Review - Dovetail Bar for ETX Telescopes
Posted: 12 October 2019
Low Profile Dovetail Bar for ETX Models
ScopeStuff sent me their Low Profile Dovetail Bar for ETX Models, seen at the right. It is used to attach a deforked Meade ETX telescope on any mount with a Vixen-style dovetail. The dovetail, which is 8" long, comes with two 3/16" bolts to attach the ETX. I used the dovetail to attach my ETX-105 telescope on a Meade LXD55 German Equatorial Mount (GEM).
Not all ETX models have the necessary dual 1/4" tripod mounting holes on the bottom. All but my ETX-70AT refractor did have the dual holes.
The following photos show the Dovetail Bar on some of my ETX telescopes (still fork mounted).
Dual 1/4" holes
ETX-90RA with dovetail
ETX-125AT with dovetail
ETX-125 Observer with dovetail
When I went to attach the Dovetail Bar to my ETX-105 I discovered that the holes were plugged (left photo below). The plugs were easily removed using a sharp pointed knife (right photo).
The ETX-105 on a LXD55 GEM:
As the GEM is slewed there will be some orientations of the ETX that puts the top mounted eyepiece at unusable positions. The use of a star diagonal on the rear port (not shown on the above photo) will eliminate that issue. Since the ETX telescopes have two mounting holes there is no danger of the telescope rotating sideways on the bar.
A word of caution: there are no anti-slide tabs at the ends or indent on the side to prevent the dovetail bar from sliding out if the screw locks on the Vixen dovetail mount loosen. For some reason this lack seems to be normal with many dovetails from multiple manufacturers. A simple solution is to add a short bolt and nut at one or both ends:
I set up the LXD55/ETX-105 on my observatory patio one evening with a bright Moon in the sky:
The ScopeStuff Dovetail Bar worked great. In fact, its lighter weight than the rings I had been using reduced the load on the mount and also made moving the assembled system easier.
Although it is marketed for the ETX telescopes, the ScopeStuff Dovetail Bar can be used to mount cameras and any other equipment with 1/4" screw holes.
iPhone attached directly to dovetail
iPhone attached using a ballhead
D7200 DSLR attached using a ballhead
D7200 DSLR and 150-600mm lens attached directly to dovetail
Using the ScopeStuff Low Profile Dovetail Bar for ETX Models you can securely attach your deforked ETX-90/105/125 telescope optical tube assembly to a different mount without using mounting rings. You can also mount cameras on the dovetail, which adds useful functionality to your mount. For ETX telescopes, the ScopeStuff Dovetail Bar is priced right vs more expensive rings.
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