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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5961951 - 07/09/13 10:23 AM

Quote:

If your EQ6 puts DSO on Mallincam's chip when using a C11 at F/3.3, than EQ6 GOTO's are OK with me too.

It seems you have no problems with 3 star alignment with EQ6 like other users do and you prefer this method to 2 star alignment. This sounds reassuring to me.

But what do you mean by "decent polar alignment"?

Rod, how long are your exposures in general with Mallincam + C11 + Meade 0.33x reducer?

In wonder if instead of buying a AZ-EQ6, my CG5-GT with C11 reduced at F/3 and a Mallincam like camera will be good enough for up to 60s exposures without star trailing.




If your OTA is not completely orthogonal with the mount--which it probably won't be with an SCT--the 3-star makes a difference, since it take cone alignment error into account.

The secrets to the 3-star, as with the 2-star, are in the manual.

--The first two stars should be separated by 3 hours of right ascension if possible. That is more important than their separation in azimuth.

--Star 3 should be between Declination 30 and 70, north or south.

By "decent," I mean a reasonably careful alignment with the mount's polar scope, at least. I use the hour angle display on the HC to set the position where Polaris goes on the reticle.

My exposures with the Xtreme are generally between 14 and 30 seconds. I can go longer and still get nice stars, but I usually don't need to go longer, and going much more than a minute at my local observing site makes skyglow a problem.

Edited by rmollise (07/09/13 10:36 AM)


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5962172 - 07/09/13 01:11 PM

Thanks Rod

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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5963497 - 07/10/13 04:35 AM

If you only go up to 30s exposure with Mallincam at F/3.3 I suppose you have Gain On an it's set to a higher level.

Regarding your EQ6 practical experience and considering a decent polar alignment beeing done and the lack of Precision GOTO function in Skywatcher handcontroller, what do you do if in the first part of your observing sesion you go only visual with good GOTOs (objects in eyepiece FOV at ~100x) and than in the 2nd part you start using Mallincam and only some DSOs don't land on chip at all in some parts of the sky?

For this situation I suppose Celestron designed Precise GOTO function (which doesn't affect all sky alignment and GOTO pointing accuracy like Sync function does), but if Skywatcher lacks it what can we do to center faint DSOs on small video chips?


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5963507 - 07/10/13 04:48 AM

Just another thing. I think you can use Precise GOTO with Celestron CPC scopes in AZ mode for 30s exposures with a Mallincam for better GOTOs and centering DSOs on Mallincam's chip. What can we do if we don't have Precise GOTO with AZ-EQ6 and we want to use it in AZ mode with Mallincam at 20-30s exposure but DSOs don't land on chip at all?

As a side, I have read that at this moment the GOTOs with AZ-EQ6 in AZ mode are not good, besides the cord wrap problem. Can a user of this mount confirm or infirm this?


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5963542 - 07/10/13 05:45 AM

Quote:

Just another thing. I think you can use Precise GOTO with Celestron CPC scopes in AZ mode for 30s exposures with a Mallincam for better GOTOs and centering DSOs on Mallincam's chip. What can we do if we don't have Precise GOTO with AZ-EQ6 and we want to use it in AZ mode with Mallincam at 20-30s exposure but DSOs don't land on chip at all?

As a side, I have read that at this moment the GOTOs with AZ-EQ6 in AZ mode are not good, besides the cord wrap problem. Can a user of this mount confirm or infirm this?




Moromete,

I think it was said that the Synta PAE is the same as the Celestron Precise GoTo although I find the Synta manual a little confusing as to what the procedure is. Celestron's is pretty clear. Select an object while in Precise GoTo mode and it gives you a nearby star to align on first. Synta's manual talks about a "reference object" to align on but does not say at what point you select the actual object you want to view.

I have submitted data to my dealer on both the pointing issue and the the cord-wrap issue. A couple of others have mentioned a similar pointing issue in EQ Mode. Hopefully Synta will resolve those shortly. They are supposedly already working on the pointing issue.

JohnD


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: johnpd]
      #5963550 - 07/10/13 06:00 AM

John, as Rod said, Synta PAE is like Celestron Sync and not like Celestron Precise GOTO which doesn't alter the pointing to other parts of the sky than the one were Precise GOTO was calculated.

Celestron Sync is targeting GOTO accuracy to a small part of the sky but affects negativelly than the GOTO to other parts of sky. In contrast Celestron Precise GOTO is targeting GOTO accuracy related to just a single DSO and not a little part of the sky like Sync does and because of this Precise GOTO doesn't affect the pointing on other parts of the sky. At least that's what I understood.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5963675 - 07/10/13 08:50 AM

Quote:

If you only go up to 30s exposure with Mallincam at F/3.3 I suppose you have Gain On an it's set to a higher level.

