Last updated: 28 July 2000

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
Sent:	Friday, July 28, 2000 16:10:42
From:	DowlingGary@aol.com
Great site. Am looking at the ETX 70AT with the bundled Autostar. Was
interested in the 90, but the deals on the 70AT make it an attractive
first telescope. Would the 70 be a good place to start, or would it be
best to go to the 90? I am a beginner and will likely be a casual user.
Any thoughts on the 70 would be greatly appreciated.
Regards, Gary
Mike here: You will see slightly more, slightly better, with the ETX-90EC. The Autostar is handy but not a requirement. Afterall, astronomers have been successfully finding objects without computers for a few centuries...

Subject:	 ETX-60AT Information
Sent:	Wednesday, July 26, 2000 00:24:18
From:	mcneight@umich.edu (Neil McNeight)

Yesterday, I traded in my old 60mm Discovery Channel special for a new
ETX-60AT plus some cash. (The Discovery Store, by the way, is truly
cool. They honored the "buy a telescope and trade up later" promise that
The Nature Company had made 3 years prior when I purchased my first
telescope). It was so new, that I even got it complete with the
cardboard box that Meade shipped it to the store in.

I haven't had the opportunity to field test it (cloudy nights so far),
but to clear up a few things mentioned on your site:

* The manual I have is for both the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT. Judging from
some of the responses of your site, not everyone who bought the ETX-70AT
got this manual. It's Meade part number is 14-6896-01 05/00 in case
someone wants to call Meade and ask for it by name.

* The manual states that the Autostar model number is #494. The unit
does not have a numberic keypad, like other models I have seen.
Selecting letters and numbers requires scrolling through a list of
characters. Firmware is v1.0 and covers items of interest that the
telescope is able to pick up. It will work using either Alt/Az or Polar

* In the manual under "Optional Accessories", it lists both the new #882
Standard Field Tripod (Alt/Az only) and the #883 Deluxe Field Tripod
(Alt/Az & Polar) as compatible with this telescope. The salesman in the
Discovery Store also said that they had mounted their ETX-60AT on the
deluxe tripod in the store.

If you want more technical information, I can pull it all out of the
manual for you.

Great site! Keep up the good work!


Subject:	 ETX 70AT vs. ETX 90
Sent:	Tuesday, July 25, 2000 10:41:30
From:	Jason.Myers@ing-barings.com (Myers, Jason)
Can you please tell me how significant the difference is between the new
70 model and the 90 that is so well regarded? I'm interested in buying
one of these, and the jump in price from the 70 ($349 with Autostar) to
the 90 ($595 plus $149 for Autostar) is significant.

I realize the 70 is a refractor and the 90 is catadioptric, but in terms
of resolving power, maximum magnification, etc, what for example would
be the difference in viewing Jupiter or Saturn? Is the 70 capable of
tracking for a long enough time to take time exposures with a 35mm
camera mounted via T-adapter, or is the 90 much more capable for this


Jason L. Myers
Mike here: Since the theoretical max magnification is a function of the telescope's aperture, yes the ETX-70 is more limited than the -90 model. Without some manual guiding assistance, long duration astrophotography with most consumer telescopes is limited to a few seconds. And without a sturdy mount, you'll have to use the "hat trick" method for exposures to avoid vibrations from camera mirror and/or shutter movement.

Subject:	 EXT Question
Sent:	Sunday, July 23, 2000 18:19:48
From:	tdebusk@flash.net (Todd DeBusk)
We are looking at the ETX-70EC compact 70mm refracting telescope by
Meade.  I cannot find any info about it.  How does it compare to the ETX
90 EC? Is the 70EC an inferior Meade product.  It is not even mentioned
on the Meade web site.  Please advise.
Thank you
Charlene & Todd DeBusk
Mike here: There are comments about it here on this "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" page.

