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M Astronomy

Imaging with a Star Adventurer

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2 hours ago, Gerry Casa Christiana said:

Hello all

Can someone tell me what I need for star adventurer apart from the mount.  

A long shopping list. I would like to do this setup but not sure what I need. Also would like to add guiding. 

Can people explain what tripods etc. 

I can order everything from FLO if they have it  

Gerry

This tripod from FLO works well, unscrew the head and screw on SWSA.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/tripods/horizon-8115-2-way-heavy-duty-tripod.html

The full setup

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/skywatcher-star-adventurer-astronomy-bundle.html

Guiding can be done with a guider attached to a ball head on the dovetail bar or you can purchase another bar and use the end of it to double up.

Dave

SWSA-Guider.png.b2b1f62078aa8b79bece6a4b22ddff37.png

Edited by Davey-T
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3 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

This tripod from FLO works well, unscrew the head and screw on SWSA.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/tripods/horizon-8115-2-way-heavy-duty-tripod.html

The full setup

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/skywatcher-star-adventurer-astronomy-bundle.html

Guiding can be done with a guider attached to a ball head on the dovetail bar or you can purchase another bar and use the end of it to double up.

Dave

great tripod, got my 100mm binos on one.

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This is mine mounted on my Neewer carbon fibre tripod which was about £70 and it seems to be good at the minute.  I think so long as you can remove the head to screw the mount on, then any tripod that will take the load will do.  The one from FLO looks good, and if you are ordering other stuff then it makes sense to add that to the order.

20180901_134824.thumb.jpg.933529065835b4db8c1644105c4bf18f.jpg

As Dave says, few ways to attach a guider, but it depends on the guider you are planning, which largely depends on what you are imaging with.  You may be able to use one of the mini guider units from QHY, which are tiny. 

Edited by RayD
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51 minutes ago, RayD said:

This is mine mounted on my Neewer carbon fibre tripod which was about £70 and it seems to be good at the minute.  I think so long as you can remove the head to screw the mount on, then any tripod that will take the load will do.  The one from FLO looks good, and if you are ordering other stuff then it makes sense to add that to the order.

20180901_134824.thumb.jpg.933529065835b4db8c1644105c4bf18f.jpg

As Dave says, few ways to attach a guider, but it depends on the guider you are planning, which largely depends on what you are imaging with.  You may be able to use one of the mini guider units from QHY, which are tiny. 

That is pretty much exactly what I have. Just a bit older version of the SA.

Works a charm. The Neewer tripod works very well for me.

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9 minutes ago, kendg said:

The Neewer tripod works very well for me.

Me three.

eclipse-kit.jpg

The hook on the bottom is very handy for hanging some weight off to further stabilise the tripod (I used the other five cans from the eight-pack, hung by the plastic rings used to keep them all together).

James

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Thanks to everyone. Can I ask what are the differences in weight capacity for Neewer and FLOs tripod. I'm certainly going to be putting a small scope on mine and probably auto guiding etc. 

Do they both work ok for that? 

Cheers

 

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Don't think I'd want to put quite that much on it for long exposure imaging though.  Given the maximum reasonable payload for the Star Adventurer however, reaching that kind of weight is perhaps unlikely.

James

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Anyone else feel like the equatorial wedge of the star adventurer is a weak point? I find that it flexes and moves quite a bit when I move my DSLR/Mak102 which can be annoying ? 

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3 minutes ago, Snooze said:

Anyone else feel like the equatorial wedge of the star adventurer is a weak point? I find that it flexes and moves quite a bit when I move my DSLR/Mak102 which can be annoying ? 

Are you locking it and tightening all the adjusters, I find that a rough alignment, then almost completely tightening the lock lever then fine adjustment then fully locking and checking gives a pretty steady platform.

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1 hour ago, knobby said:

Are you locking it and tightening all the adjusters, I find that a rough alignment, then almost completely tightening the lock lever then fine adjustment then fully locking and checking gives a pretty steady platform.

Yes everything is locked and tightened. I mean it does not flex like crazy and it is pretty steady when imaging but it still feels like a weak point comapred to the other parts of the mount

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2 hours ago, Snooze said:

Anyone else feel like the equatorial wedge of the star adventurer is a weak point? I find that it flexes and moves quite a bit when I move my DSLR/Mak102 which can be annoying ? 

I'd say the mak isn't the best match for it. Focal length is too long and will show any tiny vibration. It's much better suited to 500mm and under. I tried my mak 90 and found it awful.

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I would say the wedge isn't as good as it could have been. However, it's obviously geared up for short focal lengths since the alt/lat adjustment is very crude and not stable. I've only just got my SA going again after 3 years sitting in a box... I ran it with an 1100d + zoom lens at 135mm last night (with guiding) and it wasn't too bad but I had to reset the guiding every few minutes. When I checked after a while the PA had gone off and you obviously need to have the lat adjusted just right but it always seems to move though maybe it was the user, ha ha. I was guiding at 180mm so in theory there should be a lot of leeway when imaging at only 135mm. I've yet to have a close look at the data (just taking some calib frames). I've learnt not to expect too much from it...

Louise

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I don't bother to loosen the dec adjuster to PA it moves enough when tightened.

Dave

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4 hours ago, knobby said:

Are you locking it and tightening all the adjusters, I find that a rough alignment, then almost completely tightening the lock lever then fine adjustment then fully locking and checking gives a pretty steady platform.

I found that there are 2 screws that hold the wedge to the mounting plate that can come a bit lose. When I tightened them up everything seems fairly stable.

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31 minutes ago, kendg said:

I found that there are 2 screws that hold the wedge to the mounting plate that can come a bit lose. When I tightened them up everything seems fairly stable.

Quoting that.

I did the same, and it really improved the wedge stability a lot (though it's still certainly not the very best it could have been)

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13 minutes ago, Gerry Casa Christiana said:

Woooo guys and girls. Your putting me right off the star adventurer! I think a pier project might be more suitable instead. Let's hope the wife agrees! 

Don't get put off. Just realise it's intended purpose is short Focal length use and portability. In that use it's brilliant.

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4 hours ago, Anthonyexmouth said:

Don't get put off. Just realise it's intended purpose is short Focal length use and portability. In that use it's brilliant.

I agree. It's a great mount as long as you don't over extend  it to much.

 

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These are both 30 x 60 second stacked images using a samyang 14mm lens and an astro modded canon 6d on the star adventurer mount.  It's a new camera and I was desperate to try it out before I went back to sea for a month so I was shooting with a 70% moon to contend with not to mention a fair bit of light pollution.  I had a lot of faffing around in photoshop to get rid of lens flare, but next time home me, the star adventurer, the 6d and a selection of lenses are heading out to a dark sky site for a play.

last night 14mm.jpg

wide 6d 310818.jpg

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Those look very promising.  Could be a long four weeks :)

James

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On 28/08/2018 at 13:47, JimothyC said:

I'd be tempted to get rid of the camera strap. Any breeze at all and it will be flapping around and adding vibration. 

Thanks, I generally tie it off close to the mount; I had an incident with the mount (my fault) one time when using the DSLR and 300mm lens only and the tight strap as all that saved the camera and lens from hitting the ground.  If it becomes an issue I will reluctantly remove it.  Right now it's just draped over the mount to get it out of the way while I was getting everything mounted; it's just a habit I've developed.

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Mines up for sale and has been tuned by Darkframe Ltd.

Everything you need to get started minus camera and ballhead.

 

Will be posting in the For Sale section later.

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