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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Ain Soph Aur
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/11/11

Loc: West Tennessee
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6111493 - 10/01/13 04:06 PM

Quote:

I was basing my assumption




Oscar Wilde had something to say about that....



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oo_void
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/13/09

Loc: San Francisco, CA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6111506 - 10/01/13 04:15 PM

@neilson ... The problem your trying to pin this on are almost definitely software based. If I were building something like this, I'd rely heavily on automation for testing, with only final QA being done with real hardware due to the length of the feedback loop. When you have so many mounts to support, along with so many variations of MC firmware, things are bound to slip through the cracks. That's the nature of software development. The advantage of an embedded device like SS is that once an issue is found and can be reproduced, a subsequent RCA can be performed and fix can be developed.

Now one last time, enough with the trolling. You don't own a SS and obviously never plan on purchasing one, so what value are you adding to this discussion?


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: oo_void]
      #6111610 - 10/01/13 05:23 PM

Apparently your only purpose is to troll me. I have been wanting to get a Starsense since they announced this back in January. The only reason I don't have one is because of all these delays. I have one on back order and it would take a lot more than these problems to stop me from buying one. When I get mine I am expecting it to be as accurate as when I do a 2+4. And I expect to be able to walk away from it while its doing its thing. Although after all these posts of the thing running away, it's going to be a long time before I will be able to trust it. My equipment is not cheap and I don't like having to worry about it. This should have been taking care of before any of the public saw one.
Just because you got your SS already doesn't give you exclusive rights to talk about it. I have concerns while I am waiting for mine as I bet a large amount of people do after reading of all the problems being posted.

Neilson


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6111619 - 10/01/13 05:29 PM

It takes only one post to express concern. More than 45 posts in one thread are a symptom of something else.

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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6111667 - 10/01/13 06:10 PM

Neilson, take a breath, relax, go have a cup of coffey while your SS aligns to perfect unflawed alignment LOL.....
We get it and have gotten it, your an unhappy man, and have repeated a few times your displeasure... take a chill pill and let things work out,
Kasey


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6111701 - 10/01/13 06:32 PM

Yea I guess I have complained more than I realized.
I'll give it a break.

Neilson


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6112513 - 10/02/13 06:14 AM

Neilson

I'm on your side.
It's disappointing to see the SS give many users a variety of headaches after release was delayed for many, many months.

I will buy one for my cge pro .....next year when the bugs are sorted.
This thread is a wonderful source of info.

Btw...i do get great results on gotos with the 2+4 .....but always use precise goto to put object in center of my Mallincam at f/l 1250mm.


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6112774 - 10/02/13 10:08 AM

Rod,

I don't think my dome moves that fast. I watched the unit in and it does not take long to move to new sampling positions.

As far as a BETA tester, I will leave that to someone else. I did that with my observatory.

Jack Huerkamp


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Stew57]
      #6112779 - 10/02/13 10:10 AM

Mark,

Thanks. I will wait to get a StarSense until the bugs are worked out of the software.

Jack


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Jim Meadows
member


Reged: 09/12/13

Loc: MS
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dr.who]
      #6114108 - 10/02/13 09:32 PM

Dr.Who,

I have resolved my problem! It had nothing to do with the moon brightness. It was due to my camera center values getting too far off. I have updated to the latest beta and it still was failing and decided to try a new calibrate. Here is what I did that may solve your problem.

I had updated to the latest beta and tried auto align and it failed again just like before. I was curious and checked the camera center values and noticed they were +9218, -1085 and so decided to re-calibrate the camera center. Even though it did not have a successful align, I selected Vega and initiated a slew and where it stopped was of course no where near Vega (since the alignment had failed), but now I had Vega as the last star selected. I then used the menu button to select the camera and the calibrate function. It prompted me to center Vega, which I did using the control buttons to center Vega in the eyepiece (I had to slew it almost 180 degrees around and about 20 degrees higher in order to center Vega), pressed Enter and then it prompted me to do the fine centering, which I did and pressed Align. It then proceeded to acquire an image, solve the plate and recalculate the center, which it now set to +632, +561. I saved it and powered off when prompted. I powered back on, set the SE mount to the index marks and selected auto align and let it do it's thing. It did three plate solves using 64, 75 and 100 stars and completed a successful auto align for the first time in awhile!! I selected Vega and it put it in the center of the EP! I selected M13, and it put it in the center of the EP!!