Subject:	 RE: ETX 70AT: focus knob 
Sent:	Sunday, July 23, 2000 13:53:59
From:	jblessin@worldnet.att.net (Jordan Blessing)
The ETX 60/70 does have a set screw in the focus knob, but the mechanism
is not the same as on the ETX90/125. Loosening the set screw and pulling
the knob out slightly will only introduce slop into the focuser, it will
not allow more focus travel as on the ETX90/125. The poster was right in
that it can take many turns to reach focus after changing eyepieces,
many more than the ETX90/125 does. This is aggravated by the fact that
the focus knob is even smaller and harder to turn than on the ETX90/125.
Though I haven't yet posted it on the website we do have a Flexi-Focus
available for these scopes that can really be a big help. I have also
posted a webpage on the difference in these scopes at :
home.att.net/~nexstar/etx70.htm  to help relieve some of the
confusion associated with the different models.
Jordan Blessing

       ScopeTronix Astronomy Products

Subject:	 ETX 70AT: focus knob 
Sent:	Friday, July 21, 2000 01:14:13
From:	mars@imaginemail.com (Marty Carungay)
Hi Mike. You posted that comment on the ETX 70AT forum. I have seen you
say this a few times before, but Im not exactly sure what "setscrew" you
are referring to.

I look at the layout of the focus knob on the ETX 70AT, and there is no
real "screw" on the metallic knob itself that I can see.  There are a
few phillips-sized screws embedded on the black tube chassis itself and
located adjacent to the focus knob.  These large screws look like they
could disassemble the entire tube body!  So I dont dare unscrew them
unless I know better.

Just to be clear, I have been able to focus on objects using both
eyepieces. So perhaps this "loosening the setscrew" procedure should not
apply to me. A minor annoyance is that it takes many many many rotations
of the focus knob to refocus on an object when I change eyepieces. Is
this a known issue for ETX?

Thanks in advance.  Marty 
Mike here: Having to refocus when changing eyepieces is a common occurrence on many telescopes. The only way to avoid it is to use eyepieces that are "parfocal". If you aren't having any problem reaching a focus with your eyepieces, then your ETX focus knob position does not need adjusting. However, the setscrew I'm referring to is embedded inside the side of the silver focus knob. You use an Allen Wrench (or hex key) to loosen it.

Subject:	 ETX-60AT Vs. ETX-70AT
Sent:	Wednesday, July 19, 2000 18:55:43
From:	jdbrowne@icdc.com (Joseph D. Browne)
I've been thinking about purchasing a Meade ETX-60AT but notice that
most of the discussion on this site is about the ETX-70AT. Does the
additional $50 in cost for the ETX-70AT provide additional capabilities
worthwhile to a novice who will be using the telescope only occasionally
(partly due to weather conditions)?  Thanks.
Mike here: Well, more aperture is always desireable. Even if only 10mm worth. Whether that is worth the extra money to you depends upon how you plan to use the telescope and what your expectations are.

Subject:	 ETX-60 or 70
Sent:	Wednesday, July 19, 2000 13:58:42
From:	denny@execpc.com (DWB,Jr.)
Lucky me, I am getting an ETX-60 as a birthday present.
What can I truly expect to be able to see?  The literature makes it
sound like anything I could ever want. Unless of course I get a 70, or
90, or 125. Can anyone with experience with the 60 or 70 comment on what
type of definition you have gotten, and with what eyepieces.  Is it
still clear at higher magnification or does it get fuzzy or dark?

Mike here: As to the max magnification you can expect, rule of thumb is double the aperature (so 60mm becomes 120x) or 50-60x per inch of aperture (118-142x). This is a theoretical value and depends upon the equipment used and the object you are viewing. Brighter objects (like the moon or Jupiter) will not go fuzzy as quickly as fainter objects (like Uranus).

