Last updated: 29 June 2006
This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX and DS models. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.
Subject: Bluetooth/computer hook up Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:48:16 From: Badgr91@aol.com (Badgr91@aol.com) I'm looking for info. on Bluetooth hook up to remotely control my ETX125pe with autostar suite. I'm confused by some of what I read,sic-"bluetooth enabled computer" Does that mean a B -T adaptor in the computer & ETX or is ita special internal computer board? Celestron says " distance to 30 ft., B-T adaptors listed(Radio shack,Buy Extras, etc.) list max distance as 300 ft.. I don't need 300',but 30' with 2-3 walls could be a problem. I'd appreciate any & all suggestions/help your readers can supply. Your site remains not only the easiest to use, but it provides more information than the rest combined! Clear skies A.W.MullenMike here: The computer needs a Bluetooth transmitter/receiver, either built-in (like recent Macintosh models) or via a USB or other connection. You then need the Orion Bluestar (http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=7666&kw=bluestar&st=2), which works with an Autostar #497. Bluetooth is a short range wireless system. If you search the Site for "bluestar" you will get some info from others.
Subject: ETX-125PE Question... Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:14:29 From: brad kirby (firstname.lastname@example.org) I just purchased a Meade ETX-125PE scope and have had it about a week now. I have also purchased the electric fosuser for attachement, but I am having trouble removing the focus knob on the scope. Apparentally the tiny bolt in the focus knob is stripped, and I am unable to get the knob off to install the new focuser. Apparentally the bolt was stripped from the factory as the allen wrench has never been able to grip the bolt-head. Just wondering if you had heard of any problems like this and if you may have a solution. The scope is about a week old and Meade said I could send it in for repair at their expense, but it could take two weeks or more for them to repair. If I can't find any other solution, I will send it in, but seems like a long time to wait for such a simple problem. Any help would be most appreciated... Brad Kirby BTW, I love your ETX site as it has been most helpful in making my purchase!Mike here: A common problem with removing the focus knob is not getting the hex key fully inserted (or using the wrong size one). While it may seem you have it fully inserted, many times it isn't. Are you certain you have fully inserted the tool?
Thanks for the response. I tried again last night with a new allen wrench and was able to remove the knob. Once I finally got that removed, I tried to install the electric focuser, but apparentally it does NOT fit on the ETX-125PE edition scopes with the LNT mounted. I will have to somehow modify the LNT module so the cable coming out of the focuser clears the LNT bracket by either filing or cutting the plastic bracket. I wish Meade had made mention of this somewhere, or I would have purchased the Scopetronix FlexiFocus. Thanks again for the help. Brad KirbyMike here: The Meade Product Catalog online does specify that the focuser is for the AT model.
Subject: ETX90 broken DEC drive cables Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 01:25:29 From: LO-RE LOUIS (LOUIS.LO-RE@technicatome.com) I have bought an ETX90EC with the DEC drive cables and the fork arm broken. I have repaired the fork arm but I need help for the cables. There are 4 cables (black, blue, red and yellow) which go to the DEC board, unfortunately the black and blue wires are unplunged and i don't know the order of this wires to the DEC board. Could you send me a photo showing this wires on the DEC board ? Thank you in advance for your help. LouisMike here: See the article "ETX-105EC DEC Wiring" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page; it should help.
Thank you very much for your fast reply
Subject: ETX70 in Polar Mode Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 19:46:46 From: Keith Proctor (email@example.com) Quick question on polar mounting the ETX70. I am a bit unclear on the proper mounting orientation for the scope. Can you shed some light here? I have the 884 tripod with the tilt base. Any help would be appreciated! KeithMike here: There are polar mounting/alignment tips on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page. When reading those tips keep in mind that the ETX-70 does not have azimuth hard stops so you can ignore any comments about rotating to a hard stop.
