Hey Celestron Fans,
I currently own two Celestron Nexstar mounts- NXS 11 GPS and CPC 1100.
I am interested in smartphone WiFi control for both, which rules out the Celestron SkyPortal module due to not supporting the NXS GPS. It looks like the SkyFi 3 with Sky Safari could get the job done, but at high cost. And it's time for a new project anyways. ;-)
I bought a $70 WiFi-to-serial adapter off Amazon . Seems like a robust unit, probably a lot more capabilities than I will ever need. (There were less expensive units but this one is covered by my Prime 30-day returns policy, just in case.)
Started with the CPC. Put the WiFi adapter in direct connect mode, with its serial port connected to the Nexstar+ HC via the port on the bottom using the standard Celestron cable. (HC is NS+ with latest firmware, and has the old-style handset-type jack on the bottom.)
Achieved success with my Windows laptop using the adapter's VCOM app (virtual COM port). There were only three settings in VCOM that I had to set:
COM port (doesn't matter AFAIK but I selected COM1)
IP address of the adapter (10.10.100.254)
TCP port (8899)
I was able to get CPWI to connect, align and control the mount. And since I have the ASCOM CPWI driver, I can use other apps such as Stellarium. All good from the laptop!
So here's my question - is there any way to get an Android app to connect and control the mount through this WiFi-to-serial module?
I set the WiFi adapter's SSID to Celestron-123 in order to mimic the naming convention that SkyPortal seems to look for. And I can connect my Galaxy-9 to that net.
But not surprisingly, SkyPortal fails to connect.
Unfortunately, I don't know what Android config settings need to be set for SkyPortal's communications to be channeled through WiFi to the adapter. I don't even know where to find Android WiFi config settings, LOL. (Hunted around a bit but only found some elementary stuff, no help at all.)
If there are other scope control or planetarium apps for Android that can make this connection, I am all ears! (Looks like ASCOM Alpaca might be the solution that I need... someday in the future...)
I am eager to hear any experiences, recommendations or musings you all might have on this matter. Or pointers to trails blazed by previous pioneers.
Thanks in advance,