Last updated: 21 April 2006
Subject:	Re: Smartfinder alignment tip
Sent:	Thursday, April 20, 2006 07:47:22
From:	mhogansr@comcast.net (mhogansr@comcast.net)
There is supposed to be a spring such as you describe in the LNT when it
comes from the factory.  If you bought the scope new and it didn't have
one, maybe Meade gave you a LNT assembly that had been returned for
repair and they never checked the spring.  If you bought it used, then
the previous owner probably removed the cover and lost the spring, or
else just wasn't able to reinstall it. It can be a bit tricky.

I don't quite understand your comment about using something to hold the
LNT parallel to the OTA.  Could you explain a little more? Thanks.

Mike Hogan

End of today's update
Subject:	SmartFinder alignment tip
Sent:	Thursday, April 13, 2006 18:00:59
From:	Scott Schreiner (rentacow@gmail.com)
Meade suggested i change the battery which worked. i also have a few tips
for you to add to your site.

1) On the ETX PE's the LNT unit should be held parallel to the OTA with
a piece of anything (in my case a LEGO worked). Also on the smart
finder, a spring from a pen on the inside of the smart finder cover
around the left/right adjustment screw will make the smart finder much
more stable and easier to adjust!


End of 17 April update
Subject:	No Red Dot on Smartfinder Lens
Sent:	Wednesday, March 15, 2006 18:59:40
From:	boku0003 (boku0003@umn.edu)
I'm not sure if you still check this email server or not.  I was reading
up on your website because I was having some difficulties with my Meade
DS2130.  I couldn't get the red dot to appear on my SmartFinder Lens.  I
tried everything on your site with no luck.  I did discover what the
problem was.  You may want to post this if it's not already there.

There is a fiber optic cable that captures the light from the LED and
projects it onto the clear plastic lens.  The problem with my scope
(right out of the box!...arrrgh) was that the cable came loose.  To fix
it, simply open up the case and reattach it so that the cable boot fits
snuggly over the LED.

Hope this helps.

Mike here: What gave you the idea I might not be checking? Thanks for the info.

End of 16 March update
Subject:	PE Smartfinder Adjustment Tip
Sent:	Tuesday, May 10, 2005 16:01:44
From:	Ken Hyams (ken.hyams@p-seven.com)
While adjusting my Smartfinder last night I discovered something that
might be helpful for ETX PE owners. On the left side (viewed from the
back) of the LNT module there's a small hole for the horizontal
adjustment screw to exit from. Make sure the screw comes out of the hole
and isn't just pushing against the inside of the module. Mine sticks out
several millimetres but I'm sure that will vary. Once I did this the
cover of the module sat better on the base and adjustment was much

While I'm at it, if you have a problem with the red "dot" being more of
a "line" or a "smudge", lower the intensity of the LED through the
finder set menu. I found an intensity of (8) to work well.

Lastly, if you're considering an ETX PE don't let the problems you read
here dissuade you. Once you work through the issues associated with the
new product line, and get used to the new features, you'll realize that
it's a fantastic piece of equipment.

Keep up the great work Mike - we'd be lost in the dark without you!

End of 10 May 2005 update
Subject:	Smartfinder Alignment in Bright Sunlight for ETX PE Models 
Sent:	Tuesday, February 22, 2005 06:56:39
From:	Tim Bachert (tbachert@nxgt.com)
I finally got the chance to align the smartfinder on my new ETX 125 PE.
The red dot was not visible on the smartfinder lens because of bright
sun light. When I held the black screw on optical tube cover in front of
the smartfinder lens I was able to see the dot and complete the
alignment by repeatedly moving it in and out of the field of view. (In
front of the smartfinder lens means in front of the entire LNT module
NOT between the red dot light fiber and the back of the lens.) Of course
I was not able to fine tune this by doing a lunar alignment that night
because as one expects with a new scope, the sky became overcast.

By the way, thanks to the folks at Meade who, within a week's time, sent
me a replacement smartfinder lens at no charge. I managed to break the
original one when I tried to move the scope without locking the wedge,
RA, and Dec controls.

