ETX CLASSIC FEEDBACK
Last updated: 20 May 2013
This page is for comments and user feedback about ETX telescopes. ETX models discussed on this page include the ETX-60/70/80/90/105/125 (EC, AT, BB, Premier Edition). This page also includes comments and feedback of a general nature. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to the ETX-90RA, DSX, and DS models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.
Subject: ETX 125 Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2013 12:16:03 From: Ken (firstname.lastname@example.org) Haven't been on your site in a while as my ETX 70 stopped working and I lost interest. Well, I seem to be getting the bug again and have been looking for a new scope. I cannot seem to find the ETX 125 on Meade's site, do you know if they discontinued them? Is the ETX 90 a good scope? Thanks.Mike here: Welcome back. While you were gone Meade discontinued the ETX-125 several years ago. Its "replacement" are the LT and LS telescopes. The ETX-80 and ETX-90 continue and are good telescopes.
Subject: Re: EXTERNAL POWER CORD FOR ETX-70 Last updated: 20 December 2007 Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2013 14:47:14 From: Stephen Nazigian (email@example.com) Good news, bad news. I finally got my ETX60 working perfectly on battery power. Then I connected it to a regulated power supply at 11.44 volts and destroyed the telescope. The power light comes on, but not the Autostar handset. I can hardly say how sick I feel right now.Mike here: Sorry to hear that. Some external power supplies have been known to damage telescope electronics.
Nothing to worry about. Michael Slevin's jumper wire trick from http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/2010/etx60_repair.html brought the scope back to life. I swore an oath never to use anything but batteries on the scope from now on.
End of today's update
Subject: HOW TO REPAIR A DEAD AUTOSTAR AND DISASSEMBLE THE NEW ETX 60AT BB Sent: Monday, May 13, 2013 09:46:21 From: Stephen Nazigian (firstname.lastname@example.org) I was looking at http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/2010/etx60_repair.html and the "electronics engineer" seems to have needlessly melted the plastic center nut rather than turning the bolt from the top of the base. Agreed?Mike here: Some people have had problems getting that nut loose. Heat sometimes seems to be the only method.
Subject: EXTERNAL POWER CORD FOR ETX-70 Last updated: 20 December 2007 Sent: Monday, May 13, 2013 04:50:57 From: Stephen Nazigian (email@example.com) I have a concern about the page at http://www.weasner.com/etx/techtips/2007/etx70_cord.html which gives instructions for building a $5 power adapter. While your contributor is concerned about getting the polarity correct, he disregards the difference between the required 9 volts and the 12 to 14+ volts that a charged car battery provides. The extra voltage is significant, and I expect it would destroy the scope's electronics after a while. Meanwhile I am enjoying your extraordinary site and trying to find out why my little ETX60 BB continues to slew after it locates a guide star.Mike here: The old Meade ETX-60 and ETX-70 AC adapter supplied 12VDC. You can see the label on the review on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page.
Thanks for pointing out that 12v label. Calibration and training did not help yet. Maybe you wouldn't mind listening to this short sound file of my horizontal motor. You can hear the speed rising and falling as I slew manually, and the movement is a bit jerky. I recently greased the gears with fishing reel lubricant after I started getting a motor fault. Maybe the white center bushings/collars needed lube also?Mike here: Sounds pretty much normal. Be certain you didn't get any grease on the optical encoders.
Subject: Old vs New ETX-125 Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2013 11:17:20 From: Larry Kryske (firstname.lastname@example.org) First, thank you for the great information on your site about the ETX. I might be buying an ETX-125 from a private party and am curious if there is any newer information from what you already have posted concerning telling the Old from the New. BTW, when did Meade stop making the ETX-125? My seller told me his purchased his 125 scope two years ago. I'm suspicious. I'm buying the scope to use with my astronomy students. Thank you, Larry Larry Kryske, Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.) www.YourFinestHour.comMike here: ETX-125 was discontinued a few years ago. Do you know if it is AT or PE?
Do not know. Can you tell from the photos shown? http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/spo/3790753821.html Many thanks, LarryMike here: It is either an ETX-125EC or ETX-125AT. I couldn't tell whether the hand controller in the case was the old EC one or an AutoStar. The description said AutoStar was included so hopefully he got it right.
Mike, I sincerely appreciate your help. Thank you, Larry
Subject: ETX #881 table top tripod Sent: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 07:04:28 From: Steve Knight (email@example.com) I have been trying to obtain this for use with an ETX125 when out and about. I guess Meade have stopped making it, really struggling to find a source for one. Any suggestions? I am keeping an eye on eBay but yet to find one. Many thanks Steve Knight @steve_p_knightMike here: Yep, long discontinued. Try Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page on my ETX Site). Or you could make a set of legs.
Thanks Mike! Have now managed to find one on ebay! Next project is to try and capture solar transit by international space station and need something small and portable that can be polar aligned! SteveMike here: I've imaged the ISS and HST transiting the moon with my 8".
