Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_planets.thumb.jpg.e76f0a73fd950ae15415beb032373794.jpg

Nick R

Meade etx scopes

Recommended Posts

Thoughts on these scopes ?

Reading threads on the forum they do not get much of a mention ,

Are they not a recommended scope ?

Are they not value for money ?

Regards

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience I'd say good optics but disappointing mechanics and electronics. There are better scopes available at the price.

Helen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd second that my first scope was an ETX105 which is currently "out" on long term loan....

Peter...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thirded... optics are OK, but the mechanical bits fail horribly. Much better equipment out there for a similar price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out with an ETX80 a few years ago and had no issues with it so i can't complain. It is a complete solution in one box (just add batteries), telescope with barlow, tripod, eyepieces, goto computer, filters and a well written manual. Set up is a breeze and it didn't take up a lot of space indoors. So yes i would recommend it, it got me hooked on astronomy and wanting to know more. I sold it on ebay after a year to upgrade and lost about £50. At the time i bought it I wasn't sure how interested i would be or how much time I would devote to the hobby so I really wanted a simple one box solution.

Having said all that if i was starting out again would i buy another one? Well no, I'd buy an 8" dobsonian, a telrad and a copy of turn left at orion but that's what hindsight does for you (and several years of learning my way around the night sky).

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same opinion here. Optically good but otherwise poorly constructed, and when there are other choices that are just as good optically but better built for the same money why bother.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe i should not of let the mrs out to buy me a scope then :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't feel that way, I would have been more than happy if my wife had bought me an etx when I started out. It does what it says on the tin, I had many good nights out with it and it got me hooked as I said. Use it and enjoy it, if it floats your boat maybe you will keep it or upgrade it later. if it doesn't you can always sell it without losing a fortune.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't feel that way, I would have been more than happy if my wife had bought me an etx when I started out

More than happy that she got it for me ,More of a why the are not so popular question

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have had a small one for several years. Works fine and I use it often still. Easy to pick up and use. Have to be realistic about what it can do and it does need to be aligned and the better that you do that then the better the results.

As said it is a scope in a box. Many say to spend the money on the optics which is sensible, but equally an ETX will give you a scope, mount and motors. After that the goto bit is a small addition in my view. Lets face it an EQ3 is £160 and 2 motors an extra £90. So £250 and then you need a scope. Equally if you have an EQ3 and motors then you can upgrade the scope without having to do anything to the mount.

They are not 100% accurate, don't say you expected it to be, an ETX105 has a narrow Field of View and that I find is a complete pain in the rear. An ETX80 has a bigger Field of View but the performance is lower. I find that Field of View is important as unless the object requested is in the field of view you are kind of stuffed. Getting a nice big EP say 32mm helps.

The ETX105 is a Mak, the ETX80 is a refractor, not sure which of the ETX's are SCT's. Guessing that an SCT would supply a fair field of view and possible magnification and so could be the best option.

Last used mine to view Jupiter, didn't align it just used the motors to drive it to the target. So can be very quick to use. It does not need to be used as a goto all the time. If you are looking at "large bright" objects - Jupiter, Orion Nebulea etc, then just use it as a motorised scope.

As you say there seems little mention of them which could mean they may actually be doing what they are supposed to. I do see more problems reported with the Celestron options but again not that many. The celestron problems often seem to be related to using a decent power supply and not batteries.

I think the main problem is that if they do go wrong then it is the end of that scope. Repairs are not viable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should add its a etx 90 PE , Don'tknow if that makes a difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friend has the ETX90 and is quite pleased with it, I have the ETX70 and an ETX105.

Personally I am not sure of the PE version. I find that the "older" non-PE (similar to mine) are pretty easy to set up and align so couldn't see a reason to spend more on the PE version. Especially as the PE doesn't do the whole alignment anyway, you still have to do a fair part of it. The ETX-LS does it all, but is lots of money.

