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New Skywatcher AZ GTi goto wifi mount

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#76 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:56 AM

Mine arrived today in great condition. From First Light Optics in Exeter, UK to my door in four days, not bad! 

 

The SynScan Pro app connected quickly, and I did a fake alignment indoors that went well. Goto’s seemed to be accurate and the app is easy to navigate. The help section said that it will work with SkySafari 5 and gave the port number and what IP address to use, but SkySafari kept giving me a message that it connected, but the scope wasn’t responding. It may take more fooling around to get that right, but the SynScan app works well on its own. 

 

FWIW, I tried the mount on the standard tripod as well as my Berlebach Report, and I think that I like it a bit more on the stock tripod. Time and swapping around will tell though. 

 

Oh, and the Mak is a cute little thing too. I will probably trash the cheap diagonal and use one of my other 1.25” diagonals, and give the two eyepieces away. 

 

So so far I am very pleased with this package and I can’t wait to get it out. 

 

Thanks to Dr. Who and BinoGuy for pointing me to this one. 

 

On edit: I know that photos are mandatory, but my iPhone photos come up sideways on here. I’ll have to wait to use a computer to post them. 


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#77 dr.who

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:16 PM

As I understand it there is a problem using both the Synscan App and SkySafari on the iPhone. My understanding is you can't use both at the same time on the same phone because of the way the phone handles multitasking. It will work on an Android phone though. 

 

That has me considering options. On the one hand I can get a SynScan HC for about $200. On the other I can get a Android phone with no contract for about the same price and be able to use both the Synscan App and a Android version of SkySafari. 

 

I say that because I plan to do a fair bit of double star observing as well as asterisms and carbon stars with my setup from heavy LP skies and the SynScan app is a bit limiting in terms of catalog and using SAO numbers etc.



#78 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:16 PM

As I understand it there is a problem using both the Synscan App and SkySafari on the iPhone. My understanding is you can't use both at the same time on the same phone because of the way the phone handles multitasking. It will work on an Android phone though.

That has me considering options. On the one hand I can get a SynScan HC for about $200. On the other I can get a Android phone with no contract for about the same price and be able to use both the Synscan App and a Android version of SkySafari.

I say that because I plan to do a fair bit of double star observing as well as asterisms and carbon stars with my setup from heavy LP skies and the SynScan app is a bit limiting in terms of catalog and using SAO numbers etc.

I have not yet tried it, but it was my understanding that you can run the SynScan app on one iOS device and SkySafari on another. I have an iPhone and three iPads, so I am probably going to try that. Since I am mostly observing Sharpless objects with night vision lately, I like to use SkySafari on a larger screen with the Ha overlay on the Milky Way.

I do have a SynScan hand controller for my SW dob, so I could use that in a pinch. I do like the idea of being completely wireless though.
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#79 dr.who

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 03:18 PM

Correct. You need two iOS devices.

#80 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 06:44 AM

Last night was cloudy so I played around with the mount a little more. Once again the SynScan app connected quickly, but I could not get two iPads to connect using SkySafari. Both iPads showed that they were connected to the SynScan WiFi, but whenever I told SkySafari to connect I got a message box saying that it could not make the connection.

 

In the setup menu in SkySafari I added the port number that the SynScan help section said to use, and I also added the IP address that SynScan said i5 was using; in my case 192.168.4.2, but after 45 minutes I gave up. I don’t know if it’s user error, iPad issue, or SkySafari. 

 

My wife has an Android tablet that is WiFi only, no 4G, and she has offered to let me load SynScan and SkySafari on it to see if that will work. Though I hate to spend another $20 for another SkySafari app, maybe it will work.

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated, but keep in mind that I am by no means a techie, so keep it simple. wink.gif



#81 sg6

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 07:27 AM

Doug: If I recall the iPad has a problem with running 2 applications at the same time - terms may be incorrect.

If effect you can run the Skywatcher app OR the Skysafari app but not both.

 

What I suspect is the best dscription is an old one now of "terminate and stay resident". When you start the Skysafari app up then the Skywatcher one terminates, but hangs around in the RAM for a quick startup.

