Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Please tell me if this is a silly tripod idea...

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Rapp

Michael Rapp


  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3693
  • Joined: 26 Apr 2004
  • Loc: Dickinson, TX

Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:11 AM

So, I have a 4" f/9.8 refractor on my LXD-75 mount. Of course, when viewing at zenith the eyepiece is somewhat low to the ground.

The usual tactic is to get a pier extension, but there are no commercially available pier extensions for the LXD-75, although the Orion pier extension for their SkyView Pro mounts can be made to work with some effort with a hacksaw. It is also $90.

So my mind drifted to raising not the mount head, but the entire tripod. So what if I constructed out of study pine or some other solid wood, some 5-6" tall cubes and placed the tripod legs on each one? I could have a small lip around the top edge to guard against the legs slipping off if I bumped the tripod.

I know I can't go too crazy with this idea as the cubes need to remain cubes for stability (if they were rectangular, they would easily tip over), but it might just be enough to raise the eyepiece height to a more comfortably height.


#2 hottr6



  • *****
  • Posts: 3650
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2009
  • Loc: 7,257', Magdalena Mtns, NM

Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:31 AM

MMMmmmmm....... not. I would not go there. No matter how careful you may be, an accidental knock against one leg or "cube" may send the whole rig to the ground.

Suggestion: Surveyor's tripod. This is a good read.

Universal Astronomics make an adapter to fit the LXD75 (which I presume is similar to a CG5) GEM head to the surveyors tripod.

#3 Tony Finnerty

Tony Finnerty

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 138
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Nevada City, California

Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:45 AM

I'm moving my setup to a balcony for comfy wintertime AP. Unfortunately Polaris is positioned just barely below the roof line for the polar scope on my ZEQ25 mount. To ease polar alignment I'll try a cinder block under each tripod leg. Cinder blocks are heavy and unlikely to tip over, so I hope they will provide a stable base for the tripod and mount.

#4 obin robinson

obin robinson


  • *****
  • Posts: 2904
  • Joined: 25 Oct 2012
  • Loc: Jacksonville, FL

Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:14 PM

Why not make a pier out of a bench grinder mount? You can find them at Home Depot. The only "difficult" part is making the tripod legs. These are just 2x4s of course. It's an easy and strong idea for a tripod.

obin :)

#5 orion69


    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 998
  • Joined: 09 May 2010
  • Loc: Croatia

Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:18 PM

If you want to raise whole mount with tripod I think you'll have to make platform for that.
Here's what I did, not for the same reason but solution could be applicable.

#6 mogur


    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1802
  • Joined: 29 Jul 2011
  • Loc: WI

Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:22 PM

The reason we raise the mount head is that the tube will hit the tripod legs when looking near zenith. No matter how much you raise the tripod itself.

#7 cloudmagnet


    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 300
  • Joined: 04 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Georgetown, Texas

Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:00 PM

As an avid ATM'er (and direct descendant of Rube Goldberg) here's what I would do: Get an appropriate length of steel or aluminum pipe, some plate (cut into discs the diameter of the pipe), and nuts and bolts- have the discs welded to the ends of the pipe. Next, have the nuts/bolts welded on as needed to match the mount on one end, and the tripod on the other. By magic, an extension will appear!

#8 Starlon


    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 285
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2006
  • Loc: desert, USA

Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:14 AM

I've used these: http://www.amazon.co.../ref=sr_1_15...

They are very sturdy & I put my 6" refractor up on 3 - 8" ones. No problems.

#9 Michael Rapp

Michael Rapp


  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3693
  • Joined: 26 Apr 2004
  • Loc: Dickinson, TX

Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:58 AM

So many good ideas here!

(And I had forgotten about the benefit of the pier keeping the tube from hitting the legs. I do watch out for that, but I have to be careful.)

Cinder blocks....rolling platform.....and the bench grinder stand has some merit.

And Bed Elevators! I had no idea such a thing even existed. I may have to try that....although the number of reports of bed wheels punching through the plastic gives me pause, but the LXD-75 + scope is not as heavy as a bed. Seems they make wood ones, too.

#10 CharlesW



  • *****
  • Posts: 2332
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2012
  • Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA

Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:58 AM

If you take the Orion pier extension to a good metal supplier in your area they can accurately cut it to lenght on their bandsaw for a couple of bucks. Or take it to a machine shop and they can do it.

#11 Ski-Patroller


    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 51
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2010

Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:46 AM

Plus 1 on the surveyors tripod. The high quality ones are quite solid. I had one that I used on a wedge mount for a B&L 4000 SCT.

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics