ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 31 January 2009

This page is for comments and user feedback about the "ETX Classic" telescopes. ETX Classic models include the ETX-60/70/80/90/105/125 (EC, AT, BB, Premier Edition). This page also includes comments and feedback of a general nature. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to the ETX-90RA, ETX-LS, DSX, and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.


Mike here: Long time visitors to the Site will notice a slight revision of the Feedback pages as of the 3 January 2009 Site update. The General, ETX-PE, ETX-105, ETX-125, and ETX-60/70/80 feedback pages have been combined into a single ETX Classic feedback page. The DSX and DS, Older Models feedback page have been combined into the DS, DSX, Older Models page. And the AutoStar Suite and Astronomy Software feedback pages have been merged into the Astronomy Software feedback page. I did this as a result of the new ETX-LS model that is coming soon to a dealer near you. Adding the ETX-LS feedback page increased the length of the feedback section and added one more page that you, the Site visitor, had to check and read. Since there are now three distinct models, the ETX-90RA, the ETX-EC/AT/PE, and the new ETX-LS, it seemed to make sense to combine all the EC/AT/PE models into a "Classic" designation. The ETX-90RA (the original ETX) is unique (no standard declination drive) and the ETX-LS comes with many new features. I debated whether the ETX Premier Edition should be "Classic" or its own category, and opted for including it in the Classic category since it is still the same ETX-AT with only one add-on (the LNT). The change in the finderscope to a red-dot didn't change the classic ETX design. Of course, the new ETX-LS is a new design in the mount and capabilities and so deserves its own feedback page. I hope this change meets with everyone's approval.
Subject:	Mount compatability
Sent:	Saturday, January 31, 2009 09:43:06
From:	John Coff (jcoff1@cinci.rr.com)
I am thinking about buying a Meade LXD75 mount/tripod combo.  I also
recently bought a ETX125EC and wanted to know if I will need a saddle or
dovetail base to mount the OTA to the mount. The bottom of the scope
already has the male dovetail plate.

Thanks for the assistance,
JC
Mike here: See the article "ETX-125 on a LXD75 Mount" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. You will need an adapter, usually rings and a dovetail, to attach the ETX OTA to the GEM head. You can get rings/dovetails from ScopeStuff or Losmandy (links on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject:	UHTC coatings?
Sent:	Friday, January 30, 2009 21:22:00
From:	Douglas Hornick (hornickd@hotmail.com)
Great site with lots of useful information.  I need some insight about
whether or not an ETX 90 PE has UHTC coatings or not.  I found on your
site the URL for Anacortes which showed me that there are actually two
different part numbers.  One for a PE with UHTC, Part Number: 3514-03-55
and a PE without UHTC, Part Number: 3514-03-50 along with a difference
in price. I had no idea since Meade's site only talks about UHTC being
included with a PE model.  I had just bought a scope from Samy's Camera
on eBay at the going rate of $499 which would be for a scope with UHTC
priced the same as another URL mentioned, Telescopes.com.  The
description on eBay did not mention UHTC.  It just arrived in the mail
today and I can't see where the part number would be to confirm which
scope I actually have.  It is the type with the nebula print on the
tube.  Any help is appreciated.

Doug Hornick 
Mike here: I think UHTC was standard on the PE models from their initial release. Look for a UHTC label on the underside of the OTA. But it could have been removed.

And:

OTA means the tube I'm assuming?  I'm looking at the box and on the
specifications list it says UHTC coatings:  Optional at time of
purchase.  I just looked on the bottom of the tube and it does have a
sticker that says UHTC.  Good, I was afraid I overpaid for the scope.  I
didn't want to accuse the guy without knowing for certain.  Thank you
very much Mike.  I'm looking forward to reading more of your site for
great tips.  That link to that home assembled plastic dome is
interesting.  I live in Japan so there wouldn't be any room for
something like that on my property plus I'm sure shipping is cost
prohibitive.  Take it easy.

Doug
Mike here: OTA = Optical Tube Assembly
Subject:	ETX 125 PE shuts down after a few seconds.
Sent:	Friday, January 30, 2009 11:08:37
From:	Koen Bertels (bertels_koen_@hotmail.com)
I have been using an ETX 125 PE for a couple of months now. I was very
pleased the with the telescope until last night a problem occurred.

When the Etx is turned on it shuts down after a couple of seconds
/minutes. The red led on the telescope's base remains on but the
(autostar) controller and the red dot finder go black. Which of course
results in me not being able to control the scope and having to restart.

Things I have tried so far:  -turning the scope on and off
                                     -recharging the batteries 
                                     -unplugging the controller.
                                     -"SAFE LOAD" (found in the Etx faq)
 
Have you heard of this problem before, is there a solution?
 
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
 
Regards
 
Koen Bertels
Mike here: What type of batteries are you using? A rechargeable external power supply or rechargeable internal batteries? If internal, there have been reports over the years that rechargeable internal batteries do not work reliably. Try regular batteries.

And:

Thank you for the swift reply.
 
I am indeed using rechargeable internal batteries (type: Panasonic
"HHR-3XRE").

I did get the chance to read the "battery level menu" in the Autostar
before it went black again, it indicates that the batteries are 95 %
charged..

I have been using these batteries for two months now and never had any
problem.

Strange
 
Regards
Mike here: See the article "Rechargeable Batteries" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Try using non-rechargeable batteries and see if that solves the problem.
Subject:	ETX Cord Wrap ....
Sent:	Thursday, January 29, 2009 17:59:33
From:	Jan M. Hollis (jan.mike.hollis@verizon.net)
Is there a recommended procedure for minimizing ETX cord wrap problems
in the ALT/AZ mode?

For example, is there a way to insure that the split is always (say) due
East?

Cheers,
Jan M. Hollis
Mike here: You can turn CORD WRAP ON/OFF in the AutoStar. But that's it.
Subject:	Please, i need help. Meade ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Monday, January 26, 2009 17:42:54
From:	William Lee (freelance508@live.com)
I am sending this email requesting your help. I discovered your site
when i was looking for help fixing a ETX 70 AT.

I just purchased a ETX 70 AT from someone selling it used. All looked
really clean and unused, I took the scope outside a few nights ago and
the scope was acting really weird? All of a sudden i heard a POP and
then sizzling (sounds like frying). I am assuming the scope burnt a
board or boards? Do you think i am out $100 or can something like this
can be fixed by me?

Do these units have more than one board? Can someone who has never taken
something like apart be able to do it! And last, were can these parts be
purchased and how much?


Thank you for your time reading my email and hearing my problem, if you
could help me out i would appreciate it. Thank you so much.

