ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 28 February 2007

This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX PE (Premier Edition). Feedback on the specific PE technologies (Automatic Alignment + SmartFinder, Level North Technology) will be covered here. Feedback on the Autostar Suite AE (Astronomer Edition) will be posted on the regular Autostar Suite feedback page. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (EC, AT, PE) 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 and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.


Subject:	Reply to eyepiece fit question.
Sent:	Tuesday, February 27, 2007 11:20:43
From:	Cox Steve Contr 500 CBSS/GBLC (Steve.Cox@HILL.af.mil)
I hope this gets through and I'm not violating any of the etiquette's
here (the rules page is being blocked here).

I'd like to take a brief opportunity to respond to one of your recent
posts concerning TeleVue eyepieces not seating completely in the ETX's
barrel.  This isn't anything new and I notice the same thing on my 1999
model 90ec.  My Naglers and all my UO Orthos both bottom out before
fully seating.  There is a bit of wobble in the setting too, which can
be taken out by tape "shims" in the barrel.  It seems Meade made the ETX
eyepiece barrels to only allow a 1" insertion before bottoming out.  I
haven't had any trouble w/ my Orion Sirius Plossl's (unless filtered). 
According to TeleVue's website, their Plossl's should work fine too.

The bottoming out hasn't affected focusing on mine, but does affect
object centering and alignment, especially on the shorter f/l eyepieces.
 
Steve Cox

Subject:	Re:Quick question: LNT Time at Reset (PE Feedback)
Sent:	Monday, February 26, 2007 23:28:31
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
A Reset has no effect on LNT time, it only clears certain values in the
User area of the Autostar memory. The LNT has no memory, it just
maintains time using on-board circuitry and a battery, which can be read
or changed by commands from the Autostar.

With an "out-of-the-box" scope, the LNT time is is pretty arbitrary. It
might be whatever was set at the factory or whenever the battery was
installed. In any case, to get best performance it should be set
accurately -after- the Site and Daylight Saving values are entered
because these will be used during the actual resetting of the LNT
onboard clock by the Autostar.

Hope this clarifies things.

Mike Hogan

Subject:	LNT-module
Sent:	Monday, February 26, 2007 10:34:19
From:	Jan H Kolst (jan.kolsto@online.no)
I've just got an LNT-module and installed it.
I have from RESET
1 Calib.motors
2 Created a site. First I had to choose OSLO. Then I edited it to Haugesund(my town)
3 Telescope model(125)
4 Date
5 Local time
6 Switched off power
 
Put the scope in LNT home position (OTA in horizontal pos and
locked.Then rotated AZ -axis CCW until I hit Hardstop and locked.Put the
scope in a westerly pos.and switched on power.

Immediately Automatic align showed up in Autostar.I did a Train Drive
(both axis)
I did not Calibrate Sensors since it was daytime.
Switched off power
 
When I switched on power again I got AUTOMATIC ALIGN. Not any choice
between "0 to Align or Mode for Meny".

I put the scope in LNT home position,CCW to hardstop and leveled
OTA,locked both and pointed the tube in a westerly direction.ENTER.
Messages from Autostar:
Levelling
Finding North.
 
It took a couple of seconds to level the scope, but finding NORTH lasted
more than 4 minutes and the scope still showed FINDING NORTH,Nothing
more happened so I was afraid that it had hit the hardstop again since
it turned more than 2 rounds.
 
Autostar has the right TIME,PLACE and DATE.
 
Question:
1 Should I let the scope find North for more than 4 mins?
2 Is it normal that AZ moves round more than 2 rounds?
3 Any suggestions what to do?
 
Thanks for your informative pages!!!
 
Regards
Jan H Kolstoe
Norway
Mike here: First, do a CALIBRATE SENSOR. Who knows what it thinks is Magnetic North. See if that solves all the problems. And yes, Leveling and Northing will take a few minutes.

And more:

I've just got an LNT-module for my Etx 125 AT.Autostar finds the Lnt
immediately , but I have an issue in finding north or rather the data
program has. I have done the procedure to set it up according to the
manual.The scope starts finding the level and tilt,then it moves
(nearly) to the opposite hardstop and just stands there for some
minutes. Nothing happens.Message from Autostar is: Finding North.The
Autostar has the right time ,location and date. I watched the LNT-movie
and the whole process took about 2 1/2 mins. Do I need to do another
RESET or what?

