Last updated: 30 November 2008
This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX, DSX, and DS models. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX 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 and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.
Subject: newbie etx questions Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 09:52:15 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) i am a new-used etx owner. i have been learning much on your site. thanks for all your efforts. its basically a etx90 as a spotting scope. no drives or fork mount. mostly terrestrial observation, will start to stargaze soon. a couple of questions that are bugging me that i have not found answers to yet. am i not looking in the right place? maybe they are worth additions somewhere. the diagonal mirror shaft squeaks when i operate it. its annoying. lube? no lube? how? i have not seen a parts breakdown to see what the shaft rides on to see where lube might be needed. cool down- how long? how do yo know if you are cooled down? thanks in advance dennisMike here: I don't recommend disassembling the tube but if you want to try it, see the article "Doc G's ETX OTA Guidescope & Disassembly Photos" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. When you reassemble the tube you may find the telescope optics need to be recollimation (not something to be undertaken casually and without accepting the risk of making things worse). There are several articles on collimation on the Telescope Tech Tips page. As to lubrication, a very very very small amount of lithium grease should do the trick. And I do mean a VERY VERY VERY SMALL amount. As to cool down, the rule of thumb is 30 minutes per inch of telescope aperture. Do a star test to check if thermal equilibrium has been reached. See the article "Star Test Images" on the Telescope Tech Tips page; pick the Maksutov180 telescope. If the rings are not concentric as seen in the images, then either thermal equilibrium has not yet been reached AND/OR the optics need to be collimated.
thanks for your reply. i am not looking to take the scope apart. i do not want to collimate it unless i absolutely have to. i was looking for pics of how the mirror assembly is so i could try and figure out what all is on the shaft and where it might be binding and squeaking. it sounds like hard plastic on metal. i assume that the shaft is supported on some sort of bearing to keep the alignment. i do not want to wear it out. if i remove the knobs and apply a little grease on the tip of a toothpick, do you think it will work its way in far enough? dennisMike here: It depends on where the noise is coming from. You don't want to get any grease on the optics, either accidently or from moving over time.
i hate to be a pain, but i was hoping you could confirm something. looking at a couple of pages, most notable this one at Doc G's- http://www.mapug-astronomy.net/ragreiner/etxguider.html#Mirror%20Flop the back cover with the mirror and eyepiece tube will come off the main OTA. the collimation will not be affected by removing the black plastic cover. i can access the mirror shaft here and can lube it up as needed. dennisMike here: Well, yes and no. Removing the eyepiece and flip mirror end can result in getting the optical axis not aligned unless you are careful to get the back end reattached in exactly the same way as it was when it was removed. It "should" go back on correctly but it is possible to have some misalignment.
And an update:
thanks. i took the plunge. 3 screws, the cover slid off. the squeak was the detent spring on the 90 deg quadrant rubbing between the two stops. it almost looked like mold flash on the plastic quadrant piece. a >TINY< drop of oil on a piece of tissue skewered on a toothpick quieted it up. we'll see about alignment after i look at something. thanks for your encouragement! dennis
Subject: Meade 90 EC Knob fix Sent: Friday, November 28, 2008 14:34:57 From: Mark Weber (firstname.lastname@example.org) I just purchased a used broken Meade 90 EC Telescope. The knob that connects to the telescope broke. I took the telescope out of the forks and can see the plastic broke on the connection that is molded on the tube. The knob on the outside of the fork turns but it won't unscrew. I can see the sprocket on the inside of the fork but I can't see the plastic turning at all when I turn the outside knob. Is there a home repair I can do or does this need to be sent back to Meade? What parts do I need to order and any advice on how to fix would be appreciated. Thanks! MarkMike here: See the article "ETX-90EC DEC fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject: RE: Did ETX 90EC change dec housing design? Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 08:29:40 From: Schmitt, David CTR USAF AFSPC AFSPC/A5FS (email@example.com) Here's a follow-up. George does have the correct 90EC dec housing! Hopefully the change out will be easy. I sent him a check for the housing, the knob, and two tripod feet. All for $17.50! I will let you know if everything works smoothly with him, as he could be a good resource for other ETX owners looking for parts. Dave
Can you please tell me how you utilize your 70AT? Thanks. DaveMike here: I use it for wide field observing. Great on the Milky Way.
