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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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    Keiron Smith

    Dear Heyden et al,

    The Celestron StarSense fix is included in the latest SkySafari Android update - along with localization in French, Italian, German and Spanish!

    Thanks for your patience and happy holidays!

  • 0
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    Woody

    Keiron,

    That's fantastic!  Happy Holidays to you and the team too.  And thank you for letting us know.  I saw that update announcement, didn't see any mention of the "SS BUG FIX," and nearly went ballistic. 

    I can hardly wait to give it a try -- but alas, no sky today, or tonight, or . . . .

    Thank you guys!  This is much appreciated.

    Woody

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    Fanaticws

    Keiron

    Thank you and all team for releasing this update. In "What's new" is line "Increased compatibility with Android 9.... Well we are now running Android 10... so I'll see what happens in the field ones I have opportunity to test it... unfortunately it doesn't look it will be any soon.

    Thanks again.

  • 0
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    Hayden Peter Ferdig

    Thank you Keiron, we really appreciate it! To Fanaticws about Android 10, unless there is something specific in it that is detrimental to the way SkySafari operates, I think it should operate just fine on Android 10. I have a newer LG G8 phone that is still on 9.0, so when LG releases the Android 10 update for my phone, which they are expected to do pretty soon, I will report back if there are issues. I think it will work fine though. Even though it did take them a while to fix it, I am grateful they at least fixed StarSense!

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    Graham Moss

    Is this also an issue with the IOS (phone & iPad) version of SkySafariPro? And if so is it also fixed on IOS phone & iPad?

  • 0
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    Keiron Smith

    Graham, this thread is about a specific Android StarSense issue.  If you have an issue with SkySafari + StarSense on iOS please create a NEW post in the community forum here:

    SkySafari | Celestron StarSense / SkyQLink / WiFi

    Thanks!

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    thierry

    I bought the new version the 24th decembe.

    I have nexstar evo + starsense and the problem is still the same with align.

    No possible to calibrate...

    You don't fix nothing and I spend my money for nothing.

     

    Th bug is still there.

  • 0
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    Edward

    I tried it and it worked for me. I have an evo + star sense + galaxy s10 plus.

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    Woody

    Edward,

    Thank you for this comment!  Whew.  I can't test my similar system until the sky clears.  But this is good news.

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    thierry

    I have tried with galaxy s9 and samsung tab s2 and no way.

    It's still impossible to calibrate and align falled loke before update.

     

  • 0
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    Woody

    Well guys -- NO JOY for me!  I was finally able to test my Evo mount with StarSense and the latest SkySafari-6 Pro update for Android.  It aligned perfectly (and the first time) using the SS HC and SS Auto-Align.  But when I tried the "Align and Connect" command from my Samsung Galaxy S8 running SkySafari-6 Pro, I was only able to complete the alignment process once out of about 10 tries!  I got the SS Error just about every time. 

    This is a little different than before the "fix."  Before the fix I'd get a plate-solve on the first position, but never after.  Now it seems more random.  Sometimes the second position solves, but none of the rest.  And once the third position solved but none of the rest.  But mostly, none of the positions solved -- and I just got SS error after SS error.  I finally disconnected SkySafari and used the HC for a SS Auto-Alignment (which it again accomplished without error), and then I connected SkySafari and tried a simple "Connect."  I was able to connect, but SkySafari didn't know where the mount was actually pointing.  When everything is working properly -- as soon as SkySafari connects, the display spins around to point where the mount is actually pointing.  Now it just connects, but the display doesn't sync to the mount's actual position.

    I could be doing something wrong, but I can't imagine what it is.  You haven't changed anything about how things are supposed to be connected have you? 

  • 0
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    thierry

    Hi everybody.

     

    I spent the WE to try safari pro 6 with nexstar evo 8.

    It works with skyportal but with skysafari the target is not in the eyepiece.

     

    Is somebody have an idea?

  • 0
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    Keiron Smith

    Thierry, 

    This thread is about a specific issue related to the StarSense failure to complete the alignment process when using SkySafari 6 on Android.

    Your post suggests you have successfully completed the alignment process - even if you are not happy with the result; i.e. objects not in the eyepiece.  Also, you are not making reference to the StarSense hardware -  which means your issue may not be relevant to this discussion at all.

    So, please create a NEW post to discuss your specific case in the community forum here:

    SkySafari | Celestron StarSense / SkyQLink / WiFi

    Thanks!

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    Fanaticws

    OK guys.. I just came back from outside testing fixed SkySafari 6 Pro with my never changing setup... Celestron Advanced VX, StarSense and Galaxy S10+.

    Well I have mixed feelings about this fix. Five fails and two successful alignments. No problem using SkySafari 5 Pro. But with SkySafari 6 Pro... The same as Woody.. errors after errors. Random errors solving plates. After finally successful alignment StarSense needed to be calibrated with scope and guess what.. calibrating errors.. can't solve the plate try different location...  forgot to count how many times it failed, 10, 15 times.

