Last updated: 31 December 2002
Subject: Happy New Years Sent: Tuesday, December 31, 2002 17:08:39 From: email@example.com (David Cummings) I wish you and your family the very best of a New Year. I also wish to thank you for the great web site and your enthusiasm for the ETX and their owners. David W. Cummings NEFAS (nefas.org)Mike here: I wish everyone a wonderful 2003 with lots of clear sky nights!!
Subject: Link to Chesmayne Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2002 9:29:38 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Raymond Reid) I have given you a link on my astronomy web page....... chesmayn.valuehost.co.uk/Astronomy-26.htm My main web page is to be found at....... http://chesmayn.valuehost.co.uk/ Yours sincerely, Raymond Reid. Dublin, Ireland.Mike here: Thanks. But please remove the content of my ETX Site Home Page. Just link to the page instead.
Subject: Telescope help for a "newbie" Sent: Friday, December 27, 2002 22:49:53 From: mneder@CenturyTel.net (Mike Neder) Im getting ready to buy an LXD55 AR-5. First scope for me. Im going to move up top a high-class Dob in the next 1-2 years (10-12 Portaball/Teleport). Meanwhile I plan to buy the LXD55 AR5 to start getting used to the skies. Not a bad choice. $800 + shipping + $99 Meade EP Special all of it for less than $1K. Then I started looking at your Website and started wondering if I might not be better off finding an ETX package on Astromart ( scope/ mount/ accessories) to use for a while until I step up. If I buy an ETX package, what would you recommend? I read a comment on your website that the 90RA was your most used scope. How come? How about the 125EC? Other? Assuming I buy an ETX package to sell in a year or two (time to pay for the Dob) which one will maintain its resale value the best? I know you must be busy, and I thank you for whatever time you can spend answering questions from a newbie. Mike NederMike here: Well, have you visited my LXD55 site?
Subject: Your book at Amazon Sent: Wednesday, December 25, 2002 22:15:13 From: email@example.com (Michael W. Hoy) I was building links to Amazon.com from one of the pages in my own little ETX site web.tampabay.rr.com/hoyworld/etx/find.html when I stumbled upon your book. Naturally becouse I'm an associate with Amazon.com I took the opurtunity to link to it. It's just a text link right now, maybe when I eventually rebuild the site I'll add the cover art. Anyway I thought you might like to know, you can see the link slightly buried in the "Magazines and Books" paragraphs of the above link. Michael W. Hoy
Subject: ETX-125 eyepiece question Sent: Wednesday, December 25, 2002 12:59:34 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (mvdevine) Hi all, I am planning to purchase a Televue 19mm Panoptic. This eyepiece will be used on my ETX-125, and was wondering how it would compare to the Meade 18mm SWA. There is a lot of info on the Meade SWA with this scope, but little on the Panoptic. Since it's not cheap, I wanted to make sure the Panoptic holds no surprises being used with an f/13 scope. Anyone in the group using one? Also can this eyepiece be used with a Celestron 2X Ultima SV series Barlow without the need for the Televue Barlow interface lens? I appreciate your time and knowledge in this. Thanks in advance. MattMike here: I don't have any of those but there is a user review of the Meade 18mm SWA on the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page.
Subject: Collimation of ETX-90EC Sent: Tuesday, December 24, 2002 8:49:36 From: email@example.com (Jorge J. Ahumada Barona) Where exactly in your website can I find stepwise instructions to collimate my scope ? Thank you. Merry Christmas and Happy 2003. Jorge AhumadaMike here: Owner collimation of the ETX is not recommended. It is easy to make things worse than they might already be. But if you want to read about it, see the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: electric focusser Sent: Monday, December 23, 2002 9:37:24 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marc Delaney) To: email@example.com You first place the brass gearwheel onto the shaft where the original focus knob comes off from, so that it's front face is level with the end of the shaft (front is the side which does not have the hub with the setscrew), tighten the setscrew securely, then slide on the focusser and attach it with the long screw. Happy Xmas and new Year! Marc (Wales, UK)
Subject: Re: Cool down time on ETX-125 Sent: Monday, December 23, 2002 7:02:00 From: AlanM@peoplepc.com (Alan McDonald) I forgot about the dew shield . . . I use one too - it is Meade's screw on one, which I know I will cross thread and ruin one of these days because it's hard to use in the dark. I leave it off during the cool down period because it will really slow things down, especially if you point the tube down. In fact, if you want to have the dew shield on during the cool down period then I would not recommend that the tube be pointed down. But leaving it off will save lots of time. I put mine on after about 30 minutes, just before I turn it on and start aligning. Without getting into all the thermodynamics of this (uh-oh, you found an engineer), our goal here is to increase the heat transfer function so that the warm objects cool to ambient temperatures as quickly as possible. And we are doing this because it is the convective heat transfer currents that cause the poor seeing (because these thermal currents are caused by variations in the density of the air, and this leads to slight variations in the refractive index of the air across this differential in density). To keep it simple, we have two large masses that need to be cooled - the corrector lens, and the primary mirror. The primary is the difficult one, because it is enclosed in the tube. That means that we have to find a way to get the air in the tube cooled quickly so that it can shed its heat. A big part of that is accomplished by getting the corrector cooled quickly, because it is radiating heat into the tube as well as outside the tube. And we have to get that heat out of the tube, because thermal currents within the tube are as disruptive as those outside the tube - probably more so! That is a big part of why pointing the tube down helps so much (provided a dew shield is not installed, as that traps warm air near the outside of the lens) - it maximizes the flow of cooler air within the tube against the corrector, thus cooling it quicker. This, in turn, leads to lower temperatures within the tube faster, which allows the primary to cool faster as well. Having the ability to put "hole" in the tube (the eyepiece hole) near the top helps let the heat out. So all this has caused me to offer up an even better suggestion for faster cool downs (two actually). The first is to also remove the rear port cover - this helps by allowing better air flow in and out of the tube. Basically, with the tube pointing down, the warm air will rise to the top, and flow out the eyepiece hole and the cold ambient air will flow into the rear port. This would make for wonderful convective current, and would probably knock another 10 minutes off the cool down time. But remember not to let your scope cool with open ports/eyepiece hole if there is a lot of dust, pollen, or bugs in the air! The time savings would not be worth it - and remember dust accumulates over time. And don't forget to put the port cover back on when you start observing. The other is to move from "free convection" to "forced convection" through the use of a fan. You could use a fan to improve the airflow around the scope for faster cool downs - although I don't recommend this as it will not speed things up enough to offset the risk of damage to the scope from blown debris. If one really wanted to do this, I would suggest the use of a small pedestal fan (to keep it off the ground and away from dirt), positioned behind and below the scope so that the air flows up and over the scope without directly hitting an optical surface. I would not open the rear port this way as it would be asking for dust to enter the scope. In the end, patience is probably the best route! Enjoy, and clear skies! Alan
Subject: Re: True north Vs. Magnetic North Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2002 21:07:33 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bradley S Kaplan) Thanks for getting back with me so quickly. I will get my daughter on this project quickly (She will have to find out how to determine true north....:-) So in fact in order to use the autostar features we do need to use true north and not magnetic north, correct?? I want to make sure I have this correct, the 11 year old kid gets a bit cranky looking up into the sky at nothing... :-) Thanks again for your help, it truly is appreciated.. Kaplan Houston, TX.Mike here: Yes, use True North.
Subject: dew on lens Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2002 20:53:05 From: RShull9487@aol.com there is a used scope that i bid on e-bay . i found out by talking with the owner of the scope that there is dew on the lens. this is my first scope so is this a bad thing or can it be fixed? it is a meade etx90ec thank you roseMike here: Yes, it can be cleaned. See the Cleaning tips on the Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject: True north Vs. Magnetic North Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2002 20:05:14 From: email@example.com (Bradley S Kaplan) Mike, thanks in advance for your help. I have bought an ETX70 for my 11 year old daughter and myself to learn a little about astronomy. I am a computer teacher, not a science person and am learning a littl emor each day. I read in the last question asked about lining the scope up with "True North" Vs. Magnetic North. Stupide question would be how do you determine true north?? Thanks in advance for your help. My daughter and I would appreciate it. Brad Kaplan Houston, YX.Mike here: True North is where the Earth's rotation axis points in the northern sky. If you can see the star "Polaris", then draw a line straight down from Polaris to the horizon. (If you don't know the night sky, see the Astronomy Links page for sites of charts or software that will generate star charts.) That direction is within a degree of True North. If you can't see Polaris you can use a magnetic compass but then you have to correct for the Magnetic Variation (and any other anomalies) for your area. Magnetic Variation is the difference in True North vs Magnetic North and varies from 0 to about 20 degrees around the Earth. See the Astronomy Links page for some sites on this.
Subject: etx-125 Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2002 16:38:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ross Weinberg) New to astronomy and purchased an ETX125 and cannot for the life of me get the power to turn on...very frustrating.. have replaced batteries, tried the volt adapter in the car and still no red power light on... any suggestions would be of great help.. RossMike here: Since you have tried two different power sources it sounds like the switch may be disconnected. I suggest you contact the dealer.
