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Q7 Restoration Project - "The Greek Goddess"

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#1 Optics Patent

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 07:50 AM

After more than a year of looking for the right Questar Seven, I finally found what just might be the ideal Q7 situation.  This thread will tell the story and share pictures as I start my greatest restoration project yet.

 

It began earlier this week: When emailing with my friend Chris in the UK about a Field model with some cosmetic distress he had for sale, he mentioned that he had a Q7 OTA.  I've been looking for a complete mounted Q7 and this was only the OTA, but the price was right ($4000) and I have faith in Chris after buying a nice Field model from him earlier this year.  The Seven had what I was looking for: optically and mechanically healthy, and good cosmetic condition with few scratches and a nice unfaded purple barrel.  The #484 vintage is fine, and the lack of Broadband desirable because it means that if the coatings ever failed they will be economical to restore.

 

As I'm wrestling with overseas money transfers (I suggest Transferwise - but you need to trust them with your debit card number or bank login) and Chris is getting ready for packing - because U.S. made goods returning to the United States are eligible for duty-free treatment, these will be properly identified as such - I get an email on Friday afternoon from my Cloudy Nights friend BillyDee: "Ben, You need to jump on this one real quick. Bill."

 

This was my dream come true.  Bill emailed me within 15 minutes of the ad being posted, and I emailed the seller: "I'll take it at your asking price" before finishing reading the ad: The Questar Seven mount I thought I'd spend years searching for...plus an OTA with promising optics, and more (much more!)

 

I sent four replies to the ad, praying I was the first to reply, and worrying that I'd miss out on a deal I knew was meant for me.  Here's why: The Q7 is cosmetically distressed, with some likely mechanical drive problems, and these are exactly the types of projects I love solving - I've done full disassembly base restoration and drive replacement on three Q3.5 models in the past year, and have been inside my share of control boxes too.

 

My messages to the seller included assuring that I could arrange pickup if needed, and begging that if he had multiple offers, I'd pay a 20% premium over his asking price of $1200.  Even if the OTA was useless, I needed that mount!  Thankfully, in less than two hours I got an email from the seller asking if I had time to talk.  The seller is a genial physician and Dobsonian maker (he has a nice 16") in South Carolina.  After he said my reply was the first and that the scope was mine, I gratefully revealed my plans, and excitement to undertake my first Q7 restoration.  We switched to Facetime and he gave me a video tour of the whole package. 

 

The optics looked good, except for a small failed area on the mirror coating and some more coating failure at the center hole.  It probably performs nicely but could use a recoating.  The serial number turns out to be #90, and indicated Cervit material (beware auto-correct of that one!)  This is an early model and lacks the switchable Barlow in the control box.  The controls all appear to operate smoothly, but the paint on the control box is badly failed.  I believe it lacks the dew shield, and there is minor fading of the purple skin - more than I'd like, but not an embarrassment to display I hope. Lens cap is present, but the center knob with logo is missing.

 

The seller told me that the package was given to him by a friend - presumably being known as a telescope guy who might know what to do with it.  It had been stored in an un-airconditioned storage area below a coastal beach house.  The mount appears to be in solid condition, but the declination motion is frozen, even after I guided how to unlock it.  The fork turns on the RA axis, but the knob doesn't generate any motion.  Clearly this needs new drive discs on both axes, and possibly more surgery.  The declination indicator wheel is missing some of the black paint to fill in, so that can either be replaced or repainted.  Some aluminum knobs might be rough after all the salt air, so I will likely invest in replacements - I predict that parts unique to the Q7 are going to to be pricier than I'm used to (shooters experience something similar when they start handloading 50 BMG ammo - everything costs a lot more!)

 

The mount lacks the three legs for tabletop display - that might be a tall order to replace, and I'll check if the modern legs Q can supply are compatible with the original base.  The 3.5 switched from slip fit to threaded in 1981.  But as I was getting my video tour, I kept saying "don't worry about it, it's OK" about any potential defect because I needed that mount most of all, and it looked solid without any serious dents or damage.  I suspect the oxidation might not be too deeply pitted, and I can sand it out and achieve a factory polish with lots of elbow grease (4x the surface area of a 3.5).

