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Pan/Tilt Head for a 13 lbs Refractor.

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#1 will1384

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:52 PM

I have a Sky-Watcher 80ED, its about 13 lbs, and will be mounting a Panasonic G3 camera to the telescope, the camera weight is about 1 lb, and with a Telrad and camera adapters add another pound, so say 15 pounds, is there a cheap Pan/Tilt Head around $100 or less that will work for this setup, I plan on using this during the day for nature type photos, and maybe a little at night for stuff like the moon, I have a old Bogen 3011 Tripod with a Manfrotto 3025 3D Head, and it just barely holds the telescope without the camera.

What I was going to do was get a large telescope tripod, like the tripod that came with my Celestron VX Mount, and modify the top of the tripod to accept the Pan/Tilt Head, I just wanted to know if there was something cheap or an alternative that was around $100.

#2 lakeorion

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:04 PM

$100 is a hard price point to achieve. The Desert Sky DSV1 runs $190 but will handle that weight and more with ease.

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#3 zawijava

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:13 PM

I would try to find one of the older Vixen Polaris mount heads. It will attach directly to the AVX tripod without modification and it can be set up in Alt-Az mode[pan/tilt] or as an GEM. I have one I use on my AVX tripod, it carries my AP 105 w/finder very nicely, about 13 lbs total. -Tim

I have a Sky-Watcher 80ED, its about 13 lbs, and will be mounting a Panasonic G3 camera to the telescope, the camera weight is about 1 lb, and with a Telrad and camera adapters add another pound, so say 15 pounds, is there a cheap Pan/Tilt Head around $100 or less that will work for this setup, I plan on using this during the day for nature type photos, and maybe a little at night for stuff like the moon, I have a old Bogen 3011 Tripod with a Manfrotto 3025 3D Head, and it just barely holds the telescope without the camera.

What I was going to do was get a large telescope tripod, like the tripod that came with my Celestron VX Mount, and modify the top of the tripod to accept the Pan/Tilt Head, I just wanted to know if there was something cheap or an alternative that was around $100.



#4 will1384

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 11:50 PM

I have been looking around for something cheap, found two things that might work, one is a Gimbal Tripod Head, the cheap ones goes by BK-45, and Opteka GH1, the BK-45 is listed as holding about 17 lbs, and the Opteka GH1 is listed as holding 30 lbs, they both look the same, another is the Davis & Sanford FM18 Fluid Head, its listed as holding 18 lbs, all of them are around $100, I got tired of waiting and started working on a Gimbal Tripod Head made out of 3/4 metal pipe fittings, and a little welding, but found out that I don’t have the type of nut that fits the VX tripod, I am guessing its a M10x1.5 type bolt, so I will have to keep looking for that size of nut, or go buy one, to finish the DIY Gimbal Tripod Head.

I am going to keep looking for a better setup, but the DIY Gimbal Tripod Head might hold me over.

#5 will1384

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:18 PM

I never could get that DIY Gimbal to work all that well, so I got a used Manfrotto 3421 Gimbal head and Bogen 3035 tripod, they seem to work well with the Sky-Watcher Pro 80ED telescope and the camera that I use, here are a few images

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The only con to this setup that I have noticed is there seems to be about 5-6 seconds of reverberation if you tap the camera, I will have to fix that, but even with the reverberation the images look good even on a cloudy day.

I will be painting the tripod black, but because its aluminium I will have to clean the metal and use a self etching primer before I paint, I then want to rap some of the telescope and tripod in camouflage tape, should look nice when done.

#6 iluxo

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:47 PM

I use a SkyTee, its an isostatic altaz head suitable for 80-120mm refractors and my 180mm Mak is definitely the upper limit for this mount. Smooth motion in both axes, very solid, vibration damps very quickly but its rather more than your budget.

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#7 will1384

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:24 PM

I use a SkyTee, its an isostatic altaz head suitable for 80-120mm refractors and my 180mm Mak is definitely the upper limit for this mount. Smooth motion in both axes, very solid, vibration damps very quickly but its rather more than your budget.


