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R.I.P. Meade ETX 1996-2021

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#26 Dwight J

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Posted 08 July 2021 - 11:15 PM

Still have my ETX90 RA and no plan to get rid of it.  The optics are better than average although the drive has some slack I can work around it.  


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#27 LU1AR

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 03:12 PM

Still have my ETX90 RA and no plan to get rid of it.  The optics are better than average although the drive has some slack I can work around it.  

I fixed motor power, tripod stability, finder and batteries in my ETX90 AR and shared on this site some improvements that I made:

https://www.cloudyni...etx-90-upgrade/
Regards.
Edgardo

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#28 grif 678

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 05:24 PM

I love the Meade 90 ETX OTA, the older one made in USA. I bought the 90ETX several years ago, without the flimsy base and drive, and placed it on my unitron 114 mount, and it is the only scope I use now, because of it's ease of use and light weight. It is worth it if one can find the old USA OTA and put it on a good altaz mount. The dealer that I bought mine from ( not a Meade dealer ) said this OTA would rival any Questar, so I got it, and it has excellent, sharp images. And I only gave around $150 for the OTA, thousands less than the Questar. I am viewing much less now because of my age, but the small., manageable ETX keeps me viewing when I feel like it.


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#29 rmollise

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 06:08 PM

The bottom line? If Orion believes it can make money selling ETXes, it will continue them. Their own goto-mounted MCTs have never been as popular as the venerable ETX, whose name is still widely recognizable in the community. There is also no telling what Orion's continuing relationship with Synta will be following this dust-up. Finally, it's no secret the ETXes sold by the Ningbo Sunny "Meade" were not as good as the previous (PE) generation of Chinese made ETXes.

 

Me? My ETX 125PE, Charity Hope Valentine, still works just fine well over a decade and a half down the line and I shall never part with her. smile.gif


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#30 barbie

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 07:36 PM

I really enjoy my older USA made ETX90 optical tube assembly(bought here on CN classifieds for $161.00 shipped)and it really does compare very favorably to a Questar as far as optical performance is concerned!! I will never part with my ETX90 or my Takahashi 76mm refractor which are my last remaining scopes after 50 long years of observing and many iterations of telescopes!! This little 90mm Mak may not have the refined mechanical craftsmanship of a Questar, but it sure does have optics that are comparable!! It's that good!! I too am older and both of my remaining scopes are on lightweight alt-azimuth mounts and are easy one trip out the door setups. They are both supremely light and easy to carry anywhere, anytime on a moment's notice.


Edited by barbie, 18 July 2021 - 07:44 PM.

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#31 Creedence

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 08:13 PM

I've wanted one of these since I first saw the ad in Astronomy magazine back in the '90s.  A couple years ago, I managed to snag one from the classifieds here.  While I'm sure the little legs are great, I suffer from a lack of park benches in my yard, so it really hasn't seen as much use as I'd like to have given it.

 

There was one going on Goodwill last week with an 884 tripod, but I got outbid- despite what I personally thought was a stupid bid at ~$200 (I'm still struggling to wrap my head around current pricing and values for astro kit).  My plan was to buy that, sell off the Goodwill OTA (because I feel an irrational loyalty to mine), and enjoy my new tripod.  Shortly after losing the bid, I sauntered over to ebay, bit the bullet, and over-payed for a like-new 884 with its case.  It just arrived today, and now my little ETX is enjoying its new shoes.

 

With all the fiddling I do while using my imaging rig, I'm a sucker for this guy's simplicity (deliberately chose the non go-to model), I'm really pleased with the optical quality, and I get to feel like I'm winning at life because I have one of the scopes of my boyhood dreams.  You can put this right next to my C8- you'll need a stick of dynamite to get me to part with it.

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Edited by Creedence, 18 July 2021 - 08:17 PM.

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#32 teashea

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 08:17 PM

I found out while browsing today that apparently the venerable ETX-90, ETX-125 and ETX-80 Observer scopes are no longer available for purchase. Every site lists them as discontinued (not just out of stock), and OPT isn't even showing them as listed anymore. The new Observer models didn't seem to be very good for the price and I'm guessing that either the Orion lawsuit or buyout lead to the final nail in the coffin for these scopes.

Not surprising.  Meade is essentially dead.  Orion will continue to pare down the Meade line.  Pick through the bones.  Use whatever little these is of value.  Flush the rest.


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#33 teashea

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 08:18 PM

I had the 90,,, friend had the 125,,, both broke down,, mine on the focuser switch,, my buddies something electrical gave up the ghost,,,,

 

ending the etx series, I have to call it a "mercy killing"

 

either way broken, the optics were not too bad

 

kb

Mercy killing - that is the best comment I have read about Meade.  


