Last updated: 31 March 2004
Subject: ETX 105 mod irregularities Date: 3/31/04, 11:35 From: Mal Leyland (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have just taken delivery of the above scope with Autostar 497. I came across your site and may I say how interesting and comprehensive it is. Anyway to business, I have noticed that out of the box the scope seems to have some of the problems that are addressed on your site, in perticular the loose clutch problem and the poor motor response problem. I was happy to see that Clay Sherrod had addressed these problems with some very detailed articles, so I downloaded them and thought I'll have a go (being quite handy with the old tools) I realise there is a warranty issue here but I had mine by mail order and did not fancy sending it back across the country if I could sort it simply myself. The problem I have is that my scopes mechanical workings seem to be different to what is apparently being described in the aforementioned articles. Clay talks about the Fork arms having trunions and no bearings, mine very definitely has bearings fitted. Also he describes how to remove the OTA by removing 2 allen screws (there are in fact 4, 2 either side) and quite easily pulling the OTA body backwards from the supports. I tried this and found that where the screws pass through the OTA support arms into the rear housing of the OTA there are plastic protrusions/locators on the inside of the support arms that fit into mating holes in the rear housing, These are about 8mm in length and most definitely do not want to let you pull the OTA backwards. It would take a considerable amount of flexing the arms outward to free them from their corresponding holes. I have given up for the time being, not wanting to do any damage. There is the possibility that I am reading the articles wrongly but I do not think I would be so far out. Can it be that Meade has reworked the housings in its latest models. It would be a bugger if someone tried over-zealously to take apart a scope that did not conform to the ones used in Clays articles. Regards Mal Leyland
Subject: ETX 105AT UHTC disappointing so far Date: 3/20/04, 21:02 From: JaePbond@aol.com Just to check in. I think I mentioned to you that I purchased a 105 and the finder eyepiece popped out. Meade sent another one and it too popped out. The dealer mention they had others do the same thing. But this is minor compared to what I would attribute to as a less than an optimum optical sample, in fact, not acceptable in my mind. This sample came misaligned and after careful alignment (distinct in focus diffraction rings at high power), it still did not perform to expectation. I can sense the potential of this scope (very dark sky background, good contrast potential) however, it is more sensitive to seeing conditions and the star test indicates some spherical aberation. On top of this, the image shift is larger than any SCT that I've owned. About 4 Jupiters ! Thus it falls well short of my ETX 90 in terms of providing a satisfying viewing experience. My 90 is the second sample of two that I've owned and has absolutely superb optics. In fact the 90 gave an excellent C5 sample such a good run for the money that I had hoped a 105 w/UHTC coatings would prove superior in some respects. Not to be so far. I plan on sending this sample back to Meade. Have you had good experience with Meade replacing ota's that were less than par ? I had hope to provide a positive review on this scope to follow up my past experiences but I plan on getting a better sample and report back. I'm not giving up on it yet. Jae PMike here: It could be that the optics were knocked out of alignment during shipment but hard to say whether that occurred or not. I am curious how you re-aligned the optics; that could make a good Tech Tip article.
