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Found 24 results

  1. Hi. I've had a long term interest in astronomy and am just preparing to start getting some gear. I've spent a while now doing some research, reading and watching videos. I want to get started in visual observing, but I hope to, get into some astrophotography as well at some stage. I will definitely always want to be able to do visual, so I can share this with my family, and also I plan to get some decent scope experience for a while doing visual, plus I was thinking in terms of cost, starting out just visual allows me to stage the cost outlay by buying the camera gear later. I've mostly settled on the gear I'm looking at getting, but wanted to get some advice on one aspect. I am planning on at the start getting a Celestron SCT with a CGX mount plus the SkyPortal WiFi module. I was planning on also initially getting the Celestron StarSense. My plan for later was to get a not-too-expensive ZWO mono camera (at least to start with), EFW, plus a ZWO mini guide camera and an OAG. To manage all this I was planning on using either an AsiAir or Astroberry setup. So my question mostly revolves around whether or not the StarSense is effectively a waste in the long run? It seems to me that the functions the StarSense performs will end up also being able to be done by the cameras with the AsiAir/Astroberry. So instead of spending the money on the StarSense, can I simply earlier on buy the OAG, guide camera and AsiAir (or Astroberry) and then attach the OAG inline with the star diagonal, and then use the guide camera and AsiAir/Astroberry for alignment and mount control, while still doing visual astronomy (i.e. before I actually buy the "proper" main camera"), and thereby obviating the need for the StarSense altogether? Or is the idea/setup I've described completely stupid and non-functional in terms of visual observing? Can I actually use a guide camera via AsiAir/Astroberry for alignment, or does it have to be the main camera (which I wouldn't have in the initial setup I've described)? Hopefully I've explained myself well enough. Thanks.
  2. Hello folks, I need some help, first of all is the Starsense compatible with the NEQ6 Pro. The second is a problem I have caused myself and cannot be fixed till later in the New Year but the question is if a mount is only roughly aligned will the Starsense override this and give a better alignment to the mount in operating?
  3. I'm trying to do the firmware update for the Starsense in which I needed to install Java which I uninstalled ages ago because it plays havoc with my laptop. Now, when I try and open the update a message pops up say 'A Java Exception has occurred' Not a good start, having problems with it even before I've got it outside. Could someone please tell me what to do? Many thanks.
  4. Hi all, So im looking at buying my self some new Equipment for my NexStar 6SE and i was hoping to get some help. Im thinking about buy a SkyPortal as i like the idea of been able to control my telescope with my phone, plus all the extra information it has on what you are viewing will be useful for when i have friends and family out with me. I am also considering buying StarSense, if their is one thing i hate and always seem to get wrong is the alignment of the telescope. When ever i align the telescope nothing is ever in the center of the eyepiece or if it is in the eyepiece at all its only for a couple of minutes. Its the alignment process that often puts me off from going out. So i think both of these would be a good addition to my Equipment, how ever i have read that they both need to be plugged in to the AUX port on my telescopes mount. My telescope only has 2 ports on it one is labeled AUX and the other is labeled Auto Guide. But both of the ports look identical. So would i be ok to plug both of them in to these ports or would i need an adapter to give me more AUX ports? Also would both of these devises work together. Say i turn on my telescope will i be able to use my phone with the SkyPortal and be able to tell it to do the Auto Align with the StarSense? Then their is one last thing i would like to buy. a NexImage 5 Solar System Imager. I would love to take some videos with it and then get a nice looking photo out of it. I have seen some people saying i would need a 0.5 Focal Reducer to get good quality out of my telescope, is that correct? if so can you explain what this Focal Reducer does exactly. Thanks in advanced for any help you can give.
