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Posts posted by And_yB

  1. This may seem a bit of a silly question, apologies if this is obvious to many, but is there a daily/weekly bulletin anywhere that points in the direction of what is happening in the night sky this week/month/year, that shouldn't be missed.  I'm sure there must be a news board etc.  

  2. I bought a 6SE a couple of months ago off Amazon as a Black Friday offer.  It was my first scope, as I will soon be going into retirement and I wanted something to keep my mind alive, and astronomy has always niggled away at me.

    Overall, although my experience and frame of reference is very narrow, I have been very pleased with the purchase.  I have spent many hours of study, and despite a few teething problems in setting the scope up to work with Wifi and under the control of a Laptop, I seem to finally be there.  Unfortunately, having faced endless issues both with the Mac, and the Wifi adapter, neither of which resulted in a successful outcome, I have now replaced the Mac with a dedicated MS Laptop and use a cable to connect to the mount.   I have also now settled on using Stellarium as my preferred Astro program having experienced endless problems trying to get SN to work.

    I have added to my small portfolio of equipment, a Celestron PowerBank, a mains power adapter, a zoom eyepiece, and a 2x Barlow.

    If I wanted to be at all picky.   I have found the problems encountered at times difficult to resolve due to the often quite complex nature of some of the solutions be offered by clearly 'best intentioned'... but somewhat geeky.. :) people who are much further along this journey than me.  Although I'm not a complete Luddite, and can work my way through a number of tech issues, I really did start to become quite frustrated at times in the first month when one problem just seemed to lead to another.  That all said, I feel like I am there now and please don't get me wrong as I am in no way finding fault with the many people who have provided invaluable assistance, without whom the 6SE may have turned up on eBay... joking of course... a little.

    I wish you well.

  3. Hi all.

    I have recently bought a Celestron SE and installed SN8 SE. I am using a MacBook Air running the Big Sur iOS, having recently updating the iOS from Catalina. Prior to the Big Sur upgrade and despite having great difficulty in getting my computer to recognise a cable connection using a Mini USB/USB cable, I managed to get it going finally using a Prolific driver that then provided an option that worked in the Scope Configuration window of SN8. Now having upgraded to Big Sur, the USB connection option has dissapeard, and despite reloading the Driver as before, I am still unable to see an option in config that worked before.

    If anyone can provide some words of wisdom or guidance, that would be very much appreciated.   I have become very frustrated with this issue.

  4. I bought a Scope about 3 weeks ago.  I am a complete beginner.  Always had an interest, but never the time to really get into it.  I will now as I move quickly towards retirement with excitement/alarm.  

    With regard to the Forum, I have been particularly pleased to find a pool of knowledge like this.  All of my questions have been very well received and responded to  Although there are many readers who probably think 'what's he saying' or 'that's a stupid question' they have been polite enough to assist or stay quiet.  

    Please keep up the good work all admin staff.   When I am in a position to offer something more constructive I will.  Have a good Christmas, and a safe and happy 2021


    • Like 2
  5. On 18/12/2020 at 09:14, cloudsweeper said:

    I tried the WiFi module and app, and just didn't take to them - the alignment, the navigation, holding the tablet, and the connection failing.  For me then, using the handset is preferable.  I use one- or two-star alignment.  The thing I find most useful is the GPS module, which makes alignment quick and easy.  Even using one-star is quite effective - it puts you close, especially to targets near the alignment star, and anyway you can recognise the sky and fine-tune onto the target.  



    Thanks Doug.  I'm starting to think that you are right.  Although the wifi module that I received as a replacement is occasionally connecting, it is very intermittent, and I'm now leaning to simply using the Nexstar+ hand controller or control directly from the MacBook using a hard cable and SN8 software that came with the Scope purchase.

  6. Hi Brian, going by what you have said I guess we are both fairly new to this and learning at about the same rate.  I'm not sue if I've said already - I have in other threads -  but I'm getting quite close to retirement and this will probably be my main hobby for a few years, along with my continued passion for golf, and my house in the mountains of Spain give me great opportunities, both when considering light pollution and weather.

    With regard to your equipment, I'm not really sure what you have at the moment.  No doubt I will get to know more over coming months and years.  As for my set-up, it was actually my brother who is into ornithology who gave me a steer.   He knew I was aiming to do this and pointed me in the direction of a 6SE that was a 'black Friday' deal.  Admittedly I've bought a few other things as well, and I'm fairly sure there are few things under the Christmas tree that will make my Christmas morning and keep me busy for a few days.

