Last updated: 21 July 2007
This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX PE (Premier Edition). Feedback on the specific PE technologies (Automatic Alignment + SmartFinder, Level North Technology) will be covered here. Feedback on the Autostar Suite AE (Astronomer Edition) will be posted on the regular Autostar Suite feedback page. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (EC, AT, PE) will continue to be posted on the other appropriate feedback pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.
Subject: FW: Electric Focuser for EXT-125PE Sent: Friday, July 20, 2007 08:59:47 From: Steve Carlson (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have been trying to obtain a 1247 Electric Focuser for my ETX-125 but with no success to date. The message I$BCN(J getting back from every supplier I have tried is that Meade has discontinued this unit. I was wondering if you or one of the forum readers has any information about this and if possible, how I may obtain one. Many thanks for your assistance and superb website. Yours faithfully Steve CarlsonMike here: Yes, it seems to be discontinued. Some dealers may still have some in stock; you will have to check around. HOWEVER, there have been some reports that it may or may not work with the PE model. Some have worked and some haven't.
Subject: EXT 125PE - Initial Alignment Question (Southern Hemisphere) Sent: Monday, July 9, 2007 18:52:59 From: Mark Blakelock (email@example.com) I have downloaded from your site and used a very good guide to the initial set-up of my new scope (EXT 125PE (with LNT). Everything goes fine until I need to align to a star. Meade have decided to align to Sigma Octans. This is a 6.56 mag star! So when the scope goes to this region and the set up prompts me to 'centre on the brightest star' I have some difficulty finding a bright one as around the SCP it's very dark! (Oh I wish we had Polaris) Can you advise on another star or should I use another method altogether. Regards Mark Blakelock Kerikeri (Top of the North Island) New ZealandMike here: You shouldn't need to do that except when doing a CALIBRATE SENSOR (I assume it uses SCP in the Southern Hemisphere). So, assuming that CALIBRATE SENSOR has been done or is not needed, other alignment stars can be used for the Two Star alignment. If you can't see one, just press the SCROLL DOWN arrow key to have the AutoStar find another one.
Subject: EXT 125PE AC Power Adapter Specifications Sent: Monday, July 9, 2007 17:00:08 From: Mark Blakelock (firstname.lastname@example.org) I recently brought a EXT 120PE (with LNT). I would like to power it from a 12vDC power adapter but I am not sure of the specifications. Do you know the correct amperage and the correct polarity for the centre pin? Thanks for your website and all the input from the experts and other contributors Mark Blakelock Kerikeri (Top of the North Island) New ZealandMike here: The Meade ETX AC Adapter is spec-ed at 1500mA 12VDC. Center pin is positive (as noted on the FAQ page).
Cheers Mike and thanks for the prompt reply
Subject: Re: No Polaris in my backyard - LNT Problem Sent: Friday, July 6, 2007 09:03:10 From: Roderick de Greef (email@example.com) Thanks very much for your quick response, both the specific information and the advice. Best regards, Rod
Subject: RE: Uncontrollable drifting with ETX-105 Sent: Thursday, July 5, 2007 03:58:48 From: Greg Holland (G.Holland@manchester.ac.uk) Problem solved so I thought you might like some feedback. Thanks for the advice dick but I'd already played with the percentages and the wander was just too great to be corrected that way. I uploaded the latest autostar software - still no change. I retrained the drives and problem solved. However I had retrained the drives with the old (31e) version of the software and had no improvement. So either I retrained the drives wrong previously (which I think is unlikely) or version 31e of the software doesn't save or implement any new drive training information. Either way problem solved and thanks again for your help. Cheers, Greg
From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) I don't remember there being a Training problem with v31Ee, but empirical results trump my foggy memory any ol' day. > Either way problem solved That's the goal! (although i always like to find the underlying cause) > and thanks again for your help. thanks very much for the feedback. It means we'll lean harder on advising future folks to "Update!!!" have fun --dick
Subject: re: ETX-125PE failing to Goto and wandering Sent: Wednesday, July 4, 2007 20:24:07 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) The "jump" you're seeing is the Percentage effect kicking in. Jumpy means "too high". Try backing down from the "50". good luck on deployment.. --dick
Subject: No Polaris in my backyard - LNT Problem Sent: Tuesday, July 3, 2007 16:23:35 From: Roderick de Greef (firstname.lastname@example.org) I about to purchase the ETX 125PE and have a couple of probably newbie questions. 1) I am located in southern New Hampshire on 2.6 acres with dozens of 80 to 100 ft trees. While spectacular most of the time, they infringe on my ability to see anywhere close to most horizons; particularly north. I simply cannot see Polaris and am wondering if this will cause a problem in aligning an ETX? 2) Will the accessories I plan to purchase (4000 or 5000 eyepieces and DSI II Pro) fit the ETX as well as other Meade scopes should I choose to upgrade to an LX90 or LX200? If budget is not an issue am I significantly better off getting the LX90 now or waiting until I have gone up the learning curve? (I realize that last one is pretty open ended, but would appreciate your input). Thanks in advance for your time. I have purchased and read your book which is great, and is what has focused me (in addition to your website) on the ETX in the first place. Best regards. Roderick de Greef email@example.comMike here: The PE model has the LNT which uses Magnetic North to locate True North automatically. So, unless you need to CALIBRATE SENSOR in the LNT, not seeing Polaris is probably not a problem. The eyepieces and DSI will fit all the telescopes but some of the Series 5000 eyepieces might be somewhat too heavy for the ETX. As to a LX90 now, I always recommend getting the largest telescope you can and WILL use. If the telescope is too large or cumbersome for you to easily set up, then it will likely not get used much. Other than that consideration, the LX90 is a fine telescope and just as easy to use as the ETX line.
