Last updated: 30 November 2005
This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX and DS models. 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: Hard Stops for ETX 90EC Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 14:08:44 From: Matthew Checketts (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for answering my previous questions. I really appreciate your service to fellow ETX users. You have really improved the experience for everyone. Just recently, I downloaded a newer version of Autostar. I had not yet updated it and it was acting funny. At one point, it was slewing upward, and hit the hard stop and kept trying to go, so I turned it off, but it was grinding for a good second or two. Then, this morning, I was doing a little daytime viewing and I was operating it myself and I forgot about the alt/az hard stop and I hit it and kept going for a second or two. Do you think I have caused any permanent damage? - Matt C. Mesa, AZMike here: Damage not likely. Also, don't forget to CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES following any Autostar update.
Subject: ETX Upgrade? Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 20:44:44 From: Ken Toliver (email@example.com) I have the "old" model ETX125EC. I have recently started to think about placing my unit back into operational condition. Unfortunately, the main reason that I shelved the unit in the first place was that it was so shabbily constructed, although the optics were great. I see now that the ETX has a "new" version that may be fundamentally better constructed. Does Meade have a trade-up program that anyone is aware of? Perhaps because they are so ashamed of the first go-round? Ken ToliverMike here: Nope.
Subject: Hi there Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 17:39:54 From: Carol Fehner (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have a really stupid question that you many know the answer to - I was showing the local kids Arcturas and Mars tonight trying to deflect some advice about skateboarding dangerously. They asked "what does Arcturas mean? " And I had to say I had no idea. After googling the word, I am no closer to knowing the origin of the name than I was previously. If you know, please help. Don't go to any lengths to research it, if it is not simple, I will just help the kids do research. We enjoyed meeting you and your wife at Nightfall. We are heading for Borrego Springs next week to try to take some good dark sky pictures. Happy ETX'ing. Carol FehnerMike here: Just noticed that your email was "bounced" as SPAM due to the Subject entry. Please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page. Thanks for understanding.
Subject: Resetting the declination indicator ring on an ETX 90EC Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2005 20:53:59 From: Matthew Checketts (email@example.com) I hope you are well. Thanks for your website. It is the best out there for ETX! I want to fix my declination indicator ring on my ETX. It is not level when I set it to "0". I need to move it about four degrees. I am just unsure about how to actually do that. How do I loosen the ring and so forth? -Matt C. Mesa, AZMike here: Just loosen the large knob on the scale; then you can rotate the scale and retighten the knob.
I tried loosening the large knob on the scale, but it seemed really tight and I did not want to do any damage. It has no grooves like the one on the other side does. Should I just turn harder? -MattMike here: Use a rubber "jar lid opener" or even rubber gloves.
Subject: JMI case vs. Meade 07607 vs. Meade 775 case Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2005 20:36:07 From: Lenny Tropiano (lenny@VoIPing.com) Trying to decide which is more flexible, for my new ETX-125PE scope. What are the pros/cons to each case and if you know a recommended place for your "favorite" that would be great, Thanks. LennyMike here: You can read about some cases on the Accessory Reviews: Cases page. Also, see the case dealers listed on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject: ETX-125 Focus Issue - need some advice Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2005 11:37:20 From: JWM Personal e-Mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) Would like to add my thanks for your ETX site to that of to many others -- it is a great resource. I've recently moved to PA from VA and after almost a year in its case, my ETX 125 is back on the tripod. Unfortunately, I've been unable to get it to focus on anything -- terrestrial or astronomical. Thinking my Meade electronic focuser may have been the problem, I've dropped back to the manual knob, but this did not resolve the issue. I've tried to pull the focus in as far as it will come with endless counterclockwise rotations. I want to say the I can see some changes as I do this, but am afraid that I am kidding myself. There does seem to be quite a bit of play in the knob and I can not remember how it should feel when it is working properly. Is it possible that I have run out the focusing mechanism to far in one direction or the other? Can you suggest how I should troubleshoot or make a repair? While I have implemented your basic mechanical tune-up, I am a beginner and am a bit reluctant to to breakdown the telescope without some coaching or reassurance. Anything you can suggest is appreciated. Regards - Bill Mooney Landenberg, PA 19350Mike here: If you mean that there is NO change when turning the focus shaft (electrically or by hand) then it probably has become disconnected. See the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: Differences between the ETX 125 EC & AT Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 13:29:23 From: Jim Drzewiecki (email@example.com) I'm confused. What are differences between the ETX 125 EC & AT? The only perceivable difference to me is in the AutoStar controller. The AT has the AutoStar 497. What version of AutoStar does the EC have and how does it connect to your PC?Mike here: See the FAQ page. The EC model did not include the Autostar.
Subject: ETX: 105 vs 125 vs PE or not? Sent: Friday, November 25, 2005 13:17:53 From: Jordan Furman (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pointed to your website by someone selling their 125PE (ready to upgrade). Similar to Bill, I am looking to purchase a decent scope with a good but not bank-breaking investment. I used a simple Meade Reflector scope in the past (~9 yrs ago) without any bells any whistles and thought it was cool but frustrating to track manually. Now, in mind for my 6yr old's attention span (and mine to a degree), I'd like to get a scope that shows Saturn's rings rather than a dot PLUS constellations. If all that is seen is tiny dots, interest will be gone. Next looking at all of the experiences with PE (yours and others), and with me being a clear novice, am I better off with or without PE? And last, how much more will the 125 show vs the 105? Finally, is a Celestron any better value for what I am looking for? You have a great site and everyone appears to be quite sincere here as well. Thanks, Jordan (Northern AZ)Mike here: With the exception of the finderscope, the PE has the same capability as the AT models. So with the PE you can always revert to non-PE mode of Autostar operation. That said, there is nothing wrong with the AT model way of doing things; a large number of ETX users have done that since 1999. As to the 105 vs 125, yes, the larger aperture and longer focal length of the ETX-125 will let you see more details than with the ETX-105. Meade vs Celestron: good points on both sides. Some people prefer Meade, some people prefer Celestron.
Subject: Ref: Meade ETX...this one or that one...or the other ones...? Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2005 11:14:23 From: Hakan.Shah@ubs.com (Hakan.Shah@ubs.com) Hi Mike (edit where you think it's irrelevant - but not the whole email!)and all readers alike :) I plan to buy a telescope (within the next 2 months) - looking at one of the ETX ranges - but plan to take it with me to "see" and take good pictures (SLR or Digi) of the Total Solar Eclipse in Turkey next year ...then I plan to take it with me to Cyprus and leave it there so when I visit (approx 2 twice a year for a few days)I'll have the clear night skies to GO TOmore like GO MAD over the Universe and it's glorious wonders... I'm also looking to have the Scope connected up with a laptop and some (great) compatible software - to - Scope application so that I can swing around the night sky while indoors (or out - preferred!) and see/study/take good clear pictures (SLR or Digi?) as much as I can in those few days that I'm there but I also want to simply freely move the Scope by hand from time to time rather relying upon electronics to GO TO where I want to get there quicker... I read all sorts of issues and problems in these pages with Scopes, motor drives etc So my question is 2 fold: Not sure what Scope I should buy ETX (AT) Series 60 - 70 - 80 - 90 - 105 - 125? ...and... what Accessories I should purchase and take with me? (Does someone out there have an ideal "set up" of a Scope and list of tried and tested Accessories that they have added to their arsenal to do what I'm looking to door has everyone learnt by trial and error and spend a lot of money to "get it right"?) Money is almost no objection because I'm looking to buy once only! Apologies for the "God, he's looking for a lot of answers" email Thanx. Hakan (London - UK)Mike here: I rarely edit emails received. As to issues reported, keep in mind that most people write when they have problems and not when all is working well. So, the percentage of problems seems inflated. That said, given what you have said, I suspect that the ETX-105 will be your best compromise in aperture, capability, and portability. As to accessories, check out the Accessory Reviews section; lots of products discussed there.
