ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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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 (pdelpriore1@earthlink.net)
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.

Paul
Mike 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 (xlimey78@yahoo.com)
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 (aschil02@mintel.net)
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.
Andy
Mike here: They are the same.

And:

Thanks Mike for clarifying.

Subject:	viewfinder ETX90
Sent:	Monday, March 24, 2008 02:36:45
From:	Henrik van Holthoon (henrik.van.holthoon@wanadoo.fr)
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 (rcheno@gmail.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 (richard.f.martin@orange.fr)
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
Richard
Mike 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.

And:

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 !
Richard
Mike 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 (robsond90@btinternet.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 (rosenjoe1@hotmail.com)
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,
Joe
Mike 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 (axa@lpbroadband.net)
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.
Ed
Mike 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 (nigboz@hotmail.co.uk)
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 wife
Mike 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 (wills2084@yahoo.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

-Will
Mike 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 (willmitch@earthlink.net)
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.

And:

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 (rseymour@wolfenet.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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Copyright © 2008 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/mar08/etx-pe.html