GENERAL FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 27 April 2006

This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX and DS models. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.


Subject:	Request information
Sent:	Thursday, April 27, 2006 06:50:03
From:	Luis O' Conor (luisoconor@medilabsrl.com.ar)
I am new in your page. I write from Rosario, provincia de Santa Fe,
Repblica Argentina. I join your page by accident and like it a lot!!!
Very good articles, a lot of usefull information, great photos!!!!

I want (if can) give me your opinion: Iam looking for a new telescope
and read some information about the MEADE ETX 90 and ETX 105 (sincerely,
I prefer de 125, but it is to much expensive for me!!!, in my country 1
U$$ = 3,20 Pesos!!!) and I cant  afford the price, the shipping, the
taxes, etc. and if I by it in a local store the complete equipment costs
more or less U$S 2.000. Another posibility is to buy it by EBAY, the ETX
125 costs U$S 500 / U$S 700 plus the shipping: U$S 150 / U$S 250. Can
you give me your opinion or if you know somebody who buy his telescope
(used) by this way?.

Another question: What is your opinion about the ETX 105? I read some
articles in your page that tells problems with alignement, that the
AutoStar dont work properly, etc. You know if these problems are already
solved by MEADE? Can you give me more information? I want the telescope
primarily for astrophotography and have a Canon 300 D (Canon Digital
Reflex). I want to begin with these experience and read all the articles
that your site have. Great!!!!.

Thank you for answering, all that can you send me will be appreciate and
beg your pardon for my English, I hope youll understand it!!!
 
Bests regards,
 
Luis OConor
Mike here: Glad you found the Site but you might have missed the RED text that said to read the Email Etiquette before sending email to me. Your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject line. PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site home page to avoid this happening in the future. Thanks for understanding.
Other than the occasional SmartFinder/LNT issue, the ETX line is well established and reliable. I have no concerns about taking my ETX-105PE with me on this weekend's trip to Oracle Observatory. As to purchasing (anything) on eBay, you can have a good experience or a very bad one. It is always best to purchase a new telescope from a local dealer so that you are covered under the warranty. Lacking that, buying a used telescope can work out or not, depending on many factors. You might watch the For Sale page on my ETX for used systems for sale.
Subject:	Re: Damaged ETX 125
Sent:	Wednesday, April 26, 2006 13:08:33
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
Hello Jan....
Very sorry for your continued troubles; although getting inside of the
turntable is fine provided that you have someone with confidence enough
to repair the wires that must be cut to do so, I am not sure what you
are going to find inside, but very likely a broken hard stop tab. 
Frankly, it is upsetting that you have a new telescope that does not
work and I would really hate to see you get inside IF the telescope
should really be replaced.
 
Let me know what you decide and I will be happy to help.
 
Dr. Clay
--------------------
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC H45 (Petit Jean Mountain South)
Harvard MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain)
http://www.arksky.org/
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: Jan H Kolst
Hi again,
Thank you for responding last time. I've checked at the Meade
distributer in Norway concerning my scope , but they couldn't help.The
Chairman of our local astronomy club here in Haugesund has had a look at
my scope and he is willing to help. The wiring is no problem he says ,
but the hardstopp might be a problem perhaps. He hasn't opened the scope
or done anything so far.Is it safe to try and fix the scope? If so,
could you please assist me how to do it? I'm thinking of getting to the
hard stopp and  fix it. Is that possible?You have the pictures of the
scope at least on Mike's Mighty page.I don't wont to send them to you
once more since you have a phone modem. I hope you remember the case. 
The scope is bought at OPT December 2005 and I have written to a Mr.Eric
Blackhurst at OPT asking him for a solution to the problem. Most of all
I'd like to have a new scope.
 
Much obliged!
 
Best wishes from Norway
Jan H Kolst

Subject:	Celebrating first year of ETX
Sent:	Wednesday, April 26, 2006 04:44:13
From:	rdl (rodelaet@yahoo.com)
This month, I celebrate my first year of observing and sketching with
the ETX!

I thank you for your support.
Thanks to you, I've had many visitors on my web page :)).

It's fun to get feedback from other amateurs.

My collection of sketches has grown to over 80.

I've promised myself not to upgrade to a bigger scope before i've
sketched every possible object. It should keep me going for some years.
It's my therapy against aperture fever :)

Regards,

Rony De Laet 

http://www.geocities.com/rodelaet

Subject:	http://www.weasner.com/etx/buyer-newuser-tips/moon.html
Sent:	Sunday, April 23, 2006 16:31:32
From:	L Abraham (lusia.abraham@lycos.com)
Thanks for your web site.  Very useful.

