Last updated: 30 April 2003
Subject: ETX-90 Power Supplies Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 14:57:58 From: email@example.com (Rich Seiter) First, thanks for a great site! I have owned an ETX-60AT for a couple of years and recently purchased an ETX-90EC. Your site has been a big help! After getting the ETX-90 I went looking for power supplies (with the information from your site). I found two good cheap solutions that I wanted to share. For 12V power Parts Express sells a 10' 2A fused "radar detector cord" for $.95 It has a 2.5mm center positive plug which fits the ETX-90 and works with mine. http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=099-170 For AC power Parts Express sells a 12VDC 1000mA AC adapter with a 5'cord (a little short...) for $3.90. It has a 2.5mm x 5.5mm center positive connector which fits the ETX-90 and works with mine. http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=129-314 Both of these are factory buyouts so quantities may be limited. Regards, Rich Seiter P.S. I have no connection with Parts Express except as a satisfied customer.
Subject: Query - Twinkling stars - Astronomy Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 21:43:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (lu lu) After veiwing you webpage I was a bit confused on a particular topic. Could you please tell me if you think that stars "twinkle" more towards the horizon or more directly overhead. Thanks Lu.Mike here: This is a basic astronomy question. Stars twinkle near the horizon due to the amount of the Earth's atmosphere their light has to pass through. When straight up there is less "air" between you and the star's light.
Subject: ETX SCOPE, AUTOSTAR 497, TRACK THE SUN? Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 20:42:18 From: email@example.com (W. A. Griswold) I am purchasing a sun filter for my ETX 125 and would like to track the sun. Is this possible and what do I have to do? Meade said that they did not provide this option.. Regards, Bill GriswoldMike here: For safety reasons, Meade doesn't provide the Sun as an object. However, with the proper protection (cover the finderscope and use a quality full aperture solar filter), you can safely observe the Sun. For most tracking over short periods of time you can just use the standard sidereal rate.
Subject: Telescope storage Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 11:39:25 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Proposals) I own a Meade ETX 90 EC scope and am very delighted with the use and operation of it. I have a history of back trouble (of which I am even at this moment recovering from a brief bout) and have decided to construct a wheeled trolley to allow me to move the scope and tripod fully assembled out of and into my house through the ground level garage. My question is this: is there anything wrong with storing this scope in the garage year round? The garage naturally has no environmental controls so even though it is dry, temperatures will vary from the 90's in the summer to the 40's or so in the winter. I will keep the equipment covered to keep it clean but I am concerned about the temperature extremes. Do you think this will be a problem? Thanks in advance for your input and thanks for a great website! With Regards, Dennis Fisher e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: It should be OK BUT personally I would not subject it to the constant high or low temperatures. The lubrication and plastic components will dry out that much faster in these high and low temps. It would be better to store in the house in a closet.
Mike, Thank you for the quick reply. I use the scope in the alt/az orientation. It seems that the sidereal rate would be off in one of the axes. Is it possible to get the Sun tracking from you. I seem to remember that you at one time had this option if I send the control box to you. This would be an option with me. I also have a LX200 GPS 10 inch for my deep sky viewing. Regards, Bill GriswoldMike here: Dr. Clay Sherrod may have offered this service. Contact him.
Subject: filter lens for ds2114ats! Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 02:50:13 From: email@example.com (Mark TORLOP) Hi there,I got your site from an e-bayer that i just bought a 2x barlow lens & a 4mm and a 6mm plossl lens from,and he suggested i purchase some filter lens so that i get a crisper view! when viewing objects!I have an address from the U.S.A. and the deal involves 4 lfilter lens at $25. Can you please tell me if there is anyone as competitive in the U.K. Many thanks, Mark.Mike here: Sounds like a good deal. What filters are included?
The site where the filters are advertised is, www.surplusshed.com & the item no.is M1504 (RIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE).Is there any chance of you looking at them to let me know what you think? If you think that they are not a good deal or that they are just not suitable for me & my ds2114ats scope would you please mind recomending any suitable filter lens instead! Thanks Mike, Mark.Mike here: The filters seem fine. The Moon Filter is definitely a handy item (although by itself it will cost about $12). The colored filters will be handy for viewing the brighter planets to help see some details but the image will be much fainter than without the filters. You might prefer less dense filters for smaller aperture telescopes. See the Accessory Reviews - Filters page for some more info.
Subject: Solar photography Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 11:29:07 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward Witten) I have a question about the ETX-125 telescope. Would it be possible to take a picture (of the sun using sunspots, say, or of the moon) through this telescope using a garden variety digital camera, and if so what attachments are needed? Or does one need a special kind of camera made for astronomy? Edward WittenMike here: You can see many examples of solar photography using the ETX on my ETX Site. Many of these were taken with consumer digital cameras. As to what you need, look at the Accessory Reviews - Astrophotography page as well as the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page. Don't forget to use a high quality solar filter (see the Accessory Reviews - Filters page).
Subject: Question Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 02:20:27 From: email@example.com (Luca) Luke from Italy. i have an Lx 10 8 UHTC and i want to buy another scope. What do you think about: Meade Mak 7 uhtc gps Celestron 9, 25 I love see planets, moon, double Which of these scopes is better ?? Another question i have an etx 90 and 125 uhtc if i use my 90 over lx 10 i need tube counterweights ?? Thanks. Luke.Mike here: Unless you need the type of mount the LX200 series provides and the GPS, you might want to consider the LXD55 series or perhaps the LX90 8". And yes, you'll want to be certain the system is in balance to avoid slewing or tracking problems.
Subject: True North? Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2003 11:01:02 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ewok1261) I am a new owner of a small meade etx 70. I have been playing with it for one night so far and Uggg is what i have come to. I know for a explorer of your stature this is a realy and i hate to use the term but (stupid question) but i dont know squat about true north to set up my alignment. I have read and read but still no simple details and when i say simple i mean to where a 8 year old could understand. i know magnetic north dont work or at least that is what i presume cause when i used my gps to get north and the scope went to the first star in the alignment process all i seen was deep space and no bright star was even close. also this (HOME) thing? setting the DEC and the OTC etc... what is all this. as you can see im at a compleate loss and yes very very new. I think ill use the meade manual to put on the end of my book shelf so at least when people see it thay will THINK i have some smarts. any help at all i would be very greatfull. I know you will get a laugh out of this. maybe one day meade will write a manual for us hill billies called. "How to Make your Meade Paper Weight Into a Nice Scope for RedNecks Manual" with lots of pictures ofcourse and in terms that even i can understand. Thank for your time Chris Queen (aka) EwokMike here: Check the alignment tips articles on the Autostar Information page. Also, see the "Alignment/High Precision/Star Charts" article; it includes star charts which should help you. As to True North, can you see the "Big Dipper" in the northern sky? If so, take a look at the "Winter Star Index" chart in this article. The two stars "Merak" and Dubhe" in the "bowl" of the Big Dipper point the way to Polaris, which is at the end of the "handle" of the Little Dipper.
yes i can see the big dipper real well.. ok so another words when im looking to True north ill be looking at Polaris or North star.. if the case this will help me out a great deal im sure.. Thanks Mike keep up the awsome work. I have been reading your page all day great great info now i think im going to get a solor filter as well
Subject: inquery... Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2003 17:06:11 From: email@example.com (Steve Seman) First off, this site blows me away! I've been reading stuff in this place for 2 months now and still haven't seen it all. I'm learning a lot from you and Dr. Sherrod. My simple question is, from just looking at the etx-125ec, is there any way to decern the regular coatings from the uhtc? And what really is the difference in capability of the two? I've had my new scope with autostar out a few nights now and have just been stunning myself and everyone around me with what this thing can do (with a little help from this blessing to the world wide web. Thank you Mike). I wish you and this tressure trove of information well, and look forward to a responce. Thanks again, Jim SemanMike here: The UHTC telescopes usually have a sticker on the OTA (may be on the bottom). And yes, there is a significant difference. See the Meade Announcements page on the ETX Site for a link to Dr. Clay's UHTC test report. I've compared an ETX-90 with the standard coatings to an ETX-90 w/UHTC. The difference was obvious; the one with UHTC had the same stars noticeably brighter.
