ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 24 November 2007

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:	Mead ETX125PE OTA removal to fix sloppy DEC control
Sent:	Friday, November 23, 2007 01:08:50
From:	Frederick Littler (frederick_littler@ntlworld.com)
The DEC knob does not hold the TA very firmly and reading the very good
article by Clay Sherrod he gives details as to how to remove the OTA.
BUT the Latest 125 PE is fitted with a red dot finder LNT unit and that
means that there must be some wiring between the OTA and the fork arm..
I would be grateful if you could confirm or correct me on this because
this will make life very difficult if I do attempt to remove the OTA
tube. I have searched the site but cannot find an update to do this  but
if there are further instructions as to how to do this operation I would
be very grateful if you could point me in the right direction. I hope I
have followed the correct etiquette with this email.
 
Many thanks. Frederick Littler
Mike here: Yes, the PE model changes some things from earlier models. As to removing the OTA you are correct. I have not removed the OTA on my ETX-105PE (which is packed for a pending move) so hopefully someone will respond with some guidance.
Subject:	ETX 90 PE Smartfinder mounting bracket
Sent:	Wednesday, November 21, 2007 11:38:54
From:	Drake Campbell (dirk711@ptd.net)
Has anyone removed the Smartfinder bracket on the ETX90 PE?  I'm
interested in the part number that is molded into the bracket.  It
should be in the form xx-xxxx-xx.

Thanks
Mike here: This answer was posted by someone on the ETXASTRO Yahoo Group:
I've got mine off while using my EXT90 as a guidescope.  Here's the
number 04-7485-00.

Subject:	Fw: Settings 125PE
Sent:	Wednesday, November 21, 2007 08:26:13
From:	Henrik van Holthoon (henrik.van.holthoon@wanadoo.fr)
Pete did you set the time zone correct?

The scopes are delivered with settings from USA this means -8 not quite
correct for Europe.

Anyway set on Autostar Setup and under telescope and then site the
nearby town or put in the correct Geographical coordinates for your
location and check;

Local Time (has to be set the first time)
Time zone for GB (0 or +1)
Site information
Daylight saving should be off this time of the year
 
I do not know the zone offset in GB is 0 ? In France it is +1.
 
If you set the scope to a nearby city time zone will be set for you.
 Regards henrik

And:

From: "Pete Davies" (peterpe5@yahoo.com)
hi Henrik, thanks for the advice.

i have tried setting the location to Liverpool which is my closest city
and also tried manually putting in the exact co-ordinates for my
location (which i got from google earth). on both occasions i checked
the time zone which was zero - this is correct for GB.

i really am very frustrated by this and all that is left for me to try
now is to calibrate the motors and sensors and then repeat what i have
already attempted.

i will try again on Friday night and let you know how i get on.
thanks again
pete
Hi Pete do the following;

Set control panel of 125PE in direction of SW to W aprox when at hard stop
In this sequence do the following;
Calibration motors
Train drives
Calibration sensors

Do auto alignment and check alignments stars are correctly geometrical
i.e. 60 to 120 apart for AZM and 60 to 90 for ALT apart.

If you do not like A-star push the down scroll key and you are presented
with another A-star when alignment is done after the last enter Sync on
the last star by holding the enter key for 3 or more sec you are asked
to centre the last star check its position in Ocular and enter again.
You are now ready to go.

And you did not say but is the local time correctly entered?

Check this by holding MODE key for 3 sec or more and scroll to time and
as you are in this display mode check all parameters time, site
coordinates, time zone etc.
If nothing helps I am afraid something is wrong with your instrument.
Success Henrik
Pete I wrote,

Do auto alignment and check alsignments stars are correctly geometrical
i.e. 60 to 120 apart for AZM and 60 to 90 for ALT apart.

That is partly rubbish should be for ALT aprox 45 apart.

