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Last updated: 31 December 2009
This page is for comments and user feedback about the "ETX Classic" telescopes. ETX Classic models 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, ETX-LS, DSX, and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.

Subject:	Meade's My Sky
Sent:	Thursday, December 31, 2009 20:21:32
From:	Louis Welke (
Do you happen to know if Meade is still supporting the "My Sky"they were
selling because I have (2) of them one is the old B/W and the other is
in color, I found that they don't use the GPS in those devices anymore,I
believe you were testing them once and I wonder what you thought of

Neither of these units seem to correctly point to what they should and I
wondered if Meade is still supporting or selling them.
Lou Welke
Mike here: You can read my review on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page. The product has been discontinued by Meade but the last software update is available on their downloads page (
Subject:	LS 6 Coma free vs ETX 125 PE UTHC Comparrison
Sent:	Monday, November 9, 2009 19:03:31
From:	John O'Brien (
I enjoy your feedback blog. You are the man !!!! I am thinking on an ETX
125 PE UTHC for $799.00(Jr's Records ). However I see that Meade now has
a new ETX series scope for 2X the price. This new LS 6, do you think its
worth the price as compared to the ETX 125 PE ??? I am a new neoypte for
star gazzing. wsell my spell check is not working. So I apologize
to you up front. I also see the ETX 125 AT for $699.00 on sale from
Meade, on Meade's website.
Thank You
John kevin O'Brien OS1 (SW) USN Ret.
Mike here: The ETX-125PE is a fine telescope. The LS model adds more aperture, even better optics, the built-in CCD (for auto-align and wide field imaging), and Auto-Align. The larger aperture is nice to have but the cost is higher of course. Your decision will have to be based on your budget and how serious your interest in astronomy is. Either telescope should give you many years of enjoyment no matter what you decide.
Subject:	ETX90: no tracking rate increase/decrease
Sent:	Monday, December 28, 2009 01:05:28
From:	Paul Casman (
I have a ETX90EC (no Autostar). Following the guide I push MODE to enter
polar mode, then SPEED to choose hemisphere.

- if I then push MODE, tracking starts (I hear the motor).

- if I push IN or OUT to change tracking speed, nothing happens. Pushing
MODE starts tracking at sidereal rate

Thank you for your advice.

Paul Casman
Mike here: There is only one sidereal rate tracking speed. If what you want to change is the slewing speed, then press the SPEED button; the speed LEDs should change. The IN/OUT buttons are for use with an electric focuser.


Thank you for your answer.

The manual says:

Tracking Motor Speeds
In the polar mode the Electronic Controller normally tracks objects at the
sidereal rate (see SIDEREAL RATE, page 13). For most observing sessions
(once the telescope has been polar aligned and the tracking motor
activated), there is little need to change this speed.
For objects, like the Moon or a comet, that move at slightly different
rates, the Electronic Controller Arrow keys (1, Fig. 3) are sufficient to
move the telescope slightly as the object very slowly moves off-center
through the eyepiece field.
To change the tracking rate, for extended observations of an object not
moving at the sidereal rate, follow the
procedure for the appropriate hemisphere:
Northern Hemisphere Polar:
1. Press and hold the MODE key (5, Fig. 3) until the Mode function is active
(i.e., lights 1 and 2 are on steady;
lights 3 and 4 signify whatever tracking mode was last chosen).
2. Press the SPEED key (3, Fig. 3) until lights 1, 2, and 3 are on steady
with light 4 blinking. The telescope is now in the Northern Hemisphere polar
3. Press the IN key (7, Fig. 3) and light 4 comes on steady. The tracking
rate is now 0.5% faster than sidereal.
If the object you're tracking is moving faster than the sidereal rate, look
through the eyepiece and continue to press the IN key until the object
remains centered with little or no drifting in the eyepiece.

Thank you
Mike here: Forgot about that! Are you holding the MODE key down (several seconds), as noted in step #1?


1. Press and hold the MODE key until the Mode function is active (i.e.,
lights 1 and 2 are on steady; lights 3 and 4 signify whatever tracking mode
was last chosen).
2. Press the SPEED key until lights 1, 2, and 3 are on steady with light 4
blinking. The telescope is now in the Northern Hemisphere polar mode.
3. Press the IN key and light 4 comes on steady. The tracking rate is now
0.5% faster than sidereal.

