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ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK

Last updated: 30 April 2012

This page is for comments and user feedback about ETX telescopes. ETX models discussed on this page include the ETX-60/70/80/90/105/125 (EC, AT, BB, Premier Edition). This page also includes comments and feedback of a general nature. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to the ETX-90RA, DSX, and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.


Subject:	Meade ETX 125 question?
Sent:	Sunday, April 29, 2012 14:02:30
From:	Peter (po3_103@yahoo.com)
Hello, on my ETX 125 PE the silver lever that locks the base broke (it
had acquired a hair like crack a while back). Do you know where I could
get one? Thank you.

Peter  email - po3_103@yahoo.com
Mike here: For an exact replacement, try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). If you want to make your own, see the article "Replacement for Azimuth Lock Lever" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Thank you!

Peter

Sent from my iPod


Subject:	re: LS Model
Sent:	Friday, April 27, 2012 18:25:42
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
There's also the ETX-LS forum on Yahoo groups:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ETX-LS/

have fun
--dick


Subject:	Meade ETX - Scopetronix ?
Sent:	Thursday, April 26, 2012 10:16:31
From:	doug moench (doug.moench@wyo.gov)
I've resurrected my ETX 90/ Astro and was looking for some accessories
and know about Scopetronix. I have been to their site but see no way to
order. I've sent a couple of emails and they get bounced back to me. Do
you know if they are still in business or selling ETX goods?

Thanks and thanks for the ETX site and keeping it going all these years.
You should get some kind of award or something.

--Doug Moench
Mike here: Scopetronix was a bright star in the ETX Universe, but went supernova many years ago. For more info, see the Other: Editorial Page page.


Subject:	LS Model
Sent:	Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:14:04
From:	mpatti2401@aol.com (mpatti2401@aol.com)
With the ETX range, especially the 125, having run its course, it would
be fantastic if you could turn your efforts to perhaps,s the LS range. I
have already decided the 8" will be my next purchase, and to have such a
similar resource available would be marvellous. I am certain there would
be a similar community of enthusiasts, eager for words of wisdom on the
LS variant as well as the die hard ETX users.

Mark (England)
Mike here: Many thanks. I did cover the ETX-LS for awhile on the ETX Site but stopped, as mentioned here:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/feedback/current/ls.html
Of course, a lot of info on the ETX Site is still applicable to the LS models. There is a LS web site mentioned on the Astronomy Links page.


Subject:	Meade ETX 125 focus
Sent:	Monday, April 23, 2012 21:55:34
From:	Mike Rigby (mikerigby1@gmail.com)
Mike, my 125 has had very light use and has been stored for past 8
years. I have no serial no. 

to give you a date but think it is 10 years old. The manual focus will
not engage. It just spins with no change in the image. Meade says they
no long fix this scope. Can you advise?

Thanks, Mike Rigby

Sent from my iPad
Mike here: There are two possibilities: the focus knob setscrew is loose or the focus rod has become disconnected. If the setscrew is loose, you can tighten it with a small allen wrench (hex key). If the rod is disconnected, see the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. A caution: keep the telescope pointed upwards whenever the focus knob is removed (or loose) to prevent the focus rod from slipping inside the OTA.


Subject:	ETX 125 Meade
Sent:	Monday, April 23, 2012 04:37:41
From:	Martin Greensmyth (m.greensmyth@ntlworld.com)
Hello.I have come to the conclusion that an ETX 125 is the telescope for
me.I really like your web site and appreciate the work you put in to
maintain it.Can I ask two questions please.1. Are Mease going to start
selling The ETX 125 again?Hopfully they will as I want to buy one. 2.Can
you use the ETX 125 for terrestial viewing aswell and how ?

Thanks for your help.
Martin in The UK.
Mike here: I doubt that an ETX-125 will be sold again now that Meade has the LT and LS 6" models. You might want to look into them.
Any telescope can be used for terrestrial purposes. If the image reversal bothers you, that are accessories that can reverse the reversal.


