ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT. Additional information on these models is available on the ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT Announcements page. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.
Subject: ETX-70AT Setup Menu Sent: Friday, April 27, 2001 21:13:36 From: email@example.com (Leo Davids) I seem to be getting confused by some things that are or are not in my ETX manual for the telescope setup. We all are striving to get the scope to point with as much precision as possible with the Autostar hi-tech interface. First off, I don't understand what "Training the drive" is trying to do. The Meade manual just gives this cookbook procedure ( Appendix D) for doing it and doesn't really say how you know if it needs it. So I presumed it had something to do with the calibrating of the servos encoder conversion to Az and Alt motion. They reference values in the Setup menu that are accessible but not to be touched! I though maybe training was adjusting these values. True or false? Next I saw a posting on your site about a user going into the setup and modifying some backlash parameters. I understand from my knowledge of precision motion and the posting I previously submitted that this is crucial to locating objects based on either database or directly entered coordinates with the Autostar's Go-To. But the only thing I can guess backlash has to do with this in the Autostar setup is possibly Az & Al Percent menu items. But the manual mentions nothing about these two items. I find they are both set for 50%. Are these for backlash or as I would understand the term better, drive hysteresis compensation? Does training the drive per the Meade procedure adjust these values? Are there more intuitive ways of accomplishing a backlash compensation than the Meade procedure if the Al & At Percent menu items are directly enterable? On another topic, I have found when running the Autostar 2-star align feature of the ETX-70AT, you can more assuredly get the first star in the field of view if you start with the telescope base level both north-south and east-west (this is not too hard to do if you have the #882 tripod with adjustable legs). Then, the second star centers with virtually no correction necessary. Leveling the base in two directions might even allow the Autostar's 1-star align to come out good. I do cheat a little on the north align by swinging up to and locking the Az on Polaris and then going for the level on the At axis before going to the first Autostar selected align star. Maybe I am just taking all the work away from the Autostar's fancy aligning capability? But it seems you have a better chance finding the align star with a 9 mm eyepiece rather than having to always start with the 25 mm to get a big enough field to search. You already know what a pain it is to refocus with the knob location on the ETX-70AT. That brings up another question, does anyone know if there is a simple electric focus drive for the ETX-70AT. I have never used any electric focus so I don't know if variable speed is a necessity but I am tired of the knob location on this puppy!. I realize the flex shaft extension is available, but I am not sure fiddling with a floppy knob is going to make me much happier. Does anyone have another manual arrangement?Mike here: From my experience with the ETX-70AT I have not needed to adjust the gear backlash percentages or do the Drive Training. I continue to be impressed with the accuracy of the ETX-70AT and its Autostar. So, if things are working well for you (and from your message they seem to be) don't mess with the percentages or do the Drive Training (which also tells the Autostar about the drive mechanisms). If things are not aligning and GOTO-ing properly, then do the Drive Training. Under normal circumstances with the ETX-70AT I don't think there is any need to adjust the percentages manually.
