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ETX USER FEEDBACK - APRIL 1999
Last updated: 30 April 1999

This page is for user comments and information of a general nature and applicable to users of both the original ETX model, the ETX-90/EC, and the ETX-125/EC. Items specific to the ETX-90/EC are posted on the ETX-90/EC User Feedback page. Items specific to the ETX-125/EC are posted on the ETX-125/EC User Feedback page. 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.


Mike here: On 20 April I consolidated the ETX web site into a single area on AOL. Please let me know if you find any broken links or missing graphics. Thanks.

Subject:	 Meteor Shower, end of May/early June
Sent:	Friday, April 30, 1999 15:13:23
From:	mikedebr@digizen.net (Mike & Debra)
Has anyone gotten any information on this?  I have been trying to find a
little info out on this to pass to my customers, and I can't seem to
locate anything...yet.  I appreciate any help anyone could give me.

Thanks.

Debra L. Mills
MikeDebr@digizen.net
Manager, Natural Wonders
Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, VA
Mike here: The Aquarid meteor shower occurs in early May. The Pegasids in late May. The Scorpiids in early June.

Subject:	 ETX Accessories
Sent:	Friday, April 30, 1999 5:56:39
From:	aries1@voicenet.com (Elliot Rubinsky)
Solar Filter  Thousand Oaks Polymer Plus ($53 - Pocono Mountain Optics)
This filter is mylar, coated with the same caoting in their Type 2+
glass filter.  It is felt-lined for a slip-on but secure fit with extra
felt for smaller aperature scopes.  It did not fiot over My Tele-Wrap
Dew cap.   The image of the sun was yellow-orange with a blue
background, and reminded me of the image in the Orion Catalogue.  It did
not come with any instructions or marking on the box nor the actual
filter. (Not a problem, I trust Mt. Pocono as I've done business with
them before and were reccommended by a co-worker.  All-in-all a good
purchase.


Eyepiece 32mm "UWA" Seibert about $40 (ebay)
I've only seen seibert sell his EP's on eBay.  I purchase it out of
couriosity to see what an utlra wide angle EP can do..  The eye piece is
hand made and painted black, not the prettiest one on the block.   It
has a rubber o-ring on the bottom to hold filters in place.  (It works!)
With a solar filter, I was able to fit the whole sun in the field of
view with the sky in the back ground .  The color seems to be consistent
accross the F.O.V..  Views of the moon were sharp.  I would reccommend
this EP.

Elliot

Subject:	ETX
Sent:	Friday, April 30, 1999 3:39:07
From:	ARNEPETER@aol.com
First of all: Your Web-Site is great! Thanks for all the valuable
information!

I'm writing from Frankfurt, Germany. I don't have a telescope yet and
was planning to get an ETX 90/EC. Now I see there's the 125 coming.
What's your opinion: Will the performance of the 125 be worth the extra
weight and size and (50% higher price)? Also, I checked out your picture
gallery: Can I expect the visual appearance of the moon and planets to
be as good as the photographic pictures or is there a difference?

Thank you in advance for any comments.

Kind regards,
Arne
Mike here: Can't comment on the new ETX model except it is larger and more expensive. As to visual vs photo, visual will be MUCH better on the moon and planets.

Subject:	 Photography on the ETX/EC-90
Sent:	Thursday, April 29, 1999 13:38:23
From:	Warren_Pugh-CFIN25@email.mot.com (Pugh Warren-CFIN25)
Just love your site. I have been reading it religiously since November
when I bought my original ETX. As a novice, I find the site just a
wealth of good information. Many thanks to all those who have
contributed their good questions as well.  I recently upgraded to the
new ETX through Natural Wonders in Vernon Hills, Illinois. They were
just wonderful...no hassles. While waiting for the Autostar controller
to come in, I've been taking pictures through the eyepiece. Not bad, but
not great either.

Question...I want to take photos through the ETX with my Pentax. Would
you recommend placing the T-Mount on the back of the scope, or getting
the eyepiece adapter and placing the camera on top?

Thanks and keep up the nice work.

Warren Pugh
WarrenPugh@aol.com
Mike here: Either mounting location will be a challenge for photos, even short duration ones. SLR mirror and/or shutter enduced vibrations will ruin most photos unless you have an incredibly sturdy tripod. Long duration exposures will trail since there is no way (with purchasing an off-axis guider attachment) to see and manually correct for drive and/or polar alignment. But if you are up to the challenge (and ready to go through a LOT of film), then you have to decide what objects you want to shoot. The moon (surface details) and planets will be better with an eyepiece projection adapter. Nebulae and the full moon are better with the camera at Prime Focus. Be certain you read through the Accessories - Astrophotography and the Astrophotography Gallery pages.

Subject:	 Things to see.
Sent:	Thursday, April 29, 1999 12:03:58
From:	rwestmaas@easynet.co.uk (Ron Westmaas)
In response to gw's question about finding things to see. May I suggest
that he tries to get hold of 'Turn Left at Orion' by Consolmagno and
Davis? It's a great starter with lots of suggestions for a 'small scope'
like the etx.
Ron

-----------------------------------------------
Website http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~rwestmaas
E-mail: rwestmaas@easynet.co.uk
 ----------------------------------------------  

Subject:	 ETX Reflection
Sent:	Thursday, April 29, 1999 2:20:29
From:	ROGER_WORTLEY@compuserve.com (ROGER WORTLEY)
First thanks to Craig, Gregg and Cameron Brennan for replying to my
E-mail on Skymap pro. With regards to the processing speed problem I
have determined it only occurs on WIN98 and not 95.

I have just read John Watsons problem with ETX reflection and I have
seen the same circular or horse shoe reflection when a bright star or
planet is at the top of the scope. This only occurs with the 26mm
eyepiece. With my zoom eyepiece set at 23mm or the 13mm wide angle the
reflection can only be seen when the star is out of view.

With the wide field adapter it can be seen at the top. Bottom or side of
the Scope but seems more pronounced at the top. It might indicate the
mirror is not dead true but is probably within manufacturing tolerance.

When de-focusing on a bright star at the top of  the scope you only see
half of a "donut" in actual fact you see the top half when turning the
focus one way and the bottom half when turning it in the opposite
direction. I don't know what this is telling me but it doesn't appear to
be effecting the quality of the image.

The donut ring appears correct once the star is not near the top of the
scope.

Anybody know what is going on?

Roger Wortley.
Mike here: It continues to be foggy here where I live so I can't test this out on my ETX. What do you see when the star is centered in the eyepiece and you defocus in each direction?

Added later:

When defocusing a planet or star in the centre of the eyepiece the
result is a perfect donut in both directions.

Subject:	 ETX and ETX-90/EC
Sent:	Wednesday, April 28, 1999 16:48:16
From:	BILLINJ@HughesLuce.com (Billingsley, James)
I got your name and e-mail address from your ETX Web page, which I just
found and intend to explore in much more detail.  As an avid ETX owner,
I'd like to know whether Meade intends to sell the base for the
ETX-90/EC separately, so that ETX owners such as myself can upgrade to
the ETX-90/EC (including the Autostar computer controller) without
having to actually purchase the entire package.  Last month's issue of
Sky & Telescope, which had a review of the ETX-90/EC, said that as of
the time the issue went to press, Meade had not decided whether to sell
the base separately.  Has Meade made a decision?
Mike here: As you'll discover when you start catching up on some of the Feedback archives, Meade has no plans for an upgrade path.

Subject:	 MEADE dealer in Japan
Sent:	Wednesday, April 28, 1999 1:28:58
From:	BKSTA2@shell.co.th (HMA/3 (Sukun T.) .)
Dear Mr. Minoru Hironaka,
I saw your mail to Mike about trying to get the ETX 125 EC in Japan.  I
remembered seeing Meade dealer in Japan while searching for the regional
dealer last year when trying to locate one in my area.  I quickly go
back to Meade homepage and copy the dealers in Japan for you.  Hope you
can contact them and get the scope.  But it is not launched yet !  You
may have to wait 2-3 months before it is available in Japan.  Anyway,
you are more lucky than I am as there is no Meade dealer in Thailand.
Best regards,
Sukun T.
Bangkok, Thailand
MIC International Corporation
                    8-1 Kugenuma Tachibana
                   1-Chome  Fujisawa
                     JP
                    (0466) 27-3950
                    Fax: (0466) 22-4262 
 MIC International Corporation
                     28-2 Higashimatano-cho
                     Totsuka-ku   Yokahama
                     JP
                     (0458) 58-1317
                     Fax: (0458) 58-1328 	

Subject:	 Scopetronix ETX -90/EC tripod adaptor
Sent:	Tuesday, April 27, 1999 14:30:39
From:	scandrew@excite.com
I purchased the Scopetronix tripod adaptor mentioned on your web site,
and I find it to be a well made product that provides a steady mount for
the scope.  As one needing to watch my budget this adaptor is a great
alternative to purchasing a $200.00 tripod!

Thanks for the information.

Scott D.
Texas

Subject:	 RE: A case or carrier for the Deluxe Field Tripod
Sent:	Tuesday, April 27, 1999 6:09:39
From:	ikencindy@email.msn.com (Isaac Hassoun)
Just wanted to let you know that I found what I was looking for. One of
Orion's catalogs, Telescope & Binocular, has a number of tripod bags.

Keep up the good work, I just wish I could reciprocate.

Cheers,

Ike H.

Subject:	 Mars Polar ice cap
Sent:	Monday, April 26, 1999 20:03:26
From:	BKSTA2@shell.co.th (HMA/3 (Sukun T.) .)
It has been either cloudy/rainy every night and last night was the
'first' night with clear sky in Bangkok since late March.  I looked at
Mars about 1.5-2 hrs after sunset.  It is a very bright reddish planet
with naked eyes. Through the ETX, its surface is bright orange-red with
remarkable Maria and a small ice cap at 128X and 256X.  It is much
better than the view in Jan-Feb this year which appeared dimmer and the
Polar ice cap is not visible from my observation point.  One point is
that after it rises to a higher altitude in the sky, the polar ice cap
is very fade or even not visible through the ETX.  I think I will
confirm this again tonight, but unfortunately, today and the next few
days will be rainy/cloudy again in BKK (& most of Thailand).  So, for
those who want to observe the Mars Polar ice cap, may be the best time
is when it is only 20-30 degree  above the horizon (1.5-2.5 hrs after
sunset). After Mars, I looked north and the Big Dipper is there.  In
Thai starlore, the constellation is known as 'Crocodile' (7 stars, four
stars for legs and three for its tail).  I aimed at the easy Mizar (The
2nd star of the Crocodile's tail) and its the double (Alcor) resolved up
at 96X.  That's all as the cloud is covering up again.  Only got a
chance to take two pictures of the Moon before it's too cloudy for
further observation.

Congratulations (to Meade and our Group) on the long-awaiting new ETX
125 EC to be launched soon. I might get one if the unit appears to be
stable, i.e. not many problems in the fork base unit to prevent it from
proper functions because there is no MEADE's repair service in BKK. 
Since US Meade dealers cannot export Meade scope, and Meade Regional
Dealer's price in KL is more than double of US price, I have to take the
risk again as with my old ETX. Have to get a friend buy it for me and
carry or ship back to Thailand.  I will wait to see the comment from our
pioneer user group before making the decision.  Actually, I prefer to
get a computerised 5" Celestron because there a small dealer in BKK. 
Unfortunately, Celestron does not launch such things.(OR anyone knows
about any similar scope from Celestron??)   I am still wondering what
Celestron is doing, letting MEADE take all the market??

Best regards,
Sukun T.

Subject:	 Comments on New User comments
Sent:	Monday, April 26, 1999 13:50:05
From:	scameron@ohiohills.com (Scott Cameron)
A couple of comments in response to some other New User comments:

1) Starry Night Deluxe vs. Redshift 3 software (for the Mac). I bought
both of these. (I should say that I'm not enough of an astronomer to
judge the nitty-gritty astronomical details of these programs. My
judgments are based on the features and ease of use I found as an
amateur user.)

I bought Redshift first, because it was cheaper and the reviews were
great. And it's a fine program. I have grown tired of a few of its
features, though: It has an animated opening title that you have to go
around; it has "movies" that are good introductions to some astronomy
concepts, but after you've seen them, they just take up space. I do like
the control panel for the "sky view" portion of the program. And the
"sky view" works well.

Starry Night also has a fine "sky view" and good controls. It costs two
or three times as much as Redshift. It doesn't have "movies," although
you can make your QuickTime shows with it. It has one big advantage over
Redshift, in my opinion: you can load Starry Night onto your hard disk
and play it without the CD-ROM. The CD-ROM gives you the fainter stars
and celestial objects. Since I got Starry Night, I haven't used
Redshift.

2) The Meade "Deluxe" Field Tripod. I bought one, because it's got that
special head for the ETX/90C. But I'm sorry, it's a piece of crap. Cheap
aluminum channel legs with cranky locking points. The tripods I use for
nature photography, which cost about the same or less, are SO much
heavier, sturdier, and easier to work with.