Subject:	 Aligning the scope
Sent:	Monday, July 17, 2000 20:35:59
From:	vande1@mediaone.net (Brian VandeBogart)
This is my first scope an ETX-70AT, and I don't know a whole lot but I
am learning. I am looking for a tripod. I don't have allot of money to
spend and Meade has a tripod for the 70AT but it doesn't angle for polar
alignment. In the alt/az mode will I still be able to use the Autostar
to it's fullest abilities.I have read the manual and it sounds like it
does. Do you know for sure? I have not had the opportunity to try yet,
but will soon. It was a birthday gift from my wife and I want to get the
most out of the scope.
      Thanks for any help you can give me.
Brian VandeBogart
Mike here: Unless you plan to do piggyback astrophotography or other long duration astrophotography, sticking with Alt/Az mode and the Autostar works fine.

Subject:	 etx 70at
Sent:	Monday, July 17, 2000 19:54:21
From:	jgman24@hotmail.com (Joseph Gillman)
GREAT GREAT site! Long time reader, first time poster. Well, after all
this reading about good and bad experiences and months of mouthwatering
at the thought of an etx-90 or 125, I finally decided to try the
autostar system with a new etx 70at. (FYI it is exactly the same as the
old 70EC but it comes with 2 eyepieces, barlow, AND and autostar for
just $349 at natural wonders!!!Meade was lazy about changing the manuals
and battery covers.) My first night tonight is cloudy, so I was only
able to view the Fleetbank building of hartford, CT at 17.5x.I wasnt
able to use the supplied MA 9mm eyepiece because it wouldnt focus (it
seemed someone else also posted about this problem). Apparently the
bottom of the barrel hits the flip mirror because it is too long (i
guess). Also a more generic autostar question: are the cable connctions
to the autostar controller and control panel meant to be so darned
tight???? I would need to use force to get them out so i could put the
scope back in the box. I really dont want to break it before I really
get any use out of it. Not my first night anyway. Thanks very much and
keep up the great work!!!!

Mike here: Loosen the setscrew on the focus knob and slide it a little further out on the shaft, then retighten it. That should solve the focus problem. As to the connectors, you can "sand" them down a little bit if too tight.

Subject:	 ETX-70
Sent:	Monday, July 17, 2000 18:30:46
From:	donh@zoomnet.net (Don Hartsaw)
I purchased an ETX-70 a few weeks ago from natural wonders. I have done
allot of searching for everything that they say can be seen with it. I
am wanting to see some of the planets with it, such as the rings of
Saturn and such. All I have right now are the two eyepieces and the 2X
barlow lens. I was wondering if anyone else has been able to see the
rings or the red pot on Jupiter.  So far I have enjoyed my new
Mike here: You will be able to see the Rings around Saturn but don't expect them to appear very large. You might be able to the Great Red Spot on Jupiter but it is currently pretty faint and doesn't stand out too well against the clouds.

Added later:

I still have a few purchases for it, but I'm very pleased with it so
far.  Do you know where I could purchase or obtain the software that is
used to update the handheld computer? I have looked at several dealers,
and none have any idea what I was talking about. They had the cables for
it but no software?  Also could you recommend a good somewhat
inexpensive 35mm camera to use on the ETX-70?  Thanks for your time
Mike here: Meade's web site has the s/w to update the Autostar. It is linked from the Autostar Information page on my ETX site. As to a 35mm camera, check out your local camera store for a used one. All you need for astrophotography (through the telescope) is the camera body without a lens. Get one that can lock the shutter open. Also, try for one that you flip the mirror up without taking a picture; to reduce the mirror movement vibration. Of course, you will need the appropriate adapter to connect the camera to the telescope.

Subject:	 ETX-70 AT eyepiece
Sent:	Saturday, July 8, 2000 08:10:10
From:	CousinsL@capslock.net (cousinsl)
I'm a rank beginner in star gazing.  I just purchased a Meade ETX-70 AT.
The only problem that I have run into is that the 9mm eyepiece cannot
be focused.  It gives a 38X magnification.  Is that too much
magnification for normal atmospherics?  The 17.5X eyepiece works fine. 
(Although I have the same problem when I use it in conjunction with a 2X

Thanks for any help you can give me on this subject.

