New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

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c8er
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New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by c8er » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:04 pm

Has anyone tried the new Skywatcher Solarquest mount, which claims to find and track the sun automatically? If it works as advertised its inbuilt solar auto-guiding/tracking could make it a useful mount for lightweight solar setups (stated load capacity of 4kgs).

Link here to APM telescope's webpage for the product (Skywatcher USA don't seem to have it listed but Skywatcher Europe, Canada, and Australia do).
https://www.apm-telescopes.de/en/mounts ... nt--tripod

Cheers,
Chris Morriss


Location: Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
Solar Ha setup: Daystar Ha Quark, APM 140/980 refractor, Coronado SMII 60 DS BF15, McDougall Solar AutoGuider. Skywatcher ST80, Orion ED 80, WO ZS66 SD, and Nova 102mm f/6.5 achromat refractors.
Other scopes: C8,C11, ES Comet Hunter Mak-Newt, on 10Micron GM1000HPS, Celestron AVX, 8SE, CG-5 and Skywatcher Solarquest mounts.
Cameras: Celestron Neximage Burst Mono, ZWO ASI294MC Pro, AS120MC, ASI174MM, ASI290MC, Canon 60D, Celestron Nightscape CCD


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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by ffellah » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:06 am

Interesting that someone thought about it...

Franco



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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by c8er » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:02 am

Agena Astro have asked Skywatcher USA if they will be selling it, and told me the answer was, no they won't.

Chris M


Location: Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
Solar Ha setup: Daystar Ha Quark, APM 140/980 refractor, Coronado SMII 60 DS BF15, McDougall Solar AutoGuider. Skywatcher ST80, Orion ED 80, WO ZS66 SD, and Nova 102mm f/6.5 achromat refractors.
Other scopes: C8,C11, ES Comet Hunter Mak-Newt, on 10Micron GM1000HPS, Celestron AVX, 8SE, CG-5 and Skywatcher Solarquest mounts.
Cameras: Celestron Neximage Burst Mono, ZWO ASI294MC Pro, AS120MC, ASI174MM, ASI290MC, Canon 60D, Celestron Nightscape CCD

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by marktownley » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:04 pm

I wonder if it will stop tracking when the sun goes behind a cloud?


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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by pedro » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:43 pm

I ordered one and I guess I will have it this week. I will keep you guys posted.

For 300 euros it is difficult to ask for more



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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by marktownley » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:35 pm

That was my thought too Pedro, I quite fancy the idea of something for quick grab and go full disks that I can just carry the scope and mount out in one go (in between the clouds!) - be interesting how you get on Pedro. You don't have clouds where you are very often so give it a try covering the sensor with your hand and see if it stops tracking for me.

The only other thing that concerns me is payload, not sure it would take my 60mm scope with DS 50mm etalons on...


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Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by bart1805 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:05 pm

The answer is in the manual:
2.3 Envioremental Influence
1. Clouds, especially thick or low clouds might reduce the accuracy of auto-pointing. They might also lead to visible drift of the Sun in the eyepiece while the SolarQuest is tracking the Sun.
2. Strong reflected light, which happens to appear within the SolarQuest’s searching path, can terminate the auto-pointing routine unexpectedly.



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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by marktownley » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:37 am

Thanks Bart, I thought that might be the case.


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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by pedro » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:28 pm

My solarquest mount arrived today. Unfortunately I will not be able to use it during the next weekend
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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by skyhawk » Sun May 12, 2019 11:45 am

Has been discussed here a lot
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKvRG28dwnc





,..


Just for info, if I ever come over as "blunt" or upset it is not intentional, I am AUTISTIC, I have Aspergers, and ADHD, Autism, so my apologies if I ever sound, unintentionally confrontational. Thank you

Esprit 120mm triplet refractor
Celestron Evolution Edge HD 8"
72mm Ed Skywatcher for Solar

SkyTee 2
Sky-Watcher SolarQuest
Gitzo Systematic Series 5

ASI 178MM
Daystar Quark Ha
WO Binoviewers
Many eyepieces 2"

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by skyhawk » Sun May 12, 2019 11:50 am

Added remote focus so that everything can be done from indoors now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7VXcG6hmFA


Just for info, if I ever come over as "blunt" or upset it is not intentional, I am AUTISTIC, I have Aspergers, and ADHD, Autism, so my apologies if I ever sound, unintentionally confrontational. Thank you

Esprit 120mm triplet refractor
Celestron Evolution Edge HD 8"
72mm Ed Skywatcher for Solar

SkyTee 2
Sky-Watcher SolarQuest
Gitzo Systematic Series 5

ASI 178MM
Daystar Quark Ha
WO Binoviewers
Many eyepieces 2"

skyhawk
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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by skyhawk » Sun May 12, 2019 11:51 am

c8er wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:04 pm
Has anyone tried the new Skywatcher Solarquest mount, which claims to find and track the sun automatically? If it works as advertised its inbuilt solar auto-guiding/tracking could make it a useful mount for lightweight solar setups (stated load capacity of 4kgs).

Link here to APM telescope's webpage for the product (Skywatcher USA don't seem to have it listed but Skywatcher Europe, Canada, and Australia do).
https://www.apm-telescopes.de/en/mounts ... nt--tripod

Cheers,
Chris Morriss
If you use the search on the forum it has been discussed a lot


Just for info, if I ever come over as "blunt" or upset it is not intentional, I am AUTISTIC, I have Aspergers, and ADHD, Autism, so my apologies if I ever sound, unintentionally confrontational. Thank you

Esprit 120mm triplet refractor
Celestron Evolution Edge HD 8"
72mm Ed Skywatcher for Solar

SkyTee 2
Sky-Watcher SolarQuest
Gitzo Systematic Series 5

ASI 178MM
Daystar Quark Ha
WO Binoviewers
Many eyepieces 2"

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by Martin_S » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:10 pm

How good is it for tracking prominence animations?

Martin


H - alpha setup
Lunt LS60THa Tilt-Tuned Solar Telescope, LS50FHa solar filter front-mounted Double stack etalon. 2 x Barlow
Remote etalon and focusing control's ASI290mm Camera

White Light setup
Skywatcher ED72 ,ED100, Homemade solar wedge, IR cut filter, Solar Continuum filter.

Mounts
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount ..

Darkside setup

Skywatcher ED72 ,ED100, GSO RC6 ,Celestron Nexstar 6SE.

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by rsfoto » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:50 am

Martin_S wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:10 pm
How good is it for tracking prominence animations?

Martin
Hi,

I do not have one but as it is a Alt/Azi mount the limb of the Sun will rotate ...


regards Rainer

Observatorio Real de 14 San Luis Potosi Mexico

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by Martin_S » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:01 am

Thank's Rainer ,I've been attempting solar animations With LuSol but I keep getting Image drift ,I'm looking at all options at the moment.

Martin


H - alpha setup
Lunt LS60THa Tilt-Tuned Solar Telescope, LS50FHa solar filter front-mounted Double stack etalon. 2 x Barlow
Remote etalon and focusing control's ASI290mm Camera

White Light setup
Skywatcher ED72 ,ED100, Homemade solar wedge, IR cut filter, Solar Continuum filter.

Mounts
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount ..

Darkside setup

Skywatcher ED72 ,ED100, GSO RC6 ,Celestron Nexstar 6SE.

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by rsfoto » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:10 pm

Martin_S wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:01 am
Thank's Rainer ,I've been attempting solar animations With LuSol but I keep getting Image drift ,I'm looking at all options at the moment.

Martin
Hi Martin,

My experience from the last months with a CEM 120EC2 whch has a quite good tracking is that Solar tracking in regard to keep a spot in place is quite difficult.

Now the Sun is low and I am using custom tracking values and even so the sun drifts in RA. You will always have a drift in DEC day by day as the Sun moves in DEC ~ 45° in 180 days and then back again.

In regard to RA tracking I ahve seen that my custom tracking rate for RA varies over 6 months e.g. when the Sun in the Winter is Low and in Summer it is high. Also when you approach the horizon tracking rate must get slower and slower ( famous King Rate ) due to the refraction and all objects seem to move slower ...

I did built a Sun tracker which was connected to the guide port of my old Losmandy mounts but accuracy was a problem and after getting the new iOptron CEM 120EC2 mounts my Sun guider was obsolete as the mounts tracks better then my Sun guider was able to do.


regards Rainer

Observatorio Real de 14 San Luis Potosi Mexico

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by marktownley » Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:55 am

rsfoto wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:10 pm
My experience from the last months with a CEM 120EC2 whch has a quite good tracking is that Solar tracking in regard to keep a spot in place is quite difficult.

Now the Sun is low and I am using custom tracking values and even so the sun drifts in RA. You will always have a drift in DEC day by day as the Sun moves in DEC ~ 45° in 180 days and then back again.

