Last updated: 31 October 2004
This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX and DS models. 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:	45 deg. erecting prism  performance
Sent:	Sunday, October 31, 2004 07:07:10
From:	Adam Jephson (
Does anyone know how much ligh loss there is using a Meade #928 45 deg.
erecting prism (or similar) on an SCT, as well as how performance is
affected? (For Astronomical observations, not Terrestrial)


Mike here: For a report on the Meade model #932 see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page. Don't have any reports on the #928.
Subject:	etx 125 request information
Sent:	Sunday, October 31, 2004 02:38:00
From:	alice (
i've the celestron c 9,25" and i'm a visual planet observer, i whant a
telescope very portable as etx 125, but i've a big doubt, the vibration
compromit the observation at hight magnification (190 x-200x).
Question:can i with etx 125 with tripod 884 do observation of jupiter
and planets without vibration induced?
Is the etx the good scope for a visual planet observer??^
Ciao Luca
Mike here: As you can tell from the many User Observations reported on the Site, the ETX makes a fine visual instrument. Vibrations can come from many sources and there are techniques to dampen them out. But generally, other than during focusing (assuming no external sources of vibrations) you should not have any vibration problems for visual use.
Subject:	greetings
Sent:	Friday, October 29, 2004 01:54:09
From:	Stan Drery (
I am john from Greece.How is it going?.I didnt see anything about the
new etxpe model , which i just saw in the meade page.You gave
up?:).Anyway.sEE you.
Mike here: As I've noted on the feedback page, I hope to get one next month once it is actually shipping.


Ok i got hurry you know , i didnt know the history.Bye.

Subject:	Problem with Scopetronix Piggyback adapter and ETX?
Sent:	Thursday, October 28, 2004 18:40:34
From: (
I purchased Scopetronix's piggyback adapter for my ETX-125 over the
summer.  I think it's a quality item, however, when I try to install it
on the OTA, I notice that the ring doesn't fit snugly against the tube
and there is a gap between the adapter and the OTA on the top of the
tube.  I have to squeeze the adapter quite a bit to get it to fit around
the tube and I'm wondering if this is pinching the OTA and will cause
stress on it.  How tight can the piggyback adapter be against the OTA? 
Is the gap normal?  And if not, have you heard of anyone who has a fix
for this problem?

Thanks in advance, and thanks for a wonderful site and all the best to

 --Melissa Bruno
Mike here: Most piggyback adapters clamp around the OTA. There should be some rubber or felt material on the inside of the adapter to grip the OTA and some mechanism to tighten it down on the OTA. If you can not tighten it enough (for normal weights) then the material may be missing.
Subject:	Re: EXT Telescopes
Sent:	Thursday, October 28, 2004 03:59:41
From: (
I was just about to buy an EYX-105,  however I understand that there is
new ETX Premier Edition available in a couple of months .  Have you any
information,and do you think it's worth hanging on for?


Mike here: See the Announcements: Meade page for info on the PE models. I hope to get one as soon as they are shipping.
Sent:	Wednesday, October 27, 2004 05:21:34
Hi, saw this thread and noticed the fact you appear to be operating the
scope AND dew heater from the same power supply?

Try disconnecting the dew heater and making sure the power supply is
fully charged.

If you have a full compliment of dew heaters, it can drag the power
supply volts way down, and once they get low enough, whilst the LED on
the scope will light up, there will be insufficient volts to allow the
Autostar to work.

I use a totally separate supply for the scope from the dew heaters, and
for the inverter for the PC when in the field.


Stephen Bird 

Subject:	ETX Maintainence ..... pls find some photos from Nepal
Sent:	Tuesday, October 26, 2004 21:55:19
From:	Kedar P Badu (
Thank you very much for your recent email. Looks now i have to use some
chemicals mentioned in the catalouge to get rid of the dark spots on the
9 mm eye piece lens of ETX.

Please find some photos of our recent observations. As the rebels and
govt declared ceasefire, we got window of opportunity during the
festival season here in Nepal. Photos attached. Pls send these Photos to
MEADE Company.

ETX viewing ETX viewing
Why dont you request them on our behalf to donate us a 10x50 MEADE Binocular? That would be a great help to us. Yours Kedar President GASPO Nepal -------------------------------------------------------- Kedar P Badu Galileo Astronomical Society of Pokhara - GASPO Kathmandu Nepal Knowledge of the Universe - can change life on Earth

Subject:	ETX Question
Sent:	Saturday, October 26, 2002 20:20:54
I'm a new owner of a Coronado Maxscope 70 and I am having trouble
finding a mount suited for it.  I plan on taking digital images of the
sun, so I'd like to be able to line up quickly for setup and track it
for long periods at a time. What I'd really like is an ALT-AZ / GO-TO
mount strong enough for this $3,000.00 / 6 pound scope. Would you know
if it is possible to remove the ETX-70AT scope from its fork mounting
and swap it out with the Maxscope? Or do you think that I could
piggyback it with the scopetronix adapter ontop of a larger ETX? Please
help if you have any suggestions.    Thanks, Joe
Mike here: You could attach it to an ETX mount (or even a DS mount) but you would likely need to make your own mounting bracket. Alternatively, you could piggyback it (assuming it has the standard photographic tripod mounting hole) using a piggyback adapter on almost any telescope. I plan to piggyback my (not yet received) PST on my ETX-90RA.


Thank you Mike for your suggestion.  I had planned on piggybacking the
Maxscope 70 to an ETX-105AT but Meade representatives have all said that
the motor drive probably would'nt take the extra 6 to 7 pounds. What do
you think?  I was going to purchase the ETX this week until they left me
with alot of doubt. Thanks again for any suggestions that you might
                                Joe Verzin
Mike here: That is a lot of weight. You would probably need to add a counterweight and even then at some orientations that drives might slip.
Subject:	Re: ETX90-EC RA Drive Keeps Running
Sent:	Tuesday, October 26, 2004 12:43:26
From:	Kenneth J Goodnow (
Yes, that cleared up the problem.  I am now working on the Dec axis.  I
hope to try out the entire scope this week sometime.

Thanks for the help.

Ken Goodnow

Sent:	Monday, October 25, 2004 23:19:20
From:	Paul Mitchell (
I found your site whilst searching for reviews on UHTC vs XLT
information.  This has probably taken around two weeks for myself to end
up at your site.

I am wondering if you know with regards to the review by Dr. Clay
Sherrod was performed with a corrector plate made out "white water

The numerous XLT sites around highlight that Meade does not use "white
water glass" in their corrector plates.  Though I believe that this may
no longer the case.

There appears to be as much as a 10% gain in using "white water glass"
for the corrector.  If the reviews was prior to the inclusion of this
glass, I would assume that XLT has been pipped.

In 91 I had the pleasure of owning "Celestron Power Star 3".  Then kid
came, sold the scope.   Time has passed and I am no going through the
usual evaluations.

