GENERAL FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 August 2007

This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX, DSX, and DS models. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX 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 and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.


Subject:	Electronic Focuser
Sent:	Friday, August 31, 2007 10:24:37
From:	Agustn Abeledo (agustin.abeledo@gmail.com)
I have an ETX-125. Like everybody, I experiment vibration problems while
focusing at high magnifications. In order to solve it I'm studying the
possibility of making an electronic focuser myself, instead of buying
Meade's.

My question is: do you know if somebody has already done it?

Thanks for your answer, your site is superb,

Agustin
Mike here: There are some discussed on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	my  new  product;  ive  sold  dozens already
Sent:	Friday, August 31, 2007 02:15:02
From:	arthurok (arthurok@ameritech.net)
http://www.astromart.com/classifieds/details.asp?classified_id=513163
 
my next  endevor  is  a  good  low  cost  artificial  star  that  can be
tripod  mounted
"a  mak  etx  could  be  collimated  with  it"

Subject:	ETX advise
Sent:	Thursday, August 30, 2007 20:13:51
From:	Mark (astronomy@qteaser.com)
Sorry to bother you but I want some advise and to pick your brain. The
Baffle on the ETX 125  how important is it??

Id fill you in on a long story  lol but i dont want to waist to much of
your time.

Will a half or partially chewed baffle work ok with out messing things
up to bad??

Regards

Mark

-- 
M.T.S.O.
http://Astronomy.Qteaser.com
N 44 35' 03" W 85 09' 57" 
Mike here: The baffle reduces glare and increases contrast. Depending on your observing conditions and the objects viewed, you may or may not notice the damage.

And:

Thanks Mike
\Im testing it out now for imaging.
Here is what happened
I had it on the shelf with the front cover on and the rear port plugged
with the plastic cap.
I decided to use it tonight for imaging and set it up on the LX200 R.
I pulled the front cover and added the camera.
Took a preview shot and nothing but a mess.
I went to check the objective and noticed a ton of junk in the ota.
A mouse chewed the rear plastic cap off and decided to make the OTA his
home.
I ended up un screwing the front off and emptying the mess out.
I seen he chewed about 1/4 of the baffle and urinated on the mirrow and
front glass
I cleaned the front off and couldnt get the the mirror to good so I had
to reach in and clean it the best I cound.
I noticed a few sctatches on the mirror but im hoping it dosnt effect
anything.
I couldnt figure out how to remove the steel tube from the rear plasitc.
Well i thought id fill you in on the neighborhood going to the rats  
lol,

Thanks again for your time and advise.

Regards

Mark

Subject:	RA gears
Sent:	Thursday, August 30, 2007 17:07:24
From:	Greg (greg.robbins@sympatico.ca)
Big trouble here, my kid and friends were using my ETX 90EC and some how
stripped the ra gears. Any idea were I can get more? I haven't taken it
apart yet, will do this weekend. No trouble to hear crunching grinding
noise when trying to move left or right.
 
Thanks for your time  Greg
Mike here: Check for a gear housing being loose. Doesn't mean the gears are stripped. As to a replacement, try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject:	ETX 125 no RA movement.
Sent:	Wednesday, August 29, 2007 14:45:28
From:	Alain Verschuere (averschuere@scarlet.be)
It has been a while since i had a question, i had quite some time
without problems with my etx 125. This evening it happened. After a
'motor failure' message (which i do have regularly, but after
calibration i could always go on) when pushing the left and right
autostar button, no RA movement occured, not even a noise. When i do a
'calibrate motor', the tube only goes up. I can move it manually up and
down but not left and right. I charged the batteries, did a reset but
the same happens, doesn't move RA when calibrate, cannot train azimuth,
doesn't respond to autostar left and right. It only works up and down
(dec).
Hope you can help.
Best regards, alain, belgium
Mike here: When you do a CALIBRATE MOTOR do you get an error message? It certainly sounds like something has failed with the RA motor or the RA motor circuit. Since you would sometimes get an error message during normal use I wonder if a wire has been cut or worked loose. You might open up the base and check the wiring.

And:

Mike, no i do not get an error message.
Mike here: Odd. Check the wiring.

And:

i did, looks OK, will contact my dealer, thanks

Subject:	Re: Thanks
Sent:	Tuesday, August 28, 2007 12:28:45
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
Hello Jeremy and it is great to hear from you.  Much thanks for the kind
words and an update on your sky explorations. I hope that the little
"boost" provided by my tours and any other help I have been able to
provide will make a huge difference in the future of your astronomical
endeavors.

The skies of autumn and winter are approaching and the splendors are far
reaching.....enjoy!