Subject: Cleaning an ETX-90 Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 07:04:39 From: Rick Seal (firstname.lastname@example.org) OK, I have the mineral spirits, the white lithium grease, and enough I have read enough about the cleaning of my ETX-90 to be dangerous. Couple of questions, Should I remove the old green grease with a Q-Tip and mineral spirits? I'm sure you don't want too much of the spirits in the control box but I would want to get most of that old grease out of there before applying the lithium grease. Second, I'm kind of bothered about the "clips" when the OTA is removed from the fork arms. Have you found that they go back in pretty easily? My biggest fear is I get into this thing and have a screw left over when I'm done!! Lastly, have you personally done one of these tune-ups and did you find it helped with goto and tracking? I appreciate your site, probably the best of any telescope site on the web, and one day I want to buy the property next to you in Arizona. It looks beautiful out there. Thanks Rick SealMike here: I'd avoid using cleaning solutions around the plastic. You can use a Q-Tip remove grease however. Just take your time. If you remove the tube adapters from the OTA a lot, then over time you can weaken them. But normally the adapters snap back in without problem if you work at it. Personally, other than cleaning the optics (rarely) I have never felt the need to do the "performance enhancements". But those who have have generally reported excellent results.
Subject: Did ETX 90EC change dec housing design? Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 14:18:13 From: Schmitt, David CTR USAF AFSPC AFSPC/A5FS (email@example.com) You may remember, I'm the guy with the ETX 90EC with heat damaged dec housing and knob. A guy in NY, George Cushing, responded to my ad in Cloudy nights looking for ETX parts. I asked if he had a dec housing for the ETX 90EC and to confirm it with a picture. The picture he sent looks similar, but is much longer (maybe an inch longer), than the housing for my ETX-90EC. Did they change the design? It doesn't look like the 70AT housing because my 70 has the plug inputs on the housing and this doesn't. The good news is, he does have other obscure parts I need. Thanks. DaveMike here: I think the original ETX-70EC base/forks was similar to the ETX-90EC. That had the control panel on the base and not the fork arm. (I'd have to dig out my old Meade catalogs to be certain.) But I don't think the reverse was true.
Thanks, Mike. That explains it. George said the guy he works for bought about 50 used ETX-70's from Meade and that they were different from the later Meade 70s. And that was why he said I could convert my 90 onto one of those older Meade 70 bases. It all makes sense now. I either want the exact replacement part or I'm leaving it alone. It's only cosmetic and works fine as is. Dave
Subject: ETX-125PE - Underside OTA Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2008 08:09:25 From: Ludwig Krijgshaftig (firstname.lastname@example.org) Attached picture shows the underside of the OTA of my ETX-125-PE. Any idea what these threads or nuts are for? Is this to piggy-back the ETX on another scope or is there another purpose? Kind regards, Ludwig
Subject: Telrads and ETX's Sent: Friday, November 21, 2008 06:47:43 From: David Lamont (email@example.com) Not being too techy, I hope this gets through to you. I would appreciate some advice. I purchased a Meade ETX 125 PE two years ago and am not satisfied with the red dot system, the one with the piece of plastic like a lens sticking out of the top of the tube. Yuck! There is an element of luck because one can move ones head and the object will be nowhere near where you want to put the scope. Is it possible to put a telrad on the tube and is it worth it? What about balance? I would hate to put it on wrong and grind the gears to dust. And I am sure one cannot drill in to the tube. And what about other devices of the same sort. I am a complete novice to the practical side of astronomy but have been interested for 50 years. I am now living in France having moved from the UK two and a bit years ago. I will be most grateful if you could point me in the right direction (no pun intended!) Very many thanks. Kind regards and good seeing, David Lamont firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: See the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page for Telrad. Also, if you search the Site for "telrad" you will get lots of hits. As to using the Red-Dot, see the my comments to the "ETX-125PE Smartfinder Parallax" email on the ETX Premier Edition feedback page (for November 2008).
