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#51 TerryWood

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 11:10 AM

The single arm is very stable. The only time I experienced vibrations was when it was placed on the wedge. But those were pretty much eliminated after putting rubber pads inbetween the base of the Q6 and wedge, then a few more inbetween the bottom of the wedge and the top of the tripod (where it bolts to the top). The views through the Quantum 6 have always impressed me. I bought it about 3 years ago from the original owner. He later sold his Quantum 4 too. He was downsizing his equipment at the time. 

 

Speaking of C8s, I have a 1975 sandcast that just blows me away every time I use it. Really, really sharp!

 

V/R

 

Terry


Edited by TerryWood, 25 April 2017 - 11:11 AM.

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#52 JamesMStephens

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 05:07 PM

The single arm is very stable...

 

Terry

People seem to look at a single arm design as a two arm fork with one of the forks sawed off.  No doubt you would reduce the strength and stability of a fork by simply removing one of the arms, but you can certainly build a solid, single-armed design!


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#53 RichA

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:41 PM

The single arm is very stable. The only time I experienced vibrations was when it was placed on the wedge. But those were pretty much eliminated after putting rubber pads inbetween the base of the Q6 and wedge, then a few more inbetween the bottom of the wedge and the top of the tripod (where it bolts to the top). The views through the Quantum 6 have always impressed me. I bought it about 3 years ago from the original owner. He later sold his Quantum 4 too. He was downsizing his equipment at the time. 

 

Speaking of C8s, I have a 1975 sandcast that just blows me away every time I use it. Really, really sharp!

 

V/R

 

Terry

Yes, some of them were ringers.  I had a 1978 C8 that although it had a slight stressed diffraction pattern (mild astigmatism, the least "worst" aberration) easily split equal 0.6" doubles and showed good detail on Jupiter.  Best of all, it was 2/3 the weight or so of modern computerized ones.


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#54 RichA

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:43 PM

 

The single arm is very stable...

 

Terry

People seem to look at a single arm design as a two arm fork with one of the forks sawed off.  No doubt you would reduce the strength and stability of a fork by simply removing one of the arms, but you can certainly build a solid, single-armed design!

 

But, by the time you design a single arm to do the same job as two, it could actually weigh more than just one arm.  Depends on the design.  They could go nuts and do carbon fibre for rigidity, but I'd like a completely titanium arm.


Edited by RichA, 25 April 2017 - 07:44 PM.

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#55 elwaine

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 11:46 PM

With all due respect to members of the cult of Q bow.gif  - to which I've been a member myself since the 1950's - I do not understand the negative posts about the possibility of upgrading the electronics in the proposed 5" Questar to include GoTo functionality. Setting circles can still be used and enjoyed with GoTo telescopes. But more to the point, the implication that updating the electronics degrades the classic features of a Questar, whereas tripling the weight, bulk and cool down time requirements does not, is a bit puzzling. 

 

If one truly wants a classic gem, then the 3.5" Questar is the ticket. From the standpoint of sheer beauty, mechanics, optics, portability, and pride of ownership, it reigns supreme.

 

If one wants a larger aperture instrument in a portable, easy to use, high quality telescope, there are better options than a 5" Mak of any make or design. - But that's just my $.02

 

 


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#56 ehallspqr

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:16 AM

Nice shot of your Quantum 6. Beautiful example. Still a fairly compact & light setup compared to a Questar 7" on a fork.

 

I think Questar can design a stiff robust single arm that will be more than adequate, if off a bit from the strength/stiffness of a double arm fork. Lighter overall and a cheaper mount to manufacture, at the expense of aesthetics and maybe a little more vibration. Interesting to see as the design progresses who at Questar will hold sway. The bean counters or the traditionalist dreamers. Then the engineer gets to go design it!

 

As to what may be a better option in the 5" range? That's a great question and I'm sure there are some out there that will be a whole lot cheaper.

 

What I like about a 5" Mak/fork mount design is the overall compactness of the package and refractor like views. Sharp contrasty optics, pinpoint stars floating in a nice black background. I can't think of another design that gives you that combination in such a compact, convenient package. 5" Apo refractors are nice when at the eyepiece viewing, but transporting and setting up are definitely a bigger undertaking. Maybe something like a C5 Celestron?

 

My ETX 125 sits on a heavyduty Bogen video tripod with a small 12v battery attached. Dewshield, heater/controller, Rigel star finder etc. Still a one trip setup. I could lift and carry it one hand but use two to steady everything. Its a bit awkward but most people could still do it. Definitely a bulkier and heavier package than my Questar 3.5 setup, but not by much. Now my C8 CPC is another story.


