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Wireless Telescope Control for Celestron (and Compatible) Scopes

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#51 cwilson

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Posted 29 September 2016 - 12:12 PM

I am awaiting the arrival of my SkyPortal in today's mail! If the weather holds, I may even get to try it out tonight!



#52 cwilson

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 09:20 AM

Just a note: If you're controlling your SkyPortal with an Android device and have issues with it disconnecting from the WiFi, check your apps. I have a Sprint phone and tablet. Both have apps called Sprint Connections Optimizer. Turn it off and your disconnect problems should be fixed. But each time your start your device this app will turn itself back on, so you need to make sure it's off before using either the SkyPortal software or SkySafari.


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#53 JOHNCOONEY3

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 10:09 PM

My skyportal of which I have 2 works well with my 127 slt and will not work with my new 11CPC hd  Is there a firmware update I need to update? Scope will not respond and is connected as I checked settings Any one know what might be the issue as I enjoy using it with my slt and would love to use with my new CPC HD



#54 JOHNCOONEY3

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 10:19 PM

It does not connect to my new 11 CPC HD and I have 2 portals use it with my 127 slt with no problem. Does anyone know if there is a firmware update I need to update?



#55 George N

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 12:12 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!

 

I have the same question, which I've not seen an answer to in this thread:

 

Basically, does an App in a WiFi connected device use the Alignment model stored in a Celestron hand controller, or does it just assume that the mount is mechanically perfect and it perfectly polar aligned?

 

Does hooking up an iPad that was used on a different Celestron scope, at a different location, somehow revise or replace the alignment model in the newly connected-to mount?



#56 Rac19

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 03:10 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!

 

I have the same question, which I've not seen an answer to in this thread:

 

Basically, does an App in a WiFi connected device use the Alignment model stored in a Celestron hand controller, or does it just assume that the mount is mechanically perfect and it perfectly polar aligned?

 

Does hooking up an iPad that was used on a different Celestron scope, at a different location, somehow revise or replace the alignment model in the newly connected-to mount?

 

I have spent a lot of time grappling with this issue. My impression is that HC and SkyPortal/WiFi alginment are totally independent. After peforming an alignment with SkyPortal, the HC can be used for manual slewing but not for GoTo operations.

 

I did find a work around using SkySafari and SkyWire, which connects via the HC. It was then possible to use the HC for alignment then issue GoTo instructions (which are routed via the HC) from SkySafari. SkyPortal will not connect via SkyWire unfortunately.

 

I have since purchased StarSense AutoAlign and that changes things again. The new StarSense HC has a micro USB port in place of the traditional RJ12/RS232 port, rendering SkyWire unusable. As it happens SartSense AutoAlign really removes the need to align using the HC as the process is totally automated. As before the HC can still be used for manual slewing, after using AutoAlign.

 

After much frustration with WiFi, I have found a way that seems to yield a reliable connection. First, tell the iPad (tablet) to "forget" your WiFi router. It should then connect to the telescope by default. I see this as a pretty lame work around but it works. The other key factor is to position the iPad (tablet) in fixed position where the WiFi signal is strong. To move the iPad around seems to invite disconnection. My solution has been to use a Ram X Mount to position the iPad on a tripod leg, below the telescope electronics, where the WiFi signal seems to be strong and steady.

 

So I have wasted money on SkyWire but StarSense AutoAlign, with a good WiFi connection, is looking to be a good solution. I find also that it is best to have no wires attached during AutoAlign because of the amount of slewing that can occur.

 

Then there is the question of telescope settings (slew limits etc) entered via the HC and SkyPortal. You would hope they would be stored in the telescope's common memory but I think that some, or all, of the values are stored (independently) in the HC and the SkyPortal app. 


Edited by Rac19, 17 October 2016 - 03:35 PM.


#57 Mron42

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 10:08 AM

Hey... is anybody out there using StarSeek Pro, Version 5, on their iPad Air 2, or iPhone, connected wirelessly via a Wi Fi/USB Telescope Control Module (Orion) with a GoTo Starmaster?



