Jump to content


Photo

A mount and tripod for my new TEC 180FL

  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:33 PM

I received a call from Yuri that he is in the final assembly process for my new TEC 180FL and I do not own any mount or tripod for it. My only scope is a Meade LS8 which I hope the TEC will replace. I want the lightest possible set up so that I will be more likely to haul it out to the dark site at the beach. I am strictly a visual observer and plan on viewing high power planetery and DSO with the scope. I want settling times of under a second to almost instantaneous and to be able to view in a slight breeze would be nice to. With my Meade I find the scope almost unusable if I don't use the vibration damping feet but with them it is a joy and settles almost instantly. So I can see that how a mount or tripod is set up can make a drastic difference in settling times.

After spending hours reading through all the posts on CN I would love if I got great results from an AP Mach 1 mount with a Rob Miller L tripod probably using an 8 in extension. Howard from AP thought that I could use the Mach 1 successfully for visual use with the 180FL if I follow a couple of guidelines. First he said don't use the dove tail saddle plate. It would add vibration. That I should use the 15" flat mounting plate for rigidity. Second he said that I should place the counterweights right up at the base of the mount instead of at the end of the bar and use either four 9 lb. weights or two 18 lbs. weights with the thicker shaft for 36 lbs. total. This is supposed to reduce flexing of the shaft which would otherwise introduce vibrations and increase damping times. I would like to hear your opinions on whether you think this is sound advice and would give me a stable enough visual observing platform.

#2 M13 Observer

M13 Observer

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1023
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2006

Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

I received a call from Yuri that he is in the final assembly process for my new TEC 180FL and I do not own any mount or tripod for it. My only scope is a Meade LS8 which I hope the TEC will replace. I want the lightest possible set up so that I will be more likely to haul it out to the dark site at the beach. I am strictly a visual observer and plan on viewing high power planetery and DSO with the scope. I want settling times of under a second to almost instantaneous and to be able to view in a slight breeze would be nice to. With my Meade I find the scope almost unusable if I don't use the vibration damping feet but with them it is a joy and settles almost instantly. So I can see that how a mount or tripod is set up can make a drastic difference in settling times.

After spending hours reading through all the posts on CN I would love if I got great results from an AP Mach 1 mount with a Rob Miller L tripod probably using an 8 in extension. Howard from AP thought that I could use the Mach 1 successful for visual use with the 180FL if I follow a couple of guidelines. First he said don't use the dove tail saddle plate. It would add vibration. That I should use the 15" flat mounting plate for rigidity. Second he said that I should place the counterweights right up at the base of the mount instead of at the end of the bar and use either four 9 lb. weights or two 18 lbs. weights with the thicker shaft for 36 lbs. total. This is supposed to reduce flexing of the shaft which would otherwise introduce vibrations and increase damping times. I would like to hear your opinions on whether you think this is sound advice and would give me a stable enough visual observing platform.


You are definitely pushing the envelope on this, even for visual. All of Howard's suggestions are very valid. Whether they are enough only you will be able to say. While the scope might be around 35 pounds, adding a finder, diagonal, binoviewer (if used) and an eyepiece will add another 3-5 pounds or so. Rings and plate add another 10 pounds, so you are looking at around 50 pounds of optics, 30 pounds of mount, and 40 pounds of counterweight. I personally would go with an additional 5 pound CW which could be shifted up and down the CW shaft as necessary depending on whether you are going to use a binoviewer. So, that is around 120 pounds of gear on a TRI36L, I do not think you are going to see the damping you want with it. I personally would go with the TRI36M with an ADATRI adapter (I think Rob makes an ADATRI style adapter too but you will have to bring that up with him) and use an 8" AP extension. Another option would be two 4" Rob Miller TRI36M extensions. In either case, whether the TRI36L or TRI36M, since you are going with a fairly heavy load, I would definitely suggest the "heavy duty" levelers over the standard micro levelers. The TRI36M does add a little weight, maybe 4 pounds at most over that of the TRI36L, making it about 16 pounds, but it will be far more solid under the load you are proposing.

EDIT -

Oh, and by the way, congratulations on the TEC180FL. While I don't have one myself, I do have a similar competitor's model and it is an absolutely superb telescope, pretty much right at the limit of portability and aperture. Enjoy!


