Last updated: 27 September 2005
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:	Right tube adapter broken
Sent:	Tuesday, September 27, 2005 11:36:39
From: (
The upper bolt hole on my right tube adapter is cracked , it is slightly
separated from the tube but everything still feels good and stable.  My
wife bought me the scope (an ETX 105) about two years ago, therefore I
can forget about any warranty. Although everything works great, it still
upsets me to have a scope like this in less than perfect condition.

Another concern I have is that the tube itself looks rotated in the
forks a few degrees  and where the tube meets the adapter it does not
touch on the right adapter but does on the left  I don't think this
would effect alignment. I don't see how this could be corrected because
of the the way the adapters attach to the tube. ( I hope some of this
makes sense)

My four children swear up and down that no one has played with the
scope. And I have never dropped nor banged it in anyway.

I'm attaching a few pictures. They may or may not help you see what I am
talking about. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks for maintaining such a great site.
Mike here: Since there is some rotation of the OTA I suspect that more is wrong than just the crack in the RTA. Both bolts must be loose on the right side where they attach to the OTA and the OTA not corrected seated on the RTA. You should check that; you may be able to avoid further damage to the RTA. As to the cracked RTA itself, Meade used to provide them free but I believe they now charge for them. You could contact them and see what they do for you.
Subject:	fault notice for azimuth motor in etx-125
Sent:	Tuesday, September 27, 2005 03:17:30
From:	Alon Wolf (
I have an ETX-125 telescope, today I was enjoying one of among very few
clear sky nights in Pittsburgh PA, where I started hearing strange
noises from the motors system (seems to me from the azimuth motor/gear).
The telescope also started from time to time to  have sort of a small
"jump" in the azimuth direction. After few minutes I got a motor fault
notice on my Autostar and the azimuth degree of freedom stopped
responding and would not move. I also notice that the azimuth degree of
freedom turns almost freely even when the clutch is close.

Any suggestions beside sending to Mead for repair since it has been more
than a year since I bought the telescope? (although using it only 15-20

Many thanks

Alon Wolf
Mike here: If the lock is fully to the "locked" position and the telescope can be easily moved by hand then one of two things may have happened. The first is easy to fix and the second should probably go to Meade for repair. First, try adjusting the lock position; see the FAQ page for info on how to do this. If that doesn't work, something may have broken or come loose in the motor/gear mechanism. If a mounting screw came loose you may be able to fix that yourself by opening up the base and looking inside.


Thanks for the advice,
One more question: the screws that hold the cover to the inside of the
pann/tilt system are covered with glue or some sort of material to
prevent users from opening it. Do you think that if I open the unit Mead
will have something to say about that?


Mike here: By "pann/tilt system" do you mean the base plate with the battery compartment cover? If so, no problem with removing those screws.

And an update:

I opened the base and it turned out that the plug (+/-) got disconnected
from the pins on the motor board. I plunged it back and secured it. Also
I fasten the screw for the clutch and the telescope seems to be alive
again, I will try it tomorrow morning if sky permit...

Thanks much for your help!!!

I will let you know tomorrow how things went.

good night


Subject:	use of sky charts
Sent:	Sunday, September 25, 2005 21:45:33
From:	howard pray (
working with my new etx125at and need the sky charts for the autostar
high precision usage-went to autostar info- other info- alignment/high
precision/star charts ,great! but when i go to print them i don't get
the whole chart on the page .i have tryed everything no help..any
ideas?these are the ones from P.Clay Sherrod,phd Aransas Sky
Observatory,help i click on the appropriate image and it not the whole
chart ! other than that the scope is great. help Howard.
Mike here: Yes, these are from Dr. Clay Sherrod. I presume you are printing from your web browser. Try downloading the images to your hard disk and then printing from an image program. You should be able to set the program to reduce the image to fit on a page.


I did just like you said!worked out great,now i have a set of charts
that i can use,thanks again howard.

