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Celestron StarSense

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#676 will1384

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:13 PM

Hey Will,
Am curious about the mount your using, were you ever able to get 60 sec unguided? From what I hear thats pretty good. Also my understanding is that SS is not able to polar align yet so you would have to do it on your own. May be thats the problem with your 60 sec exposures? Thank you, Kasey


That's correct the StarSense cant do a working polar alignment yet, but with the StarSense I am able to put the telescope anywhere, I still have to point it north, and I do level it, but with a StarShoot AutoGuider and a small telescope, 80mm, I am able to cheat and get 60 sec exposures.

Before the StarShoot AutoGuider I was not having much luck with the VX mount, even when pointing north, the tripod level, and ASPA, trees were blocking most of the stars that the mount wanted to use, what helped was a polar scope, and pounding PVC pipe into the ground so I could put the telescope in the same spot each night like this: Ultra-fast method of EQ polar alignment.

#677 brokenwave

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:16 PM

It seems like the StarSense is a hot item right now. Last Friday I went to The Astro store in Oceanside to talk about it and was told they sold more than 15 before I got there at 2PM. They can't keep them in stock. And I was going to buy one because the ones they checked had a recent firmware installed but remaining 2 left were sold as I was speaking to a sales person.

#678 neilson

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:11 AM

I was able to test my Starsense again on my CGE mount w/9.25Edge.
I got numerous failed alignments in automatic and 2 tries in Manual failed.
I got a few good Automatic alignments with good goto's in the North but bad goto's in the South. I tried the Help feature on 2 southern DSO's but it only improved the goto's some, but they were still out of view of my 40mm eyepiece.
I added a calibration point in the South. It did help Southern Goto's but the Northern Goto's were no longer in my 40mm eyepiece.
The camera had been calibrated previously and I also re calibrated the camera several more times tonight with a 12mm reticule eyepiece.
After an Alignment my Goto to Andromeda was dead center. So I know the Starsense is capable of dead on goto's with an SCT.(in the north at least) The moon may have played a part in the other problems I had.

Neilson

#679 Stew57

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:33 AM

The SSA may be a hot selling item but the reports keep piling up. The teamcelestron.com site is flooded with complaints about the performance of the SSA. I only hope Celestron rights this soon. The satisfied people seem to be beginners that just wanted something that would not align on the wrong star, and land an object in a wide view eyepiece. Those wanting a greater pointing accuracy than could be achieved with a 2+4 carefully done, have been disappointed, especially with the broken ASPA.
Now before someone responds I get x minutes subs with the ASPA, have you tested and measure the real accuracy? Celestron was not ready to release this yet but are working to solve the problems furiously. I don't know why they didn't see this coming though. I just hope they fix it soon.

#680 Stew57

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:57 AM

Have you updated the firmware? Before a firmware update a calibration point would make that area of the sky more accurate but the rest of the sky less so. The more calibration points I added the worse it became. If you have already updated the firmware try adding just 1 calibration point.

#681 scopenitout

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:28 AM

That is interesting, Mark. I think you may be right as multiple Cal points did not seem to help my goto accuracy.
The manual says you can add up to 10 and implies it "improves the Goto mount modeling". I have done the 10 and doubt it helped any more than just 1 would have.

#682 UBobW

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 06:17 PM

The SSA may be a hot selling item but the reports keep piling up. The teamcelestron.com site is flooded with complaints about the performance of the SSA. I only hope Celestron rights this soon. The satisfied people seem to be beginners that just wanted something that would not align on the wrong star, and land an object in a wide view eyepiece. Those wanting a greater pointing accuracy than could be achieved with a 2+4 carefully done, have been disappointed, especially with the broken ASPA.
Now before someone responds I get x minutes subs with the ASPA, have you tested and measure the real accuracy? Celestron was not ready to release this yet but are working to solve the problems furiously. I don't know why they didn't see this coming though. I just hope they fix it soon.


I am one of those beginners :-). I've found that I have similar pointing accuracy on my SSA that I did with the NexStar+ and a 2+4 Alignment, but the SSA takes me a lot less time to do the alignment and I don't have to get out of my chair to do it.

The attached pdf shows some Miloslick captures of some GoTos from my setup after doing the alignment, center cal, power cycle, alignment. Should I be getting better accuracy than this?

Thanks!
Bob

Attached Files



#683 neilson

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:34 PM

Hi,
I still have not had any success with my SS. I have done a factory reset and had several failed Automatic Alignments including one that locked up on the 3rd alignment point. and I did another camera calibration and my center calibration values are +653 / +374. I had more failed Automatic Alignments then I tried a Manual Alignment with points in the NW, SW, NE, and SE. This is the first time I got a Manual Alignment to pass. But Not one of my goto were in the eyepiece. Almost every one was at the edge of my finderscope. Even the Moon. I double checked my time, date, UTC, and Location. My CGE classic is level and Polar aligned.

