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ETX-LS FEEDBACK
Last updated: 31 December 2009
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This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX-LS. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (RA, EC, AT, BB, PE, LS) will continue to be posted on the other appropriate feedback 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.

Subject:	ETS-LX automatic tracking
Sent:	Wednesday, December 30, 2009 11:46:49
From:	ANTONIO ROBERTO PIRIZ . (Roberto.Piriz@uclm.es)
Many times I use the telescope in my backyard where it is impossible to
align it because the small area of sky I can see and also due to the
light pollution. However, I am still able to identify many sky objects
and point to them by using the arrows keys of the Autostar. But once the
object is centered I would like to automatically track it at the
sidereal speed to keep it centered in the eyepiece. How can I do it? In
my old LXD55 it was done just by choosing "targets" and then
"astronomical" with the scroll keys but I has not been able to find a
similar operation with the ETX-LS. I would very much appreciate any
indication to fit this problem. Thanks

Roberto Piriz
Ciudad Real - Spain
Mike here: You can always SYNC. That works on both the AutoStar #497 and the AutoStar III (in fact, all AutoStar models). Once the alignment is completed, GOTO to a known "fixed" object (not a planet or moon) and hold down the ENTER key for a few seconds. It will say "Press Enter to SYNC" and then press ENTER again. Also, you could get a good alignment one time, mark the location of the tripod legs, and then do a PARK. When you set up the next time, put the tripod back in the same place and power-on. The last alignment will be remembered.
Subject:	ETX-LS Finding Home & Slewing
Sent:	Tuesday, December 29, 2009 06:12:59
From:	Denny Hall (fotieks@Yahoo.Com)
I am totally new to telescopes and not even sure if I am having a
problem.  My son received an ETX-LS for Christmas this year.  It has
snowed here (Eudora, KS) since Christmas eve and last evening was the
first time we had any clear skies.  We set the ETX-LS up in the drive
way about 75 feet from the house and turned it on.  It started by
displaying that it was acquiring a GPS.  After a few minutes (not really
sure how long) it displayed "Finding Home", where it stayed for 25
minutes.  Then it displayed "Slewing . . .." where it sat without moving
for another 15 minutes before we realized that the clouds had rolled
back in and covered the sky.  So, we powered it off and gave up for the
night.  One note, it was about 15 degrees with the wind chill around -5.

So, is this normal or is there a problem with the ETX-LS and could the
cold have some effect on its performance?  Any help would be greatly
appreciated!

Thanks,
Denny Hall
Eudora, KS
Mike here: Cold will affect the batteries and the lubrication will "stiffen" up. But that is probably not the cause of what you saw. What version of the AutoStar software is installed in the telescope? If not 1.3, I recommend updating it using Meade's AutoStar Update application version 5.9.1 (Windows required).
Subject:	re: v 1.3 update
Sent:	Monday, December 28, 2009 22:15:06
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The "1.02" is the version of the *loader*, not the final running firmware.
So having that appear after an update is *not* really a problem.

V1.3 does exist *on your PC* as "13" (no decimal point).

(it's actually a folder labeled ETX_LS13  in the
Program Files/Meade/AutostarSuite/Updater  folder)

Yes, the SD card has to be bigger than 256MB and smaller than 4 GB.
(i use a 2GB card)

have fun
--dick

And:

From:	Duncan Sinclair (duncan_sinclair@mac.com)
Yeah, thanks, Richard. They sure don't make things easy or clear with
this updating business. Still, I pressed MODE on my handbox and the
scope still told me it was running 1.02. It wasn't until I finally got
the SD card update to work that it said it was on version 1.3. The
previous USB cable update didn't do anything, although Autostar seemed
to think it all worked perfectly.

Duncan

Subject:	RE: ETX-LS Red-dot finder loose
Sent:	Monday, December 28, 2009 16:10:13
From:	Gordon & Lois Duff (glduff@bellsouth.net)
Today I:

1) re-installed the red-dot finder.
2) re-installed the firmware.
3) ...which got the scope working for all except acquiring satellites.
4) called Meade and talked to a grumpy support guy.
5) shipped it back to them for repairs.