    Other than the ongoing issue of loading the Celestron Firmware Manager (CFM) to my Mac, which appears to be problematic still, most of my initial issues have now been resolved.  I can now control the mount using a cable connected to the Mac and using the Starry Nights 8  software, that I intend on spending quite a bit of time learning about.   Ive also now managed to establish some connectivity using a replacement wifi module where the last one was either faulty or suffered from interference issues with existing house wifi sources... where there are many.

    Anyway Brian... happy to talk through any issues/problems.  Not a nerd... but an energetic enthusiast  :)

    • Like 1
  7. Well... I've had a good day, of sorts.  Got the new wifi dongle... and connection to SkyPortal was established.  Not particularly reliable I have to say.  Connections dropped frequently, and I can only put it down to the Tsunami of wifi signals jumping around my house in the form of Alexas, Wifi lightbulbs and sockets, and Sonos speakers.  I'm guessing it will improve when I move outside.

    Also on a positive note, having watched a few youtube vids and downloading a few drivers ,I have now managed to connect my Starry Night 8 via cable to the scope, and all is good.

    I go to bed this evening with a positive feeling about the day.... I even watched the movie 'Clara' on Prime with a glass of wine in my hand. My stars are aligned  :)

  8. Thanks Shimrod.  I am in Europe so that may be a factor.  I have a replacement module arriving today so we will see later if there was a component failure in the previous one, or a wider issue that I need to resolve.  Fingers crossed.  I really want to exploit the ease of use that comes with connectivity to an iOS device .

  9. I've recently bought a celestron WiFi  module to use with my newly purchased 6SE.  After about a week of trying to get it to connect to any one of my numerous IOS devices unsuccessfully, I've  given up and assumed it must be faulty and sent it back and asked for a replacement.  Although I hope the new one will work when it arrives, I must admit that my confidence is not high, particularly having read a few reviews.  

    Is there an alternative dongle that can be used... or am I stuck with the celestron module as the only means of establishing some wifi connectivity and control for the 6SE using an IOS/Mac device?  

    Help appreciated .


  10. Bought a  6SE a few weeks ago and continuing to have some difficulty in getting it set up to work with my MacBook Air.  Attempted to get some support from Celestron, and I have to say that other than one email pointing to a Youtube vid, it's not been good.  Was on the phone to them, on hold, for an hour this evening, before I left a call-back request and heard nothing, and despite several emails from me I seem to be getting nowhere.  All a bit frustrating... I will persist, but although it's not the most expensive gear on the market, its' not the cheapest either, and quite frankly I expected a little more.

    Bottom line... trying to update the CFM.  The download to the Mac won't install.  The celestron Wifi won't connect... so I've sent that back, and I'm awaiting a replacement.

    Although I'm not a tech wizard, I'm not a tech idiot either.  I seem to be spending a lot of time trying to get this problem resolved.

    Reading that back, I sound a very difficult person... I'm really not, honest  :)

    Apologies .... venting a bit.  I blame Covid :)

    • Like 1
    • Sad 1
  11. 13 hours ago, And_yB said:

    Just seen this Shimrod.  A few good suggestions.  I will try these tomorrow.  Thanks.


    Oh if life was so simple.  Ive just tried to connect using a cable mini-usb to USB cable from the Hand-control to the MAC.  I then tried to 'configure' connection within the app.  Connection options did not include USB so I tried both the TCP, and the Bluetooth options, as indicated in the screen shot.  Both failed to connect to the scope.  Any ideas... anyone ? :) 

    Screenshot 2020-12-10 at 13.31.22.png

  12. 4 hours ago, Shimrod said:

    There is a known bug with connectivity on the Skyportal which is currently only affecting Europe - you may be experiencing that - the symptoms you describe in your first post fit the description of the bug.

    There is a firmware patch to correct this (for the Skyportal dongle), but it is only in beta at the moment so you have to be a member of Team Celestron to access it. You can join for free but it may take a couple of days to get approved.   You will have to pick up the latest version of CFM from the same website in order to apply the firmware patch. I have applied it to my Skyportal without issue.

    I would suggest trying CPWI to control the mount as an alternative, but that is windows 10 only - however you should have received a Celestron Starry Night SE licence with your telescope. That has a mac version and is the basic version of Starry Night plus Celestron telescope control. You could try connecting that via your handset to the mount to test out movement and alignment of the mount.

    You have to connect in direct mode first so you can set the SSID and password of your home network in the device.

    Just seen this Shimrod.  A few good suggestions.  I will try these tomorrow.  Thanks.


  13. 5 hours ago, Mick H said:

    Well I live on her, but she is still a hobby. (you can't say that to all girls). 😉

    Just a thought how are you powering the scope? 

    Maybe the SkyPortal is broken, did you buy it from new?

    Do you mean SkySafari? As SkyPortal app is not a Mac os x application.

    Yeah sorry.  I've put SkyPortal on the iPhone and Starry Night Celestron SE on the Mac.  Not really made any use of either yet.