#58 Jay Jay

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 10:59 PM

It does not connect to my new 11 CPC HD and I have 2 portals use it with my 127 slt with no problem. Does anyone know if there is a firmware update I need to update?

Does the power lights come on when its plugged in?

if so and no connection then you can try the telescope/mount selection menu.

It sounds silly but your mount may work under a different selection as mine doesn't work with 8SE it works with alt az goto.



#59 Jay Jay

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 11:14 PM

Be forewarned, the Wi-Fi is absolutely amazing WHEN it works.

But the consistency of the connection is not %100 and to be honest I really don't use mine anymore but that's due to my own experiences. possibly heavy Wi-Fi traffic who knows.

The app tends to lag every now and then. not much of an issue as long as it keeps the alignment and connection to the telescope.

1 good thing is it gets you more objects to view and also updates on comets, satellites, the ISS and many other things that happen currently.

Great device if its working  but I find myself using that ole trusty hand controller %99 of the time.

other than inconsistent connection issues it also hates going near slew limits, you will have to manually drive to objects that its afraid of.

Lastly, the module may start acting like mine and not slew to anything at all "object is out slew limit" regardless of what I do;

Hence why the ole trusty hand controller remains where its at...in MY HANDS.



#60 Noah4x4

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 05:22 AM

Just a note: If you're controlling your SkyPortal with an Android device and have issues with it disconnecting from the WiFi, check your apps. I have a Sprint phone and tablet. Both have apps called Sprint Connections Optimizer. Turn it off and your disconnect problems should be fixed. But each time your start your device this app will turn itself back on, so you need to make sure it's off before using either the SkyPortal software or SkySafari.

Echo this!

 

I spent six months moaning about flaky Evolution WiFi. Then by coincidence I read about the impact of nuisance battery saving APPS on an Android users Forum. I found one deeply embedded in my Samsung Galaxy tablet that auto-turns off other APPs after n minutes of inactivity. So that was repeatedly turning off SkyPortal or SkySafari when I paused to look through an EP.  As soon as I disabled this, absolutely NO WiFi problems. I don't even need to "forget" my home Wifi. My now reliable and effective Evolution  WiFi range is about ten metres.

 

I advised Celestron and Simulation Curriculum and neither had heard of this. It seems that such APPs are not native to IOS or Android 'lollypop". Like the Sprint example, they tend to get added in special bundles by Telecoms providers. AT & T has been mentioned in another thread. To what extent WiFi woes have wrongly been attributed to Celestron is an interesting question. My guess is the answer is possibly significant.


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#61 ccs_hello

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 08:36 PM

So long as these phones/tablets got evaluated by reviewing sites on

"how long does the battery last", those battery saver (and less heat being generated) features will continue to be there.

Low score models will be discontinued very soon.

 

Most people do not like the phone die on them while they need to use it in that very moment.

 

Constant on, light weight, long-lasting battery, cheap, can only pick 3.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello



#62 Procyon

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 12:11 PM

Great device, but app controls are useless at times as they freeze up at times and you have to restart your alignment eventually. Gave up on this and went back to the trusty Hand Controller. If ever the app controls work 100% than it's great to have. Until than, a bit useless. Also found Skyportal more cleaner now than Skysafari, which is cluttered with so much useless data. 

 

The wifi connection to mine had no issues, it's the control arrows on the app that seem to freeze up 25-50% of the time.



#63 jpbutler

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 12:28 PM

Great device, but app controls are useless at times as they freeze up at times and you have to restart your alignment eventually. Gave up on this and went back to the trusty Hand Controller. If ever the app controls work 100% than it's great to have. Until than, a bit useless. Also found Skyportal more cleaner now than Skysafari, which is cluttered with so much useless data. 

 

The wifi connection to mine had no issues, it's the control arrows on the app that seem to freeze up 25-50% of the time.

