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Celestron poor gears quality

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#1 jjfabien

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 12:49 PM

Hello everyone,

 

I am new to this forum. I have been into astronomy since very young and very recently purchased a brand new telescope, a Celestron 8SE. I took a lot of time browsing and making my mind up before buying this scope since I wanted to invest into a good and affordable scope. On most forums, youtube, articles, the 8SE is mentioned as a pretty good performer in terms of price / quality.

I purchased the scope with a set of accessories including the GPS, Wifi module, power tank, StarSense, filters, scope finder, dew caps, etc, etc...

However, the Wifi module worked 5 to 6 times before refusing te connect, the GPS never worked despite all the configurations and protocole applied after having searched the web for a solution, the StarSense Hand controller is also faulty. When pressing the direction buttons, the scope will only move after 2 press and move even if I remove my finger from the buttons. it keeps turning for 2 seconds. I purchased a new wifi module which worked - thanks God - and when using the wifi module via skyportal, the scope direction buttons work fine (on the software).
I have contacted the Celestron's support team and as at today (after a couple of days), i only got a reply regarding the GPS which they offered to change.
 

Have any other members suffered such issues with celestron gears?

 

I have purchased all my gears brand new from BHPhotoVideo.

 

Thanks for your kind reply.

Jean Jacques Fabien



#2 JohnBear

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 03:45 PM

Jean - You may be among many who jump into astronomy thinking it is just a hobby that only takes "good sate of the art equipment" to easily master. That is not quite the case. This matter has been addressed many times in the forums and will continue for the foreseeable future.   My advice is:

BEFORE BUYING a lot of expensive and complicated telescope equipment that most people will not know how to use, I highly recommend that New, Inexperienced, Beginner amateur astronomers spend some time reading posts in:

 

1. the Best of the Beginners' Forum & How-Tos especially several posts like 

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/92523-a-few-basics-about-telescope-types-for-beginners/#entry1216669

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/20827-my-first-experiences-as-a-newbie/#entry261660

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/35211-looking-for-new-eyepieces/#entry455539 

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/25431-dob-vs-goto-a-9-year-olds-decision/#entry321854

    https://www.cloudyni...-acronym-list/   When you know them all, you are "ready".

 

2. A lot of us really believe in mastering the basics before getting into high tech telescopes. One way to do that is with a simple, but very capable and useful Dobsonian telescope. There are lots to choose from, but the AWS Onesky gets a lot of recommendations, especially for newbies, and it has a HUGE forum of its own on CN:

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/?hl=%20onesky

Reading this forum may take several weeks, but it is fascinating reading, and it addresses astronomy equipment in a unique and educational perspective that a lot of people will miss when they just buy a ton of expensive equipment - and somehow expect it to "work" when they first flip the ON switch.

 

3. About your specific telescope problem(s); Reading the following may help, then maybe go back and review 1 & 2 above. 

    https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/690588-se-series-nexstars/ 

I especially recommend NC member Pollywog's blog about his 5 year journey of learning a few tidbits that he needed to know about his 8SE:  http://polywogg.ca/s...on-nexstar-8se/ .  

 

Odds are that (most if not all) the equipment you bought is probably OK. However, one of the most frequent problems that new users have is a mechanical issue, usually related to a loose nut on the controller or keyboard.

 

 The above links may help you, but getting support from local experienced friends via an astro club is highly recommended when you have new equipment issues. This also where you can try it (and learn to use it) before you buy it.

 

Be patient and you will work your way thru it.



#3 jjfabien

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 04:38 PM

Hello John,

 

Thanks for your reply. I'm just gonna give you a little bit more information about myself.

 

I'm 47 and I'm a professional photographer since 1994. I own 10 camera bodies such as Canon 1DX MIIs, Nikon D850s, Sony A7III and have a collection of over 30 lens such as Nikon 200mm F2, Canon 85 F/1.2, etc... . I won several international awards as a successful wedding photographer. You can have a look at my site on www.fotoshootprod.com. The site www.topteny.com has rated me as among the 10 best wedding photographer in the world in 2017. This is to tell you that I know about gears, imaging, photography, composition and particularly light.