Subject:	Mounting etx-90 spotting scope
Sent:	Sunday, September 25, 2005 12:31:12
From: (
First, thanks to you for putting the time and effort into producing
something that provides a fantastic service.

Secondly, I have the option of purchasing an etx-90 spotting scope at a
really good i was wondering what do i need to attach this
scope to an equatorial mount? Indeed is there such a thing?

Thank you for any help you may be able to give.


Cornwall, UK.
Mike here: Depending up the GEM head you have a few choices. If the head has a standard camera tripod type bolt attachment point, you can attach the ETX OTA using the tripod mounting points on the bottom of the tube. If not, then you can probably get rings or a saddle to fit between the GEM head and the ETX OTA. Try Losmandy or Scopestuff.
Subject:	Motorized focusing
Sent:	Thursday, September 22, 2005 06:30:30
From:	Dennis Fisher (
OK, I'll admit, I need help..I am attempting to manufacture an electric
focuser for my ETX 90.  I have got most everything down electrically and
mechanically but I am having trouble getting a motor that is strong
enough.  If I go to a motor web site or even a hobby store where they
sell motors for RC cars, I find that I have no idea what the torque
requirements would be.  The first motor I got at Radio shack did not
have enough power to turn the focuser shaft.  The site
has hundreds of motors but the torque requirements (even an educated
guess) would sure be useful to narrow the search.  JMI has some to
choose from but again, no technical data.  Can you help me out, even
with a decent guess?

Thanks in advance for the help and keep up the good work.

With Regards, 

Dennis Fisher
Mike here: There are several articles on homemade electric focusers (find "focus") on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page that may provide you some clues.
Subject:	Help with locating stars
Sent:	Wednesday, September 21, 2005 15:44:04
From:	Fred Lieberman (
I am still having difficulty locating objects in the sky.  Are there
online pictures of the constellations which can be printed that mimic
the constellations as they appear in the ETX 90 RA?
Thanks in advance.
Mike here: See the Helpful Information: Observational Guides/References on the ETX Site; lots of guides there. Also, you might want to check out "MyStarsLive (Star Maps)" on the Astronomy Links page. Lastly you might want to check out some star mapping software (some free, some shareware, some commercial); some info on the Accessories Reviews: Software page as well as on the Astronomy Links page. However, keep in mind that you won't be "viewing" constellations through the telescope since they cover large areas of the sky.


Thanks for your help, Mike.


Subject:	Re: DSX-90AT and DS2130AT
Sent:	Monday, September 19, 2005 17:19:55
From:	Jessica Garcia (
Thanks for the information:) Which will give me a better view of overall
galaxies? I also noticed there is more information on the DSX indicating
it is a much more popular telescope. Is this true, and if so why, and
which would you recommend? I really know very little and am trying to
learn as much as possible so that I get one that I can enjoy for years.
Your help is greatly appreciated!
Mike here: Larger aperture telescopes will provide better views of DSOs, including galaxies. However, don't expect to see the same view as you see in photographs; with most DSOs all you will typically see is a "faint fuzzy object" with some hints of shape. The DSX is a fairly new telescope. Meade put the ETX optics on a DS mount. Overall, I would bet that the ETX is a more popular telescope.


Sounds as if price may be a determining factor?
Mike here: Well, yes and no. Some people purchase a telescope that they quickly get frustrated with because it doesn't match their expectations. So the telescope ends up in the closet or they sell it and get the telescope they should have purchased in the first place. I'm not saying that either or neither the DS or DSX will or will not match your expectations; just letting you know that price is not always the answer.


Ok:) Is there then a reason why the DXS is more popular?
Mike here: I wouldn't say the DSX is "more popular". It has a different market segment than the ETX.


