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Personal Introduction and Evolution 9.25 Observations

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#1 parebal0

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:48 PM

Greetings all..

 

Just a brief introduction of myself, and some general observations, yes, pun intended, about my new 9.25 Evolution. 

 

I have been observing the skies since I was 13, and still can feel the chill up my spine upon my first viewing of Saturn through my 60mm, Sears refractor.....I was throughly hooked.  I graduated to a Tasco, 60mm, equatorial mount, refractor purchased in the Cave Optical store in LA.  That should date me sufficiently. 😊.  Moving onward for to 1976, and I purchase the scope of my dreams, the 89mm Questar.  I have had many wonderful nights with it at Fremont Peak, in California, and as a primarily visual observer, found it to be a most adequate scope for most of my life.  (Felt pretty inadequate after scaling John Dobson's 10 foot ladder to look through his mega light bucket atop Fremont Peak!)  With the Questar reference, maybe some old time observers from Fremont Peak will remember me.  Yes, I still own the Questar, and cherish all the wonderful celestial memories it has given me.

 

So, fast forward to Tuesday of this week and my newly delivered Evo 9.25.  Living in Atlanta for the past 20 years has presented its observational challenges to me, but it was time to make the jump to light speed, and my "need" for the scope's technology. 

 

First, let me thank everyone on this particular forum for all your insight and recommendations.  I have been comparing manufacturers and scope sizes for the past month, and have found this forum to be incredibly helpful. 

 

Second, some general thoughts about my scope, Pegasus.  Yes, I like to name inanimate objects, especially one's which enhance my understanding of the world we inhabit. 

 

The scope's aperture is great to work with, and coming from 89mm to 230mm, is a real treat, even if I have had only 1 decent night of observing in 3.  Observing Europa's transiting shadow last night, in transparency and seeing conditions bordering on trying to see through the LaBrea tar pits, was very unexpected.   At some point in the near further, I do plan on honing my planetary and lunar astrophotography skills, but have a long way to go to even meet the wonderful planetary photos presented in this forum.

 

The mount is surprisingly stable given the single fork, and with all the positive recommendations for the use of Celestron's suppression pads, scope vibration is truly minimal.  With its 3 primary components, tripod, mount and OTA, it is very manageable.   Im looking most forward to join some of the local clubs and utilizing their dark sky locations. 

 

I'm dealing with the WIFI, to IPad issues that I've been reading about with great interest here.  The delayed responses and overzealous slewing, when the iPad seems to have lost its connection, are disconcerting, but certainly a first world problem that I will work on resolving.  Considering the manual world I have come from, with RA and Dec circles, the Evo is still a major technological advancement for me.

 

It is my goal to become a contributor in whatever way I can on this very energetic forum, in the hopes of fostering continued learning and satisfaction with this wonderful science which I do enjoy so very much.   I have read a number of very helpful comments from Peter, so thanks to him, and as I am also a Peter, I will ensure I sign my name as Peter A. to avoid any confusion. 

 

Again, thanks to all, and 10/10 skies to everyone..... Peter A.



#2 skaiser

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:10 PM

Peter

 welcome to the wonderful world of the evolution system.

i too started in my teen years with a manual guided scope and just last year also bought a evolution 9.25 , along with the starsense for these older eyes for easier setup.

a truely great system with its share of bugs, but worth it.

i guess I may be a lucky one with very few wifi connection issues with my iPad Air and skysafari pro.

It seems that the wifi signal is sensitive to being overwhelmed by too many local signals.

good luck with your system. As you can see it's almost overwhelming the amount of information available on this sight, let alone the many others out there.

don't be shy about asking questions, we're here to help each other.



#3 parebal0

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:43 AM

Peter

 welcome to the wonderful world of the evolution system.

i too started in my teen years with a manual guided scope and just last year also bought a evolution 9.25 , along with the starsense for these older eyes for easier setup.

a truely great system with its share of bugs, but worth it.

i guess I may be a lucky one with very few wifi connection issues with my iPad Air and skysafari pro.

It seems that the wifi signal is sensitive to being overwhelmed by too many local signals.

good luck with your system. As you can see it's almost overwhelming the amount of information available on this sight, let alone the many others out there.

don't be shy about asking questions, we're here to help each other.

 

Thanks very much for your welcome Skaiser, and very cool you have an Evo 9.25 as well.  I'm sure there are hundreds of them within this forum as they seem to be a very popular scope.  Was out again tonight dodging the clouds but still had some very good views of Jupiter and M13.   Still stuck with my wifi problems but remembered to invoke airplane mode on my Apple Watch tonight which seemed to have helped a bit.  Having way to much fun with this huge mirror!   Peter A.



