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PSA: SkySafari and AZ Mount Pro

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#1 TG

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:19 PM

TL;DR: Specify the IP address as exactly 10.10.100.254 otherwise SkySafari will fail to connect with the mount.

 

Separately, Sky Safari (I have the Plus version) and the iOptron AZ Mount Pro are great products. They could be even greater if they worked together but in my case Sky Safari refused to connect with the mount. First let me tell you how this is supposed to work:

 

- The AZ Mount Pro sets up a WiFi network that any device can connect to and get assigned an IP address

- There is a dedicated IP address + port set up by the mount to talk with software: 10.10.100.254:8899

- The IP address is also the address of a web-server that can be used to configure WiFi on the mount

 

My first indication that something was amiss was a very high pitched irregular noise coming from the mount. When WiFi was turned off, the noise went away. I complained to iOptron and they sent me a new board which I let sit on the shelf since I really had no plans to connect my mount to software and just turned WiFi off. Eventually, I bought Sky Safari and ran into the failure to connect problem. Trying to connect to the mount's web page failed as well(*) , so I set up replacing the WiFi board on the mount.

 

Since I had no disassembly instructions, I went about removing every screw and cowling I could till only the panels at bottom of the mount were left. I had still not found the WiFi 'board' so that's where it would have to be located. It took me a little while to realize that to remove the bottom panels, I had to remove the Az axis completely. There is a locking ring on it that has a tiny set screw in it. Loosening it got it to turn easily and finally I took off the bottom panels. The WiFi board turned out to be the most of the electronics in the mount (the other board is the GPS board at the top of the mount). I slipped in the replacement, powered it up and could connect to the web page immediately. Success!

 

After assembling the mount back, I tried Sky Safari again but to no avail. I was still getting the connection failure. I then updated the software on the new board to the latest but, again, still no connection. Did a little digging on the internet and found the answer buried in a thread on the Sky Safari support forums:

  • Sky Safari helpfully fills in the IP address for you when you choose your mount type as 010.010.100.254. Looks innocuous enough but for some weird reason, the extra 0s cause the connection to fail. Remove the extra 0s and the connection succeeds!

Since iOptron probably shares firmware between mount models, it's possible this applies to other iOptron mounts as well.

 

BTW, the new electronics board has the same high pitched noise from WiFi. I guess I'll just have wear earplugs.

 

Tanveer.

 

(*) I now suspect I did something wrong and it wasn't the hardware



#2 Spikey131

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:36 PM

I have been using the AZ Mount Pro with Sky Safari almost every clear night since 2017 and have experienced none of your difficulties.  Glad that you have worked them out.

 

My mount seems nearly silent, but that might be my hearing......


Edited by Spikey131, 26 March 2020 - 09:36 PM.


#3 dustyc

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:36 PM

Glad you got it figured out. My board whistled so loud you could hear it about 15 feet away. Swapped out the board remedied the issue. 



#4 biz

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 11:14 PM

I’ve also had none of these issues .

By the way Dusty!  What tune was yours whistling?

cheers

Graham


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#5 TG

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 12:33 PM

Glad you got it figured out. My board whistled so loud you could hear it about 15 feet away. Swapped out the board remedied the issue. 

"Swapped out" is an understatement grin.gif



#6 biz

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 02:08 PM

"Swapped out" is an understatement grin.gif

TG, In your case , yes , as you didn’t have the instructions.   It is actually quite simple and not a very long job at all.

cheers

Graham



#7 dustyc

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 02:34 PM

I’ve also had none of these issues .

By the way Dusty!  What tune was yours whistling?

cheers

Graham

Dixie!

BTW, me and the boys at Ioptron traded around 3 main boards, a GPS module, and a WI-FI board before mine was working properly. They even sent me a replacement unit with the same bug. 

Gotta say one thing, their customer service is top notch!!!



#8 biz

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 04:02 PM

Dixie!

BTW, me and the boys at Ioptron traded around 3 main boards, a GPS module, and a WI-FI board before mine was working properly. They even sent me a replacement unit with the same bug. 

Gotta say one thing, their customer service is top notch!!!

Dusty,

I’ve also found their customer service to be top notch from when I started to use their mounts eleven years back . It hasn’t wavered after all these years.

Enjoy  your mount

cheers

Graham




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