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#1 skybsd

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 07:21 PM

Hello,
I'm considering getting a portable pier to use with my AP900GTO mount for trips away from home, and I'd like some information and guidance, please.

My initial thoughts were to use my G11 HD-Tripod (I've already got the necessary AP adapter that works fine, by the way) plates for the AP, and although it works fine - the Losmandy tripod does take some assembling and breakdown.

I'll admit to the tripod set up / disassembly to be quite sucky, really - so I'm looking for something a bit more straight-forward.

So here's the thing - I see the following: -
ATS Portable Piers at $1995 + Custom pier adapter + Shipping
Pier-Tech Tri-Pier-1 at $1500 + Custom pier plate + Shipping
PWT Pinnacle Piers at $2690 + Custom plate + Shipping

and I have to ask myself - are both the PWT and ATS portable piers really that much better than the Pier-Tech Tri-Pier-1s?

Is there something that I'm missing? I'd appreciate some insights, please.

By the way, that "Shipping" = to the UK, if this may be a factor in any responses..,

Thanks.

Regards,

skybsd

#2 M13 Observer

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 08:44 PM

Tri-pier - portable - yeah, right! You related to Strongman Mike in Australia?

PWT anything. Ummm, ok, might be nice stuff. I had a Pinnacle, no a Monolith LT, no a Pinnacle, no a . . . well, never mind. It was over 3 years and I never received a tripod. My order has long since been canceled.

ATS, ok stuff, but why not just save yourself a ton of money, and a ton of weight at the same time and get yourself a TRI36M tripod made by Rob Miller of Catamount systems. e-mail him at his address on the Catamount web page and I am sure he will send you lots of nice pics and specifications and prices. My TRI36M weighs an astounding 13.4 pounds, is beautifully made, and is solid like a rock. For around $800 or less you just can't lose.


Hello,
I'm considering getting a portable pier to use with my AP900GTO mount for trips away from home, and I'd like some information and guidance, please.

My initial thoughts were to use my G11 HD-Tripod (I've already got the necessary AP adapter that works fine, by the way) plates for the AP, and although it works fine - the Losmandy tripod does take some assembling and breakdown.

I'll admit to the tripod set up / disassembly to be quite sucky, really - so I'm looking for something a bit more straight-forward.

So here's the thing - I see the following: -
ATS Portable Piers at $1995 + Custom pier adapter + Shipping
Pier-Tech Tri-Pier-1 at $1500 + Custom pier plate + Shipping
PWT Pinnacle Piers at $2690 + Custom plate + Shipping

and I have to ask myself - are both the PWT and ATS portable piers really that much better than the Pier-Tech Tri-Pier-1s?

Is there something that I'm missing? I'd appreciate some insights, please.

By the way, that "Shipping" = to the UK, if this may be a factor in any responses..,

Thanks.

Regards,

skybsd



#3 DeanS

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 09:09 PM

I like my G11 pier since it can be very flexible for height and leveling on uneven ground.

#4 skybsd

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:56 AM

Hi Dean,
Good to hear from you..,

I like my G11 pier since it can be very flexible for height and leveling on uneven ground.


Yes - the adjustability of the HD-Tripod to unlevel ground is the primary reason for my keeping the tripod after selling off my G11.

However, since the arrival of the AP, I'm now really not liking the assembly / disassembly routine required before and after setting up, really. In fact, its bordering on "loathing" now :crazy:

Regards,

skybsd

#5 skybsd

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:09 AM

Hello,
Good to hear from you- thanks for getting back to me..,

[quote name="M13 Observer"]Tri-pier - portable - yeah, right! You related to Strongman Mike in Australia? [/quote]


I take it the Tri-Pier is heavy? I don't know, I couldn't find any information on Pier-Tech's site that confirms how much they weigh.., I'll email them again, though.

Appreciate the heads up.


[quote] PWT anything. Ummm, ok, might be nice stuff. I had a Pinnacle, no a Monolith LT, no a Pinnacle, no a . . . well, never mind. It was over 3 years and I never received a tripod. My order has long since been canceled. [/quote]


Yeah - I had similar experiences with PWT where communications simply stopped and I never heard anything again.., Did you yourself cancel your order, or was it the other way around?

The last I heard about PWT was that they were discontinuing production of all astro-related products except for the tripods.


