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SkyWire Lightning is the simplest way to turn your iPhone into a 21st-century telescope controller.
- This accessory adds an RS-232 port to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and lets it connect directly to the serial port on your telescope.
- SkyWire requires zero configuration - just plug it into your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It doesn't need batteries - it's powered by the phone, and consumes almost no power when not in use.
- SkyWire isn't just a "dumb cable". It's a true "Made for iPod" accessory that meets all Apple specs. Unlike other "iPhone serial cables" available on the internet, you don't have to jailbreak your iPhone to use it.
SkyWire will not work with Android devices. It is was designed for, and is exclusively compatible with, iOS devices.
Telescope Compatibility: SkyWire can connect to any telescope with a standard RS-232 serial interface. Models that have been tested and are known to work with SkyWire include:
- Meade LX-200 Classic and GPS
- Meade LX-90, ETX, LXD, LX-400 ACF with AutoStar #497 controllers
- Meade Magellan I and II
- Celestron NexStar 5i/8i, GPS, SLT, SE
- Celestron CG5, CGE, CGEM, CPC, AVX
- Orion Sirius, Atlas, SkyView Pro, SkyQuest XTg
- SkyWatcher mounts with SynScan controllers
- Takahashi Temma 2
- ServoCAT, Argo Navis, Sky Commander, Losmandy DSC
- Astro-Physics GTO, Losmandy Gemini, Vixen SkySensor 2000
- Tangent Instruments BBox, JMI NGC-MAX, Celestron AstroMaster
- Lumicon SkyVector, Takahashi Super Navigator, Dave Ek Box
- Orion Intelliscope, Orion SkyWizard
Some Meade ETX models (60/80) ship with the Autostar #494 controller. To make SkyWire work with these scopes, you need to replace the #494 Autostar controller (which does not have a serial port) with the #497 Autostar (which does).
The only models that do not work with SkyWire are those that lack an RS-232 serial interface. Such models include:
- iOptron SmartStar and MiniTower mounts with 8401/8402 controllers
- Meade ETX-LS
- Vixen mounts with StarBook controllers
These telescopes have USB or Ethernet interfaces, which cannot be physically connected to SkyWire.
Effect on battery life: At most, SkyWire uses an iPhone 4 battery 20% faster than an iPhone 4 running alone. This "worst-case" scenario assumes that both SkyWire and the iPhone are running continuously. When plugged in but not active, SkyWire consumes almost 10x less power, and should have near-zero impact on battery life. An iPad battery, with its much higher capacity, won't even notice a SkyWire connected to it!