Step 1: ok.
Step 2: lights ok, but no motor activity.
Step 3: lights ok, but still no motor activity.

Pressing MODE after step 3: motor starts at sidereal rate.

Thank you
Mike here: What object are you tracking to observe that there is no change in the tracking rate?


The problem is that there is no tracking after step #2 or #3.
Pressing IN 60 times, and afterwards pressing MODE, starts tracking at
sidereal rate. I observed this speed by measuring the time necessary for a
fixed object to move from one side of the viewfinder to the other.

Thank you.  
Mike here: I suggest you try it on a star or the moon. The change is VERY small.
Subject:	etx60 at
Sent:	Sunday, December 27, 2009 17:26:08
From:	jon (
Greetings again mike. Jon here from uk England
The upright focus knob on the silver tube version of the etx60 winds
like a corkscrew , ie not concentric, and is very gritty in its feel
when turning, can i remedy this myself or are they all like this per
Best regards
Mike here: No, the knob should not "corkscrew". Does the telescope still focus? If so, the focus shaft is still connected. If not, then the focus shaft has become disconnected. Gee, don't recall a "silver tube" version.


thank you for reply, yes the rod is intact and focuses well, maybe
I can unbolt and bend it slightly.
Yes silver. The model is aimed at ready to go starter pack market, model
etx-60at-at or bb ect, some with case, some not three e/p   internal 3x
diagonal which works well, but wow doya have to re focus,
Mike here: If the shaft is bent by the focus knob, then you MAY be able to straighten it out. But use caution as you could make things worse if you bend it incorrectly or break it. Also, don't let the shaft come loose from the objective lens housing or slip inside the tube. Keep the tube pointed upward whenever you have the knob removed.


Will look at the job now, thanks mike

And more:

thanks for the advise on this, I did not like the idea of removing
the small nylock nut to get at the feeder spindle as it is all enclosed in a
tiny inspection cover with access only from one point, I did try some
lubricant and straightening from the high point of it rotation, then I
thought sod it , so I sent it back, think I'll go for the etx 70.


Just a comment on the telescope, per review from myself having owned
most scopes of Meade during the past 15 years, the optics are at the
core of any scope, all etx scopes ,and i do have the 125, are excellent,
but the new focus knob on this budget range is vertical, this is an
excellent idea if the scope is observing something overhead was very
touchy about the inclusion of the 3x barlow which is built in at a flip
option, but the quality is excellent i managed to use a 9mm e/p and
there was more to go, but the most disappointing factor is that if you
are say using a 25mm e/p and then flip the barlow in it takes many turns
to re-focus, providing that you remember which way you should turn.

And the quality of the focus knob dues not do any justice to the poor
little bugger, it is quite gritty and stiff. Engineering wise I'll bet
someone can adjust it, but overall a darn good entry level scope with a
good entry level to learning where things are in the sky. Providing you
use and know how to orientate the scope towards the north, you can use
it in your front room, won't
see anything mind you.


Subject:	Problem with motor of etx125
Sent:	Friday, December 25, 2009 13:39:06
From:	Martin Bosk (
Hi, Im Martin from Czech Republic and sorry for my english.I have a new
ETX125PE and after half hour running of telescope I found out some
problems with RA motor in clockwise began to more roar and
to move slower. The opposite motion in RA (counterclockwise) runs
quietly and with a normal speed. This traction for clockwise motion
appears to be a little released or slips. Can you me please advise?

Very very thank you

Bc. Martin Bosk 
ICQ: 275626281 
Mike here: Lets try some simple solutions first. Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? If not, try those. If that doesn't help, replace the batteries; then do the CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. Also, be certain you are not overtightening the axis lock.


So...Due to bad batteries it isn't but I use only Meade adapter. I try
function TRAIN but the situation with motor is still no
clockwise motion already. The motor runs neutral, free-wheel. All other
direction are functional. I think it is necessary repair it from within
:( ....

