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ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK

Last updated: 31 December 2011

This page is for comments and user feedback about ETX telescopes. ETX models discussed on this page include the ETX-60/70/80/90/105/125 (EC, AT, BB, Premier Edition). This page also includes comments and feedback of a general nature. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to the ETX-90RA, DSX, and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.


Subject:	Re: Meade etx 90 spotting scope
Sent:	Saturday, December 31, 2011 13:18:07
From:	Chuck (chuckmfspd@hotmail.com)
I found a DS-90 with #494 hand controller, thought I would use the DS90
ota as a spotting scope on a old 114 mount/tripod and use my  ETX90
spotting scope on the DS goto base. Problem  is I know nothing about the
Meade goto and didn't  get a power cord or any software. I also don't
know the polarity of the power plug or I would wire up a sla 12v battery
or AC adapter and see what happens, whats is the polarity of the center
pin?

Also does this setup make sense, do you think it would work? I plan on
clamping the ETX90 ota in the DS90 ota cradle and going from there.

I didn't get a software disk, do I need one? I didn't see a connection
on the base for a PC, if the software is just for displaying the skies
the I have a program for that.

Sorry for all the questions but this is going to be a real learning
experience.
Mike here: The plug polarity question is answered on the ETX FAQ page. See the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for articles on using DS mounts for non-DS OTAs. The #494 AutoStar will require a #506 special serial cable (not easily made) and an AUX port on the telescope if you want to control the telescope via a computer or mobile device using any software that will control an AutoStar. An AutoStar #497 will require only the simple to make #505 serial cable.

And:

I just found out the outside diameter of the EXT90 is larger than that
of the DS90 ota so I guess my great idea of using it on the DS90 goto
wasen't so good after all.
Chuck
Mike here: Did you check the articles I mentioned? The "ETX-90RA on DS Mount" article might be most applicable.


Subject:	meade ETX 105 pe horizontal slewing problem
Sent:	Friday, December 30, 2011 12:24:57
From:	Josh (mic08n64@yahoo.com)
I own a Meade ETX 105 Premier and the telescope will no longer slew left
or right. The horizontal lock is locked fine too. I think the problem is
that a wire broke of in the telescope. As It was turned, a little piece
of red wire came out of the telescope. Do you have any schematics for
the wiring, and how do you access the wires? I tried to look for it on
your website but could not find it. My telescope is also out of 
warranty
Thanks
Josh
Mike here: If a wire was cut, you can open the base by removing the screws on the bottom baseplate. It may be a simple matter to locate the cut wire by matching the color and disconnected ends.

And:

Thanks,
The problem with the wire is that it looks like it was pulled from where
it was sodered, and it was also sliced clean in half. The piece of wire
that came out was only about the length of a pinky nail. I'm not too
happy as you can imagine.
josh
Mike here: You may have to look hard on the circuit board to locate the broken wire. Once you find it you should be able to wire a splice.

And:

ok, i will try
thanks

And an update:

ok, it seems the problem is solved but here is a quick backstory because
I have some other questions now that i "fixed" the scope. I actually had
sold the 105 PE on ebay to someone and it was in perfect working
condition when i sent it out. When he tried it he recieved a motor fault
error, which never happend to me, could not get the the telescope to go
vertical all the time and it wouldn't slew horizontally. I told him to
reset, calibrate etc. i also gave him EXPLICIT instructions to NOT to
tighten the locks too much and sent him the manual. He couldn't get it
to work so he sent it back. When I recieved the scope, the vertical
locks were tighter than they ever have been and the scope was pushed a
little past parrelle, which i've never done. When I tried slewing the
telescope vertical (up), it would get stuck. I have loosened and
retightened the vertical locks and it seems to operate ok now. With
regards to the horizontal slewng failure, i got lucky because the wire
set that was disconected was actually like a computer plug that you just
plug into a circuit board. That seems to have fixed the horizontal
slewing problems, so I don't know exactly where the little red wire came
from.

MY QUESTIONS: how easy it to strip the horizontal and vertical locks on
these telescopes? How badly do you think my telescope will be out of
allignment? How in the world did that circuit piece get disconnected so
easily? Have you come across other people who hae had issues like this?
 
I apologize for the backstory, but wanted to give you a clear view of
what lead to my questions and the type of damage that may have been
caused.
 
