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stev74

Sky Safari - bluetooth telescope control?

96 posts in this topic

Hey mate

Nice job, looks good there...

Hi Martin,

Sorry just noticed your reply..... thanks, yeah it did take a while but I've now got your old dob working wirelessly, the scope really has given me some amazing views and now the GoTo is so much more user friendly using Sky Safari!! :smiley:

With the darker skies pretty much here hopefully I get a chance to get out more with it - if I'm heading out locally I'll give you a shout sometime mate. :smiley:

Cheers

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Brilliant posting! I'm trying out this out on both my CPC and SLT at the moment and have come up with an issue on the SLT: I can connect and move the scope using the direction arrows but I cannot get the GOTO to work at all. I can't understand what it wrong.

The equipment I'm using the make the connection is identical to the one described here, except the phone is running Android JB 4.1.1.

One of the reasons for doing this is because I want to automate and remote control as much as possible due to mobility issues.

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Thanks to this thread, I can now report this works flawlessly with Skywatcher AZ GOTO:

Only one component needed to buy, the bluetooth adapter. The gender changer comes free with it. Cable is from the telescope.

However I do need to buy usb serial adapter as the bluetooth needs changing Baud rate and that can only be done using serial.

post-12989-135085475172_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

If someone could confirm that the bluetooth devices mentioned above work as expected (e.g. directional arrows move the scope, GOTO actually works) - with SW or Celestron hardware. I do realize that Southern Stars indicate they only support a few devices that are expensive (> £80 ) and hard to come by (http://www.southernstars.com/products/skysafari_android/scope_control.html). It seems the devices mentioned in this post are not supported?! However, it also seems that SW owners are a bit luckier than Celestron ones as it is possible the drivers are more forgiving. I cannot get the GOTO to do anything.

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Hi,

If someone could confirm that the bluetooth devices mentioned above work as expected (e.g. directional arrows move the scope, GOTO actually works) - with SW or Celestron hardware. I do realize that Southern Stars indicate they only support a few devices that are expensive (> £80 ) and hard to come by (http://www.southerns...pe_control.html). It seems the devices mentioned in this post are not supported?! However, it also seems that SW owners are a bit luckier than Celestron ones as it is possible the drivers are more forgiving. I cannot get the GOTO to do anything.

Hi rodrigol,

I can confirm that the BT device that I link to above does work as expected and was originally on the recommended devices on the Southern Stars website (USConverters Serial Bluetooth RS232 Adapter) that's why I bought one in the first place, for some reason it's now not.... strange.

I've only used the BT adapter with my Skywatcher though so I'm not saying that there might not be issues with other scope brands. Saying that the fact that you have connected to the scope through the BT adapter even if it's not working as expected is still a good thing as it might just mean you have a setting wrong.

If you can answer a few questions hopefully we can get your issue sorted. :smiley:

Have you tried it with the CPC yet and is it working with full goto or are you having the same issue?

Are you going through your normal goto alignment with the SLT until you get 'alignment successful' before you try and connect the BT adapter and Sky Safari?

On Sky Safari what scope and mount settings are you using?

Worst case, although I don't have a Celestron scope my mate has one - 127 Mak on a Alt/Az goto mount so if we still can't get it sorted I can try out the setup on his scope to see if I get similar issue.

Cheers

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Hi rodrigol,

I can confirm that the BT device that I link to above does work as expected and was originally on the recommended devices on the Southern Stars website (USConverters Serial Bluetooth RS232 Adapter) that's why I bought one in the first place, for some reason it's now not.... strange.

I've only used the BT adapter with my Skywatcher though so I'm not saying that there might not be issues with other scope brands. Saying that the fact that you have connected to the scope through the BT adapter even if it's not working as expected is still a good thing as it might just mean you have a setting wrong.

If you can answer a few questions hopefully we can get your issue sorted. :smiley:

Have you tried it with the CPC yet and is it working with full goto or are you having the same issue?

Are you going through your normal goto alignment with the SLT until you get 'alignment successful' before you try and connect the BT adapter and Sky Safari?

On Sky Safari what scope and mount settings are you using?

Worst case, although I don't have a Celestron scope my mate has one - 127 Mak on a Alt/Az goto mount so if we still can't get it sorted I can try out the setup on his scope to see if I get similar issue.

