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Found 10 results

  1. So I'm referring to the main astro-softwares that you use during your sessions on your phone or tablet, and found that most of people use mainly those two softwares on their phones. Laptop versions of the software are different products and are not the focus of this topic. So which do you use and why? My experience: I personally have Stellarium plus, and the free version of SkySafarai, so I have an understanding of how the user-interface of both works, I have been researching the extra features in the SkySafari Pro, and have figured the following so far (please correct me if I'm wrong): * I'm aware that both let you control your GoTo telescopes * I personally find current version of Stellarium to be more user friendly and easier to navigate the sky manually , could be the configured settings though * SkySafari has more options to the search bar, e.g. "Tonight's Best" based on your location, also a menu of Messier catalog with a highlight of those currently visible at your time and location, others like best deep sky objects * SkySafari has this wonderful feature of creating an observing list, very helpful to plan your session and share and download with/from others * Stellarium Plus has a database of around 1.69 billion stars,while SkySafari 6 Pro has around 100 milion starts (don't think it's important as most of them aren't visible in amateur telescopes, I think I read somewhere that only 25 million stars are possible to observe with our telescopes, up to 15th mag, wonder if any of you have tried to push this limit)
  2. Hi does anyone use 'Skywire' via Skysafari to control a Celestron Evolution with the starsence accessory fitted? My queries are these: What is the maximum cable length that can be used and are there any suppliers? and does Skysafari recognise the starsence accessory for initial Goto alignment ? Thanks people Bill (Williamnohair)
  3. This was a bit of an impulse purchase from ABS! Having recently picked up a nice Vixen GP mount, I fancied being able to use it with SkySafari via a SkyFi box. The GP came with MT1 motors which as far as I'm aware are not compatible with the SkySensor 2000 PC controllers, so I needed to change the motors anyway. The GotoNova kit came with two replacement Servo motors with optical encoders, a handset with eight line display, the gears and bolts to install it, plus cabling and power lead. Installing it was fairly straightforward, although I did find it fiddly getting the RA motor installed and aligned correctly. The covers are black, somewhat spooling the lovely green finish of the GP, but I will live with that. Once installed, I checked everything was working, and it all seems fine. The motors are quieter, and also have a much faster slew rate than the MT1s which is great. It means I don't have to keep undoing the clutches to get anywhere fast! I had no idea if the setup would easily work with SkySafari. The iOptron handset has a USB connection on the bottom, so I simply plugged a cable into it, and connected it to the SkyFi unit. I connected via WiFi to the SkyFi network, powered on, opened SkySafari and connected to the scope and away it went, synchronising with the position that the mount was in. I now have slewing from my phone and Goto control with all the ease of SkySafari. Brilliant! Might be able to keep up with some of Nick's target lists now!! ?? All I need to do now is check it out properly at night with an accurate align procedure, but so far it looks good! The GP is a nice lightweight mount, suitable for grab and go so will be regularly used hopefully both at home and at my club nights. Photos to follow.
