Suggestions for Stowaway Tripod and Head


jrpmsn
 

I'm looking for suggestions for a new tripod and head for my still-almost-new Stowaway. I have two tripods that I want to replace with one.

The first, for terrestrial work, is a lightweight aluminum1950’s vintage camera tripod I inherited many years ago from my Dad. It’s now beyond repair. The second is a 15-year-old TeleVue Panoramic with a TelePod head (once housed a TV-85) for simple astronomical work. It’s awkwardly portable and a bit messy to set up. I’d like to replace both with one modern tripod and head that is rigid, stable and portable. I do mount cameras on the Stowaway – both dedicated astro cameras (mainly lunar and solar) and a digital Sony camera. I think the fully-loaded weight would be a max of about 12-16 pounds. I'm 6' tall, so I'd like one "matched" to my height..

If it could also sometimes hold my 130 GTX, that would be great (hint, hint) ... but that's not the main point.

I have a Mach1 for more advanced astronomical work, so I’m not currently looking for guiding solutions.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations you may have.


Dan Purjes
 

I recently bought the Innorel RTC-90 tripod to use with a Rainbow Astro RST-35 mount I acquired at the same time. This is a carbon fiber tripod that weighs only 6 or 7 pounds but is rated for an 88-pound weight capacity. It is the best lightweight tripod I’ve ever had. It is sufficiently tall for a 6’ person, especially if a pier or half-pier, such as sold by Rainbow Astro for several different tripods. is bolted onto the top of the tripod. It collapses to a 2’ length for travel or backpacking. 


the Rainbow Astro mount is also a thing of beauty. It can be used as an alt-az mount or as an equatorial mount with motorized GoTo functionality.  It is tiny compared to most mounts, weighing only 7 pounds but capable of handling 30 pounds or more. 


I have used this setup with a number of AP scopes.  The Stowaway is a breeze. The AP-130
GTX is no problem. I’ve even heard of people using this setup with a 9” SCT. The tripod is rigid, does not flex and is rock steady. I have not yet used either setup with camera equipment. 


Terri Zittritsch
 

I'll throw a head suggestion out, as I use Discmounts for alt-az manual operation.    I have encoders on both of mine as I have both the 6" and the 4".    Both can easily handle the Stowaway and are stable/solid.
For a tripod, for my 6" I use an Avalon T-POD with extension which is pretty heavy and not necessary for the Stowaway.   For light and portable I have an old CarbonOne Manfrotto tripod.   But there are other newer and probably more stable choices out there, this is just what I had from terrestrial photography.


Terri


Ross Elkins
 

Chris Erickson recommended the 90 and I bought the lighter 80 to try backpacking with a lightweight head like the rst or something else. The 80 is very rigid too in my tests.  Seems to be same product under several names. 


Christopher Erickson
 

That particular tripod will not directly-take the Rainbow half-pier, but the 3/8" bolt will be useable.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 5:12 AM Ross Elkins <rossmon1@...> wrote:
Chris Erickson recommended the 90 and I bought the lighter 80 to try backpacking with a lightweight head like the rst or something else. The 80 is very rigid too in my tests.  Seems to be same product under several names. 


Christopher Erickson
 

Yesterday I ordered a Rainbow Astro RST-135E (with RA abs encoder) and will be selling my RST-135.

Contact me off-list if interested.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 7:47 AM Christopher Erickson via groups.io <christopher.k.erickson=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
That particular tripod will not directly-take the Rainbow half-pier, but the 3/8" bolt will be useable.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 5:12 AM Ross Elkins <rossmon1@...> wrote:
Chris Erickson recommended the 90 and I bought the lighter 80 to try backpacking with a lightweight head like the rst or something else. The 80 is very rigid too in my tests.  Seems to be same product under several names. 


Kent Kirkley
 

Christopher
I'm interested.
Let me know what's included and what you are asking.
kgkirkley@...
Kent Kirkley


On Jun 9, 2021, at 1:02 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:


Yesterday I ordered a Rainbow Astro RST-135E (with RA abs encoder) and will be selling my RST-135.

Contact me off-list if interested.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 7:47 AM Christopher Erickson via groups.io <christopher.k.erickson=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
That particular tripod will not directly-take the Rainbow half-pier, but the 3/8" bolt will be useable.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii


On Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 5:12 AM Ross Elkins <rossmon1@...> wrote:
Chris Erickson recommended the 90 and I bought the lighter 80 to try backpacking with a lightweight head like the rst or something else. The 80 is very rigid too in my tests.  Seems to be same product under several names. 


Dan Purjes
 

I am also interested if Kent does not buy it...

Dan


wes Bolin
 

FYI I own a Stowaway and have a portable set-up.  I tried several iterations and I have ended up with a configuration that meets my visual "requirements".  I have a DiscMounts DM-4 mount with encoders and SkyCommander computer.  It attaches to the 3/8 stud on my Sirui-3004 tripod.  The tripod is rated at 55 lbs capacity and
has a hook under the top plate that I hang a stabilizing weight for more stability.
The tripod is good for portability with a minimal size and weight.  But, some of my viewing does not need the compactness, so I use my Losmandy HD tripod with the DM-4.
In order to mount the DM-4 on the Losmandy tripod, I had a machine shop make a steel adapter that fits on the tripod and has a 3/8 inch stud for the DM-4.  It weighs about 10 lbs. 
 I use a threaded coupler on an eye bolt, and attach it to the tripod hook and the steel adapter, and hang it under the tripod. It gives me much more stability/lower damping time when I use the compact tripod, and move it to the Losmandy tripod when needed.  I don't "need" the weight but it improves the stability.  I also use Dryer vibration pads under the tripod feet if I am on a hard surface.
One case for the mount, a bag for the tripod, and another bag for the steel weight, vibration pads, misc. hardware, and stuff.  I absolutely enjoy taking the Stowaway away from my light dome out into the countryside for viewing with a quick and easy set-up and tear-down.  I hope you enjoy your Stowaway with a portable mount too.

On Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 8:56 AM Dan Purjes <dan@...> wrote:
I am also interested if Kent does not buy it...

Dan