Subject: re: ETX90AT - Autostar problems Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 20:49:30 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) You wrote: >Now, I was happy to see Saturn, but it wasn't Mars, which is what >Autostar was supposed to be showing me. The fact that I got to see >Saturn was probably what kept me from throwing the telescope into the >street and running it over repeatedly with my car, but next time it may >not be so lucky. Something Mike forgot to mention was the Saturn and Mars were only a half-degree apart one night last week... that's the diameter of the full moon. So the Autostar may have been very close to Mars. Mars at this time is a fairly small reddish dot. It'll get "bigger" when we get close to it again on our respective swings around the sun... > and I see several little dots of light in the finderscope that aren't at > all centered anywhere near anything, how do I know which one is the > thing that I am supposed to be looking at? Me? I buy star charts. I also tend to start "too early", and it's quite confusing without the -rest- of the stars around. But you can assume that the BRIGHT stars are the ones you're seeing. So practice by GoTo'ing Arcturus and Vega (half-way up, east). I also recommend a planisphere.. those spinning-disk star charts. There's a certain level of darkness when you can see and recognize some of the major constellations. The Big Dipper is one that has Mizar, a fine double star at the "bend" in the handle. have fun --dickMike here: There are also the "Alignment/High Precision/Star Charts" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject: ETX 105 and a filter wheel for visual observing Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 01:37:46 From: rdl (email@example.com) I did not find topics about filter wheels. So maybe they are impossible to use, or (not likely) nobody has tried them out. I have ordered from Sirius optics a VFS (not arrived yet). It can be put in the EP holder. Sirius Optics state that on some scopes, a barlow is needed in between to reach focus. So it will be up to the movement range of the primary mirror to reach focus. I wonder if anybody has used a filter wheel in the EP holder of their ETX? And if succesfully, with what range of EP's? Best regards, Rony Rony De Laet http://www.geocities.com/rodelaet
Subject: Re: Supercharging a ETX-125 Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 06:47:25 From: P. Clay Sherrod (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello Lee.... There are many things that you can, if careful, do to improve the performance. Note that some of these do NOT apply to the newer metal fork (inside) ETX models however. For a complete guide and performance enhancement tips, see my articles on Mike Weasner's excellent ETX site: http://www.weasner.com/etx/menu.html Best of luck and enjoy the telescope! Dr. Clay ------------- Arkansas Sky Observatories Harvard MPC/ H43 (Conway) Harvard MPC/ H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) Harvard MPC/ H45 (Petit Jean Mtn. South) http://www.arksky.org/ ----- Original Message ----- From: Lee Copper Sorry to trouble you and I can imagine you get hundreds of emails similar to this one, so I hope you don't mind just one more. From what I have read on many internet sites, you are the top dog when it comes to the ETX-125 and making them work. Now if I was in the US I would send you my scope to make it function, but I am not and the cost would be to high to send to you from the UK. Is there anything that I can do myself to make the scope track correctly without the image bouncing around. If I haven't made myself very clear then please let me know and I will try again. Regards Lee CopperMike here: Thanks Dr. Clay.
The point on the loose gearbox is well advised.....I have seen about half of the newer telescopes experiencing poor performance in RA because of some gearbox assemblies (three screws secure to the base) nearly ready to fall off. However be sure to never tighten so much that there is not some "give" between the gearbox as the small rubber bushing which is intended to minimize vibrations from the operation of the gears. Dr. Clay
Thanks for your advice, I will be sure to look at the gear box. Regards Lee Copper
Subject: ETX90AT - Autostar problems Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 07:10:03 From: Jeff Wieczorek (email@example.com) First let me thank you again for your previous assistance on my last problem (I inadvertently took apart the telescope while trying to remove the dust cover). From what I can tell from the star test procedure you described, there wasn't any damage. I have had a chance to use the telescope (ETX90 AT) a few times, I must admit that I am a little disappointed with the Autostar, and would like to know what I am doing wrong. This message has equal parts complaining and questions (OK, maybe a little bit more complaining than questions). Feel free to edit it if necessary! Now, the guy in the instructional video makes alignment sound like the easiest thing in the history of man, and I have been able to perform a successful alignment a couple times. The problem is what comes after that. I can easily goto things like Jupiter, because, well, it is pretty hard to miss. Autostar never quite gets Jupiter (or anything else) in the eyepiece, but it is usually in the field of view of the finderscope (background: Meade, for some reason, sent me the right-angle 8x finderscope with my ETX90 rather than the one I was supposed to get, but supposedly this one is better) and I can get it roughly centered and then fine-tune in the eyepiece. After enjoying Jupiter (which was pretty cool), I tried to get the scope to slew to Mars (the guided tour said that it was something good to look at, and who am I to argue?). Well once it finished doing what it needs to do to get to Mars, there wasn't anything in the eyepiece. Nothing. There were two small points of light in the right-hand side of the finderscope. I picked one, centered it, and looked through the eyepiece. It was just a bright dot, a star I assume. I started nosing around looking for something (Mars), and *accidentally* found Saturn in the eyepiece. It just popped into the view of the eyepiece. Now, I was happy to see Saturn, but it wasn't Mars, which is what Autostar was supposed to be showing me. The fact that I got to see Saturn was probably what kept me from throwing the telescope into the street and running it over repeatedly with my car, but next time it may not be so lucky. OK, so finally I come to my questions: 1) I followed the "level the scope" procedure, set home position (I think I used the correct fork over the computer panel - it doesn't say which one to use), and pointed it north as best as I could. It roughly found Jupiter, so it is on the trail, right? 2) When it tries to show me something that isn't as obvious as Jupiter, and I see several little dots of light in the finderscope that aren't at all centered anywhere near anything, how do I know which one is the thing that I am supposed to be looking at? In the situation above, it was just past sunset and there wasn't a whole lot of objects in the sky yet. What am I supposed to do when I look through the scope and there are hundreds of objects to pick from? I thought Autostar was supposed to do this for me. Planets are one thing, I might be able to pick those out, but what about all of the other cool stuff I'm supposed to be able to see? 3) The Meade propaganda says that you can just roughly find north and level and it will be fine. I am centering the alignment stars as best as I can. Being paranoid, I even bought StarGPS to remove a large degree of uncertainty as to where I am on the planet. What else could I be doing wrong? Or did I just get a lemon from Meade? Once again, thanks in advance for your help, Jeff WieczorekMike here: Yes, you can roughly find North and Level but the more accurate you do this, the better the pointing to the initial alignment stars will be. Similarly, the more accurate you do the TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes) the better the GOTOs will be. And of course, you did CALIBRATE MOTOR, right? So, first recommendation: read through some of the Autostar Alignment tips on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page because the Autostar CAN do accurate GOTOs. Second recommendation: be certain to accurately align the finderscope to the telescope. When you have an object in the notch of the crosshairs it should appear in a high power eyepiece. Third recommendation: have an idea of what you expect to see in the eyepiece. Right now, Mars IS a small red dot as it is very far away and without a LOT of magnication you won't see much and even with a LOT, there is very little to see right now in a small telescope.
Subject: advice on just starting out Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 07:06:05 From: STufo (firstname.lastname@example.org) My 14 year old daughter announced that all she wanted for her birthday is a "really good telescope". I am overwhelmed by the technical feartures, prices and practicality of owning an expensive piece of equipment in the suburbs. Any advice? I don't want to risk money on something that is too hard to use or will be just a passing phase. Thank you! GabrielleMike here: Well, that is really an open-ended question. You could get a "starter" telescope, which she may lose interest in because the views may be disappointing to her. Or you could get some more serious, but that costs more money, and then, as you note, it can be a passing phase. Either way, you run a risk; one accelerating it as a passing phase or just being a victim of it. That said, the next question you need to ask yourself (and her) is how much TIME is she (and you) willing to invest in learning to use it or even actually using it. What are your local sky conditions? Are you (and she) willing to travel to get to dark skies? Is the physical size or portability of the telescope an issue? Once you can answer those basic questions, then you can begin to narrow down your choices. If possible, work through a reputable local (if possible) telescope dealer (not Walmart) and talk to the reps there. There are also excellent online dealers, many are referenced in the Dealers section on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject: Re: autostar speed problem, jerkiness on tracking Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 15:19:23 From: Michael Miles (email@example.com) Thanks much for the rapid reply. I will be trying these suggestions. Is it difficult to open up the base? That would be a new venture for me although I am not too bad with a screw driver. Thanks again, Mike MilesMike here: No, not difficult. Just use caution so you don't break or disconnect anything.
