New post
0

Skyfi III Failure

Hello All,

  I have a SkFi III unit that I purchased a couple of years ago, it's been a champ and I've used it quite a lot over the last couple of years. This month when I started pulling everything out of winter storage to prepare for the coming season I find that the SkyFi can't be contacted. The unit powers on, but the SkiFi network never shows up. I've tried resetting the device according to the manual, but the data light never flashed and nothing changed. Is it possible to communicate with the device over USB? I don't think I have a USB-A to USB-A cable but I think I could scrounge one from somewhere if necessary. Any other suggestions are welcome, it's a great accessory and I'd really like to get it back on-line if possible.

  If it matters I'm using if with SkySafari 6 for Android devices and it's connected to a Celestron Advanced VX mount. Thanks,

3 comments

  • 0
    Avatar
    Dirtbagpook

    Hi Dan,

    Since it's a WiFi device, the SkyFi III can have it's moments. Ad-Hoc usually just works out of the box, but I want it to connect to my WiFi so I can sync with SimCur's Livesky portal. I found there are extra steps to do so when it forget's what mode it was running in before it ran out of battery juice. This information helped with that process: https://skysafariastronomy.com/products/skyfi/wireless.html . A desktop application or phone/tablet app is also handy to scan the WiFi network that you connect the SkyFi III so you obtain the SkyFi III's IP address, but that is another story and only applicable if want the SkyFi to join an existing Wi-Fi Network.

    The section RESETTING SKYFI 3 TO THE FACTORY DEFAULTS in the Quick Start Guide for SkyFi 3 Wireless Telescope Controller (no version or date on the pdf I have but my creation date of the pdf was Sept 2018), didn't match with what I saw with my SkyFi III as well. However, the unit did end up in AdHoc mode after that process and was visible in my tablet when scanning for wifi access points.

    A tech from SimCur/Sky Safari should chime in here for your next steps. You may need to get an RMA your SkyFi III. I wouldn't part with mine and it works great with my Celestron CPC 1100 and an AVX mount.

    Also, for what it's worth, the SkyFi III wants (or needs) a strong WiFi signal for best performance. I used to connect to an Airport Express that was about 50 feet away from the scope and performance was ok. When my better half started to stream Netflix through the same Airport Express, SkyFi performance could get unpredictable. I would tap the SkySafari buttons, once, twice and maybe three times and the mount would jerk into action and then settle down. Sometimes it would overshoot the target. Then, it would be ok for a 10 or 15 minutes or so and then have another hissy fit. The solution was to unplug the Netflix box from power and all was ok. Sort of... 8^) haha!

    Hesitation (no overshooting) has only occurred once when the WiFi access point is in the observatory. That was over 21 months, so I believe good WiFi will make for a better experience. Well, once you get your unit up and running.

    Good luck and clear nights!

    Mark Force

    Okanagan, BC

  • 0
    Avatar
    Dan Karmgard

    Thanks for the tips Mark. I don't think that it's trying to join my home network, I have checked my router table and then powered on the unit and I don't see a new connection or attempt. I did connect it through the home network once or twice so the router should remember the signature. I generally use it out in the field so I let the SkyFi create the network and then I join it, but even with it sitting right next to the phone/tablet/computer a scan shows no network called SkyFi and I don't see anything that appears and disappears when I power it on or off. So whatever it's doing under the hood I can't talk to it at all.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Dirtbagpook

    Your welcome Dan. 

    Drats! It sounds like you'll need to reach out to the Simulation Curriculum folks directly for your next steps. At least you'll have lots of clear nights coming up if you have to send it in! 8^)

    clear nights and stay safe,

    Mark 

Please sign in to leave a comment.