Last updated: 28 February 2005
Subject: RE: ETX125 clicks then image jumps HELP please! Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 13:59:14 From: Graham Hilton (firstname.lastname@example.org) Latest news, I took the scope back last Thursday and got a call to say it was ready to collect next day. The Dec drive was replaced and I believe a shim of some sort was fitted to help with the cogs jumping as per your info. When I got home there was complete cloud cover so I put it in the garage did a dummy alignment and sent it off to look at venus ( pretend ). I heard a couple of muffled clicks within a few seconds and then it stayed very quiet so I slewed it to look at a star. It seemed to be running very quiet but of corse being in the garage I could not see anything. In the evening the sky cleared so I took it outside, aligned it and went to look at venus properly. Sure enough it started to click again and the image "dropped" as usual in the eyepiece. The clicks then seemed to fade away but the image continued to jump in the eyepiece every 10 - 15 seconds, it was about 2 or 3 degrees centigrade so quite chilly. I am in the process of taking it back tomorrow ( Tuesday) The repairman seemed quite confident last time and he found the information you sent very useful, however the fault is still there, the only real change is the sound of the click - more of a clunk now which seems to fade away. I'll let you know the outcome Cheers Graham
Subject: Store in Boston, Mass Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2005 16:39:39 From: Mike Snowden (email@example.com) My other half will be in central Boston next week for one day (and then is going to Chelmsford). I'd like her to pick up a #1244 focuser for me, as they are half the price in the USA than in the UK, but she'll only do it if she has the name and address of a store she can go straight to. Can anyone recommend somewhere suitable? Why do I want an electric focuser after a year of a flexi-focus? I've now got the DSI, and I'd really like to get it fully linked up. The image jumps horribly when you touch the scope, and I've got that nice focuser dialog staring me in the face...
Subject: Eyepiece procedure with barlow Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2005 15:29:47 From: Dave Olkowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) After reading alot of feed back from the site i get the impression that a lot of people use the Barlow eyepiece. I was always under the impression that the more glass light has to travel through the poorer the image quality. For instance wouldnt it be better just to use a 13mm eyepiece instead of a 26mm eyepiece with a 2x Barlow? Iam aware of the cost difference but i would like to get your opinion. Do you view with or without the barlow.Mike here: You are correct that for the best possible images a Barlow Lens should not be used. However, many users will not be able to discern any obvious difference, especially if using a good Barlow Lens. And it effectively doubles the available eyepieces assuming you don't duplicate the focal lengths for less money. I have a complete set of eyepieces so don't use a Barlow Lens normally but I did for many years.
Subject: etx optics Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2005 22:04:10 From: Cysmar@aol.com (Cysmar@aol.com) Many times when the scope is out of focus there are cots and squigly lines visible. Is this normal is this dust or dirt on the lens or is this what meade meant when they said you would see spots if a flashlight test would be done? I'm just a little nervous because i've had quite a number of annoying quality issues with meade and the scope isn't two weeks old. Don't worry the optics havent been touched by me and i don't intend to. ThanxMike here: Depending upon exactly what you are seeing and the conditions you are seeing it in, it could be some dust on the optics OR the result of not reaching thermal equilibrium or just the normal result of being out of focus. If you are concerned, do the "star tests" as described on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: Collimation concerns before buying Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2005 07:11:02 From: litewavdave (email@example.com) Sould I be overly concerned with collimation before buying an ETX? I hate not being able to collimate this scope. Thanks for your time! DaveMike here: Generally, there is no concern. Normally it will take some pretty rough treatment (during shipment or in the field) to knock it out of collimation.
Subject: etx vertical lock Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 14:17:55 From: Cysmar@aol.com (Cysmar@aol.com) Is it normal for the ota to be able to be manualy moved up and down after engaging the vertical lock to a firm feel? It can definately be turned more but I don't Know what is too firm and what isn't. Bottom line is that it gives with little pressure. ThanxMike here: As I've stated many times on the Site (many I should put this on the FAQ page!), the ETX locks are friction-type. Just like car brakes, you can move the telescope (or car) with the locks engaged. Under normal usage you will be moving the OTA with the handcontroller so it won't be a problem.
Subject: Clay Sherrod and Supercharge service Sent: Friday, February 25, 2005 13:50:40 From: Chavez, Steven A (Steven.Chavez@dot.state.co.us) Hi Mike: Have enjoyed your book greatly. Also, I don't know where to post this but Clay has been great to work with. His Supercharge service and customer service is second to none. I recommend him without reservation. Thanks Steve Chavez Denver
Subject: ETX 125 Right Tube Adapter Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 17:04:35 From: Dralff@aol.com (Dralff@aol.com) I sent an e-mail the other day about the right tube adapter just slipping around. Your suggestions to read the Tech Tips are very helpful, but I also contacted Meade about a replacement. Meade rep tells me that Meade no longer ships out that part and the scope must be shipped to Meade for repair. Repair fee is a flat $75.00 regardless of problem, and takes about a week. The $75.00 includes return postage. I would still like to try to fix it myself; so, will tread softly until that happens or I just decide to ship it out. If anyone in the Orlando area reads this note and can be of help, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks much. JD Ratliff
Subject: Re: Autostar fried. Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 13:30:39 From: James Ellis (email@example.com) Good news, I got my scope back this week, all working again. I'm not sure what was wrong, as BC&F sent it back with a new Autostar but never said what they fixed. Here is a Tip your readers might be interested in. I got a new 2X Barlow today, it was made by Soligor. I noticed that you could unscrew the lens from the front of the barlow and it looked like it could fit unto the LPI imager. So lets see what happes I thought, to my surprise it fits like a glove, so, now I can protect my CCD Chip from dust and dirt, and at the same time I can use the Barlow with my LPI, You dont have to put the lens back on the barlow to use it...just drop the imager with the lens into the scope and you are ready to image, even the cap from the LPI fits over the barlow lens. How cool is that eh......lol. So For $25 you get a nice lens to keep your LPI clean, and you get a Barlow also.....:-). I done some test shots and it worked great, clear sharp images. Hope you pass this on to your readers, and they find it usefull. Bye for now Jim Ellis.
Subject: Using The G4 iBook With Autostar and LPI Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 13:08:07 From: Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) Many thanks for your ETX website, it has provided me with a ton of resources I never thought possible for my ETX. I had been using Windows machines in the past to control my Autostar and webcam cameras, but since then I have "seen the light" and switched to a G4 laptop. What methods do you use to physically connect your telescope to your Mac laptop? As far as digital imaging goes, my old webcams won't work with my Mac, so I'm considering using a Meade LPI (it's all I can afford, still in college) and using the Sonix driver workaround (http://www.sonix.com.tw/sonix/product.do?p=SN9C102). Any suggestions on some good Mac image capture software? Thanks for all your help and great job with the site?Mike here: See the Mac articles on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info and Helpful Information: Astrophotography pages.
Subject: ETX90EC Completely dead Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 03:33:45 From: Mike Jeremy (email@example.com) I just got given an old ETX 90EC. Ive hooked up an external 12 V power supply - Centre of the power pin is +ve. If I switch the unit on I don't even see the red led light. I have verified that the power supply is supplying power. Given that the scope was a freebie I would really like to see if I can get it going. I have an old autostar controller to drive it - I just acn't get anything out of the scope when power is applied. I know this is a real newbie question - but where do I start with this. I am in Australia and the scope is well out of warranty so where do I start with this?? Thanks for any help you can provide MikeMike here: Have you tried using batteries?
Same deal - not a flicker. I believe that if I remove the rubber feet I can get the baseplate off. Is it worth me trying to trace some of the wiring and see if we have some broken wires etc?Mike here: You can remove the base and check the power at the back side of the control panel and go from there.
Thanks Mike- I'll make it my Sunday Morning project - I'll have to dig out the voltmeter I havn't used for 10 years ans see just how far the power gets into the beast Mike
Subject: Re: Jumping image with ETX 125 Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 03:00:52 From: P. Clay Sherrod (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hi Jack... Indeed I have identified a problem in manufacture on some telescopes; there is a collar that supports the worm drive assembly in RA that is being milled improperly on some runs, causing a severe binding of the worm gear, and sometimes the actually breaking of this collar under stress. Very likely this is what you are seeing but it is very, very difficult to identify without totally dismantling the drive system. If you look inside the drive base there is a small black "ring" that grips the nylon shaft of a large spur gear that is the first nylon gear to the left (on the side with the motor and gears) of the actual brass worm gear. That collar serves NO purpose but to hold the gearbox is perfect position relative to the worm. That is the collar that is pinching the drive. Being VERY careful, you can easily apply via the little "squirt tube" some WD-40 into this collar and allow for smoother operation....I bet if you can get a few drops in there (being very careful of the electronics and encoder assembly) you can eliminate this problem. You will have to re-apply about every 2-3 months of heavy use. Eventually it will get better. 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: Jack Dr. Clay, You supercharged my ETX 125 back on May 27, 2004, certificate #0458-125. Soon afterwards, I contacted you about a problem that the image in my telescope moving after slewing to the object and making a clicking noise then jumping back. It does this repeativly. I have seen recent emails from others at Mike Weasner's site with the same problem. Do you have any suggestions on what is causing this and how to fix it. It makes astrophotography impossible. Mine does exactly what theirs are doing. Can I fix it? I do not know how to get inside the scope. I don't want to send it to Meade, they may mess up your supercharge. Thank you for any suggestions you may have.And:
Dr. Clay Thank you for your help. Is there a site that gives instuctions on how to take apart the scope? I have not attempted it because I do not know where to start. Thank you again for your assistance. JackMike here: There are many articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page on my ETX Site that should help.
Subject: ETX-125 declination circuit board query Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 22:41:54 From: Philip Akers (email@example.com) Would appreciate some help with the following! One of the components of the declination motor PC board of my 2001 ETX-125EC has burned out. The identification numbers have burned off and I am wondering if anyone knows the ID numbers of the small, black component that is closest to the spot where the two motor wires are soldered to the board. The component is about .150" wide times .200" long and .060" thick. Since Meade can't help me with the problem (I have modified the scope), I have to try and repair it through my own sources. Alternatively, does anybody have the appropriate board for sale? Thanks for any light you are able to shed on this matter. You can e-mail reply to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Regards, Philip AkersMike here: I will post on the next Site update. You could try Telescope Warehouse for used parts. Link is on the Astronomy Links page.