The support guy wanted to know where we bought it (on-line thru their
website), who sold it to us (they did, but had a Long Island dealer send
it to us), when did we buy it (11/30/09), and did we get an extended
warrantee (no, but 30 days should be good enough!).  He then wanted us
to pay to ship it back for repair; my daughter said no way as it arrived
faulty, and then he agreed to pay the shipping back.

I liked the quality of the scope out of the box.  It was purchased sight
unseen.  I think the software/documentation leaves a lot of room for
improvement.  And, based on my single experience, I think the 800
support is third world.

Thanks again for you help.

Gordon.  

Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Monday, December 28, 2009 10:46:15
From:	Michael Johann (m4.michael@me.com)
Wanted to relate a success story.

Original ETX-LS purchased in late October - scope had inspection date
from July.

GPS not working at all.  So scope was returned to Meade under the First
Light program (30 day return policy).

New scope has inspection date December 10.  New scope works perfectly.
GPS is set within 2 minutes and leveling and star alignment takes about
4-5 minutes.  Was great to hear the words "Your Telescope is now
aligned.  Enjoy the evening sky".

I noticed there is a change to the screen when setting GPS with version
1.3.

1.2g the screen would show that Satellites:0 line which apparently never
changed even when working. It would simply go to the Finding Home
process.  Under 1.3 the screen just says Acquiring GPS, then when it
completes that process it continues on to Finding Home.

Michael Johann

Subject:	ETX-LS Successful First Light
Sent:	Sunday, December 27, 2009 10:59:13
From:	Paul Forbes (paul.forbes@sympatico.ca)
I have submitted previous postings on your web site discussing many of
the common issues experienced by other ETX- LS6 owners. I received my
3rd replacement scope on Dec 23rd and would like to report complete
success on this scope's 1st light. Like many LS6 users I have been very
frustrated with the technology and initially with Meade. I finally
realized this "bleeding edge technology" required a collaborative and
patient approach with Meade. While waiting for my 3rd scope to be
delivered I had purchased the Meade LS-3.5 inch video monitor and took
the risk of connecting it for the scope's first light. I said "Damn the
torpedoes it's all or nothing" and flipped the switch and held my
breath. Well the screen light up and the video is unbelievable and
provides far more information than the handbox. On first light,
everything worked perfectly including the acquisition of the GPS
satellites and successful alignment using 2 stars in less than 10 mins.
I was shocked based on my previous experiences of firmware errors and
failed alignments to name a few. I went with "Tonight's Best" and
visited the Orion Nebula, Moon, Andromeda Galaxy, Mars and more. The "Go
To" worked well with most objects close to the center. I plan to use the
"Finder Center" to improve the centering. I did a few manual slews to
check out the view finder and with a slight adjustment it was perfect. I
checked out my favourite Red Supergiant Betelgeuse in Orion and more. It
was chilly 32F or 0C just outside Toronto on my back deck away from the
house by about 15 feet with decent view of the sky with minimal cloud
cover.

More on the video monitor. My recommendation is to buy it even if you
are having trouble with the auto-alignment. The monitor is great for
easier navigation and for using the CCD camera not to mention the
educational video information. I took a great shot of Orion's belt and
of course the Orion Nebula on my first attempt. Yes it is not through
the optics but hey it worked and it was fun. See attached image. The
monitor is great to preview your pictures and to attempt different
exposures times etc. More on Meade. With a bit or encouragement, Meade
was nice enough to send me the 9mm eyepiece which I used to view the
moon to see some incredible crater views. Don't be afraid to suggest the
Meade service rep to throw in an extra eyepiece of something else to
compensate for your troubles. I plan to buy more Meade accessories so it
was a wise investment for Meade and thanks to Francisco and Dave at
Meade for their help. Once again for Canadian customers be wary of the
brokerage fees. Get Meade to cover all the brokerage fees which they did
for me.

