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First light with Quark

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#1 BGazing

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 01:38 PM

So, finally...my Quark has arrived and I have used a hole in the clouds to test it on both of my refractors.

Eyepieces used 40mm Celestron plossl, 32mm Baader plossl and 25mm Vixen NPL. Neodymium as ERF filter.

Did not take long to warm up, but I was probably somewhat overwhelmed by the novelty of both Quark and AZGti. Used Berlebach tripod for better stability. 

Quark brings focal ratios to f/24 for Borg and f/31 for Tak, and when viewing I thought that keeping it to 1mm exit pupil was the best for viewing, so NPL in Borg and Baader in Tak. That might change if i stop down Borg to up the f/level as I plan to.

I was fiddling with the tuning, perhaps too much. Initial impressions are that the zero point is not bad, but 9 o'clock probably better. Not sure whether it is also f/dependent so one has to have two settings for two scopes.

In the afternoon I thought that the views were worse and found out that this is because I have not unscrewed the 2inch barrel so the 1.25 nose was not flush. That small tilt induced picture error. I can see some contrast non-uniformity, but so far nothing dramatic. Tak ups the game and really brings it to the next level, the problem is that the seeing rarely cooperate in the city during the day and 40mm plossl is incredibly uncomfortable to look at. 

It is incredible how quickly the Sun changes in H-alpha even during the course of one session. It was a quiet day today even in H-alpha but there were prominences, jets, spiculas and one major and two tiny spots. 

Next step, play with tuning and figure out what works. Borg has FTF focuser and Tak focuser is not shabby either, so probably no slop there.

Observing hood proved to be invaluable and Baader plossl side-eyeguard is perfect for solar.


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#2 MAURITS

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 01:48 PM

Good to hear.



#3 Astrojensen

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 01:52 PM

The Quark rewards fiddling. I recommend taking a moment to find the best setting on the dial. Start at the lowest setting and observe there for ten minutes or so, then one click up, and observe again for a while. Repeat, until the images start to get noticeably worse. You'll soon find the ideal setting on your specific sample. Mine needs to be turned all the way down and sometimes I even have to unplug it for a little while, to allow it to cool down a little. 

 

Oh, I can also recommend a binoviewer. It works amazingly well with the Quark and really kicks up the contrast two or three notches. You don't need any additional barlows and the like to reach focus. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#4 MalVeauX

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 02:06 PM

Heya,

 

Definitely take a day to go through all the tuning values on your Quark. There are basically 11 different values. There will be 2~3 high contrast options that are close to on-band. There will be several options that are way off band and you won't much chromosphere structure and it will be brighter than the on-band areas in general.

 

Here's an example of the same area on my Quark (remember there is copy variation). The middle position (12 o'clock) is way off on mine, and no where near on band. For me, on-band, is closer to the full counter-clockwise value on my Quark, so I image at full counter-clockwise tuning position. Again, there's copy variation. Also depends on where you are in the world a little bit. Anyhow, here's what my Quark does at each tuning value. I waited until the green flashing light came on to show on-band for the tuning setting and grabbed some frames.

 

Values 0 (full clockwise position) to Value 10 (full counter-clockwise position) on my particular copy:

 

QuarkTuning_April2019.gif

 

I highly recommend taking a session to tune your Quark so that you know where your Quark needs to be to have the highest contrast and be on-band. It changes everything in a big way, if you're not on-band. You can see above how dramatic it is.

 

Quarks and binoviewers are like peanut butter jelly. Definitely get a pair, well worth it!

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 18 April 2019 - 02:10 PM.

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#5 BGazing

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 03:02 PM

Thank you guys, that is what I intend to do. I figured that starting in the blue range will save time as it is easier to heat the etalon up than to wait for it to cool down, but my efforts today were spoiled by that loose fitting nose. Lesson learned.

Anecdotally it seems that most of the Quarks enjoy it fully CCW or at least at 9 o'clock. Any explanation? My first impressions are that going from zero CCW works better, on the right hand side it looked washed out.

Also, when heating up I thought that I see the focus change gradually, it is not like Quark is unusable during tuning, just gradual change...I think it appears from the edges towards the center.

Thomas, I am afraid binos would tax AzGti too much but may try them on AYOII. I would have to borrow them, though, and buy extra plossls. smile.gif

Any suggestions for an exit pupil holding 40mm plossl? I do not feel like shelling out for TV with eyeguard extender, how's NPL 40mm? Since I have not used my Celestron plossl 40mm before I cannot really tell if it is finicky per se or whacked out by the built-in telecentric barlow...but then again, telecentrics should not mess up eye relief, right? 


