ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 June 2005
This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX PE (Premier Edition). Feedback on the specific PE technologies (Automatic Alignment + SmartFinder, Level North Technology) will be covered here. Feedback on the Autostar Suite AE (Astronomer Edition) will be posted on the regular Autostar Suite feedback page. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (EC, AT, PE) will continue to be posted on the other appropriate feedback 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:	Smart Finder ETX 125 PE
Sent:	Thursday, June 30, 2005 19:08:32
From:	cdemaris1@mchsi.com (cdemaris1@mchsi.com)
I had given up on aligning my smart finder with my telescope until I
read the comment from someone else on your excellent ETX site about
wedging something under it. I stuck a piece of black foam under my smart
finder and that pushed it up enough that I could align it with the
scope. I have been getting more and more great results in ALT/AZ mode. I
calibrated sensors. I wish I had done that sooner BIG improvement in
GOTO function after that. Calibrate motors, then train the drives. Do
this alot, for one to practice and second you get better at it and you
can do it as much as you want it isn't going to hurt anything. Before
you train drives your last moves should be down and left before you
start, there is a tutorial on this web site for that.

Smart finder hint use both eyes when looking at it. And there is no
sweet spot. Whatever angle your looking at it from it will not change
but the red dot may smear out if your to the side too much.

I have practiced setting up the ETX in Polar but have failed when ever I
try it. I guess my biggest confusion comes from the Polar Home position.
Meade instructions are vauge and I have searched your site but didn't
find much on basic polar alignment unless I missed it.

Craig
Mike here: See the photo on the article "Performance Enhancement: Part 5 - Polar Alignment Position" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	Question about ETX-125pe
Sent:	Thursday, June 30, 2005 06:17:02
From:	Noel Haydon (noel.haydon@buckeyeinternational.com)
great site a lot of useful information.

I just purchased a Meade ETX-125pe the LNT I think has a dead battery
because the red dot will not illuminate. Also, I noticed that it sounds
like something is rattling and moving around inside the telescope base.
I am going to return it for another one but it seems like for this kind
of money there should be less problems. What are your thoughts?

Thanks,

Noel Haydon, MCSE MCDBA CNE
Mike here: Hard to say what the problems are due to. Certainly shipping can cause problems at times. Could be a problem at the factory.

And:

Being a new astronomer, is all of this fuss with the ETX worth it or
would you recommend a different scope?
Mike here: Depends upon your requirements, skills, and budget.
Subject:	Genral Feedback - Train Drive - Calibrate Sensors - Calibrate Motor
Sent:	Wednesday, June 29, 2005 20:05:58
From:	Kevin (kevin@secondstorystudio.com)
I'd like some advice,
 
My ETX-125PE doesn't seem to always align correctly.  I perform the
automatic alignment, and sometimes every "goto" is fine, other times,
the "goto" is not very close.  The manual talks about the Train Drives,
Calibrate Sensors, and Calibrate Motors.  It doesn't say when to perform
these functions and the correct order to do them?  I've only had the
telescope for a few weeks and have never performed these functions. 
Will they make my alignments more consistent?  Is it worth it?
Kevin
Brownsburg, IN.
Mike here: You need to do the CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES when you first get the ETX and Autostar. CALIBRATE MOTORS "tunes" the Autostar to the power source (so you also need to do it when changing the power source or replacing the batteries). TRAIN DRIVES tunes the Autostar for the encoders. CALIBRATE SENSOR may or may not be required and is only for the LNT.

And:

Thanks for the feedback, I'll do as you suggest, you have a great web
site and thanks for your time,

Kevin

Subject:	Autostar Updater and PE questions
Sent:	Tuesday, June 28, 2005 14:04:26
From:	Morley Horder (Morley@eagleharborbooks.com)
I received my new 105PE scope brand new a few days ago.

I'm trying to update my Autostar handset, but I'm not getting anywhere. 
It came with 3.3ef, which seems pretty buggy so  I downloaded the  3.4ec
from the Meade website but the ASU says it can't connect to the
Autostar.  Then it searches for a COM port (I have it plugged in to
COM1) and can't find it.  Does the handset have to be plugged into the
scope and the computer for the flash to work?  That's going to be tough
since they are in 2 different locations.  Also, I also saw somewhere on
line a patch34cc.  Do you recommend this?

