Last updated: 31 January 2004
Subject: New ETX 125 mods Date: 1/29/04, 03:24 From: DaveB289@aol.com Like everyone else, let me begin by thanking you for a great site. I just bought a new ETX 125, and am looking forward to using it. I found your site and started checking out the scope with the intention of making the mods to it. The first thing I noticed after removing the DEC knobs, is that there are 6 screw holes with no screws in them. Meade won't tell me if they belong there or not, just send it back and they will determine if they should be there or not, is what I was told. These are three small countersunk screw holes through the plastic into the metal frame inside. I would think that they would help stiffen things up. It seems that some of the mods have done by Meade. The DEC knob has a pair of washers that seem to cover one mod. The entire area under the thin disk has been changed quite a bit to try and eliminate the problems you outlined there. I haven't gotten far into the scope yet, and have not tried it at all yet, so I've decided to wait and see if Meade may have solved some of the problems you mention. Again, thanks for a great site, Dave Braham
Subject: re: ETX-125 user feedback Date: 1/26/04, 20:38 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org If you are going to self-import via the "friend in USA" method, at least have them -use- the telescope while still here in the USA. That will catch the dead-in-box failures, and the first-hour failures. (of course, then they will have to wait while the telescope cycles back and forth to Meade, and then test it again). good luck --dick
Subject: ETX-125 user feedback Date: 1/23/04, 12:43 From: Andreas und Susanne (email@example.com) after reading your book on the mighty ETX and some of the posted comments on mechanical problems and their fix, I worry a lot to change my plans! I plan to purchase via internet a ETX-125 at B&H in New York, let it ship to a friend in US, who can take it as cabin luggage to Europe (Germany) on his next business trip. But: is the mechanical quality of ETX-125 improved enough, that a mechanical dummy (as me), who does not intend to touch any screw, can risk to have a dealer and the warranty accross the atlantics?? Should I better pay around DOUBLE the price in Europe, just to avoid the risk of getting it shipped back-and-forth?? Thanks for posting and / or answering, AndreasMike here: I've never had to make any adjustments to my ETX-125. That's not to say that the experience of others is the same. As with any purchase, there is always a chance that something will go wrong. Keep in mind that requests for help typically outnumber the "everything's fine" messages; just human nature. But only you can say if you want to take the risk of purchasing out of country.
Subject: ETX on airplanes Date: 1/21/04, 02:38 From: David Adriance (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have carried the ETX-125 in its hard shell case from East Africa to the US (via Europe) and back on commercial airliners and never had a problem. Security people, if they ask at all, generally seem pretty easily satisfied with the explanation that it's a portable telescope. Fits nicely into overhead lockers on 747/767s. D.
Subject: ETX on airplanes Date: 1/17/04, 12:58 From: Christopher Rhodes (email@example.com) I had no problem bringing back my ETX-125 from B&H in New York to England. I took over with me a 35 litre rucksack, a roll-up camping mat and some rubber bands. Got the boxes (Autostar also) back to the hotel, flattened them and put them in my suitcase. Wrapped the camping mat around the complete scope and secured with rubber bands. Placed some padding (clothing) in the base of the rucksack and also on top of the it. This was in January 2002 and I was pulled to one side at JFK to unpack if for inspection - easy to do. Packed back up and into the overhead lockers no problem. Home-side customs were fine with the scope. Got back home and got the glue gun out to re-build the box back up. Tried the scope - no problems at all. Saved $$$ and fine to this day.
Subject: Tech Tips Date: 1/15/04, 11:05 From: Chuck Sowers (firstname.lastname@example.org) I haven't been real happy with my 2 month old 125. It's had some tracking problems and backlash. So, I decided to jump right in and take this little guy apart. I used the tech tip pages from this site as my guide. Mostly I used Doc's tune up tips and guidelines that he suggested. Well, let me tell you. The insides of my 125 didn't look anything at all like the pictures that are available on this site. I couldn't figure out how to get into the clutch at all for degreasing. So, what we need here is some good techie to take apart one of the new ETX's and photograph the insides and get it posted. It might make this task easier for other newbies! That being said, I didn't really finish the job up as far as degreasing goes. But, I did adjust the autostar settings and that helped quite a bit. Thanks again for the site and all the info. Chuck Sowers
Subject: ETX portability Date: 1/13/04, 03:29 From: philippe (email@example.com) Answer to Stephen Shainbart, Dear Stephen, I'm just coming back from the US, and took the opportunity to buy an ETX-125EC , I put it in the hard carrying case and I had no problem to take it with me as cabin luggage. The case is effectively larger than what is generally admitted, but it fits easily and there was no problem at all, even with this enhanced inspection period in airplanes. Maybe I was lucky but that worked quite well for me. Greetings from France PhilippeMike here: Just curious: what you have done if it was rejected as carry-on?
