ETX USER FEEDBACK - JUNE 1999
This page is for user comments and information of a general nature and applicable to users of both the original ETX model (now known as the ETX-90RA), the ETX-90EC, and the ETX-125EC. Items specific to the ETX-90EC are posted on the ETX-90EC User Feedback page. Items specific to the ETX-125EC are posted on the ETX-125EC User Feedback page. 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: Incorrect Hemisphere Description of RA Ring and Incorrect Total Minutes Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 9:29:59 From: email@example.com (Jim Hagerman) I just purchased an ETX90-EC and found the following 2 problems: 1) The description of which set of numbers to use on the RA ring for the Northern & Southern Hemispheres is backwards. I was on the phone for 45 minutes Monday with their technical support proving to them it was wrong. Finally they confirmed and agreed it was incorrect. They claimed no one else has ever reported this problem. 2) Last night I discovered that between 12H & 13H on the RA ring (top numbers) there are 65 minutes! I called their technical support today (Wednesday) and talked to someone different. When I mentioned that Monday I reported to them an error in their manual, they claimed ignorance. They also claimed that the RA ring is only meant for rough estimates of locations and should not be relied upon. Both of these problems give me a very poor feeling about their quality and technical support. It is very hard for me to believe that no one else has ever seen these problems with the RA ring. And if they have been reported, it is very disheartening that they have not resolved these problems or made sure that all of the technical support staff are informed. If they have these type of problems with something as fundamental and simple as the RA ring, what other problems will arise as I use the telescope more? This is my first telescope, and will be used primarily by my 13 year old son, have I made a big mistake? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you, Jim Hagerman mailto:firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: The reversed RA setting circle description has been noted here by several others. But yours is the first report of the 65 minute "hour". And it is that way on my ETX-90RA. But Meade is correct in that the RA setting circle is not intended for precision use. If these are the only two problems you have to report, you shouldn't believe you have a made a mistake. Consider them like minor software bugs; they don't crash your ETX.
The biggest problem is that BOTH of these things were wrong since the ETX-90RA and SHOULD have been fixed by now. The reversed RA is no real problem other then they should have fixed their manual by now, or at least have the information on their WEB site, or have told their customer technicians so people that call could be told. Where does Meade say that the RA setting circle is not intended for precision use? Even if this is true, they should AT LEAST not make such a stupid error that has been done now since their last reversion! They clearly explain how to use the RA to find everything, of course it won't be precision, but to be off by 5 minutes in their RA circle has no good explanation other than they don't pay attention to details. - Jim Hagerman
Subject: Very Impressed Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 5:52:47 From: email@example.com (Thomas Noppe) Just wanted to drop a note today and let everyone know how impressed I am with the ETX. Up until this morning I had only to look at Mars, Venus and the Moon. Of course I have looked at some stars and some deep sky objects (with little success) but the views were dissappointing. However, this morning (5:30 a.m. PST) I drug the ETX out and pointed it at Jupiter for the first time and WOW what a sight. I was able to the cloud bands very clearly as well as 6 of the moons (2 may have been stars), and this was with the sun comming up and not completely dark (can't wait to take a look when it is dark). I was also viewing with the stock 26mm eye piece. The wierd thing is that Jupiter and Saturn are about the same size, and although Jupiter appeared to the naked eye like a brite star, Saturn was nowhere to be seen (they should have been close together). Could this be because Saturn's color does not reflect as much light? Anyway, I am much more impressed with the ETX and it's capabilities.Mike here: Saturn is further from the sun than Jupiter, so receives less light to reflect. And it is further from us so less reflected light gets here.
Subject: Filters Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 3:24:15 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Manuel) Love your site. Its the main reason I decided to buy an etx and I've been happy ever since. Anyway, have you or anybody ever had any luck with visual filters, not color ones. I recently purchased an Orion broadband skyglow filter and have had no luck with it. Every nebula I look at doesn't show any better hint of its clouds. I've tried it on the Lagoon nebula, Trifid, and the Ring nebula with absolutely no improvement. Has anyone had any better views with different brands or ones like the Lumicon UHC or Oxygen III. I'm looking to put more money into buying a filter but dealer websites don't give me any detail of how much of a visual improvement would be. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas and the skies out here are pretty polluted. So I figured a broadband would'nt give me any noticable difference but I wondered if you ever tried any other types of filters. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thankx for the wonderful site. Adam ManuelMike here: Check the Accessories - Filters page for some user comments. Also, further down this Feedback page are a couple of reports.
Subject: T-mount digital camera? Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 0:34:11 From: DAGwyn@null.net (Douglas A. Gwyn) Are there any digital cameras that support T-mount? I'd like to use one at prime focus.Mike here: I'm not certain but one of the Olympus models might.
Subject: ETX TERRESTERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 1999 8:07:27 From: email@example.com (Steven Wheeler) Do you know of any sites, links, literature on using the ETX as a telephoto for wildlife photography. I am having a hard time finding such. Most of the information is related to astrophotography. Thanks in advance for any information you can forward. Steve Wheeler Steven R. Wheeler,M.F.C.C. Clinical CounselorMike here: Search my site for "bird". You'll find some info on using the ETX for "birding". I believe there are some links mentioned in some of the references.
Subject: broadband filter Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 1999 7:18:34 From: LooneyRoo@aol.com well, i told you that i was going to fill you in about how the filter worked once i got a good night of viewing, and last night was the best night -- and the worst night. it was the best, because there was not a cloud in the sky or a hint of wind. and the bad thing was that the moon was full and high in the sky. i decided that since i was not going to be getting prime results with the filter, i would make the viewing worse, by setting up a citronella candle (what i usually do, when i observe the moon) and turned on all the lights around my house. i figured i would test the limits of the filter... well, with all this in place i turned a quick eye to the moon and had a beautiful view of green maria and wisps of whiteish-green highlands... but the amazing feet took place when i told the scope to goto m57. this is, for me anyway, a hard to see object on a clear night without the filter. i figured that if i could see it with all of the above light pollution, then it would be great when i have a dark night. (plus it would justify the expense of the filter) to make a long story a bit shorter, the ring nebula was in fact apparent and was at the same level of visibility that it usually is at when i have a dark, moonless, candleless night. this little piece of glass is definitely worth the money! i'll fill you in more when the moon isn't so high up. thanks again for the great site! ~noah
Subject: What is it Sent: Sunday, June 27, 1999 22:37:16 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Daniel) on the 14th of june at around 7pm I was outside with my etx searching in the constellation of centaurus for NGC 5128. After having no luck in the finder i decided to try and imagine the boundaries of the constellation using just my eyes to see if that would help. I was not to far away from alpha centaurus when I notice a strange flash about 5 deg north of the star. It was like a star that was to faint to see, brightens to brighter that any other star in that area and then disappeared all with in a couple of seconds. I did some scaning in that area with my scope but found nothing. I put it down to one of two things, an Exploding star or an Iridium flare . The book Astronomy 1999 (Australian edition) says that the flares are seen during twilight hours, but twilight had finished and it had been pitch black for well over an hour, and what I saw was not moving. I don't think it could be an Exploding star either because don't they stay bright for months or even years? If you have any idea on what this might be it would be much appreciated. Clear Skies, Daniel Beringer, email@example.comMike here: It was probably an Iridium. There is a web site that you can check (although past events are only available for 48 hours). Go to: http://www2.gsoc.dlr.de.
