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Solar scope choices


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Hi all, first off may I start by explaining that this thread is for advice on choosing a suitable solar scope not for me, but for my local astronomical society. We at the society have drafted a number of possible projects for public outreach in our local area to get more people interested in astronomy and to help raise the profile of our club.

The project that we have settled on is a solar scope, it will initially be used to take to public places such as local town squares for anyone to along and look through, visits to local schools will also be arranged eventually and then we can think about going a little further afield into the neighbouring potteries. It is hoped that later on we will be using the setup to perform actual scientific observations of the sun, the ability to fulfil this last criteria is particularly important in deciding what 'scope we eventually settle on.

The two heads of our society have applied for a grant from the STFC (The Science and Technologies Facilities Council), based on a quote from IKI we have asked for a total of £5000 to buy the required amount of kit for out project and get in guest speakers at a later date to discuss our sun.

The bulk of the budget has been allocated for the 'scope itself, when the quote was given we were told that the Lunt LS60, at ~£3200 IIRC, would best suit our needs, we are wondering if that is still the case?

Would the above 'scope still present good value for money and would it's performance be noticeably better than anything else in that price range? I have read few posts on that particular 'scope and there seems to be a mixed response to it, have whatever issues been sorted or are they still present?

We also would like advice on the pressure focusing system and whether it has any specific advantages over an normal etalon, is it worth having if scientific observations (doppler shift, sunspot counts etc.) are to be carried out?

Thanks for your time, I will send a link as requested to the heads of the society for them to keep an eye on this thread and to advise me what else needs to be said :)

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Lunt or Coronado SM60 or SolarView...if you can find a supplier with stock. I'd also consider a suitable camera -DMK31 or DMK41 would allow you to show the solar detail on a monitor.

To get the bandwidth for doppler etc you really need a double stack arrangement with a bandwidth <0.4A

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Certainly very happy with my Lunt LS60/B1200 normal tuner. I use it with B and B guests and all have greatly enjoyed it. Proms show very brightly and surface detail is fair, though a double stack would improve that. I can't really speak for the other options because, though I have had many of them visit, you really need to be back to back. However, it is well ahead of a standard PST though not, I dare say, up to the standard of one of Ken's demon and mysterious mods!!


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Whilst at SGL6 and speaking to NickH he suggested that a SV60 would be a better choice than a Lunt LS60, that would all be fine but the SV60 is around £3800 at Altair Astro which is more than our allocated budget of £3200. Any suggestions?

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