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need help with old ETX-125PE I inherited

Meade
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#1 adgorn

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 02:19 PM

The scope seems in good shape and slews around OK.  But I'm a bit confused by a couple of things, esp since the Meade website doesn't seem to be supporting legacy info on my old scope.

 

The hardcopy manual that comes with is dated 10/04 and shows 3 scopes on the front, with the old SmartFinder LNT module (I'm adding a Rigel Quikfinder.) (I can find this manual online, plus one for 2009 and 2016 (Observer not PE model.))

 

This manual explains Automatic Alignment.  On pg 36 it also discusses Two-Star and Easy Alignment.  It says: "Easy Align operates the same as Two-Star Alignment, except that AutoStar picks the two alignment stars from its database." So what's the difference between Easy and Automatic alignments?  (Also, I noticed the 2016 Observer manual does not mention Automatic alignment. The Autostar manual Meade posts online at https://www.meade.co...star_manual.pdf seems to indicate a 2015 date. Related to my automatic alignment question above: In the menu diagram on pg5, it shows Easy, One Star and Two Star alignment, no automatic alignment.)

 

The Autostar handset (497 I assume) just says AUTOSTAR at the top.  When I turn it on it looks like the date is 2005 [c(05)] and firmware 33E. Is it possible and/or worth it to update somehow?

 

 

Thanks!



#2 Curacao52

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 03:15 PM

Hi:
 
I had a Meade ETX almost 20 years ago.  I purchased Mike Weasner's classic book, "Using the Meade ETX" to help me
use the  scope.  It contains all the info  to use and make the best use of an ETX. Back then I paid $34.95.
 
If interested, I can send it to you for $23.00. I will pay the postage and PayPal Fee.

Best,

Kevin
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#3 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 03:27 PM

Gday Adgorn

 

So what's the difference between Easy and Automatic alignments

As noted, "under the hood" Easy and Two Star are the same, just Easy selects stars for you.

If you have an attached ( and working ) LNT module, you also get Automatic align.

This is the same under the hood as the other two,

but it will also try to set the OTA North and level automatically, then also select the stars.

You have to set up the mount in exactly the same manner as if you were doing

a manual align, but you then turn the OTA about 120deg CCW til it hits its hardstop.

Ref page 17

https://agenaastro.c...cope-manual.pdf

 

 

firmware 33E. Is it possible and/or worth it to update somehow?

Possible, yes,

Worth it, up to you

The latest firmware is 43Eg and it has a lot of enhanced functions for remote operation etc.

It also has a solid set of patches to fix its residual bugs and add some enhancements.

These can be loaded using the Freeware StarPatch loader

http://www.stargps.ca/downloads.htm

You can open the patch using StarPatch or a text editor and read the comments

on what it does, then decide if you want to use it.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


Edited by OzAndrewJ, 28 November 2020 - 03:37 PM.

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#4 adgorn

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 09:18 PM

@Curacao52 (Kevin) - 

 

Hi:
 
I had a Meade ETX almost 20 years ago.  I purchased Mike Weasner's classic book, "Using the Meade ETX" to help me
use the  scope.  It contains all the info  to use and make the best use of an ETX. Back then I paid $34.95.
 
If interested, I can send it to you for $23.00. I will pay the postage and PayPal Fee.

Best,

Kevin

Thanks for the offer! I'll consider it.



#5 adgorn

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Posted 28 November 2020 - 09:19 PM

Gday Adgorn

 

As noted, "under the hood" Easy and Two Star are the same, just Easy selects stars for you.

If you have an attached ( and working ) LNT module, you also get Automatic align.

This is the same under the hood as the other two,

but it will also try to set the OTA North and level automatically, then also select the stars.

You have to set up the mount in exactly the same manner as if you were doing

a manual align, but you then turn the OTA about 120deg CCW til it hits its hardstop.

Ref page 17

https://agenaastro.c...cope-manual.pdf

 

 

Possible, yes,

Worth it, up to you

The latest firmware is 43Eg and it has a lot of enhanced functions for remote operation etc.

It also has a solid set of patches to fix its residual bugs and add some enhancements.

These can be loaded using the Freeware StarPatch loader

http://www.stargps.ca/downloads.htm

You can open the patch using StarPatch or a text editor and read the comments

on what it does, then decide if you want to use it.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

Very helpful explanations.  Now I finally understand the different alignment options.  Also, I'll checkout the StarPatch site.  Thank you.

 

Alan



#6 Curacao52

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Posted 29 November 2020 - 03:02 PM

Alan:

 

Sounds great!  Just let me know.

 

Best,

 

Kevin



#7 adgorn

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 03:34 PM

I'm making good progress on my quest to understand this thing!  When I turn the Computer Control on and then initialize, I end up at "Align: Automatic." At that point I can use the arrow keys to slew the OTA around by myself. If I then start entering the menus or press a number key to change the slewing speed, then it seems I can't go back to just slewing on my own. When I press an arrow key I think I can hear the motor a bit.  But it won't slew. I think I can only slew myself right after initialization. So my question is "If at any point I just want to start slewing on my own how do I do that?"  Thanks. 



#8 adgorn

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 04:03 PM

Playing around a bit more, it seems when I hit speed #'s 1 -5, I hear the motor quietly, but don't detect movement. But if I choose 6 - 9 it will slew at those speeds.



#9 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 04:06 PM

Gday Adgorn

 

So my question is "If at any point I just want to start slewing on my own how do I do that?"

Just press the slew keys.

If you are inside some menu subfunctions, the slew keys revert to cursor keys

but in the main menus, slewing is always what happens.

You mention setting the speeds via the Hbx

Do you see the screen flash that the speed has changed????

If so, try using button 9 for max, then slew

Then try button 8 for 3deg/sec, then slew.

If both work, its all working, and you probably had too low a speed set to see it.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#10 adgorn

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 04:35 PM

Yes, I think all is good on all counts.  Thank you for helping from "Down Under" !




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