Good luck to everyone else...be patient and you will be rewarded. A
great conclusion for a journey that began with purchase in July 2009
with 2 returns. I will be up north for New Year's ,where the skies are
unbelievable, with our usual crowd of friends and will pray for a nice
clear night for everyone to enjoy the night sky and the LS6.

ETX-LS 6
V 1.3
Meade 3.5 inch LCD Video Colour Monitor
 
Clear Skies
Paul Forbes
Burlington Canada

photo

And:

Hopefully you will have the same good luck when you get your scope back.
Cheers,
Paul

Subject:	ETX-LS Red-dot finder loose
Sent:	Friday, December 25, 2009 08:17:14
From:	Gordon Duff (glduff@bellsouth.net)
My daughter got a new scope fro Christmas.  It suffered some shipping
damage - the red-dot finder has popped out of its socket.   Can I just
losen the allen screws that fasten the bracket and reinstall it?  Would
this cause a warantee problem, do you thing?
 
Thanks,
 
Gordon Duff
Chapel Hill
Mike here: I don't have my ETX-LS back from Meade yet so can't say for certain how it should be re-attached. But loosening mounting bracket screws should not invalidate any warranty. HOWEVER, if you break something (like a wire or a piece of plastic) then you could invalidate the warranty.

And:

Thanks for the quick response.  I will give it a try.  I have to wait
until tomorrow to get a very small allen wrench, however.
 
Gordon.
Mike here: I don't know whether the size is metric or not.

And:

We are proceeding with setup and have the scope outside.  We get nothing
out of the loudspeaker when we turn it on and all we see on the control
after the boot message is "Satellites:0".  The scope does it's leveling
thing.  After several minutes nothing changes. No buttons on the control
have any effect.  Are we missing something?
 
Gordon.
Mike here: The Satellites:0 message may be an error in coding. The display dims after the alignment so if it is not dark you may have trouble reading it. When you press one of the four arrow buttons at the top, does the telescope move at all? As to the speaker, maybe the speaker is turned off? Also, what version of the software is installed? You can see that in the MODE menu displays.

And:

The software is 1.2g.  The speaker pops when power is applied, but that
is it.  As none of the buttons on the control function, including the 4
directional buttons, I have no way to adjust options such as the
speaker.

Gordon.

PS:  Thanks for sticking with me on this.  The internet is a great way
to meet nice people.
Mike here: There is a later version (1.3) but I don't think that is the problem. Check the batteries; are they inserted correctly? Are they fresh ones. Are they NOT rechargeable ones?

And:

We don't have batteries installed; we have been running with the AC adapter.
Gordon.
Mike here: The Meade one for the ETX-LS or some other adapter? You might still try batteries.

And:

It came with the scope, but it says Condor on it with no mention of
Meade.  I will try batteries, probably tomorrow.
 
Gordon
Mike here: Does it look like this one?
http://www.shopatron.com/products/productdetail/part_number=7584/1323.0.1.1

And:

It looks like that and it was ordered via Meade, but shipped for someone
in New York, probably  a distributor or dealer.
Gordon.
Mike here: Some older models look very similar. Hopefully it is the "universal" one. The older Meade AC Adapters may not work reliably with the ETX-LS. The Universal model will work with it.

And:

We put batteries in and get no response at all; no light on the switch,
no noise from the speaker, etc.  I found the box for the AC adapter and
it is #07584LF.
 
Gordon
Mike here: That part number looks right for the Universal Adapter. If the telescope does not power on with batteries and since it is new, I suggest contacting your dealer for an exchange.

And:

Thanks for all your help on this.  We have reached the same conclusion
about returning it.  We are going to contact the dealer whenever he
reopens.  If something interesting happens I will let you know.
 
Gordon.

Subject:	v 1.3 update
Sent:	Thursday, December 24, 2009 15:40:50
From:	Duncan Sinclair (duncan_sinclair@mac.com)
I just updated my LS-6 with the new firmware, connecting my scope to my
PC via USB. It all seemed to work, although I must say it's not the most
user-friendly process, and I was clicking blind for a while. One thing
that threw me was that when I click on "OK" it takes a while for it to
respond, or requires me to click "OK" a couple more times before
anything happens. Anyway, all went well, EXCEPT...

