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ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK

Last updated: 31 October 2012

This page is for comments and user feedback about ETX telescopes. ETX models discussed on this page 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, 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:	re: Meade finderscope question
Sent:	Saturday, October 27, 2012 18:35:57
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Egad... it's been centuries since i opened my ETX90's finder...

I don't know the entire answer, but one rule of thumb is that, if you have a doublet
(such as the first two similar lenses creating the objective (front) lens on a scope),
the "flat" sides go out, and the curved sides face each other.  Like  |) (|

So i suspect that (from the front) the assembly order is:
 lens, spacer tube, lens, spacer, crosshair, eyepiece, eyeball

If the three lenses you have are *all* the lenses in the viewfinder, then i'd guess:
(from the front)  lens, long spacer, crosshair,  lens, small spacer, lens, eyeball

On my ETX90, i remember that the eyepiece assembly came out as a unit
(with crosshair attached to the front of it), and i never emptied the
"front tube's" contents.
(i'm quite nearsighted, so i bent the crosshair wires forward to bring
them into focus when i used the viewfinder without my glasses.  The
LX200gps finder was not that adjustable)

good luck
--dick

And:

From:	Thomas Connelly (tntconnelly@sbcglobal.net)
Through some trial and error (and some thought on my part I'd like to
think), I got it back to the way it was! Not finished with the crosshair
replacement but your site has helped me in this and other issues, so
thank you very much. I will be passing on your URL to others.

Tom Connelly


Subject:	Meade finderscope question
Sent:	Friday, October 26, 2012 12:11:39
From:	Thomas Connelly (tntconnelly@sbcglobal.net)
I could not find this on the site anywhere. In trying to replace the
crosshairs of my ETX125 finderscope, the 3 lenses and 2 rings fell out
of the finderscope. I am trying to figure out the order of these lenses
and rings inside the barrel, starting from the crosshairs holder ring (I
don't count this as one of the rings because it's obvious where this
ring goes--it screws down. Thanks for any help or reference.

Tom Connelly
Mike here: Yeah, no one has submitted that info. Good question.


Subject:	RE: ETX 125 EC will not power on
Sent:	Friday, October 26, 2012 05:01:59
From:	David Hoover (dlhoover26@frontiernet.net)
Well, I opened the bottom and did not see anything obvious. Would you or
someone else be interested in taking a look at it? If it is not
completely gone I would also be interested in having the improvements done 
to it if possible. 
Mike here: You can contact Dr Clay Sherrod for his Supercharge service. Let him know the situation. Details on the "Supercharge Service" page (linked from the ETX Site home page).

And:

Thanks


Subject:	Demise of the ETX line
Sent:	Thursday, October 25, 2012 10:14:12
From:	Charles Hall (charles.p.hall@gmail.com)
I guess I haven't been paying attention for a while. I just visited the
Meade website and saw that their current ETX offering is just a shadow
of what it used to be. I haven't noticed anybody else cutting back on
their small scopes, what do you think is going on? They dropped all
their imaging devices too a while back.

It would be a shame if they let the ETX line drop off the map,
especially after you yourself have single-handedly made a cult of them!

Charles Hall
Raleigh, NC 
Mike here: Yes, the ETX line is now more limited than it used to be. Some of that in larger apertures have been replaced by the LT and LS models. So, ETX remains the premier of the small telescopes from Meade.


Subject:	ETX 125 EC will not power on
Sent:	Tuesday, October 23, 2012 19:09:14
From:	David Hoover (dlhoover26@frontiernet.net)
I have an ETX 125ec which I believe I broke and am trying to get it
repaired if I can. It was running fine on batteries and I wanted to
switch to an ac adapter. I had a universal laptop power supply with the
correct adapter so I plugged it in. I have not been able to get the
power indicator to light even when using batteries. I have called Meade
support and they said they do not work on these telescopes anymore. I
found your website and am hoping you can help me or point me to someone
else.
 
Thank you,
David Hoover
(humbled and embarrassed)
Mike here: Assuming the AC adapter didn't fry the electronics, the problem now could be the battery cutoff switch. You can find info on fixing that on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. On the other hand, if the adapter had the wrong voltage or wrong polarity, you probably fried the electronics in the ETX base. If you open the base you might be able to see a burnt component. Let me know what you find.

And:

Thanks for the quick reply. I only need to remove the three screws under
the feet pads correct?
Mike here: For starters, yes.


Subject:	Question about ETX-125 OTA
Sent:	Sunday, October 14, 2012 08:57:42
From:	George Khasabov (red_star_rc@yahoo.com)
First let me thank you for your beautiful site that gave me all 
necessary information to fix my ETX-125 I got broken from Craigslist
with unknown history.

