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Posts Made By: Craig Levine

February 3, 2003 09:17 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

So, Does ATWB Sell Filters?

Posted By Craig Levine


Sorry, couldn't resist (see Filters, Finders, Misc classifieds).


- Craig

April 17, 2004 11:32 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Maxscope 40 or SM40/10?

Posted By Craig Levine

Hi all,

I've posted this in a couple of other forums - sorry if you're seeing this twice! I'm ready to purchase a Ha filter, but I have some questions:

I've decided to take the plunge into Ha solar observing. The question now is: "which set-up?"

I've narrowed my options down to two. The PST from Coronado was my initial choice, especially at its price point. The downside is that with back orders and the fact that they haven't shipped yet (at least to my knowledge), it may be 3-5 months before I can get my hands on one. Also, the bandpass on this unit is optimized for prominences at
the expense of solar surface detail

The remaining choices are: Cornado SM40/10, and the Coronado Maxscope 40mm.

I have a 4" f8 (~800mm focal length) refractor. The SM40/10 at first blush is slightly less expensive than the Maxscope, but with the addition of an adapter plate to mount it on the objective of the refractor, the cost works out to be +/- the same. The maxscope is smaller than my 4" scope, so there is the portability factor.

Does one of these options have any other benefits over the other? Can the Maxscope be "de-tuned" i.e. is there a mechanism to change the filter's angle to move the band-pass away from the H-alpha line to observe fast moving (doppler shifted) events? Anyone know what the lead-time is on the Maxscope? The SM40/10 is in stock at a couple of places, but I haven't seen the Maxscope in stock.

Thanks for any input!

- Craig

Craig Levine
Observing Chairman
RASC, Halifax Centre

May 17, 2004 01:56 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

What's the Difference? MS40+BF5 vs MS40+BF10

Posted By Craig Levine

What difference is there in the views in a Maxscope 40 with the 5mm vs 10mm blocking filters? Why is the 'scope sold with one or the other? Are there advantages to either one?

Also, just out of idle curiosity, why is the 70mm Maxscope less expensive than the 60mm Maxscope?!?



June 7, 2004 03:14 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Maxscope 40 Arrived!

Posted By Craig Levine

Whooo-hooo! My brother sent my Astromart-acquired Maxscope 40 w/ BF10 and Cemax EP set to me via UPS ground last Tuesday. Air-shipping would have cost almost $400 Canadian, so I went for the cheaper ground option. Ground to/from either side of the border always takes a minimum of 12-14 working days, with customs being the big delay. I have no Idea why this package zipped straight through. I sure hope that this bodes well for the weather tomorrow!

Here's a quick question or two: What is the large metal thumbscrew beside the BF/diagonal for? Also, why is there a central obstruction in the design?

The weather is cloudy in Nova Scotia at the moment, but as soon as I see a sucker-hole, I'll be outside.

Clear skies to everyone on tuesday!

- Craig

June 10, 2004 11:56 AM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Coronado Maxscope 40mm First Light, and Central Ob

Posted By Craig Levine

Hi all,

My Maxscope 40mm arrived in time for the transit, but unfortunately
the weather in Nova Scotia, Canada, did not cooperate. We had a crowd
set up on a hill in the middle of town and I did two interviews for
the national news media regarding the transit, so the day wasn't a
complete wash. We shared a lot of laughs while we waited for the cloud
deck to lift...which it did, 6 hours after the transit!

I used that 45 minute break to try the scope out. I set it up with a
motorized Orion SkyView Pro mount. Finding the Sun was easy with the
Teleview "Sol-Searcher" attached as a finder. This was my first view
in Ha, and it was AMAZING! There were two prominences visible at the
7:00 position in the view, as well as a dark filament snaking across
the surface. Over the course of the viewing session, changes in the
appearance of the prominences were obvious. Seeing conditions limited
the magnification I could use.

The Cemax eyepieces produced a good image, and were slightly better
than in my 10.5mm Pentax SMC XL. I did notice that the solar detail
was sharpest at the very center of the field of view, and that your
eye had to be positioned "just-so" to avoid black-outs. The blocking
filter was purported to be a BF-10 from the fellow that I purchased it
from, but is in fact a BF-5. Would a BF-10 be less prone to
black-outs? Regardless, I do believe that I am addicted to Ha viewing
after just one brief session.

