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SkySafari Plus first light report


TRNunes
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Greetings, fellow Stargazer's Lounge members!

I'm writing tonight to share my recent positive experiences with a piece of astronomical software for the iPad and iPhone, an application called "SkySafari". Specifically, the version I purchased about a week ago is called "SkySafari Plus" and, after using it on three separate occasions since, my first impression is, "Wow!"

Where to start? Using the v3.1.1 version of SkySafari Plus on my original iPad 3G, I start the app, tap "compass", face in whatever direction I want, tilt my iPad until it's angled towards the sky in front of my, and I'm looking at a fully interactive mirror of the night sky. If I turn, it turns. If I want to preserve my night vision by clicking "Night", the screen changes to dark red. And if I want to read about the night's viewing highlights, I simply tap Skyweek (a feature that also includes interactive star charts of the night's sky that can step you through the sky minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, etc).

Honestly, I can't say enough about this app, and I've yet to even scratch the surface of it's capabilities (for example, I've yet to connect it to my Go-to telescope and control the 'scope via the iPad's touch screen, a feature that's even supposed to work via wifi with the appropriate adapter purchase). I mean, what a GREAT APP!!!

Anyway, I hope my fellow Stargazer's Lounge members find this review helpful and, if you're interested in more information about the app, check out the website of the developer, Southern Stars: Southern Stars • Home.

Sincerely,

Tim Nunes

Northeastern Illinois, USA

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I have had the pro version for a few months now. Until last week I had been using my iphone with the skywire to control my telescope. I found it very good with a few drawbacks.

1. the screen on the iphone does not utilise the full capabilities of the software

2. the skywire was a bit fiddly and I did not like it being tethered to the handset. A few times it came loose when the mount was slewing.

3. I was unable to use my portable battery recharger on the iphone when using the skywire and as a consequence the phone died after a few hours of use.

HOWEVER

this experience was transformed when I got an ipad and skyfi.

the longer battery life, large screen and the fact that the ipad was sitting on my table free of wires was amasing. I love the capability of the skysafari and found the "tonights best" was VERY comprehensive. It also gave a detailed descripition of what the object was instead of just it's M, C or NGC number. I even found the comet that was around recently as the software updates regularly. It may be my imagination or the fact that I am very impressed with it that it also seems more accurate than the handset. it is just so spaceinvaders to watch the finder on the screen move across the sky when it is slewing

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I have the Pro on my new iPad and love it. So much more intuitive to zoom and pan than using say Stellarium on the Mac with a mouse. So with that and "Tonight's Best" I can plan my evening from the comfort of my armchair.

Just need the SkyFi widget to hook up to the mount and I'll be away.

Now if they added Canon camera control, oh and auto focuser, oh and it made tea.... Seriously, terrific piece of software on the iPad and I don't say that often.

Cheers

Ian

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Stellarium is so not intuitive when it comes to mount control. As well, info-wise sky safari is brilliant.

Would love to spend the money on skyfi...

Can sky safari be used with a guidecam as well?

If it slews to a location, does it track as well?

If you are connected to the skyfi net, can you still go online with the iPad? I guess not.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for the review I have the Skysafari + on iPad with the Skywire in the post. The app for the cost <£11 has great functionality. For a beginner this app is a great way to get instant information on the sky above.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi guys. Just to clarify. I runs NEQ6 Pro.

You run a normal alignment with the handset . Remove the handset and then plug I the Skywire cable - attach phone and then turn on the App ???

This may be up for purchase soon

Regards John

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Thanks for the reply Michael.  2 further questions if i may.

I bought my NEQ6 2nd hand.  No cable to flash the handset. Would need to buy a Serial cable from FLO ???   as per link  http://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-mounts/serial-cable-for-skywatcher-and-celestron-mounts.html

The picture via The Widescreen centre just seems to show the R232 connector at " one end" of the cable, in their photo and the other end inserts into the phone. I'm stilll not getting the cable set up between phone and mount.  I'm being real slow on the uptake here. Sorry

Also  I run a I Phone 5 so would need an adaptor to switch it back  ( retro fit) to the previous I phone 4 -  30 pin connector.  E bay sell these I'm sure

Many thx   John

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I have my mount connected to a windows laptop using EQASCOM/EQMOD and control it using sky safari on my ipad wirelessly via WiFi Scope  - Works brilliantly and is free (but does need a local wifi network so no use out and about) and you can align using sky safari too which as a newcomer who doesn't know the sky so well I've found a load easier and quicker than the handset. Working out which star was which - if I could see it where it is etc etc is SO much easier on the ipad. 

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Thanks for the reply Michael.  2 further questions if i may.

I bought my NEQ6 2nd hand.  No cable to flash the handset. Would need to buy a Serial cable from FLO ???   as per link  http://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-mounts/serial-cable-for-skywatcher-and-celestron-mounts.html

The picture via The Widescreen centre just seems to show the R232 connector at " one end" of the cable, in their photo and the other end inserts into the phone. I'm stilll not getting the cable set up between phone and mount.  I'm being real slow on the uptake here. Sorry

Also  I run a I Phone 5 so would need an adaptor to switch it back  ( retro fit) to the previous I phone 4 -  30 pin connector.  E bay sell these I'm sure

Many thx   John

I think that is the correct cable from FLO but cannot be sure. Suggest you email them to confirm.

You can now get a new style skywire with the new lightning connector.Or get one of these again give widescreen centre a ring. (they are the only ones that I know sell the skywire)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-Lightning-30-PIN-Adapter-ZML-Latest/dp/B009A5EIWC/ref=sr_1_fkmr3_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395870733&sr=8-1-fkmr3&keywords=amazon+lightning+connector+to+old+style+iphone

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