My Meade tripod had one leg that kept sliding out of position...I
finally took it apart and added two pieces of (fuzzy-side) Velcro to the
clamping area. Now the leg is tight amd I trust it to hold the 'scope
(mostly).

The central "stiffening" arms are really flimsy...one kept coming loose
from the central plate until I squeezed the connection with some pliers.
But I still have trouble attaching the eyepiece-holder because the
contraption just isn't built well. I also wish I didn't have to remove
the eyepiece holder to fold the legs...it would be so much easier to get
the set-up tripod-and-scope through doorways! All in all, the Meade
tripod is a disappointment.

Subject:	 Eyepieces 4 Sale
Sent:	Sunday, April 25, 1999 10:51:19
From:	marty104@usit.net (John Martellaro)
I have some eyepieces for sale.

Model          fl (mm)    App Field (deg)    Eye Relief (mm)   Price
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Meade Super
Wide Angle      24.5         61               19               $110

Brandon
Orthoscopic     12           48               12               $100

Nagler I         7           78               12               $195

All are in immaculate condition. Send inquiries to John Martellaro
(marty104@usit.net) I will pay postage.  Terms are C.O.D., cash or money
order.  No checks.  I won't pay overseas postage.  The buyer will have
to do that.  The M.O.s must be drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. funds.

Subject:	Re: Tripods
Sent:	Sunday, April 25, 1999 10:27:43
From:	KC8DDQ@aol.com
I've been on your website off an on for several hours. All I've got to
say is "ONE SUPER WEBSITE!" Extremely informative. Thanks for having
such a site. It has helped tremendously. I think I'm goint to get the
Meade tripod. Seemed to be alot of people who were very satisfied with
it. Now I need to look for a hard case and other accessories as well.
I'll check with your site first.

Paul

Subject:	 Upgrades
Sent:	Saturday, April 24, 1999 23:01:56
From:	cann@axionet.com (Douglas E. Cann)
Not too much to report.  Just when I thought the 'old' versus the 'new'
ETX upgrade questions were done with, Meade comes out with an ETX 125. 
This should really stir up some interesting 'upgrade' questions from the
ranks of the ETX 90's owners !!

I hope that you are having enough time to actually observe while you are
keeping this web site going.  It really is a great site. I bet when you
started in the summer of 1996 with the initial comments, that you
wouldn't have guessed how mich it would have grown. Anyway, I hope that
you get to observe Mars and enjoy the views....

Cheers.....Doug
Mike here: Observing has been slim lately due mostly to poor weather (fog, rain, etc). But yes, the site does take a lot of time! And you are definitely right about never expecting that this site would become what it has over the last couple of years. But I'm enjoying it and learning myself from the experiences of others.

Subject:	 ETX-125 vs LX-50 7" Mak
Sent:	Saturday, April 24, 1999 22:33:00
From:	jk.saggese@prodigy.net (JK Saggese)
I'm considering trading in my old ETX-90 and buying either an ETX-125
when it becomes available, or holding off a little while and then buying
an LX-50 7" Mak.  The latter is obviously the better telescope, and much
more expensive, but I've read in several places that while larger
telescopes will obviously show more detail under optimum seeing
conditions, they are more significantly compromised by light pollution
and other imperfect seeing conditions than smaller telescopes are.  If
anyone who's had some experience looking through various larger
telescopes could indicate how this tradeoff plays out in practice,
especially in moderately light-polluted suburban skies, I would very
much like to know.  I'd really hate to buy the LX-50 (more than double
the cost of the ETX-125 by the time I buy a tripod for the LX-50) and
discover that on 9 out of 10 nights it really doesn't show much, if any,
more than a good 5" scope would. The cost difference between the units
would not be objectionable if I could expect to consistently see more,
and occasionally much more, with the 7" than the 5".  Any thoughts are
appreciated.
JK Saggese
Mike here: Ah, cost versus capabilities. The age-old question. One factor to keep in mind is portability. The ETX-125/EC looks to still be easily portable. With larger scopes that gets more complex.

Subject:	 equatorial mount?
Sent:	Saturday, April 24, 1999 22:19:21
From:	jk.saggese@prodigy.net (JK Saggese)
Out of curiosity, has anyone tried a radical treatment of the drive
accuracy by replacing the entire fork mount with an aftermarket mount of
some kind, like a traditional German equatorial mount?  I'm considering
buying a Microstar II to allow for tracking correction for photography
but thought it worthwhile to consider more radical measures as well.
Thanks,
JK Saggese
Mike here: JMI has a replacement drive for the ETX. And the ETX could be mounted on several other types of mounts.

Subject:	do all faint fuzzies look alike?
Sent:	Saturday, April 24, 1999 11:10:02
From:	LooneyRoo@aol.com
i live in a fairly light polluted area, but last night i went out to a
national park just outside of town where the light pollution is not as
bad and did my first deep sky observing. unfortunately, while the city
lights were not a problem, the moon was... but i was able to see a
couple globular clusters! m3 showed up the best. but i could not locate
any galaxies. the only one that i thought i could see was m101, but even
that i'm not sure about... it was not clearly visible like m3 was, but i
used averted vision and saw what looked like a faint star out of the
corner of my eye. is that what a galaxy will look like through the etx
or should it look more like what i saw when i looked at the globular
clusters?  i used the "high precision" mode so i know the galaxy should
have been dead center. i guess my question is, should all faint fuzzies
look somewhat alike?
~noah
Mike here: Sky brightness (moon or light pollution) will hamper viewing of faint objects. So will viewing with insufficiently dark adapted eyes (15-30 minutes of near total darkness). Also, magnification will affect the apparent surface brightness of faint, extended objects like galaxies and some nebulae. Generally, you get the best view with low magnifications and averted vision with really dark skies and well dark adapted eyes. No, you won't see the same details as long duration astrophotography but you will varying shapes, sizes, brightnesses, etc. when looking at different objects.

Subject:	 A case or carrier for the Deluxe Field Tripod
Sent:	Saturday, April 24, 1999 8:29:37
From:	ikencindy@email.msn.com (Ike Hassoun)
Let me first thank you for a great site and the great service you and
the contributors provide. I'm very new at this and have just received my
unit last week. Your site was instrumental in my choice for a first
telescope.

Thanks to your site, I not only bought what I think is the correct
carrying case, the Doskocil Seal Tight, but also saved $60 in the
process by following the advice found here.

I've looked for references for something in which to pack the Meade
tripod for field usage and couldn't find any.

Could you please help?

Cheers,

Ike H.

Subject:	 RE: Vibration
Sent:	Saturday, April 24, 1999 7:36:07
From:	andrewj@netvigator.com (Andrew Jackson)
The mount is the new ETX 90/EC base on the Meade ETX tripod. The
Vibration definitely comes from the R/A motor. As a side issue I
discovered that if you tighten the screws holding the base onto the
tripod too tightly, the whole base resonates and amplifies the motor
noise. This may help some of your other readers who have mentioned the
motor noise..

Thanks

andrewj@netvigator.com
Mike here: As to the RA drive-enduced vibration, I do recall seeing some similar reports. Could be a malfunction that needs to be repaired (or exchange the scope at the dealer where you bought it).

Subject:	 ETX reflection
Sent:	Saturday, April 24, 1999 3:34:29
From:	Watson_J@compuserve.com (John Watson)
When looking at a field that has a brilliant star just outside its edge
I get a bright, circular reflection in the eyepiece field.  Same with
three different eyepieces (two meade, one not).  It appears to be an
internal reflection from the central baffle tube of the ETX.  Is this
normal, am I being hypercritical, or have Meade forgotten to paint
something dead black?
Mike here: What I've seen is more linear rather than circular. Some reflection is normal, even on many other telescopes. But if it is really bad it is possible that something is wrong.

Subject:	 Meade ETX Disappointment
Sent:	Friday, April 23, 1999 23:41:46
From:	kodiak@sgi.net (kodiak)
Maybe I expected too much!  I just came in from trying to view Mars. 
Nada!

I had contacted you about the Meade ETX around Christmas.  I bought the
ETX, 2X Barlow and an additional 9.7mm eyepiece. So far the Barlow
worked well for looking at Saturn and Jupiter.  They were a real
rush.....rings of Saturn........Moons of Jupiter! I was fired up!

After looking at Saturn, Jupiter and the Orion Nebula (great) and the
moon (too damn bright), I'm outta things to see.  Stars just look light
bigger dots.  I don't want to sound stupid but where do I go from here. 
Bigger Scope?  If I sold my house for a down payment would I ever be
able to afford one that would make me happy?

I'm frustrated.  I thought I would never run out of new things to look
at.  I am leary of doing the terrestrial stuff, don't want to accidently
get a glint of the sun.  Book says that will blind you!

Please let me know if I am doing something wrong.  I just don't know
what else to do with it.  And I am not the type of person to stare at
the same things over and over again.

Shalom,
gw
Mike here: There are two things you are doing "wrong". One, Mars is actually pretty nice right now; see the photos on the Guest Astrophotography - Planets page. But you'll need good seeing to see dark areas and a polar ice cap. But you CAN see these on Mars. Just don't expect to see the same image quality as the Hubble Telescope or NASA photos from Mars missions. Two, you need to learn the sky. There are MANY MANY MANY things to see if you take the time and effort to learn more. With an ETX-90/EC and Autostar, learning the sky is less required but is still a useful skill to have. So, get some astronomy software (almost any will help you), get some basic astronomy books from your local bookstore. Visit the Sky and Telescope and Astronomy magazine web sites, and many others are available as well. Remember, you didn't just get behind the steering wheel of your car and begin driving cross country. There were many things to learn first. Once you learned them you could beging to enjoy driving (well tolerate it at least!). Using an astronomical telescope OF ANY SIZE AND CAPABILITY is similar.

Added later:

Thank you.  I will try.
gw

Subject:	 Vibration
Sent:	Friday, April 23, 1999 7:19:42
From:	andrewj@netvigator.com (Andrew Jackson)
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for reducing the vibration
from the RA motor. Even in my 48X eyepiece I can see the shakes. I do
not want to return this ETX as otherwise it seems OK.

Any suggestions are welcome (well almost any) :)
Andrew
andrewj@netvigator.com
Mike here: You don't mention the mounting but seeing vibration at 48x from the drive tracking does seem extreme unless you have a really shakey mount. I don't see that with my ETX (original model).

Subject:	 Question About Buying a Meade EXT-90EC
Sent:	Thursday, April 22, 1999 13:28:23
From:	rsutter@wamnet.com (Ryan Sutter)
A friend of mine is interested in purchasing an EXT-90EC and asked me if
I could search the web for him to find a dealer where he could get a
good price.  Not knowing anything at all about purchasing telescopes
(but knowing a little about the web) I went looking for a site on the
thing and lo and behold I found yours.  :-)  Nice little web site.

Anyhow, I was wondering if a telescope enthusiast like yourself might be
able to point a newbie in the direction of a good dealer where one might
acquire one of these.  If there really aren't any places much better
than the usual local places, I'll just tell Jim that.  Either way, your
help would be appreciated and (again) nice site.

Ryan Sutter
Mike here: Hardly little anymore! Hasn't been little since 1996!!! Anyway, local dealers include The Nature Company, Natural Wonders, The Discovery Store. Online and mail order dealers include Shutan Camera and Video, Astronomics, Pocono Mt Optics, Oceanside Photo and Telescope, and many others. Check the Astronomy Links page, dealers section.

Subject:	 Dealer Links
Sent:	Thursday, April 22, 1999 11:26:29
From:	questions@astronomics.com (Astronomics)
We were taking a look through your website and we would appreciate it if
you could add us to your dealer list.  As you know,  the ETX has been
selling like crazy.  Our URL is www.astronomics.com.

Clear Skies,
Mike/astronomics

--
Astronomics/Christopher's Ltd. - Norman, Oklahoma 73069
Fax: (405) 447-3337
Tech: (405) 364-0858
Orders: (800) 422-7876

Subject:	 Orion Telescopes
Sent:	Thursday, April 22, 1999 10:01:12
From:	gbg@webspan.net (Gary)
I love the full color Orion catalogue, chock full of useful
information...if only their tech support was as good! They gave me
slightly incorrect coordinates for my zip code - ok, you get what you
pay for...

I bought the moon filter (seems ok, didn't try, but the instructions
were disappointing - you have to jury rig it with tape, etc. if you want
to adjust the polarization (light passing through ness) with the
eyepiece in place - not convenient!

