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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5483606 - 10/22/12 12:49 PM

Saturday I received the machined aluminum replacement LX80 tripod top. The machinist did a first rate job. It was easy to swap components from the factory top to the new one. The only issue I had was in removing the E-Clips that retain the mount head bolts in the tripod top. They are NOT made out of spring steel and one broke during bolt removal. I posted several photos of the conversion process to my PhotoBucket site:

http://s25.beta.photobucket.com/user/jhuerkamp/library/LX80

Each leg trunions is made out of solid 2"x1.5" aluminum and is attached to the 3/8" thick aluminum top with 3 stainless steel bolts.

Jack Huerkamp


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5483838 - 10/22/12 03:23 PM

Now that is what i would call a "Serious Aftermarket Upgrade". And i am certainly qualified to say that is major improvement ! Well done!

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5484465 - 10/22/12 10:52 PM

Hi Jack,
You did a real nice job on that tripod top. Your OTA's are safe from tripod failure now.

neilson


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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5484744 - 10/23/12 02:49 AM

That's beautiful. Your machinist is good!

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Raginar]
      #5484890 - 10/23/12 08:47 AM

The machinist did a great job on the top replacement. Hopefully Meade does just as good a job at tightening up the play in the drives. I should get the mount back from Meade in a week or two. They have had it since the first of October.

I will be ordering more tripod tops from the machinist if anyone is interested in converting their tripods.

Jack


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5485157 - 10/23/12 12:10 PM

Jack, What would the cost be for one?

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5485165 - 10/23/12 12:18 PM

Hi Jack,
I'm interested in seeing if they figure a way to tighten those drives myself. That was the biggest problem I had and was never able to get resolved.
neilson


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5485893 - 10/23/12 07:16 PM

I really hope they do, as I like the mount. IT does work well with lighter scopes - 6" Celestron and Lunt80. I just hope it works with the C9.25.

Jack


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5485896 - 10/23/12 07:19 PM

I received two prototypes on Saturday, installed one on my tripod and sold the other one for $200 plus $12 USPS Priority. These two tops were shipped to me by Rock Mallin with an order of cameras and accessories, so there was no additional S/H from Canada to me. I hope to keep the next ones close to the $200 price plus postage.

Jack


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5485914 - 10/23/12 07:31 PM

Well, at there will be at least one competently made part on an LX 80 or two.

-Rich


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5495127 - 10/29/12 06:35 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

Quote:

The machinist did a great job on the top replacement. Hopefully Meade does just as good a job at tightening up the play in the drives. I should get the mount back from Meade in a week or two. They have had it since the first of October.

I will be ordering more tripod tops from the machinist if anyone is interested in converting their tripods.

Jack




Hi Jack,

I just received the replacement tripod top. It took all of 20 minutes to swap out the cast metal one for the aluminum machined one. Looks pretty cool and it'll be next to impossible to snap off a leg. I still want to mount the hand control somewhere but I've been using velcro for the time being. Here is a pic. Thanks Jack, I think it looks very nice.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: JimMo]
      #5495143 - 10/29/12 06:45 PM

JimMo,

That top does look nice! Guess I'm too old and cheap! But then again, I don't have a $3,000 OTA on the tripod.

I don't have any play in the drives on my mount. Meade must have found someway to eliminate it.


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5495192 - 10/29/12 07:31 PM

JimMo,
Nielson came up with using the controller bracket from a LX90 or LX200, Meade Product Number: 07580 ($20).

Just have to add a piece of velcro around the rail, because the clamp is slightly larger than the hand grip rail diameter. Not perfect but does the job. Again Thx, Nielson.


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5495241 - 10/29/12 08:06 PM Attachment (39 downloads)

I just mounted the LX80 and have to comment on the machining. Don't know how much more stable it is than the original but I was able to put more pressure on the spreader knob as I wasn't afraid it would break. The mount indexed with the top precisely with the three bolts holes perfectly aligned with the bottom of the mount and the bolts easily threaded in. With the original one they were alway hard to turn and I was always afraid I was cross threading them.

The mount feels rock solid, more so than before due to the leg spreader being tighter. Anyway, I'm a sucker for doing modifications as it gives me an excuse to hang out in my shop. I don't think this tripod will need any more mods, though, at least for strength. I was going to make another leg spreader lower down to keep the legs from expanding too far but with the new top that's not necessary.

One thing I'd suggest to Jack on future runs is to round over the three square leg mounts a little bit on the top edge so they are not so sharp. I might take it apart and do this, just enough to make it less likely to catch on something or scratch it.

Edited by JimMo (10/29/12 08:24 PM)


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: JimMo]
      #5495304 - 10/29/12 09:02 PM

Jim,

You coment mimics what I passed onto the machinist when he sent me images of the two units he sent to me. He did put a slight chamfer on the edges to avoid sharp corners; but I think rounding off at least the top edges of the trunions with a 1/4" radius would be preferred. If there is enough interest in this replacement tripod top, I will see if I can convince the machinist to add this tweak to his design.

Jack Huerkamp


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5495311 - 10/29/12 09:04 PM

Jim,

I am glad that the LX80 head dropped precisely onto the replacement top. My LX80 is still at Meade Service - been there since the 1st. Hopefully I will get it back soon so I can see if the combination of the stronger top and whatever they are able to do to the mount will allow me to use my C9.25" OTA on it.

Jack Huerkamp


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mmalik
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5495748 - 10/30/12 04:28 AM

Quote:

Hopefully Meade does just as good a job at tightening up the play in the drives.




Thanks for your efforts on custom mod; it looks great.

I am a bit leery though if mount’s infrastructure is worth the mod of this caliber. I wish it was just the matter of tightening up the play, precision tracking and especially guiding remains to be tested. Claimed weight bearing capacities remains un-tested as well.

If nothing else, mod would give few "visual" observers peace of mind.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: mmalik]
      #5496249 - 10/30/12 02:13 PM

Start a sideline making full tripods, I say. It's not like there aren't any mounts needing them.

-Rich


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5496281 - 10/30/12 02:33 PM

Rich,

The only part of the tripod that I see as an issue is the top plate. It is inadequate to handle the loads exerted on it. I thought about making a spreader assembly to keep the legs from being able to be opened too much. But replacing the top with one like the machinist made for me provided the security I was looking for.

Jack


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5496342 - 10/30/12 03:04 PM

My wife notified me that UPS just delivered the LX80 mount head. Tonight I will unpack it and see if Meade figured out how to eliminate the looseness in the axes.

Hopefully the mount will now prove useful form my Celestron 9.25" OTA.

Jack Huerkamp


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