Subject: autostar speed problem, jerkiness on tracking Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2006 20:25:30 From: Michael Miles (firstname.lastname@example.org) Great site. I have tried to search the archives for answers to my question but have not found anything exactly addressing my problem so here it is: I have a fairly new ETX105 -- purchased Fall 2005. It was working just fine (after getting a replacement from Meade for the original defective scope) and I have really enjoyed some initial photography with the LPI. However, about a month ago I noticed that after aligning with equatorial mounting the scope would track fine except that a periodic "jerk" would occur about every 30 seconds or so. This was aggravating but not fatal to normal viewing but it totally destroyed any efforts at photography as it smeared the images. I tried calibrating and training the drives, reseting followed by calibrating and training the drives -- etc. It acts like a particular gear tooth jams or skips. There has been no trauma to the scope -- it just starting doing this! Don't know if this is a related problem, but sometimes when slewing to center an object, the horizontal slew will seem to go in the wrong direction or will hesitate or even continue moving after I have let up on the button. Very strange. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Mike Miles Richmond, VAMike here: Several possibilitles: loose gearbox, broken gear tooth, debris, a need to redistribute lubrication. You can try to address the last two by redistributing the lubrication: loosen the axls locks and slowly move the telescope tube by hand, back and forth, hard stop to hard stop, several times. Do this on both axes. If that doesn't cure it, you could open the base up and have look to see if you can see either of the first causes. If that is the case, you should contact Meade for the repair unless you feel comfortable working in there (to try to fix a loose gear box).
Subject: ETX-125 Setup Procedures Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2006 16:49:19 From: thomas robison (email@example.com) is it my understanding that everytime i take out the telescope for a viewing that i should calibrate the motors, train the drives, and then set it up in home position for the nights viewing? i have the latest autostar update. i enter the date, time, standard/daylight and then it's ready,.......i guess. also, how do i know if the etx-125 might need collimation? and, is there any way i can do that myself? thank you and thanks for all the help your website provides. meanwhile we are patiently waiting for the next viewing opportunity here in seattle, whenever that may be....:) tom robisonMike here: You do NOT need to do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES for each session. It doesn't hurt it you do but it is normally unnecessary. CALIBRATE MOTOR only needs to be done when changing batteries or switching to a different power source OR when the existing batteries get low and you want try to continue using them reliably. TRAIN DRIVES only needs to be done every few months unless your GOTOs have deteriorated. I also recommend doing the CALIRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES after any Autostar ROM update. As to doing a "star test", you can do one yourself. See my comments to the email "ETX90 AT Issue - New User Mistake" further down this General Feedback page.
Subject: ETX-90 blog Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2006 17:06:46 From: Peter Robertson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for maintaining a very useful website. Here is an ETX-90 blog: http://www.astronomyblogs.com/member/northandeast Regards
Subject: Grow a ETX-70AT to a 14inch Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 04:28:05 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) I was wondering if one could use the drive circuit of a ETX-70AT and attach a additional electronic curcuit to connect bigger motors, apparently they are only DC Motors, controlled by variable voltage. I own a 14inch Newton and therefore I need a much more powerful motor system. I own all the software and hardware to use the ETX-70AT in conjunction with my PC so if I could use the ETX-70AT Curcuit I would be able to convert the 14inch to a proper "GoTo" Telscope for very little money. Have you got any ideas on this? Regards, markusMike here: The circuitry could work. For more on this type of project, see "Steve Bedair's "Go To" Mount" site (link on the Astronomy Links page). And as Dick Seymour keeps reminding me, check the RoboScope group on Yahoo: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roboscope.