Thanks,
Josh
Mike here: Thanks for the info. The locks are just friction type and can be overtightened. If the tube is forced to move while the locks are tightened, damage can occur. So, if the telescope was shipped with the axes locked, it is possible for something to break. If the telescope took a severe "knock" in shipment, then the optics might be out of collimation. You can check that by doing a "star test". The same knock could have caused the wire to become disconnected.

And:

ok, thanks alot, the next clear night i will have to try it out. It's
just so disappointing. I am hoping the guy was not overagressive with
turning the telescope counterclockwise/ tightening the vertical locks.
He Could have cost me alot of money.
Josh


Subject:	Confused beginner's question about the dec setting circle
Sent:	Wednesday, December 28, 2011 11:17:27
From:	Neale Hollingsworth (nealeholl@me.com)
I've just been given my first telescope - an ETX125, which I'm really
excited about.

Still waiting for a clear night, but I'm confused about the instructions
 for levelling the telescope, as the knob in the middle of the dec
setting circle was loose, so the circle can rotate. I'm meant to level
the optical tube until the 0 on the circle lines up with the arrow...how
can I do that if the circle can turn freely?!!

Kind Regards,

Neale Hollingsworth
nealeholl@me.com

Sonde Farm
Worfield
BRIDGNORTH
Mike here: Welcome to the ETX community!
There is an item on the ETX FAQ page on my ETX Site about the DEC setting circle. As to leveling, I just "eyeball" it myself. The AutoStar will correct for quite a bit of error when you do the star alignments. Remember, the ETX is supposed to be fun. Don't get too overly concerned with being too precise in the set up. That said, the more accurate you make the HOME position, the more accurate the initial star pointing will be during the star alignment step.


Subject:	how to separate the ETX125 OTA from the mount fork?
Sent:	Wednesday, December 28, 2011 05:43:26
From:	Miguel Garcia (miguel.garciaferrandez@gmail.com)
I have an ETX125 and I want to mount the optical tube on an equatorial
mount. And, as a first step, I have to take the OTA from the mount.

I followed the instructions on your page for doing so: unscrew the four
Allen bolts on the back sides of the tube, and pull.

To no avail. Did I miss some step of the procedure?

Can you help?

Thanks.

Miguel
Mike here: The tube adapters need to be "unsnapped" from the OTA. After removing the four screws (two each side), the fork arms have to be pulled just slightly away from the tube to get the small "tabs" to release.

And:

Thanks, Mike. I'll try this.

And thanks for the fast reply.

And an update:

It worked!. Quick and neat.

Thanks again

I'm going to use a SkyWatcher NEQ-6 Pro II mount, and a Vixen plate (I
think it's a Vixen; not really sure) screwed to the two nuts in the
underside of the OTA. Possibly I'll have to mend it somehow, because the
holes in the plate are slightly more separated than the Meade nuts.

Miguel.


Subject:	Re: Mis-aligned eyepiece tube
Sent:	Tuesday, December 27, 2011 17:09:20
From:	Sam Ahmed (samahmed2002@hotmail.com)
I fiddled with it a bit and it came right out. It is a press fit from
the factory and should go back together ok.

If I look through the back with the mirror flipped out of the way, I see
clearly and what appears to be straight out the front. I also see the
circle on the front of the lens(silver sticker). But I don't see the
sticker if I hold an eyepiece in the hole. That part I don't understand.
Are your ETX's the same?

My six year old is going crazy waiting to see "some stars"! Thanks again
for your help, it is appreciated. Sam

From Sam Ahmed
Mike here: The central obstruction is where the secondary mirror is located. Most eyepieces will only show you a "shadow" of the obstruction when out of focus.


Subject:	ETX-90EC Parts
Sent:	Tuesday, December 27, 2011 15:20:09
From:	Charles Dvorak (chasdvorak@me.com)
Thanks in advance for your site and the advice I've obtained over the
years.  I ran into a problem with my ETX90-EC and I don't even recall
applying enough pressure to shatter the left fork OTA assembly mount. 
That being said, I have no one to blame but myself and will learn from
this mistake.  

