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Berlebach planet Questions

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#1 Linwood

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 10:14 AM

Got one yesterday; have on order the dual clamps.  For those that have it (or know it) some perhaps silly questions (there being zero documentation). 

 

A lot of tripods have a spreader designed to put tension outward on the legs for steadiness (e.g. TPI Spreaders).  The spreader on this appears just to be a stop to prevent the legs from spreading too far.  Even with the accessory tray on top, they are adding no structural stability.  Is that the expected state or did I assemble it incorrectly somehow? 

 

When I get the dual clamps, from what I read they won't have instructions either. I've seen photos of the legs with spreaders and separate clamps in all sorts of locations. I think the higher you put the clamp the less the legs can extend, though they are very long anyway and I expect to use them nearly fully retracted for imaging.  Is there an ideal location in terms of adding more stability?  Or the most common spot is doubled up near the bottom.  But mid-way up, to further clamp the three components together might be more stable?  (they are not tight together there now)

 

And most importantly, now that I've converted from Metal to Wood, is it true the stars will shine brighter and the clouds be less frequent? 



#2 mtminnesota

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 10:53 AM

Regarding the clamps, they come pre-installed. 


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#3 Linwood

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:03 AM

Regarding the clamps, they come pre-installed. 

Well, only if you order them that way.  I got a tripod with single clamps, and ordered the 2nd set separately.



#4 mtminnesota

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:07 AM

Well, only if you order them that way.  I got a tripod with single clamps, and ordered the 2nd set separately.

From Teleskop-Express website:

 

"The double clamps, which can only be chosen as upgrade when ordering the tripods, enhance the maximum load of the Berlebach tripod Planet long from 120 kg to 160 kg.

♦ Retrofitting impossible

♦ For this reason, only available as upgrade when ordering a Berlebach Planet long tripod"

 

https://www.teleskop...ee-pieces-.html



#5 Scott99

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:26 AM

this sounds about right - on my UNI the spreader doesn't seem to do much to strengthen things....i.e. it doesn't have much tension on it.  It does make it easier to set up - it prevents the legs from flopping around.  

 

You might want to test the stability with one set of clamps and see if it's adequate.  Sounds like you could install the 2nd set wherever you want based on your height requirements..



#6 Waldemar

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:31 AM

From Teleskop-Express website:

 

"The double clamps, which can only be chosen as upgrade when ordering the tripods, enhance the maximum load of the Berlebach tripod Planet long from 120 kg to 160 kg.

♦ Retrofitting impossible

♦ For this reason, only available as upgrade when ordering a Berlebach Planet long tripod"

 

https://www.teleskop...ee-pieces-.html

That is weird, because I ordered and received and installed them long time after I bought the Planet second hand...

I bought them straight from Berlebach, though... no TE in the middle.
maybe this is a Teleskop Express idea. Certainly not from Berlebach them selves...
Everybody can mount those clamps. https://www.berlebac...sprache=english


Edited by Waldemar, 16 September 2020 - 11:45 AM.

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#7 Linwood

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:42 AM

From Teleskop-Express website:

 

"The double clamps, which can only be chosen as upgrade when ordering the tripods, enhance the maximum load of the Berlebach tripod Planet long from 120 kg to 160 kg.

♦ Retrofitting impossible

♦ For this reason, only available as upgrade when ordering a Berlebach Planet long tripod"

 

https://www.teleskop...ee-pieces-.html

I certainly see that.   But the actual manufacturer sells them separately: 

 

https://www.berlebac...=details&id=537

 

Mine shipped yesterday from Germany.  Plus I've seen various US vendors offer them as an accessory.

 

I guess I'll find out, but I hope that the teleskop-express posting is either dated or incorrect.   They don't LOOK difficult to install, but I guess ask me in a couple weeks.



#8 Linwood

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 11:44 AM

this sounds about right - on my UNI the spreader doesn't seem to do much to strengthen things....i.e. it doesn't have much tension on it.  It does make it easier to set up - it prevents the legs from flopping around.  

