Placing the LX200 or LX90 on the tripod is sometimes a pain, especially when trying to get the AltAz mounting hole over the threaded rod while supporting the scope weight. This modification (originally seen in the MAPUG archives) removes the c-clip and supports the weight of the threaded rod with 3 springs. Then, the scope can be set anywhere on the tripod base, which just depresses the threaded rod. That supports the scope weight on a firm, flat surface. Then, the scope can be "slid" around a bit to center it, until the rod "pops" up into the mounting hole in the scope base. This modification is not needed for a permanent mount of for Wedge-only operation, but handy for repetitive setting up of AltAz-mount scopes.
1. Push the threaded rod up and remove the c-clip. Drop the threaded rod out and save it for the moment.
2. Obtain three suitable springs. I used 7/16" diameter, 2.75" long springs (made of 0.034" wire) - part SP-9612 is a package of two "Handyman Springs" (purchased at Home Depot or Home Base) packaged by Prime-Line Products Company, San Bernadino CA.
3. Get three 5/16 dia x 1/2 inch long bolts with a washer for each of them.
Drill one small hole near the edge of each washer.
Hook one spring into each hole.
With the washer on the bolt, and the spring dangling, thread the
bolt into the underside
of the tripod head.
Use the holes that the Wedge mounting bolts do not use (see
the 3 bolts
installed in the Tripod).
Caution: The washer may bind against the inside of the tripod head. If so, just stop when the bolt is firm. No need to make it very tight. On some tripod heads it might be necessary to use a 5/16 tap to insure that the threads in the holes go through to the bottom.
4. Obtain one larger (2" outer diameter prefered, or 1.5" outer diameter) washer with a 1/2 inch center hole (use a 1/2 inch fender washer - the fender washer is a lot thinner than a regular washer). Drill three small holes near the outer edge of this washer, spaced 120 degrees apart. Hook each of the three springs into the corresponding hole in this washer. Unless the wrong spring is hooked into a hole, or a spring is too twisted, the big washer should dangle beneath the tripod base, the big washer should be approximately horizontal, and its 1/2-inch hole should be right under the 1/2 inch hole in the tripod base.
5. Insert the threaded rod up through the fender washer. Add one or two 1/2 inch nuts just above the big washer to keep the rod from droping out. Caution: It might be necessary to "clean up" the threads on the rod in the area near the groove for the c-clip. Then, the nuts will go on easily.
6. Adjust the nut(s) so that the threaded rod pokes up through the tripod base approximately an inch (or more). It should be possible to easily depress the threaded rod so that it is flush with the top of the tripod.
The First Telescope - ETX-125
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