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Luke

0.8x Reducer?

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I am trying to find something like a 0.8x reducer, ideally 1.25 inch.

I love using a 0.5x reducer with my Quark and I just wonder if 0.8x would work better than prime focus with my setup. I think with 0.8x I could keep the image pretty bright and my camera at full frame rate, whereas prime focus is starting to push that a bit I think.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Edited by Luke

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Mallincam sell the MFR-6 which is an 0.8x reducer.

Or you could splurge on the Televue 0.8x reducer, designed for the TV85, but it ain't cheap!

Edited by Joves
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I cut down a nosepiece to get a 0.5x FR close to the chip (about 10mm away) and that gives about 0.8x.  In fact I juggle the distance with spacers to get the full disc in WL on my WO ZS80.

Robin

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Thanks, all!

Now I am not sure where I stand needing a reducer! My replacement Quark arrived, hooray! Though I was very disappointed when checking the filter to see a hair-like mark on it! That seems to impair the view again, aaarggggh! Though imaging seems okay with the 'hair' presumably off-chip. What to do?

Anyway, I tried the new Quark on Saturday and exposure times are far, far shorter, so the image is now plenty bright for prime focus... I guess this Quark is closer to 0.5A and the previous one nearer to 0.3. I hadn't really considered the possible difference in exposure time. Less disc contrast with this one but brighter proms.

Edited by Luke

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Do they not check the equipment before sending out, seems like bad quality control. How much is the quark and do you want imperfections in the equipment

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I'm surprised there is a mark. Given that I had returned the first with a problem filter (three little indents) I would have hoped the filter was checked on my replacement. The first thing I did of course was check the filter. My heart sank a little.

A tremendous product and I don't want to be without one. Would Quark 3 be worse? At least this one seems fine for the smalll chip.

I'd like a Quark with a smooth clean filter that gives a clean view, like my two SolarMax scopes, no problems with their filters. Otherwise a brill product.

Price is £800. Relatively very cheap for what it does, but even so.

Edited by Luke

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Some of the results im seeing are great no doubt but two problems on the bounce not so great.

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£800 is not 'cheap' for something incorrectly/shoddily made , I would not accept such service for any price and would be onto them immediately ...  :mad:

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Be nice to hear any quark owners pulling out the magnifying glass and inspecting their equipment. £800 £10 you shouldnt be accepting any faults

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It probably does need to go back, made to a budget or not, it is still a lit of money. I wonder where I stand if I want a refund, the first was faulty though I was kindly allowed use of it while waiting for the replacement several weeks.

Edited by Luke

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Oh that it is a shame Luke, hope this isn't going to be a long time until it gets resolved. I am interested to note about the increase in brightness and slight drop in surface contrast. I hadn't really considered that here would be so much variance between two Quarks. I have been struggling to get contrast on the surface and I am not really sure what it is that I am doing wrong, but perhaps it is down to the bandwidth?

Another thought, you might need to use different tuning on the new Quark, dont know if you already tried that?

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After seeing your images with the first Quark I would never have given that one up in a million years, dimples or not ;) all the Quarks come off the production line and are completely variable, that is why when they test them they roughly shuffle them in to two groups, one at less than 1A and the other lot 0.5 and below. They will all be different, that first one you had was precious.

Alexandra

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Such a shame to hear of your issues with the second Quark, Luke. You must be pretty gutted.

To be completely honest, I'm not overly surprised, I'm sorry to say. It would seem that quality control isn't high on the priority list for the Quarks. I now have three, of which only one would I call a nice example of a clean filter. As you know, the first Chromosphere model I received had it's faults, specifically a very rippled filter with lots of very fine scratches seen under light. This produced a shadowy effect on the image. The second Chromosphere version I have has a lovely looking filter. Although, curiously, a completely different colour filter to the first?! Number one has a greenish coloured etalon, whilst number two has a deep red etalon, much like your original had. Both seem to give a similar image though. Interesting you mention different bandwidths amongst the two... Number two appears to give a more contrasted view than number one, so I'm assuming it probably has a slightly narrower bandwith.

