Last updated: 30 June 2003
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.

Subject:	ETX-125EC Solar Filter 
Sent:	Monday, June 30, 2003 13:11:48
Your site is awesome!  Here's a shot of me and my mighty ETX-125 on the
Central California Astronomical Society web page and an article I wrote
for the Vandenberg AFB Space and Missile Times.
(Keyword to: 

QUESTION:  What do recommend as a solar filter for my ETX-125??


Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews - Filters page for some reviews.

Subject:	polar alignment
Sent:	Monday, June 30, 2003 12:39:34
From: (thebostons)
I feel like I can manage with my ETX105 EC in the Alt Az mode using the
Auto Star. Now I want to learn how to "find thing the old fashioned
way", in the Polar Mode, using only the electronic controller. By
reading the manual I understand how to set up my scope for POLAR
ALIGNMENT. However, once I set it up what do I do with the "setting
circles"? If I want to, let's say, go to M12 then M7, or anything you
want to choose, what is the correct process? My RA circle has 2 sets of
numbers on it. Which am I concerned with? I'm sure these sound like
stupid questions to those familiar with telecopes but I just don't get
it and really want to.  I've read everything I can find but apparently
have hit on somehing that makes me understand.

Thanks for any help and your patience.
Mike here: See the article "Using Setting Circles" on the Observational Guides/References page.
Subject:	Re: Star atlas recomendations
Sent:	Sunday, June 29, 2003 18:44:23
From: (P. Clay Sherrod)
Hello Goran and congratulations on the telescope; also thanks for the
kind words.  I very much like the Wil Tirion Atlas 2000 or 2002 from Sky
Publishing company.  However, a good PC computer atlas would far greater
serve your needs and also allow automation of your LXD 55 mounting.  I
would suggest Starry Night Pro from www.starrynight.come or ; the program is something you will use every night out.

Enjoy and thanks for writing.

Dr. P. Clay Sherrod
Arkansas Sky Observatory
10 Observatory Hill Drive, Petit Jean
Harvard/MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard/MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)

----- Original Message -----
> In your excellent Constellations guides, which i just discovered
> (I am old hand at observing the sun but new at night time astronomy
> and the guides are just what I need to learn what to look at),
> you recommend getting a good atlas. As I have to buy unseen by
> post I would be grateful for a recommendation. The Petterson guide
> I will be getting at the same time. My telescope is a LDX55 10" S/N.
> Inspired by your article on planet observations with a Newton I have
> also started on my first mirror, a 10" f/8 which will not be ready
> in time for Mars in August.
> Sincerely yours
> Goran

Subject:	Viewing Problem
Sent:	Sunday, June 29, 2003 02:42:07
From: (hoss malek)
First of all let me thank you for your excellent site!! Now let me tell
you my story, and how i found your site. I just got my etx 90ec, and I
am having a viewing problem of sorts.  I see everything in reverse, for
example reading texts instead of being left to righ, they appear right
to left (flip horizontal image). The only thing I can think of was I
unscrewed the SP26mm eye piece, and took the lenses out for a look (dumb
idea), in any event i don't know if i dropped something doing this. I
put it all back (there were 2 lenses, and a ring in between), prior to
this event i didn't look through the telescope, my first run was after
the unscrewing event. Your input is grealy appreciated.
Thanks, Hoss
Mike here: The image reversal is normal and described in the manual in the terrestrial observation section.
Subject:	RE: ETX-90/EC. Front lens Dust Cap
Sent:	Saturday, June 28, 2003 08:09:06
From: (christopher)
Thanks for the very fast reply.

I had totally unscrewed the carrier before realising what I had done,
but I did not remove the lens from the lens carrier if that is what you
mean by "didn't actually remove the lens".

Thanks once again for your help.

Mike here: Totally unscrewing and removing the lens may or may not affect the collimation. If you replace it and tighten it as far as it goes you should be OK. Do a star test once the weather clears.
Subject:	ETX-90/EC. Front lens Dust Cap
Sent:	Saturday, June 28, 2003 07:53:35
From: (christopher)
I have just purchased and received an ETX-90/EC UHCT.

I have removed it from its packaging and assembled it on the tripod.

Whilst trying to unscrew the Dust Cap from the front lens the front lens
carrier unscrewed from the tube as opposed to the dust cap unscrewing
from the lens carrier. I retightened the carrier to the tube and got
some help with the removal of the dust cover.

It eventually took two people and a lot of elbow grease to undo the dust
cover from the lens carrier, but will my telescope now need to be
collimated?  Or should I return it to the dealer?

I have not had chance to do a star test or use the scope at all because
it has been full cloud cover for the last two days.


Mike here: As long as you didn't actually remove the lens you should be OK.
Subject:	Can you please add my link
Sent:	Friday, June 27, 2003 05:03:34
From: (Peter)
I have recently built a web site comprising of a forum and image
hosting.  The image hosting is free and have added a section for
astrophotography as I am myself interested in this subject.  I would be
very grateful if you could add a link to my website.

Image hosting is found by using the media gallery links.

Many thanks


Subject:	dead 125 etx or dead autostar?
Sent:	Thursday, June 26, 2003 15:57:30
From: (hbeng)
been a while since we last conversed, hope you are well.

My ETX-125-EC scope died last night. I turned it on as usual but instead
of the autostar beeping and the initialising etc, the autostar displayed
absolutely no signs of life but the scopes control panel red light was
on. I switched to another autostar from another scope and ditto.

Now previous to all this, I recently bought a 12V DC rechargeable
battery pack with a cigarette lighter socket that powers 12V appliances
and it is rated at 12V 12A. I had to put a meade plug on the end of it
to fit the etx and plugged it in to my scope and switched it on. Nothing
happened, and not even the red light on the control panel switched on. I
realised that the wires on the plug had to be reversed and I had the
wrong polarities. I did that and everything worked ok..the scope turned
on, initialised etc and did a 2 star alignment.

I have also used this battery pack on other Meade scopes and it works
fine. But now with the dead etx, the red light works on the control
panel but the autostar does not power up. I wonder if I have blown
anything and so looked in the base and everything looks ok. Any ideas on
the one?

thanks Nick B
Mike here: Have you wiggled the Autostar cable and checked that a good connection is being made? Do you have the standard handcontroller? If so, does it work? If not, I suspect a bad circuit board or jack.
Subject:	Motor Failure
Sent:	Tuesday, June 24, 2003 21:06:00
From: (Bruce Herrick)
I just purchased a new ETX-125EC (June 2003). I keep getting motor
failure errors and retraining does not help. In talking with Meade they
indicated that it was probably a motor encoder problem and send it back
for repairs. The expected wait was quoted as 3 weeks. Asked why the wait
was so long it boiled down to "get in line with everyone else needing
repairs". Frankly, I didn't pay $1000. for a new scope to get in a 3
week line. I have an old (20 years) C11 as well as a C90 so I am very
close to returning the unit to the supplier, who has tried to help but
had no pull with Meade to do any better, and telling Meade to take their
scope and arrogant customer service and shove it.
Mike here: Sorry you have had a problem. Could be encoders. Could also be batteries. Even "new" ones. Cheap batteries might not work too work. Let me know how it goes.
Subject:	22mm Panoptic with ETX-90
Sent:	Tuesday, June 24, 2003 05:51:01
From: (Dave Brockway)
I was wondering if ETX-90 owners have had any experience with the TV
22mm Panoptic eyepiece in their scopes.

First I would like to know if the eyepiece will fit the scope. The TV
22mm Panoptic fits both a 2" and 1 1/4" focuses, and as a result I did
not know if it would have enough clearance (because of the 2" outside
barrel) to fit the ETX scope.

