Last updated: 31 August 2008
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: ETX 125 Motor Unit Fault related to this small piece of white plastic? Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 14:53:18 From: Fred Rains (email@example.com) Hey there, Mike. Please look at the attached photos of a small piece of white broken plastic that was rattling around in the base of my ETX 125. I bought the scope off of Astromart and had used it for about three hours when problems developed - and continue. It exhibited the "random slew" and also the random "motor unit fault" problems. The random slew issue has been resolved by using the internal batteries instead of an external a/c or battery source, as suggested in posts on your site, however, the motor unit fault problem is no longer intermittent. As long as I slew to different objects every two or three minutes, it works fine and shows good accuracy. The problem begins after four or five minutes of tracking the same object. I have the Autostar 43e software and have calibrated and trained the motors several times and done a restart; the problem persists. I have also used a friend's Autostar and swapped connecting cables - and swapped them end over end - with equally negative results. Before I send it to the shop I wanted to get your's and your reader's opinion on this. When I was putting the telescope up last time I noticed a rattle in the base. I pulled the back off of the base and the object in the pictures fell out. It appears to be a portion of a larger piece and exhibits jagged shear marks consistent with a piece of broken plastic. I'm honestly hoping that this is something that I can order from Meade and fix myself, but I hesitate to do anything more than take off the back of the base unless I can get some guidance from someone. So what do you think? Could the broken piece cause binding and be the source of the "motor unit fault"? I'm a long time ETX 90RA user/lover and have frequented your site since it first began. Have really enjoyed it. Thanks again. Fred Rains Birmingham, Alabama
Thanks for the quick response! I think sending it back to Meade is my best course of action at this point. Are you going to post the pictures on your site? If so, I'll wait a few days to see if anyone has anything to offer. Thanks again.Mike here: You could also contact Dr. Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge Tune-up service.
I will check with Dr. Sherrod before I send it to Meade. Thanks, Mike.
Subject: Can a 2003 etx 125 use the 497 controller Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 13:40:39 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) Hello I need to know if the 2003 etx 125 can be used with the 497 controller. I have a chance to buy a used 125 and it does not have a 497 controller, I can not afford a new scope so used is my only option. thank you PatrickMike here: All ETX models except the original ETX (ETX Astro M, ETX-90RA) can use the #497 AutoStar.
Subject: ETX-125 collimation - it ain't that hard Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2008 16:43:23 From: john (firstname.lastname@example.org) hey, i'm going to be buying a meade etx-125 for a friend soon. and just bought a meade LXD55 mount. i want to put the etx-125 on the LXD55. i went through your artical. do you have pictures of this process? i'm kind of a visual person. i could do what you said but pictures always reasures me especially when i'm going to be spending all my money of this telescope. and is this process hard? for real! i don't want to do anything that i will be hitting myself for the rest of my youth. thanks for the reassurance! sincerely yours, John DalaneMike here: First, if you haven't already, read the articles in the "Star Testing and Collimation Tips" section on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Second, be aware that you can make matters worse if you are not very careful when collimating the ETX. It is not that simple, especially without an "optical bench", and you have to take the ETX apart (which may invalidate any warranty), although you can use the techniques described to collimate the ETX, if you take your time doing it. Third, are you sure you NEED to collimate the ETX? Even my 12 year old ETX-90 hasn't needed it, and it is the one that has been used the most, including a trip to Australia in 1999.
hey mike, i just started going through your stuff reading through it and going over it a few times. i just want to take the meade etx-125 off the mount and put it on my LXD55,=, to do that i have to open the 125 tube?right? or do i have to open up the tube? i don't have the telescope yet so i'm not familiar with it yet.Mike here: To remove the ETX OTA from the fork arms you just remove four bolts (two on either side of the tube) and then carefully pry the tube adapters away from the tube. Then you can mount the ETX OTA on the LXD55 but you will need to purchase mounting rings and a dovetail adapter for the LXD GEM head. You can get those from Losmandy or ScopeStuff (links on the Astronomy Links page) or from your favorite telescope dealer. By the way, see the article "ETX-125 on a LXD75 Mount" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. The LXD75 is very similar to the LXD55 mount.
thanks mike, i jst got an email from a friend link me to this i'm so glad it wasn't what i thought before! thanks! John DalaneMike here: Yes, unlike collimating the ETX (which was not designed to be user-collimated, nor is it normally necessary), the ETX-90/105/125 OTA can be easily removed from the fork mount.
