Last updated: 31 December 2004
Mike here: Best wishes for a Great 2005 to all Site visitors and contributors! Thanks again for all the support throughout the past 8 years.
Subject: Is the 1247 focuser ANY good? Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 17:07:14 From: Tim Klimaszewski (firstname.lastname@example.org) While I wait for the ETX 125PEs to start shipping, I have been reading all I can about the many and accessories available for it. I was concerned by the review and discussions on your website on the 1247 focuser. It sounds like its a piece of garbage. Though some have had good results, they seem to be the people that have taken tools to it. Reversing gears, lubrication the unit. And the design has non-adjustable components, and no clutch to prevent it from being over driven. Then there's all that gear noise when it's functioning, and stripping sounds when it isn't. How did this thing ever get on the market? Is there any reason to believe that the device has been reengineered to work like it's supposed to out of the box? Thanks, TimMike here: I still have one attached to the ETX-125. At times it is less than desirable since I have to switch modes on the Autostar. But it certainly does come in handy to eliminate image vibrations due to focusing.
I guess that leads me to two obvious questions: Is there a better electric focuser on the market that will work with the ETX 125 PE? Is the 1247 typical of Meade quality? I apologize in advance for two questions in one message. Tim Hey, get out there and party!Mike here: Party? I have more important things to do -- like finishing up tonight's big Site update! Anyway, the Meade electric focuser is designed for the ETX; none of the others can say that. Whether it will satisfy you, only you can determine that. However, flexible cable focusers are almost as nice and cheaper. Scopetronix has the excellent Flexifocus (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page) or you can make you own (see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page).
Subject: The future of "amateur" telescope technology Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 13:17:37 From: BtwdFritz@aol.com (BtwdFritz@aol.com) Was just wondering: What with 8" telescopes being used to find extra-solar planets, and $300 CCD cameras usable with ETXs that can take pictures of deep-sky objects, what technology can we amateurs dare to hope for in the future? Since you probably have your ear closer to the ground than most on this issue, what really cool stuff have you heard is being developed? Do you think we might someday see an amateur version of a Keck-style interferometer capable of linking a couple of 8" scopes so they function like one big meter-class scope? By the way, how often do you get to get out and observe, and what do you like to look at most? Love your site, FritzMike here: The future is very "bright" and "deep"... Combining ever increasing computer horsepower (and better software) will certainly add capabilities at the "amateur" end. I can imagine all sorts of neat things; especially if Apple and Meade would team up on design! Oh, for an "iAutostar" with wireless updating and control... As to observing, not as much as I would like (weather, day job, schedule conflicts) but I do enjoy all aspects of observing.
Subject: Meade and Macs Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 06:39:07 From: Grycenkov, Victor N (email@example.com) From what I gather, in order to use the LPI (and deep sky imager) on a Macintosh, you need to have a PC emulator? Is there any chance (that you have heard) that the LPI and the deep sky imager will run natively on a Macintosh without an emulator? Thanks! Vic Victor N. Grycenkov Staff Systems Engineer / Systems Integrator / Image Scientist Lockheed Martin Mike here: VERY doubtful that Meade will do a Mac version. Maybe when Apple buys Meade...And:
Grinning...I've emailed Apple already! What kind of performance hit do you take with a PC emulator on a Macintosh--about 50% slowdown? Thanks for you answer! VicMike here: The hit depends upon the software. See the articles "Update Autostar using a Mac" and "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject: [none] Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 02:33:00 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) Hi Mike, just a short email to say thanks for running the Mighty ETX web site, and wishing you and your family a very happy New Year. - Gordon McGowan, Nottingham, EnglandMike here: Thanks. BUT PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page; your message was originally DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing subject entry.
Subject: Cleaning Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 21:54:47 From: Charles Washington (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have developed a cloudy coating with some spotting on the front lens (meniscus??) of my ETX 125. The result of getting it wet with dew. What is a recommended way to clean this without causing any damage? Kind regards CharlesMike here: See the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject: Differences between #124 and #126 barlow lens Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 12:12:57 From: Mike Manning (email@example.com) Thanks for a great site! My wife finally got the hint that I wanted an ETX-90 for Christmas! I am looking at purchasing a barlow lens, and see the #124 and #126 lenses from Meade. They say the 124 is for the 70, and the 126 is for the 90. The doc for the 124 says it will fit any 1.25" eyepiece though. My question is - what is really the difference (other than $8-$10)? I have looked all over for an answer. Best regards, Mike Manning Highlands Ranch, COMike here: The #126 is more closely designed for the Maksutov-Cassegrain ETX models than the refractor models. It is slightly higher quality as well since the low-end refractor doesn't need the higher quality.
Thanks Mike: I have been looking at this package the Discovery Store has that includes a 5mm, 18mm and the #124 for $40.00 (you probably already know about it). My original question really comes down to the cost - is there that much difference between the #126 and this package? I did see one feedback on your site that said the 5mm was probably overkill for the ETX90, but it seems to be a good deal for the #124 and the 18mm wide angle. Your thoughts? Thanks Mike PS - I have really enjoyed your site. Some of the photos are fantastic!Mike here: Whether you will notice any appreciable difference depends a lot on your experience, how well you maintain the optics of the ETX, and the objects you are viewing.
Subject: Homemade etx tripod Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 19:29:45 From: Allen Pinkall (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for the website! I've been doing some shopping for a tripod for my etx 90. I'm currently using a good camera mount tripod, it works good for just pointing and looking, but I'd like to do more tracking and photography, and I've struggled with using this tripod to get it aligned properly. Do you have a suggestion for a good tripod? Just buying a good tripod would be easy enough, and most that I've looked at are within my price range, but I love making stuff. Are you aware of any information on the web about homemade tripods? Thanks for any help. I'm eager to learn and do more with my telescope, but I feel limited with my current tripod, and I don't know enough to select one on my own. I've read the reviews on your site, but again, I don't have enough knowledge or experience to understand and use these reviews. Thanks again! AllenMike here: Check out all the homemade tripod articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Should be something there that will give you some ideas.
Subject: Meade's Jan 3 Product Intro ? Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 08:56:51 From: Eric Smith (email@example.com) I just visited the Meade web site. At the very top of their page, they imply there will be a mojor product intro on Jan 3. What is this? Thanks, Eric SmithMike here: Probably a secret...
Subject: LX200GPS Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 11:25:24 From: richard phipps (firstname.lastname@example.org) I apologise for asking about this scope but it is relevant to all Meade products. In the Uk meade costs about $3000 more for the LX200 14" and was very tempted to buy. But was told that Meade forbid shipping to UK!!!! No wonder. Would you know of a willing dealer who would ship. It is almost worth flying to New York for $350 taking it home with me...hardly carry it but UPS could assist I am sure. Richard PhippsdMike here: I'm not certain which are "Meade" rules vs International Trade rules. It is unfortunate that we are not yet one global economy.
Subject: [none] Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 06:18:13 From: Lin.Chape@maytag.com (Lin.Chape@maytag.com) I have a reflector scope and am just learning to read the maps and view. Is what I see on map the same as what I will see through the lens.?Mike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page; your message was originally DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing Subject entry.
Subject: Can I use the 506 cable for the ETX-125 Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 08:09:46 From: Matthews MSgt Christopher D (MatthewsCD@i-mef.usmc.mil) I had a DS-2114 telescope which I upgraded to the ETX-125....I have the 506 cable which I want to use for the ETX-125 but Im getting no connection. It looks like the same cable but different software....Is there anything I can download to make the connection work without me buying another $49 cheasy 505 telephone wire. (please use my email@example.com address in your reply thanks) -ChrisMike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page regarding using reply-to addresses. Thanks for understanding.
Thanks Mike for the speedy reply. Sorry about the alt e-mail address...
Subject: etx-125 Sent: Monday, December 27, 2004 19:07:47 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) I've been trying to align my new ETX-125 AT. I go to the Easy Align procedure and press "enter." The Autostar does not perfectly locate the stars, so I try to use the Arrow keys to move the telescope to find the stars. Nothing happens. The Enter, Mode and Go To keys work fine. It is as if the arrow keys die after I press the Enter key at the Easy align function. Am I doing something wrong? BruceMike here: Some questions: Have you done the CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES? Do the keys work during the drive training? Have you tried a faster slewing speed?
