|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.|
Subject: Eyepiece advice? Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2010 18:07:59 From: George Finlay (email@example.com) Clearly, I need something other than the 26 mm Super Plossl that comes with the the ETX125AT. Being Scottish, and therefore a bit of a tightwad, I a leaning toward just one good high magnification eyepiece to bring me closer to my most likely objects of interest -- moon, planets, satellites. But then I see that assortment Meade offers on their website, and I wonder if maybe I am thinking too small scale. Ideas? George FinlayMike here: There are several articles on eyepieces on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page as well as the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page. Yes, there are a lot of choices. Be certain you consider the maximum magnification for any telescope; see the ETX FAQ page if you are unsure how to determine that.
Subject: ETX-125 Azimuth drive questions Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 10:24:33 From: George Reiswig (firstname.lastname@example.org) Mike, Dr. Clay, Sorry to bother you. I am having some strange behaviors in my ETX-125. Trying to train the drives against a terrestrial object, I notice first of all a strange software bug (?) or something I am doing wrong: if I create a landmark, go-to it, then try to move the scope away from it, it sometimes (by itself) just slews right back to it without me telling it to do so. Most unhandy if trying to create a second landmark, for example. Have you heard of this? My go-to's are not good. Even if I can get centered on a star like Rigel, slewing to Betelguse is off, and syncing on Betelguse and slewing back to Rigel is also off. I've tried training the drives per the excellent descriptions on the ETX site, but I am still having imprecise go-tos. Perhaps related, I am having some strange things happen in the azimuth drive. If I am slewing left to right, center on an object, then reverse direction, the scope will clearly move slightly in the left to right direction FIRST, before sitting still while backlash is removed and starting to reverse. That tells me something is hinky. Maybe binding, maybe part of the plastic gear frame is being stressed and flexing back once load is removed...I'm not sure. So I opened the scope to have a look. The driven end of the worm gear clearly has some up/down play. This is play not along the axis of the worm gear, but literally up/down if the scope were mounted in alt/az mode...i.e. parallel to the forks. I don't know if the bearing is worn or what, but that seems like a good place to tighten up tolerances and gain back some precision. But I also can't really investigate: there is a pair of black disks (the clutches?) in the way of pulling this worm gear out and looking for wear, and I am leary of trying to do anything that might permanently disable the scope altogether. Is there a way of pulling these disks off the shaft to get to the worm gear without messing things up? Or is there some other repair that I can make? Many thanks in advance for the advice and help! George ReiswigMike here: Before we assume that major surgery is required, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR? That should be done whenever the power source is changed, including swapping in fresh batteries. Follow that by a TRAIN DRIVES. If those steps, in that order, don't solve the problem, do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES, in that order.
From: P. Clay Sherrod (email@example.com) I would not start trying to dismantle the scope. What you are describing is classic "rubber-banding" which is corrected for the most part by an accurate Train Drives. Go in and make sure that your Alt and Azimuth backlash percentages are below 10% before trying to train drives. The fact that it is recoiling during a Train command is puzzling, since there should be no motion whatsoever in the system except in ONE direction. I would attempt a RESET before I started trying to self-destruct the telescope. I doubt this is mechanical at all. Another thought which just occurred is to assure that the Telescope Model is correctly selected on Autostar. Dr. Clay _____ Arkansas Sky Observatories MPC H45 - Petit Jean Mountain South MPC H41 - Petit Jean Mountain MPC H43 - Conway West http://www.arksky.org/
Many thanks to you both. I'll try (again) and see if I can retrain things better. I was hoping that pulling the worm gear would not be major surgery, so that I could have a look and see why there was play in that bearing. Realistically, play on that axis should have less effect on backlash than play along the worm drive axis, so hopefully you are both right and that software training will take care of it. As the drive works to rotate the scope, you can clearly hear the load change on the motor...a slow, speed up, slow, speed up cycle. Those gears can't have very tight tolerances, but then it shouldn't need it as long as the motor rotation counts are accurately reflecting the two movement parts: backlash and actual movement.
You are welcome....play in the bearing would not result in the symptoms that you are seeing; I suspect that this is an electronic issue and a RESET, Calibration, and Train Drives will likely take care of. Please keep us updated. Dr. Clay
Subject: Dew Shield Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 18:29:58 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) Do you know of anywhere that actually has in stock a #670 Dew Shield (for an ETX-70)? Everywhere I look only has those foam ones. Thank you soo much for answering this! Your site is great. Kevin in St. Peters, Mo.Mike here: Sorry, but I don't track available stock at dealers. The #670 Dew Shield has been discontinued. However, you can make a dew shield fairly easily. There are several such articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
THANK YOU MIKE !
