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03-Mar-2018 21:28

The big difference with the Audio Star vs the older Auto Star #497 is the addition of Meade's Astronomer Inside with audio content for over 500 objects.

For those new to viewing the night sky and the objects visible in a telescope, these audio descriptions will be fun and educational.

The manual says that the ETX-125 OTA can NOT be removed from the fork arms, but there are two tripod attachment holes on the bottom of the ETX-125 OTA (seen in the photo above showing the battery compartment and Azimuth/RA lock knob).

I suspect that like the original model ETXes, the ETX-125 Observer OTA can be unmounted from the fork arms by removing four setscrews.

After purchasing my first ETX (now known as the ETX-90RA) in 1996 and with my continued commitment to the ETX via the web site and other activities, Meade provided me with some newer ETX models over the years: a loaner ETX-90AT in 1999, the ETX-125AT in 2000, the ETX-70AT in 2001, the ETX-105PE in 2005, and an ETX-LS 6" ACF that was briefly on loan in 2009.For experienced amateur astronomers the audio content will likely not be needed and can be turned off.Surprisingly however, the manual does NOT describe how to actually use the Astronomer Inside and turn on/off the audio content!So even when the sky is still too bright to see the North Star Polaris or it is hidden by an obstruction, you can still begin the alignment process by using the supplied magnetic compass and selecting Magnetic North on the Audio Star.The Alt/Az "home position" is correctly shown in Figure 1 in the manual.

After purchasing my first ETX (now known as the ETX-90RA) in 1996 and with my continued commitment to the ETX via the web site and other activities, Meade provided me with some newer ETX models over the years: a loaner ETX-90AT in 1999, the ETX-125AT in 2000, the ETX-70AT in 2001, the ETX-105PE in 2005, and an ETX-LS 6" ACF that was briefly on loan in 2009.For experienced amateur astronomers the audio content will likely not be needed and can be turned off.Surprisingly however, the manual does NOT describe how to actually use the Astronomer Inside and turn on/off the audio content!So even when the sky is still too bright to see the North Star Polaris or it is hidden by an obstruction, you can still begin the alignment process by using the supplied magnetic compass and selecting Magnetic North on the Audio Star.The Alt/Az "home position" is correctly shown in Figure 1 in the manual.That discovery is left to the user (but I'll tell you how in the "First Light" section on page 2 of this review).