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Ioptron Tri-Pier


AstronomyUkraine
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Today I received a nice new Ioptron tri-pier. What I thought was going to be a simple operation to assemble it, turned out to be something quite different.

 

The pier comes double boxed, and is well protected from careless delivery drivers. The pier comes mostly assembled, except for the legs which are neatly stored in the base of the pier. Attaching the legs is a straightforward operation, just insert and tighten the locking handles.

 

The problems started when I come to adjust the pier for height. The pier has two collars that slide up and down the pier shaft to adjust the height, there are holes in the shaft at regular intervals that helps locate the collars via ball bearings. After loosening the 3 clutch type knobs on each collar, adjusting the height was very difficult, I did eventually move it, but the collars were so stiff it started to scratch the paintwork off the shaft. The adjustments shouldn't be so difficult, so I ended up removing all the clutch knobs, and loosening each mechanism by half a turn. That did the trick, the adjustments are quite easy now, and the pier is rock solid.

 

The pier itself is excellent quality, but the QC is abysmal. The price you are paying for these items, should mean they come set from the factory ready to use. Below you can see the damage. It's only superficial and won't affect the performance, but it is annoying.

 

DSC_0463.thumb.JPG.0f1f60de1a789f4dfa94aa03a99fe556.JPG

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Welcome to the club 🙂 I think you will enjoy its stability. Mine has the same issue with the paint job, they must have know this was a design issue. Maybe it can't be addressed without affecting the performance. As you say it is cosmetic and  irritating. lucky being alloy it wont be rusting through.

 

One thing that is worth keeping an eye on is the north facing bolt that secures the top plate to the tube. On mine the diameter of the hole it passes through is a lot bigger then the bolt. With a heavy mount + large scope slewing, the plate could rock back and forth a mm or so. I tried a few things and in the end I replaced the M3 dome head bolt with one that had a larger diameter head - to increase the clamping force. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, paul said:

One thing that is worth keeping an eye on is the north facing bolt that secures the top plate to the tube. On mine the diameter of the hole it passes through is a lot bigger then the bolt. With a heavy mount + large scope slewing, the plate could rock back and forth a mm or so. I tried a few things and in the end I replaced the M3 dome head bolt with one that had a larger diameter head - to increase the clamping force. 

Looking at the top of the tri-pier, it's difficult to know which way is north, there are so many holes in it.

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2 hours ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

Looking at the top of the tri-pier, it's difficult to know which way is north, there are so many holes in it.

I guess it depends on the mount you will fit but the Cem70 has 2 captive bolts either side of its az plane. It's the pier bolt on that plane. All the bolts are the same spec so all could be uprated 😊

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  • 2 months later...

I'm thankful I read across all the forums before assembling my Tri-Pier upon receipt. I did a few minor 'mods' to keep the paintwork from getting scratched/abraded. My solution was to put carefully cut strips of Velcro fuz (not hook side!) on all the inner surfaces of the clamping collars. This added a cushion of about 2mm and offset the ball bearing lock points so they didn't touch the paintwork of the main pier until I had everything lined up and then was able to hard clamp the collars in place. The Tri-Pier is great as a stable platform - I use it with an iOptron AZ mount Pro (33lbs max capacity one side of mount). Another 'mod' was to add 75cm stainless steel legs instead of the included ones (which I put back inside the main pier for extra weight). I now have the height I need to stand at the scope rather then scrunch down to the floor for viewing towards the zenith ;-). (Here's what it looks like prior to 'first light'.)

Tripod_legs_75cm.jpg

Edited by Lamplighter05
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On 7/22/2022 at 10:48 AM, AstronomyUkraine said:

Looking at the top of the tri-pier, it's difficult to know which way is north, there are so many holes in it.

Put the mount pin over the single leg and just use the single leg to point North.

Edited by Scopeman
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