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Summer Triangle Challenge

Solar set ups for white light and Ha


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I thought I would share a post on my solar set ups for white light and Ha. I use these with a 102mm f7 refractor and 72mm f6 refractor.

Here's my most common white light set up at the moment. I'll add another post to this thread with my Ha set up when I get a moment, but in summary I have it so that the binoviewers bit and the 2" to T2 bit are standard to both set ups and all I have to do is swap out the bits in between them to go from white light to a Quark Ha set up.

I have a Baader 2" to T2 nosepiece that stays in the scope with a UV/IR cur filter on the end. This has a heavy duty T2 quick changer to connect to diagonals so I can clamp anything onto it solidly. I used to use a 1.25" nosepiece into the scope for solar but that's not as strong as I would like when using binoviewers so now I use T2. The quick changer is great, easy to use and solid as can be. 

Then I have a Lacerta 1.25" Herschel Wedge with a nd3 filter built in, which connects by T2 on both sides.

Then I have a filter changer so I can easily swap in/out filters without having the hassle of dismantling anything. I mostly use a Baader solar continuum filter but quite often like to view with no filter or a yellow filter.

Then I have a 2.6x glass path corrector tucked in between the T2 extenders. I think in reality this magnifies in this set up by about 3.4x due to its position.

Then I have a 1.25" focuser and a 1.25" nosepiece going into it that has a polarising filter at the back of it, which I can loosen from both sides so that I can rotate the polarising filter independently of both the wedge and the binoviewers. I am constantly adjusting this filter to get the best view. At very high magnifications with binoviewers I may sometimes take this out as I will want all the brightness available but most of the time it is in.

Then it's a Baader Maxbright 2 binoviewer connected by another heavy duty T2 quick changer.

Then I use 40mm NPLs, 30mm SLVs, and 20mm SLVs which work out in the 102mm f7 scope at about 61x, 81x, and 121x and in the 72mm f6 scope at about 37x, 49x, and 73x. The 30mm's get the most use.

I label my eyepieces left and right and always have them oriented the same way every time just so everything is always consistent.

This set up gives great views. The main down side is the weight and how far off axis the weight is which means I have to have the binoviewers pointing straight up when I would prefer to point them to the side so I can look straight into them rather than down into them. However the Lacerta Wedge brewster angle helps here as it means I am actually looking more often closer to straight ahead than down compared to if it was a 90 degree wedge.



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Here's my Ha set up.

The bits at either end are the same as for white light. The different bits are sandwiched in the middle which are...

Firstly a baader diagonal with T2 connectors on both sides. I have a T2 prism diagonal in this picture but I'm alternating with a BBHS mirror diagonal and I haven't worked out if I have a preference yet. There's a TS Optics 35mm T2 extension 1.25" eyepiece holder coming out of the diagonal.

Then there is the Quark. I found myself a right angled USB charging lead that makes for a more secure fit in the field because it keeps the USB lead flush alongside the Quark instead of it sticking straight out to the side and constantly getting in the way.

Then the rest (eyepieces, binoviewer, and nosepiece) is as per the white light set up... The nosepiece into the Quark has  polarising filter at the back of it. Usually a filter would be on the front end of a nosepiece but the Quark eyepiece holder is not deep enough to allow room for one there.

The Quark magnifies by about 4.3x so slightly more than the white light set up but in a similar ball park so I mostly use the same 3 eyepieces, 40mm NPLs, 30mm SLVs, and 20mm SLVs but in this case the 40mm's get the most use. Magnifications  work out in the 102mm f7 scope at about 77x, 102x, and 154x and in the 72mm f6 scope at about 46x, 62x, and 93x.

There are a few downsides to this set up. The weight and off axis weight - and it is worse than the white light set up because of the length of the Quark and having a 90 degree diagonal moves the binoviewers and their weight even further off axis. The 90 degree diagonal angle means I have to look down at a steeper angle more often more which is more tiring so I take breaks more often with this set up. With a 1.25" nosepiece into the telescope this set up is precarious and at significant risk of swinging down but that's been solved by switching to the T2 to 2" connection into the scope.


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