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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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tag1260
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/07/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Building a Parallelogram
      #5662710 - 02/04/13 11:40 PM

Looking at building a parallelogram mount for a set of 12x60's but I'm on a budget . I've got plenty of pine and spruce here on hand. Am I making a mistake building it out of this or do I need to buy some oak or other hardwood?
Also, will I be able to use a photography tripod or do I need to pick up a heavy duty one?

I'm not looking for a show piece, just function.

Thanks


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StarStuff1
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Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: tag1260]
      #5662737 - 02/05/13 12:09 AM

How heavy are your binocs? How sturdy is your tripod? If the binocs are not more than about 2.5 lbs and your tripod is decent there should not be too much of a problem.

From experience I would not use regular pine. Too soft. Hard pine is pretty good. I have never used spruce so no idea there. Red oak is a great wood for a binocular mount or a tripod. 1x2 SFS (surfaced four sides) is less than $1 a linear ft at Home Depot and Lowes. There are other good woods such as ash but red oak is just so easily obtained.


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mercedes_sl1970
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Reged: 12/02/05

Loc: Canberra, Oz
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5662868 - 02/05/13 03:10 AM

Hi

I'm not so familiar with spruce as we don't tend to see too much of it around here (said with a twang...). I do seem to recall that spruce is stiffer?

Pine would probably be ok so long as you used pieces that are reasonably rigid, and if you are on a budget and have it to hand, why not? Pine is used in many applications.

You could experiment with some pieces of pine or spruce around the lengths you envisage needing, attach some weights and then test over a fulcrum, ie assessing for flex, etc.

Regarding your tripod, you may get away with it if the total load is within its capacity but it will all soon add up, with counterweights, binos and fittings. The other thing to consider is if you think you will move on from your current binos to something bigger and therefore may need a bigger setup. All that said, why not give it a go - parallelograms are fun to use and reasonably easy to make.

Andrew


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Jawaid I. Abbasi
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/19/07

Loc: LEVITTOWN, PA
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: mercedes_sl1970]
      #5662944 - 02/05/13 05:46 AM

I have lot of experiance building P.mount Firstly; let us know your budget.

There are few variables involved in designing so we would also like to know if you intend to use only 5# or under or you want HD-type to hold ateast 15# or more.

send me a PM if you need help.
Thanks;


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: Jawaid I. Abbasi]
      #5663376 - 02/05/13 11:08 AM

Birch is a good wood for tripods, and properly sealed (Varnish/Poly) should last forever (well, at least longer then you'll be needing them for). Most Dob EQ Platforms recommend Birch wood.

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Gordon Rayner
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Reged: 03/24/07

Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5663652 - 02/05/13 02:15 PM

Home Depot were selling Eurobeech . at least locally, a few years ago, but for some reason stopped. It is as strong as red oak, but somewhat lighter, as I recall. Maybe the strength/weight are the same.

I used both of those woods for shoulder mounted, rear counterweighted, 8 foot painter's pole ( forward of the observer, so that sitting is possible, with a zenith view) inertially stabilized binocular mounts.

Eurobeech takes boat varnish more uniformly than oak.

Sitka spruce was used in WW II( for the RAF Mosquito
?), and for Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose. It is/was used for sailboat masts.

Pine is somewhat soft and less durable/weaker for the subject applications.


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KennyJ
The British Flash
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Reged: 04/27/03

Loc: Lancashire UK
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: Gordon Rayner]
      #5664169 - 02/05/13 07:00 PM

Buxus Sempervirens ( European Box) is amongst the hardest(and heaviest) wood readily available in Britain,but is possibly next to non-existent in North America,so price could prove prohibitive.

Alas,it's aroma is not to everyone's liking in any case,although it can be disguised with copious lashings of creosote.

I once,albeit only momentarily,considered commissioning a cabinet maker to construct a Parallelogram mount for me,from Boxwood,for a Swarovski 8x20 compact binocular,which I detested holding by hand due it's diminutive nature.

The idea came to me moments before awaking from slumber,immediately following which a telephone call distracted my attention,and I never thought about the matter ever again until reading this thread.

Then again,probably approaching 93% of my binocular use is undertaken in the daytime,from relatively remote vantage points accessible only by foot
or bicycle,so the sheer bulk of such a contraption would almost certainly have proven more restrictive than advantageous,particularly for such a tiny instrument as a 20mm. pocket sized compact binocular.

Kenny


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tag1260
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/07/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5664204 - 02/05/13 07:24 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions but I am hoping to build this with what I have on hand. Let yall know how it turns out.
Thanks again


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StarStuff1
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Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: tag1260]
      #5666070 - 02/06/13 09:39 PM

Do just that.

Kenny, I like your dream.


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Jawaid I. Abbasi
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/19/07

Loc: LEVITTOWN, PA
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5666351 - 02/07/13 01:10 AM

Here is the photo...

thanks,

Edited by Jawaid I. Abbasi (02/07/13 03:30 AM)


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StarStuff1
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Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: Jawaid I. Abbasi]
      #5666941 - 02/07/13 11:46 AM Attachment (67 downloads)

Another pic. I made this tripod and mount in 2006.

