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ETX, GENERAL FEEDBACK

Last updated: 31 August 2013

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. 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: This is the final content update to "Weasner's Mighty ETX Site". It has been my honor to serve as your host since 1996. Thank you all for the questions, answers, contributions (both technical and monetary), and dedicated support to ETX users, and yes, to all amateur astronomers, worldwide. And thanks to the many dealers, manufacturers, and developers who provided products for review. As discussed on the recent Site Announcement, the ETX Site will remain online for the foreseeable future as an ongoing resource. A few slight tweaks to the ETX Site home page will be made in early September. Clear Skies everyone!


Subject:	ETX Live Forum
Sent:	Saturday, August 31, 2013 16:48:10
From:	Sterling Archer (sterlingarcher911@gmail.com)
I hit send button by accident earlier.  I just found your site little
over a week ago when I bought an ETX90 for under $30..      I was bitten
by the astronomy bug recently and haven't really been into it since the
80's..  ( using a friends Edmunds Astoscan and an old 60mm Tasco
refractor)

I found out a couple days ago that you will not be active on your
websites starting Sept 1. .I just wanted to let you know what a great
job you have done on your ETX and Cassiopeia site.  I also went over the
other parts of your site which i thoroughly enjoyed.   I like the feel,
the simplicity, the pics, and the information of your sites.

I look forward reading about any updates or activities that you have
going on.   I don't have a Facebook or twitter but will get one soon...
maybe   ( I work in IT and my friends think I'm crazy that I'm not on
any social media)

Any-hows...I just wanted to say Thank you !!! and ... wish you good luck
in your future endeavors.

Clear Skies to you...

Roger

PS . has anyone ever brought up the idea of any fund raising for you and your site? 
I know it can be  tiring administrating a site like this..    but its just a thought.
Mike here: Thanks. Supporting of the ETX Site will continue via pledges for those so inclined to contribute. That will help ensure the ETX Site remains online and maybe someday return (assuming my Internet access improves).


Subject:	Announcement
Sent:	Saturday, August 31, 2013 16:10:43
From:	Philip Reeve (philipjohnreeve@gmail.com)
I hope you do not mind Mike, but I have posted the link of your
announcement on Stargazers Lounge (SGL).

Thank you, (and everyone else), for making it possible.

Kind regards and clear skies,

Philip R


Subject:	SmartFinder Lens
Sent:	Saturday, August 31, 2013 02:49:05
From:	david maitland (maiters9@gmail.com)
Any Idea where i can find a lens for the red dot finder on LNT module on
my etx pe

              Cheers David 
Mike here: Try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). There were two styles of SmartFinder/LNT modules used on the PE models; be certain to specify which model you have.


Subject:	Finderscope bracket is loose...
Sent:	Friday, August 30, 2013 20:39:16
From:	CaptainDynamite110 . (captaindynamite110@gmail.com)
I had a small question hoping you can help me a bit. On my ETX-125EC, my
finderscope bracket screw came loose...I had tried the smallest
allenhead wrench I had, but it's useless. Do you if I can get some super
tiny allenhead wrenches or can I get away with using a precision
phillips head screwdriver? Thanks in advance!
Mike here: Some screws on some Meade telescopes are Torx style. You might try a small Torx head driver.

And:

I looked for a Torx precision screwdriver at Home Depot and it worked!
It was $6 so wasn't that expensive. Thanks for the help!


Subject:	Welcome back
Sent:	Thursday, August 29, 2013 07:39:43
From:	Micki Goodman (goodmanf@q.com)
Hello Mike. It was good to see another observatory report, although
limited. Sorry about your cold, I hope you recover quickly.
I am in the process of repairing my ETX 90 right fork arm pivot. I am
attempting (from your tech page) the mod to insert the longer threaded
insert and a screw, for strength. I hope this will keep the plastic
pivot from frequently breaking. All else is working well.
May your skies and sinuses be clear.
As a side note, I am also a a US Air Force retiree (non-pilot). Be well-Fred
Mike here: Thanks. It was super to be back in the observatory. Clouds have returned. Just not getting much breaks from them this summer. Good luck with the ETX fix. I posted some additional RTA repair info on 27 August.

