Do you have a skybender?

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Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Thu May 10, 2018 1:18 pm

After seeing a a couple threads with people talking skybender and me not knowing anything about how to use the one I got, i thought it needed something here. If you have a skybender and know what to do with it please post things here! It clearly has some sort of use.

Found this on space weather,

"Seeing conditions were very favorable today, and this allowed me to push the limit of my 90mm objective.

Unfortunately even at 2000mm, I need a little bit more aperture to resolve the cell structures."

http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_up ... d_id=98948

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Found this on cloudy nights
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/4777 ... ouncement/

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Thu May 10, 2018 1:20 pm

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Thu May 10, 2018 1:21 pm

another on cloudy nights
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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Thu May 10, 2018 1:27 pm

looks like he came up with the Skybender project in 2012 which would make it a few years before google adopted the name

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/4105 ... er-tilter/

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by MalVeauX » Thu May 10, 2018 4:27 pm

Heya,

Sorry, didn't see this thread till just now. There were only a handful of units, maybe 20+ made. Apollo gave them to active imagers without cost with some filters to let them image with them and combine systems (such as to tune a calcium unit made from a PST Calcium etalon), and asked us to simply post the images and talk about the skybender in general (advertising basically, but not in a bad way or anything). I talked to several imagers at the time who use them here and there, most of them seemed to focus on calcium for the most part.

I got my Skybender from Apollo right before he went dark and off-grid so to speak. I got a pair of unmarked 393nm filters, a 370~395 bandpass filter, and an IR absorption filter (KG1 I think, from newport). I also received a pair of 532nm filters, unmarked. I don't know the FWHM of them, most filters out there for sale that are inexpensive seem to be anywhere from 12~15nm +/-, so they're not that tight, but they do produce different results from full spectrum white light. I was told these were from Semrock, but apparently they're either not available anymore, or are from some where else. They're unfortunately unmarked, so I cannot track them down.

I have since put a KG3 heat absorption filter on the nose of my skybender instead of the one I got (which I broke). I got it from Newport for around $50. So far, it takes the heat from my 120mm aperture refractor pointed at the sun and hasn't broken, so it's doing a great job of managing heat in my imaging train.

The skybender is strictly for imaging only, not safe for visual. Just to be clear for anyone looking into these things. It's purpose is purely for imaging with a high transmission.

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I primarily use my Skybender for calcium solar imaging, because I simply couldn't find an affordable entry into calcium. PST Ca units are long gone and coveted. Lunt systems are expensive and hard to find, impossible to get used. Quark Calcium units are expensive and impossible to get used. So I of course didn't pass on the opportunity to test out the Skybender as an alternative. It turned out it worked well enough, not to the same standard as the output from the Lunt/Quark/PSTCa etalon systems, but at least well enough to be significantly different from full spectrum white light.

Here's my unit setup for 393nm imaging:

Two 393nm 1.25" filters stacked on the nose of the camera.
One 370~395nm 1.25" filter inside the skybender in the tilting chamber.
One KG3 IR 1.25" absorption filter (managing heat) on the nose of the skybender unit.

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Here are two ways I image with it, both on a short refractor (80mm aperture), and a long refractor (120mm aperture) for high res. Reminder note, there is no front filter on the scope, it is not needed. The KG3 filter manages the heat, even on my 120mm aperture. I've been advised that there should be another way to manage heat and that the filter will break from the heat, but so far, this has not happened and I image with it a lot. So just again a reminder for anyone with these.

Here's directly inserted into an 80mm F7.5 refractor with no specific ERF and no UV/IR cut filter (it would kill the point since I'm imaging at 393nm). Again the KG3 filter manages the heat. I do full disc imaging with this setup.

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Here's how it looks on camera (notice my exposure values are 0.05ms, Gain 10, Gamma 1 at F7.5 with an ASI174MM):

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Here's the skybender with a 3x barlow being used, for high resolution imaging: The barlow simply inserts between the tilt chamber and the camera. The filters are still on the nose of the camera. I was told you can also put the barlow in front of the sky bender, but I do it this way to keep the KG3 and heat all on one side away from everything else.

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Here's some of my recent results:

120mm F8.3 refractor + Skybender as described above with 393nm filters and a 3x barlow with the ASI174MM:
When the seeing is great, I seem to be getting convection cells from the photosphere, but at least I can get more contrast to show the faculae as this is not truly calcium wavelength.

