Last updated: 9 October 2006
Subject: New ETX RA Lock lever idea... Sent: Wednesday, October 4, 2006 20:06:28 From: Mark Mittlesteadt (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have an idea that fixes the common problem of the RA Lock lever not being accessible. It should work on all scopes as it works on my ETX105 that barely has more than 1/8" OTA clearance over the RA lock lever area. Feel free to share this with others. As always, keep up the great work on your site. I check it often. Best wishes, Mark Mittlesteadt
New ETX RA Lock Lever.
This is just about the easiest, yet most needed mod to do for any ETX scope. We all know how hard (shall we say impossible?) to lock or unlock the RA lever when the scope is in Polar alignment mode and pointing at Polaris, or anytime the scope OTA is pointed up, thereby blocking access to the lever.
Last week was THE last straw. From polar aligning to viewing, every time I had to lock and unlock that lever I bumped my scope out of alignment.
I had read of a different approach by Dr. Clay Sherrod he used on an ETX125 using a drawer pull handle, but my ETX105 does not have enough clearance for that, so I thought I was stuck with the stock lever.
Well, no more. This is a very easy fix. I contemplated all kinds of fixes for this, but this one is cheap, easy and requires making no cuts, drilling any holes, or otherwise marking your ETX scope up in order to do it.
Here is a pic of the scope with it's stock, plastic, poorly designed RA lock lever
Here's the fix (and it will work with any ETX). Mine happens to be an ETX105. First you buy a flat (plate metal) wrench for a " bolt. It already has one angle bent in it for you (and it is the perfect angle, so it bends up and clears the RA lock area). You will have to grind or file down around the outside of the wrench end so it fits over the RA hex bolt head, but inside the plastic of the base. Then place it over the hex bolt head and mark where you need to put another bend in it so the wrench handle lies flat over the RA base.
The best part of this is that you don't need to drill holes in the stock RA handle. You simply remove the stock handle (by loosening the recessed screw that locks the stock handle to the RA hex bolt head). Then you place this new flat handle over the RA hex bolt head. Then put the stock RA lock lever back on, over the top of it, and tighten the recessed screw in the stock lever. This keeps the new handle locked onto the RA hex bolt head. And you don't ruin the stock handle if you wish to restore it back.
It looks and works great and with it only sticking up an 1/8" the OTA will clear it easily and it works on any of the ETX scopes. If you so desire, you can cut off the plastic handle of the stock RA lock lever if you think it would look better (as the handle part of it is not used any longer), but it's not necessary to do so as it functions great as is, and keeps your stock handle in mint condition.
Now you will never again have to worry about that formerly inaccessible RA lock, no matter what position the scope is in.
Return to the top of this page.
Go back to the Tech Tips page.
Go back to the ETX Home Page.