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ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK
Last updated: 31 May 2010
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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:	Re: Meade illuminated reticle
Sent:	Monday, May 31, 2010 14:03:10
From:	Ludwig Krijgshaftig (ludwig.krijgshaftig@xs4all.nl)
This is a rather late follow-up to a short e-mail exchange we had
beginning of April.

I finally got around to measuring the voltage output of the reticle port
on the LX200. When increasing the brightness through the Autostar II it
jumps from zero to 1.2V and then in small steps increases to 1.6V. So
that is indeed the same as with your wireless model. It could also do
with one penlight (AA) battery.

Not sure if I want to, but now at least I could decide to make a simple
power feed for the reticle to use it on the ETX as well. Although I must
say the best use I found so far for the reticle is in when aligning the
scope with a finder in daylight and also when training drives.

Anyway, since I made the measurement, just wanted to share this with
you.

Kind regards,
Ludwig

Subject:	ETX-90 Parts
Sent:	Monday, May 31, 2010 09:17:02
From:	Terry Simpson (simp@cox.net)
Can you tell me where to get ETX-90 parts, I want to put a 90 on a 70
mount, can it be done????????????
 
Terry Simpson
Mike here: Try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). As to mounting at ETX-90 OTA on the ETX-70 forks, see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	etx 125AT declination and right ascension problems
Sent:	Sunday, May 30, 2010 11:57:18
From:	Craig Fuhs (craigfuhs@gmail.com)
I have been reading your website with great interest and truly
appreciate the devotion you put into maintaining it.  I was recently
given an ETX 125AT by a fellow, who bought it new, and said that it had
never worked and he was going to use it as a boat anchor if I did not
want it.  Although dirty, appears to have been kept in the garage, the
only damage I noted was the RA lever was broken off.  I have found a
needle nosed pliers does the trick to tighten and loosen it.  I
initially found that the declination worked with the arrow keys but now
no longer does.  I replaced the batteries thinking that may have been a
problem.  I then did a reset and went through the menu and chose
calibrate motors and noted that there was no declination movement. 
Subsequently I tried to train the drive and the left and right worked
and I erroneously pressed a wrong button and rather than try to figure
it out I did a reset.

Repeating the procedure I centered an object and pressed enter, the
telescope went up and down briefly and began to continually slew to the
right until I turned it off after it travelled in excess of 90 degrees.

My questions are:
1)  Is this a boat anchor disguised as a telescope?
2)  Is there and diagnostic test I can do to identify what is going on?
3)  Do you think it is the hand controller?
4)  Should I send it in for repair?   Dr Clay?
5)  Should I find a 10 year old to figure it out for me, my grandson
currently programs my cell phone!

Should you find available time to respond I would greatly appreciate it.

Enjoy the holiday,

Craig Fuhs
Burnsville, MN
Mike here: First, if the telescope was dirty, you might want to check the condition of the HBX jacks (both ETX base and on the AutoStar) and the connectors at the ends of the HBX cable. The pins should be clean. Also, check the battery compartment for any corrosion if the telescope was stored with the batteries inserted. I recommend doing the RESET again, followed by a CALIBRATE MOTOR. If that goes OK, then do the TRAIN DRIVES on both axes. If the telescope does not respond in Declination, then the axis lock may be broken or overtightened. If the telescope tube stays put when you place it horizontal and then lock it, the lock is probably OK. Just be certain you don't overtighten it. There are some RA lever articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page if you want to stop using the pliers.
Subject:	Owl Astronomy for reasonably priced accessories
Sent:	Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:22:42
From:	Ross Elkins (rosse25@comcast.net)
On the recommendation of a buddy who is an experienced amateur
astronomer, I purchased a lens from these folks.
http://www.owlastronomy.com/


I am very pleased with the functioning of a 20mm enhanced wide angle
that I just received. It is edge blackened too. It was $38.41
w/shipping. Of course these lens are primarily for viewing deep sky
stuff and I just did a quick look of the moon and Saturn last night.

I didn't notice any difference in quality to my collection of Meade
lenses. They say that they directly buy their products from some of the
same oriental manufacturers who are making the most expensive stuff.