 

As the operation for the mount needs Skysafari to talk to the Skywatcher app then "expected" operation is not possible. Seems that Android can run multiple apps at the same time one does not ternimate when another starts, so on an Android Skysafari talks to the Skywatcher app which communicates with the mount. Likely means Android app will however run a bit slower.

 

This was mentioned early on when the mount appeared and I don't think there is a great deal you can therefore do, as the description needs the iPad to run apps in parallel. Suppose Skysafari could modify their app to remove the need of the Skywatcher one but that would need a fair change and I also guess to agreement of Skywatcher (possibly). However it would give Skysafari a big market.



#82 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:37 AM

Thanks for that explanation. The help section of the SynScan app makes no mention of the conflict when trying to run both apps, they only tell how to connect to SkySafari.

 

This morning before heading to work I tried something else; I turned on the mount, connected my iPhone to the SynScan wifi signal, and tried only using SkySafari without opening the SynScan app, but it SkySafari would not connect, giving me a message that it could not detect the wifi signal. So, after looking in the help section of the SynScan app, I changed the IP address from 192.168.4.2 to SynScan_3d53. This time SkySafari gave me a message box stating that it had made the connection, but that the telescope was not responding. I have no idea what that means, but I do know that it means that I couldn't do an alignment using SkySafari.

 

Tonight I want to try something else; that is to use the SynScan app on the iPhone, and SkySafari on my iPad using the above mentioned IP address SynScan_3d53. I am wondering if the SynScan app has to be connected in order for the other iOS device to be able to connect SkySafari.

 

Barring that, I will try my wife's Android pad and see if that makes a difference.

 

It's going to be raining for the next two or three nights, so nothing better to do than play around with this. In the end, I suppose that it doesn't really matter if I can't run SkySafari with this mount, as I am using pretty small scopes on it anyway, and the SynScan app has all of the Messiers, NGC, and IC objects, so there are still plenty of objects in the database, and the mount works like a champ with the SynScan app.



#83 Randy Dodge

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:55 AM

Which version of IOS are you using?? IOS 11 is supposed to offer multitasking.

 

Also, I've heard from a Canadian Vendor that they'll have the AZ-GTI in February. Price will be $380 (CDN $) head only

or $455 (CDN $) with tripod.



#84 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:59 AM

I recently updated all of my iOS devices to 11.1.2



#85 dr.who

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 08:04 PM

iOS 11.x will allow multi tasking on the iPad but not the iPhone. A odd limitation that doesn't make sense to me. 



#86 Randy Dodge

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:28 AM

Seems multitasking was removed from Iphone IOS 11 at the last minute due to a technical issue. Supposed to

be back in an upcoming update .3 or .4 ?



#87 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:32 AM

iOS 11.x will allow multi tasking on the iPad but not the iPhone. A odd limitation that doesn't make sense to me. 

 

Well, that's interesting. I wonder if it's a limitation inherent in the iPhone?

 

FWIW, last night I connected to the mount using the SynScan app on the iPhone to complete an alignment routine, and an iPad that has wifi only running SkySafari. In the SkySafari settings I used the AZ GTi's IP address of 192.168.4.2 and the Port 11882 per the instructions, but I got a message saying something along the lines of "SkySafari cannot connect to the scope. Please check wifi settings to make sure you are connected."

 

So, I replaced the IP address of 192.168.4.2 with the SynScan web ID SynScan_3d53, and this time I got the message "SkySafari has connected to the scope, but the scope is not responding", or something along those lines.

 

I have not yet tried my newest iPad with both 4G and wifi, but I don't see how 4G would make a difference. In an online search I did find one fellow in England, as I recall, who was successful in linking one iOS device with the SynScan app and then running the mount with SkySafari on another iOS device, but this is clearly not working for me. That same online search found a discussion on the issue on the Simulation Curriculum website in which developer Bill Tschumy said that it should be taken up with Skywatcher if they are saying that it works with SkySafari, as SW never contacted them regarding compatibility.

 

Next try will involve loading SynScan and SkySafari on my wife's Kindle Fire Android device to see if that works. If not, I am going to make myself content with using the SynScan app only.



