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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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hrgreen
member


Reged: 02/02/13

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: hrgreen]
      #6108609 - 09/30/13 02:20 AM

With a clear night, I was able to fix my StarSense on CGEM by doing a "calibrate center" on a star (Altair) near the celestial equator, as suggested by Team Celestron. That makes at least two of us with the same problem and solution.

As I said above, my camera centering numbers were way out of bounds. The "reset AIS camera" function doesn't have any effect on these numbers. When I called up Altair, my scope went to a ten degree or so nose down position, about 80 degrees off. All I needed to do was repoint the scope and finish the calibrate. I got a "solved" message and the camera centering numbers dropped to values well less than 1000, about 10% of what they had been. Then I cycled power and succeeded with Auto Align. All targets I tried were within a medium power FOV on my 925, and I am satisfied now with the Auto mode.

If you have a SS that worked initially but quit along the way, check your camera centering numbers.

I think the "calibrate center" function is hazardous as is, since it can screw up the camera. At least we can sidestep it since the symptoms are known, until the big C has a fixative upgrade.

Hal

Edited by hrgreen (09/30/13 03:23 AM)


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scopenitout
member


Reged: 08/24/13

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: hrgreen]
      #6109105 - 09/30/13 11:39 AM

Excellent detective work, Hal. Thank you for posting it.

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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: scopenitout]
      #6109157 - 09/30/13 12:03 PM

They are working hard at Celestron to fix the broken SS. If you are having trouble consider joining and post you problems.

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king1522
sage


Reged: 04/25/08

Loc: Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Jim Meadows]
      #6109750 - 09/30/13 06:20 PM

I know I've seen this posted before, but can't locate it. My question is in regard to using StarSense with my Mallincam. If I remember correctly the camera on the Mallincam is about equal to a 8mm eyepiece. My question is will the StarSense place the target close enough to be seen with my Mallincam?

Don


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: king1522]
      #6110749 - 10/01/13 08:44 AM

Quote:

I know I've seen this posted before, but can't locate it. My question is in regard to using StarSense with my Mallincam. If I remember correctly the camera on the Mallincam is about equal to a 8mm eyepiece. My question is will the StarSense place the target close enough to be seen with my Mallincam?

Don




With A telescope of what focal length? "8mm" doesn't mean pea-turkey without that.

If the SkySense can do as well as the normal hand control, though, the answer is "yes." My Celestron NexStar scopes/mounts will all easily put anything I request in the field of my Xtreme with the C8 or C11 at about f/4.


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6110762 - 10/01/13 08:54 AM

I am using a mallincam on a at6rc with no reducer (1390mm FL). The starsense can place an object in the middle of the FOV when it works. You can also add a calibration after slewing to an object similar to high precision.

At the moment (Celestron is working on new firmware) the pointing accuracy is about the same as a good 2+4 in my case (+- 2 arc minutes). Problem is it fouls up the ASPA for some reason (a problem being addressed by Celestron).

Either beta testing was very limited or Celestron changed something between beta testing and release of this product. Celestron has scrambled to release new firmware for beta testing and the early results of the testing look promising.


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6110869 - 10/01/13 09:55 AM

Rod,

Last night I got the chance to see a StarSense in operation at ECVAR. Michael Carnes has one on his CG5 with 6" MallinCam VRC and mallinCam Xtreme. After the initial alignment routine, the mount hit every target in the west, north and east. When we went to NGC253 in the southeast, the mount missed the target. We went to Diphda and did another sampling. Once completer, we went back to NGC 253 and it fell on the MallinCam's sensor - not centered but close enough to then tweak the centering.

Jack Huerkamp

PS I am thinking about getting a StarSense for the CGE PRO in the ExploraDome II but I was wondering if the StarSense will work in a dome. Does anyone have experience with this?