Thank you for willingness, Martin
Mike here: Lets check one more thing. With the axis UNLOCKED, can you hear the motor running when running it in the problem direction? Does it sound normal?


with the UNLOCKED AXIS sounds it almost same...clockwise noise and
counterclockwise normal. With LOCKED AXIS runs it clockwise very very
slow. I try all speeds (1-9) but clockwise running is always several
times slower (or none).

I will say one more thing. Main knob for RA, when I thigh it, It stays
max in position of half way (no all 90 grades)....I send you a photo in
appendix and even one video with all motions. So two photos (locked and
unlocked) and one video. Video is in QuickTime movie (when will you hav
a problem a I will change


photo photo

Mike here: The lock lever doesn't have to move through the whole slot. If you think the axis is NOT locking properly, you can adjust it (see the ETX FAQ page). However, in listening to the sound it makes, it almost sounds like the gear housing is loose. You'll have to open up the base to check. HOWEVER, since the telescope is new, you may prefer to contact your dealer for an exchange under warranty.


OK...But I have one problem. The telescope was send from OPT in USA to
Europe by my friend. I may try one dealer of Meade in Czech republic. He
can perhaps help me with opening of base...or there are some
instructions on your sites? Or I send it to european central for Meade
to Germany (it would be no problem).

And one more thing I have. Can be it caused by this: once I forgot
adjsut a home position for RA a I start automatic alignment...after few
seconds motors cannot run next because RA base was to the end. It is
possible it was caused due this? But I think it can happen surely that
motor runs and suddenly hit the end of RA circulation.

however very thank you and I will report you how will be the next
situation with it.

Martin B.
Mike here: Yes, you have a problem. Usually, warranty repairs/exchanges will not be done if the telescope is purchased out-of-country (or area). There are many articles on repairing ETX telescopes on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. As to the HOME Position, yes, you do need to start from the proper HOME position. So, if it was at a hard stop and you tried to run the drive against that, one of two things may have happened. Nothing. Or something broke. So, lets confirm that the telescope was NOT at a hard stop in that movie you sent.


Ok...and the video was in situation when base was cca in the midway of
RA circulation. In the case of video the telescope cannot clockwise runs
due to was not to the end.
Mike here: And you can move it past that position by hand with the axis unlocked? Do so carefully and slowly. If there is an obstruction, it could be a wire and you don't want to cut it.


Yes...motion by hands is with no problem to clockwise direction....
telescope can be rotated in cca 1,75 circle...this is normal I think.
And during rotating by hands runs it slightly..maybe small cracking but
really small...almost not hearable. martin
Mike here: Movement from hard stop to hard stop is just slightly less than twice around. So it would seem that there is no obstruction. Could be a problem with the gearing.
Subject:	OTA support install
Sent:	Wednesday, December 23, 2009 11:11:49
From:	Bruce Smith (
After repairing a broken wire on my RA motor, I'm having a hard time
putting the OTA back into the supports. (I had removed it to clean the
DEC axis clutch. The problem is getting the 2 tabs on each side of the
OTA to engage the corresponding holes in each support arm. Has anyone
learned of a trick to help out here? Spreading or pressing on the
support arms seems to have no effect as the OTA fits so tightly between
the arms. I'm so thankful for your site and related links, it truly gave
me the courage to get in there and repair my MUF errors. Thanks for all
the help and knowledge!
Bruce Smith
Mike here: I recall having to twist and press with my ETX-90 RA. Took a few minutes but the tabs finally snapped into position.
Subject:	ETX125
Sent:	Thursday, December 17, 2009 21:51:34
From:	Gerald Jenny (
Mike what is the easy way to get the big nut loose on the base I do not
have a socket large enough to fit it or s spanner any ideas thanks
Mike here: I've never had to take mine off. But if you don't have the right tools, you can cause some damage. But if you want to risk it, pliers might work.
Subject:	ETX 125 PE vs ETX 125 AT
Sent:	Tuesday, December 15, 2009 13:01:54
From:	Chris Albrecht (
I am trying to purchase a telescope for my husband for christmas...  I
thought I was all set, settled on the Meade ETX 125, but then along came
-PE- and -AT-...