Subject: re: Cool down time on ETX-125 Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2002 16:22:57 From: AlanM@peoplepc.com (Alan McDonald) Something I sent directly to Jeroen, based on his note in the General Feedback items. I don't think you have much experience with your scope when it is below 20 degrees F outside (snowmobile suits make great observing gear here!). Do with it as you wish. Alan ----- Original Message ----- From: Alan McDonald To: email@example.com Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2002 10:51 AM Subject: Cool down time on ETX-125 I saw your note, and thought I share what I do. I live in Michigan, so I have about the same thermal change you do. I have found that the fastest that I can get the scope moderately stable with this large temperature swing is about 60 minutes, but I can actually start using it in about 30. What I do is to set mine up on the tripod for a cool down period, and I go ahead and level the base it and set it to north using the viewfinder at this time. I then point the OTA down about as far as it will go, so that it is pointed down at about 25 degrees. This maximizes the ability for heat to get out of the eyepiece hole. I leave it with both the lens cover and the eyepiece cover off - at these temperatures, there is no chance of bugs getting in there anyways, and I don't use it if there is a chance a precipitation. I know that I won't leave the hole open in the spring or summer, but then there is not as much heat to shed, and it doesn't get dark to much later anyways. I leave my external batty inside to minimize the impact of the cold on it, along with the autostar (to keep it warmer longer) and my eyepieces (they usually do better if a little warmer, as this avoids fogging and freezing from vapors off my face and breath). After about 30 mins or so, I go out and hook up the power and take out my low power eyepieces, cause I know that I'll start with deep sky stuff (lower power minimizes the effects of scope currents as it continues to cool. By the time I'm up and running with a good alignment, it has been about 45 minutes or so, and the views are pretty good. I avoid high power stuff until about a total of an hour has passed, as the scope is still not ready for that, but the views of clusters and other things with my 40mm eyepiece are quite pleasant. After an hour, things still keep getting better - I think true equalibrium is not even close until about 90 minutes have passed. If I want to just do high power stuff, I just either start earlier, or wait longer to go out to it. Part of your problem might be fogging of the eyepieces. When they get cold, they practically grab moisture from your eye. That is why I keep them inside as much as possible. I find that if I have my 9.7mm eyepiece outside for more than 25 minutes or so, it fogs pretty easily due to the short eye relief - so I rotate it back into the heat, or give it time for the moisture to flash off. I let my Barlow get cold, but that is about it. You might want to try leaving one inside to see how your views work out. When I'm all done, I pack the everything away in the hardcase (except for a few of the eyepieces that don't fit), seal it up, and take it inside and leave it alone until the next afternoon. I've never had any condensation on it using this approach. I have an ETX-60 (which is also ready to use very quickly), and I learned through it how damp the scope can get (inside and out) if you bring a frozen scope into the house to warm up with out putting it in a case first! I hope this helps, and best of luck. Stay warm! Alan McDonaldMike here: I did my first observing during the Winter in Southern Indiana. Later, I was in Wisconsin. But that was a LONG time ago. Now I'm in Southern California...
Subject: Orion guide Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2002 1:17:10 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Bacon) I would like to thank you for the excellent guide to Orion and M 42. My plan is to carefully investigate Orion over the coming months from Perth, Australia (32 south). I came across your guide while searching for online resources. Yours are concise and oriented towards an observer. Great work. Thanks again.And:
From: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) Wonderful....I am always so glad when folks take the time to stop and let us know that these guides and efforts that go into both those and the Mighty ETX Website are being put to good use and appreciated. Thanks so much and Happy Holidays! Dr. Clay Arkansas Sky Observatory www.arksky.org MPC/cbat Obs. H43
Subject: Sirius Optics CE1 Contrast Enhancement Filter Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2002 10:19:33 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (D.A. and Michal Landau) do you know anyone that has experience with the Sirius Optics CE1 Contrast Enhancement Eyepiece Filter. is it a better purchase than a LPR? thanks for all the help
Subject: And the winner is... Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2002 8:24:56 From: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) Two contributors stood out quite vividly to a panel of seven individuals across the United States that had the difficult task of sorting through many nominations. For the 2003 award, ASO received 27 nominations from all over the world and we are very appreciative of these. ALL were deserving of the Award without a doubt; it was indeed a difficult decision for our judges and in some cases, many remarked that several nominees were deserving but had been recognized "so much" in past years in various awards and endeavors that they felt like this year's recipients best represented the goals of ASO toward public outreach and assistance to others. We are proud to announce that Mr. Richard Hill (Instrumental in the maintenance of the ALPO and its website)and Mr. Bill J. Gray (The developer of Guide 8, CHARON and FindOrb through his endeavors at Project Pluto) have been jointly selected to represent the standards of unselfish contributions to astronomy throughout the year 2002; however, for those who nominated - and those who know - these two individuals are aware, both of these gentlemen have been very active for years in uniquely different pursuits that have resulted in the advancement of thousands of astronomers, professional and amateur, worldwide. Full details and COMPLETE ARTICLE ON ASO WEBSITE AT: http://www.arksky.org/aso2003award.htm I very much hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday and a New Year filled with discovery, promise and memories... Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod firstname.lastname@example.org Arkansas Sky Observatory MPC/cbat Obs. H43 www.arksky.orgMike here: Thanks Clay. Sounds like a tough job of judging! Congrats to thw winners!!!
Subject: even more etx-125 problems!! Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2002 8:03:22 From: email@example.com hello again.. just an update on my continuing etx-125 problems. i've posted here numerous times since buying my etx-125 in july 2002. i've had NON STOP problems with both the actual telescope and the autostar.. motor failures, under construction messages, bizarre intermittent slewing problems, etc... meade initially replaced my autostar but that didn't fix the problem... so on november 19th i sent the entire etx back to meade for repair. they were also nice enough to reimburse my shipping costs. on december 16th i was pleasantly surprised to see the ups guy walking up to my porch with my etx. however everything pleasant quickly dissapated into the familiar cringe of disappointment i've felt since i bought my etx. an entire new assortment of problems were noted: 1- my autostar had obviously replaced with an older used handbox. there were noticible scratches on the screen, the actual display was dim and 'washed out', and the utility light was smaller and less-bright. the actual handbox had the older 'etx autostar' label rather than the newer 'autostar' of my original unit. 2- someone at meade had tightened down the dec. knob so tight that the little plastic 'fins' underneath it were all either bent or broken. this action also caused the metal dec. disk to become severely bent under the knob. 3- and the big one- when i reattached my electric focuser it no longer worked properly! when i tried to focus the motor would vary in speed and would actually 'stall' to a complete stop and grind the gears of the focuser. there seemed to be a problem with the etx focus shaft and/or internal mirror. i'm positive the focuser was properly installed and i was using the meade a/c adaptor for power. prior to sending the etx back i NEVER had this problem with the focuser. soooo... on december 19th i had to send the thing back to meade again. i'm so completely disappointed with this entire situation although i have to say that the meade employees have been very pleasant to work with on the telephone. i nicely demanded a NEW etx 125 as opposed to another attempt to fix my original scope. i'll have to wait and see what they decide to do. i'll keep you posted tom vitacco
Subject: ETX90EC Electric Focuser Installation Instructions Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2002 1:01:16 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I recently sent my ETX90EC to Meade for a repair. I sent it with the electric focuser installed, but my scope was returned with it removed from the scope. That's fine, I don't mind putting it back on, but I have misplaced my installation instructions (and wrenches) for the #1244 electric focuser and can not find them on the Meade website. Can someone give me a description of how to install my electric focuser? Thanks! DaveMike here: I don't have one but I think essentially you tilt the telescope upwards at about a 45 degree angle (to keep the focus shaft from slipping inside the tube), remove the focus knob by loosening the setscrew, slide the electric focuser into place and tighten its setscrew.
The focuser has a long screw that attaches the focuser to the telescope body. There is a hole just above the focusing shaft where the focuser fits. I guess I remove that screw from the telescope and screw the electric focus screw into its place. I can't tell what kind of tool I need to remove that screw. Perhaps an allen wrench? Thanks Mike!
Subject: ETX Spotting scope Sent: Friday, December 20, 2002 16:50:52 From: CA95327@aol.com Meade offers their ETX90 and ETX125 in stripped mode as spotting scopes. I'm considering the 125 for terrestrial and astro. Do you think the 5" aperture too large for a terrestrial spotting scope? I'm concerned about heat wave atmospheric distortion and excessive brightness. For casual astronomy, is there enough difference between the 90mm and 125mm to really matter for planetary observation? Thank you CAMike here: The 5" is somewhat large for terrestrial observations unless you plan to use it in low-light conditions. As to planetary observations, the ETX-90 performs nicely but its focal length is shorter than the ETX-125, meaning you'll get less magnification with a given eyepiece. And the -90 has a lower maximum usable magnification than the -125. So you'll have to decide which is your priority.