Lauren Cousins
Mike here: That should not be too much magnification for the 70AT. Since I don't have the 70AT, I can't answer your focusing question other than to suggest loosening the focus knob and slide it a little further out on the shaft and retighten the setscrew. That works for the ETX-90 models.

Added later:

Thanks Mike.  Your suggestion was right on.  My 9mm eyepiece now works
fine. I was suprisred, though, how much I had to turn the focus knob to
get the object into focus.  It took a minute or more of turning before
the 9mm object came into focus after viewing it with the 20 mm eyepiece.
Just what is turning the focus knob doing inside the telescope?
Mike here: Glad you got the focus working. In the -90 Mak-Cass model, turning the focus knob actually moves the mirror at the rear of the scope. I'm not certain what is moving on the -70AT model.

Subject:	 ETX-70AT
Sent:	Friday, July 7, 2000 06:58:45
From:	RSawyer61@mail.Socket.net (Randall Sawyer)
I don't know if this explains anything, but I just purchased a ETX-70AT
at Natural Wonders in St. Louis, MO.   Paid $349.00 and it seems
complete with Astrostar controller, MA 9mm and SP 20mm eyepieces, and 2X
Barlow lens.  All the documentation on outside box stated, "ETX-70AT".
The instruction manual was for the ETX-70EC but included an Instruction
Manual Addendum which read,

"ETX-70AT Instruction Manual Addendum for the ETX-70AT Astro Telescope
with #495 Autostar Computer Controller
    The Meade ETX-70AT telescope includes an extremely versatile,
compact 70mm refractive optical system that, with advanced features
similar to larger or more specialized telescopes, can be used by casual
observers and serious astronomers alike. The ETX-70AT is the choice of
observers seeking bright wide-field images of star clusters, galaxies,
and nebulae, as well as panoramic terrestrial scenes. With two
eyepieces, a 2X Barlow lens, Autostar Computer Controller for location
and tracking of celestial objects, and razor-sharp imaging, the ETX-70AT
may be all the telescope ever required to see birds at 100 yards or
stars at 100 light-years.
    The #495 Autostar Computer Controller replaces the Electronic
Controller as the primary method of operating the ETX-70AT.
    Included with Autostar is an instruction manual that details its
functions and capabilities. When the telescope instruction manual
mentions the Electronic Controller (Electronic Controller Functions,
page 6: Observing with the Electronic
Controller, page 7; THE ELECTRONIC CONTROLLER, page 10; and TRACKING
MOTOR SPEED, page 19), refer to the Autostar instruction manual. All
telescope functions remain the same.
    With Autostar you can do a quick telescope alignment and you're
ready to observe any object in Autostar's 1,500-object database. Any of
Autostar's database objects can be called up and entered on the hand
controller in seconds. You then simply press GO TO and watch as the
telescope automatically slews to the object and places it in the field
of view. The effect of Autostar is to bring objects that were
unreachable for all but the most dedicated amateur astronomers easily
within reach."
Mike here: I have now received similar reports indicating the EC model comes (or came) standard with the Electronic Controller (hence, "EC") and the AT model comes standard with the Autostar (hence, "AT").

Subject:	 Confusion on ETX 70AT and 70EC
Sent:	Wednesday, July 5, 2000 16:20:52
From:	mars@imaginemail.com (Marty Carungay)
Seems like there is too much confusion in your web site about what the
ETX 70AT is.

Here is the simple explanation, as told to me by a Meade customer
service agent: there used to be an ETX 70EC telescope a little while
back, it is no longer sold under that designation.

The ETX 70AT is really similar to an ETX 70EC except that the 70AT comes
with the Autostar controller bundled. That is really the only major
difference. I am not sure if anything else has changed like optics or
any other features, I doubt it.

