Last updated: 31 March 2004
Subject: ETX 125 foam cutout pattern Date: 3/29/04, 19:47 From: Mikel Stoer (email@example.com) I seems that a while back I saw an ETX 125 foam cutout pattern. I searched the areas I could Think of but have drawn a blank. Any chance you could point me in the right direction? Any help would be greatly appreicated. MikeMike here: See the article "ETX Outline for Hard Cases" on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: ETX- 125AT Date: 3/27/04, 06:24 From: mpbs (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello: My name is Mike and I live in Anchorage, Alaska. Cold to very cold conditions. Not much light pollution compared to big city's, but there is some. I am looking to buy a go-to scope for my purpose; Terrestrial, Planetary, Sun and some DSO. Also need a scope that I can put up and break down quickly. I have been considering the 125 or a refractor ( 4" or 5" ) My main concern is the cool down time, Zenith viewing and bang for my buck. I was told that you were the the etx man, so I am looking for comments about using the 125 under my conditions. Any comments would be appreciated and thank you for your time. Mike ProctorMike here: There is quite a bit of difference in the ETX-125 and a 4-5" refractor. The ETX-125 is a long focal length telescope. This is useful for lunar and planet observing and many DSOs. You can observe at the zenith but prime focus photography will be a challenge since the fork arms will get in the way, especially at high latitudes. Bang for your buck in the two choices you presented is really tough to say; you might want to visit my LXD55 Site (if you are interested in the LXD55 AR models) Go to www.weasner.com/lxd. As to the temps, obviously battery efficiency drops (applies to any telescope model using batteries) and the Autostar doesn't like really cold temperatures (but works fine if you keep it warm). You will also need to use caution with plastic parts to avoid "cold soaking" them; otherwise they can become brittle. Reaching thermal equilibrium will take a couple of hours.
Subject: ETX in France and power supply fixes Date: 3/23/04, 00:34 From: MMIC EOD (email@example.com) Firstly thank you for a first class informative and well organised web site. A real labour of love. If you would like to add this to your list of postings please feel free to do so. I read your advice carefully before ordering an ETX 125 from Outback Trading in the UK (www.outbacktrading.co.uk) for delivery here in France which is poorly served by Meade dealers. For UK (or other) expats I can highly recommend the service and prices of Outback; the scope was delivered here in four days (including a weekend) for 28.00 carriage and Outback phoned me with the tracking number so I could follow progress. The 125 has obviously been improved since your tech. tips with ball races used on both axes. I found no play in either axis, the only detectable play being in the flimsy plastic mounting as mentioned in Part One of your tips. Surely Meade could do better. Certainly a cosmopolitan device, assembled in Mexico with the electronics made on Taiwan, the mechanics in China and the OTA proudly proclaiming itself made and assembled in the US. As a manufacturer myself I would worry about maintaining quality control over such a widespread manufacturing base. The use of 'user supplied' alkaline batteries is inexcusable in an expensive device on a cost and ecological basis. The equipment should come as standard with a 12V rechargeable battery fitted and a universal 110-250 V charger total cost to Meade perhaps $20. I found a nominal 9V 400 Ma ex-something power supply with the smaller supply plug in that box of power supplies we seem to accumulate with time. The open circuit voltage was 14.5 and it worked the scope without problems until the supply company sent the high frequency tone burst to turn on cheap-rate electricity meters down the line when the scope went into 'mad mode' as mentioned by previous contributors moving randomly in az + alt. Looking inside the base shows a woefully small amount of smoothing on the control circuit board. The circuitry was obviously designed to run on batteries with the ext. supply added as an afterthought. Unfortunately access to the ext. input jack is not simple so, to avoid users having to delve in the guts, I tried simply splitting the twin core cable from the power supply to the jack plug, baring the conductors for a few millimetres without cutting them and soldering a 4,700 microfarad 25V working electrolytic capacitor across the supply. The lead with the white stripe is positive. Electrolytic capacitors may explode if connected in reverse polarity. Checking the output voltage showed it to have fallen to 12.8 V, indicating poor smoothing with spikes before the mod. The scope now has no 'mad mode' tendencies. A simple fix which doesn't affect the guarantee. I strongly suggest checking supply volts after the mod in case the capacitor increases the no-load output to dangerous levels (perhaps over 18V). I will look into a suitable 12V battery pack which will fit into the space available together with which pins on the input board to jump to allow the ext input to be used as a charger input and report back. Optically the scope is extraordinary, outperforming my home made 10" Forth Bridge sized reflector in many ways. Ease of use, portability and the 'goto' function increase the pleasure of an evening's observing beyond measure. No mention is made of terrestrial use. I nearly bought an inverting eyepiece for birdwatching but it doesn't invert ! The image is L/R transposed (mirror image) but, unless one has long distance road sign reading ambitions this doesn't matter at all. I guarantee that the mirror image of a bittern isa bittern. If you don't align the scope then sidereal tracking is turned off but the positioning controls work. More, and less daunting, info on using Webcams with ETXs would be wonderful. Finally I don't thank your contributor who said buying a telescope made it rain. What an accurate prophet of Doom he turned out to be. All best wishes, Steve SalesMike here: Check the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page for info on webcams.