Subject: Fw: RA axis jumps the wrong wayAnd:
when manually slewing on new model EXT-125 Sent: Friday, December 20, 2002 14:54:12 From: AlanM@peoplepc.com (Alan McDonald) More interesting information on this one: I got brave, and decided to open up the base and see what was happening with the gears. It also gave me the opportunity to remove some of the excess grease (there was tons of it!), so that it does not end up on the encoders. I figured I was safe since I wasn't actually taking anything apart or modifying anything. What I found was quite interesting. There were no circumstances under which the motor would move in the wrong direction! At all speeds, and with both controllers (although it spins too fast to really tell with the standard controller), the motor and drive train go in the proper direction. So the condition has nothing to do with the motors or the electronics. This is a little baffling, as it still does the wrong way movement. The only thing I can figure is that the vibrations within the drive train are allowing the axis to shift slightly when the direction reverses. This could occur because the slop is taken up in only one direction. When I go to move it in the original direction, the scope instantly moves as it should. But when reversing directions, it has time for the slop to "work it's way out" in the other direction. As previously reported, there is a lot of slop in the RA axis (so much so that I have not tried polar traking yet), and I would love to find a way to get it out. If I could, I'm sure that this problem would go away as well. Alan
From: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) This is what I call "reverse backlash" and can be quite bad and annoying....also very difficult to diagnose as to the source of cause. It is caused by binding, whether it be between the worm gear and drive gear (this typically the cause) or even in the main axle of the telescope itself binding against the drive base, a situation that is very difficult if not impossible to rectify. It is also possible that the worm gear has been tightened too tightly in its small housing via the small hex nut on the right end (if the worm is positioned below the drive gear); you must be VERY careful when adjusting that nut however, and follow the Tune Up specs for that to the letter...you must not allow the worm to turn when adjusting that nut or the small plastic gears will certainly strip. You want the worm gear to be free enough for you to be able to "rock" with your thumbnail via move the large white gear to its left, yet not so free that you can actually SEE the gear moving L-R when rotating the fork arms with the RA clamp locked. Good luck.....it is a pesky and difficult situation, with many scopes exhibiting this right now, even brand new ones. Dr. Clay Arkansas Sky Observatory www.arksky.org MPC/cbat Obs. H43And:
Thanks for the advice, and most of all thanks for letting me know I'm not going crazy - at least on this one . . . I checked the worm gear, and I'm pretty sure that it is not the source of the problem. I can rotate the plastic gear ever so slightly with my thumb nail, although there really isn't any visible movement. And it does not exhibit any side to side play when the axis is manually rotated with the clutch locked (although "locked" is a poor word for it - when I crank on the lever about as hard as I dare to, it is still very easy to override the clutch, and there is not much difference in feel in this regard between locked and free). When I do put the load on the locked RA axis, I see nothing at low force, but as I get to the point where the clutch starts to slip, the worm gear deflects as the plastic thrust bearings load up - but there is no apparent side to side slop in the worm gear. This is the only one I've ever seen, but I think it looks OK in terms of the worm gear. It sounds like it is pretty hard to diagnose much beyond that. Will operating it like this hurt anything? It seems to track OK otherwise. I also started playing with the percentages for the RA, and found something interesting. While the scope seemed jumpy at more than 40% before, I tried it at 99% just to see the extreme end of this, and it was much better! It seems that the rapid jump dramatically reduces how far the scope can move in "reverse" backlash, and then drops it pretty close to where it started - plus the scope seems less jumpy than at 60% because it transitions right into normal movement (at 60% it was moving, then stopping after the reverse backlash and then starting up again). I think I can learn to live with it like this, at least until I can get around to maybe setting up a Supercharge at some point in the future . . . . provided I'm not doing damage in the interim. What do you think? As always, I value your opinions. AlanAnd:
Hi there Alan....no it will not hurt anything but your stress level and nerves at times. It is very common...actually the up side of this is that most of them actually get MUCH better in time! Clay
Subject: ETX-90 Use at McDonald Observatory Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2002 21:18:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (CAROL WINSCOTT) Thought you might like to know that McDonald Observatory, according to their WEB Site (http:/mcdonaldobservatory.org/visitors/programs/#SolarViewing) is using an ETX90 mounted piggyback on a 14" Celestron in their public solar viewing program. The ETX90 is using a white light filter and the 14" Celestron is using a hydrogen alpha filter for this use. I am leaving tomorrow to visit the observatory and plan to check it out. The new visitor's center at McDonald Observatory is complete just this year and is very impressive. Star party's (Tues, Fri. & Sat. nights) feature the use of a 16" Meade, a 22" Cassegrain, several 8" telescopes and some impressive binoculars. The public has access to (on a reservation basis) the 82" and 107" telescopes here. Of course, the Hobby Eberly 362" gets a lot of attention also. Having visited here many times over the last ten years I can testify that the seeing quality on Mt. Locke is incredible. I have witnessed two comets and several deep sky objects from this mountain in great conditions. Hope you can visit here some day and/or attend the Texas Sky Party nearby at the Prude Ranch. Bill Winscott San Antonio, TX
Subject: NEW E-MAIL Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2002 7:14:13 From: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) Change of e-mail address: NEW: firstname.lastname@example.org EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY please note my new e-mail address. The old address (email@example.com) will be available for only two weeks, but the following address should be used effective DECEMBER 17, 2002: firstname.lastname@example.org for all mail. NOTE that attachments on the OLD (email@example.com) account are no longer loaded; all attachments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . Sorry for the inconvenience, but problems with Earthlink over three years has finally forced me to move to the quality service of tcworks. ( www.tcworks.net ) Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod email@example.com Arkansas Sky Observatory MPC/cbat Obs. H43 www.arksky.org
Subject: Cool-Down Time before observing Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2002 16:33:37 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeroen J. Kwast) Great Site. Lot's of info to read! I have 1 question and hope you can answer it for me: I have resently bought a etx-125 next to my etx-70 I had for about 1 year. I know that this scope needs quite a lot more cooldown before viewing then my old etx-70. I searched the site but I could not find exactly what I am looking for. Now its about 20 degrees inside and 0 degrees outside (Celcius) I want to start observing. How long must I place the scope outside before I can really begin? If I take the 70 then I can view an clear image of jupiter on a clear night within 10 minutes. If I take my 125 and the default 26mm plossl I can;t get a clear image. I get a reasonable good image but it fades again. When I look at the sky it looks pretty clear so i guess I need to wait a bit more. After 1 hour it looks better through an 32mm plossl but 26mm i can't get a good focus. I looked at full moon tonight and I got a rocksolid total view of the moon in a 32mm plossl no shifts after about 1 hour. a 20mm still got in/out focus a bit. If I tune in to saturn I still have a not quite in focus image after 1 hour with the 26mm plossl. Sometimes it does and then again not. If I look at a different angle it's in focus again ... and not. you know what I mean? I hope nothings wrong with the scope? So is there a way to tell how long you need to cool your scope? Thanks! Regards, RobMike here: Cool-down times depending upon a lot of factors. I seem to recall a "rule of thumb" like 20-30 minutes per inch of aperture. You may be able to decrease that time by leaving the eyepiece out (to increase airflow).
Subject: Question for Clay Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2002 13:21:49 From: email@example.com (Graham Evans) On the ETX125 page Clay says: From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Clay Sherrod) I do not recommend working on the new model....for many reasons and that is why I have NOT put out any instructions on how to do so. Could Clay please give an opinion on the item from dcrocker on the ETX Technical Tips page "ETX-105 DEC drive jitters". I have an ETX-105 with noisy DEC drive and taking this cover off to have a look sounds pretty non-committal but I've been reading your site for long enough (even though it's not very long) to have great respect for what Clay says. Thanks GrahamAnd:
From: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) A noisy drive is typical for the 105 and I would not worry with it; many folks chose to get into scopes more than observe with them (on a general basis....not referring to dcrocker) and many times more problems are introduced by the owner than the scope was originally shipped with. I will re-emphasize that I would under no terms recommend that users get into the workings of the ETX newer models. There are several key small fittings that are, in my opinion, intentionally vunerable to placing back in the improper position and really messing up the soup. Just my opinion.... Dr. Clay Arkansas Sky Observatory www.arksky.org MPC/cbat Obs. H43
Subject: EXT125 Focus Problem? Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 20:14:16 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Charlie Freed) To: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) Clay, You did a super tune a while ago on my EXT and it was great. After sitting idle for the seemingly unending rain and cloudy nights, I just tried to observe Saturn, only to find that my focus adjustment has no affect. I added a motorized focus and it worked great for several months. I removed the motor unit. Turning the shaft manually has no affect and it turns forever in either direction. Is there an easy fix for this, or does it require complete disassembly of the EXT? Charlie Freed
