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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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orlyandico
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Celestron StarSense
      #5638187 - 01/23/13 02:10 AM

I know it's pre-order and shipping in March 2013.

Anybody know how much it would cost? seeing as it includes a hand controller I expect it will be $200 plus.

Still, not a bad price.

If in the future they add autoguiding... that would be a killer feature.


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bob midiri
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5638244 - 01/23/13 05:04 AM

How bout $329. see skiesunlimited website. preorder price $309. bob

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orlyandico
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: bob midiri]
      #5638250 - 01/23/13 05:19 AM

still decent-ish. a bit more than i expected, i don't see CG5 ASGT buyers getting this.. but for the bigger mounts (like my CGEM) probably still ok.

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Starhawk
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5638509 - 01/23/13 09:32 AM

My problem is it is just an alignment aid- it won't guide, so it's one more doohickey attached to the mount.

-Rich


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5639036 - 01/23/13 02:43 PM

The problem with using the StarSense for guiding is that it's a wide field device, with a 50mm F/2 lens. That will mean that the pixel size is probably too big to give accurate guiding.

But who knows! Maybe there's a software solution that will give sub-pixel accuracy. Or put a focal length extender on the front of the lens.

Another option would be a Polar align helper. With knowledge of the mount it would be possible to provide information such as how far to turn each screw.

I must stress I've no inside information though. This is just speculation.

Chris.


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orlyandico
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5639040 - 01/23/13 02:47 PM

my thought was to use the StarSense to align on many stars.

after that's done do a usual ASPA. rinse and repeat.

didn't realize its a 50mm lens though. the SBIG efinder is a 100mm lens.. so might still be workable if Celestron ever adds guiding functionality.


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corpusse
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Reged: 04/11/10

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5639731 - 01/23/13 10:55 PM

I for one can't wait for this, too bad winter will almost be over by the time it comes out. Especially when it's -20c it would be nice to just turn on the scope come back in 3 minutes set it to a target and begin imaging. Also many times I've thought I was looking at one star when infact it was another and had to restart alignment all over again.

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Stew57
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5639815 - 01/24/13 12:01 AM

According to celestron it is a 20mm F2. Not very suitable for guiding though I have used a 50mm F3.5 finder as guidescope.

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Stew57
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #5639825 - 01/24/13 12:07 AM

My question is if the brains are in the new controller could one use a usb camera with a longer FL lense? I guess the initial polar alignment would have to be closer with a more narrow FOV but perhaps a guidescope could be used or a modified finderscope.

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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #5639869 - 01/24/13 12:41 AM

It's suppose to do point modeling too..

"Provides advanced mount modeling – the ability to align on numerous stars throughout the sky for extremely precise goto pointing accuracy."


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orlyandico
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5639955 - 01/24/13 02:21 AM

The mount modeling is probably based on the internal nexstar modeling since it can do up to 6 alignment stars. 5 more than the AP!

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freestar8n
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5639998 - 01/24/13 04:15 AM

From the press release it says,

"StarSense replaces expensive software used for Advanced Mount Modeling, providing superior pointing accuracy from horizon to horizon. Users can add as many calibration stars as desired to give their telescope mount a new level of accuracy."

So - that is more than 6 stars and must be different, and there is a different handcontroller.

They don't say what it does regarding polar alignment - at least I didn't see anything.

Frank


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5640107 - 01/24/13 07:11 AM

can anyone give me a link to the manual for this new product?

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Scotty H
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Reged: 11/15/10

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5640714 - 01/24/13 01:37 PM

From the bits i've read and pics i've seen from the Celestron website and bits i've gleaned from facebook etc, it seems the HC that comes with it is an HC+ handset which has the auto align functions plus all the other usual bits including ASPA. I shall try to find again and put some links up
Edit heres one
Celestron Starsense

If you look at the HC pic its the same as the HC+ except it has Starsense printed on it

Scott

Edited by Scotty H (01/24/13 01:48 PM)


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Scotty H]
      #5640810 - 01/24/13 02:17 PM

Very interested in this technology...will make setup much quicker...no more 2 +4 star alignments.

Wonder what the procedure will be after letting this thing do its thing and then doing a ASPA and manually adjusting the mount....guess just let it align itself again to take into account the mount being moved in alt/az...?


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5640836 - 01/24/13 02:32 PM

Quote:

Very interested in this technology...will make setup much quicker...no more 2 +4 star alignments.

Wonder what the procedure will be after letting this thing do its thing and then doing a ASPA and manually adjusting the mount....guess just let it align itself again to take into account the mount being moved in alt/az...?




It'll probably take a little longer, but at least you can be unloading the car or something while it does the 2 + 4 unattended.

Shouldn't be necessary to realign; the mount knows what you've done. I never needed to realign my CGE after ASPA.


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5640991 - 01/24/13 04:23 PM

John

Yes ....but it can do a more detailed sky model for even more accurate gotos...uses more stars

Right?


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cn register 5
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Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5641023 - 01/24/13 04:40 PM

From what I've seen looking at a SkyProdigy HC the display is different, it seems to have a four line display, the lowest line has help information.

There's a SP manual on the Celestron site, I doubt the StarSense manual will be put there until after it's released.

We can only speculate about what the SS will do, especially with an equatorial mount, because so far the SP has been alt az only. There's all sorts of possibilities - polar align helper where the scope tells you how far to move each axis - multiple align stars - auto precise goto where the scope moves, has a look to see how it's doing and then does a final update. Possibly guiding although that may be more challenging.

I guess that the first version will not have everything but that additional features will be added later.

Chris


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5641073 - 01/24/13 05:10 PM

Sounds great to me
Anything to make setup quicker and gotos really precise is cool with me

Lets see whats what when the time comes


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kepler22
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Reged: 12/31/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5641403 - 01/24/13 08:20 PM

i have always dreamed of something like this well
it seems astronomy will never be the same again
anyone and i mean anyone even first timers can buy
a very large mount like Cge pro and C-11 Edge HD
and start no problems first time.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: kepler22]
      #5641426 - 01/24/13 08:40 PM

Quote:

anyone and i mean anyone even first timers can buy
a very large mount like Cge pro and C-11 Edge HD
and start no problems first time.




Probably not. Alignments have grown ever more automatic for alt/az mounts and this one goes a long way (appears to be a more effective implementation than Meade's LS series). An EQ mount does require a reasonable accurate initial polar alignment, though, before any star alignment can be effective. Automating that would be a far more complicated (and expensive) project.


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FoxTrot
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5642195 - 01/25/13 09:37 AM

Chris, and JRCrilly - I don't quite get it. I can see how Starsense will help out for an AltAz'muth mount - but for a GEM? Are we assuming you don't bother with an initial polar alignment, and just let Starsense do its thing first (with poor polar alignment) - and then how does the mount maintain tracking thereafter? Without reasonable polar alignment, both the RA and Dec need constant driving to maintain tracking...? Or maybe as other said above, ASPA is still required thereafter...? Fox

Quote:

From what I've seen looking at a SkyProdigy HC the display is different, it seems to have a four line display, the lowest line has help information.

There's a SP manual on the Celestron site, I doubt the StarSense manual will be put there until after it's released.

We can only speculate about what the SS will do, especially with an equatorial mount, because so far the SP has been alt az only. There's all sorts of possibilities - polar align helper where the scope tells you how far to move each axis - multiple align stars - auto precise goto where the scope moves, has a look to see how it's doing and then does a final update. Possibly guiding although that may be more challenging.

I guess that the first version will not have everything but that additional features will be added later.

Chris




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FoxTrot
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5642196 - 01/25/13 09:37 AM

Chris, and JRCrilly - I don't quite get it. I can see how Starsense will help out for an AltAz'muth mount - but for a GEM? Are we assuming you don't bother with an initial polar alignment, and just let Starsense do its thing first (with poor polar alignment) - and then how does the mount maintain tracking thereafter? Without reasonable polar alignment, both the RA and Dec need constant driving to maintain tracking...? Or maybe as other said above, ASPA is still required thereafter...? Fox

Quote:

From what I've seen looking at a SkyProdigy HC the display is different, it seems to have a four line display, the lowest line has help information.

There's a SP manual on the Celestron site, I doubt the StarSense manual will be put there until after it's released.

We can only speculate about what the SS will do, especially with an equatorial mount, because so far the SP has been alt az only. There's all sorts of possibilities - polar align helper where the scope tells you how far to move each axis - multiple align stars - auto precise goto where the scope moves, has a look to see how it's doing and then does a final update. Possibly guiding although that may be more challenging.

I guess that the first version will not have everything but that additional features will be added later.

Chris




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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: FoxTrot]
      #5642205 - 01/25/13 09:41 AM

Quote:

Chris, and JRCrilly - I don't quite get it. I can see how Starsense will help out for an AltAz'muth mount - but for a GEM? Are we assuming you don't bother with an initial polar alignment, and just let Starsense do its thing first (with poor polar alignment) - and then how does the mount maintain tracking thereafter? Without reasonable polar alignment, both the RA and Dec need constant driving to maintain tracking...? Or maybe as other said above, ASPA is still required thereafter...? Fox




Yes, it can automate the star alignment, but as I mention above the polar alignment will remain a manual process.


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5642458 - 01/25/13 12:08 PM

So you hit enter ...wait 3 minutes whilst starsense aligns the CGE PRO, for example, mount really accurately......then do a normal aspa routine if you need to.

Sounds great to me


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ghataa
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Reged: 06/20/11

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5642827 - 01/25/13 03:37 PM

Does this assume all stars are available for alignment? I would guess there are many folks who have blocked views of certain sections of the sky.

Or can you pick what stars it can align on based on user input?

George


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: ghataa]
      #5643150 - 01/25/13 06:50 PM

It can be allowed to pick its own regions of sky or you can manually point it to different locations that are unobstructed.

Got that from looking at SkyProdigy manual on Celestrons website


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palmer570
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5644467 - 01/26/13 02:07 PM

I got on the pre-order list yesterday, sounds like it will make my setup a little easier.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone eventually made a Eq. mount with motors in it to make small adjustments to polar alignment. Doesn't seem like it would be terribly hard to do.


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: palmer570]
      #5644655 - 01/26/13 04:08 PM

Would be a whole lot easier than trying to turn knobs that just roll over some plate..

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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5657550 - 02/02/13 03:24 AM

Anyone know when Starsense is available to buy?

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palmer570
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5657556 - 02/02/13 03:39 AM

From what I read from vendors it will be out in April.

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CharlesW
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Reged: 11/02/12

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: palmer570]
      #5658138 - 02/02/13 01:19 PM

Maybe I'm missing something here but isn't it a necessity that the FOV of the Star Sense be centered on the same FOV as your scope? If you are setting up your system from scratch every time, wouldn't aligning the two take just as much time as just using a Telrad and a reticle? After the frustration I had the other night getting my scope aligned I'm dying for something like Star Sense, but it has to be easy to set up every time.

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rmollise
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5658187 - 02/02/13 01:45 PM

Where was your frustration? It's possible we can save you some bucks.

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CharlesW
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Reged: 11/02/12

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #5658655 - 02/02/13 06:15 PM

I don't want to hijack this thread but my frustration was that I set up my scope in the dark and I didn't get the Telrad's dovetails inserted into the holder correctly. To answer my own question, I just read the March Sky and Telesope. There is a Celestron scope review in which the author says Starsense is good enough to get an object in the eyepiece, but not centered. You then go to a calibration page in the menu to get things centered up.

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SkipW
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5659131 - 02/02/13 11:37 PM

Not to be insensitive, but it sounds like you're looking for technology to compensate for user error. StarSense may indeed be great, but only it it's set up right, which is probably fraught with its own complications. Please take a little more time to see if you really need it. Set up your rig correctly and try again. After all... "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." If you stay with it you will probably learn to put everything together by feel; until then, set up in the day or use a red flashlight.

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Stew57
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: SkipW]
      #5659557 - 02/03/13 09:14 AM

Accuracy is the break or make. I can't see a 20mm f2 with that camera being as accurate as using my mallincam through my C11 at f10. I hope I am wrong

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #5659587 - 02/03/13 09:32 AM

Quote:

Accuracy is the break or make. I can't see a 20mm f2 with that camera being as accurate as using my mallincam through my C11 at f10. I hope I am wrong




If you refer to the accuracy of the alignment, the camera's focal length doesn't enter into it. Nothing about the image is measured in any way; only the relative star locations are used to match up a piece of sky. The accuracy will depend only on the accuracy of the star locations in the database used to plate solve the images, and the algorithms used.


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rmollise
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5659591 - 02/03/13 09:34 AM

Quote:

I don't want to hijack this thread but my frustration was that I set up my scope in the dark and I didn't get the Telrad's dovetails inserted into the holder correctly. To answer my own question, I just read the March Sky and Telesope. There is a Celestron scope review in which the author says Starsense is good enough to get an object in the eyepiece, but not centered. You then go to a calibration page in the menu to get things centered up.




The answer, I think, is not the Celestron gadget, but tuning up your setup procedure. That's a lot cheaper, too.


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TimP
member


Reged: 02/24/09

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5660225 - 02/03/13 03:46 PM

Calibrate – Your telescope’s camera may need to be calibrated if
the telescope cannot find objects after being successfully aligned.
To Calibrate the camera:
1. Slew the telescope to the bright star that you are trying to
find.
2. Select Calibrate from the StarSense menu option.
3. The hand control will display the current pixel position of the
center of the camera sensor.
4. Use the direction buttons to manually center the bright star
in the eyepiece. Press ENTER.
SkyProdigy will then take an image of the sky and calibrate the
center of the camera sensor with the star seen in the eyepiece.

Tim


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: TimP]
      #5660250 - 02/03/13 03:58 PM

I have one on pre-order too. All I can and will ask of it is to be able to put things as close to center of the eyepiece as is reasonable. For outreach I want to use either sky safari with the skyfi wireless adapter or SkyQ from Celestron. I want to tell it to go to an object while I discuss with those around what it is they can expect to see. I want it to be in the eyepiece once it gets there. Or even better, using something like the Mallincam to show the view on a projector screen. I don't have to say..hmm ok hold on a sec while I find it in the finder and center it. So if the StarSense can do that for me...

SOLD!


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Hilmi
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5660261 - 02/03/13 04:06 PM

You know what would be cool? A similar product but generic to all mounts, one that would for example plate solve on PC (without the purchase of extra software) and do pointing corrections through ASCOM driver of your mount. I'm thinking a sleek simple to use, integrated solution

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TimP
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Reged: 02/24/09

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5660290 - 02/03/13 04:24 PM

I have one on pre order as well. I believe there is alot of room for advancement with this product. Lets see if Celestron takes advantage of it.

Tim


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palmer570
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5660716 - 02/03/13 08:52 PM

I think others or maybe myself are thinking of this accessory in the wrong way.

I see its usefulness out of the box being:

Level tripod
Attach mount (alt/az for me)
Power on and let starsense do initial star alignment while I continue setting up
Then do a quick calibration between starsense and ota.
Then enjoy

For a Eq you will have to add all star polar alingment after callibrating starsense to ota to get a better polar alingement.

This would, to me, elliminate the need for a finder scope during the alingment process.

Also as mentioned before the starsense makes a map of the stars and the calibration tells the mount where the ota is pointing on that map. So the two don't have to be actually aligned like a finder scope does.

