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Need top G11 tripod plate that fits iOptron CEM60EC or CEM60 mount and question on G11 tripod height

Started by John999R, 11/27/2020 11:41PM
Posted 11/27/2020 11:41PM Opening Post
If anyone has one available, I would be interested.  I'm waffling back and forth on whether to sell my new "open box" CEM60EC I received from iOptron Corp. I realized it is more portable than my AP900GTO and I do want to do more imaging at dark sky locations. 

I use a G11 Losmandy tripod set up for the 900GTO and I was wondering if anyone has a CEM60 top plate built for the G11 tripod they don't want or need? 

My second question has to do with tripod height, specifically the G11.  It's roughly 34" tall (non-folding legs) and can reach 48" tall with the legs at their widest footing. I was considering the G11 tripod extension which adds 12" with the legs in their most stable position.  I'm thinking of buying a 6D full-frame Canon for imaging, but it doesn't have the articulating screen like my Canon crop sensor 60Da.  That means back to almost laying on the ground to read the live view screen on the 6D.  I believe the pier/tripod extension or extending the legs of the tripod (no cost for doing that) are two options to consider, but not without some caveats. 

The 12" pier/tripod extension retails for $150, extending the legs at their widest point is free, actually 2" taller than the tripod extension.  However, my biggest concern between the two options is stability, cost is another factor, especially if I have to buy a new custom made tripod/pier plate. I image with my AT106 APO refractor, with all the accessories on board, all in it weighs about 21 lbs.  I have never weighed the 11"EdgeHD, I just know it's a little challenging lifting it to the saddle on the 900GTO even when the tripod is at it's lowest height.  

Whether using the 12" tripod extension or extending the legs, mounting the EdgeHD would require a short step ladder. After blabbing about this, I get the gut feeling the tripod extension might be more stable than extending the tripod legs when using the EdgeHD, I don't think the refractor matters either way. The other factor is not only weight but dimensions of the Edge OTA as well. It might be a case where both possible options might not provide the kind of stability needed for imaging? Unless again, there might be others here that have used the same configuration I'm talking about, e.g., the EdgeHD/G11 tripod set up, and can hopefully report on its performance. 

Finally, I have to consider the costs of doing this upgrade. If I go with the extension, that's $150 unless I find one used. I'll need a pier/tripod plate for the G11/CEM60EC combo, whether "homemade" or custom, which is costly, I'm guessing $350+.  So, we are talking potentially 500 smackers, or more just so that I won't have to lay on the ground to read the live view screen on my DSLR. I think a piece of ground foam might be the best option yet, lol. If that's the case, all I'll need then is the pier/tripod plate that fits the G11 and CEM60 mount.  

I'm waffling on this idea because I have considered selling the CEM60EC and just try to work with my 900GTO, but I'm facing two hip operations in the near future complicated by bulging discs from a previous three vertebrae and pelvic fractures, and other broken joint bones. I'm not even sure I can continue with what I have to work with, I'm either being unrealistic or overly confident. Getting out of the hobby or seriously downsizing is a real possibility so I'm trying to minimize costs. Used parts would be ideal.  

 There must be a number of people who have done this conversion/upgrade.  

Posted 11/28/2020 01:56PM | Edited 11/28/2020 01:58PM #1
Using the 12" extension is FAR more stable than extending the legs. FAR more......

You will find the parts far quicker by posting a wanted ad in the classifieds here than by posting a message.

20" MidnighTelescopes f/5
8" f/16 Muffoletto Achro
Meade 6" AR6 f/8.0 Achro
Celestron C11
Parallax PI250 10" F/5 Newt
Vixen FL102S,NA140SS,R200SS
80mm Stellarvue Nighthawk with WO APOupgrade lens, 90mm f/16.67 Parallax Achro
LXD75/LX200, Mini-tower, GP-DX, CG5 ASGT, LXD650, GM-8, G11, GM-100, GM-150EX, GM-200 and a Gemini G40
4" portable AP convertable 44" or 70" pier
Stellarvue M7 Alt-Az, TSL7 Pier/Tripod
12.5" f/5 MidnighTelescopes DOB Swayze optics
Monroe GA