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Most Important Replacement Parts for Questars?

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38 replies to this topic

#1 cavecollector

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 09:12 PM

If one was going to order replacement parts to have on hand, which parts wear out first and/or most frequently and would be good to have on hand?  Drive disks, belts, etc.?

 

Which version of the PowerGuide is Questar on now? I have the PG2 and I was thinking I might buy the latest version to install myself.  Jim once told me PG replacement isn't that hard and he could walk me through doing it. Sadly, Jim is gone now. Is there anyone else who can install PGs or walk someone through replacing one? I am pretty good at repairing scopes, but it would be nice to have someone available for questions in case I get stuck.



#2 Mike McShan

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 04:32 PM

I have the PG3 and wish it were the PG2. The PG3 is bulky and uses up regular alkaline batteries very quickly (the rechargeable 9V lithium do seem to last much longer, though).  I know that it has a number of advanced features, but I just want tracking, so the smaller PG2 would be sufficient.  

 

The one argument for the newer device is that it uses more recently manufactured components, so potentially it might be easier to repair if something goes bad. I've not opened the case to see what's inside. You never know about old electronics: I have some pieces of ham radio gear from the 80s that still work perfectly, including ones with microprocessors. So, hopefully our PGs will work for a long time to come.

 

Clear skies,

Mike

 



#3 markmanner

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 05:35 PM

I have the PG3 and wish it were the PG2. The PG3 is bulky and uses up regular alkaline batteries very quickly (the rechargeable 9V lithium do seem to last much longer, though).  I know that it has a number of advanced features, but I just want tracking, so the smaller PG2 would be sufficient.  

 

The one argument for the newer device is that it uses more recently manufactured components, so potentially it might be easier to repair if something goes bad. I've not opened the case to see what's inside. You never know about old electronics: I have some pieces of ham radio gear from the 80s that still work perfectly, including ones with microprocessors. So, hopefully our PGs will work for a long time to come.

 

Clear skies,

Mike

I too have the PGIII with my new Q3.5.  I suppose that if it fails, and parts can't be found, the Q3.5 could be converted back to the old AC drive. The PGIII is a bit bulky, but it does ok with high-capacity rechargeable lithium 9V batteries, as you said.


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#4 Speleodoc

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Posted 31 May 2024 - 11:07 AM

I have the PG III in my Q3.5. If I could retrofit it to the PG I, I think I would prefer this for two reasons:

 

1. My understanding is that the PG 1 can operate on its own, without the hand controller, using the 9v battery in its base. This would be advantageous should the hand controller fail in the future, especially if there are no replacement PG III hand controllers available.

 

2. PG 3 is bulky, and the battery life is very short. I almost never use any of the functions on my PG 3 hand controller, other than needing to have it plugged in to enable tracking. It would be nice to be able to use my Q3.5 without it (which again I think can be done with the PG 1).


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#5 Optics Patent

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Posted 31 May 2024 - 06:54 PM

Correct on PG1. My favorite setup and I’ve never used a hand controller.
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#6 NC Startrekker

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Posted 02 June 2024 - 08:53 AM

Like Ben, the only use I have found for the PGII hand controllers on the two Questars I have owned is as a power source for the drive motors. I never use the hand controller to move the scope; that is much more easily accomplished using the manual controls. A second use they have is to change the tracking rate from sidereal to lunar. Not to mention that the right angle buttons are the only two directional buttons that are operable with the hand controller unless you install the less than aesthetic looking (IMHO) declination motor to the fork arm of your Q. And, like Ben, I think the PGI was the best of the designs and Questar should have stayed that course. If I were buying new today with the current options (PG3 or AC drive) I would certainly choose the AC drive over the PG3). I would then power the AC drive with a small power bank and still come out with a sleeker profile and smaller package overall than with the PG3 and just as functional. But that is just me. Your mileage and tastes will likely vary and that’s okay. 



#7 markmanner

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Posted 02 June 2024 - 09:16 AM

As I mentioned above, I might convert my PGIII to AC, but for the time being I'll continue to use the PGIII. In addition to the lunar rate, it is pretty lightweight and hangs off the Tripier easily.



#8 RickDarden

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Posted 02 June 2024 - 09:20 AM

Crazy thought.

 

When we sell a Q, instead of selling the entire telescope, we disassemble it (watch Ben's videos) and sell off the parts. I bet the total of reasonable selling prices would be close to what the scope would sell for in its entirety. Forks arms maybe $200-250 each, optics set maybe $500, control box maybe $200-$250, drive pin assemblies maybe $50 each, case maybe $200-$250 and so on.

 

We should chat about what a reasonable price would be for each component and see if this is a good idea. Heck, if we can get as much as selling the scope as a whole, seems like a way to provide a source of parts.