 

In regards to astronomy, I was first at school for anything related to astronomy. As a teenager, one of my hobby was to guess the rotation and revolution of all planets of the solar system with the only information of the diameter of the planet and distance to the sun. I would calculate the rise and set of planets (from observation) for a range of period to determine their movement in the sky.

When I was young I did not have enough money to purchase a proper telescope but I had a good pair of binoculars which allowed me to look at nebulae, clusters and the milky way. I used to spend most of my free time into books such as those of Hubert Reeves or the Quid, etc... to study the composition of stars, the formation of clusters, galaxies, etc... but also learn about the formation of the universe, the transformation of Hydrogen into helium, the nuclear reaction happening inside stars to produce, light, energy, particles, gamma rays, etc... I learned about the expansion of the universe, the theory of relativity, the gravitational waves, etc..., etc... etc... So, I might be a new fancy telescope owner but I'm pretty fond and know quite a lot about the universe and what happens outside there.

I decided that it was time for me to spend a little bit more time into what i like (astronomy). I don't have so much time to spend hours and days to follow the sky because of my work but I'm starting to get into it since my business is growing a lot and I am spending a good deal of time to invest into people who will be able to take over gradually which will let me enjoy more time into my hobby.

 

I'm from Mauritius Island and unfortunately, the astronomical community is almost inexistant. There is only 1 astronomical club and it's pretty dormant. Most people do their things by themselves and there is not a single shop selling motorised telescope. Only one shop sells crap telescope (Tasco or manual vixen scopes). I actually purchased mine online on Bhphoto paying a hefty amount of money into express shipping. It cost me USD 400 in shipping only for the telescope. So you have to sort yourself out and don't have much local help in such expensive hobbys.

I'll try to figure out what happens with the scope but definitely, there is an issue with the hand controller because each time i with it on, it gets me a "Err : Model num" error message and a "critical error". i have checked and looked online for all possible solutions and most people wrote that Celestron's support department had said that their system was defective and replaced the items.


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#4 JohnBear

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 07:59 PM

Jean - I sincerely apologize for misinterpreting your situation. Obviously I've seen way too many people on the forums that buy equipment and expect that it will work with out learning how to use it, then they post here looking for a quick an easy answer.  That is obviously not the case for you. Not having access to local experienced astronomers familiar with you equipment makes your situation really rough.

 

It sounds like B&H Photo  and Celetron should take some responsibility for the problematic equipment in your orders.  I do hope they are responsive to your requests. Maybe to help them decide to support you, you should consider doing several posts here concisely describing the specific individual equipment problems that you have encountered - one post per equipment issue. Be sure to mention where you got the equipment (B&H) in each post.

 

After each post, contact B&H and Celestron about that specific issue, and provide a link to your posts on the forum. That should get their attention and encourage them to try and solve the problems ASAP (and encourage them to "do the right thing"). 

 

Using the carrot and stick approach should encourage them to help you. Post some details and nice compliments when they get a problem fixed. These "fix" posts may also serve to provide information to help others encountering similar problems. 

 

Good luck and clear skies.


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#5 Jeff Struve

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 08:55 AM

Yep, astrophotography is a totally different animal than daylight photography... unlike daylight photography, there is initially a lot less emphasis placed on the camera body and lens (telescope) than the mount... generally speaking, very good results can come from a lesser camera and scope if there is a decent mount supporting them... 

 

Even with the emphasis on a great mount, it still takes quite a bit of trials and tribulations to accurately get a great polar alignment as without one, even a great mount won't do much good.

 

Not saying that you are included in this batch, but I do see a lot of newcomers to astrophotography jump into the hobby with lots of nice, but unnecessary gear... like wifi and being able to run things remotely/wirelessly. These just add to the complexity of mastering the basics... My opinion of course...

