ETX-125EC USER FEEDBACK
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-125EC. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.
Subject: etx125 Transporting Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 10:22:16 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I wrote to you a week or so back regarding transporting my ETX125 EC on commercial airlines. I spoke to a technician with Mead who suggested that I remove the optic and transport it separately from the motor. The technician said you could transport the motor in the Mead carrying case via baggage. If you had a grading system for amateurs let's say from 1 to 10 with 10 being an excellent amateur, I would be considered - ONE! What are your thoughts on his suggestion? In addition to this above mentioned issue I am unsure if my focusing knob is in working order. There is no tension on the focusing knob when I rotate it. Is this normal? I haven't been able to see anything the last couple of times I've taken the 125 out for a spin. Your insights would be greatly appreciate. Eliu RiveraMike here: There is nothing wrong with removing the OTA from the fork mount. That is how you turn the ETX into a "spotting scope" version. As to the focus knob, is the setscrew in the side of the knob tight? Does the focus change at all when you rotate the knob? Does the focus change when you rotate the shaft (without the knob on it)? Use caution when trying this last step so that the shaft doesn't fall inside the tube. Keep the telescope pointing near the zenith when doing this step.
Subject: thanks mr. etx guy Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2000 20:12:51 From: email@example.com (Tony Bulat) Thanks for the rapid reply on adapters for the ETX-125ec for astro- photography. I was so impressed, I joined the pledge drive. Not for a whole lot, but something I will keep contributing to as long as your site exists. My home is here in Spearfish SD, at the foothills of the Black Hills, and I will say we have many nights of superb viewing, sans clouds of course. Hopefully, within 6mos. to a year I will be able to supply you with my own pictures of the heavens. Having all the catalogs from Meade, I was susprised to find out I missed the camera adapter,which I need,but listed as an accessory for the Digital Electronic Series(DS). It appears to be just what I'm looking for my ETX-125. Again, thanks a million,your site has proven to be a mother-lode of info on the ETX's. Good viewing, Tony Bulat
Subject: Unstable ETX-125 Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2000 14:43:51 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (oly) I have recently purchased an ETX-125 along with the deluxe field tripod. However, the scope is not as stable as I thought it would be for such an expensive piece of kit. It's not the tripod that's the problem, more the scope itself. Maybe its the plastic construction, I'm not sure, but it is prone to 'wobbling' when any slight pressure is put on it. This makes observation of objects under high magnification pretty difficult, as I have to avoid any physical contact with the eyepiece so as to obtain a steady clear image. I just feel that it should be more 'rigid'. Maybe I'm being stupid, but I'd like to know if anyone else has encountered such problems, and if there is a way to 'fix' it? Thanks.Mike here: Are you using the tripod with the legs extended or not? I've found somewhat better stability with the legs NOT extended. Also, the Scopetronix FlexiFocus helps cut down the vibrations from focusing. Also as I and others have reported on the various Feedback pages, the ground surface or vibration suppression pads came affect the time it takes for vibrations to dampen out.
Subject: etx-125ec and astrophotography Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 20:01:22 From: email@example.com (Tony Bulat) I'm a proud new owner of the Meade etx125ec. I have not had much practice yet, because the objects in the solar system are a little out of whack right now. I have viewed the moon, and it is stunning. I'm writing because I'm interested in astrophotography of the solar system. I read Jordan Blessing's article on astrophotography and the ETX. What I'm now looking for is an eyepiece projection adapter to incorporate with the standard 1.25" eyepiece for use in the positive or eyepiece projection mode. Any help or ideas woud be very much appreciated. Finally,I would like to mention that I waited for over 2 1/2 months for my tripod, which is the new Meade #887 advanced field tripod, and the #889 Tripod adapter for use as a polar mount. This baby is one stout, but rather bulky mount..no vibrations here. I also have the Meade #64 T-adapter,with proper T-ring for my good old Cannon Pellix 35mm SLR. Thanks for the assistance, Love your web site, keep it up Tony BulatMike here: Check the Accessories - Astrophotography page on my ETX site.
