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What would it take to create an EAA setup like the EvScope?

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#1 GOLGO13

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 09:09 AM

I was reading some comments from the youtube video critical of the EvScope. That video and comments claim that it's easy to do EAA like what this is doing. What would be the closest thing EAA wise to the EvScope or Stellina? Would it be a Celestron 6SE with starsense and the Revolution imager? Are there any other camera setups that can go to your tablet or phone rather than having to use a laptop?

 

I think people maybe missing the point of simplicity. I for one am all about simplicity. I don't even like setting up my EQ mount with goto. I don't like cords all over the place either, so not sure I'd like the Revolution. 

 

I was recently considering doing some basic DSLR work with my refractors. But the more I look into it the less interested I am. Doing the setup, post processing, etc. Plus my camera is not currently setup for astronomy and would need some modification. 

 

Thinking I'd just stick with night vision astronomy. But if there really is something simple that doesn't require a ton of setup, that could be something I'd consider.


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#2 pyrasanth

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 10:35 AM

Well.....it would not cost $3000.....I'm pretty sure of that. An 8" reflector with a sensitive CMOS camera would give a better result for a fraction of the cost. The advert & claims for the Evo is all hype and sadly will be sure to disappoint. 


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#3 OleCuss

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 10:43 AM

I was reading some comments from the youtube video critical of the EvScope. That video and comments claim that it's easy to do EAA like what this is doing. What would be the closest thing EAA wise to the EvScope or Stellina? Would it be a Celestron 6SE with starsense and the Revolution imager? Are there any other camera setups that can go to your tablet or phone rather than having to use a laptop?

 

I think people maybe missing the point of simplicity. I for one am all about simplicity. I don't even like setting up my EQ mount with goto. I don't like cords all over the place either, so not sure I'd like the Revolution. 

 

I was recently considering doing some basic DSLR work with my refractors. But the more I look into it the less interested I am. Doing the setup, post processing, etc. Plus my camera is not currently setup for astronomy and would need some modification. 

 

Thinking I'd just stick with night vision astronomy. But if there really is something simple that doesn't require a ton of setup, that could be something I'd consider.

If you want something which is more capable of providing great imagery than is the eVscope?  I think you could do it very nicely for under $1500.

 

If you want the same experience?  That would cost you tens of thousands of dollars.  Setting up something as portable and with integrated optics, sensor, computer, software, etc. - that is not a simple task and requires a lot of skills and you'd be setting up a bunch of tooling once you got the design set up right.  Then you are likely talking hundreds of hours of your time getting the processing set up for the different targets.

 

It really depends on the experience you want.  Duplicating the Stellina, eVscope, or Hiuni would be wildly expensive if you were to make just 1 copy.

 

But if you don't try to duplicate the portability combined with simplicity of use?  Depending on your particular viewing goals you can do much more for far less money.


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#4 GOLGO13

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 10:45 AM

Well.....it would not cost $3000.....I'm pretty sure of that. An 8" reflector with a sensitive CMOS camera would give a better result for a fraction of the cost. The advert & claims for the Evo is all hype and sadly will be sure to disappoint. 

I'm more interested in the simplicity factor though. That is what it is providing, and I'm not sure how much that's available nowadays. No argument on the cost. I think it's twice the cost it should be. Assuming it actually is a solid design.

 

But what today provides a simple setup which live stacking and automated alignments?



#5 pyrasanth

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 10:49 AM

I'm more interested in the simplicity factor though. That is what it is providing, and I'm not sure how much that's available nowadays. No argument on the cost. I think it's twice the cost it should be. Assuming it actually is a solid design.

 

But what today provides a simple setup which live stacking and automated alignments?

Well I would put an Atik Horizon or Infinity see https://www.atik-cam...tik-infinity/or similar CMOS camera on a small reflector and with the included software and a small laptop you would be good to go. At least you would be entering into a much more versatile & cost effective solution & your virtually guaranteed better results. I don't think it gets any simpler than that.