 

You might want to test the stability with one set of clamps and see if it's adequate.  Sounds like you could install the 2nd set wherever you want based on your height requirements..

Thanks.  My guess from appearances it is a spread stopper, not something to put tension on.

 

As to the 2nd set, I'm following the idea of "you can't have a tripod that is too steady".  smile.gif

 

I have so many things now to worry about that don't work quite right, just trying to eliminate what I can. Once the only source of error left is me... well, we'll see. 



#9 Berny

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 12:10 PM

I just looked my Planet, and don't see why you would not be able to retrofit the clamps.

They make a huge difference in torsional stability.


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#10 mtminnesota

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 12:54 PM

That is weird, because I ordered and received and installed them long time after I bought the Planet second hand...

I bought them straight from Berlebach, though... no TE in the middle.
maybe this is a Teleskop Express idea. Certainly not from Berlebach them selves...
Everybody can mount those clamps. https://www.berlebac...sprache=english

Apparently Teleskop-Express is very wrong.  It is weird that their advice would differ from Berlebach.



#11 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:57 PM

Thanks.  My guess from appearances it is a spread stopper, not something to put tension on.

 

 

Indeed.

 

Don't  loose sleep on the Berlebach...it is a steady as a rock...Did you  buy one with claws? Put them  bit in the ground , nothing will move or give way.

 

Even with single clamps it should carry about 120 kg.

 

What were you putting on it , CEM40 and C11 i believe. It does not even come close to that.


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#12 mtminnesota

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 03:50 PM

I certainly see that.   But the actual manufacturer sells them separately: 

 

https://www.berlebac...=details&id=537

 

Mine shipped yesterday from Germany.  Plus I've seen various US vendors offer them as an accessory.

 

I guess I'll find out, but I hope that the teleskop-express posting is either dated or incorrect.   They don't LOOK difficult to install, but I guess ask me in a couple weeks.

I just got a second set of clamps for my Report 212, and I think I see Teleskop-Express' point.  I can't slide the second clamp onto the leg, it won't go past the foot.  Also, I cant move the existing clamp at all.  It's anchored a little ways into the leg.  I take out the little screw and the clamping screw, and it won't budge.  I'm wondering how to get around either problem.

 

If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears. 



#13 Linwood

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 03:52 PM

I just got a second set of clamps for my Report 212, and I think I see Teleskop-Express' point.  I can't slide the second clamp onto the leg, it won't go past the foot.  Also, I cant move the existing clamp at all.  It's anchored a little ways into the leg.  I take out the little screw and the clamping screw, and it won't budge.  I'm wondering how to get around either problem.

 

If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears. 

I had noticed that, but planned to go on from the top.  Now I haven't tried that yet as mine is still in transit.  It presumes I can take the two little stops off the inner core (I have to take the plate off the top anyway to exchange -- but I've done that before, it's quick and easy).   Then pull down the inner leg so I can squeeze the top together? 

 

All theory.  Let me know how it goes.



#14 mtminnesota

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:07 PM

I had noticed that, but planned to go on from the top.  Now I haven't tried that yet as mine is still in transit.  It presumes I can take the two little stops off the inner core (I have to take the plate off the top anyway to exchange -- but I've done that before, it's quick and easy).   Then pull down the inner leg so I can squeeze the top together? 

 

All theory.  Let me know how it goes.

It looks like everything can be unscrewed at the top, but I'm still leery of being able to do it without messing something up.  I'm going to contact mrstarguy.com for advice.
 


Edited by mtminnesota, 24 September 2020 - 04:26 PM.


#15 Linwood

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 04:09 PM

Let me know what you find.  The bolts (on the Planet anyway) that hold the plate on are easy to remove, just keep track of the 4 washers (on on the outside one on the inside of each side).   I found having it lying down on something padded was easiest to then get it into the right orientation to reassemble, it's not hard exactly, but is one of those things that require playing with it a bit to get it to line up. 

 

Mine as supposedly shipped on 9/15, so I hope it appears most any day. 


