[Home!]

ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
Last updated: 31 January 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:	 Meade ETX-70AT vs Meade DS 114 EC Reflector Telescope
Sent:	Wednesday, January 31, 2001 17:42:38
From:	pjmarcelino@hotmail.com (PJ Marcelino)
I've been checking out catalogs of astronomical telescopes, both
Reflector and Refractor, but I'm not sure what's the difference between
the two (power-wise, quality, etc). Anyway, my main question is how does
a Meade ETX-70AT compare with a Meade DS 114-EC or any other Reflector
Telescope that features a focal length of 700mm to 1200mm (i'm not sure
if this is significant, but want to mention it anyway).

On which telescopes will the planetary objects be bigger or more
detailed?  If what I'm going to see with the ETX-70 is the same with
something like a 900mm Reflector Telescope, then I would rather buy the
ETX-70.

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
PJ
Mike here: Focal length of a telescope is a measure of how "powerful" it is. The longer the focal length the higher the magnification with a given eyepiece. The formula is:
   magnification = telescope FL / eyepiece FL
The size of the telescope aperture is a measure of how much magnification can be used with the telescope. Typically, the theoretical maximum magnification is twice the aperture diameter in millimeters or 50-60X per inch of aperture. So, for the ETX-70AT, that would be 140X. For serious work, the design of the telescope can be a factor but for many casual amateurs, a reflector or refractor (or combination designs like the ETX and others) is not that much a consideration.

Subject:	 Meade EXT-70at
Sent:	Tuesday, January 30, 2001 03:13:50
From:	donnajj33@yahoo.com (Janssen Donna)
Hi, I came accross your web site while searching for information on the
EXT-70AT.  I also received the EXT-70AT (which is what's on the box),
but the information package inside was for an EXT-70EC. I read on your
site where this has also happened to some other people.

My search or quest for information, was that while using this scope for
land viewing, I can view objects better with my binoculars. I have a
beautiful view of some distant mountains, but with the lens that was
supplied with the scope, I can not bring the mountains closer in view
than what my binoculars already give me. I need to know if, and what I'm
doing wrong. Can you HELP!!!!  I'm very new to this...since Xmas Could
you e-mail a response?  Thanks,  Donna J.
Mike here: What eyepieces do you have with your ETX-70AT? Divide their focal length into the focal length of the telescope (350mm) and you will get the magnification (power) of each eyepiece. Compare that to the power of your binoculars (7X, 8X, 10X, or whatever). That will let you know what the difference should be.

Subject:	 RE: Questions about ETX-70 and/or eyepieces
Sent:	Tuesday, January 30, 2001 02:17:07
From:	mark_patterson@anytimenow.com (Mark Patterson)
Just a note for Allen Kezer and his problems with focusing and Barlows.

It doesn't sound like a problem with the ETX-70 - I usually get sharp
views of Saturn with a 9mm + 2x Barlow (I don't own a 3x).

It might be worth getting used to how the telescope focuses by sighting
it on a land object during the daytime - the ETX-70 does take a *lot* of
refocusing when you're going through the eyepieces. This way you should
be able to tell where the problem lies as you shouldn't have this
problem if everything is operating as it should be.

Mark.

Subject:	GOTO problem
Sent:	Monday, January 29, 2001 18:14:03
From:	Markparson@aol.com
I have a new ETX 60.  When I try to use autostar either to align or
search, if I don't press the mode key within a few seconds; the system
directs the scope almost straight up, and it slowly skews around.  After
this starts none of the buttons seem to make it stop; and, I have to
shut it off and start all over.  Am I missing something, or is this
unfixable.
Mike here: Further down this page is a similar report. Turned out (posted with this update) that my comment about misalignment was correct. When he did a better alignment, the scope stopped where it should. So, try improving the alignment. Also be certain that the date/time/location are all correct.

Subject:	 ETX60 
Sent:	Monday, January 29, 2001 09:59:16
From:	mykeyp@earthlink.net (Mike Plafcan)
First thing I reall enjoyed your web site...  This is my first
telescope.. I still don't have a tripod yet.. So I am getting used to
the Autostar...The last couple of nights , right above the moon (around
6-7 o'clockpm)  there is a bright object... Looking at charts and
different sits.. I am thinking  that this is Venus...... When I look at
this though my ETX60 with a 2X Barlow and a 9mm eyepiece...it is still
just a dot...  Am I doing anything wrong?  Or is this telescope only
good for looking at a bird 2 miles away?... Thanks "getting more
frustrated by the day"
Mike here: Yep, that bright object in the evening sky is Venus. It is exhibiting about a "half-moon" phase right now and is still pretty small. It will grow over the next month as it gets closer to the Earth and changes to a more "crescent" phase. It's apparent diameter is currently about 3/4 of Jupiter (if you seen it, high in the sky, along with Saturn). By the end of February it will appear just slightly larger than Jupiter. Hang in there. And see the "Observations with ETX-60AT" on the Buyer/New User Tips page.

Subject:	 RE: RE: re: ETX60, 506 cable and downloads
Sent:	Sunday, January 28, 2001 09:46:48
From:	kajones@hiwaay.net (Kevin Jones)
Still haven't received anything from Meade. They told me I should have
rcvd by last Friday, but no luck.  I have a question I can't find in any
forum: Can you upgrade the #494 controller on the ETX-60AT to the #497? 
Are these two compatible as far as the scope itself is concerned?  Is
Meade so embarrassed by the lack of support with the #494 that they
don't even have an e-mail address for Customer Support?  I'm getting
close to just packing it all back in the box and returning it for a
refund!

Thanks for a great site, I would have probably pitched it from the top
of Lookout Point by now without your site giving me some hope.

Thanks again,
Kevin
kajones@hiwaay.net
Mike here: See Dick Seymour's message "re: ETX-60/70AT "aux" port and Autostar #494 confusion" further down this "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page. As to Meade not having an email address for Tech Support, it has nothing to do with the #494 Autostar. Just their current (and past) policy.

Subject:	 Questions about ETX-70 and/or eyepieces
Sent:	Sunday, January 28, 2001 02:09:47
From:	allenk@sonic.net (Allen Kezer)
Today I purchased both the #126 2X  and the #128 3X barlow for my ETX-70 
which I only purchased at the beginning of January.  I'm VERY new at
this so I figured I'd test these barlows on Saturn this evening.  I've
always been able to see the ring around Saturn, albeit very small, with
just the supplied 9mm.  When the 2X is added I believe that Saturn
appears harder to focus and slightly blurrier.  When the 3X is added I
cannot even get Saturn into sharp focus.  I know this might be
impossible to diagnose over e-mail, but is this a problem with the 9mm,
the barlows, or the scope.  With just the 9mm Saturn appears fairly
sharp....I can see the ring with a space between the planet and the
rings but it still seems that it could be sharper.  But with the 3x
barlow I can't even separate the one ring I can see with the planet, it
just one big blur...and yes, I believe I know how to focus it.

I really don't know where to start troubleshooting this.  It's 2:00 am
and my brain hurts from thinking about it.  Is this the limitation of
barlows?  Should I be expecting a "crystal clear" image of Saturn with
this setup?  I believe I read another message from a man this evening
stating that at 78X he could see a belt around Jupiter.  I have never
been able to see that type of detail, although I can see it's moon. 
When I use the barlow setup (3X), the moons aren't as clear as with just
the 9mm.  Is this a case of having too much power for the aperture? 
Another note with stars and the 9mm, the stars appear fairly "pinpoint"
but there is a flare to the stars (blue in color).  I don't know if this
means anything but I'll throw it out there.

