GENERAL FEEDBACK
[Home!]
Last updated: 30 September 2007

This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all ETX, DSX, and DS models. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX 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 and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.


Subject:	TeleXtender Question
Sent:	Saturday, September 29, 2007 10:56:06
From:	Ross Henton (rhenton@nortel.com)
Does anyone know if the Meade 2X and 3X TeleXtenders can be used with an
ETX-125? I know the literature says to use the "shorty" Barlow, but the
literature predates the TeleXtenders...

Thanks in advance,
Ross Henton
Mike here: The concern with non "shorty" style designs is that not all eyepieces will reach a focus with the ETX series. But I don't know if that guidance applies to the new TeleXtenders.
Subject:	RE: Poor/no power
Sent:	Thursday, September 27, 2007 04:37:33
From:	ben (ben@wooding.org.uk)
I've cleaned everything and tried reversing the cable but no joy.
I've ordered an Autostar Power Widget to see if the cable is the problem.
Is it possible to enter SAFE LOAD without the Autostar starting?
If so, how is this done?
The Autostar suite says no Autostar can be found.
If not, is it possible to reset the Autostar by some other means?
Cheers
Ben
Mike here: You enter SAFE MODE by holding down the ENTER and SCROLLDOWN keys and then power on the telescope. If successful you will see a message like "FLASH LOAD READY" on the AutoStar display. Then run the update application; it should detect that the AutoStar is in SAFE MODE and let you reload the ROM. As to resetting the AutoStar, see the article "AutoStar RESET from Software" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.

And:

Still no luck.
Holding down the ENTER and SCROLLDOWN keys and powering on doesn't work
either.
I had a look at the hyperterminal connection.
The cable from the autostar to the pc is fine, but there's still nothing
from the Autostar.
The cursor gradually proceeds across the screen.
It would appear I'm looking at a dead duck.
But I'll wait for the widget before trying to get it repaired.
Thanks again.
Ben

Subject:	RE: Question about remote control of telescope
Sent:	Wednesday, September 26, 2007 17:45:45
From:	Chris Reich, Observer (Observer@SeeIntoSpace.com)
Well, I suppose there is no getting around a second laptop.
Thanks Mike

And:

Sort of a dumb question but why you want to control a telescope if you
couldn't see or control the camera?
Chris
Mike here: Some users want to just image remotely once they get things going.

And:

I see. Thanks   I'm looking at Bob Denny's Astronomers control panel.
Interesting but expensive

Visit our website for updates and new offerings!
www.SeeIntoSpace.com

Subject:	Question about remote control of telescope
Sent:	Wednesday, September 26, 2007 16:46:50
From:	Chris Reich, Observer (Observer@SeeIntoSpace.com)
I'm sorry to bother but I have been trying to locate a schematic or
simple step-by-step instructions on how to set up an ETX-125 with a
Meade DSI camera that could be operated from inside via a wireless
connection. Do you have anything on this? Any idea where I might look?
 
Thank you very much,
Chris
Mike here: Well, you need several pieces and depending on the hardware you have available, you could do several alternatives. For totally wireless control, if you have an extra computer to leave at the telescope try a VNC solution. Install a VNC client app on the local end and a VNC server on the remote (telescope) end. Connect all the cables to the remote computer and set up for wireless (Wi-Fi) access and control that computer from the local computer. I use "Vine Server" and "JollysFastVNC" applications on my Apple Mac OS X systems for remote control. There are many VNC solutions for all platforms and many are free. If you don't have an extra computer you could try using a BlueStar with the AutoStar (see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page for more on that) but won't get you a wireless video signal.

And:

Thanks Mike. I want to end up with less stuff outside---so I might
Orion's Bluetooth a go---I just can't anything on it with detail---such
as, will the camera image with it? Or I may just use RJ-11 cable.

Chris
Mike here: The BlueStar only controls the AutoStar, which controls only the telescope movement.
Subject:	ETX-90ec jumping Dec motor!
Sent:	Tuesday, September 25, 2007 23:55:19
From:	Jon Highman (jonh@relemp.co.uk)
Before opening the scope up I decided to apply 'Occam's Razor'! Turned
the cable end over end and used a dust off aerosol to clean the sockets
out. I took the scope out last Saturday night (in polar mode) and all
seemed to be working just fine. Just need to sort out the backlash under
low slew speeds but apart from that all is well.  The 'tune up' looks
like a procedure to do, so I will be doing that this weekend!

Again many thanks.
Jon

Subject:	meade 125 at altitude rocking
Sent:	Tuesday, September 25, 2007 16:01:43
From:	howard pray (inorbit357@cox.net)
this is the only the second time that I wrote to you. I guess that I
have been the lucky few I got this scope about year and a half ago , no
problems so far but I was looking at "eliminating the common rocking in
the ext alt axis, and the pics don't look any thing like my ext125AT
every  thing is backwards, did Meade make a change from the 125 EC ones
to the AT..?

very good site thank you for running it. Howard.
Mike here: There have been several changes in the models over the years. Is the "rocking" occurring during slewing or just if you push on the side on the tube with your hand? There are several articles on fixing "play" in the axis on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.

And:

Hi Mike; yes just when I level the scope tube , its sort of touchy to
get it tighten on the first turn of the locking knob , I did go to the
tech tips page to see if the answer was there , that's when I seen the
changes ..after that everything is good no problem slewing or anything
like that, the scope does and has worked very well with on problems at
all only when setting up and leveling to tube. but I will check back to
the tip page and read more on this.thanks for your fast response.
howard.

Subject:	Re: ETX 125 on/off switch failure
Sent:	Monday, September 24, 2007 09:03:47
From:	keith moore (keith.moore50@tesco.net)
Thanks Mike, the article and other references all seem to say 'do not go
inside' unless you know what you are doing. So I shall send it for
repair.
Keith
Mike here: Yes, going inside can cause more problems unless you are careful, willing to take some risks of causing further damage, and feel moderately comfortable doing surgery on your expensive equipment. BUT users do it all the time and most times either fix their problem or at least, don't make it worse. Of course, if the telescope is still under warranty, attempting any repairs yourself will likely invalidate the warranty.
Subject:	Binocular viewer
Sent:	Monday, September 24, 2007 04:05:04
From:	michael.mcewen@us.army.mil
Once again I learned that a good price is not always a bargain.  I
bought a new Celestron bino viewer at half the list price, but I found
it will not focus on my vintage ETX90 (it does focus on my old RFT
refractor so it's not the bino).  Apparently there is just not enough
focus travel on the ETX.  Since I am not an optics expert (or even a
smart novice) I thought I'd ask for some advice.

Can the bino viewer work on an ETX90?  I know that barlows and focal
reducers sometimes work on problems such as mine but I don't know if
they are a solution for an ETX90.  I have twin 12.5mm orthoscopic
eyepieces to use and I really want to see the moon in bino view with my
great ETX optics.

