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brenski

Controlling via PC - novice question

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Apologies, if this is a repeat of previous questions. I'm completely new to this hobby, and the huge quantity of information available seems to take me off down rabbit-hole after rabbit-hole.

 

■ Current Setup: Celestron Nexstar 127SLT ■ asus Transformer Mini 4gb win10 laptop ■ 5m miniUSB >> USB-A cable

■ Current Software: Stellarium and cartes du ciel

■ On Order (awaiting delivery):  Equatorial Wedge for Celestron NexStar SLT

 

Stellarium |Software Questions:

■ how do i set it up to run in permanent windowed mode

■ can i reduce/scale window contents to fit visible window

■ can setup(s) be saved - to load/use again?

 

Telescope Control:

is there a simple (newbie) guide to

■ config menu

■ setting up the EQ wedge correctly - including polar and star alignment.

■ linking the scope to the laptop and controlling the scope via Stellarium or cartes du ciel. 

■ can config be saved - to load/use again? - ie storing location, EQ North, Long/Lat etc

 

thanks

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I have the same kit. I don't know how you would mount this on a wedge and I really would not try.  The mount is not meant to be tilted. And why do you want to?

Sorry to pour on cold water, but the only reason you would want to use an equatorial wedge is for deep-space astrophotography, for which this mount is not well suited.  People who have used equatorial wedges with the bigger single and twin arm fork mounts seem on the whole not to have found this a happy experience and have turned to using German equatorial mounts.

Feel free to experiment how you want, but if you seriously want to do deep-space astrophotography, read the book "Make Every Photon Count" and think in terms of a heavy equatorial mount with a small short-focal length refractor mounted on it.

If you want to try planetary astrophotography, you can have a go at that with the mount as-is, no wedge needed, if you have a suitable planetary video camera.  The mount is a bit wobbly for this but it's not impossible. 

Re Stellarium, not sure of the answer to your questions. Pressing F11 gets it out of full screen mode.

Answers to other questions should be found on the Stellarium online user guides or at www.nexstarsite.com.  Details of controlling the SLT mount from a PC depend somewhat on how recent your handset is.   It's just a matter of finding the instructions and following them to the letter.

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@Cosmic Geoff

thanks for the reply. nice to know someone else is using similar kit and experiencing the same technicalities. here's what I've managed today:

■  Next Remote software  - all good, now for the real work.

■  two sets of drivers ASCOM and PL2303 Prolific - which are required to control the scope remotely both installed and recognised.
■ virtual com ports setup on my tablet pc and am controlling the scope via the usb socket on the hand-controller.
■ both Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium will communicate with the scope - but  can't find out how to control it.
■ Celestron CPWI 2.1.25 on the other hand, is up and working  - built in alignment/tracking/and slewing - and is a piece of cake both to configure and use.

would like to get  Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium to actually control the scope - but perhaps that's a battle for another day

Next stop hooking up the Bresser camera and viewing directly on laptop via Cam Lab Lite.

 

as regards the EQ Wedge - my intention is to use it for some astrophotography - if possible. The Celestron 127SLT does have an EQ North menu option - so (I'm told) the wedge should work.

 

 

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CPWI is your best solution, and being realistic, all you need today. Stellarium or Cartes Du Ceil do have more sophisticated databases, but (no disrespect), you are not going to see the vast majority of the extra objects they include through your limited scope.

My advice is don't waste money investing in accessories for it unless they can later be migrated to a higher quality GEM. Astrophotography on an Alt-Az is challenging; and a wedge can be frustrating; and the only other Alt-Az solution is Hyperstar. But I suspect your scope is not Fastar/Hyperstar compatible. It's a good beginners scope and will offer a lot of initial fun. But if smitten by astronomy, you will soon wish to upgrade. 

