Last updated: 30 April 2004
Mike here: Email sent to me from 7am Pacific Daylight Time to 4:30pm PDT on Monday, 12 April 2004, was accidently purged prior to reading them. If you sent me a message during this time period, please resend it. My apologies for the inconvenience.
Subject: Feedback for ETX-125 Supercharge Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 13:43:15 From: "Frank Alvarado" (Frank-Alvarado@comcast.net) First off, thanks for the great site with all the helpful information. I would also like to let everyone out there know that if they have not sent their scope to Dr. P. Clay Sherrod (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get it supercharged, they should do so at the earliest opportunity. I was never really satisfied with the way it worked, but after Clay's overhaul, this little scope works wonders! I highly recommend Clay's service to anyone who really wants their scope to perform as advertised. Thanks again, Frank
Subject: Portable power supply for ETX-105? Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 11:54:38 From: "Ruben Ruiz" (email@example.com) I will be using my ETX-105 for the transit of venus. I will be traveling to another city, so I will not have a power supply (such as home or car) for the ETX. Is there any kind of batteries or power supply that I can buy to see all the transit (aprox. 6 hours) and that can be easily carried with the luggage to another town? I guess that the normal batteries will not last that long. Thanks, Ruben.Mike here: You could take a bunch of batteries or you could get an external power supply. See the article "Power Supplies" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. Actually, good normal (non-rechargeable) batteries should last that long.
Subject: ETX's on SkyShed Piers! Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 11:35:51 From: Wayne Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org) I wanted to let you be the first to know that our SkyShed Piers now come with holes in our adapter plate that accommodate an ETX as a standard item. This means in addition to already supporting a wide range of scopes and mounts in the standard configuration our piers also support ETX scopes without any additional adapters. Now I can take my 10" LX200 GPS off my pier and replace it with the ETX in seconds. My wife likes it so much that she is making me build a new 10X14' SkyShed with 2 piers so that we can use our scopes together on 2 piers (isn't that sweet?). With the ability to interchange the scopes quickly and with owning 3 Meade SCT's (long story), it will make for interesting scope combinations in the ob and allow visiting astronomers to mount their scope without need of adapter in most cases Currently the configuration works in Alt-AZ mode only, but we're working on an adapter plate for equatorial mode. Even if you don't have an observatory, a permanent pier in the backyard can sure increase scope time. We're now shipping piers all over the world, mostly the US and Canada due to the weight and shipping cost, but shipping to the US is pretty low priced considering. More info coming in a big SkyShed newsletter next week. Hope you have a great summer Mike. Clear Skies! Wayne
Subject: Could you give me tips on how to use the ETX 90EC properly? Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 22:41:26 From: "Thanayut Xamountry" (QR25DET@MSN.COM) I ve had my etx for over 4 years now and its just collecting dust. My question is how do I align the etx using a compass because I have an autostar? Does the telescope have to be pointing exactly north? Ive tried aligning it and then using the autostar but ive never seen a single deepsky object. I also live in Michigan where light pollution is heavy but stars are visible.Some planets as well but theyare easy to find since there bright in the sky.Is the light pollution preventing me from seeing any deepsky objects? I even called customer service from Orion telescopes and was told it was possible to see deepsky objects even in light polluted areas. Is that true because ive had no luck? My other question concerns a solar filter. Ive been told by a skeptical family member that its impossibe to look at the sun even with a filter it would still burn your eyes out.Is that true? Ive been thinking about buying it but Im not sure. Is it possible to use the filter and see the suns flames moving because most of the pictures I have seen seem as if the sun was just a big orange inactive circle. Well I know I asked more than just tips. Any help you can provide me with would be most appreciated. Thank you for taking time to read thisMike here: See the alignment tips on the Autostar Info page; that should get you going. Keep in mind that a magnetic compass indicates Magnetic North, not True North. The Home position uses True North. If you can see the North Star "Polaris" you can use that to indicate where True North is. Yes, light pollution will interfere with seeing the faint DSOs. If really bad, even the brighter ones like M42 in Orion may be difficult. See the Accessory Reviews - Filters page for info on solar filters. There are two types: a regular solar filter which lets you see sunspots safely and the Hydrogen-Alpha solar filters which let you see prominences and lots of other details on the Sun.
Subject: Star party sharing Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 21:10:55 From: email@example.com Just wanted to share the experience of setting up my ETX 125 at a Star Party Last Friday. Good seeing, and lots of kids and parents introduced to astronomy. We set our scopes up at an athletic field west of Phoenix. Had about 20 eye pieces open trained on everything from the moon, planets and clusters. Had scopes ranging from a huge 16 inch dob, down to newbies with a 3" reflector. My ETX was trained on Jupiter most of the night with a 26 mm eyepiece and you can't believe how many people and kids were just in awe by looking at it. I was amazed how many people are interested in astronomy, and it was just fun to answer all their questions. I would highly encourage anyone with this opportunity to share to take advantage of it. Really lots of fun. thanks for your site, paul
Subject: ETX105, ToUcam & Transit of Venus Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 18:54:12 From: "Ruben Ruiz" (firstname.lastname@example.org) I will be traveling to Europe for the transit of Venus with my ETX 105. I would like to use my Phillips Webcam ToUcam in order to take pictures of the transit. The problem is that when I place the ToUcam in the 1.25" of eyepiece of the ETX (with the Adaptar I bought also), it behaves like a 4mm eyepiece. Therefore, the sun is too big to fit in the picture! I have seen in some web pages about field doublers to compensate this problem, but they are attached at the back of the telescope. During the transit the sun will be very high making it impossible to use any attachment at the back of the telescope. Does anyone have any idea on how to use the webcam through the standard ETX eyepiece (at the top) avoiding the problem of having the sun so big in the picture? Many thanks, Ruben.Mike here: If you Polar Mount the ETX you likely won't have the clearance problem. Just a thought.
Subject: Eyepieces for my ETX-125 Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 09:21:53 From: "Johan Huijben" (email@example.com) first off, thanks a ton for making your great site, this is truly a big help with many of the questions I have, since I'm only a beginner! Hence my question: If I want a really good eyepiece for planetary and lunar viewing on my ETX-125, is it wise then to buy a wide-angle eyepiece (like a Nagler or a Vixen LVW) at around 7mm (271x magnification, still crisp I believe?) or is there no advantage of the wider view over let's say a 'normal' Meade Super Plssl (with 'only' 52 degrees viewing angle)? In other words: Is there any positive effect of a large viewing angle for planetary/lunar viewing? Second: Does a good Barlow like the Meade 2x apo Barlow affect the quality of a good eyepiece like a Nagler? And at which angles/focal lengths will vignetting occur? I know it's a lot of questions, but you'll help me greatly if you would help me out.... Thanks in advance. Best regards, Johan Huijben, Oosterhout, The Netherlands. PS: Keep up the good work!Mike here: Having a wide-angle is normally of not much use on the planets although it can be nice when viewing the Moon, especially along the terminator. It is more suited to viewing star fields and large open clusters. With any Barlow Lens there is some image degradation vs a quality eyepiece of the same effective focal length. But the Meade #126 is still a good choice. There are some eyepiece tips on the Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page.
Okay, thanks, this will save me an awful lot of money on a wide-angle short focal length eyepiece (astronomical products are almost twice as expensive here in The Netherlands as it is, compared to the USA). So then I might consider a good Vixen LV 7mm then (271x on an ETX-125)? It sounds to me like that is the limit at which the ETX-125 holds perfectly, am I right? Thanks for your help! Best regards, Johan Huijben. PS: Thanks for your VERY fast response, incredible!Mike here: See the FAQ page for info on the maximum theoretical magnification.
Subject: ETX90EC Purchase Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2004 17:19:29 From: "Lyle Fischer" (firstname.lastname@example.org) I just purchased a Meade ETX90EC on astromart from a great guy - it is pratically new and works great - albeit one problem. It seems after slewing (which IS loud, but I owned and LX90 and LXD55 so I'm used to it), when the unit starts to track normally, it sounds almost like a small coffe pot brewing! It rattles, slips, pops and other unwordly noises. It tracks just fine though! Meade tech support told me this was S.O.P for this model - is that true? Any way to reduce the noise? Thanks for your assistance! Lyle FischerMike here: Slewing can loud although you could try the "quiet slew" setting in the Autostar if you have 3.1Ee. But during tracking the motors should be fairly quiet. If there is no movement in the image in the eyepiece then the motors/gears are tracking smoothly. You could try Polar Mounting and see if the noise (RA drive only then) helps.
