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Should I be concerned?

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#1 hopskipson

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 02:20 PM

I took delivery of  a brand new Lunt LS60T Ha with a 1200 blocking filter.  Of course there was terrible weather for days and when the sun was out I had to work late.  So today it was sunny albeit a little hazy at times.  I mounted the scope and aligned on the sun.  Got to focus with a 25 mm TV plossl.  So far so good, no features  yet. Followed the directions to burp the pressure tuner and I watched the image get a little contrast and saw a prom I think.  After hearing the little pop/burp I tried to tune it again.  I had no success.  Thought I saw a change but I think it was my eyes getting fatigued.  Rested for awhile and went back, but still absolutely no details.  I've owned a Quark for the past 1,5 years so I know what to look for in features.  All I'm getting is a blank orange disk.  It isn't cold yet (60 F) so I don't think it is the blocking filter being too cold.  I tried to add a touch of grease to the pressure chamber wall and I feel some resistance when the O-ring seats properly.  I've cranked it all the way in until it bottoms out which isn't easy.

 

Anyone have suggestions?  Right now it has clouded over and rain tomorrow.  My next chance for any observing is next weekend which is forecast to be sunny but who knows.  I'm not in panic mode yet but I'm more than a little concerned. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.


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#2 Tyson M

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 02:41 PM

A few things worth mentioning.  It is starting of winter for us northerners, so the sun is getting lower.  With poor seeing and transparency and looking through more atmosphere, it can impede the views.

 

Also, the sun is quiet these days/years.  Solar minimum. But you should see disk detail.

Also, colder temperatures make the B1200 blocking filter work a bit worse, as you noted. I took delivery of a scope in winter.  The views were blank and orange like you noted, although it was 0 deg C or -5 deg C I believe .

 

But a "pop or burp" is a new one for me.  The pressure tuner should work after a few screw turns usually. O ring and grease make it so.  The more turns in, the less quality of a seal in the chamber I would think. Each scope is a bit different id say on the number of turns in. Regardless- I don't think anyone is suppose to hear a pop when tuning, perhaps you went too much?

Are you sure you have focus? The B1200 can be slid outwards to help achieve focus. Try playing with that next time and with a higher power eyepiece to help see details- although if the solar limb is sharp, then you have focus.


Edited by Tyson M, 26 October 2019 - 02:51 PM.

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#3 BYoesle

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 02:51 PM

You obviously live in a populated area that must have an astronomy club somewhere nearby. Contact them to see if any members have a similar scope and make the effort to do a compare and contrast. A last resort would be to contact Lunt directly and describe what is going on. They should be helpful and check it out for proper performance and fix you up under warranty if needed.


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#4 descott12

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 03:46 PM

Hey James,

I have the 50 mm pressure-tuned scope and I don't recall ever hearing a burp or pop. Did that occur as you were increasing the pressure? Mine tunes at about 1 rotation from fully in and, as you said, it takes a good bit of twisting force to tune all the way in. So that sounds normal to me but the pop is a little odd...

 

I have the DS and the surface detail is always pretty sharp when tuned and focused. It has been awhile since I ran in SS mode so I don't remember exactly but I don't remember being terribly  impressed with the surface detail in SS mode.

 

I know you have quite a bit of experience with this but it sounds possibly more like really bad seeing or a focus issue? Was the limb/edge nice and sharp? I guess it was as you did see a prom at one point. Definitely a little odd.

 

I think you will love this scope so don't despair. You probably just had a bad day.


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#5 hopskipson

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 04:49 PM

You obviously live in a populated area that must have an astronomy club somewhere nearby. Contact them to see if any members have a similar scope and make the effort to do a compare and contrast. A last resort would be to contact Lunt directly and describe what is going on. They should be helpful and check it out for proper performance and fix you up under warranty if needed.

Thanks Bob,

Astronomy is really a lonely hobby for me.  Going to a club meeting means time(the club meets about  and that is a premium in my busy work-family-friends schedule.  I'm hoping this was just an anomaly of bad seeing. How much detail should I see in a scope like this?

 

Hey James,

I have the 50 mm pressure-tuned scope and I don't recall ever hearing a burp or pop. Did that occur as you were increasing the pressure? Mine tunes at about 1 rotation from fully in and, as you said, it takes a good bit of twisting force to tune all the way in. So that sounds normal to me but the pop is a little odd...

