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Wooden surveyors tripod or aluminum?

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#1 Friendly Giant

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 08:29 PM

Hello:

I've been using a 10" dob as my only scope for a couple of years now so I've never needed to concern myself with buying a tripod/mount. I've now finally bought my first refractor (an 80mm f/9.5...24" long and 9lbs), so now I'm trying to pick the right tripod and alt/az mount combination for this scope.

I've heard alot said about the importance of a good mount to hold the scope steady and to make observing comfortable, so even though my scope is rather modest now, I'd rather pick up a decent tripod that will still serve me well should I later decide to move up to a larger (4"+ ) refractor.

A lot of the tripods we see being sold are aluminum tube tripods (Bogen, Manfrotto, etc...), but I also see (often wooden) surveyer tripods (eg: Oberwerk). I'm wondering if people could comment on the advantages / disadvantages of the two types. Would a wooden surveyers tripod be more stable? Why would someone buy one over the other?

#2 Bryguy

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 08:58 PM

I've always been told that wood dampens vibrations better than metal/ aluminum. I don't know about carbon fiber.

#3 Darron Spohn

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:27 AM

Wood does damp vibration better than metal, although the differences are minimal. But at high powers every little bit helps. Metal is also a better conductor of heat than wood, which means wood is not as cold to the touch on those chilly nights and will not get coated in dew as soon as metal.

That said, many people use metal tripods quite successfully and happily. Metal tripods are less expensive, which leaves more money for the mount.

#4 pennyandchris

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 03:52 PM

My alt-az mount is on a 'no name' wooden surveyor's tripod and it's great. A lot more reasonably priced than some.

#5 Lenardo

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 11:31 PM

actually the metal seems colder DUE To the increased heat absorbtion, the wood is the Same Temp, just that it is a significantly better insulator than metal, thus the wood does not "feel" as cold

that said, both work fine, either wood or metal

#6 johnfdean

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 10:01 AM

wood

#7 Darron Spohn

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 11:09 PM

actually the metal seems colder DUE To the increased heat absorbtion, the wood is the Same Temp, just that it is a significantly better insulator than metal, thus the wood does not "feel" as cold

that said, both work fine, either wood or metal

Thank you for translating my opaque geek speak into common English. :goodjob:

#8 SteveG

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 04:27 PM

Wood most definitely. There is a nice set sold here:
http://handsonoptics...03e82c25610f770

But the surveyors type is better for stability. Turned my already good SP mount into a rock stable platform.

Here's mine:

Attached Files



#9 DLB242

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:35 PM

Nice tripod Steve where did you get it?

#10 roscoe

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:55 PM

Many wood surveyors' tripods are painted - orange and white is pretty common - but under that paint is a nice looking wood scope mount. There's always zip-strip........

Russ

ps. Fiberglas tripods tend to have the color built in.......and of wood, metal, and fiberglas, they are definitely the heaviest and most bomb-proof.






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