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Celestron 102GT

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#1 ke0ncp

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 05:25 PM

Hi all! I am a complete astronomy noob and with the help of someone that has a little more experience I landed myself a Celestron 102GT for my first telescope. I have lots to learn and am very excited about the process.

The question I have is using a rs232 to usb cable what control software am I able to use?

I understand I might need to upgrade firmware and drivers like the ascom or whatever they are.

Not looking for what the best software out there is as that can be a sticky one, just what software is actually compatible.

I’ve searched and searched the past few days and have not really come to a firm conclusion.

Also if this is not posted in the right sub forum please move or remove and notify me.

Thanks!
Matt


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#2 Bean614

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 05:55 PM

Depending on the year of the Nexstar GT Mount, the easiest system would be adding either a SkyPortal or SkyFi (highly recommended! ) Adapter to the Mount --- attaches to the Hand Controller--- and using SkySafari to control your mount from your phone or tablet. 



#3 ke0ncp

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 06:08 PM

Thanks for the response Bean. So looking at the SkyPortal it doesn’t mention the GT at all.

From what I’m understanding it was made between 2012 and 2014.

For the SkyPortal would I also need the splitter or would it just plug directly into the hand held?

Thanks again!


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#4 sunrag

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 07:34 PM

Stellarium software is free, and you should be able to control any Nexstar based telescope with it. After you install Stellarium on your PC, you also have to install an additional software plug-in called Telescope Control. Look in YouTube for Stellarium Nexstar Telescope control videos.

 

i also suggest you learn how to use the Nexstar hand controller first. Without doing the initial setup and alignment with the Hand Controller, no software is going to be able make goto moves correctly.

 

i would not recommend the SkyFi or similar device. This is nothing more than a glorified Serial to WiFi convertor. By the time you buy SkiFi, the required cable and Sky Safari, you would have spent $250, which I suspect is probably more than what you paid for the used 102GT.


Edited by sunrag, 22 April 2021 - 08:03 PM.


#5 sunrag

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 07:52 PM

Here is a screen shot showing how to setup Stellarium to control a Celestron NexStar telescope.

After you install Stellarium and the plug-in called "Telescope Control", you can configure it to control a NexStar telescope using the window shown below. Works quite well, but remember to use Hand Controller to setup and align first before you control from Stellarium.

 

Stellarium TC.pNG


Edited by sunrag, 22 April 2021 - 07:53 PM.


#6 ke0ncp

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Posted 22 April 2021 - 08:41 PM

Thanks for the input. I went ahead an bought the SkyPortal WiFi module so that I can use the SkyPortal app on my phone. I also have the cable coming as well and have downloaded Stellarium. I think between the two of those I should be good for a while.

Also agree with learning how to use the hand held to control the telescope. I think that’s a must. But with the apps it might give a bit more learning about what we are actually looking at.

Thanks again for the info!


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#7 sunrag

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Posted 23 April 2021 - 05:51 AM

enjoy!

#8 Sky_LO

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Posted 24 April 2021 - 11:59 AM

You can totally use both ! 

 

I got a 30 foot long USB cable....

On super cold nights the scope goes outside.

I then run the cord into the house through a cracked window

and connect to my windows 7 laptop running stellarium.  (good luck with windows 10 ouch) 

 

Pick something from the screen.....tell the scope to go to it. 

Then go outside to take a look.    

Fun "stay warm" setup for the winter !      

 

I do use the wifi dongle and a android tablet with sky safari most of the time.

 

-Lauren   


Edited by Sky_LO, 24 April 2021 - 11:59 AM.


#9 ke0ncp

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Posted 24 April 2021 - 12:03 PM

Lauren thanks for the info! Yeah I have a win 7 laptop that I keep around as it is the only one I have that will let me program a couple radios I have. It’s slow as molasses though! So hopefully my new laptop with win10 will work with it. I might have to slow the baud rate down in the driver to let it communicate.

Glad they will work though! Telescope arrives today and wouldn’t you know, cloudy for the next 10 days here in Minneapolis.....


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#10 Bean614

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Posted 24 April 2021 - 08:06 PM

Thanks for the response Bean. So looking at the SkyPortal it doesn’t mention the GT at all.

From what I’m understanding it was made between 2012 and 2014.

For the SkyPortal would I also need the splitter or would it just plug directly into the hand held?

Thanks again!


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As long as your Hand Control is V 4.21 or later, the SkyPortal adapter can plug right into the HC.  Don't forget, do your normal alignment first, plug adapter into HC, turn on adapter,  connect Phone/Tablet to Celestron or SkyPortal network,  open app, touch Connect. Done.

When you first get your SkyPortal,  before using the scope outside,  connect indoors,  go to Settings, for Mount Type select Celestron Alt/Az GoTo,  and for Scope Type, select Celestron GPS/SE/SLT.  Later versions might actually have GT right after SLT.  DO  NOT select the GT that's listed under Celestron Equatorial Mounts!!!



#11 ke0ncp

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Posted 24 April 2021 - 11:23 PM

Great info! Thanks!!


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#12 ke0ncp

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Posted 26 April 2021 - 07:44 PM

So my Celestron 93973 SkyQ Link 2 Wi-Fi Module came in today and turns out this thing has a 6pin plug and my handheld has a 4pin port.

Is there an adapter out there I can use or make a cable up for it?


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#13 ke0ncp

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 10:09 AM

When you first get your SkyPortal, before using the scope outside, connect indoors, go to Settings, for Mount Type select Celestron Alt/Az GoTo, and for Scope Type, select Celestron GPS/SE/SLT. Later versions might actually have GT right after SLT. DO NOT select the GT that's listed under Celestron Equatorial Mounts!!!


So I got the aux port splitter and it seems that the SkyPortal is able to function and the HC is also functional. However when I try to connect the SkyPortal app I get an error that says it can make a wireless connection to the scope, but the scope is not responding.

It also will not allow me to go into the set up and control of the scope without being connected to it.

My HC is v 4.04 and is the newest version for my HC.

Any suggestions?


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