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Finally taken the plunge (Star Adventurer Pro Pack)


Maxrayne
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As the title says, I've FINALLY taken tentative first steps into tracking (or guiding? already confused!!) and ordered myself the SA PP from FLO. Really good price atm too on these I thought. Keep checking the courier tracker, even though it says it won't be delivered until Monday. So you can probably expect a LOT of really noobie questions. I'll probably be attaching my 550D to it with the 55-250mm initially as it seems to give better image quality than the D5300 and 75-300mm. 

But I'm seriously so excited now. It's not a big boys scope and mount (yet!) but we all start somewhere and it's a big step up (for me) from what I currently use.

I already have my target list too lol - NGC7000, M31, NGC 869 & 884. Doubtless the list will continue to grow. I know I've already managed to snag M101 and M51 (albeit as nothing more than really faint smudges without the SA at 55mm, but I'm keen to build on those too.)

Any advice on initially setting up etc GRATEFULLY received :) :) 

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Nice mount, spend time practicing polar alignment, then start at the wide end of your zoom, it will be more forgiving in polar alignment errors. Then gradually use more mag as your skill and targets dictate.

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16 minutes ago, knobby said:

Nice mount, spend time practicing polar alignment, then start at the wide end of your zoom, it will be more forgiving in polar alignment errors. Then gradually use more mag as your skill and targets dictate.

Thank you :) That makes complete sense :)

Looking ahead (yes I'm already getting ahead of myself) at 250mm assuming near perfect polar alignment etc, what sort of exposure times should I expect to be aiming for?

Also, can you recommend any DSLR filters that I may need for light pollution / moon issues etc that I'm likely to encounter  with the longer exposures?

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Congrat's on your purchase, I love my SWSA it's so portable and quick to set up, you can take it to dark spots and image without a computer, just need an intervalometer and a sturdy tripod.

Reading other posts the most confusing bit seems to be the polar aligning which is simply a matter of looking up the polar scope, loosening the clutch and rotating to put the 6 at the bottom and locking the clutch.

Level the mount using the tripod legs then  using a phone app to see where Polaris should be and adjusting alt / az to get Polaris where shown by the app, there's actually a small hole in the right hand side to squint though to get a rough polar alignment to start with by moving the tripod legs.

Use a ball head to mount your camera on the supplied dovetail / weight bar to give you more flexibility when aiming at stuff and then you can leave the polar scope illuminator on to check if Polaris is tracking round the circle occasionally and give it a little tweak if necessary.

You can guide it but I've never found it needed it but other folk do, this then involves a laptop etc so makes it less of a quick grab and go setup.

Good luck

Dave

 

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6 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Congrat's on your purchase, I love my SWSA it's so portable and quick to set up, you can take it to dark spots and image without a computer, just need an intervalometer and a sturdy tripod.

Reading other posts the most confusing bit seems to be the polar aligning which is simply a matter of looking up the polar scope, loosening the clutch and rotating to put the 6 at the bottom and locking the clutch.

Level the mount using the tripod legs then  using a phone app to see where Polaris should be and adjusting alt / az to get Polaris where shown by the app, there's actually a small hole in the right hand side to squint though to get a rough polar alignment to start with by moving the tripod legs.

Use a ball head to mount your camera on the supplied dovetail / weight bar to give you more flexibility when aiming at stuff and then you can leave the polar scope illuminator on to check if Polaris is tracking round the circle occasionally and give it a little tweak if necessary.

You can guide it but I've never found it needed it but other folk do, this then involves a laptop etc so makes it less of a quick grab and go setup.

Good luck

Dave

 

Thank you kindly :)

Thankfully already have an intervalometer and a reasonably sturdy tripod :) What app do people use for the alignment? I realise that's probably subjective but I'm guessing that there's one that stands out from the crowd a bit.

Quite liking the idea of guiding from the laptop (longer exposures?) and already have APT installed in anticipation. I suspect the learning curve is about to steepen, but I love a challenge :) 

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2 minutes ago, Maxrayne said:

Nina has arrived (I name all my equipment. Sad I know!)

Soooooooooooo excited ??

20180702_135943.jpg

Very nice, I think the new livery is a big improvement (and I have the red version!)

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2 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Very nice, I think the new livery is a big improvement (and I have the red version!)

Must admit I do love that green. Typically, the wind here had picked up ???

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Can I find a mini USB to USB (for power)? Nope! Not going to bother updating to the new firmware version as I'm happy enough using an intervalometer. Although at some point I'll plug the autoguiding port into the laptop.

Just need to find that cable as well too! 

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45 minutes ago, Maxrayne said:

Just need to find that cable as well too! 

Plenty on E'Bay, search for Startech cables, I use one with a flat right angle end plugged in to the SA, it put's less strain on the socket.

Dave

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14 hours ago, Davey-T said:

Plenty on E'Bay, search for Startech cables, I use one with a flat right angle end plugged in to the SA, it put's less strain on the socket.

Dave

Much appreciated Davey, thank you ?

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  • 3 months later...

I have also just received a Star Adventurer Pro Pack, however I keep getting a blinking LED motor error (I have a video to demonstrate if interested).  I haven't mounted anything to it yet and have tried multiple batteries and also a USB power block with the same result of boost from the motor but straight to flashing lights after 5 seconds.

How freely does your mounting platform rotate when you release the clutch as mine is very stiff?

Thanks

Edited by frogstar8
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15 hours ago, frogstar8 said:

I have also just received a Star Adventurer Pro Pack, however I keep getting a blinking LED motor error (I have a video to demonstrate if interested).  I haven't mounted anything to it yet and have tried multiple batteries and also a USB power block with the same result of boost from the motor but straight to flashing lights after 5 seconds.

How freely does your mounting platform rotate when you release the clutch as mine is very stiff?

Thanks

 

That doesn't sound right at all. I've never seen a motor error on mine, even when I properly loaded it up to test it's accuracy in a worst case scenario (Normal equipment, plus a 2L bottle of water crudely duct taped to it).

I've had two, the first one had issues with accuracy. This second one seems to be bang on, but both have "rough patches" when rotating with the clutch loosened. When I felt that on the first one I thought it was an issue, but since they both do it I assume it isnt a problem, especially as the second one passes the 24hr test.

Hate to say it, but sounds like you got a duff.

 

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16 hours ago, frogstar8 said:

I have also just received a Star Adventurer Pro Pack, however I keep getting a blinking LED motor error (I have a video to demonstrate if interested).  I haven't mounted anything to it yet and have tried multiple batteries and also a USB power block with the same result of boost from the motor but straight to flashing lights after 5 seconds.

How freely does your mounting platform rotate when you release the clutch as mine is very stiff?

Thanks

Doesn't sound good, I'd return it, my first one was faulty, mine spins freely with the clutch loosened.

Dave

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On 18/10/2018 at 15:26, Davey-T said:

Doesn't sound good, I'd return it, my first one was faulty, mine spins freely with the clutch loosened.

Dave

Likewise mine seems to spin quite freely with the clutch loosened. If anything, I seem to have a bit of vertical play despite tightening everything up after I've polar aligned

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