ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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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, Scotland 
Mike 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."

And:

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 (wjdiamond@comcast.net)
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 (wjdiamond@comcast.net)
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 Diamond
Mike 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:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
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 Hogan
Mike 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.

And:

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 Hogan
Mike here: No "convenient" access to an ETX-125PE model.

And:

From:	Pat "BUFF" Hykkonen (pat@hykkonen.net)
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 (fkmiami@bellsouth.net)
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.
     Frank
Mike 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 (fkmiami@bellsouth.net)
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!

    Frank
Mike 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.UK
Mike 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).

And:

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 (tsokol5@mac.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 Sokol
Mike 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.

And:

i have get my telescope allignment right. can you tell what steps to get
it to in properly allignment
Mike 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 (tsokol5@mac.com)
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 Sokol
Mike 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 (rseymour@wolfenet.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 (no1traumanurse@hotmail.com)
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 Haigh
Mike here: I forget, was this through a dealer or Meade directly?

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Copyright © 2005 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2005 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackNov05/etx-pe.html