When the original ETX telescope, the ETX-90RA, was introduced in 1996, it quickly created a revolution in amateur astronomy. Here for the first time was an ultraportable and highly versatile telescope system of unprecedented optical resolution and performance. Within a year of its introduction the ETX became the top-selling modern telescope in the world.
Features500x maximum magnificationFork mounts with standard-equipment dual-axis drive system and electronic controllerAltazimuth or equatorial operationCordless field operationFlip-mirror system
Trouble and Poor Customer Support from Meade
I just purchased a new ETX-125EC (June 2003). I keep getting motor failure errors and retraining does not help. In talking with Meade they indicated that it was probably a motor encoder problem and to please send it back for repairs. The expected wait was quoted as 3 weeks. Asked why the wait was so long it boiled down to "get in line with everyone else needing repairs". Frankly, I didn't pay [money]. for a new scope to get in a 3 week line. I have an old (20 years) C11 as well as a C90 so I am very close to returning the unit to the supplier, who has tried to help but had no pull with Meade to do any better, and telling Meade to take their scope and arrogant customer service and shove it.
Portable but Pricey
This is the size that the ETX should have been when it was introduced. The 125 is a relatvely new member of the ETX lineup, and the one that I would recommend first to those with the money and the desire to buy an "UltraPortable" scope. With its 5 inches of aperture, it is the only ETX scope so far that I would recommend for any sort of serious deep sky (galaxies, star custers, nebulae) viewing. (See my review ot the ETX-90 for an explanation of why aperture is important.)
Good Scope with the right Accessories
This is the GoTo scope of choice with the Autostar.It gives clear views and a distortion-free view of the sky with the standard eye piece.For planetary viewing, the barlow lens is good, but the higher power was not as useful for deep-sky objects.I found the Autostar somewhat difficult to use in the Easy setup mode due to the star choices it gave for orientation of the scope.I recommend using the Two-star set-up mode that lets you pick stars you KNOW you can identify and find.