GENERAL FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 December 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:	Light baffle inside corrector lens came off.
Sent:	Tuesday, December 30, 2008 17:05:22
From:	juan torrealba (jets98@gmail.com)
The light baffle inside the corrector lens of my ETX90 became unglued
and fell off. It is currently lying at the bottom of the telescope tube.
How should I put it back in place? Is there a special glue I should use?
I'd deeply appreciate your guidance and help.
Juan
Mike here: The repair is best left to Meade but if you want to attempt it yourself, see the article "Re-attaching the Baffle" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. You will also likely have to recollimate the optics; several articles about that on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	Flip mirror problem in Meade ETX90EC
Sent:	Tuesday, December 30, 2008 09:50:34
From:	Alan Sharpe (alansharpe@globalnet.co.uk)
Astronomical telescopes are entirely new to me so please xcuse if I ask
obvious questions or use the wrong technical words.

I've been given a second-hand Meade ETX90EC for Christmas. I say
"second-hand" but it doesn't look like it's ever been out of the box.

I've yet to use the electronic positioning control but I've managed to
see Venus and a few starts by aiming manually.

I have a small problem in that neither of the pair of chrome knobs used
to move the flip mirror from horizontal to vertical and back seem to
move the mirror. Any ideas?

I can also see that this mirror is slightly dusty - some info on how to
clean it would be much appreciated.

Excellent website by the way.

Regards
Alan Sharpe
Sussex UK
Mike here: Take a look at the article "Doc G's ETX OTA Guidescope & Disassembly Photos" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. It may help you determine why flip mirror mounting shaft is not moving (assuming the knobs are not just loose on the shaft). As to cleaning the mirror, since it is a "first surface" mirror you should not touch the mirror surface. Use a "bulb" style air blower to blow any dust off. DO NOT use a can of compressed air.
Subject:	Reticle
Sent:	Tuesday, December 30, 2008 09:13:54
From:	Jan Henrik Kolst (koja@tele2.no)
I have a  Meade 9mm 1.25" Plssl with cordless illuminator..) There are
two micro-adjustment controls in the side of the eyepiece. Turning these
moves the crosshairs and their circular field stop up/down and
right/left within the larger off-axis guider or photoguide telescope's
field. Is there any way that I can bring the crosshairs precisely to the
center of the field so that I can use the eyepiece when centering the
alignment star for my LX 90 and Autostar?
 
Regards
 
Jan
 
Norway
Mike here: Not that I've heard about.
Subject:	ETX 125
Sent:	Monday, December 29, 2008 18:02:38
From:	Gary Russell (gcbjruss@yahoo.com)
Hi, I have been reading and reviewing your sight and I love it. Hoping
you can provide a little advice. I am a beginner and recently purchased
an ETX 125 for my daughter. I figure ahy not go all out and peak her
interest. I bought it used and it is in excellent condition and about 3
years old. I have bought the autostar and believe it to be working well.
It is amazing with the moon. Tonight what I believe to be Jupiter was
visible below the moon and we focused in on it. I have a 27, 15 meade
super plossl and a 126 barlow, which I think were good purchases.
However, the best focus is with the barlow and the 27mm. beyond that I
lose focus and the best I could get was a pinhead size view. Are there
other products I need to get the best performance, I hate to buy more
powerful lenses when I seem to be losing focus. Is jupiter just so far
away at this time of the year that this is the best i can do? and what
about galaxy's and nebula. What are good lenses for viewing these? The
photos on your site and meade4m indicate that people are getting much
better performance than I am out ETX 90, 105 and 125.
 
Thanks for any advice you can offer
Mike here: Tonight Jupiter and Mercury are "below" the Moon, and Venus is "above" the Moon. Unless you were looking at Mercury instead of Jupiter, the view of Jupiter should have been way more than a "pinpoint" of light. You should have been able to see cloud bands on a distinct disc-shaped object. As to suggestions, check out the "eyepieces" articles on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. Also, you might want to go through my "What You Can See With a Meade ETX" talk slides on the Helpful Information: Tutorials page.
Subject:	ETX-105 EC - Azimuth Drive Problem
Sent:	Monday, December 29, 2008 17:08:04
From:	Brian Jones (bjones39@gmail.com)
Great site!