ETX 70AT = ETX 70EC + Autostar (inside the box) + affordable price

Yes, a quick glance of the packing contents will reveal that the manuals
and users guide will still make reference to the ETX 70EC. This
shouldn't be too surprising. Maybe it just tells you that Meade was a
little lazy to update the manuals to make references to their newer
models. That's my theory.


P.S. - as an amateur/beginner scope, the 70AT is awesome for the price!
I'm enjoying my scope.

Subject:	 70AT
Sent:	Wednesday, July 5, 2000 12:01:25
From:	paschalides@elsitio.net (Paschalides)
I love your site and it gave me lots of useful information before I
bought my wonderful 125ETX.  On the 125's box it says EC for electronic
controller and I suppose AT would mean Autostar.  Also, the models on
the Meade website are different from the one showed at the bottom of
yours because the other ones have the computer control ON the fork arm
instead of the base.  Is this one of the "vast improvements" mentioned
by Meade recently?  I have searched for information about the 70 EC and
there is none on Meade's website, it must just be an error with
packaging and the individuals in question should ask Meade for
information, or at least I would.

Once again, thanks for a great website.

Subject:	 ETX-70AT(?) magnification limitations?
Sent:	Sunday, July 2, 2000 12:07:06
From:	kbarger@navpoint.com (Kyle Barger)
I'm very appreciative of all the alignment suggestions folks have
provided. The first night I took my scope out I became very frustrated
at not finding much.  Last night however, armed with hints from here, I
found everything landing in the field of my 20mm Televue Plossl!  I
think now I just need a tripod to overcome the slope of my property. 
Now, I am wondering, what have people discovered as the highest usable
magnification for the ETX-70?  The manual that came with it suggested
that it was 110x, but the Meade web page
(www.meade.com/catalog/etx60-70/index3.html) suggested 240x!  I
was thinking 140 was probably a more reasonable number, which would be
reached nicely with a 5mm eyepiece + 2x barlow.  Does anybody have
experience to share?
Mike here: Magnifications are usually around 50-60x per inch of aperture. That would mean about 150x for a 70mm telescope. However, on some objects (notably brighter ones like Jupiter or the Moon) under good-to-excellent seeing conditions you should be able to exceed this.

Added later:

Yeah I have seen that, or 2x the aperture in mm..... and I now noticed
that they give 175x on the spec list on the outside of the ETX-70AT box!
Seems odd that they are giving three different numbers for the same

Subject:	 MEADE ETX-70AT Telescope
Sent:	Saturday, July 1, 2000 13:59:34
From:	jmaas@essex1.com (John Maas)
Im new to your site and Astronomy. I just purchased a Meade ETX-70AT
with an Autostar Computer Controller at Natural Wonders for $349. It's
seems like a great deal since Ive been holding off on a ETX-90 because
of the price. Here is my question. I set it up put batteries in and
connected all the cables and turned the unit on. I get a message "Use
ETX Autostar with this model" They say on the box the controller is an
#495 Autostar Controller. I've read on your site the #495 is NOT
compatible with ETX models. Did I do something wrong or are they
shipping the wrong controllers with this model?...Any help

Subject:	 ETX-70AT or is it EC
Sent:	Friday, June 30, 2000 21:17:13
From:	bdecorso@email.msn.com (bdecorso)
I talked to Meade today, and at first the individual doubted I actually
had an ETX-70, because according to him, "that's a new product that
hasn't been shipped yet".   I won't offer a commentary on the quality of
their customer support/technical assistance line.  Anyway, he claims
that there will be to models ETX-70EC (for Electronic Controller) and
the 70AT for the Autostar.    I went back to Natural Wonders and he says
they are the first ones to get them with an introductory price of $349. 
Other dealers will get them around August-September.  Meade didn't
provide the detailed and knowledgeable response, but I'm happy with the
scope.  I may have a different feeling if they're release in mass in a
couple of months with better specs and/or lower price.

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 © 1999-2000 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
Submittals are Copyright © 1999-2000 by the Submitter
URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/70atJul00.html