Technology question

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Technology question

Postby cwardlaw » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:16 pm

I have recently purchased a Celestron GoTo telescope and have been trying to find out if I must buy a tablet or ipad or neither to use special apps? I do not have an iphone and I have a PC operating windows 8. CanI use an apple app with my pc or must I buy another kind of tablet or ipad. I am a little confused.

Many thanks for reading my 'silly question'
:?
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Re: Technology question

Postby dave.b » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:02 am

If you mean the Celestron SkyPortal app, then that will only work with the WiFi enabled telescope mounts. The app is a reasonable planetarium on mobile devices, even with out making use of its WiFi mount control features.

If you want to use a windows computer then there are many apps that can drive most of the Celestron GOTO mounts. If you want the planetarium app experience then look no further than stellarium.org. It can work with ASCOM drivers to control most mounts. See http://www.nexstarsite.com/PCControl.htm.

Dave B.
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Re: Technology question

Postby cwardlaw » Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:53 pm

I do have the Wifi Goto Evolution 9.25 and am still quite confused as to whether I need to buy anything else in the way of software or a tablet/ipad.??? I do not really undrestand if the technology the telescope has come with is all I need.
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Re: Technology question

Postby dave.b » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:21 am

So my understanding is that for iPad, iPhone, and Android based phones and tablets you install the Celestron SkyPortal app, which is free from the app store. I don't know if there is a similar approach for the PC or Mac.

SkyPortal uses the device's WiFi radio to establish a wireless link with the Evolution's mount, by which it sends GOTO commands.

Is this not explained in the Evolution's instruction manual?
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Re: Technology question

Postby Gfamily2 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:07 pm

cwardlaw wrote:I do have the Wifi Goto Evolution 9.25 and am still quite confused as to whether I need to buy anything else in the way of software or a tablet/ipad.??? I do not really undrestand if the technology the telescope has come with is all I need.

I've looked through the details and the manual on the Celestron site, and it seems to me that if you already have a tablet running iOS or Android, then you can download the SkyPortal for free and control your scope wirelessly.
If you want to run it from a PC, I think you need to use a cable (and probably a USB to RS232 adapter) to connect the PC to the handset. You can then control the scope using various free software packages - in my experience the easiest to use is Stellarium. The downside of controlling it from a PC is that the screen can upset your night vision - ideally you would want operate your software in night mode, but even then it can spoil your dark adaption.

Being able to control it from an app on a tablet or smartphone could be better - and you can get small tablets relatively cheaply, so it may be worth getting one.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Re: Technology question

Postby cwardlaw » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:29 pm

Thank you so much for all of that information. I think I understand now. Yes the manual did explain what I could do but only in terms of having ipad or iphone. So I think my pc may be of limited use. Thank you again for taking time for my silly questions but I am a beginner....

More questions to follow no doubt..
For example...if I cannot enter my exact position will the telescope not align properly?
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Re: Technology question

Postby dave.b » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:21 pm

The location coordinates do not need to precise; within 50, maybe even 100, miles is good enough for most uses. It is, however, critical to get the date and time right. And for equatorial mounts the polar axis needs to be fairly accurately set too, although for a computer based mount like yours accuracy in polar alignment only really matters for long exposure work.

Have fun with it when you next get some clear skies. In the meantime practise setting it up so you can do it in the dark outside quickly, safely, and accurately.

Dave B.
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Re: Technology question

Postby cwardlaw » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:03 pm

Thank you for that,

I am unsure of what the polar axis and polar alignment means and what to do about that.
Any advice would be very welcome
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Re: Technology question

Postby dave.b » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:08 pm

cwardlaw wrote:Thank you for that,

I am unsure of what the polar axis and polar alignment means and what to do about that.
Any advice would be very welcome


You only need worry about that if you have an equatorial mount.
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Re: Technology question

Postby cwardlaw » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:50 pm

Oh my word...this morning 7a.m for me I have experienced my first ever viewing of Jupiter and four of her moons...This makes up for any small problems I experienc during my 'green' days of this amazing interest :D
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