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Starsense on AVX mount

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Forgive me if this is daft question but how does a starsense work on a celestron AVX eq mount ..does it do it automatically without the need to manually align to Polaris ? 

Edited by Beardy30
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  • 4 months later...

I have StarSense from my 130SLT on which it is very good and takes only a few minutes, and which I have just fitted to AVX and waiting for clear sky to test.

Reading the StarSense manual the sequence is to AutoAlign first (no I do not know why as it is going to need Auto-aligning again after polar align is shifted) then Polar Align upon which StarSense will give instructions on how far to Manually move the mount up or down, left or right, to align Polaris. Note - Manually using the big screws, not the motor controls.

The StarSense has to be calibrated to your OTA, it does not know where your OTA is pointed. To aid doing this I first align RACI crosshairs to the centre of the OTA, which can be done in daylight. This process is described in the StarSense manual - StarSense will move to a star and tell you to align the OTA centre to the star and save the position. (my OTA will be loaded with a camera and I cannot use a red dot, RACI is easier)

The StarSense /must/ be focussed. Which is not a lot of fun as there is no camera output. So you have to run alignment and iteratively move the focus in ever decreasing turns back and forth to gain maximum star numbers during plate solving. This can take all night but once done is done. When done StarSense will align very quickly, a few minutes.  If it takes longer it needs focussing.

Once the first Auto-alignment is done StarSense needs to ba calibrated per the manual. StarSense will also plate solve during the night to aid GoTo alignment.  It is a GoTo aid and will allow you to hit the mark accurately. StarSense also likes additional calibration points, and to know which areas it should not try to use (like the side of the house). What it is not is a star guider. It takes the hard work out of aligning a computerised mount.

StarSense is very easy to use in practice, you just hit the button to align. Once it has been set up, that's is. It is worth having; the mount will not work without alignment, StarSense does that for you. But you must read and understand the manual first, and the manual is written backwards and sideways.

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