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  1. Hi, sorry if this was already posted, i'm looking for a flattener/reducer for my William Optics Zenithstar 66 SD (already asked WO by email) they reply me that since this product is discontinued over 10 years ago, i need to look for FlatII, FlatIII - with 2"sct thread Flat6a with 2"SCT adapter and i saw this one https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reducersflatteners/william-optics-adjustable-flat6a-iii-08x-reducer-flattener.html and this one https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32917167365.html but i'm not very sure, so i'll ask before buying anything i will use it on my recently buyed star adventurer classic (buyed on FLO) Thanks in advance
  2. Now the dark season has started for us who live in Sweden. Then we must have all our equipment in top condition. I have one mini mount, the Star Adventurer, I'm very satisfaid with it. But you can always get it a little bit better. One small problem I have is that the altitude lock of the wedge slips. Maybe others of you also have this problem? Here I have some photos and my attempt to get it better: http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-star-adventurer-modify-wedge/project-star-adventurer-modify-wedge.html I will test if my modifications work in reality next clear sky. /Lars
  3. As the title says I've finally, after owning a 7nm Baader Ha filter for more than a half year, did my first imaging session in Ha. My target was the Lagoon Nebula because the weekend before I captured 4.5 hours on it and wanted to see what difference it would make. It's also very bright so easy to locate and it helped my getting focus as well. Focus was kind of a challenge as I had to locate the nebula without the filter first ( the Star Adventurer has no GoTo), screw on the filter and take numerous amounts of test shots (max iso at 30sec) to finally get the focus right. Though I still think the focus was a bit off. For some reasons I had problems with the B-mask and focusing will have to do more tests in the future on this. That said and done I was ready to start clicking, used settings of iso 1600 and 180sec subs. This was what I saw on the back of the camera after 3 minutes. Pretty exited! Just the fact that I had something showing up amazed me. Decided to keep the exposure at 3minutes and planned on getting 1 hour of data at least before calling it a night. Quick info on the gear used here: -Camera: self modded Nikon d90(Ha data), Nikon d610(RGb data) -Optics: TS-Optics Photoline 72mm f/6 FPL53+TSflat72 -Mount: Skywatcher Star Adventurer -Guidescope: TS-Optics Optics 50 mm DeLuxe Mini -Guidecamera: ZWO ASI120MC-S -Filters: Baader 7nm 2" Ha Back on imaging. After 1hour and 18min I stopped the session, took 10 flats, 10 darks and 20 bias frames and called it a night. The day after loaded everything in DSS, imported the stack in Photoshop and did a little stretch on the red channel. This was the result (1hr 18min at iso 1600). First there is so so much more data than I'd captured the weekend before with my unmodded Nikon d610 and almost x4 as much integration. That was a real excitement! Second is a question(s), the diagonal pattern you see is this walking noise? Will dithering remove these lines? and is it even possible to dither with the SA? I've seen the dithering option in PHD2 but not sure if the combination with the Sa works. So I've left the noise ,to be hopefully resolved in the future, and tried to combine the Ha with the previous captured RGB. The RGB data ,as said before, was captured using a full frame Nikon d610. Aligning the two was kind of a challenge but eventually with all the twisting and turning managed to get it almost perfect. This is the fully processed image from ONLY the RGB data the week before. 4.5hrs of data with the unmodded d610. Combining the datasets I decided to re-edit the RGB set with just a curves and levels stretch and some minor tweaks in Adobe raw. Followed a simple tutorial of changing the red channel of the RGB set with the red channel of the Ha set and adding another Ha layer on top to use as a luminance layer. The result was a bit weird to be honest, green in the background and pretty ugly colors in the nebula. ( I didn't had the original to show so just now I made a quick alignment just to show more or less the results. Should it look like this? Hope to find out what caused this. Made some tweaks in the channel color mixer in Ps to get rid of the odd colors(in my eyes at least) and did more editing to get a final image. Besides some tweaks here and there I added an extra layer from the RGB set and used 'color' as blending mode. This is the result I came up with. Apart from perfect alignment of both data sets and maybe a better color balance I'd have to say the image itself looks a lot cleaner and more pleasant to the eye. Though it seems the image is not as sharp as just the RGB image, maybe that's because it has less stars and it only appears to be more fuzzy? Hope to get some input and cc on my workflow and/or the images to improve my results. Thank you, Ken Mitchell PS. For those interested I've also did some imaging with the unmodded d610 + Ha filter to show the differences and if it is worth it to use a Ha filter with an unmodded dslr. I'll see if I can make a separate thread for this.