#3 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:23 PM

[quote name="M13 Observer"][quote]

You are definitely pushing the envelope on this, even for visual. All of Howard's suggestions are very valid. Whether they are enough only you will be able to say. While the scope might be around 35 pounds, adding a finder, diagonal, binoviewer (if used) and an eyepiece will add another 3-5 pounds or so. Rings and plate add another 10 pounds, so you are looking at around 50 pounds of optics, 30 pounds of mount, and 40 pounds of counterweight. I personally would go with an additional 5 pound CW which could be shifted up and down the CW shaft as necessary depending on whether you are going to use a binoviewer. So, that is around 120 pounds of gear on a TRI36L, I do not think you are going to see the damping you want with it. I personally would go with the TRI36M with an ADATRI adapter (I think Rob makes an ADATRI style adapter too but you will have to bring that up with him) and use an 8" AP extension. Another option would be two 4" Rob Miller TRI36M extensions. In either case, whether the TRI36L or TRI36M, since you are going with a fairly heavy load, I would definitely suggest the "heavy duty" levelers over the standard micro levelers. The TRI36M does add a little weight, maybe 4 pounds at most over that of the TRI36L, making it about 16 pounds, but it will be far more solid under the load you are proposing. [/quote]

I had read a post on here that Rob Miller said the limiting factor in stability with the Mach 1 and his L tripod was not the tripod but the mount, so if the mount can be stabilized further it should work. I think the 120 lbs. you totaled up is within the load capacity of the tripod. But if the medium version of his tripod offers better damping even though the light should be able to support the weight then I would get the medium with the heavy duty leveling feet. Of course the only way to truly know is if I try it or if someone else has already tried it and offers their opinion.

BTW what do you use to mount your 180mm and is it easily transportable?

#4 M13 Observer

M13 Observer

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1023
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2006

Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:44 PM

[quote name="rfr66"][quote][quote]

You are definitely pushing the envelope on this, even for visual. All of Howard's suggestions are very valid. Whether they are enough only you will be able to say. While the scope might be around 35 pounds, adding a finder, diagonal, binoviewer (if used) and an eyepiece will add another 3-5 pounds or so. Rings and plate add another 10 pounds, so you are looking at around 50 pounds of optics, 30 pounds of mount, and 40 pounds of counterweight. I personally would go with an additional 5 pound CW which could be shifted up and down the CW shaft as necessary depending on whether you are going to use a binoviewer. So, that is around 120 pounds of gear on a TRI36L, I do not think you are going to see the damping you want with it. I personally would go with the TRI36M with an ADATRI adapter (I think Rob makes an ADATRI style adapter too but you will have to bring that up with him) and use an 8" AP extension. Another option would be two 4" Rob Miller TRI36M extensions. In either case, whether the TRI36L or TRI36M, since you are going with a fairly heavy load, I would definitely suggest the "heavy duty" levelers over the standard micro levelers. The TRI36M does add a little weight, maybe 4 pounds at most over that of the TRI36L, making it about 16 pounds, but it will be far more solid under the load you are proposing. [/quote]

I had read a post on here that Rob Miller said the limiting factor in stability with the Mach 1 and his L tripod was not the tripod but the mount, so if the mount can be stabilized further it should work. I think the 120 lbs. you totaled up is within the load capacity of the tripod. But if the medium version of his tripod offers better damping even though the light should be able to support the weight then I would get the medium with the heavy duty leveling feet. Of course the only way to truly know is if I try it or if someone else has already tried it and offers their opinion.

BTW what do you use to mount your 180mm and is it easily transportable? [/quote]

Well, since I wrote both of the reviews, on CN for the TRI36L and on Astromart for the TRI36M, and I have everything you are discussing, mount, tripod and scope-wise, I figure that my statements are pretty much based on absolutely solid information.

I use an AP400QMD or an APMach1GTO on the TRI36L and either the APMach1GTO or an AP900GTO on the TRI36M. I image mostly and use a heavy load of CCD equipment and guider. Personally, I limit the TRI36L to visual with a 6" class refractor and imaging to a 5" class refractor with my added imaging load. The TRI36M is significantly more stable in my opinion, (as it should be!) and is more suitable for the heavier load of the 6" or 7" refractors when imaging and using the AP900GTO mount.