Fit and finish are the equal of my other lens. They sell out their stock
as soon as it arrives so you should expect a 3-4 week wait for anything
popular which seems to be all the lens I have ordered!! They also have
many many special very affordable deals on lots of lens they buy off the
(grey markets?).

http://www.owlastronomy.com/exwide.htm

I just ordered what they call a 11 MM Ultra-Wide Angle - 1.25 inch for
$41+$5 S&H

http://www.owlastronomy.com/ultrawide.htm

Ross

Subject:	ETX 125 EC Gears
Sent:	Saturday, May 22, 2010 01:14:30
From:	Steve (steve_bham@btinternet.com)
Hi, just brought a 2nd hand ETX 125 EC scope and looks in A1 condition.
When i tighten the righthand knob on the side of the scope it holds the
tube firmly in place but i can still move it a few mm is that normal and
will it affect its performance?
 
Many thanks
 
Steve
Mike here: Some movement is normal. The locks are friction style, so you can push on the tube and move it. Since it is not a normal operation to push on the tube by hand, performance should not be affected when using the handcontroller.

And:

Mike, thanks very much for your help,

Steve

Subject:	Viewing the moon, questions about going to 8" scope
Sent:	Friday, May 21, 2010 10:56:42
From:	Ross Elkins (rosse25@comcast.net)
Boy, I can't believe how cool it is watching the Moon for the first time
thru all the phases. I noticed last night that I could clearly see the
shadows of the crater walls on the floor of some craters I looked at. I
was able to use my 9.4 lens with the barlow and got really close. I
imagined myself standing there on the crater floor as I could form a
picture of what the surrounding rocky crags looked like. Why, it was a
scene off a cover of a 1950's sci-fi book by Asimov!

Question, will an 8" scope be a spectacular upgrade over my etx 125,
especially for deep sky views (well actually for all viewing!) Would one
of the older Meade SCT's fit the bill or should I save my $$ for a newer
one with the computer control as maybe they have better optics too.

Tia,

Ross

BTW Here I am as my friends commented, looking very rossish!

photo

Mike here: Yep, viewing the moon can be spectacular, especially along the terminator. I've had fun doing that with my 8", using high magnifications. And yes, a larger aperture telescope will provide enhanced views of the moon and DSOs. However, there is a cost to pay for a larger aperture, and I don't just mean in dollars. A larger telescope is more difficult to move around and set up. For some users, it becomes too cumbersome. There are ways to over that however. You can use one of the telescope "dolly" type devices or set up a permanent observatory. I decided to go with a permanent observatory for my 8". Older telescopes, if well maintained, can be a bargain, especially if you get one from someone looking to get an even larger telescope. On the other hand, a new telescope will come with all the latest improvements and a warranty.
Subject:	RE: Improving Image on an ETX70
Sent:	Friday, May 21, 2010 05:38:22
From:	Travis Whitlow (travisedwin@comcast.com)
Of course, as soon as I said I'd go out and look at the sky the clouds
rolled in and Tuesday night's outing was cancelled.

But I did get a look at the sky Wednesday night through a sky pretty
much covered by high thin-to-thick clouds and verified what I told you.

Using a Meade 32mm plossel, a Criterion 12mm Ramsden and a Vixen 8mm
LVW, Venus was totally unrecognizable. The planet itself was a bright
blob that could not be brought to focus. It appeared to have an edge-on
ring, like Saturn (but much wider), with abut six or eight spikes
emanating radially from the center.

I got a similar effect with Saturn. However, I was using the Vixen for
the first time (it's a 17 oz. eyepiece, so not really suited to a small
scope like this) and actually got the disk to come to focus. But the
radial spikes remained, though there were fewer of them.

The moon, by the way, looked excellent and focused beautifully, though
showing the color fringing characteristic of this little scope. And, as
usual, stars and deep sky looked fine.

So this is the mystery. I can't imagine why the stars, moon and deep sky
look fine while the planets are such a disaster. I've never seen a
reference to this kind of behavior with any scope, so for now I'm just
going to blame it on astigmatism or coma.

Thanks again for your help.

Travis
Mike here: You mention seeing "spikes" in the brighter small images, like the planets. I'm beginning to wonder if someone tried to clean the objective or the flip-mirror and did some damage or just did a poor job. Cleaning the flip-mirror is not recommended as it is a first-surface mirror and highly susceptible to be damaged.

And:

Well, as I mentioned, I've had three different objectives in this scope
and replaced the flip mirror because I thought the source of the problem
must have been one of those two things. But it wasn't.

