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Modern Travel Case for Questar

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171 replies to this topic

#26 Billydee

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 01:00 AM

Ben,

 

You could increase the length of the pocket under the leg area.  The legs are light and would be supported by about an inch on each end.  A small cover of foam (removable) just under the legs could cover the contents (coil cord, AC cord or other).  I would also like to see finger tip beveled indents beside the items to assist in an easy removal,  The offset sun filter needs a separation above the OTA so it could stand up.  

 

Bill


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#27 Optics Patent

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 08:00 AM

Bill, thanks for the comments.  Those are just what I'm looking for!

 

The sub-leg compartment is trying to stay separated from the eyepiece area (of the scope, not the storage of 5 spares) for structural reasons, and to avoid stored stuff spilling into the eyepiece area.  I could:

  1. shorten the eyepiece area (so it might not let you leave a 24mm in the scope) - I just had to do this anyway so there's no woggle room any more here.
  2. extend the cargo area in an L shape so it has a flag portion extending under the farther two leg slots.
  3. Shift the leg section down the the far end and bring the camera coupling to the base end (duh, thanks for inspiring this no brainer!)

Let me know where you think finger access look missing - it's important.  The Seven case above has two critical hand-sized holes at the lens cap center knob and the axial port knob - ideal handholds.  The scope is lifted out by the upper fork (about at the foam surface) above the finder mirror.  Legs by the cargo aperture, coupling by the small nose end, stored eyepieces and solar filter by finger cutouts.

 

Not sure what you mean about the offset solar.  The solar pocket is 1/2" wide so fits either the offset of the full, plus the close focus ring.

 

I like the lid/plug idea - I'll check if that's possible from this source.  Maybe a finger hole in the center.  I could also look for a standard plastic case from MTM or Plano to fit the area.

 

Question: If there's only maybe 20% of scopes in Duplex form, am I trying too hard to have only one SKU for this and make it fully versatile?  Will that space forward of the finder mirror irritate?  (It isn't needed for support) 

 

I see that I omitted a space for the large Duplex thumbscrew as well.

 

Some details will await a first prototype to be sure that the final spacings are right, such as some interference in the leg channels to hold them, and to determine whether differences in barrel lengths over the years (short in the early years) and the PGII base plate (1/4" extra thick) can be accommodated in one design.


Edited by Optics Patent, 30 December 2018 - 08:28 AM.


#28 Optics Patent

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 11:50 AM

Here's my update - much better thanks to Bill's suggestions, including capacity for the PG3 controller.  It now has space for the Duplex thumbscrew, and the base flange area minimizes the depth near the lower edges for more foam integrity.  I also added an arc that receives the top of the fork arm and makes stowage intuitive.

 

Capture 3

 

I thought about a slot or two for 9V batteries, but space is tight and those can go in the cargo area.  Space for Barlow not included, but a cased Barlow nests inside the coupling, or can go into the cargo area.

 

Does anyone wonder whether having all those eyepiece slots will help Questar sell more eyepieces?  An empty space is a powerful selling tool.

 

I also thought about leaving a shallow hole for storing a spare a $2 Questar badge to be positioned by the owner to "brand" the case without the seller violating trademarks.  I could shift the coupling a bit to make room - cool idea or don't bother?


Edited by Optics Patent, 30 December 2018 - 12:20 PM.

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#29 Billydee

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 05:20 PM

Ben,

 

Just got back, looking very good.  Don't forget to pay the redo fee,  That way you can do two styles for almost one price.  Glad this will work with the Standard and the Duplex.  Does the base area work with both normal and PG-2 configuration, how about the PG-3 base height.?  The box insert is a great idea, one could have various and more than one box.  It should have an inside hinge with divider slots (spaced for filters or Barlows)(the owner could use or not use the removable dividers),  The lid should be above the foam so it can be opened with or without removal.  Barlows and extra batteries can ride in the extra EP holes until you fill them with a complete set of EPs.  I love the finger access points.  The offset solar filter was a question about a separation between the lens cap and the filter.  That brings up one question, where do you store the lens cap after you remove it (that has always bothered me even before your case)?

 

If you can get Questar to get a $2 badge for this case I would buy more than just one.

 

 

 

Great effort on this one,

 

Bill


Edited by Billydee, 30 December 2018 - 05:23 PM.


#30 emh52

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 06:03 PM

It will be interesting to see what you develop. I have gone through this thinking process and settled on a pelican air (8 lbs)

because it has wheels but will not fit under the seat so it goes in the overhead. I am one of the duplex owners and I leave the fork behind and instead put the tube on a dual duty gitzo tripod mounting either a gear head or a small alt az/eq drive that goes in checked luggage. The pelican air then holds the tube and a camera plus a few pieces such as coupling. But ultimately the issue is wheels, so many airports are huge and a 8 lb case plus maybe another 8-10 lbs of gear results in a 20 lb carry. The other alternative is an expedition camera backpack, tried that as well, but again the lack of wheels and weight is an issue. Even these solutions, including your proposed case, have issues as some airlines in other countries limit carryon to 5-6 kg so an 8 lb case leaves no room for the Q. I'll might take the Q to Chile for the July eclipse and still trying to decide how best to manage the case issue and whether it is manageable. Also consider if you are on a regional jet, there is almost no room under the seat or in the overhead and the case might well be gate-checked with all the gentle handling that would result. 



