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Star Adventurer and DIY tripod

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I have used my Star Adventurer for a while now and is very satisfaid with it. But it could be improved and I have installed an angled viewfinder to the polar telescope, rebuilt the wedge, etc.

But there is also the tripod, the one I have now is stable but very big, nothing that I could take with me when traveling. All photagraphy tripods I have looked at that is maximum 0.5 meter long folded look a bit weak or are very expensive. Now I have bought an used Manfrotto model 144, very stable but too long folded. This weekend I cut off the legs to make it shorter. I don't need very high tripod now when using the angled viewfinder.

Here is my tripod project:


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I’m curious to know what you have done to the wedge, I have one and the wedge is great as is, care to elaborate?.

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Hi Lars,

It is a poor engineering design which is trying to bend the tines of a rigid fork inwards to achieve enough friction.
Your idea of increasing friction with alternative materials seems very sensible.

Plastic would tend to compress under load. So metal shims [spacing washers] make better sense.
The less the tines have to bend inwards the larger will be the friction area.

Harder shims [washers] and a close fit will reduce the tines being forced inwards when tightened.
There is the risk of causing damage by forcing the tines apart while trying to get metal shims in.
They need to fit well rather than spreading the fork tines apart.
So the thickness of the shims is quite critical.

Similar metals have higher friction when rubbed together.
So aluminium might be a good choice for the spacing washers.


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Great modification, I too use a RA camera viewfinder on my polarscope (never understood why mounts like the SA dont offer them as an option) and that combined with a DSLR with a flip out screen means the whole thing only needs to be a foot or so off the ground. I will have to scout around for a tripod to chop up....


Edited by Alien 13

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6 hours ago, Astrofriend said:

Maybe even better than a flip screen, a remote control operation.


Then I can sit in the car and check the focus. I need to refocus about one or two times per hour if the temperature change.



Thanks, I do use the Canon camera connect with my DSLR in combination with an intervalometer so best of both like you describe, I find the on screen microfocussing very useful when using camera lenses.


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I continue with the modifications of the tripod. Now I have remowed the outer legs to have it even more compact and lighter.


See photos:



They are easy to reinstal if I have a need of them in future.

Thanks for the coments, during the summer I will take a look at the other details. I think I can improve the wedge to be even better. I also need a better function of the adapter to the viewfinder. Now when I know it works very well I can spend more time on it.



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