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ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK
Last updated: 30 November 2009
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This page is for comments and user feedback about the "ETX Classic" telescopes. ETX Classic models 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, ETX-LS, 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:	ETX 125 AT or PE
Sent:	Monday, November 30, 2009 09:26:37
From:	Heraldo Marcon (heraldomarcon@saaeguarulhos.sp.gov.br)
I will visit USA next month and I will buy a ETX.
 
1-       Is there any restrictions to use in south hemesphere (special
adjust, accessories, specific software)?
2-       The only one difference between PE and AT is the star alignment
automatically and manually. Is it right?
3-       Where can I buy a telescope in Miami or Orlando?
 
Thanks.
 
Heraldo Marcon
São Paulo - Brazil
Mike here: Nothing special or extra to get to use in the Southern Hemisphere. See the FAQ page on the ETX Site for model differences. See Meade's web site for a dealer locator (http://www.meade.com/dealerlocator/index.html). Keep in mind that out-of-country warranty service will not be available for telescopes bought in the USA and taken elsewhere.

And:

Thank you Mike.

Heraldo Marcon

Subject:	ETX 125 difficulty in setting up in my back garden due to trees and buildings.
Sent:	Tuesday, November 24, 2009 11:34:14
From:	Stanley Drizen (sdrizen@hotmail.co.uk)
I have an ETX LNT Telescope with Autostar. I've tried without much
success to set it up in my back garden due to the following problems:

My garden is about 45 feet long and 30 feet wide and points south. My
house forms one obstacle on the north side and there are various trees
with gaps in between in other directions. Light pollution is also a
problem. Autostar often points to stars that are obscured by obstacles
and although I tell it to pass onto the next star, the star is often too
faint or hidden to properly align. There are often brighter stars or
planets available in the sky but my knowledge of the night sky is not
good enougth to identify them. I was relying on Autostar to teach me
where everything was but it can never properly be aligned to do this.
How can I get started?

Regards
Stanley Drizen
Mike here: Do you know where True North is located? If so, you can use that as a starting point. Set up the ETX in Alt/Az Home Position; Level the base and OTA, put the control panel on the west side, rotate the OTA CCW until it reaches the hard stop, and then rotate it back CW to point to True North. The more precise you make this starting point the more accurate will be the algnment star pointing. Then use the Easy 2 Star align. If you can't locate the proper star in the sky, you have two choices: assume it is centered (even if behind an obstruction) and press ENTER, or select another star. You can use the alignment star charts on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page to help you identify the stars. With some practice you can get good alignments. You can then mark the position of the tripod legs on whatever surface you set up on. At the end of a session you can "Park" the telescope (Utilities menu) and power off. Then next night, set up on your marks and power on the telescope. You'll be ready to go in short order.
Subject:	ETX 125 PE Smartfinder Dec 2008
Sent:	Monday, November 23, 2009 18:53:54
From:	Joe Mather (joemather@bigpond.com)
G'Day Mike and the very best wishes from Australia, I hope you can find
time to offer some advice.

Since buying my ETX 125 last December everything has worked as well as
could be expected until I used the PC based Austar Suite [Ver 5] for the
1st time, yesterday. 'Scope control and star maps all OK, but since
connecting to the PC :- On applying 12V Power

The Handbox no longer gets current time from [I think] the Smartfinder,
and now has to be entered manually every time.

The Auto leveling & alignment sequence has 'disappeared', and Autostar
goes straight to Easy or 2 star Star Align mode so I now have to level
the scope and point it North manually.

The Smartfinder no longer works - No Red Spot, and the menu to set it up
from the handbox has 'disappeared'.

I changed the Smartfinder battery - no difference.

I ran the drive test routine, and retrained the drives - no difference.

Since everythig else works as normal, do you think obsolete S/Ware may
have been uploaded by Autostar Suite? Would you download latest version
from the Meade site, and if so, would you unload the version resident on
my PC?
 
Sorry for the long-winded mail.
 
cheers and atvb to you and yours, Joe [Mather]   
Mike here: Unless you loaded a REALLY OLD version (pre-PE model) AutoStar ROM, then it is not likely that you downloaded a bad version (assuming you are using the latest ASU v5.9). If you used an older version of ASU 5 then you may have corrupted the AutoStar. In which case, you should get v5.9 and redownload the ROM. If the software is not the problem, then it sounds like the AutoStar is not seeing the LNT module. Could be the wire has come disconnected (or the battery was inserted improperly). There are some LNT troubleshooting articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

G'Day Mike and many thanks for the help, advice, and taking the trouble
to help.

