Last updated: 30 April 2002
This page is for user comments and information specific to the new Meade ETX-105EC. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Subject:	EXT Help Please
Sent:	Monday, April 29, 2002 10:27:24
From: (Baptista, Bill)
First, I am brand new to all of this.  I purchased a Bushnell telescope
from QVC 2 weeks ago and loved it.  Problem is I got 'hooked!!"

I ordered a brand new EXT-105EC with Autostar and can't wait to really
have some fun.  My question is: Do you think I can use the 2 eyepieces
and 2X Barlow that came with the Bushnell?   The eyepieces are "SR4MM"
and "H20MM." They are 1.25" and are threaded on the bottom for filters.

I also sincerely thank you for your website, for which I'd truly be in
the dark - no pun intended - if not for it.

If you don't normally answer these type question, I apologize in

Thank you, Mike!!!
Mike here: Those eyepieces should work. The only problem might be the Barlow Lens; depending upon its design it might not reach a focus with some or all eyepieces.
End of 30 April update

Subject:	ETX-105 Autostar Questions
Sent:	Wednesday, April 24, 2002 6:28:18
From: (Donaldson Michael L SSgt USAFE/SCNP)
First of all great sites.  I just bought the 105 and set it up last
night, and I have two questions.  First the 105 isn't in the telescope
menu.  Do I use the 90 or 125 or something else?  Second, is there a
focal reducer for film and/or an off-axis guider?
Very Respectfully
SSgt Michael Donaldson
Theater Networks Program Manager
Mike here: You can use the ETX-125EC setting until you upgrade the Autostar to the current version (see Meade's site for the update). See the Shutan Wide Field Adapter on the Accessory Reviews - Showcase Products page for a focal reducer. If you add the SCT Accessory Adapter (Accessory Reviews - Miscellaneous page) you can add any SCT accessory. Whether it will work with the ETX depends upon two factors: weight and focal position. Some items will be too heavy for the axis locks; some items may not reach a focus.
Subject:	Barlow
Sent:	Monday, April 22, 2002 14:57:28
From: (Chris Van Roey)
I did read some comments on the #126 Barlow lens 2x on your website and
in your book. I am considering to buy this accessory for my ETX-105EC. I
discovered in the Meade pricelist of my dealer #140 Barlow lens 2x. Not
documented on the Meade website.

Any idea on the difference between #126 and #140 (besides the fact #140
is about 40% more expensive). Any recommendation ?

Thanks for your great website, your book & your support !

Mike here: For the -105 I'd stick with the #126. No reason to spend extra money on the extra quality that would require a larger telescope to be effective.
Subject:	ETX-105EC Inside the base
Sent:	Sunday, April 21, 2002 18:27:04
I finally got inside the base of the 105 and thought I would share what
I found. It's the cloudy season here in Northern Colorado (3 semi-clear
nights in the last two weeks) and last night, (4-20-02) with another
Saturday night clouded in, I couldn't resist anymore.

After opening the base, I can report the RA drive on the 105 is similar,
but different to the 90.

The only real difference I could find is that there are several more
gears in the gear train. They are plactic, but following the train from
the motor to the metal worm wheel, the gears get progressivly larger
with thicker teeth. They are as usual globed with the thick green grease
Meade uses. I havn't had any problems with my RA drive  but I took
advantage of having the cover off to clean up a bit.

The Dec drive is a whole 'nother story. First thing I noticed is the
screw that threads into the dec arm to lock it is much longer, like an
inch total, compared to the maybe 3/8 inch on the 90. Next I removed the
hex bolts that attach the OTA to the tube supports, but it wouldn't
slide off as the 90 does. It seems that where the bolts run through the
support arms now is "dimpled" and fits into the arms. Sort of a locked
in. I didn't exert much force (and I don't plan to) but I was unable to
remove the OTA from the arms. After sitting back and thinking about it,
it seems that probably the left fork would have to be removed from
inside the base to be able remove the OTA from the fork arms. While this
prohibits easily removing the tube for use as a spotting scope, I think
it is one of the keys as to why the 105 is so much more sturdy in the
dec axis. It was late and I didn't proceed any further. There will be
another time when I can make another attempt to get into the dec
workings on the 105 and I will report on what I find. But for tonight,
it's clear and I'm going observing.

Thanks and keep up the great work.

Subject:	Horizontal slew on ETX-105
Sent:	Sunday, April 21, 2002 15:34:40

This sounds suspiciously like it might be a hard stop issue. Todd, if
you un-clamp the RA lock can you move the base by hand in the direction
you want it to go? If not, you are up against a hard stop. Make sure the
scope is in home position before beginning. Happens to me all the time.


