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Chris Rowland

Celestron StarSense Accessory

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hi again, does this need a gps modual like skysync in order to work?

thanks :)

No - it doesn't

It worked well without, before I got one, but in my (limited) experience of one evening, it was much more accurate than before.

Radec

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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?

I'll have to let you know over time! At the moment, mine is error free!

That'll prolly bork it now :lipsrsealed:

And as for having a dog........

If you enjoy barking, accommodate the two!

Radec

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Mine has worked flawlessly too even with less than perfect visibility. The only time I had a problem was my fault. I had strapped the GPS unit to the fork arm and the strap was fouling on the OTA. GPS is now strapped to the top of one leg of the tripod and no further problems.

PS: Woof!!!

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still reading all the posts and my feeling is that there are more positive comments than negative, as with all new tech there is a risk that issues are not resolved in the software but sometimes a risk is worth taking if it improves the experience, expensive and annoying if it doesn't , it is good to have the experience of you all to help me make a decision, retailers are helpful but are selling the item to make a living so sometimes I don't think you get the full story, I get the feeling the starsense works better with some mounts than others.

Thanks Dave & Radec for clarifying my queries, still waiting for green witch to let me know when the starsense arrives from there Cambridge branch, I will post an update when the system is up and running.

PS

    My dogs to idle to even bark.

cheers J R 

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You should check out 365 Astronomy Adrian.......

You might have a pleasant £££ experience!

Radec

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Got mine from Rother Valley Optics. Sorry FLO I wont do it again.

Sent from my Samsung G4S using Tapatalk.

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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

The star sense took 45 mins to work took me 12 mins no star sense and mine was more accurate

Pat

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The star sense took 45 mins to work took me 12 mins no star sense and mine was more accurate

Pat

Do you know what mount it was being used with?

Sent from my Samsung G4S using Tapatalk.

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Celestron ,cgem we,both had the same mounts ,am not saying they all bad his is tho it's the second one the shop sent him

Pat

Edited by todd8137

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Maybe it doesn't work as well with all mounts. I think there were some teething problems early on but Celestron have released firmware updates. Is anyone else using the starsense with the CGEM?

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Just to ask from those that know! when aligned, is it the starsense that keeps the alignment or the telescopes tracking ability, in short, does the starsense continually monitor the area you are in for you or is it just the initial set up. What is the current firmware on this as this thread goes back quite a while so I was seeing if the latter firmware updates may have changed any teething issues. I am toying with getting one at some point for my CPC as seeing the telescope itself is computerised you may as well have a little ditty that turns it into the 21st century so to speak.

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Just to ask from those that know! when aligned, is it the starsense that keeps the alignment or the telescopes tracking ability, in short, does the starsense continually monitor the area you are in for you or is it just the initial set up. What is the current firmware on this as this thread goes back quite a while so I was seeing if the latter firmware updates may have changed any teething issues. I am toying with getting one at some point for my CPC as seeing the telescope itself is computerised you may as well have a little ditty that turns it into the 21st century so to speak.

I think it is just the tracking of the mount once the initial alignment is completed. The improvement comes from the method of alignment IMO. The starsense takes images from a range of areas around the sky, resolves the stars, knows where it is (usually) and then is more accurate with finding stars. Solar system objects were always a bit hit & miss, but with the Skysync addition, the time is much more accurate and so are the planetary gotos. Exact time is much more sensitive with planets etc.

latest firmware is HC 1.10.14008 and camera 1.02.13343.

Fairly recent upgrade for the camera.

Radec

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I can confirm what Radec says regarding the SS not monitoring the tracking once it has aligned.  In fact, once aligned I used to just take it off the telescope and store it in a container.  I say used to because my scope is in an observatory and I usually hibernate my scope so don't need to use the SS very often - such as when I fell heavily against my scope!

In response to proflight 2000, I have a CPC 925 and the StarSense has worked with it flawlessly, as it does with my 8SE.  It's great with the CPC because with the built in GPS of course, there's very little to do, and I can't remember when I last used a finder with this scope!

Regards, Paul

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That all sounds reassuring as I have just ordered a Celestron 9.25VX with starsense and I have the Skysync to add as well. Looking forward to quick alignments.

Peter

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I think the only reasons you would not take it off are (1) if you want to perform some extra calibrations as the night goes on and (2) if taking the SS off the scope causes you to move the scope slightly (should be fine with this providing you are reasonable careful; the SS is very easy to take off & put back on).

Point (1) is a more valid reason for not taking it off as last night I was out doing some visual stuff (alignment with the SS perfect :)).  I then decided to do some imaging which means I take the diagonal / EP off and put the camera on the end of the scope.  Unfortunately, doing this means that the alignment is no longer works with the camera.  I started by imaging Jupiter, so I found Jupiter with the camera / laptop and did an align calibration point with the SS.  Scope then aligned for the camera rather than the eye piece, very simple :).

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I think the only reasons you would not take it off are (1) if you want to perform some extra calibrations as the night goes on and (2) if taking the SS off the scope causes you to move the scope slightly (should be fine with this providing you are reasonable careful; the SS is very easy to take off & put back on).

Point (1) is a more valid reason for not taking it off as last night I was out doing some visual stuff (alignment with the SS perfect :)).  I then decided to do some imaging which means I take the diagonal / EP off and put the camera on the end of the scope.  Unfortunately, doing this means that the alignment is no longer works with the camera.  I started by imaging Jupiter, so I found Jupiter with the camera / laptop and did an align calibration point with the SS.  Scope then aligned for the camera rather than the eye piece, very simple :).

+1 on all that.

Cloud prevails here at the moment, so no further tests, but I routinely had to do a re-sync with just the handset before getting the SS. It was amazingly accurate, but something usually causes me to nudge the mount - the QHY for example, so further SS aligns will mean I leave mine on the whole time.

As a previous dedicated DSO imager, I used to hate the moon periods - as a re-born visualist - now I cannot wait!!

Radec

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But if you intend only to image you presumably have the camera on to start with and use that to align with the SS?

Peter

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But if you intend only to image you presumably have the camera on to start with and use that to align with the SS?

Peter

Indeed - that would work, assuming the SS is accurate enough to put a DSO on a CCD chip. 

For planets & moon, I'm sure it will be fine, but with an equatorial set-up and a CCD - can't say how accurate it is down to those constraints.

Buy I'm not going there again......

Honest Guv :lipsrsealed:

Radec

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Just a short comment on the celestron starsense, after picking one up and fitting to the next star 8 se and after carefull reading of the manual when turned on the display reads verifying packages, then synchronisation please wait, after that the message, err nu, the telescope model can not be read and initialisation cannot proceed, check connection of camera and  hand control and power cycle  telescope.

I have been in touch with the uk Celestron engineer through the dealer and he had not come across this error but is in touch with Celestron in the US and has promised a solution to the problem,so more than happy with this and hopefully it is a one off, just my luck !

So if by any chance it happens again with another unit Celestron will be up to speed and have a quick answer.

apart from that can't wait start using it.

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Sorry to hear about your difficulty Adrian.  I've used mine on my 8SE and CPC 925 and its works flawlessly as I've mentioned in a previous post.  I live in postcode BD22 area, so if you are local to me I'm happy to help out if I can.  if so, send me a pm.  Regards, Paul

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Thanks for the quick response paul, good to hear you have one that works flawlessly, as others have also told me, must have been a bit of bad luck I got this one ! new to astronomy, had the scope for about a month and seen some amazing sights through the eye piece but found the red dot finder scope supplied with the next star not very good, being tall and wearing vary focal glasses kneeling down and looking through the finder not a good start to the nights viewing. so pushed the boat out and purchased the starsense I had a problem with the original mount and that had to be changed so when this happened it shook my confidence a bit.

I have also ordered the sky sync gps, do you have one on your scopes if so I would like to hear how you find that and also how you connect it all together, Radec told me how he has done his but you can never get to much information.

I live near Howden in the East Riding so its not such a distance from you, and would appreciate any help that is available when I get this all sorted out, still awaiting a reply from Celestron but it could be a day or two

Thanks   J R 

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Thanks Adrian.  It's a shame you didn't tell me before, I have a CN16 GPS thingy that I had with my 8SE.  I've never used it, and now I have a CPC I probably never will.  You could have borrowed it to see how you get on with it.  Alas I've never used it so I can't tell you how to connect it up in conjunction with the StarSense - I bought the StarSense later.  I did connect it up to the 8SE (which I still have) once and the LED on it lit up so I assume it's working ok!  I always meant to try it out to check.  I suppose I might as if I ever sell the 8SE as it could go with it.

Yes, if I can help out, or if you ever want to come over, just get in touch.  A private message would be best probably to make sure I get to read it!

Regards, Paul

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I'm both impressed and very frustrated with my new StarSense.

The good news is that it aligned every time the other night, even though it was part cloudy.

The bad news is that I can't get the StarSense aligned with the telescope (a NexStar 4SE). The StarSense "Calibrate Center" doesn't seem to behave as described in the manual. The manual says that after pressing ENTER to slew to a star, pressing ENTER a second time should switch to fine centering mode, but it seems to slew back to the starting position again. A post on page 1 of this thread by hrgreen stated that "the Calibrate Center operation is not correctly detailed in the manual". Could anyone explain to me how the "Calibrate Center" operation actually works?

A secondary problem is that the alignment between the StarSense and the telescope seems to be quite a long way off, even with a 32 mm eyepiece. I think the StarSense camera calibrates correctly because when I slew to a star, the telescope does slew to the right part of the sky. The problem is that the star is nowhere in sight in the eyepiece. It's very frustrating that you can't attach the finderscope at the same time as the StarSense camera. When I tried slewing to the moon, although the telescope was pointing in roughly the right direction, I found I had to move the telescope some way before the moon came into view. Could I do a rough align to the moon, then the final alignment to a star? Or is "Calibrate Center" a once-only operation? I find both the user interface and the manual rather hopeless!

Any advice gratefully received.

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