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#16 YAOG

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:16 PM

Regarding the clamps, they come pre-installed. 

They will come pre-installed if you order a new Planet from Berlebach. But they are also available as an option from Berlebach in Germany. I bought them and added them to my Planet following the instructions I found on the Berlebach site.  


Edited by YAOG, 24 September 2020 - 06:16 PM.

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#17 YAOG

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:20 PM

Let me know what you find.  The bolts (on the Planet anyway) that hold the plate on are easy to remove, just keep track of the 4 washers (on on the outside one on the inside of each side).   I found having it lying down on something padded was easiest to then get it into the right orientation to reassemble, it's not hard exactly, but is one of those things that require playing with it a bit to get it to line up. 

 

Mine as supposedly shipped on 9/15, so I hope it appears most any day. 

Be sure to follow the directions. You also must carefully drill pilot holes and make sure you use the right size drill bit, you do not want to drill too large or too small. The wood material is VERY hard and you can damage the wood is not sized right. The clamps are placed near each other, if you space them too far apart you will lose leg extension.   


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#18 YAOG

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:23 PM

Got one yesterday; have on order the dual clamps.  For those that have it (or know it) some perhaps silly questions (there being zero documentation). 

 

A lot of tripods have a spreader designed to put tension outward on the legs for steadiness (e.g. TPI Spreaders).  The spreader on this appears just to be a stop to prevent the legs from spreading too far.  Even with the accessory tray on top, they are adding no structural stability.  Is that the expected state or did I assemble it incorrectly somehow? 

 

When I get the dual clamps, from what I read they won't have instructions either. I've seen photos of the legs with spreaders and separate clamps in all sorts of locations. I think the higher you put the clamp the less the legs can extend, though they are very long anyway and I expect to use them nearly fully retracted for imaging.  Is there an ideal location in terms of adding more stability?  Or the most common spot is doubled up near the bottom.  But mid-way up, to further clamp the three components together might be more stable?  (they are not tight together there now)

 

And most importantly, now that I've converted from Metal to Wood, is it true the stars will shine brighter and the clouds be less frequent? 

Yes, the center spreader is only used to stabilize the tripod, it doesn't lock. Be sure to make all of the locks tight once the legs are open locking them using the upper locking levers. The tripod will be very stable and reliable, I've been using it for years and they are the best.   



#19 Linwood

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:29 PM

Be sure to follow the directions. You also must carefully drill pilot holes and make sure you use the right size drill bit, you do not want to drill too large or too small. The wood material is VERY hard and you can damage the wood is not sized right. The clamps are placed near each other, if you space them too far apart you will lose leg extension.   

I see that (lose leg extension), but I actually don't care much about that, it's tall enough.  My thought was to put the new set just above (not below) the spreader set, thus clamping the center leg closer to the middle so that there's a lot more surface area where the inner leg is tight against the other.  Which just coincidentally is more accessible from above without removing the spreader bracket.  

 

All in theory so far.  Come on unnamed carrier who has it, get it here! 

 

Though honestly, this thing is so solid as-is, I think these extra may be more window dressing than needed, at least for anything lighter than me sitting atop the mount.



#20 mtminnesota

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 07:29 PM

Let me know what you find.  The bolts (on the Planet anyway) that hold the plate on are easy to remove, just keep track of the 4 washers (on on the outside one on the inside of each side).   I found having it lying down on something padded was easiest to then get it into the right orientation to reassemble, it's not hard exactly, but is one of those things that require playing with it a bit to get it to line up. 

 

Mine as supposedly shipped on 9/15, so I hope it appears most any day. 

Just looking at it, it doesn't look difficult.  I'm discouraged by Teleskop-Express saying it's "impossible", like something won't go as it looks like it should.  I think you're right about the install going from the top, but yeah let us know what you find.

 

I'll try looking to Berlebach for instructions too.  I'm assuming that if it can be done with a Planet, it can be done with a Report.