And:

Hi again Mike. I wasn't going to mention the missing Tech Tips post, but
nothing showed up in that section. I'm getting ready to epoxy the brass
insert into the pivot post. If all goes well I can get it back together
later today.
Mike here: Is this the one you are not seeing?

photo

I assumed you were talking about repairing the Right Tube Adapter.

And:

Hello Mike. Still completely cloudy here this evening. I finally
reinforced the RTA and I hope that will prevent  it from breaking again.
I have attached the Tech Page info you emailed me about (RTA repair).
Although the subject date is correct, the info (as shown) is from 1999.
Are we in a worm hole?
Your advice and support is always appreciated, and I hope there will be
an internet speed improvement for you, on the horizon.
By the way, I used to teach the instrument flying on the T-4 trainer at
Randolph AFB from 1968-73. What craft(s) did you fly the most often?

Have a great Labor DAy Holiday and recover, from your cold,  to enjoy it
in time.

photo

Mike here: Whew. You had me worried; I thought maybe I had uploaded the wrong page! But, no, the updated info is there, near the bottom of the page:

photo

Check near the bottom of our Photo Galleries page (http://www.weasner.com/photos/index.html) and you'll see some photos of my time in the T-37, T-38, and A-7D. The Webb AFB photos should bring back memories!


Subject:	re: ETX Hardstops
Sent:	Tuesday, August 27, 2013 16:23:33
From:	Andrew Johansen (johansea@optusnet.com.au)
Gday Mike

Just saw this

> I did find the hard stop articles
> Still I don't understand how the scope rotates 720
> If I machine a new hard stop ring and replace the pins
> It's only gonna rotate almost 360
> Besides that I can't figure out what "check mount error" means
> I know the scope thinks its gonna run into the stops or wrap the wires

Two things
a) The Check Mount warning is actually related to the upper and lower slew limits.
If the target is outside the upper or lower limits, you get that error.
Simply check and reset the limits and the error should go away.

b) The hardstop "ring" fits between two pins
one in the upper platen and one in the base.
With no hardstop ring in place, these pins don't hit each other
hence the scope can rotate an unlimited amount.
When the ring is fitted and you turn the scope to one way
you hit the stops.
On reversing direction, after 350deg, the moving pin picks up
the tab on the ring and then moves the whole ring through another
350deg until it hits the lower pin on the other side.
Thus you get 700 deg of motion.

If you make a new ring, you MUST ensure it has some form
of shock absorber in it, as otherwise you will shear off the pins
very quickly.
As the poster has access to a machine shop.
One person i heard of made a new "split metal" ring up, a bit like a Circlip
( IIRC he used round spring steel from a spring maker )
it was slightly oversize with long tangs on each end to pick up the pins.
On hitting the stops, the design operated like a large circular
leaf spring to absorb the shock.

Andrew

And:

From:	Micky Pellegrin (flatlined_80@yahoo.com)
Andrew

Thankxz for your reply
Any chance you have a link to the custom made leaf spring style?
I'm familiar with leaf spring as I have spring steel for 1/10 scale rc trucks

I have one of these
http://m.ebay.com/search?kw=Mini+slip+ring&isNewKw=1&pgn=1&epp=24&mfs=SBCLK&acimp=0
&itemId=&cnm=&cid=&sqp=Mini+slip+ring&_trksid=p2056088.m2428.l1313.TR0.TRC0.XMini+slip+ring
I use large ones like this in cranes and construction equipment

With that said if I add a slip ring(swivel) and delete the hard stops(if possible)
Is there a way to trick the etx or set the limits to allow the scope to work?
I will experiment and put the scope back together
If I do find something that works( besides the original parts)ill keep you updated.

My upper pin has broke off,no biggie
Is there a link you know of that shows more detail of the plastic hard stop ring
I have access to a full machine shop to make an part providing I know
what it looks like as mine is in pieces

Once again Thank You 

Sent from my iPhone

And:

>> Any chance you have a link to the custom made leaf spring style?

Nope. It was about 7 years ago.
It looked just like an external Circlip with long ends on it,
but made of spring wire.

>> I have one of these
>> http://m.ebay.com/search?kw=Mini+slip+ring&isNewKw=1&pgn=1&epp=24&mfs=SBCLK&acimp=0
&itemId=&cnm=&cid=&sqp=Mini+slip+ring&_trksid=p2056088.m2428.l1313.TR0.TRC0.XMini+slip+ring
>> I use large ones like this in cranes and construction equipment
>> With that said if I add a slip ring(swivel) and delete the hard stops(if possible)

You wont have space to fit it unless you do major surgery on the base.

