Last updated: 27 November 2002
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-125EC. 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 as a guidescope for an ETX125
Sent:	Monday, November 25, 2002 5:46:56
From: (Tony Miles)
Hey Mike,
I know you've piggybacked an ETX90 on top of an ETX90 with medicore to
poor results. What I want to know is if there has been anybody out there
that has tried to piggyback an ETX90 on top of an ETX125EC and what kind
of results they got from it.
Tony Miles

Subject:	collimation update
Sent:	Sunday, November 24, 2002 21:20:35
Well I finally had a few hours to spend with my "new" scope. The
collimation star testing showed nice concentric rings. I used my 9mm
with and without a barlow and using the stars Caph and Shedir as my test
stars. Sure was nice probing the night sky again.

Clear Skies
Mike in Texas

Subject:	collimation repair update
Sent:	Saturday, November 23, 2002 17:52:07
I received my ETX-125 back from Meade were it was being re-collimated. I
shipped it out on 10-25-02 and it was returned on 11-21-02. Pretty quick
turnaround in my opinion.

The scope look nice and fresh looking, very clean, like new. They clean
the mirrors, even the secondary. I had a spot on the secondary that I
could not get off and they managed to get it cleaned or they replaced
it, don't know for sure. I wish they had mailed a work report with it.

I have not had a chance yet to star test the lenses though hopefully
tonight. I will update with results.

Clear Skies
Mike in Texas

Subject:	etx slew
Sent:	Friday, November 22, 2002 14:27:30
From: (Gazza)
well took the etx125 scope back due to the slewing problem (it would
move in alt after 5/10 mins) they plugged my autostar into another scope
and it did the same on there scope so it was the autostar that was
playing up and allso the altitude stop was also broke

any way they say that the motor was also broken and at the moment its a
75 repair bill. Hope they swop the autostar?

will let you know more next week when I pick it up .


Subject:	a question for you
Sent:	Thursday, November 21, 2002 13:42:43
From: (Dovid Avraham and Michal Landau)
i am a new ETX125 user
very new
and i need accessories
i have an opportunity to buy a #883 tripod
for 129.99$
but i heard that the #883 has been replaced by the #884
is it worth spending the extra money for the #884?
is the #883 inferior?

i appreciate the help
Mike here: The #884 is a better tripod. I still have my ETX-125EC mounted on the #883 and it works for me. But then I keep the leg extensions collapsed; helps to avoid vibrations.
Subject:	my ETX-125 has gone INSANE! (and i'm pretty close to doing the same)
Sent:	Tuesday, November 19, 2002 16:17:06
does anyone have any ideas about this one:

i bought my ETX-125 and autostar brand new in july...  since the first
day i have experienced regular 'motor unit fault' and 'under
contstruction' errors when using either batteries or the meade ac power

meade has replaced my autostar but that didn't help the problem.  i had
resigned to just live w/ the problem until last night when my ETX
apparently lost it's mind...

immediately upon power-up i got a 'motor unit fault' and 'under
construction' messages on the autostar... i couldn't even get past the
attempted initialization..

so.. i swapped the autostar for the regular hand controller.... however,
 the ETX would only slew intermittently on the horizontal axis and
hardly at all in the vertical axis... and the speed control wouldn't
change the slew speed.. everything was 'fast'..

but wait.. there's more... when i did get it to actually slew the motors
would run for EXACTLY 6 seconds and stop.. i would have to  release and
re-press the direction button to start it moving again (and then for
only 6 more seconds!!)

what's going on here?? i'm pretty upset about all these problems.. i've
already shipped the piece of junk back to meade for repair... i'm just
not too happy about spending 1000.00 on a telescope and having all these
problems... and i'm apparently not the only one to experience this type
of thing...

prior to last night i've been seriously considering purchasing one of
the new 14" LX200GPS when they come out but now i'm having second
thoughts.. i'd be pretty darn pissed if i spend over 4000.00 on a
telescope and it had  similar problems...

anyway.. has anybody out there experienced similar problems?