If it will fit I would like to hear how the eyepiece performs with the
scope. I am trying to find a wide field low power eyepiece to use with
my EXT-90.

Thanks for your comments.

Dave Brockway
Olathe, KS
Mike here: I searched the Site for "Panoptic" and found several hits. You might want to look through those pages.
Subject:	ETX 90 EC, what a scope, anyone use it with a SACiv camera?
Sent:	Monday, June 23, 2003 20:52:11
From: (Tim Sheets)
I bought my ETX90/EC about 3 years ago.  Far and away the best hobby
related purchase Ive ever made.  Having said that, Im a bit beefed that
I paid $500 for the scope, $200 for the tripod and $200 for the
Autostar, and now they are selling it for $500 for everything.  But what
the hell, Ive had more than that much enjoyment out of it.

Anyway, Im itching to try something new with this little wonder.  Has
any of yall ever used a SAC IV camera  (or any SAC) for that matter,
with an ETX 90?

If so, Id love to hear about your pros and cons.  Thinking about getting
me one.  Cant beat the price!

Mike here: Check out the Helpful Information - Astrophotography and Accessory Reviews - Showcase Products for a lot more on the SAC imagers.
Subject:	ref. ETX question about Shutan Accessory Adapter
Sent:	Monday, June 23, 2003 18:47:30
From: (Ignacio Rodriguez)
In refe derence to John Ruthroff ( Friday, June 20, 2003 ) question about
the Shutan SC adapter:

I have that adapter and it does have threads on the outside.

It takes the meade 6.3 focal reducer and also some other things like the
Celestron Radial guider which I use for  guiding piggyback long exposure

I use it with my ETX-125.  The only important issue is balancing the
scope. The ETX can do short guided exposures ( 3-15 min ) if properly
balanced.  Is difficult compared to my LX10 SC8 but is doable.


Ignacio Rodrguez

Subject:	Dr. Clay's Book
Sent:	Monday, June 23, 2003 14:23:02
From: (lora)
Dr. Sherrod's Book

Dear Mike, Dr. Sherrod and readers:

I got my complete copy of Dr Sherrod's book "A compleye manual of
Amateur Astronomy" published by Dover Publications.

Dover (and Mr. Grafton) were very prompt in getting a copy to me with
all the right pages. This is a book I would recommend to any and all

The book is packed with usefull hints and tips and techniques to use

Chuck Lind

Subject:	If you hurry...26 comets
Sent:	Monday, June 23, 2003 06:42:27
From: (P. Clay Sherrod)
If you are able to access this early today, H41 (Petit Jean Mt. and its
resident astro-guy) has a RECORD 26 comets registered at Harvard this
morning ....

Not slouchy.....!!  But where's the Guiness Guy?
Arkansas Sky Observatory
Harvard/MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard/MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)

Subject:	Parfocal determination
Sent:	Monday, June 23, 2003 01:12:18
the 26 mm eyepiece delivered with the etx is shorter than the other
sp-eyepieces, so they are not homofocal. does anybody know how many mm
exactly? So I can fetch a ring that equals the length of the tubes. Im
thankful for any help.

best greetings from Hamburg, Germany
Mike here: I don't recall seeing any measurements but you can easily determine this yourself by insert each eyepiece and measuring how far you need to extend eyepieces to be parfocal.


of course I can do that (and have done). somewhere between 5 and 6 mm,
but thats not exact enough as I noticed by trying out - but this method
is not very exact. Was just an idea that maybe you know. I was searching
lots of sides on your very good page but was unable to find an answer.
If you hear let me know please.

Subject:	Alignmate
Sent:	Monday, June 23, 2003 02:14:01
From: (Pat O Donnell)
I use an Alignmate all the time.  I got it from BC&F Engineering here in
the UK.  It is very handy and useful for initial alignment and leveling,
but as recommended by Dr.Sherrod, I find that precise leveling needs to
be done with a simple spirit level placed along the tube.  Also, bear in
mind that the compass is rather small and adjustments for magnetic
declination from  magnetic north are really beyond the accuracy
available from the device.  Based on my experience, you should be able
to get something similar in the US for about half the price we pay here,
but I haven't a clue where that would be for you.  I have attached the
BC&F link below. They manufacture a variety of "aftermarket" accessories
for the Meade line and others might be interested in having a look.  Who
knows- it might stimulate someone on your side of the pond to set up a
business to do the same.



Subject:	Eyeglasses (was re: QUESTION ABOUT etx90)
Sent:	Sunday, June 22, 2003 14:08:57
From: (Kyle Barger)
For Jose M. --

I have an extreme case of nearsightedness.  My eyeglass prescription is
-12 in the left eye and -22.5 in the right eye.  Of my three viewing
options (contacts, glasses, or nothing) I find nothing is best with a
telescope.  I am able to focus my ETX-70 and ETX-90 just fine with my
left eye.  (The right eye is hopeless!)  The contacts give too much
glare in a situation where you've got a very bright object against a
very dark background.  Glasses are not as bad but I have to get the
glasses, eyepiece, and my eye lined up "just right" to get the best
view, and I find it's easier to just ditch the glasses.  However I do
wear my glasses when using binoculars... the binoculars I've used, even
ones with separate left & right focus, will not give you the same focus
range as a telescope, and certainly can't accommodate a large disparity
between the two eyes such as I have.  So don't give up on doing
naked-eye telescopic viewing just because you can't do it with

Subject:	etx125
Sent:	Saturday, June 21, 2003 17:47:15
From: (neo)
Mike here: Don't try using the CD quite yet. Learn the telescope and Autostar first. For alignment tips, see the Autostar Information page. But it helps to read the manual three times and practice setting up the telescope indoors before going outside in the dark.
Subject:	Barlow lens:#124 or #126 w/ETX-90EC
Sent:	Friday, June 20, 2003 21:32:36
From: (Rick J.)
I'm a begginer with a new ETX-90EC.(Love it but 48X isn't enough). The
dealer sells the #124 Barlow for $47 but the Meade tech-support guy I
talked to said the #126 is "higher end". Is the 124 good enough or
should I pony up 15 more dollars for the 126? Several online sites sell
a kit consisting of the #124 Barlow w/4mm and 6mm Plossels for $40.
Since I plan on buying the Super Plossel kit that Meade is now offering
for $99 to new buyers, those other kit eyepieces are irrelevant.

Mike here: Since you plan on buying the eyepiece kit you may not need a Barlow Lens. Since you would have a 12.4mm eyepiece, you would essentially have the same focal length as doubling the standard 26mm eyepiece. But if you still want to get a Barlow Lens, go with the #126 for the ETX-90.


Thanks for the advice, Mike. Your site is GREAT!


Subject:	Eyepiece Cleaning
Sent:	Saturday, June 21, 2003 03:50:42
From: (Webb Daniel B Capt USAFE/SCNOO)
I have a 6.7mm Meade Ultra Wide that needs serious cleaning.  Do you
perform this service?  If so, how much.
Mike here: No, I don't perform services. See the Cleaning Optics article on the Buyer/New User Tips page if you want to do it yourself (not difficult).
Subject:	ETX question about Shutan Accessory Adapter
Sent:	Friday, June 20, 2003 10:08:13
From: (John Ruthroff)
Looking at your site I saw mention of a device that threads on the back
of the ETX and allows use of 'regular' SCT accessories. Here's my
question...does this device have external threads that would allow one
to thread, say, a f6.3 reducer/corrector (such as the Meade and
Celestron units) on to the ETX?  I can't tell by the photo on your
website exactly what the thing looks like, and calling Shutan wasn't
much help.

