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Star Sense Auto Align time issues.

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#1 quicksiver

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 07:25 PM

I’m having the usual hassles setting up Star Sense Auto Align. 
 

I have entered my location and date for the set up. However, I cannot set the correct time which is always lagging by about 1 hour 20 minutes, even after I correct it manually.  When I try to correct this in the menu (using the time source option) it only allows me to select manual time and there is no no option for GPS.  I suspect this is the root of the problem. 
 

Am I missing some simple step or do I need to run a firmware update?  I was hoping to avoid the latter, at least for the time being, as I have a Mac and I have heard that it’s a huge pain in the butt updating on a Mac (so much so that I am tempted to buy a cheap Windows laptop to be dedicated solely to my Evo 9.25). 
 

Help please ?

 

Thanks. 
 

David. 


Edited by quicksiver, 23 January 2021 - 08:00 PM.


#2 Maritime

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 07:34 PM

That’s weird. When I use sky sync gps, the starsense allows me to select the gps. 


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#3 Dynan

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 07:47 PM

Software engineers don't sit around thinking, "I have nothing to do. Let's make a Firmware Update!" Updates happen for a reason and sometimes fix problems you didn't know you had. While I agree that sometimes updates change things inconveniently, or are hard to install, but when the majority of the same gear is running flawlessly with 'the latest update',  you can bet it's a good thing to install...no matter what maze Apple throws at you.

 

(They just work, don't they? lol.gif Sorry. Had to kid about that. My entire family uses Mac while I'm a PC'er. We're all happy with our computers. Software sometimes gets lost in translation.)


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#4 wrvond

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 08:10 PM

I’m having the usual hassles setting up Star Sense Auto Align. 
 

I have entered my location and date for the set up. However, I cannot set the correct time which is always lagging by about 1 hour 20 minutes, even after I correct it manually.  When I try to correct this in the menu (using the time source option) it only allows me to select manual time and there is no no option for GPS.  I suspect this is the root of the problem. 
 

Am I missing some simple step or do I need to run a firmware update?  I was hoping to avoid the latter, at least for the time being, as I have a Mac and I have heard that it’s a huge pain in the butt updating on a Mac (so much so that I am tempted to buy a cheap Windows laptop to be dedicated solely to my Evo 9.25). 
 

Help please ?

 

Thanks. 
 

David. 

You can only set the time under View/Modify Time, not the Time Source Option.


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#5 quicksiver

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 08:14 PM

You can only set the time under View/Modify Time, not the Time Source Option.

Thats what I have been doing. I only go to time source to try and switch to GPS as I figured this might address the problem. 



#6 Bean614

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 08:20 PM

If the scope you have the Starsense attached to is an Evo 9.25, just buy yourself a cheap, used Android phone or tablet (they all have built-in GPS) and do your Setup/Alignment from that!  Evolution mounts have built in WiFi,  and your Mount AND Starsense will get time, date, and location from your phone's GPS.

All this is clearly explained in the Owner's Manual. 


Edited by Bean614, 23 January 2021 - 08:21 PM.

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#7 Tfer

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Posted 23 January 2021 - 08:27 PM

I’m having the usual hassles setting up Star Sense Auto Align. 
 

I have entered my location and date for the set up. However, I cannot set the correct time which is always lagging by about 1 hour 20 minutes, even after I correct it manually.  When I try to correct this in the menu (using the time source option) it only allows me to select manual time and there is no no option for GPS.  I suspect this is the root of the problem. 
 

Am I missing some simple step or do I need to run a firmware update?  I was hoping to avoid the latter, at least for the time being, as I have a Mac and I have heard that it’s a huge pain in the butt updating on a Mac (so much so that I am tempted to buy a cheap Windows laptop to be dedicated solely to my Evo 9.25). 
 

Help please ?

 

Thanks. 
 

David. 

I use a Mac (MacBook Air -2018) and have no problems updating the various firmware’s.  Just need to download JAVA.


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#8 mlord

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 11:31 AM

I’m having the usual hassles setting up Star Sense Auto Align. 
 

I have entered my location and date for the set up. However, I cannot set the correct time which is always lagging by about 1 hour 20 minutes, even after I correct it manually.  When I try to correct this in the menu (using the time source option) it only allows me to select manual time and there is no no option for GPS.  I suspect this is the root of the problem.

On my Nexstar+ hand controller, I have to go into the Utilities Menu (once, ever) and Enable GPS from there.  That setting is remembered from then on.


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#9 Noah4x4

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 11:59 AM

Do we have enough information to make a diagnosis? I think not.....