Subject: Re: ETX 90 jumps slightly while slewing on Dec axis Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 15:12:18 From: Doug Vaughan (email@example.com) I did move the OTA up and down to loosen the lubricant and as a result of that (and possibly the general variability of the problem to begin with) the jumps now seem to be somewhat less frequent and less dramatic. Last night with the scope still warm from indoors it performed pretty well on Mars at about its transit. Could just be time for a tune-up. Have a great visit at Oracle and thanks for all your help, Doug
Subject: Meade Question ? Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 01:52:17 From: James Jefferson-Wilson James (firstname.lastname@example.org) I've seen on the Meade.com website a photo gallery, but there is no email address that people can at least show meade what is capable with the ETX125. I'd like to show them a couple of my images but I haven't / can't find a contact anywhere .... any ideas ? Regards, James Jefferson (JJ)Mike here: Meade doesn't have any "user support" or "general feedback" email address. They have a bug reporting email (email@example.com). Right now they are accepting images for a new catalog; details on their home page.
Thanks mike, I didn't notice that yesterday ! ...Mike here: Been up a few months!
LOL, really ? Sheez ... Its all these late nights :-)Mike here: Lots of late nights then. See the Announcements: Meade page on the ETX Site; it was mentioned there back in July...
Subject: ETX 125: Bright fuzzy area center FOV Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 15:51:51 From: Paul S. Greene (firstname.lastname@example.org) First off, without your site, many would be lost. Thanks so much! While looking at the sun with a class "A" sun filter form Scopetronix, there seems to be a bright fuzzy area center to the FOV across all eye pieces. If I focus in on a sunspot around the periphery of the FOV, I can get more detail. However, if I try to center, the sunspot tends to be in a brighter area and all is fuzzy. I don't think there are any problems while observing the moon at night. Any ideas what this may be? Could this possibly be sun damage to the optics of the scope? Thanks, Paul GreeneMike here: Could be internal reflections from stray light. A typical source of stray light during the daytime are the two photographic tripod mounting holes on the bottom of the OTA (diametrically opposite the eyepiece holder). Try covering them and see if the problem goes away.
Subject: ETX 105 or ETX125 would you recommend Sent: Sunday, November 20, 2005 12:54:04 From: Suren (email@example.com) Great site, I've been following it for some years now. I already have a 10' LX200 GPS. I'm thinking of an ETX, but my dealer is suggesting an ETX105 (he says its more sturdy than the ETX 125), which would you advice me to get. Regards SurenMike here: Since you have a large aperture telescope, do you need the larger aperture of the ETX-125 or the slightly better portability of the ETX-105?
Subject: EC handset wouldn't go into setup mode Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2005 20:28:34 From: Villy Madsen (Villy.Madsen@shaw.ca) Have you ever run into this problem - another issue is that it isn't tracking - even though the screw has been removed to put it into polar mode. I can't hear the motor running, although it works fine slewing (slow fast etc) and the tracking works fine with the autostar. It's been a long time since I've done anything with it, but I don't have any recollection of it being a problem the last time that I used it. I did an upgrade of the Autostar load, and re-intialized the Autostar. That shouldn't have any impact on the original EC controller though - should it ?? thanks Villy Villy Madsen www.members.shaw.ca/villy.madsenMike here: The drive is quiet when tracking with the EC handset. Only one motor is running and at low speed. If you leave it going for an hour do you see about a 15 degree change? And no, the Autostar upgrade won't have any effect.
I can see the star move across the field. Also, holding the mode switch down doesn't do anything. (Although hitting the mode switch at startup does cause it to slew - so the switch itself is working... Strange. I can hear the motor when I switch the autostar into polar mode, it's not very loud, but it is noticeable. Built a camera platform that plugs into the telrad mount - time to try for some wide field photography with my digital rebel XT. I bought a m49 to eos adapter from a czech shop on ebay, a f2.8 135 mm vivitar ($US15) and a F4.5 80-200 zoom for $C25 locally. That is in addition to the f3.5 28mm and f1.8 55mm that I had left over from my Pentax Spotmatic F. It's interesting playing around with them. The 55mm is very soft wide open (get donuts instead of points - initially I thought that it wasn't hitting focus until I did some playing with closer targets). stopping it down to f8, and it's sharper than the 18mm-55mm zoom that comes with the camera. New canon (or sigma or..) lenses would be nicer - but you certainly can't beat the price.. VillyMike here: I suppose the EC Handcontroller could be bad. But check that you have it in astronomical mode, not terrestrial mode (those screws, as I recall; been awhile since I used an EC Handcontroller).
Yeah, I've tried everything with the screws - and the book says that no matter how the screws are configured, you should still be able to over-ride it with the mode switch.. I find it hard to believe that it isn't working. I would expect the hand unit to either work, or not work. I wonder if the autostar loads any microcode into the telescope... Doesn't seem likely, but it almost seems like the only alternative.... Oh well, I'm re-reading the documentation for the auto star, I suppose that it will be almost as convinient to use once I get used to it.. Thanks VillyMike here: There is no memory in the ETX itself so the Autostar isn't doing anything to it.
I could see that if the handcontroller did it's thing with the lights on the handcontroller when I try to put it into the set up mode, but it doesn't do anything. Seems like it's a problem within the controller itself.... Villy
Subject: ETX 125 Motor?? Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2005 19:36:19 From: Tom Frazin (firstname.lastname@example.org) See Mike's article called, "Creep after Beep." It's my question to Mike. It sounds like I had the same problem as you. My ETX 125 is at Meade now for repair of the gearing/motor. Meade listed my problem as, "Azimuth motor is indexing back and forth with loud clunking sound coming from the gears." At Mike's recommendation, I opened the bottom of my scope and saw a bracket which holds the main gear was broken. That is why I sent it to Meade. When I get it back I will be reporting back to Mike. Good Luck. Tom
Subject: Web access Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2005 15:25:13 From: Tom Slater (email@example.com) Thanks for keeping your website simple, uncomplicated and straightforward. Your comment about slow access speeds is so very accurate. There are times that I must sit for 8 to 10 minutes on other websites while some useless graphics download at my connect speed of 12.4 kbps. I access your priceless ETX information and appreciate the simple, B&W correspondence you present. Cordially, Tom Slater firstname.lastname@example.org Adamsville Ohio USA
Subject: Re: ETX 90 jumps slightly while slewing on Dec axis Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 18:04:44 From: Doug Vaughan (email@example.com) It does seem to (possibly) be thermally related but I wouldn't call the temp "really low," maybe for LA... say 55 degrees. The problem does seem to crop up as the temp drops, but that has also been when Mars moves higher and the tube is pointed more toward the zenith. When moving it freely, the tube has noticeably more resistance at the top of its travel. I'll keep looking for clues. Thanks for all the help and your wonderful site. dwvMike here: When more nearly vertical, most of the weight of the OTA is downward onto the axis through the forks. So that could be a clue. How does it do indoors at room temperature?