Subject: accessory holder Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2008 07:42:06 From: kevin wonders (email@example.com) I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I saw some where, a eyepiece holder that fits between the scope and the tripod. Any help would be great. Thanks Kevin WondersMike here: See the Accessories: Tripods page for a couple. There is also a DIY one in the article "Accessories Shelf" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: mysky-update problem Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 18:48:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) mike, after reading your 27 July report on updating your mysky I thought i'd update mine - bad move!!! I went to the update site & went through the steps as directed. the program found the location, programmed ,remove and reinsert the SD card, verified, and stated "update completed". I restarted the mysky & the screen showed version 1.tc as before . I redid the update with the same results,(DUH). I also have the program on my laptop - same procedure-same result. I'm stuck now. even reloaded ASU ! same result no1.3, GPS still on the screen. have you had any reports or other instances of this problem? Any help out there? Thanks for your site , it's a god sent to us beginners/technically challenged souls. clear skies Art MullenMike here: Have you tried to download the UPDATE application from Meade's site and then run that version on your computer? Or were you running the older version of the UPDATE application?
Since I don't have any idea what I'm doing-I uninstalled ALL " Meade" apps. & reentered mysky&auto-star suite ver.5.0. This is the disc that came with the Mysky. I updated the SD card, now ver. 1.2q appears. Looks like I'm going the wrong way!! Do I have to update the hand box to 43eg to get the latest mysky ver.?? I hesitate because the only time I tried to update - the hand box went blank and had to be replaced,(warranty thank goodness). Thanks for help & patientce Art MullenMike here: No, you don't have to update the AutoStar. Just run the mySKY update application. It should detect that it is an old version (assuming it IS an old version) and install the new one from Meade's site. Then it will download and install the mySKY update itself on the SD card. As I have noted in my mySKY review, I have not be able to do the update since my card reader is not recognized by Windows XP (although it works fine in Mac OS X).
Perhaps it is a "Vista" problem?? My lap top is running on XP & desk-top Vista- so I may be twice blessed !! I'll try a new SD card just for fun!! You are truly appreciated art Mullen
Subject: ETX-125PE and remote focus Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 14:42:34 From: Steven Burkey (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am trying to find out if it is possible to remotely focus the 125. I have the DSI 3 for a CCD camera and the F3.3 Focal reducer, I am using my computer in the house. I need to use a remote focuser with the Autostar Envisage program as I can use the focuser in the program. Is there a focuser out there that will do what I want. Steve BurkeyMike here: You should be able to control the Meade #1247 electronic focuser. However, a word of caution: the #1247 focuser is not a good fit to the PE model. I posted a tip on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page on today's Site update which offers a modification to let it work.
Subject: cataract surgery posting Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 15:55:01 From: Hardy Pottinger (email@example.com) I just read your posting from last year regarding your cataract surgery. I am anticipating having this done myself this fall and was wondering what effect it might have on my astronomy hobby. Thanks for your notes and encouragement! I'm looking forward to it. Cheers.. --hjpMike here: I didn't have cataract surgery. That article was by someone else; I suggest contacting the author directly. Best wishes.
Subject: focus knob Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 13:05:51 From: JayJay Clayton (firstname.lastname@example.org) hi.. have a slight problem with my focus knob... i had attached a cable extender but i didn't like the way it worked.. when turning it to the left, it felt really loose; when turning it clockwise, it felt too tight, so I took it off and put the original knob back on. However, I still have the same problem..counterclockwise feels loose, clockwise feels too tight.. Looking forward to any suggestions. seems like every time i do something to address an issue, I create at least one additional issue.. : ) by the way, had talked to you earlier about putting together a solar power supply.. i got the vw solar panel clay suggested from ebay and will pick up the jumpstart battery this weekend. will let you know how it all works out when i'm done with it..provided i don't fry my telescope. : ) Many thanksMike here: Is there excessive "image shift" when turning the focus knob? If so, the article "ETX Focus Shift" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page may help.
it isn't the image shift, it's a difference in tension when turning one way as opposed to the other..that didn't exist until i added the extender cable. many thanks.Mike here: Glad to hear there isn't any image shift. That means the primary mirror is moving as it should during focusing. I was worried that it was shifting. So the next step would be to check the shaft itself (per that article I mentioned). I doubt that adding the focus cable would have caused any problem.
I think it's time to send it in for a supercharge.. along with the focus knob issue, there's some backlash / jerkiness going on ..would be way in over my head dealing with those issues. many thanks.Mike here: Dr. Clay can take care of you! Keep me posted!