#88 jay.i

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:32 AM

It's a design choice from Apple to maximize battery life, a remnant of the days when they had no way to control running apps. I mean, literally the only control people got was a "go home" button -- can you imagine how many users who leave apps open and kill their battery would be crying to Apple about terrible battery life? Now you can "close apps" by double-clicking the home button if you want, but they still don't run in the background like Android's true backgrounding so it doesn't matter much. iPads have more powerful processors, more RAM, and bigger batteries, and are intended to bridge the gap between a phone and a full computer, so it makes sense to make sure apps can be left open. It's one step away from the childish handicaps in an oversimplified user experience but I'll still be using Android until Apple gives power users more control. The whole SynScan/SkySafari thing isn't even a power user activity and yet consumers are handicapped, unable to use other products to their full extent. Tis a bummer.



#89 martinl

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 12:38 PM

What I would like to know is why the Skywatcher WiFi system requires an additional dedicated app at all. My Celestron WiFi dongle works just fine with SkySafari on a single iOS device. No extra interface app needed.

 

I’m intrigued by the AZ-GTi, but as an iOS user this issue has so far put me off purchasing one. 


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#90 jay.i

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:08 PM

What I would like to know is why the Skywatcher WiFi system requires an additional dedicated app at all. 

Well, you have to align it somehow, right? I don't know if this feature exists in SkySafari. But if anything you should be able to align it, then go to SkySafari, connect to the mount, and be on your way.



#91 martinl

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 07:19 PM

 

What I would like to know is why the Skywatcher WiFi system requires an additional dedicated app at all. 

Well, you have to align it somehow, right? I don't know if this feature exists in SkySafari. But if anything you should be able to align it, then go to SkySafari, connect to the mount, and be on your way.

 

With a Celestron (and most other) WiFi systems you align the mount through SkySafari. No hand controller or extra app needed. So why then does Skywatcher require an extra app? That’s what I don’t get. 



#92 dr.who

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:34 PM

SmySafari doesn't have a way to control the mount. It is too new. Maybe in the next release of SkySafari it will be there.

Your Celestron dongle works because SkySafari has the API for it. And it's based on the Celestron hand controller. This mount doesn't come with a HC so it has an App instead. You can buy a HC for it as well and likely put a dongle on it and SkySafari will run it just like any other older Skywatcher/Orion/Celestron mount.

#93 jozasa

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 08:29 PM

 

Last night I connected to the mount using the SynScan app on the iPhone to complete an alignment routine, and an iPad that has wifi only running SkySafari. In the SkySafari settings I used the AZ GTi's IP address of 192.168.4.2 and the Port 11882 per the instructions, but I got a message saying something along the lines of "SkySafari cannot connect to the scope. Please check wifi settings to make sure you are connected."

 

So, I replaced the IP address of 192.168.4.2 with the SynScan web ID SynScan_3d53, and this time I got the message "SkySafari has connected to the scope, but the scope is not responding", or something along those lines.

I don't know what your issue may be, but for me it works beautifully that way.

 

First, both devices connected to the AZ-Gti wifi. (I have both running iOS 11.2)

Then I connect the iPhone via Synscan Pro, align and make sure to leave the app running on top all the time

Then I connect the iPad via SkySafari Pro, 192.168.4.2, port 11882.

If the Synscan Pro is not showing on top of the iPhone all the time, then SkySafari connection is not possible, and you have to start all over again

 

Hope it helps



#94 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 07:46 AM

 

 

Last night I connected to the mount using the SynScan app on the iPhone to complete an alignment routine, and an iPad that has wifi only running SkySafari. In the SkySafari settings I used the AZ GTi's IP address of 192.168.4.2 and the Port 11882 per the instructions, but I got a message saying something along the lines of "SkySafari cannot connect to the scope. Please check wifi settings to make sure you are connected."

 

So, I replaced the IP address of 192.168.4.2 with the SynScan web ID SynScan_3d53, and this time I got the message "SkySafari has connected to the scope, but the scope is not responding", or something along those lines.

I don't know what your issue may be, but for me it works beautifully that way.