Edited by pyrasanth, 29 December 2019 - 10:51 AM.

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#6 GOLGO13

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 10:58 AM

As trivial is it may sound, I don't like setting up equatorial mounts. Part of that could also be the fact that I live on the side of a hill. So even leveling the scope can be a pain. But setting up the goto doesn't always go smooth and the manual for all that is quite a read.  However, in general I'd have to level any scope that's going in the yard. I'm lucky with Night Vision that I can use it on my back deck or front porch with an alt/az mount and I'm good to go. 

 

Getting proper polar alignment with the EQ mount is more of a process than I would care to learn. But I should eventually learn it.

 

This may sound lazy, but I have 3 kids and not a ton of time to do observing. 

 

I would also like to avoid using a laptop and having cords everywhere. 

 

This is my backyard...not exactly ideal for observing since part of the sky is blocked by the house. Eventually I'd like to put in a flat pad in the back here so I wouldn't need to level it and I could use my dob.

 

C8 nightvision

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#7 spereira

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 11:02 AM

But what today provides a simple setup which live stacking and automated alignments?

I cannot make a complete suggestion, but here is my idea of something similar, partially with equipment I already own:

 

- iOptron Am Mount Pro - $1300

- Tele Vue 85 - $2300 (or similar 80mm refractor for $800-$900)

- Revolution Imager - $300

 

This setup will not be fully automatic, but will (pretty much) establish where it is and be ready for goto commands.  I don’t have the Revolution Imager, but it appears from what I’ve read that, after a bit of a learning curve for getting the settings right, it is fairly easy to use.  Perhaps best on DSOs, but possibly also on planets.

 

So, the above can be had for $2500 - $3900, depending on the scope, and IMO get quite close to what the Stellina and eVscope are offering.

 

smp


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#8 jprideaux

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 11:32 AM

I've been asking myself the exact same question for months now - and procrastinating getting anything while waiting on actual usage reports from the early adopters for the Stellina/evScope/Hiuni.  

 

IMO, besides Night Vision, there is nothing actually currently available that would approach the simplicity of these new telescopes.  Yes, after set-up, an 8" scope with good CMOS camera will give a better result, but you have to set it up and mess with the complexity.  That is the rub.

 

Probably the best ease-of-use more conventional EAA system with CMOS camera currently in use is the Celestron 8" Evolution coupled with hyperstar and ASI294 camera with cable going to a laptop on a table right beside the scope.  Another slightly less expensive option might be the Celestron 6" CST (or Evolution) with the less expensive Hypersar (for the 6") with the new ASI533 or a less expensive older 1" camera.   Some other combinations would be a 6" or 8" Celestron on a alt-AZ mount that could accommodate the Night Owl and camera without hitting the base.   Others use other kinds of scopes reduced to appropriately to allow for tracking for their mount of choice.  But to use any of these systems you would have to do the following EVERYTIME you use it (in addition to what you would need to do with Stellina/evScope/Hiui)

  1. Add the reducer and camera.  
  2. connect cabling from the camera and route cable it to laptop.
  3. connect due heater (if you are at location that has humidity) and due heater controller.
  4. If your power needs exceed what the evolution mount can provide, add in the extra power source.
  5. Connect power cables to all things that need power.
  6. launch software packages on laptop.  
  7. Focus the camera
  8. Do a star alignment.
  9. slew to the target (check cables)
  10. work with software to set-up acquisition of target (gain/exposure/stacks, etc)
  11. after some integration, do some superficial "near real-time processing" with the histogram or contrast/color balance to get the best near-real-time representation of what you have collected so far.
  12. Then view the image

 

I'm looking out for things that can simplify or automate some of the above steps to reduce the complexity but I don't think you will be able to get it as simple as either Night Vision or the Stellina/evScope/Hiuni unless another manufacturer "builds in" some of these tasks inside a system.  But then you start to loose some flexibility.

