Last updated: 31 December 2005
This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX and DS models. 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: Telescope Purchase Advice Sent: Friday, December 30, 2005 19:48:10 From: Michael McLaughlin (firstname.lastname@example.org) I've looked though your "Mighty ETX Site" for the last several months (great resource by the way) because after nearly a year of saving I'm just about ready to take the plunge and buy a new telescope. I think the ETX model is something I'm interested in and after typing ETX into a search engine (a few months ago), up came your site. I know you use a variety of scopes and thought maybe I could press you for a recommendation. I'll admit that I don't know a great deal about telescopes, but I've finally learned a little about the night sky using a couple of inexpensive books, an old pair of binoculars, and a star wheel. It's been a lot of fun (Jupiter is one of my favorite targets) but now I want to see more. I would love to eventually move into astrophotography (even if I'm no good at it) and definitely want a scope that will allow me to do this. I don't mind putting in some hours with an instrument (and a few dollars), as long as I get a good return for my investment. I actually thought about the LX-200GPS UHTC 7" Mak. As I read more about it though, it seems to be less transportable than I would like (awfully heavy). It also appears to have been discontinued and if that is the case then it would probably mean less/no support and fewer/more expensive accessories down the road. The ETX125-PE UHTC is probably my current choice. I figure on buying a hard case for transportability and to protect my investment. Also many Meade dealers are offering a set of 4000 series eyepieces and filters in a hard case for $199.00 with a telescope purchase (do you like these eyepieces?). Also I suppose a dew shield and possibly a flex focuser would be good buys. I guess my question is; what would you buy and why? I know that you can't realistically be expected to match me with my perfect telescope, but I would like to better understand what equipment you use and why you use it. What do you like and dislike about the ETX? Do you think that the UHTC is worth the extra investment? What accessories or equipment do you see as vital with an initial purchase? Is the ETX going to keep me happily snagging photos of the sky for years? If it were you, would you purchase the PE over the AT (if the ETX were your choice)? Is the ETX generally reliable, or will I have to send it in every other year for yet another glitch? Knowing the answer to these kinds of questions will help me decide. It's easy for me to look at something and say that I like it, but if telescopes are like most of the cars I've owned then you always find out things months or even years after the purchase (some good some bad). That is were your obvious experience can help me out (you've owned one for years). I won't be disappointed if you think I need to look at other options. That's why I'm asking BEFORE I buy it. Sorry if these are mixed questions, but they do all relate to my purchase (I did read the Email Etiquette). Any advice you can offer me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Mike McLaughlin Sullivan, ILMike here: First off, get the telescope you will use rather than sit in the closet either because it is too cumbersome to set up or because you find the views don't match your expectations. Aperture vs portability. The ETX-125 makes a nice compromise. UHTC is a definite winner; effectively adds 1" to the aperture in the light reaching your eye. Before jumping into accessories I suggest learning the telescope and deciding after that just what you want to do with it. You may find one aspect interests you more than other aspects and then you'll be able to make a better choice on accessories you want. As can be seen on the ETX Site, astrophotography can be done with the ETX but keep in mind that ANY astrophotography with a telescope is a challenge as well as rewarding. I enjoy all my telescopes. The ETX-90 is my most used telescope at home and the LXD55-8"SC the most used when I travel to Oracle Observatory. As to PE vs AT, do you need the Level North Technology or can you find your own way around the night sky and identify the Autostar's alignment stars and find your local True North and can you level the telescope yourself? If you can answer these questions, you can decide which is best for you.
Subject: Meade ETX-105AT vs. -125AT Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2005 09:22:15 From: J Martin (email@example.com) To start - please forgive my inexperience with terminology, etc. regarding telescopes. I'm just out of the egg with this stuff, so bear with me... After reading and reading, and searching and searching, I believe I've narrowed my choices to either the 105 or the 125. Basically, there is a $200 difference. My question is whether it is worth the $200 jump. It seems that the accessories included will be sufficient as I learn. I know I want the UHTC coating when I order. I am considering the optional #932 45 degree erecting prism. What are your thoughts on the #126 2x Barlow lens? And, a hard carrying case. Please let me know if I'm way off track, or sound like the ideal consumer (let's see, I'll take that, and that... oh, and that's pretty...). Now, what are your thoughts on dealers? Actually, I think I know what I'll do on that - buy from someone with a store locally. Gives me a little recourse just in case anything goes wrong. ...OK, your turn. Thank you for your time.Mike here: Size: it comes down to portability vs aperture. Which do you need more? UHTC is definitely a good thing to have. It is like adding an 1" of aperture in the amount of light that reaches your eye. As to the Barlow Lens, see the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page. As to cases, see the Accessory Reviews: Cases page. Dealers: Oceanside Photo and Telescope (I have a relationship with them), Shutan Camera and Video, and Scopetronix. But using a local dealer is always best.
I recently e-mailed you regarding the 105AT vs. the 125AT. I had pretty much decided on the "125" pending your opinion(s). Then, I went looking again... came across the new "premier edition" - nudges the money a bit, but I'd rather spend a little extra and get more bang for my buck. Let me know what you think of the two "125"s. Thank you, thank you, thank youMike here: Do you need the Level North Technology or can you find your own way around the night sky and identify the Autostar's alignment stars and find your local True North and can you level the telescope yourself? If you can answer these questions, you can decide which is best for you.
