NexStar Resource Site

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SkyScout Connect

In the fall of 2008, Celestron ( introduced a new gadget called SkyScout Connect (SSC).  SSC allows you to use the handheld SkyScout Personal Planetarium to direct most Celestron GoTo telescopes to point at any object in the SkyScout database.  Additionally, SkyScout also functions as a GPS unit for the telescope, providing precise location, date and time automatically.  SkyScout should be updated to the newest firmware and the NexStar hand control needs to be running version 4.03 or higher, though on the NexStar GT the SkyScout will not provide location, date and time as the GT model doesn't support GPS module usage.

Here are some basic instructions on how it works.

The NexStar hand control is disconnected from the mount and plugged into SSC.  SSC is plugged into the mount at the hand control port.  SSC snaps onto the back of the hand control to make them one unit.  SkyScout is connected to SSC via a USB cable and you'll have to find a good place to set it when you are using the scope.  Finally, connect the short RS-232 cable (looks like a tiny phone cord) into the port on the bottom of the hand control.

Once everything is connected, power up the scope.  Next power up SkyScout. In the menu of the hand control, you would change the GPS setting to ON.  You only need to make this setting once; the hand control "remembers".  From this point the hand control will query the SkyScout for the date/time/location information when you initiate any of the usual alignment procedures: SkyAlign, EQ Auto Align, etc.

Once the telescope's alignment routine is complete, you can use the hand control as you normally would (selecting objects from the built-in catalogs, issuing GoTo commands, etc.) or you can point SkyScout at an object visible to the unaided eye, have SkyScout identify it and have the scope GoTo that object. This last part is done by accessing SkyScout's menu system.

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Michael Swanson
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