Last updated: 31 July 2000

This page is for user comments and information of a general nature and specific items applicable to the original ETX model (now known as the ETX-90RA). Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX 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.

Subj:	re: CPU Fan
LooneyRoo@aol.com (LooneyRoo@aol.com) said on 7/22/2000 09:15:

>The article in S&T said that it can take several hours for the thermal 
>currents to die down if the scope is subject to a change in temp. of 20 
>degrees. My scope usually is. If you get a chance to see the images in the 
>magazine, check out the fourth one and let me know if that is the image 
>that you see in your scope. Maybe the image is supposed to look like that 
>at high magnification...
Mike here: Following up on the thread further down this page, I finally received my Sept 2000 issue of Sky&Telescope and read the article about the CPU fan (to achieve thermal equilibrium in a telescope). The three best images of Jupiter in the article are more detailed and larger than what small telescopes can accomplish. At low magnifications, Jupiter should appear sharp (depending upon atmospheric conditions at your location) but as you approach the maximum magnification for the telescope, the image will begin to get fuzzy (similar to image 4 in the article). However, this is not to say that letting the ETX reach thermal equilibrium won't help; it will. You can do the field test as described in the article and see the effects over time. Even though the ETX is a "closed tube" (mostly), if it has been soaking up heat in a warm room or car, then removing the eyepiece will let the warm air out faster. Letting the optical components "cool down" won't take as long as described in the article since everything is smaller in the ETX models. But there is still some cool down required in order to get the best performance.

Subject:	 solar shot
Sent:	Monday, July 31, 2000 10:44:35
From:	Goodshot@email.msn.com (goodshot)
You have a great ETX site. I have a question about a solar shot. I
recently bought the ETX -90 and I took some solar shots with my digital
camera. I used a Thousand Oaks sun filter. When I used a 26 mm
eyepiece,I got a clear image,but when I switched to a higher
magnification eyepiece,like a 12.4 mm, the image looked like a small
fuzzy orange ball with some horizontal lines. And I couldn't focus it at

When I called Meade for an advice,they told me that because of company's
policy,they would not talk about the sun. Hummmmm....

Any thought on this? I appreciate it.

Best Regards,
Hide Takahashi
Mike here: There are several possibilities that can cause bad photos. You need to focus the eyepiece for your eye. You then need to get the camera lens as close as possible to the eyepiece; with my Ricoh digital camera I have to zoom the lens to the full 3X telephoto position. Since the image is dimmer you have to hold the camera very still or use a mounting attachment (see the Accessories - Astrophotography page).

Subject:	 Need Helpful advice
Sent:	Sunday, July 30, 2000 11:37:46
From:	linda714@webcombo.net (linda714)
Though you don't know me I'm hoping you will give me a moment of your
time. I am looking for your advice concerning the purchase of a
telescope for my twin 8y.o sons and 9 y.o old daughter. I am at the
point of pulling my hair out trying to figure out what is the best
telescope model for them. Though I have sent literally 10's of hours on
the internet, I no more understand telescopes as when I started. I am
looking to purchase one that they can grow with. I can spend the max of
$500.00 as this is going to be the majority of their x-mas gift. My
daughter loves photography and I would like to be able to incorperate
this into the scope. I would like for them to see as much as possible,
as I don't want them to grow frustated and bored by not being able to
see anything( as what happened to myself when I was younger) Any
recommendation you can give will be greatly apprecaited!!! There are not
only so many Manufacters but also Models, could you please suggest one
or two to me.

Forever Greatful,
Linda Seda
Miami, Fl
Mike here: You may want to post your question on the sci.astro.amateur newsgroup; you'll get lots of advice, much of which will be helpful. Even though it is a little more than your budget, the ETX-90EC is an excellent first telescope. As you can see from my ETX web site, there is a lot you can see and do with the ETX-90 models. You don't need to add the Autostar right away (if at all); that will force your family to spend some time together learning the sky (which is good). It can do some types of photography, both astro and terrestrial. There are many other telescopes which make excellent first-scopes. However, a word of caution to those new to the hobby: don't expect to see with your eyes the same type of images as you see in photographs. Human eyes are just not as capable as film and CCDs in this regard. But there are still many excellent objects that can be seen, and seen well as long as you understand this. One final piece of advice: telescope aperture is important. Usually, the larger it is the more you'll be able to see and see it better. But larger sizes have their limitations. If the telescope is cumbersome to move outside and setup, it won't get used. Smaller, more portable telescopes (like the ETX-90EC), tend to get used more as they are easy to move. Good luck with the decision.

Subject:	 Daisy red dot sight
Sent:	Saturday, July 29, 2000 12:05:39
From:	stevepvolz@home.com (Steven Volz)
Tremendous amout of information on your web page.  I modified a Daisy
red dot sight as described on some of the links.  Instead of using
adhesives to mount in onto the telescope, I did something different.  I
attached an aluminum bar by bolts to the counterweight point underneath
the tube.  A plastic pipe coupling is screwed to the aluminum bar.  This
plastic sleve slides over the tube and bolts to the counterweight slot
to hold it.  The red dot sight attaches to the plastic pipe.  Without a
picture it sounds Rube Goldberg.  However, by removing 2 bolts I can
remove this assembly from the telescope in about 15 seconds with no
marks or adhesives on anything. If you thing this is of any interest to
your readers, I'll get a digital picture or a scan and send it for
evaluation.  I appreciate your efforts and want to help build the
knowledge base.

