Last updated: 31 July 2005
This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX PE (Premier Edition). Feedback on the specific PE technologies (Automatic Alignment + SmartFinder, Level North Technology) will be covered here. Feedback on the Autostar Suite AE (Astronomer Edition) will be posted on the regular Autostar Suite feedback page. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (EC, AT, PE) will continue to be posted on the other appropriate feedback pages. 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:	Meade ETX-125PE
Sent:	Friday, July 29, 2005 16:18:24
From:	David (
Didn't see this addressed on your site yet.
I was browsing different places for the ETX-125PE and one one site, they
indicated that the "PE" model was made in China, but said the ETX-125
"AT" was made in the USA.  Do you have any clarification on this?
Mike here: Don't know specifically but there are likely components made in many different countries. I know that some models, maybe all, are assembled in the USA as well as other countries.


I think I found the answer on your page above - the box "looks" USA
(Chinese cardboard has a look to it - cheap) and on the label in your
photo is says assembeled in Mexaco from USA parts.

And - my SN10 came in a box clearly marked CHINA (in that cheap
cardboard). But the fit and finish on the SN10 did look very good..

Mike here: Thanks. That matches what I thought.
Subject:	Re: Trying to align the Smartfinder on 125PE without success
Sent:	Friday, July 29, 2005 01:50:06
From: (
Having tried another three times, removing and replacing, it suddenly
worked. I have no idea why!
Anyway, thanks for your advice.
David De Voy

Subject:	Trying to align the Smartfinder on 125PE without success
Sent:	Thursday, July 28, 2005 05:37:30
From: (
I have just bought a Meade ETX 125PE, and find it impossible to align
the smartfinder.

I think I have followed the instructions, and have read all the
hints/tips on your very informative site.

I cannot get the red dot to move very far from the right hand side
towards the centre. I can only see this dot if I move my eye perhaps two
inches off the axis. Speaking as one who is not familiar with this
process, it seems a very hit and miss afair.

I have removed the finder a couple of times and reseated without

I would welcome any suggestions that you may offer.

David De Voy
Mike here: Unless the LNT SmartFinder module is defective, it sounds like the SmartFinder tongue is inserted incorrectly. Just to confirm, if you have an older LNT the tongue is positioned as shown in the photo near the bottom of my comment on the ETX-105PE (on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page), or if you have the new module, as discussed in "New SmartFinder Info" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Thanks for your speedy reply.
I seem to have the newer LNT with all the knobs and also the
leaflet14-1010-37 ver105.

I have removed the smartfinder a couple of times and re-installed, but
always with the same result - I have to move my eye off axis to the left
to see the red dot. The adjustment screw on the side opposite the finder
does move the dot, but nowhere near far enough. The supplier I bought
the scope from suggested bending the fibre light stalk, but I am
reluctant in case it breaks.

It doesn't really say but I assume that the finder is installed with the
concave side nearest the eyepiece. It will then slide in until it mates
with the side of the LNT.
David De Voy
Mike here: Yes, the concave side is towards the eyepiece. You could have a defective LNT module; Meade can replace it.
Subject:	New Meade ETX-125PE a lemon and getting run-around from Meade and Astronomics
Sent:	Monday, July 25, 2005 19:36:05
From:	Allen Jensen (
Astronomics said they would replace my defective ETX-125PE but I cannot
get them to follow though and give me a return authorization number.  I
have called Meade and they say they will not replace the telescope, that
replacement would have to come from Astronomics.  I have talked with
Jacob at Astronomics and he keeps telling me he has to contact Meade
about something first and Meade is not responding.  I can believe it of
Meade, but I have never seen anything but good comments about
Astronomics - so I am really at a loss as to what to do next.  I
essentially have a $1200 boat-anchor at this point and cannot get anyone
to respond.  Meade said I could arrange to send it in for repairs, but
it is a brand new telescope and it has never worked - this would be the
third attempted repair by Meade and I have just had it.

Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to get Astronomics or Meade
to get me a working replacement telescope?  It just does not seem
reasonable to me that I should be expected to receive a broken,
defective piece of equipment and then be happy that they will repair my
"new" telescope.  If they do not get me a return authorization tomorrow,
I am afraid I am going to have to turn this over to my lawyer.  I have
been trying to hold down on any really negative press on the various
groups and feedback to go on your site, but believe me, I have been
keeping detailed records of my interactions - quite a story for anyone
considering a Meade telescope.....

Thanks, don't konw if I will just drop out of the hobby after this very
sour experience (bad LNT, bad wiring in base, flip mirror fell off
holder and is ratteling around in the base now....)

Peter A. Jensen (Allen Jensen)
Mike here: Your best choice is to let Astronomics work it. Any reseller worth the name will stand by you. But you may need to keep bugging them so that they keep bugging Meade. Being a pain to them can have its rewards.

And an update:

And an update - Today, Astronomics came through and has now arranged to
have my defective ETX-125PE picked up by UPS and replaced.  Thank you
Astronomics for (finally) comming through.  Assuming this all get's
worked out much credit must go to Astronomics (thanks Jacob).  Meade,
however, is a whole other question.  The jurry is still out.  If the new
ETX-125PE is 100% out of the box, I might one day consider more Meade
equipment (but not for a while.....)


Subject:	re: Problems with Automatic Align Procedure with an ETX-125PE and AutoStar
Sent:	Friday, July 22, 2005 18:19:48
From:	Richard Seymour (
Other issues to consider:

You didn't mention how far off its attempts at Jupiter were.

Do not use Planets or the Moon (orbiting bodies)  to assess GoTo quality.
Use Stars and Deep Space Objects.

The calculations for the orbiting bodies are -approximations-, and
can indtoruce errors which have nothing to do with errors of
telescope alignment.

To test quality of the encoders, motors and hardware, turn off the
sidereal drive by selecting:  Setup > Targets  > Terrestrial [enter].
Now press [mode] for 3 seconds, release.
You should be seeing the RA/DEC readout (if you have an electric focuser,
you will need to scroll down once).
Scroll down from there to the Alt/Az display.
Point the telescope at a landmark... center it.
Read the Az numbers.
Now slew the telescope a full 360 around to recenter the landmark.  
The Az number should increment (or decment) exactly 360 degrees
(+/- 1 degree is probably ok, but it really should be closer)

good luck
From:	Alfredo F. Bird (
Thank you very much. Your response is most kind and I will try out what
you suggest.

Again, thanks.

Alfredo F. Bird

Subject:	ETX125PE
Sent:	Thursday, July 21, 2005 07:24:47
From: (
Just need a recommendation on an electric focuser for the ETX125-PE. 
Scopetronix mentioned the Meade 1247, but I have not read anything
positive about it.  I read something about a JMI focuser.  I am curious
as to what you recommend.
Mike here: I haven't checked if JMI has one that works with the ETX-125.
Subject:	Problems with Automatic Align Procedure with an ETX-125PE and AutoStar
Sent:	Monday, July 18, 2005 19:08:15
From:	Alfredo F. Bird (
I am having problems with the Automatic Alignment procedure on an
ETX-125PE. I am using SPICA and ARCTURUS as my first and second stars.
After placing the telescope in the automatic alignment HOME position, I
begin the process and the telescope moves fairly close to SPICA. I then
center the star and press ENTER to finish the first positioning. The
telescope then moves to a position well below ARCTURUS and I again
center it manually and press ENTER. AutoStar then states "Alignment
Successful". When I use the GOTO button to go to JUPITER, the telescope
fails to correctly position itself for it. I am using the 33C version of
the AutoStar software. Any ideas which can be of help? 


Alfredo F. Bird

San Juan, PR
Mike here: First off, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES? Have you properly set the Date/Time/Daylight Savings/Location? If so, what happens if you select different alignment stars? What happens if you do a TWO STAR EASY alignment? Lastly, if none of the above change things, you could update to the current Autostar ROM version from Meade's web site. You will need a #505 serial cable (which you can buy or make; see the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page) and a RS-232 serial port.


