Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

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sloth713
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Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by sloth713 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:36 pm

I would like to upgrade from my pst and have a nice grab-and-go visual solar set up so I have been looking at the quark and LS50THa. The quark would go into an 80mm f6 triplet that I am using for white light viewing and I plan on getting the chromosphere version to compensate for the non-ideal focal ratio. What would you folks recommend between the two of them? Here are some thoughts I have on each.

With the quark I could have an 80mm solar scope and but might not be able to get full disk view (the scope math I have done says I should be able to with a wide angle eyepiece but I don't know if such eyepieces would lead to vignetting instead of a full disk view). Also the fact that it needs power kind of makes me wary but for no real good reason other than I trust mechanical equipment to function more reliably in the field than electronic equipment. Finally with only one telescope this set up would be lighter but I couldn't do immediate direct comparison of white light and Ha views.

With the LS50THa I would get definitely full disks views, not have to worry about power, and have the ability to tune the etalon instantly (I have always been very intrigued by Lunt's pressure tuning, but I have never been able to try it out first hand). With this set up I could use a dual mount to get instant side by side comparisons of white light and Ha views with the two telescopes but the set up would be heavier and more bulky.

Any thoughts and opinions on which option would be better for me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance everyone.

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by swisswalter » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:31 pm

Hi Stephen

I would go with the LS50THa, but that also depends on your mount. Can it carry and track two scopes ?
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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by sloth713 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:38 pm

Thanks for you reply swisswalter, if I go with the LS50THa I will sell my current mount and get a dual alt-az mount.

Could you please give me more details on why you would choose the LS50THa over the quark?

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by GuillermoBarrancos » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:41 pm

Just remember that there is currently a 6 month wait time on the Lunt 50.

I was dubbing between the Lunt 50 and Quark myself and end up going for the Quark Chromosphere.

Not only the wait time is a lot shorter ( few weeks compared to 6 months ), but you can just get more out of the Quark.
I have the SW Esprit 120ED Pro, that will give me some incredible high resolution views ( hopefully hehe ).
And I can buy a short focal length scope later for full disk views. Daystar says you should be able to get full disk view with a scope up till 400mm focal length.

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by sloth713 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:17 pm

Thanks GuillermoBarrancos, the wait time is a good point. I bet you will get some breath taking views with the 120ED and quark.

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by grimble_cornet » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:03 pm

You could be opening Pandora's box here Stephen as many people have strong views (for and against) the Quark.
Good news is that there are several people on here with Quarks and several with the Lunt 50 (although I don't know anyone with both?) so you should get some feedback and then YOU will have to decide :lol: :o :lol:

For what its worth; I have a Quark Chromosphere, a SolarMax 40 and a Lunt100 so can give you some pros and cons of different Ha solutions.

In no particular order:

You talk about a 'grab and go' 'visual' solar setup. The SM40 is perfect for this (as I'm sure the Lunt 50 would be) - mine sits on a portable mount just inside my patio doors and I can be looking at the sun within about 30 seconds.................. say 5 minutes if I want to polar align, go-to and track (as I might for imaging). By comparison, it will take 10-15 minutes for the Quark to warm up before you can use it - and it will probably take that long for you to set up the mount, scope, Quark etc. anyway!

The small scopes give reasonable views of the full disc and - in good conditions - you will be able to see filaments, active regions and proms in some detail if you add a Barlow/Powermate to the mix. The Quark on your 80mm will give you much more detailed views and on a larger scope (I have an Equinox 120) it WILL BLOW YOUR MIND :o

I am almost entirely an imager so if you are only interested in visual observing then you need to take my experiences with a large dose of salt.

The smaller scopes are quick and easy to set up, require no power, work reasonably well even in poor conditions and can give you a lot of fun.
The Quark on an 80mm refractor will give you much more detail but I find that it is more sensitive to poor seeing conditions. As my seeing ranges from vile to mediocre then this is an important factor for me - if you are lucky enough to get better conditions then it may not be an issue.

The power requirements for the Quark are actually much less of an issue than I expected them to be. I use a digital battery pack which powers it for about 8 hours and recharges in about an hour. The 12 minutes it takes to warm up is not really a problem if you are setting up mount, scope etc. BUT it doesn't allow a quick peek at the sun to see if its worth setting up as I can do with the SM40.

It also takes about 10 minutes for the Quark to come on band every time you change the tuning setting BUT, in practice, you probably only need to check this if conditions change once you have established the best setting for your setup.

I started to use a side-by-side mount bar to have a white light scope on one side and my SM40 on the other.................. but it didn't really work for me. If I'm travelling or going for a quick session, I tend to use my Lunt 60mm refractor and add a Baader wedge for white light, a CaK1200 for Calcium and the Quark for Ha. The scope stays in place..... tracking the sun.... I just swap out the filters :P
This works best for me as an imager BUT you might feel differently as a visual observer?

