The Mounting Assistant is a super-compact 8-1/2" X 10-1/4" mounting plate designed to simplify attachment of Meade LX200GPS, Meade LX200 Classic and LX90 telescopes being used in the Alt-azimuth mode with Meade's standard field tripod or giant field tripod. It fits the 7" MCT as well as the 8", 10", 12" and 14" SCTs.
With this mounting system, you first, "square" the tripod using hardware supplied to insure that the legs are properly positioned. Then you simply place the rounded end of the telescope base against the three yellow positioning fingers and lower the telescope until it sits upon the base. Instead of wobbling, the telescope sits firmly upon the plate and perfectly aligned over the tripod mounting screw. Simply raise the mounting screw and turn to engage.
This design solves 6 major problems inherent in competitive mounting plates, which are typically larger and permit the temporary storage of eyepieces.
1) Our experience (in the North-East U.S.) is that eyepiece lenses stored on oversized mounting plate eyepiece trays rapidly collect dew, rendering them unusable without being dried off. Even in dry conditions, upright eyepieces seem to have an affinity for collecting cigarette ashes, dust and debris carried on the breeze.
2) We also found that large competitive plates protrude excessively, interfering with observing objects at the zenith. Your neck hits the plate long before your eye reaches the eyepiece. Our smaller plates allow easy access to the eyepiece, even when viewing directly overhead.
3) The Mounting Assistant's compact size permits convenient storage of your tripod in a tight space such as a closet or a vehicle without removal of the mounting plate.
4) A wing nut and washer (not shown) is included with the Mounting Assistant system to simplify "squaring the tripod" before placing the scope on the mounting plate. This simple procedure has been shown to be 100% effective - the scope mounts 100% of the time first time every time. At present this is the only mounting plate known to provide this additional feature.
5) The Mounting Assistant is the lightest weight mounting aid available. For Meade's lightweight standard field tripod weight isn't a concern, but every ounce saved makes a difference if you have the heavy giant field tripod. While most mounting systems on the market are single plate designs, there are some costly and heavy 2 plate systems on the market. These systems require bolting an extra part to the base of your scope, increasing the weight of what is already the heaviest component in your system.
6) The Mounting Assistant is fabricated from alloy 6061T6 aircraft aluminum, and finished with black anodize. The mounting guide posts are steel covered with vinyl so as to prevent marring the telescope base. The hardware for attaching to the tripod is included.
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