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Talk about your Planet tripod...

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#1 CounterWeight

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:48 PM

Berlebach that is :)



Did you get a colored finish? What do you use it for and with? (love to see some pics if you have em)

What to hold for transporting? Are you using something you recommend?

Did you go for the double leg clamps?, or maybe the rubber feet?, or cable clamps?

Has it met your expectations? Any challenges? :refractor:

thanks! :)

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#2 Lane

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 03:17 PM

For large tripods I usually get a photography light stand bag. Hakuba makes some nice ones from small to very large.

#3 mgwhittle

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:35 PM

I'll try to post a picture of my Planet later.

To answer you questions, I didn't get a color but order the natural tone. I use it under my iEQ45 but plan to use it on a Mach1 in the future. I went with the double clamps which reduces the available height by about 4 inches, but I am no where near the full extension when in use. I got the rubber feet, you will need them if you are ever going to set it up on concrete or asphalt. I bought the canvas bag offered by Berlebach to transport it.

It is a lightweight but very sturdy option that I cannot find any faults. Build quality is first rate.

#4 CounterWeight

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:44 AM

Thanks Mark :) I'd want to set up anywhere as far as the feet go, look forward to a pic or two, nice to see scale and all that.

#5 mark8888

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 02:46 AM

>Berlebach that is

Berlebach Indeed.

>Did you get a colored finish?

Ya, I got the nutwood brown color. It's very nice!

>What do you use it for and with? (love to see some pics if you have em)

I used it with a TEC 140 and a DM-6 (I don't have the scope anymore). I'll attach a pic.. it's been posted on CN before so some may recognize it.

>What to hold for transporting? Are you using something you recommend?

Actually it hasn't left the area in/around my home, so no comment on this. It's easy to carry by hand of course.

>Did you go for the double leg clamps?,

Yes, they seem very solid.

> or maybe the rubber feet?,

Yes, I have and use those. It also came with the metal ones in a baggie.

>or cable clamps?

The double leg clamps I got are called "double cable clamps". I'm not sure that there is another type of double leg clamp...?

>Has it met your expectations? Any challenges?

Ya absolutely. Great tripod. No problems.

Mark (mgwhittle) if you don't mind, I had a question... have you used it to support your AP175? If so, is it fine with it, damping time and support-wise? And, I have read that it is possible to buy a larger tripod shelf/spreader for the Planet from Berlebach, so that the legs spread a little wider and thus offer more support, have you considered that that might be necessary? (I ask because I'll be getting a larger refractor, so I'm wondering... to be honest I'm also wondering how you feel about the AP175, but that's outside the scope of this thread! But: good?)

Here's a much bigger version of the pic below: tripod

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#6 EFT

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:14 AM

I love that picture with the cat.

#7 Jim7728

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:31 PM

Did you get a colored finish? What do you use it for and with? (love to see some pics if you have em)

Natural finish looks fine for me, no need to add to the cost.

What to hold for transporting? Are you using something you recommend?

Mine fits in a Orion medium refracter padded bag.

Did you go for the double leg clamps?, or maybe the rubber feet?, or cable clamps?

I went with double leg clamps and glad due to leg slipping down if single clamp not tight enough. Double leg lock gives me a little insurance and definitely went with the rubber tipped legs for display on wood flooring.

Has it met your expectations? Any challenges? So far, but need to use it more. Not much else out there for looks, strength and portability.

Only negative is it's a little expensive , but price compares well to other options.

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#8 mgwhittle

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:37 PM

Mark (mgwhittle) if you don't mind, I had a question... have you used it to support your AP175? If so, is it fine with it, damping time and support-wise? And, I have read that it is possible to buy a larger tripod shelf/spreader for the Planet from Berlebach, so that the legs spread a little wider and thus offer more support, have you considered that that might be necessary? (I ask because I'll be getting a larger refractor, so I'm wondering... to be honest I'm also wondering how you feel about the AP175, but that's outside the scope of this thread! But: good?)


I *almost* purchased a new head from Berlebach to mount the 900GTO to the Planet and use it with my C11. However, I would not put the 175 on it because the moment arm of that scope is significant and I don't think the Planet is up to the task because of the leg spread. It's not wide enough IMO to handle that weight slung out so far. You don't need to buy a larger tray, you can move the standard tray up a bit and drill new mounting holes. However that reduces the height of the tripod to being too low for my visual use of the 175. Weight itself is not the issue, but the moment arm is. I suspect with a 6 inch APO (not an achro with a long tube), it would be just fine.

And yes, the 175EDF is remarkable. Good does not begin to describe it.

#9 CounterWeight

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 04:25 PM

Nice stuff folks! Appreciate the thoughts and comments. Mark I'm a fan o' natural finish but that nutwood brown is beautiful looking!

