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#1 mogur

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:31 PM

I purchased a SolarMax 60 right after Christmas from Astronomics. Because I live in upper latitudes the sun angle was so low, and snow was a problem, and I didn't get to try it out until today. I have a Solarmax 40 also so I know how to use a Ha scope and what to expect to see. My problem is I can't see any detail at all with the new 60. All I get is a featureless red ball. I tried moving the adjuster rod several times. In fact I tried taking the adjuster out and repositioning it to another hole. I tried moving the adjuster at least a full turn in both directions. No difference. No surface detail at all. One tiny flare that did not change no matter how I adjusted it. At first I thought maybe the sun is just bland today, so I went in and got my old 40 out. Granted, the sun was pretty bland but I was at least able to see SOME surface detail. Granulation and a couple filaments. Much better than the featureless 60. The focus is sharp, just featureless! Is there something I'm missing here? I'm SOL because it's past the 30 day return policy that Astronomics has. The adjuster seems "loose" when adjusting, unlike the tight adjustment of the etalon on the 40. Could there be something amiss inside? Since I may have no choice but to get it fixed somewhere would it be possible to do myself? Please help me figure this out! :help:

#2 Andy Devey

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

Hi might sound daft but is there a chance you may have been looking at a reflected internal ghost image?

If so no problem with the scope. I did that when I got my first SM90 and I know of others that have done this too!

Regards

Andy

The solar explorer

#3 trw

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:55 PM

I have the Solarmax II 60 mm scope, and a couple-three things come to mind from my experience. First, while I know that temperature is not supposed to be critical for Coronado etalons, I keep finding (particularly in cold weather) that the images improve greatly if the scope is given 10-15 minutes to warm up, pointed directly at the sun. Second,check down the front of the scope for the infamous "metallic tape disc problem," where a tape disc covering the center of the internal etalon slips out of place and appears off center. This problem appears to decrease contrast greatly. The sloppiness in the Solarmax II adjustment rod appears to be quite common, but shouldn't in itself affect the image. My scope had the tape disc problem and had to be shipped back to Meade Customer Service for warranty repair--took eight weeks but scope came back in good shape with a redesign of the "tape disc." Last, while I havern't heard of this being a problem with this telescope, check for "rust" on the optical surfaces, which reduces contrast. Meade Customer Service is still in operation, but I wouldn't waste any time in getting the scope back to them for repairs if you can't exchange it.



#4 Tom and Beth

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:22 PM

Hi might sound daft but is there a chance you may have been looking at a reflected internal ghost image?

If so no problem with the scope. I did that when I got my first SM90 and I know of others that have done this too!

Regards

Andy

The solar explorer


(ahem) :o me too. The reflection is sooo close, and if your technique for pointing at the Sun just a little off...

#5 Scott Beith

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:49 PM

I have done the same thing... :whistle:

#6 rdandrea

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:06 PM

Have you talked to Astronomics? Seems like little we have to say is relevant until you talk to the vendor.

#7 mogur

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:29 PM

I wasn't looking at a ghost image. It was far too bright and the scope does have a SolSearcher on it. Astronomics is closed on Sunday so no I haven't talked to them. Besides, what are they gonna do? It's way past the allowed 30 day return period. I'm stuck with returning it to Meade and being without it for the summer while it's being fixed. It's my own fault for not checking it out immediately. Lesson learned.

#8 MG877

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:33 AM

I have had a similar issue with my Solarmax II ds . The internal etalon assembly is screwed into the focuser . The base of the etalon should be snugged tight into the focuser and the adjustment ring (the ring with the adjuster post)threads to the base piece of the etalon . I have been using my scope in sub freezing weather , the adjustment ring became snug enough to loosen the whole etalon . So what was happening was instead of adjusting the etalon I was threading the whole etalon assembly in and out . It was quite obvious what had happened because the adjuster was loose and the view did not change . If this is what has happened to your scope it is an easy fix . I had mine apart to replace the focuser with a Moonlight and did not get the etalon tight enough .
The scope un screws just in front of the slot for the adjustment pin . remove the pin and unscrew the focuser from the scope . the internal etalon assembly should be tight into the focuser and the outer ring should be able to rotate freely . If the etalon is loose in the focuser remove the outer ring section and tighten the base then thread the ring back on but not tight . Now re assemble the tube . In my scope the etalon comes into band just as the adjuster starts to get snug . Rotate the adjuster ring until you find the sweet spot and then re install the pin .

Hope this helps , I have an instruction sheet I will try to find and send you if you are interested .

#9 trw

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

Good stuff, MG877. I wonder if the problem you describe has anything to do with the "warming up" process I described in my previous post. If you find those instructions, do you suppose you could scan them and post them here? Thanks very much!

#10 MG877

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

trw
I sent you a PM

#11 mogur

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:51 PM

I have had a similar issue with my Solarmax II ds . The internal etalon assembly is screwed into the focuser . The base of the etalon should be snugged tight into the focuser and the adjustment ring (the ring with the adjuster post)threads to the base piece of the etalon . I have been using my scope in sub freezing weather , the adjustment ring became snug enough to loosen the whole etalon . So what was happening was instead of adjusting the etalon I was threading the whole etalon assembly in and out . It was quite obvious what had happened because the adjuster was loose and the view did not change . If this is what has happened to your scope it is an easy fix . I had mine apart to replace the focuser with a Moonlight and did not get the etalon tight enough .
The scope un screws just in front of the slot for the adjustment pin . remove the pin and unscrew the focuser from the scope . the internal etalon assembly should be tight into the focuser and the outer ring should be able to rotate freely . If the etalon is loose in the focuser remove the outer ring section and tighten the base then thread the ring back on but not tight . Now re assemble the tube . In my scope the etalon comes into band just as the adjuster starts to get snug . Rotate the adjuster ring until you find the sweet spot and then re install the pin .

Hope this helps , I have an instruction sheet I will try to find and send you if you are interested .


This sounds like something concrete I can try. Thanx much and if you have a diagram that would help immensely!

#12 MG877

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:45 AM

Ok I finally figured out how to post the info you guy's were seeking . Sorry this took so long and hope this is helpful .

Attached Files



#13 MG877

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:48 AM

Well I figured out now to do them 1 at a time , sorry for the multiple posts .

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#14 MG877

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:54 AM

These are the instructions that came with my Moonlight focuser what happened in my case was that the etalon became loose in the focuser and was screwing in and out instead of adjusting the etalon .

Attached Files



#15 mogur

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:10 PM

Thank you MG877! It appears my scope is constucted slightly differently, but your suggestion made me bold enough to take the scope apart and examine the components as you suggested. It turned out that the outer etalon part (with the adjuster holes) was loose in my scope. This is why it seemed "loose" when I tried to adjust it initially. I tightened it up and now I can see detail on the sun! It's nice to know that I don't have a $1500 paperweight. Guess I can sell the 40 now Lol.






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