Subject: Re: Progress on telescope decision Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 17:28:49 From: George Finlay (firstname.lastname@example.org) First observations with my new Meade ETX-125AT this evening. Mars and the moon. Two star alignment with Betelgeuse and Rigel went swimmingly. I am a kid with his first toy train! Thanks for your help. I am sure to have many more questions. George Finlay
Subject: ETX-80 Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2010 13:05:01 From: Graham Aubrey (email@example.com) I am a complete newbie when it comes to telescopes and astronomy but the thought of viewing plants and DSO's just made me want to buy a telescope and learn about what is out there. I have setup the ETX-80 with ease and the GO-TO system works fine. I only have the 2 eyepieces supplied but viewed Mars and was left a little disappointed with the red/orange fuzz that I saw. I live in Athens, Greece and get great clear skies for most of the year but was wondering if this is thge best that I could see when viewing Mars or other DSO's. Could you please advise / recommend the correct eyepieces that I should look for to be able to see things more clearly of is this all I will get from the ETX-80 Scope? Do you have any images that you have taken from an ETX-80 to give me an idea of what I should be seeing? Kind regards GrahamMike here: You can read my ETX-70 comments (with photos) on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. The ETX-80 is very similar to the ETX-70. There are ETX-80 user observation reports on the Helpful Information: User Observations page. The ETX-80 is a fine wide-field telescope and can provide great views of some objects. But due to the short focal length, the views of the planets can be disappointing, depending on the expectations. As to eyepieces for the ETX-80, keep in mind the theoretical maximum magnification for any telescope (see the ETX FAQ page for how to calculate that). The short focal length and small aperture of the ETX-80 will be limiting factors.
Subject: RE: Frustrated with my Brand New ETX-125 Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 18:05:53 From: Bill Bunker (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks Mike for you assistance. I tried everything including a reboot and finally called Meade and the technical support told me that if that did not work that the motor was defective. They sent a call tag today and I sent it back. According to the tech, they should receive it by next Thursday and then send a new scope and tripod out immediately overnight for next Friday. Hope it works like that. Luckily I received my LXD75 10" so these starry nights are not being lost to the lack of a scope. Of course as a last resort I could always take out my TAL2 but I prefer computerized as it is easier to locate events. Mike, if I picked up another lxd75 mount, could I mount the TAL on it, I mean, would it work if I was able to attach a dovetail and tube rings? In any event......thanks for your sound advice.Mike here: You can mount small telescopes on the LXD75 with the proper dovetail and rings. Just keep things in balance.
Subject: 70 mm lens Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 13:37:44 From: Robert Ridens (email@example.com) do you know where can I get an etx-70 front lens atMike here: Try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject: RE: Some basic questions from a new 125 owner Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 15:16:36 From: George Reiswig (firstname.lastname@example.org) Me again. Okay, you'd asked why I thought I might need to break into my scope to check things out. Some recent testing with my scope makes me wonder about the mechanical integrity of the drives. I went through training the drives in polar mode (45 degrees), and after training I tried slewing manually a bit, just within a few degrees. The RA drive slews very slowly for a second, then speeds up considerably. It does this in both directions. The Dec drive just seems to have slop in it...it whirs for a fraction of a second, then starts moving, but moves at a consistent speed thereafter. I also have to tighten the Dec arm fairly tight to keep it from slipping, which seems to be consistent with others' observations of having excess grease somewhere. How tight is "too tight?" Well...I can do it, but it's more than I think should be needed for such a small bolt and set of threads; I'm worried about it stripping over time. But I wasn't able to find Jordan Blessing's article on this, which Dr. Clay references specifically. I find a link to it at http://web.archive.org/web/20100105230338/http://home.att.net/%7Ejblessin/etx.htm , but it is dead. I can't seem to reach Blessing. Do you have some suggestions? I'm mechanically adept and careful, but always like to read the instructions before disassembly. Best, George ReiswigMike here: You can find Jordan's article linked from the article "ETX/EC Tune-up" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. As to Jordan himself, he has apparently dropped offline. Regarding the odd movement of the drives, did you CALIBRATE MOTOR before doing the TRAIN DRIVES? If not, do it and then TRAIN DRIVES. Also you can adjust the "backlash" percentages; there are some articles on "percentages" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.