Subject: stray light in my etx 90 ec uhtc Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2003 09:16:48 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I'd just like to say how great your web site really is. I've recently purchased an etx 90 and have found that there is an awful lot of stray light ( large arcs of light which cover most of the field) when a bright star or planet is just inside the field and when outside the field. This was described by Clay Sherrod in your tech tips pages. I'd like to ask if this is a common problem, the supplier says that this is coma and is common in telescopes of this design. Also, is this a problem I will have to live with or should I send the scope back and ask for a replacement. Many thanks Anthony Pritchard.Mike here: No, you should not see a lot of stray light creating arcs across the field of view. There is (or was in earlier models) small holes on the bottom of the OTA where a photographic tripod would attach). Try covering those and see if that reduces stray light. Also, can you see if the baffle is in place?
Thanks for your very speedy reply! There is a photo tripod plate under the etx tube and I will follow your advice regarding plugging up the holes and the gap between the tube and the rear box. Both of the baffles appear to be in place. Do you think that this could be an eyepiece problem or a problem with the optical tube necessitating return? Also, bright objects especially Jupiter, don't appear to be that sharp when positioned towards the edge of the field- probably due to the light arcs! Many thanks, Anthony.Mike here: Stray reflections can cause a diffusion of the image. It could be that the telescope is also out of collimation. Do a "star test" after the telescope has been outside for a couple of hours (to cool down). Center a bright star in the 26mm eyepiece. Turn the focus knob slowly from one side to the other side of being in focus. When slightly out of focus you should see several concentric rings of light. These should be pretty much circular; if they are oblong or the rings not concentric, then the optics are out of collimation and exchanging the telescope with your dealer would be in order.
Subject: Autostar Guided Tour Omission Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2003 07:48:03 From: email@example.com (Jay Deichler) Not a problem, just a question. I am just learning my new hobby, so I routinely use the Guided Tour feature in the Autostar. One of the things that continuously frustrates me is my lack of success viewing galaxies, even though I have been able to view other objects in the Messier catalog that are listed as fainter, smaller objects (M 51 continues to elude me, even though I have twice been able to spot the Ring Nebula). I was reading through a list of Messier objects when I noticed M81, a fairly bright galaxy in Ursa Major that had never come up on the Guided Tour. I looked it up manually in the Autostar Database, hit "go to" and presto! Right in the center of the field of view was my first view of any galaxy other than Andromeda. Any clue why this object doesn't come up on the Guided Tour? (I have updated to the latest version). I'm currently searching for other possible objects not on the tour. I have an ETX-125 scope. Should I be able to see M51? Conditions are not great where I live, and there is significant light pollution, but under the same conditions I can see M57???? Great Site Mike. Thanks from all of us novices, JayDMike here: I can't speak to why any object is not in Meade's tour but M51 is pretty faint and diffuse in small telescopes for light polluted skies. I can see M57 from my location but not M51 with any of my telescopes (the northern sky is pretty light polluted for me).
Subject: re: New ETX 125 Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 23:10:10 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Seymour) To: email@example.com If your scope stopped moving both axes at the same time, and did it cataclysmically (i.e. -stop-, versus one axis stopped while the other continues, eventually drifting to a stop) it probably was -not- grease, since that wouldn't affect both axes at once. A Setup > Telescope > Calibrate may help. You should only need to do it once. A test for grease effects is to establish a landmark (Object > Landmark > Add , follow the prompts) and then slew a goodly distance away from it (or establish a second landmark), then GoTo (Landmark > Select > Tree [enter][GoTo] the two of them, repeatedly. If you have a grease problem, your error in GoTos will repeatedly (and quite a bit) overshoot. You can make that test more exacting by pressing the MODE key for 4 seconds, then releasing. That brings up the RA/Dec display. Scroll down once. There's Alt/Az Aim at a target, note the Alt/Az now slew the telescope completely around until it points again at that target. If the Az display shows -exactly- 360 degree (i.e. the same reading), it's not grease in the encoders. good luck --dick
Subject: Clay Sherrod is the greatest Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 20:31:38 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Schlatter) Clay Sherrod is the greatest!!! I recently purchased an ETX-90EC UHTC. Out-of-the-box performance was okay at best -- RA slipped and would jump at odd times. Declination was the same. GOTO was okay but tracking was a problem with slippage and jumping. Optics were okay. I sent the scope to Clay. He worked on it and returned it promptly. He included detailed documentation as to what he did with the scope. I put the scope through its paces for the past two nights and the difference is amazing. Clay warns in his documentation that the scope will require some break-in time because of the fixes he made but I must say the performance is improved dramatically even if it still needs to break in. -- Scope moves smooth as silk. -- Alignment is quick and accurate; I do two-star alignment and both stars show up almost dead center. -- GOTO is accurate. -- Tracking is accurate. I followed Arcuturus last night at 156X and it tracked perfectly for 90 minutes -- only reason it stopped tracking was that I turned the scope off and went inside. And the very best part is that Clay answers e-mail questions quickly and completely. If you have any question as to what you should buy as your next accessory for your ETX, I recommend you make Clay's supercharge and tune-up your next purchase. ------ Regards, Joe Schlatter 36d35mN 82d07mW
Subject: Advise Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 10:06:45 From: email@example.com (Will) I hope you can give me some advise. I'm a beginner in the process of buying my first telescope. Having wanted one for years. I looked around for a ETX-125 but couldn't find one. Recently located a ETX-105 w/o UHTC (Shutans $600 per your web site). Since I'm a beginner, I was thinking that this would be okay for me. On the other hand, for a few hundred more dollars and a month or two wait I could buy the ETX-125 w/ UHTC. But then, it could take another 3 months to receive the eyepieces on the $99 special from Meade. That would mean months of waiting. Waiting wouldn't be a problem if this was not my first scope. Secondly (and most importantly), I've been reading the trouble shooting help that's available on your board. And the beginner reviews. There are many problems expressed. Do these problems represent the majority experience with the ETX? I'm trying to figure out if it is generally reliable and if I will have a good experience? I called Meade and couldn't get through to their support section. I was on hold for 10 minutes and then hung up. I plan to used the telescope for light photograpic work with my Nikon Coolpix 990, and the autostar to learn the night sky. I live in the city with light polution but can still see many stars looking up. The city is in the Mojave desert. Five miles out of town and the sky is ablaze with stars. So much so, that I have trouble finding the big dipper which is the only set of stars I'm familiar with. Any recommendations or advise would be appreciated? Do you think the Meade sale represents a clearing out of old models? Thanks, Willie RobinsonMike here: As I've said many times, people write with questions when they have problems or want advice. Very few people write in to say "things are going well with my telescope". Hence the preponderance of "problem reports". But do look through the User Observations and astrophotography pages; you'll find lots of good examples of what you can expect. The $99 eyepiece special is worth waiting for (and it expires soon). So is the current deal with the tripod and Autostar. Whether you should go for the 125 w/UHTC or the 105 w/o depends upon a few factors: your budget, your expectations, and your planned usage. Normally you go for the largest aperture you can afford BUT the best telescope is one that gets used, not stored in a closet because it is too large/cumbersome/etc.
