Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: << 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | >> (show all)
Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #6078030 - 09/12/13 11:53 PM

Quote:

Used the SS with the CGEM tonight. Pointing accuracy afert auto align and 1 calibration point is +-4 arcminutes. Adding more points did not seem to make a difference. I can not get the ASPA to be very accurate. Must be missing something. I tried with doing a calibration point n near the star chosen and it made no difference.

The really weird thing; I aligned the mount and added 1 calibration point. I thought I would take a quick peak at the Dumbell since I was using the mallincam to check pointing accuracy. I went to deepsky named and found the dumbbell. Pressed enter and the mount slewed but was off. I added a calibration point for that area. Went to go back to deepsky, named, dumbbell, but it was gone. I went to deepsky, messier and entered 027. It wouldn't slew there it would change to 028. The Dumbell disappeared! Vega is nonexistent no matter where in the sky it is. Anyone else have trouble with the database on the SS hand controller?

I timed the SS at aligning (note I had already performed the camera align).It takes 25 seconds to boot and be ready to align. It takes on average 5 minutes after that to be ready. To get good pointing one would need to add a calibration point about a minute more. Then you need to add aspa.

I have been using a mallincam with cross box for aligning. I would think that contributes to an accurate alignment. The SS will be easier and much more accurate than using an eyepiece.

Has anyone checked the database on their SS after aligning for missing objects or objects that are below the horizon being listed?




Change the slew limits. It defaults to 10/70.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Sorny]
      #6078037 - 09/12/13 11:57 PM

I have them set at 0 and 90.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jim Meadows
member


Reged: 09/12/13

Loc: MS
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #6078040 - 09/12/13 11:58 PM

I am pretty sure a wrong object was selected last night. I entered NGC 6705 but it selected 6706. I realized it when it slewed too low so I don't know if the object screen was wrong before the slew or afterwards. I used undo and tried again and it worked ok. I am going to watch this more closely to see if it happens again, and note the exact sequence I performed.

The rest of the time it worked very well.

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #6078274 - 09/13/13 06:35 AM

Apparently the delay when starting is something to do with the Linux system used by the SS camera. I've suggested allowing the HC align process to be started so the mount can be moving to the first position while this is going on. That way it will only be seen if the mount gets there before the camera is ready.

Check the slew limits. It defaults to 10 to 70 deg. M57 is probably above 70 deg for you. This has fixed mysterious missing objects for me.

What stars are you using for ASPA? I never got it to work using stars to the South but Celestron seemed to think it was OK, they may have been using stars to the North. In any case they are reworking it.

Chris


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jim Meadows
member


Reged: 09/12/13

Loc: MS
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6078750 - 09/13/13 01:16 PM

I did a solar system align last night using Venus as my object. The camera must be plugged in when the mount is powered on or you do not get past go even though a solar system align does not use the camera.

I saw from a prior post you cannot unplug the camera either after you do an align even though you do not plan to use it anymore.

I assume you can put the cover on the starsense to protect it after you do an auto align, and then only remove it if you need to use it to add another star. Does anyone know if it is OK to put the cover on after an align is complete?

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mike Kersten
newbie


Reged: 03/16/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6080736 - 09/14/13 04:47 PM

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?




Michael,
I am having similar problems like you were. Hangs at times, points below the horizon. Have yet to get to get an alignment. What is the version of the firmware you got from Celestron?
Mike
CGE Pro
Edge 14


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6080746 - 09/14/13 04:53 PM

AAARRRGGGHHHHH. Northern Colorado, as you may have heard, has been having record rains, leading to flooding all over the place. Needless to say I'm not getting any clear skies to test this pup out. But the suffering of the many folks hit by this wide ranging storm and the flooding is monumental. My heart goes out to them all.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Mike Kersten]
      #6080765 - 09/14/13 05:05 PM

Quote:

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?




Michael,
I am having similar problems like you were. Hangs at times, points below the horizon. Have yet to get to get an alignment. What is the version of the firmware you got from Celestron?
Mike
CGE Pro
Edge 14




I'd have to look. It came from their software guy and I am not allowed to forward it to anyone anyways. I would predict they will have the firmware available and a new firmware manager available any day now. Sorry I can't be of more help. I feel totally helpless knowing that what I have is working and others have to wait. Hang in there!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mike Kersten
newbie


Reged: 03/16/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6080869 - 09/14/13 06:28 PM

I send in a request for tech support. I was curious as to your version just to compare to mine. Wasn't looking for a copy. Also how do you update the firmware? Was it to the hand controller or the camera?
Mike


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Mike Kersten]
      #6081028 - 09/14/13 08:12 PM

Both. They gave me software. Lent me software.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jim Meadows
member


Reged: 09/12/13

Loc: MS
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6081299 - 09/14/13 11:42 PM

I have had very good success with starsense the last three nights since I received it. However, tonight every time I try the auto align it says Alignment Failed when it gets to the end of the process. It further states the alignment is not good enough for pointing the telescope. It gets 3 good frames and solves them but in the last step for the final solution it gives me this error message. I switched from battery to AC and it does the same thing so it is not a power issue. I am using it on my Celestron 8se Alt-Az mount with the camera plugged into the aux port.