Subject: RSS Feed Sent: Monday, December 27, 2004 19:55:46 From: David Rosenthal (firstname.lastname@example.org) I love visiting your site the traditional way, when I have the time, but the RSS Feed is nice for catching up with limited time to spend. Do you have any info regarding the new ETX Scopes wth True North....is there an add-on for the ETX-90EC? Dave RosenthalMike here: Only the info on Meade's Site for the new PE models; I'm still waiting to get one. No direct upgrade from Meade.
That's what I thought you would say, but I had to ask....thanks
Subject: AC Power supply for ETX125 Sent: Monday, December 27, 2004 15:28:13 From: H B (email@example.com) I thought I would pass this product info along to you for your site. When I don't have time to head to a dark site to set up my ETX or LX200, I setup in the front yard using an AC supply. I originally bought a regulated 13.8v, 3amp bench power supply from Radio Shack to power my 14" LX200. However it works really well for my ETX powering the scope, and scopetronix corrector and eyepiece heaters. It has a cigarette lighter socket and binding posts/banana plugs for power. Also is a great to power the scope indoors for software uploads and scope testing. Clear skies.... Hank
Subject: question Sent: Monday, December 27, 2004 13:11:24 From: Jim Nosich (JNOSICH@mn-lawfirm.com) I noticed in one of your pages you mentioned that you take pics with a Nikon Coolpix. I have a ETX 70, is there any way to use that camera with that telescope?Mike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette page on the ETX Home Page; your message was almost deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject.
Subject: Autostar Sent: Sunday, December 26, 2004 17:56:44 From: RoverSocce@aol.com (RoverSocce@aol.com) Just wanted to say thanks for te site, I got some great advice from there. My autostar was "fried" and I found out how to fix it from there. So Thanks again. -Chris
Subject: ETX-125EC - Aligning the Viewfinder Sent: Saturday, December 25, 2004 15:05:36 From: frank meltke (firstname.lastname@example.org) I did find you in the web. Hopefully you can help me. I am not able to point the main telescope at some easy-to-find, well-defined land object, such as the top of a telephone pole as the viewfinder. In the viewfinder I can see clearly a telephone pole or the top of an antenna. But in the main telescope I can see only white colour. As well if I use the telescope in night time I can see a 1 Mile away light spot in the viewfinder in the main telescope only a white outer circle. In the middle of the circle I can see a "black" hole! Whats wrong, what can I do to solve the problem? Kind Regards contraco Consulting + Software Ltd. Frank Meltke CEO Niederlassung Deutschland Diepenseer Strasse 10 D - 15732 WaltersdorfMike here: That's a typical "not-in-focus" image you are seeing in the telescope eyepiece. Keep turning the focus knob. Once you have the object in focus, then you can adjust the finderscope until it shows the same object.
Thank you Kind Regards
Subject: ETX 105 AT vs ETX 90 PE Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 19:17:30 From: Paul Kirill (email@example.com) A while ago I mentioned to my folks that I thought astronomy might be a neat hobby for me and my daughter (5 y/o) to get into. Now, a few days before Christmas, I find myself with two telescopes in my kitchen (long story involving a massive mail order fiasco) an ETX 105AT and an ETX 90PE. I can't find any real life info on the PE bells and whistles, so I thought I'd ask you your opinion. I'm inclined to keep the 105 for its steel bearings and larger aperture and send the 90 back. What would you advise? Neither have UHTC (all sold out). Thanks for any tips!Mike here: If you don't mind mastering the Autostar alignment (not difficult; users have been doing it for a few years now), then I'd keep in the ETX-105 just for its slightly larger aperture. ETX-PE info is limited right now to the marketing information from Meade (and on their web site). But I'm glad to hear that it has started shipping.
Thanks, Mike! I think that is the icing on the cake. I was leaning heavily towards the 105 and now I'm sold. Thanks for all your hard work on a great site. I'm really looking forward to my new hobby! Paul Kirill Richmond, VA
Subject: Analysis Paralysis... I am all locked up. Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 16:05:37 From: Thomas G. (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am currently in a state of analysis paralysis on my telescope upgrade path (from an ETX-90). I am sure that you get about a billion or two of these requests a day, so I will understand if you do not have time to respond, but I felt that I wouldn't be trying to get the best advice if I didn't at least email you given your experience/knowledge/love for astronomy and the Meade scopes. I will first pose the two options that I have been considering: Option #1 Sell ETX-90 Buy ETX-125 Theory: The ETX-125 seems to be more of a "do-it-all" type scope, so no need for two. Easy to set up, easy to tote around in the car etc. Option #2 Keep ETX-90 Buy LX-90 8" or LX200 8" or LX200 7" Theory: The LX-90, LX200s are pretty big for quick views. With the longer set-up/cool-down times it would be more of a "weekend" instrument while the ETX-90 would be the "weeknight" scope. I was convinced with Option #2 until I read the reviews on the ETX-125 (Dr Sherrod calling this the best scope he has used can sort of skew a guys opinion on the best scope buying plan). What we are looking for is more of a "feeling" than something that can be described, but I will try my best. Our first scope was an ETX-70. I think we had it for a day. We set it up, looked at Mars and said "That's it?". Well, we took it back the next day and the Discovery store let us exchange it for the ETX-90. We took it out the next day, saw the same things and said "WOW" (more the feeling than the words). The thought process was, $290 for the ETX-70 felt like we weren't getting much. The $600 or so for the ETX-90 felt much better the next day. Now, that being said, I am somewhat convinced that if we started with the ETX-90, we would have had the "That's it?" reaction, but the 70 lowered our expectations and we were surprised by the 90. So, what I am looking for is the old bang for the buck on the "WOW-factor". With the ETX90, the WOW-factor for us sort of wears off outside of the solar system. The Deep-Space stuff has sort of a muted "cool" feel, but we quickly bounce on to the next Deep-Space thing looking for another WOW. So, coming full circle. Based on the reviews, the ETX-125 definitely seems like it would provide some degree of WOW-factor for solar system viewing. The LX-90 or LX-200s seem that they would be able to muster up some more "WOW" for us in the Deep-Sky. I can't lie and say that cost is not a factor, if it weren't, I would buy the ETX-125 and one of the LX200s (either 8 or 7). I know that this can all be summed up as "aperture itch", but part of me believes that it has to stop at an 8" scope (due 100% to mobility). So, the real question is, what do you feel would provide the most "wow-factor", the ETX125 or one of the 7" or 8" Meades? I think that the 8" would forever cure aperture itch (due to the 10" seeming to be outside of my "theoretical limit" based on mobility), but I don't want to sacrifice any of the solar system viewing that seems to be reported by some SCT users. Any insight that you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much, Tom G. tcg118@Hotmail.com PS: By the way, I just visited the site again for the first time in about a year or so and saw the book that you have out. I have two copies of the book going to small scope owners as Christmas gifts, and one coming to myself. You have a fantastic site, I just wish that there were a "weasner.com" type site for all of my interests/hobbies.Mike here: Your email subject almost got your message deleted UNREAD as SPAM; you might want to read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page to avoid this happening in the future. Thanks for understanding.
Subject: ETX125 on steroids.... Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 11:18:37 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) Take a look at: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=74929&item=3848778319&rd=1 (eBay item 3848778319 , the auction closed last month) That's an ETX125 ... the ring gear is five inches, which seems to match the OTA holder diameter. It's surplus from Terabeam, a now-defunct company which used modified Meade ETX125's for building-to-building infrared optical networks ("free space optics"). If you hear of "white-tube ETX125's", they're from Terabeam, too. have fun --dick
Subject: night sky observation w/out scope Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 15:25:44 From: Nelson, Pamela O - ESA (Nelson.Pamela@dol.gov) Back in October you responded to my e-mail question, I thank you very much. Another reader suggested I read the book Turn Left at Orion, it has helped me quite a lot in appreciating the night sky with the naked eye. I was out emptying the garbage the first week in December and decided to stop and view the clear night sky. I actually spotted Cassiopeia ('cause I remembered it could look like a "w" or a "m") and to my right I saw the 3 tiny dots (stars) that were Orion's Belt! I was so over joyed and impressed with myself I did a little silent jig. Last week I visited my nieghborhood Discovery Store, a soon to be purchaser of the ETX-70 wanted to know what would they be able to see in the night sky. I remembered what you had said about the advertisements on the box are not what they will look like in the night sky and also read up on what you expect to see in a small telescopes so they won't get their feeling hurt, I passed that info along and told them to go online and visit www.weasner.com. The clerk told me later they purchased the ETX-90. The ETX-70 does not see as much of the case as it did earlier this year (I will not say how much time it spent in the case last year). I found a special packaged deal for the ETX-105 on the Home Shopping Network (hsn.com) I am expecting one this Thursday (HSN told me (Meade) the mfg handles the shipping of this item, I will look for the shipping address on the label to see if they are correct). It comes with all kinds of things I read about on the ETX web site. I do not know if I will ever use all the extras, but for the price it is a bargin. I know I will need lots of help so instead of writing to you, I will read the manual again and again..then read the ETX site and go back to the manual again and again!. Hopefully, years from now my grandchildren will be using it as a beginner scope. It is not that I have learned so much more about the night sky...it is that I enjoy looking up and through a telescope so much more now! Yes, you are correct, the only good telescope is the one that gets used and not stuffed in the closet. I look forward to reading the "updates" every Monday and cannot wait to see what Santa left for us at Christmas. Clear dark skys to all (especially for Santa). Pamela
Subject: ETX125 Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 15:00:35 From: User721401@aol.com (User721401@aol.com) I was wondering if the ETX125 will track the space station. I am assuming if the 125 will the new premier scope will as well. I have the premier one on order and cannot wait to get it.. Thanks Dan PS What is the best way to sell my ETX125ec once I get the new premier?Mike here: Using the Autostar, you can track it. See the ISS articles on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page. As to selling your old telescope, I can post an ad for it on the FOR SALE page on the ETX.
