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Can I modify a SW 80ED refractor to work as a solar scope?


oymd
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Hello everyone!

My first telescope in the hobby was a SW 80ED Pro that I bought from FLO as a kit 2 years ago. 
 

After only 2 months of using it I upgraded to all sorts of equipment and telescopes and have not used it since and it has been sat in it’s aluminium box ever since. I do not want to sell it, and would like to convert it to a solar scope. 
 

I’m keen into getting a taste of solar imaging, but I find the necessary kit a bit confusing. 
 

Is it possible to use said telescope with some appropriate H Alpha filters as a solar imaging scope?

Many thanks

Ossi

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1 hour ago, oymd said:

Hello everyone!

My first telescope in the hobby was a SW 80ED Pro that I bought from FLO as a kit 2 years ago. 
 

After only 2 months of using it I upgraded to all sorts of equipment and telescopes and have not used it since and it has been sat in it’s aluminium box ever since. I do not want to sell it, and would like to convert it to a solar scope. 
 

I’m keen into getting a taste of solar imaging, but I find the necessary kit a bit confusing. 
 

Is it possible to use said telescope with some appropriate H Alpha filters as a solar imaging scope?

Many thanks

Ossi

Ossi, the simplest way would be to use it with a Daystar Quark ‘eyepiece’ filter’

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Easiest way is using a Herschel wedge for "white light" for sunspots etc, or as Stu says, a Quark for H-alpha.  The cheapest conversion is a front mounted solar film filter for white light only.  Slippery slope financially!   🙂 

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12 hours ago, Stu said:

Ossi, the simplest way would be to use it with a Daystar Quark ‘eyepiece’ filter’

 

1 hour ago, Peter Drew said:

Easiest way is using a Herschel wedge for "white light" for sunspots etc, or as Stu says, a Quark for H-alpha.  The cheapest conversion is a front mounted solar film filter for white light only.  Slippery slope financially!   🙂 

Thank you both for your advice!

"Slippery slope financially"

:)

Show me something that ISN'T a slippery financial slope in this crazy hobby!

:)

So, my point is, using any of your two suggestions, will that allow mw to properly image the sun, or it will be some kind of bad basic compromise?

They seem to be very expensive options, so want to know if any of them will work well, and give me good solar imaging options?

I realise that the high end solar scopes are £££, and I am realisitic. I am not aiming for that.

Just a good solar scope for visual, and more importantly some basic imaging. (still do not fully understand solar imaging, but I hope I can get YELLOW images of the sun, not just the basic white/grayscale)

Many thanks

Ossi

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The yellow images you see posted are normally a post capture choice.

If you take white light images using a solar film filter, they may be tinted already.  For better resolution we use mono cameras for solar and edit/colour to our own preferences.

Capture software can also colour the images for you.

The expense comes with the extra details - have a look at images posted on SGL to see which end of the spectrum you want to be in and how deep your pockets may need to be for the best detail.

 

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1 hour ago, oymd said:

 

Thank you both for your advice!

"Slippery slope financially"

:)

Show me something that ISN'T a slippery financial slope in this crazy hobby!

:)

So, my point is, using any of your two suggestions, will that allow mw to properly image the sun, or it will be some kind of bad basic compromise?

They seem to be very expensive options, so want to know if any of them will work well, and give me good solar imaging options?

I realise that the high end solar scopes are £££, and I am realisitic. I am not aiming for that.

Just a good solar scope for visual, and more importantly some basic imaging. (still do not fully understand solar imaging, but I hope I can get YELLOW images of the sun, not just the basic white/grayscale)

Many thanks

Ossi

If you want a low cost way in, then a Baader AstroSolar film filter for the front aperture will allow you to do imaging in white light.

Next step up would be a Herschel Wedge which would be an improvement in fine detail and contrast in my experience (probably £150 to £200)

Both the above will give you a white Sun, because that is the colour it is! Yellow images are either caused by yellow filters or post processing. I use a Continuum filter in my Wedge and get a very green Sun, which I revert back to moon in processing.

White light solar shows you the Photosphere where you see Active Regions, faculae and granulation. You won’t see solar prominences, flares or filaments, for that you need an Ha filter like the Quark which will show you the Chromosphere and prominences. These, as you have seen, are much more expensive!

Example of different smartphone shots before and after processing.

5328B13E-35DD-407B-A70E-AB087AF7F3AB.jpeg

C0499AB6-ED4E-4628-97FD-3E1974E29DF1.jpeg

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Thanks Stu 👍 for an excellent explanation with repesentative images.

I have used solar film though given up on that now.

My white setup is a Bresser '102 refractor, Herschel wedge and solar continuum filter.
The continuum (narrow band green) helps with CA in my achro scope. Your ED80 will be much better.
I use a Lacerta 'Brewster angle' wedge with (optionally) a polarising filter.
'Read all about it' from Lacerta and 365 astronomy who sell Lacerta stuff in the UK.
It is quick and easy to set up and view.

I have also splashed out on a Skywatcher Solarquest mount.
Quick and easy to setup  - handy when you pick up the rig and move it across the garden during the day to avoid shadows.
Other mounts can be used with more setup effort. Or you follow the sun manually.

My Ha wallet emptying setup is a Lunt LS60 (upgrading from a PST). But you won't want to go there🤔

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7 hours ago, xtreemchaos said:

as Stu says a quark is the way to go with a ed80, ive had some great results with my ed80 and quark ,heres a few pics.

these are cropped pics, i can capture wider shots

5.jpg.0691e06033906b027bf62f78086ada6d.jpg

51.jpg.86275c72b8e7847a399faa4b715a56c5.jpg

519.jpg.f44c93964fcc105c63e3cb46593b9af0.jpg

51975.jpg.d65b42f2d39627ee243293ed5435999c.jpg

all the best charl.

Hello Sir. You’ve been quiet. Welcome back! 👍

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thanks Stu, ive not been too well the last year mate, but things are hopefully behind me and on the up. ive been in the background but sadly not much imaging going on and missed catching some lovely sunspots. hoping to get some imaging done soon mate.  charl

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27 minutes ago, xtreemchaos said:

thanks Stu, ive not been too well the last year mate, but things are hopefully behind me and on the up. ive been in the background but sadly not much imaging going on and missed catching some lovely sunspots. hoping to get some imaging done soon mate.  charl

Sorry to hear that Charl. I noted your absence and it’s great that you are feeling better and starting to think about imaging again 👍

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On 25/01/2023 at 12:57, oymd said:

 

Thank you both for your advice!

"Slippery slope financially"

:)

Show me something that ISN'T a slippery financial slope in this crazy hobby!

:)

So, my point is, using any of your two suggestions, will that allow mw to properly image the sun, or it will be some kind of bad basic compromise?

They seem to be very expensive options, so want to know if any of them will work well, and give me good solar imaging options?

I realise that the high end solar scopes are £££, and I am realisitic. I am not aiming for that.

Just a good solar scope for visual, and more importantly some basic imaging. (still do not fully understand solar imaging, but I hope I can get YELLOW images of the sun, not just the basic white/grayscale)

Many thanks

Ossi

The colour comes from the processing, so white light can still be yellow, or red or whatever colour you want... Same  applies with HA ...

 

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