ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT. Additional information on these models is available on the ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT Announcements page. Comments on accessories and feedback items appropriate to other ETX models are posted on other pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.
Subject: ETX 70AT barlows Sent: Friday, March 30, 2001 22:49:27 From: DoubleR117@aol.com Hi, i'm thinking about buying either the Meade #124 or #126 barlow lens.... actually what would be better to buy, a stronger eye-piece or a barlow lens? I've heard good things about the #126 Barlow... but i would like to have your advice on which to buy to increase the power of my ETX 70AT...also, do you know of anywhere on the internet i can buy it from? thanks ChrisMike here: Further down this ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback page there are discussions on both Barlow Lenses. There are many excellent dealers on the Net. See the Astronomy Links page for some dealer pages.
Subject: New ETX-70AT Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2001 18:25:46 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Greg Douglas) I have finally received my ETX70AT, boy was I excited! I set this baby up with no problems partly due to the helpful advise on your site, did a two star alignment and was straight into it. The wide field vistas are beautiful and the AUTO STAR worked straight away. All I can say to any new users is to read the instruction carefully and take your time the end result is worth it. Believe me , I spent two and a half hours slewing the stars and I'll be back for more.. Thanks Mate! Greg Douglas Sydney Australia
Subject: etx 60 to 70 upgrade Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 21:01:44 From: email@example.com (Fortunas) Other than the primary, I think these two scopes are identical. Do you know if Meade sells the 70mm primary lense as a repair item? Thanks, MikeMike here: Real doubtful. They might have a spotting scope version however, although I don't recall seeing any mention of that.
Subject: 9 volt power supply for ETX-60 Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 16:26:36 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dan Mulhern) Radio Shack has an 800 milliamp 9 volt power supply (#273-1770 for $13.99) that is powerful enough to operate both drive motors of the ETX-60 simultaneously at max speed with no significant voltage drop. You need to replace the molded stock connector with a 9 volt battery connector (#27-235 package of 5 for $1.39). Use a voltmeter to determine positive and negative leads, mark them, then cut the molded connector off. Solder the battery connector to the adapter leads and insulate with electrical tape. Tie an overhand knot in the adapter cord. Make sure the knot is inside the battery cover after connecting to prevent pulling on the soldered connection. Before snapping the adapter to the ETX-60 connector test the polarity of your new power supply against a 9 volt battery. They must be the same!
Subject: ext60-at slewing problems Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 07:15:33 From: email@example.com I recently bought a 60-AT and when trying to get it setup (the two-star alignment thing) I noticed that the scope never goes above 0 degrees. And sometimes it pointed almost to the floor when trying to find a star. While it is not pointing to the floor now, it still never goes above 0 and I cannot use the arrow keys to slew up. It can move in all other directions but not up. Is this a problem with the motor, gears or something of the like? I am going to call Meade today and see what they say, but their phone line is only open like 9:30-1:30 PT. Not any time at night to try to see if what they tell me works. Any help is appreciated. Jason Spence Ticketing & Fulfillment grouptickets.com 1-866-476-8789Mike here: First off, is the altitude knob actually locking? That's the large knob on one of the fork arms. When it is locked can you still move the tube up and down by hand? It should only wiggle a little bit, not move through its whole range of motion. If the lock works, try retraining the drives (from the Autostar menus).
I am not sure exactly which one that is. I have a Vertical or Horizontal lock. The Vertical one tells me to only tighten to a "feel firm" I do this and the scope will slew down but not up. When I slew it down then try to slew it up I can see the knob kind of pull in when it tries to go up. I tried to retrain the drive but the problem there is 2 fold. One, first it tells me to initialize autostar (does this also include the star alignment?) and the for training it tells me to center the object using the arrow keys, then later to use the up key. So it still did not work. I really don't know what to do besides call Meade, because being the smart person I am I bought it at a store that is going out of business and is not offering exchanges or refunds.Mike here again: There is the horizontal (azimuth) lock on the base and the vertical (altitude) lock on a fork arm. It sounds like you are locking it OK. But when the tube won't go up electrically, can you move it easily upwards by hand?
Depends on your def. of easily, when it is locked as I have been doing it, it can be moved just not as easily as when I loosen it completely. Thanks for all your help, I am waiting to call Meade later, unless you know of something else.Mike here: Well, it sounds like it is locking, but maybe not completely. Let me know what Meade says.
