Last updated: 30 June 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:	 EXT-70AT or  is it?
Sent:	Thursday, June 29, 2000 19:10:18
From:	bdecorso@email.msn.com (bdecorso)
I finally broken down and purchased an entry-level telescope at what
seemed like a reasonable price.  Now the fellow at Natural Wonders 
seemed fairly knowledgeable and told me this was a new telescope.  The
Meade site seems to confirm that.  Now the question, is there any
difference between the EXT-70AT and the EXT-70EC???  The box says AT
while the bottom of the scope and the manual says EC???  Is this a
repackaging of an old scope that didn't sell?  Thanks.

Mike here: You are the second person to report a -70EC in -70AT wrappings. Exactly what is going on is unclear right now.

Subject:	 Confused about ETX-70AT/EC/improvements
Sent:	Tuesday, June 27, 2000 07:38:34
From:	kbarger@navpoint.com (Kyle Barger)
Hello... just wanting a little clarification if anybody can give it.
Everybody is talking about the ETX-70AT.  I took the plunge & bought an
ETX-70EC at Natural Wonders.  It is a single box packaged with the
Autostar controller and the ETX OTA, fork, and drive (as opposed to the
telescope and autostar packed separately).  Is this the same OTA as the
"old" 70AT? What are the "vast improvements" referred to by Pat Duffy? 
I wonder if there's a new model coming out at similar price if I should
just take this one back?  Or is this the "new" model"? (For those who
were asking about availability of these, the manager at Natural Wonders
told me they had been very pupular for Father's Day, so I assume they
have been selling them there since at least the beginning of June.)
Mike here: Haven't heard of an ETX-70EC model. So I can't tell you what is different about it from the -70AT model.

Added later:

My bad!  The *BOX* itself says ETX-70AT.  The manual inside, and the
Autostar setting, say ETX-70EC.  (The manual covers the use of the
manual-control handbox, which is not included in favor of the Autostar.)
I would still be interested to hear any differences/improvements
between the EC & AT, other than the fact that that AT includes the
Autostar as standard.  And I'd still like to try the darn thing out! 
Cloudy every night so far.
Mike here: Thanks for the clarification. It sounds like a marketing change. EC models don't include the Autostar but the AT models.

Subject:	Is your finder scope the scopetronix one?
Sent:	Saturday, June 24, 2000 14:56:50
From:	NasaHead@aol.com
Is the finder scope on your ETX a scopetronix light sight one? If it is,
do you think that it would fit on the front of the ETX-70at telescope?

Scott Warren
Mike here: I review the Scopetronix LightSight "Red Dot" Finder on the Accessories - Finderscopes page. It would likely fit the ETX-70AT but I don't know for sure.

Subject:	etx-70at at natural wonders
Sent:	Thursday, June 22, 2000 09:09:26
From:	NasaHead@aol.com
Hello, its Scott. I went to natural wonders yesterday and they were
having a sale on the etx-70. Something like ten% off or something.
Unfortunately, there was only one left and it was the one on display.
The store worker told me that they had a hard time holding on to these
scopes because they were so popular among amateurs, (obviously). But I
noticed that the AUTOSTAR that came with it was the same as the one that
comes with the 90 and 125 models. It wasn't the new controller that
MEADE has in all its new pictures. Is this normal? It had the same
12,000 database as the others.

Scott Warren
Mike here: This sounds like it might have been the original ETX-70AT with an Autostar.

Subject:	question about etx-60at (for message board)
Sent:	Monday, June 19, 2000 11:11:08
From:	NasaHead@aol.com
Do you or any message board member know if the etx-60at comes with a 2x
barlow like its sister? Input is welcome.

Scott Warren
This is another pertaining question. Do you know what all the 60 etx
comes with? (i.e., the kind of eyepieces, etc.)
Mike here: See the description on Meade's web site: www.meade.com/catalog/etx60-70/index.html I think what is included is there.

Subject:	Question on the etx 60-at
Sent:	Thursday, June 15, 2000 13:19:00
From:	NasaHead@aol.com
First, I would like to commend you on the great site you have set up and
second, I have a question.

Do you or anyone on your message board have a clue as to how much the
etx 60-at costs? I ask because I thinking of getting one in a couple
months time and I need, and would like to know the price of it. Any
input would be great.

Scott Warren
Mike here: The ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT will retail for "approximately $299 and $349, respectively."

Added later:

Hi again, its Scott. Sorry to bother you again but, would you know if
the "new" etxes come with finderscopes or not? Because in all of the
MEADE pics that I have seen, there was no clear view of the finderscope
area like on the original etx. Thanks for any input.
Mike here: Sure doesn't appear to include one as standard. The #827 8 x 25mm Right-Angle Viewfinder is listed as an optional accessory.

