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kbrown

Tripod Tray (on steroids)

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As some of you already know I've been recently concentrating on getting my smaller DIY refractor in a usable state. I already can use it with my DSLR but ultimately I'd like to be able to use it with my Atik 383+ and QHY5L-II mono cameras and my (DIY motorised) filterwheel. Ultimately I'd like to also motorise the focuser on the scope and be able to control that via INDI like I've done on my 10" newt in the past but that's something for the future. All this of course presents some additional challenges especially when trying to keep everything reasonably portable. Would be great to be able to fit everything in a single large rucksack.

This thread will be mostly about building a tripod tray for my old SLIK camera tripod I'll be using with this scope. The tray will be a platform for things like a Raspberry Pi or similar for running the INDI server for the cameras, filterwheel and gps plus a power source for all of these and dew heater(s) etc.

Here's a rough idea I'm thinking of at the moment:

TripodTray.jpg.706e27fb8de98a3dd520c2fd09261679.jpg

The green parts I've already printed. The white parts (three of them, one of them hidden above to show what's going on) form the tray itself. The reason why it's split in parts like this is that I intend to 3D print them to keep the weight down but due to limitations of my printer I can't print the whole thing  in one go.

Most of the tech bits and bobs and wires I'll try to hide under the tray.

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If yours is anything like mine, getting your SLIK tripod ready for "proper" astro work is going to be quite a challenge. I will follow your progress with interest.

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3 hours ago, Demonperformer said:

If yours is anything like mine, getting your SLIK tripod ready for "proper" astro work is going to be quite a challenge. I will follow your progress with interest.

I quite agree. In the merest breeze mine was as shaky as my Labrador in the Vet’s waiting room ... 

Good luck with the project @kbrown ?? Be interesting to see how you get on...

Edited by Stargazer McCabe

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6 hours ago, Demonperformer said:

If yours is anything like mine, getting your SLIK tripod ready for "proper" astro work is going to be quite a challenge. I will follow your progress with interest.

 

5 hours ago, Stargazer McCabe said:

I quite agree. In the merest breeze mine was as shaky as my Labrador in the Vet’s waiting room ... 

Good luck with the project @kbrown ?? Be interesting to see how you get on...

 

Thanks guys. Yes it's not the best solution but it's not the worst either. Mine is the SLIK 504 QF-II. It came with a video head which I have removed completely as that was the main source of flexures. I've attached the Star Adventurer wedge directly to the height adjustment centre pole which I always keep at its lowest position to minimise any remaining flexures. I may even look into permanently fixing the pole in this position somehow. Here's what the original tripod looked like:

image.png.de053d69283b002909b6ece47bffabe0.png

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Long time no updates. This project is still alive though. Finally getting somewhere with it. I now have a way to attach the battery, raspberry pi, usb hub and a gps module to the tray without having to modify them. All that is left to do is the power distribution and wiring really.

 

Topside. Just the USB hub here at the moment.

IMG_20190204_002418.jpg.70c9cfe44cf6e0174d8e4cba6c069b5f.jpg

 

Underside. Battery, Raspberry Pi and GPS module.

IMG_20190204_002430.jpg.1f9861f22d707398c11ee267905d75ae.jpg

 

Here's how it sits on the tripod.

IMG_20190204_005148.jpg.6ff4195b354756e442fc515b6a599a56.jpg

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That looks like a really neat arrangement. Nice one. I'm sure it will now start producing all sorts of clones on here ...

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Nice idea that could be evolved for all sorts of tripods, thereby reduce the sort of wiring clutter I always seem to have. What is the power module you are using, it looks interesting.

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Bro is going to try and sort out a tray for my new cheap astronomy tripod, but I do like this idea with the shelves in it.  No 3D printer here yet, but all sorts of other materials might work. 

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2 hours ago, BargeGazer said:

Nice idea that could be evolved for all sorts of tripods, thereby reduce the sort of wiring clutter I always seem to have. What is the power module you are using, it looks interesting.

Thanks guys! The power bank is this one:

https://www.amazon.com/MoKo-Multi-function-Emergency-Cigarette-Flashlight/dp/B01J0RXAV4

 

It has received mixed reviews but mine has been okay so far. I've only ran a single dew heater of it so far though. Had no trouble keeping it on for 5 hours straight in sub-zero temperatures. I think it had about 60% left when I re-charged it. Remains to be seen what happens when I put my cooled CCD, filterwheel and focuser behind it. Might have to get another one as a backup and come up with some kind of a hot swap system...

 

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