Last updated: 31 July 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.

Subject:	ETX-125AT: Right Angle View Finder and my bad right eye
Sent:	Friday, July 31, 2009 11:09:07
From:	Alexander Czernin-Morzin (
Your new location looks wonderful. While I now live in Austria I have
been quite a few times to Arizona and envy you for your skies! Here, at
my location: lot of lights! Every mayor is proud to illuminate their
village... After half an hour dark adaptation and no moon I can see the
milky way a wee bit.

But, my question/problem: I have an ETX-125AT with the right angle 8 x
25 view finder. And, as my right eye's cataract is getting stronger I
always try to look with my left eye in the view finder and then my big
nose gets in the way!

Therefore question: What should I do? I searched through your viewfinder
section but did not find a real solution, unless I overlooked something.

Thanks and once again, congrats to your new place! Are your pets already
trained to catch rattle snakes and bring them home?  :-)  :-)  :-)
Mike here: Some people, including me, have rotated the finderscope so that its eyepiece is pointing off to the left side. That gives more clearance between the finderscope and the ETX eyepiece. As to our pets, they are indoor-only cats. But they do seem to like the pet room window we had installed; they sit in it and watch the squirrels, rabbits, quail, road runners, hawks, and turkey vultures!
Subject:	Auto focuser
Sent:	Tuesday, July 28, 2009 00:08:59
From:	Niall J. Saunders (
I just thought I would 'chip in' and let you know that, for an ETX being
used afocally, that image of the moon is actually pretty good.

The problem is that a single image of the moon will always 'look flat' -
in my opinion it is just because the surface itself lacks contrast. If
you take multiple exposures and post-process these using suitable
software (e.g. Registax), then you can use a form of statistical
analysis to enhance 'edges' of features - and this is what will
eventually 'sharpen' your image.

Mike is right though - you will usually always achieve tighter focus 'by
hand' than with the sort of electronic focuser commercially available
for the ETX range of scopes, although practise and experience will go a
long way to improve matters, Focusing is an 'art' that you have to
practice before becoming 'skilled'. You will have probably experienced
the horrible 'judders' as you try and focus by hand, and that may have
been why you bought a motorised unit. Practice for long enough and you
will learn to focus WITHOUT the judders. It can be done.

And, again, because of the lack of contrast on the moon, focusing on the
moon is the hardest task. Unfortunately, using a focus aid like the
superb Bahtinov mask does not work on the moon. Bahtinov's tremendous
focus aid works fantastically for stars - but there will be a slight
difference on the focal position for stars when compared to that
required for the moon. It isn't much, but it WILL be there. That said,
if you haven't already got a Bahtinov mask, perhaps now is the time to
make, or buy, one. You will eventually establish what the 'tiny offset'
required to compensate for a closer object, like the moon, is - and that
may also help perfect your lunar images.

If you are running the focus controller off batteries (I can't remember
how they work any more), then you could try swapping the 1.5V 'alkaline'
cells for 1.2V 'rechargeable' cells. The drop in voltage will (should?
might?) have a corresponding drop in motor speed - and that might help.


Niall Saunders
Clinterty Observatories
Aberdeen, SCOTLAND


From:	Ron Vavra (
Thanks Mike for passing this along and thanks Niall for you ideas.

For what it's worth, I live in North Carolina near the ocean and for
most of the summer, there are clouds and/or rain late afternoons and
evening which dramatically limits viewing opportunities. In addition, we
are surrrounded by tall trees. My opportunities to get a glimpse of the
moon is severely limited (and of course the moon has to cooperate) so
when I get a chance I run out with the scope and camera, turn it on and
aim. I don't have time to set the scope up for autostar or even to set
it at terrestrial. So the etx keeps moving, the moon keeps moving and I
get what I can get. Hand focusing just didn't work, so I tried the auto
focuser only to find that it is of poor quality re fine focus.

Would the flexible knob focuser work better I wonder? It would probably
allow tighter focus and no movement, maybe?

I am sending along the best shot I have gotten so far with the

Again, thanks so much for your help.