 

The OP mentions, an Evolution 9.25 and a Mac computer. He seems to be trying to set time in the hand controller, but then mentions GPS, but there is no evidence to suggest he has a SkySync device? It would help if he populated his Cloudy Nights signature with details of his kit.

 

So might the issue be that the mount is drawing the "current time" from the Mac or an APP/Tablet (n.b. it is an Evolution with WiFi....)?  If that device is not connected to the Internet and its clock is 1 hour and 20 minutes out that will take precedence. This is a common user error with the APPs where a user has been playing with a sky chart, looking forward and back, and then failing to return it to current time (and/or connect to Internet).

 

Perhaps needs to learn to set time with hand controller only before attempting to connect any computer or tablet. If using a computer (or tablet), the hand controller is irrelevant.

 

So where does the Mac fit in this step up? How is the Evolution connected to the Mac/tablet? WiFi or cable? Or is his question and the relevance of the Mac simply related  ONLY to updating firmware? Time location user errors are common with new owners of Starsense. We should eliminate those first. 

 

We need more information to assist. But setting time and location in Starsense should be easy via only HC and its Menu. Or is he attempting using WiFi and APP given the Evolutions WiFi capabilities? We don't yet have enough information. 


Edited by Noah4x4, 24 January 2021 - 12:18 PM.

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#10 quicksiver

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 02:59 PM

Do we have enough information to make a diagnosis? I think not.....

 

The OP mentions, an Evolution 9.25 and a Mac computer. He seems to be trying to set time in the hand controller, but then mentions GPS, but there is no evidence to suggest he has a SkySync device? It would help if he populated his Cloudy Nights signature with details of his kit.

 

So might the issue be that the mount is drawing the "current time" from the Mac or an APP/Tablet (n.b. it is an Evolution with WiFi....)?  If that device is not connected to the Internet and its clock is 1 hour and 20 minutes out that will take precedence. This is a common user error with the APPs where a user has been playing with a sky chart, looking forward and back, and then failing to return it to current time (and/or connect to Internet).

 

Perhaps needs to learn to set time with hand controller only before attempting to connect any computer or tablet. If using a computer (or tablet), the hand controller is irrelevant.

 

So where does the Mac fit in this step up? How is the Evolution connected to the Mac/tablet? WiFi or cable? Or is his question and the relevance of the Mac simply related  ONLY to updating firmware? Time location user errors are common with new owners of Starsense. We should eliminate those first. 

 

We need more information to assist. But setting time and location in Starsense should be easy via only HC and its Menu. Or is he attempting using WiFi and APP given the Evolutions WiFi capabilities? We don't yet have enough information. 

Hi Skylab

 

You are right about the Mac and perhaps I introduced a bit of a red herring there. I have not connected my scope to my Mac and the reference was only related to updating my firmware. 
 

I don’t have a Sky sync device like the Celestron 93969 SkySync. I thought, and perhaps I am mistaken, that the Auto Align had a built in GPS unit? Should I buy the SkySync if that makes things easier?

 

Thanks. 



#11 quicksiver

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 04:11 PM

I think I might have sorted this issue out and now I feel very stupid for troubling everyone blush.gif

 

It looks like when I entered the time instead of pressing “back” which saves the time I pressed “enter” which does not. At least I think that’s the problem. Time will tell - pardon the pun!


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#12 Noah4x4

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 04:41 PM

No problem Quicksilver.

 

99.99% of new owners of Starsense flunk it on its first use because of time or location. The issue is that the supplied instructions are pants. Most do a dummy run in daylight then abort before they get to Input Location. The Starsense then defaults to Torrance, California (Celestron HQ), and never asks again. The other 0.01% do as you did. But best check your Location setting.....(via Menu).....

 

Great to see you have added your equipment to your CN signature. Folk here are always happy to help and all learned the same way as you. They asked questions when they realise the instructions are so poor.


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#13 quicksiver

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 04:45 PM

No problem Quicksilver.

 

99.99% of new owners of Starsense flunk it on its first use because of time or location. The issue is that the supplied instructions are pants. Most do a dummy run in daylight then abort before they get to Input Location. The Starsense then defaults to Torrance, California (Celestron HQ), and never asks again. The other 0.01% do as you did. But best check your Location setting.....(via Menu).....

 

Great to see you have added your equipment to your CN signature. Folk here are always happy to help and all learned the same way as you. They asked questions when they realise the instructions are so poor.

Thanks Noah - sorry I accidentally called you Skylab in my last post. 
 

The manuals are not great and I also accidentally set my location to Torrance. I did a reset and now I have my location correctly set. Here’s hoping I can set it up next time. 


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#14 Noah4x4

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 06:50 PM

Thanks Noah - sorry I accidentally called you Skylab in my last post. 
 