Am I out of luck or is there a way to make the Celestron bino work?

Thanks for any advice...especially if you've got a good solution...if
this is a "no way" situation, I'll just chalk it up to experience and
use the old RFT for bino views.

Mike

LTC Michael T. McEwen
Mike here: Some do work; see the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page for several reviews. One review does mention to use a "...Burgess 1.5x relay lens ($29) or use a Barlow attached to the front on the Binoviewer...".
Subject:	RA tracking precision on ETX105 PE.
Sent:	Sunday, September 23, 2007 04:59:18
From:	Jean Jacques LANGOLFF (jean-jacques.langolff@orange.fr)
This is question about the RA tracking precision on ETX105 PE.

Last night i made pictures of the moon with a numerical camera and 32mm
eyepeice. The ETX105 followed the moon without any visible problem more
than an hour and i made good pictures. so i decide to "zoom" using the
camera lens and i saw that the tracking of the moon was not continuous:
it stops and starts continuously. So on the screen of the camera ,i can
see the moon moving for about 20sec and the sudently the scope moves on
to keep its target. The moon is moving from right to left every 20 sec.

As i also tried to make pictures of stars, cluster,... see my site :
http://perso.orange.fr/jj.langolff/astronomie.htm you can imagine that
instead of dots,  i get longs trails when using 30Sec exposure very
diificult to correct using astronomical software.

Is it possible to correct or improve the Ra tracking using PEC or any
other procedure ?
 
Hope you can understand me !
 
Thank you.
 
jean-jacques.
Mike here: For the Moon you can set a Lunar Rate for tracking, which is different than Sidereal Rate for stars (and planets, etc.). If you were mounted in Alt/Az you may see the effects of that "stairstepping" tracking; if you want to reduce that, do a precise Polar Alignment in Polar mounting mode. As to other tracking errors, be certain have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and accurately TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes). You could do the PEC procedure (in Polar mode) to reduce the effect of "periodic error".
Subject:	ETX 125 on/off switch failure
Sent:	Saturday, September 22, 2007 06:44:07
From:	keith moore (keith.moore50@tesco.net)
my on/off switch has been temperamental for some time, usually needing
to be wiggled about to switch on. I took the scope to the Equinox Star
Party here in the UK after checking it was OK and first night out-
complete failure!

I asked around for advice and was told to see the guy at the event who
apparently is the repair man for Meade in the UK. He said it would need
a new switch and have to be returned to them (Telescope House) for
repair at an estimated cost of 120 ($230 plus). He also said it needed
special tools to get insde for the repair so I could not do it.

Alternative advice from another dealer suggested you may have had this
problem referred to you already and recomended I contact you.

So, do I have to pay up or is it a possible home repair job by me ?

Keith Moore
Mike here: First off, I personally have not had such a problem. Have you been using an external power source? If so, the battery cutoff switch may need some work. See the article "Repairing Battery Cutoff Switch" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	Additional comment on user's stalled motor drive issue
Sent:	Friday, September 21, 2007 23:11:42
From:	Tom Farrell (tsfarrell@carolina.rr.com)
Was just checking in with your website (thanks for posting my 11 pager 
by the way no contact to date from Meade though it's been only about two
weeks since they received their copy).  I noted the email I am copying
beneath m signature below.  Can't believe I find myself in a position to
actually give advice on these scopes considering how little use I've had
out of mine to date.  But I did recognize this user's error.  You did
give the right instructions I think but I thought I'd add my two cents:

I got the same error on the ETX 90 PE currently in my possession.  It
did freak me out but there were instructions on how to handle  I believe
these displayed directly on my AutoStar controller  but depending on
version of ETX 90, one might or might not have the AutoStar #497 with
red LED display.  Instructions basically said (in paraphrase):

...that the stalled motor was likely the result of being new from factory
or (I think) not having been used for a while  which if you think about
what is inside the base  gears and all  kind of makes sense 
particularly if they are the non-metal version I understand were in use
for a while  or if somebody lives in a humid area.   Also possibly from
the drive lock being overly tight.

The instructions said to lose the corresponding drive lock and try again
a couple times.  Usually this problem disappears pretty fast, I believe
and isn't likely to come back soon  once whatever was causing the excess
friction in the mechanism is cleared.  Said that if the problem did not
clear or recurred, to call customer service.

I'm thinking I recall it also said to DISENGAGE the corresponding drive
motor lock and manually move the scope through the full range of that
axis a couple times.  Let me caution however, based on prior experience,
that if the scope will not move EASILY on this axis while lock is
disengaged, DON'T force it.  In a brand new scope, this could be
indicative of what I was told was a recurring manufacturing issue and if
so would require return to factory for service.  If that's the case,
trying to loosen the axis would only make things worse.

My stalled drive did go away pretty quick fortunately.  (I don't really
even know of any way Meade could avoid these glitches happening  at
least with the current design.  Same kind of thing happens when I need
to use my microcasettes recorder and the tape is sticking to one of the
capstans or something.

My two cents anyway.
 
Thanks,
 
 Tom

Subject:	ETX-125  Slipping Clutch, etc.
Sent:	Thursday, September 20, 2007 19:34:13
From:	stephen1160@bellsouth.net (stephen1160@bellsouth.net)
We have been experiencing some Autostar issues.  We have upgraded the
Autostar firmware to the latest version.  When we tried to train the
telescope, we discovered the RA motion started to slew, but then ceased
(motor continued running).  As an aside, prior to the Autostar upgrade
we were not having RA motion problems, but we were having rubberbanding
and training issues which we thought the Autostar upgrade might fix.

At that point we used Clay Sherrod's ETX Tech Tip plus Jordan Blessing's
ETX/EC Tune Up guides to do the following:

1) remove the clutch plate and the main drive gear
2) cleaned each with mineral spirits
3) regreased the main gear TEETH and worm gear with lithium grease
4) checked and found no problems with the worm gear assembly wobbling or meshing
5) sanded and used steel wool on the clutch plate as recommended by Sherrod's instructions

When we reassembled the components and tightened down the RA knob as
recommended, the main drive gear and worm drive turn properly (when
power applied), but the clutch never appears to engage.  Thus we still
have no RA motion.

It seems obvious to us that the clutch plate is not engaging, but it
appears to be "mated" properly with the main drive gear and the grooved
fitting mates as well.

We are curious -- is the sanding/steel wool procedure on the clutch
plate supposed to smooth the surface or "rough it up" in order to better
engage the drive gear?

If we should try the 0.032 fiber clutch material (recommended by Doug
Loukota), where do you buy that stuff?  How best to attach it to the
clutch?

