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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6065229 - 09/05/13 09:23 PM

Michael, did you calibrate the camera to the OTA after the first successful autoalign after your lockups were fixed, then switch off and do a second auto align (that should be a much more accurate align because the OTA and camera are now calibrated), and only then do the polar align? I understood that was the first time around procedure and haven't seen you mention that you did the camera-OTA calibrate and second autoalign after that.

Could that be where your polar align is going wrong? That first autoalign with no camera-OTA calibrate and second autoalign after that will be quite innacurate to use to then progress straight to a polar align I think, if that is what you are doing.

Cheers,
Chris

Quote:

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?




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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6065462 - 09/06/13 12:35 AM

Official response from Celestron - The CN16 is incompatible with the Starsense. Someone should test with the SkySync.

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Charlie B]
      #6065588 - 09/06/13 04:56 AM

HI Charlie:

Yep...looking forward to seeing you and the new widget!


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JeffBosworth
member


Reged: 04/17/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #6065695 - 09/06/13 07:43 AM

Quote:

Official response from Celestron - The CN16 is incompatible with the Starsense. Someone should test with the SkySync.




I have the SkySync accessory. Has always worked great. I had it plugged in on my first startup of the SSA. After the mount slewed below the southern horizon (and my observatory wall) the SSA simply stopped. I thought it was just solving a blank wall but it essentially froze.

I cycled mount power after unplugging the SkySync. The SSA didn't freeze in any subsequent attempt to get alignment. Not a great amount of data but my assumption is that the SkySync was not welcome in the SSA's processes.

However, if your mount is stationary like mine then real time location data from the GPS is moot. But it wouldn't hurt to grab the dynamic time data from the satellites.

So if this isn't compatible with SSA then I have a $200 accessory that has become obsolete. If it were heavier I might be able to use it as a boat anchor...


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JeffBosworth
member


Reged: 04/17/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: JeffBosworth]
      #6065701 - 09/06/13 07:48 AM

Can't remember who offhand but someone received a firmware update from Celestron tech. So is that firmware update going to be made available to everyone?

BTW, I have joined TeamCelestron. I think they need to know about what has been happening with my SSA on the CGE Pro. Maybe it's a simple and quick fix. Or user education which isn't as simple and quick...


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: JeffBosworth]
      #6065887 - 09/06/13 10:48 AM

Looks this will not be the time saver I thought. From the looks of it you will have to input your data every time you move locations. You will alsohave to be baby sitting the mount as it auto aligns. If the accuracy beats a 2+4 then it may still be worth it. From those that have responded it looks like it is a toss up. If the clouds lift I will find out if this thing has a home or not.

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gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #6066486 - 09/06/13 04:23 PM

I am guessing that in 10 years or so most if not all new mounts designed to use in the field will be using plate solving techniques for visual observing alignment, and that the manual align era will be referred to as the "bronze age" of mount alignment, as technology continues to progress.

These technologies like StarSense and StarLock are brand new now, and alre already doing pretty good jobs, but give them a few years to mature and I bet they will blow away anything you will be able to do manually.

For AP, there will still be a place for visual polar alignment/manual drift alignment for a while, but as technology continues to progress, this will probably be mostly replaced by more robust computer assisted methods as well.


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NeilShapiro
member


Reged: 07/16/11

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6066520 - 09/06/13 04:46 PM

Chris maybe you can help. I read your messages about changing the skew limits for the starSense. I too view at a time when Vega and Albeireo and M57 are quite near the zenith. But the manual seems to indicate that changing values can cause mechanical problems. But as the AVX mount is a equatorial I thought maybe I could go from 70 to 90? Was not sure so I called Celestron. The fellow I spoke with said I should go to 50!! That threw me for a loop. Anyway he said he would check and phone me back but he never did. So what did you change your slew limit to? Am I right we need to increase, not decrease that limit to extend nearer the zenith? Thanks!

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: NeilShapiro]
      #6066556 - 09/06/13 05:13 PM

This is new to the CS people as well and I wouldn't expect they will understand exactly what's wanted in all circumstances, especially as they are supporting so many different mount types and user experience levels.

The defaults in the HC will be basically for the worst case of an altaz fork mount that can't get to the zenith. The AVX is no problem and I set +10 to +90 as the limits. Try this for yourself with your mount and OTA and see where you can move to.

Some of the beta testing was entertaining because at one point it did a polar flip through the South pole instead of the North pole. The trick was to hold your nerve and see where it actually ended up.