Subject: ETX Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 12:22:26 From: dorothy MORLEY (firstname.lastname@example.org) Just to say what a great site. Just purchased an ETX90EC and have yet to get to grips with it,your site has been very helpful in this department.Had no problems as yet apart from not getting the finderscope aligned properly,but quite close,just needed to nudge it a bit. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to U and family. John Mills
Subject: ++nightflight site relaunch Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 04:28:02 From: Erwin Matys (email@example.com) we did a complete site relaunch of ++nightflight. Most of the images were made using ETX-equipment and additional photographic and digital equipment. Happy Christmas, Erwin Matys & Karoline Mrazek Vienna, Austria, EU
Subject: ETX90 Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 14:57:29 From: Ken Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) You may not get this in time to advise me on this one but am going to try anyway. Am looking at a Meade ETX 90 Telescope Package on ebay that is ending soon. One of the questions asked of the seller was does it come with autostar. It does no but has four speed electronic focus/pan/tilt. How important is autostar? KenMike here: If you know your way around the sky or are willing to learn, you do not NEED the Autostar for finding and viewing objects. If you want to use the Meade LPI or DPI imagers at some point you will want to get the Autostar #497.
Thanks Mike for the quick reply. I let the ETX 90 I was watching go, and did some quick research too. I can get a brand new one with the autostar for about $150 more money. Not real sure what I want to do yet but I do like the idea of the scope tracking the stars etc. Thanks again. Ken Lee
Subject: DSI / LPI Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 13:37:15 From: Bill (email@example.com) I have a meade etx 90ec and am thinking about getting the LPI or the DSI. I heard that you can use your laptop to automatically have your telescope go to and track the object you want. I don't have the autostar go-to controller, do you need to have it to do that?Mike here: Yes, you must have an Autostar #497.
Subject: A holiday comet Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 07:26:38 From: Charles and Carol (firstname.lastname@example.org) Charles from Boston again just a quick note I had the opportunity to observe comet Machholz C/2004 Q2 it was a very easy object to find. When fist observed in binoculars ( 7x 50 Swift Seahawks) it took on a very distinctive look and one might mistake it for a globular cluster. Pointing my ETX 90EC at it(low power 32mm Tele vue pl = 39x) shows a very bright core. which was noted by the S/T staff as 15 archminutes in diameter. I thought I observed a tail or dust jet faintly visible from my location SW of Boston I look forward to further study of this comet and will update you those observations as well. I would also like to update you on My nephew Ryan age 10 who was one of the recipients of an ETX 90RA last year from Jordan Blessing ,and Scopetronics Scopes for Kids program. I wont get into the particulars of Ryan's situation but I will give a quick account of one of our observations made while at Emerald lake Hillsboro NH. The lake has been the family get away location for years and affords us wonderfully dark skies, and on this night of observing we were able to log M-31, M-42, M-45, the double cluster in Peruses, Vega , Betelgeuse, Sirus, all of which are stunning to look at but for Ryan and though his very own telescope they were especially unforgettable and for his uncle they brought me back to a time and place we all know very well as armature astronomers. That special moment when the night sky became an intimate lifelong friend providing countless hours of joy and wonder for us all. I would like to thank all those at Scopetronics for that very special gift that over the last year has meant so much to both Ryan and I, and urge anyone who may be wondering if programs like these are for real, to participate in any way they can through donations or submitting the name of there special kid. Its a feeling you wont soon forget. Thank you, Clear skies, and Happy Holidays you and yours Charles
Subject: ETX 90 Problems!!!!!! Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2004 11:54:41 From: Rob Burnett-Wood (email@example.com) I am a total novice to astronomy, I have recently purchased an Meade ETX 90 c/w autostar, LPI camera, S Ploss 26mm eyepiece. I have set it up, trained the drive and aligned it, fine.. no problem. However all I can see is hazy green doughnut shapes through it.. No actual stars!!! What am I doing wrong? I have linked my laptop up to it to try and use the focus option in Autostar the laptop links up fine, however still no change with focus or lack of it. Tonight is the first night the moon has been out and again when I looked at the moon, it just looks hazy, no detail, just a white blob! I can't even focus on anything during the day. I have read the instruction from cover to cover, I have been on meades web site and gone through the FAQ's, and can't find anything. Is the telescope faulty? Should I send it back to www.telescopeplanet.com where I bought it from? Any help or advice would be much appreciated on this Regards, RobMike here: Set the LPI aside, set the computer aside. Set up the telescope and point it at a distant object in the daytime, something several miles away. Put the eyepiece in the eyepiece hole on the top of the ETX tube. Turn the focus knob in one direction while viewing that object through the eyepiece. It should go from blurry to sharper; if not, turn the focus knob the other direction. Keep turning until the image comes into focus. From your description it sounds as if you have no turned the knob sufficiently to get a focus.
Subject: ETX 125 Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2004 08:00:12 From: Bruce Grace (firstname.lastname@example.org) I just found your web site and think it's great. The information is invaluable. So, here is my question. My wife and I just ordered the ETX 125 from the Discovery Channel Store. Listed under Optional Accessories was an eyepiece package (Meade Plossl, Wide Angle & Barlow Lens Package) for $39.95. We ordered that too, since I've read that additional eyepieces make the viewing experience much better. However, when they arrived, the individual eyepiece packages said they were for the ETX 60 and 70. Have I purchased the wrong eyepieces? I hope you can help me. Bruce Grace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bruce K. Grace, Ph.D., CFA Chair, Dept. of Accounting, Economics, and Finance Morehead State University Morehead, KYMike here: Eyepieces for the ETX-60/70 and other ETX models (and if fact, any telescope that accepts 1.25" diameter eyepieces) are fine.
Subject: etx finder scope Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2004 00:05:39 From: TPLATZ1969 (email@example.com) I read an article on your site about a guy who used a shotgun scope as a finder scope, I have a Meade ETX105 with a 5x21 finder scope and from what I have read and so far experienced is that it sucks. I was wondering how a shotgun finder scope would compare to something else made for a telescope. If you have any advice it would be greatly appreciated. thanks Tom PlatzMike here: There are some gunsights discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page. There is nothing wrong with using one as long as you can determine a good way to mount it.
Subject: Re: New ETX Level North Technology Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 23:36:25 From: Stephen Bird (firstname.lastname@example.org) BC&F already sell an add on goody for the ETX that achieves the same levelling and North pointing attribute that the ETX Premier has. It is called the Alignmate Pro, and attaches to the eyepiece holder on the ETX. http://www.astro-engineering.com/ETX/alignmateproarti.html Runs out at 90 UK pounds or http://www.digitalastronomy.com/html/professional_telescope_alignme.asp 160 US Dollars from their US website. With a Star GPS (or BC& F GPS Mate) and a red dot finder scope you would have pretty much what the ETX Premier has. Not nearly as nicely packaged, and a cost of 315 UK pounds or 460 USD rather than the 100 UK pounds or 100 USD extra that Meade are charging for the ETX Premier. Which probably makes trade in a real consideration. Regards Stephen BirdMike here: There can always be aftermarket add-ons that can accomplish new things. At least, until the manufacturer includes those capabilities as standard. Remember the Scopetronic Microstar series? It was a really nice add-on for the original ETX model. But then Meade released the EC model that had the same capability as standard. Now the Microstar is no longer available.
