Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_comet_46p_winners.thumb.jpg.b3d48fd93cbd17bff31f578b27cc6f0d.jpg

swag72

A terrible start with the Lunt LS60THa

Recommended Posts

Lunt 60, Vixen SLV 9mm, look through the BF diagonal to find the Sun. Using a manual mount you should be seeing great views within 5 minutes. 
You couldn't be in a better location.

An 18mm eyepiece is far to low mag it will be like looking at an orange pea.
The standard focusers are pretty rubbish and I wouldn't want to hang a heavy eyepiece / camera on one of them. There ok for visual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/18/2016 at 05:57, Owmuchonomy said:

Hi Sara sorry to hear about your predicament.  I used to have the Lunt 50 and now have the Lunt 60 pressure tuned model, pictures attached (you can also see the Sol Searcher in the case).  I am not familiar with the tilt adjusted model.  The pressure tuner allows the viewer to 'tune in' the etalon to bring out superior detail on the photosphere.  There are different sweet spots depending upon whether you wish to view surface detail, prominences or filaments. I really enjoy solar viewing and imaging and the Lunt 60 can give excellent views so I encourage you to persist.  I have tried various eyepiece combinations.  I have settled on two EPs which give great views for me.  They are my ES 14mm and ES 20mm 82' FOV.  The worst performers were the Baader Hyperions due to their shocking lack of eye relief. The most important accessory however is the 'Photographers Hood' that my daughter made for me out of some black cloth remnant.  It velcro fastens around the OTA and then I put it over my head and the whole experience becomes much more satisfying.

IMG_0328.JPGIMG_0327.JPG

Chris

    I currently have a Lunt 50 and am getting the new feathertouch focuser on it.  Was there a big difference between the 50 and the 60?  With the new focuser to my mind that should eliminate one of the downsides to the 50.  I have found how to use a ZWO ASI174 on it and really like the scope but have been thinking about a 60 or an 80, but is it worth the upgrade.

IMG_20161014_115917434_zps3fhwa0od.jpg

09_38_45_g6_ap15%20as%20reg6%20proms%20P

09_38_45_g6_ap15%20as%20reg6%20proms%20P

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ben, my experience is that the move from a 50 to a 60 is well worthwhile.  The 60 provided me with a much better focusser and doesn't suffer from the lack of in-focus that the 50 does.  Apart from the obvious improvement in the image scale and light gathering capability I also found the 60 more forgiving on my EPs.  The ASI174 chip in my hands is just big enough to accommodate a full disk.  Recently though I have moved to stitching together mosaics using a small ROI with much better results.  There are plenty of images taken with this combo on my flickr link below.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No not yet! I have the EP's and the iOptron cube mount, but my Mum has decided that she wants to wait for Christmas! Although each time it's sunny I say how nice it wold be to look at the sun :D It's not worked so far! 

When I do get it up and running I'll be sure to update this thread :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear about your troubles. A ghost image certainly can throw you. It has me a few times.

A towel is to be recommended!

I swear by a solar finder, some folks get on fine with the shadow method but I don't.

I've not tried a Manfrotto ball head, I guess that sounds like it could be clunky? I found a Manfrotto tripod and mini giro to be very quick to use once used to it. I used to image with that setup and let the sun drift over the large-ish chip. I could be up an imaging from scratch literally in a couple of minutes once familiar with the setup. Though I think a tracking mount is better for imaging if convenient and you want to do mosaics.

18mm does sound a bit low power for a Lunt 60. I liked an 8mm Radian with the SolarMax 60 generally and that is a shorter focal length scope I think.

I have really enjoyed views through a few different Lunt 60's. When it's up and running and there is something decent to see on the sun, I would be surprised if you don't both have a blast!

My neighbour said it was even better than when he saw Saturn, though not everyone seems to like solar. I just think, well it's the only star we can see close up, and there are billions of them, and we can see impressive detail even with 35mm scopes. And the sun is rather important to us, of course!

Good luck and hopefully have fun!

:-)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/11/2016 at 12:41, Drop Of Sun said:

A towel is to be recommended!

I've not tried a Manfrotto ball head, I guess that sounds like it could be clunky?

Definite ditto with a black towel,  £5 from Dunelm when they were having a sale.

From experience using a DSLR and big lenses the Manfrotto head can be clunky if you don't have the torque adjusted properly.

When my 60mm arrived I tried putting it on a Manfrotto ball head, not because I wanted to use that as a mount but because a certain Spousal Unit kept saying "why don't you see what it's like".  An experience that most certainly falls into the tried it once, never going there again category.  Yes, everything was set up and locked off, yes in theory the ball head could take the weight, but it felt so horrible and insecure that I refused to even let go of the Lunt itself and rapidly disassembled it.

