The Meade ETX-LS – backyard astronomy made easy
I don’t profess to know a lot about telescopes. I know that the Hubble one sits out in space. I know that they make objects that are very far away seem a lot closer than they are. I know that it isn’t done by witchcraft, or so they say.
Now, what I also happen to know is that the Meade Instruments Corporation of America will be showcasing their latest stargazer at CES in January but have been good enough to share a few details with us today.
What we’re talking about is the Meade ETX-LS and that’s a rather small picture of it on the right. It’s actual size is much bigger than those 40,000-odd pixels but it’s no giant either. It sits nicely on top of a tripod which will most likely be included in the price. The only trouble is that I can’t tell you how much that is. They haven’t told me. What I can tell you is that the ETX-LS is set to “change the face of backyard astronomy as we know it” but seeing as I never knew what its face looked like in the first place, it’s all news to me.
What I do have though, are some specs on the matter and I’ve got to say that it sounds like the nuts. Come this way and I’ll show you what I mean…
The LS part of the product name refers to the ‘scope’s Light Switch alignment technology which takes all the slog out of trying to find the right stars in the first place. I’m not sure if that ruins the fun for all the purists out there but it does make it a good model to start off with.
The integrated sensor module combines GPS, light sensitivity and Level North technology to find the stars for you by recognising your position compared to the celestial bodies to create a real time night sky map. It also houses a CCD sensor and SD card slot so you can take pictures of what you find down the lens.
There’s a even a video-out jack and a built in speaker for Meade’s Astronomer-Inside Encylopedia to give you a guided tour of the heavens. Basically, it sounds like a telescope that does it all for you. All you need to do is put your eye against it.
At a wild guess it’ll come in at the $1,000 mark but don’t quote me on that.
Don’t think I’ll be getting one for my birthday but I’d certainly like to have a play if I ever saw one.
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If you’re having problems with getting your telescope to work, try posting in the astronomy equipment forums at http://www.cloudynights.com – lots of folks there who can help.
ecobore, go to Weasner’s Mighty ETX site or Cloudy Nights astronomy forums for tips. They’ll set you right. I own two ETX’s and once you know the small tips, all of which I learned from those sites, you’ll be fine.
That would be GREAT Daniel, I have always been saddened by my inability to use this thing…
I have a Meade ETX and for the life of me have NEVER managed to get it set up right. So for the last few years it has just been a brand new expensive hunk of glass sitting in its case. (I am pretty tech savvy too… pointed it at the correct star and everything but it would never calibrate.) VERY disappointed! (I might add I live in one of the EUs premier star-gazing locations so no problems with light pollution.)
I can put you in touch with a man from Meade who might be able to help out. Nobody likes gadgets that don’t work, especially expensive ones.