ETX USER FEEDBACK
This page is for user comments and information of a general nature and specific items applicable to the original ETX model (now known as the ETX-90RA). Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX 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: Doskocil Hard Case Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 13:15:35 From: WHowell501@aol.com I am a newcomer to this telescope world of yours, and have my ETX90EC on order...through photoalley.com, $595 with $100 off on orders over $600 through 10/30/00...offer appears quite regularly. At any rate, I was perusing and enjoying your website for all it's wealth of info, when I ran into the discussions on the Doskocil extra large watertight pistol case. This item IS still listed at b&hphoto.com, at $69.95+ s&h...however, I found it at cabelas.com/texis/scripts/store?EXss=SA-22-0623-803&formname=searchForm&go.x=6&go.y=10 ...click on extra large size, and the cost is $59.95, I believe s&h is $6.95. I have their catalog, and am sure this is the case of discussion...just passing it on FWIW. Thanks, Bill howell email@example.com
Subject: question Sent: Monday, October 30, 2000 20:30:32 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (THOMAS) We are considering buying a Meade ETX-90EC telescope and the autostar computer controller for Christmas. We camp in the mountains of North Carolina alot and watch the stars. Our question is, "Can you mount a camcorder instead of a 35mm camera to the telescope and view the images on a TV screen?" We have a RCA small wonders vhs-c camcorder with a one lux light rating. Could this work so my husband and I can view at the sametime. Elizabeth Thomas P.S. Your website and pictures have convinced us to buy the ETX. Your information was very helpful. email address: LPDISADOG@NETZERO.NETMike here: Well, you can mount a VCR using one the adapters shown on the Accessories - Astrophotography page (either the LE-Adapter or the Digital Camera Adapter). However, don't expect to see really faint objects on a TV using this method; you'll probably just end up with lots of video noise. However, on bright objects this will probably work reasonably well.
Subject: Telescopes Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2000 09:26:31 From: Andive@aol.com I have been interested in Astronomy for a long time and was wondering what telescope would be appropriate for the East coast. I was looking at the Meade ETX 90 or 125. I want to be able to link the telescope to my pc, take pictures, etc. I want to be able to see pretty good detail Eg. rings on Saturn, Jupiter etc. Thank you for any help regards, AndrewMike here: East Coast or West Coast or elsewhere usually is not a consideration in telescope decisions. Light pollution at your primary viewing location can be a consideration. Another factor is "user expectation" vs "reality". Don't expect to be able to see or normally photograph (without some effort) images like you see in the magazines or on web sites, especially of faint galaxies and nebulae. Consumer level telescopes like the ETX just won't live up to that expectation. With that said, you need to decide whether you want more portability or more aperture. Both have their advantages. Look through the Buyer/New User Tips pages as well as all the Feedback (for all models) pages on my ETX site. You'll find lots of things to consider and you'll get a good feel for the capabilities and limitations of the ETX models.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I will scour through your website. Regards, Andrew Villavicencio Semper FI
Subject: ETX-EC/90 or 125??? Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2000 07:41:21 From: email@example.com (Dale) I recently got this bug to do something different in life to occupy my time. I've always been interested in telescopes but I am one to buy more quality than I need. My family bought me a $130 telescope and I was so disappointed with trying to just find and object other than the moon, that I returned it. Now I'm convinced to get something worth while. My budget is about $1200 for everything. I found your site through an Excite search and have read most of the comments from current users. Here's my question. At first I read up on the ETX-EC/90 and thought that would be great. Then I checked in to the 125 and thought that would be even better. The only thing that is keeping me from the 125 is the problem with the motor. Apparently it has some pause in the motor left to right or right to left that can make it difficult to narrow in on an object. Has Meade addressed this? Would you say that the problem is annoying enough to frustrate a beginner and cause me not to use the scope as much as I could? It sounds like evey comment on the 90 is positive. How much fun would I lose by going with the proven 90?Mike here: It seems that all the consumer GOTO telescopes from Meade and Celestron have some "backlash" in the drive gears. I don't find it a problem on the ETX-125EC I have. Some users seem to experience more problems that other users. So, which model would best meet your expectations is up to you. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Subject: Understanding the sky coordinates Sent: Friday, October 27, 2000 15:20:41 From: MZOOK@glfhc.org (Zook, Mary) Hello there, I'm writing to ask for some assistance with my etx-90. The instruction manual has not been helpful and I'm not sure if I'm making it more complicated than it is. Specifically, I am unable to set coordinates for manual adjustments; e.g. the scale for Right Ascension is not statitionary & that right from the start doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps if you could just run throught the steps for RA & Declination, using something easy, like Jupiter, which I've viewed just by scanning & finally "locking on", that would be helpful..Also, when I'm polar aligned , it would seem I cannot access all the possible settings. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to help me out, perhaps you can direct me to another source..I'm new at this, but I'm looking forwaed to enjoying it as much as you seem to.. Thanks for your time. Mary ZookMike here: You need to first understand the coordinate system of the sky, Right Ascension and Declination. These are similar to the Longitude and Latitude system we use on the Earth. One difference is that Right Ascension, while fixed in the sky (just like Longitude is on the Earth), since the Earth rotates so does Right Ascension. If you want to use the RA and Declination Setting Circles on any telescope you have to look up these coordinates for objects you want to use. You then have to set the RA circle to the proper starting point for the time that you power on the telescope drive. For some telescopes, including the ETX, you can use a bright star. Declination is more straightforward since it measures the angular distance from the "celestial equator" to the North and South. Just like in Latitude, the equator is zero degrees and the Poles are 90 degrees. You tilt your telescope RA rotational axis to match your latitude and then point that axis at the Pole (using the star Polaris in the Northern Hemisphere). With the ETX, you either set the table top legs to match your Latitude or you mount the ETX on a suitable tripod that can handle the tilt. With this as background, check the "Polar Aligning Techniques" on the Buyer/New User Tips page.