I have one question though. During my observation sessions I noticed
that picture has some kind of a structure on it. It is more noticeable
with higher magnification and not depend of what I am looking at.

When I reassemble the OTA I found that central mirror is not solid any
more. It has holes that go through. Attached are pictures I made with
flashlight through the eyepiece port.

Is there any way to fix it? 

Sincerely,

George Khasabov
Astronomy newbie.

photo

Mike here: First, the "flashlight test" is not a valid way to check for mirror (or any optics) cleanliness. If you see a LOT of dirt on the mirror by using indirect lighting (daylight), then you MAY want to clean it. If you are seeing "donuts" in the eyepiece when looking at objects, then it is likely that the eyepiece needs cleaning. For more on cleaning optics, see the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.

And:

Thanks for the quick response.

My concern is not "dirty" optics. On the picture attached to my previous
e-mail you can see light that went through the central mirror. That
means central mirror has multiple holes in it and the light from the
object actually goes through the mirror and combine with the light goes
"normal"  way. Central mirror needs to be re-coated or front corrector
plate needs to be replaced.

I just wonder if anybody can do it. Or maybe there is a place I can buy
new corrector plate? 

I think  there is no sense to call Meade with it useless tech support.
Mike here: I'm unclear as to what you are seeing. When you look through the eyepiece hole (without an eyepiece inserted), you should see the main mirror and your eye reflected in the secondary mirror (on the back of the corrector lens). Surrounding your eye should be a black ring (from the baffle). On the other hand, if that photograph is from the rear of the mirror and if there is indeed light shining THROUGH the glass, then it definitely needs to be recoated. Meade won't do that so you'll have to look for another source. Alternatively, you might be able to get a replacement from Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).

And:

That is exactly right. I put flashlight trough the eyepiece hole and
made a picture from the front of the OTA.

Will try Telescope Warehouse.

Thank you,

George.
Mike here: Wait. Shining the flashlight (which I said is NOT recommended) through the eyepiece hole will NOT show light THROUGH the mirror. You are seeing light REFLECTED from the mirror surface when viewing the mirror through the corrector lens.

And:

Attached is the picture how I did the test.

photo

Mike here: OK. You are seeing bogus indications (from the flashlight) reflected from all the normal surfaces of the ETX. Light is NOT going through the mirror, except through the viewing port at the rear of the ETX.

And:

OK. Different test. I put a flashlight directly in front of OTA right up
against the mirror. The flashlight is about the size of the mirror so no
light is coming through the corrector plate.  You can clearly see holes
in secondary mirror reflecting in the primary mirror. They are also
visible through eyepiece port.
Mike here: OK. Of course, I can't see what you are seeing. But again, using a flashlight is NOT a reliable test of the mirror and its condition. If you want to really determine the mirror coating condition and whether there are holes in it, you will have to remove the mirror from its mount. However, that has other risks.


Subject:	546 8 D cell battery pack for ETX 70
Sent:	Saturday, October 13, 2012 12:10:43
From:	Denigma58@aol.com (Denigma58@aol.com)
Was wondering if you have any idea how I could mount/attach the 546
power supply to my ETX 70. The thing is quite bulky and I have been
racking my brain trying to figure out how to do it. Also have been
scouring your site but can't find any info from users. Thanks and thanks
for your fabulous web site.
Dean Smith
Mike here: Do you mean just attaching it to the ETX base for security? If so, you could use Velcro.

And:

I ended up using velcro and plastic tie wraps to secure the holder to
one of the tripod legs. Works great.
Thanks. Dean

photo


Subject:	Greetings!
Sent:	Thursday, October 11, 2012 16:14:33
From:	Tomi Simola (tsimola@gmail.com)
Just a quick one. I purchased a secondhand ETX90-EC and while waiting
for clear New Zealand skies, I've been upgrading it: Audiostar, electric
focuser, red dot finder, Barlow, camera adapter etc.

Last  night I was able to give it the first light. Just couple of
kilometers from Auckland centre I was able to see Mars and couple of
clusters, M22, Eagle Nebula etc.

It being my first real telescope it worked well! My alignment sucked,
but still it brought targets within 26mm eyepiece view. I also noticed
my tripod plate adapter is wobbly! Back to drawing board!

In my pre-purchase mayhem I red through your website couple of times,
and was more than happy to my decision! You have an excellent collection
of ETX-related information, cheers for that!

I will carry on with this hobby during summer weekends when me and my
partner go out camping. Outside of the city the seeing is in clear
nights excellent!