Subject: broadband filter Sent: Saturday, June 26, 1999 14:18:31 From: LooneyRoo@aol.com i'm glad to see your site is up and running again. i just wanted to let you know that i received my broadband filter and while i have not had the opportunity to view nebula with, it has come in handy. last night the skies were cloudy and the moon was waxing gibbous, so deepsky viewing was impossible. but i used the filter while looking at the moon, and it helped to block much of the reflected light. so the broadband filter can actually be used as a moon filter. the only negative was that it produced a green image, but all of the maria and craters were very apparent. i may hold off on purchasing a moon filter now. the only thing i didn't get a chance to do was see if the filter can split doubles like a moon filter is advertised to do. i'll let you know in a few days if it is possible and also how the nebular viewing is. and as always... great site! ~noah
Subject: Gibbous Mars? Sent: Thursday, June 24, 1999 19:44:21 From: BKSTA2@shell.co.th (HMA/3 (Sukun T.) .) Just visit your site after the last unsuccessful try on Monday 21 June. The sky in Bangkok is still hazy/cloudy/rainy in the evening, but I managed to get the view of the Moon and Mars on last Sunday. I was surprised to see that the disk was not in full circle. I tried with higher magnifications and the gibbous Mars was more apparent. I've heard about the phases of Mercury and seen those of Venus but never heard about Mars. So I looked up in the Planet observation handbook and thought that it mentioned something about the gibbous Mars. I didn't know if this is correct, but I looked at Mars again last night and confirmed its gibbous appearance. Quite lucky, I also happened to see a satellite moving in the field during the observation. It looks like a small bright dot (well, not so bright!) moving steadily fast through the field at 48X. I was also able to move the ETX tube (manually) to track it for about 3-4 seconds. I also took a few photos of the moon. That's all for Bangkok cloudy skies. Best regards, Sukun T. Bangkok, Thailand : 100.20 E 13.47 N (I got the more precise location from a handheld GPS)
Subject: Image Shift Resolved!!! Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 1999 22:05:16 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tim Donovan) I finally got the time to try out the scope after making the following adjustments. All seems to be OK now. What I found was the focus shaft was actually bent slightly. Simply adjusting the rear cover of the scope was not enough to get clearance. I guaged the hole the focus shaft goes thru, (I believe I went from 7/32 to 1/4, don't remember exactly, but in any case I drilled out the hole by 1/32" ).After drilling and carefully realigning the cover, there is no more binding feeling & the image shift is only about 1/10th - 1/5th of what it was. How the shaft get bent in the first place, I have no idea. Thanks!! Tim
Subject: etx 90 ra Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 1999 15:07:20 From: email@example.com (E Mosser) Glad you are back. I really missed this site while it was away. I cannot tell you how much this site has meant to me. I purchased my etx in Oct 98 after finding your site and seeing someone post that JCPenney had it on sale for 25% off. Regarding a question of which eyepieces to own. In addition to the 26mm, I have purchased a 45mm and 14mm from Paul Rini. These are really nice eyepieces for the $$$. Last weekend I purchased a 2x shorty barlow and it completely blew me away. What a great accessory. As I use this scope more, I am amazed by the capabilities. Yes, it is a little disappointing for deep sky stuff...but the view of most Messier's is good and a great item to track down is double stars. This scope really works well for it. Technically...will the high focal ratio for the etx125 also restrict the viewing of the faint fuzzies. Regards, Ed Mosser - firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: Thanks. It is nice to be back online! "Faint fuzzies" will be a challenge. Doable but challenging.
Subject: Tripods for the ETX Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 1999 14:40:45 From: email@example.com (Brian Guckenberger) Has anyone out there mounted the ETX (90 or 125) on a Meade or Celestron Equatorial Wedge and Tripod? The wedge and tripod was designed for the larger SCT's, but seems like it would work OK for the ETX base. I have seen several forsale on Astromart and Ebay, and have been tempted to try it. The price on these used tripods have averaged around $150. Might be a bit of overkill as tripods go, but it still might be a cheaper alternative to buying the smaller Meade tripod designed for the ETX. Curious!! -- Brian Guckenberger _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ Brian Guckenberger email: firstname.lastname@example.org Computer Systems Integration http://internet40.msic.dia.mil:82 Nichols Research Corporation phone: (256) 876-9182 or Missile and Space Intelligence Center (256) 885-8000 (x1834) _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Subject: ETX rules! Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 1999 13:41:09 From: LiscumM@missouri.edu (Mannie Liscum) You site is a great resource. I recently purchased an ETX90EC and I've been loving it, although I've had very few nights of good seeing since I got it. I have a sub-page dedicated to space related things on my homepage...you may wish to add it to your list, or not. It's always great to find others who appreciate the greatness of our universe. keep up the great page. Cheers, Mannie ******************************************************************* Mannie Liscum Asst Prof Division of Biological Sciences 105 Tucker Hall University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65211 email: email@example.com (*Note change in address) office:573-882-2672; 108C Tucker Hall lab:573-882-2675 ;108 Tucker Hall fax: 573-882-0123 web page: http://www.biosci.missouri.edu/liscum/LiscumLabPage.html "The ending is just the beginning. The closer you get to the meaning, the sooner you'll find that you're dreaming"....RJD ******************************************************************* The Univeristy of Missouri-Columbia does not accept responsibility for the contents of this email, nor does it reflect the official position of the University.