 

 



#21 Mazerski

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 09:03 PM

Here are the double clamp instructions, courtesy of a CN user by the name of Rixavatar

 

https://www.astro-ph...nstructions.pdf


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#22 mtminnesota

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 03:32 PM

I got the instructions for mounting the clamps to the Report from Berlebach today, and I still can't figure it out.  

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Capture.JPG


#23 Linwood

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 04:53 PM

OK, I got mine and did it.  It's a bit of a pain, but not exactly hard.  A drill press is recommended.

 

Mine is a planet so take that into consideration, it may be different.

 

The biggest problem is you have to drill a recess hole that the shell holding the screw fits into.  

 

hole.jpg

 

That's the OUTSIDE of the leg as it came from Berlebach, and the hole goes directly under the knob.  You have to put another one of these in the same leg piece on the same side (assuming you want the knobs on the same side).  If it wasn't for this it would be much easier.  To do this, I found it easiest to take the legs completely apart: remove the top plate bolts, remove the one screw holding the metal plates that are at the top of each side of each leg (6 total), remove the tray from the legs (2 screws each side of each leg, and then come off with a little twisting and pulling, you do NOT need to remove the bolts holding them together, and at the TOP of each leg two stops that are little brass bullets that keep the leg from sliding out.  You do not need to unscrew the bracket that is already there and I found it simpler not to.  You do not need to remove the feet, though if you have the spikes installed be careful of your feet!  

 

Then slide the center out of each leg out, and the side you need to drill can be removed by just sliding it out as well.  Leave the original bracket attached to the other side.

 

Drill the recess in each side, slide the new bracket in place (be sure to get the little mysterious outward pointing cutout on the inside) and put it back together EXCEPT the tray.  Make sure it all fits and the labels are on the right side and so forth.  Tighten lightly both sets of leg brackets. 

 

Now drill the pilot holes for the new brackets (being tight they stay in place), and add those two new screws. 

 

Then what I did was assemble the top plate lying down for the first two, and standing up to add the third.

 

Then with it in tripod shape on something where the legs won't slide out (carpet works great) one by one attach the accessory holder back in place.  Be aware the legs can completely go outward until this is attached.  It's a bit of a pain to get the holes to line up but you can.

 

Done. 

 

NOTE: It is really important to figure out exactly where you want the bracket, and make sure it will not get in the way of something like the accessory tray.  The leg will extend only down to this bracket.  I have mine mid-way up the leg, so my tripod will only extend halfway -- that's more than enough since I use it totally collapsed, and I think (THINK) that the bracket being higher in the leg will make it more rigid.   Mark it (like painter tape) before taking it apart, and collapse and extend the tripod and make sure it won't hit anything.

 

Here's the final result.

 

leg.jpg

 

The comment that you can't retrofit is clearly wrong, but it is not completely wrong.  This is not something that someone who is a klutz working with wood and tools should attempt. You don't have to be a craftsman either, but some experience is nice.  A drill press is not really required but sure is handy to get the right depth and location of the recessed hole.  The good news is that it's not one where fit is critical, it just needs to be big enough and not show (for cosmetic reasons), there's no support provided by the edges of it, you just need to get the wood out of the way.  I did not find the wood difficult to drill at all, it's good fine grain and while not soft, it is easy to work with.  You should drill pilot holes for the new screws though.  Also, be aware there are two different screw sizes -- the brass bullets have a different size, keep the separate. 

 

I recommend taking a piece of junk wood and drill first and test to make sure it is deep/wide enough, but no deeper. 

 

Probably 2 hours total, most of the time being really careful not to scratch things up. 


Edited by Linwood, 25 September 2020 - 04:58 PM.

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#24 YAOG

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 05:38 PM

OK, I got mine and did it.  It's a bit of a pain, but not exactly hard.  A drill press is recommended.

 

Mine is a planet so take that into consideration, it may be different.

 

The biggest problem is you have to drill a recess hole that the shell holding the screw fits into.  

