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Wooden tripod for Porta mount - Oberwerk vs GTO ?

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#1 153joseph

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:50 PM

Hello,
I am new to this forum, and would like to thank you all for sharing a ton of useful information!

I am considering upgrading the tripod for my Vixen Porta II mount. It seems that people like their Oberwerk wooden tripod and GTO adjustable wooden leg set. Which one do you think is better?
I will use it with Orion ED80.



#2 hottr6

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 07:15 AM

Welcome aboard.

One thing to consider is the weight of the tripod. The Oberwerks are "surveyor" class tripods..... very sturdy, have great load-carrying capability, and weight. You are probably young and would have no problem hauling around a surveyor's tripod, Porta and 80mm 'scope, but as one ages, it would become more daunting to haul.

Second thing to consider is that your fast 'scope and Porta are very lightweight..... maybe you do not need the load rating of a surveyors tripod? If that is the case, a good set of wooden legs will mitigate issues associated with metal legs, and save you money for another eyepiece, etc.
http://handsonoptics...products_id=881
Alas, you would need to add a tripod spreader (and eyepiece tray) to this unit to really make it solid and user friendly. Spreaders are available from Universal Astronomics, and Vixen eyepiece trays from many places.

Finally, consider buying used gear. With wooden legs there may be a few bruises, but this is easily solved with sandpaper and oil/stain. Surveyors tripods can be found used almost everywhere. Try Craigslist, your local county council, etc.

#3 SteveG

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:27 PM

There's no doubt that the Oberwerk surveyors tripod will be more stable. It will also weigh more, but worth it in my opinion.

Both of the tripods discussed here have spreaders. The Oberwerk will require you to buy an adapter to mount the Porta head from Manny Miles (he's on this forum). The GTO legs will require a little trimming in order to fit them to the Porta.

I purchased a blem surveyors tripod for my Porta from Oberwerk for just over $100.

#4 153joseph

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 10:06 PM

Thank you, hottr6 and SteveG for your comments!

#5 Binojunky

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:00 PM

The blems from Big Binoculars are a great buy, and Kevin is super to deal with,DA.

#6 Goodchild

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 03:52 PM

The blems from Big Binoculars are a great buy, and Kevin is super to deal with,DA.



Ditto. I like the blem tripods so much that I have two of them.

#7 Chucky

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 06:41 AM

I personally picked up my 'blem' and when Kevin hand selected one for me, I remember saying 'where is the blem?'. Was a VERY minor discoloration in a leg. I could just barely notice it. Kevin said he was picky. I guess so!!

#8 pugliano

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 02:39 PM

I hope it's ok to ask a question here rather than start a new thread, because my question pertains to what you just said about the blems from Big Binoculars!

BB is selling the blems with a 3/8" adapter. Will a Porta II head attach to that?? I would much rather get that setup that already has the legs attached to the base than have to get a Porta II head, the GTO legs, and then have to trim the legs to get them to fit. I don't have any tools.

#9 SteveG

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 04:23 PM

I hope it's ok to ask a question here rather than start a new thread, because my question pertains to what you just said about the blems from Big Binoculars!

BB is selling the blems with a 3/8" adapter. Will a Porta II head attach to that?? I would much rather get that setup that already has the legs attached to the base than have to get a Porta II head, the GTO legs, and then have to trim the legs to get them to fit. I don't have any tools.


Sadly no, it does fit, but I believe you simply remove that adaptor to mount your Vixen head to the tripod. To do this you need a backing plate that goes underneath. I have yet to attach mine so I will be finding out soon. According to other posters on this site, Manny Miles sells this backing plate.

#10 dpippel

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 07:54 PM

Hey guys, I just discovered that I can't mount my Porta II on the Oberwerk wooden tripod that I bought from BigBinoculars.com with the provided 3/8" bolt and plate. Steve, you mention a backing plate sold by Manny Miles. Could you provide a link? Can anyone else suggest a possible alternative method? I'm bummed, as I was told elsewhere that the Vixen mount was a drop-in fit on this tripod. :(

#11 core

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:48 PM

You'll have to replace the 3/8" bolt on the Oberwerks to one that will thread into the #38012 Porta II Mount Adapter that should already be mounted on your Porta II. fwiw on my Original Porta, I had to use two different plates to mount it on Oberwerk's 3/8" mounting stud.

Attached Files



#12 dpippel

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:08 AM

Thanks for the info Peter. The problem I'm having is trying to figure out what I need to mate up with the adapter on the Porta II. I just emailed Kevin at BigBinoculars.com and he says he's never heard of the Porta II. :(

#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:26 AM

Alas, you would need to add a tripod spreader (and eyepiece tray) to this unit to really make it solid and user friendly. Spreaders are available from Universal Astronomics, and Vixen eyepiece trays from many places.