I'm far from being expert, but did a bit with UK War Dept and NASA so
I'm happy the battery is OK. Also checked out wiring as you suggested
and its in pristine condition but unplugged and re-connected the leads
to elliminate corrosion. Re-checked all S/Ware versions are up to date
so assumed the fault may be the sensor/software interface kidding the
system into thinking the auto-align process had ben completed.

Did a sensor calibration, then drive calibration and training and last
night everything worked as it had for last 12 months. But, sadly, only
once. Today I started to re-align the LNT and the system reverted back
to earlier "fault" condition. An old 'trick' in the earlier days of
automation was to perform a "Drop-Test" so will try a milder form to see
if its a loose or corroded connection somewhere in the bowels of the
scope.

Joe
Mike here: If the AutoStar allows you to do the CALIBRATE SENSORS then the LNT is being "seen". It sounds like an intermittent connection someplace. Could be a loose battery or a loose wire someplace.

And:

Thanks Mike, 'sgood to have your around.
Joe

Subject:	Home Positions for ETX
Sent:	Monday, November 23, 2009 16:25:50
From:	Werner, Brett (Brett.Werner@IngramMicro.com)
We're all very lucky you have built this wonderful resource.

Is there an easy link to understand the different home positions for the
ETX 125.  I have read the manual cover to cover so many times.but still
find it to be so confusing.

I had thought all home positions were counterclockwise then back a  turn
to the fork but apparently that's not the case.  Sorry if this is
somewhere obvious, just didn't located it easily.

Thanks so much in advance. 
 
Brett Werner 
Mike here: The Home position depends on the model and alignment mode you select. If you don't have a PE model (with the LNT), then there is only one Home position for the ETX-90/105/125: CCW to the hard stop and then back CW about 120 degrees to point the OTA to True North (the control panel will be on the west side). For the ETX-60/70/80, which don't have hard stops on the Azimuth axis, you just point the OTA to True North. For the PE model, if not using Auto Align, the Home position is the same as for the non-PE ETX-90/105/125. If using Auto Align on the PE models, then the Home position is CCW to the hard stop and leave it there (control panel still on the west side). For Alt/Az mounting, the OTA is always level. For Polar mounting, the OTA will be pointed at the North (or South) Celestial Pole.

And:

Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish I could return the favor somehow!!!

Best,

Brett Werner

Subject:	Etx 125ec alt problem
Sent:	Monday, November 23, 2009 15:45:50
From:	art lurie (artlurie@yahoo.com)
I purchased a used etx 125 a couple months ago, the alt drive was not
working at all and I suspected a wiring problem going to the drive. I
was correct the previous owner had tried to unscrew the RA lock and
pulled the wires apart. I ran new wires to the drive and the scope has
worked perfectly. Just a couple days ago lining up the scope the alt
drive would just move up not down. Pushing the down button briefly is
making it just keep going up until I shut the power off so it would not
ruin the gears. I looked back inside and carefully checked to see if any
wires were loose and did not find anything. Can you explain why this is
happening?.
 
Thank you
Mike here: What happens when you CALIBRATE MOTOR and do the TRAIN DRIVES step (on both axes)?

And:

When I calibrate the ra moves a bit  and the alt moves (up)  a bitthen
thats it. When trainig the alt drive same problem happens.
Mike here: Since you don't get an error from the CALIBRATE MOTOR that indicates that the AutoStar is at least getting its expected response. Try a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and then TRAIN DRIVES. Also, if you increase the slew speed, is there any movement downward in the Altitude axis?

And:

I reset and recalibrated. Tried the faster slew speed but no downward
movement, when pressing the down button it tends to keep going up for a
few seconds stops and does it again.

Thank you by the way for trying to figure this out.
Mike here: It could be a wiring problem if DOWN results in some upward movement. If you unlock the axis and press the DOWN slew button, can you hear the drive running? Does it sound normal? If not and you hear a clicking sound, it could be that the gear or gear housing is loose.

And:

Yes the drive sounds normal. I double checked the wiring and checked for
loose connections and couldn't find anything. I have the scope of the
mount and the forks have the covers off. gears look good to. could there
be a short in one of the pc boards.
Mike here: Well, anything is possible. I could suspect that the axis lock is being overtightened but that usually will result in no upward movement (against gravity) but sometimes there will be movement downward (with gravity). With the fork arm cover off, can you see the gear turning in both directions?