Sorry for the continued questions... just from what I read you are one
of "goto" sources. What is the difference in market segments... perhaps
this can help me know which I would enjoy the most. I also plan on
connecting it to my laptop if that helps?
Mike here: Many telescope models today can be connected to a computer to control the telescope. This includes the Meade DS, DSX, ETX, LXD, LX90, and LX200 models. But there are different markets that various models are targetted at. The DS asnd DSX are more low-end consumer models; the ETX and LXD are mid-range, the LX90 is upper mid-range, and the LX200 at the high end, more professional market. That's not to say that any model can't work in any market segment because they do.
Subject:	DSX-90AT and DS2130AT
Sent:	Monday, September 19, 2005 11:53:21
From:	Jessica Garcia (
I am purchasing my first telescope and need a little help. I have
narrowed down my choices to the DSX-90AT and DS-2130AT models. E-bay has
a refurbished DS-2130AT for $170 and new DSX-90AT for $275. Price aside,
which is a better buy for someone who is looking for a good beginner to
intermediate telescope? Or are these telescopes close enough that price
should be considered. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
Mike here: The capabilities and designs of those two telescopes are sufficiently different that a direct comparison is not possible. But both will provide nice views of many objects. The DSX has a longer focal length, hence more magnification with a given eyepiece. The DS has a larger aperture, which means more "light gathering power", hence you can see fainter objects and can get a higher usable magnification. There are differences in the mounts as well.
Subject:	Buying advice required
Sent:	Monday, September 19, 2005 07:11:19
From:	Carl Rigby (
Came across your details on a Google search. I am  very interested in
purchasing a Telescope and am looking for some advice. I have already
settled on the brand Meade as they seem the most reputable. What I
really want to know is what can you really see though the entry level
ETX 70?  Should I invest in the 90, 105 or 125? Saying that I do have a
budget, please help!!

Many thanks 

Mike here: See the articles on these telescopes on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. For the ETX-70, there is a comparison with some other ETX models.
Subject:	Dec backlash in a 125
Sent:	Monday, September 19, 2005 06:00:04
From:	Barbara & Tom Andrews (
Unusually, I have considerable backlash in the dec axis. I've read the
3-part guide (which, like the "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", now
has 5 parts), but my experiments in cranking up the percent have little
effect at the slower speeds. At 15 percent, there was very slow movement
after about 30 seconds at speed 3, and it didn't start at the full speed
until 1 minute. Once I went to 99 percent (please don't laugh or cry),
and after the first kick, the slow movement began at 20 seconds, and
full speed at 40 seconds. I've tried many percent settings, and entered
and calibrated after each new one.  Presumably, this backlash has an
effect on training and tracking.

With a previous scope (an ETX-90), RA backlash was caused by damaged
screw mountings, in which the screws holding the motor and gears gave
way slightly before movement began. This was solved with epoxy. What
cause (and solution) could there be for persistent dec backlash?

Mike here: You might want to read the two articles on "percentages" on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page.
Subject:	flip mirror brown stain
Sent:	Sunday, September 18, 2005 00:19:34
From:	Rich Davis (
Hi I bought a etx105at in June, I noticed after removing the eyepiece
and lens cover off. I can see a oval brownish stain on the mirror just
of center, I read about flashlight test , But I was just using normal
indirect light you cant miss this stain. Should I be concerned?
Mike here: I wouldn't like a stain on the optics. Since the telescope is new I suggest arranging an exchange with your dealer.


thanks, would meade repair the scope if I called them?

One more question for you "Mike"  I'm thinkin about getting either the
mak 7" from meade.the 8" LX90 from meade or the celestron cpc 8"    
What do you think?
Mike here: Yes, Meade will repair it. I have no experience with the Meade 7" Mak or the Celestron. But the LX90 is a fine telescope.


Thank you for your quick response

Subject:	saturn observing
Sent:	Saturday, September 17, 2005 20:11:33
From: (
Does it make sense that at161x in an etx 105 (18mm u.o. ortho with 2x
meade barlow) only a hint of the cassini division is visible?