Subject: ETX-125 or LX90 Date: 3/22/04, 08:35 From: Lori Bracken (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hi, im in the market to buy a telescope i was looking at buying the ETX-125 but read that alot of people who had it had problems with it. Then i saw the LX90 it is a little bit more money but apparently better. I was just wondering if it would be worth spending more for the LX for the better quality. The ETX is more in my price range but i dont want to spend $1,000 bucks if it is just going to give me problems. Any help would be appriciated! Thanks, DerekMike here: Keep in mind that many more people will report problems than will report no problems. They want help and so report their experiences. This does not indicate whether any particular person will have a problem. But regarding your question, you need to decide HOW you plan to use the telescope and what your expectations are. Do you need more portability or a larger aperture? The LX90 is a fine instrument, but so is the ETX-125.
Subject: New ETX-125EC Date: 3/15/04, 18:05 From: Charles Stefanavage (email@example.com) I picked up a ETX-125EC with UHTC coatings and a Autostar controller a few weeks ago. There was a special from Meade that included 7 Super Plossl lenses for $99 that I couldn't pass up, I also found your book on using the ETX. I also ordered the electronic focuser from the Discovery Channel Store where I bought the scope from which hasn't come in yet. Ten years ago I purchased a 4" Meade Reflector which I used from time to time but never really got into observing the night sky cause it was more trouble to drag the tripod and scope out to use while thinking I should have picked up a portable scope instead. I live in Central Florida on the Gulf Coast side, have not had time to set the scope up using the Autostar but have taken it outside when weather permitted to get a few looks at Jupiter and "WOW". With the stock eyepiece I can see four of the moons as well as two bands, this scope is great. In the future I would like to get into CCD imaging after I am comfortable with my scope. Your book and my new Plossls just came in today but it is raining so I will have to wait for clear skies. I have been looking through your book which lead me to your website to get some insight on using my new scope. Have you had a chance to check out a ETX with the UHTC coatings to see if Meade's claims are true? If not you may want to try one out and let us all know what your opinion is on these new coatings. I look forward to your updates and others insight on using my scope. ChuckMike here: Yep, the claims about UHTC are true. I did a visual comparison with an ETX-90 with and an ETX-90 without UHTC. The difference was very obvious. You can read a test report by Dr. Clay Sherrod on UHTC; it is linked from the Announcements - Meade page on my ETX Site.
Subject: Question on the ETX-125 Date: 3/9/04, 08:26 From: MrCole100@aol.com Just took a look at your website and found it to be a great resource. After owning several scopes as a kid and teen, I'm looking to get back into astronomy. I live near NYC. In fact I have a great view of the skyline and a decent patch of sky as well. I'm looking for something I can setup on my balcony for terrestrial and celestial views of the city and the sky above, but also something I can pack up and drive out to the New Jersey Pine Barrens with. I'm considering the 125, but wanted to get your opinion versus the more expensive LX90 or something similar. Regards, DaveMike here: The ETX will be more portable than the larger LX90. Also, the LX90 8"SC is rather much for terrestrial views. If you purpose is portability AND terrestrial/astronomical viewing, stick with the ETX.
Thanks Mike. I had to force myself not to buy it today, but maybe tomorrow.
Subject: Re: New 125 OTA threads larger--dew shield falls out Date: 3/2/04, 12:01 From: Andreas und Susanne (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have a similar problem with a brand new ETX 125 and a just bought Meade dew shield. Inside our house, the dew shield is fitting well. Brought outside in the cold (some degrees below 0 Celsius), after some time it is falling down and can not be screwed in again, as it is too small. Hope this helps, Andreas
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