GENERAL FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 28 September 2006

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:	ETX-90 ?
Sent:	Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:40:00
From:	Jan Van Der Laan (jan.vanderlaan@sri.com)
Do you know if I can get information on the coatings  used with the
ETX-90? Specifically, is there any information available on the
performance at 1550 nm wavelength and NIR performance (800-1000 nm?
Appreciably,
Jan
-- 
Jan E. van der Laan
Sr. Research Engineer
SRI International
Menlo Park, CA
Mike here: I know I have seen some graphs but I don't recall where I saw them. Have you checked all through Meade's web site?

And:

I haven't found any information on the Mead site, but I will try again.
Thanks anyway.
Jan
Mike here: It was probably something from the UHTC information.
Subject:	EC or AT?
Sent:	Wednesday, September 27, 2006 11:41:52
From:	SCOTT T HOFFMAN (scottandjulieh@msn.com)
You were very helpful with my last question so I hope that you can
answer another question for me.

I just received my ETX-125 from Anacortes and the box says 125 EC. I had
been promised the AT model. Should I make a fuss? I mean is there really
any difference? I am concerned that I may have to send it back to get
what I ordered.

I appreciate your help.

Sincerely, Scott Hoffman

P.S. Your site is great!!
Mike here: See the item "Q. What is the difference between an EC model and an AT model?" on the FAQ page.
Subject:	ETX RA circle
Sent:	Tuesday, September 26, 2006 12:15:14
From:	ROBERT & MARIE SHULTZ (rshultz@rochester.rr.com)
Been reading your site for quite sometime, had a LX200 10" classic that
I just sold due to never setting it up. It was huge. Decided on a ETX125
that will be used much more. The 10" wasn't out in the dark for over a
year.

The ETX I am really excited about, but the RA circle is kind of cheap.
Do you know of anyone who made an upgrade or anything of the sort. Say
like a plastic ring that would fit in the groove and still be loose
enough to rotate.

Greatly appreciate any help.

Bob
Mike here: Mine finally came unglued and since I never use it I just left it off. Haven't seen any replacements.

And:

thanks, thought maybe a replacement would be a good idea

bob
Mike here: It is if you use the Setting Circles to locate objects. I used to do that up until a few years ago (and still do with my ETX-90RA) but on my AutoStar capable telescopes I let the AutoStar do the pointing.
Subject:	re: ETX125AT focusing directly from a laptop
Sent:	Monday, September 25, 2006 22:29:54
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Gejza asked:
> 2. How many speeds have the Meade focuser when operating through an
> Autostar (one man mentioned 9 speeds, but the others only 4 speeds)?

 Mike wrote:
> The Meade model has 9 speeds when used with the AutoStar...

I'm sorry to report that the Autostar only has -four- focuser
speeds.  Although you use the number keys to select the speed,
they're "grouped" such that 1/2/3 all get the same speed.

have fun
--dick

Subject:	105 PE Problems
Sent:	Sunday, September 24, 2006 09:17:04
From:	Wesley Fry (wesley@fry4691.fsnet.co.uk)
i'm having some problems with my 105PE. I set the scope up and do the
auto align, which seem's to work okay, but when i try to move the scope
using the controller i'm having some strange results. Move the scope in
any direction and then stop, and then it will move back the direction
from which i just came from. So i end up having to put the star at say
the bottom of the eyepiece and then watch it go to the middle of the
screen by it's self. Also some times the controller doesn't respond at
all in one direction, but okay in ever other. Is there a fault with the
scope that will need repairing or should i retrain the drives again?
Also when i use goto it finds the rough direction of the stars im trying
to find but not close enough to see them in the eyepiece, so i have to
use the smartfinder the center the object. Is this normall and if so how
do you find obects out of visual range. Thanks Mike and keep up the good
work,  Wesley Fry.
Mike here: I suggest doing a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES if you have not done them lately (or ever). If that doesn't cure it, do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES. Remember, RESET restores the factory default condition so you will have to re-enter your site info and any objects you have added.
Subject:	ETX125AT focusing directly from a laptop
Sent:	Sunday, September 24, 2006 13:17:11
From:	Ing. Gejza Novk (gnovak@zoznam.sk)
I am looking for a possibility to focus my ETX125AT directly from my
laptop using a Meade LPI with a Meade Autostar Suite or a Starry Night
Pro SW. Can you help me?