Subject: Plossl vs. "Super Plossl" eyepieces Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 11:38:50 From: Kevin S. Ladin (email@example.com) Firstly, I just want to thank you sincerely for developing and maintaining this wonderful website. You can't imagine how helpful and informative it has been to me as a novice ETX-125PE user. My previous scope was an Orion 6" Dobsonian reflector. What a difference! From what I've seen so far, the ETX blows away the Orion in essentially every area, even with its slightly smaller aperture. My reason for emailing you is to figure out the difference (if any) between the terms "Plossl" and "Super Plossl". I just purchased the Meade 4000 series eyepiece set along with the purchase of my new ETX-125PE telescope. I received a $100 discount on the eyepiece set by doing so. Problem is, they are listed on the Adorama website as "Plossl", not "Super Plossl". Is there a significant difference between the two and if so, did I make a mistake purchasing the set. I believe it also comes with a set of four filters and a 2X Barlow. Look forward to hearing back from you. Thanks once again. Sincerely, Kevin S. Ladin, M.D.Mike here: As I noted back in 2003 (discovered by searching the ETX Site for "super plossl"), "Well, in general the Super Plossls are better but the difference is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. Depending upon how you use your ETX-90, under what conditions, and what your expectations are, low-end eyepieces may work just as well as higher priced eyepieces. You may see more coma or be out-of-focus at the field edge but if that doesn't bother you then why pay for something better. On the other hand, keep in mind that the weakest link in your optics will show up in your views. The ETX-90 optics are pretty high quality and can benefit from better eyepieces." You should be OK with the eyepiece set. As to the Barlow Lens, if it is a "shorty-style" then it will work fine with the ETX.
Subject: Meade ETX Telescope Serial Number Location?? Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 08:15:51 From: Osmonson (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am trying to find out what the serial number is on my Meade ETX telescope, would anyone know where to find this Serial Number?? Thank you!Mike here: Some models didn't have serial numbers. But check inside the battery compartment or on the bottom of the base. Alternatively, if you have the brown shipping box, look on a label there.
Subject: Meade DS-2090AT-TC Review - THANK YOU Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 12:16:20 From: Richard Willingham (email@example.com) I purchased the DS2090 from Costco in the wild hope that the mount would be sturdy enough to hang my homemade 6" RFT on it since I do not have the time to build a proper mount. Since you gauged the mount as flimsy its going back to Costco unopened. Thanks for saving me the time of testing it. Two questions 1. Any suggestions for a mount for the RFT that would be inexpensive and sturdy? 2. I purchased the 50th C-8 to be manufactured in February of 1971. Are you aware of any collector item markets for oldies like this or is it just an old scope without aniti-reflection coatings? Thank you for your time. Richard WillinghamMike here: Well, you will have to define "inexpensive". Sturdy mounts for large telescopes usually cost a few hundred dollars. And then you have to add on mounting rings or adapters. But you could check out Vixen or Orion mounts. If you want a GOTO system, check out the LXD55 (used) or LXD75 mounts, which can use an AutoStar. As to selling the telescope, I'm sure there will be someone who would want it; checkout Astromart.com.
Subject: Chiefland Astronomy Village Star Party, 10/24/08-11/02/08 Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 17:13:20 From: DAVID REDDY (firstname.lastname@example.org) Chiefland Astronomy Village, located in Florida's Big Bend, is hosting a Star Party October 24 thru November 02, 2008. Chiefland boasts about 20 acres of dark observing fields, tons of electric for telescopes and some for RVs, restrooms, food, 4 vendors and some truly awesome amateur set-ups. $60 for the entire time, graduated down for less time. Preregister by Sept. 15 http://chiefland.org/ David Reddy New ETX125 owner
Subject: ETX-60,70,80 Spec Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 13:05:50 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) Would you happen to know if the ETX scope has an M42x1 thread on the diagonal mount? Pete FerrentinoMike here: I don't recall it being identified as such. It is not a standard size (i.e, SCT).
Subject: Your website.... Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 15:51:26 From: Eddie (email@example.com) Your website is unbelievable! I just purchased a Meade ETX125 PE. What's the best place on your site to start for tips on setup? There is so much on your site, I'm a little overwhelmed. Thanks in advance for your help! Eddie L. Allentown, PAMike here: The place to start is the Site Guide on the ETX Site home page. Then depending on your interests you will have a better feel where to start.
Subject: how many mirrored surfaces in the ETX125 Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 12:08:24 From: JayJay Clayton (firstname.lastname@example.org) Mike, how many mirrored surfaces are in the ETX125? Am still trying to find a consistent and easy way to measure position angle in double stars. If the number of surfaces is odd, (I think it is) then I think East is going to be clockwise from North. One of these days, I'll get this... : ) Thanks.Mike here: If you are using the flip mirror to direct the light up through the eyepiece hole there are 3 mirrors. Object viewed through an eyepiece in this position are reversed left to right but rightside up.
