REVIEW of the iOptron SmartStar A "cube" MOUNT
Posted 18 March 2012 - 05:39 AM
By Brian D. Ottum.
Posted 09 December 2014 - 06:37 PM
Edited by TJR, 09 December 2014 - 06:43 PM.
Posted 13 December 2014 - 04:25 AM
I purchased my SmartStar A Series cube about 5 years ago. For all the reasons listed in this article I hated the tripod. Too short and on the flimsy side for sure. I like viewing in a standing-position and do not like to crouch over to view, especially anything near the zenith. Now I only use the cube in the Alt-Az mode. What I did notice right away was the mounting bolt that couples the cube to the tripod was very similar in size to a 3/8"-16. I immediately tapped out the female thread on the bottom of the cube to a standard 3/8"-16 tread. I have since been mounting this to a Slik Pro 700DX photo tripod which has a 15 lb payload rating. The two scopes I have that I use this for is a Celestron C5 spotting scope (6 lbs) and an Explorer Scientific 80mm triplet (7 1/2 lbs). So along with the 4 lb weight of the cube itself, the tripod handles it nicely. I'm 5'11" so by adjusting the height of the center column this allows me to view standing for any position in the sky. Of course there are many photo tripods out there with similar or higher payload ratings. I just happened to have two of these tripods on hand.