ETX-90RA AND ETX-90EC USER FEEDBACK
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (richard seymour) To: email@example.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 --dickAnd:
(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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 lwqMike 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: email@example.com (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 ContosMike 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.
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.
Check the Feedback Archives for previous editions of the ETX-90RA and ETX-90EC User Feedback pages.
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