Subject: Re: finder ETX 125 Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 16:10:26 From: Tyron Yun (email@example.com) Don't you hate it when it looks like someone to whom you've kindly responded didn't read your email carefully?! I do apologize for repeating what you said in your original email response; I think I just read it too fast and got spooked at the thought of drilling into the OTA itself. Anyway, I got up the courage to actually remove the one screw holding the saddle onto the rear cell (easy) and took a look underneath. There definitely seems to be enough room under there for a nut. In fact the LNT module is mounted with two small lock washers and nuts on the bottom side of the saddle. So now I need to find a mounting shoe with the right radius for the saddle. I'm planning on holding onto the scope for a long time so resale value shouldn't be a factor at least for now and besides, if it adds functionality/convenience maybe resale value will increase! Thanks, Ty
From: Henrik (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello Tyron attached photo of bracked glued to tube ETX105 PE I use for this instrument a 8 x 50 illuminated finder works fine. Succes Henrik
Subject: Re: finder ETX 125 Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 10:19:04 From: Tyron Yun (email@example.com) Many thanks to both of you for your valuable advice. Henrik, would you happen to have a photo of your scope showing the finder and bracket? I think glue is the most straightforward option. But I am also considering drilling holes in what I'm calling the saddle which is that semi-circular piece of plastic on top of the rear cell to which the LNT unit is attached. From all the material I've seen on your Mighty ETX site, that saddle seems easy to remove temporarily for drilling and there seems to be enough room underneath to allow a nut to hold the mounting screw. This option still involves drilling but not into the OTA itself. What do you guys think? Thanks again!Mike here: As I mentioned in my first response, removing the plate (saddle) and drilling the holes should work, if there is sufficient room for a bolt head or nut underneath. Of course, any such mod might decrease the resale value, especially if cracks in the plastic develop.
Subject: can't get your updates, how to resubscrib? Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 12:38:07 From: jose rua (firstname.lastname@example.org)Mike here: Sorry you missed the Site announcements about that back in October and November 2009. Here's what you missed: http://www.weasner.com/etx/site/site.html
Subject: Some basic questions from a new 125 owner Sent: Sunday, January 17, 2010 16:35:18 From: George Reiswig (email@example.com) I bought a used ETX-125, and would like to use this time of rain and poor seeing (Oregon in winter) to optimize my scope. Looking through Dr. Clay's pages on tightening up "trunions" with teftape (what is he talking about there?), he talks also about Jordan Blessing's ScopeTronix "ETX Tuneup" pages, which seem to be offline. Is there another place that shows more detailed pictures of how to take things apart to optimize, and so forth? Next question: the port at the back of the scopeI know I can flip the mirror and make the image go straight to that port, but I have no idea what fits that thread. Do I have to get another visual back to mount an eyepiece to it? Many thanks for a great site and great community, both of which influenced me to buy this particular scope! George ReiswigMike here: First, what is wrong that makes you believe you need to "improve" the telescope? For many owners, nothing need to be done. I still have my original ETX-125 (from 1999) and it works fine. Regarding the rear port, there are some different accessories that can go there. Meade has a camera adapter specifically for the ETX (model #64). You would need a T-Ring for your specific SLR or DSLR. See the brief review on the "Meade T-Adapter" on the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page. You can also mount a visual back there and use a star diagonal or eyepiece there at the rear port. For one example, see the "Shutan Visual Back" on the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page (but note that Shutan is no longer in business). Some SCT accessories can be mounted at the rear port of the ETX but you need the ETX specific "SCT Accessory Adapter" (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page).
Wow! Talk about service! Okay...is this going to a public forum? I wasn't able to find a very active public forum for the ETXs, but your site is as close as I was able. As far as the "improvements" to the scope, Dr. Clay had written that there were some substantial mechanical issues with clutches and such that should be dealt with before they become a problem. That's the kind of thing I was talking about there. Thank you for the suggestion on the Shutan visual back. I gather that this port is a standard thread and diameter for 1.25" visual backs? I feel pretty dumb asking questions like this, but I'm a noob. What can I say? I'm hoping to post a couple of things pretty soon. For one thing, I mounted a green laser to the tube with just poster putty, but it is very low-profile, relatively stable, and easy to re-aim if needed. But it amazes me how it doesn't really need re-aiming much! I'll take some photos and post them when I get a chance, to see if I can contribute back to the community a bit.Mike here: There is the ETXAstro Yahoo Group with many experienced ETX users. But my ETX Site is also a "public forum". Dr. Clay's articles may be of benefit for older ETX models. Whether the tips will be applicable to yours remains to be seen. I recommend you use the telescope before deciding on what is needed, if anything. The ETX rear port is a special thread, unlike the SCT rear port thread which is standard. No point in ruining a perfectly good telescope by making some mistake. Looking forward to your contributions! Thanks!
