ETX-105EC FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 27 November 2002
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 105EC
Sent:	Monday, November 25, 2002 4:43:27
From:	JShep91121@aol.com
Bought the above new in early September.  My first telescope so on a
steep learning curve. Had few viewing sessions, not many clear nights in
Scotland, however at the beginning of November movement of the scope in
altitude suddenly became restricted to about 10 deg. and a horrible
grinding noise occurred. I posted it back to Meade agents in the UK who
dignosed worn gear teeth and said they would replace it. I queried why
this had occurred two possible reasons were given, 1. the scope had been
packed in a 'locked'  position and jolting had caused the teeth to wear,
2. the scope had been driven to the stop position. I was told this type
of wear was not unusual.  Is this really so, is the instrument
particularly vulnerable.? I have handled the instrument with care. Have
you any comments? Incidentally two small gauge allan keys were supplied
with the equipment. What are these for?

I note your book does not cover the 105, when I get your book which
other model 90 or 125 should I refer to for the 105 ? Are there any
significant differences apart from tube size?

Regards
John Shepherd 
Mike here: Those are a couple of causes of problems. Also, the locks can be overtightened, which will result in problems down the line. When not in use, I have the DEC axis unlocked on my ETX-70AT and ETX-125EC. The keys are probably for the focus knob and to remove the tube from the forks. As to the book, it was written before the ETX-105EC was announced. The ETX-105EC is closer to the -125 in mechanical design but optically, it is the same as either telescope.
Subject:	RE: ETX 105 EC [followup to earlier message below]
Sent:	Sunday, November 24, 2002 12:34:24
From:	gpevans@lineone.net (Graham Evans)
Mike,

Thanks for your reply.

I tried the telescope outdoors, and certainly the sound is a lot less
noticeable. There is still a very marked contrast between slewing in
Azimuth (which purrs) and slewing in Altitude (which growls). It's not
the lock as the sound is unchanged if the lock is totally undone (i.e.
the motor is running but the OTA is not moving at all).

Best wishes
Graham
Mike here: Try moving the scope in Altitude full range back and forth several times. Do it by hand with the axis unlocked and then repeat by slewing with the handcontroller. Maybe it just needs some use.
Subject:	ETX-105EC New User Review
Sent:	Saturday, November 23, 2002 21:53:32
From:	Capcapella@aol.com
Hi. Cap Capella, Sedona Arizona here again. Just wanted to mention that
I am very pleased with the performance of my new ETX-105EC. The Autostar
arrived a few days ago, and I was going to wait until there was a little
less moon to fire it up, but I couldn't. I had to see how well it worked
right away. After the easy 2 star, alt/az alignment, I decided to pick a
small, but relatively bright object (since the moon was still bright).
With the 26 mm supplied eyepiece in place, I chose the Ring Nebula.
Autostar slewed right to it, and put it almost perfectly centered in the
field. I laughed out loud! After doing a "synchronize function"
corrective alignment on the nebula, Autostar never failed to put any
further selected objects right in the middle of the 26 mm field! Hardly
a "Mr. Magoo" telescope. You can call mine "Eagle Eye"! I can't wait
until the next new moon.

Cap
Mike here: Yes, the Autostar is capable of almost GOTOs. Keep in mind that the SYNC function really just improves accuracy near the location of the SYNC. As you GOTO objects that are further away, the accuracy will decrease.

And:

Thanks for the tip. Since I stayed in and around Cygnus that night, I
didn't notice any loss of accuracy, but probably would have had I headed
east, towards Orion, etc.

Congratulations on an exceptional website. I am still awaiting the
delivery of your book, and look forward to reading it.

Cap

Subject:	re:  ETX 105 EC
Sent:	Friday, November 22, 2002 7:53:26
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	gpevans@lineone.net
You wrote:
Number two: I was sold some magic rechargeable alkaline batteries. When
I use them I keep getting "Motor Faults" after about 20 minutes. With
'ordinary' alkaline batteries, the telescope is fine, so I guess the
magic ones are discharging too quickly. All the cells show the same
voltage, so it is not one rogue cell. Does anyone else have any
experience with these batteries.

You might try a Setup > Telescope > Calibrate [enter]
with the magic batteries in place... that retunes the internals
of the ETX to whatever power supply is available.
(do it again when you revert to an AC adapter or "real" batteries)

It only takes 5 seconds, but does invalidate your current alignment.
(so do it before the session, after entering time and date... you
can use the [mode] key to escape from aligning, and then scroll
back to Setup > Align  after Calibrating.

