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Stellina Smart Telescope

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#1 vettedrv911

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 01:33 PM

Does anyone have any feed back on this new item?



#2 jcj380

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 01:36 PM

I've seen some decent pix of brighter Messier objects taken recently with a Stellina.  No personal experience with one.



#3 jgraham

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 02:21 PM

If I recall right I read a recent review that was overall positive, but the telescope's database only included 120 targets. It's kinda pricey for a basic EAA system, but it is a turnkey system.

#4 Jim Davis

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 02:25 PM

You can read this rather long discussion: https://www.cloudyni...an-the-evscope/



#5 Mike G.

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 02:41 PM

one of our club members recently bought one and brought it to a public night.  several of us were very impressed with the rapid data collection and internal stacking.  it was very neat watching the horsehead slowly appear in front of you with detail.  it certainly changes the playing field for entry level AP.  no futzing around with filters and guiding, everything just runs form the tablet and can be shared in real time.  I was impressed.  it is, however just an 80mm with a fixed FOV so there's that.  I'm quite sure later models will be larger and have a bigger database with more capabilities.  that said, I don't do AP, I like the original photons to strike my retina....


Edited by Mike G., 28 February 2020 - 06:22 PM.


#6 TOMDEY

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 03:07 PM

That sounds interesting and encouraging for those of us who don't want to "pay our dues" to collect and share pictures. Nothing wrong with that at all, even a kind of a ~least action~ efficiency, as the physicists might comment. Otherwise, we would all feel compelled to grind and polish mirrors and hand-guide marathon film images. I just gota believe they will expand the target base, and maybe come out with a bigger/fancier gizmo ... provided an upgrade market seems to be there. Nearly all amateur astronomers today are already in the "buying into" model, with only cursory effort dedicated to the "doing it" aspect. I grew up in the tail-end of the build everything yourself era, now just nostalgia land. But will at least consider something like the Stellina... nice back deck, dark country skies, and --- pretty lazy!    Tom


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#7 SonnyE

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 03:30 PM

Probably great to set on the poop deck of your moored yacht in the Mediterranean for some light entertainment. (Get it, light entertainment.)

There will be an Apricot Scarf following along with it. And that's fine.

 

I'm a masochist. I like the abuse, the pain and suffering, and the self imposed utter frustration of how I'm trying to catch rays from the sky at night.

Not to mention falling asleep wondering if I will ever warm up again.


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#8 vettedrv911

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 09:20 PM

somewhere I read that the WIFI is only good up to about 30' ...Not knowing much about WIFI is that correct or is the distance  based on all the equipment  involved?



#9 mdivancic

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 02:46 AM

Well I just got mine back from the shop and it looks like two clear nights this weekend. I’ll post more after I get some time under my belt using it. 


Edited by mdivancic, 29 February 2020 - 02:46 AM.


#10 vettedrv911

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 10:31 AM

I've read several reviews and it seems that one of the con's on this is a short distance on the Wifi  so I'll pass on this purchase....thanks for the reply's


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#11 ccs_hello

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 11:43 AM

Feel free to read the lengthy discussions on existing CN thread in post #4.

 

Here is my view:

(setting aside the different personal goals of amateur astronomy or what modern tech can do it for us ...)

 

The high price point of this new class of astro-electronic-assisted-"viewing" equipment is the automation,

i.e., even the caveman can do it factor.

 

For anyone familiar with the spirit of automation, the key is "how to make sure it works 100% of the time, or at least, how to recover from 1% of the failure** incidences".

 

Remember that similar type of "pre-packaged astro control system" exists, e.g., Stellermate, ZWO Air Pro, APT (to some extent), etc., etc.

The main difference, IMHO, is they are not "no prior knowledge required" system and can bear a huge learning curve initially.

 

** failures can be all kind of pilot errors (where automation tries to identify and recover), system glitches, out of tune over time (e.g., misalignment due to mechanical movement), and lack of general TLC (e.g., no such thing as 100% sealed.)

