Equipment Review

Bill Dellinges (12/02)

 

3 n 1 Tray by Startek Industries

(www.startekind.com)

 

Purchased from: Starizona.

Price: $129.

 

This is a nice item to replace the spreader on Celestron and Meade tripods with 2” legs. My Celestron spreader was plastic (shame on Celestron) and required me to remove it from the tripod for transportation. This unit replaced it without any modifications. Simply remove your old spreader and slip this unit up onto the long screw and put the retainer knob back on. The plate has the unique ability to work two ways: In a stored mode, turn the plate such that the three tripod legs slip into indentations in the plate to be in a folded condition, By the way, if you have a bungee cord to wrap around the foot area of the legs to keep them together, you can use a hand grip slot in the plate to carry the tripod! When in use, turn the plate such that three little indentations, 120 degrees apart, push against the three legs. Tighten the retaining knob. I wondered if metal on metal might scratch the legs, so I applied three small patches of back sided felt where contact is made. The Startek plate is aluminum, about ¼” thick, and black powder coated. It has holes for seven 1 ¼” eyepieces, three 2” eyepieces, and a recessed area for accessories to lie in. An earlier model was 14” in diameter. I bought one of those. The newer model is 16” in diameter. Dean Koenig of Starizona told me they went with the larger size because there were complaints the smaller version made it difficult to access 2” ep’s from the plate (that is, there wasn’t much clearance between the plate and the tripod’s top). I love this thing. It has made my life simpler, and that’s a good thing.