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StarSense - Alignment pointing error is too large. Please try another Alignment.

Hello,

I am using a Celestron Nexstar Evolution 8 HD w/ Star Sense, and connecting to it with Star Safari 5 for my android smart phone (Sony Xperia Z5 Premium).

When using my telescope in an Alt-Az Go To configuration, the Star Sense Auto Align functions properly. However, when using a wedge and trying to Auto Align, the alignment fails every time.

Here is my process:
- I make sure to properly configure the telescope settings in the app : Telescope > Setup > Scope Type = Celestron Wi-Fi, Mount Type = Equatorial GoTo (Fork)
- Turn on the scope and connect to the WiFi network.
- Select "Connect & Align" 
- Go to the Celestron WiFi Telescope Setup and Control settings located in either the "scope setup" screen or the orange gear next to the alignment controls on the main screen.
- Ensure that both "Align Using StarSense Auto" and "Align Using Wedge Align" are selected.
- Set the scope to the base position using hash marks on mount (tube faced south and parallel to the base, pointing to celestial equator)
- Press the "OK" button to begin alignment.

What I've noticed:
- The sky display often starts with showing the scope pointed north (which is strange, I assume it would default to South)
- The path that the scope slews along is much different than the one used when performing auto alignment with hand controller.
- The sky display, even after alignment is in 2nd or 3rd stage seems off, even though it finds 100 stars and successfully solves plate.

The Result:
- The alignment fails every time, giving the error "Alignment pointing error is too large. Please try another Alignment."

Additional Notes:
- The "Mount Type" setting seems to reset itself to Alt-Az GoTo after connecting to the scope and at different times along the process.
- Using the hand controller to perform the auto align works great every time.
- I have verified that my phone has the right time and location.
- I have tried using the same process with Sky Portal and have not had success with that either.

--
Thank you for your help,

Mike

22 comments

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    I'm going to see if I can get Celestron to chime in on this one.  Hang on.

  • 0
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    Mdclarke

    After another few attempts to perform an alignment, I believe the problem lies with Star Safari resetting the mount type to Alt Az GoTo automatically after I connect to the scope. Even after reselecting Equatorial Go To (Fork) in the menu, any subsequent actions that involve communication with the scope seem to reset this setting.

    I've also tried disconnecting Star Sense and performing a standard 3-point alignment. Again, connecting to the scope displays the base position of the scope as pointed North at 0 degrees elevation and set to Alt Az.

    This problem is consistent across both Sky Safari and Sky Portal, both apps have been reset, and even re-installed onto a new smart phone. Still, there are no issues while aligning using the hand controller.

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    I wouldn't be surprised if the code wasn't designed to handle equatorial fork.  I don't recall that option when we worked on this with Celestron.  I will ask them.

    Have you tried using the app without the wedge to see if it works as a standard Alt/Az Goto?  Just curious.

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    I just asked the Celestron engineer about this.  He does not think this is a bug and asks you to contact Celestron Customer Support about it.  They will know a whole lot more about the possible missteps than we will.

  • 0
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    Mike Clarke

    Hi Bill,

     

    Yes, I have used the app without the wedge. Everything works great in Alt-AZ mode.

    I contacted Celestron support with this concern at the same time that I submitted it here and am still currently awaiting a reply.

    If this is not software related, then i'm curious what is causing the "mount type" setting to reset? Is this happening because the mount is prompting this change in the software once they initiate communications? Ie. Is the mounting "telling" the app that it is an alt-az, even though it's sitting on a wedge? Could it be that the app is programmed to automatically assume alt-az once it recognizes that it is communicating with an Evolution mount? 

     

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    I checked with Celestron and they can't find your support request.  Do you have a ticket number and the name you used when submitting it?  They said they usually respond within 24 hours so if you haven't heard back yet, there is likely some problem.

  • 0
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    Mdclarke

    My ticket number is [#UNY-886-20283]: Polar Alignment

    This request started as a support request for polar aligning the wedge. I think that my more recent request concerning the alignment errors while using the wedge may have needed to be submitted as a separate ticket and not lumped in with an existing email chain with the support tech.

    I will resubmit this to Celestron as a dedicated request.

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    I think we might have identified the problem.  I am going to make the change and let Celestron test it.

  • 0
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    Mdclarke

    Hi Bill,

    Any updates on this?

    Celestron has offered to take a look at my evolution mount under warranty.

    I just want to make sure that the solution doesn't already exist from the software end before I send it in.

    Thanks

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    I haven't heard back from Celestron.  I will ping them about this.

  • 0
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    Jim Pelham

    Are you still waiting to hear back from Celestron?  I am having the exact same problem.  I worked with Celestron tech support this past week and we used Celestron Firmware Manager to reload the firmware to the Skysense and Telescope.  This fixed the problem for a couple of nights but the same problem returned last night.  I have looked on a number of forums and this problem has been around since 2015 and Celestron has failed to fix the issue.  SkyPortal and SkySense seem to have someking of conflict that cause the problem.  After I performed the firmware update the telescope worked fine with SkyPortal but I tried to use the SkySense hand control last night to do a polar alignment and that is when the alignment function quit working.