   Bill
Mike here: Were you running the telescope on internal batteries? After the POP and sizzle occurred, did the telescope AutoStar or motors fail to work after that? Depending on what component was damaged you may or may not be able to fix it yourself. If you are comfortable soldering on circuit boards, you may be able to disassemble the mount, locate the damage component, remove it, and replace it with a like-component. If you are not comfortable doing this, contact Meade for a repair.

And:

Hello and thank you Mike!

I was using internal batteries, After the pop and sizzle the motors
worked but were unresponsive of the controller? (continue to raise
without stopping and the same for left to right. Push the controller and
release and the scope keeps moving)

           Thanks again mike for emailing me!
                             Bill
Mike here: If the AutoStar is still functional, do a RESET. If that works, do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES on the AutoStar. Perhaps no damage was done (although something could become evident later).
Subject:	viewfinder bracket screws
Sent:	Monday, January 26, 2009 17:02:43
From:	Chase, Hal [DIA] (Hal.Chase@dia.iowa.gov)
Mike,  Thank you for your help thus far.  I need your help.  I need
additional screws on my viewfinder bracket as one has broken off.  I
called Meade and they referred me to dealers.  I contacted two dealers
and I am not having any luck.  Can you point me in the right direction? 
Thank you.  Hal L. Chase
Mike here: Check ScopeStuff (link on the Astronomy Links page). They have all sorts of things like that.

And:

Thank you 

Subject:	Best optics for the ETX 125
Sent:	Sunday, January 25, 2009 16:49:49
From:	Steffan Biggs (eap0e@comcast.net)
My question concerns the best optical accessories for my ETX 125.

I don't mind spending $200.00 plus for a 2x Barlow, 45 degree optical,
or lenses, however can I go too far?

In addition, is there an issue with utilizing 2" lenses with this
particular telescope?

My goal is to get my wife into viewing, and I want the best optics
possible.

Thank you

Steffan  Biggs
Mike here: First, you can use 2" eyepieces BUT there are some things to be aware of. One is weight; some of the larger 2" eyepieces can cause a serious out-of-balance condition with the ETX. You can mitigate that by adding a counterweight system. Second is vignetting; 2" eyepieces will likely have vignetting evident as the ETX has only a 1.25" eyepiece port. As to 1.25" accessories, the ETX optics are very high quality and so using high quality eyepieces and Barlow Lenses will not detract from the views. However, keep in mind that it is a small telescope with a long focal length. That said, if you ever plan on getting another, larger telescope (like a LX90 or LX200) then the higher quality eyepieces will be very useful.

And:

Thank you very much, I look forward to the news, advice, and reviews in
your website.
Steffan Biggs

Subject:	RE: etx-125 Update
Sent:	Sunday, January 25, 2009 06:10:15
From:	nev brough (nevrtl@hotmail.com)
Further update.

Scope was returned promptly along with free spotting scope.

I have had two consecutive clear night to have a play and all is well at
present.

Although when alighning stars are slightly out probably down to me, on
zip code i have entered nearest observatory as Birmingham UK, but that
is approx 26 miles away so i may be encountering offset on actual
alighnment.

Learning the autostar will no doubt put me on the right track.

Many thanks Neville
Mike here: That distance won't affect the aiignment. Be certain to CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. If the model is a PE, due a CALIBRATE SENSORS.

And:

Thanks for your advise Mike keep up the good work.
Regards Neville

Subject:	EXT Cold Weather Observing
Sent:	Saturday, January 24, 2009 21:22:41
From:	Kenneth & Vicki Kelley (wa7jqe@ida.net)
Here in Idaho the snow is several feet deep and temperatures are in the
single digits at night with clear skies. I see many articles on who to
stay warm, but nothing on how the EXT will handle to cold weather, when
is cold to cold, hints on equipment observations, etc. Are there any
references for this kind of observing or past input? Thank you.
Mike here: See the article "Cold Weather Performance" on the Helpful Information: Observational Guides/References. Also, if you search the Site for "cold temperature" you will find several mentions of cold weather usage.
Subject:	Fwd: IYA Discovery Guides have arrived!
Sent:	Tuesday, January 20, 2009 00:51:21
From:	Kim Miau Lee (robin051@gmail.com)
Enjoy! 

-Robin Lee
Founder of CHHS Astronomy Club, Kluang, Johor, Malaysia
My Astronomy Blog- www.AstronomyNotes.net
Or Astrobin.com

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Introducing 12 easy ways to share the excitement of the International
Year of Astronomy (IYA) during 2009. Monthly IYA Discovery Guides are
internationally accessible and complete with articles, activities,
instructional videos, and finder charts.

The Night Sky Network, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, National
Science Foundation, NASA, and the IYA US committee have teamed up to
provide these great resources that support NASA's monthly themes and
featured celestial objects. Join skygazers worldwide in a renewed
appreciation of the universe. Download your free IYA Discovery Guides
here:
http://www.astrosociety.org/iya/guides.html
 
These guides are part of a fully searchable online database filled with
easy-to-use activities, loved by amateur astronomers and other educators
nationwide and proven to engage and inspire. Explain the universe, from
eclipses to black holes with simple models, presentations, and hands-on
demonstrations. See for yourself here:
http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/download-search.cfm
 
We are excited to share these resources so please pass this announcement
on. You can even give your website visitors direct access by placing a
link on your website using this icon:
http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/download-view.cfm?Doc_ID=338
 
Let's get the world looking up!

Marni Berendsen, Vivian White, and Kenneth Frank
Night Sky Network Administrators
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Night Sky Network: http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/

The ASP is grateful for the support from NASA Science Mission
Directorate, Space Telescope Science Institute, the Origins Forum and
the National Science Foundation to make these Discovery Guides and other
ASP IYA activities possible. You can learn more about the ASP's IYA
activities and programs online at:
http://www.astrosociety.org/iya/
and the US IYA initiatives at:  
http://astronomy2009.us/

Subject:	ETX 125 Wedge
Sent:	Monday, January 19, 2009 21:19:51
From:	TONY TREGO (TREGOT@roadrunner.com)
Is there an available wedge for the ETX 125 and 884 tri-pod?
 
Thanks,
 
Tony Trego
Mike here: Since the #884 tripod ETX mounting plate can be tilted for Polar Mounting, I haven't seen any 3rd party wedges for it. However, using some of the wedge tips, including the article "Wedge for #884 Tripod", on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page, you could make one if needed.
Subject:	Re: Please HELP: Questions about Meade ETX-60/70
Sent:	Monday, January 19, 2009 12:43:04
From:	sadoc.medina@holcim.com (sadoc.medina@holcim.com)
Sorry It took me so long to answer. The repair went quite well. Here you
have some detials.

