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About catburglar

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    Star Forming

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    North Wales
  1. I picked up a Solar Scout from FLO a couple of weeks ago. To date I’ve managed about half a dozen sessions and been quite happy with the prominence details. There’s been nothing much to see on the disk apart from granulation - which is visible, but more subtle than I thought it would be (but I guess that’s what happens when you compare images with visual). In terms of eyepieces I’m using a 16mm Nirvana for the most part- which gives a good full disk view, with reasonable control of scatter and sufficient magnification to see detail in larger prominences. But I also have a scan around the limb with a 10mm BCO to check for smaller proms- but the view is quite dim- I need to get a better hood to block out ambient light. Overall, I’d have no problem recommending one as a first solar scope- the price is V good in comparison to new Lunt and PST options....but this is my first solar scope so I don’t have any experience of these other options to compare the quality of the view.
  2. Tico If you’re struggling to decide, you probably don’t need another option, but here goes.... I sat on the fence about getting a solar scope for a couple of years...a few weeks ago I bit the bullet and bought a Daystar Solar scout SS-60DS....At about half the price of a PST-DS- It seems like a good buy. Had a few short sessions with it and I’m pretty impressed- although I don’t have anything to directly compare it with. It’s quick to set up, simple to use and the view seems pretty good- I’ve been able to see good details in prominences along with solar granulation (there’s not a lot of activity on the disk at present).
  3. Unless you choose carefully barlows can make getting the right level of magnification at higher mags because it effectively doubles the ‘gaps’ between your various fl’s. E.g- if you’ve got. 1200mm fl scope with 10 & 7mm eyepieces plus a 2x Barlow- you get 120x, 171x, 240x and 342- that’s a big jump between 240 & 342- so if you want something around 300x you’ve either got to go for an 8mm native with the 2x Barlow or a 12mm with 3x Barlow- either way you end up with an eyepiece that’s pretty close to one you’ve already got....you could go for a 2.5x Barlow...but you’ll almost certainly end up with some duplication....It’s almost certainly possible to get a good spread of mags but it makes my head hurt trying to avoid duplication, so I’ve not gone down the Barlow route
  4. I have a really old Freecom DVB-T USB dongle that I’m trying to repurpose to radio astronomy. I’ve tried a Windows 10PC with the winusb driver and a raspberry pi with the rtl-sdr driver and neither seem to work. In both cases the application fails to detect the device. In raspbian dmesg reports the device as an rtl2830 chipset but in all my googling the rtl-SDR docs don’t mention this version- nearest is 2832u- so am I out of luck?
  5. Received my Daystar SS60 from FLO on Friday and had a chance to get first light with it today. There was a bit of thin cloud but with patches of clear blue between- so thought I'd give it a quick try. Paired it up with a SW Heritage Virtuoso mount, Amazon Basics (badged Ravelli) tripod and a SW dielectric diagonal. I plugged the power pack in to the SS60 before heading outside. I pointed the OTA roughly North and set altitude to 53 degrees and switched on to get the tracking going and then swung around to the general direction of the sun. Bag inside to get the eypeice case, popped in a 25mm plossl and within 30 seconds had my first ever view of the H-alpha sun. The bullet finder, though small made it easy to find the target and the eyepiece gave a nice full disk view with plenty of dark sky around it, so it didn't matter if the tracking was slightly off. I waited a few more minutes for the etalon to get up to temperature and then set about "observing"... but that's when it started to get a bit tricky. Focusing was much more difficult than I thought it would be.....the helical focuser is a little stiff but the main issue was that there was almost no detail to focus on....tweaking the etalon temp up / down didn't seem to make a great deal of difference.....I was a little underwhelmed- but then again- we're only just past solar minimum., so perhaps I need to be patient..... Then I noticed a small prominence at the limb around the 1 o'clock position (not sure of my solar orientation yet), so I moved that to centre of the view and tweaked focus on it- to say I was chuffed is a bit of an understatement.... there were bits of cloud moving through the view so the detail was coming and going, but when the cloud cleared I could see real structure in the prominence- and it had only taken about 15 minutes from noticing that the early morning clouds were clearing until I was able to be outside taking in the view. After a few minutes with the 25mm plossl, I realised I was finding it quite tricky to hold a clear view- I sometimes get blackout issues using the same eyepiece at night, but it seemed much trickier in daylight. I thought I'd up the magnification and popped in a 10mm BCO....this was much easier to use, a few seconds finding focus again and there I was, back on target and able to see the appearance of the prominence change almost minute by