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Skywatcher Heritage Virtuoso controlled via bluetooth

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thegroove    0

Hi all, I have a Skywatcher EQ3 and would like to replace the hand controller with an app because frankly those hand controllers look like something from the 80s.

I was looking at Virtuoso but to be honest I don't really know what else I need as it mentions skysafari and PCs.

Could someone just give me a quick list of what I would need to get this working. All I really want to do is have the handset functionality on a phone/tablet.

Thanks.

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Cornelius Varley    1,725

Hi all, I have a Skywatcher EQ3 and would like to replace the hand controller with an app because frankly those hand controllers look like something from the 80s.

I was looking at Virtuoso but to be honest I don't really know what else I need as it mentions skysafari and PCs.

Could someone just give me a quick list of what I would need to get this working. All I really want to do is have the handset functionality on a phone/tablet.

Thanks.

If your mount is equipped with the basic dual axis drives you will need to purchase the full Synscan goto upgrade kit.

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tangelo    4

i forgot to add - the bluetooth module can control most of the skywatcher mounts that use synscan

Sorry for a newbie question, but is the Virtuoso a "synscan"-mount?

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happy-kat    3,022

This thread is about controlling the virtuoso mount using the bluetooth module which I think it might now be replaced with a wifi one though I can't find a link.

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happy-kat    3,022

Taken a while all these clouds but finally connected the bluetooth to my virtuoso mount and all communicating fine. Just got to sort out sky safari plus as it is looking for wireless rather than bluetooth even though I have set it up right. Thought Î should get familiar in the daylight!

Edited by happy-kat

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Juno6    12

Just a question as I was thinking about getting the 90mm mak version. Would this scope be quicker and an easier process to quickly get tracking than a goto telescope? That I can get webcam images of the planets? Looking for something small, light and quick to get going.

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happy-kat    3,022

The mount may or may not be quicker to get going I think (don't know)(assuming comparing to just a tracking mount) still needs to be level etc. But once setup for your location plonk down, level point tube at Polaris turn on and go, the difference is whether the size for you is quicker to take out side and use. They are really tidy small mounts. The mount can be used manually to which I think is great. You will need a table or other raised surface.

The mak would need time to cool down for best use.

I have no experience with a goto mount to know if it can be turned on to just track versus has to have goto aligned first.

Edited by happy-kat
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Juno6    12

Thanks happy-kat. If its freezing outside, and if I cant be bothered to go through star aligning on a goto. Like you say just plonk down, level and point to roughly where you think polaris is. I was wondering if a goto scope can track in the same way as the virtuoso or if you have to go through the star alignment (assuming you know where things are to look at) every time? Trying not to go off topic too much...

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happy-kat    3,022

You can download skywatcher manuals from their website, why not read the manual of the particular goto you are looking at.

The virtuoso can carry upto 4 kilo I have seen one used with a 127mm mak.

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Juno6    12

Has anybody got any good results from this little mount/scope on planets with a barlow lens? Wondering if it would track well for this? The 127 is a lot heavier im assuming, how did they get on?

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Tonyjl    2

Hello everybody!

 

You can also easily make a bluetooth adapter and connect it directly to the Skywatcher Virtuoso mount without the Synscan handheld. Any bluetooth with TTL signals and  9600/ 8-N-1 will work. This works just fine. The difference between TTL and RS-232 is described here.

 

If the bluetooth serial voltage is 3.3V, then the two resistors (voltage divider) will be needed. 47 ohm and 100 ohm is OK. 100 ohm goes between the bluetooth RX & GND. 47 ohm goes between Virtuoso TX and bluetooth RX. Otherwise the Virtuoso signal level is too high for the bluetooth 3.3V. 

Use the great Virtuoso app for Android, which works as a SkyFi emulator and link between your network and the star map software, such as SkySafari. Match the IP in Virtuoso app to Sky Safari SkyFi settings and leave the port as 4030.

The LM2596 regulates the voltage from the Virtuoso battery to the bluetooth. You can also use a good old 5V regulator but I suspect it will waste power while lowering the voltage and transfering it to heat.

Cut your grand-ma's phone cord and get her a cellphone, steal the RJ11 cable, solder the bluetooth and resistors and you're ready to go. Works as a charm.

 

Tony

 

Virtuoso bluetooth.jpg

Edited by Tonyjl
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gorke    3

Thank Tonyjl, but one question.

In schematics show: Tx,Rx,+12V, GND

and RJ11 photo:       Rx,+12V,Tx GND

What´s the correct order? With my multimeter I show +12V if configure like photo...

