ETX USER FEEDBACK
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.
Subject: Thanks! Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 07:01:35 From: email@example.com (Youree Center Radiology) I would like to thank you for the great informative site. Your site was the main factor in my decision to purchase the Meade ETX90EC. All of the info on your site was invaluable in my research on what scope to buy and what accessories to buy with it. Keep up the good work. Thanks again, Bryan McCauslin Shreveport,LA
Subject: Site Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 06:55:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (James Shelton) Just a quick and simple THANK YOU for your ETX website. I can't even begin to explain how valuable it has been to me and I'm sure you have a lot more to do then read e-mails about it. I spend a great deal of my time on it and all I can say is WOW..... and again THANK YOU! James
Subject: Barlow Question Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2000 11:48:41 From: email@example.com (Wei-Chieh Chen) Sorry for asking so many questions. Can you use the #140 Apochromatic Barlow Lens (that's supposed to be the best Barlow that Meade has) be used on the ETX-90/EC? Or can only the #126 Barlow Lens be used? If only the #126 can be used for some reason, is it worth getting? (I read that cheap Barlow lenses are usually of poor quality.) Thanks for your help again. WCCMike here: The answers you seek can be found by searching the site for "140". The first page that comes up (April 2000 Feedback) has your answer; just do a Browser "find" on #140 on that page. I realize the search mechanism isn't perfect but it can help.
Subject: adapter Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2000 07:42:52 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ralph Koschnitzke) I really appreciate your website, as a new owner of an ETC90EC this has been a tremendous resource! Your wrote the following about a camera adapter: I now have an attachment to mount the Casio digital camera to the Meade Basic Camera Adapter. I purchased a Tiffen Casio Lens Adapter for my QV-10 (also works with the QV-10A and QV-100) for about $25. The adapter is normally used to mount 37mm lens (also from Tiffen). Unfortunately the threads do not match the Meade Basic Camera Adapter so it was necessary to purchase an adapter ring. After visiting two local camera shops and searching for a few hours I finally found a ring ($2) that was close to what I needed. (What was the size of this ring was it a 37 - ? step up adapter?) I have a 37mm thread on my camera and I'm trying to adapt it. But before I buy the basic camera adapter... Do you know the thread size on the camera adapter? that you adpted too or rather is it the same as the tmount adapter? Thanks! Ralph KoschnitzkeMike here: That experiment didn't work out for me. There wasn't enough thread surface to hold the camera securely. The Scopetronix Digital Camera Adapter (see the Accessories - Astrophotography page) works WAY better. More versatile too.
Thanks!, Mine just came in the mail today!. I'm really looking forward to this new hobby. I'll be making a pledge to your site. Regards Ralph Koschnitzke
Subject: ETX Spotting Scope Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 10:58:15 From: email@example.com (Paul Meanwell) Hi, wonder if you can help. I bought the ETX 90 spotting scope. This comes complete with the erect image prism, and 45 deg. viewer. To assemble the scope is a simple matter of unscrewing the cap at the back of the scope, attaching the prism, adding the lens, and off you go. What confuses me is that there is now a gaping hole where the lens should go when used at 90 deg. While there is a cap for the back of the tube when this aperture is not in use, there does not seem to be anything to plug the hole when used as a spotting scope. I'm concerned that it is going to get dust, moisture, all sorts of things in there. Shouldn't there be a protective cap or something? Regards Paul.Mike here: Many people, including me, use a 35mm film can as a plug for the top eyepiece hole. Works pretty well. Caution: don't tighten the screw down since you don't want plastic or metal filings inside the ETX.
Subject: bincoular lense Sent: Monday, June 26, 2000 00:51:06 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Leonard Schaustal) I was looking in astronomy magazine, at some of the bincular lenses so I could use both eyes for viewing, they range in price from $198.00 to $1000.00 plus. is it worth going to this and is the viewing better. what do you recommend? I'm new to this and just got the ETX90ec 3 months ago. I like your web site and have gotten a lot of information from it-since I;m a new at this. Lenny schaustal, email@example.comMike here: I did a search of the site for "binocular viewer" with the AND option selected; got a hit on the January 2000 Feedback page. There is an question there about their use. I didn't continue with the search; you can do that as well as I can.
Subject: NEW LX-90 Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2000 20:53:59 From: Jimmy123ho@aol.com I have owned an ETX for more than 2 years. Yesterday, I saw an ad on the Astronomics website showing a new LX-90. Do you know anything about it yet? It is basically a SCT on a improved and enlarged aluminum computerized ETX mount. Write back if your get anything about it. Thanks. J.HMike here: All I know is what is on Shutan's web site (click for the www.shutan.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=1&Product_Code=ML8F1&Category_Code=telcat6 direct link) and Meade's announcement.
Subject: Meade CTX100 Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2000 06:27:28 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Don R Burton) I am looking for a good telescope to start with and I think I can buy a never used, according to the owner, CTX100 for about 300 bucks, is this worth the money or should I just save up and buy the etx90 or 125?Mike here: I'm not familiar with the CTX100.
Subject: question... Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2000 20:37:21 From: email@example.com (twister1599) Just wondering if u knew if the ETX 90 RA telescope is compatible w/ AutoStar #497? Thanks.Mike here: The RA model is the original ETX and pre-dates the Autostar. There is no upgrade available to the "EC" model.
Subject: ETX site Sent: Friday, June 23, 2000 13:32:01 From: Freybears@aol.com I just came across your site, after looking futilely for a good source of ETX info. I am a former 8" LX200 owner (donated it to local astronomical society), and an amateur for the last 25 years or so. I just ordered an ETX because I miss doing astronomy, but not the scope lugging required with the LX200. Just wanted to say "great stuff...looking forward to really getting into the site further." By the way, have you run into other amateurs who went from big scope to small, as opposed to the typical small-to-big? SteveMike here: Yes, some users have "come down" to the portability of smaller telescopes. As I've said many times on the site, the best scope is the one that gets used and larger scopes tend to end up in the closet due to the inconvenience factor.
Subject: Question Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 18:14:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (CHRISTIAN HAUGERUD) Now i have 2 questions: Can i use any other type of field tripod to my etx125 , than the very expensive original one ? And i know this isent a etx question - but does someone have any info about , or know a site on the 6" Alter M-603 (or maby the 7"...)? I realy think i "like" this scope...;-) Hope somebody can help me! ChrisMike here: With the proper mounting plate you can mount the ETX-125EC to any tripod. Just make sure it is stable.
Subject: help Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2000 15:00:40 From: email@example.com (CHRISTIAN HAUGERUD) Well , i have now desided to bye a new telescope - but i need a few gidelines from the experts! This will be my 2. scope ( my first scope was Meade 114mm reflector - with WERY poor kellner .965 eyepices!!!) I dont have a lot of money , so ive been looking at Meade Etx-125 ec , DS-127 ec and a 8" dobsonian. Now the Etx is my dream scope (with its small and portable size) , BUT i know there is a lot of bad talk about it... The DS-127 is only 0.5 inch bigger then my old scope , but will it show any more details (Now because i only had the realy bad EP , i never got to explore my scope fully. At 218.5x - jupiter looked like a oversisized white star , with 4 dots around it. I dont know if this is the way its suppose to looke like at that magnitude...?) ? And of course the 8" dobsonian , its probebly a good scope - but you cant track with it or use the autostar computer controller on it. Now these scopes are wery expensive - at least for me! -so i dont want to bye something that wont extend my "space exploring". So i ges my main question is : do i bye one of these telescopes or do i save some more money and bye a LX 10 - 8"(but , i dont know how portable this scope is...) ? I hope someone can help me with some of these questions. ChristianMike here: Obviously, the larger the telescope the less portable it will be. And unless you are dedicated, larger telescopes will end up unused since they are not convenient to move outside and set up. On the other hand, small telescopes like the ETX-90EC are easily setup (whether you use the Autostar or not) and so you can use them on a moment's notice. Yes, there are some limitations in small scopes but the portability usually outweighs that for many users. So, decide what you want to do with the telescope and what your expectations are. Then get the best telescope you can afford that will at least meet, if not exceed, your expectations. For many, the ETX-90EC and -125EC scopes are exactly what they want. For others, one of the various DS models works best. And some decide that a large Dobsonian telescope is best for their needs. Others go all out and get the LX200 model. Decisions, decisions, decisions...
Subject: 10" Meade LX200 EMC Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2000 10:30:02 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Leare,Peter) Hello, Nice ETX site. I have recently purchased a 10" Meade LX200 EMC and am wondering if you know of any similar sites to yours for this scope? Thanks, Pete email@example.comMike here: Check the MAPUG.com (Meade Advanced Products User Group) web site. Lots of links there.
Subject: 883 Deluxe Field Tripod Leg Fix Sent: Monday, June 19, 2000 20:43:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Edward Parkyn) A mod kit for the slipping problem can be obtained free from Meade. ted
Subject: eyepieces Sent: Monday, June 19, 2000 15:38:12 From: email@example.com (gary) If you just got the ETX90EC for a first scope what 3 lens would you buy first and why? GARYMike here: See the Buyer/New User Tips page for some thoughts on eyepieces.
Subject: selling Sent: Monday, June 19, 2000 11:30:15 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Craig Schriever) Unfortunatly I have to part with my ETX-90/EC. I'm selling and am wondering if anyone is interested? IT is in wonderful condition no scratches dents or smudges! Optic's and mechanics are perfect! Here's what I'm sellin ETX-90/EC........Autostar controller.........Stock controller......... 3 Eyepieces........Meade SP26mm.........SP9.7mm.........40mm Scopetronix Plossl.........3 Meade eyepiece filters......ND96....#82A light blue........#8 light yellow............Meade #126 Barlow.........Meade 07356 Basic Camera adapter........Meade #64 T-adapter.......Meade #932 Erect Image Roof prism.............Scopetronix Flexi-Focus...........Scopetronix Dew clip and dew shield.........Meade Deluxe Field Tripod..........Scopetronix Tripod leg clamps...........Identi-View Sloar filter ( from scopetronix) I think thats it! $1000.00 takes it Any serious buyers e-mail me at Grizz2@prodigy.net I have really enjoyed my ETX and am sad to see it go but for now it has to..............