If there is no solution for above matter, I have following questions:

1.	Which motofocuser do you recommend me: Meade Electric Focuser or
JMI Motofocuser (I am afraid of a durability of the rubber belt upon
some time) for ETX125?

2.	What is your opinion about a Non-rotating S focuser+adaptor from
Borg? Is there a cheaper way how to prevent an image shift during a
critical focusing? 3.	Are the Meade Antivibration pads efficient
enough for my scope?

4.	There is some purple fringing when I am looking through my ETX70.
Can a V-Block Anti-Fringing Filter from Orion help me?
	
I would be very glad to hear your hints.
Sincerely,
Gejza Novak.
Mike here: ScopeDriver (see the Accessory Reviews: Software) can control a focus motor. I have used both the JMI and Meade focusers (see the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products and :Miscellaneous pages). I have no experience with the Borg one but wonder about the weight and whether focus will be achievable with all eyepieces. Any vibration pad will work to reduce vibrations. The V-Block filters work.

And:

many thanks for your prompt answer. Be so kind and give me some answer
or recommendations to the next last questions:

1. I have wrote all mentioned articles, but I would like to know which
one of the two focusers do you prefer?

2. How many speeds have the Meade focuser when operating through an
Autostar (one man mentioned 9 speeds, but the others only 4 speeds)?

3. The same question is for JMI motofocus because I cannot find an
answer even on JMI home site.

4. Is there any FOV shift while focusing at minimal speed or it can be
neglected ( in view of the LPI imaging from a laptop)?

5. I intend to buy an zoom eyepiece to my ETX125AT telescope. Now I have
only a Celestron eyepiece set with filters. Which one of the following
ones (Meade - 8-24mm Series 4000 Zoom 1.25" Eyepiece, Vixen - 8-24mm
Zoom LV Series 1.25" Eyepiece, Televue - 8mm - 24mm Click-Stop Zoom -
Dioptrx ) is the best according to your opinion? Is a zoom eyepiece an
appropriate accessory to my ETX scope?

Many thanks for your answer in advance.

Sincerely,
Gejza Novak, Slovakia.
Mike here: I use the ETX-90RA more than my ETX-125 so the JMI gets a lot more use. The Meade model has 9 speeds when used with the AutoStar; my very old JMI model only has one speed. Image shift is not due to the focuser, but due to the focus mechanism, which moves the primary mirror. So there will still be some shift. I don't have a zoom eyepiece but there are some reviewed on the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page.
Subject:	etx 125ec hard stops
Sent:	Saturday, September 23, 2006 13:31:55
From:	Steve Van Doren (svandoren@sbcglobal.net)
I recently bought a second hand etx125ec with the 497 Autostar.

When I try to align it, I set the control panel to approx W, turn scope
CCW to hard stop, then back CW to true N. I start the alignment, however
the unit seems to not recognize that there's a RA hard stop, and at some
point in the alignment or subsequent GoTo, the servos drive hard into
it, trying to slew past the stop and mess up the whole RA alignment.

I own the book 'Using The Meade ETX'. I don't find any information
regarding this sort of problem. Do you have any suggestions to remedy
this problem?

Thanks,
Steve Van Doren

PS. I'm a very beginning amateur. Please be gentle when using tech
terms.
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES from the Autostar's Setup: Telescope menu? If not, do them.

And:

Thanks for getting back to me.

Yes I have tried CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES.

When I home my scope to true N with the control panel toward W, the hard
stop seems to be at true S. The scope will slew right then try to go
beyond S toward W and that's when it hits the stop, but the motors keep
running as if it were still moving. I can then hit the PARK command and
the scope will slew back, way beyond the home position, as if it had
made it to the destination it had been seeking before the PARK.

I've tried rotating my tripod to where I think the computer is looking
for the hard stop to be, with limited success, but that isn't anything
like the AUTOSTAR manual instructs me to do.

Have you ever heard of this sort of thing, or have I done something bad
to my scope?

