Last updated: 21 December 2003
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-125EC and ETX-125AT. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Subject: 3 Part perfect goto tune-up and the new ETX125
From: "Drew Parker" (
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 16:47:54 -0600
Hi you have a great site. I found it after I got my ETX90 a few years
ago. It got me from frustrated to enjoying my new hobby in no-time.

Thanks to all.

I just upgraded from my 90 to the new 125 with UHTC.  You hope the
manufacturer gets better with time  :). Can I go right to step two or do
I need to de-grease and check the gears?  Where there changes affecting
how step 1 would be performed or where any gotchas introduced.

Thanks again,

Mike here: Don't assume that you need to do anything to a new telescope. Use it for awhile. Things that were too tight or too loose can improve with initial usage. So give it a few observing sessions before you decide to make any "enhancements". Personally I would assume it is OK until proven otherwise.


Great, Makes sense.


Subject: well i did it
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 13:16:47 -0600
I bought the etx 125 with coatings. Hope it will be here next week.
Thanks for the great web page.

Subject: Re: ETX-125 balancing question
From: Philip de Louraille (
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 20:39:23 -0800
No accessory beside the 26mm eyepiece (and the included spotting scope
attached.) The orientation is the alt/azimuth one. I also tried the
equilateral mount and while it is better balanced there, it is still
Mike here: Well, I presume you are concerned about the placement of the forks at the rear end of the ETX. You shouldn't have any problem with the gears due to this.


OK, thanks for the info. I am, nevertheless, going to make some flat
weights to add below the telescope where there are two holes (1/4"
screw) I have always used a balanced telescope before and it bothers me
that this one is not. Even if ti is OK by design.

Thanks for your time!
Mike here: There are counterweights on the Telescope Tech Tips page as well as the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page.

Subject: ETX-125 balancing question
From: Philip de Louraille (
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 16:55:20 -0800
I just purchased a ETX-125. Placed it on the tripod. All is good but the
scope is far from being balanced! 5 pounds off actually.

Why does Meade make telescope that are not balanced properly?

From what I am reading, it should work properly but a non-balanced
telescope is going to ruin the gears.

What are your thoughts on this?

Mike here: What orientation do you have the telescope in and what accessories are you using?

Subject: ETX 125 question
From: "Mike & Anne Lind" (
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 14:25:21 -0800
I am considering the 125 for xmas. It seems the deal these days, (884
tripod, 497 controller, UHTC glass) for less than $1000 is too good to
be true. My question, is today's 125 superior in every way to the 125 of
a few years ago? I have heard they have reduced the plastic and improved
the drive. Is that your understanding?

Woodinville, WA
Mike here: Yes, there have been ongoing improvements.

Subject: Focusing with ETX 125
From: "Boudreaux, Kevin" (
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 11:17:39 -0600
When I focus my ETX it moves the image from side to side. This gets more
problematic with higher magnification sometimes moving the image outside
the FOV. Is this normal? If not, how can I fix this problem. Thanks for
your support.

Kevin Boudreaux
Mike here: Some image shift is normal with this design. However, it should not be excessive. Some early model ETX-125 telescopes suffered some damage during shipment and required repairing by Meade. Check the Telescope Tech Tips page for a possible fix. Collimation error could also be a cause of excessive image shift but correcting that is not something you should undertake likely (more on collimation on the Telescope Tech Tips page).

Subject:	EXT-125 AT as a terrestial scope
Sent:	Sunday, December 7, 2003 20:24:57
From: (Tracy)
After reading your site I'm about to take a plunge with the 125AT. 
I am wondering if any of your readers have experience using the 125 as a
spotting scope.  If it is decent in that application then that
would be the icing on the cake ( and a little easier to sell the wife).

 Tracy Floren
Mike here: Yes, the ETX line can be used as a terrestrial "spotting scope". You can add an "erecting prism" (see the Accessory Reviews - Miscellaneous page) to correct the image for terrestrial use. You can also use the Autostar to mark "landmarks". However, with its long focal length, you may find the usage of the ETX-125 as a spotting scope limited depending upon what you intend to view.
Subject:	RE: Eyepieces for the ETX-125
Sent:	Monday, December 1, 2003 13:29:58
From: (Eric Renger)
To: ('Alan and Susan McDonald')
Thanks for your thoughts on this. For now I think I will keep the 8mm in
the hopes of being able to use it on really good nights. I am hoping to
take the scope camping next summer, and I'll give the 8mm a try in the
Sierras. I'm also keeping the 12.5mm and the 25mm, both of which I use
often. If I decide I just can't live without it, I'll put the 10mm on my
Christmas wish list, and use it when I want more than the 12.5, but
seeing is not good enough for the 8.

I have a Barlow, which was one of my first purchases, and I used it
often with the standard 26mm before buying the Celestron Xcels. However,
these eyepieces are designed for long eye relief (which is a necessity
for me), and I run into some of the same issues you have with using the
14mm Meade UWA with a Barlow. I think these eyepieces have 6 elements,
and they are physically long, so with a Barlow it is a lot of glass.

I am going to check out all the options before I decide what to do for
the low-power solution. It sounds like the FOV maxes out at about .9 for
the 125, and that is true of a 40mm with an apparent field of 43 or 44,
or a 32mm with an apparent field of 55 or so. It may be that the only
way to push that higher is with the adapters and 2" eyepieces that you
mentioned, but I don't really know anything about that kind of
equipment. Isn't there a problem with the center obstruction becoming
visible as you go to lower magnification? Does the adapter lower the
magnification further than what you would have with the eyepiece? Or
does it just open up the field? I'll take a look at the Siebert site.

I agree with you on wanting to see the Pleiades through the 125 ---
that's what first got me thinking about the low-power eyepieces, but I
guess that is not really the strength of this telescope. I went sort of
the same route you did --- I started off by getting an ETX-70 last
summer, and deciding I needed more power, and exchanging it for the 125.
Sounds like you kept your 60, but mine went back to the store. Now that
I don't have it anymore I am getting interested in having a wider field
of view. Maybe you can't have it all in one scope. What was that you
said about a "fleet" of telescopes? Maybe that's the answer... A
fleet... Hmmmm...

Another thing I am considering doing is buying the $99 Meade eyepiece
deal, which I am eligible for. Those eyepieces are not specially
designed for long eye relief, and I probably would not be able to use
them in the long term because I need to wear my glasses. But I would be
able to try out a full range of focal lengths and decide which ones I
really want to invest in. I also would like to have something to compare
the Xcels to for quality, contrast, sharpness, etc. Right now I don't
have much to compare the Xcels against. It may be too that the 40mm and
32mm that come in the deal would have enough eye relief for me to use.
The 26mm that comes with the telescope has plenty of relief from the
lens, but it is all down in the metal housing, so you don't get the
benefit of it when wearing glasses --- none of it is really usable. Is
the 40mm the same? Anyway, for $99, it seems like a great deal, and I am
guessing I would not have a problem selling the eyepieces that I cannot
use to at least get my $99 back. I still haven't decided on whether that
would be a good idea or not.

Thanks again for adding to the discussion.
Mike here: Keep in mind that you can remove or turn down the rubber eyeguard which can let your glasses get a little closer to the eyepiece.

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