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Need advice choosing a model

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#1 dtclarinet

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 11:57 AM

Hello, this is my first post here. I had a telescope when I was 10, and it could sort of see the rings of Saturn. I've always loved stargazing, but don't have the patience to learn where and what everything is in the sky, let alone track it manually. 

 

So I've decided to go all the way and get an Evo 6 most likely. I need it to be somewhat portable to set up in a field outside the city once in awhile. But mostly I'll watch from my suburban yard. I don't think I'll do astrophotography, just enjoy the views. 

 

What I need advice on is whether I need anything other than the basic Evo 6 package. Can I set it up out of the box and have it align itself, and the base and all standard equipment is enough to do all the basics, align, search, find?

 

I read of people raving about the extra Startsense Autoalign. How does that differ from what's already included? How will it enhance the experience? And on other discussions people rave about getting a special wedge base. How will that enhance it?

 

Thanks for any comments and advice!

 

David

 

 

 



#2 ShaulaB

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 12:21 PM

Welcome to CN! You have chosen well with this scope.

 

Yes, you can use the rig right out of the box. In fact, that might be the best way to go. A lot of posters here at "Beginning" forums ask "what accessories should I get?" before observing much with a new scope. So my advise is use it as is for a while until you think something might need improvement/changing to make your observing more pleasing.

 

Thank you for not expressing interest in astrophotography at this point in time. Too many new scope owners think they can jump right into it.

 

It will help to have knowledge. Knowing a few dozen major stars will help a lot with alignment. Yes, you can use the StarSense Autoalignment camera provided and trust it is going to the stars indicated in the hand controller. But if you actually know when stars are, you can correct the mount if the mount goes tot he wrong place in the sky. Make sure your settings for hemisphere, location, date, time, and mount model are correct, as well as Daylight Savings Time (unless your are in Arizona).

 

The option to do your own 2 star alignment on your own is still something you can do. Scrolling through commands in the hand controller will show you the alignment options. You are also giving the option of 1 star and solar system object alignment, but they are less accurate.

 

Be confident and enjoy this instrument.


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#3 Terrybythe sea

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 02:32 PM

Can I set it up out of the box and have it align itself ... ?

No, for that you would need StarSense, and even then you have to align StarSense the first time you use it.

 

Other than that, what ShaulaB said ...

 

Oh, and you can look through the Evo and StarSense manuals here, might help you decide ...

 

https://s3.amazonaws...TION_Manual.pdf

https://s3.amazonaws...VO_Addendum.pdf

https://s3.amazonaws...ebruary2016.pdf

 

Good luck!


Edited by Terrybythe sea, 05 August 2020 - 02:32 PM.


#4 dtclarinet

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for the tips. So how much is involved in aligning it myself? I know now you have to find 3 stars and align with each one, which could take a few minutes. But do I have to do it every time I use it? I assume so. I'm reading up on those topics now, but if you'd like to advise, it's nice to get a personal opinion. I know the basic starts, North star, big and little dippers, Orion. I know where Jupiter is usually. 

 

I'm trying to determine if I'll use it enough, because I can buy a "package" with the telescope and startsense autoalign tool at half the price the gadget would cost alone.

 

And one other question- Is it worth investing in a case?

 

David


Edited by dtclarinet, 05 August 2020 - 04:35 PM.


#5 Terrybythe sea

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 09:36 AM

At half price it might well be worth it, especially if you don't have dark skies where you are ... most everyone who has one seems to like it, except for the price.

 

You have to align the scope every time you move it, so unless you have an observatory ... in which case there's a 'hibernate' mode which will remember the alignment.

 

As for doing it manually, most people recommend "Two Star Auto" which involves finding one bright star, then letting the scope choose the second ... surprisingly, it's apparently as good as the three star method, and with all the free planetarium apps it's not hard to find a first star to use without really knowing any stars offhand. The scope will come with a coupon for a free version of Starry Nights, but in the meantime you can download Celestron's SkyPortal app for ios or Android, or their CPWI app for Windows:

 

https://www.celestro...luding the ISS.

 

https://www.celestro...ontrol-software

 

edit: btw, I just came across this:

 

https://www.cloudyni...tup/?p=10397788


Edited by Terrybythe sea, 06 August 2020 - 09:44 AM.

