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Scytale

New mount for Travelscope 70mm

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I've finally had enough of putting up with the tripod that came with my Travelscope 70mm, and I want to buy something better. I'd like something that is still quite light, but a lot sturdier. The Travelscope OTA, diagonal and heaviest EP I have weighs about 1.5kg. Any suggestions?

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I have this scope and i agree (everyone does) that the tripod is RUBBISH. I actually chucked mine on a skip a couple of days ago (the tripod). I have always used my travelscope for Solar observing. I use it on a Horizon 8115 tripod (i use it for my 20x90 bins also). Good solid tripod. Check out red snapper.

http://www.redsnapperuk.com

They seem to have some good stuff.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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I used to use a Slik camera tripod. Pretty stable thing, not sure how lightweight I would consider it.

I used to have a steel mounting plate for an ETX-70 on it, then the ETX-70 itself. The plate is about 1cm thick steel and the scope weighes around 3kg and it was acceptable with that.

If budget is tight or in no rush check out any charity shops. They tend to get items in and would sae money and you might fall over a good one.

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I use a star 42 tripod for my 70mm. It's cheap but pretty sturdy for a lightweight mount. Much better than the Velbon I had before.

I even used it tonight to take images through the 70mm with my dslr and it held the combined weight very well.

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Pretty much any average to good photo tripod/mount will be better than the Travelscope original. You could opt for one of the better known names, but Amazon sell lots of stuff from suppliers you've never heard of, often the same or similar thing sold under various names. I bought a Ravelli tripod and ball head which has turned out to be a very good buy indeed, strong and functional and has given me a few years service and no doubt many more. However I can't see this one advertised on Amazon now but this one looks a similar kind of thing with a pan/tilt head and with a 5Kg payload it looks sturdy enough.

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. It's a tricky choice because I want something as light as possible without being flimsy. I've ordered one from Amazon (a Mactrem PT55). I'll give it a try when it arrives, and return it for something sturdier if it turns out to be too shaky.

I'll let you know what I think of it once it arrives.

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Just realised I'd missed the link off on my last post, here's the one I was looking at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zomei-Panoramic-Lightweight-Release-Digital/dp/B01LE6K69I/ref=sr_1_15?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1490353780&sr=1-15&keywords=Tripod+pan+and+tilt

As you can see it is very similar to the one you mention. I suspect they will be the same apart from the flashy colour and you've got it a few quid cheaper. Looks OK so I hope it works out.

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I looked at that one Alfian, and it looks identical to the one I ordered apart from the branding.

I received it today. It looks and feels much higher quality than the original one. But setting it up fully extended, it still feels quite shaky. That's not necessarily a problem as I've been using the current tripod on a tabletop, and will probably carry on using a table. I find the altitude handle is quite big, and tends to prevent you from aiming the scope above about 45deg unless you raise the central column. The most serious issue I've had is that if I switch to a heavier eyepiece, it points at a different altitude angle, which makes it really difficult when I switch to my highest magnification. I suspect a lot of this is because the scope is unbalanced due to the diagonal/eyepiece weight shifting its centre of gravity. Perhaps I need to find a way to mount the scope so that is more balanced.

I'm not sure whether I'll keep it or return it at the moment. I want something portable, so it's easy to take it somewhere dark. But I guess I wouldn't be too interested in using high magnification in that case (it's not worth travelling somewhere dark just to look at the moon or planets), so maybe I shouldn't bother getting something that's light. :icon_confused:

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Regarding the altitude angle, this is a common problem. You should be able to turn it around so the handle is away from you, effectively back to front. This way you can achieve a higher angle.

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Yes, I hadn't thought of that. That does help.

A lot of the problem is that the diagonal/EP weight shifts the centre of gravity of the OTA quite considerably away from the mounting point, so any tripod is going to struggle. While doing some Googling, I came across this (actually I think I first found it because someone on this forum posted the link a few years ago - thanks whoever it was). I made a similar modification (not as neat as that one so I won't post a pic!), and it makes a massive difference. For the first time I was able to switch to my highest power EP and find my target still in the field of view. :smiley:

The only gripe I have with the tripod now is that the head is a little bit stiff. Hopefully it'll loosen up with use.

 

(If anyone else is going to try a similar mod, then I had some difficulty finding somewhere that sells T-nuts, but found some at modelfixings.co.uk)

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