Sunday, February 7, 2010

Buy Now Meade ETX105AT Telescope w/ UHTC, Autostar Controller (497) and Tripod (884)

Meade ETX105AT Telescope w/ UHTC, Autostar Controller (497) and Tripod (884)

Product Description
The latest model in Meade's popular ETX line, the ETX105EC with premium Ultra High Transmission optical coatings (UHTC), is one sweet portable package. The included Autostar controller delivers excellent tracking and pointing. The #884 Tripod combined with the aluminum frame and ball-bearing chassis delivers vibration-free viewing. And the optics are simply the best I've ever seen in a small Maksutov-Cassegrain or Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

Although Meade recommends the UHTC coatings package for improved brightness, I find the improved contrast is much more impressive. I compared the ETX105EC, at 4.13 inches of aperture, side by side with my 5 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain. The view of Saturn at 200X magnification in both telescopes was nearly identical. The Cassini division in Saturn's rings was obvious, and I could see 5 moons around Saturn with both scopes. The inner moons Tethys and Dione were easier to spot with the larger SCT. The ETX105EC with UHTC, however, was the clear winner on contrast and color. The UHTC coatings simply eliminated much of the scattered light that robs contrast from the views in my SCT. Saturn's equatorial belt was the same apricot color in the 4 inch ETX that I see in much larger scopes. When I looked at Jupiter with the ETX105EC, the pale orange-tan color of the famous Great Red Spot was plainly visible.

The Autostar controller delivers excellent pointing accuracy. My usual set-up starts with centering Polaris in the scope, then leveling the optical tube. This automatically sets the telescope's "home position" within one degree of true North and level. After a careful setup the other night, the "easy align" routine put the first alignment star, Rigel, inside the field of view. And the second star, Procyon, was just outside the edge of the field. Easy as can be. (Nightwatch by Terence Dickinson will introduce you to these brighter stars by name.) Even w


  • Includes AutoStar controller and deluxe field tripod
  • UHTC coatings are on all optical surfaces for enhanced detail
  • Electronic controller for slew speeds and built-in clock drive
  • Maksutov meniscus corrector lens of Grade-A BK7 optical glass
  • Includes a Meade Series 4000 Super Plvssl 26 millimeter eyepiece for 48 times magnification

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don't ever buy a Meade Telescope
I have never had such a bad experience with customer service. My telescope broke after two uses. The horizontal drive mechanism is stripped. If I could get my telescope repaired someplace else, I would. I am absolutely furious at the complete failure on the part of Meade's organization to honor their commitment to repair my ETX-125. They took my money over two months ago now and have done absolutely nothing in return for my $150. This is the most pathetic interaction I have ever had with any purchase in my entire life.

I purchased a warranty plan from Meade 8/29/06. The charge was promptly placed on my credit card, and that is the only thing they have ever done for me. I called a month later for my shipping boxes. No reply. I called a week later and left another message, No reply. I called on 10/19/06, no reply. On 10 23 I talked to someone personally and she promised to look into the matter, took my info and said the manager would qet the messaqe. NO reply. On 10 24 I left a message again. Someone finally returned my call and said he'd send boxes. SINCE THEN I HAVE HEARD NOTHING!

I might as well throw my $1200 telescope in the trash since it broke after two uses and thanks to their bungling I can't get it fixed.

Excellent Optics but poor assembly
We had our new ETX 105 inspected and tuned by the astronomer at the Arkansas Observatory. The optics were measure at 1/8th wave and were rated as A++. Only slight tub alignment was necessary to optimize optical performance. Meade has a reputation for excellent optics - especially with the UHTC coating. This is probably the biggest reason to choose this brand! The optics are all made in the USA at Meades Irvine California factory. Most other scopes in this price range are made in China and have inferior optics.

If the previous reviewer has experienced poor optical performance he should contact Meade as this is not what most owners report. That said, at lot of factors affect your ability to view distant objects, such as Saturn, clearly. Not the least of which is the atmospheric conditions where you are viewing from. I have viewed the moon through this telescope using a 6mm objective and found the image to be very sharp. The same night I viewed Saturn and found it to be somewhat fuzzy.

For a good idea of what the capability's of this scope are see the pictures taken through it at:

The biggest problem with these scopes is there Vertical and, to a lesser extent, Horizontal gears used for tracking objects. Often they have a lot of backlash and can easily become stripped as one tends to over-tighten the Vertical locking mechanism to compensate. Instead the Astronomer rebuilt the gears in our scope so that they now work perfectly. The Arkansas Observatory, which houses a large Meade Telescope of its own, offers this tune-up service for around $250 per scope.

An excellent source of information about these scopes along with pictures taken through them can be found at:

For information on haveing a Meade or other brand of telescope tune-up by the Observatory click on "Services" at:

More Info: Buy Now Meade ETX105AT Telescope w/ UHTC, Autostar Controller (497) and Tripod (884)

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