ETX TECHNICAL TIPS
From: Andy Tane (email@example.com)I was a little discouraged at the cost of the Meade tripods, so I decided to look for an alternative.
I visited some Survey Equipment Supply Houses in the Toronto area, and found one for $103.00 CDN including taxes. (About $65.00 USD) I opted for the Dome Head tripod so I could make an easily adjustable mount.
The Surveyors Transit Tripod has a 5/8 inch mounting screw with a very large knob so you can apply lots of torque when attaching the scope.
I welded a 1.25 inch long 5/8 Nut with 11 threads per inch onto the center of the Field Tripod Adapter Plate that comes with the ETX-125EC. The 5/8 nut was a nut used to join two threaded rods. I believe they are called suspension rod joiners.
and drilled 3 holes to mount 3 drawer handles available in the cabinet hardware section of any good hardware store
I mounted the plate on the bottom of the scope after removing the 3 screws that hold the base plate on the bottom of the scope. I had to get 3 longer screws as the ones that hold the baseplate on are not long enough to go through the adapter plate and the plastic base. I tried using two 1/4 inch to mount the plate into the holes intended for mounting on the Field Tripod, but it wasn't very solid.
When the scope is mounted on the tripod, it's extremely easy to level the scope. I placed a bubble level on the base to make it easier. With the dome head tripod, you don't have to play with the tripod legs. Just drive the leg points deep into the ground for stability, and adjust the scope on the tripods dome head until it's level.
Total Cost for this very stable tripod.... $112.00 CDN ($72.00 USD)
Cat not included.
Unfortunately, the scope isn't very stable sitting on a table with those Knobs on the base. So, when I get the opportunity, I'll be removing the silver knobs and welding on three feet that will sit on the dome head of the tripod, and will have feet that are spread wide enough that they'll be stable when used on a table top.... like this...
P.S. I love your site Mike. It's set as my browsers homepage so I don't miss any updates.
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