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Demonperformer

Base for NEQ6 tripod

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I have been giving some thought to making the process of setting up the NEQ6 in my front garden easier. The garden slopes from my path to my neighbour's path (and also along the path), making the process of getting it level not that simple - there would be a pile of earth rising above my neighbour's path (likely to slip) and/or the earth would be cut away from my path (meaning the path slabs would be subject to slippage).

My aim is that the tripod legs should always be extended the same amount, with their in the same places.

I can achieve the first of these by never extending the legs at all. If I were to be doing visual, this would make the scope inconveniently low. However, with the introduction of the new brighter, whiter light ["which more closely resembles daylight"] streetlights being promised (threatened!) by Poole BC to be installed "over the next few years", visual is going to be even less possible than it is already. So it is going to become exclusively photographic (and probably NB).

To achieve the second, I am thinking of a simple wooden structure, properly waterproofed (I have a friend who built a wooden dinghy, so will get some advice from there on suitable products/procedures).

Each tripod leg would sit on a wooden dowel, the top of all of these would be level. For a diameter I am thinking 1"-2". In one sense, smaller would be better (less opportunity for the tripod feet to be in a different position). But would this create instability (wobbliness) when the tripod/mount/scope/etc are all pressing down on it? Each of these dowels would have a raised lip around the 'outer' half to stop the tripod from falling off. Maybe a suitable sized piece of pvc tubing cut in half? Each of these dowels would be attached onto the centre of a 6"*6" (approximately) piece of timber to spread the weight over a larger area.

These three 'plate/dowel' structures would then be connected by three pieces of timber attached (nailed/screwed?) on the top of each plate to form an equilateral triangle; these pieces cut to the right length, so that the dowels are now the right distance apart for the tripod with unextended legs to sit on top of them. A small piece would also be attached between the two 'struts' attached to the 'south' plate.

A final 'strut' is attached on top of this small piece and a point half way along the strut between the 'east' and 'west' plates. This is partially for stability, and partially because this strut would be pointing N-S, and will make aligning this entire structure easier.

[The attached diagram is meant to help make sense of the above, it is not drawn to scale.]

The majority of this structure would be buried, so that (1) the tops of all the dowels are level, and (2) the dowel that is at the highest point of the ground is just barely above the surface (so as little of the entire structure is above ground as possible).

Once I have got this in place, and I've PA-ed the mount once, the consequences of all this would (I hope!) be:
(1) I would always be able to position the tripod feet in precisely (subject to the diameter of the dowels) the same place.
(2) With the tripod feet in the same place, and the tripod legs being fully unextended, the mounting plate (and more importantly the post on the mounting plate) will always be in the same position.
(3) If I always remove the mount from the tripod by loosening the right-hand azimuth bolt (which is what comes naturally to me anyway, but make it a 'rule') and always replace it by tightening the same bolt, the mount will always have nigh on the same PA as it did when I took it off.
(4) The process of 'tweaking' the PA so that it is perfect (for 20 min guided NB subs) will become simple [don't you just admire optimism?]

OK, those are my thoughts. Relatively simple (in line with my abilities) and cheap (in line with my finances) to construct and making life so much easier once it is up and running. And if the elements do start to take their toll after a few years, not too difficult to replace. Feel free to tear into them and/or provide constructive improvements.

Thanks.

post-4846-0-25807600-1450025357.jpg

Edited by Demonperformer

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Why not just put 3 no 2' x 2' flags down, then you can do as I do and drill 3 shallow holes into them to give 3 points to locate the legs of the tripod.

.

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Thanks for the reply.

I have looked into that idea previously, but there are a couple of issues.

Firstly, it is the weight. According to http://www.wickes.co.uk/Products/Gardens/Paving+Walling/Paving-Slabs/c/1000715?q=%3AtopSellers%3ALength%3A300+mm%3AWidth%3A300+mm%3AWeight%3A7+kg&text=# even 300mm square slabs are 7kg a piece, which is more than I want to be shoving around to get them properly positioned. I would estimate that the entire structure above would be less than that.

