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ETX-LS FEEDBACK
Last updated: 27 November 2009
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This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX-LS. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (RA, EC, AT, BB, PE, LS) 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 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:	Question
Sent:	Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:25:06
From:	Laurent Barrallier (laurent.barrallier@ensam.eu)
Do you think that ETX-LS eclips camera can be link to a computer using
USB port ? I have nothing read about the second USB port have you some
information about it ?

Regards

Laurent
Mike here: Sorry for the delay in responding. I just noticed that your email was rejected as SPAM due to the non-specific Subject line. PLEASE read the Email Etiquette (Submittal Guidelines) on the ETX Site home page. Thanks for understanding. As to the camera and USB, without disassembling the ETX-LS and tracing the wiring, it is hard to say whether the camera is connected to the second USB port or just the card slot.
Subject:	ETX-LX gone back - Celestron CPC 800 on order
Sent:	Wednesday, November 25, 2009 14:18:16
From:	Peter van Overbeek (pvo@pvanoverbeek.com)
This is an update to my post of November 15, 2009.

I returned the ETX-LX to my dealer. They were great and I had absolutely
no problem there. They decided to test the scope themselves and found it
defective. They then tested their floor model, which was also found to
be defective. So now both scopes are going back to Meade. After
borrowing a Celestron NexStar, I decided that I liked the NexStar
software better. As well, I found it easier to get documentation for the
software and motor drive.

I want to thank all of who have helped me make up my mind. I made the
final decision, though, after speaking to two Meade customer reps. One
of the issues I raised was that the pressing of the Mode button did not
get the scope out of its GPS acquisition funk. I was told that I was
wrong, because it was the Back button, which I should have pressed.
Never mind that neither button would do the trick, and that the manual,
on page 8, refers to the Mode button. As to any software revision, I was
told that Meade had no plans to issue a further revision and was not
aware of any problem. Before that call I would probably have given Meade
another chance but, given Meade's response, I decided to distance myself
from the product.

I find the number of documented problems rather too significant to
ignore.

With best wishes,

Peter

Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Tuesday, November 24, 2009 20:50:52
From:	blkhole (blkhole@shaw.ca)
I got a phone call from Meade service today. They said that my GPS unit
was definitly faulty and they are going to replace it. They also said
that my two ideas for an external antenna connector for the GPS unit and
a redesign for the battery box, so batteries don't pop up and are hard
to remove have been pushed upstairs to their design teams so maybe this
will help out on later releases of the telescope. About the bug in the
ver 1.2g software giving satellites = 0 they denied all knowledge of
this being the case. They said that this was the first that they had
heard of it. I politely suggested that they might look in the forums for
some of their feedback.

Hopefully it will not be too long before I get my telescope
back....yours really seems to be taking a long time.

Clear Skies
Guy

Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Tuesday, November 24, 2009 03:47:14
From:	Bander Albotehy (bander.albotehy@gmail.com)
I bought my ETX-LS 6" telescope on September. Since that date, the
telescope had never aligned automatically or manually. The GPS unit is
failing to find any satellite. I tried it in two cities + the desert but
no luck. When I try to align it manually I could not find my city
(Dammam: Saudi Arabia) at the same time I cannot enter the location
manually. I went to Riyadh (Capital) and its location is stored in the
database. The telescope continues giving me wrong alignment! After that,
I went to the desert as the last try to test the GPS. Again, no
satellite was detected. Meade has to do something to resolve this issue
as soon as possible otherwise I will never buy any Meade product and I
will never suggest it to others.

Regards,
Mike here: See the article "ETX-LS Notes" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	re: ETX-LS GPS Defective
Sent:	Sunday, November 22, 2009 15:54:03
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
After reading your notes to Mike, i think i can help with a few confusions.

The first, easy, one to address is the apparent lack of "New Mexico" from
the site list.
It *is* in there, and has been for all versions of the firmware.
What i suspect happened is that you were using the up/down -slew- keys to
scroll through the list.  That advances you eight (8) entries per tap.
(this is an advance over previous Autostars, where you could only advance
one at a time in those).
For *individual* stepping through the list (from any place in it), you
need to use the *scroll* keys, which are the two at the lower corners
of the keypad.