Tim Bachert

End of 23 February update
Subject:	Info for SmartFinder Red Dot Problems
Sent:	Wednesday, February 16, 2005 07:15:19
From:	Mike Hogan (mhogansr@comcast.net)
This may help some people having problems with seeing the red dot.

The lens is held in place by a cam lock that clamps the tab on the lens
between the the front of the housing and the cam. The lens locking knob
on the front only turns about a quarter turn, CW to loosen, CCW to
tighten.  When inserting the lens you must orient the tab so it as far
forward as possible, which means the lens itself must be held to the
rear. With the locking knob CW, the tab will slide between the cam and
the front housing. Turning the knob CCW holds it in place. Backing out
the Lens Adjustment Screw slightly before inserting the lens may make it
a little easier to insert the tab in the correct position.  This screw
puts pressure on the unclamped part of the tab, forcing the lens further
to the rear. If it protrudes too far into the housing before the lens is
inserted, it can partially block the tab from sliding into the correct

If the tab is inserted behind the cam, it will stay in place but the
lens will project from the module at the wrong angle so the red dot will
not appear, or be so far off that it can not be brought into alignment.

Hopes this helps,

Another Mike

Subject:	Smartfinder Documentation for ETX 125 PE
Sent:	Wednesday, February 16, 2005 06:56:16
From:	Tim Bachert (tbachert@nxgt.com)
Both methods previously mentioned on this site for turning on the
smartfinder work. The easiest is to turn the utility light on by
pressing the zero key on the autostar (see Dr. Somoano-Feb 11, 2005).
The other method (see Jeff Butcher-Feb 8, 2005) is a bit more cumbersome
but also works just fine. It really isn't good that neither method is
discussed in the documentation.

The red dot does move around on the smartfinder lens depending on the
position of your eye. My take is to first center the red dot on the lens
and secondly center the dot on the desired target. The documentation
should probably discuss this methodology. I will attempt this as soon as
I receive a replacement lens because I already managed break the one
that came with the scope.

Here is a Warning that could be documented, when I set up the scope for
the first time I thought there was a rough piece of plastic left over
from manufacture on the LNT module's left side. I was going to trim it
off but decided to play around with the autostar first. Good thing I did
because it turns out the rough piece of plastic now had a red light on
its tip and is part of the smartfinder!

This looks like a good scope and I'm sure most of these issues will go
away once we get experience using it.
Tim Bachert

Subject:	PE edition re smartfinder
Sent:	Wednesday, February 16, 2005 05:52:27
From:	Jeffrey Fischman (jfischman@earthlink.net)
it seems that I have to turn on the smart finder every time I restart
the scope (finder->set->blink on and blink off times)

is there any way to have the scope start up with the finder blinking
without having to reset it each time?


Subject:	smartfinder is not so smart
Sent:	Tuesday, February 15, 2005 09:41:39
From:	doug hatch (doug@drillrite.com)
Like others the finder comes on whenever, then it is so out of line it
can not be adjusted. I can deal with that, but has any one dealt with
meads customer ser. First you wait for 30 min. for someone then when you
attempt to describe the problem they cut you off and yell you to go to
website video. Then I'm told to align without lnt, find I will take this
one back for the AT. Why pay more for something does not work and all
part 2 to 3 weeks out

Subject:	Smart-finder Red Dot Problem
Sent:	Sunday, February 13, 2005 15:03:35
From:	Stuart Allen (stuart1956@comcast.net)
My name is Stuart Allen. Today I setup my ETX125-PE for the first time.

I cannot get the SmartFinder red dot to appear. I did try turning on the
utility light as suggested by Dr Somoano and while I saw the red light
emittimg from a small piece of clear plastic line on the left side of
the finder it dd not project onto the view finder lens.

Maybe someone else has an answer or maybe my scope is broken. It seemed
odd that they would have the light project from a small piece of clear
plastic line that sticks out of the view finder no more than 1/16".

Thanks for your web site it provides much needed information.

Stuart Allen

Subject:	Smart-finder Red Dot Problem
Sent:	Friday, February 11, 2005 19:14:52
From:	DR ROBERT SOMOANO (rsomoano@sbcglobal.net)
My name is Robert Somoano and I am a long time amateur astronomer.  I
recently purchased the ETX 125 PE and the first night out, had the same
problem as others with trying to find the red dot.  It seemed to be to
the far right or nonexistent.