Thanks Mike - wonedr why Meade said it was normal? Hmmm.Mike here: Did you actually let them hear it?
No - I didn;t - but I described it like I described it to you - like a coffe maker popping and whirring. Guess what else? After it does an easy align it won;t slew to anyting else! It slewed to Sirius and had it dead on - then to Arcturus - but when I asked it to go to Jupiter it just sat and whirred a little. Then, I sent it to Saturn - it did the same thing! Now I'm an old hat at Autostar and I did a reset - didn;t help. Weird.Mike here: Well, since slewing to alignment stars is OK obviously motors/etc are OK. I suggest trying to download a new version of the Autostar.
Subject: ETX SHIPPED TO MEADE Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 14:32:44 From: "Dan Hester" (email@example.com) After a couple of years of pure pleasure from my ETX 125, I finally did it in this week. I accidentally reversed polarity on my 12 volt power supply and fried my trusty unit. My fault. Dumb mistake. I called meade and the unit was shipped for a month or so for repairs. No doubt I will miss my old friend, but if Meade can repair it, great. I still think its the best telescope for the money, unless an owner mistake like mine does it in. Good seeing...and watch that polarity! DanMike here: Ouch. Meade will be able to repair; probably replacing the circuit board.
Subject: Re: Broken ETX arm Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 12:18:33 From: kate / Tom (firstname.lastname@example.org) Faxed my problem to Mead yesterday (Sunday), received a call from Customer Service today at noon. $15 plus tax for adapter arm and sleeve which come together as a kit. No muss, no fuss...if it gets here promptly. I'll let you know; their Customer Service has a bad rep, but when they do something right they should credit when credit's due, n'est pas? Tom
Replacement tube adapter arrived today...pretty darn good service! Couldn't expect any better.
Subject: a question about etx telescopes Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2004 21:32:16 From: Stan Drery (email@example.com) Hello, thanks for your time.(my name is john and i live in greece). Do you think it is worth the money, if i choose the etx-90 instead of the etx-70? There is a $300 money differencebut maybe with the etx-70 i will have to buy a lot of accessories to have a betterimage.Bye.Mike here: The two models are drastically different optically. Do you want a short focal length refractor or a longer focal telescope? The choice really depends upon your expectations and planned usage.
I really want to have a satisfactory view of the planets and maybe use itafter for taking astrophotos which expands verymuch the usage of the telescope.( i think). Thanks for reply.Bye.Mike here: I think you would be happier with the ETX-90.
Subject: a new website was opened. from Yoshi-K (Japan) Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2004 06:08:22 From: "Yoshi-K" (firstname.lastname@example.org) A few is English. but... Astronomical information of Japan is carried. "JAPAN ASTRONOMY" http://astronomy.jp/ Best Regards, --------------------------------- Yoshikatsu Kida http://starimpact.com/ http://etx.galaxies.jp/
Subject: Broken ETX arm Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2004 16:47:25 From: kate / Tom (email@example.com) Somehow the end of the pivot for my ETX has broken so the tube cannot be controlled in elevation. How do I get a replacement part?Mike here: Ouch. You'll have to contact Meade. Let me know what they charge. Alternatively, you can get one of the bases from Shutan Camera and Video (see the Dealer Specials page) or from Telescope Warehouse (see the Astronomy Link page).
Subject: RE: Focuser knob damage to ETX 90 Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2004 10:24:25 From: "Keith Egger" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for your help, Clay. I disconnected the OTA assembly as per your instructions and was able to reattach the focus rod and all is working fine now. An added bonus is that I was able to adjust the focus such that I can now reach focus with the Shutan diagonal and my Antares EPs -- which precipitated the original problem. Thanks again for your help! KeithAnd:
What a great and positive report....thanks for letting us hear the happy ending.... Dr. Clay -------------------- Arkansas Sky Observatory Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mt.) http://www.arksky.org/
Subject: ETX-125 & Lap Top & Camera Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 15:33:14 From: jack (email@example.com) I am looking to buy a laptop to use with my ETX-125 and a camera. Any recommedations? I have been told to get a laptop with a serial port and at least 512 mb and a big hard drive. Do you think OPT ad for the Canon EOS is a good match for the ETX-125 , perhaps it is too bulky for the ETX and a Nikon would be better. Does OPT sell an adapter to mate the Canon EOS to the eyepiece? Jack DuganMike here: I don't recommend Windows computers to my friends... I just don't know enough about them (being a Mac guy). But you do need a RS-232 serial port OR a USB-serial converter. As to cameras, check out the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page for info on lots of cameras. And OPT should be able to help you make the decision and supply whatever adapters are needed.
Subject: ETX125 motor drives Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 08:03:02 From: Dave Turner (Dave.Turner@janes.co.uk) I think I'm jinxed. On the first cloudless night since I bought my ETX125 the AutoStar 'died'. This is now working correctly thanks to your advice. The second cloudless night my telescope moved happily in RA but would only move clockwise in declination viewed from the left of the scope. (i.e. eye-piece to the right) This occurs whether the EC controller or the AutoStar is used. I am technically competent but am reluctant to void the warranty on the scope since I imported it (legally) from Alexandria Virginia to the UK during a visit in January this year. If its internal cables have gone that's one thing but if 'chips' have failed that's another. Any ideas how I may sort this one out? Regards Dave Turner London UKMike here: I presume you mean that the telescope will not raise in altitude. First off, when you lock it in place does it stay put at whatever angle you set it at. When slewing at higher speeds does it move up and/or down? Could you be not tightening the altitude (declination) axis lock enough? Don't over-tighten it though.
I wish it were that simple. The axis lock is tight enough. It's the motor control itself. When I press up the telescope raises in altitude as one would expect. However when I press down the telescope also rises in altitude. If I use the AutoStar the same thing occurs but with the added problem that the telescope attempts to move past the end stop requiring a rapid switch off before any damage can be caused.Mike here: OK, now I understand what you are experiencing. With the Autostar, try a RESET, reselect the telescope model and mounting mode, do a CALIBRATE, and then do a TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes). Let me know if the same problem occurs while trying to do the training on the altitude axis.
Thanks I'll try that but this is happening with the standard EC controller too! Could the AutoStar have changed a configuration within the scope itself?Mike here: No, the Autostar won't change anything in the base but I just want to see if it helps get the Autostar working.
Subject: ETX125 Random Slewing Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 09:39:30 From: "Doucette, Mark (SudburyMinesMill)" (MDoucette@Sudbury.Falconbridge.com) Let me start by saying that you have built an excellent site. It sounds like a suck-up but I really appreciate all the information available to us. I've tried to sift through a ton of info on the random slewing problem. In your experience does it seem more likely with external power sources? I never had the problem until I started using a 12V portable power supply. You know, the ones that you can boost a car with. It has a cigarette lighter in it so I just plugged in the Meade cable. It sometimes takes 5 or 6 boots to get it to behave. I will try it consistently with AA batteries only but the thing eats them like water (you already know that for sure). Your thoughts are welcome. Thanks again for the great site. Mark Doucette Onaping, OntarioMike here: Power irregularities or interruptions, no matter the source, can cause random slews. Depending on the cause, they can occur with batteries or external power sources. BUT if they are frequent happenings regardless of the power source, then you can probably rule out the power source as the culprit.
And an update:
I appreciate your response. I tested it extensively last night on internal batteries only and it worked fine. I think the user that posted the comments about the internal switch between external power and the batteries may be on to something. Thanks again for a great site. The Mighty ETX site is the true spirit of the Internet. It is not porn. It is not spam. It even is not commerce. It is the world community collaborating. That's what the Mighty ETX site does. Thank you.Mike here: Thanks. Could the cutout switch or the external power supply then.
Subject: Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 12:48:06 From: "Jager" (firstname.lastname@example.org) I'm looking to get an ETX-90EC, I understand from the people at the Discovery store that the EC model comes standard with the UHTC lens, is this true. Harlen O'BrienMike here: First off, PLEASE read the Email Etiquette on my ETX Site; your message was originally DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing Subject entry.
And an update:
I finally got a hold of Meade and The EXT-90EC does not come standard with UHTC. Sorry for the time wasted. HarleyMike here: Thanks. Didn't think it did.
