Last updated: 29 September 1998

If you have any comments, suggestions, 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:	 4mm eyepiece
Sent:	Tuesday, September 29, 1998 18:07:53
From:	larry.oconnor@shaw.wave.ca (Larry OConnor)
Thanks for providing a unique forum for us ETX users to share
information.  I've been an avid reader since the beginning of
this year, when I acquired a scope.
I was recently ( Sep. 28) startled again with the performance of
the ETX.  I acquired a 4mm. eyepiece, with some other stuff from
a fellow observer, and while looking at the Moon, plugged it into
my 2x Meade Barlow.  As I see it, that produces something in the
order of 600+X.  Way over powered for what you should be
using..right...well, I was easily able to observe details in the
terminator region.  Needless to say, I was somewhat suprised at
the ability of the optics.  (again)

I'm looking forward to being able to inpement some of the other
ideas offered that deal with the RA driv, but hear your warnings
re: the warranty.

Thanks again for providing all the insights into the
possibilities with the ETX.

A faithfull reader
Larry O'Connor

Subject:	 My Astrophoto gallery
Sent:	Tuesday, September 29, 1998 02:29:19
From:	Philippe.Laurent@geis.ge.com (Laurent, Philippe (GEIS))
I have taken several pictures with my ETX with the technique you
described in your site (a Casio digital camera on the eyepiece).
You can find them in my astrophoto gallery:

Feel free to add it to your links if you wish.

Thank you very much for the time you take for giving us so much
info, and long live to your site !

Philippe Laurent (France)

Subject:	 Great Page!!!
Sent:	Sunday, September 27, 1998 17:43:34
From:	mcharla1@nycap.rr.com (Mark Charland)
Hello, and thank you for having such a great resource for the
ETX! Just to let you know, my wife got me an ETX on Friday-9/25
for my b-day present. This is my first telescope, and I brought
it outside that night. I was able to look around, not knowing
what I was looking at, just stars. Then, the clouds came in :(. A
little while later, I went out again and pointed it at the
brightest thing in the sky, and I was able to tell it was Jupiter
with 3 of the moons visible. I was able to see faintly the color
bands with the default 26mm lens. Then more clouds came in, end
of night. I got on the net and posted a message to the
sci.astro.amateur newgroup, and posted a message. the next day,
there were 2 replies with links to your page! Since then, I've
read all the pages. So, now I want to buy a Barlow. What are your
thoughts on them, as in mfg., is Orion better than meade? what
about those 2x-3x ones? Is 3x too strong for the ETX? I see I can
buy online from Orion, but not Meade. Does it really matter who I
get one from? Also, whats the difference between the "shorty"
type and the longer ones? Sorry to overwhelm you with all the
questions, but if they were answered, it would be great!
Thanks, Mark

Mike here: You'll find a Barlow review on the Accessories - Eyepieces page. You can also search the site for "barlow" user comments on other Barlow Lens. About the only thing you have to be concerned with when using a Barlow with the ETX is whether it is too long to all the ETX to focus. Depending upon the eyepiece, 3X may or may not be too much. 5X usually is too much for the ETX.

Subject:	 Canon EOS REBEL, Not a good Choice
Sent:	Friday, September 25, 1998 15:51:10
From:	peterm@actcom.co.il (Peter Mostovoy)
My name is Peter, and as a result of reading your site, I decided
to get an ETX.  Actually I planned buying it for over 5 months,
until I got up the courage.  At the time I decided to get a good
SLR camera as well. Well at the store (Wolf camera in Orland Park
Il) The salesman recomended the EOS Rebel,  I wanted a Nikon, but
they did not stock the adapter, and he claimed that it would be a
waste of money.  I tried it out in the store in daylight and it
worked great. That night it was a quarter moon and everything
turned out fine.  Then I flew back to Israel (where I am from)
and tried the combination again.  Bad choice.  It turns out that
the grain in the mat of the viewfinder of the cannon cannot
resolve even objects as big as Jupiter.  The focus is pure
guesswork.  I have been able to take great pictures of the moon,
and landscape pictures in the day, but all of my attempts at
night pictures have been stymied,  I have to guess at 3-5
different focus points at each exposure.
I hope that anybody who has this combination of camera/telescope
that has been able to do anything would let me know,

And this is a WARNING to anybody buying this combination to make
sure that they have an ASTRONOMICAL viewfinder in their camera.

Good seeing to all (from here in Israel on a mountain 2300 ft
high I enjoy almost every night!)

Peter Mostovoy

Mike here: Most consumer cameras have viewfinders that are not well suited to astrophotography. Some cameras have the ability to interchange viewfinders with screens better for astrophotography.

Subject: Site Access Problems
From: Mike Weasner
On Tuesday of this week many of you (and me too) got a URL not found error from AOL's Hometown area when trying to access the ETX site. My apologies for this. AOL Hometown's web server was apparently having some problem. The problem only appeared when trying to go to the index.html page. Accessing any of the other pages directly worked fine. Should this happen in the future please try again in a few hours.

Subject:	 Telescope Cleaning
Sent:	Thursday, September 24, 1998 06:07:20
From:	Michael.A.Amisano@abnamro.com
Amateur astronomer needs help!! Well, I finally made the plunge
and purchased an ETX telescope. I really don't have too much free
time to go stargazing but I figured, why not. I have a problem
though. This is my very first telescope and I am not sure what
type of maintainence should be performed. Recently, I took the
telescope out to view Jupiter and I noticed the image was
slightly blurry with a halo around it. I tried cleaning the
eyepiece and the barlow lense, but to no avail. I am a little
leary of cleaning the main lense, I don't want to ruin anything.
Could you please tell me what the best way to clean the lenses
are and possibly what to use? I really appreciate it. Also, I
just want to comment on how great it is to have a site like yours
on the net...it is VERY informative. Without a site like yours, I
feel I would be lost without a map in the hobby if Astronomy.