Subject: Clay Sherrod and ETX-105 repairs Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 14:13:35 From: Tammaro@VNTSCEX.VOLPE.DOT.GOV (Tammaro, David) Two weeks ago, I contacted Dr. Clay to see if he could help me with my ETX 105 that wasn't working properly. The scope had just been Supercharged last winter and it was working great. Unfortunately, it recently got damaged in use during a moment when 1.) I wasn't paying attention, and 2.) I wasn't being quite careful enough. Actually it was a case of a child grabbing the eyepiece/diagonal assembly while trying to look through the telescope. Anyway, I sent the scope in to Dr. Clay. As it turned out the scope had some major problems in the RA and DEC drives, and it need serious repair. More precisely, it sounds as if Clay had to rebuild at least one of the drives. The scope has been repaired, and it's on its way back to me right now, but there's a story that goes along with it. It doesn't have a lot of technical information on the repairs that were made, so in that sense it maybe of limited benfit for other ETX users. But on the other hand, it really does make a statement about what a special kind of person Dr. Clay is. He did more than just fix the scope. He really went out of his way to help me out when I was in trouble. And I'm sure I'm just one of the many. Especially during the Christmas season, I would be simply thoughtless if I did not share my story with other ETX users. I hope that you'll post at least some of this on the Mighty ETX website. The whole story follows (just start reading at the bottom). Thanks, Mike. And my thanks again to Dr. Clay. He is the man! Dave T. Boston, Massachusetts -----Original Message----- From: Clay Sherrod [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 3:09 PM To: Tammaro, David Subject: Re: Problem with ETX-105 Same to you Dave and the greatest of moments with your family this Season. Make it all special; that little girl will grow up so fast you will feel like she is aging faster than you. Merry Christmas. Clay -----Original Message----- From: Tammaro, David Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 2:38 PM To: Tammaro, David; 'Clay Sherrod' Cc: 'email@example.com' Subject: RE: Problem with ETX-105 Hi Clay, Now it really appears that I'm pestering you...so I'll try to be brief. My wife just called, and she passed along your message from last night telling me that you did ship the scope out yesterday. That's really great news - Thank you!! As I mentioned last week, you worked me in much sooner than I had any right to expect, and for that I am greatly appreciative. And now it sure sounds like you must have performed a miracle in getting it working properly again. When I shipped the scope to you, I told my daughter Gabrielle that it "was sick, and I was sending it to "The Telescope Doctor" to make it all better again." I think now I'll also tell her that The Telescope Doctor is a good friend of Santa Claus. I'll let you know when it arrives and I'll stay in touch thereafter. Thank you for everything Clay, and may you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! Dave T. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Clay Sherrod" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 7:19 PM Subject: Scope is on its way! Hello David... I shipped out your ETX early this morning and it is on its way....turned out just fine; I took care of the problems in both RA and DEC and totally rebuilt the DEC drive. All is well! Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the scope...lots of new comets coming up! Clay -----Original Message----- From: Tammaro, David Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 12:45 PM To: 'Clay Sherrod' Subject: RE: Problem with ETX-105 Hi Clay, Glad to hear from you. For some reason I didn't get your earlier email. I really didn't expect you to begin working on my scope so soon. Thank you for squeezing me in so quickly. Yikes! From the sounds of it there was a lot of damage. But that was my suspicion as soon as the accident happened. Were the optics damaged at all, and was the scope knocked out of collimation? I know that the scope couldn't be in better hands right now. I just need to know (gulp), before you ship it back, is there anything that cannot be fixed, or anything that will just never function as well as it did when it left your shop after the initial Supercharge? I realize that there's always the possibility... Please keep me posted (even if it turns out to be bad news), and let me know if there's anything else that you need before shipping it back here to Massachusetts. Thanks again, Clay. I really do appreciate all of your effort on my behalf. Dave T. -----Original Message----- From: Clay Sherrod [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 11:35 AM To: Tammaro, David Subject: Re: Problem with ETX-105 Hello David - YES, your scope arrived on Monday and I have been working on it. The scope appears to be in fine shape, but the worm gear assembly has been knocked very much loose from the fork arm and stripped out; some major problems in RA axis too....I am working on it and all seems very well. Should be ready to ship it back on FRIDAY!! Please let me know if you get this e-mail.... Thanks... Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod email@example.com Arkansas Sky Observatory MPC/cbat Obs. H43 www.arksky.org -----Original Message----- From: Clay Sherrod [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 7:00 PM To: Tammaro, David Subject: Re: Problem with ETX-105 Send her on in Dave (well, the telescope, not Gabrielle!)..... Be sure and e-mail me again your observing location and full address and I will be ready for the scope. Best of luck! Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod email@example.com Arkansas Sky Observatory MPC/cbat Obs. H43 www.arksky.org ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tammaro, David" (Tammaro@VNTSCEX.VOLPE.DOT.GOV) To: "'Clay Sherrod'" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 5:41 PM Subject: RE: Problem with ETX-105 Clay, Great. Thank you so much! You are a life saver. I can send the scope in right away, if that's okay. I'll tell you, I feel a lot better now after hearing from you, but this was a tough one to swallow. I really I wish I had gotten interested in atronomy when I was kid. Now I have a chance to help my daughters and our two neices to some day develop an interest in the night sky. So if one of the kids ever asks if they can take a look through the telescope (even to look at birds), I don't want to say "no." In hindsight though, the accident was preventable. I guess I learned the hard way that I need to be a bit more careful. Funny thing though, it may not be our niece who becomes the world's next great astronomer. It may turn out to be my my older daughter Gabrielle. When she was an infant, I use to carry her out into the yard, bundled up in a blanket, and I'd hold her in my arms while we looked up at the moon, stars and planets. She's 3 now and about once a week she gets her blanket and asks me to take her outside. Last night at around 7:30, she asked to go outside because she wanted to see Saturn. Now, she's a sharp little kid, but how she knew that Saturn was just rising up over the neighbor's house at that time is beyond me. I'll send you the tracking numbers once the telescope is shipped, which will hopefully be tomorrow or the next day. I know you'll take good care of it. Thanks again for your help. I really do appreciate it. Dave T. -----Original Message----- From: Clay Sherrod [SMTP:email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 4:18 PM To: Tammaro, David Subject: Re: Problem with ETX-105 Dog gone it....I am so sorry. What is curious is that kids is the most common element of damage to these scopes, in all seriousness.... I have several suspicions as to what has happened; first it is very likely that the locking mechanism for the DEC assembly has been warped to where it will not engage. That in itself would not give all the issues you are describing; I am prone to believe that the DEC "worm gear assembly" has been pulled loose from the right fork arm OR that the actual OTA support arm (the swinging arm that holds the telescope to the mount arm) has been sheared away from the locking clips underneath. Send it down here and let me tear into it and get it working right; whatever happened is NOT good and it obviously is not performing properly and likely will get worse. Since you just paid for a Supercharge, just put $100 in there and some return UPS and I will fix it up as good as new; I doubt I will need to get parts, as the 105's have strong steel components where the damage was done and I can likely fix and refit. Let me know! Sorry...but thanks for working with the kids...she might be our next Carl Sagan. Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod firstname.lastname@example.org Arkansas Sky Observatory MPC/cbat Obs. H43 www.arksky.org -----Original Message----- From: Tammaro, David Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 3:44 PM To: 'Clay Sherrod' Subject: Problem with ETX-105 Hi Clay, I wish I could have been writing on a more positive note, but I'm afraid my ETX-105 may have been damaged the other day when it was being used for some terrestrial observing. Maybe be it's nothing serious, but something's not right. I was hoping you might be able to help. Here's what happened: I was using the scope to watch birds at a neighbor's bird feeder 100 yards away and in trying to be "the nice uncle", I agreed to let our 4 year old niece look through the scope at the birds. The scope was already aimed and focused and I had been sitting on a stool set up behind the telescope. As I stepped aside, the little girl's mother picked her up and sat her on the stool. Before I had a chance to ask either of them not to touch anything, my niece reached up, grabbed the eyepiece/diagonal assembly and "yanked" it downward so she could look through the eyepiece. The scope had originally been pointed down hill a bit and I was using the electronic controller (not the AutoStar) to navigate, so the horizontal and vertical locks were fully engaged when my niece grabbed the scope. She pulled it down pretty hard and the abrupt movement left the scope un-responsive to commands from the electronic controller. I turned off the power, unplugged the controller, and released the horizontal and vertical locks. Then I tried to set everything back up to see if I could get the scope to move properly again. The thing that concerns me is that I now have to tighten the vertical lock very tightly (much tighter than in the past) to stop free hand vertical rotation of the OTA and to engage the vertical motor drive clutch. After I've gotten the vertical lock knob turned tightly enough, everything seemed to work okay, but I really have tighten the knob now. Up until this happened, I only needed to tighten it to the point of just being firm. Now I have to go quite a bit beyond firm to get to the point where the scope will not move vertically under light hand pressure and will respond properly to commands from the hand controller. The eyepiece/diagonal assembly never got near the rotational base of the scope so I don't believe there was any damage to the eyepiece, diagonal or OTA. I just have a sinking feeling that the gears, the clutch or something else inside is all messed up. I can tell there is something wrong, and I don't want to cause any additional problems so I haven't used the scope since this happened. At this point, my first inclination is to ask about your soonest opening for a SuperCharge/repair. If you'll take me on (again), I wouldn't hesitate to send it down and have you take a look at it. Needless to say, I'm very disappointed. Can you help me? Dave T.And a final note from Clay:
From: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) Thanks and Merry Christmas to you both.... I would do it again in a heartbeat....life is too short to not reach out to others any time you can. Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod firstname.lastname@example.org Arkansas Sky Observatory MPC/cbat Obs. H43 www.arksky.org
Subject: RX 14 Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 13:34:32 From: email@example.com (L&P Schmidt) I have two star charting programs that show C/2001 RX14 is in Ursa Major not Auriga. Lenny Schmidt
Subject: reply to RA Axis Jumps, in General Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 2:24:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Al Adrian)
Subject: RA axis jumps the wrong way when manually slewing on nw model EXT-125 Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 17:34:36 From: AlanM@peoplepc.com (Alan McDonald) While using my scope the other night, I noticed that I was having Out of curiosity, I went back to the standard hand controller, and it does the same thing (although it is happens very quickly because it moves SO fast as it overcompensates for backlash, as though its My ETX-105 does this in DEC. No amount fiddling with training or percentages will make it better. While inside tightening up the slop caused by loose motor mounts (see another message by me last month) I carefully watched what was going on in DEC while it was doing this initial wrong movement.. I think It's caused by lateral slop in the worm gear assy. When the system starts to reverse, the whole worm gear assy. moves a bit, (in a direction that is not rotation) causing the scope to continue in it's original direction for a bit, before reversing. I haven't worked out a fix for this yet, (that doesn't obviously violate the warrantee) perhaps Clay could offer some advice. Al...
