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Setting up my Lunt LS50TH for imaging

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#1 APshooter

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:57 AM

A few weeks back I added the Lunt LS50 to my stable of equipment.  I wanted to dabble in solar imaging without getting too heavily invested monetarily, and the LS50 seemed like a good starting point, despite the fact that most threads say it isn't designed for imaging.  After seeing a number of imagers getting good results with it, however, I dug a little deeper.  Most were changing out the stock helical focusing unit for a crayford or Moonlite unit.  Having dealt with Moonlite before, I noticed that they make a unit just for the LS50, so I immediately ordered one.  Scope and focusing unit arrived within a few days of each other, and I got everything connected within minutes.  Clouds slowed my progress for almost two weeks before a sunny morning allowed me to do some testing.

 

I originally ordered the scope with a B1200 blocking filter.  I had spoken with Lunt as well as asking for information here, and everyone seemed to agree the 1200 was needed for imaging.  However, when I fired up the camera in Firecapture, I quickly discovered the B1200 had way too much back focus.  Even putting the camera directly atop the blocking filter, I could see I was pretty far off.  I spoke with Woodland Hills Telescope and we did an exchange for the B600.

 

With the B600 installed, I mounted the ZWO 178MM into the clamping ring and tried to focus.  The 30mm tall T2 adapter turned out to be about 2mm too tall, not quite allowing me to get a crisp image!  I could see focus was very close, and since the LS50 came with two additional 30mm extensions, I went down to my shop and machined one of them down to 20mm in length.  After carefully trimming the threads and test fitting with the other extension tube, I reassembled the camera and tube onto the B600.  Success!  I was able to focus with a little bit of reserve.  The focal range of the focuser (stock or Moonlite) is quite short, and I could probably go down to 18mm and still be centered in the focal range.  

 

Here's a shot of the S50, Moonlite focuser and ZWO 178MM:

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Edited by APshooter, 14 April 2017 - 05:38 PM.

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#2 APshooter

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:59 AM

Here's the new telescope sitting next to my Astro Physics 130 with Baader Astro Solar filter installed:

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#3 APshooter

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:59 AM

And first light from the new scope:

 

get.jpg


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#4 MalVeauX

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 03:09 PM

Looks great, nice setup, that will be helpful for others for sure. Great image too!

 

Very best,



#5 APshooter

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 05:22 PM

Thanks for your tips, MalVeauX! 

 

After all the searching I did for this scope, I never was able to find a definitive 'this works with this camera' thread.  Presented in the spirit of helping others.


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#6 rigel123

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 06:01 AM

Looks great AP, and love how you got all the colors to match on the scopes, focuser, cameras and mount!  wink.gif   Cool looking setup!



#7 nickatnight

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 07:05 AM

Nice work and setup! That focuser is gorgeous. waytogo.gif



#8 APshooter

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 10:34 AM

 

Looks great AP, and love how you got all the colors to match on the scopes, focuser, cameras and mount!  wink.gif   Cool looking setup!

Looks like red has become the defacto fashion statement color for astronomy!  lol.gif

 

 

Nice work and setup! That focuser is gorgeous.

I was surprised to see Ron offers a baby Moonlite just for this scope.  Sure beats the stock helical, doesn't it?  The LS 60 has a Feathertouch option available for it, but not the LS50.



#9 Tyson M

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 09:20 PM

That focuser is a perfect match, and that image is stunning for first light. Well done, tuned very well.

Welcome to the light side, you may quickly realize you will have more available observing sessions during the day than night. 

 

Time to update your sig!

 

Regards



#10 APshooter

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 09:44 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Tyson.  Yes, that was something that went through my mind...imaging before work on the few sunny days we have.  This year I've not imaged anything dealing with DSO's.  Storms and rain and more clouds all year.  We've had only tiny windows of sunshine in between rains, so this may be a whole new avenue for me.


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#11 Tyson M

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 09:29 AM

"We've had only tiny windows of sunshine in between rains, so this may be a whole new avenue for me."

You picked the perfect scope then. These Lunts are perfect grab and go options or shooting between the clouds.