Mike here: Search the site for "clean"; you'll get several hits. But the biggest suggestion I can make is that most people over clean their optics. Unless the optics were smeared with something (including some "cleaning" solutions) and unless dust is visible in great quantities, cleaning is usually not necessary.

Subject:	 ETX telescope questions
Sent:	Wednesday, September 23, 1998 15:31:32
From:	kjeld@imada.ou.dk (Kjeld Jensen)
Denmark is calling...
I have studied your ETX website and in my opinion it is just
about the best site for collecting informations about the ETX.
When you are maintaining such an informative site you are
probably one of the best persons to ask questions to and I hope
that you may find a few minutes to answer mine.

I study physics and applied mathematics and I am interested in
solar-terrestrial physics and astronomy. I am considering buying
a telescope because I think it would be a good way of combining
theory and practice.

As a student I don't have the money to build an entire
observatory, but on the other hand I won't buy a beginners
telescope that become insufficient within a short time. I would
like to combine it with some astrophotography using my Canon EOS
camera and I am planning to dedicate my quicktime camera to a ccd
camera project (an ETX, a quickcam and a mac powerbook would
indeed be the perfect combination :-)

What I need is some advices regarding a comparision of the
different telescopes available on the market. I have considered
the Meade 4500, the Meade refractor model 395, the ETX and the
smaller telescopes of the Meade LX series ((the LX series is
actually a bit beyond my economical limit).

The ETX is portable and that would be a good reason to buy it,
but the size does probably put a limit on the optical
performance. How does it perform compared to e.g. the other
telescopes (especially the 4500 that probably would be my second

Several people on the net describes the ETX mechanics and drive
as primitive and low-quality styled, what is your opinion? Will I
be able to take good pictures of e.g. Saturn or the Sun using the
ETX?  What about distant stars?

Which extra eyepieces would you recommend for the ETX? Any other
nessesary equipment that I should consider buying?

Thank you in advance
                 Kjeld Jensen

Stud.scient Kjeld Jensen
Applied Mathematics and Physics
Odense University, Denmark
Email: kjeld@imada.ou.dk, kjeld@bifrostnet.dk

Mike here: Glad you like the site. Most of your questions are answered here. Check the Buyer/New User Tips page. I don't have any opinions on other scopes except to say that price, quality, size, and features should be considered. For many purposes the ETX is perfect. But for other purposes either a larger scope would be better or one with a better drive or both. But then cost likely increases and portability goes down. Always tradeoffs. The ETX can be used for "limited" astrophotography, as demonstrated on the site. But you won't be able to do deep sky, long duration exposures. For that you need a better drive, sturdy mounting, and a larger objective.

Subject:	 New ETX owner.
Sent:	Tuesday, September 22, 1998 11:47:24
From:	jwatkins@orenda.com (John Watkinson)
Just to let you know that I really find your web site useful, I
have been interested in Astronomy for many years and have just
purchased a Meade ETX. The decision to go with the ETX was based
on my requirements and circumstances, and the information given
in your site, including some of the very useful links that are
referenced. Maybe one day, I will send some photographs to you
for your site (in the distant future I think, once I have learnt
some of the basics!). I continue to read your site and hope that
I may be able to contribute something someday. Keep up the good
work Mike.
		Best Regards
		John Watkinson	(Toronto, Ontario)

Subject:	 [M]: OT: ETX/390 or Photo Lenses (Nikon 1000mm reflex f/11) ?
Sent:	Tuesday, September 22, 1998 05:26:43
From:	celso.diniz@Brazil.Sun.COM (Celso Diniz - ISV Account Manager)
I've seen your Terrestrial Photographs with eyepiece projection
and for the first time I realized that it is possible to take
photos not only connecting the camera directly to the telescope.
In fact you can put an eyepiece between them in order to get
closer to the subject. Isn't it ? Your site example is really
good and clear.
Could you please take a look on the question that I posted today
to Mapug and give me your considerations about it ?

Thank you very much.
Regards, Celso.

------------- Begin Forwarded Message -------------

Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 08:48:01 -0300 (EST)
From: Celso Diniz - ISV Account Manager (celso@terra.com)
Subject: [M]: OT: ETX/390 or Photo Lenses (Nikon 1000mm reflex f/11) ?
To: mapug@shore.net

Hello Mapugers, 

Talking about terrestrial photography and regardless the price
matter how do you compare a Nikon F=1000mm reflex f/11 lens with
the ETX Maksutov-Cassegrain F=1250mm f/13.8 ? I am concerned
about optical quality and portability.

If portability is not a problem, is there any other Mead product
that I should think about ? Like Achromatic Refractor F=1000mm
f/11 Model 390 ?

Does things change when we talk about astrophotography ?

Thank you all.
Regards, Celso.


Mike here: I have no experience with the Nikon F=1000mm reflex f/11 lens but certainly the ETX makes a great telephoto lens! You can remove it from the fork mount, it even has a tripod screw hole on the bottom of the tube. And yes, you could do eyepiece project terrestrial photography or prime focus.

