Hinode Solar Tuner – HST67 & Daystar/BORG/EMS Solarscope

•August 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Finally the Hinode Solar Tuner is commercially available.


Shown with SF50 and another Hinode companion HSG-1 (Solar Guider)


  • Effective internal diameter : 64mm
  • Tuner has 67mm female thread at a filter side and 72mm male at telescope side (Easy to attach all of BORG scopes with a filter stepping ring commercially available. No extra adapter needed for 71FL)
  • Tilts zero to 3 degree
  • Includes 13″ long flexible slow motion cable
  • Fits Sky Watcher/Orion focuser motor kit (shown above)
  • 260g without a flexible cable

Part # HST67

Price : $239.00

I will write more product details next week once coming back from the eclipse trip.

This eliminates painfully extending your arms and the image shaking during tuning. It should make solar imaging as well as viewing more comfortable and fun.

I also start experimenting a new solar scope project. I tried to only check the focusing test today. At least I can find out focusing point with Daystar Quark Combo. I will refine the system, especially between EMS and eyepiece after I will be back from the trip.

Key concepts are

  • Built up with Daystar, BORG and Matsumoto EMS
  • Larger aperture at relatively lower cost
  • BORG M75 Iris (# 7075) allows to seamlessly control F-ratio which is critical and restricted to the Quark. 20-blades(!!) creates virtually perfect round shape iris.
  • EMS shows us the true solar face (not a mirrored image)
  • Full sun disk or close-up by changing the iris size and barlow magnification based on Daystar rule.
  • And the final goal is Ha solar binoscopes!!

Good luck to all of people and to myself as well for the solar eclipse!!



SONY LPS-D1 Now Ready, Nikon Update and BORG 55FL with Vixen 2.4mm Eyepiece

•August 9, 2017 • 2 Comments

Finally LPS-D1 for SONY is ready. So now LPS-D1 and HEUIBII are both available. We are about to start shipping to each regional dealer. If you placed an order already, you should get the notice from them. Thanks for your patience.

Keep in mind, it requires the time-consuming work for building up one by one. So only limited number of units can be shipped each month.


And to Nikon users, I apologize to the continuous delay. At this moment, we can ship only LPS-D1, HEUIBII and LPS-V4 for Nikon D5100 body. For other models, please wait for next update news from me.

Last night I took 55FL out. It was 1st time for me to use 55FL for visual observing. After I began observing, I noticed 1.25″ diagonal I had was only an erecting prism. No mirror diagonal….  Anyway, I continued to observe, not disappointing at all as mentioned below though. I tried to see some of clusters. The sky was too bright by the moon and city light, and hazy. I could only see M22 with my 25mm Ortho. I wanted to see double cluster. But it was a bit too early.

Then, I switched to Vixen HR 2.4mm for the moon and the Saturn.  Wow!


It was 104x power. Still very sharp and bright entire eyepiece’s FOV. It looked turning down a bit lower contrast. I think it mainly came from an erecting prism. Imagine 100x view through an erecting prism. I wished to have a mirror diagonal. Anyway, 104x view for Saturn and moon was wonderful. Great views doesn’t make me feel boring during one hour at all. This is a cute premium scope in purely fluorite quality. I’m leaning to get HR 2mm for other BORG fluorite. The 2.4mm view encourages me to push more. I’m so curious what view 107FL and HR 2mm shows me. Brightness and high eye-relief doesn’t make me feel looking through an extremely short focal length eyepiece at all. Well comfortable. Vixen HR eyepieces seem to be the perfect match with BORG fast F-ratio fluorite family.

While using BORG fork mount, I realized I could use slow motion controls without tightening clutches. So if the scope is in balance, we can freely push/pull a scope and turn slow motion controls at same time without using clutches. This is very convenient. It’s shame, I didn’t realize that. Only clutches needed was when eyepieces were changed. The mount must be perfect match with 55FL and 71FL. High-power view-able grab-n-go system!!


BORG 55FL Visual Set

•August 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I built up 55FL visual set today. This was 1st time for me to use 55FL visually.  As expected, good color contrast and bright. I really feel fluorite taste. OTA weight is just 725g including mounting ring and bracket.

I will try to take it out to my back yard tonight. It’s perfect match with Arca Swiss compatible fork mount. This setup has no issue for pointing the scope to the zenith. It should be the backpack-able premium system. Since I use 55FL for imaging night time, I’m leaning toward to reconfigure visual system for the eclipse as well for someone else.

SONY A7S & IDAS Body-mounted Filters

•August 7, 2017 • 1 Comment

After discussing with several A7S owners these days, I noticed I didn’t clarify the important thing to the people.


IDAS body-mounted filters are optimized for A7S camera without two filters (LPF1 and 2). Simply saying, no filter version. In our Part #, it’s A7SH. As mentioned several times here, the modern lens design such as BORG 55FL F3.6 and SIGMA 14mm/20mm requires so critical back focus distance. Even 100 to 200 micron shift clearly shows distortion. Very sensitive!!

So IDAS body-mounted filters have been carefully considered for that kind of critical factor.


  • The filter makes the A7S’s flange back exactly same as original as manufacturer designed.
  • All of IDAS filters fully block UV and IR regions. So no two blocking filters necessary. Generally two filters makes things worse.
  • HEUIBII neutralizes the background color while fully transmitting at Ha. See at


  • Only drawback is no self-cleaning mode. But IDAS filter performs as dust protector. Moreover gives more benefits.

