Club update and the ETX90RA – It’s been a while…

We’ve got the Blog going again. Thanks, Ed!

There’s been a lot of stuff going on! A C14 has been donated! It and an MI-250 mount are going to replace the 12″Meade LX200 at Chandler and also fully automated Sirius dome and 10″Meade LX200 GPS have been donated! The dome is up and we hope to have  everything operational by the upcoming Messier Marathon on Saturday, March 25th.

But to the important stuff…. I took the ETX90RA out under the stars on Friday night. I must admit that it has taken a more back-up role since I got the Questar but I couldn’t resist it the other night. I even set it up on the original 883 tripod. Lots of fine adjustments for accurate Polar Alignment.

It did not disappoint. Tracking was spot on. M81/M82 duo were a stretch with the full moon but they were there. It was a beautiful still night and Castor split wide open with the 7mm UO Ortho. Two tiny headlights on a dark road centered in perfectly concentric and steady diffraction rings.

This little scope still holds it own. Yes its plastic and it takes a second for the drive to engage depending on how you slew into an object. Yes you need to replace the stock finder. Yes you need to take the base plate off to change the batteries. Lots of stuff to complain about… or you can get over it and learn how to use it. The setting circles are excellent. The optics approach superb. Its not hard to beat the mount but you’ll need to spend a lot more money to get optics  marginally better. All this for something you can still get for less than $200 on the used market. Wow.


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