Subject:	My ETX 60 Azimuth Drive Doesn't Engage...
Sent:	Thursday, April 19, 2012 10:34:55
From:	joeobryan (joeobryan@bellsouth.net)
Found your website...love it...but I didn't find anything concerning my
particular problem.

I came by an ETX 60 at a yard sale.  Everything appears to work except
left-right rotation.  I hear the motor run...but it's not engaging the
base gear.

I carefully opened the scope and everything is doing what it's supposed
to be doing...I think...but the worm gear is too far away from the base
gear. I noticed that the worm gear mechanism pivots inward and outward,
towards that base gear.  Is that worm gear to base gear
electro-mechanically engaged?  Or, am I supposed to be able to set the
distance manually before I re-assemble the scope?

If the worm gear engages via servo...is there anyway to test that?  I
get no errors on my AutoStar...'bout the only problem is, the AZ worm
gear is not engaged to the base gear.

Joe O'Bryan  
Mike here: Have you checked that the axis locks when you move the lock lever to the locked position? Also, could you be overtightening the axis lock? But if the lock is OK, then it is possible that the gear mount has broken loose. You mentioned that the mechanism pivots; that sounds like a broken gear mount. You will find several articles on repairing gearboxes on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Thanks for the snappy reply.

Okay,

I disassembled my unit last night.  I can't seem to tighten up the base
gear using a single throw of the lock lever...but that's probably just a
matter of taking my time to get it properly adjusted.

I might back the nylon friction plate with a paper backing layer...to
add just a bit more thickness...I'm working on it and I think that's a
minor problem that I can get resolved.

The big issue is the non-engaged but working worm gear.  The
lock-lever's job appears to be a singular one...it tightens the base
gear...I see no way for it to also pull the worm gear into the base
gear.

Howzat' happen?  

Does the pivoting worm gear engage the base gear via some sort of
solenoid or servo?  Or, when the telescope is properly re-assembled,
should the worm gear be static and fixed...meshing immediately with that
base gear...loose or otherwise?

And, the worm gear's mount may be broken...but it sure seems to pivot
like it was designed to pivot...that's why I thought maybe a servo or
solenoid might be the culprit.  But, in support of your suspicions that
the mount may be broken, there was indeed a small 3/8" long piece of
plastic laying in the base tray that broke offa' something.

I'll review the Telescope Tips page, again, as you suggested.  I've seen
several comments concerning AZ problems...but so far, none are directly
applicable to my problem.  And, the folks at Meade can't come up with a
technician's service manual...not even an exploded view diagram.  Except
for people like yourself, the ETX 60 is now a COMPLETELY unsupported
dinosaur.  If'n I can't engineer a fix for my existing parts...I may not
be able to get any replacements! 

Thanks for your assistance.

Joe.
Mike here: See the "Q. I can not move the Right Ascension (azimuth) lever enough to fully engage the lock. What should I do?" on the ETX FAQ page. The gearboxes don't pivot or otherwise move; the gears need to mesh.

And:

Daggone I'm liking it.  

I found your website...early and often...whenever I googled 'ETX 60'. 
And, I read a bunch o' people's comments concernin' you bein' the real
deal...a genuine information source that WILL respond, if'n he can be of
help...even when dealing with issues down on the penny ante
used/salvaged baby telescope scale!

Thanks again for replying.  

It's such a cute toy...and, I believe, so close to being in good working
condition.  Even had an old friend see it...confessed to being an
amateur astronomer, himself, years before we met...and then he gifted me
with a brand-new, still-in-box 495 AstroStar, that he'd purchased and
never used, on sale back in the day, for $100!

So, I've got an additional incentive to make this thing work.

Yup.  I got that tip about the lever adjustment, straight from your
web...'bout 24 hours ago.  That's why I'm pretty sure I can get the
lever/clutch/base-gear adjustment issue behind me.

And, you've supplied me with the critical bit of information that I
needed.  The gearbox motor drive is in a fixed position...there is no
servo/solenoid engagement device.  I thought it might be a possibility
since I haven't unscrewed the aluminum top plate that the gearbox is
mounted upon, in order to inspect this underlying, pivoting mechanism.  

