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Questar logo from 1990's (27,482 bytes)

Stand with Equatorial Wedge engineered for the Questar 3-½ Telescope

"For those who value reliable simplicity the Tristand appeals to all the senses of aesthetics, durability, and practicality; it renders the telescope more
readily useable. While this may not be seen as a choice by those who seek to get by on the cheap, the Questar is a not choice for that person either."

Questar Tristand Telescope Support<br> with optional Questar Duplex Telescope attached. (86,801 bytes).

Overview The Questar is the world's first, and most portable personal observatory. The three legs furnished with each astronomical Questar 3-½ telescope make it a quick and simple matter to travel to almost any point in the world, and then set up the telescope on a table top in an equatorial mode. However, there are some limitations of the tabletop tripod including the fact that one can not always count on finding a table to set the telescope on. Furthermore, there are areas of high and low latitude on Earth where the tabletop tripod is not well suited. And it can be fatiguing to try to work around a telescope on the corner of a table or where it is not conveniently placed. To improve access to the telescope by the customer, and to make it practical to use the Questar even for astrophotography - we offer the Tristand and its taller cousin the Astropier.

The Questar family of telescopes and accessories have been made for more than fifty years to industrial degrees of perfection and durability in the U.S.A. It is in keeping with this tradition that the Tristand and Astropier are precisely machined, some might argue "over engineered" (30 to 36 lb. shipping weight!) to provide a lifetime of precise service. One can carry the stand with or without their Questar telescope attached, to outdoors then set it down on any surface that one would wish to stand on (concrete, dirt, grass, etc.), then use the geared controls to precisely adjust to Head up-down and left-right to Pole Align the Head - all as quickly as in under one minute for visual observing. For those who seek more precise alignment and use the drift method for example, the stand with the optional Leveling Feet makes the process go quickly too.

Right: Questar Tristand Telescope Support with optional Questar Duplex Telescope attached. (86,801 bytes).

The ground does not have to be perfectly level to use either stand, as long as the area is reasonably flat then it will be fine for the telescope and you may be more comfortable while observing. The Tristand in particular provides a most comfortable orientation for most observers who will prefer to sit on a comfortable adjustable seat such as our TeleVue Air Chair, a pneumatic adjustable-height observing chair.

While the stands described here are made for the Questar 3-½ telescopes, Company Seven also offers what is essentially a scaled up version engineered for use with the Questar 7 Fork Mounted telescopes. Please inquire.

Construction The construction of the legs, pier and most of the equatorial head is completely of precisely machined 6061-T6 aluminum which is anodized black. The hardware is stainless steel, and the Accessory Tray is made of a lightweight but durable machined synthetic. The machined knurling around each large hand control and the large tripod leg lock handles facilitate handling even when wearing gloves in winter.

Tristand and Astropier Head The Head is a well thought out platform, this is the same component that is provided with either the Tristand and the Astropier. The four and half pound head slips onto the upper end of the machined cylindrical pipe stock, and the head is secured in place with hand knobs so it is easily removed when desired. This head has been engineered to facilitate fine adjustment of the telescope installed atop the Tilt Plate platform by means of geared manual controls of both elevation and azimuth motions. This permits a quick and very accurate Pole Alignment of the telescope, with locks that can be tightened to secure each axis from shifting. The telescope is attached onto the Tilt Plate with the captive ¼-20 threaded bolt and hand knob.

To allow the attachment of the AC power cord, or the cable for the Questar Powerguide I, Powerguide II, or Powerguide III system into the base of a Questar 3-½ there is a rectangular cutaway on the Tilt Plate platform. The telescope Drive Base is rotated on the Tilt Plate just prior to torquing the ¼-20 bolt, aligning the open slot with the female connector in the telescope Drive Base.

The range of fine adjustment in azimuth (left or right) is +-30 degrees from center. The standard latitude range is from 26 to 90 degrees however, an optional Equatorial Wedge permits use from 4 to 64 degrees latitude. Throughout the full range of latitude travel the telescope remains positioned so that its center of gravity remains about constant.

The Tilt Plate incorporates a Latitude Degree Scale with the engraved markings filled in white. The Tristand will work just fine in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and with or without the optional Equatorial Wedge since engraved dual latitude scales are provided; if you click to bring up the close-up image of the Tristand below then you will see this more clearly. The Stand pier does not have to be level to permit Pole Alignment however, for reasons of stability we suggest set up where the ground is reasonably level.

Tristand and Astropier Stand The fully machined head is attached onto the machined aluminum post. The post supports three cylindrical legs that are each easily released and rotated to pivot up and parallel to the metal pier for storage or extended for use. This permits traveling with the Tristand or Astropier in a more compact arrangement. For customers who are extra tall then we can manufacture the Astropier or Tristand with a longer pier post. Or, for customers who would like to be able to use the Tristand when sitting and yet also have the choice of working at the height of an Astropier then we can sell the Pier Post section as an accessory; simply move the Head from one stand to the other as desired - all with no tools needed!

