Last updated: 26 June 2002
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-125EC. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Subject:	lxd55 or ETX125
Sent:	Tuesday, June 25, 2002 10:57:30
From: (Sachin Nigam)
I was browsing your site. I am planning to buy LXD55 10" or ETX-125EC.
Can you give me a fair comparison between the two. The pros ans cons
between the two. This will really help me in making a final decision.

Mike here: I have no direct experience with the LXD models. But you are talking about a 5" vs 10". Does size matter? To some. You need to decide HOW you want to use a telescope; then you can make a decision based upon whether a particular telescope can perform up to your expectations.
Subject:	ETX-125C Viewfinde/Lens alignment
Sent:	Monday, June 24, 2002 20:46:32
From: (Carlos Pires)
I bought a new ETX-125C about 18 month ago and has been sitting in the
box since then. For the first time I am trying the alignment
viewfinder/lens and I am encountering a problem that I need help. I
cannot see any image thru the lens eyespiece. I rotated the focus knob
counterclock all the way and even at a distance no image that I can see
thru the sp26. Is is possible that the telescope was sold to me  in bad
condition with a bad lenses although I bought it new? Please help before
I send it to Meade. Your advice is appreciated.

Carlos Pires
Mike here: When you remove the cover from the lens corrector (end of the telescope opposite the eyepiece), do you see the glass? Do you see a reflection from the mirror at the eyepiece end of the tube? When you look through the eyepiece hole (without an eyepiece) do you see the flip mirror and is in in possible to reflect light up to the eyepiece? If not, flip the mirror into the other position (the lever will be parallel to the back end, not perpendicular).


Thanks for your email. I was able to find out the problem. my Controller
was setup for the South Hemisphere so after I removed the screw 'A' I
was able to focus with the lens. the problem now is that the scope motor
is always working because is in Equatorial mount. does it make sense
what I am saying? I am just trying to find out how I can flip from
Equatorial to Alt/AZ in order that the scope is not rotating for
terrestrial view. By the way I am buying your book about the ETX.

Thank You
Mike here: I'm a little confused what the hemisphere had to do with not being able to focus or see through the telescope. But as I recall, you can set the mounting mode from the standard handcontroller; see the manual. The screws just set up the default mode when powered on.
Subject:	Re: Re: I think I broke it!
Sent:	Monday, June 24, 2002 6:20:56
From: (Mike Cerminaro)
I have tried the standard controller and it does not slew the telescope
either.  I have also RESET the autostar but have not calibrated or
trained because the OTA does not move in one direction!  Thank you for
your wisdom. Should I send it back yet?

Dr. Mike
Mike here: Since neither controller works, it does sound like a problem with the telescope itself. Contact your dealer or Meade.


I have decided to send the stuff back to the dealer. I think I am going
to upgrade to the LX200GPS 8".  I am really interested in
astrophotography. I realize that this product is not the "scope" of your
website, can you reccomend another site for me or a book perhaps? Thanks
for all your help.

Mike Cerminaro
Mike here: See the book review (under Accessory Reviews) of Rod Mollise's _Choosing and Using a SCT Choosing and Using a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope_, have a visit to, checkout the lx200 newsgroups, as well as the LX200 Yahoo Group.
Subject:	Drive gears
Sent:	Sunday, June 23, 2002 16:53:42
From: (Edward L Duprey)
I recently moved while setting up my EXT125EC  I heard a ratteling in
the base.  I checked the batteries and all was ok there so I pulled the
base off and a gear has come apart is there a drawing showing how that
should got back together?  Or is this something I should take to someone
to have it looked at?

Ed Duprey
From: (Clay Sherrod)
In order to guide you to possibly fixing this or reattaching the gear, I
would need to know what the gear looks like, its size and shape...there
are as many as 12 gears in some models and as few as 6 in
others....metal, plastic, cylindrical, disk-shaped, white, brass,

However, if it is a white nylon gear, you likely will NOT be able to
reattach, since this is a closed system (reduction gears) and the fact
that it is loose indicates that there is some breakage in that system.

