ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 September 2009

This page is for comments and user feedback about the "ETX Classic" telescopes. ETX Classic models include the ETX-60/70/80/90/105/125 (EC, AT, BB, Premier Edition). This page also includes comments and feedback of a general nature. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to the ETX-90RA, ETX-LS, DSX, and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.


Mike here: There is a new "Google Translate" button on the ETX Site Home Page. You can use Google to select a language for the ETX Site Home Page. It may not be a perfect translation but it should help non-English using Site visitors. Over time, I plan to add the Google translation button to more pages. I hope you find this useful.


Mike here: The Email Etiquette page has been updated to include "Terms and Conditions of Use". Please read it. Thanks for understanding.


Subject:	Where can I find a new screw to join the two parts of the base of my ETX-70?
Sent:	Tuesday, September 29, 2009 05:14:16
From:	Carlos (carlos.anaya.00@gmail.com)
When I was dismounting my ETX-70, the plastic screw used to join the two
parts of the base was broken and lost its head. Now I'm trying to find a
new screw but the dealers in Spain doesn't sell this item.
Please, any help will be wellcome.
Thanks.
Carlos
Mike here: Have you tried Meade Europe? Info on http://www.meade.com/dealerlocator/international.html.

And:

Thanks for your answer. No, I didn't. I'm gonna search the item in
another countries of the European Union.
Thank you very much for you quick answer.
Congratulations for your great Web. I'm preparing an article about how
to do the maintenance of an ETX telescope and I will include you web.
You will find it in www.astrofacil.com.
Best regards Mike.

Subject:	Re: Error Motors Setup  ATX 70 AT
Sent:	Sunday, September 27, 2009 23:51:34
From:	Daniel Albaladejo (dam@tinet.org)
Hello Mike, Thanks for everything. 

Sorry for my explanation. 
The problem I have is when I align the telescope. When I turn on the
Autostar and makes checking the motors ( Motor Fault ), getting an error
of engine failure. I checked the level of tension is correct. I
calibrated the motors but i can see the same problem.

What might this be? 

Thank you very much.
Mike here: Usually, with the AutoStar #494 (which is what I assume you have, since it is standard with the ETX-70AT), this means the AutoStar software is corrupted. But sometimes there can be another cause. Check the cable connector and HBX jack; look for bent or dirty pins, or pins that are too depressed. You can also open up the base of the ETX and look for a wire that might be disconnected or broken. If the AutoStar is corrupted, there is not much you can do since the #494 is not user-updatable. If you have a #506 serial cable and a good RS-232 serial port connection to the telescope, you can try to RESET from software (assuming you can't get to the RESET menu option from the AutoStar itself). See the article "AutoStar RESET from Software" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	New to your site!
Sent:	Sunday, September 27, 2009 22:55:22
From:	Ross Elkins (rosse25@comcast.net)
Thank you for your great site. I have recently decided to dive into
astronomy although I have never stopped viewing the skies since buying
my "Golden Nature Guide to the stars" around 1962. I have had many fine
optics in the form of binoculars, spotting scopes and hunting scopes but
never invested in a fine astronomical scope before. I have been zeroing
in on buying an etx 125 after looking at many of the fine scopes
available from many brands and am sure that I will eventually find a
used one that fits my budget.
 
Thanks again,
 
Ross Elkins
Marin County, California
Mike here: I still have my copy of "A Golden Nature Guide to the Stars"; it is a 1960 edition. I bought it (or rather my mother bought it) when it was new!

And:

Ha, Ha, I'm not really sure of the date of my copy, and guessed at 1962.
It has copyright of 1956, 1951 in it. That little book and "All About
Dinosaurs were my two favorites until I discovered Sci-fi. My dad bought
me mine, $1.00 was a lot of money back then! Always a small world.

