Last updated: 4 December 2006
Subject:	ETX-125 For Christmas?
Sent:	Sunday, December 3, 2006 00:16:15
From: (
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

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