Does anyone have any other ideas of what may be going on?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Arnold - Athens GA
Mike here: Before you tried to fix the hardware, did you do a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES (training both axes) to try to resolve the AutoStar issues you were having? If that didn't work, did you try a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and then TRAIN DRIVES? As to the clutch problem you now have I'll let our resident hardware expert, Dr. Clay Sherrod, respond.
From:	P. Clay Sherrod (drclay@tcworks.net)
The sanding should rough up the surface.  Is the lever actually locking
or is it moving all the way to the left and bottoming out....??

Dr. Clay
-------------
Arkansas Sky Observatories
Harvard MPC/ H43 (Conway)
Harvard MPC/ H41 (Petit Jean Mountain)
Harvard MPC/ H45 (Petit Jean Mtn. South)
http://www.arksky.org/
From:	stephen1160@bellsouth.net (stephen1160@bellsouth.net)
We are so glad to have found a site like yours!  Thanks for all the good
work you and everyone else do to help fellow astronomy enthusiasts.

Yes, we did do a calibrate and training at least 2 or 3 times.  

It might help to understand how we came to this point.  
Pardon the length but the story goes like this:

I've owned this ETX since December of 2001 but until about 6 weeks ago
it had spent several years "resting" in my closet!

I was very excited to get the ETX after several years of having access
to an LX-200 (equipped with one of the early AutoStars) while living in
Hawaii.  I actually did weekend star shows at the Hyatt Regency on Maui
for about 3 years utilizing an older 8" Meade and then an upgraded
LX-200 8", a 16" Custom made scope and a nice pair of high power binocs.
Anyway, I got married and moved to GA in 1997 and I was (after years of
dreaming) finally able to afford to get a new scope at the end of 2001. 
I was sold on Meade due to my experience with the LX200 and it's earlier
predecessor) and thought the ETX series would be just the answer to good
quality and portability.  I opted for the 125, the Deluxe Field Tripod
(wish now I'd have saved for something a little sturdier), the hard case
and a few eye pieces.

Right out of the box I was impressed with the optics but disappointed in
the setup instructions (very confusing) and the troubles getting it to
align and GOTO. After about 3-4 frustrating attempts during that cold
winter, the scope got boxed up to wait for more inspiration and warmer
weather.  That hiatus lasted until early August(07) when a friend of
mine returned to the Athens area (after getting degrees in Astronomy and
Astro Physics) and inspired me to get back into the night skies.

We got out the scope figuring 2 sets of eyes/brains might be able to get
it right.  As for instructions, we were only armed with the nearly
useless original documentation from Meade although I was able to secure
a copy of Michael Covington's book which has a chapter devoted to the
ETX.  With these two tools we were able to get the scope up and
functioning fairly easily though the GOTO was not very accurate.  Still
we very much enjoyed looking at a few late summer objects until clouds
rolled in and ended that session. Overall, I was pleased with what we
accomplished the first night back in the cosmos!

A few days later, a family we know expressed an interest in Astronomy
and suddenly we had plans to do a star show for some 20+ home school
kids and their parents.  We decided we needed to invest a little more
time into getting the ETX to work properly.  Thus we embarked on the
trail that led us to where we are now.  We've probably logged 15-20
hours in this endeavor so far and the problems have only gotten worse
with each attempt to improve.

Below is our best recollection of the cumulative experience beginning
with the the second time we took the ETX out:

Initially we did NOT calibrate motors because
we didn't know what that was and we don't
think the Meade instructions mentioned
calibration (or maybe we thought calibration
and training were the same thing?).  
Anyway, We only trained the motors that night.
But we did have problems with the autostar
not being very accurate in it's pointing to
various objects and thought it might be due
to inaccurate polar alignment, precise leveling 
or something like that. We didn't do any more 
diagnostics that night, wejust enjoyed the views 
through the telescope anyway.

Then the next week we tried again (still
not knowing that calibration might be
necessary), but we started having 
new problems with:

1) when we'd train, the first sequence in
training (when the AutoStar asks you to 
recenter the target) pushing the indicated
arrow would move the telescope OPPOSITE
of how it was supposed to move.  The other
three training motions worked fine.  It was
just the first one (the first
AZ motion) -- that moved opposite of the
desired direction.  The other AZ and the two
ALT motions would recenter to the target
correctly.

2) Rubberbanding?  Perhaps because of that flawed
training procedure, or despite it, when we moved to
Jupiter, the GOTO was not accurate.  We
used the autostar paddle to move the telescope
to center Jupiter manually, but as soon as we were
centered and released the autostar motion
buttons, the telescope moved on it's own BACK
to where it "thought" Jupiter was. We tried a few
other objects and even tried over-correcting and 
"Syncing" to see if that would help.  We could
"trick" the scope like this but as soon as we
went to another object, AutoStar would do the 
same thing.

We didn't know it at the time, but this is the 
rubberbanding Dr. Clay refers to.  He also relates 
in Tech Tip Part 1 that this only happens 
in Alt/Az mode, but we were getting it in Polar mode.

We did RESET AutoStar and reentered the time,
date and location information.  But this did not
help either of the above problems.  (And we were 
not having any RA motion problems at this time).

We left the scope on the stand and Roggie (my
astronomer friend) did some research and 
"discoverd" The ETX Field Guide Book (Ringo Li)
and the ETX Tech Tips by Clay.  

He did some reading and figured that we
might need to calibrate in order to fix our
problem.  He went out a couple of days later and
DID calibrate the motors and tried training
again -- it still moved the scope OPPOSITE
on the first training action (instead of 
centering the target back up, it moved it out of 
the FOV even though I was pressing
the correct arrow button on autostar.)

This is when we decided there might just
be an AutoStar issue and (after speaking with
Meade Customer Support) we elected to upgrade
from version 22ei to 43eg. After the upgrade, we:

1) calibrated the motor
2) tried to train motors.  Again the first
training motion said to press whatever arrow
key to recenter the object, but when we
pressed that key, the scope once again
moved in the OPPOSITE direction and moved the 
target out of the FOV.  

3) then we just decided to slew to an object
and that is when we noticed the
RA motion had ceased (although the motors were
running).  We packed it up and after re-reading Clay's
tip Part 1 and also downloading & reading the recommended 
ETX/EC Tune Up (Jordan Blessing) plus tips from Doug Loukota
and Dr. Ingersoll we decided to go through the clutch and 
drive gear cleaning process.

Once we got into the case, we id not have any of the looseness in the
worm gear or the large nut  (as reported by others) so no adjustments
were made here. We re-installed batteries and using the original paddle
control(not AutoStar)we ran the motors just to observe how the gears all
functioned.  We noticed a lot of grease on the various metal parts and
while everything seemed be operating smoothly, the clutch plate was not
rotating.  We tried adjusting the RA central bolt at various tensions
but the clutch plate wouldn't move.