I even called meade and was told the PE is the older model, but that it
has -smartfinder-/LNT and they are not putting that device in the newer
AT due to cost...

The agent told me that, other than that, the PE and AT are identical.

I have noticed a couple other differences between the two at when comparing the specs for each:

maximum useful magnification:
AT  246X
PE 500X
I have no way of knowing how accurate bh's info is...
Thank you for any advise you might be able to give me.
Chris Albrecht  
Mike here: See the "ETX FAQ" page for differences in the older "AT" model vs the newer (but not the newest) "PE" model. As to magnification, since the optics are the same, the maximum magnification is the same; again see the "ETX FAQ" page for how to determine that for yourself and avoid "marketing hype".
Subject:	ETX-90 setup problems.
Sent:	Tuesday, December 15, 2009 03:17:09
From:	DAP Imaging, Inc (
I purchased a used ETX 90, updated the 497 autostar. But having problems
with the setup and sighting

Can you direct me to anyone with greater experience in the Jacksonville,
Fl area. I'm looking for an hour of one-on-one.
John Dwyer
Mike here: You might want to check for a local astronomy club or group. Sky & Telescope has an online listing which may help ( Also, a local telescope dealer may know of clubs/groups in your area. Of course, you can always read through the alignment articles on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	Low-latitude use of Deluxe Tripod Meade #884
Sent:	Friday, December 11, 2009 08:33:36
From:	Rafael Defavari (
I just bought a ETX-90 with the Deluxe Tripod Meade #884. But I live in
São Paulo, Brazil and my exact Latitude is -23.726, but the scale goes
only at 25.
Is there any way to use this Tripod with Equatorial Mount here?
Mike here: See the articles "Low Latitude Wedge" and "#884 Tripod at Low Latitudes" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	RE: ETX125 repair
Sent:	Thursday, December 10, 2009 14:10:46
From:	Bryan Fifield (
I contacted you last week regarding my ailing ETX-125EC gearbox and as I
did not relish the idea of trying to mend the broken RA gearbox frame
with epoxy, so I went to see my friends at OPT in Oceanside. As it
happened Pat Knoll, their technician had a spare RA gearbox in his
workshop. He replaced mine and set the scope up for me so now everything
is fine and dandy.

The folks at OPT did a great job and I would especially like to thank
Pat Knoll and Mike West.

Bryan Fifield
Mike here: Always wonderful to hear such stories!
Subject:	ETX90EC parts
Sent:	Wednesday, December 9, 2009 19:37:48
From:	Chris Farber (
I have a ETX90EC. I have owned it for several years & have gotten very
little use out of it due to lack of interest. I recently have regained
interest & would like to begin to use my scope, however the last time I
used is I remember the clutches slipping. I tried to tighten them so
they would work but I was not successful in doing so. I looked on the
Meade site & I could not locate anything in regards to ordering spare
parts. I also remember that there were I think aluminum clutch disks
available but I cannot remember from whom. Any & all help that you can
provide Mike I thank you for.
Mike here: A replacement Right Tube Adapter is available for the ETX-90EC. The link is on the Astronomy Links page. Alternatively, try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).


Thank you for the info Mike. I found the part that you were talking
about & I will be buying it because I am sure that will become an issue
also. However I am able to tighten the knob with no problems. In the
part description it says it replaces the stock plastic part that breaks
over time either from over tightening or extended use. From what I
understand & correct me if I am wrong is that if this part breaks I will
not be able to tighten the knob? One would think if in fact it is broken
that it will spin freely & not tighten. Is that correct? I seem to
recall that there is what looks/feels like some sort of "fabric" clutch
disk that I think might be my problem.. What do you think? I will take
the scope apart tomorrow to see if I can see anything else that might be
causing my problem. Thanks again Mike.
Mike here: The RTA could be worn and still tighten. There are many articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page on fixing axis problems.
Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Wednesday, December 9, 2009 19:15:08
From: (
ok i just got a ext  ilike your site
Mike here: Thanks. BUT please read the Email Etiquette on the ETX Site home page; your message was originally deleted unread as SPAM due to the missing subject. Thanks for understanding.
Subject:	Telrad mount - Epoxy on OTA?
Sent:	Wednesday, December 9, 2009 09:18:31
From:	Ludwig Krijgshaftig (
There is an issue with the red dot finder on my ETX-125PE, I can not get
it to align properly with the scope, horizontal is OK, but vertical it
does not go any higher than about 2 degrees below the point where the
scope is aiming. I do use the JMI finder bracket, but with or without
that, the effect is the same.

