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All the techies out there.  I have had  my Celestron SE6 for about a month and have been trying to get it working with my MacBook and I'm having no end of problems.  I've also bought a Sky Portal Wifi Accessory, which is also proving to problematic in setting up.

As a first move I thought the best thing would be to update my Firmware on the mount, using the Mini-USB at the bottom of the Nexstar+ controller. Particularly as for some reason when trying to align using Solar System objects it was only giving me Venus as an option and would not scroll to any other planets.  Thinking that was odd, I decided to attempt a firmware update and tried to load the CFM to my MacBook.  This did not work, with the Laptop telling me is was unable to run the CFM, and although I have managed to extract the files there still appears to be no file that actually initiates the installation, let alone run the program.  Thinking this was a Mac problem, I attempted the same on a PC... that also failed as after I extracted the Zipped file, it still gave no .exe file to start the program.

 

With regard to the WiFi dongle, I have tried to connect to that using iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC... none of which works.  All devices may see the Celestron network occasionally, then it disappears.  I have managed to install the SkyPortal on the Mac, but without being able to connect to the Wifi on the dongle I'm at a bit of a loss.

 

I have been trying to resolve these issues for days... but seem to be getting nowhere.  I'm not sure if the dongle is faulty, the firmware is not working correctly on the mount... or if it is all my 'finger trouble'.  I have read a lot, now my mind is mush.

Please, please... if you have any suggestions  or can see what might be the route of the problem/s, please jump in.

 

Have written to Celestron... but no answer to date.

 

Thanks all

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There is a known bug with connectivity on the Skyportal which is currently only affecting Europe - you may be experiencing that - the symptoms you describe in your first post fit the description of th

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Yes Mick, I noted that and installed the latest version of Java yesterday.  Still no joy.  It says I need to look for an error report in 'the console'  I'm not really sure what console :)  There is another in the 'console' app on the Mac that appears to be relevant... although its hard to know what to look for.

I'm not really too familiar with Mac... how can I confirm that Java is running?  Is there a version minimum that I need to confirm.   In terminal it's saying:

java version "15.0.1" 2020-10-20

Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 15.0.1+9-18)

Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 15.0.1+9-18, mixed mode, sharing)

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18 minutes ago, Mick H said:

Hi Andy, I think you need Java installed to run CFM.

I got it running on my MacBook Pro.

Also Mick, I note that you are using the Wifi dongle and SkyPort.  Was set up of the Dongle trouble free for you?  When I power up my wifi adapter and reach for it on my phone or other devices, when I see it which is rare, it simply says ' unable to connect '

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Andy, you need to double click on CFM.jar file in the downloaded CFM folder, it will probably say cannot open jar file as it is from unauthorised developer.

 

cfm.png.b1ab251ed00220696017046d5992ad7d.png

Then you will need to go into System Preferences and select Security & Privacy, unlock as seen in pick then choose open anyway when asked. 

 

prefs.png.ab40e7caf4c5482c05ce1e5a6ec14cab.png

 

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I tried that... worked as you say, but then nothing happened.  The original CFM download file looks slightly different to yours.  Not sure if that makes any difference. 

 

When I did as you suggested, I got the second image.

I'm reading lot about extracting files.... did you have to that, or did it simply launch the installation when you did as you said above?

 

As an aside, nice boat by the way, is it yours?. Spent many a holiday on the Broads, and Canals of UK, and sailing different places.

 

 

Screenshot 2020-12-09 at 14.53.06.png

Screenshot 2020-12-09 at 14.55.58.png

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26 minutes ago, And_yB said:

Also Mick, I note that you are using the Wifi dongle and SkyPort.  Was set up of the Dongle trouble free for you?  When I power up my wifi adapter and reach for it on my phone or other devices, when I see it which is rare, it simply says ' unable to connect '

 

It took me awhile to get it working, but I got there in the end and only used Access Point Mode (connecting to home network).

A lot of problems with Direct Access Mode is other networks interfering.