Clay Sherrod

Subject:	Alert on great deal at Amazon on ETX-125
Sent:	Wednesday, June 19, 2002 18:13:37
From: (Michael Rogers) has just marked down the EXT-125 to $805.45: plus free

I just received one from and it's the "new and improved"
ETX-125 model.

Also, the Meade hard carry case for the 125 is only $74.99, also with
free shipping:

Michael Rogers
Holt, Michigan
Capital Area Astronomy Club

Subject:	I think I broke it!
Sent:	Wednesday, June 19, 2002 6:31:29
From: (Mike Cerminaro)
I have a brand new ETX 125EC. Last night I tried to polar align for the
first time by following all the instructions as well as your wonderful
technical tips.  As I started the two-star alignment on the autostar the
scope started slewing to a star and that's when i heard this sickening
grinding noise. i immediately stopped the procedure to evaluate only to
find out that it will only slew in one direction now! Did I break it?
Have I gone past a factory stop? I am so bummed . This budding amateur
needs your help!  What do I do. Thanks in advance.

Mike Cerminaro, DDS

PS it will go round and round but not up and down.
Mike here: I suspect you may have broken the altitude lock axis. Does it lock or can you freely move the tube up and down? Since it is new you might be able to exchange it with the dealer.


Mike, Thanks for your reply.  The OTA does lock in both directions. 
Should I consult Meade on this?
Mike here: Since the locks lock you haven't broken a hard stop. Does the standard controller work to slew the telescope? If so, then the problem isn't with the telescope or wiring. It would have to be with the Autostar. If the problem is only with the Autostar, try a RESET, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN the drives.
Subject:	Supercharge first light II
Sent:	Monday, June 17, 2002 22:00:07
From: (Thomas Brown)
About a week and a half ago, I had a brief "first light" on my newly
supercharged ETX 125 EC, through a pretty overcast sky. Since then it's
been rain, clouds etc here in the East and tonight was the fist night I
had a chance for a real "first light" look at the sky.  The result has
been everything I hoped.  Fist sign of improvement, the AutoStar had
never centered on the Moon before now. The lunar surface images were
sharp with subtle but noticeable details added, especially small craters
not near the terminator. The limb of the moon was black with no light
scattering.  Even though the sky was bright with the moon [and my
neighbor's damnable "security" lights, M 81 and 82 centered well on high
precision and were clearly visible.  I enjoyed some of my favorite
doubles esp Eps Lyrae, and Ras Algethi [Alp Herc].  Although M 13 was
too near the zenith to get a good look [it centered well, but even
sitting, I have to bend myself into a pretzel to look at objects that
hight and hold steady] M 5 was spectacular with pinpoint stars clearly
visible.  Good old M 57 [The Ring Nebula] was more clearly doughnut
shaped than I've ever seen.  All told the optics are in excellent shape
and the mechanical and software are working excellently. I did get an
occasional very mild "rubber banding" effect on high precision while
changing the centering of an object while changing eyelpieces but it was
 easily compensated for.

All told I'm just at the beginning of exploring the new software and
mechanical setting, but so far I continue to be thrilled with the

Tom Brown

Subject:	etx125
Sent:	Sunday, June 16, 2002 14:10:18
From: (John)
I hope you can give me an answer to this. I have noticed on my etx125
that the slew speeds 1-2-3-4-5 will get to where they will not move the
scope. speeds 6 and up however will still work. I can change the
battery's and get the lower ones to again work. Is this just the way
they do when the batterys get weaker. Seems to me the higher and faster
slew speeds would get weaker and slower not the slow speeds or is this
possible a problem with the gears or autostar?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

John Franklin
Mike here: Low batteries can't overcome the axis lock friction unless they create a lot of torque, and that takes more power. At slower speeds I suspect low batteries won't create the torque necessary.
Subject:	motor drift on 125
Sent:	Wednesday, June 12, 2002 1:52:38
From: (roy faiman)
I enjoy your site very much and find it very usefull.
The problem I encountered is :
When operating the motor drive on my 125, after moving it East (left),
it jumps back about a 1/4 field on a 23 mm eyepiece.
Do you know of this problem and how to work it out?
Many thanks- Roy Faiman.
Mike here: Have you updated the Autostar firmware lately? If so, you need to reTRAIN the drives. In fact, even if you haven't updated it, reTRAIN the drives; that will likely cure the problem if you have an Autostar (which you didn't say).


