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A McEwan

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Just get yourself an iphone , so simple to use ,don't have to mess about with it, tonnes of apps that just work. Always had Nokia's till now and wont be going back , Apple support their products with updates for years so wont be out of date any time soon.

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Iphone is a great choice for backyard astronomers; a few apps turn the thing into a powerful accessory which you can use to plan your observing sessions, find the targets, and observe the results.

I personally mostly use Star Walk, as I got used to it the most and prefer it to Sky Safari. I use it to check what will be up at what times to plan my observing sessions; you can turn on a telrad reticule in it and see where your target is in relation to a known constellation in the sky. I have a Telrad and this little feature helps with starhopping a lot. I can also recommend Stellarium for both PC and the iphone, and I recently found a handy app called "Messier List" that has a quite useful Messier check list as one of it's features :D

Edited by newman
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Overclock and undervolt a PHONE? :D Last time I overclocked anything it was a graphics card in my PC - but a PHONE?

Or am I missin somthing here.... yes, I think I probably am! ;)


It can be done. My phone, an old xperia x10, has been overclocked from 998Mhz to 1229Mhz to increase performance and undervolted to increase battery life.

I've nothing against iphones but I personally wouldn't want one. I'm too much of a tinkerer and enjoy modding my phone too much. That's not to say you can't mod an iphone though, it's just that you can do so much more with an android.

All the astronomy apps work fine on my phone too.

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I'm leaning towards Android. I can get it cheaper, it has apps and games that I want, and seems to be higher-specced out of the box - though note that I'm a beginner at such things so I'm not looking to start a war!



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I recently got a Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo, which is the first smartphone I've ever had. Installed SkyMaps and another astro app to help me find targets. Tried them out on a clear night to find they were very inaccurate. Still had the problem after doing the figure 8 reset, so I uninstalled the apps.

Pity :D

More than likely your gps thinks it's in the wrong place. Try checking your gps in google maps to see where it says you are if it does it again. If not it's probably a problem with a sensor and you should send the phone back.

All the apps work fine here.

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This weekend I have been working at a castle/country park in South Derbyshire, on nights. The lad who I was working with has a Samsung Galaxy. I was looking at the bright moon, and Jupiter on its right, and remarked that the moon hides an awful lot when so bright.

He said that he had this app on his phone (google skymaps) and he showed me - OMG!!! Brilliant. I am a numpty when it comes to constellations, I cant see the pattern in a bed spread!! I only know a handful like Plough, Casseopeia, Orion. But this showed me all the sky labelled and exactly what I was looking at at that time, like Arcturus!!

Like they say in films ' I have GOT to get me one of these'!!! - one day ....

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one thing to think about if using such a device is that the very act of viewing a bright screen will destroy your dark adapted eyes. I know that many will have a 'red' mode, but those I have seen are still pretty bright!

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'tis very true MG1. I only really use them to familiar myself with where things are when I am not properly observing. Even red only modes are too bright. Best option is still the good old fashioned printed map and dim red torch.


Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

Edited by BigMakStutov
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  • 9 months later...


Always have my iphone in pocket when observing; it's small and convenient, and I've loaded a number of useful apps:-

"AstroClock" for an accurate time check for setting Synscan

"PolarAlign" for polar alignment of course

I've even used "Measures" to roughly polar align during the day when setting up from scratch

"Sunrise & Set" gives information on civil twilight times

"ObserverPro" has a great tool for charting the visibility of objects from your location

"MoonMapPro" provides a convenient aid to identify lunar features

"MessierList" also provides useful observational data on M objects

I've downloaded "StarSeek Pro" and used Sky Safri to control my EQ mount, although I've not yet had chance to use this setup for actual observing.

Oh, and I occasionally use the thing to make a call!

Hope this provides some food for thought!

All the best, Herrman

PS I have no experience of anything other than iphone (I did try to use my wife's Blackberry once, but she grabbed it back before I could stamp on it), all I can say is once I took the plunge and signed up for iphone I very quickly went from sceptic to convert. It's proved to be reliable and easy to set up and use. I was unlucky enough to have my original iphone stolen some months back, and was staggered how easy it was to reload the replacement phone with all the apps etc just by linking up to itunes. I have friends wiser in these matters than me who for various reasons give Apple a wide berth, but I've been impressed. Also found the staff in my local Apple store very friendly, helpful, sand knowledgeable.

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