Mike here: If you don't align (or at least set up in Polar Mounting), then the motion of the Moon (and other objects) can cause some blurring due to motion. And then there is the atmospheric turbulence; an especially bad problem where you live near the ocean. You might want to try to get away from the trees by going to a park or some other location to gain some experience in using the telescope and imager. That will pay many dividends and once you get the techniques down, you'll have better luck with the "spur-of-the-moment" observations and imaging.
Subject:	re: ETX125 ISS tracking
Sent:	Monday, July 27, 2009 20:11:12
From:	richard seymour (
If you explore the Setup/Telescope menu,  you'll find an entry for "Min AOS"
That's where you can tell the autostar to look -above- your treeline.

The default angle is 5 degrees above the horizon.
If you key in (say) 15 degrees, the scope will wait -there- for the start of a pass.

have fun
From:	Raymond Smith (
Thanks for the quick response.
I have been looking through them.
I didn't realize that it is possible for the orbit for the ISS for
example to be different from one day to the next.
I didn't do an update every time I tried so this may be the problem.
If the clouds ever go away I'll be trying again.



This is a significant tip. I'll give that a try.

Tell Dick thanks!


Subject:	ETX125 ISS tracking
Sent:	Monday, July 27, 2009 15:33:52
From:	Raymond Smith (
I love all the information on your web site. Thanks for all the work you
do for this community.

I am a newbie so please be patient

Has anyone had any luck getting their ETX to track a satellite?

I have tried on multiple nights and haven't had any luck trying to see
the international space station.

Part of my problem is that I have a significant tree line at the
horizon. What I do is I do the normal auto alignment, then select the
ISS entry off the autostar list and then select goto. The scope goes to
approximately where the satellite should appear and then waits counting
down to 0. Since I can't actually see where the satellite should appear
because of the trees I always hit enter when it gets to 0. Then as it
tracks I manually correct it when it gets above the trees. The problem
is that once I have corrected it, it immediately veers of one direction
or another. Also it never seems to be very close. I have to correct it
quite a long ways.

Do you think this is because I have to hit enter before the subject is
actually visible in the eye piece?

The scope seems to track Saturn and Jupiter and anything else I have
tried pretty well so I know the scope isn't just broken.

I have gotten into the software supplied with the scope that allows you
to import the latest satellite data so it should be current although if
there are opportunities to mess that up you might let me know
Mike here: There are several articles on satellite and ISS tracking on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Depending on how old the ISS orbital elements in your AutoStar are, it could be close or way off. Personally, I've not yet tracked any satellite but I know it does work.
Subject:	auto focuser
Sent:	Monday, July 27, 2009 09:14:14
From:	Ron Vavra (
Not sure if I should be emailing you or posting directly on your site
somehow, but here is my situation;

I bought the 1244 autofocuser for my etx, installed it and it seems to
work fine, or I should say it's operational.

I have been trying to take some pictures of the moon. Very simple. I
have been using the electronic controller. When I try to get a good
crisp image using the lowest (fine) speed I can't get it in perfect
focus. It just isn't fine enough to really nail it so every picture is
slightly out of focus or worse. Even if I just lightly tap the focus
button, it will go past the perfect focus.

I've attached a picture from last night so you can see what I mean. I am
using a 10mm lens. Should I go to a lower magnification?


Mike here: I have provided an "Email Etiquette" on the ETX Site, which I hope makes it clear how to submit things. Is there something I need to rewrite to make it more understandable? As to motorized focusers, this is a common problem with low-end focusers. It is easy to overrun the precise focus position. If you change the gear ratios (a DIY project) or change the battery voltage, you may be able to get a slower speed.


Sorry I offended you and broke your rules. I will again study them and
try to determine what I did wrong.
Mike here: Hey, you didn't offend me. I just always want to improve the Guide to ensure there is no confusion to its readers and Site visitors.


Still don't know what I did incorrectly. But at the risk of pushing my
luck too far, is there somewhere on your site where I can find that DIY
gear change info? I looked around but didn't see anything. I appreciate
your help. ron
Mike here: Actually, YOU didn't do anything incorrectly. Sending email is exactly correct. But *I* may have done something incorrectly in some wording in the Guide that I was asking for your help to improve. As to changing the gear ratio, no one has yet written that up. But the article "Meade Electronic Focuser Repair Info" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page may help you DIY. If you do tackle it, I would love to post an article from you on how you did it!
Subject:	The hard stop problem
Sent:	Friday, July 24, 2009 16:42:17
From:	Philip Mann (
I was last in touch in May I believe and tonight is the first clear
night since then!  English summers.