I have a problem with an ETX-105 EC in that it will not rotate
counter-clockwise but will rotate in a clockwise direction.

The scope is not at either hard-stop and will rotate freely when the
azimuth lock is released.

The Autostar handbox seems to be OK, as does the handbox to control
panel cable.  I figure that the handbox is OK because you can move left
or right through the setup date menu - so the left button is obviously
making contact.  The cable is OK because if the ends are swapped around
I get the same problem.

When the up or down buttons are pressed, the altitude drive correctly
moves the scope up or down.  When the right azimuth button is pressed,
the scope slews clockwise as normal.  When the left button is pressed,
there is no movement from the scope and no noise of any motor working.

Incidentally, it doesn't make any difference as to whether the scope is
being slewed manually or via Autostar's alighnemt process - the scope
will only slew clockwise.

So,  am I correct in thinking that this is

a) a hardware problem,

b) it is a loose connection to the azimuth motor, a faulty azimuth motor
or a pcb problem

and am I able to fix it easily?

If I need to remove the OTA to access the azimuth drive
motor/cables/pcb, after removing the 4x hex socket screws how hard do
you prise apart the plastic forks?  I'm worried about something
snapping!

Regards

Brian Jones
South Yorks, UK
Mike here: Have you tried a CALIBRATE MOTOR? Does it pass or fail? If that doesn't cure it, try a RESET, followed by a CALIBRATE MOTOR. If it passes then do a TRAIN DRIVES. Does the drive work then? If none of the above works then there are many possible causes: bad motor, bad wire, disconnected wire, bad solder, loose connection, dirty encoder, bad circuit board, loose motor, loose gearbox, bad AutoStar, corrupted AutoStar software, and probably a few more possibilities. You can open up the base and check for the hardware problems. No need to remove the OTA from the fork mount. If the AutoStar software is corrupted you would have to reload the software.
Subject:	re: No Battery Power from My ETX 90
Sent:	Sunday, December 28, 2008 21:22:51
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
A common cause of "no internal batteries" is the springy "switch"
inside the power socket on the side of the scope.

If an external power adapter is plugged in with a slightly-too-big
-but-it-does-fit outer barrel, it can bend the spring *just enough*
to fail to make contact when the adapter plug is removed.

So that's another thing to play with: with the batteries
-removed- (to avoid short circuits) explore the external power socket.
You can fashion a tool by bending the last millimeter of a thin
paper clip into an "L", and perhaps hammer it flat (so that the
line of flatness is along the long dimension of the rest of the
paper clip.)

Now carefully insert the tool (a magnifying glass helps) and
-gently- pull the spring clip down towards the central shaft
of the socket.  You're not trying to have it make -contact-,
you're just ever-so-slightly biasing it down a little bit.
The switch itself is hidden up inside the plastic.

good luck
--dick

Subject:	No Battery Power from My ETX 90
Sent:	Saturday, December 27, 2008 13:57:45
From:	Elaine white (elaine-white@dsl.pipex.com)
I have o power from my batterys on my etx 90. I used them last a few
months ago and then removed them to avoid leakage

i put new ones in tonight and get no power.


is their a fuse that might have gone?  Any ideas on a solution.
 
Regards Graham White
UK
Mike here: There is no fuse. Does the red LED on the ETX illuminate? If not, check the orientation of the batteries to be certain they are inserted correctly. Check for any corrosion on the contacts. You might also see the articles "Repairing Battery Cutoff Switch" and "Repairing Broken Battery Wires" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Many thanks, will check the items you mention. Cheers and Merry
Christmas
Graham

Subject:	Just a Message form an ETX user and an admirer....
Sent:	Wednesday, December 24, 2008 09:46:38
From:	Roy Lindberg Jr. (royl@mchsi.com)
Just wanted to send you a note saying Merry Christmas, and have a happy
holidays.  I love your web site and although you've not heard from me
jin a long time.....I wanted to let you know that I read your web page
all the time and I check everyday for updates.  Love your site....
 
