ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 28 February 2005
This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX PE (Premier Edition). 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.

Mike here: Now that the ETX Premier Edition models are being received I decided to start a feedpage page specific to the PE. 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.

SmartFinder tips are being collected on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Subject:	some questions about the etxpe
Sent:	Thursday, February 24, 2005 21:25:20
From:	Sevag ASTOR (sevaga340@hotmail.com)
hi im interested in purchasing a etx125pe but i wanted to know if u
could get a higher or better more magnified image than a cheap no name
6'' reflector ?cuz thats what i have and im 100% not satisfied with it .
and i wanted your opinion if the uhtc coating on the etx125 like if it
is a really inportant option , cuz i live in a light polluted city , so
will it make a suprizing difference?or its not worth it?  thnx alot and
im 14 years old , its weird right!
Mike here: That depends upon how much useful magnification you expect to get. Every telescope has a theoretical maximum magnification (see the FAQ page on the ETX Site if you are uncertain how to determine this). Aperture-wise, there isn't much difference in those two telescopes but there may a difference in focal length (you didn't say what the reflector had); that will affect the magnification you get from a specific focal length eyepiece (see the FAQ page if you don't know how to calculate magnification). As to UHTC, it is worth the expense, even from a light-polluted environment.
Subject:	the meade experience redeemed
Sent:	Thursday, February 24, 2005 17:58:48
From:	doug hatch (doug@drillrite.com)
After two weeks of diligent attempts, reading, rereading, watch video
multiple times and finally, allowing my wife to scrutinize my methods, I
broke down and called Meade again. Expecting the same miserable
brow-beating I was amazed to have a fellow who in a very
customer-oriented way simply said, (the truth), "must be something wrong
with that telescopesend it back or call your local dealer"

Redeemed. I wasn't a blathering idiot, neophyte, yes. This was further
corroborated when I called our dealer who happens to be Rivers Camera in
Dover, NH. We spoke to Roger and later Rodney, both of whom were
incredible to deal with. Within two days we had the new scope.
Everything thing worked this time, including the Smartfinder, which I
had accused of being significantly less than smart here on this feedback
forum just recently.

On with the show  doug hatch

Subject:	ETX125PE
Sent:	Saturday, February 19, 2005 06:49:21
From:	User721401@aol.com (User721401@aol.com)
I just got the ETX125-PE. I have not had a chance to use it because of
the telescope curse (you know, you buy one and the weather does not
co-operate). Anyway, I was wondering if there are any precautions that
need to be taken when you take the scope out and it is cold outside
(around the low 20's).  Also  I was wondering if daytime viewing was
possible with the PE...

Thanks for your help.
 
Sincerely
  
Dan Cohen
Mike here: I'm not aware of any restrictions on daytime use. Should work the same as the other ETX models. Just don't let it (or any ETX) sit in direct Sunlight for hours. As to going from warm to cold, expect the batteries to less efficient. Also, avoid going from a moist environment to outdoors unless you want frost to appear on the surfaces.
Subject:	New PE issues
Sent:	Friday, February 18, 2005 11:04:14
From:	Charles Taylor (taylorcha@hotmail.com)
In addition to the smartfinder, I'm wondering if anyone who's already
received their 90/105/125PE had a right-angle viewfinder included with
the package (as stated in all descriptions from various store sites)? 
Also wondering how the smartfinders are faring when looking at objects
at or near the zenith.  Sounds like most buyers are encountering
numerous bugs in the hardware though (LNT and smartfinder), and it's
making me consider not going through with my purchase and sticking with
a 125AT instead.  Maybe these problems are to be expected since it's a
new version, but one would hope that Meade would have done a thorough
job designing/inspecting them.  Unfortunately, it's not looking so good
so far....  Anybody got any good news about these new scopes?

Thanks for the outstanding forum Mr. Weasner.

