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I've just bought one too.  My primary purpose is solar observing, and particularly outreach.  Having something that is robust but still light enough for me to easily carry, easy to align, and doesn't

I have the Evolution 9.25 and it is a fantastic scope to set up and use. I cant comment much on the wi-fi aspect as I use the handset to operate it, my phone links to it without a hitch but my tablet

I've toyed around with it at a local astroshop. Comments: Creates its own wifi network and links to SkySafari on my iphone in seconds. The battery should last for about 500 charge cycles before it slo

I think it's a very good no nonsense set up designed for astronomers that aren't AP nuts! The practical features and quality optics along with ease of use/quick hassle free set up make the range attractive.

I would love the 9'25 or the 8 and I recon anyone lucky enough to get one will at the very least be reminded why they took up stargazing in the first place

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Anyone got any experience with the Celestron NexStar Evolution 8?

There doesn't seem to be much in the way of owner reviews out there and I can't figure out why.

There's a lot of chat on Cloudy Nights :)

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I'm thinking the whole built in battery thing may not be as good as I think. Pretty sure I can't power a dew heater with it.

The dreaded dew! I remember nights when my Meade SCT was dripping.

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I've toyed around with it at a local astroshop. Comments:

Creates its own wifi network and links to SkySafari on my iphone in seconds.

The battery should last for about 500 charge cycles before it slowly starts losing its charge capacity and is rated for 10 hours + for each charge.

The mount has dual encoders which means that you can manually slew the scope as well (when the clutches are released) and it doesn't lose alignment.

There is no need to remove the eyepiece tray when storing the mount.

There is a lot more clearance to fit a longer OTA on the mount as opposed to my Nexstar 6SE/8SE mount.

The whole thing is pretty well built actually and much more stable than my Nexstar mount.

Overall at the moment it is the best Alt/Az mount around - not regarding weight capacity but in terms of features and ease of use.

Once it starts being sold without a OTA, I think I will upgrade to that one...

Edit: Didn't write anything about the tube as it is a standard 8" SCT similar to previous versions, but with a different paint job.

Edited by nicoscy
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Cheers for the quick review Nicos, I'm thinking it's the right setup for me but I must admit these skewing problems I'm reading about are a little worrying. I'm upgrading from my 150 Dob, I love the views but am starting to not like the constant "nudges" required with a Dob. The portability of this setup is very attractive and the addition of wifi is a real pro for me.

I wonder if these skewing issues are few and far between or commonplace as there's been no mention of them on here?

Would I still need another power source to run a dew heater?

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I have the Evolution 9.25 and it is a fantastic scope to set up and use. I cant comment much on the wi-fi aspect as I use the handset to operate it, my phone links to it without a hitch but my tablet will not connect. Not sure why as they both run Android Kit Kat.

Nevertheless wi-fi aside having an internal battery is a godsend ( you can power from other sources if you want to ) and the 9.25 has a beefed up tripod that is very stable in use. The tripod as mentioned can be carried around with the tray still fixed so saves time on set up. It has taken my own personal astronomy to a higher level as I have been able to observe objects that are way beyond the reach of my refractors and in a set up that was light years ahead of struggling with a 200 newt on EQ mount and all the messing about that that setup seems to incur.

It might not be for everyone but I like it and its in my collection for the long haul.

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I've just bought one too.  My primary purpose is solar observing, and particularly outreach.  Having something that is robust but still light enough for me to easily carry, easy to align, and doesn't need an external battery makes life much easier.  Its like the now well battered SE I've been using on steroids!  I love the simplicity of alt-az :smile:

Over the past week I've had it out a couple of times at night with my Megrez 90 refractor.  It copes really well and has been fun to use, and has indeed proved easy to set up (and carry back in quickly when it started to hailstone  :eek: )

I'd say it has 2 downsides so far: it is noisier than I expected when slewing (although you can cap the maximum slew speed which contains it); and secondly, the wifi functionality feels like it is still work in progress.  When the wifi works it is really cool though :wink:  Using the handset is much more reliable.    Ideally it would be great to be able to use both - using data for location and time, and goto selection from phone, but using keys on handset for fine tuning/centering.  It will be interesting to see how the software develops, in particular the control from windows seems to be lagging behind the app development.

Mine will be going to SGLX with me (and will be destruction tested by the school kids at the outreach event for the eclipse), so if anyone wants to come along and kick its tyres you'd be most welcome  :grin:

Helen

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I downloaded an update for my tablet last night and decided to see if it would now like to connect to the Evo and now it does :) So it was not the Evo but the tablet that needed a fix. Next trip out will give the wi fi a proper test.

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I downloaded an update for my tablet last night and decided to see if it would now like to connect to the Evo and now it does :) So it was not the Evo but the tablet that needed a fix. Next trip out will give the wi fi a proper test.