In http://www.weasner.com/etx/buyer-newuser-tips/moon.html you write:
   calculation that has revealed that the moon is very
   slowly - very slowly - moving ever-so-closer to the Earth.

From http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/SEhelp/ApolloLaser.html:
  Measurements show that the Moon is receding from Earth at a rate of
  about 3.8 centimeters per year.

Just a small point to perhaps help make your site better still.

Regards,
Lusia

And from the article's author:

From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
Yes Mike, he is correct and where that statement came from I am at a
loss; must have been a bad day.
Yes, at a rate of about 3--4 cm/yr.

The tidal bulges on the Earth main toward the middle of the oceans),
raised by the Moon's gravity, are rotated forward (ahead of) the
Earth-Moon line by the Earth's rotation since it is faster than the
Moon's actual motion in its orbit. The gravity from these leading and
trailing bulges impels the Moon forward along the direction of its
motion in orbit  and the force transfers momentum from the rotating
Earth to the revolving Moon, simultaneously dragging the Earth and
accelerating the Moon.

This ultimately causes the moon to recede from the earth as it angular
momentum increases.

If you can, please correct the other statement to read such...thanks!

Dr. Clay
--------------------
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC H45 (Petit Jean Mountain South)
Harvard MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain)
http://www.arksky.org/

Subject:	ETX90EC - Adapter/Batteries question
Sent:	Sunday, April 23, 2006 08:20:34
From:	Lance (hobbyist@pei.sympatico.ca)
I was unable to find the required topic (although I have seen it) on
your site concerning Adapter/Batteries for power.

I have a Motomaster Eliminator for power source of which I was using
mostly for the Kendrick Dew heaters. Now I have the equvalent of the
Meade Adapter #541 from Radio Shack and it works just fine. Now the
question:    .... Does the batteries supposed to kick in for power when
the Elininator ends its power?  

When I turned it (Elininator) off all power is off (even when the
batteries are in the ETX90EC compartment (and yes they are inserted
correctly).

I am testing the Eliminator for the length of time I can use it on any
given night (right now its been 2.5 hrs.) At the time of shutting it off
as per above ... it was at 70% power left, and when inquiring the
battery % on the Autostar497 it says 100%.

I am using Autostar497 with firmware 41ec.
 
-Lance
Mike here: As long as the external power source is connected to the ETX the internal batteries are removed from the ETX power circuit. As to the Autostar power reading, it is still reading the external power as 100% (rightly or wrongly). I have run my external power source down once but didn't check the Autostar power display since it was obvious the power source was insufficient to slew the telescope.
Subject:	Trouble with 125
Sent:	Thursday, April 20, 2006 07:53:09
From:	Jan H Kolst (jan.kolsto@online.no)
Thanks a lot for all assistance so far concerning the jumpingproblem
which I'm sorry to say is not solved.Ive taken some pictures which might
illustrate the situation. Please give me a suggestion to solve the
problem.

This is how it looked when it was new December 2005
photo

This is how it looks today 20 April 2006. What do I do to fix it?
photo

Mike here: I will let our resident hardware expert, Dr. Clay Sherrod, tackle that.

And:

From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
What exactly am I looking at?  What is the problem that is being
encountered here?

1) first question:  why was the scope opened and photographed when NEW
in Dec. 2005? 2) second question:  what is supposed to be obvious in
this photo?

I am very curious why the scope was opened up when it was brand
new....makes no sense.

Please describe in detail what the photos are supposed to be showing.  I
think I know, but would like to hear in his words.  thanks!!

Clay
The wire is so twisted that it is nearly breaking. Please
advise me what to do!  Jan

And:

OH!   Is this all that is wrong?  He needs to take off the connector
attached to the control panel board which goes to the twisted wires;
merely unwrap it from around the post that it has been routed
around....that will do it; they were not long enough coming from the
factory!~

I see this all the time.  Make SURE that both hard stops in azimuth work
in both directions (total turn about 680 degrees); if there are NOT two
stops, this will tangle the wires like I see them....