Subject: Filter to view Saturn Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 16:46:09 From: ThreeDirection@aol.com I don't know which filter I should get to view Saturn. I'm looking it without a filter for the past 1 month. and all I can see is a bright star with a ring... What should I do? When will you have a new book for ETX? Thank you for answer my question. Merry Christmas. kimMike here: Orion Telescopes and Binoculars has an excellent write up on their site.
Subject: Max Magnification Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 11:29:21 From: email@example.com (D.A. and Michal Landau) a friend wrote me the following: "What probably won't be very efficient for you is a Barlow, since you have enough (again, IMO) higher mag eyepieces (26,22,18,9). You dont need anything smaller than the 9mm since its already close to your scopes' Maximum Effective Magnification (MEM for ETX-125 is 125x2=250, mag with 9mm is 1900/9 = x211). A 7mm would be way beyond your MEM and the difference to the 8mm is unnoticeable." is this true about my MEM. i shouldn't purchase eyepices with a magnification of les than 9mm? thanksMike here: There are times when you can exceed the theoretical maximum magnification and get views that are OK. I've done this many times on bright objects like the Moon and brighter planets when the seeing is really good. But I don't make it a habit.
Subject: More on eye relief Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 5:02:29 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (D.A. and Michal Landau) i have been doing my required research into eyegpieces before making another purchase (i have now the Meade MA9mm, Meade 18mm SWA, and Rini 22mm). i now have reached a difficulty that maybe you can "resolve". i wear eyeglasses which led me to the discovery that "eye releif" may be important to me. so what should i do? i would like to by a set of Vixen Lanthums, which provide good eye releif for high powers but i cannot afford it right now. help! do the high power UWA have good eye relief, like theMeade UWA 4.7mm? could i buy low powerd eyepieces and rely on a barlow? does the barlow affect eye releif? are their different quality barlows? thanks for the helpMike here: Further down this General Feedback page there is an item on Eye Relief. Check that out for some answers. There are good Barlow Lenses and not so good ones. For the ETX, use the ones recommended by Meade for best results. You can use others as long as focus can be reached.
Subject: RE: Image shift problem Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 0:07:14 From: NilsS@botash.bw (Nils Schwarz) OK, so frustration gained the upper hand, and I spent Saturday morning conducting open heart surgery on the OTA. I found that the main mirror was very loosely attached to the backing plate (which the focus rod links into). It is held down by a ring that threads onto the baffle tube passing through the middle of the mirror. I rested the whole assembly on the end of the baffle tube, and by turning the backing plate one way and the mirror the other way, managed to get the ring to tighten down very nicely. There was also half a tub of runny grease between the backing plate and the collimation plate. I never understand why manufacturers drown everything in grease. I cleaned this off and also cleaned the inside of the baffle tube. I then applied a very thin layer of high temperature grease to the outside of the inner baffle tube and to the bottom seat of the backing plate. After sliding the mirror assembling back down the inner baffle tube, I tested the movement of the focus, and it seemed very smooth. I put everything back together, and took it out that evening. I was able to focus on Saturn using a Meade 6.4mm Ploessl and with a 4.7mm Ultrawide, with only minimal shift in the image during focus. Problem appears to be solved. I hope this is of use to some other frustrated ETX users. Now all I have to do is to get the @#$%^^$ polar alignment in the Southern Hemisphere right! Nils Schwarz Sua Pan (What is light pollution?? Never heard of it.) Republic of BotswanaMike here: You might want to check the collimation by doing a "star test". See if the rings are concentric.
Subject: Orion on my wall Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 19:29:38 From: email@example.com (Joe Rodricks) Mr. Weasner, Mr. Sherrod; Now that I am mostly done with my final exams, I have more time to spend with astronomy. However, I have been plagued with clouds lately and the forecast for snow doesn't seem to be any more promising. My new scope (an LXD55 6" Schmidt-Newt) is on an (atleast) 8-week back order. So it's back to the books for me. I finally had time to start your guide on Orion, Mr. Sherrod. Which I'd like to now thank you for. As for Mr. Weasner, the thanks for your work in amateur astronomy, through your website and book, goes without saying. I used my Epoch 2000 software to measure the linear distance between the main stars in Orion. I printed several copies of him and scaled them such that 5 degrees = 1 foot. I then transcribed the drawing onto the wall in my bedroom. I tried my best to keep the angles and distances accurate. Right now I am using paper reinforcing stickers to mark the locations of my stars and DSOs. I plan on scaling the size of them based on magnitude. Find attached a photograph of my wall. Joe Rodricks, 18, MA
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Clay Sherrod) Hello Joe....great to hear from you again and thanks for the picture...what a great project! Clay ---------------------------------------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod email@example.com Arkansas Sky Observatory MPC/cbat Obs. H43 www.arksky.org
Subject: RA axis jumps the wrong way when manually slewing on nw model EXT-125 Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 17:34:36 From: AlanM@peoplepc.com (Alan McDonald) Thanks for all the help in the past, Mike! I looked all around your site for this one, figuring that somebody must have experienced this one, but had no luck. I was hoping that you could post this to see if anybody else has this minor annoyance, and if they found a fix for it: While using my scope the other night, I noticed that I was having difficulty getting objects centered, which I attributed to a previously rushed training session, and setting DEC and RA percentages without really testing them. So I decided to set my percentages to "01", re-train the drives on Polaris, and then find better percentages for my scope. During the process of trying to find the best percentages (still on Polaris with the tracking still off), I noticed that the RA drive does something peculiar - when changing direction, it initially continues in the original direction (goes the wrong way!) for about two or three arc minutes of motion, and then reverses and starts going in the right direction after that. No amount of changes to the percentages eliminated this, and re-training again did nothing as well. It occurs either when tracking stars or used in terrestrial mode. This strange action was the key to my difficulties centering objects, as I kept reversing directions when the scope went the wrong way before - so I was jumping all over the place. Out of curiosity, I went back to the standard hand controller, and it does the same thing (although it is happens very quickly because it moves SO fast as it overcompensates for backlash, as though its "percentage" was set at over 99%, so it is easy to miss). So I doubt the autostar is to blame (FYI, it is running the 2.6Ec version of software). It must be in the electronics within the scope itself. This does not happen at in the DEC axis with either controller. Ultimately, I can live with this condition, now that I know that it exists. It does not seem to affect tracking or goto capability, since the scope never seems to loose encoder counts (I've gone to Polaris, reversed direction a couple of dozen times, and then a second goto lands the star in the same place in the eyepiece). But is sure is annoying . . . yet another wacky ETX quirk with which to contend. Also, some data for consideration on the drive slop in this new construction scope (bearings and aluminum support arms): when setting the DEC percentage so that I get movement within one second of changing direction, yet still no jumping on any speed, I found that the optimal value is about 50% (pretty high, base on postings from others). I still do not know what to do in RA, as the "wrong way blues" is a little confusing. Right now I have it at 40%, which moves it the wrong way quickly and then reverses the gears and takes up most of the backlash, but the scope still is not quite back to where it started. Any higher than 40% and it gets kind of jumpy on some of the speeds. At least I can work with this - although it is still confusing to the brain when slewing very slowly, like at 2x sidereal. Has anybody out there experienced this? If so, any luck curing it?
Subject: 2" eyepiece Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 11:04:04 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (D.A. and Michal Landau) what is the difference between a 1.25" and a 2" eyepiece? can i use a 2" with my 125ETX just as simply as a 1.25"? thanksMike here: But seriously, 2" eyepieces typically provide wider field of view but they are normally much heavier than 1.25" eyepieces. You would need a 1.25" to 2" eyepiece adapter.
Subject: School Astronomy Club - The Home Astronomical Observatory Project Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 3:21:04 From: email@example.com (mjcripps) I wrote to you last January about my intention to start a school astronomy club based around ETX telescopes at a high school in Norfolk, UK. Well, we re up and running and now have a website at www.neatherd.org/astronomy. At the moment the articles are by me and include astrophotography using an ETX 105 and 70. We were very fortunate to receive financial support from the 'Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851'. The members are becoming proficient at using their telescopes (5 ETX 90s, 2 ETX 70s, a Celestron 80GT and an 8 Newtonian Dob) binoculars, Nikon 995 and SLRs. They will start using webcams and laptops over the New Year. I expect them to begin posting their own pages in the near future. Your site has been invaluable to us in setting up the club and project. We have posted a link to your site on ours and would be very happy for you tell people about us. If any educators around the world would like any advice from our experiences (or could give some!)they should feel free to contact me at my e-mail address. Many thanks for your inspiration, Regards, Mike Cripps
Subject: Scopetronix thread on solar filter question Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2002 19:35:35 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike Ashton) Have you heard anything about the new thread on solar filter scopetronix is selling? It's 65 bucks (not sure if that is expensive or not) ... Sounds like that would be alot of fun. Not knowing enough about looking at the sun, I hope it has some detailed instructions. Would something like this last a long time? I'd assume since it is a thread on filter it would be pretty darn safe...Of course I work from 7am -4:30pm so I'd have to look on weekends. Thanks for your help! MikeMike here: The screw-on type provides extra security in that it keeps the solar filter from falling off in the wind or if the telescope is pointed downwards. Beyond that, it is pretty much the same as any solar filter (see the Accessory Reviews - Filters page). It will last as long as you with care (assuming you take care of you too!). You just need to protect the surface from scratches and minor ones of those can be overcome.
