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Stacy
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Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory
      #5830983 - 04/29/13 07:52 PM

Wow! I had no idea they were even working on this. Going to slap it on my NexStar 11 GPS and have some fun. I was looking at Meade's Light-switch and thinking how cool that would be, to just let the scope align itself.

So I just pre-ordered one. Can't wait to try it out!

StarSense Accessory

Stacy


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HeyJP
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #5832377 - 04/30/13 01:45 PM

Originally it was supposed to be available in April, now pushed out to end of June or July. Looks interesting. Wonder if it works at twilight with a few of the bright stars out or if it needs darker sky.

Jim


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tboconnor
member


Reged: 01/14/10

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5832989 - 04/30/13 06:52 PM

I'll be getting one. I'm also getting a skyfi unit, and skyafari. Man I'm lazy :-)

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Stacy
Star Partyer
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Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5832994 - 04/30/13 06:54 PM

Quote:

Originally it was supposed to be available in April, now pushed out to end of June or July. Looks interesting. Wonder if it works at twilight with a few of the bright stars out or if it needs darker sky.

Jim




Hmmm... Never thought of that. I do usually like to set up early and check out what's up. If I'm out for a few nights, I just hibernate. That's another reason the 8" Light-switch was so appealing. I have a second tripod though so setup is easier. But I live on a lake though so even on a good night it's bad. Ultimately, I think it will be a quite useful item. As I get older I don't like looking through the finder and whatnot.

Oh yes... sorry. I DO think it will require some darkness.


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rboeAdministrator

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Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: tboconnor]
      #5834338 - 05/01/13 12:54 PM

Quote:

I'll be getting one. I'm also getting a skyfi unit, and skyafari. Man I'm lazy :-)




Those two are the bee's knee's. I'm too cheap for the StarSense though.


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Bob Griffiths
Getting Grouchy
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Frederick Maryland
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: rboe]
      #5835834 - 05/02/13 09:03 AM

Like Ron... I'm too cheap (or as I say >> frugal) to spend my money on a StarSence

Now if it sold for less then 50 bucks I may be temped but even then I would have to do some "serious thinking"

Bob G.


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Stacy
Star Partyer
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Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Bob Griffiths]
      #5836377 - 05/02/13 01:57 PM

Yeah, way overpriced. Should be about half what it is, but I haven't done any scope upgrades for quite awhile.

Guess I could sell my old controller to recoup some of the cost?

I think I even have two of those around here somewhere.

Time to consolidate!


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gaz-in
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/17/07

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #5837077 - 05/02/13 07:20 PM

wow...it will work on my nexstar GPS!

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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: gaz-in]
      #5838622 - 05/03/13 03:36 PM

If the new hand controller plugs into the same port as the old one, and the star-sense plugs into the controller, where does the ski-fi/ski-wire hook up? Is there a 2nd port on the hand controller?

I don't need this gadget, but it would be nice to have; however, if I can't rock & roll with my sky-wire/skysafari/iPad setup, then the whole works is useless to me.


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Digital Don
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/20/04

Loc: Manteno, IL
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #5838697 - 05/03/13 04:22 PM

Maybe I'm missing something here... If all this device does is align the scope, why would anyone want to spend more than $300 for it? Is there some other functionality I'm not aware of?

The alignment routines in the CPC scopes are some of the easiest I've ever used and, if done with even reasonable care, sufficiently accurate to put any visible object in the field of view of a 24mm eyepiece in my CPC 1100.

I can find a lot of better uses for three hundred bucks.

Don


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Digital Don]
      #5839529 - 05/04/13 04:03 AM

A look at the forums shows that there are a lot of people who find the align process difficult.

From what I've heard from the people who have auto align scopes - the Meade LS and the SkyProdigy - they think it's wonderful and wouldn't go back.

This may be a bit expensive but it's not compulsory.

