Home Made Tripod

I had an old video tripod which the fluid head had broken off. Basically what I was left with was a stand that couldn't be rotated or angled. Being on a budget I decided to put this to use rather than get a commercial tripod.

I mounted a flat board to it and then angled another board to hold eyepieces and the Autostar handbox. I made these wide enough for later expansion and to use as storage space for lens caps etc...

This set up works great in the Alt/Az position but I thought I may as well make an equatorial mount for the top. I could have simply made it fixed for my site but wanting portablility I opted for an adjustable one. Another few bits of wood, hinges and locking screws and I was done. A final spray with matt black to finish the job! I had most things lying around so all this project cost me was around AU$12 for the primer and paint!

The only problem with the equatorial section is that the cables can sometimes get caught up with movement - so modification may be made a bit further down the track (SEE BELOW). It seems the ETX90 would suit this mount though - it's cables remain fixed when the scope rotates ... but the ETX70's move as they plug into the fork arm and not the base.

A - Base board measuring 450mm x 150mm x 15mm with mounting at bottom to fit tripod
B - 45º skirting 450mm x 15mm (alternatively make "A" 15mm larger and trim at 45º)
C - 450mm x 160mm x 6mm board with 32mm holes drilled for eyepieces
D - 70mm x 110mm x 15mm block carved to fit Autostar handbox & covered with felt
- NOTE - If you only wish to use alt/az mount, drill holes in "A" and mount scope and your done!
E - Two boards 150mm x 200mm x 15mm joined with 2 recessed hinges so they can sit flush. Top board has 2 holes for scope mounting - bottom board has recessed area below holes to allow boards to sit flush once scope mounting screws are fixed.
F - 2 boards 1/4 circle (approx 170mm radius) with groove (approx 7mm) cut 30mm in from edge
G - 2 screws (preferably large handle type ones) go through groove in "F" and screw into "E"
An alternative would be to remove "F" boards and fix curved boards each side of "E" which can receed through holes in "A" and be fixed - SEE BELOW.

Here's the tripod changed as mentioned above - shown before being painted to allow changes to be seen properly. I also added 2 recessed aluminium blocks to bottom board "E" threaded to allow a more secure fitting of adjustment screw.

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