 

Also, I am thinking that the 8se, although a decent scope, it is not the easiest to work with when starting into AP...  believe it is an AltAz mount, so the addition of a wedge is needed... and I don't believe that it has mirror locks, so you may have to deal with mirror flop.

 

As mentioned before, your expertise in photography gives you a great leap ahead of most new APers... but I would strip down to the bare minimum and get to the basics on manually running the mount... and maybe just for visual work until you get the kinks ironed out.

 

No doubt that you will get there quickly!

 

Jeff 



#6 jjfabien

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 02:12 PM

Hello Jeff,

Thanks for your message. I enjoy astrophotography a lot. I actually have an ioptron SkyGuider which I have used sometimes for astrophotography using a 200mm F/2 combined with a Nikon D850 (46mpx). The result can be seen attached. There are some more photos but not so good to my taste. These are the great magellan cloud and small magellan cloud.
 
As mention previously, I'm from Mauritius which is situated in the southern hemisphere. The great challenge that you guys from the northern hemisphere do not face is that we do not have any polar star to align our tracker (manual). The star which is the equivalent of Polaris is Sigma Octantis which is of magnitude +5.42. It's not even in the axis of the earth but slightly off. Because of its very faint light it's invisible in a finderscope. This is why a computerised scope is a must in the south hemisphere. The images I got were possible after 2 days of trying to align the tracker with the polar axis for long exposure photos. It was a bit of a strike of luck since images were 3 mns exposure at F/2 and 400 iso. Most images not properly aligned turned up with star trails (I've included a shot of Orion and horse head. The nebulae came out ok but with star trails).
 
I have purchased a wedge in order to turn the alt/az mount to an equatorial mount. (the celestron wedge).
 
The wifi is honestly a very nice feature. It's not necessary but it simplifies life a lot. When combined with the app skyportal, it allows you to choose your destination. When you are using the hand controller only, you have names and don't know exactly where the object is in the sky. If you want to look for a specific object, you have to scroll items by items. + objects are classified by type and often you will find nebulae into messier, stars into object, etc..., etc... So it's spending a lot of time trying to find what you want. i also discovered that there are a couple of objects not found in the hand controller while they are in the app.

Another reason I find the wifi module and skyportal app a definite asset. When connecting a camera with the scope, it is longer than the distance of the scope with the base of the mount. It means that you cannot move the scope at some angle because of the camera being too long for the port. I had this situation where I tried to look at an object that was almost at the zenith and had to switch off the mount to avoid the camera or T ring to break something with the scope. When you have the App connected, you can know what object you can slew to or not because of the angle.
 
EDIT : I received an email from Celestron Support team. They offered to send me new Wifi module, StarSenseCameraFirmware camera and hand controller and GPS module. That is great news and a plus to celestron support team. Will let you know about the outcome.
 
DSC_4146.jpg 
DSC_4149.jpg 
DSC_4140-Modifier.jpg

DSC_4146.jpg


Edited by jjfabien, 16 January 2020 - 02:21 PM.


#7 jjfabien

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 02:15 PM

By the way, how to attach photos to  post?



#8 jjfabien

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 02:24 PM

Jean - I sincerely apologize for misinterpreting your situation. Obviously I've seen way too many people on the forums that buy equipment and expect that it will work with out learning how to use it, then they post here looking for a quick an easy answer.  That is obviously not the case for you. Not having access to local experienced astronomers familiar with you equipment makes your situation really rough.

 

It sounds like B&H Photo  and Celetron should take some responsibility for the problematic equipment in your orders.  I do hope they are responsive to your requests. Maybe to help them decide to support you, you should consider doing several posts here concisely describing the specific individual equipment problems that you have encountered - one post per equipment issue. Be sure to mention where you got the equipment (B&H) in each post.

 

After each post, contact B&H and Celestron about that specific issue, and provide a link to your posts on the forum. That should get their attention and encourage them to try and solve the problems ASAP (and encourage them to "do the right thing"). 