Subject: Re: New ETX 125 Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 11:10:53 From: "P. Clay Sherrod" (email@example.com) Hello Henry and congrats on the new scope...you will very much like the Meade; I am very surprised about the computer ease comment; the Meade is SO much more user friendly and totally updateable....the Nexstar is a very difficult and awkward controller to use. You will enjoy doing some astrophotography with the Meade and check out Mike Weasner's Mighty ETX site for regular updates and photography tips and techniques. The link is http://www.weasner.com/etx/menu.html and you will find a wealth of helpful information. Good luck and enjoy! Clay -------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod Arkansas Sky Observatory Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mt.) http://www.arksky.org/ ----- Original Message ----- From: Henry Subject: New ETX 125 Dear Dr. Sherrod, I just purchased an ETX 125 and think it will be fine for me. I want to do some astrophotography with a Canon D60 digital camera with plantets and DSO's. What do you think? An astonomer friend of mine from JPL suggested the Celestron Nexstar 5i because of computer ease of use and a platform that supposedly vibrates less. Also he didn't like the fork on the Meade scope because he thought it would limit the field of view. Thanks, Henry
Subject: Filter confusion Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 09:15:54 From: Cynthia Berens (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am new to the Astronomy field and have some questions about color filters. What color filter producers are the best to buy from? Are color filters colored glass or are they coated glass? Is there a type of colored filter that is better to purchase over others, not necessarily the color itself? Any answers would be very welcome. Sincerely, James Berens.Mike here: High quality filters are best. Buying filters from reputable telescope dealers is OK. They can come in both types. You might want to look through the Accessory Reviews - Filters page.
Subject: Best Eyepieces for Planet Viewing Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 12:36:45 From: "Mike" (email@example.com) Was wondering what the consensus is for he bets eyepieces to use for planet viewing? Currently have the stock 26mm, the 2X Barlow, and the 8-24mm zoom lens. Would really like Saturn's rings to stand out... Many thanks! MikeMike here: Well, it depends on the telescope aperture and focal length but in general you want 100X minimum. Details in cloud bands and more can be seen with upwards to 400X and higher. Of course, your telescope has to support that much magnification.
I have an ETX-125 EC. I heard the wide angle, or ultra wide angle eyepieces were good for planet viewing. Which one's are better.Mike here: You can read some reviews of wide angle eyepieces on the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page. But generally, WA eyepieces are best when you want WIDE FIELD views, like of star fields.
Many thanks, Mike. I'll do that...
Subject: Re: ETX-105AT Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 03:20:28 From: "Ivar Marthinusen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks, I think this answered my question. But I tried removing the OTA, but when I remove the four screws and bend the arms outwards slightly, I am only able to slide it out a few millimeters before it stops, and won't go any farther. Do you know what the problem could be? Ivar MarthinusenMike here: Did the little clips on the side of the OTA release?
Subject: Use of filters? Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 21:17:49 From: "JIM ARMOUR" (email@example.com) I used my scope for the first time last night and I manually set it on Venus. Initially I couldn't get anything to focus but after about 15 minutes I could see Venus (I think this was due to not allowing the scope to adjust to ambient temp)however it was so bright You coulds see little prisms around it I swapped to my 9mm lense and that just made it bigger but the focus was not very clear. My question is "will filters improve my Focus acuity?". Thankyou for considering my question. Jim, Spokane WAMike here: Depending upon how high in the sky Venus was when you were observing you could see some atmospheric dispersion, resulting in the colors you saw. Using a filter can help reduce this effect but viewing when higher in the sky is better.
Thanks for your help and thanks for your web page, it is very interesting and helpful.
Subject: ETX-125 with horizontal motor problem Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 13:18:50 From: "BENNY ---.." (firstname.lastname@example.org) After of much reading on your web page I decide to go for an ETX-125, It finally arrive today (I live in Mexico) , but things started bad for my right out of the box. First when trying to engage the horizontal lock, the leveler knob break, seems that I apply to much pressure on it , damn ! I was sure that knob was metal, butI was wrong. But the real problem, and the reason of my email , isthatafter the telescope was slewing fine in both axes it came to a hard stop on the horizontal ... and after that , no more movement in that axe, I can hear the motor and a clicking sound , but no movement . I already try to ease the horizontal clutch (with a key since I have no more knob). Have I damage my brand new scope ? please tell me what can I do since I'm in Mexico and a scope return to Meadewill be quite expensive from here. Thanks for a great site BenMike here: Well, first off I think you were probably trying to overtighten the azimuth lock and that is why it broke. As to the hard stop, did you put the telescope in the proper HOME position before using the Autostar (I'm assuming you are using the Autostar). This requires a rotation to the first hard stop and then back to North (a rotation of about 120 degrees). If you didn't do this, do a RESET, set the telescope model and mounting mode in the Autostar, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN DRIVES again.
Subject: Noisy RA Drive Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 09:30:05 From: "Stuart Kendall & Melanie Duggan" (email@example.com) Thanks for the information provided on your website. I have a new Meade ETX 125 w/ autostar. At the higher speeds my dec drive is very quiet and smooth but my RA drive is extremely noisy and not so smooth either. It also appears worse when slewing to the left. The drives have been calibrated and trained. Could it possibly need oil? If not, what else could cause this problem? Many thanks, S. KendallMike here: You can possibly redistribute the lubrication (which should probably be done with all new telescopes as they may have been on the shelf for months). To do this, unlock both axes and move the OTA from hard stop to hard stop, several times back and forth. Do for both axes. Also, be certain to not overtighten the lock when locking the axis.
Subject: ETX-105AT Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 03:28:50 From: "Ivar Marthinusen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hi, and thanks for a great webpage. I have a few questions about my telescope though. I know I found this on your page somewhere, but I can't find it anymore. How do I take my telescope out of the drive motor, so I can use it as a spotting scope? and I searched the entire Meade webpage for a customer support e-mail, is there any? Living in Bangkok, I really do not want to call Meade every time I am wondering about something. -Ivar MarthinusenMike here: Meade doesn't provide email support. As to removing the OTA, see the bottom of my ETX-90EC article (http://www.weasner.com/etx/90ec_comments.html). I'm not certain the steps are exactly the same but they should be similar.
Subject: Low Latitude Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 01:42:08 From: "Wahifol Wazri A.Wahab" (email@example.com) I live in Malaysia.My question is, can the ETX series be used in the country with low latitude such as Malaysia? I'm thinking of buying the ETX105-EC. Thanks. Regards, Wahifol WazriMike here: The ETX can be used at any latitude. In Alt/Az mode the entire sky will be accessible. In Polar (equatorial) mode, some objects will be inaccessible due to the OTA reaching the base. With the Autostar, which is now standard with the ETX "AT" models, you can observe and track the entire sky using Alt/Az.
Subject: ETX 90 greasy declination wheel Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 09:42:23 From: TAnder9477@aol.com I was trying to center Jupiter with the slewing buttonswhen my brand ETX 90 stopped slewing up and down. It makes a rumbling noise but it doesnt move upor down. (It goes side to side fine). I tightened the clutch more but it does help.I removed the right OTA support and the clutch is NOT broken. I think I might need to clean the declination wheel. HOW DO I REMOVE THE FRICTION SURFACE that holds the declination wheel in place? Does it simply pull off?, screw off? etc. Also, I dont think I properly trained the motors, could this be part of the problem. Thank you, Todd AndersenMike here: First off, don't do major surgery unless really needed. Do a CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES (don't forget to train both axes). See if that cures the problem. Also, you can possibly redistribute the lubrication (which should probably be done with all new telescopes as they may have been on the shelf for months). To do this, unlock both axes and move the OTA from hard stop to hard stop, several times back and forth. Do for both axes. Let me know.
THANK YOU! I'll try your suggestions and let you know.And more:
I tried both train drives, and calibration. Again the horizontal is fine, but the declination (up and down) the motor or gears in the right arm just click, andthe OTA doesnt move. It the motor going too slow to make the worm gear move the declination wheel?Mike here: Does this happen during training? What happens if you increase the slewing speed?
Yes, during training. How doI increase the slewing speed?Mike here: Press the number keys; 1 for slowest, 9 for fastest.
