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Meade #884 Deluxe Field Tripod

Meade #884 Deluxe Field Tripod Review
 
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Meade #884 deluxe field tripod
 
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Meade #884 Deluxe Field Tripod:

Meade #884 Deluxe field tripod

Meade #884 Deluxe Field Tripod:
The official Specification:

Meade #884 Deluxe field tripod is fully adjustable from 25" (64cm) to 43"(108cm) for seated or standing observations.

Equatorial head for accurate polar alignment during astronomical observations; litlts to 90 degree for terrestrial observation.

Graduated scale for elevation-angle adjustment.

Meade #884 delue field tripod comes with a carrying bag Meade #884 delue field tripod comes with a carrying bag. The spreader/eyepieces hold store at the pocket at the larger end of the bag.
The Meade #884 deluxe field tripod has two attached bolts The Meade #884 deluxe field tripod has two attached bolts. You will not have to look for the bolts because the two bolts will not come off.   The bolts are held in place each by a spring.  You push the bolts up and turn to tight with the telescope.
Meade #884 deluxe field tripod The two spring loaded screw protruding out of the top will allow the telescope to place flat on the top of the telescope. You can then attach the telescope to the Meade #884 deluxe field tripod very easily.
The Altitude scale on the Meade #884 deluxe field tripod is anything but precision. The Altitude scale on the Meade #884 deluxe field tripod is anything but precision.  This only allow very rough, non-precision adjustment of the altitude setting.  You have to hold on to the telescope and move the altitude rod up and down to change altitude. You then tighten it with the lock on the side.
altitude lock lever on the Meade #884 deluxe field tripod This is the altitude lock lever on the Meade #884 deluxe field tripod.  If the telescope is in the Polar position and you loosen this lock lever without holding on to your telescope, you telescope will slam down with nothing to stop or slow it donw.
The leg opposing the altitude adjustment is the North leg of the Meade #884 deluxe field tripod. The leg opposing the altitude adjustment is the North leg of the Meade #884 deluxe field tripod. Make sure you place the telescope with the correct orientation before you attach the two bolts: North leg point to north, the computer control panel to the west. 
Telescope attached in the Alt/Az home position on the Meade #884 deluxe field tripod. Telescope attached in the Alt/Az home position on the Meade #884 deluxe field tripod.
Polar Home Position of the Meade #884 Deluxe Field Tripod: Meade #884 Deluxe Field Tripod: Polar Home Position

Point the North leg to the north, telescope computer control panel to the west and raise the latitude adjustment rod to the Latitude of you location and you are now in the Polar home position. The catch is that there is no micro adjustment for anything in this tripod.  With no azimuth adjustment, it is close to impossible to make precision Polar alignment.
ETX-125EC with the #884 tripod in the Polar home position. ETX-125EC with the #884 tripod in the Polar home position.
This is the leg spreader/eyepieces holder of the Meade #884 deluxe new tripod. This is the leg spreader/eyepieces holder of the Meade #884 deluxe new tripod.
Meade #884 deluxe new tripod. The leg spreader/eyepieces holder is make of thick aluminum and is held in place with 2 washers, a spring and the big turn nut.   I have no idea why you would need the spring.  It take quite some efforts to push the spring up to screw in the big triangular turn bolt.
Meade #884 deluxe new tripod. The two washer and spring must be removed every time you want to collapse the tripod.  It is not really need to keep the tripod legs to spread or keep the tripod sturdy.  The tripod is very sturdy without the spreader  Unless you want to use the eyepiece holder, the spreader is not needed.  The washers and spring are just more part so you can drop them in the dark and never to be found.
Meade #884 deluxe new tripod. The Meade #884 deluxe new tripod legs can be extended and held in place with a big turn bolt.  
Meade #884 deluxe new tripod. The Meade #884 deluxe field tripod is very sturdy even when all the legs are  fully expended.  The hard plastic (ABS) leg tips are round.
My review
The Meade #884 deluxe field tripod is perfect for those who only use the telescope in Alt/Az position.  You would need to place a bubble level on top of the tripod to level the tripod.  There is no where that you can install a bubble level permanently even if you want to  There is no bubble level on this tripod . You must level the tripod top first before attaching the telescope to the tripod. There is no reason to even try to use this tripod in the Polar position.  The latitude adjustment is a joke.  The only reason to use the telescope in the polar position is that it is more precise.  Since there is no precise adjustment of any kind in this tripod, it would defeat the purpose to trying to be precise in using the tripod in the polar position. The leg spreader/eyepieces holder is not needed. The little parts such as the washers and spring are easy to get lost in the dark. This is a very strudy tipod.
Modification Kit
A micro altitude adjustment kit is available. This kit allow precision smooth altitude adjustment and leveling of the tripod top platform.
 
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