Thanks. Am happy to try anything (desperate)! Philip
Subject: etx accsessory quality Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 20:56:48 From: Cysmar@aol.com (Cysmar@aol.com) As an etx 105 owner icouldn't be happier with the views that i'm seeing in a light polluted area. However, I'm having trouble with the quality of some parts. 1. The tripod doesn't lock under any circumstaces so i'm forced to view in alt az mode . Not terrible, but I paid good money for the package. 2. The eyepiece part of the finder came off. I see that it's just glued not screwed together, and the glue is still wet and gooey. My scope has not been in extreme heat , just been in cold condition but not super cold about 30 degrees. This is a new scope. The first one I had came with a broken flip mirror. Is quality control a problem with meade or is this just my luck. In any case I need advice. Thanx in advance.Mike here: There have been some reports of the finderscope eyepiece coming off. Apparently there is something amiss with the assembly. As to the tripod, I don't recall any other such reports. But if you are unsatisfied I would suggest contacting the dealer for an exchange.
Subject: Dust problems Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 11:09:16 From: Lawrence Bilton (Lawrence.firstname.lastname@example.org) The other day i got my ETX-90 out and put my DSI in the eyepiece etc. Once i had loaded my DSI on my laptop it came up with 2 blobs on the live tab view, so i took the DSI out and checked the IR filter to see if there was dust on that, there was not and feared of it being on the telescope, so i put my 26mm EP in and i noticed 2 small blobs of dust, when i bought my scope it came with a "Telescope major cleaning kit" is this not a resonable thing to use to get rid of dust, it can be found here http://www.skyviewoptics.co.uk/results.asp?pg=274&subpg=277&tl= Thanks for your help, Lawrence.Mike here: For those who don't get a cleaning kit, see the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject: Solar Max H-Alpha filter for ETX-125 ? Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 00:31:31 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) Could you advise me on a specific model H-Alpha type sun filter for my ETX-125 ? Thank you very much, Michael M. OstryeMike here: Coronado Instruments has their SolarMax H-Alpha filter. They have (or used to have) an adapter for the ETX-125 but that scope isn't recommended due to its long focal length. The ETX-70 actually works best. You might want to check out their PST. Both are reviewed on the Accessory Reviews: Filters page.
Subject: Vertical/Declination Lock, ETX125 Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 16:42:22 From: Dralff@aol.com (Dralff@aol.com) Tonight as I was setting up my ETX125 to view the moon, the vertical lock slipped as I tried to lock the OTA into position. Now I cannot get the vertical lock to hold at all. It won't tighten but just slips, and it won't loosen all the way when I try to remove the knob and plate. Sounds bad, but I really hope it isn't. After 4 hurricanes last year, I hate to take on an expensive repair. Thanks for your help. J.D. Ratliff (email@example.com)Mike here: The Right Tube Adapter has failed. You can try a repair (see the articles "ETX-90EC DEC fix" and "ETX DEC Lock Not Tightening Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page). Or you can contact Meade; they may send you a replacement.
Thanks Mike and will get right on it tomorrow. Appreciate your help. Ratliff
Subject: RSS-feed Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 10:44:57 From: Hans (firstname.lastname@example.org) As you requested for a note, I can tell you that I am using your RSS-feed as of today. Was just looking for info on the ETX90 en 105 models, when I stumbled over your interesting site. Not yet a serious observer, but always been very interested in astronomy, thinking of buying one of these models soon. Did some observing when I was a kid, and looking forward to picking it up again as a hobby, Cheers, Hans Leenen / Amersfoort, Netherlands
Subject: [Fwd: ETX CD-Rom] Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 16:58:27 From: Jack Fox (email@example.com) In this months April issue of Sky & Telescope on page 100 is a write up on a new ETX CD ROM they may be of intrest to the group. I have attached the email from the company about how to obtain a copy. -------- Original Message -------- Subject: ETX CD-Rom Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 17:13:31 +0100 From: Massimo Uberti Dear Mr. Fox, Thank you very much for your interest in ETX CD-ROM. I have already inform and send a demo copy to following sellers since January 05. The last 2 has interest to treat ETX-CD-ROM but they did not order any copy until now ! 1) OPT 2) ANACORTES 3) Broadhurst, Clarkson & Fuller Ltd 4) Efston Canada 5) woodlandhillscamera 6) B&H 7) Skies unlimited 8) OpticsPlanet 9) Shutan 10) Astronomics 11) High Point Scientific 12) The Science Company 12) Scopetronix 13) Telescopes So at the moment there no copies base in US in any retailer, probably they move on when has request from users. I actually have no possibility to accept credit card directly There are two ways possible at this moment 1) Submit your request to above astronomical point and wait reply ( I would like you do it in any case) 2) The best way is using cash you simple put 34+6=40 US $ in a folded black photocopy shot or black paper to avoid to see the money trought envelope trasparency and send to me with your name and address. I can arrange some promotional airmail copy expedition. This is less expensive way 6 $ but will take aprox 7-10 days I used this method 25 years ago to subscribe to sky and telescope magazine! :-) 2) With credit card order secure server to Italian astronomical retail www.miotti.it under english_flag- brand-instrument-maxfactory. But this cost to you a lot , the shipment in US with UPS is 28 Euro is quite the same price of CD-ROM. :-( In this case you have to wait a little bit because actually on Miotti site is listed all my Italian languages products, and he is going to put it on line. Let me know what you decide, and sorry for inconvenience ! Massimo Uberti Maxfactory PS. How did you notice the ETX CD-ROM ?Mike here: Thanks. I haven't received that issue yet. I wonder how different the CD-ROM is from the tutorials that Meade has online?
Here is the website with details on the software. It takes a few minutws to load. It sounds like it is detailed. http://www.maxfactory.com/Mike here: Thanks. Windows XP only. Unlike the online tutorials (mentioned on the Helpful Information: Tutorials page).
Subject: Difference between 90ec and 90at? Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 10:33:37 From: Martin Ersted DR UNG (MKES@dr.dk) I really cant find the difference between the meade etx-90ec and the meade etx-90ec, Can anybody please help me on that? Furthermore i got really bad feelings in buying an meade after reading these posts: http://www.astronomy.com/asy/community/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13487 Any comments on those post? Many reguards Martin ErstedMike here: See the FAQ page on the ETX Site. As to user comments, keep in mind that more people post negative comments or ask for help than report good things. If that was an indicator of how good or bad something was, Microsoft would have gone out of business long ago.
Subject: meade 90 or 105 etx Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 12:00:00 From: Nickkendell@aol.com (Nickkendell@aol.com) I am looking into buying a meade scope for my son, wife and myself to use. He is 6 years old and VERY bright. I have heard that Meade make some of the best scope around for the money and would value your opinion as to which to go for. We live in the southern UK where it is VERY dark at night. I currently get cracking general views of the night sky with my Leica 8x42's mounted on a tripod. If you can advise I would be eternally grateful. Thanks Nick Kendell, Devon, UK.Mike here: Both are excellent choices. Unless you need the more portability of the ETX-90, I'd suggest the -105 for its slightly larger aperture. If you can, also get the UHTC option.
Subject: Broken tooth on ETX 125 cog. Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 07:13:12 From: Derek Lacey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Have finally got my telescope back from the repairers! I originally sent it off, knowing that a tooth was missing from the cog between the sensor and emitter on the RA gearbox which meant it would not track. The autostar controller would only read 340 degrees turned when the scope had phsically rotated 360 degrees! When it returned 2 weeks later it had not been touched. I took it back to the shop the next day and they were very good about the whole problem and sent it back to BC&F with a note saying what the problem was. Another 2 weeks later and it came back again. Still not fixed. Apparently the scope is not supposed to rotate 360 degrees in all modes. Whatever that is supposed to mean?? I didn't even bring the scope home from the shop, instead the shop rang up BC&F and explained the fault to them and eventually they said send it back and they would replace the gearbox, which they have and the scope now rotates and reads the same. However the dec lock is now so loose that it needs to be turned all the way to the left to hold, before it was less than halfway, still at least I have a scope that tracks now!!! Maybe now I can do some imaging and send you some pictures. Great site. Keep up the good work.Mike here: Glad you finally got a repaired telescope. But did you mean the RA (Azimuth) lock? If so, you can reposition the lever; see the FAQ page.
Thanks for the quick response. You're right, I did mean the RA lock. I read about repositioning the lever on your site a while ago which is why I'm not too concerned about it for now. Just want to finally use the scope properly. Thanks anyway. Derek
Subject: barlows Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 06:37:38 From: Cysmar@aol.com (Cysmar@aol.com) I viewed Saturn and Jupiter in light polluted (poisoned ?) Brooklyn NY through the etx -105. It was absolutely awesome even so. Quick Question The 26mm sp 4000 with a 2x barlow will provide about as much magnification as a 12mm in the 105 is there any difference between using the barlow and the 12mm straight ? Thanx in advanceMike here: Barlow Lenses will reduce the light reaching your eyepiece compared to a single eyepiece alone. Barlow Lenses are a compromise. But with high quality eyepieces and a high quality Barlow Lens you may not notice the difference.
Subject: ETX 90AT with UTHC or ETX 105AT without UTHC? Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2005 13:51:59 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) First thanks for such a great site. I'm going to buy an ETX soon and your site would undoubtedly be even more useful to me when I get my scope! I have two options now: an ETX 90AT with UTHC or ETX 105AT without UTHC. To simplify matters, let's say that both scopes cost the same and my purpose is simply amateur observation with some astrophotography of the planets and some deep sky objects using Meade's DSI. I will be observing from a very light polluted city (Singapore) where the dimmest star seen is 4th-magnitude. Which telescope do you think fits the bill better, considering that they cost the same and my budget does not allow for an ETX105 with UTHC? Thank you. YihanMike here: More aperture is always a good choice. The improved UHTC coating does allow more light to reach your eye (or camera) but so does more aperture. Plus you get other dividends of more aperture such as increased magnification.
Thanks for your reply. I read that I need a focal reducer for an ETX105 in order to take pictures of deep sky objects. Is a "MEADE SERIES 4000 SUPER WIDE ANGLE" a focal reducer for this purpose? Does it serve the same purpose by widening the field of vision?Mike here: One is NOT required but can be useful. Scopetronix has one as does Shutan Camera and Video. You can read about the Shutan Wide-Field Adapter on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page.
Subject: ETX Question Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2005 05:24:23 From: Petz2@aol.com (Petz2@aol.com) To: Bill Waters I saw your post on Weasner's site and wanted to offer some assistance. First, Mike has a great book called Using The Meade ETX. This is the owner's manual that you will always use, but never get from Meade. I think you can get it from Amazon. Personally, I am always referring to it and always pick up a new tip or idea. Second, his suggestion to find a club nearby is great. However if you wanted to do a telephone tutorial, you can call me in CA at 661-263-6853. Here are some pictures of me teaching an ETX seminar at my astronomy club. http://www.weasner.com/etx/fun/2005/seminar.html Just set up your scope in the house before you call and we can walk through the easy align procedures and I will attempt to answer your questions. Don't get overwhelmed, I've been there and was assisted by my twelve year old son. The learning curve is not that steep. Steve Petzold Treasurer The Local Group of Santa Clarita Valley
Subject: dsi-lpi??? Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 20:01:30 From: PTBKayak@aol.com (PTBKayak@aol.com) What is the definition of lpi?---I must have missed something in the directions on the dsi basic instructions. Thanks for your help--Paul Terrill ps- I think you should write the instructions for meade on the dsi imager.Mike here: The first low-end imager from Meade was the Lunar Planetary Imager, hence LPI. They recently released the Deep Space Imager, or DSI.
