ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 21 April 2006

This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX PE (Premier Edition). Feedback on the specific PE technologies (Automatic Alignment + SmartFinder, Level North Technology) will be covered here. Feedback on the Autostar Suite AE (Astronomer Edition) will be posted on the regular Autostar Suite feedback page. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (EC, AT, PE) will continue to be posted on the other appropriate feedback pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.


Subject:	re: Atomic Clock Update Module (ATUM) Function in Europe?
Sent:	Monday, April 17, 2006 19:25:27
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Fun question... (meaning: made me look up something i've been going to
get around to someday)...

This webpage gives most of the longwave time sources' frequencies:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/time/lf-clocks/

When looking at "Atomic Watches", most are available for European
-or- US operation.
The US  WWVB station broadcasts at 60 KHz.
DCF77, the one you mentioned, broadcasts at 77.5 KHz.

So (since the Meade advertising doesn't claim dual-continent
operation), i suspect that the ATUM is only a WWVB receiver.

You might ask Meade Europe ( www.meade.de ) what the status is.
They're "on the ground" and should have a much better idea.

have fun
--dick

And:

..i see from that webpage that a UK site ( MSF ) also broadcasts
at 60KHz, with coverage a a good part of north western Europe...
so the ATUM -might- work!

have fun
--dick
From:	Rainer (rainer.minixhofer@utanet.at)
first thanks for the info, I will send an E-Mail to meade.de asking for
this information. I will keep you both informed on the outcome.

Clear skies,

Rainer

Subject:	Atomic Clock Update Module (ATUM) Function in Europe?
Sent:	Saturday, April 15, 2006 01:41:10
From:	Rainer (rainer.minixhofer@utanet.at)
do you have any information about the technical background of the ATUM
Module in the Meade ETX-90PE? The ATUM extension module seems to be only
an antenna for supplying the internal module for receiving the atomic
clock signal, am I right? Is it possible to use other atomic clock
signal sources than Fort Collins,CO, e.g. the clock in Munich (DCF77)?
What is the format of the clock signal? Does it send UTC or local time?
 
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
Kind regards,
 
Rainer
Mike here: Time sources supply UTC (or GMT, more correctly). What frequencies the Meade module picks up I haven't heard.
Subject:	Re: LNT down...
Sent:	Monday, April 10, 2006 15:52:52
From:	Elisabeth Guegan
Thank you very much for your help! I tried the LNT in my bedroom and it
now seems to connect again... (obviously it had to fail on a well
planned night out but function in my bedroom...) I'll give it another
chance, I guess the next time it fails I'll ask for a replacement. It's
reassuring to know I can fit a different finderscope, worse comes to
worse I'll do just that.

Again thanks very much for your advice,

Lis

Subject:	LNT down...
Sent:	Thursday, April 6, 2006 02:33:23
From:	Elisabeth Guegan
Again, thanks for your very helpful advice. I have finally managed to
get the SmartFinder on my ETX 125PE to align (just about) and it worked
ok... for a couple of sessions. The skies have finally cleared here in
the south of England, so I was very excited to take the scope out last
night, only to realise the LNT unit does not work anymore. I pressed 0
to get it to show the light (I had skipped the alignment as I wanted to
check the finder first), but nothing showed. So I pressed Mode for a
couple of seconds to get the menu in which you can set how long the red
dot stays on for, etc... unfortunately the menu entry to do so had
disappeared. That is when I realised that my scope was behaving as
though it didn't have an LNT unit anymore. Nothing seems to be visibly
wrong with it as far as I can tell.

I have used this scope 5 times at most! The first problems I had were to
do with aligning the finder, as the lens is quite difficult to insert
fully (I have to hold the whole unit while doing it...). When it finally
aligned, the screw is turned almost to the end, which is a bit worrying
if the fiber moves a bit over time. Then another time, the scope was
turned on by mistake (apparently an easy mistake...) and used up all my
batteries, which meant I was powerless for my session. Which also meant
the scope was almost unusable apart from the Moon as I couldn't target
anything (well I did find Saturn but it took time...) I know it's hardly
the scope's fault if I turn on the batteries by mistake, but I really
don't like the fact that the whole scope relies on batteries, because of
the finder. And now, the LNT just died for no apparent reason.

I will ask the shop I bought it from to send me a new LNT unit, which I
am sure they will be very happy to do, given the number of comments from
people who have had numerous replacements for this unit... which leads
to my next question.

I didn't want the Premier Edition in the first place, I had been warned
that the LNT was an endless cause of problems, very fragile and of very
few benefits. Unfortunately my dad, who made the order, believed the
sales man who said it would be better to get the Premier Edition as it
is the latest version of the ETX. Now, in light of how many problems
it's already been a source of in the first few sessions, and the many
problems others seem to have faced as well, I am tempted to try and
replace the whole scope with the Standard Edition. I do like the ETX,
the few sessions I have had were great, I gaze at Saturn and the Moon
for hours (beginner, yes!). But I really don't like the SmartFinder/LNT
thing much...

What do you think? Am I giving up too easily, should I give it a second
chance? To the many people who have had to get many replacements, is it
a case of once you get a good LNT unit, it'll go for years? I am worried
I am going to be relying on support and warranties, as I live in England
and bought the scope in France (being French), so things will always
take a long time. Has anybody done the swap, and what do they think? I
am going home soon for a week, which would be a good time to do a swap
(I have to send it from France as that is where the box is, and I will
receive a replacement in France if it is possible to swap)

Thank you very much for your advice, (and patience! this is a long
email...)

Lis
Mike here: The LNT on my ETX-105PE is still going OK and it is the original model (got the ETX-105PE in early 2005). As to whether you NEED a LNT, no, as people have used telescopes for a really long time without one. Of course, the same applies to GPS and GOTO computers as well. Like a lot of things, it is a convenience. Some people can take advantage of it, especially if they go to many different sites. And some people find using a red-dot finderscope simplier than a magnifying finderscope. So Meade is trying to satisfy all levels of users. So it comes down to your decision whether having it is useful to you.

And:

Thank you for your help,

I am not sure I know what you mean though without the LNT... I am happy
not to use the alignment facility, but the finderscope is also dead as a
consequence... I was told it was impossible to change the finder? Is it
possible to have a magnifying finderscope on the PE?

Lis
Mike here: You can mount a different finderscope; see the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page for some reviews.
Subject:	Re: I need your help smartfinder
Sent:	Thursday, March 30, 2006 23:04:47
From:	Yair Cardenas (yair.cardenas@gmail.com)
Hi i'm again Yair.
 
I can see the light but i cant see the red dot in the togue. I try
everything, I read the instruction that Mark gave but i dont know what
is the fiber optic.

Could you send me photograph of samrtfinder fixed? may be i could
compare my samrtfinder whit yours.
 
please i need your help.
 
excuses for my english, I speak spanish 
 
Thank you very much
Mike here: See my comments on the ETX-105PE on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. I have a photo near the end that may help you IF you have the original LNT module.

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Copyright © 2006 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackApr06/etx-pe.html