#10 mark8888

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:22 AM

I love that picture with the cat.



:grin: thanks... and Jim7728's very cute cat confirms: the Planet is a huge favorite of the cat community! (REALLY cute cat Jim. My wife said that your cat is smiling.)


Mark I'm a fan o' natural finish but that nutwood brown is beautiful looking!



Ya the natural finish one is also great looking. It's funny, if you look at the 2 pics of planets in this thread, we each got a color to match the floor.


However, I would not put the 175 on it because the moment arm of that scope is significant and I don't think the Planet is up to the task because of the leg spread. It's not wide enough IMO to handle that weight slung out so far.



Uh oh... OK thanks. I'll be using it with a TEC 180, which is shorter and lighter than the AP... actually its even a little shorter than the TEC 160 I think. That said, maybe it'll still be a little too much for the tripod as it's presently configured, right? I will have to try it I guess.


You don't need to buy a larger tray, you can move the standard tray up a bit and drill new mounting holes.



Thanks, good tip... I just looked at it, and it seems like a lot of holes would need to be drilled and alligned correctly. As easy as that might be, I admit to being a very un-handy, drill-less person, and would probably screw up the new mounting. With a larger spreader/tray, based on what I just examined, no new holes would need to be drilled, right? One could just install the new spreader (and maybe tray) and it would be wider? If so I'd probably go that route if necessary. Another poster on CN apparently did it with success. (counterweight I hope you dont find this tooooo off topic as it's most definitely talk about my Planet tripod :smirk: )


I've attached an "action shot" of the tripod.

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#11 EFT

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:54 AM

The larger tray should not require any drilling and would widen the stance of the tripod.

#12 EFT

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:56 AM

Another great cat and Berlebach photo. I'm going to have to try that sometime.

#13 CounterWeight

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:56 AM

Mark, don't mind at all, in fact this sort of information is desired. Beautiful bino setup 'action pic' there. Which scope is that? :watching:

It has me thinking, improving the 'low weight mass' stability for larger scopes, I've seen some very creative solutions with metal tripods and wonder if they might work with the wooden Berlebach. My TEC160ED is longer than the Fl version as it's f/8, but it's only 26 lbs or so.

My max load for me would be the TEC 160ED with the Mach1 and a few 9 lb. CW's.
26lbs+33lbs+27lbs+misc= maybe 90lbs all said and done.


The load rating for the tripod is significant enough, over double the above weight I calc'd for my setup.

Can anyone measure the ~'diameter of the circle' with the extensions at about 50% and 100%? I know with the doubled clamps it shortens the max extension by ~4", but am curious about the numbers in general.

Much appreciate the info, thanks!

#14 mgwhittle

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 09:26 AM

Actually, the TEC 180 might be just fine on it. The AP 175 is longer and significantly heavier.

#15 Agatha

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 11:32 AM

Hi Jim,

Here's another Berlebach cat...er, Planet. :lol:

I got the natural finish, double leg clamps and the optional rubber feet. So far, the most I've had on it is the DM6 with an original AT111. Very stable. The finish is done very well and just has that classy wood look and feel. The word "light" doesn't come to mind when I lift it, but I know that it is lighter than some. :)

I did a quick measurement of diameter. At about half way extended it is approx. 39". At full extension it is about 47" diameter. And height from floor to top of tripod when fully extended is 49"

Best, Linda B.

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#16 Agatha

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 11:40 AM

And this is a Berlebach bag that I got for my UNI tripod. It is a very heavy duty cotton denim type fabric. It is not padded but has round stiffeners in both ends. I will probably get either another Hakuba bag (very nice) or another Orion bag for the Planet. The Berlebach colors are just beautiful if you are a Green Bay Packers fan. :grin:

Best, Linda B.

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#17 mark8888

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:49 PM

I want to comment a little later about some other posts in this most excellent thread, but I wanted to give you my measurements now. I did it a little differently than Linda and frankly I bet her measurements are more accurate. Anyway what I did was measure the height of the triangle (the triangle formed by the feet of the tripod) at about half extension and full extension of the tripod's legs... I attached a little picture to describe what I mean. I came up with 78cm at half extension, and 87cm at full extension.

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#18 EFT

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

And isn't it always the case that when you put something like this down, a cat will lay on it. Cat fur, the binder of the universe.

#19 Agatha

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 03:40 PM

Yes, cat fur is bound to me and everything around me. And I love the other cat photos also. But to get back on topic, the tripod top is important.