I bought the skyglow light pollution filter - lots of the sky is pink
here in lovely staten island, ny (otherwise known as stinky island) -
and the filter did NOT improve my view of the pleiades, orion, M51
(still can't see it), etc.  I called tech support, and the guy told me
it won't improve galaxies, but only nebulae (i thought their catalogue
implied improved viewing in general).  He suggested i try it on a nebula
like orion - when i told him i did, he then said orion was not a good
choice because it had unusual emission characteristics (kinda like this
double talking tech support fella!)  i told him i was in new york, and
he mentioned saggitarius had great nebulae - i told him i didn't think i
could see it this time of year, and he mentioned i probably couldn't
(hmmm, that was fairly useless).  So, between that, their camel hair
cleaning brush that sheds on my lens, and their Lanathium Zoom prices
$40 higher than Adorama (just bought a new one there today), I am
sending back the filter, cleaning kit, zoom, and almost everything else
i bought from them - i think their prices are high (ala the doskocil
case, their tripod bags, accessories, etc.) I didn't have a chance to
ask if they would price match - which would have at least avoided my
sending the lens back - guess i should have given them a shot. Also, i
think i bought books from them, or someone else - hard to keep track -
Amazon had plenty of the typical astronomy books at discount, but some
were not - so it might be worth checking out.

Incidentally, I noticed in the Adorama catalogue that there is a
Celestron 20 mm lens (Kelner, I believe) with crosshairs which they
mention is good for alignment, etc. - i would have to agree - wish i saw
it BEFORE i left the store, now i have to go back for it - it's $34.95
and i don't know anything else like it on the market - imagine how much
easier it would be to train or align the etx. with a barlowed 20 mm with
crosshairs!

if anyone else knows of a similar product, please let me know!  Happy
slewing!
Gary

Subject:	 Meade Stock
Sent:	Thursday, April 22, 1999 9:53:07
From:	gbg@webspan.net (Gary)
As you can see, I have too much time on my hands...
Recently I bought some Meade Stock - symbol MEAD on Nasdaq.  I am not a
broker, and there is never a guarantee that a stock will perform
well...with that caveat in mind, i think Meade has a relative monopoloy
on the market - it's closet competitor is of course Celestron, but I
don't think they have the same retail network as meade - ala natural
wonders, discovery store, etc...sure, meade will probably have plenty of
bugs to work out with the ETX (and inevitable returns), but they have
the 125 coming out one of these days (more sales, more sales!) plus
whatever trade ups they offer, if any.  The ETX has been mentioned in
Popular Science, and elsewhere.  They are coming out with the DS series
soon (department store?)  (doesn't slew?) which is supposed to bring
even more computerized telescopes to the masses - my guess is the DS
scopes with autostar (the 495 cheaper one) may run in the $400 range
(just my guess)  but it is sure to be a hit. As the stock already took
some beatings, I think it's a great time to buy it - just my humble
opinion - just remember, the guy who gave you this information still
can't get his scope to goto very much...
Happy slewing and stock buying!
Gary
Mike here: The above is neither a recommendation to buy, sell, or otherwise procure Meade stock. Consult your financial advisor before acquiring stock.

Subject:	 Advice/Help
Sent:	Thursday, April 22, 1999 8:59:43
From:	taporco1@llnl.gov (Mario Taporco)
First of all I would like to say thank you for all the effort that you
compiled on your site, tremendously painstaking. I have been wondering
about here and there trying to find good source of information about the
scope that I have purchase @ Natures Wonder; great price for the ETX
classic to say the least. It was headache for me to make a decision
between the ETX-E/C or the CLASSIC, and I've chosen the classic instead.
I just like those mechanical parts that are sticking out all over the
place, or maybe Im the type of guy just like to tinker with mechanical
parts.

Hold on, were getting to the good part or should I say I have notice
something that was a concern to me, also to others as well. My ETX
classic was mounted on the Meade field tripod, set up out in our
backyard (April 21 99) beautiful clear sky but, with gale force wind of
about 5 to 10 mph. Everything looks good until I have look thru the
eyepiece 26mm mounted w/ ND96 Meade filter w/ 2X Barlow at the Lunar
phase, gorgeous craters on the terminator side.

Here is the problem, my ETX classic vibrated ranging from 3 to 4 0r 5
even on the Richter scale. I  didnt feel the ground moving but looking
thru the eyepiece was terrible.

On closing, and let me make this short. HELP!!!

My ETX classic still under warranty, so I can easily send it back, but I
want the facts; the root of the problem for this matter, and your site
has that great knowledge thats being passed around. Thanks.

Mario Taporco
Mike here: Had some minor trouble with the text in your attachment but if I understand your question, you were wondering why there was vibration in the image seen through your ETX while the wind was blowing. As with any high magnification device, any physical movement of the optics will be visible in the eyepiece. And since your ETX was probably not protected from the wind, you were seeing the results of an unstable mounting (typical of non-permanent OR extremely heavy duty mounts). The ETX legs do not provide that much stability, especially when there is some wind blowing.

Subject:	 ETX-90 or ETX Mailing List??
Sent:	Wednesday, April 21, 1999 22:27:54
From:	jsm@intergate.bc.ca (Steve McDonald)
Do you know of any dedicted meade reflectors? or specific ETX reflectors
(mailing lists)?

PS...your sight is WONDERFUL!!

Any prices announced on the new 125EC??

Steve
Mike here: Visit the Buyers/New Users Tips page. There is an item there called "ETX Discussion Groups and Mailing Lists".

Subject:	 Star Parties in Wis
Sent:	Wednesday, April 21, 1999 8:33:33
From:	sbrooks@americantv.com (Brooks, Shawn)
Anyone know of any star parties or who I could contact for information
on local star parties? I am in the Madison Wisconsin area.

Thanks Mike for the great site.

Subject:	dew shield
Sent:	Tuesday, April 20, 1999 15:20:45
From:	LooneyRoo@aol.com
i just wanted let everyone know that there is an easy alternative to
buying a $30 dew shield. i went to my local hardware store (Lowes) and
went to the floor section. they should have sheets of lightweight black
rubbery material. (like $1.50 per foot) i got 2 feet (so i had room to
screw up) and cut it into a 5' X 16' rectangle (these are the dimensions
that companies advertise as the size for their ETX version). i then
attached velcro to the ends and had myself a dew shield for under 5
dollars!
happy slewing,
~noah


Subject:	 (Fwd) New ETX 125/EC
Sent:	Tuesday, April 20, 1999 13:33:06
From:	tomnagy@nauticom.net (TLN)
FYI if you haven't seen this...

Tom Nagy

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date sent:      	Mon, 19 Apr 1999 17:39:50 -0500
From:           	Astronomics (questions@astronomics.com)
Subject:        	New ETX 125/EC

I apologize if you have already gotten this.  Our pop servers have been
acting up and messages haven't been going out very well.

The ETX will now have a big brother, the ETX 125/EC and it will be fully
Autostar compatible.  The 125 model doesn't have a delivery date or a
solid price.  We will have a full update on our webpage in the next week
or so.  Just thought you would like to have some information.
Clear Skies,
Mike/astronomics

--
Astronomics/Christopher's Ltd. - Norman, Oklahoma 73069
Fax: (405) 447-3337
Tech: (405) 364-0858
Orders: (800) 422-7876

Subject:	 ETX 125 EC is official
Sent:	Tuesday, April 20, 1999 5:40:42
From:	g.skinner@neccsd.com (Skinner, Glenn)
Late last night Mike from Astronomics, posted on sci.astro.amateur a
notice that the EXT 125 EC is officially announced by MEade. Pricing and
ship date has not been announced, but Astronomics will post a full page
announcement within the next week on their web site.
Glenn

Subject:	ETX Website
Sent:	Monday, April 19, 1999 20:38:33
From:	Petz2@aol.com
Heard about your ETX web site from a man at Scope City in Sherman Oaks. 
I am enjoying mine and looking to buy some accessories.  Thanks for the
info on your site.

Steve

Subject:	 focuser
Sent:	Monday, April 19, 1999 15:02:34
From:	amanuel@swbell.net (Adam Manuel)
I just purchased a new etx telescope and was wondering about an electric
focuser.  I have called a few places to order the new etx focuser, but
they said that meade wont have them available til at least June.  So my
question is what other focuser would you recommend.  I know there are a
few electric focusers out on the market, but I dont know how good they
are.  Please help!
Mike here: JMI has one that I review in the Showcase Products area. I don't know if it fits the new model but if not I'm sure JMI is revising it. Scopetronix used to offer one but no longer does.

Subject:	 mars
Sent:	Monday, April 19, 1999 14:50:38
From:	marwine@greenmtn.edu (marwine)
I've had difficulty finding time to write about my last hours with Mars
which took place on April 11 from about 1:30AM until about 3:15.  It was
a fine night, made even better by the company of my 11 year old friend,
Jeremiah.  I've been helping him work up an interest in the night sky
since the first of the two great comets came into view a few years ago.
Last Christmas, his father bought him a 4.5 inch SkyView Delux Newtonian
from Orion which we've looked through once since Christmas.  That night,
we had nice views of the nebulae in Orion (M42,43), and the Pleiades
(M45), after we were finished gazing at Jupiter and Saturn, and before
the almost-full moon rose over the hills behind his house.  All views,
including those of the moon, were very satisfying.  He does not have a
large patch of sky at his house, but he really enjoyed first light
through his own telescope.  He's keeping a journal of sorts, and is
doing drawings of everything he sees.  So, I was very happy to learn
that he could bring his telescope, stay overnight, and was willing to be
awakened at 1:30 to look at Mars.  This was the first time our scopes
had been side-by-side as well.  We set them both up and did very crude
polar alignments while it was still light out.  These turned out to be
more than adequate for keeping Mars in view in the ETX with only minimal
slewing with the Microstar controller, and in the Orion with
manipulation of the RA  We covered the scopes with our shirts to keep
off the dew and retired early to bed with my alarm set for 1:30.  When I
woke him, he rushed immediately to the window:  "Wow, it's bright," he
said.  And bright it was.  Also very steady, probably the best night of
viewing I've yet had for the planet.  As it turned out, Jeremiah spent
most of his time at the ETX because he could sit comfortably while I
hunched over the Newtonian.  We talked about what we were seeing and he
already new that his view would not be the same as mine.  We both saw
the polar ice - clearly and persistently - and dark spots on the
surface, and we were both pretty excited by it.  The Newtonian's views
were clearly brighter at 200 magnification (900mm focal length with a
Meade 126 Barlow and the Orion 9mm Plossel) than the ETX at 124
magnification (1200mm focal length with a Meade 9.7 Plossel) but the
surface detail was clearer in the ETX.  That may have been due to
imperfect collimation in the Newtonian plus higher contrast, but I don't
know.  Both views were well worth observing.  I'm now convinced that
nights of really good seeing demand something more than a 9.7 lens -
even with the Barlow that I normally use with the 13.8SWA or 9.7.  And,
I'm going to have to get Jeremiah a lens or two for his birthday.  He
was glued to the scope for most of the hour before we took our first
break to gaze at the moonless sky.  I was especially pleased that he
wanted to check his planisphere before going around the yard to see what
we could see.  Scorpius was well above the southern horizon, Leo was
setting in the west (we could still see the Beehive M44 easily with the
naked eye), Corona Borealis and Hercules graced the zenith with Lyra and
Cygnus rising in the east.  It was a beautiful night.  Jeremiah likes
Scorpius the best because he says its the only one that looks like it is
supposed to look.  O.K.  Orion is pretty neat, too, but "Scorpius really
looks like a scorpion," he says.  We were both pretty pleased with
ourselves - we got to see the polar ice cap for the first time, at the
same time.  Too bad he's going away to camp for the summer.  I know
he'll be taking his planisphere.  And I am going to try to begin
locating some of those M objects that others are seeing so well.  Lyra
did bring thoughts of the ring.

I received three filters from Orion for use in viewing mars (23A, 56,
and 80A), but I've not had a clear night to use them.  I'm anxious to
see how they work.

Thanks for all your work maintaining such a fine site.

Good seeing,

alan

Subject:	 Meade caalog and ETX125/EC
Sent:	Monday, April 19, 1999 12:27:55
From:	mpo@buffnet.net (Michael Osika)
I just received the new 100 pg. Meade catalog in the mail today and it
is showing an etx125/ec next to the etx90/ec. Any idea if the 125mm is
available?

Michael O.
Mike here: Anyone else receive this catalog? There is nothing on their web site as of 20 April 1999.

Subject:	 Mars and more
Sent:	Monday, April 19, 1999 9:58:35
From:	arne.tjolsen@pki.uib.no (Arne Tjolsen)
User feedback:

Wonderful site! Saturday night was a wonderful observation night with
good seeing here in Palo Alto, California. Mars was stable, and with
more surface markings than I've seen before. Very clearly visible was
the bright Hellas area toward the south, roughly triangular Iapygia and
Syrtis major, and intermittently the small northern ice cap.

Comment on Mike Hartley (April 11): What he described as the southern
ice cap, probably was the Hellas area, because it seems Mars now is
tilted with the north pole against us. As he did, I saw this very bright
area at the south rim, that fits with Hellas. See very nice map in S&T
for April, p. 106. The maps for 270-315 degrees fit very well with what
I saw. Note the maps are upside down compared to the image in the ETX.