And:

The gear is just moving in one direction, it wont reverse. I also tried
my electronic controller thinking it was the autostar but it did the
same thing. I removed the lock while I was testing it.
Mike here: Time to check the wire continuity and connection.

And:

I'll check it out tomorrow and let you know.
 
Thanks Mike

And more:

There is continuity to all the connections. I disassembled the entire
alt drive from the forks and checked the motor connections and they were
fine. Another thing I noticed is that each time the motor cycles (it
seems to go and stop 3 times when the down button is pressed) the LED
light dims slightly like there is some kind of short.
Mike here: The LED dimming could indicate a short. It could also indicate a power problem. Have you replaced the batteries with fresh ones?

And:

I'm using a power supply unit I made up, 12VDC -1000ma. It was working
fine but I will try new batteries without the AC/DC  to rule out the
power problem.
Mike here: Argh. You need 1500mA for the ETX-125.

And:

You think that might be it?.
Mike here: Swapping in fresh batteries will tell you. If there is insufficient power to draw on, then slewing, especially at higher speeds, will be a problem.

And:

Tried the batteries and it does look like a short. Now the down button
does not do anything and the LED is dimming worse. Another thing I
should mention I soldered longer power wires to the power PC board but
was extremely careful getting the wires in. I have a lot of soldering
experience and it was a clean connection. The thing that is puzzling the
scope was working perfectly before. could the alt motor be bad?.
Mike here: Improper power level or bad wiring could create all sorts of havoc. Sounds like you need to do some serious troubleshooting.

And an update:

Subject:	Meade etx 125 alt pcb board
Sent:	Tuesday, November 24, 2009 20:20:01
From:	art lurie (artlurie@yahoo.com)
While testing the motor drive again one of the ic chips on the board
fried. I guess this could have been the problem inside the chip. My
question is do you know were I can optain a replacement board or entire
alt drive for this fork mount. copyright on the board is 2000.
 
Thanks again for all your help,
 
Art
Mike here: Try Telescope Warehouse; link on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject:	Re: ETX 80 and LXD75 - Caution!
Sent:	Monday, November 23, 2009 13:00:14
From:	Stephen Bird (stephen.bird@btconnect.com)
The ETX 60 / 70 and 80 are 9 volt working scopes not 12v like the ETX
90/105/125.

Whilst in some cases with cheap power supplies you might get away with a
12 volt very low amp (well milliamp in this case) rated supply, I would
not chance it. Stick to a 9 volt supply for the ETX 60/70/80 or risk
frying it! for what the ETX 60/70/80 requires you can pick up one of
those multi volt supply adaptors for a few bucks at the local discount
store. Watch the polarity, biggest killer of all ETX's!!
 
Regards
 
Stephen Bird
Mike here: As seen in the Meade #546 AC Adapter review for the ETX-60/70, it is a 12VDC 1000mA adapter.

And:

Fair enough. My only concern would be that whilst at 1000mA the volt
drop when you attach the scope electronics might be all that is needed
to ensure safety, but if someone sticks a beefier ampage supply on, the
effect might be different. I know from the older LX models the problem
was the low voltage rating of 5 smoothing capacitors that tended to burn
out over time. Amazingly in that case Meade saved pennies per unit by
using 12 volt RATED capacitors, when 18v or better 35 volt RATED
capacitors would have saved many people paying out for repairs after the
warranty expired.

As long as people stick to the Meade recommended item then their
warranty should be intact.

Regards

Stephen Bird

Subject:	EX 80 and LXD75
Sent:	Sunday, November 22, 2009 18:51:48
From:	Stephen Olson (stephen99@comcast.net)
Long time! Hope all is well with you and your family. Things are pretty
quiet here. I picked up an ETX80 about 4-5 months ago. Love the little
thing. Hate the batteries. Do you know if I can use the power supply for
my LDX75 SN8 somehow to work with this? Not the best when it comes to
electronics, but I can solder some stuff. I saw a few of the suggestions
on your site, but they were for mainly sig. Adapters and the like.
 
Don't eat too much on Thanksgiving. Although I know I will.
 
Steve OIson
 
www.TheUrbanSky.com
Mike here: As discussed in the article "ETX-80 External Power" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page, you can attach an external power source via the battery connection. The LXD75 AC Adapter puts out 12VDC and 2500mA. It should power the ETX-80 OK. You'll just need the right connector.
Subject:	Hyper-Designs. ETX T-Shirt Update.
Sent:	Saturday, November 21, 2009 20:04:51
From:	Jose Wright (jwright1@sbcglobal.net)
I see you're still wearing the ETX shirt on your web page, I want to
thank you for that. I have just completed an updated t-shirt design.

