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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Lancem]
      #6580073 - 06/13/14 09:36 AM

I'd ask myself how difficult it is to align on two stars the old-fashioned way given this gadget's history.

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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Lancem]
      #6580326 - 06/13/14 12:12 PM

Quote:

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?




Alt-Az works like a champ on a CPC1100. My scope is aligned before I can see the stars. I run the latest beta firmware, not publicly available from the support site, but the stuff you can get from TeamCelestron.com as a beta tester. Celestron is throwing in the StarSense with new CPC purchases now. The bugs are mostly all-star polar alignment not working for EQ mounts, and a few typos and database quirks.

Just be aware that your already back-heavy CPC1100 is going to be EXTREMELY back-heavy with the SSA camera mounted to it.

I'm happy with the unit, though it has had a rough childhood thus far.


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Celestron StarSense and Evolution accessory. new [Re: Sorny]
      #6580360 - 06/13/14 12:28 PM

According to one of the Team Celestron engineers they are coming out with a Evolution EQ add-on (to replace SkyQ Link)
It works with the SSA (or by itself) and gives users the ability to not use a hand controller. Just fire it up
and then let SSA do the alignment and point on your tablet/phone (OIS and Android) at which object you want to see and off it goes. (See the Evolution demo videos)
This should be interesting to see develop.


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Lancem
super member


Reged: 03/17/11

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Sorny]
      #6580496 - 06/13/14 02:15 PM

Thanks Sorny. Good to know.

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Lancem]
      #6580643 - 06/13/14 03:35 PM

Thats cool if you want to control your telescope with a smart phone or tablet but I use my laptop.
I found this serial wireless bluetooth adapter you hook on your RJ11 to DB9 cable on the bottom of your handset. This way you can still use the HC if you want. This thing reaches around 300ft plus the price is much lower than the other wireless devices I've seen. It works on Ascom so I can use planetary software that uses Ascom. It even works with Phd2 guiding.
http://www.usconverters.com/controlling-telescope-PC-Bluetooth-ASCOM
Neilson


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6580650 - 06/13/14 03:43 PM

Quote:

Thats cool if you want to control your telescope with a smart phone or tablet but I use my laptop.
I found this serial wireless bluetooth adapter you hook on your RJ11 to DB9 cable on the bottom of your handset. This way you can still use the HC if you want. This thing reaches around 300ft plus the price is much lower than the other wireless devices I've seen. It works on Ascom so I can use planetary software that uses Ascom. It even works with Phd2 guiding. ww.usconverters.com/controlling-telescope-PC-Bluetooth-ASCOM

Neilson




Of course one can wirelessly control their telescope via a Laptop (or desktop) from SkySafari for MacOS. With this rig I control my Cameras (Canon, MallinCam, et. al.) and telescopes/mounts wirelessly from anywhere on my property, both inside and outside. It is not as important in the summer, but winter time it is nice to control things from inside the home. And yes control is simultaneous with the Mac AND the iPhone AND the iPad. Very easy rig and simple to do.

I will be curious since Sky Safari Pro in the next couple of months will support the evolution, if it will also include SkySafari Pro for the Mac.

And yes…who does own an Evolution?


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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6580779 - 06/13/14 05:05 PM

Quote:

I'd ask myself how difficult it is to align on two stars the old-fashioned way given this gadget's history.




Hi Uncle Rod. It might be time for you to see an SS in operation again, on the latest Beta firmware, as the units on that firmware are now working very well for visual observing. The significant outstanding items now left to be fixed/improved are ASPA, Improved planet gotos, and getting it working in Eq mode on wedge mounted alt-Az mounts.

For day to day visual observing though it now works really well on all the mounts they support it on, both Eq and Alt Az.

And for me with a not very young neck and back anymore alignments are much, and I mean MUCH, more comfortable, easier, and faster, and I think for this sometimes lazy astronomer also often more accurate than on my old Nexstar and Nexstar+ HCs.

You can now with the latest addition of saved user auto aligns have it auto align with up to 10 areas of sky right from the start, rather than the old method of 4 imaged areas plus up to six further areas having to be added manually. That up to 10 sky area images fully auto align on the SS with the latest beta firmware is way faster than a full Nexstar 4+2 in my experience.

The improvements to the SS in recent weeks have been very significant.

Yes it had an utterly botched launch, and I was as angry as anyone about that (as my early posts here show), but to me it is a fine product now for visual observing, and I think soon will be for imaging too.

