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GPS needed if you don't move your scope(s)?

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#1 Jeff Lee

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 06:47 PM

The laziness in me says why not, just turn it and StarSense on and walk away come back goto an object. Then I see the issues with CWPI and wonder really? Of course if I don't use CWPI I could us GPS/StarSense and then goto skytools for my subjects lists and plate solve in SharpCap........?



#2 coopman

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 08:38 PM

With my Evo mount with Starsense, I turn it on, input the date & time and initiate the align process. It slews around for maybe a couple of minutes and successfully aligns. I have been visual only up to this point. However, I just bought a ZWO ASI camera to try some lunar A/P. Am I going to have issues with the alignment being good enough for lunar A/P if I use the same automatic Starsense alignment?

#3 Noah4x4

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 01:34 AM

I keep my Evolution 8" fully assembled. I carry it 12 metres from my observatory (converted garage) to its location. I stand it on a triangular wooded jig with built in compass that initially aligns my scope/tripod North/South and offers level firm ground stability.

 

I plug on power (I have installed an outdoor AC supply), switch on Intel NUC, switch on scope. Return indoors to switch in indoor PC, fetch Hyperstar/Camera. Affix Hyperstar/camera to scope. By now, everything has booted up. 

 

I commence Starsense Auto-Align using either Starsense HC or CPWI. I am still evaluating the latter. If using HC I connect via SkySync GPS. I always need to reset (via Menu), Time-Loc= GPS, but it works fine. If CPWI this data is sourced from Location Services via the Internet. Both routes work great, but oddly, I have had a few unexplained difficulties with a GPS/CPWI combination (so I use Location Services). Accuracy definitely improves alignments and GoTos. If I use a City, London, it's 62 miles distance won't offer me the same precision.

 

I have invested much care and diligence in Starsense calibration, adding (up to) ten additional alignment points. These were spread revising one per month for ten months. Obviously, not all of these stars are visible in every season. However, this practice means my Starsense has good additional reference points all year round (which seems to assist).  Starsense now consistently delivers me a perfect auto-alignment every time and my subsequent GoTos are immaculate. 

 

The entire set up and alignment process takes me under five minutes, but it has taken me three years of tinkering to get to this degree of consistent precision. Speed is critical in my location as breaks between cloud are infrequent and short.

 

A few months ago, curiosity led me to prove to myself that I am now able to replicate this using Starsense with wedge with either HC or CPWI. That too worked fine. The infamous bug from 2018 is fixed (But possibly not in the APPs). However, adding a wedge and lengthening exposures offered zero benefit compared to Hyperstar. I could get similar results with short stacked exposures and longer integration times, so I again discarded my wedge.  I will add though that I did not test wedge with Tablet/APP,  so I can't confirm if Simulation Curriculum fixed the wedge problem in the APPs.

 

To answer the question in the preceding post, I have not looked through an eyepiece in over a year. Starsense works great with camera. But you will need Starsense calibration diligence if shooting at f/10 and high magnification. It's a darn sight easier at f/2 on Hyperstar.


Edited by Noah4x4, 30 March 2020 - 01:39 AM.


#4 robbieg147

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 10:46 AM

Personally I would just chuck the GPS in the bin, it is only any use if you don't know where you are and you have left your phone at home. Don't be put off by the threads on CPWI, Starsense alignments with both the handcontrol and CPWI are too my eyes spot on with a 102 f7 scope.

 

I get my polar align as good as I can with Polemaster, then a few minutes latter I just do a normal Starsense auto align and am up and running.



#5 Noah4x4

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 11:13 AM

Personally I would just chuck the GPS in the bin, it is only any use if you don't know where you are and you have left your phone at home. Don't be put off by the threads on CPWI, Starsense alignments with both the handcontrol and CPWI are too my eyes spot on with a 102 f7 scope.

 

I get my polar align as good as I can with Polemaster, then a few minutes latter I just do a normal Starsense auto align and am up and running.

I have done further testing today and pinned down this issue.

 

1)  GPS is great if you use only HC.

2)  GPS works fine with CPWI, but it is easier to use the PCs Location Services if connected to the Internet.

 

All the above offer accurate and convenient date/time entry.

What I have today identified is if you use CPWI (with or without GPS) it will typically reset the Starsense HC Time-Loc setting to Manual. If you want to again use HC with GPS it needs resetting to Time-Loc = GPS.

 

If you only use (1) or only use (2) then there is no problem. It is only when flitting between them (say) during beta testing any issues might arise. 



#6 robbieg147

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 01:12 PM

Ok thanks Noah, that's great info




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