Subject:	 ETX90-EC for Sale!
Sent:	Friday, July 28, 2000 19:42:04
From:	EricDreczko@email.msn.com (Eric S. Dreczko)
I have an ETX90-EC that I think I may have turned on about 5 times. I
then went out and purchased an ETX125-EC. Being that I can't get the two
of them close enough side-by-side to be able to look through both at the
same time, I tend to use the ETX125-EC exclusively. Spending money on
two scopes when I can only use one at a time has put me in grave danger
as my wife keeps telling me she could just kill me for spending her
casino money......

So, I need to sell the ETX90-EC. I'm asking $350 plus shipping and
insurance. Anyone interested could email me - EricDreczko@msn.com

Subject:	 Am I doing this right?
Sent:	Friday, July 28, 2000 19:15:39
From:	paz1@mexxan1.fsnet.co.uk (Paz Islam)
I've just been using my ETX 90 for some general viewing but most objects
other than stars seem so dull, it's a real strain to see anything other
than a really faint blur. Tonight I've been trying to spot galaxies
within Ursa Major. I'm using the Meade 26mm., 9.7mm and 2xbarlow but
cant seem to get a decent image.

Sure, I have light pollution, but there's no moon and the sky seems
fairly dark for summer. Can you tell if I'm just expecting too much from
the scope, I just need a benchmark opinion

Tanks for your time and help (and your site!)

Mike here: Most galaxies and fainter nebulae will appear as soft fuzzy blurs to the eye, even in larger telescopes. Some are nicer, like M42 in Orion and M57 in Lyra. Don't expect to see the same image that you see in long duration astrophotographs of galaxies and nebulae.

Added later:

Thanks for the quick reply, I really appreciate the advice.

Subject:	 Advice Please!!
Sent:	Friday, July 28, 2000 13:30:10
From:	mgrosvold@cvecoop.com (Mike Grosvold)
Hi Mike,

In your opinion, would a novice get more use/enjoyment/money's worth
from an ETX 90 EC or from an ETX 70 AT.  The 90 EC is $150 more than the
70 AT which of course includes Autostar.  Would I appreciate the better
viewing more than the Autostar, or visa versa?

I'd appreciate your thoughts.  I initially ordered a 70AT, but in the
course of trying to figure out if the old version (black tube type) is
more desireable than the new (blue tube) version, the salesman highly
suggested that the 70 was pretty small anyway and that I'd be better off
with a 90.

Thanks Mike!

Mike Grosvold
Mike here: You will see slightly more, slightly better, with the ETX-90EC. The Autostar is handy but not a requirement. Afterall, astronomers have been successfully finding objects without computers for a few centuries...

Subject:	 Wedge
Sent:	Friday, July 28, 2000 10:56:54
From:	pvalent@easy-pages.com (Paul Valent)
Thanks for your help!   If I may ask, what is the purpose of a "wedge"
and do I need to buy one with an ETX.  Can I not just place the scope
directly on a tripod?
Mike here: Some tripods are not stable when a telescope is tilted to match your latitude (known as "polar" or "equatorial" mounting). The center of gravity of the telescope gets shifted to the side of the tripod's center of support. Adding a wedge can reduce this shift and provide a more stable mounting. If your tripod is unstable when mounting your telescope in polar mode AND you need to mount it in polar mode, then a wedge is likely a requirement. However, if you have an Autostar-capable ETX and you don't plan on doing any long duration astrophotography, then you can mount in Altitude-Azimuth (or "Alt/Az") mode and let the Autostar compensate for the earth's rotation.

Subject:	 Site
Sent:	Friday, July 28, 2000 06:41:13
From:	feddeck@hotmail.com (Fred F. Feddeck)
Had a chance to check out your site. Found it through google.com. I was
not looking for any ETX info but for info on Edmund Scientific's 3"
reflector circa 1960's, and your page came up. I got it for free from my
girlfriend's dad as he was going to throw it out, but gave it to me
since I am into astronomy. It's in mint condition and I am really
looking forward to trying it out maybe tonight. Anyway do you have any
bigger scans of some of the ads or info sheets on it? I would be really
curious to see it. From what I can figure mesuring it is it an f/10?
Well, take care.


F3 Binocular Site: Binocular Deep Space Astronomy
Chance Favors The Prepared Mind
Mike here: Glad you found the site through my Edmund 3" reflector comments. All I have is the original manual (I scanned only the front cover) as well as the telescope and its accessories. I don't have any of the original ads. It is a f/10 telescope.

Subject:	 Allen Key Size
Sent:	Thursday, July 27, 2000 14:13:59
From:	dad@headplant.freeserve.co.uk (Damian Davis)
Hi Taylor
I've just seen your question on Mike Weasner's Website, and the correct
size Allen key for removing the OTA is 7/64". I have tried 1/8", 3mm and
3/16", but these don't even 'nearly' fit, 7/64" it has to be.
Incidently, for using the ETX as a guide scope, have you checked out Doc
Greiner's Website? There's a link from Mike's site, (from the Tech Tips
> Miscellaneous section) and there is a clear 'how to dismantle your
ETX' on the Scopetronix site.
Good luck 
Damian Davis, London, England

Subject:	 Help
Sent:	Thursday, July 27, 2000 05:45:39
From:	pvalent@easy-pages.com (Paul Valent)
Nice site!  One person talked about a "MAK" telescope.  Do you know what
this means?
Mike here: "Mak" is short for "Maksutov", a telescope design. See the "Evolution of the Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope" page.