I've got to accept the fact that my 125 will only align via two stars or
easy but tonight I was totally frustrated by either alignment being
interrupted by the hard stop.  I was using Arcturus and Vega for two
star alignment and it fouled up every time on the second star whilst
trying the Easy or Two star.  Does the ETX know where the hard stop is
or shouldm I just be cleverer in the alignment stars I choose? 
Presumably if I could automatically align this problem would not occur? 
Again many thanks in advance for your support.
Bye for now

Philip Mann
Primary Education and Information
Communication Technology Consultant
Mike here: If you set the ETX in the proper HOME position (rotated CCW to the hard stop, roughly the telescope will be pointed Southwest) and then rotated back to True North (a CW rotation of about 120 degrees), the AutoStar then "knows" where the hard stops are and how to avoid them. If you didn't set it in the proper HOME position OR there is some obstruction (like a wire or some piece of debris) then stopping when it shouldn't can occur. So, was the HOME position correct? The HOME position is the same for Alt/Az non-Auto Align. It is different on the PE model for Auto Align.


Hi Mike thanks for this.  My ETX is the PE model.  As I'm not using auto
align I guess it doesn't matter in my case?  I eagerly await another
clear night to sort it.
Many thanks again.
Bye for now
Mike here: No need to wait for a clear night. Just set up the telescope indoors and test it there. When asked to center stars, just press ENTER.
Subject:	Clay Sherrod's ETX Star Charts
Sent:	Thursday, July 23, 2009 15:45:20
From:	Edwin Pinheiro (
Are the EXT star charts by Clay Sherrod printed in your fine book "Using
the Meade ETX" on pages 143 through 147 available on your Web site, or
anywhere else?


Ed J. Pinheiro, PMP®
Mike here: Since I haven't yet unpacked that book from our recent move, I'm not certain I recall which charts those would be. But if you mean the AutoStar Alignment Stars charts, they are on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.


Found them, 


Subject:	ETX 80 focus shift
Sent:	Tuesday, July 21, 2009 16:41:45
From:	Stephen Olson (
Long time. Hope all is well with you and yours. I recently picked up and
ETX80 brand new just for some quick viewing. I am having problems with
the focuser. When I use high power eye pieces and focus they move WAY
too much. Is there a fix for this or do I just have to live with it?
Thanks again for your expertise!
Steve Olson
Mike here: If there is any excessive image shift it is likely to be do to the flip mirror being out of alignment. It could also be the objective lens housing that it is out of alignment but I think that is less likely. When you focus, do you feel any binding or jumping in the objective lens housing movement? If not, then it is probably the flip mirror. Since the telescope is new I'd recommend working with your dealer on an exchange.


Thanks for the quick reply. I really thought it was just the foucser
being loose. It moves rather freely. Never thought about what you said.
I have had it for a while now. Just never used it. Its been over a year.
Any photos of what your talking about? Thanks again

Mike here: There are some articles on image shift (and flip mirror) on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	regards from Granada (Spain)
Sent:	Tuesday, July 21, 2009 03:37:37
From:	Moral Soriano, Jose Salvador ( My
name is Jose Salvador, and I'm an astronomer fan from Granada (South of
Spain, Europe)

I've been using your technical information for a long time (about five
years) and I've never write you to say how wonderful is the work you've

I've a LX-90 and an ETX-105 and with your help I can use them fully
Simply let you know it.
With best regards,
Jose Salvador Moral
Granada. Spain.

Subject:	Re: Converting the 1244 Electric Focuser to fit ETX-125EC
Sent:	Friday, July 17, 2009 01:36:05
From:	Simon Grimshaw (
Many thanks for your reply and directing me in the right place - keep up
the good work!

many thanks


Subject:	etx-70
Sent:	Thursday, July 16, 2009 12:06:47
From:	Gnter Dix (
Durch surfen im inet bin ich auf ihre email adresse gestossen
Ich habe ein etx-70, bin sehr zufrieden, nur mit dem fokus-shiffting bin
ich nicht zufrieden Was kann ich dagegen machen,

habe schon im inneren eine zusatz hlse eingebaut als fhrung, aber viel
besser ist es nicht geworden