We removed the batteries and first sanded and used steel wool on the
clutch plate as recommended by Clay. (BTW - our ETX has 4 dimples not 2
as shown in Doug's photo) We did not wish to attempt Doug's  RA lock fix
because we aren't quite sure how one would remove the Clutch plate (
without cutting wires)to file or use a lathe on it. And neither of us
are clear on exactly how to "fabricate an intermediate friction plate"
or how/where to install it if we did. We obviously aren't EM Engineers!

So we cleaned all the parts recommended to be cleaned, greased the teeth
lightly with lithium and re-installed everything. We put the batteries
back and tried the RA motor again.  Still no movement.  We didn't give
up.  We took all the parts back off, re-cleaned, dried and tried it
again. No luck.

While we both enjoy learning a little more about the technical ways this
wonderful little machine should operate, we would very much love to
spend some time actually utilizing it in the manner for which it was
intended - looking at things! Nothing curbs one's enthusiasm than having
major technical problems.

As I said in my preface, I used the LX-200 (for about a year) with one
of the earlier versions of AutoStar and never had one bit of trouble
with it.  It was used every night (weather permitting) and performed
near flawlessly.  I would set it up (using marks on the ground to place
my tripod legs), perform the 2-Star alignment and in about 5 minutes was
good to go. t rarely, if ever, missed a GOTO object and was so accurage
it would keep an object in the FOV for over an hour easily.

I was hoping with the ETX being smaller and lighter and the AutoStar
being a few years more refined, that the performance would be as good as
(or even better than) the LX.  It appears that I was wrong.  The optics
are wonderful, the AutoStar and drive system however seem to be somewhat
lacking.

Appreciate any help or advice on where to go from here!

Steve Arnold
Roggie Boone
Mike here: I have to wonder about movement direction being wrong, even when training. That sounds like a wire being crossed someplace. I don't recall any similar reports of that happening when training. But lets see what happens when you proceed with the sanding.

And:

Sorry....I should have addressed that...
Are we sure that the movement is "wrong" or that the settings for
reversed motion in both Alt and Az have not been made?  The direction of
motion CAN be changed in Autostar.

Note that it is the Autostar and NOT the PCB functions in the telescope
that determine motion in the telescope.

Dr. Clay

Subject:	Problem with AZ axis gears/motor
Sent:	Wednesday, September 19, 2007 17:38:03
From:	Jack Fox (jackfox@mindspring.com)
I have experienced general rubber banding issues in the past and have
been able to correct them using the Technical Tips on your site, but I
have had no luck with my current episode.

I have an ETX 125.  The Alt axis is smooth when moved manually up and
down at any speed. No problems here.

The Az axis travels smoothly at low and high speeds when the right arrow
key is pressed manually for centering objects after a GoTo.  The image
travels to the left in the eyepiece just fine with very little lag and
stops when the key is released.

The problem occurs when I manually press the left arrow key to move the
object in the eyepiece to the right. The object in the viewfinder will
quickly jump to the left then move slowly to the right (much slower than
the object when the right arrow key is pressed).  When I center the
object and release the key, the image will shift to the left and stop. 
I have changed the Az percentages from 0 to 90% in 5% increments, but it
did not help.  It only occurs when manually slewing in this direction
but fine in the other.  This occurs at speeds 5 or less, 6-9 it does not
do it.

I took off the base and powered the unit and watched the gears as I
pushed the left arrow button on the AutoStar at speed of 3.  I could see
the gears move when I pressed the left arrow key and when I released it,
the gears spun back just like in the eyepiece view.  Pressing the right
arrow key, it functioned normally, stopping when I released the arrow
key.

I did a Reset, change Alt/Az percentages to 0, calibrated and retrained
the drives and re-entered the percentages three times.  My GoTo's are
very good from the all training, but the problem is still present when I
manually slew.  This does not occur when the telescope slews to an
object after pressing GoTo, just when slewing manually to center an
object after a GoTo.  I use a reticle eyepiece when training on a
landmark or Polaris and a 12 volt DC power source that is always fully
charged.

Could it be something loose in the motor/gear assembly that I could fix?

Any help from you, Dick or Dr. Clay would be great.  My ETX125 has been
supercharged by Dr. Clay a few years ago.

Jack
Mike here: Well, it is possible that something is loose but you would likely experience other problems, like a clicking sound or a noticeable jumping while slewing or tracking. Have you tried updating to the current version of the AutoStar ROM? You didn't say if you have the current version but even reinstalling it might help. Then do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTOR, and TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes). I would suggest not messing with percentages until you know that you need to.

And:

I have noticed a clicking sound about every 15 seconds or so that causes
the image to jump during tracking.  When I manually slew at slow speeds,
the image will jerk. I do not have the cables necessary to download new
firmware.
Mike here: Then check for something loose or a wire getting into the gears.

And:

I checked and found no loose wires or broken teeth.  I cleaned off
excess grease from the gears.  It seems like there is a play in the
gears but I don't see where to tighten them. I may need a new gear box.

photo

Mike here: Perhaps. Lets try one more thing. Unlock the axis and slowly move the telecope in both directions, hard stop to hard stop, back and forth several times. That can redistribute the lubrication and can sometimes clear up any unevenness.

And:

Dr. Clay gave me this response:

What you have I believe is a major manufacturing flaw that ran through a
long period of production at Meade before anyone found out about
it....the RA axis is binding and the only way to get this fixed is to
have it replaced at Meade....however, they typically have no idea what
you are saying when you explain it to them, so the chances of it getting
fixed properly without help are nearly nil....

Dr. Clay 
------------- 
Arkansas Sky Observatories 
Harvard MPC/ H43 (Conway) 
Harvard MPC/ H41 (Petit Jean Mountain) 
Harvard MPC/ H45 (Petit Jean Mtn. South) 
http://www.arksky.org/ 
Mike here: Perhaps Dr. Clay's wonderful "Supercharge" service could be of benefit to you then.

And:

He is not able to do this repair due to parts, but he did do this for
me.
He is indeed a gift to us. I thank both of you for your help.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jack,

The CS rep will not understand the problem.  Meade can indeed fix it
well; it requires replacement of the entire RA gear assembly block and
drive axle collar to fix this problem; I am forwarding this message to a
couple of excellent folks at Meade so that they will alert the CS to
your problem.  This problem was a production run issue that they
recognized some months back.

Good luck and best wishes.

Dr. Clay

Subject:	solar filters
Sent:	Wednesday, September 19, 2007 07:19:34
From:	Herron, James A (Herronja@stjosephs-marshfield.org)
I own a ETX125PE.  I was wondering if someone makes a caKal  or h-alpha
filter system for it for solar observing??
Mike here: There are none specifically for the ETX. The cost of such filter systems is very high (several times the price of the telescope). You could consider a PST, which can be mounted piggyback on the ETX (just like a camera). That's what I use for H-alpha solar observing. See the Accessory Review: Filters for more information.
Subject:	ETX-125EC RA dragging repair?
Sent:	Tuesday, September 18, 2007 23:49:31
From:	Mike Carambat (mcaramb@designwizardry.com)
Love your site! Very helpful! Coming from 5 years as a 10" dob/newt
owner with little to no experience with an ETX, your advice has been
invaluable!

