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First clear night - noob woo hoo & frustrations

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#1 gmcnc

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 11:10 PM

So finally (finally!) got a clear night after getting a first telescope (6se). The good news: had a great time looking at the moon, trying out the lunar filters, found Saturn and Jupiter (we’re in SE US), and even tried the 2x Barlow on Saturn and Jupiter. Awesome and both me and my daughter were jazzed. Bad news: could not align the **** thing - I have the wifi adapter, skysafari 7 pro and SkyPortal, have watched what feels like 1,000 videos and read tons here and elsewhere and yet I’m still doing something (likely many things) wrong. Found Saturn and Jupiter through “dead reckoning” with the red dot.

I thought that wifi and skysafari with the 6se was supposed to let me input location, date, and time and they I would select a star from the app, it would slew the scope “close,” I would make final adjust and “align,” then repeat for 2 or 3 stars. The app doesn’t allow me to pick a star from its field and slew the scope - it wants me to manually do that (which seems to defeat the purpose of the app and wifi as far as alignment goes). So back to reviewing videos and reading.

But it was awesome to see the detail of the moon, and to see Saturn and Jupiter.


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#2 Rustler46

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 12:19 AM

You have  a start - maybe not as good as you'd like. But you did see the two most spectacular sights in a telescope - Saturn & the Moon. Enjoy the journey. You'll get things worked out in time.

 

Best Regards,

Russ



#3 Rahul

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 12:45 AM

Welcome to the hobby! Lots of us are off on rocky starts sometimes, especially with the wifi & bluetooth technology. Don't let it get to you... slow and steady; enjoy the views!


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#4 DLuders

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 01:49 AM

Recommend reaching out to a local Astronomy Club, to get hands-on assistance on how to align your telescope.  See this list of Astronomy Clubs from the Sky&Telescope website to find the closest club.  Somebody in the club should have experience with a Celestron GoTo telescope.  smile.gif  


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#5 Patrick

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 01:50 AM

So finally (finally!) got a clear night after getting a first telescope (6se). The good news: had a great time looking at the moon, trying out the lunar filters, found Saturn and Jupiter (we’re in SE US), and even tried the 2x Barlow on Saturn and Jupiter. Awesome and both me and my daughter were jazzed. Bad news: could not align the **** thing - I have the wifi adapter, skysafari 7 pro and SkyPortal, have watched what feels like 1,000 videos and read tons here and elsewhere and yet I’m still doing something (likely many things) wrong. Found Saturn and Jupiter through “dead reckoning” with the red dot.

I thought that wifi and skysafari with the 6se was supposed to let me input location, date, and time and they I would select a star from the app, it would slew the scope “close,” I would make final adjust and “align,” then repeat for 2 or 3 stars. The app doesn’t allow me to pick a star from its field and slew the scope - it wants me to manually do that (which seems to defeat the purpose of the app and wifi as far as alignment goes). So back to reviewing videos and reading.

But it was awesome to see the detail of the moon, and to see Saturn and Jupiter.


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I think the software needs to know where one star is based on knowing your location and date.  If you had an EQ mount that was polar aligned, it would know where north is, but on an alt/az mount it doesn't know which way is north, or any direction, without at least one input.  On my Celestron CPC1100, I could level the mount, put in the time and date, and then manually move to a known star, center it and hit align.

 

Patrick
 


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#6 Leafus

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 04:43 AM

I had same issues with no good instructions to start off. I nearly gave my scope a sound thrashing.

Process is:

1) Connect phone/tablet to Sky Portal Wi-Fi (if you’re at home make sure to turn off auto-join to your home Wi-Fi or Forget it, otherwise it can screw things up when you get aligned)
2) Open sky safari and check settings. It must be set to Celestron WiFi
3) click Connect and Align NOT connect
4) Using only the app (best to disconnect handset) slew to first bright star - choose a bright one at say 30 to 75 altitude. You don’t need to know it’s name.
5) align in finder/red dot. Check if you can see it in your eyepiece. If you can then press Enter on Sky Safari. It should change to slow speed slew. Centre the star in the eyepiece. Press align button. The display should now be 1of3.
6) choose another bright star at least 90 degrees across the sky. Repeat. Should now be 2 of 3 aligned
7) Repeat again and when you click align it should say Alignment Successful and you’re done.

Tips:

- Use only the brightest stars
- Avoid Double Stars- I have noticed it fail on these though it might have been a coincidence
- Don’t go too high near zenith
- don’t use planets
- Do not use handset at all when using app. The app will give the settings. Note the phone should have GPS. So using a tablet without GPS can give problems
- defocus the star to a donut to make it easier to centre in the eyepiece
- levelling your tripod helps with accurate go to and tracking
- it’s easy to accidentally select a star from app screen when slewing because it’s not actual buttons. I think this can screw it up as the app thinks that’s the star you’re using. You can move the view to the ground to avoid this.
- take care to hit enter then align in the same star. It’s easy the first few times to get out of sync and align with enter then move to next and hit align.

Clear Skies
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#7 michael8554

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 05:24 AM

I suggest you start with just the handset.

 

With that you can Star Align, the handset offers good stars, so no need to select a star from an app and manually slew.

 

And it will GoTo the planets and any target in it's database.

 

Once you have that working reliably, you move onto WiFi and Apps, if you still need to :->


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#8 sevenofnine

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 03:00 PM

Welcome to C/N! flowerred.gif

 

Every go-to system has a learning curve. It's a computer after all wink.gif  I had mine working for years and then it stopped...what the *&%#?!!

 

I reset everything multiple times and still no-go-to. Then I realized that I forgot about the daylight saving time change...doh! smirk.gif


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#9 rjacks

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 03:32 PM

I suggest you start with just the handset.