Subject: I love my 125! Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 11:29:09 From: TomL@wnycs.com (Thomas Lawrence) I just wanted to drop a note to the visitors of this site who are considering the purchase of the Meade ETX-125ec. I absolutely, positively love this telescope. It's portable (but I haven't tried to put it on an airplane yet) and it's not too heavy. The optics on this scope are superb and it's fun to use. I bought the 125 because it's bigger than the 90; I figured that if I was going to spend $600 I might as well spend the extra $300 and not regret it later :) The scope finds the object I'm looking for (via Autostar, or course) every time and puts it in the FOV in my 16mm SP. My wish list for enhancements on the scope are as follows: I wish I didn't have to hold the scope with one hand while trying to line the tripod plate up to the Deluxe Field Tripod I wish the little bit of drive lag I have would go away by itself I wish the tripod or base of the ETX had a spot to hang the Autostar All of these things are minor, however and don't decrease my enjoyment of the scope. If you have the means and desire to buy one, do it! You won't be disappointed. BTW... make sure you read the manuals of everything you get with your scope. This is a nice piece of technical equipment and you're not going to be able to just unpack it and have it start pointing at things without knowing what you're doing. Clear, Dark skies to all of you! -TomMike here: I use Velcro to hold the Autostar to a tripod leg. Works great.
Subject: 125 Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 19:29:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Sara M Brandner) I purchased my ETX 125 last August, have had problems with image shift during focus, random slewing and now the RA circle has fallen off (after return from Meade). I am thinking of asking the store for an exchange--do I need to ask for the Autostar to be exchanged too? I am losing confidence in Meade after being a customer since 1986 (I bought an LX5). Please advise me! Thanks email@example.com.Mike here: Sorry to hear about your problems. There were some image shift problems with the initial shipments of the ETX-125EC but that has been fixed. The random slewing does seem to be a continued problem for some users. As to the RA circle, that is just a piece of paper, with the ends glued together. If the store has recent shipments of the ETX-125EC and Autostar, exchange both. If you keep the Autostar, upgrade via the download from Meade's site or clone at the dealer. Also, be certain you retrain the drives for the new scope.
Subject: ETX 125: Just arrived! Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 10:19:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeffrey Kilmer) As a long time lurker on your site, I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in making the site easy to use and informative. After much thought and research I finally ordered an ETX 125. I've had my ETX Astro for the last two years and was ready to move into something larger and wanted to take advantage of Autostar. The scope arrived yesterday morning in fine condition from Astronomics. The scope was in perfect collmination and attached easily to the Deluxe Field tripod I've been using with my ETX Astro. Last night the rains moved in, of course, so my observing so far has been of the waning gibbous Moon this morning. The ETX 125 is definately a step up in resolution from my 90mm. The only thing I find frustrating at the moment is the shakiness of the 125 on the deluxe tripod. It seems sturdy enough, but I had continual vibrations even on the grass making high power astronomy difficult. Has anyone tried putting sand in the tripod legs or replacing them with wood? Would any of these solutions help the shaking? I love the scope so far and I find the right angle finder to be much easier to use than the one on the ETX Astro. The noise from the motors is not as loud as I expected and I can still carry out the ETX 125 fairly quickly and set it up in less tha n five minutes. Thanks again for all of your efforts and helping all of us keep up on the latest developments on our favorite little scopes. Jeff KilmerMike here: Are you using the tripod with the legs extended or not? I've found somewhat better stability with the legs NOT extended. Also, the Scopetronix FlexiFocus helps cut down the vibrations from focusing.
Subject: re: ETX 125 motor failure indication Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2000 09:14:12 From: email@example.com (dave rounds) After updating my AutoStar 497 to v2.0h, I began experiencing the "motor failure" messages. I had even retrained the drive a few times and it did not seem to help. I finally decided to try the v2.0i firmware. Since updating to the v2.0i firmware and retraining the drive one time, I have not had any "motor failure" incidents during two observing sessions that totalled about 3 hours. On a separate topic, alignment and locating accuracy. I found that every object located was within the FOV of my 18mm eyepiece, but consistently off to the upper left edge of the FOV. I used a training method I found on the ETX mailing list. In summary, this training method uses Polaris as the training object rather than a terrestrial object. In addition, instead of just using the finder, it suggested the use a medium power eyepiece and barlow when observing Polaris. Dave Rounds
Subject: ETX90 upgrade Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2000 16:19:01 From: Etxstargazer@aol.com I emailed you the other day about trading in my ETX90EC for a 125EC. You said to check with Shutan. I checked their web site and the ad in Sky & Telescope. They say they'll trade in an ETX90RA for an ETX90EC and 350 dollars. I emailed them today and asked them if they traded a 90EC for a 125EC, but have not yet gotten a responce. My real question is: Is it really worth it to spend 400 dollars for an upgrade. Is the 125 really better than the 90? Would you recomend the 125? I've heard alot of stuff that kind of makes me not want it, but then I've heard some stuff that makes me want to trade my 90 in for it. Thanks ahead of time. Taylor ChonisMike here: The -125 has a larger aperture and a longer focal length than the -90. It is also a slightly larger telescope and so is less portable than the -90. There were some glitches in the initial runs of the -125 but those appear to be resolved. Will you be happy with the -125 or the -90? Only you can answer that. I have both and use both depending upon what I'm doing.