I just got off the phone with Meade Customer Service and the rep told me
that Meade will no sell any parts, but I could send the nit in for
repairs with an estimated 3-4 week turn around time and a $150.  I'm not
trying to put you in a spot with Meade, but can you offer any
suggestions?  I will gladly pay for the part, but the down time and
repair costs are not acceptable for such an easy fix.  

Thank you

Chuck Dvorak

photo

Mike here: That is the Right Tube Adapter (RTA) and when it fails, it is usually from overtightening the axis lock. Meade used to provide a replacement part but no longer does. You may be able to repair it. See the article "ETX-90EC DEC fix (Right Tube Adapter repair)" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Sorry,

I was sending this from my phone and shifted to the laptop to complete
the email.  I'll be darned if you didn't reply before I sent the
corrected email.  I'll check out the article and get myself back in
action.

Thanks Mike!!!  Super fast service....you should own Meade!!!

Chuck


Subject:	New ETX 80 Starter Accessory Recommendations
Sent:	Tuesday, December 27, 2011 14:02:29
From:	Ryan Villegas (RVDigital@gmail.com)
I just wanted to say that I love your coverage of the ETX scopes on your
site! I'm new to the astronomy scene and I just received my first scope,
an ETX-80. I'm using the scope on an almost nightly basis to become
familiar with the environment and the equipment. I'm wondering if you
can recommend some starter accessories that might help a beginner like
myself make the most of my equipment. Specifically, what filters would
you recommend someone start with, what eyepieces allow for someone to
explore the sky while making the most of the ETX-80s somewhat limited
abilities.  Thanks for bearing with me, I've very excited to start
exploring but I'm obviously green. I know how it is dealing with someone
so new and I thank you in advance for any guidance you might be able to
provide. Until then, I will continue to explore your site and the sky
above me.

Thanks,
Ryan
Mike here: What accessories you should get will depend on just how you plan to use the telescope. Since the ETX-80 is a short focal length telescope, magnification is going to be limited. If you are unsure how to calculate the magnification for any eyepiece on any telescope, see the ETX FAQ page. You should also take a look at the "What Eyepieces Should I Buy?" and "What Accessories to Buy?" articles on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page, as well as some other articles there.

And:

I have to apologize, I think I got a little ahead of myself. I found the
BUYER/NEW USER TIPS section of your site and I think that's probably the
best place for me to start. I know you must be a busy man. I'm sorry for
not reading a little further into the site. If you do have time and
you'd like to chime in, I'm always eager to hear from an expert. Thanks
again for all you do!

Ryan


Subject:	ETX 125: "Cats-eye" when looking through eye piece...
Sent:	Monday, December 26, 2011 19:15:10
From:	Sam Ahmed (samahmed2002@hotmail.com)
Glad to have found your site. I received a used ETX 125 EC for
Christmas. Set-up everything according to instructions. Took it outside
to get the spotting scope roughly aligned with the main scope, during
daylight. I was able to see clearly and focus both with no problem, and
got the alignment fairly good on a tree branch tip about 200 yards away.

Took it back outside tonight and tried to focus on Jupiter. What I see
through the eyepiece is a completely white background with a dark disc
in the middle. As I try to focus in or out, the disc moves left or
right, and does not get sharp. Also, at what I believe to be the
extremes of the focus, the image starts to squash, like a cats eye. In
other words, what I'm seeing through the view finder is not round. The
eyepiece tube does not appear to be completely perpendicular the main
body, off just a bit. All this with a 26mm Plossl eyepiece. 

I'm an experienced studio photographer, and understand focal length,
aperture, e.t.c. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thank You!

 Sam
Mike here: I'm in my observatory right now doing some imaging. So I'll be brief.
It sounds like the focus shaft has become disconnected if the image sharpness does not change. You also mentioned the eyepiece holder being crooked. Can you send me a photo of it?

And:

Here it is, Mike. It's definitely not straight, and I see marks near the
bottom that shows it pushed forward. I should clarify that during
daylight, I was able to focus and see clearly through the eyepiece. If
the eyepiece is not straight, am I seeing part of a mirror mount or that
disc inside the front of the lens? I am not mechanically challenged. Do
you think I could gently tap this back into place with a small dead blow
hammer? Please enjoy your observing session, and reply when you have
time. Thank you so much! Sam

photo

photo

Mike here: Yep, has definitely taken a hit that pushed it forward. You might be able to get it back in but use caution. Also, be aware of the flip mirror that is below the eyepiece hole. You don't want anything breaking off and hitting the mirror. Since the eyepiece is not viewing straight on, the telescope is going to be severely out of collimation until the problem is rectified. And even then, depending on how severe the hit was, the other optics may be out of collimation as well. If you got a visual back with the used telescope (not standard equipment though) you could check the focus and collimation from the rear port.