Roy Lindberg

Subject:	Merry Christmas from Peter Smith the UK
Sent:	Monday, December 22, 2008 01:00:51
From:	PETER SMITH (psmithuk@btinternet.com)
Merry Christmas toYou and Yours from a cloudy and damp UK.

I haven't had clear skies since the begining of the month but grabbed
the two attached pics over the nights of 1 & 2 December 2008

I have also had my first Astro Pic Published in the Sky at Night
Magazine and have been asked for text to accompany a few more which I
haev also sent in so hopefully will get more published over the next few
months :)

It was the pics in the gallery your site that got me into imaging in the
first place,...

Regards,
 
Peter SMith (UK)
Mike here: Check the Announcements: Email Change Notice page for an important announcement.
I know the feeling about cloudy skies. What with cloudy skies and all the new home construction activities, my observing has taken a hit! Congrats for getting into the Sky at Night!
Subject:	etx 125 at & pe
Sent:	Monday, December 22, 2008 00:48:31
From:	KO (kowen@mobiletel.com)
What is the difference between teh at & the pe?  I've read about the pe
a bit but what are the differences in features?

Does the 497 autostar go with the at?  If not,can't the database be
updated for free at the meade website??  Thanks,

Kerry
Mike here: See the item "Q. What is the difference between the RA, EC, AT, and PE models?" on the FAQ page.

And:

Thank you Mike, sorry if I violated the email etiquette, if I get the
etx125-right now a great buy at Anacortes, will be my first sct, so
thanks for the quick and helpful response,
Merry Christmas
 
Kerry
Mike here: No violation! And enjoy the new telescope!
Subject:	Power adapters for the ETX 90,125
Sent:	Friday, December 19, 2008 18:46:15
From:	Louis Welke (wwtpoper@yahoo.com)
I emailed you a few months ago about a problem using a Meade 120V to 12
V power adapter.

I along with another user had a problem with our telescopes where after
having the adapter plugged in for about a half hour we developed a
problem where our telescopes would not turn but would go up and down. I
sent my telescope in to Meade and they fixed the problem but would not
say if the power adapter was the cause.

Do you know if these adapters are ok to use?

It seemed that when some were tested they came out producing 16 or more
Volts

Is there a adapter than can be trusted (other than using a 12 V battery
source)?

Thanks Mike
Louis Welke
Mike here: I do recall one report of a possible telescope damage from a Meade adapter. Maybe that was yours. I still use mine without any problems. However, if you want a different adapter, check out the Celestron (or Orion) Power Tank (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page). I have been using mine for several years without problems. I have used it from the backyard as well as on trips to Oracle Observatory. If you don't have a cigarette lighter power cord for the ETX you will need that. But having this type of adapter gives you the best of both worlds (AC and DC). Charge it from AC and then you have a portable power source for the ETX.

And:

Thanks very much for your quick comeback,I now recall that the adapter
was a Meade #541 AC adapter.

My wife and I are going to Florida soon and I didn't want to carry a lot
of large Telescope equipment with us so this is why I liked the AC
adapter( using it in our rented condo) for my ETX90.

I do have a Celestron Power tank but it is big and also needs a charger
to go with it and so will take up more room but maybe this will be the
safer way to go because I have used this for all of the "scopes I have
had and never had a problem.

Thanks again Mike and Happy Holidays to you and Yours.

Lou Welke
Mike here: Yes, the Power Tank is bigger and heavier. Of course, for a trip, you could just use internal batteries.
Subject:	ASO threatened by airport
Sent:	Wednesday, December 17, 2008 08:50:37
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
Hi ....take a look at this link.  Talk about bureaucracy at its finest.
http://www.arksky.org/smf/index.php?topic=1649.0

-If you would  like to attempt to help save our efforts, a letter to
Senator Mark Pryor, to the address below, would be very helpful:
jim_pitcock@pryor.senate.gov
with a copy to: (local newspaper)
headlight@suddenlinkmail.com

Hope all is well with you.....have a wonderful holiday season.

