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ETX-125EC USER FEEDBACK
Last updated: 27 October 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: Re:  motor unit fault
Sent:	Friday, October 27, 2000 10:15:26
From:	write@go.com (suliman rajhi)
thank you for your reply. sir,i checked the site,but i could not find
the answer for the problem. would you please guide me how and what to do
solve my ETX fault.

thanks
suliman

Subject:	 A BEGINNER AND HIS ETX 125
Sent:	Tuesday, October 24, 2000 05:00:11
From:	jonathangrun@hotmail.com (Jonathan Grun)
Many thanks for your excellent site which has been an inspiration for a
newcomer to astronomy.

Even though I live in London, one of the brightest cities in the world,
I have used my ETX 125EC to see some fantastic sights.

I am now upgrading my equipment and wonder if any UK-based stargazer
would be interested in making an offer for my ETX 125EC, with tripod
etc.

Jonathan Grun

Subject:	 motor unit fault
Sent:	Monday, October 23, 2000 07:17:01
From:	write@go.com (suliman rajhi)
my new etx125 has a problem. mhen i make aligning the left/right motor
stoppes after about 10 minutes and the autostar writes htis message
"motor unit fault".

i tried to follow the solution that autostar gave,but no progress.

i have to tell you sir that this is the first time to operate a goto
telescope.

by the way i use an ac adapter(12v).

 suliman rajhi 
 saudi arabia  
Mike here: Have you checked the current ETX-125EC Feedback (further down this page). There is some discussion of this problem and potential cures. Let me know if none of these help.

Subject:	 ETX-125EC Tripods
Sent:	Sunday, October 22, 2000 19:10:20
From:	PAyers@datacolor.com
Great Site!  I'm trying to decide on purchasing the Meade #883 tripod
versus the #887 adv. tripod.  The 883 appears to be height adjustable.
The 887 has a fixed height with wedge (more expensive) and is likely
more sturdy.  I'm grasping for details on these two products.  The 887
is not even mentioned on the Meade Website.

Which tripod would you recommend for an ETX-125EC without Autostar? My
main goal is to just track the heavens.  I guess I could break down and
buy the Autostar, but really wanted to learn the stars the hard way...

Thanks,

Patrick Ayers -- Fayetteville, Arkansas
Mike here: I have no experience with the new, more sturdy tripod. You might want to check out the JMI Megapod.

Subject:	 your priceless site
Sent:	Saturday, October 21, 2000 15:53:30
From:	kbovill@ukonline.co.uk (kbovill)
your etx site is an absolute gold mine of info, it had nearly made my
mind up about buying an etx125 until I visited some links to U.S
retailers and found that it apparently costs $554 to ship them across
the Atlantic ,thats right the basic etx125ec costs the equivalent of
$1449 here in the uk as opposed to $895 over there . I havent given up
yet tho' but I will have to investigate the prices in mainland Europe as
everything else is cheaper there than in the UK, I may just strike it
lucky. failing that i may have to consider smuggling.
must go, got a hot date with Jupiter & Saturn with My battered old 4.5in tasco
Dark skies and warm feet
Karl Boville
Mike here: If you haven't already done so, check out the UK Meade dealers listed on the Astronomy Links page.

Subject:	 Tripod for ETX- Low Latitudes
Sent:	Friday, October 20, 2000 09:48:59
From:	kumbhat@tm.net.my (Ajay Kumbhat)
Thanks for hosting a wonderful site.

I intend to buy a tripod for my ETX 125EC Telescope. I live in Seremban
( 2.7 deg Latitide and 102.9 deg Longitude). Could you please advise a
suitable tripod. I intend to buy a sturdy one such as 887 or any other
manufacturers alternative.

What eye pieces should I buy. I have a 26 mm plossl at present. I intend
to buy a Zoom eye piece. Multipurpose to gaze planets and deep sky
stars.

Shall appreciate if you could take time off your busy schedule to answer
the above.

Regards

Ajay Kumbhat
Mike here: If you get the Autostar and use Alt/Az mounting you don't have to worry about the extreme tilt to match your latitude. JMI has their Megapod and Meade their new heavy duty tripod but other tripods can work almost as well. See the Accessories - Tripods page. As to eyepieces, see the Buyer/New User Tips and Accessories - Eyepieces pages.

Subject:	 ETX 125 Tripod & To Zoom or Not
Sent:	Friday, October 20, 2000 08:38:04
From:	ticse@windriver.com (Michael Ticse)
I'm grateful for the content and existence of your site. You are a
tribute to the public who are now getting into this addicting field of
amateur astronomy.

