|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, 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 AC adapter Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2010 09:13:14 From: Andy & Leah Lancour (email@example.com) I have an ETX 125 that has an AC adapter for use with a cigarette plug, which in turn plugs in to a standard wall outlet. I have read that some people only use a portable power station to eliminate a possible power surge risk frying their electronics. Is this a real possibility? Am I safer/better off investing in a portable power supply? I see you have a fine chart of power supplies in Tech Tips. What is your opinion, Mike? I have had numerous issues with scope failures and really am paranoid about re damaging anything. Any advice, as always, is appreciated.Mike here: Some AC Adapters can cause problems with any telescope. In fact, there is even a warning about the Meade #541 AC Adapter (see the Announcements: Warnings! page). But I've used mine without any problems. I also use a Celestron Power Tank (see the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page). Similar models are available from many sources. And of course, there are the many models listed on that the Power Supply table.
Does the Celestron Power Tank come with a plug to go from the scope to the unit, or do you buy that separately?Mike here: That's a separate item. Any ETX power cable with the cigarette lighter plug on one end will work perfectly. Same for any telescope that can use external 12 VDC power; just need the cigarette lighter plug on one end.
Subject: Polar alignment method Sent: Friday, June 25, 2010 10:25:02 From: Gregory Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) I discovered another method related to the Kochab clock technique. Using either a digital level/protractor or clinometer (available in various levels of precision and cost, I got mine at Harbor Freight for under $20 and good to .1 degrees) you set the latitude of the wedge. I did it with the scope attached with the declination at 90 and measured off the end of the tube. If you have gps you can get the precise latitude from it or as I did off an aeronautical or similar chart. I lucked out in that I read about the Kochab method on June 14! so all I had to do was swing the base to line polaris up with the vertical cross hair. If one had a finder with a circular reticle of 45 minutes or whatever it is, all you would have to do is merge the circle with polaris and you'd have the correct azimuth. Clinometers are available that measure in 1/4 minute tolerance for substantially more money. Love your site, Greg Smith, MD
Subject: high observatory temperatures Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 12:26:44 From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) Because of concern for high temperatures in the observatory I usually remove my ETX 125 or LX 90 telecope after an observing session. You obviously have been seeing some quite high temperatures. What do you do to mitigate any problems or do you think that I am being overly cautious? ForrestMIke here: Of course, one of the purposes of a permanent observatory is to NOT have to set up the telescope for each session. But there is the warning in the manuals about not leaving a telescope inside a hot car where the temps can really get to 120-140F. But then telescopes can be used for solar observing (with proper optical protection) and the temps of the hardware can get pretty high in direct sunlight. So, my opinion (and that of some others) is that some high temps are OK, but only up to an undetermined point. 140F would probably be bad. 120 is probably not healthy for glue and plastic parts if sustained over a long period of time. I've seen temps in my observatory here in Southern Arizona up to about 120F. I just recently added a plug-in thermostat and clip-on fan which seem to help. You can read about them (with product links) on my Cassiopeia Observatory Reports page for 17 May 2010 (http://www.weasner.com/co/Reports/2009-11/Entries/2010/5/17_Moon,_Trifid_Nebula,_Milky_Way.html).
Subject: classic home brewed astronomy chair Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 14:21:04 From: Ross Elkins (email@example.com) I joined a local astronomical society and the owner of this chair overheard me asking about one. He built it years ago, never used it and sold it to me for $20!! My bad back was really bothering me so I'm hoping this will be a big help. Ross
Subject: ETX Metal Frame Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 19:00:40 From: Joel Stevens (Joel@SDELtd.com) I have an older ETX 90, now refered to as the ETX 90 RA. I'm not too impressed by the plastic fork assembly. (I also have a B&L 4000 and a Celestron 8 GPS). I am interested in an ETX 125 PE, and I understand this has a metal Fork and turntable assembly. I assume it is much more solid than my old ETX 90 with the all plastic forks. Is this true? When did Meade Start using the Metal (with plastic cover) fork and turntable? Thanks JoelMike here: Yes, the new models are more substantially built than the older models. I don't recall at this date when each improvement was made and to which models. Sorry. By the way, the ETX PE models have been discontinued. The ETX-90AT and ETX-125AT are still available.
