Wireless COM-port link to 'scope

Astronomy software or computer hardware that you need to help get a good nights viewing
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rwilkinson
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Wireless COM-port link to 'scope

Post by rwilkinson » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:02 am

I was impressed with Mike's demo of wireless control of his GoTo mount at last night's meeting, using a WiFi COM-port link from his SmartPhone.

Thinking about it, I've used a very similar method to connect my Asus netbook to a radio-modem, but using BlueTooth rather than WiFi.
Most SmartPhones and modern laptops have this built-in, otherwise I have seen little USB-BlueTooth adaptors for sale in PoundWorld!
This is the "dongle" which attaches to the remote instrument ('scope or modem):
Image
http://www.tronisoft.com/cat_bluetootht ... tAodlCA4PQ
It runs off 5V, so a little battery will be required, or a voltage regulator to power it off the 12V from your 'scope.

cstone
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Re: Wireless COM-port link to 'scope

Post by cstone » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:05 pm

I tried the Bluetooth dongle a while back.

In fact I remember mentioning this to you a few years ago and you told me to use wires!
Celestron 11" Telescope
Eq6 Pro Mount
Eq5 Mount
EQ Mod
QHY5 Guide camera
Cannon 1000D SLR Camera

I choose to image with an 11" SCT Celestron in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard......

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Re: Wireless COM-port link to 'scope

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:57 pm

Yes, as you have a fixed computer and 'scope in your observatory, the hard-wired implementation should offer the best reliability.
However a wireless solution may be handy when operating out in the field - one less wire to trip over! But I recall that my major problem running a BlueTooth link from my battery-powered netbook was that every time the screen-saver (or some other power-saving feature) cut in, the link disconnected and then had to be manually re-set.

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Re: Wireless COM-port link to 'scope

Post by rwilkinson » Tue May 08, 2012 9:38 am

I've been doing a few tests with the BlueTooth COM link, and although it works OK using the ASCOM drivers from Cartes du Ciel, it crashes with Stellarium and doesn't work at all with NexStar Control Pad.
So best stick with an RS-232 or USB wired link.

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Re: Wireless COM-port link to 'scope

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:45 pm

To update this topic, I've had a lot more success with Bluetooth links since my last post (3.5 years ago).
In fact I can now control a Celestron mount fitted with the Bluetooth dongle using any of the following terminals:
  1. Cartes du Ciel with ASCOM on a WindowsXP laptop;
  2. Cartes du Ciel with INDI on a Linux netbook;
  3. SkySafariPlus on an Android tablet.
I think that most of my earlier problems were due to unwanted extra link-control characters being sent over the Bluetooth interface: my dongle had these enabled by default, but I worked out how to disable them.
Last edited by rwilkinson on Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Wireless COM-port link to 'scope

Post by bbones » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:23 am

Well done Ross, do you think Stellarium might also work?

Cheers Bill

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Re: Wireless COM-port link to 'scope

Post by rwilkinson » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:44 pm

bbones wrote:do you think Stellarium might also work?
If you've got the program installed on a computer with Bluetooth, I'll bring our SynScan wireless kit
(viewtopic.php?f=17&t=665)
along tomorrow evening, so you can borrow it and give it a try.

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