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#34 barbie

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 10:24 PM

I've wanted one of these since I first saw the ad in Astronomy magazine back in the '90s.  A couple years ago, I managed to snag one from the classifieds here.  While I'm sure the little legs are great, I suffer from a lack of park benches in my yard, so it really hasn't seen as much use as I'd like to have given it.

 

There was one going on Goodwill last week with an 884 tripod, but I got outbid- despite what I personally thought was a stupid bid at ~$200 (I'm still struggling to wrap my head around current pricing and values for astro kit).  My plan was to buy that, sell off the Goodwill OTA (because I feel an irrational loyalty to mine), and enjoy my new tripod.  Shortly after losing the bid, I sauntered over to ebay, bit the bullet, and over-payed for a like-new 884 with its case.  It just arrived today, and now my little ETX is enjoying its new shoes.

 

With all the fiddling I do while using my imaging rig, I'm a sucker for this guy's simplicity (deliberately chose the non go-to model), I'm really pleased with the optical quality, and I get to feel like I'm winning at life because I have one of the scopes of my boyhood dreams.  You can put this right next to my C8- you'll need a stick of dynamite to get me to part with it.

I agree with you creedence!! Meade may be dead but these USA made ETX90's are fantastic!! I was viewing the waxing gibbous moon tonight and was able to use 258x magnification. I could have gone a little higher but the moon was low in my sky so I didn't bother to push it. I've had, and viewed through many Maks including Questars and this ETX90's image quality is identical to the Q3.5 units I've viewed through!! Absolutely AMAZING!!! I've had a few 90mm Maks in recent years but none as good as my USA made ETX90 which I obtained off the CN classifieds recently.


Edited by barbie, 18 July 2021 - 10:35 PM.

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#35 rmollise

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 11:11 AM

I agree with you creedence!! Meade may be dead but these USA made ETX90's are fantastic!! I was viewing the waxing gibbous moon tonight and was able to use 258x magnification. I could have gone a little higher but the moon was low in my sky so I didn't bother to push it. I've had, and viewed through many Maks including Questars and this ETX90's image quality is identical to the Q3.5 units I've viewed through!! Absolutely AMAZING!!! I've had a few 90mm Maks in recent years but none as good as my USA made ETX90 which I obtained off the CN classifieds recently.

 

Guess what? The optics in the Chinese made PE series are at least as good. And the mount on the 125 is better. ;)


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#36 barbie

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 11:46 AM

That's nice..lol.gif

But none of my Chinese MAKS could ever go above 200x!! This ETX90 can, and even higher when seeing conditions permit. Last night, I was using 74x/inch and could have gone even higher if I wanted to!!wink.gif


Edited by barbie, 19 July 2021 - 11:52 AM.


#37 Xentex

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 08:06 PM

My first scope was an ETX-90 my father bought me for Christmas in 1996.  I had a couple weeks off work and was staying with my parents, so I had it out in the back yard just about every night,

 

I had picked up current issues of Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazine and of course that can tend to set your appetite toward something more.

 

He and I were talking about that idea and he said he could still return the ETX, and if I wanted I could put that money toward something bigger. I thought about it, and while I felt a little bad about returning a gift he insisted that he was really pleased that I liked it enough to buy something better.  So I took the credit and bought a Celestron C8.

 

I still have the C8 in my basement.  I had it out for my own kids to look through last year, but it held their interest just long enough to see the rings of Saturn.  Maybe 5 minutes at most.  I moved to Jupiter, which was close by at the time and went back in the house to ask them if they wanted to come out and see Jupiter.  "No thanks."

 

Oh well.  I don't really do visual myself anymore, so I guess I can't hold it against them.

 

But that little ETX-90 was my first fix, eventually leading to a TOA-130 and Mach 2.



#38 RichA

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 02:36 PM

I’m not familiar with Orion line but does Orion offer a similar series?

 

Did a quick scan of their site and it appears that the Apex, Starmax, and Starseeker lines are direct competitors. First order of business after a merger is to consolidate.

There are two types of Maksutovs:  The REAL ETXs and the Chinese Maks sold by numerous companies under different names.  I have had a dozen ETX's, all were outstanding optically.  I've had three Chinese Maks, a 100mm Bushnell which is not as good optically, a 127mm Orion and a 180mm Sky Watcher.  That is what replaced the ETXs late in the day.  If that is what they've killed off, no loss.  If they were still making the real ETXs with their level of optics, that would be a loss.


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#39 barbie

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 05:21 PM

I've had and looked through many of today's Chinese Maks and while good, they are nowhere near the level of the USA made ETX90 optically so I agree with the above statement. I can push my ETX90 far higher in magnification and still have a tack sharp image while my other Chinese Maks topped out around 200x, even on excellent nights!!