And a couple of questions about the scope:

Even when really tightened down, the Dec clutch allows the scope to move
quite a bit - say 5-10 degrees or so.  Is this ok, or a fault of the
scope, or am I missing something?

I can't get the scope to automatically find anything, but I was able to
manually lock onto Venus last night, but couldn't get the scope to
track.  I then pressed and held enter to autosync on that, but the scope
was still way, way off (like 90 degrees or more) when I tried to find
something else.  Then I manually synced on several stars and still the
same thing.  Why doesn't this take?  Does this sound like an LNT
problem?

I'm having the same problems with the finder as others have reported.  I
understand that there are newer versions of the finder and the LNT
module available.  Do they seem to have fixed the problems?

Thanks for your great site and for any answers you have,

Morley
Mike here: The Autostar gets its power from the telescope unless you may an external power source (there are several articles on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page if you want to make one). So without power the computer will not find the Autostar. As to DEC lock, some play is normal since it is a friction lock. How much pressure are you applying to move it? Keep in mind that moving it by hand with the lock on is not a normal operation. Have you selected your site, done a CALIBRATE MOTORS, and TRAIN DRIVES? Does an Easy Align work for you? Yes, there are (at least) two different LNT modules; hard to say if that would help you.

And:

Thanks for the quick reply.  It makes sense that the Autostar needs
power - I was just hoping the Com port supplied it.  I have a power
supply nearly complete, so I should be ok there.

re:  the dec lock. I'm barely touching the tube and it moves.

I've done all the above per your suggestions, but no good.  I just tried
customer support and they said call the dealer.  My dealer - Anacortes
Telescope, immediately called Meade, got an RMA and UPS will be picking
it up in a day or two.  Anacortes said they'd just exchange it if they
had one in stock, but they don't.  Great store!

Thanks,

Morley

Subject:	ETX-125PE multiple issues
Sent:	Monday, June 27, 2005 03:15:29
From:	Craig (auscraig@tpg.com.au)
I have had a terrible introduction to astronomy with the Meade
ETX-125PE.

Two months ago I purchased my (first) telescope, an ETX125PE and on my
first night out it broke. The external power socket malfunctioned and I
had return it to the store where I purchased it the next day so it could
be sent for repairs in Sydney. That took over 3 weeks. I was not happy
but realise that these things happen and hoped that would be the end of
my problems.

When I got it back all was ok until it started to slew randomly in all
directions sometimes. The problem got worse until apart from using it as
a manual telescope (with the power switch off) it was all but useless. I
would focus on an object and barely have time to focus and the telescope
would often take off slewing for no apparant reason. In the end I was
forced to return the telescope to the store where I purchased it again.
I swapped my telescope for a new ETX-125PE and all seemed ok at first.
However it was not long before this 2nd telescope gained a mind of it's
own and started randomly slewing in all directions, much worse and often
than the scope I had just returned.

Other problems I've experienced in the last 2 days include, (1) Autostar
displaying "Drive motor fault" randomly, (2) the telescope tube often
slewing down and trying to keep going after it hit it's stop during
"Auto Alignment" or other times it occurred during normal observing, (3)
Autostar would very often ignore the slew speed selected on the handbox
(for example "5" or "8" etc) and just slew at maximum speed regardless
or what speed was selected. I have lost count the number of times I
tried "Reset", "Calibrate Motors" & "Train Drive". I have also tried
reloading the flash memory in the scope and updated to the latest
version of Autostar from the Meade website multiple times. I finally
thought the telescope had aligned itself ok last night (4) when I asked
it to 'goto - The Moon' (almost a full moon so it was big in the sky)
and it slewed until it was pointing at the ground. I had to turn the
power off to prevent damage to the gears and slewing mechanism.

I have had no choice but to take the telescope into Astro Optical yet
again (where I purchased the telescope and my local Meade repair agent)
and it will be looked at by a technician later this week. My ETX-125PE's
have been in for repair longer than I have had it (them) in my
possession. I'm very happy with Astro Optical's service and the
ETX-125PE's optical performance is amazing. However I am less than
impressed with the electrical / electronic side of the ETX-125PE. As I
live in Australia, we do not have access to Meade directly and are
simply directed to where the telescope was purchased for service. From
what I read on your site it sounds like if Meade are called they often
just tell you to reset, calibrate and train drives. Not much help in my
case.

