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ETX 125EC or Observer

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#1 jrussell

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 09:00 AM

For a while I've been looking for an ETX 125 but have started thinking, which 125? I have a 90 which I really like, but you know, aperture. But I've started thinking since I went through the trouble I had fixing my 90EC, instead of getting a 125EC (which seems to be what model the few I see for sale are), should I just wait until an Observer model comes along at a price I like? I have an 8" Dob, I just really like having the ETX as a grab and go.



#2 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 09:28 AM

I'm not sure about the newer "Observer" series, but I've owned a few ETX125's, some with the stock mount, some were deforked, and one had the Wegat back. They all had good optics.

 

Personally I'd look for a deforked one as they can be had cheap. 


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#3 Thrifty1

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Posted 25 March 2024 - 01:19 PM

I've owned several ETX125's over the years and patiently waited to find an Observer model.  I compared the optics of the 125 Observer to my 125PE with UHTC and I saw no difference.  Maybe a small advantage to the Observer but it could have just been focused better.  The motors on the Observer definitely quieter and less backlash in the gears.  I think the engineering overall is better on the Observer.  

 

Check out my comparison between them on the Meade ETX FaceBook group:

 

Part1:

https://www.facebook...01023426621145/

 

Part 2:

https://www.facebook...09951702394984/



#4 Thrifty1

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Posted 26 March 2024 - 07:32 AM

If you’ve ever taken apart an ETX125 (non-Observer model) you will see the insides of the newer Observer model is very different. A person posted some disassembly photos and comments on this forum on another site (link below).

The drives / gears appear more sturdy but there are still plastic parts that can break. Overall the larger main metal gears and brass inserts in most threaded parts adds additional strength to the system. I also like that the azimuth has no hard stops. Makes alignment easier and reduces damage potential.

It is interesting that the new re-introduced ETX125 coming out this year appears to be the old design. I look forward to seeing one of those opened up to examine if any improvements were made. I’m afraid the old design was used due to lower manufacturing costs. We will see.

https://www.iceinspa...ad.php?t=168548
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