[quote] ATS, ok stuff, but why not just save yourself a ton of money, and a ton of weight at the same time and get yourself a TRI36M tripod made by Rob Miller of Catamount systems. e-mail him at his address on the Catamount web page and I am sure he will send you lots of nice pics and specifications and prices. My TRI36M weighs an astounding 13.4 pounds, is beautifully made, and is solid like a rock. For around $800 or less you just can't lose. [/quote]


Well., similar to my experiences with PWT, I did try contacting Mr. Miller months ago on seeing his ads on Astromart, but never got replies to my email.

I wanted to confirm whether or not his tripods are actually height adjustable. Information and photos on Astromart are exactly clear in showing this, nor do his adverts provide details on how this is done.

I can try contacting him again.

Thanks again..,

Regards,

skybsd


[quote]Hello,
I'm considering getting a portable pier to use with my AP900GTO mount for trips away from home, and I'd like some information and guidance, please.

My initial thoughts were to use my G11 HD-Tripod (I've already got the necessary AP adapter that works fine, by the way) plates for the AP, and although it works fine - the Losmandy tripod does take some assembling and breakdown.

I'll admit to the tripod set up / disassembly to be quite sucky, really - so I'm looking for something a bit more straight-forward.

So here's the thing - I see the following: -
ATS Portable Piers at $1995 + Custom pier adapter + Shipping
Pier-Tech Tri-Pier-1 at $1500 + Custom pier plate + Shipping
PWT Pinnacle Piers at $2690 + Custom plate + Shipping

and I have to ask myself - are both the PWT and ATS portable piers really that much better than the Pier-Tech Tri-Pier-1s?

Is there something that I'm missing? I'd appreciate some insights, please.

By the way, that "Shipping" = to the UK, if this may be a factor in any responses..,

Thanks.

Regards,

skybsd [/quote] [/quote]

#6 frolinmod

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:15 AM

I've recently been using the Catamount Systems TRI36H here with a Paramount ME. So far, so good. No portable pier or tripod that I have ever owned is lighter weight or easier to set up and tear down than the TRI36H. This thing is easy to carry and a breeze to use. The only thing I do not like about it is the design of the very bottom of the tripod legs. They're going to wear excessively if they ever come into direct contact with the ground. I'm putting carpet between the ground and the tripod. My Astro-Physics portable pier is more of an indestructible work horse by comparison.

#7 skybsd

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:25 AM

Hi,

I've recently been using the Catamount Systems TRI36H here with a Paramount ME. So far, so good. The only thing I do not like about it is the design of the very bottom of the tripod legs. They're going to wear excessively if they ever come into direct contact with the ground. I'm putting carpet between the ground and the tripod. My Astro-Physics portable pier is more of an indestructible work horse by comparison.


Thanks for that..,

Can you confirm whether or not these tripods are actually height adjustable, please? If they are, how exactly is this done? Sorry - its just not clear in the adverts, nor is the website very useful.

I recall also asking Rob Miller about the lack of feet or landing pads for the tripod legs, but as I said, I never got any replies to my email to him.

Thanks again! Much appreciated..,

Regards,

skybsd

#8 M13 Observer

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:37 AM

I take it the Tri-Pier is heavy? I don't know, I couldn't find any information on Pier-Tech's site that confirms how much they weigh.., I'll email them again, though.


Yes, very heavy.


Yeah - I had similar experiences with PWT where communications simply stopped and I never heard anything again.., Did you yourself cancel your order, or was it the other way around?
The last I heard about PWT was that they were discontinuing production of all astro-related products except for the tripods.


I canceled the order myself. It is a tripod. If it couldn't be made in 3 plus years it won't get made.


Well., similar to my experiences with PWT, I did try contacting Mr. Miller months ago on seeing his ads on Astromart, but never got replies to my email.

I wanted to confirm whether or not his tripods are actually height adjustable. Information and photos on Astromart are exactly clear in showing this, nor do his adverts provide details on how this is done.


What do you mean by adjustable height? None of the others you have mentioned are designed as height adjustable. The Catamount Tripod is fixed height as are the ATS, the Pinnacle, etc. As with them, some very minor height adjustment can be done by opening and closing the legs somewhat but leg adjustments are mainly for leveling. 4" pier extensions are available if you require them. Other than that, you are going to have to look at something else portable pier/tripod wise.

Odd that you didn't get a reply. He has shipped quite a number of units so far and I keep seeing replies from other people mentioning their specific tripods so . . . maybe something on your end which is discarding his replies?

I also would like to see a better foot pad arrangement with a separate domed foot. As well, the micro-adjust feet should be available very soon. I have two tripods, a a TRI36L and a TRI36M and I find them to be superb.


#9 mewmartigan

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:53 AM

I was debating the same thing and I ended up putting down a deposit on one of the Rob Miller TRI36L tripods. I contacted him via the email he provided on the Astromart ad.

