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ETX FEEDBACK
Last updated: 31 August 2010
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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.

Mike here: Thanks to everyone who has taken the ETX Site Survey. The results are now available.


Subject:	ETX90 with eyepiece zoom Baader  Hyperion 8-24mm
Sent:	Tuesday, August 31, 2010 06:47:27
From:	Colletta, Francesco (francesco.colletta@cotralspa.it)
I am Francesco Colletta, writing from Italy. I would like to ask if
there are any problems of balance or with the drive motors using an
eyepiece zoom Baader Hyperion 8-24 mm (280gr.), with or without a Barlow
lens 2x, with a telescope ETX90.
 
Thanks in advance for your reply, and best regards.
Francesco Colletta
Mike here: I am not familiar with that zoom eyepiece, but I suspect from reports on similar eyepieces, it should be OK. Remember, you will likely need a "shorty" style Barlow Lens for the ETX.

And:

Thank you for the fast reply Mr. Weasner (not Weaner!). I forget also to
say that I have an electric focuser. Is there are any problems with it
and the baader eyepiece?  What do you mean exactly for "shorty" barlow?
Can you suggest some models to compare of a short an a long Barlow ?

thanks

Francesco Colletta
Mike here: Well, the focuser adds to weight (probably small) but if all the weight becomes a problem, you can add a counterweight system to the telescope. Lots of articles on that on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. The "shorty" style of Barlow Lens means that the Barlow Lens is a short tube model. The Meade #126 Barlow Lens is one such mode. There are others that will work with the ETX but longer tube Barlow Lens models may not allow focus to be reached with all eyepieces.
Subject:	ETX-125 immediately slews and won't stop
Sent:	Friday, August 27, 2010 20:04:07
From:	Loren Jackson (loren@bajabb.com)
Hope you can help me out here.

My Meade ETX-125 PE immediately slews to the right as soon as I turn it
on.  Nothing I can do makes it stop.

If it makes a difference... I usually use a Celestron power tank as my
power source.   I noticed it was in need of charging, so I switched to a
Meade 541 AC Adapter.  The problems began shortly after I did this. 
Don't know if it was a coincidence, or if there is a direct
relationship.

Do you have any ideas about how I might fix it?  Or does this look like
a "send it to the factory for repair" kind of thing?

I have really enjoyed using this scope and am frustrated that it is now
totally unusable.

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to offer.

Sincerely,
Loren Jackson
PS  I purchased the scope in October 2008, so the warranty has expired.
Mike here: Usually, a CALIBRATE MOTOR will solve this, especially if it occurs when switching the power source. Sometimes, it may be necessary to RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and then TRAIN DRIVES.

And:

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.  I actually tried that, but no
luck.  (Saw it in your FAQ section.)  The motor runs constantly when I
turn it on.  I can use the hand unit and the menu function, but the
motor runs and the scope slews the entire time - no matter what function
I am trying to use.  When I got to CALIBRATE MOTOR, the scope briefly
slewed up and down, but never stopped slewing right.  I even hit the
reset button (and the scope DID reset) but it never stopped slewing
right.

A customer service rep at Meade suggested I try disconnecting the LNT
module thinking it might be malfunctioning (trying to find north.) 
Haven't done that yet as I'm going to have to buy a driver that fits the
tiny little hex screw.

Any other ideas?

Loren
Mike here: Well, it could be that the LNT has gone berserk, but unless you got stuck in AUTO ALIGN somehow, that shouldn't be happening. One other thought, which you probably don't want to hear, is that there have been reports over the years of the #541 AC Adapter damaging ETX telescopes; see the article "Meade #541 AC Adapter" on the Announcements: Warnings! page.

And:

Yeah, I saw that warning... AFTER the scope started going berserk.  Wish
I had seen it sooner!

I'll try the LNT thing tomorrow, but I think it is a long shot.  I'm
afraid I'm going to have to send it back to Meade.

Thanks so much for your help and advice.  I really enjoy your website.

