Last updated: 9 July 2006
Sent:	Saturday, July 8, 2006 08:18:53
From:	John Farrant (
Congratulations on a fantastic site. How do you find the time?

A couple of tips I thought might be useful to ETX owners.

The easiest way I've found to level the scope is as follows.

Simply enter your latitute as a negative value in the landmark option of
Autostar. For example, my latitude is 38 degrees so I have stored a
landmark called GROUND as -38.00.00.

With the power off, I manually center Polaris with the 26mm eyepiece and
then tighten the RA and Dec locks. I then switch on and GOTO my GROUND
landmark. The Autostar will protest about going to a negative ground
value, but ignore the warning and continue with the goto. Your scope
will stop moving when level is reached. The greatest error will be +/-
0.5 degrees depending on the position of Polaris.

Restart Autostar, and align as normal.

Regarding the noisy RA motor, I think I've found an easy solution.

Lay the scope on its side (not on the dining room table!) and remove the
base. Take care with the battery leads. I have cut my battery leads off
as they are a nuisance and I can't ever imagine running the scope on
eight AA's when a Power Cube does the job fantastically.

Slacken off the 3 gearbox screws. Do not remove them completely. Loosen
the RA lock. Connect the HBX and apply power. With an insulated shaped
tool (a plastic knitting needle flattened at the end) gently tighten
each screw and listen to the gearbox noise. You'll find a postion for
each screw where the motor noise is a minimum. Lock the screws in place
with a suitable fixative. Two drops of instant glue (superglue etc)
mixed with a touch of talcum powder into a smooth paste works a treat.
Apply a small amount to each screwhead with a toothpick. This sets solid
in about 30 seconds so you'll have to work fairly fast.

By the way, the reason I suggested using an insulated tool to adjust the
screws is that one of them is very close to the RA motor connections.

It is very important that these three gearbow screws are not
overtightened. Meade deliberately leaves these screws on the slack side.

Best of luck. 
John Farrant

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