1. Could you explain to me in simple words what reTRAIN means?
2. No. I do not have an Autostar (yet).
Mike here: Since you don't have an Autostar it won't make much sense. But the process calibrates the Autostar to the telescope gears. The step is not needed (nor possible) with the standard handcontroller. So, your "rubberbanding" is just due to "backlash" in the geartrain. Whenever possible, approach the object from the other direction.
Subject:	ETX fork controversy
Sent:	Sunday, June 9, 2002 12:58:05
From: (John E. Persichilli)
Great site! Glad to see that someone is keeping up to date information
regarding the ETX. I have a 125 with autostar and it works great. Though
I must confess I'm spoiled from views I get through my CM1400.

Anyway, I'm writing to encourage you to keep up the excellent work on
the fork controversy. Unaware of the issue until I saw a wanted add on
Astromart by a guy who specifically requested he was only interested in
a 125 or 105 with the "new" aluminum forks and a metal base, I
investigated my ETX. I responded that it appeared to me that my ETX-125
(purchased late last winter) had plastic covers, but I wasn't willing to
take the mount apart to see. He also requested the UPC number.

I guess there is still a lot of mis-information or simply wrong
information out there. As your posting suggested I checked my ETX (UPC
has the 03-01 code) physically, and found that mine in deed has the cast
aluminum fork arms.

I also noticed the reference to the Discovery Stores ETX add and went
there to check out exactly to see what was "claimed". Their ETX add
makes no specific reference to the material change in the fork arm other
than the reference to high torque motors. So, I went to Meade's website
and took a look at the ETX spec sheet. According to it (circa 2002) the
105's and the 125's have the cast aluminum forks with ABS covers, and
the 90's have steel reinforced ABS fork arms.

My questions are as follows:

1. Has the ETX 105's and 125's always had the cast aluminum fork
arms,and if not....
2. ...When was the change made?
3. Have any of the newest versions been completely converted to
aluminum, including the covers, so that there is no ABS plastic found on

I ask because I've had my ETX 125 for a while now and it has the cast
aluminum fork arms and an all metal base and there appears to me that
there is still a lot of confusion out there regarding this issue.

John P.
Mayer Arizona
Mike here: Regarding incremental improvements in products, I think Meade said it best. They don't supply that info. So we have to determine it based upon user feedback like yours.
Subject:	Old vs. new.  Update
Sent:	Thursday, June 6, 2002 12:18:50
I write with reference to a query on the ETX125 feedback page from Don
Hall, regarding an upgrade path for owners of "old" 125s.

I wrote to Meade last month voicing my concerns about the fact that the
"new" ETX125 I bought in April 2002 turned out to be an older model.

Below is the letter Meade sent me in response:

Meade Instruments Corporation
6001 Oak Canyon, Irvine, CA 92618-5200
(949) 451-1450   Fax (949) 451-1460

Dear Mr. Vanderpere-Brown:

Thank you for your letter dated 4/25/2002.  You raised several issues that I
would like to address.

Prices in the U.K. are higher due to many factors, most of which, I'm sure,
you are aware.  First is the cost of shipping and duty.   Second is the
distributor's cost of handling and warranty service (which you did not pay).
Third is a small margin for the distributor.  Forth is a larger margin for
the local dealer.  Lastly is the rather large VAT.  None of these cost are
under Meade Instruments control.   We do not set retail or wholesale prices
in the international markets.

