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Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Mini (SAM) questions

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#1 lphilpot

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 05:03 PM

Maybe this would be more appropriate in the "DSLR, Mirrorless & General-Purpose Digital Camera DSO Imaging" forum, dunno, but it's a mount, so...

 

I'm very interested in the SAM as a tracking mount for basic wide field DSLR astrophotography. For various reasons, I've narrowed down my search to it rather than its larger sibling and other camera trackers (MSM, iOptron, Polarie, Fornax, etc.). They're quality devices but the SAM appears to best fit price and other requirements. I have a Canon T8i with Sigma 17-70 and Canon 70-300 lenses. I'm interested in the shorter end of that focal range, easy portability and the use of my existing Bogen / Manfrotto tripod (rated for 13 lbs). Hence, SAM.

  • Is WiFI / app required to use it? Or is it just for remote control, SNAP, etc.?
     
  • There's apparently an issue with the app and Android 11, but an alternate APK is available direct from Sky-Watcher. Is this a real issue?
     
  • Is there more than one 'historical' model of the SAM on the market? I've seen photos of a solid black unit with red graphics and of a black & white unit with white and green graphics. I'm not asking just out of cosmetic curiosity: Sky-Watcher has been using white and green on newer products, so I'm wondering if those are (relatively) older / newer updated models.

I have no plans to get heavily into astro-imaging (famous last words, I know) so I'm not as concerned about an unobstructed path forward, as it were.

 

Thanks for any info!

 



#2 skyward_eyes

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 05:25 PM

The SAM is really ideal for wide field work. You can use a 70-300 but ideally if that is the case the 2i version would be a better fit due to its larger payload. 

 

To answers your questions:

 

1) The mount really requires the App to control and program the mount. If you want a more manual approach the 2i does not need the app to function, just to program initially. 

 

2) There was an issue with the app and Android 11. That has a fix which can be found here: LINK

 

3) There are black housings of the SAM and the current white/green cosmetics currently shipping. However, the internals are completely the same. 



#3 lphilpot

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 05:50 PM

I downloaded and installed the 1.6.0 APK on my Android 11 Pixel 4a. It seems to run fine, as far as I can tell. Is this same app used for both trackers?

 

After re-checking what comes with each respective Pro Pak (and what I'd have to buy additionally), they're much closer in price than I thought. The 2i & dec bracket with my camera & 70-300 lens are little more than half the rated capacity of my tripod, so it looks like the 2i is probably the better option after all.

 

Wow... those 'famous last words' are kicking in already  :)

 

Thanks, Kevin



#4 lphilpot

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 10:08 AM

Does anyone happen to know the diameter of the 2i EQ wedge / base? I'm thinking of adapting a tripod I have. Thanks.

 

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