October 26, 2015 at 2:45 pm #10182Luka BParticipant
Wow! This combo is every bit as good as any H-alpha scope I've seen. Unless you really want to see the whole sun, which it won't do. (If anyone has a 66mm scope, 430mm focal length, then you can see the whole sun). But it has tons and tons of detail to see, and the sun changes quickly. I saw a prominance change and then disappear in about 30 minutes. Sunspots move more slowly but a day apart reveal many changes. I've also noticed that some details look more or less noticeable when in the sides versus center of view. So it looks like there isn't much on the left side of the view, and as you pan that way, you see new features become more contrast-y and noticeable. This is especially so for areas that are darker than the surrounding region, but not as dark as a sunspot. Over MEA weekend, my whole family was in town, and I got to share the views with them. One of my brothers spent a good 30 minutes observing with me. My littler boys insisted on seeing what I was doing and liked the view. The oldest son and his friend stopped to take a look as well.
A couple more notes:
The Quark has orange and green LEDS under the indicator light. I believe both are lit when warming up, and then it goes solid green when it's ready.
You can use one 48mm extender tube on the scope, and then put the Quark in the 2" diagonal directly. Otherwise, you can use no extender tube and put the Quark in the 1.25" adapter on the diagonal. Using both will not allow focus, and using neither will also not work. One extender and 2" diagonal is less bouncy and more solid I think. There is a 48mm IR-UV cut filter that has to go on the diagonal to safely use the Quark with any scope over 80mm. I just left it on all the time, even with the white-light filter.
I also found it easier to use my own astro-tech voyager mount as that has geared movements, since the effective focal length is so long. The ES daul-mount is nice in allowing two views of the sun at the same time, but you will want to balance the scope very well and set the tension just right.
As Randy said the Quark takes a while to warm up. I usually plugged in the quark first, then set up the mount and scope, and then put on the while-light filter to find the sun and observe for a few minutes. When the quark was ready(<10 minutes), I'd center the sun in white light, and then put on the quark with eyepiece, and then quickly take off the while light filter after that. By doing it in that order, no dangerous concentrated sunshine will be focused out the back.
I also tried the Quark with my own 80mm refractor(C80ED), and that worked well. My scope is 600mm FL vs the 714mm FL of the ES102. The difference wasn't huge, but noticeable(I did a very short comparison). Besides the 40mm eyepiece that's on loan with the kit, I tried a 25mm Orion ED-2. That worked fairly well, and allowed even more detail with smaller FOV. I also tried a 19mm wide-angle, and that wasn't so good. I think the wide-angle(68-degree) design just isn't suited to the quark.
Overall I think this is a wonderful addition to the club's equipment!
I also think we may need to come up with a name for this combo. Any ideas?October 26, 2015 at 4:54 pm #12968Josef ChParticipant
Luka, thanks for sharing your experience!
What about name the combo "Helios", or "Helios combo", after ancient Greek god of Sun, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeliosOctober 28, 2015 at 4:06 am #12969Randy HParticipant
Thanks for the review Luka! I'm glad you enjoyed the scope. It is truly amazing that this technology exist. I have also placed the refractor on a Twilight 1 mount with the slow-mo hand controls and that does works a little easier than the dual mount. However, a H-alpha scope mounted with this side-by-side is really cool.
There's 3 accessories I think we still need to add:
1. The manufacturer-recommended Televue 32 mm plossl.
2. A sun spotter finder to attach to the finder mount.
3. The solar charger to keep the Quark running out in the field. DayStar should have these in stock. I just got to get back to them.
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