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Chris Rowland

Celestron StarSense Accessory

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hi, sorry if it sounds a daft question but whats the difference between the starsense and the skyQ please?( i know the SkyQ is somewhat cheaper)  im lazy and dont want to align myself :D

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SkyQ will not align your scope all that doses is enables your scope to be used with a app you will need the starsense to align your scope

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

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SkyQ is just a WiFi dongle that let's you use an app for iPad or iPhone to control your telescope. Be aware that it doesn't work fully with ios7 due to issues (apparently) with coding, only with ios6. It will not align your telescope like Starsense will and unless you have apple ios6 - it is very difficult to use. There are supposed to be fixes due, but good luck with that. The Starsense is sensational - more expensive, but in my limited experience so far, utterly amazing. 100% successful in 3 outings - each with multiple alignments. Way to go, if that's what you desire.

Radec

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hi, sorry if it sounds a daft question but whats the difference between the starsense and the skyQ please?( i know the SkyQ is somewhat cheaper)  im lazy and dont want to align myself :D

If you are lazy, like me, then starsense is for you. It has worked flawlessly with my 127 slt. It is a bit pricey but it can save you the setup and alignment time every time you use your scope. I have the skysync gps accessory aswell and I don't have to enter the time and location either. I just plonk the scope down, level it and turn it on. Wait a couple of minutes for gps fix then start the starsense off. In about 4 mins it is aligned. Simples!

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If you are lazy, like me, then starsense is for you. It has worked flawlessly with my 127 slt. It is a bit pricey but it can save you the setup and alignment time every time you use your scope. I have the skysync gps accessory aswell and I don't have to enter the time and location either. I just plonk the scope down, level it and turn it on. Wait a couple of minutes for gps fix then start the starsense off. In about 4 mins it is aligned. Simples!

Good to hear. I've just bought one. 

Peter

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Dave - it says in the manual 'you don't need to level the mount' - I haven't & it has worked flawlessly.

Do you mean level the mount or level the scope with the horizon.

Just interested is all.

Radec

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I level the tripod and set the ota roughly horizontal but I dont point it north or anything.

Sent from my Samsung G4S using Tapatalk.

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As the starsense needs to see the sky, I wonder if it's ok to install a piggy-back mount on the OTA for a DSLR? Anyone know?

Peter

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I suppose would be ok as long as it doesn't block the SS view of the sky. Once aligned you will need to slew to a known star then centre it in the DSLRs view. Then you will know that they are pointing at the same thing.

The only way to know is to try it really.

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A while back I thought about getting the star sense to help with my alignment. I too admit like others in this thread that I am lazy. But after only the 3rd time out with my VX mount, I was aligned and pretty well polar aligned in less than 10 minutes. 

I would say 2 star aligned in 3 minutes and ASPA in less than 7.

Further down the road I could expect this time to drop as I get more comfortable with the mount and cut my ASPA time to under 5 min.

At fist this sounded like a nice accessory but for the price I can't see getting it. 

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Well guys - I collected the GPS module yesterday and managed a few quick tests last night.

WOW!

The Nexstar provided the most accurate gotos I've achieved since getting rid of my imaging rig a few years ago.

It was bob-on with the stars but amazingly, it was spot on with Jupiter as well - pretty much centred in a 20mm ep.

The GPS time accuracy must make all the difference with Solar system stuff.

So, delighted with the outcome after the upgrades.

Bino-viewers

Dual speed feather-touch focuser

Star Sense auto align

GPS module.

Now I can be aligned and viewing in about 3 minutes with little or no degradation of accuracy within reasonable time.

Radec

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Well guys - I collected the GPS module yesterday and managed a few quick tests last night.

WOW!

The Nexstar provided the most accurate gotos I've achieved since getting rid of my imaging rig a few years ago.

It was bob-on with the stars but amazingly, it was spot on with Jupiter as well - pretty much centred in a 20mm ep.

The GPS time accuracy must make all the difference with Solar system stuff.

So, delighted with the outcome after the upgrades.

Bino-viewers

Dual speed feather-touch focuser

Star Sense auto align

GPS module.

Now I can be aligned and viewing in about 3 minutes with little or no degradation of accuracy within reasonable time.

Radec

Nice one.

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Hi as a new member I have been following this thread with great interest, recently purchased a celestron next star 8 se and have found the alignemt procedure a bit tedious , also the finder scope supplied with the scope not very handy when wearing glasses and kneeling down trying to centre an object. the celestron right angle finder did seem a good upgrade but for a not to greater amount of cash the starsense seemed even better, from what you all have been saying I have taken the plunge and purchased one from Green Witch at Burstall.

From your latest posts a remark was made about using the celestron skysync gps with the starsense to negate having to put in time and date every time the scope is turned on, also accuracy is improved, does anybody have any experience of the Nx02 star gps sold by I O Astronomy they have a model compatible with celestron scopes at a lower price !.

