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Stellarium and encoders question

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#1 mattyfatz

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 12:53 PM

If my mount already has encoders, can it be directly plugged into my laptop to be used with Stellarium?

I've seen this done by first hooking it up to a computer like the NGC max, then through the laptop, but that seems cumbersome and redundant.

It would also seem that there should be a way to do this with my IPad and Sky Safari. All I would need for the iPad is an interface for the encoders cable and the iPad right? If this info is in a different forum please let me know

 

thanks in advance

Matt



#2 Jim Davis

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:24 PM

What mount are you using? Are the encoders part of the mount, or are they an add on feature?



#3 NMBob

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 03:31 PM

Like Jim said, what are they?, but probably not. The encoders just put out ticks, like 10,000 per revolution, and you need some kind of counter-computer to keep track of the ticks (how many/which direction) which then makes that info available to the software on the computer. The NGC Max is doing that. Nexus boxes (the original and the II) from AstroDevices create their own WiFi network, then you can connect to that network on your iPad and see where the scope is pointing in a program like SkySafari after a quick two-star calibration.



#4 George N

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:02 PM

If your existing encoders are designed to plug into something like a NGC-Max (almost certainly true) - there is no way to plug them directly into a PC or 'device'.... for the reasons explained above. They need to be read and powered. A PC/device does not have the electronics to do that, nor do the encoder/mount makers include the required read electronics with them. You need another 'box' to do that.

 

If your PC, cell phone, tablet, etc, has WiFi..... here is a great solution, the Nexus: http://www.astrodevi...exus/Nexus.html

 

This is not a complete unit like the NexusDSC that can function on its own to provide catalogs, pointing, mount modeling, etc. The Nexus ( I call it a "dumb Nexus" because it can't do anything on its own - but it is a lot less expensive than NexusDSC) only reads the tics from the encoders, and puts them out in a WiFi signal - that then must be processed by a planetarium program like SkySafari, TheSkyX, Stellarium, etc, running on a tablet, cell phone, or PC. It does need a 9v battery or 12v power supply.

 

At Kopernik Observatory we have a Nexus hooked to an old 'PushTo' Losmandy G-11 with encoders. We have two 9-inch tablets running SkySafari 5 and connect both via WiFi. Both are Velcro'ed to the walls of the observatory - but can be picked off. That way two people can see what the scope is pointed at, get data and sound on the object, etc. Works especially nice with public outreach, where we let them view one of the tablets before getting to the scope eyepiece. The two devices do not interact with each other.

 

Just think..... if you have a friend show up.... and he/she has SkySafari running on their cell phone or a tablet..... they can connect up too.... and get the info on what your scope is pointed at!



#5 mattyfatz

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:02 PM

Ok. It’s a Universal Astronomics Mount. Not sure about the brand of encoders, but I know it’s compatable with Argo-Navis, NGC Max and the Televue sky tour.

these “computers”seem ridiculously overpriced for technology that is just beyond the abacus. There has to be a better way of transferring that “tick” data to a PC.


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#6 mattyfatz

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:04 PM

If your existing encoders are designed to plug into something like a NGC-Max (almost certainly true) - there is no way to plug them directly into a PC or 'device'.... for the reasons explained above. They need to be read and powered. A PC/device does not have the electronics to do that, nor do the encoder/mount makers include the required read electronics with them. You need another 'box' to do that.

 

If your PC, cell phone, tablet, etc, has WiFi..... here is a great solution, the Nexus: http://www.astrodevi...exus/Nexus.html

 

This is not a complete unit like the NexusDSC that can function on its own to provide catalogs, pointing, mount modeling, etc. The Nexus ( I call it a "dumb Nexus" because it can't do anything on its own - but it is a lot less expensive than NexusDSC) only reads the tics from the encoders, and puts them out in a WiFi signal - that then must be processed by a planetarium program like SkySafari, TheSkyX, Stellarium, etc, running on a tablet, cell phone, or PC. It does need a 9v battery or 12v power supply.

 

At Kopernik Observatory we have a Nexus hooked to an old 'PushTo' Losmandy G-11 with encoders. We have two 9-inch tablets running SkySafari 5 and connect both via WiFi. Both are Velcro'ed to the walls of the observatory - but can be picked off. That way two people can see what the scope is pointed at, get data and sound on the object, etc. Works especially nice with public outreach, where we let them view one of the tablets before getting to the scope eyepiece. The two devices do not interact with each other.

 

Just think..... if you have a friend show up.... and he/she has SkySafari running on their cell phone or a tablet..... they can connect up too.... and get the info on what your scope is pointed at!

Ah OK! Thanks George! 

Im going to check this out.


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#7 George N

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:11 PM

Ok. It’s a Universal Astronomics Mount. Not sure about the brand of encoders, but I know it’s compatable with Argo-Navis, NGC Max and the Televue sky tour.

these “computers”seem ridiculously overpriced for technology that is just beyond the abacus. There has to be a better way of transferring that “tick” data to a PC.

A friend has the same UA mount/encoder set-up. He connects a NexusDSC to it (also used on an Obsession 18) - but the Nexus would work too - for less $$. He uses WiFi to connect a tablet running SkySafari. It works.



#8 photoracer18

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:36 PM

Ok. It’s a Universal Astronomics Mount. Not sure about the brand of encoders, but I know it’s compatable with Argo-Navis, NGC Max and the Televue sky tour.

these “computers”seem ridiculously overpriced for technology that is just beyond the abacus. There has to be a better way of transferring that “tick” data to a PC.

Well not really. These computers actually don't need the wireless device to work as they have their own computers inside. They function as a goto system without motors and do most everything a goto system does including telling you what they are pointed at. They just require you to move the scope yourself. They are way beyond the abacus. Like a goto system once you pick a couple of stars and point to them they construct and entire map of the sky and time for your location. Exactly what your phone does running a sky program except your phone knows exactly where you are using GPS.

As for moving data there is no better method than 2 computers talking to each other.




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