If you have the time to reply,

Kindest regards,
Paul Mitchell.
Dark n cloudy skies east of Melbourne.
Mike here: I have not heard of any change but change is certainly possible.


Thanks Mike,

I will keep looking into it.

Kindest regards,


Subject:	ETX 90 w/ UHTC = ETX 105 w/ standard coatings?
Sent:	Monday, October 25, 2004 22:43:35
From:	David Hanych (
Do you think views through the ETX 90 with UHTC are equivalent to the
ETX 105 with standard coatings? Some literature suggests that the
ultrahigh transmission coatings add the equivalent of 1/3 inch aperture
to the 90, making it equal to a 98 mm scope. If so, this is pretty close
to a standard coated 105.

Also, when will you be reviewing the new Premier Edition scopes?

David Hanych
Mike here: UHTC increased the light getting to your eye by about 20%. Still waiting for the PE.
Subject:	ETX 70/90 vs DS-2130ATS
Sent:	Monday, October 25, 2004 14:14:48
From:	Ade - Clubwear4u (
I'd like to congratulate you on your awesome site! I've found it a
wonderful resource to develop my desire to take the plunge and buy my
first telescope.

I would like to ask if possible what is the general differences between
the ETX70 or 90 and the DS series range of scopes, I've been offered an
ETX90 and the DS2130 around the same price used from a telescope shop
and the main things ive heard (through sales speak) is that the DS is
better for deep sky which would be my primary interest.  Could you
clarify if this is the case?

Basically I'm after a Meade telescope (on a budget) for some deep space
use, to upgrade to get some CCD imagery

 Adrian Grint
Mike here: There are significant differences in the specifications and the designs of those telescopes. Certainly a larger aperture is better for DSOs but an ETX-90 with UHTC can do some amazing things. Although there is the difference in the mounting. Keep in mind that you will want a sturdy mount for good CCD photography. And then there is the portability issue; the best telescope is the one that gets used.
Subject:	LXD55 6" Newt  Vs ETX-105
Sent:	Monday, October 25, 2004 12:30:48
I'm after a bit of advice please.  I've had my ETX-105 for just over 18
months now, optically it performs really well and I'm really pleased
with the goto functions.

Of late though I have been trying more astrophotography and find that
the ETX fork mount isn't ideally suited to this, what with the extra
loading on the drives etc.  I also find it quite difficult to get a good
polar alignment even after following all the hints and tips in your book
and on your site.  I found my old helios scope on it's EQ2 mount a lot
easier to get polar aligned.

I've been considering moving upto the LXD range, even more so at the
moment as there is an offer on one of the uk websites saving 200 off the
new price (now the LXD75 are out).  What are you're thoughts on this?? 
I like the idea of the reduced focal length of the LXD which would give
me better wide field view of open clusters etc but I'm worried that I'll
be paying out for not a great deal of benefit.  Would the views through
the scope be any different??  Everything would suggest that the LXD 6"
newt has over twice the light gathering capabilities of my ETX105

I'd really value your opinion on this, portability isn't too much of an
issue, my etx only ever moves from the spare room to the garden and back

Many thanks in advance

Mike here: Yes, the 6" will give you increased light gathering power and objects will appear brighter (due to the larger aperture and the shorter focal length). And the GEM mount will provide good polar mounting ONCE you get used to using a GEM. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of mountings. But if you have made the decision to move up, is the 6" going to be adequate or will there be another move up sooner rather than later?


Reason for the 6" is the good offer that's on at the moment.   

Another quick question, in the LXD range is the mount the same for the
6", 8" and 10" scopes (and 8" SCT for that matter)?? or is it uprated
for each of the tubes to cope with the additional weight of the OTA??

Many thanks again 

Mike here: The mount is the same LXD55 for all models of the LXD55.
Subject:	No elevation movement
Sent:	Sunday, October 24, 2004 14:35:59
From:	D. & E. Olden (
I just purchased an ETX-90 and was practicing telescope alignment.  The
first "help" assisted attempt seemed to go fine, the second attempt
without the "help" went ok until the telescope attempted to point to
first star, it moved in AZ but no movement in El.  At this time I can
get no response from the elevation drive, azimuth is fine.  I have the
497 Autostar and the standard ETX hand paddle that came with the EC
style ETX scopes and there is no movement with either one.  Have I got a
bad drive or does something need to be reset?

Dennis Olden
Mike here: Not certain what you mean by "help" but could you have overtightened the Altitude axes lock? If you lock the axes, does the OTA stay in place wherever you place it manually? If it droops back down, the Right Tube Adapter is likely broken. There are two remedies: call Meade for a replacement or contact Astro Hut (see the link on the Astronomy Links page). You might try for a warranty exchange if you are certain (and can convince the dealer) that you didn't break it.


"help" is the Autostar help guiding me step by step through the whole
alignment procedure.

If I lock the axes it stays in place and seems to move normally if I
loosen it.  I experimented a little and tried a "calibrate motor" AZ
moves than I get "Motor Unit Fault" and no elevation movement.  I've had
it a week come Tuesday never got to use it as it's rained every day
since,  I'll see the dealer this coming Tuesday.  I think he will be
reasonable.  I never expected such a fast response to my distress
message, Thanks
Mike here: If the tube stays put AND you are not overtightening the lock, and since an error is reported on the CALIBRATE step, then it could be there is a problem. Let me know how things work out at the dealer.


Called the dealer and he did not want to do a warranty swap,  I can
understand that cause he is a small dealer.  I than called Meade and
after describing the problem what I got was "send it back and we'll fix
it, you'll get it back about three weeks after we receive it".  Went
back to the dealer and he is going to see if he can find a proper box to
ship it in.  I have a plan to setup for the moon Wednesday which I can
still do with the standard ETX hand paddle that I got on ebay, 
providing the weather cooperates, after that it goes back and I go back
to my $79 Bushnell Voyager for a month.  Thanks again for your help.


P.S.  I don't know if it is standard practice but the dealer does take
items out of their boxes to demonstrate  how they work etc.  I'm sure
this is not the problem with the telescope but I did get a T-Mount
adapter from him that had scratch marks around a set screw which was so
tight it was distorting the mount so bad it wouldn't seat all the way on
the camera, that he took back and gave me a good one.
Mike here: I'm sure some smaller dealers will do this. Whereas larger dealers who can avoid floor models won't.
Subject:	ETX 90 M maintenance
Sent:	Sunday, October 24, 2004 01:15:24
From:	GASPO (
Our telescope has developed some dark spots on the 9 mm eye piece lens.
These dark shadows are increasing in size and thus affect the image. I
need to clean them. How to clean the Eye piece lenses?