Subject: Great Site! Sent: Friday, October 27, 2000 10:12:20 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Wayne Huntley) First I would like to say that you have a great web site! I just purchased the ETX90EC. I'm currently attempting to soak up all the knowledge located on your site. Question: Have you ever seen a good photo taken of Mars with the ETX90? If so, would you mind directing me to it? Please keep up the great work! Thanks, Wayne C. Huntley ****************************** Web Site: HTTP://whuntley.com E-Mail: email@example.comMike here: Unfortunately, Mars has not had a close opposition for a number of years so small telescopes don't show much. What photos I have received (or taken) are on the Astrophotography Gallery pages.
I'm going through the pages of your site right now :-) Thanks,
Subject: Hi Mike Sent: Friday, October 27, 2000 06:00:32 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bernd Lindner) I use an ETX 125. Can I connect the CCD Autoguider to the ETX? Thanks for an answer to good old Germany Bernd from NurembergMike here: There are some autoguiders that claim to work with the ETX. Results may vary however due to the ETX drives.
Subject: Dew Blocker Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2000 18:47:37 From: PaulAtkinson22@aol.com I was interested in a dew sheild and like the look of the the DewBlocker that is made for the ETX. Can you supply me with any information on this product and is it worth the price? Thank you. Paul AtkinsonMike here: Search for "dewblocker"; you'll find three pages with references.
Subject: Eyepieces Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2000 12:15:39 From: email@example.com (Thomas Malloy) Best place to buy eyepieces? Is there anyone who discounts prices? Been to all the sites on your links page, but alas, no huge deals--could you or would you recommend anyone? Thank You Thomas Malloy Lerch, Bates & Associates Elevator Consulting GroupMike here: Have you checked out the comments on the Accessories - Eyepieces page? There are some good deals mentioned there.
Subject: ETX-90EC Eyepices & Filters? Sent: Monday, October 23, 2000 13:49:19 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bruns, Gregory G (Greg), BMCIO) Mike, Thanks for your quick response on my ETX-70 AT questions. After further investigation on the ETX line It seems worth it to scrape up the extra money and buy the ETX-90EC. I have a few questions I hope you can help me with. It says on the Meade website that standard equipment includes a premium-grade Meade Series 4000 Super Plssl 26mm eyepiece for 48X with the ETX-90EC. * What other eyepiece would you suggest I purchase since they only give you one? * Should I get the #124 or 126 2x Barlow Lens? Excuse my ignorance on this... * Will the Meade #3200 Lunar & Planetary Color Filter Set fit on the 26mm eyepiece? Meade says that this set threads into the barrels of all Meade MA, PL, and WA eyepieces, but they do not specify whether the 4000 Super Plssl 26mm is an MA, PL or WA eyepiece? Thanks so much for your time and guidance. Cheers! Clear skies!! Greg Bruns Howell, NJ email@example.comMike here: Check the Buyer/New User Tips page, as well as the Accessories - Eyepieces page for some recommendations and user comments. Meade recommends the #126 Barlow for use with the ETX. As to filters, most screw into the threads at the end of the eyepiece tube; so as long as you get 1.25-inch filters, you'll be OK.
Subject: Power supply Sent: Monday, October 23, 2000 11:40:58 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam McFarland) Has anyone that you know of tried using a 12V rechargeable car battery jumper set as a power supply? After reading horror stories about people frying their ETX circuitry by trying various power supplies, I want make sure that no one has failed trying this setup. I assume that using a set like this would be the same as powering the scope through the cigarette lighter in a car. Any comments? Adam McFarland _____________________ Adam McFarland Department of Chemistry Van Duyne Group Northwestern University Evanston, IL (847)491-2952Mike here: It should be the same as using the Meade AC adapter, which includes the cigarette lighter adapter. However, if you do a search on "cigarette" you'll find a couple of comments.
Subject: wedge Sent: Monday, October 23, 2000 11:28:28 From: MRed321032@aol.com I would like the plans to your wedge Michael A Redford mred321032@aol.Com ThanksMike here: See the Tech Tips page. All user submitted ideas are there.
Subject: ETX wobble Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2000 19:35:13 From: email@example.com (Rita Comuzzi) I have had my ETX RA for a couple of years now and am very pleased with it. But the scope is starting to wobble on its axis. I took it apart today and noticed I'm missing a pad on the base where the scope rotates. Not sure if this is one of the teflon pads that I have read about or not. One of the pads is missing so the scope is off balance. Can I get these pads from Meade or anywhere else? Everything else seems to be fine but last night the wind was causing the scope to wobble because of the missing pad, so time to do something. Thanks in advance. Bill UngerMike here: Yep, sounds like a teflon pad problem. Contact Meade; they used to send them out. Let me know the results.
Subject: how to take photos with an slr camera Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2000 13:43:34 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (peter byrne) hi unfortunatley i do not have a telescope but i do have an srl camera and i was wondering if u could give me some advice in taking photos of the moon or stars thanks for your help peterMike here: Sky and Telescope magazine has some tips on "Sky Photography with Just a Camera" at: www.skypub.com/imaging/astrophotography/camera.html
Subject: auto guiding Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2000 06:17:33 From: email@example.com (sac-imaging) Just want to let everyone know that the SACIVc now has auto tracking ability with the ETX line and the DS line of scopes. We are putting it through some final tests. Bill SAC Imaging www.sac-imaging.com
Subject: ETX-90EC Sent: Friday, October 20, 2000 11:57:14 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Langham) I am trading in my ETX-60AT for a new ETX-90EC. I have bought several eyepieces for the ETX-60, along with a 3X barlow lens. All of them are 1.25", and I was wondering if there is any reason why these wouldn't work for the ETX-90. ThanksMike here: The eyepieces should all work. Depending upon the Barlow Lens style, you may or may not be able to focus. As to focusing, remember that you can adjust the position of the focus knob to allow some eyepieces to focus if they don't. You loosen the setscrew on the knob and slide the knob a little further out on the shaft.
