Solar observing with the Hitch Hiker

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alt-az-builder
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Solar observing with the Hitch Hiker

Post by alt-az-builder » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:39 pm

The attached photo shows an AT 72 refractor with 2" diagonal and 18 mm ES 82-degree eyepiece -- with Thousand Oaks Optical solar filter. This setup yields a 3.4 degree field of view at 24X. This is probably the setup that I will use to observe the total solar eclipse in August -- except that I will probably put a solar-type finder in place of the red-dot finder. The 24x magnification is high enough for a detailed view -- and the field of view is wide enough to easily locate the Sun and allow the image to remain in the field for a long time.

I have the side-saddle equipped Hitch Hiker attached to an Induro CLT 303 tripod which weighs 4.3 pounds. The 24x view is extremely steady -- even while adjusting the aim of the scope or while focusing. To achieve perfect balance, the 4" quick-plate is pushed fairly far forward in the quick-plate clamp -- but it is still quite tight and stable in the clamp. The focuser, as shown, is racked to the proper focal point for the Sun.

Charles
Hitch_Hiker_006.jpg
Hitch_Hiker_006.jpg (188.42 KiB) Viewed 3798 times

Passerine
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Re: Solar observing with the Hitch Hiker

Post by Passerine » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:56 pm

Looks great Charles.

So now that you have the first "astro" Hitch Hiker assembled, how do you think it will handle my 80mm f/6 refractor, which including a built-in Vixen foot, lightweight diagonal and 1.25" eyepiece weighs around 8 lbs? I'm hoping it will work pretty well at powers under 100X. I will soon be receiving a new fairly light 24mm eyepiece (~12 oz.) that I hope will be my main low power eyepiece with this 80mm scope (20X, ~3.6° TFOV). I'll post photos when I get it set up.

For the eclipse, I'll be in Oregon. I am ready with Baader AstroSolar film filters for both my binoculars and my 80mm scope, but I have my eye on a Herschel wedge. This new one from APM looks like a pretty nice deal (less expensive than the Baader version):
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/5812 ... chelprism/

Dave

alt-az-builder
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Re: Solar observing with the Hitch Hiker

Post by alt-az-builder » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:02 am

Hi Dave,

Well -- my guess is that the mount itself will perform pretty well with your 80 mm f/6 scope -- but the devil is in the details. Longer scopes will see the moment-of-inertia (about the balance point) increase dramatically when applying a heavy star-diagonal and heavy eyepiece. Also, lightweight photo tripods don't damp vibration very well.

But the AT 72 with 2" star-diagonal and 18 mm ES 82-degree eyepiece is very reasonably steady on the Hitch Hiker/side-saddle and Induro CLT 303 tripod. With a 1-1/4" star-diagonal and eyepiece, I would say the HH/ss and CLT 303 would comfortably handle 80x with my scope. I think a little heavier tripod might be desirable as the magnification is pushed towards 100x.

I'm hoping to have all of the "Hitch Hiker Astro" mounts shipped in about 12 days or so -- and we can see how other scopes and tripods perform with the HHA.

Charles

sctchun
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Re: Solar observing with the Hitch Hiker

Post by sctchun » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:09 pm

Passerine wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:56 pm
For the eclipse, I'll be in Oregon. I am ready with Baader AstroSolar film filters for both my binoculars and my 80mm scope, but I have my eye on a Herschel wedge. This new one from APM looks like a pretty nice deal (less expensive than the Baader version):
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/5812 ... chelprism/
Hi Dave,

One other option for the Herschel Wedge would be the 1 1/4" Lunt Hershel Wedge. It's a lot more affordable, but yes it doesn't have some of the cool built in features of the APM one.

http://agenaastro.com/lunt-solar-system ... 125hw.html

Steven

HerbeMannABg
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Solar observing with the Hitch Hiker

Post by HerbeMannABg » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:28 pm

A Great image... and I hope to get a good shot of the eclipse here in Good ol Salem, Oregon...and get it up in the Cafe...

New Celestron Evolution 6" is pretty interesting, did some testing tonight. I have a solar filter, but dont know if I will use the scope. Definitely will use camcorder...

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HerbeMannABg
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Solar observing with the Hitch Hiker

Post by HerbeMannABg » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:16 am

Have the pleasure of doing some H Alpha Observing with Ed's equipment and to say the least it was most interesting.

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