Jim (Counterweight), Be sure to select the correct top for your mount. For my UNI, I have an open top with north peg, selected for my HEQ5 Pro.
For my Planet, I selected a flat top with 3/8 bolt for my DM6 and also for my beautiful white T-Rex (thanks Ed) which I have a 3/8 adapter base also.
Jim, give the Planet a try....you can't have too many tripods.
And Mark, I have seen yours before with your beautiful cat, and I love your action shot. And Jim's handsome tiger cat is really good looking on his Planet.
C'mon Ed, let's see one of your cats. :grin: And Ed, assuming that you have a Planet available, maybe you could offer your measurements also of the diameter footprint. I'm not completely sure of my geometry skills anymore, :)

Best, Linda B.

#20 JMW

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 04:47 PM

I bought a used Discmount DM6 with the Losmandy pier extension and adapter plate. I ordered a Planet directly from Germany a few years ago with the Losmandy top. I bought the extra leg clamps. It came with the spikes. I bought the rubber feet later. I like the rubber feet for the house or when setting up on concrete. I prefer the spikes when out in grass or dirt. I didn't know that the levers at the top of the legs can pull out so you can crank them done tighter after you run out of room against a tripod leg. I don't do anything special for transport other than covering the tripod with a pad before pilling stuff near it.

I decided to replace the wooden tray with a 16 inch diameter round cutting board. I put in my own 2 and 1.25 inch eyepiece holes. The tray is pretty immune to damage and eyepieces can't be bumped over when placed in the holes. If you look closely and compare the spreader height on the legs you will notice that I moved them up further above the clamps. I wanted more leg spread for the height to help keep the center of gravity well within the feet of the tripod. I am using it with a 12 inch pier extension so I have no issues with running out of maximum height.

Here's a picture of my TEC 140 mounted on the DM6 on top of the Planet. I added a bracket to hold my iPad and an azimuth pivot handle. The iPad is running Sky Safari linked via SkyWire to the Argo Navis DSC. People like to be able to see where the scope is pointing on Sky Safari when doing outreach. I like setting up the tripod legs quite high when observing with my TEC 140. It is nice to be able to observe at the zenith without having to be almost sitting on the ground.

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#21 EFT

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 05:29 PM

OK. Here's my most recent of Siamese additions adopted from Best Friends in Kanab, UT last summer. Elsy is one of the sweetest cats I have ever adopted. Six Siamese including this flame point.

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of anyone with a scope or mount and I don't have a Berlebach in house right now. I looked through the Berlebach catalog but they don't list the tripod spreads anywhere. However, they can be used with a chain system like a surveyor's tripod rather than a tray which would then allow for a much wider spread.

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#22 CounterWeight

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 06:43 PM

Thanks for those measurements Agatha and Mark. :)

Jeff that's a beauty of a setup you've constructed - ep tray looks great!

Slightly OT, I notice you went with the TEC finder bracket - IMO it' modern marvel for the finder, love it.

in one way I'm very out of step... no cat's, just a wonderful crazy Aussie. Though he's trained to about 50 commands in two languages, I don't let him near my astro gear.... I'm afraid he'll learn what I'm doing and always try and change my object to the dog star!?

#23 JMW

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:29 PM

I bought the TEC 140 used last September. It came with the finder, bracket and aluminum case. My other refractor used on this setup is a SV115T. I just bought the field flattener for the TEC 140 so it may spend more time on my AP900 mount for imaging. The Planet is solid, easy to setup, but not light. I like the rock solid weight to it. I worry less about my scope being around the public when its on the Planet. My lightweight rig for my SV115T is a DM4 on a Gitzo 5541LS carbon fiber tripod. I can pick up the scope, mount and tripod and carry it around the yard. I wouldn't leave it unattended in a stiff breeze though.

#24 Agatha

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:57 PM

Jim,

Be sure to let us know what you you decide on. And pictures will be nice to see also.

Ed, your Elsy is beautiful and so fortunate to have a good home. Thanks.

Best, Linda B.

#25 mark8888

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 03:41 AM

Both Elsy and Linda's cats look like really good cats. Gotta love astrono-cats. :kitty: And astrono-dogs for that matter.


The larger tray should not require any drilling and would widen the stance of the tripod.



I looked through the Berlebach catalog but they don't list the tripod spreads anywhere. However, they can be used with a chain system like a surveyor's tripod rather than a tray which would then allow for a much wider spread.



Thanks for the information! When I get a chance I will contact Berlebach to see if they do sell a larger spreader to support the larger tray and will report the result here.


Mark, don't mind at all, in fact this sort of information is desired. Beautiful bino setup 'action pic' there. Which scope is that?



OK good... it's a TEC 140.


Actually, the TEC 180 might be just fine on it. The AP 175 is longer and significantly heavier.



Hm! I hope so. I'll have to try it. If it seems unstable, I hope widening the stance will fix the problem. The Planet is a joy to use and I hope to keep using it.






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