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Old 19-10-2018, 06:08 PM
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Modding my Schaefer AT Mount - Argo Navis/Skysafari *Help Needed*

Hi Everyone

Added this to my original post (found here: http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...d.php?t=145706 with background on my mount found here: http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...d.php?t=122706), but the original title doesn't really cover my problem (although I am still interested in that one too!). So I decided to post a new one with a more appropriate title for the issue at hand.

Well after a long time stored in the shed, well actually external studio at old house and now garage at new house, my Schaefer Mount has been brought out of hibernation.

I had forgotten how much fun it was playing around with it, the mount I mean!

Anyways, pulled it out of the garage last week and set it up with the 120ED refractor. It looked so tiny on this mount, no need for any CW's!

I have been trying to get the Argo Navis, with my 20000 tic encoders, connected to the Orion StarSeek (i.e. SkyFi equivalent) and then to my iPad running SkySafari Plus.

I just can't get Skyfi and the Argo Navis to connect.

I have set both serial ports on the Argo Navis as BAUD 9600 and the Startup for Meade, I have also tried Sky Commander.

I have setup the SkySafari (older version SkySafri Plus 3.8.5) on iPad as:

- Scope Type: Tried Meade LX-200 Classic, Basic Encoder System & Sky Commander
- Mount Type: Tried EQ Push-To, Alt-Az Push-To on EQ as well as Alt-Az Push-To
- Auto-Detect SkyFi: OFF
- IP address: 10.0.0.1
- Port: 4030
- Set Time & Loc: OFF
- Readout Rate: 10 per second
- Save Log File: OFF

The iPad can connect to the Orion StarSeek/Skyfi box, but it states that it is not connected with the scope (i.e. Argo Navis) itself.

Is anybody else running this, or a similar setup? Any ideas?

Just another note, I have attempted connecting via SkySafari both before and after a star alignment with Argo Navis.

I am also thinking about connecting through Stellarium to Argo Navis, is anybody operating that kind of setup?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.



P.S. Still haven't figured out the original Losmandy DDS idea.
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Old 19-10-2018, 06:14 PM
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One further in relation to the Port setting in SkySafari (set at 4030), this is set at that because that is what it is set at when connected to my Celestron CGEM.

Wasn't too sure if or what to change it to with the Argo Navis.

Thanks
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Old 19-10-2018, 09:24 PM
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Howdy,


http://astroproservice.com/index.php...-standard-3-2/



I did use this system to modify my (damaged) CGEM-DX ... the servo-motor ha been busted... I did planed to use it with the Buyers Gear EQ mount I design.,,

So, the stepper-drive and EQMOD is great... was a bit of learning after the Celestron, but now it's great. Use PHD2 and works with CDC.


I'm still in Adelaide... pm if you want to see it


Ps: not sure if your Schafer has dual-axis drive or tangent arm?




Cheers,
Mick

Last edited by RB; 20-10-2018 at 10:55 AM. Reason: profanity bypass deleted
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Old 20-10-2018, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miki63au View Post
Howdy,


http://astroproservice.com/index.php...-standard-3-2/



I did use this system to modify my (damaged) CGEM-DX ... the servo-motor ha been busted... I did planed to use it with the Buyers Gear EQ mount I design.,,

So, the stepper-drive and EQMOD is great... was a bit of learning after the Celestron, but now it's great. Use PHD2 and works with CDC.


I'm still in Adelaide... pm if you want to see it


Ps: not sure if your Schafer has dual-axis drive or tangent arm?




Cheers,
Mick
G'day Mick

Long time no chat!

I did see your post about your CGEM, sorry to hear about that. I also read with interest with regards to your implementation of the EQ Drive solution. I have actually been looking at this, and OnStep for sometime to replace my giant PC size controller boxes for this mounts stepper system. It would be great to such a tiny box/controller that can be attached to the mount pier/tripod.

I appreciate the advice/pointers

In this instance I am also interested in getting the Argo Navis to communicate with my Orion StarSeek/Skyfi and then on to the iPad. Not sure what I am doing wrong with this setup and getting the connection right. I am starting to think it might be the cable from the serial port to the StarSeek.

I am going to see if I can get Stellarium on a PC to talk to it. I also have the Raspberry Pi3+ with Indi and StellarMate installed, might see if there is anyway to connect to that.

It's looks like it is going to be rainy and cloudy for sometime where I am at the moment, so plenty of time to play around with it.

In relation to the mount, yes it is a tangent arm. But, I also have a Byers gear and matching worm for the DEC. As usual, that's another project!

Take it easy.


Last edited by RB; 20-10-2018 at 10:56 AM. Reason: edited quote - profanity bypass deleted
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Old 20-10-2018, 02:53 PM
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Donít know if this will be of help but set up on my ATM pillow block mount is this.

