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By Richard Shaw
I acquired a second hand Coronado PST. The focus knob doesn't seem to have any effect on the image and, although it turns, it feels as if something inside the scope is "slipping".
Is it worth opening up and taking a look to see the focus knob in action?
Is there anywhere that services the PST without sending it outside the UK?
Are there any nasty surprises if I open it up (springs, pressure points etc)?
Not many chances of Solar Imaging this year so far but caught this one.
AR2741 from the 12th late afternoon
152mm Technosky Refractor @ f5.9
135mm Baader D-ERF
Daystar Quark Chromosphere + Eliminator
5862 Frames, 4Ms 30 second capture @ 195Fps 1024 x 768 Mono16
Best 45% Frames stacked in AS!3, ImPPG then tweaked in PS
For sale is my Daystar Quark, Chromosphere version. It has had infrequent use and I can't justify keeping it. Works superbly with my ED80. It was purchased in July 2017 from Widescreen Centre so is still well within the 5 year warranty period. I am looking for £625 posted to a UK mainland address. Everything is complete in the box including instructions, USB cable and power adaptor. Payment by bank transfer please.
Sunday afternoon's weather was better than expected, so I decided to give the Quark its second run out...
Thought it was a good chance to run it from my RavPower LiPoly battery pack that I use to power the Nexus WiFi device and occasionally the iPad running SkySafari (rather than the mains adapter). Useful to know for when mains isn't available when doing outreach and the like. My mate finds that one of his packs turns off periodically - when the Quark has heated up and then stops drawing power... note also new, matching 'red/black' micro USB cable (a single pound from Amazon... all the way from China!)
As well as the 32mm Plossl used before, I'd acquired a S/H 40mm Televue (awaiting the 25mm) off eBay, so it was a chance to try out that as well.
Rather than using white pencil on black paper as previous, I'd been thinking of other methods - so this time I was going to experiment with a new Pentel 0.7mm Graphgear 1000 mechanical pencil with red leads onto white paper.
Pleased to find that the battery doesn't auto switch-off and over the 2 hours of observing didn't even drop a quarter of its power (according to the four little blue lights). The 40mm is useful for when the conditions don't allow for the 32's extra magnification (although the eye relief is way too much - I'm going to get some of them TV eye extenders I think). Actually ordered three today (Monday from The Widescreen Centre), already - another £29 a pop!
It's amazing the difference my black (night time observing), cloth increases the view (contrast), but it is a little too heavy and warm... and not really big enough under the sun to do its thing, so I took a chance and purchased one of those photo studio flash umbrellas from eBay for £6, that was mentioned in a thread a few weeks ago. I have a plan to attach it to the sun shield... or something ! Update: that also arrived today (3rd July), I'm thinking of using a 'gooseneck' like I do with the iPad to hold it in roughly the right place. I think that will work better than on the sun shield or just loose on my head!
Sketches from the day. Inverted in Photoshop. I'm liking the red pencil leads (there is quite a nice luminescence to the sketch now), although they are slightly hard. I've got some hopefully softer leads on the way and will probably change paper stock as well.
GONG image included for comparison. My sketches above not inverted but you can match up easily the 'second' and 'fifth' sketches to those on the upper left and right of the GONG image. When I was drawing the 'fifth' one around 5.15, I thought it reminded me of a fishing fly... it still does here!
The Quark behaved admirably yet again and seems a good match to the TSA, showing superb prominence structure and plenty of surface features (despite the lack of them yesterday!)
I've been using a Quark chromosphere now since May and just wanted to share what an absolute delight this piece of equipment is (albeit I never seem to have enough cloud free sky to get it right on band). I had been using a ST80 but felt this was lacking and not a great match for the Quark in terms of focal length. I've since moved to a 120mm refractor and hope the images show how capable the Quark is.