I want to do some solar imaging using my ETX, and shooting with a Canon
D30. Problem is, using the usual ETX to T-Adaptor method, the sun's
image is squeezed so tight in the frame that it makes doing automated
imaging (i.e., the ETX tracks the sun while the camera shoots at
intervals) tough, since the slightest polar misalignment will drift the
sun out of the field very quickly. That's why I'm trying to use a
reducer/corrector on the ETX, to give me more wiggle room. If you can
think of another device or method I'd like to hear about it.

Thanks for the website, it's very informative.


Mike here: Yes, a focal reducer will help but will add weight and balance problems. I use the Shutan Wide Field Adapter for visual and afocal photographic work. Works fine to reduce the image size on the film. As to the SCT adapter, that review was written a long time ago and I have since misplaced that item since I couldn't use it. I don't recall any threads on the outside though.
Subject:	Confused by drawings and pictures
Sent:	Friday, June 20, 2003 04:32:14
From: (Pat O Donnell)
I wrote to you some time ago regarding the fact that some of the Meade
ETX 125 documentation appears to have the scope mounted backwards on the
tripod and you posted a warning notice accordingly.  Now I see that
Francis Faludi has stumbled on the same thing.  On closer inspection of
the documentation, however, I found that the real problem is that in
some pictures it is an ETX 90 type scope whilst in others it is an ETX
125.  Seems a surprising bit of inattention to detail to me and one that
Meade will hopefully (and helpfully) correct in the near future.

Best regards,

Pat O'Donnell
Mike here: Since the ETX-90 and ETX-125 are the same design, the telescope used doesn't matter when setting up the tripod.
Subject:	ETX 125EC
Sent:	Thursday, June 19, 2003 17:54:12
From: (christianitees)
Web site is great.
Do you recommend alt/atz or polar alignment and why?
Dave Garrison
Mike here: Which mounting mode you want depends somewhat on what you want to do. If you are going to try long duration astrophotography, you need to be polar mounted. But if not, then I recommend using Alt/Az; more stability, all of the sky is visible through the telescope, and it is easier to setup for new users.


Thank you for your quick response.

I am new to astronomy but I have always been interested in the sky and
everything in it.  I bought my ETX about 6 to 8 weeks ago and got
familiar with it, and then I found your web site and I discovered a gold
mine of information.  I still have questions about my telescope and I
appreciate any help I can get.  After reading all of your information I
have noticed that my instrument does some of the very things you talk
about.  I'm glad I know where to find a fix, and to know there is
someone at their computer that can help.

I watched a lunar eclipse here the last time the sky was almost devoid
of cloud and rain and got to see all of it.  Very interesting through a
telescope verses the naked eye.

The weather has been poor here in Alabama most of May and all of June
and with the thundershowers and rains every day makes it impossible to
do much learning and observing.

I am a technical type, almost 55 years old, and I dable in just about

Again thanks for your response.

Dave Garrison

Subject:	Do you know anything about the "Align Mate"
Sent:	Wednesday, June 18, 2003 20:32:40
From: (Kathy Sharpe)
Have you ever heard of a product that is a combination compass and
bubble level that fits into the ETX eyepiece holder?   They sell these
in the UK


but I haven't found a North American distributor/retailer.

I find that leveling my ETX90 is quite difficult and was hoping that
this product might be useful for this and for initial alignment to
magnetic north prior to polar alignment.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone that has seen/used this product
and in finding a retailer.

Mike here: Interesting. Neat idea. But first I've heard of it.
Subject:	Setting up polar alignment with field tri-pod
Sent:	Wednesday, June 18, 2003 12:34:44
From: (Harland Clark)
I have the 90RA telescope and was wondering how to polar align the
telescope with the field tri-pod?

I guess i'm asking is how to set it up and use the motor to track.
Please help
Mike here: See the article "Precise Portable Polar Alignment" on the Observational Guides/References page for a good technique.
Subject:	Confused by drawings and pictures...
Sent:	Tuesday, June 17, 2003 08:36:38
From: (Francis Faludi)
I have a VERY basic question. Which way (of two) do I mount the
ETX-105EC drive base on to a 883 tripod?

With the tripod leg that has "N" in the 12 o'clock positon from the
observer, and facing north, should the Computer Control Panel be on the
west side? I need to know this even before trying to get into the so
called "Home" position. 


Francis Faludi
Mike here: The N goes on the North side of the tripod and the ETX control panel on the West side.


Thanks for the quick response regarding my telescope mount question.

That's what I thought the answer is, in which case the pictures from
Meade are incorrect.

You have a helpful website there; I plan on using it while I come up to
speed getting used to observing the night sky once again. Haven't done
that for about 30 years. The technology (once you tamed it) has
certainly made things better.

Francis Faludi

Subject:	Foam inside main lens peeling?
Sent:	Monday, June 16, 2003 21:03:29
From: (Gregory R Krykewycz)
I have an ETX 90-EC, and I noticed this evening (while waiting for some
dew to disperse) that there's a ring of what looks like dark gray foam
directly inside/behind the main lens of the telescope.  On my telecope,
part of this ring looks like it's gone -- not sure where, but presumably
somewhere inside the scope.  I can't see that it's actually peeled away,
but it looks like the space where it's absent has some sort of internal
grease or residue there.  I don't know how long it's been like this --
haven't looked at the lens closely enough recently to have noticed it. 
The telecope operates fine, but I wanted to know what you thought of
this, and whether it's something I should have looked at by Meade.  I
can't find any reference of a similar thing happening to anyone else on
your site or in your book.

Mike here: I'm not certain what you are describing. Can you take a photograph of the problem and send it to me?
Thanks again for the reply. I'll try to send a photo later but all I
have is a cell phone camera. It's just inside/beneath the main lens, on
the inside of the tube, is what seems to be a very thin foam or fabric
ring or lining about 1/3" wide. This layer is missing on my scope for
about a fifth of its circumferance. Had the scope for about 4 years in
good care.
I'm attaching a photo to this email.  As I mentioned earlier, it's
fairly low quality since I took it with my phone camera, and it doesn't
actually show the gap in the foam, but it should illustrate what I'm
talking about.  Thanks very much.

Mike here: Now I see what you are referring to. Thanks. The felt lining reduces glare and obviously should be there. But replacing is not likely to be something you can or should attempt. If you are not experienced degraded views due to internal reflections then I wouldn't worry about it quite yet. However, if the corrector lens has become loose in its housing, then a call to Meade is definitely in order.


Nothing seems to be loose at the moment, so I supposed I'm okay for now.
Hopefully the remaining felt lining will hold up long enough that I
won't need service for awhile.

Subject:	ETX carry-on
Sent:	Monday, June 16, 2003 10:37:54
From:	Callan Swenson
Hello. I like your web site.

I was wondering if you've had any security problems with carrying your
ETX on board an airplane. I plan to do this for the first time this

Callan Swenson
Mike here: I have traveled several times with my ETX-90RA as carry-on. No problems but you should expect to have to unpack everything and perhaps remove covers to let the security person look down the tube.
Sent:	Monday, June 16, 2003 06:16:31
From:	Grafton, John
To: ('P. Clay Sherrod')
Dear Clay,

I replied to this message and sent you a copy.  I'm sure he just got an
odd copy which got turned around in the bindery--sometimes happens.  I
have copies right here which are fine and I'm sure the whole printing is

Best regards,


Subject:	Aloha
Sent:	Saturday, June 14, 2003 21:29:30
From:	annvaneps@Mobettah.Net (Annie & Joe)
Howzit and all the best to you and yours....

we are blessed with a home that is 20 miles away from town (and they
roll up the sidewalks at 10:00) on the east end of the Hawaiian island
of Molokai. The only lights pollution is the hotels on Maui, 8 miles
across the channel.We must be in a perfect location for a telescope and
have spent the last few days researching (wow...the plethora of
information is kind of mind boggling) and we decided to try for a Meade
ETX 70 as a beginning on ebay; it was a great deal with all kinds of
accessories but at 3 in the morning our time we were sniped with 12
seconds to go in the auction. So, we were thinking that since we believe
there are no mistakes, we should be looking for something a little
better. We will want to be doing terrestrial viewings as well...annie is
an paints whales among other things and
we are in the prime whale watching area...your site is fabulous and we
were wondering if you would be kind enough to advise a couple of humble
beginners. We were looking at the Meade 125 now and figured it would
make sense to ask for advice. If you have the time and desire, please
let us know where you think we should begin.....mahalo plenty!!! 