End of 24 April update

Subject:	Horizontal slew on ETX-105
Sent:	Thursday, April 18, 2002 5:36:43
From: (Todd)
I recently purchased an ETX-105 with Autostar and deluxe tripod. The
horizontal slew seems to work only intermittently. Sometimes it works a
treat, slewing left and right with ease. Other times, both motors can be
heard to purring away, but it doesn't move in the horizontal plane, only
the vertical. And yes, I have checked that the horizontal lock is firmly
pushed across. I've replaced the Autostar with the standard hand
controller and it does not to slew in the horizontal plane with that
either. Being fairly new to the machine, and astronomy in general, I'm
not sure whether this is my error. Am I missing something, or is this a
genuine mechanical problem?

Thanks and I thoroughly enjoy your site. 

Todd Cole
Mike here: Since the problem comes and goes could it be that you are overtightening the axis lock? When the telescope doesn't move have you tried backing off a little bit on the lock?
End of 21 April update

Subject:	ETX105 Macintosh connection
Sent:	Tuesday, April 16, 2002 7:34:54
From: (VAN ROEY Chris)
I just bought an ETX-105 with Autostar and I am anxiously awaiting the
delivery... I am a Mac addict and I want of course couple my Mac to the
ETX (or is it to the Autostar ?). In between I found the necessary
software (The Sky) for Mac.

Do you know where I can buy the cable to connect my (USB) Mac to the
ETX/Autostar (and if not in Europe, someone who is ready to ship the
cable to Europe) ?
Mike here: You'll need a USB converter from Keyspan (the Meade one may not work since it seems to require a driver, at least for Windows). The Autostar #505 cable will then connect to the converter. You can either buy the cable or make one (details on the Autostar Information page). If the Keyspan converter you get only has the mini8 jacks you'll need a DB9-mini8 adapter as well. To do the Autostar updates you will also need VirtualPC.
End of 17 April update

Subject:	OK You talked me into it
Sent:	Saturday, April 13, 2002 15:20:55
From: (John)
I haven't owned a telescope for about 25 years now. I was looking around
on the web last week for information on telescopes and found your web
site. After reading all the reviews and comments, I decided to break
loose with some cash and try one of these telescopes.

I just purchased an ETX105 along with the Autostar controller on
Thursday. It arrived Friday via UPS at 11:30 am.

I took the day off from work so I could study the manuals and be
prepared for sunset. My friend Gary came over around 8:30 pm, and at
around 8:45 Jupiter appeared in the sky. I aligned the telescope per the
manual. We found Jupiter on the Autostar controller, pushed the GOTO
button, and to my amazement there was Jupiter with 4 moons in the
eyepiece! I was surprised to also see some banding. Ok, that was nice
but I want more!

We couldn't see any other objects in the sky, but I set the Autostar for
Saturn anyway.  Same thing. I pressed the GOTO button and it found

Then I tried to find the Horsehead Nebula, but by that time we had
clouds rolling in from the west, and by 10:30 there was nothing visible
in the sky.

Anyway, I am VERY satisfied with the quality and ease of use of this
telescope, and I appreciate your web site in helping me make the
decision. Skies are supposed to be clear after 11:00 pm tonight, so I am
sure I will not get much sleep.

Thank you for a great web site! 

John Trudell
Bay City, Michigan
Mike here: Don't expect to see the Horsehead Nebula with your eye using any telescope.


I am sure I saw the Horsehead Nebula with a $ 25.00 refractor in 1972.
Or was it a similar looking nebula in Orion? It wasn't very big, but it
was clearly the shape that I had seen in pictures.
Mike here: That was probably M42, the Great Nebula in Orion.


ok. that makes sense. I am not expecting Hubble quality viewing anyway.
But it sure beats the heck out of that old Tasco I had when I was a kid.

I also stopped in to a telescope store here that I never knew existed
until today to buy a couple of extra eyepieces.

The owner mentioned your web site and was very complimentary.

Thank you!

John Trudell

Subject:	etx-105 case
Sent:	Friday, April 12, 2002 4:36:36
From: (marc.delaney)
Hi John,
Seen your note about ETX-105 case: you don't need to remove the finder
with the ETX-105 because the case lid has more room in it. The note to
remove finder only applies to the ETX-90 and its case because they were
designed originally for the straight-thru finder.
Clear skies,

End of 14 April update

Subject:	ETX-105 Update
Sent:	Tuesday, April 9, 2002 19:18:24
From: (MindSpring Account)
I wanted to update you on the 105 vibration issues I was having.

