ETX-105 FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 March 2004
This page is for user comments and information specific to the new Meade ETX-105EC and ETX-105AT. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX 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: ETX 105 mod irregularities
Date: 3/31/04, 11:35
From: Mal Leyland (mal.leyland@virgin.net)
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

Mike here: Meade (like many companies) does make (unspecified) changes so it is certainly possible that you have a "new, improved" model.

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 P
Mike 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.

And:

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 (niall@njs101.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  UK
Mike 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 (dankjv@yahoo.com)
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.

And:

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.... Dan
Mike 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.

And:

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.

And:

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 (mytinyfoot2002@yahoo.co.uk)
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,
BF
Mike here: Yes, you can. See the end of this article for comments about removing the OTA:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/90ec_comments.html

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