I have also made a simple website to display my t-shirt designs.

Could you please take a look at my website and if it looks ok update the
link on your website?

Mike, I also have some humorous Laptop designs on my website and if you
think that they may not be appropriate could you just link my ETX shirt?

The link to my website is "http://www.wrightdesignz.com".
The link to my "Mak" t-shirt is "http://www.printfection.com/epicshirts"

Sincerely,
Jose Wright.

Subject:	Fellow Arizonan/Tucsonan
Sent:	Tuesday, November 17, 2009 16:08:10
From:	Foster, Rick (TS) (Rick.Foster@tusd1.org)
My name is Rick Foster, I too live in Az, I live in Vail having recently
moved from the Northwest part of town.  I have spent a fair bit of time
in Oracle, I have friend that lives at the end of the car wash road up
on the side of the mountain near the trail that connects to Charlotte
gap.

Any way I have had Meade scopes for about 10 years.  I haven't used my
ETX90 in quite a few years, I pulled it out and I have a problem, maybe
you could give me advice before I send it back to Meade.

When it turns on using either the hand controller or the autostar
controller the motors don't want to move right away.  Autostar try's to
do an alignment and then says motor fault.  The hand controller can get
them to move by pushing it in a direction for a couple of nudges and
then it takes off sounding normal (small coffee grinder, I also have a
Lx200 large coffee grinder ;-).  But in only goes for about a quarter of
the circumference and then stops.  You can start it again and it does
the same thing again.  I opened up the bottom as it does it both with
DEC and RA.  I watched the motor, did not see any binding it stutters a
bit when you have to nudge it and then when it takes off it goes fine,
when it comes to a stop there is nothing in its way just stops.  At
first I thought it was not enough battery, so I hooked up a 12 volt
battery charger and the same happens under 2 or 10amp. I have a couple
of times got the autostart to complete and it motors start fine making
the noise it makes to keep the stars steady but you can slew, if you do
it hangs.

Any advice?

BTW, you don't happen to have a tripod you would like to sell that would
work for the ETX90?

Thanks,
Rick
Mike here: With the AutoStar, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? If that doesn't help, do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and then TRAIN DRIVES. Since you indicate that the standard handcontroller as well as the AutoStar has a problem, it could be the HBX jack; check for dirty pins, bent pins, or pins that are too depressed. No extra tripod.

And:

Thanks Mike, I am also a little concerned that I did not burn something
up when I used it 10 years back, the last outing then went fine and I am
concerned because I wasn't certain which powersupply I used (I have a
few laying around). So I got out the tester to check the voltages of the
one I was pretty certain I used, it says on it 14 volts. I would have
thought that it would have came up weak and ran in the 12 volt range but
it didn't it came up strong or broke at 18 volts.  So I did not use it
this time and instead tried the battery charger which also puts out
about 14 volts. I will check the pins when I get home. Thanks again,
Rick

And:

I checked the pins they all look good.  I took off the bottom cover to
see if it was a problem with the motors, I tested the RA motor by taking
off the 2 wire pin and applying 12 volts, it went both directions
depending on the neg/pos and it did not stop after running a bit.

Since the calibrate motors test is autostar and it fails under both
controllers, I thought not to do it as I am worried if there is an
electrical problem it will ruin the autostar.  What do you think?

BTW, do you see tucson lights from your site?  I do in Vail, I have good
Milky Way and excellant dark skies, to the east, south, north east and
south west, okay to the west (I am also south of Tucson) but toward the
northwest, I have one big light bulb glow.

Thanks,
Rick
Mike here: Since the motors test OK, check for some obstruction. Typically that can be a metal or plastic piece that has come loose or even a wire. Use caution as you don't want to cut a wire. Also, you can try cleaning the encoders. Sometimes just redistributing the grease helps; unlock the axes and slowy move the OTA by hand, hard stop to hard stop, back and forth several times. As to Tucson lights, I have a faint gray glow low in the south. Oro Valley is more obvious. But I have 7+ magnitude skies. Even the Winter Milky Way is gorgeous!
Subject:	ETX Site
Sent:	Wednesday, November 11, 2009 14:20:03
From:	John Farrant (johnfarrant@gmail.com)
Extremely sorry to hear of your illness. I'm sure that many others will
join me in wishing you a speedy recovery.

A million thanks for taking the trouble to update your ETX site in spite
of feeling poorly.
 
