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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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davidpitre
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Which Berlebach tripod ?
      #3577470 - 01/22/10 05:44 PM

I'm considering a Berlebach tripod for my Takahashi 4" refractor loaded with 6 lbs of Ha filters on the end. Who owns a Berlebach for a 17 lb+ refractor and what do you recommend?
I found that the filters make a huge difference in the requirements for the tripod. So if you used a 4" refractor alone, the same tripod might not work for me.


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #3577642 - 01/22/10 07:36 PM

Hi David,

I have experience with only Berlebach Planet. I use it with 4" f/8, 5" f/7, 6" f/8 refractors on DM-6 or G11.

4" refractor:


5" refractor:


Both are rock solid.

Tammy


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hudson_yak
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #3577890 - 01/22/10 10:00 PM

I'd recommend the Planet as well. I went with the Uni 24 since it has more height range and I didn't want to deal with an extension and the additional weight. Nice tripod, but for the ED100 it needed the legs extended quite a bit and rigidity was borderline then. It's okay now that I'm using a shorter scope on it with the legs not extended as much.

I think the Planet and an extension, if desired, is going to be better for what you are using.

Mike


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3577958 - 01/22/10 10:42 PM Attachment (306 downloads)

I'm really surprised to hear that a UNI-24 is borderline for a 4" refractor even with filters. What were you using for a mount? I had a DM-6 and TOA130 on one for a while (used unextended or mildly extended) and although that combo was pushing it a bit, it performed competently. That said, if I were to purchase another Berlebach I would also go with a Planet. You can never have too much tripod unless portability/travel is paramount - neither the UNI24 or Planet qualify as portable IMHO.

Here is a 105 with heavy binoviewers on a HH II and UNI24 (extended) that approaches the kind of weight David mentioned. I never felt I was limited performance wise with this combo and tripod.


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hudson_yak
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3578436 - 01/23/10 08:53 AM

I use a GM-8 on it (with the very nice Berlebach adapter). That's a pretty substantial thing to control in itself I have found, since the saddle is rather far from the RA axis. And then with the ED100 I had the legs extended to position 45 or 50 to make overhead viewing not require so much bending over. The flexy combination of all of this made steady focusing, even with a 2-speed focuser, quite difficult and not much fun.

Not all 4" refractors provide the same rigidity challenge, of course, depends on the focal length and where the balance point is.

This was one of the reasons I finally talked myself into getting the TV-85. Brings everything in much closer to the hub and I only need to extend the legs to 25, about 8 inches less. The difference in rigidity felt at the focuser is really significant.

Mike


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pmlogg
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3578830 - 01/23/10 12:47 PM

I'm experimenting using a UNI14, fitted with double leg clamps and tray for stiffening, with an AP900. On top is either a C8+Tak FS-60C and imaging kit OR a TMB100/800 CNC with the same add ons. I'd prefer a Planet but there is a very big jump in price. Then above that comes the 'Sky' but with another big price hike. I do have an AP portable pier if the Berlebach turns out not to be up to it.

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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3579003 - 01/23/10 02:27 PM

Quote:

I use a GM-8 on it (with the very nice Berlebach adapter). That's a pretty substantial thing to control in itself I have found, since the saddle is rather far from the RA axis.
Mike




That makes good sense Mike - I believe it. Thanks for clarifying. You are also right to raise that it isn't just about weight. Weight wasn't the problem for me with the TOA 130 and DM-6. A long focal length and off to the side - quite a moment arm and the thing could act like a tuning fork at high mags, aside from the substantial weight alone. But that is one of the advantages of a mount like the Half Hitch that places the OTA over the center of the tripod.


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pop
sage


Reged: 02/11/05

Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3579072 - 01/23/10 03:02 PM Attachment (345 downloads)

I have a Berlebach UNI... (can't remember) with EM200. My imaging setup as shown in the picture. TEC-140+FF + AT66ED guide scope and ring and dovetail. all weight is around 18 kg.

It has some vibrate but there is no problem to me. I believe that 20 pound weights has no problem with your setup.


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hudson_yak
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: pop]
      #3579236 - 01/23/10 04:50 PM

Wow, that's some load and the leg spikes are still showing...

I've thought about trying to get those extra leg clamps, since one can watch the upper ends of the sliding legs vibrate when tapping the scope. It helps to kick each leg outward to put some additional lateral tension into the legs, this tends to force the upper ends inward and thereby restrain any vibration. I would expect the Planet to have a big advantage here since the sliding legs are so much wider.

Mike


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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3580805 - 01/24/10 11:57 AM

Quote:

Wow, that's some load and the leg spikes are still showing...

I've thought about trying to get those extra leg clamps, since one can watch the upper ends of the sliding legs vibrate when tapping the scope. It helps to kick each leg outward to put some additional lateral tension into the legs, this tends to force the upper ends inward and thereby restrain any vibration. I would expect the Planet to have a big advantage here since the sliding legs are so much wider.

Mike




I am lucky to have both a UNI and Planet. IMO the Planet is an amazing piece of equipment. It's only about 20 pounds (not counting the tray) and all the parts and wood are much bigger than the UNI. If you don't mind schlepping the extra weight around I'd get the Planet. It will put an end to question and doubts about stability. I found it to be significantly more stable than an AP wood tripod which is the same weight.

I like the UNI too, it's very light and quick to set up when portability matters but if I was imaging I'd go with the big one. I think the price is actually very low compared to what you get for the same money in an AP or Tak wood tripod.


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JimP
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3581454 - 01/24/10 04:48 PM

May I ask where you bought your tripods and which you would suggest (If any) for a TEC 160 F/7 Fl with AP Mach1 mount?

Thanks!

Jim


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maknewtnut
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Reged: 10/08/06

Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? *DELETED* new [Re: JimP]
      #3582260 - 01/25/10 12:10 AM

Post deleted for product pushing.

Edited by Charlie Hein (01/30/10 07:50 PM)


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gnowellsct
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3582290 - 01/25/10 12:44 AM

I'd go with the Planet. I use it with a G11+FS128 and it's wonderful. Greg N FS128 + Berlebach + G11

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JimP
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3582708 - 01/25/10 10:16 AM

The Planet sounds about right. Any thoughts on the "Sky" which can hold a Lot more weight, weighs a little less but is a LOT more $?

JimP


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maknewtnut
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3582780 - 01/25/10 10:52 AM

I have yet to order one either for stock or special order. In a nutshell, for those seeking the finest non-metal tripod made today, that's the choice.

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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3582837 - 01/25/10 11:22 AM

Quote:

The Planet sounds about right. Any thoughts on the "Sky" which can hold a Lot more weight, weighs a little less but is a LOT more $?

JimP




Jim - I considered the Sky also. I think you'll be OK with the Planet - I purchased mine for almost the exact same gear - AP 160 and Mach1. It works great with just the single clamps. The Planet is already fairly light in weight; I didn't like the idea of even less weight under my scope (w/ the SKy), I was afraid it might make it prone to tipping over.

If you're on soft ground be sure to push each spike into the ground by stepping on it at the beginning, this makes it very stable. I use wood blocks under the legs when I'm on paved surfaces.

I purchased mine directly from Berlebach in Germany, I think it was before Teton carried them (I had to pay air shipping which was rough!), they also drilled the top for ADATRI for free.

I think you'll love the Planet, the overall quality and refinement is a level above anything else, it's the perfect match for the AP and TEC gear.



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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3583033 - 01/25/10 01:33 PM

Scott (and anyone else), can you comment some more on the Planet vs. the AP/Baader, which you described earlier as significantly more stable? My only direct comparison has been between the UNI24 I owned and the AP/Baader. I found the AP to be more stable (not unexpectedly) but the difference narrowed when the UNI24 was not extended (I also had double leg clamps on the UNI24).

I'm happy with the AP/Baader with a Mach1 and AP140 (same ballpark as 160 weight/length wise) for visual or non-demanding imaging but I don't extend the legs much. Just curious how you established the "significant" difference.

I've regretted selling my UNI24 and I know that a Planet will be in my future as my imaging demands grow (unless I go with a pier) but for now I'm fine tripod-wise.


