GENERAL FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 June 2002
This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX and DS models. 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.
Mike here: I will be a speaker at this year's Westercon convention being held in Los Angeles, 4-7 July. I will be on two panels and also giving a talk on astrophotography with small telescopes.

Subject:	ETX 90 EC
Sent:	Saturday, June 29, 2002 15:27:51
From:	john_i47@yahoo.com (john iannelli)
I have owned an ETX 90 EC for almost 2 years now. After solving a few
slewing peoblems thr scope has performed flaulessly.  Razor sharp images
and pinpoint stars.  I liked the scope alot.  Iam thinking of moving up
to the Meade lx200 7 in. Mak.  We'll see. Great site.  Had a lot of
questions answered in the last 2 years.
John From Connecticut.
Mike here: Enjoy the LX200 but keep the ETX for those spur of the moment observing sessions.
Subject:	ETX125C UHTC question
Sent:	Friday, June 28, 2002 8:06:12
From:	marc.baier@basler.ch
I am thinking about getting an ETX125. I am not sure if the UHTC version
(which costs an additional 100 usd) is really worth the price. Maybe you
can give me a hint. I currently own a the LX-10 telescope but it's just
too big and clumsy - i've barely used it for years - that's why I want
to get the ETX125.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Marc
Mike here: For a UHTC report, see the test report by Dr. Clay Sherrod, linked from the Meade Announcements page.
Subject:	re: SAC for terrestrial use?
Sent:	Thursday, June 27, 2002 20:11:00
From:	wschart@hot.rr.com (William L. Schart)
I have done a little using this on my ETX-60. Mostly just testing, but
it is possible and usable. On the ETX, it will focus pretty close - I
have taken pictures of birds on the feeder just outside of our kitchen,
probably 10 feet away.

William Schart

Subject:	starrynight backyard
Sent:	Thursday, June 27, 2002 18:32:53
From:	loking01@earthlink.net (loking01@earthlink.net)
I just bought starrynight backyard and was wondering if there was a web
site that could convert the hipparcos or the tycho or the bayer numbers
into the NGC numbers. I can't seem to find anything. Seeing that all the
magazines give the NGC numbers and the autostar uses the NGC it would be
very helpful if I had that info. Thanks Brian

Subject:	H-Alpha filter
Sent:	Thursday, June 27, 2002 12:38:25
From:	roma11@netvision.net.il (Roy Faiman)
I'm wondering If you have some good edvice on the H-Alpha filter (prices
and info). I'd realy like to take photos of the sun and Prominances
through my 125.
Thanks again-
Roy
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews - Filters page for the Coronado Instruments SolarMax. That's the only one that can be used with the ETX-125EC.
Subject:	ETX-90EC + 26mmPlossl
Sent:	Thursday, June 27, 2002 11:44:58
From:	maduro@lifesci.ucsb.edu (Morris Maduro)
I enjoy my scope for views of the moon.  I have noticed that for land
viewing, there is constantly a white haze in the field of view that
changes somewhat depending on whether or not one is looking straight
into the eyepiece or just slightly off center.  I suspect this is due to
reflection within the scope, as I have cleaned all the optics.  Is this
'whitish haze' normal, or is there a defect with my scope?

Also, the only eyepiece I have is a 26mm Plossl.  It actually works well
for afocal imaging using a cheap Sony DSC-P20 digital camera, but I'd
like to use my better S85.  Unfortunately, the S85 can't get close
enough to the Plossl eyepiece glass to take images.  For photographing
the sun or moon, what is the best option for an eyepiece that will work
well for afocal coupling to a digicam using the ETX-90?

Thanks,
Morris

Morris Maduro
UC Santa Barbara
Mike here: If by "land viewing" you may "daytime viewing", you are probably seeing the effects of light entering the telescope through the tripod mounting hole on the bottom of the tube. Try covering that. As to afocal photography, you need to get the camera lens as close to the eyepiece as possible. Most times that means using macro mode or zooming the lens. I'd try that before investigating other options.
Subject:	SAC for terrestrial use?
Sent:	Tuesday, June 25, 2002 12:13:00
From:	mock@wsu.edu (Ken Mock)
Read with interest your reviews on the SAC-IVb CCD imager.  Has anybody
used this for terrestrial photography?

Thanks,

Ken Mock
Mike here: I don't recall any.

And:

Love your site -- its a real boon to us ETX owners.  I just had one of
my techs here at the University do the "Tune-Up" on our ETX 90 EC.  I'm
into digital photography and have just purchased the ScopeTronics Max
View 40 and adapters to mate the ETX with my Minolta D'Image 7.  Like
many amateur astronomers, I like to mix my stargazing with hiking,
photographing flowers, birds and scenery on my weekend outings.  The ETX
is so light I can pack it up the mountain easily along with my G4
Powerbook and snap and enjoy my shots as I go.  The SAT-IVb intrigues me
not only for the astronomy possibilities, but for the bird photo
possibilities.  It would seem it could be set up at the 45-deg. focus on
the scope to monitor for bird arrivals at their favorite perching sites
while the digicam could be set up at the main focus.  Then just a flip
of the mirror on the ETX and you'd have your shot!  Beats holding up
binoculars constantly.

Thanks again for your excellent site and your quick response to my
query.

Ken Mock

Subject:	Dec Drive "Dead Spot"
Sent:	Tuesday, June 25, 2002 9:41:49
From:	arkotz@attbi.com
This is the second post of the day -- (just to keep the questions
"orthogonal," to put it in math/physics terminology).

While "de-slopping" the dec axis, I noticed the dec motor would
occasionally not respond AT ALL to N-S keypad commands (two Autostar
497's and the manual handbox all behaved the same). The dec worm gear
was free, not "frozen," and the measured motor current was zero. If I
moved the gear train by hand it would then run fine. It persisted in
doing this as long as the starting position of the OTA supports were the
same as before -- they were free and not "binding," etc.

I then changed the starting position of the OTA support arms about 70
degrees or so, so the worm and worm spur gear were in a new relative
position. "Slewing" the support arm down to the new horizontal starting
position cured the problem. It always faithfully responds to the keypad
N-S commands. Putting the support arm back to its original position
repeats the problem (??) While I seem to have an empirical solution, the
cause puzzles me. Is it the optical encoder, or what? I'm not sure where
in the gear train the optical encoder is -- i.e. how many turns of the
optical wheel per turn of the OTA support arm? Further, are these DC
motors with brushes and a commutator or are they brushless motors?

Thanks for any information from you or your experts.

Art Kotz
And from our hardware expert:
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
I am not at all sure that I even understand this question/statement. 
What does tube orthagonality have to do with the motor sometimes running
and/or not?  Perhaps I am missing some of the original question.