When warm and inside I can sometimes get it to make a slight sound like the one that accompanies the problematic movement, but I can't detect any jump in the scope (possibly because I can't look at anything at that level of mag inside). I'll try it while warm on a star near the zenith weather permitting. Starting to think it may just be failing lubricant. Thanks for all your help. DougMike here: Did the trick I suggested earlier help to loosen up the lubrication?
Subject: ETX 90AT w/ UHTC or ETX 105AT Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 08:51:16 From: arthur barbee (firstname.lastname@example.org) With a budget of only $500, I have about settled on getting an ETX over an Orion Dob due to travel and size concerns. Before I bust my budget, can you help me? The ETX 90 AT sells for $599 with standard coating and $649 with UHTC coating. The ETX 105 AT sells for $799 with standard coating. Q: Does the UHTC produce a noticable effect optically speaking? Q: If yes, will the effect make a 90 AT with UHTC comparable to the 105 AT without UHTC? Q: Does the 105 offer any other upgrades (sturdier build, better motor, etc) over the 90 other than 15mm more of aperture? Q: Should I get the 90 AT and put the additional money (up to $200) toward assessories (lens, filters, dew caps, etc) which can increase the quality of the image? If you, which assessories do you recommend? (I have reviewed your site for suggestions but I'm a little confused) thank you for your help, Arthur Barbee Peachtree City, GeorgiaMike here: UHTC is definitely worthwhile. It is like getting about an extra 1" of aperture in the light that reaches your eye. But the ETX-105 has a longer focal length than the ETX-90; which may or may not be a consideration depending upon what you plan to do with the telescope and your expectations. As you noted, saving some of the budget for accessories is also a consideration but don't jump into those yet unless and until you know just how you will be using the telescope. For example, if you decided to get a bunch of eyepieces and then discovered that all your observing would be from home with AC power available, perhaps an AC Adapter along with less eyepieces might be a better way to spend your money. Bottom line: get some experience to start with and then you'll be able to make a better decision on what accessories will be most useful to you.
Subject: Quick question. Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 04:37:45 From: PENHALE44@aol.com (PENHALE44@aol.com) I'm a relative newb to astronomy. I unfortunately started with a Mead DS 114 Short tube that did nothing but break, but having got the bug I traded up to an ETX 125 & a copy of your excellent book & am so far having a blast, especially now it's darker earlier and mars is blasting by closely (I'm in the UK) The question is this: While out the other night I was scanning around the zenith with a 12mm eyepiece when I spotted a flash. I stopped and synchronised the scope and watched the area closely & I noticed what appeared to be a star that acted like a light house, flashing on for about a second and then off for around 5 seconds. It was moving with the other stars and over aprox 2 hours stayed in the same position and at the same frequency and brightness. Any ideas? as I'm baffled. Could it be a tumbling Geo satellite? or are there stars that are visibly rotating that fast? Am I the first to make first contact :) I know you're busy, but I hope you can shed some light on this for me. Regards. Ian Finney (Nottingham UK) ps And no I didn't note the co-ordinates 7 can't find it again. DohMike here: You didn't say where in the sky you saw this star or planet but I suspect that is what you did see. Changing brightness can be due to low altitude above the horizon, and hence a lot of our atmosphere for its light to get through.
It was around 11.30 & I was looking almost straight up at the time close to the zenith and around Perseus I guess as I had just been looking at M31 and was just scanning around. I had discounted all the planets. Plus the good old ETX couldn't identify it for me. Very strange. Right I'm off to check out the Leonids. Thanks. Ian.Mike here: See the emails on "Interesting object in the sky" on the October General Feedback page in the Feedback Archives.
Subject: For ETX : Self made pier, my favorite observing chair, some ideas Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 12:53:31 From: rdl (email@example.com) I have been trying to make observing as comfortable as possible, with a low cost budget. Maybe this could be usefull for fellow observers as well. If you like, you can add this to your site. You can find my 'solutions' at http://www.geocities.com/rodelaet/myaddons.html Best Regards, Rony Rony De Laet http://www.geocities.com/rodelaet
Subject: ETX-125 mirror Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 08:33:10 From: wilo (firstname.lastname@example.org) My name is William Laboy, and I have some problems with my ETX-125 primary mirror. During the past two months, the mirror is developing some weird white dots, which I believed were dust. For my suprise, these white dots are not dust, but some type of oxidation or fungus, which I could not remove using the cleaning solution. Then I tried rub the mirror a little harder, and some dots were remove, but there are too many and I don't want to scratch the mirror. Is there a special rubbing compound for mirrors which is not strong enough to damage the mirror or another cleaning solution that can remove this superficial dots? Thanks for your time.Mike here: Rubbing the mirror is NOT a good idea; you WILL damage the first surface mirror coating. But for cleaning tips, see the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject: Focus Knob Has Slipped Inside The Scope Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 03:22:29 From: RPrice5812@aol.com (RPrice5812@aol.com) Whilst fitting an electric focusser to my 125 the focus knob which appeared to be loose slipped inside the scope. I can hear it moving whne I move the scope. Can anyone suggest a means of repair. I'm mechanically minded and not afraid to tinker with technical equipment. Bob PriceMike here: I presume you mean the focus shaft slipped inside and not the knob. See the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. It should help. As a reminder, always point the OTA upwards about 45 degrees when removing the focus knob from the shaft.
Subject: Good Space Web Site Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 21:03:04 From: Susie O'Daniel (email@example.com) I'm looking for a good web site out there that I can show my kids that will allow me to see what is currently in the sky maybe for my zip code or local geographical area. It would be nice if it could display what it is the sky for any area and maybe neat stuff in the near future. My girls keep asking me, "what is that thing in the sky? Is it a planet? Is it a star?". Unfortunately, my answer has been less than stellar, "I'm not really sure!". Thanks for your help! Jim O'DanielMike here: Check out the Sky and Telescope web site. You can enter your zipcode there. Also, for more details, you might want to check out SkyMaps (link on the Astronomy Links page on my ETX Site).