By using the slew keys, it would be only a 12.5% chance that you'd hit
New Mexico.  Use the slew keys to get "close" (or past) N.Mex., and
then the scroll keys to actually hit it.
Then tap [enter] to drop into the 24-entry N.Mex city/town list.
----------------

You mentioned being forced to do a "manual alignment".
Even if you have had to enter the time and site manually,
you can still "menu" afterwards to "Auto Alignment".
At worst, it's under Setup/Align/Auto Alignment
The spins, tips and tilts of an AutoAlign don't care how the time and date
were entered, they're accessible even in the midst of a session
(if you feel you need/want to realign, or if you haven't aligned yet).

--------------------
Many of your, and others, frustrations could be helped with better
documentation...  There's the "too simple" one-page guide, and the
"frequently unclear" detailed manual on the DVD that came with the scope.

-------------
It -is- possible to break out of the wait-ten-minutes GPS fix attempt.
I find that alternately pressing [mode] and [back] many time *can* regain control,
but it certainly doesn't happen rapidly.
--------------

As for actually -acquiring- a GPS signal... the ETX-LS seems to do
a much worse job than my 2002-era LX200gps.  I -do- get fixes,
but i'm puzzled by the wide range of acquisition times.  Rarely
(but occasionally) i get a fix in less than 30 seconds.  There
are other times where it will time out the ten minutes they give
it, but manage a fix within 30 seconds of telling it to try again
(by choosing "by GPS" from the "how to set time?" menu that comes
up after a failed-to-fix).  A friend finds that his only fixes if
he points it east/west... any other orientation rarely fixes.
(i haven't noticed any correlation between where it's pointed and
how well it fixes).

good luck
--dick
Mike here: Many thanks Dick!  I'm hoping to get my LS back soon so that I can gain some more experience with it.
Subject:	etx-ls
Sent:	Saturday, November 21, 2009 19:58:17
From:	Louis Welke (lcwelke@yahoo.com)
I haven't left any emails to you recently pertaining to my ETX-LS partly
because I had been waiting to see how you had come out with the new
ETX-LS Meade was supposed to send you. to replace the defective one you
had If you haven't got it by now you are one very patient man but I
guess with all the upset people trying to do the same thing you are
Meade has their hands full. Is it very difficult to upgrade my LS to the
new version? and can this be done by transferring the upgrade to a SD
card and then transferring it to the LS? I still hear that the new
version doesn't get rid of all the bugs so I wonder if it is worth doing
or wait until a better version that covers even more of the problems.
I'm sorry to hear that the flu bug caught you, I had it too and am still
recovering. Here in Michigan we have had a lot of bad weather so I
haven't done much observing but still hope for one clear night.

Lou Welke
Mike here: Still waiting. Yes, I'm a very patient person. As to upgrading, it is as easy (or at least as easy as using any Windows software) as using the AutoStar Updater and putting the software on a mini SD card and booting up the ETX-LS with the card inserted. The process is described in the manual.
Subject:	Finder Camera
Sent:	Friday, November 20, 2009 20:53:50
From:	Warren Spreng (wspreng@gmail.com)
I have heard a number of requests for pictures with the finder CCD on
the ETX-LS so tonight I just shot some blind shots (don't have the
external monitor yet) at different exposures of the Pleides.  It is
evident you should do the Dark Calibration which I didn't do so there is
quite a bit of noise in the photo.  This one is a 90 second exposure. 
Still enjoying the scope and hoping for some less humid evenings!
 
Warren

photo


Subject:	ETX-LS GPS Defective
Sent:	Tuesday, November 17, 2009 22:27:36
From:	Lawrence Blind (ltblind@msn.com)
I purchased an ETX-LS in August, 2009 primarily for its supposed ease of
us.  I have three children and I was looking forward to sharing the
wonders of the night sky with them through the quick and easy Autostar
features.  While the video features may not be useful to diehard sky
observers, I thought they would be wonderful for my children to see.

