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Bad Quark Chromosphere on arrival?


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9 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Just been looking at the SolarScope FS-100 filters. ££££££££££ 🙀🙀🙀🙀

 

Solarscope use the same manufacturing process as DS I believe. They just use active cooling for CWL adjustment instead of passive cooling?

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So I'd like to update my situation here since you guys has been so helpful, caring and I want you to see a fruitful end to this. After DS refuses to replace my Quark and went to issue a refund inste

A few more shot from my Quark with the Sharpstar 107ph. So it's obvious the Quark really shines with larger aperture. First time I look through the Quark with my 107 I tought to myself: this scope is

So I jumped the gun on my Quark chromosphere despite the bad reviews about Daystar's QC. On arrival the red side of the filter have some very noticable scratches and some part that looks like unh

Posted Images

@Minhlead - Sorry to hear that it didn't work out with the Quark. Getting a refund was probably a very good outcome even if you are a little out of pocket.

My experience with a Quark also wasn't good. Ordered from a reputable UK Dealer, product was delivered and looked to be well made.

At the beginning of January there was too many clouds to get outside but I did try the supplied PSU and the Quark - seemed to heat up in about 8 minutes and switch bands in 6 minutes.

There was however an issue with the unit - pick it up and you get the impression that it is vibrating. It turns out that the PSU leaks a small current and the mechanical vibration is a mild electric shock. 230V AC in the UK.

A multimeter confirmed that there was 93v AC on the rivet on the side and the current was 20 uA. That is 1/1000 of what can be regarded as "lethal".

I did experiment with wrapping the unit in clingfilm and also notified the dealer about getting it replaced.

When the clouds did clear, I did some WL with a Baader wedge and then switched in the Quark. With WL I tend to centre the Wedge with the EP removed. I tried the same thing with an EP removed from the Quark.

That's when I noticed a second defect. The image of the Sun looking through the etalon showed a line that was half the width and from the top to the bottom relative to the adjustment knob. It wasn't on the front or the back and only visible when looking through it with the Sun.

At this point my patience was wearing thing and knowing the problems of getting things replaced (over and over), I insisted on a full refund - received. I also had the recommended UV filter refunded as it was bought specifically for the Quark.

With Quarks, you kind of know that it is a bit of a lottery. The odds of getting a good one are (like the lottery) slim. So I'm probably guilty of wanting to believe it would be OK, but knowing that isn't going to happen ("he looked confused for a moment, then suddenly the penny dropped").

So, I'm now moving in the direction of acquiring a Lunt scope.

Simon

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29 minutes ago, SimM said:

@Minhlead - Sorry to hear that it didn't work out with the Quark. Getting a refund was probably a very good outcome even if you are a little out of pocket.

My experience with a Quark also wasn't good. Ordered from a reputable UK Dealer, product was delivered and looked to be well made.

At the beginning of January there was too many clouds to get outside but I did try the supplied PSU and the Quark - seemed to heat up in about 8 minutes and switch bands in 6 minutes.

There was however an issue with the unit - pick it up and you get the impression that it is vibrating. It turns out that the PSU leaks a small current and the mechanical vibration is a mild electric shock. 230V AC in the UK.

A multimeter confirmed that there was 93v AC on the rivet on the side and the current was 20 uA. That is 1/1000 of what can be regarded as "lethal".

I did experiment with wrapping the unit in clingfilm and also notified the dealer about getting it replaced.

When the clouds did clear, I did some WL with a Baader wedge and then switched in the Quark. With WL I tend to centre the Wedge with the EP removed. I tried the same thing with an EP removed from the Quark.

That's when I noticed a second defect. The image of the Sun looking through the etalon showed a line that was half the width and from the top to the bottom relative to the adjustment knob. It wasn't on the front or the back and only visible when looking through it with the Sun.

At this point my patience was wearing thing and knowing the problems of getting things replaced (over and over), I insisted on a full refund - received. I also had the recommended UV filter refunded as it was bought specifically for the Quark.

With Quarks, you kind of know that it is a bit of a lottery. The odds of getting a good one are (like the lottery) slim. So I'm probably guilty of wanting to believe it would be OK, but knowing that isn't going to happen ("he looked confused for a moment, then suddenly the penny dropped").

So, I'm now moving in the direction of acquiring a Lunt scope.