If you are looking for the ideal configuration, I highly recommend

A7SH2 for dark sky

A7SD1 for light polluted sky

This is not only the issue for the mod camera users, but also for the stocked camera too. When a body-mounted filter is set into the stocked camera, the flange back is really too short. Also no LPF#2 mod is problem either. It’s too long with IDAS, too short with IDAS. Very complicated. So best possible option is no filter version with IDAS.

So first carefully think about what your goal is before you go a particular direction.





IDAS Solar Filter & M49.8 Spacer

•August 3, 2017 • Leave a Comment


Looks like more people have realized the level of quality and performance of IDAS solar filter. Thanks for choosing IDAS filter these days. This is an industrial special glass, so heavy. Yes, IDAS solar filter is quite safe and high performance as long as it is used “correctly”.

Recently we got a notice from Amazon, which was mentioning they forced to remove all of solar filter items from their site including your(IDAS) ones. Fortunately I don’t have any customer trouble. But I guess there might have been some. This was why Amazon completely stopped offering all solar filters at their site. Some ND filters are still popped up. But be careful if it is dense enough for solar use. Also you need to know it’s viewing-safe or not if you intend to use for visual observing.

Although I don’t have any issue, I wanted to make sure one more time.  IDAS solar filter 52mm is not intended for the use of drop-in filter of Canon or Nikon telephoto lenses.  It physically fits. But please don’t set a filter into that.

Please always set filters in front of objective lenses so that you can enjoy solar viewing as well as imaging without any concern.

BTW, each number on a frame describes

D5.2V : Density 5.2 in visual spectrum

D8U : D8 in UV

D9H : D9 in heat (IR)

I’ve never seen any other manufacturers clarify these specs.

I decided to take BORG 55FL F3.6 for nighttime use. I’m not sure I need a guide scope any way.

BTW, I carefully studied my SONY’s flange back distance. Since 55FL F3.6 reducer’s back focus is so distance-sensitive, I examined carefully and seriously 1st time. My SONY camera is a bit complicated. No filter in camera inside. But 2.5mm thick of filter outside, and the adapter is not ideal for this configuration. Surprisingly mine was 1.2mm too short!! It’s shame myself. Anyway, I set two different thick of spacers into BORG M49.8 section.  I will take a test shot with this to verify if my calculation is correct.

If some of BORG users have the back focus distance issue, please contact me any time. As long as it is shorter than ideal, I’m sure spacers should be the solution. Among BORG reducers, other than 55FL F3.6 are not critical much though.

If this setup is correct, extremely light path-sensitive SIGMA 20mm should work well too. Let me see. In fact, it was terrible before.





Eclipse Rehearsal & Large Magellan by 6DH

•August 1, 2017 • 1 Comment

I noted the stage-by-stage procedure for the eclipse. This kind of preparation process is the fun as hobby. The sky condition is totally beyond my control. But at least I wanted to prepare as much as I can and to enjoy before that. Then, I pray the nature finally.

Anyway, I did 1st rehearsal before/after 2nd contact and at 3rd. Hinode SG keeps tracking entire eclipse period from 1st and 4th. That’s very good, at least this eliminates one major human job. During the totality, Promote Control allows me to completely focus on 90FL binoscope viewing. That’s nice. (I’m not sure what imaging result will be made though)

Based on my draft, I simulated the workflow by handling two camera controllers and solar filters.


Controllers look straight forward. One stop and another start, and vice versa. Filters are a bit pain. So I decided to cover 90FL bino with a T-shirt at 3rd contact. That should be really quick.

Bino platform collimation looks good/solid enough. So binoscope are ready to go as well. I wish this rehearsal will be real under the clear sky.

Canon 6DH user – Fraser Gunn in New Zealand shared an another gorgeous southern sky picture. Beautiful!


Here is his note.

The Large Magellanic Cloud taken with your Canon 6d. Using Ha, Hb, Oiii, Sii, Clear filters – approx 7hrs in total. Taken last night, using the Takahashi FSQ85ED telescope from the Canterbury University Mt John Observatory, New Zealand

IDAS Filter Updates & SS-one Portable Mount & Controller

•July 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Finally following filters are in stock.

  1. D1 and HEUIBII filter for Nikon D5100 (Part # LPS-D1-N3 and HEUIBII-N3)
  2. LPS-D1-82

And by end of this week, LPS-D1-77 and LPS-D1-EOS will come in stock too.

We begin shipping to each regional dealer too. So they should have in stock soon. Please contact them if you are waiting for these filters.

SS-one portable GOTO mount – Expedition looks one-step closer. The mount was publicly demonstrated at Tainai star party in Japan last weekend first time.


The scope loaded was Tak FSQ-85ED. According to their web site, it’s around 3.5kg, And a counterweight used in this picture was 1kg!! As you are aware, this counterweight shaft design allows to easily set the square body like a battery pack.

There are two major mechanical features.

  1. Closer(lower) pay-load point to the RA axis allows for less counterweight itself.
  2. DEC section moves more North side. Wider sky area for pointing a scope without meridian-flip.

3.5kg is heavier than BORG 107FL. So I’m confident Expedition should be easily handle BORG 107FL with a camera and autoguider too.

The target of the mount weight itself is 4kg or less. Tak PM-1 is 5kg. 4kg looks the perfect target point as good quality of portable mount, not too heavy and not too light. I feel the mount needs a certain level of weight for the stability.

And the controller – KODO looks almost commercially ready.

0730b Features are

  1. Pre-loaded planetarium software for GOTO
  2. Auto guiding while controlling with DSLRs or ZWO cameras
  3. Motorized focuser control
  4. Polar alignment
  5. And WiFi accessible from smartphone

As SS-one’s key concept, in fact it is “all-in-one”. Very nice!

The summary of SS-one items is SS-ONE.






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