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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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JimP
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3603080 - 02/03/10 06:58 PM

My Berlebach Tripod is here! The wood is Gorgeous with a beautiful finish. I ordered the rubber foot tips and decided to remove the metal spikes. Ye gads what a chore. At first I thought the rubber foot tips had the wrong size bolt because it was a B----- to screw them on! I finally got them on with the assistance of my 19 yo son who works out every day. I really like the spreader and the wooden tray. Everything is Excellent quality. After looking it over carefully and finding not a minuscule flaw of any kind I took it outside. The legs were up so the tripod was at its lowest height. I wanted it to be higher so when I mounted the TEC 160 F/7 I could get to the eyepiece comfortably. Hmmm I thought, what is going to be the best way to do this. I locked the outer portion of the legs with the handles at the top of the tripod then loosened the lower locks that hold the adjustable (inner) legs in place. I then just lifted the tripod straight up and the inner legs came out very smoothly as I lifted. When I was at the height I wanted I stopped lifting and the tripod stayed at that position. I then tightened the legs at that height. Superb! I then went around and made some minor shifts to get the tripod leveled using the bubble level on the tripod. I then added the Mach1 mount and the level on the Mach1 agreed with the bubble level on the tripod. As I am writing this the TEC 160 is on the mount cooling down. The sky is clear. I will give some F/U tomorrow. So far, it is a Winner.

best,

JimP


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coliea
super member


Reged: 02/10/08

Loc: Sasana
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3603122 - 02/03/10 07:20 PM

Quote:


No way the Report is going to work with a 4 inch refractor. I would say short 80mm and below for that tripod.




Not sure about that - I use a SV102ED on a Unistar/Report 3012 and find it very stable... and IMHO it doesn't look any more undermounted than a TEC on a Uni.
Having said that, if I was buying a Berlebach now I'd personally go for the Uni as I certainly wouldn't want to hang anything larger than a 4"er on a Report

Col


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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: coliea]
      #3603311 - 02/03/10 09:09 PM

Great Jim - glad you are enjoying it. Looking forward to your report on performance.

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JimP
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3604028 - 02/04/10 09:55 AM

Well guys, the Bereleback tripod worked beautifully. I had an AP Mach1 mount plus TEC 160 F/7 Fluorite. I had some of those old vibration pad things and put one under each leg. I was setup on my second floor back porch which is not the stablest platform to start with. Well the tripod was stable, very stable. It was as stable as my Losmany Heavy duty pier located in the same place. A sharp rap to a tripod leg dampened out in ~1-1.5 seconds. A sharp rap on the OTA took about 1/2 sec longer. This is amazingly stable from this porch. Mars using a 4mm TMB Supermonocentric was Gorgeous! After observibng a while I took things apart. The tripod was easy to fold up. I have some srthritis in my hands and sometimes have difficulty tightening knobs. Not a problem with aything on the Berleback. The Planet is a superb tripod and if you are in the market I can highly recommend Mark at Teton.
I took pics but after a round of reduction in size they are still too large to post here. I will try again and post later.

best,

JimP


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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: coliea]
      #3604401 - 02/04/10 12:25 PM Attachment (128 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:


No way the Report is going to work with a 4 inch refractor. I would say short 80mm and below for that tripod.




Not sure about that - I use a SV102ED on a Unistar/Report 3012 and find it very stable... and IMHO it doesn't look any more undermounted than a TEC on a Uni.
Having said that, if I was buying a Berlebach now I'd personally go for the Uni as I certainly wouldn't want to hang anything larger than a 4"er on a Report

Col




interesting....I was trying a Tak FS102 w/ Teegul on a Report, it had way too much vibration. Maybe something about your mount is working better?

I'm sure any tripod will be more stable if the mount is counterweighted, the un-balanced Teegul probably puts all the load on one side of the tripod. If it does work the Report is really nice tripod, I know the guy I sold it to loves it.


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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3604433 - 02/04/10 12:34 PM



thanks for the report Jim, sounds great, you are starting to notice why some of us love these - elegance in simplicity! I've got lots of arthritis problems, as I said my fingers were starting to have trouble with the knobs on the AP tripod. I also like the way it collapses down to a small package, smaller than the AP tripod. I am able to throw it into the back of my compact station wagon without folding the seats down.

