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Starsense and meridians

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17 replies to this topic

#1 calypsob

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 08:20 AM

I had starsense setup for the first time with my CGE last night. It worked AMAZINGLY WELL. My only issue was meridian flip. M66 was at meridian and the mout wanted to just stop tracking for an hour. Is there a way to force a flip?

#2 junomike

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 08:40 AM

IME once you get close to the meridian (using SSA or just a HC) you need to select the object again and the Mount will do the flip, at least it did in my case.



#3 nic35

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 09:45 AM

Just reread your post, and will admit I'm a little confused.  Do you mean during initial alignment ?  If so, what follows is helpful, if not... well then ignore 

 

 

If always use a "user auto align" to set up.  I do it mainly because of the obstructions at my observing site - but when I travel there's no reason not to use it.

 

The manual align that I saved as a "user auto align" starts with 2 locations east of the meridian, then 2 to the west.  In going to those two western ones I slewed through north, thus avoiding the meridian issue.  The saved user auto align apparently remembers the direction of the slews, and so each time it repeats my original "dance"

 

john


Edited by nic35, 22 February 2020 - 09:49 AM.


#4 calypsob

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 11:45 AM

IME once you get close to the meridian (using SSA or just a HC) you need to select the object again and the Mount will do the flip, at least it did in my case.

This did not work. The mount would track the galaxy across meridian and then stop tracking. If i tried goto again it stayed on the west side of ra instead of flipping over to east.


Edited by calypsob, 03 March 2020 - 11:49 AM.


#5 calypsob

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 11:47 AM

Just reread your post, and will admit I'm a little confused.  Do you mean during initial alignment ?  If so, what follows is helpful, if not... well then ignore 

 

 

If always use a "user auto align" to set up.  I do it mainly because of the obstructions at my observing site - but when I travel there's no reason not to use it.

 

The manual align that I saved as a "user auto align" starts with 2 locations east of the meridian, then 2 to the west.  In going to those two western ones I slewed through north, thus avoiding the meridian issue.  The saved user auto align apparently remembers the direction of the slews, and so each time it repeats my original "dance"

 

john

My initial alignment is working fine. The problem is the mount is not doing a meridian flip when it should, it took almost an hour to change over to east. Im not sure what dictates this function but the user should be able to initiate a flip without waiting.



#6 calypsob

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 11:50 AM

I sent Celestron an email about this issue, hopefully they can offer a solution



#7 Noah4x4

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 12:52 PM

I recall a past debate somewhere in one of the Forums about a feature called 'Meridian' that instructs the mount to respond when slewing to objects that can be accessed on either side of the meridian subject to user set slew limits.  If my memory serves me correctly, this isn't a feature of Celestron mounts, which would explain.

 

The way to resolve this was using (say) Sequence Generator Pro software or Maxim DL where the automated programmed sequence might include commands to fix this. Otherwise the solution was to do this manually. 


Edited by Noah4x4, 03 March 2020 - 12:53 PM.


#8 calypsob

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 06:59 AM

I recall a past debate somewhere in one of the Forums about a feature called 'Meridian' that instructs the mount to respond when slewing to objects that can be accessed on either side of the meridian subject to user set slew limits. If my memory serves me correctly, this isn't a feature of Celestron mounts, which would explain.

The way to resolve this was using (say) Sequence Generator Pro software or Maxim DL where the automated programmed sequence might include commands to fix this. Otherwise the solution was to do this manually.


Yea I could plate solve in sgp but that defeats the purpose of the starsense

#9 Noah4x4

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 10:11 AM

Yea I could plate solve in sgp but that defeats the purpose of the starsense

I don't understand this criticism. Starsense is only an initial alignment tool. It offers an accurate automated alignment. However, it  has zero influence over subsequent tracking and Meridian Flip.

 

I have since established the problem is the absence of any 'Meridian (flip)' command in your mount. But it can be fixed in SG Pro by creating a sequence that includes a meridian flip.

 

I find it strange that others have not chipped in with solutions, nor has anybody suggested it is a fault with your CGE. On reading multiple posts in CN and SG Pro Forums these suggest  to me that the problem is that the CGE WILL track past the Meridian until it hits software stops at which point it will stop tracking. No auto flip.