 

attachicon.gifhole.jpg

 

That's the OUTSIDE of the leg as it came from Berlebach, and the hole goes directly under the knob.  You have to put another one of these in the same leg piece on the same side (assuming you want the knobs on the same side).  If it wasn't for this it would be much easier.  To do this, I found it easiest to take the legs completely apart: remove the top plate bolts, remove the one screw holding the metal plates that are at the top of each side of each leg (6 total), remove the tray from the legs (2 screws each side of each leg, and then come off with a little twisting and pulling, you do NOT need to remove the bolts holding them together, and at the TOP of each leg two stops that are little brass bullets that keep the leg from sliding out.  You do not need to unscrew the bracket that is already there and I found it simpler not to.  You do not need to remove the feet, though if you have the spikes installed be careful of your feet!  

 

Then slide the center out of each leg out, and the side you need to drill can be removed by just sliding it out as well.  Leave the original bracket attached to the other side.

 

Drill the recess in each side, slide the new bracket in place (be sure to get the little mysterious outward pointing cutout on the inside) and put it back together EXCEPT the tray.  Make sure it all fits and the labels are on the right side and so forth.  Tighten lightly both sets of leg brackets. 

 

Now drill the pilot holes for the new brackets (being tight they stay in place), and add those two new screws. 

 

Then what I did was assemble the top plate lying down for the first two, and standing up to add the third.

 

Then with it in tripod shape on something where the legs won't slide out (carpet works great) one by one attach the accessory holder back in place.  Be aware the legs can completely go outward until this is attached.  It's a bit of a pain to get the holes to line up but you can.

 

Done. 

 

NOTE: It is really important to figure out exactly where you want the bracket, and make sure it will not get in the way of something like the accessory tray.  The leg will extend only down to this bracket.  I have mine mid-way up the leg, so my tripod will only extend halfway -- that's more than enough since I use it totally collapsed, and I think (THINK) that the bracket being higher in the leg will make it more rigid.   Mark it (like painter tape) before taking it apart, and collapse and extend the tripod and make sure it won't hit anything.

 

Here's the final result.

 

attachicon.gifleg.jpg

 

The comment that you can't retrofit is clearly wrong, but it is not completely wrong.  This is not something that someone who is a klutz working with wood and tools should attempt. You don't have to be a craftsman either, but some experience is nice.  A drill press is not really required but sure is handy to get the right depth and location of the recessed hole.  The good news is that it's not one where fit is critical, it just needs to be big enough and not show (for cosmetic reasons), there's no support provided by the edges of it, you just need to get the wood out of the way.  I did not find the wood difficult to drill at all, it's good fine grain and while not soft, it is easy to work with.  You should drill pilot holes for the new screws though.  Also, be aware there are two different screw sizes -- the brass bullets have a different size, keep the separate. 

 

I recommend taking a piece of junk wood and drill first and test to make sure it is deep/wide enough, but no deeper. 

 

Probably 2 hours total, most of the time being really careful not to scratch things up. 

I considered doing something similar but didn't want to lose the height as I like to stand or sit high on an observer's chair to observe with my refractors which means the tripod is usually pretty high. I like to observe this way as my group shares scopes a lot so we rotate from here to there depending on what people are observing and find.  I can tell you that the G11G even with the C14 or longer 152mm apo are very stable with the weight high in the air over the Planet tripod. 



#25 Linwood

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 06:48 PM

I considered doing something similar but didn't want to lose the height as I like to stand or sit high on an observer's chair to observe with my refractors which means the tripod is usually pretty high. I like to observe this way as my group shares scopes a lot so we rotate from here to there depending on what people are observing and find.  I can tell you that the G11G even with the C14 or longer 152mm apo are very stable with the weight high in the air over the Planet tripod. 

Yeah, it really does seem solid, and the double clamp looks a bit like adding butter to bacon.  smile.gif

 

I guess I should think more about that; once Covid is over I have neighbors who will likely want to look also.  I tend to look at my computer screen, but I'm not the convert that some are (I love a response elsewhere like "what's an eyepiece?".  

 

I think even with only half leg extension it's still taller than the iOptron was.  Don't hold me to that, I may need to measure, but I think so. 


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