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With several clear nights over the past week,  I've been playing with the Synscan Pro app (Android) in conjunction with a Synscan WiFi adapter on an EQ3Pro mount.  I have to say I'm generally quite impressed.  Much cheaper than buying a traditional handset.  

However,  this evening I was trying to "creep up" on the Andromeda Galaxy by star hopping towards it via Mirach,  Mu Andromedae and Nu Andromedae.  Mirach was no problem but the other stars were not available for selection in the app.  Am I missing something?  I couldn't find any way to enter an SAO number or any other catalogue number to find the minor stars.  

Is this a limitation of the app?  Or the adapter perhaps?  Or is it me? 

Clear skies, 

Mark. 

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Hello Mark,

I have a couple of mounts with Synscan handsets. As I understand it, the WiFi version has similar facilities and user interface. The star database is limited; the named stars tend to be only the brightest ones in each constellation, and limited to "named". This may get you to the epsilon or zeta stars, but unlikely to stretch to mu or nu.

However, if I want to find the Andromeda Galaxy, I go for the "M" option (button 4 on my handset) and enter "31".

Geoff

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Thanks Geoff

I did use the M31 option to get there finally but its so faint under Bortle 8 skies that I wanted to get there step-wise via clearly visible and identifiable stars.  M31 ends up being just a faint smudge and I need to be sure that the smudge I can see is the one in the sky rather than just one on my glasses! 👓

 

Mark

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You can install and use skysafari plus (although it's a paid app).

You first connect to the mount and then align (1-2-3 star alignment) using Synscan app pro, and then you can use skysafari to get to every target you want. It works very well with my DIY wifi adapter.

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Yes, as above I use the App in conjunction with Sky Safari on my iPad and it is an excellent set up. You could easily star hop that way.

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Thanks Chris and Old Timer

I did try using Sky Safari 6 Plus and it worked when it worked.  By which I mean that running Sky Safari on my Android tablet with Synscan Pro running on my phone would work for 10 or 15 minutes before Sky Safari lost connection.  I'll be playing with this again this week (with or without clear skies) to see if I can make the connection more robust.

 

I agree this seems like the best way to go forward.

Mark

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You can use both Synscan pro app and skysafari running simultaneously at the same android device (that means your android tablet if you have an apple phone).

The lost connection you mention, is triggered most of the times, because of the screen save mode (sleep). While skysafari has an option to prevent sleep mode, Synscan pro app doesn't. But you can change the screen sleep mode from your device's general settings.

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I tried it this evening with options for both apps set to prevent android putting them to sleep.  Still didn't maintain a connection; as old timer said,  sleep mode kicked in and caused the connection to drop.  However,  with the help of an app called "Stay Alive!" Sleep mode can be effectively disabled for both Synscan Pro and Sky Safari and then it all works beautifully. 

Waiting for the clouds to go away again now. 

 

Mark. 

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