Last updated: 30 June 2003
Subject: ETX-125EC Solar Filter Sent: Monday, June 30, 2003 13:11:48 From: MaxIPTer@aol.com 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: vandenberg.af.mil/space-missile-times/destinations/destinations.pdf) QUESTION: What do recommend as a solar filter for my ETX-125?? Regards, Max
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews - Filters page for some reviews.
Subject: polar alignment Sent: Monday, June 30, 2003 12:39:34 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.com (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 www.space.com ; the program is something you will use every night out. Enjoy and thanks for writing. Clay ---------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod firstname.lastname@example.org Arkansas Sky Observatory 10 Observatory Hill Drive, Petit Jean Harvard/MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard/MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) http://www.arksky.org/ ----- 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: email@example.com (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, HossMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. Regards ChrisMike 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: email@example.com (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. Regards ChrisMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. www.pelphlex.com Image hosting is found by using the media gallery links. Many thanks Peter.
Subject: dead 125 etx or dead autostar? Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 15:57:30 From: email@example.com (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 DownUnder.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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.com (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, KSMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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! Thanks TimMike 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: email@example.com (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 shots. 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. Regards Ignacio Rodrguez
Subject: Dr. Clay's Book Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 14:23:02 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 ++Star-Gazers++. The book is packed with usefull hints and tips and techniques to use tonight. Chuck Lind
Subject: If you hurry...26 comets Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 06:42:27 From: email@example.com (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 .... http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/LastCometObs.html Not slouchy.....!! But where's the Guiness Guy? firstname.lastname@example.org Arkansas Sky Observatory Harvard/MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard/MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) http://www.arksky.org/
Subject: Parfocal determination Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 01:12:18 From: BorisFotografie@aol.com 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. I¥m thankful for any help. best greetings from Hamburg, Germany BorisMike 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. greetings boris
Subject: Alignmate Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 02:14:01 From: email@example.com (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. brgds, po'd http://telescopehouse.co.uk/product.php?section_id=4&subsection_id=19&product_id=241
Subject: Eyeglasses (was re: QUESTION ABOUT etx90) Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2003 14:08:57 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 binoculars.
Subject: etx125 Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2003 17:47:15 From: email@example.com (neo) HI AND CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR GREAT SITE.I PURCHASED AN ETX 125 TWO DAYS AGO AND I CAN GET ALLIGNED NEITHER POLAR OP ALT AZIMUTH.I AM NEW TO ASTRONOMY AND I AM NOT SURE THAT I DO EVERYTHING RIGHT.I ALSO PURCHASED WITH IT THE MEADE CD THAT ENABLES COMMUNICATION BETWEEN AUTOSTAR AND PC.THE CD HAS THE STARRY NIGHT BUNNDLE EDITION AND THE ASTRONOMERS CONTROL PANEL V2.1 FROM DC-3 DREAMS.I WANT TO ASK YOU:DO I HAVE TO ALLIGN THE TELESCOPE FIRST IN ORDER TO USE IT OR I CAN USE IT WITH OUT ALLIGN BECAUSE IN THE STARRY NIGHT PANEL IT HAS A FEATURE THAT SAYS TELESCOPE AND YOU CAN CHOOSEMike 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.
.THAT"S ALL AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME
Subject: Barlow lens:#124 or #126 w/ETX-90EC Sent: Friday, June 20, 2003 21:32:36 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. RickMike 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! Rick
Subject: Eyepiece Cleaning Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2003 03:50:42 From: Daniel.Webb@ramstein.af.mil (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. v/r DanMike 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: email@example.com (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. Regards, JohnMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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'DonnellMike 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: email@example.com (christianitees) Web site is great. Do you recommend alt/atz or polar alignment and why? Dave Garrison DaveGarrison@charter.netMike 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 everything. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 (see http://www.skyviewoptics.co.uk/accessories_Align_Mate.htm) 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. ThanksMike 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: email@example.com (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 helpMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. Thanks. Francis FaludiMike 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: email@example.com (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. Thanks. GregMike 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.And:
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 week. Callan SwensonMike 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.