But.  I may not have to do any further exploratory inspection.

When the scope base gets re-assembled to the telecope/top plate, the
rigidly mounted worm gear has to mesh with the free-spinning base gear. 
If it meshes, I should be able to see the baae gear, from bottom
openings around the clutch housing, as it free-spins about its hub, in
response to left/right AZ movements driven from the energized gearbox. 
That done, then I'll have to apply that lever tune-up technique to sieze
up the base gear, causing the base gear to become fixed, so the
worm-gear can begin pulling itself around a circular track...thereby
rotating the upper attached scope!

Mike, I gotta' tell you.  I noticed immediately, when I opened her up,
that there was no way the worm gear could reach the base gear, in the
position that I found it.  The flat-sided gearbox sits nestled between
two cast aluminum support arms and is not loose.  I found it in the 90
degree vertical position.  No noticeable up/down, nor rotational slop,
at all.  It simply tilts forward and back, toward the center of the
circular plate.  Mind you, I've read some etx-based materials that
describes a spring around the gearbox that tensions up something
somewhere...and I'm not seeing any of that. But, I could imagine that
this worm gearbox must tilt forward, towards the center, in order to
mesh...so I pushed it...and it seemed to go forward 'one click'...like
it had smoothly hit an ident...and it pushed forward thru about 3 of
these gentle clicks.  I ain't hearin' no crunchin' nor grindin'.

I'm going to continue my repair research, using your website, but, so
far, I haven't hit on an exact ETX-60 AT applicable gear-box repair that
describes my situation.  But, as I see it, my only problem to resolve is
positioning that worm-gear the correct distance...and then, finding some
way to lock it there.

One last question, concerning my controllers.  Both the original 494,
and the new 495, initialize with a bright red LED display.  After about
a minute, they dim.  Just a bit.  I assumed that this was normal
operation...high intensity 'til your eyes acclimate...low intensity
power-saving mode, thereafter.  But, I've also read claims that ANY
dimming of the LED display was indicative of a problem.

Can you confirm or deny?

Joe.
Mike here: Keep me posted on your gearbox repair.
As to dimming, the display will dim to night mode after the initial startup and setup. By the way, you can (and should) upgrade the #495 to a #497. You'll a #505 serial cable ( easily mode) and a serial port on your computer. Then use ASU to install 4.3Eg.
And the ETX-60 should not be thought of as a "toy". It is a fine wide field telescope.


Subject:	love your site
Sent:	Thursday, April 19, 2012 10:14:57
From:	Mark_Millage@cfbobcat.com (Mark_Millage@cfbobcat.com)
I just got a meade etx 125ec telescope a month ago,, I've been using a
Celestron prior to that.   

I have found your site very interesting and helpful.  Thanks for the
great work.


Subject:	Meade 5000 Series HD-60 6.5mm LE Eyepiece
Sent:	Sunday, April 15, 2012 14:00:36
From:	mpatti2401@aol.com (mpatti2401@aol.com)
This is a BIG eyepiece and does not quite fit in my ETX 125PE.The
diameter is just a fraction too large.
Is there an extension device suitable, to elevate it to a more
acceptable position?
mark
england
Mike here: Can you raise the eyepiece in the holder enough, tighten the screw, and reach focus? If so, you could use a parfocal ring to consistently insert the eyepiece the right amount.


Subject:	Broken ETX Dec axis
Sent:	Thursday, April 12, 2012 22:11:48
From:	Rich Stevens (richstevens@earthlink.net)
I have been reading your site ever since I got my EX. in April 1999. As
I was preparing to use it for the solar eclipse, the declination axis
would not turn. So, I took it apart and the axis is broken. After
searching you site I could not find where to get a replacement shaft.
Thus, can epoxy be used to repair the shaft? J BE Weld epoxy? Or is
there a better solution? Your thoughts.
 
