Last updated: 9 December 2005
Subject:	ETX70 AT mod
Sent:	Saturday, December 3, 2005 12:09:16
From:	Barry Gerdes (
I was directed to your ETX page some time ago and found some good
helpful advice. To return the favour I am attaching details of a little
mod I did to the Meade #882 tripod. I went through the hints and could
not see this particular solution put up before so I hope it is of some
use to someone.

Barry Gerdes
Beaumont Hills Observatory
S 33' 41' 44"    E 150' 56' 32"
12" F10 GPS Polar mounted
Home Page

Modification to the ETX #882 Tripod

I looked at the footprint of the legs of my recently acquired ETX70-AT tripod #882 and decided it was too small for reasonable stability. I had a look at the way the legs were attached to the top plate and saw that if I filed away a little of the plastic moulding that held the legs I could make them spread another 15 degrees see Fig 1. This was done and the legs reassembled. This worked great the legs now made a base footprint about twice as wide as before but the legs were still able to flop around a little so I made another mod.

Fig. 1 Leg top support showing where plastic was filed away to make legs spread further


I cut a 7" diameter disk out of some scrap 1/2" plywood that I had lying around with a jigsaw and then cut some notches about 1/4" deep in the perimeter to match the contour of the legs. I drilled a 1/4" hole in the centre, checked that it fitted as a spreader between the spread legs and painted it black with some quick drying enamel See Fig. 2.

Fig 2 Spreader plate


I next drilled a 3/16" hole in the centre of the top platform and tapped it 1/4" NC. I next screwed a 5" length of threaded rod into the tapped hole with a locking nut to keep it firm between the legs See Fig. 3.

Fig 3 threaded rod in tripod top


Next I put the plywood spreader on the rod and matched it to the legs and using a wing nut and washer tightened the assembly up enough to make the tripod rigid. Just like the spreader in the LX200 series. The full modification took less than 3/4 an hour. The tripod is now firm and stable but fully collapsible when necessary see Fig 4.

Fig 4 Modified tripod assembled with legs fully extended


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