After Mars, I checked out some of the Virgo cluster, and found quite
easily M60, M49, M87, M84/M86. The night being nice and warm, it was
really fun to star- and galaxy-hop.

Arne Tjolsen
arne.tjolsen@pki.uib.no

Subject:	 A new astronomy link
Sent:	Monday, April 19, 1999 8:47:58
From:	dougdd@ix.netcom.com (doug)
Love you site! Would it be possible to add Todd Gross' web page to your
links? It provides some useful ETX tips among many other useful things.
http://www.weatherman.com/

Doug
Mike here: He's been on the Astronomy Links page since February 1998 (but not with his name).

Subject:	 Distant Suns
Sent:	Monday, April 19, 1999 4:50:59
From:	TSpina@sr.csg.com (Spina, Tony)
I wanted to pass along a message from Mike Smithwick, author of Distant
Suns, which is an excellent astronomy application. Mike offers a free
version of Distant Suns (version 4.0), and he also has a new commercial
version of Distant Suns (version 5.1).

For those of you who do use this application Mike has posted a bug fix,
which updated the events calendar.

For those who have not used this application I strongly recommend it. It
is an excellent tool for finding objects, and knowing what is up in the
night sky. But enough said! Check out his web site which is listed in
the e-mail below.


To friends and fans of Distant Suns :

There is a minor bug that was pointed out to me in the "Major Events"
feature of Distant Suns. I neglected to update the data for 1999. (duh!)
Which explains why upcoming meteor showers and eclipses have not been
announced along the top of the screen as they should have.

There is a new file with installation instructions posted to the web
site in the downloads section. This will work for both Distant Suns 4
and 5.

Also, this word from our sponsor :

When I released DS4 as freeware, the idea was to use it as a tool to
spark interest in the ever curious in space and astronomy.
Unfortunately, for all of the wonderful notes I have received, the word
just hasn't gotten out, and my download count is frightfully low for a
program this highly regarded. For those of you who do use it, and enjoy
it, I ask first that you try to tell 10 friends about it, and have them
in turn  tell 10 of their friends. Secondly, if  anyone of you have good
ideas for PR purposes to spread the word, please feel free to suggest
them. While I do intend to continue developing the software, improving
it as time permits, it is always nice to know that it is being
appreciated.

Thanks one and all,

Mike Smithwick

--
Mike Smithwick, author First Light, Distant Suns, Galileo, AmigaTrek,
Babylon 5-The Musical

Distant Suns Web Site : http://www.distantsuns.com

***
We're whalers on the moon!
We like to use harpoons!
But there ain't no whales
So we tell tall tales
And we sing these whaling tunes!
---
Futurama

Subject:	 Craig TeleWrap/Dew Cap
Sent:	Sunday, April 18, 1999 16:56:28
From:	aries1@voicenet.com (Elliot Rubinsky)
I have just received the new TeleWrap (with felt lining).  It is a great
fit. At $22 it is also one of the cheapest dew caps on the market.  My
only concern is that its seam may come loose in the future.

Elliot

P.S.  I have been told by a coworker that dew caps are very useful on
cardioptic telescopes as they reduce local light pollution.
Mike here: I've had one for over a year; the seam still seems fine.

Subject:	 An Overview of ETX finder options
Sent:	Sunday, April 18, 1999 15:32:34
From:	rizaljp@hotmail.com (Jose Rizal)
An Overview of ETX finder options

At about 70 degrees DEC or 70 degrees ALT on an alt-azimuth mount, the
base of the ETX increasingly interferes with straight-through finder
views particularly at the stock finder's location.  I'm not sure just
any rifle scope offers a good solution.

ETX OTA  }[   ]
long axis}[   ]+++++++   QwikFinder or tall mounted finders
         }[|| ] <<---   ||= finderscope location, see below
BASE   [xxxxxxxxx]                         
       [xxxxxxxxx]
[^viewing direction^]

On the above diagram, your viewing direction would be pointing in the
direction of the caret, ^ .  Unless the finder's mount has sufficient
height to clear the base obstruction, it would be difficult to view
through a finder when the OTA is over 70 degrees ALT or DEC and most
difficult using the ETX tabletop mount.  Celestial objects are best
viewed at or near the zenith, so a comfortable view near this angle is
optimal.

Mike Weasner's site has several solutions.  Finders that offer height
enough to overcome the obstruction cost ~> $40, and those less than $40
require some user modification to the finder or the ETX OTA. Mounting
stick-on finders closer to the corrector lens provide a better
straight-through viewing angle despite the base obstruction, but it will
interfere with a dew shield and is less than optimal view.  The
daisy-site modification will cost $20-30 including Radio Shack parts and
the acid to remove the Daisy lens coating.  The $10- 20 difference can
buy a better designed and fitting finder such as the Orion EZ finder or
a Rigel Systems Qwikfinder, QF.

A 90 degree finder is a better solution.  Your viewing direction would
be as <<--- labeled above.   It improves your viewing position
throughout the equatorial or alt-azimuth axes.  These finder optics
currently flip objects left-for-right [which matches the ETX eyepiece
view] or even north-for-south.  If you like this view, then the 90
degree finder is for you.  Meade recently introduced their own
replacement, so there is no need to make modifications to the ETX.

Adding a 1x finder, like QF, is indispensable if you aren't using the
AutoStar on an ETX-EC.  QF offers many of the Telerad benefits in a
smaller footprint with a profile that overcomes the base obstruction.

QF locates object with the same orientation as naked eye viewing; it has
over 12 inches of eye relief [you can view through it over a foot away
from QF]; its lightweight and doesn't affect ETX balance; it can be
sturdily mounted with double-sided tape; its periscope like design
clears the base obstruction; its detachable so the ETX can be packed
optimally in stock cases; its easy to align but rarely looses alignment;
its cheaper and smaller than a Telerad [which is large for an ETX]; the
reticule is dimmable and pulse-able; and its single CR2032 batteries
last over 200 hours.

QF doesn't replace a finderscope entirely but is an ideal 1x finder for
an ETX.

In light polluted skies, a magnified finder view improves visual
magnitude, and is indispensable for zeroing in on telescopic objects. 
The QF projected reticule is useful only at night.  The QF viewing
position is improved but less optimal than a 90 degree finder.  Properly
aligned, the ETX-EC+AutoStar limits the need for a 1x finder, the
computer replacing naked-eye finding and star hopping.  The AutoStar
calibration guide stars are rarely within the stock finder's blind spot,
so a finder get less use.  AutoStar allows the ETX-EC to be used in an
alt-azimuth mount, so polar alignment is unnecessary.  However, to make
corrections to computer error, a magnified finder remains an
indispensable backup.  AutoStar obviates and doesn't develop a users
navigation skills, so this effect needs consideration.

I still use the stock finder and added a QF.  It used to take minutes to
polar align the ETX classic, now its done in seconds with higher
accuracy.  The 70-90 deg DEC blind spot is corrected by the QF.  With
less objects of interest toward the north celestial pole, there is no
current rush to get a magnified 90 degree finder.  The stock finder
remains useful when using the ETX as a spotting scope.

Sincerely,

JP Rizal

Subject:	 Star Party
Sent:	Sunday, April 18, 1999 10:19:15
From:	RonMcCafferty@email.msn.com (Ron McCafferty)
I belong to an Astronomy club and went to my first star party last
night.  I would like to share my experience.

When I arrived I was a little reluctant/embarrassed to get out my ETX
since the next smallest scope was a 10" Dobsonian.  My wife had fun
teasing me by suggesting I wait until dark.  I decided to go for it and
set it up.  I arrived early and regretted not packing my solar filter.

As I set up a couple of the members walked up to see if I had the EC90,
I don't.  One of the most respected/knowledgeable members told me he's
had an ETX for years that he uses from his back patio all the time. 
Other members were aware of the ETX and came over for a look.  They all
had nice things to say about the optics and views.

It didn't get very dark.  The Milky Way wasn't visible.

I also got a chance to look through other scopes.  While I didn't get a
chance to do direct comparisons I looked at the Moon, Mars, and the
Beehive, from an 8" LX200 ,a 10" DOB, and a 11" Celestron.  I'm not sure
what to say about what I saw.  I expected a huge, gee whiz, difference
but didn't notice one.  Maybe because it wasn't that dark.   Maybe
because I didn't get to do direct comparisons.  The bigger scope users
concentrated on finding hard to see items which I think are beyond the
capability of the ETX.  It was interesting when focusing on Mars the big
scope users would place a blocker over their scope effectively making it
a smaller scope.

The star party was a great.  Attendees love to share views and help
newer members find stuff for the first time.  I had been struggling
trying to find the Beehive.  I've got it now.

I expected the ETX to get blown out of the water and I don't think it
did. I couldn't see the faint fuzzies they could but I thought I saw
some of the other stuff just as well.  My club has a 10" Dobsonion  they
loan out so I think I'll put my name on the list and try it out.  I
think I'd like to have a larger scope but in addition to not as a
replacement of the ETX.

I've also decided to not purchase a JMI or Meade tripod next.  I'll use
a sturdy table and the table top legs for polar alignment.  I'll
continue to use a heavy duty video tripod which works, I think, pretty
well.  I will buy a better pair of binoculars.  I was "gee whizzed" by
the views through a Orion 10X50 UltraView compared to my Tasco's.

I highly recommend going to a star party.  The web has several places
for star party etiquette.  I'll add 2 tips.  Park where it's easy to get
out.  I got blocked in and had to wait for someone else to leave before
I could. The BIG mistake I made was to pull into my parking space.  When
I put my car in reverse my back up lights came on and probably ruined
everyone's night vision for a while.

Ron McCafferty

Subject:	 possible link
Sent:	Sunday, April 18, 1999 9:50:08
From:	gbass@taconic.net
Here is a site you might wish to post:

http://www.bbwebb.com/galaxy/

good seeing,

alan

Subject:	 etx 4 $ale
Sent:	Saturday, April 17, 1999 19:47:24
From:	stretchy25@yahoo.com (Hamidou Pryor)
I have an etx-ec90 brand new with all of the access. someone would need
for sale.  Do you know of anyone interested???  Please reply asap.  It
is a hot item!!!

reply at: stretchy25@yahoo.com

Subject:	 Re: dew shield
Sent:	Saturday, April 17, 1999 17:35:33
From:	jh@brainiac.com (Joe Hartley)
Dew shields are usually about 1.5 times the diameter of the 'scope.  My
homemade cardboard one (due for a replacement after months of hard use)
sticks out about 6" past the end of the tube.  I haven't had a problem
with dew on the main corrector lens since I've started using it.

==============================================================================
            Joe Hartley - jh@brainiac.com - brainiac services, inc
12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI : 02827 - vox 401.782.9042: fax 401.782.8782
   Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa

Subject:	 Opinion on Nebular Filters & their use on small scopes like the ETX
Sent:	Saturday, April 17, 1999 13:30:21
From:	mikewrobel@harborcom.net (Michael Wrobel)
To help out LooneyRoo@aol.com on the question about Nebular Filters.

I own an Orion SkyGlow Boadband filter.  At the time, a paid about $80
dollars for it.   When using it with the ETX, the short focuser of the
ETX results in the eyepiece + Skyglow filter not being able to fit all
the way in.  This is only a minor annoyance.  An older & shorter nebular
filter that is owned by my astronomy club, the Chagrin Valley
astronomical society does not produce this mechanical problem.

When used with the ETX my filter does indeed work to filter out sky
glow.   It does indeed provide more contrast in the eyepiece field of
view.   Don't expect to see a dramatic enhancement of the image itself
when using it "casually" with the ETX.   A nebular filter is of coarse
an image "filter" and not an image "amplifier".    The image itself
appears brighter because your eye "amplifies" the remaining starlight
better because your eye can essentially dark adapt to the filtered image
better.   I consider my nebular filter to be useful only as an optional
accessory when using it with the ETX.   I only use it when I have
actually found the object in the sky that I am looking for.   To
appreciate its usefulness, you have to be patient & let you eye adapt to
the better contrast provided.    Sometimes I find that the filter
detracts rather than enhances the particular image.    The key I find to
making a nebular filter work for you is patience and an upfront
understanding as to what it will accomplish for you.   I find that
utilizing other techniques such as averted vision works better than the
filter in some cases.

Other members of my astronomy club have told me that I really need to
use a nebular filter with a larger scope to appreciate its usefulness.  
 Bear in mind that some of these larger instruments themselves are more
subject to the effects of Light pollution because the larger aperture
not only brightens the image of the desired celestial image, it also
greatly brightens the accompanying light pollution.    The smaller
aperture of the ETX makes it less susceptible to the effects light
pollution/skyglow.

