Last updated: 30 November 2005
This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX PE (Premier Edition). Feedback on the specific PE technologies (Automatic Alignment + SmartFinder, Level North Technology) will be covered here. Feedback on the Autostar Suite AE (Astronomer Edition) will be posted on the regular Autostar Suite feedback page. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (EC, AT, PE) will continue to be posted on the other appropriate feedback 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 125PE - first time user Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 03:19:11 From: IBRAHIMOVA, Victoria ((WG)) (Victoria.Ibrahimova@woodgroup.com) I am a newbie to ETX scopes. I have just received mine and although learning to use it was no problem (I have a LX200 GPS model experience, which helps) I have significant difficulties with using SmartFinder. Do you know if I can buy and use the right angle viewfinder on the other side of it. Would I need special or inventive fixings? The other issue is that LST is 3 minutes out of what Starry Night Pro tells me for the location. Is it significant for the correct alignment? I noted that the software has very precise coordinates for my location (longitude not 02 05 as entered in my Autostar, but 02 4.769). Would this difference make LST vary by 3 minutes? From previous paragraph, can LST variance of 3 minutes cause misalignment by 10-15 degrees? Thank you for your assistance. Regards Victoria, Aberdeen, ScotlandMike here: Yes, you could mount a finderscope but you'll have to attach it with glue or sticky tape or drill your own mounting holes. As to the LST, no it won't make that almost one hour pointing error but the wrong DST setting can. You didn't say what version you have but as Dick Seymour noted back in October (see the PE feedback in the Feedback Archive), "In v40Eb, the LST now agrees with SkyMap... So the 'fix' is to update the firmware."
I think DST is on NO right now, but I will check tonight. The pointing error could be the result of the fact that I did the alignment indoors and just accepted the alignment stars when prompted as I had no way of seeing for myself, cloudy. But with all the data input being correct shouldn't it point at the alignment stars perfectly anyway, therefore leading to pointing accuracy?Mike here: All things being equal, yes, the accuracy should be spot on. However, keep in mind that indoors you can get magnetic interference which will result in a North pointing error.
Subject: RE: Meade ETX-90PE Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 17:50:05 From: Bill Diamond (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you very much for your reply Mike! It is greatly appreciated. I have decided that whatever scope I choose, it will be a Meade. The reason for this is that I've found more on-line and published resources for their products than any other manufacturer. So that being said, is the ETX-105 with the UHTC a better value than the 90? Is it worth the larger investment to move up to the 125PE? My son loves the moon and planets in general, so I suspect we will be looking at them the most initially. I personally would like to view planets along with stars and galaxies. Frankly $1000 is the upper limit of what I'd like to spend, but I'm willing to put more money into a scope if it's worth it seeing as I'll most likely keep it/use it for many years. Any suggestions are very much appreciated!Mike here: Of course, aperture rules but portability can also be a consideration in some respects. And budget is a factor as well. But the best telescope for you is the one that gets used and doesn't end up in the closet either because the views are not what you expected or because it is too large for you to easily set up.
Subject: Meade ETX-90PE Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 17:46:37 From: Bill Diamond (email@example.com) I would really appreciate your thoughts on if this model would be a good introduction telescope for a father and son. I'm pretty committed to learning the night sky, but want something easy to use so my son doesn't lose interest, but powerful enough to grow as our skills increase. Any advice on this model or another scope that better suits are needs is greatly appreciated! Bill DiamondMike here: Certainly the ETX-90 is a fine telescope. But keep in mind that you won't be seeing the same thing as you see in photographs. But that said, if you are willing to learn to use a telescope and learn how to see with a telescope, then the ETX-90 should be a fine for you both. Depending upon your expectations, you may want a larger telescope, or you may need the greater portability of the ETX-90 vs a larger telescope.
Subject: Re:Meade ETX125pe with electric focus. Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 08:00:19 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) I believe the LNT bracket on the '125PE interferes with proper mounting of the 1247 focuser, as it does with the LPI. See the post in the ETX-125 Feedback Archives, Feb 05, for more detail. Regards, Mike HoganMike here: I have the #1247 on my ETX-125 (non-PE model). I compared its location to the mounting point on my ETX-105PE but don't see why there would be any interference.
I only have the 'PE, and was going to buy the focuser until I read the message I refered to. Having already experienced the problem with the LPI, which Meade has never mentioned to my knowledge, I could see potential for difficulties with other accessories. Perhaps if you make some comparative measurements of clearances required you may be able to confirm the info in the referenced message. I presume you have reasonably convenient access to a '125PE somewhere, but I will try to take some pictures in case you don't. Regards, Mike HoganMike here: No "convenient" access to an ETX-125PE model.