Subject: [Fwd: [Nelpag] Stellafane] Sent: Friday, June 18, 1999 16:37:31 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tim Donovan) A "heads-up" on the pending crisis at Stellafane: Feel free to forward this message as far as it will go... *********************************************************** Dear Friend of Stellafane, What follows is an article that I have written to try and discourage the Town of Springfield from placing a Vermont State Prison 3 miles Southeast of Stellafane. The town vote will take place on June 29th 1999. Time is of the essence. After my article you will find a list of contacts of persons or agencies which may be able to influence this decision. Here is a 'laundry list' of possible arguments: 1) The spoiling of the natural tranquil beauty of the night sky - something which should be considered a natural resource. 2) The damage to the skies over Stellafane, reducing the viability of the Stellafane Conventions, and the year-round observatories at Stellafane (Both the Porter Turret and the superb new Schupmann Telescope) Stellafane Observatory is a National Historic Landmark, and very few observatories in the United States have been granted that distinction. 3) The loss of tourism that the dark skies of the Stellafane Convention draws to Springfield and the surrounding areas. 4) The devaluation of real property values associated with becoming a Prison Town. 5) The strain that a Prison will put on city services such as police and social services. 6) The likelihood that the only jobs produced will be relatively low paying. 7) The reduced likelihood that high tech companies and their employees would want to relocate to a Prison Town 8) Occasional prison breaks and transport of prisoners will become business as usual. 9) That the leftover land for the Town Industrial Park is may be too contaminated from toxic waste to be desirable. The other monetary concessions and other perks to the town have various stipulations that cannot be guaranteed. 10) With only 6 months notice the Prison can be turned over to private enterprise that will have no leverage to obtain those concessions. 11) That the prison will be filled up almost immediately and agreement says the State will be allowed to expand the facility footprint "if the need for increased bed space emerges." IF YOU ARE RECEIVING THIS AFTER THE JUNE 29th vote and THE PRISON WAS APPROVED.... Our Fallback Position is to argue that the Prison must be designed with the most modest full cut-off (FCO) lighting available to minimize the damage to the sky at such a close distance. (newest IESNA specs) Thank you for your concern for Stellafane. Sincerely, Maryann Arrien President, Stellafane Maryann V. Arrien President The Springfield Telescope Makers Telephone/Fax 914-528-7420 email@example.com http:/www.stellafane.com //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Prison Threatens Historic "House of the Stars" By Maryann Arrien President, "Stellafane" Back in 1924 I'm sure that Russell W. Porter never figured that the shrine
to the Stars that he was building might ever have a huge State Prison built just 3 miles away. It has 3 telescopes built into the house. In 1930 the world famous Porter Turret Telescope was added to the observatory. The present day members certainly didn't figure on a prison either when they undertook 7 years work to build the world largest operating Schupmann Telescope and housed it in the newly dedicated McGregor Observatory at Stellafane. We still carry on Russell Porter's tradition with free telescope making courses at the Community Center in Springfield. But let's talk about the big Convention. For the last 75 years, people from all over the world have been making the pilgrimage to Stellafane. Last year attendance was over 2000 people. Many of them brought additional family members who did not attend the convention, but certainly patronized countless businesses in the area. They came from England. Australia. Europe. Japan. Canada. South America. From all over the United States. The economic impact from all these visitors should not be underestimated. Why do they come? The sky is still dark and magnificent. The history of the place is very significant. It is the oldest and largest gathering of amateur telescope makers and amateur astronomers in North America. In 1989 it was granted National Historic Landmark status by the US Department of the Interior. There are only two other places in Vermont that are of sufficient historic national importance that they have been raised to the level of Historic "Landmark." According to David Levy, co-discoverer of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 which crashed into Jupiter: "There are over 100 major Star Parties around the world, but there is only one Stellafane." I have no idea why some other kind of industry can't be enticed to come to Springfield that would be 'nicer' and less light polluting. If anything like a Prison is built at a distance like that from Stellafane, the reflected light alone off the surfaces will be enough to severely harm the night sky. If that happens I, and others all over the world, will mourn that the "Mecca" of the amateur telescope makers and astronomers will be diminished forever. I hope that when the residents of Springfield make their decision on June 29th, they will remember these pictures of the "House of the Stars" and the beautiful priceless History of Springfield that is enshrined and revered at Stellafane. Stellafane Observatory has been here for 75 years and there's one important thing to remember - it's not portable. *** //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// //////////////////////////////////////// CONTACT LIST FOR RESPONSES: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// //////////////////////////////////////// firstname.lastname@example.org Commissioner Thomas W. Torti State of Vermont Dept of Building and General Services 2 Governor Aiken Avenue Drawer 33 Montpelier, VT 05633-5802 Phone # 802-828-3314 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////// email@example.com Jim Richardson State Engineer 802-828-5642 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////// firstname.lastname@example.org Kathleen C. Hoyt Secretary Agency of Administration State of Vermont 109 State Street Montpelier, VT 05609-0201 Phone # 802-828-3519 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////////// email@example.com John F Gorczyk, Commissioner CORRECTIONS, DEPARTMENT of (HUMAN SERVICES, AGENCY of) 103 South Main St Waterbury VT 05671-1001 802-241-2442 Fax: 802-241-2565 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// //////////////////////////////////////////// ***** Fax 802-828-3339 (no e-mail - must print out and fax or send by snail mail) Governor Howard B. Dean III State of Vermont 109 State Street Montpelier, VT 05609-0201 Phone 802-828-3333 ***** //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ///////////////////////////////////////// Bernie@mail.house.gov US Representative Bernard Sanders 202-225-4115 802-862-0697 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////// firstname.lastname@example.org Senator Jim Jeffords //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////// Senator Patrick Leahy no e-mail address web link page to his e-mail http://www.senate.gov/leahy/mail.html U.S. Mail: Patrick Leahy 433 Russell Senate Office Building United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-4242 Vermonters may call 1-800-642-3193 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ///////////////////////////////////////////////// email@example.com John P. Dumville, Historic Sites HISTORIC PRESERVATION, DIVISION for (HOUSING & COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT of) National Life Building, Drawer 20 (National Life Bldg., 6th Floor) Montpelier VT 05620-0501 802-828-3051 Fax # 802-828-3206 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////////// firstname.lastname@example.org Canute Dalmasse, Commissioner 802-241-3808 Fax: 802-244-5141 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, DEPARTMENT of (NATURAL RESOURCES, AGENCY of) 103 South Main St, 1 South Waterbury VT 05671-0401 802-241-3800 (main #) //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////// email@example.com Gainor Davis, Director VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY 109 State St, Montpelier VT 05609-0901 802-828-2291 //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// //////////////////////////////////////////////////////// e-mail list: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Bernie@mail.house.gov firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (please note that Governor Howard Dean would need to be sent a fax & messages to Senator Leahy would have to be pasted in at http://www.senate.gov/leahy/mail.html) *** --------------------------------------------------------- Daniel W. E. Green [firstname.lastname@example.org] Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A. _______________________________________________ Nelpag maillist - Nelpag@harvee.billerica.ma.us http://harvee.billerica.ma.us/mailman/listinfo/nelpag
Subject: nebular filters Sent: Thursday, June 17, 1999 19:22:09 From: LooneyRoo@aol.com i hope you get your site running soon as it is one of those "check every time i sign on" sorta sites... anyway, what i really wrote to you about was the meade broadband filter. i read up a bit on it and decided to purchase it from astronomics today ($84.49 including shipping). i can't wait to view some of those hard to see nebulas! but what i was wondering, and what doesn't seem to come up in any of the reviews is whether or not the filter will be able to enhance globular clusters... i can see m13, m3 and a few others very well, but will the filter help to resolve the individual stars near the edge? till now i have only been able to view a faint fuzzy blob, but some have said that the etx should be able to resolve the clusters edges slightly. the filter should blacken my light polluted skies a bit, but will it do anything to the stars resolution, or is it only going to enhance the nebular gases? i am assuming that the extra glass that the light has to go through might actually make the image worse, but if you have any knowledge as to what i will see please enlighten me. i should receive the filter in about a week so i will keep you posted on how it works... thanks for everything and good luck on getting your site up and running again! ~noahMike here: Check out the Orion Telescope filters page: http://www.telescope.com/categories.asp?cat=Filters:+Light+Pollution,+Solar,+and+Lunar for good explanations on what Broadband and Narrowband filters can do.
