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ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK
Last updated: 31 October 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.

Mike here: This is addressed to the non-English using visitors to the Mighty ETX Site. As you may have noticed, I have recently started adding a "Google Translation" widget to the ETX Site pages. I'm curious to know if you find that feature useful. Please drop me an e-mail with your opinions. Thanks!
Subject:	ETX-125 dimension
Sent:	Friday, October 30, 2009 07:46:44
From:	V.A. van Wulfen (victor@clearskies.nl)
Would you happen to know what the exact circumference is of an ETX-125
OTA?
 
Thanks!
 
Victor
Mike here: I didn't KNOW the ETX-125 OTA circumference. But I did measure it: 465mm.

And:

Thank you very much!

Victor van Wulfen

Subject:	Thanks! Missing Latitude Control Latch found at Telescope Warehouse
Sent:	Wednesday, October 28, 2009 13:32:02
From:	Stevens (acorn1104@earthlink.net)
Hi Mike,Thank you so much for suggesting that I contact Telescope
Warehouse in order to locate a latitude control latch for my 884 tripod.
William Vorce went above and beyond to help me. He's mailing the
assembly tomorrow. Sincerely, Bertie Stevens

Subject:	Alphabetical Index for Telescope Tech Tips page
Sent:	Wednesday, October 21, 2009 02:31:13
From:	Gordon Law (gordon.law1@btopenworld.com)
I attach a Word document that lists in alphabetical order all the items
on your "Telescope Tech Tips" page of your website as at 15 September
'09. This is no big deal - all that the index does is list items
alphabetically rather than in date order. For me, this makes searches
easier and averts the need to email a query to you. I have also found
this saves time in searching for previously listed items to which you
sometimes refer in your replies to questions. For example, you  often
write something like "There are a couple of articles on "xxxx" on the
Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page." This in itself is fine -
but it usually takes me quite a while to find them.

If you think that this sort of re-arrangement would be an overall, more
'user-friendly' improvement to your invaluable website, I would happily
provide similar listings for the other pages. Following this line of
reasoning and presumably without too much hassle, you could then switch
to listing items alphabetically?

Perhaps feedback from other readers would be helpful  before embarking
on any such venture?
 
All best wishes
 
Gordon Law
Mike here: I typically use (and expect that others will use) the web browser "find" function. So, I say to see article "xxxx" on the "xyz" page, then it is easy for the user to enter that title (or a portion of the title) in their browser once on xyz page. A long time ago, the TOC pages did not have links by topic, but were rather just listings of articles, typically, by date order. I determined that breaking the listings up into topics helped, especially for new site visitors who needed to find help with a specific problem. But we'll see what others have to say. No promises either way!
Subject:	etx 125 problems
Sent:	Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:15:28
From:	Karen Lattray (klattray4371@sbcglobal.net)
I own a 125 etx ec bought in late 1998. It has worked great no problems
until now.  My wife and I have been observing jupiters moons every   
night for the last month. The R.A slewing is ok a little rough but the
Dec. movement has become terrible, its like it is filled with rocks. It
slips  and bumps. Also the images have become very shakey when you
attempt to focus. The moons now have a tiny tail to the right as if it
slightly out of focus.  The images shake almost thru the complete field
of view. What do you think a major tuneup overhaul or what ? Do you
think it is time to replace it and with what. I love the etx it has been
great so mobil so easy to use. Please help if you can. Lou Lattray I can
be reached at      klattray4371@sbcglobal.net
Mike here: First, try a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES. That probably won't solve the vibration problem but it is worth a try. If that doesn't do it, try loosing up the lubrication on the axes; unlock the axes and slowly rotate the telescope back and forth, hard stop to hard stop. Do the same thing on the DEC axis. Do it several times. If that doesn't solve the vibration you may need to do some maintenance on the mechanism (or have Dr. Clay perform his Supercharge Service). The image tail (coma) is likely caused by the telescope optics being out of collimation. Do a "star test" and check it. If are unfamiliar with dong a star test, see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. If it is out of collimation, you can correct that yourself BUT it is not something to be untaken lightly as you can easily make things worse. Dr. Clay can do the collimation, if required. As to replacing the telescope, only if you have "aperture fever". But keep in mind that the best telescope is the one that gets used, not the one that stays in the closet because it is too large or cumbersome to set up.
Subject:	re: etx power supply
Sent:	Monday, October 19, 2009 21:05:13
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
> 114eq/dh4 power supply on ETX-70?