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andydj5xp
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #3583088 - 01/25/10 02:01 PM Attachment (247 downloads)

Quote:

I'm considering a Berlebach tripod for my Takahashi 4" refractor loaded with 6 lbs of Ha filters on the end. Who owns a Berlebach for a 17 lb+ refractor and what do you recommend?
I found that the filters make a huge difference in the requirements for the tripod. So if you used a 4" refractor alone, the same tripod might not work for me.




David,

using for about 4 years now a TEC140 on a Berlebach UNI19 (same as UNI18 but with center column, see pic) I don't think a Planet would be neccessary.

My scope plus accessories is more than 25lbs (11.5kg). It is highly recommended to using vibration suppression pads also. Damping time is below 1 second.

Andreas


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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3583574 - 01/25/10 06:03 PM

Quote:

Scott (and anyone else), can you comment some more on the Planet vs. the AP/Baader, which you described earlier as significantly more stable? My only direct comparison has been between the UNI24 I owned and the AP/Baader. I found the AP to be more stable (not unexpectedly) but the difference narrowed when the UNI24 was not extended (I also had double leg clamps on the UNI24).

I'm happy with the AP/Baader with a Mach1 and AP140 (same ballpark as 160 weight/length wise) for visual or non-demanding imaging but I don't extend the legs much. Just curious how you established the "significant" difference.

I've regretted selling my UNI24 and I know that a Planet will be in my future as my imaging demands grow (unless I go with a pier) but for now I'm fine tripod-wise.




The AP wood tripod is heavier-duty than the UNI tripods. The Planet is in the same weight class also having bigger legs, hub, and clamps than the UNI.

What happened to me is that I had an AP 600 mount and wood tripod for many years with an 80's 6-inch f/8 AP refractor. When I upgraded to the new AP 160 the weight of the scope went up a bit, maybe 5 or 8 pounds more, and then around the same time I also replaced the 600 with a Mach1.

The AP wood tripod had been fine with the 600/6-inch f/8 combination, but with the 160 and Mach1 on there I immediately noticed more vibrations to the point where it was unacceptable. I tried a Planet with single leg clamps and noticed an upgrade in stability, particularly at high power and on windy nights.

I think a good pier would be better than either tripod. It sounds like the AP wood tripod is working OK in your configuration (the 140 is shorter and less moment-arm than the 160). if you want a little more stability you could get a Planet. The other nice things about it are a gigantic tray that snaps into place, instead of 3 screws. Plenty of room on the tray for the keypad and a few eyepieces. The leg clamps are much better than the ones on the AP tripod also, I found it difficult to turn the knobs on the AP clamps without using pliers.

honestly I can't say enough about the Planet tripod, it's one of my favorite equipment items ever.


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JimP
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3583643 - 01/25/10 06:36 PM

I agree. I set up my TEC 160 F/7 with Mach1 on my AP wooden tripod. With the legs extended so the eyepiece height was at a comfortable level for me seated the setup did not seem stable enough to me. Too much vibration at high power and I just did not feel comfortable that the mount was secure. Hard for me to explain but I decided I had to have something else. I considered the AP Eagle but I'd have to add Two of the extensions to get near where I needed the mount height for my visual observations. I found a used Losmandy HD with an extension that works fine. But after getting it together I don't think I can describe it as being portable. So, I am thinking again about something portable. The Planet sounds right and looks beautiful. At 25 pounds it is significantly heavier than the AP wooden tripod (18 pounds). The only thing that competes in terms of weight is the SKY. Yes it is very expensive. It compares more to the AP Eagle with two extensions price-wise. But the weight is under 20 pounds. That is nice.
Overall, as long as I feel the PLANET will do the job I am leaning very much toward it with its lower price and beautiful wooden appearance. I'll just have to deal with a little extra weight.
Thanks to everyone for this thread. I would not have thought of Berleback without it!

best,

JimP


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3583738 - 01/25/10 07:36 PM

Thanks Scott and Jim... I came very close to opting for the Planet instead of the AP after I ordered my Mach 1 but at the time, I wasn't all that confident about getting the holes drilled for the ADATRI, plus I wanted to add some AP accessory trays.. It looks like the dimples (and/or with Mark's help) that is no longer an issue. I am completely sold on Berlebach and have recommended them regularly based on my experience with the UNI24.

The Sky looks great and the weight specs are amazing. However, I would really like to hear a field report from somebody before seriously considering that route. I will be looking to add either a pier or a Planet in the next year or two. I'm inclined to go with the Berlebach.


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Scruffy
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3584674 - 01/26/10 09:59 AM

Doug. Beautiful set up!!

I ordered the 1/4 HH for my TV 85. I get the impression that you feel the UNI24 is good for your current setup. A couple of questions:
- Does the tripod need the additional clamps?
- If you had to buy today would you buy the 24 or the Planet if your 4" refractor was your only scope?
- Do you use the pictured setup in a grab and go, fast set up situation?
I have a TV 85 that I'll put on the quarter hitch. It is probably about a 10 kg total load, it seems that the 24 would be adequate for that rig. Would you agree?
_ if you were going to a TV 101, do you think the Planet would then be necessary?

Sorry for all the ?s, just don't want to feel I haven't done all I could to get informed before I write the check.
Much thanks!
Jack


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #3584737 - 01/26/10 10:40 AM

Jack,

You've can see a few differing opinions here already but I would certainly say that a TV85 with quarter Hitch on a UNI24 will be rock solid - and arguably overkill. The UNI24 is still a substantial tripod and to some, not grab and go. To be honest, for true grab and go I use a very beefy (and ridiculously expensive) carbon fiber tripod even for the 105 plus HH. I guess you might want to be clear in your mind what your viewing style/preferences tend to be. While you can pick-up the UNI24 plus TV85 and walk out the door with it - it is still a big tripod with some weight so I wouldn't call such a move a piece of cake. Just depends on your tolerance level.

I haven't seen the Planet in person but I assume it is at least as beefy as my AP/Baader wood tripod, which I certainly would not call a grab and go rig. I personally don't think you'd benefit from a Planet for a 101 with HH - and it certainly wouldn't be portable. I've got to admit though, I'd be tempted to go with the Planet. And if you think a 5" might be in your future......

Seriously though, a super heavy tripod kind of defeats the purpose of a HH, which is a grab and go mount. I use to use a Discmounts DM-6 with an NP101 (and a TOA130 as mentioned earlier) on the UNI24. In that case, i think the UNI24 or Planet makes a lot of sense. A DM6/Planet combo with a 5" refractor would make for a nice alt/az rig if portability wasn't a primary concern.

For my own needs and given my equipment, I have come around to realizing that one tripod just won't do it all. As you grow your own stable of gear you will likely come to the same conclusion. So I have a very lightweight but high performance CF tripod for travel/vacations and around the house grab and go with my HH and 105 or TV76. And I have the AP/Baader for the 5" and GEM. If I take the imaging up a notch I'll need a pier - or alternatively perhaps a Planet. I let the UNI24 go because it was a great medium heavy-duty tripod that I no longer felt I needed after I replaced it with the 2 tripods just described. I regret it though.

If you like quality, performance, top design, craftsmanship and wood - I agree with others here who have already said the Berlebach can't be touched. I also think they are reasonable ($) given what else is out there.

Another minor consideration with the Berlebach though is the portability of the tripod tray. It may add some stability and it certainly is convenient (and quick to snap in) but it is large and cumbersome to carry around. It becomes an issue if you are traveling but then again, it is a minor issue. The Baader/AP tray is much more compact but anyone who has dropped the #$@& screws in the dark while assembling/disassembling the tripod will tell you it is a real pain. The Lapides spreader looks great but very hard to get. Berlebach use to show some kind of spreader on their site - not sure about how well that might work.

Having never tried the UNI24 without dual leg clamps I honestly can't tell you it would make that big of a difference. My gut feeling is that they can't hurt and if you are planning to extend the tripod legs a fair amount that they will in fact help with stability. They aren't that expensive as I recall so - why not?