 

It is a tough nut to crack to get a good, easy to use system that does not cost an arm and a leg

 

The analog revolution2 imager would be a viable lowest cost option for Many scope/mount options as long as you are content with an older analog system.  Perhaps for ease-of-use and low-cost considerations, the revolution2 is worth serious consideration.  You would still need to mess with most of the things I listed except for some simplification (like not requiring a laptop).

 

It seems to me that most of the criticism (particularly of the evScope) is from those not concerned about ease of use.

Yes, you can put together a better system for less if you are not concerned about ease of use.  

 

Personally, I'm not all that bothered about the exaggerated marketing for the evScope (and others).  I rationalize it as what they had to do in order to get the initial Crowd-funding through Kickstarter.  If they initially marketed the scope in such a way to satisfy the majority at Cloudy Nights, they would not have had enough early adopters to get kick-started and would not have had a company and it would never have been anything other than an idea.  I just want to see how well it actually works now that they have gotten to this point.


Edited by jprideaux, 29 December 2019 - 11:36 AM.

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#9 jprideaux

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 11:47 AM

"

- iOptron Am Mount Pro - $1300

- Tele Vue 85 - $2300 (or similar 80mm refractor for $800-$900)

- Revolution Imager - $300

"

I think that is a good suggestion.

 

I've had my eye on the iOptron AZ pro mount for a while.  All you have to do is to spend time getting it level and then it does the rest of the star alignment on its own.  I have heard, though, that it ends up turning around a couple times during the auto-alignment which can cause difficulties if you have cables going to a near-by table.  If you set-it-up so that everything needed is strapped on the telescope, (like battery/imager/revolution2 or minicompuer) then that might get around that cable-wrap issue).  

 

I'm very interested in other's experiences in using the iOptron Az-pro for an easy-to-use EAA set-up.

 

One frequent poster here in this forum got one for the this potential but ended up returning it because he could not see an easy way to get around the cord-wrap issue.



#10 spereira

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 11:51 AM

Personally, I'm not all that bothered about the exaggerated marketing for the evScope (and others).  

I am *very* glad that someone has finally said this.  Me too, BTW.  We have been putting up with the Hubble Telescope images on the boxes of department store telescopes for years, and we all know that it's simply exaggerated hype.  For me, it's the same thing with the marketing hype of these new systems.

 

smp



#11 spereira

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 11:53 AM

I have heard, though, that it ends up turning around a couple times during the auto-alignment which can cause difficulties if you have cables going to a near-by table.  

The iOptron Az Pro mount makes one 360 degree turn during its setup calibration.  It has to find North.  After the full turn, it will slew to its alignment target, which may be in either direction, so I suppose that could be another partial turn in addition to the first full turn.

 

smp



#12 sg6

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 12:11 PM

Unsure of cost but buy a Meade LS6, add a camera to the eyepiece end and I suspect you have one.

Also if I recall you would have one that has a fair rexemblance to the EvScope.



#13 OleCuss

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 02:45 PM

Unsure of cost but buy a Meade LS6, add a camera to the eyepiece end and I suspect you have one.

Also if I recall you would have one that has a fair rexemblance to the EvScope.

Well. . .  Maybe?

 

You'll likely have to add an adapter and maybe a focuser.  Now with the camera in place you may very well have clearance problems.  Oh, and because the LS-6 has a focal length of something like 1524mm you will probably want a focal reducer (maybe the HD version of the Night Owl) - and suddenly your clearance issues just got more pronounced.

 

I'm not sure about the eVscope, but I am pretty sure the Stellina has an autofocuser.  So the focuser you'll need to attach would be an autofocuser to equal the functionality.  And because the LS-6 has their built-in focuser which you can't get rid of you just may have to use that focuser at times as well.

 

Now you still need to add a minimum of a computer with a computer power supply and a USB cable to the camera.