It is obvious to me that there are issues with the ETX-125PE. I am at
the point where I just feel like asking for my money back and finding
another hobby. I am very unhappy with the ETX125PE so far. I've had two
units in less than two months and both have been nightmares.

I will give the ETX-125PE one more chance to deliver what Meade promise
on their website and the telescope box before I give up on both forever.

I will let you know how it goes.

Thanks,

Craig Meddings
Melbourne, Australia
Mike here: What type of batteries are you using?

And:

It happens whether I am using internal new internal AA batteries or even
when I am using my 12v gel cell. I usually use the 12v gel cell as it
lasts for a very long time. I thought it may have been a battery issue
but it happens regardless of what batteries are used. I always make sure
the batteries are fresh.

the store tell me that they have had several of these telescopes with
similar issues... maybe it was a bad batch....there is another lot to
arrive here in Aus in a few weeks...if they cannot make it behave after
fixing it... I will try another new one .... I will let you know how it
goes...
Mike here: One thing you might try is to update the Autostar to the current 3.4Ec version. Do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTORS, and TRAIN DRIVES following that.
Subject:	105PE Problems
Sent:	Sunday, June 26, 2005 22:38:43
From:	Ken Hyams (ken.hyams@p-seven.com)
G'day Dave,

I also have a 105PE. I had problems initially with the saving of site
information. Here's what I did to rectify it.

1) Upload the latest firmware to the AutoStar (34Ec). The downloaded
file includes a text file listing fixes.

2) Turn off the telescope

3) Remove the LNT battery. You need to fully remove the adjustment
screws on the module - be careful with the springs.

4) Replace the LNT battery

5) Start up the telescope. It should prompt for time (I think?). Time is
stored in the LNT not the AutoStar. Use local time not GMT.

6) Do a reset from the AutoStar.

7) Calibrate motors, train drives, calibrate sensors.

That worked for me. I'm in the Southern Hemisphere and don't have the
luxury of Polaris to calibrate sensors on. The Southern equivalent is
Sigma Octans which is pretty much impossible to find! Needless to say, I
haven't been able to accurately calibrate my sensors which leads to less
than perfect pointing to alignment stars.

In any case, I hope that helps.

Subject:	SmartFinder broken fiber optics
Sent:	Sunday, June 26, 2005 21:37:02
From:	Tami (casey90505@socal.rr.com)
I am new to this.  Just got my ETX125PE for Father's Day. 

Like so many others on your site, I had no red light from the
SmartFinder.  Nothing.  Finally, I opened the top of the LNT to replace
the battery and discovered that, what appears to be a wire, is really a
fiber optic thread that is supposed to stick out the side of the unit. 
Sure enough, there was a red light emitting from the 'base' end of the
thread but it had come free of it's connection to the upper part of the
unit.  The thread appears to be broken as there is still the tiny piece
sticking out the side.

I tried to re-attach it but no luck.  The thread is very thin.  Not much
bigger than a human hair.  It's surprising that Meade would mount
something so fragile in a place where the owners would have to access in
order to replace the battery, etc.

I'm reluctant to call Meade after I read so many terrible reviews on
your site about their customer service mentality.  Any suggestions?

Thanks, in advance,

Ken
Mike here: Did you read the positive Meade customer support comments as well? People have experienced the both the good and the bad. But no matter; call them and they will send you a replacement LNT module.
Subject:	re: ETX 105PE Issues and resolutions
Sent:	Sunday, June 26, 2005 11:06:14
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Could you describe how you are determining that it is -not- saving
your Site data?

Please describe (in gruesome detail) what you're clicking,
and what it's displaying along the way, that leads you to that conclusion.

(only by following your path can i hope to find the problem)

have fun
--dick
And this:
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
I believe Meade sometimes leaves a lot of junk in the Site file list in
the Autostar that, although it doesn't appear when you Select, may
confuse the software.  I'm pretty sure a Reset will reinitialize the
Site file data so you can start fresh entering your site info.