Please advice how we can get rid of these dark spots on the eye piece

Yours Kedar Badu
Mike here: See the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Sent:	Saturday, October 23, 2004 23:10:09
From:	Christopher Barr (
I have that sinking feeling something is very wrong.  While doing an
easy align on my ETX 125AT with the Autostar connected I lost power to
Autostar.  I powered up, let GPS acquire and began the easy align
process.  The scope slewed to Vega and that's when it happened.  The
Autostar went dark.  Thinking it may be the Autostar controller itself,
I connected the Electronic Controller in its place.  Still nothing. 
Seems like the HBX port is dead.  Scope has power, as indicated by the
red LED on the base.  Tried the off/on disconnect/reconnect sequences
suggested in the ETX 125 manual to no avail.  Any suggestions?

 Chris B
PS  Thanks for the great site!  It is referenced all over the internet.
Mike here: Is the GPS getting power? Have you tried replacing the batteries?


Running everything off a Vector 12V power supply and it is functioning
fine as evidenced by the dew heater and the red power LED on the ETX
base.  However, I checked and the GPS is NOT getting power from the AUX
port (tried both Aux ports).  It would appear that none of the ports are
Mike here: Not too good! Sounds like a call to Meade is in order.
Subject:	125 Viewfinder in the way? solutions?
Sent:	Saturday, October 23, 2004 08:08:50
From:	Jim (
I have a fairly new etx-125, which i am quite happy with. I've been
using "toy" scopes for several decades and decided to finally purchase
something real.

My only complaint is the right angle viewfinder, it gets in the way of
everyone who looks through the main eyepiece who is right eyed.

Has anyone found a solution to this?
Mike here: You can replace it with a different one; see the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page. Or you can simply rotate the finderscope in its bracket so that its eyepiece is angled about 45 degrees outward from the ETX eyepiece. That's what I've done.


Thanks for the suggestions!

Subject:	Hi great site.  If you have time I have a question
Sent:	Friday, October 22, 2004 18:39:55
From:	bkjsmith (
Looking to buy and the Meade ETX 90 EC  and your site has caught my
attention.  Your pics are making it helpful to decide.  Any advice vs
say the much larger Orion  Skyquest XT 8 Dobson.  Am I really
sacrificing a huge amount of resolution for a smaller and more readily
transportable system?
jim smith
toronto canada
Mike here: Glad you like the Site. Thanks. BUT as noted on the ETX Site Home Page, first time visitors should read the Email Etiquette page. This can avoid emails being classified as SPAM and deleted UNREAD due to ambiguous subject lines (like yours).
As to your question, the best telescope for anyone is the one that gets used. Yes, a large aperture is nice but if it is too cumbersome for the user to set up and use, then it ends up in the closet and not used.


Subject:	my apologies. i have also found your yahoo meade-etx group site.  no more emails from me -30- Jim
Sent:	Friday, October 22, 2004 19:15:04
From:	bkjsmith (
Mike here: No apologies necessary. Also, it is not MY ETX group but it is a good place to post questions. Feel free to visit the ETX site and contribute tips, questions, answers, photos.
Subject:	ETX90-EC RA Drive Keeps Running
Sent:	Friday, October 22, 2004 06:54:39
From:	Kenneth J Goodnow (
First of all thanks for the web pages, they have been a great help.

Background history:  Bought a used (ebay) ETX-90EC about 3 years ago,
including autostar.  Never could get the GOTO to work.  But still useful
as a point and look telescope.  Daughter now in High School taking
astronomy course.  I decided it was time to try and fix the GOTO.  (p.s.
I have EE degrees so I am somewhat technical).  Downloaded and read all
of the different pages about repair.

Results so far: 1) Grease everywhere, cleaned this up.

2) Grease under clutch - cleaned this and now works well (This was
definitely my first problem).

3) Worm gear was not snug - If base moved, the worm gear assembly moved
about 1/4 inch.  Fixed this.

4) Broke off ground wire (GRRR!  I knew not to do this, still broke it).
 Fixed this

5) Now reassembled, the whole thing seems very tight and precise. 
Without retraining, I tried a simple "EASY" alignment in my work area
inside my house.  The Declination was really precise to polaris, the RA
drive turned toward polaris, but kept going.  Completed 360 and kept
going hit stop and motor kept running, I turned off scope.   I then
remembered, this was exactly same result I had last weekend before
trying to "fix" things.  So I am making assumption none of my fixes
created this problem.

Additional  things.  Noticed some grease(liquid) had run out of the
bottom of scope.  (Wondering if wife or kids had moved telescope into
direct sun during summer time).  I have looked at the RA encoder (being
electronic actually understand how this work).  Cleaned and made sure
that encoder wheel was clean.  Tried to look at encoder diode and
receptor but kind of hidden, didn't see anything directly.  My next step
would be to get a bright light and magnifier and see if I can see a

Haven't done a training in about a year.  Will try this also.

Any suggestions, or web pages with this problem.

Once again thanks for the site and all of the help.


Ken Goodnow
Mike here: You sound like you may have tried to take some shortcuts. You say you didn't TRAIN the drives. I suggest doing a RESET, check the telescope model and mounting mode, do a CALIBRATE, and then do a TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes). Let me know if that clears up the problem.
Subject:	ETX125 PE opinions
Sent:	Thursday, October 21, 2004 21:54:45
From:	Dimitri I. Rakitine (
Any reviews/opinions on new ETX PE line? I was considering ETX before,
and PE line looks very tempting.
Mike here: Not yet. I'm hoping to get one in November when it starts shipping.
Subject:	RE: EXT Collimation
Sent:	Thursday, October 21, 2004 10:20:43
From:	Chris Reich (
Promise not to become a bother to you...

OK, I was ready to attempt the collimation.  I bought a large Christmas
bulb and set it up across our meadow---maybe 300' away.  But yesterday
was rainy so I didn't mess with it.  Last night the sky cleared and the
moon was very bright so I decided to do a quick night look at a large
object and then a quick star test.  The moon was razor sharp---except
for a little wavy action because I didn't allow cool down time
sufficient---that surprised me.  Next I pointed it at Vega and focused. 
Razor sharp.  The out-of-focus image was text book.

OK, why would this be?  Is it possible that the diagonal could have been
mounted wrong?  (before)   The scope has a metal objective cover and was
stored cover down for a couple days---could gravity have pulled anything
into better alignment?  Could use have changed it?  I realize that
things should be solid within the tube but I'm mystified why it was so
far off before and now it's great...I was using an 18mm Radian eyepiece.


Mike here: If the telescope was not at "thermal equilibrium" before, maybe it was this time. That could account for the out-of-focus images you saw earlier.
Subject:	Wide angle eyepiece recommendation
Sent:	Tuesday, October 19, 2004 14:02:30
From: (
I have had a backorder pending for several months with Scopetronix for a
Meade 18mm Super Wide Angle eyepiece. They just informed me that the
product has been discontinued by Meade. This is dissapointing because I
had read some excellent reviews recommending this item on your website.
Can you recommend an alternative wide angle eypiece that would provide
similar viewing performance? I own an ETX-125.