I will definitely get UHTC. Vendor - I think I'll use one that you've recommended. I can't find a place on the "buy now" screen to specify UHTC, which I know must be requested at time of purchase. "Local" equals Atlanta. That's not so local for me. Barlow - I'll research more. Case - I'll research more. Thank you for your time. I'm excited about this new adventure into space. Wish me luck!
Subject: re: Focus knob on EXT125AT not affiixed and no screw Sent: Tuesday, December 27, 2005 21:26:49 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) An alternate approach is to go to RadioShack and buy a small "radio knob" from their pick-a-part drawers (you can also find such things at good local hardware stores). Try to measure the shaft diameter so you have some idea of an approximate sizing (to the nearest 1/32" is good enough, but even just barn-dooring between 1/16th, 1/8th or 1/4 will get you into the ballpark). good luck --dick
Subject: General Comments on the Mighty ETX Site! Sent: Monday, December 26, 2005 21:54:30 From: Mark Cloud (email@example.com) I just want to say thanks for the great resource you provide at the Mighty ETX Site! Years ago as a youngster, with a cheap 3" reflector, I remember the excitement I had looking at the stars. Wanting to share this with my sons, I bought a used DS2130 Telestar. My wife and I homeschool our boys (ages 16 to 9) and I am teaching astronomy to them this year -- what a resource I have here to draw upon! They are very excited about all aspects of astronomy. We've only begun and had a few nights of viewing (weather in winter:(), but are out every chance we get! We plan to view all the Messier objects, and view as many stars/NGC objects as we can (that'll take us a few years! ;)). Of course the planets, and the sun are on the agenda, too, as is some astrophotograpy. I just wanted to drop you a line and say 'thanks' for the great accumulation of material, constellation guides, tips, feedback, etc. that you provide here... Keep up the good work! Many Thanks! Mark Cloud firstname.lastname@example.org Joplin, MO
Subject: telescope Sent: Monday, December 26, 2005 07:35:32 From: Dawnholt1@aol.com (Dawnholt1@aol.com) hope you can help us please we have just bought a meade etx 105pe they seems to be two stickers on the mirrows inside the telescope where the eye piece slots in please could you advise me on how to remove the stickers as we can not see at all and is this normall thank you for your help peter holtMike here: I am not aware that any stickers are placed INSIDE the telescope. Can you send me a photo of this?
thanks its when you loof down the eyepiece without the eyepeice in the sticker seems to be on the flip mirrow thanksMike here: Although it is difficult to tell from the out of focus images, it looks either like the flip mirror is NOT in place or something was not removed during assembly. When you look through the rear port with the flip mirror moved out of the way (your 3rd image), you should not be able to see the mirror at all. I suggest contacting the dealer for an exchange as there should be NOTHING touching the surface of the flip mirror.
Subject: Focus knob on EXT125AT not affiixed and no screw Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2005 15:03:30 From: David Roberts (email@example.com) I just purchased the EXT125AT and the focus knob in the telescope will not stay on or focus the instrument. Do I need to send the unit back or is there a local repair I can do? David A. RobertsMike here: Have you tried tightening the setscrew on the side of the focus knob?
Thanks for the the prompt reply. That's one of the problems. There is no set screw. Is there an aftermarket fix for this or am I just stuck with having to deal with Meade. DavidMike here: If there is no setscrew it is best to contact Meade; keep in mind that post-Christmas is always a busy time for their telephone staff. Are you certain there is no setscrew? If it is well inside the knob it can be difficult to see and one frequent problem that people have when inserting an allen wrench into the knob is that they don't get it inserted far enough. Word of caution, until you get the knob tightened down, do not tilt the telescope tube downward. Always keep it pointed upwards about 45 degrees to avoid the focus shaft from slipping inside the tube.
There is no set screw. As far as the tube it has already been all the way down and up. So the focus shaft (whatever that is ...i'm new to this is) may already be screwwed up. I do have it locked down at a 45 degree upward angled. Sounds like I may just be messed up. I'll contact Meade in the morning and email them tonight. Thanks for you help and I really appreciate your responding so quickly. I got this as a gift for a friend and was trying to get it up and running. It looks like it may be a bust. DavidMike here: If the knob is still on the focus shaft then the shaft is still OK.
Subject: Best to You Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2005 07:48:21 From: shirley m feickert (firstname.lastname@example.org) Mike, Best of the Holidays to YOU and Your Family For All the help You give to so many of us Thank You as well Jim Feickert & Family
Subject: Re: Polarity Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2005 04:43:25 From: Jan H Kolst (email@example.com) I've tested the Power Craft wih the scope (ETX 90) and everything works fine. Thanks again for your enthusiasm and patience! Best wishes for Christmas! Jan
Subject: Oracle Observatory Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2005 16:22:12 From: Ken Toliver (firstname.lastname@example.org) I hadn't been to your site in quite some time and just recently enjoyed the write-ups on the Oracle observatory. The funny thing is; I did not realize that it was YOU that had bought the property. As your neighbor to the north (Scottsdale), I want to personally wish you a Merry Christmas and clear skies for your coming trip. I am not sure if you currently reside in Arizona but our skies have had a thin layer of high clouds for over a week now. Having just gotten my supercharged telescope back from Dr. Clay (and chomping at the bit to test it out and submit a report!), I have been frustrated beyond compare. A clearing trend has been forecast and hopefully all we be well when you get here! Ken ToliverMike here: I live just south of LA; 8 hours from Oracle! Still planning on going 28-30 December. Thanks for the weather report!
