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Support For Wired Mount Control in Android

I’m looking at Sky Safari Pro Android app but upon researching it I came across this:

“No. For this to work, your Android device would have to be a USB host, and most devices are USB slaves, not hosts. Secondly, your Android OS would have to be running the drivers for that USB-to-serial adapter. As of this writing, we don't know of a single USB-to-serial adapter manufacturer that produces Android drivers. “

As a former Android developer I can say that I’ve used USB/RS232 adapters for almost five years now on every Android version since Gingerbead. All I used was an adapter and an app, no root, and no decompling the kernel. There are also multiple other examples of such like Android/Ardunio cables, StarTech cable and app, usb-serial-for-android (GitHub), etc..

So I ask this, is there any reason beyond “don’t feel like it” to not add RS232 support in the app? As the cables cost next to nothing, and apps to support the cables are plentiful, adding such support would make Sky Safari more viable for compact budget setups which can be used for outreach and education. One could even come close to replicating the Unistellar evscope with nothing more than a GoTo mount, cable and an old phone.


  • 0
    Bill Tschumy



    Back when we wrote that reason for not supporting a USB connection to a scope on Android, it was true.  Perhaps things have changed in the intervening years.

    We can look into this again at some point in the future.  However, it probably won't happen until SkySafari 6 on Android which is not slated for release until the middle of next year.

  • 0
    Russell Hippert

    Thanks for the reply. I figure if folks can control servers using a USB serial adapter and an Android phone (Youtube link) back in 2014, I'm sure you guys can find a solution (and new accessories) to make it work.

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