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ETX-90RA AND ETX-90EC USER FEEDBACK
Last updated: 12 August 2001

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-90RA (originally known as the "ETX Astro") and the ETX-90EC. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.


Subject:	polar aligning an ETX90
Sent:	Saturday, August 11, 2001 20:44:56
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
To:	lquick@multinetmarketing.com
You don't mention if it's one with or without an Autostar.
If it's *with* an Autostar, try pressing the "?" key
for (much more) additional information when you're facing the
 Align > Easy   prompt.

Polar aligning is also covered in Meade's online manual for the 
scope, specifically at:
http://www.meade.com/manuals/etx90ec/ch03.html#3

There's a picture on that page showing the ETX90 on its 
"table top tripod"... imagine your Polar Wedge serving to tilt
the scope so that the centerline of the base clamp (the RA clamp)
is aimed at Polaris.

good luck
--dick
And:
(how'd i miss that?... you -did- say you have an Autostar)

OK... the photo of the ETX on the tabletop tripod is in "Polar Home"
position.  Pointed at the Celestial Pole (polaris, more or less).
Fork Level, barrel straight up from base, all tilted to point at
 Polaris (more or less).

Then, in the Autostar:
 Setup > Telescope > Telescope Mount > [scroll] Polar [enter]
IF you go back into that, Polar should now have a ">" in front of it.

Now [mode] and [scroll] back to  "Align"
press [enter] "EAsy"  ... Press [enter].

It'll be quite like Alt/Az: it'll choose two stars for you to
center, and off you go!

good luck
--dick

Subject:	align ETX90
Sent:	Wednesday, August 8, 2001 9:33:15
From:	lquick@multinetmarketing.com (Lois Quick)
We have our scope (w/autostar) mounted on a wedge in polar alignment.
There are NO instructions as to how to align it that way. Can you just
follow the alt-az proceedure or do you have to take it off the tripod
and put it in alt-az?
Thanks
lwq
Mike here: See the "Part 5 - Polar Alignment Position" Performance Enhancement article on the Telescope Tech Tips.

Subject:	ETX 90 RA
Sent:	Wednesday, August 8, 2001 6:28:50
From:	jcontos@ameritech.net (Jim Contos)
I recently purchased an ETX 90 RA from Shutan Camera.  I am using it as
a daytime spotting scope for target shooting, a camera lens, and as an
addition to the small aperture scopes that my daughter and I use for
astronomical purposes.

I have had the optical tube assembly out of the forks, torn down the
fork/base assembly, made minor adjustments to the declination knobs so
that they are fairly true, took some high spots off of the inside of the
rim of the RA base, and LIGHTLY lubricated the rim with white lithium
grease for smoother RA motion.

In addition, I centered the declination travel while the cover plate was
off and neatly scribed a reference line on the declination clamp
assembly to facilitate re-centering in the future.  Other than carefully
cleaning the meniscus lens with the prescribed 3:1 mixture of water and
isopropyl, nothing has been done to the OTA.

I removed the finder scope bracket, installed a Shutan Visual Back and a
Wide Field adapter along with a 32 mm eyepiece for a "finder" and use
the top eyepiece tube for an 8-24 mm zoom.

Because this isn't the EC model, many of the tuning tips found on your
sight don't apply.  Is there anything else that you would recommend
based on the above?

Thanks in advance.

Jim Contos
Mike here: Just curious: what was wrong with the ETX-90RA that made you do all the improvements? As to what else to do, depends upon what, if anything, needs improving.

And:

Below are parts of the original email with additions.  Please understand
that I am very pleased with the scope.  The work I did was partially due
to the fact that I have been taking apart and putting things together
since childhood, and partially due to the fact that I wanted some things
to work more smoothly.

I have had the optical tube assembly out of the forks, torn down the
fork/base assembly, made minor adjustments to the declination knobs so
that they are fairly true, took some high spots off of the inside of the
rim of the RA base, and LIGHTLY lubricated the rim with white lithium
grease for smoother RA motion.

****** The above steps were done due the to fact that the declination
knobs wobbled and dragged somewhat while turning.  Also I noted a slight
drag caused by a minor high spot on the rim of the base.  I LIGHTLY
wiped the plastic to plastic contact points with white lithium grease
since it has proven to be excellent for this situation.  The base now
rotates 360 degrees with no drag.

In addition, I centered the declination travel while the cover plate was
off and neatly scribed a reference line on the declination clamp
assembly to facilitate re-centering in the future.  Other than carefully
cleaning the meniscus lens with the prescribed 3:1 mixture of water and
isopropyl, nothing has been done to the OTA.

****** I wanted to understand the declination clamp/adjustment mechanism
so as to know the best way to correct the slight wobble of the knobs. 
Upon taking the cover plate off, I could see that the 2 knobs were
attached to the ends of a threaded rod with a carrier tied to the
declination clamp assembly.  The knobs were coaxed back to being true
with the rod, the carrier was centered and the scribe mark was added to
give a reference point for centering the carrier in the future.

I removed the finder scope bracket, installed a Shutan Visual Back and a
Wide Field adapter along with a 32 mm eyepiece for a "finder" and use
the top eyepiece tube for an 8-24 mm zoom.

****** The supplied finder mostly just got in the way of my big nose,
(or is it the other way around?)  I am used to finding things to look at
manually and the higher power of the above setup is perfectly OK with
me.

My email to you was to find out if there was anything else that I should
be aware of to insure that the scope lasts as long as possible.  (Other
lubrication points and type of lubrication, for example)

Thanks again!  Great sight!
Mike here: Many thanks for the expanded explanations. For tips, see the Performance Enhancements on the Telescope Tech Tips (not all of which will apply to the RA model). Also, see the various tuneup items and the Scopetronix "ETX Hints, Tips, Projects, & Products" linked from this page.

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Copyright © 2001 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2001 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackAug01/90.html