Last updated: 22 September 2005

Subject:	ETX80 first light
Sent:	Tuesday, September 20, 2005 10:24:28
From: (
Received my ETX-80AT-TC via UPS ground from Meade one week after OPT
corp. processed the order.  $279.00 less 2% OPTAS discount (free

Firmware ver. 13E

FIrst light on a quite marginal to poor evening due to haze and clouds.
Visual magnitude limit was 4 at zenith, and 2.5 to 3 from horizon to 45

I installed 6 rechargeable 1.2volt 1800milliamp-hour NiMH AA batteries.
The system ran flawless on this power source as well as a 9volt
17ampHour portable battery. I enjoyed a quick and easy alignment with
good go-to accuracy and tracking.  The unit comes equipped with a
back-up battery which retains set-up info when the main power source is

Deep sky objects were out of the question due to sky conditions.
However, crisp images of stars were realized.  Albireo's components
colors were vivid in both supplied (26mm (15X) and 9.7mm (41X)) Series
4000DS Super Plossl eyepieces. Mizar's components (separation 14") were
easily resolved.

The use of the flip-in 2X barlow was annoying due to the fact that
approximately 20 full turns of the focus knob was needed to re-focus.
While the knobs placement is easily reached (now orientated 90 deg to
the OTA), its small size made for over 60 "bit-size" twists.

After accidentally kicking the barely adequate tripod and upsetting the
alignment,  I got to appreciate a useful "search" feature.  After doing
a go-to, and missing the object, hitting go-to again starts an ever
increasing slew in a box pattern.  The object eventually is brought into
view and the slewing can be halted.

So far, the system has operated as advertised.  Clouds and rain will
delay further review until late in the week.

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Copyright ©2005 Michael L. Weasner /
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