Dream come true!

Use this section to discuss "standard" Baader/Coronado/ Lunt SolarView/ Daystar, etc… filters, cameras and scopes. No mods, just questions/ answers and reviews.
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by astroshot » Fri May 08, 2015 5:35 am

Very interesting read Bob. Well done! You must be chuffed!
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Marcello » Fri May 08, 2015 6:32 am

Hi Bob, congratulations, a great and unique set up!

I didn't know about the Vatican observatory, I have to consider a pilgrimage!
Play in the sunshine, we're gonna get over !!

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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Solar B » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:37 pm

Aye :)
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Bob Yoesle » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:50 pm

Hi everyone, and thanks for the great comments and encouragement!

Brian -- where did you find that image of the HOTS 2005 conference which introduced the SM140? I think I recognize that guy in the background looking through the side x side twin refractors with the HW and DS SM90's ;-)
HOTS 2005 w arrow.jpg
HOTS 2005 w arrow.jpg (267.62 KiB) Viewed 6527 times
Marcello - I wouldn't make that pilgrimage just yet. I contacted the Vatican in order to obtain additional information on their 'scopes implementation, and they deny having such a telescope! The only scope they are aware of is this SM90 DS dedicated scope from the period:
Vatican Observatory Coronado.jpg
You might have to seek out the Swiss Guard or Opus Dei to see what happened to it!
Swiss-Guards.jpg
Swiss-Guards.jpg (95.7 KiB) Viewed 6527 times
So as it may turn out, I might have the only such filter system now in existence...

Work is progressing slowly on the SM140 telescope; still waiting on a set of new spacer rings for the SM90 internal module -- a local school for machinists has graciously volunteered to make them, but they are on summer vacation. I'm also looking into the optical theory for how to determine the exact focal length of the negative collimator lens, as this spacing is critical to optimum contrast performance, and no records apparently exist from the original scope design for specifying its focal length -- but the procedure looks pretty straightforward.

Another issue has cropped up -- upon close inspection the SM140's RG630 ERF is covered with fine sleeks, and has a significantly abraded area:
IMGP3629 sm.jpg
IMGP3629 sm.jpg (506.1 KiB) Viewed 6527 times
IMGP3629 crop sm.jpg
IMGP3629 crop sm.jpg (589.04 KiB) Viewed 6527 times
While these might not significantly harm the images, I just can't see having these defects with such a unique and valuable filter system, so I'm considering various options. Re-polishing is an option, but I also would want to re-coat the ERF with an IR blocking coating (blocking filter conservation, etalon stability), and so far I've only been able to obtain two quotes from firms willing to do a one-off IR hot mirror coating job, and it's $2500 - $3000 minimum! So I'm also considering a Baader DERF 160 which will fit within the existing tilted ERF cell, and using my spare RG630 ERF from my second SM90 to mount within the internal SM90 module in its original tilted cell - this should be a viable solution, and perhaps improve on the original as far as thermal protection and stability is concerned.

The OTA itself has been completed, and I have implemented a second-hand Astro-Physics 2.7 focuser, which was machined and adapted to the OEM focuser back plate:
New CR6 focuser.jpg
New CR6 focuser.jpg (209.82 KiB) Viewed 6527 times
In order to accommodate the longer focuser and use the BF30 and a binoviewer, the OTA was shortened about 50 mm, and I had an auto-body shop paint it white to give it that classy refractor look:
New CR6 OTA.jpg
I'll post again when significant additional progress is made.

B-)
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by marktownley » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:18 pm

sexy time! :D
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Bob Yoesle » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:44 am

I guess they should be sexy since we use them to look at "heavenly bodies." ;)

BTW - found out the real scoop -- The SM140 Markus thought went to the Vatican actually was a 140 with an internal 60 DS module (as used with the 90) that went to Mexico. The Vatican did get a single stack SM140 on loan, but it was returned. So I guess there was only one 140/90 filter set ever made...
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by arnedanielsen » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:57 am

Wow! Big congratulations Bob! I'm looking forward to reading more about this project and of course see the resulting pictures!!

Best regards,
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Montana » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:20 am

Wow!! have you asked Ken at Solarscope whether he would do it for you? I know you are best friends :)

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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Solar B » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:11 am

Hi Bob

I remember seeing the pic on "Coronado Solar Chat" at the time .... as to the identity of the gentleman with the dual 90s/wedge set up who knows ?? :)

Im sure I speak for all in wishing you the very best with your 140s development.
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Derek Klepp » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:50 pm

Thanks for the update

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Re: Dream come true!

