Last updated: 19 March 2004

ETX 105 tune up experiences

Date: 3/19/04, 16:13
From: Tomas Hekkers <(>)
here a little contribution over my 105. This time no 'starlight
experience' but a technical one. I hope I can make a contribution to our
worldwide fellow ETX-users in sharing 'some of my personal instrumental
struggles and homemade things and thoughts'. If you have any tips,
questions or comments, please let me know. I added some pictures of my

as usual best wishes and clear skies,

Tomas J. Hekkers, Netherlands.

Owning my second ETX now, I switched the 90 for a 105 UHTC, some thoughts occured my mind in doing some tune ups on the 105. The reason for this is when you're handy, you can make your own custom made accesoires in your own style. It gives a personal touch to your instrument. Second reason is that I like things practical and handy. Handy in usage and transportation, customized to my own standards. Good looks are nice, but the main reason I bought my ETX is to look at the skies after sunset. Last reason is that I think that accesoires are prized at ridiculous prices. Developing ideas in my head, I already did the following tune-ups; 1.powersupply Buy a universal adapter( for around the house),they are much cheaper than the Meade version. However, pay attention to the right voltage and current. A 'stabilized' adapter is recommended for smooth and stable autostar runs. For 'in the field' I still use batteries, but I am thinking of buying Celestron's powertank. If you have any tips or experiences on powertanks for me, let me know. 2.dew-cap Number one neccesity here in Holland. I bought the Meade version for the 90 in 2003. I costs about $ 30 which I think is way to much for a piece of plastic. For the 105 I made my own from a piece of plastic and adhesive felt and velcro. It makes a dewcap that is retractable and needs no removing. It protects your OTA as well (see picture). As a finishing touch I sticked a label with the magnification of my eyepieces on the dewcap, which gives me a quick reference in the field. 3.velcro Velcro, the self adhesive version, is a must tune up for every ETX-user. You can use it on your tripod, the back of your handboxes (autostar) etc in order to keep things together in the dark. 4.bubble level The thing I miss on the ETX (and Tripod) is a round bubble level. It provides a very accurate leveling of your instrument with earth's surface. This is useful for the outlining of autostar. I applied one on my tripod and the ETX. Make sure it is attached to the flat surface. My local telescope shopdealer got me one from a broken Optisan-telescope.....(see picture) 5.OTA rings The diameter of the 105 OTA is 125 mm and I had hard time finding this diameter OTA tube rings. The only one who makes them is Vixen. A set of two of these rings costs $ 200! I went to the local tool and hardware store and got me two rainpipe clamprings of exactly 125 mm. I sticked some felt on the inside and use it now as the mounting ring for my red dot. (see picture) 6.Red dot The viewfinder on the 105 is a good one. However, when centering stars I think the red dot is a very easy and handy gadget for centering stars and sky area's. It is also handy when you do not use autostar. Centering objects goes easy and fast! (see picture) cable Made my own version using the helpful info on Mike's site. It works fine! For the 90, I made a beautiful 'japanese style' wooden case. It was lined with foam and felt, but very bulky and not handy. My telescope dealer wants to sell it together with my old 90. The 105 is much heavier, and I think it is best transported in a Pelicase or the standard Meade case. For a good transport I recommend a hard case for the 105. I am still considering, for the moment I transport the 105 in $ 5 armybag with a foam bottom. For so far my own updates. I hope I made a useful contribution. Any suggestions are welcome. Goodluck and clear skies. Tomas J. Hekkers, Holland

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