Subject: Power Craft Sent: Friday, December 23, 2005 12:19:18 From: Jan H Kolst (email@example.com) I've just bought a Power Craft model 69039 which has the following technical specifications: Battery 12V17Ah Start aid 400A Peak loading 900A Output,lamp 3,6W This instrument can be charged several times and is produced in Denmark. I've bought this for my my car and boat and was wondering if it could be used for my 90etx telescope as power supply. I'm a bit worried about the polarity. The center is positiv for the powersupply for ETX? As you probably know I'm not a technician. Perhaps the picture doesn't tell you anything......Mike here: Will work fine. Center pin in positive.
Yesterday I asked about" Power Craft" and the polarity(Center pin positiv) How can I figure out that my new "Power craft" will give the center pin positiv connection? When I use my converter AC to DC ,connected to the houswiring, things work fine.This connverter consists of :1 Transformer with a cigarette inlet.2 A wire with cigarette outlet and connection to the scope. Can I connect my "Power craft" to the (2) wire with cigarette outlet which I use with my converter? Christmas greetings JanMike here: Should work fine. Most external power sources have the center wiring as positive. If you have a voltmeter you can measure the output from your AC adapter; note the direction of the needle swing or sign of the output. Then do the same thing from the external power supply; if the direction or sign is the same you should be OK. NOTE: I am not an electrical engineer so anything I say about electricity is subject to error and may cause damage. Use caution as I am not responsible for any damage to any equipment.
Subject: broken etx 105ec Sent: Friday, December 23, 2005 09:30:25 From: mail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have just realised my up and down slew on my etx 105 now no longer works, the left and right slew work fine. I was one minute using it, the next it wouldn't do anything. Have you any incidences of the up and down slew stopping on this scope. I have tightened the sides just incase and checked on a separate hand controller but with no luck. Regards Terry poppyMike here: Need more info. Does the altitude lock hold the OTA in place when engaged? Or does the OTA want to fall back down to the base?
Right, I read some information on your excellent site and decided to undo the bottom of the scope, behind the battery compartment. What I found is pretty much lack workmanship. The wire loom feeding the motor area had snagged around the cogs and the wire feeding the up and down movement had been ripped in half. I have now repaired the wire and the scope is now working, apart from that is, it now does not locate the stars it is telling me it is looking for when it first goes into align. I am not sure if maybe the autostar was corrupted somehow so I am now in the process of downloading the latest version. I noticed a problem when I was aligned with Venus, I asked the telescope to go to Vega whereas it never went anywhere near it. I then asked it to go back to Venus and it went 120 degrees in the wrong direction. Don't know if this may be of some use to your readers. Thankyou for your time. Regards Terry Gloucestershire and North Wiltshire http://www.gnwb.comMike here: Don't forget to do a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES as well.
Subject: re: Taking an ETX to Chile Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 21:35:10 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) Mike's answers are all correct. I took my ETX90 to New Zealand, and can answer too: > 1. Will the above telescope work down there or is it set up for the > northern hemisphere only? It is quite happy in the southern hemi... just create a Site with the proper latitude, longitude and time zone, and it'll be happy. I suggest you start by telling it (you can do this before travelling) to add Chile/Santiago to its Site list, and then -edit- that entry to the proper location (this gets the Time Zone properly set). Alt/Az setup in the southern hemi is -exactly- the same as the north: start with the OTA level and pointed true North (yes, north). > 2. Does it run on batteries? (I'm going to a pretty out of the way > place). The ETX90 uses 8 AA cells, held in the base. They'll last for about 20 hours of use. > 3. With Meade's Autostar do I just move the telescope by its paddle > to a 2 star alignment, and then "GoTo" after that? (I know my way > around the sky fairly well). Ahh... those Celestron reflexes... Autostars are easier: upon power up, it'll offer "Align/Easy" Tap the [enter] key, and -it- will choose, and self-slew to, the two alignment stars. You just center them. > 4. If it gets knocked around in shipping down there is it easy to > collimate? Tale of warning: remove the viewfinder bracket (a single screw from the rear). I took my scope in my roll-on handcarry, padded by clothing. Peachy... until i did a local overnight plane-change. Then it went from US hand-carry regulations (40 pound) to local (20 pound). Into the hold my soft-sided carry-on went. By the time it emerged from the baggage carosel at the other end, the viewfinder bracket had been snapped off. But the collimation was fine. The ETX90 uses a -glued on- secondary, so it is -extremely- resistant to loss of collimation. Mine also spent a (literal) week getting put on a UPS truck every day in Memphis for a tour of the city while i was trying to convince UPS to send it to -seattle- (where it should've gone). Even with all of that (the internal shock-absorbing cardboard was smashed flat), the collimation survived. have a fun trip --dick
Subject: filters Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 06:42:55 From: CYSMARCUS@aol.com (CYSMARCUS@aol.com) I live in a light poisoned area (Brooklyn), where street lights are brightly visible even from my backyard , I'd like to know if any of the light pollution filters sold by various manufacturers (orion, meade, celestron...) will aid in observing planets through an etx 105 uhtc ? ThanxMike here: They don't help much with planets since the planets are mostly fairly bright. They can increase the contrast with the sky background and that may make it easier to locate a faint planet BUT since they also reduce the light reaching your eye, it can be counterproduct, especially on a small telescope.
