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[Bug]* SkySafari 6 Pro on Android + Celestron StarSense Plate Solve Fail

My setup is Celestron Advanced VX mount, StarSense camera, Celestron Wi-Fi.
The last time I was using my scope was on July 13/2019 (two weeks ago) and all was working just fine.
Then last Saturday (July 27/2019) i was no longer to successfully align my scope connecting to SkySafari
6 Pro or SkySafari 6 Plus. Connections to scope no problem, StarSense working solving Plate number one
but any subsequent attempt to solve next plat ended up with error, not able to solving plate. Tried
numerous times no success. Happened with both SkySafari 6 Pro and Plus.
Run aligning procedure with StarSense hand control successfully. So, there is no problem with StarSense
camera.
then run aligning procedure with my old SkySafari 5 Pro again successfully. So, there is no any
connection problem.
I run all these procedures (failed and successful) from my cell (Android) and from my tablet with the
same results. So, there is no hardware problem.
I uninstalled and reinstalled SkySafari, no fix. I set SkySafari to defaults, no fix.
So, what happened between July 13 and July 27?
There was not any hardware change. Only change I can think about was purchasing and installing Apollo 11
Mission in bought SkySafari 6 Pro and Plus. My old SkySafari 5 didn’t have this option so it reminds
unaffected and work.
So, my conclusion is the culprit is Apollo 11 Mission or any other possible update to SkySafari.
Would be nice if somebody read this and consider fixing this issue.
After all, at this point SkySafari is useless to me and quite expensive lemon.

141 comments

  • 0
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    Robin Clark

    Keiron,

    I have experienced the same bug but on iOS with my iPad.

    I'm using an Evolution 8 with Starsense, SkyPortal external WiFi module (latest version), iPad Pro with iOS v. 13.1.2 and Sky Safari Pro v. 6.5.0.1. Prior to upgrading from iOS 12 to IOS 13, I never experienced the "found 100 stars, plate solve fail" issue. With every attempt to plate solve after the first successful platesolve, it fails. The only way to get out of the plate solve fail loop was to turn off the mount and start the Starsense alignment over with SkySafari. I was able to successfully perform a Starsense alignment with just using the hand control.

    I would like to send you my log files but I cannot figure out how to access them on my iPad. The SkySafari Help says to connect my iPad to my PC, open iTunes, and look for the Apps section in iTunes. However, there is no Apps section in iTunes. Please let me know how to access the log files on my iPad. Thanks.

    -Robin

  • 0
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    Tomas

    This is taking an absurd amount of time to resolve. Most of have spent money on an app that is not functional. I would expect a resolution not to take months.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    I agree with Tomas. It takes ridiculously long. What's up guys. Are you sleeping on the job? :-)

  • 0
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    Ronald Roper

    I have also had the same issue with latest SS6 Pro from my Samsung A70 with my Celsectrom Evo Alt-az mount. Aligns 1st plate then fails 2 and 3 etc. HC alignment works fine as others have stated.  But strangely I succeeded when using my old Samsung S5 with the same version of SS6 Pro, but that phone is sick so cannot keeps using it.

    I was interested to hear that Woody has used the SS HC first to get an alignment and then connects the Android to perform gotos.  I wasn't aware that this approach would work.  How does SS6 Pro on the android know where the mount is after the HC alignment?

  • 0
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    Woody

    Ronald,

    I'm away from home now and can't run any tests.  But with my CPC-1100 Deluxe with SS, this is easy.  After doing a SS Auto-alignment using the SS HC, the mount reports its current position to SkySafari.  So after the SS auto-alignment, when I CONNECT SkySafari to the mount, the mount tells SkySafari exactly where it's pointing -- and the SkySafari screen swings around to point at the same place.  And from then on, I use SkySafari for my GOTO's.

    As I recall, it's a lot trickier with the EVO mount because of its built-in WiFi system.  The last time I did it was months ago.  But as I recall, I did NOT use the mount's built-in WiFi.  Instead I think I connected my SkyFi-III WiFi device to the EVO using a USB cable.  That bypassed the mount's built-in WiFi.  I believe I did a SS auto-alignment using the SS HC, then tapped CONNECT to connect SkySafari to the SkyFi-III and mount.  AND, in SkySafari, I changed the mount from Celestron WiFi to Celestron CPC. 

    And that did the trick.  As soon as I tapped CONNECT (and the mount connected to SkySafari), the SkySafari screen swung around and synced up with the mount.

    NOTE:  If you don't change the mount in SkySafari from Celestron WiFi to Celestron CPC -- it won't work.  As you said, if you keep the Celestron WiFi mount setting, SkySafari doesn't know where the mount is pointing.  

    I hope this helps -- until they finally get this working.  And by the way, I'm pretty sure I tested this before I left home.  The free Celestron APP "SkyPortal" has been fixed so it does work with the EVO mount -- just as it's supposed to.  I have no idea why it's taking so long to fix the SkySafari versions to also work -- since they wrote the Celestron SkyPortal APP also.

