Why my Quark always refused to work...

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Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by krakatoa1883 »

Since I purchased my Quark chromosphere in 2014 I realized that it is certainly not among the best units, I have always been forced to use of heavy sharpening and contrast masks to make chromosphere details visible, and my results have often been modest. As the etalon performance in Quark units can be very different from each other I thought my one have a too large BP or some defect in the tuning system. Eventually I modified my achromat with a Lunt PT module and this is my current setup, however I still use the Quark with my travel set. Today I casually discovered why my Quark performances were so poor.

The following is a raw, not processed, image of AR12738 I have taken this afternoon with my Quark and its original blocking filter
quark with original bf.jpg
quark with original bf.jpg (18.72 KiB) Viewed 10386 times
and this is a raw image of the same region after the original BF has been removed and replaced with a Lunt BF1200
quark with BF1200.jpg
quark with BF1200.jpg (27.66 KiB) Viewed 10386 times
OK, I am going to replace definitively the BF :lol:
Last edited by krakatoa1883 on Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

You can find the replacements here https://www.andovercorp.com/products/ba ... 600-699nm/

Part No. 656FS02-12.5

I replaced mine with the 25mm version...

Try a circular polariser too between the camera and quark, if the waveplates in the etalon are not perfectly aligned any 'leakage' will be polarised with respect to the primary output so it's contribution can be eliminated with a polariser. Any leakage like this will also reduce contrast.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by krakatoa1883 »

Thanks Mark, I am contacting the Italian representative of Andover to purchase the replacement. How did you mount the 25mm for using with it your Quark ?


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

Hi Raf,

I mounted the 25mm andover in the cell from a real cheapie barlow lens (throwing the lens away) and then mounted that on a 2" to 1.25" filter adapter https://www.365astronomy.com/365Astrono ... apter.html I then replaced the 2" snout on the Quark with a slightly longer one and screwed it all together.

Mark


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by Valery »

marktownley wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:51 pm You can find the replacements here https://www.andovercorp.com/products/ba ... 600-699nm/

Part No. 656FS02-12.5

I replaced mine with the 25mm version...

Hi Mark,

What was the reason you have replaced it in your Quark?


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by pedro »

My Chromosphere Quark was send back for replacement/repair. I will get it back this month. I guess this is not a surprise to most of us...


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

Valery wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:01 am
marktownley wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:51 pm You can find the replacements here https://www.andovercorp.com/products/ba ... 600-699nm/

Part No. 656FS02-12.5

I replaced mine with the 25mm version...

Hi Mark,

What was the reason you have replaced it in your Quark?


Valery
I wanted the larger versions so it sat higher in the exit beam from the HaT, and, I also figured with 2 blocking filters (based on experience) that one would have a higher transmission than the other, which it did, and it was the larger one that let more light through.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by Montana »

Mark, you would do well setting up a business making custom filters and repairs :)

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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by krakatoa1883 »

Looking in my image archive I discovered several not-too-bad images taken with my Quark and its original BF, for example like these
sun20170821_Ha_AR12671.jpg
sun20170821_Ha_AR12671.jpg (62.84 KiB) Viewed 10143 times
AR12651_20170422c.jpg
AR12651_20170422c.jpg (29.92 KiB) Viewed 10143 times
It therefore seems that for some reason the BF degraded only recently although I have always been careful not use my Quark without a UV/IR cut filter or even a Baader D-ERF in front of it.

Has anyone experienced the same problem ? Is there any alternative to the original BF that I can use ? I have tried a Lunt B1200 which is fine for imaging but too dark for visual.

Thks


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by pedro »

I received a brand new Chromosphere Quark and I will test it soon. Hope this one will perform better


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

Fingers crossed for you Pedro!


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by krakatoa1883 »

At first my Quark wasn't bad, something happened to the BF later... still to understand what... :?


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by krakatoa1883 »

Finally the new BF from Andover arrived and indeed it made a huge difference, so my Quark is now returned as new. I am very happy because the etalon of my unit is good and very uniform and a degraded BF made it almost useless. The replacement BF also totally cured the problems I had with front ERFs and I can now use of my Baader D-ERF without image degradation.

