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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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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hey guys,

    We are continuing to overhaul our SkyPortal/SkySafari code base so that the StarSense code works BETTER than the StarSense hand-controller. We have found several issues which can degrade the experience with StarSense and have applied fixes. My co-worker Kunal has done a great job cleaning up code and removing buggy behavior. We released that update to the Evolution firmware but we determined that the update will do nothing UNLESS you toggle the WiFi-mode switch. We will fix that in a new beta, but for now: after you have updated your Evolution, toggle the WiFi-mode switch (it is a little black button on the side of the mount) and then toggle it back. This will force the WiFi chip to be reconfigured. I have provided the link once again below to the beta firmware:

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

  • 0
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    Woody

    Daniel,

    Thanks for the "toggle" tip.  I'll try that the next time I'm able to test my Evo.

    Is this the same with your SkyPortal WiFi device -- does it need to be "toggled?"  My old SkyPortal WiFi Gen-2 has a reset button.  But my new SkyPortal WiFi Gen-3 doesn't have a reset button.

    Woody

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    That's all nice guys but what about those of us that don't have Evolution?
    I have AVX. So it will do nothing for me.
    Any thoughts about us, non Evolution people?

  • 0
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    Woody

    Fanaticws,

    How are you connecting your AVX to SkySafari?  Are you using SkyPortal WiFi, or some other system?  So long as I don't use the built-in WiFi in my Evo mount, or SkyPortal WiFi, in a different Celestron mount, I'm OK.  A regular serial connection or USB serial connection still works fine for me.

    Woody

     

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hi Fanaticws, sorry to hear you're having issues too. You're using an AVX with the WiFi accessory, correct? When you connect to the wifi accessory, is the network name Celstron with two or three number/letters?

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    Woody,

    Yes I'm using Skyportal WiFi for connection to my AVX. I run Skysafari from my smartphone so wireless connection is about only option to connect. Serial connection is not quite possible.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    Daniel

    Yes I having issues too... I actually started this thread. :-)
    Yes I'm using SkyPortal WiFi and yes network name is Celestron with some numbers / letters.

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hi again Fanaticws. I'll need to know if it is two or three letters/numbers. Two indicates a 2nd generation module, and three indicates a 3rd generation module.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    Daniel,

    Just checked it... it is Celestron-4F
    So second generation.

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hey fanaticws, thanks for the information. We will test that setup out. Re-reading the original post, your issue should have been fixed when SimCir updated SkySafari last month. Was it not? If not, did the behavior change at all?

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    I tested the updated Skysafari and posted my experience. Here is copy/paste whole thing again for you.


    FanaticwsJanuary 06, 2020 22:00
    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.

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Sorry I missed that response! But ok, that is good information. That tells me that the original problem was resolved but there is more going on still. Long story short, the StarSense code in SkyPortal was written exclusively by an engineer who no longer works for the company. This past week, my coworker and I have been going through the code, line by line, and have found an assortment of bugs that will degrade user experience. We have already fixed a lot of them, and now are working on making the StarSense code more robust. We fully agree with you when you said that StarSense is supposed to make aligning pain free, and with SkyPortal, it has not been. When we release a beta in the upcoming month (for SkyPortal) I hope that you and anyone else having issues will test it out. If it works out then we'll work with SimCir to get an new version of SkySafari released quickly.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    Daniel

    Thanks for your reply and update on your work. It is great that you are looking in this. I'm looking forward to check out the updated SkyPortal and hopefully soon Skysafari as well.
    Thanks

  • 0
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    Garry Bluhm
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hi Garry, thanks for the link. And the issues we have found so far are all in a common code which exists on both Android and iOS, so there will be an update for both.

  • 0
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    Garry Bluhm

    Daniel,

    Thanks for the clarification on the update for iOS too.

    Just curious if you looked at the Team Celestron links I posted above?

     

    Garry

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hey Garry, not yet. I'll be reviewing all this information, and those teamcelestron posts when I am at work on Monday. There has been a lot of activity concerning issues with StarSense and SkyPortal and I want to sit down a thoroughly make sure we identify if there are any other unique problems that we have not yet identified the source.

  • 0
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    Garry Bluhm

    Daniel,

    Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

    Have a good weekend,

    Garry

  • 0
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    Woody

    Fanaticws,

    You CAN operate your AVX serially and wirelessly using SkySafari.  That's how I've always controlled my CPC, and until they fix this problem, I'm also operating my Evo the same way.  You'll need to buy either a SkyBT (serial to Bluetooth), or SkyFi-III (serial to WiFi) device.  Which one you use depends on which version of the StarSense HC you have. 

    If you have the older StarSense HC with a modular phone connection in the bottom, it's a RS-232 serial connection and you can use either SkyBT or SkyFi-III.  You just need one of Celestron's RS-232 serial cables.