Cheers

Hi Steve,

I can confirmt the setup in question works as expected with CPC, which I hope is good news for those that are asking about this setup combination. GOTO's work just fine. With the SLT I do align first and then connect to the BT to the handset. I've also tried other telescope options in SF to see if one works with the SLT but GOTO's do not work, like on the CPC. It would be great if you could try with your friends SLT (it's identical to mine, except he may have other hand control and/or motor firmware version. Please note I have the latest.

Indeed many thanks for looking into this!

R:)

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I used this bluetooth to serial adaptor from Ebay. It works perfectly with my Meade ETX90 and my Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. It's really nice to control the scope from the tablet, or to see what the scope is pointed to by looking at Sky Safari.

Now I only need some clear nights :)

Btw, I find it a bit amusing what Southen Stars write about controlling the scope from Android:

SkySafari for Android can control your telescope by either Wi-Fi or bluetooth. Unfortunately, most Android devices do not support Ad Hoc WiFi networks, such as generated by our SkyFi wireless adapter, by default.

...

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.

While not incorrect, I think they are turning the issue upside down. They make it sound like Android has some limitations that forced them to support an alternative connection method (bluetooth). The thing is that bluetooth is actually the defacto standard of controlling stuff nearby wirelessly, but since IOS does not support general bluetooth (only headsets, keyboard etc) they were forced to use wifi.

Hmmm, 'nuff said :)

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Prefer to use WiFi for such control...and my Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 accepts adhoc connections..and I have not changed any settings...

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So has anyone used this successfully with a celestron nexstar based setup?

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So has anyone used this successfully with a celestron nexstar based setup?

I have now :D

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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So has anyone used this successfully with a celestron nexstar based setup?

Similar comment - has anybody been successful with the CG5-GT mount?

Thanks, Bob :laugh:

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Very interesting thread...

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http://www.astrodevi...exus/Nexus.html

I've been reading this thread with interest, I use the Astro Devices Nexus for telescope control of my Dob and its excellent. (push to not goto)

I don't know if many of you are aware you can also use it with scopes as a Wifi to Serial adapter. In fact you can control up to 3 scopes with it at the same time. It works just as well with Apples devices as Android. In fact you can use it with many of the cheaper Android tablets that don't even have Bluetooth. I often read the Southern Sky's yahoo forum and there are many posts relating to difficulties android tablet owners are having connecting to Sky Safari via Bluetooth adapters. So there will be many instances when you can't use bluetooth to connect your scope to Sky Safari in which case this is a real alternative some of you might want to consider, it's certainly less hassle and will work very well. It retails at about £200 over here so obviously dearer than a bluetooth adapter but will work with all Android devices and IOS and is hassle free to install.

I've attached a photo of my set up to give you an idea of how neat it is. I use an iPad as my handset.

post-20507-0-59757200-1362007923_thumb.j

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Yep, as I was saying above I've got it working properly on mine.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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http://www.astrodevi...exus/Nexus.html

I've been reading this thread with interest, I use the Astro Devices Nexus for telescope control of my Dob and its excellent. (push to not goto)

I don't know if many of you are aware you can also use it with scopes as a Wifi to Serial adapter. In fact you can control up to 3 scopes with it at the same time. It works just as well with Apples devices as Android. In fact you can use it with many of the cheaper Android tablets that don't even have Bluetooth. I often read the Southern Sky's yahoo forum and there are many posts relating to difficulties android tablet owners are having connecting to Sky Safari via Bluetooth adapters. So there will be many instances when you can't use bluetooth to connect your scope to Sky Safari in which case this is a real alternative some of you might want to consider, it's certainly less hassle and will work very well. It retails at about £200 over here so obviously dearer than a bluetooth adapter but will work with all Android devices and IOS and is hassle free to install.

I've attached a photo of my set up to give you an idea of how neat it is. I use an iPad as my handset.

