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Posts Made By: Andrew Chatman

November 24, 2002 03:51 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Pronto Purchase Question

Posted By Andrew Chatman

Hi. I wondered if anyone who might be online Sunday might know the answer to this:

The Pronto is sold as a package (with 2" diagonal and extras), and as a simple OTA for a lot less.

My question: In the OTA-only configuration, will the Pronto accept my Televue 2" everbright diagonal? Or do I have to get the more expensive Pronto in order to use a 2" diagonal with it?

Thanks. macnmotion

January 15, 2003 11:35 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Homemade Baader Binocular Filters

Posted By Andrew Chatman

Today I built a simple, effective and safe filter set for my Canon IS binoculars. The idea was to sandwich baader film between two pairs of screw on filters, then screw the sets onto my binoculars.

I originally intended to knock out the glass of the filters, however the more I thought about it, the more I wanted the extra protection that the UV glass provided so the film doesn't get damaged. I imagind I'm probably paying a bit of a price in how the light is reaching me (maybe some additional reflections?), but my first casual tests show it's not an issue.

I started with a square of baader film, about 1/2" larger than the diameter of the filters. I then carefully screwed two filters together, with the film in between. I've been taught that it's better to have the film be somewhat loose in your filter for best performance. Unfortunately a by-product of the sandwich process is that I ended up with a tight film. I also was careful to check that the film wasn't torn through during the screwing process. Once the film was in place and the filters were tight, I trimmed the excess film, still leaving a small amount. Finally, I used clear tape around the circumference of the filters, taping down the excess filter material to protect it from tearing/snagging, while at the same time taping together the two filters.

I repeated this with a second pair of filters, then attached the combinations to my binoculars. After performing a thorough light test to make sure I didn't have any tears/holes, I tried the binoculars out on the sun. They work flawlessly.

Here are links to a couple of photos:

Here are the filter sandwiches, completed with tape wrapped around them:

Here are my binoculars with the filters attached:


February 7, 2003 04:16 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: pin-holes in Baader AstroSolar filters

Posted By Andrew Chatman

Hi Rob,

I'm going to give some different advice than the other post.

I took a seminar on solar filter building with baader film at our local astrofest last summer. I made a set of slip-on binocular filters. What I learned is that in fact you get better image results if you leave the film very loose, to the point where there are numerous wavy wrinkles. Here is an image of one of those filters:

I also recently made a second set, where I sandwiched the film between two UV filters. This provides protection for the film and also provides more safety in that the screwed-on filters are in no danger of falling off the binoculars. The down side is that the process of screwing the sandwich of filters together tightens up the film, no wrinkles! Here'a an image:

As for covering holes, I learned that I should use an opaquing fluid, like a white-out type of coverup liquid. I was told that small fixes like this shouldn't cause much degradation in the image.

Good luck, and always be careful looking at the sun!!


February 14, 2003 05:31 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Telepod Head vs. Manfrotto 410 Gear Head

Posted By Andrew Chatman

I have a Manfrotto Gear Head sitting on a Bogen 3021 tripod. I'm using this setup with a Pronto. It's nice to have the slow-motion ability of the gear head. However, it's also very slow moving far across the sky, and it also has locked up on me in the past requiring repair.

So, would I be happy with the Telepod Head, a Pronto Balancing Aid, and an Eyepiece Caddy? Is the Bogen 3021 hefty enough for this setup?

Thanks. macnmotion

March 3, 2003 10:23 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

How to use telepod balancing plate?

Posted By Andrew Chatman

I received a balancing plate to use with my telepod head and Pronto. Unfortunately, there are no directions with it (in fact no allen wrench to fit the screws that came with it either).

Can someone explain how to use this plate to adjust the balance of the Pronto for instance when I've got one of my larger EPs in it (17 Nagler, 31 Nagler)?

Balance seems to be OK using 1-1/4" EPs and not using the balance plate, but from my recent experience, I switch back and forth between the 17mm and my 1-1/4" EPs.

Thanks. macnmotion

March 5, 2003 04:27 AM Forum: TeleVue

Telepod Head -- Zenith restricted?

Posted By Andrew Chatman

Hi. I just set up my telepod head to use with my Pronto. When I try to point to the zenith, the handle of the telepod head runs into the cradle base, preventing the scope from reaching the zenith. Am I doing something wrong? I have the handle connected to the cradle base with the base of the handle underneath the cradle base, and the screws going down through the cradle base to connect to the handle base.

Here is a photo showing the vertical limit. I've highlighted the area where the handle hits the cradle base with a red square.

Thanks. macnmotion

April 30, 2003 05:53 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Example of what Stacking can do for you

Posted By Andrew Chatman

For those who are interested, I placed up an example of the benefit of stacking (combining) multiple images of the same deep sky object. Stacking images allows you to increase your signal/noise ratio, and the combined data allows you to process the image more aggressively to bring out fainter details of the object you're photographing.

Take a look at the following page. Just roll your cursor in and out of the photo on the screen, and it will blink between two images. The initial image is a RAW file right out of the digital camera (Canon D60). The rollover image is the result of stacking 10 of these RAW images, and then doing a bit more image processing. (Note: images are large, give them several seconds to load):

May 4, 2003 08:52 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Added some exposure time to my M13

Posted By Andrew Chatman

I was able to grab 42 more minutes of M13 last night, resulting in 1:12 total.

The unguided exposures cry out for some guiding. And I still have some noise in there to process out. But considering I'm in Week #2 of this DSO stuff, I'm pretty pleased.


May 4, 2003 09:02 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

And added some exposure time to M57

Posted By Andrew Chatman

Was able to double up my exposure of M57 from 30 minutes to a full hour.

This one really shows the need for some type of guiding. I've begun to research an autoguider that can work with my LX200 and keep my on target for up to 5-minute exposures. I'd like to hook it to my piggybacked Pronto, but will use my Easy Guider if necessary. Any recommendations appreciated (I'm budget conscious at the moment, too!!)


June 6, 2003 12:25 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

SolarMax 60 First light image

Posted By Andrew Chatman

Got my SolarMax 60 today after patiently waiting about 2-1/2 months (OK, I wasn't very patient).

I grabbed a first light image. Technique needs practice, especially combining the Prominence image with the surface image seamlessly. Here's the image.