The tripod seems to get good reviews from those who have them, Rob seems to have an extensive background in mounts and tripods and the cost fit right inbetween the AP portable pier and the Eagle.
Hopefully I will take delivery of mine in April....now if I could only get that Mach1 to sit on it :)

To the OP, the heights are fixed, the TRI36 being 36 inches. There is 4" of play as M13 said. Rob told me the tripod leg levelers (flat feet for the tripod) would be available starting in April. He will also do custom heights for additional cost if you want something taller. Or pier extensions (up to 12") for longer tubes.

The idea of a sturdy, well made, lightweight, portable tripod was too good to pass up over the not-quite-as-portable-as-i-would-like AP portable pier. Eagle and the ones listed in the first post are way out of my price range.

#10 gdd

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 10:36 AM

Pier-Tech also makes the portable and height adjustable Tri-Pier-2 and the stationary height adjustable Pier-Tech-2.

Gale

#11 skybsd

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:47 AM

Hello,
Good to hear from you again..,

I take it the Tri-Pier is heavy? I don't know, I couldn't find any information on Pier-Tech's site that confirms how much they weigh.., I'll email them again, though.


Yes, very heavy.



Yeah - I got that sense from your previous response., I just got back confirmation of the weights via Pier-Tech's Faq Page


Yeah - I had similar experiences with PWT where communications simply stopped and I never heard anything again.., Did you yourself cancel your order, or was it the other way around?
The last I heard about PWT was that they were discontinuing production of all astro-related products except for the tripods.


I canceled the order myself. It is a tripod. If it couldn't be made in 3 plus years it won't get made.



Can't argue with that.., That's a shame though - they do look great.


Well., similar to my experiences with PWT, I did try contacting Mr. Miller months ago on seeing his ads on Astromart, but never got replies to my email.

I wanted to confirm whether or not his tripods are actually height adjustable. Information and photos on Astromart are exactly clear in showing this, nor do his adverts provide details on how this is done.


What do you mean by adjustable height? None of the others you have mentioned are designed as height adjustable. The Catamount Tripod is fixed height as are the ATS, the Pinnacle, etc. As with them, some very minor height adjustment can be done by opening and closing the legs somewhat but leg adjustments are mainly for leveling. 4" pier extensions are available if you require them. Other than that, you are going to have to look at something else portable pier/tripod wise.



Sorry if it wasn't clear. My field requirements include the ability to level the tripod on uneven ground.

The Pier-Tech Tri-Piers are adjustable - from the Faq: "The leg assembly comes with 3 castors for mobility and 3 leveling feet for leveling the pier." - which I like.

The ATS Portable Pier has;
"Turnbuckle adjusters between the pier base and legs provide for precise leveling adjustments on uneven terrain"

PWT similarly:
"We designed the Pinnacle System with both the visual and ccd imagers in mind. Whether you are a visual or CCD imager, you will appreciate the easy setup, individually adjustable legs for leveling the Pinnacle on all types of terrain including uneven ground. Like Monolith, we also build-in a fine height adjustment into each foot. Pinnacle adapts to any terrain."


Odd that you didn't get a reply. He has shipped quite a number of units so far and I keep seeing replies from other people mentioning their specific tripods so . . . maybe something on your end which is discarding his replies?



I'm pretty sure there's no problem on my end - I get responses from other astro vendors fine otherwise. I've emailed him again today, hopefully I'll get a reply this time around.


I also would like to see a better foot pad arrangement with a separate domed foot. As well, the micro-adjust feet should be available very soon. I have two tripods, a a TRI36L and a TRI36M and I find them to be superb.


The "micro-adjust" feet sounds like what I'm looking for - I wish the website had more information about the tripods though. It'd make evaluating the tripods so much easier..,

Thanks again.

Regards,

skysbd

#12 skybsd

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:54 AM

Hello,
FYI, I've just had a reply from Rob Miller.

Regards,

skysbd

#13 SPACEMAN

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 06:19 PM

if you want quality: one adres: http://www.astro-ele....de/stative.htm

#14 skybsd

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 06:39 PM

Hello,

if you want quality: one adres: http://www.astro-ele....de/stative.htm


Thanks - as someone who already owns Berlebachs, if I were looking for a wood based solution, I'd have already went with a Berlebach Sky.

Regards,

skybsd

#15 nemo129

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:19 PM

So skybsd...when are we going to get to see a picture of your AP900GTO?? My apologies if you have already posted it somewhere. I will have to check the "show us a picture of your mount" thread! Good luck with the search for a portable pier.
Cheers!