Chris


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tboconnor
member


Reged: 01/14/10

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Sorny]
      #5839647 - 05/04/13 07:22 AM

Quote:

If the new hand controller plugs into the same port as the old one, and the star-sense plugs into the controller, where does the ski-fi/ski-wire hook up? Is there a 2nd port on the hand controller?

I don't need this gadget, but it would be nice to have; however, if I can't rock & roll with my sky-wire/skysafari/iPad setup, then the whole works is useless to me.




I guess since its only used for alignment, you can just unplug the starsense and plug the wireless controller in after the alignment is finished.


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tboconnor
member


Reged: 01/14/10

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Digital Don]
      #5839650 - 05/04/13 07:25 AM

Quote:

Maybe I'm missing something here... If all this device does is align the scope, why would anyone want to spend more than $300 for it? Is there some other functionality I'm not aware of?

The alignment routines in the CPC scopes are some of the easiest I've ever used and, if done with even reasonable care, sufficiently accurate to put any visible object in the field of view of a 24mm eyepiece in my CPC 1100.

I can find a lot of better uses for three hundred bucks.

Don




I dont find it particularly difficult, but it IS a pain. Its borderline if its worth $300. (or more like $600 in Australia)


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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: tboconnor]
      #5840443 - 05/04/13 05:06 PM

Agreed, the alignment process is easy on Celestron scopes. Also agreed on the whole $300 being too much money for this gadget...

Life got way easier when I started using auto-2 star alignment. Polaris is easy to find, and with a level tripod, the scope is always pointing close to the next star, and it picks ones bright enough to be obvious which is the one it wants. I even had good luck with the SkyAlign with any random 3 bright objects, but Auto 2 Star is just so much faster.

I'm pretty sure I can be aligned faster than StarSense can align, but as I said before, I'm a sucker for gadgets...


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SLC Tortfeasor
member


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Sorny]
      #5840487 - 05/04/13 05:36 PM

I'm excited for this. I've been wanting a Meade LS8 for the convenience of not having to align, but I've been holding off buying the Meade because of worries about their support and financial ability to remain a going concern. This devlopment from Celestron easily tilts the balance for me toward the Celestron.

Also the hard case for the NexStar is only $350, as opposed to $450 for the JMI hard case for the Meade.

I'm buying this thing today!


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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: SLC Tortfeasor]
      #5840908 - 05/04/13 11:16 PM

Hey Don and all,
For me the reason to get the starsense is my knowledge of stars and locations. Just the last time out it was naming stars had no clue where they were, have had that happen just too many times. If its not Vega, or that magnitude I just have a real hard time aligning and as my time is limited, I just would like something that would get me to the finished product a lot sooner and more accurate. I would love to be able to slew to a target and it be in the FOV. Am so tired of going from 40 MM E/P just to find target then going back to smaller E/P or camera.
Kasey


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HeyJP
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #5841023 - 05/05/13 01:08 AM

Celestron"s tech blog "winks" while they answer "not at this time" for a question of will the StarSense serve as a guidescope.

Jim


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rsraney
super member


Reged: 09/16/07

Loc: Sunnyvale, CA
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5844650 - 05/06/13 10:59 PM

I wonder what the required view range is. my best view from my home is on the back patio between two condo complexes. A 30deg stripe overhead, northwest to southeast. It kills me to alight my CGEM. All that head standing hurts! If this would get me viewing faster, sure!

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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: rsraney]
      #5844780 - 05/07/13 12:19 AM

Yeah, I dislike the alignment procedures. I look forward to doing something else while my scope aligns itself. I haven't bought much for my main rig in a couple of years, so it will be a worthy upgrade. YMMV

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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #5920605 - 06/14/13 01:32 PM

Cancelled the order.

After my last star party and replacing my finder, I have found it's just too easy to align to justify the extra expense. If it were more like $129.95 I'd be all over it lol.

Stacy


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rsraney
super member


Reged: 09/16/07

Loc: Sunnyvale, CA
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #5920626 - 06/14/13 01:45 PM

I am still ordering mine, just to see how it handles the small strip of weak sky i have between the row of townhouses I live in. I'll post a review once I have it and run a few checks on it.