So I believe my " alignment failure, alignment not good enough for pointing the telescope " was due to the center calibration values being way off. Once I successfully calibrated the center, it is now working well just like it did the first three nights! I believe what may have occurred is when I moved it to my C8 on the CG-5 mount, it worked OK the first time but objects were not very well centered. I performed a new calibration for the center, and I believe this must have been what caused some values to be saved that then affected its ability to auto align. I didn't think I could calibrate the camera until it had a successful auto align or else I would have probably tried this sooner. I knew it wouldn't point to what I selected since it did not have an alignment, but decided to go through the process anyway tonight and just slew it manually to the star. Then I was pleased to see it acquiring, sensing and plate solving and matching up Vega just fine...and now Auto Align works again!

I am now going to try this again with my C8 on my CG-5 and perform another camera calibration and see if works on my GEM as well. I'll post my results later on this test as well.

I recommend if someone has alignment failures to try recalibrating the camera center and see if it resolves their problem.

I'm back in business!!

Jim


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will1384
member


Reged: 02/22/13

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Jim Meadows]
      #6114447 - 10/03/13 01:12 AM

It looks like I will be getting a StarSense, I ordered last May, I will try it with the "Cheap eBay Serial to Bluetooth converter" I found out about it here:

Inexpensive BT serial adapter for Sky Safari

and

CHEAP… Bluetooth Wireless Interface for Meade LX-80 Mount

I have been needing something like the StarSense, as my yard is full of trees, there are a few good spots of sky, but only one spot of sky that shows Polaris, and it's not a good view of the sky, I hope that I can bypass the need for Polaris with use StarSense, so that I can use the few good spots of sky I have.


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Jim Meadows
member


Reged: 09/12/13

Loc: MS
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #6115092 - 10/03/13 12:45 PM

Quote:



I will wait to get a StarSense until the bugs are worked out of the software.






Hi Jack,

That's probably a good idea. I can use my Mallincams on my SE mount with StarSense OK, but my CG-5 is not working with my StarSense yet. Being a GEM, my CG-5 does a lot better at pointing, tracking, etc and is what I use my X2 on the most. The StarSense is really nice to use on my SE Alt-Az mount, and I do look forward to using the StarSense on my CG-5 with my X2/SSI Mallicams on my C8 when the SS kinks are all worked out.

Jim


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dr.who
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: will1384]
      #6115152 - 10/03/13 01:10 PM

Hi Jim,

I am over on TeamCelestron as well and have been working with Derik on this. I was just about to post my most recent results when I saw your post. I suffered the same problem.

To all-

My "moon brightness" problem turned out not to be the cause. It turned out to be the same problem Jim mentioned in his post. My SS worked like a champ right up until I did a Calibration. From that point forward it didn't function and my hypothesis was it was due to the moon. I should remember that correlation does not equal causation.

As it turns out it looks like it was a fault in the code for calibration causing values to be outside of spec. This also seems to be a special problem on EQ mounts. This problem is presently not addressed by a "factory reset" of the HC or the SSA camera. In my case when I went to Menu -> StarSense Camera -> Calibrate I got +5710 +8863. WAY off. Should be below +/- 1000. If your numbers are similarly high the solution below may be for you. It also works with alt/az mounts but with alt/az I believe it was mentioned that you have more flexibility in choice of stars if you so choose.

What fixed my problem and may fix problems for others is to follow the directions on www.teamcelestron.com regarding upgrade to the latest firmware for the camera and HC (they are different rev's at time of this writing so you will upgrade the HC twice and the camera once and must use the special software provided).

Once you have completed the upgrade you will do a quick align followed by a move to a named star close to the celestial equator at the meridian.

If you are in CONUS (continental United States) then two good star choices are Altair and Rasalhauge as they are bright enough to be seen from even white LP skies although Rasalhauge is a bit faint. I mention Rasalhauge because depending on the time Altair may not be in the Named Stars list due to it's being close to zenith and the HC has slew limits set for EQ mounts that are there to prevent a possible OTA Mount Impact Event.

The mount will be off from where the star actually is. Do a calibration. Follow the directions on the HC and move the mount so you can see the star in the center of the EP. Complete the calibration. Go back and check the numbers via the steps above. If they are below +/- 1000 you may have fixed the problem so test it. If they are still above that value I believe the instructions were to repeat iterative quick aligns and calibrations until they were below that number.

I am planning to retest the calibration step this weekend to see if the error repeats itself. If it does then I will repeat the steps above to see if it fixes the problem. If it doesn't reoccur then I would suspect the issue is resolved.

From my reading on the web site I believe the update addresses other issues people were having so an update is a good idea. BUT FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!

As an aside the other "discovery" I made is that Tracking settings are not carried over when you shut off the power and default to Tracking = None on the AVX. So if you want tracking you have to turn it on. Also if you set it for RA & DEC and do the Quick Align you will get a wild slew. Per TeamC don't turn on RA & DEC tracking and the problem is fixed. The direction buttons on the HC will stop the slew if it happens in that case by the way.

