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First Light Starsense Dob


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With bedtime only an hour away (work night) I looked outside and noticed a clear sky and I just couldn’t help myself, I put my new dob out to cool for a half hour hoping it would be sufficient as the temperature difference is very little. Because my time was so limited, I was not intending on trying the starsense module figuring I would leave it for Friday night when I would have time to figure it out and troubleshoot if needed. My intention was merely to satisfy my need to have a peek and see if collimation was ok as I had collimated it with only the provided cheapo cap in my basement. To my surprise the cap did its job as the telescope provided a perfect de focused star in and outside of focus, perfectly round patterns on either side which was great to see!. Arcturus was a beautiful bright point with pretty spikes, yes spikes! I hadn’t seen those in a good while, my TSA-102 can’t do that trick 😂 they were a pleasant sight around Arcturus.  
 

At this point I was excited and ran inside to check on my phone which was dead just ten minutes earlier. 32 percent was enough, I placed it on the starsense appendage and activated the app which asked if I needed to align again, choosing  no as I had already done the daytime alignment, the app then showed the stars above. Tapping the starsense logo started it searching for its position and within seconds it said position found, how could this be? the only star visible to me was Arcturus! This thing is a miracle worker! I was gobsmacked! how did it do that? i guess the camera can see stars not yet visible to my eyes 👀 wow. 
 

Without any knowledge of the app and it’s functions I moved the telescope slightly and was amazed at how sensitive starsense is, the slightest movement was reflected on the screen, there was one tab on the bottom which when tapped it displayed several target options for viewing but I really wanted to see M13 which was nearby. Tapping the search tab I typed in M13 and hit centre, a row of chevrons appeared and as I moved the scope they guided me to the target with an occasional second or two long pause for the software to plate solve its location but within second it put M13 smack in the FOV. M13 revealed many pinpoint delicate stars but the sky was still not dark and I was too caught up in the excitement of this starsense business anyway but M13 was starry 😂.
 

With this one demonstration Starsense stole my heart, from M13 I selected about three other random  deep sky targets which I haven’t observed before and can’t recall what they were and each time was guided in to dead centre FOV positions. This is fantastic tech! I’m giddy over starsense, I was never a fan of noisy goto mounts requiring accurate and lengthy aligning procedures but I also knew I was missing out on many fuzzies which are hard to target using red dot finders. Starsense combined with a dob seems brilliant, to me. An accurate, fun, and intuitive system which can greatly increase my target count while allowing me the pleasure and purity of pushing a dob around without the need for any sort of physical alignments of the telescope is beautiful. Watching the screen with its chevrons responding to the slightest movements seems like the perfect marriage of technology and the wonderful simplicity of a dobsonian telescope. In just barely a half hour session I have seen three or four new DS objects which I cannot remember now as I was so excited with the telescope and Starsense. Looking at the time I realized I should pack up but I was left with a huge sense of satisfaction and a yearning for the weekend, how impressive this starsense is, I can’t wait for the weekend! I feel I may have just cursed myself with a clouded weekend with all this excitement, anyway, I’m blown away.

Edited by Sunshine
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I'm going to request the mods block Starsense posts.  I fear my wallet can only be so strong...

Hmmmm.   I think I have a tax rebate due from Norway soon...

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7 hours ago, Ratlet said:

I'm going to request the mods block Starsense posts.  I fear my wallet can only be so strong...

Hmmmm.   I think I have a tax rebate due from Norway soon...

Just the sort of thing tax rebates were made for!

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  • 3 weeks later...

How are you finding the new ‘scope @Sunshine?  I’ve had a great month or two of observing with mine despite being one of the worst times of  the year in theory - they should come into their own later in the year. 

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20 minutes ago, Astro_Dad said:

How are you finding the new ‘scope @Sunshine?  I’ve had a great month or two of observing with mine despite being one of the worst times of  the year in theory - they should come into their own later in the year. 

I’ve been having a great time so far, optics are great, just minor gripes which I’m improving like positioning of red dot finder which I relocated, I’ll send an image of that for you to have a look at. Over the past month I have seen a record number of clear nights literally one after the other which is great!.

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Sunshine, your original post would make a great review, it really captures the excitement of what it's like when you first used the Starsense.  I'm surprised every time I switch mine on and it works, it's just crazy.  Perhaps when I've had it a year or two, the surprise element may have worn off 😊

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, paulastro said:

Sunshine, your original post would make a great review, it really captures the excitement of what it's like when you first used the Starsense.  I'm surprised every time I switch mine on and it works, it's just crazy.  Perhaps when I've had it a year or two, the surprise element may have worn off 😊

Yes! the surprise will certainly wear off and it will become routine, which is a good thing but the convenience is sure welcome. I'm wondering if starsense would work faster with a faster phone? I should receive new phone in the mail soon to replace my ancient iPhone 6S, the new one is much faster but will it be able to plate solve faster as a result? with less pausing while moving to a target, maybe.

Clear skies!

Edited by Sunshine
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8 hours ago, Sunshine said:

Yes! the surprise will certainly wear off and it will become routine, which is a good thing but the convenience is sure welcome. I'm wondering if starsense would work faster with a faster phone? I should receive new phone in the mail soon to replace my ancient iPhone 6S, the new one is much faster but will it be able to plate solve faster as a result? with less pausing while moving to a target, maybe.

Clear skies!

That's interesting, look forward to hearing if the new phone makes a difference.  

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Posted (edited)
On 20/07/2022 at 02:16, paulastro said:

That's interesting, look forward to hearing if the new phone makes a difference.  

Having used my new phone and starsense for a couple of sessions I can’t really say it is any faster but then again it is fast enough anyway. Ten to fifteen seconds from target selection to centered in eyepiece is just fine for me, it’s not an issue.

Edited by Sunshine
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