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StarFi Wifi Telescope Adapter and SkySafari Pro 5

Booting up the SkySafari 5 Pro, you are greeted by the startup screen.

SkySafari 5 Pro startup screen
SkySafari 5 Pro startup screen

Following the instructions in the manual, you will arrive with the settings below (with the correct iOptron mount selected – for me it is the ZEQ). This allowed me to successfully link my iPhone to the StarFi adapter via SkySafari Pro 5, and control the mount via my iPhone. Great! I have since changed the mount type to EQ Mount (German), although technically the ZEQ25 is a Chinese Equatorial mount (CEM).

Connection settings to enable successful connection of SkySafari Pro 5 to the iOptron mount
Connection settings to enable successful connection of SkySafari Pro 5 to the iOptron mount

Now I have a wirelessly controlled telescope Goto mount which will be able to find the targets easily from the huge catalog of the SkySafari Pro. Below was with the subject set to Comet Catalina, as this is a subject that I am waiting for an opportunity to capture. Now with the StarFi, I will be able to get the mount to slew directly to it, rather than need to find its coordinates on SkySafari Pro 5 and entering these into the handcontroller of the ZEQ25, once my mount is properly aligned.

SkySafari Pro 5 screen on iPhone
With mount connected, Comet Catalina was selected and centered on screen via the iPhone

There are arrow buttons on either side of the screen which allows for slewing in the appropriate direction. The rate of slewing can be controlled via the slider at the bottom of the screen. The plus and minus buttons allow for zooming in or out on the screen.

From the database, it is possible to pull up information about the various Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) that you are observing or imaging, which can be very useful and educational. They also have images of some of these DSOs.

Information of the selected deep sky object
Information of the selected deep sky object

I was able to create a list of objects that I would like to image and potentially observe down the line when an opportunity arises. This list allows me to pull up one of my selected DSOs when I am next doing some imaging, which helps me to save time.

Saved list of objects for observing
Saved list of objects for observing

I have to say that I am very pleased with the StarFi adapter and SkySafari Pro 5 combination, as it makes finding interesting targets in the sky to image so much easier. I can’t wait for clear skies to use it for imaging and perhaps visual observation as well.

What I like about the iOptron StarFi?

  1. It is very small and draws its power directly from the mount through the iOptron port connection, so does not require another external power port. In contrast, SkyFi requires either 4 AA batteries or an external power source.
  2. It is much less expensive than the other telescope wifi adapters available, costing £95.00 (the SkyFi box from Southern Skies costs double of the StarFi).
  3. It works via 802.11 b/g/n, whereas the SkyFi box only operates via 802.11 b/g.
  4. It works with SkySafari 4 and above with the iOptron mounts.

What could be improved?

  1. It is only compatible with iOptron mounts, and hence cannot be used with other mounts like my Celestron CGEM.
  2. The cables supplied are fairly short which will restrict where you can place the handcontroller, but is not such an issue as the iPhone or iPad will be controlling the mount.

Verdict:

Definitely highly recommended for both StarFi wifi telescope adapter and SkySafari Pro 5.

Boon

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