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Celestron StarSense Explorer Dobsonian Telescopes


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Celestron have added two Dobsonian telescopes to their StarSense Explorer series. 

Celestron StarSense Explorer 8” Dobsonian

Celestron StarSense Explorer 10” Dobsonian

Celestron's StarSense telescopes use your smartphone to analyse the night sky and calculate its position in real-time.

Place your phone in the telescope's StarSense dock then launch the StarSense Explorer app.

After aligning your phone to the telescope's optics (quick and easy) the app generates a list of targets currently visible. Make your selection and arrows appear on-screen, guiding you as you move the telescope. When the object is ready to view in the eyepiece, the bullseye turns green. As you observe, you can also listen to hundreds of audio descriptions and view detailed information about thousands of objects within the app’s database. 

 

cel_starsense_exp_10_dob8%5B2%5D.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Pixies said:

Are these the only dobs that Celestron produce? (apart from the little baby Firstscope)

Currently, yes, but Celestron's parent company/manufacturer is Synta (aka Sky-Watcher) so they could easily add more if they wish. 

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Posted (edited)

Interested to know how these scopes compare mechanically to the GSO/SL options - assume the standard teflon bearings for the azimuth movement vs the roller bearing design of the SL? More akin to the Skywatchers as Synta…. Looks a little like the Orion SkyQuest Plus base with the cut outs for reduced weight? Nice design and the integrated handle on the OTA should be very useful. 

Edited by Astro_Dad
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On 07/05/2022 at 10:19, Astro_Dad said:

Interested to know how these scopes compare mechanically to the GSO/SL options - assume the standard teflon bearings for the azimuth movement vs the roller bearing design of the SL? More akin to the Skywatchers as Synta…. Looks a little like the Orion SkyQuest Plus base with the cut outs for reduced weight? Nice design and the integrated handle on the OTA should be very useful. 

We haven't had an opportunity to use one yet, they have only just arrived in the UK.

I do wonder if these new Celestron Dobsonian telescopes provide any clues to how Sky-Watcher might update their Classic Dobsonian series (both brands are owned and manufactured by Synta). 

Steve 

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On 06/05/2022 at 10:11, FLO said:

As you observe, you can also listen to hundreds of audio descriptions and view detailed information about thousands of objects within the app’s database. 

 

 

Oh no, please, No! It'll be like using a self-service checkout at Tesco! Can you imagine several of these at a star party all with audio commentary turned on? Other than that it looks like a great idea.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been unable to venture out recently and the last time I did, I ended up rather frustrated with my light-polluted suburban sky. I got some lovely planet views, but struggled trying to locate much else, even with the help of Stellarium and lots of research with Interstellarum beforehand.

I've tried using SkEye on an arm attached to my flextube, but I'm wondering if one of these might be a good option for me. I've been hanging my nose over the Skywatcher 8" dob for a bit...

MiladyB

 

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It sounds like this could be a good option for you @MiladyB . Celestron do claim that this system works well even in light polluted regions, obviously with some caveats. 

From their website;
“Perfect for the City or Dark Sky Sites

Even if you live in a light-polluted city location, the Celestron StarSense Explorer 8” Dobsonian is advanced enough to easily pick out Jupiter, Saturn, open star clusters like the Pleiades, double stars like Alberio, the Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, and more of the best and brightest celestial objects.

But if you can take the telescope to an even slightly darker location, more objects will become visible. With this 8" Dobsonian and relatively dark skies, hundreds of fascinating objects are well within your reach”.

In my experience even if only a few of the brightest stars are visible then the plate solving can work - very effectively too. Although I do live in a Bortle 4 zone so caveat that. 
I’ve posted an initial impressions and first light review of my 10” version here:

 

Happy to answer any more questions on this if you are interested in my experience of using it. 
 

AD

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Thank you @Astro_Dad! That's hugely helpful.

I'm technically in a Bortle 6, but in a patch of relative darkness, so most nights Orion, the Pleiades etc., are really easily visible, and I've seen Andromeda (faintly) with binos, so I think this might be going on my list!