Thank you

Tobe Deutschmann
Berkley MA
Mike here: There are some reviewed on the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page.
Subject:	re: acp & etx70
Sent:	Monday, October 18, 2004 17:45:28
From:	Richard Seymour (
Yes, the ETX70 can be run from your laptop.

However, the Autostar (the computer which controls the
telescope and accepts ACP commands) is -in- the 

But you don't have to -touch- the handset (much)
even though it's connected.

You don't say in your posting, but i'll assume you have
the 494 handset (no numeric keypad).
In that case, you will also require the Meade #506 cable/converter,
which plugs into the telescope's AUX port and converts 
serial rs232 commands from your PC into the i2c-bus protocol
used by the Autostar.

If, however, you have a 495 or 497 Autostar (-with- numeric
keypad), then you would use a Meade #505 cable to connect
from the AUTOSTAR's rs232 socket (on the -autostar-, next
to the HBX cable) directly to your PC's COM port.

You can home-make a 505-type cable,  you cannot home-make a 506.

For operation with the 494, or an unpatched 495/497,
you have to answer the initial Time/Date/Daylight questions
on the handset, and **then** ACP can take over and control
the rest of the observing session.

have fun

Subject:	Piggybacking
Sent:	Monday, October 18, 2004 01:06:09
From:	Ivar Marthinusen (
Do you know how much weight you can piggyback on an ETX safely?

Ivar Marthinusen
Mike here: Not as a specific number. But if you properly counterbalance, you can add typical cameras. However, piggybacking one ETX on another ETX is a bit much.
Subject:	Finder Mount Screw
Sent:	Sunday, October 17, 2004 07:08:36
From: (
Yesterday I was removing the small screw that secures the mount for the
finder scope on my ETX 90.  I dropped it into the tall grass below the
scope and you know the rest of the story.

What size is the screw ?  Can I get one at a local hardware store or
should I call Meade?
Best Wishes
Steve Petzold
Borrego Springs  2001
Mike here: Meade will likely send you a replacement (or several) for free. Call them.
Subject:	Earth's second moon
Sent:	Sunday, October 17, 2004 04:24:55
From:	Mark Gibbons (
>Subject: guest astrophotography: moon
>Sent: Wednesday, October 6, 2004 13:13:44
>From: Dave Wallace (
>For your consideration, this shot of our only natural satellite.

But what about "Earth's second moon", called Cruithne?

Mark Gibbons
Minchinhampton, UK
Mike here: Actually, there could be many more:
Subject:	EXT Collimation
Sent:	Saturday, October 16, 2004 22:58:08
From:	Chris Reich (
I, perhaps foolishly, bought one of those custom Ext-125 from Wegan
OpticalI wanted it for a grab and go or a "club use" scope.  I started a
club for seniors and few can afford a scope---so, I bought this for
their use.

It seems way out of collimation.  I can't focus it on anything at night
though day use is fine.  The "out of focus" test gives very, very
lopsided doughnuts.  Since it's not on a Meade mount, I don't have that
to deal with.  Should I attempt to collimate it or should I send it to
Meade?  I'm at a loss here and am sorry to use you for tech support. 
I'll send some coffee from my coffee business if you can advise!  If I
do send it to Meade, hopefully not though, can they coat the objective? 
Is that worth it?

Thanks Mike, if you can advise me I would really appreciate it.


Mike here: Collimation of the ETX is not something to undertake lightly. However, it can be done; there are several articles on it on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Alternatively, you could send it to Meade BUT they won't apply UHTC if it has the standard coating. If it needs re-coating, they would possibly do that.
Subject:	Meade's new coating
Sent:	Saturday, October 16, 2004 14:47:15
From:	shirley m feickert (
I have up on Meade's  telescope coatings, and find it hard to visualize
what 11-21% looks like.

They talk about about  UHTC, and Meade's standard coatings,

Is there some web site that show me this Lets say You have two Meade
LX90 8" f/10 telescopes, Each one has one these coatings.

And these two scopes were pointed at the same thing. Is there some way I
can see the difference? (pictures)

               Thank You
Clear Skies & Bright Stars
                JIM Feickert
Mike here: I don't know of a website that comes the two coatings with photos but check Dr. Clay Sherrod's report on the Announcements: Meade page. Also, I have compared an ETX-90 with standard coating to one with UHTC; the difference was obvious. Objects were much brighter to the eye in the ETX-90 with UHTC.
Subject:	RE: Polar Alignment
Sent:	Friday, October 15, 2004 16:13:00
From:	Peter Green (
So does that mean if I would offset polaris in the eye piece (left or
right) overall alignment would be better?
Mike here: Without an Autostar, precise Polar Alignment requires aligning the Right Ascension rotational axis to the North Celestial Pole. With an Autostar, precise alignment is not required but can improve things.
Subject:	2004et supernova with etx on supernovasite
Sent:	Friday, October 15, 2004 13:33:25
From: (
I think this is the first post of an ETX90 image from a supernova on
this site:

Look for 2004et and then SN 2004et images sub-page and then Job

On this site all the bright supernova are posted. Nice to be here with
an ETX image between the 'big guys' :-)

Job Geheniau

(I did also 2004dj but my image was not posted yet, something went wrong
I think)

You don't always need a RC 20 inch scope......

Subject:	New ETX125 eyepieces?
Sent:	Friday, October 15, 2004 10:50:11
From:	JR Jerry (
love the site, influenced me on my purchase of an ETX125. It's being
shipped at the moment. It comes with a Super Plssl 26mm eyepiece. I have
ordered a Barlow2x. Can you recommend any other eyepiece(s) for my
initial enjoyment. My first telescope so I'm learning as I go along,
Thanks, Jerry
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces as well as the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips pages.
Subject:	Polar-Alt/Az position
Sent:	Friday, October 15, 2004 04:27:55
From:	Jan H Kolst (
Concerning Polar-Alt/Az position.The only basic differences between
these two positions are as far as I can see :1) In Polar position the
latitude adjustment on the tripod must be set to the  latitude of your
position.2) The Dec dial must point to  90 degrees. This can be obtained
by using a bubble level on the front cap.Do you agree?

In your opinion ,which of the two do you prefer when having the best
Mike here: If you are using the Autostar, the DEC dial has no relevance. But having it accurate will help in the HOME position setup. But yes, you are correct about the polar position. Which you use will depend upon WHAT you want to do. Sometimes one mounting mode can be preferred over the other due to clearance issues, stability, type of mount used, type of photography being done.
Subject:	acp & etx70
Sent:	Friday, October 15, 2004 03:34:02
From:	Albert (
I have been trying to use the etx 70 from a laptop & starry night & acp,
I can get the telescope to slew, but only if the handset is connected to
Doesn't this defeat the object of remote operation?
Can the scope be operated without the hanset from a laptop?
Mike here: The design was such that the Autostar is required.
Subject:	re:  ETX Premier Edition
Sent:	Thursday, October 14, 2004 23:02:33
From:	Richard Seymour (
Although i can only answer from what the Advertisement says,
i can do so with some experience with the various bits in my LX200gps.