The very best to you.
 
Kind regards from Spain.
 
John

Subject:	ETX 90
Sent:	Monday, November 9, 2009 07:33:43
From:	Nancy Sundin (nsundin@internalcomputerservices.com)
I have had my ETX  for almost 10 years and it has been nothing but
frustration.  The go to is impossible.  I have read your book, taken
lessons and still am not having fun.  Is there a fun, easy telescope you
could recommend?
Mike here: Sorry to hear about your frustrations. Over the past 10 years, have you asked for assistance (I don't recall)? Also, the ETX-90EC was released just a little over 10 years ago. Have you updated the AutoStar software at any time during the 10 years? As to an easier telescope to use, if you have star charts and are willing to learn the night sky, any telescope can be "easy" to use, even the ETX-90 in a non-automated mode.
Subject:	Meade ETX-105PE (Etx Classic Feedback)
Sent:	Saturday, November 7, 2009 09:47:37
From:	Ralph Smyth (ralph.smyth@sky.com)
Hope everything is O.K. with you. I am emailing you in response to
Kathy`s email of 2nd November in your "ETX Classic  Feedback"
section. I live in Lisburn just outside Belfast in Northern Ireland.
I may have an ETX-105PE to sell if she is interested. The scope is in
excellent condition and I can verify it as very capable as well as
easy to set up. I have sent you a few images that I have taken in the
past with it and you have been kind enough to post on your excellent
site. It is my understanding that Meade no longer produce the 105.
This is a pity because, as you said yourself in the reply, it is a an
excellent blend of portability and aperture and has proved a delight
to use. I would be appreciative if you could post this reply on your
website. Many thanks and take care.

Kind Regards, Ralph   
(ralph.smyth@sky.com)

Subject:	Is the ETX 12 5PE History?
Sent:	Wednesday, November 4, 2009 19:30:48
From:	Ron Hillstromb (nh6wl@sbcglobal.net)
I just got off of the Meade web site and they are no longer showing the
ETX 90 PE or the ETX125 PE on the home page.  Now they are showing the
ETX 125 AT and the ETX 90 AT.

In one of you recent posts, if I remember correctly, you expressed the
opinion that the EXT 125 may not be with us much longer with the new ETX
offerings.

No more LNT in the red dot finder but a significant price drop( ETX 125
AT $699).

Ron 
Mike here: Not surprising! And a nice price on the ETX-90AT.
Subject:	reattaching/replacing ground-wire from ETX battery-compartment
Sent:	Wednesday, November 4, 2009 18:17:48
From:	Chuck Warner (chuckwarner@comcast.net)
I recently purchased a "barely used" ETX-90EC and Autostar go-to system
from a nice older gentleman and...didn't pay enough attention to the
warning signs (which included enthusiastic praise for your Mighty ETX
site). The most obvious problem was a great deal of east-west slop - far
too much to even think about aligning and training - so as soon as I had
the time, I followed the excellent directions here
[http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/etxtu.htm] and discovered,
unsurprisingly, that I was not the first person to have a look inside
underneath the battery-compartment.

After opening it up with extreme care, the very fragile-looking red wire
between the battery-compartment and the vertically-mounted circuit-board
was still intact, but the shorter black wire was not attached to the
battery-compartment at all.  After swabbing up the excess lubricant and
tightening the mounting screws on the worm-gear assembly to eliminate
the slop (didn't have to tighten the worm-gear nut at all), I soldered a
new wire to the negative terminal on the battery compartment and was
just starting to twist the other end together with the 3" black wire
when the other end of the black wire came away from the circuit-board. 
I stupidly had not checked to see exactly where it had been attached...

So my question is (first, is there a wiring diagram for that
circuit-board, but then...) instead of taking the entire ETX base apart
(or taking chances with a soldering-iron in too-close quarters), I'm
wondering if I might simply attach the black (ground) wire to one of the
color-coded sleeve connectors or a mounting-screw or to something else
in the base.

Any suggestions?  Thanks much for your help!

-C.

Chuck Warner
Hyped to Death / Messthetics CDs
Westminster, MA
http://hyped2death.com
Mike here: There are several articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page on disassembly and wiring. Perhaps one of those will help. No schematics are available.

And:

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly - before I wrote to you I went
through all the "Modifications" entries on the Telescope Tech Tips page
that looked like they might help - and didn't find anything. There was
one image that showed the black wire showed it unattached (and only the
red one is visible on Jordan's page). Do you have any more specific
suggestions? A search-term I could search for?

