Last updated: 22 December 2001
Subject: 883 'pod leg mod for 125EC Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2001 1:38:54 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (dgriff) Here is a picture of my $4.00 solution to flexure in the legs of the 883 tripod when supporting an ETX 125EC in polar mode. I find that polar mode is better for the wife and I 'ergonomically-speaking' for viewing the local zenith. But hanging 20 lbs. out over the North leg does three things: 1) the leg flexes and 2) pivots at the clamp point. You can check this by watching the top of the center sliding leg displace to the inside of the tripod. At thirty 35 degrees latitude, that 20 lbs. is tilted 65 degrees. That caused a full bubble out of the circle for me. Then the hassle of re-leveling by trying to raise the North leg with all that weight on it. My solution was to drill a 1/4 hole through the slider(this can be done in-place without disassembly if you have a good eye for centering) and clamp two 1x2x4 wood pieces with a 3" bolt, 2 washers, and wing nut. This kept the bubble inside the circle. The bare wood grabs the aluminum nicely, but 3M makes anti-slip tape if you need ultra grabbing power. Be sure to tighten the bottom factory clamp first, then the additional clamps. This way the leg will clamp properly at the bottom without undo effort. Notice there are two clamps for the North leg to help eliminate flexing at the mid-point between top and bottom clamps due to the heavy loading. 3) Then there is the psychological tickling, knowing a little bump-in-the-night on the opposite legs might send the scope over center and you into the poor-house. My solution was to purchase twenty pounds of lead shot and distribute it evenly through the four outer leg pieces on the legs opposite North. More expensive but greater mass density than sand--and no leaks. Buy reclaimed shot--cheaper still. Finally, the ground here in the high desert of southern California is a bit sandy, and I do not like watching my tripod sink ever deeper as the night goes on. I put rubber door wall guards under the leg tips to distribute the weight, with an especially large diameter one for the North leg. Don Griffith
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