Dr. Clay
-------------
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC/ H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC/ H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC/ H45 (Petit Jean Mtn. South)
http://www.arksky.org/

----- Original Message -----
From: Jeremy
> dr Clay,
>
> Quick note.
>
> Last Sept Oct I started to "tour" the deep sky from ym
> home near the Bavarian Alps. Those tours you have
> written with the help of Burnhams have become my
> guiding light round the celestial "world" as I have
> been following a tour or two every new moon. As I
> understand it the coming post Sagittarius era is a bit
> of a quiet spell in which we head for circumpolars
> until the spectacular Auriga and Perseus stuff comes
> in autumn.
>
> Thanks to your tours I ahve branched out into variable
> stars then at the moment lunar astronomy - means more
> sciope time!
>
> Once again, love your tours!
>
> Jeremy
>
> --- "P. Clay Sherrod"  schrieb:
>
>> Wonderful report on all fronts.....I have the
>> highest respect for your daily routine,
>> having raised 5 wonderful children now all grown.
>> Not perfect, but wonderful in my
>> view.  Give a hug to Elena and Dominic and
>> congratulations on that new boy.
>>
>> You are right about astronomy:  the sky can remove
>> you from all the ills of the world
>> with one look through an eyepiece.....something
>> about our roots in the cosmos puts the
>> mind in the idle mode that is so badly needed in
>> today's world.
>>
>> Dr. Clay
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Jeremy
>> Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 6:15 PM
>> Subject: Thanks
>>
>> Dear Dr Clay,
>>
>> I want to thank you for the Orion tour which I
>> undertook a few nights ago. I am a stay
>> at home dad and astronomy is so relaxing for me
>> after a hard day looking after them, it
>> is rapidly becoming a pssion for me.
>>
>> I own an ETX125 and am having such fun with it. I
>> must note for you that Meade Germany
>> is an excellent branch and very helpful. Recently
>> the screw on the finderscope broke and
>> I rang them. Within a few days two replacements
>> arrived.
>>
>> So thanks again and keep up the work with Mike
>> Weasner. It is much appreciated.
>>
>> Jeremy
>>
>> Jeremy Stocks......father of a very beautiful over
>> two year old Elena and also the
>> beautiful new baby boy Dominic!

Subject:	New to MEADE ETX  125 EC w/ Auto Star 
Sent:	Tuesday, August 28, 2007 08:02:30
From:	Sarocco, Phillip (Phillip.Sarocco@bsci.com)
I am a complete novice to the above telescope and I am having difficulty
obtaining a focused image of small objects such as stars or even planets
with a 9 mm eyepiece or even the 26 mm eyepiece.  After lining the
object up in the middle of the viewfinder, the object appears to be in
view of the eyepiece lens, however, it does not seem to focus.  Objects
like the moon are an easy focus, but stars and planets are not. I would
be grateful for your advice.
 
Regards,
  
Phil Sarocco
Mike here: Right now all the visible planets are difficult objects, either due to their apparent size or lowness in the sky (atmospheric turbulence). Stars should be easy to focus. A common new-user mistake is to try to focus to get as "large" as image as possible. The correct image is as "small" as possible with any given eyepiece. Since the Moon is an easy target right now, focus on it with an eyepiece and then view another object. The object should still be in focus. Keep in mind that stars won't magnify due to their distance; they will always show just a pinpoint image.
Subject:	Meade prisim
Sent:	Monday, August 27, 2007 17:41:18
From:	Greg (greg.robbins@sympatico.ca)
I just upgreded from  a Meade ETX-70 to ETX-90, my #933 diagonal fits on
the ETX-90 and seems to work. Why is the # 932 recommended for the
ETX-90 and #933 for the ETX-70, What's the difference?
New to your site
Greg Robbins
Mike here: In doing a Search on the ETX Site for "#933 ETX-90" I found several user comments that indicate that the #933 has a built-in Barlow Lens and can't be used with the ETX-90. The #932 has a mirror and is better suited to the ETX Maksutov-Cassegrain models.
Subject:	Cannot focus any eyepiece in my brandnew scope
Sent:	Saturday, August 25, 2007 11:59:45
From:	Peter Jacobi (peter_jacobi@web.de)
I have been a keen reader of your superb site for 8 years learning a lot
about getting the best out of my ETX 90 and later ETX 125 which
encourages me to pose the following question.

When I received my brandnew ETX 125 4 years ago and started observing I
could not focus the 26mm SP 4000 eyepiece (or any other) under any
circumstances. I just saw a "milky"field of view without any structure
irrespective of how far I turned the focus knob. This problem was
miraculously solved after I read a message stating this would be not
uncommon for the combination "new scope/new eyepiece" and a solution was
offered that worked. Chances are that I read this on your website.
However I don't remember any details nor a solution now.

The reason this is important and crucial today: I just received my
brandnew 12" LX90 GPS scope (which I will use alongside my ETX 125) and
ran into exactly the same problem last night. I tried and tried several
eyepieces turning the focus knob ever so slowly in both directions
(always being  afraid that the focus shaft may pry loose and slip inside
the OTA - as described in your ETX book, p.28). After 2 hours I gave up.
I remembered the problem with my ETX 125 4 years ago - but not the
solution.

Of course there is always the possibility that the focus shaft or the
mirror slipped somehow during transport. On the other side, if I remove
the eyepiece from the Amici prism which I use with it (standard on the
LX90) I can see the image clearly at the bottom of the prism - but after
re-inserting the 26 mm eyepiece that came with the scope (or any other
from my collection) I only get the "milky" appearance of the FoV. I
hesitate to return the scope for inspection to Meade Germany (a
nightmare!) because there might be a trivial reason for this and a
solution - an expectation that I base on my past experience with the ETX
125. I should add that so far I only looked at a terrestrial target
approx. 1 mile away in the course of calibrating my finder scope.

Any comment and suggestion will be highly appreciated. Thanks in
advance.

Peter Jacobi
Mike here: Well, I would have said that you were probably trying to use the eyepiece as a "zoom" to increase the magnification but from you likely wouldn't be doing that on a terrestrial object. But I do wonder if the telescope was seeing "sky" since you were aligning the finderscope. While it is possible that something was damaged in transit, that usually doesn't occur. And since you know how to focus the ETX I would suspect you know what infocus should look like. But I would recommend trying a different object, perhaps a building or some other large object. Perhaps even the Moon, which is almost Full right now.
Thank you Mike! I appreciate your prompt reply.I tried distant buildings
before I wrote you to no avail But I had the same idea last night: the
moon. That immediately showed me that the brilliant moon was in the
eyepiece field, however not focused. I spent another almost 2 hours to
try to focus it going through the whole range that the focus knob
permitted mm by mm. Still I wasn't able to focus.Then I found a solution
but not the explanation: I centered Vega expecting to at least see the
concentric rings of its diffraction disc - which was what appeared. I
focused it in a snap, went back to the moon  - and it was in focus!

I have no idea why I wasn't able to focus anything on the moon or a
terrestric target.Maybe the large magnification in the 12" LX 90 is part
of the problem, it's already 117x with the SP 26 mm.Anyhow, my
conclusion is: if you run into focusing problems especially with new
scopes or eyepieces, don't fiddle around with terrestric targets or the
moon. Just aim at a bright star, focus the diffraction disc and go back
to your original target. Maybe this can also help newcomers in the field
with a similar problem.

Thank you again for trying to help me so quickly. I will certainly
remain an avid reader of your excellent now already almost classic ETX
website.

Clear skies,
Peter Jacobi

Subject:	ETX 125PE  loose rear socket
Sent:	Thursday, August 23, 2007 14:16:45
From:	Tony Malone (google account) (tonymalonelondon@googlemail.com)
I recently purchased the T-64 adapter to try my hand at
astro-photography. After attaching it all, and thankfully without the
camera attached, the actual screw piece to which the adapter was
attached fell out. It looks like it was only held in place by a tight
fit in the plastic hole in the telescope base.  Is this right?  I'm
going to talk to my dealer about it to check, but is it supposed to be
like this or am i missing a screw or back plat to hold it on?  (would
VERY carefully super-glue be a repair option if needed?)

Best wishes from a very cloudy and wet London UK.

Tony.
Mike here: I did a Site Search (using the Google Search feature on the ETX Site Home Page) for "rear port loose" and the top result was the answer you need. See Dr. Clay Sherrod's response to the email "ETX 125" on this page: http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackDec01/125ec.html

And:

Ah great.. sorry I missed that!  Off to buy glue tomorrow!

Many thanks again!!!

Best wishes,  Tony.

Subject:	Just For Fun / Some music about the sun, moon, and the stars
Sent:	Wednesday, August 22, 2007 18:44:41
From:	julie clayton (solargenes@yahoo.com)
I just created a very fun play list for my ipod consisting of these songs:
 
Good Morning Starshine, Stage Door Orchestra 
Moon River, Andy Williams 
You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Stevie Wonder 
Catch a Falling Star,  Perry Como 
Fly Me To the Moon, Johnny Mathis 
Rocket Man, Elton John 
Paint the Sky with Star,  Enya 
Moonlight Serenade,  Carly Simon 
Here Comes the Sun, 1 Voice Peace Train 
Ahi Wela/Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole 
That Lucky Old Sun Just Rolls Aound Heaven,  Ray Charles  
Vincent (Starry Night),  Julio Iglesias 
Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me, Elton John   
You Are My Sunshine, Carly Simon 
Moonlight Sonata, Ludwig van Beethoven 
 