I am kind of with you on this. Except the clutter thing. You can control the density of objects on the display in setup.

But I go back and forth.

I got the new Brookstone special edition Evo and I put an 8" edgehd on it.

Really loving it and started out using the android tablet to drive it right away.

What I noticed is that I will hit a bunch of small obscure clusters that I see on Skysafari and slewing to this is basically just a couple of pushes of the finger.

So, with that setup I do a lot more investigating. Kind of like surfing the heavens.

 

The downside is that if something goes wrong you have to start all over with the alignment. Also driving the mount with the tablet is frustrating.

 

Lately I have been dodging clouds and such because the weather has sucked so bad and I might only have 30 minutes of clear sky.

So, I have just been using the handcontrol and looking at double stars, the moon, auriga's abundance of stuff and the Orion constellation's offerings.

Don't really need the tablet for that as I know most of the names and some of the messier and ngc designations.

 

I think both ways of controlling the scope have their place.

John


Edited by jpbutler, 19 December 2016 - 12:29 PM.


#64 smolony

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 07:51 PM

Hey I have the Celestron StarSense Auto-aligner for my AVX EQ Mount and from reading this it seems that the Sky Portal might do both.  Should I have purchased the Sky Portal instead or am I misunderstanding something.

 

Thanks

 

SM



#65 pwarborg

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 10:42 AM

Hey I have the Celestron StarSense Auto-aligner for my AVX EQ Mount and from reading this it seems that the Sky Portal might do both.  Should I have purchased the Sky Portal instead or am I misunderstanding something.

 

Thanks

 

SM

Hi SM,

The main part of the StarSense is its camera and the plate solving capabilities which it uses to do the automatic alignment. Obviously Sky Portal does not come with a camera and can't do alignments on its own. So as far as I understand you can add the Sky Portal to your setup, but you will not be able to replace the StarSense with Sky Portal. The Sky Portal app relies on an aligned mount. Without alignment, it won't be able to perform (precise) gotos. That's where the StarSense will still be useful.

CS,

Pat



#66 Procyon

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 12:04 PM

Can one do an auto alignment with a starsense than use the skyportal app with the wifi adapter to control the scope?



#67 pwarborg

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 02:43 PM

Can one do an auto alignment with a starsense than use the skyportal app with the wifi adapter to control the scope?

According to what they say on the Celestron website, you can even control the StarSense from the app:

"

SkyPortal version 1.5 is NOW AVAILABLE for Android.

StarSense automatic alignment support added. Now connects to a Celestron telescope equipped with the StarSense AutoAlign accessory (sold separately).
Telescope control with StarSense, app automatically aligns the telescope with a single tap!
Supports StarSense EQ, Alt-Az, and Wedge align, and StarSense manual align.

"

CS,

Pat


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#68 emag

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 09:28 PM

Tom, your directions in your other, related article were what I needed to get my usconverters BT>Serial port working, many thanks.  Will be a great addition for public outreach with middle schoolers.  I have it working perfectly with Cartes du Ciel (Win10) and SkySafari 4 Plus (Android).  I noticed that when I tried to use it with Stellarium, not only would it NOT work, but it changed ......something..... and I had to go back to square one.  Press the reset button and reconfigure it from the terminal in order to get it working with CduC again.  Cost me several hours of head scratching.  Thanks again.



#69 RichA

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 02:48 AM

That phone jack connection and device look exceedingly fragile.



#70 Noah4x4

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 02:33 AM

 

Just a note: If you're controlling your SkyPortal with an Android device and have issues with it disconnecting from the WiFi, check your apps. I have a Sprint phone and tablet. Both have apps called Sprint Connections Optimizer. Turn it off and your disconnect problems should be fixed. But each time your start your device this app will turn itself back on, so you need to make sure it's off before using either the SkyPortal software or SkySafari.

Echo this!

