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Can I Align Using Scope Hand Controller And, Using Celestron WiFi, Also Get Accurate Pointing?

I am using SkySafari 5 Plus on iOS to connect to a Celestron Advanced VX mount via the Celestron SkyPortal WiFi dongle. I can successfully connect to the mount and drive it around using SkySafari. I would prefer to do the initial alignment via the NexStar+ hand controller to avoid needing to use the terrible touch interface in SkySafari to do the alignment. However, if I use the hand controller and build the pointing model inside the hand controller, is SkySafari then able to benefit from that model to obtain accurate pointing?

 

Another way of asking it is can I do a Two Star Alignment (plus Calibration stars) using the NexStar+ hand controller and then still get accurate GOTOs by selecting objects in SkySafari?

6 comments

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    Bill Tschumy

    No, for the Celestron Wi-Fi option, you cannot align via the hand controller and then connect using SkySafari.  Not only will SkySafari not use the hand controller's alignment model, the two systems will fight each other, causing problems.  This is the way Celestron designed this interface.

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    Williaty

    Two questions then:

     

    When I turn on the on the mount, the hand controller immediate asks to start the alignment process. What do I do about that?

    While doing in the alignment in SkySafari, can I center the stars using the directional buttons on the hand controller directional buttons since the directional buttons on a touch screen that you can't see or feel while your eye is at the eyepiece is one of the worst user interface decisions ever made?

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    Cray

    @Bill: I doubt that. I have used SkySafari 5 Pro several times with the alignment only done with the NexStar+ or StarSense Hand Controller. When connecting to the Mount via WiFi (SkyPortal WiFi dongle on AVX in my case) I simply chose Connect instead of Connect and Align. Then SkySafari was using the already established Mount model for GoTo. A nice Feature when using the NexStar+ Controller was the possibility to consider the Offset between an actual star and ist apparent GoTo Position to ensure that the star indeed end up dead Center. This Feature appears to be not available when using StarSense. Dead Center is important for me because of my Pixel scale and the Need to Position a suitable star in the tiny FOV of the OAG camera.

    Cray

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    Bill Tschumy

    Cray,

    Please don't doubt me on this.  That may have worked because you had a previously stored alignment model that was done using SkySafari.  The you tapped Connect, It used that rather than the alignment model in the hand controller.  Celestron has told us many, many times that you cannot align via the hand controller and also via SkySafari and expect it to work properly.

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    Cray

    Ok, so here is what I did last night:

    1. Aligned my mount using the StarSense hand controller only.

    2. Used SS6 Pro and connected (just connect, not connect/align) through Celestron WiFi. Since this was the absolute first time I used SS6 Pro on the mount SS6 could not possibly have any „prior“ align model.

    3. Upon connecting SS6 correctly showed the current telescope position which was Betelgeuze.

    4. Used SS6 to slew (GoTo) to several different stars east and west of the Meridian. Each star ended up nicely in the FOV of my camera.

    Assumption: When just connecting (not connect/align) SS6 simply issues the RA/DEC coordinates of any selected object to the mount during the GoTo. So it actually uses whatever model is present in the mount‘s controller. Anything I am missing there?

     

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    The alignment model is stored on the device running SkySafari, not the mount or in the HC.  So it still would be using your prior alignment model.

    I'm glad it is working for you.  We have been told in no uncertain terms by Celestron that this will cause problems for you.  If you continue to do this and get some wonky GoTos, this is the likely candidate for the problem.

    Your assumption is not quite correct.  When connecting via Celestron Wi-Fi, the hand controller is totally bypassed.  It does not use the model stored there.  You can totally remove the HC and you should get the exactly same results.

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