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Singlin

Lunt 50 or Quark with ED 80?

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Lunt 50 or Quark with ED 80? for solar viewing

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Quark with ED80 .... no contest ūüėÄ

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Although no expert on the choice, here are a few comments that may be useful to consider.

The Quark is reported to have a slow start up/stabilise against the 'point and view' of a dedicated scope.

Every time out, you have to swap the configuration of your ED80, assuming you still want to use it at night.
A dedicated solar scope is straight from storage box to tripod.

At 80mm objective you are at the size where people are arguning about whether you should fit a blocking filter, increasing cost.

With the Lunt you have the options of 50/60mm. BF 6mm or 12mm, etc. Depends on the depth of your wallet.

The Lunt option makes it easier to obtain full disc views.

In UK skies at least, the arguments for a large objective to obtain higher magnification are not at all clear cut.
Maybe Italy is better?

I'm sure more knowledgeable people will be along shortly with their views.

I recently considered a Quark, among other options, and eventually settled on an LS60.
Long story and discussed in other threads. Maybe I am biassed to Lunt?

Looking forward to following this thread. David.

 

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I have a Lunt 50 and a Quark which I can use on one of my small refractors.

The Quark generally gives better views and is more versatile.

9 times out of 10 I use the Lunt, though. It's far quicker to set up - in fact I can simply put the scope + mount out of the back door and be observing in a few seconds. Good for catching gaps between the clouds. 

The Quark needs a bit of setting up, takes a wile to get to temperature and needs a battery. So overall a bit more hassle.

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Ciao Singlin, there is a lot of nonsense about the Quark due to a poor initial release..... full disc aside, even then you won’t be far from a full disc with the 80mm.

The only restrictiion with a Quark is the eyepiece choice is limited, even with this limitation when I had the Lunt 60 I only ever used a single eyepiece for the vast majority of the time. I believe the UK share the same sun as Italy we just see more clouds.

Edited by Pig
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Ref Pig:

I believe the UK share the same sun as Italy we just see more clouds.

I was thinking of two effects. Yes potentially less clouds, but still warm air currents to limit the usefulness of a bigger objective.
Significantly more energy on the glass due to the higher angle of the sun. Less energy lost in the atmosphere.
Particulalry UV which might affect lens coatings on the ED80.
No insult to Skywatcher intended. But it is not primarly designed for solar viewing. Bombarded for a long time by intense UV.
This may strengthen the argument for an ERF with the ED80.

In the UK, we go from about 51deg on the south coast to around 58deg at the top of Scotland,
Italy is about 39deg to 45deg.

Perhaps about 50% less atmosphere energy loss if other factors like cloud and moisture are equal?

In this case the OP is right at the north of Italy, so the increase in radiation compared with the UK due to latitude alone is probably not important.

Hope this helps, David.

 

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I have a Lunt 60 Double stack and a Quark.  I mostly image, so not sure if the balance swings for visual, but here goes.

A Lunt (without double stack) is much easier and quicker to use than a Quark, the field is more even, well it is in mine.  My Quark does give superior views.  The warm up time is not really a problem, just plug it in whilst you set the scope up.  Add a double stack to my Lunt and this improves the detail to almost the same as the a Quark, but the field flatness changes, well it does on mine.

So a Lunt double stack gives similar views to a Quark and is probably slightly easier to get on with.  However, in 2019 with falling solar activity I would choose the Quark, it is cheaper than a Lunt and you can use the scope for something else.  In the last two years I have used my Lunt once or maybe twice, I have used my Quark a lot more, but only when there is something to look at.

 

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Thanks for the input.

I am more attracted to the Quark .

The information received so far is making this choice easier.

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this my work flow with the quark, 1 plug it in 2 power the mount 3 boot the pc 4 start firecapture by this time the redlight has turned green and ready to go ie no time wasted¬†ūüėČ. my quark takes 6 to 8 min to be ready maybe 10 min on a really cold day.¬† but long before the light turns green you can see stuff in ha.¬† charl.