1) First, The eyepiece holder piece was initially a little bit
inclinated at the base of the telescope which didn't let me focus. It
was fixed by using a rubber hammer and protecting and cushing the whole
telescope to amortiguate the hit. Also I put a piece of flat wood or
similar material on top ot the eyepiece holder to protect and evenout
the hit of the hammer. It sounds a bit hard and mechanical activities
but It actually fixed the problem with just 1 even hit. Now the eye site
is straight.

2) The loosen mirror inside the telescope was a little more dificult to
solve, it was fixed by cleaning out most of the previous harden glue to
make the surface as even as possible. Then I made a new misture and I
put just enough on the mirror holder, then I press the mirror  against
it by using a Q-tip or similar soft surface device in order to get it
right and aligned.

IMPORTANT:
Because I didn't take apart the telescope. I made sure to play around
with the lossen mirror inside the telescope to make sure I knew exactly
how to turn it and position it before putting the glue. This was a key
factor to have a succesful repair. Then I tried it and the optics &
focus seemed to be ok.

This Meade ETX-70 telescope is a nice unit that I couldn't let it go to
waste. Thanks for all your tips.

Regards
Sadoc

Subject:	Autostar control gone dead
Sent:	Sunday, January 18, 2009 21:54:09
From:	Rodrigo Ayala (elcidayala@gmail.com)
It turns out I was using my telescope and the autostar control was
working well.  After the observation sesion I just packed it back in the
case until next weekend when I was ready to work with it again although
this time it just didn't go on.  I tried the cable on a different
control panel (a friends') and it worked fine, the telescope responded
to it and everything was normal. My control would not go on, the led
panel is off and nothing seems to work, I checked the jack as well as
the control, it looks clean and no sign of being broken at all. What do
you suggest I could do next?
 
Thanks.
Rodrigo, Mexico City.
Mike here: What model telescope and AutoStar do you have? If the LED on the telescope base control panel is not illuminating, then it is not the AutoStar that is bad but something with the telescope circuitry. Have you tried replacing the batteries? Or using a different power source (external vs internal batteries)?
Subject:	What would I have done without the Mighty ETX website???
Sent:	Sunday, January 18, 2009 15:49:21
From:	wayne (wayne.byrne1@ntlworld.com)
I have had my ETX 125EC for a couple of years now. Its purchase (on
Ebay) was a leap of faith on my part, as I had no idea if our rotten
English weather would dampen my thirst to examine the cosmos at first
hand. I am pleased to say, those few nights where the weather permited
reasonable seeing, coinciding with favourable planetary, Lunar or Solar
positions only served to increase my yearning to see and learn more.
Eventualy, I became aware of the limitations of the ETX in the
Astrophotography field. I have (I believe) two of my early ETX
wanderings into Astrophotography published on your brilliant website. I
have to thank you for answering my calls of help when needed, and the
guidence which others have sought, which has consequently been published
on your website for all to become enlightened. I am a frequent visitor
to your website, and I praise your efforts in providing a very in-depth
forum for all ETX (and beyond) owners who seek to look further outside 
our earthly bonds. Today, I purchased an 8 inch  Meade LX200 GPS. Sadly
not brand new, and definately not the exotic Advanced-Coma-Free variety.
But, just the same, a Meade of the more advanced kind and very nice too.
its just the greater apperture, and more refined tracking is an
obvious advantage when dabbling in the field of Astrophotography, At
last, I feel myself drawn to Deep Space Astrophotography, which I fear
is outside the abillity of my trusty and much loved ETX..  No doubt,
someone would disagree with me and produce a hubble-like deep field
photograph with his/her ETX90, but I would not be surprised if it was
with knowledge gleaned from THE MIGHTY ETX Website. I firmly believe
you, and your website gave me the answers I needed, and the curiosity to
attempt what others have done in our search to look further, without
going as far.

My undying gratitude to you for the website and to all who have
contributed in its growth.

Most of all, Thanks for  the inspiration.
 
Best regards

Wayne Byrne (UK Gosport)

Subject:	re: etx-125 motor problem
Sent:	Sunday, January 18, 2009 11:52:50
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The start/stop/start/stop is a definite symptom of a broken wire
in the base... quite possibly caused by the lack of a hard stop.

The motor controller hears "commands" (so it starts moving)
but doesn't fully -understand- the command due to the broken
(or intermittent) wire.  So it launches on the start/stop cycle.

Definitely a "return to dealer" situation.

good luck
--dick

And:

Sent:	Wednesday, January 21, 2009 16:02:55
From:	nev brough (nevrtl@hotmail.com)
Just an update for your records, I returned my ETX-125 via courier on
monday afternoon it was received by Scopes & Skies tuesday morning.

They have today contacted me via email with a DHL tracking number for a
complete replacement which by checking the tracking number will be with
me before 17.00 tomorrow. Elated to say the least they then went on to
tell me that they had also enclosed an Acuter 70mm digital spotting
scope with an inbuilt 3.1 meg camera facility as a gesture of goodwill
nearly 200 What a top company i will be recommending them vigourously
from now on.

I will update you in due course as to whether i encounter any further
problems.

Regards Neville

Subject:	etx-125 motor problem
Sent:	Sunday, January 18, 2009 02:42:04
From:	nev brough (nevrtl@hotmail.com)
I recently purchased a Meade ETX-125pe whilst the telescope is fine, the
autostar motors will not recalibrate. when i shut down the autostar and
release the lock lever i cannot find a stop. Either in an anticlockwise
direction or a clockwork direction i have followed the fault
instructions to the letter to no avail.

Do you have any ideas before i get in touch with the dealer to return.
800 is a lot of money for somthing that doesnt work properly.

Regards Neville Brough. England.
Mike here: If you can rotate the telescope more than twice around in either direction then BOTH hard stops are broken or missing. This won't have any affect on CALIBRATE MOTOR though. What does the AutoStar display show when doing a CALIBRATE MOTOR?

And:

Thanks for the response.
When switching on the autostar it goes through its start up proceedure
as soon as it tries to alighn the error motor fault comes up the
telescope then proceeds to move approx 1 inch every 3 seconds displaying
motor fault all other commands are then inoperable until i switch the
unit off then back on again.
The telescope travels without resistance both ways with thelock lever
released
Regards Neville.
Mike here: Have you tried a RESET on the AutoStar? Then do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. Also, try reversing the AutoStar HBX cable. As to the rotation, if there are no hard stops at all, you should contact the dealer for an exchange. Again, the telescope should rotate almost twice around between the hard stops.

