Astro Engineering Deluxe Latitude Adjuster (Meade Standard Wedge)

Astro Engineering Deluxe Latitude Adjuster

Astro Engineering Latitude Adjuster consists of the support bar and the adjustment screw. Astro Engineering Latitude Adjuster mounted on the Meade Standard Wedge.
Meade Wedge without the Astro Engineering Latitude Adjuster. You can see where the Astro Engineering Latitude Adjuster fills the need to support the sides. The Astro Engineering Latitude Adjuster fills the need for all Meade Standard Wedge owners

Meade SCT telescopes are wonderful pieces of equipment.  You'd be hard-pressed to find a better telescope for convenience and enjoyable viewing for all levels of astronomers.  Their fork mounted system is an excellent base for an altitude azimuth mount.  However, when it comes to astrophotography, the altitude azimuth mount becomes a shortcoming due to field rotation. To do proper astrophotography with a fork mounted telescope, you need to tilt the forks to your latitude.  The best way to do this is with a wedge.

Meade makes two models of wedges for their scopes.  The Meade Super Wedge comes with all the bells and whistles and is ready to go right out of the box. It is, however, rather expensive and very heavy.  The other option is the Meade Standard Wedge.  This wedge is much lighter and easier to handle.  It also does not come with any adjuster to help the user properly set the wedge for their latitude. That is where a latitude adjuster comes into play.

The Astro Engineering Deluxe Latitude Adjuster serves several purposes in polar mounting a fork mounted SCT telescope.  Using a knob and a threaded rod, it allows the user to make small adjustments in the latitude setting of the wedge in order to set the scope for proper polar tracking.  However, a latitude adjuster also provides vertical strength to the sides of the wedge, therefore minimizing flexure and allowing a more accurate polar alignment.

The Astro Engineering Deluxe Latitude Adjuster is extremely well-made and I encountered no problems whatsoever in installing this unit onto one of my Meade Standard Wedges.  The parts consist of a support bar, a threaded adjustment rod and a knob to allow the user to turn the rod while the scope is mounted on the wedge. Installation was straightforward and uneventful.  The unit operated as it should and caused no problems in operation.  The brushed finish of the support bar is extremely nice, and I prefer it to the painted bar on my other wedge. To operate the adjuster, the user loosens the pivot bolts and slide bolt. The latitude adjuster rod is then advanced to the back of the wedge plate. The user can then make minor adjustment to the latitude angle of the plate with the adjustment screw. It is very simple and accurate. When the proper angle is determined, the user can then lock down the wedge bolts to secure the wedge mount.

If you own a Meade Standard Wedge, and you do not have a latitude adjuster mounted on it, then the Astro Engineering Deluxe Latitude Adjuster should be on your shortlist of things to get. It greatly increases the efficiency and stability of your Meade Standard Wedge, and makes your investment in your wedge far more worthwhile.

Mike Overacker

Product is available from Astro Engineering