Meade ETX-125EC


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Brand and Model:Meade ETX-125EC
Price ($USD):895.00
Type:Maksutov-Cassegrain
Attributes: checked Go-To un-checked PEC
Aperture:127mm (5")
f Ratio:f/15
Focal Length:1900mm
Finder:8X25 RA
Electric Power:Battery
Mount:Equitorial Fork
Tripod:Home built pedestal
Weight (lbs):19 lbs.
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:Meade Autostar "goTo" computer control

Meade's ETX Page
Affordable Astronomy's Review

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Meade ETX-125EC
Great optics!! i had the table top mount which was plenty ok, this scope was really easy to use, the goto was excellent & the tracking was really good also. highly recommended!

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:10 Mount:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:9
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: vpdwl
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=109135


Meade ETX-125EC
The ETX 125 is the 5th scope ive owned, and easily the most portable. I always like to learn what others have has in the past when they rate a scope, just so I can their point of reference.
As a kid ive had the classic 60mm refractor, but I kept the scope for 20 years. Ive had a Meade 90mm Refractor in equatorial mount, a nice small refractor. Ive had a fantastic Meade 10" LX-200, an optically excellent scope, only flawed in my opinion by its image shift focusing, and its weight. I sold the 10" and got a Celestar 8", then bought the adjustable heavy tripod and wedge. Finally, I bought the ETX 125, without the Autostar. I bought this scope because I wanted an extremely portable scope I can lift into my back yard from my house and use it to view the moon and planets and also some day time viewing, maybe even of the sun with a filter. Lightweight, tracking, and fine optics were my main criteria for this purchase. For the record, i just purchased a Celestron CG-11, and am patiently awaiting its delivery from a private party.
Now on to the ETX 125 review:

First of all, I'd not recomend the optional adjustable field tripod. It seems to be made for the 90mm ETX and is too weak for the 125ETX. Its great for using the scope as a day time teresterial scope, but to shakey for any power above 100x for astronomical use.
I saw no reason to get the autostar option since this is only a 5" scope and in my opinion, designed to be used as a quick set up, back yard planet/moon scope. Under dark skies, a 5" aperture definately has some deep space capabilities, but i have larger scopes for deep space.
All I wanted on this scope when I purchased it was the fine optics of a Mak scope, the tracking motor, portability and the slow motion capabilities. I dont care about the goto capabilites of it. I have no problem finding objects in the sky, being a veteran astronomer since I was 15..I'm, 42 now.
So I find the tracking to be 100 percent excellent on this scope, as long as the batteries are in good shape. Otherwise, low voltage on the batteries over compensates the tracking and the viewable objects quickly race off the screen. Eye balling the north star is plenty good for keeping an object in the eyepiece for 15 or 20 minutes or so, even under high power.
I prefer lithium AA batteries also.
The finder is a joke on this scope, but still usable if you have to use it. I replaced it with my 6x30 finder from my Celestar, since I upgraded my Celestars to a 9x50. The 6x30 slips right into the finder ring and is excellent for this scope, but it does need a right angle viewer.
I use the flip mirror to view thru, with the metal plug in the back of the visual back. I have a collection of Teleview naglers, and so the review below is bases only on these eyepieces with the flip mirror at the 90 degree angle position.
I just had an aluminum bracket machined to mount my 5" F15 ETX to my 8" celestron Wedge/tripod. I wanted to try the oversized celestron tripod/wedge with the smaller ETX 125. It seems to be a winning combo.
I took the scope out last night and left it on the patio till i got up at 5am, so it would acheive thermal equalibrium.
So by 5:15 this morning, i was on the patio with my cooled down ETX, still somewhat dark.
I should have been out there at 4am...maybe tomorrow.
Nevertheless, I left all my eyepieces on the patio also, with the case opened up so they could all get that thermal effect, to eliminate tube currents...etc.
So looking pretty high in the sky i saw saturn. The straight thru finder on the ETX is a back/neck breaking experience. It sucks. I was on my knees trying to center saturn.
I wasnt sure how the scope would perform, with the recent local fires, nevertheless, I inserted in the 12mm Nagler(158x)into the scope. Oooooh baby, this was tack sharp. The focuser on the little meade is immaculate in operation, laid out just like the Schmidts, a knob coming out of the back. Very precise with zero backlash.
Bands on the planet and slight darkness on the ring were visible. The moons were pin pricks.
OK, so out comes the 12mm and in goes the 9mm nagler(211x). Still looking good. The moons are still pin pricks and the there seemed to be no loss in resolution or detail on the surface of the planet or the ring, just bigger. The new mount set up is pretty good. It only takes a split second after taking your hand of the focuser to get everything to be solid for viewing. The tracking was dead on also, even by eyeballing the north star with the forks... having just replaced the 8AA batteries. The slow motion electronics on the hand controller are a nice thing to have, manuvering the object in the eyepiece at high power is a pleasure.
This is the first time ive seen saturn at +200x power with this scope and it looked Excellent thru the ETX, especially for a 5" aperature. The focusing was dead on and crisp. It was begging for more power.
So out comes the 9mm and in goes the 7mm Nagler...(271x)...it was still holding on. The bands were still visible, but not as contrassy as with 211x, but it was still looking good. The moons were still pin pricks and the ring was still clearly focused and sharp. This is the power I would show people the planet at....most would been impressed...reguardless of the size of the scope.
This was at 55x per inch of aperature. So this was pretty cool since most scopes claim 60x per inch of aperature max under ideal conditions. Letting the scope acheive thermal equalibrium by leaving it out helped also, im sure.
Obviously, the seeing was excellent.
So out comes the 7mm and in goes 4.8mm....(400x).....still impressed! Everything was still fairly sharp on the focusing, but the bands on the planet were gone now and some of the contrass was going, but the ring and all still focused pretty well. The new mount set up made me realize how nice a scope this little 5 inch scope really is. I think the 4.8mm was pushing the limits of the scope. Buts its claimed that Maks can go 100x per inch of aperature.... Clearly this is a planet/moon scope.
I think under darker skys, this scope would be a fantastic performer with this mount set up. As it was in my back yard, the sunlight was already starting to show. Ive never seen saturn this sharp and clear since I saw it at 500x thru my 10" at my star party site. I remember an old guy came over and peeked thru my scope and shook my hand and said that was the best he'd ever seen saturn, ever. I think my expensive but excellent eyepieces were really making the ETX Come alive.
So i turned the scope to jupiter, and it was equally impressive. It was pretty impressive at 270x.....lots of details and tack sharp fosusing, seeing 5 of its pin prick moons also. The 400x was too much for the scope...and looking at the planet at 200x was awesome, but you could tell the scope was begging for more power than 200x.
I think this is an excellent telescope for what I bought it for. I cant see a better scope for the size and price. I would definately look at an optional heavy mount and tripod from meade or celestron. This, along with excellent eyepieces brings out the true performance of this fine scope.
Id give this scope a 9+. Optically its excellent, the plastic is a bit cheezy, but overall, im very proud of this compact powerhouse!