Subject: AC adapter for ETX60/70 Sent: Friday, April 27, 2001 15:22:13 From: Meade Instruments We are going to have an AC adapter for the ETX60/70. We have placed them on order and should have them in the first part of June. People can order them by calling customer service here at Meade. The cost will be $19.95 plus shipping or they can ask their dealer. It will be call the 546 AC Adapter. Having seen other people trying to do it for themselves, this might help. Thanks Meade Instruments
Subject: ETX-70 backlash Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2001 14:45:25 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Roger Blackwell) A note to thank you for your useful site! I bought an ETX-70 a few weeks ago, and whilst in general pleased with it, I found the backlash compensation excessive, which made fine positioning very difficult - on pressing an arrow button the 'scope would lurch suddenly before settling down to slow speed. After scanning some of the posts on your site, I checked the Az and Alt percentages - and found them both to be set to 85%. On adjusting these to 15 and 20% respectively on a trial and error basis, and re-training the drives, the 'scope is a pleasure to use, objects are coming up in the centre of the field of the 9mm eyepiece (x39) and the slower slewing speeds work fine. I have also made a flexible focus shaft extension which was well worth the trouble. thanks a lot! -- Roger Blackwell
Subject: ETX 70 Sent: Monday, April 23, 2001 18:50:02 From: DNORTH@woh.rr.com (DAVID NORTH) For starters, I'd like to express my thanks to you for maintaining your site as I am new to astronomy and have found tons of info here that helped me select my first new scope (ETX 70). In fact, it was your own review of the ETX 70 that pushed me over the edge! I figured "Mike has bigger ETX's already, and he liked this little scope!" I live in the middle of town, have a relatively small patch of sky to use and I needed an ultra-portable scope. After much research I had decided on the ETX 70. I ordered my ETX 70 through Shutan at a great price (saw their posting on your site). It came with the standard 25mm & 9mm eyepieces and a free tripod. I also ordered the Meade 8X25 viewfinder and the #124 2X Barlow. I've only had a couple of "clear sky" evenings since it arrived, but I must say that I'm quite pleased. Personally, this scope seems to be a perfect upgrade from my 12X50 binoculars. I need to make a trip out of town and get a viewing of Saturn as it's already set behind the nieghbors' houses at sunset. Now, if I could pick your brain just a little: I'd like to add an eyepiece to my tiny collection that will yield more magnification and I'm torn between options. Option 1 - get the #128 3X Barlow .... or ... Option 2 - maybe get a PL6mm and use my 2X Barlow ... or ... should I also consider a PL5mm? I see that all of these options will take me to the edge of the scope's "max" magnification of about 140X, but is one option really any better than another? Again.....many thanks for all your efforts. I combed the web looking for info on scopes for beginners and found myself coming back to your site over and over. Regards, Dave NorthMike here: Since you indicate you already have the 2X Barlow, getting a 3X Barlow in addition is probably not a good choice at this point. And combined with the eyepieces you have, the 2X will yield an effective 12.5mm and 4.5mm eyepieces. So a 6mm EP doesn't really provide much of a difference from the 9mm + 2X Barlow. Then we come to going for max magnification. With the small aperture you will likely be limited to using the max on bright objects like the Moon. So, if you are looking to spend some money, why not a Moon Filter or even a Solar Filter. See the Accessories - Filters page for some user comments. Just some thoughts.
Subject: Looking for good beginner scope Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2001 18:14:39 From: email@example.com (Sand Master) I'm an enthusiastic beginner looking for the best scope I can buy for a limited amount of money. The ETX-70 is about the limit of what I'm willing to spend. I've seen telescopes that are just over $200 and have a 3 inch aperture. They have a longer focal length and are about .2 inches bigger than the 70. The reason I'm interested in the 70 is because I doubt that I'll be able to find objects like M31 so a GoTo scope seems like it would bring more enjoyment than a handpowered scope with RA and declination cables to track instead of motors. Would you recommend getting the slightly smaller 70 with GoTo capabilities or getting the slightly larger 3 inch with the longer focal length? Would I get satisfying views of the moon, planets, and the brightest DSOs with the 70? Does the .2 inches make any difference? The only concerns I have with the 70 are the focal length and the focuser. Will I be able to see anything with the 70? I go to your site almost daily and see some people saying the 70 (or 60) is the best telescope and they have great views, it's easy to use, etc and others saying it's a piece of junk, it doesn't work, you can't see anything. Is it a worthwhile investment for someone starting out in the hobby? I plan to eventually move up to a larger scope if I enjoy the hobby, but I'm looking for a good scope to get started. P.S. Sorry for the length of this message. I know most don't run this long, but I had a lot to say.Mike here: You didn't say why you doubt that you'll be able to find objects like M31. Are your skies too bright? Or do you think you can not learn your way around the night sky? If the latter, remember that astronomers (professional and amateur) have been observing the night sky without GOTO systems for centuries. It really isn't that hard. If the former, then a GOTO system can help you see objects that you would otherwise miss seeing due to bright skies. As to whether the ETX-70AT, with its short focal length, is the right scope for your expectations, you might want to read my ETX-70AT experiences (linked from the top of the current "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page).
Thanks for the guidance. My skies aren't too bright, although they aren't pitch black, out in the country type skies. I mainly think I won't be able to find objects. Plus I've heard about star hopping and how it takes a while just to find one object. It seems with a Go To I'll be able to see more in one session and it'll be easier.Mike here: Yes, it is true that star hopping takes some practice and some patience. But it works. You just have to prepare (get charts) for it. The Autostar eliminates most of that part of the enjoyment of amateur astronomy in favor of "instant gratification".
Subject: ETX-60/70AT Beginner Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2001 13:51:55 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Leo Davids) It has been an arduous process for me to get up and running with a Meade telescope. We ordered an ETX-60AT online from a reputable dealer, Ritz Camera. What came was an apparently used or demo model in a ratty box with all the eyepieces missing & dead, leaking batteries in the base. After returning it, we waited over two weeks for another to arrive which turned out to be an ETX-70AT. That seemed like a good deal until I got it out of the box and found the azimuth drive would not work no matter how hard you set its drive lock. There was a telltale bad sound whenever I tipped the whole unit over, some kind of part rattling around in the base. After waiting all those weeks I decided to hell with the warrantee and removed the base bowl from the unit to see what was wrong. In essence, a flimsy little plastic "finger-spring" was laying loose in the base. It had broken off the servo motor case from where it was suppose to hold the servo in mesh with the worm gear. Also, two restraining ears that minimize backlash of the servo were pinching the servo case so hard that the servo's worm probably could not have engaged the worm gear properly even if the spring-finger had not been broken. I fashioned a steel spring to hold the servo in mesh with the worm gear and adjusted the restraining ears to allow the servo to pivot on its hinge pin without slop. This entailed very carefully bending some crude cast metal ears that stand off the upper base plate. And after all this, my azimuth drive was not locking adequately. I tried what you suggested - to remove the lever and move it one flat tighter. But the real fix amounted to disassembling and reworking the pinch mechanism for the worm gear. I found that Meade had another design and quality nightmare here. Among a host of problems, they could not even get three matching screws to hold the upper spindle disk down above the worm gear. Anyway, with a little modifying of the various plastic parts in Meade's pinch-lock design, I was able to get the worm gear to "grab" to the base much better without so much squeeze being needed from the adjusting bolt. That really helps keep the azimuth bearings relatively free in thrust against the pinching mechanism. If you try to get the drive lock too tight, the resulting thrust drag on the bearings can actually cause the worm drive to jump mesh and that of course fouls up your Autostar alignment as bad as if it slips. Meade must have been somewhat aware of this because they had a nice roller thrust bearing at the bottom, but "cheaped out" with a simple plastic bearing for the upper thrust! So far I have gotten a couple of night's use out of the telescope and am impressed with what it can do. I read all the info on your site about different power testing for dry cell battery substitution. I think I will go to a rechargeable NiMH battery (9.6 volt, 1200-1500 mah). I already have charging and conditioning equipment to support this from other hobbies. I just hope my initial bouts with the mechanical integrity of the Meade ETX is not a sign of more trouble to come. At least I am encouraged by the positive comments I see about them on your site so far. But I still wonder how many others have experienced problems like mine?Mike here: I wonder why your dealer would ship you an obviously used system (it does not come with batteries installed). But that aside, history has shown that more discussion is generated by problem reports than non-problem reports. When things work users tend to not report that as often as users with problems will report their difficulties.
Subject: Considering Buying an ETX 70 Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 20:46:23 From: email@example.com (Michael Stanek) Very nice site! I'm a beginner and I'm considering buying the ETX 70AT (thanks, largely, to the Natural Wonders prices). I currently have a 76mm beginner telescope from Celestron with three 1.25 inch eyepieces. I was wondering if I bought the ETX would my eyepieces and 2x Barlow lens fit in it? I'd like to use both telescopes, but if my accesories for my original telescope won't fit with the ETX I don't know if I'd buy it. I'd also like to know if the problem with the focuser is a big enough annoyance as to make you reconsider buying the ETX? Thanks.Mike here: Standard 1.25" accessories should fit the ETX-70AT. The only concern might be whether you will be able to reach a focus with them. You should be OK but it is possible that some eyepieces won't. As to the focusing mechanism itself, it is a pain but doesn't detract from the telescope performance. Switching eyepieces and refocusing will just take time. Adding a focus "cable" to it can help.
Subject: Meade ETX-70AT Jupiter/Saturn Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 20:04:14 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alby) I just received a free ETX-70AT from my Membership Rewards Points with American Express. After spending some time playing with the scope and learning how to align it and setup everything, I went planet hunting. I aligned my ETX-70AT and found Jupiter tonight (04/18/01 - 8:30p). I focused in on the planet with only the 25x lense and all I could see was a ball of light. I adjusted the focus knob and filled the viewfinder with the planet. It still looked like a ball of light. I then switch to the Barlow 2x with the 9mm lense. After focusing I still continued to see Jupiter as a ball of light. I then switch to Saturn and still got the same thing. What I'm expecting to see in Jupiter are the different bands of clouds and with Saturn I'm expecting to see the rings. Now am I doing something wrong? Or am I expecting too much from my telescope? Instead of seeing rings of Saturn or Bands aroudn Jupiter, all I saw in both planets was just a bright heavenly body with no features. Somebody help? If my ETX-70AT isn't good enough, could you suggest another telescope that does allow me to see Bands on Jupiter and Rings on Saturn? -AlbyMike here: One thing you are doing wrong is putting the image WAY out of focus if you are filling the entire eyepiece field of view with the ball of light. The short focal length of the -60AT and 70AT means that you will not get much magnification and so objects like the planets will appear very small when in focus. See my comments on the ETX-70AT on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page. I address what can be seen with this telescope. You might want to also see the "Observations with ETX-60AT" on the "User Observations" page.
Thanks Mike.. Your ETX info is the BEST anywhere... -Alby
Subject: ETX 70 pwr test Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 12:52:08 From: email@example.com (Ray Talipsky) To: firstname.lastname@example.org (richard seymour) FYI I'll be testing scope align with battery pack next clear nite Do you think wide voltage swing on AC 9v DC adaptor 12.71 to 7.6 is causing problems with scope? Thanks CozmicRay ETX-70 power test Here are the results of my power tests of ETX-70 with std Hand controller and AUTOSTAR 497 Battery pack and AC 9v DC adaptor two Digital Multimeters one measure voltage second measure current DMMs don't react fast enough to see spikes with standard hand controller -- 494 Autostar (no numeric keypad) Power source --- Battery Pack 6 new alkline batteries At start Battery Pack at 9.44v start loaded volt volt amp Scope On at rest 9.14 9.14 0.09 Az slew 9.12 8.85 0.03 El slew 9.10 8.75 0.35 Az - El slew 9.09 8.52 0.54 with AUTOSTAR hand controller -- 497 At start Battery Pack at 9.27v start loaded volt volt amp Scope On at rest LED brite 9.06 9.06 0.13 Scope On at rest LED off 9.09 9.06 0.08 Az slew 9.09 8.80 0.27 El slew 9.06 8.75 0.34 Az - El slew 9.01 8.46 0.52 =========================================== with standard hand controller -- 494 Autostar (no numeric keypad) Power source --- Power cube -- AC 9v 500ma DC adaptor Scope OFF 12.71v start loaded volt volt amp Scope On at rest 11.13 11.13 0.10 Az slew 9.20 0.30 El slew 8.76 0.36 Az - El slew 7.65 0.52 with AUTOSTAR hand controller -- 497 Power cube -- AC 9v 500ma DC adaptor start loaded volt volt amp Scope On at rest LED brite 10.71 10.71 0.14 Scope On at rest LED off 11.46 11.46 0.07 Az slew 9.40 0.31 El slew 9.00 0.35 Az - El slew 7.60 0.52 ------------------ This AC Power cube looks more like a 9V 350ma capabilityAnd:
From: email@example.com (richard seymour) Your tests do indicate that the voltage drops to 7.6 during slewing of both axes... and the start-up surges are pretty stiff, you so can just bet that it drops lower as the slew begins. If you hold the [mode] key for 3 seconds, and release, then scroll UP once, you'll see "battery level". I don't know if the 494's programming supports that. My experience with my ETX90 is that it starts getting weird at 7.8 volts. Which is roughly 68% on that battery level display. If it were me, i'd probably think about using a supply which can really deliver a solid 10 to 12 volts. Either a well-regulated 10.5 or 12v adapter, or one-more-battery strung into the battery circuit. The 497 Autostar can handle up to 16 volts. I have -no- idea how fried the ETX70at base would be if you gave -it- 15 volts, so i'm not going to suggest it. Does Meade sell an adapter for the ETX70at? > Do you think wide voltage swing on AC 9v DC adaptor > 12.71 to 7.6 is causing problems with scope? very definitely... 7.6 volts (at least for the 497 Autostar) is very, very low... individual units will vary wildly in how well they survive that close to the edge. The 497 is (perhaps) more noise-immune than the 494, but requires more current to run. (more LEDs, for one thing). (the 494 is "labelled" compared to the Starfinder. The Starfinder has that word painted on the case.) I would guess that the 494 gets the Proc Traps either due to its lower threshold for noise effects, or that it has bad memory. If it fails during fresh battry operation, then it's a "call Meade" situation... they'll probably mail one the next day, without requiring that you return yours first. All of your tests made it pretty evident that only the batteries really can deliver the current required (and a half-amp! that means only (about) a one-hour life if slewing full-tilt all the time) good luck --dick
Subject: etx60at and PC control Sent: Monday, April 16, 2001 21:45:09 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (richard seymour) The ETX60at and its controller -can- accept the same LX-200-style commands that the "larger" autostars can. So it's controllable by the various (or self-written) programs. Its serial connection (via the 506 cable) is far -slower- (70 bytes per second vs the 497's 900) than the other Autostars, so Satellite Tracking programs can tend to overrun it unless held back. But for "simple" goto stars and other boides which don't try to slew across the entire sky in 5 minutes, it'll do pretty well. --dick
Mike here: The May 2001 issue of Sky & Telescope has a review of five GOTO telescopes: ETX-70AT, ETX-70AT, NexStar 60GT, NexStar 80GT, and NexStar 114GT). Worth reading.
Subject: Accessory Kit #506 for the ETX-70AT Sent: Monday, April 16, 2001 11:55:37 From: email@example.com Great site! Lots of data. The ETX-70AT outperforms my expectations every time. I have encountered a few minor problems with getting the alignment right but after a few tries, things work out. I had lots of problems with the accessory kit (CD and connector kit) but was eventually able to load the satellites, tours, comets, and asteroids. My question is: Where can I find a listing of current satellites? There are 225 to choose from. The skies here in Edmonton, Alberta are really nice but the nights are cold. The Northern Lights are awesome!Mike here: Check the Heavens-Above web site (www.heavens-above.com) for tons of great info on satellite orbits.
Subject: Barlow lens fit Sent: Sunday, April 15, 2001 17:19:12 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (john iacuzzo) I recently purchased a Meade Barlow x 2 #124 for my ETX 70...to completely sit the lens in the eyepiece holder I must use a good deal of force with a screwing maneuver...obviously it is a poor fit...any suggestions?...could I gently apply some WD 40 on an applicator tip to the Barlow cylindar or could this be destructive...Thanks for your help in advance....you have a very informative site....JohnMike here: There have been some comments about tightly fitting Barlow Lenses. You might check for a metal burr, either on the telescope eyepiece holder or the Barlow tube itself. If you find one, try to carefully remove it. If you don't find one, you might see if you can exchange the Barlow Lens; obviously not everyone has this problem.
Subject: etx60at autostar Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2001 22:28:33 From: CINDY789@email.msn.com (CINDY FISICARO) Hi Mike, love your site, I look in almost every day I am an ETX 60 AT user and love the machine. I've gleaned much useful info from your site on how to make it perform like Meade intended mechanically and it has been a wonderful instrument. Excellent deep sky scope for those who might be interested in an opinion. I have a question...The only thing I haven't added to my scope is the sofware and cable kit. Before I buy one I just wanted to know if the 60AT can be controlled by PC with the software/cable kit or is it only used for updating the Autostar? I can't seem to find out anywhere so I'm hoping you or Clay can answer. Thanks for your time. Bill W. OmahaMike here: There are software packages that can control an ETX from a computer. See the Software Feedback and the Software Reviews pages for some info.
Subject: ETX-70AT Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2001 19:46:24 From: email@example.com (Peter Quale) Your ETX site is a wealth of information and was instrumental in my purchase of a 70AT. Just a quick note to you and all your readers, if you don't already know it: Natural Wonders is going out of business. I paid a total $234 for my 70AT and a full size EC field tripod. The 90EC could be purchased with Autostar and tripod for under $500... and prices will most likely continue to drop as inventory hangs on. Check out www.naturalwonders.com/natural/nw_storehome.asp for more info. Thanks again for all your info! -Peter Quale Minneapolis
Subject: Re: Barlow lense digital camera adapter Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2001 10:46:35 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Permut) Thanks for your last answer.Just one question-you stated in your letter that the maximum magnification for the 70AT is 140X-Meade however claims that the max is 240X.As I am thinking about getting a 5mmPl and a3Xbarlow I am worried that I will have a problem. Are you certain that the max mag is only 140X?? Thanks, Scott PermutMike here: I said "max theoretical magnification" (which is twice the telescope aperture). On bright optics with quality eyepieces and good seeing you can exceed the max and still have reasonable results.
Subject: WOW!!! Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2001 08:12:49 From: TRing1@aol.com I recently ordered a telescope, a Meade ETX70-AT. As this is my first telescope and have no experience with them I was looking for a web site to guide me. I came across your site and I think there is more information there than I can use in a lifetime. I appreciate your efforts. Tom Ring Tring1@aol.com
Subject: re: camera question Sent: Monday, April 9, 2001 22:11:02 From: email@example.com (richard seymour) To: Robert@comsys.net If i'm understanding your question correctly, here's a stab: I don't have a an ETX60at, but for most prime-focus photography you need to buy two adpaters: one is the T-adapter for the Telescope, and the -other- is a T-adpater for your camera. The one for your camera ($12 to $20, depending upon store) will have a bayonet to fit your Nikon F body, and the other end is the T-thread which the Telescope's adapter will also have. They mate. If the ETX60 doesn't have a "rear port" for a T-adpater, you can also get "eyepiece adpaters" which are pipes which fit into the eyepiece hole and provide the T-thread at the camera end. A 1.25" adapter should be commonly available. You'll probably need to counter-balance the telescope when the camera is mounted... the ETX60 isn't designed for off-center loads. good luck --dick
Mike here: After several days of clouds and rains it finally cleared up on Sunday (8 April). Got to see the new naked-eye sunspot (using my solar filter). It stayed clear long enough in the evening to try for Comet LINEAR C/2001 A2. I used the ETX-70AT at 14x. I aligned the Autostar, did a GOTO to M42 to verify its accuracy, and then I entered the coordinates for tonight's position of the comet. Nothing obviously stood out as the comet. I didn't take the time to compare star positions to a chart because there was a fog bank coming in. Oh well, I tried.
Subject: ETX70 with 12v input Sent: Monday, April 9, 2001 12:21:07 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Great site. I have a question about my ETX-70AT it has a 12v input that should only come on the 90 and above. My battery compartment is also on the bottom of fork mount. Are there any other owners of this scope that also have this configuration?Mike here: There are two models of the ETX-70, one called the ETX-70EC (the control panel is on the non-rotating portion of the base) and the other the ETX-70AT (the control panel is on the rotating portion of the base). I suspect you have the older EC model.
