Last updated: 28 February 2006

This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX and DS models. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Subject:	How do I tell if a Barlow Lens is a 126 if it has no indication on the side
Sent:	Tuesday, February 28, 2006 14:26:12
From:	Michael Marsh (
I am new to this so please excuse any errors.

I have an ETX105 and have been given a Meade barlow lens. On the side of
the lens is written 'Meade 2x telenegative multi coated  Taiwan'.

My question is-- How can I tell if it will suit my telescope.

With kind regards                              Mike Marsh     UK 
Mike here: Compare it to the photo of the "2x Short-Focus Multi-Coated Barlow" on the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page.
Subject:	Wedge for ETX125?
Sent:	Tuesday, February 28, 2006 01:03:50
From:	Yenal Ogmen (
I am owning ETX125 for 5 years. I have an observatory for it. I am
planning to put my scope on a pier. Since I am planning to upgrade to
12" or 14" in a few years, I want to buy such a wedge that I can use it
both for my ETX and my next scope 12" or 14". Which wedge shall I
choose? Or is there any such wedge? :)

Thank you.

Yenal Ogmen
North Cyprus
Mike here: If you want to use the same wedge for the large scope you will have to purchase one (or make one) for that telescope and then make an adapter for the ETX.
Subject:	Power supply to Meade ETX 125 EC
Sent:	Monday, February 27, 2006 11:31:48
From:	Paul le Roux (
I recently bought a Meade EXT 125EC telescope in Pretoria and is in the
process of upgrading the telescope by adding the bulk of the available
accessories. Most have been purchased at Fotocats in Brooklyn in
Pretoria in South Africa.

It appears that the Meade AC-DC power adaptor (Product Code # 541)
converts only from 115-120 VAC to 12VDC.

In South Africa our residential AC power supply is 230VAC. It is assumed
that this Meade adaptor can thus not be used without adjustment or using
a further transformer.

1) Is it possible to use a generic local available 230VAC to 12 VDC
I have a Digitech AC-DC Adaptor Model PP1000AP:
Input:      240V~50Hz , 20W
Output:   Adjustable 3 to 12V
Current: 1000mA , 12VA max
Polarity: inside + , outside -
2) Can you please confirm the polarity of the power socket of the Meade
EXT 125EC telescope?

3) If I can not use the local adaptor, what is the price of the # 541
Meade product?
Your response will be highly appreciated.
Paul le Roux
Mike here: You need at least 1500ma to reliably run the ETX-125AT at 12VDC. See the FAQ page for info polarity. As to the price, according to OPT's page (, it is $50 USD.
Subject:	ETX-90AT - want to replace mount/tripod with lxd55 mount/tripod
Sent:	Monday, February 27, 2006 04:27:24
From:	Basel Salam (
I am in the process of purchasing an ETX-90AT with UHTC, #884 tripod,
and #497 autostar.

I am a beginner, with aspirations to move up.

I'm very interested in astrophotography, and specifically got a
point&shoot that can do it in limited amounts (a powershot G3).

The following website convinced me that the ETX-90AT can do well with
the G3:

Now, do you think its worthwhile to move the OTA to an LXD 55
mount/tripod enabled for autostar? (I'll sell my ETX mount/tripod then).

Or should I just stick to my current setup.

I feel that without precise equatorial  mounting, especially with my
90mm scope, I cannot get any images of DSO's, or planets at high power.

The 884 only gives a rough polar mounting. 

Here's a website with good pics that describes this:

Thanks for maintaining such a great resource! 

and... clear skies :)

Basel Salam
Mike here: You can accurately polar align the #884 tripod; in fact, the steps are not that much different than with a GEM mount like the LXD55. I'd suggest sticking with the #884 for starters.
Subject:	" dime results " post update
Sent:	Sunday, February 26, 2006 13:20:52
From: (
Problem solved ! First, let me just say the last few weeks have been
very enlightening for a number of reasons.

First, the information and assistance all of you sent my way wasn't only
helpful but it showed me that there are people in this world who give of
themselves from within and for that, a heartfelt Thank You.

Optical aides I have found, starting with the basic' iron sight 'common
on firearms generally used for 'close range' to the extreme "Space
Hubble", belong to a very large family tree. Somewhere in that tree was
a branch that I had to find and find I did.

With the help of an employee named Jesse from "Anecortes Telescope and
Birds" here in Wa. and 3 hours of non-stop work the task of the "dime"
was solved. Based on our combined efforts " and Jesse's patience ", we
came up with a number of optical instruments to be used in our test.
Vixen, Tele Vue, Swarovski, Pentex, Celestron, Leupold and a few others
were put thru the ' process of elimination'. Let me say that all of the
above optics were first class and more than capable to do what they are
intended for. They're all "winners"!

Price range ( $600.-$4000.) All pros and cons were considered and in the
end, "based on my particular needs" was....................

Celestron C-5 1250mm. combined with a Celestron E-Lux 25mm Plossl, and a
Tele Vue Clic Stop Zoom 8mm-24mm. This setup more than meets my needs.

2nd place goes to Tele Vue model 76 and 3rd place goes to the spotting
scope Swarovski.

In closing, this has been a very rewarding experience as well as

Come to think about it....I even get change back from my " dime"

                                 Thank you all and god bless...
                                                  Steve Sharick 
From:	richard seymour (
>   Optical aides I have found,... belong to a very large family tree.
 > Somewhere in that tree was a branch that I had to find and find I did.

I like that analogy...

> With the help of an employee named Jesse from "Anecortes 
> Telescope and [Wild] Birds" here in Wa. 

..they do tend to get rave reviews...

> in the end, "based on my particular needs" was....................
>    Celestron C-5 1250mm. combined with a Celestron E-Lux 25mm Plossl, 
> and a Tele Vue Clic Stop Zoom 8mm-24mm. 

Thanks for the report and solution-set... that'll help us when similar
questions arise again.

The Celestron has a 30% shorter focal length than the Meade ETX-125.
That will give you a wider field of view with the 25mm/24mm-end-of-zoom.
Did you try the Celestron C130mm scope, too?  That would've been
  almost a duplicate of the ETX125's optics.

Let's see... 1250mm divided by 8mm (other end of zoom) yields 156x.
So that's within the theoretical "usable focus" of the ETX90 (and,
as it happens, the same primary focal length).  But the 'larger glass'
of the 5 inch (or C130) will make the image much better ("more usable"?).

Certainly for your application a zoom eyepiece is *the* bit of the
puzzle which will help a lot.  In "iffy" situations you may find that
you can extract the information you seek by -lowering- magnification.
"Clik", you're there.
This happens in astronomy, too... going "too high" in magnification
yields a messy, fuzzy image.   -Lower- the magnification and your
own eye/brain can extract a sharper image.  Saturn and Jupiter
frequently appear crisp, and you can see the cloud bands and ring
separations at lower magnification.. but if you "zoom in" (by using
shorter focal length eyepieces) they dissolve to mush.

have fun (and point it to the sky at times, too...)

Subject:	Question on Meade ETX70AT alingment
Sent:	Sunday, February 26, 2006 13:16:44
From:	andreas kouyialis (
Hi and congratulations on your great site. I have a simple question,
hope it is not stupid, since I am just starting with astronomy.

I have just bought an ETX70AT scope and I am very anxious to use it as
soon as a get a clear sky (I am in the UK so this will not be so easy).
I also bought the Align-Mate Lite Bubble-level and compass eyepiece. My
question is this. I turn the tube of the scope to North using the
compass, but when I fix the declination to 0 azimuth, then the scope
points downwards and the little bubble goes off. If I try to centre the
bubble, then the azimuth goes to 15 degrees. So, is the alignment
suppose to be done setting the azimuth to zero, or by leveling the tube
so that the little bubble stays in the centre?
Hope my question makes sense....
Andreas Kouyialis
Mike here: See the FAQ page for info on correcting out an of adjustment DEC (altitude) scale. The tube (and base) should be as close to level as possible although even just "eyeballing" it is usually good enough but using a bubble level will make the initial alignment star positions more correct.


