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stev74

Sky Safari - bluetooth telescope control?

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sulaco    71

Great thread, I've just bought all the bits and as far as I can see set it up for synscan but I keep getting a message saying that it can contact and signal the scope but it's not responding. I'm trying to control via a galaxy s2. Has anyone got any ideas to why this may be. The scope settings in skysafari are also correct.

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sulaco    71

Another thought, is there anything in the synscan controller that has to be configured? I didn't test with an alignment just tracking to see if I could connect.

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Avo    39

Check out the above thread, started out as an android app thread but several there have theBTlink Bluetooth adaptor from eBay and got it work, it's great !

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sulaco    71

Yep I've got the same one and have now got it working perfectly, it's a really worth while adaption.

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nightvision    98

Yep I've got the same one and have now got it working perfectly, it's a really worth while adaption.

This sounds really interesting, (I can't quite work out what you did to get it working, any chance you could summarise or list what you have hooked up and what it does and doesn't do?

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sulaco    71

Hi,

It really is a good addition to the set up, I use the eq5 pro so I don't think I can do the direct control EQMod but this way I've saved £100 in not buying the Skyfi Dongle and have an old pc connected to the camera for Backyard Eos and the QHY5v connected to PC for PHD Guiding.

I can now remote access this from my iMac in the house and use SkySafari on my Samsung Galaxy S2 to control the mount, it has to be noted that I still need to do the initial alignment first and get the scope in focus with the Bahitov mask first.

SkySafari has much more objects than the Synscan handset and the scope control function allows for variable speed to adjust inbetween test shots for framing.

I'll put up a list of how I set it up but has been generally covered in another thread.

The BTLink bluetooth adaptor cost £23

Serial synscan cable from FLO cost £12

USB to serial cable for reconfiguring £1.80

The BTLink adaptor just plugs into the Synscan handset, but I will try and get a more detailed list up later.

Thanks

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chrisshillito    245
Hi,

I use the eq5 pro so I don't think I can do the direct control EQMod

If your EQ5 pro comes with a synscan handset then it can certainly be controlled by EQMOD either by an EQDirect interface (usb, rs232 or bluetooth) or via the synscan operating in PC direct mode.

Chris.

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Jammy    29

I know this is a really old thread but would like to point out, if anyone is interested, that the BTLink bluetooth adapter with internal antenna also works with a Synscan handset and Sky Safari on an android tablet (Nexus 10).

Northing else is needed, you just need to change the baud rate to 9600 as previously described on this thread.

Rather than using battery cells, I'm looking at getting a usb charger - the sort you can get for topping up your mobile phone, ipod, etc.

I know the bluetooth adapter needs 5.0v usb power supply, but is this 1amp or 2amp?  I've looked through the manual, but can't work it out.

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johnno    84

I've just got a BT Bluetooth adapter for my nexus 7, the pc see's it and checked baud rate 9600 in properties. In device manager it shows its using 2 com ports? all I get is a blue status light flashing and when I tap on connect scope in SF pro it flashes for a few seconds then it goes solid blue and then a window pops up and says it cant connect, and it goes back to blue flashing light,  what settings do you have on the dip switches?

also using a gender changer but I have noticed the plug goes into the sfyfi has only 4 pins and inside the skyfi box it has 6 connectors.

mine

M & G both selected and DTE selected

Jamie i'm using a 5v 500mah usb /cigar lighter plug and it seems to power it ok

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Jammy    29

The BT Link bluetooth adapter is the same as the one on the USConverters website.  Are you sure you have the correct baud rate?  You can change the baud rate by downloading Teraterm.exe from the linked page (near the bottom of the screen).

www.usconverters.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=15&chapter=0

Be careful to only install Teraterm, as other software asked if you would like to install it also.  I've no idea what it is, but it isn't needed (might be malware).  I've uninstalled all the software now that I'm finished with it.

If you do have the baud rate set correctly at 9600, make sure the Master/Slave switch is also set to Slave.  Within the Teraterm software type 'role=?' and it will respond either M or S to confirm this is the case.