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KerryR
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/05/07

Loc: SW Michigan
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #5920697 - 06/14/13 02:20 PM

Quote:

Cancelled the order.

After my last star party and replacing my finder, I have found it's just too easy to align to justify the extra expense. If it were more like $129.95 I'd be all over it lol.

Stacy




Stacy,

What finder did you switch to? I find the stock finder a bit of a pain to look through above 30deg or so. I also rarely need it once I'm aligned, unless I'm hopping to doubles from an atlas...


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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: KerryR]
      #5921130 - 06/14/13 07:34 PM

Quote:

Stacy,

What finder did you switch to? I find the stock finder a bit of a pain to look through above 30deg or so. I also rarely need it once I'm aligned, unless I'm hopping to doubles from an atlas...




I actually went back to the original finder after using a 90 degree finder for two reasons. First, it's more compact so I can leave it on the scope during transport and as a result, usually keeps it's alignment.

Second, as it's a straight through finder, I can use the "two eyes open" method to zero in quickly on any bright star. (I open both eyes then just move the scope until the bright star "merges" with itself) Much easier and faster than any other method I've tried.

I also set the scope (tripod) up about 5 inches or so higher than the lowest setting as it's more comfortable when observing at or near zenith. If I want to look near the horizon, I can rotate the diagonal. I have an 80mm piggy back scope and that method works great for that scope as well.

I just pick alignment stars lower in the sky and don't usually have a problem. I only use the finder during alignment, because I have never failed to get the target somewhere in the EP FOV regardless what EP happens to be in there.

I use a CPC tripod on my NS11 BTW.

Stacy


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KerryR
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/05/07

Loc: SW Michigan
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #5921226 - 06/14/13 08:51 PM

Got it. Thanks, Stacy.

I just (now) removed the 9x50 and replaced it with a Rigel.


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Mike in Tampa
super member


Reged: 05/19/13

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #5938428 - 06/24/13 05:38 PM

is this a typo? this is from the link in post # 1, when I select the star sense under key technologies.

"The HandControl allows you to automatically locate and point your SkyProdigy to over 4,000 celestial objects contained in its database"

it must be 40k not 4k, wouldn't you think? otherwise why would you use this hand control with 1/10th the database over the one currently provided with most goto systems report a 40,000 item database (CPC models for example).


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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Mike in Tampa]
      #5938565 - 06/24/13 07:18 PM

Quote:

is this a typo? this is from the link in post # 1, when I select the star sense under key technologies.

"The HandControl allows you to automatically locate and point your SkyProdigy to over 4,000 celestial objects contained in its database"

it must be 40k not 4k, wouldn't you think? otherwise why would you use this hand control with 1/10th the database over the one currently provided with most goto systems report a 40,000 item database (CPC models for example).




Yes, must be a typo. The main page says "The StarSense Accessory includes a small digital camera that attaches to the telescope’s optical tube, along with a specialized hand controller. Just set up the accessory, push the Align button on the hand controller, and StarSense starts capturing and comparing images of the night sky against its internal database of 40,000 celestial objects"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/03/06

Loc: Southern NJ
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #5952151 - 07/02/13 10:00 PM

This looks like a cool gizmo, but exceedingly expensive. Can it act as a camera as well as being an alignment tool? Does it's hand controller replace the normal CPC controller. Is this controller the same as the "Nexstar +" hand controller with all it's purported bells and whistles?

I'm still using my original hand controller that came with my CPC 1100 seven years ago! (And they said my "cheap" scope wouldn't last... lol)

I agree with many here that it's not that difficult to align a CPC scope. I always use the auto-two star method with Polaris being my first star and any other that's visible as my second, and my targets are generally near the center of a moderate power view.

But the ability for this gizmo to use more than 2 or 3 multiple targets to really squeeze out precise positioning is alluring. If the controller is a Nexstar + model (something I have seriously been thinking of buying to upgrade my scope) and one subtracts the cost of this from the StarSense price, it might be more reasonable.