Goodmorning and thank you for this speedy response. The reason I was
asking is because in the manual they have a picture showing the
telescope to be level, but the declination (when the telescope is level)
is at 0, not 15 degrees.

I will wait for a clear sky, try to do it and let you know. I am in your

Subject:	ETX-80 vs ETX-90 for travel and piggybacking
Sent:	Sunday, February 26, 2006 10:34:30
From:	Kari W
I am planning to purchase a small telescope for an upcoming trip and I
had a question for you.  In addition to portability, I am looking for a
sturdy/smooth enough mount for piggybacking a 35mm camera for wide field
photos (5-10 min exposures, maybe longer).  Is the 497 Autostar provied
with the ETX-90 any sturdier/smoother that the 494 that comes with the
ETX-80 (or is it enough to make a differnce)? For travel and
piggybacking work, is there enough differnce in the ETX-90/497 and the
ETX-80/494 to justify the price differnce?

Thank you in advance for looking at this question.


Mike here: Either can do piggyback work BUT you will need a provide a wedge or different tripod if you have the ETX-80 since the included tripod is Alt/Az only. The tripod that comes with the ETX-90 will do Alt/Az as well as polar mounting. To avoid image rotation you need the polar mounting. The Autostar #494 or #497 are both capable of tracking in polar mode. As to the telescope itself, there is quite a bit of difference between the 400mm focal length of the ETX-80 and the 1250mm focal length of the ETX-90.
Subject:	ETX125-PE Dec clamping
Sent:	Saturday, February 25, 2006 20:07:36
From: (
Well the "O-Ring" arrived today from Meade.

The packing slip reads:1- 'O' ring,3/8 x 9/16 (3/32) Teflon. for
ETX125-AT (not PE) What was in the package was:2 aluminum washers, one, 
.720 ID x.465 ID x.308 Thick.

Second is .621 OD x..485 ID x.105 thick. So much for inventory control
and shipping check! What it amounts to is a new washer, and a thin
spacer to bring the hub out far enough to clamp. The thin spacer must go
on the hub first because the thick one just reaches the end of the
plastic hub. This leaves some of the thicker spacer extending beyond the
plastic, to clamp the DEC. ring. The thin spacer's ID is too large so it
just sort of slops around on the hub.

After receipt I did some more poking around---- I find that the thread
in the hub is only three threads deep !! the screw can't go deep enough
to clamp !!(dumb not to have checked it before). I am afraid to re-tap
it, I may get brass chips down in the arm and I don't know if there are
any electronics down there or not (No schematics that I can find)

After seeing their solution I went to Lowes and found a package of  #8
O-Rings  in the plumbing dept. (9/16 OD x 3/8 ID x 3/32 thick).
Installed  one  on the hub first, it provides enough extra length to
secure the Ring and does it with very little pressure. I think this will
solve the problem. I may buy a 5/8 or 3/4 Teflon rod and drill it .465
to fit dia.& length of hub.

2nd butt kicking for not checking thread depth is now completed.

Thanks again for your help with pics. and description of your scope


Subject:	I bought an ETX-125!
Sent:	Friday, February 24, 2006 20:43:11
From:	The Brown Family (
I am proud to announce that I have purchased Dan Hester's excellent
ETX-125 OTA!

I am going to mount it to a vintage Meade #826 EQ mount, complete with
AC drive, and slow-motion knobs on both axis!! This mount should be
plenty to handle the 125 OTA!

Dan's informative and amazing observation reports suggest that this OTA
possesses the typically excellent Meade ETX optics, (Thanks again, Dan!)
and I plan to push them to the limit on the Gas giants, and the Moon!

Observation reports to follow...

Chris Brown

P.S., You better believe that my Lumicon enhanced diagonal is going into
this telescope!!

Subject:	ETX-125 review follow up on Cloudynights
Sent:	Wednesday, February 22, 2006 06:50:40
From:	Duncan Rosie (
I posted a follow up review of my ETX and accessories on Cloudynights -  

this may be of use to someone looking to buy an ETX so please link to it
if you feel it is useful.
Duncan Rosie

Subject:	set screw for retaining eyepieces
Sent:	Friday, February 24, 2006 01:55:56
From:	Charles Crapuchettes (
Can you tell me the thread size for the set screw that retains eyepieces
in the ETX-125? Mine is in the gravel somewhere at a distant site, and
the tube wall is so thin I worry that I would damage the threads in the
hole if I tried to measure them.

- Chuck C.
Mike here: See the FAQ page.
Subject:	Planning a Star Party this year
Sent:	Thursday, February 23, 2006 18:39:22
From:	Leung Henry (
Are you planning a star party this year?  I attended last year's star
party at Borrego Spring.  My wife and I have a blast.  Keep me inform.

Thank you,

Mike here: Glad you had a good time. I'm not ready to make any announcement.
Subject:	etx baffles
Sent:	Thursday, February 23, 2006 16:32:05
From: (
Is there anyway to know if the baffles are off in the etx. When a bright
object is just out of view I can see a some light in an elongated
pattern within the scope which of course disappears once the star is in
view. Is that a result of poor baffeling or something else or is this
normal for the etx?
Mike here: A photo of the secondary mirror baffle slippage can be seen here: There are several "baffle" tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page however you may or may not want to attempt this yourself. It may be better to return the telescope to Meade if indeed it has slipped. You would also see that collimation is no longer good so do a 'star test' before (and after) to see if that is a problem.


Thanx for the reply I realized that it must have been the eyepiece as it
only happened on the 26mm ep not on the orthos.
clear skies

Subject:	ETX-125 - focussing problems
Sent:	Thursday, February 23, 2006 00:59:53
From:	mark washer (
just a quickie - when focussing on any star i have noticed that when i
fine tune the focus the entire f-o-v shifts to the left and then right
again approx one eighth the width when observing thru a 26mm eyepiece -
is this normal or is this indicative of a more serious problem - i am
happy its not me nudging the tube!
Mark Washer
Mike here: If you have one of the original ETX-125 models (circa 1999), image was a reported problem and Meade had a fix (back then) for free. If it is a newer model then image shift should be minor and some is normal due to the moving main mirror design. But 1/8 of the FOV is rather large and could be indicative of a collimation problem or a flip mirror out of alignment. You can easily check these by doing a star test. See the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for more on star testing and collimation. Keep in mind that collimating an ETX is not something you want to take on unless you are willing to run the risk of making things worse.
Subject:	ETX 125 AZ problem
Sent:	Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:57:59
From:	Jan H Kolst (
Suddenly I've got a single ticking sound from the base of the scope.It
is rather weak , but irritating. I've had it before,but it vanished.Now
it's back.The frequency of the tick varies between every 5th sec to
enery 8th second and sometimes every 20th second.During an hour
observing it varies from west to east.Sometimes higher frequncy in the
west than in the east.This is perhaps a bit tensed reaction from the
owner since the scope was new in January 2006.? II've installed version
41Ec 2 times,reset,calibrated and trained both axis.Any suggestions? The
picture is jumping very little, but noticable when I hear this
tick,.Just tested it.Otherwise the scope is just fine.NB! I take care
not  fastening the AZ lock too much.
Jan Kolstoe
Mike here: It could also just be some other minor debris or even lubrication that has stiffened up. You can possibly cure this by unlocking the axes and slowly move the OTA from hard stop to hard stop, back and forth several times. Could be a wire in the base that is catching in the gears (not good). It could also be that the gear housing is loose. Check inside the base for these.


I've just been out trying the scope.It worked very fine, no problems
whatsoever.When I tried to turn the base to even the grease I had som
minor resistance. I moved the base softly around several times.I looked
inside the base (not an expert) greased some of the plastic wheels and
the metal wheel conected to the worm? and the baseknob outside.I used
very little grease(white lithium).As mentioned som resistence in the
beginning.Everything works extremely well and the stars are right in the
eyepiece.Wonderful evening! Hope it lasts!
Best wishes
Jan Kolstoe

Subject:	ETX 125 Custom Fork Mount and Autostar
Sent:	Wednesday, February 22, 2006 07:56:29
From:	Jeff Bell (
Great site and you've maintained it for a decade, wow!
I want to build a custom fork mount for my ETX 125 and am considering
using 2" x 4" rectangular tube for the structure and an Optic Craft
Castor RA drive and the Pollux Dec drive.  I want to create a stable,
super accurate mount for long-exposure, prime focus astrophotography.

