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Celestron StarSense

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#1101 nuB

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:05 AM

In addition to the other problems noted here, there appears to be problems with Meridian Flip on my CGEM. Once I slewed to a star near the meridian 3 times. The first two worked fine. The last one, I suspect had crossed over the meridian. The SSA tried to flip going the wrong way. Seemed to hit a limit on the mount and stopped.

Another time I added another alignment point and something apparently overflowed. The mount was way off and hit the limits after that. Fortunately a redo is pretty fast.

Seems like the Alt-Az mounts were pretty well implemented at launch. The polar mount control wasn't ready for prime time - but is improving.

On the bright side, I decided to give SSA a go before it was dark. I could only see a few bright stars. SSA found about 20 stars per shot and completed alignment. I was very impressed.

#1102 Lancem

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:24 PM

Wow! Used the Starsense last night for the first time with my CPC1100 and it worked great. After adding a few extra alignment references objects were right in the center of the FOV in all areas of the sky. The store where I purchased it downloaded the latest version of the firmware for me. No problems at all. Looking forward to using it with the Mallincam where GoTo accuracy is critical with the small sensor size.

#1103 nuB

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 11:27 PM

Does anyone know the FOV of the StarSense camera?

#1104 C8er

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 12:26 AM

Does anyone know the FOV of the StarSense camera?


Hi Tom,

Starsense camera FOV is 6.88º x 5.16º

Cheers,
Chris M

#1105 nuB

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:47 AM

Does anyone know the FOV of the StarSense camera?


Hi Tom,

Starsense camera FOV is 6.88º x 5.16º

Cheers,
Chris M


First of all Thanks Chris.

I'm trying to imagine how such a small FOV yields up to 100 stars.

It even finds stars thru clouds thick enough to veil all but the brightest stars optically. I'm wondering if it falsely senses stars in the variations in the clouds.

I don't think that my NexImage 5 sees that many stars in that FOV.

Pretty amazing tech.

#1106 Relativist

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 10:22 AM

If your comparing to what you can see with your eyes, then don't. A good analogy is comparing what you can see with your eyes, then look in your finderscope. In addition, the starsense sensor can be even more sensitive.

#1107 rmollise

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:01 PM


I'm trying to imagine how such a small FOV yields up to 100 stars.

It even finds stars thru clouds thick enough to veil all but the brightest stars optically. I'm wondering if it falsely senses stars in the variations in the clouds.

I don't think that my NexImage 5 sees that many stars in that FOV.

Pretty amazing tech.


Since when is that a small field? Especially for a camera? You can likely see nearly that many by eye with a 50mm finder.

#1108 C8er

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:01 PM

Hi Tom,

The Starsense camera has a decent modern Aptina CMOS sensor in it (same as the sensor used in the well regarded mono planetary ASI120MM cameras made by ZWO) so I think it should be able to sense that sort of number of stars in what is really a quite large fov in astronomy terms. In fact the sensor likely sees a lot more than that number of stars, but the starsense processing stops identifying/solving anymore stars once it has 100 of them.

I agree it is impressive tech though. Now that they have finally got most of the bugs fixed in the starsense I find it is a brilliant bit of kit, rather than the frustrating thing it was when first released. For me with a neck that can't bend easily to do manual alignments through a finder and then an eyepiece I find it has transformed my visual astronomy session setups, which are now a fast, pleasant, foolproof, and simple thing, with objects well centered after gotos. The way it can align successfully on nights with scattered moving cloud or a layer of hazy light cloud still amazes me.

Cheers,
Chris M

#1109 nuB

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 05:28 PM

My NexImage 5 has an Aptina CMOS sensor also, different model.

Interesting side-note: ZWO has a new version of the ASI120MM-S out, now with USB 3.0. I may have to reconsider the Skyris I was planning on. Love to see a review.

#1110 nuB

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 09:44 AM

Hi Tom,

The Starsense camera has a decent modern Aptina CMOS sensor in it (same as the sensor used in the well regarded mono planetary ASI120MM cameras made by ZWO) so I think it should be able to sense that sort of number of stars in what is really a quite large fov in astronomy terms. In fact the sensor likely sees a lot more than that number of stars, but the starsense processing stops identifying/solving anymore stars once it has 100 of them.