Also, was the "current" (voltage?) indeed NO READING as though dead when
this was happening?   If that was the case, as I think I read this, then
this would have nothing to do with the encoders as they are not
dependent on current NOR do they have anything to do with the output or
variation of current (voltage).

Also, "....if I moved the gear train by hand it would then run fine...."
What? the gear train or the motor?

This clearly sounds like a bad motor, and as eluded to, it mostly likely
is due to internal shorting due to bad commutation (which you do indeed
have even with "brushless" DC motors).  I suspect this to be the case
and unfortunately the motors are NOT available as a stand-alone unit
from Meade; they will want the entire scope back at which time they will
replace the assembly that consists of:  Motor; encoder; DEC reducer gear
box, and transfer gears (to the worm and driver).

I hope this helps, but I am a bit confused at what really is happening
on this one....

Clay Sherrod
And:
Thank you for the swift reply.

The "zero motor current" was just that: NO change in delivered power
supply current when the N-S command was given.

"Moving the gear train by hand" was my way of nudging the motor into
action in case something was hung-up, or some commutator segment was not
making contact. When nudged, the motor spun into action, along with the
whole gear train (as though a commutator segment was "open.") I just
gently turned on some of the exposed gears in the gearbox as I couldn't
get to the motor shaft itself.

The question about the encoder, was merely an uninformed one asking
whether; "is it possible the encoder feedback system is TELLING the
drive not to move for some unknown (to me) reason?" That can be struck
altogether.

In light of your speculation, it sounds like bad commutation (an "open"
circuit, as opposed to a short -- the motor current looks about right
when it's working properly). As long as I have an empirical solution,
however temporary, I'll stick with that until it fails again.

Yes, your comments sounds like the "Meade I know."

Thank you both for your expert thoughts and consideration.

Art Kotz
And:
Thanks for the clarification; I do believe now with further explanation
that you likely have a DEC motor failure; it is simply not getting
enough impetus to perpetuate the field for rotation.

Is it possible that some liquid or lubricant has gotten up inside the
motor, even humidity??  Why don't you try "blow drying" it with a hair
dryer set to "warm" and see what happens.  I have done wonders with a
hair dryer, and never used one on my hair to date!!

Clay
And:
Thank you both for your swift and expert responses. I'm trying to get
the telescope tuned up to leave with my son in the Wash DC area before I
return to Minnesota in a day or two. I'll try the hair dryer. (I use it
all the time in Minnesota when I bring my LX200 inside from the minus 20
degree cold.)

Art Kotz

Subject:	remark on US prices vs. European prices etc.
as seen more than once in your general feedback
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 13:01:14 From: Arthur.van.Houdt@ben.nl (Houdt, Arthur van) as you yourself will most likely already know by long, but there are a few things to know for european citizens: 1) looking at US prices is a bit like comparing apples with pears, in the US it is common to have goods price WITHOUT the VAT, in most countries in Europe this is not the case and most prices towards consumers are prices INCLUDING VAT (in many european countries this is obliged by law by the way) so here is a difference of approximately 20% explained; 2) apart from that also customs take their share of tax for goods (depending on the type of goods) coming from the US, if a person imports goods coming either by surface or air mail there is a significant chance this package WILL (and is allowed to be) opened by either customs and tax will be added or sometimes (for example if UPS transport) tax is added automatically by the transporting agency. This customs tax in The Netherlands is 11% (and will not very likely differ a lot througout Europe. So here we have explained another approximately 10%; 3) although in very general terms the euro and dollar have about the same value, in the real world this is not the case, since the introduction of the euro the "exact" value has dropped from 1,2 dollar for a euro till as low as 0,86 dollar per euro about a year and a half ago, average value during the last year was something like 0.9 dollar for a euro (alhtough since last two weeks euro is coming back stronlgy) this is another approx. 10% difference explained; 4) transport costs for europe are (of course) a bit higher than sending thing in the US. It is very unlikely that one will be able (due to the size of the things) to avoid the taxes. or the exachge rate differences.So a approx. 40% difference in price can be easily explained without pointing to Meade or European dealers themselves. Looking at most sites in the US an ETX-125 costs around USD 895 excl. USD 30 transport costs!! Looking at some european sites (e.g. http://www.astrokatalog.de/ or http://www.telescopium.nl/prijslijst/MEAD2E.TXT {this last one still allows for 5% discount!}) you can have your ETX-125 at home for about EUR 1560 excl. europe transport costs (which depending on wheight is somewhere between EUR 5 and EUR 15). This price (using above remarks) thus compares (somewhat) with a US price of USD 895*1,4 (40% all mark up) plus USD 30*1,1 (10% exhange rate) adding up to EUR 1286. So leaving a difference of about EUR 300 to be explained. Which I think can failry easily be explained by: 1) a (much) higher tranport cost for getting it to Europe 2) a higher selling price from meade to Europe to insure for higher tranport costst at warranty and 3) a higher dealer margin than on the internet US prices. Dont forget that US (supposedly) retail price for a ETX-125 is USD 1052,99. And don't forget that the amount on which the european dealer markup goes includes the customs taxes of 10% and exchange rate mark up of 10% and the meade marking for warranty reasons. To me the prices seem on the higher side but not unreasonable noting that "real" internet suppliers for meade do not exist in europe so competition only on price does not exist (compared with camera's where this does exist, but when I bought my Sony DSC707 for approx EUR 1500 I bought this one still in a store from the shelf, so I had it instantly, at approx a 5% higher price than lowest internet price was, knwoing that internet suppliers weren't able to deliver (poor stock) and service my product well). My two cents Arthur van Houdt The Hague The Netherlands

Subject:	Lens Wipes
Sent:	Monday, June 24, 2002 11:34:25
From:	stargazer30721@yahoo.com (H B)
I pulled this off a BBS - ever heard of this?  Might be worthwhile.  If
no one has any experience with these on your site - I might try them for
grins and post the results.

Astralnomicon Observatory Systems has several exciting new products for 
the discriminating astronomer:

1. Precision Lens Cleaning Wipes. We all know that your telescope 
optics should NOT be cleaned unless absolutely necessary. But when it is, 
only trust it to OPTO-WIPES(tm), the laboratory quality lens cleaning 
wipes made specifically for high-precision coated optics:
* Supersoft 100% lint-free hydro-entangled polyester and cellulose 
fibers that will not scratch coated or uncoated optical surfaces.
* Highly Absorbant for soaking up and retaining excess cleaning 
solvents with ideal rate of evaporation for streak-free cleaning.
* Efficient particle trapping matrix lifts particles and residue away 
from optical surfaces and permanently locks them for a single swipe 
cleaning.
* Strong and Durable enough to withstand the use of strong solvents 
such as methyl ethyl ketone,methylene chloride,acetone or alcohol, the 
only solvents recommended for cleaning precision coated optics. 

