Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

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etatsolarchat

Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by etatsolarchat » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:34 am

Well looks like my etalon is developing an issue :angry: On the inside picture you can see what looks like a 3M bumpon. In the front view you can see one inside that seems to be falling off leaving an adhesive trail. On the inside picture you can clearly see another bumpon that way off center.


Anyone seen this?

Anyone fixed it?

Not sure if I want to start taking it apart just yet or try warranty if it's still valid...





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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by Merlin66 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:55 am

Certainly looks like a legit warranty claim to me!!
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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by marktownley » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:11 pm

The 3M sticky just hides the central spacer plate and its uncoated area on the etalon. Looks like the glue / sticky that holds it in place isn't working as well as would like. If it is in warranty just send it back, if it is not its easy to just stick it back in the right position.
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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by trwinship » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:14 pm

Uh-oh, this is exactly how my SMII 60 mm looks, only it's the internal etalon. What did you mean by "it's easy to fix"?

etatsolarchat

Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by etatsolarchat » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:47 pm

Well it turns out to be a somewhat easy fix, as long as you don't do anything STUPID like detach the eltalons!

What looks like a bumpon off center is actually a small aluminum disc that is used as a pivot point for the tuner. It seems they used low quality aluminum tape adhesive or the person putting the units together didn't press down firmly and now when you adjust the tuner it starts to twist the sticker all over the place. Personally I don't know why they need the tape at all might be better off without the disc.

How to fix it... Just remove the tuner stop pin, mark the position, then unscrew the tuner/red ERF filter and remove. Keep the unit with the back flat on your table, then slowly lift out the tuner/erf straight up. I counted the exact number of turns and position so I could replace it exactly. Once removed you will see the aluminum disc, I removed it with tweezers. Get some high quality aluminum tape for vents and cut out a new one, I cut out the exact same size but if I did it again would cut out a slightly smaller one than the original. I used some tape to carefully remove the adhesive residue that was left on the etalon. the stuck the new one in place. Screw unit back together and your done.

After looking inside I have to say I'm not impressed with the design, the pressure point is also just stuck on the ERF and feel is may also have problems down the road. Also don't know why they need the aluminum disc.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by trwinship » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:10 pm

Thanks very much--I always endeavor to avoid doing stupid things and your repair tips are great! But, are you referring to the internal etalon of the SMII 60 mm (the one present in the scope without double stacking) or the external etalon used for DS? Thanks again!

etatsolarchat

Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by etatsolarchat » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:20 pm

My problem is on the external double stacked etalon, sorry.

But that makes me wonder if the internal one :blink:

In either case warranty might be the best route as this is an obvious warranty issue.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by occamfan » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:41 am

I had exactly the same problem with my SM60DS; Coronado had put too much glue on the silver dot, allowing it to slide as the richview tuner was operated.This was surprisingly easy to fix: just unscrew the inner knurled ring completely, and remove the combined ERF and richview tuning rod assembly. The silver dot can the be peeled off and re-positioned (I also had to remove some excess glue from the rear of the silver dot before replacing it).Any glue remaining on the etalon is easily removed with isopropyl alcohol and cotton wool buds. Care is needed when reattaching the ERF richview assembly to get the central rod pressure correct; you can feel when the central rod is pressing on the etalon when re-assembling. My scope has been working well and gives better contrast since fixing this fault.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by trwinship » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:43 pm

Thanks for the tip--do you think the silver dot is even necessary? Oh--and we are talking about the inner etalon, right? Not the DS external one?

etatsolarchat

Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by etatsolarchat » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:11 pm

Were talking about the external etalon. If you see this problem and you still have a warranty I suggest you send it in even though it sounds easy, if you drop the the etalon its trash, also there is grease all around the sides so your odds of making a mess are very high, trust me!!

As it turns out I just bought a new external etalon and they fixed the problem! They removed the dot entirely just as I was thinking and put it on the bottom back side, where on my old unit was a 3m bump on. They also made the dot smaller ALSO just as I was thinking ;)

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by trwinship » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:57 pm

Yes that's what I thought, but I was thinking wishfully. One more outreach event in early November and it goes back to Coronado.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS60

Post by pmlevine » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:57 am

I have a Coronado SolarMaxII 60mm external h-alpha filter, that had the same issue with a slipping silver disk. Sent it back to Meade/Coronado for warranty repair, it came back in about 3 weeks. The disk is no longer mounted in the front, the disk is now located in the back. Glass came back immaculate clean, views, contrast, are very good once again.
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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by perkil8r » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:23 pm

Holy thread resurrection Batman :evil:

I think this may well be my issue with the one at work. Can I ask what, if anything, issues did this cause with the image? I have some really irritating illumination differences with ours and it seems to lose focus across the FOV but not just on one side. It can be anywhere depending on the tuning but for instance the limb and 1/3 of the whole disc can be pin sharp with the inner 2/3 looks out of focus and vice versa. Looking down the end it looks quite similar to this, so I am hoping this is the issue?