#9 NC Startrekker

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Posted 02 June 2024 - 09:41 AM

Crazy thought.

 

When we sell a Q, instead of selling the entire telescope, we disassemble it (watch Ben's videos) and sell off the parts. I bet the total of reasonable selling prices would be close to what the scope would sell for in its entirety. Forks arms maybe $200-250 each, optics set maybe $500, control box maybe $200-$250, drive pin assemblies maybe $50 each, case maybe $200-$250 and so on.

 

We should chat about what a reasonable price would be for each component and see if this is a good idea. Heck, if we can get as much as selling the scope as a whole, seems like a way to provide a source of parts.

Unfortunately the cost of shipping, even for small packages, has become so high you would go bankrupt in the process! undecided.gif


Edited by NC Startrekker, 02 June 2024 - 09:41 AM.


#10 Toddeo

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Posted 02 June 2024 - 11:09 AM

Piecing out scopes even Questar's happens all the time and even with the cost of shipping- is quite profitable. You definitely could sell the parts off of a Questar-separately and make more than if selling the scope whole-unless the scope has historic value.



#11 Mike McShan

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Posted 02 June 2024 - 11:01 PM

Correct on PG1. My favorite setup and I’ve never used a hand controller.

Makes you wonder how hard a PG1 would be to reverse engineer...



#12 Terra Nova

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 07:25 AM

Crazy thought.

 

When we sell a Q, instead of selling the entire telescope, we disassemble it (watch Ben's videos) and sell off the parts. I bet the total of reasonable selling prices would be close to what the scope would sell for in its entirety. Forks arms maybe $200-250 each, optics set maybe $500, control box maybe $200-$250, drive pin assemblies maybe $50 each, case maybe $200-$250 and so on.

 

We should chat about what a reasonable price would be for each component and see if this is a good idea. Heck, if we can get as much as selling the scope as a whole, seems like a way to provide a source of parts.

I'm sorry but I think that is a deplorable idea if the Questar is in good working order! We aren't talking orange C8s here! 


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#13 markmanner

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 07:27 AM

I'm sorry but I think that is a deplorable idea if the Questar is in good working order! We aren't talking orange C8s here! 

I'm guarding mine now. First it was people snatching your pet from the front yard (for organ donation?), now this frown.gif .


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#14 98105dude

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 11:43 AM

Crazy is one word that describes parting out Questars. I can think of a few additional ones - starting with premature. It's not like they're Mercury Cougars or Packards. I expect we'll all know more, like it or not, in the coming weeks and months. Enjoy your Monday. 


Edited by 98105dude, 03 June 2024 - 01:05 PM.


#15 Steve C.

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 01:03 PM

Some Questar may not be repairable because of cost and other issues, so parting it out certainly be an option.



#16 DAVIDG

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 03:32 PM

The part that will be the most difficult to replace will be the optics especially the one with the dielectric coating since they can not  be recoated. So if Cumberland stops making the optics  in my opinion what  would cause a Questar  with bad  enhanced coatings to be unrepairable and possibly subject to being parted out. 

 

                 - Dave 



#17 Toddeo

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 03:38 PM

I think one would try to fit the optics from a Meade ETX90 into a Questar Barrelgrin.gif .



#18 98105dude

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Posted 05 June 2024 - 07:57 AM

Yes, I can see now that parting one out can be a reasonable option.



#19 justfred

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Posted 06 June 2024 - 07:22 AM

Mine made it almost 50 years before it was refurbished at New Hope and fitted with new optics. Pretty sure it will outlast me. Re: tracking - the older I get, the more I use the Q in alt/az. Except for objects on the ecliptic I rarely plug in the PG2.

 

If it ever does become unusable in the distant future I’m sure one of my descendants will display it on an ornate pedestal next to a picture of me…. Well, I don’t know about the picture part. :-)

 

Fred


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#20 RMay

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 03:51 PM

I would think availability of ‘original’ 120VAC motors and clock drive bottom plates with AC connectors will be critical for retrofitting any DC/PG-driven scopes if/when the control electronics go bad.

My 3.5 is AC; power is my only real concern regarding my Seven, which uses a PG2… (that I love…).

Ron

#21 Toddeo

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 04:23 PM

With my order almost two weeks ago- I included a couple replacement motors and the power cords + receptacles.



#22 RMay

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 04:27 PM

With my order almost two weeks ago- I included a couple replacement motors and the power cords + receptacles.


Smart… did you order your scope with an AC motor?

Ron

#23 Toddeo

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 04:47 PM

A few of my "Q's" are AC.


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#24 RMay

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 05:05 PM

A few of my "Q's" are AC.


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#25 LKSM12

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 11:22 PM

With my order almost two weeks ago- I included a couple replacement motors and the power cords + receptacles.




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