Well, i'd be careful.
It totally depends upon -what- you have as a RadioShack supply for the 114eq.

I believe the 114eq/dh-4 used a 15v battery box (10 C or D cells).

The -usual- voltage for an ETX-70 was a 9 volt battery.

I'd be willing to use a 12v supply on the ETX70, but i would *not* use a 15v supply.
(the cards in the ETX-70 may not have adequate heat-sinking to handle the
extra heat dissipation that the higher voltage would require).

have fun
--dick
Mike here: The Meade AC Adapter for the ETX-70 is 12 VDC 1000mA, so 12 VDC should be OK.

And:

From:	STEVEN C. FOSTER (intrepid7@msn.com)
Thanks! I just checked and it's a 1000ma, 15v. So it's probably too
much. I will have to find another solution.
 
Appreciate the reply,

Steven Foster

Subject:	your lunchbox??
Sent:	Sunday, October 18, 2009 17:33:03
From:	Steven Foster (marlin60@comcast.net)
Hi, I was on you website and noticed the "theft page". I typed in space
lunchbox on eBay and........That's a bummer, all that stuff taken.
 
http://cgi.ebay.com/1960-SATELLITE-LUNCHBOX-Rockets-Space-Men-NICE_W0QQitemZ310175726014QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4837e9f9be
 
Clear Skies
 
Steven
 
Nashua, NH
Mike here: Yes, that's the same one. Mine was in MUCH better shape though.
Subject:	etx power supply
Sent:	Sunday, October 18, 2009 16:12:00
From:	Steven Foster (marlin60@comcast.net)
I have a power supply from radio shack for my 114EQ-DH4, will it work on
the  etx-70AT?
 
Thanks,
Steven
Nashua, NH
Mike here: Probably. As long as it is 12 VDC with at least 1000mA. You would also need the right connector for the ETX-70.
Subject:	ETX 125
Sent:	Friday, October 16, 2009 06:50:47
From:	stuart little (stuball2@msn.com)
I currently own a Meade ETX 90 among many other scopes. You just can't
beat it for it's crisp optics, portability, and goto functions. I am
planning to upgrade to the ETX 125. I noticed that the ETX 125PE is
becoming in short supply and that the ETX 125AT is on most dealers' web
site but back ordered. Is Meade reverting back to their old design or
are there enhancements in their new ETX 125 AT?
 
Stuart Little
Mike here: I suspect the ETX-LS models are getting the most production right now. I would not be surprised if the ETX-125 goes away entirely.

And:

Thanks Mike. It looks like I should move fast.
 
Stuart

Subject:	etx 70/-at
Sent:	Thursday, October 15, 2009 15:46:50
From:	Steven Foster (marlin60@comcast.net)
Hello and great site! I saw a etx-70 on craigslist for $50 with tripod
and autostar. Is autostar updateable? I have a Nexstar 80 already but
for this price should I pick it up and are there any advantages? I think
the 80 has a 400 object database. Thanks
 
Steven
 
Nashua, NH
Mike here: The standard AutoStar for the ETX-70 was a model #494. The software is not user-updateable. However, you can add and edit objects. The database has about 1500 objects. The ETX-70 is compatible with the #497 AutoStar; it's software can be user updated.
Subject:	Help-missing latitude control latch on 884 tripod
Sent:	Wednesday, October 14, 2009 09:27:23
From:	Stevens (acorn1104@earthlink.net)
I recently purchased a Meade ETX-125 Premier with an #884 tripod on
ebay. The telescope was in pristine condition as was the tripod with one
exception. The latitude control latch was missing. After no response
from the seller, I called Meade customer service which was no help as
they do not carry replacement parts for tripods. The rep suggested that
I find an alternative at a hardware store. Unfortunately he could not
tell me what to look for so I am at a loss as to what to even purchase.
I would appreciate any and all help that you can give me. Thank you for
your time and I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Bertie
Stevens
Mike here: I'm not certain what you could find in a hardware store that would replace the locking mechanism. If you intend to use the tripod in polar mode, you might be able to just bolt it in position with some sort of clamp. If you intend to use it in Alt/Az only, you should still lock it in position, again using some sort of clamp. As an alternative, try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page); they might have a solution.