  14. 16 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

    Why do you think that updating the firmware is going to be a cure-all? It seems this is the first resort of many users, but you should read the small print for the update and see if it mentions the issue you are trying to fix.  If it does not, it is better to leave well alone.  The C6 SE is a mature product, and so it is less likely that it needs any firmware upgrade to make it work properly.

    Having Venus offered as a go-to object when it is below the horizon means you have the time/date set wrongly for some reason.

    I don't really know much about the firmware reliability, and was assuming that the alignment issue may have been related.  Your comments are reassuring, and I may be going down the wrong path, for now.  I guess I will need to concentrate on solving the issue related to the Wifi connectivity and getting my laptop to communicate.  I have to say, I thought this would be fairly straight forward.  I'm not a complete techno-idiot, but I'm woefully falling short of the techno-nerd status, that I wish I had right now. :)

  15. 24 minutes ago, Mick H said:

    Yep just launched CFM.

    Edit: I did not get that CFM Jar file could not be launched.

    Try downloading CFM again.


    Yes it is mine, she is a 1948 converted R.N Lifeboat.

    Nice boat.  A hobby or a home ? 

    Still not getting anywhere.... disconnected home cameras, Alexas, Sonos speakers, wifi plugs and bulbs... yet still  'unable to join Celestron - D8D' is popping up.  I'm assuming I have to make this connection first before to WLAN access?

  16. I tried that... worked as you say, but then nothing happened.  The original CFM download file looks slightly different to yours.  Not sure if that makes any difference. 


    When I did as you suggested, I got the second image.

    I'm reading lot about extracting files.... did you have to that, or did it simply launch the installation when you did as you said above?


    As an aside, nice boat by the way, is it yours?. Spent many a holiday on the Broads, and Canals of UK, and sailing different places.



    Screenshot 2020-12-09 at 14.53.06.png

    Screenshot 2020-12-09 at 14.55.58.png

  17. 18 minutes ago, Mick H said:

    Hi Andy, I think you need Java installed to run CFM.

    I got it running on my MacBook Pro.

    Also Mick, I note that you are using the Wifi dongle and SkyPort.  Was set up of the Dongle trouble free for you?  When I power up my wifi adapter and reach for it on my phone or other devices, when I see it which is rare, it simply says ' unable to connect '

  18. Yes Mick, I noted that and installed the latest version of Java yesterday.  Still no joy.  It says I need to look for an error report in 'the console'  I'm not really sure what console :)  There is another in the 'console' app on the Mac that appears to be relevant... although its hard to know what to look for.

    I'm not really too familiar with Mac... how can I confirm that Java is running?  Is there a version minimum that I need to confirm.   In terminal it's saying:

    java version "15.0.1" 2020-10-20

    Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 15.0.1+9-18)

    Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 15.0.1+9-18, mixed mode, sharing)

  19. All the techies out there.  I have had  my Celestron SE6 for about a month and have been trying to get it working with my MacBook and I'm having no end of problems.  I've also bought a Sky Portal Wifi Accessory, which is also proving to problematic in setting up.

    As a first move I thought the best thing would be to update my Firmware on the mount, using the Mini-USB at the bottom of the Nexstar+ controller. Particularly as for some reason when trying to align using Solar System objects it was only giving me Venus as an option and would not scroll to any other planets.  Thinking that was odd, I decided to attempt a firmware update and tried to load the CFM to my MacBook.  This did not work, with the Laptop telling me is was unable to run the CFM, and although I have managed to extract the files there still appears to be no file that actually initiates the installation, let alone run the program.  Thinking this was a Mac problem, I attempted the same on a PC... that also failed as after I extracted the Zipped file, it still gave no .exe file to start the program.


    With regard to the WiFi dongle, I have tried to connect to that using iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC... none of which works.  All devices may see the Celestron network occasionally, then it disappears.  I have managed to install the SkyPortal on the Mac, but without being able to connect to the Wifi on the dongle I'm at a bit of a loss.


    I have been trying to resolve these issues for days... but seem to be getting nowhere.  I'm not sure if the dongle is faulty, the firmware is not working correctly on the mount... or if it is all my 'finger trouble'.  I have read a lot, now my mind is mush.

    Please, please... if you have any suggestions  or can see what might be the route of the problem/s, please jump in.


    Have written to Celestron... but no answer to date.


    Thanks all

  20. I must admit that the evenings I have spent sitting on the patio looking up at an amazing sky are too numerous to count.   The contrast to what can by seen by the naked eye in northern Europe is incredible.   Having had an interest in all things in the cosmos since a very young age, it was a natural choice as a hobby for retirement... and I'm sure all on here would agree to that.

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