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LX200 Tripod Shrinkit Peterson

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#1 obiedick

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 02:23 PM

Who knows what to do to reduce the tripod height of a Meade field tripod (originally supplied) to a more comfortable viewing height without the Peterson stuff. Can you just saw the black parts away, remove the remaining parts inside and fit the black parts again?

Obiedick

#2 deezdrama

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 02:15 PM

I still have yet to shrink mine- I asked this same question and took at least a week to get an answer. In the meantime I welded up a nice short pier on wheels

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#3 deezdrama

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 02:25 PM

Anyway,
you must remove the top black castings from the legs first.
They are held together with an adhesive and was told you must either submerge the casting in a large pot of boiling water or use a heat gun and or torch to heat the casting up enough to soften the adhesive that holds your legs inside.

Once its heated up you need to secure the casting in a vice while prying/twisting/hammering/cursing the leg out of the casting.

After that you need to shorten the legs, the exact amount depends on your needs and applications. I would use a grinder with a cut-off wheel (faster)
Or a pipe cutter (slower but nicer cut)

After you get all the legs cut, you need to debur them and use a good metal 2 part epoxy and tap the legs back into the casting with a wooden or rubber mallet.

The peterson kit only comes with instructions and shorter spreader arms, you should be able to shorten the stock ones yourself without too much trouble, i was just going to cut the flat ends with holes off, then remove the amount of metal i needed and weld them back on, but you might be able to just cut them off at the length needed and drill a new hole in them.

I still plan to shrink mine soon- I plan on making it shorter than even the peterson kit can go- in order to add 4" caster wheels to the bottom.

Let me know how things work out for you

heres another pic- I wanted a way shorter setup

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#4 Skywatchr

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 05:17 PM

It's not that simple. Once you cut the legs down, you have to make shorter struts for the bottom of the legs since they will be too long. Knocking out the roll pins needs to be done very carefully so you don't break the castings. That's actually the hardest part. Getting the top castings off the legs is time consuming, but not that difficult. You just need enough heat to soften the adhesive, then take the time to clean off all the old adhesive and apply new adhesive. Or drill and thread the castings for screws to hold them on. The Peterson kit gives you not only the specific instructions, but also the punch to knock out the roll pins, new roll pins, and the shortened struts as well. You supply the heat, hammer, block of wood, and the sweat-equity. :grin: The kit is worth it to have all the necessary hardware.

Jeff

#5 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 12:54 AM

Why not get a rigid tripod with adjustable legs, such as the Quick-Set Hercules or Gibraltar, or the Houston Fearless, CECO, National Camera,Quick Set etc. Mitchell top all metal crutch leg types used for microwave relays, and for heavy studio
TV cameras in days of yore, rated for 400 lbs., but only weigh about 30 lbs or fewer,have dual tip spike and pad leg ends ? I have used them for years,made lots of adapters for mounting big binoculars, ( and have too many tripods). This is the tripod you see on the sidelines at major sports events broadcasts.

The lighter duty, but substantial( particularly when the elevating column is low and locked) Hercules and the elevating Gibraltar ( only 200 lb rated), are not hard to find.

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#6 Skywatchr

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:25 AM

They just don't compare to the Meade Giant Field Tripod. You need the weight to help with the COG with a heavy scope on top.

Jeff

#7 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 04:37 PM

In Hollywood and the broadcast industry they use detachable weights to lower the center of gravity. There must be a reason why the studios have not chosen Celestron or Meade tripods to support their jibs. Portability with rigidity are definite pluses in a production environment. Cost is secondary for them. Those professional tripods are expensive new, but not so much used(or I would not have them).

I see that Losmandy now has a folding version of his heavy duty tripod. He (or rather his recent immigrant staff, at least a few years ago) make parallelogram jibs for movie camera support.

#8 Skywatchr

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 07:26 PM

Yes, the reason they use them is because they are specifically made for the movie industry, and not to mount a telescope to. The Meade tripod is specifically made to mount a telescope, not a movie camera. That's why they don't use Meade or Celestron tripods. They aren't made for their "Hollywood" purpose. I had one of those Hercules at one time and it jiggled like jello with a 12" SCT with wedge. The Meade tripod was much less "jello-like" and dampened out much faster. But if it works for you, I'm happy for you. :grin:

Jeff

#9 obiedick

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:50 PM

nice pier you made. once i made one myselve for my old C8, but now i want to shrink te Meade tripod. i'm afraid boiling legs is not my stile.

thanks for your reply. to be continued.

Obiedick

#10 deezdrama

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 05:28 PM

It's not that simple. Once you cut the legs down, you have to make shorter struts for the bottom of the legs since they will be too long. Knocking out the roll pins needs to be done very carefully so you don't break the castings. That's actually the hardest part.


Struts is what I meant - i called them spreaders for a loss of words :tonofbricks:

This thread made me get the ball rolling- last night I popped the pins out with a hole punch- wasnt bad at all, I have a garage full of bolts and stuff- I think I will just replace the pins with bolts. Not sure if i will just shorten the struts or replace the strut bars with chains.

To the OP....
When I get to removing the castings via heat application- I will let you know which way worked out best for me.

#11 Skywatchr

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 10:15 PM

Using a propane (or Mapp gas) torch will be better and faster than boiling water. Just don't get the flame too close to burn the paint.

Jeff

#12 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 01:52 PM

I agree that a Hercules, especially with the column extended, has weight limits consistent with stability. But they are more stable than the Linhof Pro which Questar featured a few decades ago.

I should have excluded the Hercules and probably its big brother, the rising column Gibraltar, from the comparison. What I said definitely applies to the Houston Fearless style 400 lb. rated types, such as the ITV and the Houston Fearless in the picture. One can literally stand upon and bounce on those. They were made not so much for movie camera use as for microwave telemetry paraboloidal dishes and big, heavy early model studio television cameras in the 1950's and early 1960's.






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