ETX USER FEEDBACK - 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: email@example.com (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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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: ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/philau 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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.com
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: 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. Michael
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 choice)? 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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.imada.ou.dk/~kjeld http://www.bifrostnet.dk/maalestation
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: email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: [M]: OT: ETX/390 or Photo Lenses (Nikon 1000mm reflex f/11) ? To: email@example.com 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.
Subject: Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 1998 03:34:17 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.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 use. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. Wayne
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: email@example.com (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" Dob. Executive Summary: By the time I'd finished, I would have saved both time and money by buying another Orion EZ finder, but read on... 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 switch! 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 email@example.com
Subject: GGGGRRRREEEEAAATTT Site Sent: Thursday, September 17, 1998 20:25:37 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.com
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: http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~vhchan/etx.html 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... Bye, Vincent. -- Vincent Chan e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org University of Victoria web: http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~vhchan/
Subject: Field of view Sent: Thursday, September 17, 1998 12:29:48 From: email@example.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? Thanks, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.holadayinc.com
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: email@example.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: his.etri.re.kr/~cwyoon/Astro/myscope.html Mike, you may want to add a link to this... -Mike Reed
Subject: Moto Focus Sent: Monday, September 14, 1998 11:32:41 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.com (Gary Bunevitch) I use the Celestron Ultima barlow with my ETX - works fine. Gary
Subject: eyepiece Sent: Sunday, September 13, 1998 00:02:10 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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? FYI --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 etc. --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 years. --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. --Barry
Subject: Question about ETX and Celestron Barlow compatibility Sent: Saturday, September 12, 1998 10:41:35 From: email@example.com (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 tremendously.
Subject: RE: Future Video Submission Sent: Friday, September 11, 1998 13:56:41 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Hardin, Bill) Here are some links that you absolutely have to add to your web page: The Lunar Web Site (some cool moon observation activities ETX users will love). www.texasconnection.com/lunar/ Up to the minute weather info (what ETX user doesn't want to know how the seeing will be?). http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/main.html The Messier Catalog (ETX users, push you scope to its limit). seds.lpl.arizona.edu/messier/Messier.html 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: email@example.com (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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Thanks! Susan -- 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: email@example.com (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 darker." 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 this? 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! Rick
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: email@example.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.
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. Bob
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. regards John
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: email@example.com (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. Bye, Vincent. -- Vincent Chan e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org University of Victoria web: http://www.engr.uvic.ca/~vhchan/
Subject: ETX questions Sent: Monday, September 7, 1998 13:15:45 From: email@example.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, Burke ------------------------------------------------------------------- John Burke Burnett 1514 17th St., NW Tel.202-973-2224 Washington, DC 20036 Fax 202-887-5188 firstname.lastname@example.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.com http://www.holadayinc.com
Subject: ETX Equatorial Wedge Tripod Sent: Friday, September 4, 1998 07:30:29 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ron McCafferty) Has anyone had any luck using a video camera through the eyepiece? Ron McCafferty email@example.com
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. Regards, Frank
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.
Subject: AGAIN, SOME QUESTIONS FROM SPAIN 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com (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 to......) 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!!!
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