MiladyB x

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37 minutes ago, MiladyB said:

Thank you @Astro_Dad! That's hugely helpful.

I'm technically in a Bortle 6, but in a patch of relative darkness, so most nights Orion, the Pleiades etc., are really easily visible, and I've seen Andromeda (faintly) with binos, so I think this might be going on my list!

MiladyB x

Definitely worth a closer look @MiladyB
there’s a useful video from Hi Point Scientific showing the set up and use from another perspective here:


https://youtu.be/Uj5JEWJActM

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It really is a great tool @MiladyB I’m in bortle 8/9 and used my hacked starsense recently to find several globs which it found quickly and accurately and would have taken me ages to find, if at all, star hopping, which is difficult if you can’t see the stars! It tended to get a bit lost near the horizon but was fine closer to zenith. Here’s a view from my roof

A30665F6-E1A9-4233-AA76-2192ECE33F14.thumb.png.c7bd1eec9abf3b3c0e36437e5ebae76e.png

I intend to use it as my main finder with my new setup when I get that working well.

Mark

 

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1 hour ago, Starwatcher2001 said:

I'm impressed that you can find anything in that ghastly looking environment Mark.

It’s not ideal- a bit if a challenge! But it is convenient and i’m quite lazy. Moon and planets are fine but finding Messier objects is one thing- M13 was distinctly lacklustre. The plan with the new rig is that it’ll fit the boot of my car so i can go to better places- my mum lives in bortle 4/5 area and the sky is amazing by comparison. 

Mark

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1 hour ago, markse68 said:

It’s not ideal- a bit if a challenge! But it is convenient and i’m quite lazy. Moon and planets are fine but finding Messier objects is one thing- M13 was distinctly lacklustre. The plan with the new rig is that it’ll fit the boot of my car so i can go to better places- my mum lives in bortle 4/5 area and the sky is amazing by comparison. 

Mark

It must be a challenge indeed (London?) but you obviously persevere and achieve the best of the Bortle 8/9 skies - good planetary views etc. great idea to use the StarSense rig as a finder. 👍

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11 hours ago, markse68 said:

It really is a great tool @MiladyB I’m in bortle 8/9 and used my hacked starsense recently to find several globs which it found quickly and accurately and would have taken me ages to find, if at all, star hopping, which is difficult if you can’t see the stars! It tended to get a bit lost near the horizon but was fine closer to zenith. Here’s a view from my roof

A30665F6-E1A9-4233-AA76-2192ECE33F14.thumb.png.c7bd1eec9abf3b3c0e36437e5ebae76e.png

I intend to use it as my main finder with my new setup when I get that working well.

Mark

 

How did you manage to hack a starsense Mark? I was thinking about doing the same thing for my 8”Dobsonian. Did you buy the cheapest starsense scope and swap the attachment over? Thanks 

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3 minutes ago, bosun21 said:

How did you manage to hack a starsense Mark? I was thinking about doing the same thing for my 8”Dobsonian. Did you buy the cheapest starsense scope and swap the attachment over? Thanks 

yes exactly- you need to buy one of the scopes to get the license key for the app and can bodge the phone holder to fit your scope. I bought the little bird jones reflector off ebay for a reasonable price. I 3D printed a more compact holder but the Celestron one works fine. A few of us have done this I think

 

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13 minutes ago, markse68 said:

yes exactly- you need to buy one of the scopes to get the license key for the app and can bodge the phone holder to fit your scope. I bought the little bird jones reflector off ebay for a reasonable price. I 3D printed a more compact holder but the Celestron one works fine. A few of us have done this I think

 

This looks great Mark. I’ve seen a few threads on this - how is it working in practice- all OK?

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Posted (edited)

Tons of useful info! Thanks everyone ☺️ 

 

I'm quite lucky that even though I'm relatively urban, our garden backs onto a large area of other gardens, and I get a decent view south and west. Even a quick snap with a smartphone can pick out plenty of stars on a clear night. I think the Starsense might be the way to go!