I wonder what the reason might have been why the original BF degraded. I examined it under my stereo microscope without noting anomalies on any of the surfaces. I think of a possibile overheating while inadvertently using it without ERF.

The following is an image of today (2019-06-28) E limb with my Skywatcher 72ED, Baader 35nm filter as ERF and Quark. It was so hot that my Quark got tuned without current :lol:
andover new.jpg
andover new.jpg (76.3 KiB) Viewed 9734 times
thermo.jpg
thermo.jpg (54.79 KiB) Viewed 9734 times
While waiting for the replacement I made some experiments by using of a Baader 3.5nm H-alpha filter in place of the defective BF. Well, for prominences it worked fine, it actually transformed the chromosphere Quark into a prominence one, which is very useful for faint features.
2019-06-16-1253-RB-Halpha-flame.jpg
2019-06-16-1253-RB-Halpha-flame.jpg (20.05 KiB) Viewed 9734 times
2019-06-14-0815-RB-Halpha-proms.jpg
2019-06-14-0815-RB-Halpha-proms.jpg (15.24 KiB) Viewed 9734 times
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2019-06-23-0900-RB-Halpha-prom.jpg
2019-06-23-0900-RB-Halpha-prom.jpg (16.99 KiB) Viewed 9734 times


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

Glad it is working again for you Raf! Hope it doesn't get too hot for you.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by Montana »

Wow!! these are fantastic prom shots :hamster:
In Spain we only hit 37.5 degrees on the thermometer :)
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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by axion »

marktownley wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:31 pm Hi Raf,

I mounted the 25mm andover in the cell from a real cheapie barlow lens (throwing the lens away) and then mounted that on a 2" to 1.25" filter adapter https://www.365astronomy.com/365Astrono ... apter.html I then replaced the 2" snout on the Quark with a slightly longer one and screwed it all together.

Mark
Hi Mark and All,

it is a very interesting discussion and I have a similar problem - the images I am getting with my Quark filter are not too sharp. For example,
https://flic.kr/p/2gy1i6u I am completely new to solar imaging so there could be other issues... I had hard time focusing as well.

As I understand the problem could be with the BF in the Quark. I have ordered Andover 25mm 656FS02-25 which is coming in few days, the plan is to mount this 25mm filter into an empty 1.25'' filter cell and attach it to the Quark. Do you think it will work? It should right?

Also, I've heard here the word 'replacement', it is possible to disassemble the Quark and replace the existing BF with the new one? With my original plan I will have two BF filters - one in the Quark and the external one, will it work?

thank you,
Roman


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

You would need to take the little 12.5mm one out of the base of the telecentric in the quark, it just has a retaining ring. 2 blocking filters would make it awfully dark!

Welcome to the forum btw!


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by axion »

Thx!!! I have not thought about removing the original BF until I found this thread, now it seems like a good idea.

I'll try to be active on this forum - have too many questions, xD

Thank you again
Roman


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by krakatoa1883 »

Replacing the BF may help however incorrect tuning and poor seeing may also lead to obtain ill-defined images. Hope your new BF will improve things.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by Liam »

My yesterday broke. Probably messed up with the setting and hurt something, I do not know. I was so not satisfied with the result that I lost my temper, did not expect this: (

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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by hopskipson »

marktownley wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:31 pm Hi Raf,

I mounted the 25mm andover in the cell from a real cheapie barlow lens (throwing the lens away) and then mounted that on a 2" to 1.25" filter adapter https://www.365astronomy.com/365Astrono ... apter.html I then replaced the 2" snout on the Quark with a slightly longer one and screwed it all together.

Mark
I looked at my Quark and if I remove the blocking filter it only gives you a little diameter increase. Am I missing something to utilize the larger blocking filter? Can you please provide pictures of your mod.? Thanks


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by hopskipson »

hopskipson wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:58 am
marktownley wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:31 pm Hi Raf,

I mounted the 25mm andover in the cell from a real cheapie barlow lens (throwing the lens away) and then mounted that on a 2" to 1.25" filter adapter https://www.365astronomy.com/365Astrono ... apter.html I then replaced the 2" snout on the Quark with a slightly longer one and screwed it all together.

