Last updated: 8 August 2006
Subject: DSX feedback column Sent: Monday, August 7, 2006 10:29:45 From: Dave Wallace (email@example.com) 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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