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


Tristand Head close up (30,479 bytes)

The Tilt Plate Adapter is Questar's designation for an adapter plate that was introduced in 2008 to permit customers to attach the optional Tristand or Astropier Head onto a suitable tripod or a fixture that is equipped with either a 1/4 inch - 20 tpi or 3/8 inch 16 tpi bolt.

Company Seven writes about this Tilt Plate Adapter with the thought that some of our customers may wish to attach their Tristand Head onto a permanently installed wood post or metal pier and for that use then this can be ideal. It is also possible that some of our customers have already bought a larger capacity well made photo tripods that may manage the anticipated payload, or that may be even more practical for their travels than the Tristand's tripod.

To use this plate simply install the plate onto the tripod or fixture, ten slide the round open base of the Tristand Head over this plate and tighten the Head retaining bolts (as if one were installing the head onto its pier) so that this is snug. The perimeter of the plate is milled with a 5/8 inch wide groove that corresponds to the grip ring of the Tristand Head; this helps to assure that even if the Tristand bolts loosen somewhat due temperature change, etc. that the head should not come off.

Right: Tilt Plate Adapter showing the 3/8-16 threaded socket and the grooved edge (30,479 bytes).
Click on the image to see enlarged view (113,200 bytes)

Construction This adapter is precisely machined from 6061-T6 aluminum stock which is anodized black. On one side at center is the 1/4 inch - 20 tpi threaded socket, and on the opposite side of the plate also centered is the 3/8 inch 16 tpi opening. We recommend that any hardware used on this either be stainless steel or brass.


    1. Company Seven is very concerned that this plate has a 1/4 inch - 20 tpi threaded socket because we do not trust that it is safe to rely on only one 1/4 inch bolt to support the Tristand Head with a $5,000 instrument, and one that may also have a variety of optional accessories attached onto it. Furthermore, any Field Tripod that is so small or cheap that it provides only the 1/4-20 bolt to attach a head will almost certainly not provide the necessary stability and rigidity to operate an instrument as capable as the Questar is.

    Instead we urge customer to use nothing less than the provided 3/8-16 bolt to secure the Questar. In fact it may be desirable to have a machine shop drill out the ill suited 1/4-20 threaded hole to tap and thread this for the even larger Surveyors Tripod threads such as 5/8 inch - 11 tpi. These surveyors tripods can be had for comparatively modest prices.

    2. Company Seven urges our customers to be certain they secure this plate properly and firmly onto the 3/8-16 bolt. And the Tristand must be firmly attached to this plate. Otherwise, if either component works loose then the entire Tristand Head with its attached telescope may fall off.

    Ideally the bolt should protrude from a surface that is about 4-1/2 inches in diameter so that this plate rests onto a firm platform and will not wobble. A thin sheet layer of cork sandwiched between this adapter plate and the platform upon which it is installed can be helpful too.

Company Seven recommends our customers should not try to 'get by on the cheap' by thinking this hardware with a camera tripod will be a less expensive alternative the a truly satisfactory platform like the Tristand portable tripod pier. We know of few camera tripods that are as rigid and as handy as the Tristand Pier with its accessory tray, and certainly no camera tripod is as robust and durable as that provided with the Tristand. And do not forget, most camera tripods are designed to manage lenses of of possibly 600mm or up to 1200mm (about 28x) focal lengths; these camera lenses are operating at comparatively modest magnifications when compared to the hundreds of X that the Questar can deliver.

Diameter: 4-7/16 inches (112.7 mm)
Thickness: 1 inch (25 mm)
Weight: 1 lb. 7.3 oz (0.7 kg)

* Specifications are subject to change without notice.

For more information about how to work your way through the decision making process of choosing and specifying a Questar 3-1/2" 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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