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WIFI connect to Celestron 8 GPS?

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#1 Medic002

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 09:54 PM

Anyone got any help how i can connect my celestron 8 gps to my iphone/ipad and use sky portal? I have a wifi adapter and gets powered on through my mounts dc port so everything lights up. i get 2 green lights when i connect my phone to it but there is still one red light at top which i believe is the power indicator.wifi adapter.jpg . i have the rs232 wire connected to the device and to the hand controller but still does not work. sky portal will not even connect to my telescope. i have good connections from wifi adapter and phone so not sure what the problem is at this point. i have tried everything that i can think of to do. the wifi adapter did not come with any operating apps or instructions but seems to be well made far as i can tell. i just ordered a new hand controller which i need anyway it seems cause of the mounts gps issue and waiting on it to be delivered next week hopefully. i ordered the 93981 i believe was the part number after reading another post about the gps mount alignment issues and updates. my next plan is to wait for the new hand controller and do some firmware updates and think i read somewhere that i might need to disable the gps in the mount for something but i will have to go back and reread that post again. i would like to get this wifi thing sorted out while i am waiting on the new hand controller and then deal with that problem before my back breaks from moving this thing around for no reason. another thing i was thinking about is the celestron wifi adapter but it says not compatible with gps mounts but i am wondering if i turn off the gps in the mount if it would work then maybe or i was also thinking of buying the skyfi 3 which lists the gps mounts as compatible. the only other option i have is to buy a laptop and direct connect it to the pc port if all else fails. i am almost to the point of packing this thing up and listing it for sale and buying something new but i know it is a great telescope from what i have read from everyone if i could get anything to work correctly.



#2 michael8554

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 05:26 AM

Try swapping over the Tx and Rx wires on the DB9 plug.

 

I found this was necessary on my DIY WiFi connection to a Meade LX200GPS.



#3 Medic002

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 07:47 AM

I was finally able to log into the WiFi adapter for settings but it was all written in Chinese so I’m stuck at this point unless someone in the group can translate it all. 



#4 Rac19

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 07:56 AM

Is there a reason for not using the Celestron SkyPortal WiFi Module?

 

 

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#5 Medic002

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 08:42 AM

according to the celestron site the skyportal wifi dongle is not compatible with the GPS model and i am trying to connect a celestron 8 gps.


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#6 michael8554

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 07:35 PM

This PDF suggests that after entering admin then admin into a chinese characters login, the rest is in English:

 

https://usriot.ru/do...nfiguration.pdf

 

Or perhaps yours is flashed with a Chinese interface ?



#7 Medic002

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 09:10 PM

This PDF suggests that after entering admin then admin into a chinese characters login, the rest is in English:

 

https://usriot.ru/do...nfiguration.pdf

 

Or perhaps yours is flashed with a Chinese interface ?

I found that same manual online and logged in with the passwords after putting 10.10.100.254 i think was the web address and used admin/admin to log in but once you log in the wifi adapter setup is all in chinese. i tried several times glancing back and forth between the english manual and trying to apply it on the chinese set up but never could get it to work. i appreciate your help but i have given up on it now and sent it back to amazon. i ordered a small laptop and pc cable and a zwo eyepiece camera and going to give that a try when it all comes in. hopefully i can get somewhere with that setup and still waiting on my new handcontroller.



#8 Medic002

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 10:22 PM

i ended up getting a skyfi 3 module and that seems to work at least half the time. some reason it disconnects sometimes and will not reconnect to the telescope and has the wrong date and time. i have tried it with my iphone and laptop using sky safari6. one night it will all work fine and next time it has the wrong date and times on the scope and skysafari.



#9 Rac19

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 12:54 AM

i ended up getting a skyfi 3 module and that seems to work at least half the time. some reason it disconnects sometimes and will not reconnect to the telescope and has the wrong date and time. i have tried it with my iphone and laptop using sky safari6. one night it will all work fine and next time it has the wrong date and times on the scope and skysafari.

I tried the original, built in, WiFi on my Evolution 8 and the Celestron WiFi Accessory (as per post #4). My experience was similar and I eventually gave up on both of them. It was just too frustrating. I have formed the view the WiFi isn't the best connection method for direct (hardware) control of a telescope, not for everyone anyway.