#4 BlueAstra

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 03:53 AM

Hi Peter,

Looks like I'm also travelling a well trodden path! I to received my Evolution 9.25 last week. I got it as a portable system to use at my local club or at dark sites. I also use it in the garden while my home observatory based system is doing its thing.  I tried it for the first time last night, with some good views of Jupiter. I've managed to pick up a Starsense unit second hand to aid my old eyes, but haven't tried it yet. I also got a Baader click lock adapter (second hand) on the back of the SCT for easy attachment of accessories. I've tried iPad control, which is great when it works, but I get occasional trouble with the movement controls being laggy. I mainly use the HC now. I'm also looking into wired computer control of the system. Looking forward to learning more about the system.

Graham



#5 parebal0

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 01:27 PM

Hi Peter,

Looks like I'm also travelling a well trodden path! I to received my Evolution 9.25 last week. I got it as a portable system to use at my local club or at dark sites. I also use it in the garden while my home observatory based system is doing its thing.  I tried it for the first time last night, with some good views of Jupiter. I've managed to pick up a Starsense unit second hand to aid my old eyes, but haven't tried it yet. I also got a Baader click lock adapter (second hand) on the back of the SCT for easy attachment of accessories. I've tried iPad control, which is great when it works, but I get occasional trouble with the movement controls being laggy. I mainly use the HC now. I'm also looking into wired computer control of the system. Looking forward to learning more about the system.

Graham

Thanks for your reply Graham, and yes, well trodden path indeed!  Very cool that you received your 9.25 last week too.  Very nice on your Starsense purchase and cool on the Baader click lock adapter.  Will have to check one of these out as I start to compile my accessories.  Sorry to hear about your iPad problems, and it is just frustrating, as when it does work, it is just great to have all the functionality the iPad and SS5Pro provides.  Many days of thunderstorms and cloudy weather settling in here, so will spend time reading more Cloudy Nights and listening to my RA and Dec motors whir.... Peter A.



#6 skaiser

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:49 PM

In case you haven't already read about it, this subject posting

NexStar Evolution 9.25 HC Bracket

has some tips on ways to hold your standard Hand Control or the Nexstar hand control on the Evo9.25.



#7 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:33 PM

The one tip about the WIFI i've heard everyone use with great success is to forget your home network first before trying to connect to your scope. This method worked flawlessly with mine. I actually was skeptical of the WIFI/Skyportal thing for over a year with my Evo 8 until I tried it a couple months ago and I really like it

 

Congrats on your scope!

 

Jon



#8 parebal0

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:41 PM

In case you haven't already read about it, this subject posting

NexStar Evolution 9.25 HC Bracket

has some tips on ways to hold your standard Hand Control or the Nexstar hand control on the Evo9.25.

Thanks very much for the tip, and I will certainly check out that posting.  The tripod leg mount is just ok, and will certainly see if there is a better mounting method for me.  Peter A.



#9 parebal0

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:45 PM

The one tip about the WIFI i've heard everyone use with great success is to forget your home network first before trying to connect to your scope. This method worked flawlessly with mine. I actually was skeptical of the WIFI/Skyportal thing for over a year with my Evo 8 until I tried it a couple months ago and I really like it

 

Congrats on your scope!

 

Jon

Really appreciate the advice on forgetting my home network Jon.  I think I have tried about everything else I've been able to find on the subject, with the same frustrating latency issue persisting.  Will keep you posted as to my success.  And thanks on my scope!  Peter A.



#10 Noah4x4

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Posted Yesterday, 05:27 AM

With Evolution WiFi you fall into one of two camps. It either works fine or it doesn't.  I have tried everything at home and it won't stay connected. Yet, drive 100 miles to a dark sky site away from urban WiFi clutter and it works fine.

 

British Telecom (in the UK) now claim to supply the world's most powerful wireless smart hub. Each contributes a little bandwidth to its (free) 'public network' that is shared by all BT broadband subscribers. Sounds like a solution, but instead it is the menace. BT has admitted to me (after tests on my system) that its 'public network' is so powerful it is intermittently overwhelming my smart hub's signal and also my telescopes feeble (direct connect) signal. Hence once beyond 10 yards outside from my house my devices (like my Android device) repeatedly want to connect to that. I can 'forget' my home network, but because the 'public network' is bounced off the dozens of local smart hubs that surround me, I have yet to find a way of escaping from its clutches, that is until my BT contract runs out. But if I then change ISP, how long before my new supplier adopts the same overwhelmingly powerful technology?  My conclusion is WiFi control is superb in the 'Great Outdoors' of the USA, but limited in many locations in overcrowded urban Great Britain. 