Subject: ETX Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 1999 17:36:17 From: NGT125@aol.com I JUST GOT MY ETX CAN YOU DIRECT ME TO ANY SITES I CAN LEARN ASTRONMY FROM THANKSMike here: Check out Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazine sites. Excellent starting points.
Subject: New ETX user Sent: Sunday, June 13, 1999 22:47:08 From: email@example.com (Thomas Noppe) I just got my ETX-90EC and Deluxe Field Tripod from the Natural Wonders Web Site (http://www.naturalwonders.com), this is my first telescope and I love it! A few comments about the ETX after my two days of usage. The gearing seems to be pretty sloppy, when moving the telescope using the buttons on the key pad, it takes a few seconds for the telescope to move in any speed other than the fastest, and then it seems to jerk quite a bit when it does move. The sidereal tracking seems to be a bit off, after fiddling with it, if I put it at 5% slower than sidereal it seems to track pretty accurately. As far as viewing, Venus and Mars show up very nicely (although it is just a white spot). This time of the month the moon is not up so I can't check it out yet. What lenses would you recommend for a beginner other than the standard 26 mm SP that comes with the ETX? I want to be able to see some deep sky objects such as a Nebula or Galaxy. Any help is greatly appreciated, and thank you for your web site, it has been immensely helpful to me. Thomas Noppe firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: Be certain to check out the Buyer/New User Tips page for eyepiece comments; also the Accessories - Eyepieces page.
Subject: HELP SETING UP ETX-90 EC Sent: Saturday, June 12, 1999 18:48:57 From: email@example.com (richard threlfall) I NEED HELP IN SETTING UP MY ETX 90 IN KINGSTON N H . WOULD YOU PLEASE HAV SOMEONE CALL ME AT 603 378 0451. THANK YOU DICK T
Subject: must be doing something wrong Sent: Friday, June 11, 1999 4:43:07 From: Louis.X.Ruggiero@chase.com Picked up my ETX 90, tripod and autostar this weekend from the Learningsmith and got 25% off the whole bundle. This is my first telescope and I have a few questions. First, I was able to track Mars and Spica in the finder scope for about a hour last night but lost them in the main scope after a few minutes. Most likely a finder and main scope alignment or a polar alignment problem. I'll keep at it. The question I have is how do you get to see Mars or any objects like the pictures on the side of the ETX packing box? Do you find the object using the sp26 (standard eyepiece) center it and change to a smaller eyepiece like the 9.7mm? I remember reading something about this in the manual but was unable to find it. I can see Mars the same looking with my naked eye as I can with the standard eyepiece. Lou Ruggiero RuggieroL@aol.comMike here: First off, don't expect the views through the telescope (any telescope) to look the same as high quality astrophotographs. Just won't happen, except for the Moon. Second, if you have properly setup your ETX and/or Autostar per the revised instructions on Meade's web site, then objects should stay centered in the eyepiece (not just the finderscope) for many minutes, at least. Finally, Mars should show a small disk with the 26mm eyepiece. If not, you may not have Mars in the field of view. By the way, sounds like you got a super deal! Congrats.
Subject: your deep sky photos Sent: Thursday, June 10, 1999 17:54:33 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Summit Kundaria) I was wondering what type of lens (focal ratio) and guiding tolerance you used with your pictures in your deep sky section. Thanks, SummitMike here: The telephoto is a 90-230mm zoom, f/4.5. The "deep sky" photos were done at 230mm. I used the Celestron Guide Eyepiece (12.5mm). Most guide stars were maintained within the inner ring on the "bulls eye" (as shown in the Celestron Guide Eyepiece comments on the Accessories - Eyepieces page on my site. Occasionally I would get sloppy or press the Microstar button too long and the guide star would move out as far as the outer ring on the bulls eye. I would quickly get the star back into position; such deviations were not detectable on the film.
Subject: Re: Mirror shift on the ETX Sent: Thursday, June 10, 1999 0:06:14 From: email@example.com (Tim Donovan) Dear Jae, On your advice, I removed the back cover of my ETX to check for any visibe signs of interference on the focus shaft. (Found none), but re-aligned the rear cover carefully to see if the shaft was getting resistance from the cover. I think this may do it. My Question to you: In the photo (from Doc G's Site), there is a collar around the focus shaft where it protrudes from the rear of the mirror cell. I put a yellow circle around it. Was this on your scope, as this collar is absent on my scope? (Possibly Doc G added this??) Thanks, Tim Photo on: Doc G's ETX Guider page www.mailbag.com/users/ragreiner/etxguider.html
Subject: Considering an ETX Sent: Wednesday, June 9, 1999 22:11:36 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Stuart A. Lyster) Thanks for your excellent webpage on the Meade ETX90. I am comparing it with the Celeron G3 and G5. Yours is a page that seems to have a balanced review of the ETX90 - other pages pan it all together. Is there any one thing that One should know before purchasing? Thanks for your time. Also, thanks for your page. Cheers, StuartMike here: Be certain to check the Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject: Re: ETX-125 Sent: Wednesday, June 9, 1999 22:07:17 From: KB3CNY@intergrafix.net (John J. Boyle) email@example.com wrote: > > KB3CNY@intergrafix.net (KB3CNY@intergrafix.net) said on 6/9/99 3:54: > > >Where can I find info on the ETX-125. I see lots of references to it, > >but no sources, etc. > > Well, there is some info on my ETX site on the ETX-125EC Feedback pages. > Also, some dealers have posted some info. Thanks Mike... Hey! Fantastic web site. It's mandatory cover-to-cover reading for prospective ETX buyers. ..jb
Subject: Cameras, CCD & ETX Sent: Tuesday, June 8, 1999 20:42:59 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (John R Latini) I'm going through all the Astrophotography articles on your site, trying to find info on CCD with the ETX. Of course I am looking at using the 125, but all the info is on the 90. I've e-mailed a few people and it does'nt look good for CCD on the ETX, from what they tell me. Also, reading about other cameras you have used, it seems the extra weight is putting a strain on the motor and gears, and causing problems with tracking, from what I've read, even in Equatorial mode. I was hoping to get some lonnnnnnnnnngg exposures (1900f/l) on some deep sky objects, but the drive does'nt sound like it will support a camera very well, CCD or regular. Any suggestions or comments on this? Thanks Again John L.Mike here: Can't speak directly about the ETX-125EC but in general long duration FILM astrophotography is a challenge. You can do it but you have to assist in the tracking somehow. For CCD photography, long exposures may not be required however. Yes, the extra weight and torgue required may be issues but proper counterbalancing can help. Search the site for "CCD"; you'll get lots of hits.
Whoa ! Did I speak too soon in my last e-mail? The "Quickcam" looks good. A digital camera(low cost too) that can be adapted to the ETX. Is this the "lightweight" solution to the extra load on the drive mechanism? So what is your evaluation of the quickcam for the ETX? Am I excited about nothing? Still reading the articlesMike here: Several people have successfully used the QuickCam (B&W and Color versions) with the ETX. You can search the site for "QuickCam".
