Last updated: 26 September 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:	 EyePiece suggestions for the ETX-70
Sent:	Monday, September 25, 2000 16:02:33
From:	jasons@d2.com (Jason Shea)
What eyepieces would one recommend for the ETX-70.  I have the 26mm and
9mm that come with the scope, and was thinking about getting something
like a 6mm or less to see the rings of Saturn a bit better.  My concern
is that i will be unable to resolve the image with any detail.  Can
anyone recommend which eyepiece below 9mm would be the limit for getting
decent sharpness? Also, anyone recommend which filters to get for
viewing deep space objects?



Subject:	 EXT 70AT ?Good value?
Sent:	Sunday, September 24, 2000 07:39:46
From:	pvak@CAM.ORG (Peter Vaktor)
Has anyone had any experience with the new EXT 70 AT refractor scope
with Autostar, in comparison with the EXT 90EC? Would this make a good
first telescope for primarily planetary observation? Or would spending
three times the price, for an EXT 90 EC, be worth the investment in the
long run for the return of improved  image quality? Or, at these small
sizes of scopes are any differences in resolution and capability 
usually overshadowed  by the observation conditions and it really does
not matter much? In other words how good is this little refractor when
compared to the 90EC's acknowledged excellent image quality.
Mike here: Optical reports on the refractor are good but you'll get better views with the larger aperture of the ETX-90EC. See these ETX-60AT, ETX-70AT Feedback pages for more reports.

Subject:	 Great site
Sent:	Saturday, September 23, 2000 17:04:00
From:	saved1@3rdm.net (Bruce Harke)
Glad I found your site.  Looking at possibly buying an ETX-70-AT with
the Autostar #495 tomorrow and wanted to research it a little bit to
help convince myself.  Found one at a Natural Wonders Science store for
$296.95, so after checking out your site, I think I am going to jump on
it.  Sounds like a good deal for a good basic telescope.   Thanks for
your site,... the user comments convinced me.  Your site is now on my
favorites list.


Subject:	etx 60at photo
Sent:	Thursday, September 21, 2000 17:17:51
From:	QCarroll@aol.com
Love your sight.  Are any of the photos on your sight taken with the etx
60?  Is there any practical way to increase magnification with the 60
for photography?  What about CCD?


Mike here: I don't recall any ETX-60AT astrophotos as of yet. If you want to try eyepiece projection, you can use a Barlow Lens or different eyepieces. Of course, you'll need the appropriate adapters. CCD imaging should be possible, especially with something like the SAC IV imager.

Added later:

Thanks for the quick response.  What kind of adapters do I need for eye piece projection?
Mike here: Check the Accessories - Astrophotography page.

Subject:	ETX70AT tripod & accessory question?
Sent:	Saturday, September 16, 2000 09:54:18
From:	AlAlborn@aol.com
I just bought an ETX70AT and got my first look at the surface of the
moon (what a rush).  I notice that my ETX70 looks different from the
models pictured in Meade's Sky & Telescope adds.

My ETX70 has the same base as the ETX90 (or so it seams).  My ports are
in the base.  Scopes advertised have one less port and are in the arm. 
I also have a controller that looks like the ETX90's (vice a simpler
model pictured).  Is my ETX70 an older model?  (I suspect that early
ETX70's used the same base as the 90.  Correct?)

The reason I'm asking is because I'd like to get a tripod.  The book for
my ETX70 lists the #883 Deluxe Field Tripod.  The adds in Sky &
Telescope lists an 882 Standard Field Tripod.  I'm wondering if the
standard field tripod (and other ETX70 accessories) will work with my

I also notice the scope advertised doesn't list an equatorial table
tripod (or appear to have the holes to support one - in the picture);
however, I'm using the one designed for the 90 with mine.

I'm also wondering if my autostar controller is the same as the 90 (and
if I can download the 90's database).

Overall, I think I prefer my model.  It appears that I can use all of
the 90's accessories (thus giving me an upgrade path) and have a little
more functionality (the extra port and what looks like the same
controller as the 90).  What do you think?


Mike here: There do appear to be different models of the ETX-60AT and ETX-70AT. Meade's current catalog (paper and web) shows the model with the ports in the fork arm.

Information from Shutan Camera and Video:

Sent:	Saturday, September 16, 2000 18:32:33
From:	bob@shutan.com (Bob Shutan)
We have 70's with base ports and 60 /70's with arm ports. All versions
use 2-hole mounting such as that required for 883 deluxe tripod or new
882 alt-az tripod.


Subject:	 60/70
Sent:	Friday, September 15, 2000 20:41:42
From:	bob@shutan.com (Bob Shutan)
Just to let your readers know (maybe I missed a posting) but the base of
the 60/70AT is just like the 90/125EC. A common adapter plate such as
the one we carry from Scopetronix, or our ETX Easy Mount is all that is
needed. But.... their tripod (mainly the leg locks) must be able to
handle the 8-10 lb. load which many photo tripods can't. By the way,
60AT's and 70AT's are not on backorder as of this writing.


Bob Shutan
Shutan Camera & Video

Subject:	 ETX-60AT Review
Sent:	Friday, September 15, 2000 11:59:43
From:	davelangham@win.bright.net (David Langham)
It seems as if I'm the only person around who has a ETX-60AT and not an
ETX-70 or 90. Anyway, just wanted to provide a little information about
the performance of the ETX-60 for anyone who is thinking about
purchasing one.

Last night (first clear night in awhile) I tried out my ETX-60 for the
first time. Jupiter, Saturn and the Pleiades were very bright. Anyway,
after a two star alignment, the scope performed very brilliantly. With a
simple 9mm eypiece I was able to easily see the rings of Saturn and two
moons of Jupiter!! The Pleiades were fascinating. I was very happy with
the ETX-60. I have just ordered Plossel 4mm and 5mm along with a 2X and
3X Barlow lenses. I can't wait to see what these can do.

Anyway, for those of you that think the ETX-60 is too small or only for
beginners, think again. It was the best $299.00 I've spent in a long

Subject:	 9 volt etx70at
Sent:	Thursday, September 14, 2000 15:39:57
From:	garyc@voicenet.com (Gary)
I just bought an ETX70at and in the battery compartment there is a
battery holder that comes out.You put 6 AA batteries in it.This holder
connects to a 9 volt battery snap on connecter.Does anyone know if I can
just use a 9 volt instead of 6 1&1/2 volt AA batteries.I ask the tech at
Meade but he said he didn't know.


Subject:	 Re:  Meade ETX-70AT Question
Sent:	Thursday, September 14, 2000 08:20:23
From:	gszrir@clayfinlay.com (Szrir, George)
Just a few lines to let Stefan Kowalzik or anyone else looking for an
ETX-70 (or any other scope for that matter) to try giving George at
Science and Hobby a call (they are located in New Paltz, NY)
www.scienceandhobby.com 914-255-3744 or 800-763-3212.

Before buying my ETX, I shopped around the local stores, the internet,
and used "The Mighty ETX site".  I ended up finding Science and Hobby on
the Meade dealers page, and am very happy with them. I called George on
Tuesday with a lot of questions concerning various scopes, and he was
very patient and helpful.  I of course ordered the 70 from him.  He had
it on my doorstep the very next day!  (I live in NY, so UPS delivers
ground packages in one day within the same zone) I've only used this
scope once, but was able to see Jupiter with moons, and Saturn with
rings!! (probably boring stuff for you pros, but quite literally one of
the most amazing things I've ever seen!!!).... I should mention that I
was using a 2X Barlow lens and the 9 mm eyepiece supplied with the ETX.

George Szrir
Clay Finlay Inc.

