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Coronado Solarmax Tuning Tutorial?

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#1 dtran1968

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 10:16 AM

Are there any tutorial on how to tune the Double Stack Coronado Solarmax?

 

Thanks,

Do



#2 Napp

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 02:43 PM

Do, the following is based on a posting on another site modified based on my experience.  Hopefully this will help with yours.

 

 

How to Focus & Tune Meade Coronado SolarMax II 60

 

1. Start with the single stack. I use a zoom EP set at 12mm so I can see the whole disk clearly with some black around it.
   a. Pull the drawtube out to get the sharpest view- tighten the drawtube screws
   b. Turn the focusing ring to fine tune focus of the solar disk
   c. Use richview tuning to bring out details

2. Add the double stack.
   a. Turn the Tmax all the way to the left, [may see ghosting at this point] then slowly turn to the right until ghosting is gone

       and you have the brightest view. 

   b. Turn the focusing ring at the front of the double stack to fine tune.

 

I have noticed that with the double stack on, if I zoom in for a closer look, I have to fine tune the focus as I view different areas because of the narrower bandwidth. This is normal. For photos, the double stack will darken the image and many people remove it and shoot with the single stack.


Edited by Napp, 15 October 2017 - 02:45 PM.

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#3 dtran1968

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 05:35 PM

Do, the following is based on a posting on another site modified based on my experience.  Hopefully this will help with yours.

 

 

How to Focus & Tune Meade Coronado SolarMax II 60

 

1. Start with the single stack. I use a zoom EP set at 12mm so I can see the whole disk clearly with some black around it.
   a. Pull the drawtube out to get the sharpest view- tighten the drawtube screws
   b. Turn the focusing ring to fine tune focus of the solar disk
   c. Use richview tuning to bring out details

2. Add the double stack.
   a. Turn the Tmax all the way to the left, [may see ghosting at this point] then slowly turn to the right until ghosting is gone

       and you have the brightest view. 

   b. Turn the focusing ring at the front of the double stack to fine tune.

 

I have noticed that with the double stack on, if I zoom in for a closer look, I have to fine tune the focus as I view different areas because of the narrower bandwidth. This is normal. For photos, the double stack will darken the image and many people remove it and shoot with the single stack.

Thank you very much Napp. 



#4 Glenn Graham

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:44 AM

Your scope is a SolarMaxIII which is similar to my setup in that the etalons are both external and removeable. This makes life a bit easier to find the best setting for each separately.

 

Please be very careful when working with solar filters. You must have at least one of the etalons and the blocking filter in place to safely view the Sun. With so many pieces (etalons, tilt tuners, blocking filter) it is easy to miss something when you are first learning.

 

When starting out, I read the postings by Bob here on CN. They are clear and he also includes details so you understand why. Based on Bob's write-up, I first tried each etalon separately to determine the best RichView position that gave the best contrast and brightness. The RV tuner has its range limited by a small pin in a track, I used a dot of paint to mark the location of the pin at best tune for reference. I then assembled the full double stack with each etalon tuned to its reference mark and tried adjusting from there. After several attempts, I found that I was at the same, or very close, to the refence marks when the view was best. I've been using these same settings to start my sessions ever since. I rarely need to tune away from them much, only a small tweek from the reference marks, and usually only the inner-most tuner. As a "sanity check" I will occasionally de-tune the filters and try to improve on the view but typically find myself close to the original marks at best or less happy with the result.

 

Finally, with the RichView tuning the TMax is primarily used to remove overlap with the ghost image. In my case, the ghost image is just off to the side with no overlap with the TMax set to 0 so I just removed it to lessen the weight and shorten the length. If you need the TMax to remove overlap, keep it at a minimum and maybe not trying to remove the ghost entirely from view.


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#5 dtran1968

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 08:57 PM

Your scope is a SolarMaxIII which is similar to my setup in that the etalons are both external and removeable. This makes life a bit easier to find the best setting for each separately.

 

Please be very careful when working with solar filters. You must have at least one of the etalons and the blocking filter in place to safely view the Sun. With so many pieces (etalons, tilt tuners, blocking filter) it is easy to miss something when you are first learning.