  4. I have used my Star Adventurer for a while now and is very satisfaid with it. But it could be improved and I have installed an angled viewfinder to the polar telescope, rebuilt the wedge, etc. But there is also the tripod, the one I have now is stable but very big, nothing that I could take with me when traveling. All photagraphy tripods I have looked at that is maximum 0.5 meter long folded look a bit weak or are very expensive. Now I have bought an used Manfrotto model 144, very stable but too long folded. This weekend I cut off the legs to make it shorter. I don't need very high tripod now when using the angled viewfinder. Here is my tripod project: http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-star-adventurer-tripod/01-project-star-adventurer-tripod.html /Lars
  5. Selling my 3D Printed polarscope illuminator adaptor. This enables the Star Adventurer's polarscope to be used when the L-bracket is fitted. £8 delivered via Paypal gift (Mainland UK only) Thanks for looking.
  6. Hi all, Thought I'd share the clip I designed to fit a Right Angle Finder to the polar scope on my Star Adventurer mount. I designed it to work on my Neewer RA Finder but it could possibly work with similar ones (that have the removable adaptor plates for various camera types). My finder came with a few different adaptor plates and I chose the metal screw-together type which was labeled for use with the older Nikon F series cameras. As you can see from the photos, this just screws into the printed clip allowing you to leave it in place on the Polar Scope but remove the RA Finder easily. It is best oriented with the clips at the top and bottom (rather than on the side). I've made it available for download from Thingiverse, there's a printable version of the adaptor plate on there too (along with instructions and pics) should you need it. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2762334
  7. Hi, Last night when we was out in the night to do astro photographing I got problem with my Star Adventurer mount. The friction coupling in RA axis got stuck and I have difficulties to aim the camera to the object. Today I have dismantled the mount to find what the problem is with it. I got to repair it, I took photos from my disassembling and repair that I think can be interesting for others to look at and read. Here is the link to my homepage: http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-star-adventurer-part2-repair/project-star-adventurer-part2-repair.html Have any other of you had a simular problem with the Star Adventurer mount? BR Lars
  8. I took this with my unmodded canon, 135mm & CLS filter at f4 iso400, 40 minutes worth of 30 second images on the Star Adventurer. Fairly short exposures in an attempt to avoid over exposing stars, wasn’t sure how much of the veil I’d see but it’s there My there are an awful lot of stars in this area, which illustrates how faint the veil is if nothing else. I’d like to try again wth longer exposures to compare. I’m still learning Anyway, a different fov, hope you like it.
  9. Last night I finally managed to get out and have a go at tracking for the first time with the SW SA. DEFINITELY need a ball head... Once I figured out that I should be leaving the latitude adjustment alone (yes I'm THAT much of a noob at tracking and polar alignment), about the only target in my FOV was M31, and even that was about to vanish behind a roof! But I did manage a few 30 second subs before it disappeared. Could've probably gotten longer exposures but the intervalometer wasn't setup and I was out of time. But I'm happy enough for a first time out. The attached is just the test image from last night. About half a dozen subs, Canon 550D, ISO 3200, F/4, cropped down from 55mm Oh, I did notice that whatever way up I put my PA scope, it was upside down...any ideas?
  10. Here is my intended setup for widefield but for now until I get the hang of it, I will just use the mount and camera. This setup includes Canon 1100D with RDF mounted to the hotshoe, 9x50 finder modified to a guidescope, QHY5L-II as the guide camera run from a Packard Bell netbook. Lenses are Vivitar Series 1 200mm f3, Panagor 135mm f2.8, F.Zuiko MC 50mm 1.8 and a Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 ultra wide lens. The whole purpose of this setup is portability due to living in a flat and I find my CG5-GT to bulky to cart around. Excuse the poor quality pics as they were taken on my phone.