Subject: Cool Fathers Day Astronomy Gift Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 16:43:10 From: Ross Elkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) Got this from my daughter! Ross
Subject: Focusing issue with ETX 70 and a 1.25" Star Diagonal Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 05:51:25 From: Neil Mc Lysaght (email@example.com) I recently purchased a nice 1.25" Star Diagonal to use with a 4 Inch Refractor I have. See here for details of the diagonal i'm using (http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p1771_1-25--star-diagonal ---99--reflectivity---CNC-machined-body---1-1.html) The diagonal has dielectric 99% coating for bright images and works wonderfully with the refractor and also with my ETX-90 EC and ETX-125 scopes when attached to the rear port of both scopes with an astro-engineering visual back See here for visual back details (http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/astroengineering/etx/AC647 -adaptor/combinedcameraandeyepieceholder.html). I have found that the diagonal produces brighter and clearer images than those from built in flip down mirror on both scopes. I have also tried to use the diagonal with my ETX70 AT (Same Visual back attachment procedure) as I was really keen to see if the already excellent wide field views of the etx70 could be improved. However I have found that it is impossible to achieve focus with this visual back -> Diagonal -> eyepiece arrangement. I have tried using an assortment of eyepieces but the result is always the same. Do you know why, such a setup effects the focus on the etx70? Is is something to do with the increased distance between the eyepiece and the objective lens? Thanks for the absolutely fantastic site! Regards, Neil McLysaght (Ireland)Mike here: As you have discovered, the ETX-70 (and other ETX refractor models) does not have a lot of focus travel. That is why a focus can not be achieved when attaching some accessories. Sometimes, adding a Barlow Lens BEFORE the accessory can help, but not always. It depends on the accessory. The only other option (and it is not really an option) is to modify the OTA to allow the objective lens housing to travel further. But that would require completely disassembling the OTA.
Subject: Helping diagnose Problems with Friends ETX-125 Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 12:37:24 From: Rodger C. Fry (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am an ETX owner and also own an LX-200R-10". I have a friend that has an ETX-125 which he has had for nearly 10 years but has never used the GOTO. This telescope obviously has a problem. When you loosen the Azimuth clutch and rotate the azimuth from "home position" clockwise, you can only rotate this for about 330 degrees. I think something must be wrong because I knew that the OTA should rotate 360 degrees +. I verified this by doing the same with my ETX-105. It indeed rotates approximately 690 degrees. What might be the problem and what recommendation might you suggest. Your help is appreciated. Thanks Rodger C. FryMike here: There are a couple of possibilities since it should rotate nearly twice around between hard stops. The mostly likely culprit is some obstruction, typically a piece of debris or possibly a wire. You don't want to force the rotation in case it is a wire as you could cut the wire. The other possibility is a broken hard stop. You will have to open up the base to see what the problem is.
Subject: 9x50mm finder on ETX 125 Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 11:39:43 From: Steve (email@example.com) Im not over keen on the supplied optical finder scope that comes with the ETX125, is there an easy solution, on how to mount a Orion 9 x 50mm findersope? Don't mind doing a bit of mod work, any suggestions? Many thanks SteveMike here: There are several articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page on adding finderscopes. Do a "find" on the web page for "finder".
Thanks for info, ive got the AT version, the little screw that holds the finder on is it a bolt or screw? As i was thinking of making a bracket but dont want to take it off and the nut fall inside (thats if its a bolt) SteveMike here: From the reports, it is a screw. I don't recall any reports of anything falling inside the OTA. But check the articles.