> 1. Does the "leveling" work on both the OTA AND the Base or
>just the OTA itself?

OTA only... but it spins the OTA to take three readings 90 degrees
 apart (if it operates like the LX200gps).  That allows it to 
 calculate the plane of the base, and correct for errors.

>2. The "internal clock". As a Clocksmith myself, I know the average to
>better quartz clock will need periodic adjustment.

They will be offering a $30 "Atomic Clock" plug-in for those who
 wish WWV-based accuracy.
Yes, the clock supplies date (so does my $20 Casio).

>3. Losing the finderscope for a non magnified "red dot" sounds to me
>like a loss rather than a gain.

I'm not sure about the ETX's (i'd have to reread the ad copy), but
the Premier LX90 will have -both- red-dot and viewfinder
(personally, i cannot use red-dot finders... )

>All in all, improvements to the Autostar would be more like it,
>say making it equal to the Smartdrive and Autostar II. 

Smart Drive is already here/there.  If you have loaded firmware
v32Ea or newer, you have smart drive (also known as PEC).
If you mean "Smart Mount", that is merely a programming item
(with consequences in the Autostar's memory usage) so it could
be added in the future if they felt like it.

have fun

Subject:	re: Battery strength question of etx-125
Sent:	Thursday, October 14, 2004 22:54:03
From:	Richard Seymour (
When you get a motor unit fault, and suspect low batteries,
you can do two things:

(a) Setup / Telescope / Calibrate [enter]
 ... this will retune the angle sensors to the new voltage level.
(b) press [mode] for three seconds, release. 
 Scroll to the Battery LEvel display.
  My ETX90 gets beyond control at levels below 68%  (7.0 volts)

have fun

Subject:	DSX/ETX 125 Visual back.
Sent:	Thursday, October 14, 2004 21:32:34
From:	Ron Hutchinson (
Thanks for your time,we had a small delima at my house the other day.My
2 year old knocked over my DSX 125 telescope and did some serious damage
to my visual back.Do you know anybody who sells these or where I might
find one?Any help would just be great.I understand the dsx and etx backs
are the same.Please help if you can,and thank you again.
                                   Ron Hutchinson
                                   3414 1/2 Valley St.
Mike here: Shutan sells a "visual back" accessory. See the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page.
Subject:	Crayford Style Focuser for ETX-125?
Sent:	Thursday, October 14, 2004 16:11:39
From:	Kam Bhagia (
I've researched your site (which has been a great resource for a newbie
like me) and contacted various suppliers and manufacturers but I can't
seem to get a definitive answer.

At high magnifications, I've been experiencing focus shift on my
ETX-125. From what I understand, the solution is to coarse focus with
the ETX focus knob then fine focus with something like a crayford
focuser. Is it possible to attach such an accessory to the ETX's rear
OTA port? Which adapter would I need (is a diagonal even necessary)?
Will it achieve focus? Is this a silly idea?


- Kam
Mike here: I don't recall seeing one available specifically for the ETX. But you might be able to use one for an SCT; you would then need an SCT adapter (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page). Focusing with all eyepieces might be a problem though.
Subject:	etx 125
Sent:	Thursday, October 14, 2004 05:37:03
From:	janik nowak (
the motor is faulty on my etx 125
i live in swansea, Wales
where can i take for repair
Mike here: There are some Meade dealers in the UK you could try. See the Dealers section on the Astronomy Links page. But perhaps we can get you going. When is the Motor Fault occurring?


sometimes the motor responds to the goto  handset  and othertimes  it
will move on its own
Mike here: Random slews can be due to many things: low battery power (replace with fresh batteries), irregular AC power (try using fresh batteries), an old (buggy) Autostar version (upgrade to the current version), bad connections (check the cable and jacks).
Subject:	external power supply
Sent:	Wednesday, October 13, 2004 11:25:30
From:	Peter Clipsham (
on my etx90 if i connect an external 12volt power supply(battery pack)
will it automatically disconnect the internal batterys or do i have to
remove them before i do this ?Thanks again youre web site is the bees
knees even the dogs bo----ks.

Mike here: It does disconnect the batteries (or should, if all is working normally).
Subject:	ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Wednesday, October 13, 2004 11:15:01
From:	Terry Byatt (
Just had to send you an email to you to congratulate you on your

How do you resist telling people that a ETX 70 or 90 will not give views
like the 200 inch Hale !!!!

As a near sixty year old I own both an old 21cm F7 Newtonian reflector
(worth now only about the price of a ETX 70) and also a ETX 70 with a
focus cable extension made in the UK by ..   (site worth a visit)

Guess which scope I think is the best value for money?




PS Perhaps I'm just (as we say in England) an "Old Fart" who thinks.. Go
out at night with a copy of Norton's, look up at the sky, point the
scope and look!!!

Today, I read about CCD's, Web Cams linked to telescopes, picture
enhancing software etc.. What's the point? If you just want a good
picture download one from the Net. To me the real fun is seeing the
object "live" "real" "now" with my own eyes!!!!

God, I feel better for getting that off my chest. I think I'll have
another beer  ;-)
Mike here: Norton's is a great thing to have AND use. I still have an edition I bought back in the early 1960s!


I also have my first copy, bought about 1962 as well. Those were the
days, when it was printed on strong paper that would survive the night
dew without falling to bits (Unlike the latest editions).

I did the BAA Journal review for the 2000 edition.



Subject:	etx125ec or 125at
Sent:	Tuesday, October 12, 2004 21:02:08
From:	Michael Tessier (
what is the difference between meade etx-125ec and the etx-125at. 
thanks very much for your time and consideration.  mike tessier
Mike here: See the FAQ page for EC vs AT models.
Subject:	ETX-90/EC ON/OFF switch repair
Sent:	Tuesday, October 12, 2004 17:07:58
From:	John Deriso (
I own an early ETX-90/EC.  Contact cleaner no longer revitalizes the
intermittent slide power switch.  Meade refuses to give any assistance
as to how the small pc board carrying the switch is removed.  The pc
board seems to be fastened to a black plastic module that carries the
AUX, HBX and 12v input connectors, switch, and red indicator LED.  That
black plastic module with white lettering can be pushed slightly inward,
so it's not an integral part of the outer housing.  Is something glued,
or does anyone have tips how to get this thing apart without destroying
it?  I'm quite experienced in electronics repair.  I've already removed
the bottom cover and unsoldered wires to the battery holder.
Mike here: There are several articles that might help on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Which one, I don't recall off the top of my head.
Subject:	125etx easy align
Sent:	Tuesday, October 12, 2004 11:22:11
From:	Javier ((Ono)) (
Hi, the new meade 125etx PE (premier edition) have an easy align, its a
really marevellous, my question is, its possible put an adapter with
electrtonic level sensor and electronic magnetic north sensor in a old
125 etx????  anyone knows how and where by this sensors?? i am very
interested in this procedure.

