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ETX 105


pbyrne
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Hi all

I recently picked up a second hand ETX 105 PE with Level North Technology. There were a number of reasons that I bought it, I wanted a scope for lunar, solar and double star observing, and I felt an f/14 scope like the ETX was the way to go. The second reason was for public outreach nights, dragging the 12" dob was a drag, on one occasion I hurt my back getting it out of the car, this will solve that problem.

I got out tonight and gave it a test run, it was after midnight, the moon was too low for observing, I'll get it another night. I wanted to see how the scope worked, how it tracked and the way the GoTo worked. Earlier in the week I trained the drives as described in the manual, this was an easy job only taking about twenty minutes. The scope has to be set up start position with includes rotating the scope counter-clockwise until it stops and putting it roughly level and roughly pointing north. The guy I bought it from was from Dublin, so the city was entered into the Autostar, Auto Align is selected and the scope goes about its business. When it has finished it will then select two stars to centre in the eyepiece.

There is a neat feature in the Autostar called Spiral Search, when the scope finishes slewing it beeps, if the star is not in the eyepiece then you can press the GoTo button and it slowly spirals around, when you find the object hit the enter and it stops moving, this feature is also useful when you are looking for deep-sky objects, double stars etc.

I got the two stars centered and and the scope was ready to go. I selected M57 from the menu and pressed Enter, then GoTo, the scope slewed and beeped when it had finished. M57 was in the FOV in the 26mm eyepiece, just off centre. I tried Albireo, M29, M13, M4, Antares, Polaris, Izar and numerous other objects and the scope found them all. Very impressive considering the small field of view at f/14.

I wanted to check the tracking, when I had M13 in the 13mm Nagler I went off and made a cup of tea. I can back ten minutes later and M13 was right where I had left it. I plan to attempt some lunar sketches and if the moon stays in the FOV then this will be very helpful.

I have to say that I am very impressed with the scope and its ability to find objects.

A quick note on the Autostar, it has a number of functions, pressing one of the numbers will change the speed that the scope slews, when reading the info displayed when the ? button is pressed, pressing the up and down buttons at the bottom with increase or decrease the speed that the script goed through the display. There are many other features that I will have to read up on.

There are a couple of things I need to mention, the motors are a little loud, louder than a CG-5 that I had before. The focuser is a little fiddly and touching the scope causes the image to jump around, I have ordered a flexible focuser that should cure that.

Cool down is an issue, at this time of the year I doubt if the scope can get cool enough due to warmer temperatures and the image will not be at their best.

Two accessories I believe are essential, a flexible focuser and a dew shield, when autumn and winter come that lens is going to fog up. For myself I will need a 32mm eyepiece, the 26mm is adequate, 32mm will be better.

Overall I beieve that it was money well spent, the GoTo is accurate, the tracking is superb, the views are sharp, the optics are perfect and I can't wait to try it on the moon. The noisy motors are probably the only let down.

Thanks for your time.

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One of the best kept secrets in the Telescope offerings. the 90mm Meade Mak is one of the best scopes I've ever used.. the optics are second to none. The mechanics leave a lot to be desired TBH... having said that she looks a fine piece of kit.

Rob

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I have to agree with you Rob, i to have an ETX90 as well, it's an outstanding telescope, mine is used as a guider scope for my LXD 75.

post-19932-133877456554_thumb.jpg

Edited by Si W
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nice review fair and well balanced,i own a etx125pe it is a very good scope but i wouldn't pay £600 for it new though :)

the goto technology blew me away first time i used,just select your object and away it goes!

lovely crisp images of the planets and some of the brighter dso's

but it has its limitations like lack of aperture,but as a grab n go its great excellent.

i don't think i would recommend it to the seasoned astronomer,but for beginners it would be great,even if they would be missing out on the dubious pleasure of star hoping :icon_scratch:

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Ive got the 125 version as well, and think its a great scope and if your engineer minded loads of mods and tweaks you can do to it :)

what have you done to yours ? i bought a few accessories for mine like a ac power supply and an eyepiece tray also the flexible focuser is a must :icon_scratch:

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what have you done to yours ? i bought a few accessories for mine like a ac power supply and an eyepiece tray also the flexible focuser is a must :)

Just replaced the stock finderscope with a red dot finder at min.

Next on list is to do the mod on mount to stop the very small altitude rock, and fit a small tube on focusers to stop any image shift. Just getting some bits and bobs i need :icon_scratch:

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Nice review. :)

There is a neat feature in the Autostar called Spiral Search, when the scope finishes slewing it beeps, if the star is not in the eyepiece then you can press the GoTo button and it slowly spirals around, when you find the object hit the enter and it stops moving, this feature is also useful when you are looking for deep-sky objects, double stars etc.
Sounds a very useful feature, that other manufacturers might emulate. My Synscan MAK127 is surprising FUN on DSOs,

though occasionally, even with latter centralised and in view, you still have to use averted vision... or "jiggle it a bit". :icon_scratch:

Edited by Macavity
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i don't think i would recommend it to the seasoned astronomer,

I've been at this game for more than 25 years and I would recommend it for the uses I have in mind, lunar, solar and double star observing, a long focus scope is suited to these pursuits.

Compared to the 12" it's just so much easier to get up and going. And as I said, when it comes to outreach nights my back will thank me.

but as a grab n go its great excellent

A big plus in my book, it can be moved as single unit and ready to go.

but i wouldn't pay £600 for it new though

Me neither, but second hand it's worth the money.

I already have a Powertank, which I believe is essential, I would hate to think how many batteries it would go through. A flexible focuser is a must, hopefully mine will be here soon, and a dew shield. After that it's up to each individual as to what they might, or might not, like.

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The ETX 105 was my first real telescope and I love it, it is an earlier model but it is a joy to use. My only complaint was that the finderscope was useless (it was pre- red dot finder days) so I took it off and use a rigel quikfinder for lining up on the alignment stars. This was a useful addition because with the spare plates I can use it on all my scopes.

The motors are noisy but both my neighbours claim never to have heard it at night (no, we do not have huge gardens they are less than 20 ft away).

As I became more knowledgeable about the skies I found the go-to a bit boring at times but luckily my ETX came with both Autostar and the hand controller - it doesn't track when using the hand controller but it does make hunting faint objects a bit more challenging.

I would never sell it, it is a great little portable telescope.

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