I do apologize for the defect that you discovered with your telescope.  I
know how frustrating it is to get a new product only to find some problem
that prevents its use.  The issue of design changes is another matter.
Meade Instruments, as do most manufacturers, makes changes to our products
all the time.  Most of these changes are never announced or advertised.  We
have never announced any changes to the ETX-125EC or changed any published
specifications for this product.  The telescope you purchased is the product
that we advertise and the specifications in our ads and catalog match the
telescope you received.  We are not associated with any internet groups or
sites and any information that appears on the internet is not provided,
confirmed as accurate, or sanctioned in any way by Meade Instruments.  When
we come out with a new model, as we did with the LX200 to the LX200GPS, we
do announce the new product and, of course, we do not ship the older model
in place of the new one.  This simply is not the case with the ETX-125EC.

As to the warranty, because you purchased the telescope in the U.S., you are
covered by the U.S. warranty.  This warranty does not cover any shipping
expenses outside of the U.S.  We will repair or replace, at our discretion,
any defective parts or products for one year from the date of purchase (see
detailed warranty description supplied with the product) that is returned
with proof of purchase to our factory in Irvine, CA.  It is the customers
responsibility to cover all shipping costs both ways, as well as any taxes
imposed by the customer's country.  Had you purchase the product from an
authorized UK dealer,  you would have local warranty service and if the
telescope had to return to our factory in the U.S., you would not be charged
for the shipping costs.  This is why Meade discourages non U.S. residents
from buying our products in the U.S. and returning to their country.  The
dollars saved by buying in the U.S. can quickly dissolve when a problem with
the product occurs.

I hope I have addressed most of the issues you mentioned in your letter.
Meade is not attempting to mislead our customers in any way.  Our goal is to
produce quality products at affordable prices and to treat our customers

Best regards,

Paul Hobbs
Export Manager
Meade Instruments Corporation

I know that a lot of this letter is irrelevant to most people and
concerns the fact that I bought the scope in the U.S. (I live in London)
but perhaps the middle section regarding design change might enlighten
people as to exactly what stance Meade are taking on this issue.

Best Regards, Rob

Subject:	ETX 125
Sent:	Thursday, June 6, 2002 0:14:58
From: (jcwillette)
I have scoured your site, but with the huge amount of information you
have, I may have missed it. Could you tell me what you have for your ETX
125 or what you would recommend....eye pieces, finders, camera adapters,
tripod, and any mods you have personally done to it. I know that may
sound like a lot but I think it would be helpful for those of us who are
purchasing or just purchased and ETX 125. Thanks in advance and thanks
for listing our web on your site...we are seeing an increase in traffic
from your site.
JC Willette (Webmaster)
Astronomical Society of Nevada, Las Vegas
(702) 269-7837

Please feel free to visit the
Astronomical Society of Nevada
(our sponsoring site in Reno) at:

And the Western Observers Webring site
(our western regional site) at:
Mike here: Well, see the Accessory Reviews pages and astrophotography pages for things I have. I have made NO modifications to the ETX-125EC. As to recommendations, that really depends upon WHAT you want to do with your telescope. So, once you know what you want to do you can ask specific questions on accessories for that purpose.
Subject:	New ETX 125
Sent:	Monday, June 3, 2002 15:40:41
From: (Bill Williams)
I am planning to buy an ETX 125.  A nearby Discovery Store said they
just got in a new shipment.

I don't think the prior model is defective or bad, but since the new one
is out, I want to buy a new one; or wait.  I don't want to buy the super
lens coated version.

My problem is that I am a real greenhorn at this!  From reading your
site, it's clear that there are a whole lot of prior (I hate to call
them "old")models in the pipeline.  So how do I tell one from the other/

I do I know that it is a "new" model?  I cannot take it apart at the
store, and what am I looking for?  Do I tap the fork to see if it sounds
like metal?  This talk of metal bearing, how easy is that to see?  Where
do I look?  What does it look like?

Please help.


Mike here: See the article ""New" vs "Old" - How to Tell" linked at the top of the current ETX-125EC feedback page.

Feedback Archives

Check the Feedback Archives for previous editions of the ETX-125EC Feedback pages.

Return to the top of this page.

Go to the ETX Home Page.

Copyright © 2002 Michael L. Weasner /
Submittals Copyright © 2002 by the Submitter