Subject:	ETX 90 Gears
Sent:	Tuesday, October 12, 2004 10:27:17
From:	saturn77 (
First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to post this

I purchased an ETX90AT close to a year ago and I was wondering if you
have any recommendations on any gear upgrade kits. The factory "nylon"
plastic ones that it comes with are not ideal. Do you have any
suggestions? Please advise.

Thanks, Eric Orta 
Mike here: Sorry, no recommendations other than Dr. Clay Sherrod's Supercharge Tune-up.
Subject:	Battery strength question of etx-125
Sent:	Tuesday, October 12, 2004 06:31:52
From:	DrsLevitzRubensteinWong (
Thanks for all the help.  Last night my telescope worked fine for 1/2
hr, and then had a motor dysfunction.

It was cool last night, and the scope was at outside temp.  When I
checked the batteries, they were down a bit, 1.3 volts each, and I
wonder if that plus the temp could account for the error.

The autostar seemed a little dim, and the motors were running slowly.

The batteries were not that old.

What do you think?

Mike here: Batteries do lose power when cold. And low battery power can cause all sorts of oddities with the Autostar and ETX.
Subject:	ETX Premier Edition
Sent:	Monday, October 11, 2004 09:19:15
From:	Richard Blaisdell (
I just saw the preview of the new ETX on your website and had a few
questions. 1. Does the "leveling" work on both the OTA AND the Base or
just the OTA itself? If it only levels the OTA I wouldn't consider that
a vast improvement.The tripod is the same and you need to manually level

Neither is the "True North" addition a big deal. A $15 alignmate can do
both with little effort.

2. The "internal clock". As a Clocksmith myself, I know the average to
better quartz clock will need periodic adjustment.

Also, does the clock keep track of the date or will that need to be
manually inputed?

3. Losing the finderscope for a non magnified "red dot" sounds to me
like a loss rather than a gain.

4. Finally, I hope the cheesey colorized OTA is optional. I personally
think it detracts from the professional appearance we have become used
to. All in all, improvements to the Autostar would be more like it, say
making it equal to the Smartdrive and Autostar II.Now those would
qualify for calling it "Premier". Sounds to me that an "alignmate and
a "Star GPS-LX" pretty much offers the same and more.

Rick Blaisdell aka AdkStars. 
Mike here: Right now all I know is what is posted.
Subject:	ETX Premier Edition SmartFinder
Sent:	Monday, October 11, 2004 08:36:22
Was interested to see the advance notice of the new ETX models posted. 
The new SmartFinder looks really smart, because the old one was surely
pretty dumb. Now, all that's needed is a retro-kit to allow it to be
used with older ETX models.  Are you listening, Scopetronix?

Subject:	Dead ETX-125
Sent:	Sunday, October 10, 2004 20:25:27
From:	Mick Hoffman (
I'm hoping you can clear up a couple of questions that I have.
I bought a new ETX-125 with Autostar and UHTC from a very reputable
retailer.  Upon opening the boxes I found a really neat and portable
scope that I had been saving for, for about 6 months.

I set it up using the not-so-good Meade instructions.  I had spent a
couple of weeks going thru your site and trying to understand the
initial setup.  I thought I had it down.

I inserted the batteries, set it up on the tripod and crossed my
fingers.  It started up just fine and I entered my date, time, and
location.  I then tried to train the drives like you are supposed to. 
The scope moved about 2 inches, stopped, the readout on the Autostar
went out, and there was the awful smell of burnt wiring.  No startup
after that.

I was very careful to find out where the stop was on the scope and it
was far from that point.  I guess it just burned out something. I have 3
questions that I hope you can give me an answer to:

1.  Was it something that I did wrong?  Like I said, I tried to follow
the steps.
2.  If I did nothing wrong, what was it and what are the chances of it
happening again on another scope?
3.  Should I return it for exchange (see #2) or ask for a refund and
save my money for an LX-90?

I'm not a green astronomer, I've been doing it for quite a while with
Dobsonians.  This is my first GOTO scope and I'd like to use  one that
works well.

I'd appreciate it if you could take time from your busy day to help me.
Mick Hoffman
Mike here: Too possible causes for frying: 1) inserting the batteries backwards, or 2) inserting the Autostar cable into the AUX port (difficult to do as you have to use the wrong cable). But lets assume you did everything correctly. Do you want a 5" or the larger 8" telescope? Keep in mind that the best telescope is the one that gets used, not the one that sits in the closet because it is so large that it can't be easily handled by the owner. Once you know the answer, then you can decide whether to exchange or return for refund.


Thanks for the comeback.  I was really careful putting in the batteries,
so I don't think that's a factor.  I agree about the 5" vs. 8".  I have
an 8" dobsonian here that I rarely use because it's a pain to set up. I
think I'm going to stick with the ETX and get an exchange. I appreciate
your help in this.

Mick Hoffman

Subject:	ETX Supercharged by Dr. P. Clay Sherrod -Customer Results Report
Sent:	Monday, October 11, 2004 07:45:33
From:	Larry A. Zielke (
Some time ago I wrote to you and others concerning my inability to align
my brand new ETX 125.  After many helpful suggestions but much
frustration, I contacted Dr. Sherrod.  I sent my scope to him for
service and a Supercharge.  Turns out the RA encoder assembly was bad
(needed a new motor board, which Clay sold me at his cost, and no extra
labor cost to install).  Clay ended up making several repairs to the new
scope including milling the RA clutch assembly  all for the fixed
surpercharge price.  Clay also installed a StarGPS system (also at no
additional labor cost to me).

The details of all rebuilding he did are too numerous for this email
(even the focuser was originally assembled incorrectly by Meade).  But I
am extremely happy with the results of the Supercharge.  On my first
outing (with my previously blind, dumb scope) it now aligned perfectly
on the first attempt then took me to the Ring Nebula and Dumbbell Nebula
for my first GoTo targets.

Clay is personable, friendly, easy to communicate with by email and does
truly outstanding work.

If anyone is considering  Clay's Supercharge service and wants
additional information of all he did, I'd be happy to email them scanned
copies of the analysis report and worksheets that I received from Clay,
so they can see for themselves what he did, his procedure and the


Subject:	new ETX PE and 5000 serires plossls
Sent:	Saturday, October 9, 2004 14:55:24
From:	Ignacio Rodriguez (
It would be interesting is someone has already tested the new Meade
series 5000 eyepieces. I guess they are an improvement over the 4000

There is also a special new version of ETX called the premier edition
with electronic level sensor, magnetic norh sensor and a new design red
dot viewfinder.

Ignacio Rodriguez
Mike here: No reports yet of the new products. I posted info on the new ETX line Sunday night.
Subject:	ETX ?
Sent:	Saturday, October 9, 2004 16:33:47
From:	Michael Munion (
I was curious as to where would be the best place to get a ETX.are there
places online where I might pick one up at a good price.

