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Feature Request | Allow SkySafari To Set Time & Location On SynScan Hand Controllers (Answer: Planned, If Possible)

Hi, I'm using SkySafari 5 on Android. I had the same question as the following post:

https://support.simulationcurriculum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360000049507-How-Can-I-Get-SkySafari-To-Automatically-Set-The-TIme-And-Location-On-My-SkyWatcher-SynScan-Scope-During-Inital-SetUp-Answer-You-Can-t-It-Is-Not-A-SynScan-Option-

I'm guessing SkySafari uses the Synscan serial protocol, and if so, according to the Skywatcher application note (http://ca.skywatcher.com/download/application-notes/synscan-pc-command-set/ ) there are two set commands for location and time (pages 4&5) that should be handy here. Sorry if I am missing something. It's just that it would be great if we don't have to type on the synscan data that is already in the phone.

Thanks.

7 comments

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    Bill Tschumy

    This may be something new in the 3.3 command set.  There didn't used to be a way to do this.  We can look into it.

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    Aristarco

    That would be great, thanks!

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    Willy Le Roy

    Oh yeah, would be definitely great !

    (please, please, pretty please !)

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    Bill Tschumy

    We have already added support for this command.  We are trying to submit new versions of SkySafari later this week. The feature will be in there.  I believe we also fixed a problem with the coordinate epoch SynScan expects.  This should make GoTos slightly more accurate.

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    Willy Le Roy

    Glad to hear you already implemented this - Can't wait to test it !

    Thank you !

     

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    Willy Le Roy

    Hi Bill

    Many thanks for this update, this is much appreciated - We no longer need to perform this tedious task ! (Also no need for an expensive GPS module, which would have been an alternative way of getting location automatically set).

    However, since time and location have to be set just after powering up the synscan system that means that SkySafari needs to connect to the synscan earlier than before (I used to start SkySafari and connect it to the mount once star alignment has been performed) I was wondering if doing the alignment procedure while SF is connected is a good thing as documentation says "Make sure the scope is powered on, and any necessary alignment procedures are completed." in "Scope control view" section - this sounds somewhat contradictory to me

    Also I was wondering if you implemented the "sync" command as well (as described in the same document - which would allow a true "align" feature in SkySafari, If I'm not mistaken) ? Last time I tested it seems that previous behaviour hasn't changed : If I "goto" a given spot, then say I'm off by a few minutes of arc in the eyepiece view (while it's spot on, of course, in SkySafari) - Now let's say I recenter the objet in the eyepiece (Now SkySafari would have its reticle a few minutes of arc away from the objet) - If I tap on "align" button expected result would be that SkySafari and the SynScan system point to the same spot (Hand controller would then display slightly different coordinates than before) - But alas it's not (which is to be expected according to the documentation) - If I then put my iPhone to sleep and then wake it up again, SkySafari "forgets" the alignment and shows me the reticle off the center by the same amount I first got after recentering the object in the eyepiece).

    I know you're quite busy I'm sorry if all this isn't clear (English is not my mother tongue, but you may have guessed so) - Just wanted to hear your thoughts on this, if possible. 

     

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    Bill Tschumy

    Willy,

    I believe the SynScan will let you connect without having done an alignment.  In that case you can connect to set the time & date and then do the alignment from the mount.  I don't think it will hurt anything to align while connected via SkySafari.

    Alternatively, you can probably do an alignment using a decent guess of time & location.  Then when SkySafari connect, it will set the time & location more accurately based upon the SkySafari settings.  This should not invalidate the previous alignment.

    Looking at the code, it appears we do a native sync command if the SkyScan firmware is > 3.365 (if version 3) or > 4.365 (if version 4).

    I wouldn't think putting your phone to sleep and waking it again should not lose the alignment, even if we are storing an offset and not doing a try sync.  I will have to check on that.

     

     

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