    So yes it kind of works. Seems to be really flaky, it may need more work, I guess. So if one want persists it can be used. Just thinking StarSense suppose to make set up ease breezy, no time wasting with set up, enjoying observing. Present situation defies whole purpose of using StarSense. 

    Maybe next xmas will be better :-)

  • 0
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    Woody

    Fanaticws,

    Sounds about exactly what I experienced.  Glad to hear that I'm not unique or special with this problem.

    As I've mentioned before, this doesn't make the SkySafari/StarSense configuration useless -- it just means we have to use it differently than with the simplest and most efficient configuration using Celestron WiFi. 

    I still use SkySafari-6 Pro with my CPC-1100 Deluxe and Nexstar Evolution mounts -- both with StarSense.  And I'm still able to utilize StarSense's wonderful Auto-Align feature. And I'm still able to have SkySafari control my mounts using either my Android phone or Android tablet. And my GOTO's are still fantastically accurate. 

    The difference is, I have to add a serial interface between the mount and SS HC.  I still can't yet use my SkyPortal WiFi (with the CPC mount), or the built-in Celestron WiFi in my Evolution mount.  So until they get this working with SkySafari, I'm very successfully using a SkyBT (serial to Bluetooth) device on both systems.  

    I do my StarSense Auto-Align using the SS HC, and once aligned, I connect the mount to my phone or tablet using the SkyBT and SkySafari.  

    If you have a newer StarSense HC with USB connection at the bottom, you can't use the SkyBT.  But you can use the SkyFi-III.

    I'm "amused" to see that so far, Simulation Curriculum hasn't responded to anybody saying this latest "fix" still hasn't fixed the problem.  I can only imagine the frustrations there.  Perhaps as frustrated as us end-users?  

    Someday I hope to learn what's really gone on (and I assume is still going on) behind the scenes.

    Oh well,  I'm still using and appreciating SkySafari and StarSense -- even if it's not yet working as advertised -- or even as it apparently used to.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    I have an easy solution for Simulation curriculum. Give us an access to version of SkySafari before damned update July 24/2019. We could uninstall this broken version installed the old good one and everybody will be HAPPY again.
    Please!!!!!!

  • 0
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    Woody

    Fanaticws,

    Good News and Bad News.

    The GOOD NEWS is that it's easy to download older versions of SkySafari (or any APP) you've purchased through Google Play.  You do it from the Google Play website. 

    Once in Google Play, at the top left you  should see an icon with three horizontal lines or bars.  Tap it.  At the next window, tap the first item in the list, "My apps & games".  At the top of the next window are three heading tabs:  "Updates - Installed - Library"  Tap "Library."  These are all the APPS you've purchased -- including older versions that are no longer installed on this device.  I don't know how they're sorted, but it's NOT alphabetical.  Scroll down until you come to your older versions of SkySafari.  Tap the one you want to install.  You don't have to uninstall the latest version.  You can run both the current version as well as an older version.  That's what I did. 

    In retrospect, this might be a problem.  Maybe the two versions of SkySafari share some files -- in which case you really should uninstall the latest version before re-installing the old version.  I haven't tried that.

    The BAD NEWS is that I did this.  I re-installed SkySafari-5 Pro.  It runs just fine -- but suffers from the exact same problems SkySafari-6 Pro now suffers.  

    I believe this "problem" we're having is a combination of firmware and software updates from both Celestron and SkySafari.  

    There's a guy in my astronomy club who has a Celestron Nexstar Evolution mount the same as mine.  But his is older -- and he's never updated its firmware.  Nor has he updated his StarSense firmware.  And he can successfully run SkySafari-5 Pro and/or SkySafari-6 Pro and do SS auto-alignments.  My Evo mount is newer than his and I've updated it to the very latest Celestron firmware.  I've also updated my SS HC to Celestron's latest firmware.  And I can't get either SkySafari-5 Pro or SkySafari-6 Pro to work with my Evo mount w/ SS, or my CPC mount with SkyPortal WiFi.

    I'm pretty sure it's possible to load old Celestron firmware versions so long as you still have the old CFM folders.  But there are problems and bugs in the older firmware -- so I'm not even trying that.

    As I've commented before -- this isn't a simple "fix."

     If you learn something or have any success, please post here.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    I was rather thinking to get version of SkySafari 6 Pro before July 24/2019 update. That update was only change in my set up between working state and not working state. No other change. I have SkySafari 5 Pro and it works for me. So therotecaly that should work for me.

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hey everyone,

    I have bad and good news. We did some more digging on the problem you guys are having and determined that a bug that had previously been fixed, had become "unfixed". This bug is in the Evolution firmware and affects communicate with the StarSense camera. We have fixed this bug again and released it as a beta to TeamCelestron (see link below). If you guys are not already members of our beta team, please sign up, download the firmware update, and report back your results. Sorry for the frustration.

    https://teamcelestron.com/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=1580

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    Woody

    Daniel,

    Thank you so much for updating us.  I won't be able to download and test this Evolution Beta fix until next week.

