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Sky Safari 5 for Android?

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#26 StarCurious

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 10:09 PM

Bill,

 

You mentioned that Skysafair 5 Pro will have a different architecture than version 4.

 

Will Skysafari 5 Pro Android be able to remotely control and take advantage of additional functions in Starsense e.g. plate solving with multiple parts of the sky ("add alignment points") via SkyBT?

 

I am also hoping for Skysafari 5/Sky BT functionality similar to what's available with Celestron WiFi Sky Portal.

 

Thanks,

Joseph



#27 btschumy

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 08:56 AM

Joseph,

 

The architectural changes are strictly internal.  Other than slightly faster operations, it won't have much impact.  It does allow us to have the UI adapt better for tablets.

 

We don't have any plans for additional StarSense functionality.  This would need to be implemented by Celestron as they are responsible for most of the StarSense integration.

 

We also don't have plans for additional Celestron functionality when connected through the hand controller.  I don't even think Celestron exposes that functionality via the HC.



#28 StarCurious

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 06:34 PM

Bill,

 

As work around, I have 2 probably unrelated questions:

 

1.  Does the Skysafari Align initiate a Sync point with the NexStar HC, and/or the Starsense HC, thereby adding this to the Celestron Sky Model?

 

2. If I get the Celestron WiFi or Skyportal adapter, can I use it to Connect and Align with a Starsense set up?  Would that give me the ability to issue commands to add Starsense alignment points by taking a picture of the sky and plate solving it? Furthermore, if the answer is yes, can I have a Celestron WiFi adapter connected from an iPad SkySafari 5 Plus, together with an Android SkySafari 4 (or 5 in future) Pro to the Starsense HC connected SkyBT?

 

Thanks,

Joseph



#29 btschumy

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:21 PM

1. If you are connecting via the hand controller then the Align in SkySafari just stores an offset from where the mount thinks it is pointing and where you tell,it it is pointing.  If you are connecting via the Celestron WiFi device, then the Align gets added to the model.

 

2. Yes, with the Celestron WiFi device, you can do a complete StarSense Align from SkySafari.  This is only in SkySafari 5.  I don't think you can do additional alignment shots after the initial 3 or 4.

 

No, you cannot be connected through both the HC and the WiFi device at the same time.



#30 Jack Day

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 11:30 AM

Hi all,

 

I have a couple of questions I was hoping you could answer!

 

First, I am looking forward to getting Sky Safari for my Android devices, should I wait for version five or is it a long ways out yet?

 

 

Second, I would like to use it with my 17.5" scope that uses the old push to JMI NGC Max style computer and encoders.

I have already made a serial adapter that allows me to communicate with my laptop via the serial connection, I have been able to get it to connect and function correctly with the old Southern Skies Sky Chart III, but ham having some trouble with Voyager 4.5.  This is why I would like to get a Bluetooth adapter and the Android app, seems like a much nicer and more functional package.

 

Any thoughts on using Sky Safari with push - to setups?

 

Thanks,

 

Jack Day 



#31 AJ

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 11:58 AM

SkySafari 4 does have JMI NGC Max on the selection list for scope type settings.


Edited by AJ, 12 July 2016 - 05:38 PM.


#32 btschumy

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 01:20 PM

Jack,

 

SkySafari 5 for Android will be out at the end of the month (fingers crossed).  I would wait to purchase although we generally try to refund your money if you bought the old version within one month of when the new one comes out.

 

We do support the NGC Max.  It will show you on-screen where the scope is pointing.



#33 View2

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 10:59 PM

In sky safari on my Note 5 marshmallow, my tablet and on my mac,: if using a 127mm fl952mm scope,  I enter my 6mm, 6.7mm, 9mm, 20mm and 40mm eyepieces. The 9mm(105X) circle is always displayed between the 6mm(158X) and the 6.7mm(142X). Can't figure this one out can you?



#34 btschumy

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 11:41 AM

I've already responded to the ticket you opened on this.



#35 View2

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 04:51 PM

SkySafari question:
After connecting your telescope and( I have an ioptron 45 Pro) doing your polar alignment and one or two star alignment, is it a good idea or a bad idea to sync on an object while viewing in sky safari?

#36 btschumy

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:30 PM

What do you mean by "sync"?  Are you talking about SkySafari's Align command?  The Align command will store an offset from where the scope is telling us it is pointing and where you are telling us it is pointing.   This offset is applied to all communication with the mount.  This can help with GoTos in the local area.

 

If you mean a Sync using the hand controller, this this will not hurt SkySafari in any way.  SkySafari will update the location on-screen to reflect the Sync location.



#37 lphilpot

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 07:20 PM

Since this is a kind of general-purpose thread about SkySafari (5) on Android, I have a question about something that may hopefully be different in v5. I have 4 Pro installed on my Android tablet and maybe 5 fixes it.

