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Author Topic: To Lunt or not to Lunt?  (Read 4081 times)

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Offline Mogster

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To Lunt or not to Lunt?
« on: 14:17:09, 31 March, 2010 »
I'm in the market for a new HA solarscope, solar activity seems to be picking up so and I'd like to have something to use by the summer. I've had a PST, well still do, but its a poor blue front replacement of a rusted one from Meade Europe (long story). Contrast is awful, I've never been able to see much more than white light surface detail with it, I'm assuming its just a poor etalon as my gold fronter was fantastic pre rust.

I'd like something better than the PST so the options seem to be Lunt LS60, Solarscope, or Daystar on my 9.25. of course there's also the Coronado SM60 but after my PST experiences I'm not inclined to give Meade more of my cash. Lunt seems to be the best option bang for $$$ but after my PST problems the reports of poor QC make me nervous, Solarscope would be perfect but its vv expensive. Daystar on my 9.25 would be off axis which doesn't seem to be the best option, once again it'd be serious cash.

My head and wallet say Lunt but my heart says Solarscope, any thoughts?
CPC 9.25 SCT, 127 Mak, WO Zenithstar 2 ED80, Coronado PST, Pentax 12x50

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: To Lunt or not to Lunt?
« Reply #1 on: 15:41:41, 31 March, 2010 »
Do you have an idea about budget ?  Also would you be wanting to use it mainly for visual or imaging work or indeed a combination of the two ?

Now is indeed the time to start viewing the sun as it is most definitely waking up with plenty of activity every day now (there are at least two AR's/spots on it's surface currently !)

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline Merlin66

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Re: To Lunt or not to Lunt?
« Reply #2 on: 19:29:57, 31 March, 2010 »
A couple of options come to mind...
I have the Coronado SM60 ( infact two of them double stacked!) I can honestly say they are first class with absolutely NO quality issues.
Whatever concerns you may have about the PST... the Solar Max is a completely different item.
The other option is to check out your PST etalon ( drop me a PM) and convert it to a modded 80mm Ha scope. Will cost you a Vixen 80mm f11 OTA, Baader D-ERF and a Coronado or Lunt blocking filter (BF10 or BF15) and a couple of adaptors.

Ken
C11, C9.25 SCT, 4" Genesis, NEQ6pro, modded 1000D,  ATik314L+, DMK41AF04, SM60DS/BF15, and Spectroscopes (many!).
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/astronomical_spectroscopy/
"Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs", "Grating Spectroscopes-How to Use them" -Springer

Offline Mogster

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Re: To Lunt or not to Lunt?
« Reply #3 on: 00:35:17, 01 April, 2010 »
I'm looking at a budget of around 3K, I might stretch it a bit, have some overtime pay coming. It'll be mostly for visual use but I do attempt a bit of imaging from time to time so not purely visual.

I've always fancied an SM60 but recently buying a Coronado product seems to be accepting that there's next to no after sales support. TH seem happy to admit their current problems with Meade, I feel sorry for them to a degree, being Meade agents can't be easy at the moment. Pricing is another issue, Meade seem to have dropped US prices of their higher end solar kit quite a bit recently but UK prices don't seem to have changed much. The standard SM60 BF10 is only $2500 from OPT, 3KGBP from TH still, even with £/$ at 1.5 that still doesn't add up.

As far as mods go I wish I'd kept my original gold fronted PST as it had far more contrast than the blue front Meade replaced it with. I tend to believe that I ended up with something that Meade Europe (Germany) had hanging around, possibly a return sent out to shut me up. At the time I was so fed up with them that I couldn't be bothered sending it off again and just shelved it.
CPC 9.25 SCT, 127 Mak, WO Zenithstar 2 ED80, Coronado PST, Pentax 12x50

Offline Einari

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Re: To Lunt or not to Lunt?
« Reply #4 on: 10:53:33, 01 April, 2010 »
If you have PST with poor contrast I think it's because of misplaced etalon.
I've had one (result of dropping).
Our club has double stacked Lunt 60 scope and it showed real promice when I last time did imaging with it. Way more details than my hand picked PST.
Tapio

Celestron C8, C9.25" & Hyperstar, iOptron CEM60-EC, TS 80 triplet,  Coronado PST, SXV-694,  ASI120MM/ASI174MC Cool

Offline Mogster

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Re: To Lunt or not to Lunt?
« Reply #5 on: 12:12:56, 01 April, 2010 »
My recieving the replacement PST corresponded with the start of solar minimum, up to now I haven't missed using it that much as even in HA there hasn't been much to see. I could have sold it but knowing it isn't that great I'd feel awful passing it on.

My initial gold front PST was good but I always thought it should and could have been better. The PST's focuser is poor and I always felt that I was looking at a tiny image at the end of a long tube. I don't really think that 40mm with a HA filter on the front is enough, the image through the gold front PST got quite dim at x40. I did enjoy HA observing hugely though, its nice to use the ep's and other gear in the warm.

CPC 9.25 SCT, 127 Mak, WO Zenithstar 2 ED80, Coronado PST, Pentax 12x50

 

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