Subject:	 Science and Hobby
Sent:	Wednesday, July 26, 2000 15:57:13
From:	JLefler@rustconsulting.com (Lefler, John)
Let me share some great experiences I had with Science and Hobby
(www.scienceandhobby.com).  Their prices are competitive and their
service is terrific.

When I was looking to purchase my 125, I began watching e-bay.  Science
and hobby often auctions new 125s at what seems to be a very good price.
Do not give in to temptation, their direct prices through their website
is better. I called them directly (800 763-3212) and designed a package.
They quoted me a price which was significantly cheaper than I could
get the same thing somewhere else.  I told them I could not afford their
price and named my budget limit.  They adjusted their price (including
shipping) to meet my budget.  Later when I found a little extra money,
they added an item to my order and did not increase the shipping costs.

Recently, I ordered a solar filter and Barlow.  They gave me a great
price and promised to send it to me 2nd day air so I could have it for
my vacation.  When I called two days later, they had messed up the
shipping and I thought I would not get it on time.  Even though they had
shipped the items already, they shipped them again Next Day Air at no
cost to me with my promise that I would "on my honor" either refuse
delivery of the first package or return it when I get back into Town.

They are a Meade and Celestron dealer.  Their products always arrive in
good condition and they really seem, to put customer satisfaction first.
Check them out!

Subject:	 Tripod clamps for Meade Field Tripod
Sent:	Wednesday, July 26, 2000 15:46:58
From:	JLefler@rustconsulting.com (Lefler, John)
As a rank newcomer to telescopic astronomy, I blindly purchased the
Meade field tripod at the same time I bought my 125.  I discovered, like
many others have, the lack of rigidity in the legs.  I was intrigued by
the clamps Scoptronix offers, but put off by their price.

Rooting around, I found three "Quick Clamps" (miniature bar clamps),
made by Stanley for home woodworking projects. These cost somewhere
between $6.00 and $8.00 each.  I found that if I Placed the Clamp
through the tripod leg, with the release trigger toward the center, I
could eliminate any wobble the legs have (no picture sorry).  It is not
as aesthetically pleasing as the Scoptronix clamps, but they are easy to
use, effective and CHEAP


Subject:	 ETX-90ec
Sent:	Wednesday, July 26, 2000 00:01:43
From:	te.pazol@gte.net (Todd Pazol)
My name is Todd, I just bought the etx 90. I am brand new to this hobby,
but my question is, can I actually see anything worthwhile with the 90
or should I upgrade to the 125etx. I spent 3 hours in Malibu Ca. tonight
and the scope did not really show me any thing I could not already see
with my eyes. I have the autostar controller and it said it was looking
at an object every time, but all I saw, was a few stars. I want to enjoy
this hobby, so any suggestions would be welcome.



Todd Pazol
Mike here: Depending upon where you were in Malibu the sky conditions may not have been the greatest. And whether you can see "anything worthwhile" depends upon what you want and expect to see. Many users consider the Moon, the Sun (with proper protection), planets, brighter nebulae and galaxies, double stars, and comets all worthwhile. Currently there are many wonderful visible objects in the heart of the Milky Way. Yes, you will see fainter objects or more details in a larger telescope but again what you see depends upon sky conditions, your eyes, and your experience and knowledge.

Subject:	 the various ETX models
Sent:	Tuesday, July 25, 2000 15:45:49
From:	shrosenberg@crain.com (Steven Rosenberg)
Mike, first of all, I really like your ETX Web site. Especially helpful
were the pages on how to align the non-goto ETX with setting circles  I
like all the detail in the various pages.

I do have a question: Is there a page listing all the various ETX models
since the scopes were introduced?


Steven Rosenberg
Copy Chief
Electronic Media
Phone: (323) 370-2433
Fax: (323) 653-4425
Mike here: Glad you like the site. As to a single page listing all the ETX models, no, not explicitly. However, there are the various Feedback pages which can give you a pretty good idea of the models. But to answer the question:

ETX (original model, now known as the ETX-90RA)
ETX-60AT (and EC)
ETX-70AT (and EC)

Other scopes like the DS models and the new LX90 use the Autostar (various models).

Subject:	ETX site
Sent:	Tuesday, July 25, 2000 02:11:58
From:	GandelsWorld@aol.com
Hello I have been looking at the ETX for more than a year would have
gotten it by now but had to get the computer first. I have been trying
to find info on all the ETX series but all i find is a little here and
there than i stumble across your site and all i can say is WOW so much
info im gonna suck it up excelent site with easy navagation keep up the
good work.
thank you .

Subject:	 Field report
Sent:	Monday, July 24, 2000 20:13:01
From:	edmosser@home.com (Edward Mosser)

Sorry to hear about your brother.  It sounds like he was a great person
and will be missed.  Before starting my field report, I would like to
suggest a web site http://messier45.com .  The name is very
misleading as it is much more than just a site for messier objects.  It
is a complete (I do mean complete) database for deep sky objects and a
charting service.  I use it to pinpoint objects to look at.

I was fortunate to get outside all three nights this past weekend (7-21,
22, 23).  I had only been out once in the previous 2.5 months so it took
a while to shake out the bugs.

Friday's air might have been a little turbulant, as I was unable to
resolve doubles Epsilon Bootes and Eta Corona Borealis.  Nor could I get
all four of the double double (epsilon Lyra).  The open cluster
Stephenson 1 included both delta 1 and delta 2 Lyra.  It is about 20 arc
minute big and I counted about 15 stars.  Beta Lyra is a very easy wide
double.  I finished with M57, but was not happy with the quality of
viewing and called it quits early.

