Last updated: 21 April 2007
Sent:	Friday, April 20, 2007 14:11:07
From:	charles c. littell III (
We (wife Linda and I) have been having a ball with the ETX-125PE.  I do
SO wish we had had it available for the total solar eclipse in Turkey
last year.  Now I am drooling over train schedules and weather maps for
the one next year in Mongolia.

You may remember my consternation with the unadvertised modifications to
the scope, including dew shields that won't screw on (duct tape works!)
and hard cases that don't fit.  We recently traveled by air to Florida
and wanted to take it, so we gritted our teeth and bought one of the
doesn't-fit cases and expected to use a shoehorn.  Then, having been
thru the gauntlet of disassembly for mechanical tuning, it occurred to
me that the new-design finder comes off with a single bolt--and said
finder is the only obstruction to fitting the case.

I replaced the allen head bolt with a hardware store 10-32, long enough
to add two lock nuts to snug the finder assy in place, and another two
where I can more easily get my fumble fingers on them.  The bolt, in
situ with finder removed, looks like this:


Then, what to do with the delicate finder assembly in transit?  Hmm. 
Barely enough space left in the case foam, and then only if I could
master precision oblique foam cuts.  Then I looked at the tripod, which,
after all, was coming too.  Sure enough, when oriented in this one
position (and only one position I see), the finder assy sits loose but
happy under the tripod base, like so:


Obviously, the lens cover is removed for the photo.  Otherwise, it rides
nicely inside the Meade canvas tripod bag, four airplane overhead flings
without a problem.

If I were paranoid I might slip a sock over the finder assy just to keep
the finish from getting scuffed or something.  It looks precarious in
the photo, but give it a try and you will be pleased.  Just note that
the lens (or finder view direction) is towards the center of the tripod,
from the wedge dog side.

We are finally getting clear skies here for a weekend, and even temps
above freezing!  I have loaded AStar 43eg, updated objects, cal'ed
motors, trained drives, and am headed out to the Miami Valley
Astronomical Society Friday gathering tonite.  No I won't 'reset' my
AStar, and re-enter in all my sites etc, I won't I won't.

Continued success to you, and hope to cross paths--Chas
Charles C. Littell, III
Dayton, OH  45414-2127

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