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#57 elwaine

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:22 AM

As to what may be a better option in the 5" range? 

...a question that can be best answered by the person looking to buy one. But it would be difficult to argue that we love Questars because of any practical use issues. That's a topic reserved for the wife when she asks why we want to spend so much money on such a small telescope. grin.gif

 

The reason we buy a Questar is... well... because they are special.


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#58 TerryWood

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 10:20 AM

That photo of my Quantum 6 looks a little distorted to me. Sometimes the camera in the iPad stretches things. In real life, the tube and base appears slightly shorter and fatter. Or maybe my glasses are the culprit, lol? 

 

Either way, it's a solid, robust, and optically sharp instrument that I feel very fortunate to own! :-)

 

V/R

 

Terry


Edited by TerryWood, 26 April 2017 - 10:23 AM.

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#59 Optics Patent

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 01:32 PM

 

My own preference is for a two-fork non-GOTO, but with a battery powered internal drive akin to the PG-1 (not requiring an external paddle control for sidereal drive).  Design should evoke the classic as much as possible, but with modernized refinements enabled by modern CNC machining.

Manual setting circles are soooo 1950's! I want a two-fork GOTO with USB, WiFi, and maybe Ethernet control via existing software—TheSkyX and the like.

 

Maybe the culmination of this trend is a bank of rentable telescopes in rural Nevada (or Chile or space) that can be accessed over the internet for live image display on your computer monitor. Just rent the time. No chilly nights or lugging equipment around.

 

For me there is a pleasure to own and appreciate a beautiful traditional instrument. 


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#60 Edd Weninger

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 04:22 PM

I can envision a two arm fork mount as light as, or perhaps lighter than a single arm.  And, with clever design, the arms can be symmetrical, therefore identical. 

 

In my opinion, Questar should avoid electronics and goto.  I don't believe they have any in-house capability to do the design and programming.  One only need to look at Astro-Physics to see what it takes to use outside consultants to get a high quality job done.  In their case, several years to just make changes in an existing mount system. 

 

While it might be nice to have the equivalent of the PG in the 5", I'd only be interested if the overall design were as elegant as the 3.5" without PG, i.e., motors hidden.  And, absolutely have the incredibly convenient control box.

 

Cheers,


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#61 RichA

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:25 PM

I can envision a two arm fork mount as light as, or perhaps lighter than a single arm.  And, with clever design, the arms can be symmetrical, therefore identical. 

 

In my opinion, Questar should avoid electronics and goto.  I don't believe they have any in-house capability to do the design and programming.  One only need to look at Astro-Physics to see what it takes to use outside consultants to get a high quality job done.  In their case, several years to just make changes in an existing mount system. 

 

While it might be nice to have the equivalent of the PG in the 5", I'd only be interested if the overall design were as elegant as the 3.5" without PG, i.e., motors hidden.  And, absolutely have the incredibly convenient control box.

 

Cheers,

The trick is to integrate electronics in the scope so it doesn't look like every other electronicized mirror-lens out there.  Also, make sure the underpinnings can be mechanically operated apart from using the electronics.  A friend has a 12" Meade with no way to focus mechanically, it's all contained and electronic. 



#62 RichA

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:26 PM

With all due respect to members of the cult of Q bow.gif  - to which I've been a member myself since the 1950's - I do not understand the negative posts about the possibility of upgrading the electronics in the proposed 5" Questar to include GoTo functionality. Setting circles can still be used and enjoyed with GoTo telescopes. But more to the point, the implication that updating the electronics degrades the classic features of a Questar, whereas tripling the weight, bulk and cool down time requirements does not, is a bit puzzling. 

 

If one truly wants a classic gem, then the 3.5" Questar is the ticket. From the standpoint of sheer beauty, mechanics, optics, portability, and pride of ownership, it reigns supreme.

 

If one wants a larger aperture instrument in a portable, easy to use, high quality telescope, there are better options than a 5" Mak of any make or design. - But that's just my $.02

What if you have absolutely no interest in a refractor or a Mak-Newt?