Regarding your EQ6 practical experience and considering a decent polar alignment beeing done and the lack of Precision GOTO function in Skywatcher handcontroller, what do you do if in the first part of your observing sesion you go only visual with good GOTOs (objects in eyepiece FOV at ~100x) and than in the 2nd part you start using Mallincam and only some DSOs don't land on chip at all in some parts of the sky?

For this situation I suppose Celestron designed Precise GOTO function (which doesn't affect all sky alignment and GOTO pointing accuracy like Sync function does), but if Skywatcher lacks it what can we do to center faint DSOs on small video chips?




I'm not sure what you mean by "gain on". No, I don't have the camera in CCD mode; there's no reason for me to. What's "higher level"? I do have it at "6" which is high for some folks...but that and a 14-second exposure will reveal small 16th magnitude galaxies.

I do either video or visual, not both in one evening. I do a careful alignment either way, and have no trouble with go-to accuracy.

I've don't have to use Precise Go-to with the CG5. It's also very good about putting objects on the Mallincam--if I do a careful alignment.

What can you do? You can do a good go-to alignment, which I've already described, following the guidelines for alignment stars in the manual. If you can't be bothered to do that, yes, your go-to accuracy will suffer.


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5965130 - 07/11/13 02:29 AM

Ok, it's clear now.

You wrote on your blog that in practice with the new All-Star polar alignment procedure from Celestron we don't have to re-align the mount again after it like in the past (I didn't know it's possible to re-alignment, to be honest, and now I'm suddenly more happy with my CG5-GT ).

In your experience, is the same thing possible with EQ6 (firmware 3.35) and Skywatcher's software Polar Align procedure or we need to re-align the mount to have good GOTOs?


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5965368 - 07/11/13 09:18 AM

Quote:

Ok, it's clear now.

You wrote on your blog that in practice with the new All-Star polar alignment procedure from Celestron we don't have to re-align the mount again after it like in the past (I didn't know it's possible to re-alignment, to be honest, and now I'm suddenly more happy with my CG5-GT ).

In your experience, is the same thing possible with EQ6 (firmware 3.35) and Skywatcher's software Polar Align procedure or we need to re-align the mount to have good GOTOs?




It SHOULD be...but the caveat is that I have not been able to try the new firmware in the field.


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5965420 - 07/11/13 10:00 AM

I read now in Synscan manual v3.35 that unfortunatelly you must re-align the EQ6 after doing a software polar alignment with the hand controller!
Why don't you copy updated Celestron software functions in your mounts Synta?!

Considering that Synta owns Celestron begining with 2005 and Skywatcher mounts hand controllers don't have implemented yet after so many years functions from Celestron software like Precise GOTO, All-Star Polar Align without re-alignment needed, more than 1 calibrations stars for initial alignment, no anti cord wrap feature for AZ mode and many other things I suppose Celestron developed alien techonology for their mounts which Synta engineers aren't able to understand and copy in Skywatcher mounts hand controllers. Otherwise, if this is management decision than it's a very bad one because if a mount like AZ-EQ6 had Celestron software features I pointed out, it could be a complete and polished package, a superb mount. Unfortunately now AZ-EQ6 seems handicaped because of incomplete software.


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5965425 - 07/11/13 10:05 AM

At this moment, software wise, a cheap mount like Celestron CG5-Gt is vastly superior to a much more expensive mount like AZ-EQ6 or EQ6 Pro which I think it is not normal at all, both mounts comind from Synta and being mass produced.

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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5965436 - 07/11/13 10:08 AM

C'mon Celestron, give us quickly a lighter AZ-CGEM with belt drive and good quality!

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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5965573 - 07/11/13 11:47 AM

Quote:

At this moment, software wise, a cheap mount like Celestron CG5-Gt is vastly superior to a much more expensive mount like AZ-EQ6 or EQ6 Pro which I think it is not normal at all, both mounts comind from Synta and being mass produced.




Superior? In what way? It wouldn't be normal if that were the case, but it is not. Both are frankly superior to the no long produced CG5.


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5965862 - 07/11/13 03:02 PM

Uncle, hold your horses.

Celestron hand controller software is superior to Skywatcher when it comes to GOTO accuracy and possibility to compute and correct some human or mechanical errors by including more variables in the equation, like callibration stars or the star for Precise GOTO. See may explanations in my post above. For newbie astronomers is easier to use Celestron software for visual observation or photography because of better GOTO pointing when polar alignment is not "decently" done and in a hurry.

By the way I think my polar alignment with CG5-GT is quite bad and GOTOs are still surprisingly OK. I don't even look through the polar scope and I don't even use ASPA because I didn't want to remake a 2+4 alignment. Still I get good exposures of 40s with ST80 + 1/3" sensor CCTV which I believe is quite good. I suppose this crazyness with EQ6 will give bad GOTOs. Am I wrong?

Anyway that's my opinion and I'm not convinced yet by the accuracy of GOTOs of Skywatcher compared to Celestron. Or maybe I'm trying to find myself different excuses not to buy an AZ-EQ6 in the near future.