Subject: Do the dew... Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 23:54:04 From: email@example.com (Paul) Great web site! You and others on this site have saved me much frustration. I have an ETX125 and love it. I have done several of the mods listed on your site and purchased several of the accessories...all GREAT! I have a question (couldn't find a forum anywhere). I have fixed the dew accumulation problem on the scope (dew cap). Yet I am having all kinds of trouble keeping my eyepieces dew-free. Do you know of any way to keep a bunch of eyepieces from collecting dew? I was thinking of adapting a household heating pad to my auto jack then setting it under the aluminum case I keep my eyepieces in. This would keep them warm until ready for use. Do you think this would work? Also, is there any safe way to "wipe clear" the lens surfaces of the eyepieces? Thanks again man for what your doing on your site. Celestron and Scopetronix should put you on their payroll...I spent a wad on their stuff. Paul Cassity - Kentucky firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: There's a review of the Lenspen product for cleaning small optical surfaces. Do a search for "Lenspen". I use a small cosmetic case to hold eyepieces; others have used Tupperware-style cases. Seems to help prevent dew.
Subject: Scopetronix microstar Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 22:53:36 From: email@example.com (Michael & Nancy) I've been following your site for some time (great job by the way) and after reading the reviews on the microstar was ready to purchase one just to find out they don't sell it anymore, any input on what happened to what sounded like a great upgrade for the 90RA scopes. Are there any other products like it. Has anyone tried to put a 90 in a etx60/70 base? Thanks for your input and web page.Mike here: The Scopetronix Microstar line of products is currently unavailable.
Subject: Astrophotography Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 04:51:39 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Coutinho) Where can I find information about piggyback brackets, dovetail bars, counterweights, and so on, provided that I am having trouble with my ETX-90EC coupled to a heavy Minolta SRT-101 through a Meade #64 T-Adapter (motors do not suport such an extra weight!)? Eldio Coutinho email@example.comMike here: Scopetronix and JMI sell piggyback adapters. The Scopetronix model appears to be more flexible in that it can also be used as a counterweight.
Subject: etx purchase Sent: Monday, October 16, 2000 17:08:16 From: SIMON@sdufour.freeserve.co.uk (simon dufour) I am tinkig of buying an etx-90ec for a local retailer.I live in a highly light polluted city in england(UK).I am in two minds wether to buy an etx-90ec or etx-125ec.Which one would you recommend. Your help would be gratefully appreciated. Yours sincerely Simon Dufour.Mike here: If you are heavily light polluted, you may find that having the -125 is a waste from your location. For two reasons you may be better off with the -90: portability (to get away from the pollution) and lower cost (for the brighter objects).
Subject: Archives Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2000 21:07:43 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tony Bulat) It's been a while so I just thought I'd drop a line and say hi. What a wonderful site you have, it has truly been a wealth of information on the ETX. I have been spending a lot of time in the archives, and it's amazing how much good stuff is tucked away in these beauties. Hence I don't ask as many stupid questions as I use to. 99% of the answers you're looking for are there..just spend the time and get smarter. Next, is it my imagination or what? It seems like more and more of your website questions come from people who just recently purchased a new ETX? I know Meade stock doubled in one day in late May. I missed the boat again because that company is financially sound with the graphs all pointing in the right direction. Good viewing from hear on out, Tony Bulat
Subject: MEADE ELECTRIC FOCUSER Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2000 14:40:58 From: email@example.com (Ray Marchionna) I was wondering if any of your users have any experience/comments about using the Meade model 1244 electric focuser. If I get it, it will be used primarily with the "standard" controller, as opposed to the Autostar. Mainly I'm wondering if it causes any vibrations, or other problems. Currently, I'm using the Scopetronix "flexi-focus", which I can highly recommend. Thanks for a great site. RayMike here: Did you try searching for "1244"? There's a couple of comments.
Subject: digital camera adapters Sent: Friday, October 13, 2000 22:27:32 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jaime Fernandez) I am looking for an adaptor that will attach my digital camera to my etx telescope and I wanted to know which one of the ones you mention you think is better. I have the sony dsc-s50 digital camera. I dont care about price. Thank youMike here: I only have experience with the Scopetronix one. It works.
Subject: RE: ETX Site Sent: Friday, October 13, 2000 06:55:55 From: AMorton@metropo.mccneb.edu (Morton, Ashley) Thanks Mike! I have found a lot of info in the archives of the messages you receive dailey (or so it seems). There looks to be some concern and a few problems associated with the 125, mostly in the motor tracking. Even as late as Sept, this still looks to be an issue that Meade hasn't fully address. And to be honest, if the scope I bought had problems, how would I know if that isn't the way a scope is suppose to be or if it was a serious defect? (and yes, I did read your blurb concerning people being vocal with problems :) ). And I did find a lot of links that I am exploring. (the internet is as vast as space, sometimes) And our local astro club has a meeting on Nov 3 (or whatever that Friday is). I figure I really need to go to it, and find out from the experts :) - plus (what a great city I live in!) a local Professor is having a 3 week series on Jupiter & Saturn, Winter Skies, and How to buy a telescope :), so I am going to that as well. Patience and reading is what I still need to do and not rush out to buy anything. And to go back to your site. There is still a wealth of info to needing to be read. Thank you Mike for your help and understanding. It is appreciated. Regards, ashley
Subject: Moon astrophotography Sent: Friday, October 13, 2000 03:08:46 From: email@example.com (Bill Melville) I have another question. How can I get the whole moon in the picture? Do I need a focal reducer or a wide-field adapter? Thanks BillMike here: You will need a lower power eyepiece and perhaps a focal reducer. I use the Scopetronix 40mm plus Shutan Wide Field Adapter to get entire disks of the Sun and Moon with my ETX-90RA and Ricoh RD-4200 digital camera.