And an update:
Well I just got off the phone with Meade, and they said they have had a number of calls with similar problems and that I need to really tighten the Vertical lock, not just to a feel firm thing. So I will try it tonight or tomorrow and see if it works. Thanks again for you help and responses. Jason Spence
Subject: ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT Autostar Cable Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2001 10:06:29 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Blessing) In response to Grady Bradish's request for pinouts for the ETX60... Be warned that unless you have the old original ETX60/70 with a black tube (and a power jack on the panel) you CAN NOT use a home made cord. Use ONLY the #506 Meade Cord. These newer "AT" scopes do not have all the communication circuitry built into them. The #506 cord contains a small box with the required circuitry to connect to a PC. Using a straight connection or a cord designed for the EC models may cause damage to both the telescope or the computer it is connected to (and in any case will not work). -- Jordan Blessing www.scopetronix.com ScopeTronix Astronomy Products
Subject: re: rs232 cable for ETX70at Sent: Friday, March 23, 2001 20:27:02 From: email@example.com (richard seymour) To: firstname.lastname@example.org > I just bought my first telescope. ETX 60at. Wife through out my > pc cable with the trash. Do you know what the pin out is for the 9pin > to Rj11. er... time to teach your wife the value of clutter. About $30. Unless you have an Autostar with the numeric keypad (a 495 or 497), you CANNOT use a simple 9-ping--to--rj11 connector. You -have- to use a Meade 506 cable/converter set. The 506 has active (intelligent) electronics to convert rs232 serial signals to IIC bus signals used by the ETX70at's AUX port. The numeric-keypadded 497 and 495 Autostars have their rs232 serial port built into the handbox... and -can- use a home-made cable as described in Mike's site. The Starfinder or 494 Autostar (no numeric keypad) controllers do NOT have such a connector. They require the 506 cable (it has a lump in the middle) and power it via the AUX port on the telescope's base. Cleanliness is its own reward (visit http://staff.washington.edu/seymour/DikBench.html ) --dick
Subject: Tripod Substitute Sent: Friday, March 23, 2001 01:58:06 From: email@example.com (kb) if you want a CHEAP substitute, for the smaller ETX 70 or so... make a tall table! that is what we did. a Flat table. 4 sturdy Metal legs (know those L shape bars wtih pre drilled holes in them, they use for making bookshelves ?) and add wood or plastic top. total cost to us : less than 8 dollars. to Adjust the height, we use phone books. ha. not Top grade, not pro. but you cant beat the price. i fixed mine at 30 inches of height, and it is VERY SOLID. added another "floor" on the near bottom, to keep eyepcs, etc. you cant beat the price again. of course, this height is fixed after i measured the comfy chair i use with it. it all matches in viewing height, from dec = 0 to zenith. you must design all this according to YOUR height, angle, chair, etc. can be quite fun, and takes an hour or less to make. the shop we bot the metal bars, they cut it for you. you just screw it all together. easy. kb
Subject: Help with db9 pin outs for pc Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2001 13:27:24 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (GRADY BRADISH) Newbi here. I just bought my first telescope. ETX 60at. Wife through out my pc cable with the trash. Do you know what the pin out is for the 9pin to Rj11.Mike here: See the Autostar Information page on my ETX site for some cable information.
Subject: Re: ETX deluxe tripod Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2001 20:46:57 From: email@example.com (John Shirley) In reference to Venkataraman Moncompu's (firstname.lastname@example.org) question about the Deluxe Field Tripod for the ETX-60: I'll confirm that, yes, that tripod works for the 60. I'm using one for my 60, works great. It's a little pricey, about US$200, but it provides a solid base that will greatly improve the user's experience with the scope.
Subject: 4mm eyepiece Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2001 09:03:54 From: email@example.com (z2) this is kb again, and have finally recvd ETX 70 AT recently, and getting used to it's autostar system. for the money, not easy to beat. Just a simple warning. have tried (courtesy of the meade dealer here) more than 4 new pcs of Meade PL 4mm eyepc with above scope. (changed scopes too) my advice, DONT BUY THIS. compared to even the MA eyepcs they give you , this PL 4mm (giving only 88x) is never really going to achieve the same quality of focus and never give you details of the 2 other (free) eyepcs. anyone else experience this ? thanks, kb
Subject: Re:Subject:ETX deluxe tripod Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2001 02:15:17 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Nick Petranovic) >From: email@example.com (Venkataraman Moncompu) >I have been using your site to get good advise on Meade ETX and I have >bought a (small) 60 MM ETX, thought it might be good for starters and >that too it was on sale ! >Would you know if the deluxe tripod that is advertised for Meade 90 MM >ETXs would fit my 60 MM ETX telescope ? >Thank you in advance. >Venkat Reference the above, the ETX 60/70 will fit this tripod. I have an ETX60 mounted on mine now. Works fine (with the addition of my straps!). Keep up the good work. Nick
Subject: ETX deluxe tripod Sent: Monday, March 19, 2001 14:16:59 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Venkataraman Moncompu) I have been using your site to get good advise on Meade ETX and I have bought a (small) 60 MM ETX, thought it might be good for starters and that too it was on sale ! Would you know if the deluxe tripod that is advertised for Meade 90 MM ETXs would fit my 60 MM ETX telescope ? Thank you in advance. VenkatMike here: I believe the base is essentially the same dimensions so it should fit. But not having an ETX-60AT I can't say for certain.