Dr. Clay
--------------------
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC H45 (Petit Jean Mountain South)
Harvard MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain)
http://www.arksky.org/

And:

1 The scope started "jumping" and I asked Mike what to do. I followed
his instruction which cured the problem  for a while, but the "jumping "
kept coming back.Black plasticbits were found in the base over time.So
As an amateur I think that something has been wrong with the "HARDSTOPP"
because now the scope has no hardstopp at least in one direction.I must
add that I'm familiar to some extent since I've had an ETX 90 for 2
years. 2 The difference between the two pics is that the one at the
bottom has got the wiring drawn into the gear and the wiring has been
stretched , almost breaking. I don't dare to use it being afraid of a 
further damage.So in my opinion perhaps the hardstopp made of metal ?
has hit some plastic ?which the hardstopp has scraped off. During time
there there is no resistance.I've been using the scope very much during
the 4 months.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but please advise me!
Regards
Jan H Kolst
Norway

And:

Oh...you have major problems.  The jump and skipping AND the wire
twisting are indeed happening because the telescope is twisting the
wires radically inside the fork arm turntable; you must stop using this
scope as it is.  The hard stops are installed to prevent wire wrapping
and tearing and that is exactly what is happening.  You apparently have
broken off one of the two stops and the scope is moving freely in one
direction, taking the wires with it.  It is possible that the telescope
was not working properly when sold.

Do you have someone over there that can repair it OR if you got this
from OPT, perhaps they will exchange it for one that is not defective or
at least arrange to have it repaired for you.

This is a serious matter that will only further damage the telescope if
you use it as it is presently.

Dr. Clay

Subject:	ETX125 focus
Sent:	Tuesday, April 18, 2006 15:48:53
From:	Flundberg77@wmconnect.com (Flundberg77@wmconnect.com)
Joseph Moure wrote on April, 9 about his ETX125 not focusing. His focus
shaft may have come unthreaded from the mirror. Try pulling back on the
focus shaft / knob and rotating counterclockwise to re-engage the
thread. this may solve his problem.
Forrest Lundberg

Subject:	re: etx-90 horizontal drive inoperative
Sent:	Monday, April 17, 2006 19:17:13
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
If it's still under warranty (calendar-wise) i'd recommend
calling Meade... they're usually pretty forgiving about
intelligent attempts to self-diagnose and repair
(as long as you haven't -broken- something in the attempt).

If it's beyond warranty, they'll still fix it for a
reasonable flat rate.

good luck
--dick

Subject:	Recommendation
Sent:	Sunday, April 16, 2006 11:37:10
From:	S E Wroblewski (sewroblewski@comcast.net)
Can you please recommend an ETX model? I am interested, in time, in
astrophotography. I have a Canon 20D. I have many Canon L series lenses
that I have been using on my tripod. If I find myself actually using the
scope, then I may trade up. I have seen many references to used
equipment. What are your thoughts on this subject? Thank you in advance.
 
Regards,
 
Steve Wroblewski
Mike here: If you have no other requirements (like portability and budget) then get the largest one available (and in the ETX line that would be the ETX-125 with UHTC).
Subject:	Re: ETX125 focuser shift and a spontaneous defocusing
Sent:	Saturday, April 15, 2006 12:23:01
From:	Ing. Gejza Novak (gnovak@zoznam.sk)
many thanks for your great  ETX site, which is very helpfull for every
ETX owner, and for your monitoring of my correspondence with Mr Clay.
I wish you all the best,  Gejza Novak.

Subject:	ETX 125AT Control Board
Sent:	Saturday, April 15, 2006 10:13:54
From:	Hamer, Scott E., Celanese/US (sehamer@celanese.com)
Read a bunch of the your blog during my fruitless search for Meade
parts..do you know where I can get my hands on a main control board [it
the biggest board so I call it the main] for my ETX 125AT scope? Bunch
of previous motor faults and now my RA motor will only turn one way
only, flipped the motor connection and it turns the other way just
finechecked my autostar and by swapping l/r function and the buttons
work.. so I can only narrow down to the this control board. All my
nights are cloudy!
Thanks,
Scott
reply to or 
s_hamer@grandecom.net
Mike here: I wouldn't call my ETX Site a "blog". As to parts, check Telescope Warehouse; link on the Astronomy Links page.

And:

Poor choice of words, my apologies, thanks for the lead.

