Last updated: 27 November 2002
Subject: ETX90 as a guidescope for an ETX125 Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 5:46:56 From: TPMiles@charter.net (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. Thanks, Tony Miles
Subject: collimation update Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2002 21:20:35 From: Carolandmike00@aol.com 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 From: Carolandmike00@aol.com 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: email@example.com (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 . Thanks Gary
Subject: a question for you Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2002 13:42:43 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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very new and i need accessories i have an opportunity to buy a #883 tripod for 129.99$ but i heard that the #883 has been replaced by the #884 is it worth spending the extra money for the #884?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 helpMike 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 From: email@example.com 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 supply. 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 vitaccoMike 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!! hahaha... thanks for the reply tom
Subject: ETX125 autostar Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 16:46:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 GaryMike 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: email@example.com (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. MattMike 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 what? 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 DiegoMike 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 From: Capcapella@aol.com 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. Sincerely, Cap Capella, Sedona, AZ
Subject: help Sent: Wednesday, November 6, 2002 15:09:10 From: HMEADS7@aol.com 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! thanks mattMike 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 From: email@example.com 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 LundbergAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.com (jim craft) Enjoy your website and have spent lots of time learning about the ETX scope. 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, JimMike 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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