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#63 Rpsqueezer

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:55 PM

I was bowled over by the first Questar ad I ever saw in Sky & Telescope around 1959. It was and is a thing of beauty. It accomplishes its function with elegant efficiency and is a joy to behold -- like a piece of fine jewelry. I lusted for one for many years before I finally acquired my own. You could say this makes me a member of the "cult". But being a member doesn't mean you can't appreciate a new creation from the Mothership. If Jim Perkins and his team can create in the Q5 a telescope with the same focus on elegant design and peerless performance that was lavished on the Q3.5, then the Q5 should become a very worthy part of their product line and, in my mind, a potentially far more practical (and portable) model than the Q7. I wish them the very best on their efforts.

 

Ross Schlabach


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#64 Billydee

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:29 PM

The electronics are not for the Questar astro mature folks.  They are to fill a slot in the Government ruggedized OTAs.  That is where the market for the Q5 rests (between the Q3.5 and the Q7) and where they will sell 10 times as many as they will sell to the purists.  Do you what Questar to remain in business and grow?  Then let them develop what will sell in quantity. Love this great new product and be happy with what comes our way.  

 

Bill


Edited by Billydee, 27 April 2017 - 02:35 PM.

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#65 ehallspqr

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:25 AM

Questar has a real dilemma on their hands. Its not simply a matter to just go out and design a product that will sell well to Joe telescope buying public. They also have to keep we Questar loyalist, enthusiast, cultist (however you want to classify us), happy lol. We Questar nuts, and I mean that in the best way possible, we have our own set of priorities and our own wish-list. On the other end of the scale there are the potential buyers that could care less about aesthetics and tradition. They only care about performance for the dollar. Both groups of potential buyers have polar opposite priorities. Don't forget the people in the middle and the outliers.

 

Then there's Questar, that kind of marches to their own drumbeat. They are laboring under allot of self imposed rules that will dictate form and price. Sourcing and manufacturing from North America will surely add cost, as well as trying to keep the design  elegant and traditional. Its a fine line to walk but it can be done. Look no further than Harley Davidson motorcycles. They went from nearly bankrupt to the most popular brand in the world by selling tradition and nostalgia, but at the same time containing cost. They somehow kept their core customers happy all the while attracting many new ones. The cult of Harley and Questar are alive and well 


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#66 Alan French

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 12:41 PM

I hope "The optical innovators" learned from the Questar 7, and can make a 5-inch version that is lighter in weight (for its size) and cools down in some reasonable time.

 

As much as I enjoyed my Q 3.5" and often wished for something a bit larger, I think I'll stick with my 130mm refractor.

 

Clear skies, Alan



#67 BullTerrier

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:39 PM

Let's be honest, the plastic hand controller of the PG2 is an embarrassment, especially for the price they charge and given the excellent quality of the scope and mount.  I ordered my Q 3.5" directly from Questar and had them add the PG2 at time of original purchase.  I was shocked when it arrived with the cheap looking and kind of flimsy plastic hand control, something that looked like it came from Japan designed 50 years ago. So you have a beautiful telescope that needs to be attached to a chincy hand controller in order to track automatically.

 

As for the rest of the scope, I love it.  It is finely machined, looks great, and performs to its reputation.  I, like so many other Questar owners, lusted after this scope as a child and was finally able to treat myself to one as a retirement gift to myself.

 

I think folks are always a bit too careful not to offend the folks at Questar (who are indeed very nice people) by not criticizing legitimate aspects of their product, but maybe if we did, all the accessories they offer would be of like quality of their scopes and mounts.  Most of the accessories are of excellent quality, just not the PG2 hand controller.

 

I know I'll receive the ire of the diehard Questar owners on this forum for this post, but facts are facts.


Edited by BullTerrier, 27 April 2017 - 06:57 PM.

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#68 elwaine

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 11:16 PM

 

With all due respect to members of the cult of Q bow.gif  - to which I've been a member myself since the 1950's - I do not understand the negative posts about the possibility of upgrading the electronics in the proposed 5" Questar to include GoTo functionality. Setting circles can still be used and enjoyed with GoTo telescopes. But more to the point, the implication that updating the electronics degrades the classic features of a Questar, whereas tripling the weight, bulk and cool down time requirements does not, is a bit puzzling. 

 

If one truly wants a classic gem, then the 3.5" Questar is the ticket. From the standpoint of sheer beauty, mechanics, optics, portability, and pride of ownership, it reigns supreme.

 

If one wants a larger aperture instrument in a portable, easy to use, high quality telescope, there are better options than a 5" Mak of any make or design. - But that's just my $.02

What if you have absolutely no interest in a refractor or a Mak-Newt?