Edited by palmer570 (02/03/13 08:58 PM)


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: palmer570]
      #5661188 - 02/04/13 06:46 AM

I am thinking tat the camera to ota calibration should be done before aligning with Starsense.....

Or have i missed something?



Quote:

I think others or maybe myself are thinking of this accessory in the wrong way.

I see its usefulness out of the box being:

Level tripod
Attach mount (alt/az for me)
Power on and let starsense do initial star alignment while I continue setting up
Then do a quick calibration between starsense and ota.
Then enjoy

For a Eq you will have to add all star polar alingment after callibrating starsense to ota to get a better polar alingement.

This would, to me, elliminate the need for a finder scope during the alingment process.

Also as mentioned before the starsense makes a map of the stars and the calibration tells the mount where the ota is pointing on that map. So the two don't have to be actually aligned like a finder scope does.




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TimP
member


Reged: 02/24/09

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5661837 - 02/04/13 01:55 PM

Quote:

I am thinking tat the camera to ota calibration should be done before aligning with Starsense.....

Or have i missed something?



Quote:

I think others or maybe myself are thinking of this accessory in the wrong way.

I see its usefulness out of the box being:

Level tripod
Attach mount (alt/az for me)
Power on and let starsense do initial star alignment while I continue setting up
Then do a quick calibration between starsense and ota.
Then enjoy

For a Eq you will have to add all star polar alingment after callibrating starsense to ota to get a better polar alingement.

This would, to me, elliminate the need for a finder scope during the alingment process.

Also as mentioned before the starsense makes a map of the stars and the calibration tells the mount where the ota is pointing on that map. So the two don't have to be actually aligned like a finder scope does.







I'll get back to you on that in a month or two. I have a CPC 1100 and a CGEM DX 11 Edge. I'll be trying it on both.

Tim


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palmer570
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5661933 - 02/04/13 02:46 PM

I honestly don't know the order of operations or if it will work the way I described. I was just speculating from what I read about how it works with the sky prodigy. Although that already has the camera mounted in relation to the OTA saddle so maybe you do have to do that first.

I'll be posting about mine also when it arrives, but can only test with my 8SE maybe a club member will have a eq. mount to test it out on.

Edited by palmer570 (02/04/13 02:49 PM)


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: palmer570]
      #5662021 - 02/04/13 03:44 PM

I wait for your tet

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cn register 5
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5662101 - 02/04/13 04:45 PM

My guess is that out of the box SS will align on the centre of it's field of view. There's an option to compensate for this and this is an electronic/computer way of aligning a finder. You do it once and as long as you always replace your finder/SS module the same way you don't need to do it again.

Chris


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TimP
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5662499 - 02/04/13 09:15 PM

The price is 309.95 at OPT.

http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=18742&tb=8&kw=starsense&st=2


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dr.who
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: TimP]
      #5662747 - 02/05/13 12:21 AM

There is a Q&A page on Celestron's web site. Link for it below. Here is an excerpt on polar align and use as a guide cam:

Stephan G. asks, “Can the StarSense Accessory help polar alignment in some way?”

-StarSense won’t directly assist in polar alignment. However, because the GoTo alignment is very accurate with StarSense, All Star Polar Alignment becomes more accurate. You’ll be more closely polar aligned after just one iteration of the All Star alignment procedure. (This answer applies EQ mounts and CPC + Wedge mounts only.)

James D. asks, “My question is, can StarSense be used as a guide scope for imaging?”

-Not currently – the main reason is the 20mm f/2 lens used in the camera does not have enough focal length to accurately guide longer focal length telescopes. We acknowledge this feedback!

William W. asks, “Will the new StarSense Accessory guide me through a polar align on my CGEM DX? Does it replace my hand control?”

-StarSense replaces the existing NexStar hand controller. It does not assist polar alignment. It automatically aligns the GoTo.

Here is the link to the full (short Q&A):
http://www.celestron.com/portal/articles/cat/howto/post/ask-team-celestron-st...

This is of some interest to me because per Celestron they are able to align it decently in their Gardena industrial park with all the associated sky glow, LP, and direct light interference and since many of the outreach events I go to tend to be in bright places like outdoor mall's and "old town" city streets so this would be a great step up from the bump and shuffle I do now manually tracking things. It would really nark off the dobbies if I roll up with an auto track SCT!


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Starhawk
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5663179 - 02/05/13 09:45 AM

Hilmi,

I've been thinking exactly the same thing. And if it did auto guiding as well, that would be the cat's pajamas. However, given the state of mobile processors, it would seem this should be able to go wheels-up and communicate via Bluetooth to a tablet or iPod sized device.

-Rich

Quote:

You know what would be cool? A similar product but generic to all mounts, one that would for example plate solve on PC (without the purchase of extra software) and do pointing corrections through ASCOM driver of your mount. I'm thinking a sleek simple to use, integrated solution




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morecoffee
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5665327 - 02/06/13 01:57 PM

For users of the Celestron SkySync GPS, Does the new StarSense make the GPS module not needed(obsolete) now?

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Pak
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: morecoffee]
      #5665775 - 02/06/13 06:12 PM

Well lets be clear. The GPS module was never "needed". All you have to do is peek at your smart phone, grab the coordinates and enter them manually. Takes what? 30 seconds? Not only that but I believe major cities are all there in the memory. All you'd have to do is pick the closest one and that should be good enough for Starsense to accurately pick the correct stars to navigate by.

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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Pak]
      #5665800 - 02/06/13 06:25 PM

I believe that StarSense has its own GPS

SkySync GPS not needed


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oo_void
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5666834 - 02/07/13 10:52 AM

I agree with Pak ... A GPS may have been helpful 10 to 15 years ago. But with today's modern smart phones, it seems like serious overkill.

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dr.who
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5675143 - 02/12/13 01:30 AM

Quote:

You know what would be cool? A similar product but generic to all mounts, one that would for example plate solve on PC (without the purchase of extra software) and do pointing corrections through ASCOM driver of your mount. I'm thinking a sleek simple to use, integrated solution




There already is. It's called Astrotortilla and its shareware. All you need is a camera.


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SeptemberEquinox
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dr.who]
      #5694389 - 02/22/13 10:26 AM

Any reviews for this product?

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DaveJ
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: SeptemberEquinox]
      #5694604 - 02/22/13 12:26 PM

Quote:

Any reviews for this product?




Taken right from Celestron's StarSense page: "Preorder - shipping June, 2013" So, no reviews yet.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5694753 - 02/22/13 01:35 PM

June?! Bummer. I thought March at the latest.

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morecoffee
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5695013 - 02/22/13 03:42 PM

If it's the same gadget as on the SkyProdigy Series you can read the reviews on those maybe to see if it works how you want.

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dr.who
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5695517 - 02/22/13 08:02 PM

Quote:

You know what would be cool? A similar product but generic to all mounts, one that would for example plate solve on PC (without the purchase of extra software) and do pointing corrections through ASCOM driver of your mount. I'm thinking a sleek simple to use, integrated solution




There is one. It's called Astro Tortilla.


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AstroRick
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dr.who]
      #5696124 - 02/23/13 07:29 AM

I agree AstroTortilla is pretty neat.

It interfaces with APT, Nebulosity, MaximDL, and PHD for capturing images to solve, and allows you to specify an image file taken by another application.

You need to have a lot of disk space however. It uses the astrometry.net plate-solving engine which was written to run under Unix. astrometry.net uses some very large data files to support its blind solving capability. Also, if you are running the Windows operating system you need to install cygwin which provides a Unix-like environment for astrometry.net.

I used it successfully, for the first time, at the Winter Star Party. I am now a fan!


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dr.who
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: AstroRick]
      #5696615 - 02/23/13 01:30 PM

Cheers Rick. One tip is that once you figure out the file for your given telescope aperture you can remove the other ones. It will cut down on the time it takes to solve as well as the HD space.

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tboconnor
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dr.who]
      #5721087 - 03/08/13 07:38 PM

There is a little video review here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDK_rrpAn6s

Im pretty unimpressed with its performance. Jupiter was at the outer edge of the eyepiece.


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EFT
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: tboconnor]
      #5721197 - 03/08/13 08:56 PM

Quote:

There is a little video review here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDK_rrpAn6s

Im pretty unimpressed with its performance. Jupiter was at the outer edge of the eyepiece.




It will be interesting to see if the system does better on a better mount.


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: EFT]
      #5722242 - 03/09/13 12:39 PM

Did he calibrate the camera with the scope?

This has to be done so the center of the cameras sensor is collimated with the center of the fov.


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palmer570
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5726216 - 03/11/13 04:07 PM

I agree with Howard that the mount in the vid has to be calibrated slighty. If whatever object is in the FOV then the calibration would be very simple.

Also it seemed like it he just got it and didn't know that much about telescopes, because walking around with the camera's light on while the scope is trying to scan the sky making its job that much more difficult.

So to put Jupiter in the FOV I think is a win for the mount, and it just needs a slight calibration to put future objects in the center.

Edited by palmer570 (03/11/13 04:08 PM)


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5729554 - 03/13/13 01:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Any reviews for this product?




Taken right from Celestron's StarSense page: "Preorder - shipping June, 2013" So, no reviews yet.




Now it's changed to July!!

Another product I know was slated to come out in early 2012.. it's now 2013.. (the site still says available in 2012) come on manufactures.. the suspense is maddening!!

What will be interesting is if the star sense aligns on the refracted pole and if the point model takes atmospheric refraction into account for the object when the object is in different parts of the sky..

Uh.. look ma.. no wires!




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core
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: tboconnor]
      #5729631 - 03/13/13 03:02 AM

Quote:

There is a little video review here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDK_rrpAn6s

Im pretty unimpressed with its performance. Jupiter was at the outer edge of the eyepiece.




fyi I put an older 130SLT OTA (650mm f/5) on my new sky prodigy mount, and after aligning the StarSense with the scope's OTA, I'm very impressed - with a 6.7mm ES 82° eyepiece (97x, 0.85° TFOV - along with 11mm eyepiece as well), it would put most all the messier galaxies in the Leo/Virgo region within the eyepiece's FOV (a handfull were a little too dim for my location). Slewed it 180° around to the open clusters in Auriga and they are still almost spot on. fwiw there's a note in the manual that even if you just collimate your optics (eg, in a Newt), you are advised to perform the alignment again.


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nine44
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: core]
      #5731001 - 03/13/13 07:55 PM

FWIW...I also purchased the skyprodigy mount with a 70mm refractor that I discarded--just so I could have this technology for my 6se SCT ($229 at B&H on closeout). I realize that the 6se is too heavy (mount says 8lb limit), but it seems to work fine. Just had to cut off some of the cowling on the mount to accomodate the larger radius of the 6se.

The Star Sense tech really does seem to work. It takes three pictures and then solves the sky. After that, gotos are really quite good (about a 3 minute automated process). StarSense does NOT track, however--at least not in the skyprodigy incarnation.

My viewing site is completely obstructed to the north because of a large tree, mostly obstructed to the SW due to my house and tress all around otherwise. But I have found a starting position that allows the system to calibrate reliably.

The mount is a little flimsy and it takes several seconds to stabilize with the 6se on it. But this tech on another mount would be just perfect.

I recognize that many don't see the need for this tech--but I have found that it further decreases the energy barrier to getting out and observing. It takes 3 min to start slewing to objects--and if clouds roll in, I don't feel like I have wasted my evening. If I see a break in the clouds, I can take advantage of it--even if rain is coming in half an hour--pretty cool.


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core
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: nine44]
      #5731600 - 03/14/13 03:26 AM

Quote:

After that, gotos are really quite good (about a 3 minute automated process). StarSense does NOT track, however--at least not in the skyprodigy incarnation.
...
I recognize that many don't see the need for this tech--but I have found that it further decreases the energy barrier to getting out and observing. It takes 3 min to start slewing to objects--and if clouds roll in, I don't feel like I have




Make sure tracking is no Disabled in the menu (you can select Sidereal, Lunar, Solar, or Disabled). The mount will track once aligned.

You're spot on with your conclusion, the scope just makes the decision to bring out the scope so much easier (yes, regular SLT/SE/CPC/etc. alignment for a quick look should only take but a couple of minutes) - just the other day when I was back late evening from an observing session on the outskirts of town, I don't think I was done yet with observing, but wasn't up to pulling out the gear from the car to setup all over again - I took a couple of minutes to bring the SkyProdigy from inside the house to the backyard and fired it up; in the meantime I unloaded the other astro gear from the car into storage. 15min later when my other stuff is put away, I stepped into my backyard and the SkyProdigy was there waiting for me to get my last fix for the night (granted, sky conditions was bad compared to where I just came from).


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corpusse
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: core]
      #5731995 - 03/14/13 10:47 AM

Sucks this is delayed. One thing this product would really help is people who rarely make it to dark skies. When I align in a dark sky I have a hard time telling which star is which everywhere you look there are stars. At home there are a very limited number of visible stars and in some ways this makes it a lot easier to align.

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jrbarnett
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5732083 - 03/14/13 11:35 AM

I know a guy who occasionally comes to club sessions, who is beta testing Star Sense for Celestron. He was there last Saturday. I didn't get a look at it in action, but did briefly chat with him as he was packing up. It sounded pretty cool, really. True democratization of technology which should open the GOTO GEM door folks intimidated by the prospects of self-alignment of a GOTO mount.

The only question is this - $300+ is a lot of incentive for the intimidated to conquer their fears rather than plunking down for the technology. GOTO mount alignment, at least for visual use, is not that difficult really and, especially with help the first time from someone who has done it before, can be mastered literally in a single session. What price convenience? I'm thinking $150 rather than $300 would be attractive to those who have no fear of self-alignment, but are lazy. I'd pay $150, but not $300, just for the convenience factor. Now if it also autoguided...

Regards,

Jim


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ChubbyNinja
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: corpusse]
      #5732382 - 03/14/13 02:51 PM

Quote:

Sucks this is delayed. One thing this product would really help is people who rarely make it to dark skies. When I align in a dark sky I have a hard time telling which star is which everywhere you look there are stars. At home there are a very limited number of visible stars and in some ways this makes it a lot easier to align.




I agree 100%!!! If I try to align the scope well after the sun sets I sometimes have a lot of difficulty because every star in the FOV looks the same. It can be very difficult for me to center on the correct one. Just after sunset it's not a problem because only the brightest stars are visible.

I ordered this and can't wait for it to arrive... And compared to many items for sale for this hobby I think it is very reasonably priced.


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: ChubbyNinja]
      #5732508 - 03/14/13 04:22 PM

I'm way more interested in the pointing model feature than the alignment feature.

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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5732541 - 03/14/13 04:43 PM

Quote:

I'm way more interested in the pointing model feature than the alignment feature.




How does the pointing model feature differ from the alignment feature?


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palmer570
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5732764 - 03/14/13 07:08 PM

Crossing my fingers that the delay is due to many people wanting to also use it as a autoguider and Celestron may have a solution to do so.

Guess I'll be waiting to see what happens in July.


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nine44
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: core]
      #5732807 - 03/14/13 07:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:

After that, gotos are really quite good (about a 3 minute automated process). StarSense does NOT track, however--at least not in the skyprodigy incarnation.
...
I recognize that many don't see the need for this tech--but I have found that it further decreases the energy barrier to getting out and observing. It takes 3 min to start slewing to objects--and if clouds roll in, I don't feel like I have




Make sure tracking is no Disabled in the menu (you can select Sidereal, Lunar, Solar, or Disabled). The mount will track once aligned.