 

The seller gently accepted my 20% premium price, and shared more about the package.  A big tripod with wedge of a type that Q had sold for years was included, but with naked aluminum instead of the expected black anodize.  This alone will be a good restoration project.  An original Powerdrive box with all cords.  An eyepiece or two.  And a little more that I'll reveal after everything arrives safely.

I'll report as I receive this all, and plan the projects.  My bench is put away for the rest of the year during some remodeling, so the real work begins in 2018.

This thread is an inspiration on Q7 restoration, and at one time I had hoped to try to acquire that one or one like it, but the owner invested in a new optical set from Q as I recall.

In tribute to the seller, a kind physician with a notably Greek name, and in recognition of one of Questar's early advertising images, this project scope aspires to her nickname: "The Greek Goddess."

 

Thanks again to BillyDee whose timely tip made this possible.  He wrote me that "this is the golden ring on the merry-go-round."  I feel the same way.


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#2 Erik Bakker

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 05:01 PM

Exciting stuff Ben!

 

The complete scope you bought must be an early model, since it has a very small CO. Look forward to your postings as the restoration project gets underway and results in hopefully a successful restoration of the formidable Q7.



#3 sgorton99

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:31 PM

This is great Ben, I look forward to seeing your pics and the project! I saw the ad, and that it was sold already.

 

Steve


Edited by sgorton99, 08 October 2017 - 05:39 PM.


#4 Billydee

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:13 PM

All I did was point Ben in the right direction at the right time, he did all the heavy lifting and set the hook.  This is the right purchase by the right person to take on this large task.  I look forward to his before and after on this project.

 

Ben deserves to get this Q7.  He has helped to reinvigorate the Questar Forum and has spent many hours getting us asking questions and enjoying the dialog.  He has gotten new people interest in Qs and shared his knowledge with all of us.

 

Thanks Ben we look forward to your project,

 

Billydee


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#5 athous

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 12:17 AM

I am anxious to see how it turns out. I love restoring things myself. Really gives you a great feeling of satisfaction and a bit of sadness that you've not anything to work on anymore. There's always something else to fix though.  Nice find!!


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#6 Optics Patent

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 06:49 AM

I am anxious to see how it turns out. I love restoring things myself. Really gives you a great feeling of satisfaction and a bit of sadness that you've not anything to work on anymore. There's always something else to fix though.  Nice find!!

So true!  You know your true bug is in restoration when you feel sad when it's complete, like at the end of a good book.  And for me, the learning experience (and slight sense of risky adventure) is the best part, so doing the same thing over and over like a professional restorer holds less allure.

Billydee, you truly are being too kind.  A year ago this month I was a newbie to this forum asking where to find Bristol wrenches, and am grateful for all I've learned here.  If I offer anything in return, I hope it's by demonstrating that these little engineering masterpieces are not untouchable, but fully are accessible.  And that curious amateurs are capable of understanding, repairing, servicing and restoring them with success. 

 

I'll do my real planning after I have things in hand in a week or two, but the first project will be the mount.

  • Diagnose the frozen declination
  • Assess parts condition, especially replaceable knobs that may be badly corroded - this won't be a museum restoration like my Cinema but will become a "pretty" scope.
  • Fully dismantle mount
  • Order parts (drive discs, logo discs, knobs, legs if available, declination indicator if practical.)
  • Assess paint (I'm hopeful that this will be distressed only because of atmospheric corrosion, not abuse - I hate painting, but if needed it may be worth paying Questar to repaint parts)
  • Start sanding...then polishing...

I'll look at restoring the OTA as a way to fund this inexpensive project, but we all know I'll never sell the mate to the mount. 

