Aug 26

Star Adventurer

Here is it. The Skywatcher Star Adventurer. A small equatorial, RA-motorized mount (no DEC motor) with a payload capacity of 5 kg and it comes with some functions for time lapses (like slight panning during shooting). But at the moment I’m more interested in long exposure imaging 😀

In my first tests I could exposure 2-3 minutes. After re-alignment the North Celestial Pole more accurate, exposure times of 4-5 minutes is no problem (with 75mm focal length and 45° declination).

In my opinion it is a cheap but accurate and ultra portable mount up to 200mm, guided up to 600mm focal length. To start (deep) sky photography the best investment for me.

Experiences with my Star Adventurer (unguided)

  • 50mm, 100% usage of the taken images, up to 5 minutes exposure time
  • 100mm, 90% usage, 3 minutes exp. in average
  • 200mm, 60% usage, 90 seconds exp. in average
  • 280mm, 30%-40% usage, 60seconds exp. in average (200mm + Kenko 1.4x converter)
  • 400mm, 1% usage (useless unguided)

 

First test, 185mm, f/5.6, ISO1600, 120sec, Persei Cluster:

persei-cluster_20150823

 

11 comments

  1. Bernd Braatz

    Hallo Herr Novotny

    Sie machen ganz wunderbare Astrofotos, ich bin begeistert, habe Sie auch schon bei Astrobin besucht ganz toll was Sie da zeigen!!

    Ich werde mir in der nächsten Zeit auch die Star Adventurer kaufen , sind Sie mit dem Manfretto Stativ zufrieden bzw ist es von der Stabilität ausreichend.

    Alles Gute und viele Sternklare Nächte

    Bernd aus Berlin

  2. Rajesh

    Your astroimages with the star adventurer are absolutely fantastic. You have shown me what did small mount is capable of.
    Clear skies!

    • star-watcher

      Thank you very much. Yes, the Star Adventurer is really a great mount up to 200mm, guided up to 400mm focal length (periodic error becomes strong visible > 200mm). Clear Skies too!

  3. Rajesh

    What was the longest unguided exposure at 250-300mm focal length?

    • star-watcher

      With my Star Adventurer I could go up to 60 seconds at 280mm unguided. Unfortunately only 30%-40% of the taken images was usable.
      The SA originally is designed for widefield photography up to 100-200mm… Above that I would recommend a guider to eliminate the periodic error.

  4. Shubho

    Hello Karol,

    Recently I bought star adventurer mount and facing difficulty with polar alignment. Main problem is ratical moves as it track the stars.

    My sequence for setup:
    1. Setup the mount, attach dslr and guidescope
    2. Polar align the mount and start tracking
    3. Adjust dslr to frame the subject
    4. Point the guidescope relatively close to the subject
    5. At this point i recheck polar alignment

    Most of the case, i find it is little off caused from various adjustments

    Now I find the ratical rotated with tracking.

    How do you do polar adjustment at this time without moving the dovetail at initial position?

    Or do you just check if the polaris still on the ratical?

    I have been spending lot of time in centering the object and by that time retical moves a bit. This is driving me crazy.. pl help.

    Thanks
    Shubho

    • star-watcher

      Hello Shubho

      I’ve also struggled around with this problem… I’ve almost the same setup sequence like you:
      1. Setup mount…
      2. Very quick polar align / start tracking
      3. Align DSLR to the desired object / Align guide scope to a star near to the object
      4. But then, I go back to the initial position to re-align Polaris, because rotating the DSLR on DEC axis and aligning the guide scope to the object, results in a slightly changed weight balance on the mount which (can) destroy the first polar alignment.
      5. After the second alignment, I go back to the object simply by turning the RA axis. And from now on, (like you wrote) I only check if Polaris stays in the circle.

      With this method I achieve good enough results to exposure up to 4 minutes at 400mm focal length.
      Hope it helps a little bit.

      CS, Karol

  5. Shubho

    Thanks Karol , your images are truly inspirational. Those certaily prove how capable the mount is and offcource your skills make it happen. Wow..

    Will try your steps and let you know if there further queries.

    Thanks
    Shubho

  6. Niels

    Hi Karol,
    Your images are just terrific!!! I would never thought that such quality could be achieve with this little equipement. It’s a long time that i’m dreaming to image the sky and now, i’ll definitely go for it!
    I have a 300mm f2.8 Nikon VRII but not a modified dslr. I just need a guiding system and the mount. I have 2 questions:

    1. What do you advise concerning the guiding? YOu have the MGENII, do you have a feedback of the altair astro gpcam2 because your guiding is >800$?

    2. With a non modified dslr, what can i expect in terms of colors? Would i have a color shift in the purple?

    Thanks a lot in advance and congratulations!

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