You're spot on with your conclusion, the scope just makes the decision to bring out the scope so much easier (yes, regular SLT/SE/CPC/etc. alignment for a quick look should only take but a couple of minutes) - just the other day when I was back late evening from an observing session on the outskirts of town, I don't think I was done yet with observing, but wasn't up to pulling out the gear from the car to setup all over again - I took a couple of minutes to bring the SkyProdigy from inside the house to the backyard and fired it up; in the meantime I unloaded the other astro gear from the car into storage. 15min later when my other stuff is put away, I stepped into my backyard and the SkyProdigy was there waiting for me to get my last fix for the night (granted, sky conditions was bad compared to where I just came from).



My apologies--the Sky Prodigy DOES track (quite well). It does NOT autoguide. Sorry for the confusion!!


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Ava
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: nine44]
      #5736462 - 03/16/13 02:51 PM

Now it seems to be gone from Celestrons web site...

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Stew57
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ava]
      #5736483 - 03/16/13 03:04 PM

Still at this location;
http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-starsense-accessory.html


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ava]
      #5736484 - 03/16/13 03:07 PM

Hopefully not! I am planning on buying two if StarSense gets good CN feedback. I have a CGEM DX and a 8SE and being able to set both up, fire up StarSense and walk back a few minutes later to two aligned mounts is awesome. If this works out, it could motivate me to pick up a VX mount also.

Pricey yes, but this is my hobby and if it works as reported then I will opt in.


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Ava
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #5736648 - 03/16/13 04:57 PM

Quote:

Still at this location;
http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-starsense-accessory.html




Hmm, strange, that link doesn't work for me, it redirects to the front page.


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ava]
      #5737036 - 03/16/13 07:48 PM

Link goes straight to C's home page.

Anyone know where to find starsense on the website for Celestron?


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5737128 - 03/16/13 08:16 PM

That link works for me just fine..

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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5737135 - 03/16/13 08:18 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm way more interested in the pointing model feature than the alignment feature.




How does the pointing model feature differ from the alignment feature?




2+4 is kinda a pointing model. A pointing model keeps track of where stars and objects are in the sky. Bisque pointing model takes flex, refraction, etc into consideration. I hope the star sense does too.

It would be more like a 200+ star calibration.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5738047 - 03/17/13 05:53 AM

I think we need to manage expectations a little here.

AIUI the StarSense/SkyProdigy gets three positions by pointing in three directions, acquiring an image and plate solving it. That give three positions as Ra and Dec and the rotation of the image. It will give a good alignment with corrections for the major mount errors such as Ra and Dec offset, polar align error and cone error.

Corrections that can be calculated, such as refraction and precession can be allowed for.

But it's not a 200 star pointing model, there's no way that 3 positions can be turned into 200.

Chris


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CharlesW
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5738327 - 03/17/13 10:14 AM

The price of gadgets aside, you have to admit that this is a great time for amateur astronomy. If Meade's LX-850 works, you can bet that Celestron will begin to offer something similar at the 2014 NEAF that will autoguide.

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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5739252 - 03/17/13 05:54 PM

I have heard, that in a future release, it will work with the precise goto function of the Nexstar hand controller.

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Raginar
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5739520 - 03/17/13 07:51 PM

Dave,

Now, that would be really cool. My biggest complaint about it is that I want something that would plate solve for me. I can align my mount just fine; I need better accuracy.


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Raginar]
      #5739903 - 03/18/13 12:30 AM

Yes, hardware plate solving would be awesome. It will just be a firmware upgrade.

It has about 2 megs for the embedded microcontroller. pretty big Room for improvements.


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Raginar
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5740418 - 03/18/13 10:31 AM

Well, 2 mb isn't enough to get a catalog into it. It'd be cool if it was expandable via SD card or something.

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artcarter
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5740819 - 03/18/13 02:24 PM

Quote:

Yes, hardware plate solving would be awesome.




Ok. What is plate solving?


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psu_13
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: artcarter]
      #5740848 - 03/18/13 02:44 PM

Plate solving is taking a picture of a star field and computing the position of the picture in RA/DEC by comparing the position of the stars in the picture to a known catalog.

Typically you need to have some location and scale information that gets you relatively close to the actual location. But there are systems that also do the matching blind.


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wcstarguy
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: psu_13]
      #5740880 - 03/18/13 02:56 PM

I don't know the technical details of the StarSense but just received one of the SkyProdigy mounts. I read everything I could find on the mount before buying (got a great deal from Adorama, $229 new) and found the following post:
Quote:


The SkyProdigy telescopes are toys with autoguiding piggybacked onto them. They're the same kind of telescopes you'd find at Costco or WalMart.

The LSs are serious SCs. There's really no comparison.

--------------------
8" LX90-GPS
NexStar 5SE
ETX125
>UNQUOTE

Nothing could be further from fact, WRT Sky Prodigy. Cloudy Nights prides itself on objectivity - before you categorically snob a telescope, please consider owning or at least operating one for a spell to give it a fair shake. The staff here obtained two early on, to study the guide algorithm. Stand by for long-winded response <wink>....
Been an ATM/AA for about 44 years, scratch-built optics, mounts, gotos and robotic scopes and their electronics and systems. Bought the same, too. Eventually became a professional astronomer and observatory director in that time. I say that because, I have not only been involved with buying, making and operating goto and upper end avocational telescopes for many years, I am quite familiar with the astrometric methods used in a Sky Prodigy that we use in large professional instrumentation in the $ten-figure class. So I think I can speak with some accuracy on how the little Prodigy's work.
Contrary to the innuendo, this kind of sky alignment algorithm is not used in dimestore telescopes, but is a technique used in the orientation and navigation of billion dollar spaceborne intelligence systems, strategic aircraft, and special shipboard systems. That "ACN and ST" (Automated celnav & star-tracker) field is far, far more advanced than anything seen here on CN; and while the little Sky Prodigy is not so fancy either, its pointing heritage certainly does not put it anywhere near "dimestore" class. Having used one at length, I can say it does not deserve that slight.
While Sky Prodigy certainly is aimed at novices, that alone is important to an amateur astronomer -- most of whom want to perpetuate the hobby. I get countless PR appeals from newbies that they cannot align the telescope to then "goto", and along those lines, I am sure Celestron wanted to answer that key issue for novices. You can't maintain an avocation's people-base by intimidating entrants. But Sky Prodigy still is useful for more than just the rote beginner as we see it (and no we were not paid by Celestron LOL).
When my staff got ours a year ago to actually see how Celestron's code aligned the instrument the turned out surprisingly easy for us to use (our pro's know the night sky BTW) and reinvigorated an aesthetic appreciation for the sky. Like I said, we were comparing SP to advanced alignment systems -- specifically to understand the relationship of the StarSense algorithm to angles-only Kalman filtered algorithms . There even, Celestron did a quite good job -- especially for the price. We may look at "Autoalign" on Meades next, but they are really not in the same alignment league, relying on GPS, time of day, expected positions, etc, not star fields alone. Last year's news, Meade and Celestron (with somewhat similar SkyAlign, have tested those), can go arm-wrestle about who is on who's turf there; we wanted to focus on how the SP did its alignment.
We've tested a Sky Prodigy for a year... and it is no dimestore telescope. While optomechanically similar to its Nexstar brethren, and at least equal to that line of optics, the mount at or better than an SLT's beefiness, and it is much much easier to operate. Every time I could walk up and goto 30 objects in sequence across 2 pi-steradians -- and find them well centered, after every starsense alignment. I know the night sky well, but it sure is impressive to set the unit out, and go inside for a coffee, come out and watch it finish self location, then present itself for tracking. The 130 would be easy to backpack as well; did that. Optical collimation remains quite solid both using ole Techtron tools, and also cross checking in our optics lab on a Zygo interferometer-- after a year being roughly used.
BTW people here have hip-shot that the instrument is basically a" Nexstar with autoguiding piggybacked onto them". This is also false and very misleading; sounds like someone got confused with Meade's Starlock system.... Go read up on how the Sky Prodigy operates (and some nice videos and Youtubes out there too). I don't believe it's the best principle instrument for an advanced amateur... any more than I would put an advanced amateur on a robotic liquid helium cooled IR 2-meter with an echelle at the naysmith, a professional's tool... BUT, SP would be a great, quality beginner telescope to bridge a lack of sky knowledge and get an exhuberant youngster excited to keep looking at he sky. It's a great knockabout quickie scope too, can throw in the car or the pack (sort of) for some desert fun.
In fact it would come from a line more capable, and is IMO better than than the LS. And as an aside, I'd be careful about how one uses the term "serious SC" as amongst amateur telescopes, as _very few_ currently marketed SC's are indeed "serious" telescopes, from an expert point of view, either - Point being -- it's *all* a *point of view* - and such subjectivity should be avoided when fairly evaluating an instrument... SP is as optomechanically decent as most all other small Celestrons.
Finally, I know some AA's disdain making alignment and learning the sky 'too easy', as abjuring some rite of passage. To them I'd say don't dismiss this novel and simpler method for aligning a telescope, as some short circuit as to learning the sky, anymore than oldsters of yesteryear used to dismiss a 4 function calulator as cheating vs. a slide rule... I've actually seen little kids at open houses marvel at the auto-alignment, then start to spatially grasp the sky as the SP marched from object to object. It is the future, and hopefully the method will spread into upper end amateur instrumentation, like GOTO once did.
So, the technology under the Sky Prodigy's hood is actually advanced, and not dimestore-trivial, and so instead makes the alignment, goto and operation all the simpler -- time to pay attention to other things more important. Like your smartphone made life simpler (allegedly LOL). If you are satisfied with Nexstar and CG quality, the Prodigy easily equals or betters that, but is just alot easier to use. If you like GOTO this is the next step. Try one; I will probably buy my own 6" variant in fact, after our staff experience with the littler SP's (I do wish Celestron sold just the Starsence mount, sans OTA; I have a nice 6" R-C that would be just great riding on a Sky Prodigy arm!). FWIW.... again sorry so long - I just did not want a dimestore innuendo have people miss what a different experience for our staff the little SP's provided. Your mileage may vary.


. link to complete thread Sounds like the technology involved does something distantly related to "plate solving". Just speculating....WC

Edited by wcstarguy (03/18/13 03:01 PM)


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wcstarguy
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5740905 - 03/18/13 03:07 PM

Sorry about the long text quote from the other thread....there are some other interesting observations about the SkyProdigy (StarSense technology) in the same thread linked above, although the discussion was comparing a couple of different mounts and scopes...WC

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darbyvet
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5740955 - 03/18/13 03:24 PM

FWIW my son is studying aerospace engineering and he told me the cameras used on satellites to align them via plates solves start at about $100,000.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: darbyvet]
      #5740976 - 03/18/13 03:35 PM

With a wide field camera and a known focal length, which the Starsense has, I think doing a plate solve by matching up a hand full of stars in a given area of the sky isn't that difficult. We don't need to plate solve a thousand stars. Three or four brightest in its field of view would be acceptable I think. This is just speculation of course. The technology looks at th FoV and tries to center the brightest star at the position it "believes" it should find it. Then it centers on that star and marks/stores that coordinate. So why not process three stars in the FoV or five or ten? I guess it really doesn't matter too much. 2+4 is already pretty accurate. Having a device that does it automatically is really neat. That is all I ask for and all I require it to do. Anything else is just icing.

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Raginar
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5741915 - 03/18/13 10:08 PM

I can do it really easy with my guider and a finder-scope, I'm pretty sure the sky sense can figure it out.

Maybe not in this iteration, but some day.


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Raginar]
      #5741998 - 03/18/13 10:54 PM

Quote:

Well, 2 mb isn't enough to get a catalog into it. It'd be cool if it was expandable via SD card or something.




It depends on the catalog. It holds the current 40,000 nexstar catalog database and the plate solve database with room to spare..


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wcstarguy
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5742033 - 03/18/13 11:18 PM

There was some discussion of how many stars the mount uses for alignment, in my light polluted (some skyglow, just outside of Branson, MO and neighbors yard lights) backyard using the manual alignment method (point at three unblocked areas of sky and let each area calculate) the hand control has been saying it finds anywhere from 30 to 100 usable stars. This is when visually I can see very few stars. Seems to work very well. Also, you can adjust it for the brightness of your sky...it can be overwhelmed if you go to a dark site but you just do the adj....This is using a tiny C90 mak scope....

Edited by wcstarguy (03/18/13 11:19 PM)


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5742881 - 03/19/13 12:51 PM

Hi,
I'm glad someone finally came out with this technology. And I'm really glad it was Celestron. They were first aiming at children beginers with the sky prodigy telescope. I find it hard to believe kids have problems centering a star. Most kids can operate computers, video games, and smartphones, remote control toys better than most adults. At least better than I can. I think most problems people have was from putting the wrong time/date/location type information. But non the less its a good ideal to make it easier for beginners. I think the best benifit is for astrophotographers. This device will improve accuracy and assure goto's to DSO's are centered on our imaging chip. Many of them can't be seen until after you image.

Besides I really like gadgets and automated things. And I will enjoy watching the starsense align my mount. I think the price is a bit high but I'm willing to pay it. I like that it comes with a new handbox.
I only have one concern. Celestron can't you make the included handbox's cord longer. I find it frustrating that the cord is so short and theres no connector on the handset so you can't replace it with a longer cord. Or make it wireless, this is 2013 not 1985.


neilson


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5742914 - 03/19/13 01:04 PM

Quote:

...
I only have one concern. Celestron can't you make the included handbox's cord longer. I find it frustrating that the cord is so short and there's no connector on the handset so you can't replace it with a longer cord. Or make it wireless, this is 2013 not 1985.
neilson




Well you can.

Celestron has the Nexremote software and the SkyQ link. Bot h of those work together to make it essentilly wireless. Also you can use an iDevice withe their skyq app. Or you can use Sky Safari and SkyFi module to be wireless. The skyfi module also allows you to connect with most popular software. For me I have a usb hub on my mount that I plug the celestron serial cable into and I control my mount via a long usb cable. So to recap, if I am standing right at the mount I pick up the hand controller and use it. If I am doing outreach or walking around at a distance away I use my iPad for wireless control of the mount and if I am doing imaging I am controlling it via a long USB cable so I can be somewhere warm. As for making a longer cable there is nothing special about the cables. Perhaps you can buy an extra hand controller and make your own longer cable for it. Maybe Scopestuff sells them already made. I haven't looked.

