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Thread: StarSense alighnemt issues

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    Default StarSense alighnemt issues



    I have a CGX, (two months old), and about a month ago picked up the StarSense and the GPS units to make setup “go faster”. That has been a mistake…

    I swear StarSense is possessed

    Last night I prepped the scope by mounting both the StarSense and finder scope. Ensuring the finder scope was boar sighed with the C11.

    I was setting up and started doing a Polar Alignment on Antares, appeared to work. Then I initiated an Auto Alignment. That appeared to work, but when set it to point to Saturn, it was on the fringes of the finder scope. Centered it up, but drift was significant. So I decided to do another alignment. After 3 points the computer swung the scope to the NE and of course that is where the house is. Starts to acquire “100 stars” then just hangs for several minutes, gives up and repoints – at the house again. More time trying of figure out that bricks are not stars. Finally it swings farther to the SE and “Completes”.

    Pointed at Mars, bubbly and a bit of drift. Decided to StarSense auto align again. Same thing, towards the end points to the house, then says Alignment failed.

    Went through it again. This time it works. I’ve been at this for about an hour and a half at this point. Finally got an alignment that appeared to work.

    Decided to do a repeat the polar alignment on Antares. I start fooling with the controls, whoever decided to put the Dec adjustment on the S side of the mount needs to spend time in the field – or is 6’ 8” and has a lot of reach. I'm 6' and can barley reach the Dec control while looking into the eyepiece. With a C11 it’s a real pain.

    So after muscling the mount around to get it close in the finder scope I start adjustments with the “Lat/Long” control adjustments. When I got it close the mount initiated an uncommented slew off about 20 degrees E. IT did this two more times.

    I just sat there and could not believe it. So I finally tried to repoint the mount to Antares. The mount started slewing and finally settled - on Brazil, or whatever is 180 out from Polaris. At this point I just gave up and went to bed.

    My last session a month ago worked without issue, last night was a complete disaster. Has anyone else run into this type of behavior?

    - Bryan

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    Default Re: StarSense alighnemt issues

    While I do not utilize GPS and StarSense, I have experienced whacky pointing and slewing with my AVX on a couple of occasions.

    I suspected a poorly charged power source as the initial cause, but when it happened again on a fully charged power source, I don't know.

    After the second incident (the very next outing, in fact) I ended up restoring factory settings on the hand controller. Issue resolved and that was a couple of months ago. No problems since.

    I am assuming the CGX is very similar in GOTO and polar align as the AVX, but it may not be. Typically I'll fire up and do a two-star alignment, and then run through the all-star polar align routine to PA the mount. After that, I cycle power and do a new 2-star alignment with two or three calibration stars.

    Since I do not do a lot of gross moving to different sites for observing, my lat/long coordinates do not change and that pretty much renders GPS useless in my case. And being a star hopping manual guy for years renders the StarSense vestigial in my case. I usually get my alignments done during twilight while waiting on my dark adaptation to set in, and that takes about 15 minutes to do.

    I don't think any of that helps you any, but I suppose my summation would be to ensure your power source is fully charged and maybe do a factory reset on the hand controller. Hopefully that will resolve the issue. At a minimum, remove the GPS and StarSense and run through the GOTO and PA alignment routines with just the HC and see how the mount behaves. If you typically setup in the same spot on most nights (like your backyard, regardless of where in the backyard), your lat/long is stored in the HC and the GPS is really not needed.

    Quite frustrating when something you pay that much money for gets all whacky on you and eats up all your observing/imaging time.
    Bryan

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    Default Re: StarSense alighnemt issues

    Guess a flashing I will go.

    BTW you bear a close resemblance to my cat!

