Equipment review

Celestron Vibration Pads

Bill Dellinges

Purchased from: Adorama

Price: $39.95

I had cast a skeptic eye on this product for years. Did these weird 3" disks actually work? I probably never would have tried them out if it werenít for a problem I encountered in upgrading my old C-8 chrome tripod to the newer and heavier black adjustable tripod. Surprisingly, the new tripod exhibited an alarming amount of vibration-more than the older one. Dampening time of these vibrations was ridiculous-up to 9 seconds in certain situations (no vibration pads, no rubber feet on tripod legs-with or without legs fully extended). By the way, doing these experiments, I found I agreed completely with Dennis di Cicco in his review of the Nexstar-11 in the 2002 February S&T (p.51) where he found the best combination to reduce vibrations in a C-11/C8 tripod is to place the leg ends WITHOUT their rubber feet, on the vibration pads.

These things work! Their secret seems to be that the inner 2" disk floats on some mysterious substance (peanut butter, plutonium?) isolated by a ľ" red rubber ring. I went from the worse case situation above ( 9 seconds with no pads, no rubber feet) to a dampening time of 1 second or less with the pads and no rubber feet on the end of the tripod legs. Interestingly, and surprisingly, leg length didnít seem to effect the times. I assume any tripod supporting a scope would benefit from these nifty pads as long as the leg tips are small enough to fit the inner 2" flotation disk. While times may vary with different equipment, Iíd bet they would only improve using these vibration pads. (Orion has just introduced their in house version of these pads for $48.95).