Subject: ETX 125 AT/ EC Difference? Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 04:44:19 From: Andy Rayner (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hi Folks I have a question. What is the difference between the ETX 125 At & EC? Which would you recommend? ThanksMike here: See the FAQ page on the ETX Site.
Subject: meade etx- 125PE image question Sent: Monday, December 19, 2005 13:34:10 From: Christopher Dougherty (email@example.com) I am looking into purchasing the meade etx-125 PE scope. I have been using binoculars and wanted to know if the image from the meade is going to be "right-side up" and non mirror image like binoculars. Thanks, Chris DoughertyMike here: The image is right-side up but is reversed horizontally.
As you can tell I am new at this. I emailed you earlier today regarding the image orientation. Do you just use your brain to convert the mirror-image of the scope when looking at star maps? Some suggest using a mirror on your chart table or photocopying the star atlas, flipping it over and shining a light through it. Do you think that it would be worthwhile to use an amici prism as a diagonal --which would fix the image. I could exchange the diagonals when I wanted to take pictures.... what is your personal preference and how much do you think the amici diagonal will diminish the image quality? Thank you again, Chris DoughertyMike here: I don't find the image reversal a problem. However, Meade does have an "Erecting Prism" for the ETX; see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page.
Is the "erecting prism" primarily for terrestrial viewing and does it make astrological images less clear? Thank you for your patience. I just want to be able make the most of my star hunting using the Star Atlas and the ETX 125PE (which I will soon be ordering). I have been spending many hours on your website and as a great number of people have already told you, it is very helpful. Other visitors of your site have also been very helpful in answering my questions. Thanks again, Chris DoughertyMike here: Yes, it is designed for terrestrial viewing and since you are adding more optics, there is some deterioration in the image (less important for daytime viewing). But it can be used for night time viewing but it is not important. Better to use your brain to make the translation from the chart to the image through the eyepiece.
Subject: 1st Annual ASKC Star Party Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 19:41:19 From: david (firstname.lastname@example.org) FYI.... June 22-25, 2006 1st Annual ASKC Star Party ASKC's Dark Sky Site, in Butler, MO Sponsored by The Astronomical Society of Kansas City (ASKC) http://www.askc.org/dssstarparty.pdf
Subject: ETX 125 and LX 200 8inch Comparison Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 13:22:24 From: Frederick James Witney (email@example.com) Can you help with a comparison between the ETX125 AT UHTC and the LX200 8inch also with UHTC . I would like to upgrade ,,,but what would be the advantage /disadvantages please . I am very happy with the new ETX125AT and its portability etc. Can you or anybody please give me a good reason to upgrade to the LX200 8inch or should I be happy with what I've got ? Its going to be a big expense for me ,and I would like to hear about other peoples experiences before I take the plunge ???? Best regards Fred WitneyMike here: Why should you upgrade? You have lots of money to spend. You want a larger aperture telescope. You want a more stable, professional mount. You want to do higher end astrophotography. You want better views. I have the LXD55-8"SC w/UHTC (same OTA as the LX200 8"SC) and there is quite a bit of improved differences between my ETX-125 (without UHTC) and the 8"SC.
I will take all your advise on board and probably get one in the new year . I took my first digital photos of the Moon last week with the ETX125 and a Pentax istDS ,,,,not to bad for a first time rank armature . I was very pleased The truth is ............ Most were shocking ,two were great ,,my Pentax cable shutter remote arrives tomorrow ??? Best Wishes for Christmas . Fred Witney Australia
Subject: [Fwd: Re: [MeadeETXOwners] Does MEADE have a customer service e-mail address?] Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 09:39:53 From: Allen Jensen (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thought this might be good for your web site if it's not already there - SkyAssurance for ETX via VAC - contact info. To: MeadeETXOwners@yahoogroups.com Try MeadeSkyAssurance@vacservice.com - VAC is who is actually providing the coverage for SkyAssurance, or try the VAC phone number: 800-291-3392. I was sent my info via E-mail - showed up 6+ months after I purchased the telescope..... Allen Kevin wrote: I want to ask MEADE a simple question about Sky Insurance. I don't want to call and wait on the phone for 20 minutes for a simple question. If they had an e-mail address, I could send them my question in an e-mail. I searched the MEADE web site and only found phone numbers, no e-mail address for customer support??? My question is: I purchased sky insurance through the customer service phone number. MEADE charged my credit card, but I never received anything in the mail confirming my sky insurance purchase. From what I can gather, from their web site, I was suppose to receive a certificate, but nothing has arrived and it's been 2 months? All I want is MEADE to confirm I have purchased sky insurance, but I don't want to be placed an hold for 20 minutes to find out? Kevin
Subject: ETX125ec AZ Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 04:15:23 From: Ole (email@example.com) Have problem with my AZ drive, when i allign the telescope and senter the star manuly the drive starts working but it take 1-2 sec before it moves. When i have the star in the sentre the drive moves it back. I had the telecope on service where thy tighten the slack i had on the DEC drive, but i think they over tighten the AZ drive, it so tight i can't almost even move it, must use both my hands to move it freely around. Have any idea what i can do? Ole RulnesMike here: Part of the problem you describe can likely be cured by doing a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES. This should fix the "rubberbanding" when trying to center an object. It may also help the lag in slewing.
