My NexStar SE wobbles when I put it on the tripod. How can I fix this?

The NexStar SE tripod and mount are attached to one another by three bolts that are part of the tripod assembly. In order to make assembly easier, especially in the dark, there is a central alignment pin that sticks up above the tripod top plate. It goes into a matching hole in the base of the SE.

If the pin is standing too far above the top plate, it won’t allow the SE mount to sit flush against the top plate or be screwed down solidly to the tripod. Instead, at best, the scope will rock or wobble.

The fix is easy. The pin can be unscrewed or tightened directly with a pair of pliers for the 6 and 8 SE tripods. For the 4 and 5 SE tripods, lift the wedge tilt plate up. On the center bottom, you’ll see a slotted screw. This is the alignment pin. Adjust with a screwdriver to bring it down a few tenths of an inch.

Another potential problem may be the bolts themselves. Each one is held in place with a C-clip. If this clip is wrongly positioned on the bolt, it may cause it to stand out too far or not far enough. Reposition the clip by pulling it off the bolt with a pair of needle-nose pliers. You will see a smooth, narrow part of the bolt just below the threads between the threaded shaft and the black screw base. This is the part of the shaft where the C-clip should be positioned. Reposition the clip to allow the proper amount of bolt exposure to successfully attach your NexStar SE mount.

Updated 12/25/13