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Ioptron Tri-Pier


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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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3 hours ago, paul said:

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 😊

I'll figure it out once my mount arrives. 😀

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