Since my purchase of my new ETX 125 (pu on 10/11) first I have to say
that in perusing thru all the issues related to the ETX 125, I have had
only positive experiences in the first few nights I've viewed the sky.
Knock on wood! I initially purchased the ETX90, fell weak and in few
days upgraded to the ETX125. Bigger, heavier, brighter and personally
satisfying. The Discovery store gave me a 15% break ($755) to be
competitive and be in line w/ Natural Wonder's closeout pricing on the
Meade's which they've discontinued.

The question now is what eye piece or pieces to get. In looking at your
eyepiece site I could only debate this even further. So I want to
solicit your opinion. I've recently tried (didn't buy) the Meade 9.7mm
to check out Saturn and Jupiter. The views were ok, saw the ring but
hardly any detail. Same w/ Jupiter, saw what appears to be bands but
hardly any detail. Put on the #126 2x Barlow and what I got was more
fuzz no additional details. Then..The zoom idea attracted me, since it
may the only eyepiece I'll need due the continuous range. Haven't looked
thru it but it I'm looking at the Meade 8-24mm Zoom or the Televue
equivalent and appears that the one feedback for each gave them good
reviews and even sited to be better than the 9.7. What's your opinion?
to zoom or not? Will a better barlow (i.e. Ultima 2x Barlow or new Meade
apochromatic 2x barlow) improve a detail viewing w/ a 9.7? A better
quality optic 9.7mm? Which one?

Lastly, it was inconclusive to me on what tripod to get for the ETX125
in looking at your the tripod site. Almost all of the feedback was for
the 90. The 125 is so much heavier which really concerns me on stability
and security. Called JMI, JMI too was unsure on the fit of the
Megapop/Wedge combo for the 125. They in fact say so in their web site/
Looks like the advanced tripod from Meade at $350 is the only option. I
don't really want to spend $350 on this. Anything else I should
evaluate? Recommendations?

Fyi, I also just picked up an Autostar yesterday at Discovery, the
version I got was 2.0g.

Thanks,
Michael
************************************************************************
Michael Ticse	                                 Tel:   732-409-5171
Lucent Major Accounts Manager      Fax:   732-409-5158
Wind River Systems                        Cell:  732-492-5786
4400 Route 9 South, Suite 1000   WWW:   http://www.windriver.com
Freehold, NJ  07728                      Email: ticse@windriver.com
************************************************************************
Mike here: Certainly the 9.7mm has its limitations; I don't like the short eye relief but for me it does the job. Many users love zoom eyepieces; I've never tried one. Mount stability can be an issue; I don't have any real problems with the Meade Deluxe Field Tripod and ETX-125EC but then I don't extend the legs, which reduces the flexing of the legs and I have it set for Alt/Az mode.

Subject:	 ETX-125EC
Sent:	Thursday, October 19, 2000 15:40:08
From:	dread.boy@verizon.net ( Pluck You!  )
A friend and I are thinking about getting scopes.. I am down to the
nexstar5 and the meade etx 125...  I am leaning towards the meade..  
Can you tell me if either scope outboxes the other?  Later...
Mike here: See my comments linked from the top of the ETX-125EC Feedback page. You'll find some comparisons of the ETX-125EC and NexStar5. Also, the archives of the ETX-125EC Feedback pages contains many user comments on both scopes.

Subject:	 ETX-125EC Motor Fault
Sent:	Thursday, October 19, 2000 03:51:40
From:	huib@wins.uva.nl (Huib Henrichs)
I experience the same erratic motor fault problems with the ETX-125,
which you describe in your mail of Monday, October 16, 2000 13:37:23.
The first few months it worked flawlessly, but now the motor fault turns
up nearly every time when I try to align the scope.  In the beginning it
went often crazy after completing the second star of the two-star
alignment (my preferred way of aligning), but now even at the first star
the faults appears.

I did not pay attention to any preferred Alt or Az orientation when it
happens, but I will keep an eye on this.

I have also tried without succes a different Autostar with the original
2.0h software, and also with the new software 2.0i, but no change at
all. Any of the two Autostars with our ETX 90 works fine, so I
definitively exclude the Autostar as being the culprit.

In the mean time I don't do any alignment.  With 90 degrees or more
slews it nevertheles will still produce a motor fault.

I suspect it to be the electronics in the ETX 125.  I hope to get a
response from anyone who has similar problems, and perhaps got this
problem solved.

Thanks
Huib Henrichs
And:
Subject:	 RE: ETX-125EC Motor Fault
Sent:	Thursday, October 19, 2000 06:09:39
From:	peterrossi@lucent.com (Rossi, Peter (Peter))
Huib:

Thanks for your input.  I am still experimenting with my scope to
trouble-shoot the problem.  If I come up with anything I will contact
you.

My problem is very strange.  I used the ETX-125EC last night for three
hours without a single problem.  That is why this problem is so
frustrating.  You have no idea when to expect the problem to happen.  It
is very difficult to solve a problem that you can't duplicate or
simulate.  I have not given up on it I just keep watching the scope very
closely.  I don't think I know enough about my trouble to contact Meade
yet.

