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do i really need the RS-232 cable?

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#1 b16707

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:50 AM

Trying to see how i can hook up my mount (AVX) to my comp in the most efficient way possible. my hand controller is the older one so no usb. Wondering if i really need the RS-232 cable adaptered to a serial to usb connection or can i just get something like this: https://www.ebay.com...afff68c9b|iid:1



#2 mclewis1

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:08 PM

That Meade cable probably won't work ... the pinouts are wrong on the plain version of Meade's serial cable and I believe it carries over to that integrated version you've linked to. You'll need the Celestron HC serial cable (#93920) ... if you want to make your own cable the pinouts are on Mike's site ... www.nexstarsite.com, and a USB-rs232 serial adapter (unless you can luck out and find a PC with a real serial port on it).

 

You can often get away with inexpensive USB-rs232 serial adapters BUT it's dependent on your particular PC. Sometimes the cheap ones will work for you, sometimes they don't. The best suggestion I can give you is to only buy something that you can return if it doesn't work for you.


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#3 b16707

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:22 PM

got it, might as well do it the right way. 

these things are so old school haha.



#4 Noah4x4

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 05:07 PM

You could also get a SkyPortal external WiFi accessory and instead hook up wirelessly to an I-Pad or Android tablet.

 

When I first hooked up a camera to my Windows laptop I tried controlling  my Evolution using the RS232 Serial to USB adapter cable whilst using the NexRemote virtual HC with an objective of everything being on a Windows device. It works,  but I found it got in the way of my camera software that could then not be run in full screen. However, I suspect that it might be better using (say) Stellarium or Cartes Du Ceil assuming that you can layer their 'Windows' as normal, but I have not tried that.

 

I then dabbled with a wholly WiFi set up using two computers and Windows Remote Desktop. However, this only confirmed that my 4K UHD  camera runs best over USB3.0 cable and  I also had a few odd conflicts whereby the virtual HC inexplicably 'locked up'. I also tried a USB hub and USB2.0 cable for all which didn't work too well. So I abandoned that and went back to simple USB3.0 for camera to an Intel NUC and WiFi to Android tablet for scope control. Note I don't use my Evolution's flaky internal WiFi as the external SkyPortal WiFi accessory is superior. But that is only relevant to Evolutions manufactured before 2016. Current models are fine.

 

Running the camera on a Windows device from inside my warm 'mission control' yet using an Android tablet to direct the scope is very convenient. The tablet is sufficiently portable to be used at the scope during alignment or indoors for GoTo. I am predominantly active in EAA, and this combination works particular well as my camera is on Hyperstar. Then, GoTo doesn't even need to be too precise as the FOV on Hyperstar is enormous and I can instead use Atik's Infinity camera software <zoom> to cruise around my screen. I don't ever  need to use the directional buttons. However, you do need a 4K UHD camera and 4K UHD monitor for best effect. On a lesser screen (1080p or 720p) too much <zoom> and the image will pixelate and become blocky. However, I can exceed 600% before I lose detail. 



#5 b16707

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:33 PM

But with the WiFi module I can't use phd2 with it right?

#6 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:45 PM

But with the WiFi module I can't use phd2 with it right?

Correct.

 

So, options are:

- Buy the Meade-specific adapter you found on Ebay, cut off the RJ-22 connector and crimp on a new RJ-22 connector with the correct pin connections.  Two complications - determining the correct pin connections and obtaining an RJ-22 crimping tool.  By the way, for a number of years that same cable was sold with Celestron-specific pin-out so you might find that available somewhere.  These never became very popular, I think because the cable is so stiff.

- Go the normal route and purchase a USB to serial adapter and Celestron-specific serial cable.  See "Wired Connections for RS-232 Hand Controls" here at my website:

https://www.nexstars...m/PCControl.htm

- Purchase a new NexStar+ hand control with the USB port.  Note though that USB is limited to about 15 feet (the actual cables are generally much shorter) while RS-232 cables can be quite a bit longer with 20 to 30 feet being used successfully on most Celestron scopes.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com



#7 IronStar

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 07:32 AM

Another solution – There are several applications that allow you run android applications on windows 10 (like SkyPortal) They are developed for gamers so the speed is important. Based on my investigation Nox Player works great (https://www.bignox.com) and is free. You download google apps from within the tool. Based on my testing so far – awesome. No lags like I was getting on my android phone. Hey if the clouds come in then you can play games.


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#8 b16707

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 11:02 AM

awesome. never knew about bignox. thats something to look into also!

 

somewhat related but somewhat not, does this RS-232 celestron cable also work for something like the star adventurer or skyguider mounts? Not sure if you can use PHD on those mounts yet as i havent looked into it.



#9 IronStar

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 08:59 PM

A solution. My new Celestron Nexstar Evolution 8 is great. When I connected SkyPortal to my android phone to run it through the Wifi, SkyPortal was horrible. The application lagged or froze up completely. My solution was to run SkyPortal in windows by using a program that allows you run android applications. After a minor investigation I found NoxPlayer (free). It is fantastic. No performance issues with SkyPortal. All you do is download the app on your win 10 system, go to Google play (within NoxPlayer), Download SkyPortal and connect your Wifi to your scope. Anyway, if your not happy having to go the apple route then give it try.



#10 Flyalaz

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 02:30 PM

As per Mike Swanson's advice on his Nexstar site in the odds and ends section on wired connections, I purchased a Canon compatible USB to mini USB cable to try out with my star sense hand controller for auto guiding using phd or the like with a ZWO camera. Hope it works. Need some clear skies and some free time now to test it out. Just a newbie.



#11 rhaskins

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 04:32 PM

Buy a new USB hand controller? I did.

 

Rick




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