Another possibility for fixing the problem without losing your
calibrations is to use Autostar Update to retrieve your data from the
Autostar then use Tools>Edit User Data to delete any stored Sites, then
send the updated info back to the Autostar.  I haven't tried this, but
it might work.

Good Luck,
Mike Hogan
And:
From:	Aug, David (David.Aug@McKesson.com)
Richard,

The path was as follows:

I would hold the mode key down to see if the site and time/date was
correct. The site would always be blank and sometimes the time and/or
the date would be wrong.

Enter into the Setup.  Down arrow to the Site option.  Select the Add
option.  Pick the closest city(using the zip code has never worked at
all for me), enter when done.

Hold the Mode key down to ensure that the site is entered correctly.

Cycle the power off/on.  Site data would sometimes be there but would be
gone by the next night.  I tried renaming the site by using the Edit
menu and that did not help either.  I am assuming that it is saving it,
as I would sometimes get a "Memory Full" error, but they would never
display.

When I called Meade Support, the support rep told me this was a known
issue and to patch to 34Ec.  This did seem to fix that issue (at least
for one time I  have tried the scope since then.)  The only issue I have
seen with 34Ec is I was trying to center in an object after using the
Goto function and every time I would hit one of the arrow keys it would
slew off both axis.  This stopped after cycling the power.  I will try
again if the skies ever clear here.

Hope that helps.  Will be glad to help in anyway that I can as you/your
websites saved a telescopes life.

Subject:	ETX 105PE Issues and resolutions
Sent:	Friday, June 24, 2005 08:42:54
From:	Aug, David (David.Aug@McKesson.com)
Thank you for your website.  I found more information on your site than
I did in the owners manual and Meade's Tech Service.

I just purchased the ETX 105PE and had nothing but problems out of the
box.  All of the view finder issues, the alignment process was not
anywhere near the alignment stars, and the handbox computer was not
saving the site information.

Following your sites guidance, I got the viewfinder working as good as
possible, then went to work on the alignment issues.  Tried calibrating
the motors and training the drive with no luck.  Finally tried to
calibrate the sensors and that made a huge difference in finding the
alignment stars.  By the way, Meade support said that the ETX telescopes
do not have the calibrate sensors and to just send the telescope to
them.

Then went to work on the issue with the handbox computer not saving the
site info and sometimes losing the date/time.  Called Meade Support and
they suggested updating the Autostar to the newest version.  No where on
their site does it list errors corrected in the latest version, but they
promised it would fix the issue.  Updated it last night and it is not
saving the info correctly.

Just wanted to pass this along to anyone that is having the issues that
I did and to thank you for your website.

Tips: 
Update Autostar 
Calibrate motors 
Train the drives 
Calibrate the sensors 

Would love to hear from others using the ETX105PE at Davidaug@classicnet.net 

Thanks.

Subject:	Park Scope Anomaly
Sent:	Saturday, June 18, 2005 08:14:32
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
After a lot of checking and double checking, I have determined that the
Park Scope function does not work properly on my 125PE.  This is true
even with the latest upgrade of the AutoStar software.

The way I believe it is supposed to work is, when Park Scope is selected
it should slew to North and Level, set the Alt/Az values to 0/0 and
prompt to turn off the power.  When power is applied again, it is
presumed the scope has not been moved and is already North and Level so
no alignment is required.

What actually happens is the scope slews to the -uncorrected- values for
North and Level before setting the Alt/Az to 0/0.  It does not take into
account any corrections determined during the Cal Sensors procedure, and
possibly those derived during a star alignment.  The result is that when
power is turned again, the Alt/Az position can be off by several degrees
so GOTO's will be off accordingly.  In my case, Alt is off by 2 deg. and
Az is 8 deg.  This will vary from one user to another based on local
magnetic variation and other factors.

A fairly easy way to check this is, with the scope properly calibrated
and aligned, slew to Polaris and set the RA circle to "0" hours.  Then
select Park Scope.  It should go to 0/0 on the RA and DEC circles, +/- 
1 degree. (1 degree = 4 min. RA, or slightly less than one index mark on
the RA circle.)

I realize this is not a big issue, but I have a lot of time on my hands
with not a lot else to do but nitpick.  I'd be interested to know if
other users could verify my conclusions.