Sent:	Tuesday, June 13, 2000 10:23:43
From:	pat@hipnoptic.com (Pat Duffy)
First off, thanks for the informative site. I decided to buy a decent,
inexpensive telescope to explore the hobby, and your site gave me a
wealth of information that I couldn't find anywhere else. So, upon all
my research, I have decided to buy an ETX-70AT. Would prefer a 90, but
trying to keep a 500 cap on this just in case it is not for me. I
noticed the postings on the ETX-70, saying that these scopes were
already available and people had purchased them, and was hoping someone
could tell me where exactly they found it. I have called every local
store, and spent hours searching online, and not a single company I have
found carries anything but the 90 and 125. Where are people finding this

To partially answer my question, I talked to someone at a San Antonio
based telescope store. There was an ETX70 that was released before in
limited quantities, and the currently advertised ETX-70 and the 60 will
be available in July with vast improvements over the original 70.

Subject:	 ETX 70AT, first impressions
Sent:	Monday, June 12, 2000 19:44:00
From:	mars@imaginemail.com (Marty Carungay)
Great site you got there! This is my first time posting/commenting. I
just read the thread regarding the NEW EXT Astro 70AT telescope. There
seems to be a lot of confusion on what this beast is.

For the past couple months, I put off the purchase of the ETX 90EC
primarily because of the price. I am on a tight budget, and a very part
time amateur at that. In other words, I didnt have $700-800 to spend for
a new ETX with tripod, case, lenses, etc.

Suddenly I saw the Meade web site advertise the new ETX 70AT! Since I
work in Irvine (the city where Meade is located in California), I spoke
to a local Meade representative. I found out that the ETX 70AT is indeed
a brand new model not to be confused with some older ETX 70mm.

The main difference is:

1) The ETX 70AT is a newly released (or re-released?) model that
includes Autostar controller standard out of the box. Hence the AT
designation. It will be sold alongside its smaller cheapo sibling, the


2) According to Meade, this model was meant for the smaller resellers
such as Natural Wonders, Discovery Store, etc. This is an entry-level
ETX, and hence it will be sold where first time stargazers will buy

3) Natural Wonders was selling this for $349 (telescope only, no tripod,
to tabletop stand). IMHO, it was a great deal, so I picked one up.

4) A quick call to Meade confirmed that Meade has planned a NEW model
#882 Standard Field Tripod "exclusively" for the 60AT and 70AT models. I
saw the picture and it seems like a cheaper lightweight counterpart to
the standard ETX Deluxe Field Tripod. However, the Meade rep says that
there is no reason why you cannot use the same #883 ETX Deluxe Field
Tripod (same one sold for ETX 90EC).

5) It has been cloudy here lately, I cant give a good field report of
this scope just yet. Give me a few days.

6) Subtle differences? The ETX 70AT seems to use the same ETX tube
assemby as the ETX 90EC, but the aperture is obviously smaller at 70mm
for the 70AT. The lens is an achromatic refractor but this is not the
same optics as the ETX90EC Maksutov-Cassegrain!  For people who would
rather spend a couple hundred dollars more to get the
Maksutov-Cassegrain optics, THIS IS A MAJOR CONSIDERATION when you
cannot decide between a $349 70AT or a $599 90EC.

Personally, the 70mm optics of the 70AT is more than plenty for my
needs. I'm the kind of amateur who thinks that if my scope can even spot
the rings of saturn in my lifetime, then the scope has already paid for
itself. The included Autostar makes this a fantastic and
super-affordable telescope for beginners.

When I get around to it, I'd be more than happy to give a full review
along with screenshots of the actual 70AT chassis, the scope's
performance (i.e. what it can see, how well it can see things in the
sky, and what it cannot see very well).

Since I am normally a Mac user, I am aware that I have to resort to an
alternative astro software like Starry Night rather than go with Meade's
own PC-only astro software. No big loss.

Thanks for a great site!

Marty Carungay 

Subject:	 ETX-70AT
Sent:	Monday, May 29, 2000 10:27:58
From:	thecolortech@mindspring.com (neil berkeley)
Hello and thank you for a most insightful and informative site,It is
always so great to see someone give up so much time and effort for
others and sharing knowledge because they can. Im very interested in
purchasing a ETX-70AT I have read great things about this scope. I have
never owned a telescope and feel this is a good starter piece. If you
think i would be better suited with a better unit please write back with
your personal recommendation.
Thankyou again
Miami fl.
Mike here: Glad you like the site. I have only limited experience with the ETX-70AT (spent one night with it along with several scopes). I have some brief comments about it at: http://www.weasner.com/etx/etx-nexstar.html There is also some info on the ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback page. Whether the -70AT or the -90EC or the -125EC or some other telescope will be best for you really depends upon what you want to do with it. You may find that you quickly grow out of a small scope like the -70AT or -90EC. On the other hand, it may fit you perfectly. Certainly the -90 models have been very popular over the last four years.

