Last updated: 1 December 1999

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade ETX-90EC. 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
Sent:	Tuesday, November 30, 1999 14:27:30
From:	sandro.ranieri@u-netsys.com.br (SANDRO RANIERI)
My name is Sandro De Ranieri,and I'am a beginner i astronomy studies and
I own a ETX-90EC and I got awarned about this site to ask questions and
clear any doubts. How do I proceed to align my telescope once I live in
South Hemisphere(23s33)(46w39) What kind of reference shall I use?I dont
have the tripod #883,only #880 table tripod.
I'd appreciate very much if you help me to figure this out.
Thank you very much.
Mike here: Unless you plan to do piggyback astrophotography, stick with the Alt/Az alignment as described in the manual if you have an Autostar controller. Either use a magnetic compass or check a street map to find NORTH. If you use a compass, there may be some variation in TRUE vs MAGNETIC NORTH but for right now don't worry about it. If you don't have the Autostar, then you'll have to polar align. Check one of the astronomy charting programs or a star chart from the monthly magazines to find stars near the south pole. Eyeball on them to point the ETX axis towards TRUE NORTH.

Subject:	 ETX90EC viewing near the equator
Sent:	Saturday, November 27, 1999 22:55:14
From:	harts@cyberway.com.sg (Serene Pang)
I just got the ETX90EC two days ago, and am having a fantastic time
setting it up and getting my first views of Venus & Mercury (in spite of
the cloudy conditions).

I live in Singapore 103D 56'E and 1D 17'N, and got the ETX with the
Autostar, table top tripod and 2x Barlow in Canada.  I was wondering if
you could help with 2 questions, related to viewing near the equator:

1)  The instructions for the table top tripod says to adjust the
latitude scale for the site, but my site is located 1D above the
equator, and the printed scale range of the std tripod -leg (22D-48.5D)
and high-latitude leg (44D-66D) seem out of range.  Can I still use the

2)  Could I buy the ETX field tripod, or would I experience the same
latitude problems?  Browsing your excellent site, I saw comments on the
JPI wedge tripod which makes me wonder whether a wedge is required.

3)  Could you give some general guidance regarding viewing from sites
near the equator ie. Do the skycharts published in Astronomy or S&T hold
true for equatorial sites, special hardware req'mts (wedge), polar
alignment (where's should polaris be at 1D north?)

As you can tell, I'm a complete amateur and would be grateful for any

Many Thanks (You have a Fantastic Site)
Mike here: Neither the table top legs nor the Meade Deluxe Field Tripod will let you polar align from that close to the equator. However, the JMI Wedgepod is usable for your location. But unless you need to polar align (like for doing piggyback astrophotography), you can easily just use an alt/az alignment, where you set the ETX base on a flat, level surface. You won't even need to really "see" Polaris, just point the ETX HOME position to TRUE NORTH (which you can approximate). As to the charts, yes, they are usable from any latitudes but may not accurately depict your conditions. You might want to check out some of the astronomy charting software sites listed on the Astronomy Links page.

Subject:	 AW: Thanksgiving
Sent:	Friday, November 26, 1999 09:32:49
From:	Florian.Schaaf@t-online.de (Florian Schaaf)
I would also like to say thank you to your wonderful webpage. I live in
Germany and there wasn't very much information available about the ETX.
It is much more expensive (nearly 150% more expensive than the U.S.
price converted to Deutschmarks) because there is only official dealer
here in Germany, so the decision to buy one means to get rid of a lot of
money. I first looked at your webpage to read the comments of the Users
and then decided to order an ETX-90EC. Well, I was not disappointed at
all, it's really a great scope!

By the way, as I showed to my friends the new ETX, some told me that
_your_ webpage contains many interesting information - so you're already
a kind of a standard here in Germany...

So keep on running that page, hope to give you some photo-stuff soon as
I want to connect my Canon-EOS10 to the ETX...

Best wishes


Subject:	 Re: Short question
Sent:	Monday, November 22, 1999 09:51:46
From:	Michael-Eggers@t-online.de (Michael Eggers)
Thanks for your mail.
Right i forgot the question.

First the good news :I have changed my missassembled mexican ETX gainst
a correct version,Fine!My dealer was very surprised about a ETX from
Mexico and we've checked his stock (10 pcs).My old one was the only one
from Mexico,so i got now a proudly US-made.