Subject: Taking an ETX to Chile Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2005 13:58:48 From: TEDSTAR1@aol.com (TEDSTAR1@aol.com) I have an upcoming trip to the far south of Chile - almost to Terra del Fuego. I'm considering buying a used ETX-90E with Autostar to view the night sky from there. I am familiar with using "Go-To" telescopes and operate an 11 1/2" Celestron, and a 12 1/2" Ritchey by computer etc. Questions: 1. Will the above telescope work down there or is it set up for the northern hemisphere only? 2. Does it run on batteries? (I'm going to a pretty out of the way place). 3. With Meade's Autostar do I just move the telescope by its paddle to a 2 star alignment, and then "GoTo" after that? (I know my way around the sky fairly well). 4. If it gets knocked around in shipping down there is it easy to collimate? Mike, thanks so much for your help. Ted WolfeMike here: Yes, the Autostar works in the Southern Hemisphere; see the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page for more on that. You should still be able to to use the Automatic Alignment with the LNT as well. Batteries work fine although depending upon how long you'll be "in the field" you may want to use an external power DC source. Yes, you use the Autostar handcontroller for GOTOs and slewing. Collimation is another matter and best left to Meade. While it is possible for a user to do it (see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for several articles on collimation, it is not something you will want to try in the field. On the other hand, with a proper case you should haven't have any problem. And the ETX-90 is small enough for carry-on. Just check the tripod.
Thanks for your comments. I'll follow them. I don't have a carrying case for the ETX any place you would suggest where I could pick up a used one? Thanks. Ted WolfeMike here: Other than eBay, no suggestions on used cases but checkout the Accessory Reviews: Cases page as well as the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for some ideas. There are also some case dealers in the Dealers section on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject: etx125 how can you tell it has uhtc ? Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 11:36:44 From: rudi (firstname.lastname@example.org) Is there a way to tell if the scope has uhtc? other than from the box? thanks and kind regards rudi
Subject: UHTC Sent: Friday, December 16, 2005 20:29:02 From: Steve Emma (Stemma@comcast.net) Is there a way to be sure I have UHTC on the scope I ordered online? The Original Meade box it came in said it had the standard Meade optical coating. The only sign I have that it may have the UHTC is a small purple sticker on the ETX-90EC tube. ThanksMike, SteveE
Thanks Mike! I was surprised at your speedy response to my question. I've only owned my Etx-90 for a very short time, and I am realizing just how much I have to learn about the scope and astronomy in general. I can't begin to thank you enough for your dedication to the "sport" and how incredibly helpful your web site has been to me already!! I will continue to view your site for the best information I have been able to find ANYWHERE. Clear skies to you(and all who share in the success of your web site) SteveE
Subject: Telescope experiments Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 09:51:48 From: Philippos Isaia (email@example.com) I have a Meade ETX-125 AT and a DSI camera. I want to know if there is any website or any book which tells what calculations or experiments I can perform with it to study rotational periods of planets, stars dimensions etc. Thanks -- Philippos Isaia firstname.lastname@example.org www.philippos.netMike here: An excellent book on experiments is "A Complete Manual of Amateur Astronomy" by Dr. Clay Sherrod and Thomas L. Koed. I have a review of it on the Accessory Reviews: Books page.
Subject: Re: ETX wires Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 09:29:26 From: P. Clay Sherrod (email@example.com) This is excellent, provided that the use has THIS exact control panel circuit board. Remember, there are three different types out there. This one is the most common. Thanks for sending. Dr. Clay -------------------- Arkansas Sky Observatories Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC H45 (Petit Jean Mountain South) Harvard MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain) http://www.arksky.org/ ----- Original Message ----- From: Jan H Kolst I got this from Terry UK Which might be of great help. Jan Norway ----- Original Message ----- From: Terry I should say that it is not necessary to solder the wires on the underside of the board. You can solder on the top side: 1= BLACK and 2= RED which means it is not necessary to remove the circuit board. Cheers Terry
And an update:
From: Jan H Kolst (firstname.lastname@example.org) Today my friend mended the connection between the battery compartment and the scope.He exchanged the old wires with new and stronger wires. He also organized the wiring better according to him.He had to remove the motor to do it. I connected the scope and calibrated and tried inside.I have to train drives(both) before I use it again which I really am looking forward to.Everything is working fine so far. So thanks again to both of you! I was not able to take a picture of the wiring now.My camera is not awailable right now. Best of wishes to you both Jan Norway
Subject: thanks Sent: Monday, December 12, 2005 10:11:00 From: egm (email@example.com) thank you for useful informations! Egidio Morretti , Pescara, Italy
Subject: LOOKING FOR GEOFF HONEYANDS Sent: Monday, December 12, 2005 09:30:13 From: Kylie Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org) Is there an e-mail address or contact that I can get to speak to Geoff Honeyands. Regards Kylie BarnesMike here: My apologies for NOT remembering ALL the names of posters of information to my ETX Site over the last 9+ years! Your message was originally DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the Subject Line. To avoid this happening in the future please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page. As to the name, have you tried the Search on the ETX Home Page? That's the only email address I am aware of.