Simon

Sorry to hear your news but great you got a refund. I've got a Lunt 60mm double stack which I'm very pleased with. I did get mine second hand so it was not so expensive as new. New these things are atronomical, lol. I know mass produced etchalons are hit and miss but there should be better quality control. 

 

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I think sometimes you just have to cut your losses, unfortunately, and put it down to experience. I was going through my old solar captures over the weekend and I came across this capture (and several others over a few days) taken with a Quark that was a replacement for another Quark.

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I think it very neatly summarises why I would be tempted to buy the Quark but wouldn't. The detail around the spot is to my eyes fantastic and better than could be expected from a £1000 filter! Yes, I want a Quark! But hang on. What's all that smearing? Running right through the centre?! Over much of the field? For me, it is unusable for imaging and doubly disappointing given that it was a replacement.

Imagine you buy one from a good supplier like First Light Optics. You know that if you have a pants one you can return it for a refund. That sounds to me worth a punt, I'd be happy to pay return postage too even if it sucked, it's worth a shot!

But what if you like it and keep it and it serves you well for a bit, then develops a fault? You are then without a Quark for some weeks. Then what if the good unit you sent for repair or replacement has been replaced with a unit you are unhappy with? Send it back again, lose more weeks, and hope the replacement for the replacement isn't even worse?

We've had at least two develop faults after a period. My wife's developed a fault I think still within warranty but we decided to write it off rather than deal with them again. My one is still going though has numerous marks in the view, I would not be happy to sell it to anyone. So that's quite a chunk of investment we'll never get back should we feel like making a change. Whereas we were able to sell our two SolarMax 60's.

I know of several folks who have sent Quarks back, some here on SGL, and I don't know that many solar astrophotographers. I get that the Quark is cheap for what it is, but £1000 is still a lot of money for many amateurs and one wonders how a filter like this one ends up in a customer's hands.

Edited by Luke
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On 30/01/2021 at 14:44, Minhlead said:

Solarscope use the same manufacturing process as DS I believe. They just use active cooling for CWL adjustment instead of passive cooling?

I think it’s Solar Spectrum you mean rather than Solarscope - an American manufacturers of solar Ha filters distributed and supported by Baader (whereas Solarscope is UK-based). Solar Spectrum doesn’t make a cheaper Quark competitor, but it does make very good rear end filters that compete with Daystar’s more expensive Quantum line. Only SGL member (that I know of) with a Solar Spectrum filter is Michael Wilkinson - and his images speak for themselves. The experts on Solarchat also rate them very highly. I know which I would choose between Solar Spectrum and Daystar if I were spending that sort of money on a high magnification, precision Ha filter.

The problem with Quarks is that many owners are able to achieve amazing results, which otherwise could only be generated by instruments costing four or five times as much. But they are in the minority. And the variability of Quarks is far greater than other solar products. Although QC is supposed to have improved, it’s still a big risk considering the price. 

Hope you end up with a better solution Minh. Baffling why Daystar can’t just send you a replacement.

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8 hours ago, Highburymark said:

I think it’s Solar Spectrum you mean rather than Solarscope - an American manufacturers of solar Ha filters distributed and supported by Baader (whereas Solarscope is UK-based). Solar Spectrum doesn’t make a cheaper Quark competitor, but it does make very good rear end filters that compete with Daystar’s more expensive Quantum line. Only SGL member (that I know of) with a Solar Spectrum filter is Michael Wilkinson - and his images speak for themselves. The experts on Solarchat also rate them very highly. I know which I would choose between Solar Spectrum and Daystar if I were spending that sort of money on a high magnification, precision Ha filter.

The problem with Quarks is that many owners are able to achieve amazing results, which otherwise could only be generated by instruments costing four or five times as much. But they are in the minority. And the variability of Quarks is far greater than other solar products. Although QC is supposed to have improved, it’s still a big risk considering the price. 

Hope you end up with a better solution Minh. Baffling why Daystar can’t just send you a replacement.

I think the main reason is that they just afraid that the replacement is gonna go bad and they have to compensate me on the shipping the filter back and forth from VN to the States which is astronomically expensive. From that I can tell even DS does not seem very confident with their own product.