  4. I have searched SGL for a tutorial incase this has been covered so forgive me if it has. I've also searched the web in general and couldn't find a full tutorial to do this, so i have collated a couple of tutorials that make it work. I have managed to get SkySafari to work with a £32 ish Raspberry Pi3 and the cable that came with my scope with a usb to serial converter - the same things you need for connecting to a PC. It allows me to control the scope using the SkySafari Plus app on my tablet or phone AND it creates a wifi hotspot on the Raspberry Pi so it doesnt have to be on a network to work. This also turns the pi into a natty mini wireless router which is handy if you travel since it gives you a private wireless network when plugged into hotel wired internet ? ***STANDARD DISCLAIMER*** I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT MAY OCCUR TO YOUR HARDWARE BY FOLLOWING THIS POST OR ANYTHING LINKED TO THIS POST It takes about 30 mins to do the tinkering, make sure you use the latest LITE version of raspbian. You need: Raspberry Pi 3 Portable power to it (preferably) Raspbian Lite Image file Appropriate cables to connect your Telescope to it via USB Computer connected to network Network cable to connect Raspberry Pi for initial setup A GoTo / Push To etc telescope mount compatible with SkySafari Plus / Pro A nice case for the Raspberry Pi You need to know a little about accessing the Raspberry Pi by SSH. For windows, use Win32 Disk Imager to burn the latest Raspbian LITE image to a micro sd card. Open the card on the pc (called boot) and make a blank file on it called 'ssh' - no file extension. This enables ssh access automatically. Stick it in your Pi and plug it into your network router and a power source. Find its ip address - i log into my router by typing its ip address into a web browser and look at connected devices, there are other methods though. I use a program called Putty to ssh. There are many tutorials on how to do the above and it isnt as hard as it first seems. I used 2 tutorials to do this and i will link to them directly as the original authors explain it better than me. The first one is muuuch longer than the second which is just 3 steps so bare with it. ***NOTE*** When the first tutorial suggests a reboot after the upgrade, DO IT! Then ssh back into the Pi and continue. Don't bother rebooting after tutorial 1 either. Tutorial 1 - Turn Raspberry Pi into a portable wifi hotspot See 'CONNECTING' after doing step 2 in the next tutorial to actually connect to the scope as what you have just done changes it a bit. Tutorial 2 - Make it talk to SkySafari App and the 'Scope You can now unplug the pi from your router. Plug your USB to serial adapter into the pi, your telescope cable into that and connect it to your scope as you would do with a pc (mine is into the AutoStar hand box) and use it as a stand alone adapter just like the £200 SkyFi adapter! CONNECTING: To connect SkySafari to the pi you simply connect your tablet or phone to the pi's network like you would any other wifi network, i called mine Scope, connect using the security key / password you made up in tutorial 1. Open SkySafari and follow step 3 in the second tutorial but with IP address 192.168.0.10 - the port is still 4000 (unless you changed it) If you are at home and your cable is long enough to reach your router you can plug the pi into that and use your home internet too - which you cant do with the SkyFi adapter! I am going to shorten my serial cable to make it a neater package, i can always solder new plus to make an extension if i ever need one. I am also working on finding out how to make it share usb internet so a 4g dongle can be plugged into it when out and about since when you connect to the pi's wifi in the field you will not have internet on the device connected to it. Also the Pi could possibly be used for imaging or tracking, someone on here will probably know more on this.
  5. I'm fairly proud of myself... in a grab and go moment, I ventured out the door for a glimpse at the sky with my Celestron 20x80 binoculars, but couldn't be bothered to setup the tripod. With the Square of Pegasus in front of me I thought it would be a good game to try and fix the Andromeda Galaxy in my view through the binos. Shortly after I had the fuzzy smear of M31 centred in the field of view but my shakey grip on the heavy binos without tripod or in fact any support was beginning to tell - and my neck and arms were beginning to ache too! Having achieved a satisfactory observational aim, I reached for my phone then used the Skysafari Pro app to have a look at and identify the visible star field around me. When I caught sight of the name Uranus on the screen I was intrigued. I had observed the planet before through my 11" scope when it was auto-aligned and picking out objects using the GOTO. I had also had success observing Uranus with a small 3" telescope (Skywatcher 76P) which proved nearly impossible as it had no finder scope or tracking, and was mounted on a bowl (!!!!) - Yes, it's the "Pingu scope" if anyone is familiar with it. But trying to pick out a mag 5.8 object amongst a sea of sparkling stars whilst my arms were shaking like a break-dancer’s under the strain of the mighty 20x80 binos, nearly causing me epilepsy from the jittering image I was peering at, proved to be an entirely different exercise of futility altogether. Determined to avoid a certain divorce if I dared to suggest to my better half I needed image stabilising binoculars, I persisted in trying to locate and centre the gas giant