For some reason, when I start my scope up, the handbox still says it is
version 1.02. I'm wondering if anyone else has this happen. The Autostar
Suite confirmed that the update worked, and I have the latest available
version, so I'm confident I am on version 1.3. But I wonder why the
handbox keeps telling me it's version 1.02.

Thanks.

Duncan Sinclair
Mike here: If you press the MODE key for several seconds and scroll through the displays there, what version does it show? If you search the Site for "ETX-LS 1.02" you'll find one entry where the startup version didn't change on an update and what solved it.

And:

Thanks for that. I was scrolling through the menus trying to find the
version info, but didn't find it until you told me how. It says v. 1.02.
After all this time! Even when I got the scope from Meade, it had a
label on it saying it was version 1.2. How wrong we all were. Still, at
least it's been behaving itself.

I'll look for that solution on your site, and/or contact Meade.

Thanks again.

Duncan
Mike here: MODE menu says 1.02!?!? Better try the update again, as suggested in that earlier feedback item.

And:

Uh oh. 

I just tried it. Failed completely, and now my telescope will not start
up at all. Time to contact Meade yet again. Stand by...I'll send you
details later. Merry Christmas!
Mike here: Are you running any anti-virus software? if so, try disabling it during the update. Otherwise, try using a mini SD card to update.

And an email sent to Meade:

Maybe you have the email thread between you and me from a few months ago
- I'm afraid I no longer have it. I'm having problems with my
replacement telescope, and I'll summarize below:

I won an LS-6 in the Julian Starfest raffle, but it could never get any
GPS fixes. I brought it to your office in Irvine, and we tried updating
the firmware (it was on 1.07) and it didn't work.

Eventually, Meade sent me a replacement scope, which worked fine. That
was my last email communication with you.

I vaguely remember that there was some sticker or label on it saying it
was version 1.2. However, the handbox has always said (when it starts
up) version 1.02.  I thought this was maybe just some labeling
weirdness, especially since when I connected it to my PC, Autostar Suite
told me it had version 1.2 and there was no newer version.

Today, I discovered that version 1.3 is available, so I updated via my
PC and a USB cable for the first time. Everything seemed to go well. It
downloaded for a few minutes, the handbox said it had completed the
update. The PC confirmed that I now had the newest version in my scope
and there was no newer version available.

However, the handbox CONTINUED TO TELL ME IT HAD VERSION 1.02. I
mentioned this in an email to Mike Weasner, and it seems I'm not alone
with this problem. Apparently, this telescope has been on version 1.02
all along, not version 1.2 as Meade thought when it sent me the
replacement scope. Even Autostar Suite seems to have it wrong - it
THINKS my scope has the latest version, but the handbox says something
else. Either that, or the telescope can't even tell what version it's
running.

So now, I tried to update it via a mini-SD card, as that seemed to
resolve it for a couple of people on Mike Weasner's website. I put the
card in my PC and ran Autostar Suite. I told the updater I wanted
ETX-LS, and it gave me two options - "1.02" or "13". Not 1.3 - just
"13". This confused me, so I left it blank, hoping it would just
download the most recent version.

It started loading SOMETHING to my card, and after a while, the card
light on my PC stopped flashing. I looked on the card, and there were a
number of files and folders - "Tours" being one of them. There were two
bin files and perhaps three folders (I don't remember exactly), and the
name of the card was now EFINDERETX.

I put this card in my scope and started it up. After about a minute, the
handbox finally came to life, and said "Copy SD to NAND Press any key". 
I pressed Enter, and got the message NAND FAILED Error Code 1.

Now my telescope will not start up at all - the handbox is just a blank
screen. And the files on the SD card are now not what they looked like
before, but a whole string of icons that are not readable on either my
PC or my Mac. That's why I can't tell you exactly the names of the files
and folders that were on the card, because they have been replaced by a
bunch of corrupt stuff.

Can you tell me of a way to clear this telescope's brain and install
version 1.3, or am I going to have to send it in to you yet again?

I hope you had a great Christmas break. Sorry to be the bearer of sad
news.

