Last updated: 16 June 2004

Subject:	ETX105...finally gave in to the ETX!
Sent:	Monday, June 14, 2004 14:48:43
From:	Mark Mittlesteadt (
I would like to thank you for the site you maintain. I have thought
about getting an ETX scope for many years now, and I went through a lot
of them before I finally broke down and got onethanks to the information
on your site. I'm very happy I did. Now I wonder why I waited so long.

I just recently acquired the ETX 105after giving which one some serious
consideration. The 105 seems to have the best "sweet spot" between
viewing and portability.

I had it out with the new Autostar last night and while it took me a
while to figure out how to set it up properly, the "go to" feature is
excellent. It placed the objects in the FOV every time. My first
alignment I thought I had right onbut while it found everything in RA it
was way off in DEC. That is until I realized that when I set up my
Alt-Az Home position, I pointed the OTA in DEC directly at Polaris
(including the true north offset). I had it right in the EP. However,
when in Home position, it should be pointing north in RA only, with the
OTA level (not pointing "UP" at Polaris. When I figured out what I did
wrong, Alignment and the GoTo worked like a charm. However I did notice
that when I slew, it always goes back to where it was (which I do
believe is fixed in the Autostar update, which I still need to do).

The finderscope (even the RA one for the 105) is truly a piece of crap.
The ETX105 allows for easy removal of the holder, so I threw the finder
away and mounted a 6X30 straight through (an Orion model on a tall
bracket). Excellent, easy alignment on the Orion finders.

The optics are excellent. In my 20mm Expanse EP, I could clearly make
out 5 cloud bands on Jupiter, with great contrast...and the moons were
perfectly round dots. The 9mm Expanse still showed only 5, but with much
greater clarity. This was even while Jupiter was getting closer to the

I can understand why some people dismiss the ETX line, but I needed an
"ultra portable, easy to haul out and setup scope". While smaller
refractors may be "grab'n'go", you still have to haul out the tripod and
mount as well.

The ETX is the easiest scope to pick up and use. For all the bad press
about it from "experts", I have yet to find a better solution for my
limited time to view. I had a small scope that was supposedly grab'n'go,
but the mount was a pain to haul out along with the scope. Plus, I have
come to find I despise EQ mounts and the constant adjustments. The ETX
has it all in one little unit. Simply take it out and put it on any
level surface and in less than 5 minutes I'm viewing. Plus I can take it
anywhere with me and enjoy the night sky, even without a tripod.

I will grant that the mount itself, and the plastic gears, etc. leave
one wondering about quality. But the optics themselves are first rate. I
own an 8" SCT and the 105 gives me sharper images. Great little scope.
It's got me back out enjoying the night sky again...which is the whole
purpose of having a scope in the first place.

I should've purchased one a long time ago. I can see where my 8" SCT
will not be used much anymore and I'm even considering selling it. I've
owned some nice refractors that don't measure up to the optics of this

Thanks again for your site and all the time you put into it. You should
be getting a kickback from Meade for it! Thank you, you've helped
countless numbers of ETX users (and those who are considering getting
one). This is THE place for ETX info. You should call it the MIGHTY Mike
Weasner ETX site!!!

I made a beautiful wooden case for mine that holds everything (including
my power pack) and I'd like to post some pics of it and my permanent
pier sometime.

Thank you, 

Mark Mittlesteadt

Artist / Owner


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