Question about Meade ETX-125EC (500 x 127mm) Telescope

1 Answer

Loose image when focusing

The shift is bad when i have an object in the center of field of view and then focus, the image will go way out to the outer edge and will hang up out there untill i turn the knob some more.When i turn the knob counter clockise it has the same tension all the way,But when i turn clockwise less tension and the knob easily can be wiggled up and down or side to side. yes i would like to fix myself. thanks.

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  • 68426 Jun 22, 2008

    What i ended up doing was cuting a a piece of plastic from a folder tab, trimed it to the proper size,used a nail a little smaller in diameter than the focusing shaft and worked the plastic around the nail to get the wright shape.Then i slid it over the shaft and used a tiny screw driver to get the plastic to go between shaft and housing. It only took a few seconds and the plastic slid in also tightened the knob all the way and and then worked it in flush with the housing. I have turned the shaft all the way in and out several times and the plastic does not come out. This has solved the problem much better than expected, there is absolutly no image shift. and zero side to side or up and down movement in the shaft. The plastic is cut to a half inch deep and when wraped around shaft there is about a 2mm gap between the ends.

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The focus knob can have the play reduced. Turn counter-clockwise a turn or 2, then loosen the knob's set-screw and carefully turn clockwise until a little drag is felt. Then tighten the set-screw.
A further item that may pertain to image shift, especially at low powers, is that the baffle tube that the main mirror slides on, may be loose in the back housing. There have been reports of poor thread engagement due to poor tolerences. That tube can be re-tightened - just be careful not to strip the threads!.

Posted on Jun 20, 2008

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New telescope users are taken by surprise at the difficulty of just pointing the telescope in the right direction to see anything. The field of view is quite limited, especially if you are using a high power eyepiece. The higher the power of eyepiece on a telescope, the dimmer the image, the more difficult to aim it at any chosen object, and the more difficult to focus. When the scope is not focussed, even if there are stars in the field of view, they will only be faint blurs.

It is best when you are starting out with a telescope to try it with the least powerful eyepiece (the one with the highest number) to begin with, until you become more familiar with how it works. Do NOT use the Barlow lens if one came with the scope.

The finder scope is meant to help you get the main scope lined up on the object you want to view, but it won't be any use in pointing the telescope until you adjust it to precisely line up with the main scope. Telescope manuals recommend that you do this in daylight, by pointing the scope at an object on the horizon and adjusting the finder to match (never point a telescope toward the Sun!). Once you have a tree or mountain peak in the center of the main scope's image, you can then adjust the screws around the finder scope to get the crosshairs (or red dot) centered on the same object. It is very difficult to do this job in the dark, especially as objects in the sky are constantly on the move.

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At this point you will learn that astronomical telescopes usually show an upside down image. There is a good reason for this- erecting the image needs more bits of glass in the light path, which reduces the amount of light and increases aberrations. Even if this is only slight, astronomers prefer to avoid it, and they don't really care which way up the Moon or Jupiter appear. It is possible to fit an erecting prism or eyepiece to most astronomical telescopes, and some of them come with one, but one wouldn't bother to do this with the small finder scope.

Once you have done the above, you can try the scope at night, on an easy to find bright object like the Moon. Looking at random stars will probably be disappointing, as they don't look different under magnification. You will have to find planets, star clusters or nebula to see anything interesting. You will also find the the object you are looking at swims out of the viewing field, and you must continually move the scope to follow it. This will be more pronounced at higher magnifications. Again, use the least powerful eyepiece. Small scopes are often advertised as having unrealistic powers (300, 500) which can never be practically achieved. You just get dim blurs.

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New telescope users are taken by surprise at the difficulty of just pointing the telescope in the right direction to see anything. The field of view is quite limited, especially if you are using a high power eyepiece. The higher the power of eyepiece on a telescope, the dimmer the image, the more difficult to aim it at any chosen object, and the more difficult to focus. When the scope is not focussed, even if there are stars in the field of view, they will only be faint blurs.

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It is best when you are starting out with a telescope to try it with the least powerful eyepiece (the one with the highest number) to begin with, until you become more familiar with how it works. Do NOT use the Barlow lens if one came with the scope.

The finder scope is meant to help you get the main scope lined up on the object you want to view, but it won't be any use in pointing the telescope until you adjust it to precisely line up with the main scope. Telescope manuals recommend that you do this in daylight, by pointing the scope at an object on the horizon and adjusting the finder to match (never point a telescope toward the Sun!). Once you have a tree or mountain peak in the center of the main scope's image, you can then adjust the screws around the finder scope to get the crosshairs (or red dot) centered on the same object. It is very difficult to do this job in the dark, especially as objects in the sky are constantly on the move.