 

First, both devices connected to the AZ-Gti wifi. (I have both running iOS 11.2)

Then I connect the iPhone via Synscan Pro, align and make sure to leave the app running on top all the time

Then I connect the iPad via SkySafari Pro, 192.168.4.2, port 11882.

If the Synscan Pro is not showing on top of the iPhone all the time, then SkySafari connection is not possible, and you have to start all over again

 

Hope it helps

 

 

I’m starting to think it’s me, but I can’t figure out what I might be doing wrong. You are at least the second person who I have heard of who has the two apps running together on different devices. I just tried doing it the way you suggested and I had the same results as before; failure. Are you performing an alignment routine with SynScan before connecting SkySafari? 

 

For whatever reason my SkySafari app will not connect to the AZ GTi if I use the IP address 192.168.4.2. It will connect if I use the web ID of synscan_3d53, but it tells me that the telescope is not responding. This is on an iPhone and two iPads all running the latest iOS. 

 

To to make things even worse, yesterday I bought a cheap Android tablet running Android 6.0 to see if I could get both apps to work that way, but when I went to load the SynScan app on it via Google Play, I got a message telling me that the device isn’t compatible. What’s up with that?? tongue2.gif

 

I tell you, it’s me.

 

On another note, yesterday my SkyFi arrived. I bought it so I can use SkySafari with my SkyWatcher dob. If I get the same “telescope is not responding” message with that, I’m loading everything into the car and tossing it all in the river. lol.gif



#95 jay.i

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 09:41 PM

Doug,

 

It is possible your SkySafari iOS device is on a different WiFi network, or is flipping back and forth. If you're in range of your house WiFi, try "forgetting" that network on both devices and then connect to the AZ-GTi again. Also give both devices a full power cycle just for good measure - it is possible there's a bug that breaks a listener process and you need to reboot to fix it. Happened to my Android 8.0 phone (Pixel) for Android Wear notifications; a reboot fixed it.

 

As for the Android 6.0 thing, it is possible your Android tablet has some crappy OEM stuff on it that breaks compatibility. It may be possible to "root" the device and put a custom pure build of Android on there. The app says it's compatible with 4.0 and up; you can see here. If you have the tablet linked to your Google account, it should have a button to install it on your device. It may say that it is not compatible with any of your devices, in which case there may be a problem with the tablet - possibly stolen/bad IMEI, or it's running a version of Android that doesn't pass this silly validation that companies like Netflix and Nintendo require your device to pass before they will let you install their app. For example, without specific workarounds, you cannot install Netflix on a rooted phone, nor the Amazon Prime Video app. Same for the new Animal Crossing game. Hard to know for sure, but I'm happy to help if I can.

 

-j



#96 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 12:14 PM

Thanks Jay,

 

I don't have a home wifi other than a Verizon Jet Pack (rural area), so there shouldn't be a conflict, but I will try again with a fresh charge on all devices.

 

I would not be surprised if there was a lot of crappy OEM junk on the Android tablet though. That would serve me right for buying a $49 RCA tablet at Walmart! lol.gif

 

I actually had to look up the term "rooting an Android" to figure out what you were talking about, but I've already returned the tablet for a refund. At this point, I am trying to decide between trying another Android tablet, or just using the SynScan hand controller from my dob with the SkyFi connected. The Synscan HC and SkyFi work very well on the dob with my iPhone and iPad, and the AZ GTi has a connection for the hand controller. It's more stuff to connect, but it may be the best solution.



#97 jay.i

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 09:44 PM

I would recommend going to Swappa and looking for a Nexus 7 (2013). It will run stock Android and is still decent these days. I have had mine since it came out and still haven't found a suitable stock Android replacement. It's the perfect size with a great screen and great battery life. I would expect all of this to work flawlessly with the latest stock Android. If I had an AZ-GTi I could test it for you!

#98 jag32

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 10:32 PM

Is this mount available in the USA yet?



#99 skyward_eyes

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:49 AM

It’s being prepared for sale here in the US. But this takes time for the first of them to arrive.

#100 bjgiii

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 06:52 PM

These little mounts look great. I think I would just order one with the ota included instead of waiting. Which of the three models would be good for all around observing (dso and planetary)? I've been looking for something to mess around with while imaging.




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