 

It´s possible use Cartes du Ciel using MAX232 and DB9, with driver for SynScan AZ mounts and Ascom Platform like show in 

http://teleskopy.pl/product_info.php?currency=EUR&products_id=3376&language=en&lunety=Przewód_kabel_USB_do_SkyWatcher_Virtuoso,_d³ugo¶æ_2_metry

 

 

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RTamer    4

@Gorke - A couple of years ago I disassembled my Heritage 90 to install bluetooth, so I have some photos and information that might help you.

First photo - This is the RJ12 (6pin) as it would be inserted in the Heritage and the pins as I measured them.  Your colors of the wiring might differ from mine.  Pin# is important.
Second photo - Top view of the board and connections.
Third photo - Voltage and signal measurements as the board is mounted in the case.  Check to see that your voltages match up to mine.
Fourth photo - 4 pin connector to be used with bluetooth module.

Things you will need:
ASCOM Drivers: http://download.ascom-standards.org/ASCOMPlatform62.exe
Stellarium Software:  http://www.stellarium.org/de/
Stellariumscope Software:  http://welshdragoncomputing.ca/x/st/setup/Setup_StellariumScope_2016.12.26.exe
Driver for Heritage 90:  In my attachments as zip file
Bluetooth HC-06 3.3v:  http://www.ebay.de/itm/HC-06-Wireless-Bluetooth-Slave-Modul-fur-Arduino-RS232-/201448256635?hash=item2ee740747b:g:pFQAAOSwImRYbPZd
Connector 4pin (audio cable from old computer works well)
12v to 5v Power Converter (only when your bluetooth module can't be run with 3.3v):  http://www.ebay.de/itm/DC-DC-5V-38V-to3-3V-6V-12V-24V-5A-Buck-StepDown-Konverter-Module-Car-Auto-Power-/131980745446?hash=item1ebaaa5ae6:g:4wEAAOSwys5WVbAO

1. When your bluetooth module is running at 3.3v.  Insert the RJ12 into the socket with the other end free and each of the six wires stripped.  Apply power (12v), check to see that pin #1 (+) and pin #2 (-) have 3.3v (roughly).  Solder these to the respective connections on the 4 pin connector v+ and v- for the bluetooth module.  Apply 12v to the scope and check to see that you have power to the bluetooth module.

2. When your bluetooth module is running at 5v.  You will need to use pin #4 (12v) and pin #2 (gnd).  Connect them to the power converter v+ (in) and v- (in).  Connect v+ (out) and v- (out) to the bluetooth module repectively.  Apply 12v to the scope and check to see that you have power to the bluetooth module.

3. If I remember correctly, pin #3 is TX.  Connect that to RX on the bluetooth module.  Pin #5 is RX.  Connect that to TX on the bluetooth module. If it does not work, don't worry.  Just reverse them on the module later.  Important is TX>RX and RX>TX.

4. The HC-06 is delivered with pin code 1234 running at 9600 baud.  If you want to change the pin you can use any terminal program and the command AT+PIN####.  You will need a FTDI module to configure this.

5. IF YOU HAVE AN ANDROID PHONE (who doesn't).  Download the Virtuoso App and you can test the scope functions now.  Pair the devices, start the program, load the scope in the app, and test the signal.  If it doesn't work, don't worry.  Change the signal wires on the module.

6. FOR A PC:  Install the driverAzGoto from the zip file first.

7. Install the Ascom Driver.

8. Install Stellarium.

9. Install Stellariumscope.

10. Start Stellarium.  When it's finished, shut it down.  It just needed to set up the config file.

11. Start Stellariumscope.  Configure the telescope.  Choose the "DriverAzGoto".  You have to configure the driver now, gps coordinates, elevation, and so on.  After this is complete, about 2/3 down in the Stellariumscope window is a button to send this information to Stellarium.  Click and just keep clicking "Yes" in the next 3 or 4 windows.  Restart Stellariumscope.  Click the button in Stellariumscope to start Stellarium.

12. You will need to go through the settings to set up your location and everything, and the last thing is to find the telescope plugin and click "load at startup".  Shut down Stellarium, and shut down Stellariumscope.

13. Restart Stellariumscope, and restart Stellarium.  Go back to the telescope plugin and click "configure".  If there are already three scopes listed in this window, you are done.  If not, click on add and in the next window click on "external software or remote pc".  Shut everything down, restart, check for the scopes in the plugin.  If they are there (sync, cancel, scope) then you are good.


