Last updated: 25 May 2003
This page is for user comments and information specific to the new Meade ETX-105EC. 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 tripod
Sent:	Friday, May 23, 2003 18:42:10
From: (Chris Fry)
Mike, great web-site - I dip in every week or so since getting my

I purchased my ETX and autostar last November, and waited until Februray
to get the standard tripod. Imagine my irritation on discivering that I
could have purchased the whole package for the price I paid for the ETX
alone by March!!

Anyway, at least I have had the use of the ETX during the depths of
Winter, and I have to say, I have found it extremely easy to use once I
got the hang of finding the home position.

Nearly everyone I have given the chance to use the telescope has been
impressed. Just to see Saturn and its rings, and Jupiter with its bands
and moons really seems to thrill. In fact I was amazed to see the 4
Galilean moons all nicely in line the first time I found Jupiter, and
thought they must be some fluke stars!

I took the ETX in to work a couple of weeks ago, having made a solar
filter with Baader film and some cardboard packaging. I set up early on
7th May so that my work collegues could all get a look at the mercury
transit as they filtered in to work. Reactions varied from "taking an
interest" to "taking the p*ss", with comments such as "wow-thats
amazing" to "is that it?". Well it takes all sorts.

One guy has a 6-inch Newtonian reflector, but was really impessed with
the ETX. We are planning to get together to do a side-by-side comparison

One bugbear, the tripod is really annoying to set up. I can't count the
number of times I have dropped the washers and spring whilst trying to
erect the damn thing. I have taken to keeping it assembled as much of
the time as possible, with the legs collapsed down, so as to avoid the
hassle of re-assembly. I am sure I can come up with a better fastening
system given a bit of time - but I am surprised an instrument
manaufacturer has devised such a lousy method of assembly. Still I
suppose it is sturdy enough once erected.

Please keep the ETX site going - its an oasis!!

Chris Fry
(very) Amateur Astronomer

Subject:	Meade 126 Barlow or Celestron Ultima Barlow for Meade ETX 105
Sent:	Wednesday, May 21, 2003 01:54:16
From: (christopher shaw)
I have a Meade ETX 105 scope and am wondering whether I can use the
Celestron Ultima Barlow on it. My dealer says its better to use the
Meade #126 Barlow as it will be an exact fit. What do you think? The
Celestron Ultima Barlow with its three-element apochromatic design
sounds like a better barlow to me. My only concern is the fit and
suitability with my ETX 105.
Thanks for your advice,
Mike here: Some "non-shorty" style Barlow Lens tubes are too long to reach a focus with some models of the ETX. I don't have an the Ultima so can't speak to it specifically; I'll post your inquiry on the next Site update.
Subject:	ETX 105
Sent:	Tuesday, May 20, 2003 02:30:55
Great website! I am looking to buy a telescope and I am a complete
beginner. I am interested in the ETX 105, and am keen to take photos
through it. What kind of detail can I expect from such a telescope? I am
having trouble finding examples on the web. Is there any other scopes
you would recommend?

Jon Moore 
Mike here: Check the User Observations page. Also, look at the various astrophotography galleries but keep in mind that photos and the eye don't produce the same results, in details or color. The ETX-105EC makes a nice compromise in the portability of the ETX-90EC and the aperture/focal length of the ETX-125EC.
Subject:	Nice ETX-105 UHTC
Sent:	Friday, May 16, 2003 14:34:44
From: (Navarro, Javier)
I purchased an ETX-105 (UHTC) three months ago and I just want to share
just good things about it.

1) The lens system and the GO-TO works just fine!!. The key is the
align. Last night, my family and I enjoyed the moon eclipse, and
watching Jupiter, M44, Iota Cancri (Cancer), Arcturus, Spica, Merak,

2) I highly recommend the "2sky" software for Palm OS devices
( You get an "exact" representation of the
sky, anytime, anywhere. You can also use the calendar to see days,
months or years ahead (or back), and get a view of the sky.

3) If portability is an issue, I highly recommend this model instead of
the 125.

And of course Mike, this is just an oustanding site, congratulations!!


Subject:	ETX-105
Sent:	Wednesday, May 14, 2003 13:59:59
From: (Rodney Christensen)
My name is Rodney Christensen and I would like some info please, if you
would be so kind.

I would like to purchase a telescope and I have read your reviews and
appreciate them.

would a ETX 105 with the coated optics be a good choice? 
I also take bird pic's 50 yards minimum.
Have 2 kids who like the stars and planets like me.
Live in Florida and have a great sky above.
And eastern bluebirds that wont get close enough to get a pic.
any comments thanks, Rodney  
Mike here: Yes, the ETX-105 makes a fine telescope. Nice compromise of the portability of the ETX-90 with almost the aperture of the ETX-125. The larger telescope will yield brighter views of objects with more details than the -105 but still could meet your needs.
Subject:	re: ETX105 question about obstruction
Sent:	Tuesday, May 13, 2003 22:50:08
From: (Richard Seymour)
(Warning: i am NOT an optics expert.. but this is one which got
 drubbed into my head when i got it wrong...)

You wrote:
>  My fear is that if it is indeed 40% of the optical surface,
>  that would reduce contrast enourmously. 

There are -two- numbers you have to consider:
the "40%" which is an AREA measure,
and the actual DIAMETER of the Central Obstruction (CO).

It is the DIAMETER which affects CONTRAST.
And it's a simple relationship: if you subtract the CO's diameter
from the corrector plate's diameter, you end up with an 
"effective diameter" .. and that's what you compare for CONTRAST
questions.  So a five in corrector, with a 2 inch CO has about
the same contrast as a 3 inch clear-aperture telescope.

The 40% AREA number merely (mostly) affects BRIGHTNESS.

So if your concern is CONTRAST, then compare effective diameters.
If your concern is BRIGHTNESS, compare remaining areas.

But don't use the 40% as a contrast criterion.

have fun

Subject:	ETX105 question about obstruction
Sent:	Monday, May 12, 2003 06:37:03
first of all thanks for the very informative site. I have recently
purchased a ETX70AT as supplement to my 8" SC. I needed a portable,
quick scope for those days when carrying around a larger telescope isn't
an option. For the money, the ETX70 AT does a great job, and I would
recommend it without hesitation as a second scope.

However, you may understand that, I am light hungry .-). So I will
sacrifice some portability to a little more diameter. I am now thining
about the ETX105. I haven't owned a Mak before, but the 105, though
being f/13, could be my all purpose lightweight telescope, if...

....well. if I wouldn't have some reservations about the central
obstruction. Not so much about the secondary mirror, but abouth the
baffles/light tube inside. I have heard that the REAL obstruction is
something close to 40% in these Maks - is that true? Since I can't loook
into one myself here, I'd be glad if you could answer my question.

And a second one: I have heard that the ETX105 is MUCH less noisy than
the 90 or 70. True?

Thanks for your time.

Best regards,
Mike here: The central obstruction is a fact of life with this design, just like it is with the 8"SC. Yes, some people think it is overly large but those same people haven't actually built one with a smaller CO. And yes, the drive is quieter.


Thanks for your quick reply.

How much is the central obstruction in reality, counting in the baffles
and tube? My fear is that if it is indeed 40% of the optical surface,
that would reduce contrast enourmously. The SC tube is a straight
design, so the advertised 16% obstruction with a C8 IS 16%. But the Mak?

Mike here: See the Meade catalog page for their specs:
Subject:	Problem with etx105
Sent:	Friday, May 9, 2003 23:20:07
From: (Michael Gonzaga)
I just recived my new 105. Everything looked good when I recieved it.
First light went well I Calibrated and trained the drives and did a
simple alignment. When it went toward arcturus it went past about 15
degrees or so so I centered it and hit enter. It then went to capella an
was short also about 15 degrees. I then centered it and hit enter and it
said algnment succesful.  I then went to the moon and it missed it
short. I then slewed it to the moon and it tracked it well. after viwing
the moon I did a goto to jupitor and it was in the view of the eyepiece.
First night out seemed ok I was probably off of north. Second night out
same thing happened off during easy align then did goto to moon and was
in viewfinder , then went ot jupitor and was in viewfinder I then did a
goto to saturn and again it was in the viewfinder.  From here though is
where my problems begin as I was on saturn it was not holding in
viewfinder so I kept slewing it every 5 min. or so I then did a goto
back to the moon and the OTA slewwed until it hit its vertical stop and
the autostar gave me a MUF.  I then turned it off and on again and now
it will say that the motor is under construction on the top line while
scrolling thruogh the sun warning on the lower line.  If you push the 5
key or any key it does a test motor but only the horiz. motor moves. 
After it goes through all of the sun warnings it comes to the message
Proc. Trap 2 and the motor turns the unit horizontally untill it stops
turning and yet there still seems to be some thing running, from here
nothing else will function. Please let me know what you might think has
happened and is it something I can fix or will the unit need to be
turned in for warranty

Best regards, Michael Gonzaga
Mike here: First off, the initial 15 degree pointing errors sounds like a time error (1 hour = 15 degrees). Check the Daylight Savings setting. Also check your site location. One other possibility is if you used a magnetic compass to determine "North". True North is not Magnetic North and the difference, depending upon location, can be upwards of 20 degrees. As to the MUFs, have you tried to RESET? When you power on, press the MODE key several times until you get to the SETUP menu, then scroll to RESET and press ENTER. That might clear the problem. If it does, be certain to CALIBRATE and TRAIN again.

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