Last updated: 31 May 2006

This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX and DS models. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX and DS 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:	ETX90  Mounting Rings for EQ mounts?
Sent:	Tuesday, May 30, 2006 11:17:21
From:	Jay Moynihan (
I have my etx 90 ota set up on rings. sells guidescope  rings, that almost fit. You use foam
insulation tape to fill in the slack, then tighten the guide scope
(three-point) things to snug it down. Sorry, cannot remember thickness
of the foam used. If you call scopestuff, they can tell you what rings
to order. Also, they will custom drill the ready them for a dovetail.


The tripod block built onto the ota limits how you can position the ota
in the rings. May interfere with finder placement, dew shield, etc.

Another option of sorts is a 1/4-20 adaptor, or with built mounting
bracket. Available for most Orion GEM's.


Jay Moynihan
Ashland, WI U.S.A. 

Subject:	A Major Ding
Sent:	Monday, May 29, 2006 20:03:01
From:	Richard Chitty (
I have been enjoying my ETX-125 AT-UHTC for two years now but tonight
had a disaster.  After viewing the night sky for an hour, I brought the
telescope inside into house.  Fifteen minutes later I hear this crash
and find that my telescope had fallen over.  One of the tripod legs had
not been tightened enough.

There is a major ding on the threaded ring holding the corrector lens. 
The lens and mirror don't seem to be damaged.  But it appears that the
focus is a bit different now in that the image seems to shift from side
to side a bit as focus is achieved.

Both drives seem to work but perhaps there now is more play in the RA

I think a checkout and repair is in order.  Would you suggest going
through a local dealer or contacting Meade directly.  Perhaps Richard
Seymour? Any suggestions from any other folks who have gone through this
would be welcome,
Mike here: I suspect the optics were knocked out of collimation. And perhaps some drive damage was done as well. I'd recommend contacting Meade directly. Alternatively, you can contact Dr. Clay Sherrod of "Supercharge" tuneup fame. He can likely repair most of the problems but I don't know if he can fix the corrector lens ring damage.
Subject:	Re: etx125 wedge tripod
Sent:	Friday, May 26, 2006 20:29:17
From:	  (
I am guessing that the meade 884 tripod then allows 2 types of
allignment...i.e. alt/az or equatorial (is this correct?).  Now I
usually just use the alt/az alignment procedure with my autostar.  Why
would I use the other (equatorial) type of alignment.  As in, is one
alighment better that the other, or easier to use?
Mike here: Yes, it does that. Polar alignment removes the need to drive the telescope in two axes simultaneously to compensate for the Earth's rotation. This usually means smoother tracking. But for some users it is difficult (at least initially) to get a handle on the geometry of the setup so Alt/Az is easier to use for them. Also, in Polar mode, some objects will not be visible due to interference from the telescope base. On the other hand, objects at the zenith may be a problem in Alt/Az if you have accessories hanging off the rear port of the ETX since again the base (or even the fork arms) gets in the way.
Subject:	How is a Barlow lens used?
Sent:	Friday, May 26, 2006 14:45:32
From:	bruce mcconnell (
Your site is a great service and thanks.

I'm new at this.   Does a Barlow fit over an objective lens?    I have a
4000 Super Plossl, 26mm, 1.25" with a rubber eye protector that looks
too large for something else to slip over.   Am I way off base?
Mike here: As you can see from the photo here:
the eyepiece inserts into the Barlow Lens. The Barlow Lens then goes into the telescope's eyepiece holder.
Subject:	Jump Start Batteries
Sent:	Friday, May 26, 2006 08:44:22
From:	William Ellis (
I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I tried your archieves
and didn't quite find the answer I was searching for.

I have three Meades, Classic 8, GPS 10 and my PE 125 ETX. Wanted to try
a Refractor, so we got a CR6 with a CG5 mount in March. Just got back
from Celestron after they replaced the Dec Motor. At home, I generally
use a regulated power supply I have from Scope Stuff. Usually output is
about 12.12 volts, but in the field I have been using a couple of Wally
Mart Jump start Batteries. Now, because of my Celestron experience and
their Tech questions allways centering on powering, I"m beginning to get
a little concerned about how much voltage I am delivering to the ETX
with a fully charged battery!

Just charged one of the Jump Start Batteries and, out of curiosity,
checked the No Load Voltage. Was surprised to see it over 13 volts. Did
have a problem with the ETX last year (Went back to Meade) but don't
know what they found since they don't tell you like Celestron does, but
it was in the Dec motor since it started to slew in Dec on power up.
Even got the Motor Fault!

Also, as I think I passed to you couple of weeks ago, got the
replacement Lens from Meade for the one that broke, But I think I'll
just leave it in my Box Of Spare Stuff and stick with the Rigel Finder.
Much easier to use!