There are millions of songs that could be included, but these are the
ones that work best for me.  Just FYI...
Mike here: Good ones! I would have chosen Al Hirt's "Fly Me to the Moon" for my iPod! For stargazing I listen to Holst's "The Planets".
Subject:	Thank you!
Sent:	Tuesday, August 21, 2007 14:20:31
From:	Matt Hollinshead (samartprints@mac.com)
I have been visiting this site for years! Just A quick email to say
thank you for such a great site. It must be very time consuming to keep
this site up and running. It has given great information on getting more
out of my ETX70 scope. Small I know but suits my needs perfectly. I am a
photography instructor at a university in the UK and wondered if there
is any way i can contribute to your site. I shall upload some of my
astro images taken with my Meade with info and tips soon. I have only
just got broadband here so it should be  much quicker at last.

Clear skies and thanks again from cloudy UK.

PS good to hear Endeavour safe and home!

Warm Regards

Matt Hollinshead

Staffordshire
United Kingdom
Mike here: Contributions of tips and photos taken with the ETX are welcome. "Pledges" are also welcome! I use a Macintosh so maintaining the web site is fairly straightforward using Mac OS X automation techniques.
Subject:	Eyepieces for ETX-125
Sent:	Sunday, August 19, 2007 16:50:10
From:	mail.westnet.com.au (jchaurette@westnet.com.au)
The set of eye pieces that I have is the 29 mm that came with the scope,
I bought a Celestron 10 mm and a 2 x Barlow that were recommended to me
by the telescope shop guy. Do you think this a good combination of eye
pieces or would something else be better. I have found the best
combination to be the 29 mm with the Barlow for best magnification and
detail. Then comes the 10 mm and then the 10 mm barlow combination. That
last one is almost useless.

Cheers,

Jacques
Mike here: I think you meant "26mm that came with the scope". If so, you have have 26, 13, 10, and 5mm focal lengths available. That is a good range of magnifications. You can use 5mm on the Moon and sometimes Jupiter and Saturn, depending on the seeing conditions. For more on eyepieces see the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page as well as the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject:	Cleaning Corrector Lens
Sent:	Sunday, August 19, 2007 03:16:15
From:	Unal Kazak (ukazak@nesli.com.tr)
Next Q, is What is on the front lens so delicate that we cant just clean
with soft cloth with a little alcohol on it. What are the coatings;
would they come off so easy?

Is it like some chemicals would get reactions against others? I hear
they are unlike a any camera or other optical lenses. We don't know
nothing about them. What happens if someone accidentally sneezes on it
and leave some spit dusts?

Can we just clean it with isopropyl alcohol and leave it or we have to
wipe off the alcohol with sterile water afterwards?

Thank you adgain.
Respect, Unal Kazak-Turkey
Mike here: Cleaning the corrector lens is best done with a VERY diluted solution and special tissues. See the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. The standard coating on the lens is more forgiving than the UHTC coating. You can easily damage the coating and/or the lens itself if cleaning is not done correctly.
Subject:	2" Eyepiece Adapter for ETX90/105/125 
Sent:	Saturday, August 18, 2007 17:34:14
From:	Lee Vincent (Lee@VincentTeam.com)
What can you tell me about the  2" Eyepiece Adapter for ETX90/105/125
available through CNC Parts Suply, Inc?
 
Lee Vincent
Mike here: Personally I would not recommend using 2" eyepieces with the ETX models. You will get vignetting (darkening of the edge) and, depending on the eyepiece used, the telescope could have balance problems. However, there is a positive user report on the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page with one 2" eyepiece. As to CNC Part Supply, I have no experience with them.

And:

Thanks for the quick response and good advice Mike!

Lee

And:

I tried hand-holding a couple of my 2" UWA EP's--very nice, sharp, wide
angle views right to the edge.  My 26mm Q70 has a wider FOV than my 40mm
Meade 1.25".

Manish at Agena AP has a $20 1.25" to 2" adapter, so I ordered one from
him.  For 20 bucks, it's worth a try.

I'll owe you a review!

Lee

Subject:	Rigel Quickfinder Finder Scope with EX125 works beautifully
Sent:	Friday, August 17, 2007 15:53:51
From:	julie clayton (manyworldscross@yahoo.com)
Just want to report very good luck using the Rigel Quickfinder with my
EX125. Just wish I had purchased it earlier.  So if anyone is having
trouble with the finder that comes with the EX125, replace it with the
Rigel.  I think you'll be very happy with the results.
 
Thanks for the great site. 