Joe and Annie
Mike here: You need to decide upon the priorities. If terrestrial viewing is going to primary, then the ETX-90 with an "erecting prism" might make a perfect "spotting scope" for you. You could use the Autostar's "landmark" feature to store the location of various landmarks. If you really want to get into observing the sky, the ETX-105 or -125 might be a better choice for you given the darkness of your skies. The ETX-90 is more portable but that doesn't sound like portability is going to be a concern. Look through the User Observations page to get a good cross-section of reports.


Happy Fathers Day and thanks for the prompt and informative response....
all the best to you and yours.....joe and annie

Subject:	Digibattery
Sent:	Saturday, June 14, 2003 05:32:59
From: (Nick Allen)
Just to inform you we have a new resource at - it's
a battery charging time calculator with guidance on charging. It also
has links to our battery / charger FAQs pages at our main site .

Kind regards

Nick Allen



Subject:	ETX 125 question
Sent:	Friday, June 13, 2003 17:26:26
I have an ETX 125 and I have a newby question...  Must I use Autostar in
order to turn on the tracking motors?  I like using the baby controller
that comes with the ETX but I am getting mighty tired of recentering my
objects.  What must I do?

Cheers - Paul
Mike here: The standard handcontroller can be used to slew the telescope but for the telescope to track in Right Ascension, the telescope must be mounted equatorially (also, called Polar). If the telescope is mounted in Alt/Az mode it is necessary to run both the altitude and azimuth drives to compensate for the Earth's rotation. This is one of the things that the Autostar does for you.


Wow, talk about a quick response!  Thanks for the explanation, If I
understood right the ETX will track with the standard controler IF I do
a polar alignment first?
Mike here: That's correct, if you are polar mounted.
Subject:	re:   Using an ETX-XXX without the Autostar
Sent:	Friday, June 13, 2003 09:54:15
From: (Richard Seymour)
To second Mike's comment: i use the ETX90's 8 internal AA batteries
whenever i am "in the field" with it.  
At home i use an AC adapter.
I -do- use a JumpStart battery for my LX200gps, but my ETX90ec and
Autostar does deliver an honest 20 hours of use on a set of AA cells.

I have also used the ETX90ec without -any- power, by -loosely- clamping
the RA and Dec... just enough so it doesn't droop, but loose enough
to allow me to push it a bit.

have fun

Subject:	RE: RE: ETX125
Sent:	Friday, June 13, 2003 08:18:32
From: (Stefan Tryggvason)
The problem is simply one of size. The 2" option on the 8.8mm UWA Meade
lens prevents the lens from descensing fully onto the 1.25" mount since
the 2" mount catches on the ETX main body. If you see the 8.8 UWA you
will see what I mean. It works OK but the 2" mount ring rests on the ETX

Best Regards
Mike here: Now I understand your point. Yes, it will "ride high" on the ETX and not fully enter the eyepiece hole.
Subject:	Filter frequencies
Sent:	Friday, June 13, 2003 08:12:42
From: (lora)
Subject: Filter Frequencies/Dr. Clay's Book 

Mike and Readers: I asked what some of the popular filter frequencies
were and found an answer in Dr.Clay's new book: "A complete manuel of
amateur astronomy"

Great book, just one small problem: My copy has duplicate chapters and
is missing pages 81-128.

I contacted Dover Publications and they are sending out a new complete

Chuck Lind

Subject:	Power Cord
Sent:	Friday, June 13, 2003 05:01:34
From: (Thomas Brown)
I use the Meade power cord to power my ETX 125 from a power pack
rechargable battery.  Unfortunately every time I bump the cord or the
Autostar cord comes in contact with the power cord, the power
disconnects [the most minute tap on the connector is enough to do this]
and I have to completely reboot and realign everything.  This has been
getting worse recently, despite great care to avoid the cord.  Clearly I
need a replacement.  Is there a replacement cord which will work,
available from Radio Shack or some other source, rather than the Meade?

Thanks for your assistance.

Mike here: Yes, you can get a plug-compatible cord from Radio Shack. Just take the cord to them and they can match it.
Subject:	Limiting  magnitude
Sent:	Friday, June 13, 2003 01:38:16
From: (Martin Lewicki)
Just a comment on the point that Jose and Drusilla raised on the
limiting magnitude question. Couple of weeks ago for the first time I
tried for Proxima Centauri at mag 11.2 with the ETX90-EC. Having
positively identified the correct field (star-hopping mind you) I could
see stars to mag 10.2 but no Proxima, which I assessed as beyond the
limit for my light polluted urban observing site. Then I changed
eyepieces from 26mmSPL to 12.7mmSPL. There it was - just! Could detect
it positively with averted vision only.

A well-known optical rule states that sky background darkens with higher
magnifications while stars remain the same brightness. It is this
increasing contrast difference that allows the faintest stars to "break
through" at higher magnifications. I have notice this same rule applies
to objects like globular clusters. At 48X (26mm) Omega Centauri is
mostly a blob with only the faintest hint of its stellar nature. Crank
up the magnification to 100x (12.4mm) or 129x (9.7mm) it resolves into
the ball of stars that we all know and admire here down under :-)

Theoretically, the limiting magnitude for a 90mm aperture is 11.5. I
detected Proxima therefore with only with 0.3 magnitudes to spare! I
observe in a city of 1 million people with light pollution trimming
naked eye magnitude limit to 4.7 at my site. The night of my observation
at Proxima's altitude of 61 deg the seeing was almost perfect with a
steady airy disk and ring around the star images. Transparency was good
though not excellent. The ETX90 does *not* have UHTC.

Martin Lewicki

Subject:	star magnitude scales
Sent:	Thursday, June 12, 2003 11:37:27
From: (Rua, Jose (DHS))
My wife and I are in the process of trying to become better stargazers. 
We brought your book regarding the etx and it has thus been quit
helpful.  We have tried to use your telescope limiting magnitude
determination chart on page 136 but some of the magnitude # 's are not
clear.  Can you refer us to some source so that we can get those numbers
or some other chart where we might be able test our visual acuity and
the scope's apparent limiting magnitude?

Also, we tested our scope, etx125 for resolution via Fred Price's: The
Planet Observer's Handbook, 2nd Ed.  In that book our scope met the
criteria for the resolution for a 6 to 8 inch scope.  Is it
possible/typical in your experience for these scopes to apparently have
the resolution of a larger scope?

