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New Quantum 6 Owner Needs Help

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#1 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 11:41 PM

I don't deserve to be posting this but I am. Yesterday I was able to purchase a Quantum 6. Yes, I know. We were on a road trip around the state and the opportunity presented itself, and I jumped on it. A bit of the back story, when I was in about the 6th or 7th grade I got a cheap 4" refractor for Christmas and fell in love with it. It came with a years subscription to Sky and Telescope. I loved looking through the old classified ads in the back at the Celestrons and other brand and yearned after them for a long time. For few years I loved back yard astronomy as much as a 11-12 year old could. I had enough of an itch that years later I took an Astronomy class in college. Back then, I had always dreamed of owing a "nice" scope or even building one but as I got older life took me in a different direction and that dream faded. Until yesterday. 

 

Honestly I had no idea at the time what I was buying but could tell by handling it that it was a quality instrument. As I googeld this AM, the realization hit me (like a Mack Truck) that I'd actually found a gem. I don't think it's been used in years and years. We purchased it from a widow and it had belonged to her husband. It was buried in her husband's shop. She was in the process of moving and took a liking to me an my family, She felt comfortable letting it go to us. One of the last things I promised her is that we would love it as much as her husband did. After discovering what we really have, my wife says that "We're not selling it and we're going to 'restore' it. It's too nice and too rare not to" Ok. Cool. I can live with that.

 

From what I can tell from a brief examination, it contains the scope, the finder, the base, the legs and the wooded cases. It did not come with any eyepieces nor the plug for the motor.  

 

Here's my dilemma. I haven't owned a telescope in years, and I've never owned an "nice" telescope. So I'm so green that I don't know were to begin to find out what we need to do with this scope and what we might have to put into it to make it functional. So that's my question to the collective. Where to begin? With whom should I reach out to to help me with this project? 

 

I promise this post is not a joke or a troll. I honestly need some help and after looking around the web came across this site and it seemed the best place to begin this quest. 

Thank in advance for any and all help, advice and wisdom. 

 

PS: I'll try to add photos to this post when I can. However, they may not come until Tuesday as my Monday's are extremely busy. 


Edited by Lonnie Utah, 27 September 2020 - 11:46 PM.

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#2 BQ Octantis

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 03:13 AM

I'm having the same dilemma.

 

A friend here in town had me help her unbox her dad's Quantum 6 that had followed her family around the world since 1980 (her parents were missionaries). Fortunately, hers came with a set of Brandon eyepieces—standard for Quantums back in the day:

 

gallery_273658_12412_315029.jpg

 

If you want to go authentic, Agena Astro still offers Brandon eyepieces:

 

https://agenaastro.c...nscope.html?p=2

 

But the mount is more of a problem. The standard Quantum mount (made by Optical Techniques, Inc., or OTI) is from an era when people had more metal than they knew what to do with. OTI ceased operations in 1980. The motor controller looks handmade, with a cigarette lighter plug for the box and a custom cord to the plug on the bottom of the mount:

 

gallery_273658_12412_24777.jpg

 

And hers didn't come with a standard wedge—hopefully yours did. (Here's a link to what that looks like.) Her father had made a custom wedge out of wood on a flimsy tripod, but the angle was fixed for another latitude. But fortunately the scope does fine with manual tracking via the two control knobs with the beast of a mount just sitting on a table. The scope is a planet killer, and the planetary views through the Brandons are crisp and full of detail. So at the very least, you need some eyepieces.

 

BQ


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#3 JonH

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:10 AM

What a great story! and welcome to Cloudy Nights. Quantum scopes are close relatives to the Questars that have their own forum in the "Telescope Specific" section. If you search for "quantum" over there you will find a bunch of threads (nearly a hundred!) about this special brand of scope.

 

Congratulations on a great purchase. I dont own a Quantum, but if my Questar is anything to go by you have indeed lucked into a "Nice scope".

 

Clear skies

 

Jon



#4 luxo II

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 06:02 AM

Wow Lonnie, lucky you - I've always admired the Quantum scopes and a 6" is a very nice find indeed - it is well worth restoring to functional use if you can keep it close to original, though the mirrors could be due for recoating.