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Mike here: 13 volts should not be a problem.
Subject:	ETX90  Mounting Rings for EQ mounts?
Sent:	Wednesday, May 24, 2006 06:47:03
From:	Saleem Kassam (
First time here, thanks for the great information on this site!

I want to mount my ETX90 OTA on a Meade EQ-DH4 mount, where can I find
the correct size mounting rings for this?  I know the ETX90 OTA dia. is
104 mm or 4 1/8 in (from the ETX specs. page) but can't find any source
for rings.


Mike here: Check Losmandy and Scopestuff (link on the Astronomy Links page). They have rings for all sorts of telescopes and mounts.
Subject:	etx125 wedge tripod
Sent:	Tuesday, May 23, 2006 21:50:13
I recently purchased a used etx 125 thaty came with a 884 tripod with a
wedge.  It didnot, however, come with instructions. I am relatively new
to astronomy.  I believe that I am getting a good handle on operating
the scope and the auto star, but I have no idea how to use the wedge or
even what it does.  Do you know of a resource that would explain what it
does and how to use it?

Thanks in advance Mike your website has been a hugh help.
Tim Gavin
Mike here: You can find many manuals, including one for the #884 tripod, on Meade's site (
Subject:	Re: Buying help
Sent:	Tuesday, May 23, 2006 18:56:44
From:	Jon Carpenter (
I appreciate it.  Where is the best place to buy?
Mike here: There are many excellent dealers: Shutan, OPT, Scopetronix, and more. Note that I have a relationship with OPT.


I can't say enough about your willingness to answer so many questions. 
Would it be easy to plug the autostar into the ec model for an
additional 99?
Mike here: You just disconnect the EC handcontroller and connect the Autostar to the same port on the ETX.


So 799 an99and I have the at model?
Mike here: Yep. Again, assuming that it really does include the #884 tripod.
Subject:	FW: ETX-125PE
Sent:	Tuesday, May 23, 2006 03:19:14
From:	Jasmin Pindzic (
The auto star was fully inserted, I heard the click when I insert the

The batteries were new. The only one thing I didn't do was calibrating
the motor. The auto star was going on and off, But after 5 min. the
autostar turned off and never came back on.

I don't mind finding north myself, as long as the ETX-125AT is better
than PE.

I like the picture that's on ETX-125PE this telescope look so sharp, I
would purchase the ETX-125PE again but I am afraid I will have the same
problem, maybe not.

Did you guys have too much complaints on ETX-125PE.
Thank you very much 
Hope to here from you. Jaz.
Mike here: When you say the Autostar went off, do you mean the display blanked out? The Autostar will go into a power saving mode after a few minutes and blank the display. Is that what is happening? When you press a key it should come back "on".
Subject:	RTMC
Sent:	Monday, May 22, 2006 20:39:10
From:	Mike (
I was curious if you will be at RTMC or Nightfall this year.  Jean
Mueller suggested that we talk with you about some problems we're having
with our ETX-125.
Mike here: Won't be at RTMC since I will be at Oracle Observatory.
Nothing to announce about Nightfall at this time.
Subject:	ETX-125AT
Sent:	Monday, May 22, 2006 07:58:36
From:	Jasmin Pindzic (
I would like to know before I buy ETX-125AT, is it better than

I bought ETX-125PE last weekend. I was having trouble with the motor,
the motor was running but the telescope was not moving at all, and I was
also having problems with autostar.

The autostar was going on and off.

I returned this telescope, but I am planning on buying a ETX-125AT.
I haven't really see too many complaints about ETX-125AT. 

Thank you.


Hi,Whitch one do you think is better ETX-125AT, EC, or PE
I am buying one so before I do it maybe you know whitch one is the best.
I had a ETX-125PE but I was having problem with motor and autostar.The
motor was running but the tube was not moving.
What is different between ETX-125at and PE.
Thank toy very much.
Hope to here from you.
Mike here: Sorry to hear you had some problems. Was the Autostar cable fully inserted? Were the batteries inserted properly? Were you able to CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? As to whether one is better than the other model depends somewhat how you plan to use it. Do you need the system to level and find North or can you do that yourself? The basic differences between the AT and PE models are the finderscopes and the LNT module.
Subject:	Buying help
Sent:	Sunday, May 21, 2006 18:54:15
From:	Jon Carpenter (
I am looking to buy a etx 125 and found one at for 799.  Is
there a catch?  Does this sound right and where is the best place to
Mike here: New or used? What is included?


Says it's newand with tripod, controller and eyepiece.
Mike here: Given the normal price of $999 for the AT model without UHTC (assuming it really IS the AT model), sounds like a deal.

Is this too good to be true?
Mike here: That's the EC model; no Autostar ($99).
Subject:	Solar Eyepiece question
Sent:	Sunday, May 21, 2006 08:48:03
From: (
I was wondering if you might be able to make a suggestion to me.  I have
a Meade ETX 125.  I got a JMB solar filter.  I was wondering if you
thought it a good idea to use a wide angle eyepiece with it and if so,
how many mm.?  Thanks in advance for your time and help.
Have a great day,
Mike here: If you are looking to see the entire solar disk in the field of view, then you don't need the expense of a wide angle eyepiece.
Subject:	Which scope ..pls help
Sent:	Saturday, May 20, 2006 12:57:46
From:	andy (
I am an amateur astronomer that has been using binoculars for quite a
while, the time has now come to buy a good scope..I have 1000 to play
with and I have been looking at the EXT 125 aswell as the LXD75 6" or
maybe the LXD75 5".... But which scope do I choose, I know your site is
for EXT's but I thought you might have a lot more know how than a lot of
other astronomers when it comes to EXT's..

I do eventually want to try my hand at photography if this helps at
Mike here: I also have an LXD55/75 Site ( since I also have a LXD 8"SC. Keep in mind the differences in the telescope models between the two lines. A 5" ETX is a lot different than a 5" LXD. That said, getting the largest aperture telescope you can afford AND that you will use is always a good idea, all other things being equal. However, if it is too large or too cumbersome for you to set up, then it is the wrong telescope for you. The best telescope is the one that gets used and doesn't end up in the closet.
Subject:	ETX Tragedy & amazingly happy ending
Sent:	Saturday, May 20, 2006 12:39:54
From: (
Disaster struck on May 6th.

One of the legs on the tripod holding my wife's ETX-125 collapsed.
Bang/crash/wham directly onto the tile patio.

Imagine the horror.

Examination showed no apparent optical damage (at least, no tinkling of
glass)... but scope hit nose-first, and both the fork arms were sprung
out of alignment, with about 2" of play on both axes.

What to do? Only one answer: a fast email to Dr. Clay Sherrod. The scope
had been 'supercharged' by him a couple of years ago - with terrific
results - and his response was, "sure, just send it to me under a
supercharge ticket, and if I can't fix it, I'll send it to Meade for

*One week* later: 
- The scope is back in our hands, and performs as beautifully as always
- There was ZERO additional charge for the repairs (which was completely

It looks and performs exactly like it did after the first supercharge.

I don't have any praise high enough for Dr. Sherrod's supercharge
program, or his dedication and amazing quality of service. I would never
consider owning a scope without having it tuned by him. The supercharge
is a TREMENDOUS value, and will drastically improve your success and
happiness with the instrument.

Thanks again, Dr. Clay... you completely turned around a disaster for

Ross Henton
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (
A happy ending indeed.  We can never let a good ETX suffer.

Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC/ H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC/ H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC/ H45 (Petit Jean Mtn. South)

Subject:	Re: Is there a way to test the alignment?
Sent:	Saturday, May 20, 2006 06:47:15
From:	Luis O' Conor (


Mike here: Thanks. BUT please read the Email Etiquette article on the ETX Home Page regarding the use of ALL CAPS. Thanks for understanding.


Sorry, Mike!!! I for got!!!
Beg your pardon

Subject:	Is there a way to test the alignment?
Sent:	Friday, May 19, 2006 06:04:47
From:	Luis O' Conor (
Somebody offers me a Meade ETX 70 AT. Is a used one and I want it to try
it before buying. For this, I have to travel 4 hours from my home.

Do you know a way to test the alignment (if the telecospe can center a
star or two) in day (not ar night)? Is the only period of time  that I
can try it. Can you bring me some helpfull tips abaut other things to
see before buying an ETX 70 used? I read some of your feedback comments,
wonderfull and very usefull!!!

Is my first telescope, and want it to be sure, so your help is
appreciatte. And again, sorry for my poor english!!!, hope you can
understand me!!! Bests regards from Argentina,

Mike here: You can test the operation of the telescope and Autostar during the daytime but obviously you can not actually center specific stars nor GOTO specific astronomical objects as part of the alignment process. But you can go through the steps of aligning (just assume the stars are centered when prompted) and select some objects to GOTO. For example, enter the correct date and current local time (say 10am), do the alignment (with the telescope in the proper HOME position), and then do a GOTO to the Moon. If you had the telescope exactly level and exactly pointed to True North and the Autostar worked perfectly the Moon would be centered in the eyepiece. As to other things to look for, check the condition of the battery compartment, the cleanliness of the optics, check that any included eyepieces focus (on the Moon or an object miles away). Also check the tripod and be certain the legs extend and retract. Unlock the axes and slowly move the telescope in all directions, back and forth a few times and check for any "stickiness" (there shouldn't be any). Lastly, check the look of the telescope for any obvious dings or blemishes that might be a sign of abuse or damage.