Opto-Wipes(tm) are available in 3.75" X 3.75" wipes of 50 wipes/package 
for only $4.00 each. Minimum of 5 packages per order for $20.00, 
please.

2. Precision Optics Handling Gloves. Whether in the observatory or in 
the field, you need OPTO-GLOVES(tm), the only lint and powder free, 
static resistant precision component handling gloves available for the 
astronomy enthusiast:
* Safely handle your optics and electronics for the ultimate in lint, 
dust and fingerprint contamination control.
* Electrostatic dissipation control discharges potientially harmful 
static charges that could damage sensitive electronics and optics.
* Ecomomical and durable, these fully washable knitted polyester gloves 
are designed with an efficient texture for the precise handling of 
telescope hand-controllers/keypads, filters and eyepieces.

Opto-Gloves(tm) are available in both Women's (S,M,L,XL) and Men's 
(S,M,L,XL) sizes for the ultimate in comfort and fit at only $10.00 per 
pair! 

Order today by writing to astralnomicon@earthlink.net or calling us at 
(703)304-3377 !
Mike here: I've not heard of them.
Subject:	Re:  Asteroid 2002MN
Sent:	Monday, June 24, 2002 10:04:56
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
In addition to my direct answer to Kevin on this "very" important issue,
lest you missed it.....

I have posted a brief discussion about the possibility of asteroidal
impacts such as with 2002MN at:

http://www.arksky.org

On the Current News of the Arkansas Sky Observatory web page.

Dr. Clay
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  Dr. Clay,
  Do you have any information about this rock?  It seems we had a near
  miss last month, some 75,000 miles.

  www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/asteroid_miss_020620.html

  Thanks

  Kevin

Subject:	Re: ETX90EC Image Vibration Problem
Sent:	Sunday, June 23, 2002 5:35:47
From:	acchien@starnet.gov.sg (ACC)
You may still remember my problem a while back (April 2002) regarding
image vibrations casued by Autorstar's pulsing of the declination
motor...  Well MEADE has juz (finally!) sent a replacement circuit board
to the local dealer, but I would have to pay a replacement charge for
it.

For the time being though, what I have done to remedy the situation is
to force a few small pieces of rubber between the motor and the motor
housing.  This works surprisingly well and image vibrations which was
intolerable at 96x becomes only slightly noticeable at 250x.   Thought I
would let you know in case someone else faces a similar problem in
future.

Clear skies and thanks for your help.

cc

Subject:	SAC7
Sent:	Saturday, June 22, 2002 6:13:56
From:	tnjwilbur@yahoo.com (Ted Wilbur)
To:	marc_windrich@hotmail.com
This is confirmation of Mike's answer to you regarding the SAC7 and
necessary cables.  I bought one a couple of months ago.  It comes with a
USB cable that provides the camera with power and data transmission, as
well as a serial cable with 25 pin male adapter for extended exposure
control.  You don't need anything else unless you want the USB cable to
be extra long (>20 feet) in which case you'll need a USB amp.

I really enjoy having the camera.  Using extended exposures on the
camera has shown me a lot more than what I can actually see through the
eyepiece. The AstroVideo control software that comes with the camera is
quite nice and the people who wrote it (COAA) are very responsive to
questions and bug fix requests.

I hit 2 "got ya's" with the camera that you might want to know about. 
First, I purchased the eyepiece projection kit, hoping to get some
really wide field shots (I'm using an ETX70).  It only worked with one
eyepiece, a 9mm which is nearly par focal with the camera.  For me, the
eyepiece projection kit was a waste of money.

The second issue is in regard to image processing software.  Picture
Window Pro "comes with" the SAC7, but what they don't mention is that it
is a 30 day trial version.  Unless you're using another image processing
program, be prepared to shell out the additional $89 for a real copy of
Picture Window Pro. I love this program, it's very powerful and easy to
use, worth the investment in my opinion.

Overall, the SAC7 camera is pretty capable and really fun to have -
keeping in mind that it's an entry level system.  I'm glad I bought one.

Ted

P.S.  To be fair to Sonofest: regarding the Picture Window software,
although the SAC7 info page states that the software is included with
the camera, if you follow the Picture Window link, the site DOES explain
that what is included is only a trial version.

Subject:	SAC7
Sent:	Thursday, June 20, 2002 18:50:51
From:	marc_windrich@hotmail.com (marcus windrich)
I had a question about the SAC-VII CCD camera. From what I have read, it
seems to be quite a good camera for the cost. I was considering
purchasing one....but the Sonfest website seems to be lacking in
information on what exactly comes with the camera for $349(air cooled).
I see that it comes with the software, but does it come with the cables
necessary to connect it to a computer? Does it come with a power supply
of some sort? I see they sell a power supply separately for $45...do I
NEED that?

Any info you could give me about the SAC7 would be great.

Thanks.

Marcus
Mike here: I don't have the SAC VII but do have the SAC IV. It came with the necessary USB cable (no power supply needed). I suggest contacting Sonfest directly.
Subject:	So new to astronomy, I haven't even got a scope yet.
Sent:	Thursday, June 20, 2002 10:19:05
From:	Mark.Humphries@prudential.co.uk
I live in southern England and am just about to buy a Meade ETX 105EC.
However, and here's the reason for this early call, it seems that prices
online in the States are half what they cost here. So does anyone know
where I can buy one online from a US site who will ship it to the UK for
me and what the shipping cost would be? I can wait (just!) so it can
come by surface delivery rather than air...

Regards

Mark H
Mike here: There are some export distribution factors that come into play. I think it is a violation of Meade's reseller agreement for sellers to sell outside of their assigned country or region.

And:

Thanks Mike - guess I'll have to come over there and get one.

Mark H

ps. top site.

Subject:	meade etx power supply
Sent:	Thursday, June 20, 2002 2:56:24
From:	ametre@libero.it (AB)
Sorry for my bad english !
I have a MEADE ETX 105.
Where I can see the electrical schetch of the plug and cable cord ? I
don't kwow the polarity and I need buit the cable for connection ETX  to
12 V battery.
Thank you

Angelo
Mike here: There is info on power supplies on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	ETX Focuser
Sent:	Wednesday, June 19, 2002 7:35:08
From:	Marv.Sumner@ONIZUKA.AF.MIL (Sumner Marv C Contr CWNO/SCNC)
I seem to have misplaced part of the focuser for my ETX-125;a part that
never gets used (I think).  Isn't there supposed to be a control box
that works only the electric focuser?  My old notes say that I had
installed and tested the focuser on the ETX-90 using the "three-button"
controller, then with the AutoStar.  The note says that I had removed
the battery and retired the three-button controller.   Since then I have
traded the -90 for the -125 that I have now.  As I try to keep things
organized, grouped according to application, the three-button controller
is missing - I think.