 

Sadly so few made it to my country I doubt I'll ever see one.


Edited by luxo II, 28 September 2020 - 06:02 AM.


#5 Terra Nova

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 06:35 AM

Congratulations! You have a wonderful, rare gem of a scope. There are several Quantum owners here and in the Questar forum that can help advise you. You’ve already got a good start with BQ’s post. Welcome to Cloudy Nights.



#6 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 06:37 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies. 

 

A little more of the backstory. The scope came from a piece of property that we were looking at as a second home. We were on a trip to 3 of our states National Parks and just turned off the main road to poke around. We saw a for sale sign (my wife is always (casually) looking at real estate) on a piece of property that looked interesting. The property owner was standing outside and waved us over and offered to show us around.

 

He husband was an electrical engineer, and some of the additional pieces could still be in his "shop". (Which for nerds like our family, seemed like a paradise (oscilloscopes, capacitors, coils resistors relays and every other electrical part under the sun you can thinks of. lol.) However at this point I'm not sure how to broach that subject with the previous owner without overstepping our boundaries or insulting our host.  It was not our intention when we stopped and talked to the owner, but it was like a scene out of American Pickers (except we had to talk her UP in price, not down).  If anything, the scope is now in the hands of folks that know what it is, and will make sure that it is preserved and give is a second like. Had we not intervened and I made her an offer, I'm afraid to think of what the fate of this rare scope might have been... 

 

BQ,

 

Yours looks a little more complete that ours. Unfortunately, we don't have a wedge either. I've already being thinking of what to do about that. While I was falling asleep last night I was thinking about how I could build a motor control out of an Arduino uno... 
 

 

Hi Luxo, 

 

Our Sister in Law Lives in Sydney. What a wonderful city/country. After the Pandemic, we need to make a trip Down under. Our son has never been there to see his cousins... 
 

Thanks again everyone. As you can tell, we're pretty excited. Our little family has always been intrigued by history and "Classic" or "Vintage" things. Heck I took our son out of school the day the Union Pacific's "Big Boy" came to town for the Golden Spike Celebration. He loves space and particular the Apollo Program. He still talks about the Apollo Guidance Computer we saw at the Rocket Museum in Huntsville, Alabama. We've road tripped over good portions of the country (at 9 he's been to 33 of the 50 states by car and we didn't ad any new states this year or last). Hopefully, these expeditions have instilled a little sense of appreciation for the importance of history is him.  This was supposed to be a scope for him to use. However, I'm not sure that turning a  9 y/o lose with this thing is a good idea. 

 

We're not too far from Salt Lake City. Should we reach out to any of the astronomy clubs here? Are there any good ones in our area? Other than the Questar forum mentioned by Jon above, are there other forums on here that would be helpful to frequent? 

 

Lonnie


Edited by Lonnie Utah, 28 September 2020 - 10:33 AM.

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#7 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 10:38 AM

Here's the serial #. S/N GI153111C



#8 Don W

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 11:00 AM

"wiping the drool off my chin"

 

You lucky duck!!

 

I picked up a 4" Quantum from a doctor's widow once for $400. It was advertised in a local shopping paper (back before the days of Craigslist or even the internet).  She had bought it new for him as a birthday present. He stuck it in the closet and never used it.

 

I can't imagine finding a Q6 the way you did. I'd be dancing a jig for a week!


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#9 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 11:39 AM

To heck with work today. lol. Here are the photos. 

20200928_102509.jpg

 

20200928_102442.jpg

 

20200928_102655.jpg

 

That's everything except the tabletop legs. The rubber eyecup on the finder fell off from dry rot when I touched it. It looks like it had been reattached previously. 

 

I couldn't get a good photo of the mirror, but visually I could see no oxidation or anything like that on it. I have to idea how to check if it's good or bad. 


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#10 ryanr256

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 03:02 PM

To heck with work today. lol. Here are the photos. 

attachicon.gif20200928_102509.jpg

 

attachicon.gif20200928_102442.jpg

 

attachicon.gif20200928_102655.jpg

 

That's everything except the tabletop legs. The rubber eyecup on the finder fell off from dry rot when I touched it. It looks like it had been reattached previously. 

