ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 December 2005

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


Subject:	I have a question about ETX 125 PE auto time set with ATUM.
Sent:	Saturday, December 31, 2005 09:21:41
From:	R J. Cassato (hieight@sbcglobal.net)
I purchased the ATUM for my ETX 125 PE. I have a few questions.

1. Does the ATUM update the LNT in the "automatic update" mode if the
antenna is plugged in with the power to the scope turned off or does the
scope have to be powered on? In other words will it update over night
with the scope off?

2. When in the "Start up" mode I get a "looking for signal" message  and
sometimes flashes "found signal"  When it flashes "found signal"  for
just a second I don't get a message confirming that the clock has been
set.  Is there any indicator like on many atomic clocks that the LNT has
be synchronized with WWVB?

3. When I bring up the status menu and scroll to currant time there are
two times listed  One is "Time" (which is not in sync with any of my
Atomic clocks in the house.  It is off by 45 seconds) and the second is
"LST" which is  8 Hours (pacific time zone shift) 12 minutes and 26
Seconds behind.  So what is the right time?  I'm so confused LOL.

Thank you,

RJ
Burbank, CA
Mike here: I don't have a ATUM so can't answer that. LST = Local Sidereal Time.
Subject:	ETX-125 Premier Questions
Sent:	Thursday, December 29, 2005 16:47:22
From:	W.R.Edwards (WEdward2@Bellsouth.Net)
I purchased a Meade ETX-125 Premier w/UHTC for my Wife as a Christmas
Present.  I have two questions I'd like to run by you and see if you've
heard of any solutions.
 
1 	The new Meade Red Dot finder "Dews  up" very easy.  Have you
heard of a Dew Heater solution for this  Red-dot finder other than a
12-volt blow dryer?

2 	I also purchased the Meade Atomic Time Update Module.  This
came with a 3-4 feet of cable and no  instructions on where this
module should be mounted.  Any idea where it  needs to go?  Do you
know if this is just an Antenna? If so, I'd  think it would need to
be mounted high.
 
Thanks and have a safe New Years,
Bill Edwards
Mike here: I haven't heard of any dew heater solutions for the SmartFinder lens. I would avoid using a hair dryer unless you want to melt it or damage the coating. I don't have the time module but I suspect it is an antenna as well as the receiver. The cord can probably just dangle as you don't need to have it connected all the time.

And:

Good evening Mike,  Didn't expect to get a response from you until next
week when you returned.  Thanks for the information,,,I'm going to try
and construct something to wrap around the SmartFinder that I can attach
a regular dew heater strip.

Bill Edwards

Subject:	unable to change smartfinder time settings
Sent:	Thursday, December 29, 2005 06:31:43
From:	John Lennon (lennonjo@ie.ibm.com)
Mike hope i catch you in good form. I have just received my new ETX
105PE. The scope is working great at the moment but im trying to change
the time setting for the smartfinder. Im new to this and this is my
first telescope. It says in the manual that i hold the MODE key for two
seconds and it then Displays RA & Dec.....When i scroll down the options
there is no listing for finder-set-blink. Im i doing this right, or is
there some other menu i can go into to change these settings?

Again i hope all is well with you and i must thank you for such a great
site.

Best regards
John Lennon
IBM  Test Technician
Mike here: If the Autostar is not "seeing" the LNT then the LNT options won't appear on the Autostar. Check the LNT battery. It could also be a bad LNT cable connection (not good) or a bad LNT module. Contact Meade for a replacement.

And:

im having trouble getting the smart finder red dot to come on. I have
read allot of post and done as much as possible, im a little afraid
incase i break something. I have pressed the (0) key on the control pad
even in a dark room and still nothing. When i hold down the MODE key for
two seconds and scroll down through the options there is no listing for
finder set. I have reseated the battery and every time the scope is
turned on i have to reenter the time & date. It always list the last
date it was on but the time is always 8:00pm. This is my first Scope so
this is all kinda new. Since i got the telescope i first set it up and
then turned it on. I have since only moved it via the hand controller
arrows a few inches up and down thinking it had to be moving to see the
dot but nothing. Can you tell me anything that might explain why so many
things are wrong.

Thanks so much for your help Mike.
Mike here: It sounds like the LNT module may be bad. Contact Meade for a replacement. While waiting for it to arrive you can still use the Autostar for alignments and GOTOs.
Subject:	LNT and Leap Second
Sent:	Thursday, December 22, 2005 07:28:22
From:	Dave Wallace (d_wallace@ecrm.com)
If you don't have the WWVB "atomic time update" module in your
telescope, you should know that as of 0000 01/01/2006 UTC, your time
will be a second off. This is because we're adding a "leap second"
between 23:59:59 12/31/2005 and 00:00:00 01/01/2006 so that the
measurement of time is re-synchronized to accommodate the variation in
the earth's rotation.

