Meade ETX-105EC


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Brand and Model:Meade ETX-105EC
Price ($USD):695
Type:Maksutov-Cassegrain
Attributes: checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:105mm (4.1")
f Ratio:f/14
Focal Length:1470mm
Finder:8 x 25
Electric Power:8 AA Batteries
Mount:Twin Fork
Tripod:Optional
Weight (lbs):13.5 lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):17" x 10" x 8"
Description:Fills the gap between the ETX-90EC and the ETX-125EC

Meade's ETX Page


ETX 105EC Review at Weasner's ETX Site

Vote Highlights Vote
Meade ETX-105EC
This is an excellent scope to take out into the yard when you don't have much time to spare.

The optics are very good for this price range, and the Go-To works perfectly, provided you train the drives per the instructions. Most of the time, the object will be centered in the eyepiece. Only occasionally has the object been located in the outer 30 percent of FOV.

I added a ScopeTronix Flexi-Focus to replace the focus knob, and this works great. Also, do yourself a big favor and purchase a Rigel quick finder to use in conjuntion with the right angle finder.

Here's my quick method of setup. First ensure that you have adjusted the scope for the hard stop. The instructions are a bit poor in that regard. Next, I eyeball the approximate position of North, by roughly visually aligning the tube with the direction of Polaris. The entire time, the scope is set to the level position. Then I select the two star method, and choose a star of my choice to align with. The rough setup means that the first alignment star won't be real close, but that's where the Rigel finder comes in. Just slew until the Rigel has the star centered. Finally, use the Right Angle finder to get in closer. Once you're aligned with two stars, the Go-To is very accurate. This whole process takes only a short period of time.

I use a portable Vector power source and this works great because I don't have to worry about short term batteries or cords/adapters. I can set the scope up anywhere in the yard quite easily.

From darker suburban skies, many galaxies can be detected, but not too many of them will show much detail unless they have high surface brightness, and have relatively high visual magnitudes in the range of say magnitude 8 to 9.5. M82 is grand, and M65 and M66 are nice too, for example. The brighter globulars will resolve to some extent with high power and good eyepieces. I use mostly Radians, Konigs, Panoptics, and the new Naglers in this scope. Don't expect too much from 4 inches if you are accustomed to looking through a 10 inch or larger scope. I use this scope for quick look setups, and when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to have to star hop.

The one downside to this scope that I have encountered is the right angle finder gets in the way of small eyepieces. For example, I have trouble using my UO Orthos in this scope because the finder bumps your head when you try to view through the short eyepiece.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.96.183)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=87581


Meade ETX-105EC
I’ve had my ETX-105EC for about two weeks, so far. It’s mounted on a Bogen 3036 tripod using the Scopetronix ‘Deluxe Tripod Adaptor’ and connected to the Autostar #497 (Software release Version 22Eh). I have several telescopes already and bought this for camping trips / vacations and something to look through while I’m taking long exposure photographs with an autoguider.

Last night (16th October 01 – no Moon) I set up a side-by-side comparison of the ETX-105EC with my Vixen 90mm Flourite Refractor (which is an excellent, though expensive, telescope). I took both scopes outside at around 7:00 pm and started viewing at 10:30 – plenty of time to cool down to ambient.

A lot has been said already about the Autostar – here’s my input: It’s a bit tricky to use, there is a learning curve, but I find it to work just fine. My start-up procedure is to level the tripod using the bubble level on the Scopetronix tripod adaptor, find Polaris by setting the alt angle to my latitude and sweeping in azimuth until its in the finder scope. Center Polaris in the eyepiece and check the alignment of the finder scope. This is a bit fiddly – at this point the telescope is not switched on yet and adjustments to center Polaris in the eyepiece are by hand. Level the tube by setting the alt angle to zero. Lock the azimuth clutch now while there’s room for hands and fingers. Switch on the telescope, enter date and time when prompted. I think time has to be entered reasonably accurately – at least to the nearest minute.