  11. Due to lack of time to do astronomy I am selling my Star Adventurer bundle. Bought it Oct last year from FLO. Been out few times but it deserves someone who will be able to get most of this great little mount. It comes with original packaging and as extra I will add ball head for free. I am looking for £215 shipped or £200 collected from SE Essex area. https://goo.gl/photos/kUDeKzNKRtrsTY1GA Thanks for looking Adam
  12. Well its taken some time to get to grips with Pixinsight (trial) but im over the moon with the result. 27 x 60 second subs on Nikon D810 with 70-200mm F4 with darks, flats and bias in a light polluted sky at 200mm (I drizzled 2x2). cant wait to get the next one now :-) clear skies, Dan
  13. FLO delivered a Star Adventurer and Fotomate VT-680-222R Extra Heavy-Duty mount to me in record time last week. This is one of the most interesting, versatile and fun pieces of astro gear that I've bought to date. I wanted to get into a bit of leisurely wide-field photography without the hassle of setting up one of my mounts (Celestron AVX or NEQ6) and heard this mount performed really well. I bought the full kit with an additional ball mount so that I could put both my Canon 500d and ASI120MC on it. First - on receiving it during a rare sunny afternoon I realised I could put my Lunt50Ha on it :-) making it even easier to do solar imaging/observing. And tonight I used it for the first time with the Canon and ASI - I captured a 15 minute sub with the Canon and did some time lapse stuff (not yet processed with the ASI120MC) It was a lot of fun and totally hassle free :-) Highly recommended. David
  14. As a rookie astrophotographer, I have recently acquired a star adventurer mount. Seeing the port marked "Auto Guider" it sure seems to me that the manufacturer intended the mount to be used this way. But the documentation on this capability or connection is non existent. I bumped into something called phd2..it seems there is hope. Do I need a guide scope or can the mount take direction directly from phd2? Obviously i am somewhat confused. Any guidance out there? Thanks in advance.
  15. The skies were much better on Saturday so I had another go at capturing different exposures. 73 10 secs, thirty 30 secs & 15 1 minutes but the minutes were no good, mist or cloud ruined them. All at ISO 800. I used Pixinsights HDR composition to combine the stacked 10 seconds with the 30 seconds. I'm not sure to what degree it improved the 30 seconds on their own, or if I'd just stacked them all together. Anyway, Aldebaran was at 53 degrees when I started at around 10 pm so the light pollution wasn't anywhere near as bad as when took the previous image. There are also many more stars. I'm still a bit perplexed by the colours of a few of the brighter stars opposite Aldebaran which are clearly described as yellow/orange and appear so in some other images. Maybe its just my skies? Anyway here it is I used my Takumar 135mm with the 450D on the Star Adventurer again
  16. My star adventurer setup has looked like this since I got my star adventurer: The tripod I used was not stable enough and I felt like it was the reason of not being able to get good enough PA. I had to sit on the ground to look through the polar scope (not that fun to do on wet grass), and when I put the wedge and camera back on the tripod after doing PA, I suspect the tripod lean back a little messing up PA. I have just been to USA and Canada, where I bought a Manfrotto 055XPRO3 and a Manfrotto 496 RC2 ballhead. I certainly paid for it but I am very happy with my purchase. The tripod feels a lot more study and solid, and so does the ballhead. Because of the ballhead, I can also use the star adventurer without the wedge and counterweights. Overall very happy with the look of my setup, and I am very satisfied with my purchase. The tripod is so solid and stable that I can extend the legs when using it (not fully though, that would be stupid), and now I only have to sit on a knee to look through the polar scope. Clear skies! Victor Boesen
  17. From the album: Slynxx Learning Curve

    First proper try at capturing M31 30 x 75 sec Light Frames 10 x Dark Frames Canon 700D (Un-modded) Canon EF 75-300 ISO 1600 Stacked using Photoshop & the Median stacking process.
  18. Hi all Now I have got my scope for visual only which I’m really enjoying, Ive also wanted to take up imaging. However the cost for a proper eq Mount + scope + camera is massive to do astrophotography that way. I’m very interested in getting a sky adventurer later on in the year. I was thinking of getting a canon 1100d or 600d and was wondering am I able to put a small refractor on the sky adventurer? I was looking at maybe the ST80 or one of the ed scopes.I think the max limit for the mount is around 5kg but I was more worried about the length of the scopes as it may be unbalanced. Would like to know if any of you use scopes with the star adventure or just use it with a dslr. Reason also for going the sky adventurer route is it’s more portable then having the big old eq mounts. Many Thanks
  19. I took this on the night of 27th/28th. It’s five 5.5 minutes at iso400 with 135mm Takumar on the Star Adventurer unguided. I used a CLS clip filter this time. DBE removed most of the light pollution but I struggled with a big gradient near the bottom so I cropped most of that off.