The first time I took the telescope out (to northern New Mexico) the GPS
failed to acquire any satellites.  As others have written, my handheld
Garmin had no trouble in the same location.  After the initial
disappointment I jumped through all of the hoops proposed by both Meade
and the retailer, Oceanside Photo and Telescope.  I reset the telescope.
I reprogrammed the flash drive with the 1.2g software.  Nothing had an
effect.

Finally, Meade agreed to take the telescope back, at their expense, and
ship a new one to me.  I know I did not receive the same scope back
since both were in transit at the same time.

The first time I turned on the second scope the aural introduction
worked ok, but then the readout immediately said that the firmware was
defective and needed to be reprogrammed.  It didn't even get to
searching for satellites.  Even though my frustration level is way off
of the charts, I went ahead and reprogrammed the telescope using the
Autostar Updater software.  All seemed to go well.  Tonight I crossed my
fingers and took it out once again to a wide-open area.  No luck, no
satellites, and plenty of minutes spent out in the cold waiting for a
miracle that never came.

Judging from the other comments posted on this site and others, mine is
not an abnormal experience.  In fact, it seems to be a very widespread
problem.  While Meade and OPT have both been understanding, the fact
remains that I have a telescope that does not do what it was advertised
to do, either out of the box, or after updates.  I will be on the phone
once again tomorrow, but this time I happen to be taking a trip to
southern California and I intend to personally deliver the telescope to
either Meade or OPT.  If they can't fix it on the spot, or exchange it
for one that they can show me actually works, I will give up on this
telescope and insist on getting my money back to put towards something
better.  I'm open to suggestions!
 
Sincerely,
 
Lawrence Blind
Mike here: I have received a report that the GPS count of "0" is actually a bug in 1.2g. So perhaps, your GPS is actually OK. Have you tried one of the non-Auto Alignment modes?

And:

As described by others, the telescopes "locks up" for about 10 minutes
trying to locate satellites (when the audio says it will take only a
minute or two).  After it can not auto align it gives the option of
doing a manual alignment.  If it truly had found the satellites and done
what it is supposed to do, why would it tell me to do the manual
alignment?

When I scroll through the choices for location in the manual alignment
only very limited states and towns show up.  New Mexico is not even on
the list. This was also a problem with the first scope they sent, but it
seemed to be fixed by uploading the new software as New Mexico,
Albuquerque, and many other towns in NM then appeared.  I have done the
update to 1.2g on the new scope and NM is still no where to be found.

When a company sells a product and says it will do something it should
work from the first time out of the box.  It should not require numerous
phone calls, updates, and alternate methods of alignment to make it
"sort of" work properly.  Meade is going to have a class action suit on
their hands very soon judging from the number of customers who are
complaining about this scope online.

Lawrence Blind 
Mike here: Have you tried entering your Zipcode? Or creating a new site with your lat/long location? As to the GPS, yes, it could have a problem. I wonder if Meade got a batch of bad ones from their supplier.
Subject:	GPS and software problems
Sent:	Sunday, November 15, 2009 13:05:46
From:	Peter van Overbeek (pvo@pvanoverbeek.com)
My ETS-LX was manufactured in August 2009 and has the 1.2g software.
Once, when I first tried the scope, the GPS seemed to work, although the
alignment was ultimately one degree off. The second and following
attempts failed to acquire GPS. The GPS counter reads: 0 on every try. I
am also having the earlier noted software problem in that, once the
scope goes into GPS acquisition mode, I cannot get out of that function
until about 10 minutes later, when the scope switches to manual entry.
Neither MODE, nor BACK, or any button will get me out of that. Another
(minor) issue is that the serial number will not show in the INFO mode.
The number showing is 800000.