Subject: Power Supply Table Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 18:29:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) I saw your page on power supply and I thought you may want to know this. I had asked Dr. Clay if my ETX can take a voltage higher than 12v since I have a battery pack designed to power a bicycle light that has a voltage of 15.1 when fully charged. His response was the following: Hi Jonathan...by all means that voltage is ideal; the ETX loves between 13.8 and 15.4 volts. Actually they work very poorly with less than 13.2 volts Below is a link to a battery pack that you may want to consider. I have something similar but not identical to it. It provides 4500mah at 13.2v nominal and 15.1v fully charged. In my opinion you can't beat the deal considering battery life, price, and weight. Good luck. http://cgi.ebay.com/13-2V-4-5Ah-NiMH-Water-Bottle-Battery-4-HID-Bike-Light_W0QQitemZ7142026725QQcategoryZ22689QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem ps I haven't tried using the higher voltage yet thus I can't testify if it makes my scope perform better (my scope is being supercharged at this moment). However I have read the NexStar 8 documentation and it says it can take a min. of 8v. and a max of 18v. So I imagine the ETX power requirement is also flexible in its voltage. Regards, JonathanMike here: Thanks. About a year ago I purchased a Celestron Power Tank (discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page). It powers an ETX and my LXD55-8"SC simultaneously without any problems.
Subject: ETX 125 Motor?? Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 12:44:04 From: Steve Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sorry to bother you, I have scanned through your site but cant seem to find an answer. I have an ETX125 Ec and I have just experienced a strange problem whilst aligning it. When the scope is slewing to a star on the vertical axis, is starts to made a loud unpleasant clicking noise??? At this point I turn the Autostar off. It only happens in the vertical axis and hasn't happened in the previous 4 months I have had it ( granted I haven't used it because of summer) At fist I thought it was because I had locked the turn wheel in too tight but still does it when I slacked it off?? I am now fearing that the motor is damaged?? I am lostreally because I have followed the enclosed instructions word for word. Any ideas?? Regards Steve PS Top site!!!Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES recently?
Not since we got it 4 months ago, and in that time we haven't really used it that much. Plus, when we used it the other night it was fine?? Should the locking wheel for the vert axis be done up tight?? I tried slackening it but then thought perhaps it needs to be tight so the clutch grabs?? Regards SteveMike here: Overtightening the axis locks can cause damage; they should be just tight enough to keep the tube from moving on its own but still allow the drives to move it.
I think it's a call to the retailer where I bought it then.
I think as soon as it goes dark we'll be out to calibrate the motors 1st and try it again. Is this just a case of going into the options before aligning it?Mike here: It's under the Telescope menu. No user input required; just select it.
Well Mike, just been outside, calibrated the motors and its still doing it, if not worse. The noise is unbearable!!! And it now isn't even getting anywhere near alignment so I presume it's a fault on the motors?? Typical, its -1deg outside, crystal clear and the scope wont work!!!!!!!! STEVEMike here: Could be a gear problem. Time to contact Meade.
Subject: ETX 90 Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 07:12:24 From: Paul Quenneville (email@example.com) Sorry, but I have a very simple question. I have an ETX90 telescope that the motor works when I push the directional buttons, but does not move by itself (with the earths rotation) like it should???? Could this be just replacing the batteries?Mike here: Do you have the Autostar or just the EC Handcontroller? If you have the Autostar, have you done the Autostar alignment? If so and you did a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES, then it could be a battery problem or you are overtightening the axis locks. You can check the battery level by pressing the MODE key for two seconds and then scrolling the display (using the UP/DOWN arrows at the bottom of the Autostar) until you see the battery level.
I have only the EC Handcontroller. I have tried to press the mode button on the handcontroller for two seconds, But it never switches to let me change to northern or southern mode. I am assuming it is just the batteries. I just bought new ones but have not installed them as of yet. Isn't there a adaptor that can be plugged in to the telescope that will by-pass the batteries?Mike here: There is an external AC adapter from Meade and you can buy or make your own. See the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for lots of info on Power Supplies.
Subject: replacement parts for etx90 in UK Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 02:35:20 From: ben (firstname.lastname@example.org) I recently completed a successful tune-up using Dr Clay's performance enhancing articles. However, I've found that one of the friction plates (not sure what they're actually called) is split. I've attached a picture of the part. It's from the Scopetronix article, so ignore the pen nib! Would you happen to know where in the UK or Europe I might obtain a replacement? Thanks BenMike here: Typically such level of parts are not available to end users. But you can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) or you could contact Meade directly for a repair.
Subject: ETX 90 jumps slightly while slewing on Dec axis Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 21:57:49 From: Doug Vaughan (email@example.com) I've had my ETX 90 for about 18 months and previously had no problems. While observing Mars recently it suddenly developed a minor hitch when slewing on the Dec axis. I was using the basic non-Autostar controller to track manually and viewing with a 7mm ortho. When I pressed the up button at low speeds I could hear the motors engage but Mars would hold steady for an instant before jumping across about 1/4 the viewing area.This jump was accompanied by a quiet "click" sound coming from (I think) the left fork (or even the base). The scope worked fine again early this evening but as the temperature dropped, the problem returned. My mechanical instinct suggests this is some kind of minor binding issue? I've found several items on your site that seem similar, but my "click" is pretty quiet -- sounds almost like elements of the plastic housing adjusting slightly -- and (again, I think) coming more from the left side, not the right. Any obvious steps for troubleshooting this? Thanks. DougMike here: If the temperature was really low it could be the lubrication "stiffening up". You can try keeping it "loose" by moving the OTA by hand back and forth, hard stop to hard stop, several times.
Subject: ETX125/125PE Question Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 16:07:22 From: Travis S. Rice (firstname.lastname@example.org) My wife and I want to get into astronomy. We have decided on an ETX-125 because of the aperture and some reviews. Is it worth the extra $100 to step up the the ETX-125PE. We don't want to get a scope that won't allow us to see a lot of things. We don't just want to see a white ball in space. This is why we have decided on the 125. We just don't understand the importance of the the finder piece. The 125 has a traditional finder piece, but the 125PE has something else. Which is better. Is the fact that the 125PE will auto itself to the north and level a big deal. Any input will help and be greatly appreciated. Many Thanks, TravisMike here: Whether the PE model and its "red dot" finderscope is simpler for you to use depends upon whether you want to spend some time to learn the night sky or just jump into viewing objects. While learning the sky is not required with either model, it does make things easier. But with the PE model you don't have to worry where North is, where level is, and even what date/time it is. But none of that is that difficult so the choice of how to spend your money comes down to spending it on the basic telescope or on the basic telescope plus some accessories (like additional eyepieces).
Subject: ETX 90 and focal reducers Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 14:08:45 From: Robert Zaballa (email@example.com) My ETX 80 had some problems with its motor, at one point it always said "motor unit fault" and it was unable to slew, so I returned it and got an ETX 90 with GPS. It's a nice scope, but the focal ratio is really high. I do have a .5 focal reducer that I can use with it, but do you know if it is efficient to couple more than one focal reducer together without siginificant loss of light or image degradation? So if I coupled three .5 focal reducers, I could lower the focal ratio from f/13.8 to f/1.725. ThanksMike here: The image will degrade and you will likely get lots of field distortion. But if you try it, let me know how it works out!
Subject: RE: Alternate Power Sources for ETX 90 Premiere Edition Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 11:58:08 From: Teresa Thank you for your response. Do I have to be careful about the power, polarization, etc? I will probably try the Celestron Power Tank if you know it to be compatible with a ETX 90 PE. You indicated trying it on a ETX125. Is power source the same for both?Mike here: You can use the same power source with either telescope. And yes, you can fry the telescope circuit board with an incorrect polarization. So, if you make your own cable be certain that the polarity is correct (center pin is positive).