Subject: MEADE ETX - 125AT w/UHTC coatings Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 11:06:02 From: Adam A. Filkins (email@example.com) First of all, I want to thank you for the excellent content on your site. I do have one question for you though if you would be so kind as to help me out. I am looking at the ETX125AT because I am a VERY amateur astronomer that would like to do some astrophotography. I have great cameras including Canon Digital Rebel, Minolta X7-A and a Minolta Maxxum, all with various lenses. I am looking to do both Prime Focus and Piggyback photography. I have heard contrasting opinions of the ETX for this purpose. I figure since you seem to be an authority on the matter, you might help me by shedding some light on the subject. Can I photograph Nebulas and Galaxies with the ETX? I am not looking to do them all, just some of the more prevalent ones. Any info that you might have for me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and Clear Skies! Adam A. Filkins Vice President of Operations DreamCruiseCars.com Sandusky, MIMike here: The short answer is "yes", as you can see by the many examples on the ETX Site. BUT it will take work and patience (that's true for most any telescope/camera combination). Keep in mind that long duration astrophotography is more difficult, especially when going beyond piggyback astrophotography. So, take a look at the many examples in the Astrophotography galleries as well as the Helpful Information: Astrophotography pages. Then you can decide if those results are what you are looking to do.
Thank you so much for your prompt reply. That is probably the most honest and insightful answer that I have received about the ETX. I was wondering if you would answer 1 more question for me? Will an LX50 be able to use any Goto system other than the Magellen II systems? I have an Autostar controler, and I was wondering if I could use that with the LX50. Any info would be appricaited. Thanks, Adam FilkinsMike here: The Autostar only works with Autostar capable drive systems. It won't work with the LX50; I least I don't recall seeing any mods to either the LX50 or the Autostar that would let the two "talk".
Subject: ETX105 or ETX125? Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 09:26:16 From: Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org) I'm on the verge of purchasing either the 105 or the 125 but not sure which to go for. Now this may sound obvious to you guys but which one do I go for? The 105 with its 4" aperture is obviously smaller than the 125 but with a focal length of 1470mm. Now the 125 has a nice 5" aperture (aperture aperture aperture) but has a focal length of 1900mm!!! Does this in effect cancel out the 125's 5" aperture???? Is the 125 really worth the extra 200 English pounds??? CheersMike here: Before you can make a final decision you need to decide HOW you plan to use the telescope. Do you need more portability? Do you need a larger aperture? Do you need the longer focal length? What is your budget? Does the budget include any accessories you might purchase? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Subject: ETX 105 Clicking Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 05:43:22 From: Jsengineeringuk@aol.com (Jsengineeringuk@aol.com) I have the same problem as Graham When tracking a object the drive clicks and the image jumps This does not happen when you manually operate the drives at any speed Look forward to your comments Thanks for a very informative web page Best Regards JohnMike here: There is some further discussion of this a few messages further down this page.
Subject: Coronado Pst Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 06:43:17 From: Zinkova, Lyudmila (MBZ1@pge.com) I just got my PST and I could not find the sun, Can you, please, give me some hints. What should I look for to make sure that telescope points straight to the sun direction and to find the sun I should move my telescope only up or down, but not to the right or the left. You write: "I pointed the telescope at the Sun and then refined the pointing using the sun finder". So I guess my question is how to point the telescope at the Sun. Thank you. Mila.Mike here: Well, as someone who has flown airplanes, it is easy for me for line up things by extrapolating lines of sight. If you find that difficult you can use the shadow of the telescope on the ground. Just minimize it. While that might sound complicated, in reality it is not once you get used to doing it. And once you get close, you can use the Sol Ranger (sun finder) on the PST to center the Sun.
I'll try that technique. Thank you very much. Mila.
Subject: etx horizontal lock Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 06:36:29 From: Cysmar@aol.com (Cysmar@aol.com) Is the horizontal lock supposed to be pushed all the way to the left to lock it ? It gets hard to move #/4 of the way. Thanx in advance p.s. faaaaaaantaaaastic siteMike here: Normally it should be about halfway, plus or minus some. Definitely not full to the edge of the slot.
Subject: TeleVue Bino and ETX 125 Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 04:09:22 From: Steven Brooke (email@example.com) I am a new ETX125 user (I purchased the Premium Version) and have benefited greatly from your site. And, yes, I intend to contribute to its upkeep. My wife has difficulty seeing through the monocular viewer and I would be willing to forego the expense of a binocular viewer if there is a good one available. Is the TeleVue Bino Vue compatible with my scope? It seems the best one available. And if so, what lens pair would you recommend? Thank you in advance. S Steven Brooke Steven Brooke Studios Miami, FL firstname.lastname@example.org www.stevenbrooke.comMike here: Don't specifically know if the TeleVue one works but there are two others reviewed on the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page.
Subject: Greeting's from Finland with comments about your site. Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 03:00:48 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) First I must thank you very much about your site! It has been an incredible source of ETX information and helped me a lot when looking for a telescope. After some weeks of reading I made an order of Meades EXT-90 UHTC (with tripod and LPI). I have now tryed this system for some days and so far I am more than happy with it. Without Your site I'll be still looking the sky from my balcony with only a hint about the wonderfull world there is among the stars :-) Best Regards: Marco Johansson, Helsinki - Finland
Subject: 884 Tripod Clips Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 06:30:48 From: Mike Hogan (email@example.com) The problem with the C-clips, or snap rings, on the tripod screws is that if they are not inserted properly they will expand beyond normal limits and lose spring tension. They must be inserted in the small machined groove at the base of the threads on the scope mounting screws. If they are forced over the full screw shaft diameter, they can expand beyond limits. Fixes are: 1. Go to a hardware store and buy new rings of the correct size, then be careful when installing them. 2. Take the old rings and squeeze them verrrry slightly. Too much and you will not be able to install them in the grooves. If that happens see fix #1. Hope this helps. Regards, Another MikeAnd:
From: Harden Schaeffer (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks, Mike (both of you!). This clears up a lot. HardenAnd more:
From: Ken Jeffrey (email@example.com) Re: the query about the screw circlips on the #884 tripod, titled '884 Tripod Clips' and dated 14 Feb 2005. I had this problem but solved it by simply placing suitable washers about 1.5mm thick on the screws before re assembling onto the tripod. I did find that the clips needed flattening as they became distorted when forced of. The cause of this problem is the screws going in too far into the base of the ETX and the clips then contact the base of the scope and are forced off. The washers reduce the amount that screws into the scope and prevent the clips hitting the scope. I have been using my tripod with this small mod for over a year without the problem reoccurring. Can I ask a quick question; I have seen it mentioned that the 884 tripod has a spirit level built in. Mine does not. Can you please give any info. Thanks and keep up the good work - a great site. Ken Jeffrey London, EnglandMike here: I don't have a #884 so can't comment on the spirit level.
Subject: re: ETX125 clicks then image jumps HELP please! Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 22:44:32 From: Richard Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) The only time i have heard similar clicking in a 497 Autostar telescope was when the motor was ever-so-slightly loose in its holder. As -one- particular gear tooth would come around to the mating gear, the motor would "hop" up slightly ... and the click would happen. At the same time, the image would jump.. and it would -miss- one tooth (so it gradually fell behind the star.) (this was in a 4504 motor unit, and happened every 13 seconds in RA) At slew speeds it didn't happen... only during sidereal tracking (or slewing at speed one in Terrestrial). The "fix" was to shim the motor so it couldn't hop. The same can happen if you are missing a gear tooth, or something is caught in an inter-tooth gap, forcing the gears out of mesh for that one instance. good luck --dickAnd:
From: Graham Hilton (email@example.com) Dear Richard and Mike, Many thanks for this information. The situation at the moment is the local dealer is ordering a new dec drive because as the ra was loosened off with the ra knob, the clicking continued and only seemed to clear up if I slackened the dec knob too. It also seems to happen at low temperatures. When the fault first developed I examined the ra drive myself and sure enough the gears seemed to bulge slightly from time to time along with the click happening. Depending on temperature the clicking is between 10 and 14 seconds on average but when it was returned after being away for 7 weeks at the UK importers I tried it in the house before the scope warmed up and the clicking was every 4 or 5 seconds until it got warmer. It eventually seemed to stop until I took the scope outside and the temperature of the scope cooled again. I'll print this off and give it to the man who is handling the repairs. Thanks one again, Graham
Subject: re: Battery power problem Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 22:32:23 From: Richard Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) That issue (batteries "don't work") after using power plug can be caused by a couple of things: (a) the wrong sized power plug... although the socket is designed for a 5.5mm outside dia, 2.5mm inside dia plug (center positive), a 6.1mm OD plug -can- be crammed into it. Doing so will overbend the contact spring in the socket, which will cause (b). (b) a weak/flexed outer contact spring... which is -also- the battery disconnect... so if it's too weak (or bent) and cannot return to making "no plug in socket" contact, the batteries are not reconnected. The -fix- (besides using the correct power plug) is to (A) remove the batteries (trust me... do this) (B) fashion a tiny L-hook in a long steel needle (a bio lab dissecting needle with wooden handle is perfect for this) (C) reach into the socket with the needle and pull the contact spring back into view... almost-but-not-at-all touching the center contact (if you touch it, and the batteries are in place, you will short circuit the batteries through the socket, and blow traces off the circuit boards)(trust me on -this-, too) There have been a few postings about this across the years here on Mike's site. have fun --dickAnd:
