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Celestron cpc & celestron wifi

I have been using a Celestron cpc with sky safari Pro 6 connecting through the celestron sky portal wifi module. Things seem to have changed in the way alignment is done. Instead of sky align where 3 bright objects were aligned on and the app recognised the stars, you now have to select each star using the app then go to the star and align with the first before you choose the next star. The scope then goes near that star (usually way off) until 3 stars are aligned. I hate it! Go tos are way off, the cord wrap feature doesn't work and the app crashes all of the time. At the start you have the choice of connect and align or connect. If I do a sky align with the mount then connect, the app never points at the same object and even worse while connecting it stops the scope from tracking! What is happening? I really need some help here. If anyone can assist it would be appreciated. Thanks


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    When was the last time you successfully used this setup?  I ask because it sounds to me as if you haven't used this configuration in a long time.  There have been SkySafari/StarSense/SkyPortal WiFi problems kind of what you describe now for about 18 months.  If you read other threads here, you'll see that those of us using SkySafari and Celestron StarSense with either Celestron WiFi or SkyPortal WiFi have been having similar problems for a very long time.

    The good news is that both Simulation Curriculum and Celestron are finally aware of the problems and are working on them.  The ball is currently in Celestron's court.  They're cleaning up and fixing how StarSense works (or doesn't work) with Celestron WiFi and SkyPortal WiFi.  It's really been frustrating.  But both companies are finally aware of the problems and are working on them.

    In the meantime.  I've been able to successfully use SkySafari-6 Pro on my Android phone and tablet to control my CPC-1100 Deluxe as well as my Celestron Nexstar Evolution mounts by reverting to using the SS HC to do my StarSense auto-alignment -- and once the auto-alignment is complete, then CONNECT (not ALIGN and CONNECT) to SkySafari.  That configuration continues to work perfectly for me.  SS auto-align still works fine when you use the SS HC for the auto-alignment.  And then SkySafari connects and syncs up and GOTOs are just as accurate as they used to be -- which is quite accurate.

    If you're used to using your SkyPortal WiFi device for the wireless connection between the mount and SkySafari, you'll have to change that and go back to the "old-fashioned" serial (or USB) cable mount to wireless connection.  There are several variations of this configuration, depending on whether you have the old SS HC with the 4-conductor modular RS-232 serial connection in the bottom of your HC, or the newer SS HC with a USB connection in the bottom of the SS HC.

    And the configuration also depends on whether you're running SkySafari on an iOS iPhone or iPad, or an Android phone or tablet.

    If you're running SkySafari on an iPhone or iPad, you need a serial mount cable (either RS-232 or USB) attached to a WiFi device -- such as an old SkyFi-USB or the current SkyFi-III.  Then you connect that to your iPhone or iPad via WiFi.

    If you're running SkySafari on an Android phone or tablet, you can use a RS-232 serial cable (has to be Celestron's cable) to a SkyBT Bluetooth device, OR you can use a SkyFi-III WiFi device.  The SkyBT Bluetooth device ONLY accepts a RS-232 cable -- so it can only be used with the older SS HC's with the RS-232 serial connection in the bottom.  Since the SkyFi-III device has both RS-232 and USB inputs, you can use it with either the old or new SS HC.  If you have the newer SS HC with the USB connection, you have to use the SkyFi-III device because it has a USB input.

    When you use either the SkyBT or SkyFi-III wireless device to communicate with SkySafari, you'll need to change the settings within SkySafari to match the device you're using.  Set the telescope type to "Celestron CPC" (not Celestron WiFi), and change the wireless connection type to either WiFi or Bluetooth.  And then of course, you need to set your device running SkySafari to connect to the proper WiFi or Bluetooth device too.

    Got all that?  There will be a test.

    You could just wait for Celestron and Simulation Curriculum to work things out -- but it's already been 18 months and the latest two Beta test versions haven't worked all that well.  They are making progress, but it's not really working yet.  And with the Corona virus and social distancing, it's probably going to take a lot longer.

    But the good news is that by doing your SS auto-alignments using the SS HC, you can still control with SkySafari -- so long as you connect as I described above.



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    Art F

    Thanks Woody.
    I've been running the scope usi g a nexus-s from astro devices.
    I don't t have a starsense on mine and I've always done a manual alignment using the handset. In April last year my GPS stopped working due to the date on the chip and my wife was ill at the time so I stopped using it for a while. At European Astrofest in February I purchased a skyportal wifi unit and a celestron motor focus.
    The focuser required a nexstar+ handset so I purchased a used one. For a few weeks the scope ran perfectly with the new WiFi and handset and my GPS issues were gone.
    I was able to do the sky align procedure using the app and gotos were perfect.
    Last week the cord wrap feature played up and I ended up installing new firmware for all components.
    The cord wrap is still a nightmare as I'm having to set it every time its used and the alignment using sky safari has changed as I described before.
    Does celestron sky portal software work properly as that is SF based? If not why are celestron selling the skyportal wifi for cpc scopes?
    If I purchased a skyfi 3 can I align using SF or the handset?
    I will wait for an offer as the Skyfi unit is too expensive in my opinion and I can't afford to get one.

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