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Everything posted by CeeDee

  1. Has anyone yet tried the 12.5mm Morpheus in a Baader Mark V binoviewer as yet? I am hoping that the 12.5mm may complement my 24mm Panoptics whenn using a Denkmeier R1 Power x Switch.
  2. Yes, I have read that Balok. However, what I have found is that as you are observing with two eyes (a natural state for the brain to deal with) there are benefits with contrast and apparent more detail that seems to cancel out any loss of light due to the splitting of the light path. I agree, the Morpheus eps seem to be very well suited for binoviewing. I am moving more and more towards the Denkmeier Power x Switch diagonal and two sets of eps: 24mm Pans and 14mm Morpheus. Fortunately, a member of our astro group has an older model Power x Switch forme to try with the Baader Mark Vs. I'll keep you posted.
  3. I have justy found another solution and probably the best yet...if it works! The Denkmeier Power Switch Diagonal http://denkmeier.com...&category_ID=20 seems to offer the best of all worlds and would probably mean only using one pair (two at the most) sets of eyepieces. Has anyone had any experience with this setup?
  4. Thanks rrb24 that's good feedback. I am also wondering whether the Denkmeier power switch diagonal would work with Mark V bins. Anyone got feedback on that combination? Another option might be the APM Meoptra zooms. If I could have found a good review on these, as they have a fixed apparent field.
  5. Anyone have experience with various eyepieces for binoviewer observing. I have just purchased a BP Mark V binoviewer and with its wide FOV need to get a small number of medium to wide eeyepieces for it (over time!) I have a Panoptic 24mm already which I seldom use in my 'fractors, so another would pair nicely with the Mark Vs. Of that I am certain. I am toying with idea of getting the Baader Morpheus 17.5mm and 12.5mm eps as well. Anyone had any experience using with these in BVs? Need eps that have a FOV at least 68-80 I should think. Any other suggestions?
  6. I have two Baader Planetarium Sky Surfer Red Dot finders and a third William Optics red dot finder. On each of these finders the red dots have each 'degraded' until they a indistinct (thus inaccurate) blurred 'splodges. I can see no way of asdjusment to bring the dots 'to focus'. Is there a remedy? Sadly, all three are well out of warranty period thus returning them to their respective suppliers is out of the question. Anyon eelse found this problem?
  7. I purchased a Planet Tripod from the Widescreen Centre here in London and I am extremely pleased with it! However, there is one small problem which I hope you can help me solve: I am using the Planet to support a Skywatcher AZ EQ6 GT mount, which it does with ease...except when you use this mount in EQ mode, it is impossible to sight through the polar scope for accurate polar alignment. The leg locking levers get in the way. A simple solution to hand, was to use my Skywatcher EQ6 pier which raises the mount sufficiently to enable easy polar scope use. However, the problem then is the AZ 'spike' which when removed from the tripod, has a much smaller thread than the Skywatcher one: you take the spike from the EQ6 tripod and screw it into the corresponding aperture on the pier. Sadly, although the Berlebach one can be accommodated, the nut which secures it then fouls the tube of the pier upsetting the seating of the mount. Apart from getting a file on the job and filing a slot ofor the nut and easy solution would be to obtain an EQ6 AZ 'spike'. Does anyone have a spare EQ6 AZ 'spike' I can beg or buy from you?
  8. Cheers Guys. I think I might just take the plunge on this one.
  9. I've had great success fro the iOptron Minitower Pro. Easy to set up, reliable, and blows peoples' minds at star parties in Regents Park when they look incredulously at Uranus, Neptune or some hard to find (in London's light polluted skies) DSO. I use mine with an 80mm and 123mm refractors and a Lunt LS80 DS. Very good software on board.....even finds comets, large asteroids and minor planets like Ceres.
  10. Does anyone have any experience with the above combination of OTA and mount? Although I am primarily a refractor man, at this time of year we are looking out to those enticing galaxies so a 250mil ota is a very tempting purchase. I know all about the problems of eye placement on an equatorial mount but with the AZ setup this shouldn't be a problem....or is it??? I use the AZ EQ6 GT on a Berlebach Planet and it is a stable as a rock with a 132mm refractor! Comments gratefully received including those on the optical quality of this OTA.
