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Biggest bang for the smallest buck. ETX-125 PE

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#1 vermontster

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:57 PM

First telescope, Meade ETX-125 PE (constellation pattern on tube). Came with the standard lens and tripod and a Meade 5X TeleXtender. From what I've read on posts the standard lens is not that good (one poster said he uses a cheap Chinese one instead because of the small field of view and recessed eyepiece on the original). As far as the 5X I have read that using 5X on this scope is pushing it beyond it's capabilities. Unfortunately it has been raining/cloudy here for 7 days and I have yet to view the Moon or any planets to see how it looks! I paid $400 for everything and can return it if I want within another week (local Craigslist seller, nice lady). It is pristine (no visible wear, controller still had original display protector plastic on, power cords unopened, tripod still had original shipping cardboard staples to it, etc.) The Smartfinder was broken off and I have fixed that. The lady said she bought it for her husband and he never used it. I think he got it and broke the Smartfind soon after opening it and sense it controls the LNT he never (or barely) used it. My questions are...

1-If it's been sitting 6 years, should I be worried about lubricating anything? Or check anything else (just worried about things that might cause damage if not checked, not worried about things that improve the image right now)
2-Is $400 a good/acceptable price?
3-Should I look into trading the 5X or original lens? Are they worth anything? Would you use forum classified or eBay?
4-and last but not least...In your experience, if you had this set up and very little money what are the first 3 lenses you would buy for this scope in order of importance? If possible links to them, good brand, and or estimates as to cost (to narrow it down I will not be spending more than $100 on any lens right now)! Would you sell/trade the ones I currently have?

I have been reading up as much as I can on this stuff, but it is amazing how much you need to know to look at the sky! Eventually I will, but for now I need to know in case i need to return it. Thanks in advance!

#2 radial195

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:44 AM

1- Lubrication on gears, etc., should be OK. Problem is Meade put too much grease in so sometimes it migrates to the clutch/drive mechanism and causes slipping when slewing to targets. See Weasner's ETX site for cures. GREAT site!
2- $400 is a good price, I paid 450 for mine on Craigslist.
3- I don't know what the 5X eyepiece is you refer to. Mine came with a 26mm eyepiece.
4- I have found I use a 40mm, 26mm, and 15 or 12mm eyepiece. 40 to find object of my desire when searching, 26 to further center object, and 12 or 15 for viewing, anymore magnification and the object gets too dim and eye relief gets too short.
5- Make sure you read the manual!!!! Numerous times!!! Everything is covered in the manual, these are great little scopes with a couple of idiosyncrasies you need to correct.
6- Make Weasner's ETX site a favorite!!!

#3 REC

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 09:01 AM

Nice scope as I have had mine 10yrs and still good. Tip, use the high end batteries in it and they will last a long time. I have been using the "Ultra" series in mine and they don't leak as well after a long time...so far!

Enjoy and yes, check out Weasner's for sure!

Clear Skies!

#4 *skyguy*

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:47 AM

Congratulations on your new scope! :jump:

I've owned the ETX-125 for many years and it's one of my favorite scopes ... great optics! The purchase price of $400 is very reasonable as long as the Smartfinder is in working condition.

Sell the 5X Barlow lens ... way too much magnification for this scope ... use the CloudyNights classifieds.

As long as the scope is in working condition ... no strange noises or gear binding ... there is no need to worry about making any internal adjustments or greasing the gears.

Since the ETX-125 operates at f/15 ... exotic/expensive eyepieces are not needed to get great optical performance from this scope. Simple Plossl eyepieces will work extremely well. I would buy the highly rated "Zhumell Telescope 1.25 Inch Eyepiece and Filter Kit" ($99.98 w/ free shipping) or the "Celestron Telescope Eyepiece and Filter Kit" ($134.98 w/free shipping), both from Hayneedle. Both kits have all the eyepieces and filters ... all in a nice storage case ... that you will need for a lifetime of observing. However, the Celestron kit does have a better selection of eyepiece focal lengths for use with the ETX-125 ...so, I'd recommend spending the extra money on this kit.

Zhumell Eyepiece Kit

Celestron Eyepiece Kit

Good Luck with your new scope!

Jim

#5 REC

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 08:04 AM

Great scope, but rarely push it more than a 11mm EP for high power, at least from where I observe.

Have fun!

Bob

#6 *skyguy*

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 08:32 AM

Great scope, but rarely push it more than a 11mm EP for high power, at least from where I observe.

Have fun!

Bob


The seeing in my area is usually around 3 arc-seconds, so my best high power/planetary view is usually through a 10mm eyepiece. I can push it to around 7.5mm ... but, although the image scale is greater, the image is considerably dimmer with no additional detail visible. It's just the nature of the beast. ;)

#7 REC

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 10:01 AM

Moon maybe at 180x and Saturn, Jupiter nice at 150x

#8 Hitech

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 03:03 PM

Got mine off Craig's list also for $400 w/884 tripod and extras. As for worrying about grease, just monitor its operation for any abnormal behavior or wrong sounds. There have been reports of excessive factory applied grease, poor factory collimation, focus shift, or similar, I'd leave well enough alone. I too noticed a 9mm EP is pushing the practical limits of good resolution. That's a fairly heavy OTA given the use of plastic in areas where I think metal would've been the preferred material for longevity and reliability... but that would likely drive up the end cost.
I also recommend you visit and bookmark Weasner's Mighty ETX website. I have the Zhumell eyepiece /filter kit and it performs nicely and is a good value for your dollars spent.






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