VOTED A "HOT SKY PRODUCT - 2017" BY SKY&TELESCOPE MAGAZINE!
1. What is the DayStar Quark "Eyepiece"?
The DayStar Combo Quark Hydrogen-Alpha Eyepiece Filter is a special type of combination filter/eyepiece holder that allows you to view the Sun in H-alpha light with most SCTs, Maksutov-type telescopes,and slow refractor telescopes (f/15 - f/30). Although DayStar and some other sites refer to this item as an eyepiece, and while it may look like one externally, note that it is not an actual eyepiece.
Just insert the Combo Quark into your telescope diagonal, add a 1.25" eyepiece, warm it up, and view! This device essentially converts your normal telescope into a narrowband solar telescope.
The new, all-in-one design of the Quark marries high quality components of adapters, snouts (nosepiece barrels), and Daystar hydrogen alpha filter into one simple assembly. Through design efficiency and optimization, users can now enjoy the known high quality optics of DayStar at an affordable price. Baffles have been added to increase contrast and AR coatings are optimized for the 656nm wavelength.
2. Chromosphere or Prominence Model - Which one should I buy?
The H-Alpha Quark is offered in two versions - the Chromosphere Model (sold separately) or the Prominence Model (this item). With this, observers can buy a filter based on their desired observing goal. Either way, you will be able to see amazing, high-powered views of the Sun in H-alpha in the scope you already own.
- The surface or Chromosphere model contains an etalon with a bandpass in the range of 0.3 - 0.5 Å (angstroms). Choose this model if want to see details on the Sun's surface. The Chromosphere model will show the highest contrast on the solar surface, and will show some broad prominences, although not in detail.
- The Prominence model contains an etalon with a wider bandpass in the range of 0.6 - 0.8 Å. Choose this model if want to see prominences in all their fine glory. This model will show some surface features as well.
Note that the exact bandpass of the Quark you receive will be in the range mentioned above, but it can be anything within that range. For example, a Chromosphere Quark you receive might have a bandpass of 0.3 Å or 0.5 Å or anything in-between. DayStar does not mark individual units with their specific FWHM bandpass, and we cannot test and cherry-pick specific Quarks for customers.
Using DayStar's superior etalon technology, double-stacking is not required to reach narrow bandpass for chromosphere or prominences. If you have to choose one Quark, pick the Chromosphere model since it allows you to view a wider variety of solar features.
3. How do I use a DayStar Quark?
As mentioned above, just insert the Combo Quark into your diagonal on compatible telescopes, insert your eyepiece in the Quark, warm it up, and enjoy high-powered views of the Sun. The fully optimized design of the Quark eliminates the need for any additional adapters. It is all combined in one lightweight eyepiece-sized device.
The Quark requires a power source for operation and it needs to be plugged in and warmed up for about 10 minutes before you can use it. A wall-mounted AC adapter is included for this. They have even reduced power consumption, so the Quark can now operate all day off a small, palm-sized optional battery pack.
Note that changing the focus of the telescope requires the Quark to retune, and this again requires a few more minutes for the unit to stabilize before you get the best views of the Sun again.
4. What telescopes can I use the DayStar Combo Quark with?
The Combo Quark brings quick, easy fun of the Original Quark to SCT, Maksutov and ~f/15 refractor owners.
- Refractors over f/15 may use either front-mounted energy rejection or rear-mounted UV/IR filter energy rejection.
- SCT owners must employ a front-mount, off-axis, aperture-reduced Energy Rejection Filter (ERF). This front mount ERF will generate a slower focal ratio through aperture reduction while preventing heat build-up in the optical tube assembly. A wedged snout is included to counteract the angle of light entering off-axis through the ERF. The Combo Quark must not be used with full-aperture SCTs or else damage to your secondary mirror may result.
- Maksutov owners who operate at a native f/15 focal ratio do not need to reduce the aperture of the telescope, but must use a front mounted energy rejection filter to prevent overheating of the optical tube assembly.
Again, please note that the Combo Quark requires the use of additional ERFs. We sell DayStar ERFs for the most popular SCT telescopes from Meade and Celestron (special order). DayStar also offers many more energy rejection filters for other telescopes via its website
5. Additional Specifications / Features
- 1.25" nosepiece with safety indent slot slides directly into diagonal or focuser
- Includes 2° off axis 1.25" nosepiece adapter for use with off-axis SCT and Mak ERFs
- Standard 1.25 eyepiece drawtube output with optional 2" eyepiece holder available separately
- Brass compression ring to protect eyepiece
- Uses USB power, 5v 1.5amp
- Includes 90-240V AC wall adapter with international plug adapters
- Tuning knob allows wing shifting +/- 0.5Å with detents at every 0.1Å
- 5 year US warranty
- Integrated 25mm blocking filter, 21mm clear filter aperture
- No barlow lenses or focusing elements included. This unit is a 0-power filter only
- Best performance with f/15 - f/30 refractors or SCTs and Maks with off axis, aperture reduced ERF
- Full disk viewing possible on refractors up to ~1800mm focal length
- Optional 8-hour battery pack available
- Ships in convenient twist-case for safe, dust-free storage
- Optional T-mount or C-mount adapters available separately for using the Quark with imaging or video cameras or other accessories
- Uniformity: SE (Standard Edition)
6. Important note about cosmetic finish of new Quarks
Please note that many new Quarks have what some will consider to be a cosmetic blemish on the red anodizing on the Quark barrel. These artifacts (mottling) are a product of the anodizing process that DayStar uses, and they do not indicate a defective, used or blemished Quark. Photo 4 above shows this mottling on a representative Quark.