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #6110982 - 10/01/13 11:04 AM

removed

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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: munchmeister]
      #6111031 - 10/01/13 11:35 AM

Quote:

Here is my first light report: after a couple weeks of record breaking rain here in Northern Colorado, we are starting to dry out and last night, 9/20, I had clear skies with a waning Gibbous, 99%, but that was obscured, for the most part, by trees. But my reaction: FANTASTIC !! I just plunked down my 8SE in the driveway, no leveling (though it is pretty level) and started the initial procedure, then the centering procedure, turned it off as instructed, and did the initial procedure again, which is really no procedure at all. Turn it on and follow the simple instructions on the hand control. I did not copy down all the information displayed by the readout but found it interesting to watch the display as it moved through acquiring image, solving, etc. and providing a readout of the results. I also did not time it but it could not have been more than the 3 minutes reported by others for it to do its thing. Alignment successful ! Let's get to stargazing !! The first test: Arcturus, since I, a true amateur, don't know many star names, especially when in a red/ orange zone with a full moon out. The only things I could see were very bright stars, yet the SS reported solving 100 stars per capture.

Back to the test. Arcturus. Bang on !! OK, I am cautiously starting to feel good. Popped around to several double stars, though most could not be resolved in my Celestron 40mm eyepiece or my Orion 20mm centeriing eyepiece, which I had used for the centering procedure. So we tried M2. Bang on. M15. Bang on. Let's try the Ring Nebula. Badda bing, badda boom. There it is. I had not seen that in a long time. We tried some other DSOs but realized we couldn't see them as the moon was rising and, of course, my scope was dewing up pretty bad (remember all that rain !!). So we called it a night pretty early. But if I can do this repeatedly, it is some of the best astro money I've ever spent.

As I said, I am an eternal amateur. I have wanted to view things like the Ring and show it to family and friends, and at outreach events, for a long, long time. I get frustrated with too much fussing and fighting to get where I want to be. Others like the search process, the pouring over star charts, the star hopping. I simply want to see the darned things. I certainly do not begrudge the dedicated. Admiration is much more descriptive. You guys ROCK. But at my age, with grandchildren growing up, I want to be able to show them the stars. I want to be able to go to the astronomy club events and feel like more than dead weight at the end of Dobsonian row. I think this Starsense accessory might get me there and I'm happy to spend the money on the device if it gets me to that goal. Just my $.02.

Oh and my brother hooked his netbook into the mix and that worked well too. No issues. Go to with the netbook, go to with the hand control. Seemed to work just fine. I think this is just astonishing technology. A small device that mounts on my OTA so easily, with a hand control that guides me through a quick and easy setup and gives these results: priceless !

Sorry to hear others' experiences are not as positive, but I am a happy camper/ backyard astronomer.

Hope this is helpful to some. ;-)




Bang on target again, on Friday, 9/27. This time I got to show my daughter some of the gems of the night sky including Andromeda galaxy, M2, M15, the Ring Nebula and several doubles. We tried the "Identify" feature as she asked me about a bright star. Slew to it, pow, identified. (It was Vega). Also used the information button to read about the objects found. Had a wonderful time with my daughter. Now all my other kids want their own star party. Starsense... $329. Time with my kids, showing them the night sky... priceless.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #6111100 - 10/01/13 12:14 PM

Quote:

Rod,

Last night I got the chance to see a StarSense in operation at ECVAR. Michael Carnes has one on his CG5 with 6" MallinCam VRC and mallinCam Xtreme. After the initial alignment routine, the mount hit every target in the west, north and east. When we went to NGC253 in the southeast, the mount missed the target. We went to Diphda and did another sampling. Once completer, we went back to NGC 253 and it fell on the MallinCam's sensor - not centered but close enough to then tweak the centering.

Jack Huerkamp

PS I am thinking about getting a StarSense for the CGE PRO in the ExploraDome II but I was wondering if the StarSense will work in a dome. Does anyone have experience with this?




Hi Jack:

I would think it would work in a dome, but you'll have to be quick to move the slit where the camera is pointing.

I intend to get one as well, but am not playing the early adopter game this time.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6111102 - 10/01/13 12:15 PM

Quote:

Hi
It looks to me like someone decided to change out some component with one of cheaper costs. All that beta testing was a waste of time. I wouldn't doubt the reason for all the delays was because they kept finding ways to make it cheaper. Now they are having to tweak the software so the people who got the units with the cheaper parts can use it. The people who got the good units are probably getting really super results with the newer software.

Neilson




Do you know this? Have you got information to this effect from someone or is this just a "feeling"?