Tristand folded small (41,064 bytes) Left: Tristand with Pier Legs swung back and in for transport. Note carrying handle at about center of pier, Head platform set for latitude of 90 Degrees. The Astropier is basically the same arrangement with a longer pipe Stand section. (41,064 bytes).
Click on the image for enlarged view (295,845 bytes)

This pier Stand is provided with a convenient eyepiece and accessory holder. This fully machined black tray is slipped into place onto the pier, near the Equatorial Wedge, and the tray is easily removed if so desired. The platform is drilled through with holes to accept up to four 1.25 inch diameter eyepieces and there is extra space to store glasses, filters, other accessories - or a shot glass. Since the compact aluminum Stand is made from thick hollow pipe stock, it is possible to use this empty center space to pack other carefully wrapped equipment within.

For the ease of transport, the Tristand and Astropier stands incorporate a large carrying handle. This handle (fully machined and black anodized) can accommodate a gloved hand too. Because of this it is convenient to pickup a Questar while attached to the Tristand and carry the assembled set in or out through any household doorway.

Company Seven routinely shows the Tristand at our Laurel, Maryland showroom. For further information about pricing and availability of these items please contact Company Seven.


Tristand Head close up (60,455 bytes) Right: Tristand/Astropier Head. Note engraved elevation scale, hand knob to attach telescope onto platform (just above 70 degree engraving), and below and to the left of that is the Azimuth fine adjustment hand knob. The two knobs below that from left to right attach the Head onto the Stand. Eyepiece/Accessory Tray is on the pier (60,455 bytes).
Click on the image to see enlarged view (220,110 bytes)

  • Tristand Head: may be purchased apart from the Pier by those who intend to attach it onto a permanent post, or with the optional Tilt Plate Adapter attach it onto a suitable third party tripod.

  • Low Latitude Wedge: installs between Head and Pier to increase useful range of use from 4 to 64 degrees.

  • Casters: set of three machined Plates and Casters which attach onto the leg tips. Casters are provided with locks.

  • Leveling Feet: geared screw with hand knobs which install at tip of legs to permit Pier fine leveling adjustment.

  • Company Seven can provide an alternate height Stand with legs for those who wish to use their Equatorial Wedge when seated or when standing.

  • Tristand (and Astropier) Head Riser: the Sun will rise to it’s highest elevation in the sky near noon each day, in our Washington D.C. area for example the Sun can rise up to 74 degrees above the horizon on the day of the Summer Solstice. In June of 2017 Mr. D. Illig, one of our local clients, was preparing to image the coming August 21 Total Solar Eclipses. He noticed that when his large Canon EOS digital SLR camera was attached to his Questar 3-½ telescope, the end of the Tristand Head Elevation Axis hinders pointing the Questar 3-½ telescope high enough to reach the Sun.

    We at Company Seven have been offering the Tristand for some decades with only one other client ever before experiencing this limitation, he was operating a Nikon film camera with Motor Drive and Intervalometer attached to the Questar 3-½ on the Tristand. For him we had developed an extension that could be attached onto the Tristand Head platform to raise the telescope and increase clearance.

    Given the increasing bulk of DSLR cameras, in 2017 we revised our prior solution and now manufacture a riser to permit extra clearance. Company Seven’s Tristand Head Riser allows a Questar 3-½ telescope with larger cameras or other payload attached to point up to higher elevations of the sky. Company Seven’s Tristand Head Riser fully matches the material and finish of the Tristand furthermore, this does not compromise rigidity or stability of an attached telescope.


Approx. Eyepiece Height: 41 inches (104 cm)
Stored Height: 26 inches (66 cm)
Standard Latitude Range: 26 to 90 Degrees
Stand Leg Spread Extended: 28 inches (71cm), point to point
Tristand Weight: 15 lbs. (6.8 kg)

Number of packages Two: Head and Pier/Legs
Package 1 Dimension 13 x 13 x 18 inches (33 x 33 x 45 cm)
Package 2 Dimension 13 x 13 x 31 inches (33 x 33 x 78 cm)
Package 1 Weight: 9 lbs. (4 kg)
Package 2 Weight: 23 lbs. (11 kg)


Astropier (114,780 bytes) Right: Astropier with provided Accessory Tray, shown with legs extended and locked (114,780 bytes).
The Astropier and Tristand share the same model of Head and lower legs section, only the pier length differs.
Click on the image to see enlarged view (166,675 bytes)

Height from Ground to Level Platform**: 47 inches (119 cm)
Approx. Eyepiece Height**: 57 inches (145cm)
Standard Latitude Range: 26 to 90 Degrees
Stand Leg Spread Extended: 28 inches (71cm), point to point
Weight: 28.8 lbs. (13.1 kg)

Number of packages Two: Head and Pier/Legs
Package 1 Dimension 13 x 13 x 18 inches (33 x 33 x 45 cm)
Package 2 Dimension 13 x 13 x 40 inches (33 x 33 x 102 cm)
Package 1 Weight: 9 lbs. (4 kg)
Package 2 Weight: 29 lbs. (13.2 kg)

* Specifications are subject to change without notice.
** For customers who are very tall we can build an even taller Pier, about 1 foot higher. Please inquire for additional details and pricing.

For more information about how to work your way through the decision making process of choosing and specifying a Questar 3-½" telescope, the common accessories, and desirable options please feel free to call us or send an E-mail inquiry, or visit our showroom. You may find more help by referring to the articles in our Questar Library section on line.


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