Edit: I looked Cable

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (03/19/13 01:06 PM)


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5743077 - 03/19/13 02:21 PM

Hi,
Like I said it sure would be nice if the cable was a decent length. Its very short.
Those devices only make the computer connection wireless not the handbox. I have had a wireless handbox on my LX200R 10" for years. And on my TV, Vcr/DVD player Satalite box ect. I don't know of any modern device that still has a wired controller. But I would be happy with just a little longer cord.
Some time back I bought one of those extention cables and it fried my handbox. Now they say they test them but it would be nice if the one that comes with the mount was a little longer, or if Celestron offered an extension themselves. And I shouldnt have to modify a new handbox and make a longer wire just because they want to save 2 cents on wire. A foot or Two longer would do.
There are plenty of other people who complain about that wire being a little short too.

neilson

Edited by neilson (03/19/13 03:02 PM)


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wcstarguy
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5743257 - 03/19/13 03:35 PM

The SkyProdigy mount software currently doesn't allow for external computer control...this is supposed to change, I'm guessing they are waiting to release the Star Sense attachment and update the software at the same time. I just ordered an extension cable from a different company, they have them up to 25' long, hopefully no frying of my hand control will be involved... link

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5743323 - 03/19/13 04:03 PM

Quote:

Hi,
Like I said it sure would be nice if the cable was a decent length. Its very short.
Those devices only make the computer connection wireless not the handbox. I have had a wireless handbox on my LX200R 10" for years. And on my TV, Vcr/DVD player Satalite box ect. I don't know of any modern device that still has a wired controller. But I would be happy with just a little longer cord.
Some time back I bought one of those extention cables and it fried my handbox. Now they say they test them but it would be nice if the one that comes with the mount was a little longer, or if Celestron offered an extension themselves. And I shouldnt have to modify a new handbox and make a longer wire just because they want to save 2 cents on wire. A foot or Two longer would do.
There are plenty of other people who complain about that wire being a little short too.

neilson




Well you talked about it being 2013 not 1985. I was just saying that Celestron has addressed the wireless aspect in a different way. Having a true wireless, perhaps bluetooth, hand controller with a charging cradle would be great. I have recommended that to both Meade and Celestron in the past.


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WadeH237
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5743404 - 03/19/13 04:33 PM

Quote:

I'm glad someone finally came out with this technology. And I'm really glad it was Celestron.




Actually, I think that the Meade Lightswitch mounts were the first to do this.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5743588 - 03/19/13 05:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Well, 2 mb isn't enough to get a catalog into it. It'd be cool if it was expandable via SD card or something.




It depends on the catalog. It holds the current 40,000 nexstar catalog database and the plate solve database with room to spare..


You are speaking very authoritatively about this Wolfman, do you have some sort of inside knowledge about the Sky Sense?

Chris


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Stew57
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5743651 - 03/19/13 06:22 PM

I had asked the following on TeamCelestron when the engineer said there was no need for latitude, longitude, ot time to be saved into the star sense HC.

"How would starsense know what/where the first alignment star should be without latitude, longitude, and time? Am I missing something? You must have included a lot of room in the HC for a complete database for plate solve without starting reference point.


Here is the reply:

How would StarSense know what/where the first alignment star should be...It doesn't really matter which star you go to first. You just take a (random) picture of the sky, and solve the plate. Now you have a a set of RA/Dec coordinates for those motor coordinates. Then you spin the motors a while and take another (random) picture. Now you a second set of RA/Dec coordinate to go with your new motor position. After you do that one more time, you have enough information to figure out where everything else in the sky is located relative to that. Before you start your alignment the HC asks you to put your mount in the "home" position so it won't crash into itself or waste time taking pictures of the ground. And if you have an EQ mount you will want to point the mount close enough to true north that you can do the polar alignment once the sky align is complete.

You must have included a lot of room in the HC for a complete database for plate solve without starting reference point. About 2 megabytes. Which is big for an embedded microcontroller. That database takes more space than the entire star catalog, the application code, and the text databases for all 6 languages combined. (NOTE: I am not sure if SSA will be multi-lingual like the NexStar+ hand control at its initial release).


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Stelios
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #5744393 - 03/20/13 02:37 AM

I'm glad I found this thread, because this gadget (assuming it works as advertised) would be a godsend for me. As the years drag on, it becomes less and less pleasant to contort behind the finder in order to slew to and center the alignment stars--so unpleasant, in fact, that I only bother if I know I'll have time for an extended session.

But with StarSense, especially in the summer, I could just leave the scope in the garden, and then just pop out, start the gizmo, pop in for dinner, and then go out even for a short session. Five to ten minutes saved, plus achy neck and back--priceless.

And if Goto's deteriorate during the session as they so often do, it may be the difference between packing it up when faced with another manual calibration, or just hitting the StarSense button and admiring the sky while the scope gets itself ready again.

This is indeed the millenium!


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stelios]
      #5744418 - 03/20/13 03:05 AM



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freestar8n
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5744420 - 03/20/13 03:11 AM

Quote:

Actually, I think that the Meade Lightswitch mounts were the first to do this.




I think that Lightswitch is an automated version of normal alignment, in which the orientation of the telescope (level, north) and the lat/long of the location is known, so the telescope decides which bright stars to align with and finds them - as a user would - and it does so by 'knowing' where they are in the sky and can point approximately to them blind, based on magnetic north, etc.

I think Sky Prodigy is also based on finding bright stars - but it doesn't need to know lat/long or north - it just finds 3 bright stars - any stars - and does an automated 1-2-3 align with them.

StarSense then takes it to two new levels by not needing centered, bright stars at all - but just patches of sky that have enough stars in them to plate solve with a medium sized database. This also means there is no time spent centering the star before recording its position. I also think that, from my early posting in this thread, it will include more elaborate mount modeling based on many stars.

This is just my summary based on what I have read and what makes sense to me. The two technical concerns are what happens when it can't plate solve for some reason, and how does it deal with slight misalignment of the camera with the scope. For the first I assume it knows when a solve fails so it just goes to another part of the sky in some semi-random way. For the second, I assume there is a calibration procedure done once, with a human, where you center a bright star to let it know the offset of the plate solve from the true OTA direction.

So I think it is very different from other things, but at the same time wouldn't require magic or a supercomputer to work well. I look forward to reviews.

Frank


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WadeH237
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5744617 - 03/20/13 07:59 AM

I've never used the Lightswitch (or StarSense) myself, so I went and looked at the Manual for the Meade LS Series scopes.

You are right that it depends on knowing its latitude and north (and level), but it determines these values automatically. So while the internal implementation may be different, the practical result is the same: You set up the scope and turn it on. After a few minutes, it is aligned and ready to go.

I think that the future possibility of a pointing model is interesting, but I question how important it is. For visual use, I've had multiple samples of CG5 and CGE mounts. Since the release of the v4 hand controller, I've never had any of them fail to put the desired object in the eyepiece. For imaging use, it would be more useful. But for the cost of StarSense, you are getting close to the cost of imaging software that already includes a plate solve solution. I know that I've been plate solve synced pointing for years already. I don't event think about it.

The other thing that would be interesting is to use this for a guiding solution. You, yourself have already outlined my concerns about this, regarding flexure, on the LX850 thread.

When I first heard about StarSense, I wondered if there was anyone willing to pay a couple of hundred bucks just to automate pointing alignment (which takes all of 5 minutes, and only needs to be done once per setting up of the mount). It doesn't even do polar alignment for that price. But I've seen enough posters here with interesting reasons as to why they'd want this, that I believe that there is a market and it will make people happy (and, more importantly, more likely to use their equipment to observe).

This is all good stuff, but I just wanted to point out that Celestron was not the first to get there with a consumer level system. Meade beat them to it.

-Wade


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freestar8n
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5744705 - 03/20/13 09:05 AM

I agree with most of your points - mainly that the version 4 contoller does very well with 5 or 6 stars and a cge or cge-pro. If my equipment is already set up and hibernated from a previous imaging session - then there is almost zero time and effort getting right on target.

But any time I set up fresh it is a bit time consuming to find the initial stars for a 2+4 alignment - especially when using a ccd from indoors. I often use a video finder in such situations, which lets me do it all indoors using nexremote - but it still takes a while. If I were setting up repeatedly, as many do, and trying to get an imaging session going - the value would be even greater.

For new users I think there are many reasons scopes are hard to align - and big factor is not having a sense that the star in there is the one you think it is. The may think a 6th mag star in the sct is Sirius because they don't have the experience.

Another issue is that even with plate solving software - most of it needs to know the approximate location pretty well. I use maxim Pinpoint and it seems to require a pretty good starting position. But with this "where the heck am I" kind of alignment with starsense - there is a need for a blank slate alignment - and that would benefit from a plate solving system tailored to the optics and ccd in use. I don't know how many commonly used plate solving systems could do what this needs to do - so even having it on the laptop and paid for already - it may not work for the task.

Frank


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WadeH237
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5744783 - 03/20/13 10:00 AM

After helping lots of people learn to use their equipment, I would suggest that the single biggest mistake that I've seen is that the finder is not collimated to the main scope. Countless times, I've seen someone point their finder at the right bright star, only to find it not visible in the eyepiece. When that happens, they tend to center the brightest star in the field, which is going to result in a poor alignment. They are always surprised when I align the finder for them and then align the scope, how obvious the bright alignment star is when it's in the field, The second most common error that I see on the Celestron mounts is that people don't realize the importance of using "up" and "right" to center the star. This results in pretty-close-but-not-great pointing performance.

StarSense will benefit users by avoiding these problems. But still, they are easily corrected user errors once they are known. The problem is, that without someone to help, it is difficult for new users to figure it out on their own.

As for plate solving with an imaging system, I have never had a 2+4 alignment result in pointing so poor that Maxim with Pinpoint LE could not solve it almost immediately.

-Wade


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5745253 - 03/20/13 02:20 PM

Hi,
I can't wait, I'm ready to buy one now but I'm confused about the release date. I had been reading it was march 2013, but now I looked on the Celestron site and it says preorders shipping June 2013. Which is correct.

neilson


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LTE
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5745453 - 03/20/13 03:45 PM

I have used the Sky Prodigy and the Meade LS (6in and 8in) and both have their good and bad points. I find both are very effective for visual observation of variable stars, using the 130 mm Newtonian on the SP for a wide field view of brighter stars. The light mount and the telescope are not well suited to high powers. The self-align and subsequent GoTo performance is excellent.
I really enjoy using the LS telescopes, especially since the firmware was improved. The hardware design is great, even if it was done by a bricklayer as someone joked! There are a couple of alignment problems: the motor training seems to need redoing rather too often (signalled by alignment failures) and the 8in appears to have a compass offset, so it points too far clockwise. The camera is quite sensitive and will, for example, fix on the much fainter star preceding Arcturus and so mess up the alignment. Also, as with other telescopes such as the Celestron GPS series, it will sometimes select alignment stars which are too close together to give a satisfactory solution for all-sky use. I stand over it during alignment, ready to head off unsuitable second alignment stars. For these reasons, I prefer the Celestron SP system and look forward to retrofitting it to my 8in GPS and CG5 (now with a Meade 8in).

Tom.


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turtledude1
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5745804 - 03/20/13 05:55 PM

Neilson, I ordered mine 3 days ago and the site said shipping in April. Today I checked and it depends where you go some say June and some say July. Celestron must have discovered a couple bugs. Meade would have shipped it anyway. That's what I like about Celestron and Orion they at least try to have as few bugs as possible before releasing a new product.
Russ


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Raginar
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: turtledude1]
      #5746463 - 03/20/13 10:23 PM

I suppose Wolfman could be right. I was thinking UCAC is like 8gb... but GSC is pretty small (~1 gb).

Either way, platesolving to a desired location would be cool hardware implemented.


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frank17601A
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Raginar]
      #5747175 - 03/21/13 09:26 AM

Folks,
Keep everything in perspective..... so what if you have a trillion stars in the plate solving database.....the limiting factor here is the size of lens (it is small in this case)..... if you can not see the trillion stars....they do not matter. So a database of a couple thousand of the brighest stars is probably good enough.

Edited by frank17601A (03/21/13 09:27 AM)


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Raginar
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: frank17601A]
      #5747672 - 03/21/13 01:45 PM

Good point Frank. My only experience so far has been with my various scopes so I didn't take that into account.

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palmer570
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5748403 - 03/21/13 07:48 PM

Quote:

It doesn't even do polar alignment for that price.






Looks to be similar to the new controllers, it should be able to do a ASPA after it scans and you have it properly calibrated to the OTA's FOV. I imagine thats a feature that would appeal to people that own mounts without it.


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5802884 - 04/16/13 02:43 PM

Quote:

I had been reading it was march 2013, but now I looked on the Celestron site and it says preorders shipping June 2013. Which is correct.




Celestron web site now showing July 2013.


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will1384
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5884125 - 05/25/13 02:42 PM

I have got one on pre-order, I need something like this because I am surrounded by trees, I have to hunt through the list of stars that the hand controller lists, to find the few I can see, takes a good 20 minutes or more to do the alignment, what I hope is, that after I use the Celestron StarSense
to do the GOTO alignment, I can find a star with the Hand Control, then do the Align--Polar Align--Align Mount, and be done with the entire process.

Here is my setup routine:


(1) Carry all the equipment, cases, and tripod out to the only place I can see Polaris, takes 4 trips, point the tripod north, level the tripod, setup two aluminum work platforms that I use to set my equipment on, mount and balance the Telescope. - Part (1) takes 15 to 20 minutes to finish.

(2) I then use a polar scope, takes about 5 minutes or less to finish this part.

(3) Then do the alignment I enter the time and date into the Hand Control, I get the date and time from my Android phone, I then have to find some stars, so I use SkEye Planetarium on my Android phone, I hold my phone up towards the sky, and compare what I see on my phone with the list of stars in the Hand Control, most are blocked by trees, I find a few, then I do the the Align--Polar Align--Align Mount. - Part (3) takes takes 20+ minutes.

It takes just about an hour for me to setup the telescope, anything that shortens that time is a miracle.


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Qwickdraw
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: will1384]
      #5884500 - 05/25/13 06:31 PM

Quote:


It takes just about an hour for me to setup the telescope, anything that shortens that time is a miracle.




And then your scope is relatively cool and ready to go.


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astro-vert
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5885033 - 05/26/13 02:41 AM

Hi Will1384,

Some info to share since i am in a similar situation... I contacted Celestron about Starsense because my observing spot in the yard is also obstructed by trees. The spot I use is great, but somewhat limited on getting alignment stars. I was asking them if I am able to select which stars Starsense will use to do its magic and the response was no. The device selects the stars on its own and the user is not able to input any specific stars to use.

So I ended up canceling my preorder, but still am interested in it, so once they are out there being used and reported on, I may pull the trigger.

Andrew

Edited by astro-vert (05/26/13 02:42 AM)


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freestar8n
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: astro-vert]
      #5885110 - 05/26/13 04:35 AM

Hi-

My understanding is that it doesn't need particular "alignment stars" - just a patch of sky with faint stars in it that it can recognize (plate solve). If your sky is really blocked then it might have trouble finding a few patches with stars in it - but if you have a decent sky exposed, but no bright "alignment stars" visible - I think it should still work because it doesn't need bright stars.

That's my understanding anyway - based on the description of how it works. So if it happens to point at trees and can't plate solve, it will go somewhere else in the sky and presumably keep trying until it finds something it recognizes.

Frank


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5885140 - 05/26/13 05:57 AM

I am sure you can tell it to align on stars that you select from the hand controller if the ones it picks are hidden.

Just like aligning with any Celestron mount..you choose the alignment and calibration stars


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cn register 5
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5885150 - 05/26/13 06:12 AM

From a look at the SkyProdigy manual you can either use an Auto mode where it selects the area of sky to use or a manual mode where you point the mount at some suitable areas. Even with the auto mode if it can't find stars it will move a bit and try again.

The whole point of StarSense is that it doesn't look for specific stars. Rather than move the mount to a specific star it takes an image of an area of sky and determines where it's looking by plate solving the star field it sees to get a position. People I know who have the SkyProdigy say that it just works, even in quite bright, hazy skies.