thanks in advance
tom vitacco
Mike here: Since both the standard handcontroller and the Autostar show a problem I would suspect the common element: the ETX itself. Sending it in for repair sounds like the right choice; could be a circuit board problem. As to problems, they do happen (with any product). I haven't counted up all the negative reports vs quantities sold (and I don't even know the quantities sold) but I suspect the percentage is very small.


that's what the meade guy said on the phone.. sounds like the pc
board... and i know you are probably right about the ratio of ETX's sold
vs. problems... i just hate sending things back in the mail and waiting
for them to return (meade said about 3 weeks)... i want my toys now!!

thanks for the reply

Subject:	ETX125 autostar
Sent:	Friday, November 15, 2002 16:46:46
From: (Gary Crisp)
About 2 years ago, when I first bought my ETX125 I noticed this problem
with the Autostar. after about 5 / 10 minutes or so into observing, the
scope would go up about 15 degree in altitude. I thought that it could
be the software so just downloaded the latest stuff done the motor test
and all that and the problem still exists I have reset, retrained and
recalibrated  but it has not fixed the problem have tried all the other
things like battery's and leads but still no joy And the other thing is
I can pop in home to make a coffee come back out and the scope is
pointing straight up with motor fail on the autostar Any suggestions??

Thanks Gary
Mike here: Since your ETX-125EC is so old you might be eligible (or not, as Meade determines) for the fix mentioned on the Announcements --> Meade page (last entry). This problem can also be caused by "dirty" AC power or low battery power.
Subject:	Coaxing wide views with the ETX-125
Sent:	Saturday, November 9, 2002 11:39:05
From: (mvdevine)
Hi all, I know that the ETX-125 is not a wide field scope, but I am
trying to squeeze out the widest view possible.  The lowest power I
currently use is a Celestron Ultima 30mm.  I was wondering if going to a
40mm Plossl would increase the view somewhat, or if I would introduce
"tunnel vision" because of the focal length of the scope.  Would the
Meade SWA 18mm be a better match?  It has a higher power, but a wider
field of view.  I am trying to avoid the rear port reducer because of
slewing problems (toward the Zenith).  Any suggestions or experience
would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews - Eyepieces page for some user comments. Certainly a lower power can yield a wider field of view but you might prefer to use a shorter focal length wide angle or ultra wide angle eyepiece.
Subject:	Removing the OTA
Sent:	Thursday, November 7, 2002 15:28:44
From: (Joe Kazup)
I seem to be stuck, how do I remove the OTA from the forked arms of the
mount? I have the ETX125EC , I removed the 4 fork mount alan screws, now

The scope will not trackup , it will track down , but when you slew it
up the it moves a bit then the motor speeds up, I was going to try to
degrease the DEC gears as I see a lot in there.

Joe Kazup
San Diego
Mike here: You have to spread the fork arms apart slightly; then you can slide the tube out.
Subject:	New ETX owner
Sent:	Thursday, November 7, 2002 3:15:30
My name is Cap Capella, and my new ETX-105EC (with UHTC) arrived
yesterday. Here in Sedona, AZ, we frequently have great skies, including
last night, which was one day past the new moon.

The finderscope was loose (rocks back and forth) and I plan to replace
it with either an 8x50 finder, or possibly use a wide angle (Nikon) zoom
lens (with adapting eyepiece) on a piggyback mount. After setting up the
scope on the Deluxe field tripod and doing a polar alignment, first
light consisted of star testing on Vega, which showed a very small
amount of spherical aberration, but not much. The scope will probably
fall within specs, and is probably 8th wave or better.  The second test
was Epsilon Lyra, where I had no trouble splitting all four stars, using
an old 10 mm eyepiece. Then on to fun stuff- right away (using a
borrowed Meade Series 4000 Super Wide-angle 24.5 mm) I looked at the
double cluster in Perseus, and then m-31. They looked great, despite the
fact that I was set up in my friend's driveway, and there were a few
porch lights robbing me of complete darkness. M-32 and Messier 110 were
plainly visible. I went home, and had another look. My neighborhood is
darker, (at least no bright porch lights were on) but not as good as
some of the sites available near Sedona. Using the same super wide angle
eyepiece, I looked at Saturn and m-42. Both were spectacular. In M-42,
the trapezium jumped right out, and there was a hint of color throughout
the nebula. And I wasn't even dark adapted! Very soon (before the moon
gets too bright) I want to bring the scope up to Anderson Mesa, just
outside of Flagstaff. This is where all of the research scopes from
Lowell Observatory are now located (as well as the Navy observatory),
including the world's largest visible light interferometer, since
Flagstaff is now too light polluted to do research. This is a great site
(albeit pretty cold this time of year) to look at the sky. I believe
it's near, or over 8,000 feet in elevation.

