Question about Meade ETX-60 AT Telescope

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Adjustment lever part is for the ETX 60AT tripod leg. Two of three are okay but the third is broken. Never been out of the box.

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Contact Meade directly for any replacement parts. You might also find something at a well stocked hardware store that will also work.

http://www.meade.com/support/index.html

Posted on Aug 30, 2010

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Although I'm not familiar with your particular make and model it sounds like a common problem which affects many other tripods. If the legs clamp with a lever action then if you closely examine each clamp as you activate the lever I expect that you'll find a small crack opens up in the clamp assembly.

It's a faulty design as the clamps simply aren't strong enough for the load and eventually crack due to fatigue. Some manufacturers supply replacement leg clamps but they also fail and fitting them usually costs more than the tripod is worth.

Next time, consider buying a tripod which has rotating collars to lock the legs with. They're not as quick to operate as lever action (a.k.a. "quick release") clamps, but they don't take much longer and last far longer. Rotating collar clamps are only suitable for tubular legs, and to be as rigid as extruded profile legs there's usually an increased weight penalty unless you spend far more on carbon fibre versions.

Personally, I tend to buy cheap but perfectly good non brand name lightweight tripods which I can get for £10 including a carry bag and handle and expect to have to replace them when broken: usually about once a year. It's a lot cheaper than spending over £300 on a good one and means I can afford to have a spare one in the car.

ALDI (in the UK and Europe) sell a £10 tripod which comes with a handle, carry bag, pan/tilt head,quick release leg clamps, geared centre column plus two quick release mounting plates and has a bag hook at the bottom of the centre column; it even has a no quibble three year guarantee. It's not a smooth or as well built as many, but can't be beaten at the price.

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1 Answer

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Assuming you still have the female part with the treads in tact, you can do what I did. I used a hose clamp, the kind used on radiators, but larger. First, take off the lock down knob, then put the hose clamp over the broken plastic housing and mark where the knob would screw through. Then remove the hose clamp, placing it on a sturdy surface and use a 5/16 drill bit to make a hole where the lock down know will pass through. Place the hose clamp over the plastic housing, insert the knob, tighten the hose clamp (but not so much that it restricts the tripod leg from moving) and you are done! I can send you pictures of the process and the final result. It saved me from buying a new tripod! I can be e-mailed at boingsplatplop@yahoo.com if you have questions.
-Spencer

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