Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:59 PM
What should I look out for when inspecting it prior to sale? A star test probably won't be possible.
I am an experienced observer (50 years +) but know nothing about Mak-Casses.
Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:05 PM
One major issue with those scopes is with the secondary baffle that is glued to the inside of the meniscus, surrounding the secondary spot. The glue Meade used to bond it to the meniscus softens and allows the baffle to eventually either slide out of position, or separate from it altogether! This happened with mine, which I had purchased back when they first came out. I was fortunate in that it had slid down due to my having stored it with the OTA horizontal. I wasn't using it, so I flipped the tube, and the baffle eventually slid back into position (in about a year!) without leaving any adhesive residue behind! However, most who experience this aren't as lucky as I was.
So, ask the person you're buying it from if this has ever happened to the one they're selling. It's not the end of the world if it did, but if it was "fixed" by someone who wasn't sure of what they were doing, they may have inadvertently damaged something in the process. Admittedly, the process of fixing it isn't all that complex, but some people have a knack for making things worse.
Also, the RA drive gears were sloppy to begin with, causing many of those scopes to have issues with keeping the object centered. My ETX has this issue. As a result, I have always had to put the object I wanted to view just outside of the right hand of the field of view before locking the clutch. By the time the slack in the gear train was taken up, the object has moved towards the center, and then stays put until I move it again. This is a common issue with all of the original ETX Astro scopes. Fixing that, as well as the wandering baffle had become somewhat of a cottage industry for some, and very much a DIY challenge for the rest. So, check to see if the seller has ever tried fixing that themselves, again so that you can gauge whether or not you want to take a chance on their technical and mechanic skills.
Mike Weasner has a great website that's all about the "Mighty ETX!" here's the link. Pretty much everything you'd ever want to know about the ETX is on that website.
As regards going prices, I can't say. You could search for sale ads in the classified section, and the S&S telescope forum. Weasner's website may have that info as well. Here is the link to Weasner's "Buyer/New User Tips" web page, it has lots of info you might find pertinent.
I hope this was helpful.
Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:23 PM
I hope it works out, I'm looking for a nice little grab 'n go scope.
Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:07 PM
And just so you know, since my baffle slipped back into place I haven't had any further issues with it. However, I keep it stored where I know the temps aren't going to get fairly high, and I keep the tube pointed straight up. Storing it like that, I figure that it's less likely the baffle will pull away from the meniscus, than sliding. It's a risk, but I don't want to store it upside down, nor do I really want to mess with re-gluing it. I pull it down every so often, and take a look just to be sure.
Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:12 PM
Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:54 PM
It's not a difficult fix and a common problem with Maks. I basically use 3M blue tape to protect the meniscus while leaving the secondary mirror exposed. Then apply a very light coat of polyurethane clauk to the baffle and place it on the center of the meniscus. Remove the tape when cured.
Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:58 AM
Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:13 PM
It was my grab & go scope for 15 years until I bought my Celestron (Synta-Orion-Skywatcher) 127 NexStar SLT, (Fantastic Scope)
I have had no problems with the baffle, If you do don't use Super Glue as it will out-gas and cloud the optics.
I do remember I had to work on the RA, I egged the mount holes in the motor and meshed it closer to the gear.
When I got it, I had to lock the object out of the field and let it drift into view. Now it tracks after 2 seconds!
I have always thought the first year or 2 had exceptional optics, getting the line off to a good start then perhaps slightly "relaxing" the QC, it is fairly normal.
I had a 90mm Orion Starmax and the ETX 90 was noticeably
better, as was one of a friends that I helped tune up.
I wouldn't even think of selling mine, even at $200.00, if offered.
I use mine mostly as my Solar scope. I found a slide on hard dew shield with star charts on it, cool. also found an old B&L 4000 hard case that works great!
I added an Right Angle finder, and electric focus.
You can test the optics by focusing on a shiny spot on a car a couple blocks away in the Daytime, You will see the defraction disk and ring.
Good scope, you'll love it.