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rgrickert

Issue with AstroDon narrowband filters -- please help!

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Hello

I am wondering if anyone has a suggestion that might help me

My imaging set up is an RC reflector with an FLI proline 16803 camera and 50mm Astrodon filters (LRGB + 5nm narrow band)

I have had a string of issues...everything from my mount had mechanical problems to my telescope had issues with the mirror cell to some family distractions...but at long last I seem to have everything working with the exception of the Astrodon Ha filter.

Attached are representative 30minute subframes of the horse head and Pacman nebulae in Ha, SII, and OIII.  I get similar results with different objects although for bright, broad spectrum targets like M42, I will get data from the Ha filter (much as the stars shine thru on the HH and Pacman) although even that data does not comport with other imager’s Ha images of those objects. The LRGB performance appears to be normal.  My hypothesis is that this Ha filter is defective, perhaps not centered on 656.3nm

I have contacted Astrodon and exchanged a couple of emails with Cary Chleborad seeking some help.  At first he claimed there was no issue because with enough manipulation some data could be extracted from the Ha. Later, when confronted with the other narrowband frames and the obvious difference to the Ha, at first he ghosted me, but when I said I would ask other imagers for help, he responded with a new position stating that because of the way the filters are made and their robust quality processes, it is impossible for the filter to be defective and therefore something else must be at issue.  He does not offer a suggestion of what might be the problem, nor is he interested in having me send the filter back for evaluation. Frankly, I’m more than disappointed given the premium I paid for Astrodon filters

All that aside, and taking Cary’s position at face value, does anyone have an idea of what might cause this behavior other than the filter?  In a perfect world, does anyone live in the Austin, Texas area who would be willing to try my filter one night and see what they get with their equipment?

The attached link is to the raw, uncalibrated files right off the camera.  I think a simple blink process in PixInsight will show what I’m talking about.

I’m a little at my wits end, please help!

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/60mvhzb717hdhnl/AACcAMkQdDsJuk1RU10PXvgja?dl=0

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Posted (edited)

That sounds like very poor customer service indeed. Does the filter not have some sort of guarantee? Have you posted on Cloudy Nights as there are far more American members on there?

Edit: I've just seen your post on CN. It's a bizarre stance by AstroDon to take. If they're that confident their filter is perfect and cant possibly be faulty, then why dont they replace it like for like? At the very least they should accept its return for an inspection?

 

Edited by david_taurus83
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I had a quick look..  also seen the CN thread..   in the core of M42 the Ha only registers about 10% of the Oiii signal..  so something definitely amiss with the filter..  Hope you get it sorted and that Astrodon do the right thing…. maybe post them a link to the CN thread..

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Looking at that it does look like a filter problem.

I use Chroma filters who used to make them for Astrodon and don't let them palm you off with "you are using the filters the wrong way round?"

Have you checked that all the filters are parfocal as the focus does look out as well, if like me you focus using the Lum filter and the Ha is out then they could be a contributing issue.

I'm not sure about he US, but in the UK they would be covered under the distant selling regulations, I'd be fairly certain that you have something similar over there.

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Posted (edited)
On 01/03/2020 at 04:15, david_taurus83 said:

That sounds like very poor customer service indeed. Does the filter not have some sort of guarantee? Have you posted on Cloudy Nights as there are far more American members on there?

Edit: I've just seen your post on CN. It's a bizarre stance by AstroDon to take. If they're that confident their filter is perfect and cant possibly be faulty, then why dont they replace it like for like? At the very least they should accept its return for an inspection?

 

Thank you, David

I must confess, I am astounded at astrodon's posture on this and more than a little angry at the implication that somehow I was less than fully honest.  I tried to post the email chain but I guess cary got CN to remove it.  Finally I just put it in the drop box.  Anyway, tomorrow I am driving 2 hours to do the filter stacking thing and then I will send the results and the filters to cary to see how he responds

 

I will let you know

 

Bob

Edited by rgrickert

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On 01/03/2020 at 07:53, Jkulin said:

Looking at that it does look like a filter problem.

I use Chroma filters who used to make them for Astrodon and don't let them palm you off with "you are using the filters the wrong way round?"

Have you checked that all the filters are parfocal as the focus does look out as well, if like me you focus using the Lum filter and the Ha is out then they could be a contributing issue.

I'm not sure about he US, but in the UK they would be covered under the distant selling regulations, I'd be fairly certain that you have something similar over there.

Hi John, I focus exactly as you describe so your point is well made.  I've removed the filters so I can take them tomorrow to someone and stack them and hopefully have more evidence to convince astrodon.

I am a little suspicious of cary's offer to look into it but we will see.

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On 01/03/2020 at 07:22, Laurin Dave said:

I had a quick look..  also seen the CN thread..   in the core of M42 the Ha only registers about 10% of the Oiii signal..  so something definitely amiss with the filter..  Hope you get it sorted and that Astrodon do the right thing…. maybe post them a link to the CN thread..

That is an excellent idea.  Here is the link to the CN post.  It has now been locked but the story is there.  I will see how cary responds and then update everyone

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/696315-issue-with-my-astrodon-narrowband-filters-help-please/

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UPDATE: following the suggestion from several people, I traveled to visit Pat Callis and we took his and my astrodon filters and stacked them.  Nothing was visible in the stack although you can see light through each individually.  I put iPhone pics in the drop box.  Sorry the quality isn't great

 

I will call cary tomorrow for an RMA number to send him the filters.  Will update once there is more news

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On 06/03/2020 at 01:41, rgrickert said:

UPDATE: following the suggestion from several people, I traveled to visit Pat Callis and we took his and my astrodon filters and stacked them.  Nothing was visible in the stack although you can see light through each individually.  I put iPhone pics in the drop box.  Sorry the quality isn't great

 

I will call cary tomorrow for an RMA number to send him the filters.  Will update once there is more news

Did this get resolved?

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