Subject: Re: Help with ETX 125 Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 05:21:04 From: Mike (Mike.email@example.com) I just came back from my holidays in the alps. I want to thank you for your help! Before living, I could repair the damages on the PCB. Mr. Henrik van Holthoon gave me the advice to make a bridge to replace the damaged track. And it worked!!! So I could use my telescope in the alps fot astro and nature observing. It was very interresting and fun! So, thank you once again! Best regards Mike
Subject: Want to Buy ETX-125-AT, being in Pakistan Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 01:57:40 From: Humair Abbas (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hope you'll be doing fine up there in the "skies" :) I have been in love with the sky since ages. Just to quench my thirst, I have been surfing the net to find a good-inexpensive telescope and have decided to go for ETX-125-AT; after devouring reviews, user comments, image results etc. for more than a week. Was unable to find anyone to help me with the purchase till I came to know about your site. Need your help on following points; Is ETX-125-AT recommend for a first-time-amateur user (not particularly interested in AstroPhotography)? How to get it, being in Pakistan? Would appreciate if you can help locate some dealer/sub-delaer of Meade's products working in Pakistan. PS: I have tried to purchase it from Pakistan but only one shop (Shams Store, Super Market, Islamabad) in capital city "Islamabad", had Meade's telescopes available and that too only ETX 80-TC. Dying to put my eye on the eyepiece and be lost in the universe. Best Regards, Humair Rizvi, Model Town A, Bahawalpur, Punjab, PakistanMike here: Yes, the ETX-125AT (or the PE model, which is newer) will make a fine telescope, especially when used from dark skies. As to a dealer, check the Meade site for international dealers: http://www.meade.com/dealerlocator/international.html.
I have checked on below mentioned site, but none are from Pakistan. Anyways thanks for responding, will let you know when I get hold of ETX as am onto it. :)
Subject: re: solar power generator Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 16:48:39 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) The solar power system that link refers to has two or three (to my eyes) major deficiencies... First, the text on the first page says things like "It takes 5-8 hours to charge a dead battery; 1-3 hours to top off a weak one." However, the panel in the photo (as revealed by specs on the "tech specs" page) is only a 5.5 watt, 0.35 amp panel. If the 95 amp hour battery were indeed dead, it would take 95/0.35 hours, or 271, or over 22 days of 12 hours a day sun to recharge with that panel. For simply the purpose of running the ETX, you'd need about three hours of sun time for every hour of telescope operations with that panel. (Assume the ETX draws one ampere. Thus for one hour of operation, you'd need one ampere-hour from the battery. One ampere at 12 volts is 12 watts. So a 5.5 watt panel would take 12/5.5= 2.18 hours to replace 12 watts of energy. Solar panels have three ratings, use the watts for an "average" value. As it happens, i -use- a solar panel to keep my LX200gps battery topped up. My battery is a 17 amp hour "JumpStart" battery, sold at auto parts stores and stores like WalMart. Typical prices range from $30 to $50, depending upon sales. Mike's site has a review of a lot of them on this page: http://www.weasner.com/etx/buyer-newuser-tips/powersupplytable.html For the solar panel, i paid $22 for a 3 watt (so half the power output of the panel on that website) VW panel... Volkswagen evidently ships their cars and vans over with solar panels in the windows to keep them "alive" in the dealer's lots... and folks sell the not-sold-with-vehicle panels on ebay. A quick example shows *two* panels for $14 plus shipping as eBay item 110279101512 at www.ebay.com If you use their "search" window for "VW solar panel" you'll see dozens of auctions. The one i bought had a cigarette light plug for attaching to the car, and that fits my JumpStart's 12v output quite happily. (the example ebay item above does -not- have a cigarette plug, but they're easy to replace with one from RadioShack). Since my JumpStart has two 12v outputs, i could attach two panels. For just an ETX, a 17 amp hour battery will last you through at least one full overnight, or 3 or 4 "evening" sessions. The JumpStarts come with a plug-in-the-wall recharger, too, so you're not tied to requiring sunlight in the day to still enjoy the night. have fun --dickMike here: I have used the Celestron PowerTank (7AH model) with my ETX, LXD, and LX90 telescopes. In fact, I have used it with two telescopes at a time for several hours or one telescope and an AC inverter to power a digital camera. I've even used it at temps around freezing and it has always outlasted me in duration.
Subject: [none] Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:57:59 From: Bill VanOrden (firstname.lastname@example.org) I think what you are experiencing with your LX90 (and my friend Ken Sikes plus two other local users) is what is now typical of Meade's product QC and Support/Repair. I am extremely good at the ETX/AutoStar scopes having had mine for many years and "fixed" a large number of them for people at star parties. I have never been able to get the ETX125PE of Ken's to work correctly and neither has Ken. Meade said the RA Lock knob was broken and also replaced something in the LNT setup. That never fixed anything and the scope came back from Meade damaged on the DEC fork arm, the pieces were just thrown in with the scope in the plastic bag. Ken is planning on stripping the OTA from the mount and has plans to throw it away as that is the value of it to him. We are consulting on another mount to put it on. My wonderful ED80 APO Triplet is the LAST SCOPE I will ever buy from Meade. The quality cannot be trusted. I almost bought one of the My Sky devices for my wife. I sure am glad I didn't make THAT mistake! Meade - Reliability - Quality - Support = InTheSewer (my opinion) Beevo (aka Bill VanOrden)Mike here: Reminder - please read the Email Etiquette page; your message was originally UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing Subject entry. Meade is addressing the quality concerns. Hopefully we'll see some improvements soon.
I used YOUR link... ;o) I doubt they will get it corrected and if they do it will be at a point where they have lost credibility on their non-XMAS scopes. A friend in Prescott has a 16" SCT that is just terrible on the electronics. It's too bad. BeevoMike here: As I've noted before, Apple went through the similar problems back in the early-mid 1990s when the CEO at the time (Spindler) decided to try to save money by reducing the QA staff. That backfired on him (and he was eventually fired). The current Meade CEO seems to have followed a similar concept and it has backfired on him too. But hopefully, like Apple has, Meade can arise from the dead and return to its greatness.
Subject: Editorials Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 09:37:25 From: Bob Harris (email@example.com) I just read on the ETX yahoo site that Scopetronix is out of business. Do you know if this is true? I just placed an order (on Thursday for $55) with them, gave a credit card number, and received a receipt. Am I in trouble with this? Bob HarrisMike here: The Editorial Page on my ETX Site discusses Scopetronix.
Subject: solar power generator Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 09:13:38 From: JayJay Clayton (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hi; am wanting to get a solar power generator for my ETX125PE. I ran across this website and wanted your feedback about whether this homemade solar power generator would work or not. Or if you know of something else, would like to know that as well. http://www.rain.org/~philfear/how2solar.html Thank you as always. JulieMike here: As long as you get 12VDC and 1500mA to the ETX (with the proper polarity) you should be OK. I have seen other solar solutions powering telescopes but I don't know the manufacturers.
Subject: RE: ETX-125 EC Troubles Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2008 14:37:22 From: Jeff Goldstein (email@example.com) Interestingly, I had to verify that the DEC innards were metal not plastic, even though the DEC works great. Evidently, that's their yardstick for determining whether or not they have parts for the ETX-125. Fortunately, mine were all metal parts. If it were plastic inside the DEC assembly, they will not even fix it, since they claim they have no parts. This may be useful info for someone with the same/similar troubles. Sincerely, Jeff -----Original Message----- From: P. Clay Sherrod [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Wow...that IS expensive. I have no idea why they have gone up, other than the fact that it might be the obsolete model telescope. Good luck on this. 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: "Jeff Goldstein"
I just shipped it to Meade, today. Their quote was 150 + 15 shipping. Guess they went up. It's still worth it since the optics were pristine and when the GOTO's used to work, it was really accurate. Thanks, Jeff
Ohhhh...so the price of the metallic version repair is actually higher. That makes sense. They do NOT have parts; I have the only parts in any quantity of anyone, those having been bought right before Meade discontinued servicing the older models. And my supply is very limited. Thanks for the information. Dr. Clay
Subject: Blown PCB ETX125 Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2008 07:19:41 From: Henrik van Holthoon (email@example.com) Hallo Frenchman, Can you not bridge the burned PCB wire from the side you can acces that would much easier no need to take the scope apart however this will not help if one of the active components are blown as well. Good luck (Mzos SW France) Henrik
Subject: Ring for the ETX 125 Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 22:13:37 From: carl cohen (firstname.lastname@example.org) Do you where I can get a clam shell type ring for ETX125, that would allow me to attach things to it. Dark Skies, Carl CohenMike here: Not certain what you mean by a "clam shell" ring. But if you mean a piggyback camera adapter, you can easily make one using the various tips on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. If you want to purchase one, Oceanside Photo and Telescope (OPT) usually has them in stock. Alternatively, if you want a more heavy duty mounting attachment, Losmandy and ScopeStuff (links on the Astronomy Links page) has rings and dovetails that will go on the ETX-125. OPT probably has these as well.
Subject: Weaver ETX 90 spotting scope Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 20:13:32 From: Dale Wesley (email@example.com) I hope you can help me with a question I have about reducing the foal length, hence the magnification of my Weaver ETX90 spotting scope. I use my ETX as a spotting scope to locate and observe animals from a distance. I want to reduce the magnification of my spotting scope to around 15x to achieve a sharper image and larger field of view. I have just ordered a Meade f3.3 Focal Reducer and back cell adaptor from Optic Planet in the hope that I can achieve a lower magnification as well as a larger field of view. However after reading articles on the internet I am unsure it I can use the focal reducer to achieve this objective. Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated Thank you. Dale WesleyMike here: As long as the SCT adapter for the ETX fits, you should be able to mate the focal reducer. However, you will likely see vignetting in the field of view. Also, not all eyepieces may achieve focus with the reducer. There are alternative focal reducers discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page.
