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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6064249 - 09/05/13 11:33 AM

Quote:

One reason I was buying this is because I have the old style hand controller. That is part of the reason I am willing to pay this price. I have no desire to carry around that old controller in case the Starsense stops working.




I'd think about that. I will tell you this: I ALWAYS carry a second hand controller, not just to distant star parties, but even to my club site. BE PREPARED is not just for the BSA.


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DaveJ
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/07/05

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6064259 - 09/05/13 11:40 AM

Quote:

Quote:

One reason I was buying this is because I have the old style hand controller. That is part of the reason I am willing to pay this price. I have no desire to carry around that old controller in case the Starsense stops working.




I'd think about that. I will tell you this: I ALWAYS carry a second hand controller, not just to distant star parties, but even to my club site. BE PREPARED is not just for the BSA.




Hey Unc, I'll go you one better...I carry TWO spare hand controllers around with me - just in case. I've had the unfortunate event of dropping one of the controllers which knocked the display all out of whack. While it was repairable, it wasn't a field repair. I had one spare controller at that time which carried me through that session. After repairing the one that had dropped, I got another spare. Heck, if I dropped one, I could easily drop two in one night. One can't be too over-prepared, can one?


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6064281 - 09/05/13 11:53 AM

Hi,
It would be nice for the Starsense to have some sort of backup ability to manually align the mount. We have already seen several users having lock up problems and they just started shipping. I guess having the ability to manually align the mount (which isn't an added feature it's a removed feature) is too much to ask for at this price. I don't see anything wrong with wanting it put back.

Y'all are talking about having back up hand controllers, well what about having backup manual align ability

Neilson

Edited by neilson (09/05/13 11:56 AM)


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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6064384 - 09/05/13 12:48 PM

StarSense is an add-on for existing mounts. While Celestron may or may not have assured folks of backward compatibilty for manual operation, it is a given that any purchaser of the StarSense should already own a HC or HC+. If there is an issue with manual alignment here, as a customer I am more than happy that Celestron put that on the back-burner and put their developer resources on issues more closely related to the amazing new funtionaility that StarSense is offering for owners of most existing Celestron mounts.

Is your glass half empty or half full?


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JeffBosworth
member


Reged: 04/17/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: oo_void]
      #6064467 - 09/05/13 01:35 PM

I don't think the indexes were off. The mount went to the same index switches as it always has. As I described, the slewing was all over the place - up, down, sideways, you name it.

I've unplugged the AC adapter and I'm going to reset the HC defaults again and go through the process tonight if I have the weather.

Certainly I could pick the closest city but by then I was tired and frustrated...


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: DaveJ]
      #6064475 - 09/05/13 01:38 PM

Quote:



Hey Unc, I'll go you one better...I carry TWO spare hand controllers around with me - just in case. I've had the unfortunate event of dropping one of the controllers which knocked the display all out of whack. While it was repairable, it wasn't a field repair. I had one spare controller at that time which carried me through that session. After repairing the one that had dropped, I got another spare. Heck, if I dropped one, I could easily drop two in one night. One can't be too over-prepared, can one?




Actually, now that I think about it, I do too. The old 3-star align non-programmable HC I got with the CG5 is at the bottom of one of the equipment boxes.

The same thing happened to one of my HCs, by the way. A little hot glue fixed it when I got back home, but, no I didn't want to take apart an HC at a cotton picking star party.

"Great minds, yadda, yadda, yadda..."


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6064482 - 09/05/13 01:43 PM

Quote:

Hi,
It would be nice for the Starsense to have some sort of backup ability to manually align the mount. We have already seen several users having lock up problems and they just started shipping. I guess having the ability to manually align the mount (which isn't an added feature it's a removed feature) is too much to ask for at this price. I don't see anything wrong with wanting it put back.

Y'all are talking about having back up hand controllers, well what about having backup manual align ability

Neilson




And I want my NexStar Plus HC to have Messier and NGC buttons.

What have I learned after 50 years of dealing with the scope sellers?

You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need



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palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6064483 - 09/05/13 01:43 PM

Anyone try using controller without camera plugged in? If so i missed the post. Maybe then the manual align will show up. Ill try when I get home.