Subject: Meade Q... Sent: Monday, June 19, 2000 04:27:43 From: email@example.com (Snorre A. Selmer) Of all the ETX and Digital Electronic Series (DS?) telescopes, wich one would you recomend (don't worry about price) for 35mm photography... What extras would I need (filters, tripod (I have one for my camera, but I don't think it's sturdy enough), Autostar)? (I'll need a T-mount of course...)Mike here: What telescope (ETX, DS, or LX200) and accessories you want really depends upon what kind of astrophotography you want to do and what your expectations are. Small, mass market telescopes are not designed to produce long duration (minutes or hours) exposures of galaxies and nebulae. However, as you can see on my site, the ETX can do quite well on some objects with some patience and luck. So, decide what you want to photograph and what you expect the results to look like. Then get a telescope that will meet those requirements. Bottom line since you said to not worry about the price: get a 12" (or larger) LX200. You'll get GREAT astrophotos!
Well, if I don't remember too incorrectly, the LX200 series is too expencive... I meant that within the ETX and DS series, I can afford all the scopes (I live in Norway, and prices here are kinda bloated)... The LX200 series is awesome, but too expencive (I think)... I was planning on a 2000-2500$ (maybe as high as 3000$) budget... And now, a couple of questions: Is the Autostar Computer worth the extra cost? Are the telescopes (ETX, DS, LX200) sturdy enough to NOT shake when I take a picture (when the mirror flips)?Mike here: The LX200 in the larger models is more expensive than an ETX-125EC. However, the LX90 8" looks pretty nice for the price. Shakes are a common problem with most telescope/mounts unless you really have a sturdy mount. The DS/ or ETX/tripod combination will exhibit a vibration when the camera mirror flips so people use the "hat trick" method (search the site for it) for long duration (seconds, minutes) exposures. If you know (or want to learn) your way around the sky you don't need the Autostar's GOTO capability. On the other hand, it is a convenient way to get started.
Subject: magazine Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2000 12:31:37 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (gary) Can you tell me a good magazine to subscribe to for a beginer like myself? garyMike here: "Astronomy" and "Sky and Telescope" are both excellent magazines. I've been a subscriber to S&T since 1960. You should be able to find copies of both are your local newstand or bookdealer. Buy one of each and see which you like. Some people prefer one or the other.
Subject: TRIPOD & HOME POSITION Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2000 07:56:48 From: TLINEMAN@webtv.net (THOMAS MAHONY) The tripod i have is meades #887 advanced field tripod but i did not like the fixed height legs so i traded them in for the adjustable legs for the lx200 i finally talked to a tech at meade who could give me the correct mounting for the polar home position tried it out last night the only problem i had was going back to polaris the scope centered the star but the scope was upside down do you have a solution for this problem ? THANKS TOMMike here: Glad you got the scope into the polar position. What did Meade tell you? If the scope is upside down when viewing Polaris, then the scope is possibly 12 hours in RA out of alignment. Also, remember that Polaris is not exactly at the pole. Try redoing the Autostar alignment.
THE ANSWER I GOT FROM MEADE WAS WITH THE SCOPE FACING NORTH THE WEDGE ON THE SOUTH AND THE CONTROL PANNEL ON THE WESTSIDE ,THE EYEPIECE ON THE TOP SET THE TUBE 90 DEGREES TO THE BASE (BASICALLY STRAIGHT UP FROM THE BASE)THEN ROTATE THE RA. COUNTERCLOCK WISE TO THE HARD STOP THEN BACK CLOCK WISE 1/3 A TURN SO THAT THE DEC. DIAL IS OVER THE CONTROL PANNEL ON THE WESTSIDE THIS IS THE HOME POSITION FOR POLAR ALIGNMENT ON THE WEDGE THEN YOU WOULD AD JUST THE TRIPOD AND YOUR LATITUDE FOR POLAR ALIGNMENT NOT THE KEYPAD WHAT WAS CONFUSING FOR ME WITH THE HOME POSITION WAS ALL THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRATIONS SHOWING THE TELESCOPES SET WITH YOU VIEWING FROM THE NORTH SIDE OF THE WEDGE LOOKING OVER IT INSTEAD OF BEHIND IT ON THE SOUTH SIDE IT MIGHT LOOK GOOD FOR PHOTOS BUT IT SCREWED ME UP EVEN THE PHOTO ON YOUR WEB SITE IS WRONG . THE PROBLEM I HAD WITH THE EYEPIECE BEING UP SIDE DOWN WHEN I RETURN TO POLARIS WAS NOT THE ALIGNMENT WITH AUTOSTAR BUT THE COMPUTER DOES NOT KNOW ANY BETTER MEADE SAID JUST LIKE WHEN THE SCOPE WILL ROTATE 350 DEGREES INSTEAD 10 DEGREES TO THE NEXT STARMike here: It turns out (according to reports) that the HOME position is somewhat flexible. So users tend to use what works for them. Glad you have one that works for you.
Subject: ccd useage Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2000 06:17:58 From: email@example.com (Joyce & Bill Needham) Was wondering if you have any feed back o useing a ccd camera on the 125ec. I tried to mount my st7 with the large slr adapter and the scope would not stay put in dec,nomater how tight i had the dec lock,besides dont seem to have mutch clearence to pivot the mount anyway. How are most people mounting there slr cameras on the 125? Ihave the meade 64t adapture. Does the camera(om1 olympus) hurt the motors or the tracking? thanks Mike enjoy your site,.will give some feedback with somemore useage. BgalxieMike here: You likely will need to attach a counterweight to the other end of the ETX. This is true of many telescopes when you add extra weight to one end. Depending upon which CCD model is used, clearance with the mount could be an issue. Again, this may be true for other telescopes as well. There are others who are using CCDs successfully with the ETX models. You can search the site for "CCD" and you'll find lots of hits.
Subject: Question about the Eyepieces Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2000 21:45:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Wei-Chieh Chen) Hi, For the Maksutov-Cassegrain Meade ETX-90EC astro telescope (1250mm focal length), it says that the maximum practical visual power is 325x. Is that a limit to what I can see? Because if I use a 9.7mm eyepiece (129x [rounded]), and I use a 5x Powermate, the power would be approximately 644-645. Would I be able to see things at 644 to 645 times their size or will the limit affect it somehow? If it is a limit, then I'll have to find exactly the right eyepieces and Barlow lenses to avoid further complications. If it isn't a limit, then what are the drawbacks? (Ex. blurred vision, etcetera) If there are no drawbacks, then I'm probably gonna get a Meade Series 4000 Super Plossl 6.4mm eyepiece with the Meade Series 4000 2x Barlow Lens. Please reply A.S.A.P. Thanks for your time. A 14 year old Astronomy EnthusiastMike here: The theoretical limit is about 50-60x per inch of aperture. So for the ETX-90 with its 3.5 inch aperture you'd get about 210x as a maximum. However, with good optics (like in the ETX) and some eyepieces, you can easily exceed this to something above 300x. The downside is that the object viewed will be very dim unless you are viewing the Moon or a bright planet. It will also start getting fuzzy as you go to the higher magnifications. This is true of any telescope. I suggest you read through the Accessories - Eyepieces page and the eyepiece comments on the Buyer/New User Tips page for some eyepiece suggestions. My apologies for not replying ASAP but I'm on travel.
Subject: Solar filter?? Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2000 20:39:57 From: email@example.com (JK\DK) Hi I have a question about a solar filter. Do you think that a # 14 arc welders shield would work it would be easy to make wooden frame for a good fit over end. There are some models that have a mirror face on them to reflect some of light. What do you think? JKMike here: Some people will users will use these for solar eclipses. However, for telescopic use I would not recommend them as they may not be of optical quality. They may also still pass some harmful radiation from the Sun. Remember, it is not just the sun's brightness that is a problem for your eyes.
Subject: Meade Deluxe Field Tripod Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2000 18:11:51 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Winn Horton) I just bought a Meade Deluxe Field Tripod from Natural Wonders. They've just started carrying not only the ETX-125, but also the tripods, cases, and other 125 accessories. They've been carrying ETX-90 accessories, except tripods, for quite awhile. Anyway, they had a 125 mounted on a tripod in the store. It seemed very, very stable and not as shaky as I'd expected from reading reviews and other feedback from other users. I'm not sure if Meade redesigned the tripod, as the store staff suggested, or not, but I was impressed well enough to go ahead and get one. They do have a 30-day money back guarantee and I was told by the staff to return the tripod if I wasn't totally satisfied for any reason. I told them that I will be literally "field testing" the tripod, as next week I will be going to New Mexico and Arizona for a 3-week vacation. Their price for the 125 case was comparable to Shutan and Pocono at $150.00; but the tripod was $20 less at $179. I wasn't able to find reference to #883 for the Deluxe Tripod, on either the shipping boxes or on the tripod itself, but it is written "Deluxe Field Tripod" on everything. So, I'm assuming I've got the same tripod. When I return from vacation, I'll send an update to the tripod's performance. Best Regards, Winn Horton Middleburg, Florida *********************************** See The Backcountry While You Can http://www.jacksonville.net/~denaliMike here: Were the legs extended? I use mine with the legs NOT extended. Pretty stable that way.
Yes, the legs were extended. Both at the store and when I got mine home. I, too, plan to use it mostly not extended, as I enjoy using the telescope while sitting.
