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Celestron StarSense setup and accuracy reviews/feedback

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#1 sparks

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 08:26 AM

Now that StarSense has been out for a while I'd like to gauge users feedback.

 

Is it worth the hassle and/or price?

How easy is the setup?

Is it accurate?

What equipment did you use with it?

 

Thanks,

 

Bob



#2 southerndandy

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 08:47 AM

Morning.  I use the StarSense on a 6SE, and have for almost 2 years.  Short answer is it's great.  It really just saves you the time of going through a manual alignment process, which is worth it for me because I don't get a lot of nights to observe and I have to set-up/tear down every time.  It's nice because I know that I can set-up, do the StarSense alignment, and be viewing in a relatively short amount of time.  I do also have the GPS module. 

 

As far as set-up of the StarSense, you basically just bolt it on, then there's a procedure to align it with your telescope tube.  It's not complicated.  You only have to do the alignment once as long as you don't move/remove the StarSense.

 

It seems to be pretty accurate.  Objects are 98% of the time in the FOV, if not centered (the 6SE has a 1500mm focal length).  It's dependent on some things though, like the scope being level and pointing north at start, and the more accurate the time/date/location info the better.  It's basically plate solving, so the more stars it can see the better.  I live in a fairly light polluted area with trees close blocking east/northeast and I don't have trouble.

 

You can still do manual alignment with it if necessary.  The only 2 issues I have with it are: A) it's got a cable that you have to plug in and then it's another cable hanging there and B) the unit itself is not small.  These are minor issues, though.  In reality, after the alignment you could unplug it because it's not guiding or anything, just doing the initial alignment.  Also, don't forget to take the dust cap off (speaking from experience).  Hope that gives you some insights.    



#3 Cbchhaya

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 08:59 AM

If the aperture is acceptable then I would whole heartedly recommend the StarSense 130AZ. As @Sputnik mentioned the alignment is pretty easy and relatively accurate. My 8 y/o has mastered it. 
 

Not specific to StarSense but getting an 8-24mm adjustable eyepiece has been a real valuable add on. Also get the NeXYZ cell phone adapter and it will suffice for mobile phone pics. 
 

I got it a month or so back. Have taken it out 4-5 times to backyard and even took it to a weekend camping trip along with other camping gear. Seems to have held up fine. 
 

without knowing much about your specific situation, I’d say go for it. I love it and if it works out, you will too. 



#4 Eddgie

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:29 PM

If the aperture is acceptable then I would whole heartedly recommend the StarSense 130AZ. As @Sputnik mentioned the alignment is pretty easy and relatively accurate. My 8 y/o has mastered it. 
 

 

There are two different products here..  The StarSense and the StarSense Explorer.   They are very different products.

 

The StarSense is a complete plate solving attachment that locates the position that a telescope is aimed at and then passes that info to the telecope mount so the operator does not have to do a two star alignment. The Telescope then can use the Go2 for locating objects. 

 

The StarSense Explorer is a phone or tablet App. It allows you to find objects.  Now the telescopes are sold as StarSense telescopes, but the app will work with any telescope so it is really the app that is the product here (and the phone holder but that is just a plastic holder with a mirror.)

 

We can't be 100% sure that the OP was speaking specifically about the StarSense product but since he is asking about equipment that supports it, then coupled with the question about "StarSense," a logical deduction would be that he is referring to the StarSense product. 


Edited by Eddgie, 16 September 2020 - 01:29 PM.


#5 robbieg147

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 03:25 PM

With Starsense you can be up and running in a few minutes, I always accurately polar align my mount first, although the Starsense manual says a rough polar align within 5 degrees is good enough.

 

You need to do a one time calibration between Starsense and your scope, I recommend using a illuminated EP for this don't guess. I also recommend reading the manual carefully before use in particular knowing what keys do what so out in the dark you are not fumbling around. There is little that can go wrong as long as the time and location data is correct.

 

Setup properly Starsense is very accurate most objects are dead centre in my 700mm scope.

 

Starsense is a luxury you can always plate solve, but combined with the Polemaster you are on target in no time.



#6 junomike

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 05:05 PM

IME the Starsense makes perfect sense for a GEM requiring a 4 + 2 Star Alignment, however for a simple Alt/Az requiring 2 (or less) Star Alignment, It's not as much of a benefit.


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#7 A. Viegas

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 09:29 PM

Just be aware if your observing location has a lot of obstructions (trees, hills, houses, etc...) then star sense’s auto routine that does all the alignment by itself will fail.  This will require you to do a manual alignment with star sense which is easier than a normal 4+2 but still is very much a manual process.    So my advice is if yo7 have nice clear horizons, it’s a great product for auto alignment.   Otherwise just do it yourself

 

Al



#8 robbieg147

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 01:54 PM

Just be aware if your observing location has a lot of obstructions (trees, hills, houses, etc...) then star sense’s auto routine that does all the alignment by itself will fail.  This will require you to do a manual alignment with star sense which is easier than a normal 4+2 but still is very much a manual process.    So my advice is if yo7 have nice clear horizons, it’s a great product for auto alignment.   Otherwise just do it yourself

 

Al

You can do a Starsense user auto align, first perform a manual align then go to user auto align and save your manual align.



#9 sparks

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 03:13 PM

Thanks to all for the feedback. I picked one up on CN and will give it a whirl.

 

Bob

 

 



#10 Mikew9788

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 02:05 PM

I'm going to get one of these soon too. Looks like a useful item.

#11 robodan

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 02:27 PM

If you have obstacles then it will continue till it finds a clear path. I have obstacles and works. Love star sense. Can set it up, star aligh then bring out the rest of my gear, done no hassles with inputting time, day, etc as I use star portal

Edited by robodan, 18 September 2020 - 02:27 PM.



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