My question is with the Autostar 497.  Since it does a motor
calibration, and pointing ratios can be set by the user, can I make it
compatible with the above components so I can use the handbox on this
unique mount and have its Go-To capability? I know the British AWR
system and handbox is recommended by Optic Craft, but I sure like the
way Autostar works.
Thanks for any suggestions...Jeff :)
Mike here: I suspect you can do what you want. See the "Steve Bedair's "Go To" Mounts" item on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject:	Getting the best performance from my Meade ETX-125 AT with UHTC
Sent:	Wednesday, February 22, 2006 06:35:28
From:	Michael Alexander (
Thank you so much for your invaluable information regarding my ETX-125. 
To clarify the issue, I will be quite satisfied if I can see the cloud
bands and "pale orange spot" on Jupiter and the Cassini Division  with
perhaps some cloud bands on Sautrn.  Would filters help me to achieve
this, and if so what numbers and colors?  Would a different filter help
for Mars?

Perhaps its just because I am a rookie, but I find the focusing knob on
the ETX-125 to be kind of course and hard to get exactly focused.  Would
an electronic focusser give more accurate focusing, and, if so, do you
have any favorites?

For Deep Sky Objects, I have heard that using lower power eyepieces give
the best views.  Is this true, and, if so, what mm/quality eyepiece
would you recommend?  As for what I mean by details, for galaxies I
would be satisfied  even with justa few of the best ones being able to
see a spiral one as a spiral, an elliptical as an ellipse and eg the
Sombrero Galaxy as looking like a Sombrero.  With star clusters for at
least a couple of them I would be happy being able to see a few
peripheral stars and not just one fuzzy blob.  For nebulas I would be
happy being able to see at least a couple as gaseous areas - eg Ring
Nebula or Great Nebula in Orion.  Are there any specific filters I can
buy for deep sky objects which would help?

Can you recommend the three or four best candidates in the Northern
Hemisphere for each of the following:

                 1.  Galaxies
                 2.  Star Clusters
                 3.  Nebulas
I currently have a Meade 2X Telenegative Extender, (China).  Would I
meet my planteray and/or deep sky ojbectives better by getting a Toucam
Pro 2/3X Barlow?

Finally, as far as eyepieces go, I have the standard 26 mm Super Plossl
that came with the scope and a set of three Meade eyepieces I got at the
Discovery Channel Store for $40.  This includes the 2X telenegative, a
WA 18mm, and a PL 5 mm .  What mm eyepieces should I buy for planets and
dso's?  In terms of sharpness and resolution, is it worth it to buy $200
eyepieces or will $50 or $90 eyepieces suffice? Or perhaps the cheap set
I now have?  Do you have any favorite manufacturer of eyepieces?

I greatly appreciate any and all of your expert advice. I find it
invaluable towards getting the most fun out of this great little scope. 
Mike here: Read through the Accessory Reviews: Filters page. As to focusing, yes, an electronic focuser CAN help but it is more to reduce vibrations; the same with a flexible focus cable (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page as well as the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page if you want to make your own. Using a clothes pin (the clamping type) as a lever on the knob will likely help you. Higher magnifications reduce the perceived brightness of objects, so yes, lower powers can help you see DSOs better. But keep in mind that you will still see "faint fuzzy objects" with little color and detail. Don't expect to see spiral arms like you see in photographs of some galaxies. If the telenegative is of reasonable quality, imaging using a webcam, unless you are getting into astrophotography, won't help you. For info on eyepieces, see the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page as well as the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject:	Re: Filter recommendation for DSX-90
Sent:	Tuesday, February 21, 2006 17:02:19
From:	Christopher Laibinis (
Thanks for the info Dieter, this is a great help, I now know not to
waste my money purchasing items that won't help me with my telescope and
can concentrate on purchasing something more useful for the hobby.

Subject:	aligning ETX-AT80
Sent:	Monday, February 20, 2006 08:34:53
From: (
Great website! 

I received an ETX-AT80 for Christmas and have been enjoying it very
much. But one aspect of using the alignment program has me puzzled.
Using the supplied compass/bubble level to establish a home position
consistently leaves the telescope pointing behind its' first alignment
star by maybe 20 to 30 degrees. Or in terms of time the scope is
pointing to where the target star would have been an hour or two earlier
in the evening. I have checked the Autostar and it displays my correct
location (Long Island, NY) and time. Additionally I have it set for OFF
for daylight savings.  Fortunately the first target it looks for is
Sirius so compensating for the lag is easy. But I am wondering if this
lag is normal or within accepted parameters of accuracy on initial
alignment or is there something I can do to tighten up the scope's
initial search?
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Brooks Dermont
Bellport, NY
Mike here: You need to compensate for "Magnetic Variation" when using a compass. The telescope HOME position uses True North, not Magnetic North. There can be up to about a 20 degree difference depending upon the location of the observing site. You can check your variation; see the Astronomy Links page for a web site to do this.


Thanks. I am familiar with magnetic variation from flying and wondered
if that might be the answer. I figured perhaps the Autostar compensated
automatically based on having zip code punched into it. I guess not. I
have been through the manual several times as well and I don't recall
Meade saying anything about adjusting for magnetic variation. I will
check out the link and give it a try.
Thanks again!
Mike here: The Autostar doesn't compensate for it. At least, not without a LNT module.


thanks again. The magnetic variation for this area is about -14 degrees
so that fits well with my observation. What is an LNT module?
Mike here: LNT = Level North Technology. Included with the Premier Edition ETX and some other Meade telescopes. Can't be added to non-PE models.
Subject:	What can I expect to see with an ETC-125AT with UHTC???
Sent:	Sunday, February 19, 2006 15:29:33
From:	Michael Alexander (
I recently purchased a slighlty used ETX-125 AT with UHTC.  Much to my
dismay Meade refuses to answer my questions:  Before I spend perhaps
hundreds of dollars on high quality eyepieces for this scope, what can I
expect to see with this scope on an average night?  I live in the
country where there are few lights.  Can I expect to see, for example,
the Polar Caps of Mars, the Cassini Division of Saturn, the Great Red
Spot and other details of Jupiter, some details on the larger galaxies
and/or nebulas?  Or should I just sell this scope on eg eBay and put the
money and eyepiece money towards a larger scope.  If I can expect to see
these things, what eyepieces and or filters would you suggest?  Is there
a book available on using the ETX series scopes?   Any information you
can provde would be deeply appeciated.

Respectfully............Mike Alexander
Mike here: Keep in mind that is a 5" aperture telescope so you won't see much details in DSOs except for the really bright ones like M42 and globular clusters. You can see the Martian polar caps (when the viewing is optimal) and certain Cassini Division. But it sounds like your expectations are already beyond what a 5" telescope can provide. See the Helpful Information: User Observations page for reports from users. See the Accessory Reviews pages for eyepiece and filters, as well as the Buyer/New User Tips page. There are tutorials (see the Helpful Information: Tutorials page). There is a book available (mine), and the ETX CD-ROM (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page).


Thanks for the prompt response to my questions.

I take it to mean that I won't be able to see much detail on Jupiter and
very little detail for any galaxies and/or nebulas with the ETX 125 AT.

