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Old 09-06-2015, 01:34 PM
rrussell1962
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Sky Safari and Vixen Starbook Ten

Finally bit the bullet and bought a $50 battery powered travel router to connect Sky Safari to the Vixen Starbook Ten. I was expecting hours of frustration, it took about 10 minutes to get it working. Starbook Ten is great, but it is nice to now have custom observing lists and a tour function.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:09 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Care to share more info about the above setup please? I'm a big fan of Starbook Ten. I've got the Advanced Unit & the C0014-3M guide/video camera too and I intend to link it to my camera shutter too so that I can use the Starbook Ten as an intervalometer.

By wirelessly being able to control the Starbook Ten via Sky Safari & wireless router how have you been using this setup?
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:46 AM
rrussell1962
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Hi Sean, I bought a little travel router with a built in battery. The one I got is the TPLink MR3040, but I am sure there are others that would work equally well. Go through the instructions to install and configure the router. I left the DCHP range as the defaults, type set as wisp (whatever that means!). Charge battery in router. Connect LAN port on router to LAN port of Starbook Ten. You need to use a straight through cable for this - not a crossover cable. Turn on router. Turn on Starbook Ten and do alignment as normal. Go to System menu on Starbook Ten and note the IP address, mine is something in the range 192.168.0.100 to 192.168.0.199, which is the default address range for the router. Next, open up the WiFi settings on your laptop, iPad etc, The TPLink network should be clearly visible, join the network (note password is on the back of the router if you need it.) Open SkySafari, go to Telescope>Setup. Scope Type - seems to work as either Vixen Starbook or Vixen Sphinx. Connection Type is WiFi / Ethernet. Set auto detect SkyFi to off i.e. uncheck box. Set IP address to the same as the Starbook Ten is showing. Port 80. Readout rate does not seem critical, I left mine at 10 per second. Press Connect and with any luck......Just note that you need to exit the system menu on Starbook Ten before SkySafari will control the telescope. Well, it worked for me, but obviously it's your equipment and you connect things to it at your own risk!

Last edited by rrussell1962; 05-08-2015 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:56 AM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Russell,

Thank you. This is very interesting. I may give it a shot. The Starbook Ten is pretty accurate when it comes to finding objects. I'd gather Sky Safari GOTO controlling the SXP via the Starbook Ten is just as accurate as using the Starbook Ten itself?

How long does the battery powered WiFi router run for you?

Cheers,
Sean
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:07 AM
rrussell1962
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I've had no problems with the accuracy on Sky Safari, I use it on a couple of mount types and it seems fine. One minor point to look out for if you ever need to find an object by entering RA and Dec into Starbook Ten is that, as far as I can make out, Starbook Ten uses current epoch, or the co-ordinates when it was designed, and not J2000 co-ordinates. Although I am ready to be corrected on that point. I can't find any reference in the manual as to the co-ordinate epoch used, but certainly the displayed co-ordinates in Starbook Ten do not match the J2000 co-ordinates. The differences are pretty small though. The battery on the router is good for 5 hours or so from memory. I have a Lithium Ion battery pack with 12V and USB outputs that does me for an evening powering the mount and router. The router has the inbuilt battery and a USB power socket. Usually though I'll get out around 8 or 9 and pack up around midnight or 1 so the router battery is fine.

It is nice to have double star lists without needing to search by SAO as we discussed by PM, also I use macs at home so entering details to Starbook Ten for comets is a non-starter, which motivated me to find a solution.

Just by-the-by, I recall that other people have used an Apple Airport express to do the same job, but I wanted to get away from needing a mains power supply so gave it a go with the battery powered router.

Have fun shopping today, let me know how you get on.

Last edited by rrussell1962; 05-08-2015 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:41 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Success!

Russell,

Thanks! This worked beautifully. I picked up the ASUS WL-3300NUL. As I have the Advanced Unit (which has a USB port), I fed power from the Starbook Ten/Advanced Unit USB port to the ASUS wireless router, then UTP back into the Starbook Ten.

Sky Safari Pro worked beautifully with it...not taken it outside yet but just played briefly at home. WobbleWorks Luminos didn't work as it didn't have the Vixen protocol but that's fine.

Thank you very much for the inspiration on doing this!

Cheers,
Sean
P.S. my Advanced Unit 3.5mm TRS -> microUSB to my Sony A7s itervalometer didn't work however. Think I need to make my own 3.5mm TRS -> microUSB cable.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:30 AM
rrussell1962
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I'm glad it worked for you as well! It might be an interesting experiment to compare the pointing accuracy between SkySafari set to J2000 epoch and Current epoch. I did a few quick indoor comparisons looking at the RA and Dec co-ordinates on SB10 and SkySafari. I don't think it would matter for visual use but it might be useful for imaging. I don't really do any imaging so don't have a feel for how critical positioning is, but it would be interesting to find out. You have probably already noticed that you can now also align form SkySafari if you want to.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:59 AM
AnakChan (Sean)
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I'll give that a shot the next time I pop my head out. Yes the difference should be a little more obvious in my setup with my 2500mm focal length & decent eyepiece. You're right about precision for imaging since I won't be removing the camera to check (but I can pump up the ISO & take a snapshot just to be sure the target is within view/centered.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:32 PM
johnmina (John Mina)
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I want to know that how to control Vixen Sphinx Starbook With SkySafari? I have Ultra eSAM router, Vixen mount SXD2, Starbook 10, and Sky Safari 6 plus.

Last edited by johnmina; 09-04-2019 at 10:59 PM. Reason: for adding the ink of eSAM router which I am using
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