Last updated: 17 December 2003

"The Jimmy" tripod for ETX

From: "Vic Long" (
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 18:36:14 -0500
I recently purchased an etx-90RA .  While delighted with the sharp
optics, it didn't take long to realize that a real tripod was needed.  I
looked at two Meade tripods - one was tippy; the other cost as much as I
paid for the etx.  Your etx site inspired me to build my own.  The
resultant tripod is very portable, quite stable, and convenient for
observing while seated.  The design is simple and inexpensive to build.

I named the design "The Jimmy" for my brother-in-law who many years ago made the table top that serves as the tripod platform. The legs were made from=201"x3" poplar using 2"x2" poplar separators. 2"x2" poplar blocks were also used attach the legs to the tripod platform. The wedge consists of a board attached to the platform with a hinge and two lid supports from Lowes. Holes were drilled in the wedge for the 1/4"-20 bolts that attach the etx and a larger hole bored to access the motor drive on-off switch. The correct angle was set with a protractor. A round bubble level was attached for leveling=20the base. Details of the wedge and tripod platform are shown below.
5/16" bolts, washers and nuts were used to attach 2"x2" blocks to the tripod platform. The legs were attached to these blocks with bolts, washers, and=20wing nuts. An accessory tray was fashioned from a piece of pine shelving, Three 1.25" holes were bored in the tray for eyepieces. Short pieces of 1"x2" pine were attached to the legs so that they pivot. Bolts, washers, and wing nuts were used to attach the tray to the 1"x2" pieces. Slots cut into these pieces allow leveling of the tripod platform. The tripod base, wedge and tray were painted black; other parts were stained dark walnut and finished=20with a spar varnish. To store the tripod, the accessory tray is removed and attached to the top hole in the wedge.
When folded, the unit stands upright, taking up less that a square foot of floor space and easily fits into the trunk of a small car. Regards, Vic Long

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