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Stu

Nice bit of white light observing, 2nd June 2018

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I’m home alone with my little four year old this weekend and we’ve been enjoying some nice weather just around and about at home. I popped the Tak out with Herschel wedge on the Vixen GP, with drives fitted for simple tracking now which is much more relaxing. Even with a very rudimentary plonk down north and level it tracks for long periods.

Anyway, the seeing has been variable today, never brilliant and often quite poor, but in the better periods I have been having some decent views of the active region. It shows roughly as two groups of small spots I guess, somewhere around 20 in total that I could see.

I could not use high power today, it just went to mush so settled back at around x100 in the binoviewers with reasonably crisp views although it certainly wasn’t one of those ‘knock your socks off’ days unfortunately. There was also a patch of faculae towards the limb but otherwise a fairly plain looking disk with granulation visible but not amazing.

Having been playing around with my DSLR earlier, I popped this in to see what I got. Not that much but at least the AR is visible after a bit of inept tweaking. Just single shots, none of this new fangled stacking business ;) 

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Nice one Stu. Do you still use the Barcon for 100x, or can you achieve that without a Barlow?

I managed to fit in 30 mins solar observing with my MkV binoviewer for the first time today. First, HA with Lunt 60 double stacked. Super sharp and comfortable views  - merging images very easy - superb detail with TV 20mm plossls. Very nice first light. However I haven't yet found a way to reach focus with my current white light set up. Only had a short time to experiment so will have another try tomorrow.

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That was with the Barcon and x1.7 GPC Mark, and the 25mm eyepieces. To be honest, my mag calls are probably way out, x100 is simply saying 25/2/1.7=7.35mm effective eyepiece focal length for x100. Obviously there is both the stacking barlow effect and the fact that the Barcon is further away from the eyepieces than standard so is probably giving more than x2.

I have no way of realistically calculating this so tend not to worry to much ie I worry about the views, not so much the mag. I guess I could do a drift calculation and work it out from time across the eyepiece with traffic switched off, but have yet to do this.

Glad you have a successful first Ha light with your BVs

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Thanks Stu - completely agree about measuring magnification, just concentrate on having a good time ?

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Just been out for another look and conditions seem to have improved. I quite often find that, despite being lower in the sky, the views are better in the evening.

The spots and pores around the AR were better defined, but I could also see that it is embedded in a lovely area of faculae which are swirling around it , mainly visible on the side towards the limb. The granulation was also much better defined and I could see vague patterns in it close to the AR. Very nice.

Slight kit alert, and a thank you to my QuickLock on the Baader Wedge. When I went to look for this session, the Wedge had rotated down and the binoviewers were hanging down below the scope. No harm done, but a note of caution to make sure everything is regularly tightened. I observe on grass which helps!

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Nice pics, i have the same GP mount for my Lunt, love the mount, rock steady, now i just need binoviewers, i hear they're great for Lunar and Solar.

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6 minutes ago, Sunshine said:

Nice pics, i have the same GP mount for my Lunt, love the mount, rock steady, now i just need binoviewers, i hear they're great for Lunar and Solar.

Yep, my solar and lunar observing is far better, more comfortable and more enjoyable since I’ve started using binoviewers.

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Great session Stu! :) 

I also observed the Sun this afternoon and as you said the seeing wasn't great. The HR 3.4mm was a bit too much for the Tak, so I used it with the TV-60 at ~105x. Hopefully tomorrow the sky will be better. :) 

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1 hour ago, Sunshine said:

Nice pics, i have the same GP mount for my Lunt, love the mount, rock steady, now i just need binoviewers, i hear they're great for Lunar and Solar.

They are fantastic for solar - thoroughly recommended. I only go back to a single eyepiece - mostly XF zoom -  for higher mag views of proms - which I find can pick out more detail than binoviewers. For surface detail, binoviewers are excellent

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Nice report, Stu, and a lucky escape with the upside down binos ?

It's sunny here today so I might dig out the solar scopes and take a peek. I only have a 32mm Plossl at the moment so high mag won't be an issue :lol: 

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1 hour ago, DRT said:

Nice report, Stu, and a lucky escape with the upside down binos ?

It's sunny here today so I might dig out the solar scopes and take a peek. I only have a 32mm Plossl at the moment so high mag won't be an issue :lol: 

Thanks Derek. At least there is a little activity at the moment to make it worth looking in white light. Might have another go this afternoon.

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Nice report & lovely setup!

Enjoying a nipping out for a bit of relaxed Ha observing while cooking grub for the family here ;)

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Lovely sunny afternoon, very nice detail on the solar surface, bees abuzzing, and test match on the radio......?

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I managed a few peeks through the cloud today but it has now gone rather dull ?

I managed to get a reasonably sharp look at the active area through the Evo150/Wedge/TV32P and it was a very pleasing view with lots of nice surface detail around the small cluster of spots.

I tried my Lunt50Ha with a very cheap Seben zoom and although it looked like there was a bit of action around the limb the EP didn't lend itself to getting a nice crisp view.

Thanks again for the inspiration, Stu ? 

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Swapped to white light - Lacerta wedge, binoviewer, continuum filter - and removed the back part of the Tak DC focuser to reduce light path. Result! Really nice detail around the active region. But only way of increasing mag was changing EPs - down to TV 11mm plossls - haven't got the VIP Barlow to work with the Baader binoviewer yet....

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29 minutes ago, Highburymark said:

Swapped to white light - Lacerta wedge, binoviewer, continuum filter - and removed the back part of the Tak DC focuser to reduce light path. Result! Really nice detail around the active region. But only way of increasing mag was changing EPs - down to TV 11mm plossls - haven't got the VIP Barlow to work with the Baader binoviewer yet....

Progress at least Mark. I assume you have a 2” focuser? Can’t recall what the DC has. I have made a little contraption up which allows me to easily pop the GOC element into the optical path using quick changers. Seems to work ok, and ensures that the x2.6 can go in the right way round as it can’t be reversed like the others for some reason. Perhaps something similar might work for you? I’m sure there are multiple ways of achieving this though.

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Stu - I'm using the original DC 2" focuser with the extra section removed - connected to 1.25" Lacerta wedge, then quick changer to link with the MkV (fittted with 1.7x GPC). See pic. That works well. Then I've also tried inserting the VIP Barlow lens in varying lengths of T2 spacers between the binoviewer and wedge to try and boost magnification - but so far not reached focus.

I want to try and get up to 200x with the binoviewer as you do for those times of great seeing. Love the user friendliness of your set up - I certainly don't want to have to remove the Tak focuser section every time I use the wedge. But I need to work through a few more options with the kit I have - Good thing about the Lacerta is that it has both 1.25" and T2 connections on both sides. 

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It can be a bit tricky getting the right extensions for each different setup. Having the FT on mine means it is short and needs extensions when I use my Tak Prism for instance. I put together this to cover it off, not pretty but does the job.

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