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Current Alpaca setups?

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#1 Notdarkenough

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Posted 20 November 2022 - 07:09 AM

Hello All,

I am searching for a set-up solution for running SkySafari Pro (6 or 7) with my CEM70. I have a WIN11 Pro Beelink at the mount, and a WIN11 Pro on a new Lenovo Flex 5. Both pcs have SkySafari 6 Pro on an Android Emulator. I also have SkySafari Pro (6&7) on my smartphone and tablet. 

 

I have read the documents on the ASCOM Alpaca site, a number of YouTube clips and several different threads here on CN. Each of those provided a range of out-of-date solutions that conflicted with the others.

 

So, I turn here, to the friendly confines of CN. Does anyone have a solution that I can rip-off?  SkySafari Pro telescope control to a CEM70.

2 solutions I have come up with:

I know I can upgrade my CEM70 to WiFi and then directly connect. But that costs another $400. And I still don't know if that WiFi connection is all that stable.

Secondly, I can use Alpaca somehow to connect the tablet SkySafari, or the a version of SkySafari on my pc Android Emulator.

 

Kind of a messy post, but I think the premise is clear. Anybody here have experience with Alpaca? 

 

Thanks for the help,

Mike



#2 Bob Denny

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Posted 20 November 2022 - 11:04 AM

Hi Mike --

 

To answer your question:

  1. I assume that your iOptron CEM70 can be controlled from a PC via a "classic" ASCOM driver. If so,
  2. Install the ASCOM Platform 6.6 and from the main page of the ASCOM web site, and then your mount's ASCOM driver.
  3. Test this somehow. You can test with the ASCOM Device Hub tool that comes with the Platform. 
  4. Install ASCOM Remote via the orange block menu on the Downloads page of the ASCOM web site
  5. Following the directions, use this app to create an Alpaca front end for the ASCOM driver, giving your CEM70 an Alpaca presence. 
  6. Discover and connect from Sky Safari.

If you run into problems, the Help page of the ASCOM web site is the place to start. Up front it recommends using the the ASCOM Talk Help Forum to answer questions and get help. 

 

I'm very interested in making the task you want to do clear. Perhaps you could take a few minutes (via PM here please) to help our team (ASCOM Core Group) locate and clarify/correct the out of date info and address the bad advice. 


Edited by Bob Denny, 20 November 2022 - 11:07 AM.

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#3 Notdarkenough

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 10:17 PM

I finally got it figured out! For some reason the pull-down menu of other IP addresses in the server configuration didn't click for me until today. And, WOW! Well done!



#4 Bob Denny

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Posted 23 November 2022 - 09:33 PM

Excellent! And thank you very much for coming back here and reporting the outcome. This is soooooo important.

#5 Notdarkenough

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Posted 23 November 2022 - 10:41 PM

I am still giggling each time I hook up! I was on the verge of paying $400 mount upgrade to get wifi on my CEM70; no need anymore! I couldn't be happier! I have been trying to learn TheSky, but it has been tricky. Now I can simply use SkySafari instead having useless evenings fighting with a complex program. I will still try to learn TheSky for its staggering capability, but I can struggle for a bit and then switch over and still have a gratifying evening! 

 

Thanks again-

Mike


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#6 JChase6

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Posted 06 December 2022 - 10:49 AM

For those who -

     1) "search" into this thread, and

     2) may not have an expert level of ASCOM knowledge, and

     3) are looking for alternatives to REMOTE DESKTOP COMPUTING (...like WinRemoteDesktop and Teamviewer), here are some additional helpful details...

 

On your remote (outdoors) PC (...that controls your AP equipment, what ASCOM defines as "Devices") -

     1) Ensure that you have ASCOM 6.5 (or later) loaded on that PC

     2) Load the ASCOM Remote Server application

          a) Follow this link for download and setup instructions:

                https://github.com/A...Remote/releases

 

On your local (indoors) PC (...that runs your control applications, what ASCOM defines as "Clients") -

     1) Ensure that you have ASCOM 6.6 (or later) loaded on that PC

     2) The Alpaca "Dynamic Clients" capability is already built into your ASCOM 6.6 platform

         a) Follow this link for instructions on how to invoke it and set it up:

               https://ascom-standa...9b1c37a2030.htm


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#7 Bob Denny

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Posted 07 December 2022 - 08:31 AM

@JChase6 thank you very much for that.

 

I should add that, while Alpaca can be used from Windows PC to Windows PC as you describe, it is really designed to replace the classic COM-based ASCOM and provide universal connectivity on all platforms. For more info see https://ascom-standards.org/ Obviously the app and device makers would need to adopt the newer technology, and that will take time. 


Edited by Bob Denny, 07 December 2022 - 08:35 AM.



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