ich wre ihnen sehr dankbar, wenn sie mir bei meinem problem helfen
knnten, vl. Mit foto ??
Mit freundlichen Gren
Google translation:
By surfing the inet, I am on their email address rise I have a ETX-70,
I'm very satisfied, but with the focus-shiffting I am not happy what can
I do, had been placed inside an additional sleeve fitted as an
introduction, but much better is it does not become them, I would very
grateful if you help me with my problem might help, vl With photo? Yours
sincerely thank G. Dix
Mike here: Please see the Email Etiquette page regarding the Message Text; thanks for understanding. As to the focus shift, do you mean the image shifts sideways when focusing? Or do you mean there is a focus change when swapping eyepieces?
Subject:	ETX-125 min temperatures
Sent:	Friday, July 10, 2009 13:46:05
From:	Clayton Ostler (
I really appreciate your site, and I want to start by making a
suggestion. A forum to post questions to other etx users might be
helpful. I honestly feel guilty bombarding you with questions, and bet
other users might be able to answer them too. Maybe there is somewhere
on the site, and I just missed it.

About a month ago I purchased a etx-80 backpack set, after a week I was
so impressed I went out and bought the etx-125pe. I am very impressed
and love the scope. I have a couple questions that I am hoping you could
help answer, (or point me to a spot on the site)

1. Light pollution filters, I read 2 reviews on your accessories part of
the site, neither seem to really love their filter. I live in the
suburbs of Salt Lake City and my back yard is full of light pollution.
Could you suggest a good filter? Will light pollution filters be equally
effective on planets as clusters and nebula?

2. As I mentioned I live in Utah, and our best skies are in the winter.
Is there a mix/man temperature I should be worried about for use with my
scopes? I have read the term "cool down time" regarding the etx-125
also. Should I be aware of anything in this regard?

3. I read your info about eye pieces, and currently own the 9.7, 15, 20,
26 mm Meade 4000 plossls. I am saving money to get a 6.7mm uwa 5000, but
I saw the suggestion of getting a 40mm. What would the benefits be of
the 40mm? Other than just being a good finder piece will my scope see
much more with the 40 than I do with the 26?

4. Have you experienced a "max" magnification with the scope? I took the
"aperture x 50" thing for the etx-125 and came up with 250, but I the
6.7mm would give me around 280, will I be able to use it? I have read
crazy numbers like 500x on the scope, but Im guessing I would have to be
on top of a volcano in Hawaii to get that clear of a sky.

I really love your site and think it greatly benefits many people, I
would love to do anything I can to help you with it. I am a 20 IT
professional, and a huge Linux guy. "If you ever need help let me know,
Im not much of a coder, but I would be glad to help you server configs
or whatever:

Thanks for all you do.

Mike here: There is an ETX forum on Yahoo Groups (ETXAstro). As to why I don't have one on the ETX, read the Site Guide. Light pollution filters work best with larger aperture telescopes and on nebulae (typically, emission nebulae). You will find them somewhat a disappoint with the small aperture ETX telescopes. Getting to a darker site is more effective. See the Helpful Information: Observational Guides/References page; there are some articles on temperature there. A low power eyepiece is useful when viewing large star fields and open clusters. It can also be handy when trying to locate faint extended objects (from a dark site). There are two ways to determine the "maximum theoretical" magnification for any telescope; see the ETX FAQ page. Of course, as you get close to the "max" the object begins to get fainter and fuzzier. You can reach and sometimes exceed the max on brighter objects like the Moon and bright planets. It will depend on the observing conditions.


Thanks for the help, I found what I was looking for. I wont waste the
money on a filter. Just curious on your opinion. I was looking at
Jupiter 2 nights ago in the 9mm, and decided to try my barlow with it.
Obviously jupiter is super bright, so I didnt have a brightness issue,
but I was unable to get it focused (always fuzzy). Do you think I
exceeded the optics of the scope or is the atmosphere and light
pollution just too much for that kind of magnification? I guess Im just
scared to drop 160$ on a uwa 6.7mm and then find out I cant use it.

I read somewhere that you have written an book on the etx, I would love
to purchase it. Is it available on amazon?

Mike here: I have doubled my 9.7mm on Jupiter with my ETX-90 and ETX-125. Duriny moments of excellent seeing, it looked nice. However, keep in mind that the lower the object is in the sky, the more atmosphere you are looking through. As to my ETX book, see the Other: Author, Author! page. It is a little dated now having been written back in 2000 and 2001.