The manuals are not great and I also accidentally set my location to Torrance. I did a reset and now I have my location correctly set. Here’s hoping I can set it up next time. 

Almost everybody gets caught by this, hence why I suggested you should check Location. Unless you do live in California, your next post would have been "Starsense doesn't work, my scope is looking at the ground" . 

 

I can't understand why Celestron doesn't update the Starsense firmware to prompt users to at least confirm your location on every use (just like it does with time). 

 

Inputting this data manually, can be a bit tedious. However, don't bother  buying a SkySync GPS unit. My guess is that before long you will try controlling your scope by phone, tablet or laptop. You then don't need GPS (or hand controller). 


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#15 quicksiver

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 04:21 AM

I have an update on this. The issue still persists. 
 

I am entering the time on the menu option rather than the initial alignment set up as I am trying to master the handset in the comfort of the house rather than outside in the dark. Of course I cannot align it this way but I had hoped I could at least enter the time and location and these would be remembered by the device. 
 

The location is being stored. The time is stored as long as I have the scope switched on and connected. As soon as I switch the scope off the time is lost and I have to re-enter it afresh. I would have thought that the handset would remember and track the time when switched off. 
 

Is this correct? Perhaps the time is only remembered when entered during the set up alignment stage and not when it’s changed from the menu option? But this doesn’t make sense to me. As ever, the manual is silent. 
 

Thanks. 
 

David. 


Edited by quicksiver, 25 January 2021 - 04:24 AM.


#16 Dynan

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 04:50 AM

From the Manual:

 

Time / Location Source: Choose where
StarSense retrieves its time information. This
is automatically acquired when you first start using
StarSense, but you can choose to manually
change these settings if you wish. Some
telescopes, like the Advanced VX, have a Real
Time Clock (RTC), others like the CPC/CPC DX
have a Global Positioning System (GPS), which
saves and keeps track of time. If your telescope
has neither of these, you will need to enter the time
manually when setting up your telescope.

 

https://www.nexstars...toAlign2017.pdf

 

This will set your time also: https://www.celestro...c-gps-accessory


Edited by Dynan, 25 January 2021 - 04:52 AM.

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#17 MessyA

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 04:52 AM

Hi David,

At the risk of having overlooked something you already said, let me chime in. I have an EVO8 with StarSense and SkySync and it works close to perfectly. Anyone who says "don't buy SkySync" obviously enjoys using a phone or tablet with one of the programs (such as Celestron's Sky Portal) that wifi's to the scope. I personally hate having to use virtual buttons for slewing, centering, etc when I can feel the real handset buttons and keep my eye at the eyepiece.  To reiterate, as I don't see where you acknowledged it, the EVO scopes DO NOT HAVE BUILT IN GPS. Sky Sync solves that issue.  I never enjoyed having to input data before each session, especially if you drive a distance to dark skies. With SkySync and StarSense my setup consists of putting the scope in the horizontal position (lining up the mark on the scope and mount), switching on power, and hitting align, selecting StarSense Auto, and Enter. I don't have to look at a phone, watch, or anything. The scope knows it all since it has GPS via SkySync.

If you select GPS in the menu but aren't using GPS, that for sure will screw with things. Also, the first time (only) you use this system you my have to MANUALLY enter whether you observe Daylight Savings Time (DST in the menu). That is one thing the SkySync/StarSene combo does not do, I believe.

 

I'll say this again as I've expressed this opinion before. If you hate extra time spent and extra devices needed to align your scope (which is why we use StarSense in the first place, right?), then going the additional route of having GPS onboard all the time is well worth the $.

 

I don't know if any of this helps and if you prefer to use the WiFi option with an external device like phone or tablet, it may be a moot point although I would still confirm that DST is selected or not...

 

IN ANY EVENT, when you solve this data issue,don't follow the manual when doing the one time calibration of Starsense to align its camera with your scope- follow the HC prompts instead. That has caused many StarSense users grief.

 

Pete


Edited by MessyA, 25 January 2021 - 04:55 AM.

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#18 quicksiver

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 05:55 AM

Thank you Dynan and Messy A. 
 

somehow it had not sunk in from the comments above that AutoAlign does not have built in GPS. So obsessed was I with the notion that it must have GPS to function as advertised ( ie: just plug in and away you go). 

 

I think I may buy SkySync. I’m with you MessyA - the app is great but I think I would prefer to operate from the handset. In my admittedly very limited experience so far I have found it distracting and awkward using a tablet outside in the dark.  
 

David


Edited by quicksiver, 25 January 2021 - 08:38 AM.