And:

I have tried all of your comments no success i will contact the dealer
tomorrow morning. I am not happy to say the least it was only delivered
on Thursday  15th Jan it worked fine on Friday when i first set it up
and i as looking forward to a good night tonight first clear skies. Many
thanks for your help i will keep you informed with dealer comments and
the outcome
Regards Neville 
Mike here: Keep me posted.
Subject:	Dust Cap ETX90PE
Sent:	Friday, January 16, 2009 14:41:44
From:	deepcdan@comcast.net (deepcdan@comcast.net)
I just received my new etx-90 and I am unable to remove the dust cap
without the front lense from un screwing. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Mike here: See the item "Q. I can not remove the aperture or rear port cover or loosen the Declination/Altitude scale knob. How do I loosen it?" on the ETX FAQ page.
Subject:	Applicability of Tuneup Tips for late model ETX-125's
Sent:	Thursday, January 15, 2009 11:44:57
From:	Gregory Beck (gib6717@aol.com)
I'm a complete newbie astronomer and I recently purchased an ETX-125PE. 
I received the scope this week but have been plagued by late nights at
work, cloudy skies and the cold which although frustrating, has given me
a chance to get familiar with the scope and keep read your site for
tips.  I actually had two questions for you:

1) Before I brought the scope out for a serious night of viewing I
wanted to calibrate it as to minimize any problems. I planned on
following the tips posted by Dr. Clay Sherrod but after reading the
"Important info for newer ETX models" I found that it mainly dealt with
mechanical differences and didn't take into account for LNT module etc.
I have no idea if that makes a difference but given my inexperience, I
didn't want to make any mistakes.

1) The day I received the scope, I brought it outside to just get a
glance of the moon. I did not use any electronics, just pointed the
scope at the moon with the supplied 26mm eyepiece but I was unable to
get the moon into focus. It was relatively clear and the scope was
steady. Due to the cold and frustration, I brought the scope indoors and
tried to focus on my christmas tree. I found that if I pulled the eye
piece out and looked into the hole, I was able to focus on ornaments
without a problem but with the 26mm eyepiece in, I couldn't get anything
focused. I'm not sure if you need a special eye piece for objects close
to you but the reason My reason for concern is when the scope arrived,
it was poorly packaged and had indications that the box had been opened
so I'm worried that it may have been damaged in transit or a return and
given my inexperience, I'm not sure if it is user error or product
problems.

Thanks for the great site, it has been a wealth of information!
Greg
Mike here: First, unless there is something specific you NEED to address, I do NOT recommend doing any tune-ups on a new telescope. Other than doing a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES on the AutoStar, there is normally no need to make any other adjustments. So, before worrying about making any changes, use the telescope for awhile to get to know it and how it performs. Once you are comfortable with the telescope, then if you think something is wrong, drop me a note explaining the symptoms and we'll go from there. As to focusing, you must use an eyepiece. Take the telescope back outside in the daytime and aim it at a distant object (preferably a mile or so away). Then turn the focus knob with the 26mm eyepiece in place. You should be able to watch the object change from a blur to a sharp focus (just like on the old "Outer Limits" TV show intro). If there is no change as you rotate the focus knob, let me know.

And:

Thanks for the quick response. I'll stick to just calibrating and
training. Your site is a wealth of information, thanks for keeping it
going.!
Greg

Subject:	Dual focus knob for ETX
Sent:	Wednesday, January 14, 2009 10:57:10
From:	terry3982@charter.net (terry3982@charter.net)
Good Morning. Your site is outstanding. Thank you. I was wondering if
you may know of an dual focus knob for the etc series? The knob I am
thinking of is of the type used on Short wave radios, used to fine tune
the freq. If you know of any such item please let me know.
terry3982@charter.net   Thanks again.  Terry
Mike here: There are similar accessories available for some telescope models. But I don't recall one for the ETX. However, the Borg Helical Focuser (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page) may be a good alternative for you.
Subject:	Switching from EC to RA?
Sent:	Monday, January 12, 2009 23:28:32
From:	Kelley Law (kelley.a.law@gmail.com)
Is there anyway to quite an ETX-90EC drives? The sound just annoys me
when I'm in dead silence of the desert. I've been contemplating
switching to a RA it ran quite-er.  I'm kind of old school and don't use
an Autostar and always setup with polar alignment, so I don't think I
would be missing much. What are your thoughts?

By the way, I've read your site for years. Please keep up the great
work.

Best Regards,

Kelley
Mike here: Well, I do like my ETX-90RA! Not just because it is quieter but also because it is more a grab-n-go telescope in that no AutoStar alignment is needed. Like you, I'm kind of old school. I even liked using my old Edmund Scientific 3" Newtonian with NO clock drive at all:
http://www.weasner.com/etx/fun/ancient.html
Subject:	re: ext125AT
Sent:	Monday, January 12, 2009 21:19:50
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
You didn't mention if the motor was running when you attempted to slew.

If it -is- running, then the problem may simply be a too-loose
Azimuth clamp handle (the swing-handle that's between the forks).
If you can swing that lock handle fully clockwise (the "locking"
direction), then it's too loose.  It should snug up -before-
it reaches the far side.   If it doesn't snug, then:
Meade used to include a sheet detailing how to adjust that.
There is a tiny hole on the side of the hub of the lock handle
that has a hex-socket set-screw inside.
The wrench size is 0.050 or 1/16th (0.0625) inch.
The telescope should have included a 0.050 wrench, and you may also
have received a 1/16th wrench.
With the wrench, you loosen the set screw.
Once it's loose enough, first swing the lock clockwise to lock it.
Now you can lift the lock handle straight up
from the hex-headed bolt which is the underlying mechanism.
Rotate the lock handle in the air to the counter-clockwise end of its
travel (leaving the hex-head untouched).
Now seat the handle back on the hex-head.
Swing it clockwise to see if it will -now- snug-up before hitting
the other end of its permitted travel.
If it doesn't snug, repeat the above lift-swing-drop-test  procedure.
When it finally snugs during its "test", you can re-tighten the set screw.

If the motor is -not- running, the Autostar should complain.
If that's the problem, opening the base (the screws are beneath the
rubber feet) and re-seating all of the connectors may fix it.
Be careful when opening the base, the battery compartment wires are
short and fragile (remove batteries before opening the base).

good luck
--dick

Subject:	ETX 125: Changing power supplies.
Sent:	Monday, January 12, 2009 17:16:44
From:	Joel (earth-light@sbcglobal.net)
I appreciate your ETX website. It's been very helpful in getting
up-to-speed on my ETX 125 recently purchased.