Chris


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freestar8n
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5885155 - 05/26/13 06:20 AM

Starsense does not use alignment stars - it uses "fingerprints" - or patterns of faint stars. So it is very different from the normal celestron handcontroller procedure. It could well have a manual override to do the "normal" thing - but if Celestron told someone it didn't, then it may not have such an override - at least at this time.

It seems to me it would only really need such an override if a) you only had a very small amount of sky visible and b) in those patches you happened to have 3 bright and recognizable alignment stars. That doesn't seem very likely to me. I expect it would have some search algorithm, similar to a Roomba vacuum robot, that would explore the sky looking for clear patches - and as long as they exist, it would only be a matter of time before it found them and did the alignment without manual intervention.

But I haven't seen the thing in action - I'm just going by the product description - and what would make sense to me - plus what the poster above reported in a response from Celestron.

Frank


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will1384
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: astro-vert]
      #5885701 - 05/26/13 02:33 PM

Quote:

Hi Will1384,

Some info to share since i am in a similar situation... I contacted Celestron about Starsense because my observing spot in the yard is also obstructed by trees. The spot I use is great, but somewhat limited on getting alignment stars. I was asking them if I am able to select which stars Starsense will use to do its magic and the response was no. The device selects the stars on its own and the user is not able to input any specific stars to use.

So I ended up canceling my preorder, but still am interested in it, so once they are out there being used and reported on, I may pull the trigger.

Andrew




I honestly hope it has more flexibility than that, otherwise its going to be a failed product.

It takes so long to setup the telescope, then because of trees I have a very limited view of the sky, and even with an Autoguider the images I take are still not usable, its like evey time I use the Telescope, I work hard and fail miserably, I am just looking for something to make the telescope easier to use, and I hope the Celestron Starsense will help me.


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astro-vert
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: will1384]
      #5885793 - 05/26/13 03:43 PM

It is not beyond reason that I mis-interpreted the reply from Celestron...and I am not intending to spread faulty info.

I know it has to use a plate solve of some sort, but since I have the concern about my clear patch of sky, it was an obvious question. If I cannot at a minimum direct it to where it can get some data, the I could see it just spinning it's wheels and not being able to come up with a solution. My clear view of the sky is not that bad, but there are tall trees that i could see having an impact. I just want to understand for sure how it works before spending the money.

I deleted their reply to my question once i decided to hold off on it, so I can't share the text...sorry.


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: astro-vert]
      #5885832 - 05/26/13 04:13 PM

Hi,
From my experience the service department doesn't even know much about the telescopes they already have out. They seem to have pre written generalized answers to most questions. But as for the starsense it's not meant as a solution for people who only have limited areas of the sky available. Its just meant as a device to automate the alignment process. I would think its going to be as basic as possible, but on future firmware upgrades it could be improved to give the user more control. But I have no inside information so I could be wrong. Personally I would prefer it to allow me to make changes like to select areas of the sky.
In fact I think you can already select your telescopes horizon and maybe the starsense uses that information to pick its area of the sky. Just select a high horizon might help. But I'm just guessing.

neilson


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wcstarguy
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5885896 - 05/26/13 05:08 PM

I have the sky prodigy mount and use it manually in my partially sky obstructed yard. I just point it at three fairly clear areas, one at a time, let the SP computer "plate solve" or whatever it is doing and it works fine for my uses. wc

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will1384
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wcstarguy]
      #5888074 - 05/27/13 11:04 PM

I found something interesting:

http://www.baader-planetarium.de/news/ces_celestron-products_en.pdf


In the ces_celestron-products_en.pdf file, I find this:

"At first the user has to do a short polar alignment with the revolutionary Celestron „All Star Alignment“. It is only necessary to drive to one single star and center it with the ALT and AZ axis. It does not matter wich star it is, Polaris must not be visible. After performing this rudimentary „All Star Alignment“, the „StarSense“ electronic takes over and takes 3 photos of the sky to find orientation."

And:

The StarSense camera has two ports – one to connect to the scope, the other one is an USB port that can be connected to the computer for soft-ware updates – and to use the photos of the camera for other purposes, like auto-guiding or for wide angle astrophoto-graphy. Celestron is currently working on several software adaptations to further increase the functionality of the amazing StarSense module.

Also:

Another advantage is the possibility to extremely increase the positioning accuracy by a „T-Point“ like mapping function. You can „map“ as many stars as you want - means, you point the telescope to a star, center it exactly and save the position with pressing ENTER. That's it – and after mapping 10 stars this way, the pointing accuracy is equal to that of a highly professional mount!

Wow the Celestron StarSense is sounding even more interesting.


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: will1384]
      #5888933 - 05/28/13 01:06 PM

It's going to be great

Automatic 2+4 alignment ....plate solved...= even more accurate gotos for my cge pro

Can't wait to bolt her on.


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cassini12
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #5893826 - 05/31/13 09:00 AM

Why the long wait? it seems multiple stores will sell it, they seem to have "tested" it for quite some time with a maturer astronomers. so im not sure whats keeping the mass production from happening already.. and that price is still ALOT of money...i hope they rethink that sooner or later.

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will1384
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cassini12]
      #5894147 - 05/31/13 12:03 PM

Quote:

Why the long wait? it seems multiple stores will sell it, they seem to have "tested" it for quite some time with a maturer astronomers. so im not sure whats keeping the mass production from happening already.. and that price is still ALOT of money...i hope they rethink that sooner or later.




I think the delay is about software and firmware, the hardware likely works just fine, and I think software and firmware is almost 100% just because they had SkyProdigy up and running all the way back into 2011, my guess is they want to add "features" to the device, like autoguiding and imaging.

I also kinda hope they make the device easy to tinker with, and write software for.


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: will1384]
      #5894181 - 05/31/13 12:25 PM

Hi,
They don't have any of those features listed so I wouldn't expect to see them at this time. I'm thinking they wont want to include autoguiding because it might cut into sales of their Nextguide autoguider and guidescope setup. But I would be very happy if they do.

neilson


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Stew57
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5894522 - 05/31/13 03:21 PM

"Another advantage is the possibility to extremely increase the positioning accuracy by a "TPoint" like mapping function. You can "map" as many stars as you want, means, you point the telescope to a star, center it exactly and save the position with pressing ENTER. That´s it – and after mapping 10 stars this way, the pointing accuracy is equal to that of a highly professional mount!"


"The StarSense camera has two ports – one to connect to the scope, the other one is an USB port that can be connected to the computer for software updates and to use the photos of the camera for other purposes, like autoguiding or for wide angle astrophotography. Celestron is currently working on several software adaptations to further increase the functionality of the amazing StarSense module."

Interesting to say the least.


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dr.who
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: will1384]
      #5900001 - 06/03/13 03:52 PM

Quote:



Another advantage is the possibility to extremely increase the positioning accuracy by a „T-Point“ like mapping function. You can „map“ as many stars as you want - means, you point the telescope to a star, center it exactly and save the position with pressing ENTER. That's it – and after mapping 10 stars this way, the pointing accuracy is equal to that of a highly professional mount!

Wow the Celestron StarSense is sounding even more interesting.




This is sounding A LOT like Astrotortilla...! If it works as the Marketing Droids state (or at least close) then it becomes a real value add...


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munchmeister
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dr.who]
      #5900792 - 06/03/13 11:16 PM

My hope is that they view it as a "game changer" & recognize the huge sale potential & want to make sure they don't get returns & bad reviews out of the chute. Of course that is what quality control is all about. Celestron changed the game when they came out with the Nexstar single fork go to & they've sold a lot of them, still do. If this thing works as advertised it will be of interest to many more amateurs, IMHO, as well as frustrated suburban viewers like me. If you have ever had a wide field image plate solved on Astrobin, it is pretty amazing. Seems plate solving should be able to solve (no pun ...) the alignment frustration. I'm hopeful!

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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5925581 - 06/17/13 01:47 PM

Hi,
I had sent an email to Celestron asking if they were still going to release the starsense in July and what date. I also asked if they were getting in enough to fill all the backorders and have some to sell since I didn't put one on backorder. I was told they were still waiting for them to come in then they will be doing a thorough inspection before they send them out to their dealers. Then he said that if I would have preordered one back in January there would be a good chance that I would have gotten one next month.
They are usually slow doing things from my experience so I'm guessing this inspection will take a while. He also made it sound as though they were only getting enough to fill the ones ordered back around January. I hope that's not true, but maybe they want to make sure the first batch comes out good before they make more. I was expecting to get one back when they claimed they were coming out in March, I'm still hoping for one in July.

neilson


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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5925627 - 06/17/13 02:08 PM

Hi Neilson. Thanks for the update. I didn't pre-order one, so will keep my fingers crossed I can catch one if there are any left over after the exisiting orders are filled.

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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5925671 - 06/17/13 02:28 PM

Hi,
If these were something large and complicated like mounts I would expect them to take a while to fill the orders. But these are small and simple so hopefully there will be quit a few sent out. Although there's no telling how many people already ordered one.

neilson


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5950603 - 07/02/13 12:01 AM

Now Celestron's site has no date of shipment... Just preorder... You can order via their site though. Should be soon.

This looks promising..

Aux Port Splitter

Connect the StarSense Accessory to your Celestron mount with this auxiliary port splitter. Parallel adapter splits a single modular 6-pin auxiliary or hand controller port into two. Ideal for connecting the StarSense Accessory to telescopes with only one hand controller port, allowing the StarSense hand controller and camera to connect to the mount.


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palmer570
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5954752 - 07/04/13 01:15 PM

Well the release date has been pushed back to September on at least one website: Telescope.com .

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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: palmer570]
      #5954801 - 07/04/13 01:49 PM

It says September 2013 on Hands on Optics site also.
Bummer

neilson


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5964117 - 07/10/13 01:59 PM

I called Celestron Tech support. I was told the release date has been moved up from July. He didn't know the new date. So it is true there will be another delay. I wonder what the hold up is.

Neilson


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Bogglman
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5966295 - 07/11/13 08:09 PM

It's speculation at this point. Manufacturing, QA, or bugs. StarSense has a big load on it's shoulders indeed.

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Scotty H
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #5967513 - 07/12/13 02:25 PM

Hmmmm

It still says expected mid August from the guys I've pre-ordered from Starsense

It would certainly make a change if we get it before our brothers and sisters from across the pond

Scott


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Scotty H]
      #5969483 - 07/13/13 07:14 PM

I am down here in the parking lot of OPT for their annual SCAE talking to the Celestron rep. He said there is a very limited amount available this month.

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TimP
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5981505 - 07/20/13 02:11 PM

Has anyone received the Star Sense unit yet ?

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Scotty H
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: TimP]
      #5991366 - 07/26/13 02:07 PM

Quote:

Has anyone received the Star Sense unit yet ?




Not yet i'm afraid. Just got an email back from Celestron saying shipping starts at the end of the month and for all those people who want to take a peek at the manual, that wont be up on the site until a couple of weeks after first shipments...... Oh well

Scott


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Starhawk
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Scotty H]
      #5991401 - 07/26/13 02:26 PM

Given the amount of discussion the LX80/ LX800 fiascos started, I'm guessing it at least crossed someone's mind at Celestron to make double sure that won't be them, next.

I've been slowly rebuilding a Nexstar 8 GPS's forks into a trapeze setup capable of an over-under arrangement of two telescopes going on it, and I've been thinking this would be a turbo-cool mobile rig if StarSense enabled.

-Rich


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Scotty H
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5993086 - 07/27/13 02:02 PM

Sounds like an interesting project. Have you got ant pics you would like to share Rich?

Scott


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aorion314
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Scotty H]
      #5997648 - 07/30/13 01:04 AM

aorion314 here, spoke with astronomics today, per celestron, more delays 2 weeks at least, as soon to be consumer of the Celestron product I am starting to worry this product may not be up to par or multiple problems of some variety or continuing non resolving issue. Sure would be nice and transparent if Celestron would do press release to update future consumers.

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faltered
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: aorion314]
      #5998539 - 07/30/13 02:19 PM

I am excited to get mine as well, but i am glad they are making sure all the bugs are out of it before shipping. Sounds like they are making sure it will be all its supposed to be when the first customers get it.

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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: faltered]
      #5999323 - 07/30/13 11:59 PM

lol

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Stelios
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: aorion314]
      #6029795 - 08/16/13 07:37 PM

Anybody have any updates on this? I'd love to get one, but I don't like ordering products that may never materialize--once burnt, twice shy.

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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stelios]
      #6029800 - 08/16/13 07:43 PM

Same here. Telescopes.com is showing "ships Sept. 10th". If the pre-order folks haven't yet begin receiving theirs, I suspect this date isn't accurate.

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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stelios]
      #6030249 - 08/17/13 01:44 AM

I've had one on preorder since 1/23/13. :/

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rmollise
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stelios]
      #6030469 - 08/17/13 08:46 AM

Quote:

Anybody have any updates on this? I'd love to get one, but I don't like ordering products that may never materialize--once burnt, twice shy.




If you want to order, just pick a reputable merchant like the sponsor of this BBS, Astronomics. Anybody worth their salt won't charge your card till the product ships.


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corpusse
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6030910 - 08/17/13 12:44 PM

Just because it ships doesn't mean it will work.

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rmollise
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: corpusse]
      #6031311 - 08/17/13 04:26 PM

Quote:

Just because it ships doesn't mean it will work.




Which is why you don't want Celestron to ship this before they are ready, pull an "LX800" or an "LX80," that is.


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Stelios
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6031435 - 08/17/13 05:40 PM

No, but this makes two reasons why I don't want to order it, even if my card won't be charged:

1) I don't observe much during winter. I don't want it to arrive in mid-November so it can sit around till by next summer an improved version (by a competitor?) surfaces.

2) It seems they underestimated the issues with the product, and so I'm getting worried that they'll release it eventually and it'll still be buggy. There are some circumstances where being an early adopter is not the wisest thing...


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TimP
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stelios]
      #6039362 - 08/21/13 11:30 PM

I just received an E-Mail that OPT was shipping my Star Sense.

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end
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: TimP]
      #6039657 - 08/22/13 07:09 AM

Quote:

I just received an E-Mail that OPT was shipping my Star Sense.




That's exciting! I will be very interested to see two things: 1) For people who already are comfortable with doing quality 2+4 alignments, will the StarSense actually result in equal or better pointing accuracy? and 2) For people like me who live in white zones, will it be able to find enough stars to successfully align?

If the answer to both of these is YES then this is going to be a really big product for Celestron.


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: end]
      #6039751 - 08/22/13 09:05 AM

+1

To the above


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cliffy54
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: TimP]
      #6039796 - 08/22/13 09:43 AM

This is great news. Don't forget to let us know how it performs.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cliffy54]
      #6040167 - 08/22/13 01:36 PM

To jump on the bandwagon, mine is shipping today from Woodland Hills. I'll have it Friday with clear skies and no wind projected for the next week.

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6040294 - 08/22/13 02:55 PM

Excellent, we look forward to your first impressions

Scott


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TimP
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Scotty H]
      #6040587 - 08/22/13 06:16 PM

I have a CGEM DX and a CPC1100 - I will try it on both. On public out reach nights it may work out better with the CPC1100. Oh, By the way. I loaded the beta software on my CGEM DX and for the first time I'm able to use my guider. The mount is a little jerky now when I slew but I can live with that.