Thank you

Subject:	AC Adapter for MEADE ETX 105
Sent:	Tuesday, July 7, 2009 14:46:48
From:	Medeiros, Eliton (Eliton.Medeiros@ARS.USDA.GOV)
I have an etx 105 meade scope and would like to use a power adaptor. I
have one whose specifications are:
Input: 100-240V, 50-60hz
Eing. 1A
Output 12V, 3A (actual current measured is 2.4 A)
Since Meade uses a 1.5 A, would this one work?
Mike here: Sorry for the delay in responding.  As has been noted on the Announcements: Site page during most of June, I have been offline for awhile and requested to NOT receive email until I was back online.  I am now back online and I am able to respond to your email.
It should be as long as it puts out a stable power source. Also, be certain it has the proper polarity (center pin positive).
Subject:	High latitude leg mounting hole
Sent:	Sunday, July 5, 2009 07:15:26
From:	Mark Medlin (
The base of my ETX 125AT does not show which hole is the High Latitude
leg mounting hole.  There is one picture in the manual which seems to
indicate that it is the hole nearest the locking clips for the battery
cover, can't even read it clearly with a magnifying glass. So to get to
the point, IS it the hole nearest the locking clips for the battery

Thanks for your great site and any guidance you can give,
Nike here: My ETX telescopes are still packed from my recent move. But according to the manual (viewed online) which hole you use depends on your latitude. See Fig 16 at:
Subject:	"Clay's Kochab Clock": Precise Portable Polar Alignment EVERY Time!
Sent:	Sunday, June 28, 2009 07:34:34
From: BJames (
I have a question about the Kochab Clock alignment. If my finderscope
and OTA were set perfectly with each other and I then centered in on
Polaris with the finder crosshairs,(Polaris would be in the center of
the eyepiece) is it then that I would use the tripod and/or wedge
adjustments to offset Polaris to obtain the NCP?
Thanks for the help   
Mike here: Yes.
Subject:	Visual back for ETX90.
Sent:	Friday, June 26, 2009 16:32:10
Love your site - it's an oasis for ETX owners.  If I may - a question.

I've taken my ETX90 off its mount and am intending to use it on a UA
MicroStar which handles it beautifully.  I'd like to use the rear port
on the ETX for observing but am having trouble finding a visual back.  I
understand Shutan doesn't handle them any more.  I ordered one from
Scopetronix a couple of weeks ago and got an order acknowledgement on
the 18th, but alas - no visual back.  I emailed them a few days ago
asking for status and no reply.  They haven't charged my card so I'm
guessing they don't have it in stock.

Well, now that you've been nice enough to listen to me whine - my
question.  Meade and several others sell an adapter to go from the
threads on the back of the ETX90 to standard "SCT Accessory" threads. 
Would this allow me to se some set of SCT adapters/diagonals etc to
accomplish my goal.  I'll be using only 1.25" eyepieces, the largest of
which will be a Hyperion zoom.

Any problems with focus using this lashup?

Thanks a lot in advance.
Ken Franklin
Mike here: You might want to read the Scopetronix discussion on the Editorial Page. As to a visual back, yes, the SCT adapter for the ETX does allow SOME SCT accessories to be used.
Subject:	Meade ETX corrector retaining ring loose
Sent:	Friday, June 26, 2009 07:19:10
From: Russell Colina (
I have a Meade ETX 90 EC and was shocked recently to discover that the
corrector lens was loose in its mount. The retaining ring was several
turns loose.

How tight should I retighten the retaining ring? I have heard that the
ring should not pinch the corrector. Also what are the chances that the
scope will have lost its collimation and is this easy to correct?

I live in New Zealand and local support from Meade agents is not good.
Sending the 'scope back to the U.S. is probably not economic.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanking you in advance,
Russell Colina
Timaru, New Zealand.
Mike here: Tighten to finger-tight. You can easily do a "star test" to check the collimation (see the "Star Testing and Collimation" section on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page).
Subject:	Fwd: Converting the 1244 Electric Focuser to fit ETX-125EC
Sent:	Friday, June 26, 2009 06:34:05
From: Simon Grimshaw (
I have desperately been trying to purchase a Mead #1247 Electric Focuser
for my ETX-125EC but have had no joy what so ever.  I understand that
they were discontinued some time ago now due to high lead contents. 
Somebody has suggested that I try to modify the Meade #1244 Electric
Focuser to fit, has anybody been able to do this?  And if so, are there
any photo's or plans showing what modifications are required?