  • Test optics as is.  Is this OTA a gem needing re-coating, or a lemon with problems not worth investing in?
  • Likely send mirror to Cumberland for recoating (if a 3.5 is $250, I wonder what a 7 is?)
  • Replace missing axial rear cap, and any unacceptably degraded knobs.
  • Consider options for replacing or refinishing early eyepiece holder.
  • Order front baffle for corrector - this early model lacks even a painted baffle on the front surface.
  • Order center "knob" with logo that is missing from original lens cover.
  • Disassemble and explore control box.  Post lots of pictures because this is uncharted amateur territory around here as far as I know.
  • Sand control box for refinishing (consider sending to Questar - did I say I hate painting?)
  • Keep an eye out for a vintage purple dew shield to conceal barrel skin fading.
  • Consider adding finder solar filter.
  • Collimate finder (after any coating and reassembly).
  • As long as I keep getting lucky, wish for an OTA with unrestorable optics, perfect barrel skin and dew shield, and maybe a control box with Barlow - although I like the very early vintage of this OTA, and will likely keep it early as a mate for the restored mount, even as the donor OTA becomes the primary mate.  Optical performance after restoration will be the deciding factor.  If this original OTA cleans up well, it may end up as the starting quarterback, and the fine donor finding a new home.

Other projects:

  • Order new "Pelican" cases, with custom foam inserts from my trademark client mycasebuilder.com as noted here.  They are ~$1400 from Questar.  The donor OTA has a vintage "Formica" case, but there is no mount case.
  • Refinish tripod.  It looks rough, but I've had good practice restoring a vintage Saltzman tripod with a wire wheel on aluminum.  Consider sending out for black anodizing.

Edited by Optics Patent, 08 October 2017 - 12:05 PM.


#7 Scott in NC

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:05 AM

I saw that ad when it was first listed, and was hoping that that scope would go to someone like you with the skills and willingness to nurse it back to health.  I'm really looking forward to reading about your progress! :ubetcha:


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#8 BR__

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 02:56 PM

I saw this ad pop up and had the same thought. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out, too.  


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#9 Billydee

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:17 PM

Ben.

 

You should nickname "The Greek Goddess" and I think it should be "Deanna" after  counselor Deanna Troi in Star Trek, The Next Generation (played by Marina Sirtis).  She was born in London, England in 1955 (close to the first Questar) to working class Greek parents.  I think of her every time I hear "To go where no man has gone before".

 

Billydee 


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#10 Optics Patent

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:23 PM

The Greek Goddess has arrived!

IMG 2900

She traveled well, and appears as eagerly anticipated: Sound and healthy, but in need of a makeover.  She's quite full-figured, at 2x bigger in every dimension, 8x more massive.  I have never seen a Q7 in person until today! 

 

I have posted many photos in this album:

 

The mount

The mount, which was my main objective in this purchase to go with a nice condition OTA that is also on the way, is in the condition I expected, with nothing I feared. 

 

Base and plugs corroded

The housing is corroded, but happily smooth and unpitted. 

 

Rim dent

There is a minor rim dent that will easily be resolved.

 

Fork

All painted surfaces such as turntable, forks, and cradle are questionable, showing corrosion underneath.  These will likely all need to be stripped and refinished.  Knobs are better than expected, and may touch up with some refinishing - which I hate to do on machined surfaces, but which may be justified here to restore a brushed surface without corrosion.  I'll see how much replacements cost.

 

The RA slewing motion operates, but with heavy resistance.  The RA slow motion is unable to overcome this.  The drive discs and pinion will need replacing, and proper cleaning and lube should have this running smoothly.

 

Good Purple RA ring

The RA ring is very nice, thankfully, because purple is no longer available.  This is a big relief.

 

Dec brake

The declination is frozen.  The Dec knob turns and gets just a nudge of motion.  I believe the Dec brake was at one time overtightened, and the knob set screw loosened (it turns a bit).  I'll simply remove the knob and turn the brake screw with pliers to break it loose - hopefully.

 

Dec drive

Declination drive discs and wear components will also be replaced.  These drive discs are notably thicker than on a 3.5!  (I'll measure and report after Christmas when my bench reopens).  A thin gunky cork-looking layer is visible between the discs and the cradle.

 

I also note that some of the cast components are "rougher" than those of a 3.5.  Definitely not jewelry.  The support cradle is a good example of a relatively unrefined casting being painted to cover the sins.  I may consider leaving the painted surfaces as is with only cleaning, if I'm not certain about corrosion underneath.  But if I'm going to strip the paint, then some metal finishing, even polishing is possible (and one aspect of restoration I particularly enjoy).  These castings could be refined perhaps to the same level as 3.5 forks, with even polished highlights.  The turntable photo above makes me consider that with paint removed and the casting smoothed it might be brushed concentrically to a nice condition - avoiding painting (which I don't enjoy).

 

Dec circle losing painted number fill
Declination ring is losing the black paint that fills the etched numbers - repair or replace. 

 

As expected, no legs.  But they are different from the 3.5, and don't require a close fit.  Simple aluminum tubes internally threaded to receive a threaded element like the plugs have (this is plastic for plugs) would do the job.  I'll think about options for an adjustable leg, or making one to length for home latitude.

 

IMG 2891

The OTA was also as expected.

 

IMG 2898

Even though I bought this all for the mount, I think the OTA will be nicely restorable.

 

IMG 2897

The mirror shows the small bad patch, and some issues near the spindle but overall looks bright and good.  I'll bet this works just fine on the night sky.

 

IMG 2894

Corrector looks dirty (not as bad as photos suggest) and might have just a little fungus.  Secondary spot seems fine.

 

IMG 2892

Focus and finder switch feel perfect.  Knobs are good.  Control box paint is blistered from oxidization beneath.  Needs to be stripped and recoated.  Axial rear cap is missing and I'm unsure of the fitting in place is original or correct.

 

Clean or recoat mirror

Finder needs cleaning, as does mirror.

 

Finder solar filter is present

Knob for finder solar filter is missing and needs replacing.

 

IMG 2885

The skin is faded and scratched.  Not horribly, but not pretty.  Scratches will conceal with some blackening.  A purple dew shield would conceal nicely.

 

IMG 2886

Base is scratched up, and blackening will reduce it.

 

Lens cap missing hub and panel needs to be reglued better

Lens cap missing logo hub, and panel needs to be replaced and reglued more carefully.

 

While the mount is at my prime focus, I will likely end up working on both.  Perhaps refinishing the control box when forks are refinished.  Maybe sending optics off for coating.

 

"A" 7" full aperture solar fiolter but not "the" (Questar) filter.

Here's the 7" full solar filter that wasn't advertised, but a happy inclusion - not as happy as if it were an original Questar filter.  If the optical element has merit, I could consider getting a Questar support ring for this element.

 

IMG 2899

Shortly I'll get prices for all the factory parts I may need.  I'm grateful that generations later Questar is still in business and able to supply parts.  This will be fun!


Edited by Optics Patent, 13 October 2017 - 07:11 AM.

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#11 sgorton99

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 05:37 AM

Wow, what an awesome project! Glad you ended up with it, as you are the perfect one to take this on. It actually looks nice in one of the last pics with it all back together.

 

It is curious how a $10k + Questar could end up like this...

 

Enjoy!

 

Steve



#12 Optics Patent

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 06:57 AM

My list for email and call to Questar

 

Thank for Jim R's offer to send leg specifications is possible.

 

Parts list to quote (some may not be purchased if the original is restorable or price is unjustified):

  1. RA drive disc set with all consumables and fasteners
  2. Declination drive with all consumables and fasteners
  3. Dec knob
  4. Dec brake knob
  5. RA knob
  6. Leg hole plugs (2)
  7. Dec brake screw and washers
  8. Dec ring
  9. Fork badges (2)
  10. Large turntable hub cover

For the OTA:

  1. Axial port cover
  2. Finder solar filter knob
  3. Focus knob
  4. Finder selector lever knob
  5. Lens cover hub and logo

Ask about cost to repaint the control box, and perhaps other paint items.


Edited by Optics Patent, 13 October 2017 - 06:58 AM.

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#13 JHollJr

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:58 PM

My list for email and call to Questar

 

Thank for Jim R's offer to send leg specifications is possible.