Interesting...the only link I can find to the Yahoo group is "forbidden." Guess they heard about my reputation. ;-) On your site, the one area that seems to be forum-like is the "feedback" section...is that what you'd prefer we use for questions like this? I'm afraid I'm new enough at this that I still am asking questions like "If I get a visual back for that rear port, do I also need a focuser of some kind?" Thanks very much! George ReiswigMike here: Try http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ETXASTRO/ . As to the "forum" on the ETX Site, see the Site Guide, linked beneath the large image at the top of the ETX Site Home Page.
Subject: Frustrated with my Brand New ETX-125 Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 17:19:53 From: Bill Bunker (firstname.lastname@example.org) I purchased an ETX-125 from a reputable online store. After reading the manual several times I got ready tonight to set up and do some serious star watching. I turned the scope on and testing the up and down slewing and then pushed the left and right buttons and nothing happened. I will not slew right and left at all. So, I set it up outside and tried to align the two stars and it would still not slew right and left, it would only go up and down. Is this an issue with the telescope or am I doing something wrong? I also purchased a LXD75 10AT and will receive it on Monday. I am wondering if I will have the same issue with that scope as well. I really thought that this would be easier to work with than my 8" Newtonian reflector but so far after two attempts, it looks like this might be a poor purchase choice??????? Help please from anyoneMike here: Could you be overtightening the horizontal axis lock? It should only be finger-tight. The lever may not need to be fully to one side of the depression it is in. Also, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? If not, do those. As to the LXD75, the mount is totally different but again, don't overtighten the axes. And you should also CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES with the LXD75. For more on the LXD75 you can see my LXD75 site (http://www.weasner.com/lxd) but note that I'm no longer supporting the LXD models (as mentioned on the site) but there is still a lot of good info there.
Subject: RE: etx70 focus spindle Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 09:00:12 From: jon (email@example.com) I sent it back and bought a new one, all ok now. Thanks jon
Subject: finder ETX 125 Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 03:05:15 From: Henrik (firstname.lastname@example.org) Drilling holes in the tube seems to me not a good idea, using double sides tape is also not good to flexible and it will fall of after a certain time (as Mike mentioned). I glued,with 2 component glue, a 8 x 50 finder bracket on the tube on the other side as the LNT unit it works great, I removed the smart finder glass this is not working for me. Succes Henrik
Subject: usb/232 adaptor Sent: Friday, January 15, 2010 10:52:22 From: brenda cremmen (email@example.com) I have a laptop with just a u.s.b connection. I have a 125 etx with auto star and a RS 232 adaptor which is useless at the moment. Rather than buy a u.s.b connector can you not buy a lead with the correct connections at both ends ? If not, why would Meade produce a product that needs modifying. Even desktops have u.s.b connections or is it all about money ? I would not be able to splice items together. I would want to buy off the self. Thank you for any help Phil cremmenMike here: The protocol conversion from RS-232 to USB requires more than just connecting wires. You need some electronics and software. So, you will have to purchase a USB-serial adapter. Meade has one but it is limited to Windows only. Other companies make adapters that work with both Windows and Mac OS X. However, not all adapters work reliably with the AutoStar. See the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. I recommend using a Keyspan adapter.
Subject: Hello Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 00:52:58 From: Ben Freke (firstname.lastname@example.org) My name is Ben. I'm 15, I live in England and am really interested in astronomy. I am taking an astronomy GCSE at the moment. I also have my own website (http://jabbah.co.uk) it's not set up yet, but it soon will be. I am really interested in the work you do. I have a Meade ETX 60, which I got for Christmas. I would like to take some good photos, but have no idea where to start. I have seen the cloud belts on Jupiter with my telescope, but could not see mars in great detail (if any). Have you any tips for using this telescope and getting a good image with it. Also, (a bit of a personal question) but I would like to set up a mini observatory in my backyard. My parents say if I can buy one, I can put it in. I would like to know how you financed your observatory, where you got the stuff from ect... Also, would you recommend purchasing the Meade LPI for my telescope, and if not, which other photographic instruments could I use with my telescope. Thanks for reading this e-mail Yours Truly, Ben FrekeMike here: First, my apologies for the delayed response. I usually respond to emails within a few hours, sometimes within minutes. Due to the ambiguous subject line, your message was rejected and deleted UNREAD as SPAM. Fortunately, I was able to undelete it before it disappeared forever. As mentioned on the ETX Site home page, please read the "Submittal Guidelines" to avoid this in the future. The subject you used is specifically called out as SPAM-like and that is one of the reasons I request on the ETX Site home page that visitors read the "Submittal Guidelines". Thanks for understanding.
