AP Berlebach or Eagle Tripod - Which should I get?


Mike Stephens
 

Hi Astro Buddies,
I'm needing a portable tripod for Mach1 for occasional venture beyond home observatory.
My main priority is ease of setup / leveling - No visual - AP use only. 
I probably won't use it much based on my 20 years mucking with this hobby. (-:
Both are outstanding products based on AP Quality.
But If price is not main factor, which would U suggest?
rgds & tnx,





Bill Long
 

Eagle is incredible. Gets my vote easily. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Mike Stephens <mikestephens-milkeycorp@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2022 12:31 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] AP Berlebach or Eagle Tripod - Which should I get?
 
Hi Astro Buddies,
I'm needing a portable tripod for Mach1 for occasional venture beyond home observatory.
My main priority is ease of setup / leveling - No visual - AP use only. 
I probably won't use it much based on my 20 years mucking with this hobby. (-:
Both are outstanding products based on AP Quality.
But If price is not main factor, which would U suggest?
rgds & tnx,





Woody Schlom
 

Mike,

 

I love my Berlebach Planet tripod with my Mach1.  However I’m not sure I would recommend one for everybody. 

 

I’m not familiar with the Eagle, but I can tell you that the Berlebach Planet is HEAVY!

 

Leveling is straight forward, nothing unique.

 

I believe AP is only selling and shipping these tripods with the double leg clamps now.  But if not, you absolutely want the double leg clamp option.  I’m speaking from experience.  Wood does expand and contract.  And after three days and nights of hot days and cool damp nights, one of my clamps loosened enough for a leg to slip – and the tripod with mount and scopes toppled over.  I was at a multi-day star party and a TeleVue representative across from me came over and said he’s had the exact same thing happen to him with TV’s wooden tripods.  So now every time he passes by one of his wooden tripods, he double checks each leg clamp.  I had AP order me the optional second clamps and have never had a leg slip since.

 

My main reason for having the wooden Berlebach tripod is looks and feel.  It’s a conversation piece for public outreach.  And I just really like the look and feel of wood.  I might add that I now have three Berlebach tripods, Planet, Uni, and Report.  And I use all three for public outreach – for various purposes.

 

If you intend to use the tripod in dirt or sand, then the wooden one is probably better as some metal devices (particularly those involving metal-to-metal sliding parts), might not do so well in dirt or sand.

 

If you are only concerned with function and efficiency – I’d probably go with one of the high-tech alternatives to wood.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Stephens
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2022 12:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP Berlebach or Eagle Tripod - Which should I get?

 

Hi Astro Buddies,
I'm needing a portable tripod for Mach1 for occasional venture beyond home observatory.
My main priority is ease of setup / leveling - No visual - AP use only. 
I probably won't use it much based on my 20 years mucking with this hobby. (-:
Both are outstanding products based on AP Quality.
But If price is not main factor, which would U suggest?
rgds & tnx,




Jeffc
 

Eagle.   I added the max pier extensions.   The eagle also has some heft but is fairly compact for travel.     
Btw .. I level the tripod with some spacers under the feet.   The legs are adjustable.. but I just use a couple tiles stacked.  

I also put some Piano Caster Protectors under the feet to save the aluminum.  (I drilled them out with a forstner so the foot sits in a perfectly sized pocket.)



On Mar 10, 2022, at 12:32 PM, Mike Stephens <mikestephens-milkeycorp@...> wrote:

Hi Astro Buddies,
I'm needing a portable tripod for Mach1 for occasional venture beyond home observatory.
My main priority is ease of setup / leveling - No visual - AP use only. 
I probably won't use it much based on my 20 years mucking with this hobby. (-:
Both are outstanding products based on AP Quality.
But If price is not main factor, which would U suggest?
rgds & tnx,





Harley Davidson
 

Eagle tripod, I have two with lots of accessories. To be clear though I have never used the Berlebach tripod so I cannot compare the Eagle to it.  BTW, great idea Jeff with the Piano Caster Protectors.

tony

On 3/10/2022 4:25 PM, Jeffc wrote:
Eagle.   I added the max pier extensions.   The eagle also has some heft but is fairly compact for travel.     
Btw .. I level the tripod with some spacers under the feet.   The legs are adjustable.. but I just use a couple tiles stacked.  