Based on star testing and using a kendrick focuser device it seems to be
collimated. Could this be due to the tilt of saturn,  the fact that
there is a lot of light pollution where I live, or maybe the optics
aren't so great on this particular etx ?(I hope not)

Thank you

Once again (and I"ll say it 1000 times) your website is
Mike here: A "hint" is OK given the current angle and the experience of the observer. Keep in mind that observing conditions will be a factor as well as the letting the telescope "cool down" (ie, reach "thermal equilibrium").
Subject:	etx power
Sent:	Friday, September 16, 2005 09:06:39
From: (
I know what meade says, but i'd like to have your opinion of the highest
practical magnification for the etx 105. I live in light polluted
brooklyn ny.
Thank you
Mike here: There are a couple of ways to calculate the maximum theoretical magnification for any telescope; see the FAQ page. However, results will vary considerably depending upon viewing conditions, the object being viewed, and the condition and quality of ALL the optical components. When viewing bright objects under excellent seeing conditions, the ETX telescope can match or exceed the theoretical maximum (as can most good telescopes). On faint objects or with poor seeing conditions, you won't be able to come close to the max.
Subject:	ETX-125PE - Reversed polarity on 12v -  can I fix this myself?
Sent:	Thursday, September 15, 2005 11:28:36
From:	Don Tanner (
I love your site.

I am just throwing this out to see if there is anything that I can do
myself before I send in my ETX-125PE to Meade for repair.

I was using an external 12V Power Pack with a Radio Shack cig-lighter
adapter with the removable N plug. The N plug came apart from the cable
and I put it back together with polarity reversed. I feel like an idiot!
Needless to say, this fried SOMETHING and now the unit will not power

Is this anything that I can repair myself at home? Or am I forced to now
spend the $75 and the 4 week turn around to send it in to Meade?

Thanks for the help and the wonderful site!
Mike here: If you are good at soldering you could check the circuit board in the ETX base (the mostly like place for a fired component(s), although it is possible the Autostar may have been damaged as well) for a burnt component. Then remove and replace with a good component. However, if you don't feel comfortable with soldering, the Meade is the best choice. Alternatively, you could contact Telescope Warehouse ( and see if they have any circuit boards (or bases) available.
Subject:	re: ETX-105 Optical design
Sent:	Wednesday, September 14, 2005 21:02:43
From:	Richard Seymour (
TeraBeam used to use ETX125 optical assemblies in their FSO system.

The encoder system is a 36-vane disk mounted directly on the motor
shaft, sensed by a quadrature LED sensor,.

The angular resolution is about 1.36 encoder transitions per arcsecond
of OTA travel.  This number is adjustable in the Autostar under
Setup > Telescope > Az Ratio (and Alt Ratio).

The "number of bits" has two answers: the encoders themselves are
read by the PIC chips on the motor cards.  This can handle a 23
or 24-bit value.  But those readings are sent to the Autostar,
which maintains a 32 bit value (it handles "roll over") to maintain
integer accuracy over the entire 540 (plus some) degrees of Az travel.
However some of that accuracy is lost in actual usage, since the
Autostar only maintains user-coordinate operations to integer arcseconds
and arcminutes (the star catalog is in arcminutes).

The Autostar's anti-backlash system also factors into the positional
accuracy... there is a "Train Drive" procedure which tells the Autostar
how much to add/subtract from the absolute encoder reading to compensate
for gear train backlash between the motor/encoder and optical tube
motion due to motor reversals.

have fun

Subject:	Can't turn focus knob enough to focus my ETX 105
Sent:	Wednesday, September 14, 2005 20:30:49
From:	Vivian Ashley (
First I had the black circle in the middle of the star I was trying to
observe, I turned the focus knob as far as it would go (all the way to
the left) and the image is still not in focus.  It seems like if I could
just turn the knob a little further, the image would come into focus. 
I'm using a Meade - 26mm eyepiece. The sky seemed fairly clear, but as I
am new at this I can't really judge.

The moon seemed to come into better focus with the 26mm however when
switching to a 40mm, I was unable to focus.  Again seemed like I needed
to turn the focus knob more to the left.

I do wear glasses and had problems whether they were on or off.

