Equatorial Alignment Wedge

    Most people buy Alt-Az mounts for beginner telescopes because:

            a. They don't know better

            b.  Alt-Az is much cheaper than Eq

            c.  Alt-Az is easier to align

            d. They don't think they will need more

            e.  All of the above

I was a 'All of the above."  After I bought a Celestron NexStar 130 SLT, I wanted to try astro-photography. And like many others, I quickly wanted some form of equatorial alignment.  This leaves two options.  Buy an expensive new mount or go with a wedge.  Most wedges set between the mount and the tripod.  I had a different and strange idea.  I built a wedge that would support the entire tripod at my angle.

 I admit this is not the best photograph and the bungee cords are pretty trashy. This was the first test of the mount.  I new use a light ratchet strap that runs up the top leg rather than the bungees.  It looks nicer, easier to attach and is more stable.  Using EqAlign and a guide cam I was able to tune this thing in to a pretty good alignment.  It is not as good as a real GEM, but $15 and an hour...