Subject: ETX-90 Focus? Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2000 09:22:31 From: Marko66@earthlink.net (Mark O'Brien) I have a ETX-90, and have been lookikg though it for a few months. I seem to have a hard time focusing on ET objects. I simply thought it was me, and what I did not know. However, I recently purchased a spotting scope (Astele 60, made in Russia) and everything is so clear, in focus, etc. What I am wondering, Is it possible that my ETX is a bit out of calibration? I have not had the nerve to hook up the Autostar yet. WHat do you think? Mark, Tucson, AZMike here: If you believe you can not reach a proper focus, try loosening the setscrew on the focus knob and slide the knob a little bit outward on the focus shaft. Retighten the setscrew and try to reach focus. Sometimes this is all that is required.
Subject: Re: etx90 barlow +50% Sent: Friday, June 16, 2000 20:11:18 From: FaybE@aol.com thanks for your help. which barlow would you recommend for 3x? thus i take it there is no way to position 2x barlow to get extra 50%? (please excuse my somewhat limited grasp of mechanics of these matters.) again, thankyou for taking time. yours, OllO
Subject: HNSKY newsletter, the new SAC 7.1 deepsky database. Sent: Friday, June 16, 2000 14:18:31 From: Han_Kleijn@compuserve.com (han kleijn) Newsletter of the HNSKY planetarium program. Date: 2000-6-16 Dear "Hallo northern sky" planetarium program user, The Saguaro Astronomy Club has created an other monumental work. They have released there new, highly improved SAC deepsky database version 7.0 and will release version 7.1 the next days. See what Steve Cou has to say in the text added to the end of this email. The number of objects is still a little more then 10.000 covering allmost all objects visible in amateur telescopes. So there is no need for UGC and PGC catalogs. SAC version 7.0 gives the latest and almost all answers for wrongly identified and missing NGC and IC puzzles. For background information it is a must to visit the internet domain "ngcic.com" of the NGC & IC project group. Very interesting historian information and other stories how they fixed/corrected missing and wrong entries of the NGC and IC deepsky catalog dated about 100 years ago. The Saguaro Astronomy Club can be found at http://saguaroastro.org/archive/home.htm. The SAC 7.1 database is now available as the standard HNS_SAC1.DAT, HNS_SAC2.DAT and HNS_SAC3.DAT files for HNSKY. Since the abbreviations and comments are often longer, I suggest to download HNSKY version 2.059. In older versions the statusbar text length is limited to 130 charactors only. You can use your old default.hns file but you have to switch on the stars to "ON" in the object menu. The following has changed in HNSKY since 2000-4-9: -00-06-14 Update for 2000+ plus help (v1.01) file with potporri of astronomical information such as annual meteor showers. -00-06-13 Release of version 2.053. Improved interpretator for abbreviations. -00-06-12 Release of version 2.052. Allows long messages on status bar. First preliminary version of deepsky databases based on SAC70. -00-06-07 Release of version 2.051. Improved time update routine. Up/down key for maximum star magnitude. Overvied for dark moonless nights for the next 30 days, Up/down key readable in "night vision mode". Action Arrow key in OBJECT menu improved. I will introduce HNSKY version 2.06 after two week or so. It will be almost identical to version 2.059. I like round numbers and I only want to improve a few very small things in HNSKY next time. Then hope again to slow down. Family is calling. And my new computerized telescope is coming... I still hope that HNSKY will described in Sky&Telescope or Astronomy one day. I you have good relations there, please inform them about HNSKY. That's all for this time. Thanks for all the replies and comments. Without those, this program would never be expanded to this state. ====Happy computing and clear skies, Han Kleijn, Bruehl Germany.==== ___________________________________________________________________________ The latest version can be downloaded from my web page: ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/han_kleijn/software.htm The program Hallo northern sky is an electronic version of the night sky. It displays all stars to about magnitude 12 (2.5 million stars) and 10607 deep sky objects. It also shows the all planets, Moon, Sun, moons of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, phases of the Moon and inner planets, solar and lunar eclipses, rings of Saturn and minor planets and comets. HNSKY has the ability to use the GSC or "Guide Star Catalog" and USNO CD-ROM database with a limiting magnitude of about 15 or more. The intention of the program is to familiarise you with the night sky and prepare yourself with a map for a night with your telescope. To help you with this, all deepsky objects are displayed in the correct size and orientation if available. This program is free. Please distribute and enjoy. Inform me if you liked it. Comments are always very welcome. This program stays copyright (C) Han Kleijn and you may not make money of it. Please distribute with original files only. ======="The README.TXT of the new SAC70 deepsky database" ==================================== Information on the Saguaro Astronomy Club Database version 7.0 dated June 4, 2000 by Steve Coe, SAC Vice President email: Steve Coe (email@example.com) This club project started many years ago, when we wanted a listing of the brightest deep sky objects on our computers. Thinking it would be an easy task, here we are nearly 20 years later, still maintaining and updating a much larger listing of information about what to observe at the telescope. How far we have come from the list of objects from Burnham's Celestial Handbook, all typed in on my Apple II+. Time flies. As always, if you find an error, please let us know. This ZIP file contains five text files: This README.TXT file. SACDOC.TXT is the documentation for the SAC database, there is much information here on the data fields and what the data means. Please spend some time reading this info before trying to utilize the database, it will help you to use this data effectively. REVHIST.TXT is the revision history, a short file about the various releases of the SAC database. POTPORRI.TXT is a set of information about a wide variety of astronomical phenomena from white dwarf stars, red stars and meteor showers. These are useful files, but they did not fit the information style of the main database. SAC70.TXT is version 7.0 of the Saguaro Astronomy Club database in quote, comma, quote delimited form. Any modern database manager or spreadsheet will import the data in this form. I contains information on over 10,000 deepsky objects. There are a few changes to the database fields from the previous releases of the SAC database: 1) The SIZE field has been split into two fields, one for major axis and one for minor axis. The SIZE fields use the lower case letter [m] for arcminutes, [s] for arcseconds and [d] for degrees. Because the database is delimited (field separated) with a double quote, it was confusing in some programs to also use a double quote for arcseconds. 2) The addition of the BCHM field allows easy access to Messier or other references from prominent catalogs. 3) The NGC description field and the NOTES field are now next to each other, so that they can be easily included or left out of a printed observing list. Much time and effort was spent to update the data with information available on the NGCIC.ORG Web site. Thanks to Bob Erdmann for managing the site and providing this valuable resource. Both Wolfgang Steineke and Dr. Harold Corwin have many hours of searching for, and correcting, errors in the NGC. Their work is reflected in this release of the SAC database. A small fraction of the number of objects still persist as NONEXISTENT, compared to the beginning of this database. Brian Skiff of Lowell Obs. has also been a constant help with a variety of information about these deep sky objects. Thank you to the skill, knowledge and expertise of all who helped the Saguaro Astronomy Club create an excellent listing of what to observe in the deep sky. =======" REVHIST.TXT" ==================================== REVISION HISTORY for SAC DATABASE, The goal of the people working on the Saguaro Astronomy Club database has been to provide a listing which could yield an observing list for use at the telescope. The early versions covered plenty of objects for users of scopes up to 8" in size. As we added more objects and data, the list became more massive and we believe that it now covers a large portion of what could be seen in a telescope in the 10" to 14" range. Addition of many more objects will add many small and faint galaxies, seeing as that is about all that remains below 14 magnitude. We do not relish this task and probably will not undertake such a large work. Version 1.0 consisted of 1100 objects down to a magnitude limit of about 11.5. It was also the beginning of the navstar and multistr files. Version 2.0 started to add a variety of objects from the RNGC. We soon discovered an excellent list of corrections from Brian Skiff and Dr. Harold Corwin. Version 3.0 should not be used. It is easy to spot the erroneous data. Look at M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, if its' declination is -31, that is the bad version!! We certainly learned a lot about maintaining back ups to data. Version 4.0 combined data from version 2.0 with the data input by Jeff Weintraub from Sky Catalog 2000. This version contains much good info and started to show us how massive a fairly complete deep sky database was going to get. This was the first version to contain Dan Ward's Report Generator. This version was compressed with PKPAK 3.61. After the release of version 4.0 many SAC members joined together in a combined effort to try and find as much info as we could on objects each person was assigned. The listing of who-did-what is in SACDOC.TXT. Several intermediate versions were compiled within the club, and then: Version 5.0 fixed some problems with the DESCR field and included all the NOTES which members had found. With the inclusion of multistr, navstar, potporri and Jim Lucyk's photondx files, this was the best version to date. A medium to large telescope owner with good skies can keep busy with version 5 for many observing sessions. A.J. Crayon's install program will put this version onto hard disk. The files are no larger than 360K each, to accommodate BBS operators. SAC Report Generator has been rewritten to include several more features. This version was compressed with the old compression algorithm so that we would only have to include ARCE on disk to un-arc the files. Version 5.1 fixed a small problem with the Report Generator. It can now search for objects with lower case characters in the name, such as Cr or Tr. If you are using your own database manager or if you do not use SACREP to search for individual objects, the update is unnecessary. Version 5.2 added several corrections, given in the file "errata50.txt". Dan Ward updated the Report Generator. Several internal versions existed within the SAC as we updated the information and Dan Ward set up Report Generator to accomodate the changes. We dropped the SOURCE field, finding that we where doing a poor job of keeping track of where each objects info source. We added the SUBR field with info from RC3 on surface brightness. Sizes of several fields changed as the NOTES and NGC DESCR fields got larger. U2 and TIR fields got smaller because we found that we did not need to provide multiple chart numbers for each object. Version 6.0 contains all the changes mentioned above and accompanying changes made to Report Generator. Version 6.1 incorporates several changes which I believe are well worth doing. First, the database is in one large file and not small pieces, RA hour size. Second, nothing is compressed by the pkzip program, it all fits on one 1.44 Meg floppy. Third, the errors given below have been fixed in the data, I will maintain a complete errata list if you wish to add to it, please contact me. Version 6.2 takes care of a few errors, and make the data more consistent, such as finding a magnitude that was given as 08 and changing that to 08.0, so that all the data appears the same to the computer. Several SAC members have been working with the NGC project to update the NGC and make certain that all the objects are identified with the correct object in the sky. The fruit of this undertaking is in Version 7.0. Dr. Harold Corwin and Wolfgang Steinike have provided info on many NGC objects and have solved many puzzles concerning the NGC. The number of truly unknown or unverified objects has shrunk to a fraction of where we began and this version of the SAC database reflects that work.