Regards,
Mike Hogan

Subject:	LNT Setup for ETX 90
Sent:	Friday, June 17, 2005 06:34:31
From:	Larry Harrison (amateurawards@bellsouth.net)
I have probably a very dumb question.  If I turn on the ETX-90, should
the red dot be visible?  or how do I cut it on or off?  I cannot see
the red dot to save my life.  Also, do you have a setup procedure on
your pages?  If so, I had a hard time finding it.  Can you direct me?

Regards, Larry
-- 
Regards & ClearSkies, Larry

Amateur Astronomy Awards Program
http://www.amateurastronomyawards.com

Rated:    Award Sites! 3.5 - UWSAG 5.0
        WebsAwards 3 Olymp-Award-Index 1
                 EUTODA 2

My Telescopes and CCD Cameras
http://bellsouthpwp.net/k/a/kanaka2
Mike here: If the LED is illuminated on the left side of the LNT module (which it is during the star alignment steps) you should be able to see if reflected off the lens when standing behind the ETX and looking along the left side of the scope towards the sky where the ETX is pointing. However, if the SmartFinder lens is not inserted correctly, you may not be able to see the red dot. Check my PE comments (Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page); you might also want to check the SmartFinder tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. You can use the Autostar to turn the LED on (see the manual).
Subject:	125etx pe
Sent:	Tuesday, June 14, 2005 19:42:21
From:	Alanbassgreene@aol.com (Alanbassgreene@aol.com)
Hi Mike, sorry to bother you for the billionth time. Two nights in a
row, after aligning arcturus and vega I did a goto moon and it was
perfect. after that my goto jupiter and all my other gotos after were
about 10 degrees off. I trained the drives, calibrated motors, etc. I
figured since my first goto was perfect the rest should have been the
same.

I tried downloading the ASU update but don't think I was successful.
When you download the update should  the welcome screen on my autostar 
change to {05} 33EC? It still says {04} 33E. What message will autostar
give me to let me know it has been succesful? The directions for the
downloading are a bit confusing. I have the ASU icon on my desktop, and
the proper cable. When I hit upgrade now it tells me " can't find name
and address" I assume I downloaded the Asu correctly since it's on my
desktop. Do I have to do this while online?  Help
 
Thanks, Al Greene
Mike here: It doesn't sound like you have successfully updated the Autostar to the latest version 3.4Ec. Once you have the ASU app installed you can either update the Autostar from the web or if you have already downloaded the 3.4Ec ROM file to your local hard disk using your web browser, you can tell ASU to use that for updating while offline. As to your GOTOs, be certain you CALIBRATE MOTORS before doing the TRAIN DRIVES that first time. You might want to read the article "How to use the 3.x Updater" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page. For updating the Autostar, the info is still the same.
Subject:	Question:  ETX-90PE
Sent:	Tuesday, June 14, 2005 09:50:15
From:	Larry Harrison (amateurawards@bellsouth.net)
Can one use the scope to take images of the sun?  I notice the
viewfinder is a little different.  Somehow cover the viewfinder with
something?

 Larry
-- 
Regards & ClearSkies, Larry

Amateur Astronomy Awards Program
http://www.amateurastronomyawards.com

Rated:    Award Sites! 3.5 - UWSAG 5.0
        WebsAwards 3 Olymp-Award-Index 1
                 EUTODA 2

My Telescopes and CCD Cameras
http://bellsouthpwp.net/k/a/kanaka2
Mike here: With the proper filter on the ETX (see the Accessory Reviews: Filters page) you can safely view and photograph the Sun. Without the proper filters you can and likely will damage the ETX and fry your eyes. As to the SmartFinder, since it is not a magnifying lens there should be no problem but it wouldn't hurt to cover it anyway.
Subject:	Smart finder Problems
Sent:	Monday, June 13, 2005 14:46:48
From:	Anne Macfarlane (anne.macfarlane@ntlworld.com)
I have been a regular visitor to your site since getting my first ETX -
now have a 105PE and am having problems with the Smart finder.  All is
as your photo in MW experience but I have been unable to get the red dot
anywhere near alignment - I was advised to insert a filler (in my case a
folded piece of cardboard) under the LNT assembly which was loose and
now all seems well.  However there is clearly a problem - any ideas?  I
have asked for a replacement but there are non in stock here in the UK -
is this the best option?