Subject:	 adventures in photo interpretation...
Sent:	Tuesday, May 23, 2000 21:29:28
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
Or: Meade introduces the MeadeStar 60 and 70!

Take a close look at the photo of the new Meades...

Notice something?

The controller plugs into the *fork*... not the -base-!

No hard rotational Azimuth limit!  (betcha, betcha...)

Other noted differences: only -one- additional connector on the fork.
(plus power jack).  No electric focusser listed as an option. I suspect
(and page  www.meade.com/catalog/etx60-70/index.html says so)
that the on-fork connector -is- the rs232 port.

Lots of sneaky improvements buried in there...

--dick (dizzy enough as it is)
a 3x barlow is listed in the accessories...

Subject:	 Re:  ETX-70AT.
Sent:	Monday, May 15, 2000 06:11:54
From:	gibbonsc@mcmail.cis.McMaster.CA (Clive Gibbons)
Did you read the Business Wire announcement from Meade? It covered two
items- first, the plant expansion in Mexico, with the second being
(quoted directly from the press release), "The company also announced
the introduction of two new telescopes-- the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT."

So, the question remains... does Meade know they're already selling the
ETX-70AT?!?  :) :) :)

(Please note the smilies, Mike. I'm sure that someone at Meade knows
what they're doing... it's just seems funny when their left hand
apparently doesn't know what their right hand is up to! ).



Subject:	 ETX-70AT.
Sent:	Friday, May 12, 2000 10:48:25
From:	gibbonsc@mcmail.cis.McMaster.CA (Clive Gibbons)
I noticed the copy of Meade's latest press release on your website and
have seen it posted elsewhere. What puzzles me is Meade's "introduction
of two new telescopes", one of them being the ETX-70AT. Do you know if
this is a new version of the ETX-70, or is Meade blissfully unaware that
they've already been selling it for many months?  ;)


	Clive Gibbons                                           
	Technician, McMaster University, 
	School of Geography and Geology.         
Mike here: I don't think they are "announcing" the -70AT but rather announcing the doubling of the Mexico plant size.

Subject:	 etx-70
Sent:	Sunday, May 7, 2000 10:14:51
From:	tween20@hotmail.com (John M. Patterson)
i'm seeing etx-70s on eBay for under $200. now i know that as a scope
it's no where near as sweet as the etx 90s, but what do you think if the
etx 70s can be had for so cheap? a goto scope for $160?? maybe i'll grab
one and get back to you on it...

Mike here: It is a nice 70mm refractor. Good for some objects.

Subject:	 70-AT question
Sent:	Wednesday, April 5, 2000 12:58:40
From:	rvdh@ecs.csun.edu (Robert Van Den Huevel)
Mike, do you know if the ETX-70-AT fork mount (with Autostar, EC, etc)
can be used by a standard ETX-90 tube assembly? I might be able to get a
70AT for around $250, complete, so this is tempting me.


Robert Van den Heuvel
Mike here: Don't know for sure. The -70AT forks might be a little taller than the -90EC forks. And you'd need to use the left and right tube adapters from the -90 and I don't know if they would work on the -70AT forks. If you try, let us know the results.

Added later:

Cool. Thanks. Say, how much should a 70-AT cost, with the autostar,
slow-mo, etc? I think it comes with an AutoStar...
Mike here: I've seen prices from $450-599, with and without the Autostar.


hoo-boy, then if I manage to get one for $250 I will be stylin'. But
without knowing if the refractor can be changed out for the ETX-90RA
OTA.... it is a risk better not to



Subject:	 ETX-70
Sent:	Wednesday, March 15, 2000 14:39:57
From:	pullywolly@mailhost.det.ameritech.net (William Michaelis)
Mike here: Many tripods including sturdy photographic ones will work. See the Accessories - Tripods page.

Subject:	Re: Telescope question
Sent:	Monday, February 14, 2000 10:34:32
From:	PhelandL@aol.com
Thank you very much. I got it at their auction site for $450.00. It has
already shipped but I can return it. Thanks so much

Subject:	Telescope question
Sent:	Saturday, February 12, 2000 21:27:30
From:	PhelandL@aol.com
Sharper image has a Meade 70mm  digital electronic telescope for $450 on
the auction. It says it comes with a 70mm refractive optical system with
a 350mm focal length. Electronic Control System, Super Plossi 200mm
eyepiece. has a 2x barlow lens and a MA 9mm eyepiece and an internal
optical mirror for 90 deg viewing and includes fork mount for tablletop

I can't find any place that says this is good deal or bad deal. Any
comment or suggestions for the same price range?
Thank you 
Pheland Lucas
Mike here: Could it be an ETX-70AT? Photo further down this page.