Subject: New ETX 125 Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2003 05:28:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (walter branch) You have the most useful site on the etx line on the net. Thanks very much for making the site available to users. I purchased a new etx 125 a few days ago and I have actually had good weather. I have had it out twice. On both nights, I encountered the same problem. When slewing from west to east, the scope would stop moving in both axis. It happend once when the tube was elevated about 25 degrees and once when elevated about 60 degrees. I don't know if the direction and elevation data are meaningful as this has happened only twice, once on each night. When the motors eventually stopped, I found that the autostar would GOTO another object, but it apparently had lost it's position in space as it was way off on subsequent GOTOs and I had to re align. I have read reports of excessive grease on the gears. Do you think this could be the problem. If so, I can't to locate the page on your site which discuses how to remove the excessive grease. Could you point me in the right direction? BTW, mine is the newer version 125 with 25e verson autostar. Thanks very much -WalterMike here: Did the telescope hit one of the hard stops? If so, you didn't start with the proper HOME position. If it wasn't a hard stop, try loosening up the grease by unlock the axis and moving the telescope by hand from hard stop to hard stop several times back and forth.
No, I am fairly sure it didn't hit a hard stop but then I am used to the etx 70AT and I will pay more attention to this procedure when next I set it up. I will also move the scope back and forth as you suggest. I did just find some posts on your site which discuss excessive grease possibly getting on the encoders. That sounds bad! The 125 is huge compared with the 70AT. It will take me a while to get used to. I finally saw M51 last night (even though I had a fair amount of light polution to contend with). Can't wait to get it out to a really dark site. Thanks again. -WalterMike here: Don't worry about the grease yet. It may or may not be a problem. And since you are used the ETX-70 that doesn't have hard stops it is easy to understand the confusion. But with the ETX-90, -105, and -125 you need to set up in the proper HOME position, which includes doing the proper rotations for the hard stop.
Subject: manual focus ETX 90EC Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 14:45:41 From: email@example.com (ben wooding) Couple of great clear nights in the UK recently, but while observing I began to notice a problem with focusing. Sent the 'scope back to the MEADE Europe dealer before Xmas due to power failure and they sent out a new one with the UHTC! Very pleased! And yes, I did notice a difference. However, whilst observing Saturn and trying to focus the Cassini division I began to have problems. Just at the point of focus the image would "jump" past, almost as if there was an obstruction on the gear or a tooth missing or something (too much grease?). However, when I pull the focus back, I'm able, with perseverence, to focus the object precisely. Any thoughts? The warranty ran out just after I got the 'scope back, will it have been extended with the new one? Also, focusing has been made much easier using a Fleximate focus knob. They're 25 quid over here, but actually well worth the money. Cheers BenMike here: When you twist the focus knob can you feel any "catch" as it goes through the point where you see the "jump"? It could be that you just need to loosen up the movement by working it back and forth several times.
Thanks for the prompt reply. I tried moving the focus knob back and fore several times, thinking the jump was just caused by excess grease or a piece of dirt. It doesn't seem to make any difference. It seems a bit odd that I can then focus in the other direction. It means that if I miss the focus coming back I have to jump forward again and try coming back again. BenMike here: It might loosen up with use. Keep me posted.
Subject: Image Shift Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 14:00:14 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Denny Nestor) I asked the other day about image shift, well last night I watched closely as I was focusing on Jupiter and noticed that it would move from the center to about half the distance to the left side. I called Meade and they said this was in spec. Is there no way to make this better or was my tech advice doubtful? DennyMike here: If you were using the 26mm eyepiece that is excessive. I would contact Meade again.
Subject: Re: HEQ5 on ETX125 Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 11:11:16 From: email@example.com (Frank Van Der Wal) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Hi Mike, Indeed you, and Dick, helped me a lot when I mailed to you some 6 months ago. Dick and I exchanched many mails on the AS problem, and finally we decided that the AS itself was working OK and that a visit to a dealer would be a wise thing to do. This skilled dealer found that the light-recieving transistor on the motorcounter was intermittently erroneous. He fixed it and the MUF dissapeared. Still, the stability of the system didn't seemed to have increased in the action. Furthermore the mechanics of the scope isn't good. I bought it secondhand and I found that the forks and mounting of the scope was rather weak. Some of the plastic support items (don't know the proper words for it) where missing. I followed the precise steps described in your website's Tech Tips on the procedure what to do when updating the AS software. I've reset, trained and calibrated the drives numerous times, sometimes with the feeling that it was working OK now, but there was a fluke somewhere and the drives began a life of their own. And, as you'll know, when you're out there you just want to watch the objects and not resetting, training and calibrating the system over and over. Thanks for your response and for your support.Mike here: Yeah, could be dirty encoders or even electronic failures.
Subject: broken RA hard stop Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 13:37:48 From: email@example.com (John MacAulay) I snapped off the RA hard stop in my etx90ec and am in the middle of fixing it. I am following the tips from C. Sharrod in his post on this site. - There is a funny plastic collar that is not mentioned in the tips and I wondered the significance of that and how to properly re-install it.- I had to remove the worm gear and motor to get at the large RA axis nut. Is there anything specificate about the re-installation of that?- The only thing I see that might have been a stop looks like a 1/4" plastic post about halfway out the turntable. I believe that is the culprit. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. John MacAulay Lake Echo, Nova ScotiaAnd more:
As an update to my previous email- a small metal pin has dropped out of the case and clearly has broken off from the raised metal part of the upper case. I was looking for something plastic to have broken.I'm wondering if the repair method remains the same as the tech tips discuss. I'm going to proceed as per the directions. Hoping for the bestAnd an update:
It appears I have sucess in replacing the RA hard stop as mentioned in my previous emails. Yeaa!Of course, things don't always go smooth. Despite my best efforts, the little blace wire from the battery case to the scope has come loose. (and it didn't take much) Is there any notes on where to re-attach this wire. I'm not even sure which terminal it came off of. ThanksThe final word:
As a final update on my challenges with my broken RA hard stop, I'm happy to report the scope back together and apparently working. At least slewing in both directions just fine.A small brass screw replaced the broken hard stop and I managed to tack on the broken battery case wire with some very delicate soldering with a too large soldering iron. I didn't remove the circuit board to tack on the wire and feel lucky I was able to repair it.About 4 hours start to finish. Now to find out if everything still works ok after retraining the drives etc.Your site was a great source of moral support and I wouldn't have even attempted the repair without knowing someone was out there for guidance. Thanks again! John MacAulay Lake Echo, Nova Scotia
Subject: Re: Meade Electronic Eyepiece Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 00:10:29 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Robinson) Thanks Mike. I'm actually from the UK and I contacted the importers, who are only a few miles away from where I live - and they said the only thing they could do would be to open up one they had in stock and photocopy the instructions - and they didn't want to do it. I looked on the Meade site to see any information on the electronic eyepiece but couldn't seem to find anything. Best regards, Michael.Mike here: You might check the Meade International site:
Subject: HEQ5 on ETX125 Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 11:39:00 From: email@example.com (Frank Van Der Wal) Some time ago I used your and Dick's help on the Motor Unit Failures on my ETX125's AutoStar. Although the MUF disappeared after a visit to a skilled dealer, the AS isn't reliable. It just goes berserk every now and again. The numerous realigning frustrated me enough to decide that I like to used the optics of the ETX125 but on a different mount. I orientated on the HEQ5, and I like to find out if there is anybody out there who has experience with putting the ETX125 on a (H)EQx. Thanks, Frank van der WalMike here: Sorry you've had problems with the Autostar. If you could elaborate we might be able to help out. But basically whenever the Autostar goes "berserk" a RESET, CALIBRATE, and TRAING DRIVES usually fixes the problem. That is unless the batteries are low or the AC power flakey or the cable/connector has gone bad or....
Subject: Meade Electronic Eyepiece Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 03:35:11 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Robinson) I recently purchased a Meade electronic eyepiece with a CCD built in - just wondering if anyone out there had a copy of the instructions for it as I've misplaced mine. Regards, Michael.Mike here: You can contact Meade; they will likely send you a copy.