Subject: ETX-105 or ETX-125 Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 02:26:59 From: Charles Evans (email@example.com) I know you've heard it before but I'll say it again "Great web site." Anyway I have a small dilemma. I am buying my first telescope, and after surfing the net for the last month, I have decided on an ETX (wish I had have found your site earlier, I could have saved myself some time). The thing is, I can buy an ETX-125 PE for $1900 (aussie dollars) or the ETX-105 PE + Meade 7x50 Binoculars + Bintel 20mm Plossl + Bintel 2x Barlow (because of special) for $1400. Then I'll have enough left over to buy the Meade Deep Sky Imager, total - $1874. So, what would you do J 125 OR 105? P.S. Mobility of the scope is not as important as astrophotography. Thanks in advance. Regards, Charlie.Mike here: While aperture is important for light gathering, having money left over for accessories is also good. Let me throw something else into the mix; UHTC. UHTC is like adding about an inch to the aperture in the light that actually reaches your eye (or imager). That said, the ETX-105 is a fine middle ground between the ETX-90 and the ETX-125. Slightly smaller (therefore slightly more portable) than the ETX-125 but you do lose some light gathering power (important for observing DSOs but less important for imaging with the DSI).
Subject: ETX 90EC flip mirror Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 01:19:58 From: mad max (firstname.lastname@example.org) Great site hope you can help me. Any information on the replacement/sourcing of a flip mirror for the ETX 90EC or alternativley is it possible to replace with a non meade part, a bolt on part or domestic type mirror. Failing all the above am I right in assuming if I use the meade 45 degree prism all would be ok excepting for photo use. The mirror coating has failed cleaning has produced no improvement. This is my second ETX scope the first one shattered a hard stop and proceeded to strip the gears in auto mode this was replaced under warrenty this one beat the warrenty unfortunatley. I am based in the UK. Many Thanks MaxMike here: You need a "first surface" mirror, which is different from a your everyday type of mirror (coated on the backside of the glass). You can contact Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page); they may be help. Yes, you can use the erecting prism or even just a "visual back" to use an eyepiece at the rear port. See the Shutan Visual Back on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page.
Subject: ETX90 AT Issue - New User Mistake Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 16:32:17 From: Jeff Wieczorek (email@example.com) Thanks for this great resource. I just received my ETX90 AT today and am a little overwhelmed. My main problem is that after I took it out of the box, I tried to unscrew the dust cover, and I inadvertently disassembled some portion of the entire front of the telescope (all of the black band at the end of the telescope came off). Instead of a dust cover in my hand, I looked down and I saw myself staring back at me in some tiny little mirror. In a panic, I immediately screwed the assembly back onto the front of the telescope. I tried not to overtighten it - I just kept screwing it until it was hand-tight. I then figured out that the dust cover was the small thing on the front of this assembly and removed it. I took it outside, threw in an eyepiece, and managed to focus to a good level of detail on some pine needles on a tree up the block. My question(s) is(are) have I done any permanent damage to the telescope? Have I messed up the alignment? Did I let a bunch of junk get into the tube that ruined everything? Is it now junk, and am I going to have to spend another fortune getting this fixed? Thanks in advance for your help, it is truly appreciated, Respectfully, Jeff WieczorekMike here: You probably didn't mess up the collimation (although it is possible). As long as the lens housing is back in the same position it was before you removed it, and tightening it as you did is good, it should be OK. You can easily check this by doing a "star test". Let the telescope cool down to nighttime ambient temperature and then focus on a bright star. Vega makes a good one for this test. Once you have the star centered, slowly turn the focus knob to one side the infocus image. Then reverse the direction and turn it until it is out of focus the other way. In both cases you should see essentially concentric rings of light. As to anything getting inside the tube, as long as you were not standing in a dust storm or under a plant shedding a lot of pollen, you should be OK there too.
Thanks for the quick response - I'll try that star test thing when I figure out how to use this thing over the weekend...it's a little intimidating right now!
