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Wireless Telescope Control for Celestron (and Compatible) Scopes

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#76 Frapeno

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 09:22 AM

Hello everyone,

I would like to know, what does difference among real SkyQ Link and alternative adapter "Wifi to serial".

I am trying to use my alternative adapter throught "AUX port" in my celestron 127SLT.

But, i did not get succeful yet. I have following all "pinout" for correct connection, but it still do not talk each other  by Tx/Rx.

I have also checked by an App called "Wifi Serial",  if there is a comunication among Wifi and serial, and it show me ok, once i get answer after send data test.

So, someone else could give a explanation about what is going on in my task.
i am trying to use "Starry Night" software to communicate data control.

 

One more detail, is that I do not want to use Wifi adapter by H.C into RJ port, because mine HC is a "Mini USB" port.



#77 gbgrimm

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:11 PM

I will just throw this out there. It may give you a clue on the SkyPortal Wifi difficulties with a connection to the Telescope via the Direct Connect Setup. This is setup you need to have working when you go out into the field away from your home network and Access Point Mode Connectivity. I was stumped until I read that Samsung Galaxy S4's do not support a Direct Wifi connection( a.k.a. as AD HOC Wifi). Now I could be wrong of course but I returned the unit.

Apple products do not have this limitation. 

 

I also tried the free SkyPortal software. However it does not show any DSO's until you actually connect to the telescope. 

 

I went to the Bluetooth solution and SkySafari 5 (you don't need the Plus version). Also I can use the HC anytime for all functions. The CAVEAT is you must have a full charge of power going to the BT adapter else expect connectivity issues. I bought one of the 12V TalentCell Rechargeable batteries with the USB port to run both my 6SE and the BT adapter. The BT adapter wants a full load there so I keep that battery fully charged. 

 

And finally, truth be told, the HC gets the most use. I use SkySafari of course but usually find myself using the HC to goto or move.  



#78 Frapeno

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:01 AM

Hi friend,

I undertand what yoy mean.

But my point is that, if Skyportal can works direct into AUX port why an alternative "Serial Wifi Device" can not??

I would like to know, what does differences between this 2 devices?? "Skyportal" & Serial Wifi Device".

I have tried several times to get control in my Nexstar 127, using Serial Wifi + AUX port + Starry Night software.

Any idea what is going on in my task ??



#79 bmr528

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 09:04 AM

What's the baud rate on "Alternate Wi Fi" set at?

 

djl



#80 Rac19

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 06:50 AM

After much frustration with my Evo 8 built-in WiFi, I now use the external SkyPortal WiFi Acessory in Acces Point/Infracture Mode, which seems work reliably with the SkyPortal/SkySafari Apps.

 

I have taken wireless to higher level though, using a Bluetooth gamepad for manual slewing and focus control. Bluetooth obviously gives you a wireless connection to the PC but normally USB cables would be required to connect the HC and the focus controller to the PC. To fix that, I have a Raspberry Pi mounted on the ‘scope running software called VirtualHere which allows the PC to access the USB ports on the PI, over WiFi.

 

For a while I was using NexRemote and FocusPal/FCUSB, with on screen buttons, but I prefer the physical gamepad buttons. A gamepad can be used with NexRemote but as ASCOMPad is needed for FCUSB so I am trialing the use of ASCOMPad for manual slewing and focus. I still use the iPad for StarSense alignment and GoTo but prefer the gamepad for manual slewing and focus.

 

This all seems to work quite well, although I have been waiting for weeks for clear skies to test it in a real world situation.  A bonus , in my opinion, is that this arrangement eliminates the possibility of cord wrap.

 

There is yet another wireless dimension to my setup in fact. I have a pensioned off Windows Surface Pro 2 mounted on the ‘scooe running FireCapture and connected to to an ASI1600MC camera. I use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) to access this computer, remotely, from inside the house.



#81 Procyon

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 01:20 PM

Never seen such an unfinished product in my life. The settings and connection instructions do not factor in other issues. Celestron should make new instructions with every possible scenario and fix. Most frustrating product I've ever bought in Astronomy. And once you do get past the hurdles to connecting it, you have directional button freeze issues, and other bs. 