Is anyone having any luck using the SS with a CGE Classic.

I did find one good thing. After calibrating the camera, the buttons lock up except for the slew keys so I have been manually slewing back to the home position before I cycle the power and realign. This time after I calibrated the camera, I just cycled the power, then I selected Automatic Alignment, and then Enter to set the switches. The mount automatically slewed all the way back to the Home Position and started the alignment. Nice.

Neilson

#684 scopenitout

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:11 PM

I'm afraid I'm starting to lose patience with the SSA. I have participated in the beta update program, but serious problems persist. To date, I have spent dozens of nights trying to get this thing to work. There seems to be a disturbing variability from one night to the next, as far as basic operation and pointing accuracy is concerned.

Another curious thing is that several users have claimed satisfactory operation and results on the same scopes that others have had nothing but failure. Are there a bunch of units out there that have manufacturing defects, and consequently, can never be properly upgraded?

Luckily, I purchased the SSA from a reputable dealer who will refund my money. I think it's coming down to that.
If Celestron ever gets the SSA fully sorted out, I can always buy another one.

#685 OneDaveT

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:07 PM

These forums tend to amplify the negative, since positive views have less incentive to air...so under that pretext.... This customer was doing a double fist pump.

Under a gibbous moon a couple days back, I hit the button and my CGEM DX with C14HD and SSA swung into action and almost exactly three minutes later it's done. The nearly dozen or so objects i told to goto were all within field of view (afov 100 @ 175x) I'm pretty happy.

Some dirty details, I'm running with (all beta) firmware version 1.6.13268 on SSA HC, and 1.6.13246 on camera. I have CFM 1.7.3274 also loaded. First two calibrations, SSA locked while acquiring third image. When that occurred, I just turned off the CGEM, and turned it on again, starting over. Third time no problem. I expect this behavior running beta firmware. Another point to make is that I'm just using this for visual at the moment.

#686 mamamia

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:15 PM

WOndering if I should get one or not, after reading this mega thread it seems me that beginners are having some luck with SSA (Which I am).

#687 hrgreen

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 06:28 PM

I had some initial problems with the SSA on my CGEM 925, although it worked until I did the Calibrate Center. Directions in the manual regarding Calibrate Center seem somewhat garbled, and in trying to get thru them, I somehow ended up with camera cal numbers way too high and could not Align at all.

Since re-doing it, my aligns always more or less work, but are sometimes off a degree or so, causing me to have to repeat the Calibrate Center. Now I think this may be caused because I remove and replace the camera every session. It's not my idea of a high quality mount to start with, and I think sometimes I haven't gotten the camera on all the way, so guess I'll start leaving it mounted and see if I get more consistent results.

Hal

#688 Stew57

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 06:38 PM

I made a bracket to mount the SSA directy to the CGEM. I did a calibrate center then removed the camear and slid it right back on. I did another calibrate center and it is abit different values obtained. This is using the larger mount base. I did the process several times and the values are always just a small amount different. For narrow FOV this could make a difference in performance. I did not try doing several iterations of the calibrate center without camera removal. I will try leaving mounted to the mount and see how consistant the center values stay.

#689 mamamia

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 08:12 PM

Stew57, I know you were patiently waiting to get your Starsense fixed, is it fixed now? as a total noob, what do you suggest me to do, jump and get one or wait. :-/

#690 Stew57

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 09:44 PM

If I had to do over I would wait until the ASPA is fixed and an official firmware revision is released. With the beta software and my CGEM, everything is working except the ASPA.

#691 mamamia

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 10:28 PM

If I had to do over I would wait until the ASPA is fixed and an official firmware revision is released. With the beta software and my CGEM, everything is working except the ASPA.


thanks, as I see there is little to do with Hardware here, a simple CMOS camera and some ARM derivative running embedded Linux (windriver?) is it incompetency of Celestron SW development can't get this right even after months together fixing this?

#692 neilson

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:43 AM

Hi,
I tested my SS for several hours. I had failed automatic alignments, some with lock ups on 3rd alignment point. I had some successful automatic and manual alignments but all the goto's were near the edge of the finderscope and add cal. points didn't help much. Sometimes it wouldn't go all the way to the home position when I tried goto home position. But it always went to home position when I set the switches at the beginning. I tried factory resets and calibrate camera with center value of +653 +375. I double checked location and time info. The mount is polar aligned.
My mount is a CGE classic.