Loren

PS  I'll let you know if it looks like a bad LNT unit.
Mike here: One other possibility: it could be that the AutoStar software has become corrupted. You could reload the it (assuming you have the #505 serial cable and a RS-232 serial port on your computer).

And:

Thanks, Mike.  I'll look into that possibility before I send it off.  To
be honest, I'm not sure what a #505 serial cable and RS-232 serial port
are, but I  can probably figure it out.

Loren
Mike here: The AutoStar can be connected to a computer using a #505 RS-232 serial cable. You can easily make such a cable; see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. However, most recent computers have only USB ports, and no RS-232 serial port. If your computer has only USB, then you need a USB-serial adapter. But not all adapters work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page. I recommend Keyspan adapters; they have driver software for both Macs and PCs. Meade also has an adapter (for Windows only). You use the Meade AutoStar Update application (Windows only) to update the AutoStar #497. Or AutoStar_X (Mac OS X; link on the AutoStar Info page) or StarPatch (from http://www.stargps.ca).

And:

Thanks again, Mike.  You've been a big help.  I really appreciate it!

Loren

Subject:	EXT 125EC printed circuit boards!
Sent:	Friday, August 27, 2010 09:39:33
From:	James Grimes (rixner6@comcast.net)
What do you think are  my chances of obtaining the two circuit boards
located in the base of my scope? I am sure this is my problem.   Thanks,
Jim
Mike here: From Meade? Changes are not good unless you send the telescope to them. From Dr. Clay Sherrod via his "Supercharge Tune-up Service"? Maybe. Or you could try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject:	etx 125
Sent:	Thursday, August 26, 2010 13:28:43
From:	Charles Eye (nitesky3@sbcglobal.net)
I set up the scope yesterday and did the reset, calibrate motor and
trained the drives and last night tried taking some more pictures of
Jupiter. Once I did the one star align the scope stayed on track, didn't
take off to left field like it was doing. Thanks for the advice on this.

Subject:	What about a 12volt 7ah battery.
Sent:	Wednesday, August 25, 2010 16:35:21
From:	James Grimes (rixner6@comcast.net)
The reason I ask that is would it be to powerful amp-wise for the EXT
125EC to run on?????Jim
Mike here: I use a Celestron Power Tank 12VDC 7AH power pack. Works fine. See my review on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page.
Subject:	Hello!
Sent:	Wednesday, August 25, 2010 15:33:26
From:	James Grimes (rixner6@comcast.net)
My name is Jim Grimes, and I own a 125, which I am very happy with.
Probably the closet thing I will get to a Questar.Anyhow; after a night
of good seeing, I retired about 5 in the morning, and the next day when
I was preparing to do some viewing, I was surprised to learn none of the
commonds from the electric controller worked. I checked all that I could
to see if there was anything evident I was overlooking. I slowly opened
the base and one fork of the scope, and found that the motors responded
to the 12volt current, and ran smoothly.

If you have any ideas on what could be wrong, I would really appreciate
a response. Meade informed me it would take at least $150.00, plus
shipping both ways to repair it. I am somewhat friendly when it comes to
fixing things mechanical, and some electrical. I have a suspicious
feeling it is in those little printed circuit boards, but before I go
any further I would gladly take any suggestions available into account.
My e-mail address is rixner6@comcast.net.

Thank you in advance......Jim.
Mike here: Hey, it is your lucky day. I accidently saw your message as it was being deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous Subject line. As requested on the ETX Site home page, PLEASE read the Submittal Guidelines. Thanks for understanding. As to the problem, which "electric handcontroller" do you have, the older "EC" handcontroller or an AutoStar #497?

And:

Thank you very much for your understanding, and patience.
 
As I stated before; It worked fine the night before, and the next day it
would not respond to the controller at all. Both motors work from 12
volts. The red led lights when it throw the switch to on, and the lights
on the controller all blink until it press, "speed" or "mode" button.
When I depress any of the direction buttons, nothing happens.