Saturday night was much better.  I opened up with Epsilon Lyra and
resolved the double double at 178x.  That is the benchmark for me.  When
I can resolve all four, I know the air is pretty stable and good things
should occur.  Vega is just a delight to see, just a pure white beacon
in the black sky.  Just 45' west of Vega is an unnamed 6m star, which is
easily resolved into a double @ 48x.  It's companion is about 8 mag and
I estimated it 60" distant at 320 degrees.  Also a little further west
is yet another double.  With the 2x barlow, both doubles fit in the FOV
with the second pair an estimated 8/9 mag pair.

After looking at Beta Lyra (Sheliak) and M57, I star hopped down to M56.
 This is a nice globular cluster with a 6mag companion nearby.  Globular
clusters are a bit disappointing, as I have yet to resolve any
individual stars - just big fuzzy clumps.  Albireo is an awesome double
- eye candy in the sky with the orange and green double stars.  There
are at least 30 8th, 9th, and 10 mag stars in the background.

Stock 1 is nearby and is worth a look.  It is a big (60") open cluster
with 40 stars (brightest @ 7th mag). NGC 6830 and 6823 are just east and
worth a visit.  Failed to resolve 13 Vulpecula, but found my way to M27,
the dumbell nebula.  It doesn't appear to me as a dumbell, but is really
big.  It easily handled 96x and I could barely fit it with 14 Vulpecula.
 The double 16 Vulpecula could not be resolved (.8" is just a bit tight
for the ETX).

Southbound.  M4 and M80 in Scorpio were next.  Both are very bright
globulars, west of Antares.  I don't often look at individual stars, but
Vega and Antares are both worth the look.  Particularly if you look at
them progressively.  Both colors are brilliant.  I star hopped from
Antares to M12 and then M10.  These two globulars are nearby and are
interesting to compare and contrast.  M 10 is a bit brighter at the
center, but not quite as large as M 12.

I4665 is a big and bright open cluster just north of Beta Ophiuchus (try
spelling that late at night).  I counted 40 stars in the 65-70' area.  I
then stumbled onto one of the best doubles I have ever seen.  It ranks
up there with Albireo.  I named these the "headlights".  Almost
identical brightness (6m/6.5m), this double is separated by 20" at an
angle of 93 degrees.  Just like headlights in the distance.

Open cluster CR 350 was disappointing after I4665.  It was smaller,
dimmer, with no shapes, angles or definition.  I added M14 to my Messier
list (now up to about 60).  It is a 9mag globular.

Sunday night was also productive, but a much shorter session.  Delta
Serpen Caput is an easily resolved double at 96x, with4.1 and 5.2 mag
stars, separated by 3.9" at 178 degrees.  M 5 is a big globular and has
5 Serpen Caput in the 96x FOV.  I finished up with the mother of all
globulars clusters in the north, M13, which was directly overhead.

My tools for observing are the ETX90RA, with the 3 leg tripod, which I
place on our patio table.  I use no automated finder system, and do not
polar align.  I nudge the telescope along to keep up with the movement. 
I try to sketch most items, in order to improve my observing skills.  I
have the Sky Atlas 2000, which I take color copies of the pages outside
with me to use to navigate, along with the current S&T centerfold map. 
The standard 26mm eyepiece is great.  I also use the 2x Meade barlow. 
Paul Rini's 14mm and 40mm eyepieces are also used from time to time.

I am amazed at what the ETX can do.  So simple, yet the optics are
great.  People often ask about a bigger scope, but why not use the
perfect telescope for backyard observing?

Mike, keep up the good work and think good thoughts when looking up.

Ed Mosser

Subject:	 focal length?
Sent:	Monday, July 24, 2000 19:07:38
From:	tommeehonda@webtv.net
I was just wondering if you might have any info; as to the focal lengh
of the etx 90 when using the recommeded image correcter. Is the same
1250, or is it different? Its no big deal, I am just cerious.

        Thanks,  Tom
Mike here: If by "recommeded image correcter" you mean the Meade Erecting Prism, then except for the movement of the primary mirror for focusing, the focal length remains essentially the same.

Subject:	Your Interest in Astronomy
Sent:	Monday, July 24, 2000 13:02:55
From:	SSalch@aol.com
I see from your home page that you have an interest in astronomy. The
reason I'm writing is that I have something you may be interested in. I
am the owner of a hand blown glass gallery called "Gallery 21" in
Colorado. One of the series I carry is the "Celestial Series" by Glass
Eye Studio. It's a beautiful collectors series of the Sun, Earth, 9
Planets, Northern Lights, and Black Hole (not shown, but available and
stunning). Check it out by clicking on the following link: Celestial
Series (Keyword to:

You may call the shop to order any number of these pieces at
(719)630-1121 during business hours (10am - 5pm Mountain Time Monday -
Saturday), or add it to your "Favorites" list to keep for future

If you're interested in more beautiful glass, pottery, jewelry,
kaleidoscopes, etc. check out the entire site at:

Gallery 21 (Keyword to: http://www.shopgallery21.com/)
Thanks for your time, and happy gazing.

Sincerely,	Scott Salch

Subject:	 Meade Tripod Free Slippage Fix
Sent:	Sunday, July 23, 2000 17:26:29
From:	Rodgers@rci.rutgers.edu (Duane)
Nice job with the site.  How can I get a free Meade tripod slippage fix,
as you mentioned on 7/22?  Do you know if the Discovery Zone store
carries them, or do you have to order it from Meade directly?