I would imagine your 160f will be very happy on there, it is a very compact and light tube for a 6.3 inch refractor.

could you send some of your warm temps up here please, will be heading out to see Mars tonight, forecast low of 15!


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JimP
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3604595 - 02/04/10 01:37 PM Attachment (263 downloads)

Here is the Bereleback tripod with its legs in next to the Losmandy pier.

JimP


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JimP
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3604600 - 02/04/10 01:38 PM Attachment (193 downloads)

Another view

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JimP
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3604603 - 02/04/10 01:39 PM Attachment (215 downloads)

With TEC 160

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peleuba
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/01/04

Loc: Southern PA
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3604661 - 02/04/10 02:01 PM

Quote:

wow, I like the looks of that 50cm tray - you can never have enough real estate under there IMO! If you have a short tube that won't hit the legs it looks like a nice option.




A day or so back, I ordered the 50cm tray from Berlebach to use with my DM6/Planet combo. This should give me sufficient spread when using an off axis alt-az mount.


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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3604728 - 02/04/10 02:29 PM

very nice, thanks for the pics. You do like your eyepiece up high, I usually don't extend the legs all the way. I've got to get myself some of those vibration pads, currently I'm using blocks of wood from a 2X4.

a beautiful setup! I like the TEC finder too, I just had my sv50 right-angle finder mounted up in their bracket, good stuff!


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Scruffy
super member


Reged: 01/23/10

Loc: Arkansas
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3606413 - 02/05/10 11:22 AM

Jim, Great pics! Thanks for taking the tie to post them.

It would seem that the Planet is quite a bit more portable than the pier. Any trouble handling it?


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JimP
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #3606867 - 02/05/10 02:56 PM

No trouble handling it at all. The pier is a monster. Good for a mount that will stay somewhere or for a special event but not for routine portable setup. The Berleback folds up nicely and comes in a nice cloth bag to carry it.

JimP


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etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3611081 - 02/07/10 05:19 PM Attachment (168 downloads)

Chiming in on the UNI24 and another option.

I bought Mark's double leg-lock UNI24 setup with a GM-8 and it's solid - I've now put every scope I own on it, ranging from a Pronto to a Mewlon 250 (buying Mark's APM115/805 set off a lust for fine optics this year!).

At worst, dampening times were ~3 seconds at ~250-300x, while more like 1-2 seconds on a Tak EM-200/SE-L.

The UNI24 fully-retracted is about the same height, but heavier than the Tak SE-L tripod. The adapter and the GM-8's short pier base add up - without counterweights or scope, the GM-8/UNI24 weighs in at 50 lbs, while more stable EM-200/SE-L is 48 lbs total!

Keeping the GM-8 for now for the lovely slip clutches and the more equal weight of the pieces in the field (the GM-8 is about 50-50 head and tripod + adapter, while the EM-200 is more like 65/35).

That said, a Tak tripod might not be a bad option for many where the light weight, solid build, and easy handling (the Shimano leg locks are a joy!) are wanted and height adjustment is not needed. I don't know what adapters exist in the market, but the center hub is pretty simple. Price is the same as the UNI24.


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etsleds
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: etsleds]
      #3627487 - 02/16/10 02:41 AM

I had an accident last week with the UNI24/GM8 combo. I was moving the mount fully assembled (sans scope) back into the house and bumped one of the corners of the accessory tray loose with my leg. When I set it down to fix, the legs splayed out and dumped the mount onto the ground.

You can see from the picture above where this setup lives, so it was a miracle that legs and counterweight shaft splayed out everywhere didn't damage a speaker, TV, or the nearby Mewlon, just a ding in the drive electronics housing is the only damage I could find. You can also see from the picture above that my tripod didn't come with the leg chains, which Mark shipped off to me promptly.

So, chains and probably the folding spreader are really a must for safety on this tripod. I checked out the Tak tripod, which carries a heavier load, and the legs and center hub are built to prevent the legs from splaying out.


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hudson_yak
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/15/07

Loc: Hyde Park, NY, USA
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: etsleds]
      #3627884 - 02/16/10 10:24 AM

Yeah, I realized soon after getting mine that the safety chain, while sometimes getting in the way and tangled up under a leg, was pretty much a necessity.