OK,here my question.My 497 Autostar has the software Vers.1.2g and i
download the "Autostar Update A1.3" with software vers.1.3c.Reading the
install readme i found the following:

"Upon completion of Autostar Setup program, the Autostar Update tool
will be available in the "Start" panel of your computer desktop. You
will then need to upload the Autostar.ROM & DBase.ROM files to your
Autostar handbox (unless you are already running version 1.2g or above).
To complete the loading of your Autostar, follow the DOWNLOADING
procedure, using the Autostar Update tool (found later on in this readme
file).  The readme file can be found at the default installation folder:
C:\Program Files\Meade\Autostar\Autostar Update\ASReadme.txt"

Please help me: Shall i update to this version or what means "unless you
are allready running version 1.2g"? Is my vers.1.2g o.k.?

Michael Eggers
Here a copy of the label from my old one.
ETX label

Mike here: Glad you got a USA Made ETX. Go ahead and do the Autostar update.

Subject:	 Short question
Sent:	Sunday, November 21, 1999 10:45:32
From:	Michael-Eggers@t-online.de (Michael Eggers)
I'm a owner of a ETX/90EC for two day's and i want to write you two
short things:
1.You wrote at your Meade Facility Tour "I can attest that the ETX is in
fact built in this facility". The package of my teleskop shows:Assembled
in Mexico from U.S. and imported parts.Optics and metal tube assembly
made in U.S.A" The meade-page means that all teleskops twice tested and
a 24 h burn-in for the electronic parts and so on.Definitly a lie!
2.Here the result of assembly and testing in Mexico:My first look thru
the ETX was a really shock.Some of a very foggy and slimy picture,a
catastrophe! Revoming the eyepiece ang looking thru the eyepiece-holder
shows a big fingerprint.Ooops! Removing the Photo Port and flipping down
the mirror brings light in the Dark.Some of the high quality worker has
left a big piece of clear adhesive on the backside of the (U.S. tested
and sealed) Optical Tube.So,my judgement is that nobody has a look thru
my Teleskop after the assembly.That's what you get frpm Meade!
Michael Eggers

Subject:	 what should I expect from my etx-90ec
Sent:	Saturday, November 20, 1999 18:56:25
From:	SPP1112@email.msn.com (SPP)
I recently purchased a meade etx-90ec with autostar#497. I've had
trouble since day one. I've spoken to tech support numerous times, and
downloaded ver. 1.3c software, and have had some successes,  however, 
not consistently or repeatedly, IE: polar alignment( field tripod 41
Lat. for NY. seems imprecise?)  slewing, center fov of objects, etc.
Also, object visuals are less than expected. Should Saturn appear no
larger than the head of a pin? Shouldn't I be able to see color when
viewing Jupiter? I' ve been trying to get better results by adding
options (1) ac adapter  (2)126 barlow  (3) 40mm 4000 series eyepiece.
(4) download cable. Still getting above results. Did I get a lemon?  
Mike here: With the 26mm eyepiece, Saturn will appear small but the rings should be easily seen and resolved. You won't see much color visually on Jupiter with any telescope but you should be able to see some cloud bands. As to working with the Autostar, follow the HOME position instructions exactly; with practice you'll get excellent results.

Added later:

Thanks for the v-e-r-y  quick response. How large should saturn appear
wth a 40mm 4000 series on a 126 barlow?
Mike here: The 2X Barlow makes the 40mm like a 20mm. So it will appear a little larger than with the 26mm eyepiece.

Subject:	 ETX-90EC Delay with Motor
Sent:	Saturday, November 20, 1999 18:47:32
From:	shiz@bellsouth.net
I just bought an ETX-90EC.  I have used it twice so far, and while I
can't complain about the excellent images I am receiving, I am having a
small problem with my motor drive.  I would like to know if this is
common...If I am panning east and stop to go west (or vice versa), there
is a noticable delay before the motor "catches" and begins moving the
opposite direction.  This is especially obvious when set on slower
speeds.  The motor is making noise during this delay, but the telescope
is completely still.  The Horizontal Lock is engaged a little more than
halfway (this is as tight as I can turn it).  I am concerned that this
may affect polar tracking.  Please impart your knowledge upon me.

Thank You

Shawn Rakestraw
Mike here: There is a delay in tracking when changing directions. This is normal for the ETX drive.

Subject:	 Re: RA motor oscillation and vibration
Sent:	Wednesday, November 17, 1999 06:00:42
From:	wahlin@colutron.com (Erik Wahlin)
Thanks for the response.
Does your RA motor make a steady drone, or does it have a cyclic sound
when it operates?
Erik Wahlin
Mike here: The ETX-90RA motor makes a continuous sound although the gears will cause the image to jump a little bit every once in a while. The ETX-90EC motor does seem to have more cycling, even in Polar mode, although I've seen the same image movement as with the RA.