Subject: Horizontal Drive Problem On ETX-60AT Sent: Friday, May 3, 2013 16:39:07 From: gary white (firstname.lastname@example.org) I just purchased an ETX-60AT from an individual who had it for 3 years but rarely ever used it and it appeared in new condition. Even the hand controller still had the protective tap over it. I put new batteries in it and was ready to test it out. I locked it down into the home position and followed the prompts on the controller to enter the date/time. I chose easy for the auto alignment and the scope moved on the vertical but would not move horizontally. I could hear the motor running when it was attempting horizontal movement however. I checked the horizontal locking switch and it was a little loose so I tightened it but no success. I tried various levels of tightness on the horizontal lock switch with still no success. I even tried moving it with the arrow buttons and it still would not move horizontally. The motors are running for both axises so it looks to me like there is some sort of disconnect between the motor and the horizontal movement. I believe I will need to open the base to see what is going on. However I am unfamiliar with working on this type of mechanism and would like advice on what you think is the cause and if I need to open it up. If I do open it, I would like to have as much reference material as possible to ensure a successful repair. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Gary WhiteMike here: I assume the telescope rotates freely by hand with the horizontal axis unlocked. Since the motor is running it sounds like a problem with the clutch. You will have to open up the base. See the articles "ETX-70 Repair Guide" and "ETX-60 Repair" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page.
Thanks for the info. I will let you know how it turns out. Regards, Gary
Thanks for the advice Michael. I was able to open the base up and saw that the motor was not in contact with the horizontal gear. The cause of the lack of contact was a small piece of plastic that appears to be like a tension clip. It had broken. I set the gear in place and put on the base and it worked! However it would not stay in place. I improvised a replacement clip with a small piece of rubber that hopefully was flexible enough to mimic the tension clip. When I put on the base it did not work. When I took off the base again I discovered the horizontal motor now had failed and the controller also said motor failure. I'm not sure what happened to it. It appears to have seized up. Unless you know of a way to reset the horizontal motor, vertical still works, it looks like it would need a new motor. Regards, GaryMike here: Congrats on the initial troubleshooting. Bummer about the motor. You may be able to get a replacement at a hobby parts store. Just take the failed motor with you when you visit them.
Thanks Michael. You have a great website that provides a great service!
Subject: ETX-70at slew problem, no answer found in archive Sent: Thursday, May 2, 2013 10:37:17 From: Lee Shann (email@example.com) I have a problem with the horizontal movement of my ETX-70at. When it is upside down so that I can view the clutch and gear teeth, it rotates freely using the motor, a full 360 degrees. I can see that all the teeth and worm drive are complete. When it is up the right way it rotates but will stop, as if jammed (the motor still runs but the pitch is much lower). It does this in two seperate places in the 360 degree rotation. If I disengage the clutch the result is the same. It turns freely upside own but gets stuck when moved by hand when the right way up. I have attempted to strip the base down, as per your guide. However I cannot remove the castle nut, even when using a socket spanner. I have not forced the nut but there is zero movement. I have carried out the RESET, CALIBRATE and TRAIN functions. I have also tweaked the locking nut so that the clutch is only just biting when the locking arm is fully clockwise. When the scope is upright there does seem to be a little movement from side to side on the central pin. ie it 'wobbles' slightly. Any help would be appreciated. Many thanks, LeeMike here: It sounds like there is some obstruction that is moving depending on the orientation. I suggest looking for a wire or some other debris. Use caution when rotating the scope as you don't want to cut the wire.
Thanks Mike. That sounds right. Do you have any tips on removing the castle nut? I can't see any obstructions through the three gaps on the base.Mike here: I found this comment in one of the ETX-70 repair articles on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page:
I think this tip may have been referring to the metal clutch nut which I easily removed. The white plastic castle nut refuses to move, I even screwed in a reversed thread bolt to try and get it going but no luck. I have managed to get the scope rotating while upright by slightly releasing the three screws on the base and then playing with the sweet spot on the clutch. I cannot try anything else on removing the white plastic nut, and so access the horizontal drive, without damaging it permanently. I still find it very odd I cannot shift that nut! It seems so simple on your repair guide as it should only be hand tight! Thanks for your help, LeeMike here: Might try some heat on the nut to expand it. Use caution though.
Subject: Re: 125 ETX Wont Slew Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 20:13:12 From: Toso (firstname.lastname@example.org) I reset the controller, and dont have the usb cable. I opened up the base, and everything looks good. I unplugged and re-plugged all the connectors... still no joy.Mike here: You can easily make the #505 serial cable; see the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. If your computer has only USB, you will need a USB-serial adapter. I recommend Keyspan. But I still suspect a problem in the ETX, not the AutoStar. There is one other thing you can try: reverse the HBX cable end-to-end.
I did check that several times... I remember that it made a difference once several years ago, so I gave it a shot, but nothing. I am so confused since when I was unplugging the handset yesterday the scope slewed for an instant... I reversed the cables and tried a spare too... it runs through the menu fine, just wont slew.Mike here: Some AC adapters have been known to cause the ETX circuitry to fail. What adapter were you using? As both motors no longer work, the most likely problem is a problem somewhere in the ETX. You will have to do some troubleshooting to track down the problem and try to repair/replace the failed component(s). Or you could contact Dr. Clay Sherrod for his "Supercharge Tune-Up Service".
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