Thanks for the site and all the work - couldn't have got this far
without you
Mike here: Hum, adding a filler under the module sounds unique... That shouldn't change the angle that the LED is reflected on the lens but would change the angle at which your eye would have to be to see it. Since it works, that is certainly an acceptable (though temporary) solution.
Subject:	RE: ETX125PE Help resolved
Sent:	Friday, June 10, 2005 22:26:50
From:	John Suhr (jsuhr@imunplugged.com)
Thanks for the help
I learned a few things....

#1) The Daylight savings, time and date must be checked a few times,
when I set the Dalight savings to on it changed my clock so I had to go
back and change it an hour.

#2)You have to let it totally stop slewing before you center the
alignment star

I also downloaded the newest driver software

I behaved just fine tonight, great Moon, Good Jupiter, I wish Saturn
wasn't so far down, the atmosphere prevents seeing the rings.

Now I have to decide to go for the deep sky imager, an adapter for my
digital camera or adapter for my 35SLR

Thanks!
JS
Mike here: #2 is a common user error. Wait until it stops slewing, says to center the star, AND beeps.
Subject:	ETX125PE Help
Sent:	Thursday, June 9, 2005 01:15:47
From:	John Suhr (jsuhr@imunplugged.com)
OK after a week I'm sort of getting a handle on this beast but am having
some problems I hope you can help with. I'm a newbie.

I've tried all the align modes and follow the instructions, I've done
the train drives, initialized before doing it.

The Auto Alignment does it's thing then asks to find the stars and I'm
99.9% sure I have the right ones, I bring the software on the laptop so
I have a map. It "failed to align" "Check Stars" also when centering the
star usually second one it keeps moving after I stop the control.

I'm pretty frustrated and called Meade but they just talk to you like
you don't know what you are doing mumbling read your manual. He was
explaining locking on a star but I don't think he understood it was
moving in alignment mode. I did get it to align once using 2 star and
picked one of the stars in the Big dipper and Sperca but the Meade
support say I should not use the big dipper star because it is a  polar
star. When I did get it to work It confirmed the other stars like Vega
were where they should be. Jupiter stays locked in for 5 minutes and
then drifts out, he had me train drives to polaris but it still doesn't
do a correct align, only that one time I got that. One star aligns of
course

The software is 33E  2005

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks

JS
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS (not CALIBRATE SENSORS), and then done the TRAIN DRIVES? If you are using the Automatic Align, how far off is the first star? If you can, you might consider updating the Autostar to the 3.4Ec verion on Meade's site.

And:

I think I have done calibrate motors but maybe train drives first, I
will try in that order tonight I will also try and do the update, this
last one I did was using their updater, is there a special way/install
to find this newer version?

The Stars right now are certainly not in the eyepiece (28) maybe 10
degerees off in both directions and I am using the standard AltZ not
polar.

One other quirk is when I first got it it wouldn't power up at all, it
turned out the pins in the connecter were a little screwy, seems to be
OK now though since everything else is working.

Is there info about the power supply on the site or do I have to buy
theirs?

Thanks!
Mike here: The Meade Autostar Updater app knows how to find the Build file on their web site. Or you can download it manually and put it on your local hard disk. As to power supplies, you can buy a Meade one or you might want to look through the power supply section on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page on the ETX Site.
Subject:	ETX125 View Finder
Sent:	Tuesday, June 7, 2005 00:20:52
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
I have about given up on the SmartFinder and think I'm ready to try
retrofitting a viewfinder from the AT series.  I've had three LNT
modules, one with no dot and two that ran out of adjustment before the
dot could be aligned with the eyepiece.

My problem is that the PE is my first Meade 'scope and I've only seen
pictures of the 125AT, so I'm not sure how the finder is mounted.  Since
you have both models, maybe you could tell me if a retrofit is possible
while keeping the LNT minus the SmartFinder lens.  I'd prefer not to
make any irreversible modifications to the scope, such as drilling
holes.  Also, any info on sources for the mounting bracket itself would
be helpful, as I have not been able to find it listed anywhere as an
accessory.  Thanks as always for a great site.
 