I live in an area where there is moderate light pollution to my south &
west.  My northern view is virtually free of light pollution (Lake Erie
is only a mile north of me"   My eastern sky is only slightly affected
by light pollution.    My view towards the zenith is also not
significantly affected by light pollution.   The site of the Chagrin
Valley Astronomical Society's observatory is located in a very rural
portion of Ohio ( about 30 miles south of me ) and virtually free of
light pollution.   These are my primary observing sites which I rate
good & excellent respectively in terms of being affected by light
pollution.   From my home, the faintest nebula I saw was the Owl Nebula
(M 97) once on a very clear night towards the northern horizon.   Other
less faint nebulas have alluded me and my ETX.

I find that I only use my nebular filter as an optional accessory.   Any
one else who observes at a more light polluted site should bear this in
mind when  considering my opinion.    I would recommend using a nebular
filter if you are unfortunate enough to be more than moderately affected
by light pollution.

Clear Skies
Mike Wrobel

Subject:	auto/manual focusing
Sent:	Saturday, April 17, 1999 13:01:15
From:	LooneyRoo@aol.com
i don't remember if i read this on your site or if i read it on some
other discussion board, but i've found the cheapest way to make
"focusing bounces" go away. all you need is one clothespin! by attaching
the clothespin to the focusing knob, it allows for quick focusing
without the wiggles. i guess it has some physics behind it, with levers
and the such, i have no idea, but i just know that it works... so for
those out there who were considering buying the auto focuser, they might
want to reconsider!
happy slewing
~noah

Subject:	deepsky
Sent:	Friday, April 16, 1999 13:45:07
From:	LooneyRoo@aol.com
i have a quick question about barlow lenses. i understand that they
magnify an image, my question then is, do they make deep sky observing
easier? if not, I've heard of nebular filters that block out light
pollution and exaggerate deepsky objects (or say they advertise), but is
that mainly for photography or will i see a noticeable difference in the
eyepiece? i'm really not sure which one i want to invest in, a barlow
lens or a nebular filter (if either), but i'd really like to know your
opinion on the matter. thanks alot!
~noah
ps i guess i'm really begging the question, is there a way around
getting a larger telescope? i know that the larger the scope, the more
light it will gather...
Mike here: Check the Accessories - Filters page for some comments on narrowband filters. These may help in light polluted areas when viewing nebulae. Adding a Barlow Lens can actually reduce visibility of dim nebulae since you are spreading the light out across more surface and because there is more glass for the minimal amount of light to get through.

Added later:


i just wanted to add that i answered my own question about the barlow
lens... i know that the higher the magnification, the larger the object
gets but it also gets dimmer... my question still stands with the
filter. thanks again

Subject:	 New ETX Model
Sent:	Friday, April 16, 1999 11:00:53
From:	Frank.Depizzo@qwest.com (Depizzo, Frank)
I am a novice when it comes to owning a scope and this is my first
message on the board.  With that said I like probably many others have
the older ETX scope. Now Meade has come out with the newer version,
ETX90C.  I understand that they do not currently offer a upgrade to the
older scopes.  However, I would like the feature and functionality of
this newest release.

I really like the fact of being able to have the feature of linking the
scope with your PC and having it auto find a target.

Do you have any suggestions?  

Thanks,
Frank
Mike here: As noted on the Feedback pages, if you want the new model the best solution is to sell your old one and buy the new one. Some dealers were taking trades and one dealer was offering just the new base. But reportedly both offers are no longer available.

Subject:	 re: Price Value
Sent:	Friday, April 16, 1999 8:10:51
From:	rizaljp@hotmail.com (Jose Rizal)
Hi from a Filipino amateur astronomer!

Generally, astronomy is an expensive hobby, the small market tends to
require high prices to keep it going.  Quality optics and collimation
are labor intensive, so you pay high US labor rates. Large Russian and
Chinese brand scopes have quality that varies but are worth a look.

Don't let this deter you!  The Philippines is superb for astronomy
because its closer to the equator, views both southern and northern
skies and doesn't suffer from light pollution.  I was very impressed by
the dark sky in the Philippines and beach locations were especially
dazzling. Lighting tends to be low-watt incandescents, and even if
unshielded, are not so common, so sky glow is minimal even in heavily
polluted Manila [you're in Cebu is see?].  I hope its that way still, In
the US, we get only the Northern sky.

For Philippine use, you'll need a water tight hard case. Transportation
is rough to rustic sites, and by banca you don't want the thing to get
wet or sink if it fell overboard!  The ETX plastic and aluminum
construction is an advantage [there's nothing to rust] and it doesn't
need a tripod.

What I did notice in the Philippines is a small astronomy market, and
what's sold tends to be low quality 'department store' telescopes.
Information was scanty on all aspects of amateur astronomy, but the
internet availability makes than a non-issue now.

If you can BUILD your own scope using quality optics, you can get a
superb telescope for low prices, as you shift your labor to Philippine
rates. WWW.edsci.com/ has books ~$3 for plans, and about $30 for
their lenses to make a superb 6" dobsonian telescope. They ship
internationally.

Is the ETX a good telescope? Yes.  Can you find a new one for lower
price? No.  Used? Under $450.  Meade doesn't sell outside the USA
because it has international dealer arrangements.  However, I've found
international dealers charge almost double what we pay here, but I don't
know of SouthEast Asia markets.

Hong Kong amateur astronomers have been lucky finding Celestron's C90 or
its astronomical cousin the G3+ and G5+ at discounted prices there. If
you've the means, Hong Kong is a place to find quality telescopes.

The ETX-SC is not yet fully bug free.  If you get one of the problematic
ones, it'll be very hard to fix in the Philippines without a local
dealer.  The older mechanical ETX is a better deal, since there are less
electronics to malfunction [the clock drive is reliable] and if you
value knowing how to locate objects without automation.

I've been impressed by a "Jeff Nukowitz" who posts on Weasner's site and
the newsgroups.  He can view in 1 night what takes me 3 nights, using
the automation of the ETX-90.

Hope this helps.

Subject:	 Re:  etx-90/ec
Sent:	Friday, April 16, 1999 2:17:13
From:	motets@yahoo.com (mote)
i'm back from the states and i now have my own ETX-90/EC! question: is
it possible to take the ETX tube out of its fork mount? i'm curious coz
i want to use it as a lens for my camera.

rgds,
moises
singapore
Mike here: You can remove the OTA from the fork. You should have received two allen wrenches with the scope; one is for the four screws holding the tube (2 screws on each side).

Subject:	 quality
Sent:	Thursday, April 15, 1999 10:16:51
From:	droohr@cigna.e-mail.com (Damien)
I don't mean to be critical, but these photos on you page do not present
a very appealing view of the planets included. Is this a result of the
Internet, your astrophotography, or the limits of the ETX? I am a
first-time scope buyer and had been considering an ETX but if what I
will see is anything like your photos, and I am told photos are better
than naked eye viewing, this scope appears to suffer dreadfully from
aperture limit.

Can you be of any help in recommending the ETX as compared to, say a
basic 8 inch SCT?

thanks
Mike here: The photos indicate what type of PHOTOGRAPHY you can expect. Astrophotos rarely indicate what can be seen, or not seen, visually. Bright objects (moon, planets) will look super in the ETX. Faint objects (dim planets, nebulae, galaxies) will never look as nice as long duration photos, no matter what size telescope. The ETX is an excellent visual telescope FOR ITS SIZE. If you want better (brighter views with more magnification) you'll need a larger aperture.

Subject:	dew shield
Sent:	Wednesday, April 14, 1999 20:29:29
From:	LooneyRoo@aol.com
i am probably going to construct my own dew shield for my ETX. i was
wondering if you knew the dimensions i should cut the material into. i
read somewhere that you make the material wide enough for it to overlap
around the OTA by about an inch, but i can't remember how long it's
supposed to be. is it 1.5 X the length? if you know where i can find
out, please let me know. thanks!
~noah
Mike here: I believe the dew shield should stick out past the end of the OTA by 2-to-4 inches.

Subject:	 Price Value
Sent:	Tuesday, April 13, 1999 3:19:47
From:	cmangue@cebu.weblinq.com (Christy)
Great site.

Is the meade ETX 90 really worth the 595 dollars.  Can you help me with
this?, Please.

Hey iv seen the Meade website and some of its dealers and iv noticed
that there's a restriction to the Philippines.

Isnt there any other way it can be shipped to the Philippines?

Please reply.

					-wailhi
Mike here: As to whether the ETX-90/EC is worth $595, few users and reviewers have complained about the price. And considering that the ETX-90/EC has more capabilities than the original model, which also sold for $595, you are even getting more for your money. As to shipping to the Philippines, perhaps some dealer will see your message, or you can visit dealer web sites and see if anyone will ship one to you.

Subject:	 how to mount etx on wedgepod
Sent:	Monday, April 12, 1999 21:03:58
From:	paul.luckas@au.pwcglobal.com
Fernando,

If I'm reading your post correctly, then you need some help polar
aligning your scope in the southern hemisphere. Firstly, forget
everything you've read about polaris. You are in the southern
hemisphere, and there are no stars at the pole for us to realistically
use. First, set your wedgepod to your latitude (in your case 12 degrees
- I assume the wedgepod can tilt this far) then with the telescope
tilted parallel to the fork arms (see the instruction manual) point the
whole system due south. Use a compass to get you as close as possible to
magnetic south, but note that the metal on the tripod / telescope can
sometimes affect the accuracy of a compass (eyeballing from a distance
is usually good enough). That's normally about the best you can do
without using one of the 'star drift' methods to fine tune your
alignment, except, that with the ETX there's a sneaky thing you can do
to align even more accurately. Once you have done the above, turn the
autostar on and opt for an 'easy alignment' (make sure your autostar is
set for polar under the telescope options). The autostar will then
choose your first star and slew to it, and it assumes that because your
scope is polar aligned correctly, that the star will be in the field of
view. If it isn't, adjust the latitude and azimuth of the wedge pod
until the star is centred (ie, don't use the arrow keys on the
autostar). In theory, you now have a perfecty aligned telescope
(provided your site, time and date etc. were all set correctly).

Having said all of that, I've been using the EC in alt/azimuth mode. In
my opinion it's not worth the hassel of polar aligning when you have a
telescope that tracks in alt / az (and I've owned and built a number of
equatorial scopes in the past).

Good luck and clear skies,

Paul
(Perth, Western Australia)

Subject:	 ETX for sale!!!
Sent:	Monday, April 12, 1999 17:15:45
From:	billy97@mailcity.com (bill topolsky)
I live in washington dc and was wondering if you knew of anyone
interested in buying an ETX-EC90.  It is brand new and I am looking to
sell it allong with some accesories.  If you know of anyone in the
market or a place on the web for me to advertise it let me know.  By the
way you site is cool, keep it up!!!  Reply at :stretchy25@yahoo.com
Hope to hear 4rm U soon!!!

Subject:	 How to contact Steve Stanford?
Sent:	Sunday, April 11, 1999 15:28:16
From:	dcriner@ieee.org (Doug Criner)
Would you know how to contact Steve Stanford, who has a posting in your
Accessories/Tripod area?  I would like to purchase his offset device for
a Bogen tripod, but his listed e-mail address is no longer valid.
Thanks.

Doug Criner
8 Tartan Lakes Dr
Westmont, IL 60559-6157

630-986-9467,  dcriner@ieee.org

Subject:	microstar II versus 90EC
Sent:	Sunday, April 11, 1999 15:07:36
From:	FjhDAVID@aol.com
I read carefully (and saw) your very nice pictures you did (piggy back
adapter, microstar II and celestron EP). Just a question:

What is the best tool (to keep a guiding star into the center of the EP)
between aan old ETX+microstar II and the new ETX90EC?

Thanks
Francois
Mike here: Since they both provide control over both the RA and DEC axis, either will work. If you have an original model ETX, you'll need the Microstar II+. If you have the ETX-90/EC, you don't need to add anything. Of course, with either model you'll want an illuminated reticle eyepiece.

Subject:	 RE: Mars, Messier and me
Sent:	Sunday, April 11, 1999 13:24:28
From:	OptiquesJeff@worldnet.att.net (Jeffrey Nutkowitz)
Greetings

I too have easily found (via Autostar, don't get jealous...I found most
of these objects before, via starhopping, with my venerable Criterion
Dynascope RV6 6" newt) M51 and several of the other objects you
described below. No Sombrero yet, as the one time I tried, skies were
pretty bad and I have not had a chance to try again yet. M101, on the
other hand, should have been easy, and I know that the Autostar had me
aimed at the proper location, on a night that was good. Like you, I
simply could not see it. Perhaps the surface brightness is just too low
for it to be seen with the ETX90 under anything less than perfect, truly
dark skies.

Jeffrey Nutkowitz/Optiques Classic Photographic Imagery
Freelance Outdoor and Nature Photography Emphasizing a 'Sense of Place'
http://members.aol.com/OptiquesJN

Subject:	field rotation in AltAz mode
Sent:	Sunday, April 11, 1999 11:41:43
From:	FjhDAVID@aol.com
Do you have an idea of the maximum exposure (even an idea) time I can
get without field rotation problems in altazimuth mode on the ETX90EC?