I just found that in the manual, sorry. I tried 2, 4 8 and 9 and it still just clicks. Almost sounds like the worm wheelis sputtering against the worm?Mike here: If the telescope is brand new you may not want to mess with its guts (which would cancel the warranty). But if you do want to try, see the Performance Enhancement article "Part 1 - Mechanical Considerations and Adjustments" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Ive seen that and it looks daunting. The scope is brand new, Ive had it since February but last night was the first time I turned it on and hooked up the autostar. (its been too cold out). ShouldI just contact Meade on Mondayand see what they suggest? Could this be a warranty issue? Also, could I have somehow changed the ALT ratio by accident? I had the scope pointed at Venus and then used the slewing buttons to move it over to Jupiter. When I was trying to slew up to jupiter, thats when the buzzing, clicking, not quite grinding sound occured.Mike here: Could be a warranty issue; so contacting Meade could be the right thing to do. As to the ratio, not likely that you changed it from what it should be. Doing a RESET, CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES (in that order) sets things correctly. So you might try that.
Thank you for all your help. Ive already tried the calibration, reset,sequence and it still just seems to sputter. Ill contact Meade on Monday and see what theysuggest.
Subject: Damaged ETX-125 Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 08:26:27 From: "Robert Thompson" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Had an accident with my Supercharged ETX-125. Mounted to tripod, it was knocked-over. It hit a table, then the floor. Obvious damage was sheared finder scope mounting screws and OTA dislodged slightly from left mount. Left fork inner cover loose at the bottom. Removed OTA from forks & removed left fork inner cover. Two plastic posts for two lower rear screws were sheared. No other visible damage. Replaced sheared viewing scope screws. Re-installed left inner cover & used duct tape to hold bottom rear tight (hey, it works on airplanes.) Remounted OTA. Using normal controller, it operates normally. Focuses sharply, no visible damage to mirror, glass, etc. Optically, think I was lucky. Using Autostar I have a problem. When initializing, the horizontal axis appear to be working normally, but the vertical axis is a problem. The Autostar doesnt seem to know that its reached the correct declination and will keep moving the OTA up until I shut it off. Any troubleshooting suggestions? Any possibility its an unrelated software problem? Thanks. Robert ThompsonMike here: Ouch. But it sounds like you were somewhat lucky in that there wasn't more damage. As to the altitude problem, first option would be to reCALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES. It could be that something with the encoder changed/was damaged in the fall. Redoing the settings may help. Or if the encoder is truly damaged then you may have to return it to Meade.
Subject: ETX 105 Focus Shift and Lens Cleaning Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 15:51:13 From: "Matt Greenwood" (email@example.com) I was hoping you could answer a couple of questions for me. Firstly due to a sticky fingered nephew I have a large fingerprint style smudge on the front of the front lens on my ETX 105, what do you recommend is best for cleaning it? (it has the UHTC coatings). I haven't touched it yet as I don't want to make things worse. Secondly a question about image shift while focusing. When focusing in and out the image in the 26mm supplied eyepiece moves back and forth around a quarter of the field of view, is this near normal for an ETX? I bought my scope mail order and to return it(which I have had to do once already)would mean another wait of around 4-5 weeks for replacement so if this is pretty normal I will live with it. As I am still awaiting my Meade eyepiece offer kit I have no high magnification eyepieces and am thinking that any object in the FOV would probably move out of sight when adjusting the focus. Sorry if you've already addressed these issues before but I could not find them on your site. Thanks for any advice and for your help with the last problems I had a few months ago. Keep up the good work, M.Greenwood (UK)Mike here: See the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Buyer/New User Tips page. Some image shift is normal with the moving mirror design used in the ETX (and other similar telescopes). But it should not be excessive. A quarter FOV with the 26mm eyepiece sounds excessive.
Subject: Re: ETX90EC Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 12:35:06 From: Rich Byrne (firstname.lastname@example.org) Any idea what the shipping time is from Meade to NJ ? I ordered the part I needed for my ETX90 (thanks to you) It was the Right Tube Adapter. I ordered it last Saturday and now it is Friday here in NJ 3:30 P.M. still nothing. Hate to call and get the run around again. Was disconnected 3 times last week ordering the part. I told them to expedite it. I thought "Pony Express" was out of business. Rich ByrneMike here: Could take a week via Ground UPS. Which might be a next Monday arrival.
Thanks Mike. And we are expecting "Clear Skies" for the week-end. Just my luck. Rich Byrne
Subject: Re: ETX 125 Maximum voltage input Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2004 09:34:47 From: "Violette, Daniel R" (email@example.com) To: Johnzotzz@aol.com John, I suspect this is "open circuit" voltage you are measuring (you have nothing hooked up to the supply). This is actually a normal range. The voltage drops (and regulates) when a load is applied. Since this is too high for the scope, best to make sure before hooking up. You can hook it to a 12v car light bulb (tape it on or the like) and measure the voltage across the bulb when lit. If you have various resistors and other electronics knowledge you could rig something up more sophisticated. Ohms law E=IR 12v=1.5A * R R=8 ohms (ETX can draw 1.5 Amps) P=EI P= 12 * 1.5 = 18 watts so need large (or many in parallel R-total=1/R1+1/R2+1/R3...) resistor to keep from burning them up right away. Measure voltage across resistors quickly as they heat up. Dan VioletteAnd:
From: Don Sutherland (firstname.lastname@example.org) Johnny Craig was wondering about a 12 volt adapter with a measured output of 17.6 volts. If the adapter output is not regulated, this is not a problem, as the voltage will drop down to 12 volts when the rated load is connected to the adapter. Ifhis adapter is regulated, then it is defective. Most adapters are not regulated, and as the load increases, the output voltage drops due to the resistanceof the transformer windings. This is not a problem for an ETX as the Autostar and the drive boards in the scope base have voltage regulators. The only effect of low voltage is to limit the maximum slew speed. What the ETX does not like is intermittent power connectors, which can cause motor unit fault errors or the Autostar to restart. Don Sutherland
Subject: Problems with ETX-90 Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2004 06:07:09 From: C.A.Warburton@lboro.ac.uk I need some advice about my ETX-90. I've only had it for a few weeks and with the UK's poor weather have only used it a couple of times.( I bought it second hand so do not have a warrenty ) Initially I obseved the Moon and found it difficult to get a sharp focus even at x140. I put this down to bad seeing, and or somewhat low end eyepieces. Recently though, skys have been better and observing Jupiter still found it difficult to see any real detail. I felt that there was potential to see some detail in the main belts but it wouldn't resolve, this at x140. Last night though I tested the ETX on some brightish stars and noticed a distinct defraction ring and airy disc. The difraction ring though was incomplete being around the lower 4- 8 o'clock position , in the eyepiece view,. With some diffuse light extending away in this direction. Back to Jupiter and the Galilean moons exibited this effect as well. Jupiters disc seemed 'mushy' around the 4 - 8 o'clock position. I tried several eyepieces. They are all inexpensive ones but I found that they all produced the same effect with an image that I felt lacked contrast as well, with definate image breakdown at x200. Could you advise me as to whether this is a colimation problem or something else. And point me to the best source of information for remedial action. Best regards, Chris Warburton.Mike here: Assuming you have let the telescope reach thermal equilibrium then it does sound like you have a collimation problem. While not something to be undertaken lightly, you can attempt to correct this yourself (with a lot of patience and some risk of making things worse). Or you can contact your local dealer and have it returned to Meade for collimation. If you want to try it yourself, there are some articles about this on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: re: ETX Question Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 21:34:31 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) To: Kathy Koerber (firstname.lastname@example.org) In Meade's Marvelous Marketing Parlance, an "AT" is merely an "EC" with an Autostar attached. "EC" is "Electronically Controlled" "AT" is "Automatic Telescope" i.e. an Electronically Controlled telescope rendered Automatic by the smarts in the Autostar. There are a lot of folks thinking they've been short-shipped by Meade since the -telescope- boxes say "EC". But the whole package of Autostar and EC Telescope -is- an AT. The ETX60 and 70's have only ever been available with a 494 or 496 Autostar, so they have always been "AT's" The ETX90/105/125 started life being sold -without- an Autostar (it was an extra-cost accessory), so they had the EC name. have fun --dickMike here: Actually there was an ETX-60EC and -70EC model.