Many thanks in anticipation and keep up the good work on the website!
Simon Grimshaw (England)
MIke here: Well, after reading your message, the first thing I did was a search on the ETX Site for "1244". Guess what, the first listed article was what you likely want to read ("Meade #1244 Focuser Mod for ETX-125" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page). Try that. (I love it when the Goodle search on my ETX Site works so nicely!)
Subject:	Object moves after setting with arrow keys, ETX90-PE 062509
Sent:	Thursday, June 25, 2009 19:32:15
From: RAB (
Date: June 25, 2009 18:47:24 PDT
Original button battery was dead, so I replaced it, recalibrated
sensors, and trained the drives.

After 'automatic align', using two alignment stars, Autostar says
"alignment successful".

Then, when I go to an object, there is still a large pointing error, so
I use the Arrow Keys to center the object in the eyepiece.

But then, after a second or so, the motors start and put the star
somewhere else in the field.

When I use the arrow keys to again put the star back in the center of
the eyepiece, the same thing happens.

Over and over again!

Any idea what's up and what I can do to make it sit still?

I haven't gotten a useful  answer by calling Meade Tech Support.

Thanks, Dick B.
Mike here: Have you done a TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes)? That usually cures the "rubberbanding". If not, do a CALIBATE MOTOR and then the TRAIN DRIVES. If that doesn't cure it, do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and then TRAIN DRIVES. As a reminder, please read the Email Etiquette page, especially about SPAM blockers. Thanks for understanding.
Subject:	ETX105 tripod mounting - not very secure!
Sent:	Wednesday, June 24, 2009 19:36:01
From: Philip Reeve (
Date: June 24, 2009 19:16:27 PDT
If like me, you purchased your ETX105 without the mechanics, (The RA &
Dec mechanics are terrible - thats my excuse), or you intend to use it
with a GIRO mount or similar, (i.e. so the tripod mounting is on the
side), or even a photographic tripod head, be extremely careful as the
1/4inch tripod mounting bushes are not very secure as I found out whilst
adding a dovetail bar and tightening up the securing bolts, so I could
use it alongside my TeleVue Ranger on my GIRO mount.

Fortunately I was adding the dovetail during daylight hours. whilst it
was on my lap.  Apart from me cursing comments a few towards Meade, I
think the night black off a night sky would have definitely turned blue
if I had of been observing with it and the ETX came off and hit the
I suppose I can:-
1.  Glue the 1/4inch tripod mounting bushes back in place with a
suitable epoxy adhesive, (and hope they stay stuck).
2.  Disassemble the OTA drop a couple of bolts through where the tripod
mounting bushes were and attach the dovetail bar directly to the rear
plastic housing of the OTA and reassemble.
3.  Purchase a set tube rings.
Regards and clear skies,
Philip - Lower Earley, England, (51.428N / 0.914W).
Mike here: Sorry for the delay in responding. As noted on the Announcements: Site page during most of June, I have been (and continue to be) offline for awhiles o I can respond to your email. I was able to get temporary Internet access. Please read the Announcements: Site page for further info; do not reply to my reply to you until such time as the Site page is updated noting that I'm able to respond again. Thanks for understanding. I recommend tube rings. Losmandy or ScopeStuff (links on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject:	ETX home position.
Sent:	Tuesday, June 23, 2009 22:24:43
From:	BJames (
I have a question about the ETX-90 and its tripod. When I face the
tripod facing North(leg is marked with an N) and the control panel West,
I then rotate the OTA CCW until it hits the stop and then CW so the Dec
arm is over the control panel. Is it supposed to go a full turn back
around to the DEC arm? If not' when I try to center polaris the scopes
RA stop hits before Polaris can be centered. Im confused about this one.
Thanks for your help.
Mike here: You didn't say which model ETX you have or which AutoStar Alignment mode you are using. But yes, for the non-Auto Align modes (of the PE models) you do the rotation CCW to the stop (OTA pointing Southwest) and then back CW to North. This clockwise rotation is about 120 degrees. Since you mention wanting to center Polaris, I assume you are doing a One Star Alignment. Have you tried Easy Align? Also, the rotation from hard stop to hard stop should be nearly twice around. If it is significantly less than that, then there is some obstruction (like a wire) or a broken hard stop. If a wire, don't force the movement as you can cut the wire. You would have to open up the base to check.

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