 

Parts list to quote (some may not be purchased if the original is restorable or price is unjustified):

  1. RA drive disc set with all consumables and fasteners
  2. Declination drive with all consumables and fasteners
  3. Dec knob
  4. Dec brake knob
  5. RA knob
  6. Leg hole plugs (2)
  7. Dec brake screw and washers
  8. Dec ring
  9. Fork badges (2)
  10. Large turntable hub cover

For the OTA:

  1. Axial port cover
  2. Finder solar filter knob
  3. Focus knob
  4. Finder selector lever knob
  5. Lens cover hub and logo

Ask about cost to repaint the control box, and perhaps other paint items.

This thread is really fun to follow. I often think about looking for a Q7, but I get so much use out of my Q3.5 and it is so easy to use that I've never really convinced myself that I need one. Well maybe "need" is not the right word.


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#14 Billydee

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:55 PM

Ben,

 

This is one righteous buy for the price and I know you will do justice with your restoration methods.  The before shots are great and now you need to post the after right next to the before.  It is huge compared to a 3.5, isn't it?

 

Bill



#15 Optics Patent

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 09:47 AM

It's really huge.  Double the aperture, and you increase an area (like the surface of the base to be polished) by 4x - some would first note that light gathering increases by 4x, but as a restorer first, it's all about the work area.  But the big factor is increasing the volume and mass by 8x!  The 3.5 is what I call a "one hand" scope that can be lightly toted around in one hand.  Each part of the Seven* requires two sure hands (and the base requires a strong back).

 

It also explains why Q7* sellers aren't too apologetic about a few little cosmetic scratches: These things are hard to maneuver without some body contact, and the mating and demating is non-trivial.  Maybe some Seven owners can give me some tips.  There is no excuse for any scratch on a 3.5, but I think a Seven must be seen as a working telescope.

 

Of course, the OTA skin in this case shows some scratches that can't be explained by careful but imperfect use.  The faded band suggests that some kind of attachment was strapped to this when on display in a window-lit room.  The scratches are harder to explain.

 

*I note that the model name and trademark has always and only been the "Seven" or "Questar Seven."  Never the "Questar 7."  However, I do use the slang abbreviation "Q7."


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#16 Optics Patent

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 10:06 AM

I just got a nice note from Questar about parts costs.  As expected due to larger size and smaller production they aren't cheap, but it sure is nice to be able to order factory new parts instead of having to custom fabricate replacements.

 

My plan is not to order anything until after I take it down and inspect each part.

 

For the drive discs, the $300-325 per axis is about 3x the cost of a 3.5.  My first observation is that these are much more robust than the thin springy discs on the 3.5, and I'm hopeful that these really aren't worn out.  I will start with a take-down and clean/lube and perhaps reassemble to see if they operate properly.  If not, this isn't too big of an investment.

 

The declination indicator disc can be replaced if I don't figure a way to fill the etched markings.  I believe that's adhered to the cradle like on the 3.5, and I've never done a replacement.  Filling those numbers might require the disc to be detached anyway.

 

Pretty much everything else is cosmetic, and can be done later, even long after restoration is complete - without any serious disassembly.  A complete set is $531.  Those Dec knobs are pricey at $200, but they are about double the diameter of those on a 3.5 -the size of a 3.5's lens cap.  I'll probably try to rebrush the more oxidized knobs (set screw to a spindle on a drill for wet sanding concentrically to simulate the machine tool marks).  If I'm not happy I can always replace.

 

The logo discs are much pricier than the 3.5, and I'm hoping they are the flat etched-letter type, not the newer domed painted raised letter type.  But I have the existing ones, and if I can remove without damage will likely reuse.

 

Here's the price list:

1. -Dec Drive Parts. This includes all disks and Pinion and washers.-$325.00
2. -RA Drive Parts. This is the same as Dec Parts-$300.00
3.- 7-129- Turn Table Cover Disk-$40.00
4. -7-130- Side Arm Logo-$25.00 Each-$50.00
5. -7-049-Declination Knob-$195.00
6. -7-048- Dec Brake Knob-$200.00
7.- Dec Brake Washers-$10.00
8. -7-056-Dec Brake Screw-$60.00
9. -7-050-Ra Knob-$70.00
10. -7-150A-Leg Hole Plug Knob-$33.00 Each-$66.00      7-150B-Leg Hole Stud-$12.00 Each-$24.00
11.- 7-134- Declination Disk-$130.00

 

I sure am looking forward to taking my workbench out of storage after some remodeling!  First thing is to take off the dec brake knob and see if I can loosen the dec brake and get the cradle moving again.



