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Solid Tripod for SkyGuider Pro and Beyond

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#1 Noobulosity

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 07:48 PM

I'm looking for a better tripod for my SkyGuider Pro, but I also want to consider what I may end up with down the road.  I currently have an Oben fiberglass tripod meant for photography.  It's not super-stable for astrophotography.  My SGP doesn't really mount that well to it, so it's easy to bump it out of polar alignment if I'm not careful.

 

I'm considering the Meade Standard Field Tripod or the Celestron HD 1100 tripod.

 

Currently, I shoot with my Canon 7DII and 100-400mm lens, which is maxing out my SGP.  But, I'm still able to get 1-2 minute exposures for stacking with careful alignment.  In the future, I plan to upgrade to a telescope.  I'm guessing I'll start a bit smaller, in the 60mm-80mm diameter range.  But my preference would be to jump to a Schmidt-Cassegrain for a longer focal length, probably the Celestron 9.25 series if I can find a deal.  I would continue, for the time being, adapting and imaging with my Canon 7DII.

 

Would either of these tripods be a suitable choice to get me going with my SGP and at least the smaller scopes I mentioned?  Any other recommendations, without going into thousands of dollars?



#2 Jim Waters

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 07:56 PM

I use this with my SkyGuider Pro and Star Adventurer.  Vixen HAL 130 SXG tripod.

 

https://optcorp.com/...um-tripod-25161


Edited by Jim Waters, 20 February 2019 - 07:57 PM.


#3 Xeroid

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 10:41 PM

Noobulosity:

 

You may wish to consider building a hardwood tripod.

 

I built this Cherry hardwood tripod during 3 lazy afternoons using simple tools. The lumber was approx $48 + $25 for misc hardware. Yeah I went  a little overboard with the fancy twist locking handles from McMaster-Carr but they work really great.

 

Its light weight and ROCK SOLID, easily handles my 25+lb AT 130mm triplet or my Celestron 9.25. 

 

I think the key to its stability is the 17 3/4 inch diameter eyepiece spreader (from Home Depot). It keeps the legs at a fixed angle while preventing any "twisting" or movement of the legs. The Cherry hardwood also helps to dampen minor vibrations.

 

The design is based on a number of tripods built by different CN users. The tripod can be built to whatever height would be most comfortable for you. I choose a fixed height and often placed it on heavy, level patio blocks.

 

Its not hard to do but if you mess up you can always turn it into a lawn planter stand.lol.gif

 

 

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#4 Noobulosity

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 01:39 AM

Thanks for the suggestions!  @Xeroid, that's a beautiful tripod.  Nice work!  I do some woodworking for fun here and there, and probably have more than enough red oak I could use to make this.   Did you have any plans from which to work?  Or did you just figure it out as you went along?  I'm also curious how tight you fit the sliding leg extensions.  I'd want to be sure of a fairly snug fit, so the tripod can't be bumped and wobble.  It looks like your clamps are just blocks to keep the legs extended?  Or do they actually lock the extensions in place?

 

Wood might be nice, though I'd want to make sure it's well-sealed.  Sitting on grass or soil, I'd want to make sure it doesn't absorb moisture and warp or begin rotting.  Do you have anything to protect the legs?  Or are you relying on the finish to do that?  If so, what finish did you go with?


Edited by Noobulosity, 21 February 2019 - 01:41 AM.


#5 Xeroid

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 01:33 PM

My thanks to all for the positive comments and feedback!

 

By no means do I consider myself a "carpenter" or "wood craftsman" so I appreciate the feedback, I'm just a simple dude trying to keep the old brain working! 

 

You asked if I had plans? I just ran it over in my head for a few days trying to figure out the sequence of steps then I built it as I went along. (The thrill of success, the agony of defeat?)  . I figured if I really messed up the only one that would know would be the significant other: "Honey, I need to buy some more wood" lol.gif

 

By the way, CN user "John Miele" has a neat tripod build in the ATM forum that uses adjustable legs. I may try that one next!

 

Here's a description of my tripod build:

 

Materials:
- Cherry hardwood 1”x2” (3/4” x 1.5” real) 6 pieces of 8 foot length each.
- Twist 5/16” handles from McMaster-Carr
- 17 3/4” pine disc from Home Depot
- Leg bolts” 5/16” x3 1/2”, nuts, washers

- 3/8" bolt to secure mount. I can also use a 12mm bolt

 

Photo 1

 

Leg A & Leg B
- 42” length each (can be customized) with the 3/4” side facing out.

- Tripod height is fixed as I wanted to see how stable it would be.
- Angle between bottom of leg and floor is 65 degrees (can be set to desired angle: 60,65, or 70 degrees)
- Bottom of leg is cut at 25 degrees to match leg angle.
 
Section  C
- 17 1/2” length
- Secured to Leg A & Leg B using small trim screws but wood glue + clamp would also work.
- 1 3/4” side between Leg A and Leg B, total leg width= 3” improves stability.

 

Section D
- 11” length

- Secured to Leg A & Leg B using small trim screws but wood glue + clamp would also work
- 4” space to leg bolts.
- 8 1/2” gap between Section D and Section C

 

Finish
- Linseed oil

 

Photo 2

 

Hub E
- 3/4” Red Oak (scrap)
- 4” diameter

 

Leg Connectors F & G
- Two pieces glued on their 3/4” sides by 3” length
- Glued to Hub B
note: hub could also be made using Two 3/4” Oak pieces glued together for 1 1/2” thick hub

 

Leg Relief I
- Small cut to allow Leg Handles to compress top of each leg

 

Hope the above helps, let me know if you have further questions.

 

 

 

 

 

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