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HeyJP
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Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller
      #5318174 - 07/14/12 10:38 PM

Anyone that has used the old NexStar Hand Controller bought a new NexStar+ HC? Which do you like better?

Looks like the features et is currently the same, however the + has a faster processor, more cold-resilient display, and buried the DSO object direct entries under a layer of menus. The latter sounds like an inconvenience. But, new updates will be for the + controller, maybe ni more for older one, it appears.

Thoughts?

Jim


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katie
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Reged: 11/06/11

Loc: Southern Maryland
Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5318543 - 07/15/12 08:31 AM

Ah...It's Jim with the buy of the century CPC1100

Jim, here are my HCs side by side. On the left is the new version from my 6SE, on the right is the old version from my CPC1100.

I put the same info in both for easier comparison of text/LCD display.

The new one has smaller text and a brighter display, the scroll up/down buttons are slanted to facilitate finding/using them in the dark and the buttons are arranged/labeled a bit different. Other than that, they both do the job. If the new one is faster or more cold resistant, I have not noticed the variance with use. The only thing I do note is that I need my reading glasses to read the new one.

From a practical standpoint, I use the hand controllers to perform the alignment. After alignment I hang them up and Scope control is performed by more powerful and user friendly interfaces - TheSky/PC for the CPC1100 and SkySafari/iPad for the 6SE.




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RTLR 12
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Reged: 12/04/08

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Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: katie]
      #5318558 - 07/15/12 08:52 AM

You can make the text on the HC+ display bolder for easier reading.

Stan


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katie
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Reged: 11/06/11

Loc: Southern Maryland
Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5318566 - 07/15/12 09:01 AM

Stan. Right you are and thanks. I use the HC just for alignment so I missed that toggle. It does make it easier to read. Still smaller and I still need my reading glasses, but it is easier.

EDIT:

Here is a shot showing the Stan suggested bold toggle. A little glare, but you get the idea.



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RTLR 12
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Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: katie]
      #5318581 - 07/15/12 09:15 AM

No substitute for large print and volume...at least not at my age!

Stan


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HeyJP
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5318622 - 07/15/12 10:04 AM

Thanks Katie and Stan. I guess the other key difference is putting all the direct access DSO entries under a nested menu. Seems inconvenient, although your schema, Katie, doesn't care since you do all by remote.

Any thoughts on the DSO goto's, Stan?

Jim


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A. Viegas
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Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5318629 - 07/15/12 10:13 AM

I have the newer controller for my CG5. I notice it more when I do a precise GOTO, the calculations are faster, maybe 2 seconds vs. 4or 5 secs for my older controller with CPC... I have the latest firmware and motor control, so I suppose that future updates may become the distinctive factor... Until then... Not a big deal difference...

Al


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5318640 - 07/15/12 10:22 AM

The downchecks for me? No "M" button, no "NGC" button. What the hell were they thinking?

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katie
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Reged: 11/06/11

Loc: Southern Maryland
Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: rmollise]
      #5319159 - 07/15/12 05:31 PM

Quote:

The downchecks for me? No "M" button, no "NGC" button. What the hell were they thinking?




Just an assumption, but I think I know what they were thinking.

I gave a Nextar 80LCM (same new controller) as a present - to a child of 12 years. A good age to get them interested in astronomy. So, I explained the scope and the alignment and the hand controller. When you look at the hand controller through the eyes of a 12 year old new to astronomy it makes sense. They know about the solar system, stars, etc. And if they point the scope to something all they have to do is press identify. They know not of NGC, Messier, or Cadwell objects. They are also used to a 'help' button.

For a budding astronomer the button labels are more descriptive and user friendly than the old version.

So, based on what I have witnessed....it makes sense.

It is also why, for those of us that have years of astro under our belt, it makes no sense.

Bottom line....it is the bottom-line...better known as marketing.

A philosophic thought:
Personally, I hope the marketing lures work and backyard telescopes become ubiquitous as the cell phone. Then, light polution would go down because it would bother the masses, scope and accessories cost would go down, it would be a nice thing.

Note: My right-brain wrote the philosophic thought above, my left-brain, now writing this, thinks I am out of my mind and to 'get real'.


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mclewis1
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Reged: 02/25/06

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Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: katie]
      #5319187 - 07/15/12 05:59 PM



Thanks Katie, great post ... from both a left and right brained point of view.


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5319266 - 07/15/12 07:25 PM

Well, maybe it's just me, but I'm not sure why negotiationg nested menus is more user friendly than a dedicated button.

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HeyJP
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: rmollise]
      #5319346 - 07/15/12 08:15 PM

I think Katie's theory is that having M, Caldwell, and NGC monikers staring at you from day one is intimidating to the neophyte, which might appear true. However, for anyone that uses their scope slightly often, flattening the nest is quite desirable. I'm with you, Ron, while the raised edge buttons seem ergonomicaaly clever, a deep menu nest for what I would use most is frustrating.