Thanks again 
Steve Van Doren
Mike here: It sounds like there is a wire or some other obstruction. Open up the base and check for free movement. The telescope should rotate almost (but not quite) twice around hardstop to hardstop. Use caution as you don't want to cut a wire.
Subject:	Yet another ETX variation
Sent:	Saturday, September 23, 2006 07:19:47
From:	andrew kirby (IFR) (andrew.kirby@BBSRC.AC.UK)
New red dot finder, tube graphics now an option, 105 model dropped.
 
http://www.meade.com/catalog/catalog_pdf/02_ETXsection.pdf
 
Andrew

Subject:	Is it worth it?
Sent:	Friday, September 22, 2006 10:15:02
From:	SCOTT T HOFFMAN (scottandjulieh@msn.com)
I really appreciate your site.

At this time I own an ETX-90 EC with standard coatings and have been
thrilled with it. So thrilled in fact that I am strongly considering
upgrading to an ETX-125 UHTC. (I have already placed the order through
Anacortes who have given me a deal by including a free Deep Space Imager
Pro, but I have time to cancel if I decide to do that.) My question is,
is it worth it? I live in a fairly light polluted area and I am
wondering if the added light gathering power of the 125 UHTC will really
make all that much difference? I appeal to your expertise and I look
forward to your response.
  
Thank you, Scott Hoffman
Mike here: Well, the aperture will make a difference, even on planets and the moon (in extra details becoming visible). The UHTC option won't add that much from a light polluted sky but will come in handy when you go to a dark site.

And:

Thank you for the perspective. I will continue to frequent your site. By
the way, the ETX 125 will be delivered on wednesday.
Scott Hoffman

Subject:	re: Hand held gps
Sent:	Thursday, September 21, 2006 23:05:58
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Check out  http://www.stargps.ca

Chris sells the cables and firmware modification needed to
connect many GPSes to the 497 Autostar.

have fun
--dick

Subject:	re: Mounting the PST to Meade SCTs
Sent:	Thursday, September 21, 2006 23:02:59
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
COVER THE FRONT OF THE SCT's VIEWFINDER!!!!

(the hole you burn in your shoulder/chest will hurt)
(plus there's always the "reflex" action (especially by visitors)
to look through the viewfinder.  INSTANT fried retina (wanna see
my scars?)

have (safe) fun
--dick
Mike here: Or mount a white light solar filter on the main telescope, which is what I do with my ETX-90RA, but don't forget to cover the finderscope.
Subject:	Mounting the PST to Meade SCTs
Sent:	Thursday, September 21, 2006 09:25:59
From:	Craig J. Kopra (y2craig@hotmail.com)
I noticed JMI's Piggy-back Camera Mount can be used to mount the
Coronado PST to any of the Meade SCTs be it the ETXs or the LX series. 
Would that pose any harm by adding more of a load to the telescope's
motors or is it pretty safe to do such a thing being the PST is slightly
heavier than average film or DSLR camera?

The PST is a brilliant  and economical solar telescope. I thought it
could be a better avenue to track the sun by using the my telescope as
opposed to using the MALTA tripod.  Just curious on your thoughts before
doing anything potentially diasterous. Thank you very kindly for your
time.

All the best,
 
Craig Kopra
Mike here: The PST is fairly light. I have mounted on my ETX-90RA and my LXD55/75-8"SC without any problems.
Subject:	Meade's Flaws, Gears and "Customer Service"
Sent:	Tuesday, September 19, 2006 19:12:16
From:	mrcapk9-list@yahoo.com
Here I am again, 9 months from my ETX-125PE purchase, into my SECOND
time with a repair order with Meade. In June, the gears must have
slipped, as the scope made loud "ticking" noises and with it,
significant RA shifting. Now in September, it has happened again. Meade
would not have enjoyed my last-attended public star party, where the
public got to witness this issue firsthand.

First of all, I am annoyed - and I do believe rightfully so. Meade has,
in my opinion, atrocious "Customer Service". Waiting 1+ hours on hold on
the phone is absurd. As for their new online "Customer Solutions", well,
15 days later from my post, they still have not responded. It amazes me
why Meade is in business if they cannot be OF SERVICE to their
customers. Ok, enough ranting for this message.
 