And of course the Meade ETX Premier solution is integrated and good value compared to the cost of the EC models vs the aftermarket add ons. The GPS option always seemed overkill to me. With www.streetmap.co.uk you can get GPS co-ordinates that are more accurate than the resolution shown on the Autostar, which begs the question as to whether an error of plus or minus 0.5 seconds latitude and longitude makes much difference to plus or minus 0.5 seconds using the speaking clock to set the time on the Autostar as opposed to using the time signal from the GPS system. But I guess it is handy if you view from various locations or just want the built in convenience. Now if they could just get the levelling technology to adjust the tripod legs for you and set the wedge position for you according to latitude for polar mount, as well as pointing true North, then it would really take the effort out of setting up each night! Regards Stephen Bird
Subject: Supercharge UPDATE and special! Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 09:22:26 From: P. Clay Sherrod (email@example.com) In celebration of a banner year for the Arkansas Sky Observatory (ASO) at its receipt of the Science Medal of Service for 2004, a limited number of replica medals have been made for distribution as a "Thank You" from ASO to our many fans out there.... For all Meade telescopes through February, 2005 or until supplies of these special medals are gone, I will be sending a replica with each and every Supercharged scope in addition to the "NOW FAMOUS" Supercharge Prestige Plate affixed to the telescope and the Certificate of Supercharge that accompanies every blueprinted Meade telescope, ETX, LX or LX 200. The cast brass medals have a space discovery theme on one face and the well known ASO logo and date on the other. There will be no additional charge for this added bonus. Also accompanying every Supercharged telescope will be the sought-after AutoStarPlus diskette full of tours, comet and asteroid data, constellation and star data and short cut tools for quick and easy - and enjoyable! - operation of your GO TO telescope.Mike here: I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say "Many congratulations for this tremendous recognition of Dr. Clay's efforts!"
ALSO for the first 10 NEW telescopes received for Christmas or the holiday season, whether shipped direct to ASO from your dealer OR from YOU after you unwrap it from under the Christmas tree....there is an added $25 discount through January 2005 on all ETX telescopes! These openings and special bonus offerings will NOT last long and it is first-come, first-served. Contact Dr. Clay at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for scheduling YOUR next Supercharge slot! Visit http://www.arksky.org/supercharge.htm for full details on how the Supercharge can give you the most benefit and pleasure out of your astronomical endeavors. Please note the new office address for ASO: Dr. P. Clay Sherrod Arkansas Sky Observatories 73 Tanyard Springs Petit Jean Mountain Morrilton, AR 72110 Thank you....and have a wonderful Holiday Season with a New Year filled with bright comets and discoveries from far away. Dr. Clay -------------------- Arkansas Sky Observatories Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain) http://www.arksky.org/
Subject: New ETX Level North Technology Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 23:40:48 From: Eddy Puckett (Eddy@pucketts.com) I purchased an ETX-125 last October and am very pleased with the results overall. I noticed that Meade now offers the ETX Premium Edition series with the Level North Technology. I don't know the details, but it looks like it is an add on piece of hardware and I would assume an upgraded version of the software as well, Do you know if the Level North Technology can be purchased as an upgrade for those of us who already own the older versions? Thanks, EddyMike here: Real doubtful that there will ever be such a hardware upgrade.
Subject: Should I buy a etx-105? Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 17:24:37 From: Andreas Kyriacou (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for such a great site, a very informative Read. About a year ago I thought that I would give astronomy a go so I bought a Tasco telescope to see if it was a phase or something I would continue to do for a while, One year later and i'm still just as interested. It is obvious that the Meade is by far a more superior telescope than the Tasco (the current model that I own, not sure about the rest). With the Tasco when I look at the "great nebula in Orion" all I see is a small blur and when I look at Saturn I see no colour and just a white dot with a ring around it. So I need clarification and advise on which Meade I should purchase. I am looking at spending approximately US$1200.00 on a Meade telescope. Will I be able to see nebula in colour and will I be able to see Planets such as Saturn and Jupiter in more detail using a ETX-105? I want my next telescope to give me hours of viewing every night for years to come. Kind Regards Andrew Cyrion South AfricaMike here: The problem with seeing color in nebula isn't so much the telescope but the eye. It is not designed to see color at low light levels. With larger apertures, say a 20" Dobsonian, you can see rather amazing color in M42 in Orion but with more typical small telescopes all you will see is a green or gray wispiness. Planets however are another matter. You can see some color and more details on these brightly illuminated objects. Of course, the larger the aperture and the longer the focal length, the more details you will be able to see. But then you run into the size problem, where the telescope gets too cumbersome to actually set up and use. The ETX-90, -105, and -125 are nice compromises between size, price, and capabilities. And right now, Meade dealers have a good deal on non-Premier Edition ETX models with UHTC (PE models are just beginning to ship and are the new line of ETX telescopes). I recommend getting UHTC as it is like adding an inch of aperture to the image brightness.
Subject: Titanium Batteries Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 10:20:25 From: Rori Baldari (email@example.com) I was wondering if anybody has tried using those titanium e2 AA batteries in an ETX. They're supposed to be better for hi-tech devices than regular batteries, and perform well in the cold. -Rori
Subject: Tube ring for ETX125 Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 17:20:34 From: Tommy Lim KW (firstname.lastname@example.org) Need your advice about the tube ring for my ETX125. I would like to mount my ETX125 OTA on Equatorial mount,so, I need a pair of tube ring that can fit the diameter of the tube. Do you have any idea where to buy or whoever done this as well? Hope can help. Regards, TommyMike here: Losmandy sells OTA mounting rings.
Subject: ETX 125 Portable Power Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 13:07:57 From: email@example.com What is your recommendation for a portable solution to power the ETX 125 and any reasonable accessories (internal or external to the solution). I use the 541 AC/ DC power adapter with my ETX 125, and for many applications, it works well. There are times however, where a power source is not available and / or you want to "cut the cord". I read through the portable power matrix you assembled with the help of your readers. Did you come to a conclusion or consensus as to the best or recommended solution for portable power? I am leaning towards the Celestron Power Tank 7ah. It looks to have enough power to get through an entire night of powering the 125 with enough spare power to use the red lantern on an observation table. I thought there might be a Coleman type solution (thinking outside of the astronomy box to less expensive hobbies), but have not as yet found one that seems to be a better solution than the Power Tank. Regards, Stewart Huntington Beach, CAMike here: You can read my comments on the recently purchased Celestron Power Tank on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page.
Subject: Spots on a 90EC corrector Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 04:22:26 From: Tom & Barbara Andrews (firstname.lastname@example.org) Difficult to get an accurate image of this problem. This is a 2nd-hand 90EC. These spots are fairly uniform on the lower two-thirds of the front plate, though in the photo you can only see them in the band of light across the plate. The water droplets are from an attempted clean with 1:3 isopropyl, which didn't get rid of them. I'm trying to follow the "less is more" principle for cleaning, so I don't want to clean again to see if the spots "move" unless you advise it. I obviously haven't felt the plate in any way to see if there's a textured feel. My main worry is that, though they're small, the spots seem to be "clearer" than the rest of the coating on the plate. Can the coating have worn or been carried off by anything?Mike here: You probably haven't removed the coating. You just need to do a better AND correct job of cleaning. See the "Cleaning Optics" article on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. Especially see the last item about the "OPT Doctor Clay's Cleaning Kit"; you will see some similar photos in my review.
I haven't had a clear enough night for extensive viewing, but images appear fine. In the brief seeing I did manage, there appeared to be a faint background glow which is what I imagine "light-scattering" must be. I'm looking for either reassurance or a too-bad sort of shock. Cheers, Tom Andrews
Subject: Discounts on old model ETX-125's Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 22:03:33 From: Phillip Coker (email@example.com) Went into Fry's at Sacramento CA yesterday and saw that the old model ETX-125 which was marked down to $499.00 a few weeks ago is now sitting on a tripod and marked $1099.00. Phillip
Subject: Difference between Meade ETX-125EC and ETX-125AT Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 21:35:04 From: Tim Liebig (CarpeDiem@comcast.net) Quite simply - what is the difference between the ETX-125AT and the ETX-125EC. I just purchased a new (my first real scope) ETX-125. Paperwork said AT but box said EC. New Novice ThanksMike here: See the FAQ page on the ETX Site.