Chris


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Carrera991
member


Reged: 10/27/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6066631 - 09/06/13 06:11 PM

I just did a live chat with CS and the guy had basically never heard of the lockups, pointing south below the horizon, violent slews and other behavior I experienced. I also asked if their was a firmware patch he could send me and he said there was none. He wanted me to RMA it but is actually easier for me to just return it to Woodland Hills Camera. Closer to them than the PO. Left it off where he would tell engineering and get back to me early next week. If it's not resolved by Tuesday I will just return it.

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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: NeilShapiro]
      #6066647 - 09/06/13 06:19 PM

Hi Neil, Chris

I have been using both of 90 and 0 and the dfault of 70 and 10. I have problems at either setting, which may or may not be southern hemisphere related.

I am in contact with celestron about my problems. We have had a few to and fro communicaations and I am doing some tests for them and have just sent some test results from last night back to them.

Neil, I would take good note of what the other Chris has to say as he has been a beta tester for these units, and has been very helpful to me with my problems.

Chris, I have through the zenith backflip gotos on my SE alt az mount which are VERY scary and need a quick stop of the goto with a direction button! On my Eq mount, a CG-5, the unit won't even sense and solve any stars, although it does that very very well on the SE mount, but then all post align gotos on the SE are unsafe and either go way below the horizon or backflip the OTA up through the zenith and either way try to crash the OTA into the mount, plus most stars above horizon are not in my lists on the HC and the lists are full of below horizon stars (and solar system objects).

Chris, the other day you suggested I let one of these odd gotos run to the end on the SE mount, which I did with a smaller ota and it ended up in a completely wrong direction pointing almost but not quite straight down at the ground, so it isn't just the path the mount takes to the goto point that is wrong but the end point is way way off too.

Celestron are being quite responsive and communicative so far with my problems and I have no complaints there. I will keep my detailed discussions with them away from the forums and will report once we have some progress or a fix.

Cheers,
Chris



Quote:

Chris maybe you can help. I read your messages about changing the skew limits for the starSense. I too view at a time when Vega and Albeireo and M57 are quite near the zenith. But the manual seems to indicate that changing values can cause mechanical problems. But as the AVX mount is a equatorial I thought maybe I could go from 70 to 90? Was not sure so I called Celestron. The fellow I spoke with said I should go to 50!! That threw me for a loop. Anyway he said he would check and phone me back but he never did. So what did you change your slew limit to? Am I right we need to increase, not decrease that limit to extend nearer the zenith? Thanks!




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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Carrera991]
      #6066653 - 09/06/13 06:23 PM

Hi Careera.

I am in the southern hemispehere and having what sound like very similar problems. I am doing tests for celestron and working with them to try and resolve so I'd hang in there perhaps for a little while to see if there is a quick resolution. You can join the team celestron program and they will respond there. Your probelms sound very like mine.

Cheers,
Chris

Quote:

I just did a live chat with CS and the guy had basically never heard of the lockups, pointing south below the horizon, violent slews and other behavior I experienced. I also asked if their was a firmware patch he could send me and he said there was none. He wanted me to RMA it but is actually easier for me to just return it to Woodland Hills Camera. Closer to them than the PO. Left it off where he would tell engineering and get back to me early next week. If it's not resolved by Tuesday I will just return it.




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Carrera991
member


Reged: 10/27/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6066671 - 09/06/13 06:36 PM

Thanks Chris. I registered earlier today. Is there a place to go to for posting this type of issue. I have a thread in main section.

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JeffBosworth
member


Reged: 04/17/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Carrera991]
      #6066687 - 09/06/13 06:49 PM

I joined the TeamCelestron site. I immediately found a post from someone with the same setup as me (SS and CGE Pro). He said he was having the same problems, as well. Wild and scary slews, pointing at the ground or below the horizon, highly inaccurate pointing on the one alignment I got, etc. He cycled power and restored defaults several times like me, over two separate nights, but he never got a successful align and is pretty ticked. He too heard of a firmware upgrade but so far no one has responded to our posts there. It is Friday, so...

I really don't want to have to return this device. I waited a long time to get it and my supplier was kind enough to ship it to me the same day he got his shipment, before any other customer. So I hope we can get a resolution soon. I will try it again, maybe tonight, just to see if it was a glitch.


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: JeffBosworth]
      #6066704 - 09/06/13 07:02 PM

After further review... The CN16 does work. The problem seems to be having a cable plugged into the pc port on the port expander even if it is not connected to anything else. With the PC cable unplugged one can go directly to the menu to choose the GPS device without delay. Once the GPS device is chosen it does take awhile to get sync. After the first sync up everything seems to occur much more quickly. We will see how she points once it gets dark (if the clouds will part like the weather guesser says they will).