 

I spent six months moaning about flaky Evolution WiFi. Then by coincidence I read about the impact of nuisance battery saving APPS on an Android users Forum. I found one deeply embedded in my Samsung Galaxy tablet that auto-turns off other APPs after n minutes of inactivity. So that was repeatedly turning off SkyPortal or SkySafari when I paused to look through an EP.  As soon as I disabled this, absolutely NO WiFi problems. I don't even need to "forget" my home Wifi. My now reliable and effective Evolution  WiFi range is about ten metres.

 

I advised Celestron and Simulation Curriculum and neither had heard of this. It seems that such APPs are not native to IOS or Android 'lollypop". Like the Sprint example, they tend to get added in special bundles by Telecoms providers. AT & T has been mentioned in another thread. To what extent WiFi woes have wrongly been attributed to Celestron is an interesting question. My guess is the answer is possibly significant.

 

This success lasted for a couple of weeks until a few more houses on our new estate became occupied. No WiFi is pants again. The local airwaves are just too cluttered. Have given up, now use only the HC.


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#71 tbone0168

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:09 PM

Hello!.....As you know the new Celestron hand controller uses I believe, a mini USB port instead of the phone jack.....How would you use the new controller with the serial Bluetooth set-up?......

 

Terrance



#72 bmr528

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 09:28 AM

I just recently purchased the Meade Stella WiFi module...  Yea it still uses the serial port connection,,,  But my 12 year old LX90 plugged right in and worked great..

 

It is a little pricey ( 170$ ) but I have no regrets from buying it,,  The StellaAccess software on I Phone lets me do instant go to any object I can tap on the screen.

 

It even took me right to Comet Johnson the other night... An object I would have had to "Hunt down" other wise

 

There is only 2 complaints,,  I will have to get an I pad as the I phone display is just too small...

 

When selecting different objects the hand controller display never changes to list the object I am going to. 

 

But otherwise,, I love this thing.

 

It also is compatible with a whole lot of non Meade go to telescopes...

 

djl


Edited by bmr528, 07 July 2017 - 09:29 AM.


#73 scottdky

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:06 PM

Just a note: If you're controlling your SkyPortal with an Android device and have issues with it disconnecting from the WiFi, check your apps. I have a Sprint phone and tablet. Both have apps called Sprint Connections Optimizer. Turn it off and your disconnect problems should be fixed. But each time your start your device this app will turn itself back on, so you need to make sure it's off before using either the SkyPortal software or SkySafari.

You made my day. I was going nuts trying to figure out why my cell phone would keep dropping the WiFi connection to the SkyPortal Access Point (direct connection). I have a Ting phone which uses the Sprint network, so it has the Sprint Connections Optimizer turned on. It can be turned off in Android settings. Since every version of Android is different, Google this application for how to turn it off. It is buried deep in settings. Once turned off - bingo, wifi stays connected. Yeah!


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#74 cwilson

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 11:47 PM

Just a side note. I recently bought a new iPad to get a larger display than my old tablet. It doesn't have cellular service, so no additional apps to cause issues. Not only is the display larger, but much better all around than my old Samsung. It can stay connected and run perfectly all night!



#75 rocketguy

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:17 PM

I'm a network engineer, so I've been using serial stuff for decades to communicate with network equipment.  I recently got a really nice bluetooth serial adapter, has onboard battery, works on all platforms etc etc.  I originally got it for work, but sure enough it's brilliant for running a scope, and it's $100, so a bit cheaper than some of the astronomy oriented solutions.  
The configuration software is windows only, but you don't actually need it.  DIP switches allow for full control of everything necessary.  And it acts as a serial line, so most platforms and software should just work with it.  

I've seen other similar solutions, but this one is just a bit more robust and convenient.  
Li-battery, so will run for around 12 hours, mini-usb charging plug (which you can power it from as well, if you need more run time).  Having the dip switches makes it easy to configure to do what you want, but the only thing I had to do was flip the DTE/DCE switch so it knew which part of the conversation it was.  After associating it with my computer I was moving the scope from the next room immediately.  

 

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