Last updated: 31 March 2008
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: Information Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 16:26:06 From: Paul Del Priore (email@example.com) I've been to your site and have learned a lot. I've also emailed you with questions. I very often have questions about my new ETX125 and don't like to bother you because I know you must be bombarded with email. I'd like to know what type of sensor is used in the LNT module to detect level. I know that in the LX200 GPS model they use a ball that moves along a slope but I don't hear this in my ETX125. Also I would like to get a schematic for the ETX125. Is there a place where I can get information like this? Many thanks for your help. PaulMike here: Your email was originally bounced and DELETED UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject line. PLEASE read the Email Etiquette to avoid this in the future. Thanks for understanding. As to the sensor, I just finished reading the LX90-GPS/LNT manual on Meade's manuals page. It has good info on this. Check it out.
Subject: Differences in ETX125 models Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 18:52:05 From: xlimey78 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Further to the question posed by aschil02, I just received my first ever telescope, an ETX125 PE (from Astronomics) on Easter Saturday and I must say that for a $300 reduction in price Meade could have Mickey Mouse on the tube & I'd still buy it. At night, who is bothered with the outside of the telescope? I'm looking through the inside. Besides, the wife actually likes the tube picture. She thinks it complements the walls of the room in which I wanted to permanently display the ETX on its tripod (between nightly star gazing) anyway; so there it stands, with no hassles about more of my stuff that needs storage space! I took it out onto the deck that night - the optics are awesome. I'd read on this site of the many difficulties some folk had had with their ETXs, but everything works perfectly on mine right out of the box. I do agree though, that the motor noise when moving the telescope electronically, can be a little loud, but again, it was a good price at $1000 and at $700 it is superb value for money. And, quite frankly, having a site like this dedicated to helping ETX owners, did also factor into which telescope I purchased! Thanks for your contributions too Mike!
Subject: Differences in ETX125 models Sent: Monday, March 24, 2008 16:13:06 From: aschil02 (email@example.com) Mike, are there any differences in how Meade made the astro model versus the blue tube? The marketing material that I have read states that they are identical except for the picture on the tube. I have a friend that is wanting to buy the discontinued astro model but is getting some info that they do not have the same components in both versions and that there are some inferior components in the astro model. Any insight will be appreciated. Thanks from your fellow Hoosier. AndyMike here: They are the same.
Thanks Mike for clarifying.
Subject: viewfinder ETX90 Sent: Monday, March 24, 2008 02:36:45 From: Henrik van Holthoon (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello Rose&Joe, You are right about the smartfinder viewfinder it is not easy to use particular if you use spectacles for far sight. I advice you to mount 6 x 30 or 8 x 50 viewfinder and illuminated if you site is dark. What I did is glue the bracket to the OTA on the other side of the smartfinder for this you use 2 component glue make sure you clean the spot where you want to clue the bracket and of course the bracket itself. As the the ETX90 OTA has a smaller diam. as the ETX105 which I have, 6 x 30 viewfinder is probable the way to go. Succes Henrik
Subject: re: Is the ETX-125PE out of production? Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2008 09:19:46 From: Randy Chenowith (email@example.com) I am going to buy an ETX-125PE and while I would prefer a blue tube, for a $300 discount I can live with the astro tube. Are there any disadvantages to buying the discounted model, i.e. older vs. newer model, super new model coming out shortly. Thanks, Randy.Mike here: There is no difference other than the tube covering. Meade doesn't talk about unannounced products.
Subject: Autostar default Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2008 04:42:14 From: Richard (firstname.lastname@example.org) I live in France. For my birthday I received an ETX125 from USA. I never has an access though the two second push on the mode menu to smartfinder and LNT module menu. No red light is in function and I am not sure that others parts of the LNT are active. Batteries were changes without success. Thank you for help RichardMike here: It sounds like the AutoStar is not "seeing" the LNT. Does the "Auto Align" option appear? There are several PE and LNT troubleshooting articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Also, be certain the LNT battery (not just the ETX batteries) is good and properly installed.
Thank you so much for your answer. "Auto Align" option does not appear after 0 validation but only "Enter date" then "Enter Time" then "Daylight Saving"... Surprisingly, each start needs to re enter date (one day less than the real date) and time (always 8:00 PM) You are absolutely right: a lot of answers concerning LNT problems are involved in PE and LNT troubleshooting; unfortunately none is related to this kind of problem. LNT Battery has been changed for a new one (the original one and the new one were verified with volt meter and were ok. The connection locate under the curved plastic protection was also checked. The problem is still there. Thank you for any idea ! RichardMike here: Since there is no red-dot and no communications to the ETX/AutoStar, two sources of the problem could be that the LNT is bad or the cable is disconnected. As to the AutoStar (non-LNT mode) always defaulting to 8PM and the last entered date, that is normal.
