Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

CGEM ll help please....is StarSense the answer?

astrophotography Celestron mount star party
  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 jacknet

jacknet

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2014
  • Loc: Tennessee

Posted 01 June 2020 - 09:19 PM

I received the Celestron 8" Edge/CGEM ll about a month ago and have not had an easy time of setting up the alignment process and getting the computer, software and aggravated me trying to come to some kind of agreement so I can actually tell what star I'm looking at is the one I punched in to align with. I tried cpwi and couldn't get it to do anything. phd2 was a joke "what if you don't have a camera in the list"? The Celestron Starrynight product that Celestron gives you with the scope does nothing to help. Nikon BY didn't do anything except give me nice pics of a 12hr. starry night star filled night simulation that I tried to align with one of the stars but it kept fading out. 

So apart from some good instructions step by step that work would it be easier to just pop for the $350 for StarSense and start observing and then maybe actually taking some good pictures? 

Frustrated in Ga.



#2 mich_al

mich_al

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,947
  • Joined: 10 May 2009
  • Loc: Rural central lower Michigan Yellow Skies

Posted 01 June 2020 - 09:54 PM

The complex stuff you are throwing at the problem is only complicating the issue.  Get a simple book or the free program Stellarium or something and start with a basic understanding of what a few of the brightest star in you sky are.  Once that is done find, read and reread the alignment tips thread on this website.  That's all you need to get a very good start and a very good alignment.  CGEM II is very capable of excellent goto performance.  Good luck.



#3 Michaeljhogan

Michaeljhogan

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 463
  • Joined: 25 Aug 2014
  • Loc: Dublin Ireland

Posted 01 June 2020 - 11:24 PM

I received the Celestron 8" Edge/CGEM ll about a month ago and have not had an easy time of setting up the alignment process and getting the computer, software and aggravated me trying to come to some kind of agreement so I can actually tell what star I'm looking at is the one I punched in to align with. I tried cpwi and couldn't get it to do anything. phd2 was a joke "what if you don't have a camera in the list"? The Celestron Starrynight product that Celestron gives you with the scope does nothing to help. Nikon BY didn't do anything except give me nice pics of a 12hr. starry night star filled night simulation that I tried to align with one of the stars but it kept fading out.
So apart from some good instructions step by step that work would it be easier to just pop for the $350 for StarSense and start observing and then maybe actually taking some good pictures?
Frustrated in Ga.

Forgot Phd2 for the time been till later Set the time and date and location up correctly on cpwi and make sure you have the latitude set correctly as well cpwi is great new software and incredibly easy to use.

You do these things rightly it will go to the stars correctly you can pick any star but first you must choose two base stars first then add three or four stars after that even more with cpwi as you add the stars after your first three they will get more accurate as you add the star will get closer to middle of the screen.

Then go to All Star Alignment on cpwi and polar align the Celestron manuals are the most easy of all mounts read the manual most people starting never do you have a great little kit which will take great images take your time.

Edited by Michaeljhogan, 02 June 2020 - 03:19 PM.


#4 groupoid

groupoid

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 04 Dec 2017

Posted 02 June 2020 - 12:56 AM

Generally, I'm a fan of StarSense, since it simplifies the setup routine and makes it one less thing to worry about. It's not a perfect out-of-the box solution, as you need to calibrate it for different scopes and screw/unscrew the mount (but you can store multiple calibrations).

 

I also couldn't get consistent reproducible results on polar alignment with it. A carefully centered and focused polar scope was better for me, and it's not very hard to achieve with the CGEM.

 

However, for a start, I highly recommend to learn some basic two-star alignment routines before considering a StarSense. If you are using a wide field eyepiece and get polar alignment/date/time/location correctly, once you slew into a bright star it should be quite obvious which one it is. After this basics, as previous members suggested, you can look into more advanced alignment tips. For example, one of them is to defocus the star to get a large donut, which makes it easier to center in the eyepiece, etc etc.

 

Once you get some of this practice, you can choose to get StarSense. It should be under $250 if you wait enough time on the used market, or maybe even lower. You want to have some basic experience from the previous paragraph in case you need to troubleshoot starsense, or in situations when you can't  use it (say, you only have one mount on the scope and you want to use it for a guide camera).



#5 jacknet

jacknet

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 45
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2014
  • Loc: Tennessee

Posted 02 June 2020 - 08:01 AM

Wow, good stuff gentleman. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Mich_al : "read and reread the alignment tips thread on this website". I have searched CN all over for some tips on setting up the

CGEM ll and can't seem to find anything relevant. Could you possibly give me a direct link to the instructions you're talking about?

Thanks again.

PS: I can connect to CPWI but after that I don't really understand what it's supposed to do.

I have a short attention span and if I can't do something I get frustrated. Luckily I have a friend coming over tonight to help me but his experience is just in digital cameras. I'm hoping by having another set of eyes with me I might discover things I missed.



#6 mich_al

mich_al

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,947
  • Joined: 10 May 2009
  • Loc: Rural central lower Michigan Yellow Skies

Posted 02 June 2020 - 12:40 PM

Wow, good stuff gentleman. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Mich_al : "read and reread the alignment tips thread on this website". I have searched CN all over for some tips on setting up the

CGEM ll and can't seem to find anything relevant. Could you possibly give me a direct link to the instructions you're talking about?

Well,now I can't find it, maybe someone else will jump in with a pointer to it.  It isn't specific to the CGEM II but more general.  All still applies though.

 

Not exactly what I was looking for but usable.  Start with post #5, I'd add to use a crosshair high power EP for best results when centering your star.

 

https://www.cloudyni...t#entry10175740


Edited by mich_al, 02 June 2020 - 08:01 PM.


#7 dustyc

dustyc

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 423
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2014
  • Loc: Phoenix,AZ

Posted 02 June 2020 - 02:40 PM

CGEM owner here. 

Skip buying any more "stuff" until you have an idea of where the bright alignment stars are as suggested by the handset during alignment and calibration. 2 stars to the left of your local meridian (east side of the sky) and up to 4 stars on the west side for calibration (I sometimes use only one if I'm in a hurry). Do you have a planetarium program loaded on your phone? Or a planisphere ? You can cycle thru the suggested stars until you find one(s) you're familiar with, (Castor or Pollux for example) to start the alignment. I had trouble with my CGEM until I mastered the bright star names and locations (a planisphere helped me a lot).

 

Never used Starsense because after reading about what it does I felt it was redundant.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: astrophotography, Celestron, mount, star party



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics