Last updated: 28 February 2001

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:	ETX70AT accessories
Sent:	Wednesday, February 28, 2001 06:49:55
From:	jaynemilton@hotmail.com (Jayne Milton)
I'm new to sky watching and have just purchased my first scope -

Can anyone tell me if the 'standard' meade ETX eyepieces, errecting
prism, barlows etc will work with the ETX70?

I am having difficulty finding a source for the dedicated ETX70
accessories in the UK.

What would you recommend as far as a first barlow is concerned? - would
you go with a 2x or 3x?

Sorry if these questions have been answered already, I have been through
your archives but I may have missed something...

Thanks - your site is excellent!


Subject:	ETX 70AT Autostar Question.
Sent:	Sunday, February 25, 2001 10:53:58
From:	cwren1@home.com (Charles Wren)
This may be located somewhere on your web site, but I haven't found it
yet.  What is the latest software version available for the ETX70AT? 
I've checked Meade's site and see that the Loader has a new version, but
I don't see anything about the latest Autostar version.  Any help would
be greatly appreciated.

Charles Wren
Mike here: From Meade's Autostar update page:
"01/30/01 Autostar Update Client Application for Windows (3,601,078 bytes). This includes both the Autostar Update tool (version A2.4), and Autostar #497 firmware (version 21Ek).You MUST use this version to upload your Autostar with version 21Ek or above firmware. Older versions of the Autostar Update Utility will NOT correctly install your Asteroids, Comets, Satellites and Tours into the Autostar. This applies to the #497, #495, and #494 Autostar handboxes. Download and double-click Auto.exe to install the software. Use this update tool for the #497, #495 and the #494 Autostar model. This will fix the #494 database bug."
So, both the updater and the new 2.1ek version are in this single download.

Subject:	Hello!
Sent:	Sunday, February 25, 2001 09:23:48
From:	soybean311@juno.com (mehdi shafiee)
I was just going through your amazing site !  And i knew you would be
able to help me.  I just bought the ETX-70AT 3 days ago.  I have used it
about twice, but problems sprung out of no where the first day I got it.
I was aligning the telescope and all of a sudden it said Proc. Trap2 and
i don't know what the hell that means!  And then yesterday the left and
right motor for the telescope stopped functioning, it would make noises
like its turning it left or right, but it didn't move!  Then last night
I was happy to observe Venus as a cresent planet, then I took a look at
Jupiter and its moons! But then the worst happen, while trying to focus
on Saturn all of a sudden the focus Knob fell off and it will go back
on, but it won't turn like its focusing, it turns real fast and it
doesn't even focus?  I have another question, on the ETX-70AT it says
you can observe Jupiters cloud belts, and Saturns rings but how?  When i
was looking at jupiter all I saw was a big disc, with four star like
moons! Are they lieing to me or something?  I need some answers and your
probably the only one that can help me since you have knowlege on the
ETX-70AT.  So answer me the Proc. Trap 2, the horizontal motor, focus
knob, and planet seeing!  Thank you so much!  How good can the ETX-70AT
see Galaxys and nebulas?
        Your new friend,
                        Soheyl Shafiee
from oregon
Mike here: Well, first off, I don't have an ETX-70; I looked through one once and compared it to the ETX-90 (see my report at http://www.weasner.com/etx/etx-nexstar.html). As to the Proc 2 error, search the site for "proc" and you'll learn about that). If the drives don't engage you may have overtightened the locks. Or perhaps you didn't tighten them enough. As to the focus knob, there is a small setscrew on the side of the knob that was probably lose. You can tighten it with a small allen wrench (also known as a "hex key"). But with all the problems you've experienced, you might to consider an exchange at your dealer or perhaps a tradeup to the -90 if you think you will be disappointed in the views through the ETX-70AT. But first read through "Observations with ETX-60AT" on the Buyer/New User Tips page as well as all the "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT" feedback pages for observational reports.

And more:

I think I know how to fix the focus knob now, thank you for your help~Is
the ETX-70AT a good telescope for a beginner?  How do you recommend I
view the sun?  should i get a solar filter or should I project it onto a
piece of paper?
Mike here: Certainly a lot of beginners like it. See those pages I mentioned for reports. If you want to safely observe the Sun with this telescope, I'd recommend a good quality solar filter. See the Accessories - Filters page on my ETX site for some info.