Duncan Sinclair
Mike here: Have you tried reloading the card with 1.3? Yes, "13" should be "1.3". Be certain to let it complete writing to the card (I don't know if the flashing light is a reliable indicator that has completed).

And:

I'll try that, thanks. When it was writing to the card, it just sat
there for minutes, apparently doing nothing. So I looked on the card,
and there seemed to be a bunch of files ready to go, so I took it out.
It's possible the card (256 MB) ran out of room. I'll see if I can find
a bigger card.

Merry Christmas.

Duncan
Mike here: Yeah, you'll need a larger card. But 2GB is the max size for the ETX-LS.

And good news:

I found a 512 MB card, and downloaded "13". It worked, and my scope is
now saying version 1.3, finally! When it downloaded, it said it was 212
MB, but now that it's on my card, it says 256 MB, so I guess the 256 MB
card wasn't big enough.

Thanks for your help.

Duncan

Mike here: At my request, Meade supplied some clarification on the ETX-LS and LT models.
Subject:	ETX-LS vs LT
Sent:	Monday, December 14, 2009 16:02:58
From:	Meade Instruments
ETX-LS 6/LS-6: are the same LightSwitch, Astronomer Inside (built-in
Audio), AutoStar III, Eclips CCD Module, GPS, Magnetic North Sensor
Telescope.  Flip a switch and Lightswitch technology Uses GPS, Magnetic
North sensor, and level sensors to tell it where it is.  Slew to a guide
star and use the built-in CCD camera to center and verify the guide
star.  SC and ACF optic available.  Built-in audio, and optional video
display capability.  The ETX-LS 6 telescope and the LS-6 Telescopes are
one in the same.  There is no design difference between the two, save
for the name plate, and perhaps minor assembly differences that have
been reflect lessons learned from the first units that have come off the
line.  Software architecture is unchanged. The "ETX" moniker was dropped
because the "LS" mount share nothing in common with the ETX series.  The
"LS" series has a die-cast Aluminum mount and 4.875" diameter worm gears
in both axis. In fact, the "LS" mount has more in common with the LX90
Series. As a result, it was decided to drop "ETX" to eliminate
comparison and confusion between the two.

LT-6:  LT series are AutoStar #497 based products.  It is basically a
6", single fork arm LX90.  No GPS, no LNT technology (level and magnetic
north sensor).  You have to manually enter time, date, and location. 
Manually level, point the tube north and manually verify the guide star.
ACF and SC optical systems are available.

The LS and the LT are both single fork arm telescopes with 6" apertures,
so they look very similar on the surface.  They operate quite
differently.
Mike here: The OPT web site mentions a LS-8 model coming in early 2010.
Subject:	Version 1.3 on the ETX-LS
Sent:	Wednesday, December 23, 2009 13:14:25
From:	Warren Spreng (wspreng@gmail.com)
Just uploaded the update on the ETX-LS, version 1.3.  Used the Mini SD
card and everything uploaded fine.  Took it outside and turned it on
just to make sure everything was OK.  I wanted to time how long it took
to capture the GPS signal.  It started to find signal, I looked down at
my watch to time it and within 5 seconds it was slewing to North!  Now I
can't wait for the next clear skies to see how everything else works!
 
Warren Spreng

Subject:	Upgrading the software
Sent:	Saturday, December 19, 2009 16:02:21
From:	Sergio De La Fuente (sergiodelafuente@hotmail.com)
I live in Chile and I really enjoy a very clear sky here. I own the
ETX-LS (ACF) scope with Autostar III. I have tried many times to upgrade
Autostar's software, but I have been unable to do it. Please tell me
what is wrong.

First I connect the scope to my laptop, through the USB cable, then I
run the provided ASU (Autostar Update) version 5.9.1 and start to
download the new software version, but when download is complete (after
about 30 minutes), I obtain the next message and upgrade is aborted:

"An error occurred while downloading the file, error 12002 (Internet
Read file ( ) in download thread ())"

Is there a problem with the USB cable connection?...do I really need the
#505 Connector Cable Kit?
Thank you
Sergio
Mike here: There is no RS-232 port on the ETX-LS, so a #505 serial cable won't work. There is apparently a ETX-LS serial driver on the disc that ships with the ETX-LS. Have you installed that driver?