>> Is there a way to trick the etx or set the limits to allow the scope to work?

The limits i mentioned are software based, and are set via the max and 
min elevations
under the Setup > Telescope >  menu
The hardstops/base position has NOTHING to do with the limits message 
you are getting.
That message is only related to the elevation of the Alt Axis relative 
to the base.
If you reset the limits via the Hbx, you will be able to use the scope 
without
the RA hardstops, however, you do risk cutting the wires going from the 
base to forkarm.
If you cut the 12V line, you risk frying stuff a lot more expensive than 
the ring.

>> I will experiment and put the scope back together
>> If I do find something that works( besides the original parts)ill keep you updated.
>>
>> My upper pin has broke off,no biggie
>> Is there a link you know of that shows more detail of the plastic hard stop ring

Ref diag 5 in 
http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/2010/Analysis_of_ETX125PE.html
Most people end up breaking the tangs off, or the pin slips over one and 
gets stuck
between the tangs, hence reducing the travel to 350deg.

Andrew


Mike here: The next ETX Site update, 31 August 2013, will be the final update, as discussed in the 11 August 2013 Site Announcement.


Subject:	ETX 90AT vs ETX 90 MAK
Sent:	Monday, August 26, 2013 05:49:01
From:	Khalid Abdulaziz Al Jame (aljamea@yahoo.com)
what is difference between ETX 90AT and ETX 90 MAK ? i have read your
book (Using the Meade ETX )you did not mention to ETX 90 MAK.

   Regards

    Khalid
Saudi Arabia

Sent from my iPad
Mike here: "MAK" applied to the ETX name is not an official model designation. MAK refers to the Maksutov-Cassegrain optical design of the ETX-90/105/125 models and applies to EC/AT/PE models as well as the original ETX Astro (now known as the ETX-90RA). It also applies to the current ETX-90 model.


Subject:	Etx125 hard stop
Sent:	Saturday, August 24, 2013 08:45:40
From:	Micky Pellegrin (flatlined_80@yahoo.com)
I have a Meade etx125at I believe
Bought new in 2005
When aligning I have a check mount error 

Pulled the lil guy apart and one of the cast pins and the plastic hard
stop ring broke

Is there a way to bypass something in the computer so the scope doesn't
know about the hard stop? I can install an electric swivel so wrapping
wires won't be an issues

Also I do not understand how the hard stop allows the scope to rotate
more than one revolution Ant links to something that shows a hard stop
set up

I have access to a machine shop to make a new hard stop ring but I'd
like to know more about it first How does the etx know to display the
check mount error? If it knows where the hard stops are then why will it
allow you to set up wrong and run into the hard stop  

Sent from my iPhone
Mike here: There are three articles on "hard stop" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. You might want to check those. The ETX (nor AutoStar) does not "know" where these are located; that's why you have to manually set up the telescope in the proper HOME position prior to doing an AutoStar alignment. There is a CORD WRAP setting in the AutoStar (although you may have to apply a "patch" to enable it).

And:

I did find the hard stop articles

Still I don't understand how the scope rotates 720
If I machine a new hard stop ring and replace the pins

It's only gonna rotate almost 360

Besides that I can't figure out what "check mount error" means
I know the scope thinks its gonna run into the stops or wrap the wires

But again how does the scope know that?

If I can bypass what ever causes the check mount error
I would be fine
Mike here: The Check Mount Error occurs whenever the AutoStar detects that it can't move the telescope. That usually means some obstruction is preventing movement. It could be some debris or a wire. Use caution if it is a wire; forcing movement could cut the wire. The hard stop mechanism is designed to allow rotation of almost but not quite 720 degrees.


Mike here: Just a reminder that the last update to "Weasner's Mighty ETX Site" will be on 31 August 2013. If you haven't already read the Site Announcement, please do so. Thanks.


Subject:	Metal Geat Set For ETX 90-RA?
Sent:	Wednesday, August 21, 2013 14:39:49
From:	Shneor Sherman (szsherm@yahoo.com)
Hi Mr. Weasner, I've followed your ETX information on and off for 15
years or so. I have an ETX-90 OTA that's been my travel scope for
awhile.