Thank you for your fast response. Much appreciated. Dale Wesley
Subject: ETX125 not turning by right or left arrows on Hand piece Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2008 15:07:55 From: Louis Welke (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have a ETX125 telescope that worked very good until last night when after it went through the steps of alignment which were counter clockwise until the scope stops and then enter, it then leveled and then wanted to turn to go north and I realized I didn't have it locked and so while it was turning I locked it and it then pointed north and then slewed to the first bright star and I pushed enter and then before it slewed to the second star I received a motor failure message that told me various reasons for this which I felt none except that I locked the clutch (as I should have before entering) but did this during the turning to north . Now when I turn my ETX on I can move the scope up and down by the hand piece but get no movement right or left when I press these arrows or even hear a motor operating, I can move the scope up and down and right and left manually with the locks disengaged so I know there is no obstruction. I tried the calibrate motors in the setup and it only moved the scope up and down and nothing else. I bought this ETX125 this past April and it should be under a warranty but wanted your opinion to see if there was a simple thing I could do before calling Meade. I also have a 8" LX90 that I also use and is less than a year old and wondered if the hand pieces were interchangeable in case the ETX hand piece was faulty. I value your opinion very much and look forward to your opinion on this. Louis WelkeMike here: Have you tried to do a RESET? Locking the axis while the telescope is moving (or trying to) should not have created such a failure. Check the AutoStar cable connectors and jacks for pin condition (not too depressed, dirty, bent sideways).
My apologies on sending you a message about my ETX125 having right and left turning problems, because I then checked out the Meade #541 12 volt adapter warnings that told me that a 7/31/08 posting on your site mentioned a person having almost the same problem and then having problems getting them to fix his scope. I have a 3 yr assurance plan on my ETX purchased from Woodland Hills camera in Mar. '08 and hope that it will be honored by Meade. Louis Welke
I talked to a customer rep at Meade this morning and he told me to try the reset which i did and no luck so he told me to send the scope in after I got a authorization number and also to include a check for return shipping. I did all that and now comes the waiting. Thanks for your comments, I will not trust AC adapters any more for any Meade scope. Lou WelkeMike here: I've used my Meade AC Adapters many times over the past several years without any problems. Of course, it IS several years old.
Subject: Help with ETX 125 Sent: Saturday, August 9, 2008 12:50:31 From: Mike (Mike.email@example.com) my name is Mike, I am located in france. I have a real problem with my Meade ETX 125 PE. I hope you can help me.... I bought my ETX some days ago. I wanted to make a 12V DC cable by my self. Unfortunately I made a wrong wiring. This means I had the positiv and negativ 12V inverted. Some smoke came out of the telescope. It seems that I burned some components on the little PCB (the PCB with all the connectors) I would like to diassemble this PCB (see picture) to look at the somponents on it, but I dont understand how I can diassemble it... must I diassemble the whole telescope? If you look at the picture in the attachement you will see a track that has turned black because of the short circuit! maybe the track is damaged an there is no contact between both ends of the tracks, I dont know I wanted to go on holiday tomorrow with my new telescope (trip in the mountains). I think it will not be possible.... I am so sad about my own mistake.. I really hope you can give me some informations or maybe you can give some email adresses of person that vould help me. Thank you very much in advance! Best regards Mike
first of all, thank you for your answer! Yes I could use it manually. But for someone who beginns with astronomy its not very easy to find the stars/objects and follow them. I have some experience with soldering of elctr. components. So its wirth trying. Your right, I have to remove this small board. The problem is that its soldered on the connectors for the handbox. So the plastic plate wich has the connectors, the connectors and the board are 1 piece I dont see any possibility to remove it. There is a plastic holder that makes impossible to pull or push it out of the case It seems that its tighten from the other side of the big metal plate So I have to access to the backside of the metal plate. Do you know how to diassemble the telescope to get there? I think I have to remove the tube and plastic covers... RegardsMike here: There are some disassembly tips on on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. But I don't know if they are in sufficient detail for you.
