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SkyFi 3 and Starsense Procedure for Skysafari Pro5

I need a how to list to connect SkyFi to Starsense and a definitive answer on which type cable to use. I have searched and read other threads that come close however they are vague and differ on cable recommendations.

Sort of like

1. Connect USB(?) to SkyFi then connect  to USB(?) on the HC of the Starsense etc.

Turn on blah then blah blah and then open SkySafari Pro 5 and blah blah

Short and sweet

13 comments

  • Avatar
    Keiron Smith Official comment

    The StarSense takes a USB-mini connector.  The SkyFi 3 takes a USB-micro.  So you would need a cable with those connectors.  We do not sell the cable.

    https://www.amazon.com/Lindy-1m-USB-OTG-Cable/dp/B00DCZWK6W/ref=pd_sim_147_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NDPWVA3MHHGP987ZJNRY

    1. Connect the USB-micro end to SkyFi 3 and then connect the USB-mini end to the StarSense HC.
    2. Power up the scope.
    3. Power up SkyFi 3.
    4. Connect to the SkyFi 3 Wi-Fi network from your computer, phone, tablet.
    5. Enter Time & Location in StarSense HC.
    6. Use StarSense to align your scope.
    7. Once your scope is star-aligned via StarSense connect via SkySafari.

    Lift-off.

     

     

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    Avatar
    Mike

    Awesome!

    Thanks!!!!

     

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    Avatar
    Mike

    Ok,

    The USB-micro end to SkyFi 3 failed with "We can establish a network but the telescope is not responding".

    I then used a USB-micro to USB-A adapter and connected to the USB-A port on the SkyFi 3 with success with everyone seeing each other and communicating. 

    This is a Celestron 5SE with Starsense along with fully updated firmware on ALL devices including the 5SE motor control and running SkySafari 5 Pro on a iPad Air iOS.

    Given the same cable was used it's not a driver/cable issue and I also removed the Starsense to update and test the Nexstar+ HC and using the DB9 port via serial cable on the SkyFi 3 with it connecting and working properly it seems that the Micro port on the SkyFi 3 is defective.

    What say you?

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    Bill Tschumy

    Mike,

    You cannot use the USB-micro port for scope control.  That is only for charging the battery.  I'm afraid Keiron mistakingly gave you some bad advice.  From the Quick Start Guide:

    ======================================

    CONNECTING SKYFI III TO YOUR TELESCOPE

    Connect SkyFi III to your telescope using the required cables.

    With USB telescopes, use a standard USB cable to connect SkyFi III’s USB “A” port (1, Fig. 2) to the telescope’s USB “B” port.  On Meade LS telescopes, the USB “B” port is on the mount base.  With iOptron telescopes, the USB “B” port is on the GOTONova hand controller.

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    Avatar
    Mike

    Interesting...

    There seems to be a lot of confusion as those Micro cables are being used to connect by some telescopes at least as that cable link is being sold to many. The Celesteron 5SE is serial(DB9) however the Starsense HC is Micro USB although  they say it's still serial even with that type of connector.

    They also state not connect to anything but serial as it "may" damage the telescope or SkiFi 3 and that simply is not an option in this case.

    By using the USB-A port all seem to get along. Will it continue to do so without damage remains to been as I'm WOW atm.

    imho no one in this entire field has a clue with manufacturers  stating "oh yeah its compatible" in there lists of compatible telescopes when in fact NO ONE has a clue as to what is going on.

    Seriously I am a n00b and more working knowledge all 3 technical support representatives combined. Actually two as one was only worthless middle man for the joint that sold me the telescope boasting all the while about their stellar tech support.

    and that my friends is not only a very sad state of affairs but very scary... 

    I apologize for being snarky but it seems its well deserved in this as that's what read and see in this entire industry...

    I spent thousands of dollars and 200.00 here plus 40.00 for software and you can bet I expect my equipment to work as billed as would anyone so is someone claims to be a "pro" then expect to get  called on it...

    "seamless connectivity" Really?

  • 0
    Avatar
    Bill Tschumy

    Mike,

    I really don't understand the point of your post. Are you faulting SkyFi 3 for not controlling the scope via the charging port?

    USB is a serial connection (as opposed to parallel).

    "Seriously I am a n00b and more working knowledge all 3 technical support representatives combined".

    What do you base this on?  Keiron is extremely knowledgable but it is easy to make a mistake given the number of ways you can connect.  It is just hard to keep track of all the options.

    The equipment does "work as billed".  We say to connect using the USB-A connector.

