafari pro 5 run on a windows 7 laptop? What else do you need to install and configure (ASCOM, other drivers?) to get this running? I assume this is not limited to wireless, is it? Another cable to my mount would just do as well, right?

Just curious...

Thanks and cs,

Pat


  • Carbon Guy likes this

#39 pgrunwald

pgrunwald

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2009
  • Loc: Albuquerque, NM

Posted 26 August 2016 - 02:36 PM

Hi - I have a CGE1100 - I could not find anything on the Celestron site about compatibility.  Will this work?  I do have an a aux port. 



#40 JTaubel

JTaubel

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 10 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Rochester, Mn

Posted 27 August 2016 - 04:51 PM

Will the Bluetooth work with the older Nexstar GPS line of Celestron scopes?



#41 Rac19

Rac19

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Joined: 05 Aug 2016

Posted 28 August 2016 - 06:20 AM

With my Evolution 8, I have found that the the WiFi signal is quite weak. It tends to disconnect from the SkyPortal tablet and reconnect to my router, which has a stronger signal. The work around, apparently, is to tell the tablet to "forget" the router. I haven't done that yet, instead I have the tablet mounted on a tripped leg, very close to the Celestron electronics.

 

I prefer to have the tablet secured (physically) this way but those who want use the tablet more remotely from the telescope, will probably need to use the suggested work around. It can be very frustrating to have the tablet disconnecting during a session.

 

Like many others, I use the HC for all slewing actions and the tablet for alignment (with HC slewing) and GoTo operations, becuase the on-screen buttons provide no tactile feedback.



#42 Rac19

Rac19

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Joined: 05 Aug 2016

Posted 29 August 2016 - 05:00 AM

I use the sky portal WiFi set up to be used as an access point instead of a direct connect device (switch down on Sky Portal WIFI).  This allows communication from any device on my WiFi network.  

 

I tried to use access point mode and found that the signal from the Celestron mount was too weak to for the router to connect to. I suspect that the Celestron WiFi signal is weaker than normal, by design, to allow multiple systems to operate in close proximity. I could be wrong though.

 

To test that the WiFi signal was weaker than normal, I direct connected my iPad to the Celestron, while close to the telescope, and walked slowly from there to the router, about 10 metres. The signal was lost before I got to the router. No other devices have any trouble at all with the router signal strength at the same location.



#43 pgrunwald

pgrunwald

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2009
  • Loc: Albuquerque, NM

Posted 29 August 2016 - 02:06 PM

Yes to CGE 1100.

 

 

Starsense Compatibility List

Compatible

 

NexStar SE Series

 

CPC, CPC DX

 

NexStar GT (with Aux. splitter)

 

CGE Pro

 

Advanced VX

 

CG-5 (with Aux. splitter)

 

CGEM, CGEM DX

 

CGE

 

NexStar SLT 

 

NexStar Evolution

 

LCM (with Aux. splitter)

 

StarSense camera field of view: 6.88ยบ x 5.16

 

Is the StarSense is electrically the same as the WiFi SkyPortal ITEM # 93973 http://www.celestron...tal-wifi-module  ???


Edited by pgrunwald, 29 August 2016 - 05:38 PM.


#44 outofsight

outofsight

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1345
  • Joined: 31 May 2015

Posted 30 August 2016 - 01:37 PM

pgrunwald, the WiFi SkyPortal ITEM # 93973 should work with your setup. The Celestron site says that it works with CGE Pro, CGEM, CGEM DX. Sorry, I thought you were asking about StarSense that was written about in post #38, right above yours.


Edited by outofsight, 30 August 2016 - 01:44 PM.


#45 pgrunwald

pgrunwald

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2009
  • Loc: Albuquerque, NM

Posted 30 August 2016 - 02:29 PM

pgrunwald, the WiFi SkyPortal ITEM # 93973 should work with your setup. The Celestron site says that it works with CGE Pro, CGEM, CGEM DX. Sorry, I thought you were asking about StarSense that was written about in post #38, right above yours.

 

I don't have a CGE Pro, I have the older CGE...



#46 pwarborg

pwarborg

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2016

Posted 30 August 2016 - 03:42 PM

Just for clarity: The StarSense is a HC from Celestron, which can replace the original HC of most Celestron mount (see compatibility list from outofsight above). It comes with a small camera module, which is used for plate-solving based sky modelling and can perform an automatic alignment of your mount. It also provides all-star polar alignment without the need of polaris being visible.There is also a version which can be used on Skywatcher mounts with an interface box to connect it. It got nothing to do with wireless operation like SkyFi or WiFi SkyPortal or the like.

CS,

Pat



#47 Workbench

Workbench

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2016

Posted 31 August 2016 - 02:55 PM

Hello,

I have the wifi and I'm a bit confused on the use of the 2 pieces of "software" if I'm connected via wifi using the SkyPortal shouldn't the information on the SkyPortal update the hand piece (SkySense or NexStar)?  I'm new to this hobby and I'm hoping that it get easier to align my scope and enjoy viewing but the Celestron directions leave a lot to be desired.

Cheers!



#48 pwarborg

pwarborg

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2016

Posted 31 August 2016 - 04:35 PM

Hello,

I have the wifi and I'm a bit confused on the use of the 2 pieces of "software" if I'm connected via wifi using the SkyPortal shouldn't the information on the SkyPortal update the hand piece (SkySense or NexStar)?  I'm new to this hobby and I'm hoping that it get easier to align my scope and enjoy viewing but the Celestron directions leave a lot to be desired.

Cheers!

Sorry, have to pass here. I'm using the StarSense, but I don't work wireless. I have no idea if control via WiFi includes StarSense or just connects to the mount, by-passing the StarSense. I hope somebody of the wireless community can help you here.

CS,

Pat



#49 pgrunwald

pgrunwald

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2009
  • Loc: Albuquerque, NM

Posted 06 September 2016 - 12:24 PM

Hi All,

 

Just as an FYI , I called Celestron on the phone.  While I was on the phone, the tech hooked up a SkyPortal to a CGE mount.  It connected but was reported as a SkySense and would NOT go to home or into calibration on an iPad. He then moved it to a CGE Pro and it connected and functioned correctly.  

 

The WiFi SkyPortal ITEM # 93973 is NOT compatible with the older CGE mounts as it stands today. 

 

I guess I will go the BlueTooth route for wireless control.

 

Thanks,

Paul 



#50 radarsski

radarsski

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 22 Sep 2016
  • Loc: Pacific Northwest

Posted 24 September 2016 - 12:40 AM

I bought the wifi adapter from Celestron and use it with my Skyportal app on my phone and tablet. I must say it works flawlessly. I was wondering if anyone knows if this will work on the Bresser EXOS-2 goto EQ mount. I really don't want to use the Nexstar mount anymore as it has a flimsy tripod and is an alt/az mount. I want to get heavy into AP and to do that I want an EQ mount with the luxury of a goto. 

Thanx,

radarsski




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