I've got a discovery store closeout (display model) ETX-125 EC which I
sent back to Meade for a rehaul two months ago to fix a few small things
I found wrong with it. Got it back today and have been playing with it
all night. Everything seems to be working except the RA drive still
seems to be dragging or slipping.

For example, if I get it to point at Vega using the GOTO, then manually
move the RA about 10 degrees to the right or left with the HBX, then
GOTO back to Vega, it never makes it all the way back. The Declination
motor seems to be working fine however when I do a vertical test.

Also, when it does an RA swing, the motor increases and decreases pitch
slightly as it turns, which makes me think it's dragging or slipping
inside. What do you think? Is this something I can check/fix myself? I'd
hate to send it back to Meade and wait for another 2 months!!!

I'm in polar configuration so I can sidereal track. I haven't tried it
in alt/az mode. It might not drag so much as the weight would be
directly overhead. I'm in Baton Rouge, LA, and my angle is 30 degrees...
From what I understand, if I use an alt/az mode, the scope won't track,
just point. This seems silly to me. Is this truly the case? Bigger ETX
scopes do a stair-case style tracking in alt/az mode I believe. Why
won't the ETX-125?

Thanks for any help,

-Mike Carambat
Prairieville, La
Mike here: Since you indicate you can do a GOTO I assume you have an AutoStar. If so, the telescope WILL track in Alt/Az once you go through the AutoStar alignment process. As to the "slipping", have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES with the AutoStar?
Subject:	ETX125 UHTC model Flip Mirror Problem
Sent:	Monday, September 17, 2007 21:02:22
From:	akosar@cox.net
I went to use my ETX125 with a camera for the eclipse of the moon last
month.  When I went to use the flip mirror, the knob did not work.

I contacted Meade the next day.  I left a voice mail.  I did not get a
response in the following days, so I decided to send a Fax also on Aug
30.  Again no response for weeks.

I decided to look into it further myself.  Following instructions I
found on your site, I removed the optical tube from the rear housing. 
It was easy to see the failure.  I removed the mirror assembly.  I
attached a photo of the problem.

A couple of days ago, I finally received a call from Meade (from the
original voice mail).  The delay in responding was a little
disappointing in it self.  After talking to their support folks, I was
told that they could not sell me the replacement part.  The only option
was to send the entire telescope in for repair (pay shipping both ways
and a $75 repair fee).  Is there any other option for getting parts or
making the repair needed without returning the entire telescope?

Thanks for any help you have to offer... and BTW, your web site is
GREAT!!!!

Alvin,

P.S. I had a bad experience with shipping this telescope when I first
purchased it.  (this is the 4th scope I had received against the
original order) each of the 3 predecessors arrived with defects and/or
shipping damage.  So I am a hesitant to ship it in for what appears to
be a trivial fix.  Your advise is valued!  Thanks again!!!!

photo

Mike here: You could try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). If no replacement part can be found you likely have two simple options: glue it in place (but still allow it to "flip") or switch to Star Diagonal or Visual Back mounted on the rear port. I use a Visual Back myself (see the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page) on my ETX-90RA for some purposes. By the way, as indicated in the Flip Mirror Repair articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page, you will have to recollimate the optics, a challenging step.
Subject:	ETX Focal Reducer for Visual Work?
Sent:	Monday, September 17, 2007 08:49:12
From:	Cafarella, Edward M. (edward.cafarella@dpw.com)
I have a few Meade telescopes, two ETX's, a 60 and 125PE along with a
classic 10" LX200.  I have been using the LX200 for years and recently
bought a 6.3 focal reducer for it and was absolutely amazed at how much
better visual obervations are now, it's like having a totally different
scope.  It got me to wondering if there's a similar screw-on reducer for
the ETX scopes.  I've only seen them referenced on your site with regard
to CCD imaging but not visual use.  Can any of these reducers be used
successfully visually.
 
Thanks in advance,
 
Ed
Mike here: I use a "Shutan Wide-Field Adapter" (see the Accessory Reviews: Showcase Products page). Some others may work with the ETX for visual use (focus being the issue).

And:

Thanks for the quick reply Mike!  I've had some trouble ordering from
Shutan, I ordered a visual back for my 125 way back in April and Bob
kept e-mailing me saying the stock he had was not up to specs any they'd
be getting new ones fabricated.  Eventually he just stopped e-mailing
me. Still don't have the visual back.

Thanks again,

Ed

Subject:	Meade ETX 125 Dec. Problem
Sent:	Monday, September 17, 2007 07:35:35
From:	David Courington (dcourington@DeltaHealthGroup.com)
I have recently acquired a really nice ETX 125, but the seller did not
tell me of the intermittent problem with the Dec. Motor and the issue of
it sometimes "skipping" instead of turning with the AutoStar Like it is
supposed to. I had found a reference to your site and have been
extremely happy with all the great info you have here.  Anyway, I would
like to ask if you know of anywhere that I can get the gear to replace
the stripped one in my scope at. I have had no luck locating anything so
far, and I am just hoping that you, or some of the other readers here,
might know of something that I can do to fix my scope and get it fully
functional.

Thanks so much for your time, and thanks for putting your time into
keeping this site up and going.
 
Dave Courington
Mike here: You could try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page). But are you sure the gear is stripped? Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR and TRAIN DRIVES?

And:

Yes sir, That was one of the things I tried on it.  It started with a
skip every now and again, and it is now almost non moving up and down
with a grinding sound when it kicks in.  I have not disassembled it yet,
but I am going to do that this weekend and see if it is just something
that has worked loose, etc.

Thanks so much for your response. And I really appreciate the info on
Telescope Warehouse.  I will check that out right now.

Dave
Mike here: It could be that the gear housing is loose.
Subject:	Moon photo of Elias Chasiotis in MEADE adverts
Sent:	Monday, September 17, 2007 07:03:16
From:	Dieter.Wolf@DNSint.com (Dieter.Wolf@DNSint.com)
Hi Elias,

congratulations for your 'Aristarchus photo' appearing on MEADE's
advertising for ETX telescopes (e.g. on the backside cover page of
current issue of 'Sterne und Weltraum' and 'Astronomie Heute' in
Germany)  It was a pleasure to read the name of an 'old fellow' on
Mike's website.  We are waiting for new pictures from you.

cs,
Dieter (Munich, Germany)
From:	chasiotis elias (eliasastro@freemail.gr)
Thank you very much Dieter and Mike!
Unfortunately (!) i have upgraded my equipment to a C11 on EQ6.
I still have my ETX. The "enter" button on the remote control has
stopped functioning (because of very heavy use during planetary
astrophotogaphy), so i can' t use the scope. Maybe i should get a new
remote control despite the high cost.
I don' t want to sell my ETX because it gave me great results!