Subject: ETX 125 Electric focus Sent: Friday, June 23, 2000 17:46:49 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrew Jackson) I have just been through 3 electric focusers for the ETX125. They all failed within 5 minutes of use. One in the shop in front of the dealer. I was told that these had been modified after the initial batch failed. It looks like the sticky tape they used to wrap the motor did not quite work. The failure starts with a whining noise and progress to a loud clicking as the motor and cog slip. I was wondering if you had heard anything about a proper fix. Andrew email@example.comMike here: There were some reports on the tape problem back on the May ETX-125EC Feedback page but haven't heard anything new.
Subject: etx125 Sent: Friday, June 23, 2000 06:49:35 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Les Vogel) great website - keep up the good work I have a question - hope you can help me - I am planning to buy an ext125 - and i have read a lot of the letters you received from owners - do you think i should buy one or look for something else. I want something that i can carry with me but i am beginning to have my doubts about the ext125 - can you help thanks les VogelMike here: Glad you like the site. When reading complaints, remember that those who've had negative experiences with any product tend to be the most vocal. Those who've had no problems rarely comment on their positive experiences. You will see many positive comments on my site from happy users. As to whether the ETX-125EC is a good choice for you depends upon your requirements. It is an excellent choice for some and a less excellent choice for others.
Subject: ETX 90 EC upgrade Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 14:14:33 From: Etxstargazer@aol.com I would like to ask Meade if I can upgrade my ETX90EC to an ETX125EC. Do you think that Meade would let me send them my ETX90 (that is in mint condition) with 300 dollars in return for an ETX125? I would really like the larger aperture. But it wieghs 20 lbs. Does this effect use on the deluxe field tripod? One guy on the ETX mailing list said that using it on the field tripod sucked. So I would have to ask you, because it seems that you have used yours on this tripod more than the advanced tripod. Thanks ahead of time!! Taylor ChonisMike here: Meade probably won't but Shutan Camera and Video does take trade-ins. See their web site (www.shutan.com). The -125 on the Deluxe Tripod can be unstable. I use one but don't extend the legs. Seems more stable that way. Also, different mounting plates can help. I've reviewed the Easy-Mount from Shutan on the Accessories - Tripods page.
Subject: Just purchased ETX125EC Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2000 20:03:19 From: email@example.com Wow! The ETX 125 gave me cold chills when I opened the box last night. Just thinking about handling it without being extremely careful is somewhat stressful. It looks sturdy, yet it has this delicate feel to it. Which, leads me to my question. In what type of case do I transport this most refined instrument when I travel by air. I would love to take it with me to New Zealand next month but it seems impossible with the meade case I purchased. Any suggestions. Thanks David Thank you for the WEB site.Mike here: There are some cases which can be used as carry-on and some can't. Check the Accessories - Cases. You might also search for "case" to find some comments on the ETX-125EC Feedback pages. As carry-on, a durable and padded softsided case is OK. But for checked baggage you will want a LOT of protection (and insurance).