Subject: photo port loose Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 00:25:26 From: email@example.com (Bob Smith) I have been directed to you from the Starry night list, I have just started to do some astro photography and I bought a Meade T mount for a canon camera but when I assemble them to the scope I find that the threaded port in the scope is moving/loose. Do you how they fit this port into the scope? it looks like it is supposed to be a light interference fit but know it is loose. Do you know how to remedy this problem? something that I can do myself (I am a tool & diemaker by trade) maybe lock-tight!!. I cannot send it back to Meade as I live in the UAE. Thank for any assistance and you have a great website cheers bob smithMike here: This came up several months ago. There really isn't a good easy fix. You will have to disassemble the rear end to get at the inside of the rear. See "Doc Greiner's ETX Info page" (linked from the Telescope Tech Tips page) for some photos of that area.
Subject: Focus Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2003 15:31:34 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Denny Nestor) New ETX 125 , when I use the manual focus the image moves some. Not sure about what to expect, first scope. The box that it was shipped in was not in great shape. Need best guess or advice. Image moves about 1/8 inch, maybe more. It does focus. Denny NestorMike here: Some image shift is normal due to the Maksutov-Cassegrain design used in the ETX series. I suspect you are OK.
Subject: Upgrading to ETX125 from ETX90.....is it a good option? Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2003 15:08:36 From: email@example.com (Colin Scrivener) Am enjoying trying to soak up all the info on your site which I've just found! It is really useful thanks. I have an ETX90 with Autostar and would like a tripod. Now with all these Meade special offers on I am wondering whether to stretch my finances and try and buy a 105 or a 125. Of course I would get the tripod free with a new Meade telescope, and I would certainly go for the eyepiece offer too. In your honest opinion, do you think I should stick with the 90 or take the plunge, spend and go for a 125? Is the 105 a better option with the UHTC? I would have thought going for the 125 was the best option myself. Would I see alot more through the 125 than the 90? Or should I just buy a 200 tripod for the ETX90? (Portability is not too much of an issue here by the way). I particularly like viewing the moon and planets, and I have never seen the GRS on Jupiter through my ETX90 for example. Is the GRS easily visible through the 125? Also if I bought a new ETX telescope from Meade, should I sell my ETX90 & Autostar or is the 2nd hand value poor? Maybe it is best to keep hold of it...I hope to hear from you soon Mike, thanks. Kind regards Colin Scrivener, Kent, EnglandMike here: You can see the GRS with the ETX-90, it is just difficult since it is more a "pale pink spot" right now. Requires good seeing and of course, it has to be visible at the time you are looking. Yes, there is a significant difference when viewing with the ETX-125 vs the ETX-90. So, if cost isn't that much an issue I'd recommend the -125 w/UHTC. And yes, the new coating does make a difference too. Personally I would keep the ETX-90. Makes a nice "spur of the moment" telescope.
Thanks for your prompt reply. With regard to Jupiter, I have only seen the two main equatorial belts and a slight darkness at one of the poles. (Thisa may not seem very muchj to you). I don't feel I have a cat in hell's chance of seeing the GRS. Last year, though I just about managed to see Io's shadow on the surface of Jupiter thanks to some help from Redshift 4, but it was a real struggle. So if a dark shadow like that is difficult then GRS would be even harder as far as I can see. Do you happen to know if the GRS portrayed on Redshift 4 is accurate so I actually know it is visible at a certain time, or is it just there for a pretty image? Could I possibly have an eyepiece problem? I of course have the 26mm Plossl as standard, together with a barlow lens. But I also have an "Or 9mm" from my previous telescope - is this lens ok with the ETX or is it the "wrong type"? Would a Plossl equivalent be much better? I can focus with the Or 9mm, but images always seems a bit fuzzy. The other concern is the cleanliness of the lenses. Do you recommend a way of keeping them spotless? I have to say that I do get a bit despondent when I see other readers with ETX90 seemingly seeing alot more than me. I get a little worried that I will spend alot of money on the ETX125 expecting to see loads more detail on planets etc, and be rather disappointed. Will the ETX125 see more of Saturn's moons for example? Perhaps you can put my mind at rest and by also answering some of my points above, thanks. Handy tip which may be of help to ETX users without a tripod : When setting up I sometimes find it hard to get a flat surface for the table I put my telescope on. I am using the excellent BC & F (UK company) "align mate eyepiece" which fits in the eyepiece slot with a spirit level bubble on one side and a compass on the other! To get round the alignment problem I put a piece of Blu-Tack (like plasticine, do you have an equivalent in USA??) between the scope and the table and exaggerate the tilt the wrong way (checking the bubble). I then gradually press the telescope into the Blu-Tack until the spirit level bubble goes dead centre for alignment. Doing this also "fixes" my telescope onto the table for better stability. Thought this may help some of your readers Mike. Hope to hear from you again soon.........many thanks for your time. Regards Colin Scrivener, Herne Bay, UKMike here: I can't speak for RedShift but this page has a GRS calculator:
Subject: tracking question Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2003 22:03:52 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas Brown) To: email@example.com Just had an excellent night with my 125 great go to and good tracking, but when moving vertically at a rate of approximately 3, and when tracking, especially Jupiter for some reason, I hear a "popping" noise coming from the right fork arm about every 2-3 seconds and the image will jump a little bit. This happened when I was looking at Jupiter at the beginning of my session, and again 1 1/2 hours later when I went back to Jupiter again at the end of the session. Any ideas? Tom BrownAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (P. Clay Sherrod) Hmmmm....yes, it sounds like one of the little plastic transfer gears is under stress and is slipping occassionally.....if it gets worse I would be concerned. Make sure that the scope is well balanced in the altitude axis for sure. Some of the ETX scope do have this problem develop and will work for years in spite of it....some will begin to not move under torque. The solution (only one) is to replace the entire gearbox and motor assembly and this would require a trip back to Meade. Let me know how this progresses Tom and thanks for writing.And:
Thanks for the response, Clay, I was afraid it was something to do with the gears. I'll keep an eye on this and will report if it gets worse. Have you had any report on how Meade responds if a repair is necessary on a Supercharged scope? TomAnd this:
Tom....my work is respected by Meade and does not affect the warranty...however, I would NOT send back until you are absolutely sure you have a problem. It might well have just been the sky position the telescope was in. Give a bit of time.... Dr. Clay ---------- email@example.com Arkansas Sky Observatory Harvard/MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard/MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) www.arksky.org
Clay, Glad to hear it, certainly with my scope the Supercharge solved various optical problems, especially optical ones, which a return to Meade had failed to do. I don't intend to jump the gun, last night was the first time I've had a problem like this and it didn't seem to happen with every target. Once again thanks for your ongoing support. TomMike here: I presume Jupiter was pretty near the Zenith when you were observing it. Does the popping sound only occur when near the Zenith?
Subject: photos Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 19:19:14 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (stephen hicken) i just recieved my etx125 and i am wondering if it is a good scope for doing astrophotography.this is my first scope,and i hope i made a good choice thanks steveMike here: You will like it. See the Helpful Information --> Astrophotography page for LOTS of information on using ETX models for astrophotography. Also, see the Astrophotography galleries for more examples.
Subject: 125's Electric Focuser Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 10:06:56 From: Marv.Sumner@ONIZUKA.AF.MIL (Sumner Marv C Contr CWNO/SCNC) Re: T Fretz's focuser problem...The drive mootor in the focuser is more powerful than the shaft bearing mounts are strong. The mounts cannot stand being run into the end stops. The snapping heard is gear teeth skipping over each other where the shaft-end is flopping free. Meade replaced mine with no argument. Marv
Subject: Electric Focuser Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2003 12:46:40 From: email@example.com (W Springer) I had the same problem [see below] and after 2 replacements Meade found one that worked. Now my problem is that when I focus one way...it moves the view thru the scope one way. When I focus the other way...it moves the view the other way. I am not sure if something is loose or if that is normal. I can deal with it but sometimes it gets aggravating chasing an image around because of focusing.Mike here: Some image shift is normal but it should not move an object across the entire eyepiece FOV. Sounds like something may have shifted or come loose.