Tim


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ur7x
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: TimP]
      #6040638 - 08/22/13 06:51 PM

My neighbor has one on order for his brand new VX... Since he is always borrowing my eyepieces... I will see if I can get this fro a "test" with my CGEM

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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: ur7x]
      #6041324 - 08/23/13 07:08 AM

Hi,
I just downloaded the manual from the Celestron site and was reading it. I noticed it said that if your imaging you might want to add calibration reference points to improve accuracy and so it will better center your objects. It said if your just entering one it should be near the object your imaging. Otherwise you can enter up to 10 calibration reference points. It also recommends adding multiple calibration reference points when doing a Polar Alignment.

I will want to be adding about 4 calibration reference points each night. It wants you to manually slew to each reference point. This kind of takes away from the whole ideal of having an automatic alignment device. If I don't use the Starsense and manually align my mount, the mount will automatically pick and slew to each of the calibration stars for me. But not if I'm using the Starsense. I think its kind of crummy that I will have to manually slew to each calibration point I add. Plus I will have to decide where in the sky to slew to for each of these added cal. points. How am I supposed to know where the best places to pick are.

I think they need to do a firmware update already. It sure would be nice if you could just input the number of additional calibration reference points you want to add. Then it would pick where to add them and automatically slew to each one. Geez it seems like common sense would have told them to do it this way. And if you want to just add one in a specific area then you could manually slew to that area.

I'm guessing many of us plan to take some images and plan to use the Polar Alignment feature. It sure would be nice if this thing was Automatic on the added calibration points also, and not just on the initial alignment points.
I'm not going to like having to manually slew my mount to points from one end of the sky to the other 4 times. And I have no ideal where the best places are that will do the best overall good to improve accuracy or for the Polar Alignment.
I think Celestron needs to get back to work and come up with a firmware update to correct this.

Neilson


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6041554 - 08/23/13 10:07 AM

Neilson, learn about plate solving if you're an imager.

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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Raginar]
      #6041570 - 08/23/13 10:17 AM

What does that have to do with having to pick and manually slew to the multiple added calibration points recommended to do the Polar alignment. There's no reason why the Starsense can't pick and slew to them automatically just like it does when it does the initial alignment.

neilson


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6041806 - 08/23/13 12:32 PM

I thought starsense automated the whole alignment and calibration process.

Otherwise what's the point?


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Moromete
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6041881 - 08/23/13 01:22 PM

Quote:

Hi,
I just downloaded the manual from the Celestron site and was reading it. I noticed it said that if your imaging you might want to add calibration reference points to improve accuracy and so it will better center your objects. It said if your just entering one it should be near the object your imaging. Otherwise you can enter up to 10 calibration reference points. It also recommends adding multiple calibration reference points when doing a Polar Alignment.

I will want to be adding about 4 calibration reference points each night. It wants you to manually slew to each reference point. This kind of takes away from the whole ideal of having an automatic alignment device. If I don't use the Starsense and manually align my mount, the mount will automatically pick and slew to each of the calibration stars for me. But not if I'm using the Starsense. I think its kind of crummy that I will have to manually slew to each calibration point I add. Plus I will have to decide where in the sky to slew to for each of these added cal. points. How am I supposed to know where the best places to pick are.

I think they need to do a firmware update already. It sure would be nice if you could just input the number of additional calibration reference points you want to add. Then it would pick where to add them and automatically slew to each one. Geez it seems like common sense would have told them to do it this way. And if you want to just add one in a specific area then you could manually slew to that area.

I'm guessing many of us plan to take some images and plan to use the Polar Alignment feature. It sure would be nice if this thing was Automatic on the added calibration points also, and not just on the initial alignment points.
I'm not going to like having to manually slew my mount to points from one end of the sky to the other 4 times. And I have no ideal where the best places are that will do the best overall good to improve accuracy or for the Polar Alignment.
I think Celestron needs to get back to work and come up with a firmware update to correct this.

Neilson




I agree with you.

In order to be really usefull for all users, Starsense should be fully automatic regarding slewing and centering of alignment and callibration stars.

Starsense should let the user select, if he wants so, the name of the alignment and callibration stars.


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Scotty H
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Moromete]
      #6041962 - 08/23/13 02:20 PM

Sure it would be nice if the cal ref points were automated, however I don't think its going to be to taxing to manually slew the mount a couple of degrees each time from the original alignment. Remember the camera is a 40mm F2 optic so its seeing a huge patch of sky each time plus your not having to centre anymore stars in your eyepiece/sensor. Do that nine times in any given area I think your going to get some pretty darn good goto accuracy anywhere in the sky. Anyway if Celestron has anyone reading this board why not automate this feature next firmware update

Scott

Edited by Scotty H (08/23/13 02:28 PM)


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cn register 5
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Scotty H]
      #6042002 - 08/23/13 02:46 PM

There are no calibration stars.

What there are is calibration positions. The SS takes an image and plate solves it to get an alignment point where it knows the axis position and sky position.

There are two main align modes.

In SS Auto the mount slews to four points, takes an image at each and uses the position to get an alignment. If it fails to get an image it can solve it moves a bit and tries again. It will keep doing this a lot until it has 4 points. This is for GEMs, there are two points on each side of the meridian. In AltAz mode I think it uses three positions.

In SS Manual the user has to do the slewing to the positions. There's no need to move to any specific position, just a bit of sky that's clear. No need to look through the scope. Simplest is to do two positions on one side of the meridian, the two on the other.

A calibration position can also be added by simply selecting align and Add Calibrate position. SS takes an image of what it can see, plate solves it and adds the position to the mount model.

So if the object you are expecting isn't in the field add a cal position of what is. This will give a good position near what you are looking at and a subsequent move to it should be more accurate.

Bear in mind that this does NOT use calibration stars. It uses the sky it is looking at and does a blind plate solve.

Chris


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6042121 - 08/23/13 04:04 PM

Just got my Starsense and have finished the unboxing video.
If interested, check it out here: http://youtu.be/9hkqqkjAvJQ
Tonight if I feel up to it I plan to do a series of tests and will video document them. One thing I am curious of is if the ASPA is more accurate if Starsense is used to align the mount vs using a reticle eyepiece and doing the standard 2+4 method first. I will verify polar alignment using PEMPRO. This will be on my AVX with 8" EdgeHD.


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Scotty H
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6042152 - 08/23/13 04:19 PM

Quote:

There are no calibration stars.

What there are is calibration positions. The SS takes an image and plate solves it to get an alignment point where it knows the axis position and sky position.

There are two main align modes.

In SS Auto the mount slews to four points, takes an image at each and uses the position to get an alignment. If it fails to get an image it can solve it moves a bit and tries again. It will keep doing this a lot until it has 4 points. This is for GEMs, there are two points on each side of the meridian. In AltAz mode I think it uses three positions.

In SS Manual the user has to do the slewing to the positions. There's no need to move to any specific position, just a bit of sky that's clear. No need to look through the scope. Simplest is to do two positions on one side of the meridian, the two on the other.

A calibration position can also be added by simply selecting align and Add Calibrate position. SS takes an image of what it can see, plate solves it and adds the position to the mount model.

So if the object you are expecting isn't in the field add a cal position of what is. This will give a good position near what you are looking at and a subsequent move to it should be more accurate.

Bear in mind that this does NOT use calibration stars. It uses the sky it is looking at and does a blind plate solve.

Chris




Exactly, the only time you would use an eyepiece is when doing the calibrate centre routine

Scott


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6042158 - 08/23/13 04:24 PM

Hi,
Congratulations on getting your Starsense. The instructions recommend that you add multiple calibration positions when doing the Polar alignment. Since it requires you to manually slew to these calibration positions where would be the best area in the sky to point to. I don't know if it matters with this but it does matter when you do the ASPA normally without the Starsense.

Neilson


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6042240 - 08/23/13 05:00 PM

Thanks Neilson. What I will attempt to determine is how much more precise it is. For instance, the other night I was able to do a 2+4 and ran ASPA. I used frame and focus mode via Backyard EOS to center the stars when doing that alignment. I then used PEMPRO's Polar Alignment helper and tested it. Both axis were off by about an arc minute over a six minute test. After tweaking it a bit I was able to get it down to about half that. The adjusters are just not sensitive enough to get it any closer. The slightest turn and I overshoot the other way.

Well anyways, I'll add as many extra points as I can and see what it does. Not really a big deal. I am just curious about it.


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oo_void
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6042484 - 08/23/13 09:07 PM

Sometimes you read stuff and just go wow. Off course you have to calibrate this device against your scope. Unless you do, there's no relationship between what it's looking at and what you see in your eyepiece. You have to align your finder, correct? What if I had the device pointed 45 degrees off to the right and tried to run an align routine? And if you wanted to get picky, how would you account for cone error?

That said, still looking forward to mine. Should get me up and running about 30 minutes earlier in the evening, depending on how sensitive it is.


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: oo_void]
      #6042504 - 08/23/13 09:23 PM

So.... I have a question about this neat little toy. It seems to have it's own hand controller. Does this supersede the hand controller on the mount or complement it? If it complements it, does that mean you now have TWO HC's? Does the SS' HC come with a tripod holster too?

I can see myself holding two HC's much like in the house with all of my remotes....


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rmollise
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6042587 - 08/23/13 10:07 PM

The StarSense HC replace the "normal" one.

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6042874 - 08/24/13 02:54 AM

I've been beta testing this for a few months now.

I've been very impressed by it's ability to find stars and do a plate solve in hazy twilight skies. This side of things has been rock solid from the beginning.

The Auto align process slews to 4 positions, two on each side of the meridian, takes an image at each, plate solves it and uses the position it determines for the usual calibration process. If it can't see stars where it is looking or the solve fails it moves and tries again. The place I've been testing is on the patio, right by the side of the house, about 3 ft away, so I've no view to the North and a restricted view to the East. None the less it's managed to align although it may need half a dozen extra attempts before it finds a good view.

There is also a manual SS align where you move the mount to four clear places and SS takes images and solves them. This seems as good if you are intelligent about choosing sensible directions.

The HC does much the same things but in somewhat different ways, it does some things in a 4 line mode and some in a two line mode. There are features that aren't obvious, mostly using the logo button, so it will be worth reading the manual.

Accuracy seems to be about the same as a careful user can get with a reticle EP.

There is an area for this on the public section of the http://teamcelestron.com site. The developers will be looking there for feedback. If you have a problem, suggestion or there's something you want it to do then that's the best place to post about it.

This is designed to be upgraded, we have done a number of upgrades. The HC uses CFM, we have been getting zip files but upgrades will probably become available on the Celestron support site. The StarSense camera can be upgraded through the mini USB port on it's back. We did one and it was just a matter of copying a file to the SS device and restarting.

Chris


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Moromete
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6042890 - 08/24/13 03:07 AM

1) How can StarSense align a mount as precise as a human does with a reticle eyepiece at ~150x or more, considering SS has only a tiny 40mm F2 objective?

2) Again, how good can SS alignment can be at 40mm F2 (so only 80mm FL), considering Meade Starlock has 2 cameras and 2 different FL objectives, one being a 80mm F5 scope (400mm FL)?

3) How good is SS alignment for ASPA?


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Moromete]
      #6042901 - 08/24/13 03:19 AM

Quote:

2) Again, how good can SS alignment can be at 40mm F2 (so only 80mm FL), considering Meade Starlock has 2 cameras and 2 different FL objectives, one being a 80mm F5 scope (400mm FL)?




I'd expect it to very good. At 80mm focal length the resolution will be measured in arcseconds; that's plenty good enough for star alignment. If Meade used a longer FL scope for their star location, that would have no bearing on Celestron's system - but Meade does not. The 400mm focal length unit is the guidescope. Location is done via the widefield scope - which looks to be around 80mm long. It works fine for Meade (I have one) and should be just as good for Celestron.


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6042958 - 08/24/13 04:31 AM

My experience is that it's good for aligning.

If you do the sums on the data in the manual the plate scale is about 19 arc seconds per pixel. The field size is about 7 deg by 5.

It is not designed or specified for guiding.

Chris


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6043041 - 08/24/13 06:42 AM

Whichwayisnorth...ty for posting a series of videos...will watch these with great interest.

Where can i find the manual for starsense?


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Moromete
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6043082 - 08/24/13 07:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:

2) Again, how good can SS alignment can be at 40mm F2 (so only 80mm FL), considering Meade Starlock has 2 cameras and 2 different FL objectives, one being a 80mm F5 scope (400mm FL)?




I'd expect it to very good. At 80mm focal length the resolution will be measured in arcseconds; that's plenty good enough for star alignment. If Meade used a longer FL scope for their star location, that would have no bearing on Celestron's system - but Meade does not. The 400mm focal length unit is the guidescope. Location is done via the widefield scope - which looks to be around 80mm long. It works fine for Meade (I have one) and should be just as good for Celestron.




I stand corrected. According to the manual SS objective is only 20mm F2 =>40mm FL!

Now that's worse than a humble 80mm FL which already too short for high precision star centering.

I doubt that SS will be usefull for someone who knows how to align well its mount and for ASPA.

How can you be so sure that Meade isn't using the 400mm F5 scope for alignment too, besides guiding?


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6043088 - 08/24/13 07:23 AM

Ok...i found the manual

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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6043094 - 08/24/13 07:31 AM

I have the Celestron GPS module plugged into my CGE PRO.

Is this still needed with SS up and running?


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scholastic sledgehammer


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6043107 - 08/24/13 07:45 AM

AIUI if you have a GPS module plugged in then SS will detect it and use it for the location and time, just as if the mount has GPS built in. It detects the RTC in my AVX and uses that without my doing anything.

If you don't have the GPS plugged in then I think you will need to set the location in the SS HC. The CGE Pro has a RTC doesn't it, I expect that it would use that. There are options in the HC to see what is happening.

Chris


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6043140 - 08/24/13 08:15 AM

Hmmmm..ok

One question....

There is a potential cable snagging problem with the CGE PRO..as the aux input does not move with the mount.....so...

Once SS has done its thing and all is aligned can you unplug the cable for the rest of the session or is the camera always assisting in gotos from object to object thus needing the cable to be always attached?


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rmollise
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Moromete]
      #6043178 - 08/24/13 08:55 AM

Quote:

1) How can StarSense align a mount as precise as a human does with a reticle eyepiece at ~150x or more, considering SS has only a tiny 40mm F2 objective?






How can a 50mm finder style guide scope guide better than a human with a high power reticle eyepiece? Focal length does not matter for these applications like it used to.


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6043201 - 08/24/13 09:11 AM

Chris,
Hi,
What is the focal length of the OTA you are using?
Have you used the Polar align feature?
Have you done any imaging after aligning with the starsense? And at what focal length, and how well centered were the objects after aligning with Starsense?

Neilson


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cn register 5
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Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6043211 - 08/24/13 09:16 AM

I've never tried unplugging the SS module. It's intended to be plugged in because you can add calibration stars at any time.

It should be possible to arrange a cable run that doesn't snag, I didn't find it a problem with my AVX.

