Last updated: 25 May 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:	Replaced ETX-125PE smart finder, turned scope power on, 
Autostar screen does not light, nothing works
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2008 11:42:55 From: Mark Schwan ( I have had my ETX for about 6 months and could never get the smart finder (the one with the red dot and LNT) to align with the main optical assembly. I spoke to Meade several times and they finally agreed to send me a new one. Well I installed it this past Friday evening and when I powered up the scope the hand controller screen did not light up. I tried everything I could think of (checked the cable connections, replaced the scope batteries, turned it on and off several times) and never could get the controller screen to give me the welcome message. Before I changed out the smart finder, everything work correctly and I had no problems with the electronics. When I turn the power switch on the red light on the base lights up, and by experimenting I determined that when I press the "1" key on the controller the "2" and "3" keys light up, and when I press the "4" key the "5" key lights. No other keys do anything. Do you have any suggestions?? Thanks for your consideration. Mark Schwan
Mike here: Sounds like a power or connection problem. There are some PE troubleshooting tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page but I have my doubt that any will help you. Have you disconnected the LNT and tried the AutoStar?


No I have not, I will give that a try.  Do you know of any way to do a
reset on the autostar by pressing certain keys as you power on the
scope?  Thanks for your prompt feedback.   mark...
Mike here: There is the SAFE LOAD procedure. Is that what you mean? There is no RESET function other than the one in the AutoStar menu tree.


Great news.  I disconnected the finder and Autostar booted.  I took the
battery out of the finder and cleaned the contacts, put everything back
together and it booted up like normal.  I took it outside and lined up
the main scope on at transformer two blocks away and was able to set the
blinking dot on the finder excatly on the transformer.  I am ready to
try it out tonight.  However, it is starting to cloud up... Jist my

Thanks so much for your help.


Subject:	broken smartfinder base for ETX 125
Sent:	Monday, May 19, 2008 15:54:36
From:	Alexios Panayotopoulos (
My smartfinder base ( the part that screws on to the telescope ) has broken
does anyone have any idea as to what i can do about it ??
are there any parts ??
does meade ship parts ??
thanking you in advance
Mike here: Try Meade first; they may send you a replacement. Alternatively, try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).


Thank you very much for your answer.
Do you by any chance have an email adress for meade ? As I cannot find
one on teir site . Only a 800 number and I cant call them form greece.
Mike here: Meade does not have a support email address. See the Meade International page: for contact info.

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