Here's my question:
Given that this issue in my scope will persist unless Meade changes out
from a faulty design (maybe put GOOD gears in), do I forget about
getting the Sky Assurance extended warrantee and go for the "ETX
Supercharge" to overcome this obvious flaw?
 
Thanks!
 
Michael
Los Angeles, CA
Mike here: Whether this is a design flaw or some component failure is hard to say. But obviously not all telescopes experience the problem. We can't even determine whether such "flaws" or "failures" are a large, small, or miniscule percentage. That said, yes, being on hold for an hour should be unacceptable (but unfortunately, not that unusual; I have called software companies and been on hold that long). One hopes that the online support system will eventually allow Meade to overcome such issues. As to Dr. Clay's Supercharge, that is a worthwhile alternative and can be seriously considered.

And:

Thanks Mike!

Subject:	Hand held gps
Sent:	Tuesday, September 19, 2006 20:20:50
From:	Glen Aldrich (handgunz@comcast.net)
I have just purchased a Meade ext 125 ec.  I would like to know if there
is a way to connect my Magellan Meridian marine gps to this telescope or
if you might be able to point me in the right direction to find an
answer.
Thanks for your time
Glen Aldrich
Mike here: If you search the Site for "Magellan Meridian gps" you will get some hits.
Subject:	A thnk you note: Autostar, LPI & Weasner
Sent:	Sunday, September 17, 2006 10:02:12
From:	Eric (heycarpenterguy@comcast.net)
This site is, without a doubt, the best source of information about
Meade's Autostar suite and hardware issues that I have found. The most
recent help to me involved the LPI envision software not connecting to
the telescope. One screen shot and I knew how to fix it. The posts here
are an excellent source for me and I just wanted to say thank you.
 
Sincerely
Eric S. Abbott

Subject:	General Feedback- Happy Birthday!
Sent:	Saturday, September 16, 2006 21:56:32
From:	Kim Miau Lee (robin051@gmail.com)
Your Mighty ETX site is so wealth in resources! We just can't read the
10 years masterpieces in a week time. You contribute so much to the
astronomical community. Thanks a lot, we appreciated your work!

I visit your website when I am notified that it's updated. I always like
to read Autostar, Autostar Info, Astrophotography and some other
articles (Actually, I read all!) which improve my knowledge and skills.
I wish to see more of your astrophotography, would you?

Regards,
Kim Miau.

-- 
My Astronomy Blog- www.AstronomyNotes.net

Subject:	Meade ETX 105 PE eyepieces - the choice has been made
Sent:	Saturday, September 16, 2006 06:19:40
From:	RICHARD FOLEY
I opted for just 2 eyepieces in the end and they are superb for what we
need (for now).  Meade Series 5000 9mm & 14mm Super Plossls, plus a nice
set of filters from Astro-Engineering

Thanks for making me wait a while before wasting my money on a crappy
zoom!
 
Regards
 
Richard

Subject:	Happy 10th Birthday !!
Sent:	Wednesday, September 13, 2006 06:38:43
From:	Niall J. Saunders (niall@njs101.com)
Congratulations Mike,

And a heartfelt 'thank-you' on behalf of the many, many 'happy visitors'
to your site. Without your tireless efforts to correlate all the data
you must receive each day, the Meade community, ETX and LX users alike,
would have a much greater struggle as they learn to use their new
'toys'. (Now, if you could only get Meade to take heed of a few of the
comments that are made here time and again . . . . !!).

However, there is one thing I had been wondering recently, and it came
back to mind when I realised that you had achieved this incredible
milestone. Is it perhaps now time to 'amalgamate' the two halves of your
site, ETX and LXD-55/75 ? Is it also perhaps the time to 'formally'
introduce the LX-90 (the original 8", and its new family) into your
site, and present them all under one 'Weasner' banner?

Yes, it could be said that I am biased, as an LX-90 owner but, in my
defence, I also still have my ETX-105 and my neighbour still has his
LXD-55. I admit that there are other sites that perhaps serve both the
LX-90 and the LXD-55/75 in other ways, but I now believe that your ten
years experience, along with the combined knowledge of your
contributors, might mean that a section devoted to each scope might well
prove beneficial.