It's late where you are, I guess you must be stargazing. I got a neat
program on my iphone called "planets" a couple of months ago and I have
been watching Jupiter and the moon with my 10x42 Swarovski's. Then my
best friend got a Celestron 6" equatorial and I really got the bug
viewing over at his house, but I knew I wanted something better and that
has led me inexorably to the ETX 125AT.
Mike here: I had been out in my observatory. I'm now using SkyVoyager and Star Walk on my iPhone.
Subject:	Using of TeleXtender
Sent:	Sunday, September 27, 2009 12:00:36
From:	Martin Bosk (martinbosak@email.cz)
Can I ask you, does fit this telextender Meade 2x Ultra TX TeleXtender
1.25 to ETX 125? Or I have to buy a some else for this telescope. Thanks

Bc Martin Bosk, Prague Czech republic

martinbosak@email.cz 
ICQ: 275626281 
Mike here: For best results with the ETX, you need to use a "shorty" style Barlow Lens. Meade has one: #126. Other companies have similar shorty models.

And:

Thanks for answer for barlow and Id have any question. Iam buying ETX
125PE with some acessories for it and want to become some
advices....more precisely eyepieces. I want to buy eyepieces Meade 5000.
Are there some problems with UWA or SWA? Maybe UWA 14mm and UWA 8,8mm.
Is these eyepieces good choice for this telescope? Aren't these UWA too
heavy for ETX 125? Or are there some aspects, which I have to care?

Very very thank you for advices

Bc. Martin Bosk, Prague, Czech republic
Mike here: See the Accessory Reviews: Eyepieces page for some wide angle eyepiece reviews. The 1.25" Series 5000 eyepieces should be OK with the ETX-125.
Subject:	ETX-125PE
Sent:	Saturday, September 26, 2009 08:37:16
From:	Shekar and Suguna Vaidyanath (svaidyanath@comcast.net)
I recently bought a used ETX-125PE and have this chromatic aberration
around bright objects like Jupiter.  The center object is sharply
focused but it is surrounded by circles of color on all sides. How do I
resolve this? Thanks
 
Sekhar
Mike here: Have you done a "star test" to check the collimation?

And:

Thanks very much for your reply. Is this test described anywhere? Thanks
in advance

Sekhar
Mike here: See the "Star Testing and Collimation" section on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	Greetings from a new ETX 125 owner!
Sent:	Friday, September 25, 2009 14:58:43
From:	Jim Wayman (jwayman@wayman-inc.com)
I just purchased a used ETX 125 from a nice fellow in Louisville this
week.  Before purchasing it I looked for information on the scope and
found your website.  I haven't been able to get it out yet (except for
getting familiar with its operation inside the house) because of other
commitments and cloudy skies all week.

I decided to visit your website today after work, and lo and behold
discovered that you are from Seymour!  I was born in Seymour, grew up in
Brownstown, went to Purdue (go Boilers!), and after a few years in Texas
with my wife (who was also born in Seymour, but spent much of her youth
on Air Force bases in the US), moved back to the Seymour (Jackson
County) area.  We now own a surveying/engineering business in Seymour,
but we live in the hills in Western Jackson County where the sky is dark
and the viewing is very good.  We live on a dead-end road that's about a
mile long, with only seven houses on it, and no other roads within a
mile or more of our house.  The only light we can see in the summer is
my sister-in-law's security light about a quarter mile away, and most
city lights (Bloomington's are usually the worst) aren't too bad on
clear nights.  I'm looking forward to many nights observing in my back
yard with my ETX 125.

FYI  the Seymour-Brownstown rivalry changed gears a few years ago and
now they also play a football game  they call it the Jackson County
Bowl.  Seymour (obviously) has won most of the games, but Brownstown
beat them last year for the first time.  They play tonight at Seymour in
the mud  I'll let you know who wins this year's game.

If you can tell me where you lived on Carter Street I'll snap some
pictures of it and send them to you  I don't know if you ever get back
to Seymour, but it sure has changed in the twenty years I've been
working here.

Hope to get a chance to communicate with you more after I've had my
telescope out a few times!
 