Subject: ETX-125AT and using a GPS-Mate Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 11:26:10 From: Edwards, Paul ((BCS)) (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for providing a great site! I am looking to buy my first telescope and am considering the ETX-125AT. Considering the alignment problems that I have read about with the new ETX Premier Editions, I was thinking that it would be better to buy the ETX-125AT and then add the GPS-Mate, which according to a dealer in the UK provides: 'The GPS-Mate allows GPS functionality to be added to your Meade ETX, LX200, LXD55, LX90 telescope and most other quality goto telescope. In seconds the GPS-Mate will receive data from the GPS satellite network, derive the telescope's position anywhere on the Earth's surface to an accuracy of a few metres (a few tens of feet), calculate the time zone offset (based on longitude position) and upload all this data into your telescope, together with the date and time to sub-second accuracy.' end quote. See URL below for full information: http://www.skyviewoptics.co.uk/results.asp?pg=261&subpg=306&tl= Finally, how does the Meade 8" LX90 Schmidt-Cassegrain compared to the ETX-125 5" Maksutov-Cassegrain? Is there a BIG difference, as apart from the difference in price the ETX-125 is so much lighter and easier to transport. Many thanks for your time to reply. Best regards, Paul Edwards West Sussex, UK.Mike here: First off, do you NEED GPS? While they are nice add-ons and can simplify the setup at a site, do you really NEED that level of accuracy? Remember, it is giving you only date/time/location info; the rest is still up to you. And yes, there is a BIG difference in the 8" vs the 5". And the LX90 mount is more substantial. But yes, the ETX-125 is more portable than the LX90.
Subject: mounts Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 08:45:26 From: CYSMARCUS@aol.com (CYSMARCUS@aol.com) I was asked to show someone how to use a gem. Are they hard to operate and how do you know when the weights are balanced? Also do you have to rebalance it when changing to view a different part of the sky? Thanx for all P.S. I did the supercharge thanks to your site and so far I'm REAL HAPPYMike here: GEM mounts do take some getting used to, especially if you have only done Alt/Az before. It easy to tell when the balance is correct; just unlock the axes and move the telescope tube by hand. It should move easily and then stay put when you let go. Rebalancing in different orientations is typically not necessary.
Subject: eyepiece question Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 03:15:45 From: Vida Peral (email@example.com) Thanks for your site. It's clear and helpful, but I do have a question: I've recently purchased an ETX 105PE. Can you give me advice/tips/info about the eyepieces - Celestron X-Cel 10mm Televue Radian 10mm Which would you suggest for quality results or is it more a question of affordability? Much appreciated, Vida firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: I have no direct experience with either of these but Televue makes fine eyepieces. For more on eyepieces, see the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page.
Subject: Polar Alignment Problem Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 21:30:25 From: Tom and Klara Collins (email@example.com) I am trying to improve my polar alignment with my 125 and 884 tripod. I have seen articles to facilitate fine adjustment by adding treads and a large nut to the latitude bar, but the only side to side adjustment I can see is to actually pickup and move the tripod and scope. Obviously this is not a fine adjustment and will probably take the setup out of level and seems foolish when I am supposed to be aligning a degree off Polaris. Is there another procedure, or another modification or an accessory that can address this issue? Buying a new tripod and wedge really isn't in my budget for this scope.Mike here: All techniques involve shifting the position of the telescope rotational axis so without a lot of expense the only solution is to shift the tripod horizontally.
Subject: coupon for$25 discount for ebay Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2005 12:32:36 From: jim farinoli (firstname.lastname@example.org) have been reading your web pages for days. I am new to the game and you are a great source of info (lots). Great job, I just purchased the meade DSX-90at at ebay at the meade factory outlet. I am sending this email so you can share it with your readers. I used a coupon (C1-Holiday2005) that has to be paid through paypal and saved 25.00 in the process. Total for the scope delivered is $250.00! it is good until Nov30 2005 there are actually 3 different they are: 10% off ($25max) coupon code: C1-Holiday2005 $5 off coupon code: C2-Holiday2005 ($50 or more single item) $15 off coupon code: C3-Holiday2005 ($100 or more single item) I also used paypal credit which says no interest for 3 months.I think that is a good deal Thanks for the good work and be reading more soon Jimmy
Subject: Question about finger sight alignment. Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2005 12:26:42 From: Brandon Warhurst (email@example.com) I was looking around your site for information on the minimum distance required for a good finderscope alignment. I couldn't locate anything that would tell me that, so I figured I would ask directly. I did an alt-az alignment with my telescope several times. The first time the alignment wasn't too bad, but it seemed most objects were off even in the finderscope by quite a bit. So I realigned it and it got worse. Some objects weren't even in the finderscope. I checked and rechecked to make sure I was aligning with the stars chosen by the autostar. Capella was very easily found and I check and rechecked that I was using the right star for Aldeberaan. I was a little surprised that the autostar didn't pick Deneb instead because Aldeberaan and Capella seemed a little close together, but it said it aligned successfully. Then I read somewhere on your site that one of your other contributors had had problems and decided to realign his finderscope. When he did he aligned it with a radio tower 2 miles away. That is what made me think I might have a problem there. I have nothing that far away that I can align on. I'm surrounded on most sides by trees. I can use a few branches, but not only are they not 2 miles away, they all pretty much look alike making them difficult targets. The target I was choosing to align the scope was probably only about 75ft or so away. And that may be way too close for proper alignment. Hence the question. Brandon.Mike here: I doubt that finderscope alignment was your problem. But you should use a distant object; it doesn't have to be a terrestrial object. Many times I have used Polaris (if tracking is not engaged) or a bright planet like Venus if tracking is engaged. Just remember to always recheck the object in the telescope eyepiece in case the telescope shifted while adjusting the finderscope.
Unfortunately I can't see polaris. Its behind those trees I was talking about. I guess I might try another distant star next time. I know they shift, but I'm hoping that it will make little difference. Maybe I was just using a lousy compass. It seemed okay, but it would stick every now and again, so maybe it wasn't really north I lined up on. The DSX-125 doesn't have the "rotate the arm with the altitude markings over the computer" part of the alignment, so maybe there is something else you have to do besides pointing it north, but the manual didn't indicate anything else. I'll have to try again when it clears up.Mike here: Just do the Easy Alignment on the Autostar, then pick any bright object and center it; the tracking should be good enough to allow you to align the finderscope optics to the telescope optics.
Here's a related question. I noticed one of your contributers talked about syncing the telescope because the object (say the moon) was drifting. How is that done? I have seen it come up once or twice on the autostar when I was going through and trying the "Guided Tour", but I don't know if that is the same thing.Mike here: SYNC is done by centering an object you have done a GOTO to and then holding down the ENTER key for 2 seconds. You will then see a prompt to press ENTER to SYNC. What that does is set the Autostar the object's known RA/DEC. This helps improve the alignment in that area of the sky. It should NOT be done on objects that move, like the Moon and planets.
thanks a lot. I think I'll have better luck next time out. It won't be for a couple of days as the clouds rolled in, but some time this week probably.