Edited by BGazing, 18 April 2019 - 03:02 PM.


#6 Astrojensen

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 12:30 AM

 

Any suggestions for an exit pupil holding 40mm plossl? I do not feel like shelling out for TV with eyeguard extender, how's NPL 40mm? Since I have not used my Celestron plossl 40mm before I cannot really tell if it is finicky per se or whacked out by the built-in telecentric barlow...but then again, telecentrics should not mess up eye relief, right? 

Telecentrics don't mess up the eye relief the same way a normal barlow does. 

 

I use 40mm GSO Superview plöslls on my binoviewer on the Quark. They have an adjustable eye guard, which is a godsend. 

 

https://www.teleskop...er-Kameras.html

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



#7 BGazing

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 06:54 AM

Second light this morning, Tak only. Aligning the mount was a major pain because, for some reason, my Intercon quick release finder bracket seems off and so does the solar finder. Had to do white light aligning and it was actually marvelous, worth the hassle.
On to H alpha. Played with tuning and plossls. 40mm is useless and actually too bright. 32mm is fine, but surprisingly so is 25mm NPL. Excellent view of the small proms when the air settles and still 0.8 exit pupil. Who would have thought that 125x would not be too much.
As for the tuning, the jury is still out there but I think I narrowed it to -5 to -3. Will take another session or two to be sure.
This is really really addictive.
Here's a freehand phone shot at 97x.20190419_101902.jpg

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#8 BGazing

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 10:21 AM

Third light and more. This is VERY addictive.

Another beautiful morning. Hay fever woke me up very early, so I again set Tak up after checking GONG - there was a LOT more activity after yesterday's quiet sun.

In sum, I feel like -4 is probably the best setting, it is difficult to discern it from -5, -3 I feel is worse. Between seeing and tuning it is hard to tell which is THE setting, I guess someone more experienced would be better able to tell...or someone doing photography. One cannot compare it on proms because they change relatively quickly. Surface detail is close with a lot of little details when the seeing settles. Any tips on what signs to look for are welcome.

My wife finally took a look and was rather impressed, so convinced me to pack it and take to some charity event, high noon thermals notwithstanding. It was a hit and in an hour and a half I have raised a tidy sum for the cause. People are rather shocked when they realize what can actually be seen. And yes, Baader 32mm plossl is easy to use and guide eye even for the kids.


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#9 BGazing

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 10:43 AM

I guess this was surge prominence? It appeared where a sunspot was clearing the disk.IMG_20190420_174154_608.jpg

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#10 rigel123

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 02:04 PM

I guess this was surge prominence? It appeared where a sunspot was clearing the disk.attachicon.gif IMG_20190420_174154_608.jpg

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Yep, looks like a surge prominence



#11 BGazing

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:39 AM

Heya,

 

Definitely take a day to go through all the tuning values on your Quark. There are basically 11 different values. There will be 2~3 high contrast options that are close to on-band. There will be several options that are way off band and you won't much chromosphere structure and it will be brighter than the on-band areas in general.

 

Here's an example of the same area on my Quark (remember there is copy variation). The middle position (12 o'clock) is way off on mine, and no where near on band. For me, on-band, is closer to the full counter-clockwise value on my Quark, so I image at full counter-clockwise tuning position. Again, there's copy variation. Also depends on where you are in the world a little bit. Anyhow, here's what my Quark does at each tuning value. I waited until the green flashing light came on to show on-band for the tuning setting and grabbed some frames.

 

Values 0 (full clockwise position) to Value 10 (full counter-clockwise position) on my particular copy:

 

attachicon.gif QuarkTuning_April2019.gif

 

I highly recommend taking a session to tune your Quark so that you know where your Quark needs to be to have the highest contrast and be on-band. It changes everything in a big way, if you're not on-band. You can see above how dramatic it is.

 

Quarks and binoviewers are like peanut butter jelly. Definitely get a pair, well worth it!

 

Very best,

I must admit that I never had peanut butter and jelly, but than again, I am European.grin.gif

Thank you for that slideshow of the tuning effects, very helpful. I think I saw it on your (blog?) or it could have been someone else doing the same method. I do not have a camera, though, and am not sure if using camera setup might actually introduce a different slop and end up off band for visual (if Daystar's recommendations about slop are correct, and they probably are). 

