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luminova11

Skywatcher Star Adventurer

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Yes I really fancy one too. It would mean I could have a bash at some dslr ap with my existing kit for the cost of the mount. All my astro gear is purely visual (read dob).

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Just hoping the price is competative or else an eq3 pro might be a better bet.

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Just bought one, build is nice and sturdy very well laid out and looks easy to use. Not used it yet as I'm sourcing a suitable tripod and ball head mount. One downside I can see already is it doesn't look like you can polar align with the camera attached. Am going go play with it later today and I'll give some feedback on its ease of useh

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The EQ3 Pro is cheaper (285 GBP  vs 299 GBP) and includes a tripod and has GoTo.

The EQ3 isn't airline-portable though. At least not conveniently..

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Hi

read your post on cloudy nights,  well i got a 70-200mm lens set at 200mm i got easy 4 minutes unguided, with a makeshift counter weight bar

My guiding trace was very good,  I got 15 minute sub frames at 200mm fl , guiding using a lodestar with maxim dl

See my thread on this group.   My friend  Peter Vasey also did some tests see his thread too

have fun with the mount

paul j

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Placed on order for one from FLO. Looking forward to receiving it.

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The one I had from FLO for review I've opened up to see what Skywatcher have done internally. The DC motor has a gearbox going into a 24T spur gear and then a 42T and 37T spur gears going into a 144 tooth worm/wheel, the rear of the DC motor has a 44 slot encoder disk. I need to get a tacho onto the encoder and 24T gear to check out the gearbox ratio.

My personal thoughts are to throw away the control board, it's no good for timelapse work and develop my own speed/position control system, maybe Arduino based, to replace it so my timelapse photography is more controllable, but that will be another thread :)

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Ok so there is no way to enable PEC of any sort.. There is no PEC indexer on the main worm. Unless one keeps track of the PEC index blindly in NVRAM. I'm tempted to Arduino it myself... But that would result in a DIY and less reliable setup.

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Ok so there is no way to enable PEC of any sort.. There is no PEC indexer on the main worm. Unless one keeps track of the PEC index blindly in NVRAM. I'm tempted to Arduino it myself... But that would result in a DIY and less reliable setup.

Just started a project thread in the DIY section to replace the control system :)

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I've DIY'ed a counterweight shaft from an old EQ1 counterweight shaft that I had lying around.

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More details in my blog - http://orlygoingthirty.blogspot.sg/2014/07/sky-watcher-star-adventurer-part-ii.html

The bad news is, balancing the mount did not really improve guiding performance, it's still around 2" RMS, about the same as my old CGEM.

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Do you think one of these little star adventurers will fit on an AZ4 or CG5/EQ5 tripod?

My Manfrotto camera tripod isn't really suitable as it doesn't have a head which can't be screwed off.

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I'm using it on a Vixen Polaris tripod which is very similar to a Cg4. The central hole in the tripod hub is too large but it works just fine. I used a 3/8" shcs bolt. There is a sort of lip on the tripod hub, it's not flat. So I used some cork coasters (or duvets) to shim the tripod top to make it flat.

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Thanks for the info.

In the last couple of hours I've managed to get the head off of my old slik88 tripod and it looks like it will do the job if not then I will give the cg5 tripod ago.

I haven't got the mount yet, just planning ahead.

Edited by hobsey

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First post here - actually created the account to ask this.

I have read a bit on what tracking mount to get for my DSLR and the Star Adventurer seems like the winner for me currently. If my focal lenghts don't go over 200mm and budget is fairly tight is this *the thing* currently?
I suspect that with my relatively small gear getting some heavyweight rock-stable mount wouldn't matter much anyway so the portability of it seems wonderful.
I read some reviews of AstroTrac and iOptron SkyTracker but those are both more expensive and again wouldn't give me any advantage I suppose?
Any thoughts if I'm on the right track here? :)

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It is good for the price.

Make sure the tripod is stable-hang something under it.

It will not have the carrying capacity of the Astrotrac but as you say you are not going over 200mm it will be fine.

I suggest you get the full package as the wedge is good and saves messing with anything else.