Looking forward to getting the Autostar, but that will have to wait
until next month. I did get a T-mount, and already have a T-ring (Nikon)
and cable shutter release, last used at the Red Rock State Park (Verde
Valley Astronomer's) annual festival in June, to do some 8 minute
exposures on the world's largest astro-platform, which is equatorially
mounted, and can accommodate up to (I believe) 40 cameras or scopes.
I'll try some prime focus shots of Saturn, either from Anderson Mesa, or
the White Mountains, when I'm up there for the new moon in December.

I enjoy your site, and have already found it quite helpful. For example,
I'm going to hold off purchasing the electric focuser for the ETX-105EC
until Meade works out the bugs-a decision I made after considering the
feedback from your readers. I have also ordered your book, and am
looking forward to reading it.

     Cap Capella,
     Sedona, AZ

Subject:	help
Sent:	Wednesday, November 6, 2002 15:09:10
I havw just bought the etx125, it worked perfectly the other day, and
today i am at a friends house i have tried to get it to weork and the
electric focus and hand controller will not respond, all the lights on
theleft hand side light up, i have pressed the mode button but i feel i
have messed up all the settings, can you please help as i haveleft the
instructions at home doh!


Mike here: I assume you have only the standard controller and not the Autostar. Is the controller fully plugged in? When you turn on the ETX can you hear the drive running? Could you have overtightened the axis locks?
Subject:	Unexpected slews with ETX125
Sent:	Monday, November 4, 2002 11:49:41
In the past I have experienced many unexpected slews with my ETX 125,
mostly up in elevation. I found that I only exrerienced this when I was
using a 110 volt power supply. I have tried two Meade units and a Radio
Shack regulated 110 to 12 volt supply with the same resultant problem.
For the last year I have used a rechargable 12 volt power supply without
having any problems.
Forrest Lundberg
From: (jim craft)
The scope has been working for some hours now on the borrowed burglar
alarm 12 battery, and I have seen no unwanted slewing!  The Meade
supplied AC/DC power supply seems to be the culprit.  Funny Meade should
supply this with new scopes? I have 21ek update loaded now, and will
load 26ec now.
Thanks again for you help, Jim

Subject:	Unexpected slew in elevation on the ETX-125ec scope..
Sent:	Sunday, November 3, 2002 9:24:39
From: (jim craft)
Enjoy your website and have spent lots of time learning about the ETX

I wanted to tell you of a problem I have with this scope, and wondered
if you had heard of this one before.

I have a two year old ETX125EC that has the latest version 2ek software
loaded into the 497 Autostar.

After I setup and align, all the selected objects come into view as the
scope finds and tracks correctly. Then suddenly, 20 minutes perhaps, the
telescope will "run away" and drive up in elevation some 10 degrees! It
will stop there in the wrong slewed upward position, and continue on its
merry way of tracking....

From this point, tracking is competely messed up, as the scope thinks
it's still referenced to that original tracking position prior to the
unexpected slew. A realignment is then required. I do the drive training
and checking drives routines, but to no avail?

Have you heard of this one before and any thoughts?

Thanks, Jim
Mike here: The latest version is 26Ec (on Meade's site). As to the problem, there can be several causes: low batteries, unregulated or unfiltered (i.e, lousy) AC power (if using an AC adapter), dirty encoders, or a problem with the ETX itself. So, before we go on, how is the battery or AC power?

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