Anyway, it is something I can live with and I am actually using a telrad
finder now, which is much better than the red dot finder. LNT is OK for
finding level and North, I just use the Telrad for the rest.

This Telrad is used between my ETX and my LX200, so I have two base
plates. Question is though, how to mount the Telrad base plate on the
ETX. It comes with double faced adhesive tape, but I can not always
leave the base plate on the OTA, as it interferes with the piggy-back
mount for my camera.

So, I thought of using velcro to fix the Telrad base plate. I already
have a long velcro to wrap around the OTA, but that way the Telrad can
still slip sideways, especially later in the night when the OTA is all
wet with dew.

I therefore would like to fix two parallel strips of velcro on the OTA
(in the direction of the length of the OTA, not sideways).

Question now is: how to fix the velcro on the OTA? I do not have the
self adhesive velcro tape and also do not know how that glue would hold.
I do have a two component glue (polymere and epoxy) that I could use.

I have searched your entire site, but could not find any example of
people glueing stuff to the OTA. It is all velcro or rubberband wrap
around or something else. I even read some advice on removing glue left
from double faced tape that staid on a long time.

What is the reason for not having glue on the OTA? I can understand that
it should not come anywhere near optics coating, but the OTA should not
be a problem? Or should it? Is it about less return value when reselling
or could I really damage something?

On the LX200 I can fit dovetail mounting plates, but no such luck on the

Any advice from you or your readers would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Kind regards,
Mike here: I use self-adhesive velcro to hold the AutoStar to the tripod legs on many of my telescopes. I have found that it works fine, doesn't move, and is even hard to get off should I decide to move the strips on the tripod legs. So, it may work fine for holding the Telrad.


Thanks for your quick answer. I will look out for the self-adhesive
velcro, but I am currently travelling with the ETX in Brazil and have
not yet found it here. Hence the question on the usage of the
polymere-epoxy on the OTA and the possible damage that might do.

Kind regards,

Subject:	Help in repairing my ETX-125PE
Sent:	Tuesday, December 8, 2009 17:38:24
From:	Matthew Schug (
I recently bought a 112V to 12V adapter, when I plugged it into the
scope I shorted out the control panel (the printed circuit is fried).  I
am a fix it yourself-er and would like to fix it myself.  I didn't want
to just dive into it without know how to disassemble the scope without
ruining it.  I need to know how to remove and replace the control panel
and where to get the replacement control panel.  Thanks for any
information you can give me.
Mike here: There are some disassembly articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. As to a replacement circuit board, try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject:	LNT interface
Sent:	Tuesday, December 8, 2009 17:28:24
From:	Tom (
I saw a posting with information you did some time ago on the Meade LNT.
I was just wondering if you ever uncovered information on the actual
communication protocol or command string from the LNT.  I understand
that the interface is looks something like a SPI but I have not been
able to find anything on the actual pinout of the cable or the command

I'm in the process of building a AltAz mount with precision servos and
control and I'd like to use the LNT for initial setup.  Any suggestions
would be appreciated.

Tom Carlson

Subject:	Re: ETX 70EC lost its battery connection wires
Sent:	Sunday, December 6, 2009 20:25:16
From:	David Davis (
Bob Hudgens down in Texas had a working ETX 70EC and he popped the
bottom cover off and took a picture of the connection for me. I will
send you that picture if you like. The wires connect to the board that
holds the switch and the AC adapter socket. With the cover off of the
base and the switch facing away from you, the Azimuth drive assembly is
on the right. There is a mounting screw for the motor assembly right
next to the board near the right end. Just above that screw are two
solder connections. That is where the battery hooks in. The black wire
hooks to the right solder joint, the red to the left solder joint.

