Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo Mount - SynScan WLAN - Further Experiences

Introduction | First Practical Experiences | Preliminary Conclusions | Links

In progress

On this page, I present further, that is, first practical experiences with the SynScan WLAN adapter from Sky-Watcher. This device allows me to control my Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo telescope mount with the SynScan app for iPad or Windows, instead of using the hand box. It is also possible to control the telescope via Synscan app with the astronomy application SkySafari Plus or Pro in version 5 and 6. On the Apple platform, however, this is somewhat more complex than when using Android or Windows because you need two computing devices.

Note: There is another WiFi adapter available that is called SkyFi 3 (current version; or III...) and sold by Simulation Curriculum.

See also:

 

Introduction

I came across the SynScan WLAN adapter through an e-mail contact in April 2019. This WLAN module is compatible with all Sky-Watcher GoTo mounts and allows wireless control of the telescope via smartphone, tablet, or computer using the SynScan or SynScan Pro app. These apps support the SkySafari Plus/Pro planetarium software for Android and Apple iOS, but Apple iOS requires two devices at the same time (two iOS devices or one iOS device and one Macintosh).

I can only report here about iOS/OS X and the Windows App. I described on page Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo Mount - SynScan WLAN - First Experiences how I got into a working state with the WLAN adapter on the Apple platform - through a lot of trying and possibly lucky coincidences. On this page, I describe my first practical experiences with this configuration.

Box content (and glasses...)

The adapter module

Ditto, connected to the mount

 

First Practical Experiences

Even when I did not have the SynScan WLAN adapter in a "workable" state (April 2019), I was already able to make first observations of easy to find celestial objects (M 35, M 44, M 45) using my PS 72/432 refractor. My first impression was that the accuracy of the alignment via the iPad app was quite good, but I was not able to make any more precise statements. It did not seem any worse than the handbox. I have to add, however, that I worked at low magnifications, and with these the alignment is generally easier for me (but it is also less accurate...).

At the end of April 2019, I started with my first "pure" observations using the SynScan WLAN adapter and the PS 72/432. I repeated these on May 1, 2019 with the Explorer 150PDS, a telescope with a longer focal length (and correspondingly higher magnification when using the same eyepieces). These observations (M 35-38, M 44) are described elsewhere; here I am only interested in how far I was able to successfully use the WLAN adapter. This succeeded without any problems, since I managed NOT to press the "Enter" key after entering the Messier number... So there were no crashes of the app on the iPad. The alignment also worked satisfactorily.

On June 4, 2019, about a month later, I then operated the Skymax-127 on the GoTo mount with WLAN adapter in order to repeat observations of globular star clusters that I had made two days earlier with the PS 72/432 on the AZ-Pronto mount. I also wanted to test whether I would be able to control the telescope with SkySafari 6 on the Macintosh. This time, I only found the 1-star alignment instead of the 2-star alignment, and therefore used it. Of course, I did not expect a high accuracy of the alignment, but it worked reasonably well. But after some time I had to repeat the alignment, which was no problem. The iPad app ran again without a crash...

I was able to connect the WLAN adapter to SkySafari, and controlling the mount using SkySafari also worked. I was even able to"play around" with the alignment using the "Align" command in SkySafari. Ii is important for such corrections to move the telescope on the mount manually without the encoders switched on. Otherwise you cannott "cheat" SkySafari because it would detect every manual movement, take care of it, and display it on the screen.

How I correct the alignment (works locally only):

If I use the direction keys of the app to move the telescope, the target point in SkySafari moves with it. Typically it does not lie on the object I want to approach/observe and set by moving the scope. Then also the "Align" command does not work with larger discrepancies, because the alignment error must not be too big, if you want to correct the alignment (but I have not yet tested this systematically). I also found it difficult to look through the eyepiece and control the telescope with the app on the iPad at the same time (and find the target in the eyepiece...).

 

Preliminary Conclusions

In preparation

 

Links

 

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gerd (at) waloszek (dot) de

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14.06.2019