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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Ed Fortier
sage
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6559270 - 06/02/14 02:48 PM

That's good to know, Chris. So many things you'd like to know are buried in the manual -- or not there at all.

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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6559314 - 06/02/14 03:13 PM

Quote:

That's good to know, Chris. So many things you'd like to know are buried in the manual -- or not there at all.




Hi Ed.

The Celestron Firmware/Software engineer who runs Team Celestron has recently said that an update of the SSA manual to reflect user suggestions and firmware changes they have made to the product is getting near the top of their todo lists. The initial release of the manual, like the product itself, left rather a lot to the imagination of the user!

Cheers,
Chris M


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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6559339 - 06/02/14 03:26 PM

Quote:

That's good to know, Chris. So many things you'd like to know are buried in the manual -- or not there at all.




Hi Ed. If you have GPS on your mount and the GPS is still obtaining a fix then the letter G next to the time in the SSA HC will be flashing on and off. Once the GPS has a fix the G stops flashing.

I really enjoy using my GPS accessory with the SSA as it means the aligns are then totally automatic, except when it comes to change of the daylight saving time on/off setting twice a year, as that still needs to be set manually, as would a change of time zone in relation to UTC.

Cheers,
Chris M


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Ed Fortier
sage
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6559380 - 06/02/14 03:42 PM

Alas, no GPS on my 8SE. I must have one of the earliest Starsense units, which arrived last October. I didn't get around to trying it out until last night. Having read about all the issues surrounding it, I wondered just how well it would work. It seemed to operate as advertised, though I never got an object in the field of view of any eyepiece. They looked like they should be there judging by the orientation of the telescope, so they were close. I thought updating the the software might help, but as you know that's a story still in progress. The night might have gone better if I had a finder scope in place.

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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6559464 - 06/02/14 04:23 PM

Quote:

Alas, no GPS on my 8SE. I must have one of the earliest Starsense units, which arrived last October. I didn't get around to trying it out until last night. Having read about all the issues surrounding it, I wondered just how well it would work. It seemed to operate as advertised, though I never got an object in the field of view of any eyepiece. They looked like they should be there judging by the orientation of the telescope, so they were close. I thought updating the the software might help, but as you know that's a story still in progress. The night might have gone better if I had a finder scope in place.




Hi Ed. On first use you will also need to calibrate the SSA camera centre to OTA alignment, which involves doing an initial auto align, then doing a camera centre to OTA calibration (for which you will probably need a finder) to align on a star through an EP just like an old fashioned align, and then after the camera calibration doing another auto align which will be the accurate one that gets objects well inside your eyepiece fields of view, if you have all of location, date, time, time zone in realtion to UTC, and daylight saving yes/no set correctly.


That camera calibration is a one off process, at least until you change the orientation of the SSA in relation to the OTA, and after it auto aligns should give fairly accurate gotos on deep sky objects, at least with the latest beta firmware. Gotos to planets are poor still but they have an improvement of that on their todo list.

The manual describes how to do the camera centre calibrate, although not perhaps very clearly, and I should add that you do it using a star (any brightish star you choose) that you have just done a goto to after the initial align, before doing the calibrate. You access the camera calibrate through the SSA Camera menu in the HC, NOT through the Align menu.

Cheers,
Chris M


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Ed Fortier
sage
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6559639 - 06/02/14 05:50 PM

I did follow all the instructions, Chris, though I didn't add any calibration references. I think with a software upgrade and a defter touch going through all the steps, it should work fine. Right now I'm happy that I didn't experience any major glitches.

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bdjeep
sage


Reged: 01/29/07

Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6564686 - 06/05/14 10:07 AM

I finally got out to test my SSA with the new CG5 cable that Celestron sent me. I updated to the latest beta firmware from teamcelestron prior to my test. My viewing site is blocked by buildings and trees to the northeast and northwest but with a good view of the zenith and and south/southwestern skies. After the initial setup for location and time, the alignment went pretty quick. It picked a number of spots where there was no clear view of the sky but after a couple of minutes found enough clear sky for a proper alignment. Nothing was in the middle of a medium power eyepiece until I did a calibration and re-alignment. After that, it was spot on for most deep sky objects I tried. I found the calibration routine a bit confusing, but I eventually figured it out. The onscreen instructions weren't quite clear on how to select a different star. Despite all of the problems with the release (some still ongoing), I fairly pleased with the SSA now. It will save me a bit of precious observing time and I'm sure I will like it even more in the winter when I'd rather not waste time outside on cold nights doing alignments.

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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: bdjeep]
      #6565000 - 06/05/14 01:01 PM

It will be nice when Celestron releases an updated manual for the SSA.

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Ed Fortier
sage
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Sorny]
      #6567234 - 06/06/14 02:48 PM

Well, my Keyspan adapter arrived quickly and my update worked fine . . . until the last step. After successfully downloading five "packages," the final step failed with the response, "File copied to SSA camera failed to verify. No update performed." The camera was of course connected to the AUX port as well as to the computer with a mini USB, so that shouldn't be the problem. Anyone have any thoughts as to what went wrong? Im updating on an iMac OSX version 10.9.3.

