View Full Version here: : iPhone with SkySafari? Control your scope via WiFi :)
16-06-2012, 09:54 PM
No, not using SkyFi or SkyWire. Using free software WiFi Scope (http://mainsequencesoftware.com/WFS.html) from Main Sequence Software (the guys writing that Sequence Generator (http://mainsequencesoftware.com/SGPro.html)).
Not sure if this is old news, and whether it should be here or in the other software sub-forum, but figured it's mostly applicable for mobile devices.
What you need is:
* SkySafari Plus or Pro (http://www.southernstars.com/products/skysafari/index.html) on your iOS device/Android/OSX, because they have the telescope control support;
* WiFi Scope (http://mainsequencesoftware.com/WFS.html) on your Windows machine;
* ASCOM scope control working;
* You need your iOS device to be on the same network as Windows machine
Just fire up WiFi Scope, select your mount, leave the port default 4030, click "Go". Should connect to your mount. I'm using EQMod and it worked fine.
Now start SkySafari on your device. Go to the telescope settings. Scope type, select "Meade LX-200 GPS", mount type select "Alt-Az Goto" (not sure why), turn autodetect off, put in the IP address and port (4030) of your Windows machine, all else I left default. Should connect to your scope with those settings.
I tested with EQMod Simulator and my iPhone and it connected fine. Running Cartes du Ciel on Win machine and SkySafari on my iPhone, with slews I could see both moving to same targets etc.
17-06-2012, 02:09 PM
Awesome Troy! I tried this on my Meade Lx200r the other night and it worked!
Wife came out wondering why I was staring at my iPad instead of through the scope...but I told her I was making white mans magic :rofl:
07-07-2012, 04:17 AM
I just got ASCOM6 installed and fired up the same setup: SkySafari to CGEM thru WiFi is awesome!
14-07-2012, 09:56 AM
Great news. Well, for you guys anyway. I just tried it, and blow me, I can't get the two to talk to each other.
ASCOM, running with EQMOD and CdCeil. Slews anywhere anytime. SkySafari from way back, love it, V2.1.2.
Port Address is cool, 4030. The IP address is shown on the PC as 127.0.0.1 which is different to what SkySafari initially had. I have this address 127.0.0.1 in both ends, but to no avail, it won't connect.
Any ideas, oh clever ones? I'd love to get this running, and more so with the iPad.
14-07-2012, 12:22 PM
127.0.0.1 is a reserved local loopback IP address. You need to use a network type address like 192.168.0.1 or something. You also need to make sure it doesn't clash with other members of your network.
Probably need to understand more about your network to help more. Do you have a network at all?
14-07-2012, 12:40 PM
appreciate the reply, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer with networks.
No, no network at all, the PC is the only one I own, and it is up the driveway, in the hanger, purely for imaging.
Does this make a difference?
14-07-2012, 01:41 PM
The set-up requires a few pre-installation requirements. The network should be up and running and wireless in the first instance, so any kind of wireless router needs to be feeding you with a network connection. You then use that router to give out IP addresses (and here there are multiple choices as to how to best manage a network) to your PC, iPhone, iPAD and indeed any other device that you want connected without network cable.
I have successfully used the iPhone to create a wireless local area network to which everything can connect with bluetooth - but that's a whole other wireless protocol that can get quite confusing when talking both wifi (or wireless local area network) and connecting devices in a peer-to-peer network setting. It's best not to confuse the set-up at this point getting into complex network topologies.
So, in short you will need:
1. A wireless router of some kind to dish out a network address to your devices. You can buy these for anywhere from $60 all the way up to $lotsandlots depending on your budget. I would suggest something around the $100 mark generally does all that you need - but I have to put in a disclaimer here because there are many brands that do many things. I personally use a D-Link DSL-2740B (wireless ADSL Router) but that's because it plugs into my ADSL connection at the same time. You may not need that, you might get by with something like a DAP-1353 which is an access point, in other words it creates a wireless network but does not have the ADSL modem part attached to it. Also, there are other brands besides D-Link; Netgear, Cisco, Billion to name just a few are decent and popular choices for the same technology.
2. A wireless card or usb stick for your PC (most laptops have then by default these days) to connect to the router. If your PC has a wireless card inside it you won't need this but you cannot connect to a wireless network without a wireless interface on the PC. These are available for anywhere from $20 upwards, pretty much the same choice of brand names I mentioned above.
3. Your iphone or ipad to be connected to the same wireless network to which your PC or Laptop is connected. This is a rather easier thing to manage as once your wireless network is set up, your iPhone or iPad will generally be able to find the network (assuming it is being 'broadcast') and you will then be able to connect using your chosen pass-phrase (which will have been set on the access point or router).
4. Power for these things.
I know that does not even touch on the different set-ups that one can choose. You can, for instance, purchase a thing called a 'Mifi' device from Telstra or Vodafone or Optus or insertphonecompanynamehere. Those devices create little local wifi networks and have a sim card in them so they can access and share the internet with any connected devices. You have to pay for the device and then pay for the data plan through a telecommunications carrier, I know people who find this very agile but it's not for me at the moment and I don't tend to travel with my scopes.
Anyway, that gives you a very quick and basic overview of the things needed to get started. After that is set up, Troy's setup works well using SkySafari (StarmapHD will do it also). :thumbsup:
14-07-2012, 01:48 PM
I can see why it doesn't work then, I do not have a router near the PC (I do in the house, but it is well outside the range, well outside).
I gained the impression that the phone and PC would communicate with each other without the need for the router, and assumed it was similar to the "SkyFi" system. I had one of these when they first came out, and used it successfully.