     

  • 0
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    Ronald Roper

    Thanks for the detailed reply Woody. I've just come in from outside trying a couple of tests and recording log files and I had the same result as previously. On my old Samsung Galaxy S5 everything works as it should using SS6 pro, a very good alignment.  But on the new Samsung Galaxy A70, first align point is fine then errors after that. I tried your HC align first and then connected SS6 (Before I read your reply) and that did not work at all.  Next clear night I'll try your work around method or perhaps SkyPortal.  We are well into spring here in Melbourne and with daylight saving darkness rolls in much later, and the weather turns bad tomorrow for a few days, so just have to wait.

    Thanks

    Ron

  • 0
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    Tapper Lee

    I hope who ever looks after the Simulation curriculum brand and reputation is concerned about the length of time it is taking to fix this bug.  It seems like the face that the evoultion mount works with the celestron version of sky safari but not the "real" sky safari would be a giant clue.  It's quite disappointing that it is taking so long.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    In my opinion biggest clue to what caused this problems is the only change to my setup was update to SkySafari. Nothing else changed. All my hardware, mount, telescope, StarSence, WiFi, phone, firmwares, all the same. Everything was working then I updated SkySafari and that was it. It was working no more...

    How is that for clue? It puzzles me that they got involved with Celestron when clearly Celestron has no involvement in this issue. I think it is time for Simulation start looking for problem at home instead delegating responsibility on someone else.
    But hey what I know... I just using the stuff.
    Cheers
  • -2
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    Woody

    Fanaticws,

    No, you have missed something.  Celestron DID change something.  They updated the EVO firmware.  Before the Celestron firmware update, all versions of SkySafari did work.  After the Celestron firmware update, none of them work.

    I have a fellow club member with an EVO who is still successfully using SkySafari-5 Pro and SkySafari-6 Pro with his EVO.  The "secret" is that he never updated his EVO firmware with Celestron's latest firmware update.  I did update my EVO's firmware -- and it no longer works with either SkySafari-5 Pro or SkySafari-6 Pro.  

    The SkySafari guys did fix Celestron's SkyPortal version so it now works with the EVO.  So why can't they get their own versions working?  My guess is that the real SkySafari versions are much more complex in some area.  But I really don't know what the problem is or why it's taking so long.

    I saw a post a couple of months ago that they were beta testing a hopefully "fixed" SkySafari-6 Pro iOS version.  But I haven't heard a word since.  So I'm guessing they're still having problems they aren't able to solve.  I even wonder if eventually they'll have to convince Celestron to make another change to their firmware so that full versions of SkySafari can work again?  If so, what a mess.  But at least the two companies have contractural ties -- which is better than nothing.

    Until this is resolved, I'm still using my SS HC to do my SS auto-align, and then using a SkyFi-III connected to the EVO mount with a USB cable for all my GOTO's.  When I do that, I have to change the mount setting in SkySafari from Celestron WiFi to Celestron CPC.  Then I can control the mount through SkySafari-6 Pro again.

  • 1
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    Fanaticws

    Woody

    In my case I don't use EVO, I use Advanced VX and, as I stated above, I didn't change anything, no hardware, no firmware. Only change was updating SkySafari 6.

    And yes my setup still works with SkySafari 5.

    So I have to stick with what I said above. :-(

  • 2
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    Michael Tomich

    This is the first I heard of a firmware update whereby no version of Sky Safari works. This could be true as I haven't done a firmware update, but regardless that is not the problem being addressed as stated in the title of this thread "[Bug]* SkySafari 6 Pro on Android + Celestron StarSense Plate Solve Fail". As stated before I have experienced this problem with my Evo , a Samsung Galaxy 7, and Sky Safari 6+. It appeared after the app updated in July 2019. I made no other changes, firmware or otherwise. Last week someone was kind enough to download Sky Safari 6+ to their I-phone 7 and allow me to use it for the evening. Everything worked flawlessly.

    Sky Portal works with my Samsung Galaxy 7. This is the first I heard that it was "fixed" as I've never seen a post where someone said it was broken. The Sky Safari 6 update that coincided with the beginning of problems was in July 2019. Sky Portal hasn't been updated since March 2019, so there were no Sky Portal fixes since this issue first surfaced.

    So, as most everyone has said. Sky Safari 6 on Android, after app update, fails with Starsense. Other than the July 2019, Sky Safari 6 for Android update, I have heard of no other variables that can conclusively be held as attributing to this specific problem.

  • 0
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    Tydude4christ

    Just submitted a refund request for the app because of this issue since I only bought Starry Night 6 Pro because it was compatible with Celestron StarSense which my old version of the app Starry Night 4 Pro was not. I was willing to be patient but over 3 months later and still nothing.

  • 2
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hi guys,

    Sorry for the delay with the fix to StarSense/SkySafari. Things have been quite busy at Celestron lately and we have had engineers out for paternity-leave/vacation.

    This issue stems from SkySafari's transition to 64bit. During that process, new libraries were generated for the StarSense plate-solving code, which failed to work on most phones. This was not noticed initially as the phones it was tested on were phones with processors that had no issues. The issue only occurs with certain processors, and unfortunately those processors are the most common in smart-devices.

