#1  
Old 04-02-2019, 07:47 PM
weemrp (Stevie)
Registered User

weemrp is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ocean Grove, Australia
Posts: 6
Skywatcher Star Adventurer

Hi, Iíve just sold my scope and about to invest in a Skywatcher Star adventurer and after some advice from anyone with experience of it.

How easy is setup and polar alignment? I always struggled to get accurate alignment with my old finder scope. Iím hoping this might be a little easier. Also, is the standard tripod solid enough or should I invest in something better?

Thanks in advance,
Stevie
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-02-2019, 08:43 PM
Malcolm
Registered User

Malcolm is offline
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Lismore NSW Australia
Posts: 199
The alignment stars are quite faint around the SCP, but the illuminated finder can help. I cheat with the setup using a laser mounted on a GOTO dob which I point at the SCP using SkySafari. I have the tripod, it's average but it works ok. . Payload is 5kg and I use it with a 4" SCT. I'll add a guide camera soon, once I figure out the mounting. The latitude scale is coarse so a digital inclinometer is needed to get the angle you want once the setup is level. The different tracking rates is a bonus. I mainly use lunar, it does what it's supposed to do, happy with it.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-02-2019, 06:50 AM
weemrp (Stevie)
Registered User

weemrp is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ocean Grove, Australia
Posts: 6
Thatís some great feedback. Thanks Malcolm.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-02-2019, 10:21 AM
Icearcher's Avatar
Icearcher (Chris)
Registered User

Icearcher is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Adelaide - Inner West
Posts: 115
Hi Stevie

Iv had mine for about two years now and still loving it. being battery powered makes it a lot easy to pack up and just pop out for a few hours without needing cables and batteries and all that.

Iv never had a lot of luck with the built in polar scope, Im sure its perfect for those on top of the world. I use a compass and an inclinometer to get pretty close and this will usually give me over a minute with a 250mm lens.

Now that I have moved up to a 72mm scope and Im guiding I find that polar alignment is much more crucial, to solve this, I rough align like I always have, this puts me within 5 degrees of the pole, and then use Sharpcaps polar align with the guide camera to get pretty much spot on, this has given me over 3 minutes with the 72ed. The latitude adjustment is quite course but I find that I can still make tiny adjustments without problems.

For the tripod, Im using a modified survey tripod from bunnings, under $100 all up and very stable, not as portable as a camera tripod but there no flex and dampens out vibrations very quickly.

Also, one other thing I have realized. Im always lusting after a bigger mount, as we all do, but I think even when I get a HEQ5 or such, the little SA will still be used as a widefield mount or for video during a lunar eclipse or a million other uses, I think it will be a good companion for years no matter when the hobby takes you.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-02-2019, 11:18 AM
weemrp (Stevie)
Registered User

weemrp is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ocean Grove, Australia
Posts: 6
Thanks Chris! Never thought about a survey tripod. What kind of mod did you have to make? Is it the Bosch blue tripod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icearcher View Post
For the tripod, Im using a modified survey tripod from bunnings, under $100 all up and very stable, not as portable as a camera tripod but there no flex and dampens out vibrations very quickly.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-02-2019, 12:20 PM
Icearcher's Avatar
Icearcher (Chris)
Registered User

Icearcher is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Adelaide - Inner West
Posts: 115
Hi Stevie

Yep, Im using the Bosch blue one, its great.

Check out this thread for some more details.

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...d.php?t=156710
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-02-2019, 12:39 PM
weemrp (Stevie)
Registered User

weemrp is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ocean Grove, Australia
Posts: 6
Brilliant Chris, thanks heaps! Will be heading to Bunnings at the weekend! Just like most weekends I suppose.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-02-2019, 08:09 PM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,520
Another Star Adventurer lover here

I find the polar scope OK but unless you’re good at weird angle contortion, you probably want it set comfortably high to avoid causing an injury. I use a (fairly heavy duty) camera tripod that I already had, and it’s nice and stable. I level the SA wedge and then use my phone compass to point south. I’ve usually got the SCP asterism in the polar scope at that point. The adjustments (especially Altitutde) have a little backlash but they’re predictable so it’s pretty easy to get the stars in the little circles.

It tracks pretty well too, although I originally bought it for widefield, just camera plus lens, this past weekend I was taking shots using a 200mm lens and getting nice round stars about 50% of the time.
The longer Dovetail bar that comes with it has the Dec platform (with 1/4” screw) that rotates with a control knob, and at the other end of the bar there is another 3/8” screw proud so I figured I’d mount my ball head on that and attach my little ZWO guide scope to it...and got almost 100% success rate at 200mm.

For my imaging scope I use a NEQ6, so the SA is refreshing in that it can be setup in minutes with very little effort, and if the weather turns can just be picked up and moved under cover
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:03 AM
weemrp (Stevie)
Registered User

weemrp is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ocean Grove, Australia
Posts: 6
Thanks Dunk. I'll mostly be using it for wider images too, but I might attach a longer lens now and again. I decided to make the plunge and bought through Sidereal. Picking it up on Monday and hoping for some clear skies next week.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 20-02-2019, 05:20 PM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
Registered User

AstroApprentice is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 236
EQ wedge

I've read a few negative comments about the EQ wedge for the Star Adventurer, so it's good to see WO put out an alternative wedge:
https://williamoptics.com/products/w...star-adventure
Not cheap, but cheaper than the Fornax or Astrotrac options.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 20-02-2019, 07:03 PM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,520
Looks interesting, but itís almost 50% of the price of the Star Adventurer...by the time you add it up, youíre almost in EQ5 territory.

My experience with the wedge so far is this...there is some backlash in the mechanism, but if you get it close and then turn the lock lever, there is still some movement in the altitude screw, so just turn it until youíre in the right spot (I go against gravity).

The thing with the Star Adventurer is that it weighs so little that if youíre tripod isnít fixed to the ground, any rough handling in adding or moving the camera gear can push the polar alignment out purely from the tripod legs moving...especially problematic when the ground is dry and dusty! A little care and itís possible to maintain good alignment, although I tend to leave the illuminator in so I can check it after Iíve framed the target
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 23-02-2019, 08:34 AM
Sunfish (Ray)
Registered User

Sunfish is online now
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Wollongong
Posts: 234
a copy of my reply to similar question...

For the Star adventurer for travel I use an old Manfrotto solid top 3/8 inch fixed bolt tripod with a large alloy disc top to match the SA wedge , with extendable 25mm stainless legs. Big Butterfly screw leg locks. Very sturdy yet portable for plane travel. Then you can add a head for other uses. The cheaper light Manfrotto are no where near sturdy enough for any kind of large lense let alone a star adventurer.

In the backyard , bolt it to a telescope tripod.

Canít imagine taking a survey tripod on a plane , even checked , and the SA plus camera and lenses with iPad and a book ( not the nikkor 800) go in a carry on. Just.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 11:57 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
SkyWatcher Australia
Advertisement
Meade Australia
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
Nitecore
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement