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ETX-60AT & ETX-70AT USER FEEDBACK
Last updated: 31 October 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.


Mike here: Meade has posted a QuickTime VR of the ETX-60AT.


Subject:	 ETX-60AT
Sent:	Tuesday, October 31, 2000 20:28:07
From:	jenkins@netins.net (Rod Jenkins)
I am a very new to telescopes.  I was looking at buying an ETX-60AT to
start with.

My question is what can I expect to see with this scope?  I know that
the literature says that you can observe deep sky objects.  Is this
realistic?  It seems a little to good to be true.  I would like to start
with moon and planets, but would like to also have the capability to
view deep sky objects after I get more familiar.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Rod
Mike here: Well, yes, you can view _some_ deep sky objects, like the brighter and larger ones. Certainly, the Moon and brighter/larger planets will be nice (although I personally found Saturn rather disappointing in the ETX-70AT compared to the ETX-90).

Subject:	 etx-70 (black) tripod ??
Sent:	Friday, October 27, 2000 07:45:23
From:	steelgtr@ix.netcom.com (Bob Snelgrove)
Can this scope be put on the small legs or adapted to a tripod?

thx

bob

Subject:	 ETX-70 Comparison ??
Sent:	Wednesday, October 25, 2000 22:14:47
From:	steelgtr@ix.netcom.com (Bob Snelgrove)
Where is the info on the difference between the old (black/aluminum/better
go to) and the new (plastic/blue) packages?

I got a response from bob at Shutan:

www.shutan.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=1&Product
_Code=250-5578&Category_Code=telcat5

Is this the good one?

Thanks

Bob
Mike here: That is it as far as I know. Thanks for reference.

Added later:

Where is the discussion on your site about the 2?
I can't find it on your site?
Mike here: All the ETX-70AT discussions are on the "ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback" pages, current and in the Feedback archives.

And:

Does the orignal xtx-70 focus different than the new one?

Are there any pics from an etx-70?
Mike here: I don't know about the focusing but maybe someone else does. As to photos, I don't recall any but you might look through the Guest Astrophotography galleries.

Subject:	 tripods
Sent:	Wednesday, October 25, 2000 15:28:19
From:	nebula_55@hotmail.com (Rich Perrelllo)
I have an ETX 60 AT telescope and I was impressed with the Meade Model
114EQ-DH4 for sale at Sam's Club for around $245. The tripod that comes
with it is very similar to the ETX Deluxe field tripod. It seems that I
would need an adapter or tripod mount  in order to use the ETX with this
scope. Do you know if I would be able to use both scopes on the single
tripod or where I might get a mount. I looked at the diagram of the
factory specs and it apears that the tripod mount is removeable for the 
Meade Model 114EQ-DH4. I've asked several dealers but no one knows for
sure what kind would be compatable. If you've heard anything about this.
I do not have a tripod at this moment for the ETX, I wanted to know for
sure before I go out and spend the money.
Thanks for taking time to read this.
Rich 

Subject:	 Meade ETX-70AT and #494 AutoStar hand set
Sent:	Tuesday, October 24, 2000 13:15:58
From:	gill_todd@emc.com (gill, todd)
I recently purchased an ETX-70AT with the #494 AutoStar hand set. I also
purchased the #506 AstroFinder software.  I got the two products from a
dealer - the packaging indicates the software and telescope are made to
work together.

When I try to use the ACP software - I can connect to the scope without
any problems - but as soon as I click on "sync scope" I get an error

Run-time error '-2147220472 (80040408)'
No scope detected on COM port.

Has anoyone else seen this problem?  Any ideas for a work around?
Anybody got this working with the ETX-70AT?

Great web site...

thanks for any help,
Todd
tgill@emc.com     

Subject:	 Original etx-70?
Sent:	Sunday, October 22, 2000 17:48:49
From:	steelgtr@ix.netcom.com (Bob Snelgrove)
Any good black/aluminum ones available anywhere?

Thx

Bob

Subject:	 ETX70AT with Autostar 494
Sent:	Friday, October 20, 2000 18:57:54
From:	teece@ix.netcom.com (Terry Coolick)
I've seen lots of useful info on this site for upgrading, downloading,
and generally communicating between ETX's (90 and 125) and Autostars
(495 and 497), but nothing so far between ETX70's and Autostar 494's.

I purchased the Meade #506 Cable and Software kit, hoping to establish
communications between my PC and the Autostar 494. Nowhere in the kit is
there info on how to send -say- User Objects from the PC to the
Autostar.

As a last resort I tried (shouldn't have) using the Meade Upgrade
Client, the result of which is that I now have no Named Stars, Tours,
Asteroids, User Data, and cannot manually add or edit anything on the
Autostar - IOW it's clobbered.

Meade, to there credit, is sending me out a new, unabused Autostar so I
may go back to Base 1.

Has anyone had any experience sending data from the PV to an Autostar
494 successfully? I can see this may/will be handy if Meade upgrades the
firmware for the 494. Or am I kinda up there on the edge?

BTW, the cable DOES allow communication with and control of the scope by
using the SkyMap Pro 6 Autostar driver.

Thanks,
Terry

Subject:	 Close To A Decision: The ETX 70 AT
Sent:	Friday, October 20, 2000 12:34:47
From:	gbruns@att.com (Bruns, Gregory G (Greg), BMCIO)
Thanks for the great web-site.  I would not have been able to narrow
down my telescope purchase decision with out your feedback page!  I was
lamenting over what to buy to appease my mid-life astronomical urges.  I
had a huge reflector telescope as a kid, but it was as big and as heavy
as me and I hated lugging it around.  I am leaning toward the ETX 70 AT
because the 90 is a little steep for my budget and does not include the
Autostar for the $549 vs. $349. I also want to by some accessories. I
will definitely purchase the hard carry case [I found it for $59.95] and
the standard field tripod [$99], here are some other accessories that I
am considering, I hope you can help me make the right decision on what
ones will be worth the money:
*	Is it worth buying a Barlow lens and should I get the 2x or 4x?
[the best price I could find was $39.95].
*	What is the difference between the 2x and 2x short focus Barlow
lenses, besides the price?
*	Should I purchase any additional eyepieces Plossl 4, 5, 6mm besides
the ones that come standard [14x and 39x]?
*	The 8x25mm Right Angle Viewfinder [for $49.95], do I need this with
the Autostar controller?
*	What does the Lunar & Planetary color filter set do for you? Worth
buying for $39.95?
Do you have any other suggestions for accessories?  
Thanks for your help! Greg Bruns, Howell, NJ gbruns@optonline.net
Mike here: Barlows are handy since the effectively double your eyepiece set, assuming you buy eyepieces with that in mind. For example, having a 4mm and a 9.7mm may not make much sense since doubling the 9.7 gives you about a 4.8mm equivalent. Of course, adding a Barlow does add to the optics that the light has to pass through, which can slightly (or greatly) deteriorate the image. With the -70, I think that a 4x Barlow Lens would be overkill. Finderscopes are handy, even with a GOTO computer. As to filters, Orion Telescopes and Binoculars has an excellent description at: http://www.telescope.com/interact/html.asp?page=Articles/Filters.html

Subject:	 Planetary viewing w/ ETX-70AT
Sent:	Friday, October 20, 2000 06:49:56
From:	kyle@barks.org (Kyle Barger)
Could some ETX-70AT owners send in any brief comments on the performance
of their scope on planetary viewing?  I had been pretty happy when I
initially bought the scope when using it to view the moon, stars, and
deep sky objects.  Now that Jupiter and Saturn are out, I'm
disappointed.  I think I've used enough telescopes that I don't have
unreasonable expectations, but I'm unable to resolve even the two N & S
equatorial cloud belts on Jupiter, which I've been able to see in any
other telescope I've used, even small ones.  Saturn was OK in that I
could resolve the rings, but the image still seemed a little fuzzy, and
more so than I'd attribute to seeing problems.  (This is based on
several nights of trying with conditions from average to excellent.) 
The focusing in general seemed to be a problem when using the 9 mm
eyepiece + barlow.  Is this a general problem with these scopes?  Could
mine need collimation?  Thanks for any thoughts you have.
Mike here: In my experience with the ETX-70AT, which was documented in ETX-125EC report part 1, "Of course, objects were smaller in the -70 than in the other ETX telescopes. In fact, Saturn was rather disappointing."

Added later:

Yeah, I'm not expecting Voyager 2 pictures.. but I expect it to focus
better than I'm getting at 78x and I've seen the cloud belts on some
scopes that were no bigger than this one.

Subject:	Meade
Sent:	Thursday, October 19, 2000 11:32:23
From:	BOBKAN@aol.com
Found your web site and do enjoy it. I've used a 4 " reflector for the
past 40 years but it is to large and heavy to carry around in my old
age. I am interested in the Meade EXT-60 or 70AT. I have not seen one
since no store in my area stocks it. I can go to a scientific store
about 50 miles away and will do so shortly.

The one old test for resolution for any telescope is if it can give a
clear view of the Trapezium in the sword of Orion.  Do you know if the
Meade will do this. Of course I would like this information from any one
not involved in selling them, but any one who has one and has viewed the
Trapezium.

Any help that you can offer will be appreciated. Thank you
                                   Bob Kane
Mike here: I know the ETX-90 models can do the Trapezium but don't know about the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT models.

Subject:	 Zoom eyepieces
Sent:	Tuesday, October 17, 2000 12:09:09
From:	DWhite@conocraft.com (Daniel White)
Greetings! I discovered your site a couple of weeks ago and it was
extremely helpful in my quest for a beginner's scope. I finally decided
on the ETX-70AT and, with limited use, I can say I made the right choice
for my needs. Thanks for your insights and those of your site
users-real neat community you got going there. Quick question- I'm
wondering about how much sense it makes for me to get a zoom eyepiece.
It seems like there are some fine ones out there but the $200. range is
a little steep for me right now. Does anyone have any experience with
Scopetronix EconoZoom ($65.) or similar? Any advice would be
appreciated. Many thanks again for a great site.
Clear skies, Dan White
Mike here: I did a search for "EconoZoom" and found one hit (February Feedback page).

Subject:	 Meade Telescope advice
Sent:	Thursday, October 12, 2000 08:33:07
From:	galletta@michaelanthony.com (Gerard Galletta)
I love your site.  I have learned a ton about astronomy, and am ready to
buy my first telescope. I have decided that I want a Meade with GOTO
ability, and I have been looking at the ETX-60AT and the DS-60AT.

If you would be kind enough, please tell me your opinion of these two. I
will be wanting to use my new telescope with an Olympus C-3000 digital
camera.

Thanks.
Mike here: I have no experience with these models but do check the ETX-60AT and DS Models Feedback pages and the archives for reports from actual users.

Subject:	 ETX-60AT / 70AT
Sent:	Wednesday, October 11, 2000 04:01:44
From:	KYoshida@trainingserver.com (Yoshida, Ken)
Hi!   I am a beginning astronomer.  Heck, I have never even looked
through a telescope.  Are either the ETX-60AT or the ETX-70AT the right
scope for me? I do know that I prefer clarity over the size of the
object.

Ken Yoshida
TrainingServer
300 E. Lombard St., 15th Fl.
Baltimore, MD 21202
410.727.5112 ext.1180
Mike here: You might want to check out a local astronomy club or group or at least find someone in your local area with a telescope. Expectations are usually much higher than reality. However, these two telescopes do work for many amateur astronomers.

Subject:	 Deluxe Field Tripod
Sent:	Tuesday, October 10, 2000 22:00:30
From:	rperrello@picusnet.com (Ricardo)
I am new to the use of telescopes and recently purchased the ETX 60 AT
at Wallmart. I located a tripod and some other acessories at a Natural
Wonders store and used it on the tripod for the first time. The tripod
Model is the same as the one on your page, the Deluxe Field Tripod. I
paid about $170 for it. I noticed when looking at the moon, the tripod
seemed to shake when focusing the image. The other thing I noticed was
that, while the tripod itself is made well, the center piece that holds
the tray is very flimsey. I looked at several other non Meade tripods
that  were very similar to mine but had a very strong center support
bracket made of a thick metal. I would appreciate any advise you could
offer as to whether I should return the tripod for a refund or modify it
somehow.
Thank you 
Rich
Mike here: The eyepiece tray does just hang in the middle of the tripod and does not add any support. Some users found the Deluxe tripod too prone for vibrations. I use one but the legs are not extended so vibrations are minimized.

Subject:	 ETX 70 
Sent:	Tuesday, October 3, 2000 04:19:45
From:	gbgesq@earthlink.net (Gary B. Garland)
Been a while since I've written (haven't been a Meade owner in a while)
- I jumped gears to the Celestron NexStar 8 (great scope) and saw the
ETX 70 on sale at Natural Wonders at 15% percent off - ran something
like $296 + tax - couldn't pass up a buy like that.  Already had to
return the first (motor unit fault) but this apparently demo or used
baby seemed fine at the store.  It is the black tube with the ports at
the base like it's bigger siblings.  The meade ads, and brochure show
the arm ports, and mention 6 batteries rather than 8.  Per the manager
at NW (who seeemed to know more than most) - this is the older design,
which people seemed (to him) to prefer over the new blue model.  My unit
has the ETX looking autostar controller (without the words ETX of
course), so it is my belief (not supported) that the black older scopes
were the first run or two, and the newer ones MAY be made at their
Mexico plant (per reading their web page and investor announcements). 
The scope seems like a scaled down 90, and I think it will fit into my
ETX 90 cut out doskocil case quite nicely.  My thoughts are for $300 bux
or so I can keep a scope in the trunk, and if i am out in the burbs I
can pull the scope out and have potential autostar viewing with little
set up hassles.  The scope is also a nice way to use my smaller external
power pack and other accessories that were otherwise gathering dust.  I
intend to buy a pocket pc (for about $500 or so) so I can load the $49
pocket sky software (these numbers seem typical for telescope
accessories!) - i think it would be a great add on for the meade and
nexstar.  If anyone is interested, I would RUN to the nearest Natural
Wonders and get your hands on the scope and their accessories (scopes
are 15% off, accessories are 1/3 off - bought my "car edition" of
Nightwatch for $20 rather than $30, and they had various sky maps,
lenses, autostar cables, etc.)  This could be the best $300 I've spent
in a while - would also make a GREAT x-mas gift for the inquisitive
youngster.  Still haven't taken it out of the box to try out (other than
in the mall) but i believe it will yield satisfying views, and its
compact size (and price) will still yield large "oohs" to those who have
never seen a computer controlled scope!

I think a lightsite will be a must, and I'll make a dewshield from tool
drawer closed cell foam (Sears, about $12 for lots of sheets)

Cheers!
Gary

Subject:	 Solar Filter for ETX-70AT
Sent:	Monday, October 2, 2000 05:16:17
From:	ppeters1@gte.net (Paul Peterson)
I had difficulity finding a solar filter to fit the ETX-70AT. However, I
discovered that running a piece of 1/4" thick by 3/8" wide foam
weatherstrip around the inside of the the Celestron #94135 Solar filter
makes it a perfect fit.

This filter is made using Baader Planetarium's Astro Solar Safety film
and is designed for the Celestron F70 & F80 scopes. The foam
weatherstrip makes the fit just snug enough that you don't have to worry
about the filter falling off if you tilt the scope down. When viewing,
the sun appears a neutral white color and I found it easy to see sun
spots.

Paul Peterson

Subject:	 Review of ETX-70
Sent:	Sunday, October 1, 2000 02:29:50
From:	soehnk@cableregina.com (soehnk)
just thought you might want to add this review to your ETX-60 ETX-70
link.  The review is on the ETX-70 and is from Khan Scope, Toronto.
http://khanscope.com/  (Click on 'product reviews.')

Cheers.

Keith Soehn
soehnk@cableregina.com
Mike here: This is the same review as mentioned next.

Subject:	 ETX70AT review w/comparisons to the ETX90
Sent:	Saturday, September 30, 2000 20:20:42
From:	bald1@usa.net (Bob Allman)
Here's an interesting review of the ETX70AT "blue" model by a respected
member of eGroups: telescopes

http://www.egroups.com/files/telescopes/Equipment+reviews/Meade%2520ETX-70AT.htm

Geoff also added this in a later post when addressing the ETX70At versus
the ETX90:

>              For me the ETX70 is preferable to the ETX90. I used to own the pre-Go-To
>              version of the 90, which gives excellent images of the Moon and planets,
>              but has too narrow a field of view to be of much use on deep sky objects.
>              I found myself using mine less and less because, though it gave good lunar
>              and planetary images, 90mm is too small an aperture to see the detail I'm
>              interested in; thus it was neither useful as a planetary scope or a deep
>              sky scope. I really liked my Orion 80mm f/5 refractor, which was one
>              reason the ETX70 appealed to me. Now Celestron is coming out with a
>              NexStar version of that scope, for only $50 more than the ETX70...very
>              interesting times we're in!
>
>              As I was using the ETX70, it gradually dawned on me that this is not a
>              "poor man's ETX90" but rather a superior replacement for the department
>              store 60mm refractor. After years of suffering with good telescopes on
>              inadequate mounts, it's a pleasure to find a beginner's scope that has a
>              really solid mount...that was one of the greatest pleasures of using the
>              ETX70.
>
>              Geoff Gaherty
>              Toronto

Subject:	 ETX 70AT versus Bresser 50mm refractor
Sent:	Saturday, September 30, 2000 08:11:53
From:	SUEKENDALL@casbrion.freeserve.co.uk (SUSAN KENDALL)
Hello Mike love the site, I'm writing because i'm looking to replace my
50mm Bresser refractor with something a little larger. I was thinking of
buying an ETX 70 AT but on reading a review of one by Michael Ryan dated
11th, September I'm not so sure now.

Michael states that on 8th, September he could see three of Jupiters'
moons thro his scope and seemed very happy with this, however on 28th,
September (two night ago) I could plainly see four moons thro' my tiny
Bresser. Well this has got me scratching my head a little!

The Bresser is only 50mm with a f. length of 500mm and cost me just $69
(50 pounds stirling)  and came with two eyepieces and the wobbliest
tripod ever.So how come it appears to perform so well?

I suppose I should give you some details about the evening in question
and you or maybe one of your reviewers could help solve my dilemma.

The location I use is my own back yard which is very dark with no light
pollution to speak of, the night of the 28th, was moonless with a deep
dark blue sky (tho not black) temperature 39F. very little breeze . I
had an 8mm Konus make H eyepiece in the viewfinder  giving 62.5 X
magnification. As stated the view of Jupiter included four moons, Saturn
was also tack sharp and the Pleiades were afire in the 20mm H supplied
with the scope.

I would like to go for a bigger scope but the question now is which one
and how much?

Thanks in anticipation

Sue Kendall
Derbyshire
England.
Mike here: Well, one thing to remember is that of the four easily seen moons of Jupiter, not all may be visible at the same time. Perhaps he saw three because they were the only ones visible. Certainly you can see all four in the ETX-70AT or even a good pair of 7x50 binoculars. As to whether the ETX model is something you should consider is a decision you'll have to make. Certainly, have a GOTO telescope can be handy at times.

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