I am intending to get a bigger telescope in the not so distant future, but I wanted to see if I liked robotic telescopes first; there would be no point buying an overly expensive one and not being able to use it. Do you have any telescopes that you would recommend. I have 600 put away, and was wondering if there was a decent scope that I could get with that money. Or would you recommend saving some more, and then buying an even bigger one? Also, I do have a digital camera, but would you recommend a digital SLR more than just a standard camera? Thanks for the reply, Take Care, BenMike here: First, you need to determine just HOW you plan to use the telescope. Visual, or photographic, or both. Moon, planets, DSOs. Do you need portability? Remember, the best telescope is the one that gets used, not the one that ends up in the closet because it is too large or too cumbersome to set up. The ETX-125 is a fine compromise in aperture vs portability. Of course, you can get a Dobsonian with a larger aperture but you may (or may not) find it difficult to use. For brighter objects, almost any digital camera can capture some images. A DSLR is better but with the ETX-60 you need to be concerned about adding extra weight. For more on using various cameras, see the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject: [none] Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 07:57:51 From: sam roth (email@example.com) hi my name is sam and im trying to locate or put my hands on a tronic power suply the one i would like is a tronic power glibe 3106, do you have any ideas? sorry to contact you out of the blue. many thanks sam rothMike here: First, my apologies for the delayed response. I usually respond to emails within a few hours, sometimes within minutes. Due to the blank subject line in your email, your message was rejected and deleted UNREAD as SPAM. I accidently discovered it and was able to undelete it before it disappeared forever. As mentioned on the ETX Site home page, please read the "Submittal Guidelines" to avoid this in the future. Thanks for understanding.
Subject: re: motor unit fault Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 23:03:09 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) Will it let you perform a Setup/Telescope/Calibrate Drives [enter]? That sometimes clears it. There may also be a blob of grease obscuring the optical sensors. The MUF indicates that the Autostar commanded a motion, but then it didn't see the encoders actually -moving-. good luck --dickMike here: Good point. I was assuming, possibly incorrectly, that the fault was occurring immediately on power on and that menu tree was not accessible.
Subject: RE: etx70 focus spindle Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 01:03:46 From: jon (email@example.com) Sure I will. Its just the position of the rod I need to know, as their must be some datum point as to fix in position. I will look at the tips page when I get home later today. Cheers jon
Subject: (etx-70) Eyepiece-mounted filters interfering with lip internal to the eyepiece tube? Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 15:59:59 From: Cathal Ferris (firstname.lastname@example.org) Congrats on having built up such a useful resource for ETX owners worldwide. I got my ETX recently in the local Lidl discount shop for 150 - good price for a great scope. I've bought a Lumicon UHC filter to get the best of those winter nebula, but I've run into a little bit of a problem. I use the set of plossls that Meade sold as an add-on to the ETX (32, 12, 6.4mm parfocal, with a dark-green moon-filter as well. When I have the UHC filter in place on the eyepiece barrel, it interferes with a little lip at the bottom end of the eyepeiece "drawtube" where the barrel of the tube joins the mirror chamber. Has anyone else came up on this problem, and would it be as easy to dremel this lip away (after covering the flip mirror and protecting the lens etc.) so that the filter would extend through the bottom of the eyepiece barrel and allowing the eyepiece to sit flush with the tube? Otherwise the filter holds the eyepiece about 3 mm proud of the barrel, making it a bit unsteady and hard to tighten in place. Regards from a cold and cloudy Ireland, Cathal.Mike here: If you can still reach a focus, I would recommend not cutting away that lip. If you do decide to cut it, you should disassemble the telescope tube (to avoid debris getting where you don't want it). Then you would have to reassemble it, get the focus shaft properly engaged, and then realign the optics. With the ETX-70, none of that is easy. But it you decide to proceed, the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page might help.
Subject: etx70 focus spindle Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 15:04:07 From: jon (email@example.com) Hi mike please help Im an engineer so not scared to do some adjustments, i have taken delivery of this scope for a good price but the circlip looks to have come off within the focus tube, therefore the spindle just travels out of the back of the scope instead of push or pulling the optic sleeve, can i repair this, do i take the back off and slide the tube out like you would if collimating a 125, Thanks Regards Jon ukMike here: It is major operation. But if you want to attempt it, see the article "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: not getting your etx web site updates Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2010 18:19:58 From: jose rua (firstname.lastname@example.org) Please advise as to how to resubscribe. We are not getting your updates. Thank you. J. RuaMike here: Sorry you missed the Site announcements about that back in October and November 2009. Here's what you missed:
Subject: Mounting a Finder Scope on ETX-125PE? Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2010 15:07:15 From: Tyron Yun (email@example.com) I've looked around quite a bit on your great website but couldn't find a specific answer to my question (my apologies if I just missed it) and I've looked at numerous photos online to try to see the details but was unsuccessful. Is it possible to somehow disconnect the finder scope mounting bracket from an older ETX-125 (one with the #825 8x25 finder scope) and mount that bracket onto an ETX-125PE? I would like to mount it around the 2 o'clock position (relative to the 10 o'clock position of the SmartFinder) on the rear cell where there's currently the Sun warning sticker (see photo below)?Mike here: Well, you could remove the older ETX finderscope mounting bracket and then drill a hole (ouch) for the mounting bracket into the ETX-PE model. You should remove the upper plate (the one with the LNT module attached) before drilling. I don't have an ETX-125PE so don't know how much room there would be on the back of the plate. The ETX-105PE that I do have has about 1/4 inch of surface.