I did do a camera reset at the beginning of tonight because I wanted go through the "out of the box" process from the beginning again (auto align, calibrate center, auto align). However I cannot even get the first auto align to complete successfully.

The moon is out tonight, but I begin the process with it pointed West and all the images acquire plenty of stars and solve their frames OK. I had learned that if you start it pointed in the same direction each time it seems to stop at the same areas of the sky. I found a good starting point where it swings from W to N to E so it always "sees" open sky. Tonight it is going to the same three areas it has been using the last three days, but tonight it will not perform the final solution.

My version is 01.06.13226 and the build date is Aug 14, 2013. The SS camera is 01.01.13177. Perhaps I need updated firmware?

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Jim Meadows]
      #6081476 - 09/15/13 03:22 AM

The only time I had this was on an equatorial mount and I was way off being polar aligned, about 25 degrees off. Moved the tripod to get a bit closer, retried and it was fine. Your Alt Az mount shouldn't have this problem.

There is a Review Cal References option under the align menus, this shows the three positions that the scope detected and gives an error. It would be interesting to know what the positions are and the error. My guess is that the SS made a mis-identification for one of the positions, or has a huge error.

As you say the mount moves to the same axis positions every time so if there is a place in the sky which it solves incorrectly starting at a different position may help to avoid it. Or try a manual SS align.

Joining TeamCelestron and posting your data there may be useful to the developers.

I don't suppose it was looking at the Moon for one of the positions? That isn't going to help but it should fail and move on.

Chris


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
aberrs
member


Reged: 08/23/11

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #6082152 - 09/15/13 02:17 PM

I too had some issues with my CGEM the second time; stopping mid-alignment routine, odd slews etc.

I did a manual star-sense align (There's a way to do it by just pointing it random places, and hitting the align) which aligned the scope perfectly. That should keep me ok until the fabled firmware fix....

A


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jim Meadows
member


Reged: 09/12/13

Loc: MS
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6082352 - 09/15/13 04:19 PM

Thanks for the suggestions Chris. I'll try starting at at a different area or just doing manual sky selections. I'll review the plate results info and pass it on to celestron if I continue to have problems. I wonder if it can see satellites and if that could cause a false plate solve if some were passing thru its FOV. I have seen satellite formations pass through my fov in certain sky areas.

The prior three days experience were great! I was getting good alignment on my Alt-Az mount in under 2 min! I like being able to add more calibration points for the Alt-Az like I can do on my CG5 GEM.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
hrgreen
member


Reged: 02/02/13

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Jim Meadows]
      #6083310 - 09/16/13 06:11 AM

My Star Sense align and GOTO worked OK on the CGEM, even tho my front yard is hemmed in by trees. The "first time" routine. however, didn't seem to do anything. Have to look into that later.

The SS seemed to be ignoring my Sky Sync, requiring data by manual entry. The manual says nothing about whether or how the Sky Sync could be used for completely auto operation, but after reading messages here and Yahoo/CGEM, I decided to set up an indoor test (cloudy tonight).

I connected the new HC as usual, and the SS camera thru the Sky Sync to the Aux. Then went to menus to change
the "date/time source" to "GPS accessory". But the GPS seemed stuck while loading the time/location data. I decided maybe the metal house roof was blocking the signal, so I moved the setup out to the Florida room, which has a conventional roof. I immediately got good data, so am satisfied until the next good weather allows a full test.

Hal


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jim Meadows
member


Reged: 09/12/13

Loc: MS
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Sorny]
      #6085156 - 09/17/13 01:14 AM

I am out of town away from my equipment and decided to re-read the star sense manual. I noticed an interesting use of the Help button that is somewhat like precise slew, or perhaps more like an automated precise goto. If you slew to an object and it is not visible or not well centered, don't touch the direction buttons to try to center it - press the Help button instead. The telescope will slew to a nearby bright star and take a reference image and then adjust its alignment model. You then select your object of interest again and the telescope should slew to it with much better centering of the object. (It would be nice if it automatically slewed back to your last selected object - maybe they will add that.) See Help button on p.19 of the manual. Has anyone tried this out?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jim Meadows
member


Reged: 09/12/13

Loc: MS
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: jw54]
      #6086993 - 09/17/13 10:48 PM

Quote:

I don't have the mounts you mentioned but SkySafari on both my Mac and iPad via SkiFi worked like they did with my NexStar controller. I was using a SE6 and a wedge mounted NS11.