This is my first post, hope it works.    J R

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Hi as a new member I have been following this thread with great interest, recently purchased a celestron next star 8 se and have found the alignemt procedure a bit tedious , also the finder scope supplied with the scope not very handy when wearing glasses and kneeling down trying to centre an object. the celestron right angle finder did seem a good upgrade but for a not to greater amount of cash the starsense seemed even better, from what you all have been saying I have taken the plunge and purchased one from Green Witch at Burstall.

From your latest posts a remark was made about using the celestron skysync gps with the starsense to negate having to put in time and date every time the scope is turned on, also accuracy is improved, does anybody have any experience of the Nx02 star gps sold by I O Astronomy they have a model compatible with celestron scopes at a lower price !.

This is my first post, hope it works.    J R

Hi Adrian & welcome to the forum :-).  I bought my StarGPS from IO Astronomy (it is the one I linked to a couple of posts ago), and this works perfectly with the StarSense and 8SE (own both).  You have to have it plugged into both the bottom of the hand controller and the AUX port on the telescope, but the StarGPS comes with an AUX port splitter, so that is no hassle :).

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On the other hand, the Celestron GPS straps to the tripod leg and plugs into just the Aux port on the mount. The Starsense then plugs into the aux port on the GPS.

Simples. :grin:

The hand controller can sit in it's mounting - everything is tidy.

I admit I was lucky, as I found the GPS for £100 on astro buysell, but we all need a bit of luck sometimes. 

Might be worth keeping an eye out for a second hand one when people upgrade their mounts.

Or posting a wanted ad perhaps.

Radec

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Thanks for that Radec.

I did not realise the celestron gps had a aux port for the starsense to plug into, so what you end up with is a inline feed to the scope mount from the hand set and the original plug for the handset in the fork is redundant am I correct in assuming that ?

Ps I see what you mean about big bangs.

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The HC and AUX port on the mount are interchangeable so you can plug the hand controller, starsense, gps into any of them. I think Celestron label them differently to avoid confusion. Also if you have the gps plugged into one port you can plug either the HC or the SS into the spare port on the gps. I usually plug in the HC but Radec plugs in the SS. Either way works, just a matter of personal choice.

One question on the StarGPS - if it uses the serial port on the base of the HC will that prevent you from hooking up a PC at the same time? I suppose you could disconnect it once the time/loc has been set and then connect the PC.

Note for safety sake: dont connect a serial connection to either of the mount ports as the serial connection has 12V levels and will damage the circuit. Only connect the PC serial connection to the port on the base of the HC.

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Well said Dave - damage done in seconds. :eek:

Hi Adrian - meant to say welcome to the forum too.

I leave the SS HC in the normal (awkward access) socket inside the single mount fork of the Nexstar.

That allows me to plonk the HC in the recess when not in use, rather than if another cable is connected to the bottom which would get in the way (?)  

The SS & GPS connect in series into the aux ports & work a treat.

Only issue left at the moment.......

Yup, you guessed it.

CLOUDS!

Radec

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Seen so e one using this a couple a,weeks ago out in the field ,it took me 12 odd minutes to set up align mad start viewing 2star and then 3 align stars with a c gem mount 9.25 scope

My pal had the same set up 3 goes later and nearly 45 minutes after 4 "failed to aligns" it finally worked it was not is error either a bit buggy as well a think those who have them are beta testing the things for celestron

They to me at the minute are not worth there high price not when the hand controller does the job with less hassle

Pat

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Seen so e one using this a couple a,weeks ago out in the field ,it took me 12 odd minutes to set up align mad start viewing 2star and then 3 align stars with a c gem mount 9.25 scope

My pal had the same set up 3 goes later and nearly 45 minutes after 4 "failed to aligns" it finally worked it was not is error either a bit buggy as well a think those who have them are beta testing the things for celestron

They to me at the minute are not worth there high price not when the hand controller does the job with less hassle

Pat

you see this kinda puts me off! I  have the saying, why have a dog and bark yourself,  is this just the odd error or does it happen more than it should?

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Sorry Pat - not sure what you are saying if I'm honest!

Did one of you have a starsense?

Wouldn't it align?

If that's the case, it's not my experience, which is all I can talk about.

For me the unit has worked flawlessly EVERY time I've used it.

It aligned in less than 3 minutes when I couldn't see many stars through the murk and it has been doing some of the best GoTos that I have achieved in years. Much more accurate than the handset alignment ever was, even with subsequent 'Syncs' to try to help.

As another self-confessed lazy astronomer, it is good value and well worth the money it cost.

It means my use will increase as I can just pop it out for a quick look, whereas before, I tended to be put off short duration set-ups.

Radec

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