The easy align function uses a two star alignment with stars it chooses from its database. It chose Capella first then Vega. After a ‘successful alignment’ I selected Saturn, waited a second for it to calculate RA and Dec then pressed ‘GO TO’. The ETX slewed (nosily) in the right direction and beeped to announce Saturn’s ‘arrival’. Yes it was there, more or less in the center of the eyepiece. (A 30mm Celestron Ultima giving 49X.) Time to find Saturn – about five minutes from stepping outside.

The Vixen FL-90S was on a Vixen GP equatorial mount. Mine does not have ‘GO TO’ but it does have an RA drive. Finding Saturn simply involved pointing the polar axis at Polaris, then swinging the tube towards Saturn and engaging the RA Drive. Of course, the tube has to be balanced and the tripod leveled, so its not really fair to say the equatorial mount is any faster.

Optical testing: The out of focus images of the ETX look very similar both sides of focus, which is a good sign, and people who know what they’re doing can learn a lot from this. I don’t, so I’ll stick with in focus images. This itself is a little bit of a problem. Precise focusing is difficult – the focus knob is small and stiff. Holding the focuser causes the image to wiggle a bit. I found it best to get roughly in focus, then make tiny adjustments releasing each time to see if it was focused properly. I hope the focus will get smoother with use. Mirror slop by the way was minimal at low magnification and slightly annoying at 163X.

Saturn: At 82 X (Celestron Ultima 18mm) the ETX clearly showed rings, globe and Titan. At a similar magnitude (90X with Vixen LV 9mm) the Vixen showed a largely similar image, rings, globe and Titan. But what’s that between Titan and Saturn? Rhea was just visible. After I’d seen it in the Vixen I could see it in the ETX. At higher magnification both moons were clear in both telescopes. Seeing wasn’t too bad so I went as high as 163X with the ETX (Vixen LV 9mm) and 162X with the Vixen (Vixen LV 5mm). Shading on the globe and the Cassini division were clear in both telescopes.

The Vixen definitely had the edge with more contrast and much easier to focus. But that’s all it is – an edge. Both telescopes produced very satisfying images and showed Saturn as a very beautiful planet.

As an experiment, I selected Jupiter and let Autostar slew while at 163X. Jupiter was right on the edge of the eyepiece FOV. Again, the pointing accuracy of the Autostar was very impressive. Being closer to the horizon, Jupiter was not steady so I’ll wait until later in the year for ‘real’ observing.

Over the rest of the evening, and into the early morning, I looked at The Perseus Double Cluster, Pleiades, Orion Nebulae and came to the same conclusions I had when viewing Saturn. The flourite refractor is better, (its two or three times more expensive) but in absolute terms there’s not much in it.

Overall, I’d say The Meade ETX-105EC has very good optics – 9/10 in absolute terms - 10/10 considering the price. Pointing accuracy is a solid 10/10. The, 8x25 finder is not nice to use (focus is different at edges and center, coma problems and very thick cross hairs) but it works OK. As I said above, the focus is stiff and difficult to use, and it is fairly noisy when slewing and tracking. These little quirks drop the overall rating to a 9/10. I like it, and I’ll use it often, but only when I don’t have room in the car to take my Vixen to the observing site. And that’s its real strength – its compact. You can get a 10” dobsonian and a set of star charts for the same money and see more – a lot more. But for a briefcase size telescope, the ETX-105EC is very, very good.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.228.25)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41391


Meade ETX-105EC
Good scope - busy modifying mine to be better.

Overall Rating: 6
Optics:9 Mount:5 Ease of Use:8 Value:5
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.33.197)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=584172


Meade ETX-105EC
Good Optics but a problem getting it aligned with redtricted urban night skies, often the stars you need to align are simply behind a tree or a building. I ended up using it manually. I also found the motorised scope very slow to respond and sluggish,(especially in cold conditions below 5 degrees),and too noisy. Perhaps I had a "bad un"

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:9 Mount:7 Ease of Use:6 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.93.15)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=501133


Meade ETX-105EC
Excellent optics, dead on goto, very portable!