Subject: ETX 125 Maximum voltage input. Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 14:29:26 From: Johnzotzz@aol.com I purchased a 12V wall plug in AC converter from Wal-Mart. I tested it with a little voltage meter I bought from Radio Shack. It reads 17.6V, and this seems to be a good little meter. I have talked to two different technical reps from Meade. One of them said it would be fine, and the other said it would fry my instrument (ETX125EC). I get the feeling that most of the Meade reps don't have any idea of what they are talking about. Will it be safe to use the converter at 17.6V or not? Johnny Craig Wichita KSAnd from our resident hardware expert:
From: "P. Clay Sherrod" (email@example.com) That is WAY too much voltage, but I doubt very seriously that the unit is actually putting out that much voltage...I suspect the meter is wrong. I use these things pretty often and rarely do they go over 16V, and defective when they do. The Meade scopes: ETX, LXD, LX90, and LX 200 GPS - all love up to 15.8V, but no more. Definitely NOT 12V or batteries. Clay -------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod Arkansas Sky Observatory Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mt.) http://www.arksky.org/
Subject: ETX125 Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 12:24:56 From: User721401@aol.com Sorry to bother you again, but a question about tracking; Is it possible to take the scope out point it towards the Moon (for example) and have it track without going through thealigning process? Thank you. Dan CohenMike here: Yes and No. If in the Polar mounted mode and you align the polar axis to be parallel to the Earth's rotation axis, then yes. If you are in Alt/Az mode, then yes, but not necessarily accurately.
Subject: lateral chromatic aberration in ETX125 Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 07:38:11 From: Javier Garca Monreal (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you for your nice site! I just bought an ETX-125 and Im making the first tests with it. Im observing a strange effect that I would acknowledge if you can clarify where it comes from. In the observation ONLY of bright planets (Jupiter and Venus), I observe a colored halo on the opposite sides of the planet, blue on one side and red in the other. Im attaching a picture of Jupiter showing the effect (dont pay attention to quality, it was my first photo!). The appearance is similar to what I see through the eyepiece, it is not produced by the camera. I have tried to rotate the eyepiece in its tube and the colors remain in the same position, so, I dont think that it comes from the eyepiece.Mike here: Nice photo, even with the color aberration. What you are seeing could be due to a couple of things: atmospheric dispersion (if the object is low in the sky) or optics that are out of collimation. You can easily check for either; observe the object when high in the sky, do a "star test" (check for non-circular diffraction rings).
On the other hand, the observation of bright stars looks nice. My shorter eyepiece by now is a 10 mm, so I can see the central spot and a bit more than guessing the diffraction rings. Nevertheless the effect is not visible. Could you give me any suggestions for tests for checking the origin or solving of this problem? Please consider that sending back to Meade from Europe is a long, long procedure. Thank you very much Javier Garcia
Subject: ETX Question Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 07:01:08 From: Kathy Koerber (email@example.com) Forgive my ignorance on this one, and if the answer is already posted somewhere, please let me know. I purchased an ETX-90 (with Autostar) around December of 2002. Is it an ETX 90 EC or an ETX-90 AT? What's the difference? I don't have all the paperwork in front of me and I want to post it on ebay today, but when I did some checking on pricing on various websites, I am seeing both the AT and the EC for sale. I'm confused! Thanks for your help. -KathyMike here: See the FAQ page for info on EC vs AT designation.
I think I figured it out. The AT appears to only apply to the 60 and 70 models. I guess some websites are just using it wrong. Is that correct?Mike here: That was true originally but no longer.
Subject: ETX90 not moving horizontally Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 19:54:28 From: "Lithgow, Dennis" (Dennis.Lithgow@det.qld.gov.au) I have owned an ETX90 with autostar for about 10 months and love it for it's good optics and portability. I have always powered it from a car battery and never experienced any problems. Last night I turned it on to set up for the evening, it appeared to be fine until I asked it to align to Acrux, it moved vertically no problem but didnt stop, it hit vertical and motor kept running, no horizontal movement is possible? The clutches are tight and the motor does not engage, I can't even drive it with the cursor keys on the controller. Any ideas? Have you heard of this before? I don't want to send it away for repair if I can help it as I live in Australia and Meade doesn't. Regards, Dennis LithgowMike here: Any time the Autostar acts up, you should do a CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES. Sometimes, it is necessary to do a RESET, CALIBRATE, TRAIN DRIVES sequence.
Thanks, I will try it tonight, I am feeling less than confident though as I can not move the scope with the cursor keys on the controller, I have already done a factory reset but it made no difference.Mike here: Yeah, the slewing arrows should still slew...
Subject: eyepieces/going crosseyed Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 11:44:31 From: Esidetatz@aol.com Hello......I am writing you because I have read many things on your site about the ETX-90. Well I received one for my birthday and am wanting some more eyepieces than just the 26 that came with it. I was going over the suggested chart on your site about what eyepieces are best for this and that. Needless to say im going crosseyed. I do have a Meade 2x barlow as well. So with that I was wondering what would you suggest would be the best thing to buy instead of me buying lenses I dont need and saving myself some money in the process..........Hope to hear back.......and thanks alot....JimMike here: Decisions, decisions, decisions... First off, decide what you really want to do with the telescope. Then you can decide whether you need more magnification or a wider field of view. Keep in mind that with the 2X Barlow Lens you know about the equivalent of two eyepieces: 26mm and 13mm.
Subject: EXT 105: wiring a cigarette plug properly Sent: Monday, April 12, 2004 16:27:37 From: "Niall Saunders" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Kaustav Bhattacharya (email@example.com) You will be GUARANTEED to cause SEVERE damage to your Scope and connected AutoStar if you connect the lead with the wrong polarity. You can also be certain that Meade will NOT repair this under warranty. It would DEFINITELY be worth your while to have this checked BEFORE you connect things up. As Mike states, the centre pin on the ETX-105 is positive (and as you have established, you need to be using a 2.5mm power plug. However, there is NO DEFINED STANDARD - anywhere - as to whether the black wire, or the white-tracered wire is the positive one. If you do not know of anyone who can establish polarity, then please feel free to send me the lead (with appropriate return postage and packaging) and I will establish this for you - and will 'seal' the plug end so that it cannot be inadvertently reversed in the future. I will also double-check your soldered joints in the cigarette plug, and will test the lead on my ETX scope so that you KNOW it will be working when you get it back. (See my website www.njs101.com for contact details). Cheers, Niall Saunders
Subject: Re: ETX-125 Serial Number/Age Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2004 17:56:38 From: JonIsaacs@aol.com Thanks for the reply. I looked over you site and found what I needed to know, ie whether it was a "new" ETX-125 with the Aluminum forks or not. It turns out it an older one, I have yet to see how it works under the night sky, maybe tonight. I am pretty much of a DOB/Alt-Az type guy but this scope came along at a decent price so I snagged it. My only other foray into GOTO was an ETX-70EC which was somewhat underwhelming though fun. I am interested to see how an F-15 Mak will perform on the planets and DSOs. I have a couple of other 5 inch scopes, an old C-5 OTA and an Orion Space Probe 130ST, a 130mm F5 refractor fitted with a 2 inch focuser. It actually works quite well even at high magnifications, surprisingly. It also does about 3.5 degree FOV at 20X with an 6.5 mm exit pupil, the Milky Way is pretty amazing if they skies are dark. The ETX-125 will be an interesting scope by comparison. I met you a few years ago at OPT, there was an event of some sort going on and you were there, picking up an LXD-55 of some sort plus providing support for the ETX crowd. Anyway, thanks again and keep up the good work. Jon IsaacsMike here: That would have been one of the Meade Day events at OPT. Yep, got the LXD55-8"SC, which you can see on my LXD55 Site (www.weasner.com/lxd).
Subject: re: HOME MADE WEDGE MOUNT FOR ETX-70 REFRACTOR Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2004 15:33:47 From: Richard Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) You tilt the wedge plate to an angle of 90 degrees MINUS your latitude. Think about it: if you lived at the equator, Polaris would be on your northern horizon. For the RA (azimuth) axle to point at it, your wedge plate would have to be vertical. 90-0=90. If you lived at the pole, Polaris would be straight overhead. So the latitude plate would be flat (parallel to the earth, a picnic table would suffice), so that the RA axle (and the forks, as Mike pointed out) would be pointing at the pole. 90-90=0 So for your 54 degree latitude, you would tilt the plate to an angle of (90-54=) 36 degrees from level. Then attach the telescope base to it. Orient the tripod so that the forks point at polaris (or lift the telescope's barrel to point straight up relative to its (now tilted) base. The scope barrel and the forks should now -both- be pointing at Polaris. have fun --dick
Subject: RE: Hi Looking for information Sent: Thursday, October 4, 2001 02:58:26 From: "April Fleming" (email@example.com) I really like to thank you for the information i cant wait to get started and do you think around $2000 dollars for my first is good to start with? thanks againMike here: You can purchase a nice system for $2K but keep doing your research.
