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Vintage AP Scopes

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#201 TG

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 04:10 PM

 

 

Hah hah, yup.  I almost never use the stock dew shield.  I too use Astro-Zap wrap on shields for both the 6" & 7" scopes.

 

I did the same with the D&G back plate and 2.7" AP FT equipped focuser.  I also cut the tube back to made it bino-friendly (the AP collectors were storming the gates, pitchforks and torches in hand when they found out about that).   Oops I'd better get the oil up to a boil now that I said that as there will be another wave of collectors up in arms.

 

I can only imagine what the response will be when I refinish the tube and dew shield to corvette white.

 

Jeff 

 

Jeff you can throw this image at them along with the boiling oil :grin:

 

llr1j7j.jpg

 

 

Tanveer.


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#202 Bob Myler

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 05:57 PM

As a 30 year tribute, do you think AP might offer us an option of clear coat metallic Cadet Blue?



#203 vvalmiki

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 08:55 PM

Were a lot of the 5" F12 achromats made.....I don't see much info on them when I google.

 

I have one.

 

Regards, Vinay



#204 Dan /schechter

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 12:58 AM

 

 

Tanveer, try BK7/KzFSN4/BaF13 for the glass types, null in green.

 

Jeff, wasn't this the followup to the "NASA glass" triplet but before the StarFire (non-ED) series?

 

Well that's what Roger Ceragioli recalled to me for the 6" F9 StarFires.  I got a busted 6" F9 StarFire lens from him sometime ago that he reworked.   He figured out the glass types, got a new center element and he reworked it to F10.  I picked it up from Roger several years later. Roland tweaked it up a few years ago  (I lost touch with Roger 7-8 years ago).  It performs really well and, one of these days, I'm going to do a side-by-side comparison with my stock 6" F9 Starfire (which was also serviced by Roland about 5-6 years ago).

 

I don't know if the 7" F9 used glass types that differed from the 6".  I LOVE my 7" F9

 

Jeff

 

Hi Jeff,

I own both a 180 f/9 EDT and a 155 f/9 EDT and I love them both of them. I have owned the 155 since 1991 and the 180 for about a year.

Cheers,

Dan


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#205 Jeff B

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:33 AM

Vinay, I don't recall Roland offering achromats other than some 80mm "guide scopes".

 

He did make 5" F12 triplets early on, which are highly sought after.  Is that what you meant?

 

Jeff



#206 Stew44

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 11:45 AM

Derek,

 

What a wonderful thread.  My first exposure to AP was while in Houston with a friend in his backyard photographing a lunar eclipse.  It was a Star 12ED.  In the dead calm seeing of that place I saw an image of Jupiter that even today, some twenty years later, I can still recall.  I badgered my friend continually until four or five years later he sold me that Star 12 to buy a 125 Orion Mak I think it was. 

My brother was an early AP adherent in the 80s I think and has continued move through scope after scope as Roland has generated new designs and more compact OTA's.  The primary beneficiary of his continual upgrades was me.  However my first AP refractors came as a pair.  A  155 f/7 EDF with 4" focuser and a Traveler, through a friend of a friend.  The mount that came with the scopes was a Losmandy 200.  Instant Nirvana.  Thought I would never give that pair up, but I got talking telescopes with Fred Mrozek one day and wound up ordering an APOMAX.  What an incredible telescope, mentioned early on in this thread.  Actually made use of the 4" focuser and extension tube to use visually with a Leitz 4" 'eyepiece' of 90mm I think.  Made my Naglers look squished.  Similar to the first Star 12ED memorable views of Jupiter in Houston, on a dead quiet, calm, really perfect seeing night at Deadman by the Feather Lakes west of Ft Collins, that scope gave me a similar image of Saturn at 410X with a Pentax 3.8mmXP.   Anyway, sold both APs.  Then I started getting APs from my brother.  The first was an 130 f/8 Starfire.  The second was a 130 f/6 EDF.   That was replaced when I heard from a friend that Baader had a 130 f8.3 EDT/EDF and a 92 f/4.9 Stowaway he was trying to place.  Another Nirvana moment when those arrived from Germany. 

I was able to acquire a very nice 152 f/12 Superplanetary, a Brandon 130 f/8 (only two really related to this thread, except for the Star ED not mentioned here and I think one of Roland's most successful designs, if not commercially), and another 130 f/6 EDF along the way, but foolishly sold the Star 12.  And probably one of my favorite telescopes ever was the 178 f/9 Starfire that still had the US Naval Observatory Property Of sticker that I think I bought from Brian Sledz.  Colorado skies never did allow me to see it's full potential, but the optics and color correction were amazing. 

After a lot of careful evaluation and a desire to simplify things a bit I returned to the Star 12ED six years or so ago as the perfect refractor for use on Colorado skies and bought another that was in every way just as nice as my first.  The third AP I am getting from my brother I am eagerly looking forward to - a 130 f/6 Gran Tourismo GT.  He has moved on again and again I get the benefit.

I always considered Roland the heir apparent to Alvin Clark.  I have looked through and star tested many, many AP telescopes.  I always saw an image that left me eager to look through the eyepiece again.

 

Stew


Edited by Stew44, 26 March 2017 - 06:17 PM.

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#207 Scott99

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Posted 25 August 2020 - 10:19 PM

A "classic" AP dream recently came true for me - after years of looking, a Star155ED f/9 doublet has come into my possession!  I remember talking about how I'd like to go back in time to the 1993 AP catalog on this thread but I never thought it would actually happen.   I've always said, if you wait long enough, any telescope or eyepiece will eventually show up on the used market.  In this case the wait was over 20 years but the axiom proved true.

 

I stumbled onto this scope sitting in the back pages of the Amart classifieds, unsold months after being listed.  Apparently if you wait long enough, younger generations also forget about what these scopes could do!   There were only a few of these made, luckily for me this one was serviced by AP and then held in a private collection for years before making its way to me.  It's in great shape.  The light tube and a modern mount & tripod has enabled me to put together a setup with everything 20 pounds or less.  I will be sure to take care of it for the next owner.

 

The lens shows no false color that I can detect.  I guess these were difficult to make, but I appreciate the 2 pounds of weight saved vs. the EDT triplet version.  You can see the lighter lens moves the balance of the scope forward in the rings.  As opposed to being 'built like a tank' the long white tube is more like a graceful swan!  lol.gif waytogo.gif  My name is still on AP's 6-inch f/9 waiting list from the 90's, but they never made another run.

 

NEW20001.jpg

 

 

NEW30001.jpg


Edited by Scott99, 25 August 2020 - 10:31 PM.

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#208 Littlegreenman

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Posted 25 August 2020 - 10:35 PM

Congrats!

What mount and tripod is that?



#209 ccwemyss

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Posted 25 August 2020 - 10:56 PM

Hadn't noticed this thread before, so I'll add mine. A 6"f9 from January, 1985. I believe this is one of the NASA glass ones (I recall discussing it with Roland around the time I ordered). The coatings evaporated a while back, so I sent it in for service. Roland polished them off (too expensive for a one-off recoat), and touched up the figure. It's better than original as a result. When I first got it, the focuser was a "temporary" Jaegers, and the 2.7" came a few months later. I also have the original 706 mount, and the 2" barlow and reducer. No problem pushing it over 500x, and it has wonderful contrast and clarity. 

 

Chip W. 

 

AP - 1.jpeg


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#210 starman876

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 06:46 AM

Hadn't noticed this thread before, so I'll add mine. A 6"f9 from January, 1985. I believe this is one of the NASA glass ones (I recall discussing it with Roland around the time I ordered). The coatings evaporated a while back, so I sent it in for service. Roland polished them off (too expensive for a one-off recoat), and touched up the figure. It's better than original as a result. When I first got it, the focuser was a "temporary" Jaegers, and the 2.7" came a few months later. I also have the original 706 mount, and the 2" barlow and reducer. No problem pushing it over 500x, and it has wonderful contrast and clarity. 

 

Chip W. 

 

attachicon.gifAP - 1.jpeg

Awesome scope.  Congrats.



#211 starman876

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 06:55 AM

ap set up.JPG

 

Vintage 6" F8 AP on a vintage AP 1200 mount. 


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#212 walter a

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 07:24 AM

Wow, now thats a smart looking set up.



#213 Terra Nova

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 07:39 AM

A "classic" AP dream recently came true for me - after years of looking, a Star155ED f/9 doublet has come into my possession!  I remember talking about how I'd like to go back in time to the 1993 AP catalog on this thread but I never thought it would actually happen.   I've always said, if you wait long enough, any telescope or eyepiece will eventually show up on the used market.  In this case the wait was over 20 years but the axiom proved true.

 

I stumbled onto this scope sitting in the back pages of the Amart classifieds, unsold months after being listed.  Apparently if you wait long enough, younger generations also forget about what these scopes could do!   There were only a few of these made, luckily for me this one was serviced by AP and then held in a private collection for years before making its way to me.  It's in great shape.  The light tube and a modern mount & tripod has enabled me to put together a setup with everything 20 pounds or less.  I will be sure to take care of it for the next owner.

 

The lens shows no false color that I can detect.  I guess these were difficult to make, but I appreciate the 2 pounds of weight saved vs. the EDT triplet version.  You can see the lighter lens moves the balance of the scope forward in the rings.  As opposed to being 'built like a tank' the long white tube is more like a graceful swan!  lol.gif waytogo.gif  My name is still on AP's 6-inch f/9 waiting list from the 90's, but they never made another run.

 

attachicon.gifNEW20001.jpg

 

 

attachicon.gifNEW30001.jpg

What a wonderful find. Your long wait paid off! Congratulations!


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#214 Scott99

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 11:05 AM

Congrats!

What mount and tripod is that?

It's an Avalon T-pod 130 and DM6 mount w/ AP 8" extension on it.  Honestly I can't believe how stable it is - the metal T-pod does really well with the legs fully extended and it's only 16.5 pounds.  (I put my Berlebach wood tray on top of the spreader).  

 

Wow, I love seeing those 80's 6-inchers in use and restored to full glory!  A 6-inch f/9 restored on the interferometer by RC, that is a special scope.

 

On a sad note, I was looking forward to getting back on this thread to loop back with semiosteve again - Steve Verba - to follow up on our discussion of visual observing with older refractors and analogy with the elves of Lord of the Rings, and I'm sorry to discover that's not going to happen.  Steve has made his last observation, on this plane of existence.  What a nice and intelligent man, I enjoyed reading about his 7" AP over the years.  In his own words, "Another star in the classic universe takes his place in the firmament beyond" we'll miss you Steve.


Edited by Scott99, 26 August 2020 - 11:07 AM.

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#215 ccwemyss

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 11:24 AM

That''s sad news. I've enjoyed reading his threads from years past and learned a lot from them. 

 

Chip W. 

 

There are stars whose light reaches Earth

Only when they, themselves, are no more

And there are people, whose radiance illumines our memory

Only when they, themselves, are no longer with us

These lights that shine in the darkest nights

They, light the way, for humanity.

 

Hanna Szennes


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#216 Terra Nova

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 02:34 PM

It's an Avalon T-pod 130 and DM6 mount w/ AP 8" extension on it.  Honestly I can't believe how stable it is - the metal T-pod does really well with the legs fully extended and it's only 16.5 pounds.  (I put my Berlebach wood tray on top of the spreader).  

 

Wow, I love seeing those 80's 6-inchers in use and restored to full glory!  A 6-inch f/9 restored on the interferometer by RC, that is a special scope.

 

On a sad note, I was looking forward to getting back on this thread to loop back with semiosteve again - Steve Verba - to follow up on our discussion of visual observing with older refractors and analogy with the elves of Lord of the Rings, and I'm sorry to discover that's not going to happen.  Steve has made his last observation, on this plane of existence.  What a nice and intelligent man, I enjoyed reading about his 7" AP over the years.  In his own words, "Another star in the classic universe takes his place in the firmament beyond" we'll miss you Steve.

Oh no! I am so saddened to hear this! Steve was such a nice guy! And aside from astronomy and telescopes he also had great taste in music (rock and roll/blues). I hate this! We are loosing too many of our comrades in arms! Sooo sad! frown.gif
 

———————————————————————

For those who knew him, here’s Steve’s obituary:

 

https://obits.clevel...3749&fhid=17561


Edited by Terra Nova, 26 August 2020 - 02:46 PM.

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#217 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 03:37 AM

I will never forget a particular observing session back in Nov. 1985 that we, Vancouver R.A.S.C., had at Campbell Valley Regional Park. This was a really good night, dark and the seeing was great and at least 20 of us had gathered to view Comet Valley.

 

Well, there was one particular R.A.S.C. that I saw there that night. His name was Wendell and strangely enough this would be the first and only night that I would ever see him. I have no idea what happened to him after that.

 

Anyways, he had with him a beautiful, equatorial mounted Astro-physics 4-inch F/10 Starfire Apo refractor. Intrigued, I spent a fair amount of time that evening observing the planet Jupiter thru this elusive telescope. Elusive because that was the first and only time that I had both seen and looked thru a 4-inch AP F/10 Starfire refractor. This was the best view of the planet Jupiter that I had ever seen in a small telescope. I'm not kidding. Jupiter was crisp and clear and the amount of detail seen on the disk was amazing; loops, festoons between the various cloud bands. The view was so beautiful that it was litterally hypnotic, I couldn't help myself but to keep looking. My 6" f/5 refector sat mostly unused for the night.

 

D*** you Wendell! Where did you and that 4-inch disappear to?

 

Clear skies!

RalphMeisterTigerMan


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#218 25585

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 01:59 PM

Back in 1990-91, I bought a 125(?)mm Starfire ED F8 doublet, same as the one pictured below, it cost £2500 GBP. But I could not afford a mount as well. The seller ket me swap it for an original TV Genesis & Panoramic mount, and refunded me the difference. 

 

Even the 120mm was big & too heavy for a Vixen GEM at the time. It was the right but difficult decision. Still have my Genesis & 4 other TV scopes. 

 

Should I have kept the 120mm Starfire? Never see any for sale.  Does anyone own one?

Attached Thumbnails

  • ap_6edf_prototype_891004_450643.jpg

Edited by 25585, 29 August 2020 - 02:27 PM.

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#219 Don W

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 03:27 PM

Vinay, I don't recall Roland offering achromats other than some 80mm "guide scopes".

 

He did make 5" F12 triplets early on, which are highly sought after.  Is that what you meant?

 

Jeff

The AP 80mm guidescopes I've seen were Unitrons.



#220 Don W

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 03:31 PM

I've had two Classic AP scopes, a late 80s 6" F/8 and a Star 12ED. I just never liked the views through the 6" but sure miss the Star 12ED.

 

I do  have two scopes made by Roland though. I have 2 Brandon 94s.


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#221 Scott99

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 03:32 PM

Wendell! Where did you and that 4-inch disappear to?

 

great story!  Those 4" f/10 are especially rare, I tried to look for one years ago.  Wendell and Jeff B. are the only reports of one in the wild I've seen.  I gave up trying to find it.

 

>>Should I have kept the 120mm Starfire?

 

Do you mean the Star 12 ED?? f/8.5?  they were made 1990-1992 timeframe.  It looks like that's a 130 EDF in your picture...different scope.  Yes, you should have kept it!


Edited by Scott99, 29 August 2020 - 03:33 PM.

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#222 stephenws

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 08:32 PM

I remember dreaming of owning an AP scope 25 years ago, when my first views of Saturn were through an AP 6" f12 Super Planetary that the local astronomy club president owned. That was the beginning of my interest in visual astronomy.

 

In January of this year that exact same scope became available. The original owner had passed away several years previous and the scope was later donated to the club, but the astronomy club wanted an easier to use scope for their domed observatory. The scope had been poorly cared for and I was able to acquire it and a Losmandy G11 mount, which had also been the original mount for the scope, for $700.

 

The front lens surface was in bad shape, the coating having been damaged over the years by improper cleaning and who knows what other abuse. Fortunately, the tube was dent free, although there was an assortment of paint chips and scratches. It had the 2" Japan sourced focuser that was offered in the late 80's, which was also in poor condition.

 

I contacted AP about the condition of the lens and after some photos and several emails, Roland agreed to recondition the lens. Three months later, and for the surprisingly low charge of $450, I was able to pick up the lens which looked like new. The only words I got from Roland were that it is a "very fine lens". No test specs were given, just a "very fine lens".

 

I have since replaced the 2" focuser with a beautiful 2.5" Moonlite focuser with motorized focus. I suppose I'll try to touch up the paint this winter.

 

I've been out almost every week for the past couple months using the scope and I'm frequently astonished by the planetary detail I see, which is usually somewhat fleeting with the marginal to poor seeing conditions we usually have in eastern Iowa. On those few nights when the seeing is good, it is amazing and easily out performs scopes ( SCTs ) twice it's size.

 

I couldn't get much info about the lens from AP. I believe the 6" f12 Super Planetary scopes were triplets, made in 1986 and 1987, but I don't know if it is oil or air spaced. It is number 64 in the run of those scopes. According to one forum post, it seems possible that the NASA glass was used, although I don't know if that really matters to it's performance.

 

Something unique is that the scope has both Roland's and Marg's signature on the tube. Apparently, the original owner was a good friend of theirs, as Marg commented that they almost never sign their products.

 

Funny how things work out in life. The very scope I first viewed Saturn through and that got me started in this hobby. The scope that I dreamed of having, though knowing I could never afford. I now own that very same scope.


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#223 ccwemyss

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 08:52 PM

With respect to the deteriorated coating, it may not have been poor maintenance. My 1985 6" f9 lost its coating despite being extremely well cared for, never cleaned, and kept indoors when not in use. Others from that time have seen a similar deterioration. I suspect that whoever did the coating for AP just didn't do a very good job. 

 

Chip W. 


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#224 Jeff B

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 08:54 PM

I remember dreaming of owning an AP scope 25 years ago, when my first views of Saturn were through an AP 6" f12 Super Planetary that the local astronomy club president owned. That was the beginning of my interest in visual astronomy.

 

In January of this year that exact same scope became available. The original owner had passed away several years previous and the scope was later donated to the club, but the astronomy club wanted an easier to use scope for their domed observatory. The scope had been poorly cared for and I was able to acquire it and a Losmandy G11 mount, which had also been the original mount for the scope, for $700.

 

The front lens surface was in bad shape, the coating having been damaged over the years by improper cleaning and who knows what other abuse. Fortunately, the tube was dent free, although there was an assortment of paint chips and scratches. It had the 2" Japan sourced focuser that was offered in the late 80's, which was also in poor condition.

 

I contacted AP about the condition of the lens and after some photos and several emails, Roland agreed to recondition the lens. Three months later, and for the surprisingly low charge of $450, I was able to pick up the lens which looked like new. The only words I got from Roland were that it is a "very fine lens". No test specs were given, just a "very fine lens".

 

I have since replaced the 2" focuser with a beautiful 2.5" Moonlite focuser with motorized focus. I suppose I'll try to touch up the paint this winter.

 

I've been out almost every week for the past couple months using the scope and I'm frequently astonished by the planetary detail I see, which is usually somewhat fleeting with the marginal to poor seeing conditions we usually have in eastern Iowa. On those few nights when the seeing is good, it is amazing and easily out performs scopes ( SCTs ) twice it's size.

 

I couldn't get much info about the lens from AP. I believe the 6" f12 Super Planetary scopes were triplets, made in 1986 and 1987, but I don't know if it is oil or air spaced. It is number 64 in the run of those scopes. According to one forum post, it seems possible that the NASA glass was used, although I don't know if that really matters to it's performance.

 

Something unique is that the scope has both Roland's and Marg's signature on the tube. Apparently, the original owner was a good friend of theirs, as Marg commented that they almost never sign their products.

 

Funny how things work out in life. The very scope I first viewed Saturn through and that got me started in this hobby. The scope that I dreamed of having, though knowing I could never afford. I now own that very same scope.

I love sychronicity!  

 

Great journey.

 

And, I can assure you, that the lens now performs better than when it was new.

 

Jeff



#225 stephenws

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 05:30 PM

I'm using a Losmandy G11 mount with my A-P 6" f12 refractor and am having problems when encountering more than a 5 mph wind. I realize the G11 mount is a bit under-sized for this large of a scope, but it's the largest mount/tripod that I can carry to set-up and teardown.

 

I've been trying to think of ways to add more stability to the mount with Losmandy HD tripod. 

The tripod has a 12" pier extension to get the scope as high as possible.

 

Would adding weight inside the pier extension add any noticable stability? I was thinking of putting some sand inside a nylon stuff sack and putting this inside the extension. I'm thinking I could add 8 or 10 lbs this way.

 

Any thoughts?




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