From: Pat "BUFF" Hykkonen (firstname.lastname@example.org) Read the message from Brian Taylor in the UK about the Meade #1247 electric focuser being fitted onto an ETX-125PE. I had the same concerns as Mike and simply bit the bullet on one from a vendor. I had to return the first focuser as it was evidently an older focuser that only fit the EC/AT model 125's. The rear of the 125PE is a bit larger than on the 125AT series and the older #1247 electric focusers have the cable that plugs into the AUX or focus controller comes out towards the front of the OTA. After I returned my first purchase I made some further calls around and found that Meade had updated the #1247 focuser such that the cord now comes out of the back of the device when mounted on the OTA. In the final estimation, the user needs to make sure that he is purchasing a recent build of the item. If the cord comes out of the focuser on the side that mounts onto the focusing shaft (towards the front of the OTA when mounted), it will not work on the 125PE. If the cord comes out of the side opposite side from the focuser shaft (towards the back of the OTA when mounted), then it will work with the 125PE. Hope this helps! Clear skies!
Subject: RE: LNT in southern hemisphere Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 19:00:16 From: fkmiami (email@example.com) Thanks, Mike. Actually, I was thinking about the stars it chooses for alignment. (I don't know if it is mapped for southern as well as northern viewing locations.) Thanks again. FrankMike here: Oh. In that case, it is no different than the non-PE models. The Autostar handles it OK.
Subject: LNT in southern hemisphere Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 17:22:26 From: fkmiami (firstname.lastname@example.org) First...and I hope you don't get tired of hearing things like this...THANKS and congratulations on maintaining such a wonderful, helpful site! I currently have an LX90 which I'm going have to part with as I'm moving to a location where portability is important, and I'm looking at the ETX-125. I was wondering if you've heard any experiences from users of the PE/LNT version in the southern hemisphere (I'm moving to Brazil), e.g., any issues with alignment. Thanks again! FrankMike here: Don't recall any issues with LNT in the Southern Hemisphere. It should still be able to find Magnetic North since compasses still work "down under".
Subject: Meade ETX125pe with electric focus. Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 11:44:09 From: BTaylor517@aol.com (BTaylor517@aol.com) I would like to fit the Meade Electric Focus unit type 1247 to my ETX125PE. I read somewhere that its not possibleto fit this to the PE . Is this correct and if so why. Is there another electric focus unit that would do. I enjoy your site and as a new telescope user find the tips very usefull. Rgds Brian Taylor. Chobham.UKMike here: I don't recall seeing any explicit reports that said it was not supported. Meade's web site isn't clear. As to other focusers, JMI has (or had) their MotoFocus (but I'm not certain if they have one that works with the ETX-125 focus shaft).
Thanks for reply re my query on using Meade electric focus unit on ETX125PE. On an Ebay site advertising the unit for sale from the usa (kpphotoeddy) he states that the Focus unit can be used on the ETX125 EC and AT but not on the Premier edition.
Subject: Re: Can't Slew with Arrow Keys: ETX-105PE - FIXED! Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2005 17:34:22 From: Thomas Sokol (email@example.com) I took your advice and hit the number 9 before the arrow keys and BINGO! The scope now slews manually! YEAH!! I don't know what speed the scope "default" is, but at 5 I can see no movement at all....6 and 7 is great for fine-tuning the centering.... BTW: I loved the Edmund Scientific info....And your pics and newspaper articles are GREAT! Before I started grinding my own mirrors, I had the EXACT same 3" reflector!! That could have been me in your pics, except for the hat and bow-tie!! Man, I really wanted the 4 1/2" with the equatorial mount, but my Mom said it cost too much! I agree completely about the optics on those early Edmunds....And who needs fancy mounts and setting circles? Heck, it just made me better at charting the sky myself! The only thing that bugged me about that scope was the lack of rack & pinion focusing...twisting the eyepiece in a cardboard tube just didn't cut it! Thanks again for your help! (Speaking of "focusers"....I wonder if Meade is going to make an electric focuser for the ETX Primer Editions???) Tom SokolMike here: Glad that solved the problem. Same scope! How about that! Yeah, focusing was a challenge with that turn-in-the-tube eyepiece holder. As to an electronic focuser, one can always assume new products. We just can't always guess WHAT new products!