 

People solve this once certain the scope is a couple of degrees past the Meridian by hitting <GoTo> the target. The OTA is already on point whilst still tracking, so it simply resets to a position across the Meridian. I didn't discover how far past the Meridian before the stops kick in. However, to automate this you do need a sequence in (say) SG Pro to effect the change when (say) 2 ° past the Meridian.


Edited by Noah4x4, 04 March 2020 - 10:22 AM.


#10 SkipW

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 04:06 PM

I recall a past debate somewhere in one of the Forums about a feature called 'Meridian' that instructs the mount to respond when slewing to objects that can be accessed on either side of the meridian subject to user set slew limits.  If my memory serves me correctly, this isn't a feature of Celestron mounts, which would explain.

There is a 'Meridian' setting in the NexStar and NexStar+ hand controls. I don't know if it is available in the StarSense HCs or not, but suspect it is.

 

MENU - Scope Setup - Meridian

 

 

 

Meridian – This feature instructs the mount on how to
respond when it is slewing to objects that are accessible
from both sides of the Meridian. The Meridian feature allows
the telescope tube to remain on a desired side of the mount
when slewing, and continue to track according to the R.A.
slew limits the user has set. See R.A. Limits below. The
Meridian feature allows for four choices:

Favor Current – Allows the mount to favor whatever side
of the mount that it is currently on when slewing to objects
close to the Meridian. For example, if your R.A. slew limits
are set to allow the mount to track 10° past the meridian,
then the telescope will continue to stay on its current side
of the Meridian when slewing to objects that are as far as
10° beyond your Meridian.
Favor West – If the target object is accessible from both
sides of the mount, selecting “Favor West” instructs the
mount to point to the object as if it were on the west side
of the meridian. The optical tube will then be positioned on
the east side of the mount and pointing west.
Favor East – If the target object is accessible from both
sides of the mount, selecting “Favor East” instructs the
mount to point to the object as if it were on the east side
of the meridian. The optical tube will then be positioned on
the west side of the mount and pointing east.
Disable – This is the default setting, which instructs the
mount to always swing around to the other side of the pier
as required to view objects on the opposite side of the
Meridian. However, once at the desired object, the mount
will continue to track past the Meridian according to the
R.A. slew limits that have been set.

If the mount is set for Favor Current or Favor East, it will not flip until the object moves significantly far past of the meridian.


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#11 calypsob

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 11:26 PM

I don't understand this criticism. Starsense is only an initial alignment tool. It offers an accurate automated alignment. However, it  has zero influence over subsequent tracking and Meridian Flip.

 

I have since established the problem is the absence of any 'Meridian (flip)' command in your mount. But it can be fixed in SG Pro by creating a sequence that includes a meridian flip.

 

I find it strange that others have not chipped in with solutions, nor has anybody suggested it is a fault with your CGE. On reading multiple posts in CN and SG Pro Forums these suggest  to me that the problem is that the CGE WILL track past the Meridian until it hits software stops at which point it will stop tracking. No auto flip.

 

People solve this once certain the scope is a couple of degrees past the Meridian by hitting <GoTo> the target. The OTA is already on point whilst still tracking, so it simply resets to a position across the Meridian. I didn't discover how far past the Meridian before the stops kick in. However, to automate this you do need a sequence in (say) SG Pro to effect the change when (say) 2 ° past the Meridian.

I only use SGP for image integration, camera temp control, phd2 guiding and dithering, and automated focusing. I do not use its plate solving feature, this is what I rely on from starsense, which is also plate solving in order to land your scope on its intended target. Star sense replaces the old HC, which makes it responsible not only for tracking but also any other common HC feature. 

 

The CGE has internal switches for RA and Dec alignment and also 2 sensors for the RA East West limits, I assume to prevent a pier crash.  As I mentioned, the mount simply stopped tracking for about an hour and when I would hit goto, It continued to attempt guiding east and then after about an hour it decided it was time to flip to the other side.  I simply want to be in control of when this happens, simply adding a E/W option when typing in a DSO to do a goto would make this a simple task.



#12 calypsob

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 11:28 PM

There is a 'Meridian' setting in the NexStar and NexStar+ hand controls. I don't know if it is available in the StarSense HCs or not, but suspect it is.

