Meade LS6/8 adapter for Meade field tripod
I have written reviews on both of the above scopes, and the common complaint (and that of every other review I have read) is that the standard issue tripod is barely up to supporting the 6” aperture, never mind the 8”.
In another article I wrote about 3 easy upgrades that reduce the other major complaint for these scopes, which is vibration. One of those upgrades was adaption to a standard Meade field tripod, which is leaps and bounds ahead of the factory issue LS tripod. However, that adaption required drilling (3 on 4”) of the field tripod head a little too close existing holes and other lower components to make it easy. It also eliminated the convenient Meade LS ‘center locate, turn and clunk’ positioning of the tripod head.
So after considering the problem for another LS8 that I have recently acquired, I settled on the solution shown in the pic.
- Remove the legs from the LS tripod head.
- Remove the LS center tray hold down stud/bolt.
- I cut 1” x 1.25 x 2” aluminum riser blocks and drilled them for the LS angle brackets that the legs normally bolted into.
- I drilled and tapped holes in the base of these blocks that lined up with three matching holes drilled in the Meade tripod head.
This allows more flexibility in where to locate the holes away from other existing holes or underneath obstructions.
The nice thing about this solution is that it preserves the LS tripod head functionality and ease of mounting, and it only requires 3 holes drilled in your Meade field tripod head. The spreader tray will also require a spacer to make up the difference in depth between the two heads. This spacer could be anything – clock of wood, piece of copper tubing, several oversize nuts, etc….
I used aluminum for the riser blocks but you could also use Oak as it is very strong and easily worked with standard woodworking tools.
And when the time comes that things change – everything can revert to normal.