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80mm F7.5 refractor + Skybender with 393nm filters with the ASI174MM for full disc:

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I have not used the 532nm filters yet. With minimal sunspots, I have little to use them on. I typically do my white light with a standard baader solar film and a 540nm continuum filter. Next time a decent sized sunspot shows up, I will put the 532nm filters in the skybender and test it more. I was told to put 1x 532nm filter on the camera nose. 1x 532nm filter in the tilt chamber of the skybender. And then put a green filter or 540nm filter on the nose of the skybender behind the KG3 filter.

Very best,

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Thu May 10, 2018 5:10 pm

not sure what exactly is in mine, i was told it is an erf and its one of a kind . It has a red coating on both of its sides, and seems like it has a 150mm focal length. Maybe some kind of focal reducer, its in the eyepiece part of a 2" skybender. It also has the tilt things inside below eyepiece holder, but there is nothing else installed in it. I this about 3.5 years ago.

I assume it was for rejecting red/infrared and to focus yellow green blue ?
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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by MalVeauX » Thu May 10, 2018 5:37 pm

Yea, no clue what that is. Not a cut filter, just looking at its natural eye transmission. I'd be surprised if it's really an ERF though, unless it's just an IR cut or IR absorption, then it would make more sense. Apollo used IR cut/absorb for heat management on all of them to my knowledge, and not specific bandpass ERFs.

Very best,

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Thu May 10, 2018 7:47 pm

it actually is very similar to my kg3 cut filter i got from beloptik and when you look through it produces a green/blue tint, except it is way thicker and has focal length like a reducer lens. Im starting to think this IS kg3 or kg5 glass and was custom engineered into a small objective element. It looks similar to one of the above pictures from the istar forum with the CaK pst image

This is definitely is some sort of IR cut kg glass achromat, with a very heavy coating. Here is an image compared to my beloptik kg3


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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Thu May 10, 2018 8:14 pm

so this guy has a source to make short focal length achromats out of ir absorption glass, why is this not available for sale? It truly was one of a kind! This would of got a ton of attention if some company announced it, televue could of used it to make a new powermate. Daystar could of used it on the quark, coronado could of used it in their objectives. I am shocked right now.

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Thu May 10, 2018 8:15 pm

here is a picture of kg3 glass that i pulled from bob yoesle on cloudy nights, ironically he has a skybender too attached to his calcium filter

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/5141 ... ke-filter/

Image

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by MalVeauX » Thu May 10, 2018 8:56 pm

Yea, depends on what is in the skybender that is being tilted for tuning. I would guess the filter in the CaK setup with the skybender is probably a Baader CaK line filter or something to that effect?

I'm sure many have looked into IR absorption elements for various bits, but it's probably not ideal in multiple ways, such as expansion and other effects. But, you can always put one in front of anything in your imaging train to absorb heat. I have mine in a generic 1.25" threaded cell. I can put it in front of anything practically.

Very best,

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Mon May 28, 2018 2:01 am

I took a chance and i wrote a snail mail letter to Apollo last week and got a reply back through email tonight, he is sending me a couple more 2" skybenders. Said he has five left, but is planning on moving from illinois to arizona due to unfortunate circumstances( Thats where i am from!).

I paypalled him $300 and they should be here sometime this week. He was sending them to me free of charge but i paid him anyways to support whatever he is up to. Since he already gave me one in the past for free with some optics in it I figured $100 for each one was respectable, but I have no idea what they cost..

I did ask about the lens that is installed in my gold one, but he didnt tell me.

He did mention something about having manufactured a new type of calcium filter, which is the first one in the world and can beat anything sold by daystar, lunt and coronado; but did not elaborate any further. So it is interesting to know there is something new out there somewhere.

I invited him to follow this thread, hopefully he will show up or at least see what we are doing with his parts

thank you Apollo!

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Wed May 30, 2018 4:17 pm

Just got the new box of parts, there's lots of goodies this time. A few filters, another one of those telenegative compound doublets, 2 two inch skybenders , two 1.25" skybenders and also a couple metal adapters to convert the eyepiece holder to a threaded male mount

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Wed May 30, 2018 4:23 pm

1.25" skybender with threaded top mount and 2" bottom with mount threaded for one 2" and one 1.25" filter or two 1.25" filters.
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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Thu May 31, 2018 2:43 am

not quite sure what to think of this yet but there was a 5x televue powermate adapter for this 1.25" unit.

I dont currently own any powermate or televue devices, but now i have to order one!

I guess this will operate similar to a quark once the power mate is attached,
skybender powermate.jpg
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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:50 pm

took my 2" skybenders apart to mount a filter and to take pictures of the guts. This is an incredibly simple device with an Ingenius design.
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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:53 pm

There are two ways to mount the filter, one bottom side that is semi-permanent so it cannot be removed and one top side so that it can be removed regularly.