Clay
_____
Dr. P. Clay Sherrod
Arkansas Sky Observatories
MPC H45 - Petit Jean Mountain South
MPC H41 - Petit Jean Mountain
MPC H43 - Conway West
http://www.arksky.org/

Subject:	ozscopes - a useful addition to your astronomy links page
Sent:	Tuesday, December 16, 2008 18:26:44
From:	Robert Ong (ongr2001@gmail.com)
My name is Rob from OZScopes.com.au. I've just been perusing your Mighty
ETX site, and am blown away at the amount of resources you've collected
over the years. Your clearly passionate about ETX's which is awesome! I
noticed among your many links you have a section titled 'Astronomy
Links'. I think our site would be a great addition to your current list,
possibly under the 'Dealers' category.

Just a bit of background, OZScopes is a Australian-based retailer of
telescopes, binoculars and optical instruments and we supply a large
variety of prominent brands and pride ourselves in offering customers
helpful service and great pricing. I know you mainly have UK links up
there but I believe we offer a really great service to astronomy
enthusiasts in Australia and so your Aussie audience would greatly
benefit from a shout out.

If you deem it relevant for addition, I've added our preferred html code
below:

Telescopes and Binoculars - OZScopes (Australia)

Thanks for your time Michael,
Rob 
Mike here: I like to have dealer listings from all over the world. No preference to the UK, or the USA (where I live)!
Subject:	ETX90 : demande d'information
Sent:	Monday, December 15, 2008 15:13:31
From:	Sverine & Florent BRIAND (lesfavouilles@free.fr)
Bonjour,
 
Dans le cadre d'un projet  pour des lves de BTS, je recherche un schma
de carte lectronique d'un tlescope ETX90. J'ai recherch sur plusieurs
sites sans aucun rsultat favorable.  J'ai toutefois de la documentation
mais cela reste lger compar au travail prvu  cet effet.

Par consquent, je vous serai reconnaissant si vous aviez des
informations de me les communiquer, a serait pour mon quipe et moi une
grande satisfaction.

Merci par avance
Cordialement
Florent Briand
Mike here: Please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page. Thanks for understanding. I don't have a schematic for the ETX circuit board.
Subject:	observatorys
Sent:	Monday, December 15, 2008 14:01:51
From:	Flundberg77@wmconnect.com (Flundberg77@wmconnect.com)
If you or others are interested in a relatively inexpensive observatory
dome you might want to look at Explora-Dome's site www.observa-dome.com.
I bought one last spring and have been quite satisfied with it.  You
may want to add it to your Astronomy Links.
Forrest Lundberg
Mike here: I have decided to go with a SkyShed POD.
Subject:	tube rings etx125
Sent:	Saturday, December 13, 2008 21:41:49
From:	trkr75@aol.com (trkr75@aol.com)
I have been trying to find some rings that will fit my ETX125 and am
coming up empty. Do you have any that you would recommend? I am wanting
to mount a better finder scope, which leads me into the next question. I
am using a rigel red dot finder and love it but would also like a finder
to complement it. What would / do you use? I know I want more then a 8 x
25 but how big is over kill? ( I all ways go big, I don't want to go to
big though) One last thing, the rigel came with double sided tape to
mount it with, to me that is tacky and not a good mount for this. Do you
have any ides for a better mount?


As all ways thanks for any help and you and your site rule the skies,

Ken
Mike here: I have used a couple of different red-dot finders on my ETX, including the RIgel QuikFinder. Since it was a temporary installation I just used rubberbands to secure it to the OTA. As to other finderscopes, see the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page. For tube rings, check out Losmandy and ScopeStuff. Both have rings that will fit ETX models. Links on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject:	LNT ETX125GPS
Sent:	Thursday, December 11, 2008 16:35:59
From:	trkr75@aol.com (trkr75@aol.com)
I was recently reading a article about one of Dick Seymour's scopes that
he put a LNT module and a GPS on I plan on doing the GPS but have a few
questions about the LNT. 1. Is it just plug the one end into the AUX
port then go, or are there more modifications to do? 2. What else do I
need to expect after I add this. 3. Do I need to download patch's for
the software?  4.What will the LNT really do? Will it level the scope
for me. I hope you or Dick can answer these questions for me. I drive
truck for a living and my ETX is all ways with me. So the GPS part will
help alot, just not sure what the LNT Module will do. Do you think it
would be worth the money. The guys at my local club are jealous of me
all the time, I spend alot of time in the deserts in AZ. and they are
stuck near Nashville, TN.  As all ways thanks for this AWESOME web site
and all the information.