Subject: ETX 70 AT with QuickCam Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2001 22:19:21 From: David Peters just thought I would let you know that I have updated my website with some details of how to modify a quickcam so that it fits into an ETX 70 AT. I also have few pictures taken with the quickcam. The site is at: www.electronf.com/space/index.html and it includes all the information that I couldn't find when I was planning to do it myself.
Subject: ETX 70AT or ETX 90AT Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2001 11:21:45 From: email@example.com (John Minette) I have to decide if I should get a Meade EXT 70AT or a ETX 90AT. I was wondering if the difference is worth paying for a beginner. Thank you. Zak MinetteMike here: Whether the difference is worth or not depends upon your expectations and your wallet. The ETX-70AT has a 350mm focal length and the ETX-90EC 1250mm. The difference in aperture is not that significant between the 70mm and the 90mm but the focal length is a lot different. If you want to use higher magnifications to see more details you'll likely be disappointed with the -70AT. If you want small size and wide field views the -70AT makes an excellent telescope.
Thank you for answering my question abou the ETX 70AT and the 90. Could you point me to a site where I could see the same images taken with the 70 and the 90 so I can compare them together. Zak MinetteMike here: There are lots of ETX-90 astrophotographs on my ETX site (see the Astrophotography Gallerie). I believe there are also some taken using the ETX-60 or -70 model. Keep in mind that the camera "sees" things differently than the eye.
Subject: Thanks. Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2001 14:47:40 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Greg Douglas) Mike and Clay Hi , my name is Greg Douglas I live just north of Sydney in Australia. I would like to thank both of you for the way you encourage and help amature astronomers. It is your enthusiasm that has influenced me to buy a ETX 70 AT , (I know it's not the ETX 90 Mike...Ha ha! ) but it will be perfect for the casual use my family will get from it. I love the stars and planets as do my wife and children , the go to feature will be great. Living just north of Sydney I get a great view of the sky as light polution is low on the central coast. Mike I love the web site and visit it almost every day, great job and thanks. Kind Regards Greg Douglas PS: we now hove an Aussie space walker : Dr Andy Thomas ( Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi !!!)
Subject: training Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2001 10:03:32 From: email@example.com (manuel robbins) Good seeing. Can someone tell me the anguar field of view of the ETX-60 using the 25mm eyepeice? About "training," is it necessary for the ETX-60? Once trained, how long is the training retained? Must it be repeated with each turn-on of the system? How is th training retained in memory once the system is turned off? Thanks. M.Robbins New JerseyMike here: Your Autostar can tell you this. Check the manual that came with your ETX-60AT for the steps. Training is also mentioned the manual but doesn't seem to be as important in the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT as in the -90EC and 125EC. Training info is retained in the Autostar's memory.
Subject: Black ETX 70 AT (EC) Sent: Friday, March 9, 2001 06:50:55 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (enrbb) I purchased a Black ETX 70 AT in January. It and the Autostar 495 has preformed as I would expect a scope of this size to do. Planets are small but clear. It takes the 9mm and the 2X Barlow to make Saturn viewable. I have a question about the 12 volt connector on the ETX 70 base. I would like to use a 12 volt battery pack that I have that has a lighter socket, but I need to know if the center pin on the ETX is + 12 volts. If it is a standard +12 volt tip then a cord from Radio Shack should work fine. Radio Shack is a lot less expensive than Meade. I would also like to know where I can get the PC software that does not come with the 506 cable. I purchased the 505 cable set but can not find the Astro Software. The cables were sold without software and no one knows about the ETX 70 with a 495 Autostar. Thanks Bob Bennett Kennesaw, GAMike here: On the ETX-90EC and ETX-125EC the center pin is positive. Don't know if this applies to the ETX-70AT but I would suspect that it does. Don't know about the software.
