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I'm posting in the hope it helps anyone else considering a Daystar Scout SS60. The video's not quite representative of what one sees looking through the scope, but gives a general idea of field of view through a 24mm EP. When observing, much more prominence detail and surface texture is visible to the eye and the colour feels less red than it appears in the vid.
I'd have taken this video sooner if I'd realised that afocal video would work so well, so I'll try again next time the sun's available earlier in the day during better seeing. The video's taken by holding an iPhone against an Explore Scientific 24mm eyepiece and adjusting exposure (i.e. afocal video photography). Although I find a Plossl as easy (if not easier) to use as a wide EP for observing, it's simpler to align a smartphone with an eyepiece that has a wider field of view, for afocal video. Hence I used a 24mm ExSc (see below for detail). It seems a fairly quiet solar day, not long after the notoriously quiet 2020 and I believe is still close to the beginning of the sun's new 11 year cycle (hopefully it will become more exciting soon but not as exciting as having any Carrington Events pointing towards us).
I spent some hours, from late morning, watching these prominences form, dissipate and reform. The prom on the Western limb was very tall and bright, looking like a large rectangular tower block, which gradually split, faded as the top looped over to the north, then the top looped back again to the south. At one point this loop appeared to join - forming the outline of the head of a man, whose figure, with arms out, was clear and rather funny. Wish I'd taken this video sooner (or had the ASI183 to hand). The prom quietened and reached its current state (3pm ish) as seen in the video.
The long group of prominences to the South - 4 main and some smaller - were more dim than the prom on the Western limb initially, but they remained impressive, ranging from good to very small and appeared at one point to be as clear row of pine trees, especially the larger right hand prom, with spiky 'branches' and a distinctive triangular fir tree shape, which gradually brightened then faded to this view. The tip of the ‘sharks fin’ to the left of the group extended out to the east then receded.
I'm afraid it's not easy to see the detail in such a simple video - it's slighly more visible to the naked eye. By the time I took this video it had gone 3pm, there was more haze and a lower sun and none of the prominences were particularly impressive.
There were No sunspots easily visible, although a Plage appeared to be visible close to the Westerly limb. Little surface detail other than orange peel, despite tuning the scope (better with the SS60s dial to left of centre for this today). I still need to lots more time with the scope to get the best from it.
I'm a Ha beginner having only observed in whitelight before and only having used this scope twice before, once in combination with a ZWO ASI 183MC astrophotography video camera. Medium seeing, 6/3/21 'third light' on the Daystar Scout SS60 Scope with fixed chromasphere quark built in - 930mm f15 60mm.
Various Eye pieces used: Plossl 40mm, Meade Super Plossl 26mm, Explore Scientific 24mm and 11mm 82 and 68 degree EPs gave good clarity and contrast, but the seeing's not good enough for close viewing of proms. ioptron motor, roughly pointed north was perfectly sufficiently good to keep the sun in view for at least 45 mins at a time. I'll edit this post to add a pic or two of the equipment setup in a moment.
3 images attached are: Afocal Smartphone still image (contrast increased in smartphont), plus two shots of the setup.
So it seems that after my clear out of the "Big" scopes life circumstances are meaning it is less and less likely that I will be able to do any astro which is a shame indeed.
I am therefore putting my little "Grab 'n' Go" setup up for sale
This is an absolute little beauty of a telescope. Really excells on planets and lunar work and solar (appropriate filters must be utilised - never point a telescope at the sun unless you are an experienced solar astro buff!)
I was very unimpressed with the flimsy tripod that came with the scope and managed to source a purpose built and absolutely solid portable pillar mount for it. Its is steel construct and is ingenious in that it allows levelling of the feet and also levelling at the plate too thanks to the utilisation of three springs and wing nuts to allow for easy adjustment.
Not only is the pillar great for the levelling option it has but it also has removable legs to allow for easy transportation to dark sky sites. The legs simply slid into place and the steel cable is tensioned by hand through easy use of the inline bolt brackets.
This is a whole package deal - perfect for anyone wanting to start astro or just have a great little portable setup.
SO, whats included? Included in this sale are the following:
- Skywatcher Skymax 127 Maksutov OTA - mint condition, no marks of blemishes
- Purpose built solid, tubular steel pillar levelling mount
- Baader Planetarium Hyperion 8-24mm clickstop Zoom Eyepiece
- Skywatcher 9x50 RACI Finderscope
- Greenwitch Astronomy original all weather telescope cover (you can't get these anymore!)
- Skywatcher Synscan Al-Az mount and Hand Control
- 12 V power cable
- Original factory fitted straight through 8x30 finder scope and bracket/shoe
- Instruction manual
This has all been kept in my observatory under the cover throughout. It really is in excellent condition and cost me quite a bit to put together so I have priced it competitively. Please no offers.
Is collection only and (of course) covid safe exchange. I prefer bank transfer as payment.
Long storey short :
the OTA slips dramtecly when vewing an object to 0 altitude.
So I bought the Skywatcher GoTo flextube 10 inch a year ago. It was nothing but great, until yesterday when I was just starting the session to level up the scope on the mount for alignment. I Went to get some equipment and when back noticed the scope has declined to a minus reading on the altitude! With no attachments on the OTA.
I re-leveled it to the horizon and it held itself, put on the nothing but stock attachments as usual. Switched on the GoTo and started aligning, when alignment is successful, I chose an object and notice the object is far off. I check the battery voltage and it's 12.5 volts, which indicates it's not a battery issue.
I turn it off to re-align again, this time when I press the up arrow to align to an object I notice the GoTo gears struggle to move the OTA upwards, but eventually the speed increase to normal and manage to points upwards to the object. I pick a second object which happens to be near the zenith and the GoTo goes out of control straight to zenith and carrying on above 90+ degrees on the altitude bearing. I try to stop the scope with the handset before the base of telescope hits the wood in the base, only to notice the handset is not showing light or responding. I turn the GoTo off.
Start to align for the third time, this time aligns but still off target. I ignore and start viewing Jupiter which happens to be 40+ in altitude , after few minutes of viewing, the scope drops slowly to zero altitude with no hand or handset movement! Handset is still showing that the viewed object is still Jupiter!
Note: I did notice weird sounds of the gears when trying to increase altitude. Not the common sound.
Has anyone faced this issue and fixed it, should I return under guarantee? Is this a gear slippage? Or clutches not engaged? Your help will be much appreciated!