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CGE Tripod Leg Question

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#1 Trebor777

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 03:34 PM

I picked up a used CGE. I can extend 1 tripod leg easily, but the other 2 I can't extend by hand and need my huge pliers to wiggle them, even then it's still hard to get loose and get the legs out. Now, I need to be able to level the tripod/mount. With 2 legs easily able to adjust, I'd be able to make due, but with only 1 leg adjusting correctly, leveling the tripod will be a challenge/impossible.

I tried putting some Super Lube in the part where the lower section goes into the upper section, but that didn't help much at all.

Would it be worth it to try to take the tripod legs apart (the 2 giving me issues)? And seeing what's the issue?

Trying to level the CGE tripod w/ the mount on there would be impossible in the field, so some help is needed. Has anyone taken apart the tripod legs? Or had similar issues with te Tripod?

I'm also looking for a spare tripod spreader (the upper plastic one)

Thanx in advance.

#2 Arbacia

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 04:37 PM

try to disassembly the leg from the section where the knob is. There are two screws towards the center of the tripod. Once untight. Try to use a piece of wood on it and hit with a hammer on the piece of wood.

Probably you will work better is take the leg alone. To separate the leg from the tripod take off the two upper screws and the lower spider.

Good luck

Patricio

#3 Al Canarelli

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:03 PM

Here is what you need to do and this could be a tall order. The legs are binding because the inside legs (smaller diameter) are either bent or dented or the outside legs are bent or dented. In either case you MUST get the offending legs off and out completely. Once off, check for any damage and correct if you can. If not, get some sandpaper and sand the leg (inside legs) down completely. (You will find that the paint on the legs is very thick...almost like they were dipped in paint, which may be exactly what they do. Once all the paint is sanded off, repaint with a very light coat just to cover and allow to dry. When you reassemble the legs, they should work okay...if you're lucky and if your problem was in the small legs.

#4 Trebor777

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:11 PM

Do the orange knobs on the bottom of the legs screw off or do they pull off (after taking out the 2 set screws)??

I don't want to spend time trying to pull them off when they simply unscrew (or vice-versa).

And, should I even bother taking off those orange knobs?

#5 Trebor777

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:13 PM

Here is what you need to do and this could be a tall order. The legs are binding because the inside legs (smaller diameter) are either bent or dented or the outside legs are bent or dented. In either case you MUST get the offending legs off and out completely. Once off, check for any damage and correct if you can. If not, get some sandpaper and sand the leg (inside legs) down completely. (You will find that the paint on the legs is very thick...almost like they were dipped in paint, which may be exactly what they do. Once all the paint is sanded off, repaint with a very light coat just to cover and allow to dry. When you reassemble the legs, they should work okay...if you're lucky and if your problem was in the small legs.


I'm thinking it's the inside leg - probably from over tightening.

#6 Trebor777

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 06:36 PM

I'm all set - problem solved. Took me an hour.

The pic below are the 2 clutch pads that the screws that hold the extended tripod legs in place press against. Both of these were lodged inbetween the outer and inner leg causing them both to be stuck. There was also sand and dirt in there. (beach observing?). I inspected the inner and outer legs and they were both straight and not dinged or bent. I simply removed the clutch knobs all together, the set screws are good enough to hold the tripod legs extended. Plus, I'm not going to be extending them, I just needed to be able to do minor adjustments in order to level the tripod. Now ALL 3 legs work perfectly.

Anyhow, thanx for the info, it was easier then I thought and I'm REALLY HAPPY it wasn't the legs being bent or dinged. Hopefully this tiny thread will help other people out who have issues with tripod legs. Sometimes it's not what you think it is - it's loose components.

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#7 Arbacia

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 08:53 PM

GOOD!

#8 David Pavlich

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:01 PM

I'm all set - problem solved. Took me an hour.

The pic below are the 2 clutch pads that the screws that hold the extended tripod legs in place press against. Both of these were lodged inbetween the outer and inner leg causing them both to be stuck. There was also sand and dirt in there. (beach observing?). I inspected the inner and outer legs and they were both straight and not dinged or bent. I simply removed the clutch knobs all together, the set screws are good enough to hold the tripod legs extended. Plus, I'm not going to be extending them, I just needed to be able to do minor adjustments in order to level the tripod. Now ALL 3 legs work perfectly.