Subject:	 ETX-70AT update
Sent:	Wednesday, September 13, 2000 20:25:46
From:	bald1@usa.net (Bob Allman)
Having both distilled information on your site to fabricate some
accessories as well as purchase some, I offer the following comments:

>    I have the older "black tube" version with the #495 Autostar.  Mine
> is mounted on a Bogen 3031 tripod with 3047 head.  Very stable.  But to
> place the scope/drive on a good photo tripod you need an adapter plate.
> I got mine from Scopetronix.  It looks much like the heavy duty one he
> sells for the ETX-90 / 125 as well as the 5" Celestron.  It's a thick
> flat plate with a 1/4-20 threaded hole in the middle and two holes with
> bolts with nice black knobs to mate to the scope base.  $31.95 if memory
> serves.  Recommended.
>    Scopetronix 4mm and 6mm Plossls:  the 6 works great straight as well
> as with the Meade #126 2x barlow.  Not sure I'd get the 4mm again as it
> throws a fairly dark picture due to the small aperture of the 70.  Works
> fine for daytime stuff though.  $35/42 respectively.
>   Apogee "super quality" 32mm plossl.  Looks exactly the same as the
> supplied Meade 20mm series 4000 super plossl.  Works great.  I saved $10
> off list by buying it from Apogee via eBay for $30.
>   Meade #933 45 degree erecting prism.  Essential for terrestrial
> viewing.  Has a built in 2.4x barlow.  Don't get the #932 ... they WON'T
> work.  I know... I was sold the wrong one and had to get it swapped
> out.  Lists for $50.
>   Scopetronix Flex-Focus.  Really makes a difference having the large
> knob on a spring cable hanging some 6" or so away from the tube's back.
> Worth the $34.95.
>   Doskocil #65400 Seal-Tight case.  This puppy is 20.75" x 16.5" x 9.25"
> with several layers of  diced foam.  Highly recommended.  Can be had for
> $70.
>   Meade #670 dew cap.  Found mine at Amazon.com for $14.95 vice paying
> $20 everywhere else.  Works great as a scope shade too!
>    I modified a Daisy Red-Dot sight with a 10kohm micro-pot just like
> the links describe.  Mounted it with doublesided foam tape.  Wiggles a
> bit too much this way but works fine, especially for the $11.08 with tax
> the the whole shebang ran me.
>    I also updated the firmware from 2.0g to 2.0i with a AutoStar-PC
> homebrew cable.  See the info on Weasners site as with the Daisy.  My
> local supplier charged me $1.90 for the DB9-RJ12 adapter.  Just plug in
> a headset (not phone to wall) extension cord.  I picked up a coiled 25
> footer for $3.95 locally.
>    I also bought a set (4/$10) of  hexhead eyepiece bottles from
> Scopetronix.  I cut some thick poly disks from some packing material I
> had.  Same as the setup he ships his eyepieces in.  Nice; the stock
> Meade bottles are in storage.
>   Lastly I bought a 12VDC/1000ma AC adapter from RatShack which includes
> your choice of plug.  The right one is "N" (5.5mm x 2.5mm).  This ran
> $15.89 with tax.  Off a long extension cord using AC seems to make the
> drive (at least sounds) smoother and stronger.  It may be that the NiMH
> batteries I've been using loose their strength early...dunno.
>    I may pick up the Meade #3200 filter kit (#8,#23A.#82A, ND 50%)
> especially for the last two Wratten values listed (for planetary
> contrast and reducing moonglare respectively).  Don't waste money on any
> nebulae or light pollution filters as our scopes are simply too small to
> extract any meaningful benefit.  Keep in mind that those filters reduce
> the light getting through as a means of increasing contrast.  We don't
> exactly have "light buckets" so it becomes an unacceptable tradeoff.

Viewing experience with the scope.  I haven't detected any significant
astigmatism or aberrations of any kind.  Solid albeit small aperture
optics.  It's a keeper:

>   With the 32 / 20 / 9 / 6 / 4 mm Plossls and the 2x Barlow, I have a
> range between 11x and 175x to play with.  Frankly above the 120x my 6mm
> with Barlow gives me is really pushing this little scope.  Best "high
> power" views with average seeing conditions are at 60x and 80x.   The
> 90x the 4mm gives is problematic only because of the meager eye-relief.
> It does through a crisp image at 90x though.  I suspect with one of the
> more expensive EPs like a Lanthium with 20mm of eye-relief, a 4mm
> would be more enjoyable to use.
Bob Allman
Rapid City, SD

Subject:	ETX-60AT
Sent:	Tuesday, September 12, 2000 20:53:31
From:	TC26DEE@cs.com
Hey Mike, great web site!  I just bought an ETX-60 about 2 weeks ago. I
love it! But I am finding it hard to find accessories for it. Such as
stores, web sites, etc. Can you help me? The store I got it from was a
wal mart supercenter. they do not carry any accessories. Also, a
salesperson said that I could use accessories for the ETX-90 on mine. I
really don't believe this. This isn't true is it?

Tony Merritt 
Easley SC 
Mike here: If the ETX-60AT uses 1.25-inch eyepieces, then you can use most 1.25-inch eyepieces, filters, and some Barlows. I say "most" and "some" since I don't know how much focus travel there is on the ETX-60AT. Check the various dealers listed on the Astronomy Links page.

Subject:	 Re:  Meade ETX-70AT Question
Sent:	Monday, September 11, 2000 14:32:26
From:	michaelryan@onebox.com (Michael Ryan)
A little less than a week ago, I finally got my new ETX-70AT. Meade has
been a little slow to get these to market... To "Stefan Kowalzik" who
wrote you about were to find the new 70AT's while he is in the U.S.,
suggest that he use the dealer finder on the Meade site.  I received my
from Berger Brothers Camera (on Long Island).  Some of the sale people
really new what they were talking about when it came to telescopes.

I have had some success with the two viewing nights so far... The first
night, it was cold and the telescope dewed up after about 2 hours
(around 11pm).  Due to the sites so far, I have had no luck with polar
aligning using the Autostar.  My problem is that my In-laws
backyard...while dark, has tall trees on all three side of the yard,
house on the fourth.  There is no way for me to see Polaris, or many of
the alignment stars.

(Any suggestions on this problem?).

However before the due set in, I was able to do some viewing of the Moon
(able to see "straight wall") and some deep sky panning.  Stars were
just pinpoints of light...Never saw so many stars with my own eyes!

Seems as if the Aligning steps for the 60/70AT's are a little different
then the 90/125's...

The second night 9/9/00, much darker sky out east on Long Island. Cool
night, out east with friends playing poker.  Thought I pack up my little
70AT for a trip incase the sky was clear.

The Moon was great again around 8pm...easy to find in the night sky. 
Again, no change to align due to I was setting this up in a strange
place, and I was there have fun playing cards. Cards finished at
midnight, and again I had just a few minutes to see Jupiter and Saturn,
before I had to leave.

Got both of them as 3 moon of Jupiter.  Very clear.  Need a to buy some
other eyepieces...a 2x or 3x should do the trick..

So far so good!  I am very happy with my scope so far...
1) easy to transport...
2) clear optics...
3) good price...

Now if I could just buy a mountain top with dark skies next to my

Michael D. Ryan
michaelryan@onebox.com - email
(212) 699-3827 x2450 - voicemail/fax
Mike here: Since you have the "AT" model, don't bother with Polar aligning; use Alt/Az. That way, you don't to explicity see Polaris; just get approximately North (but as close as you can in the Alt/Az Home position). Hopefully that works with the ETX-70AT model.

Added later:

Problem is that with all of the trees, alignment stars have to be almost
Mike here: Oh. Well, you can use a magnetic compass and correct for your local magnetic variation.

Subject:	 Manfroto tripod and the Meade 70
Sent:	Friday, September 8, 2000 07:10:50
From:	GRhoades@co.jefferson.co.us (Glenn Rhoades)
Can you Help me my 70 has got two small screws on it's base and my
tripod has got one large (it looks like a 5/8th) on it's top?

How do I get them to work????  any suggestions?

Glenn Rhoades

Subject:	 ETX-70-AT
Sent:	Thursday, September 7, 2000 11:24:34
From:	kowalzik@gmx.de (Stefan Kowalzik)
Hi and congratulation to your very informative site...

I come from Germany and I'm working in New York for two months. I tried
to find a Meade ETX-70-AT but no dealer seems to have it - the 60 is
available everywhere....

Maybe I have luck with my question at Meade. One other thing is not
really clear to me: I own a really heavy tripod for photography and I
would like to use it with the ETX. Is it possible to mount the telescope
on the standard screw of the tripod or do I have to use an adapter (I
this available or do I have to make one ...) ???

Best Regards from a new ETX-fan,

Stefan Kowalzik
Mike here: You can use a photographic tripod but you will likely need some sort of adapter plate. Several are available; check the Accessories - Tripods page for some and also check the Tech Tips page for some ideas on building your own. I don't know whether any of the commercially available ones will work with the ETX-60 and -70.

Subject:	 ETX 60-AT
Sent:	Wednesday, September 6, 2000 12:49:38
From:	davelangham@win.bright.net (David Langham)
Hello! I recently purchased a new Meade 60-AT telescope after returning
a older black tube ETX 70-AT. Although not as powerful as the old 70-AT
or the new 70-AT's, I have to say the improvements provide for a much
better scope. Even though the new 60-ATs don't have the numeric Autostar
or a 12-volt DC port I am much happier. The horizontal axis does not
have any "limits of revolution". I can turn the axis with no fear of
damaging any internal structures. Also, they have improved upon the
internal gears which prevents too much backlash when slewing to objects
at higher speeds.

Now for my question(s). First, what is the difference between Plossel
eyepieces and Super-Plossel eyepieces? Second, are the 2X or 3X Barlow
lenses worth the cost or do they simply make the image appear more fuzzy
or "out of control". Lastly, would you recommend investing in a
viewfinder (do you have one on your ETX-90, and is it necessary?).

Thanks Mike, great site!!!!
Mike here: For a discussion on eyepiece types see Orion's eyepiece selection. While it doesn't discuss Meade's Super Plossls, it may help. Don't know whether Super Plossls would be overkill for the ETX-60. Finderscopes are handy for getting the telescope quickly pointed in the right direction for non-GOTO operations. If you only use the Autostar then a Finderscope on the ETX-60AT is less useful.

Subject:	 ETX-60
Sent:	Friday, September 1, 2000 21:56:39
From:	marty104@usit.net (John Martellaro)
Is the new ETX-60 a real Maksutov or a compact refractor?

John Martellaro
HOME PAGE:         http://www.martellaro.com/
Mike here: Refractor, same as the ETX-70 model.

Subject:	 ETX-70/70 Questions/Answers...
Sent:	Thursday, August 31, 2000 07:39:15
From:	jblessin@worldnet.att.net (Jordan Blessing)
I just wanted to respond to a couple of questions I just read in the ETX
60/70 feedback section...

To Emanuel regarding Piggyback Mounts: We have piggyback mounts for the
ETX60/70 in stock though we haven't had a chance to post it on our
website yet. It attaches behind the front portion of the tube and
includes a special counterweight set that attaches to the eyepiece to
keep things in balance.

To Richard Jacobs regarding Focuser travel: Yes the ETX 60/70 has a
*very* long focuser travel and your experience is normal. Since there is
currently no electric focuser available for this scope you may want to
take a look at our Flexi-Focus unit. It is now available for the
ETX60/70 and believe me it is a big help (especially when pointed up).
These are not on our website yet but are available.

Jordan Blessing

       ScopeTronix Astronomy Products

Subject:	 remember the ETX60at to rs232?
Sent:	Wednesday, August 30, 2000 20:43:09
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (richard seymour)
the final solution was for him to buy an Autostar 497 
for use as an "rs232 to etx60at adapter".
...since #506 cable sets (with their active adapter) isn't available...

He's now somewhere in the Amazon Basin... 

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