I like to blog about non-fiction books as I read them, as it helps me both synthesize and retain the info. Chapter 3 is a general overview on all the computerized scopes in Celestron’s arsenal, and I found myself liberally highlighting as I read it. Here are some highlights:
- P.57 — a great overview of the different processors in the mount, including some of what the processors in the mount do (drive the motors) and the hand control (determining the correct tracking rate)…I was initially confused about something in the manual, as it said the hand controller sends the update to the mount every thirty seconds. I wasn’t sure if this meant it sends a “movement” command every 30s (as that seemed too slow) or a rate adjustment every 30s (adjusting the existing tracking speed), and the author confirmed the latter. Now rereading it, it was already clear, I think I just confused myself;
- P. 69 — I was surprised to see that there are CPC mounts that are actually quite well-designed for accurate tracking and thus support astrophotography. Maybe something to aspire too, instead of going Equatorial some day;
- P.78 — Good overview of the various types of hand-controllers, …I think I have the NexStar+ serial (Celestron button + RJ45-like jacks). I updated when I first got it seven years ago, but nothing since. From the author’s website, I clicked over to the Celestron list of bug fixes and updates…the only bug fix that seems really significant to me are the GPS rollover ones this year (like a Y2K problem), but I should probably do those. Fingers crossed I don’t brick my mount (I’m always nervous updating firmware for anything!);
The volume of material in the chapter is huge, although more of a reference chapter when you need specific info about different scopes, in my view.