Subject: Any other Motor Focusers for ETX-90? Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2004 11:33:38 From: "Jack Meyer" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Love your sites! I now have both an LXD55 (SC-8) and an ETX-90AT, mostly due to the help I received from site when doing research for a telescope purchase (or two). My question: Is there any type of focuser (motorized or other) for an ETX-90 that does not attach to the existing focus knob? The mirror shift is driving me batty, particularly at high magnification. I would love to find a motor focuser or maybe a Crayford type that simply moves a drawtube containing the eyepiece or a star diagonal/eyepiece combination. Anything out there that you are aware of? Thanks and keep up the great work! Jack R. MeyerMike here: Haven't seen any like that for the ETX series. Would be nice though.
Subject: webcam with wireless on etx? Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2004 10:03:29 From: "Kelleher" (email@example.com) Do you know if anyone has found a way to put a webcam onto an ETX with a wireless link back to the PC indoors? I'm interested in using a (for example) ToUCam but don't want to take a PC outside into the damp and cold and nor do I want to run long cables from outside back indoors. Thanks for any ideas...Mike here: Don't recall any.
Subject: What is Current rating of ETX AC 12v adapter? Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2004 08:56:46 From: "JimBukowski" (firstname.lastname@example.org) This is mostly all I need to know for now. Appreciate it. Oh yes, another basic question?Why can't I seem to get to the meade site (vs. dealers) and get specs like this from www.meade.com? Is this no longer there site? Where is it? Thanks very much. email@example.comMike here: 1.5A. Meade doesn't post that type of info.
Subject: Re: jerky RA movement of ETX 125 Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2004 07:52:10 From: Perng (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for the advice. It didn't work, however. Last night I was out again after calibrate and train drives the night before. Curiously the jerky RA click occurred especially when looking at Jupiter. I was out around 9:25pm EDT. Right after a two star alignment, I slewed to Jupiter and It started to "click" for about a minute or so and then the tracking became smooth and normal again. I then slewed to M105, M64, M63, M51. No jerky clicks at all for more than 30 minutes. I slewed back to Jupiter, the jerky movement came back for about 1 minute and died down after that, just as the beginning of the night. I thought this is interesting. To test if this is repeatable, I did the same M105 to M51 routine and back to Jupiter. The click did not happen this third time. This is really confusing. Not sure if this is a hardware or software problem. I read a user report about random Dec slewing using a DC power supply. I am going to test if that is the cause. Here I have two other questions for you. First is a problem that I have been experiencing since upgraded from Autostar 3.0 to 3.1Ee. At low slewing speeds, 2 or 3, the left-right and up-down slews seem to mixed up. This is especially noticeable with left and down slews. That is, when I press left (down), it slews down (left) and just a tiny bit movement to left (down). This is not observed at speeds larger than 4. Have you heard of this? Any suggestions? The second question is about what you can see in a 5" vs 8". I understand you have both ETX 125 and 8" SCT. I am more interested in comparison of DSOs. Let's start with a bright object first. How about the cloud bands and GRS of Jupiter? I must say that Jupiter is a very hard object to observe. So far, I can only see 2 bands and dark polar zones but can't say anything about features in the bands. I can make out GRS but only with great care knowing roughly where to look based on the S&T GRS prediction. My part of the sky is relatively dark. I can see M51 routinely without any difficulty. But I can hardly make anything out of it, except a larger patch right next to a smaller patch and that's about it. Can one see some structure with an 8" SCT? The other example would be M1. For me it's an oval patch and nothing more; in fact this is what I see for most other DSOs. I would like to know how much more or better I can see with a bigger scope. I am thinking of an 8" or 9.25" Thanks for your feedback. PerngMike here: A clicking sound could mean that something is catching (like a wire?). This could be bad (especially if that wire gets cut). You could open the base and check for some obstruction. As to the slewing movement oddity, there have been a few similar reports. As to aperture, obviously you want the largest you can afford AND WILL USE. As I've said many times, the best telescope is that one that gets used. Yes, DSOs and details on the planets are more evident in my 8"SC than my smaller telescopes but details, especially on DSOs, will vary depending upon the DSO.
Subject: Hi Looking for information Sent: Wednesday, October 3, 2001 19:05:13 From: "Thomas McShane" (email@example.com) Hi hello from scotland, Happy easter I hope you dont mind me emailing you, but im looking for some information about telescopes i dont know if you can help but after visiting your site it could be a good start for me, I am in a wheelchair and have wanted to get in to this as a hobby for sometime but with alot of telescopes i find it diffecult to use the, Information im looking for is do you know a good telescope in the $2000 dollars mark that will work on a laptop and be able to see throw my laptop? any inforation on this subject will help me alot on buying the right telescope and not spending my money on the wrong one Thanks you Thomas McShaneMike here: Any of the "GOTO" telescopes from Celestron or Meade can be controlled via a computer. ANY telescope can have a video device attached which can send the video to a computer. Such video devices can be a camcorder, a webcam, or a dedicated imager (like the Sonfest SAC or the Meade Lunar Planetary Imager or an "electronic eyepiece). However, the image quality you see and the faintness of the image may not be what you are looking for. Also, remotely pointing the telescope for faint objects will be a challenge for the lower-end telescopes. But what you want to do can be done.
Subject: ETX-125 Serial Number/Age Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2004 04:47:00 From: JonIsaacs@aol.com I just picked up a used ETX-125EC and I am interested if it is possible to tell when it was manufactured from the serial number. Any ideas?? JonMike here: You could contact Meade; they might tell you.
Subject: Difference between Meade 125-EC and 125-AT? Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 13:42:21 From: "Ernie Syndergaard" (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have had an interest in amateur astronomy for some time and after several reviews and searches I have found constant references/prices to a 125-EC or the 125-AT. If you probably can't tell by my question I am very new at this hobby. I could not find and references (Even on Meade's site) of any differences. Their product catalogue shows and "AT" model but their manual only references "EC" I am thinking the "EC" is an older model name or line but nothing to back it up. Is there a difference and if so could you tell me what they are? Thanks in advance. Ernie Syndergaard Colorado Springs, COMike here: This is a frequently asked question so the answer is on the FAQ page on the ETX Site.
Subject: EXT 105: wiring a cigarette plug properly Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 11:01:54 From: Kaustav Bhattacharya (email@example.com) I got my soldering iron out last night and wired up my cigarette lighter power plug. I bought the plug, wire and connecting tip separately. I'm not an electrician so I wasn't 100% sure if the white wire is positive or negative or if the black wire is positive or negative. This means I don't actually know if I've wired the plug as centre positive as is required for the Meade ETX 105. How do I find out? Basically my questions are: 1. What polatity are the white and black wires? 2. Have I wired the plug so that it's centre positive? 3. When I attach the jack plug to the other end of the wire, the wire end has the word "TIP" on one side and the jack plug itself has on it. I have lined up + to the word TIP. Does this mean positive polarity? I have attached two JPEG screen shots of what I've done, perhaps it'll help you work out what I did. Until I'm 100% sure of the wiring, I don't want to plug it in to the 'scope to test incase I fry it. The cigarette plug has a 1.5Amp fuse in it now, and it also has a red LED so you can tell of the plug is seated correctly in the power pack. The jack is a 2.5mm jack which I know is ok for the ETX.Mike here: Well, all I can tell is that the center tip is positive on the ETX and that black wires are usually wired to the negative terminal.
(Woops, I just looked at the screen shots I sent you. In one of them, it's marked "red wire". That's wrong, it should read "black wire".) Kaustav
Ah,so I have wired the white positive cable to the centre, which is a good start! :) Now I need to work out which way round I attach the 2.5mm jack plug to the TIP of the wire... hmmm.... decisions, decisions!!!!