Subject:	 RA motor oscillation and vibration
Sent:	Monday, November 15, 1999 22:30:17
From:	wahlin@colutron.com (Erik Wahlin)
First of all, I would like to thank you for this great site! I've
learned alot about my little ETX here.

I was wondering if you or anyone else can help me with a problem I am
having. I recently bought a ETX-90 EC and have it set up for
astrophotogaphy with a COHU 2100 CCD camera and eyepiece projection with
a 9mm Orth. or the Meade 2x Barlow. I have noticed when I observing
Saturn or Jupiter in polar mode with the 9mm eyepiece that I can see a
distinct vibration which follows the periodic frequency (1-1.5 sec) of
the RA motor.Though this vibration is small, it blurs any bands that you
might see on Jupiter. I have resorted to turning the motor off while I
take pictures.I am using the Meade field tripod, and the scope is firmly
attached. You can feel vibrations when you touch the forks and base.
When I adjust the object position with the autostar motor control, the
vibrations are momentarily stopped. It seems to shut the RA tracking off
for a second or two.

My questions are:
1.Is it normal for the RA motor to have some sort of periodic frequency
or resonance every 1 - 1.5 sec? or do you think my RA motor may be
2. Is any kind of vibration normal?

I have noticed similar comments about this issue previously on your web

Thanks for the help!
Erik Wahlin
Boulder, CO
Mike here: The variation in motor speed is normal when using the Autostar, especially in Alt/Az mode. However, with just the standard controller connected you should not see any significant movement. I certainly didn't during the Transit of Mercury yesterday.

Subject:	 a glowing (if shallow) review of the etx90/ec at ZD TV
Sent:	Friday, November 5, 1999 18:27:43
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Dick Seymour)

visit www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/story/story_4045.html

(and follow the "more..." link at the bottom)
for a 4-star (of five) review of the lil' tyke...

(i've sent a comment describing the 125 and Nexstar, with mention of
your site)
--dick (drat...raining again..time to download 1.3c (maybe))

Subject:	 Re: My new ETX-90/EC
Sent:	Thursday, November 4, 1999 14:34:53
From:	dale@farmuk.demon.co.uk (Dale Newman)
Yes, I have an autostar. No, I am not sure it is a mechanical problem. I
will check the manuel re: re-training the drive (I did this when I first
got the scope). I'm not too clued up on downloading software and don't
want to break something that is (so far) working. I will ask some
technical chaps for their help. I think I see a line dividing the ring
of Saturn...is that possible?
Mike here: You can see the Cassini Division in Saturn's Rings with the ETX.

Subject:	 My new ETX-90/EC
Sent:	Wednesday, November 3, 1999 01:16:24
From:	dale@farmuk.demon.co.uk (Dale Newman)
I'm a new amateur astronomer. I'm an American living in the U.K. In July
1999, my sister brought an ETX in the US and gave it to me (in the UK).
Recently a friend who has had his ETX for 2 years noticed that the
verticle lock was stiff. I had noticed it was making a grinding noise
when tightened. Off I went to Telescope House. They will fix that for 15
(no bigf deal). Since then I've noticed the motor skipping slightly
during final locations. It must be a tiny amount, but it is worrying me.
Do you know if I have ANY kind of chance of having the warrantee in
force. I hear Meade is a very good company and I love the scope. Any
             Great site!,
Mike here: I think the US Warranty will only be covered in the United States since the scope was purchased in the US. But are you sure it is a mechanical problem? You didn't say but from your message it sounds like you might have the Autostar. If so, be certain you have done the drive training and have the latest (or at least v1.2) software.

Subject:	ETX-90 EC 12v adapter
Sent:	Tuesday, November 2, 1999 22:44:16
From:	IPKendall@aol.com
Enjoyed your "Mighty ETX Site" - tons of useful info for a new (but
experienced) ETX-90EC owner. However, I had no luck finding the one
piece of info I was looking for. Is the 12V auto battery adapter
accessory anything more than a 2-conductor wire with appropriate plugs
on both ends, wired with the correct polarity, and maybe a fuse for
protection? I haven't seen the accessory advertised anywhere, and would
just as soon make my own - any thoughts?

Larry Kendall
Tucson, AZ (Astronomy capitol of the world)
Mike here: See Dick Seymour's comment on the current ETX-90EC Feedback page (moving to the archive later tonight) about the Radio Shack adapter. You can also search the site for "power"; you'll get lots of unrelated hits but some that may be related.

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Copyright © 1999 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/90ecNov99.html