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Everything posted by Luke

  1. Interesting question, Stu! I tried my hand at deep sky some years back. I really liked the idea of it. But after the excitement of buying the gear, I found it a pain putting it all together (I had no obsy, so it was setting up from scratch each time - something I would not do again if I go back to it some day as I hope I will when life is more compatible). I hated the capture part. Something about being frozen stiff on a cold December night wondering why my rig was not guiding accurately was not my idea of a fun hobby. I didn't really enjoy the effort of processing, which is odd as I love Photoshop. Due to life happening, I had to give up deep sky imaging and switched to solar imaging. That has been a revelation. The sun is far more active than I had realised, I actually enjoy the capture process (sitting out in shades drinking ice cold coke is more me and you get a live view while you capture, so I feel like I am observing a bit too), and I love the processing, as it takes less time and I enjoy messing about trying new ways to process the same (very dynamic) object. Setup time is not too bad either, no obsy desperately needed. I love observing too and have decided to image only in summer so I don't get too carried away with it and fit in plenty of observing over the year. EDIT: Yes, I would go for the off the shelf kit!
  2. Thanks for the heads up, Michael, looks nice on the gong playback, and the new AR looks lively on there too I'm considering switching to cloud watching, as I like low hanging fruit The view from this way:
  3. Luke

    Calcium Quark

    The Lunt module has been a constant temptation but a few things have confused me about it. Like the B1800 module, at 1800 Euros, it says on the TS website: "For telescopes up to 102 mm aperture and up to 1800 mm focal length. For imaging it will be better to use a bigger Ca-K module." Maybe I am being optimistic but I'd like to use my 120mm scope as well as my smaller scopes. And what is meant by for imaging, a bigger CaK module is better? Would an ASI174 on a 100mm scope be okay? And the Lunt Ca-K Module with B3400 Blocking Filter in Extension Tube for 2" Focuser - 3065 Euros (way over my budget) - still says up to 102mm aperture. I also thought I read something about there being a problem fitting the module with some focusers? On the other hand, the Lunt is specified as <2.4 Ångström bandwidth. But I really like the idea of visual too that is being dangled with the Quark!
  4. Luke

    Calcium Quark

    Pre-order form from Daystar, with a touch more info? http://www.icstars.com/Store/daystar/quark/daystar-instruments-combo-quark-calcium.html "For use on F/7 or longer focal ratio refractors, the user needn't worry about configurations. Just insert in your diagonal, add an eyepiece and view. Short focal ratio refractors will need a 2x or 2.5x Powermate to get the best performance. Exact filter bandpass will vary based on final telescope application. No specific FWHM bandpass is designated, but it will be around 5Å. The fully optimized design eliminates the need for any adapters. It's all combined in one lightweight eyepiece sized device. The new, compact design configuration eliminates unnecessary components, weight and associated costs. We even reduced power consumption, so the Quark can now operate all day off a small, palm-sized optional battery pack. Baffles have been added to increase contrast and AR coatings are optimized for the 397nm wavelength."
  5. Luke

    Calcium Quark

    The Quark is in that odd place of being dirt cheap and very expensive at the same time!
  6. There's just one thing I want for Christmas, but I ain't holding my breath Daystar Calcium II H-Line Quark
  7. Lovely details, Charles. Hard luck with the DMK41. Hope the ASI174 serves you well.
  8. Not much solar going on my way, thanks for the dose!
  9. Luke

    Calcium Quark

    This is most interesting! My other half is not into imaging any more but likes the idea of viewing with this, and if I can observe with it, it will definitely get a decent amount of usage over a year. Will we be able to view? Oh I wish I knew!! I'm just imaging in summer now, observing rest of the year, which means I have more time for observing now. The Quark h-alpha imaging took over at times this year when the disc was busy and proms were going off here and there! But suppose older eyes will struggle, why would Daystar not go for CaK instead and say it's imaging only? Then that doesn't leave open wondering how close the image will be to CaK? I think my plan is, hang around until we see some first lights and images that for my needs are good enough, like I did with the Quark Chromo. At this price it mainly needs to show me some interesting activity that I won't get with white light and h-alpha. Certainly some interesting images at high res from the Dutch Open Telescope in CaII H line here, would love to see some full discs: http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~rutte101/dot/albums/images/album.html Also I am thinking, with my F7.5 scope, I may be able to use a 2x or 2.5x Barlow in front of the Quark CaH, then a 0.5x reducer before the camera, to get close to cancelling out the Barlow if needed.
  10. Luke