Subject: Questions about ETX finders Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 06:25:08 From: David Hanych (firstname.lastname@example.org) Which finder is more effective with an ETX - the right-angle optical found on the 105/125AT or the red dot found on the PE models? Does Meade's Right-Angle 8x25 Optical Finder bracket attach to the ETX OTA with screws? Can it be attached with double-sided tape to other scopes? DAHMike here: It isn't so much a question of what type of finderscope it effective on what type of telescope, but more a question of what type is more effective to YOU. Each type of finderscope has its pluses and minuses. Some people are more comfortable with red-dot (or 1X) finderscopes, some with straight-through magnifying finderscopes, and some with right-angle finderscopes. There are no mounting holes for any finderscope on the PE models so you would have to attach any finderscope in some other way. For more on finders, see the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page.
Subject: Re: ETX125 broken gear Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 05:00:29 From: Dieter.Wolf@DNSint.com (Dieter.Wolf@DNSint.com) Bonjour Gaetan, just a short hint before going into serious repair of your declination drive: You are sure that something is broken? Sometimes it happens - depending on how firmly you fix the axis - that the motors just manage to move in one direction (down, if nothing heavy is mounted on the ocular side) but not up ('against' the heavy front end of the scope) If it is not that easy - good luck for your repair. Dieter (Munich, Germany)
Subject: ETX-125 broken gear (declinaison) Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 14:43:25 From: France et Gatan (email@example.com) The declinaison gear box of my ETX-125 is broken. I dont know if it's only one or more gear, I have to open the right arm to check. The scope works well to go down but not to go up. Is it possible to have new parts from Meade? Or from someone else? Is it possible to have used parts? Is it possible to buy a new mount ( maybe it,s less expensif than sending (from Canada) my old ETX-125 to Meade for a repair). Any information would be appreciate. Thanks Gaetan Bergeron Quebec CanadaMike here: Meade won't sell you replacement parts like this. You can contact Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) and see if they have any. Alternatively you can contact Meade for a repair or perhaps even better, Dr. Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge tuneup service.
Subject: ETX wireless remote control.Possible? Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2006 11:14:12 From: Rex Moldoveanu (firstname.lastname@example.org) Wonderful site! I wonder if anyone can enlighten me on how could I control an ETX70-AT with Autostar #495 wirelessly? Ideally, I would like to access the scope from the pc I've got in the dinning-room through an laptop wich is already wireless enabled.How can this be done? Thank you in advance. Sincerely, Rex Aldershot, UKMike here: There are a couple of options that come to mind. One, the Orion Bluestar (http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=7666&kw=bluestar&st=2) which works with an Autostar #497 (you might need to update your #495 to a #497; easy) and Bluetooth. Two, get a wireless router for your PC and use the PC to control the laptop using a one of the many free or commercial applications that allow this. I use VNC on my Macs (VNC is free and open source for Unix, Windows, and Mac OS X). There is also Timbuktu for Macs and PCs and I'm sure there are other Windows apps as well.
Thank you, Mike for the fast and usefull reply! I've installed VNC and everything works brilliantly!!! Once again, thank you very much and keep up the good work! You and your site are like a gold mine for people wanting to know more. Very much appreciated. Sincerely, Rex
Subject: Potential ETX PE purchase Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2006 11:16:26 From: Dan.Ostler@td.com (Dan.Ostler@td.com) I have been following your most excellent site for many months, in anticipation of being able to afford to purchase a small Go To scope and am leaning toward the Meade ETX PE. While some owner comments are positive experiences it is natural that many more are from owners with problems with their scopes. I am trying to get a handle, if AT ALL possible, on how widespread these various problems might be. I won't be surprised if you are not in a position to answer any of the following questions, but here goes: 1) Do you know if Meade makes public any statistics on warranty work for their scopes? 2) If not, would you be brave enough to even "hazard" a guess as to the likelihood of a new owner experiencing problems that require warranty work? I would hope it would be 5% or less. 3) As someone who is trying to "talk himself" into the ETX PE do you think I would be correct in assuming that the odds of needing warranty work from Meade would probably be no worse than some of the competing manufacturers? As Meade has made improvements over the years, for someone contemplating a purchase now, should I ignore any particular parts of the archives on your site as now, perhaps, being out of date - i.e. pertaining to defects that have been fixed? Thanks again for the great job you do for the astronomical community! Dan OstlerMike here: Meade (like most companies I suspect) do not make warranty statistics available. It would be fascinating to see such numbers for telescopes, computers, Windows, cars, etc. And since I only see a percentage of Meade sales from comments on the Site, I could not even begin to hazard a guess. But I doubt that it is a very big number or dealers would stop selling Meade products. And of course there is always a possibility of anything product needing a warranty repair. My 2002 Toyota Prius is getting a new transmission tomorrow (at no charge to me) and having a transmission problem on Toyotas of any model is a VERY rare occurrence according to what I know and have heard. And yes, products always get improvements.