What would the minumum telescope requirements be in order to see the
following on an average night:

1.  Polar caps on Mars
2.  Cassini Dvision of Saturn
3.  Great Red Spot and other details of Jupiter
4.  Some details for the brighter galaxies and nebulas
Would spending big bucks on top of the line eyepieces and/or filters for
the ETX 125 enable me to see these things or should I just bite the
bullet sell the ETX125 and buy a bigger scope?
                                 Thanks.........Mike Alexander
Mike here: 1. ETX-90, 2. ETX-70, 3. ETX-90, 4. 12" or larger. Keep in mind that Mars is very distant right now so the cap is difficult in a small telescope. The GRS is a faint pale orange now, unlike what it was a few decades ago when it was a brighter red-ish. Galaxies and most nebulae will appear as faint fuzzy blobs with little to no detail visible in most affordable telescopes. You will be able to see a shape (sometimes). So it comes down to what do you mean by details on Jupiter and in galaxies. You'll be able to see cloud bands on Jupiter with an ETX-70 but to see swirls in the clouds will require 10-12".
Subject:	Properly starting up the ETX125
Sent:	Sunday, February 19, 2006 07:37:48
From:	Comcast Mail (
Do you feel that the instructions that come with the scope are
sufficient? If not, what publication do you recommend? I can't seem to
get the scope to work as I think it should and would welcome all the
help I can get!!
Mike here: The supplied manual is a good starting place but you do need to read it three times and then play with the telescope indoors until you understand what it is doing and how to make it do what you want it to do. Then you can go outside at night without all the frustrations of trying to learn how to use it in the dark. Beyond that, there are tutorials (see the Helpful Information: Tutorials page), Autostar Tips (see the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page), a book (mine), and the ETX CD-ROM (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page). If you have specific questions after you do all that study, feel free to write.
Subject:	ETX90EC #541 AC ADAPTER
Sent:	Saturday, February 18, 2006 13:42:53
From:	Lance (
What is the correct current output reqiured without damaging the ETX90EC
and or the adapter itself.

In your ETX Tech tips , I believe you said it  was 1500 mA, while on
another site that sells these adapters says it's 1000mA. Could this be a
typo mistake?

I just bought an adapter of which is ,  Input 120VAC 60Hz 28W Output
12VDC  1500mA  with a adapta plug 'N' size ser as 'Positive' tip
polarity. I have not tried this as of yet!

As to the cigarette power cord, which output (12VDC?) and   mA should it
be? (and of course is it 'positive'? tip!!) .

I can get my hands on an alternative,  rather than getting the #607.

Thank you for your web site as it is chock full of tips and helpful info
and then some.

- Lance
Mike here: The ETX-60/70 power adapter is 1000mA and the ETX-90/105/125 are 1500mA. And positive, as noted on the FAQ page.
Subject:	Electrical connection
Sent:	Saturday, February 18, 2006 15:04:11
From:	thebostons (
Hope I didn't overlook this question already answered. I've purchased a
12V power supply for my ETX  105. What is the correct plug size to
connect my cable to the control box (the little silver male part in the
center under the red light on the side of the ETX)? I'm not paying the
price Meade wants for their power cord when I can purchase the necessary
parts at a hardware store for 1/3 the price. Thanks
Mike here: Actually, if you do a search on the ETX Site for "plug radio shack" you will get the right size info in the first hit! Also, see the FAQ page if you don't know the polarity.
Subject:	re:  884 Tripod Magnatism (1/20 on PE site)
Sent:	Saturday, February 18, 2006 09:13:25
From: (
The following may be useful to your PE sitw writer of January 20 who was
having trouble avoiding telescope and tripod influences on a magnetic
compass. I use a compass because near my house where I do most of my
viewing I don't have a clear shot of the north star.

Having noticed that my old Meade ETX125 body itself affects a simple
magnetic compass placed too near the scopes body and drive mechanism, I
have used for several years a compass attached to a sturdy plastic ruler
as an assistant device for locating north with acceptable reduction in
the scop's influence on the magnetic compass.

Appaaraantly, placing a magnetic compass about a foot behind the
telescope and tripod appeared to me enough to significantly reduce the
adverse scope's effects on the compass.  With the compass N/S axis
carefully alligned with the long axis of the ruler, I gently place the
face opposite to the end where the compass is afixed against the
backside of the ETX and slowly rotate with the controler the ETX until
the comass, apprpriate correction for magnetic deviation, indicates
north to within about 2 degrees.  I hope to improve on this with an
electric compass that I recently acquired.

Best regards.
Frank Goldner
Bethesda, Maryland

Subject:	Clear Sky Prediction Web Site
Sent:	Wednesday, February 15, 2006 03:49:59
You have probably visited this web site, if not, check it out.

It try's to predict Clear Sky conditions across the US.
I predicts Cloud Cover, Transparency, Seeing, Darkness, Wind, Humidity,
and Temperature.
You might find it helpful?

Mike here: Thanks. I have had it listed for several years on the Astronomy Links page and a local one is being displayed on my Oracle Observatory page.
Subject:	re: a dime at 500 yards...
Sent:	Tuesday, February 14, 2006 19:12:48
From:	richard seymour (
There are other factors Mike didn't mention:

Do you want to see if "the dime" is just -there-, or are
you trying to discern something accurately about its condition?

500x is difficult to -do- during the daytime... the roiling
of the air between you and it (if you're looking parallel
to the earth's surface at a landmark) will really mess it up.

Even a 10" or 12" scope will have trouble simply seeing a
dim "dime" at that distance.   If the object is brightly
illuminated, and contrasting against a dark background,
at least you'll be able to see that it's there, but
gleaning any -other- information will be difficult.
Its color may appear to -change- (unless it's already
monochromatic) due to the refractive nature of air.

have fun
Mike here: Thanks Dick. I was looking forward to continuing the "conversation" but never got a reply back.


From: (
Hi Mike, sorry I'm late with my response, work demands...

You asked about the Weaver etx 90. I found an artical at a shooting
site....ah.."" The International Handgun Metallic Silhouette
Association"". That's the first mention of it. I've come across it in
my research of telescopes on many occasions. It may be the first
"Meade-90" of sorts.?

That "dime" example should have been better explained.

I'm sorry to have wasted your time. What I'm really trying to do is
see bullet holes at 500 yards distance. Something more like a 20
linear foot view at 20 foot distence should do the hole.

Made a phone call to "Anacortes Bird &?" here in Wa. state, 3 hour
drive north of where I'm located and was told there are a number of
optical devices that accomplish this task. They even mentioned large
80mm plus spotting scopes that should work...hence " tele vue" brand
items came into play.Nice but the price is way up there.

I'll keep you informed as to my progress but I might add that having
a telescope to view bullet holes at 500 yards and also being able to
view impact craters on the moon sounds really trick, especially in
one package.

Nice to hear from you and again thanks for more info to help me on my


Dick, thank you for the info...very nice of you. I just related to Mike,
the "dime" was not the best example of my quest.

A 20 foot linear field of view from a 20 foot distance should allow me
to see bullet holes,... from 500 yards is about what I'm after. I hope
this makes more sense.

I owe you one my friend, thanks again.....
                                Steve Sharick
I suspected that target shooting might be behind the request...

A more "modern" answer might be to position a cheap video camera
near the target, and run wire (or a directional antenna) back to
the receiver/viewer.

Also, if you wish to approach it telescopically, a refractor is
a much better instrument than a reflector (such as all but the
cheapest Meade scopes are) ... the central obstruction of the
secondry mirror system -further- "softens" the image at the
exact point you want it to be crispest.
This is a downside of "telephoto mirror lenses", too.
Nice edges, perceptibly fuzzy centers.

have fun

Subject:	8" SCT or 5" ETX?
Sent:	Tuesday, February 14, 2006 06:45:26
From:	C.A.Warburton (
Could I ask your advice about choosing a 'scope?

I've owned an Etx-90 for a couple of years now and have found it a great

Recently though I've desired more aperture so have been looking at
either an Etx-125 or an Lxd55/75.

What's your opinion Mike? Is aperture everything? Will I see more in the
8"Sct compared to the 5" Mct? I've read alot about low contrast images
in an Sct so it's been hard to form an opinion. Considering I do alot of
imaging, what would your advice be?

In anticipation, many thanks,
Chris Warburton,
Derbyshire U.K.
Mike here: I have both an ETX-125 and a LXD55-8"SC and you will definitely see more with the 8". Contrast hasn't been a problem for me. You can visit my LXD site ( for more information.
Subject:	meade etx power supply
Sent:	Monday, February 13, 2006 05:06:22
From:	Ron Beare (
Have just got myself a car jump-start type power pack intending to use
it as a power supply for my etx 105. I noticed that the charger is rated
at 15volts dc, so I checked the output from the "cigar Lighter" socket;
the one recommended for the Meade lead, and found it to be 13.7 volts
dc. Will this be too high to use with the scope? I notice in your
excellent book that you say the autostar can be used with any dc supply
from 9 to 15 volts dc, does this apply to the scope also?.

