Sky Watcher Star Adventurer first light
Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:06 AM
I use it on a wholly inadequate Benro A350EX tripod which is way too small. Payload is a Canon 40D with 70-200 2.8 zoom lens.
I'll cut to the chase: 2 minutes is possible at 200mm with careful polar alignment using the polar scope.
With that out of the way, it is fairly well built. Very compact. Pointing the camera is tough because the compression clutches in RA and DEC get quite tight, and loosening them throws off the polar alignment. I ended up polar aligning again after moving the camera to final position. The polar scope makes this easier but you cannot use the illuminator if the L bracket is in place, so I had to strain to see the reticle.
The EQ wedge is nicely made. In another post I mentioned it's Mach1 like features such as the altitude locking bolt ratchet and the worm and sector drive for adjusting altitude. After use thought the worm and sector drive has a huge amount of backlash. And loosening the altitude locking bolt causes the wedge to wobble side to side in a most un-AP-like fashion.
Still, it does the job. I'll post my Pelican once I get it off the camera as I'm travelling and don't have a CF card reader.
If I ever go to Gran Canaria this is the kit I'll bring. The Mach1 will stay at home.
Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:35 PM
The non-round stars is due to polar mis-alignment in RA (the DEC drift is much less), so this image doesn't really show how good or bad the PE is. I just used the polar scope and the "Polar Finder" Android app.
I'll have better images when I've set the thing up on a proper tripod and have polar-aligned it well (via drift - I'm back in Singapore now and the polar scope is once again useless).
Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:26 PM
Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:43 PM
I've got some more photos here:
As an aside, I mounted my SV80ED on it (and with no counterweights). I haven't tested the tracking performance but that size and weight of scope is probably the most I'd consider putting on such a mount. Something smaller like an FS60 would probably be preferable.
Posted 23 July 2014 - 01:16 PM
Guided performance is about 2" RMS in RA, not great but about what I was getting with my CGEM before. Considering that the payload is tremendously unbalanced (no counterweight!) this is a more than acceptable result.
Unguided.. periodic error is about 23" p-p with a 15-minute period, with harmonics at 7.5 minutes and 4 minutes (so roughly at 2X and 4X the fundamental). The worm wheel probably has 100 teeth.
Posted 23 July 2014 - 07:01 PM
Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:37 AM
Posted 25 July 2014 - 10:24 AM
I did get a better polar alignment with the Star Adventurer, and surprisingly the polar scope came from the factory fairly well aligned. Not perfect, but good enough that I'm not going to futz with it. My PASILL3 actually has worse alignment of the reticle.
And the worm wheel has 144 teeth (not 100). I got better PE data with a longer capturing period and more samples. Fundamental PE is about 30" p-p although the graph seems to indicate it's about 24".
Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:57 AM
Awesome! Anyone have any idea where to buy it from if we live in the US? Any announcements on selling it in the US?
Due out in the USA this winter and looks to be sold by Skywatcher.
Posted 30 July 2014 - 07:02 PM
I hope skywatcher can add goto
Posted 30 July 2014 - 07:34 PM
If you want goto get an IOptron zeq25...
Posted 30 July 2014 - 08:38 PM
Star Adventurer is designed to be an ultra portable EQ/camera tracker.
Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:52 PM
I don't know how heavy the stock weight is, but if it's 2lb, that's insufficient to balance say an 80mm refractor (which I believe is the maximum one should put on this mount).
Posted 01 August 2014 - 08:20 AM
Posted 02 August 2014 - 02:55 PM
The short and the skinny: 2/5 subs are round at 1 minute unguided. Same seems to be the case at 2 minutes.
It looks like there is a rough spot on the worm which causes "doubled" stars every now and then. I am fairly sure better balancing will not fix that.
So.. it's a decent mount for short focal lengths (under 200mm). At 200mm I expect 1-2 minute shots would still have round stars.
Am I disappointed? well I had some delusions of 2-minute shots with the SV80ED having consistently round stars. But that is not the case, unless it is guided. And at $500, it's not too far off from the price of a Celestron AVX. But here you are paying for the portability..
Posted 02 August 2014 - 03:11 PM
I botched cleaning the cover glass on my ST8300, hence the scratches even after applying a flat (I'll need to buy a replacement cover glass, since flats aren't effective enough).
This is a stack of 2/5 @ 1 minute and 3/5 @ 2 minutes.
Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:38 AM
@orlyandico: any new unguided test carried to show us? i.e. 3-4m @ 200mm on apsc sensor at zero declination?
- Elio_Italy likes this
Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:12 AM
sorry, am traveling and weather not good... maybe this coming weekend.
Posted 06 September 2014 - 02:41 PM