 

Now it becomes a decision point.  One pays $$$$ to get care-free system but not much insight knowledge gained (remember that it is a closed blackbox.)  So he/she has to resort to either the reliability of the automation, remote customer support - if diagnostic modules is included in the package, or send back to factory to be re-adjusted.  

 

Of course, there is a heartburn question (feel free to skip this if too much)...

if a modernized Google Astronomy package is created to simulate all scenario, and intentionally degrade the picture from collection to make it somewhat real, will it be the next frontier of AA?  (Works in all: cloudy, rainy, daytime view on night sky)



#12 mdivancic

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 12:17 AM

No problem with WiFi tonight. First light and just getting use to this device. Tonight’s run was done in the middle of my condo development with multiple WiFi hubs around. No connection issues at all. Was any where from standing next to unit to sitting on my couch 50’ away. Ran until the battery died. More tomorrow. 


Edited by mdivancic, 01 March 2020 - 12:19 AM.


#13 barbarosa

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 03:36 AM

It is a $4000 for an all in one package with some five star reviews. Curiously the five star descriptions indicate a package that will  under perform $2000 worth  of readily available cameras, mounts and scopes.  But heck I drink wine from screw top bottles so what do I know.crazy.gif

 

But really four grand for a $300 camera and a scope that might have ED glass? My friends I was so offended by this product that I gathered a select (and suitably diverse) group of experts and asked them to create a better system for the rest of us. These patriots turned to and did the job.

 

AutoScope for the Rest of Us is almost ready for release. To celebrate  we are offering a Founding Sponsor Program.  Pre-release buyers become members of the Founding Sponsors Group. In addition to a handsome Certificate suitable for framing and a special membership card, Founders will receive insider previews, test new releases and enjoy special discount pricing on limited release Silver and Gold versions.

 

Forward looking astronomers such as you will be the first to get one of these Italian inspired futuristic looking systems utilizing unique AI techniques and other advanced technology. You will be able to astound and impress your friends and family when you simply speak the name of the object you wish to see and the system almost instantly finds the target and displays a high quality image. Some have said a Hubble quality image.

 

To become a Founding Sponsor and Guiding Member of the International Astronomy for the Rest of US League, simply add the code phrase HEY CORTANA SHOW ME AN IMAGE OF M31.


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#14 mdivancic

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 10:22 AM

I really don’t understand all the hate for the Stellina and the other new devices? On the EAA forum we have actually managed to drive one of the new users away because of attitudes like this. Is Astronomy somehow threatened by these devices?

 

I am going to be posting about my experiences, I hope some will find it useful. I’ll start another topic myself as this one was not started by me. Stay tuned for more...


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#15 ccs_hello

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 11:18 AM

Not really hate, but CN users deserve to be informed.

P.S. my opinions only worth 2 cents and just one individual's view.


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#16 ccs_hello

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 11:37 AM

It is indeed a difficult topic to talk about merit.

 

I wouldn't call it an analogy.  However, just think about it for compare-n-contrast.

 

People in amateur astronomy certainly know the story of the $100 Christmas department store toy telescope with the box showing high quality pictures.

Most of them are in garages collecting dust.  But after all, it's just $100 and it's a toy/gift.

 

In this new case, it is the $$$$ pain-free solution, and this time, it delivers (to some extent, due to limited aperture and small image sensor). 

I would call it 99% of the time it delivers (or 99.9%, 95%, 80% whatever it ends up to be when the scopes are finally in end users' hand.)

 

My question is simply what about the 1%, 0.1%, 5%, or 20% failure cases over time, when the target group of audiences simply do not have a clue and with no means to fix it.  Then this time, it's no longer a $100 loss.

One might call me a nay-sayer.  That's fine by me.  I am simply pointing out the $$$$ is paid for the ultra-high reliable automation.  But are we there yet?