  11. As Ian King has discovered and other SGL members here, when you start adding more elements into the optical train thae likelyhood of miscolimation is multiplied. I would rather stick with a reputable, tried and trusted triplet and add the field flattener et al to it. My two penn'th worth anyuway.
  12. Just as well you didn't O.T.! However, I have to add that I also own an LS60 DS solar telescope which is excellent. I am very pleased with that one. Good luck with the new 'family to come'....!
  13. Stephen Ramsden (Solar Chat forum/solar outreach in the States) has responded with: “Sounds like you have the standard glare present in the background mentioned in my review and every other review or description I have read here and other places. You're probably not going to get one any different from Lunt. That's just the way it is to get a double stacked 80mm scope for less than half its cost 5 years ago. How about taking the advice I gave given to all askers and go with the external unobstructed LS60F as your method of double stacking the LS80? It's the same etalon as used on the DSII module, just on the other end. That's what I use. Maybe they will exchange it?” The opinion from the Solar Chat Forum is that the 'glare' is part of the LS80 DSII system so put up and shut up (!) I don't know whether using an external LS60f etalon will produce improved results or not. Anyone tried that option yet? The Lunt LS80 DSII costs a lot of hard earned dosh.....caveat emptor!! Based on my experiences, my advice would be don't even think of purchasing until you have had a look through one and decide whether what you see is acceptable.
  14. With the scope back at Lunt EU in Germany, their response is: "Today we have some sunshine, and so we have checked again Chris telescope. In the double-stack combination we can see the small halo completely around the sun, and a little bit stronger in one direction. But the halo is not bright, the prominences are very well visible. It is the same what we have seen at the first check. We have seen this halo (=not absolutely dark background) at all LS80THa with DSII double-stack module, it is normal at this design. At a internal double-stack system you have two etalons in small distance, this will produce reflections. Lunt has designed a system that minimize the reflections, but the back-ground will never be so dark than in a classical double-stacked system with front filter. We have also tested different blocking filters and different DSII modules at the telescope, but there was no better combination than the original. If Chris can take a look through a other LS80THa with DSII module he will see the same. We have now two alternatives: 1. We can send the telescope still back to you or directly to Chris. 2. We can ask Andy Lunt if he can look for a very, very good LS80THa with DSII combination, and we will change it against the combination from Chris. But I am not sure if Andy will really find a better combination than the combination from Chris, and it will take some weeks until the new items will be here." Well I have opted for the latter suggestion and I have to say I do appreciate the response. If Lunt US can come up with a combination which removes all or most of the annoying halo effect that would be perfect! Fingers crossed that it happens!
  15. I too looked at the Coronado II 60 when I upgraded from my little PST. But in the end purchased the LS60Tha DS B1200 and am very pleased with it indeed. It is certainly the 'sweet spot' in the Lunt range of solar filter scopes. The LS60 oozes quality but I would definitely pay the extra for the FeatherTouch focuser. It is just sooo much better than Lunt's stock crayford. You will be able to image through it and use Binoviewers. I use Baader Maxbrights which work well with Televue plossls. You just have to make sure that you use the right Glasspath Corrector to ensure that the Bins come to focus.
  16. Well, news today is that Ian King has authorised a collection and further transport back to Lunt EU in Germany for them to sort it out once and for all. They are going to try different blocking filters with the scope. Fingers crossed it comes back properly corrected!
  17. I am pleased to report that I have had an email from Rikki Hocking of Lunt USA and yes, indeed, she has offered to take the scope back (to the USA) for them to sort out properly. I appreciate that. However, Lunt Eu should be able to do the same for it's European customers. I shouldn't have to shoulder the huge cost of air freighting the scope back to the USA when Lunt EU should do it for free as part of the EU warranty.
  18. Ian tells me that it appears that Lunt EU have relented slightly from their original stance and have admitted that they didn't even test my LS80 with the blocking filter it came with!! Now if that's the case what else have they missed? Looks like my LS80 could be heading back to Germany.... Meanwhile although LUNT USA has been kept in the frame with all my emails and from Ian, neither I nor he has had a response from them.....customer service???? Yes, I really love my LS60 DS B1200. I gives such good contrasty images of the sun's disc and proms. I envy you those cloudless nights and sunny days.... from a very CLOUDY Britain: Cheers!