I reading that the maximum power for the ETX70 is about 140X, I was
assuming that 117X should at least be usable on an object like Saturn.

As you can see...I'm a man with MANY questions.  Any help would be
appreciated.  If you have any questions for me...fire away!

-Allen 
Mike here: Two possibilities come to mind: either the Barlows you purchased won't reach focus with the ETX-70AT (and I can't answer that directly since I don't have an ETX-70AT) or you are expecting too much at the max magnification for the telescope. Yes, the theoretical max is about 140X (twice the aperture in millimeters) but fainter objects will appear fuzzy and dim at the max magnification for any telescope. This could be what you are seeing. One other point about operating at the maximum magnification: you need really good atmospheric conditions ("seeing") otherwise objects tend to "break up" due to air turbulence. This can be due to atmospheric conditions or heated roof tops or parking lots that have warmed during the day. As to the color spread, this is typical of a refractor.

And more:

Thanks for you prompt response.  I'm just trying to weed out the
possibilities of either that I'm asking too much out of this scope or if
there is something repairable that I could remedy.  I believe I
understand that objects will appear fuzzy and dimmer at higher
magnifications (I'm saving for that 15" refractor lol;-))  But I was
hoping that the #128 3X barlow would give me something useful to look
at.  I couldn't find anything last night that would focus in sharp with
it.  I haven't tried it yet (below the horizon) on the moon but I'm
think this would be way to powerful as at 9mm I'm pretty much filling my
FOV.  So are there astronomical object out there that this barlow would
be useful for or should it remain as a tool for terrestrial viewing?  I
know...it's probably subjective but give me your best advice.

Appreciate it.

-Allen
And:
Opps,  another question.  Would buying a 5mm pl. with a the #126 2X
barlow be any different (resolution wise) than trying to use a 9mm with
a 3X barring the difference in magnification.  I guess what I'm asking
is I don't see Meade offering a higher quality 3x barlow other than the
#128, so is tripling a EP using a barlow just pushing the limitation of
that EP?

A lotta questions! Thanks for your patience.

-Allen
Mike here: Check out the Moon. It is getting pretty nice now. Multiplying ANY eyepiece will reduce in some image deterioration. Whether it is noticeable or not depends upon the optical quality of the telescope, the eyepiece, and the Barlow Lens. And the more you multiply, the worse the deterioration can be. So, all things being equal, a good eyepiece is better than doubling another to reach the same power.

And:

Great advice!  Thanks for the quick responses!

-Allen

Subject:	 Follow up on my "Question about using "GO TO" on EXT-70 Autostar"
Sent:	Saturday, January 27, 2001 22:11:18
From:	kjm96@attglobal.net (Ken Martin)
Mike: Thanks for putting me on the right track. You were correct, my
initial alignment was not quite right. After first aligning on Rigel,
the scope had selected Castor for the second alignment star, and I
mistakenly centered on Pollux. (I told you I was a beginner!) Since they
are relatively close, the scope thought it was aligned. I got the
alignment stars correct tonight, and the GOTO worked perfectly! Thanks
again for the advice, and for the great site you have here.
-Ken

Subject:	 Question about using "GO TO" on EXT-70 Autostar
Sent:	Friday, January 26, 2001 23:44:05
From:	kjm96@attglobal.net (Ken Martin)
I finally got my ETX-70 aligned. Now that I'm becoming more familiar
with star names and locations, that helps! I tried the "go to" feature
on Jupiter, and it went right to it, but continued slewing, and within a
few seconds Jupiter was out of the field of view. Why did my Autostar
continue to slew? Am I supposed to "stop" it? Obviously I'm new at all
this, so thanks for the advice.
-Ken
Mike here: Did it ever stop on Jupiter before starting to slew again? If so, you may be seeing the "creep after beep" error. What happens when you GOTO other objects? And no, you are not supposed to HAVE TO press any button to stop on a GOTO-ed object.

Added later:

Thanks for your prompt reply.

I was so excited about getting it aligned for the first time, I'm not
positive, but no, it didn't seem to actually -stop- at Jupiter. The
Autostar controller continued to read "slewing". Jupiter was the first
object I did a GOTO on. It went right to it, but then kept slewing, so I
did not GOTO a second object.

I tried turning it off and realigning it, but my batteries were getting
very weak, and I was getting cold. If the sky is clear tonight, and I
can get it aligned again, I'll give it another try and let you know.

Could weak batteries cause a slewing problem?
Mike here: Weak batteries can cause all kinds of problems but probably not what you saw. I suspect the original alignment was not quite precise enough or you had an error in date/time/location.

Subject:	 ETX-70 issues & comments
Sent:	Friday, January 26, 2001 07:43:39
From:	kyle@barks.org (Kyle Barger)
I had complained previously (it's in the archives) about my ETX-70 not
focusing well at 77x (9mm eyepiece + barlow).  I spoke to Meade tech
support & after hearing the symptoms, they agreed that it sounded
abnormal. I just got the scope back from them "fixing" it a couple days
ago.  I say "fixing" in quotes because I seem to have the "new" drive
unit, with the power switch & autostar jack on the fork rather than the
bottom part of the base.  So I wonder if I got a new optical assembly as
well.  There is a considerable improvement.  Last night I was able to
get a nice view of Saturn and Jupiter.  With average (at best) seeing I
distinguished three dark cloud bands on Jupiter, and the moons were nice
and sharp.

I did not take to trouble to align or train it yet, but with regards to
Tom Cibelli's problems, if you have done careful training (which took me
several tries to get right--one thing that improved my results was using
a higher powered eyepiece) you should get good results on finding the
deep sky objects.  With a reasonbly careful alignment, I was able to
find deep sky objects and planets quite accurately.  (We'll see if the
replacement does as well.)

To Mark Patterson, another reason an Autostar system scores for a
light-polluted atmosphere is, you just don't have enough stars to
star-hop. Sure, I can fine the Pleiades or the Orion Nebula by
eyeballing along the tube.  But try to find M13 when you can't see any
stars in Hercules.  The autostar will take you right there.

And as for people having trouble with the tripod, I'm not surprised.  I
seriously considered getting one, but decided it was too flimsy after I
saw it in the store.  I get good results putting it on a table on my
patio or driveway, but most of my property slopes, so I really do need a
tripod that can adjust to give a good levelling of the scope.

Subject:	 ETX60At and eyepiece projection photography?
Sent:	Thursday, January 25, 2001 18:15:50
From:	rich@bearlycomputing.com (Rich)
It will become very obvious that I'm in the "newbie" category of
astronomy. My wife gave me an ETX60 for Christmas and I've managed a
quick peek through some holes in the constant cloud cover since then.
Overall, I'm happy with the telescope. Okay, I wish I had the 125 or
even the 90, but she did give this to me...

The problem now comes when I want to do astrophotography as I'm also an
avid amateur photographer. After getting the wrong rear adapter from
Rivers and waiting for the right one, I found out that this wasn't the
way to go. I can do better than the 350mm with camera lenses (I know the
scope has advantages) and the 60 really can't hold the weight of a 35mm
that far from the center. So I looked into eye piece projection. I was
sure that I saw here and possibly other places that people were doing
this with the ETX 60 & 70, so I ordered the camera adapter & parts from
Scopetronix. Received them today and gave it a quick test. So far, it
looks to me like this just can't work?

