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SkyPortal --- Scope won't connect

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#1 whizbang

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:20 AM

This morning, I tested both an Android phone and tablet with my Evo 8.  NO problem.  I set up after dark tonight and neither device with connect with the scope.

 

Wifi signal is "SkyQLink-a9".  I connect on one device and "forget" on the other.

 

Android system, is 7.1.1

 

Hand Control is:  NXS 5.24.4200

 

Motor Control is: 7.10.4188

 

Is this just a matter of updating the HC and MC firmware???


Edited by whizbang, 25 April 2019 - 01:20 AM.


#2 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:34 AM

Hi,

 

Updating the firmware isn't likely to fix the connection problem but it is something you should do.

 

On this page of my website:

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

have a look through the article in the yellow box on the right titled "Troubleshooting WiFi Connection Problems".  In particular I suspect item 8 though it could be any number of things.

 

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



#3 berniez

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 07:14 AM

I suspect the wifi board on the telescope. I think you have the older wifi board which was unreliable. It is part of the main board.  If it is under warranty yet, contact Celestron. The sid of the newer more reliable board transmits Celestron-xx  where the older unreliable one transmits SkyQlink-XX. If you are the original owner, no matter how old it is, I would still email Celestron about this issue. If you bought it used, try Celestron anyway. Pretty well known problem all other this board. Last alternative is to buy the add on wifi module.

Bernie



#4 whizbang

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:49 AM

One of my reservations about buying this scope was the flakey WiFi.  I am the second owner, so, no warranty.  And I've just been using the hand control.

 

Skyportal looks like an interesting way to operate the scope.  However, I suspect the WiFi board is DOA.  I prefer to install a new WiFi board than use an outboard dongle.  I sent Celestron a request...

.



#5 coopman

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:35 AM

Try doing an alignment w/o using Skyportal (hand controller only) and then just use Skyportal as a source of objects to look for in the hand controller menus.  This is what I am doing.  I did a two star alignment last night & was aligned & selecting objects in a few minutes.       


Edited by coopman, 25 April 2019 - 10:45 AM.


#6 berniez

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:02 PM

Since this is a known issue, even though you are the second owner, if the unit is less than 2 years old, I would still ask for some help here. See if original owner has the receipt. Maybe a split in cost. Big issue is cost of shipping which if you were the first owner and under warranty Celestron would normally pay for. The mount and controller are really heavy and costly to ship. Maybe if you ask nicely, Celestron will help you. You have nothing to lose. This requires replacement of main board and recalibration. Only other good alternative for wifi would be the dongle.

Bernie



#7 descott12

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:13 PM

 

 

Skyportal looks like an interesting way to operate the scope. 

Yes, SkyPortal really is great so I hope you can get the wifi connection working. Doing the 3 star alignment with SkyPortal is so easy because you can select anything as an alignment point. With the HC only, you can only select from a short list of stars and if you don't know the name of them all and where they are (like me) then it is alot trickier. Definitely worth investigating and fixing this problem



#8 Noah4x4

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 06:36 PM

It is not cost effective to replace the internal pcb of early Evolutions, which have arguably the world's worst ribbon aerial directly embedded into the circuit board. These early SkyQLink versions date from 2014 to 2016 so are now out of warranty.

 

Best solution, buy a new SkyPortal external WiFi accessory for €99. But do not buy second hand as they too suffer from flaky WiFi. But the third generation version is rock steady.

 

EDIT

One other thought. If the internal WiFi was DOA,  have you checked that the previous owner didn't disable it via the Nexstar + HC?  It might simply be switched off. But how do you know it is SkyQLink if it has never worked? You must be seeing a signal? If so, are you sure you have selected 'Celestron WiFi in the APP? Suggest you explore Mike Swanson's excellent check list.


Edited by Noah4x4, 25 April 2019 - 06:43 PM.


#9 whizbang

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:59 PM

Details, details....

 

So I connected an Android tablet the other day, and slewed the scope up and down and side to side.  no problem.

 

Next, I connected my phone.  Hit the left arrow button for a second and the scope takes off like a shot rotating left as if I were holding down the left arrow.  I was not holding the arrow.  I merely tapped it.

 

No problem.  I reached over and turned off the scope. 

 

Since then, both the tablet and the phone connect to the wifi, but SkyPortal won't connect to the scope.

 

I have been reading reviews on-line. SkyPortal doesn't seem to be incredibly robust.  Perhaps I am not missing anything if this never ends up working.


Edited by whizbang, 26 April 2019 - 12:00 AM.


#10 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 12:15 AM

Details, details....

 

So I connected an Android tablet the other day, and slewed the scope up and down and side to side.  no problem.

 

Next, I connected my phone.  Hit the left arrow button for a second and the scope takes off like a shot rotating left as if I were holding down the left arrow.  I was not holding the arrow.  I merely tapped it.

 

No problem.  I reached over and turned off the scope. 

 

Since then, both the tablet and the phone connect to the wifi, but SkyPortal won't connect to the scope.

 

I have been reading reviews on-line. SkyPortal doesn't seem to be incredibly robust.  Perhaps I am not missing anything if this never ends up working.

Early performance of the SkyPortal app when used with the SkyQLink Evolution mounts was very poor.  Most of the bad reviews come from that combination.  In the end, most people with a SkyQLink Evolution simply give up.  Either they give up altogether or they purchase a new external SkyPortal WiFi module (dongle) and connect via that instead.

 

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


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#11 descott12

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 06:40 AM

 

 

I have been reading reviews on-line. SkyPortal doesn't seem to be incredibly robust.  Perhaps I am not missing anything if this never ends up working.

Actually, I have a newer Evo 8 ( it must have a better version of the wifi) and SkyPortal on my iPhone is really quite nice. I love it. No problems as far as I can tell. I did try running it (actually the full version SkySafari) on an Android tablet and was not nearly as impressed but I have not really played with it much yet.



#12 whizbang

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 07:59 PM

After his WiFi failed, an Amazon reviewer used SkySafari, an RS232 cable, and a RS232/Bluetooth converter to operate the scope from an Android via bluetooth.

 

What do you guys think of that?

 

The price is about the same as the WiFi adapter.

 

Which would be more reliable?



#13 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 02:46 AM

After his WiFi failed, an Amazon reviewer used SkySafari, an RS232 cable, and a RS232/Bluetooth converter to operate the scope from an Android via bluetooth.

What do you guys think of that?

The price is about the same as the WiFi adapter.

Which would be more reliable?


That is the basic setup I generally use (for over 15 years now). See the wireless connection section of this page of my website:
https://www.nexstars...m/PCControl.htm

But with a 2nd generation SkyPortal WiFi module, either method has been just as reliable. The newer 3rd generation SkyPortal WiFi module is even more stable.

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar User's Guide"
https://www.NexStarSite.com


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