 

I couldn't get a good photo of the mirror, but visually I could see no oxidation or anything like that on it. I have to idea how to check if it's good or bad. 

 

 

I have to ask:

 

47, or 74?

 

 

Oh, and that looks to be an Edmund diagonal and RKE eyepiece on the finder.

 

 

-Bob


Edited by ryanr256, 28 September 2020 - 03:03 PM.


#11 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 03:05 PM

I have to ask:

 

47, or 74?

 

-Bob

 

Hi Bob,

 

I'm sorry, but I don't know enough right now to answer.  Please help me understand the question and I'll do my best. 

 

Edited to add: There is still a bunch of what I think is rubber cement around the eyepiece. It does say Edmund, but I cant discern anymore until I carefully remove it. I think it's a 26mm. 

 

Cheers,
L


Edited by Lonnie Utah, 28 September 2020 - 03:36 PM.


#12 ryanr256

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:06 PM

Hi Bob,

 

I'm sorry, but I don't know enough right now to answer.  Please help me understand the question and I'll do my best. 

 

Edited to add: There is still a bunch of what I think is rubber cement around the eyepiece. It does say Edmund, but I cant discern anymore until I carefully remove it. I think it's a 26mm. 

 

Cheers,
L

 

 

The scope is sitting on what looks like a sighting in target for an AK rifle. I was asking if it's an AK47, or an AK74. I have 74s.

 

The eypiece in the finder is most likely an Edmund RKE 28mm, known for its "spacewalk" views.

 

The diagonal looks exactly like the one in my red tube Edmund 4 inch f/15 refractor. It's from the early 80's and probably a prism.

 

-Bob.



#13 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:12 PM

The scope is sitting on what looks like a sighting in target for an AK rifle. I was asking if it's an AK47, or an AK74. I have 74s.

 

Ok Gotcha.

 

Now how can I tell? (I might need a picture, because I'm slow. lol.gif )


Edited by Lonnie Utah, 28 September 2020 - 04:16 PM.


#14 Gil V

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:32 PM

Great find. Your lifetime planet scope.

If it is appropriate, consider giving the seller some more cash as a courtesy if she seriously undervalued it.

Either that, or just buy the place and tell her to leave everything. Heaven knows what other treasures her late husband squirreled away!

Edited by Gil V, 28 September 2020 - 04:34 PM.

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#15 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:37 PM

Either that, or just buy the place and tell her to leave everything. Heaven knows what other treasures her late husband squirreled away!

 

I would love to make her an offer on the contents of "the shop" lock stock and barrel. However, I have no place to keep it all! lol. 

 

FWIW, the house/cabin was a TOTAL gut job. 


Edited by Lonnie Utah, 28 September 2020 - 04:38 PM.


#16 ryanr256

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:38 PM

Ok Gotcha.

 

Now how can I tell? (I might need a picture, because I'm slow. lol.gif )

 

I take it you don't have an AK?

 

And, no more off-topic post from me.

 

The scope is very nice. Great find.

 

-Bob


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#17 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:43 PM

I take it you don't have an AK?

 

I'd be more of a 7.62x51 type of guy.... waytogo.gif



#18 RichA

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 07:05 PM

I'm having the same dilemma.

 

A friend here in town had me help her unbox her dad's Quantum 6 that had followed her family around the world since 1980 (her parents were missionaries). Fortunately, hers came with a set of Brandon eyepieces—standard for Quantums back in the day:

 

gallery_273658_12412_315029.jpg

 

If you want to go authentic, Agena Astro still offers Brandon eyepieces:

 

https://agenaastro.c...nscope.html?p=2

 

But the mount is more of a problem. The standard Quantum mount (made by Optical Techniques, Inc., or OTI) is from an era when people had more metal than they knew what to do with. OTI ceased operations in 1980. The motor controller looks handmade, with a cigarette lighter plug for the box and a custom cord to the plug on the bottom of the mount:

 

gallery_273658_12412_24777.jpg

 

And hers didn't come with a standard wedge—hopefully yours did. (Here's a link to what that looks like.) Her father had made a custom wedge out of wood on a flimsy tripod, but the angle was fixed for another latitude. But fortunately the scope does fine with manual tracking via the two control knobs with the beast of a mount just sitting on a table. The scope is a planet killer, and the planetary views through the Brandons are crisp and full of detail. So at the very least, you need some eyepieces.