I recently purchased an ETX 90-RA with Autostar Controller and tripod
with ETX mount. I was told that some gears were broken when I purchased
it, but when I opened the case, what was inside was not broken; however,
in a plastic bag were some greenish plastic gears and a black frame,
including a metal worm gear. So perhaps you if there's a kit to replace
the plastic gears? If not is there a diagram that would inform me as to
how to reassemble the gears in the plastic bag and the frame (there are
some long screws as well)? All else seems to work correctly. I am hoping
you can point me to a dram and/or instructions on reassembling the
gears.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Shneor Sherman
Mike here: Just to clarify, the ETX-90RA is not capable of using the AutoStar. The ETX-90EC/AT/EC models are. There are several gear and gearbox articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Perhaps one of those articles will help you identify the parts.

And:

Then I have the model wrong. the base has "computer Control" written on
it: and several inputs, one of which fits the Autostar plug. I turned it
on and the autostar told me the telescope was moving. So where can I
find the model? All the rest remains true, the person who sold this told
me it was an RA but has never used it. 
Thx,
Shneor
Mike here: If there is a small finderscope tube mounted on the left side of main telescope tube, then it is an ETX-90EC or AT model. If there is a LNT/SmartFinder (red-dot) finder instead, then it is an ETX-90PE (Premier Edition) or it could be the latest ETX-90 model. If you see Auto Align in the Setup: Align menu or Finder options in the MODE menu, then you have the LNT model.

And:

Sorry - I did finada manual on the bottom of the box, it is an EC.

There's a small finderscope (8x20, I think) mounted as you describe.
I haven't gone beyond the immediate  (telescope is turning" message.
Thx,
Shneor


Subject:	Converting etx 60 to etx 70
Sent:	Monday, August 19, 2013 14:26:54
From:	Larry (ljeter@gfn.org)
I  bought an etx70 for parts off craigslist recently. It had been
knocked over and the eyepiece adapter was broken off. I hope to be able
to repair it. After looking at some of the ext70 instruction pages, I
took the objective lens out and put it back in to get a little
experience on the technique required. Since the lens cap for the 60 also
fits the 70, that got me wondering if the 70 lens will fit into the 60
body. I took some measurements and it looks as though the tubes are the
same size. Can I drop the 70 objective assembly into my older 60 without
modification? I'm about 99 percent convinced it will work, but I would
like to be 100 percent SURE before I tear apart my 60. Has anyone done
this? It looks to be pretty simple.

Does anyone know where I can find an etx70 eyepiece holder assembly (the
black plastic back part of the OTA) or its part number?  I've tried
looking through the meade site with no luck. I'd like to repair the
broken one to give to my grandson. (He's getting the 60mm objective)

I bought my 60 off craigslist also. It has a brass eyepiece holder with
a brass barrel 9mm. Are these models common? I don't want to destroy
it's value if it's an uncommon or collectable model.

Thanks for maintaining the site with all it's invaluable information.
Great place to visit and learn.
Mike here: It might fit but I don't have an ETX-60 to confirm measurements. But I'll post your inquiry on the next ETX Site update. As to brass, that sounds unique.


Subject:	ETX -90EC repair?
Sent:	Monday, August 19, 2013 13:55:06
From:	Ned Thanhouser (ned@thanhouser.org)
Hi, I have a ETX-90EC and the vertical declination gear or pulley belt
seems to be broken (I.E. no resistance or motor drive in this axis).
Mead reports no support. Recommendation? Thanks. Ned

Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless
Mike here: It sounds like the Right Tube Adapter is broken. You may be able to repair it yourself. See the article "ETX-90EC DEC fix (Right Tube Adapter repair)" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Alternatively, you can contact Dr. Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge Tune-Up Service (link on the ETX Site home page).

And:

Thank you so much...I shall endeavor to fix it.

And:

Disassembly reveals the problem as described in the article you referred
to below "ETX-90EC DEC fix (Right Tube Adapter repair)."

The DEC shaft is sheared off at the edge of the press-nut. See attached
images.

The fix appears to be to just epoxy these two parts back together...yes?
But I am very concerned about getting epoxy where it shouldn't and
bugger the whole assembly.

I don't need a new bushing as it is still secure, although Tony von
Ruden's solution appears more robust with the longer bushing.

Can you please confirm? Any where to get a new part?