Mike here: Call Meade; they will send it free.

Subject:	 Taking pictures w/ digital camera
Sent:	Saturday, July 22, 2000 23:04:17
From:	tongsay@tongsay.com (TongSay)
I have been trying to take pictures of the moon with an Olympus 450Z
through eyepiece projection by holding the camera over the eyepiece of
my EXT 90-EC.  But somehow, all the pictures came out unfocused.  Would
it help if I have the digital camera adapter (instead of holding it over
the eyepiece)?  Also, when I was taking the pictures, the telescope was
not in polar alignment.  Would that make a difference???  Any tips or
suggestion that you may have regarding astrophotography via a digital
camera would be greatly appreciated.



 TongSay Vongpaseuth

  "If you have it, you don't need to have anything else,
  and if you don't have it, it doesn't much matter what
  else you have."
                  Sir James M. Barrie
Mike here: Some things to keep in mind when using a digital camera shooting through an eyepiece (afocal photography):
Focus the eyepiece for your eye (assuming you have normal vision).
Focus the camera to infinity.
Get the camera lens as close as possible to the eyepiece (if the camera has a zoom lens, you may have to "zoom in").
For objects that fill the eyepiece, like the Moon, the camera can do a pretty good job of determining the exposure and for bright objects, it will be a short exposure. For smaller or fainter objects the exposure will be longer and perhaps too long if the camera "reads" all the black area in the field-of-view. If the camera allows it, you may have to adjust the exposure settings to avoid over- or under-exposure.
Finally, for exposures more than a few 10ths of a second, camera movement will likely ruin the shot. Using an adapter like the Scopetronix Digital Camera Adapter or the new LE-Adapter from Stillwater will help tremendously. See the Accessories - Astrophotography page for more on these.

Added later:

Thank you for the tips.  I'll send you the pictures if I am successful.

Subject:	 solar observing tip
Sent:	Friday, July 21, 2000 22:28:06
From:	rodrickse@mediaone.net
I just remember this, and I forgot to send this earlier. I did this with
my solar session and it worked well for me. I used some extra one side
sticky felt that came with my solar filter. I put it on the inside of a
35 mm film can and it fit very snugly on the standard viewfinder. Just a
safety tip I thought might be useful. I used it today, even though 99%
of my session was through a modified Quick Cam some 20 feet away.

Clear skies,

Subject:	 Which One
Sent:	Friday, July 21, 2000 20:34:38
From:	erodriguez1@home.net (Eddie Rodriguez)
I recently received a DS-114 as a gift. Although I am very pleased with
the thought behind the gift, I am not very pleased with the Telescope.
It seems to be very unstable and the eye pieces do not seem to work that
well. The barlow seems to be very cheap also. I am still able to
exchange the gift for a different scope. Basically, should I get the
ETX90 or the ETX125? I am willing to spend the extra cash for the 125 as
long as it is worth it. I'm sure you have figured it out, but I am a
complete newby to astronomy.

I appreciate any advice you may have.

Eddie Rodriguez
Mike here: Which telescope you get depends upon how you plan to use it. Larger scopes have more light gathering power and will tolerate greater magnification than smaller telescopes. Also, if you plan on traveling with the ETX, the -90 is a better choice due to its smaller size.

Subject:	 used equip
Sent:	Friday, July 21, 2000 15:46:42
From:	rllewis@earthlink.net (Robert L. Lewis)
Do you know of any links to used astronomy equipment?  I'm looking for a
hard case for my ETX 90EC.

You might consider starting a classified page on your site.
Robert Lloyd Lewis
Mike here: Several users have had good results on eBay.

Subject:	CPU Fan
Sent:	Friday, July 21, 2000 14:55:51
From:	LooneyRoo@aol.com
Just got the new S&T in the mail today. There was an article in it about
thermal behavior in Newtonian Reflectors. I know that the ETX is a Mak,
and figured that the article would have no relationship to the images in
my scope, but it had some example pictures of Jupiter that stood out at
me. It showed 4 images in total and it went from good quality (perfect
wavefront) to poor quality (large-scale wavefront deformation). The
"poor quality" image is what I see in my scope at high magnification. I
was wondering if anyone had tried to attach a CPU type fan to the camera
adapter as a way of counterbalancing the thermal waves? I have this
weird feeling that if I let my scope sit out longer before I view (or
use the CPU fan) my observing would be better. Thanks for the help!

Mike here: Letting any telescope reach "thermal equilibrium" will improve the quality of the images. A fan can accelerate the process but is it worth it since you can just wait 20-30 minutes.

Added later:

The article in S&T said that it can take several hours for the thermal
currents to die down if the scope is subject to a change in temp. of 20
degrees. My scope usually is. If you get a chance to see the images in
the magazine, check out the fourth one and let me know if that is the
image that you see in your scope. Maybe the image is supposed to look
like that at high magnification...

Subject:	 ETX 90 RA  UPDATING
Sent:	Friday, July 21, 2000 06:21:50
From:	WF98271@email.msn.com (WF98271)
Why couldn't one just purchase an ETX 90 EC drive unit from Meade and
mate it with the 90 RA OTA to update the old one?

Bill Furst, Tacoma, WA.
Mike here: Because Meade doesn't sell the base separately.

Subject:	 URL change
Sent:	Thursday, July 20, 2000 04:45:00
From:	plaurent@gfi.fr (Philippe Laurent)
The address of my site (Philippe Laurent ETX astrophotos) has changed.
The new one is :


It has also been reorganized as to clearly reflect the compared
capabilities of ETX vs LX-50.

