Jump to content
  • Join the online East Midlands astronomy club today!

    With active forums, two dark sites and a knowledgeable membership, East Midlands Stargazers has something for everyone.

Newbie - still baffled, but playing as the weather is so grotty...

Guest Simes

Recommended Posts

Guest Simes
I was jolly impressed with a fellow stargazers remote control of his telescope mount from his 

iPad - so I thought to myself that as imitation is the sincerest form of 

flattery, it was about time to do the same. 


So, firstly to hunt down a Bluetooth to serial adaptor. It seems you can pay 

anything from a fiver to five hundred pounds for one, so, being mean, but not a 

cheapskate, I went for one for £25 on the bay of fleas. 


It duly arrived the next day. 


Firstly it has to be set up to talk the right language and speed to the scope. 

So, connected it with a USB to Serial adaptor to my PC and using a terminal 

program (in my case, as I use Linux, not Windows, I used GtkTerm), set the baud 

rate to 9600 - the device came with it set to 19200 as default. 


That done it was into the conservatory to connect it to the scope. Easy enough, 

using the supplied male to male adaptor and the Celestron serial lead supplied 

with the scope. 


Then (at the last minute) I remembered that when it (the BT adaptor) was 

connected to the PC it was in DTE mode (it was pretending to be a modem) and now 

it needed switching to DCE mode (it's pretending to be a PC) - just a simple 

slider switch on the side of the device. 


Next, paired it to my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet and fired up SkySafari. 

Not a cheap app - about a tenner actually -so about the price of a couple of 

pints these day, but compared to so many apps free or only a pound or so it felt 

like quite an investment!. 


Clicked on connect (having already aligned the scope the usual way - or as it 

was day time, and foggy I just pointed it at where Polaris would about be and 

hit align!) and I was away! I can drive the scope manually from the cursors on 

screen, or click on an object and it takes the scope there! Brilliant - simple 

and cheap. 


No longer navigating using the 1980's style handset, but a full colour, full 

screen view of the night sky and the ability to easily see things on the screen, 

then see them through the scope in real life! 


Total cost was under £40. Just need to tidy it up a bit, so that the BT adaptor 

can sit neatly out of the way when in use and then I'm done. 


A quick vid of it working http://youtu.be/Z9OUKDA7nWw 


I'm a happy bunny. Now, all I need is a clear night.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a great feeling when it all comes together Simes - Congrats on doing it all with ipad/netbook. I was enthralled when I set up Stellarium to run the CPC and CG5 GT goto mounts. Just gotta crack the NEQ6 and HEQ5 pros now using Ascom. Apart from the adaptor it was all totally free.

So nice to click an object on screen and watch the mount move round to it - or use arrow key software or joystick. :)


(yes the link throws up a 404 error)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations Simon, that sounds like it all went well.

Iam more of a duct tape/ WD40 sort of bloke, so I won't pretend to know what it does, other than control the scope wirelessly.


Cracking job though mate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Simes



I think that's fixed the link...

I'm jolly chuffed with it. And the price was about right!

Edited by Simes
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Simes

Well done i like the 1980 hanset but to be honest once on target am there most of the night ,trouble is you will look at 30 things in one night but you will not really see any thing .a think every one tries this once i never had the urge to wire stuff up let alone sit in the dark damp of night with my ipad lol but if i did i would how acurate is it? Or was it at your mates. I guess your alignment routine leveling acurate date and time and the clocks are both in sync ect do another id next clear night be intrested to see it slew and then look in epe stay cool


Hi Pat,

It will be as accurate as the goto mount is when working from the handset. The benefit is in the database of SkySafari which contains more things than the handset - particularly "new" things, like comets, asteroids and satellites.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Simes

That's what attracted me to it. Cheap!

We by to the Maplin in Nuneaton yesterday to get a couple of capacitors to filter the power supply to the usb port I'm powering it from. What they don't mention on their website is that the shop isn't open yet!

Hey Ho. Ordered online instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.