Mark
I looked at my Quark and if I remove the blocking filter it only gives you a little diameter increase. Am I missing something to utilize the larger blocking filter? Can you please provide pictures of your mod.? Thanks
Hi Mark
Can you please explain how this will increase the size of the blocking filter significantly? When I took out the original blocking filter I only see a small increase in the opening into the telecentric. Am I missing something? I'm afraid to take apart my Quark when I have no idea what I'm doing. Pictures would really be helpful. Thanks!!


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

Hi. Seems to be some confusion over why I did what I did. Firstly, I gambled on the 2 filters having different transmissions, even though they are both on paper supposed to be the same, and, indeed, it turned out the larger filter does let through more light. Secondly, the larger filter sits higher in the light cone, so has less thermal loading than the original smaller filter.

Why do you want to take your Quark apart? Is there an issue with it?


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by hopskipson »

marktownley wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:54 am Hi. Seems to be some confusion over why I did what I did. Firstly, I gambled on the 2 filters having different transmissions, even though they are both on paper supposed to be the same, and, indeed, it turned out the larger filter does let through more light. Secondly, the larger filter sits higher in the light cone, so has less thermal loading than the original smaller filter.

Why do you want to take your Quark apart? Is there an issue with it?
Thanks for the reply, Mark! There are no issues with the my Quark (Knock on wood!), I just thought you were using a larger blocking filter to gain more area to increase the field of view. Now I understand it was to let more light in than the original Blocking filter. Still would be nice to see how you mounted the new blocking filter.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by Radon86 »

Hi Krakatoa,
I am a solar imager in London since March 2019.
I got a Quark chromosphere at a sale in an Astronomy show! The upper compression ring on the eyepiece holder was slightly faulty. Visually, I can see decent detail though, with surface and proms seen well.
I have only got round to processing my video files, trying to learn the software, and also getting flats to work.
Focusing without sunspots seems hard. Also wind and faulty tripods and cloud and ? jetstreams ( how do you find out jetstream data?)

I am also wondering if my Quark chromosphere is faulty. Are your better images stacks ? How many frames did you stack or is it just 1 frame?
What about processing eg gamma, deconvolution, unsharp masking etc?
I use a 70mm Refractor, uv-ir filter, ASI 120mm-S with a slow usb-2 laptop. I wonder if its my Quark, or is it poor seeing conditions e.g. high clouds, jet stream interference, or poor focusing.

I have only started recently, a few imaging days. I had technical problems with my tripod earlier, but am ironing out problems.
I will try a more recent solar image, but wonder if its because of my poor equipment? Your latest Image with the new Quark looks really nice - is it a single unprocessed .jpg? How many frames did you need?

Thanks, Magnus.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by krakatoa1883 »

Hi Magnus

Quark chromosphere is very demanding in terms of seeing due the strong amplification factor of the internal telecentric, you need a fairly still air to obtain some decent results. Try on the morning or in the evening within two hours from sunrise or sunset respectively.

As far the imaging technique is concerned you can find many discussions in this forum that can help you effectively. This article by Alexandra

https://solarnutcase.livejournal.com/18572.html

is an excellent starting point.

For H alpha I usually stack 300 - 400 frames out of 3000 by using of Autostakkert, the raw image is then processed in IMPPG or IRIS. Be careful to shield your monitor from direct daylight, it would actually need to be well in shadow otherwise accurate focusing becomes challenging.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by Radon86 »

Thank you! I am only getting about 50-70 images stacked so far. I will keep on working on this. Thanks for your encouragement, and useful advice, I appreviate it.

Magnus


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by pawlik »

I had the same problem and the BF seemed to be fine, but when I looked closer with strong light, the problem has been found inside BF between two optical surfaces. The outside surfaces (reflective and red) were ok, but inside definetly somethiing wrong happend with optical layers. Hard to say if it`s typical filter degradation from concentrated ligh beam or just a mould. Replacing the filter solved the problem.
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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

My quark blocker died too. I believe this will happen with all quarks over time, and will be exacerbated without proper ERF use.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by fedele »

I only say one thing .....
Why on earth should I accept that is normal that a Quark that costs 1300 euros can be not good?
Likewise, is Daystar willing to accept that some of my money is not good?
Last edited by fedele on Mon Feb 14, 2022 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by rsfoto »

Why on earth should I accept that a Quark unit is not good?
Hi,

You do not need to accept it.