Subject: Removing the Meade ETX90EC OTA Sent: Friday, November 21, 2008 05:07:28 From: Morris Clive ADN/CYLLID (Clivemorris@gwynedd.gov.uk) I was thinking about removing the OTA to check whether the RTA was broken and then I came across a post on the Society for Popular Astronomy website,which I have copied below. Someone with a ETX105 had obviously had similar trouble to me. "Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:27 pm Post subject: Re: Help removing tube from Meade ETX 105 If you really, really want to do this, the easiest way is to remove the metal optical tube from the plastic housing first. I'd like to say that this exposes the flip mirror assembly, & the open rear port of the OTA itself. So, if you decide to do it, tread carefully, and at your own peril! Remove the three small allen screws which are recessed deep into the rear plastic housing (located at 1:00/4:00/9:00 (if I recall correctly)). Then remove the focus knob by loosening the small grub screw. The metal OTA should then slide out (cover the rear port immediately, and place it sideways somewhere where it will not roll). Once the OTA is removed, you should then be able to make out the presence of the small notch that holds the forward part of the fork arm to the plastic housing. Pull out the rear of the fork arm (where the two screws were), and slide rearwards disenaging the notch. Once this is done, you should be able to swivel it free from the rear plastic casing, so the second can also be removed. Be careful, go slowly, & don't force it ." I must admit this post has made me think twice about removing the OTA from the forks. I wonder if you could comment on this post. Many thanks, Clive Clive Morris,Caernarfon,Gwynedd,Wales,UK.Mike here: Removing the OTA from the fork arms is actually easy. No need to disassemble the OTA. See near the bottom of the page of my ETX-90EC comments: http://www.weasner.com/etx/90ec_comments.html
Subject: Updated Autostar goto telescope building address in links page Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 11:57:11 From: bill Several months ago I contacted you and supplied an updated address to my site, which you have linked to on your links page (goto telescope building using an Autostar conversion). Unfortunately my latest free webhost proved even more unreliable. I have finally switched to a paid hosting plan and purchased a domain name. This gives more reliable service, but again means I have to ask everyone kind enough to link to my site to update their links. At least with my own domain name, this will be the last time for this. My website "Bill's goto telescope building and astrophotography" can now be found at www.astronomyasylum.com If you have linked to a specific page, all you need to do is replace the old "astronomy.fx-s.net" string with "astronomyasylum.com" and the page structure should still work. Once again, sorry about having to do this so soon after the last link update, but with more site down-time than up-time, it makes this necessary. Thanks in advance and I greatly appreciate your linking to my site. I get a lot of great traffic and visitors originating from your pages. BillMike here: Thanks. I've updated the link.
Subject: RE: Focus Rod disconnected on ETX-90 Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 21:02:17 From: Howard Visser (email@example.com) Thanks for pointing me to this link. Yes I can see it's not for the faint hearted but still looks manageable. I'll see how it goes Howard
I fainted! Oh did I do a bad bad thing. After I undid the screws that hold the OTA to the mount I proceeded to try and remove the three screws that hold the back of scope to the OTA. Frustrated at trying to get the Allen key into the screws I proceeded to tilt the scope forward so I could get a better view when to my dismay the mirror slipped forward and dropped to the other end of the OTA. My heart just about stopped. I carefully raised the tube expecting the absolute worst. Luckily I did not damage the primary mirror. So regaining my composure I leveled the OTA, removed the screws carefully, and unscrewed the mirror mount remembering to mark its position relative to the main tube. After putting all the pieces together and re-threading the focusing rod I reassembled everything. Haven't had a chance to try it out and see if the optics are still in alignment. All in all the task wasn't that difficult but I'd put a big warning that if you believe that the focusing rod has been disconnected (which it has or you wouldn't be doing this) from the primary mirror do not I repeat do not tilt the scope forward. I lucked out because it certainly could have been worse. Thanks again for the helpful advice. Howard
Subject: re: ETX 125 drives moving after centering an object,
not sure if synchronization is an issue Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 10:13:43 From: richard seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) You didn't mention if you tried adjusting the "Percentage" settings after your Training. What you're seeing is frequently referred to as "rubberbanding" by the Autostar. It's caused by mis-tuning of the anti-backlash servo loop. The Train Drives tells the Autostar how much backlash you have in your gear system, and the "percentages" tells it how much of that -you- would like applied to overcome it when the motors are reversed. Backgrounder: http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_info.html I tend to run mine with a -low- percentage, since i find it easier to tap the slew key to go -further-, than to have to fight rubberbanding. have fun --dick
From: Schmitt, David CTR USAF AFSPC AFSPC/A5FS (email@example.com) Can't wait to try it. Had the 125 out this morning and was very impressed with how Saturn looked. Very nice.Mike here: Wait'll you see Saturn with its ring system tilted more. Right now the rings are almost edge-on.