Subject:	Etx 125 collimation test?
Sent:	Sunday, December 25, 2011 23:32:38
From:	Waseem Feddah (waseem_feddah90@hotmail.com)
I bought a used etx 125 on eBay. The seller claimed it was tuned up by
Meade recently, which I assume includes collimating. However, the scope
has been on 3 international flights (as a carry on in the hard case),
and I'm worried that it might have lost its collimation. What are some
beginner-friendly methods to test collimation? It's been cloudy for the
past week, but I've done some terrestrial viewing and I can read a KFC
billboard over 6km away. The letters are very clear and the resolution
is great. Would an uncollimated scope show an unclear, fuzzy billboard?
I have a general idea about what collimation is, but I'm definitly no
expert.

I have another question but wasnt sure if I should send it in as a
separate email, so I'm including it here. What can I do to get better
astronomical views? I've had two viewing sessions so far, and have seen
the moon, Jupiter and Saturn. I read afterwards that a one hour cooling
period is recommended, and I will be doing that from now on. Any other
tips you can give me?

Thanks for your time
Mike here: See the article "Collimation Test" on the Helpful Information: Telecope Tech Tips page. There are some other collimation articles there as well in the "Star Testing and Collimation" section. As to cool down to reach "thermal equilibrium", a rule of thumb is 30 minutes for each inch of aperture. But that really depends on the amount of cool down necessary. Leaving the eyepiece off during the cool down period can help accelerate the process by allowing a path for hot (or warm) air inside the tube to escape.


Subject:	Moon pic
Sent:	Sunday, December 25, 2011 08:39:16
From:	GPLeask@aol.com (GPLeask@aol.com)
Too many wintery clouds about to get a moon pic, but a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year when it comes around.
 
All te best, George


Subject:	Greetings - LNT fault in Sweden revisited
Sent:	Sunday, December 25, 2011 04:03:43
From:	Olof Neiglick (olof.neiglick@telia.com)
Hi, finally got Meade Europe (Germany) to send me a replacement module
(100 USD!) for my faulty ETX  125 PE  but guess what ! The new one has a
different construction and does not fit the old scope (from 2007), what
a classic ? Any ideas ? I have of course contacted Meade Europe about
this but the client service isn't worth getting upset about.  Also, the
hole in the assembly is too small for the connector to disassemble,
which means you need the good old soldering iron to do the swap (even if
I ever get the right module). I am a bit fed up with Meade and thinking
about selling the scope, if that happens  you have any suggestions as to
what is good, lightweight, portable and with a GPS onboard ?

Happy holidays

Olof (Sweden)

photo
photo

Mike here: Bummer. Hopefully they will send you the correct model. If not, you have two choices: make a mounting bracket for the new one or replace the old one with a different finderscope. Do you REALLY need the auto leveling and North finding? Something to consider. As to a replacement telescope, the LX90 model is nice. Fairly portable and a larger aperture. Or you could go with one of the LS or LT models.


Subject:	Cold Weather Question
Sent:	Saturday, December 24, 2011 18:50:15
From:	Chad Jewell (cjewell.rvt@gmail.com)
Here I sit looking out the windows of my house at some of the best stars
I have seen in a long time here in Maine.  My question though - Is there
a temperature in which it is "too cold" or even to  hot to take a
telescope out?  It is currently 1* here with a light breeze so I am sure
that takes it down a bit more with the wind chill.  Are there some temp
extremes that will harm the optics of the telescope and/or eye pieces?

Thanks your advice and guidance through the year and hope you and your
family have a fantastic Christmas.

Chad Jewell
Hermon, Maine
Mike here: I have been in my observatory using my LX200-ACF at temps as low as 20F and as high as 110F. With the ETX, the only real concern I have is that the plastics would become brittle at very low temperatures. On the other extreme, really hot temperatures can damage the plastics and glue. For more info, see the article "Cold Weather Performance" on the Helpful Information: Observational Guides/References page.