Thanks for Your Help:

Peter
peterrossi@lucent.com
Added later:
Subject:	 motor fault problems
Sent:	Thursday, October 19, 2000 12:04:00
From:	pedroja@terra.com.br (Pedro Junior Ashidani)
Once I said that retraining drives should fix motor fault and slewing
problems, now I have another tip.

After training the drives the problem came back. So I decided to
investigate deep. With a osciloscope I saw big spikes in dc line when
the etx was running at low speeds. I suspected that this noise could
affect the autostar. So I put a capacitor ( 1mF) in the output of my
power supply and all problems gone. 

Clear skies

===================================================================
                     Pedro Junior Ashidani
                  e-mail: pedroja@terra.com.br
            Visite Araxa: http://www.aax.terra.com.br
===================================================================
And:
Subject:	 RE: motor fault problems
Sent:	Thursday, October 19, 2000 12:15:39
From:	peterrossi@lucent.com (Rossi, Peter (Peter))
Pedro:

Sounds like a good idea.  I will try it!!

Peter
And this:
Subject:	 Re:  ETX-125EC Motor Fault
Sent:	Friday, October 20, 2000 02:13:47
From:	huib@wins.uva.nl (Huib Henrichs)
Your website is an excellent resource.  Thanks!

Huib Henrichs
Associate Professor of Atsronomy,
University of Amsterdam

Subject:	 etx for sale
Sent:	Wednesday, October 18, 2000 09:43:02
From:	JasonL@tonic360.com (Jason Lakis)
hi. if you know anyone who's interested, I'm selling my etx-125, autostar,
and deluxe field tripod on ebay. here are the links...

cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=470607450
cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=468510639
cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=468521042

thanks, jason

Jason Lakis
Production Artist
TONIC 360
415-733-3323
415-733-0701(F)

Subject:	first time telescope buyer
Sent:	Monday, October 16, 2000 18:43:04
From:	Dsp3167@aol.com
My name is David and I am interested in buying my first telescope.  I've
been holding off for quite some time because I've been very confused as
to exactly what I should get.  I have been doing quite a bit of research
lately and narrowed down my choices.  At first I thought maybe a 6 to 8
inch newtonian, or a 4 inch refractor. But what I've seen in the way of
mounts and motor drives has left me questioning their stability and
quality, for the amount I have to spend. I have also noticed that a few
8 inch schmidt cassegrains, which cost a few hundred dollars more than
what I intend to spend, are available with solid looking mounts and
motor drives.  But I just think that an 8 inch scope will be too much
for me to handle as well having it wind up in the closet.  Then I began
to look at the Meade ETX series of telescopes.  The ETX-90EC looks very
nice but the ETX-125EC really caught my eye.  I started doing some
research on the web and accidently stumbled on to your site.  W - O - W
! ! ! !  What a great site!  I can't believe how much of a strong and
dedicated group of ETX users are out there as well as additional links. 
The first day I was here I think I spent three hours reading and looking
at the astrophotos.  The amount of information available here is amazing
and also a great help.  Some of the photos are unbelievable.  Mike, 
this site has hammered the nail home.  I am now planning to purchase an
ETX-125EC along with the standard field tripod.  I have wanted a
telescope for the longest time and now feel comfortable with my
decision. But, there are a few concerns I have read about such as
obstruction of the secondary mirror and baffle and problems with the
drive system.  Being a first time telescope buyer will I really notice
these "problems" or  are they things only more experienced observers can
detect. I know there is no such thing as a perfect telescope, but I also
know that one not enjoyed will not be used. Anyway thanks for the great
site.

Sincerely David 
dsp3167@aol.com

ps - one day I hope to submit some photos for your contribution gallery.
Mike here: I doubt that you will notice any optical problems. You may have some quirks with the drive and Autostar but once you know how to use the Autostar, you'll get good results from the GOTO. Vibrations from the tripod, especially during focusing, will probably be the most noticeable problem.

Subject:	 ETX-125EC Motor Fault
Sent:	Monday, October 16, 2000 13:37:23
From:	peterrossi@lucent.com (Peter Rossi)
Keep up the GREAT work!!  Your site is still my very favorite.  I check
it a couple times a week looking for new entries and rereading some old
ones as well.

I think I am happy with my ETX-125EC.  However, every once in a while it
keeps reminding me it is not perfect.  I think it craves attention. 
(Don't we all.)

Sometimes I get Motor Faults with suggestions that the batteries are low
or the setup is not correct.  The Motor Fault can happen during the
initial setup, during a goto or even manually moving the scope (RA) with
the Autostar arrows. I have tried retraining the motors, I have
downloaded the latest Software Revision and I have tried the Meade Power
Adapter but the problem still happens when it wants to.

