Mount Modifications
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Mount modifications

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 holder. 


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.

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Orion AZ-3

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 loosening.

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.