    How about SkyPortal-WiFi?  Since that's also a Celestron Wi-Fi device, is there a similar fix for it?  Or does it still work?  I never tested my SkyPortal-WiFi on my CPC mount, only my Evolution -- and it failed on the Evo.

     

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    Edward

    I am not sure I understand. Mine had the Plate Solve Fail issue when I bought SkySafari6 in June and never worked. After the bug fix in December I have tried several times and it seems to be working and haven't failed once. I have a Evo that I bought about a year ago. The starsense I bought on the used market so is older. Haven't upgraded the firmware on any of it. I am afraid now to do any kind of update...

  • 0
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    Woody

    Edward,

    My advice is that if your system is currently working, DON'T MESS WITH IT!  I've felt that this problem has been a combination of SkySafari and different Celestron firmware versions all along.  Some combinations work, some don't.  So far I've never had a combination that works for my combination of firmware versions and software versions.  That said, I'm running all the latest software and firmware versions.

    I won't be able to test this latest Celestron firmware update until next week.  But I'm hoping others will be able to download and test this weekend and give us feedback.  And fingers crossed, we'll have a combination of everything that works well and stably by next week.

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    Edward

    Woody

    I think I will follow your advice of not messing with it. Not sure how to yet, but I will try to find out the firmware revs that I have on my setup.

     

  • 0
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    Woody

    Edward,

    You should be able to go into your HC settings and find versions.  It'll tell you HC version, SS version, Motor version, etc.

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    Woody

    Daniel,

    Thanks for looking into this -- AGAIN.  And although your latest fix has indeed fixed some things, the main problem remains -- can't reliably auto-align through SkySafari-6 Pro.

    This evening I spent about two hours with your latest Beta firmware.  The good news is that I can now do a StarSense Auto-Alignment using the SS HC, and then connect my Android phone running SkySafari-6 Pro -- and successfully control the mount with my phone.  This hasn't worked for the past 18 months.  And now it does.  YIPPEE!

    But the bad news is that when I launch SkySafari-6 Pro and tap the ALIGN AND CONNECT button, my Evo mount tries to align, but mostly fails to plate-solve.  This evening I think I tried a total of five times.  Three of the times I gave up after 10 minutes of the mount going back and forth and never solving a single plate-solve.  Two of the times it eventually solved all three positions and aligned.  But it took several tries at each position before it finally plate-solved all three positions.

    And as usual, I ran two "control" tests using the SS HC -- my first and lasts tests of the night.  And both times, the SS HC auto-alignments plate-solved on the first try.

    So although you've made progress, something's still not right.

    Woody

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    thierry

    Dear Daniel,

     

    You wrote "This bug is in the Evolution firmware and affects communicate with the StarSense camera" but my evo works with starsense and skyportal: no problem with auto or manuel align.

  • 0
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    Woody

    Thierry,

    You're talking apples and oranges.  I believe StarSense and the Evo and the latest SkyPortal have worked together again now for several months.  It's the more advanced versions of SkySafari where the problems remain.  But as I reported above, this last Evo firmware Beta version made progress.

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hey guys,

    I am glad to hear that some of you have had success. To the others who continue to have issues, we are actively looking into what else could cause StarSense to screw up. It is currently a mystery to us why the StarSense hand-controller and CPWI both work quite well with StarSense, but SkyPortal/SkySafari have such a hard time. We have experienced the frustrations with StarSense and SkyPortal ourselves, and have added some code to minimize the issues. But those changes aren't perfect so we are going to put aside a lot of time this week to delve into what could be causing the app to continue to struggle with StarSense.

    I will report back when we have more information, and when we will release an update to the app(s).

    One thing to note about the current code: In the past, if you had a bad plate solve during your alignment, you would not know until the end of the alignment when you would get an alignment failed notification. Now, the app performs a "gut-check" of plate-solve results before it plugs it into the mount model. BUT there is no way for us to gut-check the first point, so if your first point is bad, then all remaining points will fail the gut-check and you will never be able to add a second point to your mount model. We are changing this code to be smarter about how it handles things, and this improvement will be in the next release of the app.

    -Daniel

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    Woody

    Daniel,

    Interesting about this "Gut-check" routine and how if the first position fails, that's it.  But it doesn't explain how/why SS running in the HC works so much better -- almost every time -- but it doesn't do well when running from SkySafari.  Or is the SS HC just plain running different software?

    As I recall, the last time I tested the SkyPortal APP on my same system, everything worked.  I'll make sure that's still the same situation tonight.

     

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    Woody

    Thierry,

    Just to confirm.  I tested my Evo with StarSense and the Celestron SkyPortal APP this evening -- and that configuration still works just fine.  It's the more advanced (and for me useful) SkySafari APP's that still aren't working properly with StarSense and the Evo WiFi.  

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