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I found the Lunt 50 an excellent introduction to Solar Astronomy. But then I am not a visual
observer. At the maximum of my budget I did become aware of it's aperture limitations and
(to some) mechanical frustrations.¬†Most people seem to "plump"¬†for a¬†Lunt 60 anyways...¬†ūüėõ
With the (apparently now) reliability & consistency of Quarks there is a serious alternative? 

For imaging, I began to crave larger apertures... longer focal length, greater magnification!
Sadly the price of larger aperture Lunt Scope increases exponentially! But, for those "stuck"
with a humble Lunt 50... Tech savvy... SAFETY conscious, I commend learning about the joy
of Frankenscopes. Give those¬†annoying "Quark Folk"¬†something to think about! [teasing]¬†ūüėł

As noted above, we are currently stuck (for the moment anyway) around Solar Minimum.¬†ūüôĄ¬†

Edited by Macavity

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Probably the best tip for solar observing is to place a¬†cover¬†over your head to help block out any stray light,¬†it makes a remarkable difference ūüėÄ it also helps with preventing suburn.

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4 hours ago, Pig said:

Ciao Singlin, there is a lot of nonsense about the Quark due to a poor initial release..... full disc aside, even then you won’t be far from a full disc with the 80mm.

Not exactly nonsense Shaun as it's taken me one heck of time and trouble to prise a decent Quark out of Daystar which I finally received only recently.
Other members here not as patient as myself gave up long ago and took a refund.

Daystar appear to have the attitude that as long as they keep replacing it FOC there's no problem, this may work fine if you're USA based but takes ages from the UK especially if HMRC get a bee in their bonnet about trying to extract some money out of you for it, which you have to pay up front and then wait months for a refund ( not Daystars fault persee )

There was discussion about there being a twofold whammy, first initial QC and later USA Solar Eclipse putting pressure on production, I can only say that they supplied me with a couple of lemons during those times so hopefully production / QC is back to "normal" although they are still variable in the bandpass achieved so there's no such thing as a standard Quark just one that's within the pass range of the etalon, too poor gets binned ( hopefully ) too good gets used in professional grade equipment.

Despite all this a good Quark is a superb bit of kit giving views that amateurs could only dream of a few years ago and still well worth the money despite recent price rises.

Like @DrRobin I think having both is ideal :thumbsup:as they both have their strengths but if I had to choose I'd settle for the Quark despite all the aggravation I've had.

Dave

 

Edited by Davey-T
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Just popped up in for sale section.

Dave

 

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I didn't say earlier (didn't want to put you off), I was one of the early adopters of a Quark, my first went back twice, it would reach lock and the contrast/detail was very poor.  The one that replaced it was perfect, the contrast good a reasonably flat field.  Unfortunately that one would reach lock (no green LED, either Red or flashing) either so I sent it back for re-adjustment.  They decided to replace it.  The replacement reaches lock, but the contrast isn't quite as good as Quark 2 and the field not quite as flat.

Perhaps I should have stuck with Quark 2 but the one I have now is pretty good and flats take care of the field.

You can have similar problems with a [double stack] Lunt, I have to have my second Etalon in just the right place and right state of tune for it to work well.  I found a focuser rotator which was just the right size so my second Etalon is permanently fixed to the front of my Lunt.

All that said, I would still go for the Quark, it lets you use your expensive scope for something else.  If buying second hand just confirm with the seller what the views/images are like and that it achieves lock for all of the settings.  With a bit of luck they will have used it for imaging and can send you some images.

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Sounds like a similar story to mine Robin but hopefully it's all worth it in the end, just need a few ARs to pop up now :grin:

Dave

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Quarks get most of the attention because of Daystar's clearly unacceptable quality problems and poor customer service for such a long period after launch. The hope is that most of the products they now ship to UK retailers are of acceptable quality - certainly that's the impression I get purely from reports on sites like SGL. But it's also worth saying that dedicated solar ha scopes from Lunt and Coronado also differ in quality - it's the nature of the beast with such sophisticated technology. I've had an LS50 and now an LS60 - and both have had their issues that have taken patience and a big learning curve to sort out. I love the LS60 I have now, but it has taken a double stack filter and an external pressure pump to really deliver exceptional views. So the best advice I could give is a) do your research,  b) buy from a good retailer with a solid reputation for looking after their customers, and then c) just press the button. 