Subject: camera question Sent: Sunday, April 8, 2001 20:25:54 From: Robert@comsys.net (Robert Pritchett) Hello, I just bought a black Nikon f body (made in the 1970s) to do some astrophotography. I am pretty excited for a good clear night to come my way. I have a question for you if you don't mind. I was going to get the type c and type d screen for it , but I was told I needed a 6x finder if I want to use it properly. And also, I have a etx-70-at telescope I plan on starting my astrophotography with. is this a good match up?. Is there any adapters I need or gadgets I need to buy for the camera to mount it on the back of the scope? I really don't know much , but please bear with me. you seem to know your stuff about cameras so I am asking ya. the camera has a bayonet lens on it too. I know I need to remove it anyway but=t the mount is still a bayonet. anything you might be able to tell me is very much appreciated. Thank you in advance. also I picked the thing up for 55 usd. it is in perfect working order also, so it isn't like I spent my whole savings on it so if it isn't the right kind of camera, I will just try to find another . Robert Pritchett II.Mike here: There are some adapters that you can purchase to attach the camera to the ETX. Some are specific to the ETX-70AT model (see the accessories sheet that came with your scope). Or you can perhaps use one the Scopetronix adapters (see the Accessories - Astrophotography page). Keep in mind that there will be some limitations in the type of astrophotography you can do. See the FAQ on my ETX; there is an item there on astrophotography.
Subject: Re: Barlow lense digital camera adapter Sent: Sunday, April 8, 2001 13:16:01 From: email@example.com (Scott Permut) Thanks for your response to my question regarding the Barlow 2X vs 3X. In the meantime, I have discovered that MEade has a Barlow #127 which if I understand correctly is variable from 2X to 3X. Will this #127 Barlow work with my 70AT and would you recommend it for someone who can't decide between the 2X and 3X? Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Scott PErmutMike here: I don't know if you will have a focusing problem with the #127 Barlow Lens on the ETX-70AT. I don't have one but according to the report on the Accessories - Eyepieces page (in the Various items) it is pretty large for an ETX-90.
Subject: mead etx60at Sent: Saturday, April 7, 2001 00:16:23 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Gregory S. Kelly) I was looking for a pinout to fab up a #505 cable to go from a 9 pin serial to the 4 pin aux port so I can hook up my pc to the sope to control it with the ACP program. I am not having luck could you help please. Sincerely, Greg Kelly Clinton Iowa.Mike here: For the ETX-60AT you need a #506 cable, not #505. See the cable information on the Autostar Information page.
Subject: Loose focus knob Sent: Friday, April 6, 2001 23:50:27 From: DoubleR117@aol.com Hi, i went out tonight to try out my new barlow lense and lunar filters (for ETX 70AT)..i was so excited because i got them a week ago and this was the first clear night.... BUT when i got out there and all set up... i tried to focus and the knob was so loose and ended up sliding off....This is when i use the hex wrench and tighten it up, right? or is this a defect that is not fixable? well as of right now..i can't find my hex wrench....this my be a stupid question, but as a last resort, is it possible to super-glue the knob back on? thanks for the help ChrisMike here: Use the hex wrench. There may come a time when you want to remove the knob to add a flexible focus cable or an electric focuser or just reposition it to allow a wider focusing range.