Many thanks again to Bob Hudgens.

David Davis
Toledo, OR 97391

Subject:	Subscribe
Sent:	Sunday, December 6, 2009 15:30:27
From:	Jack (
Please add me to your ETX email update
Thank you
Jack Fox
Mike here: As was noted on the Announcements: Site page for several weeks in October and November, as a result of the server swap that occurred, the email notification service was made non-functional (for some unknown reason). It continues to be non-functional. I'm considering alternatives but they cost money. If you want to read the announcement, it is here:
Subject:	question ETX site
Sent:	Saturday, December 5, 2009 22:35:06
From:	Gerald Jenny (
Mike I have changed the address in my address contacts but have not been
getting your updates where can I re register Thanks Jerry
Mike here: As was noted on the Announcements: Site page for several weeks in October and November, as a result of the server swap that occurred, the email notification service was made non-functional (for some unknown reason). It continues to be non-functional. I'm considering alternatives but they cost money. If you want to read the announcement, it is here:
Subject:	I need some help with my ETX-90
Sent:	Saturday, December 5, 2009 15:03:12
From:	David Smith (
I have had my ETX-90 fro a few years now, I know that you can buy GPS
systems for most any telescope, but I can't seem to find one for my
telescope? Do you know were I can find a GPS for my ETX-90? It would be
great to have so I don't have to go though all of the pre-setting up
before I use my telescope, I have read that if you have a GPS you don't
have to deal with all of that anymore? Anyway if you can help me out
would you please e-mail me.
Mike here: There are several articles on GPS with the ETX on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page, including a review of the StarGPS-LX. However, you still have to go through some setting up steps; the GPS only updates the date/time/location.
Subject:	re: Telescope purchase help please
Sent:	Friday, December 4, 2009 23:04:44
From:	richard seymour (
Might i suggest the Meade ETX-LT?

It doesn't have the camera and GPS of the ETX-LS, hence is cheaper. ($999 list)
But it does have the Autostar 497EP and the 6" optics

A very nice "middle ground" between the  etx-125 and the more expensive scopes.

have fun
Mike here: For some reason, Meade is not including this new telescope in the "ETX" line. It is just known as the "LT-6".

And an update:

I placed an order last night on for at ETX-90PE, model
0515-03-55, with an ac power adapter and moon filter. Thanks for your
help and encouragement. You know I will  have more questions once I
start experimenting with this instrument.

On the GPS: I concluded that telescope manufacturers in general are far
behind other fields in implementing this technology. It certainly would
be wise of them all, including Meade, to speed up their work on
including an easy-to-use inexpensive GPS on their products in this price
range. I think they would see a significant increase in sales. Many of
the complaint I read from buyers at this level have to do with
difficulty with setup and alignment.

George Finlay
Mike here: Enjoy. The new Meade ETX-LS goes a step further than just including GPS to help streamline the set up and alignment process. The built-in imager centers the alignment stars for you.
Subject:	ETX 125 PE
Sent:	Friday, December 4, 2009 09:38:05
From:	tbird (
first - thanks fou your greate job on your web-side.

I?m a new star-searchers member ;-) and i bought a brand new ETX 125 PE
to start astrographie - now my question.

Do you know if MEADE build the same bullshitt in 2009 since 2001 or if
the learned something about that you wrote down on your website.

I have 36 month warranty (in germany) and don?t want to open my ETX -
(warranty lost). But if you know that they had nothing larned in the
past  - i will (mayby) try your tech tips.

My zero position at the dec circle clamp moves 2-3 if i tap on the ETX -
i must screw it very tight (not smoth like the manuel said) to fix it.

It seems like - that they didn?t learn anything.

I would be happy if you can give my a respond to find my decision to
open it or to wait for 3 years.