#17 mdivancic

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 12:53 PM

My question is simply what about the 1%, 0.1%, 5%, or 20% failure cases over time, when the target group of audiences simply do not have a clue and with no means to fix it.  Then this time, it's no longer a $100 loss.

One might call me a nay-sayer.  That's fine by me.  I am simply pointing out the $$$$ is paid for the ultra-high reliable automation.  But are we there yet?

I have to admit after using the Stellina I'm not sure what the target group really is? I don't believe its the "wine sipping wealthy individual who wants a toy on his back deck that looks good and he can use with his friends while they lounge on the back deck". This is the stereotype that has been tossed about here and other places when people talk about these new scopes. I suspect that the above group will quickly get board waiting 20-30 minutes for a image to appear. The jury is still out on who this is good for. In my case I'm hoping it will make astrophotography easer in my overly lighted urban location. Time will tell...



#18 OldManSky

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 03:47 PM

My take...

You can spend a fair amount less and get at least as good if not better imaging capability.  The difference is you'll have to learn how to quickly polar align using a polar scope or Sharpcap, you'll have to learn how to run some software, and you'll have to learn some basic image processing.  So strictly from the "completely new starting AP" point, the $4k might be worth it to get your feet wet quickly, assuming you don't want to learn anything, you just want fast mediocre results.  

 

Once you've achieved the most you can do with either the automated scope or the setup you put together yourself, that's when the fun begins.  With your own setup, you can upgrade...better scope (selling the old one), better camera, better autoguider, etc.  You can work on your processing skills and produce much better images.  You can hone your craft by learning and experience and experimentation.

With the automated setup, you can...do nothing.  You can't change the camera.  You can't change the optics.  You can't try new filters.  You can't experiment with narrow-band or longer exposure times.  You may be able to improve the results a tiny bit with learning some better processing skills, but you're limited by the short exposures (it is alt-az, after all, and has exposures limited by field rotation).  You can't add a reducer for wider-field or a barlow for planetary.  You can't do anything -- unless you sell it and buy another fully automated system (that doesn't exist yet) for other capabilities.  And if you do that, you'll still be in the same place of lack of knowledge and skill.

 

So, sure, if all you want are quick results where you don't have to learn anything and you can produce some mediocre images to share, go for it.

If you want to learn astrophotography, and be able to progress and grow and change and explore, your $4k would be much better spent elsewhere.



#19 barbarosa

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 03:50 PM

I hope that you did not take my comment as hateful, poking a bit of fun at yes, but not hateful. If someone buys a Questar rather than an ETX 90, that is what makes the marketplace work.   Buyers and potential buyers should have just as much freedom to discuss Stellina as any they would any other product. It would be unfortunate if my post inhibited that discussion.

 

That said, there is I hope always going to be room here to discuss both the pros and the cons of any equipment.  I firmly believe that is very useful to potential buyers. There sometimes are threads here in which people take strong positions about products that are not yet in the market or about which they have no information. I tried to avoid that.

 

My comments are based on published user reviews, a selection of on line  images and the information on the manufacturer's web site. From that came the retail price of comparable or better scopes and cameras, mounts with a similar functionality, comparable computers and freely available software. 

 

This is a I think a fair basis for evaluating the Stellina and on that basis the Stellina is is not a "best buy."  A further limitation is that the Stellina is not upgradeable, that is the buyer does not have the option to freely change to a different camera, software or scope. 

 

Issues beyond that are speculative or subjective matters of taste, style and preference. De gustibus non est disputandum is the best rule on that. As a youngster the Questar ads were fascinating, I really wanted to own one. I still wish I had one. But an ETX90 OTA was as close as it came.

 

This morning the paper had an article about the wonderful LED lighting that had been added to outline the shape of a building in San Francisco and there was a recent online piece about Starlink satellites. So I wonder just how long it will be before most of use do in fact say "Hey Cortana" when we want to see the night sky or the improved Pixar version of it.  Until that day, clear skies and peace.


