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ETX-125EC USER FEEDBACK
Last updated: 30 November 2000

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:	 Re: ETX 125 TRIPOD
Sent:	Wednesday, November 29, 2000 13:53:17
From:	horrox@HONet.com (Michael Rathbun)
I've had a JMI Megapod for several weeks now, and I'm pleased with its
performance with the ETX-125.  Vibration damps within a second, the legs
clamp reliably, the blinky lights at the tips of the legs are a boon for
somebody as clumsy as myself.  The polar alignment sight is handy, and
the telescope is stable in equatorial mode down here at 33 degrees
north.

Price/performance appears quite good.

Subject:	A Sturdy Alternative to a Tripod ???
Sent:	Wednesday, November 29, 2000 12:41:09
From:	Iknowittoo@aol.com
I have just recently purchased an ETX-125EC 'scope. The price I paid for
it in England was 945, and it has now gone up to 999 ( approx. $1500).
As you can see prices are very expensive here. As such I am unable to
afford a suitable tripod, as funds wont permit at the present time. I
have therefor spent some time considering an alternative. I may have
found a cheap answer ???

Currently, in their Christmas catalogue, Argos are selling a "Power
Devil" work bench for only 9.99, silly money in anybodys' terms. Having
errected the table, it appears to be rock steady when on a flat concrete
surface. This should therefor be ideal for using the 'scope in
alt-azimuth mode - I hope !

Due to the really poor, wet weather we have been experiencing in England
recently, I haven't had time to try it out yet. When I have, I will let
you know.

Perhaps some of your readers in the UK who are looking for a suitable
stable "table" set up, may like to risk 9.99, for what looks like a
promising alternative.

Thanks for your great site.

Brian ( near London, England ).
Mike here: Several users have noted in the past that the Black&Decker Workmate makes a nice platform as well.

Subject:	Mounting Bolts - ETX-125EC - England
Sent:	Wednesday, November 29, 2000 12:27:12
From:	Iknowittoo@aol.com
Thank you for your site, which has been very helpful and informative.

I notice in several articles that the bolt size for mounting the ETX to
wedges/tripods is given as 1/4 in (20). I assume that this is an
American bolt size. Could you possibly advise me as to the English
equivalent?

If you are unable to supply the info., I would appreciate it if one of
your many readers could advise me.

Once again, thank you for your efforts in producing such a great site.

Brian Burton ( Near London, England ).

Subject:	 Re: ETX 125 TRIPOD
Sent:	Sunday, November 26, 2000 16:48:58
From:	britty@dellnet.com (Avril Millensted)
I've checked the suggested web sites and still find the Meade (and
others) unacceptable in terms of stability and movement in viewing
objects with the ETX 125.  Is there any one who can still further give
me other tripods suggestions  that have worked for them.  The JMI
MEGAPOD is still unconvincing regarding stability.  It's amazing to me
that  we can design and build good telescopes and still build poor
tripods.  Looking forward to your response.

Gilbert

Subject:	 Re: Image shift on etx 125
Sent:	Sunday, November 26, 2000 07:04:58
From:	arlan@webzone.net (Scott & Mary Johnson)
To:	datalore@mediaone.net (Kevin)
Hi, Kevin.

It's encouraging to hear that Meade took care of your telescope problem
to your satisfaction.  When I called Meade and described the situation,
the customer service rep didn't seem surprised by my plight.  They
authorized a return, so I am now in the early stages of the "waiting
game".  Fortunately, I have another 'scope to get my wife and I through
the wait.

Thank you for your note of encouragement, Kevin.  Thanks (again) to Mike
Weasner for his website and advise.

Scott Johnson RT (ARRT)(R)(CT)

-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin 
To: arlan@webzone.net 
Date: Sunday, November 26, 2000 6:26 AM
Subject: Image shift on etx 125

>Hi
>
>Saw your post on Weasners. I too had bad image shift and out of colimnation
>on my 125. After a year of frustration, I sent it back to Meade. Waiting 3
>to 4 weeks for it was painful, but WOW what a difference! They really fixed
>it good and high power does not shift much at all now. Also, having it
>properly colimnated makes better crisper images.
>
>Kevin

Subject:	 125 Alignment
Sent:	Friday, November 24, 2000 23:41:09
From:	teb1013@hotmail.com (Thomas Brown)
While using my new ETX 125, I have noted that when I am focusing,
especially with the 26mm eyepiece, the star images seem double, and then
draw together almost like they did with the Kendrick EZ focus which I
used with my ETX 90. If the image is slightly unfocused single stars
look a bit like double stars.  What's happening here, is this a
collimation problem, a problem with the eyepiece?

