ETX TECHNICAL TIPS
From: Dan Schmitz (dschmitz@ONRAMP.NET)Thanks for all you do, I've sent countless people to you when considering an ETX. Since the ETX-EC dosn't come with the table top legs and even most 'classic' users have opted for a tripod I think I've found a good use for those 1/4 20 leg holes on the side of the ETX base. Start with a couple of 1 inch corner brackets, you have to enlarge one of the holes to accept the 1/4 inch screw that goes into the ETX. The protruding part of the bracket can be mounted low or high, i opted for the latter. Then using a 1/4 inch thick sheet of Red Oak or other hard wood cut a crescent shaped 'shelf' long enough to reach both brackets and wide enough for the 1 1/4 inch holes for the eyepieces. (A tip when cutting the holes, start on one side cutting partially thru the piece, then flip it over and finish from the other side. This reduces the splintering.) Try making a template with posterboard first, here you will find how to space the eyepiece holes so as not to interfear with the brackets. The curvature of the shelf is derived from the base diameter of 6 3/8 inches, if mounting low its about 6 1/8. When mounted high the shelf fits just under the lip of the ETX base. Hope you can use the drawing I attached, it also shows my 1/2 inch Red Oak tripod to ETX base.
PARTS LIST PURPOSE QUANTITY 1/4 20 1/2 inch screw or bolt attach bracket to ETX 2 10/32 1/2 inch screw attach shelf to bracket 2 10/32 round cap nut 2 optional plastic screw head cover, black looks nice 2 1/4 x 4 x 2ft sheet of Red Oak or other hard wood (its actually only 3.5 inches wide, its a lumber thing, 2ft gives plenty of oops room) 1 inch corner brackets 2
On the 1/2 inch tripod to ETX base I remove the 3 rubber feet from the ETX and replace with 4 10mm vinyl pads. Also in regards to the threaded insert for the base, buy several as I broke two trying to screw them into that hard wood. Dont forget a coat of Polyurethane for moisture protection.
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