Ken
Mike here: There are a couple of articles on adding a LNT on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. As to what the LNT will do, it will locate Magnetic North and then adjust to True North for your location, and it will determine the tilt/level errors and correct for that. With my non-LNT I usually just eyeball True North and level; generally works fine. As to Dick's implementation, I'll let him respond.

And:

From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
>> I was recently reading a article about one of Dick Seymour's scopes 
>> that he put a LNT module and a GPS on I plan on doing the GPS but have 
>> a few questions about the LNT. 1. Is it just plug the one end into the 
>> AUX port then go, or are there more modifications to do?

You may have to mechanically change the mounting shoe.
The DS- unit i bought has a plastic locator pin which prevents it
from sitting "flat" on the ETX90 barrel.  A moment or two with a
knife or sanding block would fix that.
Electronically, you do just plug it into the AUX port, and the Autostar
recognizes it at the next power-up.  You'll know, since it will say
"getting time" and skip the time/date/daylight questions.
You will also gain "Automatic Align" as an Alt/Az alignment option.

>> 2. What else 
>> do I need to expect after I add this. 3. Do I need to download patch's 
>> for the software?  4.What will the LNT really do? Will it level the 
>> scope for me. I hope you or Dick can answer these questions for me. I 
>> drive truck for a living and my ETX is all ways with me. So the GPS 
>> part will help alot, just not sure what the LNT Module will do. Do you 
>> think it would be worth the money. The guys at my local club are 
>> jealous of me all the time, I spend alot of time in the deserts in AZ. 
>> and they are stuck near Nashville, TN.  As all ways thanks for this 
>> AWESOME web site and all the information.

Is it worth it?
Personally, i would rate the (or a handheld) GPS as a more useful
option (although map-reading can substitute for it).  Although i
have the LNT, i still prefer to point north and level, and use the
magnifying viewfinder instead of a red dot.  But that's me... i've
never appreciated red dot finders, since my usual observing environment
is  poor enough (city light pollution) that the magnifier is very very
handy.

have fun
--dick

Subject:	tripod #887 with a ETX 90?
Sent:	Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:12:20
From:	Dave Spoon (spoonkwsn@yahoo.com)
Mike, do you know if the 887 tripod built for the 105 and 125 will also
fit a 90? There's one on Ebay and I really need a tripod. It should be
real solid..

Dave
Austin, TX
Mike here: The mounting holes on the ETX-90 are the same as on te ETX-105 and ETX-125.
Subject:	Question on ETX 125 w/ 884 tripod
Sent:	Wednesday, December 10, 2008 10:01:37
From:	Bonasia, Justin (CS) (Justin.Bonasia@morganstanley.com)
Saw your excellent website and thought I would try to reach out to you
for assistance, since this is clearly in your area of expertise.

Just purchased a used one at a good price.

3 problems:

1.    LNT housing vertical screw receptacle cracked.  Screw will
obviously no longer "catch" with the housing though it does penetrate
through the back and I was considering adding a washer/nut on the back
to hold everything together.

2.    One of the tripod plastic "feet" is cracked.

3.    One of the tripod leg extension screws has a cracked plastic knob.

Called Meade and apparently they do not stock any of these parts.

Their suggestion was to sell me a new tripod and new LNT module.

Any idea where I might find any/all of these parts?

Trying to refurbish on my own and contain costs.
 
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
 
-jb
Mike here: Try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject:	Fried ETX 90????
Sent:	Tuesday, December 9, 2008 13:20:37
From:	Paul Kerswell (paul6967@gmail.com)
Hi there, I wasn't sure if I should e-mal you directly, so my apologies
if this isn't the correct route.

Is it possible to fry the base of an ETX? After buying the scope from a
friend I decided to try and control the scope using the autostar suite
program, but as a lot of people seem to do and figuring "how hard can it
be, who needs instructions" I plugged the comm lead directly from the pc
into the HBX port and not via the handset as you are supposed to

After much trying and lead swapping from various ports I gave up and
just plugged in the autostar handset Nothing..Not a glimmer

So back to the original question Have I fried the base???

