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  1. #1
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    Default Meade ETX-80 First Light



    Hello all. One day after receiving my ETX-80 I was able to see first light. I was fairly happy with the results even with the waxing gibbous moon plus light pollution here in Northeast Ohio.

    Setup was easy, using Capella and Vega as alignment stars. I then had the scope slew over to Jupiter, which appeared as a bright dot surrounded by 3 little dots. Here I tried to engage the 2x Barlow lens but I seemed to completely lose Jupiter no matter what I did. This was using the 26mm eyepiece too.

    Then I decided to look at the cause of my main light issues tonight. Was not at all disappointed with the amazing appearance of the moon. I decided to put the 9.7mm eyepiece with a moon filter in. Now I could see even more detail with some awesome shadows.

    I then decided see finally see M31, which eluded my old telescope 20 years earlier and hit my first snag. The power pack cord became wrapped around the telescope and pulled out of the connector (oops). So I went back in for an additional cord and ran the alignment again. Easily found M31 as a faint smudge, but definitely visible. Led me to think that during a sky where the moon is not so prominent I will see a better apparition.

    But overall extremely pleased with the new scope. Quick question to those here. Is an external Barlow better? I have one from a eyepiece/filter kit I ordered with the scope. Because I never had much luck with the built in.

    Clear skies everyone.
    Stuart

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  3. #2
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    Awesome stuff Stuart! thats an amazing start especially getting the alignment down pat so quickly!

    the moon was about 50% so if you saw m31 like that it will be at least 4X better during moonless nights!

    i would recommend a barlow soon, possibly 2X and maybe 5X depends what eyepieces you have. Have you checked out the EP magnification calculators in the download section?

    please let us know what else you see! and congrats on getting the scope setup and viewing!!

    clear skies
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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    Default

    Stuart, The built in barlow works about the same as an external one from the experience I have had with that scope. One thing about the internal one, is that you have to turn the focusing knob 30+ full turns to bring it into focus. You shouldn't loose your target doing this though. I wouldn't spend my scope bucks on an extra barlow. If there is any difference, it is negligible. It may be a little better if you spent big bucks on a top of the line barlow, but unless you just have bucks to burn, you would probably be more satisfied with a zoom ep or something. Just my 2 cents worth.

    Clear skys to ya
    Jim
    Celestron C9.25. Atlas EQG mount. Canon 500D unmodded, Celestron ST80 guide scope, SSAG, Meade 6.3 FR, Thousand Oaks dew control with Dewnot straps. Zhumell 8/24mm Zoom, 2"Gso Superview 42mm, Meade 2"QX wide angle 30MM, Meade 1.25 EP and filter set. Tasco 10x50 Zhumell 20x80 bino and a few other odds and ends.
    Now where did I put that clear sky button!

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by admin View Post
    Awesome stuff Stuart! thats an amazing start especially getting the alignment down pat so quickly!
    Thanks! I had a head start, reading and re-reading the manual as well as viewing the instructional DVD a few times so I had the process down pat before heading out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimt View Post
    Stuart, The built in barlow works about the same as an external one from the experience I have had with that scope. One thing about the internal one, is that you have to turn the focusing knob 30+ full turns to bring it into focus. You shouldn't loose your target doing this though. I wouldn't spend my scope bucks on an extra barlow. If there is any difference, it is negligible. It may be a little better if you spent big bucks on a top of the line barlow, but unless you just have bucks to burn, you would probably be more satisfied with a zoom ep or something. Just my 2 cents worth.

    Clear skys to ya
    Jim
    Is there a limit to how many times you can turn the focus knob? I just could never seem to get anywhere with focusing using the built-in Barlow. I am pretty sure I had Jupiter on center, or at least close enough to find it before switching to the Barlow. This was also using the 25mm eyepiece, so I don't think I was over-magnifying. Do I need to use the spiral slewing method after switching?

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    Default

    Congratulations on your first night. If the object was in the eyepiece before you switched to the barlow and not afterwards, the spiral search should rapidly locate it.

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    Default

    Howdy Stuart. I too have (but will soon go out for service :-( ) an ETX-80. Great little scope optically. Don't try an external barlow...I purchased two of them: the Meade #126 and Opts 2.5X shorty. I wasn't able to bring either one to focus, as I ran out of focus travel just before they would reach focus. Stick with the internal...it's not a bad one.

    When flipping the barlow into postion, I count the number of turns I make with the knob (not full turn counts, just the number of "twists" I have to make with my hand). You need to "lengthen" the scope when using the barlow (you can see it move if you look closely while focusing). When I get to around 55 twists I know I'm in the ballpark and should be able to see blurry images in the EP. Further tweaking brings them into focus.

    Have fun...
    Craig

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RealSturat View Post
    Is there a limit to how many times you can turn the focus knob? I just could never seem to get anywhere with focusing using the built-in Barlow. I am pretty sure I had Jupiter on center, or at least close enough to find it before switching to the Barlow. This was also using the 25mm eyepiece, so I don't think I was over-magnifying. Do I need to use the spiral slewing method after switching?
    Yes, the focus knob will bottom out on both ends. You don't have to worry about turning it too far. I think you just didn't turn it enough to bring it into focus. You might have to center your object in the center of the ep after you get it focus. What I usually do is watch through the ep and if it starts getting out of the fov , I'll adjust it a little as i continue to focus. Play around with it. It works pretty good. That focuser works in a fine tuning mode all the time is why you have to turn it so much when you engage the barlow.
    Celestron C9.25. Atlas EQG mount. Canon 500D unmodded, Celestron ST80 guide scope, SSAG, Meade 6.3 FR, Thousand Oaks dew control with Dewnot straps. Zhumell 8/24mm Zoom, 2"Gso Superview 42mm, Meade 2"QX wide angle 30MM, Meade 1.25 EP and filter set. Tasco 10x50 Zhumell 20x80 bino and a few other odds and ends.
    Now where did I put that clear sky button!

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  15. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by caheaton View Post
    Howdy Stuart. I too have (but will soon go out for service :-( ) an ETX-80. Great little scope optically. Don't try an external barlow...I purchased two of them: the Meade #126 and Opts 2.5X shorty. I wasn't able to bring either one to focus, as I ran out of focus travel just before they would reach focus. Stick with the internal...it's not a bad one.

    When flipping the barlow into postion, I count the number of turns I make with the knob (not full turn counts, just the number of "twists" I have to make with my hand). You need to "lengthen" the scope when using the barlow (you can see it move if you look closely while focusing). When I get to around 55 twists I know I'm in the ballpark and should be able to see blurry images in the EP. Further tweaking brings them into focus.

    Have fun...
    Craig
    Thanks for the tip. I'll give that a go next time I have the scope out. Hopefully Monday or Tuesday.

    Hope you are able to get your scope fixed and back in action!

    Stuart

 

 

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