Subject: RE: Right Ascension Drive Not Working Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2003 11:31:59 From: NHarrison@lear.com (Harrison, Norman) I only have the Autostar. I tried your test [further down this page] and still have the same problem. Sounds like I stripped a gear. I am sending my telescope back to Meade. Thanks for your help, and, if you would like, I'll follow up with what happens. Best Regards, Norm Harrison P.S. Do you know if anyone has lobbied Meade to provide clearer instructions regarding proper telescope setup? I can't believe that I am the first person this has happened to.
Subject: Electric Focuser Problem Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2003 20:30:39 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (T Fretz) I love your site. I purchased an ETX-125 it is everything I wanted in a telescope. I found it difficult to focus on objects near the zenith, so I purchased the #1247 electric focuser. The scope focuses just fine with out it on and the electric focuser runs fine off of the scope, but when I attached it the motor in the focuser seems to bind up to a point were it starts to make snapping sounds in the focuser. I don't think it should be doing that. I followed the instructions that came with it and I also read and followed the warning on your site dated July 28, 2001. After removing and replacing the focuser several time I had no better luck, it still binds in both directions. It seems like the motor wants to twist the focuser body in the opposite direction until the snap is heard at this point I stop. After removing it to use the scope it showed no signs of damage to the focuser or the scope. The scope will focus just fine with out it. I hope you have some idea as to what the problem could be? Thank You Tom FretzMike here: I had a similar problem with one. It was replaced an the replacement works fine. I'll be writing up a report one of these days!
Thanks for the quick answer. The focuser is on its way back to Meade. Thanks again Tom
Subject: Equivalent Distance Viewing Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2003 15:59:00 From: email@example.com (Ted Brayton) Due to very tough weather this Winter in the Northeast, this was the first week since October I was able to use my ETX-105. In a rather short period of time, I had forgotten the great views of the Moon the ETX can provide. I scrolled the Apennine Mountains from one end to the other and back. It felt like I was on the Moon and hiking the mountains in person. It made me wonder, how close would I have to get to the Moon to get the same view with the naked eye. I was using the ETX-105 with a 28mm eye piece and a 2X Barlow. I have read about "powers" in my manual and various magazines. Could I just take the distance to the object in view, and divide it by the power to get the equivalent "naked eye" view? Thanks, Ted Brayton Middleboro, MAMike here: Yep, viewing the Moon is a wonderful experience. Slewing around at high powers can give you a feeling of being in orbit around it. As to powers (or magnifications), doubling the power (2X) "brings" an object half the distance it was. 50X will bring it 50 times closer. So, yes, you can divide the distance by the magnification.
Thanks for the quick response. Ted
Subject: Alt-azimuth alignment problems Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2003 11:13:39 From: McEvoy@ukgateway.net (Stan McEvoy) Yesterday I received my new ETX125 and I am experiencing some difficulty in setting up in Alt-azimuth. I have the telescope set up on the 884 tripod in the following manner, as per instructions which came with tripod, i.e. "line up the mounting hole on the base of the telescope marked "high latitude leg" with attachment that is closest to the latitude control bar". I have then followed instructions on your website about rotating the telescope counterclockwise until hard stop is reached and then back clockwise until the fork arm with numerical scale is above the control panel. The control panel is facing west. The tripod leg opposite the latitude adjuster bar is facing north. The telescope is facing north and levelled. The problem is that this position (home) is no way near the mid-point between the two hard stops. If I now rotate the scope east it will hit the hard stop in less than half a turn. Conversley, rotating west from the home position the scope will not hit the hard stop until nearly one and a half turns. This half way position is better achieved with the control panel facing east but this is contrary to all advice and I have tried this but the scope doesn't like it as it has hit the hard stops whilst slewing. On a few occasions I noticed that the telescope will take the shorter route to the next GOTO rather than going the long way around and avoiding the hard stop. Obviously something is amiss here with either my understanding of the set up or the scope itself. My latitude is 52 N and the version of software is 23E. Many thanks for any help and advice you can give me. RegardsMike here: In Alt/Az mode your latitude won't matter. I can't directly to the #884 tripod but lets try this: disregard the mounting instructions and place the tripod (with the telescope not mounted) in such a way that if you tilt the mounting plate it will rise in the south (hinge on the north side), then put the hinge on the north side by rotating the tripod. Now mount the ETX with the control panel on the west side. You should be able to rotate counterclockwise until you reach a hardstop and then go back clockwise about 120 degrees to having the telescope point north.
Thanks. I've tried that and all it has done is to transfer the problem from one side of the tripod to the other and I still have a hard stop not far from the home position. I understood that the home position should be roughly equidistant from each hardstop, yet your final sentence about going back 120 degrees from the hardstop seems to suggest otherwise as I would have thought that the distance to each hardstop would be somewhere in the region of 340 degrees. The thing is, I cannot get the scope in a position half-way between the hardstops with the control panel facing west. It would appear to be a physical impossibility!! I can do it with the control panel facing east and I tried to set up in this manner but the scope hit a hard stop whilst slewing so I presume it was confused about its orientation. I'll phone the dealer tomorrow and see if he can throw any light on this. Something tells me he won't!! Many thanks for your help. Regards. Stan McEvoyMike here: Nope, the HOME position in NOT equidistant between the hardstops. The Autostar handles that. Follow the instructions I gave or see the alignment tips on the Autostar Information page.
And an update:
I don't know why I assumed the home position it had to be equidistant from the stops. I think I remember reading somewhere that the scope/autostar doesn't know where those stops are and, that being the case, I assumed that logic would dictate that the home position would be as far as possible from each stop to reduce the risk of banging into them. Anyway, done what you said and it works. I did a sort of test and selected a GOTO to a star which was just past a hard stop. The telescope took the long way around and avoided the stop. Appreciate your help in this. Regards Stan McEvoy
Subject: Viewfinder caps Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2003 01:13:13 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (kevin keyes) I enjoy your site immencely. I found viewfinder caps, eyepiece caps, and port caps at Scopetronics. I also have a question/s for you and your readers. Are the Series 4000 plossls par-focal? Has anyone out there been using a Coolpix 775 for shooting pics.? I haven't been able to get any cloud band detail on Jupiter, and just barely the rings of Saturn. Any ideas? Thanks and keep up the great work, Kevin KeyesMike here: No, the series 4000 are not parfocal; some of the ones in the $99 eyepiece deal are close though. As to the Coolpix, look through the Helpful Information --> Astrophotography --> Coolpix section.
Subject: 90 or 125 Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2003 19:07:01 From: email@example.com (Ken Hurd) To view all 9 planets, which scope the 90 or the 125 would give me that capability? having said that, what would be the going price on a basic working used scope of this type? Ken HurdMike here: You'll need way more than an ETX-125EC to see Pluto but either will let you "see" the other eight planets. The larger the aperture the more details you will see. However, don't expect to see much with Mercury (except its phase), Uranus, and Neptune. If extreme portability is not an issue, go with the -125. Check the online dealers (see the Dealers section on the Astronomy Links page) for pricing. Right now, there is a deal going on with a tripod and Autostar being included. And for an additional $99 you get several eyepieces.
