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IAS 2019 Review - Friday 15 November
My second show (first was last year), as before got there on Friday 15th, soon after 0900hrs.
Despite the weather, seemed to be fairly busy in the main hall. Had a few good discussions with different vendors, 365 Astronomy in particular. Even the guy on the Vixen stand near the entrance, remembered me from last year!
RVO had a whole hall to themselves, not really sure why? They did seem a bit 'lost' in there. All that space and not much kit...
Again, there to 'window shop' only, but still managed to spend £90! Got a good price on a WO 1.25" Dura-Bright Dielectric diagonal.
(Thanks Widescreen) Best online price I'd found, prior to the show, was about £100 inc. postage/delivery, so saved a tenner!
Restaurant was a big improvement over last year. Coffee was OK, lunch was pretty good too. Choice of Fish 'n' Chips or Cottage Pie.
All gone by 1345hrs...
All in all a good day. Looking ahead to 2020, might make three in a row!
"Humour is reason gone mad" Groucho Marx
I've wanted a solar scope for the longest time so I recently took the plunge and bought the Daystar Solar Scout SS60, It arrived maybe a week or so ago and its been cloudy nearly every day since (always the way with new astro gear!!!)
Well the clouds parted for a while yesterday so I fired it up and took a few "snaps"
I was using my Nikon D3300 with a 2X barlow. at first all I saw was a red ball.... not too interesting then I fiddled around with the settings and got this... (I have editied slightly by bumping up the contrast but that was it!)
I still have alot to learn but its getting there I managed to capture some detail texture(?) in the surface and some prominence detail
I then tried taking a video then stack and prosess in registax which didnt turn out so great
I got the Proms, but the disk is very washed out, I struggled here because the camera recorded in MOV. file which I had to convert to an avi. before registax would even look at it.
Not as good as the first one (I think it was more luck than anything else!!) plus I had my iso setting a bit high, the video had lots of noise and I didn't take a reference frame (might of helped?) Alot of faf for not much reward 😂
From the first few hours I've had with the scope I really enjoy using it, the only thing I struggled with was achiving focus as I only had the disk to focus on which was supprisingly tricky.
I'm hoping for a bit more practice before the 11th 😁
Let me know what you think and if you have any tips or tricks I'm all ears
I recently bought a 2nd hand Lunt 50PT Ha (on a different platform). The vendor said he had only used it a handful of times since buying it and it shipped in the original box. It seems fine, focuses well (although I find the helical focuser a bit of a pain compared to crayfords). But it doesn't show any Ha features on the surface of the Sun!
Long story short, I completely opened up the pressure tuner and found a bizarre thing. Its well greased, there's no detritus (and it doesn't lose pressure). But there was only one O-ring in it?! The tuner itself has grooves for two o-rings and the video on Lunt's website (on how to replace o-rings) shows a tuner with two o-rings when it comes out. And they ship replacements in batches of two.
So I'm guessing that somehow the original scope shipped with only one o-ring fitted? (It wouldn't make sense for the vendor to have removed one?).
I'm hoping that's what it is, b/c then the inability to resolve Ha features may just be insufficient pressure building up? In which case, does anyone know where I can get these replacement o-rings please (Lunt's US website has them but that's only for shipping to the US)?
If it's not that, and the scope is only meant to have one o-ring, any ideas on the problem? The ring & tuner seem well greased.
(EDIT: in the meantime, the next time the sun comes out, I'm going to try moving the current o-ring from the higher groove to the lower groove in case that longer distance from the base is why the pressure isn't building up sufficiently?)
We have a fledgling Astronomical Society at my place of work and we're intending to have some telescopes available for colleagues to view the transit of Mercury in November. While the majority will use appropriate solar filters it would be good to have at least one set up for projection. However, we only have reflectors and Schmitt or Maksutov Cassegrain scopes among the members. I was considering buying a small refractor second hand to use for this but thought I'd ask for advice here first.
Which is the best type of scope to use for projection?
What do we need to look out for (overheating & fire risks for example)?
What is the best umbrella to protect kit from the inevitable deluge on the 11th November? ☔