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Celestron WiFi Module/SkyPortal Worth It?

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#1 GiffS

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 10:57 AM

Hi Folks:

 

First Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate turkey day.  I have done a few searches and found a few threads about sorting out issues but I have not seen anything that indicates if the Celestron WiFi module/SkyPortal combination is worth the investment.  I have a Nextstar 6SE.  If the answer is yes or sort of then I am wondering if that set up eliminates the need for the GPS unit since I would think that the smartphone would provide date and time info as well as location (assuming a cell signal).

 

Thanks in advance.

 

GiffS



#2 ButterFly

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 12:50 PM

Phone control is great.  There are many more databases to tap into.  I use SkyFi and SkySafari.  The difference is that with SkyPortal and Celestron's Wifi dongle, you can align directly from SkyPortal.  I need to use the handcontroller to align first.  It's not a deal breaker for me.  I can, however, use the SkyFi on other mounts as well, whereas the Celestron WiFi only works with Celestron mounts.  That's why I opted for that.  SkySafari Plus has a much larger catalog, but SkyFi III and SkySafari is much more expensive.  If you have no other mounts, the Celestron WiFi is just fine, and it can be used with SkySafari later, should you want more catalogs.

 

GPS modules are not very helpful in general.  Small distances (~50mi) don't matter much for anything.  Closer planets may be off by a little.  That's all.  But the phone does have a GPS signal anyway (it's not cell, it's a GPS signal from GPS satellites).



#3 kopite

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 01:16 PM

I use the Celestron Wi-Fi module on my 6SE and it works great with SkyPortal or SkySafari on my iPhone, iPad or CPWI on my laptop or PC. A lot easier to use than the hand controller and well worth the cost. One other thing you might want to get is a AUX splitter which costs about $25. That way you have another AUX port you can use for additional accessories such as a focus motor.


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#4 spongebob@55

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 01:22 PM

I have the SE mount and the celestron wifi module and it is definitly worth it.  Very accurate go to's , easy to use.   I use it with SkySafari 6+ and align it with SS6+.  I also bought the splitter as mentioned above, just so I don't have to worry about accidentally hitting it with 2" diagonal and big honkin' 2" EPs.  Get it.

 

Good luck.


Edited by spongebob@55, 25 November 2021 - 01:23 PM.


#5 DirtyRod

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 01:56 PM

I have it but don’t use it much. For visual I think it’s good but having it disconnect or your phone power off when you are doing AP is a problem. I’ve had that happen twice when imaging which then required me to realign when I tried to slew to my second target. I’ve since gone back to a cable.
 

I did switch to AP mode after the last incident which may be more stable.



#6 Zoroastro

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 07:24 PM

From my experience with a SkiPprtsl WiFi (2nd gen): no. Apart from the low quality/high price of that Celestron dongle, which ended his useless life frying the aux bridge, WiFi is an unstable connection by nature, due to external factors as interferences or obstacles and PC/phone issues as energy savers or other disgraceful "features".

 

We are having instead good results with the HomeBrew WiFi/Bluetooth/GPS DIY projects by Mark Lord. Bluetooth connection is much better. You just need to solder few cheap components (or order a preassembled board for few dollars more) spending some hours of your time and maybe 30 USD of materials.



#7 12Bass

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 08:39 PM

Phone control is very nice to have.  I use SkySafari with Bluetooth, and it works very reliably.  I've read that some can have connectivity issues using Wi-Fi in congested areas, so I'd suggest looking into Bluetooth if you have an Android device.



#8 firemachine69

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 08:46 PM

Used mine all of two nights. Got frustrated with the connection issues. Back in the box it went. 



#9 Gamewarden

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 08:28 AM

I have a 6se and use Safari 6 with both my phone and Samsung tablet. I have used many of the different connection methods including Cpwi, no luck there. Wifi for me works perfectly from within my house out to my back deck BUT I have no neighbours so no competing wifi signals.



#10 Noah4x4

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 09:45 AM

Much depends on your location.

I have tried 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation Celestron WiFi. None were satisfactory at home in my severely Internet cluttered urban location. The problem is that Celestron WiFi depends upon the 2.4ghz channel which is prone to local interference from other 2.4ghz networks and USB3 devices. The range and signal strength is also poor. I eventually switched to 5Ghz wireless (MESH) solutions. However, if you are at a remote dark sky site they will probably work flawlessly, if you don't wander more than 10 feet from yoir scope. .
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#11 Thomas B

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Posted Yesterday, 04:05 PM

Good timing on starting this thread, as I was considering getting a SkyPortal module for my Nexstar Goto mount; I THINK I have a Nexstar5 with a Nexstar+ hand controller. So far I downloaded the android Skyportal app and took it for a testrdive; I like how it is layed out, however it and all other phone apps show sky objects about 5-10 degrees off from actual locations, don't know why. With everything being that far off, and don't know why this is happening for me with an iphone and an android phone as well, I don't expect I'll see any joy in using the device.

 

Do ya'll experience objects not lining up with phone apps? And does anyone have a solution? I'd certainly enjoy the SkyPortal device if I can get it to work.

 

Giffs, have you downloaded the SkyPortal app and given it a test drive yet? Are your objects lining up properly or off like I am experiencing?




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