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Celestron 93973 Skyportal Wifi Module, Black
|Price:||$99.95 & FREE Shipping|
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- Align and control your telescope wirelessly using your smartphone or tablet and Celestron’s free SkyPortal app for iOS and Android devices.
- Tap any celestial object you see in the sky to identify it instantly. Tap again and your telescope slews to that object, centering it perfectly in the eyepiece.
- Explore 100,000+ objects in Sky Portal's database. While you observe, view astro images and listen to audio descriptions for hundreds of the most popular objects including the planets, Orion Nebula, Hercules Open Star Cluster, and more.
- Sky Tour feature generates a list of all the best stars, galaxies and nebulae to view based on your exact time and location.
- Wi-Fi module is compatible with all current Celeron computerized telescopes and select older models. Unit does not require batteries or external power.
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Get Wi-Fi Access to the Universe with Sky Link 2Celestron's updated Sky Link 2 Wi-Fi Module turns your smartphone or tablet into your own personal planetarium and observatory! Simply plug the Wi-Fi module into your telescope’s Hand Control or AUX port and connect to its wireless signal with your device. Instantly, your device becomes a wireless hand controller for your telescope, guiding you through the alignment process and slewing to any celestial object with a simple tap. As Sky Link 2 slews your telescope to an object, you can listen to hundreds of included audio descriptions on your device, which explain the history, mythology, and key features of the most popular celestial objects. Activate the Sky Tour feature and Sky will display a list of the best objects to view based on your exact time and location. There’s no need to input GPS coordinates or set the time and date-Sky Link 2 takes this information directly from your device.
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At the end of the day the real question is "Is it worth it, or should I continue to use the handset?". For me, I will continue to use the handset and put this in a drawer while I keep an eye on software updates to see if some of the annoyances have gone away. If you read reviews from earlier, it is apparent that they have been making strides to improve things. Hopefully, there will be some updates to make this more what somebody would want.
I have used this with Celestron SkyPortal, ver 1.4 on an Android phone with my NexStar 127SLT - I mention this because it may well be that some of the issues that I had were in the software or mount and not in the Wi-Fi module itself. Since these are really an integrated package it is was not possible for me to separate and assign blame. I also understand that there is an app available on the
The adapter is small and plugs in easily to the AUX port on the mount. The adapter wifi seems to be available very quickly (I have never noticed waiting for it), and connecting to it seems to go quickly. I suspect that much of the brains is in the app that uses this device and not the device it self.
The device seems to have 2 modes:
Direct Connect - where the device advertises an SSID and then you connect to it without a password.
Access Point - I did not use this, but it appears to let you join your established network.
There does not seem to be a way to change the SSID that it broadcasts while doing a direct connect or force it to use a password - this seems like it could cause havoc with multiple scopes. I have never used this near somebody else’s device so I can’t comment on how well it handles that.
* Clicking on an object and saying "show me that" is a natural action.
* The device is powered by the port and does not require external power.
* When things are working well you catch a glimpse of what you had hoped this would be.
* There are times that I inexplicably cant connect to the device - I end up switching my WIFI back and forth and restarting the app and that seems to fix it.
* There are times where the movement arrows do not seem to respond (or respond only after a significant lag)
- This is especially annoying when you are trying to get a good alignment setup
- You can also accidentally hit something other than the movement arrows when you are looking in an eyepiece (This can be very annoying).
* I have had it lose connection with my phone mid-observing and then had to reset everything to get it to work again. Invariably this happens after I go get the kids to look at something and they then have to sit though the alignment process…
* The handset or your phone - it seems that you have to chose
- the phone is much more natural for setup/finding objects that you want to view
- the handset is more natural for pointing the scope
* There were times that I seemed to have to hit goto a second time to complete the goto process (it was like it got me most of the way there and then gave up)
Android application annoyances (mentioned here in case it helps folks decide):
* The app allows your phone to sleep - your phone will then show you the bright unlock process before going to the nice dim red light of the app destroying your night vision. I know there is a setting/permission for an app to prevent the phone from sleeping.
* You have to change to the wifi SSID of your adapter - it would be nice if it did that for you - I have seen google's chromecast setup do this.
I connected to the mount using my iphone and Sky Safari Pro. Choosing the "connect and align" option I was really impressed with how well this stuff worked literally the first time I turned it on. I checked the settings right away (before aligning) and saw that SS recognized the new scope as a Celestron German EQ mount and took me through a polar alignment like this....
1) ensure mount is leveled, pointing due north and RA is set to your Latitude (or something like that). When finished pressed 'done'
2) choose a bright star in the East and press goto: I chose Mirach and the scope slewed to that direction. I adjusted the scope using the HC, about 8 full moons and hit align.
3) choose a bright start in the East and press goto: I picked Hamal. Scope was still about the same distance off. I adjusted and hit align.
4) choose a bright start in the West and press goto: I picked Deneb. Scope slewed about 180 and landed about the same distance off, but I only had to adjust in one direction.
5) choose a bright start in the West and press goto: I picked Vega. At this point I knew things were going well as Vega popped right in the cross hairs of the 12mm reticulated EP I was using. Sweet! Alignment complete.
Since I was in the area I tested goto by hitting Albireo and the scope slewed perfectly. While the view in the crappy EP was not to die for it was certainly Albireo and it was nicely centered.
If I was to rate this doing a manual align, 5 stars. But I bought it to use with the starsense system, so 3/5 at best.
Im gonna keep trying, I cannot get this to work at all with skysafari 5 pro, it wont sync at all, by skyportal which I understand may be a port of skysafari 4 has some bells and whistles, its ok, but boy I wish It worked for me with v5.
Plug and play installation, just ensure that you have enough power available.
I have the Celestron SkyPortal app running on Android devices and they function flawlessly.
The database and menu functions are very intuitive, much more so than the hand controller and being able to move around the scope untethered is great, no cords to tangle. Click on a point on the screen and hit GoTo and you're there. Makes aligning much easier as it uses the time and location stored in your Android device and you can select the alignment objects without having to know celestial nomenclature, just point and center.
I'm using on the new Advanced VX mount which has two auxiliary ports so there is still room for the StarSense Auto Align Camera as well.