Secretly, I'm looking for a reason to justify another tripod - specifically the Planet. But for now, my pocketbook and financial advisor (let alone my judgment) makes that unlikely.

You won't be disappointed with the UNI24. Personally, I would favor stability and performance over portability. But that is the decision you'll have to make. Good luck Jack - and post some pictures.

Edited by Doug D. (01/26/10 10:59 AM)


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Scruffy
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3584820 - 01/26/10 11:22 AM

Thanks Doug.

Is there a couple of good carbon fiber tripods you could point me to? I notice that there are a bit pricey, but I can see now that in two or three years There will be another scope. So I should consider something very light for the 85 and something like the planet for the bigger (more light) scope. By that time I might also consider some form of reflector as my second scope, who knows?

Jack


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3584838 - 01/26/10 11:35 AM

Hi Jim,

Berlebach Planet is a very good tripod but it is not as rigid as Losmandy HD/FHD tripod for 6"+ refractor IMHO. It is somewhat weaker in DEC (or Azimuth) moment. It is noticeable when I put 6" f/8 + heavy binoviewer setup (44 lb) on G11/Berlebach Planet, fast swing and stop, not noticeable when it is tracking though. That's why I didn't mention "Rock Solid" with 6" refractor at beginning of this thread. Having said that, I use Berlebach Planet a lot more often than HD/FHD tripod due to portability.

Maybe Berlebach Sky is a ticket for you. Another recommendation that I can make is Joe's Castoro's tall tripod for 6"+ refractor. I mostly use 6" binoscope on it.
http://www.binoscope.com/bigbino.htm#tripods

I am happy with the tripod (and his Alt/Az mount).

Tammy


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #3584849 - 01/26/10 11:39 AM

Jack, there are several good tripod options out there so I wouldn't necessarily just pull the trigger on a CF. I guess it would depend on your budget. What I mean is, don't feel like you have to spend that kind of money on a tripod to get acceptable portability and performance. For example, the KB tripods that TV re-brands and sells are quite good and you can buy them directly. Charles at HH can make a recommendation on model and mating of your HH to the tripod.

I use a Gitzo 5 series (5530S I think - they change model numbers frequently) CF. Really Right Stuff also offers a new CF that will likely compete with the best Gitzos. The Gitzos are at the top of the heap in terms of quality and performance but there are also very good and more inexpensive models from Bogen/Manfrotto. I'm sure others here can give you their opinions.

I just realized I'm starting to divert this thread - sorry folks. I can PM you Jack if you'd like more info about my own experiences with various tripods. Also, don't forget that you can get some great used tripods on Amart and elsewhere although you rarely see Berlebach or Gitzo. And used Gitzos tend to command pretty high prices.


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Steve C.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3584908 - 01/26/10 12:14 PM

I've been thinking about the Planet tripod for my G-11. I'd either be carrying my 5" AP or C11 on it.

The G-11 tripod is quite steady, but it's seven pounds heavier than the Planet, and sometimes I get tired of the bending and the assembling. (I need a robot).


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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3584920 - 01/26/10 12:18 PM

Quote:

I agree. I set up my TEC 160 F/7 with Mach1 on my AP wooden tripod. With the legs extended so the eyepiece height was at a comfortable level for me seated the setup did not seem stable enough to me. Too much vibration at high power and I just did not feel comfortable that the mount was secure. Hard for me to explain but I decided I had to have something else. I considered the AP Eagle but I'd have to add Two of the extensions to get near where I needed the mount height for my visual observations. I found a used Losmandy HD with an extension that works fine. But after getting it together I don't think I can describe it as being portable. So, I am thinking again about something portable. The Planet sounds right and looks beautiful. At 25 pounds it is significantly heavier than the AP wooden tripod (18 pounds). The only thing that competes in terms of weight is the SKY. Yes it is very expensive. It compares more to the AP Eagle with two extensions price-wise. But the weight is under 20 pounds. That is nice.
Overall, as long as I feel the PLANET will do the job I am leaning very much toward it with its lower price and beautiful wooden appearance. I'll just have to deal with a little extra weight.
Thanks to everyone for this thread. I would not have thought of Berleback without it!

best,

JimP




Jim - I wouldn't be so sure about the weight difference - I actually had the AP tripod and Berlebach Planet in hand at the same time. When each one was folded down for travel, without the trays, I lifted each one and they seemed to weigh the same. I think AP's weight spec. is a little low. My UNI 14 is also supposed to be 18 pounds and the AP tripod is much heavier. I think the Berlebach tray weighs around 3 pounds so that accounts for some of the difference.

I suspect the AP tripod is about 20 pounds and the Planet is 21 without the tray. Someday I'll have to get a scale in the house!

I got the berlebach carry bag that fits the Planet too, it makes a very small and easy to handle package, it's smaller than the AP tripod. The tray does not fit into the bag and must be carried separately though.

I don't know the bag # but it's about 42 inches long and 10 inches in diameter.




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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #3585019 - 01/26/10 01:03 PM Attachment (329 downloads)

Quote:

Doug. Beautiful set up!!

I ordered the 1/4 HH for my TV 85. I get the impression that you feel the UNI24 is good for your current setup. A couple of questions:
- Does the tripod need the additional clamps?
- If you had to buy today would you buy the 24 or the Planet if your 4" refractor was your only scope?
- Do you use the pictured setup in a grab and go, fast set up situation?
I have a TV 85 that I'll put on the quarter hitch. It is probably about a 10 kg total load, it seems that the 24 would be adequate for that rig. Would you agree?
_ if you were going to a TV 101, do you think the Planet would then be necessary?

Sorry for all the ?s, just don't want to feel I haven't done all I could to get informed before I write the check.
Much thanks!
Jack




I agree with Doug, the Planet is too much for a half-hitch. The UNI is a perfect match for my Teegul mounting, it's very solid with a 4 inch refractor for visual use.

The Planet has some serious girth, the pictures on the website don't really do it justice. It is one brawny beast. My fingers are skinny but this picture gives you a sense - the legs are 5 inches across of solid ash wood!


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3585081 - 01/26/10 01:31 PM

Very nice - tripod porn!! You are making the Planet look very tempting. If I recall correctly, the leg width on the UNI24 would be about 2/3 that of the planet - maybe even less? BTW, that is the ADATRI you've got bolted on there, right? Nice to see it clears the bubble level. I've been wanting to see just such a combo for quite some time - thanks for posting Scott.

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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #3585433 - 01/26/10 04:30 PM

Hi Guys,
I made the decision to buy the PLANET. Yes, the Losmandy HD pier is rigid but it is not portable. I am happy setting the Losmandy pier up and throwing a Telegizmos cover for Long periods of time but, for portability, I'm going with the Berlebach PLANET. Now, someone said something about having a "stable" of tripods. Hey, my kind of guy. I may get the SKY down the road if I feel I need more stability. It is expensive but even weighs Less!
So, I just called Mark at Teton Telescope and ordered the PLANET with AP adapter for my Mach1. Mark will get the AP adapter and attach it to the Berlebach Tripod for me before shipping. Great! Thanks everyone for your valuable input.
BTW, somewhere I "think" I saw a beautiful wooden tripod (Berlebach?) that had been stained. I believe it was two-toned. Anyone stain their wooden tripod?

best,

JimP


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3585471 - 01/26/10 04:49 PM

Good choice Jim - make sure to post pictures.

Berlebach actually offers tripods with a few different stains (brown, grey, green and natural). Check out their site - it is on there somewhere:

http://www.berlebach.de/?sprache=english

I would guess Mark can get whatever you want but it would be a wait.


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3585504 - 01/26/10 05:03 PM

Mark has one in stock so I'm going with it. I could not find anything about stain/colors on Berlebach's website which is fine. I was just wondering. I will definitely post some pics when it gets here.

JimP


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3585531 - 01/26/10 05:15 PM

The natural ones have a clear coating on them so won't take stain very well without prep work. I'm sure once you get it you'll like it just the way it is...

Mike


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3585550 - 01/26/10 05:23 PM

FYI, stain color choices listed on Berlebach site in pull down menu when you select a tripod for the "cart".