Clear skies - Charles Taylor
And:
I was also wondering if the smartfinder provided any magnification at
all or if it was not an actual lens but just a piece of plastic with a
red dot in it?
Mike here: Still waiting on mine but I believe it is 1X; all the red-dots I've seen are 1X.
Subject:	ETX125PE
Sent:	Thursday, February 17, 2005 10:04:49
From:	William Ellis (wcbabybee@yahoo.com)
Bill Ellis here
 
Got some realy good info from your web. Ordered my ETX in November and
finally got here. First try had trouble with the "Smart?" finder but
think that one of your new owner inputs have solved the problem (opening
the module).

Still confused on the Factory Entered Time. Is it Pacific, Sidereal?
Also does anyone know if entering a time off a hand held GPS or acurate
clock will overide it?

Agree with some of the comments about the Tech support. I have, besides
the new ETX a 200 Classic 8"' that fits under the bed in our camper, and
a !0" GSP/SMT. Great opticks, poor manual and customer support. As
example, when I called to question setting the home position on the ETX
the guy suggested that I should read the manual!

Thanks

Subject:	Info for SmartFinder Red Dot Problems
Sent:	Wednesday, February 16, 2005 07:15:19
From:	Mike Hogan (mhogansr@comcast.net)
This may help some people having problems with seeing the red dot.

The lens is held in place by a cam lock that clamps the tab on the lens
between the the front of the housing and the cam. The lens locking knob
on the front only turns about a quarter turn, CW to loosen, CCW to
tighten.  When inserting the lens you must orient the tab so it as far
forward as possible, which means the lens itself must be held to the
rear. With the locking knob CW, the tab will slide between the cam and
the front housing. Turning the knob CCW holds it in place. Backing out
the Lens Adjustment Screw slightly before inserting the lens may make it
a little easier to insert the tab in the correct position.  This screw
puts pressure on the unclamped part of the tab, forcing the lens further
to the rear. If it protrudes too far into the housing before the lens is
inserted, it can partially block the tab from sliding into the correct
position.

If the tab is inserted behind the cam, it will stay in place but the
lens will project from the module at the wrong angle so the red dot will
not appear, or be so far off that it can not be brought into alignment.

Hopes this helps,

Another Mike

Subject:	Smartfinder Documentation for ETX 125 PE
Sent:	Wednesday, February 16, 2005 06:56:16
From:	Tim Bachert (tbachert@nxgt.com)
Both methods previously mentioned on this site for turning on the
smartfinder work. The easiest is to turn the utility light on by
pressing the zero key on the autostar (see Dr. Somoano-Feb 11, 2005).
The other method (see Jeff Butcher-Feb 8, 2005) is a bit more cumbersome
but also works just fine. It really isn't good that neither method is
discussed in the documentation.

The red dot does move around on the smartfinder lens depending on the
position of your eye. My take is to first center the red dot on the lens
and secondly center the dot on the desired target. The documentation
should probably discuss this methodology. I will attempt this as soon as
I receive a replacement lens because I already managed break the one
that came with the scope.

Here is a Warning that could be documented, when I set up the scope for
the first time I thought there was a rough piece of plastic left over
from manufacture on the LNT module's left side. I was going to trim it
off but decided to play around with the autostar first. Good thing I did
because it turns out the rough piece of plastic now had a red light on
its tip and is part of the smartfinder!

This looks like a good scope and I'm sure most of these issues will go
away once we get experience using it.
 
Tim Bachert

Subject:	PE edition re smartfinder
Sent:	Wednesday, February 16, 2005 05:52:27
From:	Jeffrey Fischman (jfischman@earthlink.net)
it seems that I have to turn on the smart finder every time I restart
the scope (finder->set->blink on and blink off times)

is there any way to have the scope start up with the finder blinking
without having to reset it each time?

thanks,
Jeff

Subject:	smartfinder is not so smart
Sent:	Tuesday, February 15, 2005 09:41:39
From:	doug hatch (doug@drillrite.com)
Like others the finder comes on whenever, then it is so out of line it
can not be adjusted. I can deal with that, but has any one dealt with
meads customer ser. First you wait for 30 min. for someone then when you
attempt to describe the problem they cut you off and yell you to go to
website video. Then I'm told to align without lnt, find I will take this
one back for the AT. Why pay more for something does not work and all
part 2 to 3 weeks out

Subject:	ETX 90 PE (UHTC) hard-case update
Sent:	Tuesday, February 15, 2005 07:38:13
From:	Rukrigl, Robert (RUKRIGL@Telephonics.com)
I just spoke with a Meade customer service guy and he was quite certain
that new cases for the PE should be available next month.

