ETX-125 USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 October 2003
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-125EC and ETX-125AT. 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:	Re: New ETX 125 focus problems
Sent:	Friday, October 24, 2003 06:36:57
From:	meyates@aet.net (J Michael & Eilean D Yates)
Thanks for your reply.

As I have browsed through your site, my impression is there are just two
groups of people corresponding.

One group is extremely happy and thinks the ETX models are the best
thing available and a second group who have had / are still having a
series of problems and are very disappointed or frustrated with Meade. I
have probably had 10 days of reasonable observing for the $1500. My
concern is now that I am one of those who got a "bad " telescope and
they will have continual problems fixing it and anything else that might
be or go wrong in the future.

Am I getting too pessimistic?!

Thanks again

Mike Yates
Mike here: Yes, Meade is like Microsoft; there are those who love them and those who hate them. Depends upon expectations and experiences. But I still recommend letting the dealer handle it.
Subject:	New ETX 125 focus problems
Sent:	Tuesday, October 21, 2003 20:08:54
From:	meyates@aet.net (J Michael & Eilean D Yates)
Let me start by adding my thanks to you for the great site and the time
that you devote to helping people.
The following is an extract of an e-mail that I sent to the dealer
through whom I purchased my telescope.

You may not remember, but the first time I used the scope (in mid August), I sent you an
e-mail stating that the viewing object moved about considerably while
focussing. You replied with the explanation of how the mirror was fixed
and that some movement was normal..
During the first 10 days of September, I  used the scope extensively on
Mars and the Moon. In that period, I was able, for the higher
magnifications, to focus on the Moon and then move back to Mars.  Mars
would move completely out of the field of view for 12.4mm and higher
magnifications.
More recently, poorer weather and some family situations, have limited
my viewing time. Without the Moon to focus on, I became much more aware
of this difficulty in that Mars would move completely out of the field
of view and focussing was not possible.  I also noticed an additional
situation and yesterday evening in daylight I tried to make some notes.
On focussing on a land object with the 12.4mm eyepiece, as I turned the
knob anti clockwise it felt firm and positive.  I continued turning a/c
past the focus point and then reversed to turn clockwise. The feel of
the focus knob was much slacker/ looser and it took a noticeably longer
time and seemed to go further out of focus before the object came back
into focus. I had focussed specifically on some insulators on a power
pole. When I returned them into focus, they were lower in the field of
view. ( I had to move the scope horizontally left and right to
accomplish this but not vertically).
So, questions.
        - would you still describe this as "normal" or.....something else?
        - will fitting the Scopetronix Flexifocus overcome this?
        - if not, what is your recommendation?
He has decided to forward my e-mail  to his Meade contact. I would appreciate your comments so that I have a basis for comparison when  Meade finally reply!.  Also, I seem to remember seeing a section on focussing issues several months ago but I cannot find it now. Thanks again for all your great work!! Mike Yates
Mike here: Some image shift is indeed normal with the Cassegrain-Maksutov design. But yours does sound excessive. The shift could be due to the optics being out of collimation or to some other problem. Using the FlexiFocus will not change the amount of image shift; only a re-collimation (if that's the problem) or a repair will fix it. Since the telescope is still under warranty I'd let the dealer handle it. Alternatively, you can see the image shift fix articles on the Telescope Tech Tips page. Some might help; only the corrector lens misalignment one would not invalidate the warranty.
Subject:	ETX 125  technical question
Sent:	Sunday, October 19, 2003 23:45:11
From:	christian-hanke@t-online.de
would you please put the the following question to the ETX community on
your site.

I want to model the optical properties of the ETX 125 with a raytracer
and I need detailed information about the optical elements.

I need the following data:
1. front and backside curvature of the correcting plate
2. thickness of the correcting plate
3. curvature and parabolicity of the primary mirror

Regards

Christian

Subject:	new schope choices
Sent:	Sunday, October 19, 2003 20:48:57
From:	dcarothers@houston.rr.com (Doss Carothers)
Hi...I'm new to astronomy--thinking about getting my first "good" scope.
 Portability is important...but obviousy, one doesn't want to compromise
too much of their "view" simply because of size.  I've been seriously
considering the Meade ETX 125...but recently have received positive
input regarding the Nexstar 5i......any thoughts on a comparison of the
two scopes.  Also, I note the Nexstar 8i is relatively compact and
weighs approximately 34 lbs.....will one see a significant more with the
8i?  Thanks,

-JDC
Mike here: I have no experience with the new NexStar models. I did compare the original NexStar 5 to the ETX-125EC (see the top of the current ETX-125 Feedback page). The larger aperture will let you see fainter objects.
Subject:	'how to tell a new ETX-125EC' ???
Sent:	Monday, October 13, 2003 20:40:07
From:	steveorourke@hotmail.com (STEVE O'ROURKE)
I've seen reference to an "email" on your site that gives a picture and
specs on how to tell a new etx125. I've checked your archives but I
think they've not been updated for a while so this email is in limbo.
Could you please direct  me to this info and/or repost it? I have a
very large box from discovery but do not whant to open it without your
site's valuable info

The truth rules

Thanks, Steve O
Mike here: Is the article "Inside the ETX-125 (or how to ruin a scope)" on the Telescope Tech Tips page what you are looking for?

And:

Thanks for the quick response. No, the Feb, 2002 email article (email re
clutch and reply by Dr Caly) to which you refer would not answer my
question because it would refers to some pics of the
"EC" but, given that it is a 20-month old
article, it cannot be expected to advise on what the differences, if
any, might be in the 125 AT, announced only
this summer. I have seen some sources, not to be trusted compared with
you and your group, that the AT is not different equipment, just
different grouping of equipment (OTA, tripod, controller). But some
sources are confused - our friends at Discovery insisted that the new
model is the "ETX 125 EC AT", which I guess covers all the bases even
though it is wrong. The Meade site itself did, last week at least, have
the home page referring to the EC although clicking on that link brings
one to a page of AT models.

I look to you at the guru tie-breaker font of all reliability. :-).I'll
ask Dr. Clay on his site. If you have the definitive info, I post to
that site that you came up with the answer

A true believer, Steve O
Mike here: Sorry I misinterpreted the question. The AT model is just bundling of the Autostar and tripod. Same for the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT. They started out as EC models. By the way, the New vs Old - How to Tell article is linked from the top of the current ETX-125 Feedback page.
Subject:	purchasing an ext telescope for Christmas
Sent:	Monday, October 13, 2003 17:51:50
From:	SelectMary@aol.com
I was surfing the net hoping to find a site where someone impartial and
knowledgeable about telescopes could help me.  You are the one!

I want to buy a good telescope for my husband for Christmas, one that
will give him great power and somewhat easy to use.  I prefer to keep
the price under $1000.  Also, I am hoping it will be one that we would
consider an investment and serve us for many years.  We live in the
suburbs of Dayton, Ohio, not in a desolate where light is not a factor.

I was looking at the Meade EXT- 125.  Thank you for any advice or help
you can give me!

Mary
Mike here: The ETX-125AT combines good optical performance and ease of use in a still easily transported (for those trips further outside the suburbs to escape light pollution) telescope. You can read lots of real user observations on the Helpful Information - User Observations page as well as my original comments (linked from the top of the ETX-125 Feedback page.
Subject:	ETX125
Sent:	Saturday, October 11, 2003 16:23:43
From:	leutloffa@juno.com (Alan H Leutloff)
Just ordered the ETX 125 with UHTC ($895 before discount) thru
Discovery.com and used the 15% discount code (COMDIG) suggested from
Mike Brown....Order went thru.  Great deal!!!  Thanks for the info.

Alan

Subject:	etx125 at Discovery On-line
Sent:	Friday, October 10, 2003 21:56:49
From:	mike54703@charter.net (Michael Brown)
FYI - enter coupon code COMDIG at the checkout and get 15% off the total
of the ETX 125 (or any purchase).  Don't know how long this is good for
but it worked today 10/10/03 when placed an order.

Subject:	ETX 125  uhtc or 8 inch LX 90 uhtc?
Sent:	Friday, October 10, 2003 04:22:07
From:	brucer@suscom.net (Bruce Richardson)
While not new to astronomy (I too was "hooked" as a kid), I am now
thinking of getting a new telescope again.

I bought your book "Using the Meade ETX" and thought it was excellent.
However, I am serious about a scope and while the ETX 125 looks to be
good enough, I was wondering about the images viewed in it versus a
larger scope, perhaps the 8" LX 90.  I plan to get the UHTC coatings on
either  scope if they provide the 20% more brightness that Meade claims.

