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Control your Celestron Telescope with Stellarium

Work in Progress 26/01/17

A tutorial on how to use Stellarium to control your Celestron telescope .

You need the Serial Cable that comes with the hand controller. You also need a Serial to USB converter if your computer does not have a serial port.If it has a serial port you do not need the converter cable.
The Serial Cable can be purchased from Telescope Cables if you do not have one. The Serial to USB converter Cable can also be purchased from Telescope Cables. Photos of these cables are shown in Figures 1 and 2 below.

 

Figure 1 Celestron Serial Cable

Figure 2 Serial to USB Converter

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Connect the Celestron Serial Cable to the USB to Serial converter as shown in Figure 3. Then plug the USB end of the Converter to your computer.
If necessary, follow the instructions for installing the Converter Driver software that came with your Serial to USB Converter Cable.

Figure 3 Celestron Serial cable and USB adapter

Plug the Serial Cable into the bottom of the Hand Controller as shown in Figure 4

Figure 4

 

 

Start Stellarium then click on the configuration icon that looks like a wrench (Figure 5)on the left side of the Stellarium Window. When you do this you should get a window that looks like Figure 6

Figure 5

Next, click on the “Plugins”tab at the top right of the “Configuration Window "as shown in Figure 6

 

Figure 6

Scroll to the bottom of the left side of the Plugins screen and select “Telescope Control "as shown in Figure 7.Make sure the "Load at startup”check box is checked then select “Configure” 

 Figure 7

Click on "Telescope Control" tab Figure 7

Figure 8

Click on Telescope  tab Figure 8

 

Figure 9

Figures, 9 , 10 and 11 show the settings of adding a new scope. In Figure 10 make sure the “ Radio Button ” is selected under the “ Telescope controlled by ” heading : “ Stellarium , directly through a serial port ” .

Under the “ Telescope Properties ” you can highlight under the “ Name ” and name your scope how you want it . By “ Connection delay ” select 0.50s and select the J2000 (Default) button. Scroll down to “ Device Settings ” . COM1 is default selected. This can be changed by highlighting “ COM1 ” and changing it to “ COM2, COM3 ... etc. This selection needs to match were your Serial to USB adaptor is assigned by your computer . On your Computers “ Control Panel ” select “ Device Manager ” and see where your computer assigned your “ USB to Serial Com Port ” . As you can see in Figure 10 , mine was assigned to COM3 therefore I changed my COM port to COM 3 in Stellarium.

Figure 10

Make sure under “ Device model ” “ Celestron NexStar ( compatible ) ” is selected .

Figure 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure x shows what scopes are controlled when you click on the “Telescopes "tab As you can see in the figure x, My Celestron GT80 is “Stopped” and is listed as number 1.
You can install many different scopes here, but I only have one showing. To configure a new scope, press the “Add "tab at the bottom center of the screen


Turn on your mount and make sure that it is aligned . If it is not aligned , Stellarium will not know where to point the scope.

One Star Align

One Star Align is not designed to provide accurate GoTo or tracking, but rather allows you to quickly setup the scope to start approximate tracking. This is most useful when you don't care to have precise tracking and will manually find objects rather than using GoTo

Indoor Alignment

Align can be used as follows.

Northern Hemisphere

Point the telescope in the general direction of Polaris (the North Star). Remember that Polaris is straight north and is the same number of degrees above the horizon as your latitude on Earth. In other words, if you live at 45 degrees north latitude, you would point the scope north and up at a 45 degree angle. Start a One Star Alignment and use Polaris as the alignment star, pressing ENTER and ALIGN to accept the current position of the scope. The scope is now aligned and tracking.

 

 

When my mount is ready it says “ GT80 Ready ” as shown in Figure

 

Start Stellarium . Follow the steps to get to Figure 7 above. Your scope should be listed. Click on your scope and h highlight it, then press Start. You should now have a marker on your Stellarium Screen that shows where your scope is pointing as shown in Figure 13 . To control your scope, click on the object you want your s cope to go to, then press “ Control 1 ” . This assumes you only have 1 scope connected 12 .

 

 


Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope this helps some of you out there. I personally find it to be the best way to remotely control my scope and effectively navigate the night's sky.