Subject: Free finderscope covers, free GoTo software that works, expensive USB-serial conversion Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 00:49:19 From: "MMIC EOD" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Easter's here and the skies are grey over France. My daughter got a couple of Kinder Easter eggs, pretty universal in Europe. Inside is a self-assembly (or Dad assembly) toy apparently designed by someone after a particularly bad LSD trip. Throw away egg + toy, but keep the plastic capsule the bits come in. One end fits perfectly over the finderscope objective as dust cap and Sun shield (wot's the Sun ?), the other fits neatly inside the finder eyepiece. They also fit my non-Meade plossl eyepieces so I can leave them in the tripod tray (once I've reamed out the holes so they fit a standard eyepiece.................) Also let me recommend the Carte du Ciel freeware by Patrick Chevalley [email@example.com] at http://www.astrosurf.com/astropc/cartes. It is available in a number of languages including good English. Another labour of love like your website. Slightly idiosyncratic but controls the ETX via Autostar impeccably with no tinkering required AND the guy answers emails. Anyone found a source of cheap USB to serial converters ? Perhaps when Meade work out how to use emails someone will tell them that serial ports on laptops have been dead for years. Best wishes, Steve Sales,
Subject: ETX-125 Focus Problem Sent: Friday, April 9, 2004 23:29:01 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Frustrated. Had my scope for almost a year now. Never had it auto point or track properly, I seem to have tried everything I can read. Now it seems it doesn't focus sharply. Beautiful night here in Seattle tonight, and I saw Saturn's rings and Jupiter's color bands, but neither very sharply. Used 9.6mm lens and a few others. Sometimes it seems to focus fine on terrestial targets, and the moon is pretty sharp. Any ideas? Maybe I'm expecting too much. Thanks Mike. Chris NutterMike here: There are so many things that can affect image clarity, some of which have nothing to do with the optics in the telescope. Seeing conditions, not allowing the telescope to reach thermal equilibrium, dirty optics, etc, are some. Of course, it is also possible that your telescope needs collimation. You can do a star test to check. As to the Autostar, again, there are many variables. But at this point I suggest you upgrade it to the current version, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject: Seasonal Objects Date: 4/8/04, 11:30 From: email@example.com I'm trying to locate a simple guide to the deep sky objects in each season. I had an excel file with all the Messier objects, but in the mist of changing computers, I lost it. I love your guides that Dr. Clay has on his "guides" page, but I was wondering if there was something simple. Thanks, and have a wonderful Easter holiday! Gigi -- THE MOON WAS HIT BY SO MANY METEORS, IT'S CRUST IS LITTERED WITH SHATTERED ROCK 16 MILES DEEP!Mike here: There is the "Messier Objects Listing" on the Observational Guides/References page.
Subject: HOME MADE WEDGE MOUNT FOR ETX-70 REFRACTOR Date: 4/8/04, 04:07 From: DC60ASTR@aol.com Could you please advize me how to orientate the wedge with repect to this telescope and to polaris.My latitude is 54 degrees.I am under the impression that the wedge is to be set at this angle pointing to polaris with the telescope also pointing the same way in order to track the stars. I find some of the web sites a little confusing on this issue,there are few diagrams showing the set -up. I would appreciate your comments.Thankyou Sincerely, Derek Cattermole.DC60ASTR@AOL.COMMike here: For an example, see the article "Yet Another Homemade Wedge" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. The fork arms are pointed at the North Celestial Pole so that the Right Ascension rotational axis is parallel to the Earth's rotation axis.
Subject: re: ETX90 electronic focuser Date: 4/7/04, 21:49 From: Richard Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com For spare parts, try Meade Europe ( http://www.meade.de ) (closer, and possibly cheaper, than cross-Atlantic) good luck --dick
Subject: Winter condensation when taking the ETX-125 indoors Date: 4/7/04, 14:27 From: firstname.lastname@example.org First off, great site! I recently purchased the ETX-125, my first scope, and your site is tremendously helpful. The problem: winter in New England is cold and dry - I have a humidifier running in my home to keep the relative humidity around 30-35%. The result is that when I brought my scope in one night after observing, I go condensation on the main lens. I let it dry without touching it as recommended in the Meade manual, and later put the lens cap on. I was reading "Doc Clay's" notes on this problem, and he seems to suggest putting the lens cap on before bringing the scope inside. Is this correct/proper/not going to damage my scope? Thanks for your help. If you have a forum section I missed, just direct me there and I'll ask again. StephenMike here: If the night is really damp I bought on the lens cover before coming indoors. That is unless there is already moisture on the lens, then I leave it off.
Subject: ETX90 electronic focuser Date: 4/7/04, 06:30 From: colin matin (email@example.com) Just got hold of a electronic focuser for my ETX90 but missing is the focuser gear and the long securing bolt. BCF(uk) say they can't supply spare parts, unfortunately. Have you any idea if I can get a replacement or the spec of the 1" dia gear .ie number of teeth etc? Thanks Colin Martin EnglandMike here: Try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject: jerky RA movement of ETX 125 Date: 4/7/04, 05:49 From: Perng (firstname.lastname@example.org) Bought ETX 125AT with UHTC in mid-January. So far I have been enjoying the view. However, after being grounded by the weather for pretty much the whole month of March, I started to notice jerky RA tracking movement. I can hear the "click" every 10-15 seconds or so and it's happening only in part of the RA range. This never happened before. I tried to rotate the scope from stop to stop back and forth several times in the RA direction. But it did not help. I wonder if you have seen or heard something like this and can give me some suggestions. Thank you for the wonderful site. PerngMike here: Rotating from hardstop to hardstop was my first suggestion. Since that didn't help, do another CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES. Also, don't overtighten the axis lock.
Subject: Re: Laser Yard Light Killer Date: 4/7/04, 05:17 From: JamesEHimley@aol.com I seem to remember a mention of a laser that will temporarily shut off yard lights. I have done it with a spotlight through a stovepipe, but the laser sounds simpler. Does anybody know of such a device? Dark Skies, Jim Himley Edgefield, SC JamesEHimley@aol.com (Brand new owner of a brand new 125 ETX UHTC - more on this later.)Mike here: Yes, there have been such reports.
Thanks for your reply re: Laser Yard Light Killer. First light with my brand new 125 ETX UHTC last night. Without electronics/motor, easily resolved bands on Jupiter and three moons. Too unsteady with Barlow; will try to learn electronics ASAP. Do you recommend a specific ETX bulletin board: i.e.: Yahoo or Cloudy Night? Clear Dark Skies, Jim HimleyMike here: I haven't visited Cloudy Nights group but the ETXASTRO Yahoo Group is pretty active.
Subject: Chess Dictionary Chesmayne 2004 edition Date: 4/6/04, 12:35 From: ray reid (email@example.com) The 2004 edition of the Chesmayne Chess Dictionary is now on-line at:- http://chess-dictionary-chesmayne.net A link to your web page has been added. Yours sincerely, Chesmayne.Mike here: There is a dictionary of some astronomy terms here.
Subject: Baffle looks strange in my ETX Date: 4/6/04, 05:56 From: Jason Shouler (firstname.lastname@example.org) Interesting site you have here. I hope you don't mind my asking a simple question of the ETX as I don't know of any local users. My ETX105 seems to perform well both optically and mechanically but I've noticed if you look down the business end of the scope and study the secondary baffle ( I think that's the right term) then the view is rather disconcerting. On mine it looks like someone has made a visit to the local tip, found a bit of 3/4" rusty pipe, cut it to length, plastered on some reflective black paint (yes - not even matt!) without even bothering to remove the rust and then fitted it into this optical wonder! If you remove the EP and view from that direction then you get pretty much the same impression. Do you think I've bought a turkey or do you recognize this description? Regards, Jason.Mike here: There is one report (on this General Feedback page: ETX 105EC Lower Image Contrast) of a baffle problem. I have an update (further down this page) that his telescope is being exchanged.
Thanks for the quick response. I was hoping that you might say "mine looks like that too" but from what you say it looks like I could have a real issue. Clearly I need to track down a local user so that we can compare side by side (I'm in the UK). I've contacted Clive to check it we can compare images of the baffle etc. Regards, Jason.
Subject: 125 AT v. 125EC With Autostar Date: 4/6/04, 05:30 From: JamesEHimley@aol.com I just picked up my new 125 after months of research and three hours of demonstration with a very helpful salesman at Camera Bug in Atlanta. I had specifically ordered a 125AT, but when I got home (a three hour trip), I discovered that I had a 125EC (factory) upgraded with Autostar. Question: What's the difference between an EC upgraded with Autostar and the AT??? A direct reply will certainly be appreciated, as I am anxious to start using my scope or trade it for the right one. Thank you, Jim Himley Edgefield, SCMike here: As noted on the Announcements - Meade page, there is no real difference in the EC model vs the AT models. The standard handcontroller is no longer included (the EC model) but the Autostar #497 and the #884 tripod are included as standard with the AT model. It is just a designation change.
yep, that's what I found after a frantic call to my dealer. Great scope. Now learning how to use it. How do you slow down the scrolling on the hand control?Mike here: See the FAQ page.
