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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 (colin.granier@yahoo.com)
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

photo

photo

Mike here: If the gear is "sliding" on the shaft, that could be due to a loose setscrew or a broken piece someplace. As to not getting easy movement in Altitude, check for some protuberance obstructing the movement.

And:

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 (dmir2001@yahoo.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.
Scopetronix is no longer in business. See the Other: Editorial Page for more info on Scopetronix, and its "look-alike" called CNC Parts Supply.


Subject:	Astrophotography site feedback: a thank you.
Sent:	Tuesday, May 22, 2012 16:33:59
From:	Ryan S. Upton (rupton@pobox.com)
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 (wooleeacre@yahoo.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?

photo

the housing on the fork and the telescope side by side:

photo

the gear and the scope ( it is upright)  and what I found... question is
what SHOULD it look like?

photo

the other side  picture 6

photo

this lovely "german" equitorial mount which I cannot seem to locate a
brand, model, make or anything.

photo
Mike here: Have you checked the "ETX-70AT Repair Guide" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page?

And:

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.. 

Carolyn 
Mike 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".

And:

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!!!

photo

photo

Mike here: There is a photo of the RTA (for a different ETX model) on the Telescope Tech Tips page. It should give you an idea what one looks like. And I don't think a "melted" look is right.

And:

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.  

 Carolyn
Mike 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 (bisset.salmon@gmail.com)
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 done
Mike 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 (bhpnbr@gmail.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.

photo

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.

And:

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 (stephen_99@verizon.net)
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 Olson
Mike here: See the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.
I don't use Facebook. Too many security issues.

And:

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 Olson
Mike here: Glad all is better now. Congrats!


Subject:	Meade ETX 90
Sent:	Friday, May 11, 2012 06:16:29
From:	john.mcculloch (john.mcculloch@btinternet.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 McCulloch
Mike 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 (kiko@postparcel.net)
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, CA
Mike 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 (doug@tidsales.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 Liedblad
Mike 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.

And:

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.

And this:

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

And:

From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
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/

And:

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 (islandjay@sbcglobal.net)
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.
Jay
Mike 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.

And:

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 (fossclat@yahoo.com)
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.

And:

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 thanks
Mike 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 (fossclat@yahoo.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.
If the telescope goes more than nearly twice around from hard stop to hard stop, then the hard stops are broken (not the lock). Use caution when doing the rotation as you don't want to wrap up the internal wiring. There are 3 articles on repairing "hard stops" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Subject:	ETX 90 shipping to Australia
Sent:	Wednesday, May 2, 2012 20:58:07
From:	Gozza K (gozza_k@hotmail.com)
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 !
-Goran
Mike 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).

And:

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 !
-Goran
Mike 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.

And:

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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