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New telescope users are taken by surprise at the difficulty of just pointing the telescope in the right direction to see anything. The field of view is quite limited, especially if you are using a high power eyepiece. The higher the power of eyepiece on a telescope, the dimmer the image, the more difficult to aim it at any chosen object, and the more difficult to focus. When the scope is not focussed, even if there are stars in the field of view, they will only be faint blurs.

It is best when you are starting out with a telescope to try it with the least powerful eyepiece (the one with the highest number) to begin with, until you become more familiar with how it works. Do NOT use the Barlow lens if one came with the scope.

The finder scope is meant to help you get the main scope lined up on the object you want to view, but it won't be any use in pointing the telescope until you adjust it to precisely line up with the main scope. Telescope manuals recommend that you do this in daylight, by pointing the scope at an object on the horizon and adjusting the finder to match (never point a telescope toward the Sun!). Once you have a tree or mountain peak in the center of the main scope's image, you can then adjust the screws around the finder scope to get the crosshairs (or red dot) centered on the same object. It is very difficult to do this job in the dark, especially as objects in the sky are constantly on the move.

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At this point you will learn that astronomical telescopes usually show an upside down image. There is a good reason for this- erecting the image needs more bits of glass in the light path, which reduces the amount of light and increases aberrations. Even if this is only slight, astronomers prefer to avoid it, and they don't really care which way up the Moon or Jupiter appear. It is possible to fit an erecting prism or eyepiece to most astronomical telescopes, and some of them come with one, but one wouldn't bother to do this with the small finder scope.

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New telescope users are taken by surprise at the difficulty of just pointing the telescope in the right direction to see anything. The field of view is quite limited, especially if you are using a high power eyepiece. The higher the power of eyepiece on a telescope, the dimmer the image, the more difficult to aim it at any chosen object, and the more difficult to focus. When the scope is not focussed, even if there are stars in the field of view, they will only be faint blurs.

It is best when you are starting out with a telescope to try it with the least powerful eyepiece (the one with the highest number) to begin with, until you become more familiar with how it works. Do NOT use the Barlow lens if one came with the scope.

The finder scope is meant to help you get the main scope lined up on the object you want to view, but it won't be any use in pointing the telescope until you adjust it to precisely line up with the main scope. Telescope manuals recommend that you do this in daylight, by pointing the scope at an object on the horizon and adjusting the finder to match (never point a telescope toward the Sun!). Once you have a tree or mountain peak in the center of the main scope's image, you can then adjust the screws around the finder scope to get the crosshairs (or red dot) centered on the same object. It is very difficult to do this job in the dark, especially as objects in the sky are constantly on the move.

You will find that there is a very wide range of movement in the focus mechanism, because different eyepieces focus at different points, but the actual focus range for any eyepiece will be a small part of the overall range afforded by the focusing mount. It is much easier to familiarise yourself with this in daylight.

At this point you will learn that astronomical telescopes usually show an upside down image. There is a good reason for this- erecting the image needs more bits of glass in the light path, which reduces the amount of light and increases aberrations. Even if this is only slight, astronomers prefer to avoid it, and they don't really care which way up the Moon or Jupiter appear. It is possible to fit an erecting prism or eyepiece to most astronomical telescopes, and some of them come with one, but one wouldn't bother to do this with the small finder scope.

Once you have done the above, you can try the scope at night, on an easy to find bright object like the Moon. Looking at random stars will probably be disappointing, as they don't look different under magnification. You will have to find planets, star clusters or nebula to see anything interesting. You will also find the the object you are looking at swims out of the viewing field, and you must continually move the scope to follow it. This will be more pronounced at higher magnifications. Again, use the least powerful eyepiece. Small scopes are often advertised as having unrealistic powers (300, 500) which can never be practically achieved. You just get dim blurs.

There is an excellent website for beginner telescope users at THIS LINK

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1 Answer

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Take into account when focusing that binoculars are also designed to compensate for differences in each eye. One of the eyepieces either right or left will adjust seperately. For binoculars with a center focus ring. First focus using the center ring with one eye covered. The eye that should be covered is the one that doesn't have the adjusting eyepiece. When the image is clear close the eye you have just used and leave the center focus alone. Focusing on the same spot look through the eyepiece that adjusts and turn the eyepiece ring until the image is clear. Now all you have to do is focus using the center ring only as the binoculars are adjusted for each eye.

Some binoculars do not have a center focus and each eye will adjust seperately.

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1 Answer

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