Anyhow, thanx for the info, it was easier then I thought and I'm REALLY HAPPY it wasn't the legs being bent or dinged. Hopefully this tiny thread will help other people out who have issues with tripod legs. Sometimes it's not what you think it is - it's loose components.


Yes sir, Randy, you found the offending piece. I found out early on with the first CGE I owned this bit of advice: DO NOT LOOSEN THE TRIPOD LEG EXTENSION KNOBS ANYMORE THAN IT NEEDED. Loosen them JUST ENOUGH to allow the legs to slip down. If you do this, the little brass slugs will stay put. Don't do it and you'll be taking the legs apart a lot. And as you found out, it is not fun. Congratulations on your first CGE tripod leg surgery! :grin:

David

#9 Trebor777

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 01:52 AM

Yes sir, Randy, you found the offending piece. I found out early on with the first CGE I owned this bit of advice: DO NOT LOOSEN THE TRIPOD LEG EXTENSION KNOBS ANYMORE THAN IT NEEDED. Loosen them JUST ENOUGH to allow the legs to slip down. If you do this, the little brass slugs will stay put. Don't do it and you'll be taking the legs apart a lot. And as you found out, it is not fun. Congratulations on your first CGE tripod leg surgery! :grin: David


Well, I actually had fun. I enjoy taking things apart, seeing how they work and putting them back together. It was my first CGE tripod leg surgery, and it should be my last.

Whoever designed the "slug", "clutch knob" (whatever it's called) encasement on the tripod wasn't thinking. All you have to do is turn the tripod upside down and those slugs/knobs can fall out and jam up the legs - (like when you're setting up/breaking down and moving the tripod). And they're not really even needed.

#10 Bowmoreman

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 07:47 AM

Glad to hear you got em working... When I bought it, the guy I bought it from told me that the legs were "stuck"... my guess is that it happened to him at some point in it's use...

Based on your (and David's) description of how it "works" (using that term loosely)... it sounds like those pads could even come loose in shipping, if things weren't properly torqued down...

The CGE is a great mount, but those couple of design :foreheadslap: moments (crummy RA/DEC cables, Tripod Leg tensioners, etc...) really make you question "what were they thinking?"... or "were they?"...

Kinda like some builders of $500K-$1M homes; then then cheapout on the silliest $1.50 parts!

Once again, glad it's working for you...that tripod only ever sat in the corner of my warm room taking up space :lol:

clear enough skies

#11 Arbacia

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 10:10 AM

crummy RA/DEC cables


I solve that problex using autoadhesive cable clamps. One near each extreme of the cable. For DEC cable another clamp one in the lateral of the AR chassis where the polar finder is placed. No further problems and extremely cheap.

The clamps are something like that:
http://www.cable-cla..._clamps_pic.jpg
http://news.thomasne.../539/539590.jpg
http://images.maplin...ll/sj201169.jpg

Patricio

#12 Bowmoreman

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 12:00 PM

Patricio - I did that and it worked fine for me in the warm season... but when it got down below 0C the stock cables were just too stiff...

Hence the incredibly cheap "Marty's Cables" from VPI - it cost more to ship them than they actually cost (from memory they were around $2.50 each)... they stay flexible in my experience already down to -25C...

Made the fixed "routing channel" approach redundant, although valuable for OTHER reasons ;)

I can see that in Madrid and other, much warmer climes than New England, that they may not be necessary...

But, for those of us in cold areas, extremely cheap insurance, and clearly better made than stock...

Clear enough skies

#13 Arbacia

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 01:31 PM

Dave, you are right about the temperature. Winter here don't use to be less than -10ºC, usually arround 0ºC (Madrid is 650m over sea)

Finally I prepared a high quality round cable from a serial cable (very soft indeed). Marty's cable are charged for about 20 dollars for shipment to Europe. I still looking for european distributors.

It is a pity that a very good mount comes with this flaw design in the cheapest componets. Moreover, a huge tripod tray with such a ridiculous space por EPs.

Patricio

#14 Trebor777

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 04:27 PM

Patrico, I didn't notice you were in Spain. I've kinda been there. I was in Tenerife in the summer of 2007. Beautiful Island. Though I say it's an African Island. But I do have my Spain stamp in my Passport. After spending 10 of the best days of my life in Tenerife, I then went to Poland for a week. One of my buddies always goes to Portugal, so maybe I'll tag along and we'll make a actual trip to Spain.






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