I also put some Piano Caster Protectors under the feet to save the aluminum.  (I drilled them out with a forstner so the foot sits in a perfectly sized pocket.)



On Mar 10, 2022, at 12:32 PM, Mike Stephens <mikestephens-milkeycorp@...> wrote:

Hi Astro Buddies,
I'm needing a portable tripod for Mach1 for occasional venture beyond home observatory.
My main priority is ease of setup / leveling - No visual - AP use only. 
I probably won't use it much based on my 20 years mucking with this hobby. (-:
Both are outstanding products based on AP Quality.
But If price is not main factor, which would U suggest?
rgds & tnx,






dvjbaja
 


Mike,

You might want to consider the Avalon T-130 or the T-110 tripods.  Excellent for small mounts, carry bag included, lightweight design, leveling,  folds easily.  Comes in red or black.  The T-110 is the same design, just a little bit shorter legs.  

Cheers

Jg


Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone


Joseph Beyer
 

I have both for my Mach1.  If I had purchased the Eagle first I wouldn't have ever purchased the Berlebach.  The Eagle is a much more rigid platform for the mount.  I leave my mount set up on the Eagle under a 365 cover most of the time and probably only need to touch up the polar alignment once a month.  Also the Berlebach is affected by moderate heat and humidity more than I thought it would be - it will move a fair amount from one night to the next.

Joe


Howard Ritter
 

I have two Planets, a double-clamp model carrying my 155EDF on a 600E mount (a recent replacement for the 25-year-old original) and a single-clamp model that I scored on a special deal from a retailer. It carries a much lighter load, either an APM 100mm binoscope on an APM altaz fork or my Rainbow RST135 with a WO FLT91 or RASA 8. All the setups look gorgeous. 

I will now be making daily checks of all the clamps!

—howard

On Mar 10, 2022, at 3:54 PM, Woody Schlom <woody_is@...> wrote:

Mike,
 
I love my Berlebach Planet tripod with my Mach1.  However I’m not sure I would recommend one for everybody.  
 
I’m not familiar with the Eagle, but I can tell you that the Berlebach Planet is HEAVY!
 
Leveling is straight forward, nothing unique.
 
I believe AP is only selling and shipping these tripods with the double leg clamps now.  But if not, you absolutely want the double leg clamp option.  I’m speaking from experience.  Wood does expand and contract.  And after three days and nights of hot days and cool damp nights, one of my clamps loosened enough for a leg to slip – and the tripod with mount and scopes toppled over.  I was at a multi-day star party and a TeleVue representative across from me came over and said he’s had the exact same thing happen to him with TV’s wooden tripods.  So now every time he passes by one of his wooden tripods, he double checks each leg clamp.  I had AP order me the optional second clamps and have never had a leg slip since.
 
My main reason for having the wooden Berlebach tripod is looks and feel.  It’s a conversation piece for public outreach.  And I just really like the look and feel of wood.  I might add that I now have three Berlebach tripods, Planet, Uni, and Report.  And I use all three for public outreach – for various purposes.
 
If you intend to use the tripod in dirt or sand, then the wooden one is probably better as some metal devices (particularly those involving metal-to-metal sliding parts), might not do so well in dirt or sand.
 
If you are only concerned with function and efficiency – I’d probably go with one of the high-tech alternatives to wood.
 
Woody
 
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Stephens
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2022 12:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP Berlebach or Eagle Tripod - Which should I get?
 

Hi Astro Buddies,
I'm needing a portable tripod for Mach1 for occasional venture beyond home observatory.
My main priority is ease of setup / leveling - No visual - AP use only. 
I probably won't use it much based on my 20 years mucking with this hobby. (-:
Both are outstanding products based on AP Quality.
But If price is not main factor, which would U suggest?
rgds & tnx,





Woody Schlom
 

Howard,

 

You can buy a second set of leg clamps and install them yourself.  That’s what I did on my Planet.  I don’t recall the details, but I do remember running into a minor confusion regarding the instructions and reality.  So I reverted to photos and all went well.

