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Mount a Questar on a Celestron Wedge!

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#1 Panotaker

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 08:46 PM

I have been using my Questar on a Meade ETX tripod with the built in wedge for a while now. The only problem with using the ETX tripod is that there is no way to do a precise polar alignment since the only adjustment to the wedge is up and down. To adjust it side to side, you have to kick the tripod. So I started looking around my stuff to see if I could use something else. I remember I had a Celestron Wedge and Tripod, so I dug that out to see if I could use it. The Celestron Wedge I have is the smaller one. I think it was made for a fork mounted C8. So now I had the wedge, now I just needed a way to mount the Questar to the wedge. I looked in my junk pile and found a 1/4 inch flat bar that was 2 inches wide and 8 inches long and it had a hole drilled in the center of it. What luck, I didn't have to cut it or drill it. I then needed a one inch long 1/4x20 screw to hold the Questar to the wedge. I had that too, so I was in business. Here is a picture of what you need. Posted Image
Here is a picture of the Questar mounted on the Wedge. Posted Image All you do is put the Questar on one side of the wedge, then put the flat bar on the other side of the wedge and tighten the screw. The Celestron wedge is fully adjustable up and down and side to side for doing a precise polar alignment. There are probably thousands of these wedges out there unused in people garages or attics. The nice thing about the Celestron tripod is that it is rock solid, and if you collapse the legs, you can use it sitting down, and if you extend the legs, you can use it standing up. I'm going to have to powder coat my old wedge since I finally have a good use for it. The scope in the picture is my mint condition 1959 Questar.

#2 Rat8bug

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:00 PM

I have a similar wedge by Meade; and my mount is similar using the Meade field tripod. I used an aluminum channel instead of wood.

http://www.barrie-ta...stro_photo.html


Ciao...Barry

#3 R Botero

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:59 AM

Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

Roberto

#4 mvw

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 07:23 PM

Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

Roberto

I'll second that. :)

#5 JimK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:25 PM

I, too, have mounted my Q on an old Celestron wedge. I found one version of the wedge that was bolted together, so I reversed the side parts for a better positioning, then later made a pedestal for it, patterned on the one that Edd Weninger (such as in this CN post) had made a bunch of years ago. And instead of a metal bar on the back of the wedge, I made a baseplate of wood with a ledge and a felt pad for the Q to rest on as I screw in the mounting bolt from the back. Attached is an image of the combination.

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#6 JimK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:28 PM

Here are the instructions, as a PDF file, that Edd Wenginer made for the pedestal that I constructed.

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#7 JimK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:29 PM

Here's a closeup snapshot of the back of the wedge.

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#8 JimK

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:33 PM

Lastly, I often cover the mount with a long pillowcase, as shown in the attached picture. It helps keep the dust away, and allows a more gentle equalizing of temperature when bringing the mount and Q inside or outside (especially in winter to help avoid condensation when bringing the equipment inside for the evening).

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#9 EddWen

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:42 PM

Nice work !!

I used poplar because I was going to paint the pier. Decided I would see what a stain would look like and if I didn't like it, I would paint over it.

Yours looks good.

#10 Mike E.

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:32 PM

JimK, is there a part or model # for your "bolt together" wedge ?

Thanks

#11 JimK

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:09 PM

JimK, is there a part or model # for your "bolt together" wedge ?

Thanks

Dunno... I got it second-hand several years ago, and there are no p/n or model markings on the parts.

#12 Mike E.

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 01:47 AM

Ok, Thanks.

#13 Brian Risley

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 10:16 PM

Most of the C wedges have a separate tilt plate that is bolted on. The base plate went through several variations some with more latitude adjustment and some were even made to be table top with the smaller scopes. They had a wedge pod (combined tripod/wedge) that had the wedge base as part of the tripod, all the others had the wedge attach to the tripod via screws. The HD wedges for the ultima and CPC/Nexstar GPS have a different setup in that they have to have more room for that larger base and they changed things so that an arm came up to hold the tilt plate versus the side wings present on the earlier models.
The older style wedges can be had for $50-$75 usually, a bit more for the Ultima/Nexstar GPS 1st Gen HD version and quite a bit more for the latest HD version.
The early model had a fairly open tilt plate (Power cord plugged into the bottom of the base) while the later HD versions have a solid plate, as they went to side/top mounted power plugs. (You can't use a mid 70's and later Orange tube/Byers drive scope on the HD wedges due to where the power plugs in.) This can be an issue if you need to plug power into the base of the Q's too.
Brian

#14 ColoHank

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 11:30 PM

The early model had a fairly open tilt plate (Power cord plugged into the bottom of the base) while the later HD versions have a solid plate, as they went to side/top mounted power plugs. (You can't use a mid 70's and later Orange tube/Byers drive scope on the HD wedges due to where the power plugs in.) This can be an issue if you need to plug power into the base of the Q's too.



It would be easy enough to drill a hole and mill an opening in the latitude plate of an HD Celestron wedge to mount a Questar and to accommodate its power cord or Powerguide II control cable. Quite by coincidence, I cut such an opening just today for the cord that plugs into the bottom of my recently-acquired Super C8's drive base. The wedge is made of relatively soft cast aluminum, and I used woodworking tools to create the opening.

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#15 Michael Lomb

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 06:12 AM


While looking at some of these modified wedges on this post I had two impressions. The completed version that Jim K presented had a certain elegance to it that is in keeping with the Questar. I just feel that some of the other wedge versions while "potentially  functional," give the impression that Celestron contracted the  engineering design out to Rube Goldberg. I am almost expecting a little hamster exercise wheel to be incorporated in the final design somewhere. 






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