Subject: rss feedback Sent: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 06:09:49 From: Magiel Janson (firstname.lastname@example.org) I just started using your rss feed and I saw you like to have some feedback on that. I like the quick updates. I do miss however a direct link to the article in the rss message. I have no idea how to set it up, and if it's a lot of work, so just see it as a 'nice to have' :-) Keep up the good work! Magiel
Subject: re: Smart finder shuts down unexpectedly Sent: Monday, June 7, 2010 07:54:50 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) Last month (i've been on vacation) you wrote about changing the LNT's battery. Yes, Meade has typos in their manuals (-sometimes- they update the on-line versions) The "CR2032" numbering system is based upon the physical -size- of the battery. 20mm in diameter, and 3.2mm tall. It's that simple. This Wikipedia article covers them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_battery_sizes (starting half-way down the page) have fun --dick
From: Ross Elkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks for the info!
Subject: Problems with ETX-90 RA control, both manual and clock drive Sent: Sunday, June 6, 2010 11:27:20 From: Dr. Megabyte (M. Sunderlin) (email@example.com) I've inherited an ETX-90 'Astro', I guess even before the RA model numbering. It seems optically very nice. I am having some trouble with the RA drive. From your site, it seems the RA on these oldest of the ETX-90s is a known problem. Wondering if you can help me narrow down which id th emany, many fixes your site has would seem to best fit my symptoms The biggest problem I've had is that the clock drive doesn't seem to be tracking in the RA at all. Since I put batteries in, the motor runs, but it doesn't seem to be engaged, regardless of where the RA lock is set. The RA slow-motion knob is kind of stiff or maybe jerky, too. That is, the manual RA seems to require a bit of effort to begin moving, more than it does to keep it moving. Thoughts? -- Mark E. Sunderlin AKA Dr. Megabyte, K4ED in Winchester VA Solutions Architect, Fisherman, Tuba Player, Coin Collector, Father "When I first got on the information superhighway, it was just a quiet country road" - Dr. MegabyteMike here: The RA problem could be the teflon pads or the clutch. You'll have to open the base to see where the problem lies. Also, check for a loose main central nut. As to the Declination shaft, that could be just a lack of lubrication. You'll have to open up the fork arm to check.
Subject: RE: etx-90ec repair service? Sent: Friday, June 4, 2010 23:28:19 From: Mark Bunch (CCD) (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you for the information! Regards, Mark B.
From: Mike B (email@example.com) I had the same problem with a Meade DS-2000 mount that I fixed by cleaning the optical encoder on the AZ drive motor gearbox. The controler uses feedback from the encoder to set the speed of the drive as it slews the mount around and no feedback signal after slow movement is commanded is interpreted as a stalled/sticky motor/geartrain which the controller tries to overcome by applying more power to the motor before faulting. The encoder is a simple device that consists of a plastic slotted disk on a shaft in the open gearbox that rotates between a small LED emiter and a photo detecter diode, cleaning the len on both with a q-tip only takes seconds and costs less than $0.02. I don't own a ETX-90 or mount but I do own a ETX-60 and the mounts look similar, removing the fork cover to get access to the drive only takes a couple of minutes with a screwdriver. I am not trying to reduce Dr. Sherrod's income but the fix for this problem is so easy and quick that I hope Mr Bunch will look into attempting it himself. Thanks Mike B
Subject: etx-90ec repair service? Sent: Friday, June 4, 2010 10:09:19 From: Mark Bunch (firstname.lastname@example.org) Meade customer service directed me to you (and telescope-wherehouse.com). I have a Meade ETX-90EC (purchased pre-1999?), and it's having some problems with the motor. When using the electronic controller to move side to side, I can choose the speed, but when moving up-down, it goes only one speed (no matter which speed selected, which is way too fast).* Meade indicated they couldn't repair it due to it "having plastic parts". I attempted to read through many of your webpages, but some of the repairs involve opening the scope (which makes me nervous). Have you ever heard of this issue previously, could you recommend a repair company? Thank you much in advance, Mark Bunch *I guess I should have had this problem fixed when it occurred 7 years ago, instead of just putting it down and not touching it again until now (I was very frustrated and poor back then).Mike here: Contact Dr. Clay Sherrod for his Telescope "Supercharge" Service. The link is on the ETX Site Home Page.
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