Thank you, Mike!!!

As I tell you, this is my first scope, have a good binocular and a zoom
(15/60 X 60) spotting scope. So I want something not much expensive
(remember that in my country U$S 1 = $ 3.10!!!, and our salaries are not
in U$S!!), and somebody offers me this one at U$S 500 with original
Meade field tripod, Meade 2X Barlow, the original MA 9 MM and MA 26 MM,
plus Meade PL 5MM and WA 18 MM and finally, the original hard case, and
the bag (also, original) for the tripod.

The owner is friend of somebody I know very well, member of a group of
amateur astronomers in his city, so I believe that is in very good

I expect to learn the use of the Autostar, the use of a motorized scope
in order to begin taking photos with my Canon 300 D, etc. and when I am
sure that like astronomy, buy an ETX 125 (U$S 1.800 here!!!), sell de
ETX 70 AT, but not de aditional lenses, the Barlow, the camera adapter
and the tripod.

I read your article (and others) about the ETX 70, and believe that is a
good one, with fine optics, but with the logical limitations because the
size. I think that for a beginner it works!!! As I tell you few days
ago, begun looking in EBAY and afterwards, in Astromart, but somebody of
your group told me that it buying scopes by this way I not have the
opportunity to test the equipment. Another thing is that have to pay to
much in taxes and mailing to my country. The best is to find a local
dealer of Meade, by here in Argentina and have also the warranty.

Hope that you understand me and again, thank you a lot for your


Mike here: Certainly purchasing a new one through a local or at least a reputable online dealer (who can ship to your location) is preferred. But buying used from someone you know AND trust is OK. I'm a little surprised at the high price (did you mean $500 USD?). That is high for a used ETX-70.
Subject:	Threw in the Towel (Bluestar)
Sent:	Friday, May 19, 2006 00:33:23
From:	Scott Miller (
Well, after spending about a half hour on the phone a couple of days ago
with the tech support people at Starry Night, and getting no closer to
resolving the problem with the Bluestar, I gave up and sent it back to
OPT Thursday.  I don't know if it was defective or just couldn't get
along with my laptop.  I hope others have better luck with it than I
did.  Guess I'll have to buy an LX200-GPS and the new Meade wireless
Autostar II if I want to go wireless that badly!  In the meantime I'll
just have to make due with the cables....


Subject:	Polar alignment and image shift
Sent:	Wednesday, May 17, 2006 17:33:43
From:	Barbara & Tom Andrews (
My 125 has slight mirror shift. Hardly noticeable in the 26 mm eyepiece,
but about the width of the 6.4 mm FOV, so it's tolerable. As I'm working
my way towards good polar alignment, my first step has been to align the
OTA perpendicular to the base. Rather than relying on the dec circle,
I'm centring stars in the 26mm, spinning the scope in RA, and making
slight adjustments in dec using the handset, until a centred star
doesn't move or the outlying stars rotate about a point in the centre of
the FOV.

I've only done this a couple of times, but on one night the centre of
rotation was off to one side of the FOV. My geometric reasoning  tells
me that it shouldn't be, so I'm wondering if the mirror being off-axis
can affect the accuracy of polar alignment.

Tom Andrews
Mike here: That is a lot of image shift. Is this a new ETX or one of the original ETX-125 models? Are the optics in good collimation? As to rotating the stars in the FOV, is the OTA still secured to the fork arms or have the mounting screws that hold the OTA onto the tube adapters worked loose?
Subject:	ETX90EC - battery problem.
Sent:	Sunday, May 14, 2006 16:20:43
From:	Lance (
Somehow, when using the batteries ( i checked to make sure that they
were inserted correctly and also checked the batteries with battery
checker), i have now no power when using just the batteries. Thankfully,
the AC Adapter works along with the power pack. I had use the Adapter
power all day (with the batteries installed) just in case I ran out of
power of the power pack.And all that time i didnt use the battery power
untill the next day (yesterday) and when i did, no power. Prior to the
day b/4 yesterday, the battery power of the ETX worked and never had a
problem until today.

I checked your web site for solutions or ideas on how to proceed and
found only two items ...

Broken battery wire and the dreaded Battery cut-off Switch topic. Of
which I believe I will not attempt to do, let alone try to open up the
bottom plate where the battery are installed just to check for broken
wires etc.

The ETX is 5 years old now.