Yes, that will be spectacular, but a few years away, right? It looked like the shadow of the rings was on the planet. Was it? DaveMike here: It will start opening up again in a few months, but only a little bit. It will take longer for them to fully open up again. And yes, that was probably the rings shadow you saw.
Subject: Re: ETX 125 Spotting Scope, 2.0" Barrel" Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 09:12:11 From: MelTeare@aol.com (MelTeare@aol.com) I have decided on the Meade 24mm Series 5000 1.25" Super Wide Angle eyepiece, but the high magnification x79 bothers me a bit. would a focal length reducer be an option, if so can I get one for a Meade ETX 125 spotting scope without adapters. Second question, I have seen a flex cable attachment for the ETX focus control, where can I buy one? Thanks for your help, I will order through OPT. MelMike here: There are several focal reducers for the ETX models; see the Accessory Reviews: Astrophotography page. Scopetronix sells a flexible focus cable. However, before you order from them see the Editorial Page on the ETX Site for some important information. You can easily make such a cable; see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for lots of possibilities.
Subject: disintegrator beam Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 07:56:46 From: Dave Wallace (firstname.lastname@example.org) As a theft deterrent system, a disintegrator beam is a nice idea, Mike. But why not use a miniature black hole instead? This has the added advantage that when you're observing, you can use the BH as a gravitational lens and have an Einsteinian Barlow. :) -- clear skies!Mike here: Good idea. But BHs are hard to create and control once you have them going. I figured a disintegrator beam would leave no mess to be cleaned up.
Subject: MEADE ETX-LS SERIES Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 22:05:15 From: Dora Nagle (email@example.com) Mike have you heard anything about the new MEADE ETX-LS SERIES? Anacortes is advertising it. Thanks GeorgeMike here: I can only comment on what I've seen on OPT's site:
Subject: ETX 125 Spotting Scope, 2.0" Barrel" Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 11:56:26 From: MelTeare@aol.com (MelTeare@aol.com) I'm not sure I have the right site, if not a referral would be appreciated. I have a Meade ETX 125 Spotting Scope. I would like to use a Meade 40mm Series 5000 2" Super Wide Angle eyepiece. Is a 1.25" to 2.0" barrel adapter Okay or should I replace the Erecting Prism. If so where can I buy one? Many thanks, MelMike here: You can get a 2"-1.25" adapter. For more info, see the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page. However, keep in mind that the 2" eyepiece may be rather heavy so balance and strain on the axis locks may be a problem. As to where you can purchase an adapter, any good telescope dealer should have them. If you don't have a favorite dealer, checkout Oceanside Photo and Telescope (OPT; www.optcorp.com). Note that I have a relationship with OPT. Keep in mind that you will get some vignetting with the 2" 40mm and you'll likely notice the secondary mirror in the view.