I now use a 150mm dovetail on an EQ5 Pro Goto.  No way I am trusting something as valuable as my lovely solar scope to a 'just about OK' mounting.  

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I hope the views get better with your 60. I have the Lunt 50 pressure tuned and it's a fabulous scope, trememdous detail and contrast that several times seems to exceed what I see on GONG Ha images.

I use a dark cloth over my head and it makes an enormous difference to the views compared to having ambient light shining into my eyes. My favourite views are with my TeleVue 11mm Delite, VERY contrasty and detailed, dark background and bright Prominences, I need the Eye Relief as I use Dioptrx. Being seated helps a LOT compared to standing. Using a tracking mount (I have CG5) also is essential in my opinion.

Personally I find seeing to be nearly irrelevant when I am using the 11mm Delite. Thin cloud cover and haziness doesn't hurt the views that much either from what I have seen.

Keep us updated on your viewings!

Best Regards,
Alistair G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that we've been so disappointed with it that it's not been out for months and months ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, swag72 said:

I have to say that we've been so disappointed with it that it's not been out for months and months ?

Wow. Erm... well it has got a 5 year warranty, so hopefully it's still under warranty?  Sounds like it doesn't perform for some reason, like it's not coming "on-band" with the tuning? i.e. like all you are seeing is a red disc with sharp edges but with nothing on it? Very sorry to hear about the disappointment.

Speaking of tuning, my pressure tuner makes a heck of a big difference to the view, but it's easy to tune it correctly to get the surface orange peel and dark filaments and Prominences. But it is rather stiff to turn, a result of the air pressure (25 PSI at peak) needed. Mine needs to be screwed quite a long way in when it's cold outside (I equalise the pressure first then tune it) as I'm at only 54m above Sea Level.

I did manage to get a couple of days when I got a total of about an hour's viewing last week (was very difficult conditions, I'm in St.Helens, UK 53.5N, Sun only about 12 degrees above horizon when I was observing, finished off being about 7 degrees above horizon, still good views and nice proms even with Sun that low down). There isn't a whole lot going on right now on the surface though, a large and small easy to see dark filament with some detail in them and the proms were sometimes large and detailed, sometimes subdued and small and dim, in the last week. Sun is rather close to "solar minimum" of it's 11 year cycle right now, and nothing like what it's like at it's peak of the solar cycle.

I bought my LS50 new, last year in Summer, and it's always given the same great views. Just out of curiosity, check the nosepiece end of the diagonal, and the blocking filter also. Some people reported that the larger blue glass filter goes cloudy or "mouldy" (oxidisation) and the red filter can get lots of little red circles on it (same thing, deterioration of filter), but the blue glass being cloudy seems to be not at all a common thing to happen, and I've only ever seen one bad Blocking Filter. Mine is a B600 BTW 6mm diameter, smaller than yours (which I assume is B1200) ?

Did the new TeleVue Sol Searcher make a positive difference? I bought one last week as I was sometimes spending up to 15 minutes squinting at the Sun (maybe damaging my eyesight with it) trying to find the Sun even with a 32mm Plossl! With the Sol Searcher even on first time use it was like "boom" there's the Sun in the 32mm Plossl. Then I adjusted the Sol Searcher and now Sun is there in any eyepiece I put in the LS50. It's an utterly essential item IMHO.

Best,
Alistair G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the scope second hand, so I don't know about the warranty.  The Sol searcher is good and we had that from the start. I'll check the filter, but I seem to remember looking before and it all looked fine. I bought a Lunt zoom eyepiece last  year but its not been tried even.

I really don't know how to move forwards......probably getting the thing out would be a start (?) but I think we can't bear the subsequent disappointment. I think it's probably turned into a very expensive door stop.

Perhaps it isn't tuning properly...... we can't even seem to focus it. I am a total idiot when it comes to looking through stuff...... I find I have such high expectations that are never met.

Edited by swag72

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, swag72 said:

I bought the scope second hand, so I don't know about the warranty.  The Sol searcher is good and we had that from the start. I'll check the filter, but I seem to remember looking before and it all looked fine. I bought a Lunt zoom eyepiece last  year but its not been tried even.

I really don't know how to move forwards......probably getting the thing out would be a start (?) but I think we can't bear the subsequent disappointment. I think it's probably turned into a very expensive door stop.

Perhaps it isn't tuning properly...... we can't even seem to focus it. I am a total idiot when it comes to looking through stuff...... I find I have such high expectations that are never met.