Maybe my memory is slipping - did the electric focuser for the
ETX-125/EC come with a "stand-alone" controller?  It would need a
battery to work without the AutoStar.  They say that the second thing to
go is your memory - and I can't remember what the first thing is.
Regards to all ETXers.
Marv Sumner
And:
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
Our memories don't grow old, they just become packed with so many items
from a modern "garage sale" existence that we lose track of the items we
put there....

At any rate, you are right!  There was a stand-alone controller for the
focuser, but most folks with the EC model ETX scopes do not use them;
first, they are only controlled at very rough preset speeds; and second,
they literally eat batteries to the tune of one 9-V per night if NOT
unplugged. Does that ring a bell?

Clay Sherrod

Subject:	Eyepiece/Filter 
Sent:	Tuesday, June 18, 2002 11:24:39
From:	emercado@hncts-east.com (Enrique Mercado)
I have a simple question regarding different equipment, I'm hoping you
can help me with.

Eyepieces/Filters:
1. When screwing on filters they squeak and stick. Have you ever applied
any lubricant of any kind to help get rid of the squeaking  and smooth
out the process? Also I am concerned about having a foreign substance
around the eyepieces.

2. I thought I read a piece about cleaning the lens on your site but I
cannot find it. Can you please recommend how to clean eyepieces? I see
what looks like thin hairs through my eyepieces. Should I go to just air
blowing them out or do you recommend  a liquid solution I can use?

Thanking you in advance,

Enrique Mercado
Mike here: I don't think I would want to add any lubricant to the filter threads. As to cleaning, see the Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject:	Meade electronic eyepiece
Sent:	Tuesday, June 18, 2002 5:55:27
From:	roma11@netvision.net.il (Roy Faiman)
I am wondering what is the magnifing power of the Meade electronic
eyepiece? or does it depend on the size of screen I'm using to view it?
Thanks-
Roy Faiman, Israel.

Mike here: I attended the Oceanside Photo & Telescope "Meade Day" on Saturday, 15 June, from 10am to 10pm at their store location in Oceanside. They set up several telescopes in the parking lot in front of their store:

OPT

OPT Several ETX owners, potential owners, and buyers stopped by. I enjoyed talking to all of them.

One gentleman (whose name I forgot to write down) had an ETX-90 spotting scope set up with a Coronado Instruments SolarMax Hydrogen-Alpha solar filter (several month waiting list at this time!). The views were really nice!


Subject:	Keep up with Comets!
Sent:	Sunday, June 16, 2002 18:13:15
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
Hello to all....
Ever wonder what comets just "might" be observable in YOUR telescope and
what it may look like?

DAILY COMET DIGEST ON ASO
Through a lot of hard work, Brian has developed a fantastic prototype
data entry system for the ASO comet observations, allowing quick and
accurate logging of the many nightly comet observations logged here via
the ASO Sky Patrol.  As many as 15 to 20 comets nightly are sometimes
imaged and recorded.

MANY of these comets are within reach of modest amateur telescopes,
either visually or via CCD or photographic means.  At present, for
example, there are EIGHT comets that are observable and ever-changing
visible on a dark night to the visual observer and a well-aligned 8"
telescope.....about FOUR that can be logged with a 4" and larger
telescope.

In addition to allowing us to enter these observations, it allows YOU an
immediate and constant update retrieval system on all observable
brighter comets of the night sky for the current time frame.  If any
images obtained (ALL comets are imaged and recorded via Archives for
data determination, but not all are published) are deemed unusual or
interesting, they too will be posted with that night's data for any
particular comet.

These updates appear every night, weather and moonlight permitting.
Conditions and moonlight will limit the observations at some times to
only brighter (>12th magnitude) comets; on other dates, comets to 17th
magnitude are often recorded.

Although still under construction, the data files and DAILY COMET DIGEST
are found at:

http://www.arksky.org/cgi-bin/comettable.pl

And every observed comet (past or present) is listed on this DIGEST;
merely double clicking on any comet will bring up the complete data
archive for that comet.

This data system, once developed, will be open to comet observers
worldwide for entry of their observations as well, using an
ASO-exclusive password for each observer of his or her choosing.

We hope you benefit and enjoy the advantages of this on-line COMET
DIGEST.

Dr. Clay / Brian Sherrod
Arkansas Sky Observatory
www.arksky.org

Subject:	Another Supercharged customer!
Sent:	Sunday, June 16, 2002 8:23:07
From:	r.laffoon@verizon.net (Larry Laffoon)
Hello fellow ETX owners.  I want to add my voice to the rising chorus of
ETX owners who have praised Dr. Sherrod and his Supercharge service.  I
sent my newly acquired ETX125 down to the good Doctor for a Supercharge
on May 30th.  It had many of the typical symptoms which plague some ETX
telescopes; "rubber banding", very poor GOTO' s and the motors sounded
awful.

IMHO, Dr. Sherrod provides a very professional service. He kept me
informed of my scopes progress and the scope was returned to me on the
14th of June.  Every performance aspect of my ETX was evaluated with
"before" and "after" paperwork. The Autostar was also updated and some
great new "tours" were added!

I have saved the best for last.  Last night I spent 5 hours under the
stars and had nothing but fun.  In short, the telescope had no
shortcomings.  There was no "rubber banding", the GOTO's were right on
the money and the tracking was great, with the motors now sounding
smooth and unlabored.  Optically the ETX was outstanding.  So, for less
than the cost of a good eyepiece, I now have a piece of equipment that
actually works like the advertisement said it would!  Many new "tours"
later, as I was driving home, my thoughts kept returning to the
wonderful observing session I had just experienced and that is the
reason for sharing my Supercharge thoughts with all of you.  

Thanks also to you Mike for allowing me the web space to praise Dr.
Sherrod for his good and honest work.

Larry 

Subject:	ETX-90EC Training & Cleaning
Sent:	Friday, June 14, 2002 8:08:43
From:	araphael@tsn.ca (Alan Raphael)
Great site...thanks for maintaining it!

I just received my new ETX-90EC with UHTC but haven't had the
opportunity to really use it given cloudy skies.  I was out yesterday to
train my drives on a terrestrial object.  I did it once and later on
decided to re-do it at a high mag.  I didn't reset figuring that if I
select train it would wipe the previous data.  Is this true or would my
training a second time without a reset cause problems?

Also, I have heard that there are extra concerns with cleaning the UHTC
units.  Am I still ok to use a Lens Pen for minor dew spotting?