  19. Thanks Olly! I have read you several times in the press. I bet you get some great dark skies down there in France...? The supplier who sold the scope to me is Ian King whom I have dealt with on numerous occasions and have always found totally reliable and a pleasure to do business with. Ian is a true astronomer-for-astronomers. Now I am convinced that Ian King is trapped here between LUNT EU and me as a his customer. I know that solar scope are not his forte and I think he is between the devil and the deep blue sea. I don't want to place Ian in a difficult position - if only Lunt USA would respond to this. There has been a lot of response to my problem on the Solar-chat site. My response there is : Dealing with the possibility of adding circular or polarising filters (of any persuasion) really shouldn't be the case as one or two happy LS80 owners report none of the problems of the bright halo effect that my scope has. Besides if a CP etc. is needed why aren't they factory fitted? I was looking again at the sun again here in London this morning and again I removed the DSII etalon and with the front etalon only the sun's disc was surrounded by a brightish orange-red hue which I take it is expected with an LS80. There was no halo effect at all which suggests to me that there is a problem with the DSII module. Now when my LS80 was returned to LUNT EU Wolfgang Quere LUNT EU) for checking out, his reply was: ..."not all reflections can be completely eliminated in a system with two etalons in so small difference, and also you have only one ERF (at other systems you have one ERF in the scope and a second ERF in the double-stack filter), both together means that the image is much brighter than at other double-stack systems. Also the background is not black, it is also brighter than at other double-stack systems. This is normal. But also is normal that you can see prominences much better with the DSII system than at other double-stack systems, because the image is brighter. I cannot understand that Chris noted he cannot see the prominences, as we have tested his scope we could see the prominences very well". I can see the prominences very well too...on the 'dark' side of the sun but on the 'halo side' they get lost in the 'murk'. Responding to Brian's (MapleRidge) points below: 1. I purchased the DSII module with the scope and it comes housed in its own case. It has to be user fitted. The instructions from LUNT EU were so poor I had to ask Rikki for a set of US ones which were very good. When I purchased the LS80 I was told that the LS80 is not sold with the DSII etalon prefitted. 2. I have checked and double checked every time I have had the DSII off the scope that everything is in alignment. I have had no response at all from Rikki Hocking which is quite amazing as in the past, customer service has been a strong point of Lunt US. However, I must say that I was promised a second set of thumbscrews for the rear etalon but they never materialised. Several folk have asked for images but I am not yet set up for that - it's something I am looking forward to! If it is any help I can say that LUNT EU sent me a photo which they claim was taken with a DMK51 camera through my scope. The B/W shot showed none of the 'halo effect'. Indeed the image looked first class to me. I can only reiterate that I am not looking for a refund just an LS80 that works properly!!
  20. Wolfgang Quere is Lunt's European rep. In a nutshell he has responded with: "The Lunt DSII system works completely differently to other double stack systems. Normally you have etalons that can be tilted to remove ghost images outside the field of view. With the Lunt DSII system both etalons are fixed and cannot be moved. The system is designed so that ghost images are outside the field of view but not all reflections can be eliminated in a system with two etalons with so small a difference and also as there is only one ERF the overall result is you get a much brighter image than with other systems which shows prominences much better but the sky background will not be black as with your LS60 and will be much brighter than with other systems. He says they thoroughly tested your scope and the views of prominences were very good. Also they shipped the scope back to you already assembled so there should be no doubt that the scope is not assembled correctly. At the end of the day they are saying my LS80 scope was thoroughly tested and found to be perfectly normal for the LS80 DSII design." What a cop out! Clearly the design does not deliver what is required for a solar scope. What can I do? Rikki from Lunt has not responded at all. Customer care./service? Where? Especially in the light of other users reporting here that: "I had a DSII on my LS80 but didn't like the mechanics of it. Also you don't get a nice black background with it.(red glow).I now double stack my LS80 with a LS60f and am very pleased with view." This LS80 is clearly not performing as a solar filter scope should yet Lunt are evading the issue. The flares/halo are: ..."part of the design" Clearly don't purchase a LUNT LS80! You won't know what you are getting. No offer of an exchange scope or even a refund (not that I want one - I would prefer to have a correctly working LS80 DS!) Anyone want to purchase a second hand LUNT LS80 DSII? No, I bet you don't!
