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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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hvoght
newbie


Reged: 06/16/13

Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new
      #5923530 - 06/16/13 10:42 AM

Hey gents,

I'm new to the game and am looking to get my first tele. I have a small bit of experience going out and viewing with a couple of friends, but otherwise I'm green. This popped up on my local CL and I was wondering what you guys thought about it. Deal? Too much?

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/spo/3848480405.html

My budget is around 1K, give or take.

Thanks in advance for your insight!


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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: hvoght]
      #5923571 - 06/16/13 11:12 AM

that would be a great starter package. The 125 was my first scope and I loved it for what it was. I think that the price is a bit high at $650. these go for around $400-$500 on ebay everyday.
I'd offer $600 for the scope package and eyepeice package together as one package. just the scope,, $450-$500

also check to see if scope has been modded in any way! back in the day when this scope was all the rage there was a web site just for the 125 and it has all kinds of mods and improvements that you can do to the scope the improve the preformance of the scope. the site is still active and you should check it out if you get the scope.
link
http://www.weasner.com/etx/menu.html


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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5923580 - 06/16/13 11:19 AM

I had one before I went to imaging. They're optically good and mechanically so so. A C6 on a Cg5 would be better.

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VAvW
Vendor - Clear Skies


Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: the Netherlands
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5923791 - 06/16/13 01:29 PM

hvoght,

The ETX-125 is a great little scope, especially as a first telescope. Nice optics and a great goto system.
That being said, be careful about the quality of the "EC" model. Contrary to the later "AT" models, the internal mounting of the declination drive (up/down) is all plastic. This makes it prone to wear & tear, especially on a used model. I know, as I owned both the EC and the AT model, and my EC's declination eventually broke, litterally.
Another thing to play close attention to is the scope's collimation. Most ETX Maks keep their collimation very well, but once collimation is required, be prepared for quite an endeavour.

If the scope you have your eye on is in good shape (no excessive play, no excessive force required to tighten it down), then $400 seems reasonable. If not, or at a higher price, better keep an eye out for an AT model.

Cheers,


Victor


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: hvoght]
      #5924263 - 06/16/13 07:15 PM

Quote:

Hey gents,

I'm new to the game and am looking to get my first tele. I have a small bit of experience going out and viewing with a couple of friends, but otherwise I'm green. This popped up on my local CL and I was wondering what you guys thought about it. Deal? Too much?

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/spo/3848480405.html

My budget is around 1K, give or take.

Thanks in advance for your insight!




Hi and hello to Cloudy Nights..

What are you interested in looking at?

For 5 inch scope, the ETX-125 has a very long focal length, 1900mm and with a 1.25 inch focuser, it's limited to a narrow true field of view, about 0.84 degrees, about 1.6 times the size of the moon. This also translates into a "slow focal ratio" so that even with a long focal length eyepiece, the exit pupil will be small and therefore the maximum image brightness will be quite dim.

Are you looking for an all around scope that will allow you to see the entirety of the Pleiades, look at larger parts of the sky as well as zoom into for views at higher magnifications or will you be satisfied with the medium to high magnifications?

You also need to consider what else is available in this price range. At this moment, a new Celestron 6 SE is $719... that's a brand new scope, it's more scope and a more versatile scope as well.

Jon


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hvoght
newbie


Reged: 06/16/13

Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5925104 - 06/17/13 09:39 AM

Thanks for all your answers!

My goals with my first scope are essentially two-fold.

First, I would like a scope that can take me from beginner to hobbyist without having to upgrade (too much) which probably means a scope with some versatility would be idea. I've found in pretty much every hobby I have that it saves money in the long run to spend more up front than to nickel and dime myself along the way, hence the ~ $1k give-or-take I'm willing to spend here.

Second, I would like to use the scope with my Sony NEX 7 to make some images of the moon, and also maybe fool around with some terrestrial photography (this is not a focus, just something I figure I will probably end up doing, because hey, telescope = really big lens (sort of)).

I gather from this thread that the Meade is a good buy (for what it does) but only if I can get it for a few hundred off what this guy is asking, and make sure that it is in good shape.

Would it make more sense to look into the Celestron mentioned to take those variables out of the process? Are there other new scopes I should look at?

Again, all comments greatly appreciated!

Thanks!