Many thanks!
Alan Raphael
Mike here: No reset required when retraining to improve the training. It overwrites the previous training settings. As to cleaning the UHTC coatings, as with all optics, only clean when absolutely necessary. As to cleaning the UHTC with the LensPen, unless you want to be the first, I'd wait for some definitive reports.
Subject:	Replacement eyepiece retaining screw
Sent:	Friday, June 14, 2002 7:41:44
From:	REK108@aol.com
I would like to purchase a couple of extra eyepiece retaining screws to
keep in my telescope case when (not if) I loose an eyepiece retaining
screw. I checked the Astronomics and Shutan without sucess. Can you
recommend a source for replacement screws? Is there only one size that
is used for the ETX-90 and for the Barlow? Is this something that I can
get at my local hardware store? I tried to determine the thread size
with a gauge, but I couldn't quite find an English or metric size that
fit exactly. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Bob Kaminski
Pittsburgh, PA
Mike here: The screw is reportedly the same as that on computer connectors (serial, mouse).
Subject:	polar align with piggyback camera adapter
Sent:	Thursday, June 13, 2002 19:04:07
From:	kenariz@juno.com (ken w anderson)
I see on your website a piggyback camera adapter. I bought one from
Scopetronix awhile back and have recently ran into a problem when the
scope turns clockwise or counterclockwise. The weight of the camera
after a certain point seems to keep the base portion that turns from
turning. The motor is still running but the the base will not turn. Now
this could be due to polar alignment ( see attached picture) please let
me know why my base will not turn after a certain point.
wedge
Mike here: I suspect the weight of your camera is too much for the drives to overcome without slipping. You could add a counterweight to rebalance the system.

And:

If my camera is at the fron end on top of scope, where would i place the
counter weight? bottom and at the rear?
Mike here: With the angle you are tilted, the problem is the weight of the camera off to the side of the tube. So you would need to add weight diametrically opposite the camera on the other side of the tube. However, in other orientations you might need the weight in a different location that would be opposite the camera through the center of balance. And:
From:	kenariz@juno.com (ken w anderson)
What a pain in the rump
Mike here: Laws of physics are a pain but we're stuck with them. By the way, even large telescopes need counterweights so there is nothing specific to the ETX here.
Subject:	Meade is suing Tasco/Celestron (again)
Sent:	Thursday, June 13, 2002 7:31:36
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
With the issuance of their second Autostar-based telescope alignment
patent, Patent No. 6,392,799, "Fully Automated Telescope System with
 Distributed Intelligence." 

Meade has (again) sued Celestron (and Tasco)(which may be a case of
beating a dead horse)

With this twist: 
Meade's second lawsuit also names as defendants any prospective
purchasers of Tasco or Celestron assets. 

Visit: 
http://www.nasdaq.com/asp/quotes_news.asp?symbol=MEAD%60&selected=MEAD%60

and click on the second Meade files suit"  new item for the long story.

have fun
--dick

Subject:	A couple of shots
Sent:	Wednesday, June 12, 2002 18:44:30
From:	KellyPierson@buckeye-express.com (Kelly Pierson)
Thanks again for a great site. I find myself back here again anad again
whenever I have a question....I'm still looking for some good prime
focus images of astronomical objects....Still have focus and tracking
issues to resolve, but I thought I'd forward a couple of images that I
have been able to capture with a ETX 90 at prime focus with a Canon EOS
2000 attached to the telescope....Hope you like them.

Terry Pierson
photos photos

Subject:	Bright limb effect
Sent:	Wednesday, June 12, 2002 14:30:42
From:	dcanard@cswnet.com (Douglas+G+Canard++)
Mike.
Nice eclipse shots.
A question{maybe dumb?}
How come the left limb of the sun always has a bright crescent and the
right limb is always darker with a very subtle halo to it?
Can"t be the telescope can it?
Or CCD camera?
Ghosting caused by reflections between the solar filters and lenses?
Every picture I look at shows the same phenomena,regardless of type of
scope, type of eyepiece,type of camera.
Only thing left would be the filter?
Right?Don"t know why I haven"t noticed this before..
Well anyways,all I got was some taped footage of a tree that blocked my
view of this eclipse. Looks like you folks on the Left Coast got quite a
show.
Thanks
-doug
Mike here: It is actually darkening at the limb. Solar limb darkening is a known effect. Just as light from objects low in the sky has to pass through more of Earth's atmosphere, light from the Sun's limb has to pass through more of its atmosphere.

And:

So.Is the limb on the left side of the sun lighter than the right side
because it is higher in the atmosphere compared to the right side?It"s
the imbalance in the brightness of the *limbs* that has me
puzzled.So,shouldn"t the right limb be brighter than the left limb
during sunrise? I understand the limbs being darker than the center of
the Sun,it"s the *imbalance*between the limbs that I have noticed and am
puzzled over. Your pixs show it,my videos show it,even Big Bear Solar
Observatory pix show it.Those guys have state of the art equipment.
Could it be my TV monitor? If you don"t see it in any pix then it has to
be my cathode ray tube acting screwy,however I have a little 5 inch B&w
TV monitor that shows the same effect. It makes no sense;hope I made
some sense.8}
Thanks.
Mike here: I suspect the imbalance is due to the telescope/filter/imager combination. I've never really thought about it.

And:

Me neither until recently when I got an 8 mm c-mount lens for my PC-164C
CCD cam an began some eyepiece projection video imaging.I definitely
remember *not*seeing this effect while shooting the moon a couple weeks
back when it was full.The cam is black and white,no color yet I notice a
difference in brightness between limbs while imaging the sun.

Yep,I went back to your pic you made of the eclipse.It definitely shows
a sliver thin whitish crescent on the left side of the sun and a thin
reddish crescent on the right hand side exactly like my videos{except
mine are B&W.}Weird. The PC164c has a lux rating of 0.003.

I now have M42,various open clusters and M5 and M3 and M13 on super
VHS.That is *real-time* mode,not astrophotography mode.If I can see a
star in my eyepiece of my 10 inch Newt I can put it on videotape.

If interested,type in PC-164c in a search engine and read some of the
field results from the lunar occultists{sounds spooky}.

It is an amazing little camera for the price,almost as good as Watecs
that cost twice as much.They are selling like hotcakes according to
Supercircuits.Now I know why it took so long to get mine.I took an old
barrel off a cheap Huygens ep,the c to c/s lens adapter that came with
my cam,and some fiberglas resin and made a t-adapter for prime focus
applications.Saved about 30 bucks.I also made a filter wheel out of that
resin that worked out just fine an hour ago while looking at Venus and
Jupiter and the crescent moon.

Any way,back to the original subject-I suspect it has to be the solar
filter,I do remember the instructions that came with my filter saying to
tilt the filter if you get ghost images;so maybe that is whats going on
here?
Thanks
-doug
Mike here: The Moon has no atmosphere so there is no limb darkening. The lines and other brightness changes on the solar eclipse photos are artifacts. The "ghosts" the instructions are referring to are probably due to reflections from the back side of the filter.