Chris


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6043242 - 08/24/13 09:40 AM

True ...having it plugged in will allow added calib stars

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Starhawk
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Moromete]
      #6043355 - 08/24/13 10:51 AM

Keep in mind the task isn't centering a star. The device isn't trying to do anything you do when aligning a mount. It is recognizing a Star field and the pointing vector for the system is recognized based on where stars appear to be across the entire detector. This is a much finer resolution than the image on a single pixel, or even looking at a group of pixels a star is on and computing a centroid on that one star.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

2) Again, how good can SS alignment can be at 40mm F2 (so only 80mm FL), considering Meade Starlock has 2 cameras and 2 different FL objectives, one being a 80mm F5 scope (400mm FL)?




I'd expect it to very good. At 80mm focal length the resolution will be measured in arcseconds; that's plenty good enough for star alignment. If Meade used a longer FL scope for their star location, that would have no bearing on Celestron's system - but Meade does not. The 400mm focal length unit is the guidescope. Location is done via the widefield scope - which looks to be around 80mm long. It works fine for Meade (I have one) and should be just as good for Celestron.




I stand corrected. According to the manual SS objective is only 20mm F2 =>40mm FL!

Now that's worse than a humble 80mm FL which already too short for high precision star centering.

I doubt that SS will be usefull for someone who knows how to align well its mount and for ASPA.

How can you be so sure that Meade isn't using the 400mm F5 scope for alignment too, besides guiding?




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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6043734 - 08/24/13 02:30 PM

cn register 5
What ota were you using during your testing.

Neilson


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Moromete
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6043787 - 08/24/13 03:06 PM

Quote:

Keep in mind the task isn't centering a star. The device isn't trying to do anything you do when aligning a mount. It is recognizing a Star field and the pointing vector for the system is recognized based on where stars appear to be across the entire detector. This is a much finer resolution than the image on a single pixel, or even looking at a group of pixels a star is on and computing a centroid on that one star.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

2) Again, how good can SS alignment can be at 40mm F2 (so only 80mm FL), considering Meade Starlock has 2 cameras and 2 different FL objectives, one being a 80mm F5 scope (400mm FL)?




I'd expect it to very good. At 80mm focal length the resolution will be measured in arcseconds; that's plenty good enough for star alignment. If Meade used a longer FL scope for their star location, that would have no bearing on Celestron's system - but Meade does not. The 400mm focal length unit is the guidescope. Location is done via the widefield scope - which looks to be around 80mm long. It works fine for Meade (I have one) and should be just as good for Celestron.




I stand corrected. According to the manual SS objective is only 20mm F2 =>40mm FL!

Now that's worse than a humble 80mm FL which already too short for high precision star centering.

I doubt that SS will be usefull for someone who knows how to align well its mount and for ASPA.

How can you be so sure that Meade isn't using the 400mm F5 scope for alignment too, besides guiding?







I tend to give you credit since I don't pretend I know how SS works.

We'll see in practice how usefull SS is.

For me SS would be interesting only if its pointing accuracy all over the sky is higher than what I obtain after using 2+4 alignment. Otherwise it's another expensive gimmick.


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dragonslayer1
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Moromete]
      #6043806 - 08/24/13 03:22 PM

if it is able to align your mount at dusk with non and barely visible stars, where viewing space is limited, under adverse conditions,,,, I would not call that a gimmick... But the jury is still out on the workings of it in real time and conditions, so time will tell... and if it saves you some of that precious comodity (time) well, how much is that worth
Kasey


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Tiny
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6043822 - 08/24/13 03:35 PM

I bit. My backyard sky is pretty limited so alignments aren't always easy. I was contemplating a new right angle finder just to aid my neck in the awkward positions the CgemDX/C14 combo can slew to but opted for this instead so cost wise its really not an expensive accessory in my opinion.

Regarding availability, ordered from skies unlimited last night and they sent me an email this morning saying it would ship Monday.


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6043831 - 08/24/13 03:43 PM

I also want to find out how accurate it is compared to a 2+4 alignment using something like a 9.25 SCT. I don't think it will have any problem being accurate with a 500mmFL refractor.
But I image with my 9.25 EdgeHD at 2350mm fl and I want to know how close to center my DSO's will be. They are pretty darn close using a 2+4 alignment on my CGE. I think it would be great if it's able to get just as close with the Starsense. I'm hoping it will be able do that without having to add any calibration reference points. If it's using 4 locations it just might do it.

Neilson


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Raginar
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6043874 - 08/24/13 04:19 PM

Nelson, try plate solving.

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Starhawk
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6043875 - 08/24/13 04:20 PM

If you put in a reticle and do a careful job on a 2+4, and include little details like making your last alignment movement in the up and to the right directions, the GOTO alignments I have gotten doing this are ostensibly perfect. I leave a 3mm eepiece in a telescope with an 820mm fcal length and find objects in the fov at the end of a GOTO slew. So, for something to do better than that is not really possible.

On the other hand, being able to tell the mount to get on with aligning itself while I am still getting set up, and the being able to tell me corret polar alignment, guidance is a massive improvement for being able to set up in the field and observing quickly.

I'm very interested in how people do with this.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (08/24/13 08:15 PM)


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6043963 - 08/24/13 05:19 PM

Rich
I'm not expecting it to do better than my 2+4 but I would like to see how close it can get. I think it will be just as good. As far as it aligning while I get set up, I'm usually already set up waiting for it to get dark enough to start. And I love gadgets, I'll be enjoying watching it do its thing. I enjoy watching my LX200R 10" do its automatic leveling dance. I have been waiting for someone to come up with an automatic alignment for a while. So I will definitely enjoy watching Starsense do its automated dance. I will like it no matter how accurate it is, and I'm keeping my hopes up it will perform outstanding. From what I understand the new hand-controller has some improvements that increase goto accuracy also.

Raginar
You have been telling me to try plate solving since last year I think. I really do intend to try it out, I just kept putting it off. This mount has been giving me really good goto's but the next day when I re setup my mount the DSO I was working on the day before ends up in a slightly different location. I have been working on trying to get my mounts alignment to come out the same each day. I was thinking the Starsense would probably give me the same alignment repeatedly the same each day since it's automated. And make my gotos put the object in the same place as the day before. But I will try it eventually.

Neilson


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cn register 5
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6044087 - 08/24/13 07:06 PM

The accuracy seems to me to be comparable to what I can get using a reticle EP with a careful alignment. This makes sense because once you get good align positions you are limited by the physics of the mount and that hasn't changed. The accuracy is independent of the scope because it isn't using the scope. I've been using an Oynx and a 6"RC.

Each align position has an error stated, typically this is about an arc minute. I don't know how this is calculated but I guess it's an average of the star positions used for the plate solve.

Once you get to that order of magnitude all sorts of additional errors become significant, for example periodic error will introduce an uncertainty in the position. This will be the same with a manual alignment of course.

It isn't magic. It isn't going to give you sub arc minute pointing over the whole sky. It will give you a good alignment without having to do it yourself.

One thing to bear in mind that it is early days with this and there will be updates. At present it just does alignments but a future enhancement could, for example, be a precise slew mode. The mount could slew to the position commanded, takes an image, plate solves it, and uses that data to refine the final slew.

I must stress that is hypothetical. There is no evidence that this will happen but it's a pretty obvious enhancement.

Did I mention the TeamCelestron site? http://teamcelestron.com
There's a public StarSense forum waiting for people to ask questions, report problems and so on. The developers will be monitoring it.

Chris


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Sorny
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6044106 - 08/24/13 07:21 PM

Quote:

The accuracy seems to me to be comparable to what I can get using a reticle EP with a careful alignment. This makes sense because once you get good align positions you are limited by the physics of the mount and that hasn't changed. The accuracy is independent of the scope because it isn't using the scope. I've been using an Oynx and a 6"RC.

Each align position has an error stated, typically this is about an arc minute. I don't know how this is calculated but I guess it's an average of the star positions used for the plate solve.

Once you get to that order of magnitude all sorts of additional errors become significant, for example periodic error will introduce an uncertainty in the position. This will be the same with a manual alignment of course.

It isn't magic. It isn't going to give you sub arc minute pointing over the whole sky. It will give you a good alignment without having to do it yourself.

One thing to bear in mind that it is early days with this and there will be updates. At present it just does alignments but a future enhancement could, for example, be a precise slew mode. The mount could slew to the position commanded, takes an image, plate solves it, and uses that data to refine the final slew.

I must stress that is hypothetical. There is no evidence that this will happen but it's a pretty obvious enhancement.

Did I mention the TeamCelestron site? http://teamcelestron.com
There's a public StarSense forum waiting for people to ask questions, report problems and so on. The developers will be monitoring it.

Chris




A precise slew mode like you mention is something that strikes me as a no-brainer to implement as long as there is sufficient memory. It was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw their announcement of the product at CES.


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wolfman_4_ever
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Sorny]
      #6044111 - 08/24/13 07:27 PM

I had heard that precise goto plate solve is one of the items on top of the list for the next firmware upgrade enhancement for Star Sense.

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Starhawk
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #6044178 - 08/24/13 08:21 PM

It looks like a lot of good potential to me. I need to get the NexStar 8 GPS conversion to a trapeze done. I have everything but the dovetail clamping mechanism done- it's complicated by the need to get to it from behind since you can't reach the side, and I have made the mount an Over and Under with the idea my main configuration will be a C5 on top and a SkyWatcher Equinox 80ED on the bottom as a super mobile rig.

-Rich


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Sorny
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6044215 - 08/24/13 08:54 PM

According to the manual, NexStar GPS scopes aren't supported.

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Moromete
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Sorny]
      #6044562 - 08/25/13 01:48 AM

Will StarSense (as it is now software wise) be able to put a DSO near the middle of a DSLR frame with a C11 at F6 (1700mm FL)?


If yes than SS has my attention, otherwise I'm not interested in it.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Moromete]
      #6044628 - 08/25/13 03:09 AM

Quote:

Will StarSense (as it is now software wise) be able to put a DSO near the middle of a DSLR frame with a C11 at F6 (1700mm FL)?



We can't tell because we don't know what you mean by "near the middle" but if you do the sums a typical DSLR has a field size of 20 by 14 arc minutes with that scope. The SS should easily get the object in that FOV and I'd expect it to be closer to the centre than an edge.

As I've said SS seems to do about as good a job as a careful manual alignment. If your careful manual alignments get objects close enough for you then I think the SS will as well.

Chris


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dragonslayer1
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6044936 - 08/25/13 10:35 AM

Does it require electronic GPS input or can one put it in manually (if one does not have GPS on the mount)? If it can get a DSO/STAR target in the FOV without calibration stars of a VSS+ (comparable to a 8-10mm lens?) at about f5, hook me up
Kasey


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cn register 5
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6044986 - 08/25/13 11:10 AM

It doesn't need GPS, I've never used one with my AVX and the SS, I've always just set my position.

I should take it up to my astro society observatory and try it with the CPC1100. The challenge will be getting the dome rotated so the SS can see out

Chris


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Starhawk
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Sorny]
      #6045017 - 08/25/13 11:28 AM

Up to now anything compatible with a CPC worked on the NexStar GPS scopes. Now that's sad if star sense is the end of the line.

-Rich


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cn register 5
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6045056 - 08/25/13 11:50 AM

Yes it's a shame. I tried it with my NS GPS and it doesn't find the camera. I've no idea if this can be fixed with some sort of software fix but wouldn't be hopeful because I think the Aux ports are handled differently in the GPS.

Chris


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Starhawk
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6045083 - 08/25/13 12:12 PM

I wonder if a small bridge adapter could be made to do it, then.

-Rich


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6045135 - 08/25/13 12:57 PM

This looks like a good question for TeamCelestron.

Chris


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ghataa
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6045151 - 08/25/13 01:02 PM

Do you need to re-align after doing manual adjustment of the latitude and azimuth bolts to achieve polar alignment using ASPA for example?

Thanks,

George


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: ghataa]
      #6045179 - 08/25/13 01:20 PM

After you adjust the lat. or Az. bolts during a polar alignment you need to put your mount back to home position then turn it off then back on and redo the alignment.

Neilson


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6045761 - 08/25/13 07:06 PM

Nielsen

Not sure u have to power down and up again.
Just do a realignment again without turning the mount off


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budman1961
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6045763 - 08/25/13 07:06 PM

Regarding the NexstarGPS not working with the StarSense, it is spelled out pretty plainly on the product main page for StarSense.

Maybe I am being a bit thick, but why bother Celestron, or Team Celestron with a workaround, when they are already specifically tasked on long-delayed projects. Seems to me that I wouldn't give it a whole lot of thought once I realized my gear wasn't current enough to work with the new toys.

Maybe it is time to upgrade on the user side of the equation?

Andy


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6046084 - 08/25/13 10:06 PM

I wasn't sure because at the end of the Polar alignment procedure it just says for best accuracy preform another Starsense Auto Align. Last line page 15 of the manual under Polar Align. It doesn't mention if you need to turn it off or not.
But on the bottom of page 12 it says after the calibration process realignment required. Then it says turn the telescope off then on again. Then on page 13 it says now perform another Starsense Auto Alignment.
I'm guessing it might not matter if you don't turn it off like you said. I have a CGE and it has switches for home positioning. After I send it back to the home position then I always turn it off then on to reset everything and erase the old alignment.
But that is probably not necessary like you said.

Neilson


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6046320 - 08/26/13 01:44 AM

Anyone had any experience with the align process locking up? It happens quite frequently for me. I have to hit "back" to get it to unstick and continue.

Another question, I did the auto align and then added calibration stars until it said it was done. I believe that is 10 points? Then I slewed to a star "altair" and initiated the polar align. It asked me to make the corrections to alt/az and when I was finished I noticed the star drifting!! So I quickly enabled the drift alignment helper in backyardeos so I could see it and sure enough, horrible drift. What did happen that could explain it was that when I selected to slew to altair the first time it was on one side of the meridian then when I pressed enter to start it slewed all the way back around (Meridian flip) and asked for the corrections. If it was way off and I had to make the corrections it would have made the pole align even further off.


Edited by Whichwayisnorth (08/26/13 01:48 AM)


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cn register 5
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: budman1961]
      #6046382 - 08/26/13 04:02 AM

Quote:

Regarding the NexstarGPS not working with the StarSense, it is spelled out pretty plainly on the product main page for StarSense.

Maybe I am being a bit thick, but why bother Celestron, or Team Celestron with a workaround, when they are already specifically tasked on long-delayed projects. Seems to me that I wouldn't give it a whole lot of thought once I realized my gear wasn't current enough to work with the new toys.

Maybe it is time to upgrade on the user side of the equation?

Andy



I think Celestron would like to have it work and initially the GPS scopes were on the compatible list. They seem to have come off in response to the beta testers reports that it didn't work.

Asking will do no harm and who knows, it may be a ten minute fix.

Or it may be possible to plug a dual port splitter in one aux port of a GPS scope and try that with the SS camera and HC both plugged into it. Another 5 minute test if you have the kit to hand.

We have no reason to complain if it can't be done, after all the GPS scopes have been out of production for nearly 10 years now.

Chris


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cn register 5
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6046385 - 08/26/13 04:09 AM

Quote:

Anyone had any experience with the align process locking up? It happens quite frequently for me. I have to hit "back" to get it to unstick and continue




Can you describe exactly where in the align process you see the lock up. What does the display show? Is it looking at the sky or an obstruction? Or is there something about the sky that may give it problems, such as looking at the moon?

It will really help everyone if you post your experiences on the TeamCelestron site. That way the developers can get the feedback they need to fix any problems.

