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Ok, after lots of research, I finally decided on the above and just ordered with FLO.  Now got a few weeks wait so can keep exploring the sky manually with by binoculars and learn as many pitfalls as possible about the Evo 9.25”.  The only accessory I ordered for now is a dew shield, but I’m expecting I will want to get a 2” visual back, star diagonal and wide angle eyepiece (possibly 0.63 focal reducer too) to get the max field of view possible when I so choose.  Any views on whether StarSense is worth it - it seems pretty simple to align without it (I may come to regret saying this)

So why am I posting?  Just after any and all advice for a beginner, in particular regarding maximising field of view down the line (the relatively narrow FOV was the only real downside of the Evo 9.25” for me) and any recommended accessories to enhance my viewing pleasure over time.  Any other general top tips also very welcome. 

I look forward to being able to help others in due course when I have something more than roughly zero knowledge and experience!

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You’ve ordered a very nice piece of kit. The 9.25 is a large scope but comes with a beefier tripod. A new diagonal is the first and most important upgrade in my opinion. The stock one is poor. New visual back is also a good idea. As the Evolution already has an excellent go-to system, I don’t think Starsense is necessary. Save your money and get a couple of nice eyepieces - though at F/10 it’s a forgiving scope so most eyepieces will work well.

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Yes, the mount is really excellent, but in my opinion, not quite large enough to hold the 9.25. ( Yes, I have one. ) I think the mount itself is the same one as with the 8" one. I would very much advise limits on where the mount can go, to avoid any unfortunate collisions with the mount! :shocked: I cannot remember where I have the limits, but it is easy to do, so no problem, just be careful until you get to grips with it. I would also advise using the hand controller, it is much easier because of the tactile direction buttons. Also I have found it annoying when the app crashes, ruining night vision as my tablet returns to the home screen. Many have no problems with the mount and the 9.25, having it very far forward on the vixen, but that makes me very nervous, so I am extra careful, even though it is still very near the end. ( I may experiment with a longer dovetail if such is available, at some point... ) I agree, there is no pount to the starsense as the mount works so well. :smiley:

It is though an excellent scope, even better with the reducer, even for just visual. It gives two scope in one basically.  I have the 2" visual back, but do not use it much, prefering the reducer. I would say to get a small refractor to go with it for the wide FOV, as the 9.25 is just not going to do it imo.

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2 hours ago, Highburymark said:

You’ve ordered a very nice piece of kit. The 9.25 is a large scope but comes with a beefier tripod. A new diagonal is the first and most important upgrade in my opinion. The stock one is poor. New visual back is also a good idea. As the Evolution already has an excellent go-to system, I don’t think Starsense is necessary. Save your money and get a couple of nice eyepieces - though at F/10 it’s a forgiving scope so most eyepieces will work well.

Many thanks Mark, that’s good to hear - eyepieces are deffo on the list once I’ve tried out the standard ones. Can’t wait 😄

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5 minutes ago, Greymouser said:

Yes, the mount is really excellent, but in my opinion, not quite large enough to hold the 9.25. ( Yes, I have one. ) I think the mount itself is the same one as with the 8" one. I would very much advise limits on where the mount can go, to avoid any unfortunate collisions with the mount! :shocked: I cannot remember where I have the limits, but it is easy to do, so no problem, just be careful until you get to grips with it. I would also advise using the hand controller, it is much easier because of the tactile direction buttons. Also I have found it annoying when the app crashes, ruining night vision as my tablet returns to the home screen. Many have no problems with the mount and the 9.25, having it very far forward on the vixen, but that makes me very nervous, so I am extra careful, even though it is still very near the end. ( I may experiment with a longer dovetail if such is available, at some point... ) I agree, there is no pount to the starsense as the mount works so well. :smiley:

It is though an excellent scope, even better with the reducer, even for just visual. It gives two scope in one basically.  I have the 2" visual back, but do not use it much, prefering the reducer. I would say to get a small refractor to go with it for the wide FOV, as the 9.25 is just not going to do it imo.