Again, thanks for putting up with my ignorance, I meant no
disrespect.......Jim
Mike here: From your description about the lights, you must have the standard handcontroller. I assume you tried to increase the slewing speed to the fastest setting. Have you tried replacing the internal batteries with fresh ones (instead of using an external 12 VDC power supply)? If not, I suggest trying that as well. Lastly, which external power supply are you using? Not all will work well with the ETX, especially if they are not at least 1.5A.
No disrespect perceived. Just that there is an email etiquette needed due to the volume of email I receive. Hence, that document.

And:

OK, Mike; Thanks for all the info, and I follow each step and see what
happens. I appreciate your time, and will  let you know what solutions I
find work.......Jim

Subject:	My new EXT 105 site
Sent:	Tuesday, August 24, 2010 09:51:40
From:	adrian@tamiyatanks.com (adrian@tamiyatanks.com)
I have been a user of your site for over 4 years, and I am now setting
up my own site

http://www.digitalnightsky.com/

The site will showcase the pictures I have take with my scopes including
my previous ETX 60 and my current ETX 105.

It would be great if I could get listed on your ASTRONOMY LINKS page so
I can share my pictures with other ETX users.

I would also like to add a link to your site on my links page if that is
okay.
 
Thanks!
Adrian

Subject:	etx 125 problem
Sent:	Sunday, August 22, 2010 07:19:34
From:	Charles Eye (nitesky3@sbcglobal.net)
Hi, I like your site, its been very educational for me.  I was wondering
if anyone else has had this problem with the etx 125, after doing the
initialization and the 2 star alignment everything seems to be working
fine and after about 5 or 10 minutes it just takes off like its slewing
to an alignment star. Last night I tried for the first time some astro
photography and after attaching the nikon d70 I did a one star align and
was trying some pics of Jupiter and once again it takes off to left
field, luckily I was fast enough after the camera hits the base I turned
off the power so the gears weren't stressed too much. Have you heard of
this problem before?  thanks for any feedback on this...... Chuck
Mike here: Typically, a RESET, followed by a CALIBRATE MOTOR and then TRAIN DRIVES will solve that problem.
Subject:	Re: ETX 125 ..front lens removal.
Sent:	Thursday, August 19, 2010 22:45:30
From:	harpazo (harpazo@xtra.co.nz)
Many thanks for your time and advice.

my 125 does no have "holes" in the front  to use a "peg tool" as
described on your page...so i am a bit confused.

Update Mike..I have already removed the smaller ring and 2 ring washers.
It is the larger outer ring that i need to revove to get the damaged
main lens out the front. Thankyou.
Mike here: Do you mean the corrector lens housing that attaches to the telescope tube? If so, that ring just unscrews from the end of the tube.
Subject:	ETX 125 ..front lens removal.
Sent:	Wednesday, August 18, 2010 02:35:48
From:	harpazo (harpazo@xtra.co.nz)
Can you direct me to a site that will tell me how to unscrew the metal
band that holds the front lens in place. I have tried using a couple of
tools like  filter wrenches  without results. Thank you. Murray

 Please reply to mujoben@gmail.com
Mike here: As noted on the ETX Site Home Page, please read the Submittal Guidelines (there is a specific request re: email addresses). Thanks for understanding. What you need is a spanner wrench. You can buy one or make one. See the article "Homemade Spanner Wrench" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Keep in mind that if you remove the lens, you will likely need to re-collimate the optics when you reassemble the telescope. This is not a trivial operation on the ETX models. See the Telescope Tech Tips page for more info.
Subject:	Re: ETX 125 AT Altitude fix?
Sent:	Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:05:04
From:	Steve (steve_bham@btinternet.com)
Ive found out what was causing the rocking in the scope when clamped
down. It was the metal bracket that holds the brass coloured cog (see
pic) it was a tad loose. Ive tightened it and no more slop :)

My only question is, because im not the mechanically minded should that
bracket have been loose? and would tightening it affect how the cogs
operate?

Many thanks

Steve

photo

Mike here: The mounting brackets should be tight against the supporting structures. Otherwise, you run the risk of messing up grooves or gear teeth.