Regards,

Scott 
Mike here: No offense taken; the Site seems like WAY more than a personal blog!
Subject:	etx-90 horizontal drive inoperative
Sent:	Friday, April 14, 2006 22:25:14
From:	Nick Haussecker (ttalaoc@yahoo.com)
Hello,  first off I would like to commend your awesome site.  The
problem I have is similar to the one The Shudras (lshudra@ev1.net  Date
12/30/03, 21:27) had;  the horizontal drive on my ETX-90 was inoperative
when I recieved it.  The hard-headed techie am decided to keep it
anyways and attempt to repair it.  As  I delved it to the base, the
problem became somewhat apparent.  There is a small gearbox in the base.
When I tightened the screws on the gearbox, and held it upside-down,
the scope would move clockwise.  As I tried to move it the other
direction, the gears started to slip again.  I turned it over, it goes a
small ways, then the gears start slipping in that direction aswell.  I
can "rock" (hit the other direction, it then clicks the gears back into
place) it to work again, but this is no solution.  Any and all help you
could provide would be greatly appreciated.  If you need any more
information, please e-mail me at ttalaoc@yahoo.com;  I will attempt to
respond with all due haste.  Thank you, Nick.
Mike here: Is the gearbox loose? Are the threads stripped? Also, check that the gear is firmly attached.

And:

The gearbox might be loose, the threads are not stripped and the gear is
firmly attached.  The four screws are as tight as I can tighten them
with a small jewelry screwdriver.  I don't want to over tighten the
casing for risk of cracking it.  Is there any way I could possibly get a
replacement gearbox?  Thank you again.
Mike here: Check Telescope Warehouse; link on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject:	astral coordinates
Sent:	Thursday, April 13, 2006 19:59:13
From:	steve harper (intmid8tr3@yahoo.com)
just curious if there is a web site that i could go to and enter some
coordinates to find out whats there. my daughter just named a star for
me and all i have is the coordinates. i know its in orion.
thanks for your time as always
steve
Mike here: Try the Digitized Sky Survey:
http://archive.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_form
Subject:	RSS Feedback
Sent:	Thursday, April 13, 2006 13:42:50
From:	Matthias Schnizer (matthias@schnizer.com)
Earlier this week, I reported a problem with your RSS feed using PLUCK
as the reader. I looked further in the issue and found that this error
was (apparently) due to a Microsoft ActiveX patch (KB912945). Pluck has
a patch for their product (RSS reader) which fixes the problem and can
be downloaded from the PLUCK download page.

I thought I will let you know in case somebody else is writing to you
with the same issue.
 
Best Regards
 
Matt

Subject:	ETX-90AT questions for first time buyer in germany
Sent:	Thursday, April 13, 2006 02:08:18
From:	edward.stumph@us.army.mil
I was looking at an ETX-90AT to buy for my daughter and I. She is 7
years old and im wanting something we both can do together.  Anyways my
question is, what version of the ETX-90AT would you recommend for a
beginner scope?  I read the differences and was looking more towards the
ETX-90PE.  Would the ETX-90AT with UHTC be better?  The other question I
have, can this telescope with Autostar be used in germany? I read
someplace that you have to input your zip code into the Autostar, if so
will it accept a german zip code of 68549 or an APO zip of 09102? Im
currently stationed overseas, so I can still ship it to an APO address.
The difference in price is too much to buy here in germany, about 1300
dollars for the ETX-90PE, and about 950 for the ETX-90AT.

Thanks
Mike here: Yes, the ETX-90 is a fine beginner telescope. But you likely don't need the PE model if you are willing to learn a little bit about the night sky AND how to properly set up the telescope. The PE model does a little more automation on that vs the AT model. UHTC is well worth the extra cost. And yes, you can use the Autostar in Germany. If you buy the telescope from a German dealer you will likely get the German language version of the Autostar and have to load the English language into it using a computer and the #505 RS-232 serial cable.

And:

Thanks for the fast response

Subject:	Question re Telescope EZ- Focus For Meade-ETX Telescopes 
Sent:	Monday, April 10, 2006 16:57:13
From:	MKrupa7333@aol.com (MKrupa7333@aol.com)
Have you had any feeback on these manual focusers? EZ Focus is name. 
Sold on e-bay. They are about $15 with shipping versus other brands.
 