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Scruffy
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3585849 - 01/26/10 08:02 PM


Scott. That picture is worth 10,000 words! The nearest place where I could put hands on an astronomic type tripod is a state away. When I look at what is available on line, it is hard to tell the diff between the UNI and the Planet.

Today I have been scouring the web for info on carbon fiber tripods. They all look flimsy; as if they are for a SLR not a scope. Again, it would be nice if I could go to a store and actually look at these things in person. I like the apperance of the Berlebach's and a few other wooden tripods. The B'bach's do seem to be priced well. The lightest wooden mount I've considered is the TV Gibraltar. Comparing the weights of the various tripods is just a number, that picture with the ruler brings a lot of understanding to the heft of the Planet. But I have to admit, the Planet is a great looking set of legs!

Doug and the rest of the folks have been very helpful (and tolerant) to this new guy and I really appreciate it. I am close to making a decision and I'll post a pic or two when I get it all set up.

{"tripod porn"} Bwaa haa ha.


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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #3585897 - 01/26/10 08:34 PM

I measured the UNI too, the leg width is just shy of 3 inches. and yes, the ADATRI plate fits nicely on top of the Planet with bubble-level exposed.

here is one more tip - the Berlebach cotton-canvas bags are nice for storage. however for more protection, this JMI padded carry bag is very nice for either the UNI or Planet.
it's very solid, was able to carry my UNI and Teegul on an airplane flight (checked through baggage) with no problem:

http://www.astronomics.com/main/product.asp/catalog_name/Astronomics/category_name/3NQ6R1TANAHP9H7JKURQ64G777/product_id/207CM

I hear you guys on the CF tripods, even the UNI was a huge pain in the neck to take on a trip. CF would be the way to go if you have to travel with the thing for a week.

*edit - here is a nice photo-shoot Greg did of the Planet w/ G11 (sorry, no centerfold), not sure if you can see it w/o being a member of the losmandy yahoo group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Losmandy_users/photos/album/403539821/pic/list


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3586042 - 01/26/10 09:50 PM

How does the Uni 24 compare in terms of stability to the typical William Optics/ Oberwerk wooden tripods? Has anyone ever compared the two ? I'm sure the Berlebach is better quality but am wondering if it's appreciably more stable.

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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #3586122 - 01/26/10 10:37 PM Attachment (194 downloads)

I owned the Oberwerk (purchased with WO EZ-touch mount). The price is certainly right (esp. for blem versions) but IMO it simply isn't in the same league as the tripods we are discussing here (e.g., Berlebach, KB, Gitzo).

As for carbon fiber tripods I'll post a couple images of the Gitzo GT5530S (now discontinued). Scope in first image is TV76 for scale - should give you an idea of leg thickness. It is great with the HH.


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3586126 - 01/26/10 10:39 PM Attachment (168 downloads)

And a more complete view with Astrotrac mount and an SV50 scope. It can handle a lot more weight - I use it mostly as grab and go with my 105. Don't expect the Gitzo to be the equal of a Planet in terms of stability and damping but it is certainly a great alternative to a medium duty quality wood tripod (e.g., a UNI) when portability is critical. You probably have to be a little crazy to go for one of these puppies - guilty as charged! But I do really need lightweight portability for travel. And yes, the Gitzo is a photo tripod and is not marketed for astronomy. The 5 series is a serious tripod.

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davidpitre
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3586636 - 01/27/10 08:43 AM

Quote:

) but IMO it simply isn't in the same league as the tripods we are discussing here (e.g., Berlebach, KB, Gitzo).






In terms of quality or rigidity ?
Like I said. I'm wondering about specific comparisons in their abilities to hold a scope rigid, particularly with reference to large moment arms.


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #3586720 - 01/27/10 09:53 AM

Yes, in terms of both. It has been years since I had the tripod in hand so I can't recall every detail but I will give you my personal opinion, FWIW. In a nutshell, it did not have the rigidity or damping characteristics I desired. Relative to the other tripods we've been talking about in this thread, there is some play where legs attach to top base (i.e., some torsional movement evident - slight, but there). I'm not sure what wood is used but it is a lot softer than the ash used in Berlebach or KB. I know there is a jarrah hardwood option and although not familiar with that, I assume it would be a step up in the rigidity and damping departments. The round double leg struts that clamp to the bottom sliding piece (and the legs in general) are not very substantial and the clamping hardware is ok but not great. I also seem to recall that the wood was soft enough to feel physically compressed/crushed if you clamped down too hard.

On the other hand, it is a very nice looking tripod and it does perform well - just not Berlebach well. If you are using for binos or small to mid size refractors for grab and go low mag, I think you could not do much better for the price. I don't mean to disparage this tripod at all - it is a very good value. For $85 bucks it is a no brainer - unless you are going to want something more substantial anyway. I'd rather not have a tripod sitting around unused. That is why I don't have my Oberwerk, or UNI24 anymore and I haven't bought a Planet. But as always, YMMV.

There is also one lesson about tripods (and other gear) that I learned from the photography world (my other hobby). Thom Hogan wrote a piece for his website on tripod selection for cameras but I think it applies just as well to astronomy. I fit the profile of someone who has ended up spending a lot more money overall on some gear (like tripods and Alt/Az mounts) because I started out with more economical stuff when I should have bit the bullet and just bought better quality to begin with. I know it doesn't always make sense if you simply don't have the budget or if you are just starting out and not sure if you are likely to stick with a hobby like this, which can get expensive real fast.


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maknewtnut
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3586847 - 01/27/10 11:05 AM

Moderator's note: please note that this is an unsolicited response from the vendor to those reading this thread. The management of CN would prefer that such responses be in answer to a question specifically directed at the vendor. Please bear this in mind when reading. CH

I don't just sell the Berlebachs in N America, I have a bit of 'history' when it comes to tripods and piers in general. I like to put it this way when talking about mount support and/or the alt/az experience.

When it comes to alt/az observing, the overall goal is portability. Of course, the tripod is part of that equation. After you consider we are in contact with the scope and/or mount frequently, if not constantly, stability may be an even bigger issue when compared to a GEM.

When absolute portability(backpacking, travel, etc) is atop the priority list, there are the Gitzos and such. When it comes to carrying a rig from indoors to out, or a regional star party in your car, THAT is when options expand. If most of the scopes we might use are relatively compact, as well as their mounts, the one place where the most to be gained is in tripod selection. Given most are in the same general size range, a few more pounds(such as compared to a light duty alum tripod) equates to a significant increase in the overall enjoyment of the experience.

A nice scope and nice a/a mount on a less than stable tripod makes for a less enjoyable experience.

When it comes to GEM mounting, a vast majority of scope/mount combinations are well served by the superior damping characteristics of a quality wooden tripod. That means the total package, not just what the legs are made of. IMO and from personal experience, some of the heavier duty metal tripods are very stable, but some are less than user friendly when it comes to transport/storage. In such cases, a quality adjustable folding wooden tripod offers both stability and transportablity, as well as often offering a wider height range.

Personally, the most stable portable(for lack of a better term) pier I've ever made was a section of steel pipe with bolt on legs. Toting it's 70lbs was less than enjoyable, even though it did pay off at the eyepiece. Mass and it's inherent stability is actually a good thing for stability, but is impractical for most. That's why a few extra pounds in a tripod is usually a good thing.

When in a position where one must go for lighter weight, something as simple as a bungee cord from the center column to a rock or other object will improve stability of ultra portable tripods. Give it a try.

Edited by Charlie Hein (01/30/10 07:58 PM)


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davidpitre
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3588416 - 01/27/10 10:49 PM

I'm not looking to buy an Oberwerk. I own a couple of them.
I'm looking to hear specific comparisons from the eyepiece so that I have a reference for comparison.


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #3588531 - 01/27/10 11:35 PM

Perhaps you need to hear from someone who has used and compared both an Oberwerk and Berlebach on same night with same degree of leg extension, same scope, eyepiece and mount? I haven't done quite this (maybe no one has) but I have owned/used a Berlebach UNI24, two different TV Gibraltar tripods, an AP/Baader, Gitzo GT2530, Gitzo GT5530S, Discmounts ash tripod, the AP/Baader and an Oberwerk with lots of different refractors and mounts. I feel confident in saying that the Oberwerk was the least rigid (with possible exception of the smaller Gitzo).