Subject: A new users comment and questions. Siderial time? Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2000 12:26:04 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Gran Thisell) Having read all articles I realize I have to be very careful with this instrument. I wont stress any bolts or handles... Its cloudy today so I made this test... Aligned it (indoors) to a (simulated) north, accepted the first and second star on Polar easy alignement. (I did let it settle calmly on thoose stars) Then I let it follow for an hourthe second star... Observed two "mysteries" - maybe easy to explained by you folks. 1. The RA setting circle turned an whole hour - I would have expected 56 minutes. (or so??) 2. The dec motor worked once in a while. My question: Since the RA motor seems to move to fast - can it help with the "Tracking- Rate/Custom setting and to what number should it be put + or- in my case? Also, is that why the dec motor was working now and then during this hour, due to the faulty RA motors puls frequency? Very fine optic anyway!. And the ETX provides a nice start when starhopping! About polar adjusting - a tip.. I did glue (with a hot-glue gun - it is easy to peel off) a laser pointer at my mount (the relevant part) when I had it exactly right eq.. I did point the laser-gun backwards to about 10 meters from the mount.. Tried first my neighbours chimney but the 10 meter mark made more control. Then let it all be the rest of the night.- Next morning lit the laser and made a steady mark (plastic white target) on a pole. Using this technique,.. if you can put back your equipment with say 1 cm accurancy and have a 10 meters reference distance, the angulars errors will be very small.. The next night if at about the same place simply aim your laser gun at the same marked spot on your backyard - and its all set. Or do it all in daylight.. Regards JoMike here: There have been some comments about the DEC drive running occasionally when in Polar mode. Seems to be OK. As to the RA setting circle, it can slip and is not really accurate enough over a long period of time. I doubt that the drive is really too fast or slow as long as you've set things up properly. But the real test is on stars; how long do they stay put in your chosen eyepiece.
Subject: ETX site Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2000 11:07:17 From: AMorton@metropo.mccneb.edu (Morton, Ashley) Thank you for having your site! When I saw the photo of standing next to this giant telescope, I thought, "WOW! How much money did he spend for that monster." After a few minutes I burst out laughing, getting the "joke" :) I am a very beginning beginner and like everyone else want to purchase a telescope that will allow me to do deep space looking (M-42, Horsehead for some reason since I was a child has been what I consider "mine"), hense how I found your site. Thank you again for having made this site and also for the laugh. Regards, ashley Ashley Morton Multi-Media Computer Technician Instructional Design Services Metro Community College 402.457.2871 402.660.8099 (cell) email@example.com "The seed of hope extends far beyond"Mike here: The photo is intended to get across that the ETX really is a "mighty" telescope for its size. Of course, the site has also become rather "mighty", which is appropriate for such a mighty telescope.
Thank you for your reply. So, with everything that the etx has going for it, you would recommend it as a first scope? How about the big brother the 125?Mike here: The ETX-90EC makes an excellent "first telescope". If you want more aperture and less portability, the ETX-125EC is a good choice. Of course, there are many excellent "first telescopes", depending upon your expectations, budget, etc.
Well, I hope you don't mind answering these questions I have then (If you do please say so. :) ) What I am interested in is deep space. But as you have pointed out, what I would see isn't quite like those magnificent space photos I keep grabbing and putting on my computer (which is too bad) so maybe my expectation needs to be lower. I have between $1000 to $1500 to spend for all (setting aside about 70% for the scope, 20% for eyepieces and 10% for other misc parts). And I have the 4 x 4 truck to transport it all :). So, it isn't something that I am going to give up after a few times. I am thinking my actual first step should be a "star club" and going out with a seasoned pro a few times. Well, back to your site to take a re-look at what I may have missed the first time :) Thank you for your help!!! It is appreciated.Mike here: I think you will find a lot of valuable information on the site, contributed by actual ETX and DS users. Let us know what you decide.
Subject: ETX price increase Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2000 23:39:14 From: Goodshot@email.msn.com (goodshot) This is a response to Chuck Klako in Editorials,regarding the price increase of the ETX 125. I see some price drops on some Meade telescopes and on some Celestrons,so the $100 price hike on the ETX 125 must be wrong. At our local Nature Wonder store,they offer 10% off the price of the ETX 125. For $805, I thought it was a good price. Celestron recently dropped the price of the Nexstar 8 from $1899 to $1699 to compete agaist the new Meade LX 90. Also, at shutan.com, they offer $500 price drop on the 10" LX200. At their store, I saw many Meade scopes on sale, such as ETX 90,125,DS-series and even Nexstar 5. At their web site, they don't show their on-sale prices, so you have to call them to find out .
