Meade LX90 Tripod
The tripod is sturdy, easy to use, and perfectly suited to
its purpose. The only modification I've made is to crimp one end of
a bungie cord on the eyepiece holder to keep the battery pack out of the
dirt and dust.
See the the LX-90 page for a shelf modification to augment the eyepiece
CG-3 & CG5
These mounts are OK, but not thrilling. Both are rather light
weight and not quite as stable as I'd like. After I purchased the
AZ-3 mount, I rarely used the EQ mounts. The LX90 provides a nice
stable and easy-to-align mount for either scope, so I probably will get
rid of these mounts.
The only real gripe I've
got about the mounts is the tray setup. The little wing-nuts and washers that
attach to the tray are very easy to loose and hard to fasten. Therefore, I made
a folding rig to replace the tray. It's a simple item with three
small wooden arms attached to a a center triangle. It now works
as a folding camera tripod, without the need to undo the little wing nuts.
The AZ-3's main failing is the lack of a lock on the altitude axis.
You can solidly lock the azimuth, but not the altitude. The original friction lock
loosens quickly when observing. The Orion quick fix has the same problem to a
smaller scale. I found that a lock nut (nylon insert) combined with a
brass washer sandwiched between two nylon washers keep the nut from
The supplied tray is nice, but it's just a dish shape, so
the eyepieces roll around in a disorganized mess. The shipping foam
drilled with holes holds the eyepieces nicely. I also drilled a hole
for a center bolt that extends downward into the braces, then fastened
with a wing nut. The three original bolts are inserted from the top
and are inserted into the brace holes to keep the tray from spinning.
The wing nut on the center bolt holds everything tight, unless you lift up
on the tray.