I am getting somewhat irritated, because these problems (except may-be
the serial number issue) have been experienced by others. I am now
reading up on the LX-90, which has a SONY GPS. Can anyone tell me
whether this is a more reliable GPS unit ?

I also find the audio commentary somewhat silly. By the time I have
planned to look at something, I have already done some reading on the
target and the dialogue become redundant. Sure, you can switch it off,
but then, why pay for it.

Peter

Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Sunday, November 15, 2009 10:26:58
From:	Laurent Barrallier (laurent.barrallier@ensam.eu)
I receive yesterday my ETX-LS telescope. Firware version found on it is
1.2g. It seems to be ok for GPS reception and automatic alignment
(approximatively 5 min). I work on MacBook with Fusion soft to have
Windows rnvironment. With Autostart suite no problem is found. ETX-LS
usb link is found. I try to use Prism v7 (demo mode) but LX200
configuration have a problem with USB link (I choose LX200 full
compatibility cas). I don't know why i try to fix delay (for reading and
writing) but I don't fix the problem. Finaly I try to used EXT-LS under
Mac OS 10.6.2 but I don't found the driver on any Web site (Meade also).
I try to found USB-RS232 device, it seems to be NXP Semiconductor Chip
but no driver for mac is proposed. Do you have  a idea ?

Michael thank you for your beautifull web site

Laurent
Mike here: I suspect that the Mac OS X apps will need to be revised to support communication to the AutoStar III via USB.
Subject:	Summary of problems with my ETX-LS
Sent:	Friday, November 13, 2009 09:58:59
From:	Yihan Goh (gohyihan@gmail.com)
I just posted a list of problems with my ETX-LS on CloudyNights:

My first ETX LS had a faulty GPS that was replaced by Meade. The second
one is not the best either, and suffers from at least 5 problems, which
I list below. If anyone knows how to resolve these or has similar
experiences, please let me know:

1. GPS sometimes works, sometimes doesn't, all from about the same
location (by this I mean front yard compared to say, pavement in front
of front yard). GPS on my phone works great and picks up something like
7 satellites. ETX LS, half the time, picks up zero and asks for my
manual input. That is unacceptable. Why would I buy a GPS scope
otherwise?!

2. Scope has slewing problems in manual alignment mode. This happens
especially when it slews to a target star in manual alignment mode and
asks me to centre the star. I cannot do so because the slewing has
mysteriously been disabled.

3. Scope has slewing problems in normal GOTO mode. Sometimes I ask the
scope to goto an object and it does that, albeit unsuccessfully. So I
have to do a manual adjustment using the slew keys. Nothing happens. I
adjust the speed of the slewing to the maximum speed and still the scope
sits still on its base.

4. The scope has displayed - albeit only once - levelling problems.
Once, the scope thought that "level" was 30 degrees below the horizon
and promptly stayed there. I promptly aborted the operation and directed
the scope to shut down. Well, it carried the mistake in levelling over
and came to a rest 30 degrees past its normal vertical resting position.

5. The audio sometimes shuts down mysteriously. Not that I care much
about a talking telescope, but sometimes after I ask it to go to an
object (again the alignment doesn't work, as mentioned above), it does
so and starts talking about the object. Or, should I say, attempts to do
so. The screen shows "Press A/V to cancel MEDIA", but there is no sound.
I had done nothing with the volume and the scope was speaking on
start-up.

6. Auto-alignment and manual alignment are both hopeless. One caveat is
that I am in quite a light-polluted area (Cambridge, MA) but can still
see some stars in the sky on a good clear day. When the scope slews to
its first alignment star, say Vega, it is way off when I can the star in
the sky. And because I cannot correct the slew sometimes, the bad
attempt fixes. Once, after "alignment", the scope happily informed me
that Jupiter was below the horizon when it was high up in the sky!!

Now, I am absolutely frustrated with this piece of equipment. I could
use other words to describe the scope that would more properly convey my
frustrations at this time, but I shan't. Basically I've spent hours
outside trying to get the scope aligned and seen objects rise and set
behind trees. I think 80% of the time I am with this scope is spent
figuring out what is wrong with it.