Subject: etx125pe Sent: Tuesday, November 8, 2005 19:48:45 From: Herbertcbhat@aol.com (Herbertcbhat@aol.com) i am write you about my telescope. it a etx125pe an i let to allign for me.Mike here: Is there some text missing from your message? Is there a problem you need help with? If so, please be specific on what is happening.
i have get my telescope allignment right. can you tell what steps to get it to in properly allignmentMike here: Start with reading the manual, three times. Then put the telescope through the alignment steps, INDOORS, following the manual. Just assume the alignment stars are centered when asked to center them. If you have specific problems, feel free to write; just explain the steps you've done and what the telescope did and what the Autostar display showed.
Subject: ETX 125 PE Purchase Sent: Tuesday, November 8, 2005 09:20:32 From: Hal Miller (CaptHal@Cox.net) I am a Meade ETX-90 owner and was thinking of upgrading to an ETX 125 PE. Saw one im my local store and was taken by the simplicity. I think I will get it. I wanted to thank you for the great website here. I can take these reported issues with me to have the staff at the Store help me and make sure it all works well. This is invaluable. Great Job!! Hal Miller Las Vegas
Subject: Can't Slew with Arrow Keys: ETX-105PE Sent: Monday, November 7, 2005 15:27:40 From: Thomas Sokol (firstname.lastname@example.org) Just got a Meade 105PE (with the good coatings) for my son's 11th B'Day. I'm having some real problems with the AutoStar. When I try to do an AutoAlign, the scope picks VEGA, and gets close (It's within the field of the Smartfinder...which seems to work OK...thanks to your tips on your sight!!) but I believe I should be able to use the arrow keys to center the red dot right on VEGA...but the arrow keys don't work....the scope won't move no matter which arrow key I press...! The only thing I can do is press ENTER, which of course throws everything off... I did a "train drives" during the day, and I can use the arrow keys then to center a terrestrial object. The arrow keys just don't work anywhere else!! Luckily I have been able to unlock the drives and manually (by hand) point the scope at the moon, venus, and mars,....so my son hasn't been too disappointed..(and I know my way around the sky a bit...I used to grind my own mirrors from Edmund Scientific when I was his age!!)....but heck, for a grand ($1K) the scope's computerized stuff should work!! Any ideas, Mike? BTW...I bought the scope from Astronomics. Clear Skys, Tom SokolMike here: You didn't say but have you tried increasing the slewing speed? I typically use a speed of 7 (that's the number key on the keypad) when doing major slewing and a speed of 4 or 5 for smallers slews when aligning. As to good ole Edmund Scientific, see my article 'Some "Ancient" History' on the Just for Fun page!
Subject: re: LNT replacement Sent: Saturday, November 5, 2005 19:26:40 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) You don't -need- the LNT portion to align and use the telescope. Choose Easy Align or Two Star align, and you're no worse off than all of us pre-LNT scope owners (and before you say 'but i don't have a finder!', mine broke off a year and a half ago... i 'find' by sighting over the tube, and eventually i strapped one on with rubber bands and a carved chunk of plastic (balsa wood would do). So try for Mars... and -then- send it back have fun --dick
Subject: LNT replacement Sent: Friday, November 4, 2005 12:01:04 From: Kevin.K.Blankenheim@rolls-royce.com (Kevin.K.Blankenheim@rolls-royce.com) I received a replacement LNT for my ETX125PE from MEADE. Unfortunately it didn't work, either, no red alignment light, no saving the time, no sensor calibrate option on controller, and no automatic alignment option. Called MEADE back and I'm having to ship my telescope back to them. Expected turn around time is about 6 or 7 weeks. It was fun when it was working, never did get my Mars pictures liked I hoped too. Kevin
Subject: Re: ETX 125PE Base Off Center Sent: Friday, November 4, 2005 08:33:29 From: David Haigh (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thought you might like an update on my scope tales. My new ETX 125PE has finally arrived and guess what? Very stiff focus for 3/4 of its turn, then slacks off then stiff again. LNT finder shows 6 smudges of light rather than one dot. Dec drive very coffee grinder like in upward fast slew. So hurray another poor quality scope for me. I just have to descide on a replacement, refund or keep as is. To be honest I cannot guarentee a good replacement scope, so I will either keep it or send it back for refund. Neither option will leave me happy. But I will never find anyone that can say my scope will be ok straight of the box. Yours in Frustration, anger and not a few tears Dave HaighMike here: I forget, was this through a dealer or Meade directly?
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