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laszlog
newbie


Reged: 09/07/09

StarSense Accessory
      #6040379 - 08/22/13 03:47 PM

Well OPT called me yesterday telling me that it had finally arrived. Drove down there picked it up, and installed and tested it.

Here is what i found.....

it replaces the finderscope. I had the newer mount , so i did not replace the holder - it worked just fine...

It connect to my GPS unit, and has a new hand controller. it is a 4 line controller when it is using the Star Sense. It automatically sensed my GPS, and seemed to start u properly... Had a bunch of clouds in the west .. so I had wait for the clouds to clear enough... It finally did, and off StarSense went....
It took 3 pictures of the west sky and 4 point in the East....

It seemed to align properly... I seemed becuase it found several stars after alignment just fine, but it missed Saturn... It coulds be quality of my sky.. the clouds could be thin enough to distort the imager

I then ran a calibrate, and that seems to help.

If the sky clears, I will work with it more.. It seems to have a lot of potential


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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: laszlog]
      #6041132 - 08/23/13 01:45 AM

After reading the manual online, I just placed an order for one. Preliminary info was short on how the camera hooked to the scope/handcontroller. Now that I know I can still use the RS-232 port on the hand controller to interface with my SkyWire adapter and iPad with SkySafari, I just had to get one. I'm glad it uses the AUX port for the camera...

I'm expecting even more *BLEEP* weather since I just ordered another astronomy toy, but the weather has been @#$% all year, so what the heck...

I am also interested in seeing how well it'll work at my normal observing spot, which has nothing visible to the west due to a big shed (blocks the yard light), but totally clear to the horizons to the N, S, and E. I figure I'll throw some calibration stars at it after the initial "dance" and calibration/re-alignment and see how close it gets things into the center of the FOV.

I'm glad to see they're shipping now!


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gaz-in
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/17/07

Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: Sorny]
      #6041318 - 08/23/13 06:54 AM

oh mine has been on backorder.....hoping it is shipping now!

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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: laszlog]
      #6041551 - 08/23/13 10:06 AM

Quote:

Well OPT called me yesterday telling me that it had finally arrived. Drove down there picked it up, and installed and tested it.

Here is what i found.....

it replaces the finderscope. I had the newer mount , so i did not replace the holder - it worked just fine...

It connect to my GPS unit, and has a new hand controller. it is a 4 line controller when it is using the Star Sense. It automatically sensed my GPS, and seemed to start u properly... Had a bunch of clouds in the west .. so I had wait for the clouds to clear enough... It finally did, and off StarSense went....
It took 3 pictures of the west sky and 4 point in the East....

It seemed to align properly... I seemed becuase it found several stars after alignment just fine, but it missed Saturn... It coulds be quality of my sky.. the clouds could be thin enough to distort the imager

I then ran a calibrate, and that seems to help.

If the sky clears, I will work with it more.. It seems to have a lot of potential




Would be good to know which scope your trying it with??

Regards. Peter.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: Peter9]
      #6042363 - 08/23/13 07:05 PM

I've been beta testing this for a few months.

It seems to work really well. I've been impressed at how well it's been able to find stars and do a plate solve in hazy twilight.

The Auto align for a GEM starts at the align position and does slews to two positions on the West of the meridian, then two positions looking East. At each position it acquires an image, detects the stars and solves it to get a Ra and Dec position.

If it doesn't find any stars it moves and tries again, and seems to keep moving and trying for some time. The location I have been using is very obstructed, the mount is set up about 3 ft from the house, that blocks all the N sky and a fair amount of the E sky. It's OK on the West but on the East it can take a number of additional slews and images to get to a position that's clear.

An alternative is a manual StarSense align, in this case you do the moves to the positions yourself, it acquires images and continues as before.

The Alt Az mounts only need three positions I think.

You do need to do a calibrate first, this is the equivalent of aligning a finder scope but electronically. After an Align you slew to a named star and press the align button, it takes an image, solves it and works out where the align star is. Then you do another SS align and it should be more accurate.

In all cases additional calibration positions can be added. If you slew to an object and it isn't in the field click on Align - add calibration position. It takes an image, solves it and uses it to improve pointing in that area.

Chris


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laszlog
newbie


Reged: 09/07/09

Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6042981 - 08/24/13 05:04 AM

Sorry... Forgot to mention....

It's mounted on an Edge 11 on a CGEM-DX mount.

Laszlo


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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: laszlog]
      #6043057 - 08/24/13 06:58 AM

Thanks laszlo

Regards. Peter.


