Philip Blanda said:
The view at NEAF were truly awsome. So much so, that my wife is into us getting an H-alpha setup. You know you're good when you can win over the non-astronomer parter!
I am a bit unsure of what a t-max does and if it is needed. I would be using a Traveler and was considering a 60mm filter.
I am just back from vacation, and of course the first thing I did is look at AMart and there I saw Phil's comments about Coronado telescopes. I am a nut about solar viewing and have owned three Coronados, each a fine performer.
My late wife was not enjoy my nocturnal astronomy too much but was always interested in the solar views. The Coronado I now use is a 60 mm MaxScope with double etalons, which I bought as a gift for her birthday in November 2004. I ordered it in early August 2004. It arrived in MARCH 2005, 15 weeks after she unexpectedly died. Coronado's products are very, very fine but they are lousy with such details of customer relations as keeping to schedules...
If you decide to get a filter for your Traveler, you MUST get two--two etalons that is. One will go in front on a TMax to allow you to ajust the angle and thus regulate the bandwidth more exquisitely. The other will be just beind it. Such "double-stacking" improves resolution of solar detail greatly. The photo from Greg Piepol in this thread, which apparently is using a single 90, is the sort of thing that you can see *by eye* (albeit not so large as on the computer screen!) with a MaxScope 60 double-stacked telescope. Wheras a PST or a Maxscope 30 will support 40x, perhaps 60x on a good day, a MaxScope 60 will easily take 100x and often more for visual use. Daytime seeing is generally poor and I find that, with a 60, the sky gives out before the telescope does. I comment on this in my award-winning review of the TV85...
To double stack you ought to get a "matched set" of etalons, probably directly from Coronado. Just don't hold your breath, it is easier perhaps to just get a MaxScope (double- stacked!) from Anacortes.
I thought seriously about mounting H alpha stuff on my TV85 or Traveler or my old AP 102 f/8, and decided ultimately not to do so. Having the dedicated scope for solar viewing minimizes set up time and eliminates the possibility of a filter error resulting in blindness or telescope damage. The MaxScopes are essentially error-proof in this regard, as the energy reduction filter in the front is integral to the telescope. The f/8 telescope is so long that reaching up front to tune the etalons would be awkward (something that Malcolm Shedden, a dedicated solar observer, taught me).
My MaxScope resides on a Vixen equatorial mount, their smallest model, covered with a clean white towel. I take just-a-peek of the sun almost every morning before work, it only takes a moment to move the mount and telescope out to the back porch.
I also thought seriously about buying a double-stacked MaxScope 90 that was on Amart a while back, corresponded with the vendor (who was not easy to work with) and decided not to buy it, as the weight (about 20 lbs) would have required using my Losmandy mount rather than the little portable Vixen upon which my MaxScope 60 (about 6 lbs) is mounted. The larger setup would have made spontaneous just-a-peeks difficult.
So in summary, go big for Coronado, get a 60 mm or larger setup, double stack it and you will be extravagantly happy with the results. Just don't expect anything that you order directly from Coronado to come quickly, or necessarily to the correct address (but that's another story for another day...)
My little girl Kate is sitting on my lap as I type this and she asked that I say so.