 

Using the carrot and stick approach should encourage them to help you. Post some details and nice compliments when they get a problem fixed. These "fix" posts may also serve to provide information to help others encountering similar problems. 

 

Good luck and clear skies.

No worries John. No harm . The good news is that Celestron replied and they are changing the StarSense camera and HC, wifi and GPS.



#9 Jeff Struve

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:11 AM

By the way, how to attach photos to  post?

Toward the bottom right of the reply screen, select More Reply Options... then on the left will apear where you can choose File, then Attach File...

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#10 jjfabien

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 09:49 AM

Toward the bottom right of the reply screen, select More Reply Options... then on the left will apear where you can choose File, then Attach File...

Thank you So much Jeff,

 

Unfortunately after having chosen the files (downsized them so that they don't make more than 500kb) i received a message saying that I'm not allowed to post that image extension on this community. Don't understand what that means.

 

Kind regards

 

Jean Jacques Fabien 



#11 GrandadCast

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 02:12 PM

Being in photography for what you have posted earlier you have a strange question regarding photo file extension. Just make it a jpg image under 500k file size (not talking about the expanded display image size) and it will work.

Jess



#12 jjfabien

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 03:07 PM

Being in photography for what you have posted earlier you have a strange question regarding photo file extension. Just make it a jpg image under 500k file size (not talking about the expanded display image size) and it will work.

Jess

 

Hi Jess,

 

Obviously the pictures were posted in jpg. That is why i don't understand the question when the system says that I'm not allowed to post in that extension. So in which extension must I post then? That is a bit of a nonsense to me. The pictures make 282kb, 250kb and 266kb each. I actually had to reduce the files to 1000 px and 72dpi. Unfortunately the system keeps telling me that it cannot publish in that extension.


Edited by jjfabien, 18 January 2020 - 03:08 PM.


#13 GrandadCast

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 11:28 PM

Hi Jess,

 

Obviously the pictures were posted in jpg. That is why i don't understand the question when the system says that I'm not allowed to post in that extension. So in which extension must I post then? That is a bit of a nonsense to me. The pictures make 282kb, 250kb and 266kb each. I actually had to reduce the files to 1000 px and 72dpi. Unfortunately the system keeps telling me that it cannot publish in that extension.

Just checking. I think I see the problem, the limit is not a single file size of 500k but the total size per post. Break it into three posting.

Jess


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#14 jjfabien

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 02:05 AM

Hi Jess,

 

Obviously the pictures were posted in jpg. That is why i don't understand the question when the system says that I'm not allowed to post in that extension. So in which extension must I post then? That is a bit of a nonsense to me. The pictures make 282kb, 250kb and 266kb each. I actually had to reduce the files to 1000 px and 72dpi. Unfortunately the system keeps telling me that it cannot publish in that extension.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC_4146Preview_1.jpg

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#15 jjfabien

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 02:05 AM

 

Hi Jess,

 

Obviously the pictures were posted in jpg. That is why i don't understand the question when the system says that I'm not allowed to post in that extension. So in which extension must I post then? That is a bit of a nonsense to me. The pictures make 282kb, 250kb and 266kb each. I actually had to reduce the files to 1000 px and 72dpi. Unfortunately the system keeps telling me that it cannot publish in that extension.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC_4149Preview_1.jpg

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#16 jjfabien

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 02:06 AM

 

 

Hi Jess,

 

Obviously the pictures were posted in jpg. That is why i don't understand the question when the system says that I'm not allowed to post in that extension. So in which extension must I post then? That is a bit of a nonsense to me. The pictures make 282kb, 250kb and 266kb each. I actually had to reduce the files to 1000 px and 72dpi. Unfortunately the system keeps telling me that it cannot publish in that extension.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC_4140-ModifierPreview_1.jpg


#17 jjfabien

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 02:07 AM

Here we are. I've been able to post the photos at least. 

 

Thanks Jess for your help.


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