From: Niall Saunders (email@example.com) I encountered this problem with my ETX-105, specifically after having used the wrong sized power plug for the telescope. What happens when you put a plug into the power socket is that the curved 'springy' piece of metal down one side of the socket is pushed out of the way by the barrel of the plug - and at the same time opens a contact on the 'zero volt', or battery 'negative' line. It does this for a very specific purpose, and that is to disconnect any batteries fitted internally whilst the unit is being run from an external power source. If this did not happen, then the external power source could act as a battery charger, ultimately capable of charging internal batteries that were never designed to be charged - such as typical Alkaline cells - a dangerous situation that could quite possibly result in a very nasty explosion!! So, the spring contact is there for a reason, and is essential for safety. The problem you seem to be describing, and certainly the one I encountered, occurs when this contact fails to return to its normal position when the power plug is removed. When this happens you have no 'zero volt' line for the internal batteries, and the scope will not therefore run off internal batteries. Unfortunately the cure is not simple. You will be unlikely to be able to fashion a tool that will successfully bend the spring contact back into shape, and it really require a dismantle of the power socket and judicious use of needle-nosed pliers. But, getting anywhere near the power socket is a nightmare. Once assembled, Meade had no desire to make dis-assembly of their scopes something that the average user would be able to do. Certainly, if you are keen (and as an Electronics and Mechanical Engineer, with a lifetime of tinkering experience behind me, I was) then it is possible to get into the guts of the base (a complete strip down of the RA section is needed) and, once the side panel is removed, it is then possible (with further determination, and a lot of courage) to get right into the power socket and effect the necessary repair. But, for the average user, returning the scope to Meade would be a far more sensible recommendation. To avoid this happening in the future - make sure that you use the correct power plug. By far the most common size is one with a 2.1mm diameter outer barrel, and one that has a 'shorter' length. Unfortunately, 2.1mm diameter is too small for the Meade scope (perhaps an intentional decision by Meade, to ensure take-up of their own external power supplies and leads?). The depth of the socket is standard, but the diameter of plug required is 2.5mm. I unfortunately grabbed a lead that had a plug that was 3.1mm in diameter - and that was what caused the damage to my power socket. Finally, whilst on the subject of external power supplies, Mike is repeatedly asked what the requirements are. The most critical piece of information you need is that the external supply voltage is FIXED. Very often this is not the case. Usually, with cheap AC to DC converters (the little black 'wall-mushrooms') the voltage supply is totally un-regulated. It may be stated as being '12V' (for example), but will actually vary considerably - depending on how much load is being attached to the supply. On a light load (or 'no-load') the voltage available form these units can be almost TWENTY volts. Far from desirable for a Meade telescope that has no internal voltage regulation of its own (on certain critical circuits anyway). Even if you manage to get away without blowing up any part of your scope's delicate electronics - the very least you will encounter is poor performance due to the fact that the 'Calibration' of your scope (a critical stage for repeatable behaviour) will be constantly thrown by the changing voltage. Good calibration requires a steady (i.e. constant) supply voltage - anything else is a waste of time. So, you will either need to ensure that the voltage supplied is constant (some of the slightly more expensive 'switched mode' power supplies will provide this - and typically those for digital cameras etc. are excellent), or you would be best served by a large, external, re-chargeable battery (such as you get in the automotive 'boost charge, starter packs). I prefer the latter solution. I do not charge the external battery whilst I am using the telescope (as this in itself will affect the constant voltage I am looking for) - instead I simply rely on the fact that the current drain from my scope would take, on average, about two weeks to discharge the battery - and that is only if I were to slew around the sky all day and all night for that period !!! If you are wanting to use a small AC-DC converter then - make sure that it provides a constant voltage (of around 12V), make sure that it cannot exceed about 15V, and make sure that it can provide about 1 Amp (1000mA) without dropping below about 11V (certainly the voltage swing between no load and 1A load should be less than 1Volt for reliable operation). In any case, mixing mains electricity and the outside world, adding some damp and darkness, is a recipe for disaster - and will probably lead to a localised encounter with a supernova that you really would just not enjoy!! Hope this helps, Niall
Subject: ETX125AT vs ETX125EC Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 20:58:23 From: Marjie Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org) what is the difference between the ETX125AT and ETX125EC ?Mike here: See the FAQ page on my ETX Site.
Subject: Battery power problem Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 18:29:46 From: Pat Perll (email@example.com) Purchased ETX-125 December 2004.After going thru many batteries I bought AC -DC power supply.Now scope will not work with internal batteries. Called Meade for help and was told to return scope for service, they are having a problem.I saw some reports of similar problem on the site. What causes the problem ? Is shipping across country going to do more damage than just only using external power supply. PatMike here: Have not heard that Meade is having a problem with this. But if something was damaged by the AC Adapter (assuming the voltage and polarity were correct) then it could be something with the circuitry. If you ship in the original shipping container it should be OK. Just remember to insert the foam at the rear of the ETX (assuming they still ship that way).
Subject: ETX 125, Need assistance Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 11:55:02 From: Bill Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) My name is Bill Walters and I have just come by a Meade ETX125 astro telescope with many accessories. I have never had experience with such equipment and am looking for someone to assist me with the newly acquired equipment. Can you suggest someone that would be willing to give me that time and assistance needed to get me using this equipment. I am overwelmed with the technology. Thank you. BillMike here: You can check for a local astronomy club; Meade's site and Sky and Telescope have listings. You can also check with a local telescope dealer who might be able to suggest a local group. If you will indicate where you live, we'll see if anyone who frequents the ETX Site lives near you and is willing to help out.
I live in Auburn New York, and have a home in Pinehurst NC also. I travel back and forth. Thanks. Bill
Subject: 884 Tripod clips? Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 11:45:16 From: Harden Schaeffer (email@example.com) Can anyone help me? Between a friend and me we have 3 #884 tripods, and every one has the same problem: the first time or two we put a scope on the tripod the little E clips on the mounting bolts pop off, allowing the springs and washers to get lost. Does anybody know of a way to make 'em stay on? Harden Harden Schaeffer Goldthwaite, Tex
Subject: ETX-125 corrector plate cleaning w/incorrect water/isopropyl ratio Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 07:45:41 From: Jim Lake (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have an ETX-125 w/UHTC. I held off as long as I could before cleaning the corrector plate. I recently did so, mixing up a 3:1 distilled water to 99% isopropyl alcohol plus a drop of Ivory dish soap. The problem is that I mistakenly used a 2:1 ratio of water/isopropyl - did this harm anything?! I'm not sure what to look for regarding possible UHTC damage, etc. I also cleaned one Meade series 4000 super plossel lens with this solution. I'm not sure how the coatings on lens hold up to cleaning with this solution either. The bright side was that being careful, I didn't visibly scratch anything during this process and the corrector plate and lens sure LOOK clean (haven't had a chance to use them yet since)! Any comments are appreciated. Thanks. Jim LakeMike here: If you don't see any uneven portions in the coating you could be OK.
Subject: OTA? Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 19:39:34 From: It's me (email@example.com) I know this is probably one of the more obtuse questions of the month, but what does OTA refer to? Wild guess: optical tube assembly? I've seen it quite a bit on your web site and in your reply, I can only imagine. Thanks again for your assistance. Doug.Mike here: you got it exactly right!
Subject: RE: etx-125AT difficulties elevating and lowering the tube Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 19:25:00 From: It's me (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you for your suggestions, Unfortunately I believe the difficulty - according to your suggestion "the lock is NOT properly engaging" finding an exploded diagram, parts list, possibly a schematic of the drive system would be enormously helpful. Thanks again, DougMike here: For starters see the article "ETX DEC Lock Not Tightening Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. If that doesn't help, there are several other articles there that might.
Thanks, I've been looking at your page for tech info, and will look specifically for the article you mentioned. Doug.
Subject: Batteries for ETX Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 10:11:25 From: Stephen Shainbart (email@example.com) Do you know if I can use Lithium AA Batteries in my ETX instead of regular Alkaline batteries? I purchased Energizer Lithium AA batteries which last much longer in digital cameras, so I was wondering if it would be equally useful in the telescope or if the Lithium batteries would cause a problem. Thanks. Stephen ShainbartMike here: I've never tried them but it won't hurt to try them. As long as they can handle the "power draw" of the slewing motors.
Subject: ETX125 clicks then image jumps HELP please! Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 05:36:33 From: Graham Hilton (firstname.lastname@example.org) I bought my 125 in the USA last summer and shipped it back to the UK. At first it worked fine and then in the autumn it developed a clicking sound every few seconds and the image jumped in the eyepiece. I took it to a local dealer who replaced the RA drive but the fault was exactly the same when I took it home. It went back a couple of times and eventually the dealer sent it off to the UK importer who kept it for 7 weeks and sent it back saying "no fault found" I realised that it was temperature dependent, I tested it indoors after it arrived back very cold, the fault got better as the scope got warmer. I took it back to the dealer (again) who tested it in the cold and replaced the RA drive again as he had heard the click happening. Needless to say the fault is still there, I explained many months ago to the dealer that if I slackened off the RA drive the fault still appeared and the image jumped up and down in the eyepiece. There is a loudish click each time, I have since slackened off the DEC as well as the RA today, resting the tube on the base, and the click stops which makes me think the fault is in the DEC drive. Removing the right hand DEC knob there are 3 screws visible and a worm drive, I found that altering the tension of these screws has some effect on the "click" for a while. Could you please offer any ideas, thoughts etc. I would be very grateful for any advise at all. Best wishes Graham HiltonMike here: There are some DEC repair articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page as well as some "performance enhancement" articles. Perhaps one of those will help you get rid of the problem.
(later) I've been thinking a little more about the problem. With the Autostar set to terrestrial mode, what happens if you unlock the DEC axis and press the slew up and down arrows? Does the ticking occur at each of the nine speeds? Repeat with the axis locked.
Thanks for your very fast reply. I've never used the scope in terrestrial mode yet so I will give it a try asap. I left it on in the garage for a couple of hours today tracking an imaginary object, and when I came back it seemed to be working OK. I had a quick look at the tech tips page just now but it seems most of the mods /repairs are for the earlier versions, the newer ones like mine seem quite different now. Still, I'll keep trying and let you know the outcome. As far as I can tell the clicking does not occur when it is skewing to an object, it only starts when it begins tracking.. Thanks again Graham
Subject: Etx125 homemade serial cable Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2005 08:12:32 From: DH((Hotmail)) (email@example.com) I have been looking for a wiring schematic for connecting the serial port of a PC to the AUX port on my ETX125EC. I know that you can buy them ready made, but I have all the bits and pieces here and would like to while away these cloudy nights by doing something (Im sure its possible) I have had an ETX70AT and have learnt a great deal with it (I added "Autostar" to it).Thanks for a great site. Clear Skies DavidMike here: Are you sure you want the Aux port? What do you plan to do?
thanks for the reply, I want to control the scope from my PC (Skymap pro). I assumed that the ETX125 was more like the LX200's than the ETX70AT,(having got 2 AUX ports) Looked at Saturn with it for the first time last night, this is one well engineered piece of kit. All the best DavidMike here: You need to make a #505 cable, which connects from a RS-232 serial port to the second port in the base of the Autostar #497. Then you can use a computer to control the Autostar, which controls the ETX. For info on the cable see the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Thanks for that of course; its all there I guess I was just looking under ETX-125 instead of "Autostar" so it works the same as my trusty ETX 70AT then Ah well at least the cables no longer go around with the scope. The design philosophy must have changed on the bigger scopes. I liked the 70AT a lot , but this 125 is a scope that I know I am going to like even more. Thanks again Great site. David
Subject: Broken Dec Lock Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2005 11:45:14 From: Petz2@aol.com While preparing for some evening observations with an ETX 125, I accidentally put too much torque on the DEC lock and sheared off the screw. The telescope had not been moving from the level position during alignment so I thought I'd tighten up the DEC lock a little bit. What do I do now? Help :( Steve PetzoldTwo choices: try a repair yourself (see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page) or contact Meade for a replacement Right Tube Adapter.