And:

Thanks Mike :)

Subject:	Re: Hi (ETX Fdbk 8/16)
Sent:	Tuesday, August 17, 2010 08:53:45
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
Regarding the red dot finder, from the description given, it sounds like
the optical fiber has become dislodged. One end of the fiber is supposed
to extend slightly through the hole in the side of the module and
aligned to project the dot onto the lens. It is normally held in place
by a small drop of glue or epoxy. If that end has come loose, it will be
difficult to correct but it could be done. You have to align the tip so
it projects the dot onto the lens and re-apply epoxy. A 5-minute epoxy
will help since you have to maintain the alignment until the epoxy sets.

The other end of the fiber has a 'boot' or sleeve that slips over the
LED to channel the light into the fiber. Slipping the boot off the LED
allows the cover to be completely removed from the module.

Please note, the description given only applies to the early version LNT
with the lens on the side of the module. I am not familiar with the new
one.
 
Hope this helps.
 
Mike Hogan

Subject:	Re: ETX-125 Alignment
Sent:	Monday, August 16, 2010 11:49:44
From:	Ted Trostle (tctrostle@gmail.com)
Mead Customer Service said to first replace the LNT battery and go
through the calibration stuff. If that does not fix it, download and
install the latest Autostar software using the Autostar Updater.

I give these steps a go and report what happens, but that will not be
until this Friday as I am on a trip right now.

Thanks to both of you guys as like I said I am a returning entry level
novice !!

And an update:

Well I got back home sooner than planned and went right to the scope...

I cannot be too kind to Meade's customer service...they may need to
review who they have working for them. Here is why...

I decided to get into the MENU stuff before anything else. Lo there in
the UTILITIES menu right after Battery Alarm is WWVB. Pressing ENTER
gives you Start Up, but pressing the Up arrow key allows you turn OFF
the WWVB searching !!

This is not documented in the manual either.

As far as an software update, I think I will go with what I have
installed. If it is not broke, I do try to fix stuff!

Subject:	Hi
Sent:	Saturday, August 14, 2010 02:56:57
From:	deb kapil (kapilkumardeb@yahoo.com)
i recently bought a second hand Meade ETX105PE telescope,which came with
a 25mm eyepiece,the red dot finder doesnot works,when i look through the
eyepiece i could not see anything,its greyish.

could you advise what can be wrong if its the complete telescope lens or
the eye piece needs to be changed?

i reside in india i am not sure if Meade has its repair center here in
india.

regards

kapil
Mike here: First, my apologies for taking so long to respond. But I just discovered that your email had been rejected and deleted unread as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject line. As mentioned on the ETX Site Home Page, please read the Submittal Guidelines to ensure this doesn't happen again. Thanks for understanding. As to your viewing problem, have you read the manual? If one wasn't included with the telescope, you can download it from Meade's web site (http://www.meade.com/manuals/index.html). If reading the manual doesn't help you determine what you might be doing wrong, let me know and we'll troubleshoot this further. As to the red-dot finderscope, there are some LNT troubleshooting tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

i have read the manual,everything was set accordingly,i could only set
the red dot,when i could see anything from my telescope,any distant
object, but when i look into the telescope through the eyepiece nothing
is visible,its white colour spot.

in regards to the red dot finder,i tried to fix it myself, open the view
finder box and got hold of the flexi pipe,the red light blinks,but the
intensity is very low,even if i increased the intensity to max 12,the
red dot light is too weak to penetrate through the hole and can be seen
on the smart finder glass.

regards
kapil
Mike here: Lets address the viewing problem first. When you point the telescope at a distant object in the daytime, a building or tree, without the eyepiece inserted, when you look into the eyepiece hole do you see bright light? If so, then the flip-mirror is in the correct position. If not, rotate the flip-mirror knob until you do. Now, insert the eyepiece; do you still see a bright light? If so, rotate the focus knob until the distant object (more than a mile away if away) comes into the focus. You may have to rotate the focus knob several times; if you reach the end of its movement, rotate it in the other direction. Eventually you should be able to focus the distance object. As to the red-dot, if it is illuminating, then it could be OK. It is not a bright light since it is meant to be used in the dark at night. Have you tried at night? By the way, right now the moon makes an excellent object to learn how to use your new telescope.