I myself own just a small Meade 4500 reflector and want to get something
with goto technology.

I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and have some beautiful dark
shies down here.

Thanks for any help,


P.S. Which ETX do you have?
Mike here: There are many excellent Meade dealers, both physical and online. You can check the Meade website for dealers in your area. Also, see the Dealers section on the Astronomy Links page on my ETX Site. I have the ETX-70AT, ETX-90RA, ETX-125EC.


Discovery Channel store has the ETX-90AT with UHTC coatings for
$ far that's the best price I have seen. Does that sound like a
good deal?

Would the 90 make a good scope for a beginner or should I save my
pennies for a larger ETX?


Mike here: Yes, good price. Keep in mind that Meade has just announced an upgraded ETX series. More info will be posted on tonight's Site update. As to the ETX-90 vs a larger aperture, keep in mind that the best telescope is the one that gets used. If it is too cumbersome to carry around it can end up in the closet. However, a larger aperture has more "light gathering power" and will allow you to see fainter objects and more details.
Subject:	ETX-Premier Edition with Level-North Technology (LNT)
Sent:	Saturday, October 9, 2004 14:34:26
From:	Marcos Dager (
I am new fan of your web page if very good all the information and tips.
Your site help me to decided to buy a brand new ETX-125AT with UHTC. And
I want to share with you what I found today,  the new Version of the ETX
here is the link, 
even in the Meade web page you don't find any information about it. Maybe you
have more information.

Best Regards,

Marcos Dager

Subject:	Polar Alignment
Sent:	Saturday, October 9, 2004 12:17:17
From:	Peter Green (
I have a question about polar alignment setup.  When using a wedge of
the ETX deluxe tripod, my technique is to orient the telescope and
adjust the declination so Polaris is visible and centerd in the
eyepiece.  Once this is complete I continue with 2 star alignment.  This
seems to work fine, but I have what may be a silly question.  As a
hypothetical question, assume I could orient my telescope perfectly
north, and adjust the wedge to perfect declination.  Would I always see
Polaris centered in the eyepiece?  Thanks always for your help!
Mike here: Polaris is about 1 degree from the North Celestial Pole. So, no, it would not be centered.
Subject:	ETX
Sent:	Friday, October 8, 2004 16:25:16
From:	Ron Kramer (
Thanks for the informative pages. I have a Meade 8" SCT and rarely use
it due to its size. Was thinking of picking up a used ETX on ebay, ran
into the 125EC ? and 125AT ?  What would be the difference?

I mainly want something light, portable, easy to setup that has the
computer pointing with large database What's the difference in these two
model numbers? (the mount?)  what would you recommend.
Ron in MI.
Mike here: See the FAQ page for EC vs AT.
Subject:	Differences between Autostar versions??
Sent:	Friday, October 8, 2004 16:16:57
From: (
Other then the size of the database, can you give me information on the
differences between the autostar versions (494 vs. 497 primarily) and
mounts (ETX vs. DS-2000)?  I'm primarily concerned with the accuracy &
precision of the mounts & guidance.

Mike here: The basic differences beyond the databases are user updating and number keypad data entry with the #497; the #494 doesn't have these. As to the ETX vs DS, both are fine lines with the ETX being higher end. So, if you like, the order goes DS, ETX, LXD55/75, LX200.
Subject:	EXT-90AT by mail order
Sent:	Thursday, October 7, 2004 11:48:03
From:	Rich Banker (
Can anyone recommend an mail order catalog that has reasonable prices on
new ETX-90AT telescopes?


Mike here: Meade policies seem to limit prices. However, there are many excellent dealers out there. Check the Astronomy Links, dealers section. Also, you might want to watch the Announcements: Dealer Specials/Sales/Etc page on the ETX Site.
Subject:	Dead RA drive on ETX-125
Sent:	Tuesday, October 5, 2004 07:15:12
From:	Ed Oltman (
I have an ETX-125 I bough new in August 2003 - I've used it a couple of
dozen time over the the past year with occasional drive problems -
nothing serious enough that I could not eventually recover.  Now I'm
dead in the water: my RA drive does not work at all.  It started as an
intermittent problem - Sometimes power cycling would restore it.  Then I
had to resort to resetting and re-training the drives and it would
eventually come back.  Then it stopped alltogether.  I tried the 
"partially engage the clutch and manually rotate the scope from hardstop
to hardstop to spread lubricant" suggestion from - the RA drive
responded to the autostar command once, but never again.  I   popped the
bottom off - all the cables are firmly seated.  When I try to run the
motor with the autostar controller nothing happens - even if I turn the
large plastic gear with my finger - there's no obstruction - the gear
moves freely, but the motor does not go on.  There is no problem with
the DEC motor.  any suggestions?  Thanks
Ed Oltman
Mike here: Since the motor never turns on and since it has been intermittent in the past, I suspect a circuit problem, either with the motor, the Autostar, or someplace inbetween. That's assuming you have tried fresh batteries (or proper AC power). Perhaps it is time to call Meade.
Subject:	Re: Meade SWA E.P. specs, eye relief
Sent:	Monday, October 4, 2004 14:11:26
From:	Mike Badger (
I'll answer my own question re: sufficiency of e.r. for eyeglasses- i
ran across someone on AstroMart selling their 18mm SWA's because of lack
of sufficient e.r. for that exact application. In corresponding w/ them,
they were very honest about this aspect, but were otherwise generally
pleased w/ the quality of the EP. The fact remains, tho, quality aside,
they were unloading this EP because of the shorter e.r.- f.y.i.... guess
i'll be headin' another direction. 

Thanx, mike b.

Subject:	Re: ETX Site Updated!
Sent:	Monday, October 4, 2004 07:58:24
From: (
Mike hardly a week goes by when I get an email about an update to your
site. So I am wondering how many times do you have to update. And  how
different are the updates?

Thanks much for your efforts.
 Selwyn Malin
Mike here: Site updates typically occur every 2, 3, or 4 days, depending upon my schedule and quantity of items to post. As to how different the updates are, that depends but it always includes new or updated material. Since I flag the new and updated items on the ETX Home Page, all that is required is to visit the Site and you can see at a glance which pages have new/updated material. If you prefer to not receive the updates you can unsubscribe using the info in the Site Updated notification email. If you still want to know about updates, try using a RSS newsreader application. For more on the RSS newsfeed, see the Newsfeed item on the ETX Home Page.
Subject:	Filters 
Sent:	Monday, October 4, 2004 07:36:32
From:	Wishlink (
Hi i have a Meade etx-125ec telescope, and i was thinking about bying a
Orion Ultrablock filter.

When i e-mailed the store they told my that the effect would be minimal
and that he would recomend filter to telescopes with f/8 and faster.

Is this true or will it be minimal effect.