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#19 Bean614

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 06:15 AM

I still don't understand why you don't use a Phone or Tablet to do your alignment.  The Evo HAS WiFi built in!  Android Phones/Tablets HAVE GPS built-in, and do NOT need to be connected to the Internet!  Starsense will Automatically get your Time/Location/Date information from the Mount, which gets it from the Phone/Tablet.  No need to use the Hand controller.



#20 quicksiver

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 06:53 AM

I still don't understand why you don't use a Phone or Tablet to do your alignment.  The Evo HAS WiFi built in!  Android Phones/Tablets HAVE GPS built-in, and do NOT need to be connected to the Internet!  Starsense will Automatically get your Time/Location/Date information from the Mount, which gets it from the Phone/Tablet.  No need to use the Hand controller.

 It doesn’t seem to be though. I get no option on my Auto Align for GPS. Only manual time entry. 



#21 Bean614

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 06:58 AM

You DON'T need the Hand Controller to use your tablet or phone.  In fact, before turning anything on, disconnect it from the mount!  If the StarSense is connected to the mount correctly, it WILL be detected when your mount is turned on.

Then just follow the Owner's Manual for Connecting/Aligning with the SkyPortal or SkySafari App.



#22 quicksiver

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 08:40 AM

Thanks Bean614. I think I see now (at last) - I need to set up on Sky Portal with my tablet for GPS functionality. 



#23 Noah4x4

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 11:04 AM

I think there is a risk that we are confusing QuickSilver, who has yet to try any of this stuff in the dark.

 

There are FOUR devices that might be used to control an Evolution Telescope;...

 

1.  Nexstar + HC (with no Starsense), with or without a SkySync GPS accessory.

2.  Starsense HC (obviously with Starsense camera), with or without SkySync GPS accessory.

3.  Android/IOS Tablet or Phone using an APP such as SkyPortal or SkySafari. This is usually connected by the Evolution's internal WiFI.

4.  Laptop using a Windows 10 application such as CPWI. This is usually connected by the Evolution's internal WiFI or cable.

5. In essence, you can choose only ONE of these control devices and must stick with that device for the whole of that alignment session.

There are some exceptions, but let's not confuse Quicksilver. Let's stick to basics.

 

In each case <Time> and <Location> (etc.) is stored in the relevant control device.

Hence, if you have saved this in the HC, it won't later be respected by any of the other control devices.

You must enter the data seperately into each device where (last) Location will be remembered (and can only be changed via <Menu>).

 

a)  If using Starsense HC in isolation you need to enter Location once (it then remembers that). Date, Time, Zone and DST must be entered every session.

b)  If using SkySync GPS, you don't need to manually enter date and time for each new session. So that is a benefit.

c) However, as regards (3) and (4) you do NOT need GPS as the mount will take that data from <location services> of your tablet or Laptop if connected to the Internet.

 

Frankly, I agree with Quicksilver that the tablet/APP can be messy and awkward. I found "Pinch & Swipe" inaccurate and Celestron WiFI flakey. But it is  a matter of personal preference. Younger folk master a tablet better than older folk. However, I would advocate that whatever control device you favour, learn how to do everything with a Hand Controller. I guarantee that at at some stage you will suffer from having no Internet, or from a computer/tablet/phone failure and regret not knowing how to use a HC. I now use CPWI and laptop, so my expensive SkySync accessory  sits redundant. However, I once drove 150 miles to a Dark Sky location where I didn't have a 4G Internet connection and I had forgotten to make a note of my (intended) latitude and longitude before departing. My phone was out of signal range too, and I was 100 miles from my nearest City.  It was cloudy all night else I would have been suicidal as I so rarely see clear skies.


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#24 rboe

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 11:14 AM

Both myself and my friend with her new C9.25 found using a phone irritating. The main issue was the screen being too bright, ruining our night vision. The HC was much easier to use than the phone. Real buttons, alignment options and easy to follow instructions (not easy enough it seems, she still needed some assistance - it appears that once you get too smart you assume something works a certain way and when it doesn't it's very difficult to play stupid and very carefully follow instructions. Then again, maybe it's just hard to follow instructions :D ).

 

I have not given up on the phone yet (I do like using Sky Safari, especially during public outreach events - but not for aligning); but I'm getting close to giving up on StarSense.


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#25 Tfer

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 11:27 AM

I use StarSense, the Celestron Wifi dongle and Sky Safari, and have never had a problem with connection.  It depends on how crowded your observing site is with 2.4ghz signals.

 

I’d prefer the hand controller, but we (potentially) spend over 6 months of the year in night time temps well below freezing, and even wrapped with chemical hand warmers, the LCD screen is completely unintelligible.  I can warm my iPad up at will, and have never had an issue with the screen.




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