 

But that doesn't limit my enjoyment of my Evolution scope that works fine with a HC. I realise now that all I am really missing is the 'blip blip' of a cursor in an APP, but I gain better 'night vision' by not looking at a bright (red) tablet screen). I can also simply use SkySafari offline and never suffer any WiFi woes. I also love StarSense. I just wish Celestron would fix its 'bug' when used with a wedge. The desire to polar align my scope on a wedge is another reason for discarding WiFi. There is currently no polar align (on wedge) routine in either SkyPortal or SkySafari.  However, a Nexstar + HC works fine.

 

 Welcome to the brilliance, yet challenges and idiosyncracies of Celestron scopes.



#11 parebal0

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Posted Today, 12:20 AM

With Evolution WiFi you fall into one of two camps. It either works fine or it doesn't.  I have tried everything at home and it won't stay connected. Yet, drive 100 miles to a dark sky site away from urban WiFi clutter and it works fine.

 

British Telecom (in the UK) now claim to supply the world's most powerful wireless smart hub. Each contributes a little bandwidth to its (free) 'public network' that is shared by all BT broadband subscribers. Sounds like a solution, but instead it is the menace. BT has admitted to me (after tests on my system) that its 'public network' is so powerful it is intermittently overwhelming my smart hub's signal and also my telescopes feeble (direct connect) signal. Hence once beyond 10 yards outside from my house my devices (like my Android device) repeatedly want to connect to that. I can 'forget' my home network, but because the 'public network' is bounced off the dozens of local smart hubs that surround me, I have yet to find a way of escaping from its clutches, that is until my BT contract runs out. But if I then change ISP, how long before my new supplier adopts the same overwhelmingly powerful technology?  My conclusion is WiFi control is superb in the 'Great Outdoors' of the USA, but limited in many locations in overcrowded urban Great Britain. 

 

But that doesn't limit my enjoyment of my Evolution scope that works fine with a HC. I realise now that all I am really missing is the 'blip blip' of a cursor in an APP, but I gain better 'night vision' by not looking at a bright (red) tablet screen). I can also simply use SkySafari offline and never suffer any WiFi woes. I also love StarSense. I just wish Celestron would fix its 'bug' when used with a wedge. The desire to polar align my scope on a wedge is another reason for discarding WiFi. There is currently no polar align (on wedge) routine in either SkyPortal or SkySafari.  However, a Nexstar + HC works fine.

 

 Welcome to the brilliance, yet challenges and idiosyncracies of Celestron scopes.

Thanks for the welcome Noah and certainly understand your frustration with celestrons wifi.  Fortunately today, I had a major break through with the iPad SkyPortal update.  Prior to the updated SkyPortal install it was much worse than SS5Pro, and I couldn't go 30 seconds without having my iPad freeze up and basically no connectivity to the scope.  My connect time to the scope now is only 2 seconds with SP and during 3.5 hours of observing tonight, I did not have 1 freeze or 30 seconds of uncontrollable slewing!  Only downside is.....I want the update done to SS5 now in the hopes that it corrects its abhorrent behavior.  In the meantime, I will work with SP, and let them know about my success and encourage them to port the changes over to SS5 asap!  Let me know if you have success with the iPad SP update.  Peter A.



#12 Noah4x4

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Posted Today, 01:40 AM

I use an Android tablet. I-Pad versions are always updated first. However, I don't think my issues are software. My first generation Evolution's WiFi aerial is a pathetic ribbon on the PCB. It's not powerful enough.

#13 Spacefreak1974

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Posted Today, 08:00 AM

My iPad would not even present the opportunity to begin alignment using Skysafari Pro. I emailed SkySafari and they thought I was nuts. I may try it again, but SkyPortal is fine

 

Jon



#14 Noah4x4

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Posted Today, 11:13 AM

My iPad would not even present the opportunity to begin alignment using Skysafari Pro. I emailed SkySafari and they thought I was nuts. I may try it again, but SkyPortal is fine

 

Jon

Hi Jon,

 

SkySafari  doesnt list specific Celestron scopes. You simply need to set it to 'Celestron WiFi'. Then it should work fine.



#15 Spacefreak1974

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Posted Today, 11:53 AM

 

My iPad would not even present the opportunity to begin alignment using Skysafari Pro. I emailed SkySafari and they thought I was nuts. I may try it again, but SkyPortal is fine

 

Jon

Hi Jon,

 

SkySafari  doesnt list specific Celestron scopes. You simply need to set it to 'Celestron WiFi'. Then it should work fine.

 

I did...wouldn't present the opportunity to align stars like on Skyportal. It asked me.."Are you sure you want to align on Jupiter". Kinda stupid. It should have been the same method as on Skyportal


Edited by Spacefreak1974, Today, 11:54 AM.



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