Also, I am looking for a solar filter to image the 2017 total eclipse
that will pass through Oregon.  And, a T-mount for my Nikon digital
D40...any suggestions?

Thanks so much for your help!
Mike here: Epoxy may work although there is a lot of torque there. You might try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) for a replacement RTA but I doubt he has any without purchasing a new mount. As to a filter, see the Accessory Reviews: Filters page. You can get a filter and T-ring for your camera from any reputable telescope dealer, such as OPT.

And:

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll keep you posted. Ned


Subject:	Thanks for your ETX book
Sent:	Sunday, August 18, 2013 21:47:58
From:	Aart Bik (aartbik@gmail.com)
Just a note to thank you for your nice book (and website) on using the
Meade ETX. I had owned an ETX for quite a while already, but by reading
your book recently I got interested in astro-photography using the ETX.
I read you are no longer accepting pictures, but just in case you are
interested, I put some ETX pictures on my own website
http://www.aartbik.com/MISC/astronomy.html
Thanks again,
Aart Bik


Subject:	Etx 125 ec
Sent:	Saturday, August 17, 2013 18:55:19
From:	Mike D. (Mdarrigo@cfl.rr.com)
Hi I was wondering if you can Help Me out I Am looking for a replacement
to the Gear drive that Makes the Telescope slew Left & Right I opened
the chamber up & Noticed that the piece that connects the Gears to the
Drive part with the Little plastic circle Has Broken  and was curious as
to where I can get a replacement Gear box? I attached a Photo of the
piece I am talking about ... I used & Edited a Picture from your website
I Hope that was Ok & If not I am Truly sorry but it was the best Phot
that can show my problem .. Thank You in Advance I hope to hear back
from you

photo

Mike here: There are some repair/replacement gearbox articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. As to full replacement, try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).

And:

Thank You for the quick Response I appreciate your help I'm Hoping I
will check out the Telescope Warehouse Like you suggested I hope I can
find what I need I love this Telescope & would hate Like Heck to have to
get a New oned

And:

Ok I will ,checked on the Telescope Warehouse site .. Unfortunately No
such Luck But I will keep looking
Mike here: Email Bill at Telescope Warehouse; he might have something.

And:

Ok I will do that Thanx again


Subject:	Re: GC Wi-Fi Adapter and ETX-80
Sent:	Saturday, August 17, 2013 02:57:27
From:	S-O&M Auno (so.m.auno@bredband.net)
I wonder if you have tested the GC Wi-Fi adapter and ETX-70 yet?

Regards,

Sven-Ove Auno
Mike here: I did not test either Southern Stars SkyFi or GC Wi-Fi Adapter with the ETX-70 with AutoStar #494. However, it should work if an AutoStar #497 were used on the ETX-70 (or ETX-80).


Subject:	Your announcement of August 11
Sent:	Tuesday, August 13, 2013 13:35:01
From:	Krobusek Bruce (bkrobusek@gmail.com)
I just now saw your announcement that you will be unable to participate
on your ETX site as you have been in the past.

I certainly understand your predicament, and the reasons you've done
what you've done. But it still sucks...   :-)

Hopefully you'll be able to continue updating your Cassiopeia
Observatory reports. I like reading about all of the critters you run
into out there. It makes me very grateful I still live in the North
East!   :-)

Thanks for everything you've done for the Meade ETX scopes, and for the
hobby in general.

Clear skies!

	Bruce

Bruce A. Krobusek
Farmington  NY


Subject:	Internet Woes
Sent:	Monday, August 12, 2013 15:32:14
From:	Micki Goodman (goodmanf@q.com)
Hello Mike. I am truly sorry to hear of the internet service problems
you encountered. I went through the same situation about 4 years ago. I
live in the northern end of a county, bordering Colorado Springs, and
the same companies  dragged their feet  before the complaints were
finally heard. We also have limiting old copper.
How is your cell phone infrastructure, out in Oracle? Would it be a
viable solution, with hotspot, to get some decent internet service?
I realize that all the wireless providers put ridiculous caps on their
so-called unlimited service. Sprint seems to be, for now, almost truly
unlimited.
Beyond all that, all we can do, for now, is hope that the President's
rural internet plan gets put into place soon.
On a more positive note, on the 9th I managed to photograph a few dimmer
meteor streaks, and last night  I got another (1 out of 3 dozen
exposures).
As you know, trying to photograph these is like playing the carnival
game "Whack-a-mole".
I pray that something helpful comes along soon, for your internet
service. In the mean time, I will continue to enjoy your observatory
reports.
To meteor streaks and hopefully just as fast internet service in the
near future.-Fred
Mike here: AT&T has 4G service here. But the monthly data restriction is the killer. I had checked with AT&T previously about connecting our computers to it. Unfortunately, the cell service is not set up for multiple computers.