And:

Actually I first installed the driver, but it caused more problems (I
was not able to drive the scope with my laptop). So, I decided to
uninstall it and now I can take control of the telescope.

I can still use the ASU to download other files into the Autostar
(satellites, comets, tours, etc), but cant download firmware upgrades.

Sergio
Mike here: Since I don't have my ETX-LS back from Meade yet, I can't say why you can control the telescope and can update objects but not download ROM updates. Have you tried to update via the mini SD card slot?

And:

Sorry to keep you worried, but I have just solved the problem. It was my
antivirus software that stopped the download.
Thank you again
Sergio
Mike here: Ah, another reason I avoid Windows... Glad you solved it!!!

And:

From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Sergio wrote:
>> Sorry to keep you worried, but I have just solved the problem. It was my
>> antivirus software that stopped the download.

Did it say why it stopped it?  Did it identify a specific problem?
Which anti-virus software are you using?
I'd like to try to replicate the problem.

Mike Weasner wrote:
> Ah, another reason I avoid Windows... 

Mike... our university strongly recommends installing anti-virus on Macs.
With the same level of "strongly" as they do for Windows.

have fun
--dick
Mike here: Not surprising. There are a few Mac viruses out there. But most of the Mac anti-virus apps seem to cause more problems than they prevent. Just being smart seems to avoid the problem with any need for Mac anti-virus solutions. Of course, as Mac OS X and Apple continue to increase in marketshare and visibility, who knows what the future may bring.
Subject:	Equatorial wedge for ETX LS
Sent:	Wednesday, December 16, 2009 19:39:23
From:	Sergio De La Fuente (sergiodelafuente@hotmail.com)
I wonder if the 6" ETX LS ACF (with Autostar III) is able to track in
equatorial wedge. Is there a wedge available for this model? If not,
will Meade develop one in the near future?
Thanks 
Sergio
Mike here: There are reports that Meade will be providing a wedge for the LS (and presumably the LT) telescopes. Don't know when. The AutoStar III does support Equatorial mounting.
Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Wednesday, December 16, 2009 18:18:33
From:	James turbo Cohen (turbocohen@cox.net)
The ETX-LS ACF 8 is going to production and will begin shipping in a few
months.  Several "updates" are anticipated to accompany the new model.
Mike here: I will be posting more info on the ETX-LS models on the next ETX Site update. (the info is posted above and on the ETX FAQ page)
Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Monday, December 14, 2009 15:08:31
From:	blkhole (blkhole@shaw.ca)
Just got another phone call from Meade, UPS (unsafe parcel service)
returned my repaired ETX-LS telescope to Meade saying that they couldn't
find my address? Note I shipped it to Meade using UPS. Are these people
stupid or what! Meade checked the address and found it was correct so
now they are going to return it using Fed Ex or Perolator. I told them
to hang on to it and not ship it until after the Xmas rush as it might
be safer then. Its cloudy and cold up here now anyway and there's no way
I'm going out observing at -44 C all the lubrication on the drive would
freeze up. Anyhow here's to Mike and all our readers...

Have a good Christmas or whatever you celebrate and a safe New Year.
                     
Guy Westcott
Located in Cold Canada.
Mike here: I've had similar issues with UPS. One vendor shipped an item to me via UPS and it arrived on time. The next order had to go to a UPS Store because UPS said my address was not a valid address.
Mike here: New LightSwitch Firmware Update now available! Version 1.3. Go To: http://www.meade.com/ls_update/lsupdateindex.html
Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:39:18
From:	Varga, Les (LVarga@nordson.com)
Thanks for the note on the new firmware for the ETX-LS 6.  I thought I
would drop a few lines mainly for those that are having a bad experience
to at seek know that their efforts in resolving their scope issues will
be rewarded.  My scope has worked from the very beginning.  I use this
scope far more than my much larger LX90 12".  My children and I have
enjoyed this new telescope thoroughly.electronics aside, the optics of
the ACF version are terrific.  I think Meade, perhaps, is going through
some manufacturing and quality control issues in getting every scope
correct before they ship.my guess.  As an engineer myself I know first
hand that some surprises await you when production starts on a new
product.  But when they do produce one that works (like mine) I can at
least say this telescope does everything as advertised very well.