If you are expecting rigid extremely quickly damped viewing, the TRI36M will be a far better option when using the APMach1GTO, and yes, Rob is correct, damping is based on the performance of the entire system, tripod, total load, mount and moment arm of the telescope.

#5 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:38 PM

Sorry, I didn't realize you had all the equipment. That is exactly the feedback I was looking for. What height tripod is required for seated viewing at zenith that will not be too high when viewing the horizon with the 180fl? I think Howard said 56" or 58".

#6 andysea

andysea

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1608
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:39 AM

Why not get an AP900? It can be broken down into two pieces for transportability and it will probably handle the 180mm better than the Mach1.

#7 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:25 AM

I think you are right. After not much thought I am thinking of going with the AP900. It would be nice to use the focuser while viewing and not have the image jiggle. I guess folks that have used a 180 on a Mach 1 probably had the mount already and figured why not try it but if starting from scratch would have gone with something bigger. George from AP uses a 1200 mount and ATS pier with his and said he was the only one at the Winter star party that could keep viewing in high wind.

#8 M13 Observer

M13 Observer

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1023
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2006

Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:37 PM

Yes, the beefier the support, the better the view. The 10" ATS, Monolith or TRI36H will give a better base to start with, and the AP1200 will provide a very solid and massive mount. Unfortunately, this also means that you will have big heavy equipment to move around. Grab and go it isn't. Even the AP900 means that there is more stuff and heavier stuff to move and it all adds up. My APMach1GTO lives in a Pelican case quite nicely. It weights about 52 pounds with almost everything mount related inside - mount, CW shaft, keypad, GTOCP3, cables, assorted fasteners, dovetail saddle, hex key set; everything except counterweights. It has wheels and an extensible handle for ease of transport. The counterweights and tripod go into a hard shell golf case with, you guessed it, wheels and a handle. I think you mentioned using the scope on a beach but unless you are operating from a hard solid surface, I think you will find that the TEC180FL is going to be "difficult" to handle. It and all the various other parts are unwieldy. The easiest portion to handle will be the TRI36M tripod should you choose to go that way.

As to the height, as far as I can tell, the eyepiece is never at the correct height. An adjustable height chair is really handy. Varying the eyepiece position via rotating the diagonal works well too. If I am planning on just going into "sky tourist" mode with quick views of objects, then bending and contorting myself works too. If I am going to sit for extended periods of time viewing Jupiter, Mars or Saturn, then being as comfortable as possible makes all the difference.

#9 mgwhittle

mgwhittle

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
  • Joined: 24 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Chattanooga, TN

Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:21 PM

I just went through this process deciding on a mount for a 175mm refractor. I went with a 900GTO. I can't imagine you would be happy with the stability of a Mach1 based on the requirements you stated in your first post. I considered a used 1200 or the new 1600, but for visual, I think the 900 is a very good match for this size of telescope without being overly hard to transport/set up.

#10 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

Yes, the beefier the support, the better the view. The 10" ATS, Monolith or TRI36H will give a better base to start with, and the AP1200 will provide a very solid and massive mount. Unfortunately, this also means that you will have big heavy equipment to move around. Grab and go it isn't. Even the AP900 means that there is more stuff and heavier stuff to move and it all adds up. My APMach1GTO lives in a Pelican case quite nicely. It weights about 52 pounds with almost everything mount related inside - mount, CW shaft, keypad, GTOCP3, cables, assorted fasteners, dovetail saddle, hex key set; everything except counterweights. It has wheels and an extensible handle for ease of transport. The counterweights and tripod go into a hard shell golf case with, you guessed it, wheels and a handle. I think you mentioned using the scope on a beach but unless you are operating from a hard solid surface, I think you will find that the TEC180FL is going to be "difficult" to handle. It and all the various other parts are unwieldy. The easiest portion to handle will be the TRI36M tripod should you choose to go that way.

As to the height, as far as I can tell, the eyepiece is never at the correct height. An adjustable height chair is really handy. Varying the eyepiece position via rotating the diagonal works well too. If I am planning on just going into "sky tourist" mode with quick views of objects, then bending and contorting myself works too. If I am going to sit for extended periods of time viewing Jupiter, Mars or Saturn, then being as comfortable as possible makes all the difference.


