Jump to content

1912116577_Solarchallenge2022banner.jpg.913a200cf105ddeae9f37765cb1d0c73.jpg

Recommended Posts

Help please,

It's definitely me and not the equipment but I need guidance, if you excuse the pun!

I have a Celestron AVX mount with a 9.25 SCT sitting on top of a pier. Previously I have had issues with aligning my scope to the point where I used to point it manually not use the goto functionality. However after moving I decided to make my life easier so I bought the Celestron Starsense however I'm just not getting it. I've followed the instructions word for word, first calibrating and then aligning. 

One of the issues I have is when I choose a star to centre, the scope doesn't put the star in the 35mm eyepiece but I centre it anyway and press enter but the scope pans away from the star again back to where it was pointing before I centered it!

I have researched possibilities but cannot understand the problem. I am definitely putting the correct coordinates and time in. I pretty sure I don't need to set up the mount with its location and time as I did before I got the starsense?

Please can I have a step by step process after turning it all on as I'm falling down a rabbit hole of Sharpcap and Platesolve2 and apart from frying my my brain with software downloads etc, I shouldn't have to go to such lengths.

I know my set up should be relatively easy to set up, GOTO reasonably accurately and then track sufficiently for visual observing but I'm having a stress over what sounds like it should be easyish.

As much advice would be grateful appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There appears to be a fault with the Starsense instructions in the section describing how to calibrate the camera electronically with the telescope.  I posted about this on the forum previously.  There is a point at which you should press Align instead of Enter.

You do have to enter the date and time each time you power up the Starsense. 😦

The system may require a software update, but before that, get it to work properly as-is, and read the small print of what the updates actually do before you try any update.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, doubledoubleswifty said:

Is the firmware up to date?

In short Nebula, I had no idea so I researched how to check and both my mount and Starsense are in need of updating. I have followed the CFM guide and the program is unable to locate any devices. i followed the trouble shooter guide step by step but when i hold down the "Menu" and "Celestron logo" buttons and turn the mount on I get a different message to the "Bootloader" message. I get "waiting for SSA" then Starsense ready. I can not get past this and therefore I cannot update. Could it be that the mount needs updating first?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

There appears to be a fault with the Starsense instructions in the section describing how to calibrate the camera electronically with the telescope.  I posted about this on the forum previously.  There is a point at which you should press Align instead of Enter.

Well that will help me understand it properly. Could you tell me what point I need to press Align instead of Enter please?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use Skysafari to eliminate the date and location entry, and after Starsense has done it's thing, you definitely have to tap align, then align the star until it's dead on, and tap calibrate. I think the sequence is the same on the keypad.

There's one other thing: remember to always finalise the movement by using "up" and "left" last*. That makes sure the backlash is taken up before it does anything further.

*Whether it's up/left, or down/right is actually controlled by a setting in the configuration (Goto approach), which lets you change them.

These are the notes I wrote for myself when I first got mine:

StarSense and SkySafari on pad

·         Ensure pad is connected to Scope by WiFi

·         Ensure StarSense is setup, running, and the lense cap is off !

·         Run SkySafari

·         Tap Scope | Connect and Align      (Never use "connect" unless scope is not moved)

(Connecting can take a minute or two)

·         SkySense will do it's thing and report on SkySafari what it's doing.

 

If you've moved the StarSense camera on the scope:

 

·         After SkySense has finished…

·         Tap Align

·         Read the screen and find which star it wants to calibrate on. Move there and centre the eyepiece very carefully. (You only do this once, so get it dead-on right).

·         Tap Calibrate

 

The calibration will be complete and the relative positions of the tube and camera are now known.

 

StarSense will then run a second time and you're good to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Starwatcher2001 said:

I use Skysafari to eliminate the date and location entry, and after Starsense has done it's thing, you definitely have to tap align, then align the star until it's dead on, and tap calibrate. I think the sequence is the same on the keypad.

There's one other thing: remember to always finalise the movement by using "up" and "left" last*. That makes sure the backlash is taken up before it does anything further.

*Whether it's up/left, or down/right is actually controlled by a setting in the configuration (Goto approach), which lets you change them.

Thats great Steve, I do not have the Celestron Wifi adaptor but it is going to be my next purchase. Out of interest, what version of Sky Safari do I need? I have the freebie version but there are also the 6 Plus and Pro versions too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Adaaam75 said:

Well that will help me understand it properly. Could you tell me what point I need to press Align instead of Enter please?

Page 12 of instructions: First Time Setup: Calibrate Centre. After performing paragraph 2. you have to press ALIGN, then carry on.

I don't know why you are having trouble with the software update, but you need to get the calibration problem sorted first. 

