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#1 N2TU

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 09:21 PM

OK....a newbie here....I have been immersing myself in all the newbie discussions for weeks in an attempt to educate myself. (and not acting dumb when asking questions.) And no, I am not having fun yet!  I spend way too much time setting up and way too little time observing!

 

Here is my set-up;

 

Celestron Nexstar 6E 

SkySync

StarSense

12V Battery pack (fully charged).

All equipment has the latest release of code. (as of Monday )

 

OK...here are my biggest roadblocks (so far!)

 

1. Set the location and time using the HC to source as GPS. Should this setting be a once and done? That is, once it is set it should remain set? If so, why do I have to keep inputting the correct time? ( I allow 5 minutes for the GPS to lock .)

2. At times, the StarSense works perfectly. Seems rather simple...hit align and the unit finds its internal star map and settles into a neutral position. Then for some reason it fails at "Acquiring position" . It does nothing. Turn power off and then do a total realign again...without moving the set-up and it will work.  What am I doing wrong?

 

The frustration factor is rather high....either the Celestron software is buggy and inconsistent or I am doing something wrong. Any help would be appreciated.

 

 



#2 Tdesert63

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 09:47 PM

The only dumb questions ,are the ones not asked,,, don't learn if you don't ask
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#3 coopman

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 10:07 PM

Someone will be along to help you shortly.  Hang in there.  Never give up.


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#4 cookjaiii

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 10:24 PM

Maybe you would enjoy it more by using it in manual mode (if the design will let you).  

 

There is nothing wrong with go-to (when it works).  It seems like most people use it these days.  But it isn't the only way, and maybe it's not the best way for you.


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#5 JohnBear

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 10:52 PM

First, welcome to CN and the new hobby.  The NexStar SE series are pretty good telescopes - Once you learn how to use them. 

 

Obviously you did not read the fine print in all of Celestron's telescope ads about the steep learning curve for their high tech computerized GoTo equipment, unless of course you are an experienced astronomer!   

 

Q1.  With the SE mount, you DO have to input the time and date Every Darn Time. This is because Celestron could not afford the extra 16 cents to add a cheap real time clock (RTC) to the NexStar telescope mounts for the scope to remember what time it is. 

 

Q2. Sorry, I don't have/use/ (or really need) StarSense.  I suggest learning to do setup and alignments with just the hand control first. That will help you understand what StarSense should be doing. We always suggest reading the manual - but frankly, Celestron only provide the bare minimum information needed to get beginners up and running,   

 

Best solution: Your local astronomy club(s) will have nice friendly people who will answer your questions and teach you how to use you new equipment. Do that and you will be a happy star gazer in no time. Seriously, one visit to an astronomy club or star party will do much more for you than 2 months of posting on CN forums. Have someone experienced with a similar scope teach you how to use your telescope the right way. The frustration will melt away, and you will be using your scope like a pro.

 

It is a little known (Alt) Fact that Celestron pays experienced amateur astronomers and clubs a nice sum to teach newcomers how to use their new telescopes - NOT!  


Edited by JohnBear, 27 February 2020 - 10:57 PM.

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#6 bdyer22

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:12 PM

The HC should remember the time & location source.  Did you get the GPS new or used?

 

There is a "battery", that may be bad, that stores GPS data in local memory.  If that data is incomplete or missing then it has to download the information from GPS satellites.  This can take about 10-15min.

Regarding the StarSense alignment being hit/miss.  Maybe this is due to obstructions?  if you have a number of trees, buildings or bright lights that impair the view it may just be having a hard time.  In this case you can do a Manual StarSense align and store that.  There's a way to have the scope remember the manual alignment. so it's a one time setup.

also this sub forum on CN might get you better answers.  Good luck and hang in there. :)
https://www.cloudyni...zed-telescopes/


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#7 aa6ww

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 11:18 PM

Id recommend getting the GPS unit for your starsense. It makes set up completely automatic. 

 

Make sure your skies are dark before you start your auto align. Make sure you arent pointing in the general direction of bright lights, or toward a big wall or trees.

 

Regardless, you should just hit the enter button, and it should move to the next object. Normally, it just says failed, and moves to the next position automatically if it cant count 100 stars.

If it just stops regardless of what you do, hit the back button a few times, I think twice, till you are back at the starting point again, and just reinitialize the auto align again.  

I guess if its still acting squirmy, you can set the scope back to the home position then just turn off the mount and try again.

 

I've purposely made my scope fail, by putting my hand in front of the camera when its capturing stars, just so I know what to expect. It always just starts working again. 

 

If your skies have obstructions, its good to do a manual alignment. That way the mount only knows what part of the sky is usable. I will remember those settings, making it a snap the next time................. hopefully.

 

Remember its still a computer, so it needs to be reset and started again every once in a while.

 

 

...Ralph


Edited by aa6ww, 27 February 2020 - 11:21 PM.

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#8 N2TU

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 11:22 AM

Hey everyone...!