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JeffBosworth
member


Reged: 04/17/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: palmer570]
      #6064530 - 09/05/13 02:06 PM

I unplugged the camera to free the cable that got wrapped around the mount. The HC said that there was an error - no camera... And I couldn't do anything else at that point. So, no, you can't unplug the camera and expect the HC to work.

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: palmer570]
      #6064535 - 09/05/13 02:10 PM

I think there are people here who if given a gold bar would complain about the weight.

Chris


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6064606 - 09/05/13 02:46 PM

That was uncalled for, nobody made a personal attack on you.

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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6064607 - 09/05/13 02:46 PM

Quote:

Hi,
It would be nice for the Starsense to have some sort of backup ability to manually align the mount. We have already seen several users having lock up problems and they just started shipping. I guess having the ability to manually align the mount (which isn't an added feature it's a removed feature) is too much to ask for at this price. I don't see anything wrong with wanting it put back.

Y'all are talking about having back up hand controllers, well what about having backup manual align ability

Neilson




Now I have to open a can of worms with a comment and a question.

I agree there should be a back up option, i.e. retain the baseline alignment features and StarSense providing the added software base. Seems fair and reasonable.

BUT, I have a few questions. Several have suggested carrying a back up HC if something goes wrong. However in 22 years of owning computer hand controllers (5 of them) for telescopes I have never had one go bad or had a problem with them. They just work, or at least based on my experience, including having a few groups of Boy Scouts putting the telescope to work. So the questions are: is the failure rate sufficiently high enough to require backup controllers? Regarding StarSense, is a backup required? Doesn't the baseline alignment features work with StarSense if the system is out of commission or the user is bogged down?

Another question: If the failure rate is sufficiently high, should we accept this failure rate? I would hate to have my controllers die on me.


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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6064613 - 09/05/13 02:53 PM

Quote:

That was uncalled for, nobody made a personal attack on you.




I suspect he was commenting on my glass half empty or half full post rather than counter attacking anyone.

Personally, I am very happy I am not pushing out cutting edge technology to this group.


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palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: JeffBosworth]
      #6064618 - 09/05/13 02:58 PM

Quote:

I unplugged the camera to free the cable that got wrapped around the mount. The HC said that there was an error - no camera... And I couldn't do anything else at that point. So, no, you can't unplug the camera and expect the HC to work.




Sorry for the confusion, I meant leaving camera unplugged then turning on the mount.


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6064646 - 09/05/13 03:16 PM

Quote:

Michael, as someone who also has seen some similar lockups can you share the resolution with us? Was the cure a new firmware version or what? There may be plenty of peopel with these lockups and iot would be great to hear what the answer was for you.

Cheers,
Chris

what was the resolution?
Quote:

Seems my freeze up problems are resolved thanks to Celestron. I've been working with them the last few days on a solution. I can say after extensive testing tonight I didn't have any problems.







Celestron sent me a new firmware for the camera and hand control. Freezing problems went away as far as I can tell. I did 10 auto aligns and added a full set of calibration points after each auto align. Previously I would have had at least 3 freeze ups during auto align and as many again when trying to add calib stars. So this is a step forward.

The problems I had were after I was done doing that testing. I tried to do a polar alignment which showed it way off. I corrected the mount after centering the star but sitting back and looking at the star it would move off in RA as if it had really bad drift. So, I cycled the power and let it auto align but the auto align failed. Tried again, same result. Third time it went through. I then added the rest of the calibration points and again tried to pole align. Same result. Way off to being with, center star, hit enter. Complete. Watch star move off in RA axis.

Things I need to check asap:
1) I was controlling the mount off a 12v battery that wasn't fully charged. In fact I am not sure how much charge was on there. I had it on my battery tender for a few hours but it still had a red light when I took it off. I need to plug the mount into AC power to eliminate the possibility of low voltage issues.

Edit: 1b) I am also not 100% sure I did't have a cord binding issue. That would explain the behavior more than any other problem. It was late, I was tired, I may not have been careful enough.

2) RA was sounding sloppy and loose. In the past I took the cover off the RA and noticed that the encoder wheel had unscrewed and was flopping around inside. I am also not convinced that the gear meshing is in the propper place anymore. I am wondering if the week or so of on/off auto align slew all over for hours straight found a weakness and exploited it. So I need to tear the mount apart and investigate.

