ETX-125EC USER FEEDBACK
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-125EC. 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: Another great outing with my ETX125 Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 22:40:42 From: email@example.com (Blais Klucznik) Just a short update to say once again that my MAD MOD ETX125 (August 2001) is still acting superbly. We spent all evening and the wee hours of the morning looking at an extremely clear sky and had a ball. I tracked M42 for about 2-1/2 hours with the -125, first locking on it as it was still obscured by a bunch of trees several hundred feet away, and M42 was still in the eyepiece (26mm) about 2+ hours later. This scope is now a marvel to use. Of course both of us were totally mesmerized by the sight of M42 in our 12-1/2 Dobbs which was also set up at the same time. We did plenty of DSC work with it tonight. I guess the old folks are right. Hard to beat aperture but also have no fault with my MOD MAD ETX125. Have a nice Halloween folks. Blais Klucznik firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Nice web site, maybe you can help me with some questions... Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2001 11:52:56 From: Scott9482@aol.com You have a very nice web site. Finally, a website that is not overloaded with graphics, but contains a priceless amount of factual material. And the use opinions are great too! Keep up the good work. I am a novice when it comes to telescopes and astronomy. I can easily navigate my way around the constellations, and I can easily read star maps, but I am not an expert with telescopes. Over the last 10 years, I have been using a cheap 2.5 inch refractor. Now that I have a full time job, I decided to shell out the extra money for a nice scope. I just recently bought a Meade ETX-125 scope, with the deluxe field tripod, Autostar Navigation controller, an additional eye piece (9.7 SP), and a carrying case. Here are my questions to you: 1) As I was unpacking my boxes, I noticed that there was a heavy, black plate that was included with (I think the tripod, but maybe the telescope). I am not sure where this is supposed to go, because it is not mentioned in the instructions for the telescope or tripod. It fits perfectly under the base of the telescope (over the battery compartment). Am I supposed to put this under the base of the scope, BEFORE I screw the scope to the tripod platform? 2) This one is more technical. When I am using the high power eyepiece (9.7 super plossl), I am not able to get my eye close enough, because there is interference from the finderscope. Unfortunately, I am right-eye-dominant. Is there any way to move the finderscope to the other side of the telescope? OR do you have any other suggestions... 3) I read all of the instructions for the tripod. But when looking at stars (it was too cloudy for anything else), the telescope wobbles ever so slightly. Even the slightest breeze sends the star bouncing around the field of view... I checked all of my knobs on the tripod, and they are all tight... Any suggestions? 4) Sometimes when I pick up the telescope, I can hear something ( I think it is a screw), bouncing around. The motors work fine. Twice, I heard hear the screw bounce around when using the motors. Any ideas what that could be? Thanks a lot for any help. I can't wait to test it out tonight... The "Guided Tour" option on the Autostar sounds really cool!!! -ScottMike here: The plate does go between the ETX base and the tripod head. It provides some extra stability. You can rotate the finderscope so that its eyepiece is angled away from the telescope eyepiece. Depending upon your facial characteristics, this may or may not be sufficient. If not, you would have to replace the finderscope with a different type and/or place it at a different location. The standard tripod is a little too flexible; you can add some weight to the accessory tray (or hang a brick from it) or you can just not use the leg extension. I always keep mine at the lowest height anyway. That way I can sit down to observe. As to the rattling sound, it does sound like something is loose someplace. If you can narrow down from where the sound is coming from you may be able to open that area (like the battery compartment) and found a loose piece of solder or (hopefully not) a loose screw.
Thanks for the advice... I just put the metal plate on, it didn't really help much. Oh well, I guess I have to deal with it... One more question for you. Where do you rest the hand controller for the Autostar when you don't want to hold it? Sometimes I see it hooked onto one of the tripod legs (in pictures), but I don't see how to do that...Mike here: I use velcro to "attach" the Autostar to a tripod leg.
