The Everyone Tripod Project

This is a work in progress. Suffice it to say that I love the Celestron Nexstar 102GT telescope now available for $199 at Costco, but the tripod legs are where most of the cost came out. There are other beginner telescopes that could use stable tripod legs, and I’ve reviewed a number of them over the years, but the 102GT was just so darn good that I’ve been moved to do something. A little work in SolidWorks and I came up with what I think will be a pretty good design; this weekend I’ll put it together. This page will change quite a bit, but I wanted to post a graphic showing the general concept right away:

Concept overview of my design for adjustable wooden replacement tripod legs that anyone can build.

Concept overview of my design for adjustable wooden replacement tripod legs that anyone can build.

I have also published the 3D model to 3DVIA.com, if you’d like to explore it in 3D: http://www.3dvia.com/models/8168B7B7899BADBF

I plan to publish the design details once I run through an initial fabrication, so there may be some minor changes between now and then (I already see I forgot the steel pins pressed into the ends of the tripod legs). It’s looking really good so far, though!

Stage 1 is to work out the legs and spreader for the Nexstar and other scopes where the mount head is fine, only the legs need replacement. That will hopefully solve the shaky tripod leg problem for a lot of people.

Stage 2 will add a generic top plate that will allow the design to be used by other scopes. There are a lot of good tabletop scopes that could plop right on top (Starblasts, Funscopes, Astroscans, ETXs), so a flat plate would be fine for them. A center through hole in such a plate would accommodate a number of other small telescope mount heads, and I might also do something specific for the Galileoscope, too. The goal would be a standalone tripod design that’s as versatile as possible, while still being very simple and inexpensive to make.

PS: If you’re thinking about getting the Nexstar 102GT from Costco, I’d say do it sooner than later. Apparently, this was available last year too, but only from late October through the holiday shopping season. And it is a Costco exclusive, not available online, so if you’re not near a store get a friend to “ninja shop” it for you.

5 thoughts on “The Everyone Tripod Project

  1. Hey mate.
    The design and simplicity of this tripod is fantastic. I would like to build one for my telescope. I have a Celestron 130 SLT and I wanted to ask since it is a heavier scope (I have added some extra weight it such as tube rings) and wanted to get your opinion on any modifications I should make to your original design for my particular telescope?

    Thanks,
    Stefan.

    1. Hi Stefan! First, thanks for the kind words 🙂

      You’ll be happy to know that handling weight is NOT a problem with the Everyone Tripod, and it should handle your 130 SLT easily. In fact, the only vibration left in my system is actually built into the 102GT’s long tube and single-fork arm; the Everyone Tripod doesn’t budge at all.

  2. How did you solve the issue of the bowl at the bottom of the SLT mount? I don’t have an original tripod to take apart, which is what I’m guessing you did. Any advice? Im piecemealing a kit together around a SLT GoTo mount.

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