After some experimentation, I accidentally found the solution--you need
to turn on the utility light on the Autostar hand controller ("zero")
and the red dot APPEARS!  Turn the utility light off, and it goes away. 
Simple, but why doesn't the manual tell you this??
Hope this helps some new users.

Subject:	Re: smart finder
Sent:	Tuesday, February 8, 2005 20:18:15
From:	Dano (dan012@charter.net)
I played around with the lens on the Smart Finder and discovered that
when the tongue is inserted into the LNT module that it doesn't always
slide into a "true" position and can be locked even if it is out of
position.  If the red dot appears to the right of the barrel of the
scope then the eyepiece needs to be repositioned slightly back. If it is
to the left the eyepiece needs to be moved forward.  I had to take it
out and re-seat the tongue. After that it was a simple task that they
described in the set-up to get the Smart-Finder aligned with the scope.

Meade customer service was less than helpful.

Thanks for your assistance.

Dan Rutledge
From:	Jeffery Butcher (JefferyB4@sbcglobal.net)
There is an addendum (one page - part no. 14-1010-37  ver. 1-05) that
came with my 125PE that explains the installation and alignment of the
smart finder lens with the telescope.  Even so, aligning the smart
finder was no easy task.  Per the instructions, make sure you rotate the
lens locking knob (aluminum finish) all the way to a stop.  The best way
to verify this is to look at it from below (easiest from the lens side. 
You will be able to see a set screw that serves as a hard stop.  Then
use the top and side alignment screws to set the dot on your target.  I
also had to use the lens adjustment screw which is located next to the
lens locking knob.  I had to "play" with the adjustment of all three
screws to finally effect the correct alignment.   

Also, to get the red dot to come on, press and hold the MODE button for
about two seconds.  The display should give you some coordinates. 
Scroll down until you see FINDER SET : SET.  Press ENTER and the red dot
should come on.  I'm not sure how long it stays on.  I also have mine
set not to blink while I aligned mine.  However, I later noticed that it
was off and easily turned it back using the aforementioned procedure.
And more:
Subject:	ETX 125 PE Laptop Autostar Suite to Autostar Interface
Sent:	Wednesday, February 9, 2005 17:23:44
From:	Gszientara@aol.com (Gszientara@aol.com)
Got my ETX 125 PE two weeks ago and am impressed overall.  The
description from the Meade manual on how to install the lens for the
Smart Finder is probably why many new PE owners are having problems
getting the red dot to center.  It is easier to take the cover off the
LNT module, then install the lens so you can see how the clear lens tab
aligns through the slot (of course, watch out for the tension springs on
the azimuth and altitude adjustment springs).  If you don't align it
properly, the tab will fit, but it will not be in position for the
alignment knob at the front of the LNT module to be of any help.  If you
can see where the tab is going as you push it into the module, then it
is intuitive to see how the clear tab should be positioned.

Subject:	smart finder
Sent:	Saturday, February 5, 2005 16:48:50
From:	Dano (dan012@charter.net)
I just purchased an ETX 125PE and  have had it for 3 days.  I am having
difficulty getting the Smart Finder to work.  I have been able to get it
turned on a couple of times  and the red dot was way off to the side.

Then manual isn't very helpful.

I have set the Blink on to 99.9 and the blink off to 00.0 with intensity
at 14 but I am not having much luck.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Oceanside Photo & Telescope gave me your web site.

I am looking forward to many years with this scope.

Dan Rutledge

Subject:	Meade ETX125PE
Sent:	Saturday, February 5, 2005 01:18:56
From:	Shaffer (J12580@localnet.com)
On my 125 PE the smart finder " red dot " is positioned no where near
where it should be on the lens of the smart finder.  Even after using
the the adjustment knobs the closest it comes too the Lens of the smart
finder is is upper right maybe 1 inch from the lens itself.  The light
protrudes on the left rear side of the smart finder and even attemptinng
to re position that did not make any difference.  Any ideas?  Meade said
they'd send me another one.  I'm not sure actually what there sending
the lens or the smart finder. Those people have no clue on there
product, granted its newly release but red dots have been out in other
finder scopes for some time.

Craig S. 

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