IIRC you have to install Java or some such software before the CFM will work.  Also remember that if you really must give yourself grief updating the mount software, you can put the original handset back on the mount to remove the Starsense from the equation.  There used to be a separate utility (whose name or acronym escapes me at present) for testing and updating the mounts.  

In the case of the SE mounts, the mount software rarely gets updates and generally will not require updating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

Page 12 of instructions: First Time Setup: Calibrate Centre. After performing paragraph 2. you have to press ALIGN, then carry on.

I don't know why you are having trouble with the software update, but you need to get the calibration problem sorted first. 

IIRC you have to install Java or some such software before the CFM will work.  Also remember that if you really must give yourself grief updating the mount software, you can put the original handset back on the mount to remove the Starsense from the equation.  There used to be a separate utility (whose name or acronym escapes me at present) for testing and updating the mounts.  

In the case of the SE mounts, the mount software rarely gets updates and generally will not require updating.

Thats good to know, as it turns out my mounts latest firmware was 2013. Having looked at what has been updated since in recent firmware updates it makes sense to have the latest software. I have considered removing the SS controller and using the original handset that came with the mount however the cable that came with it is a serial port and i only have a laptop so will need to order an adapter to update it separately. I was hoping I could do all 3 together but the CFM still doesn't recognise the equipment :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Adaaam75 said:

Thats great Steve, I do not have the Celestron Wifi adaptor but it is going to be my next purchase. Out of interest, what version of Sky Safari do I need? I have the freebie version but there are also the 6 Plus and Pro versions too.

Assuming you have a laptop, you could also try CPWI which is free from Celestron. You can control your mount and Starsense by connecting through the USB port on your handset. Again, it makes it easier to set the date, time and location. I had a few set up issues when I first got my Starsense, but nothing like you describe - I don't think I have ever used the handset though - either CPWI or Skysafari via a table with the Skyportal wifi.

I also have an AVX.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Adaaam75 said:

but the CFM still doesn't recognise the equipment

It will only recognise the equipment if the comms are working, and achieving that may not be as simple as plugging in a USB cable.  It certainly wasn't as simple with the earlier serial port version, where you had to find a USB to serial adapter, buy a cable, install a driver and assign a serial port.

Or if it finds stars, you could just leave well alone.  People seem to assume they have to install these updates, but it only makes sense if they solve a security issue (totally not relevant with astro mounts) or you have it in black and white that the update fixes a problem you are experiencing.  In the case of Starsense, it seems that the updates do fix some issue with EQ mounts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

It will only recognise the equipment if the comms are working, and achieving that may not be as simple as plugging in a USB cable.  It certainly wasn't as simple with the earlier serial port version, where you had to find a USB to serial adapter, buy a cable, install a driver and assign a serial port.

 

Worth noting that if you have an older serial to USB adapter, then the chipset may not be compatible with windows 10 - in that case you need something like this Prolific P2303 Cable

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

Worth noting that if you have an older serial to USB adapter, then the chipset may not be compatible with windows 10 - in that case you need something like this Prolific P2303 Cable

Ive seen them and have something very similar in my Amazon basket but i was hoping to avoid buying another cable just for one use when the CFM is supposed to update the Starsense, mount and controller in one hit. Guess if I update the mount first separately the CFM might identify the Starsense controller connection 🤷‍♂️

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

1 hour ago, Adaaam75 said:

Ive seen them and have something very similar in my Amazon basket but i was hoping to avoid buying another cable just for one use when the CFM is supposed to update the Starsense, mount and controller in one hit. Guess if I update the mount first separately the CFM might identify the Starsense controller connection 🤷‍♂️

Have you seen this picture ( Starsense update connection diagram ). I have the USB version of the handset, but I am pretty certain you only connect the handset to the mount to get power for the update, as the update is made directly to the handset.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Adaaam75 said:

Thats great Steve, I do not have the Celestron Wifi adaptor but it is going to be my next purchase. Out of interest, what version of Sky Safari do I need? I have the freebie version but there are also the 6 Plus and Pro versions too.

I went for the Pro version as it was only around £17, but many people are happy with Plus which does pretty much the same but is cheaper. I use it for all my planning and learning and thought it was worth it. There's also no path to upgrade from one to the other.

Cheers, Mark.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Shimrod said:

 

Have you seen this picture ( Starsense update connection diagram ). I have the USB version of the handset, but I am pretty certain you only connect the handset to the mount to get power for the update, as the update is made directly to the handset.

Thanks Shimrod that link took me to the topic that recommended this serial port driver http://www.prolific.com.tw/US/ShowProduct.aspx?p_id=225&pcid=41

I downloaded that and strangely CFM now identifies my equipment (Starsense, Controller and AVX) when it didn't before!

So the firmware is now up to date and I am going to wait for a clear night to run through the alignment again.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.