  5. Hello All, Firstly, apologies if this is not in the right place but I've tried software and cameras and have not had much luck... Does anyone here use the Celestron Starsense camera and use a PC to control your setup? I am currently burning brain-cells with frustration trying to work out how to do this. Basically, before I could use Nexremote but this does not work with Starsense. I can (I think) use Stellarium but this only works for Goto operation and does not have the option to nudge up/down left/right. This is no good if I need to centre the target when slightly off. I have looked at Ascom but I can not work that out either. Currently I have one cable running from the scope which gives me control over two cameras, the focusser and scope. I do not want to add another cable if I can help it so it would be good to find out the correct software to use with Starsence if possible. Many thanks Karl
  6. Does anyone run their AZ-GTi using StarSense? Considering it and have some questions. 1. Can the mount still operate on WiFi 2 .How does the mount get time and location data. 3. Can I run SkySafari 5 plus? Thanks for any advice offered.
  7. Hi guys, Having had difficulty in aligning and never actually managing to get my AVX to track to the standard I know it can, is the Celestron StarSense gadget the answer? I know I can align my scope accurately if I put the effort in and having moved last year I’ve been unable to have my mount fixed on a pier so I’m seriously considering this piece of kit as an easier way to align and to motivate me to get out more often. Please share your thoughts..... Adaaam75
  8. Bought John in Derby, s very nice Bresser Dob to upgrade from 8" to 10". Set up and collimated ready for startesting tonight if the clouds stay away. Thanks John it's a lovely scope. Clear Skies
  9. Hi. I’ve Celestron cpc 1100 EdgeHD. When I try to allign the scope through skyportal via WiFi module, after completing the plate solving process, it asks me to select one brightest star and press go-to option to move the scope towards that star for example Vega. In skyportal it stops at an exact Vega location, however in eyepiece I can’t see it. I know I have to fine allign, so when I manually fine allign the scope in the eyepiece, the cross mark in the skyportal moves far away from Vega and then refuses to allign because it has to be Certain degree close to Vega. Can anyone advise how to fix it ?
  10. I just setup my CPC 1100 Edge HD scope with the Celestron heavy duty wedge and I want to do AP. The tripod is on a JMI wheeler bar and I put vibration pads under the wheels. The setup is on my deck on top of the main bean as I do not have a good spot on solid ground. The scope is a little shakier than without the wedge but not horrible. So, based on others experience: 1. Will this work for both short and long exposure AP or do I need a eq mount? Or, does that not matter since I can only use it on my deck and not solid ground? 2. By chance, has anyone used this setup with Starsense to align? Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions. Bruce
  11. Hi. I have Celestron CPC 1100 EdgeHD with Starsense and WiFi Module. During the alignment process, WiFi module stops responding, whereas my tablet or iPhone is connected to the WiFi module, the SkyPortal message pops up that connection is failed and scope isn’t responding? Can anyone help me how t fix this urgently ? It was working fine yesterday but now I can see this message. I though it’s a power issue, so I disconnected the power tank and connected the scope directly to the electricity through supplied adapter, but failed.
  12. Hello all! A question for all you Starsense users out there ... When I do an auto align with Starsense, it duly goes through it's routine of moving the scope to different star targets and resolves each one fine (5 targets I believe). Then it displays on the handset "StarSense Ready". At this point the telescope tube is always pointing in some random direction - is this how yours behaves after it finishes alignment ? Just pointing at the last star it used as a target reference ? At this point I usually set my scope to go to it's "HOME" position, but whenever I "GOTO" a target it is never in the scopes eyepiece and I have to manually hunt around for it. (Using a wide angled eyepiece). Should I just "GOTO" a target without going to "HOME" position first, or should it not matter ? NB - All this after precise Polar Alignment using Polemaster. Grateful for your input Many thanks Kind Regards V.
