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Thread: Astro Device's Nexus

  1. #1
    Member deepskytraveler's Avatar
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    Astro Device's Nexus

    Ordered a Nexus, an advanced wireless multifunctional telescope adapter, from Astro Devices last week. I tired of waiting on the USB version of SkyFi that was continually delayed for well over a year. Got pretty excited about capabilities of the Nexus and since it was shipping I decided to give it a try. I plan on using it with both my Obsession and MegaStar (without the Sky Commander) and with my iOptron MiniTower and Sky Safari Pro (once the firmware is upgraded with iOptron USB-to-serial support). Will keep everyone here posted on my experiences. Hope other Nexus users chime in as well. More info on the Nexus can be found here http://astrodevices.com .
    I am in no way associated with Astro Devices other than being a customer.
    Clear Skies,

    Mark Friedman
    Worthington OH USA
    15" f/4.5 Obsession Classic #973
    Stellarvue SV90TBV

  2. #2
    Administrator/Co-Founder Dragan's Avatar
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    Hey Mark,

    I've never even heard of the Nexus. What exactly does it do?

    I'll also check out the link you provide
    Clear Dark Skies,
    Dragan Nikin
    25" f/5 Obsession #610 "Toto"
    www.darkskiesapparel.com

  3. #3
    Member Marko's Avatar
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    I run MegaStar all the time in the field but have never hooked it up to my StarMaster dob or it's Sky Commander controller. My starmaster has DSC and goto although I normally only use goto for holding a field so I am less likely to loose track of which dim fuzzy in the cluster I was on and where I plan on going in that cluster/field. I tried a long time ago to work out how to tie my StarMaster into just MegaStar but did not follow that up.

    So I am curious as to your findings as well.

    What I would so love to have to save a bunch of time and error in the field is the ability to move to an object (pushto or goto) but then have the computer tell me where north is in the field. I mean right away with no messing with menus or field selection on MegaStar. Just do it. Slave the megastar and megastar goes right where I point AND something tells me the field orientation. Nice.

    I waste large amounts of time relative to the number of observations I do in a given night waiting for drift and then can be off by over 20 degrees sometimes due to scope settle before drift really works. I want to log PA and log it right. I am impatient and want to know where North is right when I get to my target area. If I knew even what position the top of my field was as I stand on the ground and gaze into the eyepiece that too would be fine. SkyTools is the closest I have seen to easily telling me this but it's interface is about the most ridiculous I have ever seen. (it's star fields sure look good though for simulation). Alll of this IS possible, I guess I just have to figure it out with more research.

    Just got SkySafari on my android tablet and WOW that is a REAL tool and not some sideshow although I'll likely stick to MegaStar with DSS integrated since I am so used to it now. SkySafari will tie into the WiFi scope controller like what you mention.
    Let me roam the deep skies and I'll be content.
    Mark Johnston
    18" StarMaster f/3.7
    12" Meade LightBridge f/5

  4. #4
    Administrator/Co-Founder Dragan's Avatar
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    I need to revive this thread.

    As I slowy finish modifying this EVO 30 and get it ready for some observing, I decided that I need to control it wirelessly. I've grown so accustomed to driving my 25" wirelessly via a Connexlink serial tx/rx while using Megastar as my planetarium software. I'd hate to not continue this same style of observing with the 30". Sadly, the new Gen 3 Servocat has no serial connection, so I can't use the Connexlink. My two options now are the SkyFi or Nexus, both of which connect via USB.

    Mark, what has been your opinion of Nexus? How has it been overall?

    Anyone else have any opinions of the Nexus? Or the SkyFi?

    Thanks!
    Clear Dark Skies,
    Dragan Nikin
    25" f/5 Obsession #610 "Toto"
    www.darkskiesapparel.com

  5. #5
    Member deepskytraveler's Avatar
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    Dragan,

    Fortunately you do have several options. The reason I picked up the Nexus multifunctional wifi adapter over the SkyFi was that the Nexus had support for USB serial devices based on FT232x, CP210x and PL2303, which was needed to communicate with my iOptron MiniTower. The 8401 hand controller on the MT is rather poorly implemented, so the MT was begging to be driven by something like SkySafari Pro or MegaStar. SkyFi did not implement their support for these USB serial devices until they came out with their second generation hardware, which if I recall correctly was a good 18 to 24 months after the original SkyFi first came out. I have used the Nexus wifi adapter with both my MT and with the Sky Commander XP4 DSC and ServoCAT Gen 3 on my Obsession 15" using MegaStar, SkyTools Pro, and SkySafari Pro. Take your pick.

    These days the Nexus is a permanent resident on the MiniTower. That is because another option became available early this year - the Nexus DSC. This device is a state-of-the-art advanced digital setting circles which replaces DSCs such as the SC XP4 or Argo Navis. One hardware option available with the Nexus DSC is wifi support. With the Nexus DSC now on my 15" with ServoCAT I'm ready to go with a full function standalone DSC, or connect and be driving with my long-time favorite, MegaStar, in the amount of time it takes to start the MegaStar and connect it to the Nexus DSC wirelessly. It is as close to plug-and-play as it comes given you are dealing with a Windows-based program. In addition to MegaStar, I've run with SkyTools Pro and SkySafari. They all function very well with the ServoCAT.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you want any further information.

    Clear skies,

    Mark
    Last edited by deepskytraveler; September 29th, 2015 at 04:22 AM.
    Clear Skies,

    Mark Friedman
    Worthington OH USA
    15" f/4.5 Obsession Classic #973
    Stellarvue SV90TBV

  6. #6
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    I have the Nexus DSC on my 30" Starstructure an have been using it since it was released. I love it. The database size is huge and many times I do not need a computer. Serge just released an update last week with new catalogs added. The wireless feature works great. I use Astrplanner, Skytools and Safari and will try Megastar next time out. The support is great too. I have emailed Serge a few times and he has either responded via email or asked to call me to help - very good support. The unit is easy to use. It has the 3 point alignment - fix alt ref and 2 star alignment. It also has Mpoint modeling (like the TPAS in the Argo) if you want more precise go to's. This too is easy to use.

    Duane
    Duane Smith
    StarStructure 30" F/3.3

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