PS!
The scope works ok in Easy alignment.
DS

Thanks for you help!

And:

From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@arksky.org)
You are likely setting it up in Home Position incorrectly; with the LNT
installed, you must have the control panel on the WEST side of the
tripod; then turn the OTA counterclockwise from NORTH until you hit a
hard stop.  Unlike the older ETX scopes where you would then rotate the
telescope in azimuth until the setting circle is above the control panel
for proper starting position, with the LNT installed, you LEAVE the
telescope just as you left it, against the hard stop without rotating
back to north.

I suspect that is the problem you are having.

Best of luck!

Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatories
http://www.arksky.org/
Observatory Hill Drive, Petit Jean Mt.
MPC/cbat Obs. H41 / Petit Jean Mountain
MPC/cbat Obs. H45 / Petit Jean Mountain South
MPC/cbat Obs. H43 / Conway
MPC/cbat Obs. H44 / Cascade Mountain

And more:

From: "Jan H Kolstoe" (koja@online.no)
Thanks for a very quick response.
Well I turned the OTA CCW untill it hit the hardstop and locked it.I
also locked the OTA horizontally. I let the OTA point in a westerly
direction. Then AUTOMATICAL ALIGNMENT. The scope levelled and moved from
hardstop to nearly the other hardstop showing the message FINDING NORTH.
The scope stood in this position for about 3- 4 mins till I turned it
off. I then tried setting it up manually (easy align) and everything was
Ok.
Well, for one thing NEVER let it hit a hardstop and leave it for 3-4
minutes.  If it hits a hardstop, something is wrong and you must turn
off the scope immediately.....serious damage will (and perhaps has)
occur if you allow it to run against a hard stop.  I am not sure what
you mean by you pointed the scope in a "westerly direction"; what I need
for you to do is to FIRST rotate the telescope back and forth until you
find the nearly middle point BETWEEN both hardstops and then establish
the base and scope to point NORTH somewhere near that midpoint.  Once
there, THEN unlock it and manually move the telescope counterclockwise
(as you look from above the telescope) until it rests against the
hardstop....then clamp.  That is home position with the LNT installed.

NOW....that being said, if you telescope is NOT programmed to operate
with the LNT, it will NOT find north; it will only find TIME.  Did you
buy an LNT and install it on an older telescope?

Dr. Clay

Subject:	Warning ETX can turn counterclock wise
Sent:	Monday, February 26, 2007 01:35:24
From:	henrik.van.holthoon (henrik.van.holthoon@wanadoo.fr)
I have downloaded some time ago 497 AS version 43Ed the improvement of
this version was in relation to calibration sensors.

I had to change the LNT battery as the time was incorrect, of course you
have to do again the calibration sensor procedure, the following
occurred;

I did the calibration no problem there however directly after the
calibration I started the automatic alignment to my surprise the scoop
did one levelling and then turned the wrong way, counter clock wise and
of course did run into the hardstop. I switched of  the ETX105 and
switched on again and did the automatic alignment again this time no
problem. Before you start asking questions to scoop was placed to start
with in the LNT home position.

I did the calibration again just to see what would happen this time
again it turned again counter clock wise during the calibration
procedure.

Without doing calibration sensors I have not experienced this error it
must be something wrong in the software version 43Ed. I did not have
this problem with version 43Ea.

So for all people who have Autostar software version 43Ed be aware this
can happen and switch off immediately the scoop.
 
Most regards Henrik

Subject:	re: RA. Finderscope for ETX 105 Premiere
Sent:	Friday, February 23, 2007 20:41:02
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
I added a right-angle viewfinder to my ETX90 using a saddle built from
two pieces of plastic water pipe.
One is 10cm long and 8 cm diameter, the other is 6 cm long and
more or less 3 cm diameter.
I cut them in half, which made two U-shaped pieces.
Then i sanded their backs, and glued them together on the flat surface.
I hold the finder on the telescope with rubber bands.