Unfortunately, the prominence version I have has a mark at the very edge of the filter, which can definitely be seen visually. I find it a lot less noticeable when properly focused, but stands out in the periphery when not in focus. I'm just going to resign myself to the fact that if I replace it, I'm just as likely to get another shoddy filter, possibly even worse.

I'd like to say "two outta three ain't bad" but in reality, it's more like "one outta three ain't bad"... And that IS pretty bad, really.

All comments aside, I still adore them and wouldn't be without them... Am not regretful of my purchase(s)!

Edited by Joves
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Seems to me that they've had such a high demand for them that they've just decided to send them all out regardless of close inspection , on the grounds that it's a 'budget' item compared with their top-end kit.

Would be interesting to hear some feedback from Daystar on the issue .

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Hi folks, thanks for the thoughts. I've had a chat with Sarah and really it has to go back. I will ask if the replacement can be held up to the light and checked. I spotted this in a fraction of a second, it is so easy to see.

14877569312_277ba0666a_o.jpg

I gave it a test just in case the mark didn't really affect the view. I would live with the mark if it was cosmetic. But it does affect the view a lot and I find it very annoying. Sarah thinks it's worse than the first Quark. I am not sure, as I had tears in my eyes  :shocked::grin:

Aaron sorry to hear you had a second one with issues, I think some other folks were fine so hopefully plenty are a-okay?

My second quark also has what looks like fine scratches, I didn't notice anything too obvious caused by those but the big mark, boohoo! :cry:  Again this one might be fine for imaging, I think the hair is off chip. I tried to image it so I could show the problem when in focus but it must be off the small ICX687 chip.

Alexandra, that makes me feel much better :p  I know what you mean but I have no regrets sending it back, I'm not experienced enough to know if those dimples could worsen, if the dimples would be a problem if I got  a larger chip camera, how it would affect resale value, and it did impair the view through the eyepiece and I noticed it every single time I used it visually, it was a constant bug. As much of a bargain as it is, I would like a good Quark or no Quark. I am happy either with a refund or a Quark with a filter in an acceptable state.

My SolarMax 60's are supposedly not the best for quality control, and they have lovely clean smooth filters and a clean view.

I can't think it's too big an issue because surely anyone who had a 'hair' in their view would be sending it back pronto, there seem to be some very happy Quark users out there.

I think I will ask if Daystar would please be able to have a good look at the filter if this is replaced and not refunded.

As said before, the Quark itself, amazing, but £800 is still £800 and given finances I want it to retain a decent resale value. Who knows if Quark 2 is out next year :laugh: :laugh:

Aside from the woes, thanks again to SCS Astro who let me keep the first one while waiting for the replacement. :laugh:

Edited by Luke

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Oh that it is a shame Luke, hope this isn't going to be a long time until it gets resolved. I am interested to note about the increase in brightness and slight drop in surface contrast. I hadn't really considered that here would be so much variance between two Quarks. I have been struggling to get contrast on the surface and I am not really sure what it is that I am doing wrong, but perhaps it is down to the bandwidth?

Another thought, you might need to use different tuning on the new Quark, dont know if you already tried that?

I did take some images on Saturday with the new Quark, Robin, and I am intrigued by how they will turn out compared to Quark 1. The difference in exposure times was very big, though perhaps I should not have been so surprised as we know that they range from about 0.3 to 0.5A.

With the 0.5 reducer, with Quark 1, I had been using an exposure time of about 24ms. With Quark 2, I used 4ms on Saturday! At prime focus, 36ms left the image too dark with Quark 1 (longer than 36ms, and the frame rate drops from the maximum, so I prefer not to go beyond 36ms if I can avoid it). With Quark 2, I used 10ms at prime focus, well under the magical 36ms!!

Visually, I didn't mind Quark 2 compared to Quark 1 much. Quark 1's contrast on the disc was lovely, but Quark 2 gave nicer views of proms, we felt.