I must admit I have no Idea what all of the lead combo's were, but I
know some of them involved the aux port as well and some led to some
random slewing Which at the time I though was a good thing !!! (note to
self, always read the instructions and never ever attempt anything like
this unless fully sober!)

I'd appreciate any advice you can give me on this as Saturn is just
above the horizon and I soooooooooooooooooooooo want to see the rings
!!!
 
Regards,
 
Paul.
Mike here: It is possible that you did fry the ETX circuit board by plugging a "hot" port from the computer into the HBX port. And since the AutoStar is not getting power now, it is obvious something is wrong. Does the ETX LED illuminate? I suspect you will need to contact Meade for the repair unless you are comfortable soldering on circuit boards. Alternatively, you could try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) to see if they might have an ETX board or base you could purchase. As to Saturn's Rings, right now they are almost edge-on, which is a neat sight. But certainly not as grand as when they are more "open". And yes, sending email is the right way to go.

And:

Thanks for your unbelievably quick reply !! Yes the LED on the base unit
illuminates, I'm hoping this is a good sign !!  I'm based in the UK and
so far haven't been able to find a Meade service centre, but as I have
no issue with soldering I may just see if I can get a replacement board
or base, just kicking myself for being so stupid !!

Thanks again,

Paul.
Mike here: Well, the power light "may" be a good sign. It could be that only the power circuits for the AutoStar are dead. You could open up the base and look for a blown component or trace. If you see anything that looks fried then you'll know what type of repair might be necessary.

And:

Do you happen to know if all the electronics are held on the front
connection panel? I only seem to be able to find two base items, the
motor drive unit, and the control panel, both of which seem very
reasonable !!

Also do you happen to know if the brain behind the base is the Autostar,
and the base itself is just the muscle? If so there's a nice electronics
genius here at work who thinks he can fix it,  as long as the base is
just the motor controller and has no digital function....

Here's hoping !

Regards,

Paul.
Mike here: The "computer" for the ETX-90 is in the AutoStar. But there is motor control circuity in the ETX base. As you can see from the photos in the article "Inside the ETX-125 (or how to ruin a scope)" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page, there are two circuit boards in the base and one in a fork arm.
Subject:	Laptop Screen Filter
Sent:	Tuesday, December 9, 2008 07:16:08
From:	Ted Trostle (tctrostle@verizon.net)
I read some where, but lost reference to the details, that there is a
framed red filter that will slip over the laptop screen and block most
of the brightness of the screen at night. I did a search of your site,
but did not find much.

Is there a such a product?

Maybe a piece of ruby colored plexi-glass would work?
Mike here: I've also heard of such products. Also, some software can do the same thing.

And:

Solved the question. I had a local glass company cut a piece of ruby red
plexiglass to fit my laptop screen. Cost $5.

Subject:	ETX Service Manual
Sent:	Monday, December 8, 2008 14:37:08
From:	Brian Jones (bjones39@gmail.com)
Do you know of an on-line service manual for the ETX Series (secifically
the ETX-105EC).  I have a Declination scale which doesn't move with the
OTA and want to know if it can be easily repaired.

Is this a common problem with ETX's?

Fantastic site BTW

Cheers

Brian
Mike here: Meade doesn't provide repair manuals. However, there are many tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Check the Declination and/or Altitude axis articles. As to the scale slippage, I don't recall any similar reports.
Subject:	help with mini tripods
Sent:	Saturday, December 6, 2008 09:57:03
From:	ALecras234@aol.com (ALecras234@aol.com)
hi im ash, im disabled and use a wheelchair.   i have been looking ages
for a stand to put my etx 90 on that i can take outside myself without
having to rely on other people to help me.   i saw a tabletop mini
tripod, would that be ok do you think?  i have a tray that slots onto my
wheelchair, i thought i could put the mini tripod on the tray thats on
my chair when i want to go outside to stargaze, and then when im inside
put the mini tripod with the scope on, onto a table in the conservitory
looking out the window.
 
thank you
 
ash
Mike here: I would need more specifics on the mini tripod before answering in more detail. BUT I would be concerned about image vibrations from any small, non-sturdy tripod. That would be compounded by placing the telescope on a table that could flex and vibrate. Remember, when you magnify objects in the telescope you will also be magnifying any vibrations in the mount.

