Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

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Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:39 pm

Hey folks. So I'm planning a Stage 2 PST Mod with the 5" Meade. I saw on Marks blog that he's done a Meade 127 mod, although they've had a few 127 flavours so I'm not sure if it's exactly the same. I'd prefer not to cut this tube, so I'm going with the idea of moving the PSTs corrective lens on the etalon upnto the magical 200mm mark. I think I have all this down from Marks blog, but things get a little tougher to think through when I think about double stacking with a Combo Quark. My understanding is that Id have to add a telecentric Barlow to get f30 for the Quark after the PST etalon? Because the PST etalon does not want a tele centric light beam, correct? I'll be using a front mounted 127mm ERF, which I have, of the Daystar brand. Also, with and ERFURT and a Daystar Quark, do I need a Coronado blocking filter? Should I add a UV/IR cut for safe measure, or is the extra glass not needed? Also, Mark, if you read this, how did the 127mm Meade mod turn out' visually and imaging? Is it worth it wi the Meade 127 or should I just jump to a 150mm Mod? Thanks for any input!

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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by marktownley » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:51 am

Hiya Nick, slow to find this, been away for a couple of weeks and not been delving into SC as much as usual... The 127 is ok for solar with Ha (rubbish in CaK!), the only reason i've not been using it lately is because i've been using the HaT instead. If I had the kit you have I would do the following; Baader TZ4 telecentric on the back of the 127, then the Quark combo, then the PST etalon following this, but none of the PST collimating / refocusing lenses in place, ie a 'naked' etalon. You have the full aperture ERF which is good. The blocker on the quark combo will be fine, you will not need the Coronado blocker, and, personally I would not bother with the UV/IR cut as you have the full aperture ERF.

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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:31 pm

Thank you for the feedback Mark. I watched your etalon disassembly video, so I have no fear removing those lenses. I'm curious if you found the o-ring for centering the etalon effective? My doner PST has a large even sweet spot, but it does go off center to the right. Also I have two front PST adapters on the way, one is the common nose piece, but I also have a Quark thread to PST etalon thread from Precise Parts coming. With the corrective lenses removed, is the spacing of the PST behind the Quark critical, or will snugging it up with a threaded direct connection be OK? Thanks again. Should have this up and running in the next 10 days or so.

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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by marktownley » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:28 pm

I took some pics with the AR5 for you today viewtopic.php?f=4&t=21075
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:47 am

So I tried stacking the PST etalon behind the Combo Quark. I removed the front and rear corrective lenses from the PST etalon. Used a snoot and also tried direct mounting etalon to Quark. I could get focus but everything looked washed out like gamma was cranked. Tried many positions and spacings, all with similar results. Was expecting improved contrast and I got the opposite. Really lost as other have had excellent results.

Everything round is a dust bunny...this is a stack, no flats, minimal IMPPG processing....
spot-proms_20160911_pst-quark.jpg
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:53 am

Hare's what I get with the Quark alone...
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:57 am

marktownley wrote:I took some pics with the AR5 for you today viewtopic.php?f=4&t=21075
You're double stack rocks. Thanks for these shots. Have to figure out where I'm going wrong.

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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by marktownley » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:03 am

I guess by the image scale you were using the TZ4? Method is use the usual dial setting you would on the quark, then tune the pst etalon till the detail pops. Are you at the end of the dial on the PST?
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:06 am

Yes. I was using TZ4. This was the best PST setting. The Quark was same dial setting as my good Quark only shot.I tried adding PST to setup from good shot, as well as with modified spacing. Etalon was great in the PST. Maybe I damaged it pulling it apart. I can try putting the lenses back on and see if PST still works.

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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:29 pm

Well I screwed the lenses back on the front and rear of the etalon and reassembled the PST and everything is fine with the etalon, which is good. So something else is going on. Weird.

I do have one question on the corrective lenses I put back on. I am not sure what the hash marks represent as far as direction. I tried:

GOLD TUBE < etalon < BLACK BOX

GOLD TUBE > etalon > BLACK BOX

Both gave similar results, with more red glow and refection scatter in the eyepiece than I remember.But I had an on-band disk both ways? Could it be:

GOLD TUBE < etalon > BLACK BOX

or

GOLD TUBE > etalon < BLACK BOX

Thanks. I'll need to know that if I just go for a Stage 2 mod instead of trying this double stack with Quark thing.

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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by marktownley » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:10 pm

It's the last one. Both arrow heads point towards the etalon. The diverging lens (collimating lens) goes on the gold tube side, the converging (refocusing lens) goes on the black box side.
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:30 am

Thanks again Mark. All set there now. So on the way to a Stage-2 mod, I tried out a Stage-1 mod on the AT115EDT F7. I stopped it down to 80mm f10 with some foil, but I'm planning on using the Meade 127 f9.3 for the real mod. I used an extension tube on the front of the PST etalon snout adapter to put the collimating lens up at the magic 200mm in front of focus. I need an extra 5mm for a few longer eyepieces, but the Mease 6.7 UWA was able to focus nicely with the etalon collimating lens at the 200mm mark, which happens to fall up the tube about even with the focus knob. So the end result...It worked very well. Not like a double stack, but I had surface features and proms and filaments. I think with more aperture on the 127mm with bino viewers it should be a wonderful view. Next up will be a Stage-2 mod on the 127mm. I have a BF15 and a full aperture 127mm ERF. I have a massive Event Horizon focuser on my SCT I can use for testing, but I'm open to any lighter focuser suggestions, but strong enough for bino-viewing.
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:58 pm

Moved on to a Stage-2 Mod, with BF15 and WO binoviewers on the AT115EDT scope. Just sliding the 2" tube behind the etalon for focus for now. Get's very close and then I just fine tune with the scope focus. The etalon collimating lens is at 200mm, but in adjusting fine focus I see no difference between 199mm, 200mm, or 201mm. The views were very good, especially using both barlows on the WO binoviewer nose. The barlows zoom in on the sweet spot at the same time, so I was getting edge of the sun views the size of a beach ball, with proms and surface detail. The surface was textured like lava all over, with plague and filaments, but not fine h-alpha detail. Proms looked wonderful. I think I need a new set of eyepieces for the binoviewer in the mid-teens, maybe the 14mm WO SWAN set, as these 20mm WO that came with the binoviewer work best of my few pairs. Need to move up to the 127mm scope, hopefully this weekend.
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by marktownley » Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:25 am

You're having fun with this modding Nick! :)
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:19 pm

And now the Stage-2 mod has moved onto the Meade LXD55 127mm f9.3 1180mm...with camera and 3x TV barlow. Seem to be on-band across the frame and in focus with nice contrast. Thanks for your assistance Mark. Imaging has begun...
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:18 am

Well, maybe not totally on-band, but I'll take it for a first light.
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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by nickatnight » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:44 am

Had a little break from imaging with the PST Mod, but I used it today with the WO binoviewer on the Meade 127mm. After a bit of fiddling with barlows, I found an excellent combination. Using the WO 2x barlow on the nose of the diagonal with the 1.6x barlow on the nose of the binoviewer gave me a sharp 118x view with 90% or more of the view on band. Only the far right edge against the field stop starts to slip off band. SUrface detail I would say is equivilant of a single stack, but a good single stack as I have easily visible detail across the surface, not double stack detail, but details. Proms were fantastic, and the Sun gave a few dynamic ones for me to enjoy their changes throughout the day. At this point visually, I think the only improvement at this point would be double stacking. For imaging, I need a lot more testing.

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Re: Planning PSD Mod on Meade LXD55 5" f9.3 1180mm

Post by marktownley » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:15 pm

You're getting nice results! :)
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