I think the key to getting it to work is having a supported or known to work Bluetooth adapter and a reasonable quality android device, many of the cheaper tablets are pretty poor. The Bluetooth adapter listed in this thread definitely works as that is what I'm using. I looked at the nexus unit but I couldn't justify that expenditure, good as it is I'm sure, horses for courses as always.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

Edited by skir
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I think the key to getting it to work is having a supported or known to work Bluetooth adapter and a reasonable quality android device, many of the cheaper tablets are pretty poor. The Bluetooth adapter listed in this thread definitely works as that is what I'm using. I looked at the nexus unit but I couldn't justify that expenditure, good as it is I'm sure, horses for courses as always.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

i think you'll really like using it, I wasn't sure how many knew about nexus as an option, so I thought I'd mention it. For me with the dob I didn't have a handset or goto so needed an encoder based system and this seemed the best value and system comparing it to things like Argo Navis etc

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I've not had a chance to use it outside yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. Without a handset I can see why the nexus was the best choice for you. It certainly looks a very good piece of kit. I'm just a tight git and I like fiddling about to make stuff work! :lol:

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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I've not had a chance to use it outside yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. Without a handset I can see why the nexus was the best choice for you. It certainly looks a very good piece of kit. I'm just a tight git and I like fiddling about to make stuff work! :lol:

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

It's much better than having to type coordinates into a handset. Turning on the highlight objects function in an observing list makes it so much easier to move around to your target.

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It's much better than having to type coordinates into a handset. Turning on the highlight objects function in an observing list makes it so much easier to move around to your target.

That is a nice feature, thanks for pointing it out. That should be very useful for where you've planned an evenings observing.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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Just found this thread ordered the bits as advised and all works a treat with with the EQ6 synscan and galaxy Note II / Tab 2.

Very handy using the phone/pad with SkySafari for visual. Thanks guys for putting the info together and the images.

I take it I will still need my laptop and PHD or similar with connection to the mount's guide port to try guiding with this setup?

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Just found this thread ordered the bits as advised and all works a treat with with the EQ6 synscan and galaxy Note II / Tab 2.

Very handy using the phone/pad with SkySafari for visual. Thanks guys for putting the info together and the images.

I take it I will still need my laptop and PHD or similar with connection to the mount's guide port to try guiding with this setup?

Hello Steve,

You have exactly the same mount and phone as I. Thank you for posting I now feel like I am more likely to get this working!

I have been reading a lot to ensure I am not going end up with more junk I cannot use.

I do have one question...

Did you need the null modem? I ask this as others have seemed to not.

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Hi 3DFun, Yes I am using the Null modem and works great, I have to admit I have not tried without it. I will run another test without the Null modem and update.

Steve

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Hi 3DFun, Yes I am using the Null modem and works great, I have to admit I have not tried without it. I will run another test without the Null modem and update.

Steve

Thank you.

Reading about this adapter I think whether or not you need a null modem adapter depends on the mode the bluetooth adapter is in. My suspicions is you can remove the null modem by swapping DTE/DCE mode, I think. For exmaple if it works with null modem while in DTE mode then I would try DCE mode without the null modem.

I am no expert but from what I read in the pdf of this device and I compare that with a null modem wiring... it seems to fit.

Thanks for your time Steve,

Looking forward to your feedback.

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Tested this morning, you are right switching the bluetooth receiver to DTE and removing the Null modem works great. One less bit of equipment in the chain. Now I will have a play with WIFIScope and see if I can connect my IPad without the expensive SkyFi.

Happy Easter.

All the best

Steve

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Thanks Steve!

I'll post and confirm my setup too. I'll also write to SkySafari to let them know that one of the bluetooth modules they have listed as incompatible may actually work.

I assume they put it as not working as either people used the wrong settings OR used an alternate models which I've seen on ebay.

I saw that WIFIScop looks good. Was considering setting it up on a netbook. But then adds another peice of equiment, but it got me thinking...

Why is there not a WIFI to Serial that is also and access point hence reducing the need for infrastructure as SkyFi needs (or adhoc)...

I found this...

From serial IO no idea on price:

http://serialio.com/products/mobile/wifi/WiSnapAAA.php

http://serialio.com/products/mobile/software/MobileGrid/Android/use/APMGridRFID1/APMGridRFID1.php

(Also reading this made me question why skyfi would not work on an Andoird in HOTSPOT Mode)

http://serialio.com/products/mobile/software/MobileGrid/Android/use/HSMGridRFID1/HSMGridRFID1.php

On ebay:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Serial-RS232-RS485-to-Wifi-converter-Embedded-WiFi-802-11-b-g-n-Module-w600-/111015810781?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item19d90ed6dd&_uhb=1#ht_3564wt_1085

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