As a 'for example', I have not really submitted that many 'Guest Images'
taken with my LX90, simply because I was never sure whether they were
appropriate for your galleries, dedicated as they were to either the
smaller aperture ETX's or the similar OTA of the LXD site, despite its
different mounting method.

As you have said yourself in the past - the reality is that the LX-90
range of scopes might have been better marketed by Meade as a
continuation of the ETX range (the ETX-200, -250, -300 and ETX-350
models).

Food for thought, as always, but whatever you feel you need to do,
please just keep up the great work that you do.

Thanks,
Niall Saunders
Clinterty Observatories
Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
Mike here: I have considered combining the ETX and LXD sites as some of the content (AutoStar, Astrophotography, some accessories) are certainly applicable to both telescope lines (and other lines as well). I have kept them separate and not expanded to other lines to date because I'm trying to avoid the Sites becoming diluted and unfocused. There are certainly many excellent sources of LX90 and LX200 information and that is great. Maybe 10 years from now (after I retire for working fulltime!) I will take steps in that direction (or maybe I won't!). Even though the LX90 8" was like an ETX-200 it didn't get put into the ETX line so I've only included it from the AutoStar perspective on the ETX Site. But I am happy that LX90 and LX200 AutoStar II users and many other telescope users visit the Sites to stay in touch with AutoStar and Astrophotography in particular. That is a testament to what the ETX community provides to the amateur astronomy community in general.
Subject:	MAPUG
Sent:	Monday, September 11, 2006 10:55:58
From:	Moffat, Paul (Paul.Moffat@quincycompressor.com)
Sorry to bother you, but where has MAPUG gone?.
My link gets to Microsoft instead!
Mike here: Looks like it has either gone the way of so many Sites or is in transition to a new host.
Subject:	Meade etx 125 premier
Sent:	Sunday, September 10, 2006 10:22:30
From:	willow (willow40@ntlworld.com)
I live in the UK and was wondering if you could give me an honest
opion.I am totally new to astronomy and recently bought the seben 6"
it's ok but I am thinking of buying the meade ETX 125. Are they any good
or can you suggest a comparitively priced alternative that is. Many
thanks. Willow
Mike here: As you can tell from my ETX Site, people do a get a LOT of use out of their Meade ETX telescopes. Whether it will meet your expectations depends more on you (and your local observing conditions) than on the telescope itself. Certainly the ETX-125 (especially with the UHTC option) will let you observe many objects (again, depending on sky conditions). Check out the Helpful Information: User Observations page.
Subject:	happy site anniversary
Sent:	Sunday, September 10, 2006 05:49:47
From:	N Mukkavilli (n_mukkavilli@yahoo.com.au)
happy 10th anniversary..and thanks for this fantastic resource for all
ETX users. I hope Meade knows of, and appreciates this community !

here's to the next 10 years!
Mike here: Yes, Meade knows about this Community.
Subject:	Recommended additional eyepiece for the Meade ETX 105 PE
Sent:	Friday, September 8, 2006 06:00:37
From:	RICHARD FOLEY
Hello.  I hope you don't mind me asking your opinion.  I bought my wife
an ETX 105 PE last year for her birthday and this came with the standard
eyepiece.  Besides the stars, we have observed Jupiter, Saturn and the
moon, but would now like extra magnification.

I have already decided to buy a 2X Barlow but would like your advice as
to what would be the best, single choice of additional lens.  One
contributor to the site recommended a Meade 18mm Super Wide Angle
Eyepiece, but I have not been able to contact this person.
 
What would you do?
 
