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GrampyG

Celestron StarSense 'User profiles'?

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Any one have any information about these?

For example, can you set up a 'profile' in the handset if, for example, the StarSense is 'calibrated' for 2 different scopes? There appears to be nothing in the handbook.

Many thanks

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Should be able, I've got 2 profiles on mine but can't remember how to do it!

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What does the Save/Load Alignment in the Starsense menu do? You can store 10 alignments, but what is it for?

Also, can you store profiles for two different telescopes? This would involve storing the camera alignment to the scope, the backlash settings and the slew limits.  There is nothing about this in the manual as far as I can see.  

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Lots of unrelated jumbled questions; but here are the broad answers...

Starsense uses a camera to take three images. It then Auto-aligns your telescope. Because it has interpolated hundreds of stars (rather than two or three)  it is highly accurate when used for alignments (which can include Alt-Az, Polar, Solar, Solar System, GEM and wedge). I get astonishingly accurate GoTos.

You can add up to ten (optional) additional alignment points. These work like SYNC.  But because Starsense remembers all ten of these,  it enhances alignment and GoTo's even further. I have spread mine across the seasons, and it's awesome. I love it!

Just like with a Finderscope or RDF, the Starsense camera has to be calibrated with the OTA. You only need do this once for any OTA and then save it's profile. If you remove it for transport and reattach it won't lose this calibration. You can reaffix Starsense in under a minute and be aligned in a further two minutes.

But, of course, if you switch it to another different OTA you will need to save it's new (once only) OTA calibration profile. However, you can save multiple such profiles.  You hence just need a second fixing mount and one Starsense. But I bought a second StarSense  (mug that I am, lol!). 

However,  you do only get one Starsense HC with any Starsense Camera, which replaces the Nexstar + HC. So you must switch that over too. Now I remember why I bought a Second StarSense.  It was always awkward to plug and unplug the HC into my SE4 ( but easy in an Evolution). Then the daft thing to do is swap over camera and forget to swap HC. Then travel to some dark sky site.  Starsense won't work with the NexStar + HC. Ooops! You don't need two given 'profile' storage, but I am extravagant, lazy, forgetful..... But I love Starsense!

I might add that the Starsense instruction manual is the most diabolical ever. But once you work it out it is easy.  Adoption in the UK has been modest and I got all my initial information via another ( US biased) forum. But happy to share such knowledge here.

Edited by noah4x4
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1 hour ago, noah4x4 said:

But, of course, if you switch it to another different OTA you will need to save it's new (once only) OTA calibration profile. However, you can save multiple such profiles.  You hence just need a second fixing mount and one Starsense. But I bought a second StarSense  (mug that I am, lol!). 

Thanks, but how do I save the profile?

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12 minutes ago, alanjgreen said:

page 26

in the hand control menu

Ah, I see. It's not documented in the text on page 24, but I can turn on the handset and look at that menu tomorrow.

Thanks.

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8 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

Ah, I see. It's not documented in the text on page 24, but I can turn on the handset and look at that menu tomorrow.

Thanks.

This is common with Celestron manuals, particularly Starsense.  They seem to make the assumption that users are either unambitious or already expert. They write the core manuals as if we won't want to do anything beyond the basics and then leave you fathom out anything more challenging from the tables of 'menu trees'. 

I also fear the trend towards the adoption of WiFi and tablets is progressively de-skilling newcomers to our community. It's like learning to drive in an automatic then not knowing what to do in a manual car. I would encourage everybody to first master their HC before becoming dependent on WiFi/tablets. I love using my WiFi tablet,  but I do so in the confidence that if something goes wrong I can generally find a solution. But that is only because I am familiar with the HC menu tree. 

I would also discourage folks from attempting challenging stuff like serious astrophotography until they have fully mastered their HC. How often do we read about Alignment, GoTo, Tracking or similar problems where the OP assumes that there is a manufacturing fault, yet the issue is user data input error or not knowing where to find a suitable command in SkySafari. Tablets and WiFi are definitely great for beginners,  but I think it always wise to step back to HC to then  go forward before tackling any more ambitious stuff. Completely skipping over the HC phase and not learning it's fuller menu tree is like missing an important chapter in a book.

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I'd second Noah4x4's comments. One piece of unfamiliar astro electronics is enough to contend with without having to struggle with the quirks of additional gadgets. The more items you cable together, the less the probability that they'll all work properly at the same time, as I've discovered.:hmh:

One reason I have not tried my Starsense on the C8 se yet is that I wanted to get used to the latter's quirks without the Starsense attached. First impressions are that the 6/8se mount is better behaved and more consistent than the SLT. The only occasion when it messed with observing was when I entered the wrong date (adding +1 to the stored date, forgetting I'd used the SLT the previous night).   I confess that I have never used the 'Precise Goto' feature on the SLT and am still testing it with the 6/8 se mount. (Testing it with the wrong date was not helpful).

