Author Topic: Anybody using Wi-Fi from PC to mount like SkyFi or orion SkySeek?  (Read 5644 times)

Marko

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I'm thinking of a wireless connect from megastar to my scope where it becomes serial.
Direct compatibility to SkySafari on my Android or iPad is a given.  My question is on MegaStar, my favorite field atlas.
SkyFi will show up as a serial port on a PC if a virtual serial port on the PC side which is discussed on the [url http://www.southernstars.com/products/skyfi/]SkyFi webpage[/url].

My #1 concern is can I out in the boonies see the SkyFi directly from my PC OR do I have to involve some wireless hub or something which only adds to 'field grief' that I don't need.
Does anybody have one and does it just show up as a wireless network OR is it going to be a royal mess to configure in the field?   

SkyFi USB is 'supposed' to be idential to Orion StarSeek Wi-Fi module but I always question just how 'identical' these things are so I am not hot to go out and get the Orion one today unless they match a web deal I just got today for SkyFi for $139 which has hit my pricepoint.

I have uses for this to connect to an Ap900 mount, an Atlas-EQ6 (which I have a serial adapter for already) or my StarMaster DOB through SkyCommander I hope.

Any info?   
Thanks,
Marko
Let me roam the deep skies and I'll be content.

John Pierce

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Re: Anybody using Wi-Fi from PC to mount like SkyFi or orion SkySeek?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 04:24:38 PM »
as I understand it, backed by observations of other people's toys, Sky Fi acts as its own access point, it creates its own Wifi network with its own SSID and stuff, so clients like iToys, 'Droids, laptops can connect to it without any fuss.

Marko

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Re: Anybody using Wi-Fi from PC to mount like SkyFi or orion SkySeek?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 04:39:48 PM »
Nice.   That of course would be my 'assumption' but one never knows.

I'm In.     Today got email for discount price of $139.95

Thanks John,
Marko
Cautious, Paranoid Old Fart  (CPOF)
Let me roam the deep skies and I'll be content.

John Pierce

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Re: Anybody using Wi-Fi from PC to mount like SkyFi or orion SkySeek?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 04:55:59 PM »
if you're going to use it at a star party with lotsa other folks, its probably a /very/ good idea to change its default SSID to something you recognize, SkyMarko or whatever, just incase there's more than one of them around.

If you have an android device, WiFi Analyzer is a great free app from the google app store for seeing how many wireless networks are around you, their relative strength, and what channel they use.   This one ->  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farproc.wifi.analyzer


Marko

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Re: Anybody using Wi-Fi from PC to mount like SkyFi or orion SkySeek?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 05:22:24 PM »
Yes I would set unique id.   ....  SkyMarko ...  has a pleasant ring to it.

There is a major website in Russia that uses default admin names and passwords for hundreds of things like home security systems and home routers and basically exposes them to the web.

So ...   Important Safety tip:   NEVER leave your internet-of-things stuff with defaults.   
(also NEVER cross the beams unless you have to dust 'Gozer the Destructor' as we have learned)
Let me roam the deep skies and I'll be content.

Jrgose

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Re: Anybody using Wi-Fi from PC to mount like SkyFi or orion SkySeek?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2014, 08:43:26 PM »
Marco, I know you're looking for wifi.  Skysafari and Orion use proprietary cable IDs to link only to their SW/hardware.  I bought a Skysafari "cable" to go from my Skysafari powered Ipad air to my ap900.

Walter from our club a few years ago was playing with some remote control devices with his CGE @ GSSP.

Marko

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Re: Anybody using Wi-Fi from PC to mount like SkyFi or orion SkySeek?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2014, 09:53:54 PM »
Thanks.   I picked up a SkyFi as it was on sale.  Here is what I have learned:

The SkyFi supports an adhoc network so go into your Win7 or iPad or whatever and select the 'SkyFi' network (you may also rename this network if you like).  This IMHO is much easier than having to deal with an existing WiFi and password and all that and is simpler than the BlueTooth solutions as BlueTooth has the dreaded pairing proceedure which can be frustrating.

SkyFi also 'should' work on a WiFi of your own if you authenticate it and so on but that is not a typical field usage case but might be nice to control a scope in your home network like out in back.  Have not tried that mode yet.

What I have tried and found to work on specific mounts/controllers:
SkySafari 4 Pro on an iPad Air connects fine to the adhoc network presented by the SkyFi.
SkySafari 4 Pro has catalogs rivaling or better then the best of them (I include my fav MegaStar)
The above setup worked like a champ in the field last Monday on my Ap900 and was easy to use.

MegaStar or other PC usage over a Comm port requires that you also get a virtual comm port installed and I set mine up as Comm 8 then this setup worked with megastar to my Atlas-EQ6 because MegaStar supports the older Atlas-EQ6. 

SkySafari 4 did NOT work with my Atlas-EQ6 and I think that is because it assumes all the SynSync controllers are the same BUT there is a 'silver' and a 'gold' labeled one and there was a quantum jump between their software so SkySafari folks don't know that OR choose to not support the older Atlas-EQ6   :'(

I will be trying this out on my SkyCommander for my main 18" goto DOB at some point for kicks and I also may try it on my pushto 12" dob as a last priority.  Maybe even a friend's Argo Navis.

Thanks for the reply and I should have done the wrap-up on what I found earlier.  Hope this helps somebody else too.
Let me roam the deep skies and I'll be content.