I used the 5v variant.
If I missed anything, let me know.
Have a good night.
 

20140128_203930.png

20140127_150445.png

20140127_150338.png

wire08-4pin-ff-jumper_02.jpg

DriverAzGotoByArmazemDoTelescopioSetup.zip

Edited by RTamer
corrections
  • Like 2

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happy-kat    3,022

That's awsome.

As you have been inside the mount did you notice if there was a surge protector on the incoming 12v power jack please?

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happy-kat    3,022

Thank you.

em, I am using a Celestron lithium powertank I guess I need to see if there is a plug I could put into the battery that is the surge protector to then plug the battery to. I got a wishy washy reply from Celestron on whether the powertank had protection. Any pointers for such adapttor greatly recevied.

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RTamer    4

12v inline protectors are very cheap.  You should be able to find one at your local electronics shop.  If not, I'd check eBay.

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gorke    3
10 hours ago, RTamer said:

@Gorke - A couple of years ago I disassembled my Heritage 90 to install bluetooth, so I have some photos and information that might help you.

First photo - This is the RJ12 (6pin) as it would be inserted in the Heritage and the pins as I measured them.  Your colors of the wiring might differ from mine.  Pin# is important.
Second photo - Top view of the board and connections.
Third photo - Voltage and signal measurements as the board is mounted in the case.  Check to see that your voltages match up to mine.
Fourth photo - 4 pin connector to be used with bluetooth module.

Things you will need:
ASCOM Drivers: http://download.ascom-standards.org/ASCOMPlatform62.exe
Stellarium Software:  http://www.stellarium.org/de/
Stellariumscope Software:  http://welshdragoncomputing.ca/x/st/setup/Setup_StellariumScope_2016.12.26.exe
Driver for Heritage 90:  In my attachments as zip file
Bluetooth HC-06 3.3v:  http://www.ebay.de/itm/HC-06-Wireless-Bluetooth-Slave-Modul-fur-Arduino-RS232-/201448256635?hash=item2ee740747b:g:pFQAAOSwImRYbPZd
Connector 4pin (audio cable from old computer works well)
12v to 5v Power Converter (only when your bluetooth module can't be run with 3.3v):  http://www.ebay.de/itm/DC-DC-5V-38V-to3-3V-6V-12V-24V-5A-Buck-StepDown-Konverter-Module-Car-Auto-Power-/131980745446?hash=item1ebaaa5ae6:g:4wEAAOSwys5WVbAO

1. When your bluetooth module is running at 3.3v.  Insert the RJ12 into the socket with the other end free and each of the six wires stripped.  Apply power (12v), check to see that pin #1 (+) and pin #2 (-) have 3.3v (roughly).  Solder these to the respective connections on the 4 pin connector v+ and v- for the bluetooth module.  Apply 12v to the scope and check to see that you have power to the bluetooth module.

2. When your bluetooth module is running at 5v.  You will need to use pin #4 (12v) and pin #2 (gnd).  Connect them to the power converter v+ (in) and v- (in).  Connect v+ (out) and v- (out) to the bluetooth module repectively.  Apply 12v to the scope and check to see that you have power to the bluetooth module.

3. If I remember correctly, pin #3 is TX.  Connect that to RX on the bluetooth module.  Pin #5 is RX.  Connect that to TX on the bluetooth module. If it does not work, don't worry.  Just reverse them on the module later.  Important is TX>RX and RX>TX.

4. The HC-06 is delivered with pin code 1234 running at 9600 baud.  If you want to change the pin you can use any terminal program and the command AT+PIN####.  You will need a FTDI module to configure this.

5. IF YOU HAVE AN ANDROID PHONE (who doesn't).  Download the Virtuoso App and you can test the scope functions now.  Pair the devices, start the program, load the scope in the app, and test the signal.  If it doesn't work, don't worry.  Change the signal wires on the module.

6. FOR A PC:  Install the driverAzGoto from the zip file first.

7. Install the Ascom Driver.

8. Install Stellarium.

9. Install Stellariumscope.

10. Start Stellarium.  When it's finished, shut it down.  It just needed to set up the config file.

11. Start Stellariumscope.  Configure the telescope.  Choose the "DriverAzGoto".  You have to configure the driver now, gps coordinates, elevation, and so on.  After this is complete, about 2/3 down in the Stellariumscope window is a button to send this information to Stellarium.  Click and just keep clicking "Yes" in the next 3 or 4 windows.  Restart Stellariumscope.  Click the button in Stellariumscope to start Stellarium.

