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Thinking of buying Coronado SolarMax II 60mm

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#1 PhotonJohn

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:40 PM

Does anyone know of any issues with the Coronado SolarMax II 60mm scopes in BF10 or BF15? By issues I mean quality of product or objective rust issues like the older PST had? Also would like to hear from owners of this scope.

#2 dajebriza

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:09 AM

My advice.. Get a Lunt. Much better build and quality control. I've sampled several Lunts and Coronados - both external filters and solar scopes. I would buy Lunt exclusively after my experiences.

#3 Zamboni

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

I've played around with both. Both provide very good views, but the pressure tuning on the lunt gives it an edge. I also hate the helical focuser on the Coronado.

#4 dbowlin

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:25 PM

I enjoy mine, not the helical focuser so much. I wish I had more time and clear skies.
Dale

#5 Gary BEAL

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:33 PM

I guess each to their own views. I have a loaner SolarMax 60, the older pre-Meade version, and by golly it is THE best thing since sliced bread. BUT........... I haven't tried a Lunt 60 either. I do have the SM90 etalon and BF15 waiting for an adaptor to fit to a Lunt ED102, so in that respect I'll have both perhaps?
Gary

#6 Aquarist

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:10 PM

While I opted for Lunt as a manufacturer (100mm double stack), I would suggest viewing Stephen Ramsden's reviews at http://solarastronom...es/reviews.html for detailed evaluations.

#7 frolinmod

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:05 AM

Aquarist, are you using the Lunt LS100FHa to double stack your Lunt LS100THa? Or did you go the Luntanado route?

#8 mbucky

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:07 AM

get a lunt, much better build quality, and repair service

#9 Aquarist

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

Aquarist, are you using the Lunt LS100FHa to double stack your Lunt LS100THa? Or did you go the Luntanado route?


No, I did not go the Luntanado route although some of the highly respected folks like Jim Lafferty did with superb results. Lunt was willing to customize adjustment since they were ordered together so that was my preference.

#10 Aquarist

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:47 AM

Oh, and customer service with Lunt is well respected although I cannot say with regard to Coronado.

#11 la200o

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

Haven't seen the new SolarMax II version, but the build quality on my older SM 90 is superb. Helical focuser is OK, works fine, but probably a nice rack and pinion or crayford would be preferable.

Bill

#12 Bill Cowles

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

Lunt customer service is hard to beat and like others I much prefer my FT focuser and PT.

Bill

#13 PhotonJohn

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:27 PM

Thanks guys, I like my PST. Also know Coronado/Meade is not known for great customer service (sad but true). Also like the image in my PST being red orange and even being the low end scope price wise it is worth it. It definetly has a sweet spot and it does have good resolution using a CeMax 18mm. I just wanted a bigger image visually and maybe try some imaging.

#14 johnww

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

I have a Solarmax II 60 mm scope, and have just got a double stack for it. Have had no troubles. But would recommend BF10 for visual and photos, also single stack is better for taking photos thru. See review on the "Ice in space" website under equipment reviews (Part 1 and 2). Cheers.

#15 PhotonJohn

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:21 PM

Thanks John.

#16 Zamboni

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:24 AM

Also one thing to bear in mind; right now Meade's financial future is more uncertain than it ever has been, which could have significant consequences if you need to have a Coronado scope serviced under warranty. While this shouldn't be THE defining factor in a purchase, it should be kept in mind.

#17 Andy Devey

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:56 AM

Hi Guys

I have SM90's and a TOA130 with double speed focuser, honestly I prefer the helical focuser but that is just my opinion.

Regards

Andy

The solar explorer

#18 MG877

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:02 PM

I have the SM 60 DS with BF 10. The first thing I did was to complain about the focuser , Mine never should have passed quality control . It was assembled with 2 stripped screws in the focuser coller and there was close to 1/8" of end play in the focuser tube . My Authorized Meade dealer dis assembled the scope and sent pics of the issues to Meade . Meade would not send a new focuser and wanted me to send them the scope so they could send it to Mexico for repair .
I decided against this and installed a Moonlight motor focuser . I am now happy with my Coronado but if I had to do it again I would purchase a Lunt

#19 PhotonJohn

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:28 PM

Thanks Andy.

#20 PhotonJohn

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

Thanks MG.

#21 drksky

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:15 AM

Someone my club bought an SMII 90DS and while it is a fine scope, there are a few things that bug me about it.
- I hate the helical focuser. It's stiff and difficult to get a precise focus with.

- The extension tubes are sloppy.

-Terrible "sweet-spotting". Unless proms are almost directly in the center of the FOV, they're either very dim or gone completely, and this is through the BF15.

I just received an LS80 single stack, but haven't had a chance to use it, yet. I'm curious to see the comparison.

#22 bill1234

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:26 PM

Well Tony,...looking forward to your review

#23 PhotonJohn

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

Looks like I'm leanin' toward a Lunt.

#24 drksky

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:53 AM

I did get about an hour or so of clear skies this morning to try out my new LS80THa PT (single stack), with a B1800. My initial impressions are very positive with regards to build quality, with probably the stock Crayford focuser being the weakest part. It took quite a bit of tightening to get it so it would support itself and the Lunt zoom eyepiece. But once adjusted, it performed fairly well and I think was easier to operate that the SMII's helical.

At 560mm, the solar disk takes up about 1/2 or so of the field of view with the eyepiece on the longest FL setting. The full disk almost fits on the chip of my e2v Flea 3 (1/1.8"). There's plenty of room horizontally, but just not quite enough vertically, so at natvie focal length, I'll need to do a 2-panel mosaic for a full disk.

Details were good all around the disk with the surface detail not as defined as with the SMII, but not unexpected with a SS vs. DS. There does seem to be what I would term as "backscatter", but I honestly can't remember whether the SMII exhibited the same thing. No reflections or kidney beaning with viewing on axis, but you could see the etalon's center spot when you moved your eye off axis. Again, not unexpected and I've seen similar issues with the SMII.

The tuning of the LS80 is more subtle than with the SMII. Where with the SMII's internal etalon, you can make fairly large moves with both the internal and external etalons, the pressure tuner takes more turning to affect the on-band tuning. I haven't decided if this is a good or a bad thing, or just a different thing.

I'm looking forward to spending more time with the scope and still debating about the purchase of the DSII double stack module. I've been reading mixed reviews of performance of the stacked PT modules vs an external etalon.

Also, just a small kudos to the Mini-Tower mount that I borrowed from my club. I'm continually impressed by the simplicity and yet accuracy of this mount. Not wanting to deal with the cold and wind today, I set up in the hours next to an open window. Even without a positive GPS lock (just used the previous sessions's settings) and not quite exact leveling, the mount managed to place the sun almost dead center in the FOV and keep it there. For grab and go goto, this thing can't be beat.

#25 PhotonJohn

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:05 AM

Is the visual image in the Lunt orange/red?






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