Subject: Eyepiece Projection Sent: Friday, June 16, 2000 11:43:49 From: GSkoubis@ussco.com (Skoubis, George) When shooting through an SLR attached to a camera adaptor using eyepiece projection, do you focus (i.e., the moon) through the eyepiece first and then attach the camera, or do you set your focus when all is attached by viewing through the camera? SkoubyMike here: With the camera lens removed for eyepiece projection, you have to focus on the camera's film plane, not to your eye. So you have to use the SLR viewfinder. Obviously a bright object is likely required. Some cameras have swappable viewfinders, some which work better with astrophotography.
Subject: etx90 barlow +50% Sent: Friday, June 16, 2000 05:29:20 From: FaybE@aol.com hi there, want to thank you for your site which has been a help as i am a first telescope/etx owner. if you have a moment what would be best way for me to make my meade 126 barlow function for 3x magnification (as well as 2x)? or would i be better off with another barlow setup to complement my vixen 8-24mm zoom? i am wanting to achieve 50-150, 100-300, 150-450 magnification ratios. thanks again for your help. yours, OllOMike here: Best way to get 3X is to buy a 3X Barlow Lens. Unless you are real good at optics, modifying the 2X to get acceptable results would not be worth the effort.
Subject: GREAT SITE Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2000 16:16:31 From: TLINEMAN@webtv.net (THOMAS MAHONY) Found your site at scopetronics . I own a etx 125 started with the deluxe tripod it was too shaky returned that one. Bought the advance tripod with the fixed leg height but that assume all ground is level traded those in for the adjustable legs . Now i have a nice tripod . I would like to know if you have a diagram of how to mount the scope in the polar home position . Again love the site and thanks. TOMMike here: You'll need some sort of a wedge to mount the ETX in the polar mode. See the Accessories - Tripods page and the Tech Tips page for info.
Thanks for your speedy reply . I forgot to mention that the tripod has a wedge .The diagram meade supples with it meade said was wrong .I look though your site but i did not see instructions on mounting the scope to the wedge in the in the polar home position or i missed it.Mike here: Sorry about the confusion but which Tripod and Wedge do you have? In any case, you are likely correct that there are no revised instructions about it on my site.
Subject: site Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2000 14:06:58 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Sandy) Very nice ETX site! Great Casio shots! Bob http://www.roanoke.infi.net/~rmsandy/astrophotography.html
Subject: [Fwd: RTMC trip] - another stolen telescope report Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2000 15:55:41 From: email@example.com (Vern Weiss) Bruce Sayre wrote: > Hi, Vern and Jackie, > > We enjoyed your note. Sounds like the trip up 395 was a success for you. Nothing like a > little desert heat to make you long for cool, cool Oregon. > > We really enjoyed ourselves at RTMC, in no small part because of your company. It's not > quite a star party, is it? More a bunch of telescope nuts who are more interested in > building than looking. But it's a fun group. > > A sad note: someone stole Tom Noe's 10-inch Teleport. Here's a note he sent to RTMC (Mel > posted it on the ATM list for him): > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > > TO BOB AND ALL AT RTMC: Thanks for a great telescope makers > conference. In spite of the unfortunate ending for myself and Linda, it was a good > one. I want to thank all who worked so hard to make it happen. > > It would perhaps be appropriate for all of you to line up and kick me > in the rear. I ignored your warnings and left my scope unattended and > vulnerable, and know I have only myself to blame. The integrity of > 99.9% of our community lulled me into ignoring the .1% who would do > something like that. > > I appreciate your offer to help spread the word via the RTMC web site. > Perhaps I'm still just naive, but I think there's a small chance my > scope will come back. The following is a plea to the one who stole it, > plus a description and photos for those who may encounter it sometime. > > TO THE THIEF: There are a lot of fine people in our astronomy > community who share a love of the sky and appreciation for the equipment that > helps us explore it. Have you looked at where this act puts you with > respect to that community? Have you asked yourself if that's where you > want to be? Can you ever really enjoy using a stolen telescope? Can > you ever share it with a friend? You must know that the rest of our > community will watch for you. > > Have you considered how you have affected other people in that > community? That scope didn't come off an assembly line. It is so much > more than its $2850 price. Besides the $1100 in parts, it's well over > two weeks of my life, and is a vital part of me. Making scopes > professionally is a labor of love, but is also now my livelihood. When > you stole it, you took almost 10% of my years effort, and almost 20% > of its net income. > > The lady in Oregon who had waited months for it will now wait longer. > Nine others who have put down deposits will see their deliveries slip. > I won't have another 10" scope for myself or to show until next March. > > We all make mistakes. Many of them can never be undone, but this one > can. Just put a label on my scope that says "Shipper #760-477, phone > 972-442-5456", set it inside the front of any UPS office in the > country, and leave. > > If you do that, I promise to never press charges against you, and that > I will in fact speak up on your behalf should you ever be caught. If you > don't, and the scope is traced to you, I will do all I can to insure > you are punished to the full extent of the law. At this point, you have a > choice. I hope you make it right for everyone, especially you. > > - ---------------------------------------------------- > TO MEMBERS OF THE ASTRONOMY COMMUNITY: Please look out for my > telescope. It should be easy to identify, as there are only a dozen > like it in the world. It is a 10" Teleport, the "telescoping telescope" > that lifts up for use. Closed, it's a small box. Open it's a 10" F/5 Dob. > It has a shroud with light baffles, a 2" custom helical focuser, and a > fold out Crossman LED type finder. Photos of the scope open and closed are > shown below. > > A label on the mirror box has the name of my wife, Linda Silas, my > signature, and the serial number TP10-004. The label is easily > removed, but the same serial number is also engraved on the edge of the Zambuto > mirror, and is visible when the mirror cell is removed. The mirror is > also easly identified even if the serial number is obliterated. It is > 7/8" thick Pyrex, with a flat ground back and a 3/8" wide bevel around > the back edge. > > Please learn what you can, about anyone you see with a 10" Teleport > (especially a vehicle license number) and contact me at once. The > thief missed the scopes ground board and slip cover (as shown folded up on > the open scope in the photo). A crude ground board and the absence of a > cover would also help quickly identify it. > > Thanks, > > Tom Noe > 4030 N. Hwy 78 > Wylie, TX 75098 > 972-442-5456 > firstname.lastname@example.org > > --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- > > Most unfortunate. This incident has left a lot of us pondering the risks of stolen > telescopes at star parties. The lighter and more easily set up a telescope is, the worse > the risk. My own telescopes are way to complicated to be lifted up with one hand and > carried away like a Teleport. Of course, there's Steve Swayze's theft -- someone just > climbed into his van and drove off, telescope and all. I suppose one should take > precautions against the 0.01% who live on the dark side. > > I'm pretty sure we'll be attending OSP, but we don't know what day we'll arrive. We'll let > you know when we figure it out. > > We're enjoying the pretty pitcher you gave us. Last night it was full of strawberries. > Thanks so much. > > Good summer stargazing, > > Bruce Sayre > P. O. Box 544 > Applegate, CA 95703 USA > mailto:email@example.com > http://www.foothill.net/~sayre I'm forwarding this to all my astronomy groups. somewhere this stolen Teleport has to show up. I have one (SN 003) and love it. I talked with Tom and Linda at RTMC and there are not two nicer people in the world. May the thief be condemned to study the sun forever without a filter. -- Vern Weiss 503 236-1059 Darker, clearer skies!Added later:
Here is a print of the scope that was stolen (the smaller one on the left). Tom oe and his wife, Linda are seated. Tom's email is >firstname.lastname@example.org< if anyone has any information or questions.
Subject: help Mike Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2000 15:18:16 From: email@example.com (gary) I have been saving for a etx90 for quite a while and just saw the ads for the 60 and 70 I am so glad I cam across your web site it is very informative at first I thought $350 was great for the 70 as it includes the autostar with but as I read in the tips for new users the lens are nowhere near as good as the 90 and viewing is very small.I hate to bug you but would you happen to know a website that sells the ETX90 at the lowest price? Also can I use it right out of the box or do I need all these barlow lens that I keep reading about? As you can see I am a real novice I love the stars but never owned a tetescope and thought now that I saved up I will get a pretty good one. thanks for all the help Gary CopestakeMike here: ETX models continue in high demand, so like gasoline, low prices are rare. Sometimes places like JCPenney or The Nature Company have sales. However, your best bet is to buy from a dealer that knows what they are selling. The Nature Company, Discovery Channel Store, and telescope dealers online (like Shutan and many others), are good sources. Shutan sells used ones and sometimes you can find used ones on eBay. As to accessories, you can start with the just the standard supplied items and grow from there as your experience and enjoyment (and bank account) expand. I would recommend a 2X Barlow Lens right away as that will double the magnification you have available. Then as you add more eyepieces, you can continue to use the Barlow on them. Don't feel that you need to add the Autostar right away. Millions of amateur astronomers have gotten by without a GOTO computer for centuries. Learning your way around the night sky can be part of the enjoyment.
Subject: 8-inch "ETX" Sent: Monday, June 12, 2000 20:21:21 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob Shutan) Since aperture fever is always ever present... thought your readers might be interested in knowing about the new Meade LX90 8" GOTO scope. It's an 8" SCT that is factory equipped with a 30,223-object Autostar! It looks like that really-big ETX on your home page! We have it listed at our web site www.shutan.com in the telescope section of our online catalog. Cheers! Bob Shutan email@example.comMike here: Click for the www.shutan.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=1&Product_Code=ML8F1&Category_Code=telcat6 direct link. Click for the Meade announcement.
