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So I'm trying to accessorize [flicks hair], and according to a review of the Nexstar 8SE (which I just got yesterday), the guy and a bunch of other reviewers recommend the Celestron SkySync GPS. From what I understand this device tells your GoTo your coordinates, speeding up the time it takes to align your telescope. Its over $100 US dollars. And it can take up to 10 minutes to locate your coordinates, date and time.

If you're planning a trip or just out on your yard/local park, this can come in handy. But if all it does is give your GoTo your coordinates why can't you simply go to Astronomy.Tools (now known to me thanks to StargazersLounge) and look up the coordinates before hand? Wouldn't it be faster to type in your coordinates than to wait 5-10 minutes for SkySync to work?

I'm bringing this here wondering if I'm missing something? Does SkySync do something else besides give your coordinates? After it gives your coordinates, do you still need it for the rest of the night? Are its coordinates more precise? And if so, does that in any way change your experience as a casual viewer or a hardcore professional astrophotographer? How so? And is it true that it can not work at the same time with the Skyportal Wifi module? ?

The thoughts and insights of this awesome community would be greatly appreciated.

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The GPS module could be useful if it works, but whether it is worth the money or saves any time is a matter for others to decide. I don't have a GPS module, and the issue I have in practice is moving the mount to another location and forgetting to change the Lat/Long co-ordinates, wondering why the GoTo is performing poorly, and then struggling to remember how to change the co-ordinates.?  I'm not sure if having a module would help unless once attached its operation is automatic and foolproof.

As for accuracy, the GoTo works well enough if you enter the nearest city, so any increased accuracy is moot.

As for ' professional astrophotography' the 8SE mount is fine for visual use, and it can be used for  planetary astrophotography if it's the mount you've got, but I'd say that's about it.

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I have a GPS module that was included with the AZ-EQ6. Max time for it to sync up is about 2 to 3 min.

The only thing that would be better is if I could find a usb adapter that would allow me to use it with the laptop. Then it would be handy when using EQMOD ?

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Thanks guys, I was hoping to get all of the questions answered because its still not clear if you can bypass the GPS completely by going to Astronomy.Tools or not. Cosmic Geoff says having more precise coordinates doesnt make a difference with the accuracy for the GoTo, but isn't clear if this means anything to a professional astrophotographer. Sounds like you got thrown off with the Nexstar SE mount. Lets assume the "professional astrophotographer" has a $8,000 concrete mount or whatever. My apologies, I should of been more descriptive. I thought saying "professional astrophotographer" automatically meant having professional AP equipment. Kendg writes that having a GPS aligns his telescope in less than 3 minutes but doesnt say that if typing in your local coordinates has the same effect.

1. Does SkySync do something else besides give your coordinates?

2. After it gives your coordinates, do you still need it for the rest of the night taking power from your battery?

3. Does using local coordinates instead of SkySync coordinates in any way change your experience as a casual viewer (Geoff says no difference for casual viewer) or a hardcore professional astrophotographer? If so, how so?

4. Is it true that it can not work at the same time with the Skyportal Wifi module?

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I think I can answer the first 3.

1. Does SkySync do something else besides give your coordinates?         No. Just the position and that's it.

2. After it gives your coordinates, do you still need it for the rest of the night taking power from your battery?          No. You can unplug it. 

3. Does using local coordinates instead of SkySync coordinates in any way change your experience as a casual viewer (Geoff says no difference for casual viewer) or a hardcore professional astrophotographer? If so, how so?        No difference for the casual observer. As for the had core astrophotographer, probably no significant  difference.

 


 

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Thank you Kendg, that helps allot. It doesn't look like anyone else is going to chime in. We're going to have to give the win to Astronomy.tools, even though I know how much you love your GPS. ?

 

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