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Evolution mount - slewing and connection problems

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#1 adamsdp

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 09:54 AM

I have a new Evolution mount and had problems last night getting it to work properly and had a number of issues -not sure if I can remember them all.  As backgound information, this is the second night I had the mount out.  The first night, I was getting accurate gotos after calibaration and the second StarSense alignment.  

 

Last night, I tried to get the StarSense alignment to work and after completing the alignment, tried goto to Arcturus and was off by a large amount - 10 -15 degrees.  I turned the power of the scope off and back on and realigned. This time, took several attempts for StarSense to align, tried goto to Arcturus and was off a few degrees.  I did an align on Arcturus and slew to a star in the big dipper and was off a few degrees there as well, then did a goto back to Arcturus and again was off by a few degrees.  This seemed troublesome as even aligning on a star and trying to return to it did not work.

 

I repeated to power down/up and try new alignments but objects were off in varying amounts from a few degrees to greater amounts.  As the night wore on, I was also getting an issue that when I connected to the mount via wifi-SkyPortal on my phone, the internet on my phone would become disabled.  This seemed strange so I got an Ipad, downloaded SkyPortal and tried aligning using it and wasn't getting enough plates solved to complete the alignment.  There are obstructions where I observe with about half the sky available, but was able to get alignments completed using StarSense on the previous night.

 

I checked the voltage of the mount through SkyPortal? and it was 9.8 volts?  Is this normal voltage?  When I plug in the charger, it flashes very briefly, then goes out.  It does not flash when charging or stay lit when fully charged as it states in the manual.  Also, I the onscreen buttons to slew the mount in SkyPortal don''t work.

 

Not sure how much effort I want to put in debugging this mount vs returning it for a new one vs returning it for a refund.  I was thinking of trying the 3 star alignment next time out to see if taking the Starsense out of the systems improves things.  The Starsense feature was one of the reasons for tipping me towards this mount/setup and without it functioning properly, may want to go with something else.  I didn't try resetting the mount or upgrading the firmware/software. I think the mount should work out of the box.  Any adivice will be appreciated!


Edited by adamsdp, 10 August 2020 - 10:33 AM.


#2 whizbang

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:34 AM

Dave,

 

I would like to suggest that you test one thing at a time.  You have too many complex interacting parts to know what or where the problems are.

 

Start out using the hand control only (no tablet, no wifi, no StarSense).  Use Auto 2 Star alignments.  After you are aligned, slew to simple targets like double stars or the planets.  Test this set-up 2 or 3 nights so you can verify whether the mount if working properly.

 

Next, move on to wifi.  Your phone or tablet WANTS to see a wifi connection with an internet connection.  The EVO wifi does not provide internet, so, after connecting, your phone is hunting around for a "better" connection.  Hence the dropouts.  If you have an Android, you can get a wifi priortizer app and force your phone to prefer the Celestron wifi connection.

 

After you get the wifi up and running, test it for a few nights.

 

Lastly, hook up StarSense and add it to the mix. 

 

By attacking the problem in this order, you will know if your issues are the mount, the wifi/phone/tablet, or Starsense.  Right now, you just have a complex, messy headache.

 

Good luck!!


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#3 jeffreym

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:35 AM

This is really a StarSense issue for now.  I like the idea of aligning the mount without StarSense at some point but work with the StarSense for now.  Be sure to follow the steps carefully in the manual.  Touch a button out of order or miss a step in the listed procedure and it will not play well.  Mine dose not like a partly obscured sky.  I uses the Manual StarSense method and have never had any trouble (that way I can point it to the best part of my light polluted sky.

 

I NEVER use the WiFi.  Too inconsistant and as there is no way to manually slew without looking at the tablet for the control buttons (which blows your night vision).  I like to just feel the buttons.

 

There was a thread here just yesterday that you might find helpful:

https://www.cloudyni...sense-problems/

 

Take your time.  StarSense does work extremely well on my Evolution. 

 

Good luck and have fun.

Jeff


Edited by jeffreym, 10 August 2020 - 11:04 AM.


#4 whizbang

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:38 AM

BTW...  My EVO8 has provided flawless operation for a year and a half.  I enjoyed it so much, I just purchased the EVO9.25.

 

Well, the 925 wifi quit after 20 hours of operation.  After 22 hours of operation, the mount was throwing ERROR 17 and ERROR 16 fault codes and locking up or turning itself off.

 

Unless you are getting error codes, your scope is probably working okay and doesn't need to go back for service or return.


Edited by whizbang, 10 August 2020 - 10:38 AM.


#5 adamsdp

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 01:03 PM

Thanks for the replies and makes sense what you posted about narrowing things down.  I have a phone consult with a technical rep from HighPoint Scientfic today so hopefully with get some help there.  If I am using SkyPortal, should the slew buttons on the StarSense handset still work?  Mine have been and the onscreen slew buttons don't work which seems the opposite of what I would expect.  I read about the manual Starsense method and good idea to try that.  I read some old posts about battery voltage reading on the Evolution mount and the 9.8 volts I read last night seems in the range of what others have reported.  Still bothersome that the charging light does not indicate charging or full charged.



#6 adamsdp

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 03:16 PM

Just got off the phone with technical support from Highpoint and the person I spoke with said he never been able to get his Celestron mount to align through Skyportal, but gets good alignments using the hand controller.  He is going to try SkySafari and see if that works and get back with me.  He is also going to contact Celestron to see if there is some setting that may be able to be adjusted to help the situation.  As far as the charging light, the rep looked up that Celestron changed the charging logo to an opaque material so that you can't tell if it is charging or fully charged.  That seems like a bad idea.  The next chance I get to take the scope out, I will try aligning using the hand controller and see if that makes a difference.  I find the software of Skysafari or SkyPortal much easier to use so a big negative if the scope won't align using the software.  The rep said that if you align using the hand controller, then you can't control the scope with SkyPortal as it doesn't know where the scope is.frown.gif


Edited by adamsdp, 10 August 2020 - 03:18 PM.


#7 Bean614

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:36 PM

You already HAVE a thread going about these issues.  To which one are we supposed to respond? 



#8 santaritajim

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 11:00 PM

I have an Evo 8, I use the wifi to check the battery level, and initially to set a few things, that's pretty much it. I always do the sky align 3 star, it has been working consistently. With a c6 I use a red dot, and with a Edge8 I use a telrad, I like the telrad best. The one thing I did do was upgrade to a cpc1100 tripod for better stability.

     Good luck with your Evo, they are good mounts.



#9 adamsdp

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 03:50 PM

Good to hear that your Evolution mount works consistently with the 3 star align.  I will try that.  I had better luck the other night doing the StarSense align through the handset.  I tried a goto to a bright star after aligning and it was dead center in the eyepiece fov.  I ended up hitting the wrong button and somehow got into a new alignment before I could attempt other objects. Time being short, I then tried a StarSense align using SkySafari instead of Skyportal and had pretty good luck there.  I did goto to 5 objects and all were in the fov of the widefield eyepiece but all 5 were offset to the upper right of the fov.  I think maybe I need to try to recalibrate the StarSense camera to the optical tube.  I find using SkySafari to be easier and more capable than using the hand controller.  Does anyone know if there is a way to do the alignment through the hand controller, then use SkySafari for gotos?



#10 adamsdp

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Posted 25 August 2020 - 01:18 PM

Had accurate gotos last the other night with using the hand controller to do a manual StarSense align and then slewing to objects by using the hand controller.  I am going to try to see if it is possible to do than manual alignment via the hand controller than slew using SkySafari.  For those doing a 3 star alignment, are you using the StarSense handcontroller?




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