Subject: materials for dew cap Sent: Tuesday, June 8, 1999 20:34:39 From: email@example.com (Fernando Sotomayor) I live in a place where we can not be find any accesory for astronomy. I want to make a dew cap for my ETX. Could you tell me please what are the physical propierties the material to make a dew cap should have? And how long should be a dew cap? If I know these propierties I will have a range of materials to choose. Thanks again, you already helped me previously. Fernando Sotomayor Lima, PeruMike here: Check the April 1999 Feedback page; there is one homemade one described there. If you search the site for "dew" you may find some others.
Subject: RE: ETX Sent: Monday, June 7, 1999 18:53:03 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Daniel Isaza) I'm trying to figure out how will the objects look in the three options that I have to buy a new telecope and I think that you could help me to take a decision. The first one is the ETX90EC, great, portable, but I have an 3" reflector now (very bad quality, like a TASCO) and I'm very disappointed with it, impossible to see the bands of clouds on jupiter or the Cassini division in Saturn's ring or the shadow of the planet on the rings, M42 has no distinguible shape and omega centaurii it's completely fuzzy and with no individual stars resolved in the edges, like a small circular cloud. I want to know if all these problems could be resolved with the optical performance of MEADE and it's model, the 90EC, also the image in the finder of my actual telescope looks darker that with the naked eye making the faint objects imposible to find through the finder, how looks the stars in the finder of the ETX, like in a pair of binoculars? Isn't the image of a planet at 390X looks too dark (i.e. Saturn)?I want to know if the optics of this scope are so great that I'll have no need of a larger telescope. If so, here's my second option: MEADE ETX125EC Fantastic, 5" of aperture and very portable, how different are the views with this one?, I think that the long focal ratio of this telescope its a disadvantage, why Meade made an f/15 telescope if the could keep the focal distance of the ETX90?, I think that if you gain more light collecting power, it's lost by the long f/ ratio, am I wrong? I'm thinking that the images on the ETX125 will look darker than in the ETX90, so why move to a 5" aperture with a larger f/ ratio? I'd have no doubt in buying the 125 if the would kept the focal ratio a little shorter. I'm so afraid of the long focal ratio because my actual telescope its an f/9 an if the images look so dark and confused on it how will they look in an f/15?? On the other hand maybe its the bad optics of my scope and not the f ratio what makes the images look dark and fuzzy. I have the feeling that I'm so wrong in this (and I hope you correct me) because I don't think Meade will loose the light gathering of a bigger mirror extending the focal distance. The point with this scope is: I want to know how different it is from the 90EC and what are the advantages, what more will I see if I buy this scope instead of the ETX90. the third that I'm considering its the 8" LX10, I know that this isn't a so "portable" telescope as the other ones buy I'll buy it if there's an enormous difference between this and the previous scope, sacrifying a lot of portability. I think this is a more serious equipment, but if the others can't fullfill my expectatives I'll pay the price, I'm trying to boy a scope for the rest of my life and I don't know if an ETX its the right scope to do so. Will I be missing a little of aperture in the future??. How far can this get me this telescope from the ETX 125? I'm only hoping to see detail on the planets, the red spot on jupiter, resolve individual stars in the outer regions of globular clusters, be able to look all the messiers clearly in my telescope, the cassini division in saturn, the shadow of the planet on the rings, maybe a moon. a distinctive shape in m42, the trapezium. If you tell me that I can look all of this with the ETX90, ok i'll go for it, but I'd like to know how far should I go to get all this, ETX 125 or LX10. the LX10 it's kinda expensive for me with some accesories but if it's the right telescope for a lifetime, I'll buy it. Thanks in advance Mike and sorry about my english Congratulations for your Website Sincerely Daniel Isaza http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Castle/7436Mike here: Well, the easy answer is to get the largest telescope you can afford. But remember you actually have to USE the telescope to get any benefit from the larger aperture. If you can't permanently mount a large telescope you will have to move it outside to observer and then back inside when you are done. And you'll want to do more precise polar alignments with the larger scope (otherwise things will drift out of the field-of-view quicker in the higher magnification eyepieces you'll use. So maybe you'll decide the largest telescope isn't really convenient for you. Then it comes down to the ETX-90EC vs the ETX-125EC. Again, if you don't really need the extreme portability of the smaller telescope, go for the ETX-125EC. But I'm saying that sight-unseen since I've not actually seen, let alone USE, the ETX-125EC. But to add more to your decision, you CAN see cloud bands on Jupiter, Cassini's Division in the Rings of Saturn, and even the ring shadow on the planet. Of course, extended nebula details are very hard to detect visually in any telescope. Good luck. Hope this helps.
It really helped me , I thinks it'll be the ETX125. I'll resend the message to the ETX mailing list to have a few more opinions and I'll let you know what I decide.
Subject: ETX Sent: Monday, June 7, 1999 13:13:20 From: Ken.George@COMPAQ.com (George, Ken) Thanks for posting my ETX on your site. I am please to announce that it was sold this weekend. Thank you so much. Ken George Technical Analyst Sprint Paranet (281) 518-3405
Subject: A Couple of Questions Sent: Monday, June 7, 1999 13:07:01 From: DYoung@cfund.org (Young, David) First off...I love your website!! Excellent provider of information. Here goes: I just ordered the ETX-90EC and a 2x Barlow, deluxe field tripod, and t-adapter along with the Autostar....I have an Olympus d-620L digital camera...wanted to know what I would need to hook it up to the scope for taking pictures....and I am also wondering: What case you recommend? A Tele-vue 5x powermate? What else should I examine or want to purchase? Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again, Sincerely, David S. Young David S. Young Manager, Business Systems Commonfund 450 Post Road East Westport, CT 06881 Phone: (203) 341-2143 Fax: (203) 341-2004 Email: email@example.com http://www.commonfund.orgMike here: You'll need a T-Mount ring for your camera. If the lens is not detachable you'll either have to handhold the camera over the eyepiece (which is what I've done) or get the Scopetronix camera bracket (or make one yourself). Search the site for "case"; you'll get lots of suggestions. Check the Accessories - Eyepieces page for a review of the PowerMate. Look at the Buyer/New User Tips page for some items to consider.
Subject: photo's Sent: Monday, June 7, 1999 11:10:38 From: PC@village.uunet.be (Patrick Cramm) Congratulations with your pic's. Were they all made with your ETX ? With wich eypiece you made that great orion nebula pic ? I bought myself an ETX also and would like some info on interesting subjects to look at (Mars was still very small)... I have an ETX + Barlow 2x + 9.7mm eyepiece. Greetings Patrick BelgiumMike here: All the photos on the site were done with an ETX, either through the ETX or using the ETX as the guide and tracking scope. My best shot of M42 was done with a camera and telephoto lens mounted piggyback on the ETX and guided using the ETX and an illuminated reticle eyepiece.
Subject: user feedback Sent: Monday, June 7, 1999 9:41:02 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Gary) i skimmed the e-mail from the former indiana resident, now living in england (lost the post) - anyway, since he has no one knowledgable in the US to check out the scope before it goes on a plane to him, i'd suggest a "Roger Tuthill pre-certified scope" - i know nothing about this, cost, etc. - but it seems to me this is a one shot deal, and it is my understanding that for a premium, the scope will be checked out....just adding my 2 cents...usual disclaimers, etc.