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: hvoght]
      #5925514 - 06/17/13 01:13 PM

imho for under $1k this is a good deal - https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-6-newtonian-advanced-vx-mount_p20046.aspx

(don't forget the CN member discount)

the bare Celestron AVX mount is $800, so you are basically getting the scope for an extra $100.

this would give you the option of going into astrophotography in the future. if on the other hand all you want is something to look at astronomical things (with a GoTo computer) -

This one - https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-nexstar-6-se-6-inch-go-to-sct-telescope...

or (a bit over $1000 but personally a better choice) - https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-nexstar-8-se-8-inch-go-to-sct-telescope...


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jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5926544 - 06/17/13 11:02 PM

The only difference between the EC and AT models was the controller. The EC came with a simple electronic controller while the AT came with the Autostar controller, usually the #497. ECs could be upgraded to an AT by simply replacing the controller. This one comes with the EC and #497 controllers and the #884 field tripod. $649 is a tad on the high side, but not outrageously so. The ETX-125 is a fantastic visual scope and you can do basic lunar and planetary imaging with it. I have had mine for several years and I still enjoy using it.

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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: jgraham]
      #5926678 - 06/18/13 12:17 AM

thing is the 497 controller is another $80 - $100 used. So $649 + a new 497 controller..... we're getting into new AVX + 6" Newtonian territory here.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5926979 - 06/18/13 08:16 AM

Quote:

thing is the 497 controller is another $80 - $100 used. So $649 + a new 497 controller..... we're getting into new AVX + 6" Newtonian territory here.




The scope in the ad comes with the 497...

Jon


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VAvW
Vendor - Clear Skies


Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: the Netherlands
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: jgraham]
      #5927009 - 06/18/13 08:35 AM

Quote:

The only difference between the EC and AT models was the controller.




Internally there is a difference, in that in the EC's dec arm stuff is "bolted" directly onto the plasic of the fork arm vs. an aluminum mounting in the AT. The aluminum internals of the AT can be peeked at by removing the dec lock knob.

A big (huge) advantage of the Meade Autostar #497 controllers vs. of other brands is the ability to upload tours directly to the controller. Tours are small textfiles containing objects, which allows you to upload an observing plan to the controller after which the scope can be used on its own. No need to keep a laptopr connected, as is required for other mounts and controllers. I have to admit that this functionality changed my observing immediately and forever after I first used it.


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jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: VAvW]
      #5927162 - 06/18/13 10:14 AM

The internals varied by production, but not necessarily with the RA/EC/AT designation. It was common practice to buy the EC model since it was cheaper and upgrade it to an AT by swapping out the controller. I wonder if there is something buried in the serial number that would distinguish the internal construction. Regardless, it is a fine scope.

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KerryR
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/05/07

Loc: SW Michigan
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: jgraham]
      #5927193 - 06/18/13 10:33 AM

My first scope was an ETX-90. I consider starting with this scope my biggest astro mistake. The long focal length and relative lack of ergonomics made it a tough scope to learn with. I'd assume the 125 would be very similar. I didn't really start learning effectively 'til I replaced the ETX90 with an 8" f6 dob, and then progressed rapidly.

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JoeBftsplk
sage
*****

Reged: 09/26/07

Loc: North of the Fingerlakes-NY
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5927208 - 06/18/13 10:37 AM

Quote:

I had one before I went to imaging. They're optically good and mechanically so so. A C6 on a Cg5 would be better.




Don't agree. I've had both. Still have the ETX125 (an early one with the 497); the C6 is gone. The ETX is bright and sharp as a tack, optically. The C6 was rather "mushy" and dark in comparison. Collimation didn't seem to help.

I will agree that the ETX's plastic mount leaves a lot to be desired; though mine has held up under sparing use. Deforking the ETX and putting it on the CG5 has crossed my mind; but, with that built-in, non-rotating diagonal, it probably wouldn't work well.


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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? [Re: jgraham]
      #5927894 - 06/18/13 04:35 PM

Quote:

The internals varied by production, but not necessarily with the RA/EC/AT designation. It was common practice to buy the EC model since it was cheaper and upgrade it to an AT by swapping out the controller. I wonder if there is something buried in the serial number that would distinguish the internal construction. Regardless, it is a fine scope.




This is true. mine was an AT and had the plastics. it still rocked and I tweaked the heck out of it. the goto was dead on there after..


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Paul Lennous
sage


Reged: 02/05/04

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Is this Meade EXT-125EC worth it? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5928571 - 06/19/13 01:10 AM

My ETX125-EC came with metal forks. It has been trouble free for 11 years.

I believe that Weasner's Mighty ETX site has instructions on how to determine if an ETX has metal or plastic forks.


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