Ole From Norway
Mike here: Due to the density of blocking filters a large aperture really helps. However, as you can read on the Accessory Reviews - Filters page, they can still be used effectively on some objects from some locations.
Subject:	Accessory Problem
Sent:	Monday, October 4, 2004 01:27:29
From:	John & Andrea Beaderstadt (
Clay thought you'd want to know about this:  Seems like it would be
common to all ETXs.

bad problem and that is a good should report this to Mike
Weasner's ETX site so that he can get the word out.

I would try Calibrate Motors first and see if your GO TOs are okay; if
so, do NOT retrain drives.  However, if you see that your GO TOs are
badly off, do a RESET and then retrain. Your custom data will be
retained in the Autostar but not your site locations, etc.

Good luck!


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John & Andrea Beaderstadt"
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2004 4:08 PM
Subject: Retraining the Motors


I believe I told you I use the Scopetronix accessory tray, which bolts
onto the north side of ETX base, using the two tabletop leg sockets.  If
you recall, I also use the Scopetronix Flexifocus.  Both are good
products, but I've learned the hard way they should never be used
together; when the 'scope is pointed near zenith and rotated, the
Flexifocus can and does snag between any eyepieces in the tray and the
'scope base.  This happened three or four times in a single evening (no,
I never learn things the first time around) and now, just to give you an
idea, parking the 'scope puts the OTA pointing about 20 degrees away
from the home position.

Is it time to retrain the motors?  Do I need to reset, first?  I do have
your instructions, but I don't want to screw up if I don't have to.

Beady's Corollary to Occam's Razor:  "The likeliest explanation of any
phenomenon is almost always the most boring one imaginable."

Subject:	Thread Size
Sent:	Tuesday, October 5, 2004 10:05:01
From:	Don Sutherland (
Wally Julia was wondering about the thread size in the base of his
ETX-125. I have an ETX-105 with the same 884 tripod used for the
ETX-125. The mounting screws are standard 1/4" NC (national coarse, 20
threads per inch). Most cameras and instruments that have a threaded
holes in the bottom for attachment to a tripod use this thread size.
Don Sutherland
Sent:	Sunday, October 3, 2004 22:01:30
From:	Richard Seymour (
The bolts which hold an ETX telescope to its tripod are
1/4 20 NC  (one-quarter twenty National Coarse) threads.
1/4 inch nominal diameter stock, twenty threads per inch.

Which are the standard size for the bottom of most 35mm 
(and similar sized) camera tripod sockets, so camera stores
are another place to look (after well-equipped hardware stores).

When i -can-, i use Nylon bolts, since they'll strip instead 
of the harder-to-fix telescope receiver holes.

have fun

Subject:	A useful viewing chart for amateurs
Sent:	Sunday, October 3, 2004 05:09:59
From:	Vasu Jagannathan (
In your General Feedback page I notice that, quite often, there are
basic questions about which book or chart might be most helpful to
beginners (cf. the 9/27/04 message from Pamela Nelson).

A simple viewing chart that I've found to be particularly helpful is
"Sky Calendar" produced by Abrams Planetarium in Michigan State
University. (This resource is not directly referenced in your Astronomy
links or books although I suppose one could eventually reach it via the
S&T magazine link.)

It consists of a single sheet one side of which shows a picture of the
evening sky for a given month. The other side contains a description of
what things are of particular interest for that month. A boxlike format
is used to draw attention to daily/weekly events. Once one gets used to
it, the format is easy on the eye. The subscription is only $10 per year
for 12 monthly charts and one can start any time. Here's a link to Sky
Vasu Jagannathan
Washington, DC
Mike here: A similar service that is free is at:
Subject:	Which Meade to Choose? ETX-125AT or LXD-75 SC-8
Sent:	Saturday, October 2, 2004 20:19:15
From:	Steven Sarnyai (
My name is Steven Sarnyai and i'm from Melbourne, Australia. Recently
i've decided to finally purchase a telescope. At first i didnt know much
about the technology behind telescopes so i did a bit of research and
i've become fond of both the Schmidt / Maskutov Cassegrain optics. After
much searching on the internet and talking on a few forums i've decided
to go with a Meade telescope. Upon further searching i came across your
website and to what i've seen the two telescopes that you have dedicated
sights for virtually are the same that i'm trying to decide between
(least i think so).

Now after looking at local pricing between the two its become a
challenge to work out, is there much difference between the two
telescopes in image clarity / quality ?

In your opinion in regards to those two telescopes that you have (and
also if the ones i'm looking at are virtually just updated models) which
would be the better buy, the ETX-125AT or the LXD-75 SC-8 ?
Any help towards this decision will be greatly appreciated.
thankyou very much!
- Steven Sarnyai
Mike here: Well, you need to decide whether the larger aperture (and larger telescope system) or more portability is more important to you. Also, you need to decide HOW you plan to use the telescope as each has its slight differences depending upon use. And lastly you need to decide upon your expectations for the views through the telescope. Remember, the best telescope is the one that gets used rather than sitting in a closet because it is too cumbersome to set up.


Thanks for those tips Mike. In the end i've decided to go with the
ETX-125AT. To me, being the beginner astronomer, its more of a simpler
user package and from what i can see, easier to understand than the LXD
model. Also there is a $1000 price difference (well here in Australia)
which somewhat influenced the decision. I think in the end, for starting
out, the ETX-125AT should do me nicely, i must say your website has been
very handy in learning about either telescopes, i shall be looking in
closely and when i get my telescope and (hopefully) the Deep Sky Imager
from Meade, i'll send some photo's along.

Thanks a lot!

- Steven Sarnyai.

Subject:	Hi Mike from Scarborough UK.
Sent:	Saturday, October 2, 2004 08:28:12
From:	WallyJulia Scarboro (
Hi again Mike, glad to see the site is doing well.I am a constant
visitor looking for reviews etc.

Okay down to business, can you tell me if you have available the two
threaded screw connections

That allows the ETX-125EC unit and plate to bolt to the Supplied Tripod.

I can't find them anywhere.

Or another way, do you know what the Thread spec is so that I might buy
two short threaded bolts and

Use them to gain a firm connection.

Or is it worth posting on the site..

Okay, that's it Sir, Look forward to hearing from you soon so until then
Addiosssss Amigo

Best regards

Walter Smith


Mike here: PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site Home Page; your message was almost deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the subject line entry.
Sorry, I don't have the specs on the bolts.
Subject:	Re: Thanks for your purchase
Sent:	Thursday, September 30, 2004 20:52:53
From:	Seth Robinson (
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for the ETX site. I used
it extensively when deciding which scope to purchase. A firm believer in
"bigger is better" I had all but hit "place order" on an ETX 125 when I
decided to do a little more research. After spending some time on your
site I chose the ETX 90 instead. This has made all the difference. The
ETX 90 in its JML case (not the best case, but perfect for my needs) is
my constant companion on the road. It's not too large and the
performance is all I need for my impromptu parking lot observing

Thanks again,
Seth Robinson

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