I have found a note on your website about the centre pin being positive
but cant find any references to acceptable supply voltage. The only
information I have is from the dealer, who says I cannot use rechargable
batteries as the nominal voltage is too low, but is not sure about the
upper limit.

Thanks for any help you an offer.
Mike here: You'll be fine.
Subject:	Re: Filter recommendation for DSX-90
Sent:	Monday, February 13, 2006 03:46:11
From: (
Hi Christopher, 

I read your question at Mike's site and - additional to what Mike
proposed you to do - have the following recommendation:

Nebular filters allow ONLY some part of continuous light to pass
through. With EVERY filter you will loose light and with 90mm objective
lense you need EVERY light you can get.

The OIII is the strongest 'light eater', followed by the Narrowband and
finally the Broadband. So - if at all - I would prefer the Broadband
which does not darken everything TOO much but still increases contrast
between typical nebulars and the sky background. I by myself own the
MEADE Narrowband filter - but never used it with the ETX-125 (only with
larger aperture telescopes)

Oh, by the way, all of these filters will benefit you ONLY at some
typical nebulars but will NEVER do anything good for you at galaxies,
globular clusters, etc.

Hope I did not disencourage you; I would be VERY happy with 5m.4 ... 6.3
skies here in Munich / Germany!


Subject:	Can't get focused
Sent:	Sunday, February 12, 2006 21:19:03
From:	Stan Pace (
I recently purchased a Meade 125 ETX Premier and I have enjoyed it.
However, I have become very concerned and disheartened about not being
able to view objects or planets clearly.  When I look at a planet like
Saturn, I can see it very clearly using the 26mm lens, all images are
clear and sharp.  When I use the Barlow lens with it or use any other
more powerful lens like a 18 mm or 9.7 mm everything is fuzzy.  I've
read other reviews and everyone will write about how good they can see
things in detail.  I even stayed up late to look at Jupiter and again
once I went to any lens except for the 26 mm lens everything is fuzzy.
Nothing is sharp.  It was my understanding when I purchased the
telescope, unless I overpowered the telescope I should not have a
problem with fuzzy images.  All my viewings have been under crystal
clear and cool nights.   Can you help?  Please....

Stan Pace
Pace, FL
Mike here: At smaller magnifications objects can look sharp but as you increase the magnification you not only increase the size of the object you also increase the amount of blurring caused by atmospheric influences and/or internal air movement inside the telescope tube. You didn't describe your observing conditions. Also, keep in mind that for best viewing you must let the telescope reach "thermal equilibrium", which takes about 30 minutes for each one inch of aperture, or about 2.5 hours in the case of the ETX-125.


Thanks for your reply, Even though I have read the instruction manual at
least twice and read certain areas of need many times over, "I know you
recommend reading it three times" in your email to other people.  I have
not come across the word "thermal equilibrium".  However, the conditions
are usually cool "average 55 degrees" with the temperature falling
through out the night to cold - mid to low 40s with low humidity.  The
skies are crystal clear.  After I finish with this email I'll look up
thermal equilibrium.  Is there anything else I may need to know that I
have overlooked or is there possibility of a problem with the

Mike here: Thermal equilibrium means to allow the air and components inside the telescope tube to reach ambient temperature. If you moved the telescope from a warm room to the outside, then there is a temperature differential that needs to be equalized. Until thermal equilibrium is reached air currents inside the tube will cause distortions in viewing.


Thanks!  I did what you said.  I left the telescope out for about 2 hrs
and it was a lot better!!  Thanks for Advice and lesson.  I read over my
manual and it only mentioned ambient temperature once in a small
sentence.  Mike Thanks.... Saturn is beautiful tonight!
                         Stan :-)

Subject:	GPS for the ETX?
Sent:	Sunday, February 12, 2006 17:49:29
From:	Michael McLaughlin (
Browsing through Scopetronics website in the ETX accessories section I
noticed a GPS receiver for LX90, LXD 55/75, and the various ETX models
(using #495 and #497 autostar) called StarGPS.   I have a few questions
about this gadget.

First, if I hook this thing up to an ETX AT will it start setting up
like a LX200 or LX90 GPS scope?  That is, does this thing replace the
need for manual leveling and "northing" your telescope?  My
understanding is that when you turn on a LX200GPS it finds itself,
levels, norths, and then slews to the first alignment star.  Is that
what this add-on GPS receiver will do?

My guess is no, but I'm not sure.   I figure that all the GPS receiver
will do is input your time, date, and location then you will have to
still find level and north before autostar tries to alignbut againit's a

Second, if I am right about the above does that mean that the ETX PE
will set up as one of those larger GPS telescopes?  I know that the PE
will level and north itself after you put in your location/date data so
does this GPS unit simply fill in the parts that you normally have to
input and then let the LNT take over, or does the GPS unit override the
LNT somehow (or does it even work with LNT)?

Third, is there a REAL advantage to GPS assisted setup for the ETX?  I
know that the time and location data are likely to be more precise which
would lend itself to an easier setup, but does it make the goto function
or tracking function any better during the observing session?

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this mostly unnecessary,
but still kind of neat gadget.  By the way, there are so many gadgets
for the ETX models out there that it's scary.  I'm still looking for the
one that makes the ETX go to work for me so I can stay home and vegetate
on my computer.  If it doesn't exist now I'll bet someone is working on
Mike McLaughlin
Mike here: See the articles "StarGPS-LX Review" and "GPS for Autostar #495/497" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page. Those should answer your questions.
Subject:	Down to earth
Sent:	Saturday, February 11, 2006 22:56:01
From: (
great site and great work........

As hard as I've tried, I cannot find anyone who can give me an answer to
my question. I hope you'll be able to help me.

I have a need to be able to see "dime" size objects as tho they were
24-36 inches away at 500 yards. I've looked thru conventional spotting
scopes at the range and none of them are anywhere near what I'm looking

I've found myself looking at telescopes and I'm wondering if I'm on the
right track. The models of interest at this time are.

           Meade etx 90
           Meade etx 125
           Weaver etx 90mm
Which model, and what Accessories ie:  tube, eye piece etc...would
you recommend to acomplish my objective. Clarity/crispness of
image is very important. I'd like to stay under $700.00, less if

Please let me thank you for your time and effort and bless you.
                                      Mr. Sharick 
Mike here: Have you done the math? That is, have you calculated (rather than me doing it for you) the angular diameter of the "dime" at 500 yards and the angular diamter of it at 1 yard? If so, then you calculate the magnification required (divide larger diameter by smaller diameter). Then you can easily determine what telescope and eyepiece focal lengths will give you that magnification (divide the telescope FL by the eyepiece FL). Then you can determine what model telescope (ETX or not) will work best for you. By the way, what is a "Weaver etx 90mm"? Never heard of that model.

A couple of days later:

Haven't heard back so I'll give you a couple of clues. You want to "bring" the "dime" 500 times closer (from 500 yards to 1 yard). That is like magnifying the image 500X. And since that exceeds the theoretical maximum for the telescopes you listed, they won't work for you. (See the FAQ page for how to determine this value.) Suffice it to say that you'll need at least a 10" aperture telescope or even larger if you want a clear view.
Subject:	Doing very well with ETX-125, ETX-60
Sent:	Saturday, February 11, 2006 13:17:11
From:	William Neis
I have been reading your advice and replies to questions for a few
months now and marvel at your patience with those who do not try the
suggestions you document on your web site before writing you.  There are
so many problems which are the result of user error and quite a few
product quality control problems that come up.  I suspect that there are
a large number of people like me who have learned what they need to know
by reading the mail and your answers and you never hear from us. Thank

You have on several occasions recommended that buying from a local
telescope dealer is a good thing to do if one is available.  You also
mentioned that one should not be frightened away by the number of
complaints as most of the people with good experiences do not write you
with complaints.  I am writing you so say that you are absolutely
correct on both counts.