20,000 tic encoders
Scope type: Meade LX-200 Classic
Mount type: EQ push to
Aoto detect SkyFi: off
I.P address: 10.0.0.1
Port number: 4060
Read out: 10 per second

On the Argo Navis unit I followed this info from CN https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/5...push-to-scope/

Works well for me running SkySafari 4 Pro on an old iPad.

Iím going to presume that you can replace sky wire with your wifi.
Got a vague memory that star seek and SkySafari donít talk to each other. I think that star seek has its own app. Bintel were selling the Star seek, with info on what does and doesnít work, a few years ago.
Matt
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Old 20-10-2018, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattT View Post
Donít know if this will be of help but set up on my ATM pillow block mount is this.

20,000 tic encoders
Scope type: Meade LX-200 Classic
Mount type: EQ push to
Aoto detect SkyFi: off
I.P address: 10.0.0.1
Port number: 4060
Read out: 10 per second

On the Argo Navis unit I followed this info from CN https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/5...push-to-scope/

Works well for me running SkySafari 4 Pro on an old iPad.

Iím going to presume that you can replace sky wire with your wifi.
Got a vague memory that star seek and SkySafari donít talk to each other. I think that star seek has its own app. Bintel were selling the Star seek, with info on what does and doesnít work, a few years ago.
Matt
G'day Matt

Thanks for the tips.

What I have taken from your post is perhaps I should consider updating my iPad app version and I can try changing the port to 4060. Most of all, that it does work, just got to figure it out!

In relation to StarSeek working with SkySafari, I can confirm that it does work as I can connect and control my CGEM with the same setup and app.

I appreciate your time

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Old 20-10-2018, 04:46 PM
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Star seek and SkySafari do work together http://skysafariastronomy.com/support/faq/skyfi.html

Only thing I have different to your set up is the port number.
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Old 20-10-2018, 04:53 PM
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Just crossed over with posts....it does work very well for me. Took me forever to get there though.
As my mount is permanently setup itís plug everything in, do a one star alignment, press connect scope on SS and press align on whatever star I used....after that itís virtually perfect all over the sky.
I chose sky wire cause itís simple and never drops out.
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Old 20-10-2018, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattT View Post
Just crossed over with posts....it does work very well for me. Took me forever to get there though.
As my mount is permanently setup itís plug everything in, do a one star alignment, press connect scope on SS and press align on whatever star I used....after that itís virtually perfect all over the sky.
I chose sky wire cause itís simple and never drops out.
Thanks again Matt

I think I may have to try the Skywire cable instead of the Skyfi perhaps, maybe just use the wifi for the CGEM.

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Old 20-10-2018, 07:28 PM
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Iíve just been through the SkySafari Starseeker/SkyFi Argonavis exercise on my Dob, and have had success!
http://www.skysafariastronomy.com/pr...fi/serial.html
The above URL shows the connections between the star seeker wi fi module Serial port and the ArgoNavis RJ11 serial connector.
Gary from Wildcard suggested using Skycommander protocol with a baud rate of 19200. I set this up on Argos serial port 2 as per the AN Manual.
For my system I used the Push To Alt/Az Mount, but you would used Push to GEM mount.
I agree with the settings you have shown, but I turn auto detect on, as it then auto connects the AN to the SkySafari program when you open that app.

I had huge confusion making the interface cable for DB9 to RJ11. And after several hours of research managed to get it wrong! It had the same error message you saw, indicating iPad communicating with the StarSeek module, but not the scope.
There is room for confusion in the pin numbering for the RJ11 connector also. Some advice shows a 4 pin RJ connector and some shows a 6 pin connector.

What worked for me is
DB9 pin 2 goes to RJ11 pin1 (4pin) or RJ11 pin 2 (6 pin)
DB9 pin 3 goes to RJ11 pin2 (4 pin) or RJ11 pin3 (6 pin)
DB9 pin 5 goes to RJ11 pin 3 (4 pin) or RJ11 pin 4 (6 pin)

Of course you need the AN to be aligned before you try to connect the Starseeker.
Happy nights for me.
HTH Brian
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Old 21-10-2018, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tempestwizz View Post
Iíve just been through the SkySafari Starseeker/SkyFi Argonavis exercise on my Dob, and have had success!
http://www.skysafariastronomy.com/pr...fi/serial.html
The above URL shows the connections between the star seeker wi fi module Serial port and the ArgoNavis RJ11 serial connector.
Gary from Wildcard suggested using Skycommander protocol with a baud rate of 19200. I set this up on Argos serial port 2 as per the AN Manual.
For my system I used the Push To Alt/Az Mount, but you would used Push to GEM mount.
I agree with the settings you have shown, but I turn auto detect on, as it then auto connects the AN to the SkySafari program when you open that app.

I had huge confusion making the interface cable for DB9 to RJ11. And after several hours of research managed to get it wrong! It had the same error message you saw, indicating iPad communicating with the StarSeek module, but not the scope.
There is room for confusion in the pin numbering for the RJ11 connector also. Some advice shows a 4 pin RJ connector and some shows a 6 pin connector.