Subject: ETX Delux Field Tripod Sent: Monday, June 12, 2000 18:47:39 From: Homda1@aol.com Has anyone experienced problems with the ETX Deluxe Field tripod? I have had problems with the legs slipping down even though the wing nuts are as tight as I can get them. Last night (middle of the night) one tripod leg slid down and my new ETX 125 bit the dust. Actually it was the cement floor of the garage. Would appreciate any feedback before I contact Meade. Pete Burtis Homda1@AOL.COMMike here: There have been some reports of legs slippage. A fix is on the Tech Tips page under the "Meade Tripod mod" from 9/10/99. Scopetronix sells a "Tripod Leg Clamp Set" that can help. Others have just inserted a US Quarter or similar disk between the leg and the bolt.
Subject: Linear S4 with CCD+ETX Sent: Monday, June 12, 2000 13:46:22 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Guillaume Dubos) I've done my first CCD comet pictures with what I call my ETX-GP. I've imaged C/1999S4 (aka linearS4), this summer comet. Pictures are on the page : etxgp.free.fr/Audine/ETX/LinearS4/LinearS4eng.html (french version available at etxgp.free.fr/Audine/ETX/LinearS4/LinearS4.html) Maybe it's a little out of topic but I couldn't resist :-) Clear skies Guillaume Dubos
Subject: STOLEN GOODS: PLS watch for these recently Stolen good From: Patrice Scattolin
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 09:20:27 -0400 The Laval (Quebec Canada) astronomy club's observatory was broken in and most of their stuff was stolen. All of the stuff was marked with the club's name (CAAL) and serial number (see below). Robbery would have occured between wednesday june 7th at 19:30 and friday june 9 20:30. I find it odd that someone would rob a public observatory. As a robber how much of a market would you have for your goods? My guess is that it's the last we have seen of this equipement. But you never really know so keep your eyes open in case someone in a back alley offers you an LX200. Here is the list of what was stolen and the serial number: Should this stuff turn up, contact CAAL at: Jean-Marc Richard rés. : (450) 625-5527 bur. : (450) 978-8754 cell. : (514) 978-2681 email : email@example.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inventaire de l'équipement volé. DESCRIPTION NO D'INVENTAIRE GRAVÉ Télescope Meade 12" LX200 1 control paddle 2 Transformer 3 focuser 2" 15 8 x 50 finder 16 super wedge 4 Meade super plössl 26mm 1.25" 6 Kelner 25mm 1.25" 7 Erfel 25mm 1.25" 8 illuminated super plössl 9mm 1.25" 9 Barlow 2X Meade #140 10 variable polariser Meade #905 11 "piggyback" brackets Meade 12 Bague de réduction de 2" ą 1.25" fileté ą 48mm 13 dew shield Meade #612 21 counter weight Meade #1403 28 electrical focuser #1206 29 Nagler Télévue 16mm 2" 30 focale reducer f 6.3 32 nebular filter Lumicon 2" 33 Maksutov Meade ETX 3.5" 36 Meade super plössl 26mm 1.5" L.P. 37 finder for Meade ETX 38 caméra Adapter Meade # 62 40 H-Alpha filter Thousand Oak 35 +------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Patrice Scattolin firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Woods/6905 | | No! Try not; Do or do not; There is no try. | -- Yoda +-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subject: SCS Astro Wide Field Eyepiece Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2000 11:44:59 From: email@example.com (Dennis Persyk) I was interested in Andy Williams' report on an SCS Astro wide field eyepiece having a whopping 1.8 degree field of view. I visited the site and they advertise a 50 mm focal length Erfle eyepiece with an apparent field of view of 30 degrees. With an ETX 90EC focal length of 1250 mm, this works out to an actual FOV of only 1.3 degrees, not 1.8. I find the Rini 45 mm eyepiece with 40 degree apparent FOV yields an actual FOV of 1.4 degrees and is the most degrees for the buck! Clear skies! Dennis Persyk
Subject: Battery leakage Energizer 2004 expiration Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2000 11:14:54 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas J. Chmura) You may have come across this problem before, if not posting it may help others. I have no idea yet what is causing the problem. I am concerned that a great deal of damage can occur. Sent to the ETX Discussion Group on June 11, 2000 There has been quite a few postings about battery leakage. The postings have generally referred to Duracell as the problem. About a hour ago I walked up to the ETX90-EC sitting on the tripod in the family and noticed something on the head, at the mount. It was battery acid leaking out of the compartment. The batteries were Energizer brand with a 2004 expiration date, installed on the 7th of June (2000). The scope had been used for less than one hour since installing the new batteries.The package of twenty batteries was purchased at a Sam's Club in late May, 2000. The scope is always in a temperature controlled environment (68 to 78' F) except when in use. Previous postings had indicated the last battery in the chain as the point of leakage. Three batteries were leaking in the #5, 6& 7 position (L to R) with on/off switch facing up. The #8 battery appears to be O.K. By visual inspection after a thorough cleaning, then power on test the scope seems to be O.K. Fortunately I saw the problem before the leakage did any major damage. It had not reached the carpeting under the scope. How do you send 18 yards of new carpet and three leaky batteries back under the warranty ? I suggest everyone keep an eye on the batteries without regard to age or time in use. Tom C
Subject: Mercury Observations.
Friday night I took the ETX-125EC outside shortly after sunset to view Mercury. Since NO alignment stars were visible at the time I just set the ETX up in the HOME position, pointed approximately North, selected Easy Align, and accepted each alignment star as centered once prompted. I then selected GOTO Mercury. The Autostar got it in the Finderscope field of view (about halfway to the edge)! Using the 26mm eyepiece (73x) I centered Mercury. I then used the 9.7mm eyepiece (196x) to look at Mercury. Due to the low altitude of Mercury there was a lot of atmospheric distortion but the phase was distinctly visible at times. I then decided to push my luck and use the 2X Barlow Lens with the 9.7mm (392x). Actually, there were times when the view was steady enough to allow this magnification to work out well. So, if you haven't seen Mercury before, take advantage of this excellent viewing opportunity. It is the bright object low in the West Northwest right after sunset. You won't even need the Autostar to find it.
Subject: observing report/northern Calif. southern Oregon Sent: Friday, June 9, 2000 01:47:56 From: OptiquesJeff@worldnet.att.net (Jeffrey Nutkowitz) Hi there Here's some observing logs from my recent trip to the Redwood Highway in California and Oregon! (I hope the formatting below remains somewhat intact, if not, I apologize): Date: 05/30/00 Location: Benbow, CA Time: Start: 11:00 [PM] End: 12:45 [AM] Optics: ETX90EC/v1.3c Seeing: 3.5 Transparency: 7 Mag: 6-6.5 Temp (deg F.): 50 __ Humidity: ~70% Designation Type Const. EP/Mag Comments/Description M65/66 G Leo 26SP/48x Excellent both in same fov NGC3628 G Leo Dim compared to M65/66 M95/96 G Leo Could almost see all 3 (95,96,105)in same fov, & may have.. M105 G Leo ..seen one of the nearby NGC objects as well M51/NGC G CVn Very nice, size, shape easy M97 PL UMa Owl, very nice, large, dim disk M108 G UMa M109 G UMa Not a struggle like it usually is back east M101 G UMa Faint, but readily seen oval shape M106 G CVn Fairly easy M94 G CVn Ditto, bright core M63 G CVn Sunflower, big oval shape M81/82 G UMa One of the nicest observations of this pair I've had M3 GC CVn 96x Beautiful! M53 GC Com Nice M64 G Com 48x Blackeye, ALMOST visible! M104 G Vir Sombrero, dust lane JUST barely visible with averted vision, 1st time with ETX! M92 GC Her Excellent, dense, beautiful M13 GC Her Classic, just begins to resolve in ETX IC4665 OC Oph Big, loose, bright stars M57 PL Lyr Ring, sharp doughnut easy to see M56 GC Lyr One of the smaller GC's, but nice M27 PL Vul Dumbbell, excellent, big, round, bright Additional Comments: Viewing from redwoods in north California not as good as from 7000 ft up in New Mexico, but still a major improvement over east coast. I think transparency suffered a little due to low altitude and proximity to the Pacific, plus I was near a highway. Nonetheless, I was happy to be able to get some observing time in from any kind of really dark sky sites during my trip to the redwoods area of California this spring. Everything was so much easier to see, and details more apparent in any objects that would yield detail. I had to end this session as large clouds started to roll in. Date: 06/02/00 Location: Cow Creek, Azalea, Umpqua Nat'l Forest, Oregon Time: Start: 11:00 [AM] End: 01:00 [AM] Optics: ETX90EC/v1.3c, 10x50's Seeing: 3.5 Transparency: 8 Mag: 6.5-7 Temp (deg F.): 50 __ Humidity: medium Designation Type Const. EP/Mag Comments/Description M81/82 G UMa 26SP/48x Awesome pair, sizes and shapes easily distinguished M13 GC Her 18AR/80x Starts to resolve, always a classic M57 PL Lyr VERY nice M29 OC Cyg Nice, not very dense Albireo * Cyg 26SP/48x Always beautiful! IC4665 OC Oph Big, loose, bright stars IC4756 OC Ser Rich, loose, big, 2 bright stars in field NGC6633 OC Oph Irregular shape, sparkling, bright NGC6709 OC Aql Small, nice NGC6503 G Dra Small, edge-on, oblong shape NGC6960 DN Cyg Veil, VERY tough, only a hint NGC7063 OC Cyg Small, faint NGC7039 OC Cyg Small, nice M39 OC Cyg Excellent NGC6811 OC Cyg Lots of faint stars NGC6871 OC Cyg Large, bright, several double stars in fov! NGC6819 OC Cyg 18AR/80x Dense, small, rich, nice M22 GC Sgr 10x50 binocs M8 DN Sgr Lagoon M20 DN Sgr Trifid M17 DN Sgr Swan M16 DN Sgr Eagle M11 OC Sct M71 GC Sge Cr399 OC Cyg The Coathanger AWESOME in 10x50's M4 GC Sco NGC7000 DN Cyg North American Nebula, beautiful! Additional Comments: This was my second and last chance for dark sky observing during my recent northern California/southern Oregon trip. From about 3000 feet up, in a small meadow in the southwest corner of the Umpqua National Forest, I had only to step right outside of the guest cabin we were staying at for a couple nights to enjoy truly dark, mag 6.5-7 skies. The view was cut off from about 20 degrees above the actual horizon by surrounding 4000' mountains, but I did not care! The Milky Way was visible from the northeast to the south, clear from the ridgelines on up. The Coal Sack was obvious. I basically ended up on more or less of an open/galactic cluster tour through the Cygnus and Ophiuchus areas. These are great objects for an ETX90 class instrument. After about 90 minutes I was unfortunately stopped by heavy dewing of everything, and could not go on to the great Sag area objects, which were now well above the southeast ridgeline. So I then went to my 10x50 binocs and scanned about for several of the showpiece objects, and quite enjoyed the wide field views of the Milky Way and other rich starfields. I am sure I saw many more objects than I listed, but I simply did not make the effort to specifically identify them at the time. As expected, I had a lot more planned than I actually managed to find time to observe, and I missed what were probably some good opportunities to view Mercury and perhaps the Linear comet, among many other things. The first night out I spent looking at several objects I had logged here (back east) several times, because I simply wanted to be able to compare the views from under better skies. I really get spoiled, and then almost angry or disgusted when I return to the east coast, with its rampant light pollution AND typically hazy, humid, skies. I really envy those folks whose lives' fortunes or circumstances allow them to regularly enjoy the great skies I only get an occasional glimpse of. At any rate, once again, I was VERY glad to be able to have a great little scope with me during my travels. Despite its small scope class, the ETX90 provides endless observing enjoyment, and the Autostar, which was performing at nearly 100%, helps makes tremendously efficient use of my typically limited observing times. Jeffrey Nutkowitz/Optiques Classic Photographic Imagery Freelance Outdoor and Nature Photography Emphasizing a 'Sense of Place' http://members.aol.com/OptiquesJN