I bought the 60 at an antique store some months ago and it worked well.
Eventually, when I did have a problem, I went to a local telescope
dealer, Scope City, and met the manager, Jerry for the first time.  He
said that the problem shouldn't have happened and took care of me very
reasonably just as though I were a long time customer in spite of the
fact that I had not bought the telescope from him.

Later, after I had read some of your information and spent quite a bit
of time with him learning about which telescope would be best for me, I
bought the 125 from him.  (I have had a larger telescope in the past,
but used it seldom because of the weight and size.  Portability is now a
main concern.  I can view through a larger aperture, up to 22 in., when
I am with my local astronomy association.)  He has earned my business
with excellent service and advice before and after the sale and I have
no worries about future problems because he has already demonstrated
that he will stand behind his products.  Although the service and
knowledge that I get at Scope City is worth quite a bit, the prices on
what I have purchased there are no higher than the "discount" stores in
this area where they know nothing about the product.

I am having a great time with both telescopes.  I live with light
pollution, but can get a decent view with these telescopes from just
outside my bedroom door.  I can set-up in 10 minutes on the porch, view
for 10 minutes or hours, put the telescope away in another 10 minutes,
and go to bed without feeling that I have wasted time.  I also go to
dark sites with my astronomy friends, but for impulse viewing wherever I
am, the ETX is great.

Thanks very much for a lot of very good information.


Bill Neis

P.S. You may post and edit this or not as you see fit, but I would
prefer that you left my e-mail address off of any public posting.  (I
also have a Mac and live in the San Diego area.  I hope to meet you sometime.)

Subject:	ETX site heads up
Sent:	Saturday, February 11, 2006 10:46:41
From:	Luis Villa (
I have been receiving e-mail that pretends to be from you,  since I use
this account exclusively with your etx site. The only reason I write
this is to give you a heads up on what appears to be a hack attack on
your site  I received 8 e-mails from a "mweasner" and four junk e-mails.
and since I know you don't forward anything, I immediately deleted them
without opening   the one that bothers me the most is a "phishing"
attempt from chase bank I will be reporting this to "Chase Bank"

I hope this message makes it past your spam filter, I really didn't know
what subject line to include...

Mike here: You are experiencing a common Windows virus. Infected Microsoft Windows computers will forge a "sender's" email address using entries in the Microsoft Outlook address book. It then sends email to other entries in the address book in attempt to spread itself to other unprotected Windows computers. If a Windows user opens (or even shows a preview in a pane in the email application) the Windows computer gets infected and starts the process all over again. There are likely hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Windows PCs that are infected with this and many other Windows viruses. Another possibility, although I haven't heard of it being done, is for an infected Windows computer to check for email addresses on a loaded web page (probably using vulnerabilities in Windows Internet Explorer), then do the same thing of forging a sender's address and sending out emails to infect other Windows computers. And besides the jerks who write viruses, there are the jerks who harvest web pages on the Internet for email addresses and then send SPAM, some of which are viruses, to those addresses. And then there are the jerks who either purchase or break into ISP databases and get user email addresses, and merge them and send SPAM (and viruses) out. Given the quantity of all these bogus emails, it is hard to determine which of all the possibilities is at work in any given SPAM/VIRUS email. I don't use Windows for this and many other reasons.


Thanks for the reply, I was hoping that your spam filters would allow
this in.  I have kept my computers up to date with all security

I also would be a Mac user IF Apple had not stopped supporting the Apple
//gs back when it was in vogue!  My first computers were all Apples...
Mike here: I still have my Apple II+ (but boxed up since don't have room to set it up). One of these days...


You are right on... they are JERKS big time...  it is like graffiti---
some are merely attempts to leave their mark... like FELINES, spraying
to mark their territory...

Suggest you post to your site the latest hack attack, spam to this email
address has been very limited in the past...  I could count the spam on
one hand since I first started using it... but TODAY it was a very
different story... I got lots of stuff... I don't know if other site
visitors have been inundated with this stuff, and I certainly hope they
don't respond to any 'phishing' attempts....
Mike here: As more and more PCs get infected, the SPAM count goes up, WAY UP. But hey, Microsoft is going to offer protection for "only" $49.95. Rather than fix the security holes in Windows they will sell you a "security" product. Gee, what's wrong with that picture!?!?!


Microsoft should buy all pc users new hard drives!! with all the updates
from service pack // on- and their so-called security patches they are
filling up my drive!!  I guess Bill Gates and crew really need the
money!! once users are users, they are hooked on windows and not keeping
safe can be the worse of two evils.

By the way, I am updating the computers to make sure I have the latest
and greatest spam ware protection, virus protection AND windows updates,
so now I will have less space on my drives!

I wish I still had my apple //+ and //c and //gs.... ahh... Beagle
Brothers had some awesome software! Too bad Apple decided not to support
the apple // line...

Got to run and make sure the other computers are up to date!!
Mike here: Ah yes, Beagle Brothers! Loved that company and their software!
Subject:	Re: ETX125-uhtc  DEC.setting circle
Sent:	Friday, February 10, 2006 22:18:38
From: (
I checked my '125PE, delivered 02/05, and there are no washers or shims.
There is an aluminum bushing, about 3/4" diameter, 1/4" thick, on the
shaft that, when in place, is flush with the end of the shaft.  It does
not seem to serve any purpose except to enlarge the area that contacts
the back side of the circle.  The circle itself is clamped between that
surface and the inside of the knob.  When clamped, the knob is flush
against the circle and the circle is flush against the end of the shaft
and bushing.

I wasn't set up to take a photo of it, but can if you'd like.  Let me

Mike here: Guess we have some different designs since mine is a 1999 model.


From: (
I finally got thru to meade,they essentially said hmmmm. They said there
was an "O" ring on the arm to clamp the ring . I don't have one so they
are sending one. I'll send the results when installed.

Many thanks for your replies & discriptions, seems Meade has tried lots
of different methods. Thanks again for a great site

Subject:	Buying New Scope.
Sent:	Friday, February 10, 2006 07:16:15
From:	Tony DeLuca (
I have owned a Meade Etx60 at now for about 4 years. I really bored with
scope now and want to move up. I have my eyes set on two very different
scopes. The Etx125, and an Orion SkyView Pro 127mm Mak. My first
question is using either what kind of improvements can I expect to see.
I will mostly be using them in my backyard in a suburb of Orlando Fl. So
there will be about an average amount of light pollution. Either scope
would have a very sturdy mount, the Meade filed tripod or the Skyview
pro if I get the Orion. Will I be able to make out any cloud structure
in the Orion Nebula? What about galaxies? Before I spend $1000.00 I want
some idea of what to expect. That's it that's my price limit. The other
scope I was considering was the Orion SkyView Pro 120mm EQ Refractor.

All Good Wishes,
Mike here: The increased aperture and focal length over the ETX-60 will likely amaze you. BUT keep your expectations in line with the capability of a 5" telescope. You will be able to see some cloud structure in M42 and you will be able to galaxies as typically "faint fuzzy blobs". Some galaxies will show a distinct shape (oval, linear, etc) but don't expect to see the gorgeous spiral arms you see in astrophotographs.
Subject:	ETX-125EC tripod mounting
Sent:	Thursday, February 9, 2006 12:11:17
From:	divenuts (
It's been awhile since I have e-mailed the site. I have recently had my
ETX-125EC Re-Charged by Dr Clay. I can't find anywhere the proper
mounting position of the ETX on to my older Deluxe tripod. I had left
the scope on the tripod for so long I don't remember the position. I
think it's tripod leg 'N' North(duh) and the control panel facing west.
Does it matter which direction you have the most travel before hitting
the hard stop (CW or CCW)?
Mike here: In Alt/Az, the "N" position doesn't matter; you just want the ETX control panel on the West side. In Polar position, the "N" should be on the North side (control panel still west). And CCW to the hard stop, then CW back to North.


Thanks Mike.................

