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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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drksky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/01/09

Loc: Bloomington, IL
Astrophysics Portable Piers
      #4344329 - 01/27/11 03:23 PM

I've been thinking about getting a new G-11, but instead of getting the HD tripod, was contemplating getting one of the Astrophysics portable piers instead.

Anyone have experience with these that can comment on their stability in relation to a sturdy tripod like the HD or FHD?


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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: drksky]
      #4344334 - 01/27/11 03:27 PM

When I got my AP900 I decided to get the G11 tripod/pier instead of the AP pier. I felt it gave me more flexibility on uneven ground, and able to use it at many different heights. But I know the AP piers are stable.

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Ad Astra
professor emeritus
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Reged: 05/12/10

Loc: Riverside Co., California
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: DeanS]
      #4344528 - 01/27/11 04:48 PM

AP piers are very stable and lightweight, but they must have level ground because you cannot adjust the legs more than an inch or two on each side.

I considered the Eagle1 portable pier, but that only goes from 32-36" high, and I need a taller pier for my f/12 refractor. Particle Wave makes a portable pier that is very highly regarded (pwtec.com) but I've heard that delivery may be slow.

I'm with you.... undecided!

Dan


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drksky
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Reged: 09/01/09

Loc: Bloomington, IL
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: DeanS]
      #4344530 - 01/27/11 04:49 PM

Even when I had my CGE, I never raised any of the tripod legs more than I needed to level the mount. When I'm using the GEM, I'm doing AP, not visual observing, so height doesn't really matter as much as stability to me.

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DeanS
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: drksky]
      #4344543 - 01/27/11 04:56 PM

I only image with mine, and was concerned about the struts on the AP pier dragging cables. On the G11 tripod the leg knobs could catch cables but they can be turned around so they don't.

I have a parallax pier for my AP1200, it is very nice and stable. No struts, and not too wide of a footprint. Might be worth looking at it.


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skybsd
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: drksky]
      #4344673 - 01/27/11 06:03 PM

Quote:

Even when I had my CGE, I never raised any of the tripod legs more than I needed to level the mount. When I'm using the GEM, I'm doing AP, not visual observing, so height doesn't really matter as much as stability to me.




I don't do this sort of thing very often, but I'd suggest to you that there's very little out there that's more stable than the Losmandy HD Tripod.

My $0.02..,

Regards,

skybsd


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drksky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/01/09

Loc: Bloomington, IL
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: skybsd]
      #4344688 - 01/27/11 06:09 PM

And that's what I'm looking for. Having used neither, I'm looking for opinions of those who have. I was never very impressed with the stability of the CGE tripod, but I realize that the HD is a very different design.

Was also looking to justify the price difference between the AP piers and the HD, particularly the folding HD.


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skybsd
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: drksky]
      #4344735 - 01/27/11 06:32 PM

Hello,
Well.., I can't comment on how you would view the justification for one over the other, but what can I say? Its a rock solid tripod and I would have thought it'd be a question of finding reasons why not to choose this option..,

Regards,

skybsd


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RAKing
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: drksky]
      #4344768 - 01/27/11 06:51 PM

I use both the A-P Portable Piers and the Losmandy tripod. Either choice works great for me.

The A-P pier is lighter and very stable. I don't really worry about leveling the unit because after you do the polar alignment, the GEM doesn't care if it's level or not. I have never had a cable snag the struts, either.

The Losmandy tripod is a great, sturdy unit and if you need multiple height options, it's the best choice.

Cheers,

Ron


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: RAKing]
      #4345157 - 01/27/11 10:14 PM Attachment (112 downloads)

The Astro-Physics 10" diameter portable pier is rock solid stable. I highly recommend it. As another poster pointed out, it does require fairly level ground as it has no provisions for leveling other than differential torque on the turnbuckles which will only get you so far (half inch or so off level at most).

I've attached a picture of my scope sitting atop a 10" diameter Astro-physics portable pier:


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: drksky]
      #4345192 - 01/27/11 10:29 PM

Check out Rob Miller's new tripod offerings. You can contact him through Catamount Systems.

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Traveler
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/19/07

Loc: The Netherlands
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #4345475 - 01/28/11 01:23 AM

Nice equipment Frolinmod!

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #4345541 - 01/28/11 03:10 AM

Quote:

Check out Rob Miller's new tripod offerings. You can contact him through Catamount Systems.



Or just reply to his add on Astromart now running in the Tripod related classified adds area of that website. I bought a TRI36H from him last year. Alas, I have not yet had an opportunity to use it extensively.


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LLEEGE
True Blue
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Reged: 03/03/05

Loc: Cloud-chester,NY
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: frolinmod]
      #4345754 - 01/28/11 08:37 AM

My only gripe with the AP piers is they need to be assembled and taken apart. But the parts store inside the tube and pack nicely in vehicles. I just wish they folded. They are rock solid when assembled.

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drksky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/01/09

Loc: Bloomington, IL
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: LLEEGE]
      #4345766 - 01/28/11 08:39 AM

Well, you can get the Eagle folding pier, but the price is ridiculous.

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LLEEGE
True Blue
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Reged: 03/03/05

Loc: Cloud-chester,NY
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: drksky]
      #4345823 - 01/28/11 09:15 AM

Quote:

Well, you can get the Eagle folding pier, but the price is ridiculous.


Not for larger mounts.
I have a Meade Giant field tripod that I adapted to use with my AP mounts as well. It's nice in that it folds up but it is quite bulky to transport and takes up a lot of space.
The G11 tripod is probably the best of both worlds. Solid and breaks down into a more easily transportable package. Setup is faster then the AP pier.


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davidmcgo
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/09/04

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: LLEEGE]
      #4346156 - 01/28/11 11:38 AM

The adjustable height is a good thing to consider. I have had an AP900 and 8"dia 48" pier for my refractor for years. Then I put together a really sweet 8" Newtonian and need a 24". Cost with the AP setups just doubled unless like I did you get lucky and find someone just selling center column and turnbuckles. Astro-physics will only sell complete piers.

As far as leveling, carry a few blocks of 2"x4" and you can put one or tow under a foot as needed.

But if I was doing over, the Losmandy HD would be my choice for the convenience of adjustable heights, less to take apart and put together, and easier leveling.

Dave

Edited by davidmcgo (01/28/11 11:39 AM)


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: davidmcgo]
      #4346250 - 01/28/11 12:16 PM

As mentioned by Dan, "Particle Wave Technologies" is highly regarded.
I have been to P.W.T. and have a portable pier on order. The engineering, workmanship, and quality are second to none! You will not be dissapointed.

.


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RAKing
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: davidmcgo]
      #4346472 - 01/28/11 01:45 PM

Quote:

Astro-physics will only sell complete piers.




Dave,

That's not accurate - Give them a call.

I have ordered new center posts and extra struts as needed.

Take care,

Ron


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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Astrophysics Portable Piers new [Re: davidmcgo]
      #4346649 - 01/28/11 03:04 PM Attachment (112 downloads)

Here is a picture of both my parallax and G11 tripod, with a Mach1 on it. The parallax is a 36" tube and puts the top plate around 39-40". I ordered a 36" thinking it was the overall height but I can live with it.

Notice how unlevel this site is, look at my trailer behind me. I still had to put a block under the adjustable foot on the parallax. This was at Peach State Star Gaze 2008.


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