Chris

Edited by cn register 5 (08/26/13 04:10 AM)


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6046457 - 08/26/13 06:41 AM

Whichway....

Next time with polar alignment would you choose a star not so close to the meridian to avoid the drift you have encountered?.

SS locking up whilst aligning is not good.....something for TeamCelestron to know about I would think.

Keep us posted please.


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6046458 - 08/26/13 06:43 AM

Quote:

I wasn't sure because at the end of the Polar alignment procedure it just says for best accuracy preform another Starsense Auto Align. Last line page 15 of the manual under Polar Align. It doesn't mention if you need to turn it off or not.
But on the bottom of page 12 it says after the calibration process
realignment required. Then it says turn the telescope off then on again. Then on page 13 it says now perform another Starsense Auto Alignment.
I'm guessing it might not matter if you don't turn it off like you said. I have a CGE and it has switches for home positioning. After I send it back to the
home position then I always turn it off then on to reset everything and erase
the old alignment.
But that is probably not necessary like you said.



Can anyone explain this need to turn the mount off then on again after the calibration process?
Is this necessary with a CGE PRO?

Neilson




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rmollise
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: budman1961]
      #6046709 - 08/26/13 10:32 AM

Quote:



Maybe I am being a bit thick, but why bother Celestron, or Team Celestron with a workaround




No reason unless you have a GPS scope and want to use this.

The GPSes are not different enough from the current CPCs to make this a huge problem. If they don't want to do it, they won't; if they do they will. I say, "ask."


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6046894 - 08/26/13 12:18 PM

Hi,
I would like to clarify The need to turn it off and on after the calibration is after the "initial" calibration of the unit to line it up with the scope. You don't need to turn it off/on after you add calibration stars to the alignment.

Neilson


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6046930 - 08/26/13 12:32 PM

Quote:


Can you describe exactly where in the align process you see the lock up. What does the display show? Is it looking at the sky or an obstruction? Or is there something about the sky that may give it problems, such as looking at the moon?

Chris




I can do better than describe, I'll show you. Just give me some time to get it put together.

No obstructions at all. Very clear skies. Moon not up yet. Give me an hour and I'll have a link for you.

Edit: Here is part 1 http://youtu.be/Nt6ICodv86c I have about 45 minutes of footage with several more lock ups doing different things at different times. I'll add more links as I go.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (08/26/13 01:26 PM)


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rmollise
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6047081 - 08/26/13 02:18 PM

Hmmm...yeah, it's definitely home to a bug. One question...you hit the back key and it continues. Does a good alignment result?

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6047082 - 08/26/13 02:18 PM

Interesting that it happens at the same position each time, on it's way to the fourth position. My AVX doesn't do this.

Please report this to TeamCelestron. The developers will be want to see this.

Chris


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6047112 - 08/26/13 02:35 PM

Whichway...

What mount r u using?


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6047265 - 08/26/13 04:06 PM

Quote:

Hmmm...yeah, it's definitely home to a bug. One question...you hit the back key and it continues. Does a good alignment result?




Not positive but it looks like it is off by more than when it works correctly the first time. eg, the target is not in the FOV but just outside. A good run through typically puts it in the FOV every time although not as centered as I'd like and no better than 2+4.


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6047266 - 08/26/13 04:07 PM

Quote:

Whichway...

What mount r u using?




AVX


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6047335 - 08/26/13 05:00 PM


Ok so here is how my night went.

Part 1 is the same as posted above. Shows a lock up straight away and then another lock up at about (3:42) of the video. http://youtu.be/Nt6ICodv86c

Part 2 is more about the set up I have for this test. Showing the PC computer screen and the bulls eyes so I can tell how close to center things get (3:55). Had no trouble at all doing the auto alignment. This was maybe 5 minutes after the end of Part 1 video. Also here I added the rest of the calibration points which I believe is a total of 10. Feel encouraged to skip everything after (4:30) http://youtu.be/AhxMeQ-Z4ck

Part 3 After completing the 10 point calibration in Part 2 I start off by pulling up The SkyX Pro and selecting Arcturus to slew. The star did NOT appear in the FOV of the camera. Strange because as you can see Arcturus is pretty darned close to where I left off with the last calib point. Is there an issue when using software to slew the mount? I get it centered and attempt to get my guide camera, which I am using to view in very wide field, centered. I also verify that I have the SSA aligned with the OTA and I go ahead and re-do it to make sure. (only have to do this once). http://youtu.be/nNJm_oVHgfM

Part 4 At one minute in to the video you'll see it locking up again. This is a different lock up than was shown in part 1. This time it locks at first position AND second position. (1:00) I hit "back" to abort at (2:00). I pressed enter to try it again and it locked up at the same coordinates as the first attempt. 45`00'17"/135`00'17" I then cycled the power for another attempt. This time it passed the first calib but froze up on the second (5:00). On a hunch I unplugged the Celestron serial cable from the bottom of the HC and started over. (7:00) This time it went through without any hassle. http://youtu.be/V-_53FV6nSk

Part 5 (last part) Now that I have the auto alignment done again I slewed to Altair and show on the PC screen the pointing accuracy. At (1:15) I start adding the calibration stars again. I put the video into 4x speed while I do the calib stars to save time. Skip to (3:20) I didn't say so in the video but watching it back I notice that the pointing was actually BETTER before I added the 10 calibration stars. At (4:30) is when I decide to check the pole align routine and due to a mistake on my part I ended up shooting myself in the foot here. I selected Altair, the scope slewed from Arcturus(west) all the way past the meridian and pointed UP to Altair. When I centered it and pressed Enter, it slewed ALL THE WAY back around, passed the meridian again, before asking for physical corrections. I should have stopped here and selected a new star but instead I kept on and was disapointed in the result. After viewing the drift being bad I gave up for the night. Clouds and storms are going to prevent me from trying again for a few more nights. http://youtu.be/IWMm7_2CJBs


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6047350 - 08/26/13 05:10 PM

What mount are u using please?

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6047352 - 08/26/13 05:10 PM

Quote:

What mount are u using please?





Ok...AVX


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6047360 - 08/26/13 05:16 PM

Good effort whichway.

It's not working for you.
Have you posted on TeamCelestron's site?


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6047452 - 08/26/13 06:03 PM

Too many freeze ups
And adding the 10 calib stars gave a worse centering for the goto compared with jst the 4 alignment stars!
Looks like plugging a cable into the bottom of the HC also affects it poorly.
I'm sure it will be sorted out by the techs ...maybe bugs in the software..disappointing though considering the delay in release.

Great potential....i am ordering mine right away.

Keep posting the youtube vids....very well done...appreciated.


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6047470 - 08/26/13 06:15 PM

Yah I posted it to Teamcelestron. I don't know if my unit is just faulty or if the mount is or both? Only time will tell.

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6047521 - 08/26/13 06:47 PM

Nice one

Give it another try out when u can


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6047617 - 08/26/13 08:05 PM

Hi,
Would it be worth trying the reset mount to factory settings under Utility. You would have to re input the time and all that and/or you might try redoing the initial calibration process that aligns the Starsense to the mount.
Using the Factory Settings feature will probably require you to redo the initial calibration process on the Starsense also.
I have found that the Factory setting feature has cured problems in my mounts computer several times. It can't hurt.

Neilson


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6047689 - 08/26/13 08:51 PM

They have been out for 2 days now? if there is this bad a glitch in the whole SS system/batch, I am sure there would be more people complaining?? It would be nice to hear some others experiences tho especially with the glitches of the AVX & new celestron handsets
Kasey


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6047698 - 08/26/13 08:57 PM

Hello all -

I'm in contact with Whichwayisnorth now about the lock up issue he has encountered.

Speaking to the lock up during alignment, this is not something we have encountered during development (also as Chris has mentioned). The AVX we've been testing here aligns without interruptions. One possibility (not yet confirmed) is that sending commands over the RS-232 interface during the alignment could cause an interruption. I'll post an update when we determine the cause.

Thanks!


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: VegaSpec]
      #6047729 - 08/26/13 09:12 PM

The StarSense accessory is a neat idea, but I think it is mis-priced for what it does. The price of the unit in comparison with lower priced mounts $<1,000 is too high while for the upper-end mounts, CGEM-CGE PRO/CPC the users are mostly advanced and can generally do the alignment themselves without too much trouble. 3rd party advanced software like MaximDL can do plate solves while free websites like nova.astrometry.com can similarly provide pinpoint accuracy. Hence, the value proposition here is minimal for the asking price. Granted there is potential for precise slews and for remote operation/setup... but again users demanding this type of precision can usually afford more and probably already have it.

I typically hibernate my scopes when I leave them outside for extended periods of time. Meanwhile when I set up from scratch, it takes only 3-5 minutes, so again why do i need this accessory...

Personally, I think its worth $99 at best. Just my 2c, but absent other features, and or other value-added (autoguiding) or whatnot, its not that relevant a gizmo to have...

Al


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #6047736 - 08/26/13 09:20 PM

Al,

Especially when pointing can be corrected via plate solves. The biggest advantage is visual observers who think the 2+4 takes too long.

Neat neat device though. I love reading about it.


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Raginar]
      #6047878 - 08/26/13 10:43 PM

I think hardware wise it is worth the money. I don't know if anyone saw my youtube video earlier in this thread where I unboxed it. I could tell right away that it was a high quality camera. I would assume that in a future update it will do precise pointing. That is where the real advantage comes in.

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6047894 - 08/26/13 10:51 PM

Quote:

I would assume that in a future update it will do precise pointing. That is where the real advantage comes in.




I agree that this would be an obvious application and that it will be done. I have been plate solving with Maxim/DL for years so I didn't think it would mean much to me on the LX850 - but having it "just happen" is surprisingly convenient.

I don't think it be long before such a feature becomes common, even though it may seem superfluous to some today. I remember when folks thought GPS was a silly thing to incorporate but it's normal now.


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cn register 5
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6048174 - 08/27/13 03:42 AM

The big difference seems to be that Michael is doing the align with serial control connected. I didn't get a chance to try this.

Michael, what serial control were you using? Did I hear it was TheSky? If so were you using TheSky's control or ASCOM?

The pointing accuracy I've seen is about the same as I get with a careful 2+n alignment. I've not seen the need to add many additional calibrate positions.

Chris


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6050032 - 08/28/13 03:32 AM

After tonights tests which were extensive I have determined that it is not related in any way to RS232 as I continued to have lock ups without any cables connected to the mount. Tomorrow I will do a few more tests just to satisfy my curiosity on a few things and if I can't manage to resolve it on my own then it will be up to Celestron. Regardless of the cause both items are still under warranty so I would expect that the faulty unit would be replaced. My second round of testing has been video documented and submitted to Celestron directly as they did call me today and go over everything I'm doing and requested a few tests to confirm things. I was actually really hoping it was the serial control connected. Would have been easy for me to ignore it or just align first then connect. Sad feelings.

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6050062 - 08/28/13 05:00 AM

Oh dear....

Looking ahead to you getting it working...great to see celestron are helping out.


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6050417 - 08/28/13 10:41 AM

Whichwayisnorth, firstly, thanks for the excellent reporting and accompanying video of first light with the StarSense. I have had mine on order since April 14 (have not yet received it). Clearly, there seems to be an issue with it, whether it be a bad sample or a bad lot (or bad firmware). I hope others chime in soon with their first experiences with it. It's this level of review that will help force the manufacturers to be more careful on releasing product that is not ready for prime time. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to show us the issues you are having with the StarSense.

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: PatHolland]
      #6050533 - 08/28/13 11:46 AM

+1

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6051486 - 08/28/13 08:55 PM

Celestron suggests that you may need to by the Aux Port Splitter with the StarSense and the GPS plugged in at the same time. I wonder if there are generic splitters that will work?

Tim


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: TimP]
      #6051938 - 08/29/13 05:00 AM

I've been beta testing Starsense since late May and have never seen the issue that Micheal reports. I think the same applies to the other beta testers and the testing that Celestron has done. I don't think I ever saw a fail to slew to the align position.

No one would have released it if this problem was generic, no matter what the pressure to ship was.

My guess is that it's specific to Michael's mount, or a sub-set of mounts. The HC software hasn't crashed - we know this because the undo button works - but it thinks the slew hasn't finished. I would be looking at how the HC determines that a slew has finished.

The thing the developers need to do is look at why this is happening and fix it properly. They need to avoid being rushed into what I call a sticking plaster solution, such as assuming the move has finished if the position hasn't changed even if the motor controller says it hasn't. It may take a bit longer to do a good solution but it will pay dividends in terms of reliability in the long term.

Chris


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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: TimP]
      #6051961 - 08/29/13 05:57 AM

Quote:

Celestron suggests that you may need to by the Aux Port Splitter with the StarSense and the GPS plugged in at the same time. I wonder if there are generic splitters that will work?

Tim




Tim

CGE PRO has 2 auxillary ports.....


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6051993 - 08/29/13 06:49 AM

Very good post Chris,
I like you believe this is a glitch and the whole SS product should not be dished because of it, and I have no dog in this fight. I neither own one or have ordered one.... Key word and hardest to abide by??? PATIENCE
Kasey


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neilson
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6052392 - 08/29/13 11:50 AM

Hi
There's always a chance that a bad one slips by. I bet if he returned it another one would work just fine. I don't think this is a problem with Starsense. I think it's just one defective unit. Remember that it's made in China and there's a trade off for low cost electronic devices. Fortunately it can be swapped out.

Neilson


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6052859 - 08/29/13 03:57 PM

Not RS232 related. Celestron "Thinks" they know what is happening. I'll update.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (08/29/13 07:49 PM)


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rmollise
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6052880 - 08/29/13 04:07 PM

I'd say you have a defective unit given what we've heard/learned so far. Have you contacted your dealer? If not, I would certainly suggest that.

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HowardK
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6053043 - 08/29/13 05:48 PM

You got great patience Michael.

Seems as if there has to be something wrong with your SS.
Cannot be user error.

Keep us posted...am interested in Celestron's response


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6053095 - 08/29/13 06:16 PM

I want to give Celestron the benefit of the doubt that they are going to contact me regarding this issue and try to work it out. I don't mind doing more troubleshooting. I may try a different cable and I may do a complete factory reset. Clouds finally rolled in so it'll have to wait.

But yes, I'll contact my dealer for an exchange soon.


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6053225 - 08/29/13 07:23 PM

Factory reset.....hmmmm..u never know...that can chase away strange bugs...

Keep us posted
Clear Skies


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TimP
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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6053549 - 08/29/13 11:28 PM

I have a CGEM DX so I only have one aux port.

Tim


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6053583 - 08/29/13 11:53 PM

I'm for trying the factory reset too.

OK Celestron go ahead and send the next batch from China.

Neilson


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6054916 - 08/30/13 06:46 PM

I still think this product will be a flop at this price point... Just like the skyQ link product which is going for 50% off list on classified listings already... The component parts for SS are maybe worth $50 at wholesale, if that... The software development costs were minimal given the already sunk costs in the HC firmware and the public domain star fields for plate solving down to maybe just mag7-8 tops... Hence, again I think this should be a list $99 product.

Al


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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #6055218 - 08/30/13 10:20 PM

I have Star Sense on preorder also .I'm sure that the prize is worth the anticipation.Like birthday presents.....L.S.

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Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #6055494 - 08/31/13 03:44 AM