And finally:

Oh wait..I didn"t mean limb darkening on the moon.I meant differences
between nthe *limbs on the moon.That is ,any differences between the
left and right limbs as far as asymetric variations during full
moons.Now if my scope were miscollimated I would notice problems with
focus as far as limbs are concerned.Nope,moon looks super thru the
ETX.You did see what I was talking about concerning the eclipse pic?

It is a curious effect and yes most likely an artifact.I shall
experiment with my filter by tilting it at varying degrees next session
and see what happens.I have never noticed this while looking thru an
eyepiece.Oh,well,as long as those sunspots snap into focus.Shouldn"t the
sun have settled down by now?It just keeps going and going....

Thanks for the time and the quick responses.
Have you seen this link? http://distantsuns.com
Take care

Subject:	90 degree diagonal mirror
Sent:	Tuesday, June 11, 2002 18:23:56
From:	jwheat@hsno.com (Joe Wheat)
What type of 90 degree diagonal mirror do you use that attaches to the
rear port of the ETX and where do you purchase one?

Thanks,

Joe Wheat
Mike here: See the "Shutan Wide-Field Adapter" on the Accessory Reviews - Showcase Products page.
Subject:	Eclipse
Sent:	Tuesday, June 11, 2002 15:53:10
From:	tnjwilbur@yahoo.com (Ted Wilbur)
Nice eclipse shot!  I'm looking forward to seeing more.  Unfortunately
my location is too far east, didn't get to see anything before the Sun
went down.

Ted

Subject:	Party!!
Sent:	Monday, June 10, 2002 19:41:39
From:	golfing18@msn.com (Michael Knapp)
Just wanted to let you know that I mailed off "the form" and payment for
2 people today for the Star Party in October.

The rain and clouds actually broke long enough tonight to watch the
eclipse with the 90EC. The standard equiped 26mm eyepiece and the
"Identiview" solar filter from Scopetronix (I will follow up with a
review for your site) offered quite a nice view of the eclipse. Here in
St. Louis, it was about a 38% eclipse. I was able to see most of it
until a large cloud bank rolled in. The eclipse with the red setting sun
was very impressive. There were some whispy clouds that passed by on
occasion that actually enhanced the experience as well.

I hope to meet you in October.

Regards,

Mike Knapp

Subject:	Supercharging and other info
Sent:	Monday, June 10, 2002 4:47:17
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
A quick note to all -
Just a reminder that each July 10-31 I participate in an invited lecture
tour throughout the Midwest and midsouth states and will do so again
this year.  In addition, note that I will be participating in several
larger telescope fairs and star parties during late summer and fall,
including the early-October Mighty ETX Annual Star Party in Springfield,
IL. and several others.

A few notes about Supercharges and some projects/correspondence and
astronomy observing schedules with some of our members:

Those of you who have inquired about Supercharges are noted and you are
still right on schedule; those scopes coming in or those already
received will be tuned and shipped on schedule and prior to my departure
for your summer enjoyment!

For those who have appointments upon my return, please  remember to NOT
ship telescopes until the last week of July pending my return on August
1. However, feel free to contact me regarding my August-September
schedule at any time.

Many of the on-going ASO projects in public education and astronomical
observing to which some of you are participating in will NOT be affected
by this schedule.

I will be checking (and responding to) both e-mail sent directly to my
address as well as correspondence from this group; however, I do ask
that correspondents please NOT send large attachments as I will be on a
tight schedule and will have my ailing IBM ThinkPad  (whose motto is:
"....you want me to download WHAT!!??) with me only.

As usual, all direct correspondence will be answered personally and I
will certainly attempt to monitor the group and contribute when
possible!

Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatory
www.arksky.org

Subject:	Tripod carrying case
Sent:	Sunday, June 9, 2002 10:41:52
From:	jamesewilkins@earthlink.net (Jim Wilkins)
What do you use to carry your ETX-90 tripod when you travel?  I'm
thinking ahead to the star party.

Thanks,
Jim
Mike here: When I travel by car the tripod just goes into the trunk. When I went to Australia in 1999 I put the tripod into the large suitcase we used. I plan to do the same thing for this Fall's 2nd Annual Mighty ETX Star Party. I'm more worried about carrying on my ETX-90RA, its acessories, AND my PowerBook G4. But for tripod cases, see the Accessory Reviews - Cases page.
Subject:	Supercharge First Light
Sent:	Saturday, June 8, 2002 15:21:36
From:	teb1013@hotmail.com (Thomas Brown)
After several days of rain and overcast, I got a brief period of semi
clear sky at about 1:15 a.m. last night to give my newly supercharged
ETX 125 "first light."  So far the result has been excellent.  The stars
reach a much finer focus than before "Dr. Clay" did his magic with the
baffle tubes and the back scatter of light which had plagued me before
was nowhere to be seen.  Sadly conditions prevented me from looking even
at bright objects like The Ring Nebula or the bright galaxies M-81 and
82, but double stars looked great, the "double double" split easily even
with the 26mm Super Plossl, and, despite overcast, I got many tiny star
points in M-13 and even some in M-92.  As for the mechanical upgrade,
even the sound of the scope is much quiter and far less like a toy car. 
My align last night was a very quick one between clouds, but with High
precision, I got great results. Sure sorry that Jupiter and Saturn are
gone for the season [essentially] I'd love to see how the great clean up
which Clay did on my pollen stained optics works with those bright
objects.

For anyone questioning whether they should send their expensive
equipment to someone you've only "met" online, let me assure you, all
the comments are true.  Both the quality of the work and the personal
attention to the customer simply couldn't be beaten.  I sent my scope
out on May 21 from my home in Pennsylvania, Clay received it on May 24
and kept me advised in detail of every element of the service.   Dr.
Clay has far better "bedside manner" than many physicians!  The scope
was sent back on May 30 beautifully cleaned up with very detailed notes
on each element of the service, including the one defective element he
couldn't "treat" [badly worn connections in my Autostar, which have been
giving me problems for some time].  Also loaded in the Autostar [which
does work, but like an old clutch, you have to know how to push the
buttons just right] are great new tours, which I only had a chance to
glance at last night.  The scope was back home on June 4 [sadly the bad
weather kept me from using it until last night]. A fast turn around and
a very professional service.  I join the list of satisfied customers. 
Once I get better conditions I'll post more details on the revamped
scope.

