Respectfully, I am retired and I have a limited budget to spend on my astronomy hobby, so I must try to eliminate costly mistakes.
I like the features on Starry Night 8; This is the product I prefer to purchases, I just require a little bit of clarity before I purchase: my question(s) are;
I assume that Starry Night 8 will install easily on a laptop using windows 10 or 11. (A given)
My question then becomes, am I connecting to the EQ8 mount directly (bypassing the hand controller), or am I still required to connect to the bottom port on the hand controller? As you assuredly know, the Skywatcher EQ8 hand controller (perhaps all hand controllers) (kind of) fails when temperatures fall below 32 f. To overcome this temperature issue I have used an electric heating pad, set to low - which works.
Continuing, If I am connecting to the EQ8 directly from my laptop (with Starry Night 8 installed), is a hardwired connection used? Is this connection USB or Ethernet - does Starry Night 8 recognize this/these connections? Do I require any special cabling? If I do require a special cable, will you supply it as an optional purchase?
I have heard, probably incorrect, that there is a cable option, which Starry Night 8 will use, to directly plug into the port on the mount, where the hand controller would (plugin) thus, bypassing (and eliminating) the hand controller - is this true, or just not accurate? If there is a cable that allows me to eliminate the hand controller, will you supply this cable as an optional purchase?
If I am connecting to the EQ8 using the wifi 3 connector - do I require another wifi connector attached to the laptop or will the wifi 3 module create a new wifi connection, which I may select from the wifi settings in windows?
Temperatures (during the winter months) at night where I reside (may) fall to -40 f - although the average nighttime winter temperatures may average in the range of -15 to -30 f, so with these cold temperatures in mind, is there an optional wifi 3 heater available - if not, is there an optional heater being developed or ...? I am reading that the wifi 3 module does not like temperatures below 32f/0 c?
I'm not a tech person: (I) wish that I was. I do apologize if my questions are a bit - well exacerbating.
Thanks for your support.