I also notice that the Maxscope has a central obstruction. What is
its purpose.? I thought that the 'scope was a refractor? Can anyone
shed some light on the design?


- Craig

June 12, 2004 12:10 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Sun on June 12 - Nice Prominence

Posted By Craig Levine

Wow! I just set up the MS40, and there's a large prominence at the 5:00 position in the eyepiece. Take a look if you have the time. Awesome!


- Craig

June 16, 2004 08:14 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Re: PST thoughts/question

Posted By Craig Levine

My 40mm Maxscope is similar in regards to a visual "sweet spot" The center of the FOV is indeed the sharpest, which is not a problem. I just move to the center of the field whichever solar feature is of interest.

I had the 'scope out for its first long (7 hours) observing session with a friend last weekend, and we both found the center to give the best images.

- Craig

August 15, 2004 03:21 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

Cemax Eye-relief Confusion

Posted By Craig Levine

Hi all,

I have the Cemax set, and my observations agree with the stated eye-relief at another webite, i.e. The 12mm Cemax has 8mm of eye-relief, and the 18mm and 25mm's have 12mm and 16mm of eye-relief respectively.

Currently, on Coronado's website, they state that:

"The CEMAX are currently available in 25mm, 18mm, 12mm, and a 2X Barlow. 20mm eye relief. Apparent FOV52 degrees."

Have they changed the design, or is this a marketing error???

- Craig

October 11, 2004 02:39 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

New Meade Series 5000 Eyepieces - Taking a Run At

Posted By Craig Levine

This could be interesting. Based only on this announcement, , it *looks* like Meade is taking a serious run at Televue in the eyepiece game. I notice that Meade has gone back to the 5-element design for the Plossls (which makes it no longer a Plossl, but that's splitting hairs). This is a Masuyama design (i.e. Takahashi LE series), and this design is very good, though Meade describes theirs as having a 60º
apparent field of view vs. the standard 52º.

The Super Wide Angle series looks like a direct competitor to the Televue Panoptic line, and the Ultra Wide Angle series is a Nagler competitor. I see that Meade has tossed away the silly (and incorrect/false) marketing nonsense of one-upmanship in claiming slightly higher specs than the comparable Televue products.

I also note the the current Meade 14mm UWA sells for about US$300 and in the new series, the 14mm is US$100 cheaper. The old 14mm was/is an outstanding EP, considered by most reviewers to be the best that Meade produced and on par with the Televue Naglers. I had one and sold it. I regretted that big-time and picked up another one off Astromart.

These EP's are scheduled for release over the next two months. I'm betting that this is the reason that Televue is having a sale on it's Nagler and Radian line (about 15% off) until the end of the year. I'm betting that if the new Meade EP's live up to the claims Meade has made in this early flyer, Televue will permanently lower the cost of their premium Ep's. Look for a sale on the Panoptic line in the new year. It will be interesting to read the first serious reviews of these new eyepieces. It would be remarkable if Meade actually came up with new eyepieces that could give Televue a run for their money. If they did, it would result in more choice and lower prices for the astro-consumer for premium-quality optics. Wait and see.


- Craig.

(P.S. - I own a couple of cases full of Televue products. I love 'em, but I love competition more)

December 2, 2004 02:04 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Shipping Over Borders

Posted By Craig Levine

Mostly on-topic, seeing as it involves shipping equipment...

Folks, if you're shipping to Canada (or elsewhere for that matter), do NOT use UPS or any other courier for that matter, and please, please, please, state the resale, not replacement value of the item. Why? I purchased an item for US$95, and asked that said item be shipped via the Postal service, Instead, it came via UPS (I stated USPS, so it's an honest mistake that it came via UPS). That added a Canadian$45 customs brokerage charge, plus taxes = Cdn.$48.15. 8O (The post office charges about 5$) The seller also stated a value of US$179, its retail cost. This added a further tax charge of $31. So, a deal that originally cost me Cdn$113.85 (a bit more, but I'm using the RBC foreign exchange converter), now ends up costing me Cdn$192. I probably could have been more clear with the seller, so partly my bad, but I just wanted to post this as a caution. If it's an expensive irreplacable item, by all means state replacement values, but for a filter, this is absolutely insane. The brokerage charges are pure usary, and UPS was absolutely unapologetic.

- Craig :C