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Solar Spectrum Filters

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#1 EricCCD

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 02:00 PM

This is a potentially dangerous topic for me. Well, maybe my wallet.

 

I was idly checking out H-alpha filters other than the usual suspects, and encountered another player in the marketplace:

 

https://solarspectru...calfilters.com/

 

US Price list

https://alpineastro....h-alpha-filters

 

A search here shows an occasional mention of these filters, but very little in the way of discussions about it. I see some discussions about it in the solarchat forum, but still nothing too extensive.

 

The pricing doesn't appear to be too bad, at least when compared to competing rear etalons.

 

What's also curious to me is that because I first heard of them through Baader, I was under the impression that they are Europe-based, but based on their website they at least have a US presence.

 

I'm just curious as to what users of these filters on this forum have to say, how they like them, etc.

 

Just dreaming....


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#2 Chris Westland

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 02:24 PM

They're in Chino Ca where the old Daystar (early 2000s) was located.  Also the design looks somewhat like the older Daystars.   it would be interesting to find out more.



#3 BYoesle

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 02:32 PM

Solar Spectrum has been around for quite a few years, and most of what has been said of them is very positive. I've never seen a post regarding a poor performing unit, although it can happen to any vendor. Solar Spectrum's owner Mark Wagner learned his craft from the original DayStar master Del Woods. He replaced the blockers on my original DayStar ATM filter back in the 90's before leaving DayStar to found Solar Spectrum and introduced the TEC heating and cooling, which remains a significant advantage for filter temperature control. Baader partnered to develop the telecentric optics and DERF's at Marks behest, which makes these filter systems perform optimally.

 

They generally are highly recommended and used by many serious and well-regarded observers and imagers.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Solar Spectrum (2).JPG
  • Solar Spectrum filter componenets.jpg
  • Solar Spectrum RG46.jpg
  • Solar Spectrum filter.jpg

Edited by BYoesle, 04 December 2020 - 08:55 PM.

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#4 dragracingdan

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 06:59 AM

Does Solar Spectrum do calcium filters? I haven't seen any. I have seen some excellent images from their Ha filters though

Best,
Dan

#5 BYoesle

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 08:40 AM

Yes; CaK and H, NA, and probably any other wavelength you might want "380 to 900 nm" in a bandpass filter.



#6 spatzek

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 08:59 AM

3 years ago i started to think about some new Solar equipment. I had a Daystar 0.6A ATM filter and a 127mm Bresser refractor, 2.5x Powermate and some other accessories. My filter needed new blockers and trimmers and when it was at Daystar I got a Quantum house. 

I am a visual observer. In my planning I did talk with the owner of AiryLab and of course Baader. In the end I did order a Triband 8" SCT and the TZ3 system + a 0.4x reducer. This high resolution system works perfect with the Quantum filter. But you always dream about the next step. And the step was a 0.3A filter. When you really are paying high prices you only want the best for the price and hands down the choice was easy. The filter gives breathtaking views and the contrast in the chromosphere is out of this world. The Quantum is a better prominence filter, but both filters high contrast (prominences) on a pure black background is something I really like. 

Yes, he do make Calcium filters.

The next small step: A 4.5x system from Beloptik. 

IMG_1754.jpg


Edited by spatzek, 05 December 2020 - 09:02 AM.

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#7 dragracingdan

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 05:13 PM

Does SS have a website? All I see is other vendors selling their products. Maybe some contact info

Thanks,
Dan

#8 EricCCD

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 09:46 PM

Thanks for the shares so far! Any sample images? :)

 

Dan, I actually have a link to their website in my original post:

 

https://solarspectru...calfilters.com/


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#9 spatzek

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 05:51 AM

Some images from France

https://solarchatfor...php?f=4&t=29977


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#10 EricCCD

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 03:04 PM

Some images from France

https://solarchatfor...php?f=4&t=29977

WOW! shocked.gif



#11 Doug D.

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 12:56 PM

WOW - indeed!