Sorry for the mistake.
Regards Henrik

Subject:	Dr. Clay Sherrod  ETX Performance Enhancement Technical Tips Currency
Sent:	Tuesday, November 20, 2007 11:55:44
From:	Ade (adrian@brooksa.fsnet.co.uk)
I have been an ETX125PE user for just over a year and I have generally
found your site invaluable given the poor documentation provided by
Meade. However, I am wondering about the currency of the 5 part
Performance Enhancement Technical Tips by Dr. Clay Sherrod given they
are getting on for at least 4 years old. Before implementing any of the
tips is there anything that I should be wary of because the ETX &
AutoStar have changed since the guides were written?

I have had generally OK GOTO and tracking performance until very
recently when 'rubberbanding' has started for no apparent reason. I am
currently running version 4.3Eg of AutoStar. Any thoughts on the use of
the guides would be welcome.
  
Regards,
 
Adrian Brooks, UK
Mike here: Generally, you probably do NOT need to do any of the hardware enhancements discussed in the articles. There will be some that do not apply to the PE models. As to the rubberbanding, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES recently? Especially if you updated the AutoStar ROM you should. Doing them usually solves the rubberbanding problem.
Subject:	setting up & aligning a new meade etx 125 pe
Sent:	Monday, November 19, 2007 05:57:32
From:	Pete Davies (peterpe5@yahoo.com)
hi there, i am having trouble setting up and aligning my new meade etx
125 pe, i have taken it out four times now and havent yet aligned it
properly.

here is what i have done so far:

placed scope of tripod with arrow on scope aligned with the latitude bar.
set location to Liverpool England and model as etx 125.
set daylight saving as off
trained drive
put scope in home position
started automatic alignment to find level and north

here is where i get stuck - when i come to find the two alignment stars
none stand out - if i centre what i estimate to be the brightest or
leave as it is and skip to next stage i cannot find any object. when i
goto the moon it is ahead of where the moon actually is.

i have tried daylight saving on and off and placed the scope on the
tripod in the reverse position just in case but i still cannot find the
moon etc. i have also used the spiral search function to find a brighter
star but none appear

can you see where i am going wrong or have any more suggestions as i
have ran out of ideas

thanks for your time
pete
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR? You might also need to do a CALIBRATE SENSORS. Did you train BOTH drives? (you said "drive", not "drives") For more on the PE model see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. For more on general alignment information including star charts, see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.

And:

thank for the speedy response. i have not calibrated either the motor
or sensors - i will check how to do this and try at the weekend,
weather permitting.

i did train both the alt and az drives. i will check your site for more
info.

i must say that your website is great - i aim to take some pictures
once set up correctly with me etx and nikon camera so your
astrophotography section is very handy aswell.

kind regards
pete

Subject:	new etx-125pe with broken dec clutch
Sent:	Friday, November 9, 2007 17:52:49
From:	Andy Reed (andy.reed72@gmail.com)
To:	Dr. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
I just received a brand new etx-125pe from anacortes, took a week by
ground shipping (I'm in Arkansas).

Unboxed it to reveal declination knob loose in the clear plastic bag the
scope shipped in.  Reinserting the knob and tightening it down has no
effect on the optical tube, still loose, clutch does not engage.

Any ideas?  I hate to send it back, it'll take 2 weeks round trip.

Thanks, and thanks for your wonderful web sites (both of you).

Andy

And an update:

Problem solved.  During shipping there was a washer that worked loose
and fell into the plastic bag.  Replaced the washer, all is well.

This thing is razor sharp.  Good purchase.

Subject:	is there a decent instruction manual for the ETX125PE
Sent:	Friday, November 9, 2007 08:47:31
From:	Frederick Littler (frederick_littler@ntlworld.com)
Hi there I hope I have got the format correct. My question is   is there
a decent instruction manual for the ETX125pe telescope. the one supplied
with the scope is very bad and another one I purchased in the uk is not
any better. For example the instructions for polar alignment are so
vague they are almost useless and one could get the impression that
polar use is not to be recommended. Help will be very much appreciated
take care. Frederick
Mike here: There are several possibilities. See the Helpful Information: Tutorials on my ETX web site, see the ""50 Lessons on ETX" on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page, see the various articles on specific topics on my ETX site, use the "search" capability on the Site, buy my ETX book (not updated for the PE model though), or send specific questions to me.