Many thanks, Ty
Thanks so much for your quick reply! I'm glad to hear you tell me that it's at least possible but "ouch" is right when it comes to drilling a hole. I have read many posts on your website from those that have used double-sided tape to mount accessories - do you think this is a viable alternative, i.e. do you know whether the bottom of the mounting bracket has enough surface area with the proper curvature for a firm tape grip on the upper plate? Regards, TyMike here: If your finderscope is like mine, the mounting bracket should likely have the same curvature. Whether double-sided tape will work for you will depend on how you use/abuse your telescope. I had a finderscope mounted that way but fairly quickly the tape dried out and the finderscope came off.
Subject: motor unit fault Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2010 07:29:51 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) What gives with these etx80's brand new, motor unit fault. plugged unplugged on off same muf , is meade just a ripoff or what no way to fix it, seems like a cheesy outfit meade that is. any help you have would be greatly appreciated if you can help me fix it, I do solemnly swear to never buy any meade junk again let me guess it only cost $350.00 so it should be a piece of garbage. MEADE SUX.Mike here: Have you tried putting in fresh batteries?
yes they're new @6 AA @ 9.45 voltMike here: Be certain you are not overtightening the axis locks. If the problem persists, contact your dealer for an exchange since it is new.
Subject: question Sent: Thursday, January 7, 2010 09:38:05 From: Tom White (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have an older EXT 125 EC with, among other problems, a sticking focus. Given the extensive files on various repairs/mods, etc. available on your site, does anyone run a business bringing these scopes up to par? Other than Meade? Thanks. Tom WhiteMike here: First, my apologies for the delayed response. I usually respond to emails within a few hours, sometimes within minutes. Due to the ambiguous subject line, your message was rejected and deleted UNREAD as SPAM. Fortunately, I was able to undelete it before it disappeared forever. As mentioned on the ETX Site home page, please read the "Submittal Guidelines" to avoid this in the future. The subject you used is specifically called out as SPAM-like and that is one of the reasons I request on the ETX Site home page that visitors read the "Submittal Guidelines". Thanks for understanding.
Thanks, Mike. Sorry about the "spam" thing. Your book on the ETX is excellent, by the way, but some of the mods and repairs are probably a bit beyond my capabilities. Tom P.S. Already sent e-mail. Just what I was looking for!! Many thanks!
Subject: Motor Unit Failure in RA Axis Sent: Friday, January 8, 2010 05:54:00 From: Tony Carr (email@example.com) Thanks for pointing me in the right direction for updating Autostar. Updated to 4.3Eg successfully and carried out reset etc procedures plus your original suggestions of using batteries ,reversing HBX lead etc but the motor unit failure message when I try to move the telescope in the RA axis still persists. Can you please suggest any further action I can take or does it look like I will need to send it away for repair? Many thanks for your help so far. Yours Tony CarrMike here: If trying to slew in RA in either direction results in the error or no movement AND the axis is not overtightened AND there is no obstruction to free movement (when the axis is unlocked) then there is likely a problem with the circuitry. But try one last test; unlock the RA axis, power on the telescope, and then try to slew in RA in both directions. You should be able to hear the motor running. Can you hear it? Does the error still occur?
Thanks for such a quick response - I've done as you suggested, unlocked RA axis and slewed in both directions under power - no sound of motor running and error message still occurs! This looks like it is as far as I can go - thanks very much for all your help. Yours Tony CarrMike here: Well, for some reason, the motor probably isn't getting any power. Could be a bad motor, bad circuit board, or a disconnected or broken wire. You could open up the base; perhaps you'll see a disconnected or broken wire to the motor. Otherwise, you might want to contact Dr. Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge service (link on the ETX Site home page).