 

I use a red film on my tablet, not only for SS but for other apps in general. All are too bright for me in night mode without additional help. With SS in night mode under the red film, however, it's great.

 

Except for one thing - The keyboard. In the app's night mode, it has a bright pink background with brighter pink letters. Through the red film, it's bright, low contrast and virtually unreadable. Without the film, it's way too bright.

 

This happens regardless of which keyboard I use, whether the default Google keyboard, SwiftKey (my preference), or whatever. I have a nice high-contrast keyboard theme that gives a black keyboard with white letters (much like a backlit laptop keyboard) everywhere except in SS in night mode. However, the rest of the app works far better in night mode.

 

So, my question: Is this addressed in v5? That is, will 5 leave the keyboard alone when in night mode? Or is there a way to work around it (maybe even in v4)? I've tried several different keyboards and themes but it's the same behavior in SS regardless.

 

I hate to have to turn night mode off for text entry, then back on for everything else, over and over.

 

Thanks.



#38 btschumy

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 08:15 PM

Len,

 

If I understand you correctly, this is already addressed in SkySafari 4 for Android.  In the Appearance Settings there should be a "Redden Keyboard in Night Vision" option.  It is on by default, but you can turn it off if you are using red film.  Does that solve your problem?



#39 lphilpot

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 08:25 PM

It absolutely does. Don't know how I overlooked that. Thanks! 



#40 junomike

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 07:03 AM

Excellent!  I didn't know this either and just started using the Xtra-Dark Cling.

 

Mike



#41 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 10:16 AM

Len,

 

If I understand you correctly, this is already addressed in SkySafari 4 for Android.  In the Appearance Settings there should be a "Redden Keyboard in Night Vision" option.  It is on by default, but you can turn it off if you are using red film.  Does that solve your problem?

 

As an added note, this allows the use of other keyboards, I use Omega Centauri's Gingerbread Keyboard, it was designed for astronomy.  I also use their app Screen Dim Full.  These fit nicely with Sky Safari. 

 

The author of both apps is Alexander Pruss, a member of Cloudy Nights.

 

Jon



#42 lphilpot

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 03:42 PM

 

 

As an added note, this allows the use of other keyboards, I use Omega Centauri's Gingerbread Keyboard, it was designed for astronomy.  I also use their app Screen Dim Full.  These fit nicely with Sky Safari. 

 

The author of both apps is Alexander Pruss, a member of Cloudy Nights.

 

Jon

 

 

The "Pitch" theme of the SwiftKey keyboard works pretty well on my old A200 Iconia Tab that's been dedicated for astro use only. I have a Lenovo Yoga 10 that's newer and faster (but alas, also effectively just as abandoned as the Acer was, by its manufacturer, for OS upgrades  :mad: ). However, even with auto-brightness turned off, the Yoga occasionally pops to full bright for no apparent reason. The old Acer tablet is slower, but more predictable. Plus, it's less useful for other stuff if it should get damaged while in the field. Unless I can figure out how to root it (no luck so far) and install OminROM or something, it's stuck at Android 4.03. Hopefully SS 5 will run on that but if not, I'll stick with SS 4 Pro (on that tablet at least). The Lenovo is running KitKat (4.44) while my phone is at 5.

 

But anyway, this keyboard works pretty well in low light (seen here in SS 4 Pro's search screen):

 

Swiftkey-red-A200.jpg

 

It's actually a bit darker than that when viewed through the Sirius Xtra-Dark cling vinyl overlay. And I can drop the display's brightness as well (it's at 50% now).



#43 StarCurious

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 11:28 AM

 

 

2. Yes, with the Celestron WiFi device, you can do a complete StarSense Align from SkySafari.  This is only in SkySafari 5.  I don't think you can do additional alignment shots after the initial 3 or 4.

 

No, you cannot be connected through both the HC and the WiFi device at the same time.

 

Hi Bill,

 

2. Does that mean I can't really replace the Starsense HC with Skysafari 5 Pro, since operations such as additional alignment points via Starsense plate solve are not accessible from a phone, especially since the Starsense HC is disconnected and replaced by Celestron Wifi adapter?   Even if the Starsense HC is still connected, it won't have the Skymodel which is stored in Skysafari 5 Pro (?)

 

3. Is a Starsense SYNC operation (pressing Option and Align key simultaneously) supported in Skysafari 5 Pro?

 

4. What about the Starsense HC Help Button - is this implemented in Skysafari 5 Pro/Celestron WIFI?  Doing this after slewing to an object would trigger Starsense to move the scope to a nearby bright star, take an image, plate solve, and slew to the target object more precisely.

 

Thanks,

Joseph



#44 grm78

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 05:21 PM

Hello everyone,

 

As we are approaching the end of the month, do you have any news regarding the release of version 5 for Android ?