As of right now I am in the tossing between forgetting about the use of
battery power and just use the Adapter and leave it be or take a chance
and open it up and take a look see. Warranty is over with, and I am no
electrician to take things apart however i can solder the correct wire
to spot where it came from if i got idea of diagram/ cloeup photo of the
troubled area. If the wire is cut, I can repair by get getting the wire
gauge and repair it.

- Lance
Have you had any problems regarding this?
Mike here: Well, you have narrowed it down to the two likely culprits. I'd suggest checking for a broken/disconnected wire although I really suspect the cutoff switch is not getting disengaged when you disconnect the external power plug (you are disconnecting it, right?).


All I do is make sure the power switch is off, when insertering the
batteries or plugging in the Adapter in the AC input slot and then when
I want it on I first make sure it is off (switch off) then flip the
switch power pack to on then flip switch for the ETX. This does work.

When finished under power pack AC Adapter use, I switch off  the ETX
then power pack.

If  I am running with battery power I make sure it is off b/4 inserting
batteries then switch on.

Of which it does not go on.

If somehow I reversed the situation of which could happen although I
doubt it, ( switch off the power pack then switch off  ETX) could this
lead to not disconnection right and thats why I have this cut-off switch

How do you fix this? Is this the topic I mention the DREADED 'Battery
Cut-Off Switch topic'?

where you got to take everything apart just to get to the problem.

If  I unable to venture to fix this, can I still use this ETX under AC
Adapter only?

Will I get this problem when I am running under AC Adapter / power pack?

As of now the batteries are not installed.
And thank you for the fast reply back.
Mike here: Unless I'm misreading your comments, you didn't actually state that you unplugged the AC adapter cord from the ETX when you want to run on batteries. You must do that, otherwise the batteries are electrically disconnected from the circuit (for their protection).


Sorry, I unplugged the AC adapter from the ETX then flip on switch to
use the batteries. of which does not go on.
Mike here: Likely the cutoff switch is stuck.


My last question ... where is the cutoff switch located, is it easily
accessable? If it is not, can I just use the AC Adapter and not worry
about using the batteries for now? Too bad there is no schematic
diagrams for newbies like me to look at so I know where it is.
Mike here: See the article "Repairing Battery Cutoff Switch" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And more:

Here is another solution to the ... problem with battery use, not
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Jordan Blessing 

Jordan Blessing
ScopeTronix Astronomy Products
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lance 
  Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006 3:28 PM
  Subject: Re: ETX90EC - problem with battery use, not working

  Thank you for your reply, can I forward this e-mail to The Mighty ETX
  web site for other ETX users to see, just in case they have this
  thanks again
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Jordan Blessing 
    Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006 3:43 PM
    Subject: Re: ETX90EC - problem with battery use, not working

    The cut off switch is the most likely problem. It is part of the
    power jack on the control panel. It is just a metal tang inside the
    socket that gets pushed out of the way when you plug in the round
    power plug. It disconnects the batteries so that power from the
    charger doesn't flow into them and cause them to leak or explode.
    Pull the power plug out and pull out one of the batteries, first so
    you don't have a short circuit. then...get a paper clip or something
    small and use pliers to bend a tiny 90 degree bend in the end. Look
    in the power socket of the scope for the metal tang that would get
    moved with the power plug is inserted. Try to lightly bend the tang
    the opposite way it normally gets pushed. Once you think you have it
    reinstall that battery and see if it powers up, if not try again.
    You may need to do this occasionally from time to time after using
    the power plug.
    Jordan Blessing
    ScopeTronix Astronomy Products

Subject:	This is just a thankyou for your site-from chuck hahn
Sent:	Saturday, May 13, 2006 17:48:06
From: (
I just found your site today and have been enjoying it.
Im sorry it took me so long to find your site.
I too discovered the joys of astronomy in the 90's during Halle-Bopp;
and progressed from binoculars to my ETX.
Thx again-chuck

Subject:	cleaning lens
Sent:	Saturday, May 13, 2006 14:04:07
From:	saporeii (
ciao mike,
i call from italy (naples) and i hope you help me :)
accidentally my fingers have touched etx 125 lens :(((
can you help me???
what products can i use?
sorry for my orrible english .
clear skies
Mike here: See the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. I highly recommend Dr. Clay's solution, which you mix yourself following info in that article or purchase from OPT.
Subject:	Bluestar Problem Update
Sent:	Friday, May 12, 2006 21:46:42
From:	Scott Miller (
I've got some additional info regarding my problem with the Bluestar
Telescope Adapter:

I think I've made some progress toward figuring out the problem I'm
having with the Bluestar adapter (though I'm no closer to resolving the
problem).  I discovered on my own that If I look at the bluetooth
properties for the Bluestar under "MyBluetooh Places\My
Device\MyBluetooth Serial Port" I'm told that the Bluestar uses com port
5.  According to MyBluetooth Places\My Entire Bluetooth
Neighborhood\Bluestar SPP Slave\Bluetooth Properties, the Bluestar
adapter is configured for com port 6. No wonder I can't get the Bluestar
adapter to pair up with the Bluetooth adapter!  The left hand (the
Bluestar adapter?) appears to want to use one com port and the right
(the IOGEAR USB Bluetooth adapter seems to want to use a another!  The
only question now is, how to get them both to use the same com port (the
com port can't be changed in either location)!  Any ideas anyone?