Subject:	re: Meade ETX Telescope Identification
Sent:	Wednesday, December 21, 2011 16:18:34
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Yes, you have an ETX-90
The "-EC" was the model number given to the ETX-90 with the simplest controller,
and -AT was applied to the two-box package of an -EC plus the 497 Autostar.

You ahve a 497 Autostar, since the 495 (with numeric keys) and 494
(without) would refuse to operate an ETX-90 "Use ETX Autostar" would
appear on the screen at power-up).

Manuals for your scope are available as downloads from here:
http://www.meade.com/manuals/

The *specific* ones you want are (for the scope):
http://www.meade.com/manuals/TelescopeManuals/ETXtelescopes/ETX-90%20w-autostar%20man.pdf
and
http://www.meade.com/manuals/TelescopeManuals/ETXtelescopes/ETX-90_105_125EC_man.pdf

For the Autostar:
http://www.meade.com/manuals/TelescopeManuals/AutostarManuals/Autostar497english.pdf
and
http://www.meade.com/manuals/TelescopeManuals/AutostarManuals/writing_guided_tourqxd.pdf

Your Autostar can be updated to the *newest* appropriate firmware
(43Eg for an "old" 497, 5EC2 for the newer 497EP)
Which one is appropriate (and the steps to take) is best determined by
learning your *current* firmware version, which is shown under the menu
system as:
Setup/Statistics/(enter)(scroll up)

have fun
--dick (still using his 1999-bought-used ETX-90-EC with his 1999-bought-new Autostar 497)

And:

From:	Mike Hogan (mhogansr@comcast.net)
You can download a manual for the ETX-90 from this page:
http://www.meade.com/manuals/index.html
 
There are manuals for both the EC and AT models and they apply to all
sizes of the model.
 
Regards,
Mike Hogan

And:

From:	Scott Robinson (sbrobin@gmail.com)
Thanks again to both of you.  Your site has been an invaluable
reference. I just got into star gazing and can't wait for my Celestron
Accessory kit to come in so I can try out the new eyepieces and filter.
The information on your site about replacing the finder scope has been
very useful as well.  I appreciate it!


Subject:	Meade ETX Telescope Identification
Sent:	Tuesday, December 20, 2011 09:05:47
From:	Scott Robinson (sbrobin@gmail.com)
Hello, sorry to bother you but I have inherited a telescope from my
father and am having a lot of trouble determining exactly which model it
is. It is definitely a Meade ETX, but I can't find a model number
anywhere.  I think it is an original ETX90.   It looks just like the
ETX90EC on your site, however the Autostar controller has a numeric pad,
which is different than the one pictures with the EC.  The lens has
1250mm focal length and 90mm diameter, and eyepiece is 8x21.  Some
pictures are below.  If you are able to identify it I would really
appreciate it.  I am trying to find a manual for it but can't seem to
find one for the ETX90. Thank you very much for your time.

http://i.imgur.com/k0uhx.jpg?2086

http://i.imgur.com/n4GOb.jpg
Mike here: With a focal length of 1250mm, it is an ETX-90. If the handcontroller has a numeric keypad, then you either have a #495 AutoStar or a #497 AutoStar. Check the version number by powering up the telescope and go to the Setup>Statistics>Version menu item.

And:

Thank you so much for the quick response, I really appreciate it!


Subject:	ETX125 for repair....
Sent:	Sunday, December 18, 2011 15:59:20
From:	Pete Simmons (pete_simmo@hotmail.com)
I recently got from a friend an ETX125 for repair and after a while with
the RA drive trouble which I sorted out. I got given the tripod with it
as well. On putting the scope on the mount where it says quite clearly
'HIGH LATITUDE LEG' I noticed that while I was doing a 'North Polar'
alignment the scope dived to point at my carpet...   Em I thought I've
got the wrong battery compartment here. This model must have been set up
and to be sold in a southern hemisphere location. So I turned the scope
round and hey presto job done. Just thought that you would like to know
about this in the future...

I live in the UK and the base of the ETX has been clearly marked
wrongly. Please advise MEADE as to this confusion.