#12 davidpitre

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 08:51 AM

Iā€™m also looking at a Solar Spectrum filter. They recommended a front mount ERF even for a 100mm refractor telling me that a UV/IR after the objective would create thermal issues. Cost is an issue for me. Any comments?

#13 BYoesle

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 02:17 PM

In the long run a front DERF like the Baader, Lunt, or BelOptik will prolong the life of the much more expensive H alpha filter system. Think of it as a long term investment versus an up-front expense. It's just part of the reality of good solar filter system which incorporates a truly optimum ERF design. 



#14 spatzek

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 03:25 PM

I used a UV/IR filter on my Daystar ATM filter and a 127mm refractor. Without no doubt it did accelerate the blocking filter (the red one first in the stack) deterioration. After I got it back from Daystar as a Quantum filter this filter and my SolarSpectrum filter will always get a prober ERF.  Dont play around with premium filters....



#15 briansalomon1

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 03:48 PM

In the long run a front DERF like the Baader, Lunt, or BelOptik will prolong the life of the much more expensive H alpha filter system. Think of it as a long term investment versus an up-front expense. It's just part of the reality of good solar filter system which incorporates a truly optimum ERF design. 

You can look at it this way: A 100mm objective sees roughly 6 or 7 watts (I can show the math if anyone's interested) and most of it is focused onto a fairly small diagonal/quark concentrating the energy considerably. All we usually want is the visual range 400 - 700 nm. An ERF will block the unwanted light from entering the scope reducing the heat load on your optics by about half.

 

https://www.google.c...Q4dUDCAw&uact=5

 

I'm using the Daystar yellow glass front mounted ERF which seems to work OK.


Edited by briansalomon1, 08 December 2020 - 03:52 PM.


#16 markthais

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 07:07 PM

Hi, 

Mark Wagner here ,"Solar Spectrum"

So you know, I am part of this group, have been for years. I have been and amateur solar astronomer since I was a kid.  The first Ha filter I used was a Carson( Del Wood worked for them) Skysphere. I borrowed the filter from a professor that I knew from a nearby college. I've been hooked every since. 

 

The point of the ERF has two purposes, 1) keep the heat out of the scope. Heating of the air in the scope will degrade the image. 2) Help the filter from overheating( moving the CW into the red wing). The mica etalon moves 1 Ang in wavelength every 9.5eg C. So if your filters is on band at 40C. Let say you measured the temperature of the solar image from your scope  with  only the ERF and it measured 50C. When you have the filter in the beam it will move off band from the extra energy.    This will always happen with heating only ovens. This is the reason I use TEC's to control the CW.

The point of a red ERF is that it is blocking more energy. A yellow ERF will block less energy. The DERF uses coatings to block the most energy. The UV/IR filters will transmit more energy then the yellow ERF. They transmit the major part of the visible spectrum. I'm not really sure the point of them. The UV will not hurt the front blocker and your getting much more heat  then what the IR is blocking. 

The closest thing to a add I would post, is that I make a quality product at a fair price. 

Thank you for asking if I make K-line filters, as Bob pointed out, I can make you whatever you need in the visible wavelengths


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#17 Klaus_160

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 07:57 PM

Hi Mark,

 

I just sent you a PM.



#18 George9

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 09:33 AM

Here are some photos of my recently purchased RG32 0.3A, on a 155mm AP155 and on a C11. It is shown double stacked, but I use it both SS and DS.

 

(And very happy to see the price list up now.)

 

George

Attached Thumbnails

  • rg32.jpg
  • IMG_7964 copy.jpg

Edited by George9, 11 December 2020 - 09:38 AM.

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#19 briansalomon1

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 02:23 PM

Hi, 

Mark Wagner here ,"Solar Spectrum"

So you know, I am part of this group, have been for years. I have been and amateur solar astronomer since I was a kid.  The first Ha filter I used was a Carson( Del Wood worked for them) Skysphere. I borrowed the filter from a professor that I knew from a nearby college. I've been hooked every since. 