Subject: 'First Quarter'' Venus Sent: Monday, June 7, 1999 1:31:50 From: BKSTA2@shell.co.th (HMA/3 (Sukun T.) .) Tropical rain/cloudy skies have been with Bangkok almost every evening since late March. Not many chances for clear night sky for good observation. However, on Sat 5 June, about 30 min of open sky at 7.30 pm. I took the ETX 90 RA out to look at Mars and there is nothing so spectacular. Only the reddish surface with blackish maria and the Polar ice cap is invisible. I turn the scope to the bright Venus and its 'First quarter' Phase (half circle) is visible at 48X and 96X. That's all for the night as the clouds are covering up the sky again. I just realized that there is a private observatory equipped with MEADE 16" LX 200 in Thailand. It main objective is to support education in astronomy. Anyone interested can find more at its homepage http://kirdkao.org. Good news for Thai people who read this site...and More good news to come soon.... Clear skies...Hope, Sukun T. Bangkok, Thailand. 100.5 E, 13.5 N
Subject: Camera mount Sent: Sunday, June 6, 1999 21:35:52 From: email@example.com (John Chalfen) I was just looking at my camera and thinking. If hook my camera up to the #64 t-adapter and mount my camera to the back of the ETX, it almost seems to me that the camera is either going to: a) Produce a drag effect to throw off slewing or b) Put so much weight on the tail end of the ETX to throw off the gears (or strip) Older camera, not very large. Am I little off the mark here?? Any comments welcome. -------------------------------------------------- TIA and TTFN firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (I know...I know...)Mike here: No, you are not wrong. See my comments about the T-Adapter on the Accessories - Astrophotography page.
Subject: Re. Autostar, etc. Sent: Sunday, June 6, 1999 14:33:13 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Hurley) Howdy from light polluted and fog blanketed but otherwise pleasant SF, CA! My Autostar arrived in 1.0c condition and, while playing around with it, I saw that there were objects listed under the "Satellite" menu. In the course of my fiddling (I have PC cables on order and plan to upgrade to 1.1 ASAP), I hit "reset" and it seems to have deleted all of the Satellite listings (the version number still says "1.0c" however). The Meade tech (I called regarding the long screw problem on the Deluxe Field Tripod) "thought" that the 1.1 upgrade would re-populate that data but we'll see. Other observations and ongoing questions/areas of interest: 1. Am a Mac (iMac) user and am looking for cabling suggestions/experiences. I see that a cable can be rigged for Macs (seen elsewhere on this site), but has anyone done a config for USB yet? I'm inclined to wait for the Mac-compatible Java software, but if that doesn't come soon, I might try to emulate PC per Weasner's process. 2. Do not have the shear-off or (excessive) slop problems yet, but plan to boldly go in and do the tune-up procedure anyway. There is a LOT of excess grease in the works and I at least want to clean that up a bit--looks like that might improve grip. 3. Rec'd my #126 2x Barlow and have a question: Meade lit says it is 3x if "placed into the 'star diagonal'" Huh? I assume it's 2x when placed into the eyepiece holder or erecting prism and an eyepiece is then inserted into it. What other assembly sequence could Meade be referring to? 4. Thanks to Mr. Weasner, Mr. Blessing and all of the other intelligent, helpful ETX owners here. This site is superb!Mike here: Glad you like the site. I hope Meade or someone does do a USB cable. But until then, serial is the only option (of course, there are the USB-serial converters). As to the Barlow + "star diagonal", thought would only be 3X if the diagonal was a 1.5X (which it might be depending upon its design). And I know about fog blankets. I've been living with that almost every night since I got my Autostar software upgraded. Rats.
Subject: Barlow choice Sent: Sunday, June 6, 1999 11:21:43 From: email@example.com (Ike Hassoun) You've helped me before and here I am again. My next lens will be a 2x Barlow. The Meade short model recommended for the ETX90 is not achromatic while the Series 4000 one is. Question, any reason I should not spring the extra dollars for a lens with "better features?" Thanks, and again kudos on a really great site. Ike HassounMike here: Search the site for "barlow"; you'll find lots of references. Many users have reported successful results with both models of the Meade Barlow Lens.
Subject: Re: M13 resolution Sent: Sunday, June 6, 1999 8:37:12 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joe Hartley) Daniel Isaza wrote: > Could the ETX resolve individual stars in a globular cluster visually, > I mean, not in a photo, but with the trained eye i.e M13?? This is strictly a matter of aperture. In an ETX, even the "best" globular clusters, M3 and M13, show up as a fuzzball. In the 7" refractor I have access to at Frosty Drew (http://www.frostydrew.org), we can resolve some granularity, so that the cluster looks like a mound of sugar poured on black paper. In the 20" Obsession Dob reflector someone brought to the observatory last month, it was easy to see individual stars, with the cluster showing a depth that was breathtaking. That's why people spend the big buck on scopes like that! (And why Obsession is a perticularly apt name :) The ETX simply lacks the aperture to resolve such detail in a deep-sky object. That's not to say that it's not worth looking at in an ETX, but we need to know what our scope can and cannot do. It can't resolve the spiral arms in M51, or the dust lanes in M82, or individual stars in M13 - but it can show these objects, and we can wonder that we see them at all given the vast distances! ====================================================================== Joe Hartley - email@example.com - brainiac services, inc 12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI : 02827 - vox 401.782.9042 Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa
Subject: ETX Sent: Saturday, June 5, 1999 16:11:12 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Daniel Isaza) Could the ETX resolve individual stars in a globular cluster visually, I mean, not in a photo, but with the trained eye i.e M13?? I think I cannot use it here at 7 latitude as an equatorial mounted telescope, could I use it in altazimuth mode?? and even find objects in this mode with altazimuth coordinates??, will it track the stars accurately in the same mode? Disaza http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Castle/7436Mike here: The ETX-90EC with the Autostar will locate and track objects in Alt/Az mode. As to resolving individual stars in Globular Clusters, even the best telescopes will not do this at the core of the cluster but you should be able to resolve stars in the outer regions.