    Calcium Quark

    I found a site taking pre-orders, I think they are in Belgium. Do not know them, but page is: https://www.astromarket.org/solar-astronomy213747/daystar-quark-h-alpha-filter/quark-h-alpha-eyepiece----chromosphere-03-05367553?language=en and some of the info stated there - please see link for the fuller info.: PRE-ORDER NOW (Delivery by the end of november) NOT COMPATIBLE WITH RED OR YELLOW GLASS ERFS. RECOMMENDED FOR USE WITH A UV/IR CUT FILTER FOR SAFETY. Calcium H line (3968.5Å), approx 5Å FWHM. Integrated 25mm blocking filter, 21mm clear filter aperture. No barlow or focusing elements included. Best performance with F/10 - F/30 refractors full aperture, or SCTs and Maks. Full disk viewing possible on refractors up to ~1800mm focal length No aperture limitations. May be used on larger refractors for higher magnification views
  11. Luke

    Calcium Quark

    This is the news I have been dreading! My wallet has legged it. Interesting that it's for visual too. Do we reckon it is very close imaging wise to CaK?
  12. I did find it a bit of a pain focusing with the SM60, both mine had some backlash, the helical is the weak point for me, though it did work and I guess they were keeping costs down. My Tele Vue 60 has a much better helical focuser, but even that one I struggle to get focus tight with the Quark, a fair few of my captures are a touch off! So I guess a dual speed is best for imaging. My focus is definitely tighter with my Quark and bigger scopes, which have good dual speed focusers on them.
  13. Still lovely to look at, thanks for posting, David. Not your sharpest but still tons of detail and the Sun is sneaking low.
  14. Lovely shots, very interesting, dazzaa. Were exposure times much shorter than with your Chromo? With my ASI174 at a fast frame rate, I have to whack up the gain to get the image bright enough with my Chromo, so I wonder if a Prominence would help pull the gain back down a lot. Seems funny, having too dark an image wiith the sun
  15. Very nice shot, dazzaa. Interested to see how you get on with the prom version.
  16. Some lovely activity, thanks for posting. It's surprising how much the seeing can vary from one day to the next.
  17. I haven't directly compared them but owned two SolarMax 60's (very nice scopes!) and have looked through several rather nice Lunt 60's inc PT. Without directly comparing, I would say the views were similar, I did not feel the need to flog the SM60 and get a Lunt. Of course a direct comparison would have been more revealing, but any huge improvement would have been obvious to me. Re: Stephen Ramsden's shootout in the linked PDF, when I read that a while back, the images made me worry that the SM60 is quite far behind in terms of imaging than the Lunt 60 but I think focus was perhaps a touch off, SM60's can produce some superb images. If I had a chance to do a direct shootout I would be really interested to test at higher power. The reason why is that with my SM60s I found that pushing the mag up high on the disc did not really reveal much finer detail. However, my Daystar Quark and Tele Vue 60 does reveal finer detail on the disc at those higher powers. I wonder if this is anything to do with the central obstruction of the SM60. At low and medium power there was very little in it between my Quark and Tele Vue 60 vs SM60.
  18. Luke

    Small Prom!

    Good to see you back in the saddle Jarrod, very nice work. Of course I would never do anything like wonder why the camera is not working and eventually trace it to it not being plugged in.
  19. Especially like the CaK's, David. My goodness I hope they don't bring out a CaK Quark. I fear a little for our weekend here as we've had a few clear nights and days during the week, I think it has all been used up for Sept!
  20. Lovely processing, dazzaa. Still some nice features on offer.
  21. Sweet collection, Dave.
  22. Nice catch, dazzaa, lovely detail.
  23. Very nice, David, thanks for the midweek update. I am hoping those new spots are the warm-up act for The Return
  24. Congrats on the scope! Look forward to seeing your images. Yes, that looks like new scope weather
  25. Bit late to the party with these, I meant to reprocess a few but that doesn't seem to be happening! Can't keep up with 2015's captures! Images are Equinox 120, Daystar Quark Chromosphere, Grasshopper 3 (ICX687) camera and Revelation 1.25 inch 0.5x reducer. The last one was on Christmas Day, not the best seeing but what a lovely present for a solar nutcase
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