 

MENU - Scope Setup - Meridian

 

If the mount is set for Favor Current or Favor East, it will not flip until the object moves significantly far past of the meridian.

Ok, I thought I had seen this in the nexstar plus menu.

I looked and looked through the starsense controller and could not find this, then again I had been outside in 16f weather for about 4 hours so I was not exactly on my A- game.

I will check again tomorrow evening and do a test setup, this would be fantastic.


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#13 Noah4x4

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 01:51 AM

I see what you mean now.

 

Yes, the Starsense HC replaces a Nexstar + HC, but Starsense itself does NOT control tracking and Meridian Flips. The issue might be the absence of a Meridian command in the Starsense HC. This wouldn't surprise me as there are a number of absent functions.

 

If the Nexstar + HC embraces a Meridian command and the Starsense HC doesn't, I suggest you try this. Plug in BOTH controllers into different AUX ports. When both have initialised, and before attempting an alignment, set the Meridian command using the Nexstar + HC.  Then commence align with the Starsense HC.

 

I discovered that this methodology allows you to access some (but not all) Nexstar + <Menu> commands absent in the Starsense HC. This can be useful for diagnostics and it is how I proved the existence of the Starsense wedge ASPA bug (now fixed) by comparing read outs. The only caution, don't align with one then attempt GoTo with the other!

 

It's worth a try. But first let's hope the Starsense HC does offer the <Meridian> command. I will satisfy my curiosity later today. But I don't recall seeing it.

 

EDIT

Just checked my Starsense HC Controller and under Menu > Telescope > Set Up there is no <Meridian> command. Ran through other Menu options, could not find it. But this isn't the only command in a Nexstar HC that hasn't made it into the Starsense HC.


Edited by Noah4x4, 05 March 2020 - 04:15 AM.


#14 outofsight

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 09:25 AM

https://www.cloudyni...meridian-favor/

 

Yeah, bummer, seemed like a reasonable thing to look for, and a reasonable thing that should be there. Nothing that addresses meridian.


Edited by outofsight, 05 March 2020 - 09:26 AM.


#15 calypsob

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 11:07 AM

Well if everyone doesnt mind shooting celestron a quick email linking this thread, Im hoping they could offer a firmware update that adds meridian features to the starsense HC menu.

#16 Noah4x4

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 12:20 PM

Well if everyone doesnt mind shooting celestron a quick email linking this thread, Im hoping they could offer a firmware update that adds meridian features to the starsense HC menu.

Best bet is raise it in TeamCelestron. Then Derik (developer) will directly see it.

 

EDIT

Just checked in TeamCelestron. The absence of the 'Meridian' command was raised in the "Feature Request" forum for the Starsense HC in January 2018. I don't propose to read the subsequent 38 pages of additional Starsense HC feature requests to see if that request ever went anywhere. But it evidently isn't considered a priority if still absent after two years.

 

However, Meridian Flips have been resolved as a feature in the Starsense version of CPWI.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Noah4x4, 05 March 2020 - 12:39 PM.


#17 calypsob

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 04:40 PM

Best bet is raise it in TeamCelestron. Then Derik (developer) will directly see it.

EDIT
Just checked in TeamCelestron. The absence of the 'Meridian' command was raised in the "Feature Request" forum for the Starsense HC in January 2018. I don't propose to read the subsequent 38 pages of additional Starsense HC feature requests to see if that request ever went anywhere. But it evidently isn't considered a priority if still absent after two years.

However, Meridian Flips have been resolved as a feature in the Starsense version of CPWI.



Interesting. I could not get cpwi to work with my cge via nexstar hc or the direct aux port. I need to try starsense hc and see if that will work

#18 Noah4x4

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 02:26 AM

Interesting. I could not get cpwi to work with my cge via nexstar hc or the direct aux port. I need to try starsense hc and see if that will work

CPWI works fine via my Starsense HC whether via cable or SkyPortal external WiFi accessory albeit the range of the latter is poor. Please however note that the public release of CPWI is umpteen versions behind the latest Beta version in TeamCelestron that I am using. Many bug fixes feature in the latest versions. 




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