12. You will need to go through the settings to set up your location and everything, and the last thing is to find the telescope plugin and click "load at startup".  Shut down Stellarium, and shut down Stellariumscope.

13. Restart Stellariumscope, and restart Stellarium.  Go back to the telescope plugin and click "configure".  If there are already three scopes listed in this window, you are done.  If not, click on add and in the next window click on "external software or remote pc".  Shut everything down, restart, check for the scopes in the plugin.  If they are there (sync, cancel, scope) then you are good.


I used the 5v variant.
If I missed anything, let me know.
Have a good night.
 

20140128_203930.png

20140127_150445.png

20140127_150338.png

wire08-4pin-ff-jumper_02.jpg

DriverAzGotoByArmazemDoTelescopioSetup.zip

Thank @RTamer, Very good explication... I´m waiting for the arrival of my HC-06 and LM2596 modules. I´d probed with Cartes du Ciel and cable with Max232 to DB9 serial PC, but it was failure

When arrive my modules I probe you schematic, thank again

 

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RTamer    4
16 minutes ago, gorke said:

Thank @RTamer, Very good explication... I´m waiting for the arrival of my HC-06 and LM2596 modules. I´d probed with Cartes du Ciel and cable with Max232 to DB9 serial PC, but it was failure

When arrive my modules I probe you schematic, thank again

 

I made a cable version using a USB to TTL/RS232 converter like the photo below.  Pins #2, #3, and #5 from the cable in my photo from the last post are used.  The 12v and 3.3v pins are not used.  I had a lot of difficulty making and keeping the connection.  Stellariumscope didn't like it very much.  It's not very reliable, but after I met a YouTuber from England, he turned me on to the bluetooth module.  I'll never use a cable again.

I'm just curious, did you connect power to the MAX232 (3.3v), or try reversing the signal cables?  I'm using MAX3232 on my Synscan bluetooth, and it works very well.  It has the same chip as yours.

New-Version-PL2303HX-USB-TTL-Programmer-1.jpg

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gorke    3

I supply Max232 with a external 5V power  (pin16 Vcc, PIN15 GND). PIN15, PIN14 y pin13 a DB9

Cable RJ11 (4P6C) from Virtuoso like your schematic (GND, Tx, Rx y 12V) and connect:

 

Virtuoso ----------------- Max232 ------------------ DB9 ----------------- Serial Personal Computer with RS-232

                                      pin16      ------------ 5 V external power

GND (C2) -------------->  pin15      --------------> pin 5     

                                      pin14      --------------> pin2 (Rx PC)

                                      pin13      <-------------- pin3 (Tx PC)

Rx (C5)     <-------------- pin12

Tx (C3)     --------------> pin11 

 

Of course C1,C2,C3 and C4 like datasheet

When it works, I´ll supply with LM7805 through pin16 from Virtuoso C4 (11,8V)

 

BA3A_1024_39586.jpg

Edited by gorke

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RTamer    4
13 hours ago, gorke said:

Of course C1,C2,C3 and C4 like datasheet

When it works, I´ll supply with LM7805 through pin16 from Virtuoso C4 (11,8V)

 

 

I'm a bit confused.  You do realise that you only need the regulator and the bluetooth module, right?  You mentioned pin #16 and C4 which references the MAX232.  The Virtuoso signal is already TTL and goes directly into the bluetooth module.  Pin #4 (11.4v) and pin #3 (Gnd) go to the regulator, then the 5v to the bluetooth module.  The MAX232 can be put up on a shelf somewhere.  You won't need it.

I apologize if I misunderstood you, I just wanted to be clear about this.

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gorke    3
9 hours ago, RTamer said:

I'm a bit confused.  You do realise that you only need the regulator and the bluetooth module, right?  You mentioned pin #16 and C4 which references the MAX232.  The Virtuoso signal is already TTL and goes directly into the bluetooth module.  Pin #4 (11.4v) and pin #3 (Gnd) go to the regulator, then the 5v to the bluetooth module.  The MAX232 can be put up on a shelf somewhere.  You won't need it.

I apologize if I misunderstood you, I just wanted to be clear about this.

Yes, I know only need the regulator and the bluetooth module, It´s only a probe to connect my serial PC to Virtuoso until arrives the modules. And seeing the connections of the scheme and the photo of the Rj11 doubts arose. Now, thanks to you, I know the photos are correct, but the drawing confused me. I hope I did not damage the mount. Do you remember the voltages of Tx and Rx in virtuoso? Maybe I need to check it with an oscilloscope

 

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