Kind Regards

Pete Simmons
Mike here: The "High Latitude Leg" position is referring to the "Table Top Tripod Legs" that were an option back in the early days of the ETX. These were three "poles" that attached individually to the ETX base (two on the base circumference and one on the base plate), as seen on this page: http://www.weasner.com/etx/buyer-newuser-tips/mycomments.html. The various tripod mounts use the two holes centrally located on the base plate.


Subject:	5 moons around jupiter last night?
Sent:	Sunday, December 18, 2011 11:19:40
From:	solargenes (solargenes@gmail.com)
I was looking at Jupiter last night at abt 5:30 pm and thought I saw
five moons, but software bisque only shows four...  four were all in a
row; ganymede and io to the left of jupiter, and europe and calisto to
the right.  the object in question was between ganymede and io and it
was up a bit (not in the same plane). 

Any help on what that object was is most appreciated.

Many thanks... ulie
Mike here: A star. You should be able to locate it in your star chart software.


Subject:	Re: focus spring
Sent:	Friday, December 16, 2011 08:39:34
From:	mike steinberg (sfpostalet@att.net)
ETX125 EC
my focus arm seems to be to loose. The spring was inside the OTA caught
between the lens and OTA body.  Not from the focus arm, as I can see
that one. I'll probably send it back to Meade.


Subject:	ETX-80 Not Tracking Smoothly
Sent:	Tuesday, December 13, 2011 14:09:31
From:	David Hester (n4ddh@comcast.net)
I recently purchased an ETX-80 with the idea of one day trying
astrophotography.  However, while viewing sky objects (tracking), I
notice that the image jerks (shifts) periodically (about every 15 to 30
seconds), even with the longest eyepiece provided by Meade.  I can hear
what I perceive to be gears moving at a regular pace, everything seems
great, then I hear a "pop" and the image shifts.  I think the image
shifts toward the slew direction, but it is hard to tell.  Do I have a
"dud" or is this characteristic of all specimens of this model?  Is
there an adjustment that can be made to eliminate this?  I doubt the
scope would be suitable for astrophotography and not so great at just
viewing either, with the image periodically "jumping". 
 
Thanks for your attention, I have certainly enjoyed your great web site.
 
David
 
PS  I still have an Edmund Scientific reflector I enjoyed back about 50
years ago.  Unfortunately the coating has deteriorated over the years. 
Incidentally, do you know of a firm that would restore the mirror back
to original condition?
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? That may or may not fix the jerking problem you are seeing. It can be caused by a broken or loose gear mount, a broken gear tooth, an obstruction that is catching somewhere. You can easily check for an obstruction; unlock the axis locks and slow move the telescope by hand several times in full rotation, back and forth, up and down. If you feel any catching, stop. It could be a wire and you don't want to cut it. If no obstruction, continue to do the rotations a few times, as that can redistribute any lubrication. If the problem remains, you have two choices and depending on whether the telescope is new or used, you may or may not want to try it. But if you disassemble the base and right fork arm, you can see the gear housings and check them. If all seems OK, then you have to remember that the ETX line is not designed for astrophotography. You can do short duration imaging but long duration tracking when polar mounted is typically beyond the capabilities of an ETX. As to mirror recoating, I have not had to research that. There might be some advertised in the back of astronomy magazines.

And:

I suspected the drive would be somewhat limited (considering the price), but
was hoping for a "smooth" slew at least.  From your reply I gather that my
particular telescope likely has a unique problem.  I think I will attempt to
get Meade to swap this one for another of the same model, since I am still
within 30 days of purchase.  
Thank you for your prompt response.  
Mike here: I take it you did the steps I suggested and they didn't help. Keep me posted.


Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Monday, December 12, 2011 16:26:28
From:	Waseem Feddah (waseem_feddah90@hotmail.com)
I just bought myself a used ETX 125 on ebay, and I was wondering if
there was a way to find out when it was made. I unscrewed the vertical
lock and looked under there as one post on your site said. However that
post was made in 2002, so the "new model" is not so new anymore. Is
there any other way I can find out how old it is?

Also, side note, do you know if the ETX 125 hard case can be taken on a
plane as a carry on? I don't think checking it would be a good idea.