Thanks
Francois
Mike here: No, but it can be calculated based up on the magnification at the film plane and exposure. In fact, there is probably a formula floating around some LX200 site since they have to deal with it unless they have a field derotator. But I doubt that it will be a problem for the length of exposures you'll be able to do before tracking errors would ruin the photo.

Subject:	 Mars, Messier and me
Sent:	Sunday, April 11, 1999 9:30:51
From:	jh@brainiac.com (Joe Hartley)
Well, I had a great night last night with the old ETX.  I started out by
trying for some of my standard Messier objects - M36, 37 and 38 in
Auriga, M35 in Gemini, all of which were in the west - and I was picking
them up easily simply by pointing the Daisy red dot to the right point
in the sky.  The finder wasn't even needed.  Bolstered by this success,
I went for a few smaller objects - M3 and M13.  It took me seconds to
locate them, first with the Daisy, then to the finder, and then the ETX.
Not difficult, but I was picking them out with extreme accuracy,
getting them centered in the finder with just the Daisy sighting.

Then I started to try some tough stuff.  I'd spent hours last week
picking out M65 and M66 in Leo and  M104 (the Sombrero galaxy) in Virgo.
I grabbed them out of the sky 1-2-3!  The Sombrero was particularly
gratifying, as that took me the longest to get of all the M objects that
I've seen so far.

I was already in the area, so I decided to go for Mars.  Not usually an
interesting sight, but still...  WOW!  I boosted the magnification up to
258x (with the 9.7mm and Barlow), and I was amazed - even through the
light pollution and turbulance, I saw down at the south a polar ice cap
and a darker area, like a dark dot, just above it.  Dirt on the lens?  A
Martian "canal"?  Worth looking at later.

My luck was running high, so I tried for a new object - M51.  A few
minutes between the eyepiece and SkyAtlas 2000.0, and there it was. 
Dim, of course, but with a little averted vision I could pick out a bit
of the whirlpool shape.

I then decided to push on and go for an object that should be relatively
easy to find, but which has vexed me all week long - M101.  Multiple
trips between SA2K and the eyepiece proved fruitless.  I'm pretty darn
sure I was pointed right at this galaxy, but I was totally unable to see
it.  After a while of fruitless pursuit, I decided to try something
else.  Noticing Vega rising up through the bare trees to the northeast,
I reied for M57 (the Ring Nebula) and picked it up immediately.  This
was the first time I'd ever seen this object outside of photographs.  I
was absolutely amazed.  Averted vision helped me pick up the ring shape
through the heavy light pollution in that direction.

I took a break for an hour or so at this point, waiting for Mars and M57
to rise higher in the sky.  A few minutes of naked-eye gazing to help
get dark-adapted again, and I looked in the eyepiece at... nothing.  The
batteries in the ETX had conked out!  Oh well, a bit of manual pointing
and I had the ring again.  It was a bit easier to see, but still in the
poor viewing area.

Once more over to Mars, and yes!  The dot I'd seen was further to the
left, still above the ice cap!  It wasn't my imagination, or dirt on the
lens. I was seeing more detail than I had 2 weeks earlier through an
Astro-Physics Starfire 7" refractor!  I'd lost the electric focus (with
my Scopetronix MSII+) as well as tracking, so on this high note I picked
up the gear and headed back into the house, where I changed the
batteries in light and warmth :)

Even though I wish I'd gotten M101, It was just about a perfect evening
for me.  A great deal of fun!

==============================================================================
            Joe Hartley - jh@brainiac.com - brainiac services, inc
12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI : 02827 - vox 401.782.9042: fax 401.782.8782
   Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa

Subject:	ETX-90EC  Focus
Sent:	Saturday, April 10, 1999 11:31:15
From:	MLesko0825@aol.com
I use my ETX-EC for both terrestial and astral viewing.  Is there any
danger in the focus knob going to far in either direction, or are there
stops to prevent any damage?

Thank You

Mike Lesko
MLesko0825@aol.com
Mike here: The only problem I've heard of is if the knob setscrew comes lose, the shaft can fall inside the ETX tube.

Subject:	 cover for the eyepiece hole
Sent:	Saturday, April 10, 1999 8:22:28
From:	fsotoma@fis.ulima.edu.pe (Fernando Sotomayor)
Instead of inserting a plastic film can, I found a little plastic cup
which came with some antibiotic, to measure the dose. This cup covers
the eyepiece holder like a hat and does not enter in it. I had to make a
little canal on the side of the cup for the screw on the holder. The cup
is secured with  the holder's own screw, for that I used a little
plastic disc as a watch (the screw passes through the disc center) ,
which stays permanently. I hope it helps someone.

Fernando Sotomayor

Subject:	 Where to hang the Autostar handbox
Sent:	Saturday, April 10, 1999 7:18:48
From:	zimmer@adams.net (Randy Zimmerman)
I couldnt find a good place to put a hook on my deluxe tripod. However,
with sticky backed Velcro applied to the back of the Autostar, and two
strips applied to each leg section just below the head of the tripod, it
is very convenient to just slap [gently] the autostar to the tripod no
matter where you are around it. I also used some Velcro on the side of
my flashlight so it ,too,is instantly available. When I need either I
just grab and lift--this has worked great for me--I believe Radio Shack
has some pretty sticky types in a small package. Love your site--thank
you very much,it has helped me a lot. I've read Astronomy mag. for years
and always thought it would be stupid to own a telescope when what you
could see could in no way compare to what a large telescope could see,
not to mention the Hubble. But, your site helped to convince me that
maybe I should try it for myself, and Meade made it possible with a
great little scope. I m having a great time, learning a lot, and there
sure is a joy to doing it yourself. Thanks!!!  Randy Zimmerman

Subject:	ETX-Advise
Sent:	Friday, April 9, 1999 15:37:22
From:	LooneyRoo@aol.com
i first want to thank you for all the help that you've given me over the
past few months. i really appreciate it! i also want to apologize,
because i'm sure you get alot of stupid questions... here's another one
for ya:

i got a can of compressed air to dust my optical tube lens and while i
was spraying it a bit of liquid came out and created a semitransparent
smudge the size of a penny. i have not had a chance to see if it affects
the optics, because it's been cloudy lately, but when i look through the
tube at the primary mirror, the view is slightly distorted at the point
where the smudge is... do you think that the smudge will cause a problem
when i look at the night sky? should i attempt to clean it or should i
leave it alone? i know that sometimes cleaning the glass can make it
worse... what would you do? any advise would be greatly appreciated.
thanks again for all your help... the website is great.
~noah
Mike here: As you have now noticed, compressed air should be used with caution since water can form and be sprayed onto the surface you are trying to clean. As to whether I would clean it or not at this point would depend upon whether I thought it was affecting the image quality. If it wasn't, I would leave it alone. But if I thought it was, I would carefully clean it using proper lens cleaning solutions and materials. See the Buyer/New User Tips page for some info on Cleaning Optics or search the site for "clean".

Subject:	 how to mount etx on wedgepod
Sent:	Friday, April 9, 1999 15:30:55
From:	fsotoma@fis.ulima.edu.pe (Fernando Sotomayor)
Again looking for help. I already got my etx-90/ec. I also bought  a jmi
wedepod. My latitude es 12 south the equator. I can figure out how to
mount the etx on the wedgepod polar aligned for tracking objects to the
north of my place, but I do not know how to mount and align for tracking
in polar mode objects to the south of my place. Could you tell me how to
do this? I think there is a similar problem for people living in the
northern hemisphere.

Thanks very much.
Fernando Sotomayor.
Mike here: The ETX does have some DEC limitations when in polar aligned mode (which can make the Autostar a nice addition since it can track even in the Alt/Az mode). The biggest problem will be for objects that are so low in the sky that the OTA hits the drive base. But once you have polar aligned (in your case to the southern pole), you will not change the alignment. About all you can do is re-orient the ETX and mount to see the object in question but then you'll lose the polar alignment and tracking will be inaccurate.

Subject:	 Digital Astrophotography
Sent:	Friday, April 9, 1999 10:28:25
From:	tompilot@zbzoom.net (Tom Surgalski)
Thanks for the outstanding website. You had mentioned you did some
photos with a Casio, then got a Ricoh, but weren't as happy with the
results. Any thoughts? I'm considering a camera along the lines of the
new Nikon Collpix 950. Is this brutal overkill for this? I like the fact
that the Coolpix 950 has up to a 4 sec shutter speed. I'm impressed with
what people are doing with even older cameras through the ETX.

Is the ability to get close to the eyepiece more important than the
number of pixels? Is this the problem you are having with the Ricoh? I
would appreciate feedback from anyone on this.

Thanks again for such a helpful place to go.
Mike here: Glad you like the site. And yes, the main problem with the Ricoh RDC-4200 is getting its lens close to the eyepiece. I found that by zooming it to the full 3X setting it would work but that would also magnify the image (which was not necessarily all bad). One other minor problem versus my old Casio QV-10 is that the Ricoh seems more sensitive to light and so exposures of Jupiter will overexpose even when I select the minimum setting.

Subject:	 RE: Something is up at Meade!
Sent:	Friday, April 9, 1999 10:24:32
From:	agriggs@pacbell.net (Art Griggs)
Memorial Day Weekend, I plan on going to the sky party and
manufacturer's showcase at Big Bear Lake, Calif. (Meade's backyard) and
see what's new.  Maybe an ETX-125 EC will be there!  This is more the
size I want in a portable scope so I am hoping.

Read the ETX-90 EC article in the May issue of Sky & Telescope.

- Art -
agriggs@pacbell.net
Mike here: Are you referring to the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference? I was there last year but will miss this one. Anxious to hear your report.

Subject:	 ETX review
Sent:	Friday, April 9, 1999 8:12:48
From:	deissg@sd242.k12.id.us (Greg Deiss)
Steve Ingraham's test of the ETX against the C90 and Questar's birding
scope did not make the April edition of Birding magazine as hoped for.
Steve indicates that due to decisions beyond his control the article
will not appear until the June issue.

Greg

Subject:	new ETX130
Sent:	Friday, April 9, 1999 2:38:08
From:	FjhDAVID@aol.com
the ETX90EC is really to light for medium exposure time (around 30mn),
but is perfect for everything else.

No news from its little big brother (125EC or 130EC?) If you 've got an
indication about the release date, don't hesitate .... Before summer?

Thanks
Francois

Ps: if you know a place (unofficial meade place for example....)

Subject:	 Something is up at Meade!
Sent:	Thursday, April 8, 1999 16:10:19
From:	artg@baylogics.com (Art Griggs)
I am starting to hear about a new "companion" for the ETX-90EC.  It is
an ETX-120EC.  That's right, a 4.7 inch version of the current 3.5 inch.
Meade certainly needs a something to compete with Celestron's C5+ and a
larger ETX would just blow the C5+ away!  (I personally think a 127mm,
or full 5 inch, makes more sense.)  All the ETX accessories transfer
over, including the AutoStar. I just thought you would like to know.
Mike here: The Autostar does have an "ETX-125" setting... And there was one report of a sighting. (Gee, now we are getting like X-Files! The Truth Is Out There.)

Subject:	ETX
Sent:	Thursday, April 8, 1999 12:28:27
From:	LooneyRoo@aol.com
Hi Mike,
I was wondering if you knew a good way to secure the autostar
hand-controller to the tripod. When I have an object in the eyepiece,
and the controller is not needed, I can't do anything but hold it. I
would really like to be able to have a way that I can put the controller
down when it's not in use. Would Velcro be good or should I try gluing a
hook on the back of the controller so that I can hook it onto the tripod
leg? I know you don't have the ETX-90/EC, but if you have a good idea
please let me know. Thanks.

~Noah
Mike here: This is always a problem with controllers that don't have hooks. I'd suggest adding a small hook. Velcro could work but then you'd probably want to have several attach points on the ETX or tripod.

Subject:	 original ETX setting circles.
Sent:	Thursday, April 8, 1999 10:36:20
From:	crainville@home.com (Claire Rainville)
Would anyone have the patience to explain   Mead's instructions... After
I have polar aligned  with the tube still parallel to center  tripod leg
and polar axis pointing N. andMotor turned on.

1. Center bright object in scope field of view." How do I do this
without changing  Dec and RA. ? or do I look for an object at 89*

2. Center new object in scope field of view. Manually turn RA circle to
read RA of object. "   To view a new object my RA numbers automatically
move to new reading.

3. Is the tube still pointed thru its polar axis.?
Thank you
Mike here: I'm not certain I understand your question but I'll try to respond. If you are trying to polar align, set the ETX latitude leg (or tripod) for your latitude and the ETX to 90 degrees Declination (to start with) and rotate the whole telescope until you can see Polaris (Northern Hemisphere) in the Finder. Manually do some fine adjustments to get Polaris in the 26mm eyepiece field-of-view. You may have to physically move the telescope or slightly adjust the DEC since Polaris is not precisely at 90 degrees. The next step is to manually move the telescope in Right Ascension and Declination to an object with a known RA and DEC. Next move the Right Ascension setting circle to match the RA of the object. With the RA drive engaged you're all set. Now you can use the setting circles to locate objects.