About the focusing, your LS60 is different than my LS50 in that you have much more focus range available than mine, i.e. in-travel. So yours comes to focus further out than mine, so I read. Try pulling the diagonal nosepiece out 1/2" or so if the eyepiece won't quite come to focus, secure it, then try again. You need to get the Sun's disc edge sharp before you have any hope of seeing details on the surface. Then try tuning, go from one extreme end of travel to the other on the tuner. You should see the Sun darken. Keep the Sun centered in the eyepiece as you do the tuning. Surface should go darker which would show it coming on-band, then you should see orange peel texture.

If you see multiple images of the Sun and it won't tune on-band, then it's been dropped and the Etalon is decontacted (worst case scenario) which would requre returning it to Lunt in Arizona. The Euro Lunt service centre in Germany (Bresser) will not repair a decontacted Etalon, but will service everything else. I have seen other people complain about poor views through some of these scopes, I don't know why that is, I hope it's not common. They can be rather awesome also, I'd love to try an LS60 sometime.

Best Regards,
Alistair G.

Edited by Live_Steam_Mad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sara, I've not used a Lunt, so I can only reiterate what others are saying in that you clearly have not been seeing a proper image through the scope. Right back to a PST40, I have been amazed by the views in these scopes.At very least, the prominences really are amazing, and although more subtle, the surface detail can be equally rewarding to see.

I do remember at last year's Peak Star Party Dave (@Davey-T) struggling to identify the real image in his Lunt 60 amongst the ghost images, something I was not aware of previously. Is this a common issue with Lunt users? Not sure what the best solution is, I guess a well aligned finder is a good start.

I'm sure your scope is fine, and that you will get good results sooner rather than later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sara, sorry to hear your LS60 isn't up to scratch, getting used to the tuning and focusing can be tricky at first.

One thing that doesn't seem a good idea is not using it for some months as you have done, when I did this the pressure tuner wouldn't tune and I had to take it apart and regrease it.

The pressure tuner also needs to be screwed pretty much all the way in on mine, and several others that I've seen, and this takes quite a bit of effort so not much hope of keeping the Sun centred while doing it.

The locking screw on the focuser drawtube needs to be loosened and the draw tube pulled out about 35 / 40 mm before trying to focus.

As Stu said make sure it's the "real" Sun you're looking at :rolleyes2: as you can get a circle of them.

As mentioned my view wasn't good and I discovered the front blue glass in the blocking filter was fogging up, there was no problem getting it fixed FOC, returned to Bresser in Germany and back in a couple of weeks, I wasn't asked for proof of purchase so presumably they weren't worried about me being the original owner.

If you have no luck perhaps next time you pop back to blighty you could bring it along for comparison with some one elses, always supposing the Sun graces us with it's presence.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the tilt tuner not the pressure one as far as I can tell...... I appreciate your help on this but I see us giving it up as a bad job. I'm sure that we are looking at the sun, the Sol searcher suggests we are.

Sadly there's no-one around to help and so I have seen a rapid decline in interest. Would be tricky to bring back as I only ever come back with hand luggage.

I think it's pencilled in as an abject miserable failure and furthers my thoughts on visual!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tilt tuners are usually easier to tune, have you checked in the front of the blocking filter diagonal to make sure it's not fogged up ?

I think Olly's got a 60 tilt tuner version perhaps you could send it off to him for comparison.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to check everything out again..... I can't say anything for sure .....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 1/16/2018 at 18:57, swag72 said:

 

Perhaps it isn't tuning properly...... we can't even seem to focus it. I am a total idiot when it comes to looking through stuff...... I find I have such high expectations that are never met.

 

Sara, 

You need to pull the Lunt blocking filter diagonal back out of the focuser to reach focus :) 

The blocking filter diagonal has a long front tube (must be 6" long at least). You won't reach focus if you have it pushed all the way into the focuser!

Get it set up. Forget about tuning. Your first objective is to get a focused round sun ... (the edges of the suns disc at least)

Get the sun in the view, then draw the diagonal out towards you slowly. Watch the edges of the sun get sharper, if the edge starts to deteriorate again then you have gone to far. Just get it near enough so you can use the focuser knobs for fine tuning.

Once you are happy that the edges of the sun are at their sharpest THEN use the tilt tuner to tune in some surface detail.

One other thing to be aware of is the REFLECTIONS of the sun - you may be trying to focus on a reflection rather than the prime image. Make sure your initial eyepiece is 15-20mm size so then you can see any reflections (it's so long since I used single stack that I cannot remember if you get them in single stack, you do get them in double stack). If you do see more than one sun, then centre the brightest one (usually the top image), then get the diagonal pulled out and set to sharpest edge of the sun, then focuser knob and finally use the tilt tuner (plus a little fine tune with the focuser at the end).