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Pat at home
sage


Reged: 03/16/07

Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Ca...
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5965940 - 07/11/13 03:48 PM

To me this discussion is a storm in a teacup. Celestron may have a more user-friendly hand controller software set but frankly, a decent polar alignment on my EQ6 only takes a minute or two and from then on GOTO's never miss.

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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Pat at home]
      #5966032 - 07/11/13 04:38 PM

Is it possible to align an EQ6 with the hand controller first and than to connect a PC to the hand controller to control the mount with EQMOD/Stellarium inside the house in winter after it was aligned like that?

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Moromete]
      #5966093 - 07/11/13 05:25 PM

Quote:

Uncle, hold your horses.

Celestron hand controller software is superior to Skywatcher when it comes to GOTO accuracy and possibility to compute and correct some human or mechanical errors by including more variables in the equation, like callibration stars or the star for Precise GOTO. See may explanations in my post above. For newbie astronomers is easier to use Celestron software for visual observation or photography because of better GOTO pointing when polar alignment is not "decently" done and in a hurry.

By the way I think my polar alignment with CG5-GT is quite bad and GOTOs are still surprisingly OK. I don't even look through the polar scope and I don't even use ASPA because I didn't want to remake a 2+4 alignment. Still I get good exposures of 40s with ST80 + 1/3" sensor CCTV which I believe is quite good. I suppose this crazyness with EQ6 will give bad GOTOs. Am I wrong?

Anyway that's my opinion and I'm not convinced yet by the accuracy of GOTOs of Skywatcher compared to Celestron. Or maybe I'm trying to find myself different excuses not to buy an AZ-EQ6 in the near future.




I ain't holding nothing, Skeezix...

The NexStar is a little more user friendly than the SynScan and has a _few_ more features, but if properly aligned the SynScan is everybit as accurate for go-tos. If "as good as the NexStar" ain't good enough, you can run the mount with EQMOD and get pointing accuracy of a few arc minutes or LESS.

To be honest, I use to feel the same way you do. I bought my EQ-6 back in 2007, just a little before the CGEM came out, and I was mighty put-out when it did...I preferred the NexStar HC. But then I made friends with the EQ-6, learned to use it, and found what a good and reliable mount it is. I gladly put up with an HC that was less advanced (the SynScan HC has been upgraded several times since then), for a mount that was more reliable and arguably better for imaging than the CGEM.



Edited by rmollise (07/11/13 05:40 PM)


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: rmollise]
      #5966133 - 07/11/13 05:54 PM

If ..i have to find 1 single thing that the Synscan is inferior for real to the Nexstar is the tracking limits.

The hand control , at least for the moment doesn't offer that...and the mount will keep tracking well past the meridian (..heheh..on Celestron they advertise that as if it's a plus...) and eventually will touch the tripod if someone doesn't do a Meridian flip.

That..was my main concern before buyng a synscan mount..as i often leave it track alone and check it once in a while..or i fall asleep sometimes.

But then i thought that i am using the mount allways with a pc since i do photography and EQMOD offer the possibility to introduce tracking limits..so..for someone that wishes to leave the mount do the job and go to sleep..it will keep it from slewing till it touches somewhere.

For someone that is not using the mount for the entire night..i have to be honest..this is not a problem.For 2-3 or even 5 hours of use the possibility to leave the mount and let it touch the tripod is rare.
-----------

Said that..i would like to add that the Synscan software might not be so user friendly as the Nexstar but...that doesn't means that it is user "hostile"...
As i said before i was and still i am a Nexstar Fan but i also became a Synscan Fan now I got used to the Synscan software in a heart bit.

Hope it helps,

PS: In my personal list (of "better-less better"(not payload)),based on the use i am doing , i would put 1st the AZEQ6, then the NEQ6 , then AVX (based on the user's reviews) , then CGEM e last CG5 as overal performance of these mounts.

And i value the CG5 as a great litle mount which i would buy again if i could go back in time
So i doubt you would do a terrible mistake buy purchasing a NEQ6 or an AZEQ6 or a Nexstar mount:..specially if you don't do long exposure photography.

PPS: I didn't put the Sirius on purpose as i think it is pretty much a smaller version of the Atlas-NEQ6 so the only difference i guess is the payload.

Edited by Mike X. (07/11/13 08:36 PM)


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5966263 - 07/11/13 07:40 PM

Quote:

If ..i have to find 1 single thing that the Synscan is inferior for real to the Nexstar is the tracking limits.






If you need tracking limits, run the EQ-6 with EQMOD.


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Celestron Nexstar vs Skywatcher Synscan GOTO pointing accuracy [Re: rmollise]
      #5966318 - 07/11/13 08:33 PM

That's what i wrote a few lines after

Specially for someone that needs to use a pc with the telescope ,using EQMOD too is not a big deal.

Edited by Mike X. (07/11/13 08:34 PM)


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