Subject: ETX supercharge Sent: Friday, April 11, 2003 20:26:05 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Harrison) A few comments regarding Dr. Clay's supercharge. My 125 was resurrected rather than supercharged. It had everything from stripped wires to wrecked gears. Dr Clay analyzed the problems, expedited an overhaul from Meade, and completely rehabilitated my scope. Dr. Clay's level of expertise and customer service is truly outstanding. I put the scope through it's paces tonight and everything worked perfectly--goto's that actually arrived at the targets. The optics were always excellent, and now I feel like I finally have a complete scope. Bravo Dr. Clay!!! Thanks for your site, Bobby Harrison Beaufort, SC
Subject: A little trick Sent: Friday, April 11, 2003 09:27:43 From: HSchilling@birch.com (Schilling, Henry) I am going to paste this so you will know what issue I am talking about. You may want to put this in the tips section. When I received my new 125 I could not get the lens cover off. I just put an ice bag on it for about 30 secs and off it came. Should work for the rear cap also. hjsMike here: I've used a rubber jar lid opener at times.Subject: ETX 125EC questions Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2003 07:24:33 From: Dubboy44@aol.com Just received my new 125etx and have a couple of questions if you don't mind. Figured I could get a more accurate and quicker response from you. Question #1: How do I remove the photo port dust cover? Tried unscrewing but didn't want to force it. (couldn't find anything in the manual). Question #2: The instruction manual, page 6, item 7, states that the "horizontal limit stop" prevents the scope from rotating 360 degrees to avoid internal wiring damage. When I rotate the scope manually,CCW, the scope comes to a stop but when rotating CW there is no stop. It keeps rotating. I have refrained from going to far past 360 degrees for fear that I may damage something. What do you think? Thanks again for a great site and loads of good info!! Am anxious for clear skies to train motors and check it out as per your detailed instructuions Don S. Mike here: 1. It does unscrew. Turn counterclockwise. 2. The stops are slightly less than 720 degrees apart. And: Thanks for the reply. You should write the manual!! Don S.Henry J Schilling
Yea good idea Mike. The problem I had with my new 125 was that I could start to unscrew the lens cap but it was unscrewing the front lens also. Ouch !!! The ice trick worked great. hjs
Subject: ETX 105 Sent: Friday, April 11, 2003 03:33:59 From: email@example.com (Jason Durrant) I thought you might like to see my telescope set up. Is it possible that I'm beginning to go too far?Mike here: Wow! Another loaded ETX! Thanks! Now all you need to do is piggyback another -105...
ETX 105 Telescope FujiFilm S602 digital camera Scopetronix camera bracket Scopetronix Starpointer Green Laser (Used instead of a finderscope) Meade Electronic Focuser 26mm Series 4000 plossl eyepiece Kendrick heater strap Meade Dew Shield Autostar SAC IV CCD Imager (Fitted to rear port) Regards Jason Durrant
Subject: etx finderscope covers Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 21:07:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org scopetronix sells opaque black lens covers that fit the finderscope front and back lenses as well as the actual eyepiece port. i just got mine and they fit and look nice. tom
From: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) I use pill bottle caps, myself, for the eyepiece ends... they're threaded, so they hold onto the rubber eyecup edge nicely. And i have some pill -bottles- which fit the field end. have fun --dickAnd more:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Schlatter) Re: Question about finder scope covers. I have NOT tried this myself, but -- I have heard that in the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart you can find covers for rifle scopes. The item I read said these covers come in various sizes and that they are attached to the scope with a hinged attachment that allows them to be flipped up or down to uncover or cover the scope. Might be worth checking out. ------ Regards, Joe SchlatterAnd:
From: email@example.com (Tim Berthaume) Thanks for the info...I ordered the covers from Scopetronix..... Tonight I was observing the sun, and I thought, let's turn on the Autostar, "align" it and see what I can see.Well I was very surprised to be able to see Jupiter, and 2 very distinct cloudbands. In broad daylight. I was amazed.Observing Jupiter...not just for nights anymore. It tried Saturn but to no avail.Thanks again,Tim
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for providing such a good service for us ETX users. My wife bought me your book last Christmas and it has been an invaluable guide. Thanks to your book and web site I have become quite proficient in the use of my scope and have even started to do CCD imaging using a SAC IV. I have attached an image of Jupiter which is a stack of 10 images and processed with K3CCD Tools. The shadow on the image is from Europa
Regards Jason Durrant
Subject: Finder scope covers? Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 16:01:16 From: email@example.com (Tim Berthaume) As usual the site look awesome. Is there any supplier that you know of that makes lens covers for the ETX, finder scopes? Both the ocular and objective. Any help is appreciated. TimMike here: I don't recall seeing any mentioned but you can easily make some from thin cardboard (like from the back of notepaper pads) and some black masking tape. I've done that for my solar observing.
Subject: Right Ascension Drive Not Working Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 10:21:03 From: NHarrison@lear.com (Harrison, Norman) I am finding your site extremely informational, especially with regards to properly setting the home position. However, I was a little late in discovering it........ After patiently waiting for a week to use my new ETX-90EC scope (crummy weather), I took it outside and set it to what I thought was the home position. Unfortunately, I was 180 degrees off of home in right ascension. When I went to do an Easy alignment, the telescope slewed counterclockwise and hit the stop and kept trying to rotate until I turned it off. After that, it only rotates clockwise. Counterclockwise the motor runs, but it doesn't move. The ETX spins freely when the clutch is disengaged, and doesn't when the clutch is engaged. Please let me know if there is an easy fix for this, I would hate to send it back to Meade and wait another 4 weeks.Mike here: Do you have the standard handcontroller or just the Autostar? If you have the standard one can you slew both directions? If the slewing won't work, lets try a test with either controller. Unlock the azimuth axis, start slewing in the good direction. Slowly move the lock lever until the tube starts moving and then release the slew arrow key. Unlock the axis again and repeat the test. Let me know what happens.
Subject: Cheap DS-60EC for modifying ETX-90RA to GOTO Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2003 21:37:29 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Byron Collie) Great website. Didn't know an appropriate forum to post this to but found that outpost.com has probably the cheapest supply of DS-60EC scopes for $79.90 shop2.outpost.com/product/2592211 so for anyone that wants to do the DS GO TO mod to their ETX-90RA, this is possibly the only place to buy them at a reasonable price now. I had to search far and wide to find them and have my order in. Now to order my ETX-90RA. Looking forward to doing a DS mod to my 10 inch dob as well. Cheers Byron
Subject: Polar vs. Alt/Az Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2003 14:12:47 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) Just received the replacement Autostar for my 105 and all seems to be working correctly. Thanks to you and Dick Seymour for sound advice. I have enjoyed wonderful success with the "Go To" accuracy of my ETX-70AT and the ETX-105EC, using the Alt/Az mount. Again this is due to information gleaned from your web site, thank you. My question is concerning Alt/Az vs Polar mounted scopes. Which mount do you prefer and why? I'm guessing each mount has its place depending on application. I use my scope for finding and enjoying everything from planetary nebula to double stars. I do not intend to do any astro-imaging. So I'm asking this question to see which mount you think might serve me better. Thanks again for all your help and info. Sincerely, Tim Haller...electra188Mike here: For your purposes, I'd recommend sticking with Alt/Az. All the sky is accessible (depending upon your latitude, with polar mount the base prevents the OTA from viewing low declination objects), the mount is more stable (unless you have a really sturdy mount and/or wedge), and it is simpler to set up for new users.
Thank you for the input Mike. I appreciate all of your knowledge and efforts with the web site and answering my questions. Warmest regards, Tim Haller...electra188
Subject: thank you Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2003 12:14:59 From: Rcarden@attbi.com (Robert Carden) God bless you ! I was going to sell my ETX out of sheer frustration. I could not find good documentation. Thank you so much for this web site. I will be happy to contribute financially to your continuation. Rcarden
Subject: focal reducers Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2003 06:44:14 From: Esacameron@aol.com Do you know if the 125 OTA will accept the meade 6.3 focal reducers for the purpose of CCD photography and also is the back focus enough to support a microfocuser. I intend to put it on a GEM. Thanks, love the site. SteveMike here: You would likely need a "SCT Accessory Adapter" (see the Accessory Reviews - Miscellaneous page) to attach the focal reducer. Don't know about the microfocuser.