You can be of help regarding a question about changing power supplies
(internal batteries to outside 12 v. sources plugged into the power
supply port). The Meade customer service reps have been contradictory,
and did not give me a feeling of confidence in their technical
expertise.

Specifically, the Meade agents said when changing from the internal
batteries and an external power source, the batteries needed to be
removed first-- under questioning it appears that when an external power
sourc is "plugged in" the batteries are in parallel with that source
rather than isolated, which sets up the danger of a surge, or other
adverse reactions of the batteries. I also asked whether , when the
batteries are removed causing a complete loss of power, anything is lost
in memory that needed to be restored. Their answers were somewhat
ambiguous.

Can you help?

TIA for any help you can provide.

Rich Cohen

BTW-- I noted your service in the Air Force. I spent 8.5 years in the
Navy Sub Service; one of Rickover's boys operating the engineering plant
of a Polaris sub. My interest in astronomy derives from college courses
in astronomy, cosmology, and astrophotography (used their 14" Celestron
SC with piggyback 8"). Now returning to my love of astronomy after 25
years of waiting, with the ETX 125pe just bought.
Mike here: There is a "battery cutout" switch that is SUPPOSED to isolate the internal batteries when an external plug is connected to the jack on the control panel. If that switch fails to cut out the batteries, then I suspect that bad things could happen. However, I have never removed the batteries on my Meade telescopes when connecting an external power supply. BUT you do need to do a CALIBRATE MOTOR on the AutoStar when swapping power sources.
The only subs I've been on were at Disneyland. But I was on the USS Enterprise (for a short visit) back in 1974.

And:

Thanks!
 
I take it you mean that the "calibrate motors" should be done following
the use of external power, before the use of battery power again? Under
what circumstances should "drive training" be done, other than as
periodic preventive maintenance? I ask this trusting you more than
Meade.

I'm happy you mentioned you've never had problems keeping batteries in
place when using external power. Meade's suggestion to remove batteries
worried me they knew something about problems with the battery cutout
you mentioned (they did not know of such a switch when I spoke with
them. I actually told them such a cutout should have been engineered
into the scope-- I even asked them to forward the suggestion for future
improvement, which they said they would!).

Funny you mention the Disneyland ride. In 1963, before entering the
Navy, I moved to L.A. and visited Disneyland (as a youngster I had
wondrously followed its development on Disney's TV show). I had very
little money and could only afford one ride-- the submarine :)

I hope to move out to Arizona or New Mexico in the future.  I am an
adopted Hopi who has long felt drawn to the Four Corners area. Not to
mention the dark skies there, where I could do some good
astrophotography.
Mike here: The CALIBRATE MOTOR measures the output from the encoders. So it needs to be when you switch to an external power source. When you switch back to batteries, it needs to be done again. TRAIN DRIVES only needs to be done infrequently. Typically every few months, or after a RESET, or after a ROM update.

And:

Gotcha. It's a calibration procedure for the different sources.

Last question related to your previous reply-- again trusting your
experience and knowledge over Meade's. When do you believe RESETS and
ROM UPDATES should be done?

I know you must be busy, and appreciate the time you've taken to help
me. My degree work (Masters from the U of I) is of spiritual import, in
part related to my experiences and training as an adoptive Native
American-- my adoptive father was a holy man. If I can ever be of
assistance to you in that regard, I am here.

umumi pam taaviningwu - may the sun always shine upon you,
Joel
Mike here: I only RESET when I think the AutoStar is acting up. Random slews or garbage text on the display are two reasons for doing a RESET. As to updating, Meade releases updates to correct bugs and update data. If you are not experiencing any problems with the version you have, there is little immediate reason to update. The current version is 4.3Eg.

And:

Thanks again and Happy sky watching.
 
 Joel

Subject:	ETX Adaptive Optics, The Ultimate Concept
Sent:	Monday, January 12, 2009 15:03:11
From:	Fernando FLA (clusterfla@gmail.com)
Greetings from Zaragoza, Spain.

Simple and very effective adaptive optics

The Device that I present is designed to close the vision of the CCD
when the vibrations move the telescope.

Whenever it appears a movement nonwished in the mount of the
telescope.the accelerometer  (ADXL320) in charge to catch the vibration
it detects east movement, it processes it of analogical form and with
the result a mechanical stopper is controlled  that it is closed until
the vibration disappears.

In this way, we can have the CCD integrating and only it will catch
light  in the optimal conditions.

The circuit is prepared to annul vibrations of few Hertz, the vibrations
that appear by the movement of the air and the motors of pursuit, since
the CCD is in charge to eliminate those of frequencies higher thanks to
integration.

In the photos the device with the disassembled CCD is seen to facilitate
its understanding

The electronics is relatively simple and the mechanical stopper this
removed from a spoiled Nikon the rest, imagination and a little work
.......

The result is impressive, and the price very under .....

You can see the result in this video.

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8M5OqWO3rI

I hope that you like

Which can be modified easily so that it is also closed with the detected
errors of pursuit, with the result is even better

Greetings ..... and I animate to you to that you also make ......

My email:  clusterfla (Arroba) gmail.com

Fernando Lamarca, Zaragoza....Espaa

photo


Subject:	ETX 90 new owner
Sent:	Monday, January 12, 2009 04:39:57
From:	Nick Ferrara (pooh434@alltel.net)
I am getting back into astronomy and thought I would purchase a new
Meade ETX 90 PE scope as a good starter scope. I have been reading a lot
of the articles and was looking for a straight forward answer to the
following question.

What would you recommend as the bare essential eyepieces/accessories for
an ETX that is going to be used for Lunar and planetary viewing?

Keep in mind, I only have the 26MM the scope came with.
 
Thanks,
 
Nick Ferrara
High Springs, FL
Mike here: Initially you may wish to get a Barlow Lens ("shorty-style") to double or triple the magnification of your eyepiece. Then as you add additional eyepieces, you will get double their magnification. That would be the minimum I would recommend. After that, AND after you get some experience, you can get the additional eyepieces and some filters. Which eyepieces and filters will depend on your viewing requirements as you gain experience with the telescope. Enjoy!
Subject:	ETX Mirror Shift
Sent:	Sunday, January 11, 2009 23:18:45
From:	Alan (alannasu@telus.net)
I have an ETX (125mm) with quite a bit of mirror shift.
Is there an aftermarket crayford focuser I can add?
Any other suggestions?

