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Sky Safari Plus 6 Connection Failure

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#1 millsbob

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 11:02 AM

on April 23 i used Sky Safari Plus (iPadOS) for the first time to control my Celestron NexStar 6se, and all worked fine right from the start.

 

we then had rain for weeks, and on May 11 i tried to use it but after many failed alignment attempts i gave up. i should note that i was using the reticle in ASIStudio with my ASI294mc, these alignment fails were NOT me. yes, the time & date, etc were right, of course i checked those.

 

last night, May 13, Sky Safari wouldn't even connect; it gave the Connection Failure dialog box multiple times, even after completely powering off the scope and quitting/restarting the app. i then immediately started up Celestron Sky Portal and it not only connected, but alignment was perfect the first time. i tried again this morning to connect via Sky Safari Plus on both iPad Pro and iPhone 12 mini, with Connection Failure again. again, Sky Portal connected right away.

 

i note that between those 2 uses, on May 12, the app was updated on the App Store.

 

i've purchased Sky Safari Plus on both iPadOS and MacOS, but apparently that reasonable expenditure doesn't entitle me to any support; the online support pages force me to a forum where the most recent post is over a year old.

 

anyone have any tips?



#2 btschumy

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 11:30 AM

Given you are using Sky Portal I assume you are connecting via the Celestron Wi-Fi dongle?  

 

If SkyPotal is connecting but SkySafari is not, the first thing I'd check is that you still have the Scope Type set to "Celestron Wi-Fi".


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#3 millsbob

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 11:40 AM

thanks for the reply, Bill.

 

i am not using the Celestron dongle, but the AuxFi knockoff of it. works perfectly with Sky Portal, and previously with Sky Safari.

 

yes, it is set to Celestron Wi-Fi. as i said, it was connecting (and working fine) previously, and connecting (but not working fine) 2 days earlier.

 

i assure you, i have checked that sorta stuff umpteen times, because i did tech support for many years and my first assumption is always user error.

 

edit: just for kicks, i just went back into Sky Safari and changed the scope type to another setting and then back to Celestron WiFi, in case the settings had been corrupted. still same behavior.


Edited by millsbob, 14 May 2021 - 11:52 AM.


#4 Michael Tomich

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 11:49 AM

Unfortunately, I cannot give you hope. I had the same issue a year or so ago with an Evolution 8 with StarSense. SkySafari updated and the next time out, StarSense would not align. Both Celestron and Simulation Curriculum held the other responsible for lack of providing the needed code to fix the problem. Celestron is committed to ensuring SkyPortal is functional and Simulation Curriculum is committed to ensuring that SkySafari operates as a stand alone planetarium software. Either’s commitment to SkySafari telescope control seems tenuous at best. I am serious as I suggest that you could acquire an android tablet as that may work. Typically only one O/S version at a time is broken. You’re likely not alone and you or someone else will start a support thread on the Simulation Curriculum forum to address the issue. Provide them with details of the failure and they will get on it eventually. Patience and getting by on SkyPortal or the hand control are your alternatives. Or you may be lucky and find a work around.


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#5 millsbob

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 12:04 PM

thank you for the dose of reality, Michael; it is very useful to know the lay of the land!

 

i did manage -- FINALLY -- to get a ticket lodged on Simulation Curriculum's site (it currently will not work with Safari, claims cookies are not enabled, when they are, and i wasted 45 minutes chasing my tail on that before logging on with Chrome; sheesh). maybe that ticket will eventually have an effect, as you suggest.

 

i also gave a glowing 1-star review on the App Store. they do look in there, i see, when somebody posts a bad review. it's a shame, because i like the program (especially the sorting options in Tonight's Best) better than Sky Portal. but i bought it, twice, specifically for scope control, which they push as a feature of the paid versions.

 

i am given hope by your idea of one version or another working at a time; i'm going to see how it goes with trading off Sky Portal and Sky Safari for a while.



#6 Michael Tomich

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 03:11 PM

Since you tried to get SkySafari to work on two different devices, the following is not likely the problem but I'll share it anyway. I've had a telescope control app hopelessly lost in the sky no matter how many times I powered down the telescope and the phone and performed a new alignment procedure. After a couple of frustrating hours on a clear night, I finally tried uninstalling and reinstalling the app and then it worked. Apparently the app data was irretrievably corrupted and only a fresh install would do. Who knows, maybe the update process was flawed. A reinstall may be worth a shot.


Edited by Michael Tomich, 14 May 2021 - 03:14 PM.

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#7 millsbob

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 05:07 PM

i'm glad you mentioned that, Michael -- the thought had crossed my mind, but absent some hint that it might work, i was reluctant to lose the scope/camera/reducer/etc data. although come to think of it, that's now only of planning help, when i tend more to use the app when i'm out with my scope.

 

i will give that a shot later!



#8 btschumy

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 07:05 PM

You shouldn't lose any of your data if you are backing up to Live Sky.