Jim Wayman, P.E., P.L.S.
Seymour, IN
Mike here: Welcome to the ETX Community! Amazing to hear from someone from my hometown! By the way, GO IU!!!
Subject:	Error Motors Setup  ATX 70 AT
Sent:	Friday, September 25, 2009 04:46:22
From:	Daniel Albaladejo (dam@tinet.org)
Hello My name is Daniel and sorry for my English. 

I recently bought an ETX 70 AT and I have a little (or big) problem.
When does the Autostar alignment check, the check engine, have a
problem. But the battery level is correct. I do not know it can be. The
lock system is correct too. Someone can help me.
 
Thank you very much


Daniel Albaladejo
 
Reus ( Tarragona )
Mike here: Can you describe the "problem"? I don't know if you mean you are getting the "Motor Fault" error or is something else wrong?
Subject:	battery failure in ETX-90 AT
Sent:	Thursday, September 24, 2009 17:12:04
From:	jwalmach@finalpath.com (jwalmach@finalpath.com)
Has anyone you know ever experienced a failure from the ETX's battery
pack? I can trace power to the circuit board so I know the current
gets that far but the scope only runs on the external power supply.
It's as if the battery cut off switch in the external supply jack is
stuck. The scope ran fine on battery for a couple of years and then
one day it stopped. Before I start removing parts I just thought I'd
ask around the web first.

Thank you,

Joe Walmach
Mike here: Check the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. There are some battery wiring and cutout articles there.
Subject:	Meade ETX 125
Sent:	Monday, September 21, 2009 08:25:00
From:	Graham Boots (g.boots@sky.com)
Can you answer the follow question please and give any advise to overcome the problem.
 
Does your Meade ETX 125 have any play on the declination axis ? Mine has
about 2 degrees of play, in other words I can lift the tube by this
amount and then let it drop back. This came to light trying to image
Jupiter using a 2X Barlow which gives an effectual focal length of 30
and I found I was having great difficulty. It maybe that this amount of
play has always been there. I purchased this telescope on October 2001.
 
Look forward to hearing from you and thanks.
 
Best Wishes,
 
Graham
Mike here: There will be some movement if you move the OTA by hand. That's normal. However, you may be able to reduce it. There are some articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page, including the Dr. Clay's Performance Enhancement series, that can help.

And:

Thank you very much Mike.

Best Wishes,

Graham

Subject:	RE: ETX125/ec wire seperated from computer controll board
Sent:	Sunday, September 20, 2009 14:30:05
From:	ERIC TYLER (fungi_e@msn.com)
I will take a look at this section and see what I find....
 
Thanks again for your help
 
Regaurds 
eric

Subject:	Search for a viewfinder scope-ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Saturday, September 19, 2009 13:56:28
From:	sharonwright950@gmail.com (sharonwright950@gmail.com)
I am having zero results in finding a right-angle viewfinder scope(
Meade #827) for my ETX 70 AT. Can you suggest a suitable replacement?
Thanks,
Sharon in Arkansas
Mike here: There are several finderscopes discussed on the Accessory Reviews: Finderscopes page that can be mounted on the ETX-70. Also, there are several articles about attaching a finderscope to the ETX on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	ETX125/ec wire seperated from computer controll board
Sent:	Wednesday, September 16, 2009 19:45:18
From:	ERIC TYLER (fungi_e@msn.com)
I needed to remove the bottom cover to repair one of the platic pieces
that broke (it is actually pictured in another question on the board).
Well the wire running from where the battery compartment to the computer
control board broke off the board. I didn't see where it actually broke
from. I am trying to remove the board so I can repair the wire... How do
I remove the board without breaking it... and can you tell me where the
wire came from???
 
Thanx
eric

photo

photo

Mike here: Don't know if it will help but see the article "Repairing Broken Battery Wires" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. I have not had to remove the board so can't speak from experience.

And:

I will take a look at this section and see what I find....
 