 

I have the DS and the surface detail is always pretty sharp when tuned and focused. It has been awhile since I ran in SS mode so I don't remember exactly but I don't remember being terribly  impressed with the surface detail in SS mode.

 

I know you have quite a bit of experience with this but it sounds possibly more like really bad seeing or a focus issue? Was the limb/edge nice and sharp? I guess it was as you did see a prom at one point. Definitely a little odd.

 

I think you will love this scope so don't despair. You probably just had a bad day.

Thanks Dave

The instructions say to un-thread the pressure tuner piston until you hear a pop or burp so it will then calibrate to your altitude.  After this burp then thread it back on until you start to see details. Have you ever tried to observe with any haze in the sky?  



#6 RickV

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:22 PM

Hi James,

 

I suggest:

 

1.  Check what features there are on the sun with the 'H Alpha Network Monitor (NSO/GONG)' at http://halpha.nso.edu/

The images there will show you the current sunspots and surface features that are visible in Ha.  You should be able to see those features in your scope.

 

2.  "After hearing the little pop/burp I tried to tune it again."
I owned a Lunt LS50 with pressure tuner; I never heard it pop or burp.

 

3.  "I've cranked it all the way in until it bottoms out which isn't easy."
Yikes!  I didn't know that was even possible.

My LS50 used to come on band at the last few turns before the bottom - that's about 10 to 12 psi at the scope.  It took quite a bit of force to get there.

 

I'm concerned about 2 and 3 above, pop/burp, bottom out???  I wonder if you may have gone too far.  I suggest you have someone with a similar scope test yours... something is not right here.

 

Best,
Rick


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#7 descott12

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:23 PM

 

Thanks Dave

The instructions say to un-thread the pressure tuner piston until you hear a pop or burp so it will then calibrate to your altitude.  After this burp then thread it back on until you start to see details. Have you ever tried to observe with any haze in the sky?  

Ok, yes, there might be a little burp when you take it all the way off.  I did do that when I first unpacked it and there probably was an audible burp then.  I think I read in another post that it is probably a good idea to do that each session but I rarely do.

 

No, I don't bother unless it is pretty clear. I usually observe mid afternoon when the seeing is probably at its worst so if there is haze on top of that, it probably wouldn't be all that fun to look.


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#8 hopskipson

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 06:22 PM

Hi James,

 

I suggest:

 

1.  Check what features there are on the sun with the 'H Alpha Network Monitor (NSO/GONG)' at http://halpha.nso.edu/

The images there will show you the current sunspots and surface features that are visible in Ha.  You should be able to see those features in your scope.

 

2.  "After hearing the little pop/burp I tried to tune it again."
I owned a Lunt LS50 with pressure tuner; I never heard it pop or burp.

 

3.  "I've cranked it all the way in until it bottoms out which isn't easy."
Yikes!  I didn't know that was even possible.

My LS50 used to come on band at the last few turns before the bottom - that's about 10 to 12 psi at the scope.  It took quite a bit of force to get there.

 

I'm concerned about 2 and 3 above, pop/burp, bottom out???  I wonder if you may have gone too far.  I suggest you have someone with a similar scope test yours... something is not right here.

 

Best,
Rick

Thanks Rick

 

I checked Gong today, of course nothing much going on, but some mottling is visible on Gong, but I've got an orange smooth circle.

 

Since I'm at a few feet above sea level and the scope was tested in Tucson at +2600 ft there is a pressure differential.  When the pressure tuner is loosened up you hear the pressure chamber equalize with a burp. It's in the instructions.

 

The last one concerns me, it was tough to "bottom it out" but I turned it until it didn't turn any more.  Maybe I have a leak?


Edited by hopskipson, 26 October 2019 - 06:23 PM.


#9 descott12

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 06:57 PM

I think bottoming out is ok. My scope definitely goes to a hard stop where you clearly can't go any farther. I don't think you could possibly have gone too far and damaged it.


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#10 bigdob24

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 08:29 PM

Turning the tuner in until it stops is possible if needed.
My 100 doesn't need to go that far and when I tune for proms I Simply back it off about 3 turns and surface detail increases.

I’ve burped it once when I set it up and never heard anything.