I ordered the ScopeTronix ETX Deluxe Tripod Adapter plate for use with
my 883 tripod.  The plate mounts the ETX-105 to the tripod much more
securely as the whole telescope base is now supported.  That with the
ScopeTronix Flexi-Focus cable has made life much more steady, plus I
like having storage for eyepieces & the Autostar

The only down side of the mounting plate is that it is almost a two
person job to mount the scope & plate on the tripod.  I plan on mounting
the plate to the tripod permanently to make set up easy.    Now only if
the clouds would go away.....


Subject:	Re: #675 dew shield & #776 case for the Etx-105 ec
Sent:	Tuesday, April 9, 2002 16:38:24
From: (David Jennings)
Thanks for the quick responce.
I havent got around to giving shutan a call back yet.
But i'm rather new to the whole astronomy thing & my etx-105  is my  1st
good telescope i've had/used. I just cant seem to get autostar to work.
Probly inpart cause i dont know names of stars! I did manage to read on
your web site though that lots of people seem to use polaris for
So now for my question. Is polaris in the autostar?!
Why can't i find it/why isn't it?

Thanx for any help
     David Jennings
Mike here: People use Polaris as a guide to polar alignments but it should not be used as an Autostar alignment star. For help on alignment stars, see the article "Alignment/High Precision/Star Charts" on the Observational Guides/References page.
Subject:	ETX-105 hard case
Sent:	Tuesday, April 9, 2002 5:43:57
From: (marc.delaney)
In response to david Jennings disappointment with the ETX-105  hard
case, I recently bought an ETX-105 and the case. At first I thought I
had been sent the ETX-90 case, it was so small. My dealer (Telescope
House in London) immediately sent me another, clearly marked for the
105, and was exactly the same as the one before. It finally twigged on
us both (dealer and me) that the case is indeed different but so badly
designed that the scope has to be shoe-horned into it! Now that I got
the hang of using it, its fine, even if still a little cramped. It's
Meade's fault for not taking enough care in designing their accessories
and they are not doing their name any favours --- Meade, are you reading
this? You'd better, if you want to keep customer loyalty!


Sent:	Tuesday, April 9, 2002 3:15:26
From: (John Barbarite)
I just received a ETX105 Meade hard case from Astronomics.  The scope
fits rather tight.  No way will it fit with a dew shield as mentioned in
a previous post.  The literature that came with the case was for an
ETX-90 model #774 case.  But I think that the case is correct as the
scope fits properly- even though it's a little tight.  There is no model
number on the case itself.  However, I was disappointed to read the Note
in the literature that came with the case suggesting removing the right
angle finder.   "Note: If the optional Meade #845 Right-Angle Viewfinder
is attached to the ETX-90 telescope, remove the viewfinder from the
telescope mounting bracket before placing the telescope inside the
carrying case.  This prevents excessive pressure on the viewfinder
bracket when the carrying case lid is closed."  Reinstalling an aligning
the finder each time the case is used doesn't seem like the case was
well designed for the 105 as that is the standard viewfinder an will be
a real pain in the neck.  Do you think this #774 case note also applies
to the other scopes, assuming I really have a 105 case?  Also, in your
book (got it the other day) you rightly recommend not covering the scope
with plastic do you think keeping the scope in the foam in the case
could affect it also?

End of 11 April update

Subject:	#675 dew shield & #776 case for the Etx-105 ec
Sent:	Monday, April 8, 2002 15:21:36
From: (David Jennings)
I recently receive the meade dew shield & etx hard case for my 105 etx
telescope much to my disappointment the dew shield does not fit in the
case like the litiature that came with the dew shield says that it will
store in the case. As quoted from the directions for the dew shield:

"The dew shield may be inverted on the end of the optical tube for
storage with the telescope in any of the optional ETX hard cases. see

well Fig2 shows the dew shield sliding all the way down close to where
is screws on the telescope but inverted for storage it absolutly does
not do this & I scratched the inside of the dew shield attemting this.
It only fits about 3/4's the way on when set on the telescope in this
manner I found that out the hard way.

For the 28$ that the dewshield was I'm quite disappointed.

As for the Hard case I'm somewhat disappointed too as the telescope fits
very snugly so snugly that it almost doesnt fit! Also theres no room for
the AC Adapter in this case & once again absolutly no room for the dew
shield that meade claims that will fit in the case.

The telescope does fit in the case with the autostar, eyepeice,barrow
lens, & 505 connector kit & it came with #776 lititure for the 105
however  my question is    Did shutan send me the wrong case the one for
the 90 perhaps?
Mike here: Sorry you've had a problem. I doubt the case is for the ETX-90 as the ETX-105EC is a laregr scope. But if you are concerned about it, contact Shutan.

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