Thanks for your help.
Jose and Drusilla Rua
Mike here: Thanks! The same chart is available in the article "Limiting Magnitude Charts" on the Observational Guides/References page. Click on the image for a full size view. The ETX optics can perform "Mightily".
Subject:	Supercharge by Clay Sherod
Sent:	Wednesday, June 11, 2003 08:56:04
From: (Chavez, Steven A)
Do you think the supercharge is worth the investment. I have a brand new
105 and am considering having one done but am concerned that alot of
modifications have to be done to make it work right, it seems like Meade
should take care of all of this.  I haven't had any problems because
I've only used it manually so far. Thanks for your advice.
Mike here: There are many user reports online that attest to the value of Dr. Clay's Supercharge service.
Subject:	Date format
Sent:	Tuesday, June 10, 2003 22:38:24
From: (Martin Lewicki)
Was wondering if you would consider adopting the international date
format (IS 8601) for date stamping the updates on your site. We non-US
citizens of earth still have to unscramble the date to the correct day
and month as we sweep down the links. This is a wee bit mentally tedious
to have to do it all the time. Time dependent institutions and
*astronomers* have been using international date format now for

2003 June 11

Martin Lewicki
Mike here: Thanks for the suggestion. We'll see.
Subject:	ETX125
Sent:	Tuesday, June 10, 2003 21:06:22
From: (Stefan Tryggvason)
I purchased an 8.8mm UWA Meade eyepeice for my ETX125.

It is a great lens and the eye relief makes viewing easy.

I have one question however, since it has a dual sized mount, it will
not fit completely on the ETX eyepeice mount and the wider 2" mount of
the lens catches on the body of the ETX125. All seems to work fine but
is the correct and OK.

Stefan (Dubai)
Mike here: I'm confused. Are you saying you purchased a 2" eyepiece instead of a 1.25" eyepiece?


Thanks for the response Mike, the 8.8mm UWA Meade is dual size, it is
1.25" which connects to my eyepeice connector but it also has a 2"
connector surrounding the 1.25", it is a standard Meade eyepeice.

It works fine but the 2" connector catches on the body of the ETX125 so
the lens does not fit fully on to the connector as does a 1.25"
eyepeice. Hope that is clear, it is sold as being for both sizes so I
thought others may have commented.

Any thoughts on this?
Mike here: So you mean the setscrew on the side of the eyepiece hole on the ETX doesn't tighten up against the eyepiece tube?
Subject:	Re: Deadish ETX 90EC
Sent:	Tuesday, June 10, 2003 09:26:30
From: (Phill Powell)
Hi Mike, thanks for your reply,

The power on LED works but nothing else, nothing on either handset, nor
any sort of jittering from the drives. I've checked the pins and they
sem ok.

I tuned up the drives about 9 months ago, so I am going to take the RA
drive out and have a look at the power board for any obvious damage.

Course with CMOS I wont be able to tell if the chip is blown but if
there are any damaged tracks or caps I should be able to see.

Don't really want to send it back to meade if I can help it, getting it
fixed over here in the UK sounds pricey according to my dealer.

I think he wants me to upgrade and use the 90 as a guider :~((

Again, thanks for your help. I'll let you know how I get on.


Subject:	Using an ETX-XXX without the Autostar
Sent:	Monday, June 9, 2003 17:52:48
From: (Schlatter)
Sort of a dumb question -- but -- how do I use my ETX-90 without the
Autostar?  I have just sold my house and moved into an apartment.  The
end of the parking lot disappears into a field surrounded by trees -- I
have scouted it and it's a good viewing location, trees shield the field
from streetlights, although a tall tree blocks the view in one
direction.  There is no power out there and I really don't want to haul
along a big battery, etc. just for a short observing period.

If I want to use my ETX-90 without the Autostar -- how do I do it?  Is
it as simple as loosening the RA and decl locking knobs then tightening
them to hold the scope in place once I find what I'm looking for?

Of course, when I go back to the Autostar I would need to orient the
scope, calibrate, then align as usual.


Joe Schlatter
Mike here: Well, yes, it can be that simple. But your ETX-90 will accept "small batteries" so there is no need to take a large battery pack with you. If you have the standard handcontroller you can use that to slew around; if you have polar mounted the ETX then it will compensate for the Earth's rotation. You can do the same thing with the Autostar but doing the alignment will only take a minute or two once you get the process down. By the way, there is no need to CALIBRATE every time.
Subject:	Problem with photo port
Sent:	Monday, June 9, 2003 12:29:52
From: (kent jonsson)
Just got my etx 105. I like it very much so far. The only problem is
that the metalic ring at the photo port was lose. So even when I use the
erecting prism, its very unstable.

So its impossible to use a camera wich will be to heavy. Any Idea how to
solv this problem??
Mike here: This occasionally comes up. See Dr. Clay Sherrod's response on the Dec 2001 ETX-125EC Feedback (). It's the 5 December email from RotunnoRon.
Sent:	Monday, June 9, 2003 08:00:17
From: (Stout, Jim)
An FYI for you:

I just sent the below to Meade in the hope that they will match
Celestron's new blanket warranty effective 1/1/2003

Please pass this on to Meade Senior Management including the CEO and
Founder !!!!!

Does Meade plan on matching the 2 year warranty on all telescopes and
accessories that was just announced by Celestron?

(effective as of 1/1/2003)

If yes, that is great.  If no, what does that say about Meade quality
and Craftsmanship.

Enough said !!!!

Jim Stout,    Villanova,  PA.    Owner of a new Meade 7 inch LX200GPS
with UHTC that has only a one year warranty !!!

P.S.  This is the only way I can communicate with Meade at a higher
level, because I have to wait too long to speak with someone in 
Customer service !!!!!
Mike here: How did you send it to Meade?

I sent it to the Meade Engineer e-mail address that is valid. It is
available for Meade customers to submit recommendations for improving
Meade products so they will remain competitive. I have used it before
and received a reply from Meade Engineers. I asked them to pass the info
along to senior Meade management in the hope that they will respond to
Celestron's new competitive challenge to offer a longer warranty period
on all of their products across the board. By the way, I still have my
ETX125 that I purchased in September 2001 (received it just before
9/11). I also made a contribution to your excellent web site in December
of 2001. Keep up the good work with your ETX site. Also, do you know if
there is a site that addresses issues with Meade LX200GPS scopes? 
Thanks,   Jim Stout
Mike here: There are Yahoo Groups about the LX200GPS and there is
Subject:	Hi there
Sent:	Sunday, June 8, 2003 22:36:10
From: (Adrian Sherwin)
Hi. I have just recieved a ETX - 105EC for my bithday and was wondering
if you could explain the difference between this scope and normal large
ones. I fail to see how a telescope so small can out perform the larger
Telescopes. It has been too cloudy here for me to look at the stars yet,
which I am itching to do. I live in ADELAIDE South Australia Australia
so I will be seing the Southern Skys. How good is the 105. 

Adrian Sherwin
Mike here: Well, any small telescope will not actually perform like a much larger telescope in terms of light gathering power. This means that more details and fainter objects will be seen in larger telescopes. However, for the price and size, the ETX line does do an admirable job in letting you view many objects. Take a look at the User Observations page for some reports from ETX-105EC users.
Subject:	Thank you
Sent:	Sunday, June 8, 2003 20:41:24
I wanted to thank you very much for your dedication to helping folks,
and for your really excellent website.

I've been considering purchasing an ETX for a couple years. After
several days of indepth research at your site, I made the decision.

Since I'm a total novice at this, I feel I probably avoided some
complications I might otherwise not have anticipated, and have a fair
idea of the unpack-and- setup pitfalls.

Ended up with ETX-125EC UHTC and the current Meade deal (tripod and
autostar and $99 lens set)from the Discovery Channel Store, the
Scopetronix Flexfocus cable (instead of the power focuser)and AC power
adapter as a starter. I'll probably add the photo capability and other
things later.

Oh, I also purchased your book from Amazon, new of course. With a Sept
scope delivery, I should have time to read it thoroughly before I open
the scope box.

Thanks again - can't tell you much your site helped me. Very much

Take care.

Chris Nutter

Subject:	Re: SBAC
Sent:	Sunday, June 8, 2003 19:43:12
Well, actually I don't care much about magnifaction, but I do want a
sharp image.  How good a scope is the ETX 70?