Here's the latest on my problems with getting the Bluestar Adapter to

Disregard all previous discriptions of this problem!   After trying
another bluetooth USB adapter with the BlueStar adapter and getting the
same exact results I reported previously, I've concluded that the
problem isn't a com port conflict after all.   It appears that the
bluetooth serial port is suppose to use different com ports in Local
Services and Client Apps!  Furthermore, the Bluestar adapter and the
IOGEAR bluetooth adapter (as well as the second bluetooth adapter I
tested) ARE in fact pairing together properly (and apparently have been
all along).  It appears that, from the start,  the problem has been with
the Bluestar SSP Slave refusing to connect. It still refuses to connect!
Failing to connect more two times in a row requires a re-pairing of the
Bluestar and Bluetooh adapters. I'm wide open to suggestions here folks!

Scott Miller
Mike here: I wonder if such a problem would occur on a Mac with Bluetooth. Any Bluestar-Autostar Mac users out there?


The BlueStar comes with a USB connector (for testig purposes).  The
drivers include "Detect USB Connecton"  software.  I connected a USB
cable to the Bluestar and my laptop did indeed properly detect it.  This
means the problem isn't a communications problem or a defective serial
cable (which connects the Bluestar to the #497 Autostar controller).  A
major part of the problem has been the 4 3/4 inch square, six page
"quick start card" (in lieu of an actual users manual).  The
instructions for setting up the Bluestar in Windows (Bluetooth mode) are
at times, vague, inaccuate, and in certain parts, flat out wrong. 
Describing the setup instructions (bluetooth mode) as a work of fiction
would not be entirely unjustified.....


Subject:	Astronomy link
Sent:	Friday, May 12, 2006 20:53:36
From:	Allen Sellick (
If you get a chance you should look at this web site. 
A lot of great Info and help.
Clear Skies
Mike here: Yes, indeed a great site and it has been referenced many times on the ETX Site. Don't know why I never added it to the Astronomy Links page but will.
Subject:	A recommendation...5" or 8"
Sent:	Friday, May 12, 2006 13:09:50
From:	Hepotter (
I've been reading your site for years and now that I'm retired, I would
like to spend some quality time staring off into space...I'd just like
to do it a bit more meaningfully than the way my peers do at my age!

I can afford either a 125mm or an 8", and the price is not all that
different.   Now I'm in a quandry...which will I be happy with?  I once
owned a stand alone 8" scope without any goto or autostar features and I
sold it after one or two attempts to keep up with the objects being
viewed.  I learned.....and I was disappointed in how small the images
were, even with the 8".

1) Will all planatary images be dime sized regardless of the size of the

2) Does the upgrade in arperture really gain that much, given the much
greater size, weight, and loss of portability?

3) If I get an electronic eyepiece and use a laptop for viewing, can I
"zoom" the images.... or do I need to just use the available software
and photograph and stack the images and admire them on paper?

Thanks Mike!  Your site has kept me interested, despite my ignorance and
prior mistakes.
Horace Potter
Soon to live in Hot Springs Village, AR
Mike here: Keep in mind that aperture does not affect the size of the image; focal length does. So an object in an 8" telescope with a 1000mm focal length will appear half the size of the same object when viewed with the same eyepiece in an 8" 2000mm FL telescope. That said, as you have probably read on the site, I always say to get the largest telescope you can afford AND that you will use. Getting one that is too cumbersome to set up or move around is wasted money since the telescope typically ends up in the closet. On the other hand, accessories should also be factored into the budget for the telescope. And getting UHTC (assuming you are looking at Meade telescopes) is a worthwhile expense, regardless of the aperture size. So, to address the questions, the image size will depend on the telescope and eyepiece focal lengths. And yes, aperture counts for a lot (light gathering power, image brightness, resolution). Yes, you can use an electronic eyepiece but any zooming will be "digital" on the computer, just like zooming in on a digital camera image. If you go too far the pixels get too big and the image looks lousy.
Subject:	Power requirements for 105PE
Sent:	Thursday, May 11, 2006 20:50:33
From:	Eric Rosenzweig (
How many watts does a ETX-105PE use?  The manual doesn't give that
information.  I'm looking at portable power supplies and they all give
examples of how long the charge lasts based on watts used. I looked at
the chart on your site regarding portable power supplies, which gave a
general idea based on the power supply, but if I just had the number of
watts the scope draws I could make a better decision on the power
Mike here: You need a 1500mA power source.