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Welcome to SGL

If you have any other queries i suggest you start a new thread. that way you may get a better response. :smiley:  

Edited by m.tweedy

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I found that at 454mm (Stellarvue SV80ED, about 4lb) + Televue TRF2008 reducer + SBIG 8300M (pixel scale of 2.42"/pixel) I could get about 40% to 60% round subs at 2 minutes, unguided.

So a 200mm lens should be much more forgiving (and much lighter).

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I had a very quick test of mine last night from my urban, light-polluted back garden.

I mounted a Canon 50D (with extra battery grip) and a Samyang 14mm f2.8 lens (also a first light for this lens). I bodged a counterweight using a long 8mm bolt and a counterweight off another portable rig. The whole ensemble was mounted on a fairly wobbly Manfrotto 190 aluminium tripod. A cheap eBay intervalometer was used to set 30 x 1 minute exposures. Polar alignment was fairly rough and ready, just using a phone app to get the approx. Polaris position. To be fair, a 14mm lens is never going to stress the PA!

First thoughts:

  1. You are never, ever going to PA this thing and then mount the camera afterwards. There's just too much movement in the tripod for that.
  2. The clip on polarscope light is rubbish. I need to come up with a way to attach it when the L-bracket camera head is mounted. There's a decent sized slot in the bracket to give an unobstructed view if you use a counterweight  to slide the bracket out of the way. I',m sure niothing nire than a bit of velcro will sort this bit out.
  3. I have no idea of how to set the polar alignment using the date circles. The manual is, at least, confusing. Being used to robotic mounts, having to start polar aligning by scrabbling around on the ground, peering through a poxy polarscope made me feel like a blooming caveman. Give me technology anyday!
  4. Using the locking clutch will almost certainly move the PA.
  5. A half decent tripod is a must for this thing. I've ordered a Velbon DV-7000 to see if that's a bit sturdier and will report back on this when it arrives. The DV-7000 is supposed to be a fairly sturdy little tripod of under £90.

The results aren't going to win any prizes. This is the stacked image straight out of DSS with no post processing. The camera was pointed in the general direction Cygnus, though I paid no real attention to where it finally ended up. All the subs were fine, so the little mount had no problem here.

The Samyang lens looks pretty good, with half decent star shapes (the focus could be better, mind). There seems to be a pretty severe off-centre vignette. Some flats would sort that though.

Next steps:

  1. Test a better tripod.
  2. Test it with my 70/200mm f4 lens. This will give a much better idea of what the mount is capable of.
  3. Make a right angled viewer for the polarscope. I have a couple of RA viewers for camera viewfinders kicking around. I might be able to bodge one of them on.
  4. I wonder if I can extract the polarscope and replace it? I have a pretty expensive (for what it is) Losmandy polarscope, which has a superb polar alignment method. It'd be great if that could fit into the mount.
  5. I have no idea how to process extreme wide-fields in PS. I had better do some reading!

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Star Adventurer

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true a 14mm lens will not require any fine PA or stuff.

i used a Vixen Polaris tripod and it was plenty sturdy.  Like i said, 2 minutes at 455mm is actually doable (although not 100% round subs - more like 40% to 60% round subs, there is a jump in the RA error every couple subs that causes double stars).

I will cadge a Celestron NexGuide stand-alone guider from a buddy and see if that works with this thing.. hopefully that will allow 2-minute subs at 455mm with 100% round subs.  I'd be pretty darn happy if that were possible.. seeing as the entire Star Adventurer, DSLR, and scope weighs less than a couple of AP counterweights.

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Thanks for the input guys.

I'm holding back putting one of these on back order until I have read an in depth review, its a toss up between this and the Vixen Polaris.

I know there is quite a price difference between the 2 but I would rather pay the extra if the Star Adventerers niggle will only annoy me.

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You mean the Polarie?

IMHO, I'd go for this one over the Polarie.  The fact that you have slow motion control in DEC and electric slow motion in RA means you won't be futzing with a ball head to point your lens or scope properly.  Also note that the polar scope is built-in and very nice.  The Polarie polar scope requires that you remove the camera and ball-head.  Or, buy the offset bracket from that German company (for another 100+ Euro).  Plus you need to pay even more for the Polarie counterweight shaft.

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