Thanks and regards
 
Richard
Mike here: "Best" eyepiece for what purpose? Do you want wide-angle views? Do you want close-up views of the Moon and planets? You do want better DSO viewing? You have to make those choices first. Since you plan to get a 2X Barlow Lens (be certain it is a "shorty" model or one designed for the ETX), you will have the equivalent of a 13mm eyepiece when used with the 26mm eyepiece. Since you indicate you want more magnification, one less than 10mm in focal length is probably what you are looking for. For reviews of various eyepieces see the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page.
Subject:	JMI Moto-Focus
Sent:	Thursday, September 7, 2006 10:09:43
From:	Gruz, Steven J. (Steven.J.Gruz@Maine.gov)
I purchased a JMI Motor-Focus last year for my ETX-90 and it has worked
great.  Recently, however, I've encountered an odd problem.  The motor
of the unit has begun to freeze (stop working) while my scope is pointed
anywhere near the zenith.  If my scope is pointed level or is slightly
elevated I have no problem with the electric focuser.  Also, when
disconnected from my scope it works fine pointed in any direction.  It
only occurs when my scope is pointed up.  I was wondering if this could
be caused by a problem with the focus shaft? Has anybody else ever
encountered this problem?
Mike here: Have you tried removing the Moto-Focus to see if the problem can be repeated with a manual focus operation?

And:

Yes, in fact I'm currently using the manual focus knob since I cannot
rely on my JMI Motor-Focus. As we all know, the focus know is not easy
to use with the scope pointed up. From what I can ascertain, either the
shaft needs to be lubricated to move more freely or the JMI Motor-Focus
does not have the power to turn the shaft while pointed at Zenith.  I am
hesitant to apply any sort of lubrication to my ETX without knowing
exactly what to do and I guess my only other option is to contact JMI.
If they can't help me I'll probably purchase a Scopetronix FlexiFocus as
there is a lot coming up this fall that I don't want to miss.
Mike here: One common technique is to use a "clothes pin" as a lever on the focusing knob. You can also make a cable; see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. As to lubricating the shaft, don't. The mirror is what moves when focusing and it could be that the weight of the mirror is causing a drag on the motor when near the Zenith. Although I never noticed any such problem when using the JMI Moto-Focus on my ETX-90RA (Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products) nor are there such reports from others (Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page).

And:

Thanks.  My DEC motor is about 6 years old so maybe it's not aging
gracefully.  Your answer gives me peace-of-mind regarding "lubricating
the shaft".  I might send the motor to JMI and have them check it out.
In the meantime I'll use a work around. Your site has been an invaluable
resource for me.  I check it daily and greatly appreciate it.

Subject:	What about the 'lightbridge' 'meade' series.?
Sent:	Wednesday, September 6, 2006 05:30:26
From:	Stan Drery (johngen_j@yahoo.com)
Hi! John from Greece. Congratulations for your 10th anniversary!

I know that your interest is on smt-casgrn telescopes but can you make a
review about the dobsonian new 'lightbridge' meade series. I am not at
all familiar with the usefulnes of these telescopes and i want to know
the main adv-drawbacks against the smt-csgrn telescopes.

Thanks.!
Mike here: The current issue of Sky and Telescope magazine has an excellent review of the new Lightbridge telescopes.

And:

ok! .Thanks for replying i will check it out.

Subject:	ETX site
Sent:	Tuesday, September 5, 2006 06:09:35
From:	Tmerllyn@aol.com (Tmerllyn@aol.com)
I dont have a problem or query,( I dont know enough to have problems! )

I just want to thank You ,and all Your contributers ,for the fund of
knowledge that I have been able to draw upon, there are seats in heaven
for all of you
( But not for quite a while!!)
 Regards FRAN K BAKER
 North Wales U.K.

Subject:	Site.
Sent:	Tuesday, September 5, 2006 06:05:50
From:	chasiotis elias (elias_chasiotis@stendor.coo.gr)
i would like to thank you for the great work you' ve done in the last 10
years on this site!

Best wishes!
Elias

Subject:	Congrats!
Sent:	Monday, September 4, 2006 17:05:48
From:	V.A. van Wulfen (vavw@planet.nl)
Congratulations on ten years of maintaining your remarkable site! You
are the true ETX Customer Support and Meade owes you, bigtime!

Keep it up!!!
  