Subject: Tasco rifle sight Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2005 15:16:10 From: Brandon Warhurst (firstname.lastname@example.org) I noticed there were some others that have tried a Tasco rifle sight as an alternative to the meade sights (well, maybe not the 90deg sight, but the others). I had a rifle I used to use for target practice (I like the challenge of target practice, but never really wanted to hunt... can't explain it), but haven't used in a while so I took the 7x20 Tasco off and tried it on the telescope. I fit it on the wedge in front of the mount for the 90deg sight I have on my 125 OTA. I can say it worked. However, the crosshairs were very dim. It did work a bit better for getting things in the scope than the 90deg, but I think that is mostly due to the fact that the 90deg has the six adjustment screws while the rifle sight has two tied to the crosshairs instead of moving the whole sight. The field of view was also a little narrow. So I'm switching back to the 90deg and wrestling with the six adjustment screws. I may go ahead and get something from scopetronix in the way of a red dot sight.
Subject: etx purchase Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2005 11:45:50 From: steve harper (email@example.com) my name is steve and i am getting ready to purchase a new scope. i am looking at the 90at but also looked through a125at. price diff is about 350 to 400. i would like your input if possible. money is tight but i dont want to buy the 90 and 6 months from now wonder. is it better to get the 125 and save up for the extras?your opinion will be appreciated. i live in riverside, so.cal and we go out to the high desert near ridgecrest to ride bikes, so i will be transporting in my motorhome. thanks for your time steve harperMike here: Certainly the larger aperture of the ETX-125 will provide brighter views and more details than the ETX-90. Since portability doesn't seem to be a concern, the ETX-125 might be your better choice between the two. Be certain to read my comments on these models on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well those of others on the Helpful Information: User Observations page.
thanks so much for the Very quick reply. i will go back to your great web site and check out your comments. thanks again steve
Subject: Re: Removing focuser from ETX 125 Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 11:01:30 From: JJ Singley (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks so much for your help. I got it removed. Wanted to let you know that there are a couple of sites dedicated to refurbishing OTAs from the Terabeam/Meade joint venture. I have seen a few folks ask questions on your site in regards to these "white tube" OTAs and thought you may want to point folks to them. http://auctionadvisory.com/forum/index.php?sid=54ece1b16210a90d1ac362c88fc3a 63e http://www.geocities.com/cliffweb03/Terabeam_telescope.html They don't have a ton of information on them, but should become a good resource for this small group of ATMs. Thanks again for your help. jj
Subject: Alternate Power Sources for ETX 90 Premiere Edition Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2005 14:04:24 From: Teresa I have a new ETX and am gradually learning all there is regarding setup, calibration, and alignment. (Actually this was a Christmas present for my 11 year old daughter and is turning into my toy until I get the kinks worked out. I may not give it back.) I am on my first set of batteries and am running into some "Motor Fault Errors" that seem to be most likely related to low batteries. It is time I purchase an AC Power Adapter and/or Battery Pack. I have searched your web and am confused with all of the talk about assembly of your own battery pack from Radio Shack parts. That is not in the cards for me. What are your recommendations for off-the shelf purchases? I see that battery packs provide a more consistent power source, so if that is the way to go I will. Burning batteries, TeresaMike here: Depending on how much slewing you do, you can eat up batteries, especially small rechargeable ones. For off the shelf solutions, check out the article "Power Supplies" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. You might also want to read my review of the Celestron Power Tank on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page. I have powered two telescopes for hours with the Celestron Power Tank and have just pushed an inverter and the AC Adapter for my Nikon D70 DSLR and plan to use it with the Celestron Power Tank for astrophotography.
Subject: image shift Sent: Wednesday, November 9, 2005 15:39:09 From: jon (email@example.com) looking for a good astrophotography answer, what scope other than a refractor, does the etx have image shift. thanks bud jon ukMike here: All telescopes with moving mirror designs (except some at the high end) have image shift.
Subject: Autostar or normal controller not working on ETX 90. Sent: Wednesday, November 9, 2005 14:42:57 From: ALGYGALE@aol.com (ALGYGALE@aol.com) I was reading through your site telescope tune up tips for the Etx 90 & decided to take my scope apart to try & get rid of the play in the base. When i looked inside,i did somthing which is very unusual for me and...left it alone as it looked like i would have to take too much out to get a spanner on the centre nut! I have been out tonite to look at mars & spent ages setting up but when i switched on the computer control with 497 autostar nothing happened..the power light goes on but the autostar doesnt light up or do anything!! So i put the normal controller in but still nothing..i took the bottom off the scope & everything seems in order.. Any ideas?? Thanks... Alan.Mike here: Have you tried replacing the batteries? Probably not the cause but worth the try. It could be that somehow you disconnected a wire when removing the base plate. Check more closely. Alternatively if you touched some electronic component and were not grounded, static electricity might have damaged something. Lastly, although it would be coincidental, check the pins in the connection port on the base; perhaps they have become depressed and are not making contact with the plug on the cables.
Ok thanks... But what if i connected my external power source the wrong way round? Would it blow the components inside? Is it poss to buy the circuit boards Mike & from where? Thanks for your fast response... cant believe ive blown it up!! Alan.Mike here: If you reversed the polarity of the external power source then yes, you will likely damage something inside the ETX. You have two options: try to find a replacement from a place like Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) or contact Meade for a repair. Alternatively, if you know what you are doing, you can look for a blown component on the circuit board and replace it.
I have already fixed it...i was getting quotes from around 100 to replace the board, so i did it myself. It had lifted & burnt out a piece of wiring track on the switch board,so i just cut it out & relaced it with a piece of wire. All seems to be working ok or what i can make out at the moment, i should have taken some pics just in case some one else does the same stupid thing. Thanks for your help,i just have to take the arm to bits now to see if i can lose some slack. Thanks again... Alan.
Subject: Meade 125 etx for my son Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 12:25:59 From: VANAMAN (firstname.lastname@example.org) I plan to buy my 11 year old son a Meade 125 ETX for Christmas...Okay..I guess I may use it too...just a little....but it for him...honest! I would like to know what additional eyepieces I should order at the same time to offer a wide viewing experience. I believe it comes with only the standard 26mm. Also I would like to experiment with my Canon G5 for some digital photography...will I need a special attachment? My son has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, (Asperger's Syndrome), he is extremely interested in science, mathematics and astronomy. He has just been accepted to the Warwick University for Gifted and Talented support....therefore, I really feel the need to support him...hence the 125 ETX. Hope I have made the right desision with the telescope... Thanks for your help and this great website... J Vanaman.Mike here: The ETX-125 should provide lots of enjoyment and education. Just remember that it is not the Hubble Space Telescope! As to eyepieces, check out the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page as well as the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page for lots of info on eyepieces. You will probably want to at least get the #126 Barlow Lens (2X), which effectively doubles the magnification for any eyepiece you use it with. That effectively doubles the number of "eyepieces" that you have. As to which other eyepieces to consider, that will depend on how you, oops I mean your son, will use the telescope: wide field work or lunar work or planetary work or deep sky work. As to using the Canon, yes you can but you will need adapters; which type will (again) depend upon how your son, oops I mean you, will use it. See the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page as well as the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject: ETX125 VS. LX200 10" S.C.T., your thoughts Sent: Wednesday, November 9, 2005 05:46:09 From: Eric Sweitzer (email@example.com) Mike, first off thanks for all your work on the ETX, you are making other amateur astronomers lives easier. My question is that I have a Etx125AT which I enjoy, I have been proposed a trade for a 10" LX200 purchased in 2000, in excellent condition. This person wants a portable Scope, I would like a larger scope for home, do you enjoy your 8" S.C.T.?, or do you find it a pain to setup and maintain, how are the views? I would be leaving it setup in my garage and moving it outside. I would like to know your thoughts on the subject of a larger scope vs. portable. Thanks, Eric SweitzerMike here: Certainly aperture has its advantages. I'm tending to use my LXD55-8"SC more on my trips to Oracle Observatory, given its dark skies. So, moving it in the car and setting it up at Oracle Observatory isn't a major issue. A 10" LX200 is a somewhat larger beast however. You may find that you have to remove the OTA/forks from the tripod to move it from your garage. On the other hand, an ETX-125 is certainly more portable than a 10" LX200. So it comes down to whether you want what the increased aperture and better mount of the LX200 will give you vs the portability of the ETX.
