ETX TECHNICAL TIPS
Like your site !
Just a comment about the "shaky" tripod sold by Meade as part of the field tripod package. I got tired of having the subject star jump all over the eyepiece when trying to focus so built a "pier" from schedule 80 4 inch PVC pipe with 3/4 inch plywood legs, put screw adjusters on the feet, a bubble level (one of the few good ideas Meade had) and a compass on the legs. Hey !! now no shake.
It is built from heavy wall (1/4") PVC pipe and 3/4" plywood. It is about 33" high with a circular span of about 26" for the 3 legs. The legs are mounted with carriage bolts thru from inside with cutouts both for lightening and for carrying handles. The top, a standard flat top cap for the pipe, is drilled to either mount the ETX directly or by using the polar adapter from the tripod. Each leg has screw adjustable leveling pad and a "flashing" led to show it position in the dark I use this scope for demonstrations at scouting activities and etc, the LEDs help to show the people where not to step.
It is very easy to set-up with the built in compass and bubble level, much easier than the tripod with the screw adjustments.
It is a nice solid unit with very little shake, just a little jiggle when focusing.
About the comment on using a "christmas ball" for checking, I saw a comment on it somewhere last year. Basically, you put a shiny glass ball (small) up on a post or pole at about 100 yards so the sun can shine and reflect off it. This makes a nice solid sub for a star to check collimation and spotting scope alignment. I tried it and it does work, gives a pretty good point of light source.
Neil Dennis (email@example.com)
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