StellarCharge™ your Star Adventurer. Now improved Build Type!
StellarCharge™ 2.5 Options :
As above but includes a CloverThree Counterweight - £155.00
Test Certificate available for extra charge
(Star Adventurer not included :)
Delivery option - Go for our Easy Three Way Courier Option for £29.00
We ship you a box and packaging, we arrange collection and then ship it back to you when ready. (just choose this option from drop down menu at checkout)
Check out how your mount compares in our performance charts.
Why StellarCharge™ your Star Adventurer ?
The Star Adventurer is probably one of the most popular portable 'tracker' mounts in existence. But like many of the Sky-watcher mounts we have found more performance! Mostly wide-field astrophotography is done unguided with these type of travel mounts, often with shorter lens focal lengths of less than 300mm and rarely more than 2 minutes per exposure. That is what it is primarily designed for. However, as the payloads rise and the focal get longer, exposure times come down.
We applied our patentable build methodologies from our successfully accurate tuned mounts, and played with the Star Adventurer, pushing it as far as we could during testing. The standard mount has been tested in guiding from 2-4 arcseconds RMS, and between ±23-50 arcseconds by owners, from customer data. Basically, it's in the realms of EQ3-2 territory, with just a standard camera DSLR kit lens.
Tests have been carried out on the Star Adventurer but only on lighter payloads, but it can take an 5Kg payload (although we found 3.5Kg is a safer limit), so why can't you make the most of it? That's where the Supercharge 2.5 comes in.
The stock 1kg counterweight is fine for most setups, but with our exclusive BoDai CloverThree counterweight, three full 330ml cans take it to 1.2kg, with a max of 1.6kg, filled with sand or dirt. This means you can balance a 72mm refractor telescope, flattener/reducer, DSLR Camera body AND a 50mm finder on this mount and reliably get under 2 arcseconds guided for over 2 hours (in tests) at a time, with Zero Dropped Frames!
Typically, a stock mount will have a RA drift of 50-80 seconds unguided (you can test this yourself), but we can now measure and calibrate the mount on our custom test rig. A stock mount will track at 4-5 ArcSec/min, our will be in the region of 2.65-3.25 ArcSec/min, which is AstroTrac territory!. At 200mm, using an 18MP DSLR, the pixel ratio will be over 5 ArcSec/Pixel. The result is a stable mount that tracks at circa 1.6 arc-second (tested at 4.5kg) or less (depending on payload and balance) guided and 23-32 arc-seconds RMS unguided. It means that you can now run a camera body and lens at up to 300mm for up to 40% longer exposures. OTA's under 400mm are best, unless it's a small 102mm (or less) Maksutov or Mirror lens for planetary imaging. Polar Alignment is critical with longer focal lengths and longer exposures. Practice help you perfect this, by starting with 100mm at 90 secs and moving up in time from there to 200mm and 6-7mins.
That's the whole point of tuning your mount. It's about not losing 30-40% of your effort in lost data. Over a four hour chilly evening, would you really want to lose over an hours worth (or more!) of imaging every time? The Supercharge II makes your imaging more reliable.
All of our EQ mounts are optimised, and not some part of a production build where a median set of tolerances are used for productivity. To test how bad your Star Adventurers track may be, set up the mount with a 200mm lens, and polar align your mount, then tack a start 20-30º away from pole position, and take a 10 minute (600sec=1 worm cycle) exposure. It will trail, but notice the trailing pattern. If it's not smooth or moves to high/low in amplitude, then your mount is not optimised.
What do we do to make your Star Adventurer perform better?
Your existing mount casing is very carefully taken apart as there are several fragile wires. The RA axis is stripped down, ultrasonically cleaned and re-lubricated, to reduce stiction, as is the front clutch plate and needle roller bearing. The motor block is checked and re-adjusted and the worm-gear bearings which are replaced with lower friction items. These are run-in ourselves that have the benefits of being longer lasting, smoother running and more responsive than standard bearings to provide better tracking. The RA worm-gear is also re-processed to StellarDrive™-SPX standard.
We also remove the right amount of backlash from the final drive cogs, re-grease and reassemble the case. It's fiddly, but worth the effort. You're welcome to try, but a third of our work by the way, is repairing 'home tuned' EQ mounts that didn't turn out well... The devil is in the detail. We use three types of lubricant in this build, which also improves the feel of the main clutch, and reduces the drag of the photo kit L-Bracket making it easier to balance. We load test with a small refractor, and check and adjust the RA to eliminate any residual backlash as part of our meticulous build. It's even more important to be careful with such a small mount to check, check, check your tolerances.
Below is a cropped single 10 minute (602 seconds to be precise) or our Star Adventurer with a 200mm EF lens (=320mm focal length due to crop factor) on an APS-C Canon EOS450D. We have a stack of these and 5-8 minute ones, and will be adding other examples as we continue our development. Up to 5-10 minutes is realistic for this mount with a kit lens/DSLR setup. 15 Mins guided is possible, but the there is a limit to this mount due to it's periodic error. Be aware this does takes some practice, and your polar alignment has to be spot on. Due to the nature of this mount longer lenses are not recommended like the Canon 100-400mm L-Series Zoom, unless guided. We do not recommend Refractors much above 60-72mm, and anything like an ED80 won't work due to its length and moment arm. An EQ5 is a much better choice.
PHD graphs and more info is available upon request, as testing is always ongoing with all our mounts as part of our quality control. We offer a before and after test tracking graph of you specific mount, for £15. All our work on supercharged Star Adventurer mounts is guaranteed for 1 year.
E&OE - Mount Build Specification and components used subject to change without notice. Example EQ mount tracking performance is not guaranteed, and is subject to the age and condition of the Donor Mount.