And:

i have checked in the telescope without the eye piece,i could see the
distant object if i concentrate, but as i put the eye piece it becomes a
white patch, i tried turning the focus know reached the end and then
turned the other way,but it didnot make any slightest effect.it was
still a white patch,i could not see anything.

about the red dot, i tried seeing in the dark ,  the intensity is very
low to pearce the black box tiny hole and come to the smart view finder.
Mike here: If the focus doesn't change, then the focus shaft may have been disconnected. You have to disassemble the telescope to reconnect it. See the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. If the red-dot can't be seen easily at night, then there may be something wrong. I don't recall one specifically addressing that issue but check the LNT articles I mentioned earlier.
Subject:	ETX 125 AT Altitude fix?
Sent:	Saturday, August 14, 2010 14:19:29
From:	Steve (steve_bham@btinternet.com)
I have an ETX125 AT version and when tightened up has a slight rocking
movement of you push down on the back of the OTA. Ive removed both knobs
and underneath doesnt look like the method mentioned in stopping the
play in your tutorials. Mine has a small metal spacer type washer?
 
Am i doing something silly and looking at the wrong model guide?
 
Steve
Mike here: Some movement is normal if you push on the tube. The lock is just a fricton style mechanism and you can overcome this friction by pushing. If the telescope does GOTO and tracking normally, then there may not be a problem.

And:

Thanks for the quick reply, and thats great news! tracking and goto are
spot on so i wont worry to much about it as it only moves when you push
the tube.

Steve

Subject:	idont know
Sent:	Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:40:33
From:	ECH Photography (edwardhaan@att.net)
hey just a ? some one wants trad my ETX Astro Telescope  for an LX50
8in. with tripod and wedge
 
is that beter then a etx
 
thanks
Mike here: You can find the LX50 manual on Meade's manuals page (http://www.meade.com/manuals/index.html). Certainly the 8" telescope has more "light gathering" power, which will show fainter objects than the ETX 90mm telescope. However, the larger telescope is less portable than the ETX, which may or may not be a factor.
Subject:	ETX-125 Alignment
Sent:	Saturday, August 14, 2010 09:43:20
From:	Ted Trostle (tctrostle@gmail.com)
I am a returning entry level novice who has been away from the hobby for
about a year who has become engaged in the use of my ETX-125 again.

I never remember this happening before, but now when I initiate the auto
align, I see the scope trying to read the WWBV time signal and it will
sit there and never do anything. I can get out of that by hitting the
MODE button and then the scope just finishes the alignment and away we
go without a glitch.

There seems to be no information in the manual about this.

I do not have a Atomic Time module to plug in and my site location
settings are correct, plus the date and time are correct.

Can you suggest what might be happening?

Should do a system reset?

Should I replace the LNT battery (maybe not as the date and time are
correct)?

-- 
You cannot change history, but you can make history!
Except for education, there is no legal cure for stupidity.
Mike here: I don't recall any similar reports of that happening. If an AutoStar RESET doesn't cure it, perhaps our resident AutoStar expert, Dick Seymour, has a thought about the problem.

And:

I did a RESET of the AutoStar. That did not cure it.

There seems to be no functional impact and pressing the MODE button
allows me to move on.

Regardless it just seems strange.

I will call Meade and ask for their input and report here what I find..

And:

From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
I'd start by replacing the CR2032 battery in the LNT finder.

good luck

Subject:	FW: Used ETX 125 AT - is it for me? - Follow-up
Sent:	Friday, August 13, 2010 13:46:42
From:	Len Schiavino (lens5@verizon.net)
Got the new Dec lock knob promptly from Meade...good folks to deal with.