So, the "WiFiScope" doesn't produce a connection, correct?
14-07-2012, 02:45 PM
Aha! Sorry, pardon my telling you how to vacuum clean avian ovoid-shaped reproductive cells :D I see you already know about routers.
No, WiFi Scope doesn't create the network, it opens up a port on your computer if there's an IP address available to it.
The later versions of the iPhone have something called a personal hotspot (in Settings -> Personal Hotspot) which you can supposedly turn on and it creates a Wi-Fi network. I have tried using that but have not successfully linked computer, phone and iPad yet through straight Wi-Fi other than through bluetooth.
Admittedly I haven't turned everything off then on again, but will get to that at some stage. ;)
14-07-2012, 02:47 PM
LOL, eggs were not sucked or even suggested.
That's the answer then, no wifi, go buy the SkiFy, something I'll look at I reckon. Might investigate the personal hotspot too.
15-07-2012, 02:52 PM
Dunno how much those SkyFi's are, but you can get a router or range extender pretty cheap. How far away is your house with internet connection?
Alternatively, what iPhone do you have? And does your computer have bluetooth? If not, and if you have a USB port spare, you can get a USB bluetooth adapter from eBay pretty cheap. If you wanted to go down the iPhone HotSpot route. Probably bit less reliable IMO than router.
15-07-2012, 03:07 PM
house is about 100+ meters from where the scope/mount is, so I could look at that option.
iPhone 4, and no, the PC is without bluetooth (I think). Yes, do have a spare USB port though. The hotspot idea only works IIRC if you have it on the applicable plan, I obviously don't as I cannot see it when I check in the settings.
SkyFi dongle for me I think, if I want to carry on with this.
Appreciate the help though,
22-07-2012, 10:07 AM
Troy et al,
I had a major break-through, and tried something completely off the wall, for me.
There was an old D-Link modem/router lying round, that was replaced a few years back, so I hooked that up to the power and turned it on. Additionally, I had an old USB style thing that provides a wireless connection for the PC (doesn't have wifi built in (as far as I know). It's an "Air-Live WT-2000USB"
So, with the D-Link working, I can now "see" it with the PC. The IP address as reported by the Air-Live Config page is 10.1.1.4 and strangely enough the WifiScope box has this 10.1.1.4 in there as well. Ye Ha I thought, so typed it into the SkySafari page too. But for some reason I just can't get SkySafari to connect, it tried, thinks about it, and fails to connect, telling me to go check my settings.
Before I got this working it didn't think, it just spat at me, telling me it can't connect, so I am close.
One last thing. The iPhone, when I check the settings in there (and bear in mind I am well out of wifi link with anything other than the D-Link, it finds the D-Link, and has plenty of signal strength. If I check the settings, the iPhone reports the IP address as 10.1.1.3
Like I said, I'm close, and I am a complete novice with networks etc, but am open to a suggestion or two, please.
22-07-2012, 04:44 PM
Gary, only one device on a network can be assigned a given IP address, so what you've written is hard to understand.
The router can probably act as a DHCP server and assign IP addresses to everything else, including the SkyFi and iPhone. You should be able to ask the router what addresses it has assigned on its web config pages.
22-07-2012, 05:24 PM
yes, possibly my description wasn't overly clear. I checked, and the iPhone, iPad, and PC all have differing IP addresses, all similar but different.
What I can't find is the IP address that looks like "192.168.0 etc, only the 10.1.1.3 or 10.1.1.4 or similar.
Do I need to do something else, or look somewhere else?
22-07-2012, 08:53 PM
192.168.0.xx is a common local network address range. The 10.1.1.xx range also seems to be a popular one for routers. I'd guess that your router is set up as a local network DHCP server, which means it's allocating addresses to your computers and whatever else is connecting to that network.
So sounds like your computer's IP is 10.1.1.4 and iPhone is 10.1.1.3. That's fine and should be enough to get this working. Let's walk through it.
So if you fire up WiFi Scope, port is 4030, and it connects to your mount? Do you use EQMod or something else?
Now fire up your Sky Safari on your iPhone. Just to be sure, it's at least the Plus version? Go to settings, telescope setup. The Scope Type I used was "Meade LX-200 GPS" even though it isn't (it's really EQMod), it just needs to think this to use the right protocol to talk to WifiScope. Mount type is also set to "Alt-Az GoTo" irrespective of what it really is.
Have "auto-detect skyfi" off, and the IP address you use is the one of your computer, ie sounds like it's 10.1.1.4 although keep in mind this may change in future, because your router DHCP server could change it at any time, usually days later I think. This is the DHCP "lease" time.
Port number needs to match WifiScope which if left defaults should be 4030.
Try all that and see how it goes.
22-07-2012, 08:58 PM
Oh, and make sure you don't have a firewall on your PC blocking that port 4030.
23-07-2012, 07:09 AM
thank you, and also a big thank you to all the others that have tossed in ideas, I still can't make it work.
Part of the problem could be an older version of SkySafari perhaps? It's 2.1.2, but still has scope control and has worked in the past when I had a SkyFi unit.I've tried all the items you list above, to no avail. There is one that isn't on my iPhone, that is "auto-detect SkyFi", I don't have that, but figure it's a version difference.
I'll park the idea for a while and come back to it, right now though it's a no-go.
24-07-2012, 03:32 PM
Well, not wanting to admit defeat, and following a lead Troy gave, I located the Windoze Firewall, and turned it all off (I am miles from the internet anyway), and blow me down, it works, great news.
Thank you all for your help,
24-07-2012, 07:33 PM
Suh-weeeeeet! Glad to help and glad it worked!
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