 

 

The more we define our interests with the parameters of "having absolutely no interest in," the more we limit our options. I should have stated, "there are other options" and not "there are better options," to a 5" Mak of any make or design. (Look at my signature and you'll see I own one of those other options. grin.gif ) Better is a very subjective term. Right now I doubt I'd buy a 5" Q... especially since I own a Q 3.5" and the TEC 6." But am I interested in the Q 5"? You betcha. 



#69 Edd Weninger

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 12:29 PM

I haven't checked in a while, but Harleys are usually more expensive than comparable imported bikes.  But you're right about their followers.  In my case, I'm a Honda man.

 

Cheers,

 

.....Look no further than Harley Davidson motorcycles. They went from nearly bankrupt to the most popular brand in the world by selling tradition and nostalgia, but at the same time containing cost. They somehow kept their core customers happy all the while attracting many new ones. The cult of Harley and Questar are alive and well 



#70 BGeoghegan

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 01:27 PM

Hats off to Questar for getting things started on the Q5.  It's the one big rethink opportunity they'll have for a long time - and keeping the control box is a key Questar feature  Can it be combined with a single arm and at least some eyepiece movement?  I hope so because that lets the R.A. slow motion be placed opposite the fork arm, Quantum-style. The current style finder is optional in my view (as a Quantum owner).  The fork should be long enough to allow the tube to swing through and be stored corrector-side down. That would open up space at the rear port. I think the Q5 has to be designed for video and astrophotography as well as visual use.

 

The mount would have a base model familiar to Q users: manual operation, internal battery powered tracking, large setting circles and manual slow motions.  It would be upgradeable to push-to or go-to at purchase or later. Encoders would be unobtrusive or hidden. Push-to and go-to could use SkySafari or other standard phone / tablet app in place of a hand controller. (We'll assume that this will all still be viable in 2030-2040). Go-to can use the R.A drive but needs to get the Dec. powered in a good-looking way. 

 

That's my 2 or 3 cents  smirk.gif

Bob G


Edited by BGeoghegan, 28 April 2017 - 02:12 PM.

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#71 GeneT

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 07:25 PM

I would be tempted! The 3.5 was a little short on glass. A 5 inch might be just right. 



#72 RichA

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:26 PM

 

I haven't checked in a while, but Harleys are usually more expensive than comparable imported bikes.  But you're right about their followers.  In my case, I'm a Honda man.

 

Cheers,

 

.....Look no further than Harley Davidson motorcycles. They went from nearly bankrupt to the most popular brand in the world by selling tradition and nostalgia, but at the same time containing cost. They somehow kept their core customers happy all the while attracting many new ones. The cult of Harley and Questar are alive and well 

 

When I saw someone using a rubber mallet to fit a Harley engine part, I knew they were the same overpriced, overweight, underpowered, low-tech JUNK I always though they were.  They aren't Questars, they are Tascos.



#73 RichA

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:27 PM

Hats off to Questar for getting things started on the Q5.  It's the one big rethink opportunity they'll have for a long time - and keeping the control box is a key Questar feature  Can it be combined with a single arm and at least some eyepiece movement?  I hope so because that lets the R.A. slow motion be placed opposite the fork arm, Quantum-style. The current style finder is optional in my view (as a Quantum owner).  The fork should be long enough to allow the tube to swing through and be stored corrector-side down. That would open up space at the rear port. I think the Q5 has to be designed for video and astrophotography as well as visual use.

 

The mount would have a base model familiar to Q users: manual operation, internal battery powered tracking, large setting circles and manual slow motions.  It would be upgradeable to push-to or go-to at purchase or later. Encoders would be unobtrusive or hidden. Push-to and go-to could use SkySafari or other standard phone / tablet app in place of a hand controller. (We'll assume that this will all still be viable in 2030-2040). Go-to can use the R.A drive but needs to get the Dec. powered in a good-looking way. 

 

That's my 2 or 3 cents  smirk.gif

Bob G

If people want electronics, they'll want Goto, not encoders, IMO.  Also, I never found encoders (JMI, whomever) to be anywhere near as accurate as say an LX200 Goto.


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#74 ehallspqr

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 03:51 PM

 

 

I haven't checked in a while, but Harleys are usually more expensive than comparable imported bikes.  But you're right about their followers.  In my case, I'm a Honda man.

 

Cheers,

 

.....Look no further than Harley Davidson motorcycles. They went from nearly bankrupt to the most popular brand in the world by selling tradition and nostalgia, but at the same time containing cost. They somehow kept their core customers happy all the while attracting many new ones. The cult of Harley and Questar are alive and well 

 

When I saw someone using a rubber mallet to fit a Harley engine part, I knew they were the same overpriced, overweight, underpowered, low-tech JUNK I always though they were.  They aren't Questars, they are Tascos.