Thanks,
Alan.
Mike here: Have you checked the collimation? The original ETX-125 had an image shift problem, but Meade corrected that fairly quickly. As to focuser, there is a review of the "Borg Helical Focuser" on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page.
Subject:	Update on RA view finder for ETX 105EC?
Sent:	Sunday, January 11, 2009 10:03:08
From:	hchase2@msn.com (hchase2@msn.com)
First, thank you for your response to an email question  I had last
week. I have been reading about the problems associated with the right
angle view finder for the etx105ec and am now wondering if there has
been any recent upgrades to this viewfinder.  If you recall, I am just
starting to use my telescope and am wanting to read and understand as
much as I can on this unit.  Has there been a product change to view
finder and if so can you tell me what it is?  Thank you

Hal L. Chase
Mike here: The ETX-105 was discontinued a few years back. So there has been no finderscope update.

And:

Mike, Thank you for getting back to me.  I knew the 105 was d/c but I
thought there would be alot of folks who still use it.  I don't want to
buy a new one since I just learning how to use it.  Thanks again.

Hal L. Chase

Subject:	(no subject)
Sent:	Saturday, January 10, 2009 15:23:18
From:	CrrCaroline@aol.com (CrrCaroline@aol.com)
I have an EXT125AT I got it as a gift about a month ago, I have taken it
out a few times but I am getting frustrated, I am new at this but the
lady at the Big Bang Astro Store in NC where I got it from said it might
need to be columnated,  I cant find out how to do this anywhere, I got
it used so I had to download a manual from Mead, Can you help
Mike here: First, please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page; you message was rejected as SPAM and deleted UNREAD. However, I managed to see it. econd, please see the Announcements: Email Change Notice for an important announcement. I doubt that the optics need to be collimated. What is wrong with it that the dealer thought it needed to be collimated?
Subject:	ext125AT
Sent:	Saturday, January 10, 2009 15:11:32
From:	caroline matthies (caroline_matthies@yahoo.com)
I have an ext125AT  I got it about a month ago and it doesent seem to
want to slew right or left, i am new at this have you heard of it
needing to be columnated?
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? If so, try a RESET, followed by a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject:	Focus Knob Problem
Sent:	Thursday, January 8, 2009 21:32:07
From:	Vegen Zohrabian (vegenz@msn.com)
I have a mechanical problem with the focus know on my ETX-125 scop. 
When turning to focus, it is very loose and tends to move once an object
is focused.

Any way for someone to help me in tightening it other than sending it to
the manufacturer for repair?
 
Thank you.
 
Vegen
Mike here: The article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page may help.
Subject:	ETX125 - to buy or not to buy
Sent:	Thursday, January 8, 2009 13:12:51
From:	Warp (warpcorp@swbell.net)
Sorry to bother you again... but have a couple of questions.  I'm
looking at getting into the ETX arena with a ETX125 - it just seems to
fit some of the needs I have.  I'm considering a couple of very nice
units in the used market that are about 2 years old with very little use
- a couple of outings at best.

Have there been major advances in the drive trains of these scopes in
the last 2 years that would prevent you from recommending one of that
vintage?  I'm not really interested in the auto level and new stuff -
and I actually already have one of the new LNT modules (improved red dot
finder) that I can mount on the scope if I want.

I've always been impressed in the optics in these little scopes - my 90
is supberb.  And I think it makes much more sense than spending the $$
on a 5" APO refractor.

I also had a couple of people recommend the Celestron Nexstar 5 as it
has metal instead of plastic gears in the drive mechanism.  Should this
be a concern?

I'm kind of firmly entrenched in the Meade technology with multiple
autostars, DSI imagers and other software - and sure want to see Meade
make it in the long run.

Your thoughts????
 
Advance Thanks - as usual.
 
Respectfully,
D. Sherfy (aka Warp)
Mike here: If the used ETX-125 is in good shape at a good price then there is no reason to not pass it up. There haven't been any changes in the last couple of years that I'm aware of (except the LNT module).

And:

One more question:  Is the OTA relatively easy to dissassemble should it
need collimation of if I want to blacken the inside of the OTA?
 
How does it dissassemble?
 
Thanks
D. Sherfy
Mike here: Relatively easy, yes. See the article "Doc G's ETX OTA Guidescope & Disassembly Photos" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. The tube itself unscrews from the back of the OTA if you want to work on the inside of the tube. Also, there are several collimation articles on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	ETX 125
Sent:	Thursday, January 8, 2009 11:14:01
From:	jlop28@yahoo.com (jlop28@yahoo.com)
Could you please tell me if the ETX125 PE mount is compatible for the
125EC OTA?
Mike here: I don't have an ETX-125PE to confirm this, but if you mean can you put the ETX-125EC OTA on the fork arms, I suspect you can. However, the tube adapters may be different due to the PE model LNT wiring.
Subject:	Re: ETX-90PE Automatic Alignment with Autostar Problems
Sent:	Thursday, January 8, 2009 00:34:04
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
The LNT battery only powers the clock. If the battery is very weak,
Autostar can not read the time but will still do an auto-align since the
rest of the circuitry is powered by the scope power. The problem is that
without correct time, the alignment star positions will be totally
wrong. If you manually set the time/date and then do an auto- align it
should be OK.

Regarding the LNT battery location, is the Smartfinder lens on top or on
the side of the module? If it's on the side, that's the original version
and the scope may have been in a warehouse for years, which would
account for a dead LNT battery.

Regards,
Mike Hogan

Subject:	1.25"to 2" eyepiece adapter for etx 125
Sent:	Wednesday, January 7, 2009 21:14:43
From:	Todd and Abbie Ausenbaugh (toddandabbie@bellsouth.net)
I am considering an Agena 1.25" to 2" adapter for my etx 125PE. Will I
be able to fully utilize the larger fields of view of low power wide
angle 2" eyepieces? I have a 1.25" super plossl series 4000  40mm
eyepiece.Can I economically improve upon this? Thank you , Todd
Mike here: Depending on the eyepiece, maybe, or maybe not. Some eyepieces, especially wide-angle ones, may show vignetting due to the smaller 1.25" port.
Subject:	Meade DS-2190
Sent:	Tuesday, January 6, 2009 05:38:48
From:	Anthony Monaghan (monaghan.tony@gmail.com)
Sorry to bother you

Does anyone on the Forum know (or know how to find) the pinout
connections for PC to Autostar
DB9 (PC) to RJ? (4way? AutoStar) ie how to make up a cable

Thanks
Tony
Mike here: Cable information is available on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.

And:

OK Now Thanks _mI have found it.

Subject:	Re: ETX-90PE Automatic Alignment with Autostar Problems
Sent:	Monday, January 5, 2009 23:07:21
From:	Mark Wade (theengineer@latech.edu)
I'm not sure how to reply to a previously asked question, so I'm just
replying to one of the emails.