Thanks,
 
Michael P. Krupa
Mike here: You mean like the two articles that show up when you search the Site for "EZ-Focus"?
Subject:	Meade Scope as pan tilt webcam
Sent:	Monday, April 10, 2006 08:30:20
From:	Adrian -- Nanny Cay Marina (adrian@nannycay.com)
I am trying to design a webcam that will give us close up images of
outlying islands around our marina. I had the idea to use a telescope
with digital imager for this purpose, but know nothing about scopes or
the quality of digital images that I could achieve with a system such at
this (most information regarding digital imaging is nighttime/astro
stuff) and I am hoping for a bit of advice in this area if you have the
time... Here is what I envision the system to be, perhaps you have some
input. Using a Meade etx90 spotting scope, digital imager or video
eyepiece, and computer with frame grabber for the back end.. as for pan
and tilt, there are some surveillance products available suitable for
this purpose that can be computer controlled (I initially was thinking
that a motorized version of the telescope might work, but as I
understand it, these will return an error when directed to objects below
the horizon, and are ill equipped for such a purpose, as the autostar
system cannot be programmed for terrestrial objects?). Automatic
focusing is another hurdle, but figure some sort of electric servo with
RS232 controller would do some sort of job. Not sure how easy it would
be to design such a thing, as have no scope to play with.
Any advice or input greatly appreciated.
Cheers

Adrian Sinton

IT manager
Nanny Cay Marina
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
http://www.nannycay.com
Mike here: If you consider the telescope as a 1250mm telephoto lens when you attach a camera (film or digital) at prime focus (the rear port on the ETX without using an eyepiece or camera lens), then you will get an idea of the image you will get. A webcam would perform a similar function (if you remove the webcam lens). As to controlling the telescope, you can do this, including focusing (which you probably don't need if everything is far enough away to be considered at infinity). See the "Autostar commands" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.

And:

Thank you for the email, and your input. I had considered the prime
focus option, but was unsure of how to attach the camera. I had seen
there are adapters for 35mm cameras, but not for somthing like a webcam
that usually require a c-mount lense(that would solve a lot of issues,
and keep the cost down). Do you know of a c-mount adapter for the prime
focus on the etx?
thanks again.
Adrian

Adrian Sinton
Mike here: Users typically add a 1.25" tube to the webcam (with the lens removed). And then use a "Visual Back" on the rear port which allows 1.25" accessories to be used there. Haven't looked for a c-mount.

And:

OK, got it.. thanks again for all the help
Cheers
Adrian

Subject:	ETX 125 focus 
Sent:	Sunday, April 9, 2006 18:58:15
From:	Joseph L. Moure (adobejoe@comcast.net)
I have n ETX 125 that I cannot focus. It worked fine until I hooked up
the power focus device, now it just won't work, it just keeps turning
with no effect - either power or manual. Any ideas?
 
Joe
Mike here: When you turn the focus shaft itself (without the electric focuser attached) does it turn with or without any resistance? And can you focus by turning the shaft? If not, then it has likely become disconnected from the moving mirror at the rear of the ETX. Depending on your mechanical skills you may not want to attempt a repair yourself. You can also run the risk of putting the optics out of collimation. So if that's the problem you might want to contact Meade for the repair.
By the way, be certain to keep the OTA pointed upwards whenever the focus knob or electric focuser is removed from the shaft. Otherwise, the shaft can slip inside the tube.
Subject:	Re: ETX125 focuser shift and a spontaneous defocusing
Sent:	Sunday, April 9, 2006 17:01:29
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
I suspect that your main mirror is loose; unscrew the front tube
carefully; the mirror is held into place with a small metal ring that
seats it firmly against the rear cell; if the mirror is loose, any
motion of the focuser will cause a major shift in the mirror, thereby
pushing the field of view off to one side.  It does not matter where the
mirror is locked relative to any shift, just aim the assembly straight
up and carefully use two pointed objects (icepicks, but please be
careful and go slow) to screw the collar clockwise to firm up the
mirror.....this should take care of your problem.
 
Best of luck!
 
Dr. Clay
--------------------
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC H45 (Petit Jean Mountain South)
Harvard MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain)
http://www.arksky.org/
 
----- Original Message -----
From: Ing. Gejza Novk
To: drclay@tcworks.net
Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2006 2:29 PM
Subject: ETX125 focuser shift and a spontaneous defocusing

Dear Mr Sherrod,
I`m from Slovakia and I own an ETX125 with UHTC(delivered from USA by my
nephew 2 years ago). From very beginning I`ve troubles with awful image
shifting when focusing ( and also with battery compartment wrongly
manufactured, no hex wrenches added, bad  connection between wires in
the cable for new Autostar firmware downloading from computer to
Autostar ) , the image shifts more than half way across the FOV when
using, as an example, the 26mm eyepiece & when using a 9 mmm eyepiece it
shifts completely out of the FOV before getting to the focus point, the
image then shifts the other way when reversing the focuser. Last night
was added to this problem another one -  a spontaneous defocusing of
previously focused object, when looking to Saturn eg. I`ve spent all the
day reading Mike Weasner`s site and looking forward articles concerning
my problems and I find  the one with your helpfull information but I
don`t know if your bellow given recommendation will fix my problem. I
have no possibility to send  my ETX to Meade for repair so I would be
very gratefull if you could write me what to do by myself.
 