Subject: meade 16" starfinder Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 21:13:15 From: QUAD12VS@aol.com First of all I would like to say I use your site as a standard when choosing new accessories. My dad and I are uning Meade (Wal-mart reflecting telescope) 4.5 telescope. We live about 3 hours for Fort Davis Texas. We are condisering a 16" meade dob. I see alot of observers using ETX telescopes. I went to a starparty @ McDonalds observarory and was hooked when i looked through a 12.5" Discovery trusss. We would like to stay under the $1,500.00 mark. Would you recommend a ETX or sticking with our choice of the Meade 16" Starfinder. We have a 8' trailer we are thinking about rigging up to transport the telescope. I realize it is a big scope but we are both hooked. When we observe the Andromida Galixy all we see is a fuzzy blob. Can we expect to see some detail? What about color in nebula? Any suggestions or links you could provide would be greatly appreciated? As dark as the skys are here you would thing there would be a booming telescope industry. ThanksMike here: Really large apertures will let you see more details and colors in some objects. I looked at M42 in Orion through a 20" Dob and was really impressed with the colors and details. (And then there was the 3.5m telescope at Kitt Peak...) Certainly way more than can be seen with less aperture. As to M31 in Andromeda, typically when you look at it through a telescope you are viewing just the nucleus of the galaxy. The whole galaxy is so large that its extent is best viewed through binoculars! You might search the internet for "dobsonian"; I would expect you'll find some good sites.
Subject: ETX-105 R.A.scale Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 13:20:38 From: email@example.com (karengary) Hi Mike from the Channel Island Jersey (49.2N 2.1W). Thanks to your wonderful site I am now the proud owner of a 105. This may seem a silly question,but the Right Ascension scale is too big for the slot it's meant to sit in! Is this normal? and would it be O.K. to cut and glue the scale back in the right place. Thanks for the great site Gary AubertMike here: That is strange. You may never use the RA setting circle if you have the Autostar. So, unless you need it, just remove it (I've removed the one on my ETX-125EC). If you do need it you can reglue the ends; just be certain the overlap is correct so that the full 24 hours appears. Don't glue the tape to the telescope; it is supposed to be free to move.
Subject: Super Plossel eye relief? Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 11:14:09 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Anders Nilsen) I am new to your site and new to the ETX, and very pleased indeed that so much information are provided free to anyone. Cheers to you for all the work you must be doing editing the whole lot. I have just bought an ETX-90EC and in fact have not even recieved it yet, so maybe you might say it's a bit too soon to ask questions when not having even used the scope yet. Well, this is most certain true but as the special anniversary offer from Meade on the Super Plssel 4000 set of eyepieces runs out by december 31, unfortunately I'm in a bit of a hurry as christmas days are coming fast. My concern is with the eye relief of these eye pieces, as I am wearing glasses. I have visited the Meade web site but been unable to find any precise information there on this issue at all. I hope that either you or someone reading my post will be able to direct me to where I can find these spec's, if they exists at all. From surfin' around the Mighty ETX site it seems that the eye relief of the Super Plssels is not especially impressive with the shorter focal lengths so maybe Meade hesitates to publish the spec's? Regards Anders Nilsen DenmarkMike here: Saw this on the LXD55 group:
Thank you for your reply to my post about the eye relief of the Meade super plssels. I looked at the link to the Astronomics website and got all the info that I needed. I will reconsider bying the Super plssel set and maybe go for a good zoom eyepiece instead, as those seem to generally have an eye relief about 20 mm. I hope as I get more experienced I will be able to make some contributions to your site. Thank you very much. Anders Nilsen
Subject: Please HELP me find a scope! Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 11:06:00 From: email@example.com (Tony Lobianco) I'm a big fan and loved your book, and was hoping you could lend me some advice. I'm looking for a telescope to view deep-space objects as well as the local planets. I understand the quality is really not there with anything under 8". I'm not sure what kind or type of scope to purchase. On eBay I see 8" scopes like this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1944932178&category=28181 selling for around $200 and then Meade LX 8" goes over $1500 and I would love the computer controls option... Please advise. Is there anything in the $700 range of good enough quality? TonyMike here: Large Dobsonian telescopes can provide nice views. But they typically lack a GOTO system (although one can be added at extra cost). Smaller telescopes like the ETX-105EC and ETX-125EC will also provide nice views. But if you are looking for a larger telescope at lower prices with a GOTO capability you might want to consider the Meade LXD55 line. The Schmidt-Newtonians have large apertures but short focal lengths. I now have the LXD55 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain which has an 8" aperture and a 2000mm focal length and includes the Autostar #497. But it is not as portable the ETX line. So, besides cost, you need to decide about portability and how much DSO viewing you want to do.
Subject: case Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 4:12:09 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (D.A. and Michal Landau) i just read your review of Shutan's deluxe soft sided case. you said also: "Yes, you can find lower priced and generally functional softsided cases" would you please reccommend one, i can't seem to find one. thanksMike here: There are many ideas on the Cases page.
Subject: More on zoom eyepiece Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 4:07:06 From: email@example.com (D.A. and Michal Landau) can a zoom lens be used with a barlow lens?Mike here: Yes, as long as focus can be reached. But you probably won't need to use it, unless you want to try to exceed the telescope's max magnification.
what do you mean? "as long as focus can be reached"? wouldn't i still need/want to use the 2x barlow for the lower power magnification of the zoom eyepiece? thanks for all the helpMike here: Lets see, if the zoom is say 8-24x, why add more glass (which absorbs light and decreases image quality) to double the 16-24x to get 8-12, since those focal lengths are already available. If you want double the short end, you may find you have come close or exceeded the max magnification for the telescope. As to focusing, not all combinations of telescope, barlow lens, and eyepiece will work.
Subject: Meade email Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 15:33:32 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (H Kong) I like to ask a favour. I recently bought the ETX 90EC from the US through a relative who then brought it over to me in Australia on a visit. Prior to leaving he also wrote to Meade for the $99 Eyepiece offer for delivery to a US address ofcourse. It's now more than a month and the eyepieces have not yet arrived. I wanted to get in touch with Meade to inquire about the status of my order by email, not wishing to ring IDD from Australia. However, Meade's website does not give any email contact addresses. Would or any of your correspondents have an appropriate email address for Meade's Customer Service? Or don't they believe in or entertain email correspondence? Thanks again for a great web site... my constant source of reference and assurances!! ______________________ H KongMike here: Unfortunately, Meade does not have a customer support email address. As to the eyepiece deal, there have been reports that it can take a month or two, depending upon how their stock is at the time your order comes in. I got lucky and got it in a week after my request. Since the eyepieces depend upon non-Meade suppliers, they are somewhat at they mercy of things out of their control. I would suggest having your relative check whether the check or credit card order has cleared.
Subject: ETX 125EC Flip Mirror Defect Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 13:51:56 From: email@example.com (Graham Evans) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Paul, I saw your question on the Mike's mighty ETX site. A couple of contact points - The company who import Meade scopes into the UK are Broadhurst Clarkson and Fuller Ltd: Telephone 01892 616131, Email email@example.com, website www.meade.uk.com You could ask them about warranty issues. I recently bought my ETX-105 from Darkstar - www.darkstartelescopes.co.uk - 01686 420346 - they are a family outfit (authorised Meade dealers) and the owner talked about some of the repairs he had had to do on Meade scopes. He does not only do this for people local to him, but also with items being shipped in by various carriers, so I'm sure he could advise on that aspect too. If you had to get it done under your own steam that would be a possible place to start. Hope that helps. Good luck, GrahamAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul Coxhill) Graham, That was just the information I was hoping for - what a tremendous site Mike runs!!! Thank you very much, Graham. I will use your contacts as soon as I have exhausted what will probably be a futile attempt at asking Meade in the U.S. for assistance. I faxed them a couple of days ago, (they don't appear to have an e-mail address) but as yet, no reply. The break I suffered is so frustrating on what is otherwise an excellent telescope, but anyone with an ounce of sense would not use a thin piece of plastic to act as a bearing for the flip mirror adjustment rod. Have a look at yours when the mirror is down and you will see what I mean and take great care when adjusting the flip mirror position - I don't expect the repair / replacement to be cheap!! Thanks again, Graham. Paul Coxhill
Subject: cold batteries Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 8:34:37 From: email@example.com (Jindra Ekl) My name is Henry Ekl and I really enjoy your site ! I got ETX90 and there is always something to learn with that scope. I got one little proble, and thats why I am writing you. If i am outside and it's really cold( -10C), my battery freezes, what I do with this ?Mike here: Batteries don't like really cold temperatures. You could get (or make) an AC Adapter.
Subject: Mount question Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 13:10:20 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joe Rodricks) I think for Christmas, I'm going to ask my parents for a new mount for my ETX90 EC. I'll miss the goto, but I'd rather have long-exposure photography-quality tracking than a computer to tell me where things are. Plus, it's easy enough to take the OTA off the computer fork mounts. What do you think off mounting it on an equatorial mount? I know it'll look kind of silly, but it'll allow me to upgrade to a different OTA someday. I was looking at Orion's SkyView Pro, with the dual-morot drive. I like the unit because u do not lose the manual fine-tuning control with the units installed. Can you recommend a suitable mount ? I think in the future I will upgrade to a larger OTA, maybe keep my etx as a guidescope. Have u heard anything about this mount? It retails for $300 plus another $120 for the electronic drive. I searched the internet for revies but came up empty. Thanks for the help. Joe Rodricks, 18Mike here: Any GEM mount would work as long as you can attach the ETX OTA. If you plan to switch to a larger telescope later then be certain the mount can handle the larger scope. As to the Orion mounts, I've seen good comments about them elsewhere. Of course, the alternative it just polar mounting your ETX on its tripod (using a wedge perhaps or just tilting the head for your latitude).