Added later:

No I don't think so. If you could go to www.sharperimage.com. It is in
the optics section. Thanks. I just don't know if thats a good price.
Mike here again: Just looked at the Sharper Image page. Sure looks like an ETX-70AT, although it is called something else. Meade markets under different model names/numbers for different markets. Some options (like eyepieces) may be different on different models of the same scope. For that price ($599) I think you'd be happier with an ETX-90EC (more aperture, longer focal length).

Subject:	ETX70-EC
Sent:	Monday, January 17, 2000 13:03:40
From:	Mdfour@aol.com
I was recently given a Meade ETX70-EC for a gift.  Though I had my eye
on the ETX90-EC, this one was much more affordable.  I have not actually
used it (received yesterday) but I have made a few phone calls for
accessories and no one has seem to have heard of it.  Was this possibly
a model made by Meade only for certain department stores?  Am I going to
have difficulty getting accessories?  Thanks for any help you can give
Mike here: Meade has different consumer models for different markets. You should be able to get eyepieces, barlow lens, filters, etc. for any telescope.

Subject:	 Etx-70at problems!!
Sent:	Sunday, January 16, 2000 15:08:09
From:	jsanner@up.net (Josh Sanner)
My wife bought me the 70at for Xmas.  This is my first scope, so I'm
very new to astronomy.  I'm having a problem getting the scope to focus.
The only way that the focus will come in, is to raise the eyepiece in
the eyepiece holder, until it is almost totally dislodged from the
holder.  I'm I doing something wrong?  Or is there a problem with my
scope?  If you can help, I would be very appreciative.
				Sincerely,  Josh 

Subj: 	ETX 70-AT for $380?
Date: 	Tuesday, January 11, 2000 16:11:14
From: 	rbbloom@cwent.com
I received one of the Walmart import 60mm scopes for Xmas and am
returning for something which works.  I am an economically-disadvantaged
college student looking for my first scope and money is a big issue. 
They had the ETX-70 AT with autostar clearanced for $380, but is it
worth it?  I enjoy astronomy and viewing the heavens, but must spend
wisely. Any info would be great.  Thanks.
Mike here: All I know about using the ETX-70AT is on my report.

Subject:	 ETX-70AT Astro Telescope with Electronic Controller
Sent:	Thursday, December 30, 1999 19:35:34
From:	lclaborn@alltel.net (lclaborn)
I received this telescope for Christmas and really want to use it.  I
find the tracking seems to be working well and is fairly easy to
operate. However, I cannot get the focus right. I have not been able to
focus the telescope on anything that is identifiable near or far.   I
have tried resetting the focus knob as instructed in trouble shooting
but that did not work either.  Any suggestions?

Subject:	 ETX 70RA
Sent:	Friday, November 5, 1999 19:58:42
From:	cbarr@ix.netcom.com (Casey Barr)
Is this a good starter telescope, or should I save my pennies and go for
the 90?
Mike here: I presume you mean the ETX-70AT. I've only spent a short time using one. You might want to read that report.

Mike here: On Friday, 1 October, I had a chance to use an ETX-70AT. There is a short report available.

Subject:	 ETX 70
Sent:	Friday, October 1, 1999 18:04:33
From:	gbgesq@earthlink.net (Gary)
I saw the 70 in the latest Sharper Image Catalog.  Either their prices
were misprints, or they've gone a bit crazy - bascially, they're
charging the same $599 as for the 90, and the Autostar was also high, i
think around $199 - it did appear to be the ETX Autostar.  Generally,
I've seen the ETX Autostar for $149 ($199 at Damark - boo, hiss) and the
baby autostar for about $99 - perhaps Sharper Image will price match if
anyone brings in literature from JC Penny or Service Merchandise.
Happy slewing,

Subject:	 ETX-70AT
Sent:	Tuesday, September 28, 1999 20:19:49
From:	wgats@gunnison.com (Wayne Gatschet)
I was in Wal-Mart today and picked up a flyer of the Meade scopes they
sell. In the Flyer was a picture, blurb, and specs for the ETX-70AT
Refractor scope. Here's the specs, and picture from the flyer.

Specs: ETX-70AT Short version.

Includes multi-coated achromatic refractor optial tube assembly: (D=70mm
(2.76"); F=330mm f/5). Internal flip mirror. #495 Autostar 1586-objects.
SP20mm and MA9mm eyepieces, 1.25", and 2X Achromatic Barlow.

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