Subject: Autostar upgrade from #494 to 497 Sent: Friday, January 8, 2010 01:17:06 From: Ron Harries (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have an ETX-80AT with autostar 494. Can this be upgraded to #497 and, if so, do you think it would be worthwhile to do so? I don't need it to find objects. I usually search by using the RA and Dec. Thanks Ron Harries - Salmon Arm BCMike here: If you don't use the AutoStar for GOTOs then you don't really need to get a #497 AutoStar. If the #494 were to ever fail, then you could get a #497, which can be user upgraded via software.
Subject: Repair for an ETX-125 Sent: Thursday, January 7, 2010 22:20:25 From: Dave Trombino (email@example.com) I have had my ETX-125 for almost 10 years and it has been great. I really appreaciate your site. I just got a USB to serial adapter so I could finally update the AutoStar software. In the middle of the update my laptop PC rebooted, so the AutoStar is locked up (I need to somehow get that fixed too). But the bigger problem is that when I replaced my batteries this time, I put them in backwards (yes STUPID on my part) and when I turned the switch to on I got blue smoke and nothing more. Any advice for a good repair service? I could send it to Meade, but I thought I would ask you first. Thank you again for your web site and any suggestions. DaveMike here: Meade likely won't repair one that old. Contact Dr. Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge service (link on the ETX Site home page). As to the AutoStar, there is a SAFE LOAD procedure that will let you re-load the ROM. Of course, you'll have to have power for the AutoStar. You could make a 9V adapter for the AutoStar (see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page). Or just let Dr. Clay handle the update. As to the USB-serial adapter, not all work reliably with the AutoStar. See the article "AutoStar and USB" on the AutoStar Info page. I recommend using a Keyspan adapter.
Subject: ETX 90EC R/A motor Sent: Thursday, January 7, 2010 16:53:49 From: Bruce Brooker (firstname.lastname@example.org) If I could take a moment of your time I have a question to impose. The R/A motor on my ETX 90ec will not operate, The DEC works fine. Here is what has been done so far. The bottom removed of course. With a 12 volt adapter plugged in the wall and then plugged into the 12V plug in the base of the scope and the scope turned on I put a multimeter across the two pins(R/A motor connector removed) on the PC board and pressed the left and right buttons on the Autostar. I did not read any voltage on the pins. I would like to remove the PC board in the bottom of the scope but can not remove it because the switch PC board is in the way and I can't figure out how to remove it. Do you know how to remove the switch plate on the side of the scope? I work in aviation and the guys I work with in the avionics shop can look at my PC boards if I can get them out. Meade wants 150 + shipping to fix it.Thats 1/2 the price of a new scope. Thanks Mike...........Bruce email@example.comMike here: See the article "Repairing Battery Cutoff Switch" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. It may help.
Subject: Scopetronix Sent: Thursday, January 7, 2010 15:10:33 From: Bellomy, Robert S. Is Scopetronix back in business as Scopetronics?? Also, how is your ETX-LS6 doing?? Robert BellomyMike here: Same company; both domain names. I recommend reading the Other: Editorial Page for lots of words on Scopetronix. Still waiting for the ETX-LS to be returned from Meade.
I am sorry to hear that your ETX_LS is still @ Meade. Seems like it has been way beyond their estimate of 2-4 weeks. I contacted John.Elwood@meade.com as I had no other email address to write about the problem with the ETX-LS6. John Elwood was listed as the CFO for Meade and I merely asked him to forward my email (listing my concerns) to someone other than the fellow in customer service. Mr. Elwood took it upon himself to investigate the issue and said he was surprised that the issues were not getting proper attention. Within one week I had a new scope sent to me. I have been out with it several times and it always aligns itself. Bear in mind that it isn't 100% right on, but I need to get the time to make some adjustments and fine tune it. I believe that this problem with the LightSwitch and the lack of good customer service has done irreparable damage to Meade's quality and integrity. This is visible in their stock market adjustment and current stock price. Perhaps they delivered the product too soon to market or moving the assembly plant to Mexico was not good and has had an affect on quality. By the way, I am writing you from work and using the firstname.lastname@example.org because your web site has been blocked by the IT group. Here is the message for failing to get access to your site: "Social Networking and Personal Sites;Society and Lifestyles" Thanks for your answer about Scopetronics. I am forwarding your message to my private email and will go to your site tonight. Robert BellomyMike here: Ah yes, I remember corporate IT policies! My sites weren't blocked but several Mac sites were (the IT group hated Macs). But when I pointed out that I was the manager in charge of video training and that we did video recording, editing, and DVD production on the Macs, they opened up the access to those sites.
