ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK
Last updated: 31 May 2012
This page is for comments and user feedback about ETX telescopes. ETX models discussed on this page 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: Declinaison Gear failure Sent: Monday, May 28, 2012 09:34:02 From: GRANIER colin (firstname.lastname@example.org) I first wish to thank you for the wealth of information you so kindly provide on you web site about ETX scopes This proves to be a source of help and understanding on this little marvel I have recently bought a second hand ETX-90. The optic is very nice and the light weight allows easy transportation I have been through the process of basic mechanical improvement you adivise on your web site, however, I still have some issue with the Dec movement The electric parts seem to work fine showing rotation in both direction for the various plastic white gears, including the optical encoder Now, to what appears wrong : - despite my best efforts to have cleaned and appropriately greased gears, unlocking the Dec knurdle does not let the telescope move freely. On the "ETX-90" photo attached, the knurdle has been removed and as you can see, the OTA still sits nicely horizontal. Basically, the only way to get a free Dec movement is to push the axis out of the fork (not exactly ideal) - on the "failed part" photo, the connection between the white plastic gear and the metal worm seems loose. I.e. the worm won't rotate when the motor rotates, whereas the white plastic gear does. Actually, the worm can move along its rotation axis, eventhough the white plastic gear won't Is there anything I can do ? Should I by some spare parts ? If so, which and where ? Do you need more photos to have a better understanding of the situation? I look forward to your answer Colin
Thank you for your immediate answer and support And thanks for the accurate wording Following your advice, the sliding issue has been solved : indeed a screw at the bottom of the plastic part was loose and the metal worm was not properly held. That is now fixed and I got back a nice Dec movement The "not easy movement in Dec axis when knurdle is loose" remains. Eentually, it is less of a problem than the mechanic issue Many thanks again and be sure that I'll keep in touch Colin
Subject: Hello... Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2012 08:53:44 From: John Schroeder (email@example.com) I would like to get in touch with scope tronix, but everytime I e mail them, it gets bounced back... Do you know how to contact them? Thank you for a WONDERFUL site... I just bought an ETX-125, and I find your site very worth while... Thank you, John ... Butler, WI ...Mike here: Please read the Email Etiquette on the ETX Site Home Page; your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous Subject line. Thanks for understanding.
Subject: Astrophotography site feedback: a thank you. Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 16:33:59 From: Ryan S. Upton (firstname.lastname@example.org) This is a simple thank you for putting all the great information on your site. I traveled to UT (from SoCal) for the 5/20 eclipse, your site's information was invaluable in getting photos. In addition your Autostar pages were equally invaluable as I was able to reprogram a corrupt (#497) unit after making the serial cable from your pinout diagrams. I include such details to show just how much that's meant for me. Sincerely, -RSU
Subject: I need help w/ ETX-70AT Sent: Friday, May 18, 2012 17:10:11 From: Carolyn (email@example.com) I found your website and it shows how to take the forks and the telescope apart. Which is awesome... but.... I need to figure some things out first. When I powered it on, the telescope did not move.. first clue. I took the fork apart and the pictures will show you what I found on the gear drive side. this is where I need some help... I have attached a couple of pictures of what mine looks like and I am a little confused as to what I have going on here. I couldn't find any pictures of both sides so I could compare. Additionally, I have attached a couple of picts of the eq. mount. I could not find a replica of this anywhere on line.. The kind folks at Stellervie helped my.. enough to say .. didn't know what it was... so I took the telescope off ... now.. I am unsure of what this drive side should look like.. so I need some help ... Any info you can provide is extremely appreciated. Carolyn by the way .. thank you both for all the posted info.. fascinating.. _________________________________________________________________________ The pictures are of the fork and scope connection so ... fork- gear side - what do I have going on? is this melted, mashed or what? the housing on the fork and the telescope side by side: the gear and the scope ( it is upright) and what I found... question is what SHOULD it look like? the other side picture 6 this lovely "german" equitorial mount which I cannot seem to locate a brand, model, make or anything.Mike here: Have you checked the "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page?
No.... but I will... If I can find it... I saw stuff on your site and then the next day couldn't remember how I found it. Ok, and so I cannot find the repair guide either... Help me.. !! :) I just need to see what this end is supposed to look like.. CarolynMike here: Go to the ETX Site (http://www.weasner.com/etx) and click on the Telescope Tech Tips page link in the Helpful Information section. Once on the Tech Tips page, just do a "find" in your browser to search the web page for "ETX-70AT Repair Guide".
found it... and I saw a note about Right Tube Adapter has likely failed. But no pictures or details... Here is my gear side ... inside and then I pulled the little drive gear out.. Question is .. are these supposed to be affixed to each other... and not two separate parts? it looks melted or ground off. Carolyn thanks for being so quick.. that's exciting!!!