Subject: New observer looking for advice on models Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 16:57:55 From: PeeDee (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am interested in purchasing a reflector scope and my budget is $500.00. My wife wants to get me a scope for x-mas. I have been using a spotting scope (for rifle ranges) up til' now to observe the sky at night while camping. I usually set-up and let those with us look at whatever we can see in the night sky. I do hope to aquire a scope that will give me vertically correct images (not upside down) , but don't see much info about that in the product descriptions. Auto tracking sounds like a great idea too. If that is not a realistic goal,then I can live without it. If it is then it will allow me to attempt views of far away objects during the day. I would like to see more than the moon. I don't expect to see pluto with such a budget, but want a good quality scope. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated. Thanks Peter J. CarreiroMike here: Check out the ETX-90 and perhaps the DS models from Meade. You can read User Observations on my ETX Site. You would need an "erecting prism" to correct images for terrestrial use although the ETX-90 has upright images, they are reversed left-right. Right now, Meade dealers are running a sale on the ETX-90 since a new model is to start shipping any day.
Subject: RE: Right Ascension Circuit board Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 17:10:02 From: Marcos Dager (email@example.com) To keep you updated the tech guy from SATEC,S.A Costa Rica, send me the circuit Board. When I got it I saw it was the older model. I tested and did not work well, at low speeds didn't move the scope, they are going to send me again the new model Circuit board. When I was Inspecting my Scope I found the RA ring stop was broken and the RA movement was stiff and some times did stop before normal stop. I ask the guys from SATEC to send me this Part too, I already got the AMP MTA .100" IDC Connector (AMP Part # 640442-4), so when I cut the Alt Cable to replace the Stop Ring. I hope this will be the last repair. best regards, Marcos D.
Subject: Proper polar home position Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 11:39:48 From: Petz2@aol.com (Petz2@aol.com) In your book Using the Meade ETX, figures 6-19 and 6-20 are both described as "polar home position", but they look different. In 6-20 it appears like the scope is looking back over the tripod. I am trying to learn how to use the setting circles to find astronomical objects and I was wondering if there is a difference between the two set ups. When I have the scope configured like 6-19 the declination setting is 90 which seems correct. I found the sun this am with no problem using the setting circle method and just approximating where Polaris was in the sky. I want to go after comet Machholz using the setting circles. Should I worry about "Perfect Polar Position" or is centering Polaris in the 26mm eyepiece good enough for government work? Thanks, Steve Petzold Borrego Springs 2001Mike here: Oops! 6-20 is NOT the HOME position for Autostar alignment. That figure really was intended to show the position of the fork arms in Polar mounting. For Autostar alignment, 6-19 bottom is correct. It is also a good starting place for manual aligning to the Earth's axis.
Subject: re: Transformer Sent: Friday, December 10, 2004 21:05:25 From: Richard Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) It does not hurt to have a power supply capable of providing more current (amps) than the scope needs. In fact, it is helpful, since the voltage will not "sag" under changing loads. have fun --dickAnd more info:
From: Schlatter (email@example.com) I just read a query in which an individual asked if a power supply rated at 2.0 amps will damage his ETX. The answer is NO, a 2.0 amp supply will not damage the ETX. Amperage is a measure of the current-handling capability of a power supply. Let's suppose you have an device -- such as the ETX -- that requires 1.5 amps of current. This means you must use a power supply that provides 1.5 amps OR MORE and how much more does not matter. It's not a matter of the power supply pushing amperage to the device -- the power supply pushes voltage to the device and the ETX requires 12 volts DC. The ETX -- or any other device -- draws current from the power supply and the level of current draw is measured in amperes, or, amps. The amperage of the power supply MUST EXCEED THE AMPERAGE REQUIREMENT OF THE DEVICE. Thus, a power supply with a 2.0 amp rating is fine for the ETX, which will pull only 1.5 amps. Consider this analogy: Suppose you have a device that uses water at the rate of 1.5 gallons per minute and it is attached to a hose that will pass only 0.5 gallons per minute -- the device will pull more water from the hose than it can handle and the hose is likely to burst. However, if the hose can pass 2.0 gallons per minute, then the device pulling 1.5 GPM will not approach the capacity of the house. Because the ETX needs 1.5 amps of current, you can use a power supply that provides anything OVER 1.5 amps. I power my ETX with a power supply that I also use for my amateur radio equipment that has a capacity of 10 amps. An automobile battery has the capability of delivering over 200 amps -- you can plug your ETX into your automobile battery with no problem. You will be fine with a 2.0 amp supply. HOWEVER -- if you then plug into the power supply other devices such as dew heaters, a laptop, or other devices, you may overload the power supply. Let's say the ETX draws 1.5 amps and you plug in some dew heaters that draw 1.5 amps, you are now putting a load of 3.0 amps on a 2.0 amp supply -- the power supply will run hot and the voltage may drop -- and -- the protective device on the power supply may trip, that is, the fuse or circuit breaker will trip because you have overloaded the power supply. To power your ETX, you need a power supply that provides: -- between 10 and 13.5 volts DC (which is common), DO NOT EXCEED 13.5 -- at a minimum of 1.5 amps -- and the higher the amperage the better because that means you can run more devices off the supply. Hope this helps. ----- Joe from Bristol TN
Subject: ETX, Premier Edition Sent: Friday, December 10, 2004 07:44:10 From: philip call (firstname.lastname@example.org) I spoke to Astronomics this morning and was informed that they expect delivery on the PE's to begin in 7-10 days. So, we can hope to receive them in time for Christmas. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good day. Phil Call
Subject: Re: 9.7mm Eyepiece Doesn't Fit Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2004 16:55:30 From: Eric Ingram (email@example.com) Thanks for the reply. Do you think it's possible to sand it down or would it be easier to call Meade and see if they'll replace it for me? Thanks, EricMike here: Well, you could file it down IF you can find the problem area AND if it only needs a minor filing. I would contact Meade or your dealer first.
I'll call Meade. Thanks for you quick reply! -Eric
Subject: Transformer Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2004 14:21:03 From: GDREITLEIN@aol.com (GDREITLEIN@aol.com) I just got a great buy on a Yamaha external AC power adaptor (transformer). It will change AC house current into 12 volt DC for my ETX 90 EC. However, its output is 2 amps. I haven't used it yet because I don't know if that two amps will mess up my ETX or its Autostar. What do you think? Thanks again for a terrific site. George DreitleinMike here: The ETX only needs up to 1.5A.
Subject: Price drop on non-Premier Edition ETXs Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2004 13:19:49 From: David Hanych (firstname.lastname@example.org) Retailers have dropped their prices on new non-Premier Edition ETX telescopes. See Oceanside Photo and Telescope (www.optcorp.com) and Scopetronix (www.scopetronix.com) for prices and package deals. i wonder if they are trying to clear out stock to make room for the soon-to-be-released ETX Premieir Edition scopes.The prices are so good that I'm tempted to buy, but I'll wait untill I see a review of the new PE models before doing so. Anyone looking for an discounted ETX scope? Here's your chance. David Hanych
Subject: ETX-125 Detailed Info Sent: Wednesday, December 8, 2004 07:42:28 From: Dunlap, Raymond (Raymond.Dunlap@parsons.com) I really enjoy your site but can't find any detailed info on the ETX-125. I plan to machine some adapters for my ETX-125 to use for astrophotography and would like to know the exact thread specs from a parts sheet if one is available. I could then forward the final plans for your site if anyone else has the desire to machine their own parts. These adapters are available commercially but it is more fun to make them yourself. If you know of any detailed sources for the scope I would appreciate it. Thanks for the help, Doug DunlapMike here: Yes, I wish I had such info posted.
Subject: ETX Azimuth Gearbox Problem Sent: Tuesday, December 7, 2004 20:21:47 From: Stephen Streit (email@example.com) I was out last night getting ready to watch the lunar\Jupiter occultation (excellent show). Everything was normal I plugged everything in but decided I wasn't going to look at anything else but the moon since it was already 3:40AM local time so I didn't do an alignment and the moon isn't hard to find :-). Anyway I went to slew along the azimuth axis and my ETX-90AT made this horrible sound kind of like a coffee grinder and a car starter on its last legs. At that point I released the AZ lock and hand guided the scope along that axis for the duration of the night. When I was packing up and took the ETX off its tripod I noticed there was something rattling around inside, from there I just decided to call it a night and check it out the next day. When I got home today armed with some photos and info from the telescope tips section I popped the bottom plate off my etx. I discovered one of the things that was rattling around inside the case was one of the screws that holds the 2 halves of the gearbox together (see arrow in "extbase.jpg"). I did the first logical thing which was to screw it back in after I found where it came from by referencing some pix on this site. When I tried to screw it back in it just kept turning leading me to believe the hole was stripped out. From there I took the gearbox apart to find that the threaded holes for the two center screws that hold the box together had cracks running down the sides (see arrows in "etxgearbox.jpg"). I think what happened is these screws finally gave way (overtightened at the factory?) and the gearbox pulled apart enough for the gears to not properly mesh causing that horrible grinding sound. I think I can clamp it and glue the posts back together but before I do I wanted to know if you had ever heard of anything like this? What causes it? How do I keep it from happening again? Is there a replacement gearbox back available anywhere other than contacting the Mead distributor? My scope is only like 6 months old and I've treated it with the utmost care. I don't see how this happened. Thanks! Stephen S. BTW: I've attached the pictures I referred to in my email.Mike here: I don't recall any specific reports of this failure although I do recall a few other failures (cracks). I wonder if cold temperatures might have had something to do with it. Anyway, you could try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) for a replacement gearbox; otherwise contact Meade.