I can't notice any pattern.  Sometimes I can use the scope for a couple
of hours without a problem.  Other times, I cannot get the scope setup
because I keep getting the error.  When the scope gives me the Motor
Fault Error it does seem to be close to the same (RA) spot every time.

After a failure, sometimes I can immediately try the same operation with
success (without changing a single thing).  Sometimes I have to let it
sit for a while and try the operation again.  Sometimes, I am not able
to use the telescope at all and have to put it back in it's case/home
until another day.  The next time I pull the scope out it unusually
works perfectly again.

Needless to say, IT IS DRIVING MY CRAZY!!!!  I hesitate with sending it
back to it's Meade Mommy because I just know it will test out perfectly.
 I don't use it very often because I do not have any confidence in the
ETX any more.

Does anyone out there in ETX Land have any suggestions???


THANKS FOR YOUR HELP:

Peter Rossi
peterrossi@lucent.com
Mike here: Have you tried retraining the drives? I and many others find this to be a good cure whenever the Autostar and ETX stop talking nicely to each other.

Added later:

Yes, several times!!  That is the first, second and third thing I tried
to do.  The Autostar has the latest and greatest software load also.  It
is a very strange problem to say the least.

Subject:	JMI Megapod
Sent:	Thursday, October 12, 2000 18:33:10
From:	BPete31@aol.com
How does the jmi megapod compare to the jmi wedgepod for use with the
etx-125?
Mike here: I believe the Megapod has replaced the Wedgepod (which was a combination of a JMI tripod and wedge).

Subject:	 ETX and Barlow
Sent:	Monday, October 9, 2000 23:33:01
From:	covanbuuren@nvs-verzekeringen.nl (Co van Buuren)
I bought a ETX125 and I am wondering wich accessoires to buy. I have
seen the accessoirespage. It was very usefull. But I still can't choose
between the Barlows. Wich is the best for the ETX125? The #122 2x
Telenegative Barlow Lens, the #126 2x Short-Focus, the #134 2x
Achromatic Barlow (.965) or the #140 Barlow Lens (1.25")?

Thanks in advance,

Co van Buuren
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

***********************************************
Dit bericht is gecontroleerd op virussen.

***********************************************
Mike here: I have used the #126 Barlow Lens from Meade with the ETX-125EC; works fine.

Subject:	 batteries in ETX-125
Sent:	Thursday, October 5, 2000 18:34:36
From:	ik7565@erols.com
Can I leave the 8 AA cells out of my ETX-125 altogether and just run off
12vdc external?  TIA.

Ian
Mike here: Yes, I do that.

Subject:	 etx 125
Sent:	Saturday, September 30, 2000 10:21:32
From:	hevbound@netzero.net (Brad and Kelley Thorpe)
What is the cool down time on the ETX 125 when it is about 45 degrees
out. I had my telescope out the other morning and even after 45 minutes
Jupiter would still fade in and out...Thanks   Brad
Mike here: I've seen suggestions that range from 30 minutes to 1h30m. But Jupiter shouldn't be fading in and out due to thermal currents in the tube. Clouds? Even thin, almost invisible ones, can interfere with observing.

Subject:	ETX 125 & Light Pollution
Sent:	Friday, September 29, 2000 19:31:36
From:	B4297@aol.com
Thanks for your site. It has been a great resource for me.

I'm quite interested in purchasing an ETX125 or perhaps even the latest
Meade 8" scope when it becomes available. However, I live on the Hudson
River directly across from the sparkling skyline of NYC. While I love
the bright lights of the city, it makes viewing the sky a bit difficult.
I can see the major constellations and planets, just not the Milky Way 
- should I take the plunge or will I be disappointed with the quality of
the viewing?
Mike here: Whether you will be disappointed or not depends somewhat upon your expectations. You will obviously be able to see the Moon and brighter planets and some nebulae (like M42 in Orion). You might want to investigate a "light pollution" filter (see the Accessories - Filters page). Or you might want to consider a smaller telescope; one that is easily portable to take to dark sky areas. Unfortunately, the smaller the aperture the less likely you'll be able to use a "light pollution" filter since they do dim the view. One other consideration that has been pointed out by others; having the Autostar really helps to locate the fainter objects.

Added later:

Mike - Thanks for your quick response to my question. I guess I'll have
to live with the somewhat limited skies that come with my high rent.
Should I base my decision on any inherent differences between the
Schmidt-Cassegrain and Maksutov-Cassegrain optical systems or should I
simply concern myself with portability. Would the new LX90 be considered
a "portable" telescope or would that description end with the ETX125?

Thanks again for your advice.

B4297
Mike here: The 8" LX90 doesn't fit my definition of a portable telescope. For my purposes, the ETX-125EC is about the max for portability. If you ever get away from your high-rent location on trips you'll probably want a scope you can easily take with you.

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Submittals Copyright © 2000 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/125ecOct00.html