Which scope should I buy?  Will the 8" present larger planet and Messier
objects in the eyepiece.   I also hope to do some simple
astrophotography.

Thanks for any input.

Best regards,
Bruce Richardson
Mike here: UHTC is definitely worth it. For more info, see Dr. Clay Sherrod's test report linked from the Announcements --> Meade page. The 8"SC will yield brighter images. The focal length is nearly the same as the ETX-125 (2000mm vs 1900mm) so there won't be much difference there. The LX90-8"SC makes a nice choice. Keep in mind that if you want to do long duration astrophotography you'll need a wedge for the LX90. OR, you could consider the LXD55-8"SC (which I have; see my LXD55 Site at www.weasner.com/lxd). The LXD55 mount is sort of middle ground between the ETX mount and the LX90 mount. But it is a German Equatorial Mount, meaning it is already a polar mount.

And:

Thank you Mike for your quick reply.  The ETX has an f/15 vs the f/10 LX
90 stop.  I had heard that the f/15 would be "sharper" at higher
magnifications.  Is this true, and will images in the LX 90 be a bit
larger?  I will read through the rest of your website (a very good and
extensive one, by the way), and make a decision on a scope soon.

Thanks again.
Bruce
Mike here: The ETX will yield slightly higher contrast images but the LX90 will yield slightly more magnification for a given eyepiece, hence slightly larger images.
Subject:	EXT-125EC From Discovery Update #2
Sent:	Tuesday, October 7, 2003 10:26:37
From:	Rtpilk@aol.com
Good Day,
Just now received the ETX-125EC UHTC from Discovery on-line and wanted
to get this out ASAP.

Unpacked it, all there, and all in one piece and arrived on time!

First things first.  Got out the 'how to tell a new ETX-125EC' e-mail
and checked.

1. The manual has the 3 scopes on the cover - A good start!
2. Only one pointer arrow present on the setting circle fork - Could it be?
3. Meade P/N on the box = 0515-03-01 - Oh well let's open it up for the
"foolproof" way!
4. Took off the setting circle knob and there it was, it match the
picture of the new 125 fork exactly  - Bingo!!!
5. Also, the UHTC sticker is present.

THANKS!  Hope this helps other with making a purchase decision and a
reminder, Discovery On-line has more!

-Rob-

Subject:	Re: ETX-125 Availability
Sent:	Friday, October 3, 2003 13:45:53
From:	Rtpilk@aol.com
Update #1:  I received a few responses, thanks to Mike and all!  I was
informed the Discovery Online store had ETX-125 ECs w/ UHTC and the #884
tripod for $895 so I gave them a call.  Asked the $1mil questions; are
these new, returned/refurbished, and do they have the new forks?  The
answer was yes, no, and yes.  I had no reason to doubt them, except what
I've read within this site's feedback, so I placed the order.  I'll keep
you posted as to the outcome.  BTW they still have more.

-Rob-

Subject:	re:  searching for information on etx 5" with white tube
Sent:	Tuesday, September 30, 2003 21:30:34
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	jay@jayware.com
I wonder if they were made for TerraBeam, a company which
planned to install in-city "optical network" systems 
(tall building to tall building).

They -were- a Meade customer, and had the telescopes programmed to
keep aiming at each other as the buildings swayed in the wind.
And (as seen in promotional literature) the telescopes were 125's,
and white-tubed.

nice acquisition...
have fun
--dick
Mike here: The press release I saw back then had an ETX-90 (purple tube, I think). Wasn't Seattle one of the initial cities that was supposed to get this system?

And:

Yes, Seattle is a test-city... (lots of rain and fog)
After writing my answer, i visited http://www.terrabeam.com ,
 they still exist (and had a $9,995.00 special
(which expired 30-Sep, so you just missed it)).

The telescopes are now "hidden" inside a woo-woo shaped "egg".

have fun
--dick
And:
From:	jay@jayware.com (Jay Moynihan)
> Interesting.
> How did you find that info? :)

The usual ways:
I read a lot, i listen to Meade's "investor conference calls" (no, i don't own their stock),
i live in Seattle (test city), i know folks who know folks who work at TerraBeam..
the systems showed up in all of the industrial networking magazines at initial
roll-out time, etc.etc.  

http://www.terrabeam.com  still exists.

> Do you recall any comments in the literature re the optics?

Other than that they were, at heart, Meade ETX scopes, nope.

have fun
--dick

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