Re: Need Tripod/Pier advice
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I can't speak to the AP mount, so I will bring out a few on the G11/AP900
- tripod head is actually welded, so legs don't shake - there are no hinges
for legs or any reinforcing race required (simplicity).
- heavy 1/4" aluminum construction throughout
- legs are large diameter aluminum pipes
- with the G11/AP900 (same one as G11/Mach1) adapter, you just loosen 3 large
Losmandy optional knobs and drop the head into 3 slots on the G11, twist and
tighten ; (no tiny screws to lose in the snow ) - keep the AP mount
permanently screwed on to G11 pier adapter.
- mount can be easily transported from a permanent pier at home, (buy a
Losmandy MA Meade Adapter), to a G11 tripod for field trips; just loosen ( do
NOT remove) Losmandy knobs, but keep the AP (FSA/RPA), or alternatively just
the SPA adapter permanently attached to base of (Mach1/AP900) mount.
- dropping the legs to adjust height (if necessary), is just one knob turn
each, instead of turning turn buckles several times
- legs can be extended about 2 feet, to raise or level pier
- the only down side is the awkwardness of storing the tripod head in the
car - leg stubs down, or up? It doesn't lay flat.
- some don't like that the leg pipes are open (no caps), and they may fill
with dirt. Nothing like taking three divots from the lawn you observed from,
that night :-)
You could but the Losmandy fluorescent rubber foot pads, with specially
angularly moulded holes to conform to the angular cut feet - ( the
"fluorescence" is a gimmick, lasts about 15 minutes after the sun goes down)
... on the other hand ...
- the AP pier stores away nicely; I think the legs and rods fit inside the
pier pipe for travel.
- sturdy when set up
- lighter then G11 tripod (single 1/8 inch thick AP pipe, versus 1/4 inch G11
aluminum head and pipes)
- less adjustment range for levelling; good for driveways, and parking lots,
but might not level in less flat spot (sometimes it is a choice between trees
for a view, or a nice convenient flat spot).
Personally, I think the G11 (probably) sets up a bit quicker, and takes a
rigid stance, owing to it's permanently welded leg angles, and slip down leg
pipes. Some tripods with foldable legs will be rocky, owing to their "hinge
pin" construction. I will accept a bit more carrying weight and awkward car
storage for the G11 tripod, when it stands like a football blocker.
Then there is the AP Eagle, or an ATS pier - classy, and probably very
For the price, especially if a used one can be found, the G11 is a
terrific tripod - very well thought out design and well constructed. I would
not settle for anything else - probably lighter than the really stable
... But these are quite "personal choices" - visit a star party or
telescope show room, look around, ask to "kick tires", and see if it suits
your tastes for rock stable performance. You certainly don't want something
that can twist with the changes of scope position, or a gust of wind.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lane Davis" <lane_davis@...>
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 8:02 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Need Tripod/Pier advice
I have a Mach1 on that sits on top of an AP wood tripod AWT000). I