Sent:	Tuesday, September 22, 1998 03:34:17
From:	sfe@magic.fr (sfe)
Everything works perfectly with your new site design.
One more time you did an excellent job :-)

Many thanks - Bruno Najac

P.S. - I use Netscape 3.04 on a PC

Subject:	 various
Sent:	Sunday, September 20, 1998 23:23:34
From:	ronmccafferty@email.msn.com (Ron McCafferty)
I like the phase one layout.  I use Microsoft Explorer 4.0 and
everything looks good.  I was using the No Frame option which
worked but was cumbersome.
Someone requested star-hopping information.  I can recommend the
book Star-Hopping Your Visa to Viewing the Universe by Robert
Garfinkle, Cambridge University Press.  I paid 17 dollars.  My
only complaint is that I would like more structured directions. 
The author tends to blend directions and desciptions.  Having
said that and making no promises I will try to make some star
hopping guides for the ETX based on the book.  They will
definitely be aimed at the amateur since that's my skill level. 
I'll email them to you in the near future.

Based on the site feedback I think pre-purchase site visitors
could use some reasons to buy the ETX versus other types or sizes
of scopes.  I'll mention the items that made me choose the ETX
and be happy with my decision.   It isn't a recomendation since
everyone is different just why the ETX works for me.

1. Portability.  The ETX weighs 12 lbs and fits in a bag roughly
15" x 8" x 8".   Most other scopes weigh considerably more and
have a dimensions bigger than 15".  I used the box as my "case"
for several weeks.

2. Terrestrial (Day time) viewing.  I want to be able to look at
climbers on El Capitan while camping in Yosemite and other
objects.  While I haven't looked through many  telescopes during
the day many larger ones are listed as unsuitable for day time

3. The motor.  Most of my viewing is done in a family atmosphere.
I find an object, turn on the motor, and the rest of the family
can look without me having to constantly readjust the scope.

4. The tripod.  Many scopes do not include a tripod which
dramatically increases the cost of using the scope.  I plan on
buying a field tripod but have found the table tripod and a
picnic table to work just fine.  The nice thing about a picnic
table is that it provides a useable height for everyone.  Adults
can lean and my kids can climb on the table and look through the
viewfinder.   I use a heavy duty video tripod sometimes that
wobbles and needs readjusted when it's the kid's turn.

Thanks again for a great site,
Ron McCafferty

Subject:	 New Layout
Sent:	Sunday, September 20, 1998 22:12:24
From:	wayneh7974@earthlink.net (Wayne Hale)
Mike, your new layout looks great.  I just got back from a week
in Northern Wyoming, had one night of very good seeing and used
the ETX to view Jupiter and Saturn plus the Andromeda Galaxy. 
Atmosphere was a little hazy but for the first time in a long
time, saw the Milky Way in its splendor.

Subject: ETX Site Redesign - Phase 1 Done
From: Mike Weasner
As mentioned earlier, I am redesigning this site. As you can see, the first phase is done (removing the problematic frame layout). This will eliminate the problems caused by the addition of the new AOL Hometown banner. Please let me know if you find any page layout problems or broken links. I am now beginning Phase 2, a more extensive redesign to better use the additional disk space allocation from AOL. The site will be down for a short while during the changes since all pages have to be updated (again). A temporary "site down" page will appear if you try to access the site during the upload period.

Subject:	Re: ETX photo-Orion
Sent:	Saturday, September 19, 1998 14:49:34
From:	LTHUEDK@aol.com
I recall very cold fingers working the declination knob, with
occasional R A tweekings, as well, on that cold night.  At the
time, I was worried that the little R A motor would lack enough
torque for the job.  But it did fine. The circuit modification
allowing potentiometer voltage adjustment was, and is the key.
I used a Nikon N2000 body with locking cable release (&
card-over-the-tube), Meade I-R Multi-coated 9mm plossl, and fresh
batteries.  To me, M31 poses the biggest challenge to the little
scope that could.

Recently, I purchased a used Zeiss 14mm ep (allegedly, since
there are no markings) which gives views of startling clarity. 
That is does, is suprising, since the inner lens element looks
terrible-as if it was sprinkled with acid rain-with much coating
removed in spotty fashion.  Anyway, I could care less, as it
gives resolution beyond anything I've seen in the ETX.  I want
more ZEISS!

Mike here: you can see the photo on the Guest Astrophotography Gallery - Deep Sky page.

Subject:	 BB-Gun Sight Mod
Sent:	Saturday, September 19, 1998 07:54:14
From:	rhudson@astro.spa.umn.edu (Richard Hudson)
I was intrigued by the instructions on modifying a BB-Gun sight,
so picked up a "Daisy" clone, brand name "Brass Eagle," for $12.
I had received the Orion EZ finder as a gift for my ETX, but
thought I'd enjoy customizing the site for my other scope, an 8"
Executive Summary: By the time I'd finished, I would have saved
both time and money by buying another Orion EZ finder, but read

The web references you cite told me everything I needed to do...
cleaning the lens with muriatic acid worked fine. (Better than
trying to pop out the lens... use an eye dropper for the acid.)
Radio Shack had the potentiometer, and installing it wasn't too
tricky. I mounted it in a couple of tiny holes in the finder,
made the solder connections directly to the pot tabs, and then
used some hot-melt glue to hold the thing in place. A pot with a
thumbwheel would have been an improvement, but Radio Shack didn't
have one.

One problem: the site didn't include a slip-on mounting plate. A
gun shop had one, but that was another $15.

I wanted to mount the finder away from my scope tube, so I
wouldn't have to lay my head down on the scope to see through the
finder. After a bit of searching, I found a carphone holder at
K-Mart that had the right combination of brackets and an
extension arm. So now the modified finder sits up about 3" away
from the scope, on a little extension arm. It's just what I
wanted... and aiming the scope is much improved.

And, of course, I have a better story to tell than just ordering
the EZ Finder over the phone! - Richard

Subject:	 Making your new ETX even better...
Sent:	Saturday, September 19, 1998 07:35:36
From:	rhudson@astro.spa.umn.edu (Richard Hudson)
An excellent site! Your many tips guided my recent purchase of
the ETX, as a more portable companion to my 8" Dob.
Guided by your users' tips, I got the right-angle finder
immediately, and then ordered the Orion Quickfinder.