Subject: ETX-60AT Sent: Thursday, March 8, 2001 11:54:58 From: email@example.com (Ron Leo) Just found your great website. As a rookie, I just received and ETX-60AT as a gift. I'm wondering if I should upgrade now to a 90 or 125 for the minimal price difference. I will never be more than a casual amateur, but I's like to get the most bang for my buck now, rather than to upgrade later. For another $300-$500 it seems the logical thing to do. Also regarding eyepieces for these scopes what brands do you recommend in the $50-$75 range? Thanks in advance for your response. Ron Leo firstname.lastname@example.orgMike here: Certainly you can do and see more with the larger telescope. But you'll have to make the call whether you should upgrade. As you can tell from the web site, the ETX-90 and ETX-125 are very capable and popular models. As to eyepieces, see the Accessories - Eyepieces page for some user comments on different brands/types/prices.
Subject: Re: Using a Barlow lens - question Sent: Saturday, March 3, 2001 03:44:32 From: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Ken - that is great to hear. I am glad you invested in the good barlow, and I knew it would work well for you. Sometimes you hate to "spend other people's money" but it always seem a waste to advise someone into something you feel they would not be happy with. Seeing conditions (and from what you describe, the conditions were really falling apart) have a great deal to do with planet observing, so you were correct to wait until really testing on Jupiter and Saturn. See my Guide to Seeing and Transparency on Mike Weasner's site, and you will note that your ETX 70 actually has some "advantages" in the "seeing department!" Keep us posted! Clay Sherrod -----Original Message----- From: Ken Martin (email@example.com) >Clay, > >You may remember giving me some advice about using a #126 Shorty 2x barlow on an >ETX-70 (see your previous reply below). I received my #126 today, and although >seeing conditions were not the greatest tonight, I was amazed at the performance >of the 126 barlow with the standard MA 26 and 9 mm eyepieces. The barlow sure >brought the craters of the moon "up close". Took a look at Jupiter and Saturn, >but by then seeing conditions were poor with a lot of moisture in the air and >some wispy clouds but it was interesting to see how much larger those planets >are now with the barlow. I can't wait for better seeing conditions. Anyway, I >just wanted to say thanks again for the advice and the reassurance that a #126 >barlow would be ok with an ETX-70. > >Ken Martin >Eugene OR > >Clay Sherrod wrote: > >> Good afternoon Ken - >> Yes, it is certainly okay to use the shorter barlow #126 (which I actually >> prefer) in your ETX 70. The Meade barlows (both the 124 and 126) are >> excellent optical quality and will give pleasing results. >> >> The barlow is the best alternative to attaining higher powers as this >> maintains your eye comfort (eye relief) and viewing comfort (positioning you >> further from the end of the scope). >> >> I have tested many of the barlows on the market and have settled in on the >> short #126 version as the best and most satisfying of all. And, yes, you >> can get one cheaper over the Internet, but make sure the price is the >> cheapest. Have you tried Michael Webb at www.sightandsoundship.com ? His >> prices and service (in stock) are really the best I have personally found. >> His direct e-mail (which I use for orders is: firstname.lastname@example.org. (phone >> 931-484-1511). >> >> Wherever you get the barlow, you will be the most happy with the model #126 >> by far. >> >> Hope this helps.... >> Good skies >> Clay SherrodAnd more:
From: email@example.com (Clay Sherrod) Ken - glad to help. There are a lot of very useful tips and tutorials on the ETX site and you can always learn a great deal, or find a solution to nearly every problem you may encounter with your ETX. Keep tuning in, and glad you are enjoying the telescope. Please stay in touch! Clay Sherrod -----Original Message----- From: Ken Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) >Clay, >Yes I've read your Guide to Seeing and Transparency, but I think I'll go >back for a review. I've found the information you post Weasner's site >quite useful and a great help to beginners like me. Thanks again! > >Ken Martin >Eugene OR
Subject: Report on ETX-70 AT malfunction Sent: Thursday, March 1, 2001 01:09:36 From: email@example.com yesterday (02/28/01) our forum, the german ETX pages, received a message posted by slightly frustrated ETX-70 user. He tried to operate his brand new scope using the Meade-supplied batteries. The scope started to turn, turn, turn for quite a number of times, producing a terrible noise, then as sudden crash and stop. One of the batteries - as the user reported - "torn in pieces, spilling battery liquid in the compartment" After cleaning and inserting fresh batteries, everything worked fine (sigh of relief) Hope, this info is useful for othe users. Rainer Nothdurft http://www.stadtastronomie.de/etx_deutschlandMike here: I'm surprised the telescope shipped with batteries.
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