Your description of viewing habits sounds right in line with what I would be doing. When I said I view at the beach I don't actually go onto the sand with the equipment. I'm set up next to my car on the concrete in the parking lot. I would go down there every nice night to view with my Meade and be set up in under 5 minutes. I'd like to see myself going as often with the TEC. You're neat travel packs with your equipment seems to make that a lot easier.

Odd as it might seem there are quite a few people using the 180 with the Mach 1 successfully. I don't know what they use to qualify success. Even Yuri said he has viewed through the 180 on the Mach 1 at a star party he attended and it was fine. George at AP said that stability is all relative. It depends on what you are coming from. If you are used to a much more rigid setup then you probably wouldn't be happy. But if you are coming from a lighter weight setup like my Meade, I might think that the Mach 1 is the cat's meow and be blown away by how much more stable it is. No argument that the AP900 is more stable but will the extra weight cause me to make the trip out less often? Maybe I will need a mach 1 for outings with lower stability expectations and have a heavy weight setup in my backyard that I can leave setup under a cover. I would be better served doing the majority of my serious planetary observing from home and saving the dark site for lower power DSO observing which will be less critical of mount jitters. Am I making any sense with this line of logic?

#11 mgwhittle

mgwhittle

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
  • Joined: 24 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Chattanooga, TN

Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

Yes, the beefier the support, the better the view. The 10" ATS, Monolith or TRI36H will give a better base to start with, and the AP1200 will provide a very solid and massive mount. Unfortunately, this also means that you will have big heavy equipment to move around. Grab and go it isn't. Even the AP900 means that there is more stuff and heavier stuff to move and it all adds up. My APMach1GTO lives in a Pelican case quite nicely. It weights about 52 pounds with almost everything mount related inside - mount, CW shaft, keypad, GTOCP3, cables, assorted fasteners, dovetail saddle, hex key set; everything except counterweights. It has wheels and an extensible handle for ease of transport. The counterweights and tripod go into a hard shell golf case with, you guessed it, wheels and a handle. I think you mentioned using the scope on a beach but unless you are operating from a hard solid surface, I think you will find that the TEC180FL is going to be "difficult" to handle. It and all the various other parts are unwieldy. The easiest portion to handle will be the TRI36M tripod should you choose to go that way.

As to the height, as far as I can tell, the eyepiece is never at the correct height. An adjustable height chair is really handy. Varying the eyepiece position via rotating the diagonal works well too. If I am planning on just going into "sky tourist" mode with quick views of objects, then bending and contorting myself works too. If I am going to sit for extended periods of time viewing Jupiter, Mars or Saturn, then being as comfortable as possible makes all the difference.


Your description of viewing habits sounds right in line with what I would be doing. When I said I view at the beach I don't actually go onto the sand with the equipment. I'm set up next to my car on the concrete in the parking lot. I would go down there every nice night to view with my Meade and be set up in under 5 minutes. I'd like to see myself going as often with the TEC. You're neat travel packs with your equipment seems to make that a lot easier.

Odd as it might seem there are quite a few people using the 180 with the Mach 1 successfully. I don't know what they use to qualify success. Even Yuri said he has viewed through the 180 on the Mach 1 at a star party he attended and it was fine. George at AP said that stability is all relative. It depends on what you are coming from. If you are used to a much more rigid setup then you probably wouldn't be happy. But if you are coming from a lighter weight setup like my Meade, I might think that the Mach 1 is the cat's meow and be blown away by how much more stable it is. No argument that the AP900 is more stable but will the extra weight cause me to make the trip out less often? Maybe I will need a mach 1 for outings with lower stability expectations and have a heavy weight setup in my backyard that I can leave setup under a cover. I would be better served doing the majority of my serious planetary observing from home and saving the dark site for lower power DSO observing which will be less critical of mount jitters. Am I making any sense with this line of logic?


Between a Mach1 and a 900GTO, I don't think the slight increase in component weights for each of these will slow you down on getting out to observe as much as the weight of that size of scope. In other words, if you are willing to lug that size scope out, the weight of the 900 isn't an issue.

