Last updated: 30 March 2006

This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX PE (Premier Edition). Feedback on the specific PE technologies (Automatic Alignment + SmartFinder, Level North Technology) will be covered here. Feedback on the Autostar Suite AE (Astronomer Edition) will be posted on the regular Autostar Suite feedback page. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (EC, AT, PE) will continue to be posted on the other appropriate feedback 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:	I need your help smartfinder
Sent:	Thursday, March 30, 2006 00:05:11
From:	Yair Cardenas (
Could You help me please?
Mi Name is Yair and  i have a problem with my Smartfinder LNT. I
couldn't get the red dot to appear on my SmartFinder Lens.

I Read others messages if this manufacture problem.
Thanks for you time.
Mike here: Read through the SmartFinder tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page and see if any of the info there helps you. Let me know.
Subject:	Re:SmartFinder does not point to the right place (ETX 125 PE)
Sent:	Thursday, March 9, 2006 20:09:55
The newer version of the LNT does not have the locking knob or the lens
adjustment knob that was on the original design.

The lens tab must be inserted into the LNT all the way up to the
shoulder on the tab, with the convex lens surface facing forward.  After
that, if the dot cannot be aligned using the horizontal and vertical
adjustment knobs the problem is most likely with the position of the
optical fiber on the left rear side of the LNT.  This fiber projects the
dot onto the lens and is glued in position.  Unfortunately, it is not
always oriented properly before glueing so the dot appears so far off
center it cannot adjusted.

If this is your problem, there is no alternative except to replace the
whole LNT assembly and hope the new one was aligned correctly during
manufacture. The procedure is not too complicated and photos are
available elsewhere on the ETX site.

Hope this helps.
Mike Hogan


From:	Elisabeth Guegan (
I have finally managed to align the finder scope yesterday, I think the
difference was that I dared pushing it further in (though I am doubtful
because I had pushed it most of the way before...) It finally aligned,
but the horizontal knob is at its limit. I am a bit uncertain exactly
what made the difference, I just hope it will always align now! If the
optical fiber is wrong, would it mean it is a bit off, or would it
generally imply that the dot would be completely out of the way? Because
even when I couldn't manage to align it, it was quite close to its

Managed to get the Moon, Saturn and a low in the horizon Jupiter on my
ETX's first proper night out, even though it ended up being a rather
cloudy night, so all in all a rather good night!

Thank you very much for your help,

Mike here: If the light is wrong then it could affect it.


Positioning of the fiber during manufacture seems to be a fairly
critical operation.  I've had two LNT's; the first would not get the
dot anywhere on the lens, and the replacement could only be aligned
at the end of the horizontal adjustment, just as you describe.  Other
people have reported no problems at all.

As far as maintaining alignment, I've found that a slight tap or bump
on the lens or LNT cover can cause a change.  Sometimes the new
position of the dot is better, sometimes worse.  Anyway, I'm glad
you now have it working.  Have fun.

Mike Hogan
It is my worry, that it is just borderline, which would mean it might
become impossible to align over time. I'll try it out tonight again and
call Meade if it is still at the edge, to get one that has more room for

Thank you for your advice!


Subject:	Regarding some ETX 90PE questions (solved!)
Sent:	Tuesday, March 7, 2006 13:08:55
From: (
the hint with the "easy align" solved it. I had a beautiful first
evening last night. By the way I would recommend for everybody who works
with a standard refractor or any other optical systems and  changed to a
Maksutov to get a feeling about the different of focussing. Correct me
when I`am wrong. The other thing is,"do not concentrate too much on the
electronics first". Try to get a feeling for the telescope.

Was a great great night yesterday! (12 degees centigrade minus zero in
Hamburg) Thanks again for your greatful support.

Bye the way, your book is a must!
Kind regards 
Mike here: Everyone should take learning a new telescope at their own pace. I recommend reading the manual three times and then playing with the telescope indoors before going outside in the dark. Starting with the basics, like focusing, is certainly a good idea.
Subject:	SmartFinder does not point to the right place (ETX 125 PE)
Sent:	Monday, March 6, 2006 14:19:09
From:	Elisabeth Guegan (
I have been browsing through your website for a solution to my problem,
but everybody seems to have extra knobs my scope doesn't have. I have
just bought an ETX 125 PE. As I tried to set up the smart finder, I
realised (thanks to your site!) that the lens wasn't in the right place,
it is actually not easy (hence counter intuitive) to get it into its
slot. I hoped that would fix my problem, but it hasn't: as much as I
try, I cannot get the red dot on my target.

I have tried it on a terrestrial target, which is probably less than a
km away. The manual seemed to advise it had to be more than 1km...

The version of the scope I have only has two knobs on the lnt module,
one to move it horizontally and one to move it vertically. I turned the
horizontal movement one all the way, it does come out of the plastic
case, by a few millimeters. I then reach the end of possibilities, but
still, the red dot is too much to the right of my target. I have to put
the dot on the left of the lens for it to point to the right place, but
I guess it's not where the dot should be, but rather in the center of
the lens.

Any help will be appreciated, I will try and get hold of Meade's
customer services in the meantime...

Thank you,

Mike here: From your description either the lens is not inserted correctly (I don't know if the new model LNT has the same problem as I discussed in my PE comments but see the photo there). Or the LNT module could have a problem; Meade will send you a replacement if it is bad.


That is the thing, I must have a newer model, as I do not have the
different knobs at the front of the lnt unit, that are shown on your
pictures and mentioned by everyone... which doesn't give much room for
alignment. There are no holes for those knobs - they're not just
missing, they're actually not meant to be there on the model I have.
(Meade ETX 125 PE) It seems the lens can only fit in one place, and
quite tightly there as well. And then the only option is to move the two
small knobs.

I guess I will give it another go tonight then phone Meade for some

Thanks for your help and your website!


Subject:	re: ETX90 PE can't find North in Autoalign process
Sent:	Tuesday, February 28, 2006 22:21:19
From:	richard seymour (
> need it for the eclipse next month...

Don't forget that the telescope is perfectly happy to
operate and align -without- using the LNT module.
Just point it due true north, with a level optical
barrel and the power panel facing west, and choose
"Easy Align" or "Two Star" align.

My ETX90 (not PE) has been operating like that for
nigh on to 7 years...

have fun

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