Subject: ETX90 focal lengths Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2000 19:35:00 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (richard seymour) To: email@example.com Hi... I saw your question on Mike's site. Sky & Telescope had an article about -exactly- that. Focal length changes of an ETX90 across the focusing range. The answer is "about 1250 to 1450 mm" (working from memory). And they were looking at the effect of the longer T-adapter tube for their longer length. If you're willing to build your own pipe out the back, you could probably stretch it further. They had comparison photos, etc. It was somewhen near the June or July 2000 issue. (if i could find it, i'd be more precise... sorry) --dick
Subject: Projection phottography with your nikon D1 (user feedback question) Sent: Sunday, October 8, 2000 19:30:09 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank Goldner) To: email@example.com Kevin; Regarding the making of projection photography with your Nikon D1, I have a suggestion, assuming you have a t-adapter for your Nikon. I've noticed that the Meade Ploessel series eyepieces can be fitted inside of the ETX t-Adaptor tube (push in from the t-mount end or by unscrewing the extension part). Some radial position material may be needed to firm the eyepiece, but with care it fits snugly against the telescope attachment ring end of the t-mount). I've done this with 24 mm and the 10mm eyepieces. This should permit eyepiece projection to a camera attached with a t-adapter. If you succeed, I, and others on the ETX, site would be very interested in the results obtainable with your high quality camera; please begin with the moon and saturn. Best regards. Frank Goldner firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: ETX 90 focal lengths range Sent: Sunday, October 8, 2000 15:57:15 From: email@example.com (xrr) In all the manuals and reference to the ETX 90 the focal is said to be 1250mn. I finnaly understood that the focal length of a Maksutov -Cassegrin is not fixed. I'm just wondering what is the real range of focals you can reach with the ETX. In the manual, it's written that using the T adapter in the "long" configuration will bring the ETX to a focal length of 1450mn (and a F/D of 16.1). I guess the image size on a film (or CCD ) would increase but how much ? Is it linear ? Will a 20% increased focal length result in a 20% bigger projection on the ccd ? What are the others consequences of increasing the focal length ? Thanks, XavierMike here: Since the primary mirror is moved to achieve focus, the focal length does change slightly. I've not measured the change but as you surmise, increasing the focal length does increase the magnification.
Subject: Field Tripod Mod Sent: Sunday, October 8, 2000 15:22:33 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ray Marchionna) Taylor Chonis mentioned instability in his Deluxe Field Tripod, I can recommend the mod found elsewhere on this page. (Look under ETX technical tips/ Another Meade tripod modification for the plans. ) It merely consisted of a piece of triangular plywood ( I used 3/4" ) to replace the useless round lens holder provided by Meade. It helps a lot, and hardly changes setup, and takedown time. Also, I added a compass, and a small Tupperware style bowl to help keep track of the stuff that I usually drop on the ground. Good Luck Ray Marchionna
Subject: Buying an ETX Sent: Sunday, October 8, 2000 07:13:56 From: email@example.com (Andy Payne) I've just had a look at your site and wanted to say how good it is. My name is Andrew Payne and I live in the UK. I already own a reflector but I want more portability so I'm buying a new scope soon. I've been trying to decide between the Televue Pronto and the ETX. I'm now set on the ETX as its a bit cheaper and the Autostar sounds excellent. The extracts from other people on your site also helped me in my decision. Do you think I've made the correct choice? You obviously love the ETX and all it can do, so I guess you will!! Anyway I'm sure I'll be looking at you site alot in the future, so keep up the good work. Andrew PayneMike here: I have no experience with the Pronto although it does appear to be an excellent scope. And yes, I (and many others) love their ETX models. For the most part the ETX does the job we ask of it. You didn't indicate WHICH of the ETX models you are leaning towards but all but the ETX-125EC are easily portable and the -125 is not that bad in the portability area.
Subject: Finderscopes Sent: Sunday, October 8, 2000 03:36:57 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (markq10) I recently purchased the right angle finderscope for my ETX-90. While I see its value, I would also like to mount the straight scope that came as standard equipment on the other side. Do you know where I might find a holder that would attach via some type of adhesion. I do not want to screw anything into the scope. Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Mark email@example.com
Subject: Aligning finderscopes Sent: Sunday, October 8, 2000 03:08:25 From: BillYoung@btinternet.com (Bill Young) I recently posted the following to the ETX@listbot discussion. I received one response telling me about Meade's RA finder, which was kind but not really to the point. Can you help? Many thanks if you can & many thanks for you excellent site, anyway, if you can't -Bill Young Hi. I'm new to all this having bought an ETX 90EC and through luck and perseverance have managed to (more or less) align the finder with the 'scope. Certainly not with any method. Do any of you have any hints, tips or even a formal procedure that you think might help? And do you just put up with the rather fiddly plastic screws and the awkwardness of the one under the left of the fork? Or is there a cure? Apart from this, it looks like a really nice instrument for the money. Although I have noticed that it induces a profound dislike of cloud. Many thanks. -Bill YoungMike here: Some users don't use the standard finderscope; they add a red-dot or 1x finderscope and use that instead. See the Accessories - Finderscopes page for some reviews. As to dealing with the small mounting screws of the standard finderscope, yep, they are a pain. Having small fingers helps. As to alignment techniques, I use either an object that is a long ways away or a bright object in the sky. I center that in the 26mm eyepiece. I then loosen the rear screws (having already centered the front of the finderscope in its mounting ring) and just use them to move the image in the finderscope. Small turns of screws to move the image are all that are required until you get the crosshairs where you want them. Then do some small extra turns to lock tighten the screws. I don't try to put the crosshairs OVER the object since they can hide small, dim objects. I like the object to be in a corner of the cross and then I remember which corner. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the reply. I'll give it a go as you suggest. I may be wrong, but are ther lots of others like me that need some advice on this? A simple tutorial on your site, perhaps? Whatever, many thanks.