Cheers,
Chris M


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6580855 - 06/13/14 05:51 PM

Neilson, Can you just click on an object and have the mount slew to the target? Just curious.
I just bought a 10" tablet with 18 hours of battery life
so I'm wanting to make this work in place of the hand controller.
I'm not doing any serious AP yet!
Here is a link for the Evolution mount and some of it's features. The video is done indoors.
Looks interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zIJUlnjWQ0


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6581111 - 06/13/14 08:41 PM

Hi Brokenwave,
I haven't tried any of those newer software or apps but I'm going to soon so I don't know exactly how they work. But I have tried several of my laptops planetarium software's that use Ascom and I can click on an object and it slewed my mount to that object.

I just looked at that Evolution telescope video and it looks like a cool device. I have written to both Meade and Celestron many times over the past few years complaining why don't they have GPS on all their telescopes as well as wireless controllers and wireless control from a laptop all built in. I also felt there should be a built in wifi usb ports that you could connect your camera and focuser to and connect to your laptop wirelessly. Meade has built in focus control on the LX200gps and mine even has a wireless HC, that Meade has since discontinued. I also wanted self align and self guiding all built in. All these technologies are not that expensive to implement. I am glad to see they are slowly starting to modernize telescope mounts. Of course they like to put a bit of a price tag since it's on telescopes. But hopefully the price tags of these modern electronic devices will become more reasonable as time goes by.

I am curious about the Evolution if it is it's own wifi network or if you can connect to your home network. I like to be able to go on line while I'm observing. I like the bluetooth wireless adapter because it is not wifi and does not take up my bandwidth. My Canon DSLR has built in wifi and my guide camera is connected to a wireless usb hub sharing station and both are on my home network, so I'm using alot of bandwidth as it is. Then I'm on line looking up objects and answering emails so the bluetooth device was really needed in my case.
I think no matter which wireless option you use you'll be happy because being free from cables is like going from Nexstar to Starsense. It just makes using your telescope more enjoyable.

Andrew,
I was going to get Sky Safari just now but I don't see a version for Windows8.1 bummer. My Sony laptop even has touchscreen.

Neilson

Edited by neilson (06/13/14 08:57 PM)


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6581232 - 06/13/14 10:11 PM

Neilson,
Thanks for the info.
I was told the SkyQ link can also be used from a laptop.
I will revisit your and others posts on all the various
ways to control a mount wirelessly and with Bluetooth.
I have the Sky X Pro that I won last year at OPT's SCAE,
event but it's still in the box.
Might be time to see what it can do for my CGEM.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6581306 - 06/13/14 11:12 PM

Brokenwave,
I'm not sure but I only saw the iphone or ipad listed for the SkyQ link. And you have to remove the HC to plug this in. Then you can't use your HC at all if you wanted. That might not matter to some. Except I don't see how it could work with Starsense. Maybe someone else knows more about it, I'm not sure myself.

Neilson


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6581714 - 06/14/14 09:46 AM

Quote:

Neilson,
Thanks for the info.
I was told the SkyQ link can also be used from a laptop.
I will revisit your and others posts on all the various
ways to control a mount wirelessly and with Bluetooth.
I have the Sky X Pro that I won last year at OPT's SCAE,
event but it's still in the box.
Might be time to see what it can do for my CGEM.




I can verify the SkyQ Link does not work in any shape, form, or fashion with the VX. It does allow scope control from a laptop via NexRemote with the CG5.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6581716 - 06/14/14 09:47 AM

Quote:

Brokenwave,
I'm not sure but I only saw the iphone or ipad listed for the SkyQ link. And you have to remove the HC to plug this in. Then you can't use your HC at all if you wanted. That might not matter to some. Except I don't see how it could work with Starsense. Maybe someone else knows more about it, I'm not sure myself.

Neilson




Nope. You CAN leave your HC plugged in, but I am not sure why you would want to...


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6582132 - 06/14/14 02:35 PM

Thank you for clearing that up for me. I was misinformed. Also the pics on their website were unclear. I just wondered because if you have your tablet away from the scope and wanted to operate a function real quick it's nice if the HC is handy. Thanks for clearing that up for me Uncle Rod.

Neilson


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6582559 - 06/14/14 07:07 PM

Team Celestron has stated that SkyQ won't advance from where it is currently. All work is being done to improve Sky Prodigy and Evolution for add on to other mounts. I had asked about porting over Sky Q to Android OS but was told not happening because Sky Prodigy and Evolution mount add ons can do that already. No commitment from Celestron on the release dates.

