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Is The Skywatcher SynScan Wi-Fi Adapter Supported By SkySafari 6 Pro? (Answer: Yes on Android, Yes on iOS using 2 devices)

I have recently bought a SkyWatcher AZ-GTi mount which works via a WiFi connection to a smartphone running the Synscan app. It is then supposed to be able to connect to SkySafari.

I have tried this out using my iPhone 6Plus and can successfully operate it using the Synscan app. However, when I try to connect using SkySafari I always get a message saying that it could make a connection but that the scope is not working. According to the instructions it should work.

I am connected to the WiFi network created by the mount, and have the IP address set as 192.168.4.2 with port number 11882 which is as per the instructions. I have also tried with 127.0.0.1 which also connects but does not work.

I love SkySafari and really want to get this working, any ideas??

Thank you :)

42 comments

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    I would contact SkyWatcher about this.  It is their system that was designed with no consultation with us.  We don't claim to support it.  If they say it works, you should ask them how.  

    If you do figure it out, please let us know.

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    StuartTMDavis

    A little surprised at the 'solve it yourself' answer, but I did so here you go.

    Apparently with iOS you have to use two devices, one running the Synscan app, one running SkySafari. I have tried this with a phone and iPad and it does work, although it is obviously very cumbersome. Shame.

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    Bill Tschumy

    Stuart,

    SkyWatcher has recently contacted us about making this work better.  We probably won't have time to work on this until next year.

    Apparently on Android this works better and you can run SkySafari and the SynScan app on the same device because of the way background tasks are handled on Android.

    Regarding the "solve it yourself"...

    SkyWatcher implemented this without consulting us in any way.  It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I was even aware of the SynScan app. Given this, it seems totally reasonable for me to have you ask them how this is supposed to work.

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    StuartTMDavis

    Bill, I'm sure you are a busy man. I guess it was just the brusk tone as much as the message that I struggled with. It's my first post on here and I am a big SkySafari supporter and was asking for help in complete ignorance of any interaction between Skywatcher and the Skysafari community

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    Bill Tschumy

    Sorry, didn't mean to come off brusk.  We are a small team developing SkySafari (1.5 people) and we are indeed busy. Sometimes I only have time to dash off a quick response.

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    StuartTMDavis

    No problem :), thanks and understood.

    I'm glad Skywatcher have made contact, and hopefully something can be done in future to make these two work better together.

    Cheers.

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    Grahamrcbruce

    The skysafari app would need an update.
    Although Skywatcher should probably work more closely with you in the future, it's not something Skywatcher can "do themselves".

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    michael bowles

    Yes Im in the same situation, just forked out a lot for SF5 Pro ($65 in Australia!) on the understanding (from Synscan) that it was compatible.

    Trying to control Sky Watcher goto DOB running Synscan wifi adapter and the Synscan Ap (on IOS 11)

    No problems getting my iPad or iPhone to run the Dob via the Synscan app - but just can't get SkySafari 5 Pro to take control - tried everything (including using iPhone to run the synscan ap and iPad for the SkySafari)

    Any help from anyone would be very much appreciated.

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    michael bowles

    I should add that the message I get is the 'Connection Failure' when the SkySafari app tries to connect to the telescope.

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    Max Dobres

    Skywatcher have now released "Skywatcher SynScan Wi-Fi Adapter" which provides wifi support to all their products including the widely used HEQ5-Pro, etc. This uses the Synscan app and so I am getting the same problem on IOS as AZ-GTi users. In short if you have an Iphone and any Skywatcher mount and want to use it wirelessly you cannot use SkySafari. (Unless you have 2 Iphones). Now this problem is more widespread I wonder if this might push it up the priority list?

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    Bill Tschumy

    We probably won't be able to devote time to this until the middle of 2018.  But schedules can get changed around so there is a possibility we can get to it earlier.

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    Kev Haworth

    HI Bill and all.