The camera adapter (same as Meade's Basic Camera Adapter) pulls the
eyepiece out of the holder tube by a good inch or more. This changes the
focusing drastically. I can almost focus on the tree in my backyard with
the adapter installed, but no farther away. I tried connecting the
camera anyway, hoping for some optical magic... Of course the camera
sees the same thing I do. Tried with and without a lens using
appropriate adapter rings. Still no luck. The ETX60 simply won't focus
far enough to make up for the change in distance of the eyepiece.

Am I missing something very obvious here? Is there any chance of this
working? I would sure love to have pictures of those wonderful sights
I've caught a brief glimpse of through the scope, but so far it looks
hopeless... I did think about the other Scopetronix camera adapter that
mounts to the eyepiece tube and holds the camera above it. I just didn't
like the idea of all that weight being pulled at an angle on the 60's
eyepiece tube. Maybe it's stronger than it looks?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. And thanks for this fantastic
resource! I've spent a huge amount of time going through all the
sections of the site and love it!

Thanks again...

Rich...
Mike here: I suspect that the Scopetronix Digital Camera Adapter is the way to go. I've used it on the ETX-90RA at some rather severe angles. As long as your camera isn't too heavy (and no, I don't know how heavy is too heavy) it could work OK. Adding a counterweight to the other end of the ETX-60AT might be required to reduce the load on the axis locks.

Added later:

Thanks for the quick reply! And for a quick follow-up...

I love to 'play' and thought "what would happen if I put a 2X Barlow in
the scope first, then the camera adapter?". Well, it changes the focus
yet again, but this time almost back to where it belongs! I can't give
this a full test yet (perenial cloud cover at night) but I can focus
using both the 25mm and 9mm on the Sun (with filter of course). Heck,
the rest of those stars can't be much farther away? ;-) But it does look
like this will work and the 25 with a 2X is still pretty wide. The focus
is down close to the end, but it looks like there's enough room left to
reach the stars. Testing with the 5mm eyepice will have to wait. That
seems to be a bit short (physically) and deep down into the camera
adapter. But with a bit of luck, I'll at least get my pics of the moon,
sun and closer planets...

Thanks again for your great site!

Rich...

Subject:	 Meade 882 Tripod Problems
Sent:	Thursday, January 25, 2001 17:30:45
From:	mccoyne@zbzoom.net (Michael Coyne)
Like others on this forum, I had trouble with my #882 tripod for my
ETX-60.  The plastic clips on the legs snapped off on my original tripod
and on the replacement that I got from the store.  Absolutely horrible
quality. I called Meade customer support and spoke with a very helpful
CSR.  He said that there had been a 'bad batch' and that stores were to
have returned their stock for replacements.  In any case, he asked how
many legs I needed and sent them to me via 2nd day air free of charge. 
The replacement legs seem to have stronger clips; none have broken so
far.  Hope this helps.

Subject:	 Newbie with Dumb questions
Sent:	Wednesday, January 24, 2001 13:39:01
From:	bobmin@nidlink.com
Thanks ever so much for your site, its a real joy. Perhaps you can clear
up some issues that this newbie duet (myself and my wife) are having.

Having read the posts on the Ext60/70 and having once tried our hand
with a junk christmas tasco scope, we bought a ext60. It seems to us to
be a great scope despite everyone saying its not a good scope.

What we don't understand concerns the issue of lenses.

Some people are suggesting the maximum magnification for the scope is
only 117X, yet the math suggests otherwise. A 4mm plossl with a 3X
barlow would yeild a 262.5X magnification (350mm/4mm)*3. This is
confusing the heck out of us.  What is causing the limitation and why?

I've visited many pages of your site, but there are still some aspects
of the scope which I have yet to figure out. For example what is the
diameter of the eyepiece barrel for an ext60? Can I buy an eyepiece for
a etx90 and have it fit? There were a lot of interesting recommendations
in your eyepiece accessories page, but they seem to always assume
someone is working with an ext90 or 125.

Also the basic etx60 comes without a finderscope. Should we buy one?

Finally I'd like to address some comments to those people that feel it
necessary to bash the 60/70's.

Every field has purists. I remember a time when you weren't considered a
top notch programmer if you couldn't program a floating point
multiplication routine in assembler and do it in less than 128 bytes. I
and my wife are quite happy with our scope, but we're newbies to
astromony, and someday we'll graduate to a bigger and better telescope.
But for now, please don't waste your time telling people they've wasted
their money. All you accomplish is making people feel like a fool.  Be a
purist if you want, and expound the joys of your 16inch LX200, we'll get
to where you are someday, all we ask is you let us learn to walk before
you expect us to run.

    Regards
    Bob Minnick, Northern Webs
    http://www.northernwebs.com
Mike here: There is a theoretical max magnification with any telescope. There are two equations that people use: (1) twice the aperture in millimeters (120X for a 60mm telescope) or (2) 50-60X per inch of aperture (118X-142X for the ETX-60AT). With good optics (telescope, eyepieces, Barlow Lens) you can exceed this max on some objects before the object gets too dim and fuzzy. The ETX line (currently) uses eyepieces with a 1.25-inch tube diameter. This is a standard and popular size for eyepieces. (Other sizes are 0.965" and 2".) You may find adding a small finderscope, like one of the red-dot or 1X finders shown on the Accessories - Finderscopes page helpful at times.

Subject:	 Meade 822 tripod problems
Sent:	Tuesday, January 23, 2001 17:54:25
From:	harras@wwnet.net (Harras)
I too just used my 822 tripod for the first time.  While putting it
away, the leg clamp broke into two pieces.  I am returning it tomorrow.
Sure seems to be a defect in the quality of materials used in
construction.  I would like to hear others comments.

Subject:	 ETX-70AT & Autostar #497
Sent:	Tuesday, January 23, 2001 08:29:56
From:	weigelj@squared.com
I am a beginner to astronomy, and I am considering a Meade ETX-70AT
package which is offered through the American Express Rewards program (I
would prefer the ETX-125, but this one is not offered by AMEX).

I know the package includes the #494 Autostar controller.  I would like
to know if the upgraded # 497 Autostar controller will work with this
scope.  I suspect it might, but the Meade site only shows the 497
Autostar as an accessory for the "EC" models.  Possibly this is because
the ETX70 is a relatively new product.

I have read some of the information on your site, and it seems to imply
that the Autostar #497 is compatible with the ETX 60/70, but I would
like to make sure before I order the upgraded controller.

Also, do you have any comments about the ETX-70AT for a beginner?

Regards,

Joe Weigel
Mike here: As noted on the Autostar Models page on the Autostar Information page, there is much confusion about what works with what. Not having an ETX-70AT I can't say definitively. As to beginner comments, see further down this page as well as the new ETX-60A posting on the Buyer/New User Tips page.

Subject:	 Light Pollution
Sent:	Tuesday, January 23, 2001 06:26:24
From:	mark_patterson@anytimenow.com (Mark Patterson)
I'd just like to point out to those who feel the ETX60/70 is a waste of
time - when you live in a city a good way from decent viewing sites,
it's v. handy having a telescope that you pack away in a minute and
shove on the passenger seat of a car. My ETX-70 came to Sri Lanka with
me over Christmas - no problem taking it on a plane as hand luggage and
it performed brilliantly out there.

