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stev74

Sky Safari - bluetooth telescope control?

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stev74    145

I was hoping someone could shed some more light on this statement on the Sky Safari website -

How about telescope control?

Yes! SkySafari for Android supports telescope control, both via Wi-Fi and bluetooth. Unfortunately, Google has chosen to disable support for Ad Hoc WiFi networks, such as generated by our SkyFi wireless adapter, by default in the standard Android OS. You can enable Ad Hoc WiFi network support on your Android device, but you'll have to root the device to do it. Alternately, you can join both SkyFi and your Android device to an infrastructure WiFi network, such as provided by a typical home router - but then you'll need to carry that router with you, and find a way to power it, when you go to your remote observing site.

As a result, we've also decided to offer telescope control in SkySafari for Android via bluetooth. This is something that isn't possible with iOS devices due to Apple restrictions. Initially, SkySafari for Android will support the Starry Night BlueStar bluetooth serial adapter. We can't offer support for every third-party bluetooth serial adapter on the market, but we've programmed SkySafari to use standard Bluetooth Android interfaces, so most should work. If you can configure your bluetooth adapter to control your telescope from a Mac or PC, it will probably work with SkySafari for Android. But we are not going to "officially" support this, or help you troubleshoot it, unless it's a BlueStar, and you already successfully used it with a Mac or PC.

We may offer our own bluetooth serial adapter for Android devices in the future, but this is not yet 100% certain.

I have recently bought a 300P GoTo Dob and I'm finding the handset a bit of a pain to use, it's not very user friendly. So I'm thinking of buying Sky Safari plus or pro and using a bluetooth adapter to control the scope from my android phone (HTC Desire HD).

Can anyone recommend a bluetooth adapter that will work?

It appears that you can use any adapter that works with a PC to control your scope but as I've not tried that either, I'm not sure exactly what I need. So if anyone can give me a link to a reasonably priced adapter and/or any further info that would be great. :(

Cheers

Edited by stev74

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appalachik    10

I'm also looking for a suitable adapter... I have SkySafari Pro on my Samsung Galaxy S2 and can't find a supplier of the recommended Starry Night Bluestar controller to plug into the handset of my CG5GT mount. Does anybody know of a UK stockist?

Jenna

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stev74    145
Hi guyz, I have just bought Sky Safari pro for my samsung galaxy tab 10.1 and have also bought this bluetooth adapter below, will let you know if I can get it to work with my CPC 800.

Wish me luck :(

eBay - The UK's Online Marketplace

Good luck!! :D

Please let us now how you get on, it would be great if that adapter works......

I had looked at similar items but I wasn't sure if they would attach to the scopes GoTo or whether they would need another adapter as well.

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appalachik    10

I'm definitely interested in this controller as an option, Nathkrul... I have a Galaxy S2 with Sky Safari Pro and a Celestron CG5 GT to control. Please keep us posted :D

Jenna

Edited by appalachik

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stev74    145

Thanks for the update Rob, would it be possible to post links to what you have had to buy please?

Also some info on why you need each part would be amazing, obviously we all know we need the Bluetooth adapter but not everyone will know about the other bits. :)

Thanks

Sent from my HTC Desire HD A9191 using Tapatalk

Edited by stev74

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jam1e1    159

Hi , southern stars (manufacturer) have a forum on yahoo groups to discuss issues / questions and are very responsive, could be worth joining that and posting few questions- worked for me in past plus few suggestions have been taken on board in terms of updates to software

Jamie

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stev74    145

Thanks Jamie, I'll see if I can find the Yahoo group. :)

Cheers

Sent from my HTC Desire HD A9191 using Tapatalk

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svelo    10
Thanks for the info Astroegg but unfortunately the SkyFi only works with Sky Safari and Apple products like iPads.

No, it does not, works just as well with Android.

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Astroegg    14
No, it does not, works just as well with Android.
Wow, thanks for the information there. So the wireless control is definitely a feature for Android phones too. This does make the app more appealing - even though it also means more money needs to be spent on my kit! :)

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stev74    145
No, it does not, works just as well with Android.

Would it be possible svelo for you to elaborate on that statment please?

I am only going on the advice from Southerns Stars own website -

Unfortunately, Google has chosen to disable support for Ad Hoc WiFi networks, such as generated by our SkyFi wireless adapter, by default in the standard Android OS. You can enable Ad Hoc WiFi network support on your Android device, but you'll have to root the device to do it. Alternately, you can join both SkyFi and your Android device to an infrastructure WiFi network, such as provided by a typical home router - but then you'll need to carry that router with you, and find a way to power it, when you go to your remote observing site.

So do you carry around a home router with you or have you rooted an Ad Hoc device?

The other point would be you are still looking at about £100 for the Southern Star WiFi dongle where as a Bluetooth adapter is about £25?

As I still have more questions than answers any further advice from yourself or anyone else would be most appreciated.