Thanks. I have properly setup the Date/Time/Daylight Savings as well as
the site (mine, San Juan, PR, is listed). I have also just downloaded
the latest ROM into the AutoStar and done the RESET and CALIBRATE MOTORS
as you suggest in your website. Tomorrow I will train the drives and
lastly, if the night is clear (which has not happened much in San Juan
this summer) I will retry the alignment.


Subject:	Re: PE Trivia Question
Sent:	Tuesday, July 12, 2005 10:49:11
From:	Steav Bates-Congdon (
According to the description at Astronomics for the ETX 125 PE:
A full-color photo of the North American Nebula (NGC 7000) wraps around
the tube, adding a visual delight on the scope to the visual delights
you can see through the scope.

And, via the same source  for the ETX 105 PE:
A full-color photo of the Pinwheel Galaxy (spiral galaxy M101) wraps
around the tube, adding a visual delight on the scope to the visual
delights you can see through the scope.

So, obviously not a silly question if the company thinks it's worth a

One advantage of the silk-screened DSO is that the tube doesnt show
fingerprints nearly as well as the solid color versions of the various
ETX's =) Very advantageous for the obsessive - compulsive among us!

Steav W. Bates-Congdon
"186,282 miles per second:
It isn't just a good idea, it's the law!"
          ~ St. Xavier Onasis

Subject:	ETX PE trivia question
Sent:	Thursday, July 7, 2005 18:36:45
From:	Harden Schaeffer (
This is a silly question, but I'd like to know the answer.  From looking
at the pictures it's obvious the image silkscreened on the ETX-90PE is
M42.  I can't figure out what the nebulae are on the '105PE or the
'125PE - and I've seen the latter up close.  I realize this question
will get me drummed out of the DSO Observers' Club, but what are they?

Subject:	re: ETX-125PE LNT Question
Sent:	Wednesday, July 6, 2005 19:18:00
From:	Richard Seymour (
Ummm... since you have an LNT scope, the date and time should
-not- always start at 8pm on the previous date (that's how the
NON-LNT scopes operate).

You should check to see if the battery inside the LNT has 
fallen away from its contacts (see Mike's site for examples
and photos)

have fun
Mike here: Good catch Dick. Thanks!


Yeah, but i missed his p.s. that he'd already seated the battery....

have fun
And more:
From: (
With the ETX125PE, the Autostar should read the time and date from the
LNT module each time power is applied.  After the Sun Warning and
Getting Started messages are cleared, the display shoud read "Time" 
with a rotating symbol at the end of the display line.  This lasts about
2 seconds. After that, it should display the "Align: Automatic" message
and the Enter key will start a North, Level, Tilt calibration followed
by a two-star alignment.

If, instead, your Autostar shows the last date used, it is not
recognizing the LNT clock.  This clock is powered by the battery in the
LNT, which maintains time continuously while main power is off. The
battery serves no other function, as the red dot LED is powered by the
main power source.

The Autostar only reads the LNT clock once, at startup. After that, it
uses its own internal computer to continuously update time for
observations, just as the AT version does after time is manually entered
at startup.

If your system is not recognizing the LNT clock, you might try reseating
or replacing the LNT battery, making sure to observe proper polarity.
See Appendix D in the PE manual.  If it still doesn't work, you may have
a bad LNT module.

Hope this helps.

Mike Hogan

Subject:	Re: ETX-125PE another defective LNT
Sent:	Tuesday, July 5, 2005 05:23:45
From:	Allen Jensen (
Got my ETX-125 PE back from Meade last Tuesday, it seems to work now. 
The problem was in the base but Meade did not tell me what the problem
was.  The young sounding man I spoke to was not very helpful and really
left me with a poor view of customer support at Meade.  A more mature
sounding man I spoke to at Meade was MUCH better.  Meade just needs to
weed out their customer support staff a bit.  Cloudy weather has
prevented me from doing a real test.