Thanks for the quick response! I'll check Telescope Warehouse and I'll also check into the warranty. I dont think it was from cold weather because I happen to live in sunny Florida now and I dont think its been exposed it temps under 50F :-). I'll keep you posted with updates if you wish to post this on your site. Thanks again! Keep up the good work!And:
Well I went thru and read all the info that came with the scope and it appears that its still covered under the warranty. I guess I'll button it up and check into sending it to Meade. Thanks!
Subject: Standard Hand Paddle Question Sent: Monday, December 6, 2004 06:40:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I have an ETX-90EC with both the hand controller and the Autostar controller. When using the hand controller, after power on and slewing to a target, the motors continue to run as if I were using the Autostar(i.e. the motors sound like they are tracking!). Each time I move the display the motors seem to shift the display. Is this normal? Tom HobbsMike here: When set for astronomical use, the RA drive motor should run. You can change this setting if you like; see the ETX manual.
Subject: ETX Spotting Scope Sent: Monday, December 6, 2004 05:54:26 From: Pete and Maggie Kasper (email@example.com) I live in a condo directly on the ocean in Florida and I am considering buying the ETX90 Spotting Scope for terrestrial subjects (beach and cruise ships) as well as some astronomical views. My condo balcony has a full ceiling overhang therefore I have a limited astronomical view. I was wondering if you could tell me what you think of spotting scopes and what I could expect from it. Also is the UHTC worth the additional cost? Thanks M KasperMike here: The ETX spotting is a fine high quality terrestrial telescope. You won't need UHTC for daytime use.
Subject: How much light reflected by ETX lenses? Sent: Sunday, December 5, 2004 02:41:36 From: Stephen Bird (firstname.lastname@example.org) I exchanged mail with David on this subject. I THINK David was trying to see how much light that reached the corrector plate, was transmitted to the eye from the eyepiece having passed through all of the optics. And, what difference UHTC made. Which is an interesting and important point that he is looking at when choosing a scope, certainly I didn't do this when i chose my first scope. It is different to how much of the incident light on the corrector plate is reflected, the SOLE measure of which is not a true measure of how good a scopes full optics are. For each refractive lens, each air <--> glass or glass <--> air interface for TYPICAL optics will transmit around 96% of the incident light, (I'm not sure if Meades refractive optics are TYPICAL). For each reflecting lens the TYPICAL reflective surface transmits around 85% of the incident light, (I'm not sure if Meade's reflective optics are TYPICAL). UHTC improves this, and Meade quotes a figure of plus 20%, but I am not sure if this 20% applies to each and every surface, what part of the spectrum it applies to or which starting position the 20% is taken from. However if you take star light incident at the outside of the scope, it has to cross / be reflected from the following interfaces for an ETX with a typical eyepiece: Air to corrector plate refraction Corrector plate to air refraction Primary mirror reflection Secondary mirror reflection Flip mirror reflection Then it gets to the eyepiece,.... a 26mm SP has 5 elements, so IF they were all separated by an air gap, you could add 10 more air <--> glass interfaces. All this adds up to a loss of the original incident star light of more than 2%. I guess this is why Meade keeps their advertising blurb simple by saying UHTC increases light transmission by 20%. Now of course light gathering power is another matter and requires a little bit more math! But a 3.5", 4" or 5" mirror is obviously much better at gathering light that a 1/5" pupil. But with so many variables to what makes a scope good, it is not easy to choose the one that gives best all round performance balanced against economy / portability, etc.,. The best scope in my opinion is however, the one that will get used the most! Regards Stephen BirdAnd:
From: P. Clay Sherrod (email@example.com) Thank you for this...however, I am not at all confident that I ever mentioned any such value, since I do not get into specific reflectivities of the optical surfaces during Supercharge; I do measure the total system for light loss, primarily looking at degradation of reflection in optics FROM ORIGINAL specs.....and this is where I believe there is a mis-communication; because of conditions that I discovered with the telescope, I made a note that his telescope HAD A DROP OF 2% of total "factory spec" reflectivity...in other words, if the telescope is shipped with a total transmission of 90 percent, this would reflect (pun intended....) a drop to 88 percent from a brand new telescope of the same type. For the record, I never quote each particular reflectance of any optics nor optical system, only total transmitted light. Dr. Clay -------------------- Arkansas Sky Observatories Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain) http://www.arksky.org/And:
Thanks for the clarification on this Clay. I took a look at Meade's explanation of light loss and UHTC, the basic theory from my Astronomy 101 notes seems to be in there somewhere! http://www.meade.com/catalog/uhtc/index.html Interesting how they play the before and after UHTC figures to best effect. They also avoid the flip mirror loss and eyepiece losses. Without sitting down with pencil, paper and a calculator, I do wonder whether the eye actually perceives a total image brightness increase of 13% - 17% across the visible spectrum. But it is possible to see the difference between image brightness for a Meade coated eyepiece and a cheap non coated eyepiece that I picked up on my travels, changing between the two was like putting sunglasses on! Regards Stephen BirdAnd this:
You have actually answered your own inquiry: The difference between using UHTC coated optics and EMC are similar to the same differences (for the same reasons) as superceding your cheap, non-coated eyepieces with fine quality fully coated eyepieces. Note also that Meade does not (nor does Celestron, nor Televue, nor Astrophysics, nor Orion.....) claim that they are including the reflectivity properties of the flip mirror or eyepieces or barlows, or any other items in the optical train: Only the OTA optical assembly which is the method by which all measurements in optics are done. The variables should be in the finite system, and not with other measurement-altering parameters such as accessories. Dr. Clay
Subject: right angle finder scope Sent: Sunday, December 5, 2004 02:21:56 From: Ian1Belcher@aol.com (Ian1Belcher@aol.com) I've just purchased my first telescope - the 105. It's an excellent piece of equipment and I'm sure I'll appreciate it more and more as I get used to it. I've found these pages invaluable for tips on how to set up the telescope. The comments on 'backlash' were particularly helpful. After a few hours it's up and working extremely well and I've imaged some of the obvious features in the sky (Saturn, Orion Nebula, Andromeda etc) Now, I have a simple problem. The eyepiece and focus ring assembly of my finderscope has separated from the barrel. I notice that the surfaces are well greased and there is a fine thread below the focus ring. Before I damage it out of ignorance I thought I'd ask whether these two parts are a push fit or whether they screw back together? Any help would be appreciated. Regards. Ian Belcher Tadley UK.Mike here: I don't have one of the current model so can't check the fitting of the finderscope eyepiece. However, since it adjusts the focus by turning, I suspect it could be screw-on.
Thanks for the reply. A speedy response when you must have so many emails to attend to. Keep up the good work Regards. Ian Belcher Tadley UK
Subject: Basic Sent: Saturday, December 4, 2004 17:12:24 From: Mark Oristano (firstname.lastname@example.org) Love your site. I'm just getting an ETX-105PE and, as I'm a photographer for a living, going to try my hand at the stars. Once I get up and running, and have just enough knowledge to be dangerous, I wonder if I might be able to come up and observe one of your outings some night, since I gather you live in Carrollton and I live in Dallas. Otherwise, thanks for all the great info. Mark Oristano www.markoristano-photographer.comMike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page; your message was almost DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous Subject entry.