Many thanks if you can update the link on your links page.


Philippe Laurent

Subject:	 it moved...
Sent:	Wednesday, July 19, 2000 22:04:09
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Dick Seymour)
A bit ago i mentioned in a footnote that i tried to see Linear S4 Sunday
(16th July, using 17th July GMT numbers). And that i saw a smudge. (as
expected) About 3 to 4 times larger than Jupiter would be, but far, far

The next night i dragged my weary body out and GoTo'd the same spot
(thank you, User Object!)... and the adjacent stars were there... but
the smudge had disappeared! Hooray! (even been happy that you -couldn't-
see something? Welcome to comet hunting...)

That night the sky was inherently much brighter than Sunday (high haze),
even lacking the moon (quite yet). It took another 30 minutes of careful
sweeping to finally locate the faint smudge about 10 degrees west of the
previous location... (about 2 degrees west of my primary guess) Dark
skies would greatly improve the quality and size of the smudge, i'm

So i can add my voice to those who have seen S4 with their ETX90.

Although i used the EC and Autostar, i used published numbers (in this
instance Sky & Tele's) to locate it by direct RA/Dec entry.

It's still very dim (6.5 magnitude?) but it's now (or was) circumpolar
for the northern US... it never sets all night. When i was looking
(midnight, PDT) it was as close to the horizon as it could be... if i'd
waited 3 hours it would have been in a "better" position... but i would
have fallen (more) asleep at work the next day...

have fun

Subject:	 RE: ETX - Query ..... 
Sent:	Monday, July 17, 2000 19:57:04
From:	mk015@energex.com.au (KING Mark)
....... thanks for that, just after i sent the message, i stopped and
thought it is basically a full mount you would need.
(add my vote to the best page comment) 

Subject:	 Original ETX  circa July 1996
Sent:	Monday, July 17, 2000 16:39:08
From:	doug.cann@home.com (Doug Cann)
Long time no speak.  You have quite the web site and following now. 
Just noted that on Saturday the 15th of July my 'old' ETX was four years
old.  I have just recorded my 316 th observing session since I took
delivery !!  It is still performing flawlessly and the clock drive
tracks as good today as it did four years ago.  The 'Solar Skreen' has
been really useful, particularly with all of the sunspot activity in the
past several months. I still enjoy star hopping and I have no desire to
get one of the 'goto' models.  If I could get the ETX 125 with manual
controls and tracking like my ETX, I would get one tomorrow, but not
with all this hand paddle control stuff.  As I have always felt, the
optics are great, but the auto systems seem to be too much of a problem
in a lot of instances.

I have yet to see Comet Linear, but hope to as soon as the moon rises a
bit later in the night.

Best regards from Doug in Sunny (at last !!) BC
Mike here: Wow! A 4-yr-old ETX. Mine won't be 4 until September.

Subject:	 Stuff
Sent:	Friday, July 14, 2000 14:00:33
From:	thedbarbee@yahoo.com (Don Barbee)
Well, first I must offer my belated condolences on the passing of your
brother.  I was very touched by your memorial to him and what an impact
his life had on yours.  I'm sure he is in a better place now.

I also recently made my tardy contribution to the site.  I've been so
busy lately I simply forgot.  Your site is definately worth maintaining.

In all that busy 'ness I've neglected my observation as well.  I pumped
the latest and greatest into the 'ole Autostar several months ago and
still haven't even had time to TRAIN the darn thing.  Maybe this

Clear skies to you, and have a great weekend.


Subject:	 ETX - Query ..... 
Sent:	Thursday, July 13, 2000 18:30:04
From:	mk015@energex.com.au (KING Mark)
Nice page, very impressive effort .
........ Sorry to ask this one if the answer is already on your page
somewhere, but i was looking at what appeared to be an earlier model 90
etx. (part no. 3514 - 03 -01 ) - and could not see any possible
conection to an autostar controller. I was wondering whether Meade can
provide some plug or interface card  or new base etc to connect such
models ?
........ I would have asked Meade - but despite finding their site there
didn't appear to be a technical queries section.
Mike here: There is no upgrade path from the original ETX (now called the ETX-90RA) to an EC model. Would have cost too much. There are some dealers that will take the old model in trade for the new one.

Subject:	Allen Key Size?
Sent:	Thursday, July 13, 2000 15:13:50
From:	Etxstargazer@aol.com
Just wondering what the allen key size is to detatch the ETX OTA off
from the fork mount? I would like to use the ETX OTA as a guide scope on
my Meade Starfinder. I think the right size wasnt included with my
90-EC. I have 2 included,  but both are too small. Thanks.

Clear Skies,
Taylor Chonis

PS.  How come you havent updated in two weeks?
Mike here: The OTA hex key is probably called a 3mm (1/8-inch) although it is actually slightly less. As I stated on the User Feedback page for 30 June, I was gone to Hawaii and updates were suspended. However, I'm back home now. Apologies for the inconvenience that my taking some time off causes!

Subject:	 ETX90 question
Sent:	Wednesday, July 12, 2000 23:00:25
From:	rlkoller@sheltonbbs.com (Leslie Koller)
Your site is just fantastic.  Nuff said bout that....

I purchased a ETX 90 scope for birdwatching...the plain scope, not the
astronomical motor-driven job.  It would be much easier for me to use if
I had a "straight thru" shot instead of the 90 degree and the prism
viewer that fits the camera-mount-hole on the back. Does anyone make a
straight-thru-the-back eyepiece adapter?