I look forward to hearing back from you JG777 with an update if that's ok. I really am very keen on this setup.

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I like the idea of the battery being built in, been thinking of the 9.25 version, The 8" is £1356 on Amazon.

All I know is I hope the mount is tighter than the NexStar SE! Mine had so much slop in it, even with the Anti Backlash set when you centered the object it seemed to take forever back and forth. I got frustrated and sold it!

I bought an Original NexStar 5" (Silver Tube) the motors are so much better/tighter/ and smoother there is no comparison. It is like a Sew Machine and a Blender with a Bearing going out..

My Neighbor even came out one night and complained it woke him up! I was in my yard about 15 yards from his property!

He cant even hear the older one...

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Well just got back from a pretty good evening of astronomy and can update the thread on the Wi-Fi app. First time using it with an 8 inch tablet that now connects thanks to a recent update.

I went out to one of the dark sites we use and took the 80 mm refractor to put on the Evo mount, second light for this little Equinox so fair to say it looked a bit lost on the Evo but you can never be over mounted.

First attempt with the app failed to align, not sure why , possibly I picked a poor choice star. Was having to improvise a bit because patchy clouds were rolling past. Second attempt was a success and used Bellatrix, Sirius, and Phecda. What I found was helpful was slowing the slew speed down from the slider bar on the app for the initial fix for each star because the default is a bit fast and can mean the star shooting out of the finder scope views. Sometimes at this default speed the directional buttons seemed a bit laggy and needed a few presses to activate, then once activated went further than expected like clicking a mouse on a slow computer and 5 documents load up. This was cured by slowing it down to about half. The align stage is a lot slower anyway and the app responded well to this.

The other thing that has helped my general alignment is using an illuminated cross hair EP. Its a cheapie Seben off Amazon but it works and does the trick. After using the app to align I tapped M42 on the screen and the scope slewed to the object and placed it dead centre. I was pretty amazed at this so then tapped on Jupiter to see if this was really working and there was Jupiter clear as anything and centred beautifully. I watched Jupiter for 20 minutes whilst warming up with coffee and noted it was tracking correctly with Jupiter staying central.

Then I hit the search button and a message popped up saying Sky Portal had stopped and a choice of wait, cancel or continue buttons were offered. So I tapped continue and the search list populated. That was about the only issue I had but I was not disconnected. From there on I chose 'tonights best ' and went through the entire list. The scope nailed every one of them except a few that were not visible in the semi moonlit sky and or were not attainable in a 80mm. I assume though they were there somewhere! Strangely there were some targets listed that were below the horizon which produced an error message.

So on the list which the app nailed were M45, M44, M42, M31 NGC869 NGC884 Bellatrix, Pollux, Procyron, Sirius, Betelguese, Rigel, Alderbaran, Cappella, Phecda, Mizar and Polaris. Also the Moon.

After this I disconnected and did a 2 star align on Betelgeuse and Sirius which are not far apart in the sky and the Evo processed it without a hitch. I then sent it off to half a dozen diffent stars and all were centred and tracked with very good accuracy.

So all in all quite encouraging for the app, it worked pretty well this evening although perhaps it still needs some work. As this is a cut down version of Sky Safari I might get the full version and give that a go next time out.

It is nice to go out and all the kit works

Edited by JG777
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I have the Evo 8. I find that it is easy to use. However the tripod will not work with the wedge. It's to small. I upgraded to the CPC 11 heavy duty tripod, added a wedge and walla a robust set up. I use it for AP now and can take unguided 5 min exposure. It tracks on target very nice and I tested it with a 2.3 mm eyepiece over 20 minutes (ate dinner). The battery does not like the cold and will only last 2 hours or so, I expect to be normal for any lithium battery. Keep in mind the mount is only rated for the scope and 20lbs, the tripod that comes with the 8" only 14 lbs. The payload specs are from Celstron and I had to ask.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Helen's comments are spot on. It's a pity that the mount is not available separately. I also wanted to replace an old 6/8 SE mount to carry a larger solar scope for outreach and to get it had to buy the base 6" version and sell on the scope and tripod. Sadly another example of box shifter marketing. Although I don't need it I did try the wifi setup for curiosity using an ipad and it worked perfectly. Bob.

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  • 2 months later...

Siliy question, but do you need wireless router to connect a smart phone or tablet to the Nexstar Evolution, or does it have it's own router?

The Evolution has its own router so it creates an ad-hoc network to which you can connect your wi-fi enabled tablet / phone. Works like a charm actually. Tested it with Celestron's own app and SkySafari 4 on an iphone.

Don't own the scope but I played with it at the dealer's shop  :grin:

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