  20. When everything goes well and you are not pushed for time or work/family commitments this hobby is the most relaxing and interesting hobby there is. Last night I finally had the chance to use my star adventurer for a full evening instead of racing against the clock or trying to work around a cloud or some other inconvenience. I decided to target andromeda as it was the easiest and from my back yard as it was perfectly positioned and also I wanted to give my star adventurer a good test. I set it going on a 200mm lens for 1 minute exposures at 1600iso. It was great. I just set it going taking pictures and sat back in my camping chair taking in a very rare beautiful clear sky by eye only. Its easy to forget just how beautiful it all is when only observing by eye as we get draw in by more tech to aid us. I think this might just be my new observing technique whilst also getting some great pics or maybe get a pair of binos. Anyway this was andromeda which is by far the best I have ever taken. I also took pleides and had a go at m33 but that didnt work. I think I missed the target?
  21. It took me a while to set up and polar align my star adventurer and then frame and focus with backyard Eos. I set the backyard Eos in action and then nipped to my local for a couple of jars .....by the time I got home after an evening of conviviality and nice beer I was too ‘relaxed’ to sort out my dark frames.....so here is a stack of 30 X 180 seconds lights taken with my modified canon 40d with a stock 75/300mm lens set at 75mm, 30X180 seconds, f4.5, iso 1600, stacked in DSS then processed in photoshop and Lightroom. I always welcome comment and criticism..... .I know that this will benefit from some calibration frames and I imagine it would look nice processed in pixinsight.....am busy filling my piggy bank ?
  22. My first ever M31 ! For us in NZ this object is a real challenge as it never rises more than a few degrees above the horizon. This is actually as high as it gets and I have included a wide field shot to demonstrate its position at the moment. Coupled with fairly ordinary seeing I’m really rather proud of my first attempt. It really tested my polar alignment and my excellent star adventurer Mount. There is a nasty gradient and it’s a bit brown but apart from that I can see dust lane ! I’m still saving for pixinsight as I suspect there maybe more info in this image. All comment and criticism is welcomed. Cheers, Andy Canon 6d 75-300mm @ 300mm Iso 4000 32X120 seconds ( 1 hour 4 minutes total integration) 15 darks 20flats 20 bias Processed in photoshop and Lightroom
  23. Hi all, First post here, and I'm pretty new to AP, just picked up a Star Adventurer mount a couple months ago and have been happily playing around with it with DSLR and various lenses and a 72mm Sky-Watcher refractor. I'm new to the whole setup process, and I'm trying to do a decent job of leveling the tripod/mount, polar alignment, and I should probably think more about balancing the weight of things. I've gotten some decent shots, like 60-120 second subs with up to 300mm lens. My last time out I was getting star trails at 200mm and 15 second exposures, which could have been just a sloppy polar alignment, but today out of curiosity I looked through the polar scope and rotated the RA axis 360 degrees, and I saw that the target circle jumped a few times. I'm guessing that the target circle should appear not to move while the numbers 3, 6, 9, 12 would rotate around as I rotate the RA axis. So my guess is that the polar scope would need to be calibrated?
  24. Greetings everyone. Few months ago I wrote a post about a small refractor to mount on a Star Adventurer, but I'm now considering fast tele lens like the Nikon 80-200 f2.8. My question is: what is the best tele lens to get pictures of Andromeda galaxy, Orion, Soul, Hearth nebula and stuff like these? If I'd pick a 70-200 f2.8 lens, can I plug a teleconverter 2x to get better crop without losing details? I've attached a picture taken with my Nikon D3300 and 18-105 kit lens, as you can see it's quite small (forget about the quality, it was also quite foggy back then). Thanks in advance.
  25. Hi all! I'm looking for any recommendations for a good little refractor as a companion for my Star Adventurer for astrophotography. Little (in weight) being the operative word given the 5kg payload capacity of the mount! Currently I am shooting with an Sony A7S and guiding with an Orion Starshoot and Orion 50mm guide scope. So there's a little bit of weight on there already. Looking at refractors with a focal length of 400-600mm which are proven performers for imaging. So far contenders are: Stellarvue 80mm ED TS-Optics ED 70mm f/6 William Optics Gran Turismo 71 APO Refractor Any advice/images of rigs/example images/etc would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance :-)
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