If it were my new scope that made an unusual noise I’d be in contact with Lunt ASAP.

Good luck and I’ll be watching for the answer

BD


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#11 BYoesle

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 09:51 PM

Thanks Bob,

Astronomy is really a lonely hobby for me.  Going to a club meeting means time(the club meets about  and that is a premium in my busy work-family-friends schedule.  I'm hoping this was just an anomaly of bad seeing. How much detail should I see in a scope like this?

Hi James,

 

Here's what the sun should look like through single and double stacked filter systems:

 

single v double stacking.jpg

 

When tuned on-band the image should look like the right side of the single stacked image on the left. There should be a definite but subtle mottling of the disc "chromospheric network" of intertwined fibrils and dark mottles, even without filaments or active region plage and sunspots. "Jiggling" the OTA a bit will help to reveal this subtle detail. The thin "double limb" at the solar limb due to the presence of parasitic continuum form the photosphere should be definitely present - note the clearly defined bright inner photosphere edge and the predominance of the small sunspot group. If the thin chromospheric feature extending above the photosphere is not present you likely are completely off-band and seeing only the uniform and currently featureless disc of the photosphere. If your pressure tuner is operating correctly and not leaking, this would mean your etalon is not coming on-band and may not be suited to your altitude. This would need to be addressed by Lunt.


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#12 hopskipson

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 10:19 PM

Thanks again Bob,

 

I own a Quark so I figured it would be similar to what I was getting with my ST80 masked down to 60 mm.  I'm kind of hoping it was more of the high thin wispy haze that was affecting the view and it seemed pretty consistent for most of the session.  At times there was a noticeable double limb but with a featureless disk which I attributed to the focus being off.  At times there was what I would describe as a fringe of fire on one side of the disk but this would come and go. I will contact Lunt on Monday just to make them aware and hear what they can add.



#13 mogur

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 11:28 PM

Any haze will definitely damage the view. During the forest fire season I just got an orange ball also. The "double limb" you mention sounds more like rather bad seeing. Maybe that was the culprit. shrug.gif


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#14 jimandlaura26

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 12:27 AM

Single stack on a quiet Solar disk with any seeing or transparency issues is a tough challenge - even with a high quality Lunt Halpha; and it’s been so for many months. As shown above, double stacking gives you a much better (but dimmer) image; particularly more contrast on surface features. Additionally, the features shown in the images in previous photos are easier to discern than in visual observation.  In both my prior 50 mm single stack and current 60 mm double stack Lunt pressure tuned scopes it’s not uncommon to have to turn the pressure tube knob almost all the way in to pull out surface detail. Go slow in rotating the pressure tuner. Also, give scope and optics some time to acclimate to ambient temperature. Use of towel over head or cup hands around eyepiece/binoviewer also helps. Best of luck…


Edited by jimandlaura26, 27 October 2019 - 12:41 AM.

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#15 junomike

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 09:56 AM

Hi James,

 

Here's what the sun should look like through single and double stacked filter systems:

 

attachicon.gif single v double stacking.jpg

 

When tuned on-band the image should look like the right side of the single stacked image on the left. There should be a definite but subtle mottling of the disc "chromospheric network" of intertwined fibrils and dark mottles, even without filaments or active region plage and sunspots. "Jiggling" the OTA a bit will help to reveal this subtle detail. The thin "double limb" at the solar limb due to the presence of parasitic continuum form the photosphere should be definitely present - note the clearly defined bright inner photosphere edge and the predominance of the small sunspot group. If the thin chromospheric feature extending above the photosphere is not present you likely are completely off-band and seeing only the uniform and currently featureless disc of the photosphere. If your pressure tuner is operating correctly and not leaking, this would mean your etalon is not coming on-band and may not be suited to your altitude. This would need to be addressed by Lunt.

What size telescope/etalon are these?



#16 BYoesle

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:55 AM

Coronado SM90(s) on an ED100/900 refractor.

