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Trouble with scope mounting reliably to tripod head, gets wobbly/falls off

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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 13:43   #1
ses4j
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Question Trouble with scope mounting reliably to tripod head, gets wobbly/falls off

Hi -

I have the Celestron Regal M2 80ED, attaching to a Manfrotto MHXPRO-2W XPRO head, which has the standard Manfrotto QR plates.

This connection has always been unsatisfactory, because in regular use no matter how much I try to tighten it it inevitably becomes loose and starts to wobble while I try to rotate the scope.

Lately, the threads on my scope have become even more unreliable and a little stripped, and the scope has just fallen off a couple times (luckily so far, not catastrophically).

Is there any better plate I can use that will screw into multiple of those three screwholes to avoid these issues, or some other solution people use to get better connections?

Thanks!
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 15:59   #2
JerryLogan
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Yes, for sure that’s not a very good plate. You want something like this one
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...BI%3A514&smp=Y

The right type of plate is generally called a sliding or balancing quick release plate. And be sure to get Manfrotto, not Arca Swiss plate. They’re slightly different and the AS won’t fit into your Manfrotto head without an adapter.

Good luck,
Jerry
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 16:52   #3
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A cheaper alternative would be to purchase a screw (I think it is a 4/5"), screw it through the bottom of the plate and into one of the other holes in the foot of your scope, preventing horizontal movement. I did this with my ED82 as it was always working its way loose, cost me 12 pence for 3 screws!
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 17:34   #4
JerryLogan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
A cheaper alternative would be to purchase a screw (I think it is a 4/5"), screw it through the bottom of the plate and into one of the other holes in the foot of your scope, preventing horizontal movement. I did this with my ED82 as it was always working its way loose, cost me 12 pence for 3 screws!
Cheaper is almost always better! However, I seemed to recall that the Celestron foot holes don’t align with Manfrotto plate holes - but it was long ago.

Best,
Jerry
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 20:27   #5
ses4j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
A cheaper alternative would be to purchase a screw (I think it is a 4/5"), screw it through the bottom of the plate and into one of the other holes in the foot of your scope, preventing horizontal movement. I did this with my ED82 as it was always working its way loose, cost me 12 pence for 3 screws!
For a while I used a screw, but the problem is that the Manfrotto QR plate holes are too small in diameter - I think they are the width of the needed screw shaft rather than the width including the threads, so any screw that would properly screw in will not fit through the plate.
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 20:33   #6
ses4j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLogan View Post
Yes, for sure that’s not a very good plate. You want something like this one
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...BI%3A514&smp=Y

The right type of plate is generally called a sliding or balancing quick release plate. And be sure to get Manfrotto, not Arca Swiss plate. They’re slightly different and the AS won’t fit into your Manfrotto head without an adapter.
Thanks! Does that plate fit into the same socket as the one I got with the head (which I think is the 200PL), or do I have to get a completely new head? Also what about plates like these?
I can't tell if they're prperly fit in the head or not... I think not... https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ase_Video.html

Thanks for the sage advice, all!
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 20:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLogan View Post
Cheaper is almost always better! However, I seemed to recall that the Celestron foot holes don’t align with Manfrotto plate holes - but it was long ago.

Best,
Jerry
The q/r plates used to come with an anti rotation screw or plastic push in "screw" that worked with most scope bodies. However, some like yours don't allow the a.r.screw/pin to align with the hole in the scope foot. It is a 200PL.
Cannot think of an easy solution I'm afraid.

Also doesn't help if you carry the scope by the stay on case handle, with the tripod head and legs attached.

Last edited by PYRTLE : Sunday 10th February 2019 at 20:46.
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Old Sunday 10th February 2019, 21:06   #8
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I've used one of these successfully with a large camera lens:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ist_Quick.html

You'll need to check it fits your head, though.
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Last edited by SimonLS : Sunday 10th February 2019 at 21:08.
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 00:45   #9
JerryLogan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ses4j View Post
Thanks! Does that plate fit into the same socket as the one I got with the head (which I think is the 200PL), or do I have to get a completely new head? Also what about plates like these?
I can't tell if they're prperly fit in the head or not... I think not... https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ase_Video.html

Thanks for the sage advice, all!
I had a chance to look more closely at your video head and sadly, I thought you had a different clamp so the plate I mentioned will not fit. However, all is not lost!

I suggest simply mounting a better clamp on your existing plate. Like this unit which includes a new clamp and new plate to fit the new clamp.

https://www.amazon.com/Andoer%C2%AE-...ca+swiss+clamp

Take your existing Manfrotto plate and mount the new clamp to your plate. There are many mounting holes in this clamp so you should be able to get two screws to bind the clamp to the plate.

When you insert your Manfrotto plate into the video head, the new clamp will stand clear of the head, ready to accept the new plate which you will have attached to the Celestron scope.

I would not go so far as to purchase a new head when the new clamp/plate combination is so inexpensive.

Good luck and best,
Jerry

PS This clamp/plate combo switches you over to the other Manfrotto style of mount. Using this method you could also get an Arca Swiss plate/clamp combo and switch over to Arca Swiss.

Also, if you have trouble fitting two screws into the new clamp then one screw plus an anti rotation pin should work. If you don’t have a pin for the 200pl you can find them here.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...BI%3A514&smp=Y

Last edited by JerryLogan : Monday 11th February 2019 at 00:53.
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 01:10   #10
JerryLogan
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Or, you could just attach this 200PL compatible plate to the Celestron scope (plenty of room for two screws) and be done with it for $25.

https://spiderholster.com/product/as-rc2-adapter-plate/

Last edited by JerryLogan : Monday 11th February 2019 at 04:46.
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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 17:33   #11
rosbifs
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I use loctite 'glue'. I say glue but it is specifically designed for screws or more specifically to stop screws coming loose. You can still remove the screw after but it will stay in place in the meantime.

Best solution I have found...
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Old Tuesday 12th February 2019, 11:05   #12
richard866945
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stripped tripod thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ses4j View Post
Hi -

I have the Celestron Regal M2 80ED, attaching to a Manfrotto MHXPRO-2W XPRO head, which has the standard Manfrotto QR plates.

This connection has always been unsatisfactory, because in regular use no matter how much I try to tighten it it inevitably becomes loose and starts to wobble while I try to rotate the scope.

Lately, the threads on my scope have become even more unreliable and a little stripped, and the scope has just fallen off a couple times (luckily so far, not catastrophically).

Thanks!
It is not uncommon for the thread in the base of a scope, to wear out.
The metal casting is often a bit soft and the threads strip.
I have repaired many using a steel helicoil insert 1/4 inch whitworth thread.
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