That does look nice, but yea I have a price limit ;), I paid $75 for the tripod in good condition and $125 for the Gimbal head, for a $200 setup I did good, I was reading some posts on photography forums and there were a few people that had the same 5-6 seconds vibration after touching the camera, it seems like some of the longer telephoto setups have the problem, but not all, and one person mounted it in an "O" shape instead of the normal "U" shape and that happened to dampen the vibration a little, and I have an assortment of rubber O-Rings, and rubber washers, and other parts, I believe I will be able to remove most of the vibration.

Update

I was reading a bird photography forum and someone there was using a 80mm telescope, and what they did was remove the dovetail bar and rings, then mounted the removable camera bracket directly to the telescope, and it sounds like they don’t have the vibration problem, if so, that narrows it down to a small area.

#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 04:43 AM

I have a Sky-Watcher 80ED, its about 13 lbs, and will be mounting a Panasonic G3 camera to the telescope, the camera weight is about 1 lb, and with a Telrad and camera adapters add another pound, so say 15 pounds, is there a cheap Pan/Tilt Head around $100 or less that will work for this setup, I plan on using this during the day for nature type photos, and maybe a little at night for stuff like the moon, I have a old Bogen 3011 Tripod with a Manfrotto 3025 3D Head, and it just barely holds the telescope without the camera.

What I was going to do was get a large telescope tripod, like the tripod that came with my Celestron VX Mount, and modify the top of the tripod to accept the Pan/Tilt Head, I just wanted to know if there was something cheap or an alternative that was around $100.


Will:

I have a hard time believing your Skywatcher ED-80 weighs 13 lbs, have you weighed it? It's basically the same scope as the Orion ED-80 with weighs under 6 lbs. Add a diagonal, some rings, it should come in under 7 lbs. An NP-101 weighs about 11 lbs with the clamshell and diagonal.

As far as your current tripod, the Bogen 3011 is too light, a 3051/3036/3046 class tripod is really necessary for a telescope if you want it to be stable. My favorite is that Bogen 3046, the upper legs are paired and widely braced at the top, very stable.

I also have a 3D head similar to the 3025 but I believe maybe it's the next size up. I found it difficult to use with a telescope, it has the typical telescope balance problems but it can't be used side-saddle and it doesn't have the long handles that help with pointing it.

One approach is just to use something like the Vixen Portamount, I have gotten some good results digiscoping with a Portamount and an 80mm to 102 mm refractor. Otherwise, I'd be searching Craigslist for Bogen tripods.

If you happened to live in Southern California, here's a 3046 tripod with a 3063 fluid head for $150..

That would be a killer rig I think with an 80mm scope.

This Osprey photo was taken digiscoping with an Astro-Tech 102ED on a Portamount.

Jon

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#9 will1384

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 04:22 PM

The Bogen 3035 tripod I use now holds up to 26lbs, and is almost as big as the tripod that came with my Celestron VX mount, its huge, the vibration I get in the telescope seems to be left to right, kinda like a tuning fork, I tried rubber washers, and mounting it in the "O" instead of the "U" configuration, but that does not help, I am going to try replacing the quick release camera mount on the Manfrotto 3421 Gimbal head with a Telescope Dovetail Mount.

The mount works well if you are willing to wait for the vibration to subside, ether use the camera's self timer or remote shutter release.

#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:30 PM

Will

I have a few of the 3035-3051 Bogen tripods. I would guess the left-right mode you are experiencing is a torsional mode due to the single tube legs combined with a comparatively small hub.

The Bogen 3046 is a very different design, the hub support diameter is larger and the upper half of the legs are a pair of tubes that form a wide triangle at the top and come together at the bottom. This makes for a tripod that is much stiffer in torsion, much less likely to twist. I have two 3046s, they're my favorites.

Still I have good luck with 3035 and my Nexstar 5.

Jon






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