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Accidental Upgrade?

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#1 StarStuff1

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 12:16 PM

I am definitely not a dedicated solar observer as those spooky nebulas at night really ring my chimes. But I have enjoyed looking through Ha scopes when there was activity. Many nice such scopes were available at NEAF the few times I was there. Since solar maximum was approaching and I really liked viewing prominences I decided to splurge 3 years ago and get a new Lunt 35Ha scope.

For grins I compared it directly to an almost new PST. Optically they were for the most part identical. The only noticeable difference was where the "sweet spot" was in the 2 scopes.

So I used the Lunt for over 2 years. Nice proms and some surface detail such as filaments were often visible. I was a happy camper. The Lunt 35 was so compact it easily fit on a Leitz Tiltall Tripod. One hand grab and go. Then a few months ago one of the tripod legs collapsed and the scope crashed on my concrete basement floor. Strictly my fault as I had not tightened that one leg enough. I have had that tripod for 30 years and not another incident like that has ever happened.

The scope had no visible external damage but obviously suffered internal damage as the image was terrible. The scope was shipped back to Lunt. It had a de-laminated etalon. Of course I paid for the repair. Kudos to Lunt for a quick turn around time for the fix.

Here's the puzzler. The scope appears to be working better than before the "accident"! Much more detail on the surface of the Sun is visible and proms just snap into focus and seem brighter.

So, did a proper repair and tune-up (re-collimation) make this little scope that much better or is solar activity that much more active? Clearer air now with Fall here? It is almost always clear in the Fall here. A curious mind wants to know.

BTW, I do not know if the etalon was repaired or replaced.

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#2 observing1

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 12:30 PM

sounds good, whatever happened!

#3 Old Dinosaur

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:04 PM

They most likely replaced the etalon, faster and much easier than a repair.
It's likely your original was not not up to snuff from day one.

#4 StarStuff1

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:17 PM

I suspect you are right. The original seemed to work fine, at least as good as the PST I compared it to. Like I said, now it appears to be a "super" 35.

But still, has solar activity picked up? Solar max was several months ago I believe.

#5 bunyon

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:47 PM

It's a universal truth: if you want to make a piece of equipment work better, hit it hard.

Congrats on the upgrade.

To my eyes, there hasn't been a noticeable max and things are still going well. I'm not sure of the actual data but in the 2+ years I've had a solar scope, it's pretty much been equally active.

#6 StarStuff1

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:26 PM

Hmmm. Maybe it was a new etalon. Either way I am a happy camper.

Thanks for the responses, guys.






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