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by GUS » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:20 am

I went through three SMII filters with this problem, one 40mm and two 60mm etalons,and in theory with a bigger central obstruction,contrast should suffer,but I didn't really notice much difference visually.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by perkil8r » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:08 pm

Maybe this isn't the issue we are having then, but at least it's something that I can rectify anyway. Unfortunately it's beyond the warranty now by over a year.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by GUS » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:17 pm

Where you say you are loosing focus, is it detail you are loosing or is the view not focusing.Being a tilt type filter(either by T-max tuning,or turning the outer ring which bears pressure on the etalon plates and tilts them, similar to the PST tuning,as shown by others on this forum) you will get different parts of the field in detail and other parts will look featureless.When both methods of tuning are used together, this can cause even more out of band issues. Tilt type filters will have a band of detail which moves across the field of view(sweet spot), and the rich view tuning part will also cause the sweet spot to move across the field of view,which could be in any direction depending how the RV tuner bears on the plates,causing different areas of the view to show detail and others to look featureless.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by perkil8r » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:31 am

To be honest there is no single point the snaps in to focus really. It's obvious when it's out of focus, turn it and it comes to a soft focus, a tiny bit more and it's passed by again and out of focus. It always seems soft rather than sharp if that makes sense? I understand what you are saying though thanks, that possibly helps a fair bit as far as putting my mind at rest that it's not faulty or broken. However it's disappointing because we really want to get to imaging the full disc in good focus so we can compare to white light and Cak for our students controlled assessments.

I could do mossaics yes, but that isn't so easy for them to do and to get results quickly (a relative term) in order to get multiple shots done to show rotation.

My own disappointment comes from the fact some of the images on here are awe inspiring and done with a PST mod, you kind of expect a DS60 at towards 5 times the cost of a PST to deliver better results, or at least that's how it seems to me...

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by GUS » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:27 am

Just another thing to try-resetting the richview tuner to your altitude, as the units were tested at the manufacturers location which was more than likely different to yours. I did this to all 4 of the SMIIs that I have owned and all were better visually afterwards.

information is available on this site at-
Commercial filters/ Hardware Questions section. page 2 ,near the bottom
Thread;Coronado SMII modification.

Also has this problem been there from the beginning or is it recent.

Hope this is of use.

GUS.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by perkil8r » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:54 am

I will go have a look, thanks :)

I've only taken over responsibility for the obs for a few months and we have never really tried to image with it. Indeed until the last 3 months we had the solarmax for 2 years and used it maybe half a dozen times. In the last 3 months I have forced it upon classes to come look at the Sun at least a dozen times. It was very under used before, and never for imaging. So I really have no idea if it is getting worse or not to be honest. I did have Ibbo come have a go with me a while back but that was when we spotted that it wasn't doing what we had hoped it would.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by marktownley » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:13 pm

Is the ITF in the blocking filter rusted in the sm60?
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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by perkil8r » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:43 pm

No rust that I can see, although I have been talking down the watering hole with Steve (aka Ibbo) and have decided that if the sticky tape has shifted and spread it's glue about, it could be causing some "out of focus" type symptoms. I will email the supplier on Monday just in case they feel like helping, but at over 2 years old I fear it will be job for me to do.

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by Ibbo » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:58 pm

I did not notice any rust

We will try my BF1200 and DMK next time we get a chance

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by marktownley » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:28 am

Try taking the ITF out of its cell to check for rust, it is visible on the back side (internal face) much easier than the outside face.
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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by perkil8r » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:37 am

I will do, thanks. I'm going to bring it home over the 6 weeks holidays to spend some time with it, will tackle both that and replacing the wandering sticky pad issue, and of course giving it a thorough testing from the garden ;)

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Re: Developing problem with my SolarMax II 60mm etalon! DS6

Post by julien.dompierre » Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:23 am

I have the same problem with my Coronado SolarMax II 60mm external Ha filter.
It is no longer under warranty. It is so expensive that I am afraid to do the "easy fix"
discussed in this forum. Could someone post pictures, step by step, of the dissassembly
explained by etatsolarchat on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:47 am.

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