Quark and cold temp

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jetstream
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Quark and cold temp

Post by jetstream » Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:10 pm

Now that the Quark has been out for a bit I'm wondering if anyone has cold temperature experience with one? I'm thinking of one for visual but need to know about winter performance.
Gerry
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by grimble_cornet » Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:32 pm

Depends what you mean by 'cold'?
I was using mine at about 3 degrees Celsius a couple of days ago with no problem at all.
I allowed it to warm up inside before taking it out to the scope but a little later I changed the tuning a couple of times and it came on band in about the same 8-10 minutes it was taking a few weeks ago at 20 degrees C.
I have heard it suggested that the sunlight entering the Quark provides some of the heating? I have certainly noticed that it warms up and comes back on band after tuning much faster when it is on the scope and pointed at the sun.
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by jetstream » Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:38 pm

Well, my temps vary from -30c to 0c in the winter, last week -27c, now -3c....Good point about the sun warming it up, never thought about that. I have a SW120ED I want to use it with as I love this scope.

What are the views like before its warmed up, still acceptable?
Gerry
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by grimble_cornet » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:27 pm

I was just waiting for you to tell me that 'freezing' was for wimps and that real guys image at -30 :lol:
The limit of my experience was -15 C when a layer of ice formed on my Canon dslr and I couldn't open the battery compartment to replace the battery which had died in about 10 minutes!
I really don't know how the Quark would perform under your conditions but I suspect that I would limit myself to a quick 'grab an avi' with my SM40 rather than hang about waiting for the Quark to come on band and/or re-tune to a different setting :oops:

Before the oven brings the etalon up to temperature, the Quark behaves like a de-tuned Ha scope and produces an almost 'white-light' image.
When I was trying out my first Quark, I accidentally switched it off during a time-lapse capture.
Here is the normal 'powered' view:
Powered Quark.jpg


And here is the 'un-powered' version:
Unpowered Quark colour.jpg
I'm not sure what the banding is. At the bottom it looks like Newton's rings but from the middle upwards they become non-parallel?
This Quark was one of a batch with extremely narrow bandpass which were declared 'out of spec' by Daystar and replaced as they had serious issues with uneven illumination and 'banding'. I haven't tried my replacement 'un-powered' but I guess the results would be similar.
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by grimble_cornet » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:34 pm

Forgot to mention.........
In case you haven't seen my other posts on the subject:
I have a Skywatcher Equinox 120 which works very well indeed with the Quark.
Most of the time I now use a x0.5 reducer on the camera which means that I get a very nice fov for shots like the one here. I'm sure that your 120ED will make you happy.
Equinox120 Quark-4 Grasshopper3  2014 0911 1119 ut colour.jpg
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by jetstream » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:17 am

I just love El Nino :bow that may be keeping the Polar Vortex at bay lol! Last winter was brutal and I have put off buying the Quark until I hear more about its cold weather performance. I really appreciate the info and those images, great to see what the cold and ready would look like. You have some fantastic images there! I love my 12OED Pro and use it with my Baader wedge all the time. My seeing at times allows very high 250x mag and the views can be almost photographic, the granulation cell like and I'm hooked on solar :D

So now I need a Ha scope, but want the resolution that aperture brings....getting too many scopes, 3 now, with a Ha that would be 4.

I can't believe how good that last image is Mike, my hat's off to you!
Gerry
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by grimble_cornet » Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:09 pm

Thanks Gerry.
If you can live without the 'wide-field' views available from dedicated Ha scopes then I think you will be very happy with the Quark plus 120ED combination.
My seeing NEVER gets really good and this limits what I can do with the Equinox 120 plus Baader wedge in white light but at Ha wavelengths with the Quark, it works pretty well.
These are probably the best images I have produced so far with that combination:
Equinox120 Quark-4 Grasshopper3  2014 0911 1058 ut coloured_filtered.jpg
Equinox120 Quark Grasshopper3 2014 3009 0941ut coloured a.jpg

And a couple of white light images for comparison:
Equinox120 x2 Grasshopper 2014 0911 1044 ut.jpg
Equinox120 x2 Grasshopper 2014 0911 1044 ut.jpg (777.91 KiB) Viewed 2494 times
Double Barlow ASI120 White.jpg
Double Barlow ASI120 White.jpg (351.29 KiB) Viewed 2494 times

If you can produce better white light images in your seeing then you should be able to at least equal these Quark ones :P
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by jetstream » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:38 pm

Holy cow Mike! Those are great images. I can see the granulation like your white light images and the spots with more detail- the "lashes" very well defined using my Leica Asph zoom. My seeing in the winter is more variable than at other times, with a poorer avg, but still excellent at times. During best seeing I observe at about 250x, keeping faculae, plage remarkably.