 

When starting out, I read the postings by Bob here on CN. They are clear and he also includes details so you understand why. Based on Bob's write-up, I first tried each etalon separately to determine the best RichView position that gave the best contrast and brightness. The RV tuner has its range limited by a small pin in a track, I used a dot of paint to mark the location of the pin at best tune for reference. I then assembled the full double stack with each etalon tuned to its reference mark and tried adjusting from there. After several attempts, I found that I was at the same, or very close, to the refence marks when the view was best. I've been using these same settings to start my sessions ever since. I rarely need to tune away from them much, only a small tweek from the reference marks, and usually only the inner-most tuner. As a "sanity check" I will occasionally de-tune the filters and try to improve on the view but typically find myself close to the original marks at best or less happy with the result.

 

Finally, with the RichView tuning the TMax is primarily used to remove overlap with the ghost image. In my case, the ghost image is just off to the side with no overlap with the TMax set to 0 so I just removed it to lessen the weight and shorten the length. If you need the TMax to remove overlap, keep it at a minimum and maybe not trying to remove the ghost entirely from view.

Thank Glenn. Sorry I didn't get to your place on Saturday, I want to get to Stub before the sun goes down to setting up the other scope for some DSO imaging. 

 

Is it better to have two Richview Tuning on the Double Stack? The reason I ask because the Solarmax III Double Stack has only one Richview Tuning from the factory but if you buy Single Stack and extra filter, you'll have two Richview tuning



#6 Glenn Graham

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 12:26 AM

Is it better to have two Richview Tuning on the Double Stack? The reason I ask because the Solarmax III Double Stack has only one Richview Tuning from the factory but if you buy Single Stack and extra filter, you'll have two Richview tuning

 

Oh! Is that why your photo appears different from Meade's double stack SolarMax III? Did you opt for adding your own RichView double stack filter on the SMIII single stack? I've been puzzling over your photo all evening. Well done!

 

First, I have not compared the difference between them visually and I have read a number of accounts where some owners preferred their tilt-tuned scopes over both pressure tuned and RichView tuned scopes. However, I have seen (also read other accounts) that tilting the etalon for tuning may suffer more from a sweet spot within the field of view than the other tuning mechanisms. With my earlier (early 40mm SolarMax) tilt-tuned filter the contrast varied noticeably across the field of view when observing full disk.

 

With my current pair of 60mm Coronado etalons, using RichView tuning has been great.  With the initial tuning positions marked, I can plop the scope and tripod out on the deck and be observing a nice, high contrast image in just a minute or two.


Edited by Glenn Graham, 17 October 2017 - 12:31 AM.

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#7 BYoesle

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 12:58 PM

Do sent me this pic of his scope, which is not the same as shown on the Meade web site for a DS MSIII.

 

Do scope.jpg

 

Both of Do's etalons have a T-Max tuner and rich-view tuning. Pictures of the DS Maxscope III on the Meade web site indicate the primary etalon only has tilt-tuning. Do's scope is the better system in my opinon, apparently getting the single stacked scope with both tilting and rich-view tuning, and then adding a second rich-vied tuned etalon. Only one T-Max tilt tuner would be necessary.

 

Originally, front etalons were designed with a slight native tuning above the H-alpha line, and were tilted (which shifts the etalon peak blue-ward) to be tuned for ones particular altitude an temperature. Tilting the etalon is also useful to remove ghost reflections from the second etalon when double stacking. Having both tilting and rich-view (mechanical compression) tuning on a single stacked system is therefore somewhat redundant. And it is desirable to keep tilting to the minimum possible and only in order to remove the ghost reflections created when double stacking.

 

I would therefore remove the T-Max tuner from the first etalon closest to the objective, and use only the rich view tuner to bring this "primary" etalon on-band. This occurs when the filaments become their darkest or most dense.

 

Then add the second etalon and use the T-max tuner to remove the retro-reflections between the etalons, which should be seen to move from overlapping each other. Finally use the second etalon's rich view tuning ring to again optimize the density of the filaments so they become darkest. You now should have both etalons tuned to be on-band, and have removed the ghost reflections that otherwise would interfere with observation.


Edited by BYoesle, 18 October 2017 - 01:00 PM.

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#8 dtran1968

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 08:23 PM

Thank you very much Bob. I'll follow this when the rain stop




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