However much I love my ETX70 - I would like more power (who wouldn't?).
As I live in central London where the light pollution is horrendous,
I've held off investing in a large telescope (by larger, I mean 8"+) -
do you reckon it's worth upgrading, or should I wait until I finally own
that house in the country where the nights are good and dark...

Thanks for a great site. 

Mark.
Mike here: Unless you have a large lorry, many 8" scopes can be a real challenge to transport in small vehicles.

Subject:	 RE: ETX60AT
Sent:	Monday, January 22, 2001 12:09:43
From:	HorneGS@phnsy.navy.mil (Horne Gary S PHNS)
To:	2001as@bellsouth.net ('Tony DeLuca')
It is a great little scope.  The key word is "portability".  Using that
as your main criterion, it's amazing what you can see through it.  The
planetary images are very sharp, and suprisingly good color correction,
considering.....  The problem with planetary images is that the image is
too small to see much detail, and the aperture is too small to jump up
the magnification you need to make out a lot of detail.  For me, 114mm
aperture is the minimum to see anything really interesting.  With the
60, I can barely make out the cassini division, and the great red spot.

Deep sky, on the other hand, is a different story.  Different rules
apply. Focal length is the main thing you're looking for.  Bright, wide
images with a fast focal length (f/5.8) make this a much better deep sky
scope, compared with the etx-90 and 125 with their narrow, high
magnification views through long focal lengths (f/13).

As for details on the DSOs, several things can affect them.  You said
that you observe from Orlando?  There's probably a lot of light
pollution to deal with, along with internal reflections from the local
lighting.  That will cut down the contrast dramatically.  You can buy a
roll of project foam (only a few millimeters thick), and make a
light/dew shield to help with the contrast.  Make it so that it sticks
out beyond the objective 2 to 3 times the aperture of the scope, in our
case 5 to 7 inches.  It makes the scope look wierd, but it helps.  Also,
wait till later in the evening, when everybody closes down and turn off
their lights.

Training also helps.  I don't know how long you've been observing, but
most people learn how to pick out more detail as they spend time in this
hobby. A long time observer can simply see more than a newbie can, even
though they're looking through the same scope, from the same place.  So
just keep at it, and you'll see more.  It's definitely worth it.

Gary S. Horne GSM2(SW)
Code 244.1
471-1129

Subject:	 Meade 822 tripod problems
Sent:	Monday, January 22, 2001 12:02:04
From:	akis229@yahoo.com (Akis Katsanidis)
I bought a Meade ETX-70AT with a free #882 tripod, too.  Three days
later, one of the plastic leg clamps broke, while I was trying to adjust
the hight of the tripod.  I am afraid there may be a design flaw with
the leg clamps.  I did not use any force to release the clamp.  I took
it back and I am still waiting for a new one (it had to be ordered from
Meade).

Other than this, I am quite happy with my ETX.  I used my camera tripod
and I was able to get nice and crisp views of Saturn and Jupiter (four
moons were easily visible with the 39x magnification). Any comments on
how the ETX-70AT compares to Celestron's Nextstar 80GT? They seem to be
in the same price range if you add a finderscope to the ETX, but the
Celestron has an 80mm apperture.

Akis

Subject:	 ETX70 *NOT* a disappointment.
Sent:	Saturday, January 20, 2001 16:56:55
From:	vergot@adelphia.net (Adrian Vergot)
Several of the posters here have stated that "No experienced user would
buy an ETX60/70" and "these scopes will *always* be disappointing".  I
can't see how they can make these statements.

I have owned and photographed with a Meade 7" Mak LX-50 for a couple
years now.  With the extremely narrow field I am offered at the 2700mm
focal length, I have a "challenging" time locating deep sky objects to
photograph.  Subsequently, I purchased the ETX/70 for it's ability to
"goto" the area that I will be targeting with my 7" Mak.  The ETX/70 has
enough light gathering to let me familiarize myself with the surrounding
star configurations, which subsequently saves me a LOT of time when I
try to target with the larger scope.  Also, for visual use I find that
open clusters such as the butterfly are pleasing views.

Happy with my ETX/70......

Subject:	 Meade 822 tripod problems
Sent:	Saturday, January 20, 2001 11:40:36
From:	kjm96@attglobal.net (Ken Martin)
I received the ETX70-AT and 822 standard field tripod for Christmas. The
tripod was included free as a promotional deal. The first time I set up
the tripod I found one of the leg clamps was broken. I exchanged it for
another tripod.

After using it only several times, one of the leg clamps broke even
though I was being very careful. I exchanged it again for a new one. So
now I'm on my third tripod. I am wondering if other users have had this
problem, and if perhaps Meade is aware of a defect? Thanks, great site!

-Ken

Subject:	Eyepiece question 
Sent:	Friday, January 19, 2001 23:03:17
From:	Kzzz88@aol.com
I just got the ETX-60 with the 9mm and 25mm eyepieces. I know I can get
about twice the aperture (60x2=120) for about max power, but I read
somewhere not to expect better than about 110.

That leaves me wondering which route to take for another eyepiece: 

1). A 3x Barlow (9mm/39x3=117-very close to the upper limit and over the
110).

2). A 3mm @117...same deal

3). Just a 2x Barlow (9mm 39x2=78-leaving me wanting to take advantage
of the extra headroom I'm missing by playing it safe).

I live about 10 miles from Boston. No place around here seems to have
these in stock so I may have to buy mail order which is part of the
problem- I have to buy it without trying it. Can I get a good image of
Jupiter and Saturn at 117?

  Thanks,
    Bill
Mike here: I can't comment on the view at 117X but I would note that a 3X Barlow Lens combined with the 25mm gets you about the same result (8mm) as the 9mm eyepiece. Just something to consider. Another point is that the image will deteriorate slightly with a Barlow versus a good quality eyepiece of the same magnification.

And a reply:

Thanks for the reply, Mike. I know the Barlows tend to duplicate what
you have in some cases (ie:25mm@14x+3xBarlow=42 is close to 9mm@39x). I
didn't know that it tended to result in a lower quality image, but it
makes sense since you're manipulating it more, I guess. In other words
the 3mm@117 would probably render better results than the 9mm and a 3x
Barlow.

Thanks again, 
Bill

Subject:	 Right Ascension  Setting Circle Loose ETX-70
Sent:	Friday, January 19, 2001 14:19:10
From:	davidp@AdvanceEnergy.com.au
Am I missing something, I would have assumed thaqt the paper strip with
the RA Degrees marked on it (that is wrapped around the base of the
ETX-70) should be fixed in position so that when the telescope rotates,
it follows along as well. This way it slides past the arrow imprinted on
the base to give you the RA. On mine this piece of paper slides easily,
relative to both the top and bottom, so that even slighlty bumping it,
can move it easily.

If it is supposed to be like this, then how can I align the telescope.
Am I missing something, or does this need to be attached properly? If I
need to attach it then how can I be sure I have it in the right place.
If this is the way it is supposed to be then how do I align the home
position?

Thanks for an excellent site.

====================================================
David Peters
IT Technical Manager
Advance Energy, Australia
Ph +61 2 63383569
====================================================
Microsoft isn't the answer, it's the question. And the answer is NO!
====================================================
Mike here: The RA setting circle is used for manually locating objects. It should move to allow adjusting but then stay put as the telescope moves in right ascension. When using the Autostar you probably won't be using the RA setting circle. But if you do want to use it, set up the ETX equatorially, do a polar alignment (without the Autostar) and then point the ETX at an object whose RA is known. Move the circle until this RA is at the pointer. Check that the DEClination setting circle reads the proper declination for the object; if not adjust the DEC setting circle. Now you can locate other objects by setting the RA and DEC using the setting circles.

Subject:	 ETX-60 Brightness
Sent:	Friday, January 19, 2001 10:19:21
From:	HorneGS@phnsy.navy.mil (Horne Gary S PHNS)
The ETX-60 is a 'fast' scope.  It has a focal ratio of f/5.6.  So the
planets are going to be almost too bright to really view.  And due to
the limited aperture, you can't hike up the magnification for the
larger, dimmer images.  This scope just isn't designed for it, unlike
the ETX-90 and 125 which have, I believe, f/13 focal ratios.  On the
other hand, the 60 is MUCH better for chasing down deep sky objects,
galaxies, nebulae, etc., due to the wide field of view compared to it's
larger siblings......

Just wanted to sound off on what the ETX-60 and 70 seems to be made for.
I got mine for one purpose.  Backyard Deep Sky Observing.  For this
purpose, the ETX-60AT is possibly the single best scope I could have
gotten.  I can grab my tripod with the etx mounted on it, and 10 minutes
later I'm chasing "faint fuzzies" through the city sky.....  The goto is
superb on my model, it's light, bright and way way fun!  Sure, it's not
as good on planets as slower, bigger scopes, but for just about
everything else, the 60 is just fine, for a reasonable price.  If I
wanted to spend half the night driving to a dark sky site, and puttering
with my telescope with setup, cooldown, etc, I would buy something
different.  But for fun, easiness, the 60 is hard to beat......

Gary S. Horne GSM2(SW)
Code 244.1
471-1129

Subject:	 Deep Sky objects with the 60AT
Sent:	Wednesday, January 17, 2001 21:49:57
From:	tcibelli@yahoo.com (Tom Cibelli)
When I am able to correctly align my 60AT using the Autostar system it
tracks stars fairly accurately (in the field of view somewhere).
However, it has yet to track any Deep Sky objects even remotely close.
For instance, if I select "Rigel" it slews right over to Orion and down
then beeps. "Rigel" is right in the field of view. If I next select
"Andromeda Galaxy" it slews a few degrees right of "Rigel" and beeps.
From what I can tell on star charts the "Andromeda Galaxy" should be
much further North of Orion somewhere betweeen the "Pleadies" and 
"Cassiopeia" (I live in NJ). Right?
Any ideas?

Thanks,
Tom
Mike here: This is definitely incorrect behavior by the Autostar. I suggest resetting and re-entering the initialization stuff, including drive training (if you do that with the ETX-60AT).

And:

Thanks for your answer.

I was thinking of returning the 60AT to upgrade to the 90EC. For the
extra $250 or so will the quality of my deep sky and planet viewing
improve drastically? I really want to see and catalog nebulas (I don't
know why). The only one I saw with the 60 was the Orion nebula and it as
very faint.

Also, would you happen to know if the field tripod (#882 in the Meade
catalog) I have for the 60 would work for the 90 or would I have to get
a different tripod for the 90?

Thanks again,
Tom
Mike here: You will be able to see many galaxies and nebula with the ETX-90EC if you have dark skies. Just don't expect to see more than faint fuzzy blobs with most of them. But you will see more and better with the larger telescope. Whether a 90mm aperture will meet your expectations is another matter. And you will want a different tripod. See the Accessories - Tripods page for some reviews.

Subject:	 Re: ETX 70
Sent:	Wednesday, January 17, 2001 03:51:27
From:	lcurcio@bellatlantic.net (L.C.)
No experienced user would buy an ETX60/70. The pleased users evidently
don't know their other opportunities. I never said that the scopes can
do *nothing*, only that there are many much better options for
everything it does. I'll strengthen that assertion. If you threw all the
comparably priced scopes into a barrel and drew a scope at random, you'd
be exceedingly likely to draw a better one than the ETX60/70.

So. Abstract suitability isn't the point. Much better opportunities at
the same $ or less is the point.

-Larry Curcio

etx@me.com wrote:

> Actually, there are many pleased users of these models.  For some
> purposes the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT are just right.

Subject:	 Re: ETX 60 not moving in RA
Sent:	Tuesday, January 16, 2001 22:01:08
From:	kevin_sterling@bigfoot.com (Kevin Sterling)
Thought I replied, the lock lever is tight, even so I followed the
procedure on your site and tightened it up some more. The scope does not
more at all in RA, you can here the motor spinning but nothing happens.
The construction of the base is different from the 90 and 125. There is
one large nut (actually it is not a not but some nonstandard fastener)
in the middle and three screws under the foot pads. I was hoping that
there is something in the base that could be tightened. Sending it to
back to Meade is not an option (I'm in Saudi Arabia) as the freight cost
would be more than the cost for a new scope.

Regards
Kevin
Mike here: One more question if I may. When the RA axis is locked, can you easily move the scope in RA? If so, then the lock not engaging at all and something mechanical is definitely wrong. If returning the dealer or Meade is not an option, then seeing if you can remove the bottom is probably the best solution. Whether you will be able to do anything at that point will depend upon what find.

Subject:	 Focus problems etx70
Sent:	Tuesday, January 16, 2001 03:35:46
From:	rick@hockey2.freeserve.co.uk (Rick)
Hello Mike,first of all i'd like to say how informative you're site is
especially for those just starting out in astronomy(i.e me).

Anyway my problem is that i'm finding it hard to focus in on Jupiter
with the two lenses supplied,meade ma 25mm and a meade ma  9mm i'm also
using a soligor 2x barlow lense.The image is just too bright to see any
colour,could it be that the planet is just simply too bright at the
moment.Like i say i'm new to this and i don't even know if Jupiters'
brightness does change!

In general i like the scope but i'm a little disappointed in the
planetary results,although nebula and some galaxies(andromeda) look
ok.I'm finding the focusing a problem and i was going to try and use
your idea for the etx90 on your tips page to modify the focusing.

Many thanks in advance for taking the time to read this note.....

p.s i forgot to say that i live in a city (Newcastle,England) with many
bright lights although the countryside is only a 10 minute drive,could
this help?
Mike here: Jupiter is bright, and with the small aperture of this telescope all the image is in a small area. Adding filters can help bring out some details with larger telescopes but I don't know how affective they would be in this small one. Don't expect to see much, if any, color. As to focus, let me know if any of the tips help.

Subject:	 ETX 60 not moving in RA
Sent:	Monday, January 15, 2001 05:48:00
From:	kevin_sterling@bigfoot.com (Kevin Sterling)
Help,

Just received an ETX 60 and it worked fine for about a week then it
stopped moving in RA. The lock is tight and the motor is turning but the
scope does not move. Is there something in the base that I can tighten?
How does one go about removing the bottom cover?

Thanks

Kevin
Mike here: Do you mean it doesn't track in RA or you can't slew in RA or both? In any case, does the lock lever (or knob) seem to fully engage? If it is a lever you can reposition it to allow more movement in the locked direction; at least you can on the -90 and -125 models. Since I don't have ETX-60AT I can't comment on the base removal but will post your message on the next site update.

Subject:	 addendum to questions from 1/12/01 concerning ETX60AT aneurysm
Sent:	Sunday, January 14, 2001 10:55:27
From:	laclarke2@juno.com (Lynn A. Clarke)
We realized this next bit of information might help you determine the
problem.

After the telescope slews to the first alignment star, arrow keys become
inactive not allowing me to center the alignment star in the eye piece;
same as for the second alignment star.  The motor sounds like it sits
and spins.  After going to GO TO Program the telescope moves more slowly
than the motor would lead you to believe.

Turning off the power and reinitializing manual operation of the
telescope using AUTOSTAR's arrow keys the telescope slews perfectly and
without meat grinder effect.

Thanks for any help you might have for us.  The sooner the better, the
sky is clear and using a hammer on ETX60AT is sounding like a good
option.

Jeff
Mike here: Have you tried a faster slewing speed? Are the axis locks fully engaged (but not overtightened)? Just some common questions that come to mind.

Subject:	 ETX 70
Sent:	Sunday, January 14, 2001 07:26:18
From:	lcurcio@bellatlantic.net (L.C.)
Mike,

I notice you continually warn questioners that the ETX 60/70 may be
disappointing - depending on their expectations. I believe that these
scopes will *always* be disappointing, as soon as purchasers compare
them to other telescopes that they can buy for much less money. Much is
made of the optics, but the images from these Meade scopes are
significantly worse than images from scopes routinely lambasted on the
internet.

Snob appeal aside, the short focal length and aperture of the ETX 60/70
make them exceedingly bad choices for anyone - and expectations have
nothing to do with the matter, because one can do spectacularly better
for less money. If I were you, I should stop making excuses for these
models. They're awful.


-Larry Curcio
Mike here: Actually, there are many pleased users of these models. For some purposes the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT are just right.

Subject:	 re: cable para conectar el telescopio
Sent:	Saturday, January 13, 2001 18:08:31
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
To:	cetia@sinectis.com.ar
Nestor,

Lo siento mucho, pero por el ETX70at no es posible para usted
construir un cable.  
El cable 506 se tiene' electronicas, no solo alambrdas.

Si usted se tiene un Autostar 495 (con teclado numerico),
entonces es facil para construir un cable.
Hay instrucciones subre 
http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar_info.html
Mira por "505" y "cable".

Otras personas con ETX's en or acerca de Buenos Aires se incluyen:
Fernando Margueirat 
Leonardo  

Y dos mas 
Francisco Javier Snchez Navarro
(espana)
y (posiblemente)  hlevel@telcel.net.ve (Haroldo Level) Venezuela 

Haga el favor de excusar mi castellano malo  :-)
Buenas suertes
--dick
Mike here: See Dick's 505 cable instructions on the Autostar Information page

Subject:	 ETX60AT
Sent:	Friday, January 12, 2001 17:11:12
From:	laclarke2@juno.com (Lynn A. Clarke)
Help!  It's giving me an aneurysm.  After returning two telescopes to
the place of purchase, in the last two weeks, I am now on my third.  All
have had what I feel is a problem.  The first would not slew up , but
would slew right, left, and down.  The second scope when doing "two star
easy alignment" would start to scroll to the first star getting about
3/4 of the way (I assume) the motor would then sound like it was going
through a meat grinder!  After returning the second telescope the
salesman informed me a few had been returned for faulty motors and then
exchanged  #2 for a third.  Guess what, guys?  We're making hamburger
again.

Question:  Is this noise normal?  I hope not, because Meade should have
installed a muffler.  Should I return again or give up and cash it in? 
Is it worthwhile to contact Meade Tech Support or customer service?

Subject:	 alignment
Sent:	Wednesday, January 10, 2001 05:37:17
From:	messageforproteus@compuserve.com (manuel robbins)
Subject: ATX 60 alignment question. Also battery comment

Since receiving an ATX 60 at Christmas, it has been heavily overcast
here. Only the  moon has been occasionally visible. In an attempt to
learn the Autostar system, I have followed alignment instructions,
directing the telescope north by compass and horizontal by spirit level.
A the alignment stars have been invisible, I have simply keyed in ENTER
for these (on the assumption that care in "home position" alignment
would have placed these close to center of the field.) Then, I directed
Autostar to find the moon. It has been a failure, with the direction off
by up to 20 degrees. Shouldn't the original alignment to north and level
been sufficient to place the moon in the scope field?

On batteries, I have found rechargables to be undependable and leaky (if
they have been charged several times.) To prevent leakage of battery goo
into the telescope battery well, I place the battery pack into a (soft)
sandwich bag before sinking it into the battery well.
Mike here: Interesting tip on the batteries. As to the Autostar pointing error you are seeing, a couple of thoughts come to mind. 1. Unless True North and Magnetic North are the same at your location there can be a difference (small or large depending upon your location) in the direction of these two. So, perhaps you need to point to True North, not Magnetic North. 2. Entering the wrong location/date/time/DST/telescope mounting mode can also create errors. Check those.

Subject:	 ETX 70AT
Sent:	Tuesday, January 9, 2001 20:18:17
From:	ChrisWhaley17@clemsontigers.com (chris whaley)
Hi, i own  a ETX 70AT telescope. i have emailed u before about the
expectations of this telescope... when i look at planets, jupiter,
venus, and saturn, all i can see is a bright star-looking object. i can
see 3 of jupitors moons.  you told me to read the user feedback section
to answer my questions.. well i still didn't get a good answer.. so,
what should i do to get to where i can see these planets? should i
purchase stronger lenses? a barlow lens? filters?, etc... what should i
do?  thanks for the help..

chris
Mike here: As I told an ETX-60AT user yesterday, whether you will enjoy this model or need more telescope (larger aperture) depends upon your expectations. From your comment about the view of planets, I suspect you expect a better view and so will need something larger than you currrently have. Yes, you can use a higher power eyepiece or Barlow Lens to increase the apparent size of the planets but keep in mind the theoretical maximum magnification of a telescope (twice the telescope aperture in millimeters, or 140X for the ETX-70AT). You can exceed this somewhat on some brighter objects but you may still be disappointed. Certainly, the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT make fine telescopes, FOR THEIR PURPOSE, but only if they match your expectations.

Subject:	 Etx 60 am I just stupid or what?
Sent:	Tuesday, January 9, 2001 18:45:57
From:	mrfxit11@home.com (Steve Lilly)
Got an ETX60 for Christmas and the first one had slewing problems when
accessing declination of stars. At first I thought it was me but with
the nearest city, time, date and train drives set no matter what I did
the scope would not track or "go to" anything with any accuracy ( major
discrepecies). I noticed when slewing the dec movement was slow or not
responding in manual and auto "go to" modes. I returned the scope and
picked up an identical scope which seems (cloudy night pointed north and
answered yes with out verification to two star alighnment and "go to"
pointed roughly to the moon and tracked roughly so I can assume it is
working right. My questions are as follows:
1. Have I made a good choice for a beginner telescope or will more money
spent make me happier?
2. Are Meade ETX60 scopes reliable and accurate?
3. What is the differance between a Meade "plossl" and a "super plossl"
in resolution besides 2x the price as opposed to an MA standard
eyepieces?
4. In the guide it said most planets are visable but best I could do was
a hard squint at Jupitar with a 9mm Ma and a 2x barlow to see the two
stripes on the planet is this the limits to this scope?