Glad I called as I was a step away from ordering the older case.

As to the scope, I had the flu and didn't have the mental energy to deal
with LNT setup, so I just dragged it out and manually aimed it at
Saturn.  Just beautiful.
 
Regards,

Robert Rukrigl 

Subject:	Can ETX 90-EC be updated to PE?
Sent:	Sunday, February 13, 2005 19:48:52
From:	Marty Muench (martymuench@hotmail.com)
Great site!  I own an ETX-90EC and just read about the new PE models. 
Can I purchase the components to make my EC a PE?  At least the
electronic components?
    Thanks,
     Marty
 
Mike here: As with a RA model to the EC model, the answer is no.
Subject:	Smart-finder Red Dot Problem
Sent:	Sunday, February 13, 2005 15:03:35
From:	Stuart Allen (stuart1956@comcast.net)
My name is Stuart Allen. Today I setup my ETX125-PE for the first time.

I cannot get the SmartFinder red dot to appear. I did try turning on the
utility light as suggested by Dr Somoano and while I saw the red light
emittimg from a small piece of clear plastic line on the left side of
the finder it dd not project onto the view finder lens.

Maybe someone else has an answer or maybe my scope is broken. It seemed
odd that they would have the light project from a small piece of clear
plastic line that sticks out of the view finder no more than 1/16".

Thanks for your web site it provides much needed information.

Sincerely,
 
Stuart Allen
Mike here: Wish I could help but mine still hasn't arrived.
Subject:	Newbe
Sent:	Sunday, February 13, 2005 12:54:00
From:	william.fletcher (william.fletcher@comcast.net)
I just ordered the ETX 125 PE  and I'll get it wed. I choose the PE
instead  of the 125AT because I'll be starting out with a lot of people
including you on this one, and I know that I'll learn a great deal from
you. Hope you get yours soon.

William Fletcher

Subject:	Smart-finder Red Dot Problem
Sent:	Friday, February 11, 2005 19:14:52
From:	DR ROBERT SOMOANO (rsomoano@sbcglobal.net)
My name is Robert Somoano and I am a long time amateur astronomer.  I
recently purchased the ETX 125 PE and the first night out, had the same
problem as others with trying to find the red dot.  It seemed to be to
the far right or nonexistent.

After some experimentation, I accidentally found the solution--you need
to turn on the utility light on the Autostar hand controller ("zero")
and the red dot APPEARS!  Turn the utility light off, and it goes away. 
Simple, but why doesn't the manual tell you this??
 
Hope this helps some new users.

Subject:	ETX 125 PE Hard case
Sent:	Friday, February 11, 2005 16:07:47
From:	Dave Olkowski (dolkowski3@comcast.net)
Mike you probably have heard by now that the hard case for EXT-125 does
not fit the Premeir edition. There is no allowance for the smart finder
and it gets hit and misaligned when being taken in and out of the case.
My salesman says he has talked to Meade and they are in the process of
redesigning it as well as the electric focuser. So at least that could
be some good news . Sincerly David Olkowski