Subject:	 ETX 90 EC base??
Sent:	Wednesday, April 7, 1999 23:38:55
From:	BKSTA2@shell.co.th (HMA/3 (Sukun T.) .)
Just read about the ETX 90 EC base in the March feedback archieve.  I
have visited astroptx.com but the item is not in their list.  This is
rather cautious as you mentioned that where they got the product from. 
I think you should ask MEADE to explain about this for all of us?? Also
read about someone mentioning ETX 130 EC sometime this year.. Just hope
it will be priced economically as ETX 90 EC.
Best regards,
Sukun T.

Subject:	 mars
Sent:	Wednesday, April 7, 1999 10:22:14
From:	marwine@greenmtn.edu (marwine)
I'm catching up on the postings after 10 days away.  Took the scope to
southern PA to try to get in some additional Mars time.  Unfortunately,
the seeing was so bad that the little disk was positively swimming in
the field.  Even the moon (which was full) was boiling and viewing it
with moon filter and 13.8 SWA was too much for comfort.  The 26 mm
provided pleasing views.  But Mars was unavailable.  When I headed north
again on April 5, I found clear skies and steady viewing from western
MA.  My Deep Sky Planner computer program informed me that the disk was
14.5" and that transit would be around 2AM.  Luckily I have about an
hour's worth of unobstructed viewing time just on either side of transit
where I can also sight the north star for alignment (at least when there
are no leaves on the tree).  Mars was at the height of its journey when
I started viewing and it was quite an enjoyable hour.  I was astonished
to see surface markings with the 13.8 SWA (87 power) right at the start.
The air was so steady that I found myself using my Meade 9.7 mm lens
with the #126 Barlow which gives almost 250 magnification.  I actually
wished for an even shorter lens, but 9.7 was my limit.  At some point I
decided that a smaller but sharper image was more reasonable for
sustained viewing and used the 13.8 SWA with the Barlow for about 175
magnification.  I, without any doubt, observed substantial dark areas on
the surface - they were almost always visible, and occasionally really
snapped into place.  I am not yet going to say that I saw the polar cap.
Once or twice I thought that a bright white area appeared in the north
which was so bright it almost made the planet appear out of round.  But
it was so ephemeral that I wouldn't count it.  Nor have I really sought
out what those dark areas might have been (by name).  I'm still trying
to keep myself more generally naive about the planet's orientation so
that I can be more sure that I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing.  It was
a thoroughly  rewarding hour to spend even though I had to get up at 5AM
for another two hour's of driving north before reporting to work. 
Thanks Joe (March 29) and David (March 30) for your encouragement and
for your observing histories.  And thanks, also, to Gary  (March 30) and
Doug (Apr 2) for the comments on filters.  I had discarded any thoughts
of filters (other than a moon filter) because I thought too much light
would be lost.  It's really helpful to hear that the #23A, #56, and #80A
will work with a 90mm scope.  I'm ordering them today.  One of those 
may bring the cap into view.

Getting up for mars afforded the added treat of seeing a tack-sharp moon
with new features. Just as I was about to finish, I got a clear shot
through the branches of a large tree.  I realized how little of the moon
I have seen at that angle of illumination - or the of the waning portion
of its cycle in general.  I'm going to have to make an effort to see
more on the down side of full, for sure.

Loved the Messier reports!  The moon is on the wane, and let's hope for
clear skies and good seeing.

alan

Subject:	 Filters
Sent:	Wednesday, April 7, 1999 10:13:27
From:	jshy@widomaker.com (Jeff Shy)
I just purchased a set of filters for use with my ETX 90/EC from Orion.

When I screw them into the end of the eyepiece, the eyepiece will not go
all the way into the tube.  There is a small stop at the end of the tube
that obstructs going further into the scope.

Is this a problem in general with using filters on the ETX or is this a
problem with Orion filters?  Does this also happen with Meade filters?
Mike here: I don't know about the Orion filters but the Meade filters do add some extra length to the eyepiece tube. And since the eyepiece tube (without a filter) will hit the stop when inserted all the way, adding the filter just means the eyepiece will hit the stop a little sooner. This has not caused me any focusing problems however.

Subject:	meade ETX  125EC
Sent:	Wednesday, April 7, 1999 1:26:56
From:	FjhDAVID@aol.com
One more thing Mike,

Do you have some informations on this new product? (release date?) For
me it will be the right instrument.... Is it real?

Thanks
Francois
Mike here: no info. rumors only. no facts.

Subject:	Re : Re: maximum exposure time
Sent:	Wednesday, April 7, 1999 1:25:30
From:	FjhDAVID@aol.com
I see. But do you try prime focus photography on the ETX90EC (or do you
heard some results). My wish would be to do 2 or 3 minutes exposure time
without guiding, then I will add several pictures.

Is it possible?

Thanks
Francois
Mike here: I believe (but have not confirmed) that the exposures will either trail (very slightly) due to either drive glitches or a not-quite-perfect polar alignment. Remember, you'll need to do a polar alignment; otherwise the field will rotate during the exposure.

Subject:	Thanks for the great ETX site!
Sent:	Wednesday, April 7, 1999 1:16:48
From:	FPLT@aol.com
Just wanted to thank you for the great site.  I've had an ETX since July
of last year and have enjoyed every minute of use I can get out of it. 
Two months ago I traded my ETX Astro for the ETX-90/EC.  I'm not quite
as enamored with it as I was the original.  Its more complicated and
takes some getting used to.

A couple quite tips that might be of help.  For astrophography, I've had
great success using the #64 camera adapter with eyepieces for eyepiece
projection photos.  If you use the Meade series 4000 Super Plossls, the
folded back rubber eye cup holds them in the camera adapter quite well.

For both models during cold weather observing, take the batteries out of
the chilled scope when you get inside.  I couldn't understand why my
scope wouldn't power up earlier this evening until I opened up the
battery compartment.  They must have frozen the last time I was out (It
got a little cold here in MN during February) and ruptured when they
warmed up.  Talk about a mess.

That leads me to a small problem I now have.  While I was cleaning the
battery compartment, one of the battery contacts snapped off.  It was
really corroded.  Would you or some of the visitors to your page have a
"chewing gum and bailing wire" fix for this?  I hate to think of sending
it back to California just as the good viewing season here is starting.

And finally, I just started a web page dedicated to the things I've done
with my ETX.  Its real basic now, because I've never tried making a web
page before.  I hope to expand it in the future.  Give it a shot if you
like. The address is:

http://hometown.aol.com/fplt/index.htm/LancesETX.html

There are a couple of good pictures there.

Have a good one

Lance H.
fplt@aol.com


Subject:	maximum exposure time
Sent:	Tuesday, April 6, 1999 16:21:10
From:	FjhDAVID@aol.com
What is the maximum exposure time you can get with an ETX90EC+35mm
camera attached for prime focus photography (with a very good accuracy
and good results)?

Did you try this last configuration with an additional off axis guider?

Thanks
Francois
Mike here: I don't have an off-axis guider. With the original ETX model I tried some many minutes long exposures and the drive always had some tracking glitches that were evident in the photos. While the RA tracking is pretty good for visual work, inaccuracies in polar alignment and other variables combined with the magnification on film at prime focus, long duration astrophotography at prime focus will be nearly impossible without an off-axis guider.

Subject:	 Quick question.
Sent:	Tuesday, April 6, 1999 13:01:05
From:	msoftich@bakerhill.com (Matt Softich)
I have been researching what to buy for my first telescope. Over and
over again everything seems to point to the ETX. The main concerns for
my first scope are portability and performance. I plan to take it back
to Montana with me on vacation. I also want to make sure that it is a
solid enough performer   to see the planets and Messier objects in
fairly good detail.

Does the ETX fit these parameters? If you had you choice of other M-C's
out there would you still pick the ETX? How hard it is to find a tripod
for it that won't cost an arm and a leg?

I really appreciate your feedback regarding these issues. I will
(hopefully) be ordering one by the weekend. I also think your site is
great and if I choose to buy an ETX I plan on visiting it often.

Thanks much,

Matt Softich   msoftich@iquest.net
Mike here: Check out the Buyer/New User Tips page. Many of your questions will be answered there. Also, see the Accessories - Tripods page. Remember, don't go for skimpy tripods; they will not provide enough stability for high magnification use.

Subject:	 My Web Site
Sent:	Tuesday, April 6, 1999 12:05:53
From:	cyclopes43@hotmail.com (Ryan Sciara)
Hello, I was wondering if you would include my web page to your
Astronomy Links page.  I am a fellow ETX user and my page consists of
info on the ETX as well as many pictures taken through the ETX, with
info on how they were taken.  The address is
members.xoom.com/Ryan50.  It also has a few other links to other
pictures of thunderstorm clouds, sunsets, and wildlife photography
through the ETX.

Thank you

Ryan Sciara
FSBV91F@Prodigy.com

Subject:	 Natural Wonders ETX swapping
Sent:	Tuesday, April 6, 1999 1:54:18
From:	lovemouse@webtv.net (Matt Thomas)
I can't tell you enough what a great site this is. You've got more
information than I could have ever needed. As of April 1st Natural
Wonders is no longer accepting the old ETXs for trade for the new
ec/90's. Even with the receipt, they will only accept old ETX's that
have never been opened or used. They said that because Meade is no
longer acccepting exchanges they will not either. Apparently they cannot
send the old units back anymore. They are selling the old ETX for $100
less in their stores when they still have them though. But they still
exchange defective units for new ones. Just thought you'd like to know.
Keep up the great work.
Matt Thomas

Subject:	 Wow!
Sent:	Monday, April 5, 1999 22:21:00
From:	jh@brainiac.com (Joe Hartley)
I've just come in from the most enjoyable night I've had with the ETX in
weeks.  It's a beautifully clear night, and not too cold.  The dew fell,
making things damp, but the homemade dew cap kept the big corrector lens
clear, and I remembered to keep the cover on the Doskocil case (which
holds all the eyepieces) closed this time, so I was able to get in quite
a bit.

The clear skies surprised me, since I received my Apogee right-angle
finder kit today.  The clounds must have found someone with a 12" LX200
to bug tonight :)  The RA kit was simple to install and has no obvious
flaws. In use, it's just fine.  I like the fact that the image in the
finder is now reversed left-to-right like it is in the ETX.  It make the
scope movements consistent.  I also like the fact that the finder is
right there next to the eyepiece at the same angle; no more contortions
going back and forth between the finder and the mail eyepiece!

On the downside, it's tough to look in the finder when I'm using my 52mm
Rini eyepiece, since the EP has such a big barrel.  At that low power,
though, it's simple enough to use the Daisy red dot sight to aim the
scope and go right to the EP, ignoring the intermediate step of sighting
through the finder.

At the other end of the spectrum, I found that with the 9.7mm Plossl, at
certain positions, the finder is perfectly positioned to touch the tip
of my nose!  So this unit isn't without its quirks, but I like it a lot
more than the stock finder.

As to the viewing, I got M36, 37 and 38 in Auriga easily right at the
start.  These 3, which are usually easy clusters, had been giving me
some problems.  Part of this was due to the fact that they've been close
to the zenith early in the evening, and the old finder was a bit
awkward.  The moon hadn't helped either; in the past 2 weeks it had been
either too bright or too close to Auriga, making these objects tough for
me.

It was a quick jump over to Perseus for the double cluster, which I seem
to be able to find with my eyes closed these days.  I love this sight;
it's beautiful in the 26mm.

I also easily picked up M35 in Gemini, and M67 and M44 (Praespe) in
Cancer. From there it was over to M3.  I'd only found this in the past
with the help of the setting circles; this time, I was able to star hop
over to it thanks to my new copy of SkyAtlas 2000.0, which is just a
great reference to have. It can be a bit unwieldy to use (I have the
laminated field edition, which has pages 13.5" x 19.5"), but I found
that if I hung it over the back of the camp chair I use as a stand for
the ETX/eyepiece case, it's handy while remaining out of the way.

I plunged even further into space and picked up M65 and M66 in Leo. 
These were very easy to find, but with magnitudes around 9+ cried out
for more aperture, or at least darker skies!

I finished up with M13 in Hercules, which was finally high enough to be
viewed from where I had set up.  Easy to find, and just spectacular!

Well, the scope's dried off enough to pack away now.  Off to do that and
then to bed, where no doubt I'll be dreaming of globular clusters and
spiral galaxies!