Now, I know that this all sounds like something of an Autostar default
problem, but I have gone through the following error check-list:

1. I confirmed the location (whether automatically or manually) to be
where I am actually at. I compare the coordinates the scope gives to my
other GPS device when the input it manual - the coordinates match up
very close enough.

2. I confirmed the time to be EST, not EDT. There seems to be no option
to turn off daylight savings, but the time is already set to EST, UTC
-5hrs.

3. I religiously shut down the scope (like shutting down Windows!) so as
not to mess up the internal orientation. It goes to rest vertically
(save once) and I shut it down when instructed to.

4. I have firmware 1.2g.

5. I have done the dark frame calibration.

6. I start the scope out pointed roughly in the direction of north.

7. I use a Celestron Powertank that is always nicely charged. I do not
use internal batteries because they are economically inefficient.

So, one-by-one, I have eliminated all the potential problems, and yet
nothing works. I am very frustrated by this.

If anyone has any similar experience, or solutions, I would be happy to
hear from you. For now, I am considering reloading the firmware.

Thanks.

And:

Just an update, I've shipped the scope back to Meade. They offered to
replace it but because the scope has been supercharged, I didn't want to
exchange it for a normal scope. I suspect that some inherent fault
surfaced at random, so this has nothing to do with the supercharging
process, with which I was very happy with.

I hope Meade will not take too long with this scope. Unlike most of the
posters here, I am only in the US for a limited time and will leave for
my permanent home in Dec 09. I had hoped to bring the scope with me to
cut down on separate international shipping fees. Well, I arrived in the
US in Aug 09, ordered the scope then and now, in Nov 09, still have no
working scope.

I would avoid Meade products from henceforth, and I mean that,
notwithstanding their prompt customer service with regard to my second
scope (which I appreciate).

With warmest regards,
Yihan

Subject:	Keep the faith
Sent:	Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:48:23
From:	Warren Spreng (wspreng@gmail.com)
I hope that those out there having some difficulties with their LS keep
the faith in Meade.  Mine has brought me back to the night sky, and
although I have had an 8 inch Dob for years, I think I've been out more
nights in the last 3 months than in the previous 15 years!  Maybe it's
because now I'm hooked on getting images on this little baby that I
never thought would be possible with a scope this size.  I'm a real
newbie at this but when I saw what I was able to get of the Orion
Nebula, it only increased my hope for clear evenings!  This was with
Orion only about 30 degrees above the horizon.  If anyone would like to
see more pics with this scope they can visit www.rigel123.com where I
have posted what I have been able to do so far.
 
Regards,
Warren

photo


Subject:	Uploading custom tour to ETX-LS issue
Sent:	Monday, November 9, 2009 20:41:29
From:	John - Gmail (geminijk@gmail.com)
I'm trying to upload a custom tour to the ETX-LS, and I think I have
other issues. When I connect via USB, I get the AutoStar Updater program
to show connected. When I however choose retrieve, it says it retrieved
data, but nothing shows up in the right window pane from handbox
(Autostar). I expect this to be populated with the files its reading
from the ETX-LS, correct?  Any suggestion on what may be happening, or
are those expected results not correct, and I should just proceed to
import my tour, select it from library to the handbox, and then choose
upload?
 
Thank You,
 
John 
Mike here: I'm still waiting for mine to get back to me but there was some earlier feedback that indicated there was a Meade serial driver on the DVD (or was is CD?) that came with the telescope. Have you installed that?

And:

I believe so, because I updated the firmware successfully, and I also
tested the computer control one night, and the scope worked via AutoStar
software, meaning it slewed to Uranus just fine.

In your experience then with the ETX, when you choose retrieve, it
should populate the right Autostar Handbox pane with the database
content it pulled from the Autostar?