There are lots of other considerations (you need an ERF of some kind if you want to use the Quark on larger scopes for example) but I'll shut up and see what other advice you get from other, more experienced people.
.

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by marktownley » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:45 pm

Mike sums it up very well for me.
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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by Valery » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:57 am

grimble_cornet wrote:
There are lots of other considerations (you need an ERF of some kind if you want to use the Quark on larger scopes for example) but I'll shut up and see what other advice you get from other, more experienced people.
OK, let me add my experience.

I got some etalons which show on the sun about the same as the Lunt 50mm THa Pressure Tuned telescope or even better. They are two LS50F Ha etalons for single stack (SS) and for double stack (DS). I also got a very nice Coronado SM40 etalon.

On the other side I got a very nice sample of Quark Chromosphere.

I observed enough through all these etalons, to make my conclusion.

If I will be you, and knew my experience, I'd go with Quark. This device is MUCH MUCH more universal and has MUCH more abilities to show you the treasures of the Sun nature. What you can see with Quark and larger scopes, you will NEVER be able to see through a tiny 50mm aperture telescope:

1. Delicate small scale structure in active regions around sun spots and in sun spots.
2. Delicate structure in prominences
3. Fast changes in both 1 and 2.

In the same time - no problem to see full disk through a Quark coupled with small refractors like 60-80mm with around 400mm focal length.
I got a Celestron 80mm F/5 refractor and when I attach the Quark to it and use it at the full aperture, I still see significantly brighter and more detailed Sun than through a 50mm Ha telescope. Even here no comparison.
To improve contrast even more I can easily stop down the 80mm telescope to 60mm aperture and still have an advantage vs 50mm telescope.

And... finally. The Quark coupled with 120 - 150mm refractor, with additional 0,3x, 0,5x and 0,7x reducers (depends of your tasks and F/D of your feeding scope) and B/W CCD camera, will allow you to take such detailed photos of the Sun and it's structures, that any further discussions what is better are simply meaningless.

The only two points where the 50mm scope can win are:

1. easy to handle and use (say, for travel or as grab and go)
2. easier change the etalon central wave length.

Too few.

If the money is not a limiting factor, then you can buy both.


Valery.
Last edited by Valery on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by swisswalter » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:32 am

Hi Stephen

here you have enough pros and cons. I think it depends very much on the point grab and go
Only stardust in the wind, some fine and some less fine scopes, filters and adapters as well. Switzerland 47 N, 9 E, in the heart of EUROPE :)

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by Derek Klepp » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:09 am

A very good summation by Valery.

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by grimble_cornet » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:56 am

If the money is not a limiting factor, then you can buy both.


Valery.
Absolutely agree with everything Valery says and that's why I keep the little SM40 ready for action but move to the Quark when I want detail.
The LS50 plus the Quark give you enormous versatility for about the same price as an LS60 :o
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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by Bill Edelen » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:34 pm

IMO going from a 40mm PST to a 50mm Lunt is not much of an upgrade.
Keep your PST for quick views and full disk and go for the Quark for high resolution.

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by sloth713 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:55 am

Thank you so much every one, your insightful thoughts they were all of great help to me.
:bow



I am going to go with the quark, so I can get higher resolution views and only have to deal with one telescope and lighter mount. I really hope I can get full disk views with a 480mm focal length scope but I will hold on to my PST if that is not the case.

Oh and BTW my name is Chris but no worries at all about calling me Stephen (one of my best friends is named Stephen so it is an honor to be confused for him :lol:)

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by grimble_cornet » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:13 am

Good choice Chris (sorry I picked up Stephen from a previous post - we try to be friendly here) - I think you will be very happy with the Quark.
As I said before, I'm primarily an imager but when I got the Lunt 100 I decided to get a Lunt zoom eyepiece and find it works very well with the Quark.
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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by swisswalter » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:12 am

Hi Chris

congratulations on the decision, let us know how you go along
Only stardust in the wind, some fine and some less fine scopes, filters and adapters as well. Switzerland 47 N, 9 E, in the heart of EUROPE :)

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by GuillermoBarrancos » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:02 am

congratulations!

Mine will hopefully be shipped today or tomorrow, depending the weather Sean said, as they do a visial test of each unit before shipping it out.

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by jetstream » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:43 am

Glad I read this thread, some good info. Earlier today I ordered the Quark Chromo and it should be here next week. I'll try it with the 90mm f7 @ 630mm and have a few low power eyepieces + a reducer to find my best seeing. I can see this may just be the beginning

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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by marktownley » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:11 am

Should work nicely in that scope, let us know how you get on :)
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Re: Daystar Quark or Lunt LS50THa?

Post by sloth713 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:31 am

Well I should have my Quark in 2 to 3 weeks, I am very excited. Thanks again every one for the insightful advice.
:bow

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