The closest I can come to your specific OTA was my NP101 with a heavy binoviewer and front mounted SF70 HA filter. No question that the Berlebach UNI24 or Discmount tripod was rock solid with this scope and either a DM-6 or HH II. I did not have the NP101 when I got the GT5530 but the comparable Traveler rides on that tripod nearly as well as the NP101 did on the others.

I define rock solid as very short damping time (1-2 seconds or less) at high mag following a sharp rap on a tripod leg, no jiggling in moderate wind, and little or no shaking when nudging or slo-mo controlling the OTA at high mags. Of course, your mount will have a lot to do with torsional rigidity, vibration and damping but I assume a solid well-designed mount in this discussion. In more recent times I've used the accelerometer in an iPhone with a vibration app to confirm independently my impressions at the EP when I rap a tripod. But my Oberwerk was never tested this way.

The moment arm of the TOA130 "beast" is a bigger challenge to a mount than your 102 with filters and it performed ok with the DM-6 and Berlebach UNI24. The long OTA acted a bit like a tuning fork on the DM-6 which was reduced somewhat by using twin Tak clamshells - adding even more weight. But clearly, the UNI24 was also at or beyond its limit with this combo. I don't know if it helps but I wouldn't even consider putting a scope like the TOA on an Oberwerk but as I said earlier, they are in 2 different classes in terms of cost, capacity and design/quality so you have to put it all in perspective. Bear in mind, I ended up buying the UNI24 precisely because I was looking for more stability and rigidity than the Oberwerk based on my time logged at the EP. The UNI24 did not disappoint.

I'd also add that Mark is right on the money about the bungie cord trick - I tend to hang a weighted backpack on the center hook of the Gitzos for example, and it can really help (same idea, but I'll definitely try the bungie next time).

Edited by Doug D. (01/28/10 07:21 AM)


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maknewtnut
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #3588565 - 01/27/10 11:59 PM

I've owned, used, and now sell both. Unfortunately, since I now do the latter, CN rules disallow me from offering detailed comment(which might be referred to as product pushing). Cryin' shame, but it's their house.

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andydj5xp
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: andydj5xp]
      #3588751 - 01/28/10 04:28 AM Attachment (251 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

I'm considering a Berlebach tripod for my Takahashi 4" refractor loaded with 6 lbs of Ha filters on the end. Who owns a Berlebach for a 17 lb+ refractor and what do you recommend?
I found that the filters make a huge difference in the requirements for the tripod. So if you used a 4" refractor alone, the same tripod might not work for me.




David,

using for about 4 years now a TEC140 on a Berlebach UNI19 (same as UNI18 but with center column, see pic) I don't think a Planet would be neccessary.

My scope plus accessories is more than 25lbs (11.5kg). It is highly recommended to using vibration suppression pads also. Damping time is below 1 second.

Andreas




As an addendum I'd like posting a pic of my setup for the two opposing altitudes.

As can be seen for low altitudes the center column is fully in and for high altitudes it is fully out. But the tripod always stays in the lowest position which also is the most stable position. Therefore, these arrangements deliver utmost stability (the VSPs aren't shown in the pic).

And in addition I'm always comfortably seating.

Andreas


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eddie kirkland
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: andydj5xp]
      #3589240 - 01/28/10 11:26 AM

What is the weight of the UNI-19? I like the center column. I'm thinking of one for my SV105. Is the UNI-19 overkill? Is there smaller Berlebach w/center column that would work?

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swsantos
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3589483 - 01/28/10 01:40 PM

Well, I just last week bought the Uni14 from Teton to replace my Oberwork surveyor (which I thought was great) for a TV102 on a Half Hitch II and it was a greater improvement that I anticipated. The Uni14 is also so very well made and finished and it is truly rock solid. What's missing from Teton's website picture of the tripod is the amazing metal leg spreader instead of the chains and the wooden eyepiece tray that attaches to it. I also got mine with the rubber feet instead of the sharp claw feet. The leg extension scales are also a surprising great feature of the Berlebach tripods.

I could not be happier with the Uni14 from Teton and it exceeds my expectations.

Steve


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: swsantos]
      #3589492 - 01/28/10 01:43 PM

Quote:

Well, I just last week bought the Uni14 from Teton to replace my Oberwork surveyor (which I thought was great) for a TV102 on a Half Hitch II and it was a greater improvement that I anticipated. The Uni14 is also so very well made and finished and it is truly rock solid. What's missing from Teton's website picture of the tripod is the amazing metal leg spreader instead of the chains and the wooden eyepiece tray that attaches to it. I also got mine with the rubber feet instead of the sharp claw feet. The leg extension scales are also a surprising great feature of the Berlebach tripods.

I could not be happier with the Uni14 from Teton and it exceeds my expectations.

Steve




Steve - that is good to hear, congrats on the tripod. I am very interested in hearing about the metal leg spreader. I remember seeing this on the Berlebach site some time ago but never saw one in person. Do you use this instead of the tray? Any chance you could post an image?

thanks,

Doug


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andydj5xp
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: eddie kirkland]
      #3589532 - 01/28/10 02:03 PM

Quote:

What is the weight of the UNI-19? I like the center column. I'm thinking of one for my SV105. Is the UNI-19 overkill? Is there smaller Berlebach w/center column that would work?




The weight of the UNI19 is specified with 6.8kg but I think it more to be about 8kg. For a 105mm scope it might be some overkill. OTOH, the more solid the tripod the more enjoyable its use will be.

There are some other with center column from the "Report" series like #1022 or #2022. They are much lighter (about 3kg).

I'd recommend asking Mark (maknewtnut) for his opinion.

At any rate it is quite fun to observe relaxed in a seated position.

Andreas


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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: andydj5xp]
      #3589791 - 01/28/10 04:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What is the weight of the UNI-19? I like the center column. I'm thinking of one for my SV105. Is the UNI-19 overkill? Is there smaller Berlebach w/center column that would work?




The weight of the UNI19 is specified with 6.8kg but I think it more to be about 8kg. For a 105mm scope it might be some overkill. OTOH, the more solid the tripod the more enjoyable its use will be.

There are some other with center column from the "Report" series like #1022 or #2022. They are much lighter (about 3kg).

I'd recommend asking Mark (maknewtnut) for his opinion.

At any rate it is quite fun to observe relaxed in a seated position.

Andreas




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

If I"m not mistaken all the UNI have the basic build, the one with the center column is the same as other UNIs except for that.


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: andydj5xp]
      #3589823 - 01/28/10 04:32 PM

Andreas, great pics of your setup with the TEC 140! That answers a question I have been pndering. Which is more stable, a tripod with legs fully extended or a tripod with one of those added columns for additional height with the legs in. It appears from your setup and comments that an extender with my Berlebach PLANET and TEC 160/AP Mach1 keeping the legs IN as much as possible. Thank you very much!!

Jim


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swsantos
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3590422 - 01/28/10 10:19 PM Attachment (252 downloads)

Here are a few pictures.

Unlike my previous tripod, the eyepiece tray is not part of what makes it stable and do not lock the legs while installed. I use it when I want to use the tray, but it is equally stable without it and use it that way too. The metal spreader is very nicely machined and looks great. The bolt that goes through the middle of the tray is part of the center piece of the spreader so you do not have to fish under the spreader to slide a loose bolt up through the eyepiece tray from underneath. The tray sits on the spreader and the hole engages the integral bolt and you screw down the knob over it. Nice and easy.


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: swsantos]
      #3590511 - 01/28/10 11:03 PM

That is really great Steve. The tray is certainly very convenient on these tripods but I was never thrilled with carrying it around when traveling. A spreader is perfect, however, to control leg spread and assist rapid set up and still allow the whole thing to fit in a tripod bag w/o tray. I was going to ask if the tray could be used with it - best of both worlds. Thanks for posting Steve, pictures really help.

Do you know (or Mark if you are reading this) if a spreader like this is available for the Planet series? Is more than one length spreader available to alter leg spread - and related, can the spreader be removed or is it a factory install?