Thanks, 

John
Mike here: It has been many years since I did that (remember, it is Windows software), but yes, stuff showed on the right side.
Subject:	Re: Review: Meade ETX LS 6
Sent:	Monday, November 9, 2009 07:00:36
From:	steve nastos (steve.nastos@gmail.com)
As a refresh, I bought the ETX-LS and it seemed like it had a faulty
GPS. I sent it back to Meade, and eventually got a new one. I'm a little
upset about the $80 I had to pay to UPS! Anyhow I got the scope back,
GPS works, I actually got the scope aligned (after about 30 minutes) in
my messy back yard. Alignment is still a little off, I'm hoping your
great website will be able to help me with that.

All in all, it's been a rough few months, but it's looking better. Now
if I can figure out how to get batteries to last more than 2 hours!

Thanks.
Steve
Mike here: Don't know how much off is "a little off" but check the Daylight Saving setting if the error is about 15 degrees. Also, you can do the CALIBRATE SENSORS to adjust the magnetic variation setting for your location.

And:

The auto alignment won't center the object in the eyepiece, in fact, the
object won't even be in the eye piece. It will be in the view finder,
less than a centimeter off from the red dot. It's easy to correct when
I'm looking at something bright like Jupiter, but I'm worried about when
I turn the scope onto a DSO and I'm unable to find it. I'll try to
calibrate sensors once the weather is a little better.

Thanks for your help.
Steve

Subject:	ETX-LS GPS - Unclear if working
Sent:	Saturday, November 7, 2009 23:05:18
From:	Yihan Goh
I got the Meade 1209 focuser and it works great on the LS. There is some
6" of clearance between the focuser and the base of the mount when the
telescope is pointing up.

I have another question. Sometimes the GPS on the scope doesn't work -
it will say satellites found: 0 and then some 15 mins later it will ask
for manual input of location.

Then other times, it will still show satellites found: 0 but then within
5 mins or so it will move by itself to the home position. I am assuming
this means the GPS worked? But then I have my location saved so I'm
wondering if the LS simply took this somehow even though it was seeking
GPS signals.

Many thanks.
Yihan
Mike here: Glad to hear the focusr works on the ETX-LS. I suspect the location is only updated by the GPS if the telescope has moved significantly. The date and time is probably updated though. But if it says 0 found then there is likely either some obstruction or something wrong. What version of the AutoStar III software does it have?

And:

it has the 1.2g version. This unit's GPS is confirmed to be working by
Dr Clay after I sent it for supercharging by him. The strange thing is
that the scope sometimes starts finding north by itself, and other times
it asks for manual input. All everything is between reboots, so it seems
to suggest that sometimes it knows its location?

Also, when it finds north, should the lens be pointing north, or the
rear (eyepiece)?

I tried doing an alignment tonight... it failed the GPS test and I input
my location manually. It did the auto alignment and after alignment, I
searched for Jupiter. It pointed in the right direction, but was rather
off.

I am getting quite frustrated with this scope. I had an earlier
replaced, the second one supercharged and still this! One possible
problem might be I added a 1209 focuser so that might have done
something to the balance?

Looking forward to your views...
Mike here: Adding the focuser will certainly affect the balance, Whether that is the culprit or not will have to await your testing without the focuser attached. The telescope may not end up pointing north and level at the end of the north and level determination. But where it does end up, I can't say. Mine was defective so it was pointing incorrectly. You could try reloading the software.

And:

It will be interesting to hear from others if they have the same
experience. On CloudyNights forum, someone in Germany has the exact same
experience as me - satellites=0, sometimes the scope asks for manual
location input, other times it slews to north automatically.

And:

This info might be useful to you: I found out from two owners of ETX-LS
that the satellites=0 display does not change even though the scope has
acquired a GPS fix. Upon acquiring a fix it will slew north. Well, at
least the common presumption is that once it slews north, it has
acquired a GPS fix. These two users believe that to be the case and have
good alignment. Another owner in Germany (I saw this from CN forums; no
personal contact with him/her) reports the same phenomenon, but is
unsure whether he has GPS fix.