MiladyB x

20211210_231158.jpg

Edited by MiladyB
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32 minutes ago, Astro_Dad said:

This looks great Mark. I’ve seen a few threads on this - how is it working in practice- all OK?

Works brilliantly. I haven’t used it much of late though as i caught the AP bug, but the promise of another Mars opposition has me yearning for visual again :)

Mark

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2 hours ago, markse68 said:

Works brilliantly. I haven’t used it much of late though as i caught the AP bug, but the promise of another Mars opposition has me yearning for visual again :)

Mark

Mark I’m just about to buy myself one for my 8” Dobsonian and was wondering if you would be kind enough to print me up a bracket like you did for yourself. I will of course pay you for your trouble. You see I’m a diy klutz . Thanks  

       Ian 

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Posted (edited)

It’s not that simple unfortunately Ian, the bracket i had printed was taylor made to fit my specific phone (iphone7) and I don’t have another of those silvered prisms. I think it would be easier to adapt the Celestron mount from the scope you buy to fit. You can get finder base dovetails from ebay for about £8 (from China) that are excellent quality and you should be able to hack that onto the Celestron mount with a screw/epoxy and mount it using your finder shoe. I could help you with that if you like. I just bought a 3way finder mount adapter so i can still use a RACI for fine aiming and possibly a red dot too- again from China via ebay. Do you have a standard finder dovetail shoe on your scope?

Mark

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/402356787253?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=n-lXpct5SrC&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=5B1qLm7jTQa&var=672360191526&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

2E2EC0DA-C343-4C36-9DA4-277BB2792994.thumb.png.1fe51515b131ef6818348b4f4589897e.png

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234323989169?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=fvt525jyt-k&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=5B1qLm7jTQa&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Edited by markse68
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Thanks for the reply Mark. Yes it’s fitted with the usual finder shoe in which sits the RACI. It’s the Stella Lyra 8” Dobsonian. I will check the links for the three way adapter as it looks up to the job. Thanks for the assistance Mark, it’s appreciated  

               Ian 

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27 minutes ago, markse68 said:

It’s not that simple unfortunately Ian, the bracket i had printed was taylor made to fit my specific phone (iphone7) and I don’t have another of those silvered prisms. I think it would be easier to adapt the Celestron mount from the scope you buy to fit. You can get finder base dovetails from ebay for about £8 (from China) that are excellent quality and you should be able to hack that onto the Celestron mount with a screw/epoxy and mount it using your finder shoe. I could help you with that if you like. I just bought a 3way finder mount adapter so i can still use a RACI for fine aiming and possibly a red dot too- again from China via ebay. Do you have a standard finder dovetail shoe on your scope?

Mark

F74EC554-B503-4BF9-9CB4-546B36B7C6EC.thumb.png.c759b05a0369b2deb0c9b675db3d82ab.png

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/402356787253?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=n-lXpct5SrC&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=5B1qLm7jTQa&var=672360191526&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

2E2EC0DA-C343-4C36-9DA4-277BB2792994.thumb.png.1fe51515b131ef6818348b4f4589897e.png

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234323989169?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=fvt525jyt-k&sssrc=2349624&ssuid=5B1qLm7jTQa&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Just bought both of these parts and I’ll work it out. Was it working well on your scope Mark? I’ll buy it and if it’s all good on my Dobsonian I’ll probably fit others to my other scopes. Oh, your filter is on its way and I messaged you the tracking details. Cheers 

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It works really well Ian and now they’ve massively expanded the catalog of objects it’s getting really powerful. One thing to bear in mind though is it doesn’t  usually get the targets dead centre so don’t expect accuracy with a high power ep. It gets it within a lowish power ep fov though. I’m not sure if it’s a constant offset which could be dialled out if they gave you that option or if it’s just a resolution limit of the camera and random.  

Mark

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