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Negative Solar NEAF experience

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#1 Howlt

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:04 PM

While I appreciate people going to the trouble of transporting their solar equipment to NEAF, I feel I must ask that in the future only knowledgeable people be left in charge of scopes when their owners are elsewhere. I encountered one person who told an observer that sun was green because of H-alpha. I politely told him about a continuum filter. He pointed to the objective when I was explaining this. I pointed to the wedge and said this is a white light scope. This person had never heard of white light. Another person left in charge of a scope had troubling finding the sun and was unaware that it had a solar finder. And a third person who was actually wearing a yellow NEAF shirt and hat told a viewer that the two scopes they were in charge of had the same aperture! Anyone with the most basic understanding of optics could tell by looking at the two scopes that this was not true. :foreheadslap:

There was a vendor set up and other people in yellow NEAF shirts who were doing a good job of solar outreach so I don't mean to cast the whole event in a dark light, but in the future there should be some basic rules about who is left in charge of a scope so as to ensure safety and good product information.

#2 highfnum

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:09 PM

I picked up a little of this stuff happening also - I just let it slide - point well made

#3 Footbag

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:22 PM

I went up to a vendors booth looking for a white light solar filter for imaging with an SCT. I asked if they had them, and they handed me a packet from Baader. I didn't look close and asked the price. $300! I knew something was off, and asked a more knowledgeable solar guy. They handed me the CaK module, they didn't have any WL solar filters. I just ordered one when I got home, couldn't find any at NEAF.

The only other thing I overheard was a gentleman asking a guy in a yellow shirt about an AP Starfire. The guy in the yellow shirt told him "they are available". The gentleman had been at the AP booth and was told they weren't. I had to clarify. Wait list, 2nd hand market, etc...

#4 Aquarist

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:01 PM

While less than knowledgeable people are unfortunate, sometimes it is just a fact of life. :foreheadslap:

#5 The Ardent

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

What about the guy who bought a 6" f/12 Superplanetary at NEAf this weekend? He was overjoyed with his purchase.

That scope was available to anyone who wanted it.


As for the OP, what most people dont realize is that the SSP is made possible by volunteers. Amateur astronomers like you and me who do a tremendous amount of work and recieve no recognition. Like you and me, they make mistakes and dont know everything. Rather than complain, offer to help. I dont think its fair to make anonymous complaints on internet forums. As for the SSP staff, I applaud them.

The only other thing I overheard was a gentleman asking a guy in a yellow shirt about an AP Starfire. The guy in the yellow shirt told him "they are available". The gentleman had been at the AP booth and was told they weren't. I had to clarify. Wait list, 2nd hand market, etc...



#6 Footbag

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:03 PM

What about the guy who bought a 6" f/12 Superplanetary at NEAf this weekend? He was overjoyed with his purchase.

That scope was available to anyone who wanted it.


As for the OP, what most people dont realize is that the SSP is made possible by volunteers. Amateur astronomers like you and me who do a tremendous amount of work and recieve no recognition. Like you and me, they make mistakes and dont know everything. Rather than complain, offer to help. I dont think its fair to make anonymous complaints on internet forums. As for the SSP staff, I applaud them.

The only other thing I overheard was a gentleman asking a guy in a yellow shirt about an AP Starfire. The guy in the yellow shirt told him "they are available". The gentleman had been at the AP booth and was told they weren't. I had to clarify. Wait list, 2nd hand market, etc...


The gentleman I spoke with was looking to buy one. So hearing someone tell him they are "available" isn't quite specific enough. I actually think the guy misunderstood the question, and I was happy ro have a conversation about AP's.

Who was selling the AP? If someone got it for retail without a waitlist, then that's awesome. Even better they shared the views. But it must have been his lucky day.

I had no intention of diminishing the volunteers contribution. I was thankful they were there. I pointed out the vendors mistake as a non-volunteer who should have known a bit more. We are in such a niche of a niche hobby that you cannot expect everyone to know everything.

#7 The Ardent

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:42 PM

Here is a partial list of the ones that are/were available recently. Pass this on to your friend. Believe me, if he wants one he's got my support. :D

Right here

And here

And here

And here

And here

And here

#8 Footbag

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:56 PM

Here is a partial list of the ones that are/were available recently. Pass this on to your friend. Believe me, if he wants one he's got my support. :D

Right here

And here

And here

And here

And here

And here


Yes. I did tell him they were available 2nd hand or occasionally flipped. I'm waiting for the right Traveler myself.

#9 Tuawcxs

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:45 AM

Actually the event was fun with alot of nice people. Its great to see so many solarscopes in one place. The only vendor on Sunday morning that was there (when I was) was Daystar. The Charles Baits outreach wasn't there this year.Neither was Lunt,Solarscope or Coranado. Almost all the scope owners were amatures like us just wanting to share their equipment. So this wasn't a vendor demo day but a group of solarscope owners from many diffent states.
The best view was a double stacked Lunt 80mm pressure tuned with Denk binos. The owner definitly knew how to tune in his double stack and provide excellent proms, active region and filiments.
Daystars filterwheel with a .7,.4, helium and HBeta was showing great views in all band widths.
Woodland had a Lunt 100/100 that they setup. It wasn't dialed in as good as it could be but its just nice to see and look through.
Can't wait till next year. Its nice to be around astro geeks like myself :jump:

#10 George9

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:37 AM

You solved it! I misremembered Daystar's filter wheel in the NEAF thread. That explains the green, which was H-beta, and yellow was helium.

Thanks for the LS80 compliment. I was hoping to help other LS80 owners with their tuning, but I was the only LS80 there, on Sunday at least.