And:

Thank you so much for the prompt reply. I will contact Telescope
Warehouse as you recommend. Sincerely, Bertie Stevens

Subject:	Seeking your advise about Meade telescope
Sent:	Wednesday, October 14, 2009 00:10:19
From:	Adolph Meave (adolph1@hotmail.com)
I hope my note finds you well. I found your amazing personal website
where you share your passion for the stars; all the content was
extremely informational and quite inspiring, hence the reason to contact
you.

I am interested in purchasing a Telescope and have been researching the
web for options and would like your expert advise on the matter (if you
have time of course). I do own an entry level Celestron telescope which
has helped me get familiar with the night skies (still a rookie though)
but I am ready to move up so I can do some astrophotography with my
Nikon D80. The two options I have been looking into so far are the 8"
LX-90 GPS and the new 6" ETX-LS (can you attach an DSLR on it?) -
(though I was disappointed on both telescopes based on your reviews). My
budget is limited to around $1500 (there are used/new options on ebay
for both but not sure if it is too risky to get one from there). Anyhow,
an option that I want to consider is portability so I can go to the
desert in Victorville, CA to stargaze (BTW I live in Socal - I saw you
lived in Torrance for many years). Let me know if you suggest other
models/brands as well.

Enough for an intro and request for advise. Look forward hearing from you.

Best regards,

Adolph Meave
Diamond Bar, CA
Mike here: I have not heard of any recent problems with the LX90 models like I experienced. It would appear that Meade has resolved the issue that was occurring with the gears. As to the ETX-LS, mine apparently had a bad LNT module. Such things do happen. Meade is resolving that. A few others have had GPS problems and it appears that the new AutoStar III 1.2g update resolves that. I'm waiting to get my ETX-LS so that I can update my review. Since you live in Southern California, I suggest you drive down to Oceanside and visit OPT. (Note that I have a relationship with OPT.) They can answer all your telescope questions and you can see many models there. As to astrophotography, you can do it with the D80 DSLR; I use my Nikon D70 DSLR. See the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for a lot more info.

And:

Thanks for the quick response Mike. I'll try to visit OPT and check
their selection in the next few days. As far as the ETX-LS, I have read
many blogs stating that it appears to be overpriced vis-a-vis its
capabilities - thoughts? Do you think that I would be better off
considering a more powerful telescope like the 8 LX-90 if the price is
comparable? Or a standard ETX with a set of eyepieces?

Thanks in advance for your opinions.

BTW - nice pics of the moon last week!

Regards,

Adolph
Mike here: Which telescope is right for you depends on many factors, including how you intend to use it. Normally, aperture "rules" but the best telescope for you is the one that gets used. If it ends up in the closet because it is too large or too cumbersome to set up, then it is the wrong telescope for you. As to pricing, given the features of the ETX-LS, I'd say it is priced correctly. Of course, we all wish it cost less, and someday it will cost less than it does today.

And an update:

I wanted to share with you that I made a decision on which piece to get.
I settled for the ETX-LS based on your comments. I think it will give me
the portability and ease of use to take out frequently. I did visit OCT
as recommended and purchased it there from Craig himself (he sends his
regards to you). I hope to stay in touch and share my future
experiences.

Thanks again for your advise.

Regards,

Adolph

Subject:	ETX-60AT-BB Flip mirror repair needed
Sent:	Monday, October 12, 2009 10:04:25
From:	Bill McCarriston (billmavon@comcast.net)
My flip mirror dislodged from its carrier.  How do I remove the mirror
and reposition it?
 
Thanks. 
are there any assembly drawings available for the 60?
 
Bill Mc Carriston
Mike here: There are a couple of articles on "Flip Mirror Repair" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. They are not specific to the ETX-80 but may help you. Of course, if the telescope is still under warranty, you should contact your dealer or Meade. There are no ETX-80 assembly drawings available.

And:

Thanks to Plutofinder, I "dared" to move the piece of mirror, flip it
over so that the glued side was back onto the carrier.  Now just need a
drop of adhesive and we are OK.  Thanks all who were working on
solutions for me. 
Used a pair of "green sticks" out of my wife's manicure stuff as my
basic tools.
Need the drawings, still.
 