Thanks so much, that’s all really useful.  Certainly need to be careful with how high I point the scope etc especially if I have all sorts extra on the eyepiece end.  I didn’t realise the reducer would fit on the standard 1.25” visual back.  I had assumed I would need the 2”.  The small refractor is another good option I’ll bear in mind.  I’ll just have to double check when I’ve played with it ‘as is’ for a while and worked out what I want to do.  Many thanks again. 👍

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14 minutes ago, Greymouser said:

Yes, the mount is really excellent, but in my opinion, not quite large enough to hold the 9.25. ( Yes, I have one. ) I think the mount itself is the same one as with the 8" one. I would very much advise limits on where the mount can go, to avoid any unfortunate collisions with the mount! :shocked: I cannot remember where I have the limits, but it is easy to do, so no problem, just be careful until you get to grips with it. I would also advise using the hand controller, it is much easier because of the tactile direction buttons. Also I have found it annoying when the app crashes, ruining night vision as my tablet returns to the home screen. Many have no problems with the mount and the 9.25, having it very far forward on the vixen, but that makes me very nervous, so I am extra careful, even though it is still very near the end. ( I may experiment with a longer dovetail if such is available, at some point... ) I agree, there is no pount to the starsense as the mount works so well. :smiley:

It is though an excellent scope, even better with the reducer, even for just visual. It gives two scope in one basically.  I have the 2" visual back, but do not use it much, prefering the reducer. I would say to get a small refractor to go with it for the wide FOV, as the 9.25 is just not going to do it imo.

Can I ask what maximum true FOV you can see using the reducer (and with what eyepiece, focal length, apparent FOV)?

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17 hours ago, James1967 said:

Can I ask what maximum true FOV you can see using the reducer (and with what eyepiece, focal length, apparent FOV)?

You can ask, but I cannot tell you!

I am a simple fellow, who knows what he likes and that is that. I in no way get bogged down on the numbers, other than magnification and F numbers, but rather judge things on the view I get. I have never liked very wide angle views, not sure why, but prefer things down at the lower end of FOV. My favourite eyepieces are the Bader Classic orthos and 62 degree Explore Scientifics for instance and just do not get on with even 82 degrees. ( At least so far! :grin: )

You need to find someone more inteligent than me , I am afraid. :wink:

Of course all this may change as I explore my refractors more...

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I got one of these holders for the hand controller. I’ve not found it from any UK supplier. It clips to the handle on the upper mount and rotates with it, so no cord wrap issues. There are some dedicated forums elsewhere that have a good discussion of the Evo and especially Wi-Fi control. I generally control my Evo 9.25 (an original version from FLO) from my iPad, but I have to use a Celestron SkyPortal adapter to avoid Wi-Fi issues (I think a lot of these are due to conflicts with home wi-fi, I get few problems at remote sites). I believe the Wi-Fi is improved in later versions. I use 21 and 8mm Baader Hyperion eyepieces, occasionally with a TeleVue x2 Barlow. I’ve tried a x3 but I’ve found it too much magnification. The 21mm gets a full moon in the eyepiece FOV. I use the Evo mainly for solar system viewing and imaging, it’s not very good for DSO in my neck of the woods. Also worth checking out is how to update the firmware in the handset and the mount to get the latest versions in, using Celestron CFM. I have the dew shield, but I’ve never needed a dew heater strap at the front. I also have a Starsense camera which can work very well, but occasionally has a problem.  There were some issues when trying to control Starsense with tablets, but I think these have been overcome with latest firmware. Overall a nice accessory, and is like magic in operation, but not essential. The tripod is heavy duty and I have found no problems with it. I believe it’s more sturdy than the Evo 8. I also use the Celestron anti-vibration pads, which I got second hand. Difficult to tell if they make a difference, but if you can get them cheap probably worth having. I would also say ditch the supplied red-dot finder and get a simple one like the Vixen XY which has an ‘open’ head up display type design. Overall a great scope. If you want to see what the field of view is with different eyepieces/reducers goto FLO’s website and check out the ‘astronomy tools’ under ‘info’.

https://starizona.com/collections/3d-printed/products/nexstar-evolution-hand-control-bracket
 

 

Edited by BlueAstra
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