The replacement has an improved design....instead of the force-fit stud,
the knob is secured with a bolt through the knob with the hexhead
nestled in hexhead slot in the knob.  What a difference! Can now
actually secure the DEC without slippage.

Also received a screw to secure the 8x25 finder. Did the alignment the
other day...should make a big difference finding the targets (if we ever
get good seeing!).

Two other questions, if I may.

1.When viewing the moon, should I switch to lunar tracking, or is ok to
leave on sidereal?
2.Autostar 497..have an older version (1999?.What's your thoughts on
upgrading to latest?  The local telescope shop suggested not to, unless,
say, you are tracking satellites (which I am not).  They also said that
there is a failsafe to revert to the older version.

BTW, just sent a well-deserved contribution to help you defray some of
the costs.

Keep up the great work, Mike!

Best regards,

Len  
Mike here: At high magnification, lunar rate can be handy. But personally, I never bother switching from sidereal. Easier to just slew if necessary. Upgrading does three things: fixes bugs, updates ephemerides, and adds new features. If you are not experiencing bug related problems, don't need the new features, or don't mind the slightly out-of-date ephemerides, then as with any computer software, why update just because an update is available? If you do decide to update, be certain to use 4.3Eg. If you do want to downgrade later, older versions are in the AutoStar Software Archive on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.

And:

Thank you again!

Best regards,

Len  

Subject:	Looking for some guidance on selling my ETX-125 EC
Sent:	Thursday, August 12, 2010 08:16:27
From:	Doug Ahmann (doug@dougandmary.com)
I stumbled across your web site. WOW. Wish I had discovered it a few
years ago.

I have an ETX-125 EC that I bought from a colleague of mine a few years
ago. To be honest, I barely know what I have. He was a hard-core
hobbyist looking to upgrade his equipment. I thought I would get into it
more. I kept it up at our lake home, but there is usually so much going
on there with guests that I never was able to dedicate the required time
to get anything out of it. We looked at the moon a lot, which was
spectacular, but I'm embarrassed to say (given that I'm a software
engineer for Apple) I never spent the time to even set up the autostar.

Here in the city where we live, I doubt I would be able to see much. (Am
I wrong?)

Anyway, I decided a while ago (at my wife's urging) to bring it home and
list it on Craig's List. I only had one guy who is interested, and he is
waffling at the $450 price. (I started at $600. Did I mention my wife
wants it out of the dining room? ;-)

Now that I am reading your site, I'm getting all excited again.

I posted some photos of everything I have here:

http://dougandmary.smugmug.com/Hobbies/Meade-ETX-125-EC-telescope/13214457_GhaaS#959458908_7PQYj

I don't even know what some of the pieces are for.

First off, can you tell from the pictures which version of the ETX-125
it is? You mentioned something about a switch at some point from plastic
to metal for some parts. Wondering if this is a modern version and
fairly comparable to the currently shipping ETX-125?

I don't really need the $450, I just hated seeing it collecting dust.
But now I'm wondering, if this guy doesn't buy it, should I hold on to
it and try to dig in a bit deeper. If I could show my family the rings
of Saturn with this thing, they would be hooked. The sky is VERY clear
at our lake place. Spectacular really.

What do you think? Could I sort out using the autostar without spending
hours and hours on it? Is Saturn even visible from the northern
hemisphere this time of year?

Sorry to bother you, but thanks a million for any insight and
encouragement you can offer.

Worse case, I may be asking you to list it on your site for sale. Maybe
Saturn will prevent that from happening? ;-)

Thanks,
Doug
Mike here: I would say it is one of the original ETX-125AT models since you have the AutoStar and Meade #883 tripod. I couldn't tell if it has the UHTC coatings (label may be on the bottom of the telescope tube). But if you want to start really using it, even from light polluted cities, read the manual, three times indoors and then play with the telescope indoors until you get a good feel for how to use it. Then you can take it outside. Right now, the crescent moon, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter will make excellent first viewing targets. You can even see some of the brighter deep sky objects from within cities and the GOTO computer of the ETX will help you locate them.