I foolishly thought that I will use featureless Sun today to tune it on the surface, but between the lack of almost anything and bad seeing it was mostly useless. -4 to -5 probably are the best but for the love of it I cannot tell which one...and that is somewhat worrying because one cannot have two settings 'on band'. lol.gif I always start on -5 because it is easier to heat it up than cool it down. Will take probably some activity regions to figure it out, the side of the Sun facing us is at the absolute nadir of activity at the moment.


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#12 BGazing

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 09:16 AM

By the way, when inserting Quark, is there a particular position that the tuning knob should be facing (on top, towards the Sun, or downwards, or sideways)? There are claims that there is a default position because etalon has a built-in angle to offset typical focuser slop).

Manual states something like - 'Turn the knob to point straight away from the light'. I read this as 'downwards', also easier to check green vs amber when in shade.



#13 BGazing

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 09:17 AM

By the way, when inserting Quark, is there a particular position that the tuning knob should be facing (on top, towards the Sun, or downwards, or sideways)? There are claims that there is a default position because etalon has a built-in angle to offset typical focuser slop).

Manual states something like - 'Turn the knob to point straight away from the light'. I read this as 'downwards', also easier to check green vs amber when in shade.



#14 MalVeauX

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 09:03 PM

By the way, when inserting Quark, is there a particular position that the tuning knob should be facing (on top, towards the Sun, or downwards, or sideways)? There are claims that there is a default position because etalon has a built-in angle to offset typical focuser slop).

Manual states something like - 'Turn the knob to point straight away from the light'. I read this as 'downwards', also easier to check green vs amber when in shade.

Heya,

 

You could read it like a clock with 12 o'clock being where the white line is pointing towards the sun, or the closest to that. Then from there, tuning counter-clock wise is going towards the blue wing (maybe) and going clock-wise is towards the red wing (maybe). I say maybe because of copy variation and they're not all the same where they tune, it's also different where you are on the planet and all that stuff. In general I suggest starting in the middle like that and tuning towards the counter-clock wise side (9pm being the next point I would go to). And if the contrast increases and surface features are more obvious, then you're in the right direction and then fine tune by one position at a time. If you do not see an improvement, then tune clockwise to the 3pm position and see what you get there. Easy to figure it out once you know what side to take the time to tune on. See my animation again above. You can see it's pretty obvious when you're nearly on band and on band compared to totally off band. It's basically mush and then suddenly pencil like drawing type detail, no guess work really.

 

Very best,



#15 BGazing

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 02:32 AM

Heya,

 

You could read it like a clock with 12 o'clock being where the white line is pointing towards the sun, or the closest to that. Then from there, tuning counter-clock wise is going towards the blue wing (maybe) and going clock-wise is towards the red wing (maybe). I say maybe because of copy variation and they're not all the same where they tune, it's also different where you are on the planet and all that stuff. In general I suggest starting in the middle like that and tuning towards the counter-clock wise side (9pm being the next point I would go to). And if the contrast increases and surface features are more obvious, then you're in the right direction and then fine tune by one position at a time. If you do not see an improvement, then tune clockwise to the 3pm position and see what you get there. Easy to figure it out once you know what side to take the time to tune on. See my animation again above. You can see it's pretty obvious when you're nearly on band and on band compared to totally off band. It's basically mush and then suddenly pencil like drawing type detail, no guess work really.

 

Very best,

Thank you, that is fully understood. What I meant was - is there a position for the quark itself in the diagonal barrel? 'Turn the knob to face away from the light' sounds like 'orient the eyepiece so that the knob is in the shade' and not 'turn it at 12 o clock for the start'. Or is that irrelevant? It should be irrelevant unless there is a built-in slop to offset a typical focuser slop and then you tune for the rest of it or for particularities of your Quark.

I could be over-analyzing it. grin.gif



#16 MalVeauX

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 07:05 AM

Thank you, that is fully understood. What I meant was - is there a position for the quark itself in the diagonal barrel? 'Turn the knob to face away from the light' sounds like 'orient the eyepiece so that the knob is in the shade' and not 'turn it at 12 o clock for the start'. Or is that irrelevant? It should be irrelevant unless there is a built-in slop to offset a typical focuser slop and then you tune for the rest of it or for particularities of your Quark.

I could be over-analyzing it. grin.gif

Ahh sorry, no there's no orientation that is specific when viewing, it will be the same. The difference would be if you had a polarizer or another etalon in front of it, then it would matter, and you would simply rotate it until it wasn't black and then suddenly bright, it would be quite obvious the position it would have to be in.