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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6584211 - 06/15/14 06:49 PM

Quote:

Team Celestron has stated that SkyQ won't advance from where it is currently. All work is being done to improve Sky Prodigy and Evolution for add on to other mounts. I had asked about porting over Sky Q to Android OS but was told not happening because Sky Prodigy and Evolution mount add ons can do that already. No commitment from Celestron on the release dates.




Hi brokenwave.

I wasn't sure if you were talking about the SkyQ app or the SkyQlink hardware, or both together, so I thought I'd try and clarify a couple of points. The SkyQ app does seem to be a goner, but I have had the following confirmed by a Celestron Celestron Product Development representative today. The SkyQlink hardware unit is alive and well and can be used right now with the recently released free Celestron Skyportal mobile app on a number of their Alt-Az mounts, as yet officially unsupported by Celestron though as it is only officially supported for the Evolution mounts (which the rep informed me have the workings of a SkyQlink unit inside them, as does the Cosmos 90 wifi scope).

He has told me that a number of people have found the new Skyportal mobile app does alignments and gotos etc on their other Celestron Alt Az mounts right now with the SkyQlink unit, and I have it confirmed from them that Celestron plan over time to officially support that recently released Skyportal app on Alt Az mount models other than the Evolution models, with a Skyqlink unit, and plan to develop it to work on at least some of their GEM models as well. He said the plan is for the Skyportal app to be eventually developed to work on all mounts that the old SkyQ app was designed to work on.

So the SkyQ app is dead and gone, but the SkyQlink hardware isn't (and it lives inside the latest Evolution and Cosmos 90 mounts) and it now has the new free Skyportal app, developed for Celestron by the developers of, and based on the excellent SkySafari apps, that some people should find can already work with their mobile devices, SkyQlink unit,and AltAz mounts, allowing them to do wifi driven alignments and subsequent gotos right now, and that has plans for more development to be useable on GEM mount models over time.

So while people have disappointingly had to wait for a long time for a replacement for the non working SkyQ iOS app, and GEM owners have longer to wait yet, Alt-Az mount users now probably do have a working iOS and Android replacement app, that has development plans to make it work on GEM mounts as well, so at least there is progress.

Cheers,
Chris M


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6584254 - 06/15/14 07:17 PM

Chris, You are right.
I wasn't trying to imply that SkyQ product was dead just seemed the app wasn't being worked on to add features.
And I'm glad you cleared that up.

What is becoming clear, is that software porting to Android with SkyQ wasn't happening because Sky Portal now does that.
Celestron has some similar evolving products happening currently and having to change course somewhat with the rapid growth of Android isn't surprising.
Patiently waiting for the new products to appear supporting OIS and Android.
A sales person who demo'd the Evolution 8, said they are going to sell a ton of them. (and this guy is pretty critical of new products)


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Iksobarg
member


Reged: 02/19/14

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Charlie B]
      #6620891 - 07/07/14 05:16 AM

Holysmokes! 55 pages! I just started reading about a celestron 60gt on eBay yesterday and decided to take a looksie on the topic here and man did things escalate!!?
Okay, gonna get back to page two... See you guys again in a bit o/


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: C8er]
      #6621100 - 07/07/14 10:00 AM

Quote:

So while people have disappointingly had to wait for a long time for a replacement for the non working SkyQ iOS app, and GEM owners have longer to wait yet,




Especially disappointing since Celestron advertised this widget as working with their GEMs.


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dr.who
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/05/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6621330 - 07/07/14 12:01 PM

Used the SS with my Mallincam. CGEM, and Edge 800 last night as a Proof Of Concept (POC) for outreach. Had my porch light and driveway spotlight on to simulate bright localized lighting. It worked flawlessly. Rough polar alignment by compass to simulate conditions where Polaris isn't naked eye visible, tested on the moon as a target and it was close with a smidgen of the light side in the 40mm EP, calibrated on Vega since the SS had been off the mount, and restarted. After that things were darn near centered in the EP and on the Mallincam.

Targets were Mizar, M13, Black Eye galaxy, M57, and Dumbbell nebula. Everything was in the field of view and near center in the Mallincam with f/5 focal reducer and both Nebulae had color in the image with 20 second images. I couldn't go longer because of the white zone LP, local lighting, and half moon. Did have a dew shield on the scope though.

This will work very well for roboscope type outreach where I am either inside a building (long svideo cable) or off a bit from the scope, or can't see anything due to local LP but still want to show people things. It also still gets a thumbs up in my opinion for folks who don't want to bother with manual alignment and for outreach where the local LP is so bad it's hard to see things.

Edited by dr.who (07/07/14 12:04 PM)


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