spotting scope suggestion for a public bird hide

To: 'David Billinghurst' <>, 'Birding-aus' <>
Subject: spotting scope suggestion for a public bird hide
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2017 21:18:16 +0000
For the mount, do you need a commercial one? You could just mount the tripod 
head on a piece of thick dowel (broomstick thickness) sliding in a steel tube 
with a locking screw. I've got a tripod head permanently mounted upside down 
hanging from my garage roof like that (for photographing books). Another idea 
is to mount it at a fixed height, and keep some steps handy for people to stand 
on if they're too short.

Peter Shute

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf
> Of David Billinghurst
> Sent: Sunday, 8 January 2017 6:20 PM
> To: 'Birding-aus' <>
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] spotting scope suggestion for a public bird hide
> I volunteer at the bird hide at Edithvale Wetlands, in suburban Melbourne.
> We are looking to replace a spotting scope used by the public under
> supervision. I am after suggestions from the list.
> The scope would be used by novices - particularly children - to look at
> waterbirds and waders in good light and at ranges up to 150m.  We have
> found that little kids struggle with binoculars but enjoy looking through a
> solidly mounted scope.  Use of the scope will be supervised by volunteers.
> We will unmount and secure the scope when not in use.
> I guess we need a scope, a tripod head and a mount
> 1. Scope
> Probably an inexpensive 60 to 70mm diameter scope with an angled, zoom
> eyepiece.
> Bintel have a Celestron Ultima 65a w/16-48x Zoom for $259,
> 2. Tripod head
> A simple pan/tilt tripod head.  Only need two degrees of freedom and
> doesn't need quick release.  A decent handle to steer with would be good.
> Something like a Manfrotto 700RC2 Composite Video Head
> <> ?
> 3. Mount
> This is where I get into trouble.  I think we want a mount we can permanently
> bolt to the floor, with adjustable height.  A column would be preferable to a
> tripod, as it is takes less floor space.
> The nearest I can find is a Opticron BC-2 Hide Clamp
> <
> REG/opticron_42610_bc_2_clamp_and_500mm.html>
> with Center Column.  We could bolt a wooden post to the floor or perhaps
> mount a bracket off the wall, then clamp the hide mount to it.  This is
> expensive in AU, but quite reasonable from USA.  I'd prefer a steel tube as
> weight isn't an issue, but ...
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