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    Default Re: StarSense alighnemt issues

    Celestron HC’s suffer from bit rot. They require a factory reset every once and a while when the bit rot gets so bad things start going south. Also make sure to do a calibration when you put the SS on the scope if you are taking it off each time. The SS needs to know how it is pointing in relation to the scope. This can be off by a fair amount. I used it on my EdgeHD 14 and CGX and have finally gotten to the point where I just leave it on the scope because it is less hassle and I use the setup primarily for outreach in heavy LP skies so calibration can be a chore.
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    Default Re: StarSense alighnemt issues

    I finally gave up and put the old hand controller back on and did a factory reset.

    Even so, the system gave me fits. I got the GPS module to get the mount dialed in better, but the time is always of by 11 Hrs and change. At 20:15 Local time on the East Coast, it read 09:52. The bloody thing is always off and when I manually reset the time it of course resets in about 10 minutes and is way off again. So I finally unplugged it and set the time manually, but it gets the location spot on.

    Reminded me of when we shipped our CH-47’s I flew in Iraq over by boat. Took the GPS systems a couple of days to find out they were on the other side of the planet.

    I would over to figure out how to fix the GPS module, but for some reason Celestron didn’t bother to write a manual for it…

    Bryan

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    Default Re: StarSense alighnemt issues

    Have you upgrade latest firmware for your StarSense and HC? It works on me

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    Default Re: StarSense alighnemt issues

    Hi Bryan,

    First, definitely upgrade StarSense firmware. There was a glitch in the original.

    When you use the auto align it has no idea what objects you have around your telescope (like trees, house, etc..). It simply goes to pre-defined locations and tries to find stars.

    I have the same issue at my location and the auto align took too long to use, so I started using manual align. Just point the telescope (using the slew buttons) to 3 open areas of sky, following the instructions on the HC. Your points should be ideally 40-60 degrees apart. Once this is done (maybe 5 minutes of time) you should find the GoTo quite accurate.

    If GoTo is off, you may need to recalibrate the StarSense. On the HC, hit the MENU button, scroll to StarSense, hit ENTER, scroll to Calibrate, hit ENTER and follow the instructions on the HC.
    - pick a star that is easy to locate for this and make sure it is centered in the telescope eyepiece.

    As far as the drifting goes, it may be that your mount is not level or polar alignment is way off.

    Hope this helps.
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    Default Re: StarSense alighnemt issues

    Actually I do not understand Celestron's design for the AVX, because most smartphones and tablets have built in GPS and even the more accurate Galileo and very accurate time setting. Just by connecting the mount with your smartphone should automatically send the right date and position to the mount without an extra and very expensive GPS mpdule. The processing power and database of even an cheap smartphone is a magnitude faster than the ancient cheap processor in the AVX controller. The problem is the very expensive SkyFi module, which is just ridiculously expensive for the function it does. Maybe a wifi based eyepiece camera that works with the SkyQ app + Starsense module for accurately calibrating the Starsense module would be nice.

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    Default Re: StarSense alighnemt issues

    I’ve had a CGX for 3 months with SS and have yet to be able to do a goto that is even in the finder when on SS.
    Have tried 2 different SS controllers(borrowed one from a friend and reset then set lat/lon/time.
    Its to the point I’ve given up and am going to try without SS all the time but the mount has other issues as well.
    Want to send it back but I’ve just not been able to yet.

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    Default Re: StarSense alighnemt issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrufy View Post
    I’ve had a CGX for 3 months with SS and have yet to be able to do a goto that is even in the finder when on SS.
    Have tried 2 different SS controllers(borrowed one from a friend and reset then set lat/lon/time.
    Its to the point I’ve given up and am going to try without SS all the time but the mount has other issues as well.
    Want to send it back but I’ve just not been able to yet.
    I've since relocated to Denver from the East Coast. I did finally get the system hooked up and got the latest FW on it. Hopefully this will work. Hopfully I'll get it out this coming dark weekend and see if it did any good.

    The folks at Celestron recommended doing star alignment, then do a Polar alignment. Then shut it down and on restart redo the star alignment on restart.

    I'm considering getting a C-14 and will likely get a SS unit to leave on the OTA.

    Bryan

 

 

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