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@noah4x4 thanks for the reply. will go ahead and uninstall stellarium and cartes du ceil from the tablet pc.

will leave both on my phone for a quick goto guide.

my next task is to make some aesthetics to CPWI. For exmple, would prefer it to run permanently windowed, to allow Bresser CamLabLite to run similarly.

selecting targets and viewing will then be much easier.

couple of questions:

■ does the Next remote always have to be run prior to CWPI - in order for the com ports to be configured?

■ or is there a way to write a config file for CWPI, so it "remembers"

currently, my device manager shows 

> Eltima Virtual Port [Com 4]

> Prolific USB to Serial Port [Com 5]

 

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It's easy to get Stellarium to control the scope once you have communication (which it seems you have).  Follow the instructions to set up the scope control 'plug-in' and turn it on for your 127mm Mak. Then a keyboard command will traverse the scope to the object you have selected.

I have the NexRemote software but have never tried using it - couldn't see the point while I have a handset.

11 hours ago, brenski said:

as regards the EQ Wedge - my intention is to use it for some astrophotography - if possible. The Celestron 127SLT does have an EQ North menu option - so (I'm told) the wedge should work.

I think the EQ North menu is there because the same handset is used on Celestron EQ mounts.  The SLT mount/tripod is too wobbly for any serious astrophotography.  For short exposures you don't need the wedge. But feel free to try it, and then I expect you will see why I am advising you not to bother.

I used my 127mm Mak for planetary astrophotography, but on an EQ-5 mount, or putting the SLT mount head on a more stable wooden tripod.

I tried the SLT mount head on the wood tripod for some deep-space astrophotography (as an alt-az) with short exposures (under 30 secs) and a f5 refractor.  It works with no wind and so long as I don't touch anything.  

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Posted (edited)

@Cosmic Geoff - some really good advice.  all i need now is some clear skies and patience. fingers crossed some clear weekends happen soon. can't wait to get out and see what the scope can do.

I have the Bresser HD usb camera and Cam Lab Lite, am wondering if i'm likely to get any decent shots with it?

As regards the scope itself - i've seen eyepieces for sale that "guarantee" bringing out the colour in nebula etc - is this realistic? or is almost every DSO more or less monochrome thru and eyepiece?

As for astrophotography, I'm hoping to use my Canon 200D to see what I can get from an unmodified camera...again likely only mono?

thanks for the advice.

Edited by brenski

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1 hour ago, brenski said:

have the Bresser HD usb camera and Cam Lab Lite, am wondering if i'm likely to get any decent shots with it?

Give it a try. I have found though that budget camera = budget results. 🙂  Start with the Moon. It is harder to get a target on-chip and in focus than you are probably expecting.

 

1 hour ago, brenski said:

As regards the scope itself - i've seen eyepieces for sale that "guarantee" bringing out the colour in nebula etc - is this realistic? or is almost every DSO more or less monochrome thru and eyepiece?

Sounds like snake oil. Nebulae usually look monochrome to the eye but colour shows up in a colour photograph.  M82 looks lurid in many images but to a visual observer is just a faint grey bar.

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@Cosmic Geoff - if i decided to pursue the astrophotography route with current equipment:

Celestron 127SLT (with or w/O EQ mount), Canon 200d piggybacked

what's possible - any nebula or clusters? - if so what kind of settings will the Canon require - am thinking 

20-30 secs, 3200, f2.8 (or 3.5), and remote trigger

would i need loads of single shots stacked to get any colour?

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Not my speciality. Any successful shots will show colour if present.

 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, brenski said:

As regards the scope itself - i've seen eyepieces for sale that "guarantee" bringing out the colour in nebula etc - is this realistic? or is almost every DSO more or less monochrome thru and eyepiece?

People (especialy vendors) who tell you things like that are just plain liers or they have no idea what they are talking about. It is physically impossible to see colours in the dark, because your are eyes are not capable of doing that, point. Some people think they see colours, but that is a trick of their brain... more like wishfull thinking. The only way to see the colours of DSO objects is to image them, which is quite a challenge with your set up... not impossible, but quite a challenge...
The best advice I could give you is to buy the book: 'Making every photon count' by Steve Richards. It will help you to understand 'what, when and why', and will make your journey into imaging a LOT easier (and cheaper...).

Edited by Waldemar
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"i've seen eyepieces for sale that "guarantee" bringing out the colour in nebula etc"... There are a lot of filters on the market that increase the contrast of colours, but I have not heard of an eyepiece that does it. As Waldemar states, we use the rods around the outside of the eyes to get night vision, and rods are not colour sensitive. It is a shame we have that limitation in our eyes as seeing colour in the stars would be amazing. 

I can not see (no pun intended) how looking through any EP could change what the Rods pick up.

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thanks @Cosmic Geoff @Waldemar and @Ledge1962

i put the guarantee in " " because i (even as a beginner) had my doubts as to what exactly is possible - or just myth.

A quick ebay search turned up this:  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-25inch-6mm-66-Ultra-Wide-Eyepiece-Lens-Fully-Multi-coated-GW-For-Telescope/283251464554 hte end of the features list claims "Delivers sharp images with good color correction and contrast" . Now, two things shout loud at me:

■ what exactly is "color correction"? what is that pertaining to be?

■ nothing that price could deliver such a claim (even if it were remotely possible) I'd expect to pay much more.

I will get the 'Making every photon count' by Steve Richards, book - it'll make good holiday reading.

thanks guys

 

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Colour correction relates to the optical quality of the eyepiece. A well corrected eyepiece, probably not the one in the ebay listing, would not show any false colour fringing around a bright object.  And that eyepiece would certainly not give you views at the eyepiece that the photos used in the ad show.

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Answering a question from an earlier post....

You do NOT need NexRemote with CPWI. So no messing about with Win8 compatibility mode required.

You can now directly link your scope to a Windows PC using a SkyPortal external WiFi accessory. Previously that was only possible with Android/IOS.

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@noah4x4 is there any link to the Skyportal instructions? - this sounds much easier

 

i'm finding at the moment, if i come back to the scope after a day or two, the usb connection isn't sure which com port the handset was on.

 

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On 31/05/2019 at 16:10, brenski said:

@noah4x4 is there any link to the Skyportal instructions? - this sounds much easier

 

i'm finding at the moment, if i come back to the scope after a day or two, the usb connection isn't sure which com port the handset was on.

 

You simply connect PC to the SkyPortal external WiFi accessory rather than to your regular WiFi network when in Direct mode. Alternatively, you can connect both to your regular WiFi network in Access Point mode. CPWI will auto-find it. When you select connect to WiFi. 

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Posted (edited)
On 20/05/2019 at 07:27, noah4x4 said:

CPWI is your best solution, and being realistic, all you need today. Stellarium or Cartes Du Ceil do have more sophisticated databases, but (no disrespect), you are not going to see the vast majority of the extra objects they include through your limited scope.

My advice is don't waste money investing in accessories for it unless they can later be migrated to a higher quality GEM. Astrophotography on an Alt-Az is challenging; and a wedge can be frustrating; and the only other Alt-Az solution is Hyperstar. But I suspect your scope is not Fastar/Hyperstar compatible. It's a good beginners scope and will offer a lot of initial fun. But if smitten by astronomy, you will soon wish to upgrade. 

I have just discovered that you can run/use CPWI simultaneously with CDC or Stellarium or StarryNight, CPWI acts as the equivalent of a software HC.

The telescope position gets updated in both programs in real time, all you need to do ( in CDC for example ) is to choose the CPWI ascom driver in telescope configuration.

So you can align with CPWI/starsense for example, and then use CDC or Stellarium to click (select object) and then slew (or sync)

So we have the best of both worlds...

Image below: Stellarium and CPWI running in tandem on XPS 13 laptop and Samsung tablet as second monitor with twomonUSB Android app. AVX mount connected wirelessly with Skyportal WiFi module: 

stellarium.jpg

Edited by ginandtonic

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