Thanks!
Mike here: First, PLEASE read the Email Etiquette on the ETX Site home page; your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the blank subject line. Thanks for understanding. As to the manufacturing date, Meade was never very good at labeling that. If you received the original box, that might give a clue since it either says ETX-125EC or ETX-125AT. I'm assuming it isn't the PE model since that has an LNT module. The newest ETX-125 models shipped with a red-dot finderscope instead of the 8x25 finderscope. So that could be a clue as well. Regarding the case, depends on the size of the case and the airline. You will have to measure its dimensions and check with your airline.


Subject:	focus spring
Sent:	Sunday, December 11, 2011 08:51:52
From:	mike steinberg (sfpostalet@att.net)
Could you give me any hints on replacing the focus spring? I found parts
of it in my OTA

Thanks, Mike
Mike here: Egads. Never heard of that happening. The article "Doc G's ETX OTA Guidescope & Disassembly Photos" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page might help. But I'm not certain of a source for a replacement spring. You might have to improvise. Dr. Clay Sherrod might know of a source.

And:

From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
What kind of telescope do you have?
Can you send a photo of the spring?  There should not be a spring in the
ETX focusing assembly.

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


Subject:	Screw holes under main tube
Sent:	Sunday, December 11, 2011 08:47:25
From:	Geoff Mallinson (gmbc@gmx.com)
There are two brass screw holes under the main ETX 125 telescope tube,
they are set into a flat plate about 2" square with a rubber surface,
what are these for, I was wondering if they were for setting up and
aligning during the manufacturing process or perhaps mounting on a
larger scope?

Thanks for a wealth of information on your site.

Kind regards

Geoff Mallinson 
Mike here: The ETX-90/105/125 models can be used as a "spotting scope". Those holes are for mounting the ETX telescope tube on a photographic tripod.

And:

Thanks for such a prompt reply, I wasn't expecting one quite so soon and
thank you answering my question.

Kind regards

Geoff


Subject:	slewing?
Sent:	Saturday, December 10, 2011 17:18:15
From:	Brian D (seadog41258@yahoo.com)
My ETX 125 is making a clicking noise and is jumping or skipping when I
try to slew clockwise. I just got this scope, second time I've used it.
 
sincere thanks
Brian
Mike here: First, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? If not, do those. Also, be certain you are not over-tightening the axis locks. If the problem remains, unlock the axis and slowly move the telescope by hand back and forth, hard stop to hard stop. Check for any resistance to free movement. Do not force it. If there is an obstruction, it could be a wire and you don't want to cut it. If the movement is smooth, then there could either be a broken gear tooth or a loose gear mount. You would have to open the base to check. You didn't say whether the telescope is new or used. If new, contact the dealer for an exchange if the simple fixes I've suggested don't help.


Subject:	RE: Meade's 5000 Series HD-60 Eyepieces on an ETX 125 PE
Sent:	Wednesday, December 7, 2011 16:11:05
From:	Jerry (shifferg@bellsouth.net)
Sad to say but there is not any foam to cut out.  Meade had already removed
the foam to allow for the SmartFinder so the SmartFinder touches the top of
the case thus throws off the alignments.  I have been thinking of looking
for a Pelican case that will give me the clearance and protection I need.

Mike, did you at one time repair and/or tweak-out ETXs or am I thinking of
another Web site many years ago?
Mike here: You are probably thinking of Dr Clay Sherrod's Supercharge Tuneup Service listed on the ETX Site home page.


Subject:	ETX 60 problems
Sent:	Wednesday, December 7, 2011 12:53:34
From:	Max Byerly (davenport-tennis@hotmail.com)
I have an ETX 60 and I was doing some astrophotography the other night
and it worked wonderful on Alt Az mode. I wanted to switch to Polar and
the ETX 60 would start to turn and then it stopped, but you can still
hear the motor going in there. I think something may be loose or
something could not be catching it when it goes into Polar Mode. What
are you thoughts. Also, if there is a problem with that, could I mount
the ETX 60 tube onto my spare ETX 90 mount???

Thanks
Max
Mike here: You didn't say what type of astrophotography you were doing or whether the ETX-60 was properly counterbalanced with the extra weight of a camera. If you have a heavy camera, then the ETX-60 locks are not going to hold properly. I had that problem with my ETX-70 and D70 DSLR. So, if that is the problem and you DON'T have a counterweight, you might want to consider adding one. There are several articles on that on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. As to mounting the ETX-60 OTA on the ETX-90 fork mount, that is certainly possible. BUT you will have to make adapters for the OTA to match the ETX-90 fork adapters.


