Last updated: 13 January 1999

Homemade Tripod Head

From: Jerry Price (pedal@provide.net)

I just got a Bogen Tripod yesterday. While I'm satisfied with the quality, construction, and durability of the tripod I was taken back a Bogen head bit with the tripod head (see photo on right). Trying to accurately position the whole telescope for the 42 degree angle required at my latitude seemed difficult. The 3030 manfrotto head that came on the Bogen is marked for 15-degree increments. Needless to say it would be somewhat difficult to achieve accuracy.

What I decided to do was to use a protractor to measure the angle of my telescope for my given latitude. To do this I used a protractor, dental floss tied to a washer (for a weight), some Velcro to attach the protractor to my ETX.

First I made sure that the optical tube of my ETX was level, for this I used a level. When I was satisfied that my ETX was level I made sure that the Dec. circles were correctly positioned. Mine were not, so I had to unscrew the big knobs in the center of the Dec. circles and position them correctly with the ETX still in the level position. When I was satisfied that the Dec. circles were positioned correctly, I took a straight edge and black marker and drew a straight line from one 90 degree mark of the left side of the Dec. circle to the 90 degree mark on the right side. (See photo below, I used a piece of white tape since it would show up better for the photo.)

Bogen head

After I had finished with the line I attached a piece of Velcro Bogen head parallel to the mark I had made. Next I attached a piece of dental floss to the protractor (see photo on left). I melted a small hole in the protractor to tie the dental floss to. Then on the non-curved side of the protractor I notched a small v directly opposite of the 90 degree marks. I then tied the dental floss to the protractor and looped it on the small notch and tied a washer on the end of the dental floss to act as a weight. I then attached the other side of the Velcro to the protractor.

Now I attach the protractor to the side of the ETX making sure the Bogen head edge of the protractor lines up with the 90-degree marks and tile my Bogen head tripod head back until it reached 42 degrees. (left and right photos). I've only been able to use my ETX once since then but it performed fairly well.

Hope it Helps

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