Subject: Focal reducer f/3.3 with the ETX90. Sent: Saturday, June 5, 1999 14:23:50 From: FjhDAVID@aol.com I plan to do CCD images with an ETX90/EC. To get a wider field of view, I want to use the new focal reducer from meade f/3.3 made for CCD use only. Meade says it works with all the SCT f/10 and f/6.3. Do you think I can use it with an SCT 8' adapter? Thanks Mike for your help Francois
Subject: A Few Thoughts Sent: Saturday, June 5, 1999 9:40:20 From: email@example.com (John R Latini) The ETX-90 is suppose to be the biggest selling telescope in the world............"BUT"................... After reading a lot of the complaints of operational and construction weaknesses of the ETX on this site , including yours with the Autostar GOTO problems and Alignment problems, people returning their unit not one, but several times, and STILL getting telescopes that don't work, I'm starting to get concerned. It sounds like Meade has a serious problem in their Quality Control Department. Maybe some inspector is coming to work with a hangover too many times a week, or perhaps Management is "buying off" assemblies or materials, just to meet a shipping schedule. or maybe they don't have enough qualified inspectors, who knows...... I am waiting for my 125, but if it is "Q-C'd" the way the 90s are, I think I might be facing a lot of frustrating observing sessions, and a lot of buyers regret. I agree with the guy who e-mailed you, who has gone through several ETX-90 units and is about to give up, he said, "They have to work ALL THE TIME, not just Some of the time". That would seem to be a given, and common sense. Even if the scope is priced low for the mass market, still, it should work and do what it is advertised to do. I am looking forward to a 5 inch GOTO scope that WORKS according to its specifications, and I don't expect it to be an LX-200, but at least have an envelope of reliability, within its specifications as advertised, at $900. Am I asking TOO MUCH? I hope not; I think my expectations of Quality, are what most people expect. It seems the problems are in the software, assembly (loose & missing parts) and materials, (the broken shaft you found) and not in the actual tube assembly. Concerned and thinking twice. John L.Mike here: I believe that Meade has been addressing the problems in the Autostar software (as evidenced by the positive reports on the 1.1m update), the flawed right tube assembly, and the "teflon pads" used in the original ETX that are not used in the ETX-90EC. I'm sure there are more examples. As to the ETX-125EC, we will all have to wait and see. On the other hand, is Meade the only company with negative consumer reports? Obviously not. If there are Celestron C5, G3, and/or G5 user supported web sites, perhaps there are the same types of reports there as we have on the ETX, both positive and negative. But I don't even know if there are such sites.
I surely don't want to imply some sort of "Meade bashing" of any kind, although I have heard similar stories from other people, other than on your website. While at the RTMC I listened to people complaining to Meade reps about grease leaking from their brand new scopes. It actually seems a shame that these kinds of stories and reports are circulating, even on your site. I have worked in Quality Control and I know how it works. Defective units allowed to pass through inspection, usually means either someone is not doing their job to spot defects before they are passed down through the assembly line, or Management is pushing so hard to "Make Shipment" that they turn their heads, when defects are spotted, and simply say, "Ship It" just to meet quotas. Meade seems like a world class operation, (factory tour on their site), and it is really supprising to find these kinds of reports from consumers. It would seem logical that the 125 is manufactured exactly the same way as the 90, maybe even on the same assembly line, by the same workers, since the 125 is basically a big 90, with a few alterations. Maybe there are "horror stories" about other telescope manufacturers, I don't know. What I do know is that I put out a thousand bucks of my hard earned money for a Meade scope, and I assume it is going to work as it should, according to the specs, when I get it, just like other small items I buy, (microwave oven, VCR, 19 inch TV, power saw, lawnmower, camera or whatever) which I have never had a problem with, when purchased, brand new. Meades manufacturing process, is still a "manufacturing process" and they all follow the same pattern, no matter what the product is. There just seems to be a lot of people complaining about the unit, (not including the tube assembly and optics). I did'nt go looking for these reports of problems, they were "there" and fell into my lap, and upon my ears, and before my eyes. Hoping for the bestMike here: Meade, like most successful companies, does their best at delivering quality products. Only a few companies deliberately ignore quality or accept second-best in their products.
I had looked at Meade as a company that "would" deliver quality products. That would only seem to make good business sense. Any good company would not want people receiving poor quality units that are defective and give a bad impression to the consumer and the public. That is why I am surprised and dismayed over these reports of defective scopes that I keep coming acrossby customers. I think that Meade wants good quality products to hit the market, but someone there, in their factory is dropping the ball, and not getting caught, and that is how these defective units get out there. I don't know what else it could be. I doubt if it's "shipping damage", and if it is, they should take a look at their packaging criteria. But that does'nt account for the GOTO problems, which you said are now being addressed. Actually, I am on Meades side. I want them to give me a good product so I am satisfied, and therefore one more happy user of Meade telescopes. The 5 inch ETX at $!,060 with GOTO, just seems like such a great deal, I really don't want to end up with a sour taste in my mouth about it. Hoping for good seeing & automation with the ETX-125 John L.
Subject: etx Sent: Saturday, June 5, 1999 9:01:17 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dusty Rhodes) can u give me some advice on a new scope. i have an etx but it just doesnt show much detail on jupiter and saturn, i want to see the red spot and cassini. can you give me some advice on the type/ model of scope i need? i have about $2500 max to spend thanksMike here: Using the ETX, you can see the Great Red Spot on Jupiter when it is visible and Cassini's Division in the Rings of Saturn. But as to a larger telescope, I suggest you post your message on the sci.astro.amateur newsgroup.
Subject: ETX Sale Sent: Saturday, June 5, 1999 7:52:03 From: DKretzer@sacbee.com (Dale Kretzer) For what it's worth, Fry's Electronics out here, which has huge stores in the SF Bay Area and the newest in Sacramento, just put the ETX90/EC on sale for $588 through next Tuesday (June 8). They don't charge shipping, just the typical 7.75% local sales tax, giving them about the best total price I've found. They also carry the field tripod for $199.95 and the Auto-Star for $149.95, plus tax (only), also edging out the competition.Added later:
It probably would have helped make my message clearer if I had included the fact that many of the businesses here in the Central Valley that handle Meade products like to do the old "drop shipment" routine. That means they always pass along shipping costs, and that can add up if you order the ETX and the tripod. Someone ordering from outside California can avoid the state tax, but here I was facing the tax and the shipping no matter where I looked. It's not a big matter, but it just stuck in my craw enough for me to appreciate the difference. I was looking at more than $25 shipping for the ETX/tripod combo to my home in Lodi. -Dale Kretzer
Subject: ETX and Epoch2000cd software Sent: Saturday, June 5, 1999 1:51:20 From: TZIMMS@aol.com I don't think this is where I write to ask questions, but nobody has info for this question. Sorry for the inconvenience. What do I need to do to get the epoch2000cd software to run the ETXEC-90? there's no selection for it since the software was wrote before the ETX was made. Thanks. Todd
Subject: Astronomy Site Sent: Friday, June 4, 1999 9:31:42 From: email@example.com (Jess_Zazuetamaging.com>) I've been reading your web site since two years ago and it is an obligatory stop when astronomy web search implies. I'm an owner of an ETX and a LX200. I have founded an astronomy club here in northwestern Mxico and this is our web site www.saasin.org we would like you to add this link to your Links page, Thanks Jess Zazueta
Subject: ETX-90/EC Sent: Friday, June 4, 1999 1:59:28 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Newman) I live in the south of England...originally from Indiana. My 9 year-old daughter is very interested in astronomy. Through her interest I'm learning things I've always wanted to know, but didn't bother to find out. I should tell you....I am a RANK AMATEUR and can only find a few constellations and at the moment enjoying Venus and Mars in the sky. We have observed the Moon through a spotting scope for years. I plan to buy a telescope soon. I've done some research on the net and I'm down to two choices....the Meade 4500 (VERY good price...bulky, and perhaps too hard to use?) and the ETX90EC....(pricey at three times the cost...here in England...but looks like fun and very portable which is important) I see this being my only scope so I want it to be the right choice for Alice's future. I'm leaning toward the ETX, but this is a major investment for me so I'm trying to get the best deal I can. In England the best I can do is almost 700 ( $1000). My sister is visiting me in July and said she can bring one for me. Is it safe to buy one from a shop? Are there set-up things i need to be aware of? Can she buy one new, bring it to England, unbox it and use it? Also, do you know of a good way to obtain an ETX in the next month and how much it would cost in dollars? I'm sorry if I'm wasting your time....these are questions that are hard to answer from where I am and ANY help or advice would be most welcome. Please respond to dale @farmuk.demon.co.uk Kind regards, DaleMike here: From your description, the ETX-90EC would make an excellent choice. If your sister does buy one and bring it with her there are two things to consider: 1) be certain she or someone knowledgeable checks it out before getting on the plane, and 2) take it on the plane as handcarried luggage. Buying one in the United States should run about $600 for the basic ETX-90EC. Add another $150 if you want the Autostar. Most dealers have the ETX-90EC in stock; Autostars may be in short supply right now.