Subject:	jupiter views
Sent:	Wednesday, February 8, 2006 19:26:59
From: (
Jupiter is visible from my backyard at about 5:30 am, about a 1/2 deg.
above my neighbors house. Saturn is gorgeous earlier in the night.Does
it make sense that I have horrible views of Jupiter even at mid power
with hours of cool down.I know that close to the horizon the views can
be difficult does this apply to houses to?
Mike here: Depends upon whether the roof is radiating heat from being warm at night (furnace) or still warm from the sun that was shining on it during the day. And of course any chimney or other heat source on the roof will adversely affect viewing directly over the house. If you don't believe that heat waves can affect seeing, recall what you see when looking at distant objects down a road in the summer. The objects will shimmer and dance.


I guess that that is what it is as everything else looks good in the
I believe it!! And you are right about the road shimmering in the heat.

Subject:	ETX-125 OTA assembly
Sent:	Wednesday, February 8, 2006 18:12:17
From:	Roger Lange (
Have you ever seen a schematic diagram on how to disassemble an ETX-125
optical tube? I bought one used in laser work that has a glued mirror
and a locked focus. The mirror needs to be removed, the glue removed,
and the whole assembly then reinserted and collimated. Does everything
come out the front?

Thank you for any advice or a place to obtain the instructions for the
project. A picture of the rear of the unit can be found on ebay as
auction 7584962968.

There are a number available.
Roger Lange
Mike here: Don't recall a schematic but there are some disassembly photos on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page, notably the article "Doc G's ETX OTA Guidescope & Disassembly Photos". NOTE that this isn't for the "white tube" ETX. If you search the site for "white tube" you will some other comments on it.
Subject:	Filter recommendation
Sent:	Wednesday, February 8, 2006 08:08:57
From:	Christopher Laibinis (
Wondering if anyone could suggest a first filter purchase among the
three nebular filters Meade has to offer.  Broadband, Narrowband and

Or could someone explain the differences.  I am looking to see more
detail in what I can see (i.e. Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy), and also
maybe find some objects that I currently cannot see.  I have the DSX-90
scope, and on a clear night, my sky has a limiting magnitude of around
5.4.  There is an area close by that I can go to that will give around a
6.3.  Measurements not actually taken, but pulled from .

Thanks in advance for any help.
Mike here: Some reviews on the Accessory Reviews: Filters might help.
Subject:	Meade EXT QC
Sent:	Tuesday, February 7, 2006 12:19:37
From:	Tom Robins (
I have been looking at different telescopes since June 2005 trying to
decide which type to buy and I keep coming back to the EXT 125AT (size,
goto, price). I would like your opinion regarding the EXT scopes (no I
won't blame you if I buy one and it has a problem).  Do you feel that
Meade has addressed some or most of the quality control issues regarding
the EXT series, are the new scopes still experiencing the same types of
problems as older scopes or do you feel there has been an improvement in
overall QC. From reviewing your site it appears that following the
directions that come with the scope and spending a few days learning the
ins and outs of EXT there would be less problems, calibrate motor and
train drives seems to be the answer to alot of questions and is
obviously a very important procedure. Is this an accurate statement or
is the EXT series that difficult for your average Joe to operate.
Any help you can provide would be great.
Tom Robins
Mike here: Yes, there is some learning and even reading the manual to do but that is true with any telescope you get if you want to get the most out of it. Meade, like most manufacturers, continually improve products so a lot of what you read on the site, especially older comments, are less likely to apply today. Can problems still arise? Of course. But purchasing from a reputable telescope dealer can help you overcome any potential problems that might arise.


Thanks for your quick reply Mike, I have been looking at some reviews on
yours and other sights and most are favorable, but there will always be
problem I guess.The dealer I plan on buying from is listed on the Meade
web site as an authorized dealer so if I have any issues I can talk to
them or/and refer to your site, hopefully all will go well and I will be
a happy member of the EXT family. Thanks for you input and I will let
you know how thing work out once I get my new EXT 125AT.(or maybe a PE I
just cant decide)

Thanks again for your help

Tom Robins

Subject:	ETX125-uhtc  DEC.setting circle
Sent:	Tuesday, February 7, 2006 12:01:18
From: (
I've been using the scope in alt/azm mode and decided to try finding a
star on my own. When I got to the dec.setting circle I found it to be
loose. I tried to tighten it but discovered there it no way on this
scope! when tightened as tight as I dare there is  better than 1/8
clearance between the knob and the circle, (.148 to be exact) I removed
the knob  and found there is nothing behind it .The circle spins like a
top. I suspect there is a washer or spacer that is supposed to take up
the slack and allow the circle to be set. Is this correct? I was not a
happy camper when I received the scope,(focus knob off, "E-clips" and
washers laying loose and an extremely loud noise when slewing. I just
charged it up to poor QC.   This is not funny any more, I don't know
when it's the scope or when it's me when I can't get the result I want

I know why Meade has no "e-Mail" address , It would crash on a daily
basis with QC complaints!

Did not mean to  rant & rave ,but listening to a busy signal forever
does bring out the inner beast.

I feel better now . Is there supposed to be a spacer ? If not ,what am I
doing wrong?

Thanks A. Mullen


I just read Dr.Sherrod's washer solutions in ETX tips(should have read
it first).There are no posts in the  housing,just 3 holes in the
plastic. I failed to state this is an ETX125PE in my first message-my
apologies. Guess I will have to wait till Meade gets another phone line&
ask them for their solution.QC is still lacking
Mike here: Mine has a small (about 1/2" diameter) white plastic ring which sits between the DEC scale plate and the fork arm with the locking knob bolt passing through it.
Subject:	ETX OR LX 90 - Part 2
Sent:	Tuesday, February 7, 2006 05:24:14
From:	Tom Ogletree (
I have been prowling around for some time now, and I have a couple of
questions regarding part 2 in the Performance enhancement routine that
Dr. Clay has generously posted here for us. Number 1, has there been any
updates to this routine and number 2, I may have and I'm not sure
changed the AZ-ALT Ratio setting. What should the factory setting be?
Can it be reset by doing a reset?
Thanks Mike for a very helpful place!
Thanks in advance for your help, Tom Ogletree
Mike here: RESET works. That is the simplest way to restore the values to the proper ones for the connected telescope. As to updates, nothing new, otherwise they would have been added.
Subject:	Is my ETX-125 ok?
Sent:	Sunday, February 5, 2006 17:16:39
From:	Teresa Selling (
I have not been able to see the Cassini division in Saturn's rings in my
ETX-125 with UHTC.  How easy should this be?  And at what power?  I have
a Televue 8-24mm zoom that I thought should be adequate. I live in
fairly light polluted skies so this is also a factor but I thought I
would be able to see the division with this scope. When star's are out
of focus, I see a ring that looks round to me so I think my scope is
colimated reasonably well from what I have read.  The flip-up mirror has
some play in it.  Is this normal or could it cause a problem?  I do have
quite a bit of backlash in azimuth (I have only used in alt/az so far).
I want to know if the scope is ok or if I should send to Meade for
warranty work?  This scope is relatively new but outside the 14 day
return policy of the online dealer so dealer return isn't really an
option.   I don't want to struggle with a scope that needs warranty work
but I don't know enough to  know if the scope is ok. Thanks for your

Teresa Selling
Colorado Springs, CO
Mike here: You didn't say what the seeing conditions were. Cassini Division should be visible under good conditions, with your eyepiece. I doubt the mirror is causing any problem with that. As to backlash, you didn't say if you have done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES; if you haven't, do that.
Sent:	Sunday, February 5, 2006 07:06:39
From:	Speedbird (
I have an ETX105 and have been trying out the the LPI - I am connected
to a fairly new HP laptop

After focussing the image and using auto adj button I find that the
image jumps around on the screen a lot - is this normal or should I have
a steady image?

The composite image invariably end up as a blur, a blob or a double

I have been able to get some reasonable shots (of Saturn) but only if I
press start and then stop after a few seconds so I am not getting a real
sharp image as I am not giving it time to build a composite - but a
least that way I get an  image

Does this sound to you like a faulty LPI, faulty software or operator
problem? - by the sound of some of the messages on your site and the
pictures I have seen it seems to me I shuld be able to do better than I
am doing

Des Kinneavy
Mike here: I suspect the same problem is occurring WITHOUT the LPI, that is, you would see the same jumping with a high power eyepiece. Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? Could you be overtightening the axis locks?
Subject:	etx views
Sent:	Sunday, February 5, 2006 06:44:23
From: (
I'm not sure if this has always been there and I'm just noticing this
now or not.