Subject: re: Uncontrollable drifting with ETX-105 Sent: Sunday, July 1, 2007 09:05:18 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) The "wandering" symptom is almost always an incorrect setting of the anti-backlash "percentages". So menu to: Setup>Telescope>Az/RA Percent and Alt/Dec Percent, tap enter, and look at the numbers. Each scope has a different "feel", so i can't tell you the "best" values... on one of my scopes i use Az=1 and Alt=11, on another the Az seems happy in the 10 to 15 range, and the Alt wanders all over the map, sometimes i prefer 11, sometimes exceeding 50. So, if they're high, try drastic reduction. If they're low, try increasing in steps of 10 until things get better, then worse, and then back down and seek an optimum. good luck --dick
Subject: re: ETX-125PE failing to Goto and wandering Sent: Sunday, July 1, 2007 09:01:21 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) The "wandering" symptom is almost always an incorrect setting of the anti-backlash "percentages". So menu to: Setup>Telescope>Az/RA Percent and Alt/Dec Percent, tap enter, and look at the numbers. Each scope has a different "feel", so i can't tell you the "best" values... on one of my scopes i use Az=1 and Alt=11, on another the Az seems happy in the 10 to 15 range, and the Alt wanders all over the map, sometimes i prefer 11, sometimes exceeding 50. So, if they're high, try drastic reduction. If they're low, try increasing in steps of 10 until things get better, then worse, and then back down and seek an optimum. Your symptom could -also- be a loose gear (if the drift is such that you have to slew west to recenter it, that's a clue), but the anti-backlash percent settings can help with that, too. good luck --dick
From: BRANDON LUBLIN (firstname.lastname@example.org) The nearest city name is 20 miles or more away from me. I would love to use lat/lon, but I do not know how to input it. I have aligned the smart finder, however, the alignment does not stay long. A simple bump of the finder and it is off again. I do use the eyepeice to do the alignments. I just borrowed a 9mm eyepeice from a friend to get more accurate alignments. I intend to re calibrate and train drives with the 9mm.Mike here: Don't worry about the 20 miles; that only amounts to a small error that will go away once you get aligned.
Will do. I will set to a city and re-cal tonight with the 9mm. Hopefully there is an improvement. Thanks again for all the help and for the rapid responses.
Following the reset, training of the drives, calibration of the motors, and calibrating the sensors... I still found myself off target with the goto. I am using a city nearby, rather than zipcode. I verify that all info, including time is correct. I center all reference objects with a 9mm eyepeice. I turned on "high precision" mode. That helps some. In fact, a few reference stars were right in the fov. Then again, some were off. I played with the percentages for the backlash. Lowering the numbers did not help much at all, so I set them to 50. There is a noticable decrease in wandering, but is still happening. Another concern. When I try to pan very slowly (speed 2), I notice a jump. It is like the motor is trying, but stuck, and then all of the sudden the object will jump appx. 1/4 of the fov (9mm) and then begin to slew as advertised. Is this jump a loose gear or something? In any case, I am still not seeing any goto function close to what is advertised. I am leaving Wednesday on military deployment to the middle east. So the scope will be sitting for a good deal of time. I am contemplating if I should send it in to get supercharged. Will this fix the bugs? I don't like the idea of dropping more money on a product that should be working as it is. Thanks again for the help.Mike here: The "jump" could be due to a broken or loose gear. It could also be due to overtightening the axis lock or a dirty encoder. One thing that can sometimes cure the latter is to unlock the axes and slowly move the telescope by hand from hardstop to hardstop, back and forth, several times. This can redistribute the grease and sometimes solves the problem. Certainly Dr. Clay can make it ALL right but if the telescope is new you might prefer to return it to the dealer (especially if you will be gone a long time). And as a former Air Force pilot, I say "many thanks" for your service to our country and the world.
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