I agree it is impressive tech though. Now that they have finally got most of the bugs fixed in the starsense I find it is a brilliant bit of kit, rather than the frustrating thing it was when first released. For me with a neck that can't bend easily to do manual alignments through a finder and then an eyepiece I find it has transformed my visual astronomy session setups, which are now a fast, pleasant, foolproof, and simple thing, with objects well centered after gotos. The way it can align successfully on nights with scattered moving cloud or a layer of hazy light cloud still amazes me.

Cheers,
Chris M


Not if you live in Las Vegas :)

#1111 Charlie B

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 09:51 AM

Not if you live in Las Vegas



It works fine in northern Virginia (a white zone as bad as LV). You may want to limit the mount's horizon to avoid picking up the night lights.

Regards,

Charlie B.

#1112 neilson

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 06:21 AM

Hi,

  One thing I do miss about using the Nexstar is that I was learning and being reminded of the names and locations of the stars as I did my nightly 2+4 alignment all during the year.  I seem to be forgetting many of there names over the past year of using Starsense.  My Starsense was in for an adjustment during the month of July and using my Nexstar made me appreciate how it kept those names in my head.  Plus I miss how my Nexstar was much more accurate and didn't need me to add calibration points from time to time.

I went through the same thing when I started using a goto mount after my first year using a non-goto mount. If I wouldn't have bought a goto mount I probably would know the sky better than I do now. 

With Nexstar aligning my mount is pretty fast and easy, but even so by the end of the month wait I was ready to get my Starsense back.  I guess Technology has me spoiled.

Neilson


Edited by neilson, 17 August 2014 - 06:22 AM.


#1113 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 05:41 PM

Has anyone heard anything about added features for the Starsense?  I am curious if, other than being an alignment assistant, it will someday plate solve and center targets.



#1114 Stew57

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:13 PM

There has been some talk of future features including those you mention. There have been problems just getting the SSA up and running and development resources are limited. The big party will happen when ASAP is fixed. Hope it is not obsolete and orphaned before then. Celesteron has a lot of new things in the works. Hopefully works is a key word at release!

#1115 RandyC

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 12:44 PM

I reconfirmed last night that my Starsense and Celestron CGEM DX are working good. The mount is polar aligned already, I turn it on and after a minute or two, it's done. I will say that when I first connect to Starry Night, something changes after my first goto. After Starsense is done, I issue a goto Vega from the HC. Then I connect and synch Starry Night. But the gotos are off. I have to resynch Starry Night a second time, and then it's fine. Almost seems like Starsense takes one more image after the first goto. But maybe its something in the Starsense model and synching?.



#1116 RandyC

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:34 PM

Starsense now working flawless. Turn it on, do auto-align and go to is on Mallincam sensor. Starry Night synching problem gone away. The handcontroller keeps time and date somehow which is a nice upgrade over the standard HC? Celestron says there is no internal GPS, and there is no battery? so how?



#1117 SkipW

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 04:05 PM

Has anyone mapped the menu tree for the StarSense controller or know where it can be found? I helped an older gent get his CPC-11 w/ SS up and running, but his memory isn't good and whenever it gets in some state he isn't expecting, it's a problem.  I don't have SS myself (his is still the only one I've ever seen), and I'd like to help him out over the phone if I can.

 

He was hoping that, once set up, it would pretty much just run with a few commands that could be listed step by step, because he can no longer easily follow technical documentation.  He aligned it many times and took notes the night I helped get it going and, once we had it figured out, it worked (almost *) every time.

 

Now he reports that, after pressing ALIGN after “Starsense Ready” at startup, it says “Reset Alignment” and he's not sure what to do.  I'm not either, and can't get back to his place until next week.

 

Thanks!

 

Skip

 

* The system would usually start up well before the countdown got to zero. Very occasionally it would count all the way down to zero and stay there, maybe twice on the night, and we did at least a couple of dozen restarts.  A restart after leaving power off for 20 secs or so always got it back - we thought it may have been provoked by restarting too quickly after a power off.  Any ideas?



#1118 rmollise

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:20 PM

Starsense now working flawless. Turn it on, do auto-align and go to is on Mallincam sensor. Starry Night synching problem gone away. The handcontroller keeps time and date somehow which is a nice upgrade over the standard HC? Celestron says there is no internal GPS, and there is no battery? so how?

 

The StarSense and its hand controller have absolutely nothing to do with this. Some Celestron mounts, the VX and the CGEM have a battery powered Real Time Clock in the mount.



#1119 RandyC

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 07:47 PM

 

Starsense now working flawless. Turn it on, do auto-align and go to is on Mallincam sensor. Starry Night synching problem gone away. The handcontroller keeps time and date somehow which is a nice upgrade over the standard HC? Celestron says there is no internal GPS, and there is no battery? so how?

 

The StarSense and its hand controller have absolutely nothing to do with this. Some Celestron mounts, the VX and the CGEM have a battery powered Real Time Clock in the mount.

 

How come the standard HC always comes up with the wrong time and date? Starsense HC is perfectly accurate?



#1120 C8er

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:57 PM

 

 

Starsense now working flawless. Turn it on, do auto-align and go to is on Mallincam sensor. Starry Night synching problem gone away. The handcontroller keeps time and date somehow which is a nice upgrade over the standard HC? Celestron says there is no internal GPS, and there is no battery? so how?

 

The StarSense and its hand controller have absolutely nothing to do with this. Some Celestron mounts, the VX and the CGEM have a battery powered Real Time Clock in the mount.

 

How come the standard HC always comes up with the wrong time and date? Starsense HC is perfectly accurate?

 

You can turn the use of the Real time clock off or on in one of the menus in the hand control (in both HCs), ad it may be that your Nexstar HC has it turned off while your Starsense HC has the RTC use turned on. I suspect that is why they are behaving differently. The good thing is though that you must have a RTC in your mount if it is working with one of the HCs, so if you can find the right menu you will be able to turn it's use on in the other HC as well.

 

Cheers,

Chris M



#1121 rmollise

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 08:03 AM

 

 

Starsense now working flawless. Turn it on, do auto-align and go to is on Mallincam sensor. Starry Night synching problem gone away. The handcontroller keeps time and date somehow which is a nice upgrade over the standard HC? Celestron says there is no internal GPS, and there is no battery? so how?

 

The StarSense and its hand controller have absolutely nothing to do with this. Some Celestron mounts, the VX and the CGEM have a battery powered Real Time Clock in the mount.

 

How come the standard HC always comes up with the wrong time and date? Starsense HC is perfectly accurate?

 

 

Probably because, as Chris says, you never turned RTC on in the original HC. ;)



#1122 RandyC

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 09:40 AM

 

 

 

Starsense now working flawless. Turn it on, do auto-align and go to is on Mallincam sensor. Starry Night synching problem gone away. The handcontroller keeps time and date somehow which is a nice upgrade over the standard HC? Celestron says there is no internal GPS, and there is no battery? so how?

 

The StarSense and its hand controller have absolutely nothing to do with this. Some Celestron mounts, the VX and the CGEM have a battery powered Real Time Clock in the mount.

 

How come the standard HC always comes up with the wrong time and date? Starsense HC is perfectly accurate?

 

 

Probably because, as Chris says, you never turned RTC on in the original HC. ;)

 

Thanks Uncle Rod and Chris, That would explain it. Also autoguide rates are at 50 in the original HC and 99 in Starsense. 99 is a must have.



#1123 Chilihead

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:44 PM

Being a tech geek, I stopped at Astronomics on my way home yesterday and picked up a StarSense. I called to make sure they had one in stock and Royce had it on his desk waiting for me.

 

Tonight the clouds cleared out, so I was able to take it for a test drive.

 

Worked as advertised. I started a bit before sunset just to see how it does. It told me it couldn't acquire any stars, so I waited a bit. It finished with alignment about when I could have done it manually.

 

After centering it, goto's were spot on all night. Pretty cool accessory IMO.



#1124 rmollise

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 09:57 AM

If/when they get AllStar working, they will really be on their way. ;)



#1125 Tech Hiker

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 10:35 AM

If/when they get AllStar working, they will really be on their way. ;)

Agreed.  When they get polar alignment working, then I'll buy one.








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