Ralph A / Sacramento Calif

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 9 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.252.101)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=39665


Meade ETX-125EC
After buying several different scopes (some of which I have kept, and others of which I have sold), I finally settled on the 5" GOTO Mak as the ideal for my tastes. I like refractor-like images in a portable package, and a 5" is about the largest size I can handle for quick setup and protability.

And so while the ETX-125 is the only 5" GOTO Mak on the market, it would probably be my first choice even if there were competition. I have had mine for nearly two months as I write these comments, and I have to tell you I like this scope better than anything else I have owned.

The optics are outstanding! I love seeing pinpoint stars with well-defined diffraction rings, and the 125 delivers that type of image. Planets, open clusters, globular clusters, and even nebulae look very nice thanks to the sharp, contrasty views.

The ETX's GOTO capabilities are excellent. Properly aligned, it will flawlessly point to the objects you select from Autostar. Tracking is also excellent - I can leave an object in the scope, walk away for an hour or so, then come back and find minimal drift. The mount is rock solid with the included tripod - absolutely no vibration!

Autostar is a joy to use, with the ability to upgrade it and to download tours, object lists, etc. If you know nothing about astronomy, Autostar is a wonderful teacher, with it's extensive help system.

Naturally, there are some negatives that need to be mentioned. The clutches on the mount are not the best - I had to dig into them and roughen up the surfaces so the scope would stay in position - the tube is front heavy, and there was a tendency for it to slowly fall forward. The focuser is also marginal - it is hard to achieve a fine focus because the movement is quite coarse. Like many other owners, I invested in an electrical focuser, and that solved the problem.

In spite of these negatives, my overall experience with the ETX-125 is overwhelmingly positive, and I have to give it a '10' overall.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 7 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: JKZimm
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=322550


