Sunday, January 19, 2020

QuInsight the Telrad successor

QuInsight is the newest telescope pointing device leveraging the collimator principle similar to the Telrad. It has been designed and manufactured in 2019 by Rob Brown. Rob has a background in Optics engineering and owns a 3D printer which he is using to produce components of Quinsight.

I believe the QuInsight design is the best thing happened to the Telrad idea in the past 40 years (since the Telrad invention).
The primary advantage of the QuInsight is the largest field of view covered with the collimated reticle. That allows to use it as reliably as the Telrad in less favorable observing conditions when you cannot find enough stars visible naked eye to get into the close proximity to the collimated reticle pattern for matching with the star chart. The pattern of QuInsight is much larger than of the Telrad. Its outmost ring is 16 degrees in diameter v.s. just 4 degrees of the Telrad. So it's much easier to "net" a couple of stars and have the telescope pointed with very good accuracy, but most importantly reliably, as there is no third-party estimation of the target location involved, just real stars.

Other advantages

  1. Tall tower design which eliminates the need of a separate raiser many Telrad Users have to use.
  2. External reticle alignment mechanism, which eliminates the reticle hiking out of the perfect collimation (common Telrad issue causing the visible parallax).
  3. Better (Lographmic scale) brightness potentiometer.
  4. Noticeably better optics.
  5. Rotating reticle. So you can manually align its lines with the horizon or celestial equator if desired.

One more little touch worth mentioning: the white plastic screw holding the reticle angle is semitransparent, so when QuInsight is On it glows a little bit, so you will notice if forgot to turn it off after use (Telrad is well known for that issue).

I have immediately created a special module for the DSO Planner star charting app to display and adjust sizes of the QuInsight reticle on the chart for testing its properties in the field, have 3D printed my own quick-release mount construction to put it on my Z12,

and found it extremely effective observing in the Sierra a couple of times (so far). So the plan now is to integrate it with the upcoming release of DSO Planner a.s.a.p. to treat app's users with this new truly awesome gadget support.

Overall, the Quinsight is rather lightweight and very well engineered to withstand the abuse. It's easy to disassemble for maintenance and modding. Rob is definitely listening to users (for example, I'm a bit concerned about multiple sharp corners of the base compartment, so I plan to help Rob with the design of a bit smoother shape for it). It's relatively easy to accommodate minor design improvements/alterations using the 3D printer. Also, I must note the very good quality of prints Rob has achieved by now.

It's a perpetually evolving design so far. The recent addon idea Rob has is the folding dew shield lid:

To order QuInsight

Just reach out to Rob on Facebook and he will print it for you along with the personal mounting base (or multiple bases) to fit your telescope OTA perfectly for around $60.

Some Data

  • Weight fully loaded ready to go 308g (~11oz)
  • Height 10"+ (with basic base)
  • Base 3" x 3" or 2.2" x 2.8" (battery box)

To Do:

  1. Play with the mounting spot for QuInsight on the z12 OTA (remove Telrad bracket first).
  2. Design a smoother shaped battery base with quick-release features.
  3. Design and 3D print a protective storage case.
  4. USB power mod.
  5. Blinker mod.
  6. Eye guard attachment.

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