Subject:	Meade ETX-70AT Motor Unit Fail message
Sent:	Monday, August 12, 2013 13:32:25
From:	Thomas Chousos (housosth@otenet.gr)
I have an ETX-70AT with the following problem. The autostar shows the
message ''motor unit fail'' . Trying to make it work I opened it and
found out that the azimuth motor was broken to MANY pieces.  I made a
call to the distributor who told me that no motors can be found, there
is no way to get this fixed by myself and that I should use it without
the autostar. OK time to play the doctor, after four hours the motor was
fixed with all parts moving properly plus the IR sensor in the right
place. BUT once again the same message on the screen. Then I wanted to
see if the motors would work with external power and ok they both work.
I also spotted that when I switch on the power the IR transmitters are
off (checked with NV goggles) , is this a problem or they emit IR light
only when the motors are working? Can I reset the unit from the autostar
or the pcb board in the scope? What if I connect it to pc and try to
work with Cartes Du Ciel? If you have any solution it would be great to
read it.
 
Best regards
Thomas Greece
Mike here: Try a CALIBRATE MOTOR. If battery power is low, that may eliminate the error. If the encoders are bad, try Telescope Warehouse for replacements. (Link on the Astronomy Links page.). If the encoders are bad, computer software won't work either.


Subject:	ETX Site
Sent:	Monday, August 12, 2013 12:29:46
From:	John Farrant (johnfarrant@gmail.com)
Such sad news...

Without the information on your site my ETX 125 would never have
functioned again (PSU error four years ago!).

Your site has become a daily source of ETX news for me and many others.
Through your efforts you have engouraged and inspired thousand of people
both young and old in this wonderfull hobby.

With so many other distractions these days - tablets, phones, games
machines etc - the need for dedicated amateurs - for what ever
discipline - like yourself, couldn't be greater.

Perhaps one day, you'll browse your site and pick out what you consider
informative, funny or just plain stupid, requests for help on ETX
matters and write another book. Plenty of good material there!

Perhaps the price of copper cable will fall - we can only hope.

Kindest regards to you and yours.

Many thanks,

John Farrant


Subject:	Finally! A proper guide to the meteor showers....
Sent:	Sunday, August 11, 2013 20:51:22
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Courtesy of XKCD:

http://www.xkcd.com/1249/

have fun
--dick (in clouding-over seattle)


Subject:	Possible Autostar problem with tripod using ETX125.
Sent:	Sunday, August 11, 2013 09:20:21
From:	Brian Hollins (brian.hollins@btinternet.com)
After my usual accurate easy alignment, (with Arcturas and Altair), I
was able to slew to targets from 'tonights best' with ease. Suddenly
this ceased and I could not locate, for example Albireo, which is
normally very easy and usually dead centre with my 25mm eyepiece. After
some time trying to re-align with no improvement I decided to give up
for the night but when I lifted the tripod to take the 'scope indoors I
noticed some movement of the mounting head and found that the retaining
screw, which holds the hinged platform onto the adjustable vertical bar
for latitude setting had come loose and finally fallen out.

This was allowing the platform to point up higher than normal and must
have been moving around while the scope was slewing until the screw
finally fell out.

Luckily I found the screw and replaced it with a dab off 'loctite' to
hopefully avoid a future recurrence of this problem.

I realise now that this would have thrown the 'level' alignment of the
tripod completely off and the 'scope would have been widely off target
when moving around the sky.

I hope this might help others who have an apparent Autostar accuracy
problem as it is not something I, personally; would have checked in
order to rectify the fault.

