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: 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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott & Mary Johnson) To: email@example.com (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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.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 BrownMike 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?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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? JaredMike 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: email@example.com (Avril Millensted) The "deluxe tripod" seems too flimsy for the 125. Any alternative tripod selections? Thank You. GilbertMike 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 firstname.lastname@example.orgMike 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: email@example.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. SULIMANMike here: It will affect the tracking. The ratios on my ETX-125EC are:
Subject: ETX 90 vs 125 Sent: Sunday, November 19, 2000 09:47:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
Thanks for the advice. Paul
Subject: First light with the 125 Sent: Sunday, November 19, 2000 13:52:22 From: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.comMike 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 B4297Mike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.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 [firstname.lastname@example.org]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: email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Subject: i need help Sent: Monday, November 6, 2000 00:01:15 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 YenalMike 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: email@example.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 TylerMike 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, TXAdded 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.
Subject: 125EC or LX10? Sent: Wednesday, November 1, 2000 04:41:28 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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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