 

Good luck,

Alan

P.S. The sun is pretty quiet at the moment, so check http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/    to see the "state of play" before you go outside

Edited by alanjgreen
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, swag72 said:

it's pencilled in as an abject miserable failure and furthers my thoughts on visual!

That would be a big shame Sara, Solar white light and Ha observing are two areas where the views can rival images

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alan has done a great job there, Sara. It can be very finicky(?) to begin with. 

The upside to your downheartenedness(!) is that the only other way is up! Play with the scope ... or, as you wrote yourself, get it out! As John writes, pull out the long focus tube, slowly, as you watch through the eyepiece. There’s not much wiggle room on the point of focus. Only after you have that sharp limb is when any tilt tuning comes into the game.

I really do hope you have success ... and it’s worth sticking with. Honest. ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 17/01/2018 at 12:35, alanjgreen said:

If you do see more than one sun, then centre the brightest one (usually the top image), then get the diagonal pulled out and set to sharpest edge of the sun, then focuser knob and finally use the tilt tuner (plus a little fine tune with the focuser at the end).

 

 

 My only question with your excellent advice Alan is which 'shadow' to focus on. I find that the brightest one at the top is not the best to focus on - I go for the second, dimmer disc, which I find delivers much best results. I've noticed before that other Lunt owners say the top, brightest shadow is the one to concentrate on - wonder if my scope/double stack filter is different in some way?

Sara - don't know where you are based but  I wonder if there are other solar observers near you who could set up and test your scope? I'd be happy to help but based in London. It's very likely that your scope is fine and just needs setting up properly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Highburymark said:

 My only question with your excellent advice Alan is which 'shadow' to focus on. I find that the brightest one at the top is not the best to focus on - I go for the second, dimmer disc, which I find delivers much best results. I've noticed before that other Lunt owners say the top, brightest shadow is the one to concentrate on - wonder if my scope/double stack filter is different in some way?

As with all things @Highburymark, the answer is more complicated than at first thought!

I was trying to keep my description simple as with a SINGLE STACK scope then it should be as I described...

It gets more complicated with DOUBLE STACK as the three reflection images are not always top-bottom, sometimes they are left-right or could be right-left. It all depends on the rotation angle of the front loaded DSunit.

Here is my scope:

ls60ds60.jpg.7af6464478102884a088a19a06d153c3.jpg

 

As you see, I have an M90 rotator fitted to the DS60 unit which allows me to turn the unit through 360 degrees until I find the location where most surface detail is seen (where I lock it in place).

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p4295_TS-Optics-360--Rotation-with-M90-thread.html

Now, sometimes this position leaves the three reflections up-down, down-up, left-right, right left... :) 

Are you a double stack user?

- if so, then I guess it depends on the final angle between the two etalons once you have screwed the DS in tight

 

HTH, Alan

(Note for @swag72, my blocking filter is "all the way in" as my binoviewer is using up extra out-focus, in single eye mode then I would have to pull the blocking filter out away from the focuser :) )

Edited by alanjgreen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, alanjgreen said:

As with all things @Highburymark, the answer is more complicated than at first thought!

I was trying to keep my description simple as with a SINGLE STACK scope then it should be as I described...

It gets more complicated with DOUBLE STACK as the three reflection images are not always top-bottom, sometimes they are left-right or could be right-left. It all depends on the rotation angle of the front loaded DSunit.

Here is my scope:

ls60ds60.jpg.7af6464478102884a088a19a06d153c3.jpg

 

As you see, I have an M90 rotator fitted to the DS60 unit which allows me to turn the unit through 360 degrees until I find the location where most surface detail is seen (where I lock it in place).

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p4295_TS-Optics-360--Rotation-with-M90-thread.html

Now, sometimes this position leaves the three reflections up-down, down-up, left-right, right left... :) 

Are you a double stack user?

- if so, then I guess it depends on the final angle between the two etalons once you have screwed the DS in tight

 

HTH, Alan

(Note for @swag72, my blocking filter is "all the way in" as my binoviewer is using up extra out-focus, in single eye mode then I would have to pull the blocking filter out away from the focuser :) )

Sorry! It was on my mind as I was writing my post that I was complicating matters - the very last thing Sara needs to sort out her scope. Yes - I have the same set up as you - 60mm scope and 60mm double stack filter. So thanks for clarifying things - and I'll bow out of this thread now, apart from reiterating to Sara that you should definitely not give up on your scope - and good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully you have had some luck since you last posted! Any news with the scope using some of the tips of the previous posters?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.