Thanks again for your great work and have a nice autumn/fall!

Clear skies!
Tomi from Finland/New Zealand
Mike here: Glad you like the Site, but PLEASE read the Email Etiquette on the ETX Site home page; your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the subject line. Thanks for understanding. Enjoy your wider universe, brought to you by the ETX!


Subject:	A new astronomy publication
Sent:	Thursday, October 11, 2012 02:19:08
From:	Victor van Wulfen (vavanwulfen@gmail.com)
I just published my Clear Skies Observing Guides, including thousands
of Autostar Tours.

www.clearskies.eu

Best wishes,

Victor


Subject:	Part source needed for ETX-125 electric focuser
Sent:	Tuesday, October 9, 2012 17:30:36
From:	Braun Degenshein (ibdegen@gmail.com)
The small nylon cog that is on the motor in my #1247 split, so I need a
new one.  Naturally, Meade doesn't have any ETX-125 repair parts of any
kind.  Do you have a source for this cog, preferably in brass?
 
Thank you in advance,
Braun Degenshein
Mike here: Other than your local hardware store or hobby shop, try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page).

And:

Thanks for your lightning fast reply.
Braun


Subject:	I guess you can add me to the list of bad A/C adapters...
Sent:	Monday, October 8, 2012 22:15:11
From:	Ryan Villegas (ryan.villegas@gmail.com)
Hey Mike, thanks for the follow up reply!

Getting a bit frustrated with my 80 at the moment. I'm running it with a
#497 HC. The scope is barely used due to some time constraints but
within the last week I've been trying to set aside some time to use it a
bit more. I acquired the #497 HC after I cooked a 494 in a failed
firmware upgrade. Knowing that the 497 was more versatile,  I decided to
go with the more advanced HC. This being said, the issue I am having
involves the scope slewing non-stop in a constant circle along its
horizontal axis during the easy alignment process. I have calibrated and
trained the motors after a full reset from the HC. I'm worried something
might be wrong with my setup and frustrated that I'm finding this at a
time that is most likely outside of warranty and after only a few uses.
I'm wondering if you've heard of such an issue. I continue to explore
your site which is a wealth of knowledge that I haven't even begun to
fully absorb. Thanks for all of your continued work. Keep it up!

UPDATE: I'm going to send you the preceeding email anyway, but after
reading the warnings about the AC adapter (#541), decided to go the
battery route as I was getting desperate  I reset the scope and did the
basic motor calibration and easy alignment and wouldn't you know it; the
scope acted like it did day one, just as expected it! So far a huge
weight off my shoulders! I guess I am just another statistic in the A/C
Adapter problem pool. Any thoughts on a better A/C adapter to avoid
buying too many batteries?
Mike here: I'm in my observatory now doing some imaging. I'll read your message later and get back to you. Apologies.
Glad you found the culprit. Check out Scopestuff.com for their ETX AC adapter. I use their LX200-ACF adapter in my observatory. As to your failed #494 AutoStar, there is no user installable ROM update for the #494. There is for the #497; depending on how old the #497 is, the best software version may be 4.3Eg.


Subject:	Fried my etx60 with home made 12v car adapter.
Sent:	Tuesday, October 2, 2012 04:52:56
From:	jkml02 (jkml02@comcast.net)
I fried my etx60 (I bought it new in 2001) with home made 12v car
adapter. Reversed polarity. I kept checking the wires, even used a volt
meter. It was 4am and I was tired. Got confused with the opposite red
and black coming from the adapter clip to the etx clip.  Silly me.

I saw a blue glow and some smoke accompanied by that familiar electrical
burning aroma. Not good, I suspected.

Well, I tried it with the battery pack and it worked fine for a couple
of days. Then it just stopped. I tried the 494 on my etx70 I got last
month and it's ok.

I read someone's post here about the same problem. The red light comes
on, but that's it. No lights on the 494.

I got to the circuit board and saw the burnt tracers. I tried a couple
of jumpers with no luck.

Probably not really worth saving at this point. I'll try Meade to see if
they have the board. (unlikely)

I was wondering if there might be a way to at least send some juice to
the motors since this doesn't have slo-mo hand controllers like my etx90
(no go-to) does.

 Thanks in advance for any help.
    Bill
Mike here: Bummer about the goof. You might be able find a replacement circuit board; try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). As to rewiring power, well, yes you could but you would need to use a different hand controller. The Roboscopes Yahoo Group might be a good resource to try.

And:

Thanks for the help. I'll see what I can do.