Last summer I got to use my SCT a handful of times and my Lunt 50 many more times....

Even on mostly overcast days with not much to do, all you need is a good 30 sec break in cloud cover and you got some data to play with out of it. 

The 50 and 60 are super portable too. 

The Lunt scopes themselves and their recommended accessories are expensive, like binoviewers and eyepieces, double stack elatons, ect.

But for sheer usage, they will not be beat and are a joy to use, so it is worth it. 

Oh and not losing sleep is nice too. smile.gif


Edited by Tyson M, 16 April 2017 - 09:44 AM.


#12 APshooter

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 11:47 AM

 

Even on mostly overcast days with not much to do, all you need is a good 30 sec break in cloud cover and you got some data to play with out of it.

 

I agree.  Plus, I'm home every day til 2pm before work, so ample opportunity to image on a daily basis if the weather improves.  Other than my solar image, I have done no imaging since December 31st of last year.  I need to check my weather diaries, but this looks like the worst year for imaging since I got back into this four years ago.


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#13 Tyson M

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 06:12 PM

I love the night time sessions, even more so because they are few and far between and are cherished.

I wish I had more , I really do. It sucks.

That's why this year I bought a grab and go mount and refractor to go out on intermittent cloudy nights as well.

To get additional time in under the stars, since my Meade needed better conditions for the additional set up time and careful alignments.

Also, I got myself the biggest Lunt I could afford.

To keep me sane and going out and having fun with my gear.

 

Regards. 

 

 


Edited by Tyson M, 16 April 2017 - 06:16 PM.


#14 APshooter

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 12:08 PM

I'm happy to report that both the 2.5x and 5x Televue Powermates work with the Lunt LS50!  Previous experiments with a standard Celestron 2x barlow showed I could not achieve focus, so this was a very nice surprise!

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Edited by APshooter, 10 May 2017 - 12:11 PM.

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#15 giorgio_ne

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 12:32 PM

Thanks for your reply APshooter. Would you know what sort of thread Lunt uses for the eyepiece side of the B600?



#16 MalVeauX

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 02:32 PM

Heya,

 

Note to others the focus distance is rather different between a normal barlow and the powermates (or any other telecentric design, not just TV's powermates).

 

Very best,



#17 APshooter

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 05:13 PM

Giorgio: I believe they are t threads...

#18 APshooter

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 05:14 PM

Giorgio: I believe they are t threads...

Malveaux is correct. My Celestron 2x Barlow will not focus with the Lunt 50.

#19 Anne K

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 11:38 AM

APshooter, thanks for this info! I just purchased a ZWO camera and was having trouble getting it in focus. 



#20 ONCEWASER

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 12:49 PM

Curious question: so with the 50T using the B1200, were the rest of your accessories the same as when you used the B600? ie, moonlite focuser, extender?

 

I am surprised to hear the focus is further back on the b1200 vs b600 ( I was under the impression the mechanics and physical nature of the units would be identical if not very very close to one another). Did they have the same size tube into the focuser? Either way, glad to hear you got this working now!



#21 saguaro

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 02:14 PM

Looks like red has become the defacto fashion statement color for astronomy!  lol.gif

 

I was surprised to see Ron offers a baby Moonlite just for this scope.  Sure beats the stock helical, doesn't it?  The LS 60 has a Feathertouch option available for it, but not the LS50.

There is a Feathertouch focuser option for the LS50, both one speed and two speed options are available. For example, see https://www.cloudyni...rtouch-focuser/



#22 APshooter

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 02:35 PM

Oncewaser: Yes, all my accessories were the same. I had the same Moonlite but could not get the camera to come into Focus.
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#23 APshooter

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 02:37 PM

Saguaro: I went the Moonlite focuser that Ron makes or his particular scope since I already had experifence with the Moonlite from another telescope.

#24 Scott Beith

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 04:38 PM

Excellent setup and a really nice image.  Congrats on finding a successful resolution to the focusing issue.  waytogo.gif



#25 APshooter

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 04:57 PM

Thanks!




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