I did three tests of Auto Align last night before the clouds rolled in. In the last test I got 13 stars, 34 stars, 19 stars, 10 stars and a repeat exposure of the 10 stars to bring the number to 14 and got a Align Success so based on that it looks like the threshold on visible stars is some number less than 13 but for sure not below 10. And that was done through cloud cover haze so I have to restate that this is a pretty darn brilliant bit of engineering!


And the folks at Celestron were absolutely Top Flight! Derik in particular! Unlike that other company who came out with that other mount then all but abandoned everyone with it who was having problems.

Edited by dr.who (10/03/13 01:23 PM)


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dve1
journeyman


Reged: 03/22/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: will1384]
      #6115472 - 10/03/13 03:47 PM

I am told that my StarSense is shipping from OPT today. In case anyone is interested, I just ordered it earlier this week so the waiting list at OPT is pretty short!

I have the same problem as will1384 when it comes to view of Polaris, so I've been studying the StartSense manual to understand how the Polar Align feature works. I know it's optional but I plan to do astrophotography so I am looking for extremely accurate polar alignment.

The manual is rather confusing to me. It says to pick a named star, slew to the star, and optionally add a Cal Star. But then it just says "Adjust the mount by physically moving the alt-az adjustments." Here's my question: what am I supposed to achieve with the manual adjustment? am I moving the alt-az until the star is centered in the eyepiece? or Does the "adjustment error" on the display tell me how far to move the alt and az?? I'm lost.

Thanks and sorry if this has already been covered on this monster thread.


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dve1]
      #6115517 - 10/03/13 04:01 PM

When you choose polar align the SSA will move the mount to a position that the star chosen should be centered. You move the alt/az knobs to physically move the mount to center the star. I think the ASPA is still broken with the SSA but I have not tested it with the new update. Anyone try it out with the firmware update?

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Jim Meadows
member


Reged: 09/12/13

Loc: MS
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: dr.who]
      #6115765 - 10/03/13 05:49 PM

Quote:

And the folks at Celestron were absolutely Top Flight! Derik in particular!




I agree!

Jim


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dr.who
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Jim Meadows]
      #6115884 - 10/03/13 06:58 PM

Dve1-

Pardon the potentially obvious question but... Do you have a EQ mount? You wouldn't polar align if you didn't have one. I ask because you talk about Alt/Az and don't mention what you are using the SSA on.

If you do have one you are going to make adjustments using the Latitude adjustment knob on the rear of the mount and the two Azimuth adjustment knobs on the sides of the mount. You will have to loosen the Latitude adjustment tension nut on the front of the mount to move the Latitude adjustment knob then tighten it when you are done making adjustments.

To adjust in the RA (Right Ascension) you will use the Azimuth knobs and in Dec using the Latitude knob. RA is left and right and Dec is up and down.

The HC will have you go to a known named star (if you don't do Stars -> Named Stars -> pick a star you know from the list have the mount move to it then start the polar align then it will usually pick one for you and it may not be one you want to use). It will then have you center that star in the eyepiece.

After that it will move the mount head away from the star to a point where the OTA is looking at where the star would be if you were very well polar aligned. This is usually some distance away from the star since you are not well polar aligned. You use the Latitude and Azimuth knobs to recenter that star in the EP again. That gets you polar aligned.

After that for precise polar alignment you should think about drift aligning which is a whole other discussion.


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dve1
journeyman


Reged: 03/22/12

Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: dr.who]
      #6116083 - 10/03/13 09:12 PM

Hello dr. who
Good question ... as soon as posted I realized that I didn't mention what mount I am using. Yes, I am using a CGEM equatorial mount. Thanks very much for your reply and thanks also to Stew57. I mentioned Alt/Az just because that's the terminology in the SS manual. Thanks again ... I think I can figure it out from here!


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dr.who
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/12

Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: dve1]
      #6116175 - 10/03/13 09:59 PM

Cheers dve1. Good luck!

To the group-

Anyone get this to work with SkyQ and if so how? Would be nice to use this wirelessly with sky safari... Or is there an alternative to SkyQ that will work with Sky Safari?


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: dr.who]
      #6116208 - 10/03/13 10:20 PM

Firmware update does solve a lot of problems. he alignment goes off with no problem. The goto accuracy is less than the 2+4. If I add calibration points it is close to the same but still a little less. Doing a calibration point where the desired object is, will land the object pretty well. This was landing objects off center but on the mallincam chip at 1390mm FL (12x16 arcmin FOV). I can not get ASPA to work. It puts me off at least a 5 degrees in alt and a couple in az or more off. If anyone has ASPA working let me know. The CN16 no
longer locks the SSA up but it displays the wrong time so it is disconnected. The database seems correct now, I don't know if that is the firmware or something I did differently in setup.


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