Greetings!
Elias
Mike here: Have you tried cleaning the keypad contacts to restore the ENTER key?

And:

Yes, a friend of mine did it, but after little time of good functioning
it stopped working again.
I thing that the overuse of the key destroyed it and i'm afraid that
maybe all the remote control need to be replaced.

Cheers!
Elias

Subject:	(no subject)
Sent:	Sunday, September 16, 2007 13:10:00
From:	ALecras234@aol.com (ALecras234@aol.com)
hi, i own a meade etx 90 spotting scope, i have purchased a meade red
dot finder.  i cannot fix the finder onto the scope next to the eyepiece
as it may damage the optics.  i have tried sticking it on with velcro
but that doesnt work as the finder is heavy for the velcro and the
finder is at an angle next to the eyepiece, rather than it being
vertical.   What do you suggest to attatch the red dot finder onto the
scope without damaging the optics please?
i hope you understand my explanation
 
thank you
 
ash
Mike here: Please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site Home Page; your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing Subject line. Thanks for understanding.
See the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page; there are several articles on finderscopes that should give you some ideas on how to attach the finderscope. Some small red-dot finderscopes ship with strips of thick doubled-side tape to secure the finderscope to the telescope.

And:

hi mate its ash,   im thinking of putting my red dot finder on the scope
barrell, i have meade etx 90 spotting scope,  then ill have my main
eyepiece and the red dot finder down the centre of the barrell, what u
think mate?  im gonna use plastic ties to attatch the finder.
 
ash
Mike here: Should work fine.
Subject:	ETX-125EC horizontal RA rotation is limited to 330 degrees 
Sent:	Saturday, September 15, 2007 12:13:16
From:	Junsun Wei
I recently purchased an used 125EC telescope and found that it only
turns on the Horizonal axis for 330 degrees.  The motor spins fine but
it will not drive the scope beyond the stop(s).

After I opened the base cover I could not see the problem and I did not
know how to remove the "black round disk" where I suspect the problem
is.  My base appears just like the one in this image I found
http://www.theskyshed.co.uk/IMGA1256.JPG

I am requesting any information that might be of help.

Don't post my email address with the message on the web but feel free to
post the content of my message if you desire.

Thank you for your help
Mike here: Could be a couple of things: broken hard stop that has moved or a wire that is interfering with movement. Open the base and check for a wire; use caution so that the wire isn't cut. If a hard stop, the articles "Hard Stop Repair" and "Replacing an ETX Hard Stop" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page may help.
Subject:	ETX 125 lens
Sent:	Friday, September 14, 2007 07:20:14
From:	Agustin Abeledo (agustin.abeledo@gmail.com)
I'm sorry to bother you again... but I haven't been able to get
information about this anywhere. However it may be at your Site, but I
couldn't find it... The attachment of this mail is a photo of my ETX's
lens. As you may see there are a lot of dots that appear on the
reflection. My question is: is this normal? is it dirt? what is it?

photo

The lens was like that since I bought the scope.

Thanks in advance for your help (and sorry about my English!)

Saludos,

Agustin.
Mike here: It is likely from dew forming on the lens. You can easily clean it using the instructions in the article "Cleaning Optics" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page.

And:

Thanks for your quick answer. I'll give it a try as soon as I get home.
Thanks again,

Agustin.

Subject:	RSS feed
Sent:	Thursday, September 13, 2007 21:15:50
From:	Steve Gallion (steve@easyliving.com)
I have subscribed to your ETX RSS feed -- new to your site -- just
ordered an ETX 125PE and accessories.  Thanks for all your efforts in
this area.

Steve Gallion
steve@easyliving.com

Subject:	ETX 125EC Question
Sent:	Thursday, September 13, 2007 09:44:00
From:	Kelly Ostrowski (kellyo995@ameritech.net)
I have a couple of questions that I hope you can help me with.  I bought
an ETX125EC on eBay a few months back and have been getting pretty
frustrated.  I'm a beginner but when I look through it even at a bright
star with a Plossl 15mm and 2x barlow lens all I see it a dot in the
sky.  I've tried to look at Mars and Saturn but they are just dots too. 
Could my telescope be misaligned or something?  I have a ton of
accessories that I have purchased but am getting frustrated that I can't
seem to get it to work the way it is supposed to.  I see pictures on the
internet that people have taken with this telescope and I can't seem to
figure out how they are doing it with the same telescope.

I am writing to you because I saw that you did many reports on the
ETX125EC.  Please give me some guidance if possible.

Many thanks -
 
Kelly Ostrowski
Toledo, OH
Mike here: First, your expectations are too high. Stars are too far away to magnify with any telescope you could afford. Even Hubble generally doesn't see stars as other than points of light. Mars is pretty distant right now so will appear as a small pink-ish dot. You should be able to see Saturn and its Ring system however; but the Ring system is approaching edge-on so won't look quite as majestic as some photos you have seen. Look over my ETX Site for lots of information that should help you.

And:

Thank you for such a quick response.  I actually got a ton of info from
your site so thank you for taking the time to help beginners like me.

Kind Regards -

Kelly

Subject:	re: ETX-90ec jumping Dec motor!
Sent:	Tuesday, September 11, 2007 22:02:29
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
I've never seen that behaviour with -any- firmware version.

I suspect you have a loose connector, or a wire being chafed
inside the base such that the movement of the RA (Az) causes
signals on the DEC wires.
Likewise, it could be simply a minor short-circuit in the handbox
cable (or the socket on either end).
You can test the handbox cable by simply reversing it end-for-end.
That shuffles which wire does what, and if it affects the symptoms,
replace it.
Peer into the handbox cable sockets for dust and contamination
which might be making a faint connection between adjacent pins.

If you do decide to open the base, remove the batteries first,
since the wires from the battery box to the circuit cards are
fragile.  The base cover screws are hiding under the sticky
rubber feet.

good luck
--dick
From:	Jon Highman (jonh@relemp.co.uk)
Excellent Mike - 
Many thanks for looking in to this for me and thanks to Dick for taking
an interest!!!

I will definitely check out for loose connections and cables first,
before I go at the scope with a screwdriver! I found the webpage by
Jordan Blessing 'ETX/EC Tune Up' (with pictures no less) and now I have
a clearer understanding of the innards and what to expect (see what you
mean by the battery compartment).