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A. Viegas
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/05/12

Loc: New York City/ CT
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6047667 - 08/26/13 08:40 PM

This seems like an interesting accessory. But I think Celestron has it mispriced. Most buyers of CPC or CGEM, CGE Pro type of mounts have little difficulty doing the alignment process... while lower end consumers buying the SLT or VX type mounts, the price point for the starSense is too high relative to the value of their mounts. Hence, it seems to me that this product will need to have a substantial price drop to get much traction...

Al


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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #6047803 - 08/26/13 09:58 PM

I agree with Al.

I cancelled my pre-order months ago after I went to a star party and realized just how easy it is to do a highly accurate three-star align with my fork mount.

Possibly be more of a benefit with an EQ mount?

Then there is the "cool" factor.

The price will have to come down to make it interesting to me again. You can get a nice little refractor or a really nice wide-field ep for that coin.

Stacy


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Digital Don
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/20/04

Loc: Manteno, IL
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #6048141 - 08/27/13 02:42 AM

Quote:

...I went to a star party and realized just how easy it is to do a highly accurate three-star align with my fork mount.




Hi Stacy,

Is this in equatorial mode? I've always thought that adding additional stars to the alt-az alignment routine would increase accuracy, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do that.

Don


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JoeR
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Columbus, OH
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: Digital Don]
      #6048471 - 08/27/13 09:45 AM

I've never had a problem with accuracy using the auto two star alignment objects are always in the FOV. Maybe not dead center but they are always viewable.

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Stacy
Star Partyer
*****

Reged: 09/15/02

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: Digital Don]
      #6048889 - 08/27/13 01:47 PM

Quote:

Hi Stacy,

Is this in equatorial mode? I've always thought that adding additional stars to the alt-az alignment routine would increase accuracy, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do that.

Don




Hi Don!

I don't use equtorial mode. I use SkyAlign (just point at any three bright stars). Not sure how I got this, but this scope (NS11 GPS) I bought used a few years back. I think the hand controller was upgraded.

I believe the newer software has SkyAlign, but then you loose the old GPS Align (level north). However SkyAlign uses the GPS as well.

Maybe someone familiar with the different firmware versions and which controllers they apply to could chime in. It would be a good idea for a sticky thread perhaps.

Regardless, with any alignment procedure you can add alignment stars or objects by backing out to the main menu from whatever target you are on and press "Align", then it will let you sync to the current target. IIRC.

Stacy


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #6049437 - 08/27/13 06:44 PM

StarSense uses three positions in Alt Az mode and four when equatorially mounted. I've only used SS with an AVX so can't say how it handles deciding if a fork mount is Alt Az or equatorial.

Chris


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Digital Don
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/20/04

Loc: Manteno, IL
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: Stacy]
      #6049648 - 08/27/13 08:45 PM

Thanks Stacy,

I never use Sky Align so I forgot all about it! Duh!

Thanks,

Don


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pjglad
sage


Reged: 01/29/11

Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: Digital Don]
      #6053183 - 08/29/13 07:02 PM

I received my StarSense unit today. The RJ12 cable is way too long for my CPC800. I'd like to get a 2 or 3 foot RJ12 black coiled cable. Any advice as where to get one. Thanks.

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: pjglad]
      #6053784 - 08/30/13 03:57 AM

Too long is better than too short!

I wind the cable round the OTA a few times, but make sure it can easily reach no matter where the mount moves. The velcro cable tidies are also a good idea.

The cable is a straight through 6 way cable with 6 pin RJ connectors. I think it's the same as most auto-guiding cables so that's a possible source of one of the right length.

Chris


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pjglad
sage


Reged: 01/29/11

Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6057614 - 09/01/13 12:44 PM

Where's Calibrate GoTo in the HC Menu?

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C8er
super member


Reged: 09/15/12

Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: pjglad]
      #6060087 - 09/02/13 09:55 PM

Ive just had a good look through the menus on my newly arrived starsense hc and accessory and calibrate RA and calibrate goto seem to not be there, at least nowhere that I can find.

Cheers.


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hrgreen
member


Reged: 02/02/13

Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: C8er]
      #6061276 - 09/03/13 04:09 PM

My StarSense arrived today, sitting in front of me now for inspection. May have to wait a few days for a clear sky.

Hal

Edited by hrgreen (09/03/13 04:10 PM)


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JonNPR
sage
*****

Reged: 03/04/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: StarSense Accessory new [Re: hrgreen]
      #6065318 - 09/05/13 10:21 PM

@C8er -From Celestron: "The Calibrate†function is†in the hand controlís advanced menu (enabled by pressing Menu > Utilities > Menu Levels and choosing Advanced) under StarSense Camera."

Jon


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