Mike here: See the article "Weasner Experiences the ETX-70AT!" linked from the top of the ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback page.
Subject:	Laser
Sent:	Sunday, June 8, 2003 16:15:38
From: (Don Hess)
Forgot that I meant to ask you about lasers. I've seen (like last year
at the star party) people using green lasers attached somehow to their
scopes as pointers. I'm finding 5mW laser pointers (green) for about 100
bucks that say they go 10,000 feet at night. They claim that's the most
powerful available to the public. Any thoughts on all of it?

Don Hess
Mike here: They are useful for pointing out things in the sky. But still pretty expensive.
Subject:	Mighty ETX sky party?
Sent:	Sunday, June 8, 2003 16:10:46
From: (Don Hess)
Long time no e-mail. Wondering if you have an idea for location and date
for the ETX sky party this year- east coast this time? We got an
invitation to the Springfield, Illinois sky party in September, but
wanted to see if you had the ETX plans lined up yet. look forward to
hearing from you, and we're hoping to attend again, regardless of

Don Hess
Mike here: Not quite ready to announce a date and location but close. Discussions underway.
Subject:	filters
Sent:	Sunday, June 8, 2003 05:31:56
From: (lora)
Mike and readers of this fantastic website:

I'm curious.  Does anyone know the frequencies of
some of the Wratten Filters?
Like #12, #21, #23a, #58, and 80a  ?

Chuck Lind
Mike here: Sorry, no. But check out the Orion Telescopes and Binoculars Learning Center and search for filter. You will find a lot of information there.
Subject:	solar filter full vs. partial aperture
Sent:	Saturday, June 7, 2003 21:37:23
I recently traded in my ETX-125 for a 10" LX200GPS  so I had to sell all
of my ETX accessories and start over with all new stuff.   I'm looking
at a solar filter but don't know which is better- the full aperature
(Identiview) or the partial aperture (Thousand Oaks Optical) type.   Are
there any obvious advantages to either one in the 10" size?  I think the
partial aperture would be more durable because of the smaller piece of
glass up front.

Thanks for your help
Mike here: Besides the obvious cost difference, the full aperture will allow maximum resolution. That may or may not be a consideration depending upon your daytime seeing conditions. Stopping down the aperture is perfectly acceptable, resulting in a higher f/ ratio.


Thanks for the reply.  So if money is not a consideration the full
aperature sounds like the way to go (for mostly visual use).  The reason
I was a little confused is because the Thousand Oaks Optical webpage
suggests the partial aperature filter for over 8" scopes.
Mike here: It is a cost and manufacturing factor. Also, as I noted, unless you have really excellent daytime seeing, using the full aperture may not be that useful due to atmospheric (ours, not the Sun) turbulence.
Subject:	SBAC
Sent:	Saturday, June 7, 2003 18:41:47
I went to my first SBAC meeting at El Camino College recently.  I shared
my interest in buying an affordable scope that could do both
astronomical and terrestial duty.  The second I mentioned the ETX scopes
they recommended I contact you.  I like the 90 but I don't have $500 to
blow at the moment.  Can you give me any advice?  I am more interested
in good optics and a wide field of view than anything else.  Super
powerful scopes are nice for some, but that is not really my thing.  I
am interested in the ETX scopes and basic refractors.  COSTCO has a
NexStar 114 GT for $159 (with coupon) and that is one of those compact
reflectors, but I don't know how good it is, or how practical it is for
terrestial use.


John Newell
Mike here: I have no experience with the NexStar 114GT. But I do have experience with the ETX-70AT. It is a wide field, short focal length refractor. From your email, it sounds like it might be what you are looking for. Check out the ETX-70AT reports on the ETX Site; mine are linked from the top of the current ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback page and other user reports are on the User Observations page.


Thanks.  I am thinking along the lines of a refractor.  I tried a short
refractor at Paul's Photo and I was not impressed.  Does the focal
length factor into quality of the picture or is it strictly a matter of
optics quality?
Mike here: Both. Short focal length refractors won't allow much image magnification.
Subject:	Street lights
Sent:	Saturday, June 7, 2003 11:00:04
From: (Sam Nothman)
I wonder if you can help me. I live near a street light that interferes
with my night viewing. I had read an article somewhere  about someone
using a laser to trick the photocell to thinking it was day and thus
turning off the street light for a few hours while using their
telescope. Have you ever heard of this and if so where I could find some
information about it?

Thank you ,

Sam Nothman
Mike here: Yes, some people have apparently been successful at it. However, safer and more civic-minded solutions are available on the International Dark-Sky Association web site (


Thank you for the info as I will try to properly resolve this matter
using the information from the Dark Sky Association web site.

Subject:	"Complete Manual of Amateur Astronomy...."
Sent:	Friday, June 6, 2003 17:42:41
From: (P. Clay Sherrod)
For those of you who have been asking (and I think I owe some folks a
copy already....) my book "A Complete Manual of Amateur Astronomy" by
Dover Publications is now out for distribution and is included in the
new Dover catalog for summer 2003:

( )

The book provides chapters devoted to specific areas of study that
amateur astronomers can provide real scientific output with their
telescopes and equipment, from comets, Mars, Jupiter to cataclysmic
stars and novae searches and meteor showers.

Hope you enjoy it....!
Dr. P. Clay Sherrod
Arkansas Sky Observatory
Harvard/MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard/MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Mike here: Congrats to Dr. Clay!
Subject:	ETX 125 EC
Sent:	Friday, June 6, 2003 14:39:49
From: (Shai Ronen)
My name is Guy. I am from Israel. 
I recently bought an ETX 125 EC meade telescope, and i have a question
to ask. i am looking online for it's manual and i can't find it
anywhere. i lost and i really need a new one. is it possible to download
it online from some place?
thanx for your time!
Mike here: See the FAQ page.
Subject:	Deadish ETX 90EC
Sent:	Friday, June 6, 2003 12:34:14
From: (Phill Powell)
Sorry about this email but I'm getting ready to pitch the ETX 90 and
this PC out of the window.

I'm sure I've seen posts about this problem over the last year or so,
but I just ca't seem to find them now. About a year ago I was telling
you how well my 90EC worked straight out of the box. Up until last
weekend it still did. When I turned it on the only sign of life was the
red led by the switch. Nothing from the Autostar, nor from the standard
terrestrial handset either.

I have always run the scope from a 12v gel battery or from a 12volt
adapter. neither has seemed to give any problem at all. The last time
the scope worked was on the mains adapter and that was what I started it
on when it failed. I am sure I couldn't have reversed the polarity,
because I use this supply only for the scope and the plug is soldered

I've checked the power supply and battery and they are both able to give
a good voltage even under load.

Are there any articles you can suggest that might help me sort the
problem, because as is always the case, she's just gone out of


Mike here: Doesn't sound good. If neither controller works it sounds like a problem with either the control panel jack, the panel itself, or power to the drives. Question: with the standard controller, when you change the slewing speed, do the LEDs light up? One thing you might check is the controller cable jack on the control panel; be certain its pins are not depressed to where they don't make contact with the connector on the cable.
Subject:	ETX for bieginners
Sent:	Friday, June 6, 2003 00:38:43
From: (Michael Kutzner)
If I want to get a ETX telescope which one would you perfer the 90ec or
the 125ec?  I know you started with tthe 90ec, but if you started
over would you have gotten the 125ec with UHTC?  Never had a scope


Mike here: Actually, I started with the original ETX, now known as the ETX-90RA. Which telescope is right for you depends upon what you want to do with it. Do you need portability more than aperture?