Kind regards


(I hope you understand my bad english)
Mike here: First, unless you positively absolutely know that something is wrong with your telescope, you should not assume there is something wrong. If something is wrong, then I would recommend handling it under the warranty. If you open the telescope and break something, the warranty will be invalidated. As to the OTA movement, I'm assuming you are pushing on the OTA to make it move, rather than seeing some movement during normal operations. Keep in mind that the locks are friction type, just like car brakes. You can force movement against the friction. As to your question, Meade (like most manufacturers) continues to improve their products over time. So, yes, there have been improvements since 2001.
Subject:	e mail updates
Sent:	Thursday, December 3, 2009 10:50:13
From:	Richard Blaisdell (
As of lately I have not been receiving emails when your site
updates.Have you ceased offering that function? Rick.
Mike here: As was noted on the Announcements: Site page for several weeks in October and November, as a result of the server swap that occurred, the email notification service was made non-functional (for some unknown reason). It continues to be non-functional. I'm considering alternatives but they cost money. If you want to read the announcement, it is here:


That's ok.I appreciate knowing why.I'll just check on a daily
Mike here: The Site typically gets updated every 3-4 days.
Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Tuesday, December 1, 2009 11:49:21
From: (
I have a meade etx125 and would like to sell it but have no clue what I
have . Can you help me?

Mike here: Apologize for the delay in responding. I just discovered that your message had been DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the blank subject line. PLEASE read the Email Etiquette page on the ETX Site home page. Thanks for understanding. If you can describe what you have in a little more detail, I'll be happy to help out. What accessories do you have?


Sorry I am new to this stuff. This is what I have Autostar computer
controller,4000 series color filter,8x25mm right angle viewfinder,deluxe
field tripod, black hard carrying case w/keys and of course the
telescope. I was given this as payment for a loan it was only used a
couple of times. It is still in  beautiful condition.
Thanks again,
Mike here: OK. You have an ETX-125AT You probably also have a Meade 26mm eyepiece (the size should be marked on the side of the eyepiece). I presume you also have a tripod that goes with the telescope. If you can send a photo I should be able to easily tell what model tripod. As to possible pricing, check the FOR SALE page on the ETX Site for some other ETX-125 telescopes.


This is a EXT125 ec according to the bottom of the telescope it does
have a 26 mm eyepeice also and all the paperwork but I have no way to
send a picture so oh well.

I do appreciate your though

Thanks, Charlene
Mike here: As explained on the ETX FAQ page, the AT and EC are the same model telescope. If you write up an ad, I'll be happy to post it on the FOR SALE page.
Subject:	ETX 70EC lost its battery connection wires
Sent:	Tuesday, December 1, 2009 18:19:36
From:	David Davis (
I have been handed an ETX 70 EC to repair, maybe buy. It took me a while
to get into the scope, the bottom plate screws were under the rubber
feet. I think I fixed most of the issues but there is no connection
between the battery case in the bottom of the scope body and any of the
boards. I suspect someone has been into the scope before .. or Meade has
very poor quality control. Can you point me to a picture, a schematic,
something that might tell me where to connect the battery wires to the
circuit board? Seems like a nice little scope.

David Davis
Toledo, OR 97391
Mike here: No schematic or photo showing that side of the battery comparment connection. Hopefully someone will respond.


Thanks for posting the question. The scope has coma. Refractor, although
there is a flip mirror. I will have to check that for alignment.

Subject:	ETX125 repair
Sent:	Tuesday, December 1, 2009 12:14:02
From:	Bryan Fifield (
I am an avid follower of your site for helpful tips etc. so I was
wondering if you can help me with a problem that I am having with the
repair of my 2 year old ETX-125EC.

I have contacted Meade support and I am being told by them that they
will not attempt to repair this scope but they will offer a $525
trade-in for a new scope. They say that this model is plastic and they
do not repair. This strikes me as being an utterly ridiculous policy and
is hardly very user friendly.

The problem that I am having, is with the azimuth motor housing, I think
that the frame around the gearbox is cracked. This part seems like an
isolated sub-assembly to me and I would have thought these should be
available somewhere. Can you help or at least point me to someone who

I thank you in anticipation.

Bryan Fifield
Mike here: If you want to try to replace the gearbox yourself, see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. There are several gear articles there. Or you can contact Dr. Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge service. However, that trade-in price is pretty good if you want to go that route.


Do you know where I could get a gearbox?
Mike here: One of those articles I mentioned is "Replacement Gears source".


