My imaging train hits my tripod #astrophotography

Jay Sanchez

Last night's blunder ... I forgot to stop tracking when I started taking my darks :(
Then found out that the body of my dSLR was hitting the bowl base of my tripod mount when I went to check early this morning while tracking Andromeda. (attached pic showing rig a few hours before the obstruction, X marks the spot)

Dangit! I'm too embarrassed to post this question on social media astro groups.

What does everyone do to prevent this from happening?
Are there slew limits that can be programmed for the RA and Dec axis?
Is there a type of clock or timer that can turn off tracking at a certain time?

I think if I add the azimuth adjuster that will raise the base of the mount higher and away from the hinge of the tripod leg and prevent the collision.

(I was using APT and CDC with iEXOS-100 and Canon t3i)

Thankfully/hopefully I didn't do any damage -- I unlocked the clutches and manually moved to home position and slewing at various rates was functioning normally (via ascompad).

Thanks for the advice and patience!

Wes Mcdonald


There are no limits applied by the ASCOM driver.  Not sure but CdC might have meridian flip adjustment times.  Nina does have meridian flip control.  

If your gear hit the tripod the best remedy is to rearrange the gear..  Or to figure out a pier extension.  Currently there isn't one sold by ES, although others have made them.

The mount should not be damaged by stalling against the hardware.  The motors are current limited by the driver electronics.  The motors, as I have had it explained to me, don't really know they are stalled.  They just try to move with the torque they have at the set current limit.  Makes a terrible noise though.

For interference, the best remedy for now, is planning.  And BTW, no shame.  We have all been there.


Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired

Chris Tardif

The azimuth adjuster is only one inch.  It will buy you some time, but I doubt it will solve the problem and for $100 bucks it might not be worth it.

Steve Mallia

APT has Meridian Flip control built into it.  You need to activate it.

That will prevent your issue.

Jay Sanchez

Thanks Steve -- I'm so green ... researching Meridian Flip now. It's been a mental list of subjects to learn about

Jim McKee

Also, I just switched from APT to NINA. Meridian flip setup seemed simpler in NINA and it works perfectly so far.
Scope:        Orion EON 115mm APO
:      ES EXOS2-GT w/ PMC-8
Cameras:   Canon 6D Astro Mod, Canon 7D2, 1D Mk 2, EOS 60D Asto Modified
          Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
Misc:          TELRAD, ZWO ASI120MM Guide Camera, Astromania 60mm Guidescope, Senso Sesto Focus Motor
Software:   EXPLORESTARS IOS & WIN, Stellarium. NINA,  APT, DSS, PixInsight, Photoshop CC
Computer:  Dell Latitude E5450, Windows 10