 

BQ

Looks like a Q150 OTA on a mount.  Never seen it before.


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#19 BQ Octantis

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 02:33 AM

Looks like a Q150 OTA on a mount.  Never seen it before.

The little book is a self-bound collection of all the correspondence with OTI (~1980), receipts, personal notes, and the manual, so it's fair dinkum, whatever it is. The manual only refers to the Q100, but this one is certainly a 6-in aperture. From what I've found, all the Quantum 6's are blue with two viewing ports. This one is black with just the rear port.

 

IMG_20200711_184726_scaled2.jpg

 

Not sure why OTI would have shipped an experimental/very limited edition to the far side of the planet…maybe they were about to cease operations and it was all they had at hand?

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 29 September 2020 - 03:04 AM.

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#20 starman876

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 07:54 AM

The little book is a self-bound collection of all the correspondence with OTI (~1980), receipts, personal notes, and the manual, so it's fair dinkum, whatever it is. The manual only refers to the Q100, but this one is certainly a 6-in aperture. From what I've found, all the Quantum 6's are blue with two viewing ports. This one is black with just the rear port.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_20200711_184726_scaled2.jpg

 

Not sure why OTI would have shipped an experimental/very limited edition to the far side of the planet…maybe they were about to cease operations and it was all they had at hand?

 

BQ

or maybe that is a Q6 base with some other sort of Mak mounted to it.  It does look strange compared to a regular Q6. 



#21 BQ Octantis

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 08:27 AM

or maybe that is a Q6 base with some other sort of Mak mounted to it.  It does look strange compared to a regular Q6. 

It looks exactly like the Quantum 100 in the picture. Their 1979 catalog describes a Quantum 150 for $850:

 

http://ralphfoss.com... 100 Series.pdf

 

"Each consists of a black finished, unmounted barrel assembly without control box, built-in Barlow lens, or diagonal. Observation function proceeds via optional, detachable appliances which fit into its 1-1/4inch accessory adapter."

 

I have no reason to doubt it's anything but that.

 

BQ



#22 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 08:33 AM

It looks exactly like the Quantum 100 in the picture. 

 

And this one. 

 

classifieds-246784-0-52887500-1490405626

 

https://www.cloudyni...negade-questar/



#23 starman876

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 08:55 AM

It looks exactly like the Quantum 100 in the picture. Their 1979 catalog describes a Quantum 150 for $850:

 

http://ralphfoss.com... 100 Series.pdf

 

"Each consists of a black finished, unmounted barrel assembly without control box, built-in Barlow lens, or diagonal. Observation function proceeds via optional, detachable appliances which fit into its 1-1/4inch accessory adapter."

 

I have no reason to doubt it's anything but that.

 

BQ

so instead of being a Quantum 6 it is a Quantum 150.   That is what the paper states and would make sense.



#24 pbealo

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 03:23 PM

BQ,

 

The S/N of the base should match the S/N on the OTA (where it mates to fork). Is that the case here?

 

The Q150 solved what I believe is the main shortfall with the Quantum series: the belt focusing mechanism. The only real "loss" is the built in barlow, and to me that seems small.

 

Peter



#25 BQ Octantis

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 04:11 PM

BQ,

 

The S/N of the base should match the S/N on the OTA (where it mates to fork). Is that the case here?

 

The Q150 solved what I believe is the main shortfall with the Quantum series: the belt focusing mechanism. The only real "loss" is the built in barlow, and to me that seems small.

 

Peter

As I recall, it does; I'd have to check to reconfirm (my friend spends a lot of time out bush, so I don't see her much).

 

The eyepiece set included a barlow, so they accommodated that omission. The only shortcoming I found on the design was that the rear hole on the OTA and the diagonal both use friction to hold the optical chain in place.

 

BQ




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