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andydj5xp
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3590817 - 01/29/10 04:46 AM Attachment (176 downloads)

Quote:

Andreas, great pics of your setup with the TEC 140! That answers a question I have been pndering. Which is more stable, a tripod with legs fully extended or a tripod with one of those added columns for additional height with the legs in. It appears from your setup and comments that an extender with my Berlebach PLANET and TEC 160/AP Mach1 keeping the legs IN as much as possible. Thank you very much!!

Jim




Jim,

I even went a step further. Since I don't need the legs to be extended any more due to the center column I've additionally fixed the legs with 6mm bolts right through the legs. See attached pic. Now the legs appear to be one solid block.

This procedure of course should not be chosen if the tripod could be for sale any time later. But I will not do that anyway. But even then it would not be complicated to fill the holes - after removing the bolts - with wooden dowels.

Andreas


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: andydj5xp]
      #3590913 - 01/29/10 07:23 AM

Yes, the spreader comes on the Planet series. I just ordered mine from Mark at Teton. It should get here Monday or Tuesday!

JimP


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maknewtnut
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3591309 - 01/29/10 11:49 AM

Here's the skinny on the new spreader. At first BB listed a spec of 23* for the leg spread when the spreader is used. I asked for a clarification since the listed angle when the snap-in tray is used is 32*(so a simple typo was suspected). My BB contact speaks very good English(better than my German), but there can still be things lost in translation, so I ordered a few to be absolutely sure. There also tends to be some difficulty in expressing that Teton wants accys such as this provided ala carte so that each client's needs can be met on a custom basis. Otherwise, there can be delays in waiting for tripod to be built as ordered and included in a stock delivery(which in generally every 10-14 weeks).

I have verified that the spreader DOES NOT narrow down leg angle, so have begun to offer them, and hope to have them listed on the Teton website soon(which tends to end up as when time allows or periodic task).

I perform installation here, which is rather simple. The existing cross pins to which the tray snaps to are removed and replaced with larger diameter pins which are retained via internally via a step in the pin diameter, as opposed to the external e-clips. The spreader's pivot at each leg via the pin. The new pins for PLANET models also include spacers since the legs are wider.

Lastly, if ordered with a tripod, the tray is provided w/o the snap-on brackets and accociated hardware, and has a pre-drilled center hole for attachment to the spreader(from the top, not the bottom). If ordered ala carte, the owner must install, which includes removing their snap-on brackets and drilling the center hole in the tray.

I have not performed a side by side test, but in checking damping characteristics alone, I did not detect any signficant difference compared to the snap-in tray system(since this method uses the tray itself as a spreader).

Notice of edit - removed unsolicited pricing information. CH

Edited by Charlie Hein (01/30/10 08:03 PM)


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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3591457 - 01/29/10 12:54 PM

the spreader is an interesting option - I never had any trouble lining up the legs with the snap-on tray though, you just hold the tray up to one leg and then move the others into place and push down on the tray, elapsed time 5 seconds.

The legs are totally loose until you tighten the clamps on the hub, so it's easy to line them up with the tray. Once the tray is snapped in you tighten the leg clamps on the top hub. But some do like the spreaders!

When I've traveled with the UNI I left the tray at home and took the spreader chain, it also works well and it was solid with a 4 inch refractor w/ only the chains.


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3591537 - 01/29/10 01:27 PM

Quote:



I have verified that the spreader DOES NOT narrow down leg angle, so have begun to offer them, and hope to have them listed on the Teton website soon(which tends to end up as when time allows or periodic task).





You just jogged my memory Mark and I specifically remember discounting the worth of the spreader after I saw it on the Berlebach site because of what I thought was the leg spread. This is very good to know. So, to confirm - the spreader angle is same as angle with the standard (i.e., mid size tray if memory serves - I use to own 3 different sizes) tray.?


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maknewtnut
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3591892 - 01/29/10 03:56 PM

Yep. Same leg spread angle as when using the 37cm tray.

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Alain R
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3592000 - 01/29/10 04:41 PM

Here is a link to the leg lock description page. This is where the statement about 23° angle is made. I have a UNI 18 with leg lock on order so I should be able to find out soon if there is any downside to the leg lock.

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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Alain R]
      #3592307 - 01/29/10 08:08 PM

Quote:

Here is a link to the leg lock description page. This is where the statement about 23° angle is made. I have a UNI 18 with leg lock on order so I should be able to find out soon if there is any downside to the leg lock.




from the pictures it looks like the tray is in the exact same position relative to the legs with the spreader, it has to be the same angle otherwise the tray wouldn't fit.


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3592607 - 01/30/10 12:01 AM Attachment (214 downloads)

Quote:

Yep. Same leg spread angle as when using the 37cm tray.




I love the Planet tripod, but am not too happy with the spreader on the Planet. See the attached picture of my TEC160FL, G11 and Planet with spreader. To me is does not allow the legs to be spread far enough apart when handling big loads... In fact, when I install my DiscMount DM6 and the TEC160, the tripod is quite unstable unless the OTA is over a leg. This defeats the purpose of a quality alt-az like the DM6. The OTA is rarely over a leg but rather slewing in azimuth.

Mark - I want to get rid of the spreader and purchase the 50cm tray with the eyepiece cutouts. With appropriate hardware, as seen on the Berlebach website, will this larger tray fit the Planet?

Thanks.

Edited by peleuba (01/30/10 12:08 AM)


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hudson_yak
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: peleuba]
      #3592657 - 01/30/10 12:46 AM

Paul, you should be able to relocate the spreader brackets higher up the legs to get some more width at the ground. From what I can tell there's just some small screws holding them in place.

Other than that suggestion, I'd want to try a setup without the mount extension (and legs extended to get the same height) to see how that works. These tripods do have a bit narrower leg angle than other astro tripods I've seen, so I'd wonder if they anticipated the use of extensions above the hub. Probably you do need the extension, especially with the DM6, to avoid collision with the legs though.

A note about the 23-degree angle mentioned with the new spreader, I measured that same leg angle (relative to vertical) with mine using the 37cm snap-in tray. Makes one wonder where the 32-degree reference mentioned for some of the tripods comes from and how it's being measured.

Mike


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3593009 - 01/30/10 09:48 AM

Is there an angle that is the absolute strongest for a tripod?

Jim


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3593027 - 01/30/10 10:00 AM

Varying leg angle is not so much for strength but as a matter of stability and balance, IMO. I did have same concerns as Paul when using my UNI24 with a DM-6 and a 5" heavy refractor (i.e., large weight off center). I sometimes worried the whole thing would tip over. That is why I ended up with 3 different size trays - I used whatever made best sense for the mount and OTA. Widest tray for 5" refractor, smallest tray for small refractors, etc.. I don't recommend multiple trays - thats just what I ended up with somehow. It would be a lot easier to just remove the satndard tray if you felt the need for other angles (and use chain for safety).

The tray isn't adding much if any strength or stability. Aside from convenience of tray though, I felt it really helped space the legs equally without fiddling. On even ground, this was beneficial for quick set-up. Hasn't been mentioned yet I don't think, but simply having the "rulers" on legs is also a great convenience when altering height at set-up.


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3593031 - 01/30/10 10:05 AM

Sorry for so m,any questions, but are the three size trays that you have homemade or did you purchase them somewhere? This would require hardware at three different locations on the tripod legs... I guess you could do the same thing with the spreader (i.e. three different locations for it to attach to the legs). Sounds like your setup with three trays would be the easiest/quickest setup. Hmmm....

JimP


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3593053 - 01/30/10 10:15 AM Attachment (175 downloads)

Jim, the trays are from Berlebach. If you go their site and look under accessories you'll find optional trays in addition to the standard 37cm. These include 50cm (50x50x50) and 27cm trays.

They each snap into the existing hardware on the tripod legs in a fixed position. Obviously, if the trays differ in size and snapping into a fixed location, the leg spread will change with each. What Mike mentions as a "fix" for changing position of the spreader would work but this isn't something you'd be wanting to adjust regularly.

