Here are the specs of the scopes involved:
1) former – Showa SD100/1000 - 13 lbs. and about 43” long (in use)
2) present – TEC FL110/616 - 10 lbs. and about 29” long (in use) - shrinks down to about 19" for travel.
With a more portable scope, I began to look for a more portable mount/tripod combo.
I already had my Losmandy G-9 mount before receiving the Showa, but it was on a Davis and Sanford Astro 600 tripod ( the same tripod Astro-Physics used to sell for their 400 mount) It was a great combo for a Takahashi FS78 that I had at the time, but it wouldn’t provide the sturdiness I like for the longer moment arm and greater weight of the Showa. I sold the D&S tripod and purchased a Losmandy HD tripod. The Losmandy HD tripod was a trade-off; while it was much more stable than the D&S, it weighed 5X (33 lbs.) as much as the D&S (6.5 lbs). However, after set up, it worked very well and kept me satisfied for years!
Along came the TEC 110FL – both lighter and shorter (less moment arm). Now with a more portable refractor, I wanted a more portable mount/tripod. Don’t get me wrong, the Losmandy HD is a great tripod, but heavy and the legs do not fold, making setup more involved. So, the search began for a different tripod. At first I considered the somewhat new Losmandy folding HD tripod, but while aiding in setup, it did nothing for weight reduction. I also considered another D&S Astro 600, but they seem to be no longer available and I’m still not sure if it would be sturdy enough for the TEC. I also considered a wood tripod, but I never cared for the flexure or the lack of weight capacity.
I posted in this forum asking for suggestion, but didn't receive much feedback and so I did some research myself and I thought I would share.
After I searched through the telescope-mount tripods and didn’t find what I wanted (call me finicky), I began to look at the photography tripods. The research took a while, but I finally decided on a Kessler Crane tripod, called a K-Pod. Here are the specs:
Load capacity - 500 lbs.
Weight - 22 lbs.
Min height - 37"
Max height - 64"
It also has a unique leg-locking system that locks the legs in position using “lock-pockets” without any possibility of slippage; explained better in the video.
After it arrived, I machined an adapter for the Losmandy G-9 and put the combo together.
PROS: attractive, metal, fairly light weight, folds, locking spreader and is solid as a rock
CONS: somewhat expensive --$600 and another $130 for the logo carrying case
After, I get a chance under clear night skies, I’ll add to my assessment.