amateur astronomy and astrophotography
and my Meade ETX-90/EC

Welcome! you are astrosurfer number
webpage born on 17SEP1998

since 24JUL2002!

updated on sep99

The Constellations

constellation astrophotos are available with and without lines
still more to come...

Annular Solar Eclipse 22AUG98
Kota Tinggi, Malaysia

the new MEADE ETX-90/EC!

click on the image to learn more about the mighty ETX
images borrowed

my ETX and accessories were purchased from nature's company/discovery channel store
in king of prussia, PA, USA on 31MAR99.
i got the piggyback camera mount and minolta T-mount from Mr Roger Tuthill.
tripod system bought from Cathay Photo, Singapore.
i have an aluminum hard case that was purchased from mohammed mustafa in serangoon, singapore for SG$65 to replace the AMBICO soft camera case that i got from PA. i wanted a Hakuba or a Pelican Case but i went over my astronomy budget already. <8P

here's the elegant ETX and TRIPOD system

click on picture for larger image
   the etx is shown here with the clear night dew cap. the tape that holds the ends of the dew cap together is losing its hold so i had to put some rubber bands to keep them intact.   it is sitting on its drive base in the altitude/azimuth (altazimuth or alt/az) configuration.   instead of getting the Meade Field Tripod dedicated for the ETX, i bought and assembled a tripod system which is very sturdy and convenient to use with not just the ETX but also for my miniDV camcorder and manual SLR cameras with long lenses.   the manfrotto 410 junior geared head is very convenient as it offers precise geared movement in three directions and is designed for 35mm SLR and medium format cameras (it can take my ETX!) - weight is 1.22kg. this head is mostly useful when adjusting your sight in small increments and you don't even have to LOCK it!   the manfrotto 455 triminor duo tripod legs can support up to 6kg of load and is very versatile and heavy duty - it's about 2.6kg.   the Slik vertical plate is nicely able to accommodate the drive base of the ETX as shown in this picture and below (polar mode). i intend to drill another hole in my vertical plate for added security when mounting my ETX which has two 1/4 screw slots.

the manfrotto 410 junior geared head

click on picture for larger image
   in the polar mode. the etx is safely resting on the vertical plate.   by the way, the tripod can go as low as 10in or as high as 70in which will accommodate virtually anybody, i.e. a child or a 6ft grown-up. it is also very convenient when used with a binocular. i can easily see the four moons of jupiter as tiny source of lights using my 10 X 50 Nikon Lookout IV.

1 2 3

    here are pictures of the (1) SLIK vertical plate, the aluminum case (2) closed and (3) open with my ETX and some accessories inside including the Autostar.   i've purchased some plastic containers to hold my eyepieces and other stuffs. i tried to fit the etx safely in the case (3) with some cut foams. the etx and 2 plastic containers will fit in this aluminum case. i have already travelled with this case as a hand-carry luggage and am not sure if it will survive as a check-in luggage! for the price, it serves its purpose to protect my ETX. i do hope that it will fit the required size of hand carries in US specially in LA.
  15sep99: my first glance at jupiter and saturn. there was a local brown out in our area and it gave me the opportunity to have my very first look at jupiter and saturn. it was a clear night. i was indeed very lucky as it was raining most of the time here in philippines during this month.   i do not have any filters yet (except the 'moon filter'. maybe i'll try it next time) so i had to look at the planets as it is. i used my 26mm and 6mm plus my 2X barlow lens. at 48X and 96X(26mm+2X barlow), the view was crisp and clear! i can clearly see 2 bands from jupiter. i wish i can see the red spot! and the same with saturn where i can clearly see the ringed planet in 3D! it was really a great site - keeping in mind that i'm only using a 3 incher!
  wanting to see more, i tried using my 6mm and the barlow. at 208X, the view was blurred already although i'm not sure if this is only because i can not get a good focus. the focuser on the ETX is really a pain to use at this power. it was more blurred at 416X. i will try to do this again when i'm finished devicing something to help me get a finer increments on the focuser.

got ETX?

by the way, FYI - ETX-90's brothers are now available: ETX-125/EC and ETX-70AT!
stay tuned...

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