The narrowest tray (27") was pretty much useless for me as it turned out (leg spread so narrow the risk of tipping was even greater). The 50cm tray really spread the legs and made it very hard to tip - and it could hold a lot of gear! The standard 37cm (which you can get with EP holes, BTW) is - as they say - just right !!!

The old photo shows a 50 cm tray on a UNI24. That is a 17" macbook on there - try that with most standard tripod trays!


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3593088 - 01/30/10 10:36 AM

Quote:

The standard 37cm (which you can get with EP holes, BTW) is - as they say - just right !!!




Except that, that's equivalent to the spread Paul has now, so may not be just right, when used with the mount extension anyway. For me it is just right, and I have the new spreader on the way since dealing with the snap-in tray has been one of my few annoyances with the tripod. Obviously my load is dinky in comparison to what's being discussed here, and I don't use an extension.

As to the question about strength, tough to answer, and also depends on how much the legs themselves are extended. More extension of the legs would favor a bit less spread for best vertical load-carrying capability.

If Paul wants to retain the convenience of the spreader and keep the mount extension, I'd say repositioning the spreader brackets for another, say 6-9 inches or so lateral spread at each leg tip would work well. Note that this increased angle would lower the mount head unless the legs are extended a bit to compensate so that has to be factored into the repositioning.

Mike


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3593097 - 01/30/10 10:42 AM

Yes, of course - that was the point of the 3 trays, to alter spread for different scenarios. What I meant about "just right" was for the majority of cases, and for other situations use the safety chain without tray to alter leg spread (instead of buying and carrying around 2-3 different trays). The leg clamps at top are contributing the overall rigidity to the tripod, not the trays or spreader.

Repositioning spreader brackets in his case might make sense if the tripod is dedicated to one mount/OTA but I don't think you would want to be screwing and unscrewing the bracket hardware to reposition everytime you wanted to change the angle to suit different gear.

Maybe I'm talking myself out of the spreader in terms of versatility but on the other hand, as Mark pointed out the spreader can be removed without too much trouble.


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3593138 - 01/30/10 10:58 AM

I have the PLANET coming and I opted for the spreader. I will use the PLANET with Mach1 and TEC 160 F/7 Fluorite, I do not have an extension and will give it a go without an extension first. Will report back to the group after I get it and check it out.

best,

JimP


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maknewtnut
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: peleuba]
      #3593516 - 01/30/10 01:46 PM

IMO, all of this is yet another perk of the BB tripod systems. As has been discussed, leg angle with either a spreader or tray of a given size, when attached at the same point provides the same leg angle. It's no so much the angle as the spread between legs that will vary depending upon leg extension. Doug mentioned that there is more than one method to achieve a solution that is just right for any given user or even different applications for the same user.

Most of the provided safety chains are themselves adjustable, and this difference in leg spread is exactly why. I have owned both Berlebach and tripods like the Oberwerk HD where I have spread the legs to a very wide diameter in order to accomodate applications where platform height needed to be quite low. I believe this exemplifies that the spreader, while possibly desireable to many, is certainly not THE best choice for everyone or every application.

While personal opinion, one person here stated they felt the snap-on tray a bit annoying. For others, that very feature not only can be, but is viewed as very effective and desireable to others.

Long story short, no matter what any given astronomer might need or prefer to best accomodate their needs(including multiple needs), these tripod systems have the ability to accomodate.

As for the eyepiece tray, a few months ago I let BB know that part could be better if it had both 2" and 1.25" cutouts. While there will always be exceptions to every rule, I believe most astronomers have no need to keep five 2" eyepieces within easy reach. I'll check to see if they have adopted my suggestion. All trays are interchangeable, with the only affect being a change to leg angle(and therefore spread, depending upon leg extension).


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3593601 - 01/30/10 02:30 PM

You're absolutely right about the 2" holes Mark. I ended up having to use 2" to 1.25" adapters in the holes most nights. I hope they listen to you.

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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #3593698 - 01/30/10 03:21 PM

my advise is K.I.S.S...have some faith in Berlebach people...the single leg clamps and standard snap-in tray work great! I've been out there with 160/mach1 on windy nights happy as a clam with the standard setup. It is not top-heavy with the standard 37cm tray.

When I first got the pop-in tray I didn't like it either- after a few sessions it got very easy to use though. As I said you just position the legs under the tray attachments one by one, then give a CPR-like push to the middle of the tray and it's snapped in for the night.

Removing it becomes easy too - I loosen the leg clamps on the hub, then put my hand under the tray and deliver one swift pop to the underside of the tray directly under one of the attachment points. It pops off, then you can remove the other two gently by pulling the removed corner straight down to the ground, turning the tray vertical. The other two attachments pop right off with almost no force.


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hudson_yak
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3595127 - 01/31/10 09:30 AM

Yes, that's exactly how I manage the tray too. I don't want to overstate the annoyance factor I mentioned before, it's certainly minor. I do believe the spreader will be an improvement though, both for dealing with the tray and for setting up and taking down the tripod itself. Time will tell.

Mike


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peleuba
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3595815 - 01/31/10 03:45 PM

Quote:

I do believe the spreader will be an improvement though, both for dealing with the tray and for setting up and taking down the tripod itself. Time will tell.





Mike, Scott, Doug et al:

This a great (and timely) thread. I have just removed the spreader from my Planet tripod. In the stock location the legs were not far enough apart to give me a level of comfort when using the DM6 and the TEC Fluorite.

I think I am going to order the 50cm tripod tray tray and use it and see how it compares to the spreader. I'll also probably get a second 37mm tray. The 37cm tray that came with the spreader does not have the hardware to mount it to the tripod legs; it just screws on to the spreader.


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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: peleuba]
      #3598359 - 02/01/10 05:46 PM

Just got word that my PLANET tripod arrived at my office this afternoon I was, uh, out on business when it came in...ahem. I am going to try my TEC 160 F/7 with it and the spreader before I make any decisions about changes. Like Mark said, the beauty here is that so many different configurations are possible. I do not have a DM6 so perhaps the tripod with spreader will be right for me. I'll let you know.

JimP


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Scott99
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3600181 - 02/02/10 02:26 PM

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.

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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3600968 - 02/02/10 08:24 PM

That is definitely a good point about the spread legs with the 50cm, it can (and did) interfere depending on OTA and mount. As you can see though, no problem with that particular assortment of scopes (2 out of 3 I no longer own).

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

Another view

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JimP
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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
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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
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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
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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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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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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etsleds
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Reged: 11/14/09

Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #3638970 - 02/21/10 05:35 PM

It is reasonable that the proper setup depends on your mode of use. I setup more frequently on hard surfaces, so an attached spreader and chain works well, or the limiters built into the hub of the Tak tripods.

I personally would not count on the leg clamps at the hub to limit legs splaying out, the bearing surfaces are simply too small and smooth to stand up to significant torque.

On that note, I'm actually not so sure how strong those safety chains are, whether the clips or the center split ring would hold up to a heavy setup.

I suppose my experience is also a reinforcement of the scope is last on / first off rule I was taught.


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Doug D.
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #3639116 - 02/21/10 06:56 PM

The safety chain is just for that - safety; for the one time you maybe decide to move the tripod and mount/scope in entirety onto a slicker surface (non-grass w/non-spiked feet) and the tray isn't in place or has popped out and your legs aren't tightened up. I always kept my legs firmly tightened at the top except the one time when I didn't. The safety chain prevented a potential disaster. That is another reason why I find the spreader useful, it would replace the safety chain with one less thing to worry about.

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Scruffy
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Reged: 01/23/10

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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: etsleds]
      #3680684 - 03/14/10 04:18 PM

Quote:

I had an accident last week ...

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.




Great info. Now considering the UNI 14 so chains and spreader it is!

Thx
Jack


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Scruffy
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3720798 - 04/02/10 01:21 PM

Mark

I picked up a used Berlebach. It was called a UNI 15. It is beautiful in nutwood, but it is different than the UNI's I see on Teton or the German site. It looks near the same size of a UNI 14.

Legs are 3' wide, have two length adjuster clamps, sliding sections are marked each cm from 0-50, and have tension levers at the top of each. Top is flat with a 3/8 stud with spring loaded konb.