 

The point of the ERF has two purposes, 1) keep the heat out of the scope. Heating of the air in the scope will degrade the image. 2) Help the filter from overheating( moving the CW into the red wing). The mica etalon moves 1 Ang in wavelength every 9.5eg C. So if your filters is on band at 40C. Let say you measured the temperature of the solar image from your scope  with  only the ERF and it measured 50C. When you have the filter in the beam it will move off band from the extra energy.    This will always happen with heating only ovens. This is the reason I use TEC's to control the CW.

The point of a red ERF is that it is blocking more energy. A yellow ERF will block less energy. The DERF uses coatings to block the most energy. The UV/IR filters will transmit more energy then the yellow ERF. They transmit the major part of the visible spectrum. I'm not really sure the point of them. The UV will not hurt the front blocker and your getting much more heat  then what the IR is blocking. 

The closest thing to a add I would post, is that I make a quality product at a fair price. 

Thank you for asking if I make K-line filters, as Bob pointed out, I can make you whatever you need in the visible wavelengths

Very valuable voice to have an OEM here as part of the forum.


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#20 cptbobrfh

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 07:31 PM

Here are some photos of my recently purchased RG32 0.3A, on a 155mm AP155 and on a C11. It is shown double stacked, but I use it both SS and DS.

 

(And very happy to see the price list up now.)

 

George

George,your setups are absolutely amazing! I want what you have when I grow up( I'm 65). šŸ¤£


Edited by cptbobrfh, 11 December 2020 - 07:32 PM.


#21 hopskipson

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 11:52 PM

Hi,
Mark Wagner here ,"Solar Spectrum"
So you know, I am part of this group, have been for years. I have been and amateur solar astronomer since I was a kid. The first Ha filter I used was a Carson( Del Wood worked for them) Skysphere. I borrowed the filter from a professor that I knew from a nearby college. I've been hooked every since.

The point of the ERF has two purposes, 1) keep the heat out of the scope. Heating of the air in the scope will degrade the image. 2) Help the filter from overheating( moving the CW into the red wing). The mica etalon moves 1 Ang in wavelength every 9.5eg C. So if your filters is on band at 40C. Let say you measured the temperature of the solar image from your scope with only the ERF and it measured 50C. When you have the filter in the beam it will move off band from the extra energy. This will always happen with heating only ovens. This is the reason I use TEC's to control the CW.
The point of a red ERF is that it is blocking more energy. A yellow ERF will block less energy. The DERF uses coatings to block the most energy. The UV/IR filters will transmit more energy then the yellow ERF. They transmit the major part of the visible spectrum. I'm not really sure the point of them. The UV will not hurt the front blocker and your getting much more heat then what the IR is blocking.
The closest thing to a add I would post, is that I make a quality product at a fair price.
Thank you for asking if I make K-line filters, as Bob pointed out, I can make you whatever you need in the visible wavelengths


Hi Mark
So what is the difference between the Research grade and the Solar Observer unit? Would it be better to get the larger 25 mm blocking filter of the Observer or the 18 of the research grade? Would your etalon work with an Aries DERF? Thanks for chiming in.

#22 George9

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 04:38 PM

George,your setups are absolutely amazing! I want what you have when I grow up( I'm 65).

Hey, thanks, cptbobrth. I have been collecting and swapping for decades now.

 

I picked the 32mm RG based on that filling a large binoviewer because I am mostly visual. The need for f/30 means you are at pretty high power, so a larger filter can be important to achieve the field of view. I previously used a Quark at 21mm and I was very happy, but the extra field of view made a big difference. I used to use 21 Denk eyepieces and it would vignette, and now I use 24mm Panoptics and fill the field. If the 46mm RG 0.3A were readily available, I might have gotten it, which would give a great view in something like a 31 Nagler, but I would not use that as much as the binoviewer. If you are imaging, then no sense in going too much over your sensor size unless you plan to upgrade the sensor.