Imaging-wise, I guess Quark 1 with a narrower bandwidth sounds very desirable, but I did feel Quark 2 really had details snapping into focus, I felt like it had more clarity to it. Whether that was anything to do with bandwidth or whether Quark 1's wobbly filter was warping things a bit, I have no idea.

Tuning-wise, Robin, I did not have long to play, so I just thought that clever Dr Robin said that central tuning should be right without focuser droop and other such evils. So I imagined my droopy Feathertouch Rack & Pinion would need four clicks clockwise again. I thought the view looked tidy enough and the eyepiece view was certainly looking sweet (bar the giant 'hair'/scratch, boo! hiss!), so stuck with that! Maybe it could get better?

Edited by Luke

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I must admit I am a bit surprised that there is so much difference between two different Quarks. In years gone by you made a device, tested it and the best 10% were given an A rating, then the next were given a B rating and so on. However, I thought most things were made to a bit high tolerance these days and this selection on test was no longer applied.

I would have to say my Quark has a very clear filter, no marks or scratches, yet the contrast doesn't look as good as several posters on here. May be I haven't go the scope or tuning right yet or may be the bandwidth is borderline a Chromosphere and is more of prom unit?

Either way it does allow me to use one scope for both Ha and WL, not something I have been able to do before.

Robin

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Robin, that's good to hear that your filter is nice and clear :laugh:  I hope to post some images soon that I took on Saturday with Quark 2.

Edited by Luke

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Luke,

If you do get a third, you will have had more of these than anyone else outside Daystar or their distributors.  Perhaps I might see about sending you my Quark for you to do a side by side test, see if we can see how much variance there is between models?  I would like to narrow down the performance of mine to either the Quark/Tuning/Scope/Camera/Processing as I still don't seem to be getting the performance others are getting.

Robin

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Hi Folks,

Sorry for all the posts, a little update.

SCS Astro is on the case and I am assured that I will get a Quark in good working order :)

I am so happy, as this is the best product I have ever bought for astro. This thing in my ED100 at the eyepiece takes my breath away.

I really hope folks don't unduly worry about their filters! I had marks in the eyepiece view that shouldn't be there. If your view looks fine, I really wouldn't worry about what the filter looks like. My crinkly rippled Baader solar film was fine. I would be keeping Quark 2 if the mark was cosmetic, but sadly, the view is pretty bad.

Alexandra, I'd send Quark 2 back even if it was 0.2A!! :p

Robin, that's so funny about all the Quarks :) Aside from the disappointment, it's been interesting to experience two Quarks with a fair difference. They are both a joy to look through (ignoring the flaws, of course!), though I would pick closer to 0.3A if I had a choice as I think most of all I enjoy looking at and imaging all the swirls and whirls around the active regions, and Quark 1 did have the edge there. Plus I'd get to make that custom 0.8x reducer after all :grin:

Edited by Luke
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That is an interesting article.  I agree with the post that follows it by Joves.  If it is normal to see some ripples they are very worrying to the user/owner even if you can't see the effect from them.  Apart from anything else I have never seen anything from Daystar before to say these are normal, it isn't on their website or in the manual, perhaps a few lines should be added to the manual, that would put everyones fears to rest?

I also seem to think Luke could see some effect from the dimples in the image?  Either way dimples, creases or any other form of non-uniform surface, no matter how slight will always have some effect, it just depends where it is in the imaging train as to whether it will be seen.

At the front outside the objective, it wouldn't be seen, but inside near the point of focus it might be.

Robin

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Ah, thanks for that, Stephen!

I would like to stress, that I returned my Quarks because they both had bad marks in the eyepiece view. They both seemed absolutely fine for tracked imaging, the marks did not appear in the view covered by my little video camera's chip. Even the huge mark in Quark 2 is off camera :)

Quark 2 does have little scratches on the filter too, but they don't seem to affect the view, so I wouldn't worry about them. I would be fine with cosmetic marks, as long as the eyepiece view is as you would expect.

Can't wait for the replacement :)

Edited by Luke

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