I tightened the focus screw thing, but now i could barely budge it, did
I overtighten it?  And when the focus knob fell off, i found two little
washers also, do those go on the outside or inside the telescope focus
And more:
Thank you so much for your help, i fixed the focus knob, and im going to
try to fix the altzier knob or whatever its called, thanks dude for all
the help you gave me.  Im going to check the sun filter, and i might
purchase it. LateS!
And this:
I don't get how to fix the horizontal motor knob?  How does that work,
what do you mean by me overtightening it?  is it kind of like a wrench
how you need to keep on moving back in forth to loosen it up?
Mike here: Well, if you overtightened the azimuth lock then you may have damaged something. You probably can repair it yourself. If you haven't overtightened it but it seems like it doesn't tighten enough to actually lock the axis so that the drive gears are engaged, then you can adjust the position of the lock. Position the lever to the locked position (don't overdue it), loosen the setscrew in the side of the lock handle, lift the handle and reposition it more to the unlock direction, and then retighten the setscrew. Now you should have more distance to move the lock lever to lock the axis. And yes, you do need to loosen the lock to move the telescope on its base by hand. It needs to be locked to move using the handcontroller.

And more on the azimuth problem:

I was trying to fix the horizontal lock thing but it still won't move
left or right, when i put my hand on the base and help it move the way I
want it to it starts moving, but it doesn't move when I press the
controls only!  Can you please tell me how to make it so it will move
thank you , have saved me with the focuser and i know you will save me
from this trouble~ thanks dude
Mike here: It may only be that the lubrication needs loosening up. Unlock the azimuth axis and move the telescope several rotations both ways in azimuth. If that doesn't help, sounds like time to return it for an exchange.

And finally:

I did what you asked me to, to loosen it and stuff, I got it out and
tightened it but it did not work, so im going to return it for an
exchange. thanks for your help, I will be visiting your site a lot,
theres a lot I can learn from your site.
And really finally:
THis is Soheyl the guy that had the stupid defect ETX-70AT,  Can you
send me info on The ETX-90EC and ETX-125 EC I might purchase the
ETX-90EC, but I want some information on the ETX 125 also.  Can you
include with those some pictures of what you can see with each telescope
and what Eye peices I should purchase if I get one.  SEnd them to
soybean311@juno.com thanks Mike.  Im returning the ETX-70AT and probably
going to upgrade so thanks for everything, I go to your site everyday!
Mike here: The site has all the info you are looking for. Look in the appropriate sections: Buyer/New User Tips, various Feedback pages, the Accessories pages, and the Astrophotography pages. Also, you can get a Meade catalog from your dealer or by calling Meade.

Subject:	Problems with ETX-60 and Balrow Lens
Sent:	Saturday, February 24, 2001 12:37:56
From:	royl@chartermi.net (Roy Lindberg Jr.)
I just purchased the Meade 3x barlow lens and was wondering if anyone
else had the problem of with the lens NOT fitting in the telescope....

It seems to be too large....just a smidge.
Mike here: There have been similar reports that I recall; not specifically with the Meade barlow but comments in general fit. Sometimes there are metal (or plastic) burrs, either on the telescope or the Barlow (or eyepiece). Sometimes it can be an extra smudge of paint. Since you say your Barlow is just a smidge too large, I suspect something along those lines.

Subject:	ETX-70 questions from a newbie
Sent:	Friday, February 23, 2001 08:28:23
From:	bigjohnl@yahoo.com (Big John)
I just bought my first telescope -- the ETX-70 -- and am very pleased
with its ease of use. I particularly like the GOTO and automatic
tracking features. But after one night of viewing I have a couple of
questions that probably seem pretty silly to most of you:

1. Is it normal to have to refocus after changing eyepieces?

2. Is it me, or is there a slight vibration in the scope (and thus, the
image) due to the scope's motor constantly moving the scope while
tracking an object? The image vibration is not constant, but when it is
aparent, it is very annoying. Any way to dampen or eliminate this?

And another question from reading this great site's feedback pages: What
does OTA stand for?

Thanks in advance to all for any help. You can count on hearing more
from me as I get to work with my new scope more and more.

BigJohn (bigjohnl@yahoo.com)
Mike here: No question is silly. Many eyepieces are not "parfocal", meaning that you have to refocus when changing eyepieces. There are some eyepieces that are parfocal but sometimes you can make your eyepieces parfocal. I've posted a Feedback item (with photo) on this. Some vibration can be seen but the sturdier the mount the less vibration you'll have. Also, the surface the tripod is placed on can affect the vibration amount. Search the site for "vibration" and you'll find several comments about this. OTA = Optical Tube Assembly.

Sent:	Thursday, February 22, 2001 20:33:46
From:	esdavis@ix.netcom.com (Elyse Davis)
I just purchased a Celestron Star Pointer Model #51630 to go with my
ETX-70. I cannot figure out how to mount the  Star Pointer, is this
compatible with this telescope.  I so, How do I mount it and where do I
mount it?



Subject:	ETX-60AT photography
Sent:	Thursday, February 22, 2001 14:02:20
From:	RLPCLI@aol.com
Many thanks for your site and opportunity for learning.

Santa brought me an ETX-60AT, and I am still in the learning curve, but
loving every moment. Next Christmas, he has promised me an upgrade, but
I'll wait until later in the year to ask your advice on that.

This information may already be on your web site, and if so, I apologize
for not looking far enough. I'm ready to begin experimenting with
photography, have ordered the T-adapter and have a Canon camera body
which should work well. I am accustomed to using Fuji 400 film, but am
amenable to 800. My question is how to determine exposure times. I have
a cable shutter release, so can keep the shutter open for as long as

Obviously, photos of the moon will require less exposure than Saturn,
Jupiter or star clusters. Any suggestions from your experience, or for
literature I can access?

Thanks again,

Robert L. Parke
Monticello, FL
Mike here: See the "Exposure Time Spreadsheet" on the Guest Contributions Archive 1997 page (linked from the Tech Tips page).

Subject:	Re: Re: About the etx's
Sent:	Thursday, February 22, 2001 03:34:26
From:	atlanticp95@adelphia.net (anthony martin)
how would an etx-60 perform as far as astrophotography in concerned?
Mike here: Depends on what you want to take photos of. You can do the Moon, the Sun (with the proper protection), and the brighter planets. I believe there are some examples from the ETX-60 and -70 on the Guest Astrophotography pages.

Subject:	Views on ETX70-AT
Sent:	Monday, February 19, 2001 11:55:17
From:	craigsmith.email@btinternet.com (Craig Smith)
I must congratulate you on an excellent web site covering many
interesting aspects of these great little scopes.

Recently I took delivery of the new ETX-70AT and would like to share my
views with other ETX users.  I also own a Russian TAL 100R Refractor
mounted on a German equatorial mount.  However with only a few viewing
sessions I must say that the Meade goto Refractor is more usable than
the TAL!  Sure the TAL gives more detailed images, but is a pain to
point at anything and is not so good at wide field views. For example, 
I was at a local star party and some folks who had never seen through a
telescope before were at the party.  They are amazed at how easily the
ETX-70 slewed to the Planets,  Nebulae, Galaxies and rich wide field
star clusters.  During the star party we saw M42, M31, M81, M82, M51
(Whirlpool) albiet faint, M92, M36 and so on. The open star clusters
like the Pleidaes, Double cluster in Persues where jaw dropping in this
little gem of a scope.  Here is a summary of the good points and bad
points I've found with the ETX 70AT: -


*   Extremely portable,  takes minutes to take out and put away.
    (On the night of our star party, we got clouded out.  After everyone
     else packed up their reflectors and refractors, the cloud broke up.
     Within minutes the ETX70 was aligned and offering a tour of tonights
     best objects!
*   The Autostar is a pleasure to use and takes minutes to Align.  The
    tonights best objects of the sky feature is great!
*   Sharp optics with a hint of false color on brighter objects like Jupiter
*   Fairly fast and wide field offering decent views of bright deep sky and
    star clusters
*   Flip mirror design on the back allows for easy astro photography


*   I found that the scope was only useful upto about 100x,  so will not be
    usefull for detailed study of the planets
*   Dimmer DSOs are not within the reach of the 70mm objective and the
    ETX Computer has objects in the database that are not within the grasp
    of the optics.
*  The Modified Achromat eyepieces are not very good,  I found the scope
    performed much better with decent eyepieces (Images where much more
    defined and brighter).