Yours truly,
Richard Stevens
Mike here: There is an article on repairing the Right Tube Adapter on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Subject:	RE: I think i may have messed up my ETX 125 drive motors
Sent:	Thursday, April 12, 2012 07:17:09
From:	Davis, Christopher SSgt USAF AETC MDOS/SGOD (Christopher.Davis7@goodfellow.af.mil)
I followed your instructions yesterday evening with fresh batteries. The
lights still dim, no left to right slewing, and the autostar suggesting
motor malfunction. What a bummer. What can I do at this point? chris
Mike here: Dimming means there is a power drain. If the telescope moves freely by hand when the axis locks are unlocked and you are not overtightening them when locking, then it sounds like a look at the circuit boards is needed. Problem could be inside the mount or inside the AutoStar itself. Look for burnt components or solder traces.

And:

Understood sir. Is this something that I can accomplish myself? I am a
novice in all things concerning telescopes, but would learning is my way.
Though I am a do-it-your=selfer at heart, I do tend to occasionally bite off
more than I can chew. Due to the technical nature, I do fear making it worse
rather than better. It is bad tact to blow your inbox up with every little
query. But, if you feel I can at least diagnose, then maybe I should open up
the mount. Do you offer repair services if this is out of my skill set? I
was considering saving up for a super-charge anyway. Thank you for your
attention to my small problem and your quick responses. I want to get this
telescope healthy again. We seem to be missing some good viewing. chris   
Mike here: There are many disassembly articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. I suggest reading the "Disassembly Procedure" article first.
I don't offer repair services. Contact Dr Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge service.

And:

I re-read my earlier reply and I just wanted to make sure that I was not
misunderstood. I meant it was bad tact for me to keep bothering you with all
my emails. I just do not want to step over that line and appreciate your
help. Thanks! cmdavis
Mike here: Not a problem. That's one of the reasons I started the ETX Site over 15 years ago.


Subject:	I think i may have messed up my ETX 125 drive motors
Sent:	Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:02:20
From:	Davis, Christopher SSgt USAF AETC MDOS/SGOD (Christopher.Davis7@goodfellow.af.mil)
I am really excited to find your website. I recently received my ETX 125
EC back from Meade. My son is autistic and has an uncanny fascination
with the heavens, as I always have as well. I saved up and found this
telescope and bought it on Ebay. It was missing the flip mirror when I
received it. When I got it back, it was good to go. I plugged in the
power pack that the seller provided, but failed to check the voltage.
The 125 requires 12 volts, but the pack was pumping 18 volts. The scope
worked for about 10 minutes, but turned off after that. I noticed the
error at that point. I plugged a 12 volt pack into it, and it seemed to
be okay, but the horizontal slew will not function. It will not align,
and when I try to get it to slew horizontally, the scope acts like there
is not enough power, the lights in the audiostar and power indicator dim
and the scope will not budge left or right. But it goes up and down
fine. Meade will not service it because this model is discontinued and
they lack the parts.  I am so disappointed in myself and at the fact of
not being able to enjoy the full capabilities of this instrument. Do you
think this is something that you can help me with? The idea of your
skills supercharging this incredible instrument is very appealing.
Anyway sir, thanks for taking the time to read this.
 
Christopher M. Davis, SSgt, USAF
Mike here: First, I suggest NOT using an external 12 VDC power source at this point. Do some tests with internal batteries. With the batteries properly inserted, power on the telescope. If you have an AutoStar (AND NOT the AudioStar) and the startup appears normal, do a CALIBRATE MOTOR (which calibrates the system for the power level) from the AutoStar menu. If that goes well, then do a TRAIN DRIVES (follow the prompts). If the display dims (other than going into night mode) at any point, then you may have indeed done some damage on the circuitry. Let me know how things go to this point.

And:

Roger that sir. I do have an autostar (Meade sent me an audiostar for
some reason and I was putting it to use) and I will do as you recommend this
evening. cmdavis
Mike here: Just "Mike" will do. I'm no longer an Air Force officer.