I take it you are trying to get it to work in Direct Access Mode with the switch on the side pointing up on SkyPortal, Then open the settings for the WiFi networks on your iPhone/iPad and connect to the WiFi (Celestron-###).

You cannot use Access Point Mode until you have used Direct Access Mode, don't ask. 😡

But Access Point Mode is better when you are at home (more stable).

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9 minutes ago, And_yB said:

I'm reading lot about extracting files.... did you have to that, or did it simply launch the installation when you did as you said above?

Yep just launched CFM.

Edit: I did not get that CFM Jar file could not be launched.

Try downloading CFM again.

 

9 minutes ago, And_yB said:

As an aside, nice boat by the way, is it yours?. Spent many a holiday on the Broads, and Canals of UK, and sailing different places.

Yes it is mine, she is a 1948 converted R.N Lifeboat.

Edited by Mick H
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Why do you think that updating the firmware is going to be a cure-all? It seems this is the first resort of many users, but you should read the small print for the update and see if it mentions the issue you are trying to fix.  If it does not, it is better to leave well alone.  The C6 SE is a mature product, and so it is less likely that it needs any firmware upgrade to make it work properly.

Having Venus offered as a go-to object when it is below the horizon means you have the time/date set wrongly for some reason.

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24 minutes ago, Mick H said:

Yep just launched CFM.

Edit: I did not get that CFM Jar file could not be launched.

Try downloading CFM again.

 

Yes it is mine, she is a 1948 converted R.N Lifeboat.

Nice boat.  A hobby or a home ? 

Still not getting anywhere.... disconnected home cameras, Alexas, Sonos speakers, wifi plugs and bulbs... yet still  'unable to join Celestron - D8D' is popping up.  I'm assuming I have to make this connection first before to WLAN access?

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16 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

Why do you think that updating the firmware is going to be a cure-all? It seems this is the first resort of many users, but you should read the small print for the update and see if it mentions the issue you are trying to fix.  If it does not, it is better to leave well alone.  The C6 SE is a mature product, and so it is less likely that it needs any firmware upgrade to make it work properly.

Having Venus offered as a go-to object when it is below the horizon means you have the time/date set wrongly for some reason.

I don't really know much about the firmware reliability, and was assuming that the alignment issue may have been related.  Your comments are reassuring, and I may be going down the wrong path, for now.  I guess I will need to concentrate on solving the issue related to the Wifi connectivity and getting my laptop to communicate.  I have to say, I thought this would be fairly straight forward.  I'm not a complete techno-idiot, but I'm woefully falling short of the techno-nerd status, that I wish I had right now. :)

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2 hours ago, And_yB said:

Nice boat.  A hobby or a home ? 

Still not getting anywhere.... disconnected home cameras, Alexas, Sonos speakers, wifi plugs and bulbs... yet still  'unable to join Celestron - D8D' is popping up.  I'm assuming I have to make this connection first before to WLAN access?

Well I live on her, but she is still a hobby. (you can't say that to all girls). 😉

Just a thought how are you powering the scope? 

Maybe the SkyPortal is broken, did you buy it from new?

4 hours ago, And_yB said:

I have managed to install the SkyPortal on the Mac, but without being able to connect to the Wifi on the dongle I'm at a bit of a loss.

Do you mean SkySafari? As SkyPortal app is not a Mac os x application.

Edited by Mick H
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3 hours ago, And_yB said:

I don't really know much about the firmware reliability, and was assuming that the alignment issue may have been related.  Your comments are reassuring, and I may be going down the wrong path, for now.  I guess I will need to concentrate on solving the issue related to the Wifi connectivity and getting my laptop to communicate.  I have to say, I thought this would be fairly straight forward.  I'm not a complete techno-idiot, but I'm woefully falling short of the techno-nerd status, that I wish I had right now. :)

There is a known bug with connectivity on the Skyportal which is currently only affecting Europe - you may be experiencing that - the symptoms you describe in your first post fit the description of the bug.