But as I said, I'm ready to give up and just appreciate this scope for
what it does well: wide views of everything but planets.

Thanks again for your help.

Travis
Mike here: It is strange that when you focus on the moon, that planets appear so bad even though you don't change the focus from where it was when you viewed the moon. Of course, the ETX-70 is a short focal length refractor and so you can't get much magnification. And keep in mind the theoretical maximum magnification of the small aperture telescope (see the FAQ page if you are unsure what that is).
Subject:	Looking for a new azimuth clutch for ETX-125/EC
Sent:	Wednesday, May 19, 2010 16:52:18
From:	Kevin Kerwin (kmkerwin@bellsouth.net)
Meade, of course, no longer stocks parts for their out-of-production
models. Does anyone know of a source for one of these parts?
 
Kevin M. Kerwin 
Panama City, FL
Mike here: You can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).
Subject:	Meade ETX 105PE - Blur Image
Sent:	Wednesday, May 19, 2010 07:31:33
From:	deb kapil (kapilkumardeb@yahoo.com)
i bought a meade etx 105pe, i am very new to the telescope world.

the telescope looks fine and no damage, i am trying to see object that
are about 20 to 30 feet distance.

the object looks very blurred hard to figure out what i am looking at
when seen through the eye piece.

when i take out the eye piece the object looks fine through the flip
mirror , i think the object from eye piece to flip mirror become blurred
and the object is hardly visible.

i am using a 26mm eye piece.is there anything i have to adjust?

please advise.
 
regards
 
kapil deb
Mike here: There is a minimum focusing distance (about 15 feet). How do objects further away look? Say something about a mile away? Or even the moon, which is visible in the evening now?

And:

thanks for replying, it looks the samea mile away or distant more than
that. i thought atleast it should be visible like a binocular but
everything is very blur, the lens is working because when i move the
telescope around i could make out it is moving from dark object to some
light object during night time,when i take off the eye piece, i could
see the image in the flip mirror and could bring the object closer by
adjusting the zoom.

is my eye piece is not working or their is some kind of adjustment?

please advise.
regards
 
kapil
Mike here: With the telescope pointed at a distant object (a building or the Moon), when you rotate the focus knob, does the image "blur" in the eyepiece change?

And:

no, it does not blur,the image is so much blur that it is very hard to
recognize what i am looking at.but everything looks fine if i take out
the eye piece, i could see the image on the flip miror, when i turn the
knob i could make out clearly the image is zooming in without any blur,
but this does not happen when i use the 26mm eye piece the image is
completly blurred/distorted.
Mike here: Lets clarify some points. First, the image you see without the eyepiece in place is not a good indicator of focus when using your eye. You need to use the eyepiece. Second, rotating the focus knob is not a "zoom" to change the magnification. I suggest pointing the telescope at the moon tonight and with the 26mm eyepiece inserted into the eyepiece hole, rotate the focus knob. The clarity of the image seen in the eyepiece should change. It may get worse or better, depending on which way you rotate the knob.
Subject:	Meade SmartFinder Red Dot Timeout Question
Sent:	Sunday, May 16, 2010 17:05:04
From:	Milton Demaray (MILTONDEMARAY@COMCAST.NET)
I have a DS 2130ATS-LNT. I'm a relatively new astronomical observer, and
still trying to get accustomed to the features of this telescope. I find
it particularly frustrating to find that the StarFinder red dot has
timed out, just when I need it. There doesn't appear to be any way to
control/disable the timeout feature. Of course I can go through the set
procedure again, but this disrupts easy-alignment operations, and at the
very least takes some time while Earth continues to rotate.

I notice that there is some kind of connector jack on the side of the
StarFinder. It seems likely that this is for an external power. Can you
supply, or tell how to find technical information relating to this jack.
Is it for external power? If so, what polarity and voltage?

Thanks for any information.

Milton Demaray 
Mike here: The jack on the LNT module is for an atomic clock module, not power. However, as mentioned further down this Feedback page, you can use the "0" key on an AutoStar #497 to turn the red-dot on and off.

And:

Thanks for the quick response.

Unfortunately, I don't have AutoStar Handbox #497. Mine is #494, having
no numeric buttons. I guess I'm out of luck.