Subject:	First light officially with 90 PE
Sent:	Thursday, February 10, 2005 20:46:02
From:	Frank George (fgeorge@pclnet.net)
I got the new replacement 90 PE today!  I performed some preliminary
work to set it up; I aligned the drives and aligned the red dot finder.
Took it outside to let it cool down for about a 1hr or so while it was
cooling down I went and got some warm clothes on then went back out and
performed an automatic alignment. The scope went through all its stuff
and finally found Sirius and it was off-center so I lined it up in the
red dot and centered it with the eyepiece and shot the next star and did
the same. Performed a GOTO to Saturn and it was not in the eyepiece at
all, it was close but was not in the field of view of it. (I did the
first alignment off of the closest town to me)  After looking at Saturn
for awhile and boy did it look great to me? I had never seen it before
in a telescope, so this was an awesome site for me and I might add one I
didn't think I would ever get to see in my life with my own 2 eyes, it
was very clear to see through the 90PE. The optics that I have on my
scope seem to be really great, they are the UHTC optical coatings and
well worth the money I would say. Enough of a description, then I
powered the scope down and performed another alignment from scratch,
this time I entered my zip code and let it align automatically, it was
closer when I got through with the alignment than before and then I
performed the GOTO for Saturn but it was still not in the field of view
of the eyepiece. (The eyepiece I used is the standard 26mm Plossl that
comes with the scope).

My question is this? Is it pretty much standard for the  GOTO on these
scopes as far as accuracy  goes or do they hit the nail on the head so
to speak for most people? I am overall really pleased with my results so
far being a newcomer and all to this but I still wonder what to do, to
get the GOTO closer?

Two other things to tell you, the Meade electric focuser #1244 does work
on this unit but the LPI will have to be put in the end of the scope or
if put in place of the eyepiece it will have to be oriented  backwards
away from the front of the tube because of interference from the LNT
finder ass'y which would make your images upside down but should not be
something that a few mouse clicks in your favorite picture editing
program can't take care of.

Thanks Frank George
Mike here: That first view of Saturn will stay with you forever! As to GOTOs, they usually get more accurate as you gain experience, Keep in mind that you need to do a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes; it is easy to skip the second axes).

And:

Cool I will remember that!!

Subject:	Meade ETX-125 PE is awsome.
Sent:	Thursday, February 10, 2005 16:26:29
From:	Dave Olkowski (dolkowski3@comcast.net)
Mike aside from the #1247 electric focuser  not fitting on the ETX
125-PE  iam in heaven . So far i have not had 1 problem with the scope
at all and this is the first ETX that i have ever owned. I think  it
help me that i had 3 cloudy days in a row to work with the scope inside
and figure it out with out actually seeing any deep space images. When i
got it outside for the first time i had no problems setting up.I set all
the info ( Time,date,ect ) and after i set up alignment with the 2
alignment stars i punched in my first goto object and it was dead center
of the view finder The ( smart finder ) red dot view finder works
flawlessly ! It's just an amazing piece of equipment. Hope that every
one that buys one including yourself has good luck with it. Sincerly
David Olkowski

Subject:	etx premier edition feedback -- smartfinder use
Sent:	Wednesday, February 9, 2005 18:35:35
From:	Jeffrey Fischman (jfischman@earthlink.net)
I received my etx 125PE and put on the smartfinder and adjusted it to
the scope. Being a novice, two questions have been bothering me:

1. how do I protect the smart finder plastic lens when moving/storing
the scope: is there a way to cover it ?

2. the position of the dot moves as I move my eye to different positions
along the scope: am I just to pick a spot for my eye and try to get as
closed to that spot each time I use the scope?
 
thanks,
Jeff Fischman
Mike here: My PE still hasn't arrived so can't answer directly. Red dot finderscopes take some getting used to. I'm not certain where the "sweet spot" on the PE is.
Subject:	Re: smart finder
Sent:	Tuesday, February 8, 2005 20:18:15
From:	Dano (dan012@charter.net)
I played around with the lens on the Smart Finder and discovered that
when the tongue is inserted into the LNT module that it doesn't always
slide into a "true" position and can be locked even if it is out of
position.  If the red dot appears to the right of the barrel of the
scope then the eyepiece needs to be repositioned slightly back. If it is
to the left the eyepiece needs to be moved forward.  I had to take it
out and re-seat the tongue. After that it was a simple task that they
described in the set-up to get the Smart-Finder aligned with the scope.

Meade customer service was less than helpful.

Thanks for your assistance.