Subject:	ETX 125
Sent:	Thursday, August 16, 2007 05:36:16
From:	Ing. Ezio Capraro (ing.capraro@libero.it)
I bought al ETX 90 EC 10 years ago, thatse in a lot in my travels. Now I
want to buy 5", and I am thinking to ETX 125, of course, because of hs
trasportability and the sharpness of Mak. But I don't have any ideas how
this behave on deep sky objects (it is an f15). I am not interested in
photography at all: I am only interested in visual use of the scope. I
am dubious if it is better to buy a Celestron C5E (Schmidt Cassegrain,
f10). Can anyone help me in this decision?
Thanks
Ezio Capraro
Bologna, Italy
Mike here: Read through the Helpful Information: User Observations for DSO reports with the ETX-125. Certainly a shorter focal length (and/or larger aperture) will provide better views of DSOs but the ETX-125 can be used.
Subject:	Meade ETX70AT
Sent:	Wednesday, August 15, 2007 07:21:43
From:	Ton Meijer (ton.meijer@planet.nl)
I purchased this model -although long time not for sale at Meade's
anymore- in february 2007 and I had nothing but trouble since. I had it
serviced by Meade's German branch two times, the last time they changed
the complete scope. Very good service. But the troubles remained, ETX
scopes are at basic badly developed scopes. I know, it costs little
money, but then you get about nothing. Several times motor faillures,
the telescope searching -although securely outlined and objects above
the horizon- these objects in the ground, and always off target;
although firmly clamped the RA servomotor would not move, etc. I altered
the RA and DEC percentages from 25 to 15 percent, thanks to your site,
so the telescope at least did not jitter anymore but tracked smoothly.

From your very good and extended site I found that almost everybody has
bad results with Meade's ETX models, certainly a very bad achievement
from the Meade engineers. Would it be a proper product your site would
not exist, wouldn't you agree?

Being fed up with this troublesome scope I was luky to be able to find a
buyer for this miserable gadget. Never again a Meade GoTo product or
what ever Meade product for that matter. Meade is one big
disappointment, 1400 objects database, 400 you may be able to see,
assuming it works, which it didn't.

I bought another budget instrument instead, a simple Skywatcher Newton
130/900 with RA motordrive, what a relieve, very low cost rather big
aperture compared tot the ETX models, although now I have to find the
objects myself, but what's more, now I can really see them. Recommended
for first timer buyers instead of a all Meade's ETXes.

I wish you all the best with your very handy site, I'm afraid you will
need it.

Best regards
Mike here: Sorry you had so many problems. I seriously doubt that all ETX telescopes are as bad as you suggest. Take a look through the Helpful Information: User Observations page and you will see many happy users of all models. Of course, if you look at the Feedback pages you will find a majority of users reporting "problems" or asking for help about something. That should not be surprising; people tend to not report that they "have no problems". Afterall, do you call your car dealer every day, week, or month and report that all is well? Do you even post such reports on forums for your car (or computer or camera, etc)? See my point? But anyway, as I've always said, the best telescope for any user is the one that gets used. And it sounds like you now have one that you will use and you are taking the opportunity to learn the night sky and how to navigate around it. Congratulations and enjoy!
Subject:	Replacement of Gear in ETX-125 RA drive
Sent:	Tuesday, August 14, 2007 07:46:14
From:	George Potter (glprhp@charter.net)
Recently my 2 1/2 year old ETX-125 has developed a "click - clack" sound
when slewing in the RA mode at high speed.  At slower slewing speeds it
reaches a certain point and simply stops.  I opened it up and found that
one of the small gears had a tooth bent against the adjacent tooth.  I
was able to pry it apart with a thin blade knife, and the RA drive
system worked okay after I calibrated the motor and trained the drive.

However, after about an hour of viewing a few nights ago, the "click -
clack" sound returned when slewing in the RA.  Again I went back in and
separated the teeth that were together.  Here's a couple of photos of
the damaged gear:

photo

photo Query: Is replacing those gears something I, with at least some mechanical skills, should attempt? and, if so, where could I obtain a replacement gear? or, should the entire gear assembly be replaced? Thanks, George Potter Asheville, NC
Mike here: See the articles "Gearbox Replacement" and "Fix for Worm Gear" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for some possible help. Try Telescope Warehouse for a replacement (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject:	Etx eyepiece holder
Sent:	Monday, August 13, 2007 13:02:34
From:	Andi (andi.evans1@orange.net)
I've recently started eyepiece projection photography on my 3year old
Etx125at, and whilst adding weights to carefully balance the scope, i
noticed that there is 2-3mm of movement in the eyepiece holder in a
stiff rocking motion towards front to back.

My question is to ask how the eyepiece holder is fitted to the back of
the the telescope? Hopefully i can strengthen the unit and avoid
colimation issues.