Thanks for any input you may have.
--- Steve Lilly
Denver, Colorado.
Mike here: Whether you will enjoy this model or need more telescope (larger aperture) depends upon your expectations. From your comment about the view of Jupiter, I suspect you expect a better view and so will need something larger than a 60mm. Since I'm on travel this week I don't have the Meade catalog in front of me so can't answer the Plossl question off the top of my head.

Subject:	 ETX-60AT
Sent:	Tuesday, January 9, 2001 18:44:49
From:	abcuellar@hotmail.com (abcuellar)
Im Adrian, i live in Monterrey,Mexico and Im 11 years old
(adrian_cuellar@hotmail.com)

I have a jupiter telescope(MEADE 50mm 2" telescope)  and Im planning to
buy a ETX-60AT .I want to know if the planets, nebulae ect. will be seen
much better???

please answer me!
ADRIAN
Mike here: Yes, but not that much better. You are only increasing the aperture a small amount.

Subject:	 meade etx70
Sent:	Tuesday, January 9, 2001 09:13:33
From:	Rolf.Prinz@de.bosch.com (Prinz Rolf (EW/SPA))
I got an etx 70 from my wife at chrismas. because she is living in
italy, I got the italian instruction manual. From where can I get the
german version? Is there any posibility for downloading the german
version? Thank you for any information/support.

Mit freundlichen Gren/Best regards

Rolf Prinz
------------------------------
Robert Bosch GmbH
Geschftsbereich Elektrowerkzeuge/Power Tool Division
Abt.: EW/SPA
Tel.: +49 711 758 2259
Fax: +49 711 758 2254
Mail: rolf.prinz@de.bosch.com
Mike here: I haven't seen any foreign language Meade manuals online. But then I really haven't looked.

Subject:	 cable para conectar el telescopio .
Sent:	Monday, January 8, 2001 14:41:32
From:	cetia@sinectis.com.ar (Cetia)
TENGO UN TELESCOPIO MEADE ETX 70AT,Y ME GUSTARIA CONSEGUIR EL CABLE PARA
CONECTARLO AL PC,PUESTO QUE EN ARGENTINA NO SE CONSIGUE. O BIEN SABER EL
PINOUT PARA PODER ARMARLO.

DESDE YA MUCHAS GRACIAS.
NESTOR RUSSAZ.

Subject:	 ETX-60AT Disassembly
Sent:	Monday, January 8, 2001 08:03:49
From:	hjlamb@bellsouth.net
I would like to know how to remove the bottom cover of the ETX-60. The
worm gear that controls the azimuth is loose. When the telescope moves
in a clockwise direction with the azimuth lock engaged, I can see the
worm gear move down and "slip" out of the azimuth gear.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I will also post any findings I
make to the web site.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Herb Lamb
Atlanta, GA

Subject:	 etx70at info needed
Sent:	Sunday, January 7, 2001 23:28:41
From:	sailpower1@webtv.net (s)
I am happy with this scope but need advice on eyepieces for nebulae and
star cluster viewing...I want to get a quality eyepiece or two but just
dont know where to begin...any help for the newbie would be appreciated!
scott
Mike here: Most of the eyepiece comments on the Accessories - Eyepieces page and on the Buyer/New User Tips page are for the longer focal length ETX models. With the short focal length and small aperture of the ETX-70AT you'll be limited in how much magnification you can use. I'll post your inquiry on the next site and we'll see if any other ETX-60AT or ETX-70AT users have some suggestions.

Subject:	 Review of ETX-60/70
Sent:	Saturday, January 6, 2001 23:38:08
From:	soehnk@cableregina.com (Keith Soehn)
I just want to tell you that there is a review of the ETX-60/70 in the
Feb 2001 issue of Astronomy magazine.

Clear skies,

Keith
soehnk@cableregina.com

Subject:	more on ETX70
Sent:	Saturday, January 6, 2001 20:28:08
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com
yes... the -first- year of their existence, the ETX70's had 495
Autostars.

The old model has the power switch on the outside of the base, with an
LED and the HBX and AUX connectors.

The new model (usually with starfinder Autostar) does -not- have a power
plug, and the connectors are up on the fork, not on the round base.

--dick

Subject:	 tripod plans
Sent:	Saturday, January 6, 2001 11:45:39
From:	osewfast@earthlink.net (osewfast)
Hi! My husband got a ETX70At for Christmas & is overjoyed with it.
We have been checking into various accessories and as you well know they
are very expensive. We've enjoyed your site - & noticed a few
adventurous folks have made their own tripod. Is there a site we can
find/buy plans for a homemade tripod?  I think if we made our tripod it
would save considerable $ - which could be used for a case & a Barlow
lens.

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thank You!

Donna & Blake McMichen
Douglasville GA
Mike here: Check the Tech Tips page. Lots of info about homemade tripods.

Subject:	 Language setup on Autostar 494
Sent:	Saturday, January 6, 2001 05:14:22
From:	djwhite@bellsouth.net (Desbert White)
Thanks for a very helpful site!!

Received ETX- 70 AT as gift. Autostar controller comes with German
rather than English. Have been unable to change using suggested
recommendations included in your site. These suggestions sem to refer to
other controllers not the 494. Also Meade's site  includes only
information on the 495/497 controllers.  The Autostar 494 seems a
different animal. I will call thew dealer today but am doubtful of help.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Jerry White

Mike here: Have you checked the "Setting/Resetting Any Autostar Model" on the Autostar Information page? Did you try the RESET as described there? Even if you can't read the text, follow the steps.

Subject:	 I'm confused
Sent:	Thursday, January 4, 2001 10:46:42
From:	ryanc@brown-camplofts.com (Ryan Clutter)
I have a EXT-70at. I ordered a #506 cable kit. I can't seem to get it to
work. My Autostar Does have the aux port Did I need the 505?

Ryan
Mike here: You do need the #506 cable since it has the necessary electronics to work with the ETX-60AT AUX port (thanks to Dick Seymour for making that clear on the "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page for November 2000. It should work.

And:

How can I tell if I have a 494 or 497 controller?
Mike here: The #497 has a numeric keypad.

And:

ok then I have the #497. Did some of the early ones come that way? 
Mike here: Possibly.

Subject:	 re: ETX60 going round and round and round...
Sent:	Thursday, January 4, 2001 09:02:18
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
To:	messageforproteus@compuserve.com
(or: the problem with Entergizer Bunnies...)

You probably need to to one of two things:

Minor:  Setup>Telescope>Telescope Model

 make sure it's the correct selection for your scope.
 I believe you're seeing a whacko "Az Ratio" setting. 

I'm not 100% sure of the proper Az Ratio for your scope, so
  I'll let scope selction set it for you.

IF that doesn't work, then it's Big Guns time...

Setup>Reset (press [enter] twice)

You'll have to re-enter your Site, and check that you're 
selecting the CORRECT telescope model. (read the prompts before
 pressing [enter]... really... it it's showing a different model,
use the scroll-up/down keys to spin thru the list)

That'll fix it.
--dick

Subject:	 Will an ETX90RA lens fit on an ETX70AT mount?
Sent:	Thursday, January 4, 2001 01:11:39
From:	vems@zip.com.au (Vic Sarmiento)
Just wondering if you would be able to tell me if I can remove the 90 mm
lens and place it on an ETX70at fork?  Is this an easy fit, or how much
modification would be required?