I have tried to find the answer to this problem, but I guess I don't
know how to word the question properly.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
Mike here: If the focus shaft is fully extending then adjusting to position of the knob on the shaft won't help. If the shaft needs to move into the scope a little more then loosening the setscrew on the knob and repositioning the knob further back on the shaft will usually solve the problem. If you do loosen the knob be certain to have the telescope pointed upwards about 45 degrees to avoid the shaft slipping inside the tube. Also, some eyepieces may not come to a focus. What 40mm eyepiece are you using?


Thanks for your lightning fast reply.

When I first got the 105, I had no problem focusing it during the day.
Since there is so much humidity here I haven't been able to find a night
to take it out. This was about a month ago.  The scope has been in an
air conditioned house and not touched until.....

Last night when I couldn't get anything to come into focus.

I just now tried to focus the 105 during the day using 26mm and 40mm and
could not focus at all.  The shaft is in the middle with plenty of room
to move either way.

I was inside looking through a window for daytime focus check both

The 26mm eyepiece is the one that came with the scope,  the 40mm is a
Scopetronix Plossl.

Thanks for your help.
Mike here: Odd that it once worked OK and now doesn't. Check that the Flip Mirror is in the correct and fully seated position. Check that the corrector lens housing at the front of the telescope tube is fully screwed on. Check the eyepieces; the silver tube should be tight and there should be no "rattling" sounds if you gently shake it. Does the 26mm eyepiece fully insert into the eyepiece holder? That is, no silver tube showing.
Subject:	AA batteries for DSX-90AT
Sent:	Wednesday, September 14, 2005 08:57:10
From:	Koushik Dutta (
I just received my new (and first) DSX-90AT, and I am now installing it.
I have some doubts regarding the kind of AA batteries to be used for the
drive and autostar power.

Meade instructs to use 8 AA batteries. Is it safe to use rechargeable
NiMH or Ni-Cd batteries, or should I only use alkaline batteries? Please
advise. I don't want to fry the autostar unit or the drive with too high
currents. Can I use power from an adapter with 12V output?

After few months, I will carry this telescope to India, where I am going
to use it eventually. Do you have any tips regarding safety of the unit
while transport? I am planning to pack the OTA separately along with my
carry on baggage. I shall take all precautions to protect it from shocks
& vibrations.

Thank you very much for maintaining such an informative site on ETX! I
first came to know about this site from your ETX book. Hundreds of ETX
users worldwide have greatly benefited from your site, and your advise.

With best regards,
Mike here: See the article "Info on Batteries & Power Supplies" on the Helpful information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Generally speaking, rechargeable small batteries won't work too well. As for power supplies, you need 1500mA 12VDC with the correct polarity (center pin on the base is positive).
Subject:	Mars Pictures
Sent:	Wednesday, September 14, 2005 05:55:23
From:	Dick Sontag (
I have a dumb question to ask.

I always thought that the inner planets, Mercury and Venus showed phases
as the moon does, but the outer planets such as Jupiter and Saturn do
not.  Why is it that Mars, an outer planet has phases in some of its

Many thanks

Dick Sontag
Mike here: Actually, depending upon orientstion of the orbits, slight phases can occur. Draw some pictures and you'll see why.
Subject:	ETX-105 Optical design
Sent:	Tuesday, September 13, 2005 04:17:49
From:	Carlos Callejero (
My name is Carlos Callejero and I am working at Telefonica R&D, the
Research and Development Company of the Spanish Telecommunications
group. We are evaluating the possibilities of a Meade ETX 105 EC
telescope to be integrated in a Free Space Optics communication system.

I have design a new eyepiece to be coupled to the rear cell of the
telescope, and it will be very useful if you could provide me its
mechanical drawing and optical lens design file (OSLO, SIGMA or ZEMAX).

I have tried to contact the Meade's Customer Support Department several
times but they do not care about it. Therefore I am trying to get this
unusually asked information from other resources.

We need to know the angular resolution of the DC servo motors with
encoders, and also how many bits has the interface that is being used to
control them. Any other additional information will be welcome.