Anyone know if it is a Nexstar + controller in the StarSense package?

Cheers,
Paul

ps- been gone from this site for too long! It's good to be back and read stuff like this!


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Stacy
Star Partyer
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Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Paul McC]
      #5952244 - 07/02/13 10:57 PM

There is a picture of the controller here. It looks like the one that came with a NS102 Refractor I have....

http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-starsense-accessory.html


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Bruce N
member


Reged: 04/01/13

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Paul McC]
      #5952352 - 07/03/13 12:27 AM

Very cool but beyond my current budget, and... is it really necessary?

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: Bruce N]
      #5952571 - 07/03/13 06:21 AM

It comes with its own hand controller, the last item in the overview.

The exact functionality remains to be be seen but the ability to use the camera to collect images isn't mentioned so it's probably safe to assume that this won't be supported.

Chris


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A. Viegas
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5952649 - 07/03/13 08:01 AM

If it could be used as an autoguider and as a remote finder then it would be worth the $300 bucks. As it is I think at best it's a $99 product. Certainly it can't cost much more than $20 to make.

Al


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186vett
member


Reged: 01/29/13

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5961419 - 07/08/13 11:09 PM

So, when available?

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HeyJP
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: 186vett]
      #5961530 - 07/09/13 12:52 AM

B&H PhotoVideo showing it now back ordered until Aug 1. It's been slipping about a month each month. :-)

Jim


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DarthNebula
member


Reged: 10/27/08

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5969819 - 07/14/13 12:13 AM

I think i will have to get one of these as well. Love the idea of auto align!

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btieman
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/24/08

Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: DarthNebula]
      #5971019 - 07/14/13 07:08 PM

I have a borrowed Meade 6" LS. It is highly entertaining to let it do it's thing all by itself. But it's also frustrating. It needs fairly dark skies before you can even begin. It also doesn't know your local horizon so sometimes points at the house, etc...It recognizes the star isn't there, but not until it's slewed there and looked. And it takes ~10+ minutes.

I was all over the star-sense when I first saw it advertised--party because Celestron now has a response to the Meade LS. But, now that I've seen auto-image alignment in practice, I doubt I will ever get one. I'm sure Celestron's implementation will have learned something from Meade's but even if it's twice as good as Meade's, I can't see that it's worth it for my observing pattern. Typically, I'm fully aligned before the sun has even set. Image based auto-alignment costs me observing time

But it is way cool to watch!


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/03/06

Loc: Southern NJ
Re: Pre-Ordered StarSense Accessory new [Re: btieman]
      #5977197 - 07/18/13 02:27 AM

Quote:

I have a borrowed Meade 6" LS. It is highly entertaining to let it do it's thing all by itself. But it's also frustrating. It needs fairly dark skies before you can even begin. It also doesn't know your local horizon so sometimes points at the house, etc...It recognizes the star isn't there, but not until it's slewed there and looked. And it takes ~10+ minutes.

I was all over the star-sense when I first saw it advertised--party because Celestron now has a response to the Meade LS. But, now that I've seen auto-image alignment in practice, I doubt I will ever get one. I'm sure Celestron's implementation will have learned something from Meade's but even if it's twice as good as Meade's, I can't see that it's worth it for my observing pattern. Typically, I'm fully aligned before the sun has even set. Image based auto-alignment costs me observing time

But it is way cool to watch!




Excellent points! You just talked me out of it!


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king1522
sage


Reged: 04/25/08

Loc: Texas
Starsense and light pollution new [Re: Stacy]
      #5983750 - 07/21/13 10:17 PM

I wonder if it has problems finding alignment stars in light polluted areas. I have the Meade LS8 and it's not too good in Dallas area light pollution. Often it won't align to the star it selects. I'm assuming the light confuses it. Also, my Meade, after alignment, is not terribly accurate. At times the object I am searching for is not in the field of view.
Don

--------------------
Don


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