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Star mis-adventurer

dslr equipment mount astrophotography
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#1 wxcloud

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 10:43 PM

I'm probably asking for too much from what could (and has) been called a "toy" my little star adventurer got me back into trying to capture the night sky. And I like the concept of a grab and go set up for when I just wanted to set up the DSLR and lens right quick for some moderate wide to short telephoto tracked images.

Well, either the thing is pretty under mounted or just likes to misbehave but any more seems like I can't get much from it.

I think the tripod legs are partly to blame. But most of the images especially at longer focal lengths have blurred, trailed, shaky double stars, so I guess that leaves me with a couple options for the grab and go quicky set up...

Replace the tripod legs with something a bit beefier

Grab something to the effect of an eq3 mount, perhaps with go to.

Looks for something basically for a DSLR rig and lenses for those quick after work sessions that might get out of my way. Maybe could be pretty much set up inside and carried out. Wide field stuff. The thoughts of a space / redcat has crossed my mind but not with this current rig.

Yeah I got the EQ 6 R but it's not much of a grab and go.

Suggestions?

#2 sg6

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 02:01 AM

I don't think there is a great deal that fits the bill.

Have looked around myself in a way - not overly seriously.

 

Presently my "quick" (or not so) setup is an EQ5 with simple dual motors. In a way the item you want is an EQ3 head maybe with the same motors and a half decent tripod - may be build it yourself?

 

My preference is for a small, simple mount, not overly bothered by goto and equally don't want ultra delicate internals. Something capable of bouncing down a flight of stairs and running fine afterwards is more my requirement. It is a small solid mount where I have problems - will have to have a look at the EQ3 at the next Astro show. Maybe one would do.

 

My idea would be to not have goto, swap motors for steppers and run from a Raspberry Pi.

I am quite happy with more short duration exposures.Suppose the problem I have is rather incorrectly a good looking unit, which should be part of the problem. Well not a major part.

 

Which brings up the question: What exposure times were you attempting?

The nature of the Star Adventurer means 40-60 seconds in my opinion.

 

You may find it easier to go with another item like the Star Adventurer. There are a couple available items. Suppose one drawback is they cost much the same as a small EQ.



#3 Fred76

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 02:02 AM

1) what was the weight of the equipment you installed on the SA ?
2) did you balanced your equipment properly, and made sure no cable was free falling everywhere ?
3) what was the focal length and exposure time length ?
4) and the wind, you or the cat dancing the jig around the mount...

You have an EQ6R, so I believe you know how to polar align, I don’t ask the question.

Edited by Fred76, 07 April 2020 - 02:03 AM.


#4 wxcloud

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 02:52 PM

The gear seems to be almost anything above 100mm I start having issues, I do want to say it's backlash and vibration in the system. I do notice when I carry the mount out I feel a wobble from the top part where the SA head is, haven't quite identified the slop if it's the head itself or where it connects. So perhaps just a beefier tripod for it. I think I got a very old hand crank eq1 or something I might be able to adapt the SA head to

#5 richorn

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 03:41 PM

If the tripod really is the issue, adding weight to it will help a lot.  Use a strap or heavy wire to hang a sandbag or weights from the center/bottom of the tripod.  

 

At least that will help you troubleshoot the problem. 



#6 wxcloud

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 04:23 PM

Will look into adding a weight to it and see if it helps. I was worried a weight might swing around too much and cause vibration, since even the remote (wired) seems to induce issues. Guess I can use a bit of twine or something so it pulls down on the tripod and rest on the ground at the same time.

#7 richorn

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:03 PM

Will look into adding a weight to it and see if it helps. I was worried a weight might swing around too much and cause vibration, since even the remote (wired) seems to induce issues. Guess I can use a bit of twine or something so it pulls down on the tripod and rest on the ground at the same time.

Yes, that will work.  For that matter, if you have one of those screw type camping stakes you could literally pull the mount to the ground for more stability.

 

https://www.amazon.c...6296969&sr=8-12



#8 astrojes

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:25 PM

Your experience is interesting, as a friend of mine exclusively uses the Redcat on a full frame DSLR on the Star Adventurer with great results. I have personally been using the Star Adventurer with a Rokinon 135 mm and a Redcat for 50-60 second exposures without any trouble (with an okay $60 travel tripod, not fully extended and as low to the ground as is reasonable) and I get sharp and round stars. My camera is a Sony A7RII (so true 250mm focal length with the Redcat). One night I was having a problem similar to what you are describing and it turned out I had accidentally pressed the "S" button that calibrates for the southern hemisphere-- took me 30 minutes to figure that out. Maybe you have a dud? Or like was previously suggested, not a great tripod set up. I will also say that I consistently throw away about 20-30% of my frames with the SA, and maybe being the owner of an eq6, you have much higher expectations than me.

#9 wxcloud

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 08:01 PM

I have heard tripods with an extending center can cause issues, even when not extended. It's kind of strange because sometimes it seems to work ok and I can shove a 150-600mm sigma lens on it and zoom all the way in and sometimes get decent sub frames. But could be luck and short exposure time like 30 seconds. I've used a 50mm lens and pushed out a 5min plus exposure and gotten slight trails. And my frame was trash anyway with an h-alpha filter, the noise and light pollution seen to that.

I'll do some testing since it's full moon and see what I can figure out.


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