    I think Simulation Curriculum is discontinuing the SkyBT, but the RN-270 is identical (I have one of each) and it's still made and available.  I have the older StarSense HC with RS-232 connector so I use either my SkyBT or RN-270. 

    If you have the newer StarSense HC with USB connector on the bottom, then you'll have to use the SkyFi-III adapter as it has both RS-232 and USB connections.

    With either of these wireless serial connections to your mount, you use the SS HC to do your SS auto-alignment.  Once aligned, you connect SkySafari to either the SkyBT or SkyFi-III.  As soon as the device connects to SkySafari, the screen will spin around and synch to your mount's position.  And from then on, you can do all your GOTO's and moves through SkySafari.

    As I said, that's how I've been operating my CPC for years, and now my Evo too.  It works.  And works well.  And the "bug" never messed things up.

    All that said, it sounds like Celestron and Simulation Curricular are really working hard now to solve this ASAP.  And I suspect that now they'll get it working within a week.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    Woody,

     

    Thanks for the detailed explanation of the connection. I will look in ti it but since we don't see much sky these days and this involves buying additional harware i will wait for update of the Skysafari for now. If that won't work out then I'll get probably SkyFi-III.

    Hopefully update will be available soon.

    Thanks again

  • 0
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    Woody

    Fanaticws,

    Sounds like a plan.  I'm pretty sure Simulation Curriculum had a sale on the SkyFi-III recently.  But I think that sale is over now.. But I'm finally feeling relatively confident that this whole problem will soon be behind us.

  • 0
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    Edward

    For what is worth, this is the information I found on my evo that works.
    Starsense hc
    Ver. 01.19.19003 bld. Jan 3 2019
    Starsense camera
    Ver. 01.02.13343
    Motor control
    Mdl. Evolution
    Azm ver. 7.11
    Alt ver 7.11
    P: system
    Ver. 01.01.19003
    P:lisa
    Ver.01.01.14072

  • 0
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    Fernando Alarcón

    News? Please!!!
    My setup is Celestron 8, StarSense camera, Celestron Wi-Fi and Safari Pro 6.6.4.10 and nothing. Same problem. 1 of 3 Plates Aligned StarSense Error Could not plate-solve the image. Will retry at new position.

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the delay. The code in SkyPortal was written by a previous software engineer. So this past month we have been analyzing and debugging code, line-by-line, and have identified numerous errors that will degrade user experience with StarSense.

    These errors are now fixed and we have been testing it extensively and I can say that it has been my best experience with StarSense+SkyPortal to date.

    We are meeting with Simulation Curriculum today to discuss a couple other bugs in the app, but we plan on having this released as a beta by the end of next week (on SkyPortal). My hope is that everyone on here will download the SkyPortal beta and validate that it works. If that works out, then we will inform Simulation Curriculum that they can release an update to SkySafari.

    -Daniel

     

  • 0
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    Woody

    Daniel,

    Thank you for the update.  Not what we want to hear, but in the right direction.

    I assume you'll post the Beta StarSense firmware on the Team Celestron website when it's available.  And based on your message, I assume we can only test it using Celestron's SkyPortal APP, not SkySafari.  Once you're comfortable that the Beta firmware works with SkyPortal, you'll release the corrected code to Simulation Curriculum and they'll update SkySafari.  Sure glad I'm not holding my breath for this.  What an ordeal.  But better cleaner StarSense code will be greatly appreciated.

    Woody

     

  • 0
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    james schultz

    I just bought a new cgx mount and it will not plate resolve using sky safari Plus using sky portal it works fine..  also if any one knows how to fix this, my up and down slew controls are switched with the left and right?  I just upgraded from the evolution with wedge and did not have this issue.

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    Well, well, well... A month passed since we heard anything from Curriculum or Celestron. 

    Update please! 

  • 0
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    Keiron Smith

    James, 

    This specific line of discussion is about the known plate solve issue.  Please create a NEW post to discuss/troubleshoot any other issue you may be encountering; i.e. slew controls (which is not relevant to the discussion here)

    Ivan, 

    Celestron is beta testing a fix at this time.

    Thanks both!

  • 0
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    Fanaticws

    Thanks Keiron

  • 0
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    Daniel Goodwin

    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the delay to the update. We took some extra time to thoroughly overhaul the StarSense code to make sure that it is better than it ever has been, and as hands-free as possible. Simulation Curriculum also helped to fix an assortment of other bugs/issues. We are still testing the beta for any other issues, but we will release it publicly (on Android) to you guys in the hopes that you will all take it out and verify that your StarSense issues are resolved.

    Please download the SkyPortal by clicking the following link from your smart-device: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.celestron.skyportal

    We also have a Team-Celestron forum set up to handle any responses, so please join up to be a beta tester on Team-Celestron if you haven't already, and join the conversation. Thanks! Here is the link to the forum: https://teamcelestron.com/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=1612

    - Daniel

     

     

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