 

For visual, the consistency of the field is less important than for imaging, but I still went for the RG. Honestly, all the H-alpha filters I have looked through in recent years have been pretty consistent. The views I used to see in the 1990s were much more uneven, but seeing H-alpha for the first time was magical, so who cared. But the detail I can see in my current scope is like the difference between looking at the Moon in binoculars (my 1990s views) versus a good telescope (current view). With good seeing, it looks a lot like a well-processed image.

 

George


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#23 cptbobrfh

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 05:29 PM

Hey, thanks, cptbobrth. I have been collecting and swapping for decades now.

 

I picked the 32mm RG based on that filling a large binoviewer because I am mostly visual. The need for f/30 means you are at pretty high power, so a larger filter can be important to achieve the field of view. I previously used a Quark at 21mm and I was very happy, but the extra field of view made a big difference. I used to use 21 Denk eyepieces and it would vignette, and now I use 24mm Panoptics and fill the field. If the 46mm RG 0.3A were readily available, I might have gotten it, which would give a great view in something like a 31 Nagler, but I would not use that as much as the binoviewer. If you are imaging, then no sense in going too much over your sensor size unless you plan to upgrade the sensor.

 

For visual, the consistency of the field is less important than for imaging, but I still went for the RG. Honestly, all the H-alpha filters I have looked through in recent years have been pretty consistent. The views I used to see in the 1990s were much more uneven, but seeing H-alpha for the first time was magical, so who cared. But the detail I can see in my current scope is like the difference between looking at the Moon in binoculars (my 1990s views) versus a good telescope (current view). With good seeing, it looks a lot like a well-processed image.

 

George

I have looked thru your H-Alpha " Solar Cannon" at NEAF and have to say that your setup gave me the ultimate WOW factor every time! I am strictly a visual solar observer since 2004 and enjoy solar over nighttime observing now,having done the nighttime for decades,H-Alpha brings me much joy! I use a Quark Chromosphere with WO Binoviewers on a Lunt Engineering 102mm ED F/7 refractor,after owning Coronado/Lunt dedicated scopes,and for me, this setup is perfect for me.My Quark is TRULY amazing! I asked Jen Winters at NEAF 2014, if she could get me one that is close to 0.3A and did she ever deliver!  I hope to see you in the courtyard at NEAF once again, as well as other solar observers who know what you bring to the Solar Party, as you bring H-Alpha Solar Obeserving to an incredible level!

Thanks for all you bring to Solar Observing,George!

 

Best,

 

Bob


Edited by cptbobrfh, 12 December 2020 - 05:42 PM.

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#24 George9

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 07:08 PM

Hi, Bob. Thanks again. That's a great set up you have. Always ready and easy to set up, and great view.

 

I don't know what will happen this year with NEAF, but I am afraid I will be away if the virus is sufficiently clear, so I will miss either way. If it gets postponed, then I can get there. We really should do the solar party twice a year. I'd do it four times a year if they had it. Hmmm.

 

George



#25 cptbobrfh

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 07:31 PM

Hi, Bob. Thanks again. That's a great set up you have. Always ready and easy to set up, and great view.

 

I don't know what will happen this year with NEAF, but I am afraid I will be away if the virus is sufficiently clear, so I will miss either way. If it gets postponed, then I can get there. We really should do the solar party twice a year. I'd do it four times a year if they had it. Hmmm.

 

George

Yes,this setup is so quick and easy to set up for me.Thank you! I also have a 120mm Konus Achromat F/8 that I also use with the Quark when the seeing is exceptional here in the Hudson Valley,to kick up the resolution a notch. I use a Ioptron Minitower II Enhanced mount,which is AWESOME for visual. It tracks incredibly well! I share your concern about the virus,for sure! I,too,am hesitant because of my age. With that being said,I and others would LOVE to do solar parties at RCCC at least twice a year,as well! Great idea! 4 times would be Solar Nirvana! Hmmm.šŸ¤£šŸ‘

 

Stay safe and healthy,George!

 

Best,

 

Bob


Edited by cptbobrfh, 12 December 2020 - 07:38 PM.

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