Subject: Mighty ETX web site Sent: Saturday, October 7, 2000 13:53:04 From: GBaranko@aol.com Just took a look at your mighty ETX web site. Really GREAT! Now you've got me really interested in the fun. May have to have a chat with Santa.... Greg
Subject: Letter to the Editor Sent: Saturday, October 7, 2000 13:45:15 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kate and/or Tom Harnish) To: email@example.com Found an answer to J. Kelly Beatty's question (Where Are The Young Astronomers? S&T Sept 2000 p82) in the most unlikely place. My wife and I were part of a small group of vacationers on a culture hike to Halawa Falls on the east end of the island of Molakai in Hawaii. At the falls we took pictures using a digital camera of our guide, his sons and grandsons who'd accompanied us. I was able to show the pictures to the group (one of the nice features of a digital camera) and enjoyed the ying and yang of modern technology in such a primitive setting. I remembered I had several pictures of the Moon and Sun in the camera taken the night before through a Meade ETX, and showed them to the kids too. Sitting on a rock in a jungle stream at the base of a 100 foot waterfall, dressed in cutoffs, with bare feet, shaved head, and tattoos, one young native Hawaiian's responded to the high tech pictures of the Moon: "Galileo, he'd be trippin' man."
Subject: For Sale - ETX-90 Spotting Scope Sent: Friday, October 6, 2000 22:35:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Barry A. Kintner) Good day and thank you - -- For Sale ETX-90 Spotting Scope - -- I found this scope just too powerful for my use. It has been in the box since shortly after buying it. Year-and-a-half-old. -- ETX-90 Terrestrial Scope, 45 degree eyepiece, 26mm Super Plossel 4000 series, 40mm Super Plossel 4000 series, Tele-Vue 24mm-8mm zoom. As new, in box, with manual. -- $600 plus your choice of shipping method in Continental US. Barry Kintner, Phoenix, Arizona
Subject: RE: Field tripod Sent: Friday, October 6, 2000 21:24:13 From: email@example.com (Jim Ricker) Here is the URL at JC PENNYS www1.jcpenney.com/jcp/products.asp?CatID=938&GrpTyp=PRD&ItemID=R35600 &ItemTyp=G&cattyp=DEP%7C&Search=tripod&sSeq=1&mscssid=22GHS06E5KN718K00T0N1U 9S4JBUJ9DC7xMnVdVDZZaTxMnVdVDZZa0200BFBEE061C269D474E53EA1444246A95ADJ48 Do you know of any tripod in the 100 bucks range for th etx 90?? Thanks for the quick response and the the great site. JimMike here: Ah ha! That looks like the Deluxe tripod without the equatorial head mount. If it comes with the proper adapter plates, it should work. However, there are more capable tripods around. Check the Accessories - Tripods page for some reviews.
And a response from Shutan Camera and Video:
Sent: Friday, October 6, 2000 21:31:37 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob Shutan) Maybe the "new" tripod your reader was referring to is the #882 which came out for/with the 60AT/70AT. It sells for about $100. I believe it's too light duty for the 90mm aperture but the mechanical fitting is the same-- so it should fit. bob
Subject: question Sent: Friday, October 6, 2000 18:58:54 From: email@example.com (Barry A. Kintner) Good day - -- I visit the site once in a while. I see it has grown considerably. It does has a lot of stuff - but I did not see a "for sale" area. Can you recommend a site to post mine for sale? -- I just could not use it as I thought. I did replace it with a regular spotting scope, so it has been sitting since shortly after buying it. Thanks for any suggestions. Barry KintnerMike here: I've been posting FOR SALE items on the Feedback page. Many people apparently use eBay to sell telescopes and accessories. Seems to work OK.
Subject: Field tripod Sent: Friday, October 6, 2000 13:51:26 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Ricker) Will the new Meade Standard Field Tripod work with etx-90?? User feed back would be great. Thanks JimMike here: Not certain which model you mean. I only know about the Deluxe Field Tripod (#883) for the ETX-90EC and ETX-125EC, and the Advanced Field Tripod (#887) for the ETX-125EC.
Subject: Filters Sent: Thursday, October 5, 2000 20:01:56 From: email@example.com (David Langham) I am new to astronomy and am "outfitting" my new ETX-60AT telescope. Assuming that the ETX-90 and ETX-60 are somewhat related, can you give me a basic rundown on which color filters work best with which viewing objects (i.e. Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon, etc.). I have seen very good detail with regards to Jupiter and Saturn but not much color contrast. Please let me know which colors work best with what. ThanksMike here: Orion Telescopes and Binoculars has an excellent description at: http://www.telescope.com/interact/html.asp?page=Articles/Filters.html
Subject: Meade #825 Right Angle Finder Sent: Thursday, October 5, 2000 08:09:13 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Les Blalock) I recently sold my 120mm Chinese achromat and replaced it with the ETX-90RA. (I also have an 8" SCT, and 8" Newtonian and an 80mm f5 achromat so the ETX was acquired as a portable scope and to just try one out.) My question/comment has to do with the 8x50 finder I bought. Although its use is a pleasure compared to the stock finder, the optics are pretty bad. Stars at the center focus nicely but anything off-axis is out of focus and get worse the further they are from center. My first thought was to call Meade and ask for a replacement but I remembered reading that this focuser (Meade #825) is the stock finder for the ETX-125 so I went back to the 125 reviews to see if there were any comments on the finder. Sure enough, they reported that "off-axis stars are streaked" (I believe that was the exact phrase in S&T). Is this common to _all_ of these finders? If so, does everyone else just live with it? Otherwise I've been very impressed with the ETX-90. Amazingly sharp and contrasty images up to almost 200x. And in-focus stars are textbook in appearance. I've look though few telescopes which impressed me as much (considering the size). I've begun using my ETX on my Celestron (can I say that word here?) 8 Deluxe mount. Since the wedge is already set, I just plop the ETX on with a single bolt and away we go. Thanks for maintaining a very useful site. Les Blalock Odessa, TX http://www.cableone.net/les/astro/Mike here: Certainly these inexpensive finderscopes are just that: inexpensive. Optical quality is not as high as with the ETX scopes themselves.