Best Regards, Milton Demaray

Subject:	RE: Improving Image on an ETX70
Sent:	Sunday, May 16, 2010 14:10:08
From:	Travis Whitlow (travisedwin@comcast.com)
I can focus on a star and/or deep sky object and the image looks sharp.
I then move to a planet or the moon and the image becomes seriously
elongated and soft.

The shortest eyepiece I use with this scope is about 15mm so the images
are never all that big. But, for example, the Orion nebula looks fine,
but I move to Saturn and the image is almost unrecognizable.

I'm getting to where I can take some pictures with my digital camera. As
soon as I get some reasonable skies I'll try to take some pics and send
them.

Thanks for your interest and help!

Travis
Mike here: When you view Jupiter, how do the Galilean Moons look?

And:

They appear as points of light. Actually, what I'll do is go out
tomorrow night (we're all clouded in tonight) and do a more precise
description using a number of objects. In fact, I'm going to an
overnight star party Tuesday night, which will likely give me a chance
to develop a more detailed description.

Thanks yet again

Travis

Subject:	Improving Image on an ETX70
Sent:	Saturday, May 15, 2010 05:33:11
From:	Travis Whitlow (travisedwin@comcast.com)
A long time ago I was given an ETX70 OTA that had gotten pretty badly
beaten up as a floor model at some store. The optics seemed ok, so I
made the necessary repairs and turned it into a decent spotting scope
that I mount on a photography tripod. I also bring it along and use it
with a low power eyepiece as a "rich field" scope on my Star Party
trips.

But as much as I like this little scope, it has always had one major
problem. I think it's called coma. If I point the scope at anything
bright (like planets) the image is distorted and won't come to focus.
Any other objects (namely stars and deep sky objects) look fine. And it
performs well in daylight, too.

I've switched out the objective (from another ETX70) the flip mirror
(from a broken ETX70 on Astromart) and the problem remains. So it seems
that the problem might be bad collimation. So I'm wondering, is there's
a way to "play" with the collimation on this OTA to improve the images
on planets?

I really like this little scope, and if I could fix this one problem I'd
like it even more!
 
Travis
Mike here: If stars are pinpoints but planets look fuzzy, it could be that you are trying to use too much magnification. You can check for optical problems with the objective lens by using an eyepiece at the rear port of the ETX. You will need a "visual back" to hold the eyepiece. If the view is better "straight-through", then it is likely the flip mirror (alignment or surface) is at fault.

And:

Thanks Mike!

Yes, I've tried the "straight through" versus the "flip mirror" and
found there was no difference (but I replaced the flip mirror anyway).

The distortion I referred to is actual elongation of the planet (Jupiter
really shows it) and it happens regardless of what power/eyepiece I use.
The focus is so bad you probably wouldn't recognize the image as a
planet.

What I've finally blamed it on is bad collimation, so I was wondering if
anyone has (in your experience) identified collimation as an issue and,
if so, been able to do anything about it.

Thanks again,

Travis
Mike here: Lets confirm something. You said earlier that stars looked fine. I assume by "fine" you mean that they appeared as crisp points of light. That is as it should be. But if stars are fine, then planets should be as well. If you focus on a star and leave it set that way, how does Saturn or Jupiter look, or even the moon?
Subject:	Meade red dot finder
Sent:	Friday, May 14, 2010 11:49:36
From:	Michael McEwen (drmichaelmcewen@gmail.com)
Is it possible to buy one of the Meade red dot finders on the current
EXT90AT and put it on my original ETX-90?  I know there are plenty of
red dot options out there, but I thought a Meade original part might be
the best way to go.

Clear  skies,
Mike
Mike here: Not easily. You would have to make a mounting bracket for it and supply power.

And:

Dang it!  Well, I guess I'll go with the Rigel Quik Finder...it looks
like about the simplest and functional alternative...unless you have a
stronger preference.

Thanks so much for you terrific site and all the work you do for us ETX
users.

Clear Skies,
Mike
Mike here: The Rigel QuikFinder is a popular solution. It, and many others, are reviewed on the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page.
Subject:	ETX 80
Sent:	Thursday, May 13, 2010 16:28:11
From:	Wang Eric (erichotbaby@hotmail.com)
I recently bought the ETX 80 telescope from Meade, and have some fun
with it for weeks. However, yesterday I had alot of trouble in taking
the protective cap off from the camera holder on the telescope. This
morning I still couldn't take the cap off. Do you have any tip in taking
off the cap?