#12 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:59 PM

I just went through this process deciding on a mount for a 175mm refractor. I went with a 900GTO. I can't imagine you would be happy with the stability of a Mach1 based on the requirements you stated in your first post. I considered a used 1200 or the new 1600, but for visual, I think the 900 is a very good match for this size of telescope without being overly hard to transport/set up.


Congratulations on your new scope. It is GORGEOUS! I saw it in person at the show and was very impressed. What is the height of your pier and is it optimized for seated viewing?

#13 M13 Observer

M13 Observer

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1023
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2006

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:05 PM

That sounds about right only I would just go with the Mach1GTO for both beach and back yard. If you feel the need to upgrade in the back yard later for more stability then either buy a used AP900 or pick up whatever the replacement will be called once it is released sometime late next year. Another way of upping your stability somewhat at home without changing out the mount would be a really solid concrete or fixed steel pier.

#14 mgwhittle

mgwhittle

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
  • Joined: 24 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Chattanooga, TN

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

I just went through this process deciding on a mount for a 175mm refractor. I went with a 900GTO. I can't imagine you would be happy with the stability of a Mach1 based on the requirements you stated in your first post. I considered a used 1200 or the new 1600, but for visual, I think the 900 is a very good match for this size of telescope without being overly hard to transport/set up.


Congratulations on your new scope. It is GORGEOUS! I saw it in person at the show and was very impressed. What is the height of your pier and is it optimized for seated viewing?


Thank you! I went with a 54 inch pier and I use an adjustable chair. I don't feel like I am sitting close to the ground with that height pier and the scope pointed at the zenith.

#15 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:40 PM

I just went through this process deciding on a mount for a 175mm refractor. I went with a 900GTO. I can't imagine you would be happy with the stability of a Mach1 based on the requirements you stated in your first post. I considered a used 1200 or the new 1600, but for visual, I think the 900 is a very good match for this size of telescope without being overly hard to transport/set up.


Congratulations on your new scope. It is GORGEOUS! I saw it in person at the show and was very impressed. What is the height of your pier and is it optimized for seated viewing?


Thank you! I went with a 54 inch pier and I use an adjustable chair. I don't feel like I am sitting close to the ground with that height pier and the scope pointed at the zenith.


It looks like I would have a similar setup to you height wise. Which pier is that? It's nice that you have plenty of room for the scope to clear without hitting any legs. How much counter weight are you using? It was recommended that I use 36 lbs. pushed right up to the base of the mount to increase stability. I see you have yours close to the end. Have you had a chance to look through it yet? I'm curious to know what your settling times are, if you even have any. Thanks for your input. It's really helping me to make an informed decision.

#16 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:50 PM

That sounds about right only I would just go with the Mach1GTO for both beach and back yard. If you feel the need to upgrade in the back yard later for more stability then either buy a used AP900 or pick up whatever the replacement will be called once it is released sometime late next year. Another way of upping your stability somewhat at home without changing out the mount would be a really solid concrete or fixed steel pier.


I think I will take you up on your advice. If I plan on two mounts anyway I might as well start with the Mach 1 and see where it takes me utilizing all of the stability tricks. Are you still recommending the Miller Lite :lol: tripod for the beach?

#17 M13 Observer

M13 Observer

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1023
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2006

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:06 PM

No, get the TRI36M. I think the Miller L)ight version just isn't enough tripod for the stability you want with a heavy load. Besides, the M version can be purchased for the 900 while the TRI36L is for the Mach1 style only. The TRI36M 900 adapter also has holes pre-drilled for the ADATRI adapter and there isn't a huge amount of weight difference between it and the TRI36L. At 15 or 16 or so pounds the TRI36M will be the lightest part of the gear by far.

#18 mgwhittle

mgwhittle

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
  • Joined: 24 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Chattanooga, TN

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

I just went through this process deciding on a mount for a 175mm refractor. I went with a 900GTO. I can't imagine you would be happy with the stability of a Mach1 based on the requirements you stated in your first post. I considered a used 1200 or the new 1600, but for visual, I think the 900 is a very good match for this size of telescope without being overly hard to transport/set up.


Congratulations on your new scope. It is GORGEOUS! I saw it in person at the show and was very impressed. What is the height of your pier and is it optimized for seated viewing?


Thank you! I went with a 54 inch pier and I use an adjustable chair. I don't feel like I am sitting close to the ground with that height pier and the scope pointed at the zenith.