I upgraded the legs on my Portamount to the Hands on Optics legs. FOr an 80mm, more than adequate. I used the spreader from the Portamount... For the "tray." I want something to store my eyepieces, I use a Rubbermaid 19 cup food storage container. I bored a hole in the center and it attaches to the spreader. The high sides keep eyepieces from falling out and if dew is a problem, it has a lid..

For those interested in the "ultimate" tripod for the Portamount...

Posted Image

Designed and manufactured more than 50 years ago for Hollywood and those old giant TV cameras, this tripod was available up until a few years ago. It weighs 22lbs and was rated for 400lbs..

It sure stabilizes the Portamount but it is just to heavy to be considered grab and go.

Jon

#14 SteveG

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 11:59 AM

I still need the part for mine as well. You can send Manny a PM:
http://www.cloudynig...User=13532&a...

#15 dpippel

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:10 PM

Thanks much Steve!

#16 Stelios

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:15 PM

I did not upgrade my Vixe Porta II tripod, but instead I'm using the spreader by Agena Astro.

It has made an *enormous* difference. I would strongly advise trying the spreader (which is also an excellent EP holder) before springing for an upgraded tripod.

The only downside is that it takes a bit longer (remove three metal screws as opposed to one plastic one) to take apart/put together the mount. I leave mine set up for G&G purposes.

http://agenaastro.co...piece-tray.html

#17 dpippel

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:23 PM

Looks like a very good, and less expensive, option. However, I'd wager that the damping properties of the wooden legs on the Oberwerk would be more advantageous than the additional rigidity the spreader gives to the stock aluminum tripod.

#18 calypsob

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:29 PM

Alas, you would need to add a tripod spreader (and eyepiece tray) to this unit to really make it solid and user friendly. Spreaders are available from Universal Astronomics, and Vixen eyepiece trays from many places.



I upgraded the legs on my Portamount to the Hands on Optics legs. FOr an 80mm, more than adequate. I used the spreader from the Portamount... For the "tray." I want something to store my eyepieces, I use a Rubbermaid 19 cup food storage container. I bored a hole in the center and it attaches to the spreader. The high sides keep eyepieces from falling out and if dew is a problem, it has a lid..

For those interested in the "ultimate" tripod for the Portamount...

Posted Image

Designed and manufactured more than 50 years ago for Hollywood and those old giant TV cameras, this tripod was available up until a few years ago. It weighs 22lbs and was rated for 400lbs..

It sure stabilizes the Portamount but it is just to heavy to be considered grab and go.

Jon


Who makes that tripod?

#19 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:04 PM

Who makes that tripod?



Mine was sold under the name Houston-Fearless but they were sold under other names as well. They are an Ebay, Craigslist garage sale type of find. Up until a few years ago, Quickset sold them but they were over $3000..

This page shows them in their intended use.. TV Studio tripods.. Scroll down and there are some examples.

Houston-Fearless tripods...

I like this photo.. that's a serious camera sitting on top of that tripod..



Jon

#20 DavidNealMinnick

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:49 PM

Looks like a very good, and less expensive, option. However, I'd wager that the damping properties of the wooden legs on the Oberwerk would be more advantageous than the additional rigidity the spreader gives to the stock aluminum tripod.


I like the HAL130 tripod for my Porta II, but the tripod which came with my Mini-Porta was too short and too flimsy. I removed the bottom plate from the mount, held on with three screws, then duplicated this with a piece of scrap aluminum of the appropriate thickness. I then center-drilled and tapped to match the center-column mounting for, in my case, a Manfrotto tripod better suited my uses. Do this for your Oberwerk.

#21 calypsob

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:04 PM

Huston Fearless, that is a fantastic name.

#22 derelicte

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 04:20 PM

Who makes that tripod?


Those are now called Quickset Gibraltar tripods. You can still buy them. We use them at work. I'm looking at two of them now, one which is brand new.

They are very sturdy, but very expensive.

http://www.quickset....raltar-speci...

#23 dpippel

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 05:59 PM

Thought I'd post an update regarding my Oberwerk/Porta II mating. I contacted Manny Miles about an adapter plate and he offered a simple solution. I sent him the plate with the 3/8" threaded hole that's included with the Oberwerk from Bigbinoculars.com. He drilled three holes in it to match up with the three in the base of the Porta II. When I received the plate back from Manny, I removed the black metal factory plate that connects the mount to the stock aluminum tripod, screwed the Oberwerk plate to the bottom of the Porta II with the Oberwerk collar attached, and viola!! I have my Porta II mounted to my Oberwerk solidly and with a finished look. Total cost? About $13. I added some dry bike lube to the threads on the Oberwerk and the collar is now very easy to screw and unscrew, so it's a snap to take the Porta II off and put it back on.

I highly recommend this mod for anyone looking to combine this mount and tripod, and I can't speak highly enough of Manny. He was helpful, fast, and a great guy to deal with.

Attached Files



#24 dpippel

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 05:59 PM

Tripod head and Porta II:

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#25 dpippel

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 06:00 PM

The whole enchilada:

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