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palatine

celestron starsense... How uses? Worth the money?

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im a lazy sod at best and have never had a bombproof alignment with my skywatcher  250 flextube  goto 

would the starsense be my way to seeing the universe the way i hoped when i first opted for a goto scope?

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I bought one and found it to be totally frustrating so it quickly went to a new home.

However i have to admit i'm not the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to astro technology.

 

Edited by MARS1960

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I have Starsense but Celestron Sky Portal is iffy. Mine keeps crashing. I purchased Sky Safari Plus to discover it does not use Starsense. I will have to wait for the updated version for Android. Is Starsense good, yes, better with a tablet and easier than manual alignment.  Not had many chances to really try it out due to cloudy nights. I like the idea of pointing on the screen to move the scope, better than trawling through a list of objects.

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I've never found alignment a problem, and if I feel lazy, I just do it with one star or a planet.

Still works OK, especially near the star chosen.

Doug.

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gday had got one for my cgem 925 hd found it made alignment more of a problem than a help it quickly found a new home .i find just using hand control and using green laser alot easier .

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It's time I stuck up for the brilliant Starsense (I have two).

Once (once only) location is accurately set and the camera accurately calibrated, you plonk your scope in the middle of your yard; insert date/time, press align; and go and fetch your EP's or make a cup of tea. On your return two minutes later it's all done. No phaffing about looking for individual bright stars; no need for some crummy RDF.

It's like getting into the electric leather seats of a new Jaguar. Press 1 and it's your seat setting. Press Start and it's 0 to 60 in 5 seconds. But if you prefer tinkering with the carburettor of a Triumph Herald  and/or would choose Meccano rather than Pokemon it's probably  not for you. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, noah4x4 said:

Once (once only) location is accurately set

How does this work at dark observing sites?  Do you need a GPS or something?  Seems like it should have its own built in GPS for this purpose at this price point.

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9 minutes ago, Louis D said:

How does this work at dark observing sites?  Do you need a GPS or something?  Seems like it should have its own built in GPS for this purpose at this price point.

Nah, it's simple in the UK. Just identify one's  Longitude and Latitude using the Internet. Don't use "cities" unless you live in a London or Glasgow. If you have a tablet (I-Pad) that will give you your precise location.

In the great outdoors of the USA, away from a G4 signal or WiFi, I suppose it might be less easy, but unless you are on horseback in the desert, surely longitude and latitude isn't that difficult to identify? Accuracy to within about ten miles will suffice.

There was a missed opportunity for many in the UK. During May, retailers were bundling a FREE StarSense with Evolution scopes; probably trying to clear stocks of standard Evo's before release of the Evo HD Edge.  Interestingly, a free Starsense is now being offered with the Evo HD Edge version. Anybody NOT want a Jaguar? 

Edited by noah4x4
Further observation
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Hello. Whilst been lurking around here in the shadows for a quite while, this is my first post, so here goes. 

I'm going to vote in favour of Starsense. A few years ago my wife bought me a little Astromster 130-EQ which was fun and frustrating in equal measure. I took the plunge late last year and bought a used EdgeHD 8 VX which came with Starsense. I was quite sceptical that I'd be able to use it at all as the view of the sky from my back garden is obscured by the house/roof, a garage and a few very tall trees, a pair of massive conifers and a large, mature oak. The initial difficulty I had was with the manual which, in the version I had, contained an error or two. I found also that I moved the camera when moving the OTA to and from the mount which necessitated performing recalibration.

Once I understood this I was able to kick Starsense auto-align into action with a high degree of confidence. Whilst I'm tinkering around, unboxing eyepieces, making a coffee and tripping over the dog, it  captures around three or four images, despite the limited view of the sky, and is ready for action in under five minutes. If calibrated correctly it will hold a planet in the central field of view of a 12mm EP for around 20 minutes. It's not 100% perfect and sometimes it leaves me wondering what I've done wrong, but the error usually is mine and not the equipment. I have also successfully tried solar system align on the moon and sun, using appropriate filters on the Starsense camera and OTA.

I'm quite sure that I'd struggle more with other alignment methods but I appreciate that to graduate to imaging, as most of us do, I'll need to get a lot smarter. One big plus point for me is that I tend to work long hours and am usually up at 05:15 and not home again until 20:00 which leaves little time for observing, therefore anything that usefully minimises the setup time is welcome and I thoroughly recommend it.

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