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Daystar Quark First Light / The Good and The Bad

solar observing report equipment observing
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#1 ICit2

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 02:25 PM

I ordered a Quark Combo from Woodland Hills & Telescope and it arrived yesterday just in time for a first light in the late afternoon.  I set it up with a TS 102ED f/11 and a 2x Powermate.  The Powermate was first inline with a UV/IR filter screwed in the front which put the scope around  f/27, due to the extended distance to the Quark.  Following the Powermate was a 2" GSO star diagonal.  Into the star diagonal went the Quark.  Into the Quark went a TeleVue Binoview without the amplifier/Corrector.  And in the TeleVue Binoview was a pair of Meade Series 5000 HD 25mm; which gave about 112x.  So far so good.

 

The Quark took only 8 minutes to come on band and was ready by the time I had everything set up. 
The sun had moved behind a tree by that time and the branches were doing sought of a strip tease, allowing only flitting glances of the sun as they stirred gently in a breeze.  But in those initial glances I got excited by what I was seeing.  At long last the sun past from behind the tree and I got my first real look.  Wow, what a view!  Razor sharp along the edge with a single prominence surrounded by a prairie fire.  The orange skin texture of the chromosphere was identifiable but not with much detail at this point. The Quark was still just on the default setting.  But the sharpness along the limb was amazing.  And then it happened...

 

I moved the scope to the opposite side of the sun and noticed what appeared to be a shadow along the limb, covering about 1/3 the circumference of the sun.  It didn't look right.  I switch star diagonals, changed eyepieces (Badder zoom and Celestron Omni 32mm).  Rotated the eyepieces to see if it moved.  Nothing worked.  And by that time the sun was behind the tree line.  Not so good.

 

Morning came and it was my good fortune skies for the most part were clear.  But distance clouds to the west threatened to move in before noon.  A quick breakfast and I was out the door setting up in the garden.  With everything in place I lower my eyes to the binoviews and saw what I was hopping was just an anomaly caused by the low altitude of the sun or some unseen tree limb the day before.  But the shadow along a part of the solar limb was still there. 

 

Several attempts to isolate the problem failed. I removed the star diagonal and inserted the Quark straight into the Powermate in case it was a misaligned diagonal  mirror.  I noticed this time the shadow moved.  So I knew was on to something.  I rotated the Powermate and kept the Quark in the relative same position.  The shadow was more or less in the same place.  I then rotated the Quark and the shadow move with it!  And each time I rotated the Quark the shadow moved relative to the side of the temperature control switch.

 

I reassembled the optical train as it was originally and saw the shadow again.  Then rotated only the Quark and the shadow once again move with it.  

 

I'm now waiting to hear back form Daystar.  Has anyone else experienced this problem?

 

quark3
 
Quark2

Edited by ICit2, 10 September 2019 - 06:51 PM.


#2 BabyPepper

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:07 PM

very possibly a lard of glue or the immersion oil came undone.   Most companies are famous for using an excessive amount of silicon type glue clear to hold things, and unfortunatly sometimes it just does not stay where it was meant to after the engineer twists and tightens things together.  Ive had visible globs of the stuff on many of my lunt h-alpha gear.

 

It is entirely possible your quark is damaged, or just one of the "bad ones" that has a poorly selected piece of mica.   

 

The most likely scenario is that your thermal electric heater has a damaged element and is not uniformly heating the circular area properly, it might not seated on the mounting ring entirely so only a portion is getting the hot..      

 

the best thing for you to do is not touch it any further and return it.


Edited by BabyPepper, 10 September 2019 - 11:08 PM.


#3 BabyPepper

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:43 PM

one other situation but unlikely is that your optical axis may not be square after all your heavy equipment is placed on the quark.

 

There could be some sagging or tilt introduced somewhere.



#4 ICit2

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 01:59 PM

one other situation but unlikely is that your optical axis may not be square after all your heavy equipment is placed on the quark.

 

There could be some sagging or tilt introduced somewhere.

Thanks for the info!  The thermal electric heater being damaged or excessive amount of silicon didn't occur to me.  I considered the optical axis being off on my setup.  And so I loosened the eyepiece clamp and tipped the Quark a bit, from side to side, to see if the shadow would shift.  It didn't move.  Nor when I loosed the powermate and star diagonal a bit.  But if I rotate the Quark the shadow moves in relation to the Quark temperature switch. Rotating it 180 puts the shadow on the opposite side.  

 

When I say "shadow" I don't me a dark spot or section.  It's like a double transparent sun that's slightly shifted off to one side, covering about a third of solar limb. It looks like this:

 

Quark seeing double copy


#5 BGazing

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 02:56 PM

Not sure I fully grasp what is going on.

I had a smudge on the top of my Quark which reduced contrast and was visible...cleaned with Baader fluid.

If you see stria when panning over sun, it's mica. I do not notice it unless I am panning.



#6 ICit2

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 03:49 PM

When I first took the bottom cap off the Quark I noticed a small circular smudge on the bottom filter.  I didn't like that none too much.  But decided to leave it alone and not to try and clean it.   You think that would cause the double image?

 

Quark spot  copy


#7 BGazing

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 04:02 PM

Contact Daystar. That's a blocking filter. They thought my smudge (which was on the other end) might be inside, still the cleaning wiped it away. I do not see it clearly whether this smudge appears to be inside or outside.

Surprised that 1000 USD plus items get off the production line in such state...regularly.



#8 ICit2

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 04:20 PM

Yeah, I can't tell either if it's in or out.  The mirror on the filter makes it hard to tell.  I have contacted Daystar and explained all of this to them yesterday through a series of back and forth e-mails. Though, I forgot to mention the smudge on the filter.  Just waiting now to see where it goes from here.



#9 marktownley

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 12:33 AM

Send it back to Woodland Hills for a replacement.




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