FAR LaboratoriesTM

FAQ's

Q. Why Stainless steel and not Aluminum?

A. Stainless alloys are typically 8 times stronger than Aluminum alloys; yet stainless is only twice as dense. So by using stainless, parts can be half the weight of Aluminum and only one quarter the size. Stainless steel is harder to work with and more expensive then Aluminum, but with advanced manufacturing techniques we can keep the difference low enough, that it is worth it. As a result you get a smaller stronger Pod. Our products are designed to be left out in the weather or even used underwater. Aluminum is too reactive to even stand up to acid rain for long.

Q. Are your things right or left handed?

A. Both, except for screws, everything is designed to be equally usable by either right or left handed people

Q. Then why not make them out of Titanium?

A. We do use Titanium and Carbon Fiber in some of our custom work, but it is too expensive for our regular lines. If you want a Titanium one, you can customer order it

Q. What parts come with the kits?

A. The Dyna Rail and Post Pod kits come with six stainless mounting screws, and the special bit to put them in with. The ETX models also come with two wing screws for mounting your telescope with. The N model comes with one 1/4-20 wing screw for mounting your scope or camera.

Q. Who are you?

A. My name is Alan Rifkin and I moved to western Massachusetts back in the mid 70's. I am in the business of designing and building industrial electronics, computer systems and networks. One of my hobbies is telescope making, and as sometimes happens, hobbies can get a little out of control. I am a member of the Springfield STARs, Arunah Hill Natural Science Center, and the STM's. My friends have been encouraging me to make some of my designs commercial. The DynaPod Division is the answer to them.

I also work in the marine, aerospace, electronic amusement field, and the internet. I am an Instrument rated pilot, a blue water sailor, a SCUBA diver, a Ham radio operator (N1LZM), a amateur photographer, and a telescope junkie besides many other things. My work has been displayed at many museums. The Smithsonion has some of my work, and the computer Museum in Boston, use to have my robot on display before it closed. My major work now is building custom, high performance and high reliability computer systems and networks for companies. If you want something special built for you, please give me a call.

Q. What is the idea behind the DynaPod?

A. I am also an Eclipse chaser. During the Eclipse of 1998 on a sailing trip to a very small Caribbean island, my tripod was damaged by the airlines, and after a few on the spot repairs it was back in service. However the wind shook my tripod and ruined my eclipse images. I then decided I needed a light weight, salt water proof, airline proof, Indestructible tripod to take with me on trips. Soon the DynaPod jumped off the drawing board and into reality. When the airlines refused to let me carry it on board, I just went back to the drawing board. Four months later DynaPod II earned a mechanical design award at Stellafane.
Since then, I have worked on many other ideas for holding up my telescopes and making it easier to get out there and view. The organizations that I belong to hold many public star parties. I also have a few wheelchair bound friends. Some of my designs can be used to get almost anyone to the eyepiece.

Q. Who Makes this stuff?

Most of the products that I sell are my own designs, and are either made by me or exclusively for me. There are some other products that I carry because I think they will be helpful to amateur astronomers. I take all these components and assemble complete observing systems tailored to my clients needs. Thus my slogan "All you add is the sky!" I also sell just the components and kits for people who want to do it themselves. If you want a system or components, please contact me so we can discuss your needs.

Q. Do you have a Piece Pod for 2" eyepieces?

A. Yes, the Piece Pod 4 and Piece Pod 4 HTR

Q. Do you have any Post Pod for the Meade LX200 or Celestron C5 or C8?

A. Yes, you use a Post Pod 90 or 150 and then attach a MP4 Mounting Plate. The New LX200GPS, doe not require the MP4


A Batch of Post Pods waiting to be packed



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FAR Laboratories
P.O. Box 25
South Hadley, MA 01075-0025

800.336.9054
Western Massachusetts 413.467.9825
Fax 413.467.9393

All You Add Is the Sky



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