Victor

Subject:	Meade EXT electric focuser issues
Sent:	Sunday, September 3, 2006 21:06:40
From:	Bill VanOrden (beevo@cox.net)
Original Post
 
Subject:   Problems with electric focuser on ETX 125
Sent:   Monday, July 31, 2006 11:06:31
From:   Michael Brown (mtb@sgi.com)
I have a EXT 125 with the Autostar 497 controller.   I also have
installed the Meade electric focuser but seem to be having some problems
with it skipping.   The unit has been properly installed and
re-installed several times.  It definitely sounds like the gears are
slipping (click, click, click sound).   I've removed the focuser and
made sure the focuser is not at either end of the focuser range and it
doesn't feel sticky or stiff when turning the gear on the focuser shaft
by hand.  I've also disassembled the focuser case and inspected the
teeth on the gears and they appear to be fine (no chipped or missing
teeth).   When I attempt to use the focuser, I can see the top of the
focuser case pushing up each time the click is heard - it appears that
the case is not stiff enough to keep the motor in place possibly?  
Anyone else had similar issues?  Fixes?   For now I've re-installed the
manual focus knob.
 
My response....

I and a good friend both bought one of these units, actually he bought
his first and I thought it looked pretty good and got one myself.  Both
of the units "click & skip" like Mike Brown's unit.  I returned mine and
tried another, same issue.  I returned that one and got the JMI unit
which is IMHO a much better, though cruder looking, solution to the
problem.  The dealer where my friend got his won't take his back so we
may be taking it apart to see if we can re-engineer it.The bonus of the
JMI unit is you can pop off the "belt" and use the knob manually if you
wish.  BUY EXTRA "BELTS", they evaporate in the dark when you are not
looking!!

Beevo (aka Bill VanOrden)

And:

You're welcome.

You going to be at Nitefall this year?

Beevo (aka Bill VanOrden)
Mike here: Not this year.
Subject:	Fw: 5 years of success with my supercharged ETX-125 -- thanks again!
Sent:	Sunday, September 3, 2006 09:00:42
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@arksky.org)
This is great....

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Matthew"

Hullo, Dr. Clay!

While doing a bit of sky-searching last night, I realized that it had
been over 5 years since my ETX-125 scope was supercharged.  (My scope
was #73-125, May 25, 2001.)  I know that if our positions were reversed,
I'd like to know how the scope was doing, so I just thought I would send
you a "testimonial" to that effect.

You might not recall that my scope had a motor problem after shipping
following the Supercharge, thanks to good-ol' UPS sending it back to me
on the "buckboard express."  (As an aside:  I'm pleased to see you're
recommending DHL these days!)  After you graciously offered to do the
repair, and sent it back to me, of course the scope was wonderful, and
my two boys and I got quite a bit of enjoyment out of it (not to mention
neighbors, relatives, etc.)  I am pleased to say that after five years
of use, I can detect no appreciable difference in how the scope operates
since that time!  The motors are smooth, the tracking is excellent
(barely any drift for reasonable amounts of time), and the system is
overall very, very responsive - no delay in moving the scope when
buttons are pressed.  Remembering how awkwardly the scope operated
before the supercharge, I'm very pleased with how well it's maintained
itself since then.  (In fact, I'd been using 22eH for the past five
years, since I was scared to change anything!  I finally installed the
latest Autostar update (443a) last week, and after a
reset/calibrate/retrain, all was well - no cause for fear!

My kids (the boys are 9 and 7, and my daughter, an addition to our
family after the last time I talked to you, is 5) are now old enough to
really get a lot out of the scope - they all enjoy astronomy -- and it
sure helps that the scope is reliable!  In fact, the only problem is the
Autostar itself, whose poor buttons are just about worn out - I may have
to buy another & clone my settings over!

Anyway, hope this e-mail finds you way - and hope you enjoyed hearing
about one of your success stories!

All the best,
 Matthew

Subject:	Your ETX Site
Sent:	Friday, September 1, 2006 12:19:15
From:	Kory Hamzeh (kory@avatar.com)
I'm totally new to astronomy and recently purchased an EXT125. I really
love your web site -- I have learned so much from the information there,
I can't even begin to tell you. One of the reasons I wanted to contact
you is to see if your site has a discussion forum or are there any good
ones (hopefully for the ETX) that you recommend? It seems that
Scopetronix is "changing ownership", and most of everything is out of
stock and they're not sure when that will change. I'm hoping people can
recommend other places to get some of the nice gadgets they sell,
specifically, the digital camera mounts.

Thanks,
Kory
Mike here: OPT sells Scopetronix accessories. [note: I have a relationship with OPT]

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