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SolarQuest review

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:59 pm
by pedro
The new Sky-Watcher SolarQuest is a great AZ mount for outreach

I used it today for the first time and it is a great performer for little money. The sun stayed dead centre for 4h after first alignment

Check out a few images below and a YouTube video as well


Sky-Watcher SolarQuest Mount | Pedro RE' (20181002)

Pointing to the Sun Automatically

1. Turn on power. The SolarQuest will level the solar telescope automatically and then takes up to 2 minute to acquire GPS lock before the next movement.
2. The SolarQuest will bring the solar telescope to the elevation of the Sun and starts slewing in clockwise in the azimuth direction to search for the Sun.
3. The red LED will blink slowly during the search and becomes solid after the SolarQuest mount locates the Sun successfully.
4. Use the 8-way slide switch to centre the Sun in the FOV of the eyepiece. It is normal to find lags in movement when switching to an opposite direction.

Tips:
• Before turning on power, point the solar telescope to the left side of the Sun can reduce the searching time.
• Use a long focal length eyepiece (eg. 20mm) to start observing.

(...)
SolarQuest is user-friendly and provides safe experience while observing the sun. Using Skywatcher’s revolutionary technology “Heliofind”, it can be easily operated by anyone, with just a push of a button, SolarQuest will start slewing in clockwise in the azimuth direction to search for the sun!
If the tripod is moved by accident, users can easily restart, and it will quickly find the sun.

- Built in GPS & 3 axis accelerator enhance the accuracy of alignment
- Automatic solar alignment
- Light weight
- Beginner friendly
- Eight-way slide switch provides smooth slewing to centre the sun in the eyepiece

Specifications:
Tripod Height 1.3 m
Tripod Weight 2.4 kg
Power Supply 8 "AA" Size Batteries

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:27 pm
by MalVeauX
Thanks for the overview! Looks like a nice little portable alt az tracking mount in general. The SW AZ GTi GoTo with a solar tracker basically. That's pretty cool. Would likely be great for full disc imaging too, eclipses, etc, with smaller scales. Also great for nighttime use too.

Very best,

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:47 pm
by pedro
Thanks Marty

It is a great mount and the Heliofind works flawlessly. It is impressive what this little mount can do for less than 400 US$

It is great for solar outreach sessions and solar eclipses as well

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:33 pm
by MalVeauX
I was looking at the standard version of this mount for simple observation with a small scope even. Getting it with a sun tracking module just puts the icing on the cake. I'll eventually get one I think! Super portable!

Very best,

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:53 am
by pedro
Hi Marty

You will love it. It is an excellent performer and it works flawlessly

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:47 pm
by pedro
still tracking the sun (3h and counting)

Imagesolarquest_20181003-06 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagesolarquest_20181003-08 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagesolarquest_20181003-04 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:19 pm
by eroel
Pedro:
Thanks for the super review of the little mount.
The only problem for solar imaging would be the image rotation when making long recordings.
For outreach use it is super.
Fuerte abrazo,
Eric.

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:19 pm
by pedro
Thanks Eric

You're right, but with videos of about 10s maybe it will be OK

It tracks the sun like a charm

fuerte abrazo

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:05 am
by FlankerOneTwo
Has anyone tried the field de-rotation feature in AutoStakkert? Seems like it should be able to compensate, however I've never tried it (don't have an alt-az mount).

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:29 am
by Montana
Thanks for a great review! It looks very similar to my Merlin mount I use for the PST and travelling with which I really love. Pity I don't have a solar tracker on it as well :)

Alexandra

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:19 am
by ffellah
Hi Pedro: thank you for the detailed report on this mount. It sure looks like a very good value for the money.

Franco

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:33 pm
by marktownley
Looks good Pedro!

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:32 pm
by pedro
Ré, P. (2018). Sky-Watcher SolarQuest Mount. PDF File

http://www.astrosurf.com/re/solarquest_ ... 181008.pdf

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:33 pm
by pedro
Tried the SolarQuest today for the first time with cloudy skies. The sun stayed in the field of view for about 4h but tracking was less accurate. Still works though with cloudy skies

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:19 pm
by pedro
Another observing session with the SolarQuest mount and cloudy skies

After first alignment (Heliofind) it helps to cover the solar sensor.

Imagesolar_imaging_session_20181013-02 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagesolar_imaging_session_20181013-079 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagesolar_imaging_session_20181013-075 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagesolar_imaging_session_20181013-074 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagesolar_imaging_session_20181013-047 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagesolar_imaging_session_20181013-044 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagesolar_imaging_session_20181013-043 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:56 pm
by marktownley
How does it track in cloudy skies Pedro?

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:10 am
by pedro
It tracks Ok Mark

It helps to cover the solar sensor if it is very cloudy. To track the Sun the mount has to detect our star at least once.

Here are a a few images of my grab and go solar scopes to use with the SolarQuest mount

1- FS60C, Coronado SM60, Coronado BF10, Lunt Zoom eyepiece
2- Baader Vario Finder (10x60), Coronado SM40, Coronado BF10, Lunt Zoom eyepiece

Imagetaka_FS60C_SM40_BF10_20181014-09 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagetaka_FS60C_SM40_BF10_20181014-05 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagetaka_FS60C_SM40_BF10_20181014-04 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagetaka_FS60C_SM40_BF10_20181014-01 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagebaader_vario_finder_10X60_SM40_BF10_20181014-06 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagebaader_vario_finder_10X60_SM40_BF10_20181014-04 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Imagebaader_vario_finder_10X60_SM40_BF10_20181014-02 by Pedro Ré, on Flickr

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:22 am
by marktownley
It just carries on tracking when the sensor is covered then Pedro?

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:48 pm
by bart1805
Came across this one, so it is not mine. Could save you some money if you are interested in the mount.
https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=14205

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:26 pm
by pedro
Yes Mark, It tracks fine with the sensor covered. However the mount has to find the sun ate least once to star tracking

It does a decent job even with the sensor covered

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:26 pm
by pedro
Bart: I guess you were referring to this add

https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propvie ... iew=142055

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:11 pm
by bart1805
pedro wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:26 pm
Bart: I guess you were referring to this add

https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propvie ... iew=142055
Sorry, you are right!
Thanks Pedro.

Re: SolarQuest review

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:39 pm
by pedro
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/user/r ... review.pdf
SolarQuest review (BBC Sky at Night Magazine)

We were very impressed with the SolarQuest mount. It’s so simple to use and performed very accurately in our trials. It alleviates the need to polar align during the day, something which can’t be done with precision unless you have a permanent set-up. In this respect it suits casual solar observing well but really excels for things like public events where there are typically a lot of eager viewers wanting to take a peek at the Sun. Eliminating the need for constant repositioning, the SolarQuest makes setting up for such events a breeze. Most personal solar observing sessions last less than an hour and we found that the unit would hold a very accurate position for far longer than this. Exceptions may occur if, for example, you were using an H-alpha telescope and monitoring for flare activity. This would normally be done by setting up the telescope and watching for increases in X-ray output from sources such as the GOES X-ray satellite. Here, the ability to have a quick and simple mount tracking accurately for extended periods would be incredibly useful.