Keep up the great work.  I love my little scope...

Leslie Koller   Portageville, Missouri
Mike here: The "Mini-Tele Extender" from Shutan Camera and Video may do what you want. It is for eyepiece projection for photography from the rear port but could provide the straight-through viewing you want. I'm not home from my vacation yet so can't confirm this. See the review on the Showcase Products page on my ETX site.

Subject:	 help
Sent:	Tuesday, July 11, 2000 07:05:44
From:	garyc@voicenet.com (gary)
Can you please tell me if it is normal to have alittle play in the tube
of the ext90 after you level it set the dial to 0 and tighten the knob
on the other side? After I do this I can still move the tube up and down
about 2 degrees.

thanks alot

Mike here: Some play is normal. Some have reported very little play and some 2-3 degrees or more. See the Tech Tips page for some mods and tune-ups you can make if desired.

Subject:	 Canadian starpartys
Sent:	Sunday, July 9, 2000 15:05:00
From:	Subcon@ionsys.com (Dave Robitaille)
I have put a link to our website for the Canadian starpartys! I send you
this email just incase you would like to add this link.
Dave Robitaille

Subject:	 eyepieces
Sent:	Friday, July 7, 2000 17:43:02
From:	roktman@concentric.net (.steve)
i have a meade etx 90 ec scope and was wondering if you could recommend
an eye piece that would give me more detail while looking at deep space
objects...( i currently have a 26mm and 40mm eyepiece)..thanks... steve
Mike here: Check the Buyer/New User Tips page and the Accessories - Eyepieces page. Lots of eyepiece recommendations and comments there.

Subject:	 can't find
Sent:	Friday, July 7, 2000 06:41:52
From:	garyc@voicenet.com (gary)
Would you happen to know where I can buy the plastic eyepiece holders
that look like a bolt. One came with the 26mm lens in the etx90 box.

thanks alot!    

Mike here: Check the Accessories - Eyepieces for comments on the ones from Scopetronix. I believe Shutan Camera and Video may also have them.

Subject:	 Advice Needed
Sent:	Thursday, July 6, 2000 15:24:05
From:	brians@mdbs.com (Brian Straight)
Your excellent ETX site got me into the whole ETX 'world.'

I have a question which I'm hoping you might be able to help me with.  I
recently acquired an older (non-computerized) ETX.  Optically, it is
superb. As the owner of a 10 inch SCT, I'm amazed at just what this
scope can do. However, this scope does have the off-center seconday
baffle problem.  I've seen the following advice on this problem:

1.  Forget about it.  It has an undetectable effect on the performance
of the scope and messing with it is not advisable.

2.  Push it back into the center yourself.

3.  Send the scope to Meade for repair.

I'm looking for advice re these options.  Do you have any input?  (I'm
aware that anything I do will be at my own risk).

Thanks for any help,

Mike here: If you can detect any degradation on images due to the offcenter secondary then you should send to Meade for repair. Before I had Meade repair my ETX-90RA, the affect on images was noticeable but not disasteriously so. I would NOT recommend trying this repair yourself; you would likely have to return it to Meade and have them repair your repair. Simpler to let them do it, free (less shipping, I guess).

Subject:	 Where is Steve Stanford?
Sent:	Thursday, July 6, 2000 15:05:50
From:	jturley@xai.com (James Turley)
I tried to email Steve Stanford (wolfram@mail.icongrp.com) to order his
offset plate, but the email bounced. Anyone know where he is now?

Jim Turley,  XAI

XA International                        14510 Big Basin Way, #240
Contract Programming Agency             Saratoga, CA 95070
International Software Engineering      mailto:info@xai.com
+1 408 741 5577 Voice                    +1 408 741 0512 FAX

Subject:	 Fix for Leg Slipping on 883 Deluxe Field Tripod 
Sent:	Thursday, July 6, 2000 05:27:23
From:	boudreau@eng.umd.edu (Paul J. Boudreaux)
I noticed that one of your readers mentioned that Meade Customer Service
has a free kit that fixes the slipping legs on the #883 Delux Field
Tripod. I contacted Meade Customer Service and they sent a set of three
plastic inserts that fit inside of the tripod legs that have the leg
tightening screw bracket pressed on them. Repair takes about five
minutes and these inserts should prevent the metal leg from being
squeezed and bent so that it can't clamp the legs tight. A simple fix,
but effective. I have not noticed any slip on my ETX125 since
installation. I would recommend that even if you don't notice any slipp
in your #883, get this fix to prevent potential slipping in the future.
The metal leg is quite thin and deforms easily without the insert.

Paul Boudreaux

Subject:	ScopeTronix Light sight
Sent:	Wednesday, July 5, 2000 20:13:39
From:	NasaHead@aol.com
Its Scott Warren. I know your on vacation now or in Hawaii, but I have a
kinda' weird question. You know how the light sight has a little
metallic sheen on the front lens? Is there a way to remove it so that it
doesn't block out so many faint stars? The sheen I mean.                
           Scott Warren
Mike here: That "sheen" may be what reflects the dot back to you. I'm not certain since I don't have it with me in Hawaii. But if so, removing it would possibly make it unuseable. You could email Jordan Blessing at Scopetronix.

Subject:	 thank you!
Sent:	Wednesday, July 5, 2000 10:08:24
From:	debra.borne@gte.net (Debra Borne)
I can't tell you how much your site has helped me to understand my ETX! 
Thanks for your quick response, it's so nice to have others to share
etx experiences with!