There is a firmware patch to correct this (for the Skyportal dongle), but it is only in beta at the moment so you have to be a member of Team Celestron to access it. You can join for free but it may take a couple of days to get approved.   You will have to pick up the latest version of CFM from the same website in order to apply the firmware patch. I have applied it to my Skyportal without issue.

I would suggest trying CPWI to control the mount as an alternative, but that is windows 10 only - however you should have received a Celestron Starry Night SE licence with your telescope. That has a mac version and is the basic version of Starry Night plus Celestron telescope control. You could try connecting that via your handset to the mount to test out movement and alignment of the mount.

3 hours ago, And_yB said:

 

Still not getting anywhere.... disconnected home cameras, Alexas, Sonos speakers, wifi plugs and bulbs... yet still  'unable to join Celestron - D8D' is popping up.  I'm assuming I have to make this connection first before to WLAN access?

You have to connect in direct mode first so you can set the SSID and password of your home network in the device.

Edited by Shimrod
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5 hours ago, Mick H said:

Well I live on her, but she is still a hobby. (you can't say that to all girls). 😉

Just a thought how are you powering the scope? 

Maybe the SkyPortal is broken, did you buy it from new?

Do you mean SkySafari? As SkyPortal app is not a Mac os x application.

Yeah sorry.  I've put SkyPortal on the iPhone and Starry Night Celestron SE on the Mac.  Not really made any use of either yet.

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4 hours ago, Shimrod said:

There is a known bug with connectivity on the Skyportal which is currently only affecting Europe - you may be experiencing that - the symptoms you describe in your first post fit the description of the bug.

There is a firmware patch to correct this (for the Skyportal dongle), but it is only in beta at the moment so you have to be a member of Team Celestron to access it. You can join for free but it may take a couple of days to get approved.   You will have to pick up the latest version of CFM from the same website in order to apply the firmware patch. I have applied it to my Skyportal without issue.

I would suggest trying CPWI to control the mount as an alternative, but that is windows 10 only - however you should have received a Celestron Starry Night SE licence with your telescope. That has a mac version and is the basic version of Starry Night plus Celestron telescope control. You could try connecting that via your handset to the mount to test out movement and alignment of the mount.

You have to connect in direct mode first so you can set the SSID and password of your home network in the device.

Just seen this Shimrod.  A few good suggestions.  I will try these tomorrow.  Thanks.

 

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13 hours ago, And_yB said:

Just seen this Shimrod.  A few good suggestions.  I will try these tomorrow.  Thanks.

 

Oh if life was so simple.  Ive just tried to connect using a cable mini-usb to USB cable from the Hand-control to the MAC.  I then tried to 'configure' connection within the app.  Connection options did not include USB so I tried both the TCP, and the Bluetooth options, as indicated in the screen shot.  Both failed to connect to the scope.  Any ideas... anyone ? :) 

Screenshot 2020-12-10 at 13.31.22.png

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On 10/12/2020 at 12:41, And_yB said:

Oh if life was so simple.  Ive just tried to connect using a cable mini-usb to USB cable from the Hand-control to the MAC.  I then tried to 'configure' connection within the app.  Connection options did not include USB so I tried both the TCP, and the Bluetooth options, as indicated in the screen shot.  Both failed to connect to the scope.  Any ideas... anyone ? :) 

Screenshot 2020-12-10 at 13.31.22.png

Your control screen looks different to mine, although I am using the full version on windows rather than the Celestron SE version on mac. My options include Celestron driver and ascom drivers. You could try downloading the Celestron ascom driver (from the ascom website) and see if Starry Night will then pick recognise the telescope. I use CPWI for control, but that is windows only.

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Bought a  6SE a few weeks ago and continuing to have some difficulty in getting it set up to work with my MacBook Air.  Attempted to get some support from Celestron, and I have to say that other than one email pointing to a Youtube vid, it's not been good.  Was on the phone to them, on hold, for an hour this evening, before I left a call-back request and heard nothing, and despite several emails from me I seem to be getting nowhere.  All a bit frustrating... I will persist, but although it's not the most expensive gear on the market, its' not the cheapest either, and quite frankly I expected a little more.