Subject: Meade ultra wide eyepieces Sent: Monday, April 7, 2003 14:28:05 From: email@example.com (Ted Vriezen) I have a couple questions if you have time. What do you have say about the ultra wide eyepieces for the ETX125? I am considering the 6.7mm (which is a little over the 50x/in power limit) and the 8.8mm and maybe the 14mm. I looked at your ref_guides/eyepieces.html page where Clay Sherrod does not recommend 8.8, but does recommend 6.7 which confuses me. And furthermore, he recommends the 6.7 mainly with a barlow which confuses me even more. I am wondering why this is so, or perhaps this page obsolete. I found this page with a google search, although it does not show up with your search or seem to be otherwise accessable through your ETX site. I have read other reviews of the Meade ultra wides which are pretty much faverable although the 14mm is considered a bit heavy for the ETX motors. Anyway, I would appreciate your comments. Secondly, I ordered a ETX125 with UHTC from National Camera Exchange in Golden Valley MN in late January. They told me it would take two of months which they said was a conservative estimate. It hasn't arrived yet. When I called them recently they told me it might be another 5 or 6 weeks. National Camera is selling them for 150 dollars off the regular price. Might this discount indicate something out of the ordinary? I called Meade and they informed me they have no ETX125 orders to be shipped to National Camera. I have since placed another order with another dealer in MN. They tell me it should be a couple of weeks. I will take whichever comes in first and cancel the other. Do you have any idea what might be going on with National Camera? Also, Meade is now throwing in the free tripod/autostar deal along with the 99 dollar eyepiece deal. Do you know anything about what is driving this? Is it just purely competition with Celestron? Thank you very much for your time. Ted Vriezen St Louis Park MN.Mike here: I have no experience with those eyepieces; you might want to ask Dr. Clay himself for his rationale. The link is accessible via the Helpful Information --> Observational Guides/References page. I'm unfamiliar with National Camera Exchange but they may be ordering from some distributor or 3rd party instead of direct with Meade. Yes, there is a the current deal. But whether that is due to competition or newer products coming, only Meade knows. If I knew for sure I wouldn't be allowed to say!
Thanks, for your prompt reply. I just emailed Dr. Clay about the ultra wide eyepieces. I found the page in question with others I have not looked at yet at your site, useful info I will read later. I know National Camera is going through a buyer, perhaps waiting for a large order to accumulate before it is sent in. I hope I won't be in a buyers remorse situation if Meade has a new product line coming out. Thanks again. Bye for now. Ted Vriezen
Subject: UHTC Sent: Monday, April 7, 2003 06:53:23 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Francesco Rizzoli) I have a 90 and a 125 Etx ; both are fine optically and they work very wel with Autostar ( 26e). I use more the little 90 because it is so easy to handle and transport here in Venice. Do you think that will bee a good solution to buy a new 105etx with UHTC ? Is it the difference with 125 etx considerable ? Thanks e grazie, Francesco Rizzoli VeneziaMike here: I've looked through a 90/UHTC and a 90 without; the difference in those was noticeable. So, a 105 with UHTC would be "almost" like a 125 without. But certainly the wider aperture and longer focal length of the 125 will give slightly better results. I know what you mean about using the ETX-90; me too. It is just so portable for the quality it gives. So, it will come down to how you want to use.
Subject: No focus Sent: Sunday, April 6, 2003 20:27:26 From: email@example.com (Allen) Help, I have a ETX-125 with the Meade electric focuser, and I was trying to hook up my webcam at prim focus spent an hour running the focus in and out but could not get it to focus. So I put the eyepiece back in and now no madder how long I go in and out of focus is will not focus. Is there a way to tell witch way to go in or out. if I look at the light on the house about two blocks away I can see a dark spot in the middle I guess the secondary mirror. thank for any help AllenMike here: When using prime focus your camera must not have a lens attached; the telescope becomes the camera lens. Did you remove the webcam lens? That's one issue. However, you may have a more serious issue if you can not focus an eyepiece with your eye. It sounds like the focus shaft may have become disconnected. Let me know if you think that might be the case. First thing you should do is remove the electric focuser (with the telescope tube pointed upwards about 45 degrees) and put the original focuser knob back on and see if you can focus that way. Let me know.
Well I took off the focuser and the brass gear was all the way in and at first it just spun and felt a little loose I had to pull a little as I turned it counterclockwise and it then started to move out away from the back of the etx. I got it to focus on the light pole out side the house. So did I focus to fare in and is it normal for it just to spin so loose when it is in like that. Thank you for all the help I can sleep now. Allen
Subject: dumb question Sent: Sunday, April 6, 2003 8:40:06 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom Lakovic) just thinking about maybe getting an etx and so who better to ask than you? :) but i need to know, does the 125 come in both ra and ec flavors? the reason i ask is i just happen to have a autostar #497 and was wondering if it would provide goto to either or both ra and ec models or MUST it be an EC model in order to work with the goto 497? Thanks, Tom.Mike here: There is only one astronomical telescope model of the ETX-125 and that is the EC model. It will use the Autostar #497 just fine. In fact, there is a current deal running that includes a tripod and Autostar. See Meade's website for info.
Subject: True North? Sent: Sunday, April 6, 2003 8:36:03 From: email@example.com (Mary Hughes) So I am to understand I cant set up my ETX 60 with a magnetic compass? How do I find true north? Please HelpMike here: If you can see Polaris, the North Star, use that to indicate True North. Polaris is only about a degree from the North Celestial Pole. You should also see the article "Precise Portable Polar Alignment (Kochab's Clock)" on the Observational Guides/References page. You can use a compass if you correct for the magnetic variation at your location (see the Astronomy Links page for several sites).
Subject: Supercharge report 1 year on. Eyepiece question Sent: Sunday, April 6, 2003 8:11:48 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas Brown) To: email@example.com Well, its been almost a year since I got my supercharged 125 back from you and the results continue to be great. You had recommended that I get a new Autostar due to wear. Finally did it and most of the backlash problems which I have had have gone away. The left arrow of my old unit was obviously malfuntioning. The Supercharge to the optical system has had spectacular results. Jupiter's GRS and other objects which had been very difficult to see before the Supercharge are readilly seen now if conditions are good. Thanks for a great service. One question, however, a while ago I'd asked for a recommendation for eyepieces and you had recommended the Meade 8.8 UWA. Since then I've read your comments that recent Meade eyepieces are of less good quality than they had been. Does this apply to the UWA eyepieces? Have you, or Mike learned anything about this decrease in quality. I certainly don't want to spend this kind of money on an eyepiece just to receive something inferior. Thanks for your help Tom Brownand:
Subject: Re: Supercharge report 1 year on. Eyepiece question Sent: Sunday, April 6, 2003 16:34:01 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Clay Sherrod) Hello Tom and thanks for the great report; actually the UWA eyepieces are still exceptional and I highly recommend them; just fantastic performance. Actually the Meade Plossl series is not that bad, it is just that the consistency varies tremendously right now due to the eyepiece special that they are running....some of them are excellent. But on the UWA, they are consistently excellent! Enjoy the scope! Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod email@example.com Arkansas Sky Observatory MPC/cbat Obs. H43 / Conway MPC/cbat Obs. H41 / Petit Jean Mountain http://www.arksky.org/
Subject: ETX90EC - Free Tripod and Autostar + Questions Sent: Sunday, April 6, 2003 8:04:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Greetings: I'm sure you're aware of this promotion, but I wanted to pass this along just in case. I have realized a dream I've had for years. I found a deal I couldn't pass up! I just purchased a new ETX90EC, complete with a #497-Autostar and a #884-Deluxe Field Tripod w/carrying case for US$495.00. I have not had the time to even align it yet but, based on the stuff I read here, I'm pretty excited to get going! This is all a result of a terrific deal that Meade has going right now through May 31, 2003. Here's the link: http://www.meade.com/promo.d/etx_promo.html And I have two questions please: 1. It appears that the #884 Deluxe Field Tripod has replaced the #883 Deluxe Field Tripod mentioned so often in your readers' correspondence. They seem quite different so I'd be interested to read what folks have to say about the pros and cons of the two. 2. Are there 3rd party books / manuals for the ETX90EC and Autostar. The Meade manuals that come with the package seem a bit sparse. Of course, fortunately, we always have your site to reference. Thanks for an extremely informative and all-around terrific site! Regards, Bob Macdonald, Nashville, TN email@example.comMike here: Yes, the deal has been going on and has been previously announced but always good to have reminders. As to books, there is "Using the Meade ETX" (which you can learn about on my ETX Site). And of course, there is a TON of information on the ETX and Autostar on my ETX Site.