Subject: ETX-125 PE Timekeeping Problems Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2008 07:27:14 From: D. Robson (email@example.com) As a note to Will Jones, and anyone else suffering poor timekeeping by their new(ish) ETX PE telescopes, I would suggest trying a new battery in the LNT module as a first resort before suspecting (as I did!) that you have a faulty piece of equipment. I bought an ex shop-demo ETX-125 about three weeks ago, and was greatly dismayed at its lack of accuracy when doing an auto alignment and pointing to anything else afterwards. After resetting the LNT module time via Autostar, I monitored it against a radio-controlled clock and quickly discovered that it was losing about two seconds per hour when the scope was turned off, but kept good time when the scope was powered via a mains adaptor. This naturally indicated a backup battery problem, but when I removed it from the LNT module and checked its voltage I found that it was still delivering an apparently acceptable (for a 3v battery) 3.03v. However the battery proved incapable of powering a cycle computer which uses the same type (CR 2032), so was obviously in its death throes, and I replaced it with a brand new one which was producing a much healthier 3.3v. The result is that the LNT module has now kept accurate time, without mains assistance, for the past four days, and the telescope's "go to" accuracy is now excellent. The moral, I suppose, is that even though Meade say the battery should last five years before being changed, don't assume that the battery that was fitted when you bought the telescope was also new, and be aware that the LNT module will start to lose accuracy as the backup battery loses power even an hour spent outside on a cold night will cause this problem so make a habit of checking the time shown by Autostar when you power up the scope, and watch for the signs of a failing battery it could save hours of frustration when you should be observing! Regards, Dave Robson
Subject: Fitting finder scope to ETX Premier Edition Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 15:46:15 From: Rose & Joe Schlatter (firstname.lastname@example.org) I lost my ETC-90 in Hurricane Katrina. As far as I can tell, the ETX scopes are all Premier Edition with the red-dot finder, not the finder scope that was on my ETC-90. I am not convinced that the red-dot finder is as useful as the old finder scope. Is there any way to replace the red-dot finder with a finder scope? Or, am I missing something here -- is the red-dot finder better? Thanks, JoeMike here: The SmartFinder is integrated on the LNT module. Some users like red-dot (or 1X) finderscopes and some prefer magnifying finderscopes. Of course, you don't need to attach the lens or use it. Since there is no mounting bracket for a replacement finderscope you would have to attach it by other means. For other finderscope options, see the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page as well as the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: Is the ETX-125PE out of production? Sent: Friday, March 7, 2008 13:01:17 From: Edward Auga (email@example.com) Do you know if the ETX-125PE is now out of production? I see that this scope is now being sold for between $698 and $745. Thanks. EdMike here: As far as I know it is only the less popular "astro tube" model (the one with a photograph on the OTA) that has been discontinued.
Subject: old vs new etx 90pe Sent: Thursday, March 6, 2008 18:01:39 From: nigel taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) reading your notes on how to tell if the ETX-125PE scope is new or an old model, would this be the same with ETX- 90 PE model because looking to buy new for my wifeMike here: Not having one I can't say from direct experience but purchasing the latest model is usually the best plan. However, if you find a good deal on an older model there might not be sufficient reason to pass it up. Afterall, the differences may not matter to you in your use.
Subject: Problem w/ my ETX-125 Sent: Saturday, March 1, 2008 17:45:24 From: Will Jones (email@example.com) Thanks for the great website and fast response to my last question. Well, I have my etx-125pe now, but I am having quite the problem with it keeping time. I put in the correct zip code and it says its "getting time", but it never has the right time. Its not even close. It's 7:45 right now and its saying that its 5:04. What do you think it could be? I just replaced the batteries and I reseted everything for the 5th time. Thanks for all the help -WillMike here: I don't recommend using zipcode. Try selecting by city name. Also, try inputting the correct date and time into the AutoStar. For more on troubleshooting the LNT module, see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: Backwards ETX? Sent: Saturday, March 1, 2008 11:24:13 From: J.M. Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) I just bought one of the discontinued ETX-125 PE Astros, and have been reading and trying to follow the auto-alignment instructions both in the manual and on your site, and something doesn't seem to match up. If I mount the telescope on the tripod properly, with the control panel on the west side, then find the midway point between the two hard stops, the OTA is pointing SOUTH, not north... Also, from what I can determine, the hinge side of the battery compartment should be facing the north leg of the tripod, which would put the control panel on the west side. It doesn't- on mine, it puts it on the east. If I'm right about this, is there a relatively easy fix? Or does it need to be shipped back? I really can't afford that cost right now, and I am very handy with tools- I've done mods and repairs on things for as long as I can remember, and have worked on my ETX-90 RA. Need your input before I attempt it though. Or am I just imagining the problem? Thanks J.M.W.Mike here: You are setting it up incorrectly. You got it right that the control panel goes on the west side BUT for the auto align you rotate the OTA to the hard stop AND LEAVE IT THERE. The OTA will be pointed to the southwest. Then start the auto align. If you wanted use one of the other alignment modes you rotate to the hard stop and then back clockwise to North (about 120 degrees). I don't know where you read about rotating to be midway between the two hardstops but that is wrong.
Thanks much for your quick response- it all makes sense now! I will be reading much more carefully before I ask another question, I figure you must get a lot from Go-To newbies like myself. Your kindness in responding is very much appreciated. J.M.W.
Subject: re: LNT level and true level Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 21:09:18 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) In the LX200gps, they don't try to make the OTA level, instead, they use the level-sensor's information to determine the -plane- that's tangent to the local vertical gravity vector. From that mathematical plane, they can determine where "straight up" is for the alignment calculations. The 497 Autostar may differ. A thing to try would be -after- aligning the scope, press [mode] 3 seconds, then release. That brings up the status displays. Scroll to the Alt/Az readout. Now slew the scope (or tap the GoTo button, then key in 000[enter] 000[enter] and it will GoThere) to zero/zero. Is the OTA level (and pointed to true north) *now*? have fun --dick
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