Tom Brown

Subject:	The Space Shuttle?
Sent:	Saturday, June 8, 2002 15:12:03
From:	evil_feces@yahoo.com (Evan Allinger)
Do you think that we will be able to see the space shuttle that they
launched on thursday the 6th?
Mike here: You can see the both the Orbiter and the International Space Station in orbit with your naked eye. There have been reports of seeing them in the ETX (90mm I think). See the Heavens-Above web site (www.heavens-above.com) for visibility times and orbital parameters (for the Autostar). See the Autostar Information page for more info.
Subject:	The OIII Filter
Sent:	Friday, June 7, 2002 10:52:39
From:	plasmaknight@hotmail.com (N O V A)
Will the OIII filter help the ETX90?
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews - Filters page. My same comment as earlier applies due to the small aperture.

And:

The review just said that the results were great on the ETX. It never
specifies whether it was the 124 or 90. So I was just asking to make
sure.
Thanks!
Mike here: The review is from 1998. The only model that existed at that time was the 90mm.
Subject:	Meniscus lense
Sent:	Friday, June 7, 2002 9:40:24
From:	TeckDogg@aol.com
While unscrewing Meades plastic dew shield one evening I was surprised
to find that the whole front lense came off also with the dew shield.I
finally detached them and put all in order.My question is have I caused
any damage or miss alignment of the optics and is there anything(maybe
silicon spray on the grooves of the dew cap) I can do?.Thank you
Mike here: You are probably OK as long as you have it tightened down. Do a Star Test (see the Observational Guides/References page if you are unsure how to do one). If you hold the objective lens in place while unscrewing the dew cap you won't have this problem.
Subject:	The UHTC Coatings
Sent:	Thursday, June 6, 2002 14:38:26
From:	plasmaknight@hotmail.com (N O V A)
I see these new ETXs with the new UHTC coatings. Is there really a
noticeable difference between an ETX90 with the UHTC coating or without?

And I guess I won't be able to look at nebulae until I get a bigger
scope.
:(
Or get a 35mm Camera for long term astrophotography.
Mike here: I haven't looked through any telescope with the new coatings but Dr. Clay Sherrod has prepared a report on it. See the Meade Announcements page.
Subject:	etx and flipmirrors
Sent:	Thursday, June 6, 2002 10:10:53
From:	david-a-johnson@uiowa.edu (DAVID A JOHNSON)
I originally bought a Meade 644 flip mirror guider for my Meade 10"
Starfinder.  Is there any adaptor that will allow me to connect it to
the back of my ETX 90EC, instead of through the eyepiece port?

Any help on this matter would be appreciated.

Great Website!

David Johnson
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews - Miscellaneous page for some comments on the SCT Adapter. Or perhaps the Visual Back discussed on the Accessory Reviews - Showcase Products page. Either might be what you need.

And:

Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for!

Subject:	Problems? What problems!
Sent:	Thursday, June 6, 2002 4:29:32
From:	phill@arncliffe.freeserve.co.uk (Phill)
What a brilliant site! I don't think I've come across anything on the
web that even gets close. You have my sincere respect.

I bought an EXT90EC and Autostar last week after coming across your site
and spending hours reading the vast amount of information you have
amassed. Your site certainly helped me make up my mind.

Now to the scope....

Straight out of the box the only thing wrong with it was me. Meade's
manuals are not world class but most of the information is there. What I
didn't appreciate at first was that the things I was doing wrong were
actually covered by the help (?) system on the autostar handbox. After I
had sorted things out from the information gleaned from the MIGHTY SITE
I realised it was all there on the Autostar if you stopped long enough
to give it a chance.

Polar alignment, easy once you point the tube at the pole rather than
horizontally.

Can't get it to track planets? Press Enter, then Goto! Easy when you
know how.

So far there has only been one clear night here, well it is England,
what do you expect?  At 53N it doesn't get really dark until about 1am,
and by 2am it's getting lighter. I set the ETX up on a makeshift tripod,
ok I'll come clean, an adjustable work bench, carried out a two star
align, and that was it.

No fuss, Venus, Jupiter Vega, Altair all where they should be. In the
eyepiece every time. The reproducibility is excellent so I must have a
unit with good bearings and drives.

Time will tell how the equipment deteriorates but I have high hopes and
at least if things do go wrong I know what to do about it thanks to you.

It's an excellent scope and a fantastic site. Now, what can you do about
the weather!!! Yes it's raining again.

Regards

Phill  

Subject:	help on purchase of ETX
Sent:	Wednesday, June 5, 2002 13:43:19
From:	yachabac@anest1.anest.ufl.edu (Tammy Y Euliano)
I'm sorry to bother you with a question you've probably received a
million times, but I looked through your site and can't find the
answer...

I want to buy a telescope for my husband for Father's Day, for use with
our children (under 6 years at present).  The images will have to be
decent size for them to see them so I'm concerned about the ETX-70 (the
moon looked awfully small compared to the other scopes on your page with
comparisons). However almost $1K seems like a lot when there's a chance
no one will be interested (that's for the ETX-90 + autostar/side
scope/tripod)  We are blessed with the financial ability to buy either,
but is it worth 3x the price (the 70 comes with autostar and a tripod
for ~$300)?

Thanks for your help!!

Tammy Euliano, MD
Mike here: Choosing a telescope is like choosing a husband (or wife). You make your decision based upon a lot of factors and then you stick with it (or upgrade it...). But seriously, yes, objects will appear small in the ETX-70AT and larger in the ETX-90EC. The ETX-70AT makes a fine starter telescope and an excellent "wide field instrument" when used from a dark site. But if you are concerned about your family being disappointed with the views then go for the largest telescope you can avoid and that will ACTUALLY GET USED. Telescopes that are too large will tend to end up in the closet or garage because they are too cumbersome to set up at a moment's notice. The smaller telescopes get a lot of use because they are easiest to set up.
Subject:	supercharge
Sent:	Wednesday, June 5, 2002 11:11:35
From:	hawkboy@mind.net (Michael A. Hawk)
I have lurked on your site since my wife gave at ETX90EC to me for
Christmas 2000.  Your site is a wonder, my contribution is on the way.

I would like to take a brief minute to commend Dr Clay Sherrod for his
recent "Supercharge" of my scope.  It had no particular problem, I just
wanted it to be its best.

When I received it yesterday with the detailed report from Dr Clay, I
spent a few minutes studying the details of his work.  The long and
short of it is the supercharge is worth every penny.