And:

Thanks a million for the info. I will let you know how it goes. Playing
with it indoors is actually a great suggestion.

Cheers,
Doug

Subject:	Disassembling the ETX-125EC - LNT model
Sent:	Monday, August 9, 2010 08:22:36
From:	Rich Bates (rbates@smartneighborhood.net)
I am following the instructions posted at
http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/etxtu.htm (ETX Tune up) and I am to
the point where I remove the right OTA support from the forks.  However,
the support does not simply "slide out" as indicated by the tune up
instructions.  It's quite firmly wedged into place.  This is a newer ETX
purchased just this past September 2009 and has the wiring for the LNT
Smart Finder passing thru it.

My question is;  Should this support just slide out, or do I need to tap
it out with a small hammer, or what?

The problem I am trying to solve is that when the scope is raised via
the ETX, it "jams".  Going down is no issue.  What it sounds like is
that the worm screw is bouncing off the gear attached to the support
arm, but I need visual to confirm this.  This happens with the OTA in
place and with it removed.
 
Thank you for any assistance.
 
V/R
 
Rich Bates
Mike here: Those instructions are for EC (and some AT) models, not the Premier Edition models with the LNT. You may find that the article "ETX-125PE Mechanical Assembly Notes" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page is more useful for your model ETX.

And:

I was not reading the LNT section of your site.  My apologies.

That's exactly the one I am looking at now.  Thank you very much!! 
Great site!

And more:

Subject:	ETX-125EC suddenly "jams" while slewing up
I followed the article you suggested to disassemble the  right fork -
thanks.  Now here's the issue;

I took the scope out this past Saturday & Sunday.  Saturday worked fine
(except for a few minor operator errors).  Sunday worked fine for a
while, but suddenly the fork gears started to "jam" when elevating the
scope. Imagine this sound: whirr, whirr, whirr, BUZZZZZZZZ, whirr,
whirr, whirr....

I disassembled the fork and found the worm gear to be excessively tight
and NO lubricant in the well where the worm's drive gear sets into the
motor/gearbox housing.  I loosened the worm gear, applied some light
lubricant and things worked well until I reinstalled the OTA - then same
issue.  If I apply slight downward pressure on the eyepiece, the problem
is alleviated, but not solved.  The "jam" appears to be at random - I
marked the teeth where the "jam" occurs and they were never in the same
place.

The unit was not bumped or dropped before the issue started.  I have
checked the mesh between the worm gear and the elevation gear on the
clutch/hub and it's fine.  I am thinking it's time to just get a whole
new worm gear assembly - any other ideas?

I feel like if I can just slide the OTA back about 1/4" all will be
well, but that's another workaround, not a solution.  ANY
help/suggestions are appreciated!!!!!

V/R

Rich Bates
Mike here: It sounds like the worm gear is disengaging at some point during its rotation. That can happen if the worm gear housing is cracked or has broken loose. It could also be that there is a broken tooth on the gear. You might be able to repair the housing mounting if that is the problem. For replacement gears, see the article "Replacement Gears source" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	ETX 125 disassembly question...
Sent:	Friday, August 6, 2010 17:23:41
From:	Fred Rains (fjrains@bellsouth.net)
I am trying to remove the base from my 125 and have followed the
instructions on Tech Tips page. I have removed the large aluminum
retaining nut and that's as far as I got. The nut is off but the base
will not separate from the upper assembly. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Fred Rains
Birmingham, Alabama
Mike here: It could be that Meade changed the design for your model vs the article you are looking at. Look around for some other small screws or retaining clips. But are you trying to remove the OTA from the fork arms and base or something else?

And:

I'll look for additional clips. I'm trying to replace the hard stop. The
scope is binding in the azimuth and I suspect a piece of broken plastic
from the stop. I got the scope at a very good price and it looks like I
got what I paid for.... :) The binding is the only problem. Great
optics. If you think of something else please let me know.