I find the best option is to level the tripod, base and then tube and then point the tube as north as sensible during the day (afternoon/evening) then complete the process when dark. Saves time and makes it more relaxed. Helps that you can see what you are doing. Say 10-15 minutes in the afternoon/evening to level it all then a final 5 minutes for the actual alignment.

I think, but am not sure, that the PE versions level the tube and point north. You still have to get the tripod and scope base as level as you can manually before this. Later you view and centre the alignment stars chosen. I use a small eyepice insert to level the tube and I use it for the base leveling. Once the base is level it takes about a minute to put the insert in and level the tube. Locating North is a bit more of a pain but not that long. The levelling of the base take the time (adjusting the tripod legs) and a PE does not do that bit. This is why I question the additional cost of a PE.

In honesty expect a magnification of 90-100x only. There are too many claims of high magnification these days. Also buy a mains supply for it if it hasn't one.

Still say that the more time spent setting up as accurately as possible pays dividends. I suspect that this is the main thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had an ETX 90EC (not the troublesome PE) for years. Great optics, iffy mount. It's great as a first scope and a very compact portable set up. Because of it's long focal length, it's particulaly nice for lunar, planetary and double star observing. You can pick secondhand EC version ETXs for a snip secondhand. You should be able to pick up a complete ETX 90 EC set up for £200 to £300.

I hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your answers .

Just have to wait for the cloud to go now

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

she also got me this set

Each Series 4000 set includes

  • 6.4mm Super Plossl eyepiece
  • 9.7mm Super Plossl eyepiece
  • 12.4mm Super Plossl eyepiece
  • 15mm Super Plossl eyepiece
  • 32mm Super Plossl eyepiece
  • 40mm Super Plossl eyepiece
  • 2x Barlow lens (#126)
  • Aluminum carry case
  • Color filter set #1 (yellow/red/green/blue)
  • Moon filter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meade series 4000 are a pretty good way to start!

Enjoy!

Helen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suspect they are reasonably popular scopes, they came out around 2000. I got my 70 as a first scope and I find it pretty good. I see many instances of goto's being put down, but more and more are being produced. Meade, Celestron, Skywatcher all produce them, and there are others. Meade are making the ETX-LS that does the whole alignment itself, others will follow. Also kids use computers as second nature these days.

The worst problem is that a drive cog or pin can break, usually a case of over tightening the two bits on the side. Equally if not tightened the motors fail to drive the scope correctly - I found that out. I simply tightened mine enough then left. So far so good.

The little 70 I have is fine for brighter objects and also for double stars. I know that DSO's (most) are out of it's range, but with a mains adaptor and a car adaptor I can take it anywhere easily.

The idea that by getting one you don't learn the sky is basically stupid. What is the point of me aligning it, asking for Mizer and then not really knowing if what I can see is Mizer or not? How do people think I plan what to look at? I do not randomly select unknowns from the list. I do what I expect others do and look at a book and decide what is up there and what I want to look at, then find out what I can about it. Basically make a plan. Being honest it is good fun trying to find out what it can see. Keep a list of Messiers and mark up as Good/Fair/Bad. Do the same for double stars. There's a couple of years of something to do.

People say that there is no point on paying for the electronics, most people however have motors (driven by electronics) and it is really just a small step to a goto from motors. Believe me following Jupiter across the sky 3 weeks ago was simple with 2 motors and a handset.

Performing the alignmet on a goto is easier then aligning an EQ. Have an HEQ5 for the WO Meg90 and believe me the EQ is the worst. Also blumming heavy. A Dob will show more but a Dob can take an hour to cool down, and they need collimating. I expect to align the ETX in 10-15 minutes and get viewing.

The eyepiece set you have is probably all you will need, the 6.4mm I guess may be too small for the scope - too much magnification, the 9.7mm (129x) may be the max you can use, the 12.4 (101x) should be usable. The 32mm should give the max FoV, when bigger the EP tube acts as the limiting stop.

Not sure if the ETX90 comes with something like an RDF, or an attachmnet point, but if one can be fitted then get one, makes targetting something easier.

