Last updated: 11 May 2008
Subject:	ETX-125PE review
Sent:	Friday, May 9, 2008 10:46:18
From:	Blue Moon Woodcrafts - Peter Perrone (
Some comments about my intro to this scope.
I was out in New Mexico this past week with the scope I purchased used
but in new condition. It had been upgraded and tweaked by Dr. Clay at
some point prior to my buying it.  What I first noticed was that the
scope's RA and Dec axis were a bit sloppy in that they did not hold
tightly.  This did not seem to effect tracking in use but possibly
effected initial alignment.  The scopes red dot finder I found to be
awkward in its design and use.  The mount for it is far too flexible and
repeated adjustments needed to be made during the observing session.  A
bullseye would have been better than a red dot as well.  One star, two
star, and automatic alignment procedures all failed the first few nights
I tried them.  This was when manually entering the site, date, and time
using the Autostar controller.  I found, but don't understand why, when
I let the GPS and LNT with the atomic clock antenna update the location,
date and time automatically the alignment procedure worked OK each time.
 The LNT module does a nice job of alignment regardless if the tripod is
level or not.  Alignment did fail though following the procedure in the
manual for automatic alignment.  Rotating the scope completely
counter-clockwise to its stop produced the error.  When placed maybe 20
degrees prior to the stop the automatic alignment procedure worked each
time.  Once aligned centering and tracking seemed to work well with
objects always within the range of a 22mm eyepiece.  Using a 13mm or
more powerful eyepiece seemed fruitless.  There was simply too much
vibration and not enough clear resolution to make viewing anything
enjoyable.  Using the scope in polar mode is simply not worth the
effort.  With no fine adjustments to latitude or longitude on the scope
base or mount using polar mode is a waste of time so photography is not
advisable.  The tripod was adequate although putting it together and
taking it apart provides the opportunity to lose parts in the dark.  The
overall optics were as sharp as my 10" LX200 and the views were
surprisingly rich in detail from the dark New Mexico site I was at.  The
set screw for the eyepiece is located in a bad spot and you need small
fingers to get to it.  While the electronic focuser may be nice to have
I found it to be too slow and not worth using in practice.  I eventually
removed it.  The Autostar worked as expected but having come from using
a classic LX200 controller I found it cumbersome at times.  It's not as
easy to manipulate as the classic's controller.

It did make a nice travel scope and was easily carried as checked
baggage on the airline.  The tripod and its bag fit easily as carry-on
luggage.  The supplied Meade documentation was lacking but that's
nothing unusual.  The internal batteries seemed to last two nights
before needing changing.  I had one almost major issue while using the
supplied Mead AC adapter.  When powered on the internal controller board
in the base of the scope began to smoke.  I was able to remove the power
before any real harm came to the scope and later found out through a lot
of investigating that the AC adapter had been wired wrong.  The positive
and negative terminals had been soldered in reverse.  Before I found the
problem I contacted Meade for assistance and as expected their response
was to send the scope in with $100 plus the cost of parts and shipping
to repair it if needed.  Thanks to a tip from Mike Weasner to check the
polarity on the adapter I did not have to go that route.  The scope
packs a lot of features into its small size and made a good travel scope
to dark sites but for serious viewing larger aperture would be better
especially when not at a dark site.
Blue Moon Woodcrafts - Peter J. Perrone

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