 

With that you can Star Align, the handset offers good stars, so no need to select a star from an app and manually slew.

 

And it will GoTo the planets and any target in it's database.

 

Once you have that working reliably, you move onto WiFi and Apps, if you still need to :->

Agreed.  Learn how to align using the handset only. Fairly straightforward. Get a good understanding of two star alignment, then after that try using WiFi and SkySafari. I actually prefer the hand controller, because you can feel the buttons, and once you learn them, you can steer the telescope without looking much at the handset. You can't do that with a phone or a pad. 

 

Two-star align and auto 2-star align are efficient ways to align the scope – they just require that you know the names of some stars.  Put a wide field eyepiece in the diagonal (like the 40mm eyepiece that probably came with your Celestron), and have a high magnification eyepiece ready to swap. Pick two stars that are about 90-120 degrees apart in azimuth, and differing somewhat in altitude. If it is an Evolution mount, then before you turn your power on, loosen the clutches and pre-point the telescope near one of the alignment stars.  Lock the clutches, turn on the power, and select two-star alignment at the prompt. Also, make sure your motor speed isn’t any higher than 6 (I like 5).  Select your first star from the list and center the star with your starpointer. Once it is in the field of your wide field eyepiece, hit “enter” so the telescope will now slew slowly, and then nearly center the star in your wide field eyepiece, leaving it just left and below of center. Now swap in your high powered eyepiece and then fully center the star, making sure your last scope movements are to the right and upwards. Hit align. Enter your second star, and put the wide field eyepiece back in the diagonal. Then slew to your second star and repeat the above procedure. When you get good at this, you can do it all with a high-powered eyepiece. This generally provides excellent GoTo accuracy.



#10 gmcnc

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 04:03 PM

Thanks everyone. Looking forward to round 2 tonight. I got mike Swanson’s Nexstar II Guide and have been reading that today, and checking the settings that I can in daylight to some “walkthroughs.” I think I know what to do tonight (at least I feel like I’m better prepared).

My trouble last night was primarily that I can’t tell exactly what star I’m looking at given the light pollution and bright moon - even with the apps guiding I wasn’t sure which star to choose on the handset - when I went to the selected star, in the eyepiece I couldn’t tell which was which (FYI - Vega was too high to use). Reading today, it seem the SkyPortal Auto Align will let me just point at any “bright” star with finder and eyepiece and align on that, and app will know which star it is. So that’s the goal tonight.

I know lots of folks say that we all should study the sky and learn the stars, which I look forward to doing, but these first sessions are more about getting up and running quickly so me, and my daughter, enjoy the session and see some things without spending all night trying to align. I would get a Starsense camera but they are out of stock everywhere until February (and I hope by that time I won’t need it). I’m a knowledge junkie and have several hobbies that require in-depth knowledge of subject matter, so this hobby is not daunting because of all the things to learn, in fact that’s an attraction. But I kind of want to “set the hook” quickly and then dive into the gory details as we move forward (including getting involved with a local club).

Thanks again for all the input.


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Edited by gmcnc, 13 August 2022 - 04:05 PM.


#11 Rustler46

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 04:59 PM

Thanks everyone. Looking forward to round 2 tonight. I got mike Swanson’s Nexstar II Guide and have been reading that today, and checking the settings that I can in daylight to some “walkthroughs.” I think I know what to do tonight (at least I feel like I’m better prepared).

My trouble last night was primarily that I can’t tell exactly what star I’m looking at given the light pollution and bright moon - even with the apps guiding I wasn’t sure which star to choose on the handset - when I went to the selected star, in the eyepiece I couldn’t tell which was which (FYI - Vega was too high to use). Reading today, it seem the SkyPortal Auto Align will let me just point at any “bright” star with finder and eyepiece and align on that, and app will know which star it is. So that’s the goal tonight.

I know lots of folks say that we all should study the sky and learn the stars, which I look forward to doing, but these first sessions are more about getting up and running quickly so me, and my daughter, enjoy the session and see some things without spending all night trying to align. I would get a Starsense camera but they are out of stock everywhere until February (and I hope by that time I won’t need it). I’m a knowledge junkie and have several hobbies that require in-depth knowledge of subject matter, so this hobby is not daunting because of all the things to learn, in fact that’s an attraction. But I kind of want to “set the hook” quickly and then dive into the gory details as we move forward (including getting involved with a local club).

Thanks again for all the input.

Looks like you've got the right attitude and aptitudes to succeed. Just to help you in a small way, I would used Arcturus as your first bright star. It's much lower in the sky than Vega, and easily as bright. The low saturation, orange color it displays is a help in identification. Also if you can see the Big Dipper (Ursa Majoris), just follow the arc of its handle to "arc down to Arcturus".

 

I would venture the guess that the hook has already been set. Even with the light pollution most of us endure, there are many enjoyable objects to observe, like Moon, gas-giant planets, star clusters and double stars. But I wholeheartedly agree with your goal to use modern technology to help in your journey. I hope that proves to be an enjoyable one for you and your family!

 

Best Regards,

Russ


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#12 whizbang

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Posted 13 August 2022 - 08:47 PM

Good advice from everyone.

 

Yes, forget wifi, tablet and SkySafari for now.  Start by using and learning withe the hand control only.

 

And yes, what Russ said.  Use an "Auto 2 Star" alignment with Arcturus in the west and Vega overhead.  Arcturus will be obvious.  Nothing else close by is bright.  After you align Arcturus, the scope will automatically slew to Vega (you don't have to break your neck or back trying to get it in the red dot finder).  Simply center Vega in the eyepiece, then hit enter.  Boom.  You're done.


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