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Sphinx vs. CGEM vs. GM-8 vs. ??? for TV-85 AP

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#26 Renae Gage

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:23 AM

Do you have the 110 or the 130 tripod?

#27 adamsp123

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 04:44 AM

My photo above shows the half pillar on the HAL 130 Tripod, you can also spot the cut out on the left hand side.

#28 Luigi

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 06:21 AM

I've found the tripod is often a weak link in terms of stability in these smaller mounts. One reason I went for the CG5 over a Vixen or GM-8 when downsizing from my G11 was its stout tripod. I imagine the Vixen pillar would help by allowing the legs to be kept short.

#29 Taylor

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:01 AM

You would be surprised how stable the HAL tripods are.
They may look like the flimsy aluminum models from GP clones of a few years ago, but it is much more sold and stable than those. There is a member doing 2 min subs unguided with an 8" SC on his stock tripod, so they're more stable than you think.
Dampening time is <1s when focusing with both of my scopes.

#30 jrcrilly

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 11:07 AM

You would be surprised how stable the HAL tripods are.


Yes, I know that folks have been surprised at the stability of the HAL tripods I've owned. As you say, the lightweight Chinese tripods provided with so many mounts over the years have given aluminum tripods an undeservedly bad reputation.

#31 Renae Gage

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:16 PM

Yes, we all know how flimsy aluminum framed automobiles are...

:roflmao:

#32 Luigi

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 02:19 PM

>>>Yes, we all know how flimsy aluminum framed automobiles are<<<

The G11 tripod is aluminum and incredibly stout (and perhaps a bit more relevant?). :grin: Size for size, steel is 3x stiffer, but weight for weight they're about even. But that's really only part of the story. :lol:

For tripods, the choice of material doesn't much matter as long as the design is sound and appropriate for load.

#33 Taylor

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:50 PM

Once you get it in, unless you only plan on backyard observing, I recommend a Pelican 1600 case. I can easily fit everything I need into my Pelican and it keeps it all in one spot, and safe, when transporting from the garage to a dark site.
Also gives you the legendary protection of a Pelican.

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#34 donsinger1

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 06:50 PM

Not only is the Sphinx much lighter than the CGEM, it also considerably lightens your wallet compared to by buying a CG5ASGT, which is arguably at least as capable but lacking in cachet, IMO.


Lightness is a virtue, for the most part, but also can be a negative when imaging. I had lighter mounts in the past such as a GM8, but moved up to the CGEM for how stout and capable it appeared and it has not disappointed. It is not overbearing in terms of weight when you break it down into several pieces, which most people do. I use very light (carbon) refractors

When the stoutness and heft the mount excels over a lighter mount when imaging is when a breeze kicks up. Last night a moderate breeze came up while I was imaing The Veil Nebula, using 5 minute guided exposures. Over 3 hours, I only lost 5 images for a yield of 90%...if that had been my GM8, my yield at best would have been about 30%...big difference.

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