Subject:	Re: Help! Etx 125 RA Drive clicks
Sent:	Wednesday, December 7, 2011 06:19:46
From:	Jason Utting (j.utting@btopenworld.com)
Many thanks also I have noticed the scale on the dec drive is out when I
level the tube for alt/az, is there anyway to reset the scale so it
reads 0deg 
Mike here: See the item "Q. My Declination (altitude) setting circle is off, what do I do?" on the ETX FAQ page.


Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Tuesday, December 6, 2011 12:06:23
From:	Mason Ave Motors (masonavemotors@cfl.rr.com)
I have a MEADE ETX-70 telescope and would like to ask, if you have ever
taking the back off? I made a big mistake and took the three screws out
that held the parts inside, do you know how to line the holes up to put
the screws back in. Don't know why I took the screws out.
I thank you for any help you can give
Jerry C
Daytona Dch Fla 
Mike here: First, you should know that your message was originally classified as SPAM due to the missing subject line. Please read the Electronic Mail Etiquette on the ETX Site Home Page to learn how to avoid that in the future. Thanks for understanding.
As to the screws, no, I have not had the need to disassemble my ETX-70. But the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page might help you.

And:

Thanks I will put the subject matter in from now on thanks for the info
Jerry


Subject:	Help! Etx 125 RA Drive clicks
Sent:	Tuesday, December 6, 2011 03:33:55
From:	Jason Utting (j.utting@btopenworld.com)
I have a etx 125 and after training drives I noticed a click on the RA
drive, after reading similar problems on your website I tightened the 3
screws on the worm gear housing and this only reduced the noise, is
there anything else that I am missing?

Many thanks

Jason Utting 

Sent from my iPhone
Mike here: I assume you are hearing the clicks when tracking and slewing. Do you see any "jerks" during the clicks when looking through the eyepiece? If so, the culprit could be a loose setscrew on the gear or a broken tooth on a gear. It could also be some obstruction. Check those.

And:

On closer inspection I got a broken tooth and I have contacted telescope
house UK, the only thing they suggested to send it to them and they will
replace it. Slewing is still fine just a silent click
Mike here: You may be able to replace the gear yourself. See the articles "Replacement Gears source" and "Gearbox Replacement" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Subject:	RE: Meade's 5000 Series HD-60 Eyepieces on an ETX 125 PE
Sent:	Sunday, December 4, 2011 07:21:37
From:	Jerry (shifferg@bellsouth.net)
Sorry about the late reply.  I attached a photo so you can see how they
sit.  There is a shroud to protect the wires for the SmartFinder on the
ETX 125 PE that prevents the 5000 Series HD-60 eyepieces to seat all the
way but you can focus.  I believe if you want you can grind out some of
the shroud to make them seat all the way.
 
Oh, speaking of the SmartFinder, has anyone found a solution to prevent
the SmartFinder getting out of adjustment after being placed in the
Meade Hard Case?
 
Sincerely,
Jerry

photo

Mike here: Ah, now I see what you meant. As to the case, I think the only solution I recall was cutting out a slot in the foam.


Subject:	Power adapter for a etx. ( my first etx 70mm scope )
Sent:	Wednesday, November 30, 2011 22:23:22
From:	Mike Mike (zniatnk@gmail.com)
I finaly got my first etx 70 mm telescope after 10 years. I want to
power it with ac instead of the 6 batteries. So I went to radio shack to
get an ac to dc adapter, and the representative sold me an 9 volt 1500
Ma , she said  each battery is 1.5 volts and  I needed a 9 volt adapter. 
Before I used it I wanted to make sure it was right, so I was looking
on your sight and noticed you recomend the 12 volt 1000 Ma adapter . Is
yours regulated or unregulated ? And would the one I have be ok ?  I
don't want to risk damage to my etx 70mm telescope .  And thanks for
your time
Mike here: You should be OK with the RS power adapter. Others with some sources have reported success. But it should be regulated. Be certain to do a CALIBRATE MOTOR when switching to the external power source (or back to internal batteries) to calibrate the AutoStar for the new power level.


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