Subject: Etx 90 Sent: Monday, December 12, 2005 07:45:34 From: Jan H Kolst (email@example.com) Hi again and thanks for the excellent page, I've got problems in finding the correct wiring/connections between the battery compartment and the input in the scope.The connections (both) have come off inside the scope but they are ok in the battery compartment.So here are my questions: Where do I fasten the RED and the BLACK wire inside the scope? Is the RED on the TOP of the picture and the BLACK BELOW? I've supplied a picture from my own scope taken when it was new and OK, but I'm not quite sure what to do. Best wishes Jan Norway
And from our resident Hardware Expert:
From: P. Clay Sherrod (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ouch....there is no answer to this unless I can see the inside face of the control panel board; if you can take a picture of it looking from the center of the RA base toward the board close enough where I can see the wires I can tell you. The reason that there is not a definitive answer to this, simply by looking at your picture, is that some of the boards have the black wire on the top pole while others have the red wire. Try to send me an image so that I can identify your source of this control panel board. Dr. Clay -------------------- Arkansas Sky Observatories Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC H45 (Petit Jean Mountain South) Harvard MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain) http://www.arksky.org/
Thanks for the answer.I've just talked to an electro engineer and he told me to bring the scope over telling me that it is no problem finding this out. So I did that today.He is a colleague of mine at the college.Perhaps this was not a wise decison? If he tells me that he cannot manage it ,I'll send you a picture as soon as possible. Thanks again for your friendliness and a merry Christmas! Jan
Excellent....let me know how it turns out. Dr. Clay
Subject: ETX-80 No Joy ---- Re: Answer to question Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2005 17:59:49 From: Outpostbob@aol.com (Outpostbob@aol.com) First ETX=80 I got had LOUSY optics (astigmatism) versus my good ETX-70 (which was a refurb from Meade Outlet.) My good ETX-70 with give me Syrtis Major on Mars using a 2.5mm LV with a V-Blocker and a 21 Orange filter. Cassini is no problem and I have seen shadow transits on Jupiter. Wide-field, of course, ETX-70 is delightful. The ETX-80 Azimuth drive (on the first unit I got) would only go about 90 degrees (pushing the right/left buttons) and then stop until I lifted and pressed again. Clutch wasn't very good either. So the mount really didn't work well. I sent it back for refund. Then I bought an ETX-80 from Discovery Channel. Cute --- came with a backpack and a different (but lighter) tripod than the standard Meade fare, and a dew cap and the 45 degree diagonal. Nice deal. But again, the azimuth drive was seriously screwed up.... it would bind up and give me a drive fault if you tried to go more than about 90 degrees. Also --- and a more fundamental issue --- the ETX-80 doesn't seem to offer an option to polar align. Alt-Az is all there is. NOT good if you want to do photography longer than 90 second exposures. Also won't let you shoot anything higher than 45 degrees or so above the horizon without slamming the camera into the drive base. And of course, if the RA (oops--- Azimuth!) axis won't move more than 90 degrees without binding, you can't point the scope south. No joy for sure if you are in the Keys. I eventually "faked it" into working in Polar Alignment by setting the Autostar as an ETX-70. (I had an 883 tripod on hand, expecting that the Discovery Channel unit would be too light.) Once I got the RA synched, it was even willing to do GoTo's, and after a while the RA error wasn't even horrendous. Shot M-42, M-45, and the Rosette. (Haven't stacked all of them yet, so I don't really know what I have.) But large swings in RA gave binding. The ETX-80 optics weren't bad --- I could see a little detail on Mars from the Keys. I would say that for planetary image sharpness, the ETX-80 was almost as good as the ETX-70. More color around bright stars when using the Digital Rebel DSLR at prime focus, but that may be lack of processing... or the laws of physics. (I believe I have heard that you should get more color from an 80mm f/5 than a 70mm f/5.) So... that makes two ETX-80's with azimuth drive problems. One with bad optics, and one that was more or less OK. But it appears that Meade has taken away the polar alignment option for the ETX-80, which makes it much less interesting to me. Okay, I know that Meade never claimed that the ETX-70 was suited to prime focus photography. But I have been able to do it. To me, the ETX-70 was an ideal travel scope: very compact, sharp enough for a short look at planets, lovely on large deepsky objects (blew my mind last year on Omega Centauri.) Perfect for eclipses with a 2x teleconverter on your camera at prime focus. And a nice widefield astrograph at prime focus. Just a great all-around travel scope. My conclusion is that I prefer the ETX-70. Too bad it is no longer being sold. It was really a much more useful telescope than the ETX-80.
Subject: New EXT-125AT /UHTC Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2005 16:56:28 From: Ken Sheehan (email@example.com) I was doing a search on the internet and found your site. I have just received my first telescope this week. It is the ETX-125AT /UHTC. Do you have any hints on how to get the best out of this unit. Last night we checked the moon. Right away I decided I needed a filter set, so I ordered a set of four on line. I have a 26,14,9.7 and a barlow X2. It's been so cold out I have not had a chance to set it up and use the auto programmer. I am looking forward to that event. Tonight my grandson and I got a chance to get a quick glance of Venus. Earlier today we were looking at Pikes Peak. We are just west of the peak (about 30 miles I guess). I found the 26mm was the best for viewing the mountain. Any advice would be appriciated. Kindest regards, KenMike here: Until you get a Moon Filter you can just wear sunglasses; they accomplish the same thing when looking at the Moon. As to using your telescope, read the manual, three times, then play with the telescope indoors during the daytime to learn how to operate it and the Autostar. Then you will be more able to use it in the dark. There are lots of other tips on my Site. See the Site Guide if you are uncertain where to start.
Thank you Mike, I downloaded the manual before I ordered the scope. I think I've gone through it a half dozen times. I have been playing with it during the day. I've about go the hang of it. I hope to be able to see Saturn tonight. It will rise to our east around 2100. If you think of anything else please feel free to pass it on. Kindest regards, Ken Sheehan
Subject: Total Solar Eclipse Turkey 2006 Spotting scope for solar projection? Sent: Tuesday, December 6, 2005 06:32:29 From: Morris Clive ADN/CYLLID (Clivemorris@gwynedd.gov.uk) I am an ETX owner and we have corresponded before. I am booked to go to Turkey in March with my wife and 2 children.An old astronomical friend of mine will be travelling with us,too. I wonder if I could ask your advice again please,Mike. I won't have space to take the ETX and I don't have a solar filter for it anyway. Back in the 1970s I used to use a 3" refractor for solar observing. I have experimented with binoculars over the summer for solar projection but the image was smaller than I would like. I am thinking of a 60mm spotting scope for solar projection to project an image onto a screen but I am concerned about the concentrated rays of the sun from the objective damaging the eyepiece or rubber on the inside of the focuser. I know this isn't a query about the ETX,but do you happen to know if anyone has used a spotting scope for solar projection and if so, did they have any problems? Many thanks,Mike, CliveMike here: I don't recall any spotting scope reports like that.
Subject: re: Help to choose which ETX Sent: Monday, December 5, 2005 21:43:57 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) Strictly speaking, i don't think the ETX60/70 actually -fit- the legal definition of carry-on (the OTA is a schooch too long). I don't have my ETX70 at hand to -measure-, but i remember this being a factor in the past. So if they're picky, it won't fit. (hmmm... it -might- fit diagonally, instead of straight up) The ETX90, however, *will* fit in US legal carry-on, but watch out for mid-journey changes of carrier/legs which may move you from "US Specs" to "local specs"... this happened to me in New Zealand, and the ETX90 spent one leg in the hold/baggage handling system which broke off its finder (if i'd thought it was going to be leaving my tender clutches, i would've removed the finder bracket myself, it's held on with a single screw (non-LNT version)). Other than that incident, my ETX90 enjoyed the trip, well padded by underwear in a soft-side roll-on luggage. have fun --dickMike here: I just measured my ETX-70 and it is 17.5" from the bottom of the base to the end of the OTA.
From: Outpostbob@aol.com (Outpostbob@aol.com) I used an ETX-70 for the last occultation of Jupiter, which was a daytime event. Set it up in broad daylight, and just assumed that it went correctly to whatever guide star was chosen. Then did a GoTo to the moon, corrected the aim a bit, synched, and did a GoTo to Jupiter (which was VERY close in any event...) Worked VERY well, and you could see a couple of cloud bands. Was VERY nice and I was MOST pleased. For an eclipse, I would try to find a t-threaded 2X extender for the camera: 700mm is a great eclipse focal length which will let you capture 100% of the corona. 1250mm will require careful framing.... and you DON'T want to have to be careful when the totality clock is clicking. And f/10 is fine for corona ---- I used a Meade 2045 in Austria and got a GREAT shot. Just use 400 speed film, and bracket like CRAZY. Remember that you also get a new moon, and the ETX-70 is GREAT for larger deepsky objects. (WILL show you the smaller ones, too... I have done M-57 .... but the ETX90 or 125 is MUCH better for that sort of thing. ) By the way, I have sampled two ETX80's so far, and no joy so far.Mike here: What do you mean by "no joy" in this context?
Subject: Help to choose which ETX Sent: Monday, December 5, 2005 20:35:25 From: Glenn Malcolm (email@example.com) My name is Glenn Malcolm and I am the president of the Riverside Astronomical Society. I also met you at Nightfall. I am considering buying an ETX 90 or 80 or 70 for my Middle East solar eclipse trip. I have many telescopes but I do not have one that will fit in an overhead compartment. Since I am traveling light, I will carry all of my clothes including the telescope and tripod in an overhead carry on bag. I do not intend to do any photography. I know the 90 has good optics but does the 80 or 70 have good enough optics for an experienced observer. I have never looked through an 80 or 70 but I know they are very lightweight. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks, Glenn Malcolm President RASMike here: The ETX-70 and -80 are short focal length refractors (350mm). As such they don't really compare well to the ETX-90 and its longer focal length (1250mm). Depending upon what else besides the solar eclipse trip you plan to use it for, the ETX-70/80 may not provide you with you expect.
Subject: ETX 90EC Tune up instructions Sent: Sunday, December 4, 2005 21:50:46 From: Matthew Checketts (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks again for your great website and volunteer efforts. I really appreciate it. I have a question about the mechanical tune ups for ETX scopes that are outlined on your website. I really don't trust myself to do it. I want to get my scope in peak operational condition so that I get more accurate slews and less weirdness overall. I live in Mesa, Arizona. Do you know of any telescope stores around here that can perform the tune-ups that you recommend? Or is there anyone around here that you really trust and know well that you could refer me to so that I could pay them to do it? If not, I will just try it myself. Let me know what you think. Thanks again! -Matt C Mesa, AZ ETX - 90EC userMike here: Don't know of any stores that do that but for an "ETX Tune-up Service" I recommend Dr. Clay Sherrod's Supercharge; info on the ETX Home Page. He is the author of many of those tune-up articles.