First, thanks for all of the advice. I think I have narrowed my problems
down to the LNT module and possibly the battery. Even though I just
bought my ETX-90PE, I still had to take the top off of the LNT module to
access the battery. I have been told that if it was the newest LNT
module model, the battery could be accessed from the bottom of the
module. I purchased my telescope about a month ago. Is being given an
older model LNT module on a new scope worth pestering the seller about?
As in, should I complain to the seller to try to have it replaced with a
new LNT module?

I haven't been able to replace the battery on the LNT module to see if
this fixes the problem, but I did check to see if it was loose on the
circuit board. It wasn't. I can set the time and date, turn Autostar
off, turn Autostar right back on, and it still asks me for the time and
date. When I go to automatic alignment, the module will still go through
its routine of finding north, level, and tilt, so I figured the LNT
module is still communicating with the Autostar somehow (as in there's
not a disconnect in the wiring somewhere and the battery isn't dead).

Since I just bought my scope, I have a year warranty from Meade. Should
I just go ahead and send it back to them for repairs? The Meade tech
support people haven't given me a definitive answer on whether I should
or not. They kind of leave the decision in my hands as to whether I
should send it in. I'm new to all of this, so I could be overlooking
something in ignorance, and I'm slightly discouraged about going through
this much trouble to get it to work!. Thanks for your patience and help!

Mark Wade
Mike here: You got the feedback procedure correct. As to the AutoStar still asking for the date/time, that means that the AutoStar is not seeing the LNT for whatever reason (bad battery, bad connection, or bad LNT). Once you have ruled out the battery, you will know how to proceed.
Subject:	RE: ETX 70AT using #497 controller and LPI II camera
Sent:	Sunday, January 4, 2009 23:31:33
From:	Malcolm Barker (Malcolm.barker@hippocketworkwear.com.au)
Thanks for your reply, reading all your answers and the detail, you must
be very patient/dedicated!

Regarding the use of a wedge for imaging to convert the ETX to an
equatorial mount. Is this necessary? From what I read, the standard
autostar that came with the mount will not operate ion equatorial mode,
does the #497 allow this?
Thanks again

Malcolm Barker
Mike here: Yes, you can use Polar (equatorial) or Alt/Az with the #497.
Subject:	Remove the OTA from the ETX-PE
Sent:	Sunday, January 4, 2009 05:16:26
From:	Dr.-Ing. Michael Schrder (m-schr@web.de)
is there a way to (savely) remove the OTA from the ETX90-PE. I acnnot
find any descriptions on your site. I wish to use the OTA on my new
mount which is much more accurate in tracking.
 
I hope there is a way.
 
Michael

And an update:

Subject:	ETX OTA removal successfull
Sent:	Sunday, January 4, 2009 05:49:00
From:	Dr.-Ing. Michael Schrder (m-schr@web.de)
me again. Sorry to habe bothered you. I finally found the description
via google (of course on your site). The removal was successful.
 
Michael

Subject:	ETX-125PE Problems/Alternatives
Sent:	Friday, January 2, 2009 12:39:55
From:	dbodish@comcast.net (dbodish@comcast.net)
I purchased an ETX-125PE as a self Christmas gift from telescopes.com in
Omaha NE.  It finally arrived yesterday, but with a disturbing set of
problems.  There was a chip in the Smartfinder lens (no biggee in
itself), and two of the metal battery clips were completely missing.  No
loose pieces or broken wires, just absent.  The other clips are bent at
odd angles, suggesting that batteries have previously been inserted and
removed.  I was able to power up using a DC cable, and found that the
OTA will not slew left.  Up, down, and right are fine, but left does
nothing either under manual or computer motor control, though the
bearings move freely when unlocked.  Alignment attempts result in motor
drive error, since unit will not slew left.  No sound, no motion. 
Autostar reset and motor calibration options change nothing.  Also, upon
first power up, the Autostar was already initialized to coordinates in
Alameda, CA and time was set at PDT - suggesting it was initialized in
California at least two months ago.

One interpretation of this is I got an open box item that may have been
returned from a customer in CA.  Either this or there is some QC check
done on these things by Meade in CA after they arrive from China. 
Possibly the missing battery clips fell into the motor housing and are
stuck in the gears, but that's speculation.  In any case, maybe the
problem is a manufacturing defect.  I'm none too happy about this, but I
will give credit to telescope.com's customer service.  When I phoned
them, they apologized and immediately emailed me a FedEx return shipping
label, promising a full refund.  I did a little focused research online,
and found a disturbing number of motor defect reports - including the
recent post here by Bill and Kathy Squires.

Assuming I get my refund from telescope.com (which I have no reason to
doubt), I have a few options:

1) Order a replacement from the same source.  I will ask them for the
same promotional holiday price I originally paid (about $800).

2) Order a replacement from another vendor.  If other people have bad
experiences with telescopes.com, I would like to know about it.  I'll
pay the extra $100 to avoid similar problems.

3) Order a different model.  I did a lot of research to settle on the
ETX-125, but these stories of manufacturing defects worry me.  What's my
likelihood of another lemon?

Any advice from experienced ETX users here would be much appreciated. 
Happy New Year!

Donovan
Mike here: It does sound like an "open box return". If you are happy with telescopes.com stick with them. They are an authorized Meade dealer. However, if you are concerned about future service with them you might want to try a different dealer. OPT (who I have a relationship with) is a well-known and trusted dealer. There are other excellent dealers as well. Plus Astronomics has a sale (only 5 left at last check, although one report says they are sold out) on ETX-125PE:
http://www.astronomics.com/main/category.asp/catalog_name/Astronomics/ category_name/L8F0V0CE870E8PLCNUG97KJSX0/Page/1

And:

Thanks so much for the quick reply.  Unfortunately, Astronomics has sold
out of the astro tube 125PE.  That link is still up, but they have no
more.  Both Astronomics and telescopes.com are backordered on the blue
tube 125PE, so I am leaning toward OPT as a replacement source.  I have
ordered accessories from them in the past, and have always been happy
with the prices and service.  They are closer to my west coast location
as well.

Naturally, now that I have my new scope boxed up for return, the skies
are clearing here in the Pac NW!  Thanks again.  I'm really glad to find
your cool forum.  Once I'm over this disappointment, I'll get excited
about the ETX again hopefully.

Cheers,
Donovan

Subject:	ETX 70AT using #497 controller and LPI II camera
Sent:	Thursday, January 1, 2009 22:58:49
From:	Malcolm Barker (Malcolm.barker@hippocketworkwear.com.au)
I have a second hand ETC-70AT that I have enjoyed using for a couple of
months and have 2 queries

I want to us it for imaging and the Meade LPI and Autostar software
seems a simple way to start. Do I need to upgrade to a #497 controller
and will it work with my older ETX70?