Look at the Meade site for an instruction manual, worth a spare to write on, and the Weasner site. I think cloudy nights has a forum section for Meade ETX's. The US is more pro-goto then the UK.

At the cost of repeating it: Take time and care on the setting up. The 90 has a narrow field of view, but slightly bigger then the 105 I have.

When on a target there is an action to "update" the postion data. Basically you ask it to locate say betelgeuse, you center this and look at it, recentering as necessary. I think you can then press Enter twice and the scope uses this recent data for betelgeuse for the next, and future, locatings.

Now go look at the moon at say 40x mag and Jupiter at 80-100x Mag. Shouldn't need to align for the moon and may be able to find Jupiter without aligning it also (start with the 32mm EP). Should be good for Orion as well.

What handset did it come with?

Does it have a mains adapter?

Don't forget to set the handset for your location AND daylight saving (daytime exercise).

Out of interest where about are you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that reply :D

It can be run off the mains . Do not have the power supply yet

I have the autostar hand set

I remembered the daylight hours set up >>Lat/lon

I live in N.Wales .

Took it out last night between the cloud gaps , Enjoyed it , Just need more practice and clearer skys :D

When using the red dot iam finding that the star etc is just out view in the scope , The red dot is set up correct , Is there a reason for this ,or have i missed something in the set up ?

Regards Nick

..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fine tune the Setup of the redot on a star after centering it in the scope ... there can be quite a parallax error if you use a terestrial target...

Peter...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably a repeat of what has been stated already but I have an ETX 125 that has excellent optics. The mount is not great but I have packed the whole thing into a hard suitcase complete with the tripod and taken in the hold on several flights. Warm climate, clear nights...my idea of fun! I have taken the view that I bought it second hand for not a fortune and if it picks up some damage it is not too much of a problem. Some of the planetary views with a 7mm Nagler have been excellent, the extra elevation from the Canary Islands does help.

Linton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fine tune the Setup of the redot on a star after centering it in the scope ... there can be quite a parallax error if you use a terestrial target...

Peter...

thanks

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fine tuning of an RDF will be necessary owing to the narrow FoV. Have to admit that that is why I tend to use the 70 and not the 105. I am in Cambs but actually bought the 105 from N Wales.:D

For transport I use a trolly case from whoever sold one cheapest at the time. Need a bigger (longer) one for the tripod of the 105. Means that everything can go in and all I have to do is put the trolly case in the car. For a torch I simply bought a cheap wind up one from Wilkinson's. no batteries:D:D

The Autostar seems to come in 2 main flavours: a simple one that I have with the 70 and a more complex one, 497?, with the 105. Find both pretty easy to use and really not a great deal of "difference" even if the 497 is bigger and has more supposed features.

Not sure if you have a book but I like The Monthly Sky Guide by Ridpath. TLAO is fine but I find that it doesn't show all of a constellation when it gives something to look at. Disadvantage of the MSG is that you have to buy a new one every 4-5 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for that reply :D

Dont think i will be transporting it far

I live about 80 yds fromthe beach:D

and have good vision 360.

Apart from the clouds :D:mad:

Have a few stargazing books to look at and learning every day

Just have to work ut what lens /filter ,why and when

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Autostar used for the ETX range is rather sensitive to voltage fluctuations. It also eats batteries a bit. Because of the low voltage assoicated with recargeables the Autostar works best on Duracells (expensive). For both these reasons it really is worth investing in a battery pack such as:

SnS Sky-Watcher 7Ah Rechargeable Power Tank

or

Battery Power Supplies for telescopes

A flexi-focus is pretty much a must. (Make sure you get the right one for your scope)

Astro Engineering Flexi-Mate flexible focus knob extension for all Meade ETX telescopes

You'll need a dew shield

Telescope House ETX Accessories

Mike Weasner's Mighty ETX Website is the oracle of all thing ETX.

Weasner's Mighty ETX Site

Enjoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that info

Have a power pack

Have a flexi ,, came today

Dew shield next on the list

Regards

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.