Last updated: 23 November 2004

Subject:	First Light with ETX 125EC
Sent:	Monday, November 22, 2004 07:15:56
First of all congratulations for the best site on the net for astronomy
and thanks for all your efforts.

I recently purchased a Meade ETX 125 Ec from (and
i have to say that simon, who I was dealing with, was extremely helpful
and I would highly recomend the site as a fantastic dealer).

The scope arrived on Wednesday last week, and of course i was ecited and
eager to use it.  I was previously using a home made 4" newtonian
reflector, and this did not prepare me for the ETX at all.

I was at work on Wednesday and so did not get a chance to allign the
finder scope or train the drives as suggested in the manual, because it
was dark by the time i finished work, I live in Tipperary in Ireland ,
which is at about 57 degrees!

So, of course it was cloudy every time i went out for a look at the sky.
 But.... at about 01:00 the skies cleared and the conditions were nearly
perfect, ( I live in an almost completely dark area, no street lights
and no neighbours house lights, I know I'm very lucky!).

So what did I see?

Saturn was up and easily visible, i alligned  the scope to it (manually,
and without finder scope) and there it was at 73X, like a little
cartoon, just floating there, unmistakeable and unbelievably clear.  The
optics on the ETX are breathtaking.  I tried the 9.7 mm ep , and at 196X
saturn took on a new meaning for me, the rings easily distinguishable
from the planet disk, and i could just about "imagine" the cassini
division.  I only have two eyepieces at the moment, i will be getting

The great orion nebula was the star for me, i have to say.  At 73X the
field of view was full of nebulosity, so far it was the most impressive
thing i have seen through a scope.

I had now been out for about an hour and a half, ofcourse you just can't
stop looking therough the ETX!

Even though the drives were not trained i decided to "try" an easy
allign, as i've said i had never attemted this before.  So i judged that
the scope was in the home position, "roughly pointing north and the tube
at zero degrees", and the sope requested rigel as the first guide star,
it slewed to it (in the field of view i might add, WOW) and i centered
it, then aldebaren followed similarly). Yo be honest i did not think it
would work, so i looked through the database and chose M1 , the crab
nebula, (because it was close enough to aldebaren, i thought it might
get it), and yep there it was , right in the center of the field of
view.  I was amazed to say the least.  I tried various objects all
around the sky in every direction and every one of them (except
andromeda, which i found odd) was in or very nearly in the field of

This is nothing short of amazing as far as I'm concerned!

Think about it, the drives not trained and my first time trying an easy
allign, which included me guessing if the tube was level...

I have not yet had a chance to try the LPI, or train the drives, but you
can bet, the next times the skies are clear i'll be out with the mighty
ETX, without question the bestscope i have ever used or looked through,
and i've seen a few!

Thanks again for you site Mike, and please feel free to use this for it,
if you see fit!  Maybee it might convince another person to buy the
mighty ETX, the more the merier.

John Hartigan

P.S. I just wanted to add that the ETX in my last email is UHTC.

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