Last updated: 19 August 2009
Subject:	ETX-LS First Experiences in the UK
Sent:	Tuesday, August 18, 2009 14:10:54
From:	Richard Plowman (
It is sometime since I have been in touch and I would like to give a few
observations on the ETX-LS. I have been waiting since the end of April
when I sold my ETX 90. The scope arrived about a week ago, excellent
packing from Meade and easy to put together. For the UK when you have to
dodge the weather and my own shortage of time to observe meant that the
ETX-LS features should make it ideal for my use.

I must admit that after a little learning curve that I believe the
ETX-LS is an excellent scope and does exactly what it promises. It is no
lightweight and is right on the edge of being a portable. The build and
engineering are good. One or two tips I would like to pass on from my
experience. First is a very simple one which is the CCD camera cap is a
pull off cap. It is quite tight and I had assumed most caps would be a
screw fitting. You can unscrew the lens of the camera and then pull off
the cap. This resulted in the camera failing to find the alignment stars
as it was clearly out of focus. Always make sure the lens of the camera
is screwed down. If you are in the back garden with buildings nearby,
just find the initial position where the scope picks up the GPS, this
may be as simple as just rotating it round by 90 degrees. I managed to
take a few pictures with the LPI of Jupiter but it was difficult as
Jupiter is very low on the horizon in th UK and I had to work around the
trees. I have included a picture of Jupiter but I know the images will
be much better over time as the ACF optics are very good indeed. The
scope seems to take about 10 minutes to set up and the Autostar 3 hand
set took a little time to get use to. I have also attached the video
which is OK but the light from the TV spoils your night vision but it is
good for showing off to the neighbours.

I think the scope will benefit from an electric focuser as although the
focus knob is smooth there is always some movement of the image. I had
an electric focuser fitted on the ETX-90 and it made a big difference.

I have yet to use the CCD as an imager. Why did Meade chose a mini SD
card ? They are now quite rare in the UK and you need to get them on the
internet. A standard SD card would be great. These are only small things
and I think Meade have a winner here even in an area with quite a lot of
light pollution.

Best Wishes
Richard Plowman


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