I bought the Apogee right-angle from Pocono. It wouldn't focus. I
set aside the locking ring, which uses up some of the threads.
Still, the objective hit the end of the tube before reaching
focus.  Pocono just advised me to grind it down, with their
blessing.  They claimed that Meade's finder optics changes. (?) I
used a grinding wheel, although sandpaper would have worked too,
and carefully removed about an eigth of an inch of the threaded
plastic on the end of the tube. It focuses fine now, and the
grinding roughed up the edges of the threads so the objective
doesn't slip. The locking ring is no longer necessary.

For a cheap 1 x site (while you're waiting for the Orion finder
to arrive), use a piece of one-half-inch copper tubing, about 3"
long. I used rubber bands to hold it on the scope. Sighting
through the copper tubing helped me get the stars I wanted into
the finderscope. Painting it white would make it even more
useful. On a budget, you could skip the Orion finder and invest
in another eyepiece.

Looking at the JMI ads, I realized a piece of one-half-inch
plywood would make a fine tripod mount, offsetting the ETX a bit
from the head of the tripod for balance.  I used a sturdy old
video-camera tripod I found at a garage sale. The plywood is
about 6 inches wide by 10 inches long. I drilled a number of
holes for the scope mounting, and used the one where the scope
just balances when it's attached to the tripd head. The tripod
head was a little wobbly, so I made an extension out of a piece
of 1" pine that runs from the bottom of the plywood plate to one
of the tripod legs, and clamped it in place. This makes the scope
quite sturdy. Don't forget a hole so you can reach the on-off

For polar aligning, I found the Orion Easyfinder sits a bit
low--even when it's on its mounting block and the adhesive pad. 
With the scope locked in its 90 degree position, the rim of the
scope's base just blocks the view of the red spot in the Orion
finder. Taking a clue from a note on this site about 4" sewer
pipe, and how it matches the curvature of the scope tube, I
bought a sewer fitting in black plastic for $3 and cut a little
rectangle the size of the Orion mounting block. I stuck that to
the scope with double-stick pads, and then put the Orion block on
top. Now the finder sits up where it's visible however the scope
is pointed.

No problems with the tracking thus far, and the ease of setup is
just amazing. This is a fine little scope!

Cheers and thanks - Richard   rhudson@astro.spa.umn.edu

Sent:	Thursday, September 17, 1998 20:25:37
From:	cozmo@mediaone.net (chris cosentino)
Came across your site just after I purchased my EXT, and I have
to say that this is by far the most informative site for the ETX
I have found. I love that you include things that other people
have found to be either a plus(the OPtics) or a Minus (the Finder
scope) and what they did to correct or enhance it. The site is
laid out very well and easy to navigate through and the products
and accessories sections are very useful.
Well just wanted you to know what I thought and please keep up
the great work.

chris cosentino

Subject:	 Re: ETX mods
Sent:	Thursday, September 17, 1998 15:08:15
From:	vhchan@me.UVic.CA (Vincent H Chan)
Tom Gideon wrote:
> Hi Vincent,
> I'm an ETX user in sunny Woodinville (NE of Seattle). I've also done
> some extensive mods too my ETX. If and when you get the diagram for a
> drive corrector, let me know. If you what information on the
> following, I'd be glad to share.
> My Mods:
> 1- Drive base mod ( from Weasner's ETX site). This is the
> "hanger-bolt" mod to eliminate the varying friction on the RA drive.
> 2- Addition of internal DSC. Using modified MEADE Megellan I.
> 3- Addition of removable 6x30 finderscope (elimination  of unusable
> stock finder).
> 4- Home-made adjustable tripod.
> 5- Carrying case (from a pistol case).
> 6- $4 flexible dew shield.
Hi all,

Thanks Tom, for reminding me to finish my ETX page.  It can be
found at:


I've put together a schematic of the drive corrector.  It's
mostly pushbuttons and switches, but it really works well for
taking up the backlash and moving the object to where you want it
in the field of view.  I think I've "fixed" most of the
deficiencies that were really fustrating me.  Now if I could
somehow get real thrust bearings in there...


Vincent Chan			e-mail:	vhchan@me.uvic.ca
University of Victoria		web:	http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~vhchan/

Subject:	 Field of view
Sent:	Thursday, September 17, 1998 12:29:48
From:	sstadler@holadayinc.com (Steve Stadler)
According to a book I read, The true field of view = the apparent
field of view of the eyepeice / magnification.
This would mean that by using the eyepeice that comes with the
ETX Astro (26mm) which gives you a magnification of 48X, you get
a true field of view of 1.08 degrees.  The apparent field of view
is 52 degrees for this eyepeice.

Is this correct?

I was thinking that the moon doesn't fill up the view with this
eyepeice, and looking at something like the Andromeda, which I
haven't found yet from my extremely light polluted backyard,
takes up 2 degrees of view.  Is andromeda that big? or is there a
problem in the equation I am using?


Steven R. Stadler
Senior Principal Development Engineer
Electronics Design
Holaday Industries, Inc
14825 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344

PH:  (612) 934-4920
Fax: (612) 934-3604

Mike here: The full moon does nearly fill the 26mm eyepiece. Andromeda is pretty big but also diffuse so you are not likely to see it's full extent in a telescope like the ETX. Actually a good set of 7x50 binoculars at a dark site will show it better.

Subject:	 ETX manual
Sent:	Thursday, September 17, 1998 11:56:44
From:	RandomSF@wctc.net (S Friedemann)
I know it's not on your site, but might there be copyright
problems putting a copy of the ETX manual on the Internet?
Scott F.

