ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 August 2006

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


Subject:	ETX-125 UHTC.  Autostar intial setup headache
Sent:	Thursday, August 31, 2006 08:59:36
From:	Christian Butler (Christian.Butler@endsleigh.co.uk)
I have spent considerable time looking through your website for help but
I must admit that I am a total beginner to astronomy in general and this
seemingly fabulous telescope which I purchased a few weeks ago and so
far have not been able to get working.  The manual is fairly rubbish!

There doesn't seem to be a definitive 'idiots guide' on how to set up
the Autostar Automatic Alignment.  I spent 4 hours yesterday evening
trying and couldn't even manage to get the scope even slightly useable.

Are you able to give an idiots rundown of the procedure using plain
English.  I found there to be a lot of abbreviations that I didn't
understand from the masses of posts on your website.
 
Many thanks,

Christian
England UK
Mike here: I suggest starting with the article "Setup Troubleshooting & Advice" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. If that doesn't help, I'll try to answer any specific questions you have.
Subject:	Re:ETX-125 PE Alignment Errors - Could it be an LNT Problem?
Sent:	Thursday, August 31, 2006 08:35:34
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
If I understand you correctly, you're saying that when the scope slews
to the first alignment star, it is slightly off and you have to center
it. Then, the same with the second star and after that GOTO is good, but
the next time you do alignment, you have to repeat the whole thing.

If that's what's happening, it is totally normal.  The corrections are
not saved when power is turned off (unless you do "PARK" before removing
power and do not move the scope).

There will always be a small error in North and Level after the initial
part of the alignment due to mechanical and calculation reasons.  The
Cal Sensor procedure helps reduce them and the Star Alignment removes
the rest.  Cal Sensor only has to be done once, as the corrections are
saved, but the star alignments must be done for each observing session.

If you want to check the accuracy of North and Level, after you do an
alignment slew the scope to 0/0 in alt/az using the Status display. The
OTA should be level and pointed North.  You can't rely on a magnetic
compass due to magnets in the scope drive motors so you will need a true
North reference.

Hope this helps.
Mike Hogan

Subject:	Help, my ETX-90 PE Dec axis is grinding
Sent:	Tuesday, August 29, 2006 16:52:00
From:	poller brian (bjp8102@yahoo.com)
You have a great forum so I thought you may be able to help me...  The
first time I tried parking my etx-90 PE it must have slewed past the DEC
hard stop and then it made a terrible grinding noise.  Now my DEC axis
grinds in both directions and does not function.  Is it possible to
repair this malfunction myself, or does it need to be sent back to
Meade?

I opened it following the "performance enhancement" tips from your
website.   I saw no mechanical problems in the gear box by itself which
was encouraging.  Then I loosened the nut holding the worm gear, so that
it now turns easier but that didn't seem to help.

Grateful for any advice,
Brian
Mike here: Just to be certain, do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. Does that cure it? If not, it is possible that something was damaged. Although this is doubtful it could happen. If the telescope is still under warranty you should contact Meade.

And:

Thanks for your response.  I tried calibrate motor and train drives, but
every time the dec motor engages it only moves slightly then just whirs
and clicks and doesn't move any further. Luckily I'm still under
warranty, so I'll contact Meade.

Brian

Subject:	No eyepiece image on ETX 125 PE
Sent:	Thursday, August 24, 2006 14:35:07
From:	Ajay Karigiri (ajaykarigiri@googlemail.com)
I shall be grateful for your advice on this matter..I have recently
purchased a new ETX125 PE..At Autoalign, the scope LNTs and slews to 2
stars - sirius and pollux in the north..but there is no image in the
eyepiece..the flip mirror buttons are up and the lens cover is off.
Again the red-dot on the smartfinder is way towards the top right hand
corner..but again no image on the same. Would you be kind enough to shed
some light on this matter.

Many thanks in anticipation
-- 
Ajay Karigiri
Waterquarter
Cardiff - CF10 4JA
Mike here: Do you mean NOTHING is visible in the eyepiece, even in the daytime? Or just that the alignment stars are not in the eyepiece FOV as the red-dot is not aligned with the telescope? If the latter, you need to adjust the position of the red-dot per the manual.