If you do not have the required information about this telescope but you
do about a different brand one with similar performance, please let me
know. Since we are so disappointed with the Meade's Customer Support
Department, any suggestions about other brands will be welcome.
Thank you very much in advance.
I look forward to your reply.
Carlos Callejero Andrs


Subject:	ETX125 the arrowkeys do not work anymore
Sent:	Monday, September 12, 2005 01:02:44
From:	Dr. Fritz Schoch (
Thank you for your booklet and thank you for your grand website.
I had to fix my 2y old ETX125 because a screw was loose.
After reassembling again I could not move the instrument anymore. Is
there a fuse somewhere?
How to take apart the upper part of the Az drive?
I am very grateful for any answer.
Yours sincerely

Dr.Fritz Schoch
Kirchstrasse 26
D-88138 Weissensberg
Mike here: No fuse. Do you have the Autostar or the standard EC handcontroller? If you have the Autostar, does the telescope slew during alignment?


I have the Autostar and an extern power supply. There is no response
when I hit the arrow key nor during aligning.
Greetings from the Lake of Constance and thank you for your courtesy.
Fritz Schoch
Mike here: I take that the Autostar display does come on. Do the other keys work? Have you tried using batteries?
Subject:	ETX 125EC
Sent:	Saturday, September 10, 2005 08:36:14
From:	Jay Barnes (
My name I Jay Barnes and I am the proud owner of a new ETX 125 EC.  It's
nice to see a detaile site such as yours for ETX owners.

I am attempting to setup my telescope and am having some minor
difficulties. The vertical motor seems to be working fine, however, the
horizontal motor is not.

I was wondering if you had any tips on first time users and the initial
setup.  Any help or assistance you can provide would be much

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

Jay Barnes
Mike here: Can you be more specific about the problem? Is the drive running but slewing does not occur? Is the drive motor not running at all?


Thank you for responding so promptly.

The drive is running but doesn't slew left to right...only vertical. 
After the vertical slew, the horizontal motor runs but the scope doesn't

Jay Barnes
Mike here: Lets start the simple things. Do you have an Autostar? If so, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES? When you lock the azimuth axis, can you still move the telescope left/right by hand without any resistence? If so, then the lock lever may need to be adjusted; see the FAQ page. If there is resistence then the lock is engaging; perhaps you are overtightening the lock, preventing the drive motor from slewing the telescope. Let me know.
Subject:	etx vs. dsx
Sent:	Friday, September 9, 2005 09:44:38
From:	Patrick Reilly (
What is the difference between the etx and dsx mounts?  Is one better
than the other to 'piggyback' on?

I hope to catch you at 'Nightfall'.

Pat Reilly
Mike here: DSX: single fork arm on a "cheaper" mount.
ETX: dual fork arm on a "better" mount.
Depending upon the weight piggybacked, you might or might not have a problem with the DSX.
Subject:	ETX Recccomendations
Sent:	Friday, September 9, 2005 09:31:52
From:	Tom (
I have two large scopes both are Mead's, a LX200 8" and LXD55 AR6. I'm
undecided on what next to get. I really want a small scope to travel
with but, I want it to be able to take some good shots of some deep
space objects. I know the ETX has it's limitations on how well you can
see deep sky objects. I have two CCD cameras one is Sbig's STV Deluxe
and Deep Sky Imager. Will my CCDs work well with the ETX? Having the
larger scopes would I be satisfied with the ETX's performance?

Mike here: Yes, you can do imaging with the ETX; lots of examples on the ETX Site. Will you be satified with the ETX vs the larger aperture telescopes? Only you can answer that but many users (including myself) who have both larger telescopes and an ETX model are pleased with how well the ETX does perform.
Subject:	ETX-125EC with Meade #887 Deluxe Field Tripod and Wedge
Sent:	Thursday, September 8, 2005 10:16:16
From:	Hebenstreit, Gary W ((Bill)) (
After spending nearly 2 years fiddling with the #884 tripod that came
with my ETX-125EC, I decided to get serious and purchased a #887 deluxe
field tripod with wedge.  However, not having any experience with an
equatorial wedge, I need some advice on how to use it with my scope. 
Can you please give me some advice on where to go for assistance?  I
also have the electronic focuser (which seems to burn up its battery
between uses  so now I remove it!).