Subject: ETX-125 EC Troubles Sent: Thursday, August 7, 2008 21:53:37 From: Jeff Goldstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) I tried in vain, tonight to fix a slipping RA Clutch in my ETX-125 EC. Based on your "Using the Meade ETX" book's recommendation of removing the RA chrome clamp, then using it to loosen and unscrew the long bolt, I could not get to the clutch. I tried to separate the top half (assuming the clutch was beneath this base). No luck, so I just screwed the bolt back in and tightened it. But now, in putting it back together, I've really screwed things up. When tightening the long bolt back, I managed to shear a couple of the delicate wires you mentioned. I knew something was wrong when I did not have Declination control at all. I found the sheared blue and black wires after removing the bolt, again. Strange setup having a "slotted" bolt like this. Obviously, the wires run down the slot. I had no idea this would be such a delicate job. Now that I've screwed up the wires, what should I do? Send it to Meade? Dr. Clay? The optics are very fine on the scope, and it's a shame not to have the use of it. I'm so sorry I tried to do this job, myself. I thought I was pretty good at fixing things. Until now What's your recommendation? Sincerely, Jeff GoldsteinMike here: I'll let our resident hardware expert Dr. Clay Sherrod respond.
From: P. Clay Sherrod (email@example.com) I am reading between the lines and guessing that this is a newer model than the early EC models with the all-plastic base. If this is a newer one with metal inside the base and fork arms, the instructions for tuning up the performance do NOT apply to the newer ETX scopes and as many experts on Mike's site elude: do not attempt to modify this telescope....even the EC model was a very difficult subject to adjust the RA clutch without damaging the wires....not something for the inexperienced to attempt. Because the wiring loom passes through the turntable and is very critical for operation of the telescope, Meade will need to replace the entire wiring loom, not just repair the two broken wires. On the other hand, if you can get it apart (I am assuming the wires are broken INSIDE the turntable where you cannot get to them?) if you can get the base apart, you can have a good computer electronic repair tech micro-solder them back together properly. You have entered "no man's land" when you attempt to separate the base from the fork arms; it should never be done. Very sorry for the troubles with the scope and I wish you the best on this. 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/
Ok, excellent advice from Dr. Clay. I will send the scope back to Meade. Lesson learned, here, the hard way. Yes, indeed, I have the metal inside the base (therefore must be a newer model). I'll try to get a repair number from Meade and send it as soon as I can. Thank you again, for your superlative analysis of my "screw up" and remedy. For the life of me, I could not get the top half (above the clutch) apart, once I had the slotted bolt out. Then, once I put it back, and noticed it was nice and tight, I though things were fixed due to the tightening. Not so. That replacement tightening of the slotted bolt twisted, chewed up, and subsequently sheared the loom wires. I'll let the experts at Meade charge me the "big bucks" to fix it. Would you say around $100? The scope's optics are truly incredible! I've seen the red spot on Jupiter several times, Jupiter's moons eclipsing Jupiter, four of Saturn's moons, and split some difficult double stars with these optics. They're the sharpest I've seen, short of and APO Refractor! I really appreciate the prompt reply and advice. Most humbly and sincerely, Jeff Goldstein
Best of luck on this; be sure and specify exactly what the problems are....everything that you know of.....when talking to Meade and ask them to fix it all; it will be the same price anyway, about $75 typically. Dr. Clay
Subject: Meade MySky Reviews Sent: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 13:32:22 From: JOHN SABELLA (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have a ETX125 PE and was thinking about getting the Meade MySky. I am extremely glad I read the customer reviews(23 in total) at: http://www.amazon.com/review/product/B000P9ELC4/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt ?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 After reading them, I think I'll pass! Wow, I couldn't believe how bad the quality of the product is according to the reviews. Had you heard any of this? Just a FYI. John R. SabellaMike here: You can read my comments on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page.
Subject: ETX 125 Stored for 3 Years Sent: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 11:59:46 From: Phillip Burns (email@example.com) I have had my ETX 125 stored for over three years. I am in a position to start using it again but want to know if there is anything I should do before I start operating it again. Also the Autostar has not been updated during that time period. FYI, it was previously tuned by Dr. Sherrod. Thanks for your help. Phil BurnsMike here: You do not NEED to update the AutoStar but it won't hurt to do it. Of course, you'll need the right cable (a #505 serial cable, see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page), a serial connection on your computer, and the right software (Meade's for Windows, or AutoStarX for Mac OS X). If you have only USB you will need a USB-Serial adapter but be aware that not all adapters work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page. As to checking the telescope, I hope you had removed the batteries before storing the telescope. If not, check the battery compartment for leakage and clean it up thoroughly if the batteries leaked. Also, remove the aperture cover and check the condition of the coating and look inside the tube. Depending on how and where it was stored, it is possible that bugs or moisture could have gotten inside the tube. Also, again depending on how and where it was stored, you should check inside the base and fork arms for corrided wiring and/or rust. Lastly, unlock both axes and slowly move the OTA by hand from hard stop to hard stop, in both directions, back and forth. This will redistribute the lubrication.