So are you saying I may see visually, similar to your Quark Ha images in great seeing? Please, please tell me this is so! (if possible lol!)
Gerry
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by grimble_cornet » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:20 am

I don't pretend to be a visual observer - only look down an eyepiece if I can't image - so I'm not really qualified to answer that question :oops:

I don't find the view through the Quark as impressive as my images but that is partly because the images catch moments of good seeing and partly because of the false colour I use to produce my eye-candy :lol:

If you use the right eyepiece (because of the x4.3 built in telecentic, you need a fairly large fl eyepiece - 25-40mm plossls work well), give yourself time to get used to the view and don't mind looking an idiot by putting a dark cloth over your head to get better contrast.......... I'm sure you will see most of the detail present in my images.

The Quark was marketed as a visual tool and many people rave over the views. My eyesight is not what it was and I love the challenge of imaging so...... am less impressed :?

Luke Stacy posts here from time to time and he does visual and images with a Quark and Equinox 120. His best images are better than mine :cry: :roll: :cry:
It might be worth you sending him an email?
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by jetstream » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:29 pm

Thanks for the visual info Mike, your images are really very stunning. I figured that the images had the best of the captures in there, but in those moments of great seeing, solar visual (white light anyways) gives some astounding views.

The thing with the quark is the 21mm aperture, limiting me to about a 25mm plossl without the chance of vignetting, which adjusted for the 4.3x factor is about 150x in the 120ED or 108x in the SV 90mm and a narrow FOV. I'm going to obs at these mags for a bit and at the same FOV to see how I like it and to check my avg seeing conditions. winter might be hard.

Thanks for the heads up re Luke, I may drop him a line.
Gerry
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by jetstream » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:32 am

Well I tried the new Quark out today @ -10c and it did warm up in about 10 mins give or take. I am going to make a black "coat" for the colder temps in case it is needed. This thing works very well in my 90mm SV :)
Gerry
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by patholland » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:14 am

You guys are rotten! Every last one of you! I now have to find a way to explain my new Quark "investment" to my wife. :)

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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by MapleRidge » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:56 pm

Hi Gerry...

Where are you located? I see the reference to the 'Polar Vortex' of 2014...2015 is about as cold but less snow here is S. Ontario where I am.

I can't comment on the cold effects on the Quark, but my Daystar Quantum is slow to come on/change tuning...biggest drawback to the entire system for me. It rocks when the temps are above 10C ;)

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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by jetstream » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:39 am

Hi Brian, I'm in North West Ontario, about 200 miles from the Manitoba border. I found my tuning spot and I plugged it in (inside) as I'm setting up my scope. Sitting there, by itself plugged in (inside) it only takes a couple of mins to heat. It holds it's temp in -10c and in the blowing snow (today!). It takes longer to change it's tuning outside in the cold for sure...but it does it in about 10 mins.

I made a "coat" for it already in anticipation of colder weather. This year has been warm in general, not like last years 3 months of -30c...

2014 Polar Vortex was brutal here- I never remember a worse winter for cold and snow- the Northern lights were spectacular though!
Gerry
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by Merlin66 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:11 am

I had the opposite problem...Daystar could not guarantee that the Quark would come on band in ambient temperatures of 40 degree and above - getting more and more typical here in Oz.
I passed on buying one....
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by MapleRidge » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:47 pm

Hi Gerry...

You certainly have had a long spell of cold in that part of the world...puts 'our' local cold to shame :lol: What town are you close to?

I was thinking that one of the Kendrick eyepiece heaters could wrap around the quark and be used to keep it warm. I found my biggest nuisance was getting the Quantum to cool in the summer when I was trying to re-tune. I hadn't got as far as a heat sink and fan, but 2014 was a year without much of a summer and not many days that it was a limiting factor.

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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by jetstream » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:07 pm

I'm in Fort Frances about 220 miles from Thunder Bay and the other way about 240 miles from Winnipeg. Very good idea about the Kendrick eyepiece heater, I'll look at one on the net. I never thought about it "cooling", I get some hot 37c weather in unfortunate years...
Gerry
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by jetstream » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:10 pm

Merlin66 wrote:I had the opposite problem...Daystar could not guarantee that the Quark would come on band in ambient temperatures of 40 degree and above - getting more and more typical here in Oz.
I passed on buying one....
I'll post this summers experience with the Quark- we get some hot, humid days but the seeing usually gets pretty bad with the high humidity.

Ken 40c is wickedly hot! Air conditioning I hope?!
Gerry
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Re: Quark and cold temp

Post by marktownley » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:58 pm

My Quark has been fine observing this winter conditions at a 'balmy' 0c, no probs.
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