Subject: ETX125 Dec Lock - How tight is too tight? Sent: Friday, February 11, 2005 10:08:47 From: Joe Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) I read in the archives that some folks are only tightening this down enough to "keep the nose from falling." This seems too loose to me as it still allows for a push on the nose to move the alignment. Yet I don't want to break the mechanism (and I don't even have a dew shield on it yet). Any rule of thumb that you would recommend to would-be over tighteners? Thanks. - Joe Hansen, Mesa, AZMike here: Finger tight is one answer. Another is sufficiently tight so that the OTA stays in place. The answer is NOT tight enough to keep it from moving if you PUSH on the OTA. Since you will be using the controller to slew the telescope whenever the axes are locked you don't need to tighten the locks so much that you can't push it around.
Thanks Mike! I may put some counterweights on in the near future as well...
Subject: Is it worth going NEW for OLD???? Sent: Friday, February 11, 2005 05:50:22 From: EBAY Account (email@example.com) I currently have the ETX-70 AND ETX-125 models fully loaded and working just fine. I read just about everything on your site and have now started to read the feedback on the 'PREMIER EDITION' scope from Meade. It is a real state of affairs that you have not received yours yet when over here in the UK they are now available and being sold. It's about time yours arrived don't you think. Anyway, I had been toying with the idea of maybe looking to go for the new version with all its bells and whistles etc then I thought why should I when my oldish model 125 was working fine, for how long I don't know. So until all the most basic problems have been ironed out I will give it a miss. Why have all the equipment working on my 125 only to find that as others have the electric focuser won't fit, what a cock up that is. A basic principle of design is to make it better surely not worse and wouldn't we all like to meet the Meade Design Team at a star party soon!!!!! Alas this won't happen; I would go so far as to say they would hide their Badges so as not to be found out eh!!! I shall continue to read the site, each day and keep abreast of the new scope issues that others are going through. It is hard enough already without making or adding any more problems don't you think. I would also raise the question about how many customers Meade is going to lose over these issues, competition is hard enough without it being publicized. Oh I must go, my WORKING SCOPE is calling me.What's that..you want to look at Orionokay then let's get you level pointing north in the home position and we shall have a look..don't forget to train my motors.you've just changed from batteries to mains I have just finished reading the book, fourth time that isgood bookbeats Mills & Boon any day. Bye for now Wal
Subject: etx-125AT difficulties elevating and lowering he tube Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 22:49:55 From: It's me (firstname.lastname@example.org) I guess this should be filled under 911- deceased scope, film at eleven. I bought the etx-125AT, my first telescope, knowing absolutely nothing, but hoping to create an occasion to learn.anything, and see some things I'd never seen before. When following the instructions for setting it up, to my horror, I discovered that once the scope began slewing in search of whatever reference point the firmware set it to seek, it was going to achieve those coordinates wether the mechanisim was pegged against its stop or whatever-it could not be turned off. At least the off switch had no affect, removing the power supply plug did nothing as I had installed the batteries. Long story longer, I had to sit and watch as the darn thing continued to strain against its stop trying to elevate furter than it was designed , roatating further than designed and couldn't turn it off or stop it. The elevation problem happened so fast, which is to say, I expected that I could have pressed the control button and stopped it, or flipped the off switch, byt the time I discovered neither of these worked, it was too late, rotational movement I was able to unlock the clutch in time for it to free wheel until the computer was satisfied. Out of the box, the controller was defective, and meade replaced it, I don't know if this was a malfunction of the replacement controller or what. In any event I became ill for a couple years, ending up finally at Hopkins for spinal surgery, so I had to put away the telescoping until just recently, it's been stored in one of those hard cases, when I opened it up and tried to test it out recently, it wouldn't elevate at allthe motor was running but whatever clutch or gear train involved wasn't engaging. Additionally, it wouldn't operate on battery power at all-new alkaline batteries, Nimh, didn't matter, scrubbed the contacts-which really weren't dirty, as I don't/ didn't store it with batteries in placeno availmaybe a fuseable link, or a diode has croaked but the only way to power it up is with a power supply. In any case, any suggestions would be helpful, Ie where to procure a parts list, schematic, service manual, source for parts, suggestions of possible fixes? Anything I can get Haaaallllllpppppp???? Thank you , anyone willing to wade through all of this and hazard a quess.Mike here: Sorry you have had some problems, both personal and with the telescope. There are many articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page that could help you, depending upon exactly what is wrong. I'm not certain why batteries won't work since AC does unless the wiring from the battery compartment has been disconnected. As to the altitude movement, if you unlock the axis, elevate the OTA, and then lock the axis, does the OTA stay in place or does it fall back down? If it stays put then the lock is properly engaging. If it doesn't stay put then the lock is damaged; see the Telescope Tech Tips page. If the lock is OK and you can slew by using the arrow keys on the controller, you could try a CALIBRATE MOTORS (needs to be done anyway when changing power sources) and then a TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject: Etx-105 with broken flip mirror Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 21:20:30 From: Cysmar@aol.com (Cysmar@aol.com) Followed your advice and returned the etx to the dealer. They had no more in stock, so I had to order from somwhere else. I found an elite dealer that sold the etx -105 at (That's with the tripod) plus a 10mm celestron eye piece and auto star suite for 599.00 plus 35 dollars shipping. Sincerely, Itzchak S. Marcus
Subject: Re: ETX Azimuth Gearbox Problem (Got it back from Meade) Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 14:06:03 From: Stephen Streit (email@example.com) I got my EXT-90 AT back from Meade the other day after sending it in to get the Az gearbox replaced under warranty. I trained the drives and everything seems to be good as new. It appears it made the 5,000 mile journey there and back again ok, in the box it came in. The only problem is somewhere in the interim while it was gone a fairly large finger print somehow found its way on to the corrector that wasnt there when I shipped it. I dont know if it was a careless Meade tech or if someone at the post office thought my box was a security hazard and unpacked it. I plan to mix up a batch of Dr. Clay's cleaning solution and rinse to take care of that. I'm just glad to have it back.
Subject: How do I use the Autostar with a Mac? Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 13:31:07 From: Catalina Jalaff (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello, my name is Catalina and I am from Chile. I have an ETX-90 EC telescope and I dont know hou to use it with a Mac. I would also like you to help me to look through the telescope because I cant find any constellations or planets other than the moon and the stars that you see with naked eye. I dont know what eyepiece should I use or if I need put the 2x barlow before the eye piece ( because when i do that i cant see anything). Which are the best eyepieces you can recomend me. I am a begginer in telescopes and i really want to learn because i find it very interesting. So i would apreciate any tips that can help me. Sorry if there are mistakes in my writing but i do not write very well in english. Thank You Catalina J.Mike here: First off, see the article "Update Autostar using a Mac" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page on the ETX Site. There is good basic info there on connecting to a Macintosh. There is planetarium software that will control the Autostar from a Macintosh: AstroPlanner, ScopeDriver, Starry Night, Voyager III, etc. These are reviewed on the Accessory Reviews: Software page. You can also use the Autostar Suite and LPI from a Macintosh; see the article "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Autostar Info page. For tips on aligning the Autostar, see the Autostar Info page. Before you decide what other accessories like eyepieces, you might want to look through the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the User Observations page. There is a lot of information to absorb but it should help you.
Subject: Great service from OPT Sent: Wednesday, February 9, 2005 08:22:47 From: Charlie Max Hubbard (email@example.com) I've just purchased a new 8 inch SCT scope from OPT. This was a big decision for me and a lot of $$$. I currently have a 4 inch reflector and a ETX-70. I felt I was ready to move up a step in the love of this hobby. Problem was there was so many factors and choices I did not know which way to go. I had seen numerous reference to OPT (Oceanside Photo & Telescope) on your sight, so I gave them a call. I spoke to Eric and he went through several questions of what I wanted, then he took time to explained the pros and cons of the different classes of scopes. He never rushed and took his time with me. I told him to give a day or two to decided and he said no problem. No pressure. I called him back two days later with my decision. Without a lot of details let's just say that Eric and OPT exceeded my expectations and made me feel confident in my purchase. I will use them for all my future telescope and accessories needs. I recommend any one who is a novice and wanting to move up to a new level of astronomy, and are overwhelmed with questions and doubts, to give them a call. Thanks OPT! Charlie (Max) Hubbard
Subject: Vector Pocket Power for ETX scopes Sent: Wednesday, February 9, 2005 12:09:01 From: Nesmith, Shawn (snesmith@Group1Auto.com) I posted a message on another board for the Vector Pocket Power 12v power supply for the ETX scopes. I purchased one from Best Buy about a month ago for $15. It is the same unit sold by Scopetronix for $50. You may want to post something about it as a lower cost solution. Here's the link at Best Buy: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1074787382674&skuId=6305054&type=product Shawn Nesmith
Subject: etx 90 trunion Sent: Tuesday, February 8, 2005 21:26:31 From: Peter Spiessberger (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am looking at you great site and I want to attempt the tune up on my etx 90 I was reading the part about the slop in the dec and hoe you put tape around the trunnion Can you point out to me where the trunnion is (I think you are referring to the main shaft that hold the ota ) And how do I get it out to put the tape on sorry for the silly question but I just want to be sure that I know what I am pulling apart That is all Many thanks for you top site kind regards peter spiessbergerMike here: Most times people think of it as the Right Tube Adapter. Search the ETX Site for "trunnion" and you'll get a hit.