  13. Hello I am really worried that I may have broken my new telescope. It said it was going to be 100% clear tonight, so I prepped Celeste Bubble, my new 8" Celestron Evolution, and took her outside for her first light. Within an hour it was 100% cloud cover Within that hour, mutiple attempts at aligning my scope failed. I was using a smart phone and the SkyPortal app with Star Sense. I had the Star Sense HC completely unplugged, btw. A few people advised me to do that to try and help ensure it wouldn't affect m using the Sky Portal app. I am not so worried about the alignment failing. What I am worried about is that during one of my failed alignments, the scope ended up trying to plate solve my house. So, being the lazy cow that I am, rather than pick up the telescope and move it to face clear sky, I simply loosened the azimuth clutch and spun it around 180 degrees. After I did that, the scope would not track anymore. I could hear the motors turning (or doing something) but whatever I had in my eyepiece was moving out of view. It was tracking OK before this - I manually (clutches) aligned to Jupiter so as to at least see something and it was tracking Jupiter fine. I checked the scope settings on my phone and it was set to track Sidereal, it hadn't been switched off by accident. I tried another alignment which failed and that's when I spun the mount around 180 using the azimuth clutch. Do You think I have broken something? Have you heard of this before? Is there some sort of reset or something I can do? What a disaster of an evening. Thanks for any help or advice you can give me Siouxsie
  14. Hello I have a couple of StarSense related questions please. 1. So this would be a new calibration point between the camera & OTA, not a new or additional alignement reference. The reason I ask is because I'm wondering if doing a new calibration now and again might sharpen or help the accuracy of the GOTOs?? I'm not sure how accurate my initial calibration was, but in any case I'm the type who likes to continually make my set ups are as sharp as they can be. Regardless of why I want to do it, If it were possible, then maybe I could go to the StarSense menu and follow the calibration proceedure that I did when I initially calibrated the camera / OTA (the one you have to do when you first use SS and then another Auto Align is required after) ?? 2. I added a load of additional alignment points. If I wanted to scrub those (because StarSense stores them - right??) and add new / updated ones is there a way of clearing out the stored additional alignment reference points? Any help, insights, tips, advice or ideas all very gratefully received, thank you. Siouxsie
  15. Hi all, I have posted in another thread that I have purchased a Celestron StarSense autoalign accessory so I thought I would create a dedicated topic to review it and feed back how I get on with it. I got it from Rother Valley Optics for £295 although I think the price has now gone up to the RRP of £329. There was a slight delay in delivery due to low stock in the UK but to RVO's credit it was only a week which I thought was pretty good. On unboxing I was suprised how much bigger it was than expected. It is very solidly built from good quality plastic and metal - no movement or flexing of the case when gripped or squeezed. In fact if you handle it with your eyes closed you would swear it was solid metal. It is supplied with 2 mounting brackets. The one it comes fitted with is the larger of the two. You may need to change it to the smaller one depending on your scope. According to the manual use the large bracket with: All Celestron Schmidt-CassegrainsAll Celestron EdgeHDsNexStar 4SE Maksutov-Cassegrainand the small bracket with: Celestron 6” f/8.3 RefractorNexStar 102SLT RefractorNexStar 127SLT Maksutov-CassegrainNexStar 130SLT ReflectorAll Celestron Reflectors and Refractors Packaged with the Advanced VX MountAll NexStar GT optical tube assembliesSeveral other optical tubes from other manufacturers which use a similar finder dovetail base.I have a NexStar 127SLT Maksutov-Cassegrain so needed to fit the smaller bracket. The supplied manual gives very clear instructions with photographs that show you how to change the bracket. You need to loosen the allen screw holding the bracket in place and remove the lens shroud by unscrewing it in order to slide the bracket off but it is very simple. Just make sure you put the two large orange washers back either side of the small bracket when you slide it on. Then the lens shroud is screwed back on. It doesn't mention tightening up the allen screw once you have changed the bracket - hopefully most people would work that out for themselves. I wasn't sure what orientation to leave it in but assumed it would need to match the view the scope sees so I rotated it to match once it was attached to the OTA then tightened the screw. There is also a replacement hand control which has the extra functionality to control the StarSense - this replaces the existing NexStar+ hand control and plugs into the same socket on the mount. A new cable is also supplied. That's about it - here are some pictures showing how I changed the bracket and the StarSense mounted on my scope. I'm waiting for a clear evening to try it out now. I'm hoping to video it in action as it aligns itself and if I manage I'll post the results in this topic. I'd also be interested to hear from anyone else who has used it on the Nexstar 127 and especially what orientation they set the device to in it's bracket - perpendicular to the OTA or level with the horizon (so the logo on the back is horizontal). I'm not sure if it makes any difference - maybe the device adjusts for that when it solves the images it takes of the stars. The StarSense as supplied with the large bracket fitted. (AA battery included for scale). With the lens shroud and bracket removed. With the small bracket fitted and lens shroud replaced. Note orange washers either side of bracket. Attached to the OTA (The CDs are not part of my setup - just there to stop it rolling )
  16. I’ve been using my 8’ Edge HD on an Evolution mount for a couple of years now and I added a wedge to it a few months back. Using SkyPortal with StarSense I’ve never really had any major issues getting it aligned. Last night I was setting up to photograph Mars and went through my normal procedure. StarSense took its images but, after confirming success with the third plate, instead of just winding up a bit and parking it proceeded to pitch the ota towards the north well below the horizon. Fortunately nothing snagged. I skipped the ASPA and instructed it to goto Mars and was surprised to find it was spot on (better than usual actually). Anyone any ideas why it took that nose dive? Thanks.
