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Can I Use SkyFi 3 + Meade ETX-105 + Autostar Hand Controller With A Broken LCD Display? (Answer: No, Star-Aligning Via The Hand Controller Is Required - Read On!)


I bought an ETX-105 on eBay.  The scope is in very good shape, but the Autostar hand controller has a malfunctioning LCD.  I get gibberish characters at best.  Most of the time I just get a blank display.  If I buy a SkyFi 3 (and the appropriate serial cable), could I get my ETX to work as a GoTo scope?  (with my iPhone and SkySafari)

As I understand it, to use SkyFi with an ETX you first have to do the alignment *with Autostar*.  Well, I can't exactly do that, because the display isn't working properly.  :-(  This seems to be a common issue with old Autostars, by the way, so just buying another one might not solve the problem either.

Or is there any other solution that will work?  I'm even open to using my Mac (laptop) to do the alignment, if that will help me get through that step without a working display.

Thanks for any advice here!

1 comment

  • 0
    Keiron Smith


    Sorry, but it's not going to work.  SkySafari + SkyFi 3 requires you manually star-align your mount first using the ETX hand controller.

    If the hand controller is broken then you can not star-align.

    I suggest contacting Celestron Supporting to inquire whether a ETX #497 hand controller can be purchased as a replacement.


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