Subject: re: Meade ETX-125 vs LX90 in city viewing. Sent: Tuesday, February 8, 2005 20:08:38 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) I have an ETX90 in-city (and a 10" LX200gps). The ETX90 will deliver the major cloud bands on Jupiter, and the Cassini division (and cloud bands) on Saturn. The ETX125 would do a much better job at it. The LX90 -does- have 2.6 times the light-gathering area compared to the ETX125. So it -will- be able to magnify things larger (before getting too fuzzy). In-city, it's frequently the "seeing" which limits what you can see before the scope's optics. I've never been disappointed with the ETX90's ability to deliver fine, crisp images. In telescopes, the name of the game is "aperture, Aperture, aperture". Which is a vote for the LX90. But all telescopes are compromises, either for budgetary reasons, portability (the ETX125 wins there!), or convienience (i do use the ETX90 more "at the drop of a hat" than i do the LX200gps... i can have the ETX90 "on a star" in less time than it takes me to set up the LX200gps, even in Alt/Az mode. Yes, it's a tough call... either scope will give you enjoyable images... you could start with the ETX125 and later trade up (it will probably maintain a high resale value)... for that matter, you could buy a -used- LX90 (about $1000 to $1200). good luck on the choosing... have fun --dickAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) Hello Richard and Mike, I would like to thank you both for following up on my original query. I will go for an ETX-125 and in a few years upgrade to an LX200. I cannot tell you how impressed I am that you would go so far to answering my questions as comprehensively as you both have. You have gone above and beyond what anyone would expect. Thank you very much guys and happy viewing. Paul Phillips.
Subject: Declination Stops on ETX125 Sent: Tuesday, February 8, 2005 09:44:43 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I was reading up on the declination hard stops (from a feed on your excellent site from the March 31, 2003 ETX-105 archive and noted that Dr. Clay indicated that the hard stops for declination on the "newer" ETX-105 and ETX-125 did not reach down the base as far as on the "older" mounts. My scope is an ETX-125 with a 12/03 manufacture date and appears to have the "metalized" arms as expected (just swapped out from an ETX-90 last week so this scope should be "latest and greatest"). The hard stops appear to extend from past vertical to within a couple of mm of the base which sounds more like the old style (as an aside, found this out at the store when the sales rep loosened the DEC lock and the scope hit the base - no apparant nicks). So my questions: Are my vertical hard stops okay? and did any damage to the scope occur by it hitting the base from about a 45 degree nose "dive"? Seems like the higher hard stop would prevent the scope from actually impacting but the lower hardstop would give me more "southern exposure" when in polar mode. For that matter a simple piece of foam rubber under the nose attached to the base might make a fine "pillow" for the OTA. Your thoughts? - Joe Hansen, Mesa, AZMike here: Unless the optics were knocked out of alignment, you should be OK. And the pad on the base is a nice idea!
Thanks Mike! I'll let you know how the "first light" goes (still waiting for clear skies)... - Joe
Subject: Meade ETX90 begginer set up Sent: Monday, February 7, 2005 15:50:10 From: gary (email@example.com) Hello, I am new to the telescoping world. I of course have instructions for my telescope, but would like to know if you can lead me to some sort of classes for basic telescope knowledge. I live in NJ and would appreciate any advice you have to offer. Thank you, Gary RegecMike here: Check for local user groups or clubs. Sky and Telescope has a search page (http://skyandtelescope.com/resources/organizations/) and so does Meade (http://www.meade4m.com). Also, check with your local telescope dealer.
Subject: Meade Deep Sky Imager, ETX-105 and Parfocalising rings Sent: Monday, February 7, 2005 13:40:45 From: Mike Snowden (firstname.lastname@example.org) The 1.25" rings I can find all seem to be the (BC&F) Astro Engineering ones - AC385 (4 rings and key) or AC576 (1 ring and key). Are these a suitable type? MikeMike here: Yep, should work fine.
Thanks. Regarding the cleaned flip mirror with scratches, I talked again to BF&C today. Their comment was to look at a bright moon, and that would show any problems. A scratched mirror on a reconditioned scope would likely be replaced FOC, but I have had the scope nearly a year. In any case: Next bright moon - about a week away. End of guarantee - about a week away. We'll see. I have looked at Saturn, and there is some specular detail, but that may well have been my glasses. Next time they get a good clean first! If the DSI arrives first, that could give an interesting check during daylight tests. MikeAnd:
From: email@example.com Yes, they should be fine. I actually use 1.25" O rings (from an engineering shop), they cost about the same for a bagfull, as 4 of the BC&F rings. OK they are rubber rather than metal, but they work fine. The other thing I have found is that the 1.25" nose tube on the DSI is very loose in the eyepiece downtube, so I have exchanged it for the nose tube from a Meade Basic Camera Adaptor. It is chrome a good 1.25" diameter along its whole length, with a T thread that is a direct replacement for the nose piece on the DSI. Another good substitue would be the BC&F basic camera adaptor with T mount thread and 1.25" fitting. If you look at the DSI item, the design is not very good, it has a 1.25" shoulder top and bottom, with a narrower waist in between. Quite what that is designed to do I don't know! It can cause a marginal variation in the quality of focus across an image if the camera does not sit square in the eyepiece downtube. Hope this helps. Regards Stephen BirdAnd:
Some rings have been ordered. Since the adapter is 35, I'll see how bad it is before shelling out. Thanks Mike London, UK (and another BT-ite)
Subject: eyepiece CCD Sent: Monday, February 7, 2005 11:35:21 From: Jon (firstname.lastname@example.org) I seem to have a come up with a question that nobody can answer. Think baby monitor and surveillance camera. I want to rig up some sort of CCD widget to the eyepiece of a spotting scope that would relay a terrestrial view to a small hand-held TV. The idea is to eliminate the need to stay glued to the eyepiece. Something like Orion's Electronic Imaging Eyepiece has potential, but will not work on spotting scopes with a fixed eyepiece. I could machine an adaptor for a small digital cameral, but the camera's lens conflicts with the telescope eyepiece lens creating vignetting and soft focus. Any ideas? /Jon Schwartz SeattleMike here: You could do the same thing with a webcam or any of the imagers. Do you really need the eyepiece (assuming it can be removed)? If you need it, just leave the imager lens in place and do afocal photography.
Thank you very much for the informative reply. I did a Google for Afocal and found a ton of info that will help me with this project. The spotting scope we have has a fixed eyepiece, so afocal will have to be the game plan. Be well /Jon
Subject: Mighty ETX web page - hardware Sent: Monday, February 7, 2005 04:17:54 From: Ken G (email@example.com) G'day Mike. Its been a while since I've visited the site - you'll probably be able to tell how long when I ask the question . There used to be quite a few DIY items - wedges, tripods, flexible controls etc. but they seem to have gone from the site. Are they still there but I just can't find them, or have you removed them to make way for other info? Thanks, Ken G. (Brisbane, Australia)Mike here: They are still on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: etx malfunction Sent: Monday, February 7, 2005 00:03:33 From: CLAUDIO CUSTODIO (firstname.lastname@example.org) thanks for your quick response tried everything you recommended and got nowhere the telescope does move freely when engaged and it does stay in place, tried to calibrate motors but altitude axis still did not work instead I got the marvellous grounding noise I will try to go to the shop this weekend will let you now what happened. once again thanks for your support. claudio
Subject: ETX-90EC tune-up sources Sent: Sunday, February 6, 2005 21:44:15 From: Philip N Grebel (email@example.com) I would like to find a source for the tune-ups you mention in your page. Is there anyone in the Carolinas that you know of. I have an ETX-90 that I just got and would like to have tuned up. With the instructions your articles gave I could probably do it if necessary. Any help on sources would be appreciated. Dr Philip N Grebel PhD firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: The only source I know of is Dr. Clay Sherrod, as mentioned in the ETX Tune-Up Service article. But if the ETX is new, are you SURE it needs a tune-up?
Subject: AC Adapter Variations Sent: Sunday, February 6, 2005 13:16:36 From: Stanley Fisher, Ph.D. (email@example.com) I have an ETX 90AT and the power circuit to the Autostar has failed. It is scheduled to go back for repair, However, it made me think about checking my AC adapters - I have many 12vdc adapters around the house - for voltage output and found the was a good deal of variation from 12vdc to 17vdc. I was wondering if you knew how much discrepancy is acceptable? Thanks. Stan FisherMike here: I would stick as close to 12VDC as possible.
Subject: ETX90 DC power cord Sent: Sunday, February 6, 2005 13:15:23 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I am taking Dr. Clay's advice to get a 12v "EverStart" dc power supply from WalMart. However, I have a question about a dc power cord. I'm not wanting to spend the money for a Meade power cord and I saw on your site that I can get a cord from RadioShack as long as it has the type "N" adaptaplug. But, I need some advice on the cord itself. Will just a regular 12v dc power cord be all right? Or is there something else I need to watch for? Do those dc cords have an "amp" rating that I need to bother with? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks, Mike BlazerMike here: As long as it can handle the 1.5A to the telescope you will be fine.
Subject: Re: I still don't know whether to buy an ETX-70AT or ETX90EC(AT) Sent: Sunday, February 6, 2005 12:50:18 From: Grant Robery (email@example.com) Many thanks for your speedy response. I have a few more questions and would really appreciate your comments: - I went to the Astronomy Now Astrofest at the weekend and asked various exhibitors about eht ETX range, one guy referred to the ETX 70 as 'a toy' which I thought seemed unfair but it has put me off a bit, what would your response to that comment be?? - I heard talk of a new ETX 80 coming out to replace the 70, first I have heard of it and couldn't find anything online, do you know anything about this and do you think it is worth me waiting instead of getting the 70? - Lastly as you can probably gather I am steering towards the 70 (pending your comments), I am confused as to lots of reference to focal length and the like, it seems the 70 has a short focal length so does that mean views of the moon won't be any good? Many thanks again. Best regards, Grant RoberyMike here: The ETX-70 is not a "toy". It has its usefulness. Suggest you read my comments on the ETX-70, linked at the top of the current "ETX-60, ETX-70" feedback page.
Subject: broken etx-105at Sent: Sunday, February 6, 2005 10:09:27 From: Cysmar@aol.com (Cysmar@aol.com) Thanks for the quick reply. Since it is Sunday I can't get through to Meade today. I just want to know if Meade has any service centers in the New York area, or will I have to send it back to California and wait forever? ThanxMike here: You can contact a local Meade dealer; they may be able to help. What has broken?
Oh yeah, the flip mirror (discussed further down this page). Since it is new, I still suggest contacting the dealer where you purchased it.