It looks like I would have a similar setup to you height wise. Which pier is that? It's nice that you have plenty of room for the scope to clear without hitting any legs. How much counter weight are you using? It was recommended that I use 36 lbs. pushed right up to the base of the mount to increase stability. I see you have yours close to the end. Have you had a chance to look through it yet? I'm curious to know what your settling times are, if you even have any. Thanks for your input. It's really helping me to make an informed decision.


It is the AP standard pier, I want an ATS pier but was unwilling to wait for one right now. I will probably order an ATS pier at the end of next year, not for any stability issues but because I want something that folds up without dis-assembly.

I am using two 18 pound counterweights. I believe the 175EDF weighs 9 pounds more than your 180FL. When I take the lens cap off the 175, I move the weights up the shaft about 5 inches....yes, it is that heavy! I would suggest starting out with the same weight set up, you should be able to get them much further up the shaft, although I suspect with the 900 versus the Mach1 this is less of an issue.

Vibration is not an issue with my set up. Very little movement while focusing with the main knob, almost none with the micro focus and when I let go of the focuser there is an immediate cessation of what little vibration there is.

I considered a 1600GTO at one point just because I would have rather dealt with more weight than vibration issues. I went with a 900 based on input from other CN members and could not be happier.

#19 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

It seems that you had pretty good results with your setup regarding vibration and damping times. The ATS pier looks sweet with a handle and everything. Will it give you the same clearance at zenith without hitting the legs as your current pier? I'm also curious as to how you keep your front lens clean after a night of viewing. Mine always gets covered in dried out dew.

#20 korborh

korborh

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 895
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Arizona

Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

The Rob Miller tripod's fold easily without any dis-assembly. Why bother with the costly and heavy alternatives (like ATS) when there is the beautiful, elegant, light and cheaper Tri36M to blow away the competition.

#21 mgwhittle

mgwhittle

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
  • Joined: 24 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Chattanooga, TN

Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

The Rob Miller tripod's fold easily without any dis-assembly. Why bother with the costly and heavy alternatives (like ATS) when there is the beautiful, elegant, light and cheaper Tri36M to blow away the competition.


Does Miller make a 54 inch high tripod? A 36 inch tripod will not allow a large (7inch+) refractor to reach the zenith without the eyepiece hitting the ground.

#22 korborh

korborh

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 895
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Arizona

Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:21 PM

He makes the tripod custom height (other than default 36") with added cost....that was about a year ago when I last corresponded with him. This is what he mentioned "Custom height units are available, between 26" and 60", at plus 30% on the basic all black price."

#23 rfr66

rfr66

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 44
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:13 PM

The Miller tripod would properly need an extension so that a long refractor will clear the legs. Maybe something like a 46" tripod with an 8" extension. Although the Miller's are light, fold for easy portability and are very strong and rigid, not much has been said on direct comparison of the damping times compared to portable piers. You gave a very good description of what the damping times with your pier are. I would like to hear that with the Miller too.

#24 mgwhittle

mgwhittle

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
  • Joined: 24 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Chattanooga, TN

Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:06 PM

Will it give you the same clearance at zenith without hitting the legs as your current pier?


It should, there are others who are using this exact combination on CN.

I'm also curious as to how you keep your front lens clean after a night of viewing. Mine always gets covered in dried out dew.


Dew-not controller and heater strip located just behind the dew shield. You really should invest in a good dew control system. I don't know where you live, but where I am, I know that wet pollen from allowing dew to accumulate on the lens can wreck havoc with the coatings.

#25 korborh

korborh

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 895
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Arizona

Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:13 PM

The Miller tripod would properly need an extension so that a long refractor will clear the legs. Maybe something like a 46" tripod with an 8" extension. Although the Miller's are light, fold for easy portability and are very strong and rigid, not much has been said on direct comparison of the damping times compared to portable piers. You gave a very good description of what the damping times with your pier are. I would like to hear that with the Miller too.


In my case with Tri36M carrying an AP1200 with C11 EdgeHD 8mm EP, damping times were very good...slap on the tripod damped under a second and on the tube a little more...perhaps 1.5sec. I now have a very solid permanant pier and I dont see any improvement in dampening times over the Tri36M. The tripod is just incredibly stable and solid.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics