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Celestron NexStar Evolution

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#151 MoabStargazer

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:48 PM

Hello all. New to all of this, astronomy and the CN forum, but looking forward to jumping right in. Took delivery from Astronomics of a new Evolution 8 just last week. A "few" growing pains, but hopefully tonight they will be a little less. Too bad that probably won't apply to the information overload my brain is going through.

Love the EV 8's build quality, nice and solid, no disappointments there, just hope I've corrected some screen sensitivity issues between the EV 8 and my iPad Air. Will give it another go tonight.

When we retired and moved to Moab, UT for the blue skies and a relief from the Seattle rain, I had no idea that what is "clear" for Jeeping is a bit different than viewing for astronomy. Still, I think it will be a great place to be looking toward the sky.

FYI, I measured the tubes on the tripod and they are 1.5".

Eventually I would like to get into AP and figure out how to do remote viewing from inside the house (Pipe dream?)

Bill

#152 monopinsa

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 06:08 PM

Ramon, Sorry. I should have been less cryptic. I meant the visual back. I have 2in diagonal and few 2 inch eyepieces and filters already. So, wondering if I can make use of them by swapping the 1.25 inch visual back with 2 inch visual back.

#153 MikeBOKC

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 07:58 PM

Glad you are here Moab . . . that is just an excellent first scope that should give you years of good service.

You might also look around in your new area for an astronomy club. They often have their own dark sky observing sites, plus lots of expertise and experience to accelerate your learning curve.

#154 LakeHavasu

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:40 PM

Can the Evolution software for android, Celestron SkyPortal, be used with the NexStar SE6/8 mounts with a WiFi connection?

#155 Sloan

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:01 PM

SkySafari works well the the SE. In the future SkySafari will work with Evo too. The makers of SkySafari make SkyPortal.

#156 mclewis1

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:26 PM

I meant the visual back. I have 2in diagonal and few 2 inch eyepieces and filters already. So, wondering if I can make use of them by swapping the 1.25 inch visual back with 2 inch visual back.

The answer is yes, both the C6 and C8 otas have the regular SCT threads on the rear cell so either size visual back will just thread right on. There is however not a lot of benefit from using 2" accessories on the C6, but if you have them why not use them.

#157 ehallspqr

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 11:23 PM

I think the 1.25" comment in that description is likely just a typo. You're right, the SE tripod has always been a 1.5" leg model.

It will be interesting to see what C ships for the 8" Evolution.

Adding an 8" EdgeHD ota to your existing Evolution mount will be a nice setup. We'll expect nice pictures of that too (which will probably confuse the heck out of some folks) ... I know you'll get "hey cool scope, where did you get it?, I can't find it on the xxx website". Prepare yourself ...

--------------------
Mark



That's the plan. I have to lay low with the wife. She's not to keen on me replacing the "perfectly good OTA" with another more expensive one. Hard to explain the value/logic to her. I might buy a used one as they are coming onto the market and/or sell the 6" first to help finance the Edge 8". I will post pics when I get it cobbled together. As to people asking about the oddball scope? I'm kinda used to it. I've had a couple "Franken" scopes in the past that left people scratching their heads.

Evan, Mark,

I had the good fortune to see both the 6" and the 8" evolution scopes at a Astro show I attended with some of my UK friends a few weeks ago.
The 8" was on the smaller (1.25") tripod. The rep at the show told me that it was being delivered to them on the 1.25".
Even with the sturdier mount arm, the 8" still looked and felt under mounted to me. Of coarse, the true test is in using the scope out in the field, something I could not and have not done, so, as they say, looks can be deceptive and the 8" Evolution could turn out to be a lot more stable than the 8se.
I truly hope so as it is a fine looking telescope.

Regards. Peter.


I think the Evo mount and tripod are definitely an upgrade to the SE series in terms of stability. There is just allot more metal used and some clever design changes that make the whole setup more rigid. On Celestron's website they list my 6" scope's kit weight at 34.4lbs vs. the 6SE kit weight of 21lbs. The tripod alone for the SE 6/8 weighs 9ish vs 11ish for the Evo 6/8 tripod. I lugged my 8SE around quite a bit and this 6" seems even heavier than I remember the 8SE being. It's heavy.

Remembering and comparing my 8SE, this mount/tripod combination is more stable and wobble free. But it is a single arm mount after all and never will be as stable as a CGE or CPC. My use will mainly be visual from dark sites. I need reasonable portability and am willing to sacrifice some stability in the process. Hopefully when I put the larger 8" tube on this mount it won't turn into the "woblin goblin". I would like to do some limited AP with this setup someday. I think it will suffice as long as I have reasonable expectations. Your not going to get results anywhere near a CGE Pro LOL. That is asking more than the Evolution series can deliver.

#158 reischbein

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 03:26 AM

Hello from Germany,

in Germany we have less infos about the new evo!
Do someone knows the weight from the mount alone without ota and tripod?
cs from germany
Uli

#159 Tel

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:47 AM

Hi Reischbein,

Purely through the associated mathematics; with the 8SE OTA alone weighing ca. 5Kg. and Celestron claiming that its "Total telescope kit" ( 8SE OTA + Mount) weighs ca. 11Kg. then the mount itself must weigh ca. 6Kg.

Based therefore on this, it is further claimed that the Celestron 8 Evolution's "Total telescope kit" weighs ca. 18.5 kg.

Thus assuming the Celestron 8 Evolution's OTA weighs the same as the 8SE's OTA (ca. 5Kg.), then the mount must weigh ca. 13.5Kg.

There is an anomaly though.

The 6SE's "Total telescope kit weight" is claimed to be ca. 9.5Kg. while I believe the 6SE's OTA weighs ca. 3.5Kg. making the 6SE mount 6Kg which would appear to be correct since the 6SE and the 8SE share the same mount.

BUT the Celestron 6 Evolution is claimed to have a "Total telescope kit" weight of ca. 16Kg. which, if its OTA weighs the same as the 6SE, makes the Celestron 6 Evolution mount weigh 16-3.5 Kg = 12.5 Kg. and not 13.5 as one might expect if the same mount were used for both the C6 and C8 Evolution models.

Maybe someone can provide the explanation to this anomaly.

I have not calculated for the 9.25 Evolution model. It's "Total telescope kit" weighs in at ca. 21Kg. but I don't know the weight of the original OTA.

Best regards,
Tel

#160 MoabStargazer

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:27 AM

Evan, glad you are having such great success with your new Evolution. Wish I could say the same. Maybe you or others can offer suggestions.

For the last two nights the alignment process with SkyPortal has been a disaster. I'll be bald by this time next week if this keeps up. ;)

Background, I am running SkyPortal on an iPad Air, 128 GB, no other apps running in the background that I know of. I've followed the instructions for setting up, connecting and alignment.

And it is during alignment the problems start. At first the arrows for changing the telescope's position seem to work just fine, I guess. But as I try to do the alignment, the scope becomes very slow to respond and/or the arrows do not indicate they have been pressed, or there is no response at all. Then sometimes after 5-10 seconds the scope starts moving. Another symptom is when I tap an arrow to tweak the scope to align the StarPointer, the scope moves, tap again it moves, after 3-4 taps the scope just takes off like I was holding down the arrow. Grrrr. This happens time and again. Night before last I spent 90 minutes trying to get aligned, before calling it quits in frustration. Last night was somewhat better, but in the end, not much. I switched to the the NexStar+ control for a little viewing.

This latency is crazy. It is like the program (app) is slow/unable to process the inputs due to processor demand. That seems highly unlikely to me. I also know that mobil devices can experience touch screen issues in cold conditions, but at 75* that wouldn't be the problem. And other than SkyPortal, I've not had latency problems before.

Guess if I can see a star/planet or two tonight I'll give my iPhone 5s a try in the hopes of it working. I just prefer the iPad for the larger screen.

I'm open to ideas or suggestions.

On another note, the FeatherTouch Microfocuser sounds like an ideal upgrade. Especially at higher powers, it seems to me the E's focuser is a little coarse. Like with little detents in the position as the knob is turned.

#161 ehallspqr

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 11:42 AM

I read the weight online as 14.8 lbs or 6.7 Kg. Focus Scientific. They list the weight breakdown as follows:

Optical tube weight: 3.25kg (10lbs)
Mount weight: 6.75kg (14.8lbs)
Tripod weight: 5.1kg (11.2lbs)
Total weight: 15.1kg (33.2lbs)

#162 Tel

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:02 PM

If the optical tube weight is 3.25Kg. then that equals 7.15lbs. not 10lbs. (1Kg = ca. 2.2lbs).

Best regards,
Tel

#163 ehallspqr

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:35 PM

Bill.

The clutch/s didn't loosen did they? I had mine backed off a little two much one time and that caused the scope not to rotate.

Sorry to hear of your difficulties with the Evolution and Skyportal. So far mine has worked almost perfectly, however I only have limited testing so far. I emphasize "limited" having only done the 3-pt Skyalign twice. I agree that it sounds like more of a software vs. hardware glitch. I am using an older iPhone 5 64G so I have less processing power/memory than your iPad. There is almost zero response lag from when I push the arrow button and the scope responds. I think your idea of trying your iPhone is a good place to start. Try it indoors in the comfort of your living room and give it a full test there. If indeed this is a SkyPortal issue then there is allot of info and experience online from users and you should be able to tap into that resource. There are probably some experienced user's on Cloudy Nights that may be able to offer some help. I also hear Celestron is working hard to have good support for the new Evolution line. I would definitely call them and see what they say. I'm sure they are getting an earful from user's having problems and this issue may already be known to them. Luckily you have the hand controller to fall back on.

It's good to hear back from real users, both the good and the bad experiences.

PS I hope you don't go bald. I usually drink when things aren't cooperating myself. Try that instead of hair pulling. :crazy:

#164 mclewis1

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:42 PM

Bill,

On any new SCT you'll hear folks talking about the course focuser feel. Running the focuser through it's full range a few times (hard on the wrist) does help re distribute the lubrication on the threaded focuser rod inside the scope and smooths things a bit.

You do also get used to the speed of the focuser mechanism and with some practice are usually able to focus more accurately. One trick is to run through the focus point a bit turning the knob clockwise and then finishing to the final focus point by turning counter clockwise. This weights the focuser (removing any play from the threads) and the final turns of the knob pushes (rather than pulls) the mirror.

The SCT microfocuser is also a great upgrade ... but I would wait a little while before doing it, you may find that over time the stock setup is working well enough for you.

#165 ehallspqr

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:53 PM

This is a Canadian company you think they should know metric? I think it's a simple math mistake. Celestron lists total kit weight at 35.4 lbs. They are listing 33.2lbs. Somethings off in their math.

#166 MoabStargazer

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:56 PM

Evan, clutches are tight, for sure. I've emailed Astronomics again today with the info I posted here this morning, hopefully being a Premier Select Dealer they will have easier access to Celestron for an answer. I also put in a Tech Support request with Celestron. I have yet to come across a phone number for them. And, their chat line is always off-line. Will be interesting to see how quick they respond, especially re a new product.

Mark, thanks for that info. I will definitely give'r a few spins.

#167 mclewis1

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 02:46 PM

This is a Canadian company you think they should know metric? I think it's a simple math mistake. Celestron lists total kit weight at 35.4 lbs. They are listing 33.2lbs. Somethings off in their math.

Well it could certainly be just a typo or simple math mistake. Another possibility when you see relatively small differences like this in published weights is due to the difference between actual and shipped weights.

The shipping boxes often have the weights pre stamped on them, and some dealers will post those numbers if the vendor hasn't provided anything better. Then the vendor comes along and posts actuals (which are usually a little bit lower because of the weight of the packaging materials) and you end up with two sets of numbers floating around.

#168 MoabStargazer

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 02:51 PM

Just got done playing with my iPhone 5s and the SkyPortal inside the house. Like yesterday with the iPad, it seems to work flawlessly. Will give it a go outside in about 8 hours to take it for a test run. Fingers crossed.

#169 MoabStargazer

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:17 AM

SUCCESS !! Just had our first "as advertised" stargazing. The iPhone 5s, SkyPortal and the Evolution 8 worked together exactly as they should. Only took this rookie seven minutes to align and then slew to view Saturn. :jump:

Astronomics did contact Celestron who in turn emailed me about the problems. Not surprisingly, they are very interested in getting to the bottom of the issues with the iPad and the SkyPortal app. Sure hope they can push out a fix for the iPad, it is so much easier to read and use. I will post here if I get more info. Kudos to Astronomics for getting Celestron involved.

Now we can start having some fun!

#170 pugsx

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:51 AM

I've got a 9.25" Evo on order. Will see when it shows up.

You know what would be a great feature? If we could slew to the limits of our viewing area and limit all the selections to that particular viewing zone. THAT would be a great feature. I don't want Polaris showing up on the list when it is clearly blocked where I am set up.

#171 pugsx

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:29 AM

so whats the reason why they haven't got pc / laptop to go wireless yet with the Evo. my pc & labby have Bluetooth built in and are obviously wireless too. so whats up??? why are we still stuck to using wires and cables??? i feel like we still in the dinosaur age. or will that be for the next gen model lol


LOL. Soon, I guess. When is you evo arriving? Mine says 7/1 but I'm not holding my breadth.

#172 MoabStargazer

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:43 AM

Ramon, I've been wondering about the same things. A couple of things I would really, really like to be able to do.

1. Use the wired controller in conjunction with the SkyPortal primarily for tweaking the object in the eyepiece after StarPortal has got you there. Quite frankly, I found last night that using the iPhone to control movement is not really all that convenient since you have to look from eyepiece to phone and back. Actually a PITA. Would be nice to use the controller.

2. Remote view, wirelessly, to inside the house especially for those cold winter nights.

#173 pugsx

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:53 AM

Ramon, I've been wondering about the same things. A couple of things I would really, really like to be able to do.

1. Use the wired controller in conjunction with the SkyPortal primarily for tweaking the object in the eyepiece after StarPortal has got you there. Quite frankly, I found last night that using the iPhone to control movement is not really all that convenient since you have to look from eyepiece to phone and back. Actually a PITA. Would be nice to use the controller.

2. Remote view, wirelessly, to inside the house especially for those cold winter nights.


So you can't have the HC hooked up PLUS use the iphone at the same time?

#174 MoabStargazer

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:55 AM

Actually, you can, but I don't know if the SkyPortal picks up the changes or not. I just assumed it did not. Will require a little testing, maybe tonight.

#175 mclewis1

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:28 AM

just a random question since I'm in to remote control cars. how does the evo stay on one channel and not get controlled or have interference from other devices in the area that might have also the same celestron ap sky portal downloaded on there tablets or cellphones. or can only 1 device be connected at all times? or in memory is it stored as a perm device? since wi-fi isn't it always looking for other devices same as blue tooth and cars?

Ramon,

Very simply, the same way your wifi network is separate from your neighbour's network. This is an intelligent network, not a simple radio broadcast. Remember how you initially setup your tablet device? (choosing the network the scope creates), that connects your device with just your scope.

If you were at a star party with a bunch of Evolutions you would initially see the other networks created by the other scopes (assuming you are close enough to them), but you only choose one of them (yours) and then your device only talks to that scope and vice versa. Your device could certainly be setup to control multiple Evolutions, just not at the same time ... just the same as your device could connect to multiple networks (wifi spots) but only one at a time.


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