Last night I took my ETX out for its first test drive since the update.
I am in southern Oregon so it doesn't even get dark enough to polar
align until 9:30.  When that was complete, I turned the power on and
went to "align" .   Autostar chose my first alignment star to be Vega
and the scope slewed smoothly to dead center!  That was a first for me.
The the second star - Rigel.  Nearly dead center.  It still was not very
dark, but I wanted to see Jupiter, which is just about gone from my
skies.  After a 180 degree slew - there it was, shining brightly and
well inside the field of view of my 32mm meade eyepiece.  A minor touch
up with my autostar control keypad and resynch kept it dead center for
10 minutes during which time I switched to my 13.7mm then to my 9mm and
finally to my 8-24 Meade zoom.  It is so wonderful to finally have the
time to be able to compare eyepiece/filter combinations.  I only had
about an hour's use of the scope since I go to work early so I decided
to conduct a final test of Dr Clay's work by selecting Polaris which is
a 300 degree slew from Jupiter.  When it came up in the field of view of
my 26mm Meade Super Plossl, my first thought was  "Dr Clay, you are the
man."

Thanks for much for your site and thanks to Dr. Clay Sherrod.  These are
the best two investments you can make in your ETX.

Michael Hawk
Williams, Oregon
And:
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
Thanks so much and YOU are welcome.  This is a very nice thing to do and
I am sure that the Mighty ETX site can put that contribution to great
use.

Your scope is a dandy and I trust it will give you years of astronomical
enjoyment and discovery.  May all your nights be as rewarding as the
first.

"Da man"
Clay

Subject:	Dr. Anyway SuperCharged ETX 125
Sent:	Wednesday, June 5, 2002 7:21:59
From:	Richard.Harris4@McKesson.com (Harris, Richard (SPG))
Hi there, you don't know me but I've talked to you on a few occasions..
Thanks for a great site - I'm sure you get that allot. Umm, btw if you
ever need any development help or "weight load" help, let me know I can
contribute to the site if you want.

Next, I've got a question for you.

I have just bought my first ETX125 scope -which has been "supercharged"
by Dr. Sherrod. Now - being someone that comes from a Nextstar and
larger SCT world, can you tell me what in the heck this is?

I'm buying the scope from a gentleman named Bill Wyatt -you may know of
him, he apparently posts in the ETX newsgroups often (though I can't
find which one). Anyway, he seems very honest and swears by this little
"supercharged" ETX -even when sitting next to a 8" LX200, and apparently
others have testified that the optics are pristine and it will out
perform many SCT's..

Any information you could give me about the "supercharging" would be
great.. Or advise on what to expect.. I'm gettin several add-on's to
this scope, and at a decent price.. Hopefully I won't be disapointed.

Richard Harris
Mike here: Supercharging is a service offered by Dr. Clay Sherrod that makes some improvements to telescopes. Many people have reported wonderful results from this tuneup. For full details see "ETX Tune-up Service" on my ETX Site home page.
Subject:	Filter
Sent:	Monday, June 3, 2002 15:56:48
From:	plasmaknight@hotmail.com (N O V A)
Would you suggest the Lumicon UHC filter as my first filter for the
ETX90/EC? I've heard a lot of good things about this filter and I was
wondering if I can achieve good results with this filter. Thanks.
Mike here: I suggest looking through the Accessory Reviews - Filters page. Nebula filters don't work too well on small aperture telescopes.
Subject:	H-alpha Solar Filter
Sent:	Monday, June 3, 2002 10:46:03
From:	bareketj@internet-zahav.net (Mr.Ido Bareket)
I would like to hear from users that had the chance to use or just snap
a look with the Coronado Instruments 40mm H-alpha Solar Filter with the
ETX90/125. Do you use this filter personally? I interested at this
filter but it's cost is very high and I would like to hear any honest
reviews and thoughts on it. Hope you can help.

Thank you very much for the assistance!
Ido.
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews - Filters page for one report. I'm still trying to get one myself; apparently they are on serious backorders.
Subject:	Your telescope on your webpage
Sent:	Sunday, June 2, 2002 18:47:03
From:	RCorralez@aol.com
Just what in heck is the big honking telescope you have on your webpage?
Sure looks like a beauty.

I want to start in sky gazing and I found your website and was looking
at an entry-level telescope that may progress into astrophotography.
Anyways, just wanted to know about your telescope
Mike here: Yep, it is a beauty. It is the Mighty ETX! Check out the eyepiece! You'll likely come to the conclusion that some digital editing has been done.
Subject:	Astronomy Link, Clear Sky Clock
Sent:	Sunday, June 2, 2002 18:02:35
From:	pst@ksu.edu (Paul St. Amand)
Dear ETXers:

Ever wish you could get a prediction of how good the "seeing" will be
tonight or tomorrow night? There is a site called the "Clear Sky Clock"
(http://cleardarksky.com/csk/) that has predictions for the US and
Canada.

The Canadian Meteorological Center produces computer weather simulations
every twelve hours. The output looks just like satellite pictures, but
the dates are for the future. The Clear Sky Clock site uses this
information to predict cloud cover, transparency, and seeing for many
locations. These predictions are specifically designed for astronomers.
I don't know how accurate the predictions are, but it must be better
than guessing! The "Clock" and "seeing" map for Wichita, KS today looks
like this:

Web photo
Web photo
Paul St. Amand

Subject:	Making ETX-60/70AT eyepieces parfocal
Sent:	Sunday, June 2, 2002 16:26:44
From:	aaronstein@shaw.ca (Aaron Stein)
For those of you who have been using O-rings to make your ETX-60/70AT
eyepieces parfocal, I have found an item that may prove to be a bit
better at ensuring a constant spacing between the eyepiece and eyepiece
holder on the MA-25 lens. Head down to Home Depot and pick up a couple
of nylon 1 1/4" poly slip joint washers (Master Plumber part #438A in
Canada). These are used to ensure a tight seal on 1 1/4" slip joint
connections on sink downpipes. Cost is about $1.00. It turns out that
the thickness of two of these washers is almost exactly the spacing
needed to make the eyepieces very nearly parfocal. In my case, a
half-turn is all that is required to focus between lenses.

To make this work, I first switched the barrels between the two
eyepieces (easy to do - they simply screw off), and then slipped the two
nylon washers onto the MA-25 barrel. Doing so ensures that there is
still plenty of barrel on the MA-25 even with the washers in place. The
result is that the two eyepieces are very close to parfocal.

(The only problem I have found with this technique is that the nylon
washers must be removed in order for the lens to fit in the eyepiece
case).

Subject:	Declination Lock Problem
Sent:	Saturday, June 1, 2002 22:53:51
From:	l.duanejr@worldnet.att.net (LAWRENCE DUANE JR)
I have sheared off the declination lock knob and the remaining piece of
the screw is flush inside the fork. Do you have any suggestions for
removing the screw? Can I drill and use an easy-out or should I send it
in for repair.
Thanks!

Larry
Mike here: You didn't say what model but you can contact Meade for a replacement of the Right Tube Adapter. The replacement is easy (at least for the ETX-90 model); see the bottom of this page for some info and photos: http://www.weasner.com/etx/90ec_comments.html

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