Edited by barbie, 20 July 2021 - 05:25 PM.

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#40 Sarkikos

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 07:04 PM

There are two types of Maksutovs:  The REAL ETXs and the Chinese Maks sold by numerous companies under different names.  I have had a dozen ETX's, all were outstanding optically.  I've had three Chinese Maks, a 100mm Bushnell which is not as good optically, a 127mm Orion and a 180mm Sky Watcher.  That is what replaced the ETXs late in the day.  If that is what they've killed off, no loss.  If they were still making the real ETXs with their level of optics, that would be a loss.

The real Maksutovs are the Rumaks.  wink.gif

 

Mike



#41 RichA

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 07:06 PM

I've had and looked through many of today's Chinese Maks and while good, they are nowhere near the level of the USA made ETX90 optically so I agree with the above statement. I can push my ETX90 far higher in magnification and still have a tack sharp image while my other Chinese Maks topped out around 200x, even on excellent nights!!

I've done 300x on the moon with a 90mm.  Just shy of Questar level optics.  But what is (was?) great about the ETX90 was consistency.  I've not seen any noticeable variation in 50 of them that I've looked through.



#42 Stevencbradley

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 07:25 PM

Fascinating thread. I had one of the 90 Mm's, and my copy was just not very good. I'm especially interested in barbie's and Rich's comments on the quality of the Meade. I bought mine in the early 2000's, & returned it inside of a week. Glad many of you got excellent ones. I didn't. Pretty sad, really. The Meade had the potential to be a fine telescope. Others must have received scopes made in the middle of the week, rather than Friday at quitting time...a lemon is possible in anything, of course, but when I read alternate blessing & cursing, it tells me that the quality control is...variable.



#43 barbie

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 08:34 PM

My copy of the 90mm ETX is one of the mid 1990's units that was removed from its original clock driven bases which I've heard were not very good. Optically though, the units from the mid 1990's I've heard were 95% as good as a Questar and have been prized for their optics. When the ETX90 first appeared, I viewed through one at a star party at which there was also a Q3.5 and all those who observed through both couldn't see any difference optically either. As I said previously, the Q3.5 has the refined mechanical excellence but the older ETX90 optical tube assembly is also very well built. I also have a 76mm Takahashi fluorite apo refractor and the ETX90 keeps right up with it.
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#44 rmollise

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 12:45 PM

That's nice..lol.gif

But none of my Chinese MAKS could ever go above 200x!! This ETX90 can, and even higher when seeing conditions permit. Last night, I was using 74x/inch and could have gone even higher if I wanted to!!wink.gif

 

There were lemon PEs just like there were lemons made in the US. More than a few of those, as a matter of fact. Sorry you got one. ;)



#45 barbie

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 02:15 PM

There were lemon PEs just like there were lemons made in the US. More than a few of those, as a matter of fact. Sorry you got one. wink.gif

Apparently, you don't read posts thoroughly enough before replying!! I never said I got a lemon either!! On the contrary, I got an outstanding ETX90!!grin.gif

It's far better than the Chinese Maks!!


Edited by barbie, 21 July 2021 - 02:21 PM.


#46 Astrojensen

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 02:41 PM

I had a insane older 125 that did 600x on the moon. Crazy a cheap scope could be so sharp.

A late friend of mine had one of the really early ETX-90 RA's. Stunning optics. I had it up over 500x on stars and the airy disks were clean and crisp. The Moon was stunningly sharp at 208x (6mm Vixen LE). 

 

The mount was not so hot, though...

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#47 rmollise

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 02:51 PM

Apparently, you don't read posts thoroughly enough before replying!! I never said I got a lemon either!! On the contrary, I got an outstanding ETX90!!grin.gif

It's far better than the Chinese Maks!!

 

 

Sorry, but I didn't have time to go researching your posts. Obviously you know far more about the subject than I do. Have fun. ;)



#48 barbie

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 12:31 PM

I had my ETX90 out Thursday morning at around 1:00 a.m. local time viewing Saturn and the moon. Views at 129x and 208x were very sharp with Cassini's division in Saturn's rings very well defined. Saturn was a surprise because it was low in my sky and I wasn't expecting as sharp an image as I got but nonetheless, it was beautifully rendered by the old ETX90!!


Edited by barbie, 22 July 2021 - 12:40 PM.

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#49 teashea

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 07:19 PM

When did the stop making the EXT90 in the US?



#50 CHASLX200

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 07:25 PM

A late friend of mine had one of the really early ETX-90 RA's. Stunning optics. I had it up over 500x on stars and the airy disks were clean and crisp. The Moon was stunningly sharp at 208x (6mm Vixen LE). 

 

The mount was not so hot, though...

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

I had a 1998 made 90mm version and it was sharp also.  Just never cared for the mount.




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