And:

i will be stationary while im outside, im just wandering whether a mini
tripod is a good idea, i think it is but, you're the expert.   something
like this  this is not my scope, mines an etx 90 spotting scope but i
think its the best bet if i wanna be independant without relying on
others to help with a big tripod.
photo

Mike here: If you are breathing you will be causing movement of the chair and table! Those vibrations will be magnified. Whether that will be a problem for your type of observing, only you can determine. But any tabletop photographic tripod will allow the ETX Spotting Scope to be attached. So, yes, this one would work to allow you to mount the ETX.
Subject:	Fwd: ScopeTronix Astronomy Products Order Confirmation 2044-2244-1526
Sent:	Wednesday, December 3, 2008 16:29:38
From:	William Waldram (wwaldram@gmail.com)
I ran across your editorial page concerning ScopTronix.  Just thought
I'd pass this along.  Looks like they are still having problems.  I
haven't heard a word since my order.  Doesn't appear that I'm out any
money, but they do have my credit card number.  I liked their camera
mount better than all the others I looked at.  Didn't think to research
the business too.  Oh well, I should have checked before I ordered. 
I've ordered a ton of stuff over the internet and this is my first bad
experience.  Bummer.  Got any recommendations on similar camera mounts
for the etx90?  Recommended vendors?
 
Thanks,
 
Bill
 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Waldram (wwaldram@gmail.com)
Date: Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 3:08 PM
Subject: Fwd: ScopeTronix Astronomy Products Order Confirmation 2044-2244-1526
To: orders@scopetronix.com

Just checking on my order.  It's been 2 weeks and this is the only communication I have received.
 
Thanks,

Bill Waldram

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ScopeTronix Astronomy Products (orders@scopetronix.com)
Date: Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 6:04 PM
Subject: ScopeTronix Astronomy Products Order Confirmation 2044-2244-1526
To: wwaldram@gmail.com

This is an automated message acknowledging successful initial
processing of your order placed on the World Wide Web.

You may check your order status by writing to:
orders@scopetronix.com
For inquiries, please reference order# 2044-2244-1526

Visit us often at: http://www.scopetronix.com

Order Details:

-------------------Payment Information---------------------

Card Type:  xxxx

--------Cardholder Billing/Shipping Information------------

First Name: William
Last Name:  Waldram
Company:
Street:     1536 NE Ivory Lane
Street:
City:       Lees Summit
State:      MO
Zipcode:    64086
Country:    US
Email:      wwaldram@gmail.com
Phone:      xxx-xxx-xxxx

---------------------Order Summary-------------------------

Item Subtotal:    $49.95
Shipping Cost:    $8.50
GRAND TOTAL:      $58.45
NOTE:Customer declared exemption from 3.00 sales tax.

Shipping Method:   All shipping charges are estimated. For complete
information on shipping methods and charges please visit our Ordering &
Return Info  page.

--------------------Special Instructions-------------------


-----------------Individual Item Breakdown-----------------

Item Ref.   Price ea.   Qty.  Description

STPB90      $49.95      1     ETX-90 Piggyback Camera Mount

------------------------End of Order-----------------------
Mike here: Scopetronix had really great products in the days of Jordan Blessing. But for various reasons I won't go into, the company has changed hands a few years ago and while the products seem to be the same, as you have discovered, the service is definitely intolerable. For alternatives, check out your favorite telescope dealer. If you don't have a favorite, check OPT. (Note: I have a relationship with OPT.)
Subject:	ETX 125 Finder eyepiece comes off
Sent:	Tuesday, December 2, 2008 12:17:04
From:	Schmitt, David CTR USAF AFSPC AFSPC/A5FS (david.schmitt@peterson.af.mil)
I got a newer finder to replace that "gold" one on my 125 that I sent
you a picture of.  However, the eyepiece is not firmly attached.  There
is some very sticky clear stuff that is holding it in place.  George
Cushing (that gut in NY) went to look at his and his has the same
symptoms.  He thinks there is a lubricant in the helical focuser that
dissolved the adhesive that holds that eyepiece onto the diagonal.  I
can send a picture if that would help picture it.  The finder still
focuses.  I can press it down firmly while turning and it works.  On my
old finder that eyepiece is firmly attached to the diagonal.  Have you
or anyone else encountered this?  And what was the solution?  Other than
that issue, this new finder looks brand new and I want to keep it and
fix it.  Thanks.
Dave
Mike here: Over the years, there have been some reports of the finderscope eyepiece coming off. The solution seemed to be to re-glue it.