I really appreciate the help and super quick responses. Keep it up!!!! It's a great web site. Sincerely, Itzchak Marcus
Subject: "Etx 90 Viewing problem Sent: Sunday, February 6, 2005 09:04:43 From: Bama fan (firstname.lastname@example.org) Got the web site from yahoo group. Great site! I am a novice and very interested in astronomy. I recently purchased an ETX 90 AT with UHTC coating. I've been out viewing for 2 nights and have some questions to ask hopefully i can find an answer here since this site is so knowledgeable. By questions as below: 1) what's the different between ETX90 EC and ETX 90 AT? I ordered ETX90AT with UHTC and the package arrived with box indicate ETX 90EC. Which included #947 Auto Star and #884 tripod. The merchant said It is the same. Is it? 2) I've been trying to local Saturn for 2 clear nights. All the stars I saw were donut shape--a planet with a dark hole in the middle. I turn the focus knob to zoom out, the donut shape getting smaller and eventually turned to a pin of light. If I turned the focus knob to zoom in, the donut shape star turned bigger; the brightest star would appear to have craters and some germ type objects movement (like seeing in the microscope) and the shape was still a donut shape with a dark hole in the middle. I used tracking (go to ) to locate the saturn; and followed the sky magazine to locate Saturn, and looked all the stars that around the Saturn area. They all were donut shapes as descried above. No matter how I focused it, either big donut or small donut or a pin point light. What can I do? The landscape scene appeared to be ok. I used 26mm, 18mm alone and with 2x barlow. Am sorry for such a novice. Thanks in advance. RMike here: See the FAQ page on the ETX Site for EC vs AT info. The focus knob is not a zoom magnification control. When in focus, stars will appear as pinpoints of light. There will be no "donut hole" in the center of the star.
Subject: Dew Shield part 4 Sent: Saturday, February 5, 2005 22:49:11 From: RobBug (email@example.com) I have used the ideas posted in your site on how to make a dew shield and I must say they work great! I did make one refinement to the idea of using a foam pad as a dew shield. Instead of glue, use a sewing machine and sew on the Velcro. This worked really well and you won't have to worry about the glue separating. Also you can make the shield to be adjustable. Hopefully this will help. Total cost if you have your own sewing machine $0.97 cents for a 12 x 18 foam sheet. $1.50 for strip Velcro. 10 mins of your time. No dew for the whole night priceless. Very Respectfully Rob Bugary
Subject: etx flip mirror system Sent: Saturday, February 5, 2005 20:21:41 From: Cysmar@aol.com (Cysmar@aol.com) I've just purchased an etx 105. In order to use it, the flip mirror knobs must be vertical. I just can't get those knobs turn more than 60 or so degrees. After that they just turn around the shaft without doing anything (the knobs are on tight). I hope it's not broken. If it is how can i get it fixed without sending it back to meade. I live in Brooklyn. Thanx in advanceMike here: Something must be interferring with the movement. Since it is new I suggest contacting your dealer for an exchange.
Subject: good promotion from Meade ETX 90 Sent: Saturday, February 5, 2005 11:43:15 From: kish (firstname.lastname@example.org) just to inform you that Meade is stating on their website that ETX 90, upto 125 now are going for sale with FREE LPI imager and software set ! this is good news for those in usa. thanks kishoreMike here: Thanks. That has been running for a couple of months now. But a good reminder.
Subject: Very Helpful URL for newcomers with Telescope VIEW questions Sent: Saturday, February 5, 2005 11:45:53 From: kish (email@example.com) here is one great site, to check how big an object might look like thru the eyepiece, before you go and buy a scope with Unreal Claims. do pls check it out. www.scopesim.com thanks kishoreMike here: It is already on the Astronomy Links page but your message is a good reminder for new ETX Site visitors.
Subject: ETX 105 and Digital Cameras Sent: Saturday, February 5, 2005 08:13:32 From: Jakob Jorgensen (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have ordered a ETX 105 AT with UHTC. I am planning at some point to try some astro-photography, I have both a Nikon D100 and a Coolpix 995. I was thinking of using the Coolpix connected to the eyepiece, the D100 is much heavier. What is needed to do that and what eyepieces allow this? Can you do the same with the D100? Thanks, JakobMike here: See the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page as well the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page. You can easily use those cameras.
Subject: ETX 105 at an the mac Sent: Saturday, February 5, 2005 08:06:14 From: Jakob Jorgensen (email@example.com) Great site, just found it a few days ago! I have ordered a ETX 105 AT with UHTC. I have an iBook 700mhz G3 and am wondering about connecting it to the telescope. I have Starrynight Pro 4.5.2, what do i need to connect, also the scope comes with the LPI imager and is there a way to connect that to the mac. Thanks, JakobMike here: Yes, you can use the Mac with both. See the articles "Update Autostar using a Mac" and "Autostar Suite on a Macintosh" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page and the article "LPI with Mac OS X" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page. The G3 may not work well with Virtual PC and the Autostar Suite however.
Subject: Meade ETX-125 vs LX90 in city viewing. Sent: Saturday, February 5, 2005 02:43:33 From: Paul Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org) Awesome website, I have learned a hell of a lot from it. To further Amgad's question. I have very specific requirements of a telescope and was wondering if you could advise me. I currently have a 10 year old meade 80mm refractor (900mm focal length). I want to upgrade it and am interested in the ETX-125PE or the LX-90. The LX-90 is a budget stretch for me, but I would be prepared to stretch if it will suit me better. I was told by a salesperson that I would not get much benefit going from my 80mm refractor to the ETX-125, but I am not so sure I believe that as the apeture more that 2 inches larger, the focal length is more that double and the light collecting capability of the ETX-125 is 250% more than the refractor I currently have. The sales person says the exit pupil is very small on the ETX and thus I will not see all that much more than through my current refractor. He says the LX-90 larger exit pupil will make for much better viewing. What are your thoughts on this? I will be using the telescope 95% of the time in the city, I have a backyard that is well shielded from street lights, but a city is a city and is still nothing like a dark country sky. I just do not have the time to go to the country all that often. I am really interested in viewing the moon and planets and only have a small interest in viewing galaxies. What I really want is to be able to see the could belts on Jupiter in reasonable detail and the Giant Red Spot, also I am interested in seeing some cloud bands and the Cassini division on Saturn. I would also like to see some satelites (well the ISS is what I would really like to view). I have only a small interest in astrophotography. I will be ordering the UHTC coating on whichever model I choose. Will I be able to see all that in city lights with the ETX-125PE? Will the LX-90 give siginificant improvement in city viewing? What photos of Saturn posted on your website will most accurately reflect what I can expect to see through the ETX-125? Will it be anything like the image posted by Lee Jeong Hyun on Feb 04 2005? Would I see that kind of detail through an LX-90? I know you are busy and I appreciate your time. Kind regards, Paul.Mike here: Baloney. I use my LXD55-8"SC, which is the same OTA as the LX90. I have a similar situation to yours and I find the views very nice. And yes, that view is very close to what your eye would see.
Wow! Thanks for your prompt response. Though I am not sure I understand completely. Are you saying that the view is very close to what I will see through a LX90 or through an ETX-125? Thanks again, Paul.Mike here: You previously asked "Would I see that kind of detail through an LX-90?" so I answered that. So, yes, the LX90.
Thanks for clarifying, it seems from what you have told me the LX-90 would be the telescope I would enjoy more. I think I will go for that model. Just out of curiosity, which of the photos of Saturn posted on your website would best reflect the view I would get from an ETX-125 telescope? Thanks, Paul. PS: The Internet used to be about sharing information before porn and business came in. It is great to see that there are people like yourself who still care about sharing knowledge. Well done on a truly great website.Mike here: Since the focal length of both telescopes is nearly the same, the size will be similar. In the ETX-125, Saturn won't appear as bright nor with quite as much detail.
Subject: ETX-125 AT or EC? Sent: Saturday, February 5, 2005 01:02:23 From: Steven Kurtz (email@example.com) Can you tell me what the difference is between the AT and EC models? Great website. Thanks, SteveMike here: This question gets asks a lot. Hence the answer is on the FAQ page on the ETX Site.
Subject: re: ETX125-EC Vertical Drive Sent: Friday, February 4, 2005 20:26:53 From: Richard Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) When i purchased my (used) ETX90, i was able to measure over three degrees of vertical travel, using the same test you are using. GoTo's were still very good. If your scope is beyond warranty (or maybe if it is not), you can open the fork with the DEC Clamp, and investigate the mechanism. Look in Mike's Telescope Tips page for "worm end play" pages. Your worm assembly could have one end=nut too loose. There are many items which might contribute to your symptoms. But first: how -are- the GoTo's???? If they're good, then perhaps leaving it alone would be best. My own telescope had three major factors giving the play: (a) the worm carrier could flex on the plastic mounting. A small scrap of cardboard as a brace cured that. (b) too much grease on the clutch.. it slipped easily (c) a worm DEC shaft bearing (i have plastic, your have bearings). ... ah: your bearing hold-down screws could be loose, too. good luck --dick
Subject: re: Autostar fried. Sent: Friday, February 4, 2005 20:21:05 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) You stand a moderate chance that the only thing that's fried is the little circuit card behind the power switch. All that's on it are traces of copper leading between the external sockets and an internal connector for the inner workings. Usually what you're seeing means that one of those thin traces of copper has played "fuse" and opened the circuit from the power supply to the Autostar and maybe the motor cards. You could open the base and check. From the sounds of it you purchased your scope in the US and "self-imported" to Ireland. You could -try- the UK Meade distributor (they might fix it "for fee", and the part (if you're lucky) is cheap). That's BC+F at +44(189)261-6131 good luck --dickAnd:
From: James Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org) Will keep you posted, Will ship scope off to see what BC&F have to say about repairs. bye for now Jim.
Subject: re: Meade ETX 125 At versus Meade LX90 LNT Sent: Friday, February 4, 2005 20:13:42 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) Only a 20% price differential??? Unless portability is a *prime* concern, go for the LX90. If there's one rule of thumb in astronomy, it's: Aperture Aperture Aperture. Nothing else can provide aperture you didn't buy. Telescopes work with -light-. Aperture determines how MUCH light you can gather. The LX90 gathers 2.5 *times* as much light as an ETX125. 20% price uptick for over twice the light is a great bargain. (you can always get a hand-dolly to improve portability). have fun --dick
Subject: Meade ETX 125 At versus Meade LX90 LNT Sent: Wednesday, February 2, 2005 23:29:03 From: Amgad Botros (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am considering whether to purchase the ETX 125 versus the LX 90 LNT. I have been advised that the LX 90 can be quite portable but obviously offers significantly more capability for a 20% premium in price. I am OK with spending the higher amount for the LX, but would really appreciate your views. Many Thanks A Botros Sydney AustraliaMike here: I think you meant that the ETX would be more portable. Anyway, the LX90 is a fine instrument with more aperture and the same ease of use as the ETX line. It is really like an ETX-200.
Many thanks for your reply. What would be thwe key differences between the ETX200 and the LX90 with regards overall performance? Many Thanks A Botros Sydney. AustraliaMike here: You misunderstood. There is no "ETX-200" model; the 8" aperture of the LX90 is 200mm and it is on a similar fork mount like the ETX models have. Hence, my comment that the LX90 is like an ETX-200. But the mount is more heavy-duty than on the ETX models. The largest ETX aperture is the ETX-125 or 5" model.
