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SkEye app as a PushTo finder


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I have given SkEye Indirect mode a couple of outings and I have been impressed so far. Indirect mode allows you to place the phone on the OTA (mine is attached to the finder) and align it using known targets. 

As expected, I have became more proficient as I got used to the app and how it works.

Key points

  • I used a phone mount that I purchased for cycling. It attaches to the EP tube of my straight through finder.
  • I have tried using the phone so that screen points upwards (as in picture) and also towards the eyepiece so it is facing me. The latter makes scanning a bit of sky to see what is there very easy. Last night I found a number of DSOs that i wasn't planning to visit by this method.
  • Placing the base of the Dobsonian on a horizontal surface is important (I know, I know).
  • Initial alignment was made using three easy to find objects. Last night I used Arcturus, Mars, Castor and Polaris.
  • After a period of use I used the Insta-align function when I have acquired an object to improve accuracy.
  • I still use the straight through finder but not as often; so my back is grateful. The finder is used if an object doesn't come into view of my WA 42mm EP with SkyEye only.
  • The finder iced up last night so SkEye was my only finder for a time and it did a good job. That said the finder, WA EP and SkyEye work help each other out. 
  • SkyEye has its quirks. It can suddenly jump a few degrees but does seem to "find itself" again. I have not any stray magnetism warnings due to the metal OTA but this could be the cause of the jumping.
  •  

Given that the app was free, I am delighted with the results so in order to support the developer (brilliant support btw), I bought the Pro version (about £8) which has more objects and more interesting for me, allows me to add my own data base of object. 

Ref: https://lavadip.com/skeye/index.html , https://lavadip.com/skeye/book and https://lavadip.com/skeye/media/v0_skeye_user_manual.html

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Edited by Spile
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Can't you do the same with stellariaum , I do polar alignment day time , I ask stellariaum to show me Polaris and line mount up to the pointer arrow in stellariaum

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3 hours ago, Neil H said:

Can't you do the same with stellariaum , I do polar alignment day time , I ask stellariaum to show me Polaris and line mount up to the pointer arrow in stellariaum

Possibly I just find the Stellarium app* a bit OTT whereas SkEye seems to get the important stuff without the pretty wallpaper. The developer is also quick to respond to requests so I have gone in that direction.

* The desktop version is superb however.

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2 hours ago, Spile said:

Possibly I just find the Stellarium app* a bit OTT whereas SkEye seems to get the important stuff without the pretty wallpaper. The developer is also quick to respond to requests so I have gone in that direction.

* The desktop version is superb however.

I have got skeye on my phone not really tried it , I think I will start to use it more

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I have SkEye and SkySafari on my old Android/Samsung S6 SIM-free phone that I use as a tablet. The only thing you have to be aware of is that it may display: "Warning: Extremely strange Magnetic field!" - Just wave it about in a 'figure of eight' a few times whilst phone/tablet is in your hand soon clears it. IMHO it is just as good as SkySafari.

Edited by Philip R
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18 hours ago, Neil H said:

I have got skeye on my phone not really tried it , I think I will start to use it more

I installed as someone here recommended it. In non-goto mode I liked the list of targets currently visible but it wsas only once I started using in earnest as a Push-to aid that I developed an affinity for it.

I would be interested in your experience of using it in this mode if you do get to try it. 

Last night, my straight-through finder froze up so SkEye it was my only navigation aid

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15 hours ago, Philip R said:

I have SkEye and SkySafari on my old Android/Samsung S6 SIM-free phone that I use as a tablet. The only thing you have to be aware of is that it may display: "Warning: Extremely strange Magnetic field!" - Just wave it about in a 'figure of eight' a few times whilst phone/tablet is in your hand soon clears it. IMHO it is just as good as SkySafari.

Yes I did the figure of eight dance in the garden - the neighbours probably think I am auditioning for strictly.

I've not had the magnetic field warning apart from I had it running close to my desktop PC indoors.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An update...

Having the 500+ binary star catalogue uploaded into SkEye really helps me to find my top (5* and 4*) doubles.

Alignment is very quick using a couple of good targets and then an insta-align "check" to keep things precise.

It can sometimes "forget where it is", but a second later it catches up and it is often spot on target. I keep the magnetometer calibrated with a figure of 8 calibration.

I also tried using an old Samsung A3 phone rather than my main one (OnePlus 8 Pro) and although the screen is noticeably smaller it works fine once calibrated.

Biggest ++++ is that (unlike my Telrad and finder) it doesn't suffer from dew or ice!

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