Isn't the 125ec Portable?  I live near the shore and the sky  at nite
you see more stars than I did when I lived in the city.  I want to look
at the stars and planets. I only want to go from the house to outside on
the lawn. But not sure which is better the ETX-90ec, or ETX-125ec.  Are
they made all plastic. I heard that the ETX-105ec has a aluminum fork
and both 105/125 have ball bearings instead of nylon that are use on the
Etx-90ec.  If you were starting over which model would you get.  it's
about $500 difference between the 90ec and the 125ec. If I get one might
consider of getting the UHTC coating.

Thanks for your time.
Mike here: Yes, the ETX-125EC is portable, just not as portable as the ETX-90. I have traveled with the ETX-90RA in a backpack. Can't do that with the ETX-125EC (well, you could but not as comfortably!). Yes, you will see more details with the larger aperture and longer focal length telescope so that extreme portability is not a concern, go for the ETX-125AT. [Notice that I've switched to the "AT" designation. The current Meade ads now show AT models instead of EC models since the Autostar is now standard equipment. And yes, I recommend UHTC.
Subject:	Focus Shaft Fix
Sent:	Thursday, June 5, 2003 19:08:38
I did it too.  First thing I did was to my new ETX90 was to add a
flexible cable to my focus (DANGER ... WILL ROBINSON!).  While turning
the focus on my brand new (1st time used) ETX90 the flexible cable came
off and sure enough, the shaft was in the telescope.  I spent an hour to
figure out that I could put one index finger down the top ocular opening
and one into the photo opening and gently push the shaft back out of the
hole.  Once I got the tip of the shaft out, I grabbed it with tweezers
and then turned it counter clockwise to get it to work again.  I
immediately put the original knob back on until I can come up with a
better focus extender!

Mike here: The solution to avoiding the problem when removing the focus knob is to tilt the aperture end of the OTA about 45 degrees upward before starting the process. Then you can safely remove the knob and add a focus cable. Just keep the OTA pointed upwards until you have the cable secured in place.
Subject:	etx90ec with uhtc coatings?
Sent:	Wednesday, June 4, 2003 19:09:29
From: (Alex Shih)
I just bought an etc90ex with uhtc coatings, but how do i tell it has
the coating?

Mike here: The exterior shipping box should have it indicated. Also, check under the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) for a label.
Subject:	UHTC, limiting magnitude
Sent:	Wednesday, June 4, 2003 16:28:31
From: (Rua, Jose (DHS))
The limiting stellar visual magnitude is reported as approximately 12.5
by the Meade literature for the ETX125.  How do you think a scope with
UHTC will affect this?  We have gotten contradictory info about this. 
Can you advice?
Jose and Drusilla Rua 
Mike here: The "spec" limiting magnitude is a factor of the aperture diameter, not the seeing conditions or capabilities of the telescope system. The coatings can only help you reach this limit under ideal conditions.


Thanks for your prompt response to our questions.  We are going to check
out the binocular info.
Happy skies.

Jose and Drusilla

Subject:	etx and binocular adapters
Sent:	Wednesday, June 4, 2003 14:01:39
From: (Rua, Jose (DHS))
What do you think, what have you heard about using one of the "binocular
view" adapters for a small telescope such as the ETX 125?
Jose and Drusilla Rua
Mike here: There is a review of one on the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page.
Subject:	microfibre cleaning cloth
Sent:	Tuesday, June 3, 2003 11:43:28
From: (Mark Hampton)
I have a ETX-90RA and have used a microfibre cleaning cloth (I think it
was by Pentax)to clean the optics of my eyepieces.    My corrector lens
has a lot of dirt and stuff on it.   Do you think using the cleaning
cloth will be ok, I think it would but I want another opinion.

Thanks,   Mark
Mike here: See the "Cleaning Optics" article on the Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject:	first time use
Sent:	Monday, June 2, 2003 17:27:51
From: (Vic Judi Vreeland)
welllllllllllllll I did it.  The first time I tried to use my etx 125, I
screwed it up.  I purchased a focus extender and during the
installation, I managed to disengage the focus mechanism - am I going to
have to send the scope to Meade????  It was my fault - I screwed it in
to far and now it just free wheels
Another screw up to add to your collection 
vic vreeland
Mike here: Oops. See the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, contact Meade.


Thanks - Ill sure check it out -
You are the man
I hope I can pull it off - built a TV set once, that actually worked -
Gonna have to read this two or three times
Does the end of the shaft have threads that screw into the "gray" block
Mike here: Not sure myself since I haven't had to do that disassembly. Check the article "Doc Greiner's ETX Info page" on the Telescope Tech Tips page for more photos.


Oh well - can't get the tube out of the forks - it appears that there is
more holding the tube to the forks than those four set screws - No way
to spread those forks without breaking them - and it appears that
removing the four set screws has nothing to do with removing the scope
from the forks......- Who ever gave you the removal plans left something
out...... Guess I am sunk - Probably will cost a $100 bill for my screw
cheers and thanks
vic vreeland
OH I checked Docs web site and it only shows the tube out of the forks -
not much on getting to that point
Mike here: Once you have removed the four screws you must spread the fork arms outward away from the OTA to allow the tube to slide rearward out of the fork. There is a small tab on each side that will pop to release the OTA.

And lastly:

Just put all the screws back and called Meade - $75.00 to fix including
shipping.  I feel like a dumb ass....but I broke it.  Perhaps they will
beef up the mechanism or at least put a stop on it so it can't be
screwed loose from the mirror block - Now get this, I have not used this
scope yet and I am going to have to spend $100 to get it fixed.....

Perhaps the info on the focus fix on your page is for the etx90 because
there is no way that fork will spread far enough to clear those bearing
shafts and the removal of the four set screws has nothing to do with
unhooking the tube from the it might have something to do
with removing the back plate - but I didn't get that far
Mike here: Sorry about that. Yes, the instructions are for the ETX-90; perhaps it is more difficult with the ETX-125.
Subject:	uv filter for front of etx 90 ota, query
Sent:	Monday, June 2, 2003 09:30:07
From: (Jay Moynihan)
I am using an ETX 90 ota as a spotting scope. I would like to put a UV
filter on the front end to protect the front element. Any idea what
photographic filter size it takes?


Jay Moynihan

P. O. Box 253
Ashland, WI 54806  U.S.A.
Mike here: Larger than you can afford most likely. There really isn't a UV filter for telescope apertures like there is for camera lens.
Subject:	ETX-125
Sent:	Monday, June 2, 2003 08:07:28
From: (William Kooney)
First off fantastic website. You are the reason I purchased an ETX-60
years ago; I have upgraded to an ETX-125 that I am waiting to be
delivered. I have a question on CCD's. I keep getting the cold shoulder
on hooking up anything to the 125 for photography?

Would you be able to offer any advise for lets say the ETX-125, Deluxe
tripod mounted solid with the basic 201xt CCD? I am not going for
textbook photos; just beginning ones. (I knew I should have gotten the

I have a great advantage living 50 miles out of New York in pitch black
skies, the only problem is getting a clear night.

Thank you

William R Kooney
Mike here: f you want to try out astrophotography, see the Helpful Information --> Astrophotography page. Lots of info there on different types before jumping into real CCD imaging.
Subject:	RE: ETX 105 loose screw
Sent:	Sunday, June 1, 2003 19:47:48
From: (christopher shaw)
On Sunday morning, I managed to get the help of our local Celestron
dealer. (there is no local Meade dealer in my area). He opened the scope
base to find not one but FOUR loose screws! (We did not dig any further
so we don't know if the careless work by a particular assembler in
Mexico extended to any other component in the scope). I told him that
the scope had been giving me 'Motor Failure Error' and that perhaps the
screws were at fault. I also told him that using fresh batteries on the
Meade scope did not help much in addressing the failure notices. He said
that with his experience with Celestron scopes, power supply was still
the best but if batteries used are completely fresh, there should be no
problem. He also thought it might be the screws causing the problems.