Here is your previous answer to a similar problem:
Subject:  ETX125 focuser shift
Sent:   Sunday, April 24, 2005 05:40:10
From:   P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
Hello Alan...
Focus shift can be caused by MANY issue, but typically is just one...you
need to remove the OTA from the rear cell; unscrew the focuser shaft
about half way (CCW) and remove the knob or electric focuser unit; there
are three very small hex cap screws which hold the OTA into the rear
cell; remove these and save in a tuna can or similar, because they WILL
get lost if you place on the countertop.

Once done, merely grasp the blue OTA in one hand with a rubber glove for
grip and the rear cell/fork arms in the other hand and pull gently
apart....do NOT twist while separating!

You will see where the threaded focus rod inserts into the
OTA....typically binding is causing the shifting, but most of this is
due to poor milling by Meade on some 125 models.  You can improve these
imperfect models greatly, but do not expect to eliminate all focus
shift.  Run the focus rod gently all the way CCW until you feel
pressure...do NOT force or you will damage.  Once there apply a thick
grease, such as pure white Lithium (available in the tool dept. at
Lowes) in a very thin layer, pushing hard into the threads...do NOT
apply too much or you risk getting this stuff on the optics eventually. 
Once done, put the knob on the rod temporarily and run it in and out all
the way slowly about 3-4 times.  Once done, run it HALF-WAY between all
the way and all the way out and stop.  At that position, turn the OTA to
about a 45-degree tilt, with corrector down and put 1-2 DROPS of 3-in-1
oil right where the threaded rod goes into the threaded rear cell of the
scope and QUICKLY run the focuser CLOCKWISE to get that thin bit of oil
into the rear cell threads.

Once done, run the threaded rod slowly all the way CW and then CCW about
2 more times.

This procedure will greatly improve the performance....NOTE:  do NOT put
more than 2 drops of oil on the rod!

Take your time and do this very methodically....if you get in a hurry
you will be worse off than you started and can greatly mess up the
works.  This procedure will NOT affect collimation or GO TO operation at
all with the scope.
 
Good luck!
 
Dr. Clay
--------------------
Arkansas Sky Observatories
 
I have no possibility to send  my ETX to Meade for repair so I would be
very gratefull if you could write me what to do by myself.
Sincerelly yours,   Gejza Novak.

And:

Dear Mr Sherrod,
many thanks for your prompt answer. Excuse my question, but please give
me know how to unscrew the front tube, because I don`t know an exact
composition of the ETX125 telescope. Should I firstly dismantle an OTA
from a fork or the black front part with the correction lens is screwed
in the blue OTA`s tube? Maybe some picture concerning the inner
composition will be helpfull for me.  I only don`t want to demage my ETX
with my some  inconvenient action. I will be during dismantling very
carefull.
 
Many thanks in advance and wishes all the best,
Gejza Novak.

And:

To gain access to the mirror, which is really all that you need to do
here, is to have a helper hold firmly onto both fork arms while you
unscrew the blue metal tube from the black plastic rear cell....the cell
will stay with the fork arms and the tube will simply slide off once
properly unscrewed.  Turn the open end of the tube downward to prevent
dust and insects from getting in there and quickly look at the primary
mirror that is now exposed...there is a small metal ring collar that
holds the mirror onto the long baffle tube.  That is the collar that
likely has worked loose.
 
Best of luck on this.
 
Dr. Clay

And:

my probably last question concerning my problem. Please, give me know,
which is the proper direction  (CCW or CW) for unscrewing of the blue
tube from rear cell (looking from a front part of the telescope). I`ve
tried both directions but the tube is still without movement and keeps
firmly.
 
Many thanks,   Gejza Novak.
Screw CCW facing the front of the tube; it is very tight and I suggest
that you have someone hold onto the rear portion of the telescope.  NOTE
that it unscrews from the black plastic rear cell that is located
between the fork arms....careful not to damage the fork arm holders (OTA
adapters).
 