Subject:	 Orion EZ finder
Sent:	Tuesday, July 4, 2000 16:44:12
From:	hevbound@netzero.net (Brad Thorpe)
I have just bought the Orion EZ finder for my ETX 125. I am having a
difficult time trying to find where to put it without being obstructed
by the ETX base when trying to polar align. It almost seems that the
Orion EZ finder base is not high enough to clear the ETX base. Do you
Mike or anyone else out there have any ideas on where or how to correct

Mike here: See the "EZ Finder Reflex Sight" review on the Accessories - Finderscopes page on my ETX site. The comments there may help you.

Subject:	 Piggyback photography
Sent:	Tuesday, July 4, 2000 05:13:44
From:	jstoeger@rkk.at (Juergen Stoeger)
first of all - your page is superb. It contains all the information, I
need for my ETX. I want to make piggyback photographing and was looking
for a solution. I wanted to produce such a holder myself but now I see
that JMI is selling such a product.

Question: 50,-- USD for USA  is okay but I am curious what it will cost
in Europa?

Do you have a URL of JMI or contact address?

Thanks, Juergen
Mike here: Glad you like the site. Check the Astronomy Links page; there is a dealer section there with links to JMI, and to Scopetronix, both of whom sell Piggyback adapters. The Scopetronix one seems to be more versatile. Shipping to Europa would probably be rather high. ;-) (Europa is a moon of Jupiter...) Check with the dealers for non-USA pricing.

Subject:	 Feedback Archives
Sent:	Sunday, July 2, 2000 21:27:01
From:	drisaza@epm.net.co (Daniel Isaza)
I've been always impressed with your page, it's the first ETX dedicated
page that I saw a long time ago.

I don't know how difficult it can be, but It would be great to have a
way to search the feedback archives, do you know of any feedback from
Colombia (South America)

Keep up the good job.

Daniel Isaza
Mike here: There is a way to search the Archives. The "Search" link on the site's Home Page will take you to a search page. That's the good news. The bad news is that this is a JavaScript-based search engine and I have to manually input keywords into a database. Only rarely have I put user locations into the database. Improving the site search capability is an enhancement that is on my list of things to do. I just need to find the time to do it!

Subject:	 My site
Sent:	Saturday, July 1, 2000 23:13:57
From:	mshwebb@hotmail.com (Michael Webb)
I have been enjoying your site for quite some time.  I am a Meade dealer
in Crossville, TN.  I have recently set up a website.  I would really
appreciate it if you would include my site in your dealer listings.  It
is www.sightandsoundshop.com.  Take a look at it and let me know what
you think.

Subject:	 field report
Sent:	Saturday, July 1, 2000 22:43:33
From:	edmosser@home.com (Edward Mosser)
It has been quite awhile since my ETX pointed skyward.  My last outing
was May 2.  Lousy weather, big moons, and health problems have kept me
indoors lately.

The sky has really changed in those two months and lots of neat stuff
has returned.  I opened up with Epsilon Lyre, the famous double double. 
I had to go to 178x to resolve both doubles.  Zeta Lyra makes a tight
triangle with Vega and Epsilon Lyra.  It is a very wide double, easily
resolved at 48x.  Next was Sheliak, which is a jumping off star for M57.
 Sheliak is worth a look, as it also is a wide double made up of 4th and
6th magnitude stars with about 30 arc seconds of separation.

M57 was easily spotted, but couldnt get much detail.  The sky was a bit
cloudy tonight and did not yield good results.  About a degree north of
M57 is a double of 5th and 7th magnitude stars with about 25 arc seconds
of separation.

Turned south to Scorpio and looked at Beta Scorpio.  Another nice double
of 2.9 and 4.7 magnitude stars separated by 13.6 arc seconds at 21
degrees PA.  Very easy in the 26mm.  Upsilon Scorpio is 1.5 degrees east
of Beta and is a similar double to Beta, only dimmer.  I estimated the
double to be 4th and 6th magnitude with about 30 arc minutes separation
at 340 degrees PA.

I searched for and failed to locate M80 and M4.  I have found that
locating them is difficult in the light polluted area I live in, unless
the sky is fairly good.  Tonight was not the night.  Antares was just

The Milky Way running thru the summer sky is stunning and perfect for
low power scanning.

Hope your trip to the islands was enjoyable.

Ed Mosser

Subject:	 Quick Question: Viewfinder...
Sent:	Saturday, July 1, 2000 21:27:54
From:	gregd@fastdial.net (gregdib)
You have a great site...I own the ETX 90 and I have the viewfinder that
comes with it (straight thru design). I need to upgrade it since my back
and neck are getting sore.  I am tossed between getting the right angle
accessory or upgrading to some third party  that might prove to be
better. Could I ask for your suggestion... what would you do with this
problem. Thanks!
Mike here: I have a right angle finder, a red-dot, and a 1x finderscope. At various times I actually use them all. Depending upon your use of the ETX you may find any style suits your need. See the various comments on the Accessories - Finderscopes page.

Subject:	Bantam 2.5 x 20 scope
Sent:	Friday, June 30, 2000 17:45:18
From:	TWOCNTPLN@aol.com
I've looked through your site (which by the way is a GREAT resource and
very helpful) but perhaps have missed it in the archives, but wondering
how to remove the belled end from the Tasco Bantam scope to place it in
the ETX finderscope mount - if anyone has any suggestions, I'd greatly
appreciate them.


Dan Seltzer

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