I hope I am not "bugging" you... I looked at this page... http://tinyurl.com/843ar4u and then this one http://tinyurl.com/7s9gxtt The other side is in great condition, just this gear side. Can I try the gluing it back together? or is there a lot of torque when the motor is moving it? should I try getting the part replaced or having my clever husband invent something? Went up to Stellervue, but it is quite a distance to just run up to.. no one in the shop that knows the inner workings. CarolynMike here: First, please do not use shorten URLs in your email (guess I should add that to the ETX Site "Electronic Mail Etiquette and Submittal Guidelines"; thanks for understanding). I would worry about glue-ing it. You can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) for a possible replacement.
Subject: meade support Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 12:43:39 From: john bisset (firstname.lastname@example.org) were it not for your website ,support for meade products in the uk would be very poor and I suspect that ETX90 owners in this country rely heavily on your guidance and forums distributers here have very little input certainly in my experience ,well doneMike here: Many thanks. Of course, I get a LOT of help from contributors! The thanks goes to them!!
Subject: Crack in ETX 90 EC OTA arm Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 18:41:41 From: Bhargav Nabar (email@example.com) I need your help in evaluating a potential problem with my Meade ETX 90 EC. I have recently acquired this telescope used and failed to notice this while buying. There is a crack in the OTA arm that is held by the declination arm. Please see the attached pictures. This crack is in the OTA arm opposite the one that is held by the clutch. In other words, the OTA arm held by the clutch (the one that you loosen to move the telescope in altitude) is just fine, also there are no other cracks on the telescope body or mounting that I can see. The other arm has the crack. There are no cracks in the fork arms.Could this be a potential problem? The optics and collimation are fine, I don't have the autostar so I can't comment about goto accuracy and tracking, but I don't have any problems moving the telescope in altitude and azimuth with the 4 way remote control that came with the scope. If this is a serious problem, is there a way to fix it? I know nearly nothing about the history of the telescope, I'm probably the third owner. Many thanks in advance.
Mike here: Other than wondering WHAT caused the damage, I would say this cracking is more superficial than worrisome. If the OTA is still held securely to the fork arm, then there is probably no problem. BUT HOW the damage was caused might be more serious. One possibility: the scope was dropped or knocked over. That could have affected collimation or caused other damage. One other point: although held securely at the moment (assuming it is), adding extra weight to the OTA (like a camera) could cause this area to weaken further. Repairing the crack won't be easy; replacing it, if you can find a Left Tube Adapter, would be better. You can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) to see if he has one.
Thanks for the reply ! I'm somewhat relieved that the motor drive mechanism of the scope might still be ok. And about the cause of that crack, the guy I bought it from got it from another guy so effectively there's no way to know. What kind of damage should I look for ? When I look into the objective (corrector plate?) both mirrors look fine with no scratches or cracks, I did a star test yesterday and the airy ring pattern was nice and concentric. I saw saturn , and the view was comparable to my 90 mm refractor. I dont plan on ever putting a camera on this scope, the main reason i got it was I needed a portable planetary scope with good tracking for visual observation. I paid 150 for the scope, hard case, basic remote and 18 mm swa eyepiece; so I thought I got a good bargain. I'm getting an autostar and a tripod so I'll probably know more about the state of the motor drives then. One thing I observed was, at the lowest slew setting, sometimes the RA drive goes a bit fast when I press the remote key for a long time. Is this some sign of abnormality? This doesn't happen always; very rarely. Mostly, I'm quite pleased with not having to touch the scope at high magnifications due to to the remote controlled motions. Thanks for your time.Mike here: Since there are no other obvious signs of damage, I think the telescope is OK optically and mechanically. The drive speed changes may just be due to overtightening the axis lock(s) or stiff lubrication. As long as there is no loud "clicking" sound when slewing, the gears should be OK.