It seems to me therefore that when my scope slews north after a few
minutes showing satellites=0, it has in fact acquired a GPS fix. Other
times it shows satellites=0 but asks for manual location input after 15
mins, it has not acquired a GPS fix. The mystery for me is then why it
sometimes can get a fix and other times it cannot from approximately the
same location.

With warmest regards,
Yihan

Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Friday, November 6, 2009 08:55:35
From:	whiteley (whiteley@charter.net)
I am wondering just how the dark calibration works when taking images
with the built in CCD camera.   Do you take images and then do a dark
subtract using other software or does it dark subtract automatically?
The meade manual does not explain what you are to do, only that it will
take dark images.   From the order of operations it appears you are to
take the dark images afterwards but they are not for the same amount of
time as the image taken earlier and do not appear to be subtracted.   If
you can help with this it would be great.

Thanks

Stargazer Dave
-- 
Mike here: If you are using AutoStar Suite, this probably happens automatically. Dark images can be taken before or after exposures. If you are taking your own dark images, cover the camera with the little cap and make an exposure. Beyond that, I can't say since I'm still waiting for my ETX-LS to be returned to me.

And:

I am just using the handbox.   I am leery of hooking up to the computer,
as that is when I had to send the telescope back in last time.   They
did do the upgrade for me to version 1.29.   If you figure this out when
you get your scope back feel free to contact me.

Thanks.

Subject:	Advice for Canadian Returns
Sent:	Thursday, November 5, 2009 08:13:41
From:	Paul Forbes (PForbes@apotex.com)
I saw a previous comment regarding costly customs charges for your
returned scope to Canada. I have some additional advice otherwise you
will pay dearly thanks to our Canadian Government cash grab efforts.
Tell the customer service rep at Meade that when they create the
shipping manifest that they specifically mention that the item was
"returned for repair under warranty". Otherwise customs will assign a
item $ value and you will be hit with anywhere from $100 to $400
customs/brokerage charge. Also, have the customer service rep send you
the documents so when you pick your scope up at UPS you can ensure you
pay the "minimum" customs charge of around $35. There is a communication
gap between customer service and shipping @ Meade and it's a 50:50 that
they will provide the proper documents with the shipment. I had a
lengthy conversation with UPS and despite all efforts they informed me
that since the item has value, although returned for repair, you still
need to pay a minimum customs/brokerage fee that Meade will not cover. I
should point out that I received a returned Scope but it was not mine it
was likely someone else's that they mistakenly sent to me...didn't work
anyways. Therefore when you return your scope, and unless you expect a
new one, make sure you check your serial number to be sure it's yours
otherwise you may inherit  someone else's problem.

Has anyone tried LS Video Monitor see link 
http://telescopes.net/doc/2500/mftr/Meade/item/07700. I ordered one
however based on my luck I am expecting one message "failed alignment go
to manual mode". Hate to be cynical but my experience has been very
disappointing I am really cheering for Meade to help all us get past the
"bleeding" edge phase of this new technology.
 
Paul Forbes
 Burlington Canada
Version 1.2g
Mike here: I'm hoping see the video monitor at OPT later this month (assuming I get over this flu!).
Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback
Sent:	Thursday, November 5, 2009 05:35:39
From:	Paul King (pking1@rochester.rr.com)
Concerning the vssver.scc files people are finding on their ETX-LS
scopes after they upgrade.  These are Visual SourceSafe version control
files.  They have no functional use in the scope.  They should have been
removed by the developers at Meade before the updated version was
packaged for public consumption.  If they are including these files,
their developer's need some assistance  this is a rookie mistake.
 