Dan Rutledge
And:
From:	Jeffery Butcher (JefferyB4@sbcglobal.net)
There is an addendum (one page - part no. 14-1010-37  ver. 1-05) that
came with my 125PE that explains the installation and alignment of the
smart finder lens with the telescope.  Even so, aligning the smart
finder was no easy task.  Per the instructions, make sure you rotate the
lens locking knob (aluminum finish) all the way to a stop.  The best way
to verify this is to look at it from below (easiest from the lens side. 
You will be able to see a set screw that serves as a hard stop.  Then
use the top and side alignment screws to set the dot on your target.  I
also had to use the lens adjustment screw which is located next to the
lens locking knob.  I had to "play" with the adjustment of all three
screws to finally effect the correct alignment.   

Also, to get the red dot to come on, press and hold the MODE button for
about two seconds.  The display should give you some coordinates. 
Scroll down until you see FINDER SET : SET.  Press ENTER and the red dot
should come on.  I'm not sure how long it stays on.  I also have mine
set not to blink while I aligned mine.  However, I later noticed that it
was off and easily turned it back using the aforementioned procedure.
 
Jeff
And more:
Subject:	ETX 125 PE Laptop Autostar Suite to Autostar Interface
Sent:	Wednesday, February 9, 2005 17:23:44
From:	Gszientara@aol.com (Gszientara@aol.com)
Got my ETX 125 PE two weeks ago and am impressed overall.  The
description from the Meade manual on how to install the lens for the
Smart Finder is probably why many new PE owners are having problems
getting the red dot to center.  It is easier to take the cover off the
LNT module, then install the lens so you can see how the clear lens tab
aligns through the slot (of course, watch out for the tension springs on
the azimuth and altitude adjustment springs).  If you don't align it
properly, the tab will fit, but it will not be in position for the
alignment knob at the front of the LNT module to be of any help.  If you
can see where the tab is going as you push it into the module, then it
is intuitive to see how the clear tab should be positioned.

Subject:	etx125pe
Sent:	Monday, February 7, 2005 18:21:41
From:	NEWOLD (NEWOLD@COMCAST.NET)
I just received my Meade 125PE .  got it put together and tried to put
on the MEADE #1247 Electric focuser.  BIG mistate.  it does not fit. 
Seems that Meade forgot to test
  
the old focuser with the new Telescope
 
My question now is  HOW many more things has Meade
  
forgot to check.
  
So if you have the new 125Pe dont order the electric focuser #1247.
 
Anyone else having any problems.
 
Eli Young  aka Newold@comcast.
 
email me if you find any problems.
Mike here: Have received a similar report.
Subject:	ETX Premier Edition Caution
Sent:	Monday, February 7, 2005 10:49:42
From:	Mike Hogan (mhogansr@comcast.net)
Here's something prospective purchasers of the new ETX PE (Premier
Edition) scopes should be aware of.  The Meade LPI does not fit properly
on these scopes, at least not the ETX 125PE I got.  The problem is the
"LNT"  and SmartFinder Module on the top of the OTA partially block the
LPI from complete insertion into the eyepiece holder and totally block
connecting the USB cable.  The only option is to orient it so the
connector is toward the back of the scope, which results in the image
being inverted in both directions.  Very confusing view and I'm not sure
how the tracking function would work.  FWIW.

Great, Informative Site.

Mike

Subject:	ETX90PE
Sent:	Monday, February 7, 2005 07:04:52
From:	Frank George (fgeorge@pclnet.net)
Mike seems like I am having an internal clock problem with my scope!  I
am new to this but the LST is about 9hrs off according to where I am. I
am having a very hard time oobserving anything even when I set the scope
up like a regular ETX in alignment it still shoots about 40 -50 degrees
off, any ideas?? Thanx Frank George
Mike here: LST = Local Sidereal Time
It is not your local watch time. As to your alignment issue, that sounds like Daylight Savings is not set correctly.

And:

Cool but have also talked to Meade they seem to want it back due to the
LST problem and that it doesn't want to hold the time. So to make a long
story short Science and Hobbies is going to send me a new one to replace
it. So I will give it another shot later in the week when I get it.
Thanx will put it in my memory bank about the DST issue and also Tech
support gave me another little tip to make sure the control panel is
pointed West even though it doesn't say to in the manual. Thanks Frank
Mike here: Yes, all ETX EC/AT/PE models should have the control panel on the West for the proper Home position.

