Telescope Tripods

Once you've chosen your telescope and mount, the next step is to select a tripod or a pier to place them on top of. All tripods share the same basic configuration, but remember: a tripod is not a mount.  It is the platform for a mount.  Tripods consist of three legs joined together to form a framework for supporting weight.  This portable assembly provides a sturdy method of carrying a load while providing stability against downward forces, horizontal forces, and movement along the vertical axis.  By spreading the weight along three pressure points away from the center, it also increases stability laterally. Tripods are portable, capable of being assembled and dissassembled for movement as you need it. Piers meanwhile are heavy and emplaced positions for the heaviest of mount-telescope combos, perfect for your observatory. It is impossible to surpass the stoic durability and capacity of a pier, but they are usually impossible to re-locate, compared to a tripod that may be setup and broken down as many times as you need.

 

                                                                

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Once you've chosen your telescope and mount, the next step is to select a telescope tripod or a pier to serve as a platform for the rest of your system. All tripods share the same basic configuration, but remember: a tripod is not a mount.  It is the platform for a mount.  Tripods consist of three legs joined together to form a framework for supporting weight.  This portable assembly provides a sturdy method of carrying a load while providing stability against downward forces, horizontal forces, and movement along the vertical axis.  By spreading the weight along three pressure points away from the center, it also increases stability laterally. Tripods are portable, capable of being assembled and dissassembled for movement as you need it. Piers meanwhile are heavy and emplaced positions for the heaviest of mount-telescope combos, perfect for your observatory. It is impossible to surpass the stoic durability and capacity of a pier, but they are usually impossible to re-locate, compared to a tripod that may be setup and broken down as many times as you need.

All tripods share the same basic configuration, but remember: a tripod is not a mount.  It is the platform for a mount.  Tripods consist of three legs joined together to form a framework for supporting weight.  This portable assembly provides a sturdy method of carrying a load while providing stability against downward forces, horizontal forces, and movement along the vertical axis.  By spreading the weight along three pressure points away from the center, it also increases stability laterally.

 

 

A camera tripod is a versatile and easily transportable piece of equipment.  It is important to select a camera tripod that compliments your apparatus, since even a tiny movement during a timed exposure can mean a ruined image.  To achieve their maximum potential, most photographic tripods are designed around a vertical center post with adjustable height legs.  The tripod head then attaches to this frame.  Most camera tripods are constructed of aluminum, but wooden models are also available.  The feet are aluminum or steel and frequently have pointed tips.  The legs are usually a telescopic design with a slip joint to help level the platform for any terrain. 

A telescope tripod is the same basic three-legged platform, but it's much more sturdy to carry a heavier load.  They are also crafted from aluminum, steel, or exotic woods.  The telescope tripod has adjustable height legs that can be either round or flat and have a center brace which acts as a fail-safe to keep the legs in a fixed position.  This center brace can also have an attached accessory tray to help organize eyepieces and other telescope accessories.  Most telescope tripods work with a variety of telescope mounts, or they can be adapted to work with other equipment, such as a camera mount.

A monopod is just what its name suggests – a single leg meant to hold a lightweight optical mount such as ones designed for cameras or binoculars.  Monopods are sometimes referred to as a “Finn Stick”.  These lightweight and portable units work very well with binoculars and cameras requiring a fast-action stationary stage.