My GPS sensor works but I have found that if you are mostly viewing from
the same place on Earth (like your backyard) it is just plain faster to
enter your closest city, time, answer yes or no to daylight savings and
then let the scope do its automatic alignment using the on-board CCD
camera.   This works every time for me.
 
Best Regards,
 
Les

Subject:	re: Summary of problems with my ETX-LS
Sent:	Sunday, December 6, 2009 22:08:21
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
v1.3 (which does get faster fixes in my testing) has been posted by Meade.
If you start the Updater (ASU) and tell it you have an ETX-LS,
it will offer to fetch the files from Meade, and then you can do the update.

The download from Meade is over 200 megabytes, so it can take 3 hours to
arrive on a slow ADSL hookup (6 hours on dial-up).

have fun
--dick

And:

From:	Yihan Goh (gohyihan@gmail.com)
Thanks Dick, but no luck with the ver 1.3; the GPS still does not work.

I am returning the scope for a full refund. OPT has been fantastic
supporting me all this while. They have graciously agreed to take the
scope back. I am glad I chose to get the scope from them.

I know there are probably many successful and happy ETX LS owners out
there. But somehow I have been struck by 3 bad scopes. It's been a bad
experience, but at least I can get some money back (still stuck with
accessories).

Subject:	Re: Summary of problems with my ETX-LS
Sent:	Friday, December 4, 2009 00:35:05
From:	Yihan Goh (gohyihan@gmail.com)
Hi Mike, new development - Meade says a new firmware is coming soon that
will fix this GPS problem. I'll keep you posted if it works.

Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Thursday, December 3, 2009 14:53:22
From:	blkhole (blkhole@shaw.ca)
Hi Mike after sending my scope back on Nov 6  I got an email from Meade
today saying that the GPS had been replaced and the scope was on its way
back. I hope it arrives in one piece and that we still have some clear
nights left before the snow. As a consolation I purchased a 6" dob for
xmas for my 8 year old grandson...if the LS doesn't work we can go back
to basics. Will let you know when I try it out.
Guy

Subject:	Re: Summary of problems with my ETX-LS
Sent:	Thursday, December 3, 2009 12:37:10
From:	Yihan Goh (gohyihan@gmail.com)
The second replacement scope has been tested. The GPS does not work.

This is now the third scope I have with GPS problems.

I am giving up on this and will just minimise my losses. I'm going to
try and exchange the scope for something else. I'm going to stop wasting
my time waiting for something that actually works.

With warmest regards,
Yihan

Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Wednesday, December 2, 2009 20:17:02
From:	Louis Welke (wwtpoper@yahoo.com)
As usual I get depressed to see a higher percentage of LS users having
problems with their 'scopes than those who tell stories of how wonderful
the ETX LS is.

Some years ago I bought my first high quality telescope it was a
Celestron 11" GPS and if only that telescope was easier to carry around
I would still have it today.

A very good friend of mine told me how good Meade was and so I went and
bought a 8" LX200  GPS and really had no problems with it, but the idea
of a telescope that would do anything you wanted just by flipping a
switch intrigued me so I bought the 6" ETX LS  and now I wonder if Meade
didn't test this scope out more thoroughly and rushed it into full
production.

I am patient also in waiting for a fix that will take care of all the
problems.

I believe you have been waiting now for a few months to receive your new
ETX LS.

To me this seems totally unsatisfactory to be waiting as long as you
have.

I feel that we as loyal customers deserve better than that.

I hope that by this new year Meade will be fixing or replacing these
returned LS telescopes at a quicker pace.