In regard to RA tracking I ahve seen that my custom tracking rate for RA varies over 6 months e.g. when the Sun in the Winter is Low and in Summer it is high. Also when you approach the horizon tracking rate must get slower and slower ( famous King Rate ) due to the refraction and all objects seem to move slower ...
Thanks for posting this Rainer, i've never thought about it like this before.

That drift in declination is about 0.25degree per day, and that doesn't factor in the obliquity or eccentricity of the Earths orbit, which means the rate varies throughout the year too. Likewise for RA.

'Solar tracking' on mounts is just going to be a slightly different rate than sidereal rate, and won't factor any of the above, the drive will just track in RA at a continuous rate, regardless of time of day or year, with the DEC axis just sat fixed.

No wonder we have drift in our animations, just in DEC this amounts to 30 arc seconds per hour! (on average!).


Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by Martin_S » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:54 pm

Thank's Rainer and Mark. I'm in the process of building a sun tracker, if it works I'll post the results in the mods section . Meanwhile I am going over to the darkside to practice guiding at night with PHD2 as I've not done guiding before.

Martin


H - alpha setup
Lunt LS60THa Tilt-Tuned Solar Telescope, LS50FHa solar filter front-mounted Double stack etalon. 2 x Barlow
Remote etalon and focusing control's ASI290mm Camera

White Light setup
Skywatcher ED72 ,ED100, Homemade solar wedge, IR cut filter, Solar Continuum filter.

Mounts
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount ..

Darkside setup

Skywatcher ED72 ,ED100, GSO RC6 ,Celestron Nexstar 6SE.

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by c8er » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:43 pm

I'm hoping that my new 10Micron GM1000 HPS GEM mount will have good solar tracking year round and at most altitudes as 10Micron say in the manual that if you use the mount's "Follow Object" tracking method (different from the usual standard solar/sidereal/lunar rates also in the hand control) that the mount will account fully for the object's proper motion in its sophisticated tracking model to custom track any solar system object, including the moon/sun/planets, and also asteroids and satellites if you have freshly updated the mount's file of current asteroid/satellite paths. The mount includes refraction effects in its modelling/tracking using temp and humidity inputs from an electronic weather unit I have plugged in to it (updated only on a slew of the mount so it doesn't cause jumps during tracking if the weather parameters change while tracking).

The mount by default tracks in both axes to make use of its sophisticated model and to still give good tracking with some amount of polar and other errors.

This is what the manual says about the "Follow Object" tracking option. "When this function is active, everytime you slew to a celestial object from the database, the apparent proper motion of the object is computed, and is set automatically as a custom tracking rate.
This is effective for all solar system objects, such as asteroids, comets, planets, the Sun and the Moon."

I haven't had a chance yet to try the mount for solar daytime work, only night work so far, but I am hoping it might even give good enough unguided tracking for solar animations, as it does so far for me for unguided deep space night imaging.

I also now have one of these little Skywatcher Solarquest mounts, and it certainly tracks the sun well for hours, and keeps itself well enough centered on one solar surface feature long enough for the usually short non-animation solar imaging runs. I wouldn't try it for time-lapse animations due to the Alt/Az field rotation, and it doesn't work for me on an Eq wedge sadly - I tried that. From memory I think it wouldn't even initially find the sun automatically, or if it did it wouldn't then track it correctly. My memory is bit hazy on which the problem was exactly, but it didn't work.

Cheers,
Chris M
New Zealand


Location: Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
Solar Ha setup: Daystar Ha Quark, APM 140/980 refractor, Coronado SMII 60 DS BF15, McDougall Solar AutoGuider. Skywatcher ST80, Orion ED 80, WO ZS66 SD, and Nova 102mm f/6.5 achromat refractors.
Other scopes: C8,C11, ES Comet Hunter Mak-Newt, on 10Micron GM1000HPS, Celestron AVX, 8SE, CG-5 and Skywatcher Solarquest mounts.
Cameras: Celestron Neximage Burst Mono, ZWO ASI294MC Pro, AS120MC, ASI174MM, ASI290MC, Canon 60D, Celestron Nightscape CCD

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Re: New Skywatcher Solarquest mount

Post by marktownley » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:33 am

As the topic is current I thought would chip in; i'm going to get of the solarquest heads. I bought the AZ GTi mount https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywat ... ripod.html initially on the grounds I could also use it as a grab and go for the occassional night time stuff I do. While it is great for night time it is a PITA for solar, it really doesn't want you to look at the sun easily or quickly using it. Have wasted so many sessions this winter when the sun has been in gaps in the trees and the mount has been an pain to get running. So, will pick up the solarquest next week instead...


Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

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