  Take care,
   Bill


Subject:	feisty ETX90
Sent:	Friday, September 28, 2012 13:47:36
From:	Patrick Horan (pjh6970@att.net)
Hello again. I was emailing you on 'random slewing' issues with my three
month old ETX90. While reading some of the helpful hints for making my
own dew shield on your site, I came across a 2004 entry from someone who
had the same random slewing problem. He said it was the AC cord causing
the problem, how he fixed it, etc, etc. It doesnt seem like the scope
has changed much since then!

Anyway, at first Meade wanted to repair it (don'task me how) but has
recently agreed to replace it outright, after I send it back at my
expense, which from coast to coast USPS is $50.

I guess if theres any advice to anyone who asks about AC adaptors, I
would say don't use them. They seem to create more problems than they're
worth.

I just hope I get the replacement in a timely fashion. We shall see.

Cheers.
 
~ Patrick ~
Mike here: Meade had a bad batch of AC adapters several years ago. But normally proper adapters from reliable dealers will be ok.

And:

I bought one from Adorama, #546 which Meade verified is correct for the
newer ETX version. Funny thing is, my scope never acted up until I used
the adpator for the first time. After that it acted up basically every
time, with or without it. It may be entirely coincidental and unrelated,
unsure.

However, your contributer stated that he had a friend perform some sort
of test on his adaptor and measured normal a/c power
fluctuations/disruptions lasting .001 seconds which was/is enough to
throw the scope into a bit of a tizzy, apparently.  
Mike here: Be certain to a CALIBRATE MOTOR when changing the power source; internal to external, or vice versa.


Subject:	Broken ETX-125 viewfinder fixed but mounting seems wrong
Sent:	Tuesday, September 25, 2012 12:54:11
From:	Christopher Mancrief (chrismancrief@live.co.uk)
I managed to fix the broken foot on my red dot finder but having mounted
it on the ETX 125 I am disappointed that there is so much movement, even
when screwed up tight. I can't imagine that any alignment of the finder
scope will last even a short while when moving the ETX to set it up. The
mounting plate fixed to the rear of the OTA seems to be anything but
parallel. There is over 2 mm difference between the front and rear ends
of the mount. Is this as it should be? Can i fix/modify it easily? I am
new to all this and having an unreliable finder is very vexing.
 
Chris Mancrief
Mike here: I can't currently check my SmartFinder but you may find some valuable information in the "Premier Edition / LNT" section on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.


Subject:	Meade ETX-90 Mounts
Sent:	Monday, September 24, 2012 20:53:07
From:	Joe Pope (joepope@roadrunner.com)
I was wondering if you could offer me some advice.  I have an old ETX-90
I haven't used for a while, but want to get going again. Problem is, the
tripod (Meade Deluxe Field Tripod) is pretty beat up, and probably not
very useful.  Now I noticed on your web page that you claim you are not
a dealer, but I was wondering if you could point me to someplace where I
might get a suitable replacement for the old tripod?

I would appreciate any info you could send along.  Meanwhile, I will see
what I can do with the old one, but I will probably attach the main body
of the scope to the tree above with a rope, so that if the mount
collapses, at least the scope won't hit the concrete!

Thanks in advance for any info you can feed me

Joe Pope
Newbury Park, CA 91320
Mike here: You can try various Meade dealers; they may have one. Or you can put the ETX on a different mount; see the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.  I wouldn't call that a delay
at all.  I'll check the dealers.


Subject:	help
Sent:	Monday, September 24, 2012 19:00:25
From:	Jerry Vadovic (jerryv45@mi.rr.com)
Have a 125 etx that has a broken screw boss on the side where the worm
gear is. Saw George from the Ford club who helped me identify the
problem. He suggested that I contact you to see if there is a possible
repair for that plastic boss. Being a retiree....I have time to meet. If
you don't mind to take a peak ,I just need a time and place.     Thanks 
  Jerry 
Mike here: Your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject line. Please read the Email Etiquette page on the ETX Site. Thanks for understanding.
As to your problem, I'm not certain what screw you mean. But if the Right Tube Adapter has failed you may be able to repair it. See the article "ETX-90EC DEC fix (Right Tube Adapter repair)" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. If you mean something else, you might find a solution on the Telescope Tech Tips page.


Subject:	Broken red dot finder
Sent:	Thursday, September 20, 2012 16:21:09
From:	mamonett@comcast.net (mamonett@comcast.net)
Your most recent update to your site had a 125 user with a broken red
dot finder.

I have a mounted Tasco RedDot on my 125 and it is MUCH more stable than
the (toy) red dot that came with my scope.

Of course it took a little modification and some aluminum bending.

See attached 

photo


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