    Long story short, we are working to refactor and fix the code. Unfortunately this is older code and the original software engineers that created it, no longer work for Celestron. But we are very close to fixing the issue now.

    Sorry again for the delay,

    Daniel

  • 0
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    Tapper Lee

    Thanks for the update.  Just as an FYI I am seeing the problem on a Galaxy Tab S4, which the specs say has a 64 bit processor. 

  • 0
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    Woody

    Daniel,

    Thank you for the honest and complete explanation.  You might not remember me, but you helped me with my CPC-1100 Deluxe SS problems a couple of years ago -- when I finally towed my mobile observatory up to you guys in Torrance.  And at that time Derek mentioned the old SS code problems and the fact that the guy who wrote that code was no longer at Celestron.  And Derik also explained how hard it is to trouble-shoot and patch that old SS code.  I sure hope Celestron upper management sees this as a high enough priority now to finally re-write that old clunky code.  Yeah, I know.  Dream on.  But thanks for this explanation anyway.  I'll quit holding my breath on a quicker fix.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    Hi everyone
    This is what I got from Keiron a couple weeks ago. But so far no update is available.

    _______________
    Keiron Smith (Simulation Curriculum Corp.)

    Nov 4, 18:36 EST

    Please follow the community discussion here:

    [Bug]* SkySafari 6 Pro on Android + Celestron StarSense Plate Solve Fail

    An update with a fix should be released later this week, or next week.

    Thanks!
    Keiron Smith
    ___________________

  • 0
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    Rob Cittadini

    Anyone see any updates? Google Play shows nothing since 7/24/19 for me, that's more than 4 months ago. Not thrilled as there should at least be the ability to roll back to a previous version when everything was working... unless the update is live and somehow I'm missing it?

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    No update. The last time I got from Keiron you can see above. That was November 4. He promised update in a couple weeks but as you can see it was just another promise... We just have to continue biting our nails.

    Too bad!

  • 0
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    Woody

    Bob,

    1) If you've been following this tread you'll realize that just rolling back to a previous version of SkySafari doesn't work if you've updated the firmware in your Celestron mount.  Using Google Play you can roll back to previous versions of SkySafari you've owned.  I rolled back to SkySafari-5 Pro and it didn't work either.

    2) The free version of Celestron SkyPortal does work now.

    3) SkySafari is waiting for Celestron to supply them with corrected StarSense data.  And in my opinion, this isn't a high priority for Celestron -- and it's a tough project as I understand the SS software documentation is pretty bad -- and the guy who wrote it is long gone..

    4) I'm pretty sure the SkySafari guys would have fixed this problem long ago if they had any control of the erroneous Celestron data -- but they don't.  It's Celestron's intellectual property.

    WHAT A MESS!

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Celestron fixed this issue about a month ago. It's not in our control to release updates to SkySafari, only SkyPortal. I'm not aware of any remaining technical issues with SkySafari related to the StarSense code. So there is nothing currently for Celestron to do concerning this issue.

    Daniel Goodwin
    Senior Software Engineer
    Celestron LLC

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    I have to repeat again what I said above... In my case I didn't do any firmware update or changed any hardware. All was (and still is) the same. Only change occurred was updating SkySafari on Jul. 24. So how it is involve Celestron? Any thoughts?

  • 0
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    Woody

    Daniel,

    So Celestron sent the corrected SS data?

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Woody, long story but we made the necessary changes to the Starsense code so that it would work again after SimCir converted SkySafari to 64bit, and unfortunately broke the StarSense library. SimCir has the fix.
    - Daniel

  • 0
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    Woody

    Daniel,

    Thanks for the update.  So now we just wait -- some more.  Sure glad I have a work-around that works for my systems.

  • 0
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    Rob Cittadini

    Appreciate the updates all. I too hand't updated firmware since shortly after purchasing the telescope much earlier in 2019 so it all seemed a bit mysterious, but it sounds like the chain of remaining steps is shortening. Here's to hoping we get full functionality back shortly as the advanced features in SS Pro make the evolution a joy to use. SkyPortal is fine but doesn't have the same mapping and other features that really round out the experience provided by the paid version of the app. 

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    I fortunately still have old SkySafari 5 Pro which works fine. But of course I like to use SS6 because additional features.

    Thanks for updates.

  • 0
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    Hayden Peter Ferdig

    Keiron, any updates on this fix yet? Can we perhaps have the fix before Christmas?

  • 0
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    Keiron Smith

    Hi Hayden,

    We are waiting for Celestron here. I'll ping them this week for an ETA.

    Thanks for your patience.

  • 1
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    Keiron Smith

    Hi Hayden,

    Apologies, I was incorrect!

    Celestron has submitted the fix to us.  We are working on it now.  So, we are close!

    Thanks!

  • 0
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    Hayden Peter Ferdig

    Keiron there was a major update to SkySafari 6 Pro today with some bug fixes included. Any chance this update includes the Star Sense fix? Or will this fix come separate in another update?

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