Bill Hebenstreit

Conroe, TX
Mike here: Basically, set the wedge for your latitude. There should be a scale on the wedge for latitude. Then mount your ETX to the wedge. The point the fork arms to the North Celestial Pole. That will make the ETX Right Ascension axis parallel to the Earth's rotational axis.
Subject:	Electric Focuser Behavior on ETX-90PE
Sent:	Thursday, September 8, 2005 07:38:44
From:	John Zimmerman (
You may want to post this for others to be aware of. 

My ETX-90PE has an electric focuser attached.  For no apparent reason,
the focuser started running automatically right after Autostar reads the
time from the LNT module after powering on the scope.  This happened for
about 10 or 11 times.  Then, mysteriously, it stopped doing this. 
Another user reports the same behavior with his ETX-125PE, and believes
it started after the last Autostar upgrade.  If enough PE owners
experience this, we'll need to pass this on to Meade.

I have two Autostar controllers running the same version.  If I
experience this problem again, I'll reset one to an earlier version and
see if that has an effect.

John Z
Mike here: You can always report it now to; just don't expect a reply.
Subject:	ETX 125AT
Sent:	Tuesday, September 6, 2005 20:08:37
From:	Marc (
I am having another problem with my telescope.  I hope you can suggest a
fix.  First some history.  I had a problem with the cable to my
Autostar.  I called Meade and shipped my Autostar and cable back to
them.  Three weeks later I received a new Autostar and cable.  Excited I
plug the cable and Autostar into the base and fire it up.  First thing
to hit me was the inability to train drives.  Received a "motor fault"
message.  A quick not to you and I am calling Meade for a replacement
cable.  Motor fault goes away.  Hurray!  BUT! I can do all the required
setups,  reset, calibrate, train.  I can easy align with two stars no
problem.  When I finally pick my target for the night, and I have chosen
many, the Autostar slews the telescope into position, accurately I might
add.  Then within a minute or two every-time the "motor fault" kicks in.
However if I change to polar alignment I can track endlessly.  I'm
stumped.   I'm on plug in power, not batteries.  (12v 1000mA)  No
attachments other than an eyepiece.  The warranty is still good, but
with shipping and repairs I'm hoping for a quick fix.
Marc Caron
Mike here: The ETX-125 needs 1500mA, not 1000. That is likely the source of your motor fault errors.
Subject:	fov
Sent:	Tuesday, September 6, 2005 17:46:39
From: (
A really neat site!!
What is meant by APPARENT fov as opposed to fov?
Greatly appreciated
Thank you
Mike here: Being a basically lazy person, I did a Google search for "apparent fov" and this nice explanation turned up:
Now I don't have to type all that text. Isn't the Web wonderful!!!
Subject:	Using AstroFinder with DSX-90AT
Sent:	Tuesday, September 6, 2005 12:42:39
From:	Koushik Dutta (
Recently I purchased a DSX-90AT, from Meade factory outlet. I am
interested to get Meade AstroFinder software to control DSX-90AT form my
laptop. I like to know:

1) Is this software and the cables compatible with DSX-90AT? 2) Do I
need to purchase any special cable for the interface?

I also like to purchase one high magnification eyepiece, other than the
26mm supplied with the scope. Please suggest me one.

Any relevant suggestion/comments will be highly appreciated.
Many thanks,
Mike here: If it came with the Autostar #497 (has number keys on the keypad) then you connect a computer via a #505 serial cable, which you can buy or make (info on making one is on the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page). Your computer will need a RS-232 port or a USB-Serial converter (I use a Keyspan one with my Macintosh; there have been problem reports with the Belkin converters on Windows). As to eyepieces, see the Helpful information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page. Keep in mind the maximum theoretical magnification for any telescope; see the FAQ page if you are unsure how to determine that.