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Chuck Hards
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Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5829784 - 04/29/13 10:00 AM

Here's a maple and MDF parallelogram I built, based on my all-aluminum prototype. The maple dampens vibrations much quicker, and is easier on the hands in cold weather.

Note that it allows over 180-degrees of pan without having to walk around the tripod. Great for lawn-chair observing. This single feature is worth it's weight in gold, IMO.

These pics show my 20x70mm bino but I recently picked up an Orion 15x70mm Resolux. The parallelogram is more than capable of handling the extra couple of pounds of the all-metal Resolux. The finder mount is a little different. I'll post pics of the new setup when I next get it outdoors. I'm currently building a counterweight for the Resolux, on the altitude arm opposite the binos, but in practice it's not really needed, especially with the light-weight plastic bino pictured.

Commercial wood tripod. The black cone is a fiberglass part I molded to interface the parallelogram with the tripod. Dobsonian Teflon-on-Ebony Star azimuth bearing.











Solar observing set-up, Baader filters in PVC cells.




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Gordon Rayner
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 03/24/07

Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5830668 - 04/29/13 04:34 PM

The pitch axis looks unbalanced, such that you need to clamp , change the pitch angle, and then reclamp.

A counterweight for the pitch axis would balance there, but add weight, thus requiring a heavier counterweight on the other side of the tripod.

Why not use a sidesaddle arrangement, to make the pitch axis pass through the center of gravity of the binocular plus its supporting half-fork ?


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Chuck Hards
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Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: Gordon Rayner]
      #5831049 - 04/29/13 08:32 PM

Quote:

The pitch axis looks unbalanced, such that you need to clamp , change the pitch angle, and then reclamp.

A counterweight for the pitch axis would balance there, but add weight, thus requiring a heavier counterweight on the other side of the tripod.

Why not use a sidesaddle arrangement, to make the pitch axis pass through the center of gravity of the binocular plus its supporting half-fork ?




You're right, Gordon, it is unbalanced in pitch and that's exactly what the clamp knob is for. That said, it hasn't been any kind of handicap for 3 lb. binoculars or less. It's rather like using a tripod pan head. Point it, clamp it down. With 50 to 70mm Asian plastic binos up to 20X (such as the Bruntons in the pictures above), it's a non-issue.
This design dates to about 2001 and there are some two dozen of them in use in my area.
I like the compactness of the design, it's easy to look over or around the bino without a large harness in the way.

That said, for binos over about 3 lbs., the balance does become an issue, especially for people without any grip strength to tighten the clamping knob. My 70mm Resolux bino is over 5 lbs. and for that I'm working on a counterweight. Here's a quick snap I took a few minutes ago in the basement workshop. I'm holding it in it's working position since I haven't installed the mounting hardware yet.

It's a steel bar, .75" x 2" x 6". It won't completely counterbalance a heavy bino but will bring it back close enough for comfortable use. A shorter bino C-bracket or L-bracket will help, that's next.

I also plan to shorten the arms by about six inches, which will reduce or eliminate the need for additonal counterweights on the opposite end. They are extremely long now. I built it originally to accomodate up to a 6'-10" tall person without them having to stoop to look straight up, but in practice that has never been needed. My tallest friend is 6'-4" and he has his own paralellogram now.

The new counterweighted version, with shortened arms, should be able to handle most 80mm binos with ease.

I'm working on a larger, 3-arm version for my 25x100mm binos, but the pitch (altitude) mechanism is much like my "Weightless" mount for refractors (S&T, Oct. 00) and will be in balance in all orientations without counterweights.

Stay tuned!


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tag1260
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/07/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #6310039 - 01/13/14 11:14 AM

OK. I never got around to build this thing until now. (I know, I'm slow) Anyways, what are you folks using for your bearings between all of your parts? Just nylon washers? Nylon and steel? Just Steel?
I also am using Red Oak for this build instead of Pine or Spruce.
Thanks


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StarStuff1
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Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: tag1260]
      #6310215 - 01/13/14 12:48 PM

I use large nylon washers for bearings and red oak for basic construction.

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Gordon Rayner
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 03/24/07

Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #6310847 - 01/13/14 06:43 PM

Some combination(s) of Teflon discs ( axial loads); bronze Tee sleeve bearings (radial or radial and axial loads) or bronze non-tee sleeve bearings ( radial loads); and the VXB needle roller thrust bearings (axial loads), to maintain a constant friction setting, brought to our attention by RichV.

You can preload axially with Belleville washers or 2-wave or 3-wave spring washers.

Edited by Gordon Rayner (01/13/14 11:24 PM)


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astronomylife
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Reged: 08/07/13

Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, Califo...
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: Gordon Rayner]
      #6311043 - 01/13/14 08:21 PM

I second teflon discs.

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tag1260
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/07/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: astronomylife]
      #6311046 - 01/13/14 08:23 PM

Thanks for the replies. Where do I find teflon discs?
Thanks again
Tag


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astronomylife
sage
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Reged: 08/07/13

Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, Califo...
Re: Building a Parallelogram new [Re: tag1260]
      #6311103 - 01/13/14 08:52 PM

Amazon. Search up pfte sheets on amazon. I cut out disks for my p mount.

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