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#20 ccs_hello

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 05:14 PM

Resonate to what OldManSky said in post #18.

 

This is what I think the potential and/or real issue is: the blackbox "closed" design.

Let's say the user is not novice but fairly experience amateur astronomer, he/she received the scope but was damaged during shipping (see other thread) or out of tune/stuck/jammed several days after operation, what's the remedy?

I see the only way without voiding the warranty is to send it back.

 

This is similar to a situation:

if I own a car, I can get it in to a private garage and change a defect part (say, a starter), few hours later, I will be back in business.

If such car is sealed (no user replaceable parts inside) and requires proprietary tools that only dealer 500 miles away has it, what can I do?

 

Anyway, long term support would be one area I'd suggest potential buyers to look into.


Edited by ccs_hello, 01 March 2020 - 05:15 PM.


#21 Don W

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 05:57 PM

We are all free to spend our money as we like. If someone wants to spend $4K on this sort of device, let them. Hopefully it brings them the pleasure they are seeking.

 

I chose to spend my money elsewhere.


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#22 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 11:40 PM

If I remember correctly, the first Meade Goto controller cost $15k. Fortunately by the time I got into astronomy, the cost was down to $150. I don’t expect we will see a $40 Cortana in 20 years, but if it is even moderately successful, mass production and lower price could be in the future. So I wish them and their competitors well. May the best system win. And then hopefully someone will clone it and mass produce it after the patent expires. At a lower price it might be of interest to me. More importantly it could increase interest from others. I know my in-laws would love something like this at a lower price. Got them a 6” Dob because they liked looking at stars when I came over, but they never had the inclination to learn the sky to be able to use it on their own.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 01 March 2020 - 11:40 PM.

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#23 Mike G.

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 04:46 PM

these are now in the public domain so I'll attach them.  from our club members' first night with the Stellina at our dark site (bortle 6).  this is exactly how they come off the iPad, no post processing beyond what the Stellina does internally.

549416A6 9FCE 4441 81B3 EC9DC975A493
0A32DB40 B298 4041 9339 469D240773B9
93F64E2A 3C4B 4CF7 8E3A 620F9C356800
E5969B48 4D1B 4580 A4CA C8B68E4B60FF

 

 


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#24 Phil Cowell

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 05:23 PM

This is the first cut at the concept and for a specific target market. As with most new technologies early adopters pay a premium. Once other companies see they is a real market there then the lower cost copies are produced. I think this and the EVscope are the start of something that will become very common. Sure you can buy individual components and integrate them yourself. But then if most of us wanted to do that we would have already. It just wouldn’t have been so user friendly. 

As for the $4K how long would it have taken you to get a comparable system up and running and clear out any glitches. Factor in you time spent and apply what your hourly rate for a consulting gig would be. At $100 - 150 per hour it narrows the gap fast.

There is the down side of having one effective point of failure but none of us have seen the MTBF or MTTR figures so its all waving in the wind.

Not the best of each component but from the specs it also doesn’t appear to be the worst. There is a viable market or the kickstart wouldn’t have succeeded. It might be the gateway drug to a cache of future EAA/imagers.

Resonate to what OldManSky said in post #18.

 

This is what I think the potential and/or real issue is: the blackbox "closed" design.

Let's say the user is not novice but fairly experience amateur astronomer, he/she received the scope but was damaged during shipping (see other thread) or out of tune/stuck/jammed several days after operation, what's the remedy?

I see the only way without voiding the warranty is to send it back.

 

This is similar to a situation:

if I own a car, I can get it in to a private garage and change a defect part (say, a starter), few hours later, I will be back in business.

If such car is sealed (no user replaceable parts inside) and requires proprietary tools that only dealer 500 miles away has it, what can I do?

 

Anyway, long term support would be one area I'd suggest potential buyers to look into.


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#25 ccs_hello

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 07:15 PM

re: MTBF and troubleshooting

 

The first post in this thread can be one sample point:

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry10015498




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