Dr. Clay

And an update:

today with my wife`s help I unscrewed a blue OTA tube and was able to
turn a small metal ring collar about one half of revolution. Maybe I
will need more convenient instrument for firmlier mirror fixture. I
achieved the  following result: with an 4 mm eyepiece is a focuser shift
about 30 to 40 % field of view. 
Can I achieve a better result?
Best regards,    Gejza Novak.
Wow, actually with a 4mm eyepiece, that kind of shift would be most
welcome by most ETX users.  I would be very content with it just the way
it is.  The only thing I would suggest is to make sure that the position
where the mirror is now pulled to, that you make sure that the threaded
rod that attaches to the mirror (the focusing rod) is not pulling or
pushing to one side, but squarely line up to the exit hole on the back
of the rear cell.
 
Best of luck.
 
Dr. Clay

And further:

the threaded rod that attaches to the mirror is now squarely line up to
the exit hole on the back of the rear cell and all is OK. I`m very
gratefull for your help, my scope now works as I always wanted. I wish
you nice Easter holidays.
 
Sicerely yours, Gejza Novak.
Excellent...enjoy the scope and glad that we were able to help! Dr. Clay


Subject:	meade ETX 125 cleaning
Sent:	Sunday, April 9, 2006 13:00:50
From:	michelle smith (nellyshellybelly@hotmail.com)
just a querie i bought a ETX 125 scope the other week with some bits and bobs.
the guy who sold it to me also sold me a cleaning kit
when i used the cleaning solution it took off the silver coating on my
flip mirror.
have you come across this before,and how would i stand on getting it sorted,
is it down to the shop that i bought it from as he sold me the cleaning
kit aswell as the scope.
any advise would be appreciated

regards

garry
Mike here: Either the cleaning kit was not meant for use on "first surface" mirrors or you didn't follow the instructions in the kit. Either way, contact the dealer first. Good luck.
Subject:	ETX 125PE Declination bounce problem
Sent:	Sunday, April 9, 2006 07:57:53
From:	Alan (alan@madcapdj.gotadsl.co.uk)
I have recently become the proud owner of an ETX125PE but I am also
pretty new to telescopes and am having a problem which may be due to
either me, the telescope or just possible my high expectations. I hope
you may have some help.

I intend using the telescope mainly in Alt/Az configuration and I have
trained the drives in this mode (having previously set the Dec and RA %
adjustments as per the very helpful article on your site from  P. Clay
Sherrod). I have also downloaded and installed the latest Autostar
firmware (version 41Ec).

The problem is that once I have centered a star in the eypiece and I
want to make any adjustment to the Dec the actual movement of the
telescope briefly goes in the wrong direction. eg if I tell the scope to
go up it drops before finally going up, and vice versa. At low power
this is no great problem, apart from the fact that I don't think it
should happen at all, but if I want to change eyepiece and up the power
I have great difficulty re-centering.

I also noticed that on one occasion I tried to slew fractionally down
and the telescope actually moved to the right instead.
 
Many thanks in anticiaption.
 
Alan Pattison
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR? Then do the TRAIN DRIVES; don't forget that you have to do both axes.

And:

Thanks for the quick response.

I should have mentioned that I had done a Calibrate Motor as well. And
yes I did train the drives for both axes.
Mike here: It could be that something messed up with the download. Try a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES. This should get it back to normal. If not, you should re-download the update. Then do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES. Do NOT make the adjustments suggested in the article until you KNOW you need them.

And:

I will give it a try.

Many thanks

Subject:	USB to parallel long exposure control
Sent:	Thursday, April 6, 2006 19:50:00
From:	pgh (surfpgh@comcast.net)
You have an awsome website!
 
My question for reasearch is........
Do you or anyone know a good supply source for a "USB to parallel"
adaptor that will work with the parallel long exposure and focus
control?   For a modified webcam obviously!
I recently got a brand new laptop and can't use any of the modified
parts that I have made for my scope equipment!
 