     

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    Avatar
    Mike

    No this is what you say and I quote directly from your instructions;

    IMPORTANT:

    Do not connect SkyFi 3 to the AUX port, handbox port, autoguider port or any port on your telescope (or its hand controller) other than its RS-232 serail port. Doing so may damage Skyfi 3 and/or your telescope hardware. Make sure you know where your the RS-232 serial port on your telescope is located, and only connect Skyfi 3 to that port.

    unquote

    Now where in that does it say to "connect to USB-A" 

    Then it was said to purchase a cable and connect to the  Mini USB port and then 3 days later AFTER I connected to the USB-A port and found it to be a working solution you say to connect to it and try to take credit for suggesting it.

     

    Ok what the cost to make this particular product in my opinion is about 5.00  in China and in my opinion you all need to have any and all telescopes listed with detailed how to connect in a manual for every telescope on the market!

    Every single one and failing that you should have it on this site with "Please refer to w w w blah blah for your specific model.

     

    Ok I built and designed my own custom computer systems and in doing that came across all sorts of hardware including networking devices and that is how its done.

    Its called RTFM and if aint there then one contacts support.

     

     

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    Avatar
    Bill Tschumy

    Mike,

    If you look at what I quoted from the Quick Start Guide, it says: "With USB telescopes, use a standard USB cable to connect SkyFi III’s USB “A” port (1, Fig. 2) to the telescope’s USB “B” port."

    You are totally correct that the "IMPORTANT" section should be updated to include connecting to the scope's USB port.  I will make that change.

    I'm not trying to take credit for anything.  I was aware you were successful using the USB-A port and I was just trying to point out that is not surprising given the docs say to use that port.

    I can guarantee you that with all the R&D and ongoing firmware support, this product is way more than $5 to produce.  Remember this is not a mass produced item.  We might make 1000 a year.

    I'm sorry you are annoyed, but we really are doing the best we can.  There are literally 100s of scope types out there we support with new ones are added all the time.  Having detailed instructions for each one is just not very feasible.

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    Avatar
    Mike

    I appreciate what you all can do and that you all are trying.

    I also want you to know that in this thread it seems you all are the only ones involved and as a whole is what I find annoying albeit a pricey annoyance others were made aware of this as well.

    When you quote about connecting to USB-A its out of context and when you add "to the telescopes USB-B" port then immediately follow with "On Meade blah blah USB mount is on the mount base then goes into iOptron telescopes blah blah.

    Not one word about my particular brand and model until the next paragraph. Celestron is mentioned with regards to RS-232 port connecting steps later in the "Important" information and makes the entire explanation totally confusing then I am led to believe using another method that could have contributed to a catastrophic event.

    My suggestion would be to include directions connecting both ends in those paragraphs and leave at any manufacturers out until each one is addressed separately in following paragraphs. I would also suggest to include images of a complete set up with any telescope that comes along from your experience or from those of others on your site for those who need to see what is being discussed.

      The very first paragraph to which you quote in regards to USB-A I understand it to leave out any telescope made other than Meade iOptron and GOTONova.

    Then under the Important section where it's specifically states about RS-232 you should add "then connect to the USB-A port of the SkyFi 3" along with "you will need a Micro-B USB to USB-A cable"

    Now I ask you how am I to figure out what cable I need?

    Honestly all three cables should be included with SkiFi 3 along with detailed directions for each cable.

    As a consumer 189.00 is not chump change. 

     

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    Bill Tschumy

    Mike,

    I appreciate your comments and I'll pass them along.

    I agree that $189 is not chump change, but I assure you we are not making a killing selling SkyFi 3 at that price.  To include cables, we would have to raise the prices.

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    Avatar
    Mike

    Its not like I didn't have to fork out over 50.00 in cables and shipping anyways by all means add your cost of the three cables save us shipping and your at 199.99 and a revised direction manual.

    Then sale more of them because happy cows make the sweetest milk!

    Even at 209.99 as all we want is to get our machines up and running as soon as fast as we can and after spending 3k combined and trust me on this, we ain't gonna stop the whole shoot'n match over 20 bucks ;)

    Best wishes 

     

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    Bill Tschumy

    I think I a lot of people already have the necessary cables so including them doesn't make sense.  These are just standard USB cables that you can get at any electronics store if need be.

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    Avatar
    Mike

    Now that truly is intresting!

    I mena I have all sorts of cables from building computers heck I even got a 50ft gold server CAT.45 cabble from way back in the day. all sorts of smartphone stuff. Mini and Micro USB many USB-A cables even a few DB9 adapters and imagine with all of that I do not have one Mini USB to Micro USB and not one Mini USB to USB-A cable wow!

    I mean its not like Mini USB is still used anymore...'

    "A major factor in abandoning mini-USB is that it was fatally flawed mechanically. Most people who have used a mini-USB device which requires many insertions will have experienced poor reliability after a significant but not vast number of uses"

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