#17 Optics Patent

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 11:32 AM

The restoration begins:

 

Frozen Declination Brake

 

The mount is frozen in declination, so the declination pinon rubs the drive discs without moving anything.  The declination brake screw is frozen.  The brake knob turned through a small range of motion - loose set screw not engaged. 

 

IMG 2879
BD8B8A3C 8913 40FB BDD3 8EF7E5682721

 

The brake knob has two set screw holes, 90 degrees apart.  This differs from the 3.5's opposed set screws that engage flats on the tip of the brake screw (creating what is essentially a tap - a design I don't care for).  One of the holes was empty, and the other had a set screw.  This removed easily with the larger Bristol tool.  This had no effect on knob engagement.  Unexpectedly, there was another set screw buried in the hole below the first one.  This didn't fit the Bristol properly, and turned out to be a 3/32" Allen drive.  I then found that the first one was the same, and put aside the Bristol wrench.

 

The second screw was very difficult to remove, requiring significant torque.  It nearly refused to extract beyond a certain point.  I presume that this is due to the oxidation that exterior surfaces experienced tightening and roughening the threads of the aluminum knob. 

 

24CE1648 3889 4C3C B4F9 96EBAC748CDA
 
The knob unscrewed (turning CCW from the normal threads of the brake screw) with some resistance, but came off nicely.  It revealed the tip of the brake screw with its turned-down diameter and two perpendicular flats.  I begin to see why the retail price of this part machined from thumb-wide steel barstock is $60.  It shows some set screw abuse, as someone presumably tried too hard to turn it the wrong way.  Nothing of real concern for reusing the brake screw if I can free it up without more damage.  This may indicate non-factory "service" like the stack of set screw with one on the wrong place.
 
But call it "Elsa" because it's Frozen.  I put the set screws in the right places, put away the wrong Bristol wrench and reinstalled the knob, intending to use it as a wrench to loosen the brake screw.  I noted the angle of the flat, and screwed on the knob, then tightened each set screw very firmly.  Using the knurled handle and  my keyboard-strengthened right hand, I was unable to make it budge.  Thankfully, the set screw engagement was also solid as a rock even as I tried torquing ion the opposite direction.  I considered a strap wrench, but decided that it could risk more damage. 
 
Instead, I'm now considering ways to loosen that seized steel-in-aluminum connection.  Plans include:
  • Penetrating oil.  WD-40 or what else would anyone suggest?  I note that my Googling the problem comes up with lots of maritime restoration efforts - appropriate given the coastal salt air's effect on the GG.
  • Heat.  Simply heating with a heat gun might shock it loose. A hot fork and an ice cube applied to the head of the screw to shrink it (not much to shrink given the limited diameter.
  • Mechanical shock.  Bang either end of the screw with a metal hammer.

I could consider a V-block in a vise-grip to engage the flats while the other jaw engages the round back.  Or, flattening the tips of the set screws to get broader engagement before trying a strap wrench.

 

Another option is to try to (destructively) engage the rim of the head of the brake screw with a vise Grip, or to file flats or other features for engagement with a tool.  But there isn't much to engage, and adjacent surfaces need to be protected.

 

Dec brake

 

Later, I'll decide whether to replace the knob with a new one ($200) if I'm unable to refinish this dinged-up one satisfactorily.  I think that won't be necessary given the limited dings - the worst of which is shown.
 

0876DD9A 4E98 4B28 A738 40B0F7696608

 


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#18 Optics Patent

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 04:28 PM

Before I start a new topic, can any owners of older Q7s tell me the dimensional specs of the legs?  Mine are missing and the holes are as shown:

Base and plugs corroded


#19 cbwerner

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 04:16 PM

  • Penetrating oil.  WD-40 or what else would anyone suggest?  I note that my Googling the problem comes up with lots of maritime restoration efforts - appropriate given the coastal salt air's effect on the GG.

My IT guy swears by Blaster PB50 from www.blastercorp.com for a wide variety of applications. He says it works way better than WD40.