#82 Rac19

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 03:02 AM

Never seen such an unfinished product in my life. The settings and connection instructions do not factor in other issues. Celestron should make new instructions with every possible scenario and fix. Most frustrating product I've ever bought in Astronomy. And once you do get past the hurdles to connecting it, you have directional button freeze issues, and other bs. 

My experience has been that once I had a strong, reliable WiFi signal, SkyPortal. SkySafari worked as expected. The breakthrough for me was to use the external Celestron SkyPortal WiFi Accessory instead of the internal Evolution WiFi which had the weaker signal output experienced in some of the early release Evolution mounts. Again, in my experience, periodic freezing is usually due to a weak WiFi connection. Once that has been addressed, it should be OK.

 

EDIT: I use Netgear’s WiFi Analytics (on my Android phone) to gauge relative WiFi signal strengths. Another useful application (which I have on my iPad) is called Net Analyzer. It will reveal the name of the WiFi module vendor. The stronger module is made by Zentri, the weaker module is made by Roving Networks.

 

 


Edited by Rac19, 23 April 2018 - 03:42 AM.


#83 Rac19

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 06:44 AM

My experience has been that once I had a strong, reliable WiFi signal, SkyPortal. SkySafari worked as expected. The breakthrough for me was to use the external Celestron SkyPortal WiFi Accessory instead of the internal Evolution WiFi which had the weaker signal output experienced in some of the early release Evolution mounts. Again, in my experience, periodic freezing is usually due to a weak WiFi connection. Once that has been addressed, it should be OK.

 

EDIT: I use Netgear’s WiFi Analytics (on my Android phone) to gauge relative WiFi signal strengths. Another useful application (which I have on my iPad) is called Net Analyzer. It will reveal the name of the WiFi module vendor. The stronger module is made by Zentri, the weaker module is made by Roving Networks.

I have just noticed the Net Analyser no longer returns the Vemdor Name for the Celestron WiFi moduies but I have screen shots of when it did.

 

When I used NetGear WiFi Analytics, about 1 metre from the ‘scope, the Roving Networks module showed a -74 dBm signal strength and the Zentri module -33 dBm (i.e. much higher). This is not a proper, certified test obviously, but it does show that the Zentri module puts out a much stronger signal when compared to Roving Networks. I have seen mention, on a Cisco forum, that -70 dBm is considered the minimum signal strength for reliable communications.



#84 Giant

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 10:25 AM

There are obvious issues with Wifi on the Evo mounts, however I also believe that there are issues in SkyPortal and SkySafari applications on IOS and Android .

I have tested SkyPortal and SkySafari 5 Plus and 6 Pro on my Android and iPad Air 2 tablets respectively (also on a Samsung Galaxy 8+) using:

1.) The Evo internal wifi in Direct Connect mode

2.) The Evo internal wifi in Infrastructure (AP) mode with a nano router next to the mount.

3.) The Evo mount with a SkyPortal Wifi Module in both Direct Connect and Infrastructure modes

4.) Celestron SLT mount with a SkyPortal Wifi Module in both Direct Connect and Infrastructure modes

 

In all instances, with or without the Hand Controller plugged in to the mount, the tablet (and android cellphone) apps eventually experience issues that span from overrun slewing to major lags to loss of connection. I am always within 3 feet to the mount(s). If I lose connection when in Infrastructure mode, the Wifi lights on the Evo and Wifi module show a connection to the nano router always (blinks slowly, steady on when connected to App) but the tablets lose connection to the mount but not the nano router!.

 

I wanted to take SkyPortal/Safari out of the equation. I installed SkyQ-Link PC software on a Windows 10 laptop with NexRemote and Stellarium and used in Direct Connect or Infrastructure modes. NexRemote controls the alignment but Stellarium does the navigating for me.

I have not experienced any lags or drops using this setup for at least 4 observing sessions.

I also image with a ZWO camera, so I can use the laptop for everything, however it is not as user-friendly as using SkySafari (I need a wireless keyboard to use NexRemote remotely; lots of Window switching between NexRemote, Stellarium and camera app). A Windows tablet might be the answer.

The only issue I experienced was that my two USB 3.0 ports quit in the middle of a session but the USB 2.0 ports were ok. Could be an issue with NexRemote's use of virtual COM ports.

 

I have obviously used the SkyPortal/Safari apps a lot more, but I'll continue to test the PC solution to see if I experience the same issues.




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