I hope you got a chance to look through the 7" AP (stopped to 5) with the Solar Spectrum rear filter. Great finely detailed surface view (albeit only a small portion at a time).

George

#11 stephenramsden

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:40 AM

Leaving someone in charge of your scope who is going to spread inaccurate or even dangerous information to the public is a great way to blind someone. The organizers and presenters have a responsibility to the public to maintain the highest level of safety standards at any outreach event and especially one where solar viewing is the highlight.

I can tell you from personal experience over the previous three years presenting at NEAF that nobody in yellow hats or shirts at that solar star party has done even close to the amount of work that my friend Greg (Howlt) has done assisting in the not-so-glamorous and non-credited role of setup and tear down assistant and standby scope tender...voluntarily, without expecting free admission or t-shirts. There is not a finer and more conscientious man in this hobby, in my opinion.

Its also been my experience that most of the people who take all the credit for the event quickly disappear when its time to do the hard work thats not in the public eye. Just ask the hardest working man in astronomy outreach-Alan Traino, the man who made the event happen for so many years and is single handedly responsible for getting most of the current big names in solar into NEAF as speakers and presenters in recent years, including me. Its none of my business why the club responsible for NEAF and the Summer Star Party have decided to do some of the things they have done in the last year that have damaged or cancelled these events so I just stayed at home and did 3 local solar events over the weekend. No Alan, No me. Its called loyalty.

I would sure like to see far less people worrying about profit or who gets the credit for everything and a few more people actually doing the anonymous hard legwork of science outreach. The future of our society absolutely depends on it. You're not going to attract young people to your club or to science with constant internal bickering and in fighting.


Stephen W. Ramsden
Founder/Director
The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project

#12 Kent10

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:11 AM

Hi George:

I have an LS80 DSII and LS100/100DS. I know you have helped me before with questions but I don't recall if you knew I had both of these scopes now. I bought them both used around the same time and had aperture fever before I even had the LS80. I am still wondering about the LS152 :)

I think I am getting pretty good at tuning them and have had some amazing views. But after reading Tuawcxs's post about the 100 not tuned well and yours being tuned just great, I am wondering if mine could be tuned even better. What technique do you use? Is it easy to describe?

Thanks, Kent

#13 REC

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:18 AM

Yeah, I saw him leaving the show with that monster!

#14 skyward_eyes

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:29 AM

We fought for a while to get our LS100DS tuned but the seeing was just horrible that day. The Ls60DS we had was pulling out some awesome detail and I did hear the LS80DS was really strutting its stuff. The LS100DS we had out is a good match and have seen some very nice stuff through it when seeing is good, sadly that day was not.

The most important thing was that everyone has a good time. But do be careful when giving wrongful information during solar events as all of know, solar can be dangerous when done incorrectly.

#15 Kent10

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:36 AM

Thanks Kevin. I am getting more experience with how seeing conditions affect the views in my scopes. Good seeing really does make a huge difference.

#16 Aquarist

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:48 AM

Well said stephenramsden, a name that would draw me to any event involving solar speaking/demonstrating that was doable travel-wise for me.

#17 George9

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:37 PM

Hi George:

I think I am getting pretty good at tuning them and have had some amazing views. But after reading Tuawcxs's post about the 100 not tuned well and yours being tuned just great, I am wondering if mine could be tuned even better. What technique do you use? Is it easy to describe?

Thanks, Kent


Hi, Kent. You're probably already doing everything I do. But here is my process (modified from a previous post):

1. Make sure the DSII is parallel to the internal etalon. There is some play in how your attach the DSII (which I like). At a minimum, make sure the DSII is flush to the scope when you tighten the thumbsrews. That gets me 98% of the way there. Then I find that my optimum performance is slightly off parallel in the correct direction, where correct direction is trial and error (but constant once you find it). The difference in performance between parallel and just right is only slight. Basically, I aim to make the double stack sweet spot, which is the size of the sun, exactly centered. Another way to tell is to move the sun all the way to one side in a low power eyepiece. You'll see some arcs of fuzzy red glow opposite the sun. When you have it perfect, the arcs look the same no matter which side you put the sun on (and there should be no arcs when the sun is near center).

2. I keep the pressure tuners on opposite sides. Actually, you may find that optimum performance is with the DSII pressure tuner in some other orientation with respect to the scope. I like them on opposite sides for convenience. Then I alternately turn the PTs in the same and in the opposite direction. Keep in mind that with the PTs on opposite sides, turning your hands in the same direction actually tightens one and loosens the other, but you get the idea. I go back and forth, looking to optimize the view, first by tightening them both and loosening them both to get it on band (most contrast), and then by tightening one while loosening the other to get them synchronized (aim for brightest, clearest view). Then repeat. It sounds more complicated than it is; we are talking seconds, not minutes. I may also tweak by adjusting one at a time.

If I see a lot of glow or the sweet spot is off center, I go back to 1. At this point, that does not happen often. (I store the scope with the PTs on the same side to fit in the case, so I have to adjust the DSII attachment on each viewing.)

But as long as your DSII is attached reasonably, there is no magic on the PT tuning. Any kind of trial and error should work.

And by the way, my LS80 and DSII were not matched in any way. Just ordered from OPT and arrived months apart.

George

#18 Kent10

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:11 PM

Thanks very much George! I also keep the PTs on opposite sides. They are easier to work that way. I'll give your method a try next time I get the LS80 out. Thanks again! Kent

#19 Aquarist

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:13 AM

And thanks in advance from me as well as mine should be here relatively soon!

#20 stephenramsden

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 07:36 PM

Thanks Steve,
come by anytime and use whatever I have.






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