To summarize,  I would recommend the ETX70 to any who is new to
Astronomy or needs a no hassle portable scope.

Craig Smith

*  craigsmith.email@btinternet.com
*   +44 7752 331 666

Subject:	Piggyback Astrophotography
Sent:	Sunday, February 18, 2001 08:37:14
From:	2001as@bellsouth.net (Tony DeLuca)
I can't wait another six months or so till I get my 125. Is there any
possibility of my taking piggy back shots on my 60AT that can come out
even close to the one you shot? What is this MicroStar Dual Axis Drive
your talking about? How did you monitor through a guiding eyepiece, when
I make small adjustments my scope wants to pull back to the original
position. Scopetronix I know sells a piggy back adapter for the 60AT.
everything I have ever read about the ETX mount says I would be wasting
my money. I want to use a Pentax Spotmatic.

All good wishes,
Tony De Luca    
Digital Canvas
Mike here: Just about any telescope can be used for piggyback astrophotography. I even used my Edmund 3" reflector for guiding back in the 1960s. Just mount a camera on the telescope tube, put a reasonably high power eyepiece in the telescope, open the shutter (use the "hat trick" method for best results), and just move the telescope by hand to keep a star in the approximate middle of the eyepiece field of view. With most normal or telephoto lens on the camera, any movements in the eyepiece are too small to be noticeable on the 35mm film. Works great. The Scopetronix Microstar you mention is for the original model ETX (now known as the ETX-90RA). The ETX-60AT doesn't need it since it has dual axis control. Do the alignments (with the camera mounted) and then pick the portion of the sky you want to photograph. Use a slow slewing speed to keep a star centered in the eyepiece.


You say do the alignments with the camera mounted, do you mean the
Autostar calibration alignments, or are you saying just point at a guide
star and use the Autostar just to move and keep it centered? Do I need a
guiding rectile? Is the gear drive on my 60AT strong enough to hold my
Pentax and a Heinz Kilfitt Kilar 150mm telephoto lens?
Mike here: Do the first alignments of the night with your camera mounted. Then use the Autostar handcontroller to manually make any corrections to keep a guide star centered in the high power eyepiece. Having an illuminate reticle eyepiece really helps but it is not absolutely necessary unless you are using a very long telephoto lens. Not having an ETX-60AT I can say whether your camera + telephoto are too heavy; I'll leave that answer to others.

Subject:	Question About the DEC Setting Circle on a 70AT
Sent:	Saturday, February 17, 2001 12:02:19
From:	mike@aviationscanner.com (Michael Costigliola)
I just got my 70at the other day and have been having some trouble
setting up the align.  When My DEC setting is at 0 degrees the telescope
is pitched down below level.  I verified this with a level.  Should this
setting be a 0 when the scope is level or is that slight variation for
Mike here: The DEC scale is probably adjustable (it is on other scopes) and likely has slipped. You can probably loosen the knob that holds the scale in place and rotate the scale until it reads properly. Or you can ignore it and just eyeball the tube leveling (or use a real level).


And proper position is exactly level right.
Mike here: For Alt/Az alignments, yes.

Sent:	Friday, February 16, 2001 01:18:04
From:	typec2@aol.com (bill pc)
Re: Focus knob extender.
I tried the flexible straw, but it just kept collapsing. It did give me
another idea.tho. I got some plastic tubing at Home Depot (about 50
cents a foot) with and inside diameter of 1/2 ". It fits over the focus
knob tight enough to turn it. I cut a piece about 6" long. It worked OK
until the scope was pointing almost straight up (bending the tube 90
degrees). That made the tube start to collapse, too. I re-enforced that
tube by inserting a 5" tube with an outside diameter of 1/2" (needed a
little soap for lube). That leaves about an inch of the 1/2" ID tube to
go over the knob. On the other end I put a threaded rubber knob (4 for
$1.25) with the threads the same diameter as the outside of the 1/2" ID
tube. Only needed sissors and costs less than $3. Works OK and you can
easily slip it on and off.

Subject:	Re: Aligning ETX-70
Sent:	Wednesday, February 14, 2001 04:34:08
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
Hi Ken -
You are asking questions that many people ask.

1)  Be sure to download and PRINT my AutoStar alignment star and High
Precision star charts (Tech Tips) on Mike W's web site; it will help you
identify the correct stars that the AutoStar is selecting for you;

2)  REMEMBER:  the stars that AutoStar selects, believe it or not, are
the IDEAL stars for your location, date, and time of day; I hate to say
it, but it knows more about picking out perfect alignment stars than we
do!  Use an alternative only if:  a) the star is close to the north
celestial pole (will be inaccurate alignment) and/or, b) the alignment
star is behind something and you cannot see it; using my charts should
prevent you from NOT KNOWING which star AutoStar is referring to, since
every Northern bright reference star that is in Autostar is shown on my

3)  You CAN pick alternate stars by using the SCROLL keys (not the
arrow/slew keys);  if you do not like/cannot see a star selected, simply
tap the scroll key until you find one you like;

4)  MAKE SURE your two stars are separated by as much distance in the
sky as possible to insure good accuracy; your alignment is no better
than the stars you select.

Each different night may make a difference in which stars AutoStar
selects for your site and time of observing; as the night creeps on
(even just a few minutes) it might select a couple of new stars just to
keep you honest; with all the parameters needed for the computer to
select YOUR stars, even a five-minute interval can result in different
stars selected!

Hope that answers your questions.  Don't hesitate to get in touch when
you need to....glad you are getting the most out of your scope and
enjoying it.

Clay Sherrod
-----Original Message-----
>Hi Clay,
>First, thanks for all the great advice you've given me so far.  I hope you don't
>mind answering another question about aligning the ETX-70.  Since I've only had
>my telescope since Christmas, I was delighted after several different evenings
>trying to align it, when I finally succeeded a couple of weeks ago.
>My first successful alignment was on Rigel and Castor.
>After spending a very cold evening out there tonight, I have this question
>It selected Sirius as the first star.  No problem. Then it selected the second
>star, but I didn't want that one, since at this point I am not totally familiar
>with identifying the stars by sight.  So I hit the arrow key to try another
>star, but it selected stars I wasn't familiar with.
>Is there a way when selecting an alternate alignment star you can make it choose
>a particular star for alignment?
>I'm wondering why the scope will not scroll through the same choice of alignment
>stars each time, given that it is the same time of night, and the same season.

Subject:	power supply.....
Sent:	Tuesday, February 13, 2001 23:35:33
From:	scott@starjourney.net (Scott Horne)
The twelve volt power supply I made for the ETX-60 is pretty simple,
really. I got a universal 12-volt power adapter from radio shack.  When
you pull the tip off to change it, there are two pins sticking out.  I
bought the female connector for these pins, and a 9-volt battery
connector.  I spliced these two pieces together, and got an electrician
friend to check it over.  I can plug this 9-volt adapter to my
universal, and tun my scope off my battery pack for a month or so......

I've run my ETX-70 off 12-volt current by accident before. It was maybe
a week before it found it, and no damage yet!  Not that I can see,

Has anyone mounted a light-weight guide scope on the DS-114 using the
piggyback holes on the tube rings.  If it's possible to set up a webcam
as an autoguider, it would be the perfect place to set up a

Scott Horne
Honolulu, Hawaii

Subject:	ETX-60AT lens
Sent:	Tuesday, February 13, 2001 15:59:02
From:	jtemplet@elp.rr.com (John T)
What would be the advantages between the plossl eyepieces and having a
plossl 3000 or 4000 series eyepiece?  Would these be compatible with the
etx-60at telescope and would the barlow lenses be compatible, 2x or 3x,
#124, #128.  My last question would be on the plossl eyepieces, 4mm
would be a higher power than 5 or 6?  Then why is a series 4000 start at
6mm and be more expensive.  
Thanks, JT.
Mike here: The 3000 series design is different from the 4000 series design, hence the price difference. And you're correct about eyepiece focal; shorter yields higher magnification (magnification = telescope focal length divided by eyepiece focal length). And yes, you can use either Barlow Lens.

Subject:	Re: ATX-60 12 volt adaptor
Sent:	Tuesday, February 13, 2001 14:54:24
From:	malathar@camalott.com (Mal)
I've been reading your forum for weeks and keeping quiet because I didnt
have anything worthy to add, but I thought I'd add my little story here

I have also used a 12 volt adaptor with the ETX-60AT. When I went out on
the first cold night I found to my horror that the motors bogged way
down on cold nights. I kinda figured the grease got too thick under the
cold conditions. At first I tried a 9 volt battery.. works for about 10
mins then dies. then I tried a 9 volt power adaptor.. no good still
draws it down when cold.. to the point that the display flickers (if the
display flickers when you slew the scope.. it's gonna give you a motor
error) anyhow, decided to bite my lip and push it to 12 volts (hoping
that like some other electronic devices.. the 9 volts was the "middle"
of a voltage range.

I was pleased to find out it works fine.. slews a little faster than
normal when you move it.. but other than that is worked normally when
tracking something. Ran it for an hour or so out in the coldest night I
could stand and it never motor errored on me. The scope also seems to
tolerate it just fine. At least mine hasnt shown any signs of "burning
out" also works talking to the laptop with the #506 just fine when
running on the 12 volt adaptor too so I dont think pushing it to 12 is
causing any adverse reaction internally.

Kevin Palivec

Subject:	Re: Using a Barlow lens - question
Sent:	Tuesday, February 13, 2001 05:54:49
From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
To:	kjm96@attglobal.net
Glad you got back to me.  I am not surprised with the response your
received on you barlow inquiry.

I don't know everything, but I do know telescopes and astronomy; I also
know how business works.  I am not familiar with the source you asked,
but I am sure they are a reputable and good firm.

All telescope "stores" many times are forced to provide a "stock"
ready-to-wear answer since they get so many inquiries; they are
right....the "recommended" barlow is the #124 and the "recommended"
eyepieces are the same ones that Meade markets for that line of
telescopes;  I believe that Meade is attempting to make reasonable
quality accessory items available at a good price.  Thus, the 124 is
recommended for that line of scopes.

The #126 (and the #124 for that matter) can be used with ANY telescope;
just because it is linked to a particular line doesn't mean it cannot
stray from that line!  My feeling is always, if you can invest for the
very best for only a fraction more - particularly if you are going to
upgrade in the future anyway and can "take it with you" - you should do
just that. Granted, the 124 will "get you by" with your scope, but the
#126 will do that and better....and be a good future investment!

Let me know if we can help further....
Clay Sherrod
-----Original Message-----
>Just because I'm curious, and such a beginner at this, I also asked the same
>question about using the #126 shorty barlow on the ETX-70 to some other sources.
>I got this reply from Hardin Optical in Brookings, Oregon (this place runs a
>full range telescope store).
>They wrote:
>"The recommended Barlow for the ETX 70AT, is the #124, the #126 is for the ETX
>Well, I knew that, as that is what the accessory sheet included with my
>telescope listed.  I think I will go with your advice and get the #126 to use on
>my ETX-70.
>I just thought you may be interested to know the differing opinons/advice I've
>run across.
>Thanks again,
>Ken Martin
>Eugene, Oregon

Subject:	Using a Barlow lens - question
Sent:	Saturday, February 10, 2001 11:04:43
From:	kjm96@attglobal.net (Ken Martin)
I'm hoping you can give me some advice. I have a Meade ETX-70 telescope,
and am wondering if the model #126 "Shorty" short focus 2x Barlow is

I see Meade also makes the model #124 2x Barlow specifically for the
model 60 and 70 telescopes. I like the idea of a shorter length Barlow.
I only have the two eyepieces that came with the telescope (MA 25mm and
MA 9mm).

I can get the model #126 over the internet for less than the catalog
price of the #124.

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Ken Martin
Eugene OR
Mike here: I couldn't locate any reports of the #126 Barlow being used on the ETX-70AT. All mention of Barlows seem to say imply that the #124 was the best choice or perhaps the #128 for the ETX-70AT.

And another view:

From:	sherrodc@ipa.net (Clay Sherrod)
Yes, it is certainly okay to use the shorter barlow #126 (which I
actually prefer) in your ETX 70.  The Meade barlows (both the 124 and
126) are excellent optical quality and will give pleasing results.

The barlow is the best alternative to attaining higher powers as this
maintains your eye comfort (eye relief) and viewing comfort (positioning
you further from the end of the scope).

I have tested many of the barlows on the market and have settled in on
the short #126 version as the best and most satisfying of all.  And,
yes, you can get one cheaper over the Internet, but make sure the price
is the cheapest.  Have you tried Michael Webb at
www.sightandsoundship.com ?  His prices and service (in stock) are
really the best I have personally found. His direct e-mail (which I use
for orders is:  mshwebb@hotmail.com.  (phone 931-484-1511).

Wherever you get the barlow, you will be the most happy with the model
#126 by far.

Hope this helps....
Good skies
Clay Sherrod

Subject:	 thanks
Sent:	Thursday, February 8, 2001 04:19:18
From:	kbusa1@hotmail.com (k b)
Thanks for providing this website for many amateurs. you are doing a
major service for many. may you go on doing so for many years.

Would like to know (or you can post this) with regard to ETX 60 or 70 if
anyone has succeeded in viewing either saturn or jupiter recently with
powers of OVER 100x ?  or is it really way too blurry over 70x ?

to give you an example. i have an old 8-32x 50mm celestron zoom
binoculars on a camera tripod. with this, i can just about make out
saturn and jupiter (and 4 tiny moons). yes, just MAKE OUT. no one
mentions apparent size, do they ? what i can see with this, is only
about 1 mm ! a good WIDE view, but the planets are that small, and the
moons, even tinier.

pls, fellow users, email me at kbusa1@hotmail.com with your views,
descriptions, n what powers you are succeeding with.

Mike here: There is one report on the Buyer/New User Tips page about using an ETX-60AT but no mention on magnification used.

Subject:	 re:Straw focus extender
Sent:	Thursday, February 8, 2001 03:35:01
From:	typec2@aol.com (bill pc)
Hey Gary,
Thanks for the Straw extention tip. Could you please give us more
details on the 12 volt battery and adapter you hooked up?

P.S. I got 3x Barlow and the 6mm lens (about 175x) for my ETX-60. The
Moon looks great. Saturn was ok but not really sharp. This was on a good
night near Boston. The tech at Meade said I could try as high as a 5mm
with the 3x (210x) but I figured I'd play it a bit safe. Might go for
another lens someday.

Subject:	 ETX 60/70 Feedback
Sent:	Wednesday, February 7, 2001 12:45:55
From:	star_journey@eudoramail.com (Gary Scott Horne)
Greetings again.  here's some comments on my own experiences with the

From my backyard, I regularly see objects as dim as mag 6.5.  This is
across the street from Honolulu Int'l Airport, so you can imagine the
lights (shudder). I usually have to jump up the magnification with a
4.5mm eyepiece, but it works well.....

I was thinking about getting a flexifocus cable, but the cost threw me
off.  The other day, I was wandering through my local grocery store, and
saw some kids drinking straws.  Hmmm, thick plastic, ridged and
flexible, just about the right size...  I cut four slits in one end, and
rubber-banded it to my focus knob, and glued a big knob to the other
end.  It works!  Long, flexible, and CHEAP! (about 3 bucks for the straw
and the knob).  Just ignore the flourescent yellow color.....

For power, I use a 12 volt battery, and a radio shack 12v universal
adapter.  I had to make a fitting to attach it to the 9v clip on the
scope, but that was easy, even for a non-electrician like me.  I can run
this thing for weeks without having to worry about juice.

Hope this helps out with some of the problems I've seen posted...  I
like to tinker, and it's amazing what you can cobble up from various
local parts...

Subject:	Re: External power for ETX-60
Sent:	Tuesday, February 6, 2001 00:23:32
From:	Typec2@aol.com
Thank you, Mike. The Radio Shack portable rechargeable power supply
looked pretty good. Some of the circuit mods seemed beyond me.

Subject:	 External power for ETX-60
Sent:	Saturday, February 3, 2001 00:50:03
From:	typec2@aol.com (bill pc)
Batteries don't seem to last long in these, especially out in the cold.
Has anyone found an alternative? There's a 9volt snap connector to
connect the six 1.5 volt AA's. Is it possible to use the Radio Shack
9volt adapter?
Mike here: See the "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Power Supply" on the Tech Tips page.

Subject:	 Flexifocus for ETX70AT?
Sent:	Thursday, February 1, 2001 15:28:27
From:	cwren1@home.com (Charles Wren)
I got an ETX 70AT for x-mas from my wife and love it so far.  I noticed
the info on the Flexifocus for the ETX 90 and was wondering if that same
one would work for the 70AT.  If not, is there one available for this

Charles Wren
Mike here: I suggest you contact Scopetronix directly.

Subject:	 60/70AT Update
Sent:	Thursday, February 1, 2001 13:38:00
From:	tcibelli@yahoo.com (Tom Cibelli)
This is an update to my previous ETX 60AT observations.

I mentioned in my last update I was going to upgrade to the 70AT. I have
done so. In general the 70 makes some objects slightly brighter.
Otherwise it is identical to the 60.

The greatest improvement to date has been the performance of the
Autostar system. Previously I had some trouble aligning and locating
objects with Autostar. This is no longer the case. Using the two-star
method I am now able to align the scope quickly and easily.

Locating objects has also greatly improved. I now find the Autostar
system very accurate with all types of objects, including deep sky.

The scope is now performing exactly as advertised: "A personal
observatory." I find the "Tonights Best" guided tour to be particularly

Subject:	 Dimmest object visible with ETX-70AT
Sent:	Thursday, February 1, 2001 11:58:31
From:	sguy@walla.co.il
I'm a new ETX-70AT owner, and I've found this site both interesting and
useful - thanks!

I was wondering, though, how many of the 1400 objects in the Autostar's
database I could realistically expect to see?

In other words, what's the dimmest object visible with this telescope:

1. Under ideal conditions
2. For a city dweller on a clear and moonless night
3. With a visible moon


    Guy Shapiro
Mike here: Well, the catalog says the limiting visual magnitude is 11.3. That is rather faint for a telescope of this size. I suspect that under excellent conditions you'll see stars around 8th magnitude. In the city or with a bright Moon, probably magnitude 5. But I'm just guessing here since I don't have this model.

Subject:	 Re: Meade ETX-70AT (more questions)
Sent:	Wednesday, January 31, 2001 23:40:57
From:	pjmarcelino@hotmail.com (PJ Marcelino)
Thanks for the quick response.
As far as comparison, what major differences should I expect between the
ETX-70AT with a 350mm focal length, and a reflector telescope with a
1000mm focal length?  I just want to make sure my expectations are
satisfied when it's time to put my eye into that eyepiece; will the
objects be too small, fuzzy, detailed, etc...

P.S. Have you heard of the "Orion ShortTube" telescopes?  Although these
telescopes might be a bit more powerful (I guess), the compactness,
automation, and portability of the ETX-70AT are still very appealing to

Mike here: Well, you will have about 3 times the focal length. So plug the numbers into that equation. Objects can be larger with the longer FL. It depends upon the eyepiece (power) used. And there is the larger aperture of the reflector. Again, plug the numbers into the formula. Some objects will appear nice and other objects will appear small, faint, and fuzzy. Doesn't matter what the telescope, this is generally true. If you want to make comparisons, contact your local astronomy club; they may have local star parties.

Subject:	hi....
Sent:	Wednesday, January 31, 2001 21:15:53
From:	IAMLUCA@aol.com
just bought a meade 60 and need lots of advice.............
Mike here: See the ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback page, current and in the Feedback Archives.

Feedback Archives

Check the Feedback Archives for previous editions of the User Feedback pages.

Return to the top of this page.

Go to the ETX Home Page.

Copyright © 2001 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals Copyright © 2001 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/70atFeb01.html