Last updated: 29 March 2002
Subject: To good of a deal? Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2002 22:42:15 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Eddie Sola) Recently I have been EXTEMELY interested in astronomy. Partly due to the fact that my 9 year old daughter is studing it in her school and she is very interested in space and such. As a young child, I had always been fascinated about the great blackness above, but never had the money to invest in anything worth while in a telescope. Now that I'm all grown up and have some money I really want to give my daughter what I couldn't when I was her age. (Ok, it's for me too :>) ) Anyway, I was browsing a few ads in on the interenet newspapers and ran across this, what I think, is an unbelievable deal, but I want your input please. Here is the ad I saw: ======================================================= ETX-105EC, Deluxe Field Tripod, Autostar 495 (upgraded to 497), Electric Focus, 505 cable connector set, Electronic Eyepiece, Scopetronix 30,20 & 12.5 Plossl EP's, Meade 4000 Super Plossl 26, 9.7 & 6.4 EP's, Sirrus Orion 10mm PLossl EP, #82a Lt Blue, #8 Lt Yellow & Moon filters, Meade 2x & 3x Barlow, Starry Night Pro 3.1 Full Retail Version & last but not least a compass. The telescope and all accessories are in new condition only use 4 or 5 times never farther than my driveway. Reason for selling is #1 I have too much light pollution around my house and #2 I have the fix my boat up for summer fever! Payment within 5 days and acutal shipping charges. I prefer FedEx but they are more expensive than UPS. Will leave shipping method up to buyer! I am able to accept a credit card through my work with a 2% extra charge. Let me know if you need this option. Link to the a few more pictures http://www.curious.net/etxpics.htm I forgot I have the standard camera adapter. Never even used, wouldnt fit my camera. ======================================================= Now I'm very new to this whole computerized telescope stuff, but I know what I want to see out of one. Definately the cloud bands on Jupiter most of the surrounding galaxy's etc. What can I expect out of this telescope. He is asking $1050.00 Should I take it and run or keep looking? The faster the response the better of a chance I will have of getting this if need be. Thank you. EddieMike here: Buying a used telescope "sight unseen" is always a risk. You really don't know what condition things are in. You should also consider whether you need all those accessories right now or could just buy a new one with less accessories. The ETX-105EC is a fine telescope and you will be able to see a lot with it. But whether or not it will live up to your expectations or not only you can say. You should read through the User Observations on the ETX Site to see if any telescope this small will meet your needs. Yes, you can see cloud bands on Jupiter and Saturn's Ring. And a whole lot more. Just don't expect to see the same details you see in many photos.
Thank you for your response so quickly. I was reading that maybe the Celestron NexStar5 or NexStar8 would be a better buy then? I saw the comparison on the etx-125 to the nexstar5 and it seems the nexstar5 has a better drive unit and is able for deep space. I just thought the etx-105 was a good deal since it came with the tripod, filters, electric focuser, etc.. Thank you for your help on this matter! Eddie
Subject: ETX-105EC Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 7:37:36 From: email@example.com (Tom Mewherter) I purchased an ETX-105EC and an Autostar controller about a week ago from a Discovery Channel Store. I was not sure this was a good idea after reading many articles about "department store" telescopes. I also felt somewhat victomized by such a purchase a few years ago of a 4.5" reflector (Polaris by MEADE) that I probably paid 3 times too much for. Well, I modified that old tripod with the addition of a round, 1/2" thick aluminum plate to provide a good sturdy base for the 105. (Nice to have a machine shop available). Friday night was clear and cool here in Southeast Louisiana so I decided to set up and see what the 105 could do from the bottom of this fish bowl we live in. I set up in a field about 200 feet from the apartment complex on the "dark" side of the huge parking lot spot lights. I homed the scope and pointed in the general direction of Polaris and went to easy align. The 105 picked the first star for alignment and I assumed it was the brightest one in the general direction the scope was pointing so I centered it up. The 105 picked the second star, and again I figured it must be the bright one. The controller came back with alignment successful and waited for me to pick the first object. I selected Jupiter and watched with some amazement as the 105 put the crosshairs of the guidescope right on. Cloud bands on Jupiter were very clearly seen. Saturn was next, then Mars, right on each time. Thought I would give the Orion Nebula a try even with all the light and to my surprise, there it was. Every object I choose based on what I thought I could see with all the light pollution was near centered in the 26mm eyepiece every time. The detail on the moon was breathtaking. I am very pleased with the optics and though I am no expert, I think I got a good one. Stars are bright pinpoints of light and off focus objects look like little donuts. I can't wait to get to a really dark sky site. I may send you a quick update once I have done that. Thanks for a very informative web site, had I found it before I bought my 105 I may not have waited so long. Tom
Subject: Electric focuser Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 7:48:02 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (marc.delaney) Pleasure and dissapointment ought not to be inflicted at the same time, but they did on me! I recently upgraded my old ETX-90 for an ETX-105EC because the 90 mount is, as has already been documented, rather flimsy. The 105 mount seems a definite improvement and its slewing and locks are much more precise. That's the pleasure bit. Now the disappointment: Mead's adverts say that the electric focuser #1244 fits and works with all ETX-90 and ETX-105 models. I had an electric focuser on the 90, so I transferred it to the 105 and it doesn't work. It worked fine with the 90, but on the 105 the focuser's knurled roller just misses the teeth of the brass wheel that fits on the focus rod. Mead ought to be more careful in their advertising. No dealer here in the UK has any info on this problem, and Mead in the USA appear to be contactable only through an expensive overseas call (I haven't called them yet). Any comments from you and other ETX users most welcome. Best wishes and thanks again for such a useful site. MarcMike here: The focuser issue has been discussed on the ETX Site. Apparently there are some focusers that should work with the ETX-105EC but don't. Hopefully, the current versions have addressed this incompatibility.
Thanks for your prompt response. On an impulse, I emailed ScopeTronix with the same query, and this was Jordan Blessing's reply: "I just called Meade for an answer...They said, " the #1244 is currently being redesigned so that it will fit both the ETX90 and ETX105 and the new unit will be available shortly. Owners who have the older focusers will be allowed to exchange them for a limited time.Jordan Blessing, ScopeTronix Astronomy Products". I'd like to say that I am tremendously impressed by ScopeTronix "service", even though it is obviously that being a UK resident I am unlikely to be a customer. Can you print this as a well-deserved plug for ScopeTronix please? And finally, but definitely not least, again my admiration for your superb site! Marc (Wales, UK)
Subject: Etx-105 & 883 Tripod Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 18:43:52 From: Marknjuli@aol.com With my 105 I use the Scopetronix medium duty tripod adapter (sturdy aluminum). It does add a significant amount of stability. Mark
Subject: 105 & 883 deluxe field tripod Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 18:12:53 From: email@example.com (MindSpring Account) I find that the plastic base of the 105 flexes very easily when attached to the #883 tripod, which in turn causes a great deal of extra scope shake. I have seen some of the home grown mounting plates in the Tech Tips section, but does Meade make a metal mounting plate for the 105? I have heard that they make one for the 125, but I have not been able to find one. Is there a part number, and can anyone tell me if it will work with the 105? Thanks, DaveMike here: I haven't heard of a plate for the 105 from Meade.
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