Subject: Orion EZ finder and piggybacked camera... Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2000 11:54:23 From: Etxstargazer@aol.com I will soon be buying a Piggy Back bracket for my ETX-90/EC from Scopetronix. I will be using it with a 200-300mm lens. After that I will want to buy an Orion EZ finder. Will there be room on the telescope tube (the large lens takes alot of room). I wish to use these instruments in conjunction with eachother because the camera body blocks the view of the standard finder on the ETX. Where can I put the EZ finder so I can view objects comfortably. Thanks alot, Taylor Chonis *Please Visit the ETX Domain* **http://www.etxdomain.cjb.net** ***A fun and interesting Location to Learn about the scope***Mike here: Not having the Orion EZ Finder I can't say where it would fit best. But check out the Accessories - Finderscopes page and see the my Scopetronix LightSight comments. There are some photos showing where I mounted it. Depending upon how you have to set up your piggyback lens/camera you should be able to find a spot to mount the finder where it won't interfere with the camera and vice versa.
Subject: Re: Eyepiece for solar observing Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2000 07:22:04 From: email@example.com (Joe Hartley) Roberto Battaiola had asked about eyepieces to observe the Sun's disk and eliminate the border around it. I use my TeleVue 8-24mm zoom for solar viewing with a Baader solar film filter. It allows me to dial in the view I want, including one where the solar disk fills the view completely. It also allows me to get closer in on the sunspot groups that appear interesting, or pull back for a smaller image. I suspect that the inexpensive zoom from Scopetronix would allow the same type of views, though I do not have this eyepiece to verify this. -- ====================================================================== Joe Hartley - UNIX/network Consultant - firstname.lastname@example.org 12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI 02882 - vox 401.782.9042 Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa
Subject: Obs. reports Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2000 00:53:55 From: email@example.com (Paul Clark) Here is a report detailing two recent observing trips with my ETX90 EC. They were originally written for the monthly newsletter of the Altrincham and District Astronomical Society (ADAS) near Manchester, England. I think the reports highlight the power of the scope' as a very portable GOTO and non-GOTO instrument. I hope you find them interesting. Regards, Paul Clark. --------------- What I saw on my holidays A two week stay south of Florence, Italy (43N) presented the opportunity to observe many of the more southerly objects on my numerous 'tick' lists. I used my ETX90 EC, this I carried as take-on luggage for the flight down to Italy from Manchester (53N). The first session was on a warm humid evening. Now I understand what some Americans have to suffer... ...it was too hot! The downside being very poor seeing with crud extending about 15 degrees above the horizon. I hoped to pick off some bright open clusters from the Caldwell list in Canis Major and Monoceros. These were lost in the evening twilight and murk. The seeing was so bad that I could barely make out the Ghost of Jupiter, a mag. 8.6 planetary nebula and the Spindle and Needle galaxies at around mag. 9. The rising moon put paid to any more observing that evening. Five days later things were looking better. A day of heavy rain showers followed by a cool cloud clearing north-easterly breeze boded well for a good session. I was not disappointed. From my observing site at about 1000m. elevation I experienced the clearest conditions I have ever seen!!! The Coma Berenices star cluster was a brilliant sight near the zenith, better to the naked eye than the Beehive! I started in the deep south by Hydra, Sextans and Corvus. The seeing made the Ghost of Jupiter jump out of the eyepiece as unmistakably not a star. I tried the UHC/Deep Sky filters that Roger had lent me however, despite increased contrast the overall view was not improved. The Spindle galaxy was this time bright, obvious and very spindley. M68 and M83, difficult from the U.K. were obvious, though unremarkable. The big ticks here were the two interacting galaxies NGCs 4039 and 4038 in Corvus, visible as a lobsided blob. All the better for knowing what they are and how they look in pictures. On familiar ground M67, the 'other' cluster in Cancer, looked far better through the scope' than the Beehive, which needs a wider FOV than that available through the ETX. Skimming through Leo the 'trio' of galaxies looked excellent with the two vertical Messier galaxies hanging below the fainter horizontal NGC something. A check on the Sombrero, M104, showed a beautiful setting with a nice asterism to the west and I could easily imagine a dark lane running along the middle of the galaxy. Moving up to Coma three galaxies from the Caldwell list half seen, half imagined from the previous session were so clear that I could not believe I was looking at the same objects. Despite having finder charts from SkyMap Pro which confirmed all the observations! Next I tried higher powers on the big globular clusters M5, 92 and 13. M92 readily resolved at the edges whilst the others looked bigger and granular. M51, the Whirlpool galaxy was simply stunning, so bright with haze extending around it and over to the associated galaxy. I then notice that Vega was quite high and decided to try epsilon Lyrae. This double double split readily and the seeing easily accepted x256. Hopping down to the Ring nebula was a breathtaking find with it being so clearly defined as a ring at x128. Finally I ticked a few Messier globulars in Ophiuchus, not impressive owing to their low altitude. Reluctantly I had to end the session at around midnight with Scorpius rising from the horizon. I had hoped to finish off a complete round of the Messier list whilst I could see the southerly objects from a favorable location and so a few days elapsed waiting for the moon to wane and a clear night to appear. Fortunately following some thunder storms the skies started to clear two nights before we were due to return home. Starting at about 00:30 local time this was to prove quite an arduous session, even with the aid of the Autostar and detailed finder charts. The sky gradually cleared throughout the next four hours however, a lot of the time was spent low down in the south and south east trying to pick off the objects as they rose through a light haze. The globulars in Ophiuchus passed by easily, I'm sure they warrant further viewing in an August evening. The big open clusters in Scorpius looked the part as they rose to about 15 degrees. The Butterfly was true to it's name. A bright mag. 2 cluster, the Table of Scorpius, was also seen in the haze of 3 degrees altitude. The Wild Duck cluster in Scutum was a gem. Then I moved on to Sagittarius. The sights to be seen here cannot be underestimated. Staring into the centre of our galaxy for the first time was a profound experience. Eagle, Swan, Triffid and Lagoon nebulas plus a feast of stars. Reason enough to travel south in the summer. Difficult low altitude globulars followed with lots of averted vision and scope' joggling, leading to a touch and go final tick of M30 in Capricorn through the morning twilight. The use of the Autostar combined with excellent finder charts has certainly made it possible for the beginning astronomer to travel the universe. Now I've got to learn to do it without Astronomy on the Algarve (37N). It only seems like minutes since my first observing report from Italy. A week of cold weather coupled with a forecast of rain, rain and rain sent my wife into a frenzy of net surfing and phone' calls which resulted in a late booked week 'somewhere' in the Algarve. Arriving at 3 a.m. I could easily see Scorpius and Sagittarius standing high through the lights of Faro airport. This set the scene for six more nights of clear skies and darkness through the new moon period. My first brief session was from the deck of an empty beachfront bar/shack well sheltered from wind, spray and light pollution. At this latitude Mercury was well above the horizon at mag. -0.3 in rapidly darkening twilight. No grubbing around amongst the trees and houses in the northern twilight and light pollution of Manchester for me! Phase detail was seen at x128. The galaxy Centaurus A could be discerned as a large haze with nearby stars whilst omega Centauri appeared as a massive globular, both crying out for more aperture and altitude. It turned out that 'somewhere' in the Algarve was about 20 minutes drive from the Center for Observational Astronomy on the Algarve (COAA). I was welcomed there the next day, watered and given a tour of the excellent observing facilities and accommodation. I certainly hope to holiday there soon however, you need to book early to get a place during dark sky periods. Bev. also pointed out an excellent nearby observing site for me to use. I drove to the site that evening. It was at about 800 metres and had a commanding view of the whole of the Algarve. After re-visiting omega Centauri/Centaurus A I was about to turn my attention to some overlooked Caldwells in Canes Venatici when the RA/Azimuth drive on the ETX failed! Forced into using more traditional methods, brain and eyes, I managed to track down the following objects. All can be found from the nearby bright stars. Starting with Antares a quick scan found the enormous M4 and condensed M80 globular clusters. The Table of Scorpius dimly seen in Italy was a wonderful, small bright open cluster at mag. 2.6. M13 in Hercules was found but at a neck breaking angle for locating in the straight through finderscope on the ETX. M57, M58 and M29 in Lyra and Cygnus followed. The big naked eye clusters of M6 and M7 were easily seen in Scorpius. I spent the remainder of the session wallowing in the splendors of the Milky Way around Sagittarius. So, in astronomer's paradise and no GOTO! Fortunately, back in the apartment, I had some half-sky maps showing Messier and Caldwell availability and some small FOV, detailed finder charts left over from my previous trip abroad. A couple of hours sketching lines, triangles, parallelograms and estimating distances resulted in a list of 75+ targets to try for. I also thought through a vague sequence that would avoid having to crane my neck at painful angles when trying to find objects at too high an altitude. Starting at about 10 p.m. local time. Setup was very quick without the need for accurate leveling or any alignment routine. The scope' slews very smartly by hand as well! I quickly found M13 at 50 elevation in the darker eastern sky. M92 followed using a