Auburn Astronomical Society's
Guide to Using the Society's Hydrogen-Alpha
Coronado Personal Solar Telescope

Terms and Conditions of Use

Check-out and Return Check List


Use minimal force when tightening the thumb screws on the PST tripod and mount.
We've had to replace two different components due to stripped screws.

The Observer's Guide

The guide contains information on:

  • Parts and equipment condition checklist for checking-out and returning the PST
  • PST instruction manual
PST Carrying Case 

The PST case contains:

  • PST
  • 12mm eyepiece
  • RA and DEC slow-motion attachments
  • Clock drive
  • Tripod accessory tray
  • Tools:  Screw driver, Allen wrench, Multi-purpose wrench, and Declination axis wrench
Tripod, Mount, 
carrying case.

The RA and DEC axis locks should be left loose when storing. 

Tripod / Mount Set-up

The tripod legs should be splayed by holding any 2 of the legs with the 3rd on the ground.  Gently pull the two held legs apart until the braces are all fully extended.

The legs can be extended in length to a comfortable observing height.

The tripod accessory tray can now be attached if desired.

This image shows the clock drive in place.

Counter-Weight Attachment

Carefully thread the counter-weight shaft into the declination axis.  Hand tighten until snug.

Polar Alignment

The polar alignment has 3 adjustments:

Set the latitude adjustment by loosening the latitude clamp (facing) and turning the slow-motion latitude adjustment (left) to you latitude.  The azimuth adjustment can be use to align the RA axis toward north.

Clock Drive Warning

There are certain positions where the clock drive  inteferes with PST.  You may wish to remove the drive to allow greater freedom of movement.  Tracking can then be done manually with occasional adjustments in RA.

If you do opt for the clock drive, take care NOT to make any manual RA adjustments while the drive is engaged.  Failure to do so could strip the gears in the drive.  Loosen the set-screw at the flexible coupling between the drive and RA shaft before making any manual adjustments in RA.

Optical Adjustments

The PST has two optical adjustments:

  • The bright knurled knob (behind and below the eyepiece) is the focus adjustment.  If you find yourself hopelessly lost out of focus using the supplied 12mm eyepiece, first turn the focuser fully clock-wise, then about 18 "wrist turns" (not full rotations) back out to focus.
  • The black knurled ring at the base of the PST fine tunes the bandpass of the Ha filter.  Try adjusting this to enhance views of particular solar features.
Fully Assembled PST

With the RA and DEC adjustments loose, swing the PST around until it is pointed toward the Sun.

Centering the Image (Step 1)

After a rough positioning, note that a shadow is cast to the upper left of the shiny extension of the DEC adjustment (near the center of this image).

Centering the Image (Step 2)

Make small adjustments in each axis until the shadow at the base of the shiny extension of the DEC adjustment disappears.

Centering the Image (Step 3)

Finally, center the small disk of light in the window just in front of the eyepiece.  All that's left is
to center the Sun's image in the eyepiece.