When viewing saturn in my back yard, with a lot of light pollution, I
notice a white splash of light surroundig the planet. The planet looks
beautiful. In fact,  the  night I first became aware of the splash was
the night that I first saw the cassini division clearly and going around
most of the ring. Is this splash/scattering of light normal? Is it the
scope? (it was just supercharged and I was told that the system overall
is !/8 wave and 88% light transmision) Or is it the eyepieces?

Thanx a bunch
clear skies
Mike here: It could have been the sky conditions (high clouds, haze, smoke from a neighbor's chimney, etc). Or it could have been dew on the optics, or some other foreign substance on the optics. You should investigate more.


Thanx for the reply. I only saw it around saturn and sirius it was
absent around the moon and other stars. I will try again tonight. There
was a window light in the direction of saturn and sirius I'll see If I
can look at them from a different angle tonight.

Subject:	ETX 105 AT vs PE
Sent:	Friday, February 3, 2006 12:54:26
From:	Patrick Reilly (
I wrote this article and thought some of your users might find it

I am the owner of an ETX 105AT-UHTC.  I have owned this scope for about
4 months.  I bought this size scope as a compromise on price vs aperture
vs portability.  When I bought the scope I was also considering the
105PE-STD model, as they were nearly the same price.  At the time the
store where I bought the scope was backordered on the 105PE.  So it was
buy the 105AT, or wait for some undetermined time for the PE. I bought
the 105AT. I have been happy with my scope in every way. But there has
always been that nagging voice saying - you could have had the PE model
if you had waited.....

This last weekend a gentleman showed up with a brand new ETX 90PE at our
clubs' dark sky star party. He came over to my location asking to get
some pointers on aligning the scope. I went through the 'easy' alignment
procedure on my AT, showing the new scope owner all the steps necessary
to get a good alt/az alignment. 10 mins later and I was up and running.
It is nice when a demo actually works the way it should.  :-)

We now headed over to the PE model to get it going,as well. The owner
asked me to walk through the alignment with him on his scope as I had
done on mine. We input the site, date and time. Set align for
'automatic'. Set the scope in its' 'home' position. The scope went
through its gyrations to find level and north. Now it picked a star in
the ENE sky near the zenith. (I belive it was Cappella) To center the
star in the scope required the use of the red dot finder as the star was
not in the field of view of the 26mm eyepiece. I found the finder to be
awful to use. The dot would disappear with the slightest of variation in
sight angles, the screen distorted the star field as well. With a star
near the zenith, body flexibility of an Olympic gymnast was required.
After getting the two stars centered in the eyepiece, 15 min. total, do
to all the crawling around the ground to see through that poor excuse
for a ret dot finder,(oh my aching back) the autostar confirmed a
successful alignment--IT LIED! Going to the tour, nothing was in the
field of view of even a 32 mm eyepiece. We did our best to do another
alignment with a different set of stars but without much better results.
I recommended he contact Meade to see if they could remedy the
situation. I had to get back to my project, as I don't get a lot of dark
sky time. I felt bad for the guy and was sorry that I had to leave him
alone with a poorly aligned scope. :-(

I'll never think twice about that purchase again. I am oh so happy with
my 105AT-UHTC. :-)

The right angle finder on the 105AT is a pleasure to use especially on
objects near the zenith or low on the horizon. About a month ago I added
a ScopeTronix LightSight Red Dot Sight to the right side of the scope
opposite the right angle finder-love it too! The tool that I use to
determine level and north is a gem called the Lighted Astralign from

It works great even at night. I paid $50 for both of those additions and
they really make my 105AT as easy or possible easier to use than one of
the new PE models.

Clear Skies,

Subject:	ISAB Item
Sent:	Thursday, February 2, 2006 06:42:15
From:	Jensen, Allen ((ISS Atlanta)) (
Just started using the RSS feed with Google Desktop on my office laptop
- works great, now I know when things change on the site.  I like it.
Allen Jensen

Subject:	Re: ETX 125
Sent:	Wednesday, February 1, 2006 13:37:54
From:	Jan H Kolst (
After tightening the 3 screws and removing some of the original grease,
the scope worked perfectly this evening.No irregular movement at
all.Thanks a lot for your valuable help again! By the way.I've bought
white lithium grease for greasing the scope.Is that ok and can I in due
time use it straight on or must I remove the old grease ?How often does
it have to be greased generally speaking ? Every third month?

Mike here: Actually, I have never needed to de- or re-grease the ETX-125EC that I got in 1999. So there is no correct answer to this frequency question. If you live in a dirty/dusty environment you may need to occasionally do this but otherwise, I'd recommend not messing with it until you KNOW it needs it.
Subject:	etx125 radical movement
Sent:	Wednesday, February 1, 2006 05:54:33
From:	Ed Williams (
I am continuing to learn much from your site. Thanks.

I am experiencing the following problem. When I tried to set up with my
two stars last night I noticed that the scope would not come around but
stopped in place short with the motor running. I tried several times to
align using the same method I have been using with good results. So I
brought the scope around the other way to the stars. Then I notice that
it was not accurate and also I experienced the same problem several
times in that it would not come around to various objects. I finally
gave up. I have not changed batteries and I made sure to put in the
correct lat & long plus time. Last weed I went to my first star party in
Cedar Kay Fl. And noticed once that the scope would not come around to
Orion . I brought it around the other way. I am also careful to turn the
scope counterclockwise when doing my align and am sure to be level. What
could be the problem.

Mike here: I am not certain whether you mean that movement is restricted, ie, it doesn't rotate nearly twice around in azimuth from hard stop to hard stop. If it doesn't then something is preventing that, typically a wire catching someplace (not good; don't force it or the wire can be cut). If that isn't the problem, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVE recently?


No I haven't since I have not changed batteries or downloaded new
software. I guess I will try that and let you know unless you have
another option.
Mike here: As the battery power drops, the outputs from the encoders decreases, hence the need to occasionally CALIBRATE MOTOR.


I can't seem to find out how to Calibrate the motor. My manual does not
give any instructions.
Mike here: Power on the telescope, press MODE until you see Setup, then scroll to Telescope, press ENTER to select that, then scroll until you see CALIBRATE MOTOR, press ENTER. The drives will run for a couple of seconds. That's it.



Subject:	etx 90 jumping problem
Sent:	Wednesday, February 1, 2006 01:58:23
From:	Peter Clipsham (
I have a 2 year old etx 90 when having completed set up and auto align
every thing is going fine (fully charged batteries fitted) i pointed to
Mars all ok view steady, i then moved to Saturn ok but when viewing
through eye piece image jumped very slightly this happened about every
10 secs or so, selected another object M42 same problem moved on to M45
problem not there.The jumping of the image through the eye piece is
small i would say about 1/16 of an inch or less  but a pain in the rear,
hope you can help. Keep up the great web site its the biz.

Best  Pete Clipsham
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES recently? If that doesn't cure it, it could be that the lubrication needs to be redistributed. Unlock the axes and slowly move the OTA by hand, back and forth, hard stop to hard stop, several times. One other possibility, although you didn't mention it, if there is a "clicking sound" associated with the jumping then either there is a gear problem (loose, broken tooth) or something is catching in the mechanism.
Subject:	Converting my 90 to a standard diagonal.
Sent:	Tuesday, January 31, 2006 20:34:32
From:	The Brown Family (
I'd like to pass along to you my latest mod to my ETX-90M; I added an
adapter to the rear port, and bought a Lumicon enhanced diagonal.

I found it important to plug the standard eyepiece holder(utilizing the
flip-mirror) with something that will block all stray light!

The focus is alot different now, but so far the results are promising!

I'll write a report after further testing.

Job Geheniau is the KING!!
Best regards,
Chris Brown 

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