Good points to think about Just one more question, do you like the G.E.M. on your LXD55-8"SC? Does it have any advantages over a fork mount? I was looking at the lxd75-8"S.C., do you think it was a good value? If I don't trade for the 10" I may look at the 8". thank you for your time, Eric SweitzerMike here: Yep, the LXD75 is good value; same OTA as on the LX200GPS 8"SC. GEM and forks both have their advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage (to me) of the GEM is simplier RA tracking (no wedge needed). The biggest disadvantage (to me) is the wider swing of the counterweight and OTA vs no swing with a fork mount system. Some new users prefer the AltAz fork mounted systems for their simplicity in set up and usage. If you want to do long duration astrophotography you have to get a wedge for the LX200 whereas with a GEM there is no issue.
Subject: Problem with Flip mirror - technical advise needed Sent: Sunday, November 6, 2005 17:39:11 From: bruno scagliarini (firstname.lastname@example.org) I've a big problem with the flip mirror of my ETX 105 . the problem started flipping up and down. the shaft started not to grip very well the plastic frame that support the mirror. on top the position of the mirror started not be the right one, leaving a shodow zone at 6 hours. touching gently the flip mirror command was possible to obtain an improvement. yesterday instead the shaft became totally loose , and the mirror is not flipping anymore. through the top and the rear hole I was able to notice a breakage in the plastic support, in the zone of the shaft contact. my question is : can I buy the plastic frame plus the mirror already mounted on as a spare part ? I live in Italy, where there is an importer. if the part is available from Meade i'm sure the importer must have it. to take the shaft out from the frame of the flip miror , to change the mirror+ frame, is a difficult operation , but a technician can do it? any idea of the cost of the spare part ? thanks for any suggestion helping to resurrect my ETX. best regards bruno scagliariniMike here: This sounds like a serious break. Unfortunately, Meade doesn't sell replacement parts to end users; you will have to contact a local Meade office or a local Meade dealer for a repair.
Subject: ETX125AT or EC Sent: Sunday, November 6, 2005 09:08:09 From: David Hawkins (email@example.com) I have researched this subject and I'm sure that I'm right here. The only difference between an ETX125AT and ETX125EC is the way the scopes come equipped. The AT version has the #497 Autostar and #884 Tripod, the EC version as neither of these and has only the smaller Electronic Controller. I also believe that Meade continued to sell ETX125ATs in the ETX125EC boxes and have only recently started to print new boxes with the designation ETX125AT. Is this correct? Has Meade yet to change the label on the base of the scope (on the battery compartment) that reads ETX125EC? I recently bought a scope that was barely a year old, that had the newer cast aluminum bearing supports, the owner told me it was an AT, but the box were labeled EC. It came with a #497 Autostar and #884 Tripod. Which one is it? I know it doesn't matter, this is just a subject on debate between me and a friend, figured I'd ask the recognized ETX guru. This question may already be answered in your archives, I just can't find it. Thanks, David HawkinsMike here: You are correct that this is/was just a bundling change (as noted on the FAQ page). I was still seeing EC boxes a couple of months ago. Haven't checked the label on the base though.
Subject: Choice between telescopes Sent: Saturday, November 5, 2005 20:37:54 From: PerdueProducers@wmconnect.com (PerdueProducers@wmconnect.com) Hi i'm looking at a ds114 and dsx-90at the ds114 has a focal leght 911mm and the optical diameter 4.5 . The dsx-90at has a focal leght 1250mm and the optical diameter is smaller at 3.5. great site thanks jimMike here: The longer focal length will mean higher magnification for a given eyepiece focal length with the DSX and light gathering "power" will be higher with the DS. You'll get nice wide field views, especially from a dark site, with the DS. You'll see more details on the Moon and planets and bright DSOs (Deep Sky Objects) with the DSX.
Subject: need ext-90ec help Sent: Saturday, November 5, 2005 12:13:46 From: Bailey, Michael J. (Michael.J.Bailey@FMR.COM) I found your site using Google and thought you might be able to help me. I have the EXT-90ec. It is only 3 months old and it is starting to act funny. It no longer is recognizing the auto-star and when I turn it on without that plugged in the telescope continuously tries to point up. Any thoughts on what this is and how I can fix it? Respectfully yours, Michael J BaileyMike here: Without a controller plugged in, odd movements CAN occur. When the Autostar is connected, what do you mean by it is not recognized? If no power (or low power), replacing batteries might help. So can reversing the cable to the Autostar.
Thanks for getting back to me...I am running it on AC power so it should not be a low power. "Recognized" aka no display and no beeps I get nothing. I have a fluke network tester that I used to test the line all looks good there. Pin 1 open pin 2 to 7 pin 3 to 6 pin 4 to 5 pin 5 to 4 pin 6 to 3 pin 7 to 2 pin 8 to 1 pin S open.Mike here: Does the power LED on the ETX base light up when you power on the ETX?
yes it does...thank you for all your help on this...i went over to a buddy's house that has an ETX and tried his autostar and it worked..... so i got to looking at my autostar and there were two pins out of place, got them back in line and all is well. i am going out to set it now. thanks again! mike bailey
Subject: UPDATE: Is it "creep after beep" Sent: Saturday, November 5, 2005 11:11:30 From: Tom and Lori (firstname.lastname@example.org) Update: I opened up the bottom to view the gears while slewing. No teeth were broken, however the black ring around the large gear appears to have broken, plus it looks like the gear mechanism housing was a bit loose as well. The noise continues when slewing to the right. I have packed up the scope and will call Meade on Monday to send it back for repair. I'll send you another update once I get the scope back. Thanks for your help. Tom
Subject: Removing focuser from ETX 125 Sent: Saturday, November 5, 2005 04:42:50 From: JJ Singley (email@example.com) I purchased an ETX 125 OTA with the primary mirror glued in place. In order to remove the glue, I need to remove the back of the OTA. In trying to remove the back, I am having trouble removing the focusing stem that runs through the back and into the mirror. The stem is threaded, but turning it requires more force than seems normal. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help and informative site. jjMike here: Don't know if it will help but see the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Also, this may or may not help: http://www.mapug-astronomy.net/ragreiner/etxguider.html.