parallelogram constructed out of part of the Hercules plantpot. The Beehive was dimmed somewhat by the twilight in the west and it took a few minutes to pick out M67 as darkness prevailed. The benefit of the southern location was immediately noticed when M68 a mag. 8.2 globular and M83 a galaxy low down in Hydra were easily found using Corvus as a pointer constellation. M65 and M66 in Leo were found first time in Leo mid way between two bright stars. I don't know what happened to M95 etc. though. It proved very difficult to orientate correctly for any object far from bright stars that could be placed in the finderscope field. A quick spin round and M108, M97 and M109 were spotted near the bowl of Ursa Major before disappearing behind the trees. The Sombrero galaxy proved a difficult find in Virgo, far from bright stars and using a large, virtual right-angle triangle to find. After some sweeping the familiar asterism, known as Jaws, and galaxy slid into view. I realized that I had forgotten M81 and M82, these were nailed first time. The dark sky made this much easier with hazy objects sometimes just catching the edge of the eyepiece FOV. The dark sky also allowed a naked eye observation of M13 later in the night. A first for me and indicative of a limiting magnitude in the 6+ range for keener eyes. But, it didn't help me unravel the Virgo clutter, abandoned after 15 minutes of fruitless searching. The easy globulars M3, M53 and M5 gave some respite. I had missed M5 previously wandering around Libra by mistake! The constellation of Ophiuchus had always been a mystery to me but with the good, dark skies and maps the constellation and globulars therein soon revealed themselves as impressive objects. I then returned to the ground covered during the previous session. Messiers in Scorpius plus Caldwell 75, a fine mag. 5.8 open cluster. The globulars along the base of the Sagittarius teapot, M69, M70 and M54 were easily seen. M54 particularly bright and condensed. M22 and M28 are by the lid of the teapot. Lagoon and Triffid nebulas made up steam puffs from the spout. By this time the Milky Way was stretching across the whole sky as a frozen cloud. The Small Sagittarius star cloud, M25 and M23 made for fine sweeping all in a row. The Eagle nebula caused a problem, the nebulosity was so bright I didn't identify it initially and kept trying to make out the upside down tick of the Swan nebula instead! The bright star clouds made Scutum difficult to identify however, the Wild Duck cluster was striking enough to pop out from the background. Returning to the north west another silent, quick spin with the scope' M51 and M101 in Ursa Major and galaxies M63 and M94 in Canes Venatici were low enough for easier viewing, but still difficult finding. Back to the east where Messiers in Sagitta, Lyra, Cygnus and Vulpecula were found and identified. All tricky against the Milky Way background with tired eyes. To the south, drawing a line through the teapot and beyond took me first time to a four star asterism on the border with Capricorn. This was fortunately on a detailed finder chart. M55 and M75 followed easily, these had been very difficult with the Autostar in a hazy, low altitude position in Italy. Moving the scope' to allow a clear view of Cassiopeia the open clusters of M103 and M52 were ticked. The bright globulars of M15 and M2 provided suitably easy targets as my head, eyes and back told me they had had enough. The rising M31 and M32 galaxies in Andromeda provided the final easy pickings. In all I managed to find and observe 60 Messier and 2 Caldwell objects, plus numerous double stars, Albireo, Cor Caroli etc. during this 5 hour session. Messier Marathoners try to find the full 110 in one long dark night in late March. Any takers for the Algarve next year?
Subject: pollution filter ask Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2000 20:41:12 From: ALFA1@isla.net (JOSE SAAVEDRA) hello my name is jose please what is the best pollution filter for etx 90 thanksMike here: There are several filters reviewed on the Accessories - Filters page on my ETX site.
Mike here: If you haven't done so, check out Mercury. It is visible low in the West Northwest shortly after sunset. Nice at about 128x magnification (9.7mm in the ETX-90). You will definitely see about a "half moon" phase on the planet's disk.
Subject: buy out problems Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2000 06:14:53 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan L. Hanson) Hang in there. In western PA, PennCom was bought out by a larger company and the service immediately went to hell. Took them about two months to get their personnel situation figured out and actually get the hardware to work again. Luckily every thing seems to be running OK here now. Thanks for your ETX web site. It's been a great resource as I was debating what to spend my money on when I bought my first real telescope (ETX-125/EC).
Subject: ETX Focuser Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2000 21:16:58 From: email@example.com (Dan Lublin) I recently bought a Meade #1244 Focuser on E-Bay. It came with no mounting instructions. How do you keep the focuser from falling off the mounting position on the telescope. It seems that a screw of some kind should hold it in place. If so, where could I find one? Would Meade supply me with one since I didn't buy it from a Meade dealer? I enjoy your website very much. It is a Godsend for an amateur astronomer like myself. Thanks - firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: I don't have the Meade focuser so can't answer your question. As to whether Meade would send a replacement screw (if it is missing), they might.
Subject: etx 90 in spotting scope version. Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2000 13:35:26 From: email@example.com (rod bean) first of all, as others have mentioned, laudits to you for an objective and indepth website for etx users and those considering the purchase of one. it's most appreciated as an extensive etx feedback and informational resource in my search for a catadioptric spotting scope for nature study. the only other spotting scope i am considering is the celestron c90 (the questar scope is light yrs beyond my reach financially); however i cannot find any input on this scope. after browsing the etx user comments on meade (very negative) i'm shying away from dealing with a less than forthwith company that seems to write off their clientle after purchase is made. perhaps they feel that they can release a defective product and have it heal itself somewhere enroute to the consumer. (perhaps they should include a prayer cloth instead of a lens cloth with their product!). they don't even have the courtesy to offer an "800" toll free telephone number on their wesite. anyhow, i don't know if celestron suffers from this same malaise or not since i am unable to find a comparable website on their products. if you may know of one, i would appreciate forwarding the site to me as i'm ready to flush the meade etx as a contender for my choice of a spotting scope. on another tangent, are you familiar with harding optical of oregon(www.harding-optical.com) as they offer the etx spotting scope for $389? i don't know if you of other users have leveled their etx's for terrestrial viewing, but any feedback on this aspect of use would be appreciated. (i plan to equipt my spotting scope with the celestron 8-24 lv zoom. thanks again for your input and website...Mike here: I'm not certain what level of support Celestron provides. They don't show an 800 Technical Support phone number on their web site either. Some users have good responses from Meade (and probably Celestron) and some have negative (probably with Celestron as well). As to terrestrial use of the ETX, search the site for "terrestrial" and also for "birding"; you'll find some hits. As to the C90, I suggest you post your message on a Celestron related newsgroup (assuming there is one; I haven't looked for one).
thanks for your reply and suggestions... most appreciated. perhaps i was a bit hasty in my judgement of meade.
Subject: Boston area viewing Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2000 12:16:27 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Charles Piso) Saw the message on viewing in MA. I live 17 miles west of Boston and it gets dark quick as you go west. Here are a few suggestions though for good viewing the first is Cochiuate State Park, and even better is Callahan State Park about 5 mile west. I think the important thing is that Jeremy just get out and use the scope or his frustration on finding the perfect spot will quickly sap his enthusiasim to do so. I live in a large town that should really be a city, and the beauty of the ETX is the ability to move it around so easily. From my back yard I have found myself working on the Frosty Drew Observatory life list, when I need to decompress from work when I get home at night. The list can be downloaded from the Observatories web sight at www.frostydrew.org this site has been helpful to me and the observatory is open to the public on fridays. Heres a quick list of my results for those working in areas of marginal skies B Cyg. Albireo Magnificent a briliant topaz and orange double easily found A Lyr. Vega One of my personal favorites tack sharp diamond like, and a quick jump away from M57 The Ring Nebula even in marginal conditions can be seen with averted vision a whispy smoke ring. M44 The Beehive cluster, the first object I found using Autostar a wonderful open cluster that is worth finding M13 The Hercules Cluster M42 The Great Orion Nebula Easily viewed Trapezium Lyra and the Summer Triangle, also the double double spliting both on nights of good transparency I have reasently taken up comet hunting and use the widefield adapter as well as two high end eyepieces hopefully Comet LINEAR will prove a summer surprise for us all. Again to Jeremy I would just say get out there and enjoy what you can the beauty of the scope is its ability to do just that. I own a larger scope and since getting the ETX I use it for star parties and those rare nights when I can spend many hours at the eyepiece. The ETX can be used and enjoyed every clear night with two eyepieces and a 2x barlow mixed with a little knowledge of the night sky, which you only get by going out there and finding your way around. Clear Skies to all
Subject: To buy or, not to buy in the US, that is the question Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2000 07:21:25 From: email@example.com Thanks for the site and the opportunity to indulge.... I am thinking of buying an ETX125 and have done a lot of research but, in doing so find that the UK prices are, predictably, much higher than in the US. I have found that if I bought the ETX125 with 3 additional lenses and tripod and hard case as a package in the US it would save me more than $900 compared to UK prices!! Incredible!! You guys don't know how good you've got it! But then my $900 saving would quickly disappear when I start paying duty and shipping charges. If I found a way of getting the complete package back to the UK legitimately 'avoiding' these costs would one recommend it in light of the various problems with random slewing and alignment problems with the telescope on arrival? Would the UK Meade dealership honour my purchase and sort out any problems under warranty with my US bought 'scope? firstname.lastname@example.org Roland Wike, Purton Swindon UKMike here: Your last question says it all. Purchasing in the US voids the UK warranty. So you'd be on your own.
