Last updated: 27 September 2005
Subject: Right tube adapter broken Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 11:36:39 From: Bobby3838@aol.com (Bobby3838@aol.com) 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.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.
Thanks for maintaining such a great site.
Subject: fault notice for azimuth motor in etx-125 Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 03:17:30 From: Alon Wolf (email@example.com) 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 times!) Many thanks Alon WolfMike 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? thanks AlonMike 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 Alon
Subject: use of sky charts Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2005 21:45:33 From: howard pray (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 price...so 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. ben 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 (email@example.com) 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 www.jameco.com 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 FisherMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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. FredMike 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. Fred
Subject: Re: DSX-90AT and DS2130AT Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 17:19:55 From: Jessica Garcia (email@example.com) 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 (email@example.com) 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 CarlMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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? Cheers, TomMike 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 (email@example.com) 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? Rich@ColorworksPaintingSanDiego.comMike 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: CYSMARCUS@aol.com (CYSMARCUS@aol.com) 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 PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!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: CYSMARCUS@aol.com (CYSMARCUS@aol.com) 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 youMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 up. 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! DonMike 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 (http://stores.ebay.com/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 (email@example.com) 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 --dick
Subject: Can't turn focus knob enough to focus my ETX 105 Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 20:30:49 From: Vivian Ashley (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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. Consequently.... 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 times. The 26mm eyepiece is the one that came with the scope, the 40mm is a Scopetronix Plossl. Thanks for your help. VivianMike 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 (email@example.com) 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, -KoushikMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 photos? Many thanks Dick SontagMike 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 (email@example.com) 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. Regards Carlos Callejero Andrs Spain
Subject: ETX125 the arrowkeys do not work anymore Sent: Monday, September 12, 2005 01:02:44 From: Dr. Fritz Schoch (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 Fritz Dr.Fritz Schoch Kirchstrasse 26 D-88138 Weissensberg GermanyMike 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 SchochMike 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 (email@example.com) 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 appreciated. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend. Jay BarnesMike 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 move. Jay BarnesMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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'. Thanks, Pat ReillyMike here: DSX: single fork arm on a "cheaper" mount.
Subject: ETX Recccomendations Sent: Friday, September 9, 2005 09:31:52 From: Tom (email@example.com) 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? Sincerely, Skydiver504Mike 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)) (Bill.Hebenstreit@ElPaso.com) 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!). Thanks! Bill Hebenstreit Conroe, TXMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 ZMike here: You can always report it now to email@example.com; just don't expect a reply.
Subject: ETX 125AT Sent: Tuesday, September 6, 2005 20:08:37 From: Marc (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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. Thanks Marc CaronMike 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: CYSMARCUS@aol.com (CYSMARCUS@aol.com) A really neat site!! What is meant by APPARENT fov as opposed to fov? Greatly appreciated Thank youMike here: Being a basically lazy person, I did a Google search for "apparent fov" and this nice explanation turned up:
Subject: Using AstroFinder with DSX-90AT Sent: Tuesday, September 6, 2005 12:42:39 From: Koushik Dutta (email@example.com) 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, -KoushikMike 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. Regards, -KoushikMike 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)) (Greg.Gilmore@gnb.ca) 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 GilmoreMike 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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, TomMike 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.
Subject: I cant find info on Meade DSX-90AT Sent: Saturday, September 3, 2005 21:09:08 From: Downtown Computers (email@example.com) 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 KorbMike 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: Phillip_Young@i2.com (Phillip_Young@i2.com) 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 2130? Thanks! -tyMike 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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