Post by marktownley » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:33 pm

Montana wrote:Wow!! have you asked Ken at Solarscope whether he would do it for you? I know you are best friends :)

Alexandra
:D
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Bob Yoesle » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:39 pm

Thanks Guys!

Re: Ken @ SolarScope: I have nothing but the utmost respect for Ken and that he is a true perfectionist in trying to meet the needs of a very small niche market, and carve out a special area for such products in a small business environment. For example Ken was more responsive than I found Meade Coronado in answering email inquiries. Therefore I am grateful I had a chance to deal with him directly and honestly regarding my findings, and found him nothing but professional. Hopefully others will benefit from my difficulties, but moreover Ken's willingness to do all he reasonably could to address and correct most all of them.

BTW - As I mentioned previously Greg Piepol ( http://sungazer.net/ ) was also at HOTS 2005, made this whimsical image following our visit.
SM140 Piepol stack.jpg
SM140 Piepol stack.jpg (57.25 KiB) Viewed 6414 times
He, Paul Hyndman ( http://www.astro-nut.com/ ) and I (e.g: guess who ?!) all had/have Coronado DS 90's from that era, and had a great time under the sun down in Tucson that year... And we were all pretty amazed by the SM140/90 views -- just hoping I can duplicate what I remember...

B-)
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Solar B » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:17 am

Here's a pic from HOTS 2005 ... I recognise Gary & Greg .... I wish it was 05 again to (my first PST) .... ;-) .... Brian
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Bob Yoesle » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:07 pm

Hi Brian - yep I recognize most of these guys; left to right - Bill Dean from Coronado, and solar imaging pioneers Gary Palmer ( http://www.solarminimum.com/ ), Greg Piepol, and Paul Hyndman... Indeed good times.
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by solarchat » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:15 pm

yep, I recognize those guys...


Piepol Palmer Ramsden.jpg
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Bob Yoesle » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:02 am

Some cool dudes there!

DEFR 160 arrives this week. Damaged ERF removed, getting prepped for ERF cell removal -- it's threaded pretty tight and it looks like some heat may be needed. The etalon cell and gold cover are much thicker than the SM90:
IMGP3632 sm.jpg
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Solar B » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:43 am

Let us not forget that its Mr Palmers image that adorns the PST box :)

Hi Bob ... Is the SM/ERF then encased in a small cell that we cant see and will
the 160 DERF fit perfectly in place of the existing ?

Brian
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Bob Yoesle » Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:02 pm

Here you go Brian -- a bit more progress as the DERF 160 arrived courtesy of Bob Luffel at Alpine Astronomical (great guy and service), and per the usual Baader fashion well packaged and in impeccable condition. The DERF 160 is larger in diameter than the OEM ERF by 15 mm -- but I determined it would fit directly in the OEM ERF cell if I used the retaining ring area for the DERF, and I would have a millimeter or two to spare all around. Thus I would not have to worry about turning down a delicate optic, releasing internal stresses, other unforeseen hazards, etc. It would be just a matter of using a different retaining method...

The first problem was removing the OEM ERF cell from the etalon cover, which required a special tool with the seating pins to fit the holes in the ERF cell... Once removed, three small holes were drilled and tapped around the periphery for the retaining bolts which would hold the DERF 160 in the larger circumference which held the OEM ERF retaining ring:
ERF cell mod.jpg
Note I used small pieces of black tape to ensure no direct metal to glass contact.

Below the DERF 160 is installed in the OEM ERF cell. It is shown from the eyepiece side in the cell sitting on the tape as noted above, and was centered using thin cardboard shims. Black silicone adhesive was used in multiple applications around the periphery to hold the DERF laterally, as is done with the etalon plates themselves. Finally, trimmed rubber washers secured through the retaining bolts act as restraining "clips" to prevent the DERF from ever falling onto the etalon plates themselves. One of the bolt/washers (shown at top) required a second partial washer to take up the space created by the tilt of the DERF in the OEM ERF cell:
DERF & cell mod.jpg
The OEM cell with the new DERF 160 fitted within the etalon cover:
DERF w cell-cover.jpg
The "acid test" would be if everything still worked when the cover was installed (e.g. the restraining bolts did not prevent full seating of the cover) - no issues there, and the DERF 160 looks as good (or better ;-) than the OEM, and retains the tilt of the original ERF:
DERF 160 installed.jpg
I'm very happy with this mod, as the DERF 160 should prevent any significant thermal issues affecting the front etalon itself (possible to some degree with such a large etalon in spite of the central spacer) and yield much better overall thermal stability. Additionally, it should protect the subsequent internal etalon and blocking filters from experiencing significant thermal loading an cycling. Moreover, it is used only for 88% of it's diameter which should avoid any possible edge issues, and Brian Stephens (Coronado Tucson / Lunt) told me that due to the large size, the BK7 substrate used for the DERF would have significantly less striae and better homogeneity than the RG630 ERF originally used. And obviously I have none of the OEM ERF sleaks and abrasions to deal with.