Thanks again for your help
 
Regaurds 
eric

Subject:	Mike etx 70 question
Sent:	Wednesday, September 16, 2009 13:32:20
From:	Mitchell Setzer (mitchellsetzer@gmail.com)
I am not sure if this email is still in order but I have a couple
questions for the expert.   I purchased a ETX 70 over ebay and I am very
interested in astronomy.  I bougth the scope then the tripod and now I
am waiting on the 506 cable kit and software.  And I just found out that
I am going to have to buy a RS 232 adpter to USB becasue my new computer
does not have one of the old ports.   Sorry for ranting it just seems
alot of work to try and view saturns rings.   Anyways.  while waiting I
would like to use the scope for normal viewing.  I messed up when I got
the scope and lossen the wrong side of the vertical axis.  IE the side
that has the degrees on it.   I figured that out right away but I have
read that the 0 position is not perfectly vertical.  Something like 7
degrees up when the meter is at 0.   I have set the scope up but it will
not go to the right position and I am wondering how to recalibrate the
home postion for the scope or if I even need to.   Please Advice.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Mitchell Setzer
Mike here: First, you don't need software to see Saturn (which isn't very visible right now; the Sun is in the way) or any object that can be seen with the ETX. Second, not all USB-serial adapters work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. As to the Declination scale, see the ETX FAQ page.

And:

WOW, that was fast..  Awsome ...  
 
Yes I bought the software to try and track some satalites and space
station.  Which I am fully aware is hard to see unless the sun is
hitting them .     Thanks for your resopnse.   One more question.    I
was using the scope the other day for terrestrial viewing during the day
to get to know the scope a little better and I read an articale on
webcam conversions.   Do these work.  THe phillips 900 seems to get the
best reviews. I was going to use this to see without touching the scope.
Not really interested long exposures but more real time viewing of the
moon and recording vids.  Then I can stack frames.   The ccd telescope
cameras are expensive and I can get the phillips for cheap and the
adapter to 1.25..   Do you know if this work well?
 
Thanks again..
Mike here: Webcams can make great imagers. There is a lot of discussion about using them with the ETX models on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page.
Subject:	ETX70-AT
Sent:	Tuesday, September 15, 2009 12:42:18
From:	Bob van Donselaar (bobvandonselaar@scarlet.be)
I inhereted a beautiful telescope MEADE Autostar ETX70-AT, that I find
is not fully complete. Currently I miss the two screws that connect the
telecope to the accompanying trypot.

Since I'm from Europe, I find these screws to exhibit a non-metric
threat, so my standard supply of screws won't (exactly) fit. Can you
help me to a (local) agent that may supply these scews or to the proper
name and dimensions of this particular type of screws?
 
Thank you in advance.
 
Bob J. van Donselaar.  
Mike here: Have you tried contacting Meade Europe? Contact info is on the Meade web site (www.meade.com). Or you can try contacting any of Meade's European dealers. I believe some are listed on Meade's web site; there are also some listed on the Astronomy Links page on my ETX Site.

And:

Thanks Mike.
In the mean time I found this screw to be a no 12 type with 24 treads
per inch. I think a local American car or HD dealer can help me to
these.

Regards,
Bob J. van Donselaar.

And a correction:

Correction Mike: it's a 1/4" UNC bolt, 40 mm. Bob. 

Subject:	ETX-90 Focusing Knob Seems Broken
Sent:	Saturday, September 12, 2009 07:51:27
From:	Johnson, Eric (ejohnson@figgbridge.com)
Your website is wonderful, thank-you.  

I am thinking of buying a friends ETX-90 and he has loaned it to me to
try out for a few weeks.  I am new to telescopes.  I rolled the focusing
knob counterclockwise for a long distance, and now it seems that it will
not "grab" and screw back in. The knob just spins and is all of the way
"out".  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Eric

Tallahassee, FL
Mike here: It sounds like the focus shaft has been disconnected (should not happen just by rotating the knob). However, it can be re-connected. See the article "Focus Shaft Fix" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	re: ETX-80 azimuth drive problem
Sent:	Tuesday, September 8, 2009 05:40:09
From:	Ashby, Peter (Peter.Ashby@edfenergy.com)
I use a large cranked ring spanner on the white nut to remove it (its
about a 17mm spanner), apply pressure gently but firmly and it will give
eventually (it's a bit like a nylock nut), it gets set in place and
needs a bit of force to get it moving, once the nut is removed the base
comes off, I do have some spare parts for the etx 80's so if you need
any get in touch.
 