Allen Jensen

Subject:	ETX-125PE LNT Question
Sent:	Monday, July 4, 2005 22:08:01
From: (
I'm sure that you've heard this a zillion times, but you have an
excellent website!

I recently purchased a Meade ETX-125PE, I did have a slight headache
aligning it up the first few days...although I'm quite sure that that
was due to some mistake on my part, the manual SHOULD have been more
helpful though...But that's another story...

Right, so the subject at hand is, every time I power up my scope I find
that the date is stuck on the date I last used it and the time is ALWAYS
8 pm.  I was wondering if this was normal?  I'm hoping that I wouldn't
need to send the unit back to Meade for repair or something...that would
be a real problem as I live in Sudan and my closest accessible Meade
dealer is in the UK.

I'm still a new user but once I get on top of things I'll be submitting
my images to your Gallery.
Thanks and keep up the good work!
Ghazi Kunna,
Khartoum, SUDAN
PS.  The Red Dot is working fine although it didn't when I first
received the 'scope, I opened the LNT module cover and found that the
battery was not properly inserted, I just pushed it into place and the
Red Dot worked fine after that.  Thought this might come in handy for
any other newbies that may have problems with their red dot not lighting
up. Cheers ;)
Mike here: The Autostar always defaults to the last date entered and the time to 20:00:00 (or 8pm).


Thanks Mike, that really helped calm my nerves.
I'll be in touch.
Ghazi Kunna

Subject:	ETX 125 PE purchase
Sent:	Sunday, July 3, 2005 15:37:39
From: (
I read with interest remarks regarding the ETX 125PE I am new to astronomy
and after reading and the study of telescopes have decided to purchase
the ETX 125PE I am a little concerned with the problems encountered by
many on your feedback pages, what is your opinion on the ETX125 PE, Many
thanks for your excellent site.
Bryan Mole
United Kingdom
Mike here: You can read my PE comments on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject:	Re: @WL  Re: $WL  Re: Genral Feedback - Train Drive - Calibrate Sensors - Calibrate Motor
Sent:	Saturday, July 2, 2005 08:19:50
From:	Kevin (
I performed the Calibrate Motor and Train drives.  The calibrate motor
moved the telescope about 20 deg horizontal and than 20 deg vertical. 
It took about 5 seconds to complete, is that normal?  The meade
instructions doesn't tell me much.  The Train Drives went smoothly.

I performed 3 automatic alignments (ETC-125PE).  The first alignment
start was Arcturus, the telescope was always about 40 deg low and 10 deg
left? After centering it, I selected Vega, it slewed pretty close, after
that the "goto" went pretty good, I went to Jupiter, than Pluto, and
back to Jupiter. It didn't return to Jupiter during the 2 attempt??

I ordered your book, so I hope to learn more when it arrives.

Should I Calibrate Sensors, maybe it will help the LNT find the
alignment Arcturus star better?

Thanks again,
Mike here: The telescope will move somewhat during the motor calibration. For "manual" alignments you need to start in the proper HOME position, with the date/time/DST set properly. You should also check your Site location. Have you done those? CALIBRATE SENSOR will help the LNT.


Yes, I think I'm starting in the correct HOME position.  I rotate
counter-clock wise until it stops, and lock it down, I use a PE edition,
with LNT so I think that's the right HOME position.

I checked the date, time, and location, and the controller is always
correct.  It's never lost my info.

I've noticed my AutoStart controller version is 33C, the Meade website
shows the latest version as 34Ec.  The associated text file doesn't say
what the improvements are, but it does say it improves finding the
second alignment start with LNT?  Maybe I should download 34Ec.  If I
download the new version, what's the correct way to start back up?  Will
I need to enter date, time, location, calibrate motors, calibrate

Again, Thanks for your time.....
Mike here: Yep, do the update. When finished, I recommend doing a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTORS, and then TRAIN DRIVES.

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