Thanks Mike. I did take out the batteries. The scope was stored in an ETX case and was kept in a dry place. I will check as you recommended. Thanks so much for your assistance.
Subject: ETX90EC construction Sent: Sunday, August 3, 2008 14:49:45 From: Dr Robert Pasken (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have removed the rear port plastic assembly from my etx90 several times and have all seen nothing more than a machined back with focus assembly. There are no screws for collimation. This is in line with the construction of other small Mak's like my OTI Quantum-4. The tubes are machined to insure collimation. I went to the telescope tips section to get the outline for cutting foam inserts and notice Doc Griner had a disassembly page. When I went there the pictures clearly showed collimation screws. The disassembly photos are identical to mine EXCEPT the collimation screws. Anybody have a clue why mine would be different?Mike here: The ETX was not designed to be user collimated (and normally no collimation is required). The mounting screws for the primary mirror are not accessible through the rear port. There are collimation tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
That is not the point. The photos in the Telescope Tech Tips page about collimation show three pairs of push/pull screws for collimation. My ETX does not have those three pairs of push/pull screws. Once again when I remove the plastic fairing that holds the flip mirror and the eyepiece holder, the rear of the ETX tube does not have the three push/pull screws shown in the Telescope Tech Tips page concerning collimation. In my case it is a flat housing with JUST the rod used for focussing.Mike here: I guess Meade removed them. If you want to submit updated photos I'll post them.
Subject: Telescope Equipment Theft & ETX Purchase Question Sent: Sunday, August 3, 2008 13:23:10 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) Just found your website while googling to research ETX-125 scopes to help me decide whether to purchase one. First, I think your unfortunate theft experience was an inside job, someone who definitely knew such equipment was there, if only your astronomy equipment was targetted. I'm probably stating the obvious. My parents house was broken into over 20 years ago when everyone- except me- was away on a trip to Florida. It was too much of a coincidence and I think the perpetrators thought I would be gone too. Thankfully, I came home and must have interrupted the break-in, finding a rear door ajar, basement door lock popped, and some of my father's tools from the garage neatly on the floor in the garage obviously used to assist the break-in- but no one in the house. Someone who must have been familar with the layout of the house had to have done it, but we never found out who. Nothing was stolen, just the damage to the broken door locks. Only consolation is maybe that I didn't find them when they were deeper in the house; might have turned tragic for one or both parties. Secondly, I was intereseted in buying a scope primarily for lunar viewing, and lunar photography if possible. I have only owned a cheapo 60 mm department store scope. I'm out of work recently, but am determined to get a scope (got one of those "no interest on purchases until 2009" credit cards before I got laid off). I want to enjoy the various 40th anniversary of the Apollo missions coming up over the next few years. Would an ETX-125 provide sufficient viewing power, and astrophography capabilities, for viewing the moon? Thanks, ChrisMike here: The astronomical equipment was all that was left as we were moving. They would have been the last items that I moved. As to using the ETX for lunar work, there are many fine examples of lunar astrophotography on the various ETX astrophotography pages. So yes, it can do that. And it will make a fine visual telescope as well.
Subject: ETX125PE repair Sent: Saturday, August 2, 2008 05:56:35 From: gesc (email@example.com) I have an issue of broken plastic gear box housing of RA motor of ETX125, but it seems hard for me remove the worm and gear from the centre axis. Please advise how I replace this worm and gear or any picture or links that help me in doing so. If I send the ETX-125PE for repair, what is the charges and lead-time. Regards, Anthony Chung (Hong Kong)
Subject: ETX 90 circuit board question Sent: Friday, August 1, 2008 23:05:17 From: Laurence Hecht (firstname.lastname@example.org) Does anyone know where the black wire from the battery case should attach to the circuit board on the ETX 90EC? While I was fixing the RA clutch assembly, the black wire running from the battery case disconnected. I re-soldered it to Pin "1," next to the red wire at the upper right-hand corner (looking from inside) of the vertical circuit board. The controller powers, but only at high speed, and it turns on with all the speed control LEDs flashing. If anyone wants a version of EC for use as a prop in SciFi movies, this might be the way to go. LarryMike here: Does the article "Repairing Broken Battery Wires" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page help?
And an update:
Thanks for the reply. I've solved the battery connection problem in the meanwhile. Now, I am finding that the RA motor only goes at high speed, whereas the Dec motor steps through the 4 speeds available on the #491 controller. The other anomaly is that all four LED "speed" lights blink when the unit is turned on, and only stop when a button is pressed. Any ideas? Thanks. LarryMike here: It sounds like there is still a wiring problem.
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