Thanks! Good website by the way!
Mike here: See the item "Q. I can not remove the aperture or rear port cover or loosen the Declination/Altitude scale knob. How do I loosen it?" on the ETX FAQ page.
Subject:	Re: General Meade telescope suggestions
Sent:	Wednesday, May 12, 2010 15:21:42
From:	James Roberts (jaroberts2010@comcast.net)
I noticed something this afternoon with my scope that is bothering me.
My scope seems to hesitate for a few seconds before it starts to slew. I
noticed it when I was viewing a terrestrial object. I was watching an
owl creep sideways on a branch. When I tried to slew to the left or to
the right, the scope seemed to hesitate, kind of had a little "jump" to
it. I then checked the Up and Down slew, same results, minus the "jump".
I hear the motors creeping along (slew speed is set at x8 or x16), but
it takes a couple of seconds for it to actually start moving. It does
fine when tracking an objuect though. Is this "hesitation" normal and I
am just being paranoid, or should I open it up and check everything over
aagain?
Mike here: Some "hesitation" is normal, however, you can adjust it. See the article "Calibration, Training, Percentages" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Be certain to CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES and then see how the performance is before modify the percentages.
Subject:	General Meade telescope suggestions
Sent:	Wednesday, May 12, 2010 07:09:17
From:	James Roberts (jaroberts2010@comcast.net)
I was finally able to take my scope out and view some planets and stars.
I had to make a repir to the RA drive system, and it performed
flawlessly. My ETX-60 is a very nice little scope, however, I wish to
view objects that I believe are way beyond its capability (like the
Horsehead Nebula, the Cassini Gap in Saturns rings). What do you
recommend to use to view such detail in planets and deep space oblects?
I myself thought about purchasing an LX series 8", but was told that
that would not work. Please let me know what you suggest. Thanks! I am
glad I finally found a hobby, other than fishing, that I really love.
Mike here: The Horsehead Nebula is a very difficult object. I've only barely been able to detect the nearby nebulosity with my 8" LX200-ACF from my dark sky location using averted vision. However, the Cassini Gap (when the Ring System is more tilted than it is now) was seen in my ETX-70AT. So, if you want to see details in faint DSOs, you'll likely want to get a large aperture telescope and do your viewing from a dark site. Get the largest one you can afford and you can set up (unless you have a permanent observatory).
Subject:	ETX parts?
Sent:	Tuesday, May 11, 2010 10:25:12
From:	Tom Moore (tmoore@dfiequipment.com)
Is there anywhere I can buy parts for ETX-125?
 
I need the electronic board and the drive gears.
Mike here: You can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). For replacement gears, see the article "Replacement Gears source" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Thank you

Subject:	ETX90
Sent:	Tuesday, May 11, 2010 08:15:03
From:	frl100@comcast.net (frl100@comcast.net)
Anyone please help 

I bought the above used, was working perfect, then declinatin stopped. 
After that I started cleaning and adjusting per the fella from
scopetronix. I noticed the declination nut at the end or top of the worm
gear is tight as a drum . Is it correct that it should just be snug to
prevent up and down play of the worm gear.  I'm 69 and I have never been
totally in a real dark sky and in to weeks i'm going to Wyoming. Also
don't feel or hear the motor running.  Should you be able to rotate the
white nylon declination gear with you thumb?

Sincerely 
Fred Leverenz
Mike here: If the Right Tube Adapter has failed (typically from overtightening the DEC axis lock), see the article "ETX-90EC DEC fix (Right Tube Adapter repair)" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. If the adapter has failed, the lock will not lock and so the telescope tube will not stay put if you raise it. However, if there is no sound from the motor when slewing upwards using the handcontroller, then there is a different problem.
Subject:	ETX125EC
Sent:	Monday, May 10, 2010 20:27:45
From:	danfouts014@yahoo.com (danfouts014@yahoo.com)
With standard controller won't slew right or left. Up and down works
fine
Mike here: Have you tried changing the slew speed? Have you changed the batteries? Do you have an AutoStar handcontroller? If so, does it work?