Bill
Mike here: Be certain to do a "star test" to check the optical alignment.
Subject:	etx 125
Sent:	Monday, October 12, 2009 09:24:59
From:	cremm (cremm@talktalk.net)
have read your book and noticed a comment that the first 125 had a
problem with shift of image when focusting.
i have that problem and my 125 is new.
i also find that locking the ra lock [quite hard] still leaves some play
on the scope.
I am very new to this so any advice would be helpful.
 
phil uk
Mike here: Some image shift is normal. But if it is excessive, like the object moving out of the field of view when focusing, then there is a problem. Either the optics are out of collimation or the primary mirror is not moving smoothly when the focus shaft is rotated. Since the telescope is new, you should contact your dealer. If you want to research it a little more, do a "star test" to check the collimation. See the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for info on doing a "star test" as well as info on image shift.
Subject:	Cheap Finderscope for a ETX-80AT-TC
Sent:	Tuesday, October 6, 2009 21:54:36
From:	Robert Read (rdread514@hotmail.com)
When I received my Meade ETX-80AT-TC telescope, it came with no
finderscope with the setup. I would like to have one because it makes it
easyer to find items in space. I am looking for a cheap Finderscope to
be used on my ETX-80AT-TC. Also I would like to use double Back Face
Tape to place it on the tub of the telescope. Also I will need help in
placing and aligning the finderscope to the telescope for I'm very new
to all this and want to do it right the first time. I hope someone out
there can help or tell me of a finderscoup out therethat is not to
expensive. Thanks for all the help .
 
Bob Read
East Bridgewater, MA
Mike here: There are several finderscopes discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page. Also, see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page as there are several finderscope add-ons there.
Subject:	Another book?
Sent:	Tuesday, October 6, 2009 05:36:26
From:	Daniel Caron (dan_13@msn.com)
Hi mike. Saw you on the lx200gps group. Just wanted to say its nice to
see you on this forum. I was on the lx200 forum before I realized that
there was a more appropriate forum for my gear. Your etx book was
awesome! Had to buy it when I got mt etx! Both the book and your web
site are great! So, thanks for all your input. Any chance of an lx200gps
book in the future? Again, thanks for everything and clear skies to you!
Dan.
Mike here: Many thanks! Probably no LX200 book in my future. I have a couple of other projects I want to do.
Subject:	cokin filter
Sent:	Monday, October 5, 2009 19:32:06
From:	rick rodgers (rickr32000@yahoo.com)
HI, I HAVE MANY OF COKIN FILTERS I USE WITH MY 35MM. I WOULD LIKE TO USE
THESE ON MY ETX70. COKIN MAKES A UNIVERSAL FILTER ADAPTER THAT WILL FIT
ON THE END OF THE TELESCOPE LENS ALLOWING ME TO USE MY COKIN FILTERS. MY
QUESTION IS CAN I USE THESE FILTERS IN THIS WAY INSTEAD OF HAVING TO BUY
1.25 FILTERS TO USE WITH THE EYE PIECE. BY HAVING FILTERS ON THE END OF
THE SCOPE WILL IT EFFECT THE LIGHTING ANY DIFFERENT THAN PLACING THE
SAME TYPE OF FILTER AT THE EYE PIECE WHEN I VIEW THRU THE SCOPE. THANK
YOU, I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR SITE
Mike here: First, please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site home page, especially the part about using ALL CAPS. Thanks for understanding. Wavelength-wise, having the filter over the objective lens or at the eyepiece, there shouldn't be any difference. However, I am not familiar with their ETX-70 adapter and so can't comment on whether it will reduce the effective aperture of the telescope.

And:

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INFORMATION AND QUICK RESPONSE.
Mike here: Don't forget to read the Email Etiquette.
Subject:	Help regarding compatibility of LXD75 mount and ETX125
Sent:	Saturday, October 3, 2009 23:33:10
From:	Bart Huzaimi (badrulhuzaimi@gmail.com)
I'm new in astrophotography and astronomy and have encountered your
excellent site by accident. I'm wondering if you could help me make a
decision. I'm about to purchase an LXD75 GEM with GOTO & Autostar 497
along with a ETX125 (comes with 26mm eyepiece) OTA with its fork
mounting and base (no tripod). How do I combine these 2 items so that I
can start my astrophotography? What extra item(s) would I need to
combine those 2? Hope you could give me your thoughts on this ASAP.