Brian Hollins, 'Mighty ETX Fan, UK


Subject:	EXT90EC
Sent:	Friday, August 9, 2013 05:20:30
From:	Tom S (tomsemi@earthlink.net)
After being gone for awhile it takes some catching up.  Anyway I used my
controller on another ETX and it duplicates my problem. i.e. very
irratic on the three higher speeds.  (won't rotate)  Kinda points to the
controller, would you say??
Tom
Mike here: Since you didn't say you have the AutoStar, I'll assume you have just the standard EC handcontroller with your ETX-90EC. Since the problem occurs on two ETX telescopes, it does sound like the handcontroller. But you might check the batteries and HBX cable. Look for dirty pins and bent pins on the cable connector and the HBX port on the ETX.

And:

Pins and cable check out OK.  Trying to locate a standard EC controller
(new or used) but no luck.....any suggestions?
Mike here: I'd recommend getting an AutoStar #497. More flexibility. But if you want an old EC handcontroller, try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).

And:

Thanks Mike


Subject:	re: troubleshooting new etx-80 slewing to ground
Sent:	Thursday, August 8, 2013 19:21:57
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Wow!

You have one of the rare handboxes programmed for the Meade 4504 or EQ114/DH telescopes!
Those are "GEM" (German Equatorial Mount) models, hence always "Polar".
And they do not allow changing the model.

I'm sure that there are *many* owners of those (no longer sold) scopes
who would love to buy (or trade) your "494" for one of theirs, if they
had picked up a "normal" 494 by mistake.

4504 people hang out here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Meade4504Telescopes/

Despite your needs, you have what some other people would consider a very lucky find.

good luck
--dick seymour

And:

Something i forgot to ask/add.... if it has the word "Starfinder" below
the display window (instead of Autostar), that ices the cake in terms of
identification.

good luck
--dick

And:

Subject:	RE: troubleshooting new etx-80 slewing to ground
Sent:	Friday, August 9, 2013 17:28:16
From:	yearl pit (yearljpit@hotmail.com)
Thanks so much for the info. I will go to the yahoo group you listed and
try to trade or sell it. I just want my telescope to work. And yes is
does have "starfinder" not "autostar".
Mike here: Replace it with a #497 AutoStar. More capabilities than a #494.


Subject:	Meade ETX-125EC
Sent:	Tuesday, August 6, 2013 12:55:06
From:	R. Rufus Ramey (rrufusramey@me.com)
I am in the process of purchasing a Meade ETX-125EC that is listed as
"new in box" and I was wondering if you still offer the "Supercharge
Elite" service?

Regards,
Rufus
Mike here: *I* don't offer the "Supercharge Tune-up" Service, Dr. Clay Sherrod does, and as far as I know he is still doing that.


Subject:	ETX 90 LENS CAP STUCK
Sent:	Tuesday, August 6, 2013 12:00:21
From:	alejandro martinez b. (superman.nic@gmail.com)
I hope this email finds you well. 

I stumbled upon a 2011 thread about trying to fix a cap that was stuck
to the housing. I am having the same problem myself. Any idea how the
issue was finally solved?

Thank you for your time,

Alejandro
Mike here: See "Q. I can not remove the aperture or rear port cover or loosen the Declination/Altitude scale knob. How do I loosen it?" on the ETX FAQ page on my ETX Site.

And:

Thank you! I'll give it a shot!

A

Sent from my iPhone


Subject:	troubleshooting new etx-80 slewing to ground
Sent:	Tuesday, August 6, 2013 07:56:28
From:	yearl pit (yearljpit@hotmail.com)
Hello, I was hoping someone out there could help me out. I just bought a
new etx-80 but the autostar handbox got thrown away. I bought a used 494
off ebay. When I plug it in it starts up and will slew the telescope but
it slews to the ground. I discovered it is set for polar alignment. For
some reason there is no mount option under the setup/telescope menu and
I cannot choose a telescope type either. Can I attempt a polar alignment
using my altitude-azimuth double fork mount? Also I was reading online
that the alt/az ratio on the etx models was 1.36889. I was able to
change that thinking it was the cure but no luck. I did try a reset with
the handbox and don't know what else to try. I can't find a place that
sells new 494 handbox controllers or I would try that. Any suggestions
would be great. Thank you.
Jodi
Mike here: Do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES from the AutoStar. That may solve the startup slewing. However, if the #494 AutoStar you got pre-dates the ETX-80 release, the ETX-80 will not appear. There is no user installable update for the AutoStar #494. Your best bet would be to get a #497 AutoStar, which is user update-able.


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