Subject: hi... Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 4:59:22 From: email@example.com (Jaques) Jaques, Brazilian.. :) I would like to know to ocular UWA8.8 it would be one good purchase for my ETX125 adapted in camera 35mm? thanks... (sorry the english :)) __________________________________________________________________ Jaques Yoshiharu Y. ICQ#: 64100007 Current ICQ status: + More ways to contact me __________________________________________________________________Mike here: That would make a nice eyepiece.
Subject: ETX UHTC & Glasses Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 19:55:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (T.H. Kong) Thanks for the incredible web site. I have been contemplating the hobby for a long time and site like yours in particular have finally convinced me! I, like Bill Farmakidis (posting of 1 Dec 2002), is also from the colonies - Downunder!! I've just taken delivery of the ETX90EC, in a convoluted route through relatives living in the US. Haven't had a chance to try it out yet ... I want to read as much as I can before tinkering with it! I have 2 (initial) questions: 1. My scope (from Cameraland, NY) is supposed to come with UHTC; how do I know it has UHTC? There's no labels or markings to indicate that! I don't know whether I've been ripped off. 2. I wear eye glasses. Should I be better off or not to wear glasses when viewing through the scope? Can you direct me to any tips/sites on the subject? Thanking you in advance. HingMike here: On my LXD55 8"SC there is a UHTC label on the underside of the telescope tube. Also, the UHTC coating looks blue-ish whereas the standard coating on my ETX-125EC is more purple-ish, although the difference is somewhat subtle. Whether you need to wear your glasses or not will depend upon why you need them. For distance vision you probably want them as you will likely focus the eyepiece to infinity. However, if they are a minor correction you could likely use the telescope without them. If they are reading glasses, try using the telescope without them.
Subject: Eyepiece simulator Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 16:21:06 From: email@example.com (Ken Martin) If you haven't already seen this check out: www.stic.net/mattwier/ Ken Martin
Subject: Zoom eyepieces Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 12:14:37 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (D.A. and Michal Landau) i was looking into purchasing a Zoom lens (8mm - 24mm), is this something that a beginner should stay away from? thanks for all the helpMike here: Zoom eyepieces can be nice. See the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page.
Subject: ETX 125EC Flip Mirror Defect Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 10:35:18 From: email@example.com (Paul Coxhill) Brilliant site - it's a pity my first contact isn't to provide examples of photographs or tips for something. Hopefully I will be able to when my telescope is repaired. I've had an ETX 125EC for three months and due to the poor skies in England, only had opportunity to use it three time prior to tonight. The incredible excitement that I initially had has now turned to absolute despair because of what is an obvious design fault / poor material choice resulting in a failure. My flip mirror no longer flips due to the breaking of the plastic collar through which the flip mirror control bar passes (visible when removing the end dust cap). I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem and how they rectified it. As I bought the telescope while I was in America, I doubt that I will have any kind of warranty now that I am back in England. Any suggestions gratefully received. Thanks, Paul CoxhillMike here: Sorry to hear this. I don't recall any breakage reports on that report. Most likely it will require Meade to repair it and ensure proper collimation. However, if you don't want to pursue that you could add a star diagonal at the rear port. You would need the SCT adapter though (mentioned on the Accessory Reviews - Miscellaneous page).
Subject: ETX-105EC with UHTC Sent: Monday, December 9, 2002 11:39:14 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (A Aldabra) I am considering buying an ETX-105EC, and I have come across a carefully used one which is reasonably priced. The owner claims it is a UHTC coated model, pointing to the "ultra high resolution.." caption on the old cardboard box. Do you know if there is any way of confirming his claim? Are there any markings, serial numbers or part numbers that can be verified by Meade? Thanking you in advance- AldabraMike here: On my LXD55 8"SC there is a UHTC label on the underside of the telescope tube. Also, the UHTC coating looks blue-ish whereas the standard coating on my ETX-125EC is more purple-ish, although the difference is somewhat subtle.
Subject: Image shift problem Sent: Monday, December 9, 2002 2:40:25 From: NilsS@botash.bw (Nils Schwarz) Thank you for a highly informative site. I received my second hand ETX125EC on 29 November, and with the help of your site was able to figure out how to set it up and use it in time for the eclipse on 4 December. I live in Botswana, Africa, and we had a fantastic view of it here. From the various submissions that appear on your site, I figured out that I had bought an ETX which suffers from the common "image shift" problem when focusing. Even with a 26mm eyepiece there is very pronounced movement when focusing. Using a 9.7mm to look at Saturn made it impossible to focus properly as the shift moved it right out of the FOV. If I look into the OTA from the front while turning the focus, there is a noticeable movement of the mirror. I have been unable to track down a definitive cause for this, or even better the fix, on your website. The advice generally given is to send the scope back to Meade. Living where I do, that is not an option, so I have to sort things out myself. Do you know if anyone has figured out the cure for this problem? I have tried the advice of turning the focus fully in and out to distribute the grease evenly, but it made no difference. I am quite prepared to disassemble the thing myself, but I need a bit of advice on what to look for and what I have to avoid fiddling with. Any advice would be greatly appreciated With thanks Nils Schwarz Sua Pan (What is light pollution?? Never heard of it.) Republic of BotswanaMike here: Check the "ETX-90 Image Shift fix" article on the Telescope Tech Tips page. If that isn't the cure you need then check the collimation (article on the Telescope Tech Tips page). If the optics are seriously out of alignment then you have two choices: return to Meade or try to collimate the ETX yourself. The latter is not something you should try unless you are willing to run the risk of making things worse. If you do want to try collimating, there are articles on the Telescope Tech Tips page that will help. This will be a time-consuming task, prone to frustration, and as I mentioned, can lead to worse problems.
Subject: collimation Sent: Sunday, December 8, 2002 17:43:56 From: email@example.com (Lola Hixon) Could you please tell me what the Chritmas Tree Test is . My 90ec seems to be losing it's image quality. I'm getting a lot of light around Jupiter when viewing, instead of the clear crisp image I used to view. Any suggestions ? Thank You...... GaryMike here: The "Christmas Ornament" test uses a silvered ball ornament to reflect a strong light (including the Sun) as a point source. You can also use a star (see the "Collimation Test" article on the Telescope Tech Tips page). Also, could you be getting stray light into the OTA via the tripod mounting holes on the underside of the OTA (for use as a spotting scope)?
Subject: etx Sent: Saturday, December 7, 2002 5:11:32 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Russell) I would not have seen what I have seen if I had not seen what I saw here at your site. That is, thank you. -Russell M. (who recently purchased an ETX125)
Subject: ETX70AT vs ETX90EC Sent: Friday, December 6, 2002 18:41:51 From: email@example.com (Kim Aylward) First, your website is amazing and I appreciate it greatly in my search to buy a good telescope at a reasonble price for "amateurs with potential". I am looking to get a scope that will not limit me but will not be "too much". I have scoured your page but one thing I didn't see much if anything of is the comparison between the 70AT and the 90EC. I realize the 90EC has a larger jump from the 70AT in price but I am wondering if it is a justified difference. One of my biggest concerns with the 70AT is the fact that you cannot use an AC adaptor or car adaptor and I don't want to rely on disposable batteries. What is your opinion on the differences in the current offerings of these two models? Is the large cost difference justified for an amateur or not? Sidenote: In my research it seems that Meade used to provide an AC adaptor capabitlity in its 70AT because I have some MEADE documentation that states this... maybe an older version?? Thanks so much! Kim Aylward Blacksburg, VirginiaMike here: Regarding the ETX-70AT vs ETX-90, see my comments on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. You might also want to look at the User Observations page. There is an AC adapter for the ETX-70AT. It is Meade part #546 ($20). There are alternatives discussed on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: Re: a question for you Sent: Friday, December 6, 2002 0:34:41 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (D.A. and Michal Landau) i want to purchase a carrying case . i was considering either a Deluxe Hard Case for ETX-125EC made by Meade or the Deluxe Soft Case for Meade ETX made by Shutan. they are about the same price. i already checked out the accessory reviews and i was wondering which you thought was a better Case. thanks for all the helpMike here: Depends upon your need. Do you need a hard or soft sided case? Keep in mind that the hard sided cases are typically larger than a soft sided case for the same telescope. I'll be posting a review of the Shutan Deluxe Soft Cases soon.
the problem is i do not know what i need. why would i need a hard or soft case? thanksMike here: If you travel with the telescope you probably want to protect it somehow. There are many alternative cases (see the Accessory Reviews - Cases page).
if i want to take the scope in my car and drive outside the city, or take it on a airplane as carry-on how much protection does it need? does the soft case provide no protection at all? thanks for the patienceMike here: I normally use my softcase when travelling. As long as you can carry it on an airliner, a softcase works fine. But if you have to check it you'll want a VERY GOOD hardcase. Bottom line: if the telescope is always under your control and you exercise care, a softcase is adequate.
Subject: Re: another question for you Sent: Friday, December 6, 2002 0:06:35 From: email@example.com (D.A. and Michal Landau) i am not interested in terrestial observing; so why would i want to own a low powered eyepiece like 32mm or 40mm, etc.?Mike here: Wide field views, like of the Milky Way star fields or large open star clusters. But long focal length eyepieces are certainly not a requirement unless they satisfy a need that you have.
Subject: Color Filters? Sent: Thursday, December 5, 2002 10:17:20 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ken Martin) Here is another excellent article on the use of color filters, as well as other specialty filters. http://sciastro.net/portia/advice/filters.htm Ken Martin
Subject: ETX Sent: Thursday, December 5, 2002 10:07:04 From: email@example.com (dale) I have a Meade ETX-125. I took it camping and unfortunately the jarring around in the camper, broke one of the finder scopes alignment screws. Any idea on where to purchase any of these? I tried Meade and they werent much help Thanks Dale in PhoenixMike here: I'm surprised Meade wouldn't send you a replacement screw. If you have an older computer SCSI, serial, or parallel cable you might try one of the small screws on the connector. It might work. Alternatively, just take one of the screws to your local hardware store and match it there.
Subject: The new Meade #140 x2 Barlow w/ ETX-125EC Sent: Thursday, December 5, 2002 8:53:27 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Or Dubnov) I have recently purchased the new 3-element #140 bralow from Meade, with my ETX-125. When trying to use it I noticed it does not go 'all the way' in where the EP should go, but about half-way. This has a feeling of not being 'air-tight' or if I can say so, 'light-tight'.. First, I wanted to ask if this is normal for the barlow to not slide entirely into the EP housing, or have I bought an accesory that does not fit my scope. Second, when using the barlow I sometimes get some 'ghost' blurs, especially when looking at bright objects, i.e. the moon at 90%. I haven't noticed this happening with my other EP's (40mm, SWA18mm). could this have anything to do with the barlow not sliding all the way in? or could it be the larger than usual magnification Im getting? Should I have gone for one of the other barlows, like the shorty? Thanx again for being the professional address when questions like these arise! Best Regards, Or DubnovMike here: Long Barlow Lens and eyepieces will not slide fully in. This may or may not matter. If there is a problem it will be an inability to reach focus. For the ETX line (and some other telescopes) a "shorty" Barlow Lens is the type that is recommended. The "ghost blurs" sound like an internal reflection. Probably not caused by the longer tube.
Subject: Re: Super newbie Sent: Thursday, December 5, 2002 7:40:20 From: email@example.com (Alan P. Zabarsky) Mike, You were correct. [about MODE selecting to focus] I've had my 125 for over a year but have never really used it now we have moved to Scottsdale the skys seem a bit darker than Chicago and I want to use it! Al
Subject: Jupiter through my ETX 70 Sent: Thursday, December 5, 2002 1:45:12 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Newey, Ian D.) I wonder if you are able to give me some info on Jupiter. I have searched the web but can't find the info there. Last night was nice and clear and Jupiter was shining brightly in the east, so I got the trusty ETX out. I don't think I could ever get bored looking at the planets. I could clearly see the four moons. Three of them were at about ten o'clock to the planet and one was at about 4 o'clock. My question is, is there any way I can tell which is which. Are they always in the same order? Many thanks Ian Newey UK p.s. even my wife got excited about seeing Jupiter so clearly.Mike here: Check the Astronomy Links page. There are two Jupiter moon calculators listed, one that runs in a web browser (Java applet) and one as a standalong PC program. Some astronomy software for the Mac, Windows, and Palm systems also have Jupiter moon calculators. Sky & Telescope magazine also has a chart each month of the moons showing their changing positions.
Brilliant Mike Thanks very much. Ian
Subject: ETX 90 EC vs ETX 125 EC Sent: Wednesday, December 4, 2002 16:36:37 From: email@example.com (David C. Goldberg) Being a tinkered I have over the past few years been into and around my ETX 90. Now its time to settle down to some serious observing and stop tinkering. During my travels through the innards of my old 90 I felt some levels of disappointment at the quality of the parts that go into the ETX 90. I love the form factor and want to move up to the 125 but, did the beef up the gears, are the forks metal covered in plastic or just plastic. Bottom line, how do you feel about the 125 today? David C. GoldbergMike here: The ETX-105EC and ETX-125 are good scopes. The fork arms contain more metal than the ETX-125EC had originally.
Subject: Super newbie Sent: Wednesday, December 4, 2002 13:10:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan P. Zabarsky) Could you please tell me how I focus via the Autostar when I have the electric focusing unit plugged into the aux jack of my ETX. I forgot!! Al ZabarskyMike here: I don't have one but I recall reading that you have to press the MODE key for 2 seconds.
Subject: Color Filters? Sent: Tuesday, December 3, 2002 19:20:54 From: email@example.com (Extreme Clicks) I purchased the Meade color filters to use with my ETX-70AT. The problem is I don't have a clue as to what color filter to use for what? I got the basic set, I think it includes red, yellow, blue, green. I have tried a couple of them and they did not seem to add any value to the view at all. For example, when viewing the Orion nebula would it be clearer if I used a green filter since it is mostly green in color? How about the moon, would a certain color filter add detail to the view? ThanksMike here: Orion Telescopes and Binoculars has an excellent article on filters at:
Subject: Difference between ETX and LX Lines Sent: Monday, December 2, 2002 12:36:25 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Stuck) I'm just a beginner with an interest in viewing initially the moon and planets in our solar system. What is the primary difference between Meade ETX and LX product lines? I'm looking for a solid telescope that won't baffle me as a beginner but will last as I become more experienced. Currently considering the ETX-125EC due to its larger f-stop and brightness. Overkill? Any reservations about buying used? Thanks.Mike here: The ETX series is more low-end than the LX series but the ETX series is still a very capable telescope, as evidenced by what you see and read on my ETX Site. The ETX-125EC is a good choice if you don't need a lot of portability.
Subject: re: ETX Telescopes Sent: Monday, December 2, 2002 3:34:28 From: email@example.com (Ian Docherty) What can I say, the wealth of information on the site is amazing, as are the photographs, which is the reason for me writing to you. I understand that you dont work for Meade, however from going through the site you seem to be the Meade master by all accounts and I would really appreciate some advice. So here is my question, I am wanting to get into the hobby of astrophotography and astronomy in general and I decided that I would like either the ETX 90 or ETX 105, my dilemma is that I can get a new ETX 90 with a Astroguide handset as a dealer promotion for about 100 pounds less than the ETX 105, should I go for the gadget option with the 90 or would my money be better spent on the optics of the 105. I have been unable to get a reasonable opinion from anyone at the moment, hopefully you could give me a bit of guidance. i am assuming that with either I should get reasonable images of saturn which is my main interest at the moment along with lunar photography but out of interest will either of them be able to show me galaxies or nebulae ? Thanks in advance for your help and congratulations on the site. Ian P.S. Why do so many people have so many negative comments on what appears to be a good product ?Mike here: Either telescope will be able to do some types of astrophotography, as you've seen from the Site. However, since you are into planetary photography you would be better served by the ETX-105EC as it will allow slightly higher magnifications. If you don't need the extra portability of the -90, go for the -105. As to negative experiences, people tend to write when they have problems, not when everything is working perfectly. Hence, there are more problem reports.
Thanks for replying so soon and thanks for the advice. Now all I have to do is go shopping! No doubt I will be posting things to site soon and hopefully they will be astro photos and not negative comments on the 105 !! Keep up the excellent work Ian P.S. Am I right in thinking that that the 105 has a slightly better mount and tracking system with the ball bearings and not completely nylon tracks, sorry for asking another newby questionMike here: The ETX-105EC does have a slightly improved mount.
Subject: EYEPIECES DOWNUNDER Sent: Sunday, December 1, 2002 20:15:34 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (B F) Thanks again for the site and the book. Would you please post the following message in the hope that someone from Meade may respond. "Would anyone from Meade please tell me when the anniversary eyepieces are going to arrive in Australia? The dealer here told me that Meade were unable to even give a ball-park indication as to when or how (I find this hard to believe). Surely Meade would be able to give the distributor in Australia some indication." Thanks Bill FarmakidisMike here: Don't expect Meade to respond on the Site. Perhaps someone in Australia has an answer about them. I got mine (in the states in less than a week).
For your information, the way the deal works outside the USA is that the consumer gets the eyepieces from the dealer rather than directly from Meade. The problem is that the dealers are supposedly still waiting for the stock. Alas, such are the hardships of life in the colonies... Bill Farmakidis
Subject: Congratulations! Sent: Sunday, December 1, 2002 01:22:29 From: email@example.com (David Birmingham) Hello Mike, I've been a little delinquent in visiting your site, but I rectified that tonight. I saw your post about being the recipient of an LXD55 from OPT so I had send my congratulations along! Clear, Dark Skies! Dave
Subject: Contest Sent: Saturday, November 30, 2002 23:14:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rick Kindelberger) Just a short note to let you know that I too wanted to participate in your photo contest of the moon but I guess the entire west coast was socked in that weekend. We had total cloud cover that weekend in the Bay Area. Anxiously waiting for the next contest! RickMike here: Well, the whole West Coast (of the USA) wasn't socked in. I got a photo on 15 Nov from home near LA and then had clear skies at OPT in Oceanside on Saturday.
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