Thanks again,
Fred
Mike here: When rotating the OTA in Azimuth, does is not go nearly twice around? If not, the problem is likely some obstruction, such as a wire or piece of debris. Use caution in doing the rotation as you don't want to cut a wire if that is the culprit.

And:

Will do.  The modular gear and motor assembly is really clever. Easily
removed and set aside. I'll keep at it and let you know. May help
someone else.

Send some clear skies our way if you can :) Thunderstorms for three
weeks now. Lows never get below 75,

Hot and muggy here in the deep South. Really steady skies when it clears
though. The double stars in Hercules and Ophiucus have been really
colorful. Alberio like two neon lights.

Have a good one.

God Bless.

Fred

Subject:	Probably another question on cleaning mirrors
Sent:	Friday, August 6, 2010 14:47:05
From:	aidanleaneplastic3@eircom.net (aidanleaneplastic3@eircom.net)
I finally dusted off the box of the ETX 125PE today adfter purchasing it
2 1/2 years ago just before the triplets were born.As they all sleep at
night , i a can finally get on with my hobbie. The telescope has being
in storage in the attic.When i took the lens cap off i could see brown
stains on the main mirror.The attached image does not show them as brown
but shows the size and position.Can you advise if you has see this issue
,could it be degrading of the coating due to impurties or grease from
the front lens assembly thread area that during the summer months may
have being able to move due to the increased attic area temp. And is it
possible for me to take corrective action to remove them from the mirror
surface.Thank you, for taking the time for this mail.

Regards

Aidan

photo

Mike here: Hard to say what it is from the photo. I would suggest trying to blow or brush the stuff off. Use an squeeze blub style airblower or a soft camel-hair type brush (available from your local camera or telescope store). If that doesn't work, see the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. If you don't want to mix the solution yourself, see "Doctor Clay's Cleaning Kit" on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page.

And:

Thanks for such a quick reply, it definitely is not something i can blow
off.I will have to remove the primary mirror in order to clean and will
take into account the cleaning solution and tools as advised.Are the
coatings on the primary mirror considered to be hard, as i understand it
the UTHC are only applied to the front corrector lens.Also is there any
information on your web site on how to remove the primary mirror of a
ETX 125PE.We have just had hail stones too ,mush be a pretty quick cloud
to make to Ireland so quick.

Regards

Aidan
Mike here: If the stuff is only around the edge of the mirror, you might not want to touch it right away. Just monitor it. Being at the edge, it won't impact your viewing much, if at all. If you do need to clean the mirror, see that article. The mirror coating is very prone to scratching unless you are extremely careful and use the proper cleaning tool. There are several ETX disassembly articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips pgae. I suggest starting with "Doc G's ETX OTA Guidescope & Disassembly Photos".
Subject:	ETX90/EC
Sent:	Thursday, August 5, 2010 19:16:57
From:	MARION (mlynnmarion@verizon.net)
Just a short note to let you know (maybe like you would care haha) I
bought a used etx90ec today in like new condition for $160.  A minister
in louisville ky had it for sale.  It came with a 25mm and 2 controlers.
It looks brand new!  I have a dsx 90mm so I really don't have a clue as
to why I buoght the same scope. haha  Maybe the price.  Enjoy reading on
your site.  Clear skys and no hungry bus.
mike marion
salem indiana

Subject:	FW: Used ETX 125 AT - is it for me? - Follow-up
Sent:	Monday, August 2, 2010 17:43:54
From:	Len Schiavino (lens5@verizon.net)
I did purchase the scope, and having fun with it.

One question I have for you.

Got a little forceful in tightening the dec lock on the right fork and
stripped the knurled knob from the stud.

I ordered new knob with stud embedded from Meade.

Can the old stud just be twisted off? Or is there a lock nut holding it
in place on the other side of the disk?

TThanks! 

Best regards,

Len  
Mike here: Oops. Yes, you want to tighten the lock on either axis only "finger tight" or just enough the hold the telescope in position. See the article "ETX-90EC DEC fix (Right Tube Adapter repair)" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Tnx Mike.

Will ck it out.

Best regards,

Len  

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