Mike here: I didn't check to see if the scanned table of contents page where Meade has their copyright info was included. If so, one could possibly argue that no copyright was violated. On the other hand, I'm no lawyer and don't plan to be one.

Subject:	  Just a little question about your ETX
Sent:	Wednesday, September 16, 1998 15:10:08
From:	joel.Vedrenne@mail.dotcom.fr (Joel Vedrenne)
I saw photographies in your Web site. Did you really took
photographies in the "Astrophotography Gallery" with your ETX ?
If yes this is incredible how a such little instrument is good
!!!! It is good too to see sky and planets ?
See ya. Joel.

Mike here: Absolutely! The ETX is one amazing telescope.

Subject:	 RE:MEADE home page
Sent:	Tuesday, September 15, 1998 06:30:09
From:	mreed@eai.com (Mike Reed)
Daniel A. Sanchez wrote:
>I just purchased my first telescope ever, a Meade ETX AstroScope.
>Since I bought it in Germany, the instruction manual is in
>German. I would like to ask Meade to send me a copy in Spanish or
>English, but I don't know their WWW home page.  Can someone help
>me with this one?  Thanks in advance.
A while back, I saw this. I'm sure it will help: 


Mike, you may want to add a link to this...

-Mike Reed

Subject:	 Moto Focus
Sent:	Monday, September 14, 1998 11:32:41
From:	nordic@freewwweb.com (Terry Bergan)
I do not wish to impose but, I was hopin you would take time out
of you busy schedule to help me. While looking for a good
beginner telescope I was fortunate in locating your informative
web site. With a little persuasion form a friend I purchased the
ETX.  To make a long store short. I have trouble with my Meade
dealer, when I wanted to purchase the T-adapter or the cataloge
the sent me to a camara store. When trying to get a email address
for Meade to inform them of the troubles (many!!) I have had with
this dealer I come up empyt handed. Do you have their address?
One more item, I want to buy the Moto Focus can you tell me where
and how to order it.
                                   So much for a short story!
                                   Thank you for your time.
                                    Terry Bergan                       

Mike here: Meade does not have an email address you can use. Sorry. You can either fax something to them or call them. Phone numbers are on their web site (www.meade.com). The MotoFocus is available from JMI. See the review on the Accessories - Showcase Products page.

Subject:	 Celestron Ultima barlow
Sent:	Sunday, September 13, 1998 16:36:45
From:	gjb@iglou.com (Gary Bunevitch)
I use the Celestron Ultima barlow with my ETX - works fine.

Subject:	 eyepiece
Sent:	Sunday, September 13, 1998 00:02:10
From:	a2z@inficad.com (Barry A. Kintner)
Good day -
--Thanks for the effort on the page, it really helps.
--I guess I will be getting and ETX spotting scope soon. I am
still looking for a straight-through eyepiece and am wondering if
the Tele-Vue Porro Prism will work with this scope? And how about
reducing the magnification of this lens? I plan on the Tele-Vue
24mm-8mm zoom and the 40mm at this time. Reasonable choices?

--Another writer asked you if anyone had any experience with
video through a scope. The current issue of, I think it was
Camcorder had some general info, but I found (stumbled upon) a
site which was basically advertising an adapter for just this
usage. Gave magnifications etc. Showed a photo of a user with a
20-60 Discoverer (?) and when used with a 1/4" CCD gave 38,800x
(yes 38,800) and with 1/3" gave like 28,000 and others. I was
amazed at the quality of the image (admittedly not photo quality
- but very discernible images) when this setup was used. Stated
the adapter could be used with video, digital video, night-vision
--This site appears to be an advertisement for the company's lens
adapter. (L-E Adapter) It has a good bit of info regarding the
use of their adapter for connecting to Monoculars, Binoculars,
Spotting Scopes, Telescopes, Microscopes, etc.
--On the top of their sites' page it refers to an article in
"Camcorder Magazine, January 1998 issue.
--I'd have to examine this thing more carefully but I thought
that it just seemed to be a "centering and spacing" device, in my
opinion. When I read the information about this adapter was that
it seemed to be just like a home made device using PVC type
tubing and properly drilled holes to center and space the
eyepiece to the camera used. We had made similar items over the
--My memory may be accurate or not since I have not had an
opportunity to examine this item. This device seems to be
somewhat pricey for what it does.
--OK, OK - site info www.stillwtr.com/leadapter
--Hope this helps someone enjoy a bit more.
--Thanks again.

Subject:	 Question about ETX and Celestron Barlow compatibility
Sent:	Saturday, September 12, 1998 10:41:35
From:	ofkdolph@telusplanet.net (Oliver F. Kratschat)
I have a quick question concerning the ETX and Celestron's
apochromatic, 2x, 1.25" Ultima Barlow lens. The question is: Will
the barlow fit into the eyepiece holder of the ETX or not? The
part of the barlow that is intended to extend into the eyepiece
holder is 32mm in length. Will it work?
If you could get back to me as soon as possible I would greatly
appreciate it (I am hopeing to order the telescope and its
accessories within the next day).

Thanks in advance,
Oliver F. Kratschat

P.S. Keep up the great work with your website. It has assisted me

Subject:	 RE: Future Video Submission
Sent:	Friday, September 11, 1998 13:56:41
From:	bhardin@bellarmine.edu (Hardin, Bill)
Here are some links that you absolutely have to add to your web
The Lunar Web Site (some cool moon observation activities ETX
users will love).

Up to the minute weather info (what ETX user doesn't want to know
how the seeing will be?).

The Messier Catalog (ETX users, push you scope to its limit).
Also, let users know that Ed Ting is the source for real frank
and accurate reviews. Even though he pans the ETX, everything
that he recommended (and I bought) was extremely good.  Note: his
issues with the ETX are right on the money as well.  I still like
my ETX since it is so portable.