     

    I'm new to astronomy and as Michael says above, I bought your products on Synscan's say so in their software. I also purchased Skysafari 5 pro for Mac and it has connected once or twice but once the connection drops, getting it to re-connect is a nightmare.

    I wonder if there is any progress on this? I've tried Stuart's advice on using an iphone and ipad together, but I simply cannot get them to talk.

    Thank you for any advice you may be able to provide.

     

    Kev

     

     

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    Bill Tschumy

    Kev,

    Sorry there has been no progress on this.  I have been spending almost all my time working on the SkySafari 6 releases on Mac and Android.

    I hate to pass the buck, but if SkyScan recommended this and says it will work then you need to contact them.  We really know nothing about it.

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    Kev Haworth

    Morning, Bill.

    I eventually got it to work last night after following a thread in Stargazers Lounge, you are dead on the money and I think Synscan are in the wrong for claiming compatibility - there is compatibility but only with two iOS devices or iOS and OSX devices communicating, something they fail to mention in their support.

    For anyone else that comes across this thread (and with thanks to Stu and others on Stagazers Lounge) the only way to operate a Synscan device on iOS/OSX is with two devices. The option that worked for me is to connect to the telescope with iOS device one, in my case an iPhone and then link a second device (iOS or OSX) to it.

    I'm going to make a video soon to show how to do this and hope it will help others realise this isn't a Skysafari issue.

    Thanks for the reply and very best wishes.

     

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    StuartTMDavis

    @Max, that is not entirely correct, but you do need a Synscan handset at additional cost if you don't have one. The issue is that iOS will not run applications in the background, so you can't have two applications i.e. Synscan and Skysafari running agh the same time. Android can do this, iOS can't.

    If, instead of using the Synscan app, you use a handset, you should be able to get the Wifi adapter working. I currently use a handset with my AZGTi with a handset and then use Skywire to connect to the phone. You could use Skyfi to achieve wireless connection. All extra expense and complication but it is better than two devices I think.

    @ Bill, I wonder if somehow Synscan can be modified into some form of plugin for Skysafari so that only one app needs to be running?

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    Bill Tschumy

    In our brief communication with SkyWatcher, it appears we can make some modifications to SkySafari so you will only need one device.  Again, this probably won't happen until the second half of 2018.

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    Kev Haworth

    Bill..

     

    Thanks for this, will be a great update. 

     

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    StuartTMDavis

    Thanks Bill, great news

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    Randy Dodge

    Thanks for the update. The AZ-GTI isn't available yet in Canada or the USA, although some of us have imported the mount from the UK. 

    Skywatcher USA have the mount now for testing and will be announcing it at NEAF in April, so I'd expect sales to pick up early summer.

    The IOS background task issue was supposed to be resolved by an update to IOS . Do you have any contacts at Apple to ask about this?

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    Kev Haworth

    Hi, Randy..

    If you buy the AZ-GTi mount, my advice to you is to stay away from the associated tripod and look for something a bit more substantial.. Apologies for the off-topic post, thought it would be worth mentioning though.

     

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    Randy Dodge

    I already bought it and it's a great little mount for what I use it for. I rarely extend the legs to full height and that adds some stability, also allows me to see the bubble level on the top :) I was using it in the cold last week ( -20C windchill) and the base screw loosened up causing the mount to freely rotate. I have some other mounts HEQ5 Pro, Ioptron AZ Pro  etc for more serious work. I'd like my favourite software (SkySafari Pro) to work with all of them without having to ump through hoops.

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    Kev Haworth

    Ha Ha! I think this one is down to SkyMaster/SynScan Randy. I've just tried imaging M42/M43 tonight and struggled quite badly with the tripod. The extra weight of the camera on a 127 MAK-Cas I feel has tipped the balance. I feel another purchase coming on...

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    Carlo Gottimer

    Hi Guys, I'm new in the forum, nice to know you all. 

    Try to guess what my problem is... :) 

    Do you know if any kind of news are available about wi-fi apple issues on SkySafari pro? As reported by the community, sometimes I'm able to connect skyfari to network, sometimes not, but in every case is not possible control the mount. 

