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Proud new owner of an ETX-80!

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11 replies to this topic

#1 SamplingNature

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 10:50 PM

Well, we finally did it! We ordered the ETX-80, Meade Series 4000 8-24mm zoom and 3x Barlow from High Point Scientific, and it arrived on Friday.

Before I go on about the scope, let me talk up High Point. I've never had better customer service through every stage of a purchase. They promptly answered my email full of pre-order questions, processed my order within a few hours (I ordered late at night). They even sent me an email inviting me to call for a one-on-one telephone conversation before shipping to ensure I was ordering exactly what I wanted. I'll definitely be shopping with them in the future!

Back to the scope. As I stated earlier, it arrived on Friday via UPS. I worked late, so I only had time to unbox it and power it up to ensure that it worked.

This is where I discovered two very minor issues.

A: the backpack that comes with the scope is JUST large enough for the OTA, mount and hand set. I purchased a second bag (a small sling pack for skeet shooting) to carry eyepiece, Barlow, dew shield and other accessories. My binoculars fit nicely into the main body of this bag as well.

B: My red-dot finder was defective. That was also easy to fix, as the upper part of the bracket is a Weaver-type dovetail. I simply picked up an airgun reflex sight at Walmart.

Today, I was able to align the finder, calibrate and train the drives and get ready for first light.

Tonight, I was set up just as Jupiter was becoming visible. I aligned off Altair and Antares. I had to spiral search for Altair, but Antares was in the eyepiece immediately. Jupiter was easy after that. Saturn was a bit difficult at first, but once confirmed in the handset, the scope had no problem returning to it

After Go-toing a number of objects found on my phone app (all reasonably successful), I did the "Tonight's Best" tour.

I noticed the scope did not want to allow me to manually adjust the view with the arrow buttons during the tour. Also, the tour is a pain to exit out of once you begin.

After that, slewing started to become erratic. Go-to started taking me FAR from selected objects. It was as if using the tour somehow confused the computer. I took that as a sign that it was time to pack up for the night. Hopefully, I'll have no more issues tomorrow.

All in all, I'm very pleased with this little scope. And my fiance has clearly developed aperture fever...
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#2 ShaulaB

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:01 PM

Maybe a nice 8 inch Dob would be a great present for your fiance! Joshing here. lol.gif

 

Have a blast with your scope!



#3 fcathell

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:19 PM

If it is running it off of internal AA batteries, they will lose voltage rapidly and it will become erratic.  Get an external small gel-cell to run it if possible. 

 

Frank



#4 SamplingNature

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 11:37 PM

I didn't know the 80 had a 12V port, so I've been running lithium batteries. I'll likely get a 12v cord and some sort of external battery in the near future.

#5 sg6

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 01:53 AM

Not sure the ETX-80 has an actual 12v Port.

Best I have done is make a small converter cable to swap between a 2.1mm connector and the PP3 . As the PP3 bits come with cable it is easy.

 

Then buy a 12v Li ion battery, and sit that on the base under the front of the scope and connect in. All works very easy and very well. Only "weird" area is the connections, them seem wrong as the small plug bit of the PP3 goes to the +ve (center) of the 2.1mm connector.

 

I use a 4800mAh Li-ion lasts happily for 2-3 hours. Never yet run low on me so unsure of how long is possible. Could get a 6800mAh if preferable.

 

Have a feeling you may not use all the eyepieces etc you have purchased. I have an ETX-70 and my most used eyepieces are an 8mm and 12mm Paradigm. With the 25mm Paradigm to find things initially. I do not use my 6mm or 5mm Paradigm in it much.

 

If your first alignment star was a bit off it is likely data and setup.

 

Best to have a custon location, it is under Site in the menu, give it a name, Lat, Long, Timezone. Setting a custom site is (was?) a bit messy it just cycles around to enter another, confusing. Enter data and keep going until the questions start repeating, then press Back to get out.

 

Then at the start make sure it is Level and is aimed North - Polaris NOT compass. The scope assumes that Level and North is PERFECT. So if you are say 5 degess out the first slew is also 5 degrees out. The amusing way to think of it is that the alignment process is the scope working out how badly you set it up and determining the corrections it has to apply. Give it an easy life and do the set up well.

 

Good scope with a solar filter so looking at the sun, except that as far as the scope is concerned the sun does not exist. You have to find a list to the Sun's RA and Dec and enter them as a custom object, or at the handset. Then it will goto this custom object (Sun). Annoying. Oh yes the Sun's RA and Dec alter daily, not by much but different everyday.

 

Cable assumes you are OK with a soldering iron.



#6 SamplingNature

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:14 PM

Actually, the newest ETX-80 mount has the port.

#7 SamplingNature

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 07:52 PM

As for 12C Li-ion, do you mean like the Talentcell I've read about elsewhere?

#8 SamplingNature

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 09:48 AM

If I were to go with a Talentcell type battery pack, which size should I go with? Also, as stated earlier, the latest ETX-80 mounts have the port. Not sure which pin size is needed. I assume it's the same as the larger ETX scopes.

#9 BigKahuna

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:08 PM

The Talentcell 6000 fits right underneath the OTA (sits on my Observer base) and fits perfectly for my ETX-90. It will last you 8 hours powered up or MORE before recharge.  No worries about cable wrapping around the base. It comes with a charger and correct cable for the supply and base. It's a no brainer decision for $33 w/ USB 5v adapter or $30 w/o on Amazon

 

20190831-205810.jpg


Edited by BigKahuna, 31 August 2019 - 08:14 PM.


#10 SamplingNature

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 09:47 PM

My Talentcell arrived Thursday, and the cable came in Friday. I'm gonna mess around with it tomorrow. I'm probably going to mount it to the fork arm (side opposite of the ports/switch panel) with velcro.

#11 SamplingNature

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 03:09 PM

So, I've made a few tweaks/mods to my ETX-80 over the past few days. First, I attached the Talentcell battery horizontally to the fork arm (side opposite the switch/port panel) with 3-M "Dual Lock". This allows the 12-inch power cable to wrap around the front (objective) end of the mount with enough slack that it dips just down to the horizontal setting circle.

I also removed the metal hook from the back of the AudioStar handbox and attached it to the panel side fork arm with Dual Lock. Before, the handbox simply hooked to the divot at the battery cover latch.

The final physical tweak I made was the addition of a green laser finder. I used a laser rifle scope. It's mounted to a Weaver plate, secured to the OTA with Gorilla Mounting Tape, an can be detached for storage.

https://photos.app.g...pCTDzS2ybuY19p9

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#12 SamplingNature

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 09:53 PM

Second night out with the scope, first since the add-ons. I'm very pleased with the setup (aside from the guided tours issue discussed in a new thread). The scope performed quite well with the Talentcell battery. It was running for more than two hours with a bit of slewing, and the Talentcell is still showing five LEDs on the "fuel gage".
The laser sight performed quite well. I'll probably tweak the alignment a bit, but only because I'm anal at times. It was still accurate enough to direct somebody to the object centered in the eyepiece at 8mm.

Dew was an issue tonight, but that was to be expected its been cloudy/rainy here all weekend, except the few hours I had the scope out. Debating on solutions for that.


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