What does this mean?  It means that unless the LNT's clock is corrected
(either by you or via the WWVB signal) the LNT's time will be a second
ahead of UTC (and that means that your telescope will point four
arc-seconds west of the actual right ascension).  Should you worry? 
Probably not -- pointing accuracy for the ETX mounts is not nearly good
enough for you to detect the error.  But it's interesting to know, I
thought.
Mike here: And for better or worse, this is the last scheduled leap second.
Subject:	etx at,pe edition
Sent:	Monday, December 19, 2005 18:11:56
From:	bruce engkjer (bruce@onemastercraft.com)
What are the differences between the at uhtc and the pe scope
I am trying to purchase one of the above and the at seems more available.
Is it worth the wait?
Meg at telescope.com said the difference was very marginal
Thank you in advance for your help
Bruce Engkjer
Fargo,nd.
bruce@onemastercraft.com
This will be my first scope
Mike here: The PE model automates some of the Autostar alignment process. It also switches from having a magnifying finderscope to a red-dot one. Other than that, no real difference. If you can find North and level yourself, you may not need to go with the PE model.

And:

Your quick response was unexpected
Thank you so much
Have a wonderful christmass/holiday
Bruce

Subject:	I have a question about ETX 125 PE auto time set.
Sent:	Saturday, December 17, 2005 09:07:46
From:	Richard J. Cassato (hieight@sbcglobal.net)
I just received a ETX 125 PE.  I live in California on the other side of
"The Hill" from Fort Collins, CO. In the manual there is no explanation
about time set menu.  I.E.  "WWVB, "Start up" and "Continuous Update."
Here is my question:

The ETX is supposed to set the time automatically.  When the unit is
first turned on and is in the "Start Up" mode for time set, the readout
says that the unit is looking for WWVB signal.  It never seems to find
it.  Does the ETX 125 PE require the Atomic Time Update Module to
perform the auto time set or is the ATUM just an external antenna for
the unit?

If you could enlighten me about the Auto Time set menu, I would be very
happy.

Thank you,

Rich Cassato

Burbank, CA
Mike here: Unless there is a new option, the time is set from the internal clock on the LNT module, which is set at the factory. You can also set it manually. To get the time from WWV you will need the Atomic Time Update Module.

And:

Thank you for your quick response and your answer.

Rich Cassato

And:

One more question.  OK, The time is set in the LNT.  The button battery
in the LNT should last a long time.  But when I replace the battery,
will the LNT still have the time embedded in it, or will I have to reset
the time every time I start the scope?  Or is it just a digital clock
like the one on the wall without a display? Sorry for all the time
questions but like I mentioned there is very little documentation on
this feature.

Thanks

Rich Cassato
Mike here: From the ETX PE manual (APPENDIX D:CHANGING THE LNT MODULE BATTERY): "The LNT Module uses a lithium coin CR2023 battery that will last about 5 years and is installed with the original LNT Module assembly.After you replace the battery, you will need to recalibrate the telescope's sensors and reset the time and date."

And:

Kewl,

Thanks Mike,

RJ

Subject:	ETX PE
Sent:	Thursday, December 8, 2005 02:51:36
From:	Mal (mkr@ozemail.com.au)
Just read your article "*MEADE ETX-105PE/UHTC COMMENTS ".

I have ordered the EXT125 PE and am presently awaiting delivery. It will
be interesting to see if the issues raised in your article have been
addressed by Meade in the nine months since.

In any case your article has given me a "heads up" on  some potential
hiccups.

Thanks
Mal
*

Subject:	Bad LNT module 
Sent:	Sunday, December 4, 2005 08:44:13
From:	Kevin (kevin@secondstorystudio.com)
About a month ago, my ETX125PE was not saving time, date, location, no
red dot, etc.  MEADE sent a replacement LNT module, but the result was
the same.  So I shipped MEADE, my ETX125PE scope.  Initially, MEADE told
me it would take 5-6 weeks to fix my problem. I was pleasantly
surprised, when my telescope returned in 3 weeks.  I gave it a test and
it works great. MEADE replaced the Autostar controller and cord.  My old
cord had some exposed wires at each connector.  This new cord looks much
stronger at those stress points.  It's now cold, here in Indiana, but
I'll wait for a night when the temperatures will be above normal, and
get back to the sky.

Thanks for the great web site, 

Kevin Blankenheim

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Copyright © 2005 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2005 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackDec05/etx-pe.html