#16 skybsd

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:42 PM

Hi Kirk,
I've PM'd you.

Thanks.

Regards,

skybsd

#17 gnowellsct

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:58 PM

ATS pier is great but not appreciably faster to set up than a Losmandy HD. If you want terrain adjustability: the ATS pier gives you some latitude to adjust things like bumps on uneven grass.

The G11 HD gives you probably as much height adjustment as there is to be had. You can set up on the side of a hill (I have: two legs down and "long," uphill leg short).

Greg N

#18 frolinmod

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:06 PM

Can you confirm whether or not these tripods are actually height adjustable, please?

The TRI36H can be adjusted from 30-inches to 36-inches in height. The height is determined by how far you spread the legs.

#19 M13 Observer

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:23 AM

Can you confirm whether or not these tripods are actually height adjustable, please?

The TRI36H can be adjusted from 30-inches to 36-inches in height. The height is determined by how far you spread the legs.


. . . and don't forget that you can order them in virtually any reasonable height you wish. The main leg length is not limited to 36 inches.

Just to let you know where I am coming from, I think I have run through virtually ALL the portable piers/tripods. I have had two different versions of the AP portable piers, a 10" ATS pier with 12" extension, a Berlebach UNI configured for a Mach1GTO, a couple of carbon fiber Gitzo, one of which I still have, a gorgeous PWT 10x42 Monolith, a Binoscope Company "Tall" tripod with Malco AP900 plate, and now Rob Miller's TRI36L and TRI36M.

I am finally finished looking for the perfect portable tripods and if Rob gets the feet, tray extensions and pier extensions to me soon, I'll be posting a report with a lot of pics! The TRI36M and TRI36L are incredible tripods for their design. I have to admit, the PWT Monolith is still my favourite tripod except for one thing - the weight. When I was younger and could handle the 55 plus pounds with relative ease, I would never consider trading it in for anything else. The Catamount tripods are very close to the same quality and incredibly light weight.

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#20 SPACEMAN

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:11 AM

A Berlebach tripod is nothing compared to the STATIV 40 from astroelectronic.

#21 skybsd

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 04:50 AM

Hi Greg,
Good to hear from you..,

ATS pier is great but not appreciably faster to set up than a Losmandy HD. If you want terrain adjustability: the ATS pier gives you some latitude to adjust things like bumps on uneven grass.



Yes - I'm primarily interested in being able to adjust each leg to combat against uneven ground.

The G11 HD gives you probably as much height adjustment as there is to be had. You can set up on the side of a hill (I have: two legs down and "long," uphill leg short).



Having owned a G11 and still owning the HD-Tripod, I'm well aware of what it can do, but I'm just not liking the assembly / disassembly required when on the road. I've come to really appreciate the the simplicity of just folding in the legs, and carrying everything away in one go.

Regards,

skybsd

#22 skybsd

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 04:52 AM

Hello,
I'm sure they're nice, but like I said, this is not what I'm after for my set up.

Thanks.

Regards,

skybsd

#23 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:14 PM

Having owned a G11 and still owning the HD-Tripod, I'm well aware of what it can do, but I'm just not liking the assembly / disassembly required when on the road. I've come to really appreciate the the simplicity of just folding in the legs, and carrying everything away in one go.



How about FHD, Foldable HD tripod?
It is more robust than HD and easier packing/unpacking but it is heavier.

Tammy

#24 skybsd

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:37 PM

Hi Tamiji,
Good to hear from you..,

Having owned a G11 and still owning the HD-Tripod, I'm well aware of what it can do, but I'm just not liking the assembly / disassembly required when on the road. I've come to really appreciate the the simplicity of just folding in the legs, and carrying everything away in one go.



How about FHD, Foldable HD tripod?
It is more robust than HD and easier packing/unpacking but it is heavier.

Tammy


Yes - I did think about this one. Its my reluctant last resort, really.

I've heard from Rob Miller and will hope to hear back from him on the outstanding questions I had concerning the micro-leveling solution he is developing for his tripods..,

Thanks.

Regards,

skybsd

#25 frolinmod

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:13 PM

I've heard from Rob Miller and will hope to hear back from him on the outstanding questions I had concerning the micro-leveling solution he is developing for his tripods..,

Please post whatever he tells you here. I've also asked for more information on those micro levelers and so far have heard very little back from Rob. I see that the Bisque Bros. are now selling a tripod very similar to Rob's tripod, but at twice the price. You can see a picture of it on their website in the Paramount MX info section. Theirs has a leveler knob on each foot.







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