Subject: ETX-125 uses only 6 batteries? Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2001 7:55:57 From: email@example.com (Jerry Kasmala) While checking out my brand new 125 it died during an alignment procedure with AutoStar controller. The AutoStar display was still on but all motor activity stopped. Looking inside I found that a motor wire had been caught in and eaten by a gear. OK not so bad ... soldering the broken wire (and putting it where the gears can't eat it) restored operation. My question is about a strange thing I noticed. The base plate has a holder for 8 AA batteries but the connection to the control board uses only 6 of them (i.e. 9V). Yes, I'm sure. The wiring to the battery holder does not connect the batteries on either end. Is this the way 125s are or was mine improperly assembled?And from our mechanicals expert:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Clay Sherrod) I believe that what he is seeing is misleading; the two batteries on the end are hot-wired to the batteries on each side of them via metal contacts within the battery compartment. The best way for him to confirm is to REMOVE the batteries on either end and see if the telescope continues to work. I bet a dollar to a donut (I like Shipley's) that the scope will not activate with either or both the batteries on the end removed. On another front, this is the 17th scope I have heard about or worked on in the past two months where the wiring (the four bundle set coming from the control panel and up through the axis to the DEC assembly) has been caught up in gears of the RA drive. This is something that Meade really needs to address; this is the same situation that fried Dick Seymour's Autostar about nine months ago. The wires are merely laid loosely within the base and the slightest offset will allow them to get pulled into the gearworks. Clay SherrodAnd:
Mike and Clay, thanks for your replies! As I said in my original message, I'm sure about the battery connections. 1) Visibly, the wires are connected to the ~1" contact strips which are a common connection for the two batteries on either end of the battery compartment. 2) I measured ~9.5 V at the wire connection points (just what you'd expect for 6 new cells). 3) Sanity check: Operation is unchanged when the two end cells are removed. Although the drives are noticeably less energetic than when using an AC adapter. I wondered if there was some reason they'd want lower voltage from the batteries. The only idea I came up with is that there might be a heating/explosion problem if an external DC supply (e.g. AC adapter) doesn't cause the batteries to be cut off or reverse charges them when they present 12V. That's kind of stretching. If your opinion is that my unit is abnormal and a 12V connection is correct, I'll simply reattach the wires correctly. Thanks.And:
Jerry - I would certainly re-attach the wiring if that is the case; it sounds like there has been some minor repair to your battery compartment, so someone fell asleep during the last portion of that compartment's assembly....I have never seen this, but I also have never really "looked" for it. I will now. P. Clay Sherrod
Subject: Mounting a short tube refractor on an ETX 125 Sent: Monday, October 1, 2001 22:43:31 From: JACTHEO@aol.com I know you have had an etx90 mounted on an etx90 with some success. I am planning on getting a short tube refractor (e.g. Orion 80 or similar) to supplement my ETX125. I would like to mount the short tube on my ETX125 semi-permanently using the scopetronix Piggy-back mounting ring. In your experience (or that of the other ETX gurus) do you think that the ETX125 mount and gears will be stable enough to tolerate such a setup and continue to provide accurate GOTO and tracking. The Orion 80 short tube weighs about 3.5 pounds and is about 15.5 inches in length (about 3-4 inches longer than the ETX125 tube) which would put the end of the refractor tube several inches (maybe 4-5 inches) beyond the end of the ETX125 tube. Will this factor interfere with viewing through ETX125? Thanks for your valued input, and stellar website. John Theodossy Walnut Creek, CAMike here: The weight by itself may not be too much but you will need to effectively counterbalance it or the locks will likely slip. Of course, this depends upon the weight distribution of the refractor. Some orientations of the ETX will likely have more problems than others. As to interferring with the views through the ETX, that length is about what a dew shield would do, so it shouldn't be a problem. Let us know how it works out.
Thanks for the response. I am planning to use the 4 counter-weights that come with the scopetronix mount. Will let you know how it goes.
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