  17. Guys, Just tested the latest skysafari5 auto update (which supports Celestron Starsense) on my CPC1100 using a Celestron SkyPortal Wifi module. It works, skysafari takes you through the star sense auto align. You need to make sure you select "Celestron Wifi" as your scope type in the sky safari settings. HTH, Alan
  18. Hi, Now, I know that Cubble likes to keep fit. I try to keep all of my telescopes healthy and feed them only the best planets and DSOs. But - why is that Cubble just LOVES to go all around the houses on some of his GOTOs?! Talk about taking the long way home!!! I could have sworn that I had 'Cordwrap' set to 'Off'............. I have set Cubs up with a totally cordfree / wire free system and therefore find this going 340 degrees around to an object that is 10 degrees away incredibly annoying and time wasting. Well, I think I may have found the answer today. Some of you may already know this but for those that don't, I hope it helps relieve some of your frustration. What I disovered is that the Star Sense hand controller resets the Cordwrap setting (MENU>>>TELESCOPE>>>CORDWRAP) back to 'ON' each time a new alignment is completed. So, one can spend time seemingly making sure that it is set to 'OFF' (if that's the setting you want, of course) only to find that once you have completed an alignment, the hand controller defaults the Cordwrap setting back to 'ON'. So, if you don't want or need Cordwrap set to 'ON', make sure you change the setting after completing each new alignment. Siouxsie
  19. Hi, I am hoping someone here may be able to offer some help or advice. I have submitted a support ticket with Celestron but I am still waiting for a reply and would really like to get this working ready for the next clear sky! I recently brought a starsense but have not been able to use it because it comes up with the following errors, Err: Model Num The telescope model could not be read and initialization cannot proceed. Critical error! File: ..\source\mo Line: 1468 An unexpected error occurred that may cause the HC to not opperate normally. When updating the controller and camera it finishes succesfully but when I check for new updates it proceeds to install the same one again and again. I can still control the mount and I think the camera tried to do an alignment in my room. I have a Celestron Nexstar 6SE. Thanks Adz
  20. For Celestron, NexStar and StarSense. Are they different or does one incorporate the other? It's confusing! How do the above compare to Meade's version(s), Sky Watcher's, Orion US, Vixen's & any others?
