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Everything posted by Sqyff

  1. Having read that quite a lot of Lounge members started the UCLAN Astronomy BSc last year I was curious to find out how the first set of modules went. I am quite interested in this course myself but would like to see what people actually think of it and if it is worth the time and money. Also did anyone manage to get financial support for the course fees? Cheers Cliff
  2. Good point Peter. I would have thought these parts would be more robust.
  3. Oops! Forgot to put 'people' after 'knowledgeable'.
  4. Anything below $500 for a BF15 alternative is still a saving. In fact I was just reading your discussion about this in a certain solar observing forum. Seems like there are a lot of extremely knowledgeable involved so I have faith that a solution will be forthcoming.
  5. Hmm, didn't think the effect would be that pronounced. Oh well, thanks Merlin. I still think I may need to knock a bit off the tube when I get the chance as i'm sure i'm a little bit short on the correct distance. I will probably go for a stage 2 at some point but £450+ for a BF15 and over £1000 for a BF30 plus shipping, import tax etc is just silly money. How they can justify this sort of price is beyond me. Are there no alternatives to the Coronado that are a more reasonable price?
  6. Hi Peter. Not sure about the ITF filter but as the unit was only bought new in October I would hope this is OK. As I said, the standard gold tube configuration has no vignetting it's only when I connect the PST to the donor scope I have this trouble.
  7. Thanks Merlin and Steep. I tend to be a bit thick sometimes. So I need to take about 15mm off the scope tube, would that be about right to bring the etalon into the correct focal area?
  8. Hi Peter. Basically I am getting a very un-sharp fuzzy edge which seems to be narrowing the view, a bit like tunnel vision. I've had another look at the scope and plug and now don't think it's the plug cutting the light cone as the 2" center hole is no smaller than the baffle hole a few inches ahead of it. Could it be that I have not quite measured to the correct place and this is causing the vignetting even though I can get focus? I have been a bit confused about which part of the PST etalon assembly I should be measuring to be inside the 200mm . Hmm, I've just re-measured everything and I think I might be out a few millimetres. I can give you the numbers so you might be able to see what is wrong. From the focal point to the front edge of the aluminium plug is about 205mm. When I put the PST adapter on this has a plate in front of the threaded part which is 3mm deep. So the front edge of the etalon focuser is 202mm from the focal point..........I think.
  9. The zoom worked quite well on the standard PST and I don't think it vignetted that I can remember. I have a feeling it might be the plug. Basically this is a 50mm deep aluminium slug with a 2" hole through it. There is no cut back on the inside and having just measured the PST front adapter this is about 15mm shorter so I think the edge of the light cone is being cut by the edge of the center hole. I hope that makes sense.
  10. Finally it is done. I managed to get a bit of late sunlight Thursday evening (10 mins or so) to measure the focal point of the scope and to my utter amazement and delight the tube is shorter than the 200mm required for the mod. In fact by sheer blind luck the length of the tube combined with the tube plug I had made are perfect for the mod, in other words........no tube cutting!!! I spent last night putting it all together and managed to get first light this morning in a strong breeze and on a flimsy EQ2 (as you can see from the pictures). The contrast and detail was amazing but there seems to be a slight vignetting, nothing too unusable but a bit annoying (any ideas how to get rid of this would be welcome). The D-ERF holder is a temp construction until I get a better one made. All in all I'm quite pleased with the way this went, although a new heavier mount is now on the horizon. Might pop up to Telescope House this afternoon to see if there is a second hand mount available.
  11. Oh the PST coming apart is no problem, already tried that. The problem is every time I'm at work it's sunny and when I'm home it's not...........Oh fickle hand of fate why are you so cruel??
  12. Finally got everything together for my SW Evostar 90 PST stage 1 mod. All I need now is a spare sunny day to find the focus point and measure back for the tube cut................doesn't look like it'll be this summer though. I reckon the final cost was about £570. The big payout was the 90mm D-ERF.
  13. The PST is like a black hole, as soon as you get anywhere near one you get sucked in.
  14. Good for you Galilean. You won't be disappointed. Give it a few months and the dreaded aperture fever will hit and you'll be on the road to PST modding like the rest of us poor souls.
  15. I must admit I had never heard of such a thing before. The more I've got into solar observing the more I realize that you can be surprised and awed every time you look at our star.
  16. There is also this little gem. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/coronal-rain.html Absolutely beautiful.
  17. NASA has released a video consisting of 3 years of SDO images. From the Solar Dynamics Observatory website. "In the three years since it first provided images of the sun in the spring of 2010, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has had virtually unbroken coverage of the sun's rise toward solar maximum, the peak of solar activity in its regular 11-year cycle. This video shows those three years of the sun at a pace of two images per day." http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/first-light-3rd.html
  18. Sqyff

    My PST Mod

    That's odd. I had no problems unscrewing either the etalon from the body or the gold tube from the etalon, just a slight twist with just hands and they unscrewed. Not a bit of screwlock anywhere on the threads. I must have been lucky I guess. Also now that I think of it there was no little sticker over the tuning ring screw either when I moved that.
  19. A PST came up on Astrobuysell yesterday for £310 but unfortunately it's already been sold.
  20. Possibly down on the PST blocking filter? I can't imagine anything would get in to the tube unless you have removed it at some point, although I'm definitely not an expert on this. Great photo.
  21. Sqyff

    My PST Mod

    Excellent write up Steep. Sorry to hear about the quality issues with the Tal. I'm hoping my Evostar 90 mod goes well but i'm still some items short of a finished mod. Slow but unsure, that's me! Hope you get the niggles sorted out. Here down South it has been a beautiful day so I've had the old PST out for most of the day, great viewing.
  22. Sorry to hear that Michael, hopefully someone will post some pictures, Although you can get an idea of the view from the GONG H-Alpha site. Some nice video of the proms.
  23. Absolutely gorgeous features on the Sun today. At least 6 proms all the way down the western limb from 1 o'clock to near 6 o'clock. Those lovely sunspots, filaments, magnetic disturbance. Too much to describe really. If you haven't looked yet, get out there and treat yourself.
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