I think I would have just separated the OTA from its support, each part fits in a cabin bag. But I thought there will be no problem, the sum of the hard case dimensions is about 130 cm (25" +15" + 11" ), what is allowed in airlines is 115 cm. Philippe
Subject: ETX portability Date: 1/10/04, 14:38 From: Shainbart@aol.com I am hoping to purchase an ETX-125EC, but I was wondering if I would be able to bring it on an airplane as carry-on luggage. I called the airline and was told the maximum size limits were 22x14x9 (L/W/H) and according to the Meade site the dimensions of the scope are 19x8.9x10.8, so the height makes it 1.8 inches too big. But reading technical specs are one thing and how things really work in the real world is another. I have never owned a serious telescope before and really want to make the right purchase. Do you have any thoughts on the ability of the scope to go on an airplane? If it is too big, is it possible to disassemble a part of it or do anything else to make it possible to travel on an airplane with (without it becoming a big procedure?). Thanks so much, I appreciate your help. Stephen ShainbartMike here: You could put it into a "duffle bag" if you want to carry it in a softsided case. It would likely be OK for carry-on then BUT protection would be minimal. Hardcases would be better but some airlines would likely reject it for carry-on. You could remove the OTA to carry it in two pieces but sometimes you could be restricted to one and then you'd be stuck with a serious problem.
Thank you for your prompt response to my e-mail. I don't need to bring the OTA and the rest of the telescope on the plane with me. How about I bring the OTA (I am guessing that means "optical tube assembly"?) with me as carry-on and check the rest of the telescope as baggage? Anything wrong with that? Also, does it require mechanical skill to disassemble and reassemble, or is it easy? Basically I just want to find a workable way to fly with the telescope and am just trying to find a way to do that. I am including an old correspondence on this topic from your site from a few years ago. Thanks again, Stephen ShainbartMike here: As I indicated in my first reply, you can remove the OTA (yes, Optical Tube Assembly) and carry it separately. Removal is essentially the same as for the ETX-90, described near the bottom of this page: http://www.weasner.com/etx/90ec_comments.html.ETX-125EC USER FEEDBACK Last updated: 30 June 2000 Subject: etx125 Transporting Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 10:22:16 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I wrote to you a week or so back regarding transporting my ETX125 EC on commercial airlines. I spoke to a technician with Mead who suggested that I remove the optic and transport it separately from the motor. The technician said you could transport the motor in the Mead carrying case via baggage. If you had a grading system for amateurs let's say from 1 to 10 with 10 being an excellent amateur, I would be considered - ONE! What are your thoughts on his suggestion? In addition to this above mentioned issue I am unsure if my focusing knob is in working order. There is no tension on the focusing knob when I rotate it. Is this normal? I haven't been able to see anything the last couple of times I've taken the 125 out for a spin. Your insights would be greatly appreciate. Eliu Rivera Mike here: There is nothing wrong with removing the OTA from the fork mount. That is how you turn the ETX into a "spotting scope" version. As to the focus knob, is the setscrew in the side of the knob tight? Does the focus change at all when you rotate the knob? Does the focus change when you rotate the shaft (without the knob on it)? Use caution when trying this last step so that the shaft doesn't fall inside the tube. Keep the telescope pointing near the zenith when doing this step.
Subject: ETX-125 Date: 1/8/04, 22:11 From: Flyfishinggo2@aol.com I have an ETX-125 which is going out of warranty soon. The scope has some image shift. I made a phone call to Meade, they said," you should test for image shift using a 25mm eye piece, and the shift should not be more than one fourth of the field of view". As you know, image shift, using a 25mm eye piece, should be very small. However, during normal viewing, you will probably be using a higher power, which causes an increase in the image shift seen. On an ETX-125 how much image shift is acceptable and under which eye piece is this test performed.Mike here: I see very little image shift in a 9.7mm eyepiece with my ETX-125. If it moved out of FOV for a 9.7mm I would definitely think it excessive.
Subject: ETX-125 EC Date: 1/5/04, 11:58 From: "Weisenfeld, Neil" (WEISENFELDN@coned.com) I bought an ETX-125 EC recently and came across your webpage. I wanted to ask whether there is a mod that addresses the movement of the image in the eyepiece when you are trying to focus the telescope. You mention an interim solution using two L-brackets. Any update on this? Thanks, Neil Weisenfeld, P.E.Mike here: If you are referring to "image shift" as opposed to "hand-induced vibrations", there are a couple of thoughs: See the Image Shift articles on the Telescope Tech Tips page. If that doesn't help you may have to return it to Meade for repair. There were some early models (circa 1999) that developed an image shift problem during shipment. If the telescope is out of collimation, your best bet is to return to Meade for collimation (although there are collimation articles on the Telescope Tech Tips page but they are not for everyone).
thanks for your comments. I'll look over the articles. I think it's more hand induced vibration than image shift.Mike here: There are several solutions to that: See the Accessory Reviews - Miscellaneous page for some focus add-ons as well as the Telescope Tech Tips page.
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