Bill Hardin Ph.D. 
Department of Mathematics
Bellarmine College

Subject:	 RA and DEC.
Sent:	Friday, September 11, 1998 00:52:55
From:	thilgen@worldnet.att.net (Wm. G. Thilgen Jr.)
I know this not a ETX type of question, but I do have a ETX and
until I learn how to set it up correctly. I am not going to have
any fun. I understand what RA and DEC is suppose to do. My
problem is the setting circles. Where do you set the zero on the
RA circle? Is it to Polaris or the Magnetic North Pole or what. I
know how to set up the ETX for Polar alignment but I don't know
where to zero the circles. Hope you can help.
Love this site, I was thinking about getting into astronomy for a
long time. And after coming across your site, I made the plunge.

Mike here: You should probably pick up a basic book on Astronomy at your local bookstore. But simply put, Right Ascension is like longitude and Declination like latitude. RA is measured in hours, minutes, and seconds of position, and DEC in degrees, minutes, and seconds. When the ETX is pointed at the North Pole (in the Northern Hemisphere), DEC should read 90 degrees. When it is pointed anywhere along the celestrial equator DEC should read zero degrees. RA is more difficult as the RA circle must be set using the position of a known object. You can get positions from books with star charts, from Astronomy charting software, and from some web sites. You set the RA at the beginning of an abserving session and as long as the drive continues to run, the RA circle will be (approximately) correct. However, you don't always have to set the RA circle to observe objects. You can use charts to move from one bright star to another star and finally to your desired object. That is known as "star hopping".

Subject:	 Discount Coupon for DewBlocker Dew Caps
Sent:	Thursday, September 10, 1998 09:55:49
From:	prc@riskconsulting.com
I'm pleased to advise you that PRC, the maker of DewBlocker Dew
Caps, is offering a coupon to the readers of your site.
From now through the month of October 1998, ETX owners should
mention coupon #WE814 when ordering to receive $1.50 off the cost
of the DewBlocker!

Ordering details are at http://www.riskconsulting.com/dewblk.htm

DewBlocker - "The insulating dew cap!"
Available in most sizes at: http://www.riskconsulting.com/dewblk.htm

Mike here: Normally the DewBlocker goes for $12.95 + $2.50 S&H.

Subject:	 ETX & Narrowband Lumicon UHC compatibility
Sent:	Thursday, September 10, 1998 03:34:49
From:	mark.ledingham@ub.uit.no (Mark Ledingham)
I sent an inquiry to Astronomics a few days ago about whether I
could use the Narrowband Lumicon UHC filter on the ETX, and I
received the following reply:
"It will work with the eyepieces you have, but I don't think
you'll see much of an improvement with that particular scope. 
The ETX is really to small to do any detailed deep space viewing.
Plus the filter will make a dark scope(f/13.8) appear even

Here I had seriously considered purchasing this filter for use on
my ETX but now I am in doubt about its use on the ETX. Is such a
filter only for use on larger scopes? Thanks for any advice.

Clear skies,
Mark Ledingham

Mike here: That is generally true. However, check the Accessories - Filters page for a review of the OIII filter.

Subject:	 ETX recommendations
Sent:	Wednesday, September 9, 1998 22:09:11
From:	nicnrick@inreach.com (Nic and Rick Happoldt)
I have a C8 I am selling to buy a more portable instrument.  I am
consider either an ETX or a TeleVue Pronto.  Can you comment on
Also, what kind of performance can I expect from the ETX on the
Moon, Planets, and brighter deep sky objects?  What is the
highest useful magnification you find for the ETX?  How does the
ETX scope perform with a UHC filter?

I have read your web-site, but I would like to hear your opinion.
I know I am giving up light and resolving power, but I have
heard that I will get sharper and more contrasty views of the
objects I like to look at most, and that's the planets and moon.

Thanks for input!


Mike here: As you can tell from mine and many other user comments, the ETX performs admirably on the moon, planets, and many nebulae. I can't comment directly on the Pronto. With the ETX you get the drive, portability, plus lots of great add-ons.

Subject:	 ETX
Sent:	Wednesday, September 9, 1998 20:14:39
From:	coocoo@ix.netcom.com (Denis)
Hi. My name is Denis Dodson and I have an ETX. I am VERY new at
observing and if you don't mind I'd appreciate it if you could
answer a few questions. Can the ETX show me an object like the
Ring Nebula in Lyra? Andromeda Spiral Galaxy? If I want to see
things like that clearly, will a 10" Dob do it? I am trying to
decide the best quality and sight with a moderate budget. Let's
use the Ring Nebula. What instrument would I need to see it
clearly? Also, if I understand the ETX has an apature of 13.
Isn't that very high? I was believing I needed F4 or F8. Will a
dob satisfy that easier?
Thank you.

Mike here: It is possible to see the Ring Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy, as well as many other objects with the ETX. Yes, a larger aperture helps with faint objects. As I and many others have pointed out on my ETX site, it all depends on how you want to use a telescope. Large scopes are fine, IF you go to the extra effort to set them up, whereas the ETX is small enough to set up at a moment's notice.

Added later:

Thanks for the info. As a matter of fact, I have my ETX and a
tripod packed for a trip tp West Texas, I'm leaving at 3:00. My
ETX is going as carry-on. You can't do that with many telescopes.

Subject:	web page
Sent:	Tuesday, September 8, 1998 21:02:12
From:	BMartin615@aol.com
Whats with your web page?  I can only read it by scrolling one
line at a time now. Has  anyone one else experienced the same
problem.  I' m using AOL.