And:

Yes I have tried different speeds. And no I don't have autostar. I'm
using a 12 volt ac adapter. I kinda think my grandkids rotated the scope
with the locked. The motor runs when you try to slew right or left but
scope does not move. With the lock on could the gears or clutch be
dammaged by rotating it manualy? I suspect ill have to send it back to
meade but any help is greatly apprieciated thanks
Mike here: First, be certain you are using a good AC adapter. Some can cause problems with the ETX. You might check using internal batteries just to confirm the problem is still there. If the lock is not fully engaging, then the telescope will not move. You can easily check this; lock the axis and try slowly moving the telescope horizontally by hand. There should be resistance. If the telescope easily moves when the axis is locked, then either the lock has failed OR you just need to adjust the position of the lock lever. If the lever needs to be adjusting, see the item "Q. I can not move the Right Ascension (azimuth) lever enough to fully engage the lock. What should I do?" on the ETX FAQ page.
Subject:	General ETX-60 Question
Sent:	Friday, May 7, 2010 09:07:44
From:	James Roberts (jaroberts2010@comcast.net)
I have attached a couple of pics that I got from the Tech Tips portion
of the Mighty ETX site. My RA drive quit working, and needed an idea on
how to repair it. As you can see, this user repaired his with a spring
loaded bolt, drilled into the metal plate, so that it pushes against a
molded- in"c-clip" portion of the worm gear housing. This "c-clip" was
entirely broken off of mine. I placed several thick washers, wrapped in
a thin strip of duct tape, around the metal plate, and it presses the
worm gear aginst the main gear permanantely. The worm gear housing can
no longer has the flex to move back and forth. The question is this:
Does there need to be tension against the worm gear to main gear
housing?

photo

photo

Mike here: if the gears do not maintain contact, you run the risk of breaking a tooth on a gear. At best, you'll see some slippage as one gear loses contact with the other.

And:

Okay. The gears will not lose contact with the way I have fixed mine. I
just wanted to know why Meade had molded in some type of tension spring.

And an update:

I got it fixed. I used the same concept of drilling out the small metal
tab, only I put a 6-32 set screw to hold the worm gear against the main
drive gear, not too much to create stress on the motor though I did not
need to use a spring loaded bolt. . I then loc-tite it in place so that
the bolt don't back itself out. All is good, for now anyways. Thanks.

Subject:	Re: Smart finder shuts down unexpectedly
Sent:	Tuesday, May 4, 2010 13:48:41
From:	Ross Elkins (rosse25@comcast.net)
Here's a little tidbit. I have the original owners manual for the PE and
on one of the last pages it has a replacement guide and spec for the
battery. It says use a CR2023. When I stopped by Radio Shack, not only
did they not stock this size but their docs didn't have a listing for
it. I took a look at the actual battery in my late model LNM (replaced
by original owner after breaking it off!) and found a CR2032 in it. So
either the Meade tech writer is dyslectic (like me) or its some
old/discontinued battery model. I found the 2023 on the internet but the
packages for sale were actually 2032's. Must be an older model number as
I suspected.

Ross

And:

From:	Mike Hogan (mhogansr@comcast.net)
The Smartfinder uses the main 'scope power, not the LNT battery but it
does have an auto timeout. You can always turn it back on and off using
the "0" (light) key on the Autostar keypad.
 
Regards,
Mike Hogan

And:

Thanks for forwarding the tip. Too bad I went thru the job of replacing
the battery yesterday. :-(
Mike here: Apologies. Now you have a spare.

And:

No problem. What a crummy procedure for replacing a simple disc battery.
Meade engineers must have had their heads screwed on backwards. Unlike
previous posts though, I had no trouble with the length of the wire to
the red dot diode. Maybe the LNT's with the vertical display lens like
mine didn't have this issue. I removed the internal circuit board to
replace the battery as I felt the entire assembly was to fragile to pry
the battery out from the bottom of the unit. Used a toothpick to hold
the side spring in place while getting the cover back on. It slipped out
thru the exit hole on the far side from where the adjustment screw
enters.

I've been an electronics/computer tech for 30 years so I'm usually
better off than most for this kind of work.

Ross

Subject:	Smart finder shuts down unexpectedly
Sent:	Monday, May 3, 2010 19:23:31
From:	Ross Elkins (rosse25@comcast.net)
While observing last night and the night before, the smartfinder just
dies in the middle of whatever I'm doing. Could be on a tour or just
manually looking around. I have to goto the smartfinder setup to enable
it again and then later on it might shutdown again.

Ever seen this issue and is there some shortcut key combo on the
autostar for turning it on/off?