Subject: RE: MAJOR ISSUES WITH NEW BOOK! Sent: Monday, June 16, 2003 06:16:31 From: Grafton, John To: firstname.lastname@example.org ('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 OK. Best regards, JG/Dover
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 artist...www.annvaneps.com...and 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 AnnieMike 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: N.J.Allen@btinternet.com (Nick Allen) Just to inform you we have a new resource at www.digibattery.com - 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 www.digibattery.co.uk . Kind regards Nick Allen Owner Digibattery
Subject: ETX 125 question Sent: Friday, June 13, 2003 17:26:26 From: HacheyP@aol.com 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 - PaulMike 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: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) To: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 --dick
Subject: RE: RE: ETX125 Sent: Friday, June 13, 2003 08:18:32 From: email@example.com (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 body. Best Regards StefanMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 copy. Chuck Lind
Subject: Power Cord Sent: Friday, June 13, 2003 05:01:34 From: email@example.com (Thomas Brown) To: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. TomMike 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: email@example.com (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: JRUA@miamidade.gov (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 RuaMike 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: Steven.Chavez@dot.state.co.us (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. Regards, SteveMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 generations. 2003-06-11 2003 June 11 Regards Martin LewickiMike here: Thanks for the suggestion. We'll see.
Subject: ETX125 Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 21:06:22 From: email@example.com (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. Thanks 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. Phill
Subject: Using an ETX-XXX without the Autostar Sent: Monday, June 9, 2003 17:52:48 From: email@example.com (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. Thanks. Joe SchlatterMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
Subject: MEADE'S ONE YEAR WARRANTY VS CELESTRON'S NEW TWO YEAR WARRANTY ON ALL TELESCOPES AND ACCESSORIES !!!!!!!!! Sent: Monday, June 9, 2003 08:00:17 From: JimStout@users.com (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?
email@example.com 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 StoutMike here: There are Yahoo Groups about the LX200GPS and there is MAPUG.com.
Subject: Hi there Sent: Sunday, June 8, 2003 22:36:10 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. Reguards, Adrian SherwinMike 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 From: email@example.com 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 appreciated. Take care. Chris Nutter
Subject: Re: SBAC Sent: Sunday, June 8, 2003 19:43:12 From: Jdnathome@aol.com Well, actually I don't care much about magnifaction, but I do want a sharp image. How good a scope is the ETX 70? JohnMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 HessMike 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: email@example.com (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 location! Don HessMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 LindMike 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 From: email@example.com 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 TomMike 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 From: Jdnathome@aol.com 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. Thanks, John NewellMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 NothmanMike 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 (http://www.darksky.org/).
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: email@example.com (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: ( store.doverpublications.com/0486428206.html ) 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....! Clay ---------- Dr. P. Clay Sherrod firstname.lastname@example.org Arkansas Sky Observatory Harvard/MPC H43 (Conway) Harvard/MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) http://www.arksky.org/Mike here: Congrats to Dr. Clay!
Subject: ETX 125 EC Sent: Friday, June 6, 2003 14:39:49 From: email@example.com (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! GUYMike here: See the FAQ page.
Subject: Deadish ETX 90EC Sent: Friday, June 6, 2003 12:34:14 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 on. 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 guarantee. Thanks PhillMike 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: email@example.com (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 before. Thanks >MikeMike 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 From: MICROFAB@aol.com 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! JimMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Shih) I just bought an etc90ex with uhtc coatings, but how do i tell it has the coating? thanks AlexMike 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: JRUA@miamidade.gov (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 RuaMike 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: JRUA@miamidade.gov (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? Thanks, Jose and Drusilla RuaMike 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: email@example.com (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, MarkMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 cheers vic vreelandMike 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 - ha cheers vicAnd:
Gonna have to read this two or three times vicAnd:
Does the end of the shaft have threads that screw into the "gray" blockMike 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 up 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 thanks vicMike 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.
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 forks....no it might have something to do with removing the back plate - but I didn't get that far thanks vicMike 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: email@example.com (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? thanks 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 LX200) 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 KooneyMike 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: email@example.com (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? Best ChrisMike here: I suggest contacting Meade at this point.
Subject: Re: 884 Tripod Problems Sent: Sunday, June 1, 2003 17:35:39 From: MICROFAB@aol.com 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 Amazon.com. 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. JimMike 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 Amazon.com and I should receive a new ETX on Tuesday. Jim
Subject: Question Sent: Sunday, June 1, 2003 14:51:59 From: DDG71116@aol.com 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. GarciaMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.com (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 yet....is 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).....it 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 ErtleMike 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: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) To: firstname.lastname@example.org > 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 http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/collimating.html (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: email@example.com (Richard Seymour) To: firstname.lastname@example.org 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)... --dick
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