 

Since I switched to a mini PC at the 'scope, with all control connections via standard length USB cables, there have been zero problems. I use WiFi to access the mini PC remotely for supervisory control of the applications, not direct control of the hardware.


Edited by Rac19, 28 May 2021 - 05:52 PM.

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#10 Noah4x4

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 02:04 AM

+1 for Richards (RAC19) experience.

Richard and I along with others in a group working together on this in the EAA Forum wasted a frustrating year trying to get Celestron WiFi to work. I tried first, second and third generation Celestron WiFi. The issue is it uses merely the 2.4Ghz channel which suffers from appalling Internet Clutter and interference in urban areas and also interference from nearby USB3 devices. We concluded that the only satisfactory solution was a twin computer RDP route over an 802.11ac 5Ghz network. If you observe in the great outdoors away from Internet Clutter, then Celestron WiFi works fine. But it's a bit like comparing 2G/3G with 4G/5G. It is yesterday's technology.
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#11 Medic002

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 07:27 AM

I tried the original, built in, WiFi on my Evolution 8 and the Celestron WiFi Accessory (as per post #4). My experience was similar and I eventually gave up on both of them. It was just too frustrating. I have formed the view the WiFi isn't the best connection method for direct (hardware) control of a telescope, not for everyone anyway.

 

Since I switched to a mini PC at the 'scope, with all control connections via standard length USB cables, there have been zero problems. I use WiFi to access the mini PC remotely for supervisory control of the applications. not direct control of the hardware.

I'm  going to try the direct hardwire approach either tonight or sometime this weekend with skysafari and see how it goes. I have a feeling that it will work like u guys suggest. I will have to mess around and experiment and see how to control the focus motor and remote connect to my laptop. I have recently installed the focuser and been using the hand control for that so far. I will let u guys know how it goes. Will check the other thread as well.



#12 Don W

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 12:21 PM

Getting the GPS to work with WiFi is not an easy task. It wasn't designed to be compatible. I was able to cobble together something that worked but haven't used it for years.



#13 Medic002

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 12:34 PM

I checked online and stumbled across teamviewer for remote access to computers that is free for personal use. I just got done testing it just browsing the internet between my desktop and laptop and seemed to work well except a little sluggish when i had 3 windows open so i think i am going to try that option my next viewing session. it will be nice to sit inside at my desktop and look through the scope without all the mosquitoes. I just sent back my asi 120mc so i guess i will have to find a better camera before i do that.



#14 MJB87

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 02:14 PM

Moving to the Celestron Computerized Telescopes forum for a better fit...



#15 mlord

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 02:25 PM

The HomeBrew WiFi+BT+GPS project in these forums WORKS with the Nexstar-8-GPS mount.  So that's an option for you.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ry-for-aux-bus/

https://www.cloudyni...netgpsjoystick/

 

Using the Serial-to-Wifi converter shown at the beginning of this thread will NEVER work.  It is missing features that SkyPortal et al. expect to see, and there is also some protocol translation required to adapt the older mount to work with the newer apps (that's why Celestron's own adapter also fails -- missing that protocol translation stuff).

 

Cheers


Edited by mlord, 28 May 2021 - 02:27 PM.

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#16 Rac19

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 06:23 PM

Regarding GPS, I (for one) have no need for it when using CPWI because it gets time and location data from the mini PC. I am pretty sure that SkyPortal and SkySafari do the same. This only works if the PC/Tablet location data is valid of course, maybe not at some remote sites.

 

The Celestron GPS was once another source of frustration. It is a relief not to be using it any more.


Edited by Rac19, 28 May 2021 - 07:00 PM.


#17 jasonjeremiah

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 06:36 PM

Regarding GPS, I (for one) have no need for it when using CPWS because it gets time and location data from the mini PC. I am pretty sure that SkyPortal and SkySafari do the same. This only works if the PC/Tablet location data is valid of course, maybe not at some remote sites.

 

The Celestron GPS was once another source of frustration. It is a relief not to be using it any more.