Thanks a lot for your suggestions and guidance!
Meade says DSX-90AT has maximum useful magnification of 325X. I shall
choose the high magnification eyepeice accordingly.
Mike here: As you will read on that FAQ page, the real max is more like 180X; you can exceed that depending upon the object and observing conditions.
Subject:	ETX-125 Power Panel
Sent:	Tuesday, September 6, 2005 07:46:27
From:	Gilmore, Greg ((DOT/MDT)) (
The power panel board has had some traces burnt and requires removal for
repairs. I need to know how to remove the panel? Thanks.

Gregory Gilmore
Mike here: I haven't done it but I believe you go in through the base. I thought there was an article on this on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page but I didn't see it.
Subject:	ETX-125AT flip mirror
Sent:	Sunday, September 4, 2005 23:48:31
From:	Tom and Lori (
Do you have any recent photos of Mars yet?  I was out two nights ago
until about 4 AM enjoying the view here in Orange County, CA.  I was
having a little problem trying to use my LPI with my 2x barlow and
keeping the image on the screen (my patience was wearing thin at that
hour).  Things would be better with a laptop, as I went inside several
times to correct the image.  I'll try again next week.

Quick question, when I removed my eyepiece and looked at the flip mirror
of my ETX-125 AT with a flashlight I noticed a coating of some sort with
a bit of dust on it.  It does not affect my viewing anymore than the
small amout of dust on the front lens.  Should I take any measures to
clean this or "leave well enough alone?"
Thanks for the info and the GREAT site!
Clear skies,
Mike here: I haven't yet but there are many excellent photos of Mars on the ETX Site. As to the "flashlight test", that is not recommended for checking the cleanliness of the optics. Use indirect lighting. Generally speaking, unless the flip mirror is definitely dirty, leave well enough alone.


Thanks Mike!

Subject:	I cant find info on Meade DSX-90AT 
Sent:	Saturday, September 3, 2005 21:09:08
From:	Downtown Computers (
Is the glass and features about the same as the ETX  ?

I am wanting to purchase my first telescope, I have found your wonderful
site and may purchase one directly from meade as now there only asking
199 dollars for ETX-90RA. They are also offering the Meade DSX-90AT for
275 dollars including shipping. If the optics are the same it seems the
added features of the Meade DSX-90AT may be a real bargin...

thanks for all your web contributions...

David Korb
Mike here: The ETX-90RA does not have and can not be upgraded to use the Autostar whereas the DSX-90 comes with it. The telescope itself is the same, only the mount and electronics are different.
Subject:	Meade's 'levels' of telescopes?
Sent:	Friday, September 2, 2005 07:41:43
From: (
Mike, thank you for your excellent website.  I'm just starting out with
astronomy, along with my 9-year-old daughter, and we're thinking of
buying a DS114 up for sale on eBay.   Obviously there are better scopes
out there, but I don't see the value in spending a lot of $ for
something until I know we're really hooked (which we may  be shortly!)

I looked for the answer to this question on your website before
e-mailing you, so if I didn't find it I apologize in advance.

Question, I'm a bit perplexed by all the different brandnames, etc. that
Meade uses.   There's the 114, the 2114, the 2130, the Telestar series,
etc.  If, for example, I buy a Telestar-series 114, am I getting less of
a scope than if I bought a non-Telestar meade 114 such as the 2114 or


Mike here: Yep, there are lots of models, same as with computers, cars, etc. If you want a lot of specifics on CURRENT models, check the Meade Product Catalog on their web site. Other models, now discontinued, are available as used telescopes, refurbished telescopes, and discontinued telescopes. Plus there are models for specific markets, such as the DSX line. You need to decide how much of a telescope you want and what capabilities you want. PLUS, there are certain expectations of the views through a telescope. If the telescope you get doesn't match that view then you quickly become disappointed in the telescope and perhaps even frustrated with the hobby. So, my suggestion is to continue to do the research before making a hasty decision based upon price alone.

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