Have you ever heard of this type of thing before? I never experienced
anything like this with the 90. Thanks for your help.

Tom Brown
Mike here: That is odd. If the scope were out of collimation, you would see oblong instead of circular rings on an out-of-focus star. It sounds like you would see two rings; are they circular? If so, I would suspect a problem with the eyepiece. Do you have another eyepiece to try?

Added later:

Mike thanks for your response, I have several other eyepieces but didn't
notice if the effect was being caused with those as well.  The Super
Plossl which came with the scope is the one with the most easily noticed
effect, when I got the scope I noticed that the eyepiece rattled and I
had to turn the lower part several times to stop the rattling, so
perhaps this is the problem [hope so]. The "double vision" problem
occurred before and after the 'screwing' however.  Sadly the weather
sounds like its going to be bad so I won't be able to test my other
eyepieces yet.  I use the 26mm a lot, so I'll have to speak with Meade
about the problem.

Incidentally, if the scope is out of collimation, how much of an effect
would this have on viewing.  So far except for "false doubles" the
images have been great and, as I reported before fine details like the
Cassini division in Saturn and some additional ring detail on Jupiter
[but no great red spot, at least yet] have been visible.

Thanks for your help.
Mike here: You can do the testing without stars. Just find a nice day or night at some distance away. All you want to do is test for double image with different eyepieces. A telescope which is out of collimation will need yield its theorectical performance. Depending upon the degree of miscollimation you may or may not be able to detect any difference when objects are in focus.

Subject:	 Best Telescope
Sent:	Thursday, November 23, 2000 17:37:17
From:	jk.seymour@xtra.co.nz (Jared Seymour)
My name is Jared
I am looking into buying the Nexstar 5 or the ETX-125 and I was
wondering which u liked best?

Jared
Mike here: You can read about my ETX-125EC experiences and my NexStar5/ETX-125EC comparisons on my ETX site. See the links at the top of the current ETX-125EC Feedback page.

Subject:	 ETX 125 TRIPOD
Sent:	Wednesday, November 22, 2000 17:48:39
From:	britty@dellnet.com (Avril Millensted)
The "deluxe tripod" seems too flimsy for the 125.  Any alternative
tripod selections?  Thank You.

Gilbert
Mike here: Check the JMI and the Scopetronix web sites.

Subject:	 Auto Focusers
Sent:	Tuesday, November 21, 2000 11:01:31
From:	JPAGEL@HUFNA.COM (JEFF PAGEL)
I have a question in regards to the autofocusers I bought one from Meade
and it was junk is there one that will work with my etx-125?

Jerry Reed
jreed@hufna.com
Mike here: Check the JMI and the Scopetronix web sites. They both have electronic focusers.

Subject:	 AZ ratio setting
Sent:	Monday, November 20, 2000 10:07:05
From:	write@go.com (suliman rajhi)
I played with az ratio setting. Does it affect the slewing of my etx125.
If it does, pls. tell me the following: 
1) The az ratio setting. 
2) The alt ratio setting.

Thank you for your help.
SULIMAN 
Mike here: It will affect the tracking. The ratios on my ETX-125EC are:
Az Ratio = +001.36888885
Alt Ratio = +01.36888885

Subject:	 ETX 90 vs 125
Sent:	Sunday, November 19, 2000 09:47:26
From:	pjr@eclipse.net (Paul Roberts)
I'm a beginner adult looking for a first scope.  I've been thinking of
getting an Etx 90EC,  but by the time you add a few accessories the
price is over a thousand dollars,  and  I wonder if for this amount I
should spend a little more and get the 125.  I know the 125 collects
twice as much light but does this make a big practical difference?  In
retrospect,  are  those of you with the 90 happy or would you have
gotten the 125 (assuming it had been available)?   Thanks.
Mike here: The extra aperture does make a difference. Objects will be brighter and you can go to higher magnifications with the ETX-125EC than with the -90EC. However, the larger scope can be cumbersome for owners to move around, which can be a factor. See the following new email from another's perspective.