Subject: Thank You Sent: Saturday, April 5, 2003 13:02:47 From: Terry Garbutt (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello: I live in a rural area (so far light unpolluted) near Collingwood, Ontario (close to the RAS observatory site). I'm returning to astronomy in my retirement, after a long absence. I have a classic Celestron C8 and am currently putting it on a souped up cg5 mount with Quickcam guiding and Mac G4/Starry Night Goto control. I have a Nikon 5000 and recently bought the Digi adapters. I'm ready to rock and roll. And for inspiration, I have your remarkable site. Thanks for your efforts in sharing the helpful information and experience and providing a forum for everyone to show their results. I hope to contribute in the future. Terry
Subject: cleaning the new UHTC version ETX125 Sent: Saturday, April 5, 2003 10:00:33 From: email@example.com (johnzounds) I have a UHTC version ETX 125. One night I turned my back for a second and my son stuck his maccaroni and cheese covered hand on the corrector plate! I had no choice, I had to clean it. I carefully mixed the formula listed on the AO site and cleaned the plate. The plate looks brand new. There are no streaks at all. The coating appears undamadged. Thank you for posting that link. It saved my scope! John
Subject: Current Meade turnaround time Sent: Friday, April 4, 2003 16:01:27 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) Hello! To all interested parties, my (backordered) ETX 90 just arrived; it seems the current turnaround time for Meade is about 6 weeks; I ordered in late January, and got my scope in late March. Now, just waiting for clear skies in New Jersey! Again, thanks for the great site! -Dave Mermelstein
Subject: Eyepieces? Sent: Friday, April 4, 2003 14:54:54 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Kew-Moss) i am waiting for my ETX90 EC to arrive on monday , as it only comes with 1 26mm eyepiece could you please advise me on which other eyepieces i should purchase .. i would like to observe planets and learn what else is out there in space.. thanks mike scott kew-moss (leicester U.K) p.s do eyepieces get higher in magnification as they get smaller in "mm"??Mike here: If this is a new ETX, get the Meade $99 eyepiece deal. See their website for more info. See the FAQ page for how to determine magnification and the max magnification.
Subject: ETX and moisture question Sent: Friday, April 4, 2003 13:06:45 From: email@example.com (Malene & Peter) I just have at quick question about my ETX-90EC. Can I leave the metal-frontcap that protects the front-lens on when I put the scope out to cool down before observations? I always try to let the scope cool down about an hour before observation, and I would like to keep the protection on (to keep the lens clean). My concern is about moisture on the front lens. Is there any chance that moisture will form under the protection-cap? I always leave the cap off when I bring the scope in, until the moisture is completely gone. By the way, I'm currently reading your book about the ETX, great reading. Peter Madsen Denmark (Scandinavia, Europe)Mike here: Should not be a problem if the cool-down (or warm up) time is sufficient. It also keeps the birds from using the correcting lens as a target!
Subject: My NEW web page Sent: Friday, April 4, 2003 7:54:54 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (jim abbey) I have a 2nd web page.So here is the link! www.geocities.com/etxjim/myetx.html Its called "My ETX" It is a basic page and gives plenty of links, including yours, by clicking on a photo of the moon. I am thinking very seriously of forming my astronomical club ,If you could give me any advise ,I would be greatful.I plan on adding more feature to this page, mostly ETX related, with other things thrown in for fun. Thank you, JimMike here: Sky and Telescope has (or used to, anyway) information on forming clubs. Check their website.
Subject: UHTC identification Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2003 6:39:16 From: email@example.com (Abran Salazar) Great website. Useful info every I look! I had question about UHTC. I recently placed an order for a Meade ETX125EC with UHTC. I have now received it. Inspection of the scope reveals no labeling identifying it as having UHTC (only "Multi-Coated Optics" on the rim holding the correcting lens in place). The same is true of the box in which the scope is packed (the box is labeled "Ultra-High Resolution Optical System" - is that standard labeling regardless of UHTC?). I was wondering if anyone knows whether, short of technical analysis, it is possible to identify UHTC on an ETX scope. Not questioning Meade so much as reassuring myself, and anyone else should the time come when might I want to sell the scope. Thanks for any and all info. AbranMike here: My LXD55 8"SC had a label on the bottom of the OTA, near the rear end. If you have the brown shipping box, it should be on a label on there at least.
Thanks so much for the reply. After reading your note, I checked the underside of the OTA near the rear end, and did indeed find a sticker with the letters UHTC. Thanks again, and yes, it is the Best Meade ETX Telescope Web Site! Abran
Subject: Diffraction rings and inward out of focus and outward out of focus. Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2003 6:25:58 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Docherty) Hope you are well, I am spending a lot of time these days trying to absorb the vast amount of information on your site to get more out of my ETX 105. I do however have a question for you, its regarding diffraction rings around the airy disc of stars, its a simple question, should you always see diffraction rings when the star is focused or are they only visible when the star is slightly out of focus, The solid white disc of the star seems to be okay, but I never seem to be adble to see the difraction rings, could this be dependent on seeing conditions. Also when I de-focus on a star the unfocused image is not immediately a fuzzy ring ring with a dark centre, it is alomst a three point light source on a circumference line which then becomes the fuzzy circle, does that sound right or does it sound like a vague, confusing description ? Sorry if this is the wrong kind of question to be asking and if its too vague but any coments would be appreciated, maybe I just need glasses !!! Keep up the good work. Regards IanMike here: The diffraction rings of the Airy disk ARE difficult to see. Good optics, good seeing, good eyes, bright star, are all usually required. As to your other question, do you mean you see three dots of light INSIDE and near the center of the first diffraction?
Thanks for replying Mike, to clarify a bit on the 'three dots' they appear from the centre out as I de-focus on the star, the main disc of the star becomes the three bright dots and they in turn become the out of focus rings. I know this is all a bit vague and I appreciate you taking the time to reply. It doesnt affect the main in focus images and overall I am more than satisfied with the ETX. Currently attempting construction of pier for it and with me coming from an architectural background if I dont get it right I will never live it down ! Keep up the good work on the site Best Regards IanMike here: Since the dots become the rings I think (if I'm understanding the description correctly) you should be OK. If the rings are concentric and circular, good.
Subject: Idaho towns turn down lights to see night sky Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2003 5:49:37 From: email@example.com (Greg Askins) http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&q=idaho+ketchum+light&btnG=Search+News By the way, THANKS for the great site! I'm planning on buying a 125 this week (already have a Costco 60 for the kids). With all of the specials Meade is offering right now, it seems too good to pass up (the free tripod, Autostar, and $99 eyepiece bundle). Do you think Meade is planning on introducing something new and is running these specials to clear the channel? (I know you are also a Mac fan -- like me -- and often Apple runs some specials just before introducing an entirely new product). Thanks again! Greg Chandler, AZMike here: The eyepiece deal has been running for several months. As to other deals, hard to say. By the way, got an email this morning that my PowerBook 17" has shipped! Been on order since 7 January.
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