I found a guy selling his for cheaper price, rather than buying a new
one.

thanks in advance
Vic

Subject:	 ETX 60
Sent:	Wednesday, January 3, 2001 14:21:28
From:	messageforproteus@compuserve.com (manuel robbins)
Wed 3 January. Question on ETX 60/Autostar

Following the proceedure for alignment, when I ENTER Alignment/Easy, the
display indicated that a certain star is being sought. Then, the motor
starts and drive the scope around, but doesn,t stop. The scope is just
driven around in full AZ circles (360 degrees plus) until the batteries
tire. What,'s up??

Subject:	 Meade 
Sent:	Wednesday, January 3, 2001 11:38:40
From:	rwcarey@gte.net (Richard Carey)
HI: I just bought the 60MM at walmart for $197.95. This is $100. off the
normal retail price. Richard

Subject:	 Homemade cable for the ETX-60AT
Sent:	Tuesday, January 2, 2001 20:57:39
From:	jconsuelos@hotmail.com (Jesus Consuelos)
Grettings from Mexico city, my question is directrly, where can I find
the instructions to build a cable to connect at the AUX port for the
ETX-60AT?

I already make the cable for the Autoestar with a db9 ant 4pin jack, but
dosn't work.

I need a special software? I use boundle software included with my
scope.

Thanks and sorry my bad english
Mike here: I haven't yet seen any instructions for making a cable for the ETX-60AT. As to the software, I'll let some other ETX-60AT user respond.

Subject:	 ETX-60AT
Sent:	Monday, January 1, 2001 22:26:12
From:	helem@emstar2.net (Phil Lowry)
Hey everyone:
Great comments.  I'm still looking forward to setting up the autostar,
but my manual finds on Jupiter and Saturn have been great.  I returned
my ETX-90M to Sam's for the ETX-60AT.  Why?  Electronic control and auto
slewing.  You need that with kids, it's just unbeatable.  The boredom
goes out the window as you go from star to star.  A suggestion (Mike:
weigh in here).  When you tire of the 60's or 70's limitations, don't
plunk out $600 bucks for a 90.  Instead, spend $500 for a good 8-inch
Dobsonian reflector and see some REALLY cool stuff.  You'll already have
the eyepieces and will be good to go!

Phil Lowry
Mike here: Dobs do present great views but at the cost of portability and some ease of use due to their size and lack of drives (which can be added at additional cost).

Subject:	 re: ETX-60/70AT "aux" port and Autostar #494 confusion
Sent:	Monday, January 1, 2001 19:22:21
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
To:	witr@rwwa.COM
Robert Withrow said/asked: 

> 1) This "aux" port is identical to that on the ETX-90 and ETX-125.
yes.

>  This is described as using "i2c" and not any standard RS232 or
>  RS495 signaling.  (BTW, is this the standard i(squared)c bus as
>  described at ?)
Actually, i think it's eye-two-sea, but i've never heard it pronounced.
Yes, it is a "standard" bus, designed for automotive use by Philips.
They've got sites, and a lot of engineers and hobbyists have sites
about it.  Simply search (altavista, google) for "i2c bus".
The Autostar is the "master", in that it provides the clocking signal.
They use TTL level signals on the bus.

> 2) There is no 4-pin (RJ22) port on the #494 Autostar.
Correct.  I've been Emailing a number of 4504 owners who are thinking
about building a box which would give them an AUX port, too.

>3) Meade sells the #506 software and cable kit for $50 list.  That's a
>lot of money for a cable and software I don't need, since the
>ETX-60/70AT scopes come with software that will control the scope (but
>lacks a cable).
your call...
The main reasons for a cable (that i'm aware of) are fourfold:
 Downloading new versions (there are none yet for the 494)
 Downloading Tours and bulk-loading Satellites, Comets, Asteroids, etc.
 Cloning (if you've got two)
 Controlling the Telescope from PC (or Mac) resident programs.
 
>Questions: 
>  - Can I hand-concoct a cable that will work for updating the
>    Autostar and controlling the scope via the "aux" port?  
>    Will this take me more than a significant portion of an
>    hour? (time = money afterall ;-)
The #506 cable has active components and serves as an rs232 to I2C
 bus converter, under control of the Autostar.  To the best of my
 knowledge, the answer is "no, you can't build one... even in ten days".

A major difference between the 494 and 495/497 is that the 495/497
use the Autostar's CPU's internal rs232 serial port (run to a level 
converter) to generate/receive the rs232 signals.
I have no idea how the 494 does it.... they may use the same method,
and then back-convert it to I2C protocol, or they may totally depend
upon I2C transactions.  Until Meade produces an Update, i can't dig
into it. (well, if someone loaned me a 494 and 506, i could attempt
another project... coming up with a uploader to read back the firmware)

>- The manual points me to the Meade website for firmware upgrades for
>  the Autostar, but the website only talks about the #497.  Are the
>    #494 and the #497 compatible at the firmware level?
The 494 has not had an update released.
The 494 cannot use the 497's software.
The 494 knows how to talk to a #506 cable set... the 497/495 don't.
You can use a 495 or 497 in place of a 494, and thus gain the rs232
  port in the Autostar... and then you can hand-build a 505 cable.

>- Can the telescope be powered via the "aux" port?  There is no 
> external power connector on this scope.
Maybe... the outer two leads of the AUX port -are- the power and
ground.  But i do not know if the printed circuit board traces inside
the box are sufficient for runnig the whole scope. They -probably-
are (i've never seen one, nor taken one apart).  The AUX power leads
are on the -scope- side of the power switch, so your on/off switch 
would be on whatever you were making.
Another easy way to externally power the system would be to build a 
dummy (wooden?) "battery" with leads brought out of the holder.

good luck
--dick

Subject:	 etx 60at new owners trouble with city input
Sent:	Monday, January 1, 2001 18:49:44
From:	artsplic@worldnet.att.net (Arturo Carrillo)
Hi,i picked up one after the holidays and had the same problem,did what
the quick start instructions said...but i got afghanistan or some thing
other than it allowing me to put my city in.After playin with it abit i
found if you go to the reset under the setup folder and enter  the
reset.,it will prompt you are you sure deal then key in yes.This then
resets the unit at factory specs.Turn off the unit then on again. Then
follow the quick setup on page 3,it will then allow you to select the
correct city..whew! Another thing i found with this unit is that the
time and date must be set every time you use it.Something that confused
me. But after talking to the expert at ScopeCity I was told this was
correct.Hope this does the trick for you other etx owners.Ill check back
and see if other questions that I have can be answered here too. Oh yeah
another thing is that when you set the azalt on this scope., a compass
would come in handy just so you can quickly refer to north without
guessing..good luck..Art
Mike here: Word of caution on using a compass. In many locations there is some variation between magnetic north and true north. When the variation gets large it becomes something to deal with.

Subject:	 Re: ETX 60 Autostar location problem
Sent:	Monday, January 1, 2001 13:56:05
From:	candgbrown@earthlink.net (Gregory Brown)
I printed out and carefully read the Autostar Reset info on your page.
YES!, I finally got my location set right. Thanks so much! The Meade
documentation was just too scattered for me to figure it out in a short
time. All I need now are some clear nights down here on the Bayou. I
appreciate a reply. I am looking forward to using the little ETX 60,
after a while I may look into a larger machine.
Bonne Anne',
Greg Brown

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/70atJan01.html