Again, many thanks and I will let you know the result after the weekend.
Jon

Subject:	radio shack ac adapter
Sent:	Monday, September 10, 2007 19:44:35
From:	lhartery (lhartery@nfld.com)
Is this tip posiive or negative. Nothing indicating polarity on the
adapter.Got it at a flea market with the plug cut off.

Chaps GF was using it to power her Magnum XXX 1200 Vibrator.lol ! She
ran off with a banker ! Double lol !

Thanks dude.
Lindsay E Hartery ( BSc.;BEd.;R.T.; B.B.M.; {bar band musician}
Mike here: The ETX (and LXD) telescopes require the center tip to be positive. As to what the Radio Shack tip is, you will have to ask them. You could also search the ETX Site for "radio shack center pin" and you will get lots of info.
Subject:	ETX-90ec jumping Dec motor!
Sent:	Monday, September 10, 2007 07:20:09
From:	Jon Highman (jonh@relemp.co.uk)
I haven't used my ETX-90EC much over the past year but now the nights
are going to be drawing in, I thought it about time I got the scope out
again.

I began the RA training in Alt/Az mode - when it slewed to the right I
noticed that the Dec motor kicked in, jumped about  deg or so upwards
and then leveled out the rest of the way. I slewed it back but didn't
return to the exact same point from where it started however I continued
the RA training, same thing on the other side. So the crosshairs never
returned back to the original position it was slightly elevated. I
thought, switch off, calibrate motors, etc.  Even a full AutoStar reset.
Angled the OTA at about 35 degrees and started the drive training again
- same thing.  I did decide to finish the training off in both axis and
stores some locations in the AutoStar while it was setup. The scope did
return to the preset locations after manually slewing the scope in
various directions first, then pressing GOTO button. Had to make small
adjustments to centre (e.g. chimney pot, pylon, etc.) in .  This seems
to occur just as you press either the left or right key at any slew
speed, jumps and levels out, it's not a gradual elevation.

Why would the Dec motor kick in albeit a tiny amount when it's not
touched! And how can I fix it, (It's really annoying)??????
 
Thanks, Jon
 
PS Excellent SITE. But you knew that J
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR? That won't fix the other axis movement but should be done since you have likely replaced the batteries. It could be that the gear housing for the DEC motor is loose. When tracking a celestial object, is movement smooth or do you see jumping and perhaps even hear a "clicking" sound?

And:

Thanks for getting back so quickly,

Yes, I've done 'calibrate motor' through the hand box menus and
automatically when I did the full reset.

Rarely use batteries - mainly hook it up to the mains in the garden!!! 
If I'm out and about I only use fresh alkaline 'Duracell M3'or alike.
Movement seems to be smooth but as yet I've not gone out much due to
hazy/overcast skies. Saying that the motors did sound noisy (probably
due to sitting in the cupboard for a year!!!) however I didn't hear any
clicking or see any jumping. When it is tracking, the motors sound good
- whirring away. It's strange but as soon as the left or right key is
pressed the dec motor moves upwards ever so slightly before it slews
across but enough for inaccurate alignment/training.

Again thanks, Jon
Mike here: You might want to update to the latest AutoStar ROM version. That might clear it up. The AutoStar I mean, not the skies!

And:

LOL, London can be horrible (Indian Summer)

I download/installed a ROM approx 6mths ago (I was bored one afternoon)
- can't remember the version number though. D'oh

Forgot to mention that I unpluged the AutoStar and plug the original
controller back in to test it - Same thing! That would now lead me to
belive that the DEC motor gear housing is loose.  Do I need to unscrew
the base to find out? How would I do it. I HAVE NEVER UNSCREWED OR
PLAYED WITH THE INTERIOR OF THE SCOPE....  HELP.....

Thanks again for your patients and quick responses, Jon
Mike here: You will need to remove the base plate and look around. There are screws in the plate. Use caution and don't let any wires get into the gear mechanisms.

And:

OK - I'll have a look around the innards also download the latest
AutoStar software tonight.
Thanks again for your help. Jon 

Subject:	polar alignment
Sent:	Sunday, September 9, 2007 14:45:21
From:	mail.westnet.com.au (jchaurette@lightmypump.com)
I think I have the polar southern home position and laaignment figured
out. I am using the Southern cross as my guide to the soutern pole, it's
pretty inacurate as there are no lines in thew sky pointing to the pole.
Do you know of a better way of sighting the Southern pole?

Cheers,

Jacques 
Mike here: You can always use the "Drift Method". See the article "Polar Aligning Techniques" on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page if you don't know how to do this.

And:

Thanks.

Jacques

Subject:	Meade ETX 90 PE motor drive failure assistance 
Sent:	Sunday, September 9, 2007 17:16:54
From:	Richard Elbe (richard.elbe@embarqmail.com)
First and foremost, thank you for having such a page for users of the Meade Brand of Telescopes!

Here we go, ETX 90 used 8 times since APrile of 06, always store in a
secure place, batteries removed. 2 days ago I went to use it,  inserted
batteries and did a check on all before heading out the door and I
started getting a motor drive error. For lack of knowledge of proper
terms. Up/down works, Right/Left no works. My warranty as passed. so I
am seeking info on how to take this little base apart for self repair
and testing.

Thanks for taking the time to read my email.

Richard Elbe
North Carolina
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR? That should be done when replacing batteries (or switch to a different power source). Although it may not be necessary, you could then do a TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject:	etx125 on ebay needing chatter repair
Sent:	Saturday, September 8, 2007 15:04:57
From:	jon (zeron@btinternet.com)
Please help, i intend to buy an etx125 from e bay usa origin, the seller
says it has chatter and may need fork tynes disassembly, please point me
to a section on your great site where i can read up on how take them
apart. I think its best me knowing prior to buying.
 
Best regards
Jon
uk
Mike here: Check the Performance Enhancement articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page as a starter.
Subject:	etx 90ec tube play
Sent:	Saturday, September 8, 2007 13:44:36
From:	Ron Vavra (ronvavra@bellsouth.net)
Great site. I'm brand new to astronomy and just bought a used etx 90ec
with autostar and field tripod. I discovered the problems I've read
about on your site regarding the finderscope and replaced it with a
Tasco Bantam gun scope as someone recommended. But it is impossible to
align because the main tube has play in it - mostly up and down. The
slightest touch moves it. I've tightened the knob on the right side as
tight as I could and it didn't help. I searched your site for a solution
and saw some fixes that I believe were to solve my type problem but they
were way beyond what I would ever tackle. Any simple suggestions? I did
tighten the hex screws so at least the tube is snug in that regard. I
suspect that the play in the tube will turn out to be a big headache
when I get to actually using the scope.
Thanks so much.
Ron
Mike here: Did tightening the hex screws on both side help or just tighten the screws? If the holes were enlarged then just tightening the screws may not have accomplished anything. So, you might check for that as a "simple" solution.

