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Old 13-06-2021, 06:25 PM
Plossl68 (Paul)
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Decent portable tripod for SkyGuider Pro

Hi all,

I'm putting together a fully portable grab and go rig for holidays, camping trips etc. It's based around a SkyGuider Pro and small scope or camera only, and I'm after advice on a decent portable tripod please. It needs to be light and portable enough to carry with a backpack, around $250 or less, and as stable as possible. I know it'll never be rock solid, but the tradeoff is portability.

iOptron do have a matching tripod for the SkyGuider but I'm wondering if anyone has any better recommendations please?

Cheers,
Paul
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Old 13-06-2021, 08:28 PM
N1 (Mirko)
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Hi Paul, the Skyguider is a fantastic piece of kit, but will be limited by too small a tripod unless that is very rigid and either weighty by itself, or able to be weighed down easily. This is less because of its tracking performance but for the fact that once you have the mount polar aligned, you obviously don't want anything to move when you go to your target, but unfortunately that happens very easily. The Dec "axis" is one of the mount's few weak points IMHO, as well as its AltAz base, both of which are flimsy and really need to be upgraded (William Optics have a solution to this) to use the mount to its full potential. The stock tripod is a little unergonomic but isn't actually too bad performance wise.
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Old 13-06-2021, 11:05 PM
Plossl68 (Paul)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1 View Post
Hi Paul, the Skyguider is a fantastic piece of kit, but will be limited by too small a tripod unless that is very rigid and either weighty by itself, or able to be weighed down easily. This is less because of its tracking performance but for the fact that once you have the mount polar aligned, you obviously don't want anything to move when you go to your target, but unfortunately that happens very easily. The Dec "axis" is one of the mount's few weak points IMHO, as well as its AltAz base, both of which are flimsy and really need to be upgraded (William Optics have a solution to this) to use the mount to its full potential. The stock tripod is a little unergonomic but isn't actually too bad performance wise.
Thanks Mirko,
Glad to benefit from your experience. It sounds like the stock tripod is the way to go. Thanks for saving me from a $250 mistake.
Cheers,
Paul
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Old 14-06-2021, 08:18 AM
N1 (Mirko)
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Hi Paul, yes the stock tripod works alright for me. My two slight complaints are its thumbscrews (I prefer the levers/wings you see on other tripods over these), and the spreader, which tries to nip you in the finger when you fold the tripod at the end of a session. All manageable though.

On the mount, do consider the WO altaz cradle at some stage over the stock one. Made a huge difference for me in achieving and maintaining good polar alignment. I do PA in Sharpcap and camera trackers in general probably aren't even intended for that kind of precision. However the Skytracker's actual tracking performance is asking for it.
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Old 15-06-2021, 10:14 PM
Plossl68 (Paul)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1 View Post
Hi Paul, yes the stock tripod works alright for me. My two slight complaints are its thumbscrews (I prefer the levers/wings you see on other tripods over these), and the spreader, which tries to nip you in the finger when you fold the tripod at the end of a session. All manageable though.

On the mount, do consider the WO altaz cradle at some stage over the stock one. Made a huge difference for me in achieving and maintaining good polar alignment. I do PA in Sharpcap and camera trackers in general probably aren't even intended for that kind of precision. However the Skytracker's actual tracking performance is asking for it.
Thanks Mirko,
WO Alt Az base ordered.
Cheers,
Paul
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Old 16-06-2021, 11:05 PM
langman78 (Ben)
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Hi Paul,

This has been on my mind when I decide to eventually upgrade my tracker. I'm currently using iOptrons 1st generation tracker with cheapish tripod which has been ok but obviously with a tracker upgrade and a heavier payload, I'll be in the same boat as you in which direction to go?
I recently stumbled across the Neewer 66 carbon fiber tripod online.
Can be found on Amazon for around $120ish if I recall correctly. These seem to be more than capable and have great reviews. Could be a cheaper yet more versatile suggestion and this tripod is even mentioned by Trevor Jones (Astrobackyard) as being a good choice.
I don't know if any folks here have used before but I'd be most curious to get some opinions on this as a suggestion.
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Old 21-06-2021, 10:07 PM
Plossl68 (Paul)
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Originally Posted by langman78 View Post
Hi Paul,

This has been on my mind when I decide to eventually upgrade my tracker. I'm currently using iOptrons 1st generation tracker with cheapish tripod which has been ok but obviously with a tracker upgrade and a heavier payload, I'll be in the same boat as you in which direction to go?
I recently stumbled across the Neewer 66 carbon fiber tripod online.
Can be found on Amazon for around $120ish if I recall correctly. These seem to be more than capable and have great reviews. Could be a cheaper yet more versatile suggestion and this tripod is even mentioned by Trevor Jones (Astrobackyard) as being a good choice.
I don't know if any folks here have used before but I'd be most curious to get some opinions on this as a suggestion.
Thanks Ben,

Yes I did see the Neewer tripods on Amazon and was tempted, but have committed to the stock tripod which is in transit to me now. If you do go with the Neewer then Id be interested to hear how you go.

Cheers,
Paul
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Old 21-06-2021, 10:45 PM
langman78 (Ben)
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Not a problem Paul. I failed to originally see youd already pulled the trigger on the WO Alt Az. Think you have made a wise decision for your needs. Especially you have decided on the skyguider.
As for myself, I am torn between the skyguider and Star Adventurer.
Ill definitely give you an update on the neewer if I decide to buy. Hoping Amazon take a few bucks off during their sales.
Best of luck with your new rig Paul and Im looking forward to seeing some images.
Regards,
Ben
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  #9  
Old 22-06-2021, 07:48 AM
Plossl68 (Paul)
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Cheers Ben
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