Subject: ETX 125 drives moving after centering an object, not sure if synchronization is an issue Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 10:44:49 From: Schmitt, David CTR USAF AFSPC AFSPC/A5FS (firstname.lastname@example.org) My question has to do with something my 90EC and 125EC both do. After either tracks to an object, if the object isn't centered, I will synchronize the scope. That is, I will hold the enter key to set the synchro mode, then move to scope using the drives to center the object, then hit enter again. So far, so good. Then if the object wanders away, I will use the drives to re-center, but then the drive decides to move again, on its own, back to where it was before. Actually, this happens whether I synchro or not. It always seems to move the same amount, so I can overcome it by moving it twice as far in the opposite direction, if that makes sense. The 90 has the latest software version and the drives (on the 90 at least) have been trained and calibrated. Any idea what's going on? As an aside, yesterday I bought the ETX-125 with gold trim I told you about. My first 125! It didn't matter that the skies were hazy I took it out last night anyway. It had a nice flat field with pinpoint stars with a 12mm plossl, so it seems pretty good. BUT, it turns out it's not gold trim; the black has faded off! LOL. And I think it's due to exposure to something, maybe the sun. I say that because it is still black underneath the finder and where the bracket protected the finder. Scope has UHTC (seller didn't mention that) and seems in very good condition, but the finder has been beat. It could use replacement. I'm searching. The eyepiece was beat too but it protected the inside of the scope. Fortunately I have plenty of eyepieces like I'm sure you do, too. I'd like to ask you how you use your smaller ETX's since you have a 125 as well? I've been looking for an ideal scope to easily take places and this 125 looks like it will fit that need. As beautiful as my 70AT and 90EC are, I'm not sure of their utility at this point. What are your thoughts on that? Thanks, Mike, I know this is a long one. DaveMike here: Using SYNC on the object you are trying to center is not ideal. But to cure the "rubberbanding" do a TRAIN DRIVE. Sometimes, you may need to do a CALIBRATE MOTOR (especially if the batteries are low, you have replaced the batteries with fresh ones, or you have swapped the power source from the internal batteries to an external power source or vice versa). Then do the TRAIN DRIVES. When training, be certain to train on both axes. In rare cases, you may need to RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and then TRAIN DRIVES. SYNC is used to refine the alignment in that area of the sky. But it assumes you have well-trained drives. As to my ETX-90RA, it is my grab-n-go telescope. It also has a piggyback camera adapter so I use it for wide-field astrophotography with my Nikon D70 DSLR. I also use it for solar observing. I have a white light filter for the ETX-90 and piggyback my PST on the ETX-90RA.
Thanks, Mike. I'll try training again. Dave
Subject: Stolen Meade SCT Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 09:20:32 From: Joseph Perkel (email@example.com) So sorry to hear about the theft. I have the same scope at my vacation home, and worry about the same. I worry that having an amateur observatory website, may be advertising precisely what goodies are to be found. As a result, I think I will ixnay on a companion site to my primary hobby, (A WWI replica plane). I had been considering an observatory site, when I start imaging, but now have second thoughts. Best of Luck. Joe http://sopwith-baby.com/Mike here: Hard to say why my stuff was stolen. It could be that someone saw an empty house (we were moving) and broke in. But securing stuff in an observatory is important. I'm looking at including my SkyShed POD (when I get it next year) on the alarm system. Of course, the best security will be the disintegrator beam I'm having installed. Break-in; get disassociated to your atoms.
Subject: Focus Rod disconnected on ETX-90 Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 01:33:45 From: Howard Visser (firstname.lastname@example.org) It has been a long time since I visited your site but it's good to see that your website is still up and running. I've run into a problem with my ETX-90 in that I've unthreaded the focusing rod (using the electric focuser) not realizing what was happening until it was too late. I did a quick scan of the website and it appears that my only option is to send the scope in for repair. Unless I missed something is this my only option? Thanks Howard VisserMike here: If you want to try the repair yourself, see the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. NOTE: you may to re-collimate the optics after putting the telescope back together. This is not something to be undertaken lightly. It will require a lot of patience.
Subject: etx-125EC Sent: Friday, November 14, 2008 07:34:46 From: Steve Petty (email@example.com) I have an ETX-125EC with plastic forks. Do you have or know how I can get a new Dec arm. The mounts have busted. I Love the scope but hate the design. Any ideas. Thanks, SteveMike here: Since Meade doesn't sell repair parts, you have limited choices. You can contact Meade for a repair. Or you can try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). Or you could look for a used mount (on Astromart or eBay). Or you could try to repair it yourself. What exactly does "busted" mean?
Busted meaning the two small plastic pillars holding the dec motor assembly are completely gone.Mike here: If you want to replace the mount, there are many articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page on mounting the ETX OTA on alternative mounts, such as a LXD75.
