Last updated: 9 December 2001
Subject: first light with the ETX-90EC Sent: Monday, August 13, 2001 23:19:37 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (S. Craig Morris) First, a heartfelt 'thank you' for providing your website. It has helped me tremendously. After much debate, I finally decided to sell my 8" SCT (due to the the size and cumbersome setup), and find a smaller scope. After many months of research, I finally purchased an ETX-90EC. I can't even begin to tell you how impressed I am with this scope. Sure, it may not be the most mechanically-sound piece of equipment, but the views were VERY good. I was amazed at the great views that almost matched the SCT. Incredible! Tonight, I finally tried out the Autostar. I was skeptical about this purchase, but to my surprise, it worked great! I did a very rough train of the drives and even a worse alignment. I was shocked when I hit Go To the first time and saw M57 show up near the center of the eyepiece. Go To M13...same thing. Go To M92...same thing. The Dumbell Nebula...dead center. I couldn't believe it. I saw more objects in 20 minutes than I ever did without "cheating" with Go To. Laziness is a virtue to some. This scope has brought back the excitement of the first time I ever looked through a scope as a child. I am a kid again, with all the wonder and amazement at the heavens above. I thank Meade for the great product, and you for such a great site dedicated to the best little scope in the world. Sincerely, Craig Morris Brighton, TN (finally...no street lights!!!)
Subject: First impressions with ETX 90RA Sent: Monday, October 1, 2001 13:07:20 From: email@example.com (martyn) Hello everyone, A couple of months ago I acquired one of these ETX-jewels, an ETX90RA. I absolutely love it! Added some eyepieces(SP15, SP9.7, SP6.4) and a hard case. The roofprism finder is useless for astroviewing so I replaced it with the rightangle finder which I mounted on the scope in an angle away from the eyepiece. When the scope is packed in it's hardcase I remove it, else the edge of the prism housing may damage(cosmetically) the side of one forkarm(or perhaps undo a good alignment of the finder). Maybe one day I'll cut out a piece of the foam to better fit a mounted rightangle finder and perhaps place some foam in the case under the back of the OTA to restrict declination-movement of the tube...as the axes should be loosened when packed and carried. When I want to use the finder I mount it with the one screw, jiggle it into proper alignment and I'm ready to observe and enjoy... Currently, I am observing from Europe. Haven't had many observing chances, but here are a couple. A 5 percent lit moon, just after new moon (22/7/2001), so moon was close to the sun in the sky in daylight, craters on the limb of the moon were VERY sharp and crisp with the SP26MM. M57,The ring nebula about 15 degrees above horizon (August 2001) with very good seeing: with SP26 the hole was obvious with averted vision. M31, the Andromeda galaxy(August 2001/ 03:30h, transparancy very good) doesn't fit in the FOV of the SP26mm but was very bright. M110 was an elongated bright patch easily seen. I actually forgot to look for M32. NGC 7789 (August 2001/ 03:30h) in Cassiopeia, with a celestron p12.5mm(100x) showed a sprinkling of brighter stars with in the background a haze of barely (read:not quite) resolved stardust. Saturn looks great too. During early September while the planet was in quadrature, the three dimensinal effect was georgious with an 8mm eyepiece. Due to poor seeing no cassini division seen. Jupiter is starting to rise after midnight now, so that planet will get a turn in the etx soon...can hardly wait. I am now looking forward to have a good look at M37 in Auriga, one of my favourites. The etx 90RA is a great intrument for viewing the sun WITH A PROPER FILTER. Sunspot detail is very very good. I got this scope because I wanted an extra scope I can take anywhere anytime, with quick & easy setup. Batteries are required only for automatic RA tracking, which is very quiet. if the batteries are dead, the scope can still track - manually. I am looking forward to a lot of great observing with this scope. The ETX90RA makes me one happy chappy. Anyone wanting to share some specific observations with me??? please feel free to do so, I would love to hear about it, thanks a lot! Afrikaans: As daar iemand is wat sy/haar waarnemings met hierdie teleskoop met my wil deel ?...ek stel baie belang, so ek hoop ek gaan iets hoor! baie dankie!!! Regards en groete martyn
Subject: ETX 90M initial impressions Sent: Saturday, December 1, 2001 18:01:27 From: GBMULLEN@msn.com (Gerald Mullen) Well, tonight I got to test drive my new ETXM. As I said in a previous E-Mail, I have the ETX mounted AlT/AZ style on a Celestron Great Polaris wooden tripod, with an aluminum adaptor plate bolting it to the top of the casting. Really solid. I had to work fast after dusk, as the Moon is just beyond Full. I started by doing some cruising in Cassiopiea. Alpha and beta looked grand. The 9mm showed perfect diffraction patterns, with a clean Airy disc and two small diffraction rings. I centered each star in the eyepiece field with the aid of the right angle finder, then fucused carefully. One thing with the ETX.. YOU KNOW WHEN YOU ARE IN FOCUS!! Snap-in snap-out!!. My 2045LX3, an $800 SCT scope does not have this sharp snap to the focus. Most SCT's I have seen are "Mushy" compared to this little GEM. Icruised Cassiopiea for a while looking at clusters, which as you know are everywhere in this constellation. The field of the 25mm is narrow, and the star images were sharp to the edges, I put my Meade 24.5 Super