3) Thinking that my problems were behind me I had plugged in the RS232 cable and The Sky X again to slew around. Specifically to pick bright stars that were in good places to pole align. After plugging in the cable is when I noticed the problems start HOWEVER it is also the point at which I moved on from simple auto align testing so I need to step back again and leave it unplugged until I am confident I have a working system then plug in the computer again.

So if the weather holds out here tonight I'll try to test. IF I have time today to work on the mount.


Edit#2: I also wanted to mention something I noticed and perhaps initiate a discussion.

When SSA is doing its thing tracking is never turned on. So if you watch the starfield on camera and it pauses to grab a photo of the starfield, you will notice that the stars are moving. At F/2 I am sure it doesn't matter but I still found it interesting.

When the auto align is complete, tracking is still off until the user hits Enter to accept. If you do the auto align and walk away and come back much later, as I tend to do, the position of sky would be significantly off except for the internal clock compensating for the time that elapsed but I am not convinced. I would like to see tracking enabled before the last calibration point and remain on. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (09/05/13 03:31 PM)


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JeffBosworth
member


Reged: 04/17/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: palmer570]
      #6064650 - 09/05/13 03:18 PM

Yes, I had turned off the mount, unplugged the camera, then turned it back on. An error appeared to advise no camera and I wasn't able to select anything else. I could move the mount with the arrows. I had to turn off the mount and attach the camera, then power up again to get rid of that error.

To clarify my position here. I came to this forum to ask for constructive help, not to complain about StarSense or get wisecracks about maybe being perceived to be complaining. As I stated, I wanted to know if it was actually the SS that was causing the issues I am experiencing or if it is the mount or me causing the errors. If this is just a forum to laud the new technology then perhaps I'm in the wrong place and should go elsewhere. Just sayin'...


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6064672 - 09/05/13 03:26 PM

Hi,
It looks like you better have a bracket on each one of your OTA's or have your old hand controller handy. I have one favorite OTA I usually use, but some nights I will use one of my others OTA's. And I wasn't planning on putting SS mounting brackets on all of my OTA's It would have been nice to be able to unplug the SS and manually align using the new HC on them. I really don't like my old style hand controller for some reason it's very dim and hard to see after I had updated the firmware.(the light is turned up all the way)

I have no problem with glass half empty comment

Neilson

Edited by neilson (09/05/13 03:34 PM)


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: JeffBosworth]
      #6064673 - 09/05/13 03:26 PM

Quote:

Yes, I had turned off the mount, unplugged the camera, then turned it back on. An error appeared to advise no camera and I wasn't able to select anything else. I could move the mount with the arrows. I had to turn off the mount and attach the camera, then power up again to get rid of that error.

To clarify my position here. I came to this forum to ask for constructive help, not to complain about StarSense or get wisecracks about maybe being perceived to be complaining. As I stated, I wanted to know if it was actually the SS that was causing the issues I am experiencing or if it is the mount or me causing the errors. If this is just a forum to laud the new technology then perhaps I'm in the wrong place and should go elsewhere. Just sayin'...




+1

I totally agree with you and I have my suspicions as to why certain people are acting the way they are. They end up on my ignore sooner or later.


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palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: JeffBosworth]
      #6064689 - 09/05/13 03:34 PM

@jeffbosworth- I'm sorry if you thought I was trolling you. I thought you unplugged with mount on and I was only looking for clarification. My thinking was the HC would only show manual align when turned on without camera plugged in.

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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: JeffBosworth]
      #6064698 - 09/05/13 03:37 PM

Jeff, i will be receiving my StarSense next week and may be coming here doing the same thing if I have issues. I also took the time to set up an account with Team Celestron, as I suspect I will get a quicker response there if I encounter any issues. I suspect some problems that folks are reporting will be user error, but that doesn't take the responsibilty off of Celestron to provide outstanding (and timely) non-technical user friendly documentation.

At this early release point, folks complaining they may have to carry their original mount HC around for backup or manual alignment doesn't generate much sympathy from me, but that is just my opinion.

I have two Celestron mounts and will be buying a third soon. Hopefully the glass half empty folks will be liquidating their StarSense's cheap!


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