And:

Thank you, Mike.  Any idea how to safely clean off that sticky stuff and
what kind of adhesive to use to re-glue it?
Dave 
Mike here: Never having had to do that, I can't make any personal recommendations. But use a non-outgassing solvent and glue. Remember that the parts are plastic so use a plastics-safe solvent and glue.
Subject:	Problem with Meade ETX-125EC Telscope
Sent:	Monday, December 1, 2008 03:44:49
From:	Oliva Winterton (oliviaw@worldonline.co.za)
My name is Ken and I have a problem with my Meade Telescope ETX-125EC 
that I hope you can help me with. I live in Cape Town (South Africa) and
I am experiencing the following problem whilst using my telescope.

I have an Autostar #497 with Software version 22ES and my ETX-125EC was
purchased in 2002. When setting the telescope up for an evening of
viewing, we firstly go through the setting up of the telescope in the
Altitude/Azimuth HOME Position by carrying out the following steps given
by you on your site and from the Meade manuals:

1. Position the whole ETX and tripod system with the ETX control panel
on the west side. This doesn't have to be exactly due West but should be
as close as possible.

2. Level the ETX base. Again, this doesn't have to be exactly level (I
usually just eyeball this).

3. Unlock the altitude axis and position the ETX Optical Tube Assembly
(OTA) to 0 degrees. The ETX OTA should be parallel to the ETX base.
Relock the axis. If the scale is off it can be adjusted by loosening the
knob, rotating the scale, and retightening the knob.

4. Loosen the azimuth lever and rotate the ETX OTA counterclockwise
until you hit the stop. Counterclockwise means moving it from (for
example) South to East to North to West.

5. Now rotate the ETX OTA clockwise back to the North. This is a
rotation of approximately 120 degrees or from pointing towards the
Southwest through West to North.

6. Continue with the Autostar Alt/Az initialization and alignment.

Last night we went through the procedure at 2034 in the evening and used
the "Easy Align" function on the Autostar computer. The Autostar
selected CANOPUS and RIGEL as the two stars to be used for the alignment
procedure and once complete, we got an "Alignment successful" message.

We are then able to view all stars ect. in the south eastern, eastern,
north eastern hemispheres such as CANOPUS, RIGEL, SIRIUS, ALDEBARAN,
HAMAL, MIRACH, ALPHERATZ with the telescope either slewing to the left
(anti-clockwise) or right (clockwise) without any problems. However,
when asking the telescope to go to a star or planet ect. in the western
hemisphere such as the MOON, JUPITER or VENUS the telescope always slews
to the right (clockwise) until it hits the internal stops at
approximately the True South position. Autostar also gave us a massage
last night at 2115 that the MOON, JUPITER and VENUS were below the
horizon, although we could actually see them quit clearly way above the
horizon.

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,
Ken
Mike here: First, check the horizontal hard stops. There are two. Position the tube at the first hard stop (say the CCW one). Then slowly move the tube CW until you reach the second hard stop. It should be a rotation of nearly, but not quite, twice around. If it is less than that then a hard stop has broken OR there is some other obstruction preventing movement. Use caution when doing the rotation as if the obstruction is a wire you could cut it by forcing the movement. Let me know. As to the "below the horizon" message, that could come from a couple of sources: either the inputted date (including the year), time, and/or location could be off. OR the emphemeris in the AutoStar is now sufficient out of date (which is likely for moving objects, given the age of version 2.2) and you should update the AutoStar to version 4.3Eg from Meade's web site.

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