And:

Hi. Tightening the hex screws helped secure the tube to the brackets it
rests in but the problem is from there to the fork arms. Play is inside
the fork arms themselves.
Thanks,
Ron
Mike here: OK. Check the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. Some tips there might help. But they are less "simple".
Subject:	Confusion, disappointment yet....
Sent:	Saturday, September 8, 2007 04:51:59
From:	mail.westnet.com.au (jchaurette@lightmypump.com)
I have just been trying to do a polar alignment and I have come to
realize how hopelessly inadequate the Meade telescope instruction manual
is. Don't take me wrong and I hope you had nothing to do with it but it
is the worst piece of instructional material I have seen since the 80's
Japanese VCR manuals, LOL:). I'm not giving up, I'll learn how to use
this even if it means buying a whole bunch of books, talking to the
astronomy shop guy, getting on countless forums, locating the local
astronomy club, getting magazines...spending countless hours trying to
solve problems that I know could be explained in minutes by the scope
manufacturer...  and that's before getting into astrophotography where
the cycle begins again, so in a way it's best to get both cycles going
at once so that you don't get double the aggravation but only the RMS
value.

How is it that they can produce what appears to me to be an excellent
technical apparatus and not have a clue how to instruct people how to
use it appropriately? Mike I am an engineer and I know technical stuff
and that manual is poorly organized, confusing and at best misleading.
Can Meade be made to understand this? It's a shame that people will be
turned off using their telescopes because of this. If you have any
contacts at Meade please let them know the situation, I would be happy
to contribute.

Cheers,

Jacques
Mike here: Yes, the included documentation is lacking details that would help many users. And no, I've never been involved with their documentation. For tips on Polar Alignment see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	Follow-up documents relating to earlier faulty ETX drive post
Sent:	Thursday, September 6, 2007 19:22:00
From:	Tom Farrell (tsfarrell@carolina.rr.com)
I appreciate your willingness to post my correspondence and MP3 file.

Wow, this turned out to be a lot of work  eleven pages total sent to
Meade today by US Mail.  Will be interesting to see how they may respond
 more interesting to see what readers may have to add over time.

Many thanks for all your help.
 
 Tom

Subject:	difference between #932 and #933 45 degree erecting prism?
Sent:	Tuesday, September 4, 2007 19:32:17
From:	Fredrik/Monica Magnusson (notvarp@hotmail.com)
Magnificent site you are keeping!

My question: I've bought a #932 45 deg erecting prism on Ebay for my
ETX125, but it came in a #933 box. The box made me suspicious. Have I
really received a #932?

They appear to look identical on photos on vendors' sites. How can I
make sure it's a #932?

Thanks and best regards,
Fredrik Magnusson
Mike here: Probably a simple test is to view a terrestrial object through the ETX. Since the optical path of each erecting prism is different to provide a correct view through the ETX Maksutov-Cassegrain models (#932) vs the ETX Refractor models (#933), you should be able to tell which model you have by noting whether the orientation of the object is correct both left to right and vertically.

And:

Really appreciate your quick answer!
I'll try it out tomorrow.

Fredrik

Subject:	Hi! I was directed to your site..........
Sent:	Monday, September 3, 2007 07:58:37
From:	johnkovarik@suddenlink.net
......by another user and wanted to offer my compliments. Good Job!
 
I havs purchased and am awaiting delivery of an ETX 125EC and would like
to kknow the difference(s) between this model and the 'AT' other than
age. Can you help?

Also why are there no '125' records for '07' in you archives?
 
Thanks.........................JK
Mike here: See the FAQ page for your EC vs AT question. The feedback sections are done by specific model and at times there are no questions/answers that are specific to that model but are applicable to all ETX models. That's why you see "holes" in the Feedback Archive page.

And:

Thanks.......I'll likely be in touch again.

Subject:	Reversed Polarity ETX 125 PE
Sent:	Sunday, September 2, 2007 20:21:23
From:	jdeschai@up.net (jdeschai@up.net)
Hello Mike, and thank you once again for the great site, it's been very
helpful over the past two years or so I've had my scope.

So, to my question. I have an ETX 125 PE, which I have been using with
external power supplies since I first purchased it two years ago. It did
not come with a power cable, so I went to RadioShack and got the
appropriate adapter as suggested in one of your Telescope Tech Tips. I
was careful to check the polarity on the cable before using it, and then
never touched it again.

To make a long story short, I believe that the tip of this cable was
reversed so that when I attempted to use it last night something went
wrong. I realized that it might be the problem when I plugged it in and
nothing came on when I flipped the power switch on the scope. After
checking and reversing the tip, the power LED on the scope comes on, but
the Autostar does not respond in anyway. I then tried using batteries
for the first time, and the same thing happened, the power LED comes on
but nothing from the Autostar.

I checked your site for similar problems, and it seems that I probably
blew out a circuit board inside the scope. I was wondering if there was
anything I could do to fix this myself, or if returning it to Meade is
the only option. Also, if that is the only option, what I might expect
to have to pay to have it repaired (as I do not believe it is under
warranty any longer).

Thank you for any response. If there is anything else you need to know
please contact me.

Jake Deschaine
Mike here: Yep, you probably blew the circuitry, either in the ETX base or in the AutoStar itself. You would have to disassemble one or both and check for a blown component. Then you would have to purchase the proper component and remove the bad one and resolder the new one on the circuit board. Are you experienced with soldering on circuit boards? If not, you would likely need to return it to Meade. Cost would probably be $75-125 or so.

And:

Thanks for the very quick reply. I figured it would be something like
that, unfortunate but that's what I get for not double checking it. I'm
not handy with a soldering iron and would probably end up doing more
harm than good, so I'll give Meade a call sometime this week. Maybe
it'll be cloudy for the next month or so...

Thank you again. 

Jake Deschaine

Subject:	[none]
Sent:	Sunday, September 2, 2007 07:56:27
From:	David (davgray1@yahoo.com)
I have an ETX 90 and, using the manual controller, I can move the scope
but when I stop, it keeps moving very slowly. Is this normal?  What if I
just want to stop is completely like for terrestrial viewing?  How can I
find the fix for this?
 
David
Mike here: Your email was originally rejected and deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the missing subject entry. Please read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Home Page. Thanks for understanding.
This is normal for astronomical viewing as the telescope must move in Right Ascension to compensate for the Earth's rotation. See Appendix A of the ETX-90EC manual for how to change from "Polar" to "Alt/Az" for terrestrial viewing and control.

And:

Sorry about the poor etiquette.  Thanks for the info.  I now know how to
move from Alt/Az mode to Polar mode and back.  You  were very helpful,
 
Thanks,
 
David

Feedback Archives

Check the Feedback Archives for previous editions of the Feedback page.


Go to the ETX Home Page.


Copyright © 2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2007 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/sep07/feedback.html