Subject: ETX80 diag cleaning? Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2012 20:33:49 From: Stephen Olson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Long time. Got a bit away from the meade stuff as of late. Sold my LXD75 and SN8 and upgraded to an Atlas mount and Celestron Edge HD8. I still do have my ETX80. Love that little scope and just cant sell it. Having a small problem with it. DUST!!! I know it should not be touched, but there is a TON on the diag. on the inside. I see hairs and whatnot all over the place. Its terrible. It also does not look like a simple fix. I searched on your site over and over again, but could not find the info needed. Also tried a few other sites, but just got no response. I would really like to clean the diag and the primary. Having this scope for about 4-5 years now I think its due. Suggestions from the expert??? Hope all is well with you and yours. I see you are on Twitter, but how about Facebook? Take care my friend, Stephen OlsonMike here: See the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
Thanks once again Mike. Saw Dr. Clays article. Didn't really want to get that involved, but did with great results once again!. The secondary was a mess to get too. Didn't find a way to take the scope apart so I sued the Kleenex on a long cotton swab and that worked ok. Got a ton of crap off, but was a pain in the butt!!!! Steve OlsonMike here: Glad all is better now. Congrats!
Subject: Meade ETX 90 Sent: Friday, May 11, 2012 06:16:29 From: john.mcculloch (email@example.com) I believe that a new model of the ETX 90 will soon be available; I believe it will be called the ETX 90 Personal Observatory. Please advise. Regards John W McCullochMike here: See the ETX Specifications on Meade's site: http://meade.com/etx/specifications. It shows the ETX-90 Personal Observatory model.
Subject: ETX-70 Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2012 15:42:01 From: Kiko Guedez (firstname.lastname@example.org) I apologize for contacting you directly, but you are the only site I can see that even mentions the ETX-70. I have an ETX-70 Telescope that my wife gave me as a present a while ago. While on a camping trip, I showed the Telescope to some of the kids, and in the process the right Vertical Lock was broken. I have contacted Meade directly for support and repair; however they have said that they do not make that part anymore. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance, Kiko San Francisco, CAMike here: Two possibilities: try to repair it yourself or try to find a replacement part. Two articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page may help with the repair: "ETX-90EC DEC fix (Right Tube Adapter repair)" and "ETX-70AT Repair Guide". While the RTA on the ETX-70 is different than the ETX-90, you might be able to repair it. Alternatively, you can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) and see if he has a replacement.
Subject: ETX-125 EC RA motor not working Sent: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 23:51:55 From: Doug Liedblad (email@example.com) When hooked up to the controller the Declination moves OK but not the Right Ascension. No sound, no movement at all at any speed. Could it be the controller that's not working? I don't have the Autostar Controller to test it with but could borrow one. I was using a 12 volt external power supply. Thank you. Doug LiedbladMike here: It could be the controller, but since one motor works and the other doesn't, I suspect a problem with either the motor. the wiring to the motor, or the circuit board.
Thank you. If not the controller is it worth trying to fix?Mike here: Will depend on what the problem is and how you want to use the telescope. If just a broken wire, that could be easily fixed. If a bad motor, you could get a replacement. If a bad circuit board, that would be a more expensive repair. You (or someone) would have to open up the base to see what might be wrong. If you don't feel up to it, contact Dr Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge Tune-Up service.
Dr. Sherrod I was referred to you by Mike Weasner. I'm looking at buying a used ETX-125EC but the RA motor doesn't seem to be working. No noise or motion from it at all when using the controller. It doesn't have the Autostar Controller only the basic electronic one. It's also missing the RA setting circle ring. Is there a source for these? Meade doesn't offer any help but to say the model is discontinued and no parts are available. Can you suggest a possible cause? Can you repair them? Thank you. Doug Liedblad
From: P. Clay Sherrod (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello Doug...I may have the RA circle, I will have to check; in the meantime, remove the base plate under the scope VERY carefully (there are two wires connecting the battery compartment....you must not break those). Once open, look for a TWO WIRE set, black and red, that leads to the RA motor circuit board; I suspect this has come unplugged; simply plug it in and I bet you will be find. Clay _____ Arkansas Sky Observatories MPC H45 - Petit Jean Mountain South MPC H41 - Petit Jean Mountain MPC H43 - Conway West http://www.arksky.org/
Thanks, I'll let you know what I find. Doug Liedblad
And an update:
It was the loose plug. Working now. I am interested in the RA Circle when you get a chance to look for it. Thank you. Doug Liedblad
