Re: Tracking satellites with Meade ETX-90 EC

Philip Chien (
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 23:37:44 -0500

>> Dave Mullenix <> said:
>> >Meade has a new telescope out, the ETX-90 EC.>

>Philip Chien wrote:

>> The key question is whether or not you can update the elements yourself.  I
>> would be very concerned if the data was in a proprietary format which may
>> or may not be supported in the future.
>> The other question is what satellites are in the database.  It's quite
>> possible rocket bodies and debris may be left out as 'uninteresting'.  More
>> important is the satellites which may or may not exist where the elements
>> don't come from OIG.
>You should be able to select the satellites yourself, but the software
>and connecting cables aren't available yet.

Ah - good old vaporware.  I wouldn't purchase something like this unless I
was *sure* that I'd be able to continue to use it on my own, especially if
the company decides not to support it at some date in the future.

>The computer does come with
>some satellites pre-loaded in its data base, but the elements probably
>date to last January.

which kind of limits the usefulness of the device if there's no way to
update the elements.

Ron Lee <> said:

>Has anyone besides that smart guy from the US East coast (Ron D) used
>satellite tracking software for telescopes to find and track objects?

Quite a few have, including those who have put together their own systems
from scratch (or existing components not intended for satellite tracking)
and those who have purchased commercial units.  I suspect Ron's the most
well known primarily because of his Sky & Telescope article.

I've been told about French observers who have imaged satellites including
the classified U.S. NRO Keyhole birds.

Philip Chien, KC4YER
Earth News
world (in)famous writer, science fiction fan, ham radio operator,
all-around nice guy, etc.