Jim


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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

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Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5319354 - 07/15/12 08:23 PM

I would bet that if we were privy to Celestron's sales totals we would find that they sell 20 or more lower-end entry level scopes to every one CPC or GEM-mounted SCT. It makes sense for them to have a universal hand controller design for the entire line. Hence, Katie is likely correct . . . they have redesigned the HC to suit the vast majority of their customers. Having just recnetly acquired an iOptron mount, which has more nested menu items than those Russian nested dolls, I appreciate my old-style CPC controller even more.

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JoeR
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Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: rmollise]
      #5319580 - 07/15/12 11:00 PM

Quote:

The downchecks for me? No "M" button, no "NGC" button. What the hell were they thinking?




I also think the Star button is useless. I only use the Named Stars sub menu when I want to slew to a star. It would be better IMO to have a constellation button.


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HeyJP
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: JoeR]
      #5319622 - 07/15/12 11:21 PM

I'm really liking Katie's thinking. Use the HC to get aligned, then blow the smoke off and tuck it in it's holster... Then go with the totally visual interface of Sky Safari on iPhone or iPad.

You have a sky-centric visual interface or you clean pull up canned observation lists (M's, NGC's, Caldwell's, Herschel's, etc) or create your own seasonal favorites. Much more flexibility than you'll ever get from a 20 button HC.

It's been 30 years since I used a computer with a 2-line led display. iPhone/iPads are a natural.

Jim


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5319878 - 07/16/12 08:08 AM

Quote:

I'm really liking Katie's thinking. Use the HC to get aligned, then blow the smoke off and tuck it in it's holster... Then go with the totally visual interface of Sky Safari on iPhone or iPad.

You have a sky-centric visual interface or you clean pull up canned observation lists (M's, NGC's, Caldwell's, Herschel's, etc) or create your own seasonal favorites. Much more flexibility than you'll ever get from a 20 button HC.

It's been 30 years since I used a computer with a 2-line led display. iPhone/iPads are a natural.

Jim




Unless you don't want to lug a computer with you. Let's hope they don't change NexRemote to reflect this supposed "better."


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HeyJP
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/11/10

Loc: Boulder, CO
Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: rmollise]
      #5320660 - 07/16/12 04:17 PM

The point is that you don't have to lug a computer any more. Just a tablet or a smartphone will give you an elegant visual method of controlling complex devices such as a CPC. And in the case of the smartphone, it's always in my pocket anyway, so no extra schlepping.

Of course I'm not arguing for intentionally making the HC harder to work with. ;-) Just that everything has moved past a dedicated 19-button remote control. The capabilities of these scopes are very high... and access is quite limited by only 19 buttons with fixed text written on them. Fixed text that some small committee decided was the best method for all.

Onkyo, in the home stereo business, has had a well published spec with a common language for accessing and controlling all their receivers over a network for several years. Several companies have built iPhone/Android interfaces to control your home stereo. Some of them have totally configurable buttons that you can drag and arrange in any way you want.

That would make it possible for a simple interface for the beginner.. and a more advanced layout for experienced star-jockeys. Any of us so inclined could create our own custom layouts with all the M, NGC, Caldwell keys we wanted. And then some. Or fewer!

The Sky Safari gang is certainly doing nice things to make for a natural interface to the scope. It would be nice to see other "apps" appear that can control our scopes.

Best,

Jim


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mclewis1
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Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5320805 - 07/16/12 05:56 PM

This really isn't about beginner vs. experienced, like a tablet or not, or modern vs. uh well not as modern. It's a case of a simple user interface and less complexity that's being compromised for the sake of what it looks like.

The fact is that Messier and NGC objects are the most popular DSOs (for beginners, experienced or anyone in between ... always have been and always will be) and anything that makes it easier or faster (less button pushes) to access them is a benefit and anything that adds button presses isn't. Want to nest other less popular choices in a menu system, fine - but the most popular stuff needs to be simply and easily accessed.

Adding cute button labels and a menu hierarchy that some programmer thinks is appropriate isn't always the best idea. There's a reason the Celestron hand controller and software is popular. If you've used many of the other goto systems you quickly find that your pressing a lot more buttons.

NexStar+ may be prettier and seemingly make more sense but it's a step backwards when it comes to simply using the telescope.


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rmollise
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Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: HeyJP]
      #5321482 - 07/17/12 07:47 AM

Quote:

The point is that you don't have to lug a computer any more. Just a tablet or a smartphone will give you an elegant visual method of controlling complex devices such as a CPC. And in the case of the smartphone, it's always in my pocket anyway, so no extra schlepping.




Bottom line? I prefer the older HC and there are some tangible reasons why I do. If you like the new one, that is fine.


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A. Viegas
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Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: NexStar vs NexStar+ Hand Controller new [Re: rmollise]
      #5321494 - 07/17/12 08:04 AM

Anyone have any idea what future firmware upgrades are planned for the new Nexstar+ controller? I hope C left some space for additional catalogues in the ROM, as last night I got flummoxed trying to center the Draco Dwarf Galaxy (UGC 8022) which was prominent in my SkiSafari App but unfortunately not an object in the NexStar HC database. This made it particularly difficult to confirm that I was in the region despite reading the coords from the HC... Just a recent example of how the HC software is somewhat limiting unlike more recent software like SkySafari ...

Al


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