 

Tasco of motorcycles lol.gif You slay me. However millions of people all over the globe and all throughout Harley's 114 year history would wholeheartedly disagree with you but your certainly entitled to your opinion. Owned 4 of those beasts over the years and comparing them to the dozen or so Honda's and the couple BMWs I have owned I would say the quality is as good. They do cost a bit more than a Honda (500cc model starts at $8500) and I agree they are antiquated by modern standards. I mention them because like Questar they are North American sourced and they definitely march to their own drumbeat. They aren't following the herd so to speak. No latest whizbang techno flavor of the moment. Instead tradition, nostalgia, quality and beauty are their strong selling points. They are both unique in their own way and if you can see past the obvious they just may be a product you wish to own, judging by each's ardent following. Not everything has to be a logical dollars and cents purchase based on the biggest baddest bang for the buck. Some things are meant to exist for other reasons and are a purchase of the heart.

 

This Questar 5" will be the perfect size for many people. Hopefully Questar will keep with tradition and maintain the beautiful elegant design we all have come to expect. Hopefully they will also keep the costs to a reasonable (by premium telescope standards) price point through some thoughtful clever design and modern manufacturing techniques. I could even tolerate a Chinese part or two if it made sense and the quality was there. The 5" computerized fork mount Mak is a very compact and efficient design that should check all the right boxes for current 3.5" Questar owners. Better start saving your telescope budget for the inevitable purchase like I am LOL. Nowadays I find myself reaching for my ETX 125 for a quick look or travel to a closeby dark-site. I hate to say it but I suspect there's going to be some very neglected & lonely Q-3.5s out there once their owners start getting their hands on the new 5". 

 

My ETX 125 in it's JMI case. My hand shows the very compact scale of this little 5" Mak on its Fork mount. The JMI case measures a mere 22" long x 15" wide x 10" deep.

 

image_24.jpeg


Edited by ehallspqr, 30 April 2017 - 04:11 PM.

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#75 HansD

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 11:33 PM

My Questar 3.5 on its tristand is one of my most beloved possessions and also one of my most used (after all, isn't that the definition of a great scope - the one you use the most?). But it isn't my only scope because there are things it cannot do well.

 

So the notion of a Q 5 is a little disappointing to me. Are we really hoping for a higher quality Meade ETX 125?

 

When the Questar first came out a half century ago, it absolutely blew away everything else common at the time - long focus small achromatic refractors and 8" f/6 reflectors on awkward mounts. Most people were looking at the moon, planets, double stars and the occasional Messier object. The Maksutov was the ultimate solution to making a world class telescope more portable and high performance than anything else.

 

But look at the state of the art today. DSOs are the important objects. While Questar images of deep sky objects are interesting, do they really compare to the expansive images most people are getting with an 80 mm apochromatic refractor? And visually, isn't a low power (30x) view with an 80-100 degree field of view more impressive than a 50 degree field of view at 50x?

 

To me, the core of Questar is quality, not the fact that it's a Mak. The worst part of most astrophotography setups is all the cables going everywhere and the seemingly dozens of adapters that one needs to get everything working together. Questar setups are no different, especially with the hang-on-side declination drive and new hand controller (how many cables are going to come out of that?) I think of the personal computers of the 1990's with all their various graphics cards, sound cards, serial and parallel cables, RAID arrays, etc.

 

Questar needs to make the equivalent of a Macbook. Sleek design, no adapters needed. Imagine a telescope in one airline transportable case, alt azimuth with a field rotator so you can image without carrying counterweights for the mount. The control box module is between the optical tube a bayonet-mount imaging module, so you can visually enjoy a view and then photograph it. 80 mm f/5 apochromatic refractor offering  3, 7 and 16 mm eyepiece with a 80-100 degree view. A camera capable of 30 fps and 20 mm diagonal imaging area. The lens cap would double as a flat field diffuser. Control is wireless to a laptop. No exposed cords. No t- s- M-whatever adapters. The outer shell of the case doubles as a stool. The tripod has batteries in its legs. No visible wires. Carbon fiber and machined metal. That would be the 2017 version of a 1950s innovation. New technology would translate into new modules.

 

So a Questar 5 that is merely an enlarged Q3.5, even with goto, isn't really innovative or appealing, in fact it is yesterday's solution to an application far different than the one it addressed decades ago.


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