The legs seem to have a spread lock enforced at the leg crown rather than a chain or other spread control mechanism.

Have you ever seen one of these? Am I just not understanding the leg spread limits? Can I trust it to lock and not need a chain or other spread restraint?
I assume I could get the leg spreader, but wonder if it is needed/desired.
Any help would be appreciated.


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chrishet
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Reged: 12/19/06

Loc: Deerlick Astronomy Village, GA
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #4149262 - 10/28/10 10:01 PM

I have been reading through this thread in prep for a new tripod purchase for my ap130gt and gm8. I was working with mark at Teton but this week he made the decision to close his biz...sad news indeed. I could use a little advice from those Berlebach owners out there. As background I will not use this setup for deep space AP, probably some lunar/solar...mostly a grab n go setup. I would also like to use the tripod for terrestrial photography, with the 130 as well as other long FL lenses...video as well. 1) the uni14 ses to be a good match for my use...portable and solid... Or should I go for the taller uni24? Thoughts? 2) I have an LW mount with MA adapter, should I order the uni with the 3/8 bolt or should I order the Losmandy adapter? Thanks for any and all advice...

Edited by chrishet (10/28/10 10:46 PM)


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chrishet
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Reged: 12/19/06

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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: chrishet]
      #4149266 - 10/28/10 10:02 PM

Pardon my iPhone typos....

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gnowellsct
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Steve C.]
      #4149460 - 10/28/10 11:43 PM

Quote:

I've been thinking about the Planet tripod for my G-11. I'd either be carrying my 5" AP or C11 on it.

The G-11 tripod is quite steady, but it's seven pounds heavier than the Planet, and sometimes I get tired of the bending and the assembling. (I need a robot).




For the C11 make sure you get the Casady or other tip in saddle so you can do the side mounting technique.

This is especially important with the Berlebach tripods because there isn't much clamp pressure on the legs compared to the Losmandy design. Different grunt 'n' groan mounting techniques for a c14 or c11 can put additional pressure on one of the legs, forcing it down even when tightened.

It's one of the design tradeoffs. I prefer my Berlebach for winter observing conditions when I don't like to be dealing with super chilled metal. Also, the Berlebach is a bit faster to set up than a G11 with its legs.

But it's not entirely an open and shut case as to which is better. My *preferred* OTA for the Berlebach tripod is my 5" refractor. (which is light enough that I don't need the side mounting technique)

Although the video suggests that one can do a side-mount technique with a G11 default saddle plate, subsequent experiments have suggested this isn't easy, though it can be done.

Greg N


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gnowellsct
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #4149464 - 10/28/10 11:47 PM

Quote:



*edit - here is a nice photo-shoot Greg did of the Planet w/ G11 (sorry, no centerfold), not sure if you can see it w/o being a member of the losmandy yahoo group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Losmandy_users/photos/album/403539821/pic/list




I think you have to be a member to get to the file, but there's a consolation prize pretty picture here:

http://www.astromart.com/articles/article.asp?article_id=663

Greg N


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hudson_yak
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: chrishet]
      #4150062 - 10/29/10 09:47 AM

Quote:

I have been reading through this thread in prep for a new tripod purchase for my ap130gt and gm8. I was working with mark at Teton but this week he made the decision to close his biz...sad news indeed. I could use a little advice from those Berlebach owners out there. As background I will not use this setup for deep space AP, probably some lunar/solar...mostly a grab n go setup. I would also like to use the tripod for terrestrial photography, with the 130 as well as other long FL lenses...video as well. 1) the uni14 ses to be a good match for my use...portable and solid... Or should I go for the taller uni24? Thoughts? 2) I have an LW mount with MA adapter, should I order the uni with the 3/8 bolt or should I order the Losmandy adapter? Thanks for any and all advice...




I would have considered that size scope on a GM-8 and LW tripod pretty marginal but since you've been using it already I guess you're familiar with it. It's safe to say the UNI won't be any worse than the LW tripod, though it isn't hugely better either. Most obvious improvement is in twist rigidity (rotation around the vertical). It is nicer to look at and a bit easier to set up.

The UNI-24 allows for more leg overlap, and will gain rigidity from that, especially if you get the second set of leg clamps. Since there's more wood it would weigh a bit more than the -14 and not collapse as much of course.

I don't know how well the MA adapter matches up with the UNI, though I'm pretty sure I've read some use it. The Losmandy adapter from Berlebach is very nice, and has an open bottom (it's attached by six perimeter screws) so may be a bit lighter than the MA adapter. The 3/8" bolt comes with the UNI regardless and just hangs there unused in this configuration.

Mike


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chrishet
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Reged: 12/19/06

Loc: Deerlick Astronomy Village, GA
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #4150099 - 10/29/10 10:11 AM

Thx Mike. Being that I would like to use this tripod for multiple uses it is important to have access to the plate and 3/8 bolt. The folks at Berlebach are telling me that you can remove the adapter from the plate, but there is a different plate used for the Losmandy adapter...they haven't told me if there is a 3/8 bolt still included, that would be nice.

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hudson_yak
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: chrishet]
      #4150139 - 10/29/10 10:29 AM

Ok, it would make sense that they wouldn't drill the holes for the Losmandy adapter in the tripod plate unless you told them you were getting that for it as well. I've found the Berlebach website a little unclear as to these various options, but I'm pretty sure mine is basically a regular UNI-*4 series with the additional holes for the adapter.

Buying from Mark made it easy in my case, so I didn't have to wonder about it. Mine did come with the center bolt so if I ever decide to go to an alt-az it's ready for it.

Removing the Berlebach Losmandy adapter would not be something you'd want to be doing very often, so if you anticipate wanting to do that often it would make more sense to go with the regular tripod and the MA adapter. I had to remove the legs to get access clearance for a hex wrench on the adapter screws, though Mark said a hex wrench with the "swivel" ball type of end works without the need to remove the legs.

Mike


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chrishet
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #4184210 - 11/13/10 11:50 PM

Thx all for the feedback, online and off...I ended up finding a used UNI24 for my GM8 and AP130 (Thx Phil!). He also had a UNI14 and LW tripod, and after seeing the three side by side the UNI24 seemed to be a better match for this mount/OTA config. The UNI14 was about the same size as the Losmandy LW tripod which is OK but the UNI24 had a height that was IMHO more suitable, visually, for the 130 scope.

Bottom line, this mount/tripod appears to be a good config for my goal of a grab n go visual setup for the AP 130GT, but I don't think the GM8 could handle much more. I don't think this is a realistic imaging setup (maybe some lunar or solar or DSLR widefield) but for visual is should rock.

I also got a second set of leg clamps from Phil that should enhance the stability and I ordered the Leg Locks (Spreader) from Berebach...

Just what the doctor ordered!


Here is a pic of the tripod with my GM8 and AP130GT.



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dUbeni
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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: chrishet]
      #6056306 - 08/31/13 03:40 PM

Thank you people, this thread has been very helpful. I added it to the my favorites a couple years ago because I knew I would need it someday.
So, after acquiring my first refractor (second hand Vixen ED80S, f9) a taller tripod was required, and here it is a truly amazing sturdy piece of wood, a UNI18 with double clamps and spread stopper. I opted for spread stopper because I'm used to it, and I feel it makes any tripod more stable and stiff, two things I like when my companions join me on my observations, the cat Yuki and dog Will, they like to play around and under the tripod, I have to keep them away sometimes.
I'm 5'5" tall (1,66m), not much , for the moment i'm using it at 35" (90cm), but maybe I'll try it 4 or 5" higher next time.
I placed my order on monday the 26th and received it yesterday.
Here, on my current city, under very low transparency but fairly stable skies I watched comfortably the double double and made a sketch. Great first impression.

and here it is:


my city corner on this planet (I have others in other planets )



A great improvement in comfort.
I could go on and on about the things I like about it.

Thank you
Bernardo Andrade


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

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Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: dUbeni]
      #6056328 - 08/31/13 03:58 PM

Bernardo,

Great lookingscope and tripod!

Mike


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