Added later:

Thanks for the advice.  Paul

Subject:	 First light with the 125
Sent:	Sunday, November 19, 2000 13:52:22
From:	teb1013@hotmail.com (Thomas Brown)
About 2 weeks after my 125 arrived from Shutan, last Friday we finally
had one, briefly, clear night in Eason PA, and I, at last got "first
light" with the new scope.  Having had an ETX 90EC for just short of a
year, I was eager to see how much different the 125 was and whether the
"uprgrade" from 3.5 inches to 5 inches would be worth having done.  My
overall view, as I will explain below, is I'm THRILLED with the scope,
but there were some downsides which any person who wants to "trade up"
or is divided between the 90 and the 125 should consider.

In essence this is a BIG scope, when compared with the 90.  I thought I
really wanted an LX-90 or even 200 if I could have afforded it.  After
my experience with the 125 I think size alone would rule an 8" scope out
for me.  The ETX 90 EC was the perfect size for a quick look at the sky.
 I could keep it set up on the tripod, and carry it up the stairs from
my basement [where space requires me to keep it] with everything, even
eyepieces and Autostar ready to go; out through the back door and down
to the bottom of my yard [where the neighbor's side lights had mimimal
impact] was an easy jaunt as was extending the tripod legs etc.

With the 125 it's quite a bit different.  Yes you can carry the whole
scope and tripod assembled, but it is a bit of a chore and a two hand
operation. Taking the scope off of the tripod and installing it outside
is a pain, because the scope has to sit on a mounting plate which is
loose until you put the screws through.  The whole assembly seems top
heavy as well, leaving me to imagine the scope coming off of the top of
the tripod while, I'm messing around with the bolts.  Perhaps others are
handier [or stronger] but the whole cumersome affair [plus going back
for the accessories] made me miss how simple and light the 90 was as did
leveling the tripod with the scope on top [luckily the legs didn't slip,
but even with the Scopetronix leg clamps the "deluxe tripod" seems too
flimsy for the 125.  Mike I know you keep the legs retracted, and this
would help, but I like to observe standing up.  Likewise I found that a
set of brand new batteries resulted in pretty slow slewing [and
replacing them is a pain anyway] so I was glad that I already had a 12
volt cell and the car cord to power the unit [the slewing improved
considerably].

OK that's the downside, as is increased cool down time.  The basic
Autostar set up is virtually identical, and the extra weight of the
scope made the process of aligning the RA finder and my Orion EZ finder
much easier, because the scope didn't bounce around.  Training the
drives was, of course, identical. The RA and dec locks seemed tighter,
although perhaps they'll loosen up.  Has anyone had an RA lock failure
with the 125? Ive never head of one.

It was the first views however [Jupiter and Saturn naturally] which
showed why I wanted this scope.  Jupiter looks BIG even with the 26mm
and I could glimpse more belts than the basic NEB and SEB right away
With the 90 it had been a stretch.  No I didn't see the Great Red Spot, 
but I expect that I will when it is in position. The flattened disc
shape was easy to see. Saturn, had been one of my greatest challenges
with the 90, I had glimpsed the Cassini division briefly and under only
high magnigication and the best conditions.  Even with the 26mm and the
#126 Barlow, the Cassini was easy for the 125 as were some belts on the
planet itself.  With clouds closing in I couldn't spend as much time as
I wanted with these planets as I wanted to get to other objects.

Deep sky also revealed the advantage of those extra 1 1/2" of diameter
[I never imagined it would make that much difference] M 42 the Great
Orion Nebula was beautiful.  Although the 90 gives good views and easily
splits the trapezium into 4 stars, and details like the "fishes mounth"
were visible to me using averted vision, these things just jumped out at
me with the 125 [without averted vision at all] as did vast areas of
nebulosity which made the view look like a magazine picture [sans the
flaming colors, which wouldn't be visible even with a huge scope]. 
Quick looks at several other Messier objects [M 31, M 41, the Pleades]
were similarly spectacular, although 41 and especially the Pliedes were
too large for the field even with my low power 40mm eyepiece. I looked
quickly at Castor and the double nature of the star was easily visible
even with the 26mm eyepiece while I needed at least a barlow to glimpse
this before [I'd love to look at Epsilon Lyrae the double double, which
was a challenge with the 90, but that'll have to wait until spring].
Finally I got a quick look at the moon [about 2:30 am] and, although
under low power and with only a brief time to look, I had the
impression, at least of being able to see finer details and more
"texture" [that's the only word which I can use to describe it].  Then
the clouds finally closed in and it was pretty late anyway.  However, I
have little doubt that the bigger scope is going to be a great asset, if
I can only get over the carrying and mounting problems [at least the
Scopetronix flexi-focus made focusing a snap so I didn't have to worry
about the scope bouncing around while focusing.