  21. Hi After selling all my equipment some time ago I have now started the hobby again with a C925 on an AVX mount. Last night was my first chance to try out the Starsense Accessory, which seemed to work quite well. However I was a bit concerned that when doing the calibration for the SSA camera position and during the Polar Alignment routine the tracking seemed very jerky at higher magnifications. The video I took of Jupiter after alignment did not seem to show this (although poor in all other ways) so I don't know if the jerkiness is something to do with tracking mode used by the SSA handset during alignment. It could also be a mount fault or poor balance but I would expect that to show in the video? Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks Barry
  22. One can perform an All Star Polar Alignment (ASPA) on a Celestron Alt-Az mount on a wedge when using a Nexstar + HC. I get down to a Polar Alignment Error measured in arc-seconds, commensurate with any GEM. This route requires good basic alignment skills. However, if you have mastered a routine 'two star align' it is no more difficult. Just follow the instructions in the HC for an EQNorth, then Polar Align (then conclude with further EQNorth). However, it would be much easier, faster, convenient and GoTos even more accurats if this process was possible with a Starsense auto-align. However, a 'bug' has frustrated wedge owners for nigh on three years. Starsense works fine on a GEM or Alt-Az, but not on a wedge, UNTIL NOW. The good news is that Celestron has fixed the bug in the Starsense HC wedge routine and the updated firmware is in beta-test via TeamCelestron. A public release is imminent. Like the Nexstar + HC this routine offers a complete ASPA including software aided elimination of any residual Polar Alignment Error (e.g. firmware tells you the knob adjustment necessary). The other good news is that Simulation Curriculum has fixed a similar bug in the SkyPortal APP (not yet fixed in the SkySafari APP). Here you set 'Starsense Auto-Align' and 'Starsense on wedge' via the SkyPortal APP then set your wedge to your latitude; then tube to its index marks pointing South. Then <connect & align>. This offers an excellent Starsense Auto-Align on a severely leaning mount. GoTo's are highly accurate. I then tracked VEGA for over an hour without any noticeable drift, suffice for modest length longer exposure astrophotography provided your mount is level, your wedge latitude correct and your Tube start point South. However, this is NOT an ASPA. This routine does not guide you to do any final tweaks to eliminate any residual PAE error. It hence won't be quite as accurate as any "polar align" performed by the HC. But for those with modest aspirations that like using Starsense via WiFi APP, it will be pretty good. However, what you can now do is first use a Nexstar + HC to complete an ASPA. Return tube to its index marks on the now physically polar aligned wedge/mount. Recycle power; and proceed with a Starsense auto-align using either HC or WiFi/tablet. So you then have the benefit of an accurate ASPA plus the subsequent joy of Starsense superior GoTo accuracy. It is a great compromise. When the Starsense HC bug firmware release is in the public domain, I will add to this thread. Hope this guidance is helpful to wedge owners with Starsense.
  23. Blue skies .... sun setting...Yesssss..... Scope cooling. Jupiter looks like a searchlight, its going to be.....CLOUDY , they roll in and its gone. Day after day Cloud. BUT WAIT there are gaps with clear skies. dash out set up , align ..... Gap Closes. My problem was time, I need to be able to get out and see some space objects. I don't have time for serious imaging and I don't have the skill either LOL. My 10" Orion XTi takes a bit of time to move to the patio from the garage and its just a bit big to take elsewhere. I think and I think and .....I spend for a more portable and quick setup. First came the Mak 127 on an AZ mount, then the outrageously priced StarSense for Skywatcher to manage the align accurately and quickly. Then the very outrageously priced Celestron SkySync GPS which is £50 dearer than the Skywatcher GPS which does not work with the Satr Sense). I hope I have a good Grab & Go setup which I can plonk down, level and switch on and catch those gaps and those moments of magic between the fronts that roll through all the time (or does it just seem to be that way. The conversion to Roboscope (hey, my Mak has a name.....) has cost way more than the scope and mount which cost only £215 on Ebay (and its very nice). I just hope that the investment in lots of dosh is rewarded by making great use of time. Anyone else robotized a wee scope like this and if so how is it working for you? All I need now is for this cloud to go. Clear skies
  24. Last night was the second time I used my StarSense alignment using SkyPortal. The first time I had a half dozen alignment failures and one success. Last night I tried 15 times, using SkyPortal to align my Celestron Evolution 8. Each time it was able to align two out of three stars, but always on the third star I would get the error message, "Alignment Pointing Error too Large." I have no idea what this means or how to remedy the problem. Would appreciate any enlightenment. Joe
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