Thanks.  I am currently reading the most recent gearbox repair article
by Paul Torgusen, so I might attempt that approach. He seems have had
some good results.

Subject:	Telescope purchase help please
Sent:	Tuesday, December 1, 2009 10:26:32
From:	George Finlay (
This is my first message to you. I want to thank you for your very
helpful website and wish you many happy years in your new home. It looks
like a spectacular location.

Here is my question: I have been thinking about buying my first scope
for years, and am getting close to pulling the trigger. A little
background is in order. I am an ex-science teacher, current flight
instructor, fairly familiar with the general concepts involved, able to
find Polaris and handle a manual setup, but eager to automate the
process to the degree my budget will permit. Over the years, looking
through friends' scopes, all with no automation, it was clear to me that
the main distraction from the pleasure of observing the skies was all
the time and work that need to be spent pointing the instrument at the
object of one's attention, and keeping it there.

As I started researching the purchase this fall, with a $600-$800 budget
in mind, the ETX 125AT 5 inch reflector (Meade Model No. 0515-03-60)
came to my attention, but the numerous exchanges on your site and
elsewhere about its design weaknesses and poor support from Meade have
me hesitating.

Should I increase my budget and get the ETX-LS 6 inch reflector (Meade
Model No. 0610-03-10) or something similar, with the incorporated GPS
and CCD camera? The GPS holds out the promise of quicker and easier
setup, and it would be nice to be able to easily make images to email
around to friends.

I see myself using this instrument for my own education and the
education of my family and neighbors. It will be set up in my driveway,
close to an outlet, so I will get a power adapter. There is a good clear
view of a sector of sky from north to southeast. Light conditions are
not great. We are just west of NYC and there is frequently light and
haze to contend with. But the main objects of my attention will be the
moon and planets, and perhaps the ISS, so I don't think that that will
be a cause of great frustration. But it does seem to argue against
spending money on anything much bigger than a 5 or 6 inch reflector.

If you have the time, I would much appreciate your good advice.

George Finlay
Principia Inc.
Mike here: The light pollution may or may not be a problem. But there are ways around that by using alternative alignment modes. The ETX-LS has some growing pains but they seem to be getting resolved by Meade. A viable alternative is the ETX-125PE. Keep in mind that the imager on the ETX-LS has some limitations when doing astrophotography. It is wide-field only. So DSOs and planets will not work out too well using it. So if you want to expand your astrophotography, you'll end up using alternatives (of which there are many, as discussed on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page).


Thanks for raising the flag on the limitations of the built-in CCD
ECLIPS camera on the ETX-LS.

Taking that limitation into account, in your opinion, would the higher
cost of this GPS-equipped model, about double the cost of the ETX-125PE,
provide appreciable quicker set up in my situation?

I understand I would also be getting more light-gathering capacity, with
the 152 mm aperture on the ETX-LS vs 127 on the ETX-125PE, but I am not
sure that would make a noticable difference in my challenging viewing
environment and limited goals -- moon and planetary study, mainly.

George Finlay
Mike here: GPS is not needed to align the ETX. If you can see some stars you can still align manually. It has worked that way since 1999. Telescopes have only recently acquired GPS receivers. And of course, telescopes have been used to look at objects in the sky for 400 years. GPS hasn't been available that long!


Airplanes have only recently acquired GPS receivers and can certainly
still be navigated without them. But to buy one now without GPS  would
reduce the usefulness and value of the aircraft.

I see you own an LS. Is the GPS-aided alignment working well in that
Mike here: My ETX-LS is still back at Meade. There were some issues with GPS and/or the AutoStar III software. Meade seems to be getting the issues resolved now.
Subject:	ETX 125   Focuser
Sent:	Monday, November 30, 2009 21:36:55
From:	Robert Karlesky (
I to would like to obtain a focuser for a etx 125 or any ideas for a
substitute. Thanks for your site, I have Learned more here than I have
in 5 years of owning my scope!!!!
Robert Karlesky
Mike here: If you can find one, there is the Meade #1247 electric focuser for the ETX-125AT (not for the ETX-125PE). JMI (link on the Astronomy Links page) has ETX focusers.

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