Many thanks... 
Mike here: Without replacing the eyepiece holder I doubt there is much you can do since there is only one screw holder the eyepiece secure. On the hand other, if the eyepiece holder itself has worked loose you would have to disassemble the telescope to gain access; that would run the risk of getting the optics out of collimation and likely require a return trip to Meade. Perhaps it would be better to contact Meade first if the eyepiece holder has been damaged and is loose. My ETX telescopes are now packed up for my pending move to Arizona so I can't check further on the holder.
Subject:	RE: Meade Customer Support
Sent:	Sunday, August 12, 2007 18:53:13
From:	Jim Shamus Bryers (Shamus@musician.org)
Thank you for the help.  I just now finally got around to checking
everything you mentioned.

My previous 497 was unplugged during a upload/download which apparently
fry's it, so I bought another from Meade.  Would it also fry the dec
encoder?  I doubt it, but I will open it up and take a look anyway. I
have flipped the cord and also tried using my old cord with no luck.
Tried to train and calibrate drives but no dec. moter.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks again.

BTW, who is richard seymour?

Jim "Shamus" Bryers
Mike here: Dick Seymour is our resident AutoStar expert; he knows more about the AutoStar than even Meade! A power lost during an update MAY NOT have damaged the AutoStar, only corrupted the ROM. If that is the case you can reload the ROM by doing a SAFE LOAD. Hold down the ENTER and SCROLLDOWN keys on the AutoStar and power on the telescope; you will see something like FLASH LOAD READY. Start the Updater application; it will detect this mode and you'll be able to load a fresh copy of the ROM file. You will need to re-enter your location, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES. As to the DEC Motor problem, as Dick said, that could be the problem instead of something wrong in the AutoStar.

And:

Just found a FAQ at your web site about the downloading problem  You
need to do a SAFE LOAD.  Too bad I already returned it.  AAAHHHH!!!!!

I also found another FAQ / feedback dated August 31, 2002 about a dec
motor failer from a cold solder.  Since it was working fine before my
downloading I dont think thats the case.  I will try to get another new
497 Autostar.  I also noticed that when trying to train or calibrate the
drives, a couple of times it rebooted itself.

Subject:	Broken RA drive- alternative mount for ETX-105EC?
Sent:	Sunday, August 12, 2007 10:29:15
From:	Paul Silvagni (pasilvagni@theriver.com)
Hi Mike and ETX folks- I've had a 105EC w/ Autostar for 3-4 years and
used it very little.  I've moved away from dense trees and now have good
sky so was excited to start observing again.  First night I set up my
scope the RA axis broke.  Opened it up and the plastic collar that goes
around the worm drive is cracked in half plus the gearbox base is
cracked from torquing upwards.

So looking at this site there seems to be agreement that the ETX
mechanicals and Meade customer service are marginal so I'm not too keen
on paying to send it in to be fixed and waiting forever and still have a
iffy unit in the end.  Does a quality mount exist that adapts easily to
the ETX and I can put on my Field tripod w/ GOTO capability either w/
autostar or other system for under 1000?

Thanks for any advice! Paul Silvagni
Mike here: Check out the article "ETX-125 on a LXD75 Mount" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	my etx 125 is not vary friendly.
Sent:	Sunday, August 12, 2007 04:29:51
From:	refet (refet@centurytel.net)
Hi I have 10" lx 200 clasic and etx 125 .

it take me to set up mu lx 200 5 min jusyt put it  at the same place on
my deck and search for the moon hold enter for synconized.good to teck
all night. with etx I look at the manuall from mead site they show
nothin that will help you how to set up the scope.

I'm trying to do alt set up.

#1 how can I track the sun when I do solar observing???

#2 How can I track the Moon or Jupiter with out full A to Z set up??

#3 How can I make the go to to work??

with etx I have go to hand controller and tripod legs I can juse both
polar/atl set up.

my etx125 EC is clasic.

clear skies I hope to hear soon from you .
refet.
Mike here: Do you have the AutoStar with your ETX EC model? If not, you will have to mount your ETX in polar mode. If you do have the AutoStar then you might want to look through the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page on the ETX Site; information there should answer your questions about using the ETX and AutoStar. As to tracking the Sun, generally, sidereal rate works fine.

And:

Hi yes I do have ETX EC model .
what do you mean auto star?
as I understande  My is autostar cause it has easy aligment 1 star &2
star aligment.

I tried to read meade manual on mead website they do not explaine  very
well . so i'm missing informations how to use it .

the way I tried is put the scope  on 0  tube horisontal position.

#2 unluck right assention key turn it  counter cluck untill stop and
turn back clackwise untill stops.

#3 luck the key turn tube to noth position .

#4 than turn the scope on .