After the fix, We tested the scope but it failed again and again during
the star sidereal tracking phase. All through the night, we changed
batteries to fresh ones every time power dropped to 85%. This was to
rule out weak power. A week ago, the failure notices came on during
tracking after around 25 minutes, now it comes on almost consistantly at
10 minutes into tracking. So you understand my frustration. We tried
your advise of RESET, Re-calibrate motors, Re-train but to no avail. The
failure notices are almost a guarantee every time the scope tracks an
object. (There will be no failure during any slewing phase, only during
sidereal tracking.)

My autostar version is 26 Ec but I'm suspecting a deeper mechanical
problem caused by the lack of QC in the case of my particular scope.
What do you think?

Mike here: I suggest contacting Meade at this point.
Subject:	Re: 884 Tripod Problems
Sent:	Sunday, June 1, 2003 17:35:39
Thank you for your reply.  I have a lot to learn.  I really appreciate
the resource of your website.  FYI, I just received my new ETX90 from
Meade after waiting for more than a month to receive it from
 When I removed it from the box and started to loosen the vertical lock,
it fell off into my hand.  Of course, it will soon be on its way back to
either Amazon or Meade.  Fortunately, I did receive an ETX60AT that I
picked up cheap on EBAY and it is working like a charm--so I can learn
for awhile how to make the Autostar work.

Mike here: Was the knob just loose (unscrewed) or was it broken?


It was broken.  I turned it about 1/10 of a turn counter clockwise and
it came off in my hand.  I tried multiple times (believe me) to screw it
back on and it just turned freely.  I just got an email from
and I should receive a new ETX on Tuesday.


Subject:	Question
Sent:	Sunday, June 1, 2003 14:51:59
Hi I'am interested in purchasing a tripod for a etx-90  the table top
version does this version compatiable with all etx models? I have a guy
with one he has a 125 model would this fit my 90etx model if not where
can I get one of this. Thanks

Duane D. Garcia
Mike here: Yes, it should work. Do you know the tripod model # you'll be getting?
Subject:	Re: zzzzzzzzCRACK!zzzzzzzzz...
Sent:	Sunday, June 1, 2003 11:21:46
From: (Goran & Vera)
I tried it again few hours ago, and those short crack-sounds gradually
evolved to pretty loud noise that sound like terrible GRINDING of the
gears - I am now sure that something is definetely VERY wrong :(

Thanks for trying to help, but my ETX-90EC has to see his maker - or his
authorized dealer ;)

Goran Patlejch
Prague, Czech Republic

Subject:	#1 ETX Mistake....
Sent:	Sunday, June 1, 2003 06:42:45
From: (robert cosgrove)
I can't believe it, but i went into brainlock and let the tube assembly
tip forward!!!! Crash!!!! My question is this......while the optics
still seem to be fine(concentric circles etc)....i hear SOMETHING do a
slight rattle when i tip the assembly in either direction.....can i get
away with this for awhile until i get up some cash to send the telescope
to Dr. Clay(for fixing/supersharge) or should i just send it to Meade
under the warranty because "somethings wrong with the scope"......since
the optics are fine, i can't figure out what would have jarred loose?

Any advice would be appreciated, Thanks alot!

Rob Cos.
Mike here: Do you mean that just the tube hit something or did the whole telescope fall over? Can you isolate the sound to the tube, one of the forks, or the base?


the tube assembly swung forwards and down from near zenith when i
loosened the Dec. lock........since then there's been something(maybe a
small screw or something?) flopping around in there. It's definitely
within the tube.

I'm a beginner, so maybe the i'm wrong-but it doesn't seem to have
affected the optics-at least not there a way i can open the
assembly without impacting collimation just to see what's flopping
around? or is it best left to Meade or Dr. Clay?

Thanks again, and sorry i wasn't clear earlier.
Mike here: I don't recommend opening the tube but can you see anything slide towards the corrector lens when you tilt the objective end down? You can remove the tube from the fork arms; if there is something sliding around (a small piece of plastic perhaps) you might be able to get it to come out the eyepiece hole. Use a lot of caution to keep whatever it is from striking any of the optical surfaces.


i'll give the eyepiece hole a try. i can't see anything sliding towards
the corrector lens. We'll see what happens.

I'll let you know what i find.
And an update:
aha! i haven't removed the tube yet, but i've isolated where the sound
is. It's something within the focuser area(like maybe just below the
focus knob or below the flip mirrior) doesn't rattle very much.
Almost as if it's switching from leaning against one "wall" to another
within a narrow area... It's not going very far. Maybe it's not worth me
doing anything if it's not within the main optics area?

Sorry to be a pain. Newbie paranoia!
Mike here: Well, that is a "safer" area for debris. See the article "Doc Greiner's ETX Info page" on the Telescope Tech Tips page for photos of this area.


sounds good. thanks alot. i'll NEVER let that happen again. I think the
whole neighborhood heard a single expletive cut through the night.

Subject:	Meade Eyepiece
Sent:	Sunday, June 1, 2003 00:12:57
From: (Thomas Ertle)
I just read through your page on the Meade Electronic Eyepiece. I too
agree that it is a nice addition to an amateur astronomer's collection
of toys. But I'm a little disappointed that apparently it cannot be used
with telescopic eyepieces, other than a barlow lens. With my 8"
Celestron F5 Newtonian, this equates to around 165X, which would
certainly explain while some folks are having problems finding their
target object, even WITH a properly aligned finderscope. I have been
recently reading on the use of webcams, and it sounds like something
worth pursuing. Not only are they color, cheap (meaning if you break it
modifying for direct projection use with eyepieces you're not out much
$$) but there are HUNDREDS of pages, along with some pretty impressive
freeware capture utilities and image editing software available. Just do
a search on "webcam astrophotography" and you'll see what I mean. If you
can ever figure out how this eyepiece can be used along with existing
eyepieces to get by that single magnification blunder, PLEASE let me
know, as this one unfortunate feature does strictly limit its potential.

Sincerely, Thomas F Ertle
Mike here: The electronic eyepieces were obviously designed with a specific purpose in mind. Yes, webcams can overcome this limitation.
Subject:	re:  etx 125 flip mirror cleaning
Sent:	Saturday, May 31, 2003 21:32:25
From: (Richard Seymour)
> 7. After several passes with the cotton ball (carefully)...i used the
> small squirt bottle to gently squirt distilled water to wash off the
> solution.  All the water drained out the small hole I had drilled.

er, one question: 
 Are the steel collimation screws behind the main
  mirror now growing a thin coat of rust?

If you look at Mike's page on collimating
(hmm... well, i -thought- there was a rear-cover-removed photo there)
 you will (er, not) see the six screws which are the collimating adjusters 
and locks.

With -luck-, you'll never need to turn them.

Mike: shouldn't that posting maybe be on the Tech Tips page, NOT
the "Beginner's" page?

have fun
---dick (<-- fine rust everywhere)
Mike here: The cleaning question seems to come up a lot from new users, hence the location of the cleaning tips there.
Subject:	re: a solar filter "adapter"?
Sent:	Saturday, May 31, 2003 20:59:11
From: (Richard Seymour)
Although i am a fan of homebuilt widgets,
remember that you MUST have a SECURE mounting for a solar filter.

A 6"diameter plate hanging on the front of your scope will need a -good- grip.

(but you'll certainly solve the "filter the viewfinder" problem...)

have fun, but play safe(ly)...

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