Monday, June 26, 2017

Tripod Pads

September 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles, Equipment

Tripod PadsHave you ever gone out to a campground out in the desert to image or do some visuals?  Or how about an access road out in the middle of nowhere to get away from light polluted skies?  If you’re one such individual then you know that some of the best locations have the worst foundations for setting up a heavy tripod, mount and OTA.

The dirt/sand surfaces found in many remote locations can make leveling an impossible task, or worse yet could cause your rig to slowly settle as you’re imaging regardless of if you walk close by or not.  To prevent such a thing from happening, you’re going to have to set your tripod legs on some sort of load spreading accessory.  Many companies make anti-vibration pads that would do the job but they can cost upwards of $100.  If you don’t want to spend money buying pre-made pads, your choices are to either deal with the sand, make your own pads or find some sort of suitable alternative.

This author decided that the easiest thing to do was to find some sort of suitable alternative.  A quick field trip to the local home improvement store proved to be the right choice.  It only took walking up and down a couple of aisles to find the perfect solution, banister rail caps.  They were the right size, light weight and the right price, $2.99 a piece x 3.

They came in handy during the last MBS astro trip out to Joshua Tree where it was sandy.  The tripod stayed in place without any slippage or sinkage and resulted in two successful nights of imaging.  Setting up was a lot easier this time around than the last trip to this same site.  This hobby, like many others tends to get quite expensive so any opportunity to save money is beneficial.  Sometimes it just requires a little bit of creativity!

Comments

One Response to “Tripod Pads”
  1. jwohlfeil says:

    Nice addition to your astronomy gear. Glad to hear they worked out great. I may need to order a set for my mount.

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