Meade ETX-125EC
This scope sure gave me problems, 3 went back to the factory and the 2nd one they sent me back appeared to be a used scope and it failed. The autostar also had to be replaced when I purchased the first scope. I hung in there and finally got a good one with a home repair. The RA lock broke on one and the next two had dec problems, a plastic piece holding a bushing. I told meade that they should fire the guy that designed that part of the scope. They did say they are working on a solution and sent me the part to change out (I was not going to send it back again). Once I got the scope going, it worked very well. The autostar now and then would glitch out, but no real problems. YOU HAVE TO TRAIN THE DRIVE FOR THE AUTOSTAR TO WORK CORRECTLY! {You do this in the day time}. The optics were great and the scope took about 2 hours to cool down in extreame conditions. Stars are pinpoint and this thing can split some tight ones if their bright enough.The alum field tripod need work to last any time and I would suggest to buy a LX-200 tripod if you must have this scope. There was some RA backlash but not too bad. Someone said they used a 7mm eyepiece??? Saturn (for me) was best in a 14mm radian most of the time and the moon I could drop to an 8mm but that was really pushing it. By the time I bought the scope, tripod, elect focuser and case I had about 1500 bucks into it-WAY TOO MUCH- buy an LX-90 and it comes with a great tripod! Yes I sold my setup for 1000 dollars, a good deal for someone but if you cant find a free tripod and case add a couple hundred and get the 8". We did a side by side at a dark site and the ETX won out on shapeness but the LX-90 smoked it on deep sky objects. At least if you get an ETX-90 you can pull the OTA out of the forks when you want and use it as a spotter- (I piggy back a ETX-90 on a 10" sct) the 125 is alittle big for that. But the optics are very good even compared to my 7" Lx-200 (Mak) and they cool down quicker. A great grab and go scope But alittle pricey.

Overall Rating: 7
Optics:9 Mount:4 Ease of Use:8 Value:6
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.208.42)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=128193


Meade ETX-125EC
Nice pictures. I've only just sttared astronomy as a hobby, with an Orion XT10i Intelliscope. Its a Newtonian Reflector on a Dobsonian base, which I am starting to discover makes astrophotography a little difficult since it does not have motors to enable equatorial tracking. Still I am able to take some photos and use K3CCDTools to take AVI's and Registax to stack the frames and improve the photos. They are not bad results, but your photos of Mars and Jupiter are very nice, some good detail in Mars particularly, which I understand can be a bit difficult to photograph. I too use a webcam, a Phillips SPC900NC which is a similar spec and sensitivity to your Toucam, except I think mine allows the modification for the Steve Chambers long exposure mod to be made even easier, due to a redesign of the circuit board which brings the required connections away from the chips which are so tiny it makes soldering to them difficult on the Toucam. I have yet to make the SC LX mod, but I chose this webcam because of the ease of doing it.

Overall Rating: 2
Optics:2 Mount:3 Ease of Use:7 Value:1
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.6.114)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=600169


Meade ETX-125EC
The telescope is my "grab and go" scope. Great views of the Moon and Solar observing. The Autostar is easy to use (and fun). The tripod it came with is not worth much, however. Look at getting a better tripod.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Mount:2 Ease of Use:7 Value:5
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.66.237)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=548831


Meade ETX-125EC
I had this scope for about 3 years but had only used it twice until a few weeks ago when I purchased an Autostar for it. The optics are good for the price but the mount and drives are pretty bad. I had been using the scope on weekends for the last month most of the time struggling with alignment and tracking problems. This last weekend I had the scope well aligned and used the GOTO to observe M31 which at the time was very close to the zenith. The scope put Andromeda close to dead center. I was impressed. It was very cold out so I went inside waiting for Saturn to be higher in the sky. When I went to check on the scope, to my horror it had locked up and one of the motors no longer worked. The scope also had a burnt smell to it. I took it apart the next morning and found that the circuit board controlling the DEC motor had melted! I've decided to mount the OTA on a heavy duty camera mount and forget about the electronics and use the scope manually. I would not buy an ETX again.

Overall Rating: 4
Optics:7 Mount:2 Ease of Use:3 Value:5
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.115.230)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=473976


Meade ETX-125EC
Hello i am an astronomy hobbiest from kuwait/middle east, i've been in the hobby for 20 years.
i've looked through many telescopes, meade 125 ETX is highly recommended for proffessionals and hobbiests.
optics are amazing, it even reveals the true colour of the moon, which some telescopes don't.
you can scan the whole sky manually or using the GoTo device , and you'll never get bored.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Mount:10 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.54.185)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=404322


Meade ETX-125EC
Overall this telescope has worked well and we have been pleased with the images we have seen through it. The auto star hits the mark pretty well in locating images. Had a couple of problems, one was the right ascension drive failing, Meade fixed it under warranty promtley.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:9 Mount:7 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.210.5)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=402098


Meade ETX-125EC
I was never really happy with my etx-125. Focusing was difficult as the little knob is very touchy.
The mount is cheaply made. Many, many times it would slip and scope would come crashing down.
The views can be spectacular at times, but for my money a small TeleVue (pronto, ranger, 76) is better worth the money.
My computer broke the moter with in the first year. Meade did replace, but it was a hassle. I would rather spend the money for the computer for better optics.
I ended trading mine in for a used TeleVue Solaris and I never regretted it.

Overall Rating: 5
Optics:6 Mount:4 Ease of Use:5 Value:2
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.82.26)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=368498

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