Thanks.

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svelo    10
Would it be possible svelo for you to elaborate on that statment please?

I am only going on the advice from Southerns Stars own website -

So do you carry around a home router with you or have you rooted an Ad Hoc device?

The other point would be you are still looking at about £100 for the Southern Star WiFi dongle where as a Bluetooth adapter is about £25?

As I still have more questions than answers any further advice from yourself or anyone else would be most appreciated.

Thanks.

I was under the impression when I read the info on the site you would be able to just join the skyfi network and you could connect to it and drive your scope, I guess that is not the case then.

But as you say, bt dongles are way cheaper than the skyfi and with that you can use your wifi for other stuff.

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svelo    10
Wow, thanks for the information there. So the wireless control is definitely a feature for Android phones too. This does make the app more appealing - even though it also means more money needs to be spent on my kit! :D

Looks like I was wrong after all, go for the bluetooth instead.

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kirkster501    1,413

Very interested to see how this develops guys. The issue with Bluetooth is that the stack can power itself down when idle. Some tinkering with the settings will be required.

Nathkrul, you thinking of connecting to the CPC HC port or the Aux ports? You'll need to make a RJ45 or RJ11 to DB9 connector as well...

http://www.nexstarsite.com/PCControl.htm

Edited by kirkster501
spelling

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stev74    145

Hello,Steve

How do you think about this RS232 bluetooth Serial adapter? The price is around 26usd/pcs

http://szraybo.en.al...al_adaptor.html

Have you useing this adapter before?

Regards

Steven

Hi Steven,

I haven't used the adapter that you have linked to but it does look very similar to the one I bought, the most important thing that you need to do is change the baud rate from the adapter default setting which is 19200bps to 9600bps so it can then 'talk' to the SkySafari app.

You will also need a few other bits of hardware to make it possible as well, all of which I bought from either Ebay or Amazon in the UK but I'm sure you would be able to source them locally. :smiley:

I will post a full write up with all the info I have in the thread as soon as I can for everyone. :smiley:

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stev74    145

Ok as promised here's a list of the hardware that you will need and some info on how to control your telescope wirelessly with Bluetooth from the Android version of Sky Safari.

Hardware links

Bluetooth Adapter - http://www.ebay.co.u...dd#ht_756wt_932

USB to RS232 - http://www.amazon.co...ils_o06_s00_i00

RS232 Serial Null Modem Adapter - http://www.amazon.co...ils_o00_s00_i00

9 Pin Male/Male Serial RS232 Gender Changer Adapter - http://www.amazon.co...ils_o01_s00_i00

RS232 Serial Cable - I don't have a link for this as I used the SW RS232 cable that came with the scope (although I think FLO and other dealers sell these separately if you don't have one).

Software Links

Sky Safari plus or pro for your Android device (mobile/tablet) - http://www.southerns...roid/index.html

Hyper Terminal - This program was already on my older XP laptop, if you have an older computer just search in programs and you should find it. It wasn't on my Vista PC and I don't believe it's on Win7 either.

Alternatives to Hyper Terminal if you don't have it already - http://www.usconvert...id=15&chapter=0

In the Tools and Diagnostics Software section on the above link you will find downloads for Tera Term and Putty which are Terminal software alternatives.

Instructions

First connect the Bluetooth adapter to your PC with the USB to RS232 cable and open Hyper Terminal (or alternative software) set the baud rate on HT to 19200bps so it can can 'talk' to the BT adapter as that's its default baud rate. Then change the baud rate of the BT adapter to 9600bps, you can then disconnect and change the baud rate on HT to 9600bps and reconnect to check if you have been successful.

This You tube vid will talk you through the process -

Next you need to connect all the hardware and switch on the BT adapter -

BT adapter to 9 Pin Male/Male to Null Modem to RS232 Serial cable to RJ12 port on SynScan Hand control. Here's a couple of pics (sorry not great quality) so you can see it all connected up, it's all held on with velcro. Notice the flashing lights on the BT adapter I plan on covering them with some black electrical tape before I go to any star parties as they are quite bright in the dark!!

7710335314_2ed2ed68b5.jpg

Untitled by stev74, on Flickr

7710338360_6d9e1db353.jpg

Untitled by stev74, on Flickr

Then switch on the hand controller and go through your usual set up - location, time etc and alignment procedure until you get a 'successful alignment'.

On your Android device switch on Bluetooth load Sky Safari Plus or Pro select - setting > telescope set up > Equipment Selection > set for your own equipment, for me it's SkyWatcher SynScan and Alt-Azimuth GoTo > Connect via Bluetooth.

Come out of the settings and select - scope > Connect and after 30 secs or so you should here a ping and your android device will say connected. The first time you get it working it's a great feeling and it really is very easy to use out in the field!! :smiley:

Hopefully this info has been of some help, feel free to post any questions or PM me for more details.

Cheers

Edited by stev74
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