Background information is at:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_info.html

have fun
--dick

Subject:	ETX 105 - next chapter
Sent:	Thursday, November 21, 2002 19:02:38
From:	Mitchell.Strauss@uni.edu (Mitchell D. Strauss)
My replacement ETX 105 arrived today... it was shipped 2 day air, so it
got to me in Iowa amazingly fast... well, I gave the device a
preliminary view (doesn't count as first light cause I looked at some
dark tree branches across the yard!) and the field of view was pretty
darn steady when turning the focus knob either clock or counter
clockwise... so at this moment, I am quite pleased with Meade customer
support and my new 105...

Next step is to educate the device with my GoTo Autostar and hook it to
a tripod and then look at outer space!

Weasner rules and astronomy professors drool

Regards, Mitch

Subject:	ETX105 question
Sent:	Wednesday, November 20, 2002 14:12:30
From:	ThreeDirection@aol.com
I recently went to your website. It's a very good website. Basiclly I
can find everything I need to know in there. But I still got one
question. I had a ETX105EC. I wonder if there is a Meade Hard case for
it? Can I get the ETX125EC hard case to fix the ETX105 in it?

kim
Mike here: Meade does have a hard case for the ETX-105EC. It is product #776. It is listed on the Meade site. Other cases are available from dealers.
Subject:	ETX 105 EC
Sent:	Tuesday, November 19, 2002 13:55:48
From:	gpevans@lineone.net (Graham Evans)
I have an ETX 105 EC recently purchased.

I've had a few short sessions looking at the skies, but the weather has
not been too good here lately (Worcester, England).

Two questions:

Number one: At first the telescope was not too noisy, but the last
couple of days it has been really noisy when slewing in Altitude. I've
not been outside since it started doing this. Trying it indoors with
Autostar it still seems to GoTo in a repeatable fashion, but sometimes
sticks in Altitude. Any suggestions for things I can try (without
invalidating the warranty) before calling the dealer and potentially
having to ship it off for exchange or repair.

Number two: I was sold some magic rechargeable alkaline batteries. When
I use them I keep getting "Motor Faults" after about 20 minutes. With
'ordinary' alkaline batteries, the telescope is fine, so I guess the
magic ones are discharging too quickly. All the cells show the same
voltage, so it is not one rogue cell. Does anyone else have any
experience with these batteries.

Thanks for a great site - I've spent more time looking at your site than
at the sky (due to the weather).

Graham
Mike here: Could the slewing sound just be more noticeable indoors (where it can bounce off walls)? Could your outdoor environment be noisier than indoors (vehicle traffic, wind, etc.)? Normally, the sound should not change although it might if you have overtightened the axis lock, which is sounds like you might be doing. Try backing off a little bit on the lock. And yep, those batteries are "magic": they produce the motor fault!
Subject:	re: Update on EXT-105EC Review
Sent:	Tuesday, November 19, 2002 8:17:19
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	fmteter@hotmail.com
You wrote:
> As I write this, I'm working with Astronomics to return the scope
> to Meade for a warranty repair or replacement.  I can't say I'm
> receiving any type of quick response on arranging the return,
> so I'm betting the 105 will be out of action for some time to come.

Why aren't you working directly with Meade?  
Their warranty system is designed for direct contact between 
customer and Customer Support ( 800-626-3233 )

(since i don't know your full history, it's quite possible you've 
been having trouble with that route, and have invoked Astronomics
for backup assistance.. so this note (and me) may be all wet).

There reportedly can be a support person-by-person difference in 
the quality of their response, but usually a smoked scope is 
pretty efficiently handled.

good luck
--dick
And:
Thanks for the thought.  That's exactly the route I wound up taking
today. Working directly with Meade did finally get me a Return
Authorization Number, which allowed me to drop the scope off with Meade
this afternoon (I'm lucky enough to live within an hour of Meade). 
Their estimate of the time to inspect and repair under warranty is about
two weeks.

Stay tuned!

--FMT--

Subject:	Image shift problem - ETX-105
Sent:	Sunday, November 17, 2002 1:44:38
From:	ric_capucho@hotmail.com (ric capucho)
I am one of the many, many lurkers on your site, and am always amazed
how much information you have posted.  Fantastic work, really!

Anyway, I'm coming out of the shadows now, as I have a problem with my
ETX-105: image shift.