As the scope is an Alt Az mount, is an equatorial wedge required?

Hope you can help
 
 
Malcolm Barker
Colac Australia
Mike here: The #497 works great with the ETX-70. And the LPI software from Meade requires the #497.
Subject:	Meade ETX125
Sent:	Thursday, January 1, 2009 22:36:43
From:	Warp (warpcorp@swbell.net)
I'm thinking of taking the plunge into the world of the ETX and saw
where Anacortes has the ETX125 with tripod and autostar for $329.00 -
seems hard to beat for a 125mm aperture.

Are there any caveats I should be aware of?  Are these scopes and mounts
fairly easy to get into should they need adjustments or tweaking?  Are
they better construction than the one arm mounts?
 
Thanks for any input you can offer.
 
Respectfully,
 
Warp
Mike here: Certainly the ETX models with dual forks are better than the single arm DS mounts (DS and DSX). We won't know about the single arm ETX-LS until it is out in the field. And yes, opening up the mount is fairly straightforward but normally that should not be necessary.
Subject:	Meade ETX 105-AT
Sent:	Thursday, January 1, 2009 20:59:20
From:	Chase, Hal [DIA] (Hal.Chase@dia.iowa.gov)
What is the difference between the 105AT and 105EC?  I have tried to
find this out and haven't had any luck.  Thank you
 
Hal L. Chase
Mike here: See the ETX FAQ page on my ETX Site.

And:

I received an email from you telling me to go the 105 site.  I read all
the messages but I didn't see an answer to my question, which is, What
does the AT stand for on the ETX-105AT and how does this compare to the
ETX-105EC.  I purchased my telescope over a year ago and have been too
busy, actually not making the time to learn how to use this.  I am
joining an astronomy club this coming Saturday and hopefully I will
learn from others.  Thank you.  Hal L. Chase
Mike here: What I said was to look at the FAQ page on my ETX Site. The link "ETX FAQ" is on the righthand side, beneath the large graphic at the top of the page. Once on the FAQ page, you'll see your question listed.

And:

Mike,  I just read your email. I hope you got the one I sent earlier.  I
do apologize for the stupid question. Thank you for being patient.  Hal
L. Chase
Mike here: There are no stupid questions. Enjoy the telescope!
Subject:	RE:- ETX-105 EC - Azimuth Drive Problem
Sent:	Thursday, January 1, 2009 11:46:14
From:	Niall J. Saunders (niall@njs101.com)
Hi Brian, Hi Mike,

Happy New Year to both of you.

Brian, if you don't resolve the problem, or are not confident about
getting 'into' your ETX-105, then I would be happy to look at it for you
- providing you cover the carriage charges to and from Aberdeen.

As Mike will testify, I bought my ETX-105 several years ago,
second-hand, and it had been somewhat abused by the original owner - who
had no idea how to work an electronic telescope. As a result I had to
strip and rebuild the whole system, gears and all.

My only concern is that, if it is NOT a broken wire or a loose plug,
then it may be a blown drive IC on one of the Motor Control boards - and
these are notoriously difficult to obtain.

I remember taking many pictures during the strip-down and rebuild, but
would have to trawl my archives to find these for you (and, yes, Mike -
I did promise to send you these pictures at the time, but never quite
got around to it - sorry !!)

Let me know if I can be of help.

Cheers,
Niall Saunders
Clinterty Observatories
Aberdeen, SCOTLAND

Subject:	re: ETX 125
Sent:	Wednesday, December 31, 2008 22:27:27
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The other "give-away" for Jupiter (and these are visible in
binoculars, too... bring some along) are its four "Galilean" moons.
They will be strung out in a straight line to one side or the other
of Jupiter (they move quite a bit every night).

Mercury can show "phases" like the Moon (so does Venus).
Jupiter doesn't.

If they're near the horizon, the roiling of the air that you're
looking through will severely "fuzz out" any features on Jupiter
(and smudge the cusps of any crescent shapes of Mercury and Venus)

have fun, that's a wonderful gift for your daughter
--dick

Subject:	re: Reticle
Sent:	Wednesday, December 31, 2008 22:22:42
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
I don't think there's an -instantaneous- way of centering the
movable reticle, but there's a slow way:

Aim at star.  (or perhaps the bright daytime sky, experiment).

Loosen the screw which holds the eyepiece in the telescope.

Now -spin- the eyepiece.

The crosshairs will "orbit" around the center of the field of view.

Adjust the movable crosshairs to bring them to the unmoving center
of that view.

have fun
--dick

And:

Sent:	Thursday, January 1, 2009 23:57:09
From:	Willam P. Suriano (wsuriano@sbcglobal.net)
Your site is invaluable.  There is a way to center a reticle.  If you
put an object in the reticle and then rotate the reticle in the eyepiece
holder it will stay centered if the reticle is centered.  In other
words, you just need to adjust the reticle until the object stays
centered as you rotate the reticle.
 
Bill

Subject:	re: ETX-90PE Automatic Alignment with Autostar Problems
Sent:	Wednesday, December 31, 2008 22:14:26
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Your symptoms sound an -awful- lot like a loose CR2032 battery
in the LNT module.

That would cause the LNT's clock to keep resetting to 00:00
at who knows what date when the battery dropped out of contact
and then re-established contact.
If the Autostar asked it for the time when the battery happened
to be out of contact, it would decide it wasn't there, and would
(as Mike wrote) prompt you for the time, with 8:00 pm as the
default.  The -date- it prompts with would have been the last
date you manually set.  This is how the pre-LNT scopes work.

When the LNT is actually working, the date it provides is -not-
remembered by the Autostar.  So (again) when it drops out of
contact, the date you'll be offered will seem to be strangely
in the past.

To fix (we hope): open the battery compartment on the LNT module
(on new ones, it's a rubber disk on the bottom of the unit) and
firmly seat it.  Things may get better.

good luck
--dick

And:

Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Thursday, January 1, 2009 04:42:54
From:	Henrik VAN HOLTHOON (henrik.van.holthoon@wanadoo.fr)
Hello Mark,

When you got a new scope out of the box: time, time zone ,site
coordinates, daylight saving and date will not be correct the factory
cannot know where the scope is going.

This has to be done by you on the Autostar, when all is set correctly
the LNT will keep local time and the date for this it has a internal
battery. When this battery is at the end of its live time and date will
be lost and has to be changed for a new one.

More information to be found in Handbook.

Regards Henrik
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