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AP1200 to Meade Giant Field Tripod

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#1 ZR WON

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:00 AM

All:

I'm trying to get things sorted out so I can order an AP1200 in the current run. One thing that Astro-Physics (who have been incredibly insightful and communicative) can't comment with authority on is an adapter to attach the AP1200 to a Mead Giant Field Tripod.

Before some of you ask 'why on earth would you do that,' let me explain. I intend to build an observatory in the short term, and it seems silly to buy a couple thousand dollar tripod from AP only to sell it for a loss in a few months.

AP claims that others have done this very thing, but the buyer has always taken care of the adapter. Their recommendation at this point is to either buy the 1200FSA (and use in conjunction with the1200RPA) or 1200SPA.

On the surface (no pun intended :) ), it would seem the 1200SPA would be the best option, as that is made to attach directly to a flat surface. AP says that I would only have to drill a couple holes in the tripod mounting plate, which would be no problem for me to do.

At the same time, I do not have a lathe/mill at my home, and while very mechanically inclined, would very much like to hear from someone who has done this. I've Googled it and found very little information; hopefully some here can offer your insight.

Finally, I don't *think* there would be any issues with using this as a temporary 'patch,' but if anyone has done it and run into alignment issues, etc., that would be great information to know. Thanks in advance for all the replies!

Brian A.
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#2 jmiele

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:56 AM

I though LLeege said he did the same with his 1200. You may want to PM him.. Joe

#3 LLEEGE

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:41 AM

I adapted my 1200 to mount on the Meade GFT.
I had a spare 900 SPA that had the center hole drilled out to allow the 1/2-10(I think that is the size of the Meade threaded rod)to pass through. I used a nut to bolt down the SPA900 upside down on the tripod hub and then used 4 cap screws to bolt the SPA1200 to the SPA900. Works great.

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#4 LLEEGE

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:51 AM

Now that I think about it, I may not have mounted the SPA900 upside down. Either way, it works and the only modification is drilling out and taping the center hole in the SPA900 larger. I don't have the 1200 any more so I can't verify. IIRC, the SPA1200 is larger then the Meade hub.

#5 LLEEGE

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:59 AM

Updated (crude) drawing.

#6 gillmj24

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 12:21 PM

I have had one set up for a 900FSA for (obviously) a 900 mount.

I just have four screws attaching it to a "custom top plate" on my RCX tripod.

You'll just need a piece of flat aluminum to bridge the gap between the 1200FSA and the meade tripod head but not hard at all to do.

#7 PGW Steve

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 07:39 PM

I'm willing to bet that the 1/2" bolt is a 1/2"-13 thread per inch as that is standard National Coarse.

Quick question, do you have a GFT already? Would the cost of the GFT not be close to that of the AP pier? I think the pier might have better resale than the GFT once you get your obs done.

#8 jmiele

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:27 PM

It's only 750.00 for an AP Pier...They aren't great with terrain however and require a semi-level surface. Joe






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