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #6111120 - 10/01/13 12:23 PM

There are problems currently using the SS and the CGE Pro. I would wait for the new firmware to pass through beta testing. Eventually they will get it sorted but there have been a report or two of mount damage from a wild slew with the original firmware.

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oo_void
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/13/09

Loc: San Francisco, CA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6111189 - 10/01/13 01:03 PM

Quote:

Hi
It looks to me like someone decided to change out some component with one of cheaper costs. All that beta testing was a waste of time. I wouldn't doubt the reason for all the delays was because they kept finding ways to make it cheaper. Now they are having to tweak the software so the people who got the units with the cheaper parts can use it. The people who got the good units are probably getting really super results with the newer software.




This is getting really old Neilson, it's an Aptina MT9M034 CMOS along with an embedded Linux board. What could they have switched out? It's a software based device and most of the problems that I've seen posted have been related to legacy systems, the bane of any software developer.

Edited by oo_void (10/01/13 01:05 PM)


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: oo_void]
      #6111223 - 10/01/13 01:28 PM

I'm just concerned about all the problems that only some of the units have.

Neilson

Edited by neilson (10/02/13 04:01 PM)


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6111268 - 10/01/13 01:52 PM

The majority of problems seem to be software related. There is one that appears there may be a hardware fault (yet to be determined). The rest indicate user error. It is a bit different from what users are used to so there will some of that. It appears that Celestron has big plans for the SS, it takes time.

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oo_void
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/13/09

Loc: San Francisco, CA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6111273 - 10/01/13 01:54 PM

Can you show me these reports of damaged mounts, no just hearsay from a couple of posts up? Additionally, you should ask yourself what value you're providing to this discussion asides from trolling? Do you even own a StarSense?

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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: oo_void]
      #6111324 - 10/01/13 02:12 PM

Well one thread on teamcelestron looks like the CGE Pro owner is wanting some compensation for a severed cable from a wild slew that ended with an impact and pinched/severed cable. The other post says there was some type of impact but no damage.

Before firmware update I did have an instances where the mount tried to slew under instead of over, a couple of times where it pointed below the horizon. There was a single incident where the mount would not stop slewing in DEC unless I hit the opposite direction button. If I started a slew in that direction it would not stop again. A power cycle solved the problem and it has not occurred again. If one was inattentive I could see there could have been problems. Many that reported good results are reporting problems with subsequent uses.

So the short answer is it was not ready for release despite the previous beta testing and delays, but Celestron has mustered it's forces to fix this asap. If one is upset they can return their unit.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: oo_void]
      #6111391 - 10/01/13 02:58 PM

My point is that if their swapping out a component with a different one that might spec out differently and require software to compensate. Then if they send them out with the other ones then use us as guinea pigs to do the beta testing for them. If they are making a component change then they should get more beta testers. Not just send them out so we can beta test them while they try and figure out firmware changes.

Whether they are changing components or not when they had some of these not working they should have had them returned right away and given new ones that do work correctly. Then they should have fixed those others in house and test them there before they sell them. How would you like it if you spent a bunch of money on a new tv and it didn't work and they say hold on to it until we get a new firmware to fix it. I doubt you would like that..

Now that I read Marks input about how even the ones that reported it worked good are having problems with subsequent uses. I now agree with him that it just wasn't ready for release yet. I no longer think some have different or inferior parts.
Neilson

Edited by neilson (10/01/13 03:06 PM)


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: neilson]
      #6111417 - 10/01/13 03:10 PM

TAKE IT BACK!

If I got a non-functioning TV that needed an unavailable firmware update it would be returned. I have seen no evidence of "swapping out a component". What do you base your assumption on?

I have some gripes with my SS, but needing a firmware update is not one of them.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: Stew57]
      #6111450 - 10/01/13 03:41 PM

I was basing my assumption on If you have 100 of a product that work perfectly and 20 of them have a number of major problems then something is different about those 20 units. Either there is a different part, or one of their components is not to the same specifications as the others or something is defective. Or Operator error or the unit is not being used in the same way as the others.
In my last post I saw that even the ones that are working good are having subsequent problems. That changes things. Apparently it needed more beta testing.
As stated in my last post I no longer believe there are different parts in those units.

Neilson


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