minute....sometimes it was a wall of vertical streamers rising up from the limb and a few minutes later there were "holes" in it and the outer edge was more feathered..... Tried upping the power again with a 7mm Fujiyama HD ortho but this dimmed the view a bit and didn't seem to add much detail, so I switched back to the 10mm. Then I took a tour of the limb to see if there was anything else of note- at times it looked like there were tiny "spicules" radiating out from the limb but they seemed to come and go, so not sure if I was imaging them or if they were real.....I also got hints of solar granulation towards the limb, but couldn't see it towards the centre of the disk, so again might have been imagining it. There wasn't a lot else to see today, but I think I've learnt a couple of important things and also got a few questions. 1. The detail that's available is much more subtle than I'd expected. I assumed because there's so much light on offer, that it would be easy to detect, but the brightness difference between the disk and the prominence means you have to work reasonably hard to get the most from it- and I quite like that. 2. I'd expected granulation to be more evident- perhaps it's just I need to get my eye in- but the fact that I could see or suspect it more at the limb makes me wonder if the central portion of the disk is just a bit too bright.....does anybody use a polarising or neutral density filter for H-alpha? 3. I thought that the seeing might be a bigger problem than it turned out...I've got a south facing patio, but setting up so I viewed over the lawn and then out onto open fields seemed OK. It wasn't the hottest day today, but with the 25mm (approx 37x) the view was sharp and very little shimmer was seen and even at 93x with the 10mm BCO the view was mostly steady with just a bit of shimmer at the limb. 4. The eye relief of the plossl was a bit too much and seemed to make it quite difficult- I thought this would be my "go to" eyepiece. I tried a light shroud which helped a bit, but I'll need to think again. The 10mm was nice, but the narrow field of view meant I couldn't get a whole disk view...So any opinions for optimum eyepiece- thinking that a 9 or 10mm - 60-68 degree eyepiece should give me enough magnification to see the details and still enough field to get the full disk..... Overall, this was a great first light for me.....I'm happy to cut my teeth when there's not too much going one, and can't wait to get out again to get a little more experience under my belt.
  6. A cheaper option would be one of the 6inch f9 RC scopes- with a reducer/flattener. You'd have the pption of 1370 mm or 1000mm focal length- with the edge it's 2m or 1.4m with reducer. Both are a tough ask for the HEQ5. At 1m with your camera and 2xbinning your image scale is around 0.9arcsec per pixel and at 2m it'd be half that. If you can guide at 0.5arcsec per pixel rms then Imaging at over 1m focal length could give good results- but I'd check my guiding stats before investing in the Edge.
  7. Might be a long shot, but looking for one of the above -circa 12.5mm FL. What have you got?
  8. Thanks to both- might take a trip to my local Halfords to get a can or ArmorAll and see how it goes.
  9. My circa 10 yr old Canon ISB’s have developed a sticky outer coating. Is there anything I can do to fix it- short of trying to physically remove it. They’ve always been kept in their case when not in use, so also wondering if there’s something I could do to prevent it happening to my other binos. Any ideas?
  10. Definitely want a modded camera on this in my view, and the 250mm FL on the RedCar could catch you the pelican at the same time- even with the crop sensor
  11. I know what you mean- I had a go at the veil nebula last year with a DSLR (unmodded) and Samyang 135mm. Initially all looked good in the subs but as you process for the nebula the stars end up dominating the field. Not sure that there’s much you can do at acquisition. All comes down to post processing/masking before stretching the different aspects of the images.
  12. I’ve got no personal experience if these, but what about one of the TS Power Newton scopes? The 8inch F/2.8 would be nice and fast @ 560mm FL. Obviously collimating will be key, but if you’re not fixed on a refractor setup you could get data pretty quickly once you’ve fettled the setup. https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p4611_Boren-Simon-8--f-2-8-PowerNewton-Astrograph---Carbon-Tube.html
  13. I don’t think you need the -L and -H parameters in your custom options string...your scale minimum parameter is setting the minimum image scale to 1.32 degrees and then the -L parameter says it’s 0.5 degrees- and likewise for the scale maximum / -H pair...I don’t know how the solver handles this...but I’d remove them from the custom options string.
  14. The issue with most unmodded DSLR’s is that the IR cut comes in a bit too early therefore blocks most of the H-alpha signal. I think Uranium235 has hit the nail on the head...My understanding is that the CLS-ccd filters add back a bit of IR cut that you’ve lost by modding the camera without blocking the H-alpha.
  15. I don’t want to put you off, but I used to have a Meade ETX125 OTA mounted on an AZ-GTi and matching tripod and found it was fine...If I were you, I’d give it a thorough try out before you dismiss it.
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