Sincerely,
 
Greg H.
Mike here: I'm not aware of any such adapter but then since I use a Macintosh I haven't had any need to a parallel device.
Subject:	ETX 90
Sent:	Thursday, April 6, 2006 11:45:23
From:	Joe Kehoe (joe@thekehoes.net)
My family gave me the above mentioned telescope on my retirement. One
problem. I have read many times the directions to set up the telescope.
I have yet to set it up because I do not understand the directions.
Would you know anybody who is able to get the telescope up and running.
I am in the Falmouth,Mass. area. Thank you for your cooperation in this
matter
 
Joe Kehoe
Mike here: If you are having problems using the Autostar, see the Alignment Tips section on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page. Otherwise, can you describe the problem more specifically?
Subject:	re: Forums (or fora)(was: from South Africa)
Sent:	Wednesday, April 5, 2006 21:44:52
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
As Mike mentioned, there are many message groups hosted by
Yahoo.com.  Among them are:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/etxastro
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meade-ds-telescopes
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meadeds
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meadeetxowners
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meade-uncensored
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/meade_autostar
... just to name a few of the dozen or two concerned
with the various Meade telescopes and controllers.

Unfortunately, the same questions -do- keep getting
asked, over and over again (just like at Mike's site).
This is in part due to new "i just got a telescope!"
people not knowing how to fully explore the sites to find
 the old answers.

have fun
--dick

Subject:	ETX 90 focusing advice
Sent:	Tuesday, April 4, 2006 06:24:31
From:	Steve Watts (Stevewattts@btopenworld.com)
I've been looking at your web site and it's helped me to choose an ETX
90 as my first telescope. Thanks very much-I got my new telescope today.

Can you give me some advice re the focusing knob please-I'm trying to
get this focused on a terrestrial object to get everything aligned. I'm
turning the knob anti clockwise but I can't seem to get anything in
focus at all and I must have given it a couple of hundred turns at
least. How many turns should this take from max distance to min distance
focus? And is there an easy way I can tell whether I've got a faulty
focusing mechanism here?

Thanks in advance

Regards

Steve
Mike here: Keep in mind there is a minimum focus distance (3.5m or 11.5') for the ETX-90. Depending on what you are trying to focus on and how close it is, it may be difficult to determine when you have achieved a proper focus due to the high magnification. As to the number of turns, I haven't counted them but there several BUT not close to 200. But it shouldn't turn continuously. You can tell if the shaft is moving since it should move slightly in and out from the rear of the ETX as you rotate the knob. If not, check the setscrew in the knob to ensure it is tight. If you can see the Moon tonight, try it for a target object.
Subject:	Hello Mike this mail is from South Africa thanks for your web site 
Sent:	Tuesday, April 4, 2006 00:35:44
From:	Dawie Venter (pdventer@buscor.co.za)
I bought my first telescope a DS2114 and don't get a lot of sleep
anymore i am sure you have been there.

I got a lot of questions and I don't want to bombard you with it, I
looked at your web site and it helped me a lot with getting started so I
want to return the favor for The community if you don't mind

By the way I love air plains to one of my hobbies is remote control
plains

And wow I have never seen so many books in a persons house I respect
that a lot I battle with dyslexia and get tired easily from reading but
a appreciate people that can do it.

Ok back to business I am in the I.T industry for the last 15 years and
is up to date with the latest technology I know web programmers that
will help me for fee to get a forum started on your server our we can
put a link to my server only for the forum.

My idea with a forum is to get the community to ask questions there and
experienced people like yourself can answer them on the forum and the
rest of us can read the question and answer and that way all of us do
not have to ask the same questions over and over again, it will be there
on a notice board.

Please get back to me on the subject you are welcome to do it on your
own or I more than willing to support you in this regard
 
Thanks Again for your Web site !
 
Dawie Venter
Nelspruit
South Africa
Mike here: There already is a forum for ETX users on Yahoo Groups. There may be one for DS users; I haven't checked. As to why I don't use a "forum" on the ETX Site, see the Site Guide. But thanks for the offer.
Subject:	Travel tripod for etx
Sent:	Sunday, April 2, 2006 13:06:02
From:	Joe Herzing (jherzing@lakesplus.com)
Is there a tripod that folds down to under 2 feet that could be used on
an ETX mine specifically is a 105 but I don't know that it matters too
much.
Thanks
Joe
Mike here: You could use a sturdy photographic tripod in Alt/Az but vibrations could be a problem.
Subject:	How do I use the 1247 focuser and control the telescope from my computer?
Sent:	Sunday, April 2, 2006 10:55:44
From:	Reid McCall (Reid.McCall@delwebb.com)
I have the 1247 focuser.
I have the 505 cable.
My goal is to control the GOTO's and the Focus from my laptop.
But my understanding is the 1247 and the 505 both plug into the Handbox
for use.

Any ideas?

As always, Thanks!

Reid McCall
Mike here: The focuser connects to the AUX port on the ETX.

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