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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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palmer570
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Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
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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Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
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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Reged: 02/22/13

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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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
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
member


Reged: 08/10/12

Loc: SoCal
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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Reged: 10/12/07

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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Reged: 10/20/10

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
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

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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Reged: 10/12/07

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
member


Reged: 02/22/13

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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Reged: 08/10/12

Loc: SoCal
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
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

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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Reged: 12/04/08

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
member


Reged: 02/22/13

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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Reged: 10/20/10

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
member


Reged: 06/02/08

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
member


Reged: 02/22/13

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
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

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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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
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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Reged: 01/05/12

Re: Celestron StarSense [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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