Subject: ETX Misconceptions Date: 4/5/04, 18:07 From: Dan Hester (email@example.com) I just finished another observing session with my ETX 125 and came inside to read the latest astronomy sites including yours. You know, a lot of people...including seasoned observers, don't give this scope enough credit. I read an article by a well known reviewer who said essentially that the Meade scopes are toys...in fact, one of the well known folks sent me an e mail once when I asked him about the scopes before I bought one. He said " use it up...have fun with it while it lasts." After thinking about his comment, and reading your site, I decided to get the ETX 125 because ...darn it...it was pretty. Really pretty...and I can't believe that discriminating observers could make that kind of comments if they had ever tried the scope. Well...it's been over two years. My ETX 125 has never disappointed me. There have been a couple of glitches, but for the most part...the scope always works well, has excellent optics...and it's still pretty...very pretty. So, next time a high and mighty observer tells someone the ETX scopes are a cut below their expensive refractors or hand configured reflectors...just remember...if you can afford a Lexus, drive one...but it does the same basic job as a Ford or Chevy...and who sells the most anyway? Ford and Chevy...and Meade. I would never have learned the sky as quickly or probably even stayed interested if I hadn't bought this scope. Since...I have bought a reflector...a refractor and another reflector. But I always come back inside smiling after using the Etx 125. So will you. Happy seeing...DanMike here: Thanks! I drive a Toyota Prius, use Apple Macintosh computers, and use Meade telescopes. I guess I like what works best!!!
Subject: RE: ETX 105EC Lower Image Contrast Date: 4/5/04, 12:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org A little more on this saga! I have been in touch with the Meade customer support here in the UK and they agree the primary baffle should be flat black and reflections (as I have described) will cause problems. As the scope is so new they have advised me to return it to the retailer for a replacement. For your interest (and perhaps future reference?) I have captured two images showing the difference in reflectivity of the primary baffle between the new and old scope. Both views are looking down the eyepiece holder onto the flip mirror. Both scopes were aimed at a fairly bright white sky.
Hope you find this interesting!! Kind regards Clive
Subject: Canadian Dealers Date: 4/5/04, 07:40 From: Don Sutherland (email@example.com) Chris was wondering about websites for Canadian dealers. There is a very good directory of sites on the Sky News website at www.skynewsmagazine.com under Astronomy Equipment Retailers. Most sites have prices posted and are competitive. I have had good experiences with Kendrick, Perceptor, Khanscope, Efston and Alderblick. Chris, if you don't have a good pair of 7x50 or 10x50 binoculars, get one and get to know the sky a bit with a planisphere, before you buy a telescope. Regards, Don Sutherland
Subject: meade etx 125at Date: 4/5/04, 04:27 From: seng win (firstname.lastname@example.org) Congratulations and thanks for such a good website for beginners, these telescopes are expensive toys, and it gives people a chance to really know the more about them before buying it. but there is one model that is quite new and not on your website yet - the meade etx 125at, i'm just wondering if there will be anything about these on your website in the future, or if you know anything about them now. can you also tell me if the etx 125 is good to see nebulas, galaxies, comets and stuff like that? or just the planets and the moon? Thanks Seng.Mike here: See the Announcements - Meade page for info on the ETX-125AT (versus the "EC" model); it really is not a "new" model. As to what you can see, read through the User Observations page as well as look at some of the photographs for indications of just what can be done with the ETX models.
thanks for the quick reply, it will take me years to save up for this telescope - 2 years to 3 years, i am getting $50 a week pocket money. i hope that by the time i have around $2000 AUD the cost of the model higher than this one will drop, so i can buy a better one. Thanks Seng.
Subject: Hi Date: 4/4/04, 11:49 From: Ravi Simhambhatla (email@example.com) Your website has been a boon to me considering I am very new to astronomy/photography. I bought all my scope equipment after reading through your site, so thank you for this priceless service. I have attempted some photography of the Moon and Jupiter. You can find the pictures here: www.simhams.com/modules/Photo_Gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=astro Regards, Ravi Telescope: Meade ETX125-EC, AutoStar Camera: Canon EOS300D, Lens is Canon 28-80mm Mount: Scopetronix Digital-T EyePiece: 2x Barlow, 40mm, 26mm, 18mm Location: San Jose, CA, USAMike here: Be certain to read the Email Etiquette item; your message was almost deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject.
Subject: polar reticle lost! Date: 4/2/04, 05:35 From: Jenny Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org) I know, somewhere, I saw an eyepiece specifically for polar alignment duty. It had a center point and then 2 (or 3) marks that when rotated and aligned with stars near polaris, gave perfect alignment (assuming the tripod and wedge are set correctly. But, I can't find it anywhere... Do you know of such and eyepiece? -Jenny MorganMike here: Check Orion Telescopes and Binoculars (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject: lens cover issue etc 90ec Date: 4/1/04, 19:06 From: JAMES JACOBI (email@example.com) Just attempted to get the telescope set up and I (am embarrassed to say) cannot remove the lens cover. I assume it is threaded (as opposed to "just popping off") and when I unscrew (counter clockwise) the lens comes off, and it won't budge clockwise... Any ideas??? James Michael JacobiMike here: It does unscrew. Try using rubber gloves to get a better grip on the lens housing and the cover itself.
Subject: Date: 4/1/04, 08:46 From: "Chris W." (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hi, I'm looking for a telescope and I'm having trouble finding a good site to buy from. I'm just beginning to get into astronomy and I would like a quality scope. I've been looking around and I've noticed that the Meade ETX is one of the most popular scopes around. I would like one with a 1.25" eyepiece that would give a good view of planets and deep space views. I have read that the Meade can see nebulae and what not. I was hoping that you would be able to help me in finding a good site to order from that would send scopes to Canada. I noticed that a lot of American sites will not send things to Canada for some reason. If you could please steer me in the right direction I would appreciate it a lot, thanks for your time.Mike here: First off, please read the Email Etiquette item on my ETX Site; your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing subject entry.
Subject: ETX 105EC Lower Image Contrast Date: 3/31/04, 23:28 From: Cedarwood (email@example.com) I recently had to replace my pre-UHTC ETX 105EC with a newer model having the UHTC coatings. Able to make a direct comparison between both models I was surprised to find that although the image brightness is definitely greater (possibly 20%) there is a distinct decrease in contrast, which is very noticeable. I have check for light leaks and found none. I cannot account for this decrease in contrast. I have also noticed that the coating on the front meniscus lens dose not have such a deep blue hue, more dull than the older model. I can report that the resolution is just as good and star tests are textbook. I should point out that the contrast issue applies to terrestrial viewing. This effect is like manipulating a photo file where brightness is increased but contrast is not. I could well imagine that unless a person had both the old and new models side-by-side for a comparison, no one would be the wiser. Have you had any other similar responses to the 'new' UHTC coatings? Many thanks Best regards Clive FinlayMike here: I have seen no similar comparisons for terrestrial (daytime?) viewing.
Many thanks for your reply regarding this isuue. I have scratched my head over this one for several days and I think I have found the answer! The lower contrast in the new 105EC UHTC appears to be a result of flare eminating from the PRIMARY BAFFLE. As explained in my previous email to you I have an older model 105 to compare with, and in doing so I have discovered the primary baffle in the new 105 appears to be highly reflective in comparison. Although the newer baffle has received the 'thread' treatment it looks as though it has missed some kind of 'blackening' stage resulting in stray light bouncing all around the sides of the baffle. I have since observed the moon and have found this flare very disturbing! I think I shall need to take this model back to the supplier and try to explain what I believe is the problem. Have you received similar querys regarding this problem of excessive reflectance within the primary baffle? Very many thanks for your time & interest MikeMike here: Certainly this could affect contrast. I recall only one such report but I think that was months (or years?) ago.
I have emailed cutomer support and if I ever get this one sorted out I will let you know the outcome! Best wishes and many thanks for your interest. Clive
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