Subject: ETX maintenance 90 mm Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2006 01:23:21 From: Kedar (email@example.com) i have a problem with etx scope 90mm. one of the battery holders just came out. the reason being corrosion due to leak of battery. but the rest of the battery holders (5 out of 6) are ok. please advise what can i do to repair. are the batteries connected parallel or in series? can i create a separate battery holder and join the ends inside the scope? please help!! Kedar in kathmandu NepalMike here: If I understand your question, the batteries are in series. You could use an external power source (lots of tips on this on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page).
Subject: ETX Telescope Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 21:54:55 From: Andrew Telford (firstname.lastname@example.org) I'm thinking of buying a second hand ETX 90. Can you tell me how to know if the scope has UHTC coatings? I undestand this was an option on older scopes but is now standard. Great site! Rgds, Andrew TelfordMike here: UHTC isn't standard yet but is still an option. If the telescope has UHTC there will be UHTC label on the bottom of the tube.
Thanks for the quick reply Mike...can I have a supplementary question? Do you think UHTC makes that much difference? ( or is it marketing hype by Meade?) Rgds, AndyMike here: UHTC is definitely worth considering. It is like adding another inch of aperture; more light reaches your eye (or imager) than with the standard coating. It is not marketing hype; it is for real!
Subject: Blemished Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 15:55:26 From: Jon Carpenter (email@example.com) Do you know any scoop on these 125's from Adoram for $799? They say they are blemished, which they promise is only cosmetic?Mike here: It is not uncommon for dealers to offer these. They can come from Meade that way, be returned items from buyers, or floor models.
Subject: Broken Gear Box Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2006 20:06:22 From: Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org) Well, I finally had some time to take out my ETX 125 and try out the Phillips 840 on Jupiter. Like always I always try-out the telescope before going outside, just to make sure the batteries are good. I go out side with the table, laptop, 840, and scope. I go to align it. The vertical works fine but the horizon isn't moving. I check it out, maybe I forgot to tighten it right, not... I take everything back in and take the bottom out and I see that the BLUE brackets that hold the gears in place is broken allowing the one of the gears to shift to one side. So with all of that being said do you know where I can purchase a new motor and gearbox or do I have to send it in for repair to someone? Thanks, ChrisMike here: You can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) but you will likely either have to contact Meade for a repair or Dr. Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge Tune-up Service.
Thanks for the quick reply and I will put it into action in the morning. Chris
Subject: For the ETX125, is there a good visual focal reducer? Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2006 05:54:35 From: Mark South (email@example.com) I have an ETX-125 PE and I've heard that since this scope is f/15 that DSO are not as bright. Assuming that this is true, is there a good visual focal reducer for the ETX-125 that would brighten images and give a wider field of view? Sincerely, Mark D. South ETX-125 PE Meade LX6 8" SCT f/6.3Mike here: There are a couple available. There is a visual one from Scopetronix and the Wide Field Adapter from Shutan (see the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products for some comments).
Thanks Mike clear skies Mark
The Shutan WFA looks like a great thing to buy for the ETX-125. Final question. In your opinion, since the focal length is reduced, have you noticed that the visual images of DSO are brighter, somewhat brighter, or no difference? Sincerely, MarkMike here: The apparent brightness (that is, what your eye perceives) does increase somewhat since the light from the object is concentrated into a smaller area than it would otherwise be. The actual brightness does not change.
Don't worry about answering the question below because it is a dumb question. :) I forgot in all my research the focal ratio has no bearing on image brightness visually-- only photographically. Clear skies to you and love your site. I'll probably still buy the wide-field for photography later... MarkMike here: There are no dumb questions.
