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Hi all,

So im looking at buying my self some new Equipment for my NexStar 6SE and i was hoping to get some help. 

Im thinking about buy a SkyPortal as i like the idea of been able to control my telescope with my phone, plus all the extra information it has on what you are viewing will be useful for when i have friends and family out with me. I am also considering buying StarSense, if their is one thing i hate and always seem to get wrong is the alignment of the telescope. When ever i align the telescope nothing is ever in the center of the eyepiece or if it is in the eyepiece at all its only for a couple of minutes. Its the alignment process that often puts me off from going out.

So i think both of these would be a good addition to my Equipment, how ever i have read that they both need to be plugged in to the AUX port on my telescopes mount. My telescope only has 2 ports on it one is labeled AUX and the other is labeled Auto Guide. But both of the ports look identical. So would i be ok to plug both of them in to these ports or would i need an adapter to give me more AUX ports?

Also would both of these devises work together. Say i turn on my telescope will i be able to use my phone with the SkyPortal and be able to tell it to do the Auto Align with the StarSense?

Then their is one last thing i would like to buy. a NexImage 5 Solar System Imager. I would love to take some videos with it and then get a nice looking photo out of it. I have seen some people saying i would need a 0.5 Focal Reducer to get good quality out of my telescope, is that correct? if so can you explain what this Focal Reducer does exactly.

Thanks in advanced for any help you can give.

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Your alignment being out, is your telescope level?

Is your finder scope aligned to your telescope? If you use the finder but the object is not in the eyepeice your finder scope needs adjusting to match what your telescope is pointing to.

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You need an aux port splitter

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-mounts/celestron-aux-port-splitter.html

you cannot use the auto guide socket for these devices.

skyportal app does support starsense autoalign. Yes, they should work together.

focal reducer reduces the focal ratio of your scope, making it a faster scope. Beyond that an imager will need to say more, I am not an imager :)

Edited by alanjgreen

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10 hours ago, happy-kat said:

Your alignment being out, is your telescope level?

Is your finder scope aligned to your telescope? If you use the finder but the object is not in the eyepeice your finder scope needs adjusting to match what your telescope is pointing to.

Yes my telescope is level, i have a small bubble level on it to make sure, and i know the finder scope is aligned as if i move to an object manually it is always is the telescope. I just dont know where many things are so im sure its me just doing a bad alignment.

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10 hours ago, alanjgreen said:

You need an aux port splitter

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-mounts/celestron-aux-port-splitter.html

you cannot use the auto guide socket for these devices.

skyportal app does support starsense autoalign. Yes, they should work together.

focal reducer reduces the focal ratio of your scope, making it a faster scope. Beyond that an imager will need to say more, I am not an imager :)

Thank you for the help, i will add one of these spliters to my list of things to buy.

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I have the Nexstar 6/8 se mount.  You would be advised to sort out any basic problems with the GoTo before buying any fancy accessories. If anything, the mount seems better behaved than the SLT Goto which I also own. The aiming is not always as accurate as I would like but the offset seems to depend on where the scope is pointing rather than being random. I have not had any problems with the tracking but the SLT would track okay for hours. 

You should check the issues mentioned in other 'GoTo problem' posts, in particular the power plug which can give poor contact. 

There is quite a lot of backlash in the mount gears, but you can dial some of it out with the handset menu. I entered

30

30

10

8

for the four settings in mine.

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8 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

I have the Nexstar 6/8 se mount.  You would be advised to sort out any basic problems with the GoTo before buying any fancy accessories. If anything, the mount seems better behaved than the SLT Goto which I also own. The aiming is not always as accurate as I would like but the offset seems to depend on where the scope is pointing rather than being random. I have not had any problems with the tracking but the SLT would track okay for hours. 

You should check the issues mentioned in other 'GoTo problem' posts, in particular the power plug which can give poor contact. 

There is quite a lot of backlash in the mount gears, but you can dial some of it out with the handset menu. I entered

30

30

10

8

for the four settings in mine.

Thanks i will take a look at this, but im sure the only issue is me. 

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I have a vision problem and struggled with conventional alignment with my Evolution using RDF etc. I bought Starsense and it's so awesome I then bought another for my SE4. Two is not strictly necessary  (see the thread about Starsense profiles) but it shows my commitment to this fantastic tool.

People that don't have it will inevitably say it's not worth the money etc. But I can be perfectly aligned in two minutes. Why settle for cotton when you can have silk?

Starsense interpolates three photographs each with 100 +stars. That must surpass two/three star alignment. When the naked eye can only see a dozen stars it will see and compute hundreds. When the naked eye can see hundreds and you might be struggling to identify which is which it automates everything.  It is just so easy, and worth every penny (IMHO).

Of course, that assumes that you have first improved your basic eyepieces etc. as it is a luxury purchase.  But like cars, if you can afford a Jaguar, you don't use a map when Sat-Nav is available. I put a Feathertouch MicroFocuser in a similar category. I never needed one, but what an investment now I have one.

ADDED

I overlooked the camera question. I have a Neximage Burst Colour Camera. I cannot recommend, but it's good at what it can do, but  once you have imaged the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter you are then struggling for targets. These are strictly Solar System imager, and pretty useless with DSO'S.  The novelty soon wears off. If you want to get into AP, buy a more serious camera rather than chuck £200+ at these webcams. 

Edited by noah4x4

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17 hours ago, noah4x4 said:

I have a vision problem and struggled with conventional alignment with my Evolution using RDF etc. I bought Starsense and it's so awesome I then bought another for my SE4. Two is not strictly necessary  (see the thread about Starsense profiles) but it shows my commitment to this fantastic tool.

People that don't have it will inevitably say it's not worth the money etc. But I can be perfectly aligned in two minutes. Why settle for cotton when you can have silk?

Starsense interpolates three photographs each with 100 +stars. That must surpass two/three star alignment. When the naked eye can only see a dozen stars it will see and compute hundreds. When the naked eye can see hundreds and you might be struggling to identify which is which it automates everything.  It is just so easy, and worth every penny (IMHO).

Of course, that assumes that you have first improved your basic eyepieces etc. as it is a luxury purchase.  But like cars, if you can afford a Jaguar, you don't use a map when Sat-Nav is available. I put a Feathertouch MicroFocuser in a similar category. I never needed one, but what an investment now I have one.

ADDED

I overlooked the camera question. I have a Neximage Burst Colour Camera. I cannot recommend, but it's good at what it can do, but  once you have imaged the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter you are then struggling for targets. These are strictly Solar System imager, and pretty useless with DSO'S.  The novelty soon wears off. If you want to get into AP, buy a more serious camera rather than chuck £200+ at these webcams. 

Thanks for the advice, i will definitely be buy the  StarSense  and the StarPortal. As for a camera i do own a Canon EOS 1100D with the connectors to fit it where the eyepieces go. I have never had much look with it using it like that i always asumed it was too much extra wight for the motors to work well, but also did not help that it was not aligned well. I love using the camera for starfield shots when its on its own mount.

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