John




That's great! I am a big fan of SkySafari and SkyFi. However I offer a caution during this evaluation phase of StarSense - if a third party application does not seem to center the selected object it may not be an issue with StarSense. I love using my iPad/iPhone with SkySafari and SkyFi to control my CG-5. I also use SkySafari on my Mac inside to control my CG-5 outside via SkyFi. That being said, I noticed that SkySafari was not centering objects as well as the HC+. Turns out a new HC+ firmware version affected how SkySafari was pointing the mount. Older HC worked fine. Since the StarSense HC is brand new, it will be interesting to compare SkySafari's slew centering vs slewing from the HC. I plan to do this as soon as I get my port splitter for my CG-5. Sometimes 3rd parties have to play catch up to new HC firmware releases. So the best way to initially test the StarSense GoTo accuracy is to use the StarSense HC. I'll post my results about using SkySafari when I test it. Hopefully it will work just as well as the StarSense HC. If you do get a chance to try SkySafari with your iPad some more, I would love to know how well it centers an object compared to the StarSense HC doing it!

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
palmer570
super member
*****

Reged: 09/04/12

Loc: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: Jim Meadows]
      #6089709 - 09/19/13 10:47 AM

Finally got to try mine last night with my 8se. After about an hour of user mistakes I got it to work pretty good. At work now so will give a more detailed review of what I did wrong and how it performed for me later. Quick suggestion for anyone with problems is to check power supply. I use a deep cycle and a "power station" box I bought online. Running dewbuster while aligning was giving me problems. Maybe how the box is wired or that the battery wasn't fully charged but still outputing 12.34 volts.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dr.who
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/12

Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: palmer570]
      #6089889 - 09/19/13 12:43 PM

So I pulled the trigger on this and got it on Monday. Yesterday was the first day I had a chance to use it.

Briefly... It's worth the money for the most part. Don't need a laptop or camera like you do with Astro Tortilla so it's a bonus in terms of time saving for visual use. It aligned the mount in under 3 minutes far better than I could unless I took a good 10+ minutes to do so and everything I pointed to DSO wise was dead bang in the center of the EP... But as time went on it managed to snatch epic defeat from the jaws of victory. Possibly due to the moon but not sure.

Expanded...

On the AVX using the Tak TOA-120 and 17mm Ethos EP started testing at 8:00 pm PDT.

I went through the auto align and it took about 3 minutes to complete alignment. I then asked it to go to Mizar. It was WAY off (this was before I found a goof on my part with the time/date). So I figured I needed to calibrate the camera to the OTA and went through that process. Once I had it updated I followed directions on power down/power up and realign. It realigned fine. Go to Named Star's and pick Mizar again. Bloody Dead Bang Spot On middle of the EP.

Start the Sky Tour. Get frustrated with the Sky Tour. RTFM. Hate the Sky Tour. On the old handset I could scroll through the various objects and pick what *I* wanted. Now I have to slew to *EACH* target it pulls up before I can move on to the next one that *IT* picks. *THAT* is one "feature" I think they should have skipped. Resigned to it I went to a couple of double star's that came up and each one was BANG! right in the center of the EP. Much awesomeness here. As in:



level of awesomeness.

Switch over to DSO, pick Messier, slew to M13. Bang! Right in the EP!

Decide to do a "real" test and go to planets. Pick moon. Screeee! Boom! Crash! No where near the EP! Push the "Help" key and get told that there might be a problem with the time/date and asked if I want to reset it. So I go there and find... At first go I had goofed up the time settings forgetting to add in the offset causing it to set the time wrong by a fairly large margin both date and time wise where the day was actually one day forward and the time was off by 8 hours forward so at 8:00 pm PDT on 9/18/13 it read as being 4:00 am on 9/19/13.

Whoops! Boy is my face red! Fix that problem but by now the moon is at about 50+* above the horizon. Reset the mount and go to align. No banana. Align fail. Try again. No banana. Align fail. Try again. Same thing. Try a manual align figuring it's the moon since on the initial alignment that worked it would see between 30-70 stars (I am in a white zone) and the auto align was seeing 100+ stars and failing. No luck. Try a manual align again. Sometimes get a reasonable number of stars most times get that 100+ number and fail. Repeat again.

Do a factory reset and try an auto align. Fail. Try a manual align (note I am powering down the mount and returning to Index Marks each time) three times and Fail with the same 100+ star problem even when I am making sure the scope is as far from the direct line of the moon as possible. Decide to call it a night. Find the menu option (it's changed) to return the scope to home position. Instead of going to the Index Marks like it should it is pointing down and to the right at my neighbor's tree... Pack up and call it a night.

Important to note: Even with my Whoopsie (Term of Art used by US Dept. State) the bloody thing worked brilliantly when it worked. But I am concerned that with the near full moon it failed even with manual align and would like to know if it really is the moon or something else. I will test again tonight.

PS: Not a power problem on my end. Brand new fully charged 20 AH deep cycle battery.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: dr.who]
      #6089961 - 09/19/13 01:16 PM

Could someone, when they get a chance, try to do a solar system align during the day and see what happens?

Boot as normal, when SS asks for input, scroll through align options until you get to solar system. Choose the moon or a planet. Press enter. Does it slew to where it thinks the target is or not? Try it with your old hand controller next. Does it work?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: << 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | >> (show all)


Extra information
16 registered and 30 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 58480

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics