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Just found out: The Porta can be attached to a photo tripod :-)

tripod mount DIY
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#1 Tanager4

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:32 PM

I have been unhappy with my Porta II mount for a while, mainly due to loose screws on the slow motion controls and also the bulky yet flimsy stock tripod. Today I decided to unscrew the bottom plate of the Porta mount to see what's inside. The female thread is recessed so cannot be attached directly to a standard photo tripod. After trying unsuccessfully to find an allen wrench to unscrew the screws at the bottom, I suddenly realized that there are two in the mount itself and voila one of them worked beautifully and the black base was off!
 
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What was at the bottom of the mount surprised me  :) There's a 3/8" female thread at the base, though it is off center.
 
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See bottom left in image above.
 
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And there you go, it's gone straight into the Bogen 3011 tripod. Yes it's a bit off-center for a small telescope (I have a Ranger on the way) it should be just fine I think, will post back when I'm able to use it.


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This is so much easier to carry on a plane!  :grin:

#2 james7ca

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:59 PM

...mainly due to loose screws on the slow motion controls...

Are you talking about the small thumb screws that attach the slow-motion cables to the shafts on the mount? Or, are you saying that the slow motion gears are loose and have backlash? If the latter, you can adjust the gear mesh on the slow-motion mechanism to tighten-up the movement.



#3 Tanager4

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:41 PM

The small thumb screws that fall off very easily and are likely to get lost, esp the long handle. I am toying with the idea of drilling into the flat stub on the mount itself to allow a deeper / secure grip.

#4 james7ca

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:46 PM

Yes, I've noticed the same issue. I placed a thick layer of thread tape on the screws and that seemed to help a little.


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#5 Jim4321

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 05:29 PM

I used Blue Lockite on mine.  Strong enough to hold, but weak enough to turn loose if you really need to remove them. Apply it, then crank the screws down with pliers.

 

Jim H.   


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#6 gs2offroad

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 06:38 PM

I use plumber's tape on my screws works nicely to secure the things.


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#7 Tanager4

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 06:48 PM

Wow, lots of options, thanks all :-)



#8 Jdillon

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 07:59 PM

I ordered my Porta II (head only) from B&H and specifically asked if it could be mounted onto a 3/8x16 standard tripod bolt. I was assured it could. When I hunted around and finally discovered the bolt hole AND that it was placed off center - I couldn't believe it - I sent it back. (B&H is good that way) The sloppy design of the slo-mo cable thumb screws can be easily solved but why didn't the Vixen solve that simple problem themselves? That, plus putting the thread for a standard tripod bolt off center ruined what is otherwise a sensible, serviceable and affordable slo-mo alt/az mount for small scopes. It looked like it could even handle my TV85 with binoviewer - except for being off center. What a shame since there isn't really another choice in that price range. Frustrating!




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