The Starsense certainly sorted out the SLT mount and I'll look forward to trying it on the 6/8 se.  Changing over the bracket and unclipping the inaccessible handset connector looks a pain though, compared with the almost instant swap of (Nexstar+ & finder) <> (Starsense handset & Starsense) with the Synta finder shoe.

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It's easy Geoff if you follow the agreed good practice of first fully understanding your mount and HC before adding the next 'gadget'. I despair when people skip over important steps in the learning curve then blame the equipment rather than eliminating user error. 

With Starsense on an 8SE, you don't actually need a Finderscope or RDF. I removed mine from  my SE4 and fitted the Starsense bracket in these holes. Once calibrated, you can remove the camera for transport and refit it in seconds without any loss of calibration. I have never once needed an RDF since then. See next...

With Starsense you don't need Precise GoTo or SYNC. After auto align and (once only) calibrate you can (optionally) add (up to) ten additional alignment points. Spread these across the sky and the seasons and it's like having multiple preset SYNCs.  The joy is that Starsense remembers them all. I now get astonishingly accurate GoTos. With 2.5million stars in SkySafari Plus I don't need an RDF or direction buttons with such accuracy. 

When using Starsense it interpolates three images each of circa 100 stars, much more precise than two or three star alignment. Once only calibration involves centering a bright star in the EP. But you can simply GoTo the one it suggests, no need to identify it etc. I then defocus and centre the resultant doughnut as that is easier than a pinpoint of light. Done. 

I agree that the position and access to the HC connector is a pain. That is one joy of the Evolution as it has four AUX ports. The SE series might require a splitter if you want even more gadgets (like Starsense + WiFi or GPS).

 

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Thanks.

Another question: what issues are sorted on updating the Starsense HC firmware from 01.15.15176 to the latest (1.16.16055 or later?)  I could just update it and see, but installing firmware (and installing various bits of laptop software so I can update the firmware) is not my favourite occupation. :hmh:

The Sky Tour on my Starsense handset is rubbish, and it seems I am not the only person to comment on this. The items can't be skipped (unlike on the Nexstar+ version), and there is a database under 'database setup' for setting up what appears in it, but this has blurry little icons that don't convey anything. They probably looked great on the HD screen the Celestron engineers used for emulation.

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I believe that below is the recent history of Starsense HC updates and what was fixed or added. There have been no Starsense Camera updates since 2014.

You mention version 01.15.15176. But I can't see that in the list below which is directly sourced (cut & paste) from Celestron's own Firmware Update Bulletin dated 06 Jan 2017. Maybe it relates to another firmware component. I can't assist with that. Suggest you run the new version of CFM and it will tell you if an update is available for any of your firmware. 

StarSense Accessory Hand Control Version

1.16.160553/2016 Support for StarSense Interface box and SkyWatcher mounts Bug Fix:  Wake from Hibernate not reenabling cordwrap

1.15.151788/2015 Bug Fix:  Custom Rate 9 cannot be enabled/disabledBug Fix:  Still using J2000 in RS-232 sync commandAdds support for updates via WiFi accessory

1.14.150192/2015 Feature: you can now back out of ASPA at any time.Bug Fix: RS-232 now uses JNOWBug Fix: Solar System object pointing degrades after UTC midnightBug Fix: View/Goto position still showing J2000 instead of JNOW

1.13.143561/2015 Feature: JNOW is used for all objects, but J2000 remains an option.Bug Fix: Southern Hemisphere wedge pointingBug Fix: ASPA gives bad values if plate solving fails.Bug Fix:  Turning tracking off, switches to RA + Dec tracking.

1.12.1431812/2014 Bug Fix:  All Star Polar Align feature doesn’t workBug Fix: DB object declinations between 0 and -1 show up as with positive dec.

However, there have also been updates to various mounts to improve tracking. For example;  the Evolution mount was updated in August 2016. As I said, I would run CFM and it will tell you if you need an update to any item of your firmware. 

As regards StarSense (HC)  Sky Tour, I agree useless! What I do is create my own observing list in SkySafari Plus from its "Tonights best" feature. Much easier and more constructive.

Edited by noah4x4

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This is the fuller document to which I refer. I append it as cutting and pastiing wasn't ideal.
 I can't see the version 01.15.15176  listed anywhere.

Firmware_Revision_History.pdf

Edited by noah4x4

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