-- 
Thank you in advance.

Best regards,
Bart.

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity"
Mike here: See the article "ETX-125 on a LXD75 Mount" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	Power adapter to ETX125PE
Sent:	Friday, October 2, 2009 13:29:53
From:	Martin Bosk (martinbosak@email.cz)
Hallo, I want to advice with selection of power adapter to ETX 125 PE. I
know that on the Weasner's sites are many about it, but my english isn't
so good. Please, can you briefly advice me about it? I want to know all
characteristic of power supply of ETX. I have a freind, who is
electrician a he want to help me with it but he want to know details
(specifications) of power suppling of this telescope. I know only 12 V.
What do we take care and etc. I have read on your sites, that Meade
adapter has sometimes problems.


Thank you very much

Martin Bosk, Czech Republic

martinbosak@email.cz 
ICQ: 275626281 
Mike here: Meade a new "universal" model AC adapter. You can see more about here: http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=6923. As to the ETX-125, you will need a minimum of 1500mA at 12 VDC. The center pin is positive. There is a lot more info in the "Power Supplies" section on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	ETX-80 jerky azimuth movement
Sent:	Thursday, October 1, 2009 06:03:26
From:	Reed Smith (captreed@sbcglobal.net)
My ETX-80 is 2 years old.  After I center an object the mount pauses for
2 seconds and then moves the object 1/2 degree to the right in the field
of view.  Sometimes I can place it on the left and it will move to the
center.  Then the mount makes a clunking sound every second and the
object jumps 40 arc seconds to the right.  Since this happens every
second and the image takes 1/2 second to stop shaking it renders viewing
with the scope almost useless.

Is this caused by a loose worm gear bracket?  Since the scope is out of
warranty I would like to fix it myself.
 
Thank you.
 
Reed Smith
Ventura, CA
Mike here: A "clunking" sound can indicate a loose gear OR a gear with one or more broken teeth. After before delving inside the ETX, have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES? That can solve the "rubberbanding" problem if it is not a mechnical problem.

And:

I did both a calibrate motor and train drives, but I'll try them again. 
Which do you do first or does the order in which you do them matter?
Mike here: The CALIBRATE MOTOR "tunes" the AutoStar to the battery power level, so it needs to be done first. If doing the two steps don't help, sometimes a RESET, followed by the CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES fixes it.

And:

OK.  I did the calibrate with the AC adapter that I use outside.  I'll
try a reset, calibrate and then train drives.
 
thank you,  Reed
Mike here: Anytime you change the power source, ie, switching from battery to AC or back, or adding fresh batteries, you should CALIBRATE MOTOR. You don't need to TRAIN DRIVES when changing sources.

And:

I did a reset, then calibrated the motors and trained the drives.  Now
the rubberbanding is down rather than right and the 1 second jerk to the
right is still there.
 
Reed
Mike here: Time to open up the base and check the gears and gear mounts.

And:

I opened up the base and the gears and gear mounts were fine.  I finally
found an article on your site that emphasized that the drive training
and calibration had to be done with the mount in the Terrestrial
setting.  I think this was my problem.
 
Thank you for your help.
 
Reed

Subject:	ETX 90 PE LNT support bracket
Sent:	Thursday, October 1, 2009 04:48:30
From:	Heinrich Bofinger (hbofinger@earthlink.net)
I sent you an email recently with a photo of an LNT module support
bracket for the ETX 125 PE that I had modified to fit the ETX 90 PE by
using a Dremel.

Well, I emailed Jim Burr of JMI telescopes with the image, and he
thought he might put the part into production. I sent him the modified
support and a spare ETX 90 LNT bracket I had obtained from Meade, and lo
and behold, yesterday I got a phone call from Jim personally that the
first production version of the support bracket has been manufactured, a
new product for them. Their catalogue can be found at
http://www.jimsmobile.com/buy_mounting_brackets.htm, but the part is not
listed yet (the ETX 125 part is).

I am in no way affiliated with them (I got a $50 gift certificate and a
production version of the part as a reward). But I can honestly say that
this is a thing worthwhile getting if you are traveling with you scope,
as I am.

Unfortunately I won't be getting their 40" $159,000 scope as a reward,
but at least I tried. But then again, it's not as portable as the ETX90
 
Cheers,
 
Henry B.

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