Than nothing works right .
easy aligment canot find the star.
Please help me.
refet.
Mike here: Since you do have the AutoStar handcontroller, check out the alignment tips on the AutoStar Info page I mentioned earlier. The DEC scale may be off; the telescope tube should be horizontal (if the scale is off, see the FAQ page). #2 is partially correct; you turn CCW until the hard stop but then only back CW about 120 degrees to point the telescope tube towards True North (not all the way to the next hard stop).
Subject:	ETX 90 Supercharge
Sent:	Friday, August 10, 2007 22:21:50
From:	Calvin C College (sftrader48@msn.com)
I would like a phone number where we can discuss my sending an ETX 90
for the Supercharge service. 

Thank you,
Calvin C College
Mike here: See the item 'ETX "Supercharge"' on my ETX Site Home Page for contact info.
Subject:	yout opinion of mySky for ETX125
Sent:	Sunday, August 5, 2007 07:51:25
From:	Zapped220@aol.com (Zapped220@aol.com)
Please let me know if the mySky is a good device and worth the money. It
looks great but I would trust your opinion before ever thinking of this
purchase. I look forward to your response!!

Thank you,
   Dave Ward
   Grayslake ,IL.
Mike here: I am still waiting to receive my evaluation unit.
Subject:	ETX 125 Polar align.
Sent:	Friday, August 3, 2007 08:08:38
From:	JoelS551@aol.com (JoelS551@aol.com)
I want to pass on recent experience with my ETX 125.  When aligning in
alt az mode I would have no problem getting set up and going to
whatever.  However when aligning in polar I could not reach alignment at
all.

On page 53 of the manual the instructions state "Do not allow undue
attention to precise Polar Alignment of the telescope to interfere with
your basic enjoyment of the instrument."  This statement led me astray
and I am sure it has others also.  Successful polar alignment requires
considerable attention to detail. Since I cannot see polaris from my
house I was using a compass to align north.  After having so much
trouble with alignment I decided to adjust my compass to indicate true
north instead of mag north.  A difference of 4 degrees.

Also while in Lowe's one day I noticed a tool called "angle finder".  I
bought it and found that after leveling  the scope and setting the
longitude bar at 34 degrees (my longitude at home) the angle finder
indicated 30 degrees .  Now after setting the scope to true north and my
longitude to 34 degrees using the angle finder I have no trouble with
polar alignment.

Thanks for the great site.  I have used it to solve many problems.
 
Joel
Mike here: The AutoStar can correct for a lot of error in the HOME position but GOTOs and tracking will always be better if the AutoStar has less work to do, especially in Polar Mode.
Subject:	resolved problem
Sent:	Friday, August 3, 2007 00:04:32
From:	Giorgio Mengoli (gmengoli1@alice.it)
Thanks for your website and all the input from the experts problem!

Best regards

Giorgio Mengoli
e-mail: gmengoli1@alice.it
Visit my page!! --> http://astrosurf.com/alpha
mirror: http://digilander.libero.it/gm2

Subject:	ETX90EC drive problems
Sent:	Thursday, August 2, 2007 11:51:32
From:	Jeff Corrick (jcorrick@stoneway.com)
My scope sat idle throughout the winter and spring.  Had it out a while
back, after putting in brand-new batteries.  The power light comes on
fine and bright. The basic hand-controller does nothing...no slewing and
no action with the electric focuser.

I've had Autostar, but haven't wanted to use it until I get all my
Messier objects manually.  I plugged in the Autostar and can both slew
the scope and focus, but there is no tracking.

Bad controller, bad board, bad operator ??!!
 
Thoughts
 
Thanks
 
Jeff Corrick
Mike here: Can you do a normal Easy Align with the AutoStar? When that is completed does tracking kick in? (Be certain to CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES first and then do the alignment, especially since you changed batteries and haven't used the telescope in months.) As to the standard handcontroller, have you tried changing the slewing speed?

And:

No to the first piece....pulled it out of the box....went through the
basic set-up and used it that evening.  I can try the Easy Align soon. 
As far as the standard hand controller, I can't even choose northern
polar alignment.....or change the slewing speed or focus at any
speed.....the controller seems to be dead.
Mike here: Was the handcontroller connected all these months? If so, one (or more) of the pins in the cable (or control panel) might have become too depressed (physically; although I guess it could have become mentally depressed too if it felt unloved) to make good contact. You could check that the pins stick up uniformly.

And:

Nope....the controller was unplugged and in a sealed plastic
bag....everything was in a dry, warm location all winter.  It was very
dark in the store-room, so maybe it set itself up and checked out the
room on its own....would explain the noise at times.  Perhaps it bent a
pin trying to put itself away or when it three-legged it down the steps.
Seriously, I checked the pins on the plug and the jack, but will do so
again to be certain.