Peter Ashby

Subject:	ETX-80 azimuth drive problem
Sent:	Monday, September 7, 2009 13:30:13
From:	Lyle Johnsen (lylej66@gmail.com)
The azimuth drive on my ETX-80 is "cogging" slightly while tracking an
object.  This causes the image to jerk sideways about every 5 seconds. 
Do you think this is normal? I think there must be something wrong with
the drive.

I would like to open the lower housing to look at the drive but I am not
sure how it comes apart. Do you have any info on this problem or how to
disassemble the base?

Lyle Johnsen
Mike here: I don't have an ETX-80, nor have any ETX-80 specific disassembly instructions been submitted. So, I can't answer directly. But you should be able to open the base by removing some screws in the base plate (they may be hidden beneath rubber feet). As to what could be causing the jerking, it could be a wire or a loose gear. Unlock the axis and slowly rotate the telescope to determine if it is catching on a wire. Don't force it; you don't want to cut the wire. If a loose gear, you may be able to tighten it back up. If the gear (tooth or mount) is broken, you will likely have to replace it. If the telescope is still under warranty, contact Meade or your dealer.

And:

I did not get the scope from a dealer.  I won it in a fundraising raffle
conducted by David Levy in Tucson.

I tried removing the 3 screws in the bottom but the only thing they do
is hold a steel plate inside the base.  This plate falls loose and does
not seem to be connected to anything else.

I removed the azimuth clutch bolt (see attached picture) and this
exposes what appears to be a white nylon nut. I tried to turn the nut
but could not. I did not want to force it.

This is where I quit so far...

If you find any info that will help me, please pass it on.

Thanks,
Lyle Johnsen

photo

Mike here: Look under the rubber feet; screws may be hidden there.

And:

I looked under all the rubber feet. As I said, there are three screws
which I removed.  But it didn't help me because all it did was allow the
steel weight inside to flop around loose.  I put the screws and feet
back on before I took the picture, because I didn't want the weight to
bang into something inside.

It appears to me that the white nut is holding the lower housing on.

I hope one of your readers can help me.
Thanks,
Lyle Johnsen

Subject:	Suggestions on where to buy?
Sent:	Monday, September 7, 2009 10:34:58
From:	Christopher Madson (mads0100@gmail.com)
Do you have any suggestions on where to buy a used ETX?  It seems most
people are looking to get what they purchased their 10 year old scopes
for!  I've been thinking about getting a refurb 125PE from Meade as
it's the best deal I've found!  Any suggestions would be awesome. 
Thanks for a wonderful website, it's AMAZING.

Chris Madson
Mike here: You can find some ETX telescopes on the FOR SALE page on the ETX Site. Keep in mind that many times the sale includes useful accessories. You can also check dealers like OPT that sometimes have used ones for sale. Of course, there is also eBAY.
Subject:	ETX 125 PE R.A. gear and Smartfinder not working
Sent:	Friday, September 4, 2009 15:46:10
From:	Tony Sigel (asigel@fas.harvard.edu)
I  recently purchased a new, still sealed ETX 125 PE scope from someone
who had received it for a gift. Two issues came up when unpacking and
setting up:

1. The curved plastic cover section on the OTA that the smartfinder is
attached to was quite loose, and held only by the small hex screw on the
back to the left of the eyepiece. The small plastic tab on the front
side that engages the slot on the OTA housing was broken (I've ordered
another cover section from Meade). There is a also a hairline crack in
the upper side of the smartfinder foot, behind the two screws (NLA from
Meade). I believe it's the new style smartfinder, with the frame
enclosing the lens. I tightened the hex screw that secures it to the
back of the OTA housing, and in spite of these issues the smartfinder is
reasonably secure. However, on powering up, I could not get the
smartfinder to turn on.

2. Shortly after powering up, I used the autostar arrow keys to test the
scope movement, the vertical (Dec) movement worked fine, but the
horizontal (R.A.) movement did not. Pressing the > key, the scope
rotated normally for several seconds, then I heard 2-3 seconds of
gear-tooth skipping noise, and I immediately stopped. I unlocked the
horizontal lock, made sure the scope was not against a stop and would
swing freely, relocked the lever, and tried again. This time I heard the
motor run freely in both directions, but with no movement whatsoever.
The sound was not that of the motor under load as heard during the
vertical up/down travel, but of one spinning freely at a steady, higher
rpm under no load. Clearly, the motor has somehow become completely
disengaged from the clutch/gearbox. The lever locks properly at about a
third of it's travel, so I don't think that's the problem.

I suspect that even though the sealed box was in good condition, it was
dropped or jarred enough to have bumped the smartfinder, and perhaps
this also caused some misalignment/damage to the R.A drive. The packing
materials are poor- a thin vac-formed plastic tray in the box, no foam
or other protection. I spent many hours researching these problems on
your site, but did not find a drive issue similar to mine.  Some
skipping gear issues, but not with the motors freely running, seemingly
not engaging at all. Some of what I've read on the site from you and Dr.
Clay suggests the new 125 PE's are more complicated to open, designed to
discourage self diagnosis and repair, and even a careful, mechanically
inclined owner could do some real damage. If so I'd rather not risk it.
But of course I hope that opening it up I'll see some obvious problem
like loose or missing screws, gearbox shifted to one side, etc. One can
always hope! Can you advise how to proceed?

Regarding the smartfinder, your wonderful site articles indicate I
should check that the wires are plugged in properly, and that the wires
and crimp sleeves are seated properly inside the plug. The optical fiber
could be out of position in the housing, and the battery could be bad- I
should replace it carefully following site instructions. Is this about
the order I should proceed, and have I missed anything? The Autostar
took my zipcode, time, etc in a normal way but of course without the
finder and R.A. I could not test it further.

Many, many thanks for your wonderful site, and the time and care you
take in administering it.
 
Tony Sigel
Mike here: It does sound like the scope was damaged, perhaps severely. Have you checked the collimation? As to the Smartfinder, does the AutoStar "see" it, that is, does the Finder option appear in the MODE menu? Regarding the drive issue, it sounds like gear mount is possibly broken off, hence the gear is not making proper (or any) contact. You could have to open up the base to check for that. Repairing it may or may not be simple, depending on what you find.

And:

I don't know why, but simply hearing from you gives me confidence to
open things up, which I did, and found this- the gearbox is indeed
broken allowing a gear to slide out of contact with another.

photo

I closed the crack at yellow arrow as far as the photo shows, and if
held together the gears will engage properly. However, there's a
tremendous amount of torque on the "L" shaped piece when the motor
spins, as it binds very badly at the green arrow, where the white shaft
passes through the hole in it. There doesn't seem to be any lubricant
there whatsoever. Hmmm! Perhaps that's why it broke. No lube, spinning,
heating, binding, etc.

I can't imagine that there's an adhesive strong enough to repair the
break as it's under so much stress. Am I looking at ordering a new
gearbox from Meade or another supplier?  Has anyone sucessfully fixed a
break in this area?

I don't know how to check colimation- is that the doughnut like shape
seen on a slightly defocussed star? I looked at a distant terrestrial
object when initally trying to set up, and was impressed with sharpness
& clarity, so I'm hoping the scope is in good shape. I'll try to check
colimation tonight.

I removed the shroud that the Smartfinder is mounted on and checked the
visible wiring- it all looks ok. Otherwise, the Autostar does see the
Finder. I spent some time trying to adjust the blink rate as detailed in
the instructions, hoping to see the dot. no luck. Tomorrow I'll try to
find a new battery.

