I replaced my Baader tripod by the Avalon T-Pod. The reason for this mainly was the better transportability of the T-Pod: less weight, comparable load capacity and more convenient to carry. A disadvantage revealed during the first nights with the T-Pod. Due to the larger angular spreading of the legs, the tube of the Newton touched the tripod when pointing towards zenith. For such cases Avalon offers the Linear Extender.
The T-Pod Extender would do its job surely, but it adds about 20 cm height in the system, though I only need about 5 cm. This would increase the tendency to oscillate more than necessary. Another aspects is its availability at the market. Finally the price is not at bargain level. In combination with the mismatch of the functionality and my requirement (height) the Avalon Extender can’t be my first choice. Hence I decided to design my own Extender and to disappear into my shed for a few hours.
Using the information given by Avalon it is quite easy to set-up the design of the extender. A CAD sketch of the idea is shown in the picture. An add on of this concept is that I am able to adjust the height by changing the set of distance zylinders (violett). One can find the corresponding FreeCAD file here and the resulting drawings here. The photo shows the parts arrived from the anodiser. It was not as easy I expected to find a company offering anodising in red. Finally I got a good offer by company in Nürnberg. I was quite surprised as I knew that the AW-2007 which I had availabe only is not well suited for anodising. Even with AW-2007 the result is excellent and the service was fast – a good experience.
The finished Extender ready for use is shown to the left. Probably many screws, but surely rigid enough for my set-up. The gallery shows the set-up of the T-Pod with the Linear in a step by step sequence.