I should have mentioned that the PC software will only communicate if you have the DCE(F) / DTE switch set to DCE(F).  When you are using the device with your scope set to DTE.

Jonno, I've just read through all your post again (now that I've typed this out).  Why do you need the adapter if you have Skyfi?  Doesn't Skifi use a wifi signal instead of bluetooth?

Is the cigar/lighter plug connected to a 12v powertank, or is it a separate  5v 500mah battery?  Sorry, I'm not entirely clear what you mean.

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stev74    145

Sorry folks I've managed to drop the ball so to speak on this thread (luckily others have picked it up!!  :grin:), it's nice to see the tutorial I did has be useful to a few of you!!  :smiley:

@Johno - Change it from M (Master) to S (Slave) on the front of the adapter as it needs to be in slave mode. Also you need to switch on Bluetooth on your Nexus 7 and then search for BT devices once it finds the BT adapter you need to enter the default code '1234' to pair the devices (you only need to do this once). Like Jamie I'm a bit confused as to what you mean by Skyfi box as you should only have - BT adapter to 9 Pin Male/Male to Null Modem (this looks like it's now optional as others have got it working without it) to RS232 Serial cable to RJ12 port on SynScan Hand controller.

@Jamie - I use this adapter to power the BT adapter now instead of the battery pack pictured in the tutorial, basically it'll work from any 12v battery that has a female cigarette connection built in or attached - it works a treat every time and it's cheap to buy.  :smiley:

Edited by stev74
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Jammy    29

Thanks Steve.

That's just what I need. I didn't know those adapters existed. I did wonder if you could buy a splitter - mount, dew heater, and now the Bluetooth... power tanks need more sockets!

Just as an aside, my adapter works without the Null Modem.

Thanks for posting this thread :)

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johnno    84

thanks for the help guys, I've tried what you have posted but still wont work with Bluetooth, I think it maybe my hand controller not being compatible, I'm using a mini tower pro with a 8401 HC which has usb connection on it. so I've posted on the yahoo group to see if this is the case.

it works ok with my home wireless network, just need it to work away from home. I've just ordered a self powered portable mini wifi router and hopefully it will see skyfi network, and if that doesn't work i'll have to dig a bit deeper into my pocket and get a ipad or try to put a custom rom on my Nexus 7 which I've never done before. problem is Android are fetching out 4.4 kitkat os for android shortly and might have to wait to see if ad hoc is enabled in the the os.....cheers john

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DaveJFT    17

thanks for the help guys, I've tried what you have posted but still wont work with Bluetooth, I think it maybe my hand controller not being compatible, I'm using a mini tower pro with a 8401 HC which has usb connection on it. so I've posted on the yahoo group to see if this is the case.

it works ok with my home wireless network, just need it to work away from home. I've just ordered a self powered portable mini wifi router and hopefully it will see skyfi network, and if that doesn't work i'll have to dig a bit deeper into my pocket and get a ipad or try to put a custom rom on my Nexus 7 which I've never done before. problem is Android are fetching out 4.4 kitkat os for android shortly and might have to wait to see if ad hoc is enabled in the the os.....cheers john

Hi Johnno,

Can Android 4.4 now connect to SkyFi's Ad-Hoc WiFi network?

Cheers!

Dave

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astronymonkey    532

Hi steve,

I think I was camped next to you at kielder in november with my lightbridge.

I was really impressed with the wireles control you had set up and see it working using your phone and its great to see the detailed description of what is needed to get the system working.

its just a shame my lightbridge doesn't have the same option, although im currently fitting a pushto system which will be a reasonable compromise.

great thread by the way,

cheers

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stev74    145

Hi steve,

I think I was camped next to you at kielder in november with my lightbridge.

