Last updated: 26 June 2002
Subject: lxd55 or ETX125 Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 10:57:30 From: email@example.com (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. thanks, SachinMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. Thanks Carlos PiresMike 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 CarlosMike 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: email@example.com (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. MikeMike 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 CerminaroMike 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 MAPUG.com, checkout the lx200 newsgroups, as well as the LX200 Yahoo Group.
Subject: Drive gears Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2002 16:53:42 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 DupreyAnd:
From: email@example.com (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, etc.... 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rogers) Amazon.com has just marked down the EXT-125 to $805.45: plus free shipping! http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004SPCH/qid%3D1024534796/ref% 3Dsr%5F11%5F0%5F1/002-7114272-2265620 I just received one from Amazon.com 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: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005OUJX/002-7114272-2265620 Michael Rogers Holt, Michigan Capital Area Astronomy Club email@example.com
Subject: I think I broke it! Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 6:31:29 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.com (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 results. Tom Brown
Subject: etx125 Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2002 14:10:18 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 FranklinMike 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: email@example.com (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). Thanks- Roy.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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 them? 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. Regards, John P. Mayer ArizonaMike 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 From: MellowshipSlinky@aol.com 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 fairly. 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: email@example.com (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 http://www.astronomynv.org/vegas/ firstname.lastname@example.org (702) 269-7837 Please feel free to visit the Astronomical Society of Nevada (our sponsoring site in Reno) at: http://www.astronomynv.org/ And the Western Observers Webring site (our western regional site) at: http://www.astronomynv.org/wowMike 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: email@example.com (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. Thanks BillMike here: See the article ""New" vs "Old" - How to Tell" linked at the top of the current ETX-125EC feedback page.
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