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About JayStar

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    Star Forming

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    Midlands UK
  1. Managed to get an hour in with Starsense before the fog rolled in here in the Midlands. I redid my 10 point model after setting the wedge option in the handset. Used 10 fresh manual points and all solved, mostly with 100 stars. Then set these 10 points as the user auto option.Then performed centre calibration - instead of using coarse and fine centre calibration with eyepieces I just used my red dot finder to align the star (not as good but just wanted to try it out).Then realigned as prompted after centring ... couple of cord wrap issues caused a problem with 3 of the 10 points on this final alignment, but was pleased to see that the process went back and redid the points that failed and solved them. Did not do a polar align yet - that is next on the list. Managed to get two slews in before the fog rolled in and both Polaris and Mira were on the DSLR chip (both about half way from centre to the right of the chip, and slightly higher than centre vertically). This was at F/10 , 2.35m focal length (CPC925). That's not bad at all considering I didn't use eyepieces for the centring. I'm impressed. Another note on slew limits - I did not get any warnings for the slew to Mira which was at about 26degrees altitude (less than 90degrees angle from the fork to ota pointing south), or the slew to Polaris. Slightly confused by that, I am thinking that once aligned with the wedge option the slew limits are understood after all.
  2. Just did a bit more checking and realised that the Starsense controller has a wedge option. I had aligned with Wedge set to off in the hand controller. My slew limits were not working at all and I realised from the on screen information that the altitude was reading way off... Polaris was showing at 88 degrees ALT and was throwing a slew warning when selecting it. (in my location Polaris is actually at 52 degrees ALT). All my location information is fine and is set by the internal GPS. I have now set the Wedge option to on and will be re-aligning tomorrow. Interesting though that even with wedge option off, the pointing seemed fine from my first alignment attempt. EDIT: now I know why Polaris is reading 88degrees... ALT in the hand controller relates to the relative position of the OTA to the forks... at Polaris it should read 90degrees, not 52degrees)...more digging on slew limits... As Celestron fork mounts set the altitude limits based on the relation of the OTA to the forks, NOT the actual altitude of the object you want to slew to, on a wedge the slew limit minimum of 0 is different for south / north (and actually at every point of Azimuth). At my location of latitude 52degrees, on the North side a 0 minimum limit actually means -38degrees and on the south side it means +38degrees. As Starsense is limited to 0 to 90 and does not give options for direction, I believe this means that slew limits are only useful for avoiding hitting the mount with image trains that are longer than the fork clearance by using the max limit. Min slew limits are pointless (unless using hyperstar I guess), and in fact somewhat annoying because the scope can not slew to less than 38degrees on the south side without a warning.
  3. Yes, plan to check all that once the main OTA centring and polar alignment routines are done. I am on a wedge and I noted in the instructions that the scope needs to be positioned according to the OTA/ARM index markers prior to starting alignment.
  4. Starsense arrived today and I set it up. First thing to note is that the serial connection on the HC has been replaced with a mini usb - so no more serial to usb adapter needed to connect the PC to the hand controller, just a mini usb to standard usb cable. Mounting the camera was easy as it uses the existing Celestron guide scope mount. I did an initial manual 3 point alignment - just pointed the scope at 3 positions in the sky (one by one). Starsense found between 29 and 100 stars on each run and solved all 3 points. I then added 7 more points (all solved with plenty of stars found) and saved the now 10 point alignment to the user auto align option (meaning those 10 points will now be used when auto aligning). Everything worked without a hitch, but I was not able to centre the main scope to the camera - the one time step - because the clouds rolled in. I have put the mount in to hibernate to keep the alignment and will try to centre tomorrow. The pointing without the alignment to the main scope seemed to be fine in so much that the scope was pointed at each object selected (i.e. no strange slews). I will check accuracy once the centering process is done.
  5. It is a good tool, but it's proving too high end for my ability at the moment (ha!). Not really getting great success with it. The thing that interested me about the Starsense is that it is effectively an F/2 scope and combined with a decent enough sized chip, has a huge field of view...hence it can see a lot of stars for plate solving which makes things easier. TPoint @f/10 through my CPC925 is more of a challenge - especially with no lock on the mirror.
  6. Looks like there might be a gap in the clouds next Tuesday from around 6pm... My unit should have arrived by then so will give it a go. Interested on how close it gets to TPoint modelling.
  7. Yes, I'd imagine so... there are no options as far as I can see in the manual for the old EQ North (etc.) alignment, so maybe the only way the mount knows it is on a wedge is when it completes the polar alignment sequence. My Starsense is on order, so I'll be giving this a go myself next week.
  8. Have you polar aligned as suggested? It might need that step to understand what the correct declination is for a wedge mounted scope.
  9. Picture of completed build with all tree surgery done.
  10. I have gone down the laptop route - with a docking station. The dock is linked up to hard drives, monitor, mouse, keyboard and my imaging power/usb hub. I just connect the laptop and I'm good to go. I do run a frost heater and a dehumidifier - on 24/7. Heater keeps the inside above freezing and the dehumidifier keeps the humidity below 60%
  11. If you have power in your observatory and wi-fi then you might like the Piper. I have just installed it in my observatory... It's a simple set up... No wires. You can get it with and without night vision, has 180 degrees view, can be viewed live from your phone, sounds a siren and/or calls/texts you if the camera senses movement plus records a video for a minute or so when movement is sensed. You can get a door/ window sensor for it that you can set to sound the alarm if tripped. It also monitors temperature and humidity and had two way audio. I have had it installed for a weak.. Very happy so far. https://getpiper.com
  12. I use the NEODYMIUM filer by Baadar (to filter out light pollution) which is screwed into the nose piece of my t-ring connected to my Canon DSLR. I am planning to move to a cooled CCD mono camera and use LRGB filters. Is it OK to also use the NEODYMIUM filter along with the LRGB, or would I need to remove it?
  13. Thank you very much. Yeah, I was disappointed with the water ingress, but the cover solves it. I am pretty sure with some more work on the pivots, it could be solved completely. No matter, I can get the cover on and off in seconds now and it keeps the interior bone dry. Even without it I was able to get the leaks down to a minimum, but in reality there is never any need to leave the POD when not in use with the cover off (as it is not an automated dome) With everything now set up, it's almost exactly what I wanted to achieve. Just some good clear night skies are needed now!
  14. All my electric is in now. I have 5 double sockets, 2 bulkhead lights (one red , one white), and an ethernet connection. My power supply is a 30A unit, which feeds a Kendrick power panel mounted on my pier. (this means I only have two cables from the mount, one USB connection from the Kendrick power panel to the PC and one 12V power cable from the power supply to the Kendrick power panel). Still have some work to do to tidy up all cables from the scope/cameras to the the power panel on the pier) The frost heater is also in, along with a dehumidifier (which seems to be 24/7 at the moment to keep humidity at 60%...might have to do a bit of sealing on the bay joints) Almost ready to go!
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