ETX PREMIER EDITION FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 September 2007

This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX PE (Premier Edition). Feedback on the specific PE technologies (Automatic Alignment + SmartFinder, Level North Technology) will be covered here. Feedback on the Autostar Suite AE (Astronomer Edition) will be posted on the regular Autostar Suite feedback page. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (EC, AT, PE) 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 and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.


Subject:	Auto Align on etx125pe
Sent:	Sunday, September 30, 2007 14:31:09
From:	dan/barb z (dbzatsaar@ameritech.net)
This is my first time writing. I have just purchased a ETX125PE and I am
having a problem getting the autostar to go to auto align. At times when
I turn the scope on the auto star displays 0 for align or mode for menu.
The manual says to push 0 for auto align. When I do this it starts to
display the date then time and so forth. It will not go to auto to set
level, north and tilt. What am I doing wrong?
Mike here: It sounds like the AutoStar is not seeing the LNT module. See the Helpful information: Telescope Tech Tips for lots of suggestions to remedy this.

And:

Thanks for your prompt reply. You said the magic word. LNT module. So I
decided to check the wiring and battery. What I found was that the
bottom spring was not in its proper position and shorting the circuits
on the LNT module circuit board. I corrected this concern and retrained
drives,adjusted smart finder and reset the date and time. All I can do
is wait for clearer skys so I can recalibrate the sensors. Hope I didn't
cook anything!  Thanks for your help.   ----- Dan
Mike here: You can check that the AutoStar is seeing the LNT by powering on indoors and seeing what options have you.
Subject:	ETX 125 PE / Broken LNT Battery clip
Sent:	Friday, September 28, 2007 10:04:50
From:	Julie Clayton (solargenz@yahoo.com)
Hello.. i was replacing my LNT battery because the time wasn't showing
up and accidently broke one of the clips that holds the LNT battery in
place.  To keep it from sliding around, I'm using a rubber band that
goes completely around the scope.  Just want to make sure that's not a
terribly bad solution.. or if there is a better one, that would be
great.  Many thanks.
 
Julie
Mike here: Alternatively, perhaps velcro or plastic ties. Of course, you could contact Meade; maybe they will send a replacement.
Subject:	Re:Alignment problems again (PE Feedback 9/15)
Sent:	Tuesday, September 18, 2007 09:39:34
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
Have you tried following the setup procedure at this link?

http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/2006/pe_setup.html

The section "Setting Telescope Parameters" describes the method for
setting the LNT Home Position. You need to make sure the OTA is at the
CCW hard stop and locked, then orient the whole base so the tube is
pointing west.

When you say the scope hits the CW stop when going to the first
alignment star, that means it would have to go more than one complete
revolution if it started from the CCW stop. The scope should have nearly
two complete revolutions from stop to stop. If it doesn't, then you have
a mechanical problem.

Hope this helps.

Mike Hogan

Subject:	Alignment problems again
Sent:	Wednesday, September 12, 2007 07:25:14
From:	Herron, James A (Herronja@stjosephs-marshfield.org)
I know you must be tired of hearing from me by now...But.... I have
programmed in the correct time, date, lat/long, and dst.  I do auto
align with the control panel pointing to the southwest....It does its
thing then when it decides to go to the first star it tries to go
clockwise and hits the stop....and never reaches the first alignment
star....so what am I doing wrong???  btw ETX 125PE
Thanks again.....Jim
Mike here: Control panel should be on the West side of the mount, not Southwest. Tube should be pointing Southwest-ish and at the hard stop (for Auto Align) before turning on the PE model.

And:

Ok I will try that...Thanks 

Subject:	WWVB
Sent:	Tuesday, September 11, 2007 14:03:35
From:	Jim Herron (spiritair@charter.net)
Stupid question....what does WWVB mean...and what does it do??
Mike here: Have you ever used Google or Yahoo? Do a web search for WWVB and you'll get your answer.
I can't understand why you didn't want to type all of that out??? he
he....Does the LNT module use this or do you need the atomiic clock
reciever gizmo to use that??   AND  Many Thanks
Mike here: Yes, you need the add-on clock module to get time signals.
Subject:	Alignment ETX90PE
Sent:	Saturday, September 8, 2007 04:04:49
From:	Henrik van Holthoon (henrik.van.holthoon@wanadoo.fr)
Hello James,
 
Concerning alignment,
 
Not calibrated LNT
On Autostar use ,setup scroll to telescope and then to calibration
sensors.
From there on Autostar tells you what to do be sure however that control
panel is pointing to west or south west when at hard-stop.
See handbook page 56 for sensor calibration procedure
 
Ohther cause can be
Not correct site coordinates (use i.e. Google Earth to find) or near by
city)
First time, put in correct local time (after which LNT keeps the time if
battery in LNT is ok)
Daylight saving should be ON this time of the year
Check time zone
 
I have an ETX105PE, in alignment procedure the pointing to Alignment
stars is rather close, push ? on Autostar after beep to check what
alignment star is used and check against star map and with your own
eyes.
Alignment stars should be correctly geometrical distributed i.e. between
60 to 120 AZM and if possible 45 ALT for reasonable GOTO pointing.
 
Succes
Henrik

Subject:	Help with alignment...Please!
Sent:	Friday, September 7, 2007 09:17:46
From:	Herron, James A (Herronja@stjosephs-marshfield.org)
Hi... I just recently bought an ext 125PE...I cannot get it to align on
the alignment stars....I have trained the drives but it hasn't
helped...The scope often turns toward an alignment star but doesn't get
there because it reaches it's stop point.  I am setting it in the home
position by turning it CC as far as it will go  to start the process but
it isn't working for me....I am so frustrated I feel like tossing the
whole thing away....Any thoughts or hints????  Thanks Jim
Mike here: Are you doing an Easy Align or Auto Align? Have you tried the other method from the one you are using? Remember, the HOME positions are different.

And:

Wow that was fast...Wish Meade was as prompt!!!  Yes I have tried both 1
and two star alignment...to no avail....when I place the scope in the
home position should the tube point to any specific location?  I have
entered the Lat/Long time and date correctly....
Mike here: See the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page for Alignment (Easy) Tips and the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for PE and LNT troubleshooting tips. Basically for Easy the tube is level and pointed towards True North (not Magnetic North). For Auto Align the tube should be pointed to the Southwest (at the hard stop); the Auto Align takes over finding North and Level. How far off is the first alignment star? When you center the first star, how far off is the second star? When you complete the alignment process, how are the GOTOs?

And:

There doesn't seem to be an alignment star at either the first or second
alignment stops...I am in a very dark place so magnitude shouldn't be a
problem...I have also tried trying different alignment stars but it
never seems clear to me which star it is and there is never one
centered...I did however a goto polaris.  it was off by quite a
bit....???should I calibrate the sensors??...I am not really sure how to
do that.
Mike here: Are you identifying the alignment stars correctly in the sky? If you are unfamiliar with the night sky, the alignment charts on the AutoStar Info page should help you. When you center the alignment stars (and assuming you are getting the wrong stars centered) do you get the Alignment Failed message on the AutoStar? As to doing a CALIBRATE SENSOR, won't hurt anything but since the problem also occurs in Easy Align (which doesn't use the LNT) I suspect something else is wrong; either with the date, DST setting, Site, or perhaps just identifying the wrong star. Again, how far off is the first alignment star? 5, 10, 15, or more degrees?

And:

No I get an alignment successful message...Then the goto is way off...As
for the alignment stars I am not super familiar with them to be honest
with you...But I will check the info page and educate myself....and 15
degs. off
Mike here: Ah, the "magic" answer of 15 degrees (which is one hour of Right Ascension and hence time). That sounds like a Daylight Saving setting incorrect for your location. Check that or your timezone offset in your Site setup.
Subject:	ETX 125PE Finderscope replacement.
Sent:	Friday, September 7, 2007 06:02:07
From:	jorgeypat@comcast.net (jorgeypat@comcast.net)
I bought a new ETX 125PE this year and love the telescope but hate the
Finderscope specially when I need to point to stars close to the zenith
or above 30 degrees.   Is there a finderscope you recommend that could
replace the one provided or should I keep it?  If I replace it, I am
thinking to upgrade to 90 degree finderscope.
 
