RE: Off topic = apple Ipad 2 is useless to me for my sat observing

From: Michael & Caroline Rice (
Date: Fri Mar 04 2011 - 22:42:29 UTC

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    Recently started using Skysafari on iPad for telescope control (LX-90).
    It works _wirelessly_ using SkyFi (or Orion's licensed/branded equivalent
    StarSeek) box
    which sets up an ad-hoc (peer-to-peer) wireless network that the iPad joins.
    The box is velcro-ed to the scope's fork arm and outputs RS-232 to the
    Autostar's input.
    The price of the box and software are very reasonable and I got my box in
    the mail from Bintelshop here in Oz in a matter of days.
    Had to buy the Orion branded/licensed version as the SkyFi was out of stock
    even at the maker's website.
    I can control the scope from quite a distance. Not sure of the maximum
    It's stated to work with any scope that accepts RS-232 commands (there is a
    list to choose from in the setup of Skysafari).
    Cabling was a little cumbersome until I bought a crimping tool and some 6P6C
    jacks and customised a telephone handset cable to be the link.
    Eliminated a StarSeek-DB9 and home-made Meade #505 in favour of just the
    curly cord. Looks quite schmick.
    The Orion version came with a DB-9 cable and a couple of cables for Orion
    scope controllers. I think there's something there to update the firmware
    too. No USB version available for scopes like ?ETX or Ioptron cube/tower
    mounts (though could try a serial-USB converter if there is such a thing?)
    Also a cable exists for use with the same software: provides RS-232 serial
    out of iPad/Pod and potentially useable for other serial devices.
    If you want to go this way you can do without the StarSeek/SkyFi box of
    course, and it's cheaper (but not as cool).
    Yet to get much use out of it as the summer monsoon weather keeps clouding
    or raining us out.
    Once I get it working on the more fixed objects I'll try some satellites.
    As commented, it shows the sats well, including a lovely chain of geosats.
    Updates are available. Not sure if it accepts TLEs directly or manually
    Michael & Caroline Rice
    10 Samantha Rd, CEDAR VALE Q 4285
    ph 5543 1873 mob 0428 154 912 or 0407 735 192
    -----Original Message-----
    [] On Behalf Of Kevin
    Sent: Saturday, 5 March 2011 2:24 AM
    Subject: Off topic = apple Ipad 2 is useless to me for my sat observing
    I was looking at the info, on the apple Ipad 2 that's coming out.
    Let's see, unless I am mistaken, there's no usb port like I have on my
    desktop = can't use a usb to serial adaptor, to connect my scope to it.
    So the nexremote software, which could run on it from what I see, has no way
    to connect to the mount and control it, just like the satellite tracker
    So no thanks, I stick to my pc. 
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