And:

Hi there .... what is the title of your ETX book Mike.... is it 100
things you can see with the ETX ???
Mike here: That's the subtitle; main title is "Using the Meade ETX". There is a link to book info on my ETX Site home page.
Subject:	Re: Autostar issues / ETX 125 PE - Levelling issue
Sent:	Tuesday, November 6, 2007 07:04:27
From:	julie clayton (manyworldscross@yahoo.com)
Just a bit of an update about my levelling issue.. I disconnected the
LNT module just to see what would happen... thanks to your web site and
pictures, even I was able to do that without any problem : )  ... I took
my scope out last night, set it up like I usually do,  then tried doing
a one star alignment using Albireo... it wasn't right on, but was not
far off.  Tonight will try again,  and will follow the instructions
specifically for one or two star alignment and see if it's more
accurate.

The sky is getting really interesting again, and I hate to be without my
scope for a month or so.  If I can't get it work will probably wait
until after Christmas to send it in.

Just on a fun note, got up this morning in time to catch the space
station and shuttle flying directly over Central Oregon...made for a
great way to start the day.
 
Many thanks again for all of the feedback and support.
 
Julie

Subject:	RE: Meade ETX-125PE
Sent:	Sunday, November 4, 2007 16:14:55
From:	JOHN SABELLA (johnsabella@hotmail.com)
On Saturday, I visited the Camera Concepts in Patchogue, NY. I was
looking at some of his eyepieces. I wanted to particularly look at the
Pan Opitc, Naglers and Radians from Televue. He had another lower priced
line of optics which were from Taiwan. They weren't to bad, but the
Televue's were superior. When he showed me a Televue 10mm Radian. I was
so impressed with the view, I bought one. Even though it's a pretty high
power eyepiece, you still have a huge diameter lens to peer thru and an
extremely Flat field of vision. Maybe not as wide as the Nagler, but I
appreciate that I didn't have to have my eyeball glued up against the
lens opening. It was better than the Nagler in that end. I lost a 
little apparent view but overall the Radian design is very impressive.

I had a Televue Plossl 8mm and the differene is night and day.Best of
all was the Televue's were on sale.

I also added one item to the ETX125PE to protect it against an
accidental un-locking of the Vert Dec lock. This scope is extremely
front objective heavy and it would make a nose dive. I went to my local
Home Depot and they have these self adhesive clear rubber bumber. I put
one exactly on the base of the scope were it would contact. It's not
exactly rocket science but it should minimize the hard contact if it
wasn't there at all.

Thanks again.
 
John 

Subject:	ETX 125PE - compatibility of dew shield/flexi-focus accessories?
Sent:	Thursday, November 1, 2007 11:25:59
From:	Zir Con (zirconman@hotmail.com)
Firstly - what a fantastic web site you have built up.  Very impressed!

I am in the processes of purchasing a new ETX 125PE scope.  I also want
to purchase a dew shield and flexi-focus cord.  I have read that Meade's
ETX 125 offerings may not actually be compatible with the PE model. 
Non-Meade counter-parts include the flexi-dew shield (AC104) and
flexi-mate focuser (AC345).

Do you have any knowledge as to whether these alternatives are actually
compatible with the PE model, or could you recommend any that are?

Many thanks for your time.

Robert
Manchester, UK
Mike here: Haven't heard either way. As to flexible focus cables, you can easily make your own using one of the several tips on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. You could also make a dewshield; see the Telescope Tech Tips page.

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Copyright © 2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2007 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/nov07/etx-pe.html