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new tablet and SkySafare pro

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David Pee:
This holiday season I will treat myself to a brand new tablet loaded with SkySarfare Pro.  Consistently used paper
Atlases and celebrity jumped up for this stage.  I still plan to star jump and I am pretty accomplished but I Only Want to try
doing it with a new toy.

I Would like to ask:

1.  What size pill is best in the telescope?
2.  Should I hand grip it or mount it to the extent?  ( a 12" dob)
3.  Do certain brands hold a charge or work better in the cold?  ( below zero possible in the winter)
4.  What specific techniques do you guys use to star jump using a tabletcomputer?

Plus some other questions I might not know to ask. .

I know there will be a learning curve but I am excited considering the change.
I'll appreciate all insights offered.

I utilize a Nexus DSC coupled wirelessly to my iPad.  It actually works well but I have encoders.

1.  I'd go for the larger size - my vision in red is less acute and a larger picture helps
2.  I'd mount it into the scope's mount using a Ram chunk and x-frame.  This way you can not drop it or an eyepiece
3.  I locate an iPad works well but it pays to keep it warm.  I think some of the dew-heater businesses provide something.
4.  I don't - Sky Safari works as a comprehensive, shifting star map that reflects where my scope is pointing.

Kyle Wood:

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I have been using Sky Safari for about 7 years and I really like it.. I have it installed on my android smart phone which has a 5.5 inch screen, a 7 inch tablet, an 8 inch tablet and a 10 inch tablet.

My preference is for the 7 inch tablet, it fits in my hand so I can easily use it one handed. And it fits in a pocket so I can keep it with me and warm and out of the weather. The 8 inch is also doable, the 10 inch is just too big.  I don't want the tablet tied to the scope, I want to be able to have it with me, I sit on a chair with a pair of binoculars and the tablet figuring out a star hop or a region of the sky..

As far as certain brands, that's a moving target. I like the Nexus 7 (2013), they're still available on Amazon. It has the right sensors for the compass mode and it has a GPS.. Battery life is not a problem as long as it's charged at the beginning of the night.

How do I star hop.. Lots of nice things about a tablet running SkySafari 5 Pro.. It presents you with the sky correctly oriented for the time and location. I can can zoom in and out, I can change the magnitudes displayed for the scope and the conditions. Basically I use a Telrad and a 50mm RACI finder. Aligning the cross hairs of the finder with the altitude and azimuth axes of the scope is very helpful. I rotate the eyepiece until moving the scope in the altitude direction is aligned with a star. If the finder is mounted with the eyepiece horizontal or vertical, this is not necessary but most of the time, the eyepiece is at an angle.

Protecting your dark adaption is critical. There are a few Samsung Tablets with AMOLED screens that supposedly do not leak light when turned down but nearly all tablets and phones do leak light even when set to a red screen mode. This means that some sort of red screen filter is needed. It not only darkens the screen but it also increases the contrast so dimmer settings are possible. Myself, I wear red goggles with reading glasses attached to the inside. I don't need glasses for viewing the night sky so the goggles work great. I slide them up on my forehead when not in use, when I am using the tablet, I slide them down.. I always know where my glasses are.

At night, if you need reading glasses, you might find you need stronger than normal glasses. I use 3.25's, they increase the magnification.. So, rather than using a larger tablet, I use glasses that let me hold the tablet closer..


This is going to be fun.
I have SS Plus on a 7" Nexus and it is good, but personally I would prefer to try a 5" screen out. Just find the tablet a little too big - but not by much. A 10" I simply would find too much.

Now I do use the thing at outreach and half my problem is or was carting it round in the case. Phone size screen fit in pockets, 7" tablets don't. Mine is used mainly as an outside source of information, as in How far is XXX away then?

If you get the Pro version then you will need memory, the Pro version is big and can slow things down. I opted for the Plus as it had much the same functions, just less stars and DSO's, but I doubt I will manage to see all 2.1 million stars before I fall over dead. Especially with the cloud cover I seem to have above me. And the Plus version is a fair bit less in cost. How many stars and DSO's do you want? Having 5 million stars that are too dim to see and slow down the tablet is not really useful.

Tony Patton:
I have SS5+ on a 7" tablet and it is great.,mounted or held depending on the scope.,I've lately been using it for starhopping with the FOV circle and it doesn't get any easier.,SS5+ is the BEST $15 astro money I've spent.,


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