Subject: ETX-90EC Sent: Saturday, November 5, 2005 04:37:35 From: lindon (firstname.lastname@example.org) hi there,i just happend to stumble on your page and found some quite interesting posts,my question is: i maybe able to get hold of a used etx-90ec(would be my first scope) but it comes without the tripod and i am stretching my budget as it is so is there anything you suggest ie would it fit a well built camera mount(which i have) or something like that. kind regards l.tilsonMike here: A sturdy photographic tripod can work but you should use one of the attachments for tripods as discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Tripods page. Alternatively you can make you own mount; see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: Thanks for the site Sent: Saturday, November 5, 2005 00:26:46 From: Dave Bradford (email@example.com) I just want so say thanks for your excellent site, particularly the "tech tips" I have manufactured a flexible focus cable for my ETX105 and I am very chuffed with it. I used a piece of auto speedometer cable that is very flexible with zero torsive play, I covered it with red shrink tube and to looks great. That also led me on to making a serial cable to link to my laptop, this worked perfectly too!!! I have only tested indoors so far but intend to get outside tonight, Incidentally I use Carts Du Ceil by Patrick Chevally and the setup was simple. I will send a report and picture for inclusion on your site after tonights session. Keep up the good work!!!! Best Regards, David Bradford.
Subject: ETX Eyepiece Holder Thread Stripping Sent: Friday, November 4, 2005 03:36:14 From: Ralph Thomson (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have searched your "excellent" site for info on the Eyepiece holder and there are a number of posts referring to the screw but I cannot see anyone that has had the same problem that I face. The issue is not the screw but the thread on the eyepiece holder barrel. It is now stripped to the point where the screw falls out and of course the eyepieces are loose. Are you aware of any remedies for this? I can't imagine that I am the only one to have experienced it? Thanks for your help :) RalphMike here: Actually, this is the first I have ever heard of this happening! One solution would be to try to build it back up and rethread it using some "liquid metal" (I forget the official name).
Subject: Online World-wide Magnetic Declination Calculator Sent: Thursday, November 3, 2005 12:57:57 From: Alexander Czernin-Morzin (email@example.com) Greetings to the ETX-Guru! Hi Mike! I have been "lurking" on your website and now that I purchased an ETX-125AT I am a steady reader and your book also has a place on my bookshelf (usually the night table). In your book you mention on page where to find, if necessary, the magnetic declination of a place and you direct the reader to check with the next airport. However, there is a much better way online, I am sure you know this, which I have been using very occasionally. The Geological Survey of Canada has a webpage with a calculator which works for all places around the world. Just click: http://gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/geomag/field/mdcalc_e.php Best regards and real thanks for your effort to keep the website running! Alexander P.s. For your info, I just fulfilled myself a 40+ year wish with the purchase of the ETX. I used the stars already in the early seventies when I sailed form the Med to Vancouver in my own boat: no GPS, just the heavens, sextant, wrist watch and the Admiralty tables! Now living in Austria and forgot all the asterism and stars! Learning new with 75 rings on the resistor is somewhat slower than earlier... I wonder why.... --------------------------------------- Alexander Czernin-Morzin Untere Alm 34 A-2802 Hochwolkersdorf <<<==== means "High Cloud Village"!! And therefore high clouds... AustriaMike here: Thanks! I have had their web site on the Astronomy Links page for some time but thanks to your email I now see they have a new URL. I will update it.
Subject: 125EC wth 26mm Sent: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 23:09:57 From: Richard Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Great page for newbies like me! I viewed Mars tonight using the above, my first time. Was a little disappointed in the image at 73x. Very small in the eyepiece with no real distinguishing features. Is this what I should expect using a 26mm lens? Any advice appreciated. Richard AndersonMike here: Yes, 73X is not going to show a large image of Mars (which is still pretty far away). You really need 100-200X to start to show details. See the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page for a lot of info on eyepieces.
So a 12.4 with a Barlow should do it?Mike here: Well, yes, BUT that exceeds the theoretical maximum magnification for the ETX-125. So you may or may not get a usable view, depending upon conditions and expectations. If you are unclear how to calculate the max see the FAQ page.
Okay, tonight I used a 9.7 only which by ny reckoning should be about 190x. The disc of Mars was only about 4mm wide and no features visible, disappointing. Am I doing something wrong here or am I being swayed by the pics on the side of the Meade box? I also bought a Barlow today. I can t see any real difference between the 9.7 and the 26 with Barlow. Am I making some kind of beginners mistake(s) here? RichardMike here: Don't expect to see the same details with your eye as you see in manipulated photos. And there isn't much difference in ~10mm vs 13mm.
Subject: star parties Sent: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 11:14:39 From: CYSMARCUS@aol.com (CYSMARCUS@aol.com) I'd love to attend a star party . I live in Brooklyn NY. It seems that most take place on Fri or Sat nite, as I observe the Sabbath I can't make it to those. Do you know of any in my area that are on weekdays or any way that I can do the research myself? ThanxMike here: Check the Sky and Telescope web site, Resources --> Event Calendar. That should get you some info. You can also check local astronomy clubs (also on the S&T site).
Subject: Oracle Sent: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 08:47:26 From: Dave (email@example.com) Keep up the great work, you have a great site, the information you have here is an Encyclopedia for ETX users. How are "things" at the observatory? Dave CummingsMike here: Last weekend's Oracle report will hopefully go online on or before the weekend.
Subject: Meade DSX-90AT Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 23:08:33 From: Loring Rose (firstname.lastname@example.org) I'm enjoying your site. Great info! Currently Meade is selling a model they call the DSX-90AT on their Factory Outlet site. According to the description, it's an ETX-90 optical tube on a DS- 2000 mount (single fork altazimuth mount). Comes with a 26mm Super Plossl eyepiece, field tripod, Autostar. One year warranty, $275 (free shipping). This sounds like a pretty good deal, but I'm worried about the mount. Any thoughts on this package? Thanks, LoringMike here: There are some DSX reports on the Helpful Information: User Observations page.
Subject: RE: Is it "creep after beep" Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 22:52:59 From: Tom and Lori (email@example.com) Is there an easy way to take a look inside without damaging anything during the process? Do you have reference area that will walk me through the process? I will try to Calibrate motors and train drives first though. Thanks.
I just opened the bottom of the telescope and did not notice any wires catching (good thing). I did add the velcro pieces to the bottom of the telescope for added stability on the tripod as mentioned in Jordon Blessing's "ETX tune up site." Do you think the RA lock may play a part in this? I do keep it locked pretty securely. Thanks. TomMike here: If you overtighten the lock you can cause problems. The lock needs to be just tight enough to allow the controller to slew. It is a friction lock so you can force the tube to move if you move the tube by hand. There is also a possibility that the motor has worked loose; open the base and watch it for movement as you have the controller do some slews in both directions.
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