It doesn't seem likely it was knocked out during shipment. The seals (paint on screws) were in place so probably misaligned at the factory. I don't think my technique for alignment was any different than those already posted on the sight. I used a ball bearing with a light shining on it and focused the scope from about 50 feet away. Essentially adjusting the screws until the pattern was carefully centered out of focus and then infocus. Checked on stars and found the alignment to be solid. Before the procedure the patterns were skewed, both out of focus and infocus. Not by a lot but enough to impact performance. Anyway I think the figure on the optics must have some manufacturing variation. Jae P
Subject: Meade ETX105 vs ETX125 Date: 3/5/04, 10:16 From: Niall Saunders (email@example.com) To: John@JHenry.co.uk Hi John, As an ETX-105 user, and as someone who also has daily access to a MEADE LXD55 8" SCT, I can say that I am quite happy with the ETX-105. The difference in purchase price, for a beginner, would be far better invested in some of the various accessories that you will almost certainly find yourself wanting (note, I didn't use the word 'needing' - although that is how you will justify the further expense!!). I would even go as far as to say that, if you truly wanted to upgrade later, then you will get a good resale value on the likes of eBay. I have had my scope since just before Christmas, (speak to Luigi Papagno at f1cameras.com), and - once I am back in full employment will most likely use the extra income for 'add-ons' rather than for an upgrade. Long-term? I will probably add another 8" SCT (on an LX90 mount) to complement my neighbour's LXD55 8" SCT - but would be KEEPING the ETX-105, simply because it is 'just right'. (And for those who remember my 'scope from hell' problems - it never went back to Meade (yet), I just opened up the base, and tightened all the mounting screws. This seems to be the most common requirement for a scope from Meade. We even had to do the same for the LXD55 mount - EVERY single bolt inside the GEM assembly was loose. As soon as we snugged everything back down, all the problems went away. I also stopped using an AC 12V adapter, and am now using a 12V portable power pack (17Ah Car Jump Starter) - works GREAT!. Get yourself the ETX-105. Procrastinate long enough and it will be Summer. Short nights. There is still time to be outside in these long dark nights of winter. Time that you can enjoy whilst trying to brave the sub-zero temperatures! Hope this helps. Cheers, Niall
Subject: Meade ETX105 vs ETX125 Date: 3/3/04, 09:26 From: John Henry (John@JHenry.co.uk) I want to get into Astronomy, and Im looking to get a Meade ETX.I have Seen good things about this range of telescopes, and like the goto function. The Question I have is what is better to get the ETX105 or ETX125. I know here in the UK the price difference is about 200, but if the ETX is worth the extra Ill happily pay the extra.If its worth the extra money.. Regards, John Henry UKMike here: You need to decide what's important to you. Is the more portability of the ETX-105 important or is the larger aperture and longer focal length of the ETX-125 more important? Both are good telescopes but you need to determine how you want to use a telescope and what your expectations are for the views. Read through the User Observations page for some reports.
Subject: ETX 105 vs 125 Views - FOV and Magnification Date: 3/2/04, 23:20 From: dan ko (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am trying to decide on a 105 vs 125 scope. Where would I see the most difference in the views - planets or DSO? The view I saw of Jupiter through 26mm EP on 125 was great at 73x. Would the view through a 105 at 20mm (74x) be the same? I know the extra inch is better but I think that I would like the wider FOV in the 105. I saw a simulator that showed Plaedes in the 125 with a 40mm EP and the FOV was restricted to a few stars. Will this make a big difference in many DSO? Is there any advantage to 1900mm vs 1470mm views apart from the FOV (say if they were both the same diameter mirror)? Is higher magnification due to higher local length better than the same magnification in lower focal length with a different EP? Thanks for your help!!Mike here: Wide field views are nice for some DSO, notably open star clusters, but for faint nebulae and galaxies the larger aperture would be better (more light gathering power). Also, the larger aperture will have better resolving power, which can make a difference in the details you see, even on planets. You might get the same "size" of the object with the same magnification but better resolution is nice.
Could you give an example of what the difference in detail might be on say Jupiter with the 105 and 125 at the same power? I was told the resolution increase is linear and am wondering if it makes a big visual difference with that extra 1". Thanks.... DanMike here: If you have no experience with looking through a telescope you might not notice a difference. Also, if you viewing conditions are not good, again you might not notice any difference. But yes, that 1" makes a difference. Adding the UHTC option also makes a difference.
I have no experience yet but wow am I getting a lot of experienced feedback here... Thanks! I definately plan to get UHTC, just not sure about that extra inch. I know the 125 will be brighter views but could you give an example of a DSO where the 125 will show more detail than the 105, say on a Messier objects? I know things will be faint and fuzzy so I may just want to save that inch and add it on to a 10" dob later on if the views in these two scopes will be close enough.Mike here: Well, nothing comes immediately to mind that would point out the difference. But if you are really concerned about the difference, check out a local astronomy club; perhaps its members will have the models you are interested in. Many clubs or groups have frequent star parties.
I guess I really can't go wrong with either scope. I've "seen" so much on your site. Thanks for a wonderful resource! ...Dan.
Subject: ETX105 as spotting scope Date: 3/1/04, 20:36 From: my boss (email@example.com) I bought the 105 yesterday. Can it be "disembled" to make it as a spotting scope. I saw some newsgrounp discussion about the topic. I find there are 4 screws on the sides of the scope. Can I unscrew these to make it as a spotting scope and screw them back as a telescope? Regards, BFMike here: Yes, you can. See the end of this article for comments about removing the OTA:
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