Regards,
Mike Hogan
Mike here: You would have to drill holes if you want to permanently attach a bracket. Alternatively, you could make an attachment that would use an existing screw on the OTA. Or you could use double-sided tape. For alternative finderscopes see the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page.
Subject:	125 pe
Sent:	Monday, June 6, 2005 16:35:34
From:	Alanbassgreene@aol.com (Alanbassgreene@aol.com)
Hi Mike, thanks for your last response. After pressing automatic align, 
my scope tries to calc. north but it wants to continue going counter
clockwise where there is no more room to go. The motor gets louder and
the scope fails to move and get out of calc. north mode. Is there a way
for me to "reverse" the direction of the drive? I had one time where it
did go clockwise and it worked. Has'nt happened correctly since.
Thanks Alan Greene
Mike here: Have you updated to the latest 3.3El version from Meade's site? You might try that. Don't forget to RESET, CALIBRATE MOTORS (not sensors), and TRAIN DRIVES. That said, you could do a CALIBRATE SENSORS which works with the LNT magnetic compass. Have you tried setting up in the non-LNT Alt/Az Home Position before starting the Automatic Alignment?
Subject:	ETX-125PE Smart Finder
Sent:	Thursday, June 2, 2005 15:15:49
From:	ACPIUSA@aol.com (ACPIUSA@aol.com)
Has anyone figured out how to keep the smartfinder on all the time?...
I've resorted to using a Orion red dot finder to do random searches.
Attached with two sided tape, it's not that accurate.
 
Bob Collins
Ormond Beach, FL
Mike here: I turned mine on from the SmartFinder menu in the Autostar; otherwise it went off at the completion of the alignment steps. I don't recall how long it stayed on though.
Subject:	ETX125PE
Sent:	Thursday, June 2, 2005 00:33:44
From:	rob (rob.field@fsmail.net)
I have received another ETX125PE scope to replace the one which I was
having LNT problems with. This one does as it should, ie automatic
alignment, and the missing menus are now there. I am now finding it
impossible to get the smartfinder to operate! I have read all the info
on your site relating to it, and still nothing! I have tried various
blink on & off values along with the intensity value but again nothing.
I have pressed the utility light key as someone mentioned on your tech
page, but still nothing. I cant even see any red light coming from the
end of the tiny optical fibre protruding from the LNT module. Is there
anything you could suggest that I could try?
Mike here: If you can not get it to illuminate using the Autostar menu and you can not see it in a dark room, then I would suggest contacting Meade. Perhaps it is a bad LNT module.

And:

After much trying, I still cannot get the smartfinder to operate. I have
decided to forget the ETX series. I am purchasing a LX90LNT. Hopefully I
will have more luck with this! I will still visit your site though. I
will let you know how things go!

Subject:	Re: SmartFinder Troubles - ETX125 PE
Sent:	Wednesday, June 1, 2005 03:23:50
From:	Christos Bohoris (sirius86ly@yahoo.co.uk)
Thank you for your answers. The lense was facing the right direction but
the lense tongue was below and not on top of the lock. MEADEs
instructions are unfortunately too obscure for such an important detail.
That picture showing the underneath of the LNT in your site Mike is 'all
the money' (a Greek saying for something too valuable). I have
re-inserted the lense now and I have managed to center the red dot and
align with the telescope.

Today, I also just received a USB to Serial adaptor which will allow me
to upgrade AutoStar from my laptop computer and resolve the 'Site'
issue.


Chris

Subject:	ETX125PE Help
Sent:	Tuesday, May 31, 2005 22:33:30
From:	John Suhr (jsuhr@imunplugged.com)
I've been going thru your site and you seem like the best man to ask. I
just got my scope today and am new at this.

I went thru the auto alignment Besides the fact it doesn't go to any
star I can see even in clear skies When it gets to ctr the star and
press enter my arrow buttons do not move the scope, no noise, nothing.

I tried train drives and have the same problem, it wont let me center
the object on the second page.

The arrows do work in other modes though


The scope does move just fine when starting up and finding level, north
etc

What am I doing wrong? Do I need a software/hardware update? Or did I
miss something

Thanks
John Suhr
Mike here: Have you tried changing the slewing speed by using the number keys (9 is fastest)?

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