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Connecting

The basic connection is on OnStep's USB (virtual serial) port. This is usually how my ASCOM driver talks to OnStep and is often the same serial port where you uploaded the OnStep Sketch to the Teensy3.x or Arduino Mega2560.

If you're connecting to OnStep via Bluetooth be sure it's already paired first. Each Android phone/tablet has a Bluetooth pairing facility in the settings menu.  Other devices/operating systems have similar facilities for pairing.

If you're connecting to OnStep via IP (ESP8266 WiFi or Arduino M0/Ethernet Shield) be sure you're connected to the correct network first.

  • For an ESP8266 WiFi Access Point the default SSID is "OnStep" (my ESP8266 firmware defaults to AP mode when first uploaded.)
    • WiFi connections in access-point mode default to address 192.168.0.1
  • For an Arduino M0/Ethernet Shield it defaults to the info. specified in the "Config.h" file of the "OnStepEthernetServer" Sketch which needs to be configured to match the network it's operating on.
    • Ethernet connections default to address 192.168.1.55; but often this needs to be changed for proper integration with your LAN, see OnStepEthernetServer's Config.h file to make these changes.

Everywhere

  • Once connected to Ethernet or WiFi OnStep's website becomes available at the address given above.
  • Most applications that can connect to a serial port or IP address can control OnStep using it's LX200 compatible protocol.
  • USB, Bluetooth, or even true RS232 serial ports can be setup and used by any application with LX200 serial support.
  • An OnStep Python API is available for those who want to write test scripts, automate certain tasks, ...etc. It can be used over the USB port, or IP over WiFi.

 Windows

  • OnStep ASCOM driver can connect over Serial or IP then any ASCOM aware telescope control application should work.  ASCOM's POTH can be used to connect more than one application simultaneously.  NEVER connect directly to the OnStep ASCOM Telescope Driver with more than one application simultaneously ALWAYS use POTH for multiple connections.
  • LX200 - Several applications (CdC and Stellarium, for example) can also connect* directly to OnStep's serial port using LX200 protocol. 
  • Sky Planetarium uses ASCOM and has a higher level of integration with OnStep than any other option.

 Android

  • OnStep Controller2
    My Android App can connect to OnStep over Bluetooth or IP. 
    If using Bluetooth be sure to enable Bluetooth on your device and pair with OnStep first.
    From my App's main screen, press the menu button and select Connection.
    To connect to OnStep with Bluetooth simply select it from the list of paired devices.
    To connect to OnStep via IP you must type in the IP Address.
  • Sky Safari
    Sky Safari can connect to OnStep over Bluetooth or IP.
    Settings->Telescope/Setup
        Scope Type -- Meade LX-200 Classic.
        Mount Type, etc. should match up with your build.
        If connecting via Bluetooth simply select that option and the device you paired with.
        For WiFi you'll need the IP Address of your ESP8266 and the port (192.168.0.1 and port 9999 are default.)
        Other options in the setup section function as intended (if not by name) to help configure the WiFi and control OnStep.

 iOS

  • The website
    With an ESP8266 WiFi attached the website can be used to operate special features of OnStep.  This includes the ability to set date/time/location and start tracking.
  • Sky Safari
    Sky Safari can connect to OnStep over IP.
    Settings->Telescope/Setup
        Scope Type -- Meade LX-200 Classic.
        Mount Type, etc. should match up with your build.
        For WiFi you'll need the IP Address of your ESP8266 and the port (192.168.0.1 and port 9999 are default.)
        Other options in the setup section function as intended (if not by name) to help configure the WiFi and control OnStep.

 Linux

  • INDI - An INDI driver for OnStep also exists, so it can be used on Linux from KStars or other INDI supporting clients.  For support on OnStep from INDI, check the OnStep topic on the INDI forum . If you are a developer and want to modify the INDI driver, or want to review/learn more on the code for the INDI driver, you can so OnStep INDI driver on GitHub.

* = If using a Mega2560 most software directly connecting to it's USB serial port will cause a "reset on connect" (search google for this to learn more if you like.)  For some software, like Stellarium, this leads to a reset of OnStep but the connection succeeds.  You can then use the Android App or website to set the date/time and start a 1-star align to begin operation (for example.)  For other software like CdC, in LX200 direct mode, the connection just fails due to this.  Fortunately CdC has decent ASCOM support so that's what you should be using in this case!  My ASCOM driver does NOT reset the Mega2560 when connecting.