 

It is good practice to shield the Quark from direct sun. It will warm up. Keeping the dial and light away from sunlight allows you to see the light that is telling you if it's warming, on band, or faulting. I imagine its hard to read that light when its in direct light.

 

There's no built in anything for slop/tilt. Newtonian rings will prove that for you.

 

Very best,


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#17 BGazing

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 09:16 AM

Now that I have tested it a bit more in different conditions, I could swear that when moving the scope over the disk I can detect the small areas of uneven brightness. When stationary I cannot see that. Am I imagining things? I first thought I saw this when it was patchy cloudy, but was not sure due to clouds moving as well.

But i understand this is to be expected at this price point, correct?



#18 gnowellsct

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 11:52 AM

Now that I have tested it a bit more in different conditions, I could swear that when moving the scope over the disk I can detect the small areas of uneven brightness. When stationary I cannot see that. Am I imagining things? I first thought I saw this when it was patchy cloudy, but was not sure due to clouds moving as well.

But i understand this is to be expected at this price point, correct?

Try tuning the etalon all the way to the hard clockwise or hard counterclockwise positions and see if the effect becomes more exaggerated.  

 

It's not impossible that the effect is "in" the etalon but the sun's surface is not uniform.  You might be encountering something that is really there.  In an active region that is forming you might see fibrils.  

 

I can't really speak to deficiencies in the etalon.  I have looked through several, but I only own one.  

 

It's very difficult to know when clouds are at work because, well, you have to look at the sun.  Come to think of it I have welders' glass which is right for solar eclipses so if I want to eyeball the area around the sun I could do that too.  Right now there's no problem though.   The cloud's are here and they ain't moving away, never.  

 

Greg N



#19 BGazing

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:55 AM

Try tuning the etalon all the way to the hard clockwise or hard counterclockwise positions and see if the effect becomes more exaggerated.  

 

It's not impossible that the effect is "in" the etalon but the sun's surface is not uniform.  You might be encountering something that is really there.  In an active region that is forming you might see fibrils.  

 

I can't really speak to deficiencies in the etalon.  I have looked through several, but I only own one.  

 

It's very difficult to know when clouds are at work because, well, you have to look at the sun.  Come to think of it I have welders' glass which is right for solar eclipses so if I want to eyeball the area around the sun I could do that too.  Right now there's no problem though.   The cloud's are here and they ain't moving away, never.  

 

Greg N

Hm, perhaps I did not describe it correctly. It is as if when panning over the sun, one sees slightly darker and brigher areas moving (fairly undefined and I cannot describe their shape, only detect them). The moment I stop panning I cannot tell what was darker and what was lighter.



#20 BGazing

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:53 AM

Finally some active regions, and boy does it look good. Too bad that the weather is awful, only managed to catch a break in the clouds. Setting -4 and -5 confirmed as best. Panning over sun definitely shows some darker areas, but I have come to understand this is that kind of product.

 

However, what is this - when exposed to sunlight at an angle, the filter looks partially sprinkled with stardust. smile.gif Shall I replace it with my fingerprint, remove it with Ajax or send back Quark for replacement? grin.gif

 

Or is it something that the manual refers to as "Small

amounts of residual 'film' will not affect visual performance"

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Edited by BGazing, 08 May 2019 - 10:07 AM.

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#21 BGazing

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 07:06 AM

To continue this monologue...contacted TS and Daystar with regard to this, Daystar replied and said to try isopropyl (TS kept radio silence until now). Baader fluid cleaned it (hooray, so no internal issue) and...views are much better, as one might expect when gunk is removed close to the focal plane. What I thought was uneven contrast was actually this. Now prominences do not have their 'favourite corners'...

Baffling. Interesting product and is delivered with such silly oversights, I bet some of the returns were related to minor issues like this one.


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#22 Tom Dugan

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 07:46 AM

... Baader fluid cleaned it ...

I can only find Baader Optical Wonder Cleaning Fluid (100ml) on the Baader Planetarium website for 12.50 euro, so I doubt we can find it on this side of the pond. Not that I need it right now, but you never know ...

 

... and I did find this right here on CL.


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#23 Dagobert

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 03:28 PM

I can only find Baader Optical Wonder Cleaning Fluid (100ml) on the Baader Planetarium website for 12.50 euro, so I doubt we can find it on this side of the pond. Not that I need it right now, but you never know ...

 

... and I did find this right here on CL.

 

Alpine Astro normally carries it in the US for $14. Looks like he's currently out of stock on it though.

 

http://www.alpineast...Fluid and Cloth




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