Then at the end I tried another Automatic alignment. My goto Adromeda was close to centered, the moon was not in the eyepiece. Vega was close. Lagoon and Swan nebulas in the south were just outside the eyepiece so I added a calibration point since it wasn't very far off like all the other times.
Both were dead center now, Vega and Andromeda were dead center now. And the moon was dead center now. This was the first time I got good results from my SS ever and not only good but great. Goto's were dead center all over the sky.

Now I know for sure my Starsense is capable of dead on goto's in the entire sky, and with an automatic alignment and an added calibration point. Now it's just a matter of getting consistency and getting the bugs out on CGE classic mounts.

Neilson

#693 mamamia

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:56 AM

Hi,
I tested my SS for several hours. I had failed automatic alignments, some with lock ups on 3rd alignment point. I had some successful automatic and manual alignments but all the goto's were near the edge of the finderscope and add cal. points didn't help much. Sometimes it wouldn't go all the way to the home position when I tried goto home position. But it always went to home position when I set the switches at the beginning. I tried factory resets and calibrate camera with center value of +653 +375. I double checked location and time info. The mount is polar aligned.
My mount is a CGE classic.

Then at the end I tried another Automatic alignment. My goto Adromeda was close to centered, the moon was not in the eyepiece. Vega was close. Lagoon and Swan nebulas in the south were just outside the eyepiece so I added a calibration point since it wasn't very far off like all the other times.
Both were dead center now, Vega and Andromeda were dead center now. And the moon was dead center now. This was the first time I got good results from my SS ever and not only good but great. Goto's were dead center all over the sky.

Now I know for sure my Starsense is capable of dead on goto's in the entire sky, and with an automatic alignment and an added calibration point. Now it's just a matter of getting consistency and getting the bugs out on CGE classic mounts.

Neilson


Happy Birthday Neilson.

You were the once the fence sitter on SS, do you regret getting this?

#694 neilson

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:37 AM

Hi,Thank You,
No, I do not regret getting my SS but I was starting to get worried until it worked so good the very last time I tried it last night. Now it's just a matter of getting the bugs out for use on the CGE classic mounts as well as on other mounts. I see no reason to return it. The more information we post on Team Celestron from testing, The sooner the Engineers will be able to figure out and fix all the problems.
If you haven't bought one yet you might want to wait a little while longer until they get the rest of the problems fixed.

Neilson

#695 Stew57

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:59 AM

It seems to me flexure in the system as well as mirror shift is the limiting factor in the accuracy of alignment. Seems the high precision pointing will be key to the success of SSA.

#696 rmollise

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:13 AM

It seems to me flexure in the system as well as mirror shift is the limiting factor in the accuracy of alignment. Seems the high precision pointing will be key to the success of SSA.


At the focal length of the SS lens, flexure is just not a big factor. ;)

#697 neilson

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:54 AM

I was wondering how soon after sunset others are able to get a successful alignment. With my 2+4 I can align as soon as it's dark enough to see Polaris in my finderscope. With my SS it say's too few stars for a half hour after I can see Polaris. Then it can see only less than 50 stars for about another half hour. It was a good hour after I could see Polaris in my finderscope before my SS could see 70 to 100 stars. I know I cant do much imaging until it's that dark but I'm usually doing my ASPA then realignment and sometimes a drift then realignment during that hour. I'm wondering if it's just because the bugs are not all fixed or will I just have to start an hour later when it's darker. I thought I had read some people were getting alignments before it got dark.

Neilson

#698 Stew57

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:13 AM

But the precived accuracy when looking through an eyepiece or camera in the main scope would be affected. When measuring the pointing I measure how centered a selected object is the the center of the mallinam chip from the main scope. Differential flexture, mirror shift, and flex in the tripod will all make a difference.

#699 scopenitout

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:55 PM

At least my frustrations with getting the SSA to work have had one tangible benefit. It has forced me to get used to doing conventional Nexstar 2+4 alignments better and faster than ever. That even, in my tree-filled and LP'd suburban yard.
I have a new appreciation for the Nexstar alignment system, as it delivers consistent, accurate pointing and an easy to perform ASPA routine.

The StarSense is being returned to my local dealer. I just discovered I really don't need it. It never delivered on it's promise of fast, trouble free alignments. If it ever (truly) does, I may have another look. But now, I rather doubt it.

In the meanwhile, good luck to the beta testers. You are to be commended for your patience and perseverance.

#700 rmollise

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:26 PM

But the precived accuracy when looking through an eyepiece or camera in the main scope would be affected.


Perhaps, but in a very minor way. ;)






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