Subject:	Meade EXT 125 ec DEC gears
Sent:	Tuesday, April 10, 2012 14:05:05
From:	mike (spiker82@comcast.net)
 I have an ETX 125 EC.  The DEC gear/motor is broken ie: the gears are
slipping and grinding. I had sent it to Meade for repair. The telescope
was sent back to me as unable to repair. I was told due to lack of parts
and a discontinued item.

I am wondering if you could guide me to where I could find the parts
needed to repair the telescope.

Thank you for you time.
Mike T
Mike here: There are a couple of gear replacement source articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. There are also gear repair articles.

And:

Thanks for the quick response will check out the info.
Thanks again
Mike Theisen


Subject:	ETX 125 Declination clutch
Sent:	Saturday, April 7, 2012 06:32:21
From:	michael m (michael2272272000@yahoo.com)
I have a 2005 modle etx 125. I replaced the ra nylon bushing with a
metal thrust bearing.  When I had the scope apart, I found that the
declination clutch had cracked and allowed the scope to move up and down
about 15 degrees no matter how tight the clutch was.  The part is black
piece that the locking screw goes into and the tube plastic fits into. 
Also, the bearings, and stop are fit onto the shaft.  Do you know the
actual name of the part and where I might purchase the part? 
thank you
mike marion
Mike here: It sounds like you need a Right Tube Adapter. However, these are not available generally. You might try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) but I'd be surprised if he has one. You can possibly do a repair yourself; see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Subject:	Re: ETX-90 PE SmartFinder
Sent:	Friday, April 6, 2012 07:49:44
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
The Smartfinder red dot shuts off after alignment is completed.
To turn it on or off anytime after that, use the 'Light (?)' button on
the Autostar.
 
Hope this helps.
 
Mike Hogan


Subject:	ETX-90 PE SmartFinder
Sent:	Thursday, April 5, 2012 08:36:30
From:	Ted Witt (tcwwitt@mac.com)
Thought I had it solved, but I went out last night, and for the life of
me, I could not see the red dot in the smartfinder.  I've set it up to
show continuously, as described in the manual, and I simply can't see
it.

Is there something else I'm supposed to press, set up, etc., before this
thing will work?  Is there a separate battery in the Smartfinder unit,
and if so, how do I get to it?

Thanks for your assistance,
Ted Witt
Mike here: There is a battery inside the LNT module. Can you see the red light (in the dark) that shines onto the SmartFinder lens?

And:

Nope. can't see anything.
Mike here: Is it on full bright? I think (but can't check right now) there is a setting for that.

And:

It's set for intensity level 14.....that's the highest.
Mike here: Maybe a broken or loose connection. There are some SmartFinder troubleshooting articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Subject:	can u help me with my   etx125ec
Sent:	Thursday, April 5, 2012 01:31:45
From:	dean hampton (deanoh99@hotmail.com)
hi mike my name is dean i have an etx125ec my wife got me for birthday
couple years ago  i do not know anything!!!!!!! about this or any other
scope  i have a couple of things i am wondering if u could help me on  1
i have a canon 20d i got the thig that hooks to the bottom ( t- adapter
lol) and i quess for the canon20d will not focus  completly so i am
wondering if mead or anybody has made a fix for that or is there another
adaptoer i can purches like the basic camera adaptor will work     2  my
scope came with a 26mm eyepiece i have been looking at the celestron
filter kit  94303 has multible pieces will this improve my viewing and
how  3 should i get angle things or no 9 45 or 90 degree angles )  4  i
have  all the stuff for autostar and got it installed and even made the
scope move yeah!!!! but do not have a clue on what the hell im doing im
46 and feels like 7 with the scope my goal is to take my own pics of
things in the sky and enjoy it because i love star gazing so any help
would be greatly appres. im hoping u can guide me in the right
directions  thanks for your time   DEAN  6262554287 cell  im out in
socal...
Mike here: All that you ask can be answered but since you say you know nothing and haven't really learned to use the telescope yet, lets start with that.
First, read the manual, 3 times. Then play with the telescope indoors during the daytime. Learn how the telescope works and how it moves as you use the AutoStar. Practice doing alignments; just accept the alignment stars as centered when prompted. Once you are comfortable using the telescope indoors then you can go outside at night and use ETX. I suggest observing the moon for starters. Do the AutoStar alignment and then GOTO the moon. Enjoy!
Using other eyepieces will provide higher or lower magnification. But there is a maximum usable magnification with any telescope. To learn how to calculate magnification and the max, see the ETX FAQ page. Eyepieces with 1.25" diameter tube will work on the ETX. Just avoid really large and heavy eyepieces. A 2X Barlow Lens is a good accessory to have since it doubles the magnification of any eyepiece. For the ETX, you need a "shorty" style.
Once you have learned your telescope you can begin looking into astrophotography with your camera. But wait a while on that. You can re-ask your questions then.