Mike here: Sorry about the problem. I suspect it is due to the new Hometown banner on AOL and the use of frames by the site. You might want to try the "no frames" version ("NF" at the top of the menu). As noted near the bottom of this Feedback page, I'll be redesigning the site soon and will be removing the frames.

Subject:	 Great page 
Sent:	Tuesday, September 8, 1998 10:05:41
From:	evansfam@thunder.internorth.com (evans)
I am seriously interested in purchasing an ETX.  Do you have any
info on reputable, mail order, or web based dealers who would
offer the ETX at any kind of discounted price...
The closet dealer to me is offering an ETX for US$615.00
including the carry bag, and high latitude adaptor.

Any info you have would be appreciated.



Mike here: That price for a bag and high latitude leg (if you need one) is a good price. But the bag may not be what you ultimately want to have and if you don't need the leg, then the price is a little high. Most mail order (or any dealer for that matter) are not discounting the ETX. It is too popular. As to Mail Order companies, check some of the dealers on the Links page on my site, also the ads in Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines.

Subject:	 MEADE home page
Sent:	Tuesday, September 8, 1998 03:58:39
From:	Daniel A. Sanchez@ibm.net (Daniel A. Sanchez)
I just purchased my first telescope ever, a Meade ETX AstroScope.
Since I bought it in Germany, the instruction manual is in
German. I would like to ask Meade to send me a copy in Spanish or
English, but I don't know their WWW home page.  Can someone help
me with this one?  Thanks in advance.
Daniel A. Sanchez, Hamburg, Germany

Mike here: Meade's web page is shown on the Links page. But it really won't help since there is no manual online nor an email address. You'll have to call them by phone.

Subject:	 meade etx
Sent:	Tuesday, September 8, 1998 00:52:54
From:	mylesj@usunwired.net (Kevin Gennuso)
Hello! I received my etx about one month ago. It's been nothing
but GREAT!! I've looked at your site for about two months now, as
sort of a "buyer's guide", and for info on problems, etc.  Teflon
pads haven't flown out yet. Mabye they won't. I live in
Louisiana, but I really haven't had any problems w/humidity and
dew on lenses(although it is definetly humid!). This telescope is
a real gem. Granted it's my first, I really love it! I took my
wife and son(he's two months old) to my parents a few weeks ago.
I brought the etx to show them, and also dad had to see what I
had sold all of my golf clubs for! Well, after each took a turn
at the moon and Jupiter with it's four "offspring", they were
totally blown away! I just got in from my first look at Saturn,
and I am blown away. It's 2 a.m. here, and I woke my wife  up to
see it. Being she's a new mom, all the sleep to be had is
appreciated. She wasn't too mad(after seeing Saturn). Well, keep
up the site. It's a real resource, as I use it often. Thanks for
helping my family and I to open our eyes to this spectacular and
awe inspiring universe we live in! Later... Kevin Gennuso

Subject:	 Re: ETX drive
Sent:	Monday, September 7, 1998 17:55:31
From:	vhchan@me.UVic.CA (Vincent H Chan)
Thanks for the tips.  Actually, all I wanted to know if I could
wire in a bypass switch to put more voltage to the motor, so that
the gear slack could be quickly taken up.  Received about a half
dozen responses, some people say that the motor can take up to 9
volts continuous, 12v in short bursts.  So, I wound up making was
a hand held drive corrector for the RA motor, powered form a 9v
battery, using a IC voltage regulator chip.  Similar to the
Microstar, but for the RA motor only, and with more adjustments. 
I'll have to put the circuit diagrams on my web page some day.

Vincent Chan                e-mail: vhchan@me.uvic.ca
University of Victoria      web:    http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~vhchan/

Subject:	 ETX questions
Sent:	Monday, September 7, 1998 13:15:45
From:	johnburkeburnett@email.msn.com (John Burke Burnett)
I've had my ETX for a couple of weeks now, and now have had a few
good clear nights to take it out for a spin.
A couple of concerns: When I focus, the image in the viewfinder
shifts either to the left or to the right (nearly out of view,
when using high magnifications), depending on which way I turn
the knob.  Is this normal?  I gather that Schmidt-Cassegrains
have this problem (known as "image shift"), but since the ETX is
not an SC, I'm not sure if it's the same design problem or a
mechanical one specific to my scope.

Also, the images I'm getting (ex. Jupiter, Saturn) aren't as
crisp as I'd expected.  Granted, I live in downtown Washington DC
(on the top floor of an apartment building, so I use the roof for
unobstructed views), so there is a LOT of light pollution (can't
see Polaris with naked eye).  And, now is the middle of summer,
so we're getting a lot of thermal atmospheric instability. I can
make out the bands on Jupiter when it's high in the sky, using
high magnification (9.7mm plus a Barlow).  Otherwise, (when it's
lower, or using a 6.4mm (no Barlow), it's not very clear. 
Likewise, I can maybe just barely (?) make out the Cassini
Division when using the 9.7 +, but overall, the clarity is
definitely not what I'd been expecting.

Can you help answer whether these are these atmospheric
(either/both light pollution and thermal radiation), or optical
problems with my scope?

Many thanks,


John Burke Burnett
1514 17th St., NW                         Tel.202-973-2224
Washington, DC 20036                      Fax 202-887-5188


Mike here: I never noticed any major image shift in my ETX. Perhaps yours in out of collimation? Your dealer can replace the unit. If planets look good when high in the sky and not so good when lower, this is likely a result of atmospheric turbulence, especially if viewing from and over roofs that got hot during the day.