Bottom line... trying to update the CFM.  The download to the Mac won't install.  The celestron Wifi won't connect... so I've sent that back, and I'm awaiting a replacement.

Although I'm not a tech wizard, I'm not a tech idiot either.  I seem to be spending a lot of time trying to get this problem resolved.

Reading that back, I sound a very difficult person... I'm really not, honest  :)

Apologies .... venting a bit.  I blame Covid :)

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I've recently bought a celestron WiFi  module to use with my newly purchased 6SE.  After about a week of trying to get it to connect to any one of my numerous IOS devices unsuccessfully, I've  given up and assumed it must be faulty and sent it back and asked for a replacement.  Although I hope the new one will work when it arrives, I must admit that my confidence is not high, particularly having read a few reviews.  

Is there an alternative dongle that can be used... or am I stuck with the celestron module as the only means of establishing some wifi connectivity and control for the 6SE using an IOS/Mac device?  

Help appreciated .

Andy 

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I tried the WiFi module and app, and just didn't take to them - the alignment, the navigation, holding the tablet, and the connection failing.  For me then, using the handset is preferable.  I use one- or two-star alignment.  The thing I find most useful is the GPS module, which makes alignment quick and easy.  Even using one-star is quite effective - it puts you close, especially to targets near the alignment star, and anyway you can recognise the sky and fine-tune onto the target.  

Doug.

 

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8 hours ago, And_yB said:

I've recently bought a celestron WiFi  module to use with my newly purchased 6SE.  After about a week of trying to get it to connect to any one of my numerous IOS devices unsuccessfully, I've  given up and assumed it must be faulty and sent it back and asked for a replacement.  Although I hope the new one will work when it arrives, I must admit that my confidence is not high, particularly having read a few reviews.  

Is there an alternative dongle that can be used... or am I stuck with the celestron module as the only means of establishing some wifi connectivity and control for the 6SE using an IOS/Mac device?  

Help appreciated .

Andy 

There is the SkyFi module from Simulation Curriculum, but it costs over £269 ( SkyFi ) so considerably higher than the Skyportal module. Celestron have reported some wifi stability connection issues with the Skyportal module recently that only affect users in Europe. They have a firmware fix but it is only in beta at the moment and you will have to join the TeamCelestron website to get access to it.

If you are using the direct connect mode of the Skyportal module then it makes the GPS module redundant, as the mount will pick up date, time and location from your mobile device. I have been using a Skyportal module for over a year to control my AVX mount without issue - I have used a tablet, but now use CPWI on a laptop

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Thanks Shimrod.  I am in Europe so that may be a factor.  I have a replacement module arriving today so we will see later if there was a component failure in the previous one, or a wider issue that I need to resolve.  Fingers crossed.  I really want to exploit the ease of use that comes with connectivity to an iOS device .

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In fairness to Celestron I should mention that the C6SE was presumably designed to be used with its handset rather than wifi.  And that most speciaised software, including astro, is written for MS Windows only.

I have been wary of WiFi since I worked in a lab where it was installed for our laptops, and then they had to rip it out because the stuff in the lab interfered with the wifi and jammed it.  And now my home wifi has slowed for some reason and it takes hours to transfer planetary imaging results from my laptop. I'm looking for a spare network cable. 😕

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Well... I've had a good day, of sorts.  Got the new wifi dongle... and connection to SkyPortal was established.  Not particularly reliable I have to say.  Connections dropped frequently, and I can only put it down to the Tsunami of wifi signals jumping around my house in the form of Alexas, Wifi lightbulbs and sockets, and Sonos speakers.  I'm guessing it will improve when I move outside.

Also on a positive note, having watched a few youtube vids and downloading a few drivers ,I have now managed to connect my Starry Night 8 via cable to the scope, and all is good.

I go to bed this evening with a positive feeling about the day.... I even watched the movie 'Clara' on Prime with a glass of wine in my hand. My stars are aligned  :)

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