I was really impressed with the wireles control you had set up and see it working using your phone and its great to see the detailed description of what is needed to get the system working.

its just a shame my lightbridge doesn't have the same option, although im currently fitting a pushto system which will be a reasonable compromise.

great thread by the way,

cheers

Yes that was me, nice to hear from you - it was a great weekend with incredibly dark skies!!  :smiley:

Yeah once you get the Bluetooth setup and run Sky Safari to control your scope it makes an amazing difference to an observing session and it's so much more user friendly than a goto handset. Good luck with your pushto system - Sky Safari would still be a help with that as it has all the celestial coordinates of each object in it's database and as it's downloaded to your phone/tablet you don't need a phone signal unlike some of the other planetarium apps. It really is a great observing aid either way.  :smiley:

Edited by stev74

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stev74    145

I was using Sky safari at Kielder also. used it to find the comet with my C11. 

Yeah Sky Safari really shines when finding/observing transient near earth object and comets as most of the handsets don't have them included. 

I managed to starhop to ison at kielder but I think steve missed his chance ..... even with goto the clouds still get in the way now and then!!!!

Cheers

You're right, clouds and due to where my scope was set up (trees) I never got to see Ison through my own scope although I did through my mates 16" SW on the Sunday through a gap in the trees.... it was a pain to input the coordinates manually into his handset though. I did however see comet Lovejoy through my scope using Sky Safari and thought it was much more impressive to view as it was a lot brighter!  :smiley:

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rodrigol    255

The blutetooth approach works with the adapters mentioned above. I've got this working on my samsu* phone and android tablet (nexu*7). Gosh! the weather has been so awful that most of the observing time has gone to testing these devices. I still have an issue with the SLT scopes not behaving quite as expected. 

On the WiFi front it would be good to know if someone has tested the celeston wifi skyq link adapter with sky safari pro or plus.

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Have a look at the link below May help a lot of people out that are looking at Bluetooth for android mac or pc

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=108338

YouTube video below showing the Bluetooth Adaptor on a Skywatcher EQ8 using a hackintosh and

Stellarium.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u5rYcwAhABs

Hope this helps there are adaptors for Nexstar as well .

Clear skies

Cathy and Tech

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Almac44    0

I have tried to get Sky Safari to work with the SkyQ Link. Although I can get SkyQ to link to a laptop in both direct and access point modes I cannot get the Sky Safari link to work with a Samsung S4. In particular when connecting in access point mode the connection seems to be made (a light briefly appears on the SkyQ so it is evidently getting through) but a message comes back saying that the telescope cannot be reached because it is switched off (it is not) or the wrong telescope is selected (a Celestron  SLT102 was selected) looks like a software problem.

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budgierless    2

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

The BT Link bluetooth adapter is the same as the one on the USConverters website.  Are you sure you have the correct baud rate?  You can change the baud rate by downloading Teraterm.exe from the linked page (near the bottom of the screen).

www.usconverters.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=15&chapter=0

Be careful to only install Teraterm, as other software asked if you would like to install it also.  I've no idea what it is, but it isn't needed (might be malware).  I've uninstalled all the software now that I'm finished with it.

If you do have the baud rate set correctly at 9600, make sure the Master/Slave switch is also set to Slave.  Within the Teraterm software type 'role=?' and it will respond either M or S to confirm this is the case.

I should have mentioned that the PC software will only communicate if you have the DCE(F) / DTE switch set to DCE(F).  When you are using the device with your scope set to DTE.

Jonno, I've just read through all your post again (now that I've typed this out).  Why do you need the adapter if you have Skyfi?  Doesn't Skifi use a wifi signal instead of bluetooth?

Is the cigar/lighter plug connected to a 12v powertank, or is it a separate  5v 500mah battery?  Sorry, I'm not entirely clear what you mean.

I am new to all this astro world, but i now got an skywatcher explorer 130p to play with, i hunted down a buletooth connecter since the link on ebay posted bedore is a dated deadend, For UK users I found one for a good price, the site was cheap looking and I had to contact them to confirm but i got my goods, so if any others are looking for BTLink !!!

but i would advise you contact them before sending your cash just to be safe as you nerver know these days.

hope it helps guys.

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