What worked for me is
DB9 pin 2 goes to RJ11 pin1 (4pin) or RJ11 pin 2 (6 pin)
DB9 pin 3 goes to RJ11 pin2 (4 pin) or RJ11 pin3 (6 pin)
DB9 pin 5 goes to RJ11 pin 3 (4 pin) or RJ11 pin 4 (6 pin)

Of course you need the AN to be aligned before you try to connect the Starseeker.
Happy nights for me.
HTH Brian
Hi Brian

Thanks for the additional info, I think the cable info will be particularly helpful!

Might also change to SkyCommander again with a different baud setting.

Interesting comment about auto connect on, as all the posts I have read thus far using AN have said turn it off.

Will investigate a little further!

Thanks again, at least I know it should work and I am not just wasting my time.

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Old 26-10-2018, 12:11 PM
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Just a quick update: my SkyFi II unit would not communicate with the Argo when I had set the Baud rate to 19200. It works fine with a rate of 9600.
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Old 27-10-2018, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tempestwizz View Post
Just a quick update: my SkyFi II unit would not communicate with the Argo when I had set the Baud rate to 19200. It works fine with a rate of 9600.
Thanks for the update Brian.

I haven't had chance to look at this again yet.

It has just been sitting in my family room, much to my wife's dismay!

When I get around to it again, I will let you know how I got on.

Cheers
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GC - South Aus View Post
I have been trying to get the Argo Navis, with my 20000 tic encoders, connected to the Orion StarSeek (i.e. SkyFi equivalent) and then to my iPad running SkySafari Plus.

I just can't get Skyfi and the Argo Navis to connect.
Hi GC,

I just noticed your post from October here in the ATM & DIY section.

What serial cable are you using to interface between the Argo Navis
and the StarSeek?

The reason I ask is though serial cables can look physically similar,
they are not necessarily wired internally the same way.

At the end of the day, the pin assignments for the Argo Navis serial
port (as described in Appendix C of the User Manual) have to connect
to the correctly corresponding pins on the end that plugs into the Starseek.

Since there are a handful of wiring permutations, the odds of some
serial cable that may work between one telescope controller and
Starseek working with some other telescope controller and Starseek
are slim.

Even the plugs on either end of the cable can be crimped on two different ways.

The Orion Starseek is actually manufactured by the same people who manufacture SkyFi
who also happen to be the same people behind Sky Safari.

Newer SkyFi boxes have a DB-9 interface. I will assume your Starseek box just has
an RJ socket, like the original SkyFi.

We use 6P4C (6 position 4 connections) plus and designate the socket
pin assignments 1 through 4.

Looking at the sockets with the tab on the bottom, the pin assignments
run left-to-right 1 through 4.

If you have a multimeter (all ATM's should own a multimeter )
ensure that there is continuity between the pins on your cable as
follows :-
Code:
Starseek  Argo Navis
1                 2
2                 4
3                 3
4                 1
If you don't want to make your own cable, we also sell them.

Argo Navis supports multiple telescope protocols but the ubiquitous
Meade LX-200 is a good choice.

Do not check the Set Time and Location box.

On the Sky Safari side, set the scope to to Meade LX-200 Classic.
Select Alt-Az GOTO rather than PUSHTO (even though you are using PUSHTO)
as the GOTO setting will allow you to download object coordinates
to the Argo Navis FROM PLANETRARIUM pseudo catalog entry.
Set the communications rate at 9600. As the original Meade LX-200
ran at 9600 Baud, many planetarium programs assume that if you
are running Meade protocol the Baud rate is 9600.

The port setting of 4030 is correct for the Starseek but it is not
something the Argo Navis cares about. The Starseek is communicating
over TCP port 4030 on WiFi and is listening out on that port, so that
is what you should have set on the Sky Safari set up.

Auto Connect is fine to use.

On the Argo Navis side, for the appropriate serial port, set the BAUD rate
as 9600 and the STARTUP as "meade". When changing the STARTUP
command, be sure to press ENTER or EXIT to save the change and then
power the unit OFF and ON so the new STARTUP command starts.

When connecting, Argo Navis should be powered on but does not need to
be aligned. It will start communicating a default position even before
it is aligned.

When the two connect, Sky Safari will draw the bulls-eye on the screen
indicating the scope position.

You can also select an object on Sky Safari, perform a 'GOTO' and the
Argo Navis FROM PLANETARIUM position will be filled and you can
manually push to the target as indicated by the guide numbers.

As mentioned, we also sell serial cables, so email if you need one.

And do not hesitate to email or telephone during business hours.
As I don't necessarily see all posts in all forums, the best way to
get support is to reach out to us.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place
Mount Kuring-Gai NSW 2080
Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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