Subject: ETX Eyepiece Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2000 02:37:38 From: email@example.com A question: I would know which is the best focal ratio eyepiece, to obtain the max solar image, standing in the eyepiece field. I have now, only the PL26 Meade and I suppose that with the 2x Barlow lens (=96x), the magnification will be to much higher. Ciao Roberto Battaiola R_Battaiola@it.ibm.comMike here: I'm not certain I fully understand your question. Using the 26mm eyepiece on the 90mm model the sun's disk will nearly fill the eyepiece field of view. So that would be what you use to get the max view of the sun. On the other hand, if you want maximum magnification that will be a much shorter focal length eyepiece but then you have to content with how much your solar filter dims the view. I find that my 9.7mm is about the limit.
for max magnification I intend this: When I see the sun with a PL26, I observe the entire solar disk, but with a black border around the solar disk. I'm looking for an eyepiece with a focal lenght to minimize this black border (I suppose a PL20, but I'm not sure...).Mike here: Now I'll make the answer more complicated. As the Earth revolves around the Sun it gets closer and further away. The Earth is farther away from the Sun during the Summer (Northern Hemisphere) and closer during the Winter months. So either you'll have a black border at some times during the year or you'll be missing part of the Sun's disk. On average the Sun is about 0.5 degree in apparent diameter (similar to the Moon). So you want to know what eyepiece would yield something around 0.5 degree actual field-of-view (FOV). There are two factors that influence an eyepiece's FOV: focal length of both the eyepiece and the telescope it is used on, and the design of the eyepiece (i.e., wide angle, ultra wide angle, etc.). If you want to know the actual FOV for an eyepiece that you have, do the timing test: put a star on the celestial equator at the eastern edge of the eyepiece view. With the RA drive OFF let the star drift westward. Time the drift until the star the opposite side of the eyepiece view. Ideally, the star should cross the maximum diameter of the view. Now that you know the duration of the drift in seconds, you can calculate the actual FOV of the eyepiece by knowing that the sky rotates 360 degrees in 24 hours. The accuracy of this test depends on the distance the target star is from the celestial equator and whether it cross the midpoint of the eyepiece. OK, what if you don't have the eyepiece yet? There is an Excel spreadsheet available on the "What Eyepieces Should I Buy?" link from the Buyer/New User Tips page. It has some specs on several eyepieces.
Thanks a lot your analisys is correct.
Subject: 20mm SP eyepiece Sent: Sunday, June 4, 2000 13:20:31 From: Etxstargazer@aol.com I really like your site. Well, my question is: Does the Meade SP 20mm eyepiece (Series 4000) fit inside the Basic 1.25" Camera Adapter. I know the 26mm eyepiece supplied with the ETX doesn't, but I would like a Series 4000 eyepiece to use with my camera. Please mail me back at Etxstargazer@aol.com. Thanks. Clear Skies, Taylor Chonis
Subject: Finding the right viewing spot? Sent: Sunday, June 4, 2000 13:04:48 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (radowning) I have used Dark-Sky Observing Site Directory (ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/pharrington/Dssd.htm) to find sites here in California (Bay Area). I would suspect that the sites found for Massachusetts: * Cummington * Northfield * Savoy are probably too far, but a little work might help out. The site, itself, is very good, I think.
Subject: Product recommendations Sent: Sunday, June 4, 2000 12:53:23 From: email@example.com Last night I attended a star party and was able to use a few recently purchased products for the first time. The first is the Anti-vibration pads made by Celestron. I use a Bogen 3046 tripod with a 3047 head, and after using the anti-vibration pads I noticed a significant difference in the amount of time it takes my scope to stop shaking after it gets bumped or even when focusing. The time for my telescope to settle down went from several seconds without the pads to less than 1 second with the pads. I would highly recommend this product to everyone! The second product I used for the first time also helped with less shaking of my ETX, and it is little blinking red lights from ScopeTronix. I purchased 3 of these and taped them to the bottom of my tripod legs. And for the first time, since I started attending public star parties, no one accidently kicked my tripod legs! Anyway just thought I would share this. Clear and Dark Skies! Carl Stanley
Subject: help! Sent: Sunday, June 4, 2000 08:23:18 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jack Coggins) I'm Jack Coggins, Nashville TN. I bought an ETX90 RA, (the non-computered version) a little while back. I found your site through ASK JEEVES and was hoping you copuld help me. I belong to the Bernard-Seyfert Astronomical Society here in Nashville. One of the members has a laser/hologram columator (sp?) and tested my scope. Needless to ay, it is out of whack a bit, being as it was a store display model, but my question is how do you go about adjusting this thing? I'm leery about going into this without some info. Any help will be appreciated! Thanks! Jack Coggins --- Jack Coggins --- email@example.com --- EarthLink: It's your Internet.Mike here: See the "Collimating an ETX Mak" tip on the Tech Tips page. However, you first might want to do the "Collimation Test" (also on the Tech Tips page). I have heard that the laser collimators don't work with the Maksutov-Cassegrain designs. If both tests show the same result, let me know.
Subject: Yet Another Adapter Plate Sent: Sunday, June 4, 2000 07:08:21 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Rothfus) For those of us wishing to use a photo tripod with the ETX-90, there's always been a problem fashioning a simple homemade adapter plate: Either the plate must be threaded, to receive the tripod's 1/4-20 camera mounting screw; or sufficient clearance must be provided under the 'scope's base, for a 1/4-20 nut. In my setup, I've gotten around the conundrum with a little hardware item called a "cap nut" --- essentially a tiny internally-threaded brass tube with a 'T-shaped' flange machined on the top. It replaces the conventional 1/4-20 mounting nut. The advantage to the cap nut is that it effectively moves the 1/4-20 attachment threads from on top of the adapter plate to within the plate. The cap nut's 'T' flange is then thinner than the mounting feet of the ETX; and thus there's no need for spacers. (The ETX mounting feet alone provide sufficient clearance for the flange.) For the plate, I actually found a 5-inch diameter 'hole', removed from a larger plate during some manufacturer's milling operation, which covers the ETX's base perfectly. The Cap Nut's *cap* is not only thin enough to not require spacers between the steel plate and the ETX; the Cap Nut's internally threaded shaft obviates the need to tap and thread the steel --- you simply drill a 3/8-inch hole and drop it in, then insert and tighten the tripod screw up from underneath. The ETX thinks it's bolted to a steel table, resting on its factory-issued feet --- and is quite stable. Cheers, jeff BTW - The cap nut is most often used to assemble knock-down furniture. The cap's 'top' has a hex hole machined into it for an Allen wrench. I found mine at Home Depot --- so they're readily available.
Subject: Skyview Deluxe Mount Sent: Saturday, June 3, 2000 04:36:21 From: email@example.com (Second Wind) Hello, I am hoping someone out there can help me. A few weeks ago I ran across a website with very detailed instructions for improving the Skyview Deluxe mount. There were many pictures on dis-assembling and re-assembling with instructions on improving the rigidity and reliability. If someone knows of this site, please Email me the location to firstname.lastname@example.org . I cannot find it again !!!! Thanks, Doug
Subject: Finding the right viewing spot? Sent: Thursday, June 1, 2000 08:18:13 From: email@example.com (Neuringer, Jeremy) Any suggestions in finding an ideal viewing spot? I'm willing to drive in whatever direction, for as long as it takes, but how do I find the idea spot? I have tried on several nights in different spots, and have not seen first light yet because of a number of factors... I live in Boston, and wonder if I should go North or West? Are there some type of spot (like a baseball field) that are particularly good (I tried the baseball field, but the night lights killed the idea.).. Jeremy firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: Hopefully someone in the Boston area will respond. You could also post a message on the sci.astro.amateur newsgroup asking about dark skies in the Boston area. I'm on the other coast. As to finding the ideal area, away from city lights. Away from the things that create air turbulence, like large asphalt parking lots that heat up in the day or roof tops. Sometimes parks or lakes can be good.
Subject: ETX 70AT for $749.95 Sent: Thursday, June 1, 2000 04:01:27 From: email@example.com I saw the link to the web site that shows the 70 AT for $750. Isn't that crazy!? I think it would make a nice spotting scope on the 90 or 125 but not for that much $$ Does Meade sell it cheaper without the drive? Arn't the 70 mm DS series a better value? Clear skies, JoeMike here: That dealer is listing prices way above what Meade shows the prices to be. Perhaps they are adding some extra value they don't mention... [This is a follow-up to a message thread that started at the end (top) of the May 2000 Feedback page.]
Check the Feedback Archives for previous editions of the Feedback page.
Return to the top of this page.
Go to the ETX Home Page.