This week the machining students should have the internal SM90 RG630 ERF retaining ring and internal etalon centering rings completed, and further progress can be made ;-)
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Solar B » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:20 am

I'm loving it , loving it , loving it :)

Yes I do really like it !

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Re: Dream come true!

Post by marktownley » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:03 pm

I look forward to these updates Bob!
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Bob Yoesle » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:17 pm

Getting much closer to first light! Yesterday was a busy day...

One of the main issues is how to determine as accurately as possible the focal length of the negative collimation lens, as it typically can not form a real image. However, there are methods. One, which is pretty straightforward, is a measurement of where the image of the sun (e.g. at infinity) produces a circular image exactly twice as large as the clear aperture:
negative lens FL simple method jpeg.jpg
negative lens FL simple method jpeg.jpg (15.61 KiB) Viewed 6164 times
This, however, might be subject to various inaccuracies, so I decided to go a more traditional route of optical bench testing, as described here: http://stao.ca/VLresources/sci-tie-data ... nt(060.pdf

All I needed was to find an optical bench. Luckily most college physics courses do an optics lab and have such equipment. I made contact with Yakima Valley Community College, and Dr. Stephen Rodrigue was quite enthusiastic about the project. I knew the objective/collimtor focal length(s) would be roughly the same ratio as the etalon diameters. Therefore a "ball park" focal length of 90/140 x the objective FL would be a close approximation: ~ 90/140 x 1200 = 771 mm.

We made multiple measurements at several lens spacing's in order to get a reliable and statistically valid sample. Dr. Rodrigue had an even more rigorous data reduction methodology than the referenced paper in the link above, and applied a inverted parameter of the scatter plot to derive a best fit line, with a 99% fit accuracy:
Dr Stephen Rodrigue YVCC.jpg
Here Dr. Rodrigue is working on the data reduction, with the optical bench in the foreground. The data indicate a focal length of - 77.7 cm:
Neg lens data.jpg
Neg lens data.jpg (160.36 KiB) Viewed 6164 times
I really enjoyed my time with Dr. Rodrigue, and he gets one of the first looks through the new instrument ;-)

The students working under the direction of Dan Steinmetz at Perry Technical Institute ( https://perrytech.edu/programs.html?programid=9 ) got back from summer vacation, and the internal etalon centering rings and the internal SM90 ERF retaining ring were completed this week. They also get a "first look." Here the rings are shown in preparation for painting:
New internal rings & SM90ERF retainer.jpg
So now just about everything is ready. Here is a photo of all the components worked on so far and/or ready for assembly:
Parts - final.jpg
Going left to right, top row: AP2.7 focuser machined and adapted to CR6 focuser end plate, shortened and painted CR6 OTA.
Second row: SM140 front etalon, DERF 160 in OEM ERF cell, etalon cover (now painted flat black on interior), SM140 T-Max tilt-tuner
Third row: forward internal etalon centering ring, negative collimator lens in cell, SM90 internal etalon in housing, refocusing lens in cell, rear internal etalon module centering ring, SM140 etalon cover
Bottom row: SM90 RG630 internal ERF in OEM tilt-cell, internal ERF cell retaining ring, original SM140 product warranty - dated May 11, 2005.

So it won't be long now - I have to make the internal etalon fixation rings or device - likely will adapt the OTA's OEM internal baffles, and finalize the mechanics of the front etalon adjustment rod.

To be continued...
Last edited by Bob Yoesle on Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by marktownley » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:01 pm

You're having a lot of fun with this Bob :)
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by Carbon60 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:03 am

Immaculately engineered, Bob. We're all on tenterhooks waiting for first light.

I hope the viewing conditions do it justice!

Good luck.

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Re: Dream come true!

Post by astroshot » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:23 pm

Great to see your progress Bob.
Thanks for posting the updates.
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Re: Dream come true!

Post by MapleRidge » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:10 pm

An amazing project Bob...can't wait to see the first images form this assembly.

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