Subject: Re: ETX Operations w/Wedge Sent: Saturday, December 4, 2004 17:05:51 From: Dave Hahne (email@example.com) Thanks Mike. I have been using a wedge for polar alignment. After further reading of the manual I realized that my second question about auto tracking was a result of my misread of the manual. Dave
Subject: Tracking the sun Sent: Saturday, December 4, 2004 16:17:47 From: Robert Edmondson (firstname.lastname@example.org) First, thanks for the site. I have been using it as a resource since I bought my ETX 70 a year ago. Since then I bought a 10" Hardin dob, but I still use the ETX often because it is easy to move and set up. Last week I bought a Coronado PST but no first light - it has been cloudy here in Lansing, MI. I have piggy-backed the PST to the ETX and I am looking forward to taking some pics. I built a solar filter from Baader film for the 10" dob and imaged well enough, but I am planning to put more effort into the images with the PST - stacking, etc. My question is about the autostar tracking. Is there a way to set the scope to track the sun? Thanks, - Robert EdmondsonMike here: Just do a normal alignment and assume the alignment stars are centered. Of course, the more accurate your HOME position the more accurate the "fake" alignment will be.
I just found your post to a similar question. I will just set up a 2-star alignment and that should get it close enough. Sorry for the email clutter. - Robert
Subject: EFX for Nikon 80 Sent: Saturday, December 4, 2004 15:55:15 From: Regina Milkus (email@example.com) I came across your website online. I would like to buy my husband a EFX 70 or 90 telescope for Christmas, primarily to use for photography. He is currently into underwater photography with a Nikon 80 I believe. Which would you recommend, and what accessories would I need to purchase in order for him to do the photography. He also would like to be able to hook it up to his PC. Any help is appreciated. Thanks, ReginaMike here: See the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page; lots of info there. See the Autostar Info page for info on connecting to a computer.
Subject: ETX 105 SOLAR FILTER Sent: Saturday, December 4, 2004 15:33:50 From: TPLATZ1969 (firstname.lastname@example.org) HI, I JUST BOUGHT A ETX105 WITH UHTC COATINGS, AND I WAS LOOKING INTO GETTING A SOLAR FILTER AND HAVE READ SOME REVIEWS OR YOUR SITE. I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL DIFFERENT ONES LIKE THOUSAND OAKS AND A FEW OTHER BRANDS, I WAS WONDERING WHICH IS A BETTER ONE TO GO WITH? I HEARD THAT CELESTRON HAS ONE THAT WILL FIT THE ETX105 BUT CANT FIND WHICH ONE IT IS. WHO DO YOU THINK HAS THE BEST ONE FOR MY SCOPE. I AM NEW TO TELESCOPES. TOM PLATZMike here: You want to use a reputable manufacturer. I have a Thousand Oaks one and it is good. By the way, please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page; ALL CAPS is difficult to read.
Subject: new Deep Sky Imager Sent: Saturday, December 4, 2004 13:45:58 From: Catharine Davies (email@example.com) I have benefited from your web site whilst gathering information for a first purchase of a telescope with digital imaging capability. Thanks for this service! I note that Meade is releasing its new Deep Sky Imager and wondered if you had any info on it Is the new Deep Sky Imager compatible with the ETX range? Do I have to worry about any mis-match in performance between imager and telescope? Have I understood correctly that there is to be a new (Premium?) version of the ETX telescopes released soon? Could you suggest a package that would combine a manageable entry level kit (with PC based driving and image compiling) with a potential for satisfying high quality amateur imaging? Stewart & Co.Mike here: Yes, there is a new DSI from Meade; see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. It works fine with the ETX and Autostar. Of course, the larger the aperture the better the results will be. Yes, there is a new ETX PE line from Meade; info on their web site. I'd recommend getting the largest telescope you can afford and can manage but keep in mind that the best telescope is the one that gets used, not the one in the closet because it is too cumbersome or difficult to move or set up.
Subject: Availability of Premier Editions of ETX scopes Sent: Saturday, December 4, 2004 12:57:54 From: philip call (firstname.lastname@example.org) Like you, I too have been waiting for these scopes. I have had a pre-order in with Astronomics since mid October for a ETX 125PE. A replacement for my ETX 90. Finally, this past Thursday I got tired of waiting and emailed them for the latest info on delivery. Today they replied and stated that delivery to the dealers should have began the middle of last week. They further stated that the Vice President of meade would be in monday and that he would fill them in on all the details. If I learn anything more i'll let you know. Hang Tough! Phil CallMike here: I heard that they would begin shipping at the end of November.
Subject: Did I receive UHTC? Sent: Friday, December 3, 2004 14:36:34 From: roger supak (email@example.com) Recently purchased etx 125 UHTC. A label on scope specified UHTC but on the lens that threads onto the tube it only said it was multicoated. Shouldn't the lens be designated UHTC?Did I really receive the UHTC version?Mike here: If the label says UHTC you should have it. The lens is not labeled with UHTC.
Subject: ETX Operations w/Wedge Sent: Friday, December 3, 2004 07:32:59 From: Dave Hahne (firstname.lastname@example.org) A couple of questions about ETX operations when using a polar wedge. This is for an ETX-70. 1- What does Autostar actually do with the information from an Easy Align when in polar mount mode? Does Autostar actually correct for minor errors in polar alignment? 2- Can Auto Tracking be used in polar mount mode? The manual only talks about using it in Alt-Az mode but it would seem to be an easier task for Autostar in polar mount mode. Thanks for any insights you can provide. Dave Hahne Poquoson, VA USAMike here: Any ETX model can be used in Polar Mode with the proper mount. And yes, the Autostar will correct for errors in the polar alignment.
Subject: filters From: Tom Mesquitta (email@example.com) Date: December 2, 2004 09:26:09 PST I am considering to purchase some filters for my ETX-125. Initially i was looking at meade, but a quick search (meade filters) on ebay resulted in a brand called Hirsch, that offer 11 filters for $87.99. They claim to be unrivaled in quality as their filters are not dyed or coated like meade or celestron, but are naturally coloured. Hirsch did not seem to have a website and i am wondering whether they are the real deal, or a cheap rip off? Any advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks TomMike here: Never heard of the company.
Subject: EXT-90EC Purchase From: Terry Thompson-Manning (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: December 1, 2004 13:50:53 PST I have been researching telescopes and purchased a Meade EXT-90EC for my husband's Christmas gift. It was my understanding that the 90EC and 90AT are the same in every way except one has an electronic remote. However, since I made this purchase only hours ago, I am running in to additional confusion. I wanted to purchase the EXT-90AT with UHTC. My purchase, made at the Discovery Zone for the EXT-90EC stated on the sales promo tag that it had UHTC. Now that I've got the darned thing home, I don't see that statement anywhere on the box. Does the EC automatically come equipped with the UHTC option? Or are their marketing people just as confused as the shopping public? I would think on the box it might say UHTC - as their sales signs did - the only thing the box says is "high resolution optics". Your input would be very much appreciated. I don't know now whether to return it to Discovery Zone and purchase it elsewhere - maybe from a store that actually knows about telescopes. But the price of $545 I thought was pretty good. Wasn't it? Thank you Mr. Weasner. Terry Thompson-Manning Highlands Ranch, COMike here: The UHTC label appears in two places: on the brown shipping box (not the box with the pictures) and on the underside of the telescope tube.
Thank you so much. I'll check these locations.
Subject: Precise Portable Polar Alignment From: "Gary G." (email@example.com) Date: December 1, 2004 00:10:37 PST I read with great interest the Kolchab clock method of polar alignment, as polar aligning is something I get close... but not dead on. No matter how many times I read and reread the info... it appears that in figure 4...June and December are incorrectly reversedaccording to the accurate figures 1, 1A,1B, 1C and 1D. Has anyone else mentioned this? Believe me, it is no big deal... but I just want to be sure I do the alignment accurately as I am constantly "just missing" the proper polar alignment with mymethods. Thanks for your time. Gary GrenderAnd:
From: "P. Clay Sherrod" (firstname.lastname@example.org) The figures are indeed correct; remember that both Figure 4 and the others are noting the actual location of Polaris relative to the North Celestial Pole, and not the position of Kochab. Although the figures might be a bit confusing, just remember that the entire concept is very simple: you want to move your telescope's base (entire assembly as it would be pointing out the forks toward the celestial pole) AWAY from Polaris toward the star Kochab. It can be done anytime, and on any date, so don't let the graphics fool you or make it more complicated than it really is....best of luck! Dr. Clay -------------------- Arkansas Sky Observatories Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain) http://www.arksky.org/
Subject: Why would you polar mount an etx? From: LynnStuSumner@aol.com Date: November 29, 2004 14:39:24 PST I've just taken the plunge and ordered an etx105 with autostar. I've spent a great deal of time looking aroundyour fantasticwebsite but I can't find any reason as to why you would polar mount a scope that has a GOTO facility. Some posts do imply a little snobbery that polar is the only true way to mount a scope but I would love your advice or at least a link to where I can find the answer. Stu SumnerMike here: There are a few good reasons to mount it that way. Long duration astrophotography (otherwise you get field rotation on the image), reduced vibration (since only one motor is running during tracking), and when attaching some accessories (if the fork mount/base would get in the way in some orientations).