with a bit of tightened elbow control and some star hopping assistance using the Skysafari Pro app to try and pinpoint any mini-asterisms I caught sight of in the view. By chance, a reasonably straight line of stars with another reasonably straight line of stars at near right angles to it was close to a tree line and proved easy to relocate in the binos if I lowered them to give momentary muscle rest and tried to find them on the star map. This is where Skysafari Pro first showed me my most expensive phone app was actually pretty cool! (Apologies to Southern Stars but I always found their twenty-five quid asking price rather steep when there were other similar apps available for free.) Anyway, low and behold, the mini-asterism I has spied in the binoculars just by the treeline showed up on the Skysafari app when I pinched the zoom in and out a bit. What a stroke of luck - I now knew where I was looking and where Uranus was in relation to that spot... Zooming in the display on the phone app, I picked out a star hopping trail I could follow with the binos and end up with Uranus in the field of view. Up with the binos, hop along the stars a bit, back down check the map, and back up with the binos and so on... Following the trail I eventually had the icy world which is currently a little over 19 times further than our Sun from Earth right in view! It was at that moment I suffered a slight spasm in my neck, nearly lost my grip on the binos and almost sent my phone on a drop test too. Then I stepped on the cat who had probably come to investigate why I was ruining his street-cred and decided I'd better pack in my observations before my neighbours get disturbed anymore and think I am a pervert with a giant pair of binoculars prowling around in the dark! Astronomy heh? For those interested, I used some stars in the 'tail of the whale' of Cetus to help locate Uranus... Using Skysafari Pro and starting with '13 Cet' (or 'HIP 2762 A' according to Stellarium) I moved in a straight line to 'HD 2995' ('HIP 2612') and on to '12 Cet' ('HIP 2352'), then the other straight line of stars veering off nearly at a right angle took me to 'HD 2593' (HIP 2312'), 'HD 2612' ('HIP 2323'), 'HD 2830' ('HIP 2496'), continuing upwards until I saw another straight line of equally spaced stars: '15 Cet', '14 Cet' and 'HD 3024' ('HIP 2994', 'HIP 2787', and 'HIP 2641' respectively). I then got a fix on '10 Cet' ('HIP 2100 A') before moving into the constellation of Pisces and finding '44 Psc' ('HIP 2006') and hooking back Eastwards (or left in the bino view) to finally locate the target Uranus. Neptune would have tempted me to brave being arrested for prowling if only it wasn't hidden by the trees, but perhaps that's a blessing? I wish you all clear skies.
  6. Hey guys, I couldn't find an solid answer within the forums, so asking here... Has anyone successfully used Sky Safari 5 Pro to do plate solving/mount alignment? I have no problem connecting and controlling my mount (AVX) with Sky Safari on my Mac, but is there a way to do alignment in the program? So far, it looks like I'm forced to do the Nexstar 2 star alignment on the hand controller. If I try to click on Polaris for example (it won't let me actually click on or select the NCP), when I click "align to polaris", it just says it can't execute the command because the scope is "too far" from Polaris. Only way it'll do it is if I first do 2-star align on the hand controller. Thoughts? Thanks! - Josh
  7. As the title says peeps 50% off Skysafari Basic, Plus or Pro version this weekend. My Goto app on my iPad Air and iPhone6+. Probably the best astronomy app for iOS or Android, so snap it up whilst you can!
  8. Hi there I currently control my Sphinx SXW from SkySafari, and in general the user interface from SS is much more intuitive than the Starbook controller, however one aspect that I haven't quite mastered is slew control when zeroing in on an object either close to, or in the field of view. With the Starbook controller the slew speed is contolled by the zoom level in effect at the time. On SS the same principle applies, however I've found that it doesn't seem to provide the same granularity of fine control as that of the Starbook, even after adjusting the speed using the slider in SS. Would be interested in hearing from fellow Sphinx owners who have introduced SS into their observing platform. Is your experience the same as mine, or am I missing something fundamental in my approach? All contributions welcomed :-) Kind Regards Paul J.
  9. I've just been notified that Sky Safari 5 Pro is on sale on the Apple App Store for £19.99.....grab it while you can. Ps I'm not sure about it on Android Google Play Store
  10. SkySafari 6 Plus is great. I particularly like the Scope Control & Observing Lists features. There is a bug when adding observing notes ("Observations") to items on your Observing Lists. If your last entry in an Observation happens to be a piece of predictive text rather than a keystroke, the whole Observation will look OK on the screen, but it will not be saved. It is quite annoying to later refer to an Observation that you carefully entered with frozen fingers, to find that it does not exist! The work-arounds are obvious; - Don't use predictive text. - If you do, make sure the last character entered in an Observation is any keystroke ( [carriage return] or [space] is fine), not a predicted word. - Or you could use pencil & paper, but where's the fun in that? ? SkySafari 6 Plus, version 6.1.0.34, Android 6.0
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