Great. Thanks for getting back so quick.  Once I buy the power pack and
try it out I'll send you the results for your grid.

Subject:	ETX-90/LX-90 & Bluestar wireless adapter
Sent:	Wednesday, May 10, 2006 20:07:26
From:	Scott Miller (
I'd like to know if anyone has been able to get the Starry Night
Bluestar Telescope Adapter to work with either an ETX-90 or LX-90.  I
got one from OPT a couple of weeks ago.  When I finally got around to
testing the Bluestar with my ETX-90 (haven't tried it yet with my LX-90)
I had absolutely no luck.  In fact, I couldn't even get it to connect
with my iogear bluetooth adaptor at all more than 3 times in 4 hours of
trying.  No amount of pairing attempts resulted in a reliable
connection.  When I tried to run my ETX-90 from the Autostar Suite
software after each time I did succeed in getting the bluestar to
connect with the bluetook adapter it locked up on me.  I'm really hoping
someone can help me out here so I don't have to return the Bluestar to
OPT as a worthless piece of junk!

Scott Miller

Subject:	OBSERVATIONAL GUIDES AND REFERENCES,[Home!],Last updated: 27 April 2006
Sent:	Tuesday, May 9, 2006 15:55:38
From:	VK6DX (
Hi  I am a raw  newcomer to astronomy and, in the process of
constructing an 8" dob.  I have an el cheapo 3" Dob  I purchased off
ebay which sparked my enthusiasm... (I am 72 never too old to start a
new hobby) I am writing to say what excellent information you have on
this page (subject) especially the articles on Jupiter, which is in all
its glory at the moment I live in Perth Western Australia and a member
of the ASWA (Astronomy Society of Western Australia) I will certainly
mention your info to other new members.
Regards David

David L Smithdale
ham radio VK6DX
Member ASWA
Parkwood WA 6147

And from the author of most of the articles on that page:

From:	P. Clay Sherrod (
Excellent and thanks for forwarding; the reward is seeing that these
Guides help folks and continue to do so.

Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC H45 (Petit Jean Mountain South)
Harvard MPC H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC H44 (Cascade Mountain)

Subject:	General Feedback: SWA Eyepieces for ETX-105AT
Sent:	Tuesday, May 9, 2006 03:24:11
From: (
the benefit of your planned SWA - or even UWA - eyepiece vs. the
standard Ploessl in my opinion would not mainly be to fill a gap in
magnification but to provide a much wider field of view.

And if that's your intension I propose the SWA 24,5mm (Series 4000;
don't know the equivalent in Series 5000) as the maximum - reasonable -
field of view eyepiece.

If you are not living in a dark side area a SWA 32mm (other
manufacturers) would brighten the background too much.

The SWA 24,5mm has become my favorite eyepiece for deep sky observation
(with ETX-125EC)

Dieter (Munich, Germany)
From:	Michael Sebek (
Thank you both very much.

Mike Sebek

Subject:	Power Adaptor Problem
Sent:	Monday, May 8, 2006 15:22:42
From:	Seiler, Karl (
Ever seen this problem? Have a new ETX-125 PE. Also, bought the Meade
#541 AC Adapter. Scope will not turn on when the power adaptor is
connected. Batteries work fine.
Bad power adaptor?
Karl Seiler
Mike here: Have you tested the power output at the adapter plug using a Voltmeter? If no power is getting to the telescope, it obviously won't turn on. On the other hand, if the power jack is damaged (disconnected internally) then power won't get to the telescope.
Thanks, will try