For starting just do not buy one :lol: and if you bought one and it does not work send it back and tell them you want to have your money back.

I did it and got my money back but even worse ...

What about you bought a PE 0.4Å QUANTUM from Daystar and it does not work and you paid US $ 12,500.00 ¿? After placing the order you need to wait 3-4 months for delivery, then want to use and find out it does not work, send it back, get no info what is going on unless you bug them every 2-3 weeks and finally they send you a test report telling you the PE 0.4Å QUANTUM is blind and for all that a full year passes by ¿?

Yes, I also got my US $ 12,500.00 back ...

And the purchase was done after chatting personally with the owner for 4 or 5 hours on a NEAF show and finally convinced you to spend US $ 12,500.00 and then find out it is blind ¿?

Never ever again a piece of poop from Daystar ... :mad:

Rant over ... :lol:


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by fedele »

i want to know another thing.

The Baader SunDancer II, looks similar to Quark. These prodcus also have the same quality problems?


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

fedele wrote: Mon Feb 14, 2022 8:49 am Why on earth should I accept that is normal that a Quark that costs 1300 euros can be not good?
At the end of the day, solar is not cheap at all. The Quark is pretty much their budget piece of kit, the only way they can do it that 'cheap' is cutting costs by sacrificing repeatability of quality. Soft coated filters are considerably cheaper than hard coated filters - soft coated fail due to thermal loading, hard coated don't. Quarks have no quoted bandwidth - this means Daystar can just churn them out regardless of the quality of the mica used.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by marktownley »

fedele wrote: Mon Feb 14, 2022 5:22 pm The Baader SunDancer II, looks similar to Quark. These prodcus also have the same quality problems?
They superficially look similar but are quite different beasts. The baader uses etalons from solar spectrum (the worlds best) and hard coated filters. Even then there are compromises - no TEC cooling, small etalons. Baader is hard coated filters so unlikely to fail after decades of use, whereas soft coated filters can fail after a few years.


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Re: Why my Quark always refused to work...

Post by Radon86 »

krakatoa1883 wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:12 pm Finally the new BF from Andover arrived and indeed it made a huge difference, so my Quark is now returned as new. I am very happy because the etalon of my unit is good and very uniform and a degraded BF made it almost useless. The replacement BF also totally cured the problems I had with front ERFs and I can now use of my Baader D-ERF without image degradation.

I wonder what the reason might have been why the original BF degraded. I examined it under my stereo microscope without noting anomalies on any of the surfaces. I think of a possibile overheating while inadvertently using it without ERF.

The following is an image of today (2019-06-28) E limb with my Skywatcher 72ED, Baader 35nm filter as ERF and Quark. It was so hot that my Quark got tuned without current :lol:
andover new.jpg
thermo.jpg

While waiting for the replacement I made some experiments by using of a Baader 3.5nm H-alpha filter in place of the defective BF. Well, for prominences it worked fine, it actually transformed the chromosphere Quark into a prominence one, which is very useful for faint features.
2019-06-16-1253-RB-Halpha-flame.jpg
2019-06-14-0815-RB-Halpha-proms.jpg
Hello Krakatoa1883,

Where did you place the 3.5nm h alpha filter? What size filter?
I would like to get a prominence view like you as well, surprised that this was possible.
Maybe a moderator can make a new topic for this, or has this already been discussed elsewhere.

Thanks,Magnus


Solar: H-alpha": Quark Chromosphere filter; Baader white light filters
Scopes: Altair Astro Travel ED70mm (F 420mm, D=70mm);; Skywatcher 90mm (F 910mm D=90mm); GSO focuser;;Altair Astro 60mm guidescope (D=60mm,F=225mm)
Cameras: ASI120mm-S,ASI174mm
Mount: SW HEQ5 Pro, SW EQ3 Pro Synscan (SW = Skywatcher),Vixen Polarie tracker (portable setup)
Accessory: SW Auto-focuser
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