Secondly, it is getting them level, not only with themselves, but with each other, with the attendant building up the garden in one part and/or submerging them below garden level in another part. If they aren't level with each other, I'm back to the situation where I have to guestimate how much to extend each leg of the tripod to get it level. I only have a 7" level, so although I could probably get each one level (but would have to deal with 2 dimensions at once), the hassle of getting them all level with each other would become a real pain. The advantage of the structure above (I think) is that once I got each of the struts joining the three posts level, the entire thing would be level. Also, the N-S strut would make alignment of the structure straight forward, rather than having to guess where the N-S line runs between the E & W slabs.

It's all a question really of whether it would be adequate for the job.

Thanks.

Edited by Demonperformer

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Hi DP

Have you considered a pillar mount - this could be set up permanently and you'd just have to put your mount on top each time.

I'm not sure that dowels would be stable enough without substantial foundations.

HTH

Paul

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That was supposed to say pillar mount!!!

It does now [emoji3]

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Thanks for the response, Paul.

Yes, I have a pillar in the back garden, but the front gardens are "open plan", and having a nice (scrappable) pillar in easy reach of the road (and knowing how much the locals used to keep my criminal-solicitor-brother occupied), I'm not at all sure that it would last long. Which is why I thought dowels (or similar) in the right positions, but close to the ground would be unlikely to call much attention.

It's such a pity that I don't have the means (or probably even the aptitude) to construct something in metal. I suppose I could see if I could get something made up locally, but I don't reckon it would be particularly cheap.

Thanks.

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How about a 150mm diameter, 2 metre length of air-conditioning ducting sunk into a dug hole, filled with concrete, with 4 M8\M10 rods....

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Thanks for the reply.

I have looked into that idea previously, but there are a couple of issues.

Firstly, it is the weight. According to http://www.wickes.co.uk/Products/Gardens/Paving+Walling/Paving-Slabs/c/1000715?q=%3AtopSellers%3ALength%3A300+mm%3AWidth%3A300+mm%3AWeight%3A7+kg&text=# even 300mm square slabs are 7kg a piece, which is more than I want to be shoving around to get them properly positioned. I would estimate that the entire structure above would be less than that.

Secondly, it is getting them level, not only with themselves, but with each other, with the attendant building up the garden in one part and/or submerging them below garden level in another part. If they aren't level with each other, I'm back to the situation where I have to guestimate how much to extend each leg of the tripod to get it level. I only have a 7" level, so although I could probably get each one level (but would have to deal with 2 dimensions at once), the hassle of getting them all level with each other would become a real pain. The advantage of the structure above (I think) is that once I got each of the struts joining the three posts level, the entire thing would be level. Also, the N-S strut would make alignment of the structure straight forward, rather than having to guess where the N-S line runs between the E & W slabs.

It's all a question really of whether it would be adequate for the job.

Thanks.

Hi

You do not have to get them level, the tripod legs take care of levelling and the legs go back in the same position each time, just do not collapse them.

The weight is an advantage as it will 'bed' them into the ground better and they do not even have to be level, they can follow the contour of the land as the locating holes will always get the tripod in the same position.

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(1) If I do that, it won't fit back into the box for storage between sessions

(2) It isn't, if I put my back out again while manipulating them into place

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I'm nothing, if not flexible.

Would bricks be adequate as a base?

I have three bricks in my back garden doing nothing (long story). These are light enough so that I would not have the weight problem that 600mm slabs would produce. I could pick up a level long enough to go between them for under £10 at my local Wickes. I'm thinking that they would be buried long-side-vertical, to give the maximum stability (unless anyone knows better?) and to minimize the risk of anyone coming along and pinching them. I could then use the idea of drilling holes in the top to locate the feet, eliminating the need for a raised rim round the outside.

If I could do the setup for the cost of a longer level, I would be well-pleased.

I certainly think it would be worth a try at the price - unless anyone can come up with a definite "that would not be adequate".

Thanks.

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