And:

Absolutely nothing is visible in the eyepiece..even in daytime..correct
me if I am wrong..but without powering the scope I should be able to
visualise something in the daytime..but with/without power nothing
through the eyepiece at all..spoke to the dealer..as usual
unhelpful..'Oh, we had run a check before dispatch..and all was
alright'..blah..blah.
 
Shall wait for your advice
Mike here: OK, now I know where to "look" (pun intended) for solutions. Have you removed the cap covering the objective (being careful that you don't remove the lens housing as well)? With the cap off and no eyepiece inserted and the telescope aimed at some terrestrial object, when you look down into the eyepiece hole, what do you see? With the flip mirror lever in the vertical position, can you actually see the flip mirror surface?
Subject:	ETX-125 PE Alignment Errors - Could it be an LNT Problem?
Sent:	Wednesday, August 23, 2006 11:07:06
From:	Cafarella, Edward M. (edward.cafarella@dpw.com)
I purchased my ETX-125 PE a couple of weeks ago and have been using it
as the weather allows.  The alignment set up goes fairly well but the
two alignment stars seems to be off a bit.  I live in NY and set the
scope to GMT -5, with daylight savings time on, also entered my zip
code.  After slewing to the two alignment stars the alignment is off,
usually the same amount on both stars.  After synching the two alignment
stars using an illuminated reticle, the scope's go-to accuracy is spot
on, It actually put Jupiter dead center in a 9mm eyepiece slewing from
the southeast to southwest.  One thing I did notice was that when the
scope is setting up in the LNT process, it doesn't seem to me the OTA is
level when the LNT says it is.  Could this be causing the initial
alignment problem?  If so, do I have to remove the LNT batteries and
recalibrate it?  Also, the LNT module isn't really securely fastened to
the OTA, it feels kind of "gooey" for lack of a better term, it moves
around a lot.  Is this normal?  Shouldn't it be tight to the scope?
 
Thanks!
 
Ed Cafarella  
Mike here: I doubt there is a problem with the LNT (some wiggling and scope not level) as these are normal. Note: As I recall (I'm on vacation now and can't check) the manual indicates the telescope may not end up North and Level at the end of the Northing and leveling steps. As to the initial pointing errors, does the same thing happen with Easy Align? Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? These set the Autostar to your telescope. CALIBRATE SENSOR sets the LNT to know where North is. If you suspect "North" is off, do the CALIBRATE SENSOR. Also, I've had better luck using city names instead of Zipcodes. For more on troubleshooting the LNT, see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Wow Mike, thanks for the fast response!  I did train the drives, but not
calibrate motor yet.  North looks to be right on to me, but level
doesn't look right.  Haven't done an easy align, I will do that along
with the calibration of the motor, the sensor and add my exact
coordinates.

Have fun on vacation!   I go next week! 

Ed
Mike here: Again, level and North may not be level and North when the LNT gets done. So that's not a reliable indicator of any problem.
Subject:	Meade ETX-90PE
Sent:	Saturday, August 5, 2006 18:49:53
From:	John Stanish (jastanish@comcast.net)
I have been thinking about buying a ETX-90PE. What is your opinion on
this scope? I'm a novice but want to see some and possibly take some
astrophotos of the planets and deep sky. Is this a decent scope for what
I want to do. I have seen some images from your web site and can I
expect to see and get images like these? E-bay has one listed for
$599.99. Is this a good price.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

John Stanish
Mike here: For my comments on the ETX-105PE model, see the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. For comments from others, see the Helpful Information: User Observations page as well as the Premier Edition feedback pages. Those are real astrophotographs taken with the ETX (various models) that you see on the Site, so yes, you too can do that (given patience, experience, equipment, luck). Keep in mind that astrophotographs do not accurately represent what the eye will see. Regarding the price, it is always best to go with new equipment, especially for not much more costs, so that you get a warranty and you deal with a local dealer or at least one of the several reputable online dealers. I'm not saying that you can't get a good deal from eBay but it is always "buyer beware" there. If you can, add the UHTC option; it is well worth the extra cost.

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Copyright © 2006 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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