Louis Welke
Mike here: As I said many times on this Site over the years, most people write when they have problems, not when they don't. That is just the nature of the Human Universe.
Subject:	Questions about the ETX-LS 6" ACF
Sent:	Wednesday, December 2, 2009 18:28:05
From:	Bill Lumbergh (asthegeekturns@gmail.com)
My name is Shawn, I live in the Dallas, Texas area (specifically, just
East of Dallas), and I have followed your site with great interest. It
is very impressive, as is your observatory.

I am mulling over the purchase of a major scope, well a major one for me
anyway. I am still new to astronomy but I am frustrated by the limits of
my Meade EQ-114 and want to see more.

I have been looking at the Meade ETX-LS 6" ACF and read your reviews of
experiences. I had a few questions if you don't mind.

Did you ever resolve the GPS self alignment issue you reported? In other
words, does it self align as advertised now?

Do you see Meade releasing another larger aperture version of this
scope, like an 8"?

It seems they like to pick an aperture size and release tons of them ala
the 114-EQ, DS-114, 114EQ-ASB, 114EQ-ASTR, 114EQ-AR, etc. I have noticed
several models of the 6" already out and just wondered if this was going
to be the next "common model" they crank out.

How was the quality of images through the CCD imager? How many mega
pixels?

I am not sure what type of eyepieces you have used with this scope
beyond the 26mm plossol included, if I give you a list of objects, could
you tell me if I could see them and how well?

Jupiter, would I be able to easily distinguish cloud bands and the red
spot with the right magnification eyepiece?

Saturn, would I be able to easily distinguish multiple rings and the
gaps between them with the right magnification eyepiece?

Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto, would I be able to at least see a point of
light with the right magnification eyepiece?

How about nebula? And I don't mean just a fuzzy gray patch in the sky,
would I be able to distinguish gaseous material of say the ring nebula,
or the dumbell nebula, or even galaxies like Andromeda?

Also, the SLUF was my favorite all time fighter, what was it like flying
the A-7? When I lived in central Ohio the 121st TFW of the Ohio Air
National Guard used to fly them out of Rickenbacker ANGB. They had a
series of accidents in the eighties, something related to wing cracks
and the eventually moved onto F-16s. I miss the A-7, it was such a cool
aircraft and ominous looking as well.

Thanks in advance for your time!
 
Take Care,
 
Shawn Titus
Mike here: I'm still awaiting the return of my ETX-LS for more thorough use. But from the latest reports I'm receiving, it appears the GPS issues have been resolved. I doubt that there will be an 8" ETX-LS model. The 8" LX90 or 8" LXD75 fills that need. The CCD is limited resolution and wide-angle only. I don't have the specifics at hand. You can see some example images on the ETX-LS feedback pages. You can try out various eyepieces and objects using the Telescope Simulator and Eyepiece Simulator on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. Just plug in the appropriate data. Some planets and many DSOs will look good, others will be small and/or faint. Check the simulators. I flew into Rickenbacker once. It was a snowy day. The flightline was very icy. Getting my A-7 to stop was exciting! I still have my A-7 models and flight helmet. Love that plane!
Subject:	Re: ETX-LS Feedback - another bad 'scope!
Sent:	Monday, November 30, 2009 09:59:13
From:	Scott Recker (srecker@earthlink.net)
Yippee!! After returning 2 ETX-LS 'scopes, I finally got one that works!
I guess third time's a charm. The first one couldn't find North. The
second couldn't find GPS. THIS one I can put in my driveway between the
house and the car with only a handful of sky showing, and it minutes
it's properly aligned. Magic! It still often doesn't hit targets dead
center, but I'm still working on the calibration, and it's pretty close
each time. I haven't tried "precision alignment" yet.

The message is: to all disgruntled ETX-LS purchasers: keep sending it
back (at Meade's cost) until you get one that works. The technology
actually DOES work!

An interesting side-note. This one also has version 1.2g factory
installed. But unlike the last one, there are no "vssver" entries! It's
clean. I guess someone figured out the problem!

Feedback Archive

Check the Feedback Archive for previous editions of the ETX-LS page.


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Copyright © 2009 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2009 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/dec09/etx-ls.html