Drawings and more words are at:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/finder-bracket.html

have fun
--dick

Subject:	Quick question: LNT Time at Reset
Sent:	Friday, February 23, 2007 06:42:16
From:	Littell, Charles C CIV USAF 88 CG/SCCV (Charles.Littell@WPAFB.AF.MIL)
I discovered the LNT Specific Tips preparing to reinitialize my
125PE--you note "... scroll down to Time. Enter the Local Time as
accurately as possible. The LNT internal clock will be initialized with
values entered during this step. Do not make any mental adjustments for
Time Zone or Daylight Saving as Autostar has already taken these into
account based on previous entries."

Whoops!  I did a reset out of the box, without ever "setting" the time. 
I thought is was "Factory set" and unaffected by reset.  Though I don't
have the Autostar in fron tof me, my recollection is that the time
remained accurate.  Am I misunderstanding your advice?

Thanks again--Chas

Charles C. Littell, III
Mike here: Did you RESET the AutoStar or the LNT? Since the time remained accurate you are OK in any case.

And:

How does one Reset the LNT?  Take the battery out maybe?

Chas 
Mike here: Yep.
Subject:	RA. Finderscope for ETX 105 Premiere
Sent:	Friday, February 23, 2007 05:14:09
From:	Mike Wride (mikkym@mikkym.karoo.co.uk)
Hi there, Can anyone out there please help.

I recently purchased an ETX 105 Premiere 'scope, which is a beautiful
piece of kit, however, because of health reasons I find  the red dot
finder scope extremely difficult to use, when the scope is steeply
elevated. (with having to stoop over etc). I would like to know if it is
possible to detach the red dot finder lense, and fit some type of
optical Right angled finderscope. I have been told that a scope can be
fitted to the ETX 105 Premiere, but involves the total removal of the
LNT system. If I do this, then I may as well purchased the normal ETX
105 at lower price.

Being a beginner, I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks for a
brilliant website. Mick Wride UK
Mike here: You could remove the SmartFinder lens and add a 3rd party finderscope. See the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page for some reviews. You wouldn't need to remove the LNT module for some types.
Subject:	Panoptic EP Fit
Sent:	Wednesday, February 14, 2007 18:33:20
From:	charles c. littell III (chas@littell.org)
My TeleVu Panoptic 24mm EP doesn't seat on my new ETX-125PE, it hits the
top casing.  Yikes!  Is this a new issue for the new Blue Tube 125PE
design?  If not, has anyone discovered a work around?
 
Thanks--Chas in Dayton (aka WPAFB)
Mike here: Haven't heard this before.

And:

Photos here per discussion.

photo

photo

Chas
Mike here: Now I see what you mean. Not surprising given the design of the eyepiece. Can you still focus?

And:

I didn't try to focus with the Panoptic, it hardly seats into the
holder, maybe a crooked 50% of the depth.  The EP will just go on eBay,
no biggie. This ETX must be a new housing design if you have never heard
of it in your correspondence.  Or maybe, like reverse threads on
lawnmower blade bolts, it's just something that everybody except me
knows (*snap* clang clatter clatter.)

Disturbing development, this scope (which is going back when its
replacement is received, having suffered finder mount fracture in
shipping) seems to have jumped its end-of-travel horizontal stop.  It
would thereafter only transit less than 360 degrees.  I found a very
mild bump in manual transiting, which I think was a barely-catching
stop.  Now it transits almost two revs as normal, but one end doesn't
really stop, it easily "jumps the bump" if moving manually.

I may have the horizontal transit one or more revs out of proper
location, risking wire twist off, not to mention the soft stop.  If I
were going to keep the unit, I would pull it apart and tinker, try to
find out why the one stop is so ineffective.  But the vendor (Adorama)
already has the replacement scope in the mail, so no biggie. Sooner or
later I wanna get one apart to see the guts, tune things up, the
engineer in me fighting the warranty-respecting coward in me.  I guess I
have benefitted from having a "test unit" to identify weaknesses.

I'll send you some ETX-125PE Blue UHTC first impressions later, maybe
useful for the site.

Chas

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Copyright © 2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2007 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feb07/etx-pe.html