Paul

Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback GPS
Sent:	Wednesday, November 4, 2009 21:42:19
From:	blkhole (blkhole@shaw.ca)
I finally gave up on trying to find GPS satellites. Enclosed three shots
for you to see my location is Hi and clear. My little explorist sitting
on top of the telescope found 7 sats in 15 minutes photo 7 the Meade
photo 12 in the same length of time found 0! nada! ziltch!  So I phoned
Meade and reluctantly have shipped the telescope off to them. I just
hope nothing else gets broken on the way. I also gave them some ideas
for updates and mods so lets see what happens over the next year of
development. Meade sent shipping lables and are paying through UPS but
it's just a hassle to get stuff back and forth over the border. Will let
you know how it works when it comes back. If you buy the extended
coverage and you have to send it back 3 times they will replace the
telescope with a new one, otherwise they will only repair and you get
the same one back.
Tomorrow Nov 5 no telescope Day one. No withdrawal symptoms yet.
Guy

photo

photo

photo

And more:

5 days and counting. Wouldn't you know it!  Everyday since I sent the
telescope back has been clear.
I'm sure there's some astronomy god up there just laughing their heads
off at us astronomers. A friend was talking to me about GPS systems and
he was saying that just by putting a passive antenna near by and running
the antenna cable around the GPS module of the scope it would increase
the pickup of satellites. I'll have to try that when the scope comes
back if it's still not finding them.
How many others have you heard from that are having the same or similar
problems?
Guy
Mike here: I post all reports on the ETX Site.
Subject:	re: Electric focuser for ETX-LS?
Sent:	Sunday, November 1, 2009 15:51:48
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
(this should go to Yihan Goh, too... but you didn't reveal his email address)

Hi...

The socket on the ETX-LS makes it look like Meade's 1209 or 1206 focuser
would operate, but i'm concerned that there may not be enough mechanical
clearance once you've added one.  That would require that you limit the
telescope to -not- slew over 80 degrees (roughly) in elevation.

The JMI focuser Mike pointed at merely turns the existing coarse focus
knob.  The 1209/1206 is Meade's "Crawford-style" zero-image shift
focuser which used to be included as standard equipment with the LX200gps
scope.

have fun
--dick (who frequently presses the ETX-LS "focus" key, and nothing happens...)
Mike here: Which is exactly why I removed mine from the LX200; I had a clearance problem.

And:

Subject:	ETX-LS MicroFocuser Question
Sent:	Tuesday, November 3, 2009 10:12:01
From:	Varga, Les (LVarga@Nordson.com)
I was able to attach my Meade micro-focuser from my LX90 onto the ETX-LX
with no problem.  The plug receptacles are the same on the ETX-LS and
the focuser adapter that mounts to the LX90 OTA.

I am not sure of the model number though of if they even still sell it
as an accessory.
 
Regards,
Les Varga
Cumming, Georgia

Subject:	ETX-LS Feedback .scc files and GPS malfunctions
Sent:	Saturday, October 31, 2009 22:27:30
From:	blkhole (blkhole@shaw.ca)
Seems like Scott is having the same problems as me with the gps. And no
he wasn't seeing wrong.

There are 5 vssver.scc files in the ver 21g zip file. They are all 80kb
except the last one which is 64 kb. I haven't tried to choose them yet
as a Guided tour but will try and see what I get. They are obviously not
meant to be selected as you can tell by their size and type, but why
they should appear I don't know. Could be that they are for the add on
monitor, I'll have to see what the file stands for vssver (visual
server) The file is a Scenarist closed captioning file used by Scenarist
as well as other DVD authoring programs; used for encoding closed
captions onto DVDs; includes text and timing information, which syncs
the text with the movie. The files are compatable with both Mac software
and Windows.

It seems that Scotts scope is doing the same as mine, no sats but works
fine if you punch in the location. I'm starting to belive that this is
definitly a GPS sensitvity thing. I couldn't find any information on the
internet about the type or manufacture of the GPS that Meade is using
but from looking around a lot of GPS units have antennas that plug in.
If I can find how to access the GPS unit and see if the antenna is screw
in and detatchable a replacement better quality antenna may solve the
problem. I can also not find an email address for Meade service where I
might be able to obtain some information. It's alright for you guys in
the states to return your scopes but a lot harder for us up here in
Canada. Will be phoning Meade on Monday to see if I can get any Joy on
this subject.

Guy

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Copyright © 2009 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/nov09/etx-ls.html