And:

Damn i thought u were gonna make it easyer on me lol lol. I will do
those things  and hope that i can talk to u along the way if nec. Thanks
for the tip on the barlow  but the eyepieces should i get the kit and is
there a prefferance on the best size eyepiece dor general use thks dean
Mike here: There's an article on eyepieces on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. See that.


Subject:	ETX125 rear port 2 inch diagonal???
Sent:	Wednesday, April 4, 2012 19:52:59
From:	Jim (jstitley@gmail.com)
I would to attach a 2 inch diagonal with also 1 1/4 adapter to rear
port. I bought a etx  to sct rear adapter. Where do I go from here? Who
sells one? Approx. Cost? Thanks. Jim
Mike here: Using a 2" adapter on the ETX will result in some vignetting since the port is less than 2". I think there is an adapter but the seller escapes me right now. If you attach a 2" star diagonal, you may have some focus issues since there is limited focus travel available on the ETX.

And:

Thanks for insight on 2 inch diag. Would a 1 1/4 diagonal work and focus
ok? Would allow for 2 different eyepieces at flip of the mirror. Is
there a rear port adaptor with thumb screw to lock in the diagonal? OR
is a second diagonal just dumb idea? I really enjoy your site! Jim
Mike here: Adding an eyepiece at the rear port works great. I have a Visual Back and Wide-Field Adapter on the rear port of my ETX-90RA. The ETX Visual Back is used to convert the rear port to 1.25" and has the thumb screw to hold an eyepiece or diagonal. See Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page for what I use.


Subject:	etx125 thrust bearing
Sent:	Saturday, March 31, 2012 11:21:28
From:	michael m (michael2272272000@yahoo.com)
I sent you an email with pictures of the lower end parts of my scope. I
replace the white nylon bushing with a metal thrust needle roller
bearing from vxb.com part number (kit 8675) 35x52x4mm bearing.  With
just the lower end installed without the worm, the scope will travel
from stop to stop with just one little finger push. No slop in vertical
or horizontial operation. It is incredible the difference.
The scope was built in 2005, etx 125, aluminum forks.
thanks
mike


Subject:	Tracking & Backlash ETX 125PE
Sent:	Saturday, March 31, 2012 05:43:34
From:	mpatti2401@aol.com (mpatti2401@aol.com)
As the new owner of an ETX 125PE, I thought I had bought a "dud" as it
was not tracking, at all, any obejct in the night sky.
With nothing better to do I thought I would read the Owners Manual!

It was during this process I came to the section - "Set Up Menu" -
"Targets". Checking my ETX I noticed it was delivered to me in
"terrestrial" mode, which means the tracking motor is switched OFF.
By simply changing the option to "astronomical" resolved the problem and
"hey presto" the tracking function is now "ON".

Again under "Set Up" - "Telescope" - "Az/Ra Percent" & "Alt/Dec Percent"
I changed the factory settings from 10% & 10% respectively to 15% & 7%.
My backlash has improved, but I advocate trying and testing for personal
preference as every scope is slightly different.

I hope this helps new owners, I did me.
Mark
England


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