 

Thx foy your answer,

Grm



#45 42itous1

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 05:55 PM

Hi Joseph,

 

I have starsense with sky safri 5 pro.  Everything is controlled through my sky safari.  On the initial startup, you simply press connect and align, and . After a successful first alignment, you will be asked to center the object and press calibrate.  Another alignment is then done so that the camera offset is calculated.  After that, as far as I can tell you  can then perform 7 more "additional alignments" (6 for eq mounts).  This is essentilly the sync operation.  To experiment, I tried to replace one of the ten alignment references--it was not allowed.  When using the hand controller only, there were more options, but not sure they were necessary.  After aligning and adding one or two additional references, things are always in the view of my r2 imager sometimes perfectly cenetered

 

I now never use the HC.  Every now and then I will slew with it when I'm at the scope .  When you slew with the HC, sky safari moves your view--so slewing with hc is always an option

 

.  It is my understanding that beyond slewing, the app and hc don't work together.

 

I am a rank amateur--so I could be wrong about some of this.  This is purely my own experience.

 

Hope this might help.

 

 

Brad



#46 StarCurious

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 06:26 PM

Hi Joseph,

 

I have starsense with sky safri 5 pro.  Everything is controlled through my sky safari.  On the initial startup, you simply press connect and align, and . After a successful first alignment, you will be asked to center the object and press calibrate.  Another alignment is then done so that the camera offset is calculated.  After that, as far as I can tell you  can then perform 7 more "additional alignments" (6 for eq mounts).  This is essentilly the sync operation.  To experiment, I tried to replace one of the ten alignment references--it was not allowed.  When using the hand controller only, there were more options, but not sure they were necessary.  After aligning and adding one or two additional references, things are always in the view of my r2 imager sometimes perfectly cenetered

 

I now never use the HC.  Every now and then I will slew with it when I'm at the scope .  When you slew with the HC, sky safari moves your view--so slewing with hc is always an option

 

.  It is my understanding that beyond slewing, the app and hc don't work together.

 

I am a rank amateur--so I could be wrong about some of this.  This is purely my own experience.

 

Hope this might help.

 

 

Brad

Hi Brad,

 

Thank you for sharing your experience. I am trying to operate almost completely indoors.  I have a netbook running Sharpcap which connects to an ASI224 MC camera instead of an eyepiece, a remotely controlled electronic focuser.  I am trying to control my Celestron 102 SLT/Starsense from indoors as well with Skysafari 5 Pro.  I am trying to avoid mosquitoes in summer months and low temperature in winter months.

 

I find that I need to set up additional alignment points with the Starsense HC to get the precision that I need for a narrow field of view of half a degree or less.  Would you be able to test ADDING an alignment point after the initial alignment with Skysafari 5 Pro only (without the HC)?  If this doesn't work, I am better off using a Starsense HC connected bluetooth adapter, although I have to stay outdoors initially to add about 6 more alignment points via Hand Control after Starsense initial auto alignment.

 

Thanks,

Joseph



#47 42itous1

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 06:36 PM

yes--the initial alignment uses 3 alignment points (4 for eq mounts) so I add as many as 7 more alignment points in a session--that is the maximum.  I don't use the hand controller.



#48 StarCurious

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 06:47 PM

yes--the initial alignment uses 3 alignment points (4 for eq mounts) so I add as many as 7 more alignment points in a session--that is the maximum.  I don't use the hand controller.

Brad,

 

Thanks for this encouraging piece of information.  I am tempted to buy the Skyportal/Wifi adapter, when the Android version of Skysafari 5 Pro is released.  I already have the iPad version of Skysafari 5 Plus.

 

Do you know of any function or operation with Starsense that would NOT work via Celestron Wifi and Skysafari 5 Pro but would work via the Starsense HC?  For example, with HC, I can set up a Sync (not the same as an alignment point and therefore not limited to 10 total).  Another example is the HELP key or Assist feature in Starsense, which moves the scope to a nearby bright star, asks you to center it, then moves the OTA (back) to more precisely to the targeted object such as a faint DSO.

 

Thanks,

Joseph



#49 42itous1

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 07:13 PM

I have not found any other functions--if they exist.  You can do a manual alignment with starsense and sky safari--but then why have starsense?.  As I understand it, when setting additional alignments--you move up and left, from last go to, press align--the cameraa then takes an image of that area of the sky and adds it to the model or plate-solve. Press goto (the object is still selected in sky safari) and the object is closer to exact center. This is essentially the same as a sync as I understand it..



#50 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:48 PM

Hello everyone,

 

As we are approaching the end of the month, do you have any news regarding the release of version 5 for Android ?

 

Thx foy your answer,

Grm

 

I think it's in beta, full version to follow soon.

 

Jon




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