I thank you in advance for your comments.
 
JL
Mike here: There are some reviews on the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page as well as some tips about adding one on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	focuser
Sent:	Friday, September 7, 2007 00:08:16
From:	mail.westnet.com.au (jchaurette@lightmypump.com)
I have purchased the new JMI MF125 focuser. We'll see how it goes.

http://www.jimsmobile.com/buy_motofocus.htm

Jacques

Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Monday, September 3, 2007 21:43:36
From:	Raul De La Cruz (mr_delacruz@hotmail.com)
I found your site when i Googled my Etx-90 PE. I've been reading some
very helpfull Info. My question is I lost the fiber optic strand inside
the LNT. I called Meade and they want to sell me the whole LNT. Is there
anywhear to get a single optic fiber to slide back into the jacket? 
Thanks.
Mike here: Glad you found the Site but did you read the article "Email Etiquette" as requested for first-time visitors by a notice on the ETX Site Home Page? Your email was originally rejected and deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing subject entry. Please read the Email Etiquette article to avoid this happening in the future. Thanks for understanding.
As to a single strand of the fiber optic cable, I don't know of a source for the custom made strand but you might check Telescope Warehouse for the LNT module; their link is on the Astronomy Links page.
Subject:	ETX 125 PE Cannot Find Alignment Stars
Sent:	Sunday, September 2, 2007 22:47:48
From:	Ken Sikes (KGSikes@cox.net)
Last May I purchased an ETX 125PE  with  LNT and I have yet to have it
correctly locate an alignment star. I loaded the current version of
firmware       43 EG, did a reset, calibrated the sensors, calibrated
the motors, trained the drive and it still will not put an alignment
star within several degrees of the finder. I reloaded the firmware, even
tried to load an older version, but the updater would not allow that to
happen.

I tried the automatic alignment , the easy alignment and still cannot
get it to come close to the alignment star. I replaced the battery in
the LNT this afternoon thinking that might be the problem. I live in
Arizona, so there is no Daylight savings, but I even turn that on and
the results were the same. I have checked the Long  and Lat settings
(entered the correct location)

I have no problems with my Atlas mount, and this is not my first
telescope. Short of sending the ETX back to Meade (The Place of
purchase...Discovery Store has gone out of business) I dont know what
else to try.

Ken Sikes
Mike here: How far off is the first alignment star (in Auto or Easy Align)? Once you center the alignment stars, how are the GOTOs? Just to confirm you have it correct, describe the HOME position that you put the telescope in for each of the alignment modes.

And:

Thank you for the quick response. The home position for the Auto
alignment is CC to the stop with the tube pointing just south of west.
The home position for the easy alignment is CC to the stop and then
approx 1/4 turn towards the north celestial pole. In all cases the first
alignment star is 3-5 degrees (or more) off. I center the star then
proceed to the second star, same thing 3-5 degrees off. I center and get
the alignment successful message. I then test the goto by doing a goto
back to the first star or Polaris and 3-5 degrees off. I have reviewed
the data in the user file thinking something wrong there but all seems
ok.

This morning I re-installed the 43EG firmware, did a reset and will try
again tonight if it is clear.

Thanks

Ken Sikes 
Mike here: OK, you got everything correct. But the consistent small pointing error sounds suspicious. Did you use ZIPCODE, CITY NAME, or your specific Longitude/Latitude for your location in the AutoStar? I have had problems using ZIPCODE so always use CITY NAME or my exact coordinates.

And:

I always  use the exact Long/Lat values. Last night I turned  on the
Daylight savings thinking that the one hour should change the pointing
by 15 degrees, it did no only about  5 degrees. Could the sensors be
slipping ?
Mike here: Unless the gear or motor housings are loose (which should result in some "clicking" sound), CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES (you did do both axes, right?) should resolve that.

And:

Yes I trained both axis, and calibrated the motor. Am I expecting to
much ? An object should be somewhere in the field of view of a 26 mm
eyepiece right ?
Mike here: On a properly trained and setup system, yes, the objects will normally appear in the 26mm FOV. When you do the TRAIN DRIVES, what magnification are you using and how distant is the object?

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Copyright © 2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/sep07/etx-pe.html