    Celestron advertises this telescope as excellent for astroimaging and recommend getting their specifically designed wedge for that purpose.  However, their system doesn't work with the wedge.  You can find this issue discussed in forums since 2015.  This is incompetent and false advertising if they are failing to support the equipment and correct the issue.  I have spent several thousand dollars over the last couple of months on this equipment and I am very upset to find out that it does not do what Celestron advertises that it will do.

  • 0
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    Mike Clarke

    Hello,

     

    Are there any updates on this? Has Celestron responded?

    My mount and hand controller are currently with Celestron to address this issue. I did mention to their support staff that I had also submitted a request in this forum and that Simulation Curriculum has made a software change that requires their attention to test.

    If possible, I would like to coordinate all parties involved to help reach the most comprehensive solution possible.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Mike

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    They claimed they were going to test the fix last weekend.  I haven't heard back from them.  I will try to get them to respond.

  • 0
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    Brian Kimmons

    Hi Bill,

     

    I'm having the exact same problem with the exact same equipment as the original poster, the only difference being that I'm using an iPhone as opposed to an Android.

    It worked fine for the first 9 months or so, then one day just decided it wasn't going to work anymore. I've updated the firmware on all devices but the problem persists.

    Looking forward to a fix because I'm not a fan of manual alignments. 

     

    Thanks for your efforts you're putting into finding a solution.

     

     

     

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    Wedge alignment with StarSense doesn't appear to work in SkySafari (and maybe SkyPortal).  We have identified the problem and fixed it (according to Celestron).  We will try to role out a new release in a week or two.

  • 0
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    brent sprinkle

    wedge alignment  for ASPA with star sense doesn't work period. This is a known bug by celestron for about 3 years and still isn't fixed, it is not an issue with sky safari, and don't think it is even an option in sky portal. using the star sense hand control it will run an auto alignment on a wedge after you tell the hand control it is on the wedge, and you can get pretty good pointing accuracy but you cannot get reliable all star polar alignment, i can't imagine why you would be using the wedge if you didn't plan to image, and if your gonna image you need a good polar alignment. I would highly recommend and even request evolution wedge owners contact celestron about this, and maybe they will prioritize the wedge all star polar align bug issue, they work on it, but only when they have no other issue to address. the squeaky wheel gets the attention maybe they have sold enough evolution and wedges to get get this bug prioritized. 

     

    http://www.teamcelestron.com/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=1013&start=470

  • 0
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    Skaiser3

    Update: according to teamcelestron web page the ASPA Polar alignment bug is fixed for the Wedge mount and a updated software will be rolled out in the next week or so. 

    Also, you should be able to use the Starsense Manual alignment operation on your Wedge mounted Evo system. I use this all the time since my view is too restricted for doing the Auto alignment. 

  • 0
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    Bill Tschumy

    I will try to get our apps updated with this fix as soon as possible.  We are incredibly busy right now.  I hope to get the iOS ones out tomorrow or early next week.

  • 0
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    Skaiser3

    Wanted to note That I am using Skysafari 5 pro on a Ipad. Maybe the android version has the issue but not the IOS version?

    When I am in a clear area I have used to Starsense Auto align without any issues with the Ipad.

  • 0
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    brent sprinkle

    I think the sky portal app now supports the wedge polar align function, but still isn't fixed with app or hand control. there is a new restricted beta out only on the teamcelestron discussion, with likely a more official beta by end of the week, so maybe they are really close to solving this bug, it looks like maybe 2 iterations of aspa can get you within a few arc minutes with current pre beta but needs more testing to confirm, they also need it tested with gem mounts if anyone is interested.....if you need better than that you will still need to drift align. I am hoping to test this pre beta tonight on my cpc 800 hd deluxe.   

  • 0
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    Skaiser3

    Yes from what I read from teamcelestron web page, ASPA polar alignment will now function properly on the hand control with their next software release. I have used their beta version on my starsense hc and it worked really well.

    i think the fully functional ASPA for skyportal will come later this year.

    Hopefully  they should be able to release it for incorporating into skysafari after that

     

  • 0
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    Marc

    Hello

    I have a Celestron Nexstar Evolution 6 "with a Starsense module. With Skyportal I had so far with the Alignement no problems.
    I bought Skysafari for the ipad a few weeks ago, with the newest update now. The setup is the same as Skyportal.

    However, I always get the same error message after the procedure: Alignement pointing error is too large. Please try another Alignement.

    An alignement was never possible with Starsense and Skysafari. Always the same error message in the identical observation situation in which skyportal works without problems.


    I'm curious if someone has an idea for this behavior.

    Thank you

    Marc

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