USING WEASNER'S MIGHTY ETX SITE
Last updated: 4 September 2013
This Site has been online since September 1996, and has grown tremendously over the years. However, the basic concept has remained the same: provide a resource of information, tips, product reviews, actual ETX-based astrophotography, and more to ETX and Autostar users worldwide. As announced on 11 August 2013, the ETX Site will no longer be updated, but it will remain online.
New users may feel overwhelmed at the amount of information on this Site and that is understandable given that there is currently over 1 GB of information in over 10,000 HTML, graphics, and software files on this Site. While the Site is organized in a fairly obvious way, this Site Guide provides some explanations on how to use the Site effectively for the new ETX and DS owners.
The Site Home Page is organized into several areas. I'll touch on each of these in this Site Guide.
The large image at the top of the page shows the title of the Site and tries to convey that our little ETX telescopes are actually very Mighty telescopes, given their size. The Site Title also has another meaning: this Site is also a Mighty Site, with TONS of valuable information for visitors.
Below the image is some introductory text, describing why I created this Site.
The middle portion of the ETX Site Home Page is divided up into seven major topics:
I'll discuss each of these in turn.
This Site Guide.
The ETX FAQ page has questions and answers to the most frequently asked ETX questions. If you check the ETX FAQ before searching the Site, you may find the answer there and save yourself some time.
If your ETX (or other telescope) needs service and you do not want to attempt the repair yourself, check out Dr. Clay Sherrod's Supercharge Service.
The Feedback Archive includes several pages of general and specific items, including every Feedback page going back to October 1996. This is where you will find a lot of Q&A, simple tips, and items of general importance. General topics, ETX-PE, ETX-105, ETX-125, and ETX-60/70/80 feedback pages are covered on the "ETX, General" feedback page. The ETX-90RA (the original ETX) is unique (no standard declination drive) and has its own feedback page. The DSX and DS, Older Models are on the "DS, DSX, Older Models" page. AutoStar feedback is covered on the "AutoStar" feedback page. And the AutoStar Suite and Astronomy Software are discussed on the "Astro Software" feedback page. (In late 2009, Meade decided to remove the "ETX" designation from the LS model since it was really not in the ETX product line. Consequently, I decided to drop (ETX-)LS coverage from the ETX Site effective 1 March 2010. Similarly, the AutoStar III coverage ended 1 March 2010. Check the Astronomy Links page for any known LS support web sites.)
There are announcements on Star Parties and events, some public service announcements relating to Meade Instruments, "Alerts" (which can cover any astronomical item), and "Warnings" (which cover equipment and other warnings).
There is a link to my "Cassiopeia Observatory" web page, where I report on my activities and observations. The image shows whether the observatory is currently Open or Closed. There is also a link to reports on other observatories I have visited.
Here you will find information useful to potential buyers of ETX and DS scopes, as well as information useful to new owners of these scopes. If you plan to buy a telescope or accessory, or already have, check the "Buyer/New User Tips" page to see what is there. The "Tutorials" page is where tutorials on using the ETX and the Autostar are available. Currently the selection is limited but I hope to add more over time. Next, is an area on "Astrophotography". This is a collection of tips and camera specific items. It has links to some older items (all the way back to 1996) as well as newer content. The next item is the "Telescope Tech Tips" page. This contains some more technical information on making or modifying items to enhance your telescope usage. Some items are more technical than others. Don't attempt anything described unless you are comfortable with what the item says and you are willing to invalidate any warranty on your system. At the bottom of the "Miscellaneous" section on the "Telescope Tech Tips" page you will see links to "Guest Contributions" from 1997 and 1998. Be certain to check them out as there is more good information there. Then there is the "Autostar Information" page; a collection of lots of tips, software, patches, and more about all models of the Autostar. The next link is to "User Observations", where you can read user reports of what they have seen with their ETX and DS telescopes. There is the "Guides/References", containing a wealth of information on how and what to observe, and some items to be aware of when observing. The topic "Astronomy & Medical Topics" is where articles on health and astronomy items will be found. Next is "Astronomy & Intel Mac Systems" which relates to experiences using Microsoft Windows astronomy applications on Apple Macintosh systems that have an Intel CPU. Then the topic "Light Pollution", which is a collection of links on light pollution, light nuisance, light trespass, and the health effects of light pollution.
This topic has reviews and more reviews. The "Showcase Products" page covers accessories which I deem to be worthwhile of indepth discussion. The other categories are pretty much self-explanatory. If you are considering purchasing an accessory, check the appropriate page to see if someone has reviewed it. Be certain to look for similar items to get a good perspective on what is available.
This topic is a catch-all for items for which there is no other appropriate place. The "Astronomy Links" page is a simple categorized listing of useful web sites including institutions, users, dealers, magazines, and software. Then a "Social Media List" page, where some useful Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts are shown. The "Just for Fun!" page is just that; items that are meant to provide humor, general trivia, and at times useful information. The "Editorial" pages are where I and others have editorialized on various, ETX-related topics. Next, is a ETX Site Survey page. There is a link to a page on the published book "Using the Meade ETX", written by your webmaster. There is a link to "Memorial Web Pages"; it is where I honor and remember people who have a special relationship to me. Then there is a link to a page showing my 8" telescope and accessories that were stolen in December 2007. Next is a link to show some "ETX Site Awards". The last item is "Astrophotography Gallery Archive", showing some of the astrophotography posted on the ETX Site over the years.
Supporting the Mighty ETX Site
There are several ways to voluntarily support keeping the ETX site online. If you are purchasing a SkyShed POD observatory, use the link here to make your purchase. If you are planning to purchase an astronomy book or other item, click the "Shop @ Amazon" link. From there you will be able to enter the Mighty ETX Site Amazon Store (in affliation with Amazon.com). Another way to support the ETX Site is by "pledging", similar to what public radio and TV stations do in the United States.
You can search the site using Google. If you don't find your answer in the ETX FAQ, try the Search. Enter one of more keywords or phrase (i.e., Autostar longitude) and then click the 'Search' button to start the search. A new window will open with the search results. If your entry is found you will see a list of pages; click the page link and then use your browser's Find command to search for the same word(s). If no pages were found try different or fewer words. Sometimes, partial words may work best, depending upon what information you are searching for (i.e., use photograph instead of astrophotography).
The next section has some important general notes for visitors to the ETX Site.
The next portion on the ETX Site Home Page contains "badges", linked to useful sites, and awards the ETX Site has earned. Check them out. Finally, there are more links.
At the bottom of the ETX Site Home Page is the "Terms and Conditions of Use" of Weasner's Mighty ETX Site and all web pages maintained in the weasner.com domain.
In October 2011, changes were made on the ETX Site (and my Cassiopeia Observatory web site) to more modern page layout technologies. Hopefully none of the changes broke anything; the changes should work in modern web browsers on all desktop and mobile devices.
I hope this Site Guide has been useful to you in helping you learn what information is available on this Mighty ETX Site and how to navigate it.
Go back to my ETX Home Page.