==============================================================================
            Joe Hartley - jh@brainiac.com - brainiac services, inc
12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI : 02827 - vox 401.782.9042: fax 401.782.8782
   Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa

Subject: RE: Wow! Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 1999 14:50:53 From: OptiquesJeff@worldnet.att.net (Jeffrey Nutkowitz) Fascinating! I was out with my ETX/Autostar last night, and observed almost an identical set of items, except for omitting the double cluster and M13, and adding M51, 42, and 41. The clusters were wonderful, though the faint fuzzies, as you note, could use some aperture, OR much darker skies than those found anywhere within 3 or 4 hours of Philadelphia, let alone the one hour drive I made. The Autostar had almost every object well within the field of view of the 26mm Plossl, and the two or three that weren't, were just outside and easily seen in the finder. Jeffrey Nutkowitz/Optiques Classic Photographic Imagery Freelance Outdoor and Nature Photography Emphasizing a 'Sense of Place' http://members.aol.com/OptiquesJN

Subject: RE: Wow! Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 1999 16:21:21 From: jh@brainiac.com (Joe Hartley) "Jeffrey Nutkowitz" wrote: > Fascinating! I was out with my ETX/Autostar last night, and observed almost > an identical set of items, except for omitting the double cluster and M13, > and adding M51, 42, and 41. *Autostar*? Well, sure, anyone can find things with that. Why, I... Nah, I can't seem to sustain the indignation that festers in sci.astro.amateur around the Autostar. I'll just turn a lovely shade of green to denote my envy :) I'll have to try for M51, 42, and 41 tonight. Clear skies! ============================================================================== Joe Hartley - jh@brainiac.com - brainiac services, inc 12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI : 02827 - vox 401.782.9042: fax 401.782.8782 Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa

Subject: RE: Wow! Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 1999 17:40:58 From: vernlw@teleport.com (vernlw) Doing double stars under an urban sky officially described as one degree less than "0", or "yuck" last night (early this am, actually), I could have used autostar trying to find 16/17 draconis, which isn't very close to anything. However, when I buckled down, used the setting circles and the Sky atlas 200, there it was, not in the scope, but in the finder. Good enough, and a pretty little double it was. Don't even talk to me about galaxies and and nebulae, I could barely see mag. 2 stars with the naked eye. Still had fun at 3:00 am, though. Mars was beautiful. With patience, a little coloration appeared from time to time. Nice set of sunspots today. They have been increasing over the last few days, and there were 5 groups today. Dark skies, Vern Weiss


Subject:	 Stupid ETX tricks
Sent:	Monday, April 5, 1999 20:39:11
From:	kentop@dakotacom.net (Ken Bertschy)
I was fooling around with my ETX and some 96mm eyepieces I had laying
around. In order to fit them to the ETX, I had to make an adaptor. For
this, I went to Ace hardware and bought a plastic 1.25 x 6" slip joint
extension tube for sink drains and cut a two inch section off of one
end. I then fit a plastic 96mm eyepiece case with the bottom cut off
into the 1.25 pipe. The eyepieces fit snugly into the eyepiece case and
the plastic pipe fits perfectly into the ETX!  It being noon, I focused
on a ranger fire tower on top of Mount Lemmon, about 25 miles from here.
I then proceeded to test the eyepieces, a 22mm Kellner, a 9mm Huygenian,
and a 4mm Ramsden. All of them worked fine!  The 4mm Ramsden did a
creditable job producing 312X!  This is way beyond the performance I
expected from a 90mm Mak.  So, I figured "what the heck" and barlowed
them all. The 22mm and 9mm did good jobs.  Nice, clear images. The 4mm
was dark but I could discern the fire tower quite easily.  Focusing on a
closer object (the wire mesh screen on my neighbor's chimney, about 200
feet away), the 4mm Ramsden with a short barlow lens resolved the mesh
perfectly! Now, we're talkin' 625X!  I didn't expect to see anything at
all.  Now, looking at objects millions of light years away is a totally
different matter, but tonight is a clear night and I'll experiment with
these cheapo eyepieces.  I've read where you could get away with using
cheap eyepieces in slow scopes but I was really surprised at how well
these 96mm eyepieces performed on terrestrial targets. Next target, the
moon.

Subject:	 Original ETX
Sent:	Monday, April 5, 1999 13:55:11
From:	tilo-margie@webtv.net (Tilo Melcher)
I'm an owner of an original ETX Astro Telescope. Is it possible for this
telescope to be converted to a ETX-90/EC. If so, would you please let me
know of names of companies that would provide this service.
             Thank you, Margie  
Mike here: See the Feedback page for March 1999 (in the Feedback Archives); there is a report there that Astroptx is selling just the new base, which is what you need. Throughout the January, February, and March Feedback pages there are comments about swaps by some dealers and trade-ins by others.

Subject:	 What an useful scope!
Sent:	Monday, April 5, 1999 1:12:37
From:	knox_king@hotmail.com (Knox King)
Hope you're all doing well.

I had a phantastic spring-night recently with really great seeing! With
a 180-degree clear horizon I followed the sun set. With very low
magnification I was intently looking for the famous 'green flash',
having only read about it before. And YES, just before the upper part of
the sun disappeared a strong, dark-green color appeared and lasted for
about two seconds. Magnificent! I was shouting:)

Well, darkness set in and I was tracking some satellites and also saw a
beautiful, mag. -6, Iridium flash, waiting for the twilight to vanish.

Now I pointed the ETX towards the action, the back of Leo. Having seen
only M65 and M66 before I was curious to see what the ETX would show me.
I was pleasantly surprised to see M87 rather bright and the pair M86 and
M84 was a true beauty! I also got M60 and from Ursa Major, M51 and M101!
Very nice scope, for being carried around in my small packpack, don't
you think?!:)

    Enjoy your sky!
Knox
 \o
  |/
 / \

Subject:	 ETX-90/EC FINDER SCOPE
Sent:	Sunday, April 4, 1999 13:15:02
From:	tmay@us.hsanet.net (Terry May)
Just wanted to ask if anyone has attempted to retrofit the 90 degree
finder from the EC scope to the original ETX? Couldn't find anything in
the archives about it. If it is the same diameter and will fit the rings
on an old ETX it would seem a better deal than the currently available
mod kits, since it is only supposed to be about $50.
Thank -keep up the great work!
Terry May

Subject:	 RE: Wide Field Adapter
Sent:	Sunday, April 4, 1999 10:57:17
From:	drjeeva@pc.jaring.my (Mr.N.Jeevaraj)

>From: 	etx@me.com
>Sent: 	Sunday, April 04, 1999 2:20 AM
>One tip that has been suggested by many others is to loosen the focus 
>knob setscrew and slide it outwards a small amount along its shaft.
>Then retighten the screw.  This will allow a little more travel for the
>focus shaft.

Brilliant..worked perfectly.
Thanks a million.
Jeeva.

Subject:	 Want to find your latitude?
Sent:	Saturday, April 3, 1999 8:26:02
From:	rkennedy@loquitur.com (Roderick Kennedy)
A recent post on polar alignment talked about finding one's exact
latitude.  There's an easy way, if you're reading this website: Using
the sunrise/moonrise calculator at the US Naval Observatory will also
provide you with your pretty much exact latitude.  If it works for Cuba,
NM, it'll work for you, too. Who needs a GPS?  Here's the link.
Sun and Moon Data for One Day (riemann.usno.navy.mil/aa/data/docs/RS_OneDay.html)

Enjoy

P.S. least I could do for the great tip about the daisy sight
conversion.
--
Roderick Kennedy
P.O. Box 133, Albq. NM 87103
505.841-8287 / FAX 505.841-8228
"For business reasons, I must preserve the outward sign of sanity."
- Mark Twain, letter to William Stead, 1890
Mike here: There are a couple of other sites shown on the Astronomy Links page and I'll add this one.

Subject:	Accessories + weight
Sent:	Saturday, April 3, 1999 7:27:05
From:	FjhDAVID@aol.com
What is the maximum weight (about....) you can put at the ETX90EC back
without getting troubles with the drive accuracy?

In fact, I hesitate for 35mm camera between:

   - an ETX visual back + an ETX tele-extender
                    or
   - a SCT 8" adapter + my old SCT 8" extender... 

Thanks
Francois
Mike here: With the proper counterweights you could probably hang almost anything off the back. But without them, almost any weight that would include a camera would not allow long duration astrophotography. You'll be OK for terrestrial or short duration photography (except for possible vibration due to camera mirror flipping). On the other hand, users have successfully used CCDs and cameras so it can be done.

Subject:	 Wide Field Adapter
Sent:	Saturday, April 3, 1999 1:15:37
From:	drjeeva@pc.jaring.my (Mr.N.Jeevaraj)
This has got to be one of the greatest sites for the ETX. Really
wonderful. I have been watching for a while and based on recommendations
I read, I decided to buy the Wide Field Adapter and 1.25" adapter bpth
by Apogee and purchased through Pocono Optics. I have a problem in that
when I use the WFA and 1.25" adapter, I am not able to focus the
telescope using the meade 26mm Plossl, or the other meade eyepieces I
have. The focus knob has to be rotated fully and my star images are a
little/tad bit out of focus. I'm not able to focus to a point becos my
focussing knob on the ETX is screwed fully and there is no more play
left.
Anyone out there with any ideas?
Thanks 
Jeevan.
Mike here: One tip that has been suggested by many others is to loosen the focus knob setscrew and slide it outwards a small amount along its shaft. Then retighten the screw. This will allow a little more travel for the focus shaft.

Subject:	 Mars and filters
Sent:	Friday, April 2, 1999 12:14:21
From:	cann@axionet.com (Douglas E. Cann)
Just a follow up to a recent e mail regarding mars and filters...I
concur.

The following Meade filters are transparent enough to work well with a
90mm telescope, yet have enough colour depth to be effective. These same
filters are also good with the other planets, not just mars.  The light
red is also great for viewing venus during the dusk, just at sun set.

Light red  #23A   good for the green and dark details
Light green #56   good for the pole that is currently visible and dust storms
Blue  #80A        also good for the pole cap

The 'numbers' are standard colour designations that have been in use for
eons  ie photography etc. Any other manufaturer of filters will use the
same colour designations.  Darker filters will not be as succesfull as
they reduce the light in the image too much.

As your other guest suggested, patience and clear, steady air are
pre-requisites for seeing details on mars. Last night was very good at
about 11.00pm even though mars was still quite low.  The next few weeks
will be really special if you enjoy observing the planets and especially
as far as mars is concerned.

Cheers........Doug

Subject:	 Re: Doskocil Case & Padded Tripod Bag
Sent:	Friday, April 2, 1999 11:41:09
From:	jh@brainiac.com (Joe Hartley)
Regarding Gary's comment on the Doskocil case:
> The latches on the case not only seem indestructible, but they actually
> HURT MY WRISTS opening and closing them (and i'm a weight lifter!) -
> anyone have any suggestions?

The latches wear in within a short amount of time to where opening them
isn't difficult.  The best way to close them that I've found is to flip
the latch down and whack it with the heel of my hand.

I really like the Doskocil case for my ETX.  I simply carry that and my
tripod to the site, and I'm ready to go.  I've also found that the
Doskocil case makes a handy step for the shorter people who want to look
through my scope at star parties!

==============================================================================
            Joe Hartley - jh@brainiac.com - brainiac services, inc
12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI : 02827 - vox 401.782.9042: fax 401.782.8782
   Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa

Subject:	ETX purchase
Sent:	Thursday, April 1, 1999 14:20:14
From:	MLP40@aol.com
I am very intrigued with your website and would like to purchase a used
Meade ETX.  Would you know of anyone wanting to sell one as I cannot
afford a new one.
Thanks,
Mike  MLP40@aol.com

Subject:	 Neatest Freeware-Astronomy program for your ETX!
Sent:	Thursday, April 1, 1999 13:01:36
From:	knox_king@hotmail.com (Knox King)
I found the neatest Freeware astronomy program for all telescope owners
which show stars down to mag.9 and also has over 8000 deepsky objects!
Not bad for that kind of magnitude to be freeware..
 ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/han_kleijn/astronom.htm.
I found my download at http://to-scorpio.com by the way.
Sincerely
Knox
 \o
  |/
 / \
Mike here: This is already listed on the Links page but I thought I'd remind everyone of it.

Subject:	 125 ETX
Sent:	Thursday, April 1, 1999 8:37:34
From:	PKNOLL@prodigy.net (P. Knoll)
Just for your info I saw the 125 ETX at the last (March) Oceanside Photo
and Telescope Star Party . At first, from a distance I thought it was
the 90ec but as neared the scope it was definitly larger. I looked at
the scope for a up close for few minutes and was envious. Almost
identical in appearance to the 90.

As I was looking a gentleman ( I don't know) kept saing "you didn't see
this" and "It does not exsist". OK! But if it is so secret, WHY take it
to a Star Party for everyone to see?????.

Anyway outside of who I was there with, you are the only one I have
written ... so maybe you have a scoop. I guess secrecy is important to
some or they are having fun with it. Kind of rediculous to display it so
openly. All that aside ..... I WANT IT!!!!

Pat Knoll
Mike here: I suspect it could have been either the real thing or one of the design models that Meade told me they are always doing.

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