Edited by Ed Fortier (06/06/14 02:55 PM)


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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6567313 - 06/06/14 03:35 PM

Quote:

Well, my Keyspan adapter arrived quickly and my update worked fine . . . until the last step. After successfully downloading five "packages," the final step failed with the response, "File copied to SSA camera failed to verify. No update performed." The camera was of course connected to the AUX port as well as to the computer with a mini USB, so that shouldn't be the problem. Anyone have any thoughts as to what went wrong? Im updating on an iMac OSX version 10.9.3.




Hi Ed. Did you also have the ssa camera connected to the computer with a micro USB cable as per the connection diagram that is in the firmware package? So the Camera should have TWO cables coming from it during firmware updates. Not having that 2nd (usb) connection with the computer catches out a lot of people at first.

Cheers.
Chris M


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Ed Fortier
sage
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6567321 - 06/06/14 03:43 PM

Hi, Chris, yes I did. I'm quite sure all the connections are as they should be. That's what's so frustrating after straightening out the serial port problem. Unless I'm missing something equally obvious. . .

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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6567352 - 06/06/14 04:09 PM

Quote:

Well, my Keyspan adapter arrived quickly and my update worked fine . . . until the last step. After successfully downloading five "packages," the final step failed with the response, "File copied to SSA camera failed to verify. No update performed." The camera was of course connected to the AUX port as well as to the computer with a mini USB, so that shouldn't be the problem. Anyone have any thoughts as to what went wrong? Im updating on an iMac OSX version 10.9.3.




I have/had the same issue. What worked for me was using the Jan. firmware to update the camera (camera firmware has not been changed since then). After that, I re-applied the latest firmware.


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Ed Fortier
sage
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Sorny]
      #6567369 - 06/06/14 04:18 PM

Sorry to be so behind the digital curve, but could you tell me where to find the firmware update you just mentioned? I didn't see anything like it on the Celestron support downloads page. Thanks. . .

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Ed Fortier
sage
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6567595 - 06/06/14 06:23 PM

I tried the update several more times and it seems to have worked the last time. I'm quitting while I'm ahead. Thanks Chris and Sorny for your help.

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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6568145 - 06/07/14 01:59 AM

Quote:

I tried the update several more times and it seems to have worked the last time. I'm quitting while I'm ahead. Thanks Chris and Sorny for your help.




Hi Ed,

You can get the very latest beta SSA firmware by joining up at the Team Celestron website as a public beta tester. As well as getting access to latest beta firmware you also get direct access to talk to a Celestron firmware engineer about any problems you might be having. I'd highly recommend it.

The latest beta firmware for the SSA is Hand Control 01.11.14142, SSA Camera 01.2.13343. The camera hasn't been updated recently, whereas the hand control firmware has, with a new beta release available a couple of weeks ago.

Glad to hear the update eventually worked for you.

Regards,
Chris M


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Ed Fortier
sage
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6568331 - 06/07/14 08:41 AM

Hi, Chris --

To be honest, I'm much too casual an observer to be of much use as a beta tester. My updated hand control version is the January one -- 01.10.14008. One thing I noticed is that where the original version allowed me to input latitude and longitude, this version only allows for the nearest city. At least I haven't found where I can do this, and I've been through the menu several times. Of course, I have a habit of overlooking the obvious.


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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6568972 - 06/07/14 02:35 PM

Hi Ed.

To get the hand control in latitude/longitude entry mode, when you are in the city list press the option button on the hand control, that's the button with the Celestron logo on it.

Beta firmware will eventually work its way through to being released publicly like the January release you now have.

Cheers,
Chris M

Quote:

Hi, Chris --

To be honest, I'm much too casual an observer to be of much use as a beta tester. My updated hand control version is the January one -- 01.10.14008. One thing I noticed is that where the original version allowed me to input latitude and longitude, this version only allows for the nearest city. At least I haven't found where I can do this, and I've been through the menu several times. Of course, I have a habit of overlooking the obvious.




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Ed Fortier
sage
*****

Reged: 07/14/05

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6569036 - 06/07/14 03:16 PM

Done. Thanks, Chris. You and Sorny have been very helpful!

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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Ed Fortier]
      #6569083 - 06/07/14 03:40 PM

Quote:

Done. Thanks, Chris. You and Sorny have been very helpful!






I get little observing time, but wanted to get the best advice on issues, so I joined at TeamCelestron. Sure, I help beta testing software, but more importantly I get to pick the brain of a firmware engineer when I've got questions.


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Lancem
super member


Reged: 03/17/11

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Sorny]
      #6579909 - 06/13/14 07:09 AM

I am considering purchasing the Starsense Accessory. I use a CPC 1100 in alt-az. I have read portions of this thread and am aware of the problems people have been having with mount compatibility etc. If I purchase one now should I expect to have issues with my scope?

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