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I've tried most offerings over the years, all have their strengths and weaknesses, you need to be clear as to what sort of result you prefer. I'm not an imager and have finally found that my 6" F10 PST mod does exactly what I had been looking for, high resolution, large scale bright images and usable with binoviewers.¬†¬† ūüôā

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7 hours ago, Peter Drew said:

I've tried most offerings over the years, all have their strengths and weaknesses, you need to be clear as to what sort of result you prefer. I'm not an imager and have finally found that my 6" F10 PST mod does exactly what I had been looking for, high resolution, large scale bright images and usable with binoviewers.¬†¬† ūüôā

Peter, this sounds ideal, what sort of total cost would you expect ?

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48 minutes ago, Pig said:

Peter, this sounds ideal, what sort of total cost would you expect ?

6" F10 Istar objective ¬£450, 85mm Triband ERF s/h ¬£350, PST s/h ¬£300, rest self built. So about the price of a Quark.¬†¬† ūüôā

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1 hour ago, Peter Drew said:

6" F10 Istar objective ¬£450, 85mm Triband ERF s/h ¬£350, PST s/h ¬£300, rest self built. So about the price of a Quark.¬†¬† ūüôā

Sounds very tempting ūüėĬ†¬†

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15 hours ago, Pig said:

Sounds very tempting ūüėĬ†¬†

It is!
That is why I got a second hand PST - waiting for it and start to play with it testing my cameras and do the basic mods needed.

Then one day I will get a 6" F10 and ERF [one at the time - I am not rich!] - like many do - and do the mod!
or try my AR152 [with 85mm ERF] first + x2 cheap Telecentric Barlow and see what happens ~ £. 90 - if no go, I will have to get a 6" F10 one.

I am getting older and solar would be a great help in 'continuing' amatorial [had to add it to spell-checker!]  imaging and observing.

Try what you have first - is my motto - try, try, try - get fed-up, leave it and try again and again!

Pffff and maybe get a WOW - I've got it right!

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How does the 85mm ref affect a larger aperture of the scope? Does the 85mm become the final aperture? 

Edited by Pig

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Everythat follows is based on my theoretical knowledge. Not having done this on a scope.
I was lazy and bought a solar scope that worked out of the box.

If the ERF is smaller than the objective and you place it near the objective, then you have a smaller aperture scope.

However, you can place the smaller ERF part way down the tube, where the light cone is small enough for the ERF and you keep the full aperture.
This approach means you have to construct a cell or support of the ERF. The maths to calculate the correct position is easy enough.

There are arguments against this approach.
The ERF is going to absorb heat and induce warm air currents in the tube.
I understand solar heating is about 1KW per square metre in the UK. This equates to about 35 watts with a 150mm objective.
That is a lot of heat coming off the ERF in a tube.
Fan or convention ventilation necessary?

Second, your big refractor is no longer a day/night scope, unless the ERF is very easy to remove.

I look forward to comments from people who have more experience.

David.

 

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People make significantly large Objective aperture Solar Scopes with (lesser) 
aperture ERF filters at intermediate distances downstream in the optics. One
sees custom skeleton designs and solid¬†OTAs with (hinged) access panels etc.¬†ūüėé

SAFETY is paramount. Common sense prevails? Commercial Solar Scopes use
the idea of *reasonable* reduction in light cone plus *pukka* ERFs. I sense it
is¬†"differential heating" that endangers solar filters? Cracks¬†glass...¬†and worse.¬†ūüėĪ

Me? OK with DIY scopes for¬†Solar imaging.¬†I use commercial ones for visuals.¬†ūüôā

Edited by Macavity

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