Subject: [none] Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 13:00:54 From: Solomon, Lisa (email@example.com) I am looking to buy my daughter that is turning 10 a telescope. I fouond some meadeETX 60-w/ autostar computerETX -60AT a ETX 70At Meade ETX M Astro and Meade ETX 90/ Ec telescopes not sure which one is best? There was one ETX 90 like new but need to repair some electonic mechanism basically it only moves manually and it about 120.00. Not sure if thats worth it or how much it'll be to replace it to work right. Thank you, LisaMike here: First, my apologies for the delayed response. I usually respond to emails within a few hours, sometimes within minutes. Due to the missing subject line, your message was rejected and deleted UNREAD as SPAM. Fortunately, I was able to undelete it before it disappeared forever. As mentioned on the ETX Site home page, please read the "Submittal Guidelines" to avoid this in the future. Thanks for understanding.
Subject: ETX 125 Clutch Washer Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 15:09:10 From: Bruce Brooker (firstname.lastname@example.org) I removed the right OTA adapter (swing arm) because of some play. Now I need to re-install all removed parts but I could use a little help. Could you look at the enclosed picture and if you know could you tell me which way this washer is installed. Do the raised serrations on this washer face the DEC gear or away from it. Also is the way the parts in the right upright installed in this order from the inboard side to outboard. #1 Serrated washer(pic) #2 DEC gear #3keyed washer with stop Thanks for the help Mike Bruce email@example.com
Yes I know the importance of documenting the removal procedure-but I thought I would be going right back together right then and there but things never work out the way you planned. As to the order of the parts, the gear would be next and than the keyed washer with the shoulder on the keyed washer facing out away from the OTA, correct?Mike here: I've not needed to disassemble mine so I'm not certain of the order. But it should be obvious.
Subject: ETX 125 right OTA support Sent: Sunday, January 3, 2010 10:05:31 From: Bruce Brooker (firstname.lastname@example.org) The key way groove on the right tube support on my 125 is larger in one area than the key on the washer. With this situation the tube stills moves up and down after it hits the stop up or down. Do you you where I can purchase a new OTA support(Meade excluded)? Thanks Bruce email@example.comMike here: Meade doesn't sell this part nor does anyone else. However, if you need to repair the Right Tube Adapter, see the article "ETX-90EC DEC fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. If something else is the problem, there are several other articles on the Telescope Tech Tips page that may be appropriate.
Subject: Motor Unit Failure in RA Axis Sent: Saturday, January 2, 2010 11:07:02 From: Tony Carr (firstname.lastname@example.org) Having not used my telescope (3 year old ETX 105 PE with LNI and 497 handset) for a few weeks due to lousy weather I found that it was impossible to align the telescope in automatic alignment mode - both the RA and Dec were out by several degrees. I carried out a full reset followed by re-calibrating the motors, re-training the drives and re-entering all required data. Dec was now OK but RA was still out by about 15 degrees. I tried a further reset etc. but when I tried automatic alignment nothing happened and a Motor Unit Failure message came up on the handset. I tried moving the telescope using the arrow keys and the Dec axis works fine but nothing happens when using the left or right arrow keys except the motor makes a slight whirring noise and the lights on the handset and the power light both dim .I use a 12 volt external power source so low batteries are not the problem. So far I have tried a further reset etc. disconnecting and re-connecting the handset and the power supply and loosening the RA knob but the problem still persists. Any advice and guidance would be much appreciated but I should say I am not technically minded and would be reluctant to do too much inside the works! Yours Tony CarrMike here: First, I would suggest trying internal batteries. That would eliminate the external power supply as being the source of the problem. If the problem persists, try reversing the HBX cable. Also, check for dirty or bent pins on the connectors and jacks. If the problem continues, you may just need to reload the AutoStar ROM (with version 4.3Eg). Of course, you'll need a #505 serial cable and a RS-232 port on your computer to do that. As to that 15 error in RA that you mentioned, that sounds like a Daylight Saving setting error. Did you change that, assuming you live in an area that changes twice a year.
Thank you for such a quick response to my enquiry - no wonder your site is so popular with the ETX community. As you suggested I have tried reversing the HBX cable still with external power supply; installing internal batteries and trying the HBX cable both ways and have carefully checked all connections. Unfortunately the problem still exists! I have downloaded the latest ASU software and version 4.3Eg (I have the required cables). Before I try updating the Autostar, could you please point me in the direction of a step-by-step guide for the updating process as I understand that it can sometimes cause problems? I note what you say about the Daylight Saving setting causing the RA error and will check this out once I can get everything up and running correctly. Thanks for your help Tony CarrMike here: See the article "How to use the 3.x Updater" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. It is still pretty much appropriate for the current ASU version. Also, see the article "AutoStar & Your Computer" (web or Powerpoint version).
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