 

All that done you still have to select your sub-exposure length, the gain, likely work the histogram and maybe tweak a few other things.

 

 

These AstroOptical Cameras are doing a lot for you behind the scenes to make it simple and easy.  We can have better observing at a lower price but unless you have an observatory and don't wish to observe elsewhere you simply cannot do what they do without developing something similar at a very high price.


Edited by OleCuss, 29 December 2019 - 02:46 PM.


#14 outofsight

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 06:44 PM

From post #3, "Duplicating the Stellina, eVscope, or Hiuni would be wildly expensive if you were to make just 1 copy." Surely, you jest (sorry about calling you Surely).

 

I'll duplicate an eVscope for you right now. You send me $3500 right now, and in June I might send you something. I rounded up because, why not, and I might send you something because Unistellar has pushed the date back so many times, and far enough, that I figure I have until at least 2022 to deliver. The bold type below is what Unistellar is currently stating on their website. (Here's what I get the biggest kick out of, "only 473 units remain for a June delivery." I pity the fool who doesn't buy in right now! If this is not a scam, then it is certainly marketed like one.)

 

https://shop.unistel...sappc-landing-2

 

Order your eVscope now and secure a delivery before summer 2020.

 

Only 473 units remain for a June delivery.

$2,999.00 USD
  (excl. $224.93 import tax & $59 shipping - incl price: $3,282.93)

 

What are the odds of these scopes shipping this summer, not very good, according their track record so far. You have a much better chance of receiving something of value from me. Or you should at least consider a Stellina for $4K, last time I checked, $4K for something that exists is a better deal than $3K+ for "vaporware." And you might even get an iPad thrown in with the Stellina.

 

https://optcorp.com/...ASABEgIC0PD_BwE

 

I don't think people have written negatively about the eVscope or Stellina, because it's a bad concept, but because of price, and because the eVscope doesn't exist, and hasn't to this date, in any reasonably purchasable form. These other lengthy threads can be reasonably summed up in about two sentences, actually only my opinion in some respects. The Stellina is definitely more interesting than the eVscope, why, because the Stellina is available for purchase. What happened to the eVscope, nothing. Oh wait, something has happened, the price of "nothing" has gone up.

 

https://www.cloudyni...an-the-evscope/

 

https://www.cloudyni...tellar-evscope/

 

There's nothing wrong with the concept, but there is something wrong with constantly promising something and not delivering. In those lengthy threads I haven't really seen anyone put down the idea of such a scope or what such a scope could be, but I have seen posters deride the eVscope, maybe too harshly, maybe not. 

 

Some of you don't seem to be able to separate fact from fantasy, and so far, the Unistellar scope is much closer to fantasy than fact. That's a fact.

 

(I hope both of these scopes work out, and so far, the Stellina is working out. And the price doesn't bother me in the least, it might be overpriced, but that is neither here nor there, the amounts some of us spend on astro-equipment could easily justify taking a chance on such a system. On the other hand, give me $3K now and I'll give you a scope in 6 months, no thanks. Stellina is a cool system, the eVscope remains to be seen, and I hope it is seen in decent numbers, but I'm not gonna hold my breath.)



#15 mikenoname

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 02:49 AM

As trivial is it may sound, I don't like setting up equatorial mounts.

Then don't.

 

I have a 5" reflector on a simple, cheap SLT AltAz mount with StarSense that aligns itself. While it is doing the eight-point automated alignment that I set up on it, I am setting up table, chair and getting the plastic tub out that has all the cameras and other goodies. By the time I am done setting that up, the scope is aligned and waiting for me. No messing around with finder scopes or eyepieces to find alignment stars.

 

I takes me maybe 5 minutes from that point to capturing subs for my first image. Yeah, there's cables and cords, but it's quick, easy, and the whole thing costed about 20% of what the eVscope costs.