Subject: What High Power Eyepiece to use for ETX 125 Sent: Monday, June 19, 2000 18:44:47 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Brad Thorpe) I have recently purchased a ETX 125 and am interested in purchasing a high power eyepiece that I can use with my 2x Ultima Barlow for planetary use. Meade says that the maximum power for the ETX 125 is 500x but of course that is for ideal situations I know. I want to purchase an eyepiece that when used with my 2x barlow will still give me sharp images. I was hoping that with the experience of the many ETX 125 users on this site they could make my choice easier without throwing away good money that we all work hard to make. I recently bought a Televue 32mm and can't wait to try it out. I hope that the optics are as good in the Taiwan Televue eyepieces as the Japan ones. Maybe I should have looked for a used Japan one I don't know......Thanks in advance Brad Thorpe
Subject: power supply Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2000 16:07:21 From: email@example.com (sat diver) I have just bought a motor cycle battery and with a voltmeter measured 12.7vdc. Is this supply ok? upto what voltage can you safely run an etx125? Cheers Ray P.s Mike thanks for previous reply when i was on ship, the bolts for tripod are 1/4" UNC thread.Mike here: Search the site for "power supply" and you'll find some info.
Subject: ETX-125 random slewing Sent: Friday, June 9, 2000 23:17:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (William D. Collins) As one of the people who have been driven nuts by random slewing with the ETX-125/Autostar combination, I thought I'd let you know that after sending the scope back to Meade three times, most recently last month, the problem was as bad as ever. I finally just took it back to the Discovery Channel store where I'd bought it and they replaced it without one quibble, even though I'd made the purchase last August. Well, imagine my delight when the replacement worked perfectly! Using the same Autostar that had been on the previous scope, the new one tracks objects perfectly for hours at a time. It even acquires them more accurately, putting almost every one in the field of the 26mm eyepiece. What's the moral? Maybe that there are occasional lemons in every product line, even good ones. Don't allow yourself to be stuck with one. Bill Collins
Subject: 2 IN EYEPIECES ON ETX 125 Sent: Friday, June 9, 2000 14:31:35 From: email@example.com (paul perlmutter) On the question of using eyepieces that are 2 in. On the etx 125, they don't seem the fit. I've tried my 22 panoptic and 12mm type 4 and the scope is in the way of the eyepiece. I'm affraid if you try some sort of extension you won't get the right fit and focus. PAUL B. PERLMUTTER -PLEIADES@EROLS.COM
I was unknowing and bought a nagler type 4 (which i use in my other scopes)12mm. It was at the mason-dixon star party and i ask if it would fit my ext125 (which was on order having sold my etx90) . I was excited about it but of course very disappointed when i finally received the 125 and found that it didn't it. A better eyepiece for the 125 would be the spears-wheller 10mm with a wide field of view. Thanks for listening
Subject: Drive slews Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2000 20:19:19 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill Brady) Your last 125 report sounds like the classic DS motor problem. There is a rather difficult fix for the motors involving adding a resistor and 3 capacitors. The problem is noise as you surmise. It shows up on the DS series in this way: after the scope successfully aquires the target and goes into the final fine adjustments, one motor or the other (usually ALT) suddenly slews several degrees off the target, it may repeat 2 or 3 times. The worse part it that the alignment is lost. Thanks again. Wm. "Bill" Brady, Harwood MD 3851'30"N 7641'00"W - Looking for a clear sky tonight.
Subject: Re: ETX 125 questions Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2000 20:11:32 From: email@example.com (Bill Brady) firstname.lastname@example.org Wrote: >You should be able to use 2" eyepieces with the ETX-125EC but you'll need >a 1.25-to-2 inch adapter. According to reports on the Autostar Models >page (http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_models.html; linked from the >Autostar Information page), the 495 will not work with the ETX models. Thanks Mike, That's too bad because the $150 savings would have made the difference. I guess the ETX is out. Mabye I can sell the DS80 & 495 for "junk".
Wm. "Bill" Brady, Harwood MD 3851'30"N 7641'00"W - Looking for a clear sky tonight.
Subject: ETX 125 questions Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2000 19:36:51 From: email@example.com (Bill Brady) Hi, back again. I finally gave up on the DS80EC after 3 AutoStars & 6 motors, I still have motor problems. I'm thinking about Buying an ETX125, and have a coupla questions: Can I use my 2" eyepieces with a 125? Will my AutoStar 495 work with the 125? (I know it has the setup, but am unaware if anyone has acrually tried it.) Thanks -Bill Brady firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: You should be able to use 2 inch eyepieces with the ETX-125EC but you'll need a 1.25-to-2 inch adapter. According to reports on the Autostar Models page (linked from the Autostar Information page), the 495 will not work with the ETX models.
Check the Feedback Archives for previous editions of the ETX-125EC Feedback pages.
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