 

That said, I doubt that is likely to fix anything.



#9 millsbob

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 12:29 PM

i'm not using Live Sky, but even absent that, my data were all still there, which is actually pretty bizarre behavior for an iOS/iPadOS app. and, unfortunately, wiping the app and re-installing didn't change the issue.

 

and sadly, here's what we've got for support quality at Simulation Curriculum, in response to me posting my initial comment about on their boards:

 

"Mills,

ASIStudio is not officially supported.  We have not provided any documentation to suggest your specific configuration would work.

You can:

When using SkyFi 3, align first with the Celestron hand controller then connect with SkySafari 6 Plus.
When using Celestron WiFi, connect & align using SkySafari 6 Plus.
That's it for now.

Thanks!"

 

to which i responded:

 

"of course ASIStudio and the camera aren't supported -- your "answer" makes no sense. that all works from my laptop via USB3, and has nothing to do with the issue, i was just documenting that it was a precise align on the earlier attempt. i didn't even have the laptop, camera, and ASIStudio on the 2nd night!!!

the scope control is the issue, and it wouldn't connect on the 2nd night, repeatedly, and Sky Portal did immediately.

y'all broke Celestron Wi-Fi support with your latest release, at least for NexStar."

 

frustrating.


Edited by millsbob, 17 May 2021 - 12:31 PM.


#10 btschumy

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 01:16 PM

Live Sky backs up to an anonymous account unless you explicitly disable it.  Generally the app can retrieve your data via this account.

 

Sorry you are having trouble getting support from SimCur.



#11 millsbob

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 03:51 PM

ah, thanks, Bill, i didn't know that. it kept dunning me to enable it, so i assumed it was inactive. i will try again with that knowledge!



#12 millsbob

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 05:31 PM

and i should give them a break, because they Are now responding -- after my answer above, they finally started asking substantive questions.

 

and my earlier very critical remarks about their forums was, i now realize, driven by the fact that their feedback system, based on Zendesk, is incapable of working with Safari; it keeps claiming that cookies are disabled (they're not) and not allowing login. once i shifted to Chrome, i could start a ticket and see more recent posts than the ancient ones i was presented with originally.

 

so we may be on track to having them acknowledge the issue... and either tell me what i've done wrong or maybe work on a fix.

 

thanks to all here for help!



#13 DAVIDG

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Posted 25 May 2021 - 12:11 PM

 Have you turned on the log file to see what is being sent and why it is not connecting ?  I have build my own digital setting interface  both blue tooth  and Wifi  and also one to control a my Meade mount. On the Meade mount I discovered via the log file that Sky Safari was sending commands to see if it was talking to it's own module and looking for a response. If it didn't get the response it wouldn't connect. I had to add an arduino that sends the needed response and then I had no problem connecting.

 

                              - Dave 


Edited by DAVIDG, 25 May 2021 - 12:16 PM.


#14 jordan5581

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 10:56 PM

After having skysafari pro for a month or so I finally managed a successful alignment tonight via the Iphone app ... went to calibrate on Vega (worked fine), then re-align, and of course it wouldn't complete alignment the second time... although a full moon was coming up by that point.

 

However I noticed that anytime I would lock my phone or minimize the skysafari app, it would 'disconnect' from the scope and I'd have to start over again.   Is there a way around this, other than keeping my Iphone constantly open/running on Skysafari the entire time I'm outside?

 

Thanks.



#15 Dwight J

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Posted 27 May 2021 - 11:19 PM

After having skysafari pro for a month or so I finally managed a successful alignment tonight via the Iphone app ... went to calibrate on Vega (worked fine), then re-align, and of course it wouldn't complete alignment the second time... although a full moon was coming up by that point.

 

However I noticed that anytime I would lock my phone or minimize the skysafari app, it would 'disconnect' from the scope and I'd have to start over again.   Is there a way around this, other than keeping my Iphone constantly open/running on Skysafari the entire time I'm outside?

 

Thanks.

 

You will have to “forget” all other wireless networks so your device will always connect to SkyFi.  You will have to get back on your previous network from the start like password and so on.  I don’t do that BTW, I reconnect to SkyFi when I go back on my iPad before reopening the app.  


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#16 btschumy

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 07:20 AM

I don’t think you have to forget all your networks.  Try just turning off Auto-Join on your home network.  While you are connected to the home network, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and tap the “info” button for your home network.  Then turn off Auto-Join.


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#17 millsbob

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 02:15 PM

and, not to rudely barge back to the original topic...

 

Simulation Curriculum today released updates to Sky Safari for both iOS and iPadOS "to fix problems with some Celestron Wifi scopes". just shy of 3 weeks after my first report to them, and 2 weeks after i sent screen shots proving it wasn't my error.

 

i just tested it and it works! lesson learned from kind folks above to keep an alternative in the wings in case they screw it up again.

 

but all in all, good response... once they acknowledged the problem.


Edited by millsbob, 03 June 2021 - 02:15 PM.

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