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#6 dtclarinet

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 11:21 PM

Hello,

 

it’s not clear from description if starsense autoalign on Evolution models needs the sky portal WiFi module.  Does it or not? Thanks!

David



#7 Terrybythe sea

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 06:47 AM

it’s not clear from description if starsense autoalign on Evolution models needs the sky portal WiFi module.  Does it or not? Thanks!

David

David, you wouldn't need the SkyPortal wi-fi module, the Evo's come with built-in wi-fi. You'd just align the scope with StarSense, then control it with the SkyPortal app, as described here:

 

https://www.celestro...ion-6-telescope


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#8 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 11:56 PM

Hello,

 

it’s not clear from description if starsense autoalign on Evolution models needs the sky portal WiFi module.  Does it or not? Thanks!

David

In addition to Terry's point that the Evolution mount already has WiFi built-in, StarSense does not need WiFi at all if you elect to use the StarSense hand control.  The only time WiFi comes into play is if you forego the physical hand control and instead use SkyPortal/SkySafari (on a phone or tablet) or CPWI (on a Windows PC) to align and control the scope.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
https://www.NexStarSite.com


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#9 whizbang

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 09:30 AM

David,

 

Save your money.  IN MY OPINION FOLKS, Starsense is a total complete waste of the money.  The fastest and most reliable alignments with SE and EVO mounts are "AUTO 2 STAR" alignments.  It's just not that difficult to figure out which stars are Vega, Altair, or Arcturus.  All you need is the cheap red dot finder that comes with the scope.  I like to use a right angle finder in addition to the red dot.

 

The EVO6 is an amazing scope.  You can use it as is straight out of the box.  But, it is even more amazing once you connect wifi or Bluetooth and run it from a SkySafari tablet.


Edited by whizbang, 11 August 2020 - 09:31 AM.

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#10 dtclarinet

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 10:05 AM

What is the difference in experience between an Evolution and Evolution EdgeHD? The Edge is supposed to get less distorted images?

 

Thanks,

David

 



#11 Michael Harris

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 10:03 PM

Absolutely second the recommendation for the Evolution 6, I have the 8” version and it is great. The HD tube includes lenses in the baffle tube that correct some of the optical distortion that happens at the outside edges of the standard SCT tube. I have never used one, and honestly you have to look for the distortions closely to find them in standard viewing conditions so I think it is an optional upgrade that may or may not really make a difference for visual observing. Opinions on that may vary especially for those who want to use these scopes for photography. The StarSense takes some of the effort out of aligning the scope. I have one and use it sometimes, but sometimes at public events people want to start viewing before it gets dark and it needs to be past twilight to really see enough stars to work so in those cases I skip it and use a Telrad and the two star alignment which is fine. The wedge base kind of makes the mount into an equatorial mount but, again, I have done that and don’t think it bought me very much beyond the basic scope. Whatever options you choose, I say you can’t go wrong with the Evolution series for what you want to do.


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#12 Terrybythe sea

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 07:43 AM

It does seem the EdgeHD is intended for high-end astrophotography. Here are couple of blurbs from Celestron:

 

"EdgeHD flat-field and coma-free astro-imaging systems were made to accommodate modern imaging with cameras of all types, especially larger format CCD and DSLR cameras."

 

"EdgeHD is an aplanatic flat-field Schmidt optical system designed to produce aberration-free images with pinpoint stars all the way to the edge of the field of view of today’s largest imaging sensors and wide field eyepieces. EdgeHD virtually eliminates both field curvature and off-axis star coma, providing an astrograph-quality system at a fraction of the price of competitors."


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#13 dtclarinet

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 06:27 PM

Hello again, thank you for all the good advice. I'm having trouble deciding if I should splurge for the Evo 8 vs the 6. Can you give me a sense for what I could see with an 8 that I could not see with a 6? That would give me perspective. I definitely want to be able to view nebulae. 

 

David



#14 whizbang

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 06:39 PM

The 8 absolutely kills the 6.  Way more light capture.  You will see fainter fuzzies, and the background around objects is filled with more stars.  Globs, double stars and star fields all resolve better.  If yon have the budget, get the 8 for sure.


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#15 Terrybythe sea

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 08:07 AM

What whizbang said. The 8" provides 78% more light gathering than the 6", so definitely better for viewing nebulae.


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