Subject: ETX 90 : my platform lock has got loose Sent: Thursday, February 3, 2005 11:02:39 From: lehuron (email@example.com) The chromium plated lock on my platform cannot be pushed to full lock and I have to push the fork at the start. I tried to tighten the small screw on the lock but this is not enough. Is there a way of taking the lock off to inspect the axis ? Is there a flat side on the axis for the screw to be pushed on it ? I do not dare to dismantle the mecanism... I have not used my ETX since August, due to initialising problems, and maybe the gear is jammed ? Thanks for reading. I hope you can find the time for a tip Regards Alain GliksmanAnd an update:
Sorry Mike, I just found in the FAQ an advice concerning my problem. If there is nothing new on that issue, please do not bother. Sorry to have taken your time.
Subject: Autostar fried. Sent: Wednesday, February 2, 2005 16:28:21 From: James Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org) Many thanks for a great Site, I have learned a lot since I found it a few weeks ago. I got my new EXT125 about 3 weeks ago, so I started to use it, but with limited success, Goto's were off so much it was not funny. I trained the drives, done the whole nine yards, as they say. Finally I got my EXT to find Saturn, after a little adjusting I got it in the middle of the 26 mm eyepiece but it would move out of the field of view after 5 mins or so. Then I tried to .....goto Pollux, scope just done a 360 move, and kept going. Then 10 mins later the autostar shuts down, motor faults, the batteries were new, but I only got about one hour 45 mins of use, ok It was cold out, but not even close to freezing, it was about 3 Deg C. Anyway the next day, in the house I fired up the scope, all seemed well, so I connected the EXT to my Laptop, using autostar suit, everything worked great, click on a star and the scope moved, dont know if it was moving as it should, just testing it out. So then I have this great idea, why not upgrade the autostar software. I followed the instructions, all seemed well, but after about 45 mins or so, nothing happened, it was locked up as far as I can tell. I had to switch off computer and try again, only to find that autostar was not working, As I found out later, I was not supposed to switch off machine......I then used safe mode, but nothing happened, just kept saying hand box was not updated. Then autostar shut down.....the batteries were dead at this stage. I think thats why the download didnt work, the batteries must have been too low, to make the prosessor in autostar work as it should. Next day I got a 12V motorcycle battery, to make sure I had plenty of power. In my rush to get things fixed I mixed up the battery connections..........( yeah I know, dont even say it )......anyway I switched on scope, and switched it off a second later, as I seen the mistake..........too late, now Autostar wont even light up, and I got a burning smell from the scope.......:-(. I think I fried something inside, poor design from Mead, that they didnt put some sort of protection, a simple diode would have saved my EXT from getting fried. Lessons learned......If you want to update software, use fresh batteries, wait at least an hour, before thinking about switching off computer, as it could take that long to download. If you use an external battery, make sure, and then make sure again.....that you have the right connections, as Mead didnt put a 10 cent diode into Autostar. So Mike, do you know If I can get a new computer board for my scope, as I dont want to have to send it back for repairs, as I live in Ireland, and I dont want to have to ship scope to USA. I'm pretty good with a soldering iron, so I guess I could manage to install it myself. Again many thanks for a great Site, I hope my email will be of value to your readers Jim Ellis. (Ireland)Mike here: Sorry to hear this. From your initial problem description, it sounds like either the power was already low (due to the cold temps) so the initial calibration (CALIBRATE MOTORS) was no longer accurate. Doing another CALIBRATE MOTORS (and possible TRAIN DRIVES) might have helped. Any time the power source (or level) changes, a CALIBRATION should be done. As to the circuit board, not likely. You can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). Good luck! Let me know how you make out.
Subject: ETX125-EC Vertical Drive Sent: Wednesday, February 2, 2005 16:15:20 From: Ole Rulnes (email@example.com) Just woundering my vertical drive is tilting about 4 degreas when push the end of the teleskope slightly is there some thing wrong with the drive or what? please help Mvh Ole NorwayMike here: The axis locks on the ETX models are friction-type. Since under normal operations you don't push the telescope by the tube with the axis locked, some movement is not unusual. However, if the OTA slips while slewing with the controller, that could be a problem, depending upon whether or not you have added heavy accessories to the tube. But just pushing on the tube is like pushing your car with the brakes on. Yes, you can move it.
Hi Mike it's worse then that im afraid here is some picture if would like to se how it looks like. I hope it's okay that i am sending you the pictures of it.Mike here: I'm not certain what I'm supposed to see from those photos but again, pushing on the ETX tube with the axis locked is not a normal operation. Does a problem appear under normal usage?
When i am setting up the scope for polar aligment 90Degreas to make sure it is straightit just tip back and forvard it's complitely louse, But when i use the autostar up and down it works with out a problem except when is straight up like in polar mode and looking at some thing straight up. When the Axis is locked it so louse that you cam move it 4 degreas, it's like when the axlis isen't locked but just for the four degreas over that there is resistance.Mike here: So you are saying that when pointing to the Zenith, the OTA slips about 4 degrees while slewing to or from the Zenith. That is not a good thing as that is too much slop in slewing control.
that's right what shall i do? Send it to a place where they fix telescopes? Do you think it is expensive to fix? any idea Ole From NorwayMike here: If the telescope is still under warranty I would suggest contacting Meade or the dealer where you purchased it. Otherwise, you can look at the various DEC fix articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: ETX-105AT Sent: Wednesday, February 2, 2005 13:09:38 From: Ross, John R (RossJR@LOUISVILLE.STORTEK.COM) Thank you for your site, it appears to have a lot of good information. I am new to astronomy and just purchased an ETX-105AT and was looking for feedback from others that have one. The reviews I currently see appear to be an older model. John Ross Manager, GIS North American Field Support StorageTek INFORMATION made POWERFUL p: 763/424-1610 f: 763/391-1100 firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: Keep in mind there is no functional difference in an "EC" vs "AT" model. It was only a "what's bundled" change in nomenclature.
Thanks for the explanation. Is one difference the version of AutoStar included?Mike here: Same #497.
Subject: etx malfunction Sent: Wednesday, February 2, 2005 00:05:10 From: CLAUDIO CUSTODIO (email@example.com) Claudio here from Australia I was out the other night with my ETX 125 when all of the sudden my telescope stopped slewing upwards , the motors seem to be moving but there`s no movement I was just wandering if there`s anything I can do to fix it or does the telescope have to go to another trip to the dealer. my Email Adress: is firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: Some thoughts: With the altitude axis locked can you move the telescope tube up/down easily by hand? Does it stay in place if you let go? How's the battery power? Does it slew if you increase the speed on the handcontroller or Autostar? If you have the standard handcontroller, does that work OK? If so, try a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES. Let me know.
Subject: ETX125EC vs ETX125AT???? Sent: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 15:43:03 From: Mike Huff (email@example.com) I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, as I am relatively new to the ETX Experience. What exactly is the difference between the ETX125EC and the ETX125AT? I am currently researching these as well as the LX200 8" Classic. I know that in this case "Size Does Matter" and the LX200's aren't that much higher on the used market. Any recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Michael R. Huff Solar Phoenix Inc. Protem, MOMike here: See the FAQ page on my ETX Site.
Subject: Subject: Old Model ETX with UHT Coatings Sent: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 13:35:57 From: Mike Snowden (firstname.lastname@example.org) Jacqwebster2@aol.com said: >Hi there, Great site by the way and very informative. I am looking to >buy an ETX 125, but i am wary of purchasing an old model from our UK >suppliers. Am i right to assume only the new models with the aluminium >forks have the UHT coatings. Thanks for any help. Graeme. My understanding was that Meade-imported UK models all had UHTC. You'd obviously want to confirm this as a condition of sale, but the odds are it should be.
Subject: Meade etx 125 collimation Sent: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 08:16:39 From: KLKscope@aol.com I have a meade etx 125 mak and when I take off the corrector and secondary and put cross hairs on the tube to see how far off the baffle is to the center of the cross hairs the baffle is not near where it should be.I have had numerious schmidt cass scopes and they also are never centered but with them they can be adjusted.Not the Mak scope though.Any suggestions.Thanks keithMike here: Well, first off, removing the corrector housing on the ETX models is not a good idea. You may or may not mess up the collimation. But the ETX design is such that all the optical components are factory collimated and under normal circumstances no user adjustment is necessary nor even (simply) possible. Whether your baffle is aligned or not you would need to do the collimation with a fully assembled telescope. There are some collimation articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page if you want to try it.
Thank you very much.Keith
Subject: re: Help: Deposit left on flip mirror after use of lens duster air can Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 22:15:15 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) What you might do is contact "Kenair", and ask them: (a) what IS the residue? (b) what would be a solvent for the residue? (pray for isopropyl alcohol) You can access the flip-mirror by removing the back plastic assembly from the telescope... this doesn't enter the critical OTA at all. (don't remove the focus knob with the scope pointed down!) You could also view this as "remove the OTA from the flip-mirror carrier". Once you've got the main mirror, etc. safely away from the flip-mirror, you can investigate such things as flowing greatly diluted solvent (as long as it won't attack the plastic or the foam in the vicinity) (this is why we prayed for isopropyl) WARNING: Since it's a UHTC model, the coating on the mirror (and there may well, or should, be one) is VERY FRAGILE. Solvents/solutions which would be painless on a uncoated front-surface mirror can really mess up the UHTC... in fact, that might be why you had the problem you did. good luck --dickAnd:
From: Mike Snowden (firstname.lastname@example.org) 10 minute clean booked at "Telescope House" tomorrow morning - will update with reply worth posting tomorrow evening. "You wouldn't believe how common it is, and it's usually all right, but don't wait or the coating will be affected" was the message. MikeAnd an update:
I dropped my scope off first thing this morning at Telescope House (http://www.telescopehouse.co.uk/) aka Broadhurst Clarkson and Fuller. As always, the shop was a pleasure to go to. Dave took my scope as I was pushed for time for a work meeting, and I came back at lunchtime. The report was "We cleaned the flip mirror without any difficulty, however, now it is clean, we can see some very faint circular scratches that look like someone used a tissue on it". He was also interested in the notch I have cut in the hard case foam to clear the switch, and has fed this back to the local Meade rep. The clean was also free. Nice people, great service. Recommended (but I doubt many astro enthusiasts in the SE area don't already know about it). DSIs are now stock items from their Internet shop (and I have ordered one), Premier Series scopes are still on advance order. So we'll see, once I get a nice bright star to look at on a sharp night. The scratches were always there, but I didn't notice them before - OTOH, he thought the mirror wasn't particularly clean to start with, so my contrast is likely to have improved. If the scratches are significantly visible, then it's about ?80 and 2 to 3 weeks to have a factory repair including collimation. AND a chat with the vendor... Mike
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