 

SM90 DS.jpg


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#17 Highburymark

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 05:38 PM

It can be difficult to pick up surface detail with a single stack Lunt 60 when the Sun’s so inactive. However with a hood over your head, you should be able to pick up some mottling over the disc, even if it’s faint. High cloud could wash out that detail however. As can poor seeing obviously.
The two images above comparing SS and DS detail are useful, but in my experience you would need to have a spectacularly good LS60 to see anything like the SS image on the left. Hardly surprising as it’s taken with a 90mm filter. Instead, with most average LS60s (and I’d estimate about 70-80% of examples fall within the ‘average’ description), it’s more a case of slowly teasing out surface detail - I found it took me a few sessions to see everything the scopes could offer.
A lot of Lunt pressure tuned scopes only come on band near the very end of the PT travel. I often turn the tuner as far as will go and then slowly rewind it again - normally detail appears about one turn back from the end. If you continue backing off, surface detail will become fainter and proms should be more obvious. It just takes a while to get to know your scope, and really you need great conditions, an effective good to block out the light, and a few features to focus on to see how it performs. Binoviewers also help on surface detail. Hope you get some better results.
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#18 twjs

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 06:09 PM

My Lunt 80 doesn't yield much surface detail either. I see proms very clearly though. I've never seen the surface detail as in Bobs pix.


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#19 bigdob24

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 07:45 PM

I think a lot of the “not seeing surface detail” is because it’s just not obvious now.
I can tune my 100 for surface, I usually try and find a little something to focus and tune on.

As there’s just not much going on there, it’s difficult until you focus on some small detail a little different than the surrounding area and “tune it in”.

The pics above would represent an excellent seeing day for sure and a larger aperture than 50/60mm, in my opinion and experience.

My main point is that ,ever so subtle , the detail is there if you carefully observe.

This must be the Curse of the Solar Minimum. 
BD

 


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#20 rigel123

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 08:02 PM

I think a lot of the “not seeing surface detail” is because it’s just not obvious now.
I can tune my 100 for surface, I usually try and find a little something to focus and tune on.

As there’s just not much going on there, it’s difficult until you focus on some small detail a little different than the surrounding area and “tune it in”.

The pics above would represent an excellent seeing day for sure and a larger aperture than 50/60mm, in my opinion and experience.

My main point is that ,ever so subtle , the detail is there if you carefully observe.

This must be the Curse of the Solar Minimum. 
BD

When there is the type of activity that Bob shows in his images you don’t necessarily need that much aperture to see or image it.  It pretty much jumps out at you like this image from 5 years ago.  This is with my 60mm Lunt with a .5 reducer.

 

get.jpg?insecure


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#21 descott12

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 09:07 PM

When there is the type of activity that Bob shows in his images you don’t necessarily need that much aperture to see or image it.  It pretty much jumps out at you like this image from 5 years ago.  This is with my 60mm Lunt with a .5 reducer.

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

WOW!!!!



#22 bigdob24

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 07:37 AM

I agree, fantastic images with detail. 

I was referring to visual observation in the comparison.

Always going to have more detail in a pic.

I enjoy the photos here and then go out and look for some of the detail that can be seen through the scope .

BD



#23 rigel123

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 09:27 AM

I agree, fantastic images with detail. 

I was referring to visual observation in the comparison.

Always going to have more detail in a pic.

I enjoy the photos here and then go out and look for some of the detail that can be seen through the scope .

BD

It is like planetary visual, the more you practice and watch for those brief moments of atmospheric clarity, the more you see.  I also think some of the contrast is lost in the red image you see visually in HA whereas B&W in photos simply helps to enhance those details.  I still SEE more details in proms and structures visually than I can capture in my scope.  I have never been able to capture the really fine details in proms that I see visually in brief moments of great seeing.  Of course these are my observations and will vary depending upon the age and conditions of the eyes of the viewer!  Not that my eyes are that great!



#24 bigdob24

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 09:56 AM

My eyes have some age . Guess that’s why I get more aperture if I can.

I agree in observing skills, it’s an art and takes patience.

Im looking to DS my 100 when they go on sale or when the sun fires up, whatever comes first.

Also in my quest for more detail, I just tried a pair of 10mm APM eyepieces and decided there too much for the Midwest. Sent them back and will be trying a pair of 15mm APM eyepieces to see if there useable in the Binos.

Always trying for just a little more

BD


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#25 hopskipson

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 10:01 AM

I think I know what to expect or maybe I’m spoiled by what I’m able to see with the Quark. A blank featureless disk is not good. I should get a chance this weekend as both Saturday and Sunday are forecast for sunny weather. To be continued...
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