    That's very unpleasant, considering that skywatcher has just released an az gti firmware update that allows it to work as an equatorial mount! You just need a skywatcher latitude base and select equatorial mode from SynScan....  take a look https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By6mBcMspGQ  

    I can't believe it, an equatorial wifi mount for less than 500 euros...

    Anyway, if anyone can share some news please do it! :)

    Bye

     

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    Bill Tschumy

    Carlo,

    SkyWatcher developed their Wi-Fi protocol without consulting with us.  We don't claim to support it currently.

    However, Tim is currently working with SkyWatcher to get support in SkySafari.  It is still in the experimental stage and may be another month or two until release.

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    Carlo Gottimer

    Hi Tim, nice to meet you,

    forgive me but I'm not accusing anyone, just this situation is really unbelievable because both Skywatcher and Skysafari are two very famous brands. 

    One year ago the problem was the same and no solutions has been found. 

    that's not a very good marketing strategy... :P 

    I'm joking, don't take it. Hope the Companies will solve the problem as soon as possible.

    Kindly

    C.

     

     

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    michael bowles

    Here are my 'instructions' SkyWatcher/Synscan/Sky Safari/ Apple. Its the intermittent nature of the control that is most baffling - I think it the auto off of the IOS devices.

    Needs 2 IOS devices....

    power up scope

    turn off auto-sleep on iPhone (settings/display/autolock)

    turn off wifi ipad *** (important)

    turn off wifi iPhone and then on again

    connect iPhone to synscan dongle

    MUST CONNECT THRU THE APP (on the synscan app, Settings, should see 'DOB GOTO' if not Disconnect/Reconnect)

    align scope using the iPhone/synscan

    turn on iPad wifi - connect to synscan dongle

    open sky safari pro5

    settings/telescope/setup/manual enter/IP 192.168.4.2/ Port 11882

     

    Clunky but seems to work. Hope it helps, Michael

     

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    Carlo Gottimer

    Hi Michael,
    Thank you for your contribution!
    I will check it asap
    Cheers

    C

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    Jay Sottolano

    Michael,

    Tried these instruction on EQ6-R and will not connect on the iPad..  Where are you getting the port address?  I can find the IP address on the iPhone under wireless settings..  Using German EQ and SkyWatcher Synscan and the Telescope type..

    Jay S.

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    michael bowles

    Jay - if we are talking the same problem - this was the key step if I remember rightly - its been a while since I got it working.

    MUST CONNECT THRU THE APP (on the synscan app, Settings, should see 'DOB GOTO' if not Disconnect/Reconnect)

    (it is a shame that they dont work better together as its a great combination - I have spent $200 with Simulation/Skysafari as I later bought their dongle thinking this would work - however you cant use that and also the skywatcher dongle so the telescope set up is really clunky and slow. Im reluctant to upgrade to 6 and spend more without a guarantee that it will work)

    Skywatcher 10" / Synscan / Skywatcher dongle

    Skysafari Pro 5

    Ipad/iphone

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    Jay Sottolano

    Mike,

    Thanks for the quick reply.  Not 100% sure I'm following, also, I'm using SkySafari 6 Plus (if that makes a difference).  The SynScan Pro app connects immediately and comes up as the AZ / EQ6 mount.. Haven't found a place to change that?

    Are you talking about the settings in SkySafari for the Telescope type?  There I used German EQ and SkyWatcher SynScan.  Also, and perhaps another difference.  The dongle does not attach to the hand controller on the EQ6-R but must be plugged directly into the port where the controller would normally be plugged in.

    I have VERY successfully used Sky Safari Pro for OSX on my MacBook Pro, using the Serial Port to USB connector recommended by Bill T., but that's a wired connection.  It is GREAT and love it.  I was hoping to be able to not have to use the MacBook Pro now that winter it approaching.  :-)

    Jay S.

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