#31 RobertPettengill

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 02:43 AM

I store my legs on top of each other on their side in one well in the foam to make use of the height of the case.  I wrap them with a chamois cloth to cushion them from one another.  They are along the right edge in the image I posed earlier, under the clip on red LED flashing strap.

 

The chamois is also handy to keep the Questar base clean.  I hardly use the legs anymore because I use a tripod and wedge mostly, but it's nice to have them in there and it allows my to travel without the tripod for visual observing.



#32 Optics Patent

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 10:30 AM

I wrestled with fitting all the legs in one slot as you do, Rob, and also worried about the finish.  But I could easily put the shorter center leg underneath a side leg, and gain some space in the footprint (if the makers are unhappy with my violating the margins).



#33 Optics Patent

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 05:14 PM

I just placed the order, and I think it's much better than it would for the feedback.  I paid the $8 extra to get FailSafe™ protection so I can adjust the design for any reason and return the old one for replacement.  I also upgraded to the premium foam.

 

Like Rob, I picked Yellow!

 

Will report and see how this prototype does.  Then maybe I can arrange for other orders.

 

Question: is the PG3 base thickness the same as standard, or as PG2?  I have one of each of those and want to be sure this can accommodate it.



#34 Billydee

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:09 PM

Ben,

 

Call Jim R. and ask him if they have the PG-3 outer rims (without the display and internal electronics).  I think he might lend you that part.

 

Bill


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#35 Optics Patent

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:38 PM

I’m asking about the scope base not The controller

#36 Billydee

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 12:45 AM

Ben,

The question is if the PG-3 extend below the base rim or is it even with the base rim,  any PG-3 owners??

 

 

I wanted to tell you that while studying your case design I found it very aesthetically pleasing.  That may not be scientific but it does mean that it is very very close to being righton.

 

Another of your great projects,

 

Bill


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#37 npdhistory

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 07:09 AM

The base with PG3 does not extend below the rim. Just as a standard Q with the ac drive.

Henry



#38 Billydee

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 11:59 AM

Henry,

 

Thank you for the answer.

 

Bill



#39 tbowkman

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 01:34 PM

Ben,

 

Glad to see this moving forward so quickly and expect a great result with all the suggestions for improvements gathered from the group. What case did you ultimately choose as i did not see it specified?

 

Tim



#40 Optics Patent

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 02:19 PM

Tim, I picked the smallest case from a reputable maker that can accommodate the full kit, the Pelican 1507 AIR. 



#41 tbowkman

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 06:20 PM

Thanks for the info Ben.

 

Tim



#42 SJTill

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 09:25 PM

Ben, I’m looking forward to seeing your case and insert! 

Fairly itching to order mine....smile.gif



#43 Old Don

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:06 PM

Ben,

Ready to order!



#44 Old Don

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 09:38 PM

What case options will be available in 2019?



#45 Optics Patent

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 03:18 PM

Progress.  Some production errors and design tweaks to address, but this is looking good.  It's amazing how small of a cardboard box this comes in.  They missed my effort to switch to gray, but I think the yellow looks nice.  Wish they offered Questar red!

 

IMG 1204
 
Here's with a Duplex in place plus all eyepieces and accessories.  For the early models there is about a 1/4" gap at the lens cap that has no apparent effect on stability.  Unfortunately, thick-base PG2 units will not fit without 1/4" more gap, but that is workable with a second design SKU if demand warrants.
 
Fully loaded this is a VERY comfortable 15 pounds.
 
IMG 1205

 

 


Edited by Optics Patent, 08 February 2019 - 03:39 PM.

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#46 davidmcgo

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 05:17 PM

The yellow is growing on me, too.  Can’t wait until you are ready to take orders!

 

Dave


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#47 Optics Patent

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 06:00 PM

Even a 2-1/2-year-old can lift it!

IMG 1215
 
Just right for a toddler:
IMG 1218

 


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#48 Steve C.

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 08:55 PM

I like the way that looks. I may have to do something like that.

 

The vinyl (or leather) case that the standard comes in is compact and pretty, but sometimes I think the material gets scuffed if you give it a harsh look.



#49 Optics Patent

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:16 PM

I was unhappy with the eyepiece layout because they cut the finger cutouts and all pockets to the full depth of a 32mm for the first attempt. That left it like a channel that gapes to let the EPs drop down. The plan is to eliminate the finger cutouts and have them leave all the plugs in place. The user cuts each plug to length based on the size and desired protrusion of each eyepiece. Also creates a clean look for those who don’t have the full set as few do.
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#50 terraclarke

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 06:43 PM

I like the yellow Ben! It looks great and seems to hold up well under the QC tests your son is putting it through!  :lol:




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