This is one of the nice things about the spreader. Chain is no longer needed and the legs only move in unison. I have several places between inside and outside where I have to set the tripod down to open or shut a door and it's nice that it's always able to be done in a stable manner without undue attention to the leg positions.

I found the spreader a big improvement, highly recommended.

Mike


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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3628120 - 02/16/10 12:35 PM

Quote:

Yeah, I realized soon after getting mine that the safety chain, while sometimes getting in the way and tangled up under a leg, was pretty much a necessity.

This is one of the nice things about the spreader. Chain is no longer needed and the legs only move in unison. I have several places between inside and outside where I have to set the tripod down to open or shut a door and it's nice that it's always able to be done in a stable manner without undue attention to the leg positions.

I found the spreader a big improvement, highly recommended.

Mike




interesting, now I see why people like spreaders. I never carry the tripod around assembled, that's why I like the snap-on tray. But if you leave it set up inside the spreader is more secure.

the Tak tripods are gorgeous also, I think the SE is competing with Planet in capacity though, the FCL is more equivalent to the UNI series.

the long legs and extra clamps on the uni24 allow you to raise it up very high, but they do make it heavier too. A fixed-leg tripod will be more stable and lighter at the lower heights.

I ordered my UNI14 (shorter legs) with double leg clamps and actually removed the second set to save weight. With the shorter legs of the UNI14 the second clamps didn't do very much.


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hudson_yak
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/15/07

Loc: Hyde Park, NY, USA
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3628177 - 02/16/10 01:07 PM

It may be if you fold up the tripod and carry it on your shoulder the spreader has less value. Mine has the Losmandy adapter and associated drive electronics box on it. Even though I remove the mount head itself for carrying the remaining parts are pretty much guaranteed to bang into doorways if I carry it on my shoulder. So I prefer to carry it close in front of me with the leg tips spread just a foot or thereabouts so it can be set down easily along the way. Also store it like that.

Mike


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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3628216 - 02/16/10 01:26 PM

The clamps at the top (where legs meet base) really need to be tightened down. This is for torsional rigidity of the legs of course, but if tightened properly you shouldn't really see the legs spreading out easily. The safety chain is still a good idea in case these top clamps aren't tight - and if you are like me, you will probably forget to clamp tight one or more legs sooner or later. Just important to bear in my mind that the tray and/or spreader aren't meant to contribute much structural rigidity, they are more of a convenience feature.

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gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3631695 - 02/18/10 01:06 AM

Quote:

The clamps at the top (where legs meet base) really need to be tightened down. This is for torsional rigidity of the legs of course, but if tightened properly you shouldn't really see the legs spreading out easily. The safety chain is still a good idea in case these top clamps aren't tight - and if you are like me, you will probably forget to clamp tight one or more legs sooner or later. Just important to bear in my mind that the tray and/or spreader aren't meant to contribute much structural rigidity, they are more of a convenience feature.




I see several references to the safety chain here and maybe yes if you're picking the mount/tripod up and moving it entire. But if you observe on grass (like me) and you have the spikes and you push the spiked feet into the ground, you really don't need a chain. It's not going anywhere. I spike the legs and then level the mount by adjusting length.
(I level the mount because it keeps polaris in about the same place from session to session through the polar scope).

I've used up to my G11/C14 on the Planet tripod and it does work. I do think that with the tray it is a bit more tippy than one would like (it is evident if one compares the angle of the G11 default tripod legs to the Berlebach with tray. So I'd venture that not using the tray and using the chain (and spiked feet) would give a wider footprint and better stability with a scope like the C14.

For the FS128--and I dare say a C11 or TEC 140, etc., the Planet is a perfect match. It's probably also the simplest way to move from stock Losmandy tripods to wood if that's what you want.

I don't have any real complaints against Losmandy stock tripods. They are best in class. But I don't like working with them when it is 8 degrees F outside. Wood's nice too. I haven't been able to bring myself to sell my G11 stock tripod. I probably should, but I haven't. I think the stock stepper G11 on stock tripod is probably the closest thing to a hardened target capable of withstanding nuclear blasts that we have in the field.

But I use the Berlebach these days whenever I use the G11. And, it is very nice, the G11 adapter is actually better than the one put out by Losmandy. That's not easy to do, but Berlebach did manage to one-up Scott on the tripod adapter design.

Greg N


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