Subject: Repair of a ETX Mount From: "dc666" (email@example.com) Date: November 28, 2004 18:31:25 PST I have done a real job on my ETX Mount. First one of the RA Stops broke, So the Scope only turned about 320 degrees! So I thought about taking the stops out permament, problem was the wires leading to the Dec motor, "Do not keep turning the bolt" instead turn it abuot once & take the round nut just under the worm wheel gear & unscrew from there this way you will save pulling the wires. More on this report with Photographs to Come when I put it back togeather again! Bye for now Danny CameronMike here: If a hard stop failed the ETX would rotate past that point, resulting in wire wrapping and possible damage. Are you certain a stop failed or did a wire get caught in something? Anyway, looking forward to your report. Thanks.
Subject: Happy Thanksgiving From: "Allen Sellick" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: November 28, 2004 15:07:47 PST Mike, I wanted to take a monent and thank you for all the time and effort you put into this web page, I would be lost with out it. I wish you and your family the very best this Holliday season Allen Sellick
Subject: Quick question From: Michael Willett (email@example.com) Date: November 28, 2004 10:58:10 PST I recently purchased a Scopetronix piggyback mount for my ETX60, wanting to try some deep space photography. I'm confused about polar mounting, however. I have the Deluxe Mount (883) for the ETX. I point the tripod north and set for my latitude (about 39 degrees). Setting the declination for 90 degrees, I end up with the telescope axis perpendicular to the base of the telescope, and angled 39 degrees to the floor. This doesn't seem right to me, somehow, it seems to align fine when I set the "mount" to "polar". This configuration seems very awkward for using the piggyback mount because of the location of the counterweights on the eyepiece. Does it sound like I have the right configuration for polar alignment? It's similar to Figures 29 and 30 in ETX manual. Thanks, Mike WillettMike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page; your message was almost DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the non-specific SUBJECT line.
Subject: etx 90pe From: "john reidy" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: November 28, 2004 08:35:17 PST great site, one quick question i am going to to states next month and i hope to purchase the etx 90pe it says all you need to align the scope is your zip code, question i live in ireland, and we dont use zip codes, how wouldi entermy location and, would it work here at all, many thanks, johnMike here: Since the PE models are not yet shipping (and I don't have one yet) I can't check this. But I would suspect there is still a provision for entering your location. At least for PE models purchased in the locale where they will be used...
thanks for answering so quickly in the etx 90ec, would i be able to enter a town in ireland, its just, if i buy the scope i wanted to know that i could set up the scope for my location, thanks again for everything johnMike here: You can select countries and cities in the Autostar. Alternatively, you can enter a location's latitude and longitude.
Subject: ETX-125AT lateral image shift when focusing From: "Frederic Ruciak" (email@example.com) Date: November 28, 2004 05:44:36 PST First of all, I would like to thank you for your site that fits perfectly well with the spirit of knowledge sharing of the internet. I am a beginner in amateur astronomy and I bought an ETX125AT UHTC nov 2004. I have to say that your sitereinforced me in that choice. My very first experiences are promising but Iam observing a lateral shift when focusing withthe focus knob.I had the opportunity to look through an ETX105AT UHTCthat did not show at all this kind of lateral shift. Have you ever notice this kind of lateral shift when focusing? As far as you know, is it normal or does it show a problem of assembly that would justify to call for the guarantee of the product? Thank you in advance for your answer. regards.Mike here: Some image shift is normal with this telescope design. However, it should be minimal unless the optics are out of collimation or there is something mechanical wrong with the focusing. If your image shift is excessive then I would recommend exchanging it at the dealer since it is new.
Subject: Tracking ISS From: John & Andrea Beaderstadt (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: November 28, 2004 04:56:00 PST In answer to Roy's post on 11/19 about tracking ISS, check out http://science.nasa.gov/RealTime/JPass/PassGenerator/ You'll get ISS and other satellite (including the Shuttle) tracking forecasts via automated email, configured to your local time according to your location (I don't know if it works outside the US & Canada). I've been getting these emails for years and have found them accurate right down to the minute. A forecast for each pass will tell you it's rise/set time and direction, the length of time it will be visible, and the direction in which it will pass nearest to you (for instance, it might rise in the SW, pass to your NW and set in the NNE; while each pass takes ~10 minutes, the length of visibility will depend on the angle between you, it and the sun). Beady's Corollary to Occam's Razor: "The likeliest explanation of any phenomenon is almost always the most boring one imaginable."
Subject: A bad Deal (ETX 125 )! From: Anonymous Date: November 27, 2004 00:03:01 PST First of all, thanks for the great website. Three days ago i saw a scope for telescope through a local astronomy club.I was so excited to purchase my first telescope, ETX 125, after long time dreaming to own one. I contacted the person who was selling it, he is 60-70 years old ( My grandfather's age), i met with him and saw the scope, He was so nice and told me that he bought the scope three years ago, it was used once and there is nothing wrong with it. I was not able to test the drive because there were no batterries. I trusted him and i took his word for it. I paid him $600( with tripod and hard case).I went home and bought batteries and tried the ETX 'sdrive and . I was shocked when i found out that the scope does not slew vertically, the inside vertical declination drive is broken. I feel like i lost $600 but i gained a precious lesson, NEVER TRUST ANYONE WHEN YOU ARE BUYING A USED SCOPE. I also gained a precious website, your website, It is great webiste which has more information than the meade.com. Is there anyway that i can purchase only the drive from meade? How much does it cost. Thanks,Mike here: Meade does not sell replacement parts to users. You could try Dr. Clay Sherrod's Tuneup Service (details on the ETX Site) or check with Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). You could also contact Meade.
Subject: 9.7mm Eyepiece Doesn't Fit Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 23:24:16 -0800 (PST) From: Eric Ingram (email@example.com) I recently bought an ETX-90. The included 26mm eyepiece fits just fine and works great. I then bought the #126 Barlow and a 9.7mm (1.25") eyepiece for the telescope. The 9.7mm eyepiece will not slide all the way down into the holder--it barely goes in at all (not even to the thumbscrew). It'll fit just fine into the #126 Barlow (as will the 26mm eyepiece), but just not into the telescope. I've also checked to see if it would fit into the included eyepiece holder that came with the tripod--it'll only fit in one hole out of six holes (the 26mm fits four out of six). Is it likely the metal ring on the eyepiece is bent slightly? Or maybe a problem with the eyepiece holder on the telescope? On the side, my ETX-90 came with the 8x25mm right-angle viewfinder. I don't know if this was a mistake or if it's a common occurrence, but I was excited nonetheless! Thanks in advance! EricMike here: I suspect there is a metal burr or a little extra silver coating on the eyepiece tube. It could be out-of-round but that is less likely unless it was dropped or otherwise damaged.
Subject: How much light reflected by ETX lenses? From: "David Hanych" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: November 26, 2004 10:16:45 PST Does anyone know what percent of incoming light an ETX scope's lenses reflect? An ETX owner told me that Clay Sherrod's supercharging report on his ETX 90 indicated that only 2% of the incoming was being reflected (that is, light transmission on his scope was 98%). Does this sound right? David Hanych --Mike here: I trust Dr. Clay. You can read his report on the Announcements: Meade page on the ETX Site.
Subject: #126 or #140, whats the difference From: Tom Mesquitta (email@example.com) Date: November 25, 2004 18:41:20 PST I have just purchased an etx-125, aswell as the meade eyepiece kit. I want to purchase a barlow lens, but have been unable to find any information on a comparison between the standard etx #126 and its higher priced sister, the #140. Asides from one being telenegative and the other being apochromatic, what are the pros and cons between the two? Many thanks in advance TomMike here: Three basic differences: length, quality, and price. The ETX series works best with a "shorty" style Barlow Lens to allow all eyepieces to reach a focus. The #140 is higher optical quality, which is somewhat wasted on a small telescope. And generally the #140 sells for more money. But do you really need a 2X Barlow Lens? If you have the complete eyepiece set you might not get much benefit from one.
That makes sense. Thank you for the swift reply. Tom
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