#20 Optics Patent

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 07:12 PM

My googling says that and Kroil are excellent. Much better than wd40. The only thing that tested better was an equal blend of acetone and automatic transmission fluid.


Edited by Optics Patent, 25 October 2017 - 06:03 AM.

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#21 Optics Patent

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 07:16 AM

The original Q7 OTA that started my quest for a mount arrived from England today.  Nice but not perfect condition as expected.  First light was on some turtles on the lake 125 feet away, shot with a shaky iPhone and the OTA on a pillow on a lounge chair:
 

IMG 2985

 

I was pleased to make out a Airy disc diffraction pattern in the sun reflecting off the eye of the turtle!

 

The OTA might be called "The Princess" because it's in much better shape than the Goddess OTA, and she came most recently from England. 

 

IMG 2992

 

She's in much better shape than the Goddess OTA, with only a few scrapes in the control box paint and a number of small scratches on the OTA - none big enough to be noticeable without close inspection. 

 

Optics appear clean and excellent. 

 

The bottom of the mounting support is unusually good, suggesting this wasn't often mounted and demounted.  Assuming that this OTA becomes the primary mate for the Goddess base - the Goddess OTA needs re-coating, control box paint, and a dew shield to modestly cover her "age spots" (faded barrel) - then this will receive a transplant of the finder solar filter from the Goddess OTA. 

 

The finder lever on the OTA is extremely stiff, and presumably the prism shuttle tracks need lubrication.  I plan to explore and learn lessons inside the Goddess control box when I take it down for refinishing.  Questar quotes $550 to repaint the control box, and I may try to find a local paint shop to repaint it the same silver color of 90% of automobile wheels on the market. 

 

And as I enjoy metal finishing much more than painting, I may experiment with a nice brushed finish on the machined control box -even a pimped-out polished finish - they can always be painted if I don't like the look.

 

IMG 2990

 

Because the painted circular "baffle" on the front surface of the corrector has some missing paint and a ragged appearance, I think applying a modern metal baffle would be attractive. 

 

IMG 3007
IMG 3008
IMG 3009
 

The lens cap is nicely complete and in keeping with the Seven has an impressive construction - it is three precisely machined components including 8 drilled and tapped connections, and weighs in at 10 ounces!  It has a central metal panel screwed to the threaded and knurled rim, and a central knob screwed to the panel.  The logo is badly mistimed, but at least can be roughly reoriented by 90 degree intervals by remounting the knob to the plate, or the plate to the rim.  I would have had one of those with 5 screws at 72 degree intervals to provide a timing capability every 15 degrees with the permutations of 4 and 5 providing 20 orientation options.

In comparison, the cap on the early original OTA has a synthetic panel glued to the threaded rim, and a knob glued in a machined recess in the panel.  On the Goddess, the knob is missing, and the panel is poorly re-glued to the rim and will be cleaned up and properly re-glued as I have for a 3.5 cap.

Q7 parts cost quote addendum:
Finder Sun Filter knob.-$29.00
Axial Rear Hole Cap-$85.00
Lens Cap Grip (knob)-$75.00


Edited by Optics Patent, 27 October 2017 - 08:19 PM.

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#22 TerryWood

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 07:10 PM

Good luck with it! That's going be a really nice scope when you're done! The Q7 is a beautiful piece of machinery that's for sure.

 

V/R

 

Terry



#23 Optics Patent

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 08:59 AM

It is huge compared to a 3.5, isn't it?

Here's an image that captures the difference.  Both have their optical axes in the same plane for an accurate comparison.

 

IMG 3020

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#24 Billydee

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 01:37 PM

Ben,

 

Now that is class and super class, put another 3.5 on the other side of the 7 and you will have a great set of bookends.

 

Bill


Edited by Billydee, 30 October 2017 - 01:39 PM.


#25 Optics Patent

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 04:29 PM

Bill, you demon, you just gave me an idea that goes beyond the famed "Cutaway" Questar:

Bookends!  A Questar cut right down the middle!  (That way we can see if a single fork design can truly be stable.)

 

I'll work on that after my 2037 cutaway Q7 project.


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