Last updated: 24 October 2003
Subject: ETX105 - Manuals with a New Telescope Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2003 06:44:06 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Why is it that a new telescope like the ETX 105 lacks anything but the most basic manuals? For instance take the Autostar now supplied with ETX's as standard, you get 9 A4 (half Letter) size pages (10 if you include the cover picture), which outline only the basic function of each button on the handset. Yet when you go to Meade's website, and there is a complete step by step comprehensive umpteen page instruction guide, including just about everything you would ever want to do with the Autostar, full of pictures, diagrams, references and defintions. What a shame it is not available as a single PDF document, and if you want to print it off from the website, you are reduced to doing so piecemeal. I have written to Meade with my product registration pointing out the weak documentation overall with the product as the manuals with the telescope itself and even the #884 tripod are equally poor. I await their reply. Brilliant telescope once you remove the 1/2 tub of grease from the clutches, tighten the loose nuts and bolts and work out that simply downloading the latest software update requires a complete Reset and Reinitialisation despite what the ASU 3.61 software says, if you don't want the thing winding itself at full speed into the RA hard stops and trying to do Dec backflips! Come on Meade, your School Report in my books says, "Sets a low standard, then fails to meet it. Could do better"! Great site Mike, saved me lots of frustration and got me working again after that ASU download disaster, long may it continue, keep up the good work. Regards Stephen Bird Farnborough, United KingdomMike here: Yes, documentation hasn't been Meade's strong point.
Hi, thanks for the quick response. Well I just looked inside the telescope base and the wiring where it enters the RA clutch plate looks like it is all wound up fit to break. Probably a consequence of the 30ED download disaster and subsequent wind up and back flip routine prior to going via the reset route! So, do I return the unit under the warranty and wait for 12 - 14 weeks, (like the eyepiece offer!) for a fix, or get in there and fix it myself. Decisions, Decisions! Regards Stephen BirdMike here: There should be no way for the ETX-105 to wrap the wiring since it has hard stops. Are you sure about the wrapping? And what 3.0Ed disaster?
Perhaps a little frustration has crept in here on my part. For $1000 I expected a little more quality from Meade in the build standard. Wire wrapping - Hard stop 1 occurs at a RA of 4hr 50min on the lower scale. Rotate clockwise to hard stop 2 and on the lower scale, you again pass 4hr 50min (360 Degrees of rotation) and continue on to 23hr 40min (another 267.5 Degrees). A total of 1.74 rotations. This is transmitted to the 4 wires (as a maximum)when the telescope is rotated stop to stop. Even with the wiring "set" without twisting at the half way point, it is twisted or "wrapped" around itself 0.87 of a full turn in each direction. The shrink wrap sleeving having been shrunk to fit tightly around the wires where they enter the RA clutch, is brittle by definition, because when you heat this stuff to shrink it, it goes brittle and less flexible, especially if it gets cold (36 degrees F here last night). Consequently the sleeving will break, it is just a matter of time. Mine has broken after only 6 viewing sessions. Next to fracture will be the wiring. The twisted strand construction of this wire, means that as it gets rotated back and forth, stresses are built up and the weakest strands stretch at the stress point on entry to the RA clutch plate. Eventually they stretch and break until there are no strands left and at best you have an open circuit on that wire. Of course as the insulation gets colder, it also becomes more brittle and may itself fracture before the wire strands inside break. If this happens to two wires, you get a short circuit, and if previous reports on your site are correct, smoke and a dead Autostar and telescope. I guess what I'm asking is are there any modifications out there that solve this problem, or is it just the case that you inspect the wiring regularly and replace it at the first sign of trouble? I must admit the use of insulation displacement connectors on the computer panel where this wiring eminates from does seem to indicate an expectation that the wiring may need servicing at some stage, or it would save money for Meade if the wires were merely soldered to the circuit board. I can make so close up digital photos of the situation if you like? The 3.0Ed disaster - OK, I did get excited with this one. Having not seen much of your site at this stage and thinking that a firmware update would solve my problems, it just made them worse. I followed Meade's instructions, such as they are, and without a full reset the telescope went into its routine of hitting the hard stops and trying to elevate the OTA past the vertical. Perhaps I expect too much for $1000, but I would have thought that given several years of feedback from your list subscribers, Meade would have taken the opportunity with ASU 3.61 and 3.0Ed to at the very least ensure that the Help / Instructions actually told you the correct way to install the new firmware, and that they tested the release thoroughly before sending it out to the public at large for Beta testing. That to me is a disaster, as I got up at 4am to see Jupiter and Orion, only to have to effectively manually drive the ETX to see anything! But thanks to the excellent collective advice from your site (that I have printed off and bound into the "ETX Workshop Manual") at least I have a few pointers for the way foreward. Anyway with 2 or 3 clear nights forecast, I am now faced with a stripdown of the DEC assembly to cure problems there, there is a lot of cross play between the forks and the DEC clucth hardly holds at all. This will cost me at least 2 nights viewing. Then as this is Good Old Blighty, doubtless the rain will set in! I'll keep you posted on my findings, you never know, Meade might even respond to my feedback I sent with the product registration, but I won't hold my breath. Regards Stephen BirdMike here: I don't have an ETX-105 to compare the wiring to; perhaps someone else will respond. But a rotation of almost twice around between hardstops is normal.
Subject: 8x25 viewfinder (ETX105 page) Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2003 07:29:13 From: email@example.com (Bruce Dickson) To: firstname.lastname@example.org I found the standard finder screws on my ETX 105 were too soft; they bent which made setting the finder impossible. I replaced them with M3x12 nylon screws. It doesn't really matter what you use as long as the screws are slightly harder than the bracket ... but softer than the finder :). Clear skies Bruce D. Midrand, ZA
Subject: 8x25 viewfinder Sent: Wednesday, October 1, 2003 09:23:32 From: email@example.com (Ed Wargo) I have a 105 with the 8x25 right angle view finder. It uses 6 nylon screws for adjustments. Do you have the size of these? I need to order a few extra. Thanks, -EdMike here: Sorry, no. Contact Meade; they might send them to you.
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