Subject:	 ETX Discussion Group
Sent:	Monday, September 7, 1998 08:00:30
From:	atimke@famvid.com (Allan Timke)
I clicked on the ETX Discussion Group link in your Other
Astronomy Links. It took me to the Deja News registration screen.
I registered and searched all over but couldn't find the group.
Please advise. - Al Timke

Mike here: See the announcement on the June 1998 Feedback page.

Subject:	 Basic camera adaptor for the Meade ETX
Sent:	Friday, September 4, 1998 10:15:16
From:	sstadler@holadayinc.com (Steve Stadler)
I tries inserting the 2X barlow lens into the telescope, then
inserting the basic camera adaptor into the 2X barlow lens.
It works perfectly.

Steven R. Stadler
Senior Principal Development Engineer
Electronics Design
Holaday Industries, Inc
14825 Martin Drive
Eden Prairie, MN  55344

PH:  (612) 934-4920
Fax: (612) 934-3604

Subject:	 ETX Equatorial Wedge Tripod
Sent:	Friday, September 4, 1998 07:30:29
From:	demillo@synapix.com (Rob DeMillo)
Thanks for the web page, its perfect!
I have read the user reviews of the mating of the JMI Equatorial
wedge to the Meade field tripod... There is a better solution:
for $219, JMI sells its own mating of their equatorial wedge and
a tripod. I *love* this thing, its just what the doctor ordered. 
It's stable and its portable. I just came back from a California
trip (I live in Boston), and I took my ETX and the wedge/tripod.
Setups were quick, the platform was stable.

Recommendation: buy this thing!

- Rob

Rob DeMillo				Graphics Technology Group, SynaPix Inc.
email						demillo@synapix.com
phone						978-970-5300 x202

Mike here: I review the JMI tripod and wedge on the Showcase Products page.

Subject:	 Various
Sent:	Thursday, September 3, 1998 20:01:08
From:	ronmccafferty@email.msn.com (Ron McCafferty)
Has anyone had any luck using a video camera through the
Ron McCafferty

Subject:	Re: Eyepieces etc.
Sent:	Wednesday, September 2, 1998 15:27:52
From:	FGBIKE@aol.com
For info. the RKE eyepieces have anti-reflection coatings, and
are currently in production and are American made.  Don't know if
that is a plus or minus.

Subject:	 ETX Tripod
Sent:	Wednesday, September 2, 1998 15:23:53
From:	rong@pogo.WV.TEK.COM (Ronald M Gilbert)
Has anyone gotten more info on the ETX Tripod? I'm looking for
more details on this item.  I under- stand that shipping will
start sometime in late Sept. I looked in Meades online catalog
but they don't say too much about it in relationship to setting
up the scope and controls, etc.

Mike here: I'm hoping to receive one soon. I'll put comments online as quickly as possible.

Sent:	Wednesday, September 2, 1998 10:31:39
We are searching for a telescope to use in birding, especially in
seabird and wader watching, and we need a great magnify (at least
50x or higher). We try to purchase a ETX Spotting Scope (a new
ETX version for terrestrial use), but here in Spain we cant find
good information about. We have some questions about. Please,
1) Have you tested this new equipement?
2) Dou you think is suitable for our special birding requirement ?
3) The use of Barlow 2x lens suposse a decrease in optic and
image quality (using it with standard 26 mm Super Ploss
eyepiece)?, or could be better purchasing an aditional 13 mm
Super Wide Angle eyepiece?
4) Can you recommend us some USA serious retailers about this
telescope? We respect your experienced opinion.
Yours sincerily,
Luis Carrera  

Mike here: There are some birders that use the ETX. Search the site for "bird" and you will find at least one person. As to optical quality, a good 2X barlow will not noticeably decrease the quality when used with the 26mm eyepiece. The ETX spotter scope is the same as the ETX Astro model, minus the motor drive base. There are several good dealers for the ETX. But there are some restrictions on overseas shipments. Check the dealers list on the Links page.

Subject:	craig telewrap/dewcap
Sent:	Tuesday, September 1, 1998 08:16:44
From:	SonicMark2@aol.com
Great site!!
I was reading your review of the Craig Telewrap/dewcap.  Have
they fixed the reflectivity problem (the inside of the cap) yet? 
I live in Louisiana and it's pretty humid here, so a dewcap is a
necessity, and those things look so cool!

Thanks for keeping up the site.

Mark Barnett

Subject:	 Beginners Section
Sent:	Tuesday, September 1, 1998 06:47:46
From:	bhardin@bellarmine.edu (Hardin, Bill)
I bought an ETX 7/31/98.  It is OK, I like the portability.
I like your web site, especially the links.  Thanks. Here are
some suggestions (I am a beginner as many ETX owners are).

More notes for beginners:

1)	Add a spiel on "star hopping" especially the part where you
measure the FOV of the finder in terms of the stars of a familiar
constellation (which yields a scale for any star map).
2)	Add a spiel on how to polar align with the Bogen Tripod.
3)	Add notes on dealing with dew.  Let beginners know that a
dew shield is not an accessory, it is a necessity.
4)	Add Advice on cleaning optics (i.e. don't, but if you have
5)	Recommend a good book which contains star maps (I love
Dickenson's Nightwatch).

Bill Hardin

Mike here: If anyone would like to write up or provide links to some of the above, I'll add the contribution. I'll be redesigning the site over the next month or so, so I could expand the new user area. And yes, the frames will be eliminated in the redesign. Now that AOL is adding some banner stuff at the top of page, frames are no longer a viable solution, even on systems with normal font usage. I get an extra 10MB of space by having the banner and with the growth of this site we need the extra storage space!!!

Feedback Archives

Check the Feedback Archives for previous editions of the Feedback page.

Return to the top of this page.

Go back to my ETX Home Page.

Copyright ©1998 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals are Copyright © 1998 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/feedbackSep98.html