Subject: ac power supply Sent: Thursday, October 5, 2000 05:38:18 From: email@example.com (Tony Frisina) I purchased a Radio Shack AC power supply #22-501. Box says Powers your 12VDC car accessories from standard 120VAC. specs- 12VDC 1000mAh unregulated output.class 2 transformer This has no wires and takes the car adapter for the ETX-90EC. Also indicates center + . Since it will take the DC adapter from meade, the plug to the ETX is OK. My question is, how can I check it to be sure the voltage, etc is not to great. thanksMike here: There have been some issues with non-regulated power supplies when used with the ETX. So be careful. As to checking the voltage you will need a voltmeter. Radio Shack sells them.
Hi..when I checked the voltage with my new volt meter it read 18 VOLTS !!!Checked the car voltage and it was 12. Guess the power supply is going back to radio shack !!
Subject: ETX-90 vs DS-90EC and ETX-125 vs DS-127EC Sent: Wednesday, October 4, 2000 14:25:49 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ignacio Rodriguez) What an incredible site you have! I have hit your pages many times. I've found a lot of valuable information and now I am almost ready to decide what to buy to begin in this hobby. I live in Monterrey, Mexico and two months ago I visited our local Meade/Celestron dealer. Being surrounded by hundreds of pounds of brand new astronomical equipment created some magic in the air and I decided that it was time to buy a telescope. I've been interested in Astronomy for several years. Now that I have taken the decision.... the question is what to buy!? At this moment I know that I will be interested in Astrophotography at some point in time but I think that at this moment I just want to explore planets and do some deep space hunting. I have some budget problems because my wife is not to excited about this new hobby. (The scope project is competing with the new car project, the trip to Las Vegas project, ...etc.) Any way, I can manage to obtain an approval to spend $ 1000-1500 USD (I hope!). Now, after having done some research in your site and some magazines I have found that the ETX scopes are very popular and apparently have excellent optics, portability and a nice Autostar system. They appear to be a good option for a beginner astronomer like me. My questions are: 1) Do I really need to spend extra bucks on the ETX 125 vs. ETX -90 or the additional money would be better invested in extra eyepieces, barlow lenses, a better tripod,... etc. rather than in a marginal improvement in what I will be able to observe in the 125? 2) Besides portability, is there an important advantage on the ETX models over their DS counterpart? I know that the autostar database is smaller, but I more concern about the image quality of the refractor and Newtonian design of DS 90 and 127 over the Maksutovs. The price is very different! I am able to buy both the DS-90 and DS-127 (and even an extra ETX-70!) for the price of a fully equipped ETX-125. I drive a Buick and I understand that a BMW has much more engineering on it (and a bigger price tag), but both cars can do basically the same. Is this the same thing with scopes? Thanks in advance for your comments. IgnacioMike here: Deciding on a telescope can be tough decision. But it comes down to how you want to use and what your expectations are. Larger scopes will provide better views (generally); smaller telescopes are more portable; some telescopes are more capable of doing more, both visually and photographically; and some telescopes cost more than others. Some users like the price and capability of the DS models; some like the ETX. I used (and still have) an Edmund 3" Newtonian reflector for decades. But then four years ago I bought the original ETX (now called ETX-90RA). I have found it a much more capable telescope than the Edmund 3" that gave me satisfactory views and some astrophotography for so many years. There are pros and cons of both a Newtonian telescope and a Maksutov-Cassegrain. There are pros and cons of refractors and reflectors. Can they all do the job? Yep. Many will tell you to get the largest telescope you can afford. I say get the largest telescope you will actually use. Having a large telescope sitting in the closet is not too useful. Keep in mind that no matter what telescope you get you won't see the same details you see in photographs of the planets, galaxies, and nebulae. But almost any telescope can provide you with years of enjoyment if you know its and your limitations at the beginning. Hope this helps somewhat. There is a lot of information of the various small Meade telescopes on my site. Keep reading.
Subject: corrosion Sent: Wednesday, October 4, 2000 09:17:23 From: email@example.com (Ron McCafferty) I called Meade about the corrosion on my ETX 90RA electronics. He suggested I clean the parts with an electronic component cleaner. It worked. My scope electronics are once again operational. He also said that Meade would replace the 90RA electronics and collimate the scope for $75, which I thought was quite reasonable. He also said I could make my own cleaner out of distilled water and baking soda. Thanks, Ron
Subject: Best buy Sent: Tuesday, October 3, 2000 20:12:05 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ksjones) Thanks for the very interesting and useful site. I am looking for suggestions and recommendations. I do not currently have a scope, although I had one in my younger days. I'd like, at this point, to spend no more than $1000. What would be your recommendation. I'd like to use it for my whole family. My wife and I are both interested, my kids are young and will, by osmosis, develop an interest. :-) We would want to be able to use it at our house and take it with us when we go camping, etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. ScottMike here: Since you indicate you want to take the telescope camping you should consider a smaller telescope for its portability. The ETX-90EC makes an excellent telescope that is easy to carry around. You can even put it into backpack. Larger telescopes can be carried in a case but their weight and size may get to be too cumbersome for camping. If you want even smaller you could consider the ETX-60AT or ETX-70AT but the views will be better through the slighter larger ETX-90EC.