I'll have to read other user's comments on the Shutan EZ mount, perhaps
this would make field set up a bit easier.  Thanks for continuing to
provide this great resource to ETX and DS users.

Tom Brown

Subject:	 Mirror shift
Sent:	Thursday, November 16, 2000 20:22:44
From:	arlan@webzone.net (Scott A. Johnson)
Has anyone had any experiences with mirror shift w/ the ETX-125?  My 125
seems to have quite a bit of mirror shift at high magnification.  Is
this normal?

Scott Johnson
arlan@webzone.net
Mike here: There was some significant image shift in the original ETX-125EC models. Meade corrected that. If you have one of the original models you should contact Meade.

Subject:	etx- 125 vs. LX-90
Sent:	Wednesday, November 15, 2000 19:20:38
From:	B4297@aol.com
Thanks again for your informative site. I appreciate the opportunity to
learn the ins and outs of the etx scopes as I decide exactly which one I
will buy. I'm still wavering between the etx-125 and the LX - 90.

I know this is an etx site but can you tell me if there have been  any
early reviews of the new 8" Meade scope and if so what's the news?

Thanks

B4297
Mike here: No official reviews of the LX90. I hope to see one this weekend at a Meade Day event.

Subject:	 CORD WRAP 
Sent:	Wednesday, November 15, 2000 10:47:58
From:	gombe@email.msn.com (gombe)
I have a ETX 125 with the auto focus attachment.  How do you stop the
cord from wraping around the ETX when it is turning over 90 degrees?

Subject:	 Tripod bolts 
Sent:	Monday, November 13, 2000 20:02:07
From:	teb1013@hotmail.com (Thomas Brown)
After a year of using my 90 EC, I traded this in at Shutan towards a
125. When the scope arrived, I suddenly realized that I had accidentally
sent the mounting bolts for the Deluxe Field Tripod to Shutan and now
can't attach the new scope to the tripod.  Shutan can't locate the
bolts, and although Meade says they are sending a new pair for free,
they haven't shown up yet. Do you know if there are any type of
commercially available bolt which will suffice?

Anyhow it's been overcast here in the Eastern PA for a week or more, so
I couldn't have had "first light" for the new scope, but I'd sure like
to do so ASAP.  Then I have to decide if I want to carry the whole
scope/tripod assembly around [like I did with the ] or if I want to set
up the tripod first and then put the 125 [together with that mounting
plate] on top.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Tom Brown [teb1013@hotmail.com]
Mike here: The bolts are fairly standard. You could find something at a local hardware store. I believe they are 1/4x20 bolts, 1-inch long. You may need to add some washers to avoid going too deep into the base.

Subject:	 RE: ETX-90 vs DS-90EC   and  ETX-125 vs DS-127EC
Sent:	Friday, November 10, 2000 12:46:58
From:	irodrig@axasa.com (Ignacio Rodriguez)
A month ago you kindly answer my email. Finally I made a decision and
went to my local dealer and bought an ETX125 and the deluxe field
tripod.  I also order from scoptronix the tripod clamp set ( Ive red
that te tripod is more stable with the clamps ) and some eyepiece
plastic bottles. I have the 40mm and 10mm Nextstar Plossls and the Meade
#126 Barlow. I will receive next week my telescope and I hope there is a
clear sky to test it.

I have learned al lot from your site. I had a lot of doubts ( and still
have so many ) so I will keep visiting your site. 

I'll send you information about my accesories ( Nexstar plossls and
scoptronix clamps ) once I test it.

Ignacio Rodriguez

irodrig@axasa.com
igrodroch@terra.com.mx

Subject:	 i need help
Sent:	Monday, November 6, 2000 00:01:15
From:	yenalogmen@yahoo.com (Yenal Ogmen)
I have ETX125 and i would like to buy eyepiece but i dont know which to
choose. I am thinking to buy 6.4mm but manual says 6.4mm with barlow is
something like X594 which should be prefered in steady atmospheric
conditions. I am living in Cyprus. Cyprus is a hot island. Winters are
soft. Sky is mostly clear. What do you suggest me to buy? Thank you

Yenal
Mike here: Check the Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the Accessories - Eyepieces page for some ideas.

