Celestron Starsense Autoalign unit

Over 4 1/2 years ago, I bought the Celestron CGEM computerised goto mount for doing astrophotography. There were many features which this mount had which made it very appealing, including the reasonable cost. Now I have found an accessory which makes using it a whole lot easier.

When I first bought the CGEM, I found the star alignment process to orientate the mount to the sky above to be tedious and time consuming. Not surprisingly, I found myself not wanting to use it. So imagine my joy to learn about the Celestron Starsense Autoalign (SSA) unit, which is supposed to do all the aligning for you. As February 6th 2015 was the day Jupiter was in opposition to the sun i.e. closest to earth, I thought I would get this unit to make using the CGEM much easier.

I bought mine from Tring Astronomy Centre – I had phoned them earlier to check stock availability and had asked them what the firmware version was on the SSA. They promptly updated it to the latest firmware prior to my arrival to collect it, which meant there was one less thing for me to do. I would say the service was excellent.

Celestron Starsense Autoalign unit
Celestron Starsense Autoalign unit
Back of box
Back of box

As I was not sure whether the SSA would fit on my telescope, I enquired at the shop before purchasing it. I was informed and shown that there were two mounts, the smaller one would fit the finder mount on most telescopes for Vixen/Synta foot  – which meant it would fit on my telescope. I was starting to think that this was definitely a great idea. I could not wait for it to get dark and to try it out.

Starsense hand controller and camera with small mount
Starsense hand controller and camera with small mount
Large mount
Large mount (by default the camera is shipped mounted on this)

The camera is very small and light, so will not put much strain on the mount. I would leave this mounted on the telescope as I would the red dot finder, as there may be times where I will want to do a realignment – in the past if I needed to do a realignment, I would just call it a day and pack up.

Starsense camera -  40mm F2 lens
Starsense camera – 40mm F2 lens
Starsense camera mounted on my Astrotech 8" RC telescope
Starsense camera mounted on my Astrotech 8″ RC telescope

Page 2 SSA in use