I chose to mount my baader planetarium 2" b-ccd filter semi permanently on the bottom side of the filter holder because it will now be my primary erf filter for a calcium system.


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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:57 pm

One of the skybenders i was given came with a 1.25" filter and a 2" to 1.25" cell converter.

I put this filter cell converter on the bottom side for permanent mounting, along with the 1.25" filter it came with.

Not sure what this filter is but it clearly is marked 393.4bp1 so that means it is at least a bandpass filter of 1nm.

This is now a secondary ERF filter to the baader planetarium 2" filter. It also has an B&W IR/UV cut filter on the nose piece, The picture shows a beloptik IR/UV but I changed it because the beloptik clearly dimmed the filter output noticeably when looking at a lamp.
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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:03 pm

This is what my Dual skybender ERF looks like currently stacked, and the device being solar loaded showing the filters reflecting out the objective lens; and backend output from a mirror that is 1500mm away . The second skybender cotains the B&W IR/UV cut filter and the 393.4bp1 filter. It is placed so that the 393.4 filter is directly in or closest to the solar focus, this area contains the smallest solar image output which will prevent vignetting on the 1.25" filter.

Using 52mm extension tubes I will add the first Coronado PST CaK objective to convert the system to a negative output, which will greatly extend the focal length and hopefully assist in correcting the optics at 393nm for a better than average negative solar image which is fed into two mirrors creating a reverse reflection. Then Using more 52mm extension tubes, I will include a Second Coronado PST CaK objective at the proper distance which is fed from the reverse reflected the image through the two mirrors.

The Second 393nm objective should correct the image and allow a focuser to be attached. This will then function as a long focal length 393nm only "reverse refractor telescope".

I plan to add two Coronado pst CaK etalons on the focuser or maybe inbetween the two CaK objectives so they are in the long focal negative image plane.
Dual 2inch skybender baader planetarium b-ccd and 393.4 erf labled.jpg
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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by MalVeauX » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:33 pm

Care to share where you're reliably getting PST CaK etalons? :)

Very best,

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by marktownley » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:53 pm

You just got to buy the CaK PSTs as and when they appear second hand ;)
Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:35 pm

So this is what my test layout is going to look like with all this stuff coming together nicely. I now have a negative beam with a negative solar image that is 500mm away from the second mirror with substantial magnification. Currently estimated between f/15 & f/20. So 3x or 4x.



Minor adjustments can be made from here such as removing the pst objective from the gold tube and placing it in between the two mirrors which is 200mm away from its current location. (this will increase the magnification even further to 5x or 6x)
new position of cak1.jpg
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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by MalVeauX » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:36 pm

marktownley wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:53 pm
You just got to buy the CaK PSTs as and when they appear second hand ;)
Which is like never it seems!

Very best,

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by TheSkyBurner » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:46 pm

Apollo says he had a "well known" lab of professional's develop something better than Pst Cak filters, better than lunt filters, and better than daystar filters.

First one in the world of something, he didn't elaborate but did say it was the narrowest bandpass filter developed in 30 years and took 60 days to coat plus 7 days to anneal. Also said the lab had to get a hardware upgrade just to read the the narrow spectrum properly for QC.

I believe him. He's held his word so far and he did mail me a 1-nm 393.4 bandpass filter, so he definitely has some goodies.

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Re: Do you have a skybender?

Post by MalVeauX » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:10 pm

So my Skybender is back up and running in 393nm.

New configuration is a Baader 2" B-CCD Blue Filter (reflective & IR blocked) Thanks Paul & Apollo! on the nose of a 50mm extension that inserts into the focuser deep into the light cone. I'm using a 370~395nm cut filter on the nose of the skybender to further block down the light. A 393nm filter inside the Skybender itself, shifted for more contrast. And finally a 393nm filter on the nose of the camera itself (with and without a barlow as needed for scale and resolution). I'm not using a KG filter at all anymore, and this is managing the heat very well even at 120mm aperture. Very happy with the new setup, being inexpensive and still functional.

Here's the unit:
393nmSkybenderConfig_01.jpg
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Skybender_393nm_Demo.jpg
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The Baader Blue B-CCD filter that serves as the ERF:
Baader_Blue_ERF.jpg
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Setup for full disc with an 80mm F7.5:
Calcium_fulldisc_06192018.jpg
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Setup with a 3x barlow and 120mm F8.3 for high resolution:
Imagingsetup06192018.jpg
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+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

My results from today with this unit:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Very best,

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