Thanks very much for your message. i've decided to go with the ETX 90EC. Getting someone to check it out on the U.S. end could be a problem because we don't know anyone knowledgable to do that, but we're going to look into it. She will buy the hard-shell briefcase and carry it hand luggage. I have a lot of experience taking guitars onto aircraft, so I know the value of your advice. I was in London on Thursday, so I stopped at Telescope House on Farringdon St.....they had a display model....my first impression was that it was a bit plasticy, particularly the base...but, I guess that's why it is so light which makes it so portable. They told me that every ETX they have had in new needed checking out and, in particular, needed the oil (grease?) cleaned off. They will do this (for a price, of course) for me. I contacted Meade direct and they said that the fact that it was bought in the U.S. and lives in England would'nt affect the warrantee. Anyway, your sight has been a big factor in making my decision....for that thank you! I'll will visit it regularly and try not to be a nuisance.
Subject: CCD Sent: Thursday, June 3, 1999 22:24:43 From: email@example.com (John R Latini) I'm planning on doing some CCD with my ETX-125. I was planning on building a CCD unit, using the TI-chip rather than buying a Meade CCD 208 or 216. Sorry I can't afford a "Santa Barbara Instruments" device. Maybe when I hit the Lotto this Saturday (LOL). Any comments on CCD for the ETX? John L.Mike here: Search the site for "CCD"; you will gets many hits.
Subject: ETX - startup Sent: Thursday, June 3, 1999 14:04:29 From: firstname.lastname@example.org If I am whey out of bounds in asking you this question, feel free to send me on my way. I received an ETX as a gift. I've always looked up to the stars - usually with my naked eye - so the telescope was the next obvious step. My question is - is there any place on the web or some book that kinda steps you through getting started with a scope, preferably, with the ETX? I am so excited to get started, but find myself fumbling with it and not well educated on how best to use it. It gets frustrating and the scope ends up sitting ther eunused. Where do astronomers start? anyways If you can provide some guidance or direction, I am truly appreciative. Michelle Greenleaf email@example.comMike here: There are LOTS of good resources on the web. Start by checking the Book Reviews on my ETX site. That will give you an idea of some good books to consider. Then go to my Astronomy Links page and check out places like the sites for Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines. And don't forget to check the Buyers/New User Tips page on my site. Finally, check out the other sites listed on my Astronomy Links page. Have fun! By the way, when I began I just had books to read. Norton's Star Atlas was one of my favorites.
Subject: New website Sent: Wednesday, June 2, 1999 16:01:45 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joe Hartley) I've put ap a new website that collects the reviews I've written for the Mighty ETX site and others, along with pictures of my setup. It's at http://etx.brainiac.com Hope you enjoy it! ====================================================================== Joe Hartley - email@example.com - brainiac services, inc 12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI : 02827 - vox 401.782.9042 Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa
Subject: 25% off Sent: Wednesday, June 2, 1999 13:34:04 From: Louis.X.Ruggiero@chase.com Great site, lots of good info. Just found out that the Learnsmith store at Short Hills Mall, NJ is have a 25% (you get a coupon at the sales counter) off sale this Saturday 6/5/99. I called to check if the etx 90EC was one of the items on sale. According to the sales person it is. The coupoon is good for only one item, but I asked if I could also use the coupon for the tripod and autostar if I purchased them all together and was finally given an OK. Since my luck was going in the right direction, I asked if I could use the coupon for the 125 (advance order it.) Waiting for a call back from HQ. e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Hnmmmmm Sent: Wednesday, June 2, 1999 11:57:17 From: email@example.com (doug) Like the no AOL!! Your site sure loads faster! Doug
Subject: ETX-90EC Questions Sent: Wednesday, June 2, 1999 7:22:40 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Gregg Carter) Got the replacment ETX-90EC, but alas, no clear skies yet. However, I've been exercising the declination axis from time to time, and no failure as of yet. Now for the questions: are there any optical tests I should perform on my new scope to ensure that the optics are as advertised? I'm thinking of collimation tests, diffraction-limited optics tests, etc. If so, where can I find a description of how to perform the tests? Thanks, Gregg CarterMike here: There is a collimation test described on the Tech Tips page.
Subject: Calming Tripod jiggles Sent: Tuesday, June 1, 1999 13:04:59 From: email@example.com (Ralph Lambert) I have the classic ETX and the Meade Field tripod. I decided to fight the jiggles (which weren't bad and mostly happen during focusing anyway) on several fronts. So I did the following: 1 Make sure that all bolts are snug, including the RA and Dec adjustment screws on the tripod and the large screw on the bottom of the tripod head. 2 I placed some thin (from mailing envelope) closed cell foam between the large washers found on the large screw that holds the tripod head to the tripod. An old bicycle inner tube tire might work better. 3 I used two rubber plumbers washers (I had to enlarge the central hole a bit) on the bottom of the two bolts that hold the ETX to the tripod. 4 I made my own vibration dampeners for the tripod feet. I cut scrap 3/4" plywood into 2X2.5" rectangles and drilled a slanting hole partway through each (to accept the tripod foot). I then bought a 5mm thick soft computer mouse pad for $3 and cut 2x2.5" sections off the end. These I glued using rubber cement to the bottom of the plywood pieces. It seems to work--of course it still jiggles when I focus but it settles fast.Mike here: Using a clothes pin on the focusing knob can help reduce vibrations.
Subject: Apogee accessories Sent: Tuesday, June 1, 1999 12:40:00 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ralph Lambert) I'm wondering what anyones experience is with the Apogee widefield adaptor, focal reducer, or their tele extender for the ETX is?Mike here: See the Accessories - Showcase Products page; I discuss the Widefield Adapter and Tele-Extender there under the Shutan name. I believe they are from Apogee.
Subject: JMI Sent: Tuesday, June 1, 1999 8:17:55 From: Bernhard.Kohmanns@mchp.siemens.de (Bernhard Kohmanns) Hallo, does JMI also sell and ship to Germany? How much is the shipping fee? Thanks and best regards, Bernhard KohmannsMike here: Beats me. Check their web site (http://www.jimsmobile.com).
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