And:

Mike one other thing the guy where I bought it said that there was not a
lot of difference as to what you see for the money difference from the
90-105-125 as I am new to all this is it true?
Mike here: The differences depend upon on two things: your expectations and how you define the differences. Certainly you will see more details and brighter images as you go from the ETX-90 to the ETX-105 to the ETX-125. Yes, those differences may be small, especially going from one size to the next, but the difference from the ETX-90 to the ETX-125 is more substantial. Then you factor in size, portability, cost, etc. into your decision. So, there are differences.

And:

Thanks Mike I appreciate the words. I got the 90 for 2 reasons
portability and the other was cost! My reasoning was that I could buy
more accessories to start off with if I bought it instead of the 125 and
then he really sweetened the pie by not having the regular 90 in stock
so he upgraded me to the 90PE for the same price and threw in the LPI to
boot. The accessories I bought were the ac adapter with the DC cord, the
9.7 Plossl, soft case, electric focuser he had a slightly used one and
got it for $69.00 looked new to me though! So I got a lot of bang for my
buck so to speak got it all for around $800 I did well!! Oh well going
to contribute to your site next payday it's a really great place for
info!! Frank

And:

Yes sir I understand that local sidereal time is different. I have been
reading up on some of this already but I can't do the math totally yet
but I can read!:) LOL But it was like 8-11 hrs different from what it
should have been according to the web site of a local observatory in
Huntsville, Alabama about 25 or so miles east of my location. That is
what threw me off about it no matter what I did it was still a lot off.
Well it's gone now back to them and the new one is heading my way so
keep your fingers crossed for me please. Thank you so much again for
your insight and time! Frank


PS: I got a dew shield and the scope also has the UHTC coatings also! So
it was a really good deal wouldn't you say? Also do you have any
suggestions for another eyepiece or any accessory that I might need in
the future?(I live in an urban environment with a medium bit of
lighting) I know that a lot of this is subjective to ones own preference
but if you can think of something I don't have that would make it better
let me know? Thanks again!
Mike here: Accessories that you should get will depend upon WHAT you want to do. See the Accessory Reviews pages for ideas once you know that. Depending upon what eyepieces you may already have, a Barlow Lens can be handy. Depending upon your astrophotography desires, there are accessories for that. Do you plan on doing a lot of Moon observing? A Moon filter comes in handy. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

And:

Yep a lot of them and thanks to your website there are a lot of answers
to those questions!!! Moon filter I have, just left it off my list but I
did get one when I ordered. Is the LPI pretty good I got one of those
throwed in my deal also just been having so much else going on haven't
played with it yet. Yep decisions, decisions, decisions ! :) Frank
Mike here: Yep, the LPI is pretty nice. Lots of coverage on it on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject:	smart finder
Sent:	Saturday, February 5, 2005 16:48:50
From:	Dano (dan012@charter.net)
I just purchased an ETX 125PE and  have had it for 3 days.  I am having
difficulty getting the Smart Finder to work.  I have been able to get it
turned on a couple of times  and the red dot was way off to the side.

Then manual isn't very helpful.

I have set the Blink on to 99.9 and the blink off to 00.0 with intensity
at 14 but I am not having much luck.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Oceanside Photo & Telescope gave me your web site.

I am looking forward to many years with this scope.

Thanks
 
Dan Rutledge
Mike here: I'm still waiting for my PE model to arrive so I can't help directly.
Subject:	Meade ETX125PE
Sent:	Saturday, February 5, 2005 01:18:56
From:	Shaffer (J12580@localnet.com)
On my 125 PE the smart finder " red dot " is positioned no where near
where it should be on the lens of the smart finder.  Even after using
the the adjustment knobs the closest it comes too the Lens of the smart
finder is is upper right maybe 1 inch from the lens itself.  The light
protrudes on the left rear side of the smart finder and even attemptinng
to re position that did not make any difference.  Any ideas?  Meade said
they'd send me another one.  I'm not sure actually what there sending
the lens or the smart finder. Those people have no clue on there
product, granted its newly release but red dots have been out in other
finder scopes for some time.

Thanks
Craig S. 
Mike here: I'm still waiting for my PE to arrive
Subject:	Meade ETX-105 PE internal clock problem
Sent:	Thursday, February 3, 2005 18:39:45
From:	JOSHUA RHINES (mic00n64@msn.com)
First of all great site that you have! Second: I just received the 105
PE today and was going through the motions in setting it up. I entered
my zip code in and decided to check the time and date to see if it
worked as advertised. Although the date was correct the time was 3 hours
behind the correct time (I live in Massachusetts). After resetting the
Autostar and getting the same results I called Meade. The representative
I spoke to seemed perplexed because it should have had the correct time.
The only answer I got from him is that I might have to return it to get
fixed (which I was pretty furious after waiting a month for it!) I hope
you can answer why I'm having this problem.
 
Thanks,
Josh R.
Mike here: I'm hoping to receive my ETX PE model in a few days so until it arrives I really have no idea about that problem. Some thoughts: with your zipcode entered, is the latitude and longitude correct? What happens if you enter a nearby zipcode? What happens if you select the city name?

And:

I just spoke to the same representative from Meade and he said that it
was the level north module. Unfortunately, I am not the only one with
this problem. On top of that they are back ordered for 2-4 weeks. I hope
you don't have this same problem!
And:
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
I suspect all you need to do is change your Time Zone.

Do: Setup > Site > Edit   and scroll to Time Zone.
East Coast is -5.0

An alternate would be to set your Site with the City Name,
instead of Zip Code... they've had five years to get it right.

To aid in diagnosis, what IS your zip code?  (i'll check my Autostar)

And, please tell us what you see as a version number, which is
accessed under   Setup > Statistics > [enter][scroll up]

thanks, and
have fun
--dick
And:
From:	Mike Hogan (mhogansr@comcast.net)
It was probably off 3 hours because Meade is on PST and you are EST and
they do their testing using local time (for them).  Here's some info on
the clock.

The internal clock of the PE is apparently part of the LNT/SmartFinder
module on the scope.  It has its own lithium battery that may need to be
changed every five years or so.  See Appendix D of the manual for
changing it.  As with similar clocks, it can be cleared by removing the
battery for a short time.  As a word of caution, the springs for
adjusting the SmartFinder are not easily reinstalled after the
operation.  To help with this, here's a tip.  Looking at the back of 
the scope, remove the small hex head screw on the upper left of the
back, near the eyepiece holder.  The largest of the two Allen wrenches
supplied by Meade with the scope will fit.  The LNT support can then be
rotated to the right and removed.  Total removal is just disconnecting
the connector. After that, removing and replacing the LNT cover,
battery, and springs is much easier.

If after clearing the clock memory you cannot update the time and date
with the AutoStar Handbox, the problem is most likely with the LNT
module or the AutoStar. It's a lot easier and cheaper to return these
components to Meade instead of the whole telescope.

Just my $0.02, FWIW

P.S. I believe the Zipcode only sets the Lat/Lon of the observing site,
not the corresponding time. You should also enter the correct date,
time, and daylight savings, using the approptiate Setup options on the
Menu.
And an update:
Entering the city it does the same thing, However I reset the time
manually and the scope comes very close to the alignment stars. I just
cant find the star in the eyepiece. The new viewfinder does not seem it
would help because u have to get in really uncomfortable positions
before u even see the red dot.
 
Josh
Mike here: That is true of many finderscopes, even optical ones.
Subject:	etxs125PE
Sent:	Tuesday, February 1, 2005 10:13:44
From:	NEWOLD (NEWOLD@COMCAST.NET)
I just ordered the new 125 PE and was told I would have it here by this
friday.

I am excited.  If you know of anything I should look out for let me know
I think yo
 
you are doing a review if the PE
Eli Young  aka newold@comcast.net
Mike here: Hopefully mine will arrive this week as well.

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