I emailed you last night about my loose focus knob, i just wanted to let you know that i fixed it!! thanks Chris
Subject: Barlow lense digital camera adapter Sent: Friday, April 6, 2001 10:18:09 From: email@example.com (Scott Permut) First of all, I want to thank you for your great site which is a tremendous help for novices like myself. After reviewing your site I have a couple of questions regarding accessories for the ETX-70 AT which I recently purchased. Barlow lense I am interested in purchasing a Barlow lense for the 70. I have found 2X and 3X Barlows for basically the same price. My initial guess is to get the 3X and have greater magnification than the 2X. Is there any downside to the 3X as opposed to the 2X? Digital Camera Adaptor I have a Sony Cybershot DSC-S50 digital camera with a fixed 37mm lense. Of course, I would love to take photos through the telescope. I have noticed several digital camera adaptors mentioned on your site. In particular, the scopetronix and the xtendascope from photo solve. Would you be able to recommend a digital camera adaptor that would be most suitable in your opinion. Thank you in advance for any incite you may have on these 2 questions and again for your wonderful site. Sincerely, Scott PermutMike here: The only obvious drawback with a 3X Barlow will be reduced image quality, especially with shorter focal length eyepieces. And with the max theoretical magnification for the ETX-70AT of 140X, depending upon what additional eyepieces you get, you may exceed the max. As to camera adapters, I only have experience with the Scopetronix Digital Camera Adapter, as discussed on the Accessories - Astrophotography page. Scopetronix has just come out with a new adapter, the Digi-T. I don't know if it will work with your camera but you might visit the Scopetronix web site (www.scopetronix.com) and see.
Subject: ETX 60 Sent: Thursday, April 5, 2001 17:42:40 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike Plafcan) Got a little problem. I was aligning my scope tonight. I notice the tube where the eyepiece goes in , wasn't there. It was attached to the eyepiece. It must of came off when I removed it last time. Is this repairable? Or did I just turn this $300.00 telescope into trash?Mike here: I don't see how the eyepiece holder TUBE could have come off under normal use. If it did, I suspect the scope had to have a manufacturing defect and should be returned.
Subject: ETX 70AT slewing problems Sent: Monday, April 2, 2001 19:53:59 From: DoubleR117@aol.com Hi, with my ETX 70AT i seem to never be able to align it right. I usually do the one star alignment on Rigel. It will slew into the general direction of Rigel, but i usually have to find it on my own.... Once i center it, and for example slewing to Jupiter, once again it will slew into the general direction but i have to adjust it a good bit. This usually happens with the Easy 2 star alignment also... Am i just not doing the alignment thing right, or do i need to re-calibrate the motors or Train the motors, or what? I end up just finding certain objects manually. Tonight, I noticed that Jupiter's moons were bunched up on the left side (actually the right side through the telescope) I've never seen that before... does that happen very often? Also i tried to see the Comet Linear i read about on the website....i don't think i saw it..not to my knowledge anyway! Thanks for the help! I dont know what i would do without your website. I seem to learn something new everyday! thanks ChrisMike here: As to alignment, I suspect you have something wrong somewhere. Check the settings in the Autostar (telescope model, mounting mode, date/time/DST/location). Once you know they are all correct, then set the telescope in the HOME position: tube AND base level (use a spirit level if you don't trust eyeballing it) and pointed towards TRUE North (not magnetic north). Do an Easy Two Star alignment (more accurate across more of the sky than a one star alignment). Use the arrow keys to center each alignment star when asked to do so. If you are still having problems, then you can train the drives and perhaps recalibrate. But as I noted in my ETX-70AT comments (posted 31 March), that is almost an emergency procedure. My experiences with the ETX-70AT Autostar were nearly always perfect. As to Jupiter's moons, since the orbit the planet they can line up occasionally. Sky & Telescope has a moon chart for Jupiter and Saturn in each month's issue.
Subject: I love the site, got a ? Sent: Monday, April 2, 2001 16:35:05 From: Robert@comsys.net (Robert Pritchett) Hello, and thank you for having a site like the one you have. I would like to know what you think about the etx-70-at. I ordered it and still waiting on it.I am a beginner and would like to learn how to take pictures of planets and stuff. is this telescope something that can do the job well or mediocre? I am just asking you because you seem pretty knowledgeable. P.S. what do I need to get started photographing. I have no clue of what I should buy. any input you might have is appreciated. Thanks in advance. Robert Pritchett II.Mike here: Have you read my ETX-70AT Comments posted on Saturday, 31 March on the Helpful Information: Buyer/New User Tips page? Also, see the May 2001 issue of Sky & Telescope for a comparison of several similar telescopes. Only you can say whether you will be pleased or disappointed with the results. As to getting started in astrophotography, see "Getting Started in Astrophotography" on the Observational Guides, References page.
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