Thanks again,

Tony
Mike here: You may be able to find a replacement. See the article "Replacement Gears source" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page. And yes, the torque can be high, so glue may or may not hold. Replacing the battery is a good troubleshooting steps. There are more LNT/Smartfinder tips on the Telescope Tech Tips page.
Subject:	Just wanted to say thanks.
Sent:	Wednesday, September 2, 2009 00:09:00
From:	John Casey (monolith2013@yahoo.com)
My name is John and today my very first telescope came in the mail...
It's a brand new ETX-90PE. Luckily, the moon was out this evening along
with Jupiter... Can't go wrong there, specially with the default 26mm
eyepiece they stick in the box. I'm pretty handy with electronics and
computers so setting it's alignment and train, etc was no problem at
all.. But, when I get into something, I want to learn everything I
possibly can and 1 thing I learned really quickly was that I'm going to
need some more accessories (eventually I want to get into remote
astrophotography). At any rate, out of all the sites i've been visting
lately, yours stands out and is truly a wealth of information which I
will be sifting through for quite some time. So, thanks for your help
today and thanks in advance for your help tomorrow and the days to come.

Sincerly, 

John C. 

Subject:	Can't find parts for Meade 883 Tripod
Sent:	Monday, August 31, 2009 19:17:17
From:	Baskets of Africa (info@basketsofafrica.com)
I'm hoping you can help. We were lucky enough to inherit a Meade ETX 125
from my father in law.

It also has the Field Tripod 883.

It is missing the two thumscrews to attach the telescope to the tripod.
I called Meade and they said to buy a 884 Tripod for $200 because they
don't have parts for 883 anymore.

It seems someone should have parts and I hope you can help me find them.
Searching the web for hours and I haven't turned up the thumbscrews on
any site anywhere yet.

If you can help we would really appreciate it!

Thanks for your time, 

Cael.Chappell
Mike here: Try Telescope Warehouse or Bintel; links on the Astronomy Links page. Alternatively, you can get bolts from a local hardware store.

And:

Thanks for the help Mike! I'll check these out. I've seen a picture of
the bolt, and it's a strange one with a shoulder on it 1/2 way down, so
I'm pretty sure I won't find it at a hardware store. I tried one already
from a hardware store and it did not feel secure at all. I'll try these
leads and failing that may just need to buy a new tripod. Thanks for
your time and assistance! Cael.
Mike here: The #884 tripod is more stable than the #883 when used with the ETX-125. Something to consider.

And:

Thanks Mike! That's my fallback ... get an 884. Seems I've still
inherited an excellent telescope and it's worth spending a couple
hundred bucks to get it up and running. My 10 year old son is very, very
interested and excited so I'm excited to work on it with him. Thanks
again for your time and advice Mike! Cael.

And more:

Thanks again Mike!!!

Roger at BinTel gave me this valuable information: 
You can use a standard " Whitworth bolt 1 " (70mm) long and a washer to
do the task. Sure you won't have the convenience of a plastic knob, but
it is easier to replace should you lose one.

And then right after that William at Telescope Warehouse responded and
he has them in stock! I ordered 3 (so I have one extra) and it was less
than $6 including shipping.

Thank you so much for your time and help with this and thank you so much
for your excellent website!

Cael.

Subject:	ETX 70AT allinment ring re-positioning
Sent:	Monday, August 31, 2009 18:40:17
From:	Kobliska (nkobliska@wi.rr.com)
Great site, but just too much information for me to sort through.
Hopefully you can tell me if you have this posted somewhere, or know how
to do it.

The ring with degrees that is on the base of my telescope because
detatched from teh base and spins freely around the base. I do not know
where to re-attach it so that the zero degree is where it is suposed to
be for the autostar to function. I have tried contacting Mead, but get
no responce, or they want me to send it in with some money for them to
repair it.

Do you know where on the body I should position the zero degree mark so
auto star will function, and so that I know which direction I'm looking
after I set the scope up?

It has been several years since I had this working correctly, and I'm
startign to getback into watching the stars with my little scope, and
would very much like to use the autostar to help me refind some
forgotten freinds in the night sky.
 
Any help is appreciated.
Thanks,
Kory
Mike here: See the item "Q. The Right Ascension (azimuth) setting circle tape moves, what do I do?" on the ETX FAQ page.

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