Wide in and got a different look wider but same magnification. Tack sharp images. Moving around in manual mode is easy just use the finder..put the target in the cross-hairs..and bingo there it is in the center of the field of the low-power eyepiece. Both eyepieces that came with the scope are very good for starter optics, actually considering what I got years ago with my 2045LX3 these are fantastic considering the price. Keep in mind that the ETX M with 2 eyepieces was less than I paid for my 2-inch 55mm Televue eyepiece!! Anyway on with the test.. Saturn was in nice position in the East just prior to moon-rise so it was next. The 25mm showed a small, but exquisitely sharp saturn, where from time to time a hint of ring-division would appear. Barlowing 2X for 100 power,with Meade shorty-barlow showed a beautiful crisp ball and definite Cassini division,soon to be washed out by the rising moonlight. I quickly put in my 10mm Lanthanum, a really sharp optic, and the view was great. I barlowed the 10mm to give 250X. The image had good scale and if it were not for the bright sky I would have had some great viewing. I am now waiting for no moon so I can get a good view of the ball and rings. Since I am in Manual Mode, I do the following: Focus on a nearby star centered in the eyepiece field, to get a good focus, then manually slew to the planet and back off to the west..allowing the planet to sit just outside the field of view and then sit back and watch it cross the eyepiece field.No Jumps, No Bumps, no gear problems. I do this with my motor driven LX3 and the big refractor. I find that this method of allowing the object to drift across the field eliminates periodic error, as no drive is in use, and it lets me concentrate on looking for features. Also, note that I said I "sit back". In my youth I remember hunching over an Edmund Newtonian for hours,,coming into the house with a "permanent stoop". Long ago I bought an Astronomers Chair. fully adjustable, solid oak. Best money I spent. If you want to enjoy hours at the telescope even at zero F., you have to sit down. Also your head is much steadier. You probably know all this but Some "newbie" may read this and get a tip. Up came the moon, washing out Saturn. I put on my Moon Filter and focused carefully. The best detail was at the northern limb, with many craters large and small with just enough shadow to provide good viewing and detail. Again the ETX provided views with such sharpness as I have only seen in a refractor. I think it has the edge over my 2045LX3, which I carefully collimate and test at each session. Now I know why the "Mighty ETX" name.For a 90mm optical tube to do such a beautiful job on stars and also have the contrast to do well on Saturn in a moonlit sky is amazing. I'm hooked!! ETX is a great scope. The best buy there is!! To me the most impressive feature is the optical tube itself!! a beautifully crafted scope with great definition. This really has the often used term "Razor sharp Optics". ETX delivers. One thing I may add is a Scopetronics focus cable extension. I observe all winter, and wear deerskin mittens with sheepskin liners. That focus knob will be unusable with mittens, however that is not a criticism, as I had no trouble this evening at the zenith using bare hands.This scope could end up being my favorite!! Regards Jerry Mullen
Subject: First Light with the ETX-90EC (At Last!) Sent: Friday, December 7, 2001 17:28:23 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan Daly) I spent the whole evening with my fingers crossed, hoping for the haze/cloud to dissipate as I've had my new (first!) scope for a couple of weeks now and no opportunity to take it outside, even more frustrating as I've spent the last week scopeless in Scotland under crisp clear starry skies, even the ETX-90 wasn't portable enough to take by train once the family & luggage were taken into consideration, next time I'll drive - it may be a long painful drive (kids in car) but it'll be worth it to have it under skies so dark & crisp. It broke in places now and again and I persisted until both Jupiter and Saturn were above Leicester's orange skyglow, and it paid off, Using the 26mm with a 2 x Barlow Jupiter started off as a pale character less disk, but slowly as my eyes adapted & the scope cooled down I got to see the NEB & SEB quite clearly, as I persisted longer I was able to discern striations & patterns within the belts and then it struck me that I could see a feature in the SEB that just had to be the Great Pale Spot, longer & thinner than I'd expected to see, I also noticed that the NEB was considerably darker than the SEB, as seemed the polar regions. Later, once inside & warm I used the Java 'Planets' application & was able to confirm my GRS spotting, that felt good. I really didn't expect my eyes to slowly reveal more & more detail the longer I viewed, a great reward for persistence it has to be said. My polar alignment can't have been too bad either, as the scope tracked Jupiter for a good 15-20 minutes. As the clouds started to roll over I quickly moved the scope to the rear yard for a southward view, the was no view to the north so an alignment was out of the question, so I left the scope electronics off and quickly manually slewed to and lined up on the Orion Nebula, my first Faint Fuzzy, not ideal conditions but seeing the nebula & the Trapezium stars made the quick last minute effort worthwhile. A great night, even better once I convince my 'better half' to come and take a peek, however the winter cold seems to have revitalized her interest in anything that involves being inside. Alan.
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