Last updated: 8 August 2006
Subject:	DSX feedback column
Sent:	Monday, August 7, 2006 10:29:45
From:	Dave Wallace (
Meade's been selling the DSX-90 UHTC on their factory outlet store for
$300.  I already own two scopes, but in a weak moment, I went and bought
one of these.  It's a fine little scope -- well worth the price.  The
optics are superb and the GOTO mount is adequate.  I'm getting good
positioning and excellent tracking and vibrations damp quickly.  It took
about an hour to assemble the scope, boresight the finder and train the
drives.  (It helped that I knew my way around the Autostar and had done
boresighting before, of course.)

Having used an ETX OTA before (though not one with UHTC), I pretty much
knew what to expect.  I thought.  So I ran through the "Tonight's Best"
tour, expecting to see the planets, stars and moon but having to skip
most of the DSOs.  I was pleasantly surprised: Jupiter looked pretty
much as it did in my other OTA, but I was actually able to see the ring
nebula in the DSX whereas I never had in the ETX without UHTC.  I guess
the UHTC really does make a difference.

Best of all, I can pick up this scope -- tripod and all -- with one
hand.  Talk about a grab-and-go scope!  This baby will see lots of
action at star parties.

I've not tried using this scope for photography yet, but it will
probably be fine for terrestrial work and if the exposures are short
(the mount's alt/az, after all).  It's possible to slide the OTA forward
in the mount to help balance the camera and the ALT drive seems beefy
enough to deal with the weight of my DSLR.  And if not, there's always
the LPI, which weighs almost nothing.

Downside:  there's no external power connector and the battery
compartment cover is saddle-shaped, making fabricating an external jack
on an alternate cover a real challenge.

To sum up, this may be a "department store scope", but it's no toy. 
Just have a spare set of batteries handy.
Mike here: I'm surprised you have never managed to see the Ring Nebula in the ETX-90. It is an easy target. I have even seen it in my old Edmund 3" Newtonian reflector (circa 1962).


I'm five miles from Lowell, MA and seven from Nashua, NH.  During the
summer when the humidity is up, the light pollution is so bad that a
one-minute exposure through a "normal" lens at ISO 200 results in a nice
tobacco-colored square with occasional bright point.   When it comes to
sky contrast, I need all the help I can get.  :)
Mike here: Ah yes, sky conditions can affect the ability to see it!

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