Since the custom here in VN pressed me for the returning Quark (I listed it as temporary export, reimport later) I went to high point scientific, hold my nose and buy another Quark from them just to have some thing sending back. Here is my topic on my second quark https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/373791-a-new-method-to-test-your-quark-uniformitycleanliness/

Edited by Minhlead
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That new Quark looks more promising Minh. Don’t know if you post on Solarchat, but you might get more advice on how to deal with the dust problem from other Quark owners there.  Presume you can use flats to get rid of any blemishes on images?

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On 13/04/2021 at 18:24, Highburymark said:

That new Quark looks more promising Minh. Don’t know if you post on Solarchat, but you might get more advice on how to deal with the dust problem from other Quark owners there.  Presume you can use flats to get rid of any blemishes on images?

I will try to learn using a flat cap for flat calibration. But I am waiting for better weather. I'll try Solarchat. Thank you!

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Posted (edited)

 

On 13/04/2021 at 18:24, Highburymark said:

That new Quark looks more promising Minh. Don’t know if you post on Solarchat, but you might get more advice on how to deal with the dust problem from other Quark owners there.  Presume you can use flats to get rid of any blemishes on images?

 

So I'd like to update my situation here since you guys has been so helpful, caring and I want you to see a fruitful end to this.
After DS refuses to replace my Quark and went to issue a refund instead, I have been contacted by our custom office. They asking for the return shipment of the Quark that I sent out. Freaking typical custom office, they let billions of tax evading goods through every year and crashing down hard on hobbyist :(.
But anyway, cornered, I hold my nose and buy another Quark from Highpoint Scientific just to have something to send back (DS wont accept my order again).
After 2 months of waiting I got my second Quark. This time, no scratches. Phew!
After 2 more months of waiting for some clear sky, I got my first light with it.
MergeMosaic-SharpenAI-sharpen.thumb.jpg.b9895b65dfd2dc9510c068052cb884f2.jpg
I took this with my FRA400@F/7, QHY294C @ 8bit bin 2x2.
Not bad, considering I am shooting through some high clouds.
Thanks all for caring and helpful advices, it helped me a lot morally.
P/s: I have some questions if anyone can help me with this it'd be great!
1/ I have seen everyone suggesting a Mono camera would give you big advantage in solar Ha. But I think with an OSC and bin 2x2 (it averages out all 4 CFA pixels and then multiply the intensity by 4 then apply it, if I thow out the chrominance data, just use the luminance I got an equivalent of mono camera with 2x pixel size of the OSC (on my 294C case, it is about 9um after binning). This is equivalent to doing superpixel debayer on post processing. The only downside to this (that I know of) if frame rate since the camera still has to readout all 4 pixels then binning is done via software on computer side (I got about 20fps after careful ROI). The lost on resolution can be counted out since the Quark's barlow got so close at F/7 in you'd be super oversampled at under about 10um anyway. I do not see anyone doing this. Can anyone shed some light on this? Am I missing something here?
2/ my QHY294C only support record video in 8 bit mode. 16bit mode reserves specifically for stills. I am just wondering if using 8 bits can give inferior to 16 bits. (I am not seeing it on mine but wonder if it can gets better?) A quick google search reveal 16 bit may give you some advantage when SNR is high (and mine is). Any thoughts?

Edited by Minhlead
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A few more shot from my Quark with the Sharpstar 107ph. So it's obvious the Quark really shines with larger aperture. First time I look through the Quark with my 107 I tought to myself: this scope is not going down anytime soon.

13_54_11_lapl5_ap1193-SharpenAI-sharpen.jpg

14_46_04_lapl5_ap2051 - Copy-SharpenAI-sharpen.jpg

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With the greatest respect to SGL members: The questions you ask are for the solar specialists of the Solar Chat forum.
Many members there have decades of experience at solar imaging, processing and observing.
Few questions go unanswered, over there, simply because so many different things have been tried.
The depth of knowledge is astonishing and the friendly tone is supportive of all levels of solar work. Even mine. :blush:
 

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29 minutes ago, Rusted said:

With the greatest respect to SGL members: The questions you ask are for the solar specialists of the Solar Chat forum.
Many members there have decades of experience at solar imaging, processing and observing.
Few questions go unanswered, over there, simply because so many different things have been tried.
The depth of knowledge is astonishing and the friendly tone is supportive of all levels of solar work. Even mine. :blush:
 

I already registered an account there. Stephen Ramsden there is a friend of mine, he has been extremely supportive and helpful. Will head over there now. Thanks

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