Subject: Tripod Leg Slippage Sent: Tuesday, October 3, 2000 13:43:48 From: Etxstargazer@aol.com I have been using my piggyback mount a lot lately and I have noticed a little bit of leg slippage on my deluxe field tripod with the added weight of a camera and counterwieghts. I noticed the Plugs from Meade on your tripods page, and I would like to know how to aquire them. Do I just write Meade a letter asking them or what? Thanks. Clear Skies, Taylor Chonis PS. I was out shooting the moon last night, and I couldnt get the damn thing to stop shaking. This is obviously an error in the tripod. It took amost 5 seconds for vibes to dampen out after the shutter on my camera closed. I have just one word to describe the deluxe field tripod: "CRAP"!!! I am going to be modifying it, because I dont have enough money to buy a different tripod. Would filling the legs with sand help at all?Mike here: Yep, just call, fax, or write Meade and tell them what you need. They will send the tripod fix kit to you. As to filling the legs with sand, that might work but you'll have to be certain all possible sources of leaks are plugged.
Subject: Tutorial Problems Sent: Tuesday, October 3, 2000 07:48:12 From: email@example.com (RLJ) Regarding the ETX Alignment tutorial; the etx01N.exe file must be in the same folder at the Xtras folder (which contains several files). It is possible that some unzipping programs will put the files that are in the Xtras folder at the same level as the .exe program. All files with an extension other than exe should be placed in a folder entitled "Xtras". Bob JMike here: this is a clarification of a problem reported on the September 2000 Feedback page.
Subject: Daisy Maxview viewscope Sent: Tuesday, October 3, 2000 05:08:24 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tony Frisina) Tried out the Daisy Max View sight on my ETX 90EC and it seems to work just fine. Checked out a couple of stars and the pointing was real easy. Last night 10/02/ checked out the moon at abt 1800 and used a brighter dot. Guess the only drawback I could see is that it might be too big on the scope for some people. As to my autostar, I have yet to get a sucessfull alignment, even though I am using a bubble level and digital compass. Have set time correctly and also DST ! I am still very new to all this so guess I will get it to work..
Subject: Meade ETX 125 Telescope's Sent: Monday, October 2, 2000 13:23:31 From: FB123067@exchange.DAYTONOH.NCR.com (Battaglia, Frank) I ventured into Natural Wonders Friday evening in Fairborn Ohio to purchase additional accessories for my Meade Telescope, and to my surprise found that the Meade product line has been replaced with Celestron Products. The manager in the store did not comment but thought that all Natural Wonder stores were following suit. Do you have any information on why Natural Wonders is no longer stocking Meade Telescopes? Frank Battaglia NCR Corporation Americas Systems Deployment and Support Product Manager * (937)445-2517 * Frank.Battaglia@Daytonoh.NCR.COMMike here: Yep, Natural Wonders ended their relationship with Meade. I'm sure only a few high placed people at NW know the real reasons why... Many stores had some good sales on Meade products for awhile.
Subject: NGC 891 Sent: Monday, October 2, 2000 11:05:22 From: email@example.com (William D. Collins) I'd be interested to know if any ETX user has been able to see NGC 891 in Andromeda. It's an edge-on tenth-magnitude galaxy in Andromeda --- looks like a needle. I used to check it out every autumn with my old 10-inch Newtonian, but increasing light pollution at my location swallowed it up about ten years ago. To give it a shot, wait until about eleven p.m. in October, and with High Precision mode ON, select Object/Deep Sky/NGC. Key in "891" and press Go To. I suspect that the ETX-125 at a dark-sky site will show it. Bill Collins P.S. Even if you don't see NGC 891 the effort is worth while. The High Precision routine will first slew the scope to Almach (Gamma Andromedae) as a reference star. This gold-blue pair is every bit as pretty as Albireo.
Subject: sony dv videocam on etx125 Sent: Monday, October 2, 2000 02:46:01 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Achilleas Heretis) great site! can anyone tell me how to hook up a sony dv video camera to my etx125 any ideas, anyone??? thank for help in advance achilleas athens greeceMike here: See the Accessories - Astrophotography page. One of the digital adapters there should work.
Subject: Meade ETX Sent: Sunday, October 1, 2000 09:50:35 From: Ayresrock97@aol.com Thanks for your help a couple of months ago on fixing my scope! Hopefully you can help me with a question. I want to get into photographing the night sky, particularly the moon. When you attach a camera to the back of the telescope, does it pickup on the magnification of the eyepiece that you have on the scope. If so how does that work? As always thanks for your help. JohnMike here: Normally, attaching a 35mm camera to the rear port of the ETX (Mak models) results in prime focus photography. You don't use an eyepiece here so you end up with the equivalent of a 1250mm (ETX-90) or 1900mm (ETX-125) telephoto lens. However, there are adapters available that will allow you to use eyepieces for higher magnifications. Some mount from the eyepiece hole on top and others mount on the rear port.
Subject: nebulae and star photography Sent: Sunday, October 1, 2000 09:27:48 From: email@example.com (Luca) Dy you think it's possible for me to take some good photos of Deep Sky objects using an ETX 90/EC? I've heard that there are problems with "Clock Drive" ect because of the earth's rotation....can you suggest something useful with the ETX90EC? Thank You and sorry for disturbing. -- LucaMike here: You can see some examples on the Astrophotography - Deepsky pages. So, yes, it can be done, sort of. Takes some work since the drive on most consumer level telescopes is not accurate enough for unguided tracking during the long exposures required for deep sky astrophotography.
Subject: ETX Photography Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2000 20:11:18 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kevin Hawkins) How do you photograph through your eye piece? I have a Nikon D1 Professional Digital Camera that I would love to use. I have the hardware to photograph through the telescope, but all the stuff I've seen says you can't photograph through the eyepieces on the ETX/90. What is the secret? I'm sure that I will be visiting your site often. I just found it today with metacrawler! Kevin Hawkins Kevin@hawkinsphoto.com http://www.hawkinsphoto.comMike here: Check the Astrophotography Gallery pages; you'll find lots of examples. Also, check the Accessories - Astrophotography page for some useful accessories.
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