 

Imaging Setup 130_SLTs.jpg


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#16 jprideaux

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 06:32 AM

The iOptron Az Pro mount makes one 360 degree turn during its setup calibration...

I’ve thought a nice way to eliminate the issue of cord-wrap with that full turn may be to come up with a “smart counterweight” consisting of a power-brick and ASiAir-pro or equivalent and use wireless to tablet for viewing. Then at least in azimuth, it can spin as much as it needs to for alignment and/or slewing to targets.


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#17 spereira

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 08:21 AM

I’ve thought a nice way to eliminate the issue of cord-wrap with that full turn may be to come up with a “smart counterweight” consisting of a power-brick and ASiAir-pro or equivalent and use wireless to tablet for viewing. Then at least in azimuth, it can spin as much as it needs to for alignment and/or slewing to targets.


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Indeed.  The Az Mount Pro has its own built-in battery and built-in WiFi connection for wireless scope control already, so your potential solution would take care of the imaging wiring.  (For some additional cost to be added to the total.)

 

I was thinking the Revolution Imager could be installed after the mount does its calibration/alignment dance.

 

smp



#18 GOLGO13

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 09:18 AM

Then don't.

 

I have a 5" reflector on a simple, cheap SLT AltAz mount with StarSense that aligns itself. While it is doing the eight-point automated alignment that I set up on it, I am setting up table, chair and getting the plastic tub out that has all the cameras and other goodies. By the time I am done setting that up, the scope is aligned and waiting for me. No messing around with finder scopes or eyepieces to find alignment stars.

 

I takes me maybe 5 minutes from that point to capturing subs for my first image. Yeah, there's cables and cords, but it's quick, easy, and the whole thing costed about 20% of what the eVscope costs.

 

attachicon.gifImaging Setup 130_SLTs.jpg

How is StarSense working for you? Does it seem to work well? Do you need the whole sky to be open or is it OK with 3/4 a sky? I may consider this at some point. I don't think I'd be able to use it with my current mount. But you never know. I'd probably still have to use a EQ mount to handle my scopes. I think my new 6 inch F4 imaging newt would be ideal. 

 

For now I'll probably have to figure out my EQ mount. I've spent too much money on astronomy lately. Still, night vision does provide a pretty nice view and it's real time. So I think getting to a darker sky to try out night vision could be very interesting.



#19 bdyer22

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 11:22 AM

How is StarSense working for you? Does it seem to work well? Do you need the whole sky to be open or is it OK with 3/4 a sky? I may consider this at some point. I don't think I'd be able to use it with my current mount. But you never know. I'd probably still have to use a EQ mount to handle my scopes. I think my new 6 inch F4 imaging newt would be ideal. 

 

For now I'll probably have to figure out my EQ mount. I've spent too much money on astronomy lately. Still, night vision does provide a pretty nice view and it's real time. So I think getting to a darker sky to try out night vision could be very interesting.

StarSense is awesome.  You only have to calibrate it to the scope/mount combination you're using once - it can remember 3 and will work with both Celestron EQ/AZ mounts with no need to reflash the HC.  Then smooth sailing.  Use it on my SLT and AVX.  Near dead center every time

Just remember, if you disassemble the setup you should put the Starsense into the same finder base/config it was calibrated in.

 

Edit - I have some large trees to my W, SW & NW - porch lights everywhere & two street lights.  Once even forgot to turn off my own porch lights - 12ft from my setup.  Never had a problem aligning.  I'd estimate I've got 70-75% visibility.


Edited by bdyer22, 30 December 2019 - 11:25 AM.


#20 GOLGO13

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 12:35 PM

StarSense is awesome.  You only have to calibrate it to the scope/mount combination you're using once - it can remember 3 and will work with both Celestron EQ/AZ mounts with no need to reflash the HC.  Then smooth sailing.  Use it on my SLT and AVX.  Near dead center every time

Just remember, if you disassemble the setup you should put the Starsense into the same finder base/config it was calibrated in.

