Last updated: 4 December 2006
Subject: ETX-125 For Christmas? Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2006 00:16:15 From: Takoonce@aol.com (Takoonce@aol.com) To Whom It May Concern, If you are thinking of buying a Meade ETX-125 for this Christmas, you won't be unhappy if you do so! I have one for over four years now, its the EC version, not even the new and improved PE versions being sold now! I purchased it from the original owner in great shape from my local astronomy club and have been very pleased. If you are considering this fine telescope as a "step up" into serious intermediate amateur astronomy, I believe you will consider it money well spent. In my case, I have owned several large aperture (18") manual scopes and was looking for a larger aperture 'grab-and-go' scope which the 5" aperture nicely fit. I have over 25 years in amateur astronomy, and I have owned a dozen manual scopes 6" to 18" and this is my third successively larger-sized Meade "go-to" scope. I have finally found a scope that matches my observing needs, my physical capabilities at three in the morning in freezing temperatures, and within my available schedule. The operation of the scope has been smooth, easy to learn all of the features of the Meade Autostar controller, and most of all - it's just darn fun to use. I sent it in to Dr. Clay Sherrod last summer to work his magic on the scope and it came back from its trip to the doctor smoother and more accurate than ever. I'm now using it to take astro-photos with a new Meade DSI Pro camera and getting pictures of deep sky objects from my balcony in the city. How neat is that? It's easy to set up and take down, easy to store, and the accessory cost doesn't break the bank every time I want to get something new. It performs well with my existing Televue and Pentax eyepieces, and it is conveniently close to the same focal length as my 18" Dobsonian at 1950 mm vs. 2030 mm. I offer this advice to help convince people that there is a right sized telescope for everyone, and this may be the one for you. The best telescope for you is going to be the one you actually take outside and use. For me, the Meade ETX-125 is simple enough to use that my 8 year old has no problem in setting it up. I have observed so far: * All 109 Messier Objects * Half of the Caldwell objects * About half of the constellation tours that Dr. Clay Sherrod installed in my Autostar 497 as part of his excellent service. (Personally recommended) * Several satellites including Hubble, the ISS, Iridium satellites and various weather satellites. * Lunar surface (I received my Astronomical League Lunar Club pin using this scope) * Mercury, Venus transit, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus * A flock of snow geese flying very high against a moonless, starry night on a cold desert night. What I especially like about the ETX-125 EC: * Value vs. inches of aperture * Superb diffraction limited optics. * Metal lens cap to protect the primary optics. - Nice touch by Meade * The programmable Autostar #497 Controller (extremely fun to use)! I only have two negative comments regarding the ETX-125 EC: * The stock #884 tripod is inadequate other than for casual usage and I recommend upgrading to a much more sturdy tripod if you'll be attempting astro-photos. * If you are running off of AC electric power, the long power cable can get all wound up in your feet over the course of an observing night, Duct tape helps hold the cables down in most situations. I hope this helps you in your decision to go ahead and buy the ETX-125 as a scope that will carry you forward in the hobby of amateur astronomy. There are many, many helpful tips and bits of advice here on the Mighty ETX Site, and Mike Weasner has done a fantastic job of bringing it all together as a vital web resource for all current ETX owners and prospective owners! Thanks Mike! Clear Skies, Tom Koonce http://www,astro-tom.com
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