I always left the PC cable plugged in and coiled up hanging on the mount. Sometimes I would leave the HC off and use nexremote via pc port. I will have to remember to leave it unplugged.

Edit;
Mount sitting here all dressed and no where to go. Clouds again! Even had my camera all setup so I could measure pointing accuracy. Plan on trying with the SS and then changing controllers back and doing a 2+4 and comparing the two. My set has the port expander plugged into the HC port of the mount, the SS Camera plugged into the AUX port of the mount, the SS HC plugged into aux port1 on the expander, and the CN16 plugged into aux port 2 of the expander. The Programming cable is unplugged!

Edited by Stew57 (09/06/13 09:38 PM)


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Carrera991
member


Reged: 10/27/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: JeffBosworth]
      #6066748 - 09/06/13 07:35 PM

Quote:

I joined the TeamCelestron site. I immediately found a post from someone with the same setup as me (SS and CGE Pro). He said he was having the same problems, as well. Wild and scary slews, pointing at the ground or below the horizon, highly inaccurate pointing on the one alignment I got, etc. He cycled power and restored defaults several times like me, over two separate nights, but he never got a successful align and is pretty ticked. He too heard of a firmware upgrade but so far no one has responded to our posts there. It is Friday, so...

I really don't want to have to return this device. I waited a long time to get it and my supplier was kind enough to ship it to me the same day he got his shipment, before any other customer. So I hope we can get a resolution soon. I will try it again, maybe tonight, just to see if it was a glitch.




That was me!


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Carrera991
member


Reged: 10/27/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #6066752 - 09/06/13 07:37 PM

The SkySync is supported too per the CS rep I talked to. I told him in my case, I want to get the basics working first before I get to the SkySync

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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Carrera991]
      #6067121 - 09/07/13 12:36 AM

Clouds cleared long enough for testing. SS would freeze up attempting to align. Unplugged the CN16 and SS would go right into auto align well after about 10 button presses getting past the time/location. I did set it to RTC but I must be missing something here. Anyway I would be suspect of anything plugged into the mount at all if you get lockups.

Played with it during the day and the CN16 is working fine. The unit will start aligning and try to find stars but I have the lens cap on. After a few attempts I shut it down. Seems to be working with the GPS turned on. Just hope these clouds will part so I can get some pointing accuracy numbers.

Slews and plate solves pretty quickly, probably faster than I can do a good 2+4 with my camera. Accuracy stinks though so I calibrate center and realign. Pointing still not good. Stars mostly land on my camera chip but right at the edge when they do. I am only at 1000mm with the mallincam camera for this testing. I am used to objects landing pretty much centered at 1500mm and at the edges at 2800mm, with the mallincam. I tried to add some calibrate reference points but ended up messing up and doing a calibrate center again. By the clouds were back and I packed it in. I can't see this being that much of a time saver at the moment.

The mount did want to slew below the horizon twice. I stopped it via power switch and had to realign both times. I reset the slew limits when vega wouldn't show in the named stars list. It still wouldn't show up. It would identify it correctly via the info button if manually slewed to. It did list Deneb even when it was at zenith and till wouldn't list Vega even as it has moved past zenith a good ways. It showed a lot of stars that were below the horizon but left a lot of well known visible ones off the list. I used The Sky6 to do some checking.

I will give it one more go adding calibration points to see if it will be more accurate, but my gut feeling is this is not quite ready.

Edited by Stew57 (09/07/13 03:11 PM)


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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: Carrera991]
      #6067134 - 09/07/13 12:55 AM

Hi Carrera.

I think I might have had had to wait a day or so after joining team celestron to be given full access to all the beta test forums there, so it may be you'll see the forum for the starsense accessory after that, if all you can see is the one general public forum at the moment.

I hope they respond to your/Jeff Bosworth's very similar sounding problems soon. It took a couple of days at least before they responded to my problem reports on team Celestron.

They did very quickly get onto and I think fix the problems the first person reported three or four days ago with the lockups during aligns, and quickly issued him with new firmware to test.

Cheers,
Chris




Quote:

Thanks Chris. I registered earlier today. Is there a place to go to for posting this type of issue. I have a thread in main section.




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Carrera991
member


Reged: 10/27/12

Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: C8er]
      #6067196 - 09/07/13 02:28 AM

When doing more testing tonight the HC died. What a great experience! Back to Woodland Hills Camera tomorrow. If they have any left I will exchange it. If not, I will just wait until Celestron has a product that works. Not holding my breath for that...

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