 

Edit - I have some large trees to my W, SW & NW - porch lights everywhere & two street lights.  Once even forgot to turn off my own porch lights - 12ft from my setup.  Never had a problem aligning.  I'd estimate I've got 70-75% visibility.

That sounds pretty good. Anything to make things easier is good in my book. 

 

My Intelliscope is very easy to use. Just a simple two star alignment manually pushing the scope. But sometimes I like having tracking capabilities. 



#21 mikenoname

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 01:33 PM

How is StarSense working for you? Does it seem to work well? Do you need the whole sky to be open or is it OK with 3/4 a sky? I may consider this at some point. I don't think I'd be able to use it with my current mount. But you never know. I'd probably still have to use a EQ mount to handle my scopes. I think my new 6 inch F4 imaging newt would be ideal.

 

What bdyer said.

 

And StarSense is very flexible with regard to obstructions from your viewing location. When using the fully automated session, if it happens to point into an obstruction, it simply ignores it and moves on to another sky location to take another image. It also has a manual mode that allows you to point the scope so that it can take its pictures. So you can set it up in your favorite spot in your yard, point the scope to a few (or even better several) locations in the sky using the manual mode and then save that alignment session as an auto user alignment. Then the scope will use your customized alignment session whenever you want.

 

I'm not doing a very good job explaining it, but suffice it to say it's much easier to do than it is to explain.


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#22 GOLGO13

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 03:21 PM

I'll have to see if it works with the SynScan controller. Sometimes even though it's not specifically Celestron, it may still work.

 

I still have to learn how to do a proper polar alignment. I can get it in the area of Polaris, but there is some sort of process to get it 100% correct for the Polaris position.

 

Often I just don't have the patience to learn/read the manuals on these things. Maybe this year I'll give it more of a go.



#23 bdyer22

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 03:33 PM

I'll have to see if it works with the SynScan controller. Sometimes even though it's not specifically Celestron, it may still work.

 

I still have to learn how to do a proper polar alignment. I can get it in the area of Polaris, but there is some sort of process to get it 100% correct for the Polaris position.

 

Often I just don't have the patience to learn/read the manuals on these things. Maybe this year I'll give it more of a go.

Other's can chime in here, but I'm pretty sure the Celestron version of StarSense will not work with SynScan.  There is a SkyWatcher SynScan version.

 

Compatible Sky-Watcher Mounts:

    Sky-Watcher HEQ5
    Sky-Watcher EQ6
    Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5
    Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6
    Sky-Watcher EQ8
    Sky-Watcher AZ SynScan Compatible Mounts


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#24 GOLGO13

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 04:25 PM

Other's can chime in here, but I'm pretty sure the Celestron version of StarSense will not work with SynScan.  There is a SkyWatcher SynScan version.

 

Compatible Sky-Watcher Mounts:

    Sky-Watcher HEQ5
    Sky-Watcher EQ6
    Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5
    Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6
    Sky-Watcher EQ8
    Sky-Watcher AZ SynScan Compatible Mounts

Nice...I'll check and see if mine is part of that. I think it's one of those. It's not technically made for my mount (the Vixen GPD2), but it was very easy to make it work. I just had to trim some plastic off one small area. 



#25 Alien Observatory

Alien Observatory

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 05:15 PM

Other's can chime in here, but I'm pretty sure the Celestron version of StarSense will not work with SynScan.  There is a SkyWatcher SynScan version.

 

Compatible Sky-Watcher Mounts:

    Sky-Watcher HEQ5
    Sky-Watcher EQ6
    Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5
    Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6
    Sky-Watcher EQ8
    Sky-Watcher AZ SynScan Compatible Mounts

TY Sir, I will try one out in 2020...Pat Utah  smile.gif  smile.gif

 

https://www.celestro...-watcher-mounts


Edited by Alien Observatory, 30 December 2019 - 05:15 PM.

  • bdyer22 likes this


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