Subject: Re: ETX 125 Wedge Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 04:54:56 From: Doug Machado (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thanks, i did.Mike here: Hope you found out what you wanted to know.
Subject: Scopetronix Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 23:37:55 From: Caesar Samsi (email@example.com) I found your page through google: http://www.weasner.com/etx/ed-ops/editorial102007.html Thought I'd let you know and suggest you revise your editorial on ScopeTronix: They have apparently now removed their telephone number. Not replied to my mails regarding my order Charged my credit card without a notification of shipment Not replied to my mails regarding the credit card charge Placed the order on Oc 26, credit card charged Nov 4th, mails sent Nov 7, Nov 10, and today. BTW, are there other outfits to order from? Thanks, Caesar.Mike here: There are later articles on Scopetronix on the Editorial Page on my ETX Site. The bottom line is that I don't recommend using Scopetronix. As to alternatives, there are many excellent telescope and accessories dealers. Check the Astronomy Links page for several. Personally, I tend to deal most with Oceanside Photo and Telescope (OPT). (Besides being a happy customer I also have a relationship with OPT.)
Many thanks Mike!
Subject: Age of ETX 125 w Gold trimmed eyepiece and finder Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 17:47:31 From: david schmitt (firstname.lastname@example.org) I'm looking at a used ETX 125 that has gold trim on the 26mm eyepiece and finder. I've seen a lot of used 125's but never w/ gold trim like this. I asked him how old it was thinking it must be REALLY but he said only 4-5 years old. Do you know what's up with the gold trim? Was it a feature on old, old 125's? Here's a picture to show you. Thanks. Dave p.s. You asked me to let you know what happened with the ETX-90EC I have with heat damaged declination knob and housing. I couldn't find the declination housing/knob for the ETX-90EC so I just left it alone. Seems to be cosmetic only. It does have a new home in a solid Meade case when not in use.Mike here: The first ETX-125EC came out in May 1999. I have one. And it doesn't have any gold trim. I wonder if this was a special gift model.
Subject: New ETX 70 owner Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 16:11:11 From: Dwayne (email@example.com) Greetings. I just purchased an ETX 70 telescope, it did not come with any manuals or the StarNavigator CD. I have located the instruction manual, what other documentation is there and where can I find the software? Thank you for your time. Dwayne KukovichMike here: The software is only available from Meade. You can contact them; they may send you a CD. The only documentation that comes with the telescope (besides a catalog) is the manual.
Subject: ETX-125PE Horizontal Drive Problems Sent: Sunday, November 9, 2008 07:28:43 From: David Schwartz (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am new to astronomy and a friend has recommended the ETX-125PE Blue Tube as my first purchase. However, I have found some comments on both your site and on amazon.com indicating serious problems with the reliability of the horizontal drive gears. Can you please comment on this? Has this problem been resolved in the newest models? Thanks, David SchwartzMike here: Define "serious problems". My 1999 model ETX-125AT is still working fine. Most users receive working telescopes. Occasionally something be a wrong (a defective hard stop in the ETX-PE125 has been the most often mentioned problem lately). However, keep in mind that most users will not comment about how great their telescope is. Most comments are from users with a question or a problem. So the percentage of problem telescopes appears to be much higher than it is.
Subject: Mike, what tripod do you use for your ETX-125? Sent: Thursday, November 6, 2008 15:42:49 From: Mike Pilgrim (email@example.com) Mike, in the centerfold photo on your web site I see a tripod configuration I don't recognize. Can you please direct me to the definition of that equipment, or might you please describe it to me. I am considering investment in the Meade #887 tripod. It would appear that is what you use also. Apparently you see the #887 advantageous for some reason. Can you please reveal why that might be the case? I have one additional question I hope you can address, or direct me to the answer. In many telescope publications I see a Guide Scope configured as a piggy back addition to the main scope which (for example) might be used for astrophotography. I have a difficult time understanding the function or advantage of a guide scope. Where might I find discussion to explain that application? Thanks, Mike Pilgrim Boca Raton, FlMike here: The tripod/wedge in the ETX Site Home Page photo is a JMI WedgePod (http://www.weasner.com/etx/tripods.html#wedgepod) with my ETX-90RA on it. The WedgePod was among the stuff that was stolen in December 2007. So now I'm using a Meade #883 with the ETX-90RA and Meade #884 tripods with my ETX-105PE and ETX-125AT. I don't have a #887. When you have a camera or imager using the main telescope optics, it is difficult to impossible to manually or electronically guide (provide tracking corrections) using the telescope optics (unless you have an Off-Axis Guider). So some astrophotographers will attach a secondary telescope piggyback on the main telescope and use that for guiding.