Subject: Help for my new old ETX 125 EC? Sent: Saturday, May 5, 2012 19:36:24 From: jay island (email@example.com) Boy, you really have a wonderful reputation in the forums! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm and supporting this wonderful hobby that seems to bring out some of the best in folks. Just got a 125 (Yay!) and it works fine except that it doesn't turn against the base. I see the ring gear adjacent the big nut is even turning, so it looks like the scope should be turning too. Is there a clutch in there that needs to e adjusted? Where can I read about the procedure? Thanks for your time. JayMike here: Is the horizontal axis lock lever tightened? You don't want to over tighten it but it does need to be tight enough to prevent the telescope from being easily moved if you push on the tube. If the lever does not move enough, 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. If the lever is ok, then you will have to open the base and see exactly what is wrong. There are several axis repair articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
You were right, that's all I had to do (move the obvious lever - sheesh)... She works perfectly, amazingly! What a beautiful big moon to look at, (seems like the craters have little mounds in their middles), and who knew Venus was a crescent? Now I can start looking at upgrades, he he he. Thanks a million, you're a terrific resource for the beginning astronomer! Thanks, mighty Mike. Jay
Subject: Re: help with meade etx 90 Sent: Friday, May 4, 2012 10:13:42 From: adam peter (firstname.lastname@example.org) thanks very much for getting back to me, yes the scope doesnt come to a stop at all just keeps rotating, so im guessing it looks as if this is broken, i saw the pics of a plasitc black ring with about four large teeth that hits a small screw? so im assuming the ring is broken or the screw is missing, would this be correct?Mike here: The stop or a part of it is likely missing. Those articles I mentioned should be able to help you.
yeah ive had a good read and might go about checking it out, however struggling to find how to unscrew and open the neccessary part, any articles to help me with this? many thanksMike here: There are several ETX disassembly articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Also, be certain to first read the "Disassembly Procedure" article.
Subject: help with meade etx 90 Sent: Thursday, May 3, 2012 19:35:06 From: adam peter (email@example.com) i currently own a meade etx 90 pe and believe the horizontal lock may be broken, i apologise contacting you directly however a lot of what i read on you website hasnt related to this issue in particular and would like to ask for advice I understand when setting the telescope up and alighning the scope it asks to set in the 'LNT' or 'altazimuth' home position, which you need to loosen the horizonal lock and rotate anti clockwise until the scope comes to a stop, however the scope doesnt stop and just keeps spinning, is something wrong with the lock and how can this be fixed? many thanks.Mike here: Taking a break from observing Saturn with my ETX-125AT.
Subject: ETX 90 shipping to Australia Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 20:58:07 From: Gozza K (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hello from Melbourne, Australia ! Hope you can help with some questions I have on the ETX-90 ? We can't get the ETX-90 in Australia any longer (dont know why??), so I am planning on buying it from the US ("Portable Obersvatory" version) and sending here via a forwarding service I use in Florida (MyUS.com). I`ve used them many times, and they are very good. My 3 questions are these.... 1) Are there any issues with using it in the Southern Hemisphere ?? I just want to make sure there is nothing configured in the AutoStar that relies on it being in the Northern Hemisphere? 2) I`m looking at getting it from places like - bhphotovideo.com -or- astronomics.com -or- scopecity.com. Which are recommended dealers from Meade.... my question is - as far as you know, are these all good reputable dealers with good service (or do you recommend others?) 3) Are there any other considerations I should think about ? eg FexEx -vs- UPS or any other suggestions that you have heard about from others who have bought internationally ? Thanks in advance ! Cheers ! -GoranMike here: Hadn't heard that the ETX-90 was not available in AU. Have you tried each of the four Australian based dealers listed on the Astronomy Links page? As to US-based dealers, those dealers are certainly good. You should also check with OPT (optcorp.com). However, there are some restrictions with shipping Meade (and Celestron) products from the USA to other countries. It has to do with there not being a single global economy (yet).
No one here has stock of the ETX-90 any longer because apparatly Meade just announced a new model - the ETX-90S(which no one knows what the "S" means") ..... but I just found the LAST stock of the EXT-125 here in Aus !! (BinTel shop in Sydney) Costs almost twice as much as from US, but easier to buy it this way. Thanks for you help ! -GoranMike here: Meade's web site (http://www.meade.com/etx/specifications) does not show an "S" model. Of course, Meade's web site has been known to be wrong. OPT has an ETX-90AT in stock.
Thanks for your help. I ended up buying the ETX-125 from Bintel in Sydney.... last one in stock here. Lucky Thanks again for your website.... it`s been invaluable (and expensive$ !!!!) Cheers -Goran
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