 

So far as I know, the leg slipping problem only shows up after the tripod has been outside for more than one night in a row.  But yes, check clamps routinely.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Howard Ritter via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2022 8:30 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP Berlebach or Eagle Tripod - Which should I get?

 

I have two Planets, a double-clamp model carrying my 155EDF on a 600E mount (a recent replacement for the 25-year-old original) and a single-clamp model that I scored on a special deal from a retailer. It carries a much lighter load, either an APM 100mm binoscope on an APM altaz fork or my Rainbow RST135 with a WO FLT91 or RASA 8. All the setups look gorgeous. 

 

I will now be making daily checks of all the clamps!

 

—howard



On Mar 10, 2022, at 3:54 PM, Woody Schlom <woody_is@...> wrote:

 

Mike,

 

I love my Berlebach Planet tripod with my Mach1.  However I’m not sure I would recommend one for everybody.  

 

I’m not familiar with the Eagle, but I can tell you that the Berlebach Planet is HEAVY!

 

Leveling is straight forward, nothing unique.

 

I believe AP is only selling and shipping these tripods with the double leg clamps now.  But if not, you absolutely want the double leg clamp option.  I’m speaking from experience.  Wood does expand and contract.  And after three days and nights of hot days and cool damp nights, one of my clamps loosened enough for a leg to slip – and the tripod with mount and scopes toppled over.  I was at a multi-day star party and a TeleVue representative across from me came over and said he’s had the exact same thing happen to him with TV’s wooden tripods.  So now every time he passes by one of his wooden tripods, he double checks each leg clamp.  I had AP order me the optional second clamps and have never had a leg slip since.

 

My main reason for having the wooden Berlebach tripod is looks and feel.  It’s a conversation piece for public outreach.  And I just really like the look and feel of wood.  I might add that I now have three Berlebach tripods, Planet, Uni, and Report.  And I use all three for public outreach – for various purposes.

 

If you intend to use the tripod in dirt or sand, then the wooden one is probably better as some metal devices (particularly those involving metal-to-metal sliding parts), might not do so well in dirt or sand.

 

If you are only concerned with function and efficiency – I’d probably go with one of the high-tech alternatives to wood.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mike Stephens
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2022 12:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP Berlebach or Eagle Tripod - Which should I get?

 

Hi Astro Buddies,
I'm needing a portable tripod for Mach1 for occasional venture beyond home observatory.
My main priority is ease of setup / leveling - No visual - AP use only. 
I probably won't use it much based on my 20 years mucking with this hobby. (-:
Both are outstanding products based on AP Quality.
But If price is not main factor, which would U suggest?
rgds & tnx,




 


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

On Thu, Mar 10, 2022 at 11:30 PM, Howard Ritter wrote:
I will now be making daily checks of all the clamps!
I'm very pleased with my Planet, though I would not leave wood outside all the time, it comes in each night.

You can add a second clamp yourself if you are slightly handy with woodworking (it requires a hole about 1/2" wide and deep - not all the way through -- drilled into the side of the disassembled leg).  I added my second clamp fairly high up the leg above the tray for even more grip (you lose height matching how far apart they are, but I use it all the way down anyway). 



Howard Ritter
 

Thanks for the tip. But with my 1-clamp Planet carrying a relatively light load, I may not need to do this. But I’ll have to re-think my idea of leaving the 2-clamp Planet with the 600E mount out on the patio under a 365 cover from spring to fall. My thought has been to sink stubs of copper or PVC pipe into the concrete at the places where the tripod points touch, so the tripod remains securely fixed in position for extended stays. The orientation would also be repeatable in the interest of polar alignment if spells of wet weather make it a good idea to bring the tripod in for the duration. The key I think will be to use pipe whose I.D. exactly fits the tapered spike at some point below or at the ground disc. This should make for azimuthal orientation, tip, and tilt to be pretty rigidly constrained and repeatable.

I’m getting a 1600GTO mount in May, and it’s going to carry the OTA of my 16” Meade SCT, at least initially. It will remain outside, under a 365 cover, but it’ll be carried on the SCT’s original Giant Field Tripod.