I wouldn't trade my Nexstar 8 GPS for anything.  Best fork mounted Goto scope Celestron has ever made or sold.  I use the Homebrew Wifi adapter that mlord is referring to exclusively and connect wirelessly through SkyPortal, SkySafari, or CPWI and can align using a D5500 mounted in prime focus to within a couple of inches of perfect polar alignment within 30 minutes or less.   I've been getting 120 unguided exposures with no star trails whatsoever using the HD Pro wedge.  I have NEVER dropped a wifi connection in the 30+ times I've used it over the past couple of months.


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#18 jasonjeremiah

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 06:42 PM

i ended up getting a skyfi 3 module and that seems to work at least half the time. some reason it disconnects sometimes and will not reconnect to the telescope and has the wrong date and time. i have tried it with my iphone and laptop using sky safari6. one night it will all work fine and next time it has the wrong date and times on the scope and skysafari.

What part of SC do you live in?  I live in Hanahan, right outside of Charleston.  I have a Nexstar 8 GPS and can help you out.  I use the Homebrew wifi adapter that you can easily find on this forum.  I've built several of them following Mark's instruction and they work great for the Nexstar 8 GPS.  I never drop a connection and normally image about 3 hours total per night, every clear night I get.  

 

I've got my alignment routine down to a science and can get very accurate polar alignments normally within 30 minutes.  I use CPWI as it is 10 times more accurate and easier to do the ASPA to correct for polar deviation.  If you want to message me your contact info, I can share the process I use.  I've built a couple of the wifi adapters for people in my neighborhood.


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#19 Rac19

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 07:19 PM

The HomeBrew WiFi+BT+GPS project in these forums WORKS with the Nexstar-8-GPS mount.  So that's an option for you.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ry-for-aux-bus/

https://www.cloudyni...netgpsjoystick/

 

Using the Serial-to-Wifi converter shown at the beginning of this thread will NEVER work.  It is missing features that SkyPortal et al. expect to see, and there is also some protocol translation required to adapt the older mount to work with the newer apps (that's why Celestron's own adapter also fails -- missing that protocol translation stuff).

 

Cheers

I went to the first of the links in your post mlord, and agree that fault tolerance/fault recovery are a core issue. With WiFi, signal disruptions (lost packers etc) are to be expected, at a frequency that varies depending on circumstances, and it seems that the Celestron WiFi solution doesn't handle this well. This is why I consider it not suitable for direct hardware control.

 

EDIT: The Celestron WiFi link works for a percentage of users, presumably with a "clean" WiFi environment. I have no idea what that percentage is.


Edited by Rac19, 28 May 2021 - 08:02 PM.

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#20 Medic002

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 07:42 PM

Thanks guys i just got done speaking with Jason and he lives 2 hours from me and going to help me out one day when i can drive down to meet up for one of his viewing nights. I still have my 8 gps but got my hands on a cpc11 now also till i can get the 8 all figured out. I think i might be able to talk him into building me one of those homebrew wifi units.


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#21 Rac19

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 08:14 PM

Regarding my post #9. The mini PC approach suits those of us looking to implement Astrophotography over a remote link.

 

For anyone interested in tablet based star alignment and GoTo for eyepiece observations, a mini PC running CPWI is probably not an appealing solution. If the Celestron WiFi solution works reliably, that's great. If not mlord's solution sounds like it might be attractive.



#22 alval

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 08:14 PM

If your times etc on your scope and skyfi 3 keep getting messed up try turning off the setting on the skyfi which allows it to set the date and time and just use the mounts time and date.  I had similar issues with changed times which affect alignments until I turned off the skyfi ability to change times. Seems with both on they corrupt and next time you turn on you have a altered timezone or time etc.


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#23 mlord

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 08:46 PM

There are other threads on this sort of thing as well.

 

For those using a mini or other PC, I still consider (HomeBrew) ethernet to be the ultimate in rock solid connectivity.

 

However, for wireless, the HomeBrew Bluetooth solutions are turning out to be a very solid option -- even on the HomeBrew WiFi+BT accessories, the BT (BlueTooth) part is probably more reliable than the WiFi.  Simply because Phones, tablets, laptops etc.. tend to switch their WiFi OFF periodically to "save power", and the result is that the Celestron apps then lose their "connection".

 

Bluetooth behaves differently from WiFi, and the "connection" stays up through all of that.  It's what I now prefer and use myself.

 

Cheers


Edited by mlord, 29 May 2021 - 07:32 AM.

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