Subject: ETX-125 OTA reassembly Sent: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 20:50:16 From: Woody Schlom (firstname.lastname@example.org) I'm about to reassemble an ETX-125 OTA that internally fell apart and am looking for advice on greases, the recommended use of something like Loctite to prevent things from unscrewing again, and recommended tightening torques. I've been through your site, but really haven't found what I'm looking for. Do you have any specific recommendations? Thanks, Woody SchlomMike here: No info on torque; just don't overtighten. As to grease, use lithium grease. For more on that, see Dr. Clay Sherrod 's "Performance Enhancement" articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Thanks. How about using Loctite on the threaded assembly that holds the primary mirror in? This is the thing that unscrewed last time. Or do I just hand-tighten it firmly? WoodyMike here: I would recommend just handtightening. Some people have used nail polish or Loctite but I always worry about outgassing coating the optics.
I hadn't thought of outgassing. Thanks for the tip.
Subject: Oracle Observatory Sent: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 22:24:01 From: Amanda Melquist (email@example.com) Just a quick note about your Oracle Observatory thread. I just spent the last 2 hrs reading every post you put out there and wanted to drop a quick line saying thankyou for your consitant and competent blogging! When it's cloudy and i can't get out, (like tonight) reading about your experiences both good and bad are a great substitue for what would have otherwise been a useless night (astronomy-wise.) I'm really interested in what pans out with the GPod housing. Particularly around the security it provides the enclosed equipment - with respect to both weather and uninvited, ill-intentioned vermin/people. At any rate, you must be jumping outta your shoes in anticipation of a new house and observatory in black-sky country! I'm jealous! I started out in astronomy using an ETX105EC I got 2 months ago, and constantly watching craigslist/ebay which recently yeilded a great opportunity to upgrade. I am purchasing an Meade 8SC on a lxd500B mount tomorrow from a guy locally and plan on upgrading the mount to an LXD75 ($600 investment to pursue long exposure photography!) when funds and wife permit. I was amazed when i started reading your Oracle Observatory thread and found out this was the same setup you had (before the unfortunate event of which we won't speak). This goes a long ways as to squashing any lingering fears of making a bad upgrade decision. Keep blogging! -Jason MelquistMike here: From what I've read and seen of the POD, they do provide good security (from all sorts of evils). I have visited two local POD owners and they are extremely pleased. And the conversations on the POD Yahoo Group are all very positive. I'm really looking forward to having one.
Subject: ETX 125 Wedge Sent: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 11:58:34 From: Doug Machado (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hi, i saw your wooden wedge so are you selling any yet? How much? Looks very cool! nice job!Mike here: That's not MY wedge. Check with the author of the article you saw.
Subject: Re: ETX-90 fails Declination Sent: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 05:26:41 From: Dennis and Elvie (email@example.com) Thanks for your suggestion. I did indeed find a broken wire to the Dec control board. It was the black wire in the base, it was broken where it passes in through the centre bolt. I pulled enough of it through to solder, I thought I still had a problem after fixing it as it did some crazy things when testing it, turned out I had to run a calibrate before it started behaving. All good now and I know to keep an eye on the other three colors in the future in case they decide to go on the fritz as well. Regards, Dennis.
Subject: EXT motor card Sent: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 10:50:09 From: astronomer marty (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thank you for the informative web pages on the ETX. I have a ETX 125PE with a bad Dec. motor control card. Meade won't sell me the part. Is there a source or are you a source for parts? thank you, m. moyerMike here: Meade typically doesn't sell component-level repair parts. Try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).
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