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.13.62)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=437567


Meade ETX-105EC
What do I think of the ETX-105, or even Meade for that matter? After going through 5 samples from various stores like Astronomics and B&H Photo... I'd sell my stock in Meade fast because they've got to be going out of business. Every unit had multiple problems ranging from a smashed Autostar controller, a finder scope that fell apart in my hands, smudges on the flip mirror, small scratches every where (ON EVERY UNIT!), pieces broken off... I can go on forever! After the second unit turned out to be a failure because of a serious defect in the declination motor, I exchanged it for another but demanded to inspect it first.. Woops, no good, this one has a set screw whose head cracked off and is rattling around inside the OTA.. Woops! Next unit had a chip taken off the edge of the objective cap (quite a slam that one suffered at the factory.. "no problem", they must have thought, "lets just pass it on to sell it", I'm sure they said. I thought perhaps these horendous things could have been happening in transit since they pack the unit along with it's unsecured accessories between two flimsy molded sheets of plastic. From California to NY the scopes arrive as if they've been through a rock tumbler.

I wish I could comment on the optical prowess of the 105 but I can't because the amount of problems I encountered caused me to pack it right back up into the box. It is hard for me to believe Meade's quality control could release such shabby units, but the fact that broken peices from the smashed autostar were NOT in the autostar bag means- without a doubt- that the Meade worker who dropped it simply picked it up off the concrete floor minus the peices and said "the idiot consumer will surely settle for this!" Meades QC is dead folks, that's for sure! Seeing these problems is an indicator of the mindset producing and distributing the scopes. And if you think that if you keep looking for one without an obvious problem is possible you're probably right, but when they have an attitude like that, do you think they gave a rat's A** about the more sophisticated stuff like mirrors and optics. If you're lucky you'll get a scope working at 90% of what it could be but it still looks good and you'll never know its a sub-par unit. Hey, if broken stuff can slip past these inspectors don't you think a mirror off by a few microns can slip by even easier? One final word: ALL OF THESE UNITS LOOKED USED!!! Little scratches indicating careful use throughout the course of a year. Filthy all of them were. Looks like Meade is dishing out Refurbished and calling them new. The first one I got was the most alarming as metal filings and tiny chunks of twisted metal were falling out of the base via the battery compartment. The motors ran but whatever happened to cause that should have been a catastrophic failure for those NOISEY(equals: imprecision and friction) motors. Another sample had a 1.5 second backlash in the motors on its highest slew speed! Unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable and insulting to open a box to find a product like that inside much less five of them. Meade can go rot.

PS: Like I said, the source of these horror-shop samples came from multiple vendors who are considered reputable and all were authorized Meade dealers. So Meade is the source, not just one shady dealer. Maybe this is what happens when an American company decides go south of the border and put their reputation in the hands of a Mexican worker. Good for Meade, let them go belly-up and serve as a lesson to other American manufacturers who want to turn tail and send our jobs elsewhere.

Scott00058@aol.com

Overall Rating: No Vote
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.100.198)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=413012


Meade ETX-105EC
I have had my ETX 105 AT for one week. It is very easy to set up if one follows the directions. The Autostar is a wonderful tool. It is right on for the most part if the alignement procedure is followed correctly. The most important part is to align the finder scope up accurately first. The images of plaentary objects are ver clear and sharp for the msot part. For a relatively small aperature, one can also have allot of fun viewing the brighter deep sky objects.

The unit can be set up quickly and is extremely portable. I think it is a great buy for the money...

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:9 Mount:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.139.76)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=301698


Meade ETX-105EC
Great Scope. The autostar does an excellent job of tracking, and teaching the user about the sky. Optics are very good. I can be set up in less than 5 minutes. Would definately purchase again. I paid $579 at Mycamera.com

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:9 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.38.183)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=143578


Meade ETX-105EC
Excellent optics. This scope has provided some of the best views I have had from a small scope, including premium flourite refractors (I currently have a Sky 90). The GOTO works well but it is very important to carefully train the drive as it explains in the instructions. It has metal ball bearings, an improvement over other ETX's. The focuser is still too small and inconvenient when the scope is pointing toward zenith (but Scopetronix has an excellent & inexpensive fix for this problem).

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Mount:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.192.187)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=48574


Meade ETX-105EC
Well it's preformance is better than the original ETX.
Also more aperture. A great travel scope! But I prefer my Questar
3.5'' standard.

daSentinel

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.254.118)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41394

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