  21. Just had a respondent offer this info: Message : ----- I want to say it has to do with the etalon spacers incorrectly positioned. If lunt has to open those up and move them around, thats gonna cost you. Either way its not a pretty picture. I personally believe this is just part of the business territory in h-alpha scopes. You either get a perfect one, or you get one thats sub-satisfactory. The problem is from shipping them, they have zero protection in the box from G-shock. ----- If it's true, then that's not very heartening news having spent the best part of my savings on this scope! Caveat emptor!
  22. I recently sent my LS80 DS B1200 solar scope back to Lunt Europe due to the fact that I was seeing a whopping big halo to one side of the sun’s disc. Lunt Europe reassembled the scope, tested it took a very good image of the sun through it and returned it to me with the following: “We have installed all items and then we have tested the equipment directly at the sun. The result was very good. Certainly, the background is not black. This is absolutely normal at the DSII system, because you have no additional ERF filters in the double-stack module. So the complete image is brighter than at other double-stack systems. But this means also that you can see the prominences very well, and not so much dimmed like at other double-stack systems.” Tried once again today to rid the scope of the bright ‘halo’ effect: 1. Swapped various eyepieces to see if limiting the FoV would eliminate it. No! 2. Tried swapping my LS60 B1200 blocking filter for the LS80 one…no difference. 3. Tried single-stack only again, positioning my head differently and/or the image in the eyepiece but to no avail. There’s definitely a problem with this scope. My knowledge runs out here…I have read and reread the instructions sent to me by Rikki Hocking of Lunt Solar, but everything is as described. What to do? The degree of ghosting/haloes is such that I find that it becomes difficult to see any prominences on one side of the sun’s disc – it is here where the ghosting appears to be worse. As I zoom out the sun’s image obviously becomes smaller but the halo effect seems to then embrace most the sun’s disc. The trouble is that the brightness of the ‘reflections’ is such that it is truly distracting and not what I paid nearly £5000 to see. Looking thorough the LS60 on the other hand is a real relief as it is pin-sharp with lovely black contrasting background – once both etalons are tuned in. Once again, I reiterate, the LS80 has superb and brighter image of the disc but I certainly can’t appreciate that without a struggle trying to avoid the ever-moving haloes. There is something in the light path that is causing stray, internal reflections yet the tube/baffles are quite clear. Do I just have a ‘rogue’ scope or are all the LS80s this bad? I hope that this isn’t so as the scope did appear to me to be the very best balance of cost, performance and portability available. Your suggestions and help are most welcome.
  23. Just to offer my two-penneth worth...I found that the ADM clamps are absolutely essential (having had a CG5-GT mount let go of my WO refractor over a concrete floor!!). I did not trust those small clamps provided with the Sktee-2 with my FLT 123. Having done that I managed to purchase a Celestron CG5-GT tripod as it has the more stable 2" diameter legs. This fits into a Manfrotto tripod bag perfectly making the set up a very good grab-n-go mount. For ease of operation I found that adding a flexible drive which makes the altitude control much easier with a longer refractor.
  24. I've tried a few and one of the aspects often overlooked is 'nose relief'! Not that I have a particularly big hooter you understand but I couldn't get into a comfortable viewing position even with the Meade HD plossls! Anything wider is just a no no. Thanks to Telescope House sending me several to try on sale-or-return basis I settled on the Televue 25mm and 10mm plossls. They are simply excellent in my Maxbright Binoviewer. For higher powers you can't beat Takahashi Plossls (I have a pair of 5mm) as they are the only eyepieces which have sufficient eye relief as well in Bins. The view of the moon with the Maxbrights on my WO/LOMO 80/600 refractor are just outstanding - especially with the 10mm Televues.
  25. Despite high level hazy conditions in London last evening I descifed to try out my new Baader Binoviewers with my new FLT 123 on the moon and I was astonshed at the clarity and detail! What an amazing combination - the LZOS optics combined with the superb optics in the Baader Maxbrights not to mention the pair of Teleview plossls brought a new meaning to 'spacecraft porthole view'. For those who are wondering....I have found only the Teleview plossls give me the 'nose relief' and eye relief I need to comfortably use binoviewers. They have great optics too of course!
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