Whenever I reverse the focus direction, the centred image through my
standard 26mm Super Plossl leaps about two thirds of the way towards the
edge of the field of view.  It then stays exactly where the leap landed,
until the focus direction is reversed again, and then at least a two
thirds FOV leap in the opposite direction, sometimes even passing
through its original central location.

Imagine my frustration whenever I'm trying to hit the focus 'sweet
spot': it's like watching a game of tennis.  With a more powerful
eyepiece, the image leaves the FOV entirely.

Aarrgghhh!!!

I'm located in Switzerland, and bought the ETX-105 secondhand in the USA
via Ebay.  No question of warranty, I'm afraid.  So it's looking like
I'm going to have to do some surgery myself; unless one of your many
international visitors knows of a good ETX service centre in Europe.

A little investigation on this site and elsewhere has resulted in the
suspicion that the main mirror is somehow loose, and probably wobbling
on its central tube.  Even if I manage to get the mirror assembly out of
the OTA, (it's been tightly screwed into the OTA tube by a gorilla), are
there any good tips available on what I have to do to ensure the mirror
gets tightened up?  Any helpful surgery images around?

Ric Capucho
Zrich
Mike here: That's too much image shift. Be certain that the flip mirror is fully seated in the direction to direct light to the eyepiece. You might try flipping it back and forth a couple of times to see if that helps. As a check, you might also see the article "ETX-90 Image Shift fix" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. For disassembly info, see "Doc Greiner's ETX Info page" (linked at the bottom of the Telescope Tech Tips page).
Subject:	Re:  ETX 105 EC new...
Sent:	Saturday, November 16, 2002 15:57:44
From:	Mitchell.Strauss@uni.edu (Mitchell D. Strauss)
I don't want to be a pest, but... I am very knew to telescopy... 

Today, as per instructions, I aligned the finder scope with the main
scope on my new 105 ETX... I was appalled to see how much the image
shifted as I focused to the top of a telephone pole that I used as a
reference point. The pole, which was initially dead centered, migrated
very close to the edge of the FOV and then returned to center when I
reversed the focusing knob after getting it into focus. This was all
done with the standard 26 mm eyepiece.

I tried to call customer service at Meade, but they were closed today...
then I did several searches on your website, and concluded that some
image shift during focus seems normal for a Mak, but nowhere could I
find a procedure or spec to ascertain how much shift is normal...

Can you advise your thoughts or point me to a specific area on your site
to learn more about this issue... I have worked with cameras,
microscopes, binoculars, but never a catadioptric device... on all but
the cat, the image has generally remained rock solid during focusing...

Thanks... Mitch Strauss
Mike here: That is way too much image shift. Be certain that the flip mirror is fully seated in the direction to direct light to the eyepiece. You might try flipping it back and forth a couple of times to see if that helps. As a check, you might also see the article "ETX-90 Image Shift fix" on the Telescope Tech Tips page. If neither of these cure it, contact Meade. It may have been damaged in transit.

And:

Thanks for your response... as you suggested I flipped the mirror
several times, but no improvement occurred.. the image is reasonably
stable (minor vibration only) when I turn the focus knob clockwise;
however, counterclockwise focusing shifts the image almost outside FOV
to the visual right... the image moves horizontally and slightly
downwards... I am assuming that only slight vibrations should occur, not
the huge slip sliding I am seeing!

I read the tech tip last night on your site and am very reluctant to
open the optical tube when the scope is brand new... if ever

Will call Meade tomorrow and probably arrange to have the thing
replaced...

Thanks for your help...

Great site and glad it and you are there...

Mitch Strauss
And an update:
As you may recollect, I wrote to you regarding large image shift on
focusing with my new ETX 105. On counterclockwise focus the image shifts
from dead center to three o'clock...

Based on your belief that the shift was too much, I called Meade
Customer Service and they agreed with you. In fact, they are
cross-shipping a new scope to me, and I will return the original. They
are holding my Visa number as collateral which is an emminently fair
approach, I think... I suppose I will eat the shipping costs to return
the original unit, but they were good to agree to cross ship a new one,
which they do not ordinarily do...

By the way, I work at a University and am one floor above the Earth
Science folks, which includes Astronomy... they suggested that Maksutov
and Schmidt Cassegrains all have unstable images on focus; however,
Meade seems to believe that a well set-up scope ought to be reasonably
stable!

I'll let you know how the new 105 does when it arrives!

Regards, Mitch Strauss
Mike here: Yes, the design does result in some image shift but it should not be excessive.

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