Last updated: 18 October 2004
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: ETX125 Tune-up
Sent:	Friday, October 15, 2004 16:11:29
From:	Peter Green (
Thanks a lot for the follow-up to this question.  I did as Dr. Clay
suggested, only tested on a terrestial object but at 90% I get fairly
good response-- we'll see how well that works on an astronimical
subject.  Also, I was able to improve (by quite a bit actually) the ALT
problem by removing the DEC knob and setting cricle and cleaning the
surfaces.  Inside there is a "ring" that is part of the clutch-- I
cleaned this as well as the surfaces it contacts.  Also a washer between
the "fake" setting circle and the ring seems to help as well-- the
setting circle had significant wear where it made contact with the ring.
 Result is the DEC lock is not perfect but much better.

Subject:	the ETX 125 or the Nexstar 5i?
Sent:	Thursday, October 14, 2004 05:56:41
From:	tom hannigan (
And many thank you's for your great website. It has, however, given me
cause to ask you about choosing between the ETX 125 and the Nexstar 5i
at this point in 2004, as earlier comparisons might be dated. My concern
is that the UHTC coatings will seriously outperform the standard
Nexstar(Celestron doesn't offer their LXT coatings claiming it doesn't
need it), while on the other hand, the reviews seem to indicate that the
Nexstar in overall quality AND its usefuleness for Astrophotography
surpass the ETX 125.

I guess I'm looking for a shove in the right direction based on the
latest feedback.

Thank you so much,
Tom Hannigan
Mike here: I have no recent experience with the NexStar line. But we'll see if anyone else chimes in when I post this tonight. However, as you can tell from the examples in the astrophotography pages, the ETX line can do a pretty good some types of astrophotography.

And an update:

Sent:	Friday, October 15, 2004 18:59:14
From: (
I went ahead and ordered the ETX125at w/UHTC today along with a
pre-order for the DEEP SKY IMAGER from Oceanside. I look forward to
sharing my experiences(hopefully all being positive) with you. I did not
wait for feedback about the Nexstar5i as I am hot to trot for the open
skies. I am sure that this is the right choice and it certianly took the
pressure off by just going ahead and ordering.

Thanks again, 
Tom Hannigan
Mike here: Enjoy! And welcome to the ETX Community!
Subject:	ETX125 Tune-up
Sent:	Saturday, October 9, 2004 12:08:07
From:	Peter Green (
My ETX125 is about 3 years old now.  At first my scope did not seem to
have the problems vis-a-vis Dr. Clay's tune up.  However lately I'm
finding the DEC lock to be problematic, and I definitely have issue when
slewing L-R at slow speeds-- it takes several seconds for the scope to
begin to respond. After reading through Dr. Clays tech tips and the
scoptronix instructions several times, I thought I could perform the
tune up myself.  However, once I opened up the base, my ETX did not look
anything like the pictures in the scopetronix instructions.  (I've
attached a picture for reference).  I'm assuming my scope may be a newer
version than the one pictured in scopetronix.    I didn't go any further
in the process as I did not want to risk doing any damage.  Basically
I'm looking for some advice as how to proceed.  Are there any updated
instructions/pictures for newer scopes?

ETX Base
Should I consider Dr. Clay's tune up, or if I send back to Meade will they fix these problems? Any help you can provide would be a great help. Thanks.
And from Dr. Clay:
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (
The ETX 125 model that you have is the "new and improved" metal
fabricated mounting, some of which perform better than and many which
are performing substantially poorer than the older "plastic" models.

The tune up suggestions that are listed are NOT for this model and
attempts to rectify the problems you are describing via the Tune Up on
Mike Weasner's site will result very likely in damage or the telescope
not being put back together properly....they are simply two different
mounts entirely.

Now, the delays in azimuth/RA are very common and some of this can be
taken out by the Backlash Compensation function under Setup/Telescope,
adjusting upwards on the percent (the current default is typically 10%);
try adjusting upwards until the response becomes too jerky and see if
that helps.

Note that with speeds of "3" or lower, the ETX response is horrible
anyway in most telescopes; I suggest that you just try working around it
as best possible.

Regarding the DEC slipping, on the newer models, it is necessary to
clamp even more firmly than one would like, even though if you clamp too
tight damage can result.  In my opinion, sending this scope back to the
factory will NOT result in any improvement of either issue whatsoever...

As has been said:  "...'tis the nature of the beast."

Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatory
Harvard MPC H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC H43 (Conway)

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