—howard

On Mar11, 2022, at 0811, ap@... wrote:

On Thu, Mar 10, 2022 at 11:30 PM, Howard Ritter wrote:
I will now be making daily checks of all the clamps!
I'm very pleased with my Planet, though I would not leave wood outside all the time, it comes in each night.

You can add a second clamp yourself if you are slightly handy with woodworking (it requires a hole about 1/2" wide and deep - not all the way through -- drilled into the side of the disassembled leg).  I added my second clamp fairly high up the leg above the tray for even more grip (you lose height matching how far apart they are, but I use it all the way down anyway). 


<dummyfile.0.part>


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

On Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 09:04 AM, Howard Ritter wrote:
My thought has been to sink stubs of copper or PVC pipe into the concrete at the places where the tripod points touch, so the tripod remains securely fixed in position for extended stays.
I used pavers on a bed of gravel then sand.  I drilled a hole about the size of half-way up the spike but longer than the spike, so that the spike self-centers in the hole held by the top rim not the point.  With this I get within about 2' of polar aligned just by putting the legs in the same holes.  Then takes just a few minutes with NINA's polar align to get it down to a handful of arc seconds.  I do every month or three take a can of air and straw and blow dust/dirt out of the hole so it doesn't fill in and lift the spike. 

Finding the right spot I polar aligned on grass one night, then before moving it put some sticks right beside the feet.  Put the pavers where the sticks were, then the next night polar aligned with spikes on top of the pavers, with a fairly centered azimuth.  Once good, draw a circle around the spike and drill a hole the next night.   You do want the spike somewhat centered on the paver so it doesn't depress one corner over time when it gets heavy. 

I am not where it freezes, this might require more thought if you are in an area where the ground shrinks and swells with freeze cycles, maybe a larger bed.  But the concept works really well. 

Linwood



Howard Ritter
 

Now that you mention it, I guess there’s really no reason to line a hole with a piece of pipe, is there, if the concrete of the patio is in good condition. With respect to locating the holes, it seems to me that all that would be necessary is to use the 600’s polar scope to orient the tripod with both Az adjustments on the mount and the tripod head in their center positions, then drill the holes and position the tripod, and only then do a NINA alignment. No point in doing a precise alignment before drilling the holes, when a repeat will be necessary anyway after they’re sunk. After that, I’m hoping that positioning will be repeatable enough to allow autoguiding without repeat NINA alignment.

—howard

On Mar11, 2022, at 0931, ap@... wrote:

On Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 09:04 AM, Howard Ritter wrote:
My thought has been to sink stubs of copper or PVC pipe into the concrete at the places where the tripod points touch, so the tripod remains securely fixed in position for extended stays.
I used pavers on a bed of gravel then sand.  I drilled a hole about the size of half-way up the spike but longer than the spike, so that the spike self-centers in the hole held by the top rim not the point.  With this I get within about 2' of polar aligned just by putting the legs in the same holes.  Then takes just a few minutes with NINA's polar align to get it down to a handful of arc seconds.  I do every month or three take a can of air and straw and blow dust/dirt out of the hole so it doesn't fill in and lift the spike. 

Finding the right spot I polar aligned on grass one night, then before moving it put some sticks right beside the feet.  Put the pavers where the sticks were, then the next night polar aligned with spikes on top of the pavers, with a fairly centered azimuth.  Once good, draw a circle around the spike and drill a hole the next night.   You do want the spike somewhat centered on the paver so it doesn't depress one corner over time when it gets heavy. 

I am not where it freezes, this might require more thought if you are in an area where the ground shrinks and swells with freeze cycles, maybe a larger bed.  But the concept works really well. 

Linwood


<dummyfile.0.part>


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

On Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 10:29 AM, Howard Ritter wrote:
With respect to locating the holes, it seems to me that all that would be necessary is to use the 600’s polar scope to orient the tripod with both Az adjustments on the mount and the tripod head in their center positions, then drill the holes and position the tripod,
Sure, I just didn't want to waste the time for imaging, so I drilled the holes the next morning.  Clear nights are rare enough, even the time to drill holes is not a good tradeoff.  :) 

Linwood