Subject: ETX Problem fixed Sent: Sunday, December 4, 2005 16:14:52 From: Thomas Allen (ThomasGLAllen@comcast.net) I emailed you sometime back concerning a problem I had with my ETX and that I returned it about three times and never got the ETX fixed by Meade. I would like to thank you for your help on this matter. You contacted, I believe, Chris Dodge, who was nice enough to contact me and we talked. As a result, they replaced the ETX with a brand new one off the factory line. It seems to be working fine now. You were a great help to get me get the correct contact on this matter. What we can ascertain from this incident is that telescopes.com (where I originally purchase it) sent me either a used one that wasn't working correctly or a pre-fabricated one that was not working correctly, and they told me it was brand new. The person I bought it from was named Jason, and at the time when I first got it, it didn't work called him and he was pretty rude telling me it's not our problem now, you have to send it to Meade (passing the back on a bad scope, I guess). At any rate, after sending it in the three times, Meade replaced it with no questions asked. All I can say is that I will not by anything more from Telescopes.com just from this incident, and thought I'd pass this on. Do not know if anyone else has had similar problems. At any rate, I would again like to thank you for your help. Appreciate your kind and generous help, and if there is anyway I can help to show my appreciation, please don't hesitate to email me. Thanks again. Tom Allen
Subject: Scope Jumps Sent: Friday, December 2, 2005 17:21:03 From: Paul Dumm (email@example.com) Hello, Just lately when I'm looking through my scope, A ETX125EC the object will drift to the left and then jump to the right. When it does this I'm hearing a click in the base. I've calibrated and train drives and this did not help. thx. Paul D. Florence, AZMike here: Some possible causes: stiff lubrication, broken gear tooth, loose gear shaft. Easy to fix the first; just unlock the axis and slowly move the OTA by hand from hard stop to hard stop back and forth several times. If the gear has a broken tooth, best bet is to let Meade fix it. If the shaft is just loose you can tighten the bolt holding it down, but you will have to do some disassembly. It will help if you can isolate it to the Altitude or Azimuth drive.
Subject: Tele Vue Plossl or Nagler for ETX 105? Sent: Thursday, December 1, 2005 16:26:42 From: Eric... (firstname.lastname@example.org) Great Site. I have just bought a ETX 105 for my son and myself, I was wondering if the diffrence between the Tele Vue Plossl or Nagler is suficiant enough to warrent paying the extra . Thanks Eric................Mike here: Depending upon your experience, you may or may not find the difference significant.
Subject: What is the configuration of your ETX? Sent: Thursday, December 1, 2005 11:49:07 From: Mauricio Lpez (email@example.com) Mike, in the photography in your web page, your ETX has an another configuration than the usual , the view finder is diferent, what kind of viewfinder is and what are his advantages? And the configuration of the eyepiece holder is diferent, you put it in the place of astrophotography, what is the advantage to do that? and what is the performance of the telescope in this configuration? Thank you again for your answer. Mauricio Lpez Bogot- ColombiaMike here: It is an ETX-90RA. There are two finderscopes mounted: Apogee Right-Angle Conversion Kit and Scopetronix LightSight; these are discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page. The rear mounted eyepiece uses a Shutan Wide-Field Adapter; discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page.
Subject: re: Arcturus (was: Hi there) Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 22:03:39 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) One of my favorite books is the Dover (read: inexpensive) reprint of: "Star Names, Their Lore And Meaning" (Richard Hinckley Allen) ISBN 0-486-21079-0 $11 (when i bought it). An unabridged and corrected reprint of a 563 page 1899 book. Arcturus rates five full pages (plus another page in the Ursa Major section)... among other fascinating tid-bits: it was probably amongst of the first stars to be named whose name survives, it was first mentioned in Greek writing circa 800BC, its appearence in the original King James' Book of Job xxxviii, 32 (although the modern Revised Edition changes it to "the Bear". The original KJ said: "Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?" (see below)). In Pliny's time the names were reversed: Bootes was the star, Arcturus was the constellation itself. Even Chaucer referred to it that way (ye sterres of Actour). Demosthenes (in a suit against Lacritus in 341 BC) referred to it (as a way of saying "before 30th September"). In Homer it's Arctos. To the Chinese, it was Ta Kio, the Great Horn... and also the palace of the emperor. (i won't cover the 15th century BC Egyptian usage, since that probably wasn't "Arcturus", either) Unfortunately, all of the above citations were affected/warped by whomever was doing the translations from the original languages... and sometimes they went through -many- translations, each with the translator perhaps nudging it towards the vernacular of the day. But by AD 140, when Ptolemy wrote it down, and in the Latin near then, it's Arcturus (even as a character in a play). (one of the other fun bits of this book is that it was written when Greek and Latin studies were expected of all learned folk, so it has: --quote--------------- And the passage from Horace's Odes --- Nec saevus Arcturi cadentis Impetus aut orientis Haedi -- is familiar to all. ---end quote--------------- Arcturus is also asserted to be the first star seen during the daytime with a telescope (1635) But when all is said and done, the book doesn't -give- a definitive "meaning" to the name... and my own distallation of the pages of citations and dozens of names, plus a dollop from the chapter on Ursa Major, leads me to believe that it's really a corruption of "Ursa Major", as exemplified by St. Jerome's usage of "Arcturus" instead of Ursa Major in his Vulgate translation of the Bible. (which is why it ended up in King James' Job). have fun --dick
From: Carol Fehner (email@example.com) Thanks to both of you, now I can answer the local kids! Carol
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