Subject:	Meade Lightbridge
Sent:	Friday, May 5, 2006 20:45:43
From:	thebostons (
I know your focus is on ETX's and appreciate your dedication to them.
I've enjoyed my 105 immensely for almost 4 years. Without any service,
it still goesto everything I ask and centers it, as long as I do a 5
minute proper set up. But, I've been wanting to turn those distant
"light fuzzes" into distinguishable bodies. I've ordered a 12" Meade
LightBridge to cure this problem, hopefully. Do you think you'll ever
branch out to include this telescope in your commentaries? I've tried
many "chat sites" and find nothing as comprehensive and honest as what
you have been of the ETX. Advice or suggestions welcomed.
Respectfully, Bob
Mike here: Whether my ETX and LXD sites will ever merge into a single, all encompassing web site for telescope users, well, it is not planned for any time soon. Maybe some day, after I retire!
Subject:	found your site- ISO info on using telescope mount for a video camera
Sent:	Wednesday, May 3, 2006 22:49:54
From:	Karl M Ferron (
Hi, Karl Ferron, a staff photographer for the Baltimore Sun. I will be
getting a Panasonic HVX200 high def camcorder in the next month, and I'm
trying to find some kind of contraption that I can mount this camera on
(like a motorized tripod head) to shoot some long-term time lapse video
(1 frame/second or even one frame per 20 seconds). I have checked the
mounts that some places have built and they ask for $4000 and above for
the unit. So I have started looking at telescope heads, the
programmable, electric, altazimuth and/or equatorial mounts because I
want my camera to either pan or a combination of pan and tilt.

So my search brought me to your site. Is there any way that a video
camera can be mounted instead of a telescope so the camera can pan
and/or tilt? And, I work with Macintosh. If one needs a laptop (I have a
G4 with Tiger, OS 10.4) that can operate this in a specific fashion, aka

Thanks in advance,
Karl Ferron
Baltimore Sun photographer

Oh, here's a website that has some video that I'd like to

In their website they also have a demo reel. I'm not looking to zoom in
but simply pan and tilt.
Mike here: Yes, you can likely do what you want to do. You could use the Autostar controller with a compatible telescope mount (DS, LXD, ETX) and use the "landmark" feature. I haven't used the Mac OS X Autostar control software (like ScopeDriver and AstroPlanner) to do this but their authors are great guys and you could work with them on any needed mods to the software. And with the proper brackets, you can attach a camera via its tripod mount hole. If you get an ETX tripod you could use something like the Scopetronix "Camera Adapter for the ETX Field Tripod", as seen on the Accessory Reviews: Tripods page on my ETX Site.
Subject:	SWA Eyepieces for ETX-105AT
Sent:	Monday, May 1, 2006 08:45:39
From:	Michael Sebek (
I plan on purchasing an ETX-105AT.  Among the add-ons, I'm going to also
get the #126 2x Barlow, and the Meade "Terrestrial Observer Starter
Kit," which includes 9.7mm and 15mm Plossl eyepieces. Considering at the
105AT comes with a 26mm Plossl, I'd like to also get just one SWA Plossl
for my "starter collection."  I'm thinking that either the 16mm or the
20mm Meade Series 5000 would be a good fit, with the 16mm being less
expensive here at OPT.  Aside from the price, do you have any advice on
which of these two eyepieces to select, based on the telescope I'm
purchasing and the other eyepieces?

Thanks for your help. I've visited your site, and just finishing reading
your book.  Having someone and someplace (site/book) so specific to a
particular series of scope is outstanding.
Mike Sebek
Hinesville, Georgia
Mike here: The 20mm will make a nice middle ground between the 15mm and the 26mm. But consider whether the difference in magnification will make that much difference to you. You might decide to spend the money on a different accessory!
Subject:	Finder scope screws
Sent:	Friday, April 28, 2006 18:42:36
From:	Bill Gnirrep (
Does anyone know where I can get replacement thumb screws for my ETX 105
finder scope?  Mine have broken off.
Bill Gnirrep
Mike here: Contact Meade; they will likely send you replacements for free.
Subject:	re: Request Information
Sent:	Friday, April 28, 2006 14:48:10
From:	Luis O' Conor (
I received your genttle reply early this morning. I beg your pardon for
reading bad the Email Etiquette, but my English is not very good.

Thank you for your suggestions about purchasing by eBay. I didnt have
any experience in buying by this way, but have the feeling that it would
be something like going to a casino!!! I have already take a look at
your "For Sale Page", but not find anything now. I will take a glance

Thank you also for your comments about the Meade ETX. Buying a new one
in a Meade dealer may be more expensive, but have the warranty.

Tell you that to members of your site (one from England and one from
USA, write me also today!!!!. Great!!!)

Bests regards and stay in contact!!!.


Subject:	Partner scope for my ETX 125
Sent:	Thursday, April 27, 2006 19:00:03
Dr. Clay just finished doing a supercharge on my ETX 125 and is great so
far....I wanted a larger scope for photography and picked up a used 10"
Meade..  It says Meade Quartz  and LX Pulse drive on it.... The AC/DC
converter that came with it says for 2080/LX5 AND 2120/lx5.  I went to
Meade online and could not find anything.  Thought maybe you could
help...Your site on the ETX was extremely helpful !
Dr. Walt Hohlstein
P.S. serial number  is 102907
Mike here: There have been several LX models over the past couple of decades. Maybe a Google search will turn up some info.

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