Subject:	ETX-90PE Alt/Dec Drive Problems
Sent:	Tuesday, July 31, 2007 23:54:34
From:	Eric Lobdell (eric.lobdell@gmail.com)
I am a young amature astronomer with an ETX-90PE of my own. Using my
scope in my backyard over the last few nights, I have noticed problems
with the Alt/Dec drive of the scope. I use the scope in a polar
arrangment, and do not use the LNT option at all. I perform a two star
alignment, and I am 99% certain I have my scope aligned accurately. I am
positive I have the location, date and time all correctly set.

The main issue is an inability to GOTO objects that require much
Declination movement at all. My R.A. drive is working fine, and tracks
to the objects in a normal manner, but my Dec. drive seems to be unable
to travel even from Vega to Alberio without getting off course, even
after a slew to Vega, re-synchronizing my alignment, confirming the
position, and then attempting a slew to Alberio. The problem persists
after multiple runnings of the Alt/Dec Train Drive program.

If you have any advice, pointers, possible solutions and/or easy fixes
that I may have overlooked, I would be greatly appreciative. I would
like to get as much quality, albeit humble, observing in this summer
before I move to downtown Seattle (Blech. Love the city, hate the light
pollution.) for College.

Graciously yours,
           Eric L.
Mike here: Some thoughts come to mind. Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES (training needs to be done on both axes)? Does the same problem occur with the telescope in Alt/Az mounting? When you just slew (at any speed) does the tube move an appropriate distance? Could you be overtightening the DEC axis lock or not tightening it enough? Does the tube stay put when the DEC axis is locked or does it easily move (which would indicate a broken Right Tube Adapter)?

And:

I have performed the CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES function. I will
try the Alt/Az Mounting tomorrow night. I have tried at multiple
settings of tightness on the DEC axis, and the problem remains. The tube
does stay in place when locked, and I am fairly confident nothing is
broken, as I purchased this last summer, and have only used it very
lightly since then.

As for slewing operation, I do observe a pause in slewing, and then a
jump, and it then settles to a normal speed. With lower slew speeds,
this pause in motion is more pronounced, sometimes taking 5-10 seconds
on X64 to have noticeable motion. Also a side note (maybe), I do
occasionally notice horizontal movement, as well as vertical movement
when I try and perform small slew distances, to center a star or object
and the like.

Eric
Mike here: You might want to do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES. Doing the RESET will restore the AutoStar to factory default.
Subject:	re:  EXT 90 EC DRIVE GEAR BOX
Sent:	Tuesday, July 31, 2007 21:35:57
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Some of the folks in the RoboScope Yahoo group have sourced
metal replacements for the small plastic gears in the ETX
and DS motor units.   For that matter you can buy a running
DS motor unit from Meade or beg a dead one and strip out
the gears (hmm.... bad choice of words there...)

The Meade part:
http://www.meade4m.com/4mshop/parts/1009.html

Contacting www.telescope-warehouse.com and telling him you'll take
one with a dead motor or circuit card might get a -really-
inexpensive one...

good luck
--dick

Subject:	re: Meade Customer Support
Sent:	Tuesday, July 31, 2007 21:31:39
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
>  a new 497 Autostar from them.  When I went to try it,
> the Dec motors dont work.  They work fine with the simple
> standard controller.  I think I tried everything
> possible but still cant get it to work.


Did you try swapping the handbox cable end-for-end?
Or taking it to a telephone/computer store and asking
to have the connectors squeezed by an RJ45 tool?
(note: you can NOT use a standard pre-built computer network
cable as a replacement for the handbox cable).

Did you need to buy a -replacement- 497?
If so, what happened to the first one?

The hand controller does not expect feedback from the telescope,
whereas the 497 Autostar does... so it could be a faulty DEC
encoder readback confusing things.

good luck
--dick

Subject:	re: Polar aligning question
Sent:	Tuesday, July 31, 2007 21:26:12
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
I'm a little puzzled by "I have the 'High Alt Leg' pointed North"

The long leg wants to be on the *south* side of the base,
so that the *forks* point at the pole.

The Polar Home RA position is the same as the Alt/Az position:
Point power panel west.
Spin Az (now RA) anti-clockwise until it goes "clunk",
rotate clockwise until it the fork comes over the power panel.
Hopefully the scope is now pointed north.
Elevate the DEC/Alt to the 90 degree position.
It should now be pointed at the celestial pole (i.e. within a degree
of Polaris).

> If you are to 'go -to' a star, does the OTA drop down in Declination
> then travel around in Right Ascension untill it centers the object,
> the just use the RA drive to track?

Yes.

have fun
--dick

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