Subject: LEVEL NORTH TECHNOLOGY Sent: Monday, June 5, 2006 10:41:13 From:Mike here: The LNT module won't work on non-Premier Edition models. So there is no reason to add one just for the SmartFinder red-dot. You can purchase on the other red-dot or 1X style finderscopes like the Scopetronix LightSight or Rigel Systems QuikFinder. See the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page for more info.
(Caron.JM@forces.gc.ca) I have a ETX-90 and enjoy it very much but do find the pointer hard to use. I have read on your site on red dot and Daisy finder but reviewing the new Meade SmartFinder included in the Premier line is even better. Do you know if a can purchase a SmartFinder finder and install it to my ETX? Thank-you. Michel Caron
Thank-you for the quick response. MC
Subject: To supercharge or not to supercharge Sent: Sunday, June 4, 2006 22:40:05 From: Eric Rosenzweig (firstname.lastname@example.org) I've got a 105-PE that had the same jerky tracking problem that others have described. After 4 weeks at Meade I got the scope back and it was better for a bit, but now, instead of a jerky movement, it's a smoother, but still visible movement when tracking. The supercharging looks interesting and I was wondering your thoughts on just going for the supercharge and not sending it back to Meade for another time. I've only had the scope since 11/05 and have had my share of problems. Does supercharging void the warranty? Thanks in advance, Eric P.S. I've got a friend with a 125, non-PE having similar problems. Has this jerky tracking issue always been a problem with ETX, or does it just seem to be more prevalent lately? Might be worth a survey.Mike here: Jerkiness is somewhat in the eye of the beholder and can be caused by a multitude of culprits, including overtightening the axis locks. That isn't to say that loose parts won't also cause it. As equipment ages similar problems can also occur simply from the lubrication stiffening up. Sometimes just a simple redistribution of the lubrication will solve the problem. As to Supercharging, Dr. Clay does a great job. Contact him directly if you have any questions about his service.
As always, thanks for the advice. Keep up the good work!
Subject: ETX-125AT PE Serial numbers Sent: Friday, June 2, 2006 13:38:23 From: Frank Canterbury (Frank.Canterbury@wvdrs.org) I have just received my new ETX-125AT PE telescope and started to fill out the Product Registration Card to send back to MEADE. It requires the Serial Number for the scope, but I am unable to locate it. I have tried to called MEADE customer support, twice, and after holding for 22-minutes the first time and 31-minutes the second time before getting cutoff. I gave up and have turned to you. I have been reading the Mighty ETX Site now for two weeks in anticipation of receiving my new Scope, it arrived yesterday evening, and it has been overcast and rainy since yesterday, and expected to remain so until Monday. Anyway, I would appreciate it if you could let me know where the serial number is located. Thanks, and keep up the great work!! Sincerely, Frank CanterburyMike here: Some models didn't have serial numbers. But check inside the battery compartment or on the bottom of the base. Alternatively, if you have the brown shipping box, look on a label there.
Subject: Fwd: Re: Gear problem in ETX-90EC Sent: Thursday, June 1, 2006 14:44:12 From: saleh homidan (email@example.com) After more than 6 moths of waiting, I Finally received the electronic azimuth board from Meade. I do not want to make any more connection mistakes so please help me to do this. I have the following questions: 1- I've heard that some ETX-90EC gearboxes are different as Meade changed the style of drive assemblies. How could I make sure that I have the right one? 2- By looking to the photo you can see 4 JP's. JP1 is a 2 pins JP so nobody will make any mistake with it, but the others (JP2, JP3 and JP4) are similar, which wire goes to which JP? 3- All the wires ends, JP3 and JP4 are numbered, Are the numbers should be accordance? 4- There is no numbers printed for JP1 and JP2, What is the order of them? 5- There is 2 wires come from battery compartment, one is red and the other is black, where should I connect each of them (A, B or C)? Thanks for your help and support. Saleh AlhomidanMike here: I don't have any specific answers but I suggest looking at the old parts and make notes and compare to what you received.
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