TIA

Ross
Mike here: It has been awhile since I used the SmartFinder but there is a battery saving mode (I believe) that turns it off after a period of time. Or it could be that the battery is getting weak and needs to be replaced.

And:

Thanks Mike, but I'm plugged into a/c.

Ross is,
On my Iphone,
Mike here: I'm referring to the button battery inside the LNT module. For more info, check the SmartFinder troubleshooting articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Oh, I know what you mean now, thanks, I'll pick up a new one and see if
that helps.

Thanks,

Ross

Subject:	etx90 front mirror
Sent:	Monday, May 3, 2010 07:08:45
From:	Gavin (gavindavies@tinyworld.co.uk)
I recently noticed that the front mirror and inner tube attached to the
front glass on my etx 90 are not quite aligned. This may have been like
this since I purchased the telescope - I've never really looked before.
Could you please tell me if this is normal? Please see attached photos
(the quality is not great but you can just see the edge of the tube
jutting out behind the mirror, to the bottom left of it. Thanks
 
Kind Regards
 
Gavin Davies

photo

photo

photo

Mike here: This is not normal and will affect collimation. It happened to my original ETX back in 1999 and was repaired by Meade. If you want to attempt the repair yourself, see the articles "ETX-90RA Secondary Baffle Fix" and "Re-attaching the Baffle" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. After you complete the repair, you should do a "star test" and then re-collimate the optics if necessary (which is not an easy task); there are articles on these on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	Broken RA gear housing in my ETX-125EC
Sent:	Sunday, May 2, 2010 16:21:39
From:	Linda & Mark Monbeck (monbeck1@att.net)
After attempting to use my ETX-125 for the first time in a year or so, I
heard a snap during the Autostar EZ Align process.  After the snap, the
RA motors would run, but the scope would not turn.

I initially thought that the clutch might be slipping, but after opening
her up I found what looks to be a broken piece on the clear blue gear
housing.

Here are two pictures showing the broken section.

photo
photo

Have you run across this problem before, and what can be done to repair
it?

I couldn't find an article addressing this problem on your extensive web
site.  If I missed it, I apologize.


I hope you can assist me in getting to the bottom of this problem.  I'm
anxious to do a little stargazing this spring.


Sincerely,
Mark Monbeck
Mike here: There are some articles on "gearbox repair" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page that may be useful. Also, checkout the article "Replacement Gears source" there.
Subject:	Got a nice used ETX125PE w/uhtc package!
Sent:	Saturday, May 1, 2010 14:26:35
From:	Ross Elkins (rosse25@comcast.net)
It's only been 5 weeks since I got my ETX90 for $125 with tripod,
autostar and 26mm lens but I kept searching for the 125 that I really
wanted.

I had been talking with another amateur astronomer for the last few
months and he decided to sell me his 125PE plus the entire kitchen sink
of accessories at a great price. I'm selling my 90 for a reasonable $300
and applying the profit to the 125 so I am finally completely set and
all for under $500. For a fellow who is out of work this has been a very
satisfying acquisition and hobbyist business deal!!! Now I have
something to do nights (and days with my solar filter) that takes my
mind as far from earthly problems as the universe is wide.

Starry nights,

Ross

PS here's a pic of my new friend!

photo


Subject:	ETX 80AT-TC power problem
Sent:	Saturday, May 1, 2010 04:38:38
From:	Ann Mason (annandpetermason@hotmail.co.uk)
I bought an ETX 80 telescope in UK and flew with it to France (where we
live). I put 6 x AA barreries in the battery holder, inserted the Auto
star connection in the HBX port and flicked  the computer control panel
switch to ON. Nothing happened, no copyright message and no red light to
indicate any power to the system. Eventually I returned the telescope
and collected a new one. The same has happened again, no power light and
no Auto star display. I carried the telescope in its original box on the
flight to ensure it was not dropped or shaken or damaged in any way.

Ive been through the troubleshooting section, checking battery
connetions, etc but for no result.

Any ideas on what to try next, I cannot believe there could be a
manufacturing fault with 2 seperate telescopes.
 
Regards
 
Peter
Mike here: I don't have an ETX-80 model to check to confirm this, but does yours have the removable battery clip with a 9V-style connector? If so, check that the clip is secure. Also, check the orientation of the batteries in the holder.

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