More importantly, however, do you know what the ground wire is from the
center of the worm-gear drive? I should be able to follow that back to
the sleeved connection on the circuit-board and connect the battery
ground there.

Thanks again!

C.
Mike here: Sorry I don't have any more specific data. I could open up my ETX-125EC and check that but I'm fighting off the flu right now and don't want to mess anything up! Perhaps someone will respond after I post your inquiry on the next Site update.

And:

So sorry!  I've found the information here under "miscellaneous":
http://weasner.com/etx/techtips/2004/batterywires.html

I'll have to re-solder both ends with a thinner-gauge wire than what
I've got now, but it should be quite straightforward. How ridiculous to
power the whole affair through such fragile wires... And what were they
thinking making the black wire so much shorter?

Hope you're soon on the mend - I'm waiting to see what my own sore
throat turns into: our 6-year-old spiked a 102.7 fever Halloween morning
but was back to normal 36 hours later...

best wishes,

C.

Subject:	ETX REPAIR
Sent:	Wednesday, November 4, 2009 17:55:11
Peter (cc Mike)

I just wanted to let you know how things went with replacing the motor
assembly in my wife's ETX-80. You'll remember that you were kind enough
to post a replacement unit to me in the UK, and wouldn't accepy payment
even for the postage.

Although we returned from the UK at end July we've only just got around
to fitting it today - I think we put it off because we were scared about
ruining something permanently.

Well, it was a very fiddly procedure -it took 4 hands at times to hold
all the bits, especially as we tried to get the new motor assembly
through the hole in the metal base and into its final postion. Not easy
in 32 degrees celsius, I can tell you !

Anyway, we managed it and have tried out the scope tonight. The good
news is that the replacement motor is working - we have vertical and now
horizontal movement. I think we still have some work to do to get the
scope re-initialised and calibrated, but I guess that's a matter of time
now.

So we wanted to say how much we appreciated your kind gesture in giving
us the new motor assembly.

Our very best wishes, and once again our heartfelt thanks
 
Joe Cavanagh (and Georgia)
Mike here: Super! That's why the ETX Community is so great! Thanks to Peter!
Subject:	Buying an ETX
Sent:	Monday, November 2, 2009 11:51:16
From:	Ian Gibson (i.gibson@qub.ac.uk)
I tried to send you an email but I think it did not go so I hope this is
not the 2nd request for help you receive from me.  I use a Meade LXD75
6" newtonian reflector. I would class myself as a beginner astronomer
and I have trouble getting the Autostar to work.  I am thinking about
getting a small scope for weekends away in our caravan which usually
involve being away from city skies. I live near Belfast in Northern
Ireland. I was thinking about a Skywatcher 90mm Maksutov and then I saw
ETX 90PE and ETX 105PE on offer in a shop. The auto north facility seems
tempting as the weather here is so awful that I spend more time setting
up than actually looking through a scope.  I found your amazing site
through a google search and I was hoping you might be able to advise me.
Are these scopes worth the extra money and which one would you
recommend? The 105 is about 250 more than the 90. I'm sorry I have no
idea what this is in dollars but it seems lots of money to me.  My
husband is a photographer and I teach physics so although we are
beginners we are by no means complete idiots.

If you have any thoughts about these scopes, I'd appreciate any help you
could offer.
 
Thanks
Kathy
Mike here: You can read my comments on the ETX-105PE on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. Also, see the Helpful Information: User Observations page for comments from others. Certainly, the ETX provides an amazing (or "mighty", you might say) view. You need to trade off portability vs aperture. The ETX-105PE makes a nice compromise in both.
Subject:	ETX-60 PCB problems
Sent:	Sunday, November 1, 2009 09:51:31
From:	KeithAtRochdale@aol.com (KeithAtRochdale@aol.com)
I wonder if you can help me in any way.
 
I have an ETX-60 which seems to have a faulty PCB board.

When I connect a power supply to it, it pulls the voltage down to 1.5v
and on a power supply draws about 1.5A. (this iss with the hand unit un
plugged)

On supplying the motor units with a voltage, they both work correctly.

I have tried the hand unit #494, on another scope and it works fine.

I am trying to trace a circuit diagram or spare board, or anybody that
has repaired the board.

The board is marked; ETX 60 copyright 2000 Meade Instruments Corp
15-6855-00 REV B

If you can offer any advice or information, I would be most grateful.
 
regards
 
keith
Mike here: It may not be totally applicable but check out the article "ETX Wiring Concern/Diagnosis" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

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