Subject:	 Moving the ETX-125
Sent:	Friday, November 3, 2000 22:55:12
From:	billcollins3@juno.com (William D.  Collins)
As ETX-125 users know, it can be tiresome to mount the scope on the
"deluxe" tripod each time one wants to use it. The alternative is to
leave the scope mounted and carry the whole deal out to the back yard.
That's also a pain, literally, for someone like me who has a back
problem.

My solution is a small hand truck and a couple of 12-inch bungee cords.
It makes rolling the assembly a cinch, assuming you don't have to
negotiate stairs. Of course, the tripod's legs should be folded together
and unextended. I keep the scope and tripod assembly strapped to the
truck at all times when it's not being used.

Look for a tubular construction, "P" handle model with generous
pneumatic tires, especially if your observing spot is on the lawn. The
trucks sell for anywhere from $30 to $100, but I found a good one for
about $50 at Ace Hardware.

Bill Collins

Subject:	Finderscopes
Sent:	Thursday, November 2, 2000 14:48:45
From:	EFUNGI@aol.com
I'm writing you for two reasons. 1) I would love to complement you on
your web site I have the 125 and I have learned more about my scope from
your web site then I have could of anywhere else, thank you. 2) I was
looking for some input on finder scopes for the 125 that are sizable but
will not hurt the scopes motor drives. could you help?

Thanks again 
Eric Tyler
Mike here: All the finderscopes discussed on the Accessories - Finderscopes page should be OK.

Subject:	 ETX-125
Sent:	Wednesday, November 1, 2000 21:33:04
From:	LotusSteve@worldnet.att.net (Steve Brightman)
First a big thank you for your web site.

A few general comments after just a couple of months of ownership and
precious little time to play with it!

1. I cannot seem to get any sort of accuracy with the GOTO on the
Autostar in spite of retraining the telescope many times. However I've
never updated the software so I'm hoping that will help when I install
it.

2. I've not been impressed with either the Meade or Megapod $200 tripods
with the weight of the 125. I keep hoping someone will review the
Scopetronix tripods. Meanwhile I'm using a power tool table I bought
from Sears for about $60 with a few modifications. I can provide more
details and photos if you're interested.

3. I'd like to let you know about the power source I discovered for my
telescope which may also be of interest to ETX-90 owners. It's called
the "Pocket Power Junior" and is made by Vector. I found it at Target
for about $15 (look in the automotive section, it's sold as a backup
power supply for cell phones). Basically it consists of a 1.2AH gel cell
in a nylon case with an integral cigarette lighter socket. The capacity
should make it good for the same lifetime as 2 - 3 sets of AA cells.
Better yet, included in the price is a wall charger with a cigarette
lighter plug attached, and another cable with cigarette lighter plugs at
each end. Physically it is quite small (see attached photo). Originally
I'd planned to use a 7AH gel cell I had lying around (I'm that sort of
guy) but this is so small and convenient that it has become my power
supply of choice. I also made up my own cable to connect to the 'scope
using a cigarette lighter plug with cable from Radio Shack along with a
suitable sized plug to fit the ETX power panel (also from Radio Shack).

I have a couple of other pictures by seeing your aol address I'm wary of
sending multiple attachments. Let me know if you'd like them.
 
Steve Brightman
Dallas, TX
Added later:
1. The unit in my wife's hand to show the size.
2. What you get for $15!
3. Another view of the unit showing the 12V receptacle (with spring
hinged cover).

I should add I have no connection with this company etc. etc.

Do you have any experience with the Scopetronix Plossl's - other than
the 40mm? I see they sell all six as a package for $220, which seems
like a great price.
Power Supply Power Supply Power Supply
Mike here: I've only used the Scopetronix 40mm.

Subject:	 125EC or LX10?
Sent:	Wednesday, November 1, 2000 04:41:28
From:	d.g.kreps@pgr.salford.ac.uk (David Kreps)
As a post-binocular beginner to astronomy, I've decided to take the
plunge and go for a scope. I'm stuck between the etx 125EC and the LX10
8" though. Any advice from contributors who are in a position to compare
these two scopes for performance, problems, portability?

Thanks.

Rob. P. (Manchester, UK)

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