 

Thanks for the responses.

 

1. My GPS and Starsense HC are used and rather new (within the last 2 years.). I will check on the 'onboard' battery. I thought the SkySync is supposed to download the time/ location into the HC. I was out last night for about 2 hours and the time was never updated.

 

2. Last night, I DID have obstructions and that could be the cause of the StarSense inability to perform consistently. I had previously learned and used the original HC to do 2 and 3 star alignment and was quite successful. 

 

3. I have previously contacted the local astronomy club and am awaiting a response from them. Always good to have hands on teaching!

 

Again...thanks to all...it is very much appreciated. If you have any other suggestions, keep them coming!



#9 N2TU

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 11:46 AM

https://www.cloudyni...ontrol-battery/

 

Apparently, there is NO battery in the HC....so then, where is the battery?



#10 thomasr

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 12:11 PM

Do yourself a favour: step back and simplify, get a successful observing session (or 3) under your belt, then connect all your gear again.

What I mean is to just use the basic 6SE hand controller first - no starsense, no GPS, no star portal, etc. Disconnect all that.

Go through the standard 2-star or 3-star align, manually enter your location (just pick the nearest major city from the database, don't worry about being too exact) and time, and spend a while using the scope that way.

Once you've got that process locked down, add more toys.

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk
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#11 bdyer22

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 01:21 PM

https://www.cloudyni...ontrol-battery/

 

Apparently, there is NO battery in the HC....so then, where is the battery?

I quoted "battery" in the post because it's not like an alkaline battery that you can replace.  My, limited, understanding is that it's built into the unit and stores a charge.  I don't know how it works per se or what the specific implementation is.  Maybe a capacitor?

In any case, I don't think it's designed to be replaceable.

I know one guy said there's no battery, but another afterward indicates there is.
https://www.cloudyni...tery/?p=6507347


Edited by bdyer22, 28 February 2020 - 01:24 PM.


#12 bdyer22

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 01:28 PM

Also, it would be in the GPS Unit and not the HC.



#13 N2TU

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 01:57 PM

Apollo...

 

Yes, as you suggested that is the right way to learn the basic scope and its functions...I have done many sessions without the "toys" and am fairly proficient with the original HC.  That was the easy part....smile.gif

 

It is the nuances of the toys which are causing a bit of grief. The toys, which are supposed to make viewing easier, have not . At least up to this point. That is why I reached out to the group.

 

Regards...



#14 VeloBob

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 02:30 PM

A quick question--did you go into the menu of the hand control and reset the source of the time/location?  If you haven't done this, you WILL have to input the time every time.  If the hand control, when displaying the time, has an M at the end of the line, it is showing a manual input.  If it shows a G, it is receiving the time from the GPS.  As far as the GPS goes, mine will sync to the satellites in less than a minute, if I have been out observing in the last week or so.  The first time out, or if you haven't used it for 6 months, or have moved the unit several hundred miles, it may take several minutes to download the ephemeris from the satellites, but even then, mine does it in under five minutes.


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#15 HouseBuilder328

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 03:57 PM

I don't have the Celestron GPS myself, but a friend uses both the GPS and StarSense and he raves about it. 


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#16 N2TU

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 04:10 PM

Bob...

 

Yes...it reads a G...thanks for pointing that out. I never would have noticed it. That 'G' is minute!

 

Lou

 

 

 

A quick question--did you go into the menu of the hand control and reset the source of the time/location?  If you haven't done this, you WILL have to input the time every time.  If the hand control, when displaying the time, has an M at the end of the line, it is showing a manual input.  If it shows a G, it is receiving the time from the GPS.  As far as the GPS goes, mine will sync to the satellites in less than a minute, if I have been out observing in the last week or so.  The first time out, or if you haven't used it for 6 months, or have moved the unit several hundred miles, it may take several minutes to download the ephemeris from the satellites, but even then, mine does it in under five minutes.



#17 N2TU

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 08:51 PM

An update....

 

OK...some breakthroughs this evening! 

 

1. Intermittently, the StarSense unit could not be found. I had it plugged into the SkySync (GPS) port. At times, the HC would indicate the SSA was not found. It did work and then it failed....then worked again...then failed. No set pattern. 

 

2. To overcome #1, I removed the SkySync